Category Archives: History

Don’t Know Much About History (Part Two)

Jack Kelly has more thoughts on Obama’s frightening ignorance of American history (hey, it would be nice if he could just figure out how many states there are):

Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.

Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.

“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”

…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.

If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.

[Update a little later]

Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:

.

[Late afternoon update]

Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.

Don’t Know Much About History (Part Two)

Jack Kelly has more thoughts on Obama’s frightening ignorance of American history (hey, it would be nice if he could just figure out how many states there are):

Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.

Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.

“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”

…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.

If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.

[Update a little later]

Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:

.

[Late afternoon update]

Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.

Don’t Know Much About History (Part Two)

Jack Kelly has more thoughts on Obama’s frightening ignorance of American history (hey, it would be nice if he could just figure out how many states there are):

Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.

Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.

“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”

…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.

If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.

[Update a little later]

Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:

.

[Late afternoon update]

Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.

State Department Issues New Language Guidelines

December 15th, 1941

WASHINGTON (Routers) In an effort to drive a wedge between moderate Germans and those more extreme, the State Department issued new rules today, stipulating that the word “Nazi” was not to be used by department employees to describe the enemy. Germany recently declared war on our country, as part of its alliance with Imperial Japan, which itself attacked us at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii a little over a week ago, and with which we are now at war.

“Nazism has a great many admirable features,” said a department spokesman at Foggy Bottom, “and we want to make clear that despite the fact that the Nazi Party rules Germany, we have no quarrel with the vast majority of Nazis with peaceful intent.”

She went on to describe the National Socialist universal health care plan, its youth programs that inculcate loyalty to the government, its strict and necessary control over unbridled private industry, its wage and price controls, its strict separation of church and state, its progressive views on food purity and safety, and other beneficial features of the fascist system.

“Many of the Nazi programs have their counterparts here in President Roosevelt’s own New Deal, such as the NRA, the CCC, our price monitoring boards, and so on. In fact, many of the ideas of National Socialism were first developed in our own progressive country, and we in turn might want to consider examining their policies for more ways to improve our own.”

She went on, “…if we call Hitler and his staff, who lack moral legitimacy, ‘Nazis,’ we may unintentionally legitimize their rule, and end up offending many of the peaceful National Socialist Germans with whom we can develop a productive relationship after the defeat of the extremist Hitler regime. We don’t want to tar all Nazis with the racism and war mongering of the more fanatical members of the party.”

“We are concerned that use of the term “Nazi” to refer to the murderous extremists may glamorize their racism, give them undeserved moral authority with the German people, and undermine our ultimate war strategy of winning their hearts and minds. We want them to understand that we recognize Nazism as an ideology of peace, and welfare for the common good and betterment of all Germans. Not to mention their understandable desire for lebensraum.”

When asked what term employees were to use to refer to the enemy, she replied, “We haven’t quite worked that out yet. We’re considering ‘the Hitler gang’ for now.”

The Fascists Lose In Italy–Again

Jonah Goldberg’s book has provided a clearer, better-focused lens through which to view the world. For instance, it now becomes clear that the recent Italian political earthquake was a victory for the true, classical liberal right, and a major defeat for a resurgence of the smiley-faced fascism that has held much of Europe in its grip for the past decades, despite the defeat of the more virulent forms of it in World War II. Here are the values that won, and lost:

The election campaign itself was the most rigorously fought in Italy since its liberation from Fascist rule in 1944. Berlusconi, often portrayed by the media as something of a clown if not a conjurer of tricks, put the case for a market-based capitalist and democratic system in simple but powerful terms.

His rival, former Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, leader of the new Democratic Party, succeeded in putting forward the case for a social-democratic system, with the state playing the central role as a distributor of wealth and welfare.

Berlusconi spoke of discipline, family values, hard work and individual generosity. Veltroni countered with his talk of solidarity, sharing and collective compassion.

Text coloration mine. All of the red rhetoric could have come right out of Benito Mussolini’s playbook. The green stuff is “right wing.”

With this defeat, and the complete political demise of one of the oldest and most extreme fascist movements–the Communist Party–perhaps the Italians have finally laid the old socialist to rest.

Remembering Slim Chipley

Most of my readers will find this of no interest at all, but I just ran across a new blog dedicated to remembering the good old days in Flint, Michigan. Nostalgic memories abound.

The population trend in the sidebar is depressing. When I was a kid it had a population of almost two hundred thousand, and there was an ongoing feud with Grand Rapids over whether it or Flint was the second largest city in the state (after Detroit, of course, which had its own hemorrhage of people). Now it’s down to just a little over half that.

[Update in the evening]

OK, again, unless you’re from southeast Michigan, this will be meaningless, but via the blog above, I found a coney blog. That actually understands the difference between Flint and Detroit style.

And there are those who say that it’s a lost art. For many, Angelo’s defined the Flint coney island, and once he died (my father was in the hospital with him at the same time, as they both had heart attacks in the late sixties), it became franchised, and lost the magic. But my mother used to tell me (and we even went there when I was young) that the original Flint Coney Island, on Saginaw, north of downtown, was the best. But it went under decades ago.

Anyway, I’m glad to hear that it’s a hit in Phoenix. Maybe we can keep the brand alive.

My darling Patricia doesn’t understand the appeal. But then, she’s not a fan of raw onions. Nor is she a fan of me after I ingest them. But once in a while, I have to indulge, consequences be damned…

Party Like It’s 1961!

It’s kind of late now if you didn’t make plans, and I gave advance notice a few days ago, but tonight is Yuri’s Night, as we are reminded by Phil Bowermaster.

And in response to a previous commenter that we shouldn’t be celebrating a Soviet victory in the Cold War, we should be long past that. We won, and in fact, if Gagarin hadn’t flown, we might not have gone to the moon. Of course, it’s debatable whether or not that was a good thing for our expansion into space, in light of the history since.

In any event, it’s an historical event, to celebrate the first time a human left the planet and went into space far enough to actually orbit, and almost half a century later, it transcends politics and a dead communist (and fascist) empire.

We aren’t attending a party, both because we’re not much on partying, if it means loud atrocious dance music, but also because the nearest (and only) one that anyone could muster up in Florida was up in Cocoa Beach. That nothing was organized in the metropolitan tri-counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade says something about the importance of space in our culture, but I’m not quite sure what.

Party Like It’s 1961!

It’s kind of late now if you didn’t make plans, and I gave advance notice a few days ago, but tonight is Yuri’s Night, as we are reminded by Phil Bowermaster.

And in response to a previous commenter that we shouldn’t be celebrating a Soviet victory in the Cold War, we should be long past that. We won, and in fact, if Gagarin hadn’t flown, we might not have gone to the moon. Of course, it’s debatable whether or not that was a good thing for our expansion into space, in light of the history since.

In any event, it’s an historical event, to celebrate the first time a human left the planet and went into space far enough to actually orbit, and almost half a century later, it transcends politics and a dead communist (and fascist) empire.

We aren’t attending a party, both because we’re not much on partying, if it means loud atrocious dance music, but also because the nearest (and only) one that anyone could muster up in Florida was up in Cocoa Beach. That nothing was organized in the metropolitan tri-counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade says something about the importance of space in our culture, but I’m not quite sure what.