He was born on this day, one hundred years ago.
Monthly Archives: July 2019
I refuse to be irrational about Boris – in fact, I rather like him. Whether he can weather the Brexit storm is another matter, but I like some of his decisions so far: Piti Pratel, Dom Cummings, for starters; getting rid of at least 17 ministers. Here’s a fair portrait of the man.
A propos Brexit, I though poor Theresa May was treated abominably for her efforts – I have enormous respect for the woman. I know a “feminist” who criticized her for crying when she stepped down! I found that rather mean-spirited. What was wrong with her having that honest moment? I am certain that if May were a Labour politician this “feminist” would not have criticized her so harshly.
And here is a link from a few months ago – “Brexit: the Musical.” It perhaps seems a bit dated now, but I found it hilarious. And it might yet come to pass.
To the Moon
I do not understand people who are cynical about the moon landing, about space exploration in general. This is the best of America, the best of humanity – the desire to learn, to explore; the curiosity; the discoveries that give us goosebumps. I do not remember the moon landing — though my oldest brother always told me I was watching with the rest of the family — but I love watching these clips.
Today marks the 77th anniversary of the Rafle du Vel d’Hiv in Paris. It took the French over 50 years to admit their very proactive role in this tragedy, and Jacques Chirac was the one to finally tell the truth. For this reason, I will always have respect for him, in spite of his being — in my view – politically objectionable on other matters. There was absolutely nothing for him to gain from this in terms of votes. It was simply the right thing to do.
I’m a day late, but in honour of July 12th and King Billy (my family benefitted rather enormously from this man and his adventures), I give you this terrific tune. (You will recognize the melody – Sweet Betsy From Pike. Of course, when immigrants came to North America, they brought their songs and the lyrics were often changed.)
Ross Perot passed away, which – for me – brings to mind Admiral Stockdale. This was a time in my life when I was questioning my previous political views, which had been reflexively leftist, and I think the terrible treatment of Stockdale had a powerful effect on me. Seeing how nasty so many were to, and about, this man, brought to light something I had seen in my own family – that people on the left who think of themselves as kind and empathetic and so forth, are often quite the opposite. The chorus of mockery of which they are capable, especially toward the finest people, is horrifying. Further, I realized that part of what we need to remain free is people like Stockdale (and John McCain) and we need to honour them. This was also when I began to notice Dennis Miller, his wit and intelligence and independence. So rare in entertainers.
Men of Harlech
One of my favourite films is How Green was my Valley. There is absolutely goosebump-inducing music in it, including the song “Men of Harlech.” I recently saw Zulu for the first time, and loved it. Amazing movie and the best part is, it also features “Men of Harlech.”
The Versailles Treaty
When I was in high school, I had a history teacher named Mr. McGrahan. He was mean to me. He was always mystified when I did fabulously well on a test, which was EVERY TIME I WROTE A TEST. He just did not like me. But he said one thing that was useful – he told us that the Versailles Treaty was not unjust, that it was not a cause of World War II, that the Germans had no justification to whinge about it. As I went on to study history at university and on my own time, I came to the conclusion that he was correct, though the received wisdom was always that the Versailles Treaty was unfair to Germany and a cause of the war. This is my very long-winded way of saying that I was thrilled to come upon this column in the Wall Street Journal, written by Joseph Loconte: The Versailles Treaty Gets a Bum Rap.
I think you should read it!
AOC: Ignorant or anti-Semitic?
Or both? As I have written before, I have at least one relative who is anti-Semitic, possibly more, and several who constantly act as apologists for anti-Semitism. One of them even said to me, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, that there were “shades of grey” in the story. Dear Lord. The moral bankruptcy.
This is why I am not surprised at the public indifference to AOC’s most recent stupid, bigoted comment. (She makes so many it is hard to keep track.) I am, sadly, accustomed to ahistorical, anti-Western, Chomskybot “thinking,” as I am exposed to it at every family event I attend.
As Daniella Greenbaum-Davis writes:
Ocasio-Cortez is either willfully ignorant, or purposefully anti-Semitic. Ignorant because if her convictions are genuine, she is entirely uneducated about a crucial part of world history, or educated only to the point of knowing the phrase ’Never Again’ without knowing who said it and why. Anti-Semitic because her inability in this, and only this situation, to utter the words ‘I’m sorry’ is highly unusual.
What’s curious — and deeply troubling — is that if a minority expressed discomfort about something, it’s typical progressive etiquette that the politician that caused that discomfort would quickly apologize and embark on a ‘learning journey’, to correct the ignorance that had led them astray. Instead, AOC is doubling and tripling down. She has chosen this as a hill to die on. This compounds historical ignorance with political vanity, and it compounds the insult too.
I love Italy and Italians. But when I tell friends about how openly racist a place it can be, they never believe me. Well, here’s an example. What does not surprise me, because I know Italy, is that Italians, in general, do not “get” why this ad might be a problem. (And boy, did that sentence ever have a lot of commas.)