EppsNet Archive: World War II

Indignities

26 Mar 2017 /

I was at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo over the weekend. Had to use the men’s room and the only stall available had a broken door latch. In order to keep the door closed, I had to press on it with my foot.

Unfortunately, I pressed a little too hard and the door broke through the restraint and flew open in a forward direction.

Granted, the Japanese had to put up with indignities at internment camps but that was in wartime . . .

Manzanar diorama

Manzanar diorama


Feb. 5, 1917: Immigration Act Passed Over Wilson’s Veto

5 Feb 2016 /

On this date in 1917, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the previous week and passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, introduced a period of near complete exclusion of Asian immigration to the United States.

Not that life was a bed of roses for Asian immigrants before 1917. Asian laborers were sought out for demanding and dangerous railroad jobs involving explosives. The phrase “Chinaman’s chance,” meaning little to no chance at all, dates from this period. Asians were not allowed American citizenship and were frequent victims of hostility and violence with no legal recourse.

For example, in 1854, George W. Hall was convicted of murdering a Chinese man. On appeal to the State Supreme Court the decision was overturned because all of the evidence against him was from Chinese individuals.

Not a Chinaman's Chance by Charles M Russell 1894

According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Chinese “recogniz[ed] no laws … except through necessity, [brought] with them their prejudices and national feuds, in which they indulge[d] in open violation of law.”

The court also noted that their “mendacity is proverbial; [that they were] a race of people whom nature has marked as inferior, and who are incapable of progress or intellectual development beyond a certain point … [and they would not be granted] the right to swear away the life of a citizen, … [or] the … privilege of participating with us in administering the affairs of our Government.”

After the Immigration Act of 1917, existing Asian immigrants were excluded from employment by racial hostility and increasingly moved into self-employment as laundry workers, store and restaurant owners, traders and merchants. Chinese immigrants congregated in Chinatowns established in California and elsewhere.

 

Between 1942 and 1946, 110,000 to 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in internment camps. About two-thirds of those interned were second- and third-generation citizens by birth.

Newspaper headlines of Japanese Relocation - NARA - 195535

Sixty-two years of Chinese exclusion ended in 1943 with the passage of the Magnuson Act, which allowed a quota of 105 persons to immigrate each year. Yes, that is the correct number — 105 Chinese immigrants per year. In 1946, the Luce–Celler Act provided for an annual quota of 100 immigrants per year from the Philippines and India.

Token immigration quotas remained in effect until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the quota system based on national origins.

 

In the last 50 years, Asians have risen to the top socio-economic levels of American society, proving once again that what happens to you is not nearly as important as how you react to it.

Asian-Americans seem to be focused on keeping their families together and making sure their kids get a good education, rather than peddling grievances about the past or even the present, e.g., Why are Asians not being nominated for Academy Awards? or Why has there never been an Asian president?


Women’s World Cup: Why the US Will Beat Germany

30 Jun 2015 /

A recurring theme in world history is the United States dick-slapping Germany: World War I, World War II, “Tear down this wall!” … maybe that’s not the most appropriate metaphor for a women’s soccer match but we’ve been winners all our lives.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!


Are the Viet Cong Still in Those Tunnels?

23 May 2015 /
Cu Chi tunnels

The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968.

Wikipedia

The tunnels are now a popular tourist attraction. My son and seven of his friends are currently on a post-graduation trip to Southeast Asia. Here’s a picture of him in the tunnels.

There were Japanese soldiers hiding out on Pacific islands for decades after World War II. They never heard the war was over. Is there any chance there are still Viet Cong in those tunnels? I think I see one over his shoulder . . .


See You in Hell

26 Apr 2015 /
Satan

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Greetings from the underworld!

I see that Pope Francis put a bee in Turkey’s bonnet a couple of weeks ago by calling the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 a genocide. According to the Turks, the Vatican should look to its own history before casting stones. Tu quoque!

On that note, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography was just awarded to David I. Kertzer for The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. Historically, popes have been far more circumspect in condemning genocide and other atrocities when committed by countries willing to aggrandize the Church (or when committed by the Church itself!)

See you in Hell, clerics of all stripes . . .

Clerics


Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014

3 Jul 2014 /

EppsNet at the Movies: The Monuments Men

20 Feb 2014 /

The Monuments Men

This movie is getting killed on Rotten Tomatoes — 34 percent as I write this. Granted, it’s not in 3-D, doesn’t have robots or aliens or other really fake-looking bullshit, and despite being set during World War II, has only a minimal amount of violent action.

(If you like that kind of thing, fear not! We were shown previews for Pompeii, Spiderman, X-Men, some Tom Cruise sci-fi thing . . . rest assured there’s plenty of crap in the pipeline.)

The Monuments Men tells an interesting story in an entertaining way, with memorable scenes and characters, and the best female role I’ve seen in a movie since Come Back, Little Sheba.

Rating: 4 stars

The Monuments Men

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Director: George Clooney
Cast: George Clooney Frank Stokes, Matt Damon James Granger, Bill Murray Richard Campbell, Cate Blanchett Claire Simone

IMDb rating: 6.1 (108,470 votes)


HW’s Movie Reviews: 42

12 Apr 2013 /
42

Look at this — before Jackie Robinson, they didn’t let black guys play major league baseball!

Right . . . that was 70 years ago, in the 1940s. Let’s move on already.

You know what else they did in the 1940s? They rounded up Japanese Americans, just took them right out of their homes and their jobs, and stuck them into “relocation camps.”

When’s the last time you heard a Japanese person talk about relocation camps? They don’t talk about relocation camps because they’re too busy being engineers and doctors and businessmen and raising their families and sending their kids to top universities.

You can focus your mind on what other people did a long time ago or you can focus your mind on what you’re doing right now.

Let’s move on already.

Rating: 1 star

Footnote: We’ve come full circle on blacks in baseball. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants don’t have a single black player on their current roster (although some of the Latin players are pretty dark). Black men can play baseball if they want to but they don’t want to.


The Last Freedom

22 Feb 2011 /
Man's Search for Meaning

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

— Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Happy Veterans Day

11 Nov 2010 /
World War II Memorial

My dad was a Naval Academy grad who served in World War II.

My brother retired after 20+ years in the Air Force.

Our family is not piggybacking on others when it comes to service to America.

So why do I not get the day off?


Miep Gies, 1909-2010

12 Jan 2010 /
Miep Gies

AMSTERDAM – Miep Gies, the office secretary who defied the Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager’s diary, has died, the Anne Frank Museum said Tuesday. She was 100.

“I don’t want to be considered a hero,” she said in a 1997 online chat with schoolchildren.

“Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary.”

msnbc.com

The Blog of Anne Frank

2 Sep 2004 /

. . . everything can be taken from a man except one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

— Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

— Anne Frank

On this date — September 2 — in 1944, Anne Frank was among 1,019 people on the 68th and last train from Holland to Auschwitz. Anne and others hiding with her had been betrayed and captured a month before and held in the Westerbork detention center.

Continue reading The Blog of Anne Frank


Crafting a Mission Statement by General George S. Patton Jr.

19 Apr 2004 /

C.K. Prahalad, one of the leading strategic consultants, has said that a mission statement should take less than three minutes to explain to an audience.

General George Patton with troops

That is absolute horseshit.

Imagine making a declarative statement and then having to take an additional three minutes to explain what you just said.

A mission statement should be immediately comprehensible. Three minutes of explanation is three minutes too many.

I read a book on George Patton this weekend. Here is his mission statement for the Third Army:

I don’t want to get any messages saying that “we are holding our position.” We’re not holding anything! Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding on to anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold on to him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass.

And most of that I included just for context. It really could be shortened to

We’re going to hold the enemy by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass.

It clearly states the goal of the organization, and it doesn’t need a three-minute explanation, does it?