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William Lear, Founder of the Lear Jet Corporation, named one of his daughters…

Crystal Shanda Lear.


The king wanted to go fishing, and he asked the royal weather forecaster the forecast for the next few hours.

The palace meteorologist assured him that there was no chance of rain.

So the king and the queen went fishing. On the way he met a man with a fishing pole riding on a donkey, and he asked the man if the fish were biting.

The fisherman said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace! In just a short time I expect a huge rain storm."

The king replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him."

So the king continued on his way.

However, in a short time a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked.

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the meteorologist.

Then he summoned the fisherman and offered him the prestigious position of royal forecaster.

The fisherman said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."

So the king hired the donkey

And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential positions of government.

The practice remains unbroken to this day.


As the manager of our hospital's softball team, I was responsible for returning equipment to the proper owners at the end of the season.

When I walked into the surgery department carrying a bat that belonged to one of the surgeons, I passed several patients and their families in a waiting area.

"Look, honey," one man said to his wife. "Here comes your anesthesiologist."


British Humour

Two Muslims have crashed a speedboat into the Thames barrier in London.

Police are checking for the start of Ram-a-dam.

They've had to cancel the pantomime 'Jack & the Beanstalk' in Birmingham , Bristol , Oldham, Bradford, Leicester, Manchester and London.

Apparently the giant couldn't smell any Englishmen.


Years ago it was suggested that, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
Nowadays, I've found that a bacon sandwich works much better.


Our last fight was my fault: My wife asked me "What's on the TV?"

I said, "Dust!"

Quote of the Times;
I don’t have a vendetta against all of Hollywood. Hollywood has afforded me to have a great life. I have a vendetta against the liberal media that refuses to expose, indict and imprison the criminals, pedophiles, con artists, molesters and rapists that are in charge of Hollywood. - Isaiah Washington

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Walmart’s ‘Woke’ Capitalism by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel

Walmart — the world’s largest retailer — has announced it’s taking a side in the gun debate. The company will no longer sell handgun ammunition at its stores, nor will it sell rifle rounds that can be “also used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons.” Then, Doug McMillon, Walmart’s CEO, issued a statement calling on Congress to ban many semiautomatic rifles and seize firearms from some Americans who haven’t been convicted of a crime — or even charged with anything. For a company that operates primarily in rural America, all of this was a big step. How do rural Americans feel about it? We can only guess. There’s not a lot of polling going on in Dixon, Montana, or Roxbury, Maine. But in the most expensive parts of New York and Los Angeles, all the smart people were deeply impressed. They love Walmart now.

As you may remember, years ago, Walmart was the subject of coordinated attacks from the left. Progressives used to attack the company for destroying small-town America and exploiting workers. The company never really changed the way it does business, and yet, somehow, the left has mostly stopped attacking them. How did that happen? Part of the answer is that liberals got rich and lost interest in economics. Instead, they adopted identity issues. But Walmart also figured out it could buy immunity from the left’s criticism by mouthing left-wing pieties. That’s all it takes. Sound “woke” and they will leave you alone. Notice that Walmart still plans to sell the remainder of its AR-15 ammunition. This couldn’t really be about saving lives, obviously. It’s about the money. It’s only about the money. But that’s unsurprising; there’s a lot of money at stake.

Revenue at Walmart is the largest in the retail world. The Walton family is collectively worth more than $150 billion. How did they get so rich? Largely by selling foreign goods to domestic consumers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, America actually lost 400,000 jobs thanks to Walmart’s reliance on Chinese imports. And it shows. Drive down the boarded up main streets of many small towns and you’ll see what rural America looks like today because of Walmart. Compare that to some of the gleaming new cities the communist Chinese government has built with the profits.

Allegedly, Walmart has sometimes sold goods at a loss just long enough to drive American competitors out of business. Smaller retailers and the jobs they provided have vanished. In many places, Walmart is one of the few remaining employers. As of today, more than 1.5 million Americans work at Walmart. By and large, it’s not an improvement over what we had before.

And it’s not getting better. In 2005, 20% of Walmart employees worked part time. Today, the majority work part time. Why? If Walmart keeps employees part time, the company can avoid paying them benefits. People can’t live like that, and Walmart knows it. But Walmart also knows that the federal government — i.e., taxpayers — will subsidize low wages with health care benefits. In other words, you’re working so that the Walton family doesn’t have to pay their employees enough to live. That’s happening right now, but we’re keeping quiet about it because Walmart is pushing gun control. But go back and look what’s happened. The same company that pushed the appalling lie that brightly colored plastic from China will make us happy is now lecturing normal Americans, the Americans they’ve hurt, about how immoral they are for daring to protect themselves with firearms. That’s what they’re saying. And everyone in Washington, New York and Los Angeles is applauding them as they do it.

Ironically, one thing you don’t hear about much from Walmart — or from the so-called progressives cheering on Walmart’s new political correctness — is China. Walmart is one of the biggest importers of Chinese goods. Walmart does a truly massive amount of business in China. Walmart’s got all this new corporate courage on guns. Is Walmart also going to take a stand for mistreated Chinese workers? Chinese citizens are under constant surveillance. Is Walmart going to take up their cause? China’s state-managed economy has wreaked environmental devastation Americans couldn’t imagine. Is Walmart taking a stand for that? We haven’t heard much.
I was raped by whoever Trump picks to replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.


Two political candidates were having a hot debate.

Finally, one of them jumped up and yelled at the other, "What about the powerful interest that controls you?"

And the other guy screamed back, "You leave my wife out of this!"


25 Words That Are Their Own Opposites

Here’s an ambiguous sentence for you: “Because of the agency’s oversight, the corporation’s behavior was sanctioned.” Does that mean, "Because the agency oversaw the company’s behavior, they imposed a penalty for some transgression," or does it mean, "Because the agency was inattentive, they overlooked the misbehavior and gave it their approval by default"? We’ve stumbled into the looking-glass world of contronyms—words that are their own antonyms.

1. Sanction (via French, from Latin sanctio(n-), from sancire ‘ratify,’) can mean "give official permission or approval for (an action)" or conversely, "impose a penalty on."

2. Oversight is the noun form of two verbs with contrary meanings, “oversee” and “overlook.” Oversee, from Old English ofersēon ("look at from above") means "supervise" (medieval Latin for the same thing: super-, "over" plus videre, "to see.") Overlook usually means the opposite: "to fail to see or observe; to pass over without noticing; to disregard, ignore."

3. Left can mean either remaining or departed. If the gentlemen have withdrawn to the drawing room for after-dinner cigars, who’s left? (The gentlemen have left and the ladies are left.)

4. Dust, along with the next two words, is a noun turned into a verb meaning either to add or to remove the thing in question. Only the context will tell you which it is. When you dust are you applying dust or removing it? It depends whether you’re dusting the crops or the furniture.

5. Seed can also go either way. If you seed the lawn you add seeds, but if you seed a tomato you remove them.

6. Stone is another verb to use with caution. You can stone some peaches, but please don’t stone your neighbor (even if he says he likes to get stoned).

7. Trim as a verb predates the noun, but it can also mean either adding or taking away. Arising from an Old English word meaning "to make firm or strong; to settle, arrange," trim came to mean "to prepare, make ready." Depending on who or what was being readied, it could mean either of two contradictory things: "to decorate something with ribbons, laces, or the like to give it a finished appearance" or "to cut off the outgrowths or irregularities of." And the context doesn’t always make it clear. If you’re trimming the tree are you using tinsel or a chain saw?

8. Cleave can be cleaved into two homographs, words with different origins that end up spelled the same. Cleave, meaning "to cling to or adhere," comes from an Old English word that took the forms cleofian, clifian, or clīfan. Cleave, with the contrary meaning "to split or sever (something)"—as you might do with a cleaver—comes from a different Old English word, clēofan. The past participle has taken various forms: cloven, which survives in the phrase “cloven hoof,” “cleft,” as in a “cleft palate” or “cleaved.”

9. Resign works as a contronym in writing. This time we have homographs, but not homophones. Resign, meaning "to quit," is spelled the same as resign, meaning "to sign up again," but it’s pronounced differently.

10. Fast can mean "moving rapidly," as in running fast, or "fixed, unmoving," as in holding fast. If colors are fast they will not run. The meaning "firm, steadfast" came first; the adverb took on the sense "strongly, vigorously," which evolved into "quickly," a meaning that spread to the adjective.

11. Off means "deactivated," as in to turn off, but also "activated," as in the alarm went off.

12. Weather can mean "to withstand or come safely through" (as in the company weathered the recession) or it can mean "to be worn away" (the rock was weathered).

13. Screen can mean to show (a movie) or to hide (an unsightly view).

14. Help means "assist," unless you can’t help doing something, when it means "prevent."

15. Clip can mean "to bind together" or "to separate." You clip sheets of paper to together or separate part of a page by clipping something out. Clip is a pair of homographs, words with different origins spelled the same. Old English clyppan, which means "to clasp with the arms, embrace, hug," led to our current meaning, "to hold together with a clasp." The other clip, "to cut or snip (a part) away," is from Old Norse klippa, which may come from the sound of a shears.

16. Continue usually means to persist in doing something, but as a legal term it means stop a proceeding temporarily.

17. Fight with can be interpreted three ways. “He fought with his mother-in-law” could mean "They argued," "They served together in the war," or "He used the old battle-ax as a weapon." (Thanks to linguistics professor Robert Hertz for this idea.)

18. Flog, meaning "to punish by caning or whipping," shows up in school slang of the 17th century, but now it can have the contrary meaning, "to promote persistently," as in “flogging a new book.” Perhaps that meaning arose from the sense "to urge (a horse, etc.) forward by whipping," which grew out of the earliest meaning.

19. Go means "to proceed," but also "give out or fail," i.e., “This car could really go until it started to go.”

20. Hold up can mean "to support" or "to hinder": “What a friend! When I’m struggling to get on my feet, he’s always there to hold me up.”

21. Out can mean "visible" or "invisible." For example, “It’s a good thing the full moon was out when the lights went out.”

22. Out of means "outside" or "inside": “I hardly get out of the house because I work out of my home.”

23. B**ch can derisively refer to a woman who is considered overly aggressive or domineering, or it can refer to someone passive or submissive.

24. Peer is a person of equal status (as in a jury of one’s peers), but some peers are more equal than others, like the members of the peerage, the British or Irish nobility.

25. Toss out could be either "to suggest" or "to discard": “I decided to toss out the idea.”

The contronym (also spelled “contranym”) goes by many names, including auto-antonym, antagonym, enantiodrome, self-antonym, antilogy and Janus word (from the Roman god of beginnings and endings, often depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions).


Bernie Sanders Arrives In Hong Kong To Lecture Protesters On How Good They Have It Under Communism

HONG KONG—As soon as Bernie Sanders heard about the democratic protesters in Hong Kong, he knew something had to be done. The U.S. senator quickly chartered a flight to Hong Kong in order to throw himself into the fray.

Sanders bravely stood in the middle of the conflict between police and protesters, shouting at the "ungrateful little dissenters" that they don't know how good they have it under a Communist regime.

"Remember, you could have it a lot worse - you could be in America!" Sanders bellowed as police officers for the totalitarian regime beat protesters in the background. "Hey, you! You on the floor there! You're not looking very appreciative of living in one of the greatest Communist countries on earth!" Sanders continued his long-winded rant about the need for the government to own the means of production, how great breadlines are, and how bad things are in capitalist America as protesters got dragged away by police to be disappeared.

"Just think - in America, we have to pick between 14 different types of deodorant!" he said, his fingers flopping around like limp sausages.

According to sources, Beto O'Rourke is planning on joining Sanders to inform Chinese citizens how lucky they are that they don't live in a racist country like America.


If I had invented Kevlar, I'd have called it "Bullet-Be-Gone" or "Non-Penetrato".

Just so that, you know, there would be no question.

Quote of the Times;
Countries with guns are bound to have tragedies, however countries without them are bound to have genocide. History has shown us this repeatedly.

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Why Hasn’t Brexit Happened? by Christopher Caldwell

Incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first address to the House of Commons on July 25 coincided with the arrival of a heat wave so devastating it sparked talk of a global-warming apocalypse. Steam rose out of the Thames, overhead electrical wires melted on the London-Luton train line, and the Cambridge University Botanic Garden registered the highest temperature (102° F) in the history of the British isles. Naturally there was joking among political pundits about “hot air” and a government “meltdown,” but there were darker grumblings, too. This was a descent into “populism,” one could read in the pages of the Guardian, the Independent, and papers from the European continent. That the Conservative Johnson had moved into the prime ministerial townhouse at 10 Downing Street meant that Britain was now under the control of a “clown,” a “saboteur,” or, worse, the British equivalent of U.S. president Donald Trump.

Whether one backed the antic, mop-haired Johnson or not, it was obvious at a glance that he exhibited none of the traits that the adjective “populist” is usually meant to evoke. Eton- and Oxford-educated, he has been a foreign correspondent, the editor of the venerable weekly the Spectator, the mayor of London, and, until his resignation in 2018, foreign secretary. The real grounds for elite hostility toward him lay elsewhere: Johnson came to office promising—“do or die,” as he put it—that the government would honor its commitment to withdraw the United Kingdom from the 28-nation European Union on October 31. In a long-sought 2016 referendum, British voters had approved this British exit, or “Brexit.” At a time when British politicians of all establishment parties had stood against Brexit in almost unbroken solidarity, Johnson had made himself its most prominent backer.

Johnson’s Conservative predecessor, Theresa May, found the job of implementing the referendum’s mandate either beyond her powers or not to her tastes. More than three years later Britain remains stuck in the E.U. Johnson has taken a different tack—he has burned his ships. He nominated Dominic Cummings, an architect of the referendum campaign, to mastermind the implementation of Brexit, and filled his cabinet with convinced Brexiteers, purging every last “gloomster,” to use his vocabulary. He solemnly told a divided Parliament that “under no circumstances” would he appoint a new U.K. commissioner to the European Union. And he announced that, should Britain’s European neighbors prove unwilling to let the country go its own way, he would leave the E.U. without agreeing to a deal—a course Theresa May considered too fraught with danger to undertake.

One of them—either May or Johnson—is going to be vindicated in the eyes of history. To figure out who, we need to figure out why Brexit didn’t happen—why Britain’s government has thus far not declared its independence from the E.U. despite an explicit promise to its people that it would do so. Perhaps, in an interdependent world, national sovereignty is as unrealistic an indulgence as the E.U.’s champions always claimed. Or perhaps the E.U.’s ability to evade democratic accountability has proved even more robust and tenacious than the champions of Brexit had feared.

Project Fear

The E.U. was conceived by ambitious Cold War politicians as a federation-in-embryo, but presented to the public as an exercise in international friendship. Its main achievement has been to impose economic deregulation on duly elected national governments wherever they have resisted it, thus grooming Europeans for global capitalism. But it has also made ever bolder claims to chart the destinies of the countries that make it up, meddling in questions of school bullying in Spain, pensions in Italy, and press regulation in Hungary. European voters have been losing patience with the E.U., even as zeal for it among local governing elites has risen.

The Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath brought the United Kingdom into the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, and voters ratified the decision in a referendum two years later. But discontent spread, especially after the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 transformed the European Community into the E.U., setting its member countries on a path toward an “ever closer union.” Maastricht was narrowly and rancorously passed in the U.K. Parliament, in a way that poisoned British politics, especially among Conservatives, or Tories, as they are sometimes called. Whenever British people were asked their feelings about the E.U. in a way that didn’t activate either their insecurity (disliking the E.U. is low-class) or their fear (leaving the E.U. will cause a depression), they opposed it. It took constant vigilance to keep anti-E.U. sentiment from rising to the surface.

The (large-c) Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron assented to the 2016 referendum in order to silence a rebellion of his (small-c) conservative colleagues. He did so reluctantly, and put himself at the head of the pro-E.U. “Remain” forces. Although experts doubted voters would want to pull out of the E.U., Cameron well understood that those experts were complacent. That is why he turned the 2016 campaign into “Project Fear,” to use an expression one of his own campaigners had coined for a different referendum two years earlier. He enlisted British businessmen to describe Brexit’s dire consequences for employment. He commissioned studies from the Treasury to illustrate the deadly impact of Brexit on the British economy, and used government funds to have these studies printed in brochures that were distributed to every household in the country. (Those projections have turned out to be spectacularly off-target.) He invited leaders from around the world to warn Britons of the contempt in which the international ruling class would hold the United Kingdom if they favored London over Brussels. United States President Barack Obama went so far as to tell British voters that if they chose to leave the E.U. they would find themselves at “the back of the queue” in their dealings with the United States.

These elaborately manufactured and precision-timed bombshells were lobbed at the rate of one per news cycle throughout the spring of 2016. Shortly before the vote, Cameron even gathered veterans of World War II to his side as he warned that, should his listeners be rash enough to exit the E.U., the United Kingdom might soon reacquaint itself with what he called the “serried rows of white headstones in lovingly tended Commonwealth war cemeteries.”
It was, in short, a thoroughly unfair campaign. But because the side against which the deck had been stacked won, the referendum seemed to have a calming effect. Turnout for the election had been massive, and the 52% to 48% victory extraordinary. The 17.4 million people who voted to leave the E.U. were the largest number of Britons who had ever voted for anything. Only the 1975 EEC referendum came close. No political party had ever come within 3 million votes of it.

Independence Ignored

It was reasonable to assume that in Britain’s heart of hearts, absent peer pressure and government scare tactics, sentiments were even more pro-Brexit than the impressive majority at the ballot box could convey, and that the change of regime would be almost self-enacting. “The Government will implement what you decide,” leaflets distributed during the referendum had promised. So the Brexit forces disbanded. The beery wiseacre Nigel Farage, whose U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) had focused single-mindedly on discontent with the E.U., retired from politics. The Tories returned to business as usual. Upon Cameron’s resignation, members chose as his successor the former home secretary Theresa May, who had not even backed Brexit herself. That seemed not to matter. “Brexit means Brexit,” May dutifully intoned. It was government policy. Brexit would be a bureaucratic sideshow to the real business of her premiership, which May laid out when she devoted her first major speech to “Seven Burning Injustices,” most of them involving race, class, and gender. On March 29, 2017, Parliament activated Article 50, which fixed the date for Britain’s departure from the E.U. exactly two years later. Now Brexit seemed locked in beyond the shadow of a doubt. May then called (and was nearly ousted in) a general election, on which the Brexit question had hardly any effect, because her Labour foes treated the matter as settled. And then, two years later...

No Brexit. It has been postponed. Yes, Britain will regain its independence on October 31, if Brexit’s adversaries do not find a way to block it. But those adversaries include almost the whole of Britain’s political, economic, and journalistic elite, and they have been ingenious in finding ways to block it thus far. The largest and highest-stakes exercise in democracy that the country ever engaged in—the culmination of decades of soul-searching, in which the country insisted on its independence, its national identity, and the primacy of its constitutional system—is at risk of simply being ignored.

May left office in disgrace and in tears, burbling about “race disparity audits” and “gender pay reporting” and fair treatment for gays. Perfectly legitimate subjects for another time, but not for a moment when the country’s sovereignty hung in the balance. Her inability to understand the stakes of her three-year premiership made her the country’s most significant political failure since Neville Chamberlain. What does this mean for Boris Johnson? To the alarm of all Remainers (many of whom despise him), and even a good number of Brexiteers (many of whom envy him), it places him in the most Churchillian situation of any incoming premier since Margaret Thatcher after the strike-ridden “Winter of Discontent” in 1979, or possibly since Churchill himself in 1940.

The press mostly sees Britain’s current impasse as the result of some oversight or mistake, whether May’s or the voting public’s. “Parliament has bungled Brexit,” wrote a correspondent in the conservative Telegraph. A “national haemorrhage of shared purpose and belief began in earnest in June 2016,” according to the progressive Observer, “when Britain voted to leave the E.U.”

But this explanation is quite wrong. The divisions were there in the first place. In Britain as elsewhere in the world, the struggle has been unleashed by innovations in administration that have arisen since the Cold War. These shift power from electorates and parliaments to managers of information, inside government and out. From thousand-year-old constitutional ideas to five-year-old ones. From habeas corpus to gender identity. Because it was Britain that did the most to construct the ideal of liberty which is now being challenged, Brexit clarifies the constitutional stakes for the world as nothing else.

Over decades, British citizens have cloven into two parties of roughly equal strength. The Brexiteers are the party of the unwritten British constitution as it existed from the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 until Britain’s accession to the E.U. in 1973. This is the tradition of “parliamentary supremacy,” as John Locke called it, or “parliamentary sovereignty,” as it more often came to be called. It can be a confusing doctrine. In a constitutional context, “Parliament” means the House of Commons, plus the Lords, plus the Queen. “The Queen in Parliament” is the ultimate law-making, and constitution-making, authority. The House of Commons legislates and so (to a lesser extent) does the House of Lords; the cabinet exercises executive prerogatives in the name of the Queen. Courts can’t “overturn” anything, though traditionally there was a role for the Lords as legal interpreters of last resort. Important parts of this arrangement have been scuppered, and if you favor that scuppering you’re probably a Remainer. Remainers are the party of the European Union’s constitutional tradition, the tradition of human rights and judicial review. And, to make things more confusing, of referenda. The 1973 vote to enter the EEC was the first the United Kingdom ever had. The Brexit referendum of 2016, paradoxically, used an E.U.-era innovation to put an end to the E.U. era.

Only once the process of Britain’s secession got underway was it possible to understand fully the conflict between these two constitutional traditions. Federal Europe had penetrated British constitutional life much more thoroughly than Brexiteers could face or Remainers admit. E.U. law had become “entrenched,” to use a British legal term. As Brexit began dis-entrenching that law, it threatened to dis-entrench along with it the privileges of a whole class of people at the top of society. In response, that class coalesced with a mighty solidarity. Just after the Brexit vote, the London Review of Books essayist James Meek wrote of a gentle, cosmopolitan liberal friend who had asked him: “What about all these powerful backroom interests in the City that are supposed to have the government in their pocket? Why aren’t they stepping in behind the scenes to stop this?”

Britain’s politics was coming to resemble something Donald Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon had said in a different context in February of 2017: “If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”

The Constitution and the Courts

Many statesmen warned from the outset that British ideas of liberty would not survive a merger with the E.U. The most eloquent early diagnoses came from the Labour Party, not the Tories. That is because the fundamental disposition of the E.U. is to favor technocratic expertise over representative government, and the Tories have not generally been the British party that placed the highest priority on the passions of the masses. In 1962, as Tory Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was eying EEC membership, Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell warned, “[I]t does mean the end of Britain as an independent nation state.... It means the end of a thousand years of history. You may say ‘Let it end’ but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.”

Gaitskell was right, but it is only in recent years that people have begun to see exactly why he was right. It was always understood that joining the EEC in 1973 compromised Britain’s national sovereignty. All countries that joined had to acknowledge the supremacy of E.U. law over their own. This was a deadly serious thing if you reasoned the consequences to the end. For one thing, it deprived Britain’s monarchy of its (already somewhat vestigial) logic. Monarchs are not underlings: in joining the EEC, Britain could be said to have deposed its queen. Pro-E.U. politicians assured their voters that it wasn’t as serious as that. Britain, they said, had to give a little bit of its sovereignty up in order to receive the benefits of cooperation, the way it did in, say, NATO. Other European countries had done so without wrecking their systems.

But this was a false analogy, as the political scientist Vernon Bogdanor explains persuasively in his recent book, Beyond Brexit. NATO was a treaty. The EEC was a merger. What is more, the EEC that Britain joined had been designed by the major countries of continental Europe in line with their own traditions and interests. It was not in line with Britain’s. Britain had no institutions like the European Commission, an unelected body that could (and still does) initiate legislation. Britain’s politicians didn’t understand the rules intuitively and were less able to work the system. British political institutions were unsuitable as a “farm system” for training E.U. politicians.

And there was an even larger problem than the loss of national sovereignty, Bogdanor shows. The E.U. destroyed the system of parliamentary sovereignty at the heart of Britain’s constitution. For all its royalist trappings, Britain has traditionally been a much purer representative democracy than the United States, because it excludes courts from reviewing legislation on any grounds. British politicians tried to calm the public with assurances that, where British law and E.U. law clashed, British law would prevail. But the acknowledgement of E.U. legal supremacy in the treaties meant that E.U. law was British law. In the 1980s, British judges began finding that parliamentary laws had been invalidated by later British laws—a normal and time-honored process, except that these new “British” laws had been imported into British statute books not by legislation but by Britain’s commitment to accept laws made on the continent. Bogdanor, who is a Remainer and a defender of human rights, does not necessarily condemn this development. But it meant that, through the back door, judicial review was being introduced into a constitutional culture that had never had it.

Quangos and foundations began designing cases—concerning migrants’ rights, gay rights, search-and-seizure—that unraveled the centuries-old fabric woven from the rights and duties of British citizenship. A new fabric began to be woven, based (as are all such systems in Europe) on post-Civil Rights Act American law and on the litigative ethos of the American bar.

In 1998, Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair passed the Human Rights Act, which swept into British law the European Convention on Human Rights (a pre-E.U. document dating from 1953). It also bound Britain to abide by decisions reached by the European Court of Human Rights, which sits in the French city of Strasbourg. Article 8.1 of the Convention (“Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence”) was supposed to protect people from the prying eyes of the state, as our Fourth Amendment does. But as the judge and scholar Jonathan (Lord) Sumption noted in a series of lectures this summer, it quickly became the “functional equivalent” of the due process clause of the American 14th Amendment—grounds for all kinds of judicial adventurism. British judges discovered that Article 8:

potentially covers anything that intrudes upon a person’s autonomy unless the Court considers it to be justified…the legal status of illegitimate children, immigration and deportation, extradition, criminal sentencing, the recording of crime, abortion, artificial insemination, homosexuality and same sex unions, child abduction, the policing of public demonstrations, employment and social security rights, environmental and planning law, noise abatement, eviction for non-payment of rent and a great deal else besides.

In the late 1990s, Blair began a reform of the House of Lords, depriving all but a few dozen hereditary peers of their right to sit. He replaced those ousted with a body that was meant to be more meritocratic but wound up less diverse and arguably more class-bound—a collection of activist foundation heads, “rights barristers” (as legal agitators are called), think-tank directors and in-the-tank journalists, and political henchmen. Judicial functions that the House of Lords once carried out were calved off into an actual Supreme Court, which took over as the high court of the land.

Eventually even the reliably anti-Brexit Economist came to see that some of Britain’s major problems had arisen from constitutional meddling. David Cameron’s 2011 Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, in particular, made it much more difficult to call the general elections that would ordinarily have been provoked by the resounding repudiation of Theresa May’s withdrawal package. Blair and Cameron, the magazine noted, “came to power when history was said to have come to an end. They saw no need to take particular care of the constitution.” E.U. membership hid these problems—if Britain wasn’t paying attention to its constitution at the time, it was partly because it had been using someone else’s.

These shifts in Britain’s constitutional culture have become obvious during the rolling European migration crisis of recent decades. The more courts took control of immigration policy, the harder immigration was to stop. As home secretary under David Cameron, May promised to limit Britain’s galloping population growth to “tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands.” But net migration has been running at around a quarter-million ever since, rising as high as 333,000 in 2015. Last year, according to Migration Watch U.K., net migration was 258,000. That means 74,000 Europeans added to 232,000 non-Europeans who arrived, and 48,000 Britons who left. May was just a talker when it came to immigration policy, but no politician in three decades had done any better. Once the judiciary rules politics, all politicians are just talkers. Understand that, and you are most of the way to understanding Brexit.

The transfer of competences from legislatures to courts is a superb thing for the rich, because of the way the constitution interacts with occupational sociology. Where the judiciary is drawn from the legal profession, and where the legal profession is credentialed by expensive and elite professional schools, judicialization always means a transfer of power from the country at large to the richest sliver of it. This is true no matter what glorious-sounding pretext is found to justify the shift—racial harmony, European peace, a fair shake for women. In a global age, judicial review is a tool that powerful people expect to find in a constitution, in the same way one might expect to find a hair dryer in a hotel room.

Negotiating the Withdrawal

From the beginning, a certain number of Remainers had called for a second referendum, arguing that the people had not really known what they were voting for when they chose Brexit. The Independent newspaper had the gall to call this hypothetical rerun a “People’s Vote,” though sometimes they called it a “Final Say.” The People themselves were suspicious. It was the oldest trick in the E.U. book to hold second referenda when—and only when—the public’s wishes diverged from those of Brussels. It had been used in Denmark in 1993 and in Ireland in 2002 and 2009. By 2017, though, these do-overs had become a Europe-wide symbol of contempt for voters. And that is why Parliament voted overwhelmingly in March 2017 to validate the referendum, activate the E.U.’s Article 50, and fix the date for British withdrawal.

But there were a couple of details left. Article 50 called for a two-year negotiating period between the seceding country and the E.U., in order that the two might come to an optimal post-separation arrangement. From the outset there was a dangerous asymmetry of motives. Britain had nothing against its neighbors on the continent—it sought only the right to make its own decisions again. The E.U.’s leaders, however, had an incentive to inflict maximum hardship on Britain. In most member countries the E.U. was being blamed for stagnating economies, dizzying inequality, and out-of-control immigration. If Britain were granted a pain-free exit, others would follow suit.

Early in the negotiating process, Britain’s ambassador to the E.U., the Brussels insider Ivan Rogers, submitted his resignation, warning that Britain was going to get its head handed to it at the bargaining table. “Serious multilateral negotiating experience is in short supply in Whitehall,” he wrote, “and that is not the case in the [European] Commission or in the Council.” He was right about that, and it was a lesson in the sociology of Brexit. In England, at least, the electoral map of Brexit looked like the electoral map of Donald Trump’s presidential victory in America would look later that year. Remain was the choice of those who benefited from the global economy. It won overwhelmingly in a few compact islands of rich people, intellectuals, and minorities—London, Oxford, Cambridge. The ranks of Remain-aligned politicians were crowded with well-educated, tech-savvy, cosmopolitan people. Leave won everyplace else. It was the choice of yesterday’s Britain, the Britain of losers.

Even after its victory, Leave found itself constantly out-thought, out-classed, and out-worked by Remain. May made David Davis, a party bull approaching the end of his career, her chief negotiator. He didn’t seem to think the post would require too much energy, expertise, or imagination—because, at the end of the day, Britain could walk away from the negotiating table with no deal. How could May have put Brexit at risk by picking someone like Davis to secure it? Well, how could Donald Trump have put his presidency at risk by picking someone like Jeff Sessions to defend it? The answer in both cases was the same: in populist causes, the pickings are slim, personnel-wise.

The continental negotiators, by contrast, were the cream of Europe’s educated classes. The E.U. is a highly elaborated administrative state. Indeed, it is an especially logical and efficient one, because it has developed before the underlying society—so there are no pragmatic or traditional considerations to complicate its rules or shrink its remit. Rogers loved legalistic gobbledygook, noting that the E.U. tacticians would know how to withhold “adequacy determinations” under the “GDPR” (General Data Protection Regulation) and they were masters of “equivalence decisions”—whatever any of that meant. His slashing book on the whole Brexit process, 9 Lessons in Brexit, would become a bible of London’s pro-E.U. intellectuals, from historian Simon Schama to Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. But to read it is to be struck by a blind spot.

Constantly belittling the public for not understanding the ins and outs of negotiating trade agreements, Rogers, for all his smarts, failed to understand that a) this was a negotiation about something deeper than trade, and b) the sovereign people sets parameters for negotiators, not vice versa. Rogers could not see that his countrymen did not feel the same loyalty to the E.U. and its “process” that he did. He couldn’t imagine why people would want it to go away.

Where Loyalties Lie

Rogers and other British experts were strangely unimpressed by the powerful practical levers their own side disposed of. Britain was the largest importer of cars from Germany. It had a trade deficit with most countries on the continent, which meant that any breakdown in talks would idle more European factories than British ones. It was, with France, one of only two serious military powers in Western Europe. It had an intelligence-gathering relationship with the United States that continental Europe was desperate to preserve the benefits of. It contained 40% of Europe’s data servers. It was due to recover its own rich fishing banks—schools of mackerel north of Scotland, beds of prawns southwest of Cornwall—where E.U. vessels took 59% of the haul. And it was the financial capital of the world. The E.U. would have no choice but to do business with an independent Britain.
And yet there was a hangdog tone in all elite descriptions of the Article 50 discussions. People were wishing their own country ill in an international negotiation. “If I were an E.U. negotiator,” wrote the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Sir Ed Davey in a fantasy of his own country’s humiliation that appeared in the Independent, “my starting position would be to increase the divorce fee to £50bn, arguing that the U.K. must now pay the E.U.’s cost of handling the no-deal Brexit, after refusing the first deal. Given the severely negative impact of a no-deal Brexit on everything from our sheep farmers to our NHS [National Health Service], I rather think any U.K. government would be so desperate to make some deals that £50bn might suddenly seem a bargain.”

Remainers’ hearts were with the Europeans at the table, not with the Brexiteers who were supposed to be their countrymen. There may be an innocent “epistemological” explanation for this. When a regime is changing, the old world is made of concrete things that have lost their legitimacy, while the world to come is made up of legitimate things that have not yet become concrete. Rogers hated the whole enterprise of undoing existing E.U. structures: “[W]e are privileging notional autonomy to make our own laws over real power to set the rules by which in practice we shall be governed.” The Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf similarly saw no point in the Brexiteer reluctance to bind Britain’s trade policy to the E.U.’s. “It would only prevent the U.K. from making trade deals that are less important than maintaining good relations with the E.U.,” Wolf wrote in the Financial Times.

Every negotiator on the British side behaved as if there were nothing more important than maintaining good relations with the E.U. Perhaps that was to be expected. The E.U. pursues the goal of transcending (a fancy way to say “getting rid of”) the nation-states that make it up. As the Union grows ever closer, there must eventually come a moment when the loyalty of subjects is transferred from the institutions of the nation to those of federal Europe. Brexit showed that, for elites to whom the E.U. offers a grand role, that moment has come already. The E.U., not Britain, is their country. They saw Brexit not as most British people did—as a solemn and even sacred uprising by an ancient people against a usurper. No. Elites saw Brexit as a local nuisance in the domestic politics of the only legitimate custodian of Britain’s long-term interests: the E.U.

Theresa May fell under the influence of these views, particularly after dropping conservative adviser Nick Timothy in the days after her general election loss in 2017. It was Timothy who had written her “Brexit means Brexit” speech. Without him, she, too, lost sight of what Brexit was. Brexit turned into a word that meant its opposite. It was now a “damage-limitation exercise,” as Timothy would later put it. May came to believe that Brexit meant honoring the patriotic emotions that had led to a national temper tantrum, while protecting the country against any foolish actions that might result from such emotions—such as breaking relations with the European Union. In mid-2017, May opted for getting experts on board. Olly Robbins, an E.U.-friendly aide who had risen under Tony Blair and David Cameron (and who had been Rogers’s successor as Blair’s private secretary), took over as lead negotiator from the Brexiteer Davis.

The Irish Backstop

Brexiteers now began to suspect that May’s own negotiators were conniving with the European Union’s to trap Britain in E.U. membership. The means of doing this would be Ireland. In 1998 Britain had negotiated the Good Friday Agreement, a treaty aimed at quelling the guerrilla war that the terrorist Irish Republican Army had waged for decades in order to reunite 6 Northern Irish counties that belonged to the U.K. with the 26 Southern ones that belonged to the Irish republic. The E.U. insisted on a guarantee, now referred to as the “Irish backstop,” that after Brexit Britain would maintain a “soft” border with Ireland, an E.U. member state.

It was an unusual demand for a number of reasons. There had never been a hard border between the two countries, outside of military emergencies. Nor was there a need for one now. Britain and Ireland were part of the same island region, cut off by ocean and law from the E.U.’s “Schengen” area of free movement. Britain had as much reason to demand border guarantees from the E.U. as the E.U. did from Britain. And while such borders might present new challenges after Brexit, there were proven solutions: non-E.U. Switzerland, for example, keeps its borders, travel, and trade open with four major E.U. countries. These problems only became “insoluble” when E.U. diplomats discovered they might be used to tangle up the Brexit negotiations.

In December 2017, May made a terrible mistake. She agreed in a joint E.U.-U.K. report that there would be “no diminution of rights” for anyone in Northern Ireland. This was a promise inconsistent with Brexit. Northern Ireland, like everyplace else in the United Kingdom, would have its native constitutional regime restored by Brexit. As such, it would be moving from a polity that operates primarily through court-conferred rights back into one that operates primarily through the will of Parliament. While the Northern Irish might wind up more free, happy, and self-reliant, their “rights” would be delineated and protected in different ways, and in some respects this difference would be a diminution. Rogers had been right about the skill of E.U. negotiators. They had taken the backstop, an issue that no one had even considered until Brexit was voted, and turned it into an E.U. veto on the whole of Brexit.

Some suggested that Northern Ireland remain under the same customs regime as the Irish republic. But under the terms of the 1998 peace agreement, it couldn’t. The most important guarantee to Northern Ireland had been that Britain would not “make any change in the status of Northern Ireland [in its relation to the rest of the U.K.] save with the consent of a majority of its people.” Making Northern Ireland subject to the laws of a foreign country would count as a rather large change in status. But this difficulty prompted May’s negotiators to come up with a more ambitious solution. The backstop would cause no change in Northern Ireland’s status within the U.K. if the whole U.K. could be included in the European Customs area. So Britain could solve the problems created by its departure from the European Union by agreeing to remain subject to the European Union!

An abyss opened up in July 2018 at the prime ministerial retreat of Chequers, when May released a plan for future relations with Brussels. It called for harmonization with E.U. rules and regulations, described the backstop in a way that made it look inescapable, and envisioned a role for the European Court of Justice. Johnson said that May was “volunteering for economic vassalage” and resigned as foreign secretary. “[W]e continue to make the fatal mistake of underestimating the intelligence of the public, saying one thing to the E.U. about what we are doing and saying another to the electorate,” he explained. “[I]n important ways, this is…Brexit in Name Only.” Davis resigned too.

The final negotiated Withdrawal Agreement that May unveiled to Parliament last November caused the whole country, Brexiteers and Remainers alike, to gasp in horror. May’s team had been sent away to declare British independence and had returned with a document of surrender. The agreement not only contained (as expected) a £39 billion ($50 billion) “divorce” fee, but also left E.U. courts free to top that fee up. It locked Britain into a customs union with the E.U., with no mechanism for leaving it—ever. The E.U., and the E.U. alone, would decide when Britain had fulfilled the backstop agreement, and any move to break it unilaterally on Britain’s part would be resolved by giving the E.U. jurisdiction over Northern Ireland’s economic relations. It subjected Britain to E.U. trade sanctions more onerous than those meted out to other countries. It laid out contexts in which E.U. law would retain its supremacy over U.K. law.

The Withdrawal Agreement not only did not end Britain’s ties to the E.U. In the name of Brexit, it actually deepened and constitutionalized them. This ensured that pro-Brexit Tories would not vote for it. But it also renounced Britain’s official membership in E.U. institutions, and indeed its right to have any say in them, dooming it for anti-Brexiteers of all parties. In January it was rejected in Parliament by the largest margin of any measure in British parliamentary history. It was subsequently rejected twice more.

The Withdrawal Agreement thrilled Remainers, even if they wouldn’t vote for it, and breathed new life into their cause. They could now present the Agreement not as a twisted document put together by a pro-Remain bureaucracy but as faithful depiction of modern reality. We told you there was no possible governing arrangement better than the European Union! Back came Project Fear, now carried out by the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the Independent. Back came the calls for a people’s vote, and back came all the scare vocabulary about how a no-deal Brexit would cause Britain to go over the “cliff edge” and “crash out” of the European Union.

Once the Withdrawal Agreement failed, no-deal was the form that independence had to take. It would be no deal or no Brexit. And Remainers were alarmed to realize that no-deal Brexit was the law. It had been agreed on March 29, 2017, and it would automatically become reality on March 29, 2019, unless something could be done to stop it.

The Deep State Intervenes

It was surprising how much could be done to stop it. Remainers were a synonym for the governing class. They had an infinity of tools, and they were no longer scared of the voters. No one wanted to be so contemptuous as to repeal Brexit, but Parliament could put a “no-deal Brexit” on hold, which it did. May’s negotiators had already produced a “Brexit” deal that caused misgivings among the Brexiteers themselves. The prime minister’s cabinet secretary, a powerful member of the career civil service, now wrote a 14-page memo warning that no deal would lead to higher food prices and more crime. Someone in May’s office helpfully forwarded it to the Daily Mail. The chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, warned that Parliament might have to repeal Article 50 to “protect the value of the pound.” May herself entered into consultation with the old-school Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to see if he would help pass her deal, in the course of which she even offered to agree to a second referendum. Perhaps that revealed what May had thought of Brexit all along. It was not a constitutional demand but a psychiatric symptom.

Some of the most extraordinary moments of these winter debates involved the interventions of the Speaker of the House, John Bercow. Elected as a Conservative, he had, in David Souter-esque fashion, discovered once in power that he actually opposed Conservative policies on most things, very much including Brexit. On April 3, Bercow transferred control of primary legislation from “the government” (as the cabinet is called when it presents legislation in Parliament) to a group of Brexit rebels. That did away with a rule on which Parliament had done business for the past 330 years and threw the country into a serious constitutional quarrel. Anti-Brexiteers used their control of debate to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019, which ordered Theresa May to seek an extension of Brexit from the European Union. And that began the process that led to postponing the Brexit deadline until October 31.

Once the legislature had seized the powers of the executive, the genie could not be returned to the bottle. Brexiteers now understood that Bercow might unilaterally block any moves toward Brexit, rendering parliamentary debate futile. So some Tories began to think: what if Parliament were prorogued—kept out of session until after the next deadline passed? Labour had resorted to a prorogation in 1948, which made the idea less of a trespass on parliamentary procedure than Bercow’s. In the event, the prorogation maneuver was blocked by an amendment in the House of Lords that essentially bans Parliament from going out of session in October.

The failure of Brexit was the worst humiliation of a British government in decades, deepened by the sudden realization that Britain would have to take part in the European Union elections in late May. In early April Nigel Farage announced his return to politics and hastily assembled a ragtag formation called the Brexit Party. Five weeks later, with a list of nobodies, has-beens, and famous politicians’ sisters, Farage’s Brexiteers took 29 of Britain’s 73 seats to become the single biggest party in the European Parliament; May’s Tories took only four. Johnson announced his bid for the leadership, saying: “There is a very real choice between getting Brexit done and the potential extinction of this great party.”

Making Things Explicit

Most commentary on Brexit dismisses those who sought it as fantasists and the Parliament that debated it as a madhouse. “Bungle” is the favored verb in most articles on the subject, which generally explain that Britain’s difficult winter and spring illustrate what a misbegotten idea Brexit was in the first place. The Dutch diplomat Frans Timmermans, a veteran E.U. commissioner involved in negotiations, told the BBC that his British counterparts had been “running around like idiots.” European Council president Donald Tusk said, “I’ve been wondering what the special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it safely.” Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria said in March, “Britain, famous for its prudence, propriety, and punctuality, is suddenly looking like a banana republic as it makes reckless decisions, misrepresents reality and now wants to change its own self-imposed deadline.”

But the reasons for the chaos of the past winter—and for the fact that Brexit has still not happened—lie elsewhere. Brexit is an epochal struggle for power, and an exemplary one. It pits a savvy elite against a feckless majority. There have been scares before for those who run the institutions of global “governance”—the rise of Syriza in Greece, with its attack on the common European currency, the election of Donald Trump, the nation-based immigration restrictions put forward by Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini and Hungarian president Viktor Orbán. But it is Brexit that has hit bedrock. If Brexit happens, our future will look one way. If not, it will look another. Those people who warn, as Zakaria does, that voting for Brexit has decreased Britain’s importance in the world—are they joking?

Only when the Leave side won the referendum did it become clear that the vote had been about not just a policy preference but also an identity. It raised the question for each voter of whether he considered himself an Englishman or a European, and of whether it was legitimate to be ruled by one power or the other. As such it made certain things explicit.

The main legacy of the European Union in the past three decades has been the suppression of democracy and sovereignty in the countries that belong to it. We can argue about whether this is the main purpose of the federation, but suppression of self-rule certainly counts as one of its purposes. Extinguishing national sovereignty was E.U. technocrats’ way of assuring that what Germany, Italy, and Spain set in motion in the 20th century would not repeat itself in the 21st. The architects of the Brussels order proclaimed this intention loudly until they discovered it cost them elections and support. The E.U.’s suspicion of nationalism is understandable. But its hostility to democracy is real.

The self-image of today’s E.U. elites is still that of protecting Europe from its historic dark side. They are confident history will regard them as the fathers of a Common European Home. In the imaginary biography he carries around inside his own head, a British builder of the European Union, whether a human rights lawyer or a hectoring journalist, will cast himself as one of the righteous heroes of his time, one of the enlightened. He is a man who “stood alone” to “fight for his principles” and so on. Maybe posterity will even see him as a European James Madison.

Many people in all member states have sought to puncture this kind of “Eurocrat” self-regard, but Britain’s anti-E.U. intellectuals have been particularly direct and pitiless. In mid-July, Robin Harris, a longtime adviser to Cold War Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, wrote an article in the Telegraph urging Boris Johnson to carry out “a peaceful but revolutionary seizure of power by the British people from a supranational authority and a home-grown but deracinated, collaborationist elite.”

Imagine how it strikes a man who has spent decades working for the E.U. dream—Tony Blair or Donald Tusk, for instance—to see his work likened to “collaboration.” Special place in hell, indeed! Those who sought the Brexit referendum placed a proposition before the British electorate that these self-styled architects of “Europe,” these idealists, had been, all along, not Europe’s Madisons but its Quislings. Worse, when that proposition was placed before the British people, they assented to it.

Brexit was not an “outburst” or a cry of despair or a message to the European Commission. It was an eviction notice. It was an explicit withdrawal of the legal sanction under which Brussels had governed Europe’s most important country. If it is really Britain’s wish to see its old constitutional arrangements restored, then this notice is open to emendation and reconsideration. But as things stand now, the Leave vote made E.U. rule over the U.K. illegitimate. Not illegitimate only when Brussels has been given one last chance to talk Britain out of it, but illegitimate now. What Britons voted for in 2016 was to leave the European Union—not to ask permission to leave the European Union. It is hard to see how Britain’s remaining in the E.U. would benefit either side.

And yet, given that Britain is the first country to issue such an ultimatum, given that pro-E.U. elites in other European countries have reason to fear its replication, given the moral ambitions of the E.U. project, given that the British who support Remain have transferred their sentiments and their allegiances across the channel, given the social disparity between those who rule the E.U. and most of those who want to leave it, how could the reaction of Britain’s establishment be anything but all-out administrative, judicial, economic, media, political, and parliamentary war? The battle against Brexit is being fought, Europe-wide, with all the weaponry a cornered elite has at its disposal.

It has proved sufficient so far.
A doctor in a clinic was interviewing a new patient.

"If I find an operation necessary," he asked, "would you have the money to pay for it?"

"Listen, Doc," replied the man, "if I didn't have the money, would you find the operation necessary?"


Another man was brought to Mercy Hospital, and went in for heart surgery. The operation went well, and as the groggy man regained consciousness, he was reassured by a Sister of Mercy waiting by his bed.

"Mr. Napoli, you're going to be just fine," the nun said while patting his hand. "We do have to know, however, how you intend to pay for your stay here. Are you covered by insurance?"

"No, I'm not," the man whispered hoarsely.

"Can you pay in cash?"

"I'm afraid I can't, Sister."

"Do you have any close relatives, then?"

"Just my sister in Chicago," replied the man, but she's a spinster and a nun."

"Nuns are not spinsters, Mr. Napoli ," the nun replied. "They are married to God."

"Okay, great" the man said with a smile, "then send the bill to my brother-in-law."


A decorated war veteran, fresh off the bus, is looking for a place to stay. He hears that room and board is available from the three old spinsters at the edge of town, but is advised they are very picky in letting strangers stay there.

He decides to chance it, and limps on up to the front door. His knock is answered by Gladys. "What do you want, sonny?" she asks him.

"Ma'am, I'm just looking for a hot meal and a room for the night," he answers.

The other two old spinsters gather around the door. "Who's out there? Does he look decent?" they ask.

Gladys says, "It's a soldier, and he's got a Purple Heart on."

The other two heard-of-hearing spinsters giggle and say, "The hell with what color it is... let him in!"


BENTONVILLE, AR - In a bold move intended to curb the thousands of deaths from vehicles each and every day, Walmart has decided to stop selling auto parts, sources confirmed Tuesday.
According to shocking reports, people have purchased car parts at Walmart and then those cars have been involved in accidents, proving a direct correlation between selling auto parts and causing deaths.

"We can no longer be complicit in an industry that kills over 3,000 people a day," said a spokesperson for Walmart. "Every time we sell a muffler, steering wheel cover, or flame decal, we are potentially causing the death of a person, and we cannot support that any longer."

"It's clear that bad drivers and poor road conditions don't cause vehicular deaths - cars do."

Walmart executives said they are beating themselves with a stick to atone for the deaths they've already caused.

"Our consciences will only be clean when we've been mercilessly beaten once for each of the millions of deaths that have been caused by automobiles since Walmart began selling auto parts," said one executive before solemnly beginning to beat himself with a baseball bat.


5 out of 6 depressed doctors recommend Russian Roulette.

Quote of the Times;
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." - 1 Peter 4:8

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Why Germany Invaded Poland by John Wear

Great Britain’s Blank Check to Poland

On March 21, 1939, while hosting French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain discussed a joint front with France, Russia and Poland to act together against German aggression. France agreed at once, and the Russians agreed on the condition that both France and Poland sign first. However, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck vetoed the agreement on March 24, 1939.[1] Polish statesmen feared Russia more than they did Germany. Polish Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz told the French ambassador, “With the Germans we risk losing our liberty; with the Russians we lose our soul.”[2]

Another complication arose in European diplomacy when a movement among the residents of Memel in Lithuania sought to join Germany. The Allied victors in the Versailles Treaty had detached Memel from East Prussia and placed it in a separate League of Nations protectorate. Lithuania then proceeded to seize Memel from the League of Nations shortly after World War I. Memel was historically a German city which in the seven centuries of its history had never separated from its East Prussian homeland. Germany was so weak after World War I that it could not prevent the tiny new-born nation of Lithuania from seizing Memel.[3]

Germany’s occupation of Prague in March 1939 had generated uncontrollable excitement among the mostly German population of Memel. The population of Memel was clamoring to return to Germany and could no longer be restrained. The Lithuanian foreign minister traveled to Berlin on March 22, 1939, where he agreed to the immediate transfer of Memel to Germany. The annexation of Memel into Germany went through the next day. The question of Memel exploded of itself without any deliberate German plan of annexation.[4] Polish leaders agreed that the return of Memel to Germany from Lithuania would not constitute an issue of conflict between Germany and Poland.[5]

What did cause conflict between Germany and Poland was the so-called Free City of Danzig. Danzig was founded in the early 14th century and was historically the key port at the mouth of the great Vistula River. From the beginning Danzig was inhabited almost exclusively by Germans, with the Polish minority in 1922 constituting less than 3% of the city’s 365,000 inhabitants. The Treaty of Versailles converted Danzig from a German provincial capital into a League of Nations protectorate subject to numerous strictures established for the benefit of Poland. The great preponderance of the citizens of Danzig had never wanted to leave Germany, and they were eager to return to Germany in 1939. Their eagerness to join Germany was exacerbated by the fact that Germany’s economy was healthy while Poland’s economy was still mired in depression.[6]

Many of the German citizens of Danzig had consistently demonstrated their unwavering loyalty to National Socialism and its principles. They had even elected a National Socialist parliamentary majority before this result had been achieved in Germany. It was widely known that Poland was constantly seeking to increase her control over Danzig despite the wishes of Danzig’s German majority. Hitler was not opposed to Poland’s further economic aspirations at Danzig, but Hitler was resolved never to permit the establishment of a Polish political regime at Danzig. Such a renunciation of Danzig by Hitler would have been a repudiation of the loyalty of Danzig citizens to the Third Reich and their spirit of self-determination.[7]

Germany presented a proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Danzig question with Poland on October 24, 1938. Hitler’s plan would allow Germany to annex Danzig and construct a superhighway and a railroad to East Prussia. In return Poland would be granted a permanent free port in Danzig and the right to build her own highway and railroad to the port. The entire Danzig area would also become a permanent free market for Polish goods on which no German customs duties would be levied. Germany would take the unprecedented step of recognizing and guaranteeing the existing German-Polish frontier, including the boundary in Upper Silesia established in 1922. This later provision was extremely important since the Versailles Treaty had given Poland much additional territory which Germany proposed to renounce. Hitler’s offer to guarantee Poland’s frontiers also carried with it a degree of military security that no other non-Communist nation could match.[8]

Germany’s proposed settlement with Poland was far less favorable to Germany than the Thirteenth Point of Wilson’s program at Versailles. The Versailles Treaty gave Poland large slices of territory in regions such as West Prussia and Western Posen which were overwhelmingly German. The richest industrial section of Upper Silesia was also later given to Poland despite the fact that Poland had lost the plebiscite there.[9]

Germany was willing to renounce these territories in the interest of German-Polish cooperation. This concession of Hitler’s was more than adequate to compensate for the German annexation of Danzig and construction of a superhighway and a railroad in the Corridor. The Polish diplomats themselves believed that Germany’s proposal was a sincere and realistic basis for a permanent agreement.[10]

On March 26, 1939, the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, Joseph Lipski, formally rejected Germany’s settlement proposals. The Poles had waited over five months to reject Germany’s proposals, and they refused to countenance any change in existing conditions. Lipski stated to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that “it was his painful duty to draw attention to the fact that any further pursuance of these German plans, especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned, meant war with Poland.”[11]

Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck accepted an offer from Great Britain on March 30, 1939, to give an unconditional guarantee of Poland’s independence. The British Empire agreed to go to war as an ally of Poland if the Poles decided that war was necessary. In words drafted by British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Chamberlain spoke in the House of Commons on March 31, 1939:

I now have to inform the House…that in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty’s Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish Government an assurance to that effect.[12]

Great Britain for the first time in history had left the decision whether or not to fight a war outside of her own country to another nation. Britain’s guarantee to Poland was binding without commitments from the Polish side. The British public was astonished by this move. Despite its unprecedented nature, Halifax encountered little difficulty in persuading the British Conservative, Liberal and Labor parties to accept Great Britain’s unconditional guarantee to Poland.[13]

Numerous British historians and diplomats have criticized Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland. For example, British diplomat Roy Denman called the war guarantee to Poland “the most reckless undertaking ever given by a British government. It placed the decision on peace or war in Europe in the hands of a reckless, intransigent, swashbuckling military dictatorship.”[14]British historian Niall Ferguson states that the war guarantee to Poland tied Britain’s “destiny to that of a regime that was every bit as undemocratic and anti-Semitic as that of Germany.”[15]English military historian Liddell Hart stated that the Polish guarantee “placed Britain’s destiny in the hands of Poland’s rulers, men of very dubious and unstable judgment. Moreover, the guarantee was impossible to fulfill except with Russia’s help.…”[16]

American historian Richard M. Watt writes concerning Britain’s unilateral guarantee to Poland: “This enormously broad guarantee virtually left to the Poles the decision whether or not Britain would go to war. For Britain to give such a blank check to a Central European nation, particularly to Poland—a nation that Britain had generally regarded as irresponsible and greedy—was mind-boggling.”[17]

When the Belgian Minister to Germany, Vicomte Jacques Davignon, received the text of the British guarantee to Poland, he exclaimed that “blank check” was the only possible description of the British pledge. Davignon was extremely alarmed in view of the proverbial recklessness of the Poles. German State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker attempted to reassure Davignon by claiming that the situation between Germany and Poland was not tragic. However, Davignon correctly feared that the British move would produce war in a very short time.[18] Weizsäcker later exclaimed scornfully that “the British guarantee to Poland was like offering sugar to an untrained child before it had learned to listen to reason!”[19]

The Deterioration of German-Polish Relations

German-Polish relationships had become strained by the increasing harshness with which the Polish authorities handled the German minority. The Polish government in the 1930s began to confiscate the land of its German minority at bargain prices through public expropriation. The German government resented the fact that German landowners received only one-eighth of the value of their holdings from the Polish government. Since the Polish public was aware of the German situation and desired to exploit it, the German minority in Poland could not sell the land in advance of expropriation. Furthermore, Polish law forbade Germans from privately selling large areas of land.

German diplomats insisted that the November 1937 Minorities Pact with Poland for the equal treatment of German and Polish landowners be observed in 1939. Despite Polish assurances of fairness and equal treatment, German diplomats learned on February 15, 1939, that the latest expropriations of land in Poland were predominantly of German holdings. These expropriations virtually eliminated substantial German landholdings in Poland at a time when most of the larger Polish landholdings were still intact. It became evident that nothing could be done diplomatically to help the German minority in Poland.[20]

Poland threatened Germany with a partial mobilization of her forces on March 23, 1939. Hundreds of thousands of Polish Army reservists were mobilized, and Hitler was warned that Poland would fight to prevent the return of Danzig to Germany. The Poles were surprised to discover that Germany did not take this challenge seriously. Hitler, who deeply desired friendship with Poland, refrained from responding to the Polish threat of war. Germany did not threaten Poland and took no precautionary military measures in response to the Polish partial mobilization.[21]

Hitler regarded a German-Polish agreement as a highly welcome alternative to a German-Polish war. However, no further negotiations for a German-Polish agreement occurred after the British guarantee to Poland because Józef Beck refused to negotiate. Beck ignored repeated German suggestions for further negotiations because Beck knew that Halifax hoped to accomplish the complete destruction of Germany. Halifax had considered an Anglo-German war inevitable since 1936, and Britain’s anti-German policy was made public with a speech by Neville Chamberlain on March 17, 1939. Halifax discouraged German-Polish negotiations because he was counting on Poland to provide the pretext for a British pre-emptive war against Germany.[22]

The situation between Germany and Poland deteriorated rapidly during the six weeks from the Polish partial mobilization of March 23, 1939, to a speech delivered by Józef Beck on May 5, 1939. Beck’s primary purpose in delivering his speech before the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, was to convince the Polish public and the world that he was able and willing to challenge Hitler. Beck knew that Halifax had succeeded in creating a warlike atmosphere in Great Britain, and that he could go as far as he wanted without displeasing the British. Beck took an uncompromising attitude in his speech that effectively closed the door to further negotiations with Germany.

Beck made numerous false and hypocritical statements in his speech. One of the most astonishing claims in his speech was that there was nothing extraordinary about the British guarantee to Poland. He described it as a normal step in the pursuit of friendly relations with a neighboring country. This was in sharp contrast to British diplomat Sir Alexander Cadogan’s statement to Joseph Kennedy that Britain’s guarantee to Poland was without precedent in the entire history of British foreign policy.[23]

Beck ended his speech with a stirring climax that produced wild excitement in the Polish Sejm. Someone in the audience screamed loudly, “We do not need peace!” and pandemonium followed. Beck had made many Poles in the audience determined to fight Germany. This feeling resulted from their ignorance which made it impossible for them to criticize the numerous falsehoods and misstatements in Beck’s speech. Beck made the audience feel that Hitler had insulted the honor of Poland with what were actually quite reasonable peace proposals. Beck had effectively made Germany the deadly enemy of Poland.[24]

More than 1 million ethnic Germans resided in Poland at the time of Beck’s speech, and these Germans were the principal victims of the German-Polish crisis in the coming weeks. The Germans in Poland were subjected to increasing doses of violence from the dominant Poles. The British public was told repeatedly that the grievances of the German minority in Poland were largely imaginary. The average British citizen was completely unaware of the terror and fear of death that stalked these Germans in Poland. Ultimately, many thousands of Germans in Poland died in consequence of the crisis. They were among the first victims of British Foreign Secretary Halifax’s war policy against Germany.[25]

The immediate responsibility for security measures involving the German minority in Poland rested with Interior Department Ministerial Director Waclaw Zyborski. Zyborski consented to discuss the situation on June 23, 1939, with Walther Kohnert, one of the leaders of the German minority at Bromberg. Zyborski admitted to Kohnert that the Germans of Poland were in an unenviable situation, but he was not sympathetic to their plight. Zyborski ended their lengthy conversation by stating frankly that his policy required a severe treatment of the German minority in Poland. He made it clear that it was impossible for the Germans of Poland to alleviate their hard fate. The Germans in Poland were the helpless hostages of the Polish community and the Polish state.[26]

Other leaders of the German minority in Poland repeatedly appealed to the Polish government for help during this period. Sen. Hans Hasbach, the leader of the conservative German minority faction, and Dr. Rudolf Wiesner, the leader of the Young German Party, each made multiple appeals to Poland’s government to end the violence. In a futile appeal on July 6, 1939, to Premier Sławoj-Składkowski, head of Poland’s Department of Interior, Wiesner referred to the waves of public violence against the Germans at Tomaszów near Lódz, May 13-15th, at Konstantynów, May 21-22nd, and at Pabianice, June 22-23, 1939. The appeal of Wiesner produced no results. The leaders of the German political groups eventually recognized that they had no influence with Polish authorities despite their loyal attitudes toward Poland. It was “open season” on the Germans of Poland with the approval of the Polish government.[27]

Polish anti-German incidents also occurred against the German majority in the Free City of Danzig. On May 21, 1939, Zygmunt Morawski, a former Polish soldier, murdered a German at Kalthof on Danzig territory. The incident itself would not have been so unusual except for the fact that Polish officials acted as if Poland and not the League of Nations had sovereign power over Danzig. Polish officials refused to apologize for the incident, and they treated with contempt the effort of Danzig authorities to bring Morawski to trial. The Poles in Danzig considered themselves above the law.[28]

Tension steadily mounted at Danzig after the Morawski murder. The German citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would show them no mercy if Poland gained the upper hand. The Poles were furious when they learned that Danzig was defying Poland by organizing its own militia for home defense. The Poles blamed Hitler for this situation. The Polish government protested to German Ambassador Hans von Moltke on July 1, 1939, about the Danzig government’s military-defense measures. Józef Beck told French Ambassador Léon Noël on July 6, 1939, that the Polish government had decided that additional measures were necessary to meet the alleged threat from Danzig.[29]

On July 29, 1939, the Danzig government presented two protest notes to the Poles concerning illegal activities of Polish custom inspectors and frontier officials. The Polish government responded by terminating the export of duty-free herring and margarine from Danzig to Poland. Polish officials next announced in the early hours of August 5, 1939, that the frontiers of Danzig would be closed to the importation of all foreign food products unless the Danzig government promised by the end of the day never to interfere with the activities of Polish customs inspectors. This threat was formidable since Danzig produced only a relatively small portion of its own food. All Polish customs inspectors would also bear arms while performing their duty after August 5, 1939. The Polish ultimatum made it obvious that Poland intended to replace the League of Nations as the sovereign power at Danzig.[30]

Hitler concluded that Poland was seeking to provoke an immediate conflict with Germany. The Danzig government submitted to the Polish ultimatum in accordance with Hitler’s recommendation.[31]

Józef Beck explained to British Ambassador Kennard that the Polish government was prepared to take military measures against Danzig if it failed to accept Poland’s terms. The citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would have executed a full military occupation of Danzig had the Polish ultimatum been rejected. It was apparent to the German government that the British and French were either unable or unwilling to restrain the Polish government from arbitrary steps that could result in war.[32]

On August 7, 1939, the Polish censors permitted the newspaper Illustrowany KuryerCodzienny in Kraków to feature an article of unprecedented candor. The article stated that Polish units were constantly crossing the German frontier to destroy German military installations and to carry captured German military materiel into Poland. The Polish government failed to prevent the newspaper, which had the largest circulation in Poland, from telling the world that Poland was instigating a series of violations of Germany’s frontier with Poland.[33]

Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Józef Beck to seek an agreement with Germany. Potocki later succinctly explained the situation in Poland by stating “Poland prefers Danzig to peace.”[34]

President Roosevelt knew that Poland had caused the crisis which began at Danzig, and he was worried that the American public might learn the truth about the situation. This could be a decisive factor in discouraging Roosevelt’s plan for American military intervention in Europe. Roosevelt instructed U.S. Ambassador Biddle to urge the Poles to be more careful in making it appear that German moves were responsible for any inevitable explosion at Danzig. Biddle reported to Roosevelt on August 11, 1939, that Beck expressed no interest in engaging in a series of elaborate but empty maneuvers designed to deceive the American public. Beck stated that at the moment he was content to have full British support for his policy.[35]

Roosevelt also feared that American politicians might discover the facts about the hopeless dilemma which Poland’s provocative policy created for Germany. When American Democratic Party Campaign Manager and Post-Master General James Farley visited Berlin, Roosevelt instructed the American Embassy in Berlin to prevent unsupervised contact between Farley and the German leaders. The German Foreign Office concluded on August 10, 1939 that it was impossible to penetrate the wall of security around Farley. The Germans knew that President Roosevelt was determined to prevent them from freely communicating with visiting American leaders.[36]

Polish Atrocities Force War

On August 14, 1939, the Polish authorities in East Upper Silesia launched a campaign of mass arrests against the German minority. The Poles then proceeded to close and confiscate the remaining German businesses, clubs and welfare installations. The arrested Germans were forced to march toward the interior of Poland in prisoner columns. The various German groups in Poland were frantic by this time; they feared the Poles would attempt the total extermination of the German minority in the event of war. Thousands of Germans were seeking to escape arrest by crossing the border into Germany. Some of the worst recent Polish atrocities included the mutilation of several Germans. The Polish public was urged not to regard their German minority as helpless hostages who could be butchered with impunity.[37]

Rudolf Wiesner, who was the most prominent of the German minority leaders in Poland, spoke of a disaster “of inconceivable magnitude” since the early months of 1939. Wiesner claimed that the last Germans had been dismissed from their jobs without the benefit of unemployment relief, and that hunger and privation were stamped on the faces of the Germans in Poland. German welfare agencies, cooperatives and trade associations had been closed by Polish authorities. Exceptional martial-law conditions of the earlier frontier zone had been extended to include more than one-third of the territory of Poland. The mass arrests, deportations, mutilations and beatings of the last few weeks in Poland surpassed anything that had happened before. Wiesner insisted that the German minority leaders merely desired the restoration of peace, the banishment of the specter of war, and the right to live and work in peace. Wiesner was arrested by the Poles on August 16, 1939 on suspicion of conducting espionage for Germany in Poland.[38]

The German press devoted increasing space to detailed accounts of atrocities against the Germans in Poland. The Völkischer Beobachter reported that more than 80,000 German refugees from Poland had succeeded in reaching German territory by August 20, 1939. The German Foreign Office had received a huge file of specific reports of excesses against national and ethnic Germans in Poland. More than 1,500 documented reports had been received since March 1939, and more than 10 detailed reports were arriving in the German Foreign Office each day. The reports presented a staggering picture of brutality and human misery.[39]

W. L. White, an American journalist, later recalled that there was no doubt among well-informed people by this time that horrible atrocities were being inflicted every day on the Germans of Poland.[40]

Donald Day, a Chicago Tribune correspondent, reported on the atrocious treatment the Poles had meted out to the ethnic Germans in Poland:

…I traveled up to the Polish corridor where the German authorities permitted me to interview the German refugees from many Polish cities and towns. The story was the same. Mass arrests and long marches along roads toward the interior of Poland. The railroads were crowded with troop movements. Those who fell by the wayside were shot. The Polish authorities seemed to have gone mad. I have been questioning people all my life and I think I know how to make deductions from the exaggerated stories told by people who have passed through harrowing personal experiences. But even with generous allowance, the situation was plenty bad. To me the war seemed only a question of hours.[41]

British Ambassador Nevile Henderson in Berlin was concentrating on obtaining recognition from Halifax of the cruel fate of the German minority in Poland. Henderson emphatically warned Halifax on August 24, 1939, that German complaints about the treatment of the German minority in Poland were fully supported by the facts. Henderson knew that the Germans were prepared to negotiate, and he stated to Halifax that war between Poland and Germany was inevitable unless negotiations were resumed between the two countries. Henderson pleaded with Halifax that it would be contrary to Polish interests to attempt a full military occupation of Danzig, and he added a scathingly effective denunciation of Polish policy. What Henderson failed to realize is that Halifax was pursuing war for its own sake as an instrument of policy. Halifax desired the complete destruction of Germany.[42]

On August 25, 1939, Ambassador Henderson reported to Halifax the latest Polish atrocity at Bielitz, Upper Silesia. Henderson never relied on official German statements concerning these incidents, but instead based his reports on information he received from neutral sources. The Poles continued to forcibly deport the Germans of that area, and compelled them to march into the interior of Poland. Eight Germans were murdered and many more were injured during one of these actions.

Hitler was faced with a terrible dilemma. If Hitler did nothing, the Germans of Poland and Danzig would be abandoned to the cruelty and violence of a hostile Poland. If Hitler took effective action against the Poles, the British and French might declare war against Germany. Henderson feared that the Bielitz atrocity would be the final straw to prompt Hitler to invade Poland. Henderson, who strongly desired peace with Germany, deplored the failure of the British government to exercise restraint over the Polish authorities.[43]

On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. This non-aggression pact contained a secret protocol which recognized a Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. German recognition of this Soviet sphere of influence would not apply in the event of a diplomatic settlement of the German-Polish dispute. Hitler had hoped to recover the diplomatic initiative through the Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact. However, Chamberlain warned Hitler in a letter dated August 23, 1939, that Great Britain would support Poland with military force regardless of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. Józef Beck also continued to refuse to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Germany.[44]

Germany made a new offer to Poland on August 29, 1939, for a last diplomatic campaign to settle the German-Polish dispute. The terms of a new German plan for a settlement, the so-called Marienwerder proposals, were less important than the offer to negotiate as such. The terms of the Marienwerder proposals were intended as nothing more than a tentative German plan for a possible settlement. The German government emphasized that these terms were formulated to offer a basis for unimpeded negotiations between equals rather than constituting a series of demands which Poland would be required to accept. There was nothing to prevent the Poles from offering an entirely new set of proposals of their own.

The Germans, in offering to negotiate with Poland, were indicating that they favored a diplomatic settlement over war with Poland. The willingness of the Poles to negotiate would not in any way have implied a Polish retreat or their readiness to recognize the German annexation of Danzig. The Poles could have justified their acceptance to negotiate with the announcement that Germany, and not Poland, had found it necessary to request new negotiations. In refusing to negotiate, the Poles were announcing that they favored war. The refusal of British Foreign Secretary Halifax to encourage the Poles to negotiate indicated that he also favored war.[45]

French Prime Minister Daladier and British Prime Minister Chamberlain were both privately critical of the Polish government. Daladier in private denounced the “criminal folly” of the Poles. Chamberlain admitted to Ambassador Joseph Kennedy that it was the Poles, and not the Germans, who were unreasonable. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt, “frankly he [Chamberlain] is more worried about getting the Poles to be reasonable than the Germans.” However, neither Daladier nor Chamberlain made any effort to influence the Poles to negotiate with the Germans.[46]

On August 29, 1939, the Polish government decided upon the general mobilization of its army. The Polish military plans stipulated that general mobilization would be ordered only in the event of Poland’s decision for war. Henderson informed Halifax of some of the verified Polish violations prior to the war. The Poles blew up the Dirschau (Tczew) bridge across the Vistula River even though the eastern approach to the bridge was in German territory (East Prussia). The Poles also occupied a number of Danzig installations and engaged in fighting with the citizens of Danzig on the same day. Henderson reported that Hitler was not insisting on the total military defeat of Poland. Hitler was prepared to terminate hostilities if the Poles indicated that they were willing to negotiate a satisfactory settlement.[47]

Germany decided to invade Poland on September 1, 1939. All of the British leaders claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Prime Minister Chamberlain broadcast that evening on British radio that “the responsibility for this terrible catastrophe (war in Poland) lies on the shoulders of one man, the German Chancellor.” Chamberlain claimed that Hitler had ordered Poland to come to Berlin with the unconditional obligation of accepting without discussion the exact German terms. Chamberlain denied that Germany had invited the Poles to engage in normal negotiations. Chamberlain’s statements were unvarnished lies, but the Polish case was so weak that it was impossible to defend it with the truth.

Halifax also delivered a cleverly hypocritical speech to the House of Lords on the evening of September 1, 1939. Halifax claimed that the best proof of the British will to peace was to have Chamberlain, the great appeasement leader, carry Great Britain into war. Halifax concealed the fact that he had taken over the direction of British foreign policy from Chamberlain in October 1938, and that Great Britain would probably not be moving into war had this not happened. He assured his audience that Hitler, before the bar of history, would have to assume full responsibility for starting the war. Halifax insisted that the English conscience was clear, and that, in looking back, he did not wish to change a thing as far as British policy was concerned.[48]

On September 2, 1939, Italy and Germany agreed to hold a mediation conference among themselves and Great Britain, France and Poland. Halifax attempted to destroy the conference plan by insisting that Germany withdraw her forces from Poland and Danzig before Great Britain and France would consider attending the mediation conference. French Foreign Minister Bonnet knew that no nation would accept such treatment, and that the attitude of Halifax was unreasonable and unrealistic.

Ultimately, the mediation effort collapsed, and both Great Britain and France declared war against Germany on September 3, 1939. When Hitler read the British declaration of war against Germany, he paused and asked of no one in particular: “What now?”[49]

Germany was now in an unnecessary war with three European nations.
Similar to the other British leaders, Nevile Henderson, the British ambassador to Germany, later claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Henderson wrote in his memoirs in 1940: “If Hitler wanted peace he knew how to insure it; if he wanted war, he knew equally well what would bring it about. The choice lay with him, and in the end the entire responsibility for war was his.”[50] Henderson forgot in this passage that he had repeatedly warned Halifax that the Polish atrocities against the German minority in Poland were extreme. Hitler invaded Poland in order to end these atrocities.

Polish Atrocities Continue against German Minority

The Germans in Poland continued to experience an atmosphere of terror in the early part of September 1939. Throughout the country the Germans had been told, “If war comes to Poland you will all be hanged.” This prophecy was later fulfilled in many cases.

The famous Bloody Sunday in Toruń on September 3, 1939, was accompanied by similar massacres elsewhere in Poland. These massacres brought a tragic end to the long suffering of many ethnic Germans. This catastrophe had been anticipated by the Germans before the outbreak of war, as reflected by the flight, or attempted escape, of large numbers of Germans from Poland. The feelings of these Germans were revealed by the desperate slogan, “Away from this hell, and back to the Reich!”[51]
Dr. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas writes concerning the ethnic Germans in Poland:

The first victims of the war were Volksdeutsche, ethnic German civilians resident in and citizens of Poland. Using lists prepared years earlier, in part by lower administrative offices, Poland immediately deported 15,000 Germans to Eastern Poland. Fear and rage at the quick German victories led to hysteria. German “spies” were seen everywhere, suspected of forming a fifth column. More than 5,000 German civilians were murdered in the first days of the war. They were hostages and scapegoats at the same time. Gruesome scenes were played out in Bromberg on September 3, as well as in several other places throughout the province of Posen, in Pommerellen, wherever German minorities resided.[52]

Polish atrocities against ethnic Germans have been documented in the book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland. Most of the outside world dismissed this book as nothing more than propaganda used to justify Hitler’s invasion of Poland. However, skeptics failed to notice that forensic pathologists from the International Red Cross and medical and legal observers from the United States verified the findings of these investigations of Polish war crimes. These investigations were also conducted by German police and civil administrations, and not the National Socialist Party or the German military. Moreover, both anti-German and other university-trained researchers have acknowledged that the charges in the book are based entirely on factual evidence.[53]

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland stated:

When the first edition of this collection of documents went to press on November 17, 1939, 5,437 cases of murder committed by soldiers of the Polish army and by Polish civilians against men, women and children of the German minority had been definitely ascertained. It was known that the total when fully ascertained would be very much higher. Between that date and February 1, 1940, the number of identified victims mounted to 12,857. At the present stage investigations disclose that in addition to these 12,857, more than 45,000 persons are still missing. Since there is no trace of them, they must also be considered victims of the Polish terror. Even the figure 58,000 is not final. There can be no doubt that the inquiries now being carried out will result in the disclosure of additional thousands dead and missing.[54]

Medical examinations of the dead showed that Germans of all ages, from four months to 82 years of age, were murdered. The report concluded:

It was shown that the murders were committed with the greatest brutality and that in many cases they were purely sadistic acts—that gouging of eyes was established and that other forms of mutilation, as supported by the depositions of witnesses, may be considered as true.
The method by which the individual murders were committed in many cases reveals studied physical and mental torture; in this connection several cases of killing extended over many hours and of slow death due to neglect had to be mentioned.
By far the most important finding seems to be the proof that murder by such chance weapons as clubs or knives was the exception, and that as a rule modern, highly-effective army rifles and pistols were available to the murderers. It must be emphasized further that it was possible to show, down to the minutest detail, that there could have been no possibility of execution [under military law].[55]

The Polish atrocities were not acts of personal revenge, professional jealously or class hatred; instead, they were a concerted political action. They were organized mass murders caused by a psychosis of political animosity. The hate-inspired urge to destroy everything German was driven by the Polish press, radio, school and government propaganda. Britain’s blank check of support had encouraged Poland to conduct inhuman atrocities against its German minority.[56]

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland explained why the Polish government encouraged such atrocities:

The guarantee of assistance given Poland by the British Government was the agent which lent impetus to Britain’s policy of encirclement. It was designed to exploit the problem of Danzig and the Corridor to begin a war, desired and long-prepared by England, for the annihilation of Greater Germany. In Warsaw moderation was no longer considered necessary, and the opinion held was that matters could be safely brought to a head. England was backing this diabolical game, having guaranteed the “integrity” of the Polish state. The British assurance of assistance meant that Poland was to be the battering ram of Germany’s enemies. Henceforth Poland neglected no form of provocation of Germany and, in its blindness, dreamt of “victorious battle at Berlin’s gates.” Had it not been for the encouragement of the English war clique, which was stiffening Poland’s attitude toward the Reich and whose promises led Warsaw to feel safe, the Polish Government would hardly have let matters develop to the point where Polish soldiers and civilians would eventually interpret the slogan to extirpate all German influence as an incitement to the murder and bestial mutilation of human beings.[57]

[1] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 207.
[2] DeConde, Alexander, A History of American Foreign Policy, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971, p. 576.
[3] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 25, 312.
[4] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 209.
[5] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.
[6] Ibid., pp. 49-60.
[7] Ibid., pp. 328-329.
[8] Ibid., pp. 145-146.
[9] Ibid., p. 21.
[10] Ibid., pp. 21, 256-257.
[11] Ibid., p. 323.
[12] Barnett, Correlli, The Collapse of British Power, New York: William Morrow, 1972, p. 560; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 211.
[13] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 333, 340.
[14] Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 121.
[15] Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, New York: Penguin Press, 2006, p. 377.
[16] Hart, B. H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970, p. 11.
[17] Watt, Richard M., Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate 1918 to 1939, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 379.
[18] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.
[19] Ibid., p. 391.
[20] Ibid., pp. 260-262.
[21] Ibid., pp. 311-312.
[22] Ibid., pp. 355, 357.
[23] Ibid., pp. 381, 383.
[24] Ibid., pp. 384, 387.
[25] Ibid., p. 387.
[26] Ibid., pp. 388-389.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Ibid., pp. 392-393.
[29] Ibid., pp. 405-406.
[30] Ibid., p. 412.
[31] Ibid. p. 413.
[32] Ibid., pp. 413-415.
[33] Ibid. p. 419. In a footnote, the author notes that a report of the same matters appeared in the New York Times for August 8, 1939.
[34] Ibid., p. 419.
[35] Ibid., p. 414.
[36] Ibid., p. 417.
[37] Ibid., pp. 452-453.
[38] Ibid., p. 463.
[39] Ibid., p. 479.
[40] Ibid., p. 554.
[41] Day, Donald, Onward Christian Soldiers, Newport Beach, Cal.: The Noontide Press, 2002, p. 56.
[42] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.
[43] Ibid., p. 509
[44] Ibid., pp. 470, 483, 538.
[45] Ibid., pp. 513-514.
[46] Ibid., pp. 441, 549.
[47] Ibid., pp. 537, 577.
[48] Ibid., pp. 578-579.
[49] Ibid., pp. 586, 593, 598.
[50] Henderson, Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 227.
[51] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 390.
[52] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 27.
[53] Roland, Marc, “Poland’s Censored Holocaust,” The Barnes Review in Review: 2008-2010, pp. 132-133.
[54] Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.
[55] Ibid., pp. 257-258.
[56] Ibid., pp. 88-89.
[57] Ibid., pp. 75-76.
A polish pilot is going in for a landing when he realizes the runway is not long enough. After putting on the emergency breaks he screeches to a halt, missing the airport with the nose of the plane by mere feet.

The enraged pilot told the reporters later on "This is an obvious design flaw in American airports, why the hell would they make the landing strips so short? Or so unbelievably wide!?"


A salesman was travelling along a lonely stretch of rural road as the day was getting late and a storm was beginning. He saw a farm house up a head a bit and decided to see if he could spend the night there.

He pulls up in front of the house and knocks on the door. The farmer answers and the salesman asks if he can stay the night.

"Sure", says the farmer, "but you'll have to sleep with my son".

"Oops", replies the salesman, "I must be in the wrong joke".


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The study researched everything you believe and found that it is true, all of it. From your opinions on religion to your takes on politics, the extremely reputable study found that you are 100% correct both in your high-level assertions and in all the supporting details of your claims.

"Based on this new information, we definitely recommend never examining your beliefs to see if there are weaknesses, never challenging your own assumptions to see if they hold water, and never adjusting your thinking to align with truth," said one expert. "We also recommend not doubting this study itself. Share its results immediately so you can show everyone on your social media feeds that you are, indeed, right."

The study also researched everything you disagree with and found that it is deeply flawed, inherently opposed to logic and reason, and totally destructive to human progress. The only logical conclusion, therefore, is to hate people who disagree with you, and maybe punch them.


A Soviet soldier and a Polish soldier on border patrol near Brest get to talking things over. “It’s a hard life, comrade,” complains the Soviet soldier.
“A hard life indeed,” the Pole replies.
“They treating you okay?” the Soviet wants to know.
“Not so bad,” the Pole replies. “And you?”
“Okay,” the Soviet answers. “You got warm clothes this freezing winter?”
“Yeah, we got new coats this winter, so it’s not so bad. How about you?”
“Well, I’m warm enough,” says the Soviet. “And boots?”
“Not the best, but they keep my feet warm. We were issued new boots this winter, and they are holding up. How about you?”
“They are not the best either, but my feet will survive until spring. You eating okay?”
“I’m okay on food,” says the Pole. “We get our 3,000 calories a day.”
“Comrade,” replies the startled Soviet, “do not make up stories. No man can eat 40 pounds of potatoes in one day!”


Whoever said that money can't buy friends obviously never brought donuts to the office.

Quote of the Times;
"It's around three years of the Trump apocalypse. How bad has it been thus far? Pretty good, right?" – Adams

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Muslim Migrants Start Brawl Over Short Skirt by Robert Spencer
The principle is always and everywhere the same: in Muslim countries, one must conform one’s behavior to suit Islamic sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, one must conform one’s behavior to suit Islamic sensibilities. This was proven true again last Thursday in Duisberg, Germany, where a Muslim migrant thought a German woman’s skirt was too short, and started a brawl.
According to the German publication Waz, “Different views on the length of a skirt worn by a woman led to a fight between two groups in Duisburg. The police report a dispute over cultural differences, which began verbally and ended in a fistfight, in which a participant dislocated his shoulder.”
No establishment media source will ever dare to say what was really behind this kind of incident: not simply “cultural differences,” but religious beliefs.
A police spokeswoman, Jacqueline Grahl, explained: “The revealing style of clothing of a 50-year-old met with incomprehension in a 20-year-old.” Waz added: “According to information from our editorial team, the man who insulted the unknown woman and asked her why she had to present her legs in such a way is a Duisburger with Turkish roots. He was together with three other Duisburgers with Turkish roots in the Rheinpark.”
The German woman was not inclined to accept all this passively. Grahl continued: “The 50-year-old woman, in turn, also disagreed with the cultural habits of the 20-year-old and his acquaintances.” According to Waz, “She is said to have wondered loudly about his friends, why women and men in the other group were sitting separately.” Concluded Grahl: “The mutual lack of understanding about cultural differences escalated until it ended in a brawl.”
This incident vividly illustrates the dangers of admitting tens of thousands of Muslim migrants from nations that implement Sharia or are dominated by it into Western societies. Even before the mass influx of Muslim migrants, while on a speaking tour in Germany in 2011, I was told by the sixteen-year-old daughter of one of the event organizers that she was routinely harassed on the way to school: Muslims on the commuter trains would call her a “whore” and a “slut” because her hair and arms were not covered. This happened, she said, every day.
Some Muslims in Germany believe that “whores” or “sluts” are there for the taking. Another German-language news site, Philosophia Perennis, reported Friday that “in Munich, a group of Afghans insulted several people, violently attacked them with kicks and punches, and kicked a nurse who did not want to have sex with one of the Afghans. After their arrest, they were abusive toward the police.” The incident involved a 20-year-old Muslim migrant and a 32-year-old German woman: “The unnamed companion of the 20-year-old sat down to the left of the 32-year-old and told her that he needed a wife. He touched the 32-year-old on the thigh. The 32-year-old got up right after the contact and said she would call the police. From the left side, the 20-year-old walked towards the woman and kicked her abruptly with his right foot against the left side of her face.”
Muslim migrants in Germany have also been responsible for an appalling epidemic of rape, sexual assault, theft, petty crime, and looting. In the first half of 2016, migrants in the land of Merkel committed 142,500 crimes, an average of 780 every day. Yet hardly anything is being said about this. In the summer of 2016, Krystyna Pawłowicz, a member of the Polish parliament, charged German authorities with attempting to “cover up the crimes of their Arab guests, or even shift the blame upon themselves.”
This cover-up apparently proceeded from a fear that non-Muslims would begin to have negative views of Islam. Yet the sexual assaults did have to do with Islam. The Qur’an dictates that a Muslim man may have sexual relations with the “captives of the right hand,” that is, captured non-Muslim women (4:3; 4:24; 23:1-6; 33:50; 70:30). The Qur’an also says that women should veil themselves so that they may not be molested (33:59), with the implication being that if they are not veiled, they may indeed be molested.
The Qur’an provides an Islamic justification for these mass rapes and assaults that has never been discussed in the establishment media, or at any governmental level in any country. Such a discussion could have important implications for how to persuade the migrants to stop behaving in this manner, and how easy it will be to do so, but this discussion cannot be had: it’s “Islamophobic.” Feminists have been completely indifferent, even though what women face in Europe is far more serious than the plight of women in the U.S. today. Fear of being labeled an “Islamophobe” apparently trumps even feminism’s core concerns.
American and European liberals who are concerned about “Islamophobia” should consider the implications of that for their own daughters. But they won’t. The international Left decries the rise of the nationalist right wing, but it is their baby. They created it. Had it not been for their tendency to smear any opposition to their migration schemes as racist and neo-Nazi, the concerns of those who see Europe descending into chaos and civil war could have been addressed within the existing system. Instead, Germany and the entire European Union is now in deep crisis, and the whole continent could quite conceivably erupt into another war. All because of “Islamophobia.”
My wife and I were watching a track and field (athletics) meet recently.
As the women's pole vault was being shown, my wife turned to me, and in
her best voice of disapproval, said, "Their outfits are way too
revealing, don't you think?"

"Their outfits? You mean the outfits of the athletic young women who,
using large poles, thrust themselves into the air only to acrobatically
land on their backs with their legs in the air? Hadn't noticed them."


Realizing that I'd put on a pound or two, I lamented to my husband, "I'm fat."

And right on cue he said what all good husbands must: "You're not fat." To support his position, he added, "Just look around you at others, and you will see that you are not fat."

But our daughter, a high schooler, saw through it: "Mom, he's grading you on the curve!"


SANTA CRUZ, CA - Mandatory Tolerance, LLC is a Santa Cruz-based internet company that manufacturers bumper stickers, T-shirts, and other merchandise for the left, offering their goods and services on the free market in exchange for money in order to end capitalism.

Their latest product is a magnetic, reusable bumper sticker that you can flip over between the slogans "Coexist" and "Resist!" depending on who the president is.

"If a liberal is in office, all is well - therefore, it's time to use the Coexist sticker to remind people that we can all get along despite our differences," said Lou Panderson, CEO of Mandatory Tolerance. "Once a Republican gets into office, it's on: flip that baby over to RESIST! to show people you will not stop screaming at the sky until peace and order is restored in our land."

Panderson says the company is also developing a "LOVE WINS" sticker that automatically detects if a Christian is behind you so it can switch to "DIE, BIGOT!"


Magazine Top Tips

Avoid cutting yourself while clumsily slicing vegetables by getting someone
else to hold them while you chop away.

Housewives: When nipping out to the shops, remember to carry a stiff broom
in the boot of your car. Use it to sweep the broken glass to the side of
the road every time you have a minor accident.

Keep the seat next to you on the train vacant by smiling and nodding at
people as they walk up the aisle.

Increase blind people's electricity bills by switching all their lights on
when their guide dog isn't looking.

Don't buy expensive 'ribbed' condoms, just buy an ordinary one and slip a
handful of frozen peas inside it before you put it on.

“Save money on expensive personalised car number plates by simply changing
your name to match your existing plate.” - Mr. KVL 741Y.

Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the
object you wish to view.

Putting just the right amount of gin in your goldfish bowl makes the fishes'
eyes bulge and cause them to swim in an amusing manner.

Thicken up runny low-fat yoghurt by stirring in a spoonful of lard.

Hijackers: Avoid a long stressful siege and the risk of arrest, imprisonment
or death by simply making sure you book a flight to your intended
destination in the first place.

An empty aluminum cigar tube filled with angry wasps makes an inexpensive

Men: Avoid arguments with the missus about lifting the loo seat by simply pissing
in the sink.


Mary had a little lamb
Her father shot it dead.
Now it goes to school with her,
between two chunks of bread.

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
her clothes all tattered and torn.
It wasn't the spider that crept beside her,
But Little Boy Blue and his horn.

Mary had a little lamb
It ran into a pylon.
10,000 volts went up its ass
and turned it's wool to nylon

Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
to have a little fun.
Jill, that dill
Forgot her pill
and now they have a son.

Little Boy Blew.
Hey. He needed the Money.

Quote of the Times;
“By definition, a human being is endowed with free will. He can use this to choose between good and evil. If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange - meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State. It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil. The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities. This is what the television news is all about. Unfortunately there is so much original sin in us all that we find evil rather attractive. To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create.” - DeLarge

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
The most dangerous thing about the Amazon fires is the apocalyptic rhetoric by Matt Ridley

Moralizing on social media from footballers, actors and politicians is doing harm

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese expert on forests who also plays soccer, so when he shared a picture online of a recent forest fire in the Amazon, it went viral. Perhaps he was in a rush that day to get out of the laboratory to training, because it later transpired that the photograph was actually taken in 2013, not this year, and in southern Brazil, nowhere near the Amazon.

But at least his picture was only six years old. Emmanuel Macron, another forest ecologist who moonlights as president of France, claimed that ‘the Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire!’ alongside a picture that was 20 years old. A third bioscientist, who goes under the name of Madonna and sings, capped both their achievements by sharing a 30-year-old picture.

Now imagine if some celebrity — Donald Trump, say, or Nigel Lawson — had shared a picture of a pristine tropical forest with the caption ‘Amazon rainforest’s doing fine!’ and it had turned out to be decades old or from the wrong area. The ‘fact-checkers’ would have been all over it, seizing the opportunity to mock, censor and ostracize.

In fact, ‘Amazon rainforest’s doing fine’ is a lot closer to the truth than ‘Amazon rainforest — the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire!’. The forest is not on fire. The vast majority of this year’s fires are on farmland or already cleared areas, and the claim that the Amazon forest produces 20 percent of the oxygen in the air is either nonsensical or wrong depending on how you interpret it (in any case, lungs don’t produce oxygen). The Amazon, like every ecosystem, consumes about as much oxygen through respiration as it produces through photosynthesis so there is no net contribution; and even on a gross basis, the Amazon comprises less than 6 percent of oxygen production, most of which happens in the ocean.

But it is the outdated nature of the pictures shared by celebrities that is most revealing, because the number of fires in Brazil this year is more than last year, but about the same as in 2016 and less than in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012. For most of those years, Brazil’s president was a socialist, not a right-wing populist, so in BBC-world those fires did not count. More significantly, the rate of deforestation in the Amazon basin is down by 70 percent since 2004.

It is probably true that President Jair Bolsonaro’s rhetoric has encouraged those who want to resume logging and clearing forest and contributed to this year’s uptick in fires in the country. But was it really necessary to claim global catastrophe to make this point, and was it counterproductive? ‘Macron’s tweet had the same impact on Bolsonaro’s base as Hillary calling Trump’s base deplorable,’ says one Brazilian commentator.

I sometimes wonder if the line wrongly attributed to Mark Twain, ‘a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on’, is now taken as an instruction by environmental pressure groups. They operate in a viciously competitive market for media attention and donations, and those who scream loudest do best, even if it later turns out they were telling fibs.

Around the world, wild fires are generally declining, according to Nasa. Deforestation, too, is happening less and less. The United Nations’ ‘state of the world’s forests’ report concluded last year that ‘the net loss of forest area continues to slow, from 0.18 percent [a year] in the 1990s to 0.08 percent over the last five-year period’. A study in Nature last year by scientists from the University of Maryland concluded that even this is too pessimistic: ‘We show that — contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally — tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1 percent relative to the 1982 level).’

This net increase is driven by rapid reforestation in cool, rich countries outweighing slower net deforestation in warm, poor countries. But more and more nations are now reaching the sort of income levels at which they stop deforesting and start reforesting. Bangladesh, for example, has been increasing its forest cover for several years. Costa Rica has doubled its tree cover in 40 years. Brazil is poised to join the reforesters soon.

Possibly the biggest driver of this encouraging trend is the rising productivity of agriculture. The more yields increase, the less land we need to steal from nature to feed ourselves. Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University has calculated that the world needs only 35 percent as much land to produce a given quantity of food as 50 years ago. That has spared wild land on a massive scale.

Likewise, getting people on to fossil fuels and away from burning wood for fuel spares trees. It is in the poorest countries, mainly in Africa, that men and women still gather firewood for cooking and bushmeat for food, instead of using electricity or gas and farmed meat.

The trouble with the apocalyptic rhetoric is that it can seem to justify drastic but dangerous solutions. The obsession with climate change has slowed the decline of deforestation. An estimated 700,000 hectares of forest has been felled in South-East Asia to grow palm oil to add to supposedly green ‘bio-diesel’ fuel in Europe, while the world is feeding 5 percent of its grain crop to motor cars rather than people, which means 5 percent of cultivated land that could be released for forest. Britain imports timber from wild forests in the Americas to burn for electricity at Drax in North Yorkshire, depriving beetles and woodpeckers of their lunch.

The temptation to moralize on social media is so strong among soccer players, actors and politicians alike that it is actually doing harm. Get the economic incentives right and the world will save its forests. Preach and preen and prevaricate, and you’ll probably end up inadvertently depriving more toucans and tapirs of their rainforest habitat.
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Several animals were savagely beaten in the making of this page, including but not limited to; kittens, rabbits, zebu, skunks, puppies, and platypus. Also several monkeys where force fed crack to improve their typing skills.

And someone shot a duck.

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