Monday Open Comments

Israeli Flag at Masada

On May 14th, 69 years ago, President Truman recognized the State of Israel at 6:11 P.M. against the strident opposition of Secretary George Marshall and his State Department.  The entire American delegation and staff at the United Nations in New York threatened to resign. Harry Truman essentially told them all to go to hell.

On May 15th, the first full day of Israeli Independence, the armies and air forces of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan attacked the new nation, itself armed with small weapons, a few pieces of artillery, no tanks, no personnel carriers and no airplanes.

Friday Open Comments

The Great American Idiot

There are not enough words in the English language to convey my contempt for this man.

The Senate voted 51 to 49 in favor of the Interior Department rule, with Arizona Republican John McCain surprisingly casting the deciding vote to support the Obama administration regulation.

If McCain had voted to ax the methane rule, the Senate would have been deadlocked and Vice President Mike Pence would have been able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

House lawmakers passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) bill to repeal the methane rule in February. President Donald Trump was expected to sign the measure if it had passed the Senate.

Monday Open Thread

Bibliotheque Ste.-Genevieve

One of the greatest cultural buildings of the nineteenth century to use iron in a prominent, visible way was unquestionably the Bibliotheque Ste.-Genevieve in Paris, designed by Henri Labrouste and built in 1842-50. The large (278 by 69 feet) two-storied structure filling a wide, shallow site is deceptively simple in scheme: the lower floor is occupied by stacks to the left, rare-book storage and office space to the right, with a central vestibule and stairway leading to the reading room which fills the entire upper story. The ferrous structure of this reading room—a spine of slender, cast-iron Ionic columns dividing the space into twin aisles and supporting openwork iron arches that carry barrel vaults of plaster reinforced by iron mesh—has always been revered by Modernists for its introduction of high technology into a monumental building.

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p478.