Ring The Bell

In Downtown Porto, the city where I went to college, there is a place by the river, near all the old houses, where the bridge of boats used to stand

The river Douro, which separates Porto from its neighbor Gaia, is — at least in that portion — shallow and rocky bottomed.  Apparently early nineteenth (and prior) tech couldn’t figure out how to bridge this (they turned that corner, the old bridge there is a magnificent structure by Eiffel) so the bridge, as it stood since medieval times, was a bunch of boats tied together, then at both ends, and presumably with a passage way built on top of that.

When Napoleon invaded (and I can’t remember now, but I think he was coming from Gaia to Porto) there was a rush to the bridge of boats.  The bridge would not take that many people, and it sank.

The plaque where it used to be memorializes the event and says (of course, this is Portugal) that on certain nights you can hear the screaming of the drowning people, as they were carried away by the freezing water of the river.  (I wonder if I can convince Larry to have this bridge’s ghost be the only way across in the book we’re writing together, so MHI can chase the bad guys on the other side?)

Of course I know next to nothing of this event, other than what’s written on that card-sized memorial.  Of course?  Well, yes, Portuguese history always stopped somewhere around the discoveries every year, and I’ve read more about the invasions of the peninsula in American and English books, than I ever studied in school.

But in my mind, I see dark night, and the bell ringing, ringing, ringing, while people grab kids and belongings and rush to the bridge that won’t hold them.

I grew up with the idea of ringing the bell, for danger.  Not that it ever happened.  The one genuine mass emergency in the village, when a fire almost took it, except for the fortuitous fire break of the train line, we were all awake and standing around (and the men were watering the roofs and the woods on the village-side of the train line, (this is when I learned that fire roars like a lion) but no one rang the bell.

Actually I think we were all standing much too close, and if the fire had jumped the line, not one of us would have survived.  How close?  My mom’s house was two blocks from the screaming, roaring forest fire.  And the people RIGHT BY THE TRAINLINE hadn’t evacuated.

If the fire had jumped, at best, we’d have faced a bridge of boats moment.

BUT we grew up with the idea.  If I made some (I thought) startling observation, my family would answer “Go to the tower and ring the bell.”

We didn’t.  The idea of the bell, was to bypass the official means of communication.  Sure, of course the mayor (or whoever) could send someone (in my day usually with a loudspeaker) shouting instructions (weirdly the only time I remember this happening was during the cholera epidemic, when they went around shouting for us to put two drops of bleach in a gallon of water (or however much.)  It was singularly ineffective, and pamphlets (which they also used) were much better.  Mostly through the loudspeaker you heard garble barble bleach.  But I guess it made the authorities feel better.)

However there was the tower and the bell, and anyone noticing anything wrong, could run up it and ring the bell.

I suppose it was a custom from much harder times.  See the army/band of ruffians from the next village over march in?  Ring the bell and summon men to the defense.  See Viking pirates on the river?  Ring the bell and summon the men.

The idea would be to have enough warning, because anyone could ring the bell, so disasters like the bridge of boats, or like our potential fiery death didn’t happen.  Because more people see more, and you can get the alarm faster.

I’ve been thinking about this all day, after learning that NOT ONLY were Sad Puppies a question on jeopardy, but that, of course, it implied that it was a plot of the establishment to keep people out.  (You’d think at SOME point someone would notice that everyone in the anti-puppy camp are people with power in the field versus a bunch of gonzo Baen authors and indies, right?  Nah.)

The first thought this brings to mind is, of course, “How have they lied to us in other circumstances, before there was an internet or blogs?  Before we knew they were lying?”

And you know the answer is “many times.”  It’s almost impossible to realize how biased they are.  I found out recently my husband had no idea what Journolist was. He thought I was a conspiracy theorist until I sent him links.

But it doesn’t even take that.  It only takes a shared worldview that distorts the facts you’re seeing.  Our media by and large learned Marxism in their “best colleges” and therefore are blind to the dangers of totalitarian regimes of the left.  And therefore haven’t been very good at sounding the alarm, even when the world-divorced philosophies of the left destroyed our society. They would have delivered us hand-tied to the Soviet Union if only the Soviet Union had been coherent enough to win.

Balked of their victory, they’d happily deliver us to ISIS even though, REALISTICALLY, they should oppose everything ISIS stands for, including oppression of gays and women.

BUT our elites REALLY don’t like us.  They’re not going to ring the bell.

The problem with this is that when danger is seen (or perceived.  It doesn’t need to be real) and it scares people, people rushing to the bridge of boats might go crazy, and sink our civilization beneath the onslaught.

If our media were in charge of this, it is almost guaranteed.  They’ll continue hectoring us, blaming guns, ignoring the enemy abroad, lionizing everyone who hates us, brow-beating us…  Until a sudden attack, a major reverse, say a backpack nuke in NYC stampedes the population.  And then, of course, we’d live down to their opinion of us.  (Hey, after 9/11 I was Arab-looking enough for my neighbors to get upset.  And no, I wasn’t/am not Arab-looking at all.)

There would be real attacks, not just on Arabs but on anyone who doesn’t fit in.

That’s what panic and belated realization does.  As for our elites?  Yeah, whoever it was who said we’d beat them to death with their “No Blood for Oil” signs wasn’t joking.  That’s what panic does. Panic and the realization they didn’t sound the alarm when they should have.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Fortunately we have the internet.  Everyone has access to that tower.

Ring the bell.  Ring it loud.  Ignore the authorities and their barble garble loudspeaker.  Stay awake.  Stay vigilant.

And ring the bell.

134 responses to “Ring The Bell

  1. FWIW one of the Sharpe novels has a description of the Porto bridge collapse.

    I think the Internet, in all its various forms, allows us to ring the bell. What is unfortunately doesn’t do is help other people hear that the bell has been rung.

  2. Those with ears will hear the warning, but it seems we live in a society of the deaf. For them, it will take a blinding flash of light to catch their attention.

    • I think the MSM has cried “Wolf!” so often that many are innured to actual danger, eschewing recognition of it in favour of faux danger, with which they are accustomed to dealing.

    • And only later will they perhaps hear the bang? (Flash-to-bang time… I learned it for lightning, but am well aware there are things that that can apply to.)

    • From Sir Richard Burton’s translation of The Thousand Nights and a Night: “If my words were engraved in the corner of the eye, it would be a warning to those who would be warned.”

    • William O. B'Livion

      The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train, it’s a nuke.

  3. It’s tough to get through to leftists with all the ideological blinders they have on: America is the most evil country, the Muslims are just poor and oppressed, anyone who opposes Muslim immigration is a bigot, etc. But if our rhetoric is geared towards their own interests, maybe it will change things. My basic theme has always been that the Islamists have never hesitated to kill leftists when it suited them:

    1. They murdered tens of thousands of them in Iran back around the year 1980.
    2. There was the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.
    3. There was the murder of Theo van Gogh.
    4. There have been threats against cartoonists and the actual murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff.

    In addition, the Islamists have never shown any particular leftist tendencies. They throw gays off of tall buildings and sell women into sexual slavery. There are still slaves in North Africa, and the most extreme Islamists insist that they have the right to have slaves.

    Finally, they destroyed leftism (such as it was) in the Middle East, and it is clear that they want to destroy it in the West as well.

    I was very disappointed that no prominent person on the right mentioned item #1 above last summer when Obama was pushing for his Iran deal. It would have forced leftists to confront their own ignorance or denials of reality, and it would have shown the low-information voters just how crazy leftists are these days.

    • CombatMissionary

      One point: Islamism is leftism of another stripe. Social dogma that doesn’t tolerate dissent? Check. Centralized economic control? Check. Single-party ideological political control? Check. Ruin and/or destruction of independent thinkers? Check and check.

      I guess that.makes these examples left-on-left crime.

      Maybe it explains the love of the left for Islamism in part? Because it’s the only form of leftism to ever have actually been in existence for more than a century and remained in control.

      • The Other Sean

        I don’t think there’s much “Left” about Islamism. Islam is an entirely different form of Totalitarianism. However, as a form of Totalitarianism, it does share certain traits with Leftism.

        • Left and Right are a poor shorthand. Freedom versus control are a better spectrum. Islamism seeks to control the behaviors of those under it, just as do progressive thought-crime watchers. Don’t get stuck on Left vs Right. For years I thought the only options were “conservative” or “liberal”: when I found out that “libertarian” (small L!) was a thing, it was like shackles falling off.

          • Exactly. As Bill Whittle puts it, the real dicotomy is Collectivists vs. Individualists. And many of us make the Left = Collectivist / Right = Individualist equations, but there’re only a partial matches there.

            • This is true. In addition to that, it’s a focus on self rather than other. For the irony is that a dedication to self actually obliterates individualism, because it fosters the inability to see other people as people rather than props in one’s own personal hero narrative.

              Once that’s understood, it becomes more plain why so many collectivists claim the mantle of freedom while seeking to squash it at every turn – freedom in practice means the freedom to go one’s own way, and to a collectivist there is no own way, just the collectivist’s way. Notice how much more brutally they treat anyone who breaks away from a movement, a fury reserved for the worst traitors and apostates? They haven’t betrayed the cause – good heavens, no! – it’s too personal for that, and that’s because the collectivist is the one who is betrayed, in the same way you might feel betrayed if you had a winning checkmate but your knight suddenly decided to swap colors and join the other player’s army. Such a thing is flatly impossible; you would instantly accuse the other player of cheating. That’s exactly what’s going on with the collectivist.

              And that’s also how the collectivists never notice what individualists see all the time – that their latest power-grabbing manifesto flatly contradicts the ones they were chanting last week, and will again be outdated with next week’s movement. To them there is no contradiction because all of them serve to increase their control and influence over their wayward props. (CS Lewis’ conception of the Devil as a bloated spider consuming the wills of all around, so that they are only extensions of his will, is horribly apt.)

              This is a conversation I seem to be having all over the web right now. It’s Internet Serendipity.

      • I’m pretty certain that the Establishment Left has a mad, passionate crush on the radical Islamics; a blushing, damp-panties, google-eyed crush … because the Islamics are so passionate and manly and determined. It doesn’t matter in the least that they treat women and gays, etc like dirt – they treat Christians, Jews and Westerners generally as the enemy, and that’s sufficient for the Leftists.

        Sultan Knish had something about this one-sided adoration today:
        http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/12/can-left-learn-to-love-isis.html

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Maybe they feel all the animal buggery qualifies as Alternative Sexuality, and trumps homosexuality.

          Feminism has since the nineties been willing to tolerate a rapist ally. If they are willing to tolerate rape abuse, why not honor killing abuse, or genital mutilation abuse?

          • Indeed. That the Establishment Professional Feminists were ready and willing allies of Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton about made me want to violently upchuck.

            • For those who took over that movement, Feminism was merely the means to their ends, it was never their actual goal.

              Of course, I might well make much the same claim about Stalin, Alinsky and many other Marxists.

          • Actually it doesn’t even have to be animal buggery; a large chunk of Afghan warlords are MENA affiliates of NAMBLA.

            There’s some proverb in the region akin to “Women are for babies and boys are for enjoyment.”

            • I read it (In John Masters _A Bugle and a Tiger_) as “A woman for business, a boy for pleasure, and a goat for variety.” He probably toned it down a touch.

          • Even simpler: Centralization for control is the common element. Decentralization is for freedom. I quite like decentralized systems. Most people do – unless they themselves are (expecting to be) running the centralized system(s).

        • They do. Because in their religion paradise is heralded by an uprising of the oppressed. Since Islamists aren’t westerners, they must be oppressed, so this war is merely the first stage in the destruction of capitalism. Once they’re successful the arc of history will cause them to give up on their opium of the masses and usher in a communist utopia.

        • Jamie Glazov has a fascinating take on it in his book _United by Hate_ about the Progressive left’s love affair with dictators and totalitarian philosophy. Some of the stuff from the gal in lust with Mao’s China is disturbing in a “step away slowly and call for backup” way.

          • I generally find Progs disturbing in the “immediately engage with direct and indirect fires” way.

        • “I’m pretty certain that the Establishment Left has a mad, passionate crush on the radical Islamics; a blushing, damp-panties, google-eyed crush.”

          My thoughts exactly. And thanks for the great link!

        • Observation on National Review of why “large majorities of Americans — and pluralities across every political demographic — have an “unfavorable opinion” of the Islamic faith.” And it squares with what I saw in multiple trips to Jebel Ali, and what I’ve heard from people who’ve been to sandbox.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/428349/hidden-reason-why-americans-dislike-islam-david-french?BqPZVyzUxRThAR51.01

          • I know at least 15 men and two women who have served in either Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan (one in all of them), and ALL have an extremely low opinion of Islamic cultures. What they saw turns my stomach.

      • You’re close. It isn’t that Islam is a form of Leftism. Rather, Leftism is a Christian heresy religion that uses Islamic structures (madrassas that repeat rote doctrine = “safe spaces”, taqquiya, fatwas, social justice as Dar al SJW vs. Dar al Harb “the struggle,” complete life system, etc.). But it is still western, so its internal caste structure is Western medievalist (Anointed, Entitled, Benighted).

        Take that lens out into the world, look around, and see if it fits.

    • Tough is an understatement. I’m their bogeyman, a cisgender heterosexual white male. Suppose the worst does happen and Islamists take over. Well, I’m Jewish by birth but my name isn’t, and I’m not religious… I destroy the few things I have which would mark my religion, pretend to be a lapsed Christian of an indeterminate sort, and after a reasonable amount of pressure is applied, I give in and convert to Islam and I do as well as anyone in the conquered peoples can (maybe while looking for a chance to cut all their throats, but you have to be alive to do so).

      Them, the “progressive” set? They get killed right off, for adhering to various religions not of the book, or for being gay or trans or just women demanding to drive or divorce or not be enslaved.

      This is obvious based on the most cursory observation. Yet they still adhere to what should be their greatest enemies (dare I say giving them aid and comfort)? You could look at a Tsar Bomba test from the minimum survivable difference and see nothing with those blinders.

      • The Left has always been about the Radical Chic, and the more radical, the better.
        The real sin is to be bourgeoisie and common- if the flag-humping flyover hicks hate Moosleems, then they must embrace them.

      • I want to mention that I’m not a cisgender anything, since I haven’t the slightest idea of that that means. I refuse to use made-up words to describe myself. In a similar fashion, I agree with another friend who pointed out about using other people’s terms. Neither of us are straight. We’re just male, and normal. Like it or not, the small minority that likes other males is abnormal, pretty much by the very definition of normal and abnormal.

    • JP, we should encourage leftists to GO OVER THERE and help those poor people directly as ONLY THEY know how!
      You overestimate the ability of leftists to confront their own ignorance and denials of reality; they Will deny and NEVER confront.

      • It’s not about helping people, it’s about being SEEN helping people. If you go over there, you cannot be seen.

      • I may be overestimating their ability to confront their own ignorance, but it didn’t help when conservative and libertarian pundits and politicians said nothing about the facts I enumerated in the debate about the Iran deal last summer. It doesn’t do much good to tell leftists that Iran might kill Americans, given that leftists don’t care much about us Americans. That’s why we need to say that they will kill leftists. If that doesn’t do the trick, I guess nothing will because that means they are suicidal.

    • “My basic theme has always been that the Islamists have never hesitated to kill leftists when it suited them”

      Did it hurt the USSR in their eyes that it never hesitated to kill leftists when it suited them?

      • The USSR had tight control over the information about the purges, so it was easy to get leftists to believe that those murdered were traitors. There has been no such control over the information about leftists murdered by Muslims, except that no one on the left seems to remember the incidents I mentioned above (except the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, which I guess is too recent and glaring for anyone to forget), and no one on the right wants to remind them. How many leftists have even heard of Molly Norris? None, as far as I know. That is exactly why the right needs to remind leftists of her and of all the other leftists murdered by Muslims, at every opportunity. Eventually, they will have to start responding, and some may even change their minds.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists shows the problem with Lefties.

          The Lefties have convinced themselves that any body killed by Muslims “did something to provoke” the killings.

          So in their “minds” any Lefty who was murdered by Muslims wasn’t a “real” Lefty as a “real” Lefty wouldn’t do something to provoke those “poor little Muslims”. [Sad Smile]

          • Well, yes. But I have to wonder to what extent all leftists accept this theory. The other day I saw a survey suggesting that even among Democrats, distrust of Muslims is rather high (45%). Maybe there is a silent majority (or a solid minority) of leftists who don’t like what the dominant leftist voices are saying, but get silenced whenever some other leftist brings up some stupid point, like how wrong it was for the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists to “punch down.” Again, this is why the right needs to point out, as often as possible, how many leftists have been murdered by Muslims.

  4. None so blind as those who just won’t see.

    They’re handing out blinders to children in school, and pouring bleach into the eyes of college students, while stopping their ears with wax. Meanwhile, the media drones on about how lovely the emperor’s new clothes are, and showing scenes of frothing-at-the-mouth mobs accusing that horrible little boy who dared to open his mouth of hate speech, and demanding he immediately be hanged.

    This cannot last.

  5. Many people thought I was a conspiracy theorist when I mentioned the potential capabilities of the NSA over 15 years ago. (What they didn’t factor in is that I’m a student of history, human natural and worked in the telecom industry for years.)

    I was also doubted recently about the scam that is Ahmed, the Boy Clockmaker. The fact that I am trained military, went to college for electronics, worked in the industry and my main hobby is electronics, radios, etc. Also my family still lives in Irving, we know teachers and students in the school that know the child and his family. They tell a different story than the “mainstream” press. And I grew up with boy electronic genius as a best friends, still hang out with some of the best hackers and makers in the world, I know their ilk when I see it. (Plus knowing Mark Cuban, I trust his judgment…)

    Let’s not factor in all the other political and economic shenanigans that people doubt. Or SJWs in OSS, Anti-Puppies, Codes of Conducts or GamerGate that few want to examine outside of medias explanations.

    Over thirty years ago I swore an oath to defend a county from enemies, foreign and domestic. Either I failed or I’m in the wrong country. It appears the this nation as purposed has been fully hijacked by those in power. (Or more truthfully, it never really existed as we thought it did at all.) I’ve been asking uncomfortable questions for the last 30 years, ringing the bell for those willing to discuss the facts as the best we can ascertain through the screens of Yellow Media and Cultural Molding.

    But most people are have been lulled to sleep and heavily lied to for the past few generations. Short of natural disaster, deep depression or civil war, the majority stay entertained, wrapped in their apathy, blinded by emotion or too tired to fight.

    Ring the bell, try to wake the doubters and the Soma addicts. Hopefully the damage and loss of life won’t be too great…

    • I don’t think the majority are apathetic or belive the lies, they just don’t know or care enough to speak out. And that’s understandable. Most of the worst excesses only affect a small number, such as college men. But at the same time the Progressives have been singularly unsuccessful at the polls and even in major propaganda pieces. Compare how overtly progressive movies have faired compared to the overtly conservative ones the likes of Clint Eastwood put out. They win only as long as they stay below the radar and nobody calls them on their crap.

      That last bit is key, and both Trump and Cruz have successful in doing exactly that. Every generation gets an apathetic/introspective streak and America pulls back from the world stage. The world then proceeds to go to crap, so the new generation rolls up their sleeves and gets back to work. The good news is that each cycle our opponent is smaller and less capable. ISIS is no Al Queda, which is no USSR, which is no Third Reich. By the time I’m old enough to yell at kids to get off my lawn the great geopolitical threat is going to be little more than barely-organized street thugs.

  6. One problem with ringing the bell is that there are so many bells constantly ringing on the internet that it’s hard for people to know when the alarm is real and when it’s just another SJW crying Wolf.

    If I hadn’t already been reading this blog, I might have fallen for the Narrative on the Hugos because there’s not enough time to look into every bell being rung.

  7. Sorry, Sarah, but, from what I have seen of you in an interview, you could -as, in fact, a good 95+% of all the Portuguese, including myself as a descendant – perfectly well pass as Middle Eastern. They are not all swarthy-looking.

  8. They’re already attacking the puppies again. The New Republic has reached a new low with “Science Fiction’s White Boys’ Club Strikes Back” full of impressive-seeming pseudo-dialectic about how white men are afraid of diversity.

    Meh.

  9. Several professional political observers have recently been saying that this “Ringing the bell” quality is the key to Trump’s popularity. We know that there are threats, that Obama’s kissy-face with Putin & the Ayatollahs* is a disaster in waiting, that Obamacare is a disaster in slow motion and that Global Climaty Changieness is a make believe problem, a scam as foul as Sally Struther’s appeals for funds for children in other nations.

    Trump is a boor, but he is willing to ring the bell, to point at the true imminent dangers and incite discussion of them. Because he was already a celebrity brand he is adept at exploiting the MSM Pavlovian responses in a way few politicians aver have — and unlike such politicians as Newt Gingrich, his brand is so well known that the MSM hasn’t been able to touch him. He has been able to reframe the Overton Window in ways no other candidate has or could.

    Given a choice between a loud-mouthed jackass with a record of substantial achievement or an elitist professional politician with a record of managing the public, a sizable portion of the country has no trouble picking the former.

    Even many of us with a preference for some other candidate, one with a record of adherence to Conservative Principles find Trump refreshing compared with the carefully poll-tested and consultant-managed responses of other pols and recognize in The Donald a leader far preferable to The Hillary.

  10. Polliwog the 'Ette

    New revelations from DHS ate making it clear that the administration is shooting any official who tries to reach and ring the bell (metaphorically so far) so random individuals are about the only ones with a chance.

  11. Mostly through the loudspeaker you heard garble barble bleach. But I guess it made the authorities feel better.

    Heh. Several years ago, when I lived in San Diego, the police helicopter often went overhead, providing unintelligible announcements. At one point I wondered, with the Internet, if they published the announcements online, so I went to the police web page.

    Turns out, there was an FAQ on their site, and one of the Frequently Asked Questions was, why can’t I understand the police helicopters?

    The answer was: We have performed tests, we have a powerful speaker system, and therefore you can understand the announcements.

    • “The answer was: We have performed tests, we have a powerful speaker system, and therefore you can understand the announcements.”

      And really, who are you going to believe? The San Diego Police Department or your lyin’ ears?

      I’ve had a similar experience with the loudspeaker system around where I live. I’ve only ever heard it used on the monthly test of the system, I think. I hear “garble, blarble, test, blarble garble” roughly once a month, and I assume that’s what’s going on, but really it could be “Iran is doing a test of their new biological weapon here, don’t go in the creek” for all I can tell.

      • You would kind of think that once it qualified for their frequently asked questions page, they would have recognized the problem rather than pretending there wasn’t one. A quick look at their page now indicates they do recognize that some people cannot understand it, although the answer now appears to be basically, if you can’t understand it, it’s because the speakers are on the other side of the helicopter; you aren’t the target audience.

        • Wait – They make critical public announcements with such a wide target audience that they justify the police department budget aviation line items for acquiring, equipping, maintaining, crewing and operating a helicopter from the speakers on Only One Side?

          So, do they only announce warnings to the left?

      • Same thing here in L.A.

        multiple cop cars, copter so low and close overhead that you can feel the pressure differential…

        speaker: WARBLEFRAZZUM SNERK FROGGLE! SQUOG FRAB HUGLUGGUM!

        *open from door to hear it

        speaker: PLEASE REMAIN INDOORS! KEEP YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS CLOSED!!!

        (never fails)

      • That is brilliant… kind of like the MASH episode where HQ calmly tells Radar that there are no enemy units near the 4077th, therefore he isn’t actually being shelled – even as the radio is knocked out from shelling and half the camp has been reduced to matchsticks.

  12. Totally O/T but…STAR WARS music on piano (at least two, still watching):
    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2015/12/to-start-getting-you-in-the-mood.html

  13. Three at 3:52; a change from 2 to 2A, Also, costume changes.

  14. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » I DON’T LIKE LINKING MYSELF BUT SOMETIMES ONE MUST: Ring The Bell….

  15. How much have the media been lying to us? Lots.

    Knoll’s Law of Media Accuracy: Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.

    Thomas Jefferson http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/99-01-02-5737 : “It is a melancholy truth that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”

    Malcolm Muggeridge, “The Great Liberal Death Wish” (excerpt): We foreign journalists in Moscow used to amuse ourselves, as a matter of fact, by competing with one another as to who could wish upon one of these intelligentsia visitors to the USSR the most outrageous fantasy… If they put it in the articles they subsequently wrote, then you’d score a point. One story I floated myself, for which I received considerable acclaim, was that the huge queues outside food shops came about because the Soviet workers were so ardent in building Socialism that they just wouldn’t rest, and the only way the government could get them to rest for even two or three hours was organizing a queue for them to stand in. … what a shock it was to someone like myself, who had been brought up to regard liberal intellectuals as the samurai, the absolute elite, of the human race, to find that they could be taken in by deceptions which a half-witted boy would see through in an instant.

    • My sympathies for Jefferson’s complaint are mitigated by knowledge of his sponsorship of James Thomson Callender. Apparently Tommy, when so eagerly editing the Bible spent too little time in consideration of its warning to those who would sow the wind.

      As for Muggeridge and his companions, their irresponsibility must be offset against the dictum generally credited to George Orwell about ideas so absurd only an intellectual could believe them.

    • Malcolm Muggeridge, “The Great Liberal Death Wish” (excerpt):

      I keep seeing the philosophy and ideology of the left described by conservatives as “suicidal”, or as a “death wish”. But, having listened to them, I don’t think this is right.

      They don’t hate their own culture. They don’t hate themselves. They are not “guilty”. This isn’t it at all.

      They don’t see your culture as theirs. They don’t hate themselves. They actually think they are the source of everything good or right with the world, and the heirs to every bright result in history. They don’t hate themselves. They hate you. They don’t have a death wish. They want you to die.

      • It depends on who you are talking about: the average “liberal-because-it-feels-right-because-everyone-eles-is” or the hard core Progressives and “if it ain’t perfect burn it down” people like Ayres and his spiritual children. They don’t seem to recognize that the culture they hate is the very culture that allows them to be comfortable, over-fed, agitators and activists. A few do voice the thanatos desire, but others want the end of all that they view is “evil” without realizing (or without explicitly acknowledging) that it will be the end of their comfort and possibly their very existence as well. How long will the Black Lives leaders and campus activists last without police or other armed protectors, to use a recent demand they’ve voiced?

        • The Left is not strong on gratitude, being inclined to take so very much for granted and acting as if freedom of speech, rights of assembly and petitioning the government, security in their homes and persons and so much more are the natural state of human events.


          Even many of those Leftists (cough*John Effing Kerry*) who served with those who safeguard our liberty are inclined to take the service of their fellows-in-arms for granted.

      • One notes that the Ministry of Truth is in full swing to disown every leftist idea that didn’t pan out. Prohibition. Segregation. Involuntary eugenic sterlization.

  16. Free-range Oyster

    Apropos of nothing, I thought you all might enjoy this skillful bit of lunacy:

  17. I’m reading a book now which details some of how, even as far back as the 1930s and 1940s, our governing classes were not just sympathetic to, but actually loyal to international communism, to the point of prioritizing supplies to the Soviets over supplies to our own warfighters during WWII. The preservation of the Soviet government was, as a matter of official policy, top priority for many people in Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s administrations.

    I still don’t believe that these people have been or are part of some vast conspiracy (though there were many actual conspiracies among them, and between them and the Soviets back then). It’s actually sort of worse than that: These people are some kind of natural human psychological type or mode. And they are naturally loyal to each other, across countries and cultures, and viscously hostile to the people of the nations that they always seem to find a way to rule. They seem to have always been around.

    It’s eerily like the Pod People or Heinlein’s puppet-masters. Or maybe like the loyalty among the royals and aristocrats of the middle ages (They always seemed to find a way to grind the surplus and manpower of their captive and domesticated serfs between them in their wars (even though they were ostensibly the warriors who would fight on their behalf), but had a much friendlier code of behaviour between themselves.)

    History from the French revolution on has been outrageously white-washed and distorted by these people. Or maybe I’m just new to reading much history (independent of the brief overview given in ‘social studies’), and am still shocked at how dark most of it is, even in our supposedly enlightened times.

    • Keep in mind that FDR’s man at Yalta, Alger Hiss,

      participated in the [pre-conference] meetings where the American draft of the “Declaration of Liberated Europe” was created. The Declaration concerned the political future of Eastern Europe and critics on the right later charged that it made damaging concessions to the Soviets.

      Hiss stated that he was responsible for assembling background papers and documentation for the conference “and any general matters that might come up relating to the Far East or the Near East.”

      [SNIP]

      Hiss was secretary-general of the San Francisco United Nations Conference on International Organization (the United Nations Charter Conference), which began on April 25, 1945, and then became the full director of the OSPA. The Soviet U.N. ambassador personally recommended that Hiss be appointed temporary Secretary General of the U.N. citing his “impartiality” and “fairness.” In 1946, he left government service to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he served until May 5, 1949, when he was forced to step down.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alger_Hiss

      This suggests the reasons the Left is still in denial about his being a Soviet agent/dupe. That he could be so influential and undetected indicates the degree to which his views were indistinguishable from those in the administration.

    • “to the point of prioritizing supplies to the Soviets over supplies to our own warfighters during WWII.”

      It should be pointed out here that, at the time, the Soviets were tying down the vast majority of Germany’s divisions. In fact, between the fall of France and the invasion of Italy, the total number of German divisions faced by the Western Allies never climbed above the single digits–albeit with several Italian divisions in support. Meanwhile the USSR was facing close to 200 German divisions, plus forces from all of the German allies, minus Japan.

      Prioritizing supplies to Russia made good strategic sense, no love for Communism required.

      Of course, we can argue about whether Russia brought the mess upon itself…

    • What is the title of the book? Thanks.

      JPDev