On July 17, 1945, the OSS Deer Team, led by Major A. K. Thomas, was parachuted in the jungle 200 km north of Hanoi, to make contact with a mysterious group of resistance fighters willing to help the US against the Japanese. They were greeted cordially by the group leader, "Mr C. M. Hoo", a sick-looking older man, and his acolyte "Mr Van", a dapper man wearing a white linen suit and a black fedora
(and he did like his fedora
). From mid-July to the Japanese capitulation, the Deer Team trained Hoo's ragtag band
, provided them with explosives and small arms and followed them during skirmishes. They also allegedly saved Ho(o)'s life
. Major Thomas' full report on the Deer Mission
(including the FPP title
and the line Forget the Communist Bogy
) is buried in the 1972 Hearings on the causes of the Vietnam war
(see also the same events according to Henri Prunier
, last surviving member of the Deer Team). [more inside]
posted by elgilito
on Mar 14, 2013 -
On the 6th of December
2011, as has been traditional for the past 9 decades since Finland's Independence, the President, Tarja Halonen and her spouse, Dr Pentti Arajarvi host what is known
as the Linnan juhlat
or Castle Ball, an extremely popular televised reception for the notables of the nation
. Along with the usual dignitaries, the President is also permitted to select invitees based on merit - entertainers, athletes, individuals - whom she feels have been in the news in the past year.
This year Peter and Teija Vesterbacka also were invited due to Peter Vesterbacka's work as the CMO of Rovio. Teija Vesterbacka wore a red dress for the evening that had design concepts from one of the birds in the mobile game Angry Birds.
Highlighted in the Finnish news
by the very select group of photographers permitted entry to this exclusive event, it was when the photograph of this dress went viral among global MSM that the angry birds began to fly
posted by infini
on Dec 8, 2011 -
The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization. As Moses Coit Tyler noted almost a century ago, no assessment of it can be complete without taking into account its extraordinary merits as a work of political prose style. Although many scholars have recognized those merits, there are surprisingly few sustained studies of the stylistic artistry of the Declaration. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically -- at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable.
The University of Wisconsin's Dr. Stephen E. Lucas meticulously analyzes the elegant language of the 235-year-old charter in a distillation of this comprehensive study
. More on the Declaration: full transcript
and ultra-high-resolution scan
, a transcript and scan of Jefferson's annotated rough draft
, the little-known royal rebuttal
, a thorough history of the parchment itself
, a peek at the archival process
, a reading of the document by the people of NPR
and by a group of prominent actors
, H. L. Mencken's "American" translation
, Slate's Twitter summaries
, and a look at the fates of the 56 signers
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 4, 2011 -
"The Declaration of Independence in American," by H.L. Mencken.
"When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Why we did what we did. In American, so everyone can understand.
posted by John of Michigan
on Jul 4, 2010 -
With all the dust that's been
* riled up
by Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (previously
), everyone is suddenly taking an interest in Puerto Rico
. A basic question that may come up is why we're there in the first place.
Understanding that, we can see how the complicated relationship
has played out between Puerto Rico, the US, and, most recently, the United Nations. Although the UN has urged
the US to take steps towards establishing Puerto Rico's sovereignty, referendums held on the
island have overwhelmingly preferred the status quo
and the US has been indifferent at best. But independence activists, after a twenty-year decline, may be on the rise
. The island's current governor, Luis Fortuño
, is pro-statehood. But the whole issue has taken a back seat since plans have been made to fire 30,000 government
, privatize some public services
, and sell
some the the government's US$3.2 billion debt. [more inside]
posted by krikkit261
on Jun 10, 2009 -
These are the documents that started it all. The Charters of Freedom.
As the USA celebrates another Independence Day, the National Archives presents the historical development of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their impact upon the nation and the world.
posted by netbros
on Jul 4, 2008 -
democracy in the world celebrates its 60th
anniversary, in a year which saw horrendous
floods, the election of its first
woman president (previously mentioned here
), the signing of the 123
Nuclear Agreement, and the recent victory over England after a span of 21
posted by hadjiboy
on Aug 15, 2007 -
F*ck Big Media, Rolling Your Own Network
If a well-informed public is the necessary prerequisite to the democratic process, then we must frankly admit that any private ownership of public airwaves represents a potential threat to the free exchange of ideas. Now that private property has mostly collectivized the electromagnetic spectrum, and with little hope that this will soon change, we must look elsewhere to find a common ground for the public discourse.
We are fortunate that such ground already exists.
posted by tranceformer
on Oct 4, 2004 -
Independence Days Worldwide.
Happy Independence Week, Bahamas
! or What else happens in July
? There's a lot of independence holidays, as there was a fair bit of colonialism to get out from under during the 19th/20th centuries. And most countries in general have important victories and events to celebrate... many of us are familiar with Bastille Day and Cinco de Mayo
, for example. The dates aren't so much important as the realization of the stories and struggles that have gone on and still go on around the world, but the dates are a place to start.
posted by namespan
on Jul 4, 2003 -
Meanwhile in Small town news,
the city of Independence, Missouri is holding a battle on adding fluoride to the water. Don't say you didn't expect odd quotes from people: "We have the best water in the area as far as solids and softness go, I myself have been drinking this water for over 30 years, and I have every tooth in my mouth that God gave me, except the four the Marine Corps took away from me years ago.", I, myself, trust one authority on this, Jack D. Ripper. ;)
So... Fluoride: good, bad or neither?
posted by RobbieFal
on Sep 4, 2002 -
Bougainville Rebels, PNG Sign Comprehensive Autonomy Deal
The deal, following two years of dialogue and almost a decade of violence, will culminate in a referendum on independence in 10 years. When fully implemented, it will give Bougainville broad autonomy in legislation, judiciary, and its own police force. Bougainvilleans fight for secession stems from PNG's distribution of revenue from gold mines on the island. Kabui's remarks at the signing emphasized the Bougainvillean identity and culture that autonomy would protect.
posted by rschram
on Aug 31, 2001 -
'XIAMEN: A senior Beijing researcher on Taiwan affairs yesterday called for immediate measures to resist an ongoing bid by the island to promote its cultural independence..
posted by Kino
on Jun 26, 2001 -
Notice of Revocation of Independence
appears to be spamming all over email. I found it in several listbots and egroups
, and after some intensive searching I think I may
have found the original source
but I'm guessing and may be wrong
. Very funny, very telling, and with more than a grain of wake up call
to it. Considering how we take our freedom for granted in America, I question whether or not we really deserve it any longer.
posted by ZachsMind
on Nov 22, 2000 -