We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, January 19. 2022
I've not been contributing since about September, and I apologize for the long gap. I apologize only because it's rude to disappear without letting people know where you're going and I do my best to avoid being rude. In a nutshell, I've been overwhelmed at work, which is a good thing. After not working for many months, I managed to land a (much lower level) position which is working out very well for me and my long-term prospects have improved dramatically in the last few weeks. Of course, improved opportunity means additional responsibilities. Which means more time at a desk, at least in my current role. At my age (pushing 60), that's something many others cannot say. They're either at or near the pinnacle of your career, or winding it down. As I have done 4 other times in my life, I'm winding up again and feeling great.
One thing I do is try to go for a walk each day for at least an hour. Fresh air and exercise enables me to be nimble of body and mind. I'll listen to history podcasts while I walk, or just think. Recently, after a particularly difficult conversation with a friend who has gone full-on Woke, I chewed the mental cud and began to wonder where all this Wokism is headed.
It suddenly struck me what the essential problem of Wokism and Cancel Culture represent. In the name of creating and expanding opportunity, these people are limiting it severely. I wondered what history would look like if Woke and Cancel mindsets had been in place for a longer time than just the last decade or so. Not that we need another discussion on Wokism, but I felt this was a good mental exercise.
I felt if I could frame the discussion in such a way, so one could see the damage cancelling history, or destroying lives, over self-righteous indignation can cause. I realized I knew a story, particular to me, involving a former employer asking me to remove a picture I had hanging in my office. The attached Winston Churchill picture with a tommy gun.
Assuming I have any heroes, and I have very few, Churchill is right about at the top. He had many positive qualities. His sharp wit is remembered well. He could navigate treacherous political waters. He was astute enough to know when to alter his views. I believe he is the only Prime Minister to have changed parties, but is certainly the only one who changed parties twice. It is hard to see how the UK may have hung on without his presence. Alternative histories are notoriously difficult and I don't put much stock in them. Given the alternatives at the time he took office, it's likely others would have turned to some form of acquiescence. To make my point, I'll work from the belief that without Churchill, Britain may have been unlikely to have continued the war effort in a meaningful way. Understand this may not be the case, so please don't engage a wide-ranging discussion on the alternatives.
Churchill had this picture taken because Hitler had called him a gangster. He decided to play the part for PR purposes. It's a great picture which I picked up at the War Rooms. My picture was cancelled by my employer because he was holding a gun and this presumably "frightened" someone (it didn't, but that's another story in itself). Imagine that - canceling Winston Churchill. But my employer did. In fact, the person canceling the picture did not even know who Churchill was when I asked. I was just told to remove "the picture of that gangster." A bit of bittersweet irony. I'm sure Churchill would've have chuckled then taken the poor sap down a few notches.
What if Cancel Culture existed just before WWII?
If you ask a Wokester what they think of Churchill, they'd say he's a racist old white man and should be cancelled.
In fact, they have called to have his statues removed.
Let's assume this kind of thought process existed pre-WWII. Churchill finds the loudest voices want him cancelled - he's a racist, and even if he apologizes, he's with the 'wrong party' so that won't get him any clearance. He can switch parties yet again, but who wants that turncoat? His career in the tank, he's unable to give a speech which the press is willing to cover. If they do cover it, it will be misconstrued to show how truly awful he is. In the midst of all this Winston heads off to Chartwell to spend his last days. Meanwhile, Chamberlain goes to Munich and screws the pooch and....what?
Let's put it this way. The UK may have survived without Churchill. But it would have been much, much harder for the UK to have prevailed. In fact, it's likely Germany would have invaded (as the US barely was willing to support Churchill...it's hard to imagine them working with Halifax or any of the others who were ready to roll over to Hitler) and the war would have had a very different tincture to it.
A Wokester may reply "But Hitler was really evil and we'd have fought him, too." No, I really doubt they would. First of all, Hitler was not widely recognized as the monster he was until at least 1939, and possibly later. The US continued to maintain a working relationship with the Nazis until they declared war. Furthermore, most people felt Hitler could be dealt with politically up until he began the war in 1939. That's why Chamberlain went to Munich. Wokesters are so poorly educated, they really believe they can recognize evil in advance of its appearance. Which is why they cannot see it in their own behavior.
As I said, I admire Churchill, and that is more strange than it may seem, particularly to a Wokester. After all, I am of Irish ancestry and there are few people in British history who are loved less than Churchill, by the Irish. His history with my forebears was vicious, at times. He was brutal and cunning.
Recognizing flaws in people and personalities is what makes history interesting, and what makes choosing leaders who you'd like to follow difficult. Nobody is perfect. That's what Wokesters and Cancel Culturalists miss. They are so wrapped up in creating what they hope will be a perfect world they don't recognize they are performing activities best described by William F. Buckley as "immanentizing the eschaton." They eat their own, as soon as their own show weakness or flaws of any kind.
The New Left needs perfection and perfection does not exist. So much so that even AOC is now under attack as not being a 'true Progressive.'
It would all be quite laughable if these weren't the most absolutely frightening group of people since the Committee for Public Safety.
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"I advise everybody, be a little careful when they go along through there – best stay woke, keep their eyes open." — Lead Belly, 1938
"If You're Woke You Dig It" — William Melvin Kelley, 1962
Equality of Outcome for Those Who Finish is where it is headed, with strict controls over who finishes at all.
Bulldog: Let's put it this way. The UK may have survived without Churchill. But it would have been much, much harder for the UK to have prevailed. In fact, it's likely Germany would have invaded (as the US barely was willing to support Churchill...
Churchill was crucial for maintaining resistance to the fascist threat. However, a German invasion may have been avoided through accommodation—which would have disastrously entrenched fascism in Europe. While most Americans were generally against entering war, the strongest political forces were from the isolationist right. FDR signed the Lend-Lease Act, effectively ending U.S. neutrality.
If you look at the French period, as mentioned, and the Russia and China period, there was the destruction of a belief in a higher power that was promoted by the woksters. You can find a similar period in the US and Europe in the late 20's up to the 30's and it can be shown that religious belief, Protestant and Catholic, in the US topped in the mid 60's to the later 60's in our current condition. Those free of religious belief have no trouble to fold, spindle or mutilate others. The absolute belief that the human condition can be perfected through science runs deep in their character and they will consider no other path to reach that utopia. Heaven on earth is a killer.
What is so terrifying is to watch the well educated, the thoughtful, the compassionate--those that are unable to now listen to the facts-- to see what is truly happening. They are our best and they cannot discern what is being done, or how the language/media is being used to control them. They are not only blind but also deaf to what is happening.
Glad you're back, Bulldog, and glad your new job is working out.
Thankee kindly. I am finally someplace where knowledge and (more importantly) experience actually count for something.
Don't know how long it will last, but it's going well for now.
Of course, I was forced to get a vaccine, which was unnecessary - my tests (which I had to do for a variety of reasons) were coming back clean and I always did an antibody test, which showed my antibodies running well above most vaccinated levels (since I had already had Covid 17 months before). I gave these results to my HR and was told it didn't matter - vaccinate or consequences. Being new to the job, I had very little leverage.
I was sick for 2 days afterward, and basically am still trying to get my workout routine back to normal. The vaccine is NOT good for those who had Covid, based on my pharmacist's warning prior to getting it. He was actually angry after seeing my antibody test, and told me that the vaccine would likely fight it out with my antibodies...which it did.
Honestly, there's very little science in "the science" these days.
Are you at liberty to discuss which vaccine you received? I too had Covid, and would have never gotten the vaccine, except for family pressure to go on a cruise. I got the J&J and a month later am not feeling 100%. I am an avid cyclist, have monitored my heart rate on rides for 2 decades, and since getting the jab, my average HR has jumped ten points. You could probably write an entire blog post about this.
Love Maggie’s Farm, by the way. Excellent blog. Enjoy reading the comments.
Naturally one commenter had to weigh in on the single item I said wasn't really necessary for discussion due to the nature of the point I was making.
It's no surprise that this thing happens when they fail to read properly and decide to just make comments anyway.
Bulldog: Naturally one commenter had to weigh in on the single item I said wasn't really necessary for discussion due to the nature of the point I was making.
Churchill's role in WWII and its leadup are important for understanding whether he should be celebrated or not. We agreed with you that his role was crucial.
But how should he be celebrated? Someone who is ethnically English may look on a statue of Churchill with pride, but someone from the colonies may consider it a painful reminder. Should the statue remain, then? Well, we should both agree it shouldn't be decided by the mob. Also, keep in mind that Churchill was criticized for his racism in his own time.
We'll address your larger point in a separate comment.
The problem I see is that often people are "woke" out of sympathy and not logic. I feel bad for the homeless, I genuinely do. But I also know that if I give them money they will use the money to buy drugs and alcohol. The "woke" never quite seem to figure out that their feelings and empathy when put into action either by them or by those they authorize make everything worse. The drug or alcohol addict has to hit bottom (well most do some learn before hitting bottom) and financing their continuing suicide is far more harmful to them than refusing to help them would be.
You can apply the same thing to the various victimhood scams we are inundated with. The left/Democrats use these "victims" to get elected promising to help them and then waste massive amounts of tax payer money most of which is given to friends and supporters. I'm sure that those $500,000 apartments in L.A. for the homeless aren't worth that much and someone/group is getting $250,000 per apartment and kicking back 10% to the big guy or 535 big guys.
But everything the woke do or those who use the woke as the useful idiots that they are only makes these problems worse. What is needed is tough love. What we get is trillions in free stuff thrown at the problem, stolen, lost, missing and wasted and the problem only grows.
The U.S. is going to go bankrupt,,, soon! This is the cause.
The Democrats stole the 2020 election and Trump really won it. My question is: If this were to be proven and Biden was never our legally elected president would it negate or reverse everything he did in office?
Second question: If Trump were to be reelected in 2024 would it be his third term?
"Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality"
- Michael Ellner
I recommend Patrick Wyman's "Tides of History" podcast. He did the fall of the (Western) Roman Empire and the rise of the Middle Ages, and is now doing prehistory worldwide, including a lot of cultures I knew little about. He is an academic who was also an MMA writer who looked around and said "I don't like what I am getting stuck with in academia. I write well and can communicate and I'm going there instead."
His liberalism bleeds out very occasionally, but he is remarkably disciplined about keeping his current political ideas out of his interpretations of history.
Welcome back Bulldog, you were missed.
Churchill is one of my few hero's also. That picture of him holding a Thompson is one of my favorites.
Fun trivia - he is loading or unloading a 50 round drum magazine, which you absolutely cannot do if the bolt is closed to battery, which it is. Winnie was such a trickster.
One reason for the continued repetition of the leftist ideology, is that, at least what I went through in the late 70’s early 80’s, Hitler and fascism, was throughly dissected in the public schools, but communism was rarely discussed. Marxist ideology is the work of Satan. Look at the many poems Marx wrote involving Satan. Satan works very hard to pit man against man, and that is precisely what Woke ideology does. If you don’t believe that Satan exists, or is at work in the world, than at least recognize how destructive it is for civilization to continually dredge up the past in order pit one group against the other.
There is little doubt in my mind, that without the backbone and leadership of Churchill, England would have been invaded. Even with US support they came very close to being defeated as it was. Given more time to develop the V2 rockets, which my understanding, Hitler was unimpressed with, and nuclear development, Germany would have conquered Europe. Hitler made a huge blunder in invading Russia.
By the way, the Germans tried to use that famous photo of Churchill with the tommy gun as propaganda to depict him as a gangster.
Didn't work though.
Incidentally, I'm about 50 percent Irish myself but I happen to think Churchill was a very, very great man. It helps if your family went through WWII with him (my father's house in Portsmouth was "redeveloped" courtesy of the Luftwaffe in that war).
Bulldog: Cancel Culture ruins opportunity by limiting it in the name of "improving" or "expanding" it. In reality, Wokism and Cancel Culture destroys lives and opportunities.
Please note that Wokism is not the same as Cancel Culture. Criticizing is not, in itself, canceling. Consider Churchill. Does criticizing his racism change his crucial role in history? Does removing his statue cancel him? How so?
Now, it is clear that the mob can turn against an individual who might otherwise be a private person and inflict serious damage to that person. That sort of cancelling should be decried. Even public persons can be damaged beyond what would seem reasonable, especially when too large corporations take action against them in response to a public outcry. (The political right has long undermined anti-trust laws.) But who draws the line?
As with previous new communications technologies, leaders use the new tools for various ends. The printing press allowed revolutionary ideas to spread. The radio was tapped by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Hitler for very different ends. The fax machine helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. Television saw McCarthyism and the Civil Rights Movement. Today, demagogues have free rein in social networking silos. Eventually, people build up a resistance to being overly persuaded by something they heard on the radio or read in an email; but before that, they panicked when the Martians invaded Earth in 1938.
Bulldog: A Wokester may reply "But Hitler was really evil and we'd have fought him, too."
Not sure what you're talking about here. The political left largely opposed Nazism because of their authoritarian, racist, ultra-nationalist ideology, and antithetical to egalitarian goals. Most Nazi support at the time came from the political right.
Your last statement is factually incorrect. Until the Barbarossa invasions, the official policy of the CPUS was, as promogulated by COMINTERN, to promote continued US isolationism - no American blood in Europe's war kind of stuff. The Soviets had no problem with carving up Europe as long as the Germans kept to the spheres defined in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Stalin was generally in favor of German aggression against Britain in a way that would tend to collapse the British Empire. As long as the panzers were pointed West, while he disagreed with Nazi ideology, he was willing to accommodate it as long as it proved useful, even setting aside the long-held Russian policy of being the guardian of the Slavs against Western Europe (something most of the other Slavic peoples weren't too keen on, but that's another story).
another guy named Dan: Until the Barbarossa invasions, the official policy of the CPUS was, as promogulated by COMINTERN, to promote continued US isolationism - no American blood in Europe's war kind of stuff.
The most fundamental error you make is equating the political left with the Communist Party USA. The left is a far broader spectrum than just the Communist Party USA. Roosevelt and the Democratic Congress, clearly on the political left, supported the fight against Nazism, enacting Lend Lease after the Hitler-Stalin Pact, but before U.S. entry into the war. As for the Communist Party USA, they were anti-fascist before and after the Hitler-Stalin pact.
"The political left largely opposed Nazism because of their authoritarian, racist, ultra-nationalist ideology, and antithetical to egalitarian goals."
Much of the Leftist opposition to Nazi Germany, though, suddenly went quiet when the treaty between the Soviet Union and Germany was announced, and revived only after the German invasion of Russia.
Fascism and communism really were the two most noxious and malevolent ideologies of the 20th Century.
But while the former was thoroughly discredited through its comprehensive defeat in WWII, the latter - despite the collapse of the Soviet Bloc - has never, ever been properly held to account.
David Foster: Much of the Leftist opposition to Nazi Germany, though, suddenly went quiet when the treaty between the Soviet Union and Germany was announced, and revived only after the German invasion of Russia.
As above: The most fundamental error you make is equating the political left with the Communist Party USA. The left is a far broader spectrum than just the Communist Party USA. Roosevelt and the Democratic Congress, clearly on the political left, supported the fight against Nazism, enacting Lend Lease after the Hitler-Stalin Pact, but before U.S. entry into the war. As for the Communist Party USA, they were anti-fascist before and after the Hitler-Stalin pact.
You can replace "Communist Party USA" with "some on the hard political left."
Well-posted, Bulldog, and welcome back!
Regarding the Wokester argument, "But Hitler was really evil and we'd have fought him, too," one is reminded that Hitler's most grievous and fatal strategic error was to unilaterally and electively declare war on the US immediately following Pearl Harbor. Say what you will about the relative merits of his invasion of the Soviet Union earlier in '41, this action was truly idiotic and doomed the Third Recih. Absent that gratuitious declaration of war (for which Hitler received absolutely nothing from Japan in return, the ramifications of which would become crystal clear when Stalin realized he faced no threat from Japan in the east and readily shifted Siberian assets to the defense of Moscow), Roosevelt would have had no choice but to direct virutally all our war effort against Japan, thereby leaving the UK on its own. The course of the war in Europe would have undoubtedly taken a completely different turn, in Germany's favor. Had the UK been driven from the war, or, worse, forced into some alliance with Germany, any cross-Channel invasion would have been a pipe dream and Hitler could have concentrated on the East without any real concern for his Western (or Southern) flank. It truly was an unfathomable decision by Hitler (some might see the hand of Providence there).
Fascism is a militarized version of socialism. Both fascism and socialism are merely the way to force the people into communism. All three of these are far left ideologies.
The only, and I mean ONLY, positive to come out of all of this is that people who are woke, and speak positively about things like *equality of outcome*, personal pronouns and so on, self-identify as people I do not want to in my life in any capacity. And if I were running an HR department, I'd keep a very confidential file labeled "Do Not Hire Under Any Circumstance".