You are browsing the archive for 2019 May 01.

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These Japanese-American Linguists Became America's Secret Weapon During WWII

May 1, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

In February 1942, a small group of members of a top-secret military language school defied orders. They slipped out of their headquarters in San Francisco and snuck toward their destination, a nearby racetrack.

They weren’t there to gamble: They were there to visit their parents, Japanese immigrants who were about to be interned for the duration of the war. These sons of immigrants were American citizens, but because of their parents’ ancestry, they were considered enemies of the United States.

But unlike their parents, they weren’t headed for internment camps. Instead, they were training to be shipped to the Pacific Theater, where they would become one of the United States’ most powerful secret weapons.

Over the course of World War II, Nisei linguists, many of whom were initially forbidden from serving in the military and many of whom spoke little Japanese before the war, became a critical tool in the Pacific Theater. These children of Japanese immigrant (who were known as Issei) translated crucial documents and assisted with interrogations and interpretations, often during tense battles. They served their country while over 100,000 Japanese-Americans and immigrants from Japan were forced from their homes and jobs and into internment camps around the country. But though they helped the Allies win the war, the Nisei linguists’ contributions to the war effort were kept secret until decades later.

READ MORE: These Photos Show the Harsh Reality of Life in WWII Japanese-American Internment Camps

The Mochida family, pictured here, were some of the 117,000 people that would be evacuated to internment camps scattered throughout the country by that June.

View the 14 images of this gallery on the original article

Before World War II, the United States military had invested little in establishing a Japanese-language intelligence corps. Though there was talk of recruiting Nisei to help with intelligence overseas, there weren’t many people to choose from. In the summer of 1941, the military surveyed the Army to determine if there were Japanese speakers who might be able to help in the case of war with Japan, but it found that of the 3,700 Nisei who were already in the army, only a small number were fluent enough in Japanese to serve as intelligence workers.

It was clear the war effort would need Japanese interpreters, and even clearer that so few white Americans spoke Japanese that equipping them with the skills …read more


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Follow the Freedom Riders’ Journey Against Segregation During the Civil Rights Era

May 1, 2019 in History

By Thad Morgan

The civil rights activists faced violence in multiple cities in their fight for desegregation.

HISTORY is proud to join with Google Earth to present an …read more


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Let Immigrant Families Pay Us–Cartels–to Come

May 1, 2019 in Economics

By David Bier

David Bier

Last November, Cintia paid $8,000 for herself and her daughter to
travel from Honduras to the border seeking asylum. A few months
before, Christopher from El Salvador paid $12,500. They aren’t alone. Nearly
all—between 80 and 95 percent—of illegal crossers
are paying to come, with smuggling fees
reportedly as high as $9,200 a person. A report released last week
by the Rand Corporation quantifies the total amount given to smugglers as $2.3
billion in 2017 and since then illegal immigration has doubled.

Who gets all this money? Human traffickers. Criminal cartels.
Corrupt officials.

This system enriches criminals, hurts immigrants, and undermines
U.S. security. There’s a better way: the U.S. government should
charge a fee for a work permit. Peaceful immigrants who pass a
background check could skip the extortion racket and fly legally to
U.S. airports, passing through security screening like everyone

Not only would this system effectively eliminate the border
chaos, it would provide billions of dollars in revenue to the U.S.
government to further upgrade border security if Congress still
felt that was necessary. President Trump has demanded money for a
border wall from Congress, but immigrants themselves could easily
give him far more than Congress ever will.

Customs and Border Protection is on pace to arrest 1 million immigrants this
year—nearly all of whom, the agency reports, aren’t criminals. Suppose
Congress sets the visa fee at $10,000 for a five-year renewable
visa. That’s $10 billion in the first year alone. If almost
everyone renews after five years with another payment, that’s
$150 billion over a decade.

That’s more than three times what the Border Patrol spent
in the last decade. With that money, Congress could pay for a
border wall and have billions left over for workforce
training, college scholarships, or vocational education for U.S.
workers. Or it could fund local police to help them catch rapists
and murderers. Or it could pay for infrastructure improvements. Or
anything else it wanted.

The opportunity to spend lots of money is a powerful inducement
to bipartisanship—especially if the spending spree
doesn’t require a tax increase.

Consider our current system. Immigrants pay thousands of dollars to smugglers to get
here. Then, most wait in lines at the fence to turn themselves
in to Border Patrol agents and request asylum. They get background
checks and are generally released into the country, pending an
asylum hearing. After 180 days, they can apply for a work permit, and when most are
denied asylum, they still stay illegally.

Now consider a work-visa fee system: The immigrants would still
pay, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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How Cinco de Mayo Helped Prevent a Confederate Victory in the Civil War

May 1, 2019 in History

By Dave Roos

When a small, scrappy Mexican force handed the French army a surprise defeat in 1862, the Confederacy was denied a potential ally.

There can be confusion over the origins of Cinco de Mayo. Some think it’s a holiday celebrating Mexican independence from Spain (that’s actually September 16), or the 1910 Mexican Revolution (November 20), or that it was dreamed up to sell more beer and guacamole.

Cinco de Mayo actually marks the unlikely defeat of elite French forces by an undermanned Mexican army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In fact, this underdog Mexican victory may have played a part in preventing French Emperor Napoleon III from helping the Confederacy win the American Civil War.

Debts to France Lead to the Battle of Puebla

The lead-up to the battle began in 1860 when the Mexican government, bankrupt after decades of internal conflict, announced it was suspending debt payments to its European creditors for two years. Spain, the United Kingdom and France didn’t like the delay and sent over joint forces in 1861 to collect on Mexico’s debt. Spain and the UK ended up cutting deals, but French Emperor Napoleon III, a direct descendent of Napoleon Bonaparte, had other plans.

French Emperor Napoleon III (1808 – 1873).

Napoleon figured if he could get his hands on Mexico, it could become the first colony in a new French stronghold in Central America. Abraham Lincoln was busy fighting the Civil War, so the Americans wouldn’t stand in Napoleon’s way. Even better, with a French puppet government installed in Mexico City, Napoleon could provide guns to the Confederacy in exchange for Southern cotton, a scarce commodity in Europe thanks to Union shipping blockades.

READ MORE: 7 Things You May Not Know About Cinco de Mayo

So in early 1862, well-trained French forces under the confident command of General Charles de Lorencez, marched from the port city of Veracruz with the aim of capturing Mexico City. But on May 5, the French took a surprise beating at Puebla at the hands of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza and a ragtag group of enlisted and volunteer troops. The French army retreated to Veracruz to lick its wounds and wouldn’t return to take Puebla until a full year later in May of 1863.

Some contend that the year-long delay of the French invasion gave Abraham Lincoln’s generals just enough …read more


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How Anti-Humanism Conquered the Left

May 1, 2019 in Economics

By Chelsea Follett

Chelsea Follett

Today is International Workers’ Day, a holiday with
socialist origins. Its name hearkens back to a time when the
political Left was ostensibly devoted to the cause of human
welfare. These days, however, some on the far Left care less about
the wellbeing of people than they do about making sure that people
are never born at all. How did these radicals come to support a
massive reduction in human population, if not humanity’s
demise? Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning the
morality of childbearing,
a birth-strike movement
that encourages people to forego
parenthood despite the “grief that [they say they] feel as a
result,” or political commentator Bill Maher
blithely claiming
, “I can’t think of a better gift
to our planet than pumping out fewer humans to destroy it,” a
misanthropic philosophy known as “anti-natalism” is
going increasingly mainstream.

The logical conclusion of this anti-humanist ideology is,
depressingly, the Voluntary
Human Extinction Movement
(Vhemt). According to its founder,
activist Les Knight, Vhemt (pronounced “vehement”) is
gaining steam. “In the last year,” Knight
told the Daily Mail
, “I’ve seen more and
more articles about people choosing to remain child-free or to not
add more to their existing family than ever. I’ve been
collecting these stories and last year was just a groundswell of
articles, and, in addition, there have been articles about human

These days, some on the
far Left care less about the wellbeing of people than they do about
making sure that people are never born at all.

Over 2000 new people have “liked” the
movement’s Facebook page since January and, more importantly,
the number of people fulfilling the movement’s goals
(regardless of any affiliation with the movement itself) is
growing. The U.S. birth rate is at an all-time low. According to

the latest figures
from the Center for Disease Control, the
total U.S. fertility rate for 2017 was at an all-time low of 1.77
babies per woman (i.e., below the replacement rate of 2.1 babies
per woman needed to maintain the current population).

Recent examples of writings that are warming to the idea of
human extinction include the New Yorker’s
Case for Not Being Born
,” NBC News’ “Science
proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having
,” and the New York Times
Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?
” which muses that,
“It may well be, then, that the extinction of humanity would
make the world better off.” Last month, the progressive
magazine FastCompany released
a disturbing video
entitled, “Why Having Kids Is the
Worst Thing You Can …read more

Source: OP-EDS