Tuesday, January 26

It was not Western Banks that Enabled Hitler. It was the Soviet Union

Today's news has the latest attempt to shift blame on the West. This time by director Oliver Stone who seems to want to throw the blame of Hitler on us:
BANGKOK, Thailand — Adolf Hitler was a psychopath and a monster but rose to power thanks to big business leaders and other supporters who appreciated his vow to destroy communism and control workers, Hollywood filmmaker Oliver Stone said Monday.

Stone, who is working on a 10-part documentary on the 20th century titled "The Secret History of the United States," said the German dictator was "enabled by Western bankers" and managed to "seduce" Germany's military industrial complex. - The Canadian Press
If Oliver Stone wanted to make a real story about the history behind WWII, then he would toss aside this piece of crap* and concentrate on the story of how the Soviet Union enabled Hitler to attack the rest of Europe. Take the following issues that would be great in a movie, starting with Stalin's assistance in giving Hitler power:

Stalin's Intervention to ensure Hitler's Election in Germany:
During the critical 1932 German elections, he forbid the German Communists from collaborating with the Social Democrats. These parties together gained more votes than Hitler and could have prevented him from becoming Chancellor. - Wikipedia
Alliance with Hitler / Nazi Germany
The Soviet Union had Hitler's back at the start of World War II by agreeing to split Europe amongst themselves drawing a line right through Poland. (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) It is common knowledge that Nazi Germany attacked Poland (on 1 September 1939) but not so common knowledge that the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the East. (On 17 September 1939)
Support of Nazi Germany
From the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August, 1939 through almost the end of the first half of 1941, Stalin and the USSR fed and equipped Hitler and Germany as Germany invaded Western Europe and then attacked Great Britain by air. - Wikipedia
Partially Responsible for World War II
According to the Historian Richard Pipes, the Communist states share some responsibility for World War II. Both Hitler and Mussolini used the Soviet Union as a model for their own totalitarian states and Hitler privately expressed that Stalin was a "genius". In turn, Stalin expressed desire for another great war that would leave his enemies weakened and allow Soviet expansion. He allowed the testing and production of German weapons that were forbidden by the Versailles Treaty to occur on Soviet territory. - Wikipedia
Soviet Union escorted a Nazi raider disguised as neutral merchant ships to the Pacific so that they could avoid attack by the British:
Breakout into the Pacific - Under the command of Kapitän zur See (later Konteradmiral) Robert Eyssen, HSK7 (German auxiliary cruiser KOMET) departed for her first raiding voyage from Gotenhafen on 3 July 1940. With the consent of the then neutral Soviet Union and with assistance from Soviet Icebreaker Joseph Stalin, KOMET, disguised as the Soviet steamer Dezhnev, passed through the Arctic Ocean north of Russia and entered the Pacific Ocean. - Wiki

Murmansk Shipyards converted a German ship into an Auxiliary Cruiser
The German motor vessel ILLER was converted into an auxiliary cruiser in the Murmansk shipyards - The Deadly Embrace
Murmansk was used by the Nazis as a safe haven for their ships at the outbreak of WWII including the:
  • German Liner BREMEN
  • German Liner ST. LOUIS
  • US cargo ship CITY OF FLINT which was taken by the German Battleship DEUTSCHLAND as a prize. The ship and German crew should have been interned by the Soviets but were not.

Soviets provided a Navy base for Nazi Use:
The Soviets also provided Germany with a U-boat base at Basis Nord (Russia) for refueling, maintenance location and a takeoff point for raids and attacks on shipping. In addition, the Soviets provided Germany with access to the Northern Sea Route for both cargo ships and raiders (though only the raider Komet used the route before June of 1941), which forced Britain to protect sea lanes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. - Wikipedia

Circumvented Sanctions against Nazi Germany:
The Soviet Union also bought and shipped other materials to Germany, such as rubber from India. - Wikipedia

Oddly enough, the Soviet Union's assistance to Nazi Germany provided Germany with the raw materials needed to attack the Soviet Union:
Despite fears causing the Soviet Union to enter deals with Germany in 1939, that Germany came so close to destroying the Soviet Union was due, in large part, to Soviet actions taken from 1939 to 1941. Without Soviet imports, German stocks would have run out in several key products by October of 1941, only three and a half months into the invasion. Germany would have already run through their stocks of rubber and grain before the first day of the invasion were it not for Soviet imports.

Without Soviet deliveries of these four major items ( Oil Products, Rubber, Manganese, Grain ), Germany could barely have attacked the Soviet Union, let alone come close to victory, even with more intense rationing. - Wikipedia
Stalin attempted to join Hitler's Axis Alliance between Germany and Italy and Japan:
In October and November 1940, German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power. The negotiations included a two day Berlin conference between Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Joachim Ribbentrop, followed by both countries trading written proposed agreements. Germany never responded to a November 25, 1940, Soviet proposal leaving the negotiations unresolved. Germany broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in June 1941 by invading the Soviet Union. - Wikipedia
It was not Western Bankers that enabled Hitler. He did not need money to wage war. He needed raw materials and fuel. For this need, he found a willing trader in Stalin.

For the longest time, Russia has gotten away with white-washing over it's criminal behavior and assistance to Hitler's Germany during WWII is because the other countries of the world have declined to press them about it. The last thing anyone needs now is a movie that helps Russia in their ongoing efforts to shift blame from them.

One movie Oliver Stone could make would be a 'Secret History of the Soviet Union' giving viewers a full accounting of Soviet crimes.However, don't hold your breath for anything like that. Reason Magazine's Article 'Hollywood's Missing Movies - Why American films have ignored life under communism.' addressed this topic a couple years back:
Never heard of Total Eclipse? It hasn't been produced or even written. In all likelihood, such a film has never even been contemplated, at least in Hollywood. Indeed, in the decade since the Berlin Wall fell, or even the decade before that, no Hollywood film has addressed the actual history of communism, the agony of the millions whose lives were poisoned by it, and the century of international deceit that obscured communist reality. The simple but startling truth is that the major conflict of our time, democracy versus Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism--what The New York Times recently called "the holy war of the 20th century"--is almost entirely missing from American cinema. It is as though since 1945, Hollywood had produced little or nothing about the victory of the Allies and the crimes of National Socialism. This void is all the stranger since the major conflict of our time would seem to be a natural draw for Hollywood. - Reason Magazine
Maybe one day the truth will be told on the movie screen.

Here is one image from the book 'RED primer for children and diplomats':

In 1939 a wonderful opportunity for world peace came from the most unexpected source. Although the Soviets opposed Fascist dictatorship and imperialism, they saw a means which could be used to further the ultimate triumph of the Communist brand of Socialism. A mutual non-aggression agreement was made with Hitler.

Hitler invaded Poland and the Soviets moved in to prevent the Nazis from taking over the whole country. The Soviets murdered some 11,000 Polish officers and intellectuals at Katyn Forest and peace and order were established in Poland, for a while. - Link

Here is a handy Desktop Wallpaper summarizing the 62 Million Deaths attributed to Soviet Rule:

You can find it here: The New American Myth

* - I am sure the movie will be entertaining, but it will fail as a history piece.

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Saturday, January 23

Saw My First 'Impeach Obama' Bumper Sticker Yesterday

On the way home from work yesterday in Northern Virginia, I saw my first 'IMPEACH OBAMA' bumper sticker. I did not see who was driving the car but given that we were just 9 miles from Washington, DC I guess the person either had a death wish, hates their car, or is just plain so pissed off at the President that they don't care that others around them might not act rationally when they see the sign.

At least at that point, there was no apparent damage to the car.

I am guessing that it is not the last one that I will see either.

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Thursday, January 21

Dear White House, please explain your plan for handling 'The Bush Tax Cuts'

It is nice to see that the White House is acknowledging that they have lost touch with 'the people'.
President Obama said today that he believes he lost a direct connection to the American people in his first year in office because he focused too heavily on policymaking.

"If there's one thing that I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values," Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview at the White House. - ABC News
Looking at his comment above, it is all about their failure to speak to the people. This kind of highlights a huge problem for this Administration in that they are not listening to the people. For me, I do not think the President and his team were ever listening to the people. At least not since Obama's disastrous encounter with 'Joe the Plumber'. Really, how is it possible to lose touch with the people in under a year. Given that the White House has held parties every third day since moving in, you'd think that they would be well in touch with the people. (clearly, they are inviting the wrong people to their parties... Me, I'm available.)

But OK, now they claim to be listening. Well one issue that I would like to see them get resolved is the 'Bush Tax Cuts' which are set to expire at the end of the year:
The central provisions of these landmark tax bills are scheduled to expire over the next five years, which means that taxes will rise dramatically for most taxpayers. Between now and January 1, 2011,

* Tax rates will rise substantially in each tax bracket, some by 450 basis points;

* Low-income taxpayers will see the 10-percent tax bracket disappear, and they will have to pay taxes at the 15-percent rate;

* Married taxpayers will see the marriage penalty return;

* Taxpayers with children will lose 50 percent of their child tax credits;

* Taxes on dividends will increase beginning on January 1, 2009;

* Taxes on capital gains will increase, also beginning on January 1, 2009; and

* Federal death taxes will come back to life in 2011, after fading down to nothing in 2010.

- Heritage.org
In light of the election defeat in MA, and the ongoing problems with the economy, I think the President needs to change his stance on extending the 'Bush Tax Cuts' instead of his BS excuse that by not extending them he is not raising taxes because they were set to expire prior to taking office. This basically puts the blame on Bush (again) and Congress for not enacting permanent tax cuts.

However, that excuse is not going to wash with voters when their take home pay is cut because they have to pay more in taxes. And nobody is going to blame anyone but the Democrats in power, including the President.

This is yet one more issue that both Congress and the White House need to be confronted with.

I would like to see this resolved. We are looking to buy a house this year. Having our taxes go up next year just makes affording a house that much more difficult.

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Wednesday, January 20

Walter Duranty - A Most Dangerous 'Useful Idiot'

Walter Duranty was a reporter. He was also one of Stalin's useful idiots.

This reporter probably did more to cover up for Stalin than did any other. Not only did his reporting ignore most all of the terror that was going on in the Soviet Union, but it also refuted reports made by other journalists who were brave enough to report on Stalin's killing spree.
In his New York Times articles (including one published on March 31, 1933), Duranty repeatedly denied the existence of a Ukrainian famine in 1932–33. In an August 24, 1933 article in NYT, he claimed "any report of a famine is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda", but admitted privately to William Strang (in the British Embassy in Moscow on September 26, 1933) that
"it is quite possible that as many as ten million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year."
- Wikipedia
As bad as today's reporters are in the tank for Obama and the Democrats, I have to wonder just how far they are willing to go to cover up for their favorite politicians. This reporter was willing to sacrifice a whole population for his career. How successful was he? His reporting helped the Soviet Union gain official recognition from the United States.
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Monday, January 18

French Navy 'Operation Earthquake Haiti 2010' - Photos

Over the weekend the response to the earthquake in Haiti picked up.

Much of the coverage has been centered on aid arriving by air. Basically that is because it only take a couple hours for aid flights to start arriving. However, it will be via sea that the bulk of the rescue/relief equipment and supplies will have to arrive given the quantity needed.

Much of the coverage has been of the US response. Here are some photos of the initial French Naval response.
Under the emergency aid decided by France on behalf of victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti January 12, armed forces have launched Operation Earthquake Haiti 2010.

The priorities are to route emergency resources to locate missing persons, medical aid, to secure relief, repatriation of our nationals and preparing the organization of humanitarian aid.

Some military and civilian chartered mobilized since January 13 to route emergency resources, personnel and cargo to Haiti and repatriate nationals.

Actions planned January 16, 2010

Maritime assets:

The BATRAL Francis Garnier, left Fort de France yesterday, he joined the Guadeloupe in the night to complete her cargo of humanitarian cargo, and resumed his journey to Haiti. It carries about fifty military forces in the West Indies with engineering equipment (3 and 2 mini backhoe loaders) and vehicles (truck maintenance, 2 P4, a 4X4), a medical team and an ambulance, 700 tents and cargo for the benefit of the Red Cross.

The TCD Siroco, who was off the Senegalese coast, began to rally Haiti yesterday. It offers medical capacity (2 surgical blocks and 50 hospital beds), capacity of freight transport (2,000 tons) and passenger (2000), and command capability. It also carries 4 helicopters (2 Puma Gazelle 2). - French Forces website (Translated from French)

Seems they ran into trouble trying to offload pallets of water. Maybe they could not get a forklift to navigate the ramp. The logistics of water can be very tricky, given both it's importance to survival as well as the weight penalty for carrying it. Take this photo from another French Forces post on a flight of water to the quake area.

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Thursday, January 14

Haiti - Get the People Out - Take the Country over...

Haiti was a disaster well before the earthquake destroyed what little there was on the island was destroyed by the earthquake.

All efforts at the moment are centered on getting aid to the island. I think at some point serious thought needs to be given to the idea of getting as much of the population off the island as possible.

Other than that, a serious rethink of what to do about Haiti is needed. Perhaps the US should take control of the country. The Government was and is broken and the population pays the price for that, without any ability to fix it and improve their fate. Making the country a colony of the US is probably better for the population than trying to prop back up the current Government there.

Throwing money at the country is not going to make the population less poor or improve their quality of life much. If this had happened in the US, we would work hard to get evacuated. Given that we call them our neighbors, why should the people of Haiti receive any less compassion?

Yes, making these comments are easy. Turning them into action is a whole other issue. That said, someone has to throw the ideas out there first. Evacuation might not be a practical answer, but importing US control very well might be.

Update: 15 January 2010

Drudge is now reporting that Haitians are being told that they can't evacuate.

This is just plain stupid. You can't evacuate everyone, but every plane and ship coming to aid the country is arriving full and departing empty. How about filling them up with those who need medical aid as well as families with children. Yes this will cause problems where they are dropped off, but they can be distributed and it will surely help relieve the pressure in Haiti itself.

Update: 16 January 2010

Seems that some voices of sanity are starting to be heard. This is a good step:
"Operation Pierre Pan," as its being called, is an effort to relocate the thousands of children likely orphaned by the natural disaster in Port-au-Prince. Many of the children could already have relatives in Miami and around the U.S.

A similar effort occurred decades ago when "Operation Pedro Pan" was launched to help the children of Cuba during the political upheaval in that island neighbor. Some 14,000 children were relocated to the United States, many of them settling in South Florida.

While advocates mobilize for a push to help find the children new families if not reunite them with stateside relatives, there are several hurdles that need to be overcome.

The movement would need the approval of the U.S. government to at the very least grant the orphans temporary status in the country. - NBC Miami
This is a good start. However, measures should be taken to drastically improve the quality of life for all Haitians. Hugh Hewitt is another one calling to bring Haitians to the US, having the same idea of airlifting those most in need to the US:
The idea I put forward below of an immediate, ongoing and large airlift of injured Haitians to hospitals across the U.S. has generated some negative responses. But it still seems much more sensible to me than trying to airlift in all the medical supplies and professionals necessary to save lives in the country. Rather than trying to take a functioning, modern medical system to the Haitians who need it, why not simply stabilize and bring the seriously hurt Haitians to the functioning, modern medical system we already have a relatively short plane ride away.

Send a C-130 full of patients to New York, then one to Boston, then one to Cleveland, then to Detroit etc. The local medical communities could figure out how to distribute the patients and the efficient use of the relief assistance would be guaranteed. - Hugh Hewitt
One thing that you can do is donate a couple bucks to the Red Cross. It takes only a couple minutes and the nice thing is that most everyone can find an amount that they are not going to miss. Really, you are not going to miss $10, maybe $25 or even more. Using this reasoning we ended up donating twice as much as we initially planned.

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Sunday, January 10

School House Rocks - Tyrannosaurus Debt (Video)

This would be funny if it was not about what we owe...



The debt is currently now over $12 Trillion...

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Finland: Keep Spending - Don't Save (Bloody Piggy Bank Ad)

Here is a photo taken in March during our previous trip to Finland. This was a ad I saw in the city of Pori while visiting a shipyard.

The purpose of the ad is to encourage people to keep spending. The rough translation is 'Don’t feed the recession by saving your money'

Their website is here. It is in Finnish. However, they have translated their video including this full-length one. (All their videos are here.)



Sadly, other countries are also concerned that consumers are starting to be more responsible when it some to limiting their spending to what they can actually afford to spend. Take this from the UK where the issue has moved from prevention to blame:
Thrifty families accused of prolonging the recession -

Anxious families are repaying debts instead of spending in the shops, amid concern over the uncertain economic outlook. The share of income saved in banks and building societies has risen to its highest level in more than a decade, heightening fears that faltering consumer demand could prolong the recession. - Found at Samizdata.Net (Go there to read his comments on the matter)
People putting money in the bank is a good thing. Whether the money ends up sitting in bank accounts or is used to pay off debt, that money is being returned to the system to be used again. Even if in a bank account, the bank can then loan that money out.

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Friday, January 8

Video from Sea Shepherd Boat ADY GIL just prior to being Rammed by Japanese

If for no other reason, this video is great because it shows just how quickly a vessel can come out of nowhere. At least the Japanese announce themselves early on with the LRAD.



As much as I am against Japanese whaling, I am more against the gangster tactics of Sea Shepherd. Funny, how they are totally unprepared for the Japanese to retaliate by acting in a similar fashion.

Sea Shepherd Boat ADY GIL Rammed and Sunk by Japanese Whalers

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Wednesday, January 6

Sea Shepherd Boat ADY GIL Rammed and Sunk by Japanese Whalers

That did not take long:
The crew of the New Zealand trimaran harassing Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean had to be rescued after their boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese ship, anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says. - Stuff.co.nz

Click on the photo to go to the story where there are more photos of what was left after the collision. (Note: The story reports that the vessel was sunk.)

Sea Shepherd’s newest vessel was covered previously at gCaptain here: ‘Sea Shepherd Unveils New Weapon to Fight Whale Hunters

Many of us had doubts that Sea Shepherd had the competency to operate a vessel of this type. I have to say that I am not surprised at all that the end came so quickly for this vessel, although I thought they would destroy it on their own before the Japanese got the opportunity to do it for them. At least nobody appears to have gotten hurt in this incident.

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Sunday, January 3

'Toverihauta' - Red Grave - Photo

I was driving around the countryside of Finland, looking for some interesting things to photograph and came across the old Mouhijarvi graveyard.

In the graveyard I was surprised to find a memorial marking the grave for some of those who fought on behalf of the communists during Finland's civil war. While there was lots of fighting during the civil war, there are very few memorials around. In fact, I think the only other signs of the civil war that I can recall seeing in Finland are some bullet holes near a bridge in Helsinki and a couple German graves in Helsinki.

I talked with one of my Finnish friends who was surprised that I found such a memorial marking a grave. He has never seen one. As you can tell from the photos, the marker was placed sometime in the recent past.

During the Civil war there was intense fighting in this area and to this day, over 90 years later, feeling still run deep with the locals.
Battle of Tampere

In February 1918 general Mannerheim weighed the centre of the general offensive of the Whites between two strategically most vital strongholds; Tampere, Finland's major industrial town in the south-west and Viipuri, Karelia's main city. Although seizing Viipuri offered major advantages, the low combat skills of his army and potential for a major counterattack by the enemy in the area or in the south-west made it too risky; in the end Mannerheim decided to strike first at Tampere. He launched the attack on 16 March at Längelmäki, 65 km north-east of Tampere; at the same time the White Army began advancing along a line through Vilppula–Kuru–Kyröskoski–Suodenniemi, north and north-west of Tampere. The Red Guards collapsed under the weight of the assault, and some of its detachments retreated in panic. The White Army cut off the Red Guards' retreat south of Tampere in Lempäälä and lay siege to Tampere on 24 March, entering the town four days later. The true Battle of Tampere began on 28 March, later called the "bloody Maundy Thursday" on the eve of Easter 1918. The battle for Tampere was fought between 16,000 White and 14,000 Red soldiers, and it was the decisive action of the war and the largest military engagement in Scandinavian history to that point. It was Finland's first urban battle, fought in the Kalevankangas graveyard and from house-to-house in the city as the Red Guards retreated. The battle, lasting until 6 April 1918, was the bloodiest action of the war; the motivation to fight for defence had increased markedly among the Reds, and the Whites had to use part of the fresh, best trained detachments of their army. The fighting in Tampere was pure civil war, Finn against Finn, "brother rising against brother", since most of the Russian army had retreated to Russia in March and the German troops had yet to arrive in Finland. The White Army lost 700–900 men, including 50 Jägers. The Red Guards lost 1,000–1,500 soldiers, with a further 11,000–12,000 imprisoned. 71 civilians died mainly due to artillery fire. The eastern parts of the city, with wooden buildings, were destroyed completely. - Wikipedia

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Saturday, January 2

Frozen Finland -19 Degrees C.

Not that it wasn't already cold here, but this morning we were greeted with freezing temperatures of minus 19 Celsius. That is minus 2.2 Fahrenheit.

The kids stayed inside today. Seems that when the temp his -15C Finnish kids do not go outside at school as even by dressing warmly they can't stay outside for long without risk of frostbite.

It is a little after 9PM here and the temp out in the yard is -22.3C/-8F. Trust me it is cold.

Sunday is our last full day in Finland. We fly out early Monday morning.

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