Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nonconformist Responses to World War One programme announced

 

Nonconformist Responses to World War One programme announced

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Nonconformist Responses to World War One Programme and Booking details

The annual conference of the Quaker Studies Research Association (QSRA) and the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies (University of Birmingham)

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham B29 6LJ

15/16 September 2015

Booking site: http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/courses.php?action=course&id=9733

Woodbrooke offers bed and breakfast. You can stay onsite by booking additional nights and meals by contacting Woodbrooke directly on 0121 472 5171 or enquiries@woodbrooke.org.uk.

Tuesday September 15

10.30am: arrivals and morning drinks

11am: Welcome and Introduction to the Conference

11.10am – 12.10pm:

Jo-Ann Curtis, Birmingham Museums Trust

Quakers response to Belgian Refugees in Birmingham during the First World War

This paper will explore the role Birmingham’s Quakers played in the city’s Belgian war relief. It will also explore to what extent they worked alongside other religious groups, in particular Catholics, as well as Trade unions, and the local authority in this effort.

In September 1914 a Birmingham branch of the War Refugee Committee was established. The committee was chaired by Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury, a Quaker, and member of a prominent Birmingham industrial family. By the end of the First World War over 4,000 Belgian refugees had registered as living and working in Birmingham and the surrounding area.

Penelope Cummins, University of Birmingham

‘It is not lawful for us to fight’: the Religious Society of Friends’ response to the Conscription Act of 1916.

When the Conscription Bill was passed in January 1916, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) called a special session of their national annual gathering, the Yearly Meeting, to deliberate Friends’ response to the legislation. The Quakers, unlike the Prime Minister in his speech about the new law, were clear that their objection was not merely to participation in killing, which might be accommodated by the offer of non-combatant duties, but to war as such. In the ‘Adjourned’ Yearly Meeting, they affirmed their position that it is a moral as well as a theological imperative that individuals in a society should be able to follow their own consciences.

Friends in Britain had foreseen this situation since the end of the Boer war, and their antipathy to conscription had been refined in the course of their campaigning against its introduction in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

This paper discusses the Religious Society of Friends’ response to the legislation, and their attempts to influence its drafting and the ways in which it was interpreted and applied.

12.15 – 1pm:

Betty Hagglund, University of Birmingham.

‘ “Those Enemy Aliens”:Quakers and Germans in Britain in World War 1’

In 1914, there were approximately 60,000 Germans living in Britain. Some had been there for many years, with English wives and children. Anti-German feeling led to attacks on homes and shops, loss of jobs and male enemy aliens being interned, leaving their families destitute. Drawing on original archive material, this paper tells the stories of Quaker involvement with the prisoners and their families, through the war and beyond. This paper was originally given as the 2015 Friends Historical Association Presidential Address.

1pm – 2pm: Lunch

2pm: QSRA AGM

2.45 – 4.15pm:

CONFERENCE KEYNOTE

Lois Bibbings, University of Bristol

Questions of Conscience: Conscientious Objectors to Military Service During the First World War

This paper re-examines the different and often contradictory perspectives of some of the men who came to be conscientious objectors, reflecting on their dilemmas, beliefs and goals in the context of a legal regime which at one and the same time introduced military compulsion but, at least in theory, recognised a right to conscientiously object to it. Amongst the reflections, a key concern will be a reconsideration of what WW1 COs can tell us about conscience.

4.15 – 5pm: Tea

5 – 6pm:

Nicola Sleap, University of Birmingham

‘Change in Quaker Businesses and their Environment during World War One’

Wars have a huge impact upon business. This can be both in terms of their effect upon the national economy and the financial state of a business, as well as in terms of wars being the trigger for significant organisational change and learning.

At the opening of the first Quakers in Industry conference in 1918 Arnold S. Rowntree asserted that World War I had fundamentally altered the business climate in Britain, and that it heralded the beginning of an era of self-governance and democracy amongst employers and employees. Rowntree strongly implies that the war itself was the trigger for Quaker business people to begin thinking more deeply about business ethics and industrial relations.

As with Quakers generally, World War I was a potentially divisive issue for Quaker families running businesses. Did their pacifist leanings lead Quaker business people to resist any collusion with a state at war in their activities? Did they see non-military activities as acceptable, or even admirable? In this paper I would give a brief overview of several Quaker businesses and their activities during the First World War, as well as referring to the letters of Quaker business people in the Friend magazine during the war. I would highlight several different paths taken by Quaker business people, and seek to assess to what extent Rowntree’s 1918 assertions ring true in the realities of the stories of Quaker businesses during wartime.

Nan Macy, Bellingham, Washington

‘Farming for Peace: An American Quaker Conscientious Objector in World War One France’

Amidst unrelenting reminders that war and conflict are and seemingly always have been present, is the reality that people have always—both individually and collectively—worked for peace, often at great personal sacrifice and peril. Accounts of these often humble efforts risk being lost to history.

Drawn from extensive archival research and the letters, photos, and diaries of a specific Quaker, this paper recounts the distinctive experience of an ordinary American Quaker farmer serving his country, his conscience, and the French people outside the military but in/near war zones during WWI.

Despite being subject to the U.S. draft, he and ninety-nine other U.S. conscientious objectors known as the ‘Haverford 100’ trained together in 1917 before going to France. Once there he worked bombed-out, trenched, and barbed-wired fields, returning them to food production for the French people. He also tended and raised animals for food and for transportation
and working the land.

This quiet story of courage and commitment illuminates the bigger picture of Quaker relief and reconstruction work, particularly the beginnings of the peace and humanitarian effort that grew into the American Friends Service Committee, which shared the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize with the Friends Service Council. Serendipitously, the conference opening date—September 15—is the same date that he arrived in Europe in 1917.

What lies beneath: Amazing footage of the U.S. Navy's 'flying aircraft carrier' that sunk off the California cost in the 1930s

A team of specialists have used remotely operated underwater vehicles to explore the wreck of the USS Macon, a lighter-than-air rigid airship that was the Navy's last flying aircraft carrier, used in the 1930s.

The airship crashed off the coast of California eighty years ago when it was lost in a storm off of Port Sur, California, killing two crew members.

Now, a group of submersibles were able to piece together photographs they took of the wreck along with a 360-degree video of a biplane that was attached to the airship when it came down.

Nautilus Live explores the USS Macon shipwreck in California

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The port wing of a Sparrowhawk aircraft on the submerged wreck of the USS Macon in the Monterey Bay. The debris field of the Macon was located with the help of local fishermen in 1990

The port wing of a Sparrowhawk aircraft on the submerged wreck of the USS Macon in the Monterey Bay. The debris field of the Macon was located with the help of local fishermen in 1990

October 1933, the USS Macon in flight over Lower Manhattan

October 1933, the USS Macon in flight over Lower Manhattan

The wreck was surveyed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in February 1991, when sonar, video, and still camera data were collected and artifacts were recovered

The wreck was surveyed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in February 1991, when sonar, video, and still camera data were collected and artifacts were recovered

In 2010 the wreckage site was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The registry is the nation's list of cultural sites considered worth preserving and this footage was filmed earlier this week

In 2010 the wreckage site was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The registry is the nation's list of cultural sites considered worth preserving and this footage was filmed earlier this week

The chance to visit the wreck which had lain on the seabed since the middle of last century also gives archaeologists and conservators the chance to analyse how older, wooden shipwrecks change in underwater environment.

The biplane that was found will also be used to determine how seawater affects aluminium, by taking measurements of corroded sections of the biplane's wing.

'We haven't quite figured out as a discipline how to best conserve the material, how those materials react with their environment and with other materials,' said Naval History and Heritage Command archaeologist Alexis Catsambis, to Archeology magazine.

'And so this is an opportunity to learn through the sample that we collect about the rate of degradation of certain aluminum alloys and hopefully how to best help preserve them.'

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USS Macon Crew and the airship at Moffett Field, California, where the airship was based

USS Macon Crew and the airship at Moffett Field, California, where the airship was based

The USS Macon, was built to serve as an airborne aircraft carrier. This picture was taken at NAS Sunnyvale in June 1932 and show a day when the public was allowed in to see the dirigible

The USS Macon, was built to serve as an airborne aircraft carrier. This picture was taken at NAS Sunnyvale in June 1932 and show a day when the public was allowed in to see the dirigible

In the presence of many special guests the head of the new American airship Macon was mounted. USS Macon was the sisiter airship of the USS Akron. Both were among the largest flying objects in the world in terms of length and volume in the early 1930s

In the presence of many special guests the head of the new American airship Macon was mounted. USS Macon was the sisiter airship of the USS Akron. Both were among the largest flying objects in the world in terms of length and volume in the early 1930s

The wreck site is deteriorating and NOAA has a responsibility to monitor and help preserve the site because it is in a National Marine Sanctuary

The wreck site is deteriorating and NOAA has a responsibility to monitor and help preserve the site because it is in a National Marine Sanctuary

On Tuesday the expedition filmed the front section of the wreckage, where debris included the mooring mast, the water ballast system, fuel tanks, a desk, a chair, and a filing cabinet

On Tuesday the expedition filmed the front section of the wreckage, where debris included the mooring mast, the water ballast system, fuel tanks, a desk, a chair, and a filing cabinet

The Macon, launched in March 1933, was operated by the U.S. Navy and served as a 'flying aircraft carrier,' designed to carry five biplanes for scouting and training.

The dirigible had been damaged in a previous incident in the mountains above Arizona.

It was returning to Mountain View, California in February 1935 when it ran into a storm off Point Sur.

Wind shear caused structural damage, puncturing gas cells and then a leak.

The damaged meant the 785-foot airship gently floated down into Monterey Bay off Point Sur in California, taking around 20 minutes to settle.

Riding high: The biplanes would hook onto the bottom of the airships before being released and flown off

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Riding high: The biplanes would hook onto the bottom of the airships before being released and flown off

Tuesday's morning operation by Nautilus mapped the lower extremity of the Macon site, which contains the aft end of the airship, including the Sparrowhawk biplanes seen here

Tuesday's morning operation by Nautilus mapped the lower extremity of the Macon site, which contains the aft end of the airship, including the Sparrowhawk biplanes seen here

What the New WWI Memorial Could Look Like

 

What the New WWI Memorial Could Look Like


What the New WWI Memorial Could Look Like

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission winnowed down possible designs for the new World War I Memorial proposed for Pershing Park to five after receiving more than 350 entries from around the world. Pershing Park is located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW, near the White House.

“Stage I of the design competition was the first step in a long development process,” Robert Dalessandro, chair of the World War One Centennial Commission, said in a prepared statement.

The remaining teams will spend the next few months refining their designs and meeting with stakeholders, to include the National Park Service, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and the National Capital Planning Commission, among others.

“We hope to present the final design concept selection of this competition to the full Commission early next year,” said Dalessandro.

The five finalists are:

“Plaza to the Forgotten War” submitted by Brian Johnsen, AIA; Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEEP AP; and Andrew Cesarz, at Johnsen Schmaling Architects, in Milwaukee, Wis.

"Plaza to the Forgotten War" detail image.

“Plaza to the Forgotten War” detail image.

“World War One Memorial Concept” submitted by Devin Kimmel, Principal at Kimmel Studio, llc in Annapolis, Md.

0037-2-detail 2-World_War_One_Memorial_Concept

“World War One Memorial Concept” detail image.

“The Weight of Sacrifice” submitted by Joseph Weishaar of Chicago, Ill.

Detail image.

“The Weight of Sacrifice” detail image.

“An American Family Portrait Wall in the Park” submitted by STL Architects in Chicago, Ill.

Detail image.

“An American Family Portrait Wall in the Park” detail image.

“Heroes’ Green” submitted by Maria Counts, of Counts Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Heroes' Green" detail image.

 

“Heroes’ Green” detail image.

More images of the proposed monument are available here.

 

 

Friday, August 21, 2015

FEATURE This is the U.S. Navy's most secretive submarine


No, the U.S. Navy is probably not using a multi-billion dollar submarine to listen in on your phone calls and emails on behalf of the National Security Agency.
But it could.
A long line of secretive Navy spy submarines, most recently a nuclear-powered behemoth named USS Jimmy Carter, have for decades infiltrated remote waters to gather intelligence on rival states' militaries, insurgents, and terrorists on behalf of the NSA and other agencies using a range of sophisticated devices, including special equipment for tapping undersea communications cables.
Before NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the agency's phone and internet monitoring programs targeting U.S. and European citizens, the mainstream press paid little attention to the elusive, subsurface warship. But following Snowden's disclosures in 2013, several publications including The Huffington Post and the German Der Spiegel speculated that the Jimmy Carter was aiding the NSA's surveillance of citizens' communications in the U.S. and Europe.
"It seems this same submarine," The Huffington Post claimed, "was pressed into service to spy on Europe."
USS Jimmy Carter | (U.S Navy/Courtesy War is Boring)
The modified Seawolf-class sub, built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Connecticut between 1998 and 2004, is almost certainly able to tap the undersea communication cables that carry much of the world's phone and internet traffic. But just because the warship can tap cables doesn't mean it routinely does.
At the Navy's request, Electric Boat inserted an extension in the middle of Jimmy Carter's hull that added 100 feet to its standard 350-foot length — plus nearly $1 billion to the baseline $2 billion price tag. Commander Christy Hagen, a Navy spokesperson, declined to comment on the warship’s modifications.
But Owen Cote, a submarine expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Jimmy Carter's hull extension most likely contains a "moon well" — a floodable chamber to allow divers, robots, and machinery to move between the sub's interior and the water, retrieving objects off the seafloor or carrying monitoring devices and other surveillance equipment.
With this, Jimmy Carter could, in theory, tap seafloor fiber-optic cables, said Norman Polmar, a naval analyst and author who has advised the government on submarine-building strategy. "You hook something on to the cable," Polmar said, “and come back in a month and remove the tape and take it back and analyze it."
But underwater wiretapping is probably unnecessary. "I don't think you need to use Jimmy Carter to do that," Cote said. "It would be a waste of that asset."
It's far easier for the NSA to monitor Americans' communications on land, Cote pointed out in an interview, with the consent of phone and internet providers.
But it wasn't long ago that Jimmy Carter's predecessor subs were involved in undersea eavesdropping — against America's Cold War rivals. That espionage took place during a technologically simpler time, when Washington had fewer ways of listening in on communications.
"Fifty, 60 years ago, this was best method of collecting certain intelligence," Polmar says of eavesdropping submarines. Before Jimmy Carter, there were the modified submarines HalibutSeawolf, and Parche, fitted with special equipment for monitoring and accessing objects on the seafloor, including communications cables. Parche, the last of the old breed, was decommissioned in 2004, just as Jimmy Carter was nearing completion.
The subs' secret missions, the subjects of repeated investigations by high-profile reporters including Seymour Hersh in The New York Times, were practically the stuff of fiction.
In 1968, the Pentagon deployed Halibut to the Pacific to search for the wreckage of a sunken Soviet submarine that would later be partially recovered by a CIA team aboard a purpose-built salvage ship. Trailing a four-mile long cable rigged with cameras, Halibut found the Soviet vessel in 16,000 feet of water after just three weeks.
In the 1970s, Seawolf and Parche took risky missions penetrating the Soviet navy's main North Atlantic bastions to tap military communication cables. The two subs sailed under the Arctic at speeds of just a few miles per hour to avoid icebergs, dodging Soviet vessels and excitable seals and walruses that might betray the U.S. ships' locations.
The special subs placed on the cables clamp-like devices that recorded passing signals, giving Washington valuable insight into Soviet naval activities. In 1980, a former NSA employee named Ronald Pelton betrayed the subs' operations to the Soviets in exchange for around $35,000. Pelton was arrested in 1986, tried and convicted. He remains in federal prison.
The Soviets' discovery of the undersea wiretap alerted America's rivals, making such missions much more difficult. "People are now aware that that's a technological capability that we have — and that puts them on guard," Polmar says.
The disclosure, and new technology advances, has led to an apparent shift in the spy subs' tactics. When North Korea shelled a South Korean island base in 2010, Jimmy Carter reportedly surfaced nearby and launched a small, quiet drone spy plane to photograph the damage. Since then Jimmy Carter has undoubtedly stayed busy performing other surveillance missions and, in 2013, entered a roughly yearlong period of maintenance at a shipyard in Washington State.
Now that the submarine has returned to the fleet, it will surely resume its secret duties as America's main underwater spy. But the special sub probably won't be listening in on your phone and internet conversations. Too dangerous against military rivals and unnecessary for domestic surveillance, submarine wiretaps seem to have fallen out of favor.
You're still being spied on — just not by a submarine. Exactly what Jimmy Carter is doing is hard to say.
"I’m sure," Cote laughed, "it's up to no good."
From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics, War is Boring explores how and why we fight above, on, and below an angry world. Sign up for its daily email update here or subscribe to its RSS Feed here.

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