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Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill and FDR As Military Leaders.


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Sir Jersey --- That was better than the History Channel!

Senator Joe: Very entertaining speaker, as were most public speakers 50 years ago. They were always direct, to the point, & inflected their voice. Maybe they watched the young Billy Graham crusades to emulate. I wouldn't be too hard on Joe, the same spying & accusing happens today, just not on T.V.

Hiding under desks drills: Actually understandable, didn't alot of people survive Hiroshima who were inside & covered? With the Russians sending missles to Cuba, Hell (Heaven) yes, we're going to build bomb shelters & get paranoid during the next trip to the Movies.

"Better Dead than Red": I agree, cool slogan. Most Americans don't have a clue about what happenend here a few decades ago. Here's a way to reach the young people,"You gotta fight, for your right, to Party!!!" -Beastie Boys 1984.

Witch Hunts or were they Trials?: Take is easy on the judges/juries back then. I'd rather have Western Justice then the court system today. Judges are paid off & political. Juries are selected by stupidity. OJ butchered 2-people & walked. All those Enron, World.com, GlobalCrossings, etc. stole all that money...And nothing happens. Judges give $40 billion to dumbasses who smoke...etc.

Military comparison from the 40's to 2000's: I think the military leaders have gotten better. The old commanders treated war like a football game before V-Nam.

What does the future hold?: I'm sick I've the saying,"History repeats itself" & "Humans don't learn crap". Life has gotten better for mankind, cars, air conditioning, TV, SC, & we're not enslaved to the Reds. It doesn't really matter anyway, there will never be "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men".......until the 2nd Coming.



[ May 13, 2003, 09:52 AM: Message edited by: jon_j_rambo ]

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General Rambo

Glad you liked the entry and I enjoyed your take on it. In some ways you have a better view of those events by having seen them after the fact through adult eyes. I still have childhood memories that may have distorted my adult perception of what took place back then.

Before going any further I need to say the point about being shielded is a good one. It's important to do something even if it seems futile; it would indeed increase the chance of survival if the hit weren't direct and would also stop mass panic before it starts -- it's difficult to panic when you're on your knees with your hands over your head cramped under one of those very old fasioned undersized wooden desks. It also encouraged a sort of doomsday humor young kids don't normally have. Most of it was the repeating of things older people had said, innumeralbe and kiss your ass good-bye jokes when we were supposed to be quiet, which made these duck and cover things sort of fun. There was one woman teacher who I could see at her desk when I peeked up and she'd be laughing with her hands over her mouth, turning sort of red because we had a few wits in that class who were funny as hell.


I'll always have memories of Joe McCarthy and Al Cohen badgering defendants who were barely able to utter a word of self-defence before being shouted down again. To a much lesser extent there are memories like that of Richard Nixon, who I always liked despite the bad image he took to the grave.

I think the key point is belief. If the people hunting communists honest believed they were taking care of a threat then I can look at them more objectively. I think McCarthy started out on a sincere quest then wound up running a circus. In the end he became his own show. The show escalated out of control and in the end he couldn't even control himself. In the end even his right hand man, the self serving but brillian lawyer Roy Cohen couldn't even control him.

Senator Joeseph McCarthy and his aide, NY attorney Roy Cohen during their high water mark.


Today people remember McCarthy as being ruined by that senator saying over and over in a televised hearing, "I ask you senator, have you no shame, have you no pity for the young careers you are attempting to ruin here --?" Dismantling McCarthy whle he groped at unconvincing statistics and that voice of righteousness cutting in again, "Have you no shame at all, Senator McCarthy?"

But the real downfall happened earlier and also on television. McCarthy made the incredible blunder of taking on Edward R. Murrow, at the time one of the most liked and trusted people in the country.

McCarthy made some vague accusations and Murrow responded on his television show by announcing he would give the following week's entire program over to McCarthy to use in any way he pleased to reveal how Murrow was a communist. McCarthy fell for it. He came on, made his accusations, got caught up in his usual rhetoric and ended the telecast flailing away.

The following week was Murrow's turn. It was amateur vs professional on the professional's home ground. McCarthy never had a chance. Murrow destroyed every one of his accusations in the order they'd been presented and finished with a summation that utterly discredited and destroyed Joe McCarthy. Though too young to understand very much of it, I saw both programs; we had one TV and each and every week we watched Edward R. Murrow's telecast, the same as almost everyone else in the country!

Edward R. Murrow probably doing a TV program, back then people often smoked on television, the cigarette sponsors encouraged it. Murrow was always seen smoking a half finished cigarette. He died of Lung Cancer on April 27, 1965.


Almost immediately McCarthy became the object of political cartoonists and comedy routines. His friends in the Senate turned on him and within months he was censured and not long afterward he died. I believe it was cancer but I doubt the man himself had much desire to remain alive at that point. Much as I dislike his memory I must admit his ending makes me feel a bit sad.

Of course you're right about people serving their country. I've always felt their ought to be universal military service. One year would be good, served upon graduation from high school so everyone gets out of the military at the same age and without being penalized in relation to their peers. From there it should be inactive reserves till age thirty. There should also be a professional military with the inactive reservists on call for national emergencies and the National Guard system we already have which would have the present benefits and obligation duties it's members already abide by. Those who are physically unable to enter the military as combatants should do so in a clerical capacity. There's no shame in being physically handicapped and there's no reason there can't also be a lifelong sense of pride in having helped in some capacity to have actually defended the country.

Also agreed that life is better than it's ever been in the past. But with a cautionary note that for the vast majority of Americans Big Business and Big Government, even State and Local have become Big Government, exercise too much control over it.

I believe Americans are in danger of being moved from the status of citizens into the status of subjects of the state. It's happening slowly but with a consistant steadiness.

It won't come as a thunderclap but rather as a resounding thud when, reaching for a fundamental right we find it's been legislated away while we were watching Television shows or sporting events. Or perhaps making entrees to a website.

[ May 15, 2003, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Dr. Jersey (Doctor of History)

Very good critique of life in the 50's. I read a pole of baby boomers when asked,"what did you remeber most when growing up"? 1) Kennedy shot. 2) Davy Crockett hats, guns, lunch pails. 3) Duck and cover, A-bomb air raid alarm.

I have always hated hollywood musicals. My mother made me go with her to see these horrible non-reality goofy films, my dad wouldn't go. Later I find out that Hollywood was so affraid of McCarthy and what he did that they purposely made these idiotic musicals because they were safe movies to make. Also the WW2 generation didn't want to deal with hard life issues, and wanted to excape from their growing up in the depression, followed by WW2. Just happy, happy, happy music that didn't have any meaning, e.g. "The Pajama Game".

My point is that Joe McCarthy effected my life by making me sit through all those stupid, loonie, ideallic, boring, Oldest virgin in Hollywood Doris Day Musicals.

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SeaWolf -- Theater and Arts Critic for the Baby Boomer Times !(probably a real magazine)

Our parents must have been working in colussion on the movie issue. To this day I feel nausious whenever I get a glimpse of either Rock Hudson or Doris Day or Pat Boone as I use my trusty remote to flick through abominations like Pillow Talk, The Desk Set and their cousins such as GiGi and all that other Leslie Charon and Maurice Chevalier gobly-gook! Though even here, Chevalier and Hermieomi Ginguld (no idea how to spell her name) do the song, Yes, I Remember It Well ! is one of my favorites.

The funny thing is there were some pretty good movies coming out of that era as well, mostly Westerns, like High Noon, and SciFi, like Forbidden Planet etc., but we were so traumatized by that Hollywood Happy Glop it's hard for us to go back into that horrific mist of childhood forced movie watchings to pick them out. I guess it's a sort of defense mechanism.

Your choice of memories people hold is interesting; I can recall just about everything, word for word, that happened in my life during the two hours or so after learning of JFK's shooting.

Those Davy Crockett hats also doubling for Daniel Boone, both Fes Parker and Disney, along with all the related paraphanellia, then there was the hoola-hoop -- and those wierd plastic layer things people put across their black and white TV screens supposedly to simulate color but instead everything just looked greenish or blueish or whatever the prevailing tint happened to be.

The Westerns always had guys knocking each other out with the butts of their six-shooters. It was so ridiculous that in some cases the good guys could pretty much knock desperadoes out for difinite periods of time depending upon how he struck his mudula oblongata. We all had those heavy cast iron cap gun sixshooters with the firm handles; I wonder how many kids gave other kids concussions imitating their TV heroes?

When I think back to those days I don't actually miss the times, what I really miss is being an eight year old with my plastic musket, powder horn and crazy hat with it's furry tail! Thankfully nobody ever photographed me in that get up. :D

[ May 13, 2003, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I have been waiting for the remake of Forbidden Planet, but have heard or seen nothing. Leslie Neisen or Gary Oldman could play Doctor Morbius, Ed Norton could play Jack Kelly's part, Gwyneth Paltray as the daughter, Jim Keary as the captain, no, maybe Jack Black would be better. Anyway it would be great, and have it follow Shakespeare' book "Tempest" more closely.

At around fourteen Steve Poletti and myself, oh ya I grew up with a lot of Italian kids, their fathers and Grandfathers came to california during WW2 as POW's, and returned after the war to start farming in the San Joaquin Valley, taped Forbidden Planet on real to real tape and memorized every line in the movie. I have it on DVD and watch it once a year or so, along with "1941", Cool Hand Luke, The Longest Day (in color), Planes, trains, and auto's, etc.

Pointing up, "400 stories", electric sound, "400 stories" looking down, "Yes Gentlemen, this building has been repairing and regenerating itself for 100,000 years". "The Cril built this complex.....

[ May 13, 2003, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: SeaWolf_48 ]

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Forbidden Planet was one of the first movies I bought on DVD; same here, it has to be seen around once a year.

I still think those special effects are great, especially all the scenes with the invisible Monster from the ID. Yes, even on a TV screen Morbius walking his guests through the Crill's tunnels is still a mind blower, the scene you describe and also the headset and all the others. Walter Pigeon was perfect for that role and I still love Ann Francis as his innocent daughter. Robbie the Robot was a great touch as well, especially his booze producing scenes with Earl Holiman.

I'd like to see a remake also. Hopefully they won't ruin it the way the ruined the Rollerball remake. If they do there's always the excellent original to fall back upon.

That was one of Leslie Nielson's best dramatic roles.

On the other end of the spectrum, some of the horror movies back then were of unsurpassed mediocrity. Robot Monster and Plan 9 from Outter Space were the worst, of course, but a lot of others weren't far behind.

Budget Horror/SciFi of the Fifties. King of the Terrible Movies, Robot Monster.

The alien being in the Gorilla Suite with a Diving Helmet has just wiped out the entire population of earth except for six lonely survivors, two of them children. How he must destroy the last six humans so the place will be safe for millions of others of his kind to come and colonize. What's that, you're wondering why, if alone he killed Billions of human beings the millions of his fellow beings to follow should be afraid of the last six? Hmmmmmmmm :D


There were saturday matinees where, in the larger city theaters, hundreds of kids would sit for hours howling with laughter at the movie that was supposed to be scaring the hell out of them. And of course the candy fights. During one of these things I had the winning ticked for a drawing between terrible movies and to go from the back of the theater up to the stage to receive my model space station from the manager. All the way down the aisle I was pelted with gummy bears and nonparrels, which is more painful than one might suspect. On stage the manager was also pelted. His speech to me was very simple, "Here Kid --!" and he ran off the damn stage, leaving me to run the gauntlet unescorted back to my seat.

Here's a little something the younger people probably don't know about: remember those Movies where the credits would go rolling down and some of the names would be completely covered in black so they couldn't be read? They were the names of writers, producers and directors who were "known" communists! I wonder when they stopped doing that. Years later the whole thing was seen as the travesty it really was and the names were uncovered as though nothing had ever happened, which is why it's unlikely young people today would know about that practice. There's so little evidence it ever occurred at all, yet hundreds of careers were ruined in the process.

[ May 13, 2003, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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To Doc Jersey

Years later the whole thing was seen as the travesty it really was and the names were uncovered as though nothing had ever happened, which is why it's unlikely young people today would know about that practice. There's so little evidence it ever occurred at all, yet hundreds of careers were ruined in the process.

As you have guessed by now, I'm not a Bleeding heart, more along the line of Stone cold conservie. The hundreds of writting jobs lost open up jobs for writters of Musicals (Mr. Bruce), so hollywood goes on. Also there were some that were truly friends of Uncle Joe, and tried to make him look good. We have the 1st Amend. and it's a good law, (althought porn is not freedom of speach ) but as you have said, most kids today don't know history and the Liberal media has a lot of control over their minds. I,m not saying that liberal, socialist, and commie pinko are the same thing, but close! They all endorse labor unions. I'm not to serious about this posting, just in one of those moods.

[ May 13, 2003, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: SeaWolf_48 ]

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To "Stone-Cold" SeaWolf, --I don't really believe that. smile.gif

Some of them were no doubt Soviet sympathizers, many weren't. The travesty was the procedure. There were no trials, no charges, just accusations usually derived from gossip. You wouldn't want your life ruined that way and I wouldn't want mine ruined that way either.

I've never believed in Black-balling. If someone commits a crime then give them a fair trial and, if convicted, give them the consequences. But none of these people were ever tried or convicted.

To make matters worse, during the Roosevelt years a lot of things went on in the U. S. that weren't considered un-American but twenty years later those activities and organizations were retroactively considered Socialist. A lot of the blackballing and blacklisting and kangaroo court bannings of the fifites were based on those activities.

As an example. I had a college professor in the late sixties who had been a volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. At the time he was considered an idealist and a freedom fighter. Starting in the fifties he was on government lists as a communist and Soviet Sympathizer, which he was not. I knew him very well and the man most definitely was not a communist. To make matteres even more absurd, after fighting in Spain he joined the U. S. Army before Pearl Harbor, fought in Europe, was decorated a few times etc & etc.. I really don't think there was anything un-American about this guy.

As far as the Hollywood people go, many of them were labelled as communists because of their association with films the U. S. Government wanted their studios to make showing Our Ally, the Soviet Union in a favorable light. A lot of movies were made along those lines, North Star (later called Armored Attack and used as anti-soviet propaganda) and a number of others.

Years later the studio heads deflected their own involvment by offering up as communists the people who'd made those movies under their management. Again, no formal charges of any kind, no crime involved, just a national phobia run amok.

I know you aren't a bleeding heart liberal or a commie lover and neither am I. But I do believe in due process. That blacklist nonsense took a few steps out of the proceedure.

Agreed on the liberal media. It's about the closest I come these days to actually hating something. I'm glad the current crop made asses of themselves in their biased coverage of Iraq. I don't hear any of those so called liberals saying anything useful about the lousy job situation in the U. S., only sensationalist nonsense that they think will further their own phony careers.

As for communists in general, does anyone care any more whether a person wants to go around calling him or herself a communist? No, and that's the way if should be. A strong country shouldn't be on the lookout for citizen monsters lurking in the shadows.

If that same person, regardless of what he calls himself, says "I'm a (whatever) and it's my desire to overthrow the United States Government", that's a different matter entirely. That's what we were afraid of during the fifties; and to some extent it was a well founded fear. It's just that we didn't do a very good job rounding up the really guilty parties and a far better job of pointing fingers at random and destroying those who appeared to be likely suspects.

[ May 13, 2003, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Rock Solid Doc Jersey

Very good posting, you ofcoarse are right, innocent people being labled is a travesty. True Socialist/Communist however are not democrates, not the liberal kind, I mean believe in democracy). True communism only works under a Benevolent Dictator. Problem is there are no Benevolent Dictators, only Despots. When Russia came crashing down, I never thought that they would imbrace Democracy. It's still in question, and Russians like strong leaders, like Stalin, Brezhnev, Lenin. "Just show me who I need to kiss up too and I'll be happy, it's more simple and I don't care about your voting"! It's kind of a gangbang mentality. Krips and Bloods, Bolshevik and Marxist (not Groucho).

The real problem now are the Fundamental Islamic Fanatics, 15% of Muslims, yes, even living here in the US, they don't care for Democracy either. Same mentality, which family member or clan do I kiss up too.

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Rock Solid SeaWolf, my fellow traveller of the Etherwaves,

A very perplexing situation. We Americans, as a whole, have one way seeing things and most other people seem to have something totally different.

Last month I was full of enthusiasm about Iraq after Saddam Hussein, and a part of me still wants to feel that way. The trouble is we've tumbled a bad structure and perhaps aren't giving ourselves enough time to build a good structure in it's place.

Mindless crowds in Baghdad screaming for the Americans and all foreigners to leave immediately doesn't help. Clearly a good percentage of those people are leftovers from the ousted Baath Regime seeking their chance to come back for a third time. Many of the screaming throngs are made up of very fit looking young men -- Republican Guard? Who can tell.

This exiled Ayatollah whose come back has his own agenda and that doesn't look good either. Meanwhile, back in Tehran the majority of young people who don't remember the Shah are sick of the religious fanatics, so it appears the days of Fundamentalist rule in Iran are numbered.

My feeling is if we have about five years to transform Iraq society into a real free enterprise society the people themselves will want some form of democracy. They'll be no more willing to accept a religious Islamic regime than either of us are to accept a Religious Christian government in the United States -- one that tells you it's a crime to miss Sunday services, etc.. I have no complaint against anyone's religious beliefs, as long as they don't become the rule of the land. As our MIA colleague Hueristic liked to say, Freedom Of Religion is also Freedom From Religion!

Ironically, the people in the United States who are planning the new Iraqi Society seem to be planning for it to be an improvement on existing American Society! Universal Medical Care, Guaranteed Retirement -- 100% Employment -- hey, let's see some of that over here before we take it upon ourselves to export it! :D

But getting back to the original point. I think one of the mistakes we've made all over the world in the past is we expect people to come out of oppression and to suddenly start ruling themselves in a viable way. It doesn't seem to work that way. People who have been oppresed generally like to stand up and settle a few scores. Afterwards they're likely to make their own freedom someone else's oppression.

Historically we aren't much different. For our first century we espoused freedom while half the country employed slavery! During the next half century we developed our open spaces with surplus population, much of it immigrant, by surging west and decimating the original population. This was inconsequential, of course, as the much more technologically developed European types considered it their God Given Right, Manifest Destiny, to grow wheat on those barren plains, mine those untouched mountains and cut down those forests even if it meant wiping out some uncivilized nomads in the process. It wasn't till they were nearly gone that the Government said, wait a minute, aren't we sort of murdering those people?

So, all in all, it took about 150 years for the already supposedly civilized American Colonists to emerge as somewhat enlightened members of a democratic society. At that point all we had to deal with were minor fineses like Child Labor and vast monopolies owned by ruthless Robber Barons. Sort of like what we're getting back to today, a hundred years after we originally solved those problems.

But regarding these people in other countries, what stage are they at? When should they be expected to emerge as members of democratic societies where there's little or no chance of a dictator, mulah or monarch suddenly emerging as leader? At what stage do we assume they've been proofed against a communist takeover?

I don't know.

What have they got in places like India and Pakistan? And in countries like that does freedom mean the freedom to blast each other into microbes and place the rest of the planet into a radio-active nuclear shroud for decades?

It was so much easier when it was the U. S. and U. S. S. R. threatening to do that, we knew we wouldn't do it and the Soviets were too sensible.

But India and Pakistan are right next to each other; a minor mistake in a radar blip can sound an alarm and suddenly their overstocked nuclear arsenals are flying at each other, both populations are wiped out, both lands made uninhabitable for centuries except for rats and roaches and next day we wake up to have radioactive fallout with our breakfast cereal.

So those are the two governments Britain so wisely left behind as they departed, never have gotten along, never will get along, and the rest of the world has to worry about them doing everybody in. Nice, very nice.

In Iraq I guess we need to do in five years or less what we took a couple of centuries and change to do over here. Then we just need to worry about the rest of Asia, Africa and South America finding ways to tip the apple cart.

As the Wicked Witch said while melting from Dorothy's thrown water, "What-a-world-what-a-world-what a woooooorrrrrllld......."

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Shaka "Eternal Youth" of Carthage

I'm surprised we haven't gotten there already. So why don't you instill some youthful exuberance in this thing or at least get us back on topic.

Or better yet, since you're so fond of hijacking, SeaWolf, disorder and myself are planning to grab a truckload of Geritol -- you in?

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did you ever have somebody ask you what rock group paul mccartney was in before "wings"?

did you ever have to try and explain the classic comedy of ernie kovacs?

jerseyjohn said--

During the next half century we developed our open spaces with surplus population, much of it immigrant, by surging west and decimating the original population. This was inconsequential, of course, as the much more technologically developed European types considered it their God Given Right, Manifest Destiny, to grow wheat on those barren plains, mine those untouched mountains and cut down those forests even if it meant wiping out some uncivilized nomads in the process. It wasn't till they were nearly gone that the Government said, wait a minute, aren't we sort of murdering those people?

we'll concede the other points, and agree with many of them,, BUT (dont you like that word?)

1. we must have land

2. someone else has land

3. we believe it to be our right to have the land

i would venture to say that there are two quick comments on this issue.

"we killed them and stole their land" "we took their heritige"

back in the 50's there was a governor in s.d. who wanted to do something about the rampant poverty on the reservations(B.C.,... Before Casinos) he took aspiring individuals (indians) and trained them in a trade, found them a job and a home off the reservation and gave each of them support till they could make it on their own.

today this man is villified by most indian leaders (read that as activists) as someone who destroyed the indians heritage.

their native animist religion, which was almost unheard of a few years ago, is now being taught in their schools. in some places there were only a dozen or so who could speak their language, and it is being rekindled, in places before english is learned.in western s.d. a small tribe has each member receive over 10,000 a year in profits from their gambling, this on top of the government land, food, hunting rights, mining rights, repayments for old treaties, welfare,etc.

if you would see the repayment going out to each individual on the reservation, it would scare you! s.d. is the only state in the union with no official "columbus day". it was voted on by indian activist pressure, and changed to "native american day".

now lets start those slave reparations and see if they could do as good!

i do believe this nation was founded by christians, to be a christian nation. now, do i believe that mass murder should have been done to get the land? of course not! christian ethics are easily watered down.(see george washington////bill clinton for extremes).

look at the chicago bulls. now look at them minus jordan and the others. not the same. american and christian seperated a long time ago. killing indians may be an american thing, but it should not be in the same group as "manifest destiny". i still believe in M.D. but killing was not the way to go about it, obviously.

i think it was handled better by the uk in australia. the aborigines have fit into society much better than our "native americans" have. that is the goal, right? all americans, all the time.

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Nor were the Native Americans, who I still prefer to call American Indians without implying any disrespect, the innocents that may have been mistakenly implied.

To begin with, in the early ninteenth century the Western United States, but European standards, was virtually unpopulated. The Eastern United States was grossly underpopulated. Americans of that age didn't care for crowded living places and were quick to move on to unsettled lands. There was no reason not to. The American Indians, most of them, were not attached to any one plot of land, if crowded they were perfectly willing to move and usually the early settlers weren't even aware of it. In some places the Indians and settlers even got along and prospered together.

The main pre-Civil War problem with all of this was Andrew Jackson, the great Indian hater. His policies of forced migrations and Indian Wars (usually just slaughters for forced evictions) started most of the carnage that was to follow.

For their part, the American Indians were an unpredicable lot. Sometimes they'd vanish and other times they'd fight bitterly for what seemed to be no reason. The main problem was two fold. The American Government did not envision the Western Indians becoming a part of it's integrated population and the majority of American Indians did not want to be assimulated. Which would have been okay except the Eastern Government wanted to settle those empty lands. And discontented Easterners wanted to move there -- the government wasn't going to stop them regardless of any laws or regulations it passed.

The conflict was inevitable, so was the slaughter and the near extermination. What wasn't inevitable was someone like General Phil Sheridan touring the Western Cavalry posts telling people like George Custer that "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" and making that his policy for the army. The other thing that wasn't inevitable was the automatic lying, cheating, corrupt Indian officials and periodic reduction of Reservations that had formerly been guaranteed in perpetuity.

The Government had a lot of unnecessary blood on it's hands.

Agreed about the current nonsense going on with descendants of those same people who are looking to capitalize on every angle they can come up with. Also agreed on that bogus folk religious absurdity. I've had personal experiences with that and felt like puking. Yes, the American Indians got a raw deal, so did a lot of others of us but we don't expect dozens of varieties of retroactive compensation payments.

Naturally, I don't feel any of that heritage guilt personally. In this area, three hundred years ago, a Dutch Governor gave an Indian Chief $24 worth of trinkets and a jug of booze and invited everyone to a party and that makes us even for the Isle of Manhattan -- a deal is a deal! :D

Naturally I'll have to defend all of this tomorrow against an American Indian who'll start off saying I'm a bigot and he's a Native American, not an Indian because he doesn't come from India, etc & so on. It's nice to always be representing the ripe causes I seem to end up with -- bigotry, nazism, Stalinism, etc. & so on -- even when I just want to talk about lousy old movies like Robot Monster and Plan-9 from Outter Space it seems I always make some truly insane detour along the way.

And the original reason I even mentioned it wasn't to insinuate anybody's ancestors stole the Dakotas or Montana or anywhere else -- I made it to emphasize that we can't expect other societies to cover ground in a few years that we ourselves took a few hundred to get through. Right now, for example, Russia is going through our gangland era, only much more so.

I'm glad you fully believe in Manifest Destiny, it has a nice ring to it. An even nicer ring than the word "BUT", which I also believe in.

Getting to the opening questions:

Young people I talk to today occasiionally want to know about the early days of the Beatles, but I'm starting to find that they are also beginning to fade into history along with the Big Bopper, though not as quickly.

It's impossible to explain the humor of Ernie Kovacs to anyone who's never seen him. His Dutch Masters cigar commercials were in themselves masterpieces. To me he was a true comic genius and, had he not owned the crummy Ford he died in, he'd have become very possibly the most renowned comic of them all.

Most of his sidekicks were also brilliant and all their routines with the intricate timing and subtle sight gags were done on live TV, no margin for error.


I've also found a short link about the man for anyone who's interested.

link to Ernie Kovaks article -- "The Original Dutch Master !"

The only movie I know of that he appeared in was a very funny flick (many people think it's too moody and flat, but I love it, no accounting for taste in these things) called Bell, Book and Candle with Kim Novak, James Stewart, Jack Lemon and a number of other terrific actors.

No doubt this thing will be sent to the General Forum soon, which is good. I'm sure those guys prefer talking about lousy old movies instead of argueing with me over mundane real world issues.

[ May 14, 2003, 01:11 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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In the spirit of getting back on track.

Two Postings -- Part One,

Hitler and Mussolini


Adolf Hitler

Like most people driven by a mission he was insane from the start. If he wasn't born that way the death of a brother in childhood started him going. Four years of being in the Western Front Trenches during the First World War probably finished the job -- the fact he survived that long is a miracle in of no small measuer. Fate's little joke at the expense of the rest of humanity.

Anyone who really wants to know what Hitler and his cronnies were about ought to read Mein Kampf. It's a lousy book full of hatred and quack theories, most of which were written in by Rudolph Hess, who typed the manuscript while Hitler was serving a ludicrously lenient sentence at Landsburg Prison for the triffling offense of attempting to overthrow the government!

Aside from survivint four years of combat in WW I, this man survived numerous assassination attempts and was finally done in by his own hand.

Delusional and meglomaniacal, he was also lazy and egocentric and convinced he had been placed on this earth to set things right. His attempt at doing so cost a lot of lives and produced a few changes and was as ruinous to his own people as it was to anyone else.

As a military leader he was a gambler and like all gamblers he had lucky streaks but eventually gave everything back to the house. As a political leader he was contemptable. The only positive thing that can be said for him is he did a great job supervising the rebuilding of the German armed forces during the Thirties. It was often noted by those around him that he had a gift for detail and an encyclopic knowledge of weaponry.

He also did a fine job in regaining the lands that had been unjustly seized from Germany at Versailles. Meanwhile he was stripping every German Jew, regardless of age, of his or her rights and setting them up for eventual extermination. Naturally he didn't want to be seen as having been directly responsible for this so he found a suitable mongrel, Heinrich Himmler, and delegated the murderous task.

Having secured an agreement with the USSR, he began the war in September of 1939 following his gambler's instincts that Britain and France would not honor their alliance with Poland. Perhaps he either expected another Munich. More likely, he believed he'd knock Poland out, sit through the winter, and negotiate a peace with the west in the Spring. He'd then be left to fulfill his lifelong vision of invading the USSR and creating a vast German Land Empire.

After an initial string of successful invasions, including France, his plans began unravelling. First Britain didn't agree to a peace treaty, much less his fantasy alliance of racial cousins controlling land and sea. Second, Britain refused to bow under the blows of Goering's Luftwaffe and even went on give his air force a bloodied nose. So much for the peaceful settlement with Britain idea.

Ah, but the Brits would sing a different tune without the USSR holding out the promise of eventual rescue.

June 1941, the invasion of Soviet Russia. Just a gambler's hunch, really, "kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing to the ground."

Except it didn't and of course it wasn't his own mishandling of the war but his generals letting him down. They had to be replaced. And the top one, the chief of staff -- well, who needed one really, he'd appoint himself to the job!

And we all know the rest.

In the end he died in a stifling bunker issueing orders to armies he'd either thrown away already or that never existed except as flags on a map.

But his legacy doesn't stop there. It extends to a wrecked continent and tens of millions of deaths. Many millions of them due not to the war or a famine or the plague, but to one man's insane hatreds.

There must be some higher reason that countless good men died in the trenches of France while Adolf Hitler survived all of it to create so much misery, ruin and death.

Benitto Mussolini

Came to power shortly after the end of the First World War due in part to a weak monarchy and a badly demoralized populace but also through considerable daring, bluff and a lot of dumb luck. To his credit, he started off by seizing some of the possessions such as Trieste that had been promised Italy by the British and French vipers crawling around Versailles.

He generally rebuilt Italy during the twenties transforming it from a backwards, disunited hovel to a fairly developed industrial state that was able to credilby delude itself into dealing openly with the much more powerful British and French.

He solidified Italy's hold on Libya, which she had conquered in 1911 from the by then defunct Ottoman Turks.

He saw to the modernized of Italy's aging navy, which was well regarded till it was overtaken by advanced technology during the 1930s. The total lack of radar, gunnery or otherwise, in WW II reduced her warships to running targets for the more technologically advanced British. Despite it's generally poor results in battle, British Admiral Cunningham commanding the Mediteranean Squadron, respected them as foes and never allowed his guard to be dropped; which is part of the reason he was so successful. The supplying of North Africa in what came to be known as the Death Run, was a major accomplishment. Considering the existence of Malta as an Allied air and submarine base and the fact that so much Axis information regarding convoys always wound up in British possession.

In the mid 1930s he sent troops to Italy's small East African possessions and proceeded to move on what he considered a long standing agreement -- going back to the 1880s -- with England and France regarding the conquest of Ethiopia. The British and French, however, considered that times had changed and it was no longer fashionable for respctable nations to simply invade other respectable sovereign nations (he created the usual border incident of course, but nobody cared to hear the details).

After receiving sanctions and being driven from the League of Nations, Mussolini -- who up till then desired nothing more than firm ties with Britain and France -- began increasingly to ally himself with Hitler's Germany.

Assured that there would be no major war till late 1941 at the earliest, Italy began reorganizing it's military in 1938, sending much of it's older arms to Franco's Spanish cause and even throwing in several thousand hapless "volunteers".

When Hitler moved on Czechoslovakia IL Duce got to play the peacemaker, arranging for the Munich Conference and serving more or less as the go between for both sides. It was a farce, of course, with Mussolini and Goering blustering about like a pair of peacocks while Hitler listened resentfully to British and French propossals that, in his view, deprived him of the small war he so badly wanted in order to show his new army and air force off to the world.

When the real war came about Italy was caught unprepared. It hadn'e stockpiled war materials or any other resource, such as fuel oil, because Hitler had not bothered to tell him he really was about to invade Poland. Keeping his options open, Mussolini finally entered the fray when it seemed Germany would win the war on it's own. FDR called it the "The smiling neighbor who thrust a knife in his neighbor's back." All things considered a fairly accurate description.

The rest needs no summation as we all know it already.

As a military leader Mussolini was without question the least capable of all the major figures. He constantly ignored the good advice of his generals and admirals and moved from one disasster to the next.

As a political leader he is much maligned, but he did not lead a murderer regime, nor was it racist. In my view he was an able enough peace time ruler who was totally incapable of leading his nation in a time of war. It he'd remained neutral in 1940, as Winston Churchill had urged him to do, he would probably have been remembered more favorably by history.

[ May 14, 2003, 04:13 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Part Two,

Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt


Joseph Stalin

A man who once wanted to become a Russian Orthodox Priest. Like Hitler he began becoming unhinged at an early age. Unlike Hitler he doesn't seem to have seen himself as sparking the beginning of a Great Thousand Year Civilization. If communism hadn't existed he'd have no doubt back stabbed and conspired his way to the top of almost any available organization.

He seems to have come down through history with many defenders who seem to be otherwise perfectly sensible individuals. To me his strong suit was survival and dominaating others. He hated the human race and even his own family. Life, other than his own, meant even less to him than it did to Hitler and he squandered it by the tens of millions long before the Germany invasion in 1941.

As a military leader I think he was terrible. Had it not been for the skills of Zhukov and a few other capable commanders not even the extreme bravery of the Russian soldiers would have saved him from a quick defeat -- Zhukov and the Russian mud and winter, of course.

Having saved Moscow by transferring the Siberian reserves he proceeded to waste them as he already had the regular army, pushing them to attack constantly and everywhere till they ceased to exist. The final thrust being a doomed drive on Rostov that he was advised not to make by all his generals who had the guts to not be yes men. Naturally, when it turned into a disaster he distanced himself from it and blamed some hapless commanders.

To his credit he didn't meddle as much in military matters afterwards and his generals gradually pulled the war out for him after four years of slaughter, suffering and tragedy. When it was all over he rewarding them with the usual distrust and trips to the gulags.

In his defense I can only say he never should have become a dictator at all. If Leon Trotsky hadn't been thousands of miles from Moscow when Lenin died he would, beyond doubt, have become Soviet Premier. History might well have been somewhat different. Trotsky was also quite ruthless and capable of genocide, but he seems to have had a fine intellect and I believe he'd have developed Russia along different, more productive lines.

Winston Churchill

Adventurer, prolific writer, statesman, artist and a very sincere drinker, Winston Churchill was a throwback to an earlier age. In many respects he was a British Teddy Roosevelt.

He believed wholeheartedly in the continuance of the Worldwide British Empire at a time when it was breathing it's last gasps.

An important figure in the First World War, Churchill was blamed for the failure of his brainchild, the Galipoli campaign; an effort to wrest control of the Dardenelles from the Turks.

Out of favor between the wars, he fell on what for a prominent Briton could be considered hard times. Which was remedied by the timely start of another major war with Germany.

Appointed First Lord of the Admiralty by Neville Chamberlain, Churchill immediately came up with another interesting scheme involving Norway. A basically sound idea, as Galipoli had been two decades earlier, it was botched, also as Galipoli had been. Except this time the Government received the blame and when the dust settled Churchill emerged as Prime Minister.

No need to recount his war years as all of you know it already.

In my opinion, despite his blunders at Greece and Crete -- one that he can be excused for as the German airborne offensive was at the time unparrelled in history -- Singapore and other places, I believe Churchill was a good military leader. He generally listened to the advice of his generals and admirals and limited himself to a strategic stance.

The Mediteranean and Italian campaigns were his ideas, of course (the much mocked "Soft Underbelly of Europe" war) and, though it is generally held in low regard, it did manage to tie up large numbers of German troops and airmen and served to bring about Fascist Italy as an Axis Ally. A development that might sarcastically be said to have worked in Germany's favor.

As a political leader he was probably the most inspiring of the pack. And the British people, remembering his Imperial obsessions, showed their recognition for his talents by voting him out of office at exactly the right moment. A private citizen once more, he dashed off to Northern Italy for some relaxation in the sun, a little painting, a sample of local wines and a frantic search for old letters he'd written to Benitto Mussolin who -- during the war years -- he referred to in an almost fond voice as, "That Greedy Italian!"

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The product of a New York Dutch family with a long lineage, cousin of another American president, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR entered public life as an attorney and gravitated quickly into Politics. Unlike his cousin he was a Democrat at a time when the collapse of the American economy was being blamed on Herbert Hoover and the Republicans.

The only American president elected to serve three terms he became, shortly before his death, the only American president to also be elected to a fourth!

Like the other leaders described here it would be impossible to do his bio justice in such a short space, so I'll summarize wildly.

He achieved a national office during the First World War, serving as Under Secretary of the Navy. Between the wars he returned to New York politics and, after fighting his way back from what was thought to be a fatal case of polio, he replaced Al Smith (who ran for president against Hoover and lost largely due to being a Catholic) as Governor of New York State.

Winning the 1932 Presidential office, his years as head of the United States parellel almost exactly those of Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.

The years of his long administration were plagued by numerous gargantual problems, the Great Depression and World War Two to name just a couple of the larger ones.

In the years leading up to America's entry FDR felt it vital that the United States join the War in Europe and drive Hitler from power. He failed in his efforts to arrouse enthusiasm for this among the isolationalist American people. As an alternate to direct participation he extended lend lease military aid to Great Britain. An act construed as having been cruelly manipulative because he held back on giving credit until the British Treasury was virtually drained. What is generally overlooked is, given Congressional constraints, he may have had no choice.

In the Pacific he pursued a policy toward the Japanese that baffles me. As mentioned elsewhere by Shaka of Carthage, he almost certainly cornered the Japanese into attacking the United States. I have believed this for nearly forty years but won't speculate on it here because the issues are too complex and, if examined in this forum, it deserves it's own Topic.

Having entered the War in Europe by Hitler's DOW and already being the principle member of the Pacific War, FDR insisted upon a Germany first strategy, which was an extension of his peace time policy and in line with earlier meetings he'd had with Churchill off the coast of Canada.

FDR was excellent at putting the right people in the right jobs. It was said of him that he usually wound up with three people doing the work of one or one doing the work of three, but despite this he always succeeded in accomplishing his objectives.

As in the case of the other war leaders, his actual wartime actions are well known to all of us and don't call for repeating here.

As a military leader he had the good sense to trust his generals with the details and only inserted himself in the determining of major strategies.

As a political leader he conducted himself flawlessly. By 1941 he'd achieved Icon Status, a position he thoroughly deserved. If he sought to lead his country into the two most terrible wars in history -- and they were definitely two distinct wars -- he did so not for persoanal glory or the pursuit of national power, but because he was convinced they were wars that had to be fought. And fought before the two enemies became overwhelmingly strong after preliminary victories against France, Britain, Russia and China.

His major flaw was in not trusting his vice-presidents. They were always selected for politcal reasons. A not uncommon practice in any administration, but in Roosevelt's case he never confided in them, choosing instead to delegate seperate tasks to them while confiding only in his highest military and administrative leaders. As a result of this, Harry Truman only learned of the A-bomb after Roosevelt's death and had no idea of what his foreign policies had been or what his intentions would have been.

By a regrettable twist of fate, only Stalin remained of the Big Three War Leaders to make the transition into the post war world.

[ May 14, 2003, 04:14 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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jerseyjohn said- -

Naturally, I don't feel any of that heritage guilt personally. In this area, three hundred years ago, a Dutch Governor gave an Indian Chief $24 worth of trinkets and a jug of booze and invited everyone to a party and that makes us even for the Isle of Manhattan -- a deal is a deal!

the seven or eight "original" beads still remaining from that deal are the centerpiece of a new native-american heritage center opening very soon near the crazyhorse memorial. those beads have made a lot of people upset for a long time, eh?

jerseyjohn said---

And the original reason I even mentioned it wasn't to insinuate anybody's ancestors stole the Dakotas or Montana or anywhere else -- I made it to emphasize that we can't expect other societies to cover ground in a few years that we ourselves took a few hundred to get through.

i understand you werent insinuating my ancestors werent stealing land in the dakotas. my ancestors stole land in north carolina :D i was disagreeing with the issue of societies covering ground...we (me and WHOEVER) look back and say "how in the world could those people in that day have done such stupid things!"

murder, slavery,genocide, etc.

as has been pointed alluded to earlier in several posts, it is all in your current personal perspective. i dont believe we have " arrived ".i also dont think we are any better morally or societally than our founders. as pogo said--"we have met the enemy, and he is us"

no hard feelings! ;)

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Of course there's no hard feelings, let's face it, we're old and cranky and prone to bicker and argue even when we agree with each other. :D

I don't feel we've arrived anywhere except our present location. What I'm saying is we can't expect people in countries that have never known either freedom or a democratic way of life to suddenly embrace it and start voting. The first thing they'll do is vote for a dictator!

Probably that's the simplest way I can put it. As far as the American West goes, the white settlers were filling a vacuum. The Plains Indians were not numerous enough to justify the amount of land they claimed and the white men occupied it for themselves. What I don't like is that the United States Government did so much to legitimize their destructionm, right down to the wholesale slaughtering of buffalo herds by rail road provisioners. The Indian Agencies actually advised that such a move would force the American Indians off the plains and the government santioned it.

As for those beads in the display, I hope they keep them in Oshkosh or Sasquash or where ever the hell they are. We never want to see them again in these parts; the original receipt says, in Dutch, NO RETRUN.

As for theft of land from those poor idyllic natives. I was perfectly willing to condone your ancestors for stealing some North Western Hellhole from those poor people (awfully big of me, eh?), but to have stolen beautiful North Carolina! That is truly unforgivable. I'll bet they didn't even give them glass beads. :D

See you in the General Siberia Forum because now I'm sure that's the next stop. Haven't you got anything at all to to say about Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill or FDR?

If it's any consolation Teddy Roosevelt once tried using his Harvard education to set up a ranch out in your neck of the woods. The cowhands were amused by his instructions given in perfectly correct grammatical English. Unfortunately most of the cattle froze to death one winter and he returned to New York where politicl cronies set him up. He was ever after affectionately known in some circles as "The Cowboy." He left his soft political job to help form the Rough Riders in the War of The Spanish Fleecing. As we know he helped steal Cuba from the Spanish who were about to lose it to the Cubans in any case.

I know that has very little to do with this Topic but at this point I'm desperate to find something that will derail this American Indian merry-go-round before someone pops in with a complaint about their casinos and tax breaks -- oops! :eek: I didn't say anything about that.

Okay, so let's get back to discussing the humanitarian side of Joe Stalin. . . . :rolleyes:

[ May 14, 2003, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Getting Back to Franklin Roosevelt

The young family of Franklin and Eleanor


The couple had six children, one of whom died in infancy. The children were, from oldest to youngest,

Anna (1906-1975),

James (1907-1991),

Franklin Jr. (1909-1909),

Elliott (1910-1990),

Franklin Jr. (1914-1988),

and John (1916-1981).

Here's a persoanl tale of woe involving myself and -- indirectly -- this happy little family group.

In my younger days it was my privelege to hub-nub with various New York writers and historians who sometimes let me join in whatever project they were working on. I'd say I was an amateur collaborator, rendering services in exchange for good company, pleasant conversation over better wine and brandy than I normally aspired to, invitations to dinner and the satisfaction of learning things I wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to.

One fine day in 1982 a female member of this group approached me with an idea. She'd received an advance from a publisher to write a biography of FDR's mother, Sarah Delano (no photo available, sorry) and she was willing to pay me in cold hard cash (GASP!) and list me as a contributor if I'd do her one itsy-bitsy favor and do the actual writing for her. :D The kicker was she'd been working on the project for something like fifteen years and already had extensive notes from interviews she'd conducted with the Roosevelt's children, including the already deceased Anna and John.

So we got right on the project.

As a short background, Sarah Delano was the second wife of FDR's vinage dad whose son from the first marriage was something like sixteen when Franklin was born. This, happily was not a problem as the older boy seems to have been an excellent influence on the sibling.

The problem was Sarah. She was overly protective and attempted to run her son's life right up to his White House days. Which, oddly enough, is where she lived, dominating Eleanor and openly meddling in persoanl affairs that most men would long before had made off limits to their mother! The result for Franklin and Eleanor was a personal disasster long before he ever became a prominent figure.

Sarah disliked Eleanor from the start and felt her son was not only marrying beneath his social level but that it was also scandalous to be wedding a cousin. Yes, Eleanor Roosevelt's maiden name was -- Eleanor Roosevelt!* She was the daughter of Teddy Roosevelt's younger brother, Elliot -- cousin to Franklin Roosevelt.

=== * ===

*Enclyclopia except on Eleanor Roosevelt's birth and childhood:

[...] She was born in New York City on October 11, 1884, daughter of lovely Anna Hall and Elliott Roosevelt, younger brother of Theodore. When her mother died in 1892, the children went to live with Grandmother Hall; her adored father died only two years later. Attending a distinguished school in England gave her, at 15, her first chance to develop self-confidence among other girls. [...]


Sarah was also sensitive to the status angle because her own family had gone from old money to mere social status. She knew perfectly well that one was of little use without the other. What she wanted for her son was a business merger at the altar -- a very large one.

The two of them got married in any case, an act of defiance Sarah never quite forgave or forgot. She made it a personal obsession to drive the two apart and, by the time the above photograph was taken in 1919, Franklin and Eleonor were on the skids. Franklin meandered with other female companionship, probably not because of his wife but to get away from his mother. Eleanor found out, wanted a divorce and was talked out of it by none other that mother-in-law Sarah. After all, her son was making his way in the political world and now they had children to consider. So the divorce didn't happen and the marriage remained in effect.

Eleanor began making her own escapes. She went on extensive humanitarian trips. When her husband lost the use of his legs (he'd been pulling the kid's rowboat through very cold water up to his waist and that seems to have triggered it) she kept the family together while Franklin fought first for his survival, and then to regain enough physical strength to go on with his life.

In later years Eleanor had affairs and Franklin rekindled an old relationship with secret meetings at Hyde Park during Eleanor's frequent trips around the globe.

Meanwhile, Sarah Delano had died peacfully at the White House in 1941, a very old lady who seemed the ideal martiarchal figure in a slightly oversized immediate family. It was typical of Franklin that, when the United States entered the Second World War, he said "Mother was spared all of this."

FDR's old relationship was with him at Warm Springs, GA, when he died. It wasn't an accident, she knew he was dying and did her best to comfort him. Eleanor was off on a trip. Upon returning the old rival was still present and, needless to say, some interesting comments were flung back and forth.

Which brings me back to my esteemed and scholarly colleague on the Sarah Delano book. In her meeting with the Roosevelt's daughter, Anna, she asked one question after another about the lady's grandmother, her favorite flower, favorite songs, favorite desert, favorite color and similar trivial dreck. Anna kept deflecting them with remarks to the effect of "never mind that, here's what my mother said to . . .." or "I don't want to talk about her, but I remember when my father said about what he really wanted to do when . . .."

What soon became obvious in going through those notes was, while my collaborator remained an unshakable terrier on the topic of Sarah Delano, none of the Roosevelt children wanted to say very much about her. What they really wanted to talk about, especially Anna, was the behind the scenes occurences that make the really great history books so great.

After a while my amazment turned to frustration and then to outright disgust.

We had plenty of yellowed pages of notes on flower gardens and room arrangements and second hand information on Franklin's life as a child he seems to have gotten paritally free of his mother when he was fifteen -- but nothing really interesting about the people themselves. And the opportunity to get really good firsthand material was gone forever.

The project died after a few disagreements. I was even less tactful then than I am today and made some unkind, but true, remarks about her extremely poor interview methods. For one thing she didn't bother recording things said by any of the siblings that didn't relate directly to their grandmother! She'd just enter non-topic discussion in parenthesis when the interview strayed away from the old lady.

My collaborator missed the real book she could have had in place of the book she originally wanted to write. A smart interviewer would have gathered enough information for both projects out of those same interviews. I have no idea if she ever completed the project. Probably not.

By all rights I should have made some regular pilgrimages to the main Manhattan Library @ 42nd street and perhaps my editor friend might also have gained access to private collections so we could at least have written some sort of book on old Sarah, but I didn't. Probably that's the way I'd have done it today, but at the time I was too impulsive for that course.

So that's about it. Not quite off topic, not quite on topic, but I thought some of you might enjoy it and this seemed the best place to post my little FDR footnote. smile.gif

[ May 15, 2003, 02:57 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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JJ: Thanks for the info on McCarthy-ism. It was before my time... :D ...but very interesting reading.

Leopard: Please do post your thoughts on the Nazi-Soviet pact. Some of us (me at least) are more interested in the run-up to the war than in the event itself.

Rambo: Good analysis of the WWII leaders, except I think you over-rate Comrade Stalin.

The USSR won the war with him as leader, it's true, but they could have won more easily and with fewer casualties with almost any of their other leaders in charge, I think (Khrushchev for example). And our man in Red was second only to Neville Chamberlain in responsiblity for turning the German beast loose on the world. I don't dislike Russians, I don't even dislike Communists, but Stalin was bad news for the world.

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Glad you enjoyed the McCarthy era stuff, of course it was before my time as well, I'm just repeating what I've heard from older folks :D

Leopard has begun a seperate Topic starting with his account of the events leading up to the divying up of Poland Agreement. From there it pretty much descends in later postings to the usual dysfunctional in-fighting we all seem to be so fond of. But Leopard's opening post is great and I hope you'll read it.

Here's a link:

click here to read Leopard's Account of the Events Leading to the Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact.

[ May 14, 2003, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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