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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Under the category of “You learn something new every day”

The Nazis had organized a very “Special” olympics, (No, not that kind of special olympics) to show the world how superior were the Aryan race. Unfortunately, they didn’t count on Jesse Owens.

Somewhere in Germany at the time, was a guy named Adolph- though his friends called him Adi. He made shoes- specifically, track shoes, lighter and grippier than anything else available at the time. He figured Jesse was a shoe-in for the title, so he asked him if he would wear his shoes during the olympics for purposes of publicity. Jesse did, and Adi wanted to put his name on them so everyone could see his little bit of free advertisement. The shoes were too small to put his whole name (Adolph Dassler) on them, so he abbreviated it, Adi Das.

And now you know, as it were, the rest of the story. (with apologies to the late, great mr harvey)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Like most Russian authors, is a long winded bastard. It’s like they don’t have the word “Pithy” in Russian.

Therefore, I have read his masterwork “Gulag Archipelago” so you don’t have to.

Actually, I read it years ago, and one statement stuck out to me like a wedding dick; it should to you too, and if you read the book for yourself this will probably be the most important part to you, too. And it’s a footnote, an afterthought, not even part of the book proper. Bolding mine.

5. And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur—what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!
If . . . if . . . We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more—we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure! (Arthur Ransome describes a workers’ meeting in Yaroslavl in 1921. Delegates were sent to the workers from the Central Committee in Moscow to confer on the substance of the argument about trade unions. The representative of the opposition, Y. Larin, explained to the workers that their trade union must be their defense against the administration, that they possessed rights which they had won and upon which no one else had any right to infringe. The workers, however, were completely indifferent, simply not comprehending whom they still needed to be defended against and why they still needed any rights. When the spokesman for the Party line rebuked them for their laziness and for getting out of hand, and demanded sacrifices from them—overtime work without pay, reductions in food, military discipline in the factory administration—this aroused great elation and applause.) We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.

Lenin controlled all sources of information from the beginning. The same is almost completely true, now, of our media, who Pascal refers to as the “Agency of lies”, in my mind an appropriate label and one I choose to use henceforth.

Frank James

who was always on my “Must read” list left some time ago, and Mr B alerted me yesterday to the fact that his old blog had apparently been hacked. I still had Mr James’ address so I mailed him, and he appreciated the info. But then he did something better, he started another blog.

He even says himself it may not be around for long, so get the free ice cream when you can. While I like to see anyone get paid for writing, the blog is less formal and more personal, and that’s how I like my Frank James.