Remembering the nuclear terror of Nagasaki // Morning Read-up: August 9th, 2012

9 Aug


Sumiteru Taniguchi is still alive, amazingly.

Sixty-seven years after the obliteration of Nagasaki (that’s today, remember), a short piece about why the US government censored their own colour images of the after-math of the Japanese nuclear attacks. Blogging at Reason.com is Nick Gillespie:

I don’t think that there is any way to make a clean and easy evaluation regarding the moral or strategic righteousness of dropping the Bomb on Japan, but I do think it’s an ongoing debate that is necessary and proper in any country that strives to be either moral or righteous. And the recognition that governments routinely and systematically lie about the causes, costs, and casualties of war – remember that image above and miles of color film of the aftermath of atomic bombs were hidden by the government for decades – is something that needs to be built into every calculation to send troops into harm’s way. “Even on those rare occasions when the cause is unambiguously just,” as I wrote seven years ago.

*Today’s memorial event in Nagasaki featured a pledge by Japanese leaders to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear energy. Also notable – this was (apparently) the first time an American ambassador to Japan has attended the ceremony.

**Happy news from the financial world: the 10 most profitable corporations in America paid roughly 9 per cent in tax in 2011. The leaders? Oh, gee, two oil companies.

America’s 10 most profitable corporations paid an average corporate income tax rate of just 9 percent in 2011, according to a study from financial site NerdWallet reported by the Huffington Post. The 10 companies include Wall Street banks like Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, oil companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron, and tech companies like Apple, IBM, and Microsoft.

The two companies with the lowest tax rates were both oil companies. ExxonMobil paid $1.5 billion in taxes on $73.3 billion in earnings, a tax rate of 2 percent. Chevron’s tax rate was just 4 percent. None of the companies paid anywhere near the 35 percent top corporate tax rate, providing more evidence to debunk claims that America’s corporate tax rate is stunting economic growth and job creation (Despite the high marginal rate, American corporations pay one of the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the world).

***Last week, the British Film Institute released their list of the 50 greatest films of all time. Top of the list? Well, it’s not Citizen Kane (it’s close, though).

****This is insane, but also awesome. Daniel Wagner posts at BackhandShelf about his solution to hockey-deprivation: no, not the Olympics or anything normal like that, no, Daniel watches Australian ice hockey to cure his blues.

*****Shifting focus from heavily-print-based to more online-focused hasn’t exactly killed the news business in Michigan. It’s not a perfect solution, but things seem to be working ok. But is it what we want (or need?) journalism to be?

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