1915, China, Vietnam, Ghost Ships, Witches, Marine Le Pen

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

The Great Crime

Edward White | Paris Review | 3rd February 2017

Leslie Davis was a quietly heroic US consul in the Turkish province of Harput who sheltered Armenians from the genocide of 1915 and compiled an authoritative eyewitness account of the deportations. Watching as Turkish guards rallied their captives for a 140-mile march under burning sun, he wrote: “A massacre, however horrible the word may sound, would be humane in comparison. I do not believe it possible for one in a hundred to survive, perhaps not one in a thousand” (2,500 words)

The Art Of A China Deal

James McGregor | China File | 2nd February 2017

Why the Trump administration is right to confront China on trade, and how it should proceed. “A combination of mercantilism, protectionism, industrial planning, and markets have built every successful national economy. We have no reason to demonize China. Perhaps we should even congratulate China on its masterful performance. But current Chinese policies are at the end of the road. China’s protectionism and mercantilism amount to a form of global economic warfare” (6,080 words)


Matthew Shaer | Atavist | 1st February 2017

A lone American Green Beret is lost, believed dead, in Laos, after a helicopter crash in 1968. Forty years later a missionary in Cambodia hears rumours of an American soldier who survived an air crash in Laos and settled in Vietnam; he tracks the man down in a remote village. “He was slender and wizened, about six feet tall, with thinning gray hair swept back in strands from his forehead”. But is this the missing soldier? The doubts multiply; the story grows ever stranger (9,300 words)

The Lost Ship Of The Desert

Alexander Nazaryan | Newsweek | 2nd February 2017

Journey in search of the “ghost ship of the desert”, a Viking longboat (or possibly Spanish galleon) said to be stranded in California’s Colorado Desert where rivers once ran, which broadens into an exploration of the American appetite for myths and beliefs, especially in the West. “The beauty with legend is that you’re never wrong”. The “ghost ship” probably recalls a boat built in 1862 by a Colorado River mining company that was transported part-way across the desert by ox-team, then abandoned (5,200 words)

Ritual Etiquette Guidelines

Heron Michelle | Witch On Fire | 4th February 2017

Priestess’s guidance notes for trainee witches joining her coven. “Alcohol of some sort will be in the chalice during rituals; however, do not feel obligated to partake. You may pour out your sip in libation on the ground (if outside) or in the libation dish on the altar, then pass the chalice as usual. Same goes for the cakes. If you have a dietary restriction, like a gluten intolerance, you may provide your own special ‘cake’, or choose to offer that in libation. Again, you are in charge of you” (1,560 words)

The Man Who Could Make Le Pen President

Angelique Chrisafis | Guardian | 31st January 2017

Profile of Florian Philippot, gay Gaullist, Europhobe, confidant of Marine Le Pen and mastermind of the French National Front’s makeover. Seeking to shed the “far-right” tag, he has “sanitised the Front National’s image, toned down its rhetoric and widened its electoral support – banishing open expressions of anti-semitism, racism and xenophobia”. His claim: “We’re a party that doesn’t care about people’s preferences, their sexual practices or whatever. You’re a French citizen foremost” (5,600 words)

Video of the day: A Band’s Last Stand

What to expect:

Charming documentary about a Finnish punk band made up of musicians with developmental disabilities (2’24”)

Thought for the day

If you want to be good, begin by assuming you are bad

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