Sunday, November 10, 2019

worth a read

Here are some articles I think you'll find to be worth a read:

Mr. Machiavelli Headed For Big Win in Britain

The above article is about Boris Johnson and whatever Brexit-related strategy he has. Johnson also has to maneuver in order to maintain his grip on the UK government. Excerpt:

The United Kingdom election on December 12 will be of great importance to the Western world. The departure of Britain from the European Union will be like the secession of California from the United States, or British Columbia from Canada[:] a serious blow.

The return of the United Kingdom to close cooperation with the United States and Canada would enable three of the G7 countries to join forces, with a combined GDP of more than twice China’s — substantially greater than the continuing EU and with a better economic growth rate.

Such a shift will provide, though leftist commentators (who abound in swarms of Old Testament plague-proportions all over the Western world) will studiously deny it, a reliable [public-policy] barometer pointing away from fetishistic globalism toward realism in alliances, capitalist economics, and Anglo-American values generally.

Then there's this bit of ridiculousness:

Nolte: Snopes Confirms Dems Tried to Impeach Every Elected GOP President Since Eisenhower
The fake, far-left fact check site Snopes accidentally confirmed that Democrats have sought to impeach every elected Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Naturally, while confirming this, the garbage fire of fake news that is Snopes rated what is “mostly true” as “mostly false.”

The claim is: “Have Democrats Tried to Impeach Every GOP President Since Ike?”
Read the rest.

And lastly, I was reminded by Dr. Vallicella that it's been thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. 1989 was an incredible year: Tiananmen Square happened, the Berlin Wall fell (and I visited the Wall with several classmates because I was living and studying in Switzerland at the time), and the Romanian government collapsed when Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife were put up against a wall and shot on Christmas. I was in France, sitting down to Christmas dinner, when the news about the Ceausescus came over the TV, and we saw their bodies. Powerful events. It felt reassuring to be in a place as stable as France, among friends and family. I had a hard time then, and still do now, imagining what it must have been like to be a Romanian citizen in the midst of all that turmoil.

Dr. V linked to the following article about the collapse of communism in Europe:

The fall of the Berlin Wall on this day 30 years ago was the most spectacular moment of the end of the Cold War, but in fact only represented the mid-point in the “last sad chapter” of this bizarre story, as Ronald Reagan once put it. The occasion of remembering the last day of the Wall is a fitting time to recall the broader sweep of events that surrounded it.

The specter that haunted America’s containment policy during the Cold War was the “domino theory”—the idea that one nation after another would succumb to Communist aggression or revolution. In 1989[,] the domino theory came true in reverse—nearly the entire Communist world fell almost in the blink of an eye. In 1983[,] Leszek Kolakowski had written that “Certainly in Poland or Czechoslovakia (or in Hungary)[,] Communism would fall apart within days without the Soviet threat.” The Captive Nations of Eastern Europe decided to test to Gorbachev’s pronouncement, made late in 1988, that the Brezhnev Doctrine was well and truly over. The Communist regimes didn’t have a chance.

All of the above-linked articles are worth your time. Each takes only a few minutes to read through. I just wrote the following email to a former student of mine who still keeps in touch with me despite being busy as a college freshman:
I was just reminded that the Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago today. I feel old. I was living and studying in Switzerland at the time during my junior year in college. A week after the Wall fell, a group of us students took a train to Berlin to see the Wall for ourselves. It was an incredible sight: ordinary citizens were out there with sledgehammers, destroying parts of the Wall. Other people were spray-painting graffiti messages of hope and optimism. German-style mulled wine was being sold close to Brandenburg Gate. Groups of people were dancing in celebration. Our gang walked around West Berlin... then we got the crazy idea to go into East Berlin. We passed through the then-famous Checkpoint Charlie; we were forced to exchange all our money for East German Ostmarks, which were cheap pieces of paper that felt like Monopoly money. Ostmark coins felt cheap, too, being made of a light, flimsy metal. East Berlin was spacious and seemingly empty; a bookstore had bookshelves with nothing on them except for some little red books—probably communist or socialist propaganda. We ate at an East Berliner restaurant: stringy fish and puny potatoes in a runny cream sauce. Lame and sad, but educational. There were plenty of open concrete spaces with muscular sculptures in them, all in praise of the working man. The whole thing was depressingly bleak. I hear that that area is much more lively and economically healthy now, three decades later. Let that be a lesson to you: whatever leftist garbage they might be teaching you in college, always remember that central planning never works as an economic system. It only leads to starvation, oppression, and death. Look at the two Koreas, one robust and healthy thanks to capitalism, one dying and on life support, begging for food, fuel, and money from China. I feel a pang whenever I think of the utterly unnecessary misery of North Korean citizens. Anyway, Berlin was 30 years ago today. Wow.

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