TO ALL VETERANS AND SERVICE MEN and WOMEN:
(re: 'Herald' article, this page):
If you are curious about what the few in your own ranks (described in our coverage) have been doing in your name, we suggest you might start with the website of one of their targets, Charles Pellegrino (see especially some of the letters in the "controversy" section). This is only one of the people who have been slandered, maligned, had their reputations smeared, their books trashed or rejected by publishers and suffered all kinds of malicious attacks at the hands of these few self-appointed censors, claiming to be acting on your behalf.
You may or may not agree with Dr. Pellegrino's position on matters such as the bombing of Hiroshima (though we do recommend reading his book before deciding for yourselves). We are fairly certain, though, that you will agree less with the deluded, anti-patriots in your ranks who would dare to obstruct anyone's right to say their piece or publish their books and such without obstruction; a right which you fought to protect and defend— a guaranteed right of our Constitution.
We leave further investigation into these matters up to you. The Z only acknowledges that the perpetrators do shame and harm to our men and women in unform and ought to be brought to account. It is, after all, your house - a house of courage and honor - that appears to have been sullied by a very few. We leave the matter there.
KAFKA IN THE LIBRARY
You would think that a book written in 1946, digitized and held in a public, tax-supported university library collection in 2011, cited as the source of the copy, by any number of online archives, would be available to the public at no cost. Think again.
"Francisco Garces— Pioneer Padre of Kern" (1946, Kern County Hist. Soc. and Chamber of Commerce), sourced to the University of California collections at Berkeley and Santa Cruze, is tightly controlled by all of the sources that received it, including the Hathitrust and other "charitable " organizations. You can't get a downloadable copy unless you pay for it or qualify for special restricted access provisions. As for as you and I, forget it - you'll pay plenty to get your hands on this chunk, and a whole lot of other chunks of rightful cultural heritage.
The thieves are still at work, gobbling up and owning everything they can get their dirty little hands on -- the world's art collections, the world's literature and history, anything they can commodify and their lawyers can write fine-print to capture.
Our librarians (most of them) have long stood watch & trench in the battle to protect and preserve our cultural heritage from those who make war on the human imagination and would claim to own the rightful legacies of the human project. Support them.
But still the enemy keeps coming. Better than editorialize, this Kafkaesque tale of the disappearing our culture should rattle those who think, " Well, they can't take that away from us." It is the text of a recent online chat I had with a university librarian in my attempt to obtain a digital copy of Walker's volume:
"since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it." - F. Kafka, "Before the Law"
Read "Kafka In The Library", the unedited* transcript of the editor's chat with the UC Librarian. It is located in the Z-ARTS! Section of The Z - because if it ain't poetry, then I don't know what poetry is. [*Unedited except for cinching up a few interrupted lines for readibility and a couple of spelling error corrections - ed]:
New Layouts for the Z are still in progress. Some are here, some to come... please bear with us!
Meanwhile, continue to enjoy the stories the other media don't know, don't get or won't print. Where others merely wish you to be informed, The Z wants its readers to be equipped.
It is not only the hibakusha who have been driven into silence for so long. That resignation into the shadows of denial falls equally on American shoulders, for it is not in anger or shame that America has been so reluctant to welcome light into this corner of history, nor the refusal to learn something from it. It is the hands of a very few misguided and corrupt individuals that have stood in the way. In that, there is one small misstatement that I would correct in the Kyodo News article. It is the sentence about the plans for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's 1995 exhibit that would have included materials related to the victims of the bombings being cancelled "due to strong opposition from U.S. war veterans."
It was not the opposition of U.S. war veterans that caused the cancellation or that forced the museum's director, Dr. Martin Harwit, to resign his position in May 1995 rather than falsify history and concede to his critics. It was only a very few who had installed themselves into positions in some military organizations where they could foment dissent and stifle discussion on anything that didn't agree with their view of military history. Some of these individuals, in fact, were never in the military. But that didn't stop them from falsifying records, slandering individuals, planting false news reports, intimidating publishers, and hijacking Wikipedia sites and anything else that might serve their dark purposes.
And what are their purposes? Why, to serve our country as self-appointed censors and silence any viewpoint that does not glorify or commend everything and anything the U.S. military has done or will do in the future. And they will visit this on anyone or anything that might disagree with their own filtered opinions. They did it to Director Harwit. They also did it to author and scientist Charles Pellegrino whose book, "Last Train from Hiroshima," was censored by this same gang and finally pulled from store shelves after its publisher was intimidated and threatened by this same handful of troublemakers.
Please be assured that it is not the view of the vast majority of veterans who, least of all, would condone attempts to silence speech or the press or public exhibits - the very things most of them would avow was what they fought and died to protect.
So, it should be known that the obstacles in the way of presenting the whole truth about that horrific episode in our history do not issue from the reluctance of Americans to join their friends in Nagasaki and Hiroshima in letting the truth be told, and without omissions. Are there obstacles? Sure there are. And it is with courage that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as American University in Washington, step forward at this time to host such an event, for it is the right time to do so.
After this long period of gaman, the time has arrived to speak out, to show and to discuss the meaning of these events - not to rehash the past or settle old arguments that can never be settled in any case - but to inform the future and to prevent the repetition of something the world might not survive should it happen again. What follows gaman must be kakusei - a time of awakening!
It is not simply for the sake of knowing that this should be done, or that we should listen and hear what it means to continue to use war to settle our disagreements or stockpile weapons of unthinkable consequence for all. There is one even greater and more compelling reason to finally have this open and unedited conversation with ourselves: Kodomo no tame ni. It is for the sake of the children that this must be done.
The Digital Divide
Not-quite-ready for prime time.
'Digital Divide' will be a new section in The Z that takes a look at the reality of the War for the Net—
the them&us's in the struggle to keep our net free from the rapacious grasp of the greed-driven, self-interested few who regard the net as their private property, and claim the right to write the rules for the rest of us as they wish—as it serves their own selfish interests.
Mostly, we're waiting for your articles, your z-axis and omoiyar ideas on where the assaults are coming from, and what to do about them. Tell us how to reverse the tides of battle and win this war on our imagination.
Meantime, go to our own campaign petition for Net Rights and sign and share it. It's a start.