Daily Bread for 4.1.18

Good morning.

Easter in Whitewater will be chilly with a mix of clouds & sunshine, and a high of thirty-seven. Sunrise is 6:35 AM and sunset 7:21 PM, for 12h 46m 32s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.9% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the {tooltip}five hundred seventh day.{end-texte}Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.{end-tooltip}

On this day in 1945, the Battle of Okinawa, the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of during the Second World War, begins.

The Milwaukee Brewers are founded on this day in 1970:

On this date the Milwaukee Brewers, Inc., an organization formed by Allan H. “Bud” Selig and Edmund Fitzgerald, acquired the Seattle Pilots franchise. The team was renamed the Milwaukee Brewers, a tribute to the city’s long association with brewing industry.

Recommended for reading in full —

➤ Dr. William Barber II ponders America’s Moral Malady (“The nation’s problem isn’t that we don’t have enough money. It’s that we don’t have the moral capacity to face what ails society”):

While a thorough analysis of America’s moral malady may tempt us to despair, it also brings us face-to-face with the ethical challenge that inspired the first Poor People’s Campaign. The children in Marks [Mississippi] made King weep, just as pictures of children burned by napalm in Vietnam had brought him to tears, because he knew that their cruel reality wasn’t inevitable. As James Baldwin wrote: “We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over.” To King, the Poor People’s Campaign was about America’s need for another Reconstruction—for an acknowledgment that a system of race-based slavery had created the inequality that had been passed down to the present day.

This confluence of troubles may seem overwhelming. It suggests, however, that the only way out is for people directly harmed by the economic and political system to fight as one against the few who benefit from it.

In 1968, the idea—a Poor People’s Campaign to unite activists from across the nation and bring them to Washington to shut down the government, to bring the issue of poverty compellingly to the fore—looked impossible. Except there was no other way. The tent city in Washington was snuffed out after six weeks by riot police and tear gas. Even so, the campaign had a lasting influence on national policies, as seen in the additional spending for Head Start, subsidized school lunches and food programs in poverty-stricken counties, and the creation of the Children’s Defense Fund, which has pushed legislation to help poor children and families for the past half century.

➤ Kori Schake contends Immigrants Give America a Foreign-Policy Advantage:

It has often been thought that the composition of the American public, consisting as it does of immigrants from so many lands, is a vulnerability in foreign policy—that, for example, German immigrants would harbor affinities for their land of origin and become disloyal during the world wars. The argument was taken to a shameful extreme with the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. What has received less attention is the extent to which America’s immigrant fabric can be a foreign-policy advantage, even a threat to other countries. That is what British Prime Minister Palmerston feared, and what President Lincoln stoked, to forestall British recognition of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The result was an important inhibition on Great Britain, then the most powerful state of the international order.

Ultimately, the Palmerston government remained neutral throughout the American Civil War because of the way Americans of British origin could affect domestic politics in Britain. Those immigrants had political rights their British relatives envied and were agitating to attain for themselves via the franchise in England, and in hopes for self-determination in Scotland and Ireland. Being an immigrant society could well be credited with saving the nation by forestalling British support to the Confederacy.

During the most dangerous time in American history, its values served to constrain the choices of its international adversaries by using the aspirations of their own citizens against them. The political liberties and economic opportunities afforded European immigrants in the United States turned out to be a powerful and unique foreign-policy advantage: Who the United States was as a domestic political culture effectively limited the foreign-policy choices of the hegemon of the international order.

➤ Anna Flagg tackles The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant:

Immigrant populations in the United States have been growing fast for decades now. Crime in the same period, however, has moved in the opposite direction, with the national rate of violent crime today well below what it was in 1980.

In a large-scale collaboration by four universities, led by Robert Adelman, a sociologist at the State University of New York at Buffalo, researchers compared immigration rates with crime rates for 200 metropolitan areas over the last several decades. The selected areas included huge urban hubs like New York and smaller manufacturing centers less than a hundredth that size, like Muncie, Ind., and were dispersed geographically across the country.

According to data from the study, a large majority of the areas have many more immigrants today than they did in 1980 and fewer violent crimes. The Marshall Project extended the study’s data up to 2016, showing that crime fell more often than it rose even as immigrant populations grew almost across the board.

In 136 metro areas, almost 70 percent of those studied, the immigrant population increased between 1980 and 2016 while crime stayed stable or fell. The number of areas where crime and immigration both increased was much lower — 54 areas, slightly more than a quarter of the total. The 10 places with the largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980.

➤ Clive Irving ponders How to Kill Democracy in Four Easy Steps: Lessons on the Gestapo at 85:

The first was a disdain for elites of any kind, stirred up deliberately to encourage a sense of grievance in the masses of people who had suffered in the economic collapse of the 1920s and who viewed the flagrant decadence of Weimar Berlin as evidence of an urban elite (often portrayed as heavily influenced by Jews) that held too much sway.

The second was an understanding of the importance of a well-orchestrated propaganda machine. In the person of Joseph Goebbels Hitler discovered one of the great geniuses of modern political propaganda and, gaining control immediately of the national radio network, Goebbels infused the most pervasive new arm of the national media with the Nazi narrative of national rebirth under Hitler’s guiding vision of the Fatherland.

The third was putting into place all the apparatus of a police state in which the tasks of surveillance, intelligence and punishment were divided between the Gestapo and the state security service, the Reichsfuhrer-SS.

All this prepared the ground for the fourth and final step that would enforce total and unquestioning loyalty to the Fatherland: war.

Those four stages in the death of German democracy do not have any exact modern equal, either in the degree of their fanaticism or in the scale of the final catastrophe they produced, but there are elements that should be disturbingly familiar to us as precursors.

➤ A 36-Year-Old Accountant Steps Into NHL Game As Emergency Backup Goalie, Makes 7 Saves:

Scott Foster played college hockey at Western Michigan… but that was over a decade ago. These days he’s an accountant in Chicago, but he also serves as an emergency backup goalie at Blackhawks games, ready to stand in in the (exceedingly rare) occasions both Blackhawks’ goalies are injured during the game.

One of those exceedingly rare occasions happened on Thursday night, and Foster was called in to protect a 6-2 Chicago lead in the third period against Winnipeg ….

And defend it he did, making 7 saves to preserve the win.

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