Nobel Nobel

Eye on the Prize, Number 16

Hey, Baby Cheeks, where are you keeping that Nobel Prize these days?

North Korea blows up liaison office in Kaesong used for talks with South

By Joshua Berlinger, Jake Kwon and Yoonjung Seo, CNN
Updated 7:41 PM ET, Tue June 16, 2020

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — North Korea has blown up a joint liaison office used for talks between itself and South Korea, the latest sign that ties between the two longtime adversaries are rapidly deteriorating.

North Korean state media reported that the four-story building, which is located in the town of Kaesong just north of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, was “completely destroyed by a “terrific explosion” at 2:50 p.m. local time.

Do the words, “like a fiddle” sound familiar?

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

The Deplorables

Episode 36 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

They keep sending it. I keep posting it. Here is some more.

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

Thu, Jun 18 at 4:12 PM

John,

I am so proud of my father.

Ever since his famous escalator ride to announce his 2016 Presidential Campaign five years ago, the Democrats and Liberal Media haven’t stopped attacking him. The harder he fought for America, the harder they tried to bring him down.

But with YOUR help, he just keeps WINNING.

Then he asks me to send him some money.

Before getting into this treasured note from the son of Donald Trump, you can possibly use some historical background. President Trump’s former security advisor is telling us in his new book that foreign leaders have “marked” Donald Trump. What does it mean, “marked?” You need to know something about a character from the American frontier days.

He was Jefferson Randolph Smith II, and how he got the moniker “Soapy” is part of the story. Smith started off well enough, but something early in his life changed his trajectory radically. He figured to make a load of money driving a herd of cattle from Texas to the northern markets. He got to the rail head and cashed in. Then he met a man.

This man on the street was playing a game of three-card monte, a suckers game. The huckster has three cards laid out on a table (or a barrel head), face down. He shows one of the cards. Then his nimble hands swarm over the three cards, picking up one or two at a time and laying them down, changing the order of the cards. The sucker is supposed to bet he can spot the chosen card after the hands stop, but this is never possible. The huckster always wins, when he wants. He will typically allow a sucker, or somebody else—a collaborator, a shill—to win. See. You can win this game and take the huckster’s money.

Smith lost all his cattle earnings. Then he did the thing that changed his life. He did not seek revenge, but he had the huckster teach him the skill. Soon Smith was a master.

From there it was a zoom to the top, and Smith ran out his life as one of the greatest masters of corruption on the frontier. Eventually in Skagway he was killed in a gun fight with a rival—both died. But in between the first and the last he built and abandoned three major criminal empires.

One of Smith’s schemes was to sell soap, advertising that some money was packed inside one package of soap. He sold out all his soap at inflated prices and gained the name “Soapy Smith.”

But in one of his empires he had various businesses, including barber shops. The barbers would talk to customers as they cut hair, and they would steer likely suckers to Soapy. To be sure Soapy identified the sucker, the barber would cut a notch in the back of the dupe’s hair to mark him. To this day a “mark” is a person identified as a sucker. The President of the United States is a world class mark.

So Eric’s father keeps WINNING. Really? Let me check with Xi Jinping first.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

The Deplorables

Episode 34 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

When you live your whole life as a criminal it is difficult to adjust to a world that expects something higher. Just ask President Donald Trump.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump Jun 12

How do you think China, Russia, Japan or others would do with him in a negotiation? We would have no Country left!!!

I’m guessing Xi Jinping’s boy toy is referring to presidential candidate Joe Biden, who appears to be on the road to beating Mr. Trump like the proverbial drum. Let me know if you want to make America even greater.

Full disclosure: I pre-ordered the book. I will have excerpts next week.

The Deplorables

Episode 33 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

The Lord daily showers his blessings upon me. Here is one recent.

DonaldJTrump.com <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>Unsubscribe
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com

Tue, Jun 16 at 7:35 PM

John,

Why is the mainstream media’s opinion any more important than yours?

You have just as much of a right to your beliefs about America as they do, and it’s time for the Coastal Elites in the media to accept that.

Assuming this really is from Donald J. Trump, I have little regard for the opinion of the mainstream media. They have their thoughts; I have mine. I form my thoughts by watching your actions. Today I am especially enjoying the word from your former national security advisor that you finagled with PRC President Xi Jinping for help with your 2020 campaign. Baby Cheeks, the mainstream media could not invent anything as deplorable as this. It had to come from your innermost being.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

The Deplorables

Episode 29 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

Happiness is having somebody on the government payroll writing my material for me. Here’s the latest.

DonaldJTrump.com <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>Unsubscribe
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com

Thu, Jun 11 at 12:09 PM

John,

While Democrats are pledging to turn America into a BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIALIST Nation, President Trump is pledging to fight for YOU.

The ticket will come down to President Trump vs. Sleepy Joe, and we need to know where you stand, John. It’s going to be an uphill battle heading into November, which is why President Trump needs to make sure he has your support.

I need to tell you, readers, this came just in time. Before my eyes were opened I was prepared to vote for guy named Sleep Joe. I realize now my real intent is to vote for the guy who lived his life as a white-collar criminal and humped porn stars.

If it’s a choice between some Sleepy Joe Character and a president who will sell out his country for a political favor, then I’m going for Mr. Art of the Deal every time.

And I like a president with a touch of sin.

So, I guess the election is settled. Why wait for November?

Oops!

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

The Deplorables

Episode 25 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

There is no help for me. I’m being overwhelmed. The shit is coming faster than I can shovel it. Here’s the latest.

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

Tue, Jun 9 at 12:01 PM

John,

For the first time in a long time, we have a President who is putting America First with every decision that he makes.

While the Fake News media refuses to report the truth about all of President Trump’s efforts to Keep America Safe, he has never stopped delivering on his promises:

The WALL is being FINISHED – we recently completed 100 brand-new miles
We replaced the failing NAFTA with the USMCA – a massive WIN for American workers
He’s ensured our military is well-funded, trained, and equipped for battle
And, his administration is combating cyberattacks by foreign governments and rogue nations.

Finally, we have a President who KEEPS his promises to put AMERICA FIRST.

This is amazing news, even coming from a Trump source. Just when I think these people can’t juice up even more, they surprise me. What to say?

Start by being impressed to learn President Trump has at last decided to put AMERICA FIRST. See, I too, have an all-caps key on my computer. But back to misters Fruman and Parnas. it is refreshing to see that you have thrown these agents of a foreign power “under the bus.” I guess now that Republican senators have decided to acquit you of charges relating to the their actions, you have decided to finally put AMERICA FIRST. Please feel free to pardon them. We will not be surprised.

I am also glad to note your continued mention of the Fake News media. I had feared their continued reporting on your crimes and awkward reversals would have convinced you they were right all along. Keep up this line. It continues to assure us the Republicans have not done away with you and run a ringer in your place.

And I note the WALL is being FINISHED. Golly gee, you completed 100 brand new miles. Please tell me these are not the 100 brand new miles you reported months ago. It is also good to see Mexico has finally agreed to pay for it.

Replaced NAFTA? The USMCA is a massive WIN (all caps) for American workers? You may need to check on that.

Your statement about the military being well-funded and equipped amazes me, since it appeared to be so when you came into office.

And I am glad your administration is combating cyber attacks from rogue nations. I guess that was never done before your time.

Anyhow, keep up the good work, and give my regards to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. You should be seeing them soon, like February next year when their trial begins. Golly, I am so impressed to have a President of the United States on a first name basis with notorious international criminals. I agree with you. Obama was deadly dull.

Loser

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.

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.

The Deplorables

Episode 19 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

Donald Trump, Jr. is President Trump’s most industrious exponent. If the signature line is factual, Junior spends hours a day tweeting in support of the most corrupt chief executive this country has ever seen. Here is something recent.

Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr

I wonder if Jake Tapper and the rest at the Communist News Network and MSDNC will ever cover this? Hahahahaha, just kidding, of course he won’t, that could hurt Joe Biden and it’s his job to protect him at all costs.

9:53 AM · May 17, 2020Twitter for iPhone
He links to a story about presidential candidate Joe Biden, and the reference is not complimentary. He invokes communism, which I find odd on a number of levels.First, the link is to something having to do with Joe Biden and China, the proper name of which is the People’s Republic of China and which is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. Strictly speaking, the PRC may call itself communist, but communism died there decades ago. It exists today as a capitalist dictatorship.

Second, if Junior wants to invoke communism, than he has to look no further than to his immediate left to find a President of the United States who coddles and who pays homage to a communist dictator. See the image at the top. Of course, the Soviet Union ceased to exist 30 years ago, but its current leader is Vladimir Putin, a devout communist and a dictator in his own right.

Yes, Junior wants to paint his father’s political rival as a communist sympathizer, his own family all the while serving obeisance to one of his country’s most formidable enemies. Way to go, fellow traveler.

The Deplorables

Episode 18 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

I get emails. And as somebody famous once said, “I love it.”

Some emails I get are notices from Twitter. Here is a recent one.

Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr

A name that’s not appearing NEARLY enough in the “news”- VINDMAN. Media covered his bogus Ukraine transcript constantly. Dems yelled “impeach!” NOW he admits to actually making up parts of it. Another hoax exposed. And yet again the media cover the fake scandal but not the TRUTH.

8:49 PM · May 9, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

What Trump Jr. refers to is a difference between Lt. Col. Vindman’s official report on the Trump phone conversation with Ukraine President Zelenskyy (two ys) on 25 July last year, and his testimony before Congress. In his official report, Vindman reported the conversation as it had been officially scripted beforehand. When the President went off script and attempted to shake down the Ukraine president, Vindman did not change the report to match.

And that is what is giving consummate liar Donald Trump, Jr., heartburn. Apparently a load of stuff gives the junior heartburn. At this point I pivot and take note of something that, at the time, did not give heartburn.

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Good morning
Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.
What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?
I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
Best
Rob Goldstone

Following that:

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?
Best,
Don

Then:

From: Rob Goldstone
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 12:40 PM
To: Donald Trump J
Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential
Hi Don
Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day Best to you and family Rob Goldstone

Next:

On Jun 6, 2016, at 15:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Rob could we speak now?
d
Donald J. Trump Jr.
Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY | 10022 | trump.com

After several interchanges:

On Jun 7, 2016, at 4:20 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Don
Hope all is well
Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.
I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?
I assume it would be at your office.
Best
Rob Goldstone

Next:

On Jun 7, 2016, at 5:16 PM, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.
D
Sent from my iPhone

Please note: one of the above is currently serving time in prison.

Later:

From: Donald Trump Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 12:03 PM
To: Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort
Subject: FW: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential
Meeting got moved to 4 tomorrow at my offices.
Best,
Don
Donald J. Trump Jr. Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization 725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY | 10022 n | trump.com

And the best of all:

Donald Trump Jr.
Jared Kushner Paul Manafort
June 8, 2016

FW: Russia – Clinton –
private and confidential

Don Jr.: “I love it.

Yes, Don, Jr., your only salvation today appears to be catching an American patriot in a misstep. And that is all you have. If you had more, you would have shown us more. You do not, which speaks volumes of your long history of fraud and duplicity. Give it a rest and spare us your absurdities.

Uncle Bye-Bye

Yes, it is a concluding series (11).

Uncle of Kim Jong Un being pulled out of his chair and hauled off to a firing squad.

Uncle, it’s time to say “goodbye now.”

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un rumored to be dead

April 25, 2020 | 12:36pm

Kim Jong Un is rumored to be dead, according to a Hong Kong broadcast network, while a Japanese magazine is reporting that North Korea’s rocket man is in a “vegetative state” after he underwent heart surgery earlier this month.

I am usually not the one to post unfounded rumors, but I found this one impossible to pass over. On the faint possibility President Trump’s favorite Uncle Bye-Bye has, himself, gone bye-bye, I want to be known as among the first to post the tidings. In the event this turns out not to be true, then I will submit to hiding my face whenever I go out in public for the next two weeks. And that is all.

Goodbye now.

This is your president speaking.

Number 248 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The @nytimes story is a Fake, just like the “paper” itself. I was criticized for moving too fast when I issued the China Ban, long before most others wanted to do so. @SecAzar
told me nothing until later, and Peter Navarro memo was same as Ban (see his statements). Fake News!

9:08 PM · Apr 12, 2020

The President of the United States also said this.

China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus.

 

China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.

About now I am wondering, as you may be as well, which of the foregoing is the real message we are supposed to take away from the President of the United States. I might know if I thought he knew.

People Unclear

This is number 92 of a series

If I had been thinking back when I started this theme I would have named it “People Who Are so Clueless They Give the Appearance of Having Come from a Different Planet.” Anyhow, that’s what I could have done, Too bad the title is overly long. We have what we have. Here goes another.

I’m not saying Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms, but what I am saying is his postings are crafted to give the impression Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms. He does a lot of that. Here is a Twitter posting.

Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr
Huh… No shit? I wonder how many of those in the media who were running with the communist talking points for the past two weeks will apologize and highlight this?I’m going to guess 0.

China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says

11:27 AM · Apr 1, 2020Twitter for iPhone

Does anybody really know what Donald Trump, Jr. is talking about? Not I, but I will make some assumptions. Here they are:

  • The Chinese government became aware of COVID-19  back in November or December, and they kept quiet about it. Like good capitalist they knew markets would suffer if the word got out.
  • The Chines government is now announcing success in combating COVID-19 in their country. Donald Trump, Jr. does not state it explicitly, but these people are not to be trusted. If anybody asks, I also agree they are not to be trusted.
  • Donald Trump, Jr. emphasizes the PRC is a communist nation, even though they have been giving a good imitation of a capitalist society for over 40 years. Donald Trump, Jr. wants to emphasize the term “communist,” because communists are not to be trusted. We supposed to get the idea that capitalist governments are more trustworthy. I am not saying Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms, I am only saying the ideas he puts forward may lead some unsuspecting reader to think Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms.
  • Donald Trump, Jr. is lambasting the American mainstream press for ignoring the PRC government’s duplicity, which duplicity I and a bunch of others who bother to read learned from the mainstream media.

So, does Donald Trump, Jr. have brain worms? I’m not saying Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms. I am going to let readers figure out for themselves whether Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms. While the question of whether Donald Trump, Jr. has brain worms is up for debate, something that is not up for debate is that he is one of those people unclear.

The Government You Paid For

Number 66 of a Series

Trump supporters spout about how in-charge he is, making decisions on his own and refusing to consult with elitists who only want to tear this country down. They like that Donald Trump is not afraid to make those hard choices, choices that could possible offend some snowflake from the West Coast.

Ha! Donald Trump is nothing compared to Italian politicians, who are know what it takes to get things done and are ready to act, where others would hold back. Here are two screen shots from John Oliver’s show yesterday, 29 March.

Yeah, Pisano, you mess with the rules, and we’re going to singe your hide. People, you get the government you paid for.

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 a new year opened with the war ramping up. The Kriegsmarine suffered its first major defeat with the loss of the Graf Spee. Hitler suspected the Allies were casting an eye on Scandinavia, and he was right. Holland and Belgium blithely acted on the presumption they could stay out of the war. This post will cover excerpts from January 1940.

Winter in Berlin.

Berlin, January 1, 1940

What will this year bring? The decision, as Hitler boasted yesterday? I haven’t met a German yet who isn’t absolutely certain. Certain it is that this phony kind of war cannot continue long. Hitler has got to go forward to new victories or his kind of system cracks.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 271-272). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Same day, a nearly hilarious incident involving more people than sanity allows attempting to use a lone taxi. A little girl upsets this awful arrangement.

She too cried to get out. Her mother joined her. Then her father. Finally the driver, apparently awakened by the bedlam, decided to stop. Out on the curb the father and the soldier began to engage in a fierce argument as to who had spoiled whose New Year’s Eve. Russell and I and the taxi-driver stole away, leaving them to fight it out. The frayed nerves of the war, we decided.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 272-273). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer lays out the realities of Germany’s situation during this stage in the war. It is grim.

Berlin, January 3

I learned today what the Russians have promised to deliver to Germany this year:

1,000,000 tons of fodder and grain;
500,000 tons of oil seeds;
500,000 tons of soya beans;
900,000 tons of petroleum;
150,000 tons of cotton (this is more cotton than Russia had to export to the whole world last year);
Three million gold marks’ worth of leather and hides. This looks good on paper, but I would bet a lot the Russians deliver no more than a fraction of what they have promised.

An official statement announces that Göring is to become absolute dictator of Germany’s war economy—a job he has had in effect for a long time. The press is beginning to harp about “Britain’s aggressive designs in Scandinavia.” Hitler, we hear, has told the army, navy, and air force to rush plans for heading off the Allies in Scandinavia should they go in there to help Finland against Russia. The army and navy are very pro-Finnish, but realize they must protect their trade routes to the Swedish iron-ore fields. If Germany loses these, she is sunk.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 273). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Swedish neutrality turned out to be Hitler’s savior. Without the iron ore Sweden supplied throughout the war, Germany would have either needed to conquer Sweden or else throw in the towel when its war industry ran out of steel.

Hitler did conquer and occupy Norway, using neutral Swedish territory. Clifton is a town in Texas, and it is populated by Norwegian settlers. For some time after, Swedes were not welcome in Clifton.

The fighting in Finland was the main news in the early part of the year.

Berlin, January 9

Harry C., probably the best-informed man we have in the Moscow Embassy, passed through today with his wife, who is going to have her baby in America. Harry, no Bolo-baiter, had some weird tales. He says the one and only thought of a Russian nowadays is to toe the Stalin line so that he can save his job or at least his life. The Russians, he says, have hopelessly bungled the attack on Finland. A hundred thousand casualties already, the hospitals in Leningrad and the north jammed with wounded. But they are the lucky ones because thousands of lightly wounded died of cold and exposure. Harry says everyone in Moscow, from Stalin down, thought the Red army would be in Helsinki a week after the attack started. They were so sure that they timed an attack on Bessarabia for December 6, and only called it off at the last minute.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 274-275). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

For clarification, Bolo was slang for Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks (majority) defeated the Mensheviks (minority) in the Russian Revolution, and the Communists are known as Bolsheviks.

The same day—the brutality of the Gestapo is a surprise?

Learn that eighteen Poles were killed and thirty wounded recently in a Polish prison camp. The S.S. here claim there was a “revolt.” The army is protesting to Hitler about the senseless brutality of the Gestapo in Poland, but I doubt if that will change matters.

Must note a new propaganda campaign to convince the German people that this is not only a war against the “plutocratic” British and French, but a holy struggle against the Jews. Says Dr. Ley in the Angriff tonight: “We know that this war is an ideological struggle against world Jewry. England is allied with the Jews against Germany…. England is spiritually, politically, and economically at one with the Jews…. For us England and the Jews remain the common foe….”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 275). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Gestapo is a contraction of Geheim Staatspolizei, secret state’s police, headed up by Heinrich Himmler.

The winter of 1940 was particularly bitter, and German citizens suffered more so due to the lack of coal. Those out of favor suffered even worse.

Berlin, January 11

Cold. Fifteen degrees below zero centigrade outside my window. Half the population freezing in their homes and offices and workshops because there’s no coal. Pitiful to see in the streets yesterday people carrying a sack of coal home in a baby-carriage or on their shoulders. I’m surprised the Nazis are letting the situation become so serious. Everyone is grumbling. Nothing like continual cold to lower your morale.

Hitler is back in town and last night at the Chancellery, I hear, he and Göring lambasted the big industrialists, who had been hurriedly convoked from the Rhineland, for being slack. These great tycoons, who made it possible with their money for Hitler to climb to power, sat there, I’m told, with red faces and never dared utter a peep. Hitler also saw the military yesterday and today and there is talk about a big push in the spring. The army, according to my spies, is still against an offensive on the Maginot Line despite party pressure for it. Will the Germans try to go through Holland, as many think? They want air bases on the Dutch coast for the take-off against Britain. Also fantastic talk here of an invasion of England; of the Germans going into Sweden to sew up their Swedish iron-ore supplies, the justification to be that the Swedes are plotting to let in Allied armies to fight in Finland.

Learned today from a traveller [sic] back from Prague that producers of butter, flour, and other things in Slovakia and Bohemia are marking their goods destined for Germany as “Made in Russia.” This on orders from Berlin, the idea being to show the German people how much “help” is already coming from the Soviets.

A Wilhelmstrasse official admitted to me today that the Germans had imposed forced labour on all Jews in Poland. He said the term of forced labour was “only two years.”16 A German school-teacher tells me this one: the instructors begin the day with this greeting to their pupils: “Gott strafe England!”—whereupon the children are supposed to answer: “He will.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 276-277). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Wilhelmstrasse is a major Berlin thoroughfare, the center of government during this period. The term was used to designate the German government.

Edward R. Murrow rose to prominence with his coverage of the war, particularly during the Blitz, from London. Shirer and Murrow got together in Amsterdam to confer. Shirer’s take on the Dutch outlook is revealing. Germany’s neighbor’s worked under the delusion they could survive having Nazi Germany as a neighbor. We know today of the tragedy that was to come in a few weeks, and this knowledge is stark in juxtaposition with the picture Shirer paints here.

Amsterdam, January 18

Ed [Murrow] and I here for a few days to discuss our European coverage, or at least that’s our excuse. Actually, intoxicated by the lights at night and the fine food and the change in atmosphere, we have been cutting up like a couple of youngsters suddenly escaped from a stern old aunt or a reform school. Last night in sheer joy, as we were coming home from an enormous dinner with a fresh snow drifting down like confetti, we stopped under a bright street-light and fought a mighty snow-ball battle. I lost my glasses and my hat and we limped back to the hotel exhausted but happy. This morning we have been ice-skating on the canals with Mary Marvin Breckinridge, who has forsaken the soft and dull life of American society to represent us here. The Dutch still lead the good life. The food they consume as to both quantity and quality (oysters, fowl, meats, vegetables, oranges, bananas, coffee—the things the warring peoples never see) is fantastic. They dine and dance and go to church and skate on canals and tend their businesses. And they are blind—oh, so blind—to the dangers that confront them. Ed and I have tried to do a little missionary work, but to no avail, I fear. The Dutch, like everyone else, want it both ways. They want peace and the comfortable life, but they won’t make the sacrifices or even the hard decisions which might ensure their way of life in the long run. The Queen, they say, stubbornly refuses to allow staff talks with the Allies or even with the Belgians. In the meantime, as I could observe when I crossed the border, the Germans pile up their forces and supplies on the Dutch frontier. If and when they move, there will be no time for staff talks with the Allies. The Dutch tell you that if they even whisper to the Allies about joint defence [British spelling] plans, Hitler will consider that an excuse to walk in. As though Hitler will ever want for an excuse if he really decides to walk in.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 277-278). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

I was in Amsterdam last year, and I had a conversation with a resident. I brought up the matter of skating on the canals, and he told me that was a thing of the past. The climate is so much warmer, the canals no longer freeze.

I have to reprint the entire section from January 20, because it gives a stark picture of how anybody, no matter who they were, could be caught up in the paranoid Nazi machine.

Amsterdam, January 20

Ed off today to Paris and I, alas, must head back tonight to Berlin. I’ve invited Marvin to come up next month and do the “women’s angle.” Ran into Tom R., an American businessman, in the bar of the Carlton this afternoon. He gave me the story at last of what happened to Eleanor K.17 He himself was involved. He had given her a couple of business letters to certain parties in Germany which he says he did not think were compromising, but which obviously were. These were the letters which in the end almost led to her death. Eleanor did not look at them, merely tucking them into her bag. At Bentheim, on the Dutch-German border, the Gestapo discovered them. They arrested her, but allowed her to be confined in the local hotel, there being no suitable jail. Each day there were long hours of questioning, with the Gestapo inquisitioners trying to break her down and make her admit what she in truth refused to: that she knew the contents of her letters and was really a courier in the service of shady business interests inside and outside Germany which were engaging in unlawful financial practices. To make matters worse, one of the letters was to a Jew in Berlin. One night in the hotel Eleanor fell into a mood of deep depression. The Gestapo had questioned and threatened her all day. She saw herself receiving a long prison sentence. She had intended to return to America for good in a few weeks. Now she would spend years in a Nazi concentration camp or a damp prison cell. She decided to make sure she wouldn’t. She decided to kill herself. The resolve made, she prepared for it coolly. She procured a rope, tied one end to the radiator, the other around her neck, opened the window, sat down on the window-ledge, and began to swallow strong sleeping-pills. She would soon be unconscious, she knew, would topple out of the window, and the rope would do the rest. Why it didn’t, she will never know, Tom says. Probably the rope slipped off the radiator. All she knows is that some days later they told her in the hospital that the snow in the street below had broken her fall, that she had lain there for five hours until someone had stumbled across her half-frozen form in the first light of dawn, and that she had broken almost every bone in her body, but probably would recover. Eventually she was removed to a prison hospital in Berlin, where the American consulate, in great secrecy, procured her release and quietly got her out of the country. She is now in America, Tom says.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 278-280). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Another entire copy and paste, illustrating how unglamorous was the life of a foreign correspondent during the war.

Berlin, January 22

I got an idea yesterday of how German transportation, at least of railroad passengers, has been paralysed by the severe winter and the demands of the army. At the German border we were told that the usual express train to Berlin had stopped running. With fifty other passengers I took refuge from the blizzard in the station at Bentheim and waited several hours until the railroad officials organized a local train which they said would take us some twenty-five miles of the two hundred and fifty miles to Berlin. The train, which was unheated, soon stopped; we piled out in the snow with our luggage as best we could, there being no porters in Germany nowadays. By the time it was dark, we had progressed on various local trains about seventy-five miles when in one little station word came that an express train from Cologne would be coming along soon and would pick us up for Berlin. But when it came in, it was jammed and there were at least five hundred people on the platform who wanted to get aboard. There was a free-for-all fight. I used college football tactics and charged in behind my baggage, just managing to squeeze into the outer platform of a third-class coach, the rest of the crammed passengers shouting and cursing at me. For the next eight hours I stood in that unheated spot until we got almost to Berlin. Several hundred irritable passengers stood in the corridors most of the night, and there were thousands on the station platforms we stopped at who never got on the train at all. Such grumbling I have not heard from Germans since the war started.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 280-281). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer obtains a perspective of the German mentality from somebody thoroughly acquainted.

Berlin, January 24

think Percival W., a retired American businessman of German parentage who has spent most of his life in this country, sees something I’ve been trying to get straight. I had never met him before, but he dropped up to my room this morning for a chat. We discussed the German conception of ethics, honour, conduct. Said he: “For Germans a thing is right, ethical, honourable, if it squares with the tradition of what a German thinks a German should do; or if it advances the interests of Germanism or Germany. But the Germans have no abstract idea of ethics, or honour, or right conduct.” He gave a pretty illustration. A German friend said to him: “Isn’t it terrible what the Finns are doing, taking on Russia? It’s utterly wrong.” When Mr. W. remonstrated that, after all, the Finns were only doing what you would expect all decent Germans to do if they got in the same fix—namely, defending their liberty and independence against wanton aggression—his friend retorted: “But Russia is Germany’s friend.”

In other words, for a German to defend his country’s liberty and independence is right. For a Finn to do the same is wrong, because it disturbs Germany’s relations with Russia. The abstract idea there is missing in the German mentality.

That probably explains the Germans’ complete lack of regard or sympathy for the plight of the Poles or Czechs. What the Germans are doing to these people—murdering them, for one thing—is right because the Germans are doing it, and the victims, in the German view, are an inferior race who must think right whatever the Germans please to do to them. As Dr. Ley puts it: “Right is what the Führer does.” All this confirms an idea I got years ago: that the German conception of “honour,” about which Germans never cease to talk, is nonsense.

Mr. W. tells me he was in Germany until shortly before we entered the war in 1917 and that until the winter of 1916–17 there was no suffering among the civilian population at all. He says the present rations and shortages are about the same as Germany experienced in the third year of the World War. He is sure things cannot go on as at present, with the front quiet and nothing but hardship, especially the suffering from the cold we’ve had for more than a month now. “What the Germans must have,” he said in departing, “are a lot of quick victories.”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 281-282). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Another entire section copied and pasted. Shirer gives more insight into German thinking from talking to people.

Berlin, January 25 (midnight)

Dined alone at Habel’s. A 1923 half-bottle of Bordeaux rouge, but despite the waiter’s assurances, it was not a good enough wine to withstand that age; 1934 is the best year now for ordinary wines. I was about to leave when a white-haired old duffer sat down at my table. As he had no fat card for a meat dish he had ordered, I offered him one of mine. We started talking.

“Who will win the war?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Why, selbstverständlich, Germany,” he laughed. He argued that in 1914 Germany had the whole world against her, now only Great Britain and France, and Russia was friendly.

“Each side thinks it will win,” I said. “In all the wars.”

He looked at me with pity in his old eyes. “Germany will win,” he said. “It is certain. The Führer has said so.”

But as we talked I was conscious that my remarks were jarring him. He became aggressive, irritated. He said Britain and France started the war. “But you attacked Poland, and some people feel that started the war,” I put in. He drew himself up in astonishment.

“I beg your pardon,” he gasped, and then proceeded for ten minutes to repeat every lie about the origins of the war that Hitler has told. (The German people do believe Hitler then, I mused.) “The documents issued by our Foreign Office have proved beyond the shadow of doubt,” he went on, “that Britain and France started the war and indeed planned it for more than a year.”

“They don’t prove it to me,” I said.

This caused him to lose his breath. When he had recovered he said: “As I was saying, saying, the documents prove it….”

I noticed my sour remarks were attracting the attention of the rest of the room and that two hatchet-faced men with party buttons at the next table seemed to be on the point of intervening with some heroics of their own. I upped and left, bidding the old gentleman good-night.

At six p.m. Fräulein X called for some provisions I had brought her from relatives abroad. She turned out to be the most intelligent German female I have met in ages. We talked about the German theatre and films, about which she knew a great deal. She had some interesting ideas about German character, history, direction. The trouble with the Germans, she said, was that they were “geborene Untertanen”—born subjects, though “Untertan” conveys also a connotation of submissive subjects. Authority and direction from a master above was about all a German wanted in life.

“A German,” she said, “will think he has died a good German if he waits at a curb at a red light, and then crosses on a green one though he knows perfectly well that a truck, against the law though it may be, is bearing down upon him to crush him to death.”

What embittered her—and she was brilliantly bitter—was that this Germany was staking all in a war which might end the very Western civilization which certain elements in Germany had not only contributed to but had tried to make one with Germany’s culture. She thought the present regime cared not a whit about Western civilization and represented the barbarian element which had always lurked below the surface in German history and for whom life only had meaning when it meant glorified war, force, conquest, brutality, and grinding down a weaker foe, especially if he were a Slav. She blasted away about the German’s utter lack of political sense,

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 283-284). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

his slavishness towards authority, his cowardly refusal to think or act for himself.

The non-European, anti-Western civilization element, as she put it, now has the upper hand in Germany and she thought the only way the west-European nature of the German could be saved would be by another defeat, even another Peace of Westphalia (which split up Germany in 1648 into three hundred separate states). I’m rather inclined to agree.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 282-285). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Shirer tells of the greatest organized mass migration in modern times. Germans will be moved in to occupy the territory stripped from the Poles. This is to be followed six years later by the greatest organized mass migration in modern times, as these Germans are repatriated to the post-war German state.

There is also great irony in the propaganda war.

Berlin, January 27

The greatest organized mass migration since the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey after the last war is now coming to an end in Poland. Some 135,000 Germans from Russian-occupied eastern Poland and 100,000 Germans from the Baltic states are now being settled in the part of Poland which Germany has annexed outright. To make room for them an equal number of Poles are being turned out of house, home, and farm and sent to occupied Poland…. Dr. Frank, German Governor-General of Poland, has decreed the death sentence for Poles who hold back goods from sale or refuse to sell their wares when offered a “decent” price. This will enable the Germans to complete their pillage of Poland. If a Pole objects, off with his head…. A German court in Posen has sentenced eight Poles, including three women, to death for allegedly mistreating German flyers—probably parachutists. Even the Germans admit that not one of the flyers was killed.

A phony war. Today’s dispatches from the front deal exclusively with an account of how German machine-guns fought French loud-speakers! It seems that along the Rhine front the French broadcast some recordings which the Germans say constituted a personal insult to the Führer.

“The French did not realize,” says the DNB with that complete lack of humour which makes the Germans so funny, “that an attack on the Führer would be immediately rejected by the German troops.” So the Germans opened fire on the French loud-speakers at Altenheim and Breisach. Actually the army people tell me that the French broadcast recordings of Hitler’s former speeches denouncing Bolshevism and the Soviets.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (pp. 285-286). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The following post will relate sections in the book from February 1940.

Nobel Nobel

Eye on the Prize, Number 15

You go get ’em, Baby Cheeks. The Prize is there for you to take:

North Korea Seen Expanding Rocket Launch Facility It Once Promised To Dismantle

What I am thinking is Barack Obama will get a second Nobel before you get one.

This is your president speaking.

Number 242 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States.

It almost makes you wish we had George W. Bush again. To make this rambling chain of thought searchable, here is what the President of the United States said;

China very much wants to make a deal. They want to make a deal much more than I do.

But we’ll see what happens.

And just remember they’re charging us tariffs.

You know, some of the folks that I really like, but some of the senators they’ll come to me, “Well sir, it’s not really good because it’s not free market. Like, you take India where they’re charging 100%.

And by the way, 100% is nothing compared to what some companies charge. You know, France charges us a lot more for the wine, and yet we charge them very little for French wine.

So the wineries come to me, and they say , “Sir-” The California guys, they come, “Sir, we’re paying a lot of money to put our product into France, and you’re letting-” which are great wines, but we have great wines, too, allowing it to come in for nothing!

I hope I have made that perfectly clear.

Nobel Nobel

Eye on the Prize, Number 14

 

The prize is almost within your grasp, President Tiny Hands. Don’t let it slip away:

North Korea says US ‘deceived’ Pyongyang on nuclear talks after Trump sends Kim birthday letter

I’m sure this year you will be off to Oslo to pick up your prize, that is unless you’re in jail. Then they need to mail it to you.

Nobel Nobel

Eye on the Prize, Number 13

Happy New Year and to hopes of seeing a new winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Is our glorious president finally getting the reward he so much deserves for de-escalating tensions with the rogue DPRK? Things are looking better and better all the time:

Kim Jong-un said North Korea was free of a self-imposed pause on testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, which President Trump had called a diplomatic victory.

I guess not.