- American Nightmare: the story of a prime FBI suspect in 1996 Atlanta Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair
- The disappearing conservative professor Jon Shields, National Affairs
- Why the British love the oak tree Philip Marsden, Spectator
- Russia, Turkey, and the fate of Idlib Ömer Özkizilcik, Cairo Review
- The return of Henry George Pierre Lemieux, EconLog
- The politics of purity and indigenous rights Grant Havers, Law & Liberty
- The Ottoman Empire’s first map of the United States Nick Danforth, the Vault
- The age that women have babies: how a gap divides America Bui & Miller, the Upshot
Yes, that’s the subject of my weekend column over at RealClearHistory. An excerpt:
4. Cutting off limbs/flaying. The English version of being hanged, drawn, and quartered involved removing genitals, but did any other society in history stoop so low? Um, yes. Not only have penises and/or testicles been removed and vaginas flayed, but they have sometimes been displayed as trophies, eaten, or converted into jewelry. Genitals aren’t the only limbs to have been removed over the years. Fingers and toes, tongues, breasts, eyes, ears, lips, nipples, noses, kneecaps, fingernails, eyelids, skin, and bones have all been forcibly removed over years by governments exacting punishment. Aside from the removal of genitals, flaying is probably the worst of the bunch. That’s when you beat somebody so hard that their skin comes off.
I had a lot of fun writing this, and I suspect my ever-so-patient editor had a lot of fun reading (and editing) it. I hope you enjoy it too! Here’s the rest of it.
Folks, I forgot to link to last weekend’s piece at RealClearHistory. It was about World War II internment camps in the US. An excerpt:
As a quick historical reminder, the United States government, under the direct orders of Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt, imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Americans and recently immigrated foreigners for the crime of being Japanese or German (the Italians got some flack, too, but less so than the other two), or for having a Japanese or German surname.
The vast majority of these imprisoned people were Japanese or Japanese-American. In fact, the total amount of interred German or German-American prisoners was roughly 11,000, and the number of Italian or Italian-Americans much smaller than that.
Please, read the rest.
- The man who went to the North Korean place that ‘doesn’t exist’ Megha Mohan, BBC
- Assessing Our Frayed Society with (German-Korean philosopher) Byung-Chul Han Scott Beauchamp, Law & Liberty
- Baxter Street & Jury Duty, Summer of 2016 Edward Miller, Coldnoon
- Ta-Nehisi Coates & the Afro-Pessimist Temptation Darryl Pinckney, New York Review of Books
Since 2012 I have been a semi-frequent flyer making about five cross continental round trip flights a year, plus several shorter flights within the Pacific coast. Between now and then I would make it a point to ‘opt out’ of the standard TSA procedure and receive the pat down. I did it for a variety of reasons. For one, don’t like being exposed to radiation and don’t trust the government on the issue.
More than that though, I wanted to resist and encourage my fellow citizens to resist, however small, the security theater the government has us go through in exchange for our freedom to travel. I would not encourage people to resist the police or any armed agent of the state, but by opting out I was taking a stand against government and hoped others would join me.
In five plus years, no one did. The only people I ever had join me in the opt out process was ‘randomly selected’ individals, often Muslims or mis-identified Sikhs. I never saw someone else voluntarily opt out. In retrospect, I suspect noone else saw my actions as a form of protest.
When I took a flight earlier today I went through the standard procedure.* My will to resist, at least in this form, has gone away. In the coming year the TSA rules will become stricter as real ID is finally implemented. I like to think this will lead to popular opposition, but I wouldn’t wager on it. As a nation we’ve given up on asserting our freedom to travel with minimal intrusion.
When I arrived at my final destination I found the below containers blocking me from the entrance. To leave the airport I had to get checked one last time. They don’t seem to be scanners, but when you enter them you are held up for ten or so seconds before being let free. Are they just trying to see what we will put up with before unveiling the next wave of security theater antics?
Thoughts? Have a story about your flying experience(s) to share? Post in the comments below.
*Funnily enough I ended up being “randomly” choosen to have my luggage physically inspected anyway.