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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Holy Schiff! Is This How Democracy Ends?

Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show with me and Brian O'Neil covers a lot of ground.  We consider the prospects for impeachment under Chief Inquisitor Adam Schiff.  We also ponder how many Americans will be fooled by the latest "witch hunt" against President Trump, and whether it has a potential upside for Republicans and conservatives.  In addition, we ask whether Presidential conversations with foreign leaders ought to be kept secret.  Historically, Brian and I talk about the anniversary of the creation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the fate of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, the choice of Thurgood Marshall to be the first black Supreme Court Justice in 1967 and the role of the court in American politics, and Operation Typhoon: Germany's go-for-broke attack on Moscow in Fall 1941.  It's a little of everything this week -- don't miss out!

Consider also this very interesting impeachment analysis.  The Dems are already wavering!  The appearance of party unity is just that -- for appearances' sake only.


  1. Dr. Waddy: I agree, listening to the President's calls is very much disturbing. When, pray, may he exercise the necessary executive privilege of private calls.

    Let's remember, Clinton was tasked for lying under OATH in a Federal court. That is very much different from an assumed to be private call between international leaders.

  2. Dr. Wady: Both you and Rush were right in noting the caller who said"I feel like they are going after me". You betcha the left is and there are multitudes who are convinced of it - I'm among them.

    Another great point: "total onslaught" (the left would be loath to know that this was a South African concept but since it was also a salient feature of Soviet military strategy, it could breathe easy and unsullied). Surely the left does believe that this present struggle is decisive and it is to be expected that TOTALitarians would favor a total onslaught. Its the definition of their frantic effort to destroy the man they know to be very Nemesis for them.

  3. Dr. Waddy: Stalin's evil in ordering the Red Army not to support the Warsaw uprising is incalculable. But it gives irrefutable evidence of the moral equivalence of communism to naziism and condemns the far left just as surely as would any present day direct connection to Hitlerism. Those poor people! They had suffered so much they were willing to believe that nobody could be as heartless as the Nazis. What they learned we must heed; nazi power is gone; communist power within our country thrives and is humanity's greatest threat.

  4. Dr. Waddy: Re: Your comment that the end of Chinese communism means the Chinese are realizing their potential ( strength and prosperity ?). Theirs and the rise of India from destitution are the most redeeming stories of our time, along with the fall of the Soviet Union. Surely Chinese communism is but nominal; authoritarianism yes, but not the totalitarian torture of Marxism. A strong China presents us challenges but I am certain we can meet them and I am so glad for the Chinese people in their belated deliverance from their 180 year hell.

  5. Dr. Waddy: Thurgood Marshall: a fascinating figure. I disagree with his sometimes leftist politics BUT: I taught a class to prison inmates on him as a role model and I concentrated on his experiences as a civil rights lawyer in the 1930's South. His daily travails in that occupation need not to be detailed to any educated person. At one point he was actually in a law enforcement officer's car, being transported to an accomodating tree. I do not know how he was rescued; I love his quote "yes, I do believe in gradualism but I think 90 years is pretty gradual". I think his close cooperation with LBJ, who he , with good reason in his time, realized to be a courageous groundbreaker in the quest for equality before the law, prompted his unfortunate and inaccurate characterization of President Reagan as a "senile cretin". By then, the unintended and destructive consequences of the Great Society were manifest and President Reagan courageously pointed this out. But to one with Marshall's experiences, this cannot have been endurable.

  6. Dr. Waddy: The Nazi onslaught on Moscow: I think most of us in the U.S. cannot, no matter how perceptive or sympathetic we may be, understand the agony of the Russian people at that time. The only people in our country who might be able to empathize are WWII POWs or ununionized miners in the 1930s (their travails are almost incredible). The Russians had long endured the frivolous atrocities of the fiendish Stalin and then were called upon, BY HIM, to do all to defend the Motherland. And they DID and in doing so beat the most terrific and malevolent force since the subhuman Mongol horde.

    Scorched earth: well it probably didn't take much for those commissars (eg. Nikita) who had survived the 1930's purges, to order that - it was just their style. Typical Marxist sociopaths! But this time it worked, as horrid as that is to say, because the assured SS and Sonderkommando,following the Wehrmacht, would otherwise have truly,consummately and objectively obeyed their Fuhrer's command to exterminate the Russian population.

  7. Hi Jack. Oh yes -- it's a total onslaught on Trump. The only weapon not yet employed has been bullets. Presumably they've got those on the back burner.

    You're so right about the Poles. What a fate! To be crushed under the Nazi boot, and then re-occupied by Stalinists for 40+ years... Mind-boggling. The sad fact is that we abetted the Russian conquest of Poland (and half of Europe) too. FDR, and even your hero Churchill, bear some of the responsibility for Europe's post-war plight.

    Is China's communism only "nominal"? That's not a question I'm equipped to answer. I understand that parts of the Chinese economy still function on a statist, Marxist model, but clearly a great deal of capitalism has been infused into their economy as well. On the other hand, the state plays a major role in picking winners and losers, so that at best we could call what has emerged "state capitalism". Are the values of Marxism still prevalent? That I don't know. Do elements of totalitarianism linger? Seemingly, yes, but I would wager that the Chinese people are far freer today than ever before. In essence, though, I would agree that the Chinese have effectively transitioned from Stalinism to what I would describe as a fairly benevolent form of fascism. My concern would be what will happen if that system is placed under stress. The Hong Kong protests, the current trade war, and the slowdown in China's growth rate all complicate matters for the PRC, but as yet no crisis has emerged. It's only a matter of time...

    I should have known you would be an expert on Thurgood Marshall too! BTW, if you ever do write an article for this blog, how about one on the Great Society? I would find it very interesting.

    Quite true -- the suffering of the Russian people in, let's face it, the entire first half of the twentieth century was on a plane of misery that virtually no American could comprehend. That the Russians fought mightily FOR Stalin (in a sense) is remarkable. That millions were prepared to cooperate with Hitler is frankly understandable, given their plight in the 1930s. That Russia as a whole was not simply a basket case -- or a "house of cards" waiting to collapse, to borrow Hitler's metaphor -- is a small miracle. As for "exterminating the Russian population," though, I'd say that's an exaggeration. Despite documentation of "General Plan East," the truth is that the Nazis had no comprehensive or consistent plan for how to deal with the Slavs. Jews and commissars were marked for death, yes, but otherwise the Germans improvised in the East -- and not very well. They could have mobilized the people and productive potential of the occupied areas to finish off Stalin's regime. Instead, they complimented themselves on their Aryan superiority and assumed the war was already won. Hubris is a powerful enemy!

  8. Well, once again Jack has pretty much summed it up (grin). It should be interesting if or when Trump will send the letter to Pelosi's office demanding for a vote, not that she will follow through and nor does she have too. The dems have been caught, literally, with their hand in the cookie jar. I am enjoying the chess game. I also think perhaps they are backed in a corner and simply hissing the way out. Schiff is a joke of a man, and his nickname fits him (well, we have two nicknames for him in this household, none bare repeating, grin). Now, you have Rashida Tlaib wondering if the U.S. Marshall Service can have arrest powers. I guess she doesn't understand who has authority over the Marshall Service. Sigh, it is never ending.

    I really enjoy the Newsmaker shows, Dr. Waddy. Great job Jack in summing all this up, smiles.

  9. Dr. Waddy and Linda: I'm very grateful for your endorsements of those of my views which deserve your support.

    Dr. Waddy: Actually in considering Yalta I have always concentrated on Roosevelt's physical weaknesses and his (perhaps consequent, perhaps more fundamental) acquiescence to the Soviet monster, still our ally, yes. A vigorous Churchill who, despite his daily regimen of intoxicating substances,had yet proven invincible in the worst of times, was there throughout. Now he of course was experienced in distributing national borders and consequent "privileges" from the post WWI world (eg the former Ottoman Empire). And Stalin was yet able to enslave most of Middle Europe. Believe me , I know Churchill had his faults but he was such a worldly figure that , yes, I do see him , on balance, in a heroic light.

  10. Dr. Waddy and Linda: I have only a general impression of the relaxation of Marxist madness in China and I take China's widespread prosperity to be proof of it. Most importantly, I think, China is now once again CHINESE and I think that to be mostly productive and positive. But your concern about the plausible concerns raised by the Hong Kong protestors is creditable and could have a decisive effect.

    Marshall: no, I'm no expert, but having been a first hand witness to consummate southern racial hatred in the '60's and having conversed privately with a soldier of Dr. King's who was incarcerated in Mississippi's hellish Parchman prison without having been convicted of a felony (the usual standard for state imprisonment), I have some awareness of the terrors his followers faced. I would be honored to author an article on that time and all that was involved.

  11. Dr. Waddy: Russia in WWII. Solzhenitsyn proposed as a consummate condemnation of Stalin, that so many millions of Russians and Ukrainians rallied to the Nazis in forlorn desperate hope of deliverance from that fiend. Your doubts about my assertion of Hitler's genocidal plans are plausible. He may well have wanted some Slavs to be preserved as "Slaves". And Nazi hubris in 1941 was well compromised by circumstances.And that Hitler may have considered Russia "a basket case" betrays an ignorance on his part of the iron composition of "Mother Russia, Deep Russia!" As much as a self taught man must of thought he knew, he did not know RUSSIA.

  12. Linda: That is a very apt metaphor for the left: "being backed into a corner and hissing their way out". It graphically describes the left's essential viciousness.

  13. Linda, I'm glad you like the Newsmaker Shows! I very much enjoy my conversations with Brian.

    Good metaphor -- this impeachment business really is like a chess game, but somewhat unlike chess there is a lot of bluff involved. Basically, Trump's goose would be cooked at the moment when a majority of Republican Congressmen BELIEVED his goose was cooked. For the Dems, therefore, much of their frenzied posturing can be explained by a desire to create the impression of momentum. Sadly for them, nothing they've thrown at Trump has ever depressed his poll numbers enough to get Republican elected officials' attention.

    Jack, I would agree that Churchill was more perceptive of the dangers posed by Stalinism than FDR, and had the Allies struck at the "soft underbelly" as Churchill desired many of the worst features of the Cold War might have been avoided. Still, the Brits funneled vast amounts of aid to Russia just as we did -- and to my knowledge the gravy train was never cut off. In that sense, when the Red Army arrived in Warsaw, it did so atop American and British trucks and tanks. That's a fact we can't gloss over.

    Jack, I expect you're right that Chinese nationalism has replaced Marxist orthodoxy to a large extent in the PRC.

    So you're willing to write an article, Jack! That's wonderful. Why don't we work out the details via email?

    Yes, Hitler certainly was ignorant of Russia. Perhaps if he had fought on the Eastern Front in WWI he would have thought differently...but then again the Russians' performance in WWI didn't impress very many people, least of all the Germans. I frankly think that Hitler's contempt for the Russians and his expectation that they would crumble before the might of the Wehrmacht was fairly rational/plausible at the time, although German intelligence can be and should be faulted throughout the war for its misreading of enemy strengths.

  14. Dr. Waddy: I think both FDR and Churchill(presciently anticommunist as Winston was) thought massive material aid to Russia to be indispensable in winning the war. But was it? Suppose Russia had fallen; would Britain, with America as its ally, have been successfully invaded? Maybe, maybe we wouldn't have gotten there in time to save Britain from a Germany freed of its Russian effort. But then, even prior to its invasion of Russia, the Boche was unable to subdue the Lion. And while the Boche were engaged in Russia, the Brits might well have grown stronger. So, a creditable argument might be made, militarily if not necessarily politically ( But I mean , who could politically gainsay Churchill or FDR?) that support for the Russians was not necessary for containment (though preKennan, was that concept considered? At least, of the explosive Nazis?). If support for the Soviets was necessary, then we had to supply them the vehicles which, nonetheless, they also used to savage Eastern Europe, after their sociopathic style.We must have learned from this and we must continue to do so.

  15. Oh, I don't doubt that Allied aid to Russia was necessary, or certainly must have seemed so at the time. The Soviets were hanging by a thread in 1941-42. My point, though, is that by 1943 they were more than holding their own. Aid sent to the Soviets in 1944 (and there was plenty of it) merely assisted their conquest of Eastern Europe -- and potentially, if the Normandy invasion had sputtered out, could have handed them ALL of Europe. Timing is everything...

  16. Dr. Waddy: That makes alot of sense.