Prince of Dreadful, Part 12

I warned readers before. I do not produce much original work. This post I stole mostly from comedian John Oliver. The episode aired two years ago, and it is regrettable pertinent today. See the above.

Yes, Donald Trump is correct. The world is laughing at us. Only, when he spoke those words in August 2016 he was saying the world was laughing at us then, but if he were to become president the world would no longer be laughing at us. He said it again the day before the election.

And—I don’t have a date for this—he promised we would not be a laughing stock anymore.

Let’s see how that’s working out.

Whoa!. Trump had been president for over a year, and already the world was making fun of the President of the United States. Allow me to emphasize that—the President of the United States.

This is by a comedian in Israel. It is funny.

And Spain. Spain is making fun of the President of the United States.

You have to admit, our president is a gas.

What? Pakistan? In Pakistan they are making fun of the President of the United States? I guess so.

Turkey! Not Turkey, too!

In Italy they caricatured the President of the United States being led away with a bucket on his head. Almost true to life. This is beginning to become unfunny.

Wait! Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull? He’s mocking President Trump? Didn’t the United States and Australia used to be allies. Didn’t the United States and Australia fight together against the Japanese in World War II? Is that all gone, as well?

That’s the thing about foreign relations. Easy come, easy go.

Aren’t we proud of our country now? Don’t answer until you quit laughing. In the meantime there is an election coming up in November.

This site supports Joe Biden for President. To donate use this link.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Years of Living Dangerously

Continuing a review of William Shirer’s Berlin Diary

William Shirer’s book recounts his experiences and observations from close up during the years prior to the war and concluding when Adolf Hitler’s government expelled him in 1940. Eighty years ago the war went full scale as the Wehrmacht attacked through Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Month of May 1940 would mark the near downfall of the Western Alliance.

Shirer, in Berlin, notices something is up. He is not aware of what is about to happen, but in retrospect it will become obvious.

Berlin, May 1

Is gas getting short? In Berlin 300 out of 1,600 taxis stopped running today and some twenty-five per cent of the private cars and trucks still allowed to circulate have been suddenly ordered to cease circulating.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 323). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer did not know at the time, but most likely fuel reserves were being stockpiled for the attack to the west. Later that day.

So this May Day turns out to be a day of victory for the Germans. Hitler, for the first time since he came to power, did not speak or make a public appearance. His deputy, Rudolf Hess, spoke in his place—from the Krupp munition works at Essen. He kept referring to Mr. Hambro as “that Jew, Mr. Hamburger.”

Judging from the looks of the good burghers who thronged the Tiergarten today, the one wish in their hearts is for peace, and to hell with the victories. Still, I suppose this triumph in Norway will buck up morale, after the terrible winter. S., a veteran correspondent here, thinks every man, woman, and child in this country is a natural-born killer. Perhaps so. But today I noticed in the Tiergarten many of them feeding the squirrels and ducks—with their rationed bread.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 324). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, who had consistently gotten the situation wrong, was in his last days as prime minister. In fact he would be dead before the end of the year.

Berlin, May 2

Chamberlain boasted that as a result of the partial destruction of the German fleet the Allies had been able to strengthen their naval forces in the Mediterranean. Mussolini’s bluff that he might hop into the war behind Hitler thus was taken seriously by the old man. It certainly wasn’t here. It seems incredible to us here that Britain would withdraw the naval forces which would have enabled it to take Trondheim and thus defeat Hitler in Norway in order to strengthen its position against the tin-pot strength of Italy in the Mediterranean.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 325). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

In fact, it was ultimately in the Mediterranean where Britain would prevail. Following the conquest of France in June, the Italians would enter the war alongside Germany. The Italians in North Africa would fail so miserably they would suck German military strength attempting to bail them out. The following year Germany would make war on its part-time ally the Soviet Union, and in 1942 American and British forces would begin their domination of North Africa. Germany would find itself faced with hostile forces on three sides.

Shirer makes a telling observation concerning air power. It is a lesson the Allies will be slow to learn.

Berlin, May 4

Is it that air power has shown in this short Norwegian campaign that it has superseded naval power? At least, within flying distance of your land bases? In 1914–18 such a German thrust as has now taken place would have been unthinkable. But with the Luftwaffe holding the flying fields in Denmark and Norway, the Allied fleet not only did not venture into the Kattegat to stop the German shipment of arms and men to Oslo, but has not even attempted action at Trondheim, Bergen, or Stavanger, with the exception of one eighty-minute shelling of the Stavanger airfield the first week of the war. The Germans now boast that air power has demonstrated its superiority over naval power.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 326). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Later that day.

In other words, they revolutionized war in and around the North Sea.

I talked to my policeman friend today. He thinks the war will develop in a few weeks into bombing the big towns, and even gas. I agree. Hitler wants to finish the war this summer if he can. If he can’t, despite all the German victories, he’s probably lost.

A decree today explains that while there are plenty of oil supplies, consumption must be further reduced. Many cars and trucks still operating are to be taken out of circulation. Two questions pop up: (1) Supplies are not so big? (2) Available oil will be needed for further military action on a big scale now that the British have pulled out of Namsos and the Germans have won the war in Norway?

The German papers today are full of accusations that Britain now intends to “spread the war.” In the Mediterranean or Balkans or somewhere else, by which I take it they mean Holland.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 327). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Holland is an obvious next goal. In fact, at the time the Dutch government was desperately seeking assurances its neutrality would be respected. Hitler had other ideas.

The fact is, if any of the neighboring countries showed signs of strengthening their defenses, Hitler would interpret this (deliberately) as a hostile act. Nothing short of a welcomed airborne invasion of Holland and Belgium would forestall their doom. And neither country was open to the risk. They had but six days left.

As Hitler’s forces prepared to attack, the bluster rose to a crescendo.

Berlin, May 6

Bernhard Rust, Nazi Minister of Education, in a broadcast to schoolchildren today, sums up pretty well the German mentality in this year of 1940. He says: “God created the world as a place for work and battle. Whoever doesn’t understand the laws of life’s battles will be counted out, as in the boxing ring. All the good things on this earth are trophy cups. The strong win them. The weak lose them…. The German people under Hitler did not take to arms to break into foreign lands and make other people serve them. They were forced to take arms by states which blocked their way to bread and union.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 328). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Four days to go. Nazi propaganda turns on the taps in preparation.

Berlin, May 7

For three or four days now the German newspapers have been carrying on a terrific campaign to convince somebody that the Allies, having failed in Norway, are about to become “aggressors” in some other part of Europe. Six weeks ago we had a similar campaign to convince somebody that the Allies were about to become the “aggressors” in Scandinavia. Then Germany, using the alleged Allied intention of aggression as an excuse, went in herself.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 328-329). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer can see it coming. Three days to go.

Berlin, May 8

Could not help noticing a feeling of tension in the Wilhelmstrasse today. Something is up, but we don’t know what. Ralph Barnes, just in from Amsterdam, says the guards on his train pulled down the window-blinds for the first twenty-five miles of the journey from the Dutch-German frontier towards Berlin. I hear the Dutch and Belgians are nervous. I hope they are. They ought to be. I cabled New York today to keep Edwin Hartrich in Amsterdam for the time being. They wanted to send him off to Scandinavia, where the war is over.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 329). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Later in the day.

LATER.—My censors were quite decent today. They let me hint very broadly that the next German blow would fall in the west,—Holland, Belgium, the Maginot Line, Switzerland. Tonight the town is full of rumours. The Wilhelmstrasse is especially angry at an A.P. report that two German armies, one from Bremen, the other from Düsseldorf, are moving towards the Dutch frontier.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 330). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer writes in his column what is now obvious to all. Ordinarily such commentary would not get past the censors, but at this stage in the game it no longer matters. One day to go.

Berlin, May 9

All of which moved me to say in my broadcast tonight. “Regardless of who spreads it, there seems little doubt that it will spread. And it may well be, as many people over here think that the war will be fought and decided before the summer is over. People somehow seem to feel that the Whitsuntide holidays this week-end will be the last holidays Europe will observe for some time.”

My censors didn’t like the paragraph, but after some argument they let it pass. Their line was that there was no question of Germany spreading the war.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 331). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

And the ax falls

Berlin, May 10

The blow in the west has fallen. At dawn today the Germans marched into Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg. It is Hitler’s bid for victory now or never. Apparently it was true that Germany could not outlast the economic war. So he struck while his army still had supplies and his air force a lead over the Allies’. He seems to realize he is risking all. In an order of the day to the troops he begins: “The hour of the decisive battle for the future of the German nation has come.” And he concludes: “The battle beginning today will decide the future of the German nation for the next thousand years.” If he loses, it certainly will.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 331-332). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

There was likely nobody who didn’t see this coming. Even so, the Dutch and the Belgians were no match. There forces were steadfast and determined, but they were no match for the Wehrmacht, which had been training for war since 1933. The German forces had the troops, the machines, and they had the superior command structure. Their tactics were impeccable, honed from a wealth of Prussian military tradition. Even so, their success in the weeks to follow was stunning.

Additional comment later in the day.

LATER.—The people in Berlin, I must say, have taken the news of the battle which Hitler says is going to decide the future of their nation for the next thousand years with their usual calm. None of them gathered before the Chancellery as usually happens when big events occur. Few bothered to buy the noon papers which carried the news. For some reason Goebbels forbade extras. The German memorandum “justifying” this latest aggression of Hitler’s was handed to the ministers of Holland and Belgium at six a.m., about an hour and a half after German troops had violated their neutral soil. It sets up a new record, I think, for cynicism and downright impudence—even for Hitler. It requests the two governments to issue orders that no resistance be made to German troops. “Should the German forces encounter resistance in Belgium or Holland,” it goes on, “it will be crushed with every means. The Belgian and Dutch governments alone would bear the responsibility for the consequences and for the bloodshed which would then become unavoidable.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 333). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

May 10 was also Chamberlain’s last day as prime minister. King George approved the elevation of Winston Churchill to prime minister. Three days later he would address Parliament with these words.

I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

What is so interesting about this is eighty years later I hear from my own countrymen, “I really cannot go six weeks without a haircut.”

The German people were taking the unfolding events with some amazement. In fact, events had long since passed beyond their control.

Berlin, May 11

Strange, the apathy of the people in the face of this decisive turn in the war. Most Germans I’ve seen, outside of the officials, are sunk deep in depression at the news. The question is: How many Germans support this final, desperate gamble that Hitler has taken? Discussing it at the Adlon today, most of the correspondents agreed: many, many. And yet I can’t find any Germans who actually believe Hitler’s excuse that he went into the neutral countries, whose integrity he had guaranteed, to counter a similar move which the Allies were about to begin. Even for a German, it’s an obvious lie.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 336). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer mentions the Allied bombing of Freiburg, which did not make a lot of sense.

Goebbels’s propaganda machine, shifting into high gear, discovers today, twenty-four hours after the official announcement that twenty-four persons had been killed by the bombing at Freiburg, that thirteen of the twenty-four were children who were peacefully frolicking on the municipal playground. What were a lot of children doing on a playground in the midst of an air-raid? This particular Goebbels fake is probably produced to justify German killings of civilians on the other side.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 336). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

It’s close to the border with France, something like 50 miles from Strasbourg. I was there last year and looked it up.

Freiburg was heavily bombed during World War II. In May 1940, aircraft of the Luftwaffe mistakenly dropped approximately 60 bombs on Freiburg near the railway station, killing 57 people. On 27 November 1944, a raid by more than 300 bombers of RAF Bomber Command (Operation Tigerfish) destroyed a large portion of the city centre, with the notable exception of the Münster, which was only lightly damaged. After the war, the city was rebuilt on its medieval plan.

I do not know how much the Nazi government was paying Dr. Goebbels, but he was worth every pfennig.

More from the same day.

The Nazis locked up in the Kaiserhof yesterday all the Dutch journalists who were not Nazis, including Harry Masdyck, who did not quite believe it would come when it did. A Dutch woman reporter for the Nazi Dutch paper has been sitting at the Rundfunk since dawn yesterday broadcasting false news to the Dutch people in their own language. A sort of Lady Haw-Haw.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 336-337). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The reference is in association with Lord Haw-Haw. He was a British expat who propagandized for the Nazis until almost the last day. The Brits captured him in the post war ruins and hanged him in 1946.

Ominously the Nazis appear to be prepared to suspend the rules of war, such that they were in those days.

Berlin, May 13

Last night Premier Reynaud of France announced that German parachutists found behind the lines in anything but a German uniform would be shot on sight. Tonight the Wilhelmstrasse told us it was informing the Allied governments that for every German parachutist shot, the Germans would execute ten French prisoners! Nice pleasant people, the Germans. That takes us back a thousand or two years. But keep in mind that this is merely a part of Hitler’s new technique of terror.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 339). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Four days in, and the Dutch were finished. Essentially, Hitler threatened total annihilation if they did not capitulate, and he had demonstrated his ability and his willingness to carry out the threat.

Berlin, May 14

We’re all a little dazed tonight by the news.

The Dutch army has capitulated—after only five days of fighting. What happened to its great water lines, which were supposed to be impassable? To its army of over half a million men?

An hour before we learned this from a special communiqué, we were told of Rotterdam’s fall. “Under the tremendous impression of the attacks of German dive-bombers and the imminent attack of German tanks, the city of Rotterdam has capitulated and thus saved itself from destruction,” read the German announcement. It was the first news we had that Rotterdam was being bombed and was at the point of being destroyed. How many civilians were killed there, I wonder, in this war which Adolf Hitler “promised” would not be carried out against civilians? Was the whole city, the half million or so people in it, a military objective so that it had to be destroyed?

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 339-340). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer continues to explore the likelihood Mussolini will come in on Hitler’s side. In fact, that did not happen until the following month, after France was approaching defeat.

Berlin, May 15

There was increasing talk from Rome today that Italy, now that the Germans appear to be winning, may jump into the war this week-end. Tess phoned this morning from Geneva to give me this news. Again I urged her to leave with the child, and at last she seems willing. She and Mrs. V., with her two youngsters, will strike out across France for Spain. From Lisbon they can get the Clipper to New York. Worried all day about this. If Italy attacks France, going across to Spain from Geneva will be unpleasant, if not impossible.

It seems the reason the Dutch gave up yesterday was that the Germans bombed the hell out of Rotterdam, and threatened to do the same to Utrecht and Amsterdam. Hitler’s technique of helping his armies by threatening terror or meting it out is as masterful as it is diabolical.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 341). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

At this point there is a misprint in the Kindle edition. It shows this as May 15. The original from 1942 has the correct date.

Berlin, May 16

TI just saw two uncensored news-reels at our press conference in the Propaganda Ministry. Pictures of the German army smashing through Belgium and Holland. Some of the more destructive work of German bombs and shells was shown. Towns laid waste, dead soldiers and horses lying around, and the earth and mortar flying when a shell or bomb hit. Yelled the German announcer: “And thus do we deal death and destruction on our enemies!” The film, in a way, summed up the German people to me.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 342). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The same day, President Roosevelt weighs in concerning the prospect of American participation. Here is the first mention of the “50,000 planes.” It would turn out to be 100,000 planes.

Picked up on the shortwave Roosevelt reading a special message to Congress. He came through very clearly. In great form, I thought. He proposed we build 50,000 (!) planes a year and deliver Allied orders immediately. He said Germany now had 20,000 planes to the Allies’ 10,000 and was still building them faster. This is a truth obvious to all of us here, but when we used to report it we were accused of making Nazi propaganda. Roosevelt received the greatest ovation I’ve ever heard in a broadcast from Congress. It makes you feel good that they’re waking up at home at last.

How long before we’re in this war, as at least a mighty supplier to the Allies—if there’s still time? The Germans say we’re too late. The Herald Tribune came out today, according to the BBC, for a declaration of war on Germany. This led some of the American correspondents at dinner tonight to speculate as to what chances we who are stationed here would have of getting out, were diplomatic relations to be severed. The majority thought we would be interned. No one liked the prospect.

We’re on the eve tonight of a great battle, perhaps the decisive battle of the war, on a front stretching for 125 miles from Antwerp through Namur to a point south of Sedan. It looks as though the Germans were going to throw in everything they have, which is plenty. Their drive through Belgium appears to have been halted yesterday on the Meuse River and the Dyle Line farther north. But it is only a pause before the great final attack. Hitler must win it, and all the battles in the next weeks or months, or he’s finished. His chances look very good. But great decisive battles in history have not always been won by the favourites.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 343-344). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The speed of the German advance is breathtaking. This was a preview of 20th century war. The problem was, the Allies, especially the French, were fighting the First World War.

Berlin, May 17

Today the High Command states its armies have broken through the Belgian Dyle defence line south of Wavre and have taken the “northeast front” of the fortress of Namur. More important still—it claims its forces have broken through the Maginot Line on a one-hundred-kilometre front (!) stretching from Maubeuge to Carignan, southeast of Sedan. This indeed looks bad for the Allies. And it begins to look too as if the help—especially in badly needed planes (for the Germans are winning this campaign largely through effective use of a superior airforce), which Roosevelt offered to the Allies yesterday—will come too late. Unless the Germans are immediately slowed down, and then stopped. That they haven’t been yet, the BBC admitted this evening. It spoke of fighting going on at Rethel, which is half-way to Reims from Sedan. We here had no idea the Germans had broken through that far. At the Rundfunk tonight I noticed the military people for the first time spoke of a “French rout.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 344-345). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

It is at this point Shirer decides it’s time to take action for the protection of his family.

Berlin, May 18

Worried about Tess. Phoned her this noon and urged her to get off today over France towards Spain with the baby. Now, tonight, I hope she hasn’t done it, especially as the French are making them go way north to Paris first, in order to get to Bordeaux. Paris is no place to get into now, after today’s news. The Germans may beat her there. Annoyed because I couldn’t get through to her again on the phone tonight, which makes me think she already has left for France. Think best thing for her to do is to take refuge in a Swiss mountain village. Perhaps Hitler won’t bomb a small Swiss mountain village.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 345-346). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

That same day, Shirer embarks on an expedition to cover the fighting from the German side. This is going to be a hazardous undertaking, as the battle lines are rapidly advancing, and there is no stable forward line of defense defining the two sides.

I hesitated about going for fear the decision might come in France while I was away and that the story in that case would really be here and I’d miss it. Also they’ve given us so many dud trips since this war started last September that it’s highly possible we shan’t see anything of real interest.

I finally decided to take the chance. We leave at ten a.m. tomorrow, and will first drive to Aachen. Nine in the party: four Americanos, three Italians, a Spaniard, and a Jap.

Antwerp fell today. And while the German army is rolling back the Allied forces in Belgium towards the sea, the southern army, which broke through the Maginot Line between Maubeuge and Sedan, is driving rapidly towards Paris. A piece in the well-informed (on military matters) Börsen Zeitung tonight hints that the German armies now converging on Paris from the northeast may not try to take Paris immediately, as they did in 1914, but strike northwest for the Channel ports in an effort to cut off England from France. A second force, it hints, may strike in the opposite direction and try to take the Maginot Line in the east from behind.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 346-347). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Aachen was the jumping off point of the German army, where it departed Germany and crossed into the Dutch frontier. Over four years later it would be the place where Allied troops first returned to the German frontier.

Aachen, Hotel International, May 19 (midnight)

Most amazing thing about this Ruhr district, the industrial heart of Germany, which Allied planes were to have (and could have, we thought) knocked out in a few days, is that, so far as I can see, the night bombings of the British have done very little damage. I thought the night bombings of western Germany, the deadly effects of which the BBC has been boasting since the big offensive began, would have affected the morale of the people. But all afternoon, driving through the Ruhr, we saw them—especially the womenfolk—standing on the bridges over the main roads cheering the troops setting off for Belgium and France. We drove through many of the Ruhr centres which the Allies were supposed to have bombed so heavily the last few nights. We naturally couldn’t see all the factories and bridges and railroad junctions in the Ruhr, but we saw several, and nothing had happened to them. The great networks of railroad tracks and bridges around Essen and Duisburg, where British night bombings had been reported from London, were intact. The Rhine bridges at Cologne were up. The factories throughout the Ruhr were smoking away as usual. Just east of Hannover there had been a night raid by the British a few hours before we arrived. Local inhabitants told us twenty civilians, all in one house, had been killed. Fifteen miles east of Hannover we spotted a big Handley-Page bomber lying smashed in a field two hundred yards off the Autobahn. Gendarmes told us it had been brought down by anti-aircraft fire. The crew of five escaped in parachutes. Four had given themselves up to the village burgomaster in the town nearby; one was still at large and the peasants and the gendarmes were scouring the countryside for him. We inspected the machine. Gunner’s rear cockpit very small, and he had no protection. Front engines and pilot’s cabin badly smashed and burned. Funny: the glass in the rear cockpit had not been broken. German air-force mechanics were busy removing the instruments and valuable metal. The Germans need all they can find. Hundreds of peasants stood by, looking at the debris. They didn’t seem at all unnerved.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 347-348). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

He describes the destruction of war.

Aachen, May 19 (midnight)

This has been a day in my life. To have seen the destruction of war, what guns and bombs do to houses and people in them, to towns, cities, bridges, railroad stations and tracks and trains, to universities and ancient noble buildings, to enemy soldiers, trucks, tanks, and horses caught along the way.

It is not pretty. No, it is not beautiful. Take Louvain, that lovely old university town, burned in 1914 by the Germans in their fury and rebuilt—partly by American aid. A good part of it is a shambles. The great library of the university, rebuilt by the donations of hundreds of American schools and colleges, is completely gutted. I asked a German officer what happened to the books.

“Burned,” he said.

I must have looked a little shocked as I watched the desolation and contemplated this one little blow to learning and culture and much that is decent in European life. The officer added: “Too bad. A pity. But, my friend, that’s war. Look at it.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 350-351). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Later, Shirer notes a difference. Holland caved into Hitler’s threats and capitulated. Belgium fought on.

You were immediately struck by the difference between Holland and Belgium. As soon as we crossed into Belgium, we started running into blocks of pulverized houses along the road. Obviously the Belgians were of a different metal from the Dutch. At the outset they fought like lions. From house to house.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 353). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

And more…

9.15. Louvain.—This ancient university city, burnt by the Germans in a burst of fury in 1914, is now again—to a considerable extent—destroyed. That’s the first impression and somehow it hits me between the eyes. Block upon block upon block of houses an utter shambles. Still smouldering. For the town was only taken two or three days ago.

We drive through the ruins to the university, to the university library. It too was burned by the Germans in 1914, and rebuilt (rebooked too?) by donations from hundreds of American institutions of learning.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 355). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

It’s never to late to make a bad impression.

Before we left Berlin a certain officer in the German army had come down to the Wilhelmplatz to tell us: “Gentlemen, we have just had word. From Louvain. The British have plundered that fine old town. Plundered it in the most shameful manner.”

We spend the morning in Louvain, looking over the ruins, snooping into some of the buildings that still stand, talking with the first returning inhabitants and with priests and nuns, some of whom have lived out the three-day battle huddling in the cellar of a nearby convent and monastery. We do not see or hear one shred of evidence that the British plundered the town. Nor—it is only fair to say—do any of the regular army officers suggest it

When we enter the town at nine fifteen a.m., the battered streets are deserted. Not a civilian about; only a few troops and Arbeitsdienst men in Czech uniforms (are there not enough German uniforms to go around?) or Organisation Todt men in nondescript working clothes and yellow arm-bands.

Forty-one thousand people lived in Louvain until the morning Hitler moved west. A week later, when the Nazi army poured into the town, not a one of them was there. How many civilians were killed we could not find out. Probably very few. Perhaps none. What happened was that the population, gripped by fear of the Nazi hordes and remembering no doubt how the last time the Germans came, in 1914, two hundred of the leading citizens, held as hostages, had been shot in reprisal for alleged sniping, fled the city before the Germans arrived.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 357-358). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Something about the attitude of the German command brings to mind a 21st century American administration.

When we leave the City Hall, filing out through the large reception room I notice that a great bronze plaque standing against the back wall has been tampered with, and one half ripped away and removed.

“How about it?” I ask an officer.

He puffs out something about the honour of the German armed forces, and that this plaque commemorated the martyrs of Louvain—the two hundred civilians who were shot as hostages by the German army in 1914, and that, as the whole world knew, those two hundred leading citizens had only been shot as a result of the Belgians’ sniping at German soldiers,22 and that the plaque said something about the barbarity of the German soldiers, and that there was the honour of the German army to uphold, and that as a consequence the half of the plaque which told of the “heroic martyrs and the barbaric Germans” had been removed, but that the other half, commemorating the heroic deeds of the Belgian army in 1914 in defence of the land, had been left because the Germans had nothing against that—just the opposite.

In the shambles of the square by the railroad station a massive monument in stone around which Germans and British fought this time for three days still stands. It also commemorates the good burghers who were shot in 1914. It even lists their names. So far the Germans have not dynamited it.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 359-360). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The truth is a fungible thing. Survivors in Louvain attempt to recapitulate their observatons.

“How could I see anything?” one old man protests, glaring bitterly at the Germans. A Belgian priest is just as cagey. “I was in the cellar of the monastery,” he says. “I prayed for my flock.” A German nun tells how she and fifty-six children huddled in the cellar of the convent for three days. She does remember that the bombs started falling Friday morning, the 10th. That there was no warning. The bombs were not expected. Belgium was not in the war. Belgium had done nothing to anybody…. She pauses and notices the German officers eyeing her.

“You’re German, aren’t you?” one of them says.

“Ja.” Then she puts in hurriedly, in a frightened voice: “Of course, as a German, I was glad when it was all over and the German troops arrived.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 360). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The disparity between life in the Third Reich and outside gets laid bare.

Some of our party buy out the restaurant’s stock of American tobacco in a few minutes. I take three packages of Luckies myself. I cannot resist after a year of smoking “rope” in Germany.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 364). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Additional insight into the realities of the situation.

A couple of German soldiers sauntered in and bought half a dozen packages of American cigarettes each. In Germany the most they would have been allowed to buy would have been ten bad German cigarettes. When they had gone, she said:

“I keep the store open. But for how long? Our stocks came from England and America. And my child. Where the milk? I’ve got canned milk for about two months. But after that—”

She paused. Finally she got it out:

“In the end, how will it be? I mean, do you think Belgium will ever be like before—independent, and with our King?”

“Well, of course, if the Allies win, it will be like the last time….” We gave the obvious reply.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 365). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Additional observations, pointing out the curious circumstance. America is not yet at war. It will be eighteen months before the lines of conflict are fully defined.

Stray items about Brussels: Street-cars running, but no private motor traffic permitted. Germans had seized most of the private cars. No telephone service permitted. Movies closed; their posters still advertising French and American films. The army had forbidden the population to listen to foreign broadcasts. Signs were up everywhere, with an appeal of the burgomaster, written in French and Flemish, asking the population to remain calm and dignified in regard to the German troops. American offices had a notice written on the stationery of the American Embassy, stating: “This is American property under the protection of the U. S. Government.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 366-367). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer comments on the disparity between the British and German troops. The neglect of the British youth is glaringly apparent.

Footnote to May 20.—Returning from Brussels to Aachen, we ran across a batch of British prisoners. It was somewhere in the Dutch province of Limburg, a suburb, I think, of Maastricht. They were herded together in the brick-paved yard of a disused factory. We stopped and went over and talked to them. They were a sad sight. Prisoners always are, especially right after a battle. Some obviously shell-shocked, some wounded, all dead tired. But what impressed me most about them was their physique. They were hollow-chested and skinny and round-shouldered. About a third of them had bad eyes and wore glasses. Typical, I concluded, of the youth that England neglected so criminally in the twenty-two post-war years when Germany, despite its defeat and the inflation and six million unemployed, was raising its youth in the open air and the sun. I asked the boys where they were from and what they did at home. About half of them were from offices in Liverpool; the rest from London offices. Their military training had begun nine months before, they said, when the war started. But it had not, as you could see, made up for the bad diet, the lack of fresh air and sun and physical training, of the post-war years. Thirty yards away German infantry were marching up the road towards the front. I could not help comparing them with these British lads. The Germans, bronzed, clean-cut physically, healthy-looking as lions, chests developed and all. It was part of the unequal fight.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 367-368). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer takes not of modern day (80 years ago) war.

Aachen, May 21

Heading southwest from Brussels, we drove along the road to Tournai, still in Allied hands. At Tubize, a few miles southwest of Waterloo, the familiar signs of recent fighting—the houses along the streets demolished, half-burnt debris everywhere. So far, I thought, this war has been fought along the roads—by two armies operating on wheels. Almost every town wholly or partially destroyed. But the nearby fields untouched. Returning peasants already tilling them.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 369-370). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

He describes an interview with German General von Reichenau.

“Despite the German successes up to date, Reichenau emphasized to us that the fighting so far had been only an enveloping movement, and that the decisive battle had yet to take place.

“‘When and where?’ I asked him.

“‘Where,’ he laughed, ‘depends partly on what the enemy does. When, and how long it will last, I leave to the future. It can be short or long. Remember, the preliminary fighting at Waterloo lasted several days. The decisive battle at Waterloo was decided in eight hours.’

“Reichenau admitted that ‘possibly our progress will now be slowed up if Weygand decides to make a grand stand. We started this battle absolutely confident. But we have no illusions. We know we still have a big battle ahead of us.’

“Reichenau said the German losses were comparatively small, so far, averaging about one tenth of the number of prisoners taken. Last official counting of prisoners was 110,000, not counting the half-million Dutch who surrendered.

“Someone asked how the German infantry got across the rivers and canals so fast, seeing that the Allies destroyed the bridges pretty well.

“‘Mostly in rubber boats,’ he said.”

Some further quotations from Reichenau I noted down roughly:

“Hitler is actually directing the German army from his headquarters. Most of the blowing up of bridges and roads in Belgium carried out by French specialists…. I ride 150 miles a day along the front and I haven’t seen an air-fight yet. We’ve certainly been surprised that the Allies didn’t try at least to bomb our bridges over the Maas River and the Albert Canal. The British tried it only once in the day-time. We shot down eighteen of them. But there seems to be no doubt that the English are holding back with their air force. At least that’s the impression I get.”

And I got the impression that this rather bothered him!

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 370-371). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The British were, in fact holding back their air force. As events of the summer were to play out, Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding would harbor his air defenses while bleeding the Luftwaffe dry in the Battle of Britain. Reichenau had cause to be concerned, as Dowding’s tactic would, in the final analysis, spell doom to the the Third Reich. Reichenau would not see the demise of the Third Reich. In less than two years he would be dead of a combination of events not related to the war.

Shirer takes note of another deficiency of the Allies’ tactics.

I note that over the front all afternoon hover two or three reconnaissance planes, German, obviously directing artillery fire. They cruise above the battlefield unmolested. But there are no planes directing Allied artillery fire, which seems to be aimed exclusively against the German forward positions, at no time against German artillery, which is strange. The lack of observation planes alone puts the Allies in a hole. In fact we do not see an Allied plane all day long. Once or twice we get an alarm, but no planes show up. How England and France are paying now for the criminal neglect of their aviation!

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 376). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

He brings the reality of the war to his radio listeners.

Too late to broadcast, so I write a story to be phoned to Berlin, cabled to New York, and there read over the air. I’ve hardly sat down to write when the British come over Aachen. I leave my room, which is on the next to the top floor (having moved out of the attic), and write my piece in the dining-room on the ground floor. The anti-aircraft of all calibres keeps thundering away. Now and then you feel the concussion of a bomb and hear it exploding. Our little hotel is a hundred yards from the station. The British are obviously trying to get the station and the railroad yards. You hear the roar of their big planes; occasionally the whirr of German night chasers…. My call comes through about one twenty a.m. I can hardly make myself heard for the sound of the guns and the bombs. While writing my story, I keep notes on the air-raid.

12.20 a.m. Sound of anti-aircraft.

12.40 Air-raid sirens sound off.

12.45 Big anti-aircraft gun nearby thunders suddenly.

12.50 Sound of cannon from German chasers.

1.00 Light anti-aircraft around station blazes away.

1.15 Still going on.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 377-378). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Three days later Shirer is back from the fighting front, and he pens a recapitulation of the past two weeks in hid diary. The world has been rent asunder in a handful of days.

Berlin, May 24

Two weeks ago today Hitler unloosed his Blitzkrieg in the west. Since then this has happened: Holland overrun; four fifths of Belgium occupied; the French army hurled back towards Paris; and an Allied army believed to number a million men, and including the élite of the Franco-British forces, trapped and encircled on the Channel.

You have to see the German army in action to believe it. Here are some of the things, so far as I could see, that make it good:

It has absolute air superiority. It seems incredible, but at the front I did not see a single Allied plane during the day-time. Stuka dive-bombers are softening the Allied defence positions, making them ripe for an easy attack.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 378). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

He describes the professionalism of the German army, a quality sadly lacking in their opponents.

 Absolutely no excitement, no tension. An officer directing artillery fire stops for half an hour to explain to you what he is up to. General von Reichenau, directing a huge army in a crucial battle, halts for an hour to explain to amateurs his particular job.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 379). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The disaster that is about to befall the Allied forces is apparent for all to see.

BERLIN, May 25

German military circles here tonight put it flatly. They said the fate of the great allied army bottled up in Flanders is sealed.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 380). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

General Heinz Guderian’s tactics were impeccable and ruthless. He quickly took advantage of disorganization in the Allied forces and cinched their fate.

BERLIN, May 26

Calais has fallen. Britain is now cut off from the Continent.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 380). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

During the first six months of 1940, Hitler’s target nation fell like dominoes. They would eventually leave England alone to face the continental foe.

BERLIN, May 28

King Leopold has quit on the Allies. At dawn the Belgian army, which with the British and French has been caught in an ever narrowing pocket for a week in Flanders and Artois, laid down its arms. Leopold during the night had sent an emissary to the German lines asking for an armistice. The Germans demanded unconditional surrender. Leopold accepted. This leaves the British and French in a nice hole. High Command says it makes their position “hopeless.” Picked up a broadcast by Reynaud this morning accusing Leopold of having betrayed the Allies. Churchill, according to BBC, was more careful. Said, in a short statement to Commons, he would not pass judgment.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 380). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer describes the aggrandizement of blatant military aggression. At the time the Nazis thought such bluster would give them a pass for what the world considered to be a crime against humanity. These words would, six years later, offer no viable defense, as guilty parties were brought to the gallows.

For the first time, communiqués today kept pouring out of the “Fuhrer’s Headquarters.” All of them sounded as if they’d been dictated by Hitler himself. For example this typical attempt to sound generous: “DNB. Fuhrer’s Headquarters, May 28. The Fuhrer has ordered that the King ofthe Belgians and his army be given treatment worthy ofthe brave, fighting soldiers which they proved to be. As the King of the Belgians expressed no personal wishes for himself, he will be given a castle in Belgium until his final living-place is decided upon.”

Decided upon by whom?

Nazi propaganda is doing its best to show that Leopold did the decent, sensible thing. Thus the wording of a special communiqué which the German radio tells its listeners will “fill the German nation with pride and joy”:

“From the headquarters of the Fuhrer it is announced: Impressed by the destructive effect of the German army, the King of the Belgians has decided to put an end to further senseless resistance and to ask for an armistice. He has met the German demands for unconditional capitulation. The Belgian army has today laid down its arms and therewith ceased to exist. In this hour we think of our brave soldiers.. The entire German nation looks with a feeling of deep gratitude and unbounded pride upon the troops… which forced this capitulation…. The King of the Belgians, in order to put an end to the further shedding of blood and to the completely pointless devastation of his country, reached his decision to lay down arms, against the wishes of the majority of his Cabinet. This Cabinet, which is mainly responsible for the catastrophe which has broken over Belgium, seems to be willing even now to continue to follow its English and French employers.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 381-382). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The Belgian king is hailed as a hero of the people by their conqueror, and holdouts in the Belgian government are characterized as “employees” of the Allies.

Here is an interesting look at masterful aggrandizement, as perfected by Dr. Joseph Goebbels. It is interesting to compare it to the craft as it is practiced by an American president..

The headlines tonight” “CHURCHILL AND REYNAUD INSULT KING LEOPOLD!—THE COWARDS IN LONDON AND PARIS ORDER THE CONTINUATION OF THE SUICIDE IN FLANDERS.” The German radio said tonight: “Leopold acted like a soldier and a human being.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 382). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer was never a trained historian, so his interpretations regarding motives and sympathies are not to be considered absolutely reliable. He observed events from too close up to obtain the complete picture. However, his view of the treatment of Belgium may not be that far afield. Reading, one gets the impression the Germans punished Belgium for resisting, an echo from 26 years before.

I saw at the front last week the terrible punishment the Belgian army was taking; saw all of Belgium, outside of Brussels, laid waste by the German artillery and Stukas. You can sympathize with Leopold in a sense for wanting to quit. But the French and British say he did it without consulting them, thus betraying them and leaving them in a terrible situation, with no chance of extricating their armies from the trap. The three armies together had a small chance of fighting their way out. With half a
million excellent Belgian troops out of the picture, the fate of the French and British armies, it would seem, is sealed.

A nice, civilized war, this. Göring announces tonight that as a result of information reaching him that the French are mistreating captured German airmen, all French flyers captured by the Germans will be immediately put in chains. Further, Goring proclaims that if he hears of a German flyer being shot by the French, he will order five French prisoners shot. Further still, if he hears of a German flyer being shot “while parachuting,” he will order fifty French prisoners shot.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 382). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

He discusses the Germans’ use of terror as a weapon of war.

Allies, as far as we know, are shooting parachutists who fail to surrender, because these boys were largely responsible for the fall of Holland and play hell behind the lines. Probably ordinary German flyers parachuting from shot-down planes have been mistaken for the dreaded parachutists. Görings order, however, is obviously part of Hitler’s technique of conquering by sowing terror. B., who was in Rotterdam last week, says the town was largely destroyed after it had surrendered. German excuse is that surrender came after the Stukas had left the ground and they could not be recalled in time! This sounds flimsy, as they all carry radios and are in constant touch with the ground. Goring added that the above rule of shooting five to one or fifty to one would not apply to the English, “as they have not as yet given grounds for such reprisals.”

Twenty-first century readers may not realize most this war newsreel footage was shot without sound, which had to be dubbed in.

The Propaganda Ministry tonight showed us a full-length news-reel, with sound effects, of the destruction in Belgium and France. Town after town, city after city, going up in flames. Close-ups ofthe crackling flames devouring the houses, shooting out of the windows, roofs and walls tumbling in, where a few days ago men and women were leading peaceful, if not too happy, lives.

The German commentator’s enthusiasm for the destruction seemed to grow as one burning town after another was shown. He had a cruel, rasping voice and by the end seemed to be talking in a whirl of sadism. “Look at the destruction, the houses going up in flames,” he cried. “This is what happens to those who oppose Germany ‘s might!”

And is Europe soon to be ruled and dominated by such a people—by such sadism?

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 382-383). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer contemplates the looming threat to the British Isles. If the Germans are successful in this continental venture, then a cross-channel invasion will come next, much like the Norman invasion of 900 years before.

BERLIN, May 29

What next, then, if the British and French armies either surrender or are annihilated, as the Germans say they will be in their two pockets? The first invasion of England since 1066? England’s bases on the Continent, barring a last-minute miracle, are gone. The lowlands, just across the Channel and the narrow southern part of the North Sea, which it has always been a cardinal part of British policy to defend, are in enemy hands. And the French Channel ports which linked Britain with its French ally are lost.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 382-383). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The war strikes at the remnants of German aristocracy.

Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, killed in action on the western front, was buried with military honours in Potsdam today. If things had gone smoothly for Germany after 1914, he probably would have been the German emperor. Present at the funeral were the Crown Prince and Princess, Mackensen and a lot of World War officers in their quaint spike helmets. The former Kaiser sent a wreath.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 384-386). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer gives a preview of what is to come. Withing a few weeks, during the Battle of Britain, this policy will prove the undoing of the Luftwaffe.

More on the nerve war: An official statement tonight says that for every German
civilian killed and every stone damaged in Germany during the night raids of the
British, revenge will be taken many times over.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 384-386). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

An American holiday rolls around, one commemorating lives lost in previous wars. The irony is striking.

BERLIN, May 30

Our Memorial Day. I remembered it when one of the consuls phoned and reminded me of a month-old golfing date. How many killed in the Civil War?

A German dropped in today. He said: “How many years will the war last?” The question surprised me in the light of the news. Last week three Germans in the Wilhelmstrasse bet me the Germans would be in London in three weeks—that is, two weeks from now.

This German also mentioned a matter thats been bothering me: German losses and the effect on the people of not being allowed to know by Hitler what the losses are and who is killed. (Hitler will not permit the publication of casualty lists.) He said people are comparing that situation with the one in 1914—18, when every day the papers published the names of those lost, and every few months, he said, a résumé of the total casualties up to date in killed and wounded. But today no German has the slightest idea of what the western offensive has cost in German lives.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 386). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

All the while Shirer was taking note of these events he was unaware of the one of the greatest dramas of the war unfolding on the west coast of France. Beginning 26 June an operation involving hundreds of major vessels down to small river craft was engaged in extracting British and French troops trapped on the coast near Dunkirk. Obviously the German command was aware of all this, but apparently they were not making it known to the population. There was no secret about it in England at the time, but one would have to guess the Brits were not hailing the operation, the intent being obvious they had no intention of providing any information to the Germans. Operation Dynamo was to cintinue through the end of May and up to 4 June. Its ultimate effect was to salvage the fate of England.

For some reason when Shirer describes the words and actions of the German Chancellor I cannot help thinking about the current President of the United States. There is the bluster, the threats, the slander. The semblance is eerie.

Much talk here that Hitler is getting ready to bomb the hell out of London and Paris. A press and radio campaign to prepare his own people for it is already under way. Today the attack was mostly against the French. The Völkische Beobachter called them “bastardized, negroized, decadent,” and accused them of torturing German airmen whom they’ve captured. It said that soon the French will be made to pay for all of this. The papers are full of talk of revenge for this and that.

The German Ambassador to Belgium gave us a harangue at the press conference today on how he was mistreated by the French on his way out to Switzerland. As a German told me afterwards, the Germans seem incapable of apprehending that the hate against them in France and Belgium is due to the fact that Germany invaded these countries—Belgium without the slightest excuse or justification—and laid waste their towns and cities, and killed thousands of civilians with their bombings and bombardments. Just another example of that supreme German characteristic
of being unable to see for a second the other fellow’s point of view. Same with the wrath here at the way their airmen are treated. The other side is tough with airmen coming down in parachutes because it knows Hitler has conquered Holland by landing parachutists behind the lines. But the Germans think that the other side should not defend itself against these men dropping from the skies. If it does, if it shoots them, then Germany will massacre prisoners already in her hands.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 387-388). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer rounds out the month of May with an assessment. For the first time he mentions the Dunkirk evacuation, and he gets into Mussolini’s interest in joining the feeding frenzy on neighboring countries.

It’s a big round #1 for Germany, and it sets the stage for round #2, the Battle of Britain.

BERLIN, May 31

Italy seems to be drawing near to the day of decision—to go in on Germany’s side. Today Alfieri, the Italian Ambassador, saw Hitler at his headquarters.

It was three weeks ago today that Hitler hurled his armies into Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France in a desperate effort to knock out the Allies in one blow. So far, after three weeks, he has had nothing but success. What it has cost him in lives and material, we do not know yet. This is what he’s accomplished in three weeks:

1. Overrun Holland; forced Dutch army to surrender.
2. Overrun Belgium; forced Belgian army to surrender.
3. Advanced far south of the extension of the Maginot Line on a front extending over two hundred miles from Montmédy to Dunkirk.
4. Knocked out the 1st, 7th, and 9th French Armies, which were cut off when one German army broke through to the sea.
5. Knocked out the BEF, which also is surrounded. Some of the men, at least, of the BEF, are getting away on ships from Dunkirk. But as an army it’s finished. It cannot take away its guns and supplies and tanks.
6. Obtained the Dutch, Belgian, and French Channel coasts as a jumping-off place for an invasion of England.
7. Occupied the important coal mines and industrial centres of Belgium and northern France.

I said in my broadcast tonight: “The Germans have certainly won a terrific first round. But there has been no knockout blow—yet. The fight goes on.”

Some of my friends thought that was being a bit optimistic—from the Allied point of view. Maybe. But I’m not so sure.

First American ambulance driver to be captured by the Germans is one Mr. Garibaldi Hill. The Germans have offered to release him at once. Only they can’t find him.

Word from our people in Brussels today that there is food in Belgium for only fifty

Ran into one of our consuls from Hamburg. He says the British have been bombing it at night severely. Trying to hit, for one thing, the oil tanks. He claims they’re dry. It seems that the Germans took all the anti-aircraft guns from Hamburg for use at the front. Hence the British came over without trouble and were able to fly low enough to do some accurate bombing. The population got so jittery that the authorities had to bring some of the guns back.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 388-389). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

June will see the capitulation of France and the defiance of Churchill. Pieces will fall into place for the Battle of Britain, starting in summer. Keep reading.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a Continuing Series

A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, “What are those clocks?”

St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie-Clocks, Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.”

“Oh,” said the man, “Whose clock is that?”

“That’s Mother Teresa’s. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.”

“Incredible,” said the man.

“That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life.”

“Where is Trump’s clock?”

“That clock is in Jesus’ office. He’s using it as a ceiling fan.”


Prince of Dreadful, Part 11

If I allowed it this stuff would soak up all my time. Since I’m retired, that’s a lot of time. But it’s fun, and it’s what gets me up in the morning. Here’s another one.

Donald Trump Jr. <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>Unsubscribe
Thu, May 28 at 9:53 AM


The Democrats have become the party that:Disrespects the American Flag and praises China
Chooses BIG GOVERNMENT socialism over American prosperity
Prioritizes illegal immigrants at the expense of American People
And, would rather see America fail than my father succeed

Their liberal agenda would be a DISASTER for America if they were ever given the power to implement it. It’s up to YOU to make sure that doesn’t happen.

We can’t sit by and let our Country be overrun by Big Government Socialists like Sleepy Joe, Cryin’ Chuck, and Crazy Nancy – we need FOUR MORE YEARS of President Trump!

Well, that takes some digesting. Start with disrespecting the American Flag and praising China.

It would help if Don Jr. gave examples of disrespecting the flag.


Yes! Absolutely. Using the American flag so blatantly as a campaign prop definitely shows a lot of respect. Keep it going, Baby Cheeks.

And about sucking up to China.


Regarding the other three points, starting with “BIG GOVERNMENT socialism:” compared to what? Compared to a government that cuts taxes for those who can most afford to pay at the expense of those who can least? Compared to a government that cuts oversight in response to uncovering malfeasance of his own administration? How about a government, big or small, socialistic or not, that puts people and good governance over the president’s personal fortunes?

And since when did showing compassion to others, especially to immigrants and even to illegal immigrants become a disgrace?

This is Trump the son speaking, and he wants us to know Trump opponents will destroy the country to ensure he does not succeed. Actually, yes. At this point we are mad as hell about the president’s abuse of power, and we will burn the place down if that’s what it takes to get rid of him. Early in the days of this administration I pronounced to friends that people would need to die to get rid of this stench. And now people are dying—over 100,000 since March. This is one time I regret being right.

“Their liberal agenda” would be a disaster? What do we have now? The son of the President of the United States finishes up with some school yard name calling, “Sleepy Joe,” “Cryin’ Chuck,” “Crazy Nancy.” What we see is a family of losers and not a lot of class going to waste.

This site supports Joe Biden for President. To donate use this link.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 219 of a Series

I put one of these out every Thursday, and I am never short of material. So I get to pick and choose. This week I could write about the two McDonald’s workers shot by a customer who was irate over the dining room being closed due to the COVID-19 virus. Or I could write about the 5-year-old child who shot himself or the 2-year-old child who killed his father.

But, no. I’m going to lighten up and tell about the robber who shot himself in the penis.

World’s Dumbest Criminals – Gun used to rob far South Side hot dog stand misfires, hitting robber in penis

A robber was in the process of robbing a hot dog stand in the Far South Side, Chicago, when he discharged his weapon on himself, The Chicago Tribune reports. The infamous incident was reported in November of 2017. To add a flare of poetic justice to the yarn, the hot dog stand robber shot himself in the penis, citing The Sacramento Bee.

I need to insert a technical correction here. A misfire is an instance when the gun does not fire. When a gun fires when it is not supposed to, then that’s another matter.

But finally, we have to wonder what the robber was thinking when he purchased (stole?) the handgun. Was he thinking, “Now that I have this nifty equalizer I won’t be needing that dangly thing between my legs. Smart guy!

Y’all stay safe out there.


Prince of Dreadful, Part 10

The secret must be out by now. I don’t write all my own stuff. In this case I am stealing from the Morning Joe show on MSNBC, which is streaming on YouTube this morning. The discussion centered on President Donald Trump’s sordid ineptitude dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in this country. The producers mercilessly pulled up past postings from the Loser-in-Chief and pasted them on a gallant photo of his proud countenance. You almost have to cry, because it hurts too much to laugh. Here is the sequence.

You know what. I’m thinking about voting for the guy who is accused of sexually assaulting a staff member nearly thirty years ago and to this day can’t keep his words straight. I contributed to Joe Biden’s campaign. You should, too.

To contribute click on this link.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.


Coming Apart at the Seams, Number 3

To say President Donald Trump is unhinged is redundant. Since he took office three years ago his name has become synonymous with the term. Here he is promoting a conspiracy theory about a woman who died 19 years ago, disregarding that he is subjecting her family to renewed torment.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!

5:54 AM · May 12, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

I mean, what is the office of president for if not to provide us a view into a sordid world that lurks within the darkest reaches of American society.

See you in November, Sweet Cheeks.


Coming Apart at the Seams, Number 2

This is the weekend we honor those who served us and did not return. That said, the President of the United States had something to say this weekend in honor of the occasion.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathon runner just happened to faint in his office, hit her head on his desk, & die? I would think there is a lot more to this story than that? An affair? What about the so-called investigator? Read story!

Thomas Paine @Thomas1774Paine
· May 23
Replying to @realDonaldTrump
Evidence Shows Foul Play Likely in Scarborough Aide’s Suspicious Death in His Congressional Office https://truepundit.com/flashback-evidence-shows-likely-foul-play-in-scarborough-aides-suspicious-death-in-his-congressional-office/…

For the record, Joe Scarborough is a former GOP member of Congress, now hosting a television talk show. For some reason that cannot be fathomed, Scarborough has turned 180 degrees sour on Donald Trump—his policies, his ineptitude, and his low moral character. President Trump from time to time spends a portion of his working day repaying Joe Scarborough for his lack of a fawning attitude.

Some background.

Florida family grieves as Trump spreads debunked conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC host

By Craig Pittman 
May 24, 2020 at 3:02 p.m. CDT

A little after 8 a.m. on July 20, 2001, a couple arriving for an appointment opened an unlocked front door at an office in the Florida panhandle town of Fort Walton Beach and discovered a woman lying on the floor, dead. Her name was Lori Kaye Klausutis and she was just 28.

The police said they found no signs of foul play. The medical examiner concluded her lonely death was an accident. She had fainted, the result of a heart condition, and hit her head on a desk, he said.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Klausutis’s death has captured the attention of the country’s most prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories — the president of the United States — who has without evidence speculated that she might have been murdered and that the case should be reopened.

To an unhinged president this is what is significant on this special weekend.

Abusing Science

Number 72 of a series

Once again science gets in the way somebody’s political agenda. Months ago we began to get word of a new virus epidemic in Wuhan province in the PRC, and as 2019 morphed into 2020 our government appeared to be taking no positive action. Since then the number of people who have died in this country due to the virus has ramped up to over 90,000, and the President is casting about feverishly for somewhere to park the blame. Or somebody.

The PRC, where all this stuff appears to have started, is a prime target. Next up on the list is the World Health Organization. For your edification:

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency’s governing structure and principles, states its main objective as “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with six semi-autonomous regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide.

The WHO was established by constitution on 7 April 1948, which is commemorated as World Health Day. The first meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the agency’s governing body, took place on 24 July 1948. The WHO incorporated the assets, personnel, and duties of the League of Nations’ Health Organisation and the Office International d’Hygiène Publique, including the International Classification of Diseases. Its work began in earnest in 1951 following a significant infusion of financial and technical resources.

In short, the WHO has been the premier overseer of this planet’s health for over 70 years. The president, who for weeks ignored memos and warnings from official sources, now wants to shift blame for his shortcomings to a respected body of scientists and health professionals. Most importantly he blames the Chinese government, correctly, for being slow to acknowledge the danger, and he claims the WHO collaborated with the PRC in the cover-up. This week he penned a formal letter to the WHO, invoking a number of assertions and threatening withdrawal of the United States from the organization.

When a person sets out to practice abuse of science, one of the first items to be trampled is truth, and an illustration from the Trump letter illustrates this practice. From the letter:

[WHO] consistently ignored reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal.

It is not known where Mr. Trump obtained information about reports from The Lancet, but the journal disrespectfully declared this to be false.

The Lancet said it first published reports on coronavirus on Jan. 24, including one involving the first 41 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Wuhan. The researchers for that report were all from Chinese institutions.

The other report published on the same date discussed the first evidence of person-to-person transmission of the virus. Scientists from Hong Kong and mainland China contributed to the study.

“The allegations levelled against WHO in President Trump’s letter are serious and damaging to efforts to strengthen international cooperation to control this pandemic,” The Lancet’s statement said. “It is essential that any review of the global response is based on a factually accurate account of what took place in December and January.”

The World Health Organization works to protect the human population, and to that end it employs real science practiced by people who study the issues and make recommendations based on evidence and not on conjecture. A president who has no use for valid science may think he is serving himself, but when the chips eventually fall he will find himself on the short end of the dispute. In the end the people he purports to serve will be among those who suffer.

Quiz Question

Number 258 of a series

You are in a state in the United States of America. You will need to cross three states to reach an ocean, bay, gulf. For example, if you were in Arizona you would have to cross California or the Mexican state of Sonora to reach the Pacific or the Gulf of California. What state are you in?

Post your answer in the comments section below. Hint, it’s not Florida.


Coming Apart at the Seams, A Series

Have we reached the low point yet? Don’t bank on it. Here is the most recent from a president unhinged.

Official Trump Polling <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>Unsubscribe
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com

Sat, May 23 at 4:49 PM


Obamagate is the biggest political crime in our Nation’s history.

Barack Obama will forever be remembered as the disgraced former President who used federal law enforcement in an attempt to hurt his political opponents.

His administration, including Sleepy Joe Biden, “illegally spied” on President Trump and his 2016 campaign and then LIED about it – we can’t let them get away with it.

The President trusts what you think, John, which is why he’s asked us personally to reach out to you and get your thoughts on how he should proceed with handling the greatest HOAX of all time.

Yes, Obamagate. Oh, to have a scandal named after me.

Available for all to see, this is a contrived scandal that so far has acquired a hackneyed name and may or may not be searching for an associated crime.

What is apparent to all, even hard-line Republicans, is this is designed to be a distraction from Donald Trump’s failure of leadership in the current crisis as well as being a distraction from his own criminal acts while in office. That the President of the United States continues to become unhinged is no doubt. I will be pulling from his stream of consciousness on average once a day for your enjoyment. My fondest hope is to see the tap remain wide open well past election day in November. Keep reading.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a Continuing Series

A new supermarket just opened near my house. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on you hear the sound of distant thunder, and there is the smell of fresh rain.

When you approach the milk cases you hear the sound of cows mooing, and you can smell the fresh hay.

When you approach the egg case you hear the sound of hens cackling and are treated to the smell of bacon and eggs frying.

The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.

I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.

People Unclear

This is number 100 of a series

It has come to my attention the President of the United States is unclear on a number of matters. For example, he claims to be taking the prescription drug Hydroxychloroquine to ward off the COVID-19 virus. Call me a die-hard skeptic if you want, but I have my doubts a person in his position would be that stupid. The drug is prescribed as a treatment for malaria and should not be taken for other purposes, due to its dangerous side effects.

Without going to sources I post here some screen shots from Stephen Colbert’s TV show (20 May). The first highlights a Washington Post news item outlining serious issues, “including death.” Yes, death is serious.

The Mayo Clinic has gone further, listing the following:

  • Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin.
  • Feeling that others can hear your thoughts.
  • Feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there.
  • Unusual behavior.
  • Unusual facial expressions.

Donald Trump is known for his dry sense of humor, often exhibiting bizarre behavior and then explaining later he was only joking. Surely that is what is happening here.


As I tell my readers, I’ve been wrong before.

People Unclear

This is number 99 of a series

I receive more email than I can handle, so this will be brief:

Midnight Deadline (via NRCC) <email@alerts.conservativeintel.com>Unsubscribe
To:John Blanton 
Tue, May 19 at 6:33 PM
Hello John,

Sarah Sanders emailed you.

Don Jr. emailed you.

Newt Gingrich emailed you.

Now we’re emailing you.

And then they asked me for money. They are definitely unclear on a number of points.

People, if you want me to send you money you need to start by not insulting me. But what did you just do? You invoked three of the least savory characters in your corral in a bid to win my heart and my mind. Take a look.

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as White House Press Secretary, became known as the liar-in-chief.
  • Don Jr., along with his father and brother and sister operated a phony charity that bilked millions out of gullible donors.
  • Newt Gingrich became so objectionable as Speaker of the House his own party voted to expel him.

Dudes at conservativeintel.com, come up with a better panel of 21st century Republicans to tug at my heartstrings. I would recommend John McCain, but he is since dead. I’m thinking you have to go far outside the current circle of Donald Trump sycophants to find anybody worthy of trust. Maybe another decade. Give me a call. I will not hold my breath.

Abusing Science

Number 71 of a series

The COVID-19 advent has exposed a common aspect of science denial. Particularly, findings from science are often rejected when they conflict with political objectives or with personal preference. In brief, concerned medical scientists early on took note of the virus’s dangerous nature and attempted to take action. To our distress, this advice has too often been 1) ignored and 2) rejected. The tag of “hoax” has been asserted.

To date over 90,000 people have died of the virus in this country. Two screen shots from ABC News yesterday illustrate.

President Donald Trump has never been a friend of inconvenient truth—his actions and loud pronouncements are a wealth of science abuse on display. My Facebook feed is another source. I diligently maintain a cadre of conservative friends, and the trend among them is toward denial. Here are some samples.

Dan is college-educated, a former military officer, conservative, fond of conspiracy theories. Of late he has been poking fun at what he considers to be pandemic hysteria. He posted the following.

To save you having to read through the list, Dan wrote of previous panics, as he believed them to be. Start with, “Y2K is going to destroy everything.” The name of this logical fallacy is “the straw man argument.” Put up a ridiculous example that is easy to knock down, demonstrating the rightness of your own argument. Dan concludes with “2020 – Corona Virus is going to kill us all!” The pattern is familiar. He has proposed a string of straw man examples, easily demolished, and posits a final one that validates his argument.

Obviously the Corona Virus is not going to kill us all. But now warnings from science about this dangerous virus are linked to this ridiculous example as though that were the argument from science. The conclusion is the science is wrong. Again.

There followed some back and forth with Dan.

John Blanton
Daniel G. Kuttner, out of your head? Yes or no.

He responded accusing me of ad hominem attack. Others weighed in, prompting me to post this link:

Former Coronavirus Skeptic Warns Others To Take Pandemic Seriously After Infection

Brian Lee Hitchens said he used to believe COVID-19 was a “fake crisis.” Now he’s imploring people to listen to the experts.

Dan’s Facebook correspondents tend to be of like mind as Dan. Here are some responses.

Daniel G. Kuttner
Without a clinically validated test for the “virus,” how can he know what he had?
(I’ll remain silent on the source you used)

Dan points to the source of the story. The Huffington Post has a notable liberal slant. The story is dubious, because the source is liberal. Kent commented, mentioning the source is not relevant. The man, Hitchens, really did have something. Dan again:

Daniel G. Kuttner
Kent: Doesn’t it matter?
It does if one is using his example to prove anything about COVID, without a clinically validated test.

Suddenly Dan wants scientific validation. Another response:

Linda Spencer
John Blanton  The guy is obese… Which is one of the “comorbidity factors.” His comment “looking back, I should have wore [sic] a mask” …Just shows how uneducated he is! This is nothing but a propaganda piece by a liberal rag! And wow… He was OK with it being “blown out of proportion” until he and his wife got it… LOL! So that is rather egocentric… That just because he got it, now it’s a problem! This whole article is a joke.

I’m guessing Linda is saying the whole thing is a hoax. She also invokes the ad hominem attack. He is obese. He is uneducated. The Huffington Post is a liberal rag. I attempted to wrap this up.

John Blanton
People, the man either exists. or he does not.
He either was ill with the virus, or he was not.
He either believed the virus was a hoax, or he did not.
He has since changed his opinion, or he has not.
It does not matter the source (Huffington Post).
The story is either true, or it is not.
Would anybody care to follow up to verify?

I did follow up. Pointing to the Huffington Post as the culprit does not work. Here are links to the story from a variety of sources.




Take note, one of the sources is a Fox News station in Memphis. The complete dialog is on Dan’s Facebook account. If you can access it, here is the link:

People Unclear

This is number 98 of a series

I get stuff in my Facebook feed, and I just love it. Especially I enjoy items from conservative voices. Talk about boundless amusement. Here is one.

Barack Obama Takes Potshots At Trump During Virtual Graduation: ‘Folks In Charge’ Don’t Know What They’re Doing

That’s the headline from an item posted to The Daily Wire. In case you are unaware:

The Daily Wire is an American right-wing news and opinion website founded in 2015 by political commentator Ben Shapiro, who is the site’s editor-in-chief.

The item is by Emily Zanotti, and it goes on to say:

Former President Barack Obama was supposed to deliver an inspirational virtual commencement speech to 2020 high school graduates Saturday night during the “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” celebrity special, but took the opportunity to take potshots at the Trump administration over its response instead.

Since entering the 2020 presidential campaign fray, Obama has defied tradition, openly attacking his successor, President Donald Trump, over perceived failures, in the service of promoting his former Vice President, Joe Biden, who will, in all likelihood, take on Trump in the 2020 presidential election. And although he didn’t mention Trump by name in his commencement speech, it’s clear where Obama was directing his criticism.

Read the article. Zanotti proceeds to give an accurate recap of President Obama’s remarks. And, for the record, the folks in charge don’t seem to know what they are doing. A further remark by Zanotti:

Obama also seemed to take a strike at Americans looking to reopen businesses in defiance of ongoing coronavirus-related lockdowns, despite evidence that the American economy is in steep decline with more than 30 million people out of work and many businesses likely to fail, leaving his own countrymen destitute.

That appears to be Zanotti’s opinion and not a demonstrated fact. Trump and his team of loyalists give all the appearance of having bungled the government’s handling of the COVID-19 invasion of the United States. We can presume that is what President Obama is talking about and not about plans to unwisely end the countermeasures currently in place.

On another perspective Trump loyalists deride the former president for speaking out. One in particular is Senator McConnell of Kentucky. To which I say, “Really?” Let’s take another look at the quote from President Trump at the top of this page.

The game is on, loyalists, and you have burdened yourselves up front with a load of shit. Good luck with that.

Biden for President

Number 4 in a Series for 2020

Full disclosure: I received my stimulus check last month and paid it to Joe Biden’s election campaign.

Now I see President Trump is thrashing about for something to hang his re-election on. Wait! Here it is. As you have never seen it before, we present you OBAMAGATE, in living color. What this theme lacks in originality it makes up for with lack of originality.

Strapped for any sign of competence in his own job performance, Donald Trump casts about for a convenient place to park the blame. And the winner is…

Yes, it’s Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Who would have guessed? They alone are to blame for Donald Trump’s incompetence.

Not only that, “These people were corrupt.”

Corrupt! Who would have thought? President Trump, I am so glad you brought up the matter of corruption.

Donald, imagine how corrupt you would be right now if you still had to deal with these inspectors general you summarily fired. Hey, if there is no inspector general to call you corrupt, then the blame must fall to Obama and Biden. The logic is inescapable.

When you are ready to contribute to Joe Biden’s campaign click on the following link:


Here is something that may be of interest. The FEC allows you to contribute a maximum of $2800 to Joe Biden’s primary election, which is officially still underway. Then you can contribute another $2800 to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and the way ActBlue handles the matter is like this:Up until the end of the primary campaign the first $2800 you contribute will be counted toward Joe Biden’s primary campaign. Additional contributions prior to the end of the primary campaign will be levied against Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. So, if you contribute $5600 right now the money will be distributed appropriately.

After you have maxed out these contributions there are ways to contribute more. See the FEC regulations here:


I regret to inform you that after Mr. Trump departs office life as we know it will become deadly dull. We will all need to find a hobby. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.