Author: Crissie Brown

Morning Feature: Unintended Consequences, Part II – To End All Wars

After five years, the Treaty of Versailles ended World War I on June 28, 1919. Intended as “the war to end all wars,” it set the stage for Adolf Hitler and later conflicts in the Balkans and Middle East. “If you want peace, work for justice,” wrote H.L. Mencken. But what is justice? (More) Unintended Consequences, Part II – To End All Wars This week Morning Feature looks at the causes and unintended consequences of World War I. Yesterday we examined why it wasn’t the quick and easy war that leaders promised. Today we’ll explore its lingering effects in the Balkans and the Middle East. Tomorrow we’ll consider lessons on sweeping, systemic change from “the war to end all wars.” One of the most fascinating chapters in Barbara Tuchman’s classic narrative history The Guns of August concerns the pursuit of the German cruisers Goeben and Breslau from August 3-10, 1914. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28th, 1914, and by August 3rd Russia, Germany, France, and England had joined the war. But the Ottoman Empire had not … until England gave her a push. “The Sick Man” In 1914 the Ottoman Empire “had many enemies and no allies,” Tuchman wrote, “because no one considered her worth an alliance.” Long in economic decline, the empire was called “the Sick Man” by other European empires who, for decades, had circled...

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Campus Chatter – July 2, 2010

Thomas Savery received the first patent for a steam engine today (1698), and Guglielmo Marconi the first patent for a radio (1897). Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra had no steam engine, but its radio was heard for the last time today during her round-the-world flight (1937). Greetings and social banter here. Kossascopes below. Good morning! ::hugggggs:: The Janitor Professor of Astrology looked up at the stars for you again. That is, the following reflect glowing balls of hot gas: Cancer – A coffee pot is not quite a steam engine, but it’s close. Leo – Amelia Earhart did not kidnap Jimmy Hoffa. Sorry. Virgo – The radio dial sorts stations by frequency, not by station content. Libra – You were at the first Wal-Mart that opened today in 1962? Were there any cashiers? Scorpio – Remember to forget those fireworks this weekend. Please. Sagittarius – This weekend will be filled with excitement and joy. For someone. Capricorn – Actually no one likes anchovies in potato salad. Bring something else. Aquarius – Stay cool this weekend. Wear snuglasses and make snide remarks. Pisces – Have a safe weekend barbeque. Cook the hotdogs on the pavement. Aries – Go to that island beach this weekend. Watch out for the film crew, and the big shark. Taurus – Get in touch with nature this weekend. But don’t walk into a tree. Gemini –...

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Morning Feature: Unintended Consequences, Part I – Home Before the Leaves Have Fallen

Popular history says World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 and ended with the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. But the fuel for that war was laid far earlier, and its embers burn still today. And the troops would be “home before the leaves have fallen.” (More) Unintended Consequences, Part I – Home Before the Leaves Have Fallen This week Morning Feature looks at the causes and unintended consequences of World War I. Today we examine why it wasn’t the quick and easy war that leaders promised. Tomorrow we’ll explore its lingering effects in the Balkans and the Middle East. Saturday we’ll consider lessons on sweeping, systemic change from “the war to end all wars.” When Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany told his departing troops “You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees,” he expressed a common estimate of the war’s duration, albeit not of its outcome. Russian officers debated it would last two months or three; those who suggested it might last six were criticized as defeatist. French and English leaders thought likewise. The history of recent European wars supported such ideas. Why did it become a five-year, worldwide conflict that killed 16 million, plus another 15 million on the Russian Civil War it ignited and 50-100 million more in the 1919 influenza pandemic...

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Campus Chatter – July 1, 2010

July is a big month for national birthdays. Canada became a country today (1867), as did Somalia and Ghana (1960), Rwanda and Burundi (1962), and Madiera (1976). Self-government came to Australia’s Northern Territory (1978) and Scotland (1999). And German reunification began today (1990). We’re gonna need a bigger cake. Greetings and social banter here. Good morning!...

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Furthermore! – Why Is President Obama Invading Albania?

From: Squirrel@BPI Okay, I’m cranky again, and it’s not because I missed breakfast. I want to know why President Obama is invading Albania. Is it to disprove the claim that he’s a woman? Perhaps to distract attention from his lack of urgency in handling the Gulf oil spill, and even rejecting international help? Maybe he wants to build bases nearer his Muslim brothers in Kosovo? Or maybe the military wanted another war and President Obama is too weak to stop them? Regardless, I demand a full and complete accounting for why we are invading Albania. Albania hasn’t done anything to us, at least not that I know of, and there is no excuse for this naked act of aggres…. Hold on … checking my Blewberry. Oops. We’re not invading Albania. That show I saw last night – Wag the Dog – was not a documentary. Whew. Hold on … gotta text Chef to thank her for clearing that up. While I’m at it, I should thank her for making me breakfast. Macadamia nuts, even. Okay … done and back. And now I feel really silly. Which is how the writers of those other stories would feel if they actually cared about facts. But they don’t seem to feel silly, or to care about facts. And that makes me cranky. I realize some humans need a diet of fat-free foods,...

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