IN THE NEWS

When time stood still

By Vibeke Venema, © BBC News
July 24, 2014

Shinji Mikamo lost everything when the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, except his father’s watch. He did not blame the Americans for the cataclysm though – and later, when the watch was stolen, he showed his daughter once again his powers of forgiveness.

As a child, when the family bathed together, in the Japanese way, Akiko Mikamo never asked about her father’s missing ear or the scars on her parents’ bodies. “I didn’t think about it,” she says. “It was very natural.”

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Trump’s mail-in voting falsehoods are part of a wide campaign to discredit the election

Stephen Collinson, © CNN
August 6, 2020

President Donald Trump’s barrage of challenges to the reputation, structures and traditions of elections is conjuring up a contentious and potentially constitutionally critical three-month period for America’s democracy.

Trump is casting false accusations of massive fraud in mail-in voting, though has now reversed his position on the practice in must-win Florida, leaving the absurd impression it’s only fair in states with Republican governors.

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What has kept the world safe from the bomb since 1945 has not been deterrence, in the sense of fear of specific weapons, so much as it’s been memory. The memory of what happened at Hiroshima.

-John Hersey

Hiroshima 75th Anniversary: Preserving Survivors’ Message of Peace

By Ben Dooley and Hisako Ueno, © The New York Times
August 5, 2020

The hibakusha, as the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known in Japan, have achieved a powerful feat of alchemy, transforming their nightmarish memories of the blasts and their aftermath into a visceral force for promoting a world free of nuclear arms.

Each year for over half a century, many of them have gathered in the early hours of Aug. 6 at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to mourn the city’s destruction by the American military during World War II, and to serve as a living testament to the abiding dangers of the bomb.

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Japan learned from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the tragedy wrought by nuclear weapons must never be repeated and that humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist.

-Daisaku Ikeda

I’m in Canada, where the COVID police are watching

By DOYLE MCMANUS, © Los Angeles Times
August 5, 2020

For two weeks, we waited for the pandemic police to come.
In mid-July, my wife and I headed on vacation to a rustic cabin her father built 65 years ago on a small lake north of Toronto.

Most Americans can’t visit Canada these days. Because of the coronavirus threat, both countries have closed their borders to nonessential traffic.

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When the whole world is running headlong towards the precipice, one who walks in the opposite direction is looked at as being crazy.

-T.S. Eliot

Hiroshima, Technique, and Bioweapons

by SEIJI YAMADA, © Counterpunch
August 5, 2020

My family comes from Hiroshima, and I was born there myself. On August 6, 1945, my father was thirteen and just far enough away from home in the center of Hiroshima, across a few hills assigned to digging potatoes. The rest of his immediate family was scattered far enough from Ground Zero to survive. Branches of his family and branches of my mother’s family came to an end that day, however.

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