From here - a computer-enhanced vision of the US South West.
For a cold grey Easter.
A few years ago in Amsterdam I was shown the most popular manual published in the Netherlands, in Dutch, on how to raise one’s children as proper Muslims. The book included virulently anti-Semitic passages, based on Muslim holy texts. After the Jewish community objected, the authorities forced the publisher to put white tape over the offending passages. The tape could easily be peeled off by purchases so that these words could be read.
Or consider what has just happened. A Turkish-Dutch researcher publicized systematic anti-Semitism among other Muslims in the Netherlands, including a dramatic video that showed teenage boys calling for genocide and praising Hitler.
What happened? The researcher, Mehmet Sahin, had to go into hiding after being accused by others of being a Jew and a Zionist.
The growing anti-Semitism in Western Europe is like that. The European Union, governments, and the media paste a white tape over the problem to conceal it or pretend to do something about it. But when one peels back the tape the hatred is revealed as growing and being passed onto the next generation....
May 1910. St. Louis, Missouri. "Johnnie Burns and his Basement Branch. Also photo of his boy who he says is 'ungovernable.' Burns says the 4-year-old twins will be selling soon. 3518 Evans Avenue."
This is classic Hine, when he was working for the National Child Labor Committee documenting child labour across the US.
Another picture of the Burns Basement Branch here.
According to the BBC, North Korea has said it is entering a "state of war" with South Korea.
But let's hear it from the horse's mouth. Take a deep breath now:
The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK released the following special statement on Saturday:
The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase. Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike.
The important decision made by him is the declaration of a do-or-die battle to provide an epochal occasion for putting an end to the history of the long-standing showdown with the U.S. and opening a new era. It is also a last warning of justice served to the U.S., south Korean group and other anti-reunification hostile forces. The decision reflects the strong will of the army and people of the DPRK to annihilate the enemies.
Now the heroic service personnel and all other people of the DPRK are full of surging anger at the U.S. imperialists' reckless war provocation moves, and the strong will to turn out as one in the death-defying battle with the enemies and achieve a final victory of the great war for national reunification true to the important decision made by Kim Jong Un.
The Supreme Command of the KPA in its previous statement solemnly declared at home and abroad the will of the army and people of the DPRK to take decisive military counteraction to defend the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of its supreme leadership as regards the war moves of the U.S. and south Korean puppets that have reached the most extreme phase.
Not content with letting B-52 make sorties into the sky over south Korea in succession despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, the U.S. made B-2A stealth strategic bomber and other ultra-modern strategic strike means fly from the U.S. mainland to south Korea to stage a bombing drill targeting the DPRK. This is an unpardonable and heinous provocation and an open challenge.
The prevailing grim situation more clearly proves that the Supreme Command of the KPA was just when it made the judgment and decision to decisively settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists and south Korean puppets by dint of the arms of Songun, because time when words could work has passed.
Now they are openly claiming that the B-2A stealth strategic bombers' drill of dropping nuclear bombs was "not to irritate the north" but "the defensive one". The U.S. also says the drill is "to defend the interests of its ally". However, it is nothing but a lame pretext to cover up its aggressive nature, evade the denunciation at home and abroad and escape from the DPRK's retaliatory blows.
The era when the U.S. resorted to the policy of strength by brandishing nuclear weapons has gone.
It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.
They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past.
The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu that the earth cannot exist without Songun Korea.
Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle.
The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him.
1.From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.
The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.
Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war. Accordingly, the DPRK will immediately punish any slightest provocation hurting its dignity and sovereignty with resolute and merciless physical actions without any prior notice.
2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.
It is self-evident that any military conflict on the Korean Peninsula is bound to lead to an all-out war, a nuclear war now that even U.S. nuclear strategic bombers in its military bases in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam and in its mainland are flying into the sky above south Korea to participate in the madcap DPRK-targeted nuclear war moves.
The first strike of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will blow up the U.S. bases for aggression in its mainland and in the Pacific operational theatres including Hawaii and Guam and reduce not only its military bases in south Korea but the puppets' ruling institutions including Chongwadae and puppet army's bases to ashes at once, to say nothing of the aggressors and the provokers.
3. The DPRK will never miss the golden chance to win a final victory in a great war for national reunification.
This war will not be a three day-war but it will be a blitz war through which the KPA will occupy all areas of south Korea including Jeju Island at one strike, not giving the U.S. and the puppet warmongers time to come to their senses, and a three-dimensional war to be fought in the air, land and seas and on the front line and in the rear.
This sacred war of justice will be a nation-wide, all-people resistance involving all Koreans in the north and the south and overseas in which the traitors to the nation including heinous confrontation maniacs, warmongers and human scum will be mercilessly swept away.
No force on earth can break the will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK all out in the just great war for national reunification and of all other Koreans and overpower their might.
Holding in high esteem the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu, the Korean people will give vent to the pent-up grudge and realize their cherished desire and thus bring a bright day of national reunification and build the best power on this land without fail.
Yes, I think we get the message. The collective psychosis that is North Korea could finally be spiralling out of control.
The rhetoric may be largely for internal consumption, but with this level of tension, as has been said often enough before, miscalculations could be catastrophic.
As Moscow enters the war of words on Korea, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warning that the situation could slip "toward the spiral of a vicious circle", Andrei Lankov reminds us of the fraught history of Soviet-DPRK relations (via).
The Soviet Union was the moving force behind the division of Korea after the Second World War, but then it was China, not Russia, that intervened to save the North in the Korean War. Later, the differences became insuperable: unlike the Soviet puppets in Eastern Europe, Kim Il Sung was fiercely nationalistic. And then the North Koreans found the post-Stalin liberalisation under Khrushchev not at all to their taste:
[I]n the years 1956-1959, Kim Il-sung purged the local pro-Soviet officials. It helped that many of them took part in the unsuccessful “August conspiracy” of 1956, when they tried to replace Kim Il-sung with a more moderate and more Khrushchevian leader.
Between 1957-1959, most Soviet-Korean officials who had been dispatched to North Korea by Moscow in the late 1940s, and who had played a crucial role in the country’s initial history, were sent home or arrested unceremoniously. A few of them would subsequently be executed for their participation (real or alleged) in anti-Kim Il-sung activities.
Some North Korean citizens in Moscow, being influenced by the more liberal Soviet political climate, openly expressed their disgust with North Korean policy, and went so far as to ask for asylum in the USSR. Political asylum was granted, and was another reminder of the growing differences between the USSR and its former client.
The then North Korean ambassador to Moscow, Yi Sang-cho, joined dissenting students in applying for asylum which was duly granted. Reputedly, Yuri Andropov – the future KGB chief and then a rising star in the Party central bureaucracy – lobbied especially hard in favor of this unusual decision. Indeed, the case of North Korea’s runaway ambassador seems to be unique in the entire history of the communist camp.
North Korea retaliated in a very peculiar way, which was soon to become their typical modus operandi: in 1957-9, North Korean intelligence agents attempted at least three times to abduct dissenting students. Two such attempts were unsuccessful, but fate eventually smiled on the North Korean spies. On the November 24, 1959, in broad daylight, North Korean operatives kidnapped Yi Sang-gu, a promising musician who had applied for asylum while studying in Moscow. He was injected with narcotics and sent back to North Korea. His fate is unknown, but it is unlikely that the authorities were kind to him.
Relations soured, and never recovered.
Shared geopolitical interests notwithstanding, there was little mutual sympathy between Moscow and Pyongyang. For North Koreans, Moscow was a dangerous, decadent and revisionist place. For the Soviet government, and the average Soviet citizen too, North Korea was a country with a personality cult gone mad, a grossly inefficient economy, and crazed nationalism.
Which seems about right.
OK this is a bit cruel, but it was a long time ago, in a faraway place...
Using the format later developed in the famous Soul Train line dance, where couples take turns to strut their stuff down the middle to the latest toons, here we are in Iowa (some disagreement in the YouTube comments as to whether it's actually Iowa or Idaho) back in 1958, and the song is The Stroll, by the Diamonds - one of the biggest of the endless dance craze records that came out round that time and, inevitably, originating in the black community. But whereas the Soul Train dancers had panache, here, alas, they have awkward:
More awkward from the same show.
Here's how it should be done - if you're dancing in Central Park, that is. From the 1958 movie "Let's Rock".