Cable, Donald Heath to US Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau

Morgenthau’s decision to send Donald Heath to Berlin turns out to be god-level.

24 April 1939:

The (US) Embassy has received reliable information that the German Embassy in London has been informed by (Neville) Chamberlain that Great Britain is prepared to release to the Reich most of the Czech gold reserves which was on deposit in London . . . This news is surprising to Reich officials who look on it with somewhat amused disdain. They interpret it as an indication that Chamberlain is still inclined to gestures of “appeasement” and a belief that financial enticements can be used to buy off the Reich.

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days, p. 294

Neville Chamberlain absolutely capitulated to Hitler. He was the Kevin McCarthy of 1939. And Donald Heath was no dummy.

War breaks out. Germany invades Poland. Most of the US Embassy packs up and heads home, but Donald stays. He sends his wife and son to Oslo for their safety.

Louise and Don are in Oslo through September and October. On Nov. 4, Louise receives a telegram from her husband: COME BACK TO BERLIN.

If Louise knew WHY Donald suddenly wanted them both back to Berlin, she probably wouldn’t have agreed!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

WSJ Readers Respond to “President Trump Responds on Pennsylvania”

LETTER 1:

Although I can appreciate the value of your newsletter printing letters from writers of various views, it seems extremely important to vet these letters for truth, fact, and veracity. Yet you publish a letter from former President Trump, who doesn’t accept truth and fact. He continues to destroy our institutions and norms to advantage himself.

The decision to publish his letter was a mistake. It is not “cancel culture” to refuse to print false allegations and lies. It is important to support cold, hard facts. Because Mr. Trump’s assertions of “rigged” elections and “corruption” are so damaging to the fabric of a democratic society, a response to these fabrications from these editors is necessary.

Wall Street Journal, Letters to the Editor, Weekend, Oct. 30-31, 2021

LETTER 2:

If Democrats rigged the 2020 election employing the nefarious tactics alleged by President Trump, why didn’t Democrats apply the same dishonest devices to win more of the 435 House and 35 Senate races? The hundreds of Republican incumbents and challengers who lost their races haven’t complained to the Federal Election Commission or file lawsuits. Had Democrats possessed the power to rig elections in 2020, they surely would have used it to secure sufficient seats to avoid the congressional deadlock that plagues the American people today.

Wall Street Journal, Letters to the Editor, Weekend, Oct. 30 – 31, 2021

The History of the Royal Gardens

Self is reading about all the wonderful improvements made to London’s public parks by Charles II, James II and William and Mary.

  • “Each royal generation tried to outdo the one before.” — England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 26

Reading that sentence, self can’t help being reminded of the “improvements” inflicted by Melania on Jackie Kennedy’s beloved Rose Garden. It would seem she was driven, not by a wish to outdo her predecessors, but by a wish for VENDETTA!

Back to England’s Magnificent Gardens: The improvements made by the various monarchs did not come from “their own money. That came from the government of the day and, ultimately, from all the nation’s taxpayers.”

Darn it! WE the people probably supplied the funds for Melania’s hack job — with our tax dollars!? Didn’t Omarosa say in her book that Melania was not a victim, she was always in control? She knew how to get her point across. In fact, this Master of the Passive Aggressive didn’t just use gardens to make a statement, she also used fashion! Who can forget the green military style jacket (vaguely reminiscent of Fidel Castro’s garb) she wore to almost everything during The Former Guy’s last year in office? Or what about the blood-red Christmas trees that looked more like they belonged in Handmaid’s Tale or Halloween Kills?

Stephanie Grisham in her book corroborates Omarosa: yes, Stephanie says, the First Lady was very very passive aggressive. And SHE TOOK IT OUT ON CHRISTMAS. (Melania was probably thinking, I’m miserable as First Lady. I’m going to do the White House Christmas decorations in RED, like the inside of a bordello! Because I don’t like Christmas! Christmas is off the table! Christmas is nuts! I’m going to destroy Christmas!)

Self wonders where Melania learned how to be the Queen of Passive Aggressive. Was it something she picked up in Slovakia? Or later, when she was accompanying the Donald on his private jets? Or was it something she was born with?

When TFG had to entertain, she left him very much to his own devices, which is why he had to improvise with take-out from McDonald’s. Maybe they fought earlier, and this was her revenge.

Melania for the win!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Salon Magazine Interview with Harvard Prof Steven Levitsky

Dean Obeidallah conducted this interview for Salon (published 13 October 2021)

We did have elections as an escape hatch, and we used them. And it’s a damn good thing we did. We would be much, much worse off had Trump managed to retain the presidency and stay in power for four years. The fact that we sent him to Mar-a-Lago is very important, and shouldn’t be understated. Now that said, I don’t predict things accurately very well. One thing I did predict, I knew would happen.

I knew that Donald Trump would not accept the results of the election. What I did not anticipate is that the vast bulk of the Republican Party would go along with it. And of course, I didn’t anticipate anything remotely like Jan. 6. So yes, things have gotten much worse, because not only has the Big Lie taken hold among the vast bulk of the Republican Party, to the point where you can’t be a member of the Republican Party in good standing if you don’t adhere to the Big Lie.

And they’re acting upon that, right? They are now taking steps in various important states — Texas, Arizona, Georgia — to make it easier to overturn an election. So I think there’s a good chance that the Republican Party, not just Donald Trump but the Republican Party, tries to overturn the results of the 2024 election. And that is, again, a worse place than we were a few years ago. But we would be even worse off had Trump remained in power.

You can read the full interview here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lawyer for the Defense

Self is now about halfway through Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy. Last night, she almost contemplated stopping. It is so painful, in hindsight, to read about Ethel’s fate. Self’s already lost two full nights’ sleep, reading.

Nevertheless.

p. 135: The father-son legal team for the defense are Alexander and Manny Bloch (who have cut their teeth, according to journalist Anne Sebba, representing small bakeries in contract disputes. Seriously?) For the prosecution: ROY COHN, and all the power of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. The charge: treason (Apparently there was a time in America when treason was taken very seriously).

Bloch senior “attempted to separate Ethel from the alleged conspiracy in his opening remarks by describing her as a wife of twelve years’ standing and a mother raising two young sons. “She was a housewife, basically a housewife and nothing more,” Bloch senior insisted. “She did not transmit or conspire to transmit any information to any government . . . she was dragged into this case through the machinations of her own brother and her own sister-in-law, who in order to transfer and lighten their burden of responsibility, accused her of being a co-conspirator.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy, Ch. 3

Chapter 3 of Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy is very, very hard to read.

The strength of this book is that it really puts you inside Ethel’s head. Which means, of course, you will find the end depressing.

We find in Chapter 3 that these two naive young people, Julius and Ethel, were lonely IN their marriage. They were so poor, Ethel had to “occasionally” borrow small food items from neighbors “that she never returned” and everyone just learned to look the other way. The worst thing for her, though, was not their poverty, but the sight of her husband “failing.”

Julius, on the other hand, was lonely because his Russian handler worried that Julius might be compromised and stopped seeing him for eight months. During which time Ethel got pregnant again, probably as her way of reassuring Julius that she had absolute faith in him as a husband and father! While Julius, probably had so much time on his hands after Feklisov stopped meeting with him that he got bored and had nothing better to do! You see, people, this is what happens when you marry a feckless man!

Julius’s handler is eventually called back to Moscow. He feels he must tell Julius in person, so he takes him to a nice Hungarian restaurant. And then breaks the news.

This is the agent, Feklisov, writing from memory six months later:

  • Julius stopped, looking at me wide-eyed. A few long seconds went by. “What do you mean,” he asked. “You’re leaving me? Why?”

Oh God. This is so painful. Self wants to kick Julius for acting like a lovesick puppy. With his newly pregnant wife at home yet.

Stay tuned.

Kyrsten Sinema, Martyr?

Kimberley A. Strassel, Potomac Watch, Wall Street Journal, Friday, 16 October 2021

Like Saturn, the revolution devours its children. And like clockwork, the progressive mob has set on Kyrsten Sinema. Next time the left lectures on unity, women’s rights or Joe Biden’s decency, lock your door.

The Arizona senator continues to infuriate her fellow Democrats, who are frenzied to impose their $3.5 trillion social revolution. Ms. Sinema reportedly has issues with the cost of the package as well as its tax proposals and some programs. She’s conducted dozens of meetings with the White House and key players, though has also made clear she won’t be jammed and won’t negotiate with the public. Her refusal to bow to the left’s price tag and timeline has incensed colleagues and activists alike.

“Progressive mob” — cute, really cute. Is Strassel drawing or trying to draw parallels between the protesters who followed Sinema into a restroom to the Jan. 6 rioters? Try harder, Strassel. There were only three people in that bathroom, as opposed to 1000+ in DC on Jan. 6

Strassel is an apologist for Sinema. Doesn’t fly with self. Self loathes this woman, right? Loathes her. She is no champion of Middle America, as anyone can see from her fantastically twee outfits that only get more tacky the longer the senator stays in Congress.

Strassel’s main complaint is that “the left” (someone please tell self what she means by “the left”) have no manners: they confront Sinema any old place, such as in airplanes. Tough! That’s what she signed up for. It’s not all press appearances and meetings with Big Pharma.

Listen up, Sinema: if you’re so bothered by protesters, suggest you don full-body armor. Or Hazmat suit. Or maybe go full-on ‘Congressional’ and wear a suit. If you did the latter, you’d be unrecognizable. That would be a pretty good disguise!

Stay tuned.

Lord Brudenell and The Former Guy

LB is, self assumes, one of the officers who ordered his regiment into the Jaws of Hell at Balaclava, since we are spending chapters and chapters on his backstory.

Lord Brudenell is a dolt, and also a martinet. Not only that, he is also a racist. And his racism is of so virulent a type that not only does he hate Indians (This is unfortunate, since India was the Jewel in the British Crown), he also hates any member of the British Army who has spent time in India. Alas, the regiment he’s been given command of, the 11th, has been in India for seventeen years.

He wants to rid his regiment of “Indians” (meaning, anyone who has served in India) and he calls those “Indians” who choose to continue under his command astonishingly “thick-skinned.” No “Indian” officer ever received an invitation to his own house, and when cards of invitation for dinners and balls were sent to the mess by gentlemen living in the neighbourhood, he made it a rule that they were not to be given to those officers whom, he said, he “had found sticking to the regiment in the East Indies.”

Not only did Lord Brudenell dislike any member of the regiment who had served in India, he grew apopleptic if any waiter had the bad judgment to leave a black bottle on the dinner table, he said because he only wished his regiment to be served champagne.

Which reminds self that, in an unprecedented spate of federal executions in the transition period between the November 2020 election and Joe Biden’s inauguration, a black man was scheduled to be executed on the Martin Luther King Jr holiday, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s son wrote to the White House to beg for a postponement, in honor of his father’s memory, and no one bothered to answer him. In the end, because The Former Guy’s White House was so incompetent, the execution scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day had to be postponed for a few hours (because of the lack of necessary paperwork) and happened in the wee hours of the following day. Phew?

Self only learned about this incident when she read an Associated Press article about Attorney General Merrick Garland putting a temporary moratorium on all federal executions.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Quote of the Day: The Economist, 3 July 2021

“Claiming to be winning while actually losing . . . Caught between their primary voters and loyalty to the constitution, most have concluded that, unless the Capitol is under siege, the best course of action is simply to stay silent.”

— Leaders, The Economist, 3 July 2021

The Dakota Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux

In 2016, protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline attracted worldwide attention. The oil pipeline was designed to run from North to South Dakota, across Iowa, and into Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux objected to the pipeline’s path on the grounds that it violated treaty rights and threatened the tribe’s water supply, grave sites and sacred land. Thousands camped out at Standing Rock to try and stop the project . . . In December 2016, the Obama administration blocked construction of the pipeline’s most contested section.

A month later, newly inaugurated president Donald Trump reversed the decision. By June 2017, oil was flowing. In the tumultuous first year of the Trump administration, the media moved on. In September 2017, Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault II, a hero while the spotlight was trained on the controversy, was voted out of office.

— Chapter 10, Oak Flat: the Fight for Sacred Land in the American West

This is a fascinating book, as self keeps saying. She hopes she can finish it tonight and return it to the library tomorrow, because it’s way overdue and someone’s put a hold on it.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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