James M. Scott W. W. Norton & Company

A brand new book, Rampage, details the absolutely barbaric behavior by the Japanese during the World War Two battles for control of the Philippines.  Don’t read it unless you have a strong stomach for barbarity against civilians. Which brings us to a couple questions. First of all,  how can a culture that is thousands of years old change so quickly? We’ve lived in Japan, and, even a generation ago, even their biggest cities like Tokyo were, and are, super safe. It’s impossible to imagine the white collared salarymen of Japan engaging in violence. Japan is now a country with a diminishing birthrate, in part because the people seem more interested in porn than actual sex.  Japanese men now seem most interested in getting drunk with their office workers, reading comic books, and maybe groping a woman on the subway. But just a few generations ago Japanese soldiers were barbaric, engaging in gruesome violence and rape. This occurred not just in the Philippines, but even more notably in the Rape of Nanking.  Have the Japanese people changed at some fundamental level as a result of their defeat in World War Two and the complete dismemberment of their society?  Or are all the changes a result of changed circumstance? Interesting questions explored in this book, but with more of a commercial angle. Secondly, there is an almost endless stream of American books and movies about the evils and barbarities of Nazism during World War Two, but far fewer about the equally savage activities of the Japanese. Why?

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Skip Castro Publisher

I spent a college weekend at UVA, and had great fun dancing to the local band. Amazingly enough, these guys are still together 40 years later, and still playing a kind of joyous boogie-woogie that you won’t find on the radio or TV.

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Michael Douglas, Demi Moore 

2018 was the year of Men Behaving Badly, or at least the disclosure of the stories. But this Disclosure was made in 1994, and shows a woman behaving badly. Same rules for both men and women in the office?

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Republicans Should Defend Virginia Democrats

The top politicians in Virginia, all Democrats, are under siege - and Republicans should rally to their aide. At their best, Republicans and Conservatives are supporters of due process and the rule of law against the enemy of mob rule. This is far more important than any individual policy battle. The fundamental principle of American justice is that a person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Throughout 2018 we saw a tsunami of instances where men were fired from their jobs based on accusations, often accusations from many years ago, without any chance to defend themselves in a court of law. It's gotten to the point that men can be fired over an anonymous accusation delivered via email. A lynch mob has assembled to convict Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax over rape accusations surfaced from years ago. Based on these allegations, there is a rabble of calls for his immediate resignation, and threats of impeachment if he doesn't resign. Most prominent among those voices are the rabble-rousers running for president who built their careers on appealing to voter's lowest, basest desires; people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Rape is a terrible crime, and should be punished harshly - but punished only in the way any other crime should be punished, giving the accused the right to defend themselves in court. If Republicans ignore due process just for some short term political gains, you can be absolutely sure that the same rush to judgment will be used against them when the next set of allegations arises. There are basically two classes of people that the liberal mob seeks to treat as untouchable; women and blacks. Accusations of sexual harassment or racism no longer have to be proved; simply asserted, for them to destroy men's lives. When in conflict - such as when the black lieutenant governor is accused of rape - women win. Despite the fact that feminist theology represents women as being strong and more than capable of taking care of themselves in any situation, they seem to revert to Victorian ideas of vulnerability when it comes to rape. Elizabeth Warren refers to the two accusers of the lieutenant governor as "brave women" - but not apparently brave enough to report the alleged rapes when they actually occurred. Two white men are also under attack in Virginia for racism; both the governor and attorney general - for tasteless jokes many years ago. In a world with real problems - where mad dictators control nuclear weapons, millions of people go hungry every day, millions are refugees without a way to survive - these are trivial incidents, blown out of proportion by people who have nothing better to do. If you don't want to vote for someone who wore blackface a couple decades ago, then don't - that's your right. But having worn blackface serves as a distraction for the things that people should really be Outraged about, like this same group of politicians approving billions in subsidies for Amazon to set up headquarters in Virginia - now that's a crime.

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