Spring Fundraiser 2016, Day Two
Our fundraiser weeks (which grew into an eight-day octave over the years) used to scare me. Being a random writer, I was always afraid I’d end up with nothing to say. Or, even worse, I’d be so dysphoric that readers would be chipping in for my coffin.
But those times are finally behind me: not only are the Quarterlies events to look forward to, but that dysphoria is fading into the past. Logically, it shouldn’t be: we’re all sitting here getting older, after all, and the handbasket the world was hellbent on climbing into for the trip down has morphed from its modest size into a big honking bus full of “immigrants” who hate us. What’s to laugh about? Who in his right mind wants to celebrate this state of affairs, right?
Wrong, at least in this case, since I’m an inveterate Pollyanna kind of girl.
I suppose one ought grow up and assume a mantle of sober mien. But now I’m finally getting to the point where anything is possible if you’re of a certain age (“she’s dotty, surely?”). I’m still Pollyanna.
As I’ve mentioned before, during the years I lived in the Girls’ Home I spent my free time reading; it was my great escape over the walls. We had lots of books because people would clean out their attics and donate the detritus to “those poor little girls at the home”. One great gift was a set of all the Pollyanna Glad books, with their yellowed brittle pages. Along with the books were sometimes crates of old dresses that looked suspiciously like the ones Pollyanna was wearing in those books from the 1930s. Most of us managed to resist the nuns’ suggestions that these “frocks” were perfectly wearable.
Still, I was in heaven: here was a girl who knew how to live in spite of adversity. She ate adversity for breakfast and asked for more. As Pollyanna famously said, “…if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times [in Scripture] to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it at least some of the time…” or another favorite, when she declares “if you keep hunting long enough you’re bound to find something to be glad about”. Sometimes you can just be glad when you get to quit hunting.
To this day, I intermittently practice Pollyanna positivity: at night I write down five things I experienced during the day that made me happy. This is a good night-time exercise because if I do it in the morning, I often can’t remember what I did the day before. Without work or children it becomes hard to structure one’s days. When a friend of ours was fired from her long-term job because her work in the Counterjihad was exposed (her employer was bullied into it. He didn’t want to let her go and have the trouble of training another personal assistant), I remember her reaction: how would she ever remember what day it was without keeping someone else’s calendar straight? I understood her dismay completely because it is — or was — often mine.
But thanks to your donations, I’ve been able to hire a house cleaner. She’s far more than that, though: she works in the garden with me (and I get to teach her about plants), she reminds me what needs to be done and she’s even gotten out some CDs I haven’t felt like listening to for a long time. As the Baron says, she fills the hole in my life where my daughter used to be. In fact, she’s the same age. We go shopping for house-organizing gadgets. She brings me the offal from her chickens when she and her farmer husband slaughter them. I even talked her into bringing me the chicken feet for broth.
My lady’s home companion comes for two hours, three times a week. Any longer than two hours triggers my fatigue. Any less and we wouldn’t get much done. Without your donations, I couldn’t have this woman in my life. Now I can’t imagine not having her company and ideas. It sure eases the burden on the Baron, too. He looks forward to hearing that doorbell ring on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…
Of all the uses to which we’ve put your gifts, this one has caused a paradigmatic change in my life. Pollyanna never left me completely — after all, she came along in my formative years, but she’s really back now. And now I’m looking for a Pollyanna book for my companion/cleaner’s relative. I’ve seen that little girl and I know a Pollyanna girl when they happen along. I even talked her into piano lessons!
One other way we use your donations (beyond getting from quarter to quarter) is to tithe to Vlad, our videographer. I always mention him in these fundraising weeks, but I don’t know if I’ve ever said what a perfect spot he fills in the Baron’s work life. Not only do they
conspire collaborate extensively and build on one another’s ideas, but more importantly Vlad makes the Baron laugh. In addition to being collaborators, they are companions in the ways that only men can be for each other. At least once a day the B comes downstairs to tell me something funny Vlad has said.
In the same way that my lady’s home companion fills out what was missing in my life, Vlad does that for the Baron. It’s definitely a guy thing.
Ever since we decided to use International Socialism’s May Day iconography as our theme for this Spring’s Quarterly (yes, it is at least partially an excuse to use those pictures) I’ve been pondering why the USSR would make it such a big deal in May particularly? Was it because the eternal Russian winter was finally over? Well, no. After a brief search, I had to laugh at the reason: they actually chose an American tragedy to anchor their parades and puffery and strutting about. From the Wiki:
The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the Second International, a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties, to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.
Notice that’s the Second International?? What was the First? Now we’re getting back into the mists of time, well before the
death knell revolutionary events of 1917 when the Tsar’s Okhrana would morph into Lenin’s dreaded Cheka. I’ll bet some of them were even the same people.
But let’s stick with the First International for a moment. It was headquartered in London, and the founders’ list reads like a Who’s Who of 19th century ideologists:
Karl Marx, Mikhail Bakunin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Louis Auguste Blanqui, and Giuseppe Garibaldi.
You can almost feel the hope in what was termed “The International Workingmen’s Association”:
The International Workingmen’s Association (IWA, 1864—1876), often called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class and class struggle. It was founded in 1864 in a workmen’s meeting held in St Martin’s Hall, London. Its first congress was held in 1866 in Geneva.
In Europe, a period of harsh reaction followed the widespread Revolutions of 1848. The next major phase of revolutionary activity began almost twenty years later with the founding of the IWA in 1864. At its peak, the IWA reported having 8 million members, while police reported 5 million.
In 1872 the organization split in two over conflicts between socialist and anarchist factions. It dissolved in 1876. The Second International was founded in 1889.
By 1904, the Second International held its sixth conference, this time in Amsterdam. They called for “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” My heavens — they really did say things like that!
Thirteen years later Russia had its Revolution and the U.S. cheered them on. See those wonderful peasants up top, happy and productive and well-nourished? Our propaganda barons insisted all was well in Russia, lying in the teeth of a grim murderous reality. In America, the CPUSA worked to infiltrate the government and did a bang-up job. During WWII, Roosevelt and his brain trust stepped all over Britain to send material to Russia. No loans, just gifts. It took Britain until the 21st century to pay off its war debt to America. Meanwhile, after the war, Russia reached Berlin first and took many American POWs, sending them to the gulag where they’d never be heard from again. No one seems to know how many of the MIAs listed in Germany were really Soviet captives.
In the post-war years it took us a long time and a lot of cultural dissension and division to get rid of the Communist cancer. In some ways, we’re still not rid of it, when you consider Obama’s Communist parents: his mother, his putative Kenyan father, and his (probably) real father, Frank Marshall (see Marshall’s other children for a comparison). Marshall was a close friend of Obama’s maternal grandparents, also Communists. Our president kicked off his campaign from the home of an unrepentant Communist-linked terrorist whose only regret was that he didn’t kill enough of us. And this moral midget has academic tenure, of course.
It’s a miracle we survived domestic Communism. No matter what the legends say, the U.S. didn’t defeat the USSR. What really happened is that the USSR finally imploded, unable to maintain a clunky, obsolescent command economy and a modern military.
But the USSR is not the only socialist failure of record. You have only to look at the bloody trail world Communism left behind to know what a horror it was and how destructive its remnants (Cuba and North Korea, mostly. China is a totalitarian state which retains some of Communism’s outer trappings but has been forced to deal with market capitalism to survive…and thrive).
And you have only to peruse the pages of the heavily ironic People’s Cube, written by survivors of Soviet Ukraine, to understand the total lie of totalitarianism, no matter what it is that the nightmare calls itself. These “news items” from the People’s Cube sidebar, are perfect parodies of Russian humor translated into American current events. It’s only a partial list; the whole thing goes all the way down the page:
- News from 2017: once the evacuation of Lena Dunham and 90% of other Hollywood celebrities to Canada is confirmed, Trump resigns from presidency: “My work here is done”
- Trump suggests creating ‘Muslim database’; Obama symbolically protests by shredding White House guest logs beginning 2009
- Iran breaks its pinky-swear promise not to support terrorism; US State Department vows rock-paper-scissors strategic response
- Women across the country cheer as racist Democrat president on $20 bill is replaced by black pro-gun Republican
- Federal Reserve solves budget crisis by writing itself a 20-trillion-dollar check
- Widows, orphans claim responsibility for Brussels airport bombing
- Che Guevara’s son hopes Cuba’s communism will rub off on US, proposes a long list of people the government should execute first
- Susan Sarandon: “I don’t vote with my vagina.” Voters in line behind her still suspicious, use hand sanitizer
- Campaign memo typo causes Hillary to court ‘New Black Panties’ vote
- New Hampshire votes for socialist Sanders, changes state motto to “Live FOR Free or Die” [Europeans: The real motto of the state of New Hampshire is “Live Free or Die”. Many highly-taxed blue-staters move there]
- Marx-Sanders Statisticians: one out of three Bernie Sanders supporters is just as dumb as the other two
- Obama stops short of firing US Congress upon realizing the difficulty of assembling another group of such tractable yes-men
- In effort to control wild passions for violent jihad, White House urges gun owners to keep their firearms covered in gun burkas
- Green energy fact: if we put all green energy subsidies together in one-dollar bills and burn them, we could generate more electricity than has been produced by subsidized green energy
- State officials improve chances of healthcare payouts by replacing ObamaCare with state lottery
- NASA’s new mission to search for racism, sexism, and economic inequality in deep space suffers from race, gender, and class power struggles over multibillion-dollar budget
- Shocking new book explores pros and cons of socialism, discovers they are same people
- Pope outraged by Planned Parenthood’s “unfettered capitalism,” demands equal redistribution of baby parts to each according to his need
- John Kerry accepts Iran’s “Golden Taqiyya” award, requests jalapenos on the side
Lots more on the People’s Cube home page. Nobody does Russian humor better than an escapee from the system.
That’s why the Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is an anachronism. His call for a socialist solution to problems socialism was never able to address in the first place has some appeal to folks who think the “right kind” of socialism hasn’t been tried yet. Poor Bernie — he’s never held a real job in his whole career, only “serving” in government positions — would be a genuine disaster if he were a real threat. But the experience of Obama has reminded Americans that the unicorns and the hope for human perfectibility is simply a dream. Or more accurately, a nightmare.
Populism is on the rise throughout the West and it’s bringing a push-back in its wake. Such a political worldview is a more natural state for Americans, given their long experience with those delineated, written-down Constitutional rights. We are ornery, contentious, and given to altercations over our differences. This is especially true for those “safe space” fragile flowers so afraid of the bullies outside their social ghettoes. Yet they feel perfectly free to deny your rights while they shout you down or climb over your battered body to reach for whatever new shiny toy they’ve been promised by Daddy Government. For an amusing video demonstrating their SHUT UP techniques and an effective answer, watch this excerpt of a panel discussion sponsored at the University of Massachusetts by the student Republican Club. That such a group as the R.C. even exists in Amherst is surely one of the seven wonders of Taxachusetts’ cultural life.
Milo Yiannopoulos, the main speaker in this excerpt from a longer video, discusses both Britain’s problems and his own experience in public speaking in America. He is making a name for himself in the U.S., first as the technology editor of Breitbart, a conservative news aggregator which has finally decided to put some of its focus on Europe. [His co-panelists are well-known to many right-wing Americans: Christina Hoff Sommers and Steven Crowder. She is a philosophy professor and author. He is a ‘conservative’ comedian.]
You can see why we — Americans and Europeans — have much in common as we face the future. Despite the last gasps of the tyrant Putin, Communism is dead. He may have to resurrect Imperial Russia, again failing to ever allow his people to develop a middle class. In America, though, we are in danger of losing the middle class. It’s already shrinking. There hasn’t been a genuine rise in income for men since 1975. Read the whole essay to grasp what forces are at play here.
Obama is a historical first: the first president who failed to see a single year of a three percent growth in the GDP.
So if you’re wondering why normally sane Americans are on the Trump bandwagon, try to see the forces at play: Trump transcends party politics. He’s a businessman who wants to use business to grow American business. He wants a border and sovereignty, which the transnationals claim is too 20th-century. Is he full of hot air? That’s the question. Without doubt, those running against him are so propped up by the system that, were he not running, many Americans would not be voting. We’re not Australia: we aren’t required by law to vote. If we had such a law on the books, I fear that without Trump’s voice more than a few Americans would be voting for Darth Vader or Mickey Mouse.
I’m looking forward to our week of socialism-on-a-spit. Perhaps a contrast-and-compare of the tyranny of International Communism and the equally tyrannical International Ummah.
We’re off to a good start this time. That’s always heartening: the old what-if-no-one-comes-to-the-party hump of Day One has been successfully negotiated. Whew! Don’t have to look into that abyss after all.
Yesterday y’all came from the following places:
Stateside: California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia
Near Abroad: Canada and the Dominican Republic
Far Abroad: Australia, Germany, India, Portugal, and the UK
Now today, be sure to click the donate button on the side bar early and often: I’m in a contest with the Baron on this. Sure, he does most of the work around Gates of Vienna, but that doesn’t mean we don’t compete a bit. And, yes, it’s fun! Just like all the years of Scrabble games in the evenings, but with more words this time around.
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