Is anyone ever just "rascible?" Today we serve up an extra portion of that Blaska's Blog ir-rascal-ability that you have come to know and love.
A scary Halloween treat!
Please welcome to Stately Blaska Manor another new feature, available only to Platinum Subscribers to Blaska's Blog. I present to you a new contributor, a man who recently cleared his schedule so he could work for me 24/7 forever. I give you: Clarence the K and his Report From Hell! Clarence, take it away:
Thanks, Mr. Blaska, sir.
Hi, Kids. At my age, everyone is a kid to me. For a long time, I've been amused by the selective history taught in Madison about the most evil totalitarian system devised by man: Communism. To hear Madison's chattering classes talk about the Big C, you'd think it was a bottle of Dr. Pepper, so misunderstood.
Madison likes to talk about the popularized myth of Communism - you know, the idealism and the "they meant well" thing, but never the reality. Madison even erected a monument at James Madison Park to a bunch of American Reds who went over to Spain the late 1930s fighting for Communism. The director of their glee club actually calls them "premature anti-fascist(s)."
Yeah, about 2,800 Americans did fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War. But they fought FOR Communism. Most of them were, by their own admission, card-carrying members of the Communist Party, They heeded orders from the Comintern and formed something called the "Abraham Lincoln Brigade." Heh! The Communists always were better at public relations. They named their outfit after a man who fought to free the slaves and applied it to an ideology that enslaved millions! The people Lenin called "useful idiots" lapped it up!
Anthony Beevor recounts in his history, The Spanish Civil War:
The most famous achievement of the Comintern was the International Brigades. … "The story of the International Brigades later became distorted in many ways. … The impression has been created, especially in Great Britain and America, that they consisted of middle-class intellectuals and ideological Beau Gestes.
The Communist party in each country was set recruitment targets.
Old Joe Stalin sure did right by Spain. He said, send us your gold reserves for safe keeping and we'll send you much needed armaments. And they fell for it! As Beevor recounts, "Spain had the fourth-largest (gold) reserves in the world."
According to the agreement, the Spanish government could re-export the gold whenever it wanted. Orlov later recounted, however, that on its arrival in Moscow, Stalin was said to have remarked that "the Spaniards will never see their gold again, just as one cannot see one's own ears."
"Just as one cannot see one's own ears." Ha, how Comrade Stalin could make with the joke!
Who is "Orlov?" Real name (they all had pseudonyms) was Alexander Nikolsky, the NKVD officer who took charge of the secret police. C'mon, kids! Learn your history. NKVD, later renamed the KGB, supplied the raw material for the Gulags: dissenters!
But on with my story. The Soviets even charged the Spanish for shipping and handling and storing their own gold! But Stalin kept up his end of the bargain - he sent weapons. Sure, some of it was new stuff he wanted to field-test.
But Manuel Taguena, later one of the Spanish communist commanders, recorded that "they sent us … all that was surplus in their depots." The surplus included some 19th Century guns, which the Spaniards nicknamed "the battery of Catherine II."
Of course, being Communist, they had loyal party commissars monitor every utterance and approve field tactic. I have no pity for the 500 Brigaders (nearly a tenth of the total killed in the war) were given an appointment with the firing squad.
No wonder Britain and the U.S. said to both sides "a pox on both your houses."
Well, kids, that's it for now. Is it hot in here or what?
Thanks, Clarence. Your history lesson makes one wonder if Madison will ever erect a statue to the victims of Communism. Alexander Solzhenitsyn - now there was a true hero!
The back of Madison's memorial stone for the Lincoln Brigade carries a 900-word (approximately) narrative. The words "fascist" or "Nazi" are used 13 times. Communist - zero. Not once!
To rectify this Orwellian rewriting of history, artisans dispatched by the Blaska Policy Research Center and Experimental Work Farm carved the hammer and sickle symbol of Communism into the monument at James Madison Park.
Send your financial donations to support this important work to my personal account!
Nature abhors a vacuum
So does politics. I speculated that Babs Lawton may have made her wholly unexpected withdrawal from the governor's race because the Obama White House encouraged her to do so. She denies this.
She also maintains that her health is robust. However, I speculated that it was her husband's health that was in question. That has not been addressed.
A talker on a Green Bay radio station used a "two-minute podcast Monday afternoon to make sensational claims about Lawton's personal life, claiming that he was only reporting 'an open secret in Madison' and attributing the information to multiple sources."
Those claims were of a fantastic sexual nature. The Green Bay talker retracted his claim after Lawton threatened legal action. Erik Gunn, the source of the quote above, offers a cautionary tale:
WIBA's (Robin) Colbert, in her interview with Lawton, explained the journalistic quandary in this edited exchange.
... Colbert: I apologize for asking but you look at the John Edwards debacle, what happened there. Nobody would have believed the (National) Enquirer. [WisPolitics: Lawton rumors a cautionary tale for journalists, bloggers, talk radio]
Absent an honest reason, which I think Barbara Lawton owes her supporters, given that she was a declared candidate for higher office, had raised campaign money and received endorsements, speculation is bound to continue.
- Wigderson's Library and Pub features the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination for governor of Wisconsin.
- Quick, name a Democrat, outside of Tom Barrett (still doing the Hamlet act) or Ron Kind (took himself out), who could step up to the plate. A deep bench, Democrats, this is not!
- The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes Next year's race is the first gubernatorial contest since 1982 that does not include an incumbent. But Democrats haven't been clamoring to get into the wide-open race. Milwaukee political strategist Evan Zeppos notes that Barrett does not seem to have the fire in his belly, a point I have made.
The marketplace is not perfect but it works
I showed Tom Donohue on the last blog so now let's go to the Phil Donohue Show, circa 1979, where the late great Milton Friedman schools the host on "virtue."
"Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us? I don't even trust you to do that!"
Friedman's book Free to Choose, opened three-dimensional windows for a young man brought up on liberalism's easy nostrums. Milton Friedman remains terribly relevant today, what with Obama's attempted takeover of the American economy and Barney Frank's boast that "we're trying to increase government."