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Time for a trip down the Time Tunnel, I'm afraid - and I am grimly aware that my own particular Time Tunnel is exceedingly long and getting longer! Anyway, I will open my remarks with a singe name which may, or may not, get the memory banks ticking away - Norman Geras! I should, perhaps, put it this way -... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
*After* the event, Max, you are right but before the event there are a zillion 'ifs' - to say nothing of the 'buts' and the 'maybes'!
I meant to publish this yesterday but, disgracefully, I never quite got around to it. It is a famous painting by one of my absolute favourite artists, the American John Singer Sargent. It is entitled "Gassed". Luckily, I once saw the original at the Imperial War Museum where, at some 2o feet long, it covered the entire end-wall of the... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
Ed and Linda met on a singles cruise; Ed fell head over heels for her. When they discovered they lived in the same city, only a few miles apart, Ed was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got home. Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Linda to dance clubs, restaurants, concerts, movies, and museums. Ed... Continue reading
Posted 8 hours ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
Well, Max, I suppose if there was one critical cause of WWII breaking out, it would be the election of Hitler. You could *almost* say with certainty that 'no Hitler would have meant no war'! And I would suggest to you that one of the main imperatives behind Hitler's rise was the virtual collapse of the German economy during the 1920s, a fate shared by several other nations, including your own. About three years ago I read "Peacemakers" by the superb historian, Margaret MacMillan, and I would urge you to give it a try. Like most history, it is depressing not least because the participants lack that essential virtue - hindsight! There is a very good review of her book here: Also, I would urge you to avoid a 'mechanistic' view of human affairs along the lines of because 'A', therefore 'B'. Alas, life is never that simple!
Oooops, sorry, here's the link:
Sorry, Max, but alas the world and its events are seldom if ever that simple and attempting to define cause and effect is much like treading through treacle! If you have the time I would urge you to read the Wiki summary of the Treaty of Versailles which, of course, given the intricacies is fairly hefty but if you are pushed for time just read the section headed "Historical Assessments". I am not attempting to convince you of one particular view, merely pointing out that there were, and still are, a multitude of views both then and now. That, of course, is why history is so fascinating!
No, Max, with respect that is 'short-hand history'. The causes of WWII are exceedingly complex and depend enormously on the host of "unknown unknowns" with which the statesmen of the period had to cope. Many of them arose from stupidities, albeit in France's case, understandable stupidities which were written into the peace treaty. Economic stupidities simply added petrol to the fire!
"And one just has to look at how terrible uniting as States turned out for the United States" Well, according to almost everyone on this blog having Donald Trump as President is beyond "terrible", it is virtually the end of the world! Also, I am surprised that you are not agitating for Canada to join the 'United States of North America'!
"After the Second World War — an extension of the First, it is now generally acknowledged" With respect, that is far too glib, although I acknowledge the difficulty on a blog of trying to summarise an intensely difficult subject in just a few words. You might say, more accurately, that WWII grew out of a multitude of problems, one of which was the *peace treaty* signed after WWI. Nor should you assume that efforts to build a 'United States of Europe' are wholly laudable. It might suit Germany and France (especially Germany!) but not too many others, as current events indicate. Efforts to denigrate those who do not share that 'United Europe' dream will, of course, only encourage the doubters to dig in!
11.11.18: Just writing that date - 11.11.18 - in my heading, gave me pause! I have been watching the television coverage of events in Whitehall as thousands of representatives of different military associations, some of them harking back to the reign of Charles II, marched past the Cenotaph to mark, this year, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at DUFF & NONSENSE!
I would just like to express my gratitude to you, Mr. Carpenter, for 'coming clean', as they say. I have wondered for some time who would be your choice and now I know - good ol' Joe'! I have no views on the man one way or t'other but I can't help wondering in this, er, 'post-modern political world' dominated by somewhat excitable millennials whether he is the man to get the youth vote in? (Er, is "excitable" permitted in this context?) And please, pretty please, can you not find it in your heart to make a space for, and here I choose my words carefully, dear Ms. Elizabeth Ann Warren? We will need all the laughs we can get in 2020!
I have kept quiet recently on the subject of Brexit - who cheered? - because I did not wish to believe what my suspicions were telling me. Now, the truth cannot be ignored. We, the majority of the British public, a majority established in an open and fair referendum, have been betrayed. Mrs. May in particular, the government in general... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
Before we go any further I have announcement to make: my real name is David Bongobongo Duff and I am a man of colour! True, the colour is, more often than not, puce rather than black with either the rage or the hysterical laughter induced in me by the never-ending stupidities of this mad, mad, modern world. Also, as I... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
No doubt Mr. Mencken was accurate but he might have reminded his readers that the *old country* Anglo Saxons banned slavery absolutely in 1833. Now, what was that old quotation about the joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth? Particularly the one that repenteth long before most other people!
What are you on about, Max? Or perhaps I should just ask 'what are you on?' As for DA, whilst I do recognise that he lives in an imaginary world of his own and electronic games, I am becoming seriously concerned for him!
Yet again I am reminded of the brilliance of those wise men who constructed your Constitution. The subtlety of those semi-hidden checks and balances that constantly dampen rule by 'mere majority' is beyond admirable. I am also proud that most of them were from good Anglo-Saxon stock steeped in the traditions of the British legal system. Perhaps that is why constitutions constructed in Europe mainly failed. "God bless America"!
I have just read that Justice Ginsburg (105) (85) has taken yet another tumble on some stairs in the Supreme Court. Rumours that Justice Kavanaugh tied some thread across the top step are not to be believed - honestly! To be serious, she is an exceedingly gutsy, old lady and I hope she makes a full recovery, but, if it... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
Well, as you can see, I don't just ask myself easy questions and quite how I am going to answer that one in less than three volumes beats me! So I tell you what, instead of attempting brain-aching analyses - who sniggered? - I will just ramble on. First of all, and I may well have said this before, I... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
Well, Max, I'm sure you're not one of those chaps who thinks size matters but, as it happens, the British economy seems to be ranked 6th/7th in the world. Also, I would add that personally I am delighted to be rid of our "once great empire" which cost us a fortune in blood and treasure!
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Trump loses his mojo at The Carpentariat
Or, Halster, to rephrase Peter's words and to quote my dear, old Mum, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!" Surely a shrewd party does its best to operate within the existing structure, not 'make-believe land'! Alas, my drinking days are more or less gone but please don't worry your head about Brexit. It will be a 'snafu' because our politicians are as useless as yours but, hey, in our 1,000-year history we have 'enjoyed' a plethora of 'snafu's and lived to tell the tale!
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Trump loses his mojo at The Carpentariat
Now, following the, er, success of their vaunted 'Blue Wave Trickle', the Dems have a major internal problem in deciding who to choose to take on the 'Ginger Ninja' in 2020. The field is crowded with 'wannabe' candidates but, as viewed from 'over here', there appears to be a paucity of talent. Today's Telegraph offers a list of 'runners and... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at DUFF & NONSENSE!
Why am I not surprised, Max, I can tell you are a man somewhat nervous of reading anything that might not comply with your, er, structured world! Even so, the invite remains . . .
Exactly so, DA!
Well done, Mr. Carpenter, for honesty in re-designating "a crushing blue wave to [a] relative trickle". Perhaps later you will be able to explain quite where and how and why all that flood water evaporated! Even so, your Party has won a sort of prize in taking the House although I fear it has an ominous tick going on inside it! Yes, you will be able to slam on the brakes to governance and bring the US of A to a shuddering halt but I am not sure how much good that will do your Party, and its candidate, in 2020! With power comes responsibility and all those 'deplorables' will be watching closely if their government is crippled. Much as the ridiculous and hysterical and noxious campaign against Justice Kavanaugh played its part in reducing the 'Blue Wave' to a trickle, so to will an irresponsible and vindictive campaign against a sitting President have an even greater effect in 2020. Jes' sayin'!
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Trump loses his mojo at The Carpentariat