AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 672569 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: White People Who Instigate Violence
« Reply #4305 on: June 01, 2020, 08:38:44 AM »
As a prepper, the last place you'll ever find me is anywhere near some big protest where emotional mobs can be manipulated into violence. I support the right to protest. but I won't risk my life.

If there was a protest I could get to on my Cripple Cart, I would go to make videos.  :icon_sunny:

What cop would beat up a cripple?  That video would go VIRAL.  It would get the Diner on the map!  I would risk my life for the Diner.

RE

Are you kidding me?
A reasonable person might ask, "What cop would keep a knee on an already subdued and non responsive man?" Crippled or not, you'd be fair game. And since you look like a Guy Fawkes mask, it's likely the cops would single you out for "special handling." That cripple cart being a deadly weapon, and all.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Trump Is Terrified of Protest
« Reply #4306 on: June 01, 2020, 08:47:42 AM »
Trump Is Terrified of Protest
Violent demonstrations across the United States bring out a particular weakness in the 45th president.



Demonstrators confront Secret Service police and park police officers outside of the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd.ERIC BARADAT / AFP via Getty

Peter Nicholas

Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence.

When Marine One deposited Trump on the South Lawn last night after his day trip to Florida, the president walked toward the entrance of the White House amid a cacophony of car horns and chanting protesters who flung themselves against barricades in an hours-long clash with police. Trump hasn’t seen demonstrations on this kind since he assumed office in January 2017. Protesters breached an outer checkpoint at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue at one point yesterday afternoon. All day long, cars streamed toward the White House, with passengers leaning out the windows and chanting, “Black lives matter!” As one car passed a White House gate at 15th and E Streets, a group of men shouted at the guards: “Fuck you.” On sidewalks littered with soiled masks and empty water bottles, demonstrators pumped their fists in solidarity and demanded respect for African Americans—a community whom Trump says he “loves.”

As night fell, the protesters massed outside Lafayette Square, just north of the White House. A booming drum echoed in the heavy evening air and people chanted, “I can’t breathe!” in homage to 46-year-old George Floyd, who died Monday while pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police, straining for breath. (The three-word chant—which counted among the final words of Eric Garner, another black man who died at the hands of cops, six years ago this month—could be heard in protests across the country last night.) Some tossed water bottles and other projectiles at a line of police officers, who in turn fired pepper spray, causing the protesters to scatter briefly along H Street and then return to the area outside the White House.

Read: When police view citizens as enemies

Later, vandals shattered windows in nearby buildings and set fire to cars. Graffiti scrawled on the window of a Wells Fargo branch at 17th Street and Pennsylvania read: “capitalism is murder.”

Between the coronavirus and the protests, crisis layered upon crisis, the White House has come to resemble a fortress. I walked onto the grounds yesterday after officials checked my temperature at a security gate and inquired about any symptoms: Had I lost my sense of smell or taste? I made my way toward the briefing room, past a long line of heavily armed police officers preparing to take up positions.

Around 6 p.m., the North Lawn was freshly mowed, the campus quiet. Yet the mood was tense, with police checking their weapons and scanning the crowd growing outside the gates. As I prepared to leave, an agent asked me to wait: Protesters were marching south on 17th Street, and the Secret Service wanted them to pass first. “Are you sure you want to go out there?” another agent asked me as I exited the compound.

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted about the “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” that shield him and make him safe. Young Secret Service agents were girding for a fight, he wrote.

Presidents don’t normally feel compelled to boast about their protection. Trump wrote in a tweet that Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser wouldn’t let the city’s police force assist during protests Friday. (That’s not the case; Secret Service said that city police officers were indeed on the scene.) In a tweet of her own, Bowser called Trump “a scared man. Afraid/alone.”

Trump has made known his disdain for protests that target him or his record. He tends to view them through a simple lens: as provocations that must be put down with unyielding force. Less important to Trump, it seems, are the grievances that give rise to the demonstrations in the first place. He’s described himself as a “law and order” president who admires practitioners of a certain rough justice. Yesterday, he tweeted praise for two generals from history: George Patton and Douglas MacArthur (he misspelled MacArthur). Both played a role in the government’s heavy-handed quashing of a protest in 1932 by war veterans who, in the midst of the Great Depression, wanted early payment of a bonus they were due.

Past presidents have sought to play a healing role when the nation is on edge, but Trump’s instinct is to plunge into combustible circumstances in ways that rouse his base. He encourages protests that align with his interests. Eager to see an economic revival, Trump last month egged on demonstrators who pressed Democratic governors to ease stay-at-home orders despite the coronavirus threat. “LIBERATE” Michigan, Virginia, and Minnesota, he tweeted. (Some protesters showed up in the Michigan state Capitol with guns and tactical gear).

At a campaign rally in December, he watched as security removed a protester. “Get her out,” he said from the stage. He faulted a security guard for being “politically correct” in his methods. “He didn’t do the greatest job,” Trump said. At a Las Vegas rally during the 2016 campaign, Trump said of a protester who’d shown up: “I’d like to punch him in the face,” and also criticized security personnel for treating the person too gingerly.

Early in his term, he picked a fight with NFL players who knelt in silent protest during the national anthem. He told his vice president, Mike Pence, to walk out of an Indianapolis Colts game in 2017 if members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee. Pence obliged. The stunt cost taxpayers $325,000.

When Pence said last week that he supported people’s right to “peacefully protest,” he was mocked by the NBA coach Steve Kerr: “How do you have the gall to say this?” (Trump, too, said he supports “peaceful protesters.” At his appearance yesterday in Florida for the launch of the SpaceX craft, he also said: “I understand the pain that people are feeling. We support the right of peaceful protesters and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.”)

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” suggesting that the people ransacking stores could be met with deadly force. (He later softened his comment, saying he meant only that he didn’t want to see violence escalate.) “President Trump has thrown a verbal Molotov cocktail into what is already an explosive, emotional situation,” Valerie Jarrett, a former senior aide to President Barack Obama, told me. “He should be doing the exact opposite. He’s playing to a very small part of his base for political purposes.”

Conor Friedersdorf: Trump’s looting tweet violates his oath of office

In the face of civil unrest, some past presidents looking to defuse tensions granted protesters an audience. Obama met with activists in the Oval Office in 2014 amid demonstrations over the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Richard Nixon was a self-styled law-and-order president, too, who in 1971 talked about hiring teamsters’ union “thugs” to rough up Vietnam War protesters. Yet Nixon also left the White House early one morning in 1970 and made a surprise trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he spoke to students protesting the war. Nixon told them: “I know probably most of you think I’m an SOB. But I want you to know that I understand just how you feel.”

“He didn’t know how to connect with them, but he did try to empathize and build a bridge,” Timothy Naftali, a former director of the Nixon Presidential Library, told me. “It was an awkward effort, but it was an effort—a unique effort.”

On my way home, I met a couple from Virginia, Samuel and Elizabeth Chisolm, who wanted their two daughters to see the protest and learn something. The family stood on 16th Street, a couple of blocks north of the scrum at Lafayette Square, but close enough to hear the chants and see the police response.

“I’ve been alive to see Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and George Floyd,” Chelsea Chisolm, 17, told me. “I’ve never been in a major city in a protest. I’ve been the person behind the screen, yelling in their room: ‘No! No!’”

Last night, videos of two NYPD cruisers accelerating into a crowd of Brooklyn protesters exploded across social media. Trump saw fit to say something about police tactics: “Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest,” he tweeted. “There is nobody better, but they must be allowed to do their job!”

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Curfews and Soldiers Can’t Contain the Nation’s Chaos
« Reply #4307 on: June 01, 2020, 09:00:20 AM »
Curfews and Soldiers Can’t Contain the Nation’s Chaos
‘COLLECTIVE GRIEF’
Violent protests over George Floyd’s death raged into Sunday evening, as protesters faced tear gas and rubber bullets—and even a rogue trucker speeding down a Minneapolis highway.




Fiery nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd entered their sixth dayon Sunday, with initially peaceful gatherings giving way to a terrifying confrontation between activists and a rogue truck driver in Minneapolis, a fire on the edge of the White House grounds in Washington, and spectacular scenes of looting in Manhattan.

A tanker truck barreled into a crowd on the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd cried “I can’t breathe” as he was held down by the neck just prior to his death in police custody.

Laura Eltawely told The Daily Beast she and her husband, Ahmad, along with their four small children, were trying to exit the bridge when police drove up an entrance ramp and inexplicably fired tear gas into the crowd fleeing the truck.

“They were openly gassing people that they knew were running away from the incident they were responding to,” Eltawely said Sunday.

The couple and their kids, aged 1 month to 10 years old, took shelter in an apartment building.

“This was a daytime peaceful demonstration,” Eltawely added. “We had no idea there would be clashes with police.”

The truck driver, who was arrested, was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

In New York City, despite clashes in lower Manhattan, police seemed to abandon much of the island to looters, who ransacked some of the most valuable retail real estate on the planet.

Best Buy. North Face. Coach. Kate Spade. Apple.

After 10 p.m., rioters in Union Square ignited boxes outside the Strand bookstore. They were also captured on video smashing the windows of a Walgreens pharmacy and also looting a GameStop store.

At one point in Midtown Manhattan around 11 p.m., a protester dished out iPads to an assembled horde. Minutes earlier, an activist could be he heard intoning, “You’re going the wrong way! Marshalls is that way!”

In Los Angeles, an alleged hit-and-run in Pershing Square downtown was captured on video shared by Twitter users on Sunday afternoon. Demonstrators chased the police vehicle after it hit a man, whose injuries were unclear, and spun around. As hundreds gathered for peaceful protests, others looted businesses in Santa Monica, including the city’s Third Street Promenade. One activist tried to stop looters from breaking into an REI store on Santa Monica Boulevard. Firefighters extinguished cars and buildings in flames in the city, and police eventually showed up to arrest alleged thieves.

Cops in downtown Seattle hurled tear gas and flash-bangs into a crowd of protesters, who ran from the smoke. People raised their arms and shouted, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” National Guard trucks, with soldiers in camouflage, rolled through the streets where volunteers cleaned wreckage that morning. A resident could be overheard intoning, “I must say, the cops seem to be showing some restraint today!”

In Austin, where protests earlier in the day had been peaceful after a violent Saturday night, things turned ugly again as the night wore on, with police reportedly firing beanbag rounds and tear gas from an overpass at the crowd.

In Washington, D.C., things were calm two hours before the first night of an 11 p.m. curfew. Crowds gathered at metal barricades erected at the entrance to Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, and Rondell Jordan, a 30-year-old lawyer, said he planned to leave “before the shit hits the fan.”

“And it should,” he added.

But just before 11 p.m., rioters packed the streets and set St. John’s Episcopal Church on fire. The historic church, built in 1815, is one block from the White House.

They also torched at least one vehicle, a small building that holds restrooms on the perimeter of the White House grounds, and dragged a massive tree branch into the street as kindling for a bonfire. The AFL-CIO building was broken into and vandalized with graffiti, including “Fuck the Police” and “Fuck 12.”

Soon after, a fire was set inside the lobby. One block away, police guarded the St. Regis luxury hotel.

In Chicago, there was plenty of looting in broad daylight. A drive from The Loop to the city’s Deep South Side saw nearly every block feature at least one battered business. One beat cop bemoaned to The Daily Beast, “These aren’t protesters, they are opportunists. They are just destroying and looting because it’s the cool thing to do.”

Likewise, in Philadelphia, crowds of people destroyed police vehicles and ransacked stores throughout the city.

Some residents told The Daily Beast the plundering of businesses did little in furthering justice for Floyd. “So, everybody’s saying that this is all for George, and it’s really not,” said Jessica Conyers, 29. “Y’all basically doing for y’all selves. Stealing is not justice.”

“Some of the people don’t even live in the neighborhood,” Calvin Walker, 58, chimed in. “They doing it ’cause they doing it. It’s not about the protests.”

Looters at a Foot Locker store on Chestnut Street in West Philly were met with police forces, and rubber bullets and canisters of tear gas were fired into the crowd. “We were standing across the street from Foot Locker and we noticed a crowd of people running out and a crowd of cops running toward them. And then we see a cop jump in front of a motorcycle to stop this man and they start hitting him right away. I say, ‘Hey, I got you on camera,’” said one witness, Cordarrol Washington.“And that’s when he got violent. She got shot,” Washington continued, pointing to a woman being treated by paramedics, “and I got shot multiple times.”


Locals told a Daily Beast reporter they were outraged by the devastation. Some even begged for the looting to stop, as volunteer medics poured water into people’s faces and offered masks and hand sanitizer. At least one business owner, Won S. Hwang, drove to the scene to protect his store.

Hwang, a discount hair supplier, said he’s owned his shop for 30 years and has “never seen it like this.”Cheryel-Lynn Sumpter, a 28-year resident and homeowner, told The Daily Beast:

“I am not mad with the police today. I’m mad at people running around and stealing. Because y’all wanna come out here and steal. This has nothing to do with George Floyd. Now we can’t even walk outside because people came down here with bags and stuff. Why am I getting tear gassed in my own alley?”

Rick Bell, a 45-year-old teacher, said he “can’t count how many times” he’s been harassed by police and underscored the importance of the protests against police brutality. “People are tired. This cannot continue to go on,” Bell said.

“I agree looting is not the thing we should be doing,” Bell added. He suggested people go on social media to “see who’s really looting.”

“It’s not just young black kids. It’s everyone across the board,” he said.

In Minneapolis, a crowd of thousands gathered earlier Sunday near the Cup Foods store, just outside of which Floyd was killed. Speakers took turns invoking Floyd’s name, and making clear why protesters and members of the community remain unsatisfied with the lone arrest of Chauvin. “When we say ‘no justice, no peace,’ we mean no justice, no peace,” said one speaker who was born in Floyd’s native Houston.

This gathering was peaceful and without any police officers, who spent Saturday night firing on protesters and chasing them all over the city in sporadic and chaotic clashes that went deep into the night.

Nancy Alayon, owner of Quetal, a Salvadoran food truck, planned to hand out 1,500 free meals thanks to $4,000 raised by loyal customers.

“We’re all feeling this collective grief,” she said.

Hours later, after a local curfew, a crowd approaching 1,000 ended their day of demonstrations in the same spot. Kendrick Benson, a 28-year-old native of Minneapolis’ north side, stood on a parking meter pay station and addressed the crowd.

“This is a sacred safe space here tonight,” Benson said. “You have a right to grieve. You have a right to mourn. No one can take that away from you.”

Benson, who was in the city visiting from his home in Bushwick, Brooklyn, said he stayed in town when “this war started.”

—With reporting by Spencer Ackerman and Danny Gold in New York City, Jonathan Ballew in Chicago, and Sam Brodey in Washington, D.C.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 04:53:00 PM by Surly1 »
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline RE

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Re: Curfews and Soldiers Can’t Contain the Nation’s Chaos
« Reply #4308 on: June 01, 2020, 02:22:46 PM »
Brown Screen of Death.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

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Re: Curfews and Soldiers Can’t Contain the Nation’s Chaos
« Reply #4309 on: June 01, 2020, 04:53:46 PM »
Brown Screen of Death.

RE

Had to strip out the section with tweets. The way SMF handles HTML really sucks.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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Re: Curfews and Soldiers Can’t Contain the Nation’s Chaos
« Reply #4310 on: June 01, 2020, 05:36:26 PM »
Brown Screen of Death.

RE

Had to strip out the section with tweets. The way SMF handles HTML really sucks.

When K-Dog makes a Better Mousetrap, I'll move the database.  Until then, we get what we paid for, which was nothing.  SMF came FREE.   :icon_sunny:

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Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4311 on: June 02, 2020, 03:43:55 PM »
I’m on the phone and can’t post the article.

PROTESTS
“IT’S SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL”: CONFRONTING A FAILED PRESIDENCY, TRUMP PLAYS POLITICS WITH THE PROTESTS
Teargassing protestors for a photo op, afraid to say anything that will make him look weak, Trump once again feels victimized. “He feels the blue-state governors are letting it burn because it hurts him.”


https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/06/trump-plays-politics-with-the-protests
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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History Will Judge the Complicit
« Reply #4312 on: June 03, 2020, 07:45:48 AM »
History Will Judge the Complicit
Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?




Borja Alegre
Anne Applebaum is a staff writer at The Atlantic and a senior fellow of the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine and Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.

On a cold March afternoon in 1949, Wolfgang Leonhard slipped out of the East German Communist Party Secretariat, hurried home, packed what few warm clothes he could fit into a small briefcase, and then walked to a telephone box to call his mother. “My article will be finished this evening,” he told her. That was the code they had agreed on in advance. It meant that he was escaping the country, at great risk to his life.

Though only 28 years old at the time, Leonhard stood at the pinnacle of the new East German elite. The son of German Communists, he had been educated in the Soviet Union, trained in special schools during the war, and brought back to Berlin from Moscow in May 1945, on the same airplane that carried Walter Ulbricht, the leader of what would soon become the East German Communist Party. Leonhard was put on a team charged with re‑creating Berlin’s city government.

He had one central task: to ensure that any local leaders who emerged from the postwar chaos were assigned deputies loyal to the party. “It’s got to look democratic,” Ulbricht told him, “but we must have everything in our control.”

Leonhard had lived through a great deal by that time. While he was still a teenager in Moscow, his mother had been arrested as an “enemy of the people” and sent to Vorkuta, a labor camp in the far north. He had witnessed the terrible poverty and inequality of the Soviet Union, he had despaired of the Soviet alliance with Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1941, and he knew about the Red Army’s mass rapes of women following the occupation. Yet he and his ideologically committed friends “instinctively recoiled from the thought” that any of these events were “in diametrical opposition to our Socialist ideals.” Steadfastly, he clung to the belief system he had grown up with.

The turning point, when it came, was trivial. While walking down the hall of the Central Committee building, he was stopped by a “pleasant-looking middle-aged man,” a comrade recently arrived from the West, who asked where to find the dining room. Leonhard told him that the answer depended on what sort of meal ticket he had—different ranks of officials had access to different dining rooms. The comrade was astonished: “But … aren’t they all members of the Party?”

Leonhard walked away and entered his own, top-category dining room, where white cloths covered the tables and high-ranking functionaries received three-course meals. He felt ashamed. “Curious, I thought, that this had never struck me before!” That was when he began to have the doubts that inexorably led him to plot his escape.

At exactly that same moment, in exactly the same city, another high-ranking East German was coming to precisely the opposite set of conclusions. Markus Wolf was also the son of a prominent German Communist family. He also spent his childhood in the Soviet Union, attending the same elite schools for children of foreign Communists as Leonhard did, as well as the same wartime training camp; the two had shared a bedroom there, solemnly calling each other by their aliases—these were the rules of deep conspiracy—although they knew each other’s real names perfectly well. Wolf also witnessed the mass arrests, the purges, and the poverty of the Soviet Union—and he also kept faith with the cause. He arrived in Berlin just a few days after Leonhard, on another plane full of trusted comrades, and immediately began hosting a program on the new Soviet-backed radio station. For many months he ran the popular You Ask, We Answer. He gave on-air answers to listeners’ letters, often concluding with some form of “These difficulties are being overcome with the help of the Red Army.”

In August 1947, the two men met up at Wolf’s “luxurious five-roomed apartment,” not far from what was then the headquarters of the radio station. They drove out to Wolf’s house, “a fine villa in the neighborhood of Lake Glienicke.” They took a walk around the lake, and Wolf warned Leonhard that changes were coming. He told him to give up hoping that German Communism would be allowed to develop differently from the Soviet version: That idea, long the goal of many German party members, was about to be dropped. When Leonhard argued that this could not be true—he was personally in charge of ideology, and no one had told him anything about a change in direction—Wolf laughed at him. “There are higher authorities than your Central Secretariat,” he said. Wolf made clear that he had better contacts, more important friends. At the age of 24, he was an insider. And Leonhard understood, finally, that he was a functionary in an occupied country where the Soviet Communist Party, not the German Communist Party, had the last word.

Famously, or perhaps infamously, Markus Wolf’s career continued to flourish after that. Not only did he stay in East Germany, he rose through the ranks of its nomenklatura to become the country’s top spy. He was the second-ranked official at the Ministry of State Security, better known as the Stasi; he was often described as the model for the Karla character in John le Carré ’s spy novels. In the course of his career, his Directorate for Reconnaissance recruited agents in the offices of the West German chancellor and just about every other department of the government, as well as at NATO.

Leonhard, meanwhile, became a prominent critic of the regime. He wrote and lectured in West Berlin, at Oxford, at Columbia. Eventually he wound up at Yale, where his lecture course left an impression on several generations of students. Among them was a future U.S. president, George W. Bush, who described Leonhard’s course as “an introduction to the struggle between tyranny and freedom.” When I was at Yale in the 1980s, Leonhard’s course on Soviet history was the most popular on campus.

Separately, each man’s story makes sense. But when examined together, they require some deeper explanation. Until March 1949, Leonhard’s and Wolf’s biographies were strikingly similar. Both grew up inside the Soviet system. Both were educated in Communist ideology, and both had the same values. Both knew that the party was undermining those values. Both knew that the system, allegedly built to promote equality, was deeply unequal, profoundly unfair, and very cruel. Like their counterparts in so many other times and places, both men could plainly see the gap between propaganda and reality. Yet one remained an enthusiastic collaborator, while the other could not bear the betrayal of his ideals. Why?

In English, the word collaborator has a double meaning. A colleague can be described as a collaborator in a neutral or positive sense. But the other definition of collaborator, relevant here, is different: someone who works with the enemy, with the occupying power, with the dictatorial regime. In this negative sense, collaborator is closely related to another set of words: collusion, complicity, connivance. This negative meaning gained currency during the Second World War, when it was widely used to describe Europeans who cooperated with Nazi occupiers. At base, the ugly meaning of collaboratorcarries an implication of treason: betrayal of one’s nation, of one’s ideology, of one’s morality, of one’s values.

Since the Second World War, historians and political scientists have tried to explain why some people in extreme circumstances become collaborators and others do not. The late Harvard scholar Stanley Hoffmann had firsthand knowledge of the subject—as a child, he and his mother hid from the Nazis in Lamalou-les-Bains, a village in the south of France. But he was modest about his own conclusions, noting that “a careful historian would have—almost—to write a huge series of case histories; for there seem to have been almost as many collaborationisms as there were proponents or practitioners of collaboration.” Still, Hoffmann made a stab at classification, beginning with a division of collaborators into “voluntary” and “involuntary.” Many people in the latter group had no choice. Forced into a “reluctant recognition of necessity,” they could not avoid dealing with the Nazi occupiers who were running their country.

Hoffmann further sorted the more enthusiastic “voluntary” collaborators into two additional categories. In the first were those who worked with the enemy in the name of “national interest,” rationalizing collaboration as something necessary for the preservation of the French economy, or French culture—though of course many people who made these arguments had other professional or economic motives, too. In the second were the truly active ideological collaborators: people who believed that prewar republican France had been weak or corrupt and hoped that the Nazis would strengthen it, people who admired fascism, and people who admired Hitler.

Hoffmann observed that many of those who became ideological collaborators were landowners and aristocrats, “the cream of the top of the civil service, of the armed forces, of the business community,” people who perceived themselves as part of a natural ruling class that had been unfairly deprived of power under the left-wing governments of France in the 1930s. Equally motivated to collaborate were their polar opposites, the “social misfits and political deviants” who would, in the normal course of events, never have made successful careers of any kind. What brought these groups together was a common conclusion that, whatever they had thought about Germany before June 1940, their political and personal futures would now be improved by aligning themselves with the occupiers.



Like Hoffmann, Czesław Miłosz, a Nobel Prize–winning Polish poet, wrote about collaboration from personal experience. An active member of the anti-Nazi resistance during the war, he nevertheless wound up after the war as a cultural attaché at the Polish embassy in Washington, serving his country’s Communist government. Only in 1951 did he defect, denounce the regime, and dissect his experience. In a famous essay, The Captive Mind, he sketched several lightly disguised portraits of real people, all writers and intellectuals, each of whom had come up with different ways of justifying collaboration with the party. Many were careerists, but Miłosz understood that careerism could not provide a complete explanation. To be part of a mass movement was for many a chance to end their alienation, to feel close to the “masses,” to be united in a single community with workers and shopkeepers. For tormented intellectuals, collaboration also offered a kind of relief, almost a sense of peace: It meant that they were no longer constantly at war with the state, no longer in turmoil. Once the intellectual has accepted that there is no other way, Miłosz wrote, “he eats with relish, his movements take on vigor, his color returns. He sits down and writes a ‘positive’ article, marveling at the ease with which he writes it.” Miłosz is one of the few writers to acknowledge the pleasure of conformity, the lightness of heart that it grants, the way that it solves so many personal and professional dilemmas.



We all feel the urge to conform; it is the most normal of human desires. I was reminded of this recently when I visited Marianne Birthler in her light-filled apartment in Berlin. During the 1980s, Birthler was one of a very small number of active dissidents in East Germany; later, in reunified Germany, she spent more than a decade running the Stasi archive, the collection of former East German secret-police files. I asked her whether she could identify among her cohort a set of circumstances that had inclined some people to collaborate with the Stasi.

She was put off by the question. Collaboration wasn’t interesting, Birthler told me. Almost everyone was a collaborator; 99 percent of East Germans collaborated. If they weren’t working with the Stasi, then they were working with the party, or with the system more generally. Much more interesting—and far harder to explain—was the genuinely mysterious question of “why people went against the regime.” The puzzle is not why Markus Wolf remained in East Germany, in other words, but why Wolfgang Leonhard did not.


Long read; read the rest here:https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/trumps-collaborators/612250/
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Online Eddie

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Re: History Will Judge the Complicit
« Reply #4313 on: June 03, 2020, 07:50:24 AM »
History Will Judge the Complicit
Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?




Borja Alegre
Anne Applebaum is a staff writer at The Atlantic and a senior fellow of the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine and Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.

On a cold March afternoon in 1949, Wolfgang Leonhard slipped out of the East German Communist Party Secretariat, hurried home, packed what few warm clothes he could fit into a small briefcase, and then walked to a telephone box to call his mother. “My article will be finished this evening,” he told her. That was the code they had agreed on in advance. It meant that he was escaping the country, at great risk to his life.

Though only 28 years old at the time, Leonhard stood at the pinnacle of the new East German elite. The son of German Communists, he had been educated in the Soviet Union, trained in special schools during the war, and brought back to Berlin from Moscow in May 1945, on the same airplane that carried Walter Ulbricht, the leader of what would soon become the East German Communist Party. Leonhard was put on a team charged with re‑creating Berlin’s city government.

He had one central task: to ensure that any local leaders who emerged from the postwar chaos were assigned deputies loyal to the party. “It’s got to look democratic,” Ulbricht told him, “but we must have everything in our control.”

Leonhard had lived through a great deal by that time. While he was still a teenager in Moscow, his mother had been arrested as an “enemy of the people” and sent to Vorkuta, a labor camp in the far north. He had witnessed the terrible poverty and inequality of the Soviet Union, he had despaired of the Soviet alliance with Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1941, and he knew about the Red Army’s mass rapes of women following the occupation. Yet he and his ideologically committed friends “instinctively recoiled from the thought” that any of these events were “in diametrical opposition to our Socialist ideals.” Steadfastly, he clung to the belief system he had grown up with.

The turning point, when it came, was trivial. While walking down the hall of the Central Committee building, he was stopped by a “pleasant-looking middle-aged man,” a comrade recently arrived from the West, who asked where to find the dining room. Leonhard told him that the answer depended on what sort of meal ticket he had—different ranks of officials had access to different dining rooms. The comrade was astonished: “But … aren’t they all members of the Party?”

Leonhard walked away and entered his own, top-category dining room, where white cloths covered the tables and high-ranking functionaries received three-course meals. He felt ashamed. “Curious, I thought, that this had never struck me before!” That was when he began to have the doubts that inexorably led him to plot his escape.

At exactly that same moment, in exactly the same city, another high-ranking East German was coming to precisely the opposite set of conclusions. Markus Wolf was also the son of a prominent German Communist family. He also spent his childhood in the Soviet Union, attending the same elite schools for children of foreign Communists as Leonhard did, as well as the same wartime training camp; the two had shared a bedroom there, solemnly calling each other by their aliases—these were the rules of deep conspiracy—although they knew each other’s real names perfectly well. Wolf also witnessed the mass arrests, the purges, and the poverty of the Soviet Union—and he also kept faith with the cause. He arrived in Berlin just a few days after Leonhard, on another plane full of trusted comrades, and immediately began hosting a program on the new Soviet-backed radio station. For many months he ran the popular You Ask, We Answer. He gave on-air answers to listeners’ letters, often concluding with some form of “These difficulties are being overcome with the help of the Red Army.”

In August 1947, the two men met up at Wolf’s “luxurious five-roomed apartment,” not far from what was then the headquarters of the radio station. They drove out to Wolf’s house, “a fine villa in the neighborhood of Lake Glienicke.” They took a walk around the lake, and Wolf warned Leonhard that changes were coming. He told him to give up hoping that German Communism would be allowed to develop differently from the Soviet version: That idea, long the goal of many German party members, was about to be dropped. When Leonhard argued that this could not be true—he was personally in charge of ideology, and no one had told him anything about a change in direction—Wolf laughed at him. “There are higher authorities than your Central Secretariat,” he said. Wolf made clear that he had better contacts, more important friends. At the age of 24, he was an insider. And Leonhard understood, finally, that he was a functionary in an occupied country where the Soviet Communist Party, not the German Communist Party, had the last word.

Famously, or perhaps infamously, Markus Wolf’s career continued to flourish after that. Not only did he stay in East Germany, he rose through the ranks of its nomenklatura to become the country’s top spy. He was the second-ranked official at the Ministry of State Security, better known as the Stasi; he was often described as the model for the Karla character in John le Carré ’s spy novels. In the course of his career, his Directorate for Reconnaissance recruited agents in the offices of the West German chancellor and just about every other department of the government, as well as at NATO.

Leonhard, meanwhile, became a prominent critic of the regime. He wrote and lectured in West Berlin, at Oxford, at Columbia. Eventually he wound up at Yale, where his lecture course left an impression on several generations of students. Among them was a future U.S. president, George W. Bush, who described Leonhard’s course as “an introduction to the struggle between tyranny and freedom.” When I was at Yale in the 1980s, Leonhard’s course on Soviet history was the most popular on campus.

Separately, each man’s story makes sense. But when examined together, they require some deeper explanation. Until March 1949, Leonhard’s and Wolf’s biographies were strikingly similar. Both grew up inside the Soviet system. Both were educated in Communist ideology, and both had the same values. Both knew that the party was undermining those values. Both knew that the system, allegedly built to promote equality, was deeply unequal, profoundly unfair, and very cruel. Like their counterparts in so many other times and places, both men could plainly see the gap between propaganda and reality. Yet one remained an enthusiastic collaborator, while the other could not bear the betrayal of his ideals. Why?

In English, the word collaborator has a double meaning. A colleague can be described as a collaborator in a neutral or positive sense. But the other definition of collaborator, relevant here, is different: someone who works with the enemy, with the occupying power, with the dictatorial regime. In this negative sense, collaborator is closely related to another set of words: collusion, complicity, connivance. This negative meaning gained currency during the Second World War, when it was widely used to describe Europeans who cooperated with Nazi occupiers. At base, the ugly meaning of collaboratorcarries an implication of treason: betrayal of one’s nation, of one’s ideology, of one’s morality, of one’s values.

Since the Second World War, historians and political scientists have tried to explain why some people in extreme circumstances become collaborators and others do not. The late Harvard scholar Stanley Hoffmann had firsthand knowledge of the subject—as a child, he and his mother hid from the Nazis in Lamalou-les-Bains, a village in the south of France. But he was modest about his own conclusions, noting that “a careful historian would have—almost—to write a huge series of case histories; for there seem to have been almost as many collaborationisms as there were proponents or practitioners of collaboration.” Still, Hoffmann made a stab at classification, beginning with a division of collaborators into “voluntary” and “involuntary.” Many people in the latter group had no choice. Forced into a “reluctant recognition of necessity,” they could not avoid dealing with the Nazi occupiers who were running their country.

Hoffmann further sorted the more enthusiastic “voluntary” collaborators into two additional categories. In the first were those who worked with the enemy in the name of “national interest,” rationalizing collaboration as something necessary for the preservation of the French economy, or French culture—though of course many people who made these arguments had other professional or economic motives, too. In the second were the truly active ideological collaborators: people who believed that prewar republican France had been weak or corrupt and hoped that the Nazis would strengthen it, people who admired fascism, and people who admired Hitler.

Hoffmann observed that many of those who became ideological collaborators were landowners and aristocrats, “the cream of the top of the civil service, of the armed forces, of the business community,” people who perceived themselves as part of a natural ruling class that had been unfairly deprived of power under the left-wing governments of France in the 1930s. Equally motivated to collaborate were their polar opposites, the “social misfits and political deviants” who would, in the normal course of events, never have made successful careers of any kind. What brought these groups together was a common conclusion that, whatever they had thought about Germany before June 1940, their political and personal futures would now be improved by aligning themselves with the occupiers.



Like Hoffmann, Czesław Miłosz, a Nobel Prize–winning Polish poet, wrote about collaboration from personal experience. An active member of the anti-Nazi resistance during the war, he nevertheless wound up after the war as a cultural attaché at the Polish embassy in Washington, serving his country’s Communist government. Only in 1951 did he defect, denounce the regime, and dissect his experience. In a famous essay, The Captive Mind, he sketched several lightly disguised portraits of real people, all writers and intellectuals, each of whom had come up with different ways of justifying collaboration with the party. Many were careerists, but Miłosz understood that careerism could not provide a complete explanation. To be part of a mass movement was for many a chance to end their alienation, to feel close to the “masses,” to be united in a single community with workers and shopkeepers. For tormented intellectuals, collaboration also offered a kind of relief, almost a sense of peace: It meant that they were no longer constantly at war with the state, no longer in turmoil. Once the intellectual has accepted that there is no other way, Miłosz wrote, “he eats with relish, his movements take on vigor, his color returns. He sits down and writes a ‘positive’ article, marveling at the ease with which he writes it.” Miłosz is one of the few writers to acknowledge the pleasure of conformity, the lightness of heart that it grants, the way that it solves so many personal and professional dilemmas.



We all feel the urge to conform; it is the most normal of human desires. I was reminded of this recently when I visited Marianne Birthler in her light-filled apartment in Berlin. During the 1980s, Birthler was one of a very small number of active dissidents in East Germany; later, in reunified Germany, she spent more than a decade running the Stasi archive, the collection of former East German secret-police files. I asked her whether she could identify among her cohort a set of circumstances that had inclined some people to collaborate with the Stasi.

She was put off by the question. Collaboration wasn’t interesting, Birthler told me. Almost everyone was a collaborator; 99 percent of East Germans collaborated. If they weren’t working with the Stasi, then they were working with the party, or with the system more generally. Much more interesting—and far harder to explain—was the genuinely mysterious question of “why people went against the regime.” The puzzle is not why Markus Wolf remained in East Germany, in other words, but why Wolfgang Leonhard did not.


Long read; read the rest here:https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/trumps-collaborators/612250/

We can only hope the Pompeos and Grahams and Barrs get theirs......in spades. But it isn't a given, AFAIK.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4314 on: June 03, 2020, 07:54:15 AM »
It may  not be apparent from the excerpt that I have laid out here, but the point of the article is to compare the experiences of high-ranking members of the American Republican Party, especially those who work most closely with the White House, to the experiences of Frenchmen in 1940, or of East Germans in 1945.

Both are experiences of people who are forced to accept an alien ideology or a set of values that are in sharp conflict with their own. there is collaboration, and there is "collaboration."
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4315 on: June 03, 2020, 08:10:38 AM »
It may  not be apparent from the excerpt that I have laid out here, but the point of the article is to compare the experiences of high-ranking members of the American Republican Party, especially those who work most closely with the White House, to the experiences of Frenchmen in 1940, or of East Germans in 1945.

Both are experiences of people who are forced to accept an alien ideology or a set of values that are in sharp conflict with their own. there is collaboration, and there is "collaboration."

After the big anti-Trump resistance by Republicans during the 2106 campaign, the flip...the almost complete reversal of position by the Republican leadership.....and right down the line to the lowliest state level hack (with a few notable exceptions).......it  just showed me that the conservatives in this country are opportunists and not people of strong principles.

They were mostly happy to forget their principles the minute there was something in it for them. I didn't read the entire article....the comparisons with other "collaborators" from history don't interest me much at this point.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

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Re: History Will Judge the Complicit
« Reply #4316 on: June 03, 2020, 09:57:06 AM »

Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?

Principles and Repugnant in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

RE
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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4317 on: June 03, 2020, 10:28:45 AM »
It may  not be apparent from the excerpt that I have laid out here, but the point of the article is to compare the experiences of high-ranking members of the American Republican Party, especially those who work most closely with the White House, to the experiences of Frenchmen in 1940, or of East Germans in 1945.

Both are experiences of people who are forced to accept an alien ideology or a set of values that are in sharp conflict with their own. there is collaboration, and there is "collaboration."

After the big anti-Trump resistance by Republicans during the 2106 campaign, the flip...the almost complete reversal of position by the Republican leadership.....and right down the line to the lowliest state level hack (with a few notable exceptions).......it  just showed me that the conservatives in this country are opportunists and not people of strong principles.

They were mostly happy to forget their principles the minute there was something in it for them. I didn't read the entire article....the comparisons with other "collaborators" from history don't interest me much at this point.

That's a gifted writer. 

As far as principles go, they are rare.  Especially when they are put to tasks against the common consensus of your peers.  I know something about sticking to your principles no matter the consequences.  To this day I live with the stigma and wrestle with it often.  Especially since I have children now.  I'm referring to my refusal to continue assisting in the bombing of Afghanistan.  It took a lot of courage to face the USN square in the face and to tell them to lock me up if they must, but I'm not doing this shit any more.  It was due to my principles.  I felt strongly that what we were doing was wrong, very wrong, and I did not want to continue for one more day assisting in the bombing of innocent nomads just to kill a few bad apples.  To this day I suffer from the disgrace of not being considered a veteran by my government.  To this day I suffer from the events of 2001.  I've been diagnosed with ptsd by a shrink no doubt, due to those events. 

It's much easier to collaborate.  The point here, is that most people will collaborate, especially when it will benefit them materially.  It takes grit and a strong back bone to follow your principles in this world.  Grit and back bone are rare and getting rarer by the day.   

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4318 on: June 03, 2020, 12:21:00 PM »
I'm referring to my refusal to continue assisting in the bombing of Afghanistan.  It took a lot of courage to face the USN square in the face and to tell them to lock me up if they must, but I'm not doing this shit any more.  It was due to my principles.  I felt strongly that what we were doing was wrong, very wrong, and I did not want to continue for one more day assisting in the bombing of innocent nomads just to kill a few bad apples.  To this day I suffer from the disgrace of not being considered a veteran by my government.  To this day I suffer from the events of 2001.  I've been diagnosed with ptsd by a shrink no doubt, due to those events. 

It's much easier to collaborate.  The point here, is that most people will collaborate, especially when it will benefit them materially.  It takes grit and a strong back bone to follow your principles in this world.  Grit and back bone are rare and getting rarer by the day.

Shakespeare gave Lady Macbeth the exhortation to, "screw your courage to the sticking place/And we'll not fail."
A reason that I continue to offer you my eternal gratitude. You are one of the few people I know who put their life and well-bring on the line for their principles.
Much respect.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Mad dog Mattis finally heard from
« Reply #4319 on: June 03, 2020, 03:26:31 PM »
James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution

In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another.



https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/james-mattis-denounces-trump-protests-militarization/612640/
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

 

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