Category Archives: Poetry

The Day Churchill Called Mussolini “greatest living statesman of our time”

This very typically biting and insightful anecdote about Churchill comes from a military history book describing Allied preparations for D-Day:

Air Superiority in World War II and Korea: An Interview with Gen. James Ferguson, Gen. Robert M. Lee, Gen. William W. Momyer, and Lt. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada. (1983). United States: Office of Air Force History, U.S. Air Force. Page 56

The General probably should not have been shocked. Everyone surely knows Churchill was known for his failure to admonish Mussolini, right?

Mosley was to put it more concisely later when he repeated that the British Fascists wanted to turn Parliament ‘from a talk-shop to a work-shop’. When Churchill praised Mussolini’s Italy for its economic realism, it was of course the British Chancellor of the Exchequer envying the Fascist dictator for the room for manoeuvre which the absence of an effective opposition gave him.

The offensive declarations of January 1927 were of a different nature, in that they clearly justified the introduction of Fascism as a bulwark against Bolshevism.

However, a careful reader of history will note that Churchill preferred death to either Fascism or Bolshevism and thus was crudely thinking of himself as above either.

…his Commons speech of 14 April 1937 he suggested that a self-respecting Briton would face death rather than accept ‘to choose between Communism and Nazism’ :

I hope not to be called upon to survive in a world under a government of either of these dispensations.

Self-respecting here is taken to mean a Briton who hasn’t stooped so far as to allow extremism to take hold. Or to put it another way, as I described in a 2014 blog post, fall victim to what Germany experienced:

The stock market crash of 1929 led to extremely heated conflict by radical groups trying to split votes; intellectual communism versus ultra-nationalism. This led to violence, which led to mob rule by fascist militia and 1932 end of the republic.

Britain arguably rested upon a representative government that had increasingly allowed for mass dissent. And while it was far from an ideal system it didn’t end with abrupt violent revolution in the “European” way.

Seems almost natural for Churchill to claim to appreciate the very thing that he also detested so much, through dark sarcasm and sharp wit.

The Herschel Walker Senate Campaign Swastika

I’ve written about swastika imagery so many times before, it’s worth mentioning a few details about the Herschel Walker variety used in his Senate campaign. Here it is:

Source: Twitter

This is without question meant to look like a Nazi swastika, and it came from a Twitter profile calling itself resistance to “Hollywood” (e.g. Nazis really hated Hollywood).

A bayonet shoves Hitler’s book in front of a prisoner and says “Here, improve your mind!”. Source: “Donald in Nutziland”, Disney 1943.

Historian protip: if someone asks why you use a swastika in your public campaign invoking Nazism and hatred for “Hollywood”… then there’s a really high probability you are in fact using a swastika.

The subtext obviously is that if someone puts up a swastika in America for a political campaign, they in fact expect to get money donated as a result.

Walker, perhaps as expected, tried to cover this fact with a laughably dumb official explanation that attempted to deny it being a swastika:

A spokesperson for the campaign said the image was not a swastika… Walker, who is being backed by former President Donald Trump, has not commented on whether or not he has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

At least they didn’t follow up their “not a swastika” comment by saying “everyone calm down, we’re obviously just using an anti-Jewish graphic”.

I wonder if next they will be telling us the former White House occupant should not be called a Nazi because he prefers being called big conflict loser?

…being on the losing end… is something Herschel knows a little bit about…

Maybe the more insightful version of that, taken from his actual life story, is this part:

So I take a bullet, put it in the cylinder, spin it and tell you to pull it. People would say “Herschel, you’re nuts.” I would take that gun, put it to my head, and snap it. That is what it was. I was so fired up that I could overcome anything.

When you think about it, refusing to get vaccinated is intentionally lowering your chances of survival. Weirdly consistent to both refuse vaccination and to put a gun to your own head; unnecessarily taking dumb risks that can easily kill you…

And that is a real quote from Herschel’s view of the world. Perhaps I should point out here that Hitler was similarly fired up, put a gun to his own head, yet didn’t overcome?

So who looks forward to the next Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, holding a panel on swastikas that tries to argue they’re just a harmless old religious symbol?

Even worse, the reason for using swastikas goes beyond just being an easy way to raise money on American campaigns for public office.

A false claim the swastika represents only being “anti-vaccination” is an encoded reference to fascism tactics: stoke rage, inflame tensions using incendiary imagery (as reported in Italy, which knows a thing or two about fascism).

The protesters smashed union computers, ripped out phone lines and trashed offices after first trying to use metal bars to batter their way in through CGIL’s front door, then breaking in through a window.

In other words, the Walker senate campaign used a swastika both to raise money as well as fan hatred to perpetrate mob violence against the government, while feebly trying to deny a swastika is a swastika.

Related:

The Clash: “…find an Afghan rebel the bullets missed and ask him what he thinks…”

This is from a song called Washington Bullets on The Clash’s 1980 Sandinista! triple album:

‘nd if you can find a Afghan rebel
That the Moscow bullets missed
Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist

Dare I say one of the best albums of all time, and one of their best songs? Yet it has only 30K views on their official channel for a beautifully remastered version?

“Fight Club” Ruling by Racist Judge Overturned, Yet Threat Grows in America

A US judge in southern California tried to rule that “freedom of speech” protects “fight clubs” meant to spread across the U.S. even when they clearly exist only to physically terrorize people.

On multiple occasions, [southern California white supremacist street-fighting gang] members showed up at protests in California and at the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville with their faces uncovered and brawled with leftists, which left Rundo and others open to criminal prosecution. With charges looming against Rundo and three other members of RAM in 2018, the young white supremacist fled to Central America, where he was later arrested by the FBI, and brought back to the U.S. A judge dismissed the charges the following year, concluding that their activities were protected by the First Amendment.

Street-fighting white gangs, training internationally with terror groups, as a form of protected free speech?

What?

That judge was looking at details like this.

The March 2017 Huntington Beach rally, to “Make America Great Again,” became especially violent. Prosecutors presented pictures showing Laube repeatedly punching a journalist in the face.

From this he concluded “an essential function of free speech is to invite dispute” therefore he wouldn’t jail the Nazi throwing punches in America.

A journalist is being punched in the face and judge Carney thinks that he is dealing with a speech issue where the physical attacker needs some kind of protection.

In fact, Carney makes a point to say he’s the kind of person who disagrees with the Nazi who might “throw punches in the name of teaching antifa some lesson”.

Nice try. Think about that phrasing for a long minute. An American judge officially wrote in his opinion that a being punched in the face by a Nazi is teaching “some lesson”. What lesson is that?

Carney had only in June 2020 been assigned the chief judge spot in the Central District of California (counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo — nearly 20 million people, about half the state’s population).

Judge Carney stepped down as chief a month later, when his subtle style of racism was very visibly outed.

The announcement stems from comments Carney made a during a webinar sponsored by the Federal Bar Association on June 9, 2020. Carney said he used the term “street smart” to describe Gray. “This term was one of many words I used to recognize and compliment Ms. Gray…”

Ok, let’s be careful here. Context matters A LOT in this phrase, which is why it is racist.

“Street smart” indicates survival in dangerous situations. Urban dictionary even offers this rather blatant example:

…one who is knowledgible [sic] at some art of illegal activity. understands the code and conduct held within a certain crime family/ies. the term came from the common street hoodlum who knows how to succeed in areas that don’t necessaryly [sic] need a formal education to get ahead in life. for instance a group(crew) of criminals enterprise at trafficing and selling narcotics

Can you see why context of a white judge calling someone in his staff “street smart” is problematic (implying lack of professionalism/education and crime boss status under systemic oppression)… not to mention trying to then argue it was meant to be a compliment!?

His high-brow ivy-league style of racism in fact targeted Gray, the “first black woman to be named clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California”.

It was Carney expressing his contempt, where contempt is the root of racism.

In his apology to her, this Harvard-educated genius in the seat of Chief Judgeship dug himself a hole so big it erupted like a volcano.

Carney compounded his problems when he spoke with Gray in a later conversation about calls for his resignation as chief judge, according to his email, sent to court staff members and judges. “In a moment of anger and frustration, I said to Ms. Gray that the people criticizing me were equating my well-intended use of the term ‘street-smart’ with the reprehensible conduct of a police officer putting his knee on a person’s neck,” Carney said. Carney said the statement about his critics was “an insensitive and graphic overreaction to the criticism that was leveled against me. I never should have made the comparison.”

Think about Carney telling America to tolerate angry racist mob violence because he thinks of them as just people trying to express themselves. Got that logic?

He tried to lay down a line that white male angry violence is just something Americans have to accept.

Then his saccharin racism is called out and in response he whines he doesn’t deserve anti-racism scrutiny, claiming his “moment of anger” and contempt towards critics explains his actions.

See why he tried to set loose the angry racist white mobs punching journalists?

What matters in this context is twofold:

1) There was a giant smack-down of that absurd Carney decision. The courts rejected his love of fascism, reminding America how awful it is for a racist judge to fraudulently attempt to frame white mob physical violence as protected speech.

…it made no sense “to assert that the government and its citizens cannot act, but must sit quietly and wait until they are actually physically injured or have had their property destroyed.”

2) White mob physical violence has been a long-time problem in America and is again an increasing threat, not least of all because of schools and courts passing upward deeply flawed thinkers like Carney. Harvard has a long history of sanctioning white mob violence, as well as graduating obvious racists (and some recent countermeasures).

How to Succeed Again After Being Successful

A 2019 article in The Atlantic reads to me like a whole narrative that is slowing working towards an answer yet never achieving one.

It is kind of ironic.

If you rise towards a single objective there will be a fall, leaving you guessing what’s next… whereas if you continuously improve you may enjoy life-long success instead of feeling it only was in the past:

Entrepreneurs peak and decline earlier, on average. After earning fame and fortune in their 20s, many tech entrepreneurs are in creative decline by age 30. In 2014, the Harvard Business Review reported that founders of enterprises valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists tend to cluster in the 20-to-34 age range. Subsequent research has found that the clustering might be slightly later, but all studies in this area have found that the majority of successful start-ups have founders under age 50.

Any single objective is really made up of a large number of rise and fall movements.

So the answer is… how to recover and rise again, a form of adaptation and change.

The less you obsess at achieving a single peak as a life’s objective, the better you might become at climbing every day after you reach it.

I suspect that the Harvard Business Review is stuck measuring narrow factors in their closed-minded study of wealth accumulation. It’s like saying a study has found children under age 4 making rapid improvement in language are in creative decline by the age of 10. Yeah, they move on to other improvements, like math!

What if progress is the goal, instead of perfection of any one step along the way? Are you moving on too fast, too slow? These may be worries ahead, yet at least you’re still moving.