Vladimir Putin Is Rewriting World War II History

[Putin] appeared to blame Poland for the outbreak of the war while downplaying if not altogether denying Soviet responsibility.

“It was them,” he said, “who, while pursuing their mercenary and exorbitantly overgrown ambitions, laid their people, the Polish people, open to attack from Germany’s military machine, and, moreover, generally contributed to the beginning of the Second World War.”

…“Insane,” former Belgian Prime Minister and prominent European Parliament member Guy Verhofstadt tweeted. “Denying that Stalin colluded with Hitler and destroyed Poland. A monster still glorified in the Russia of Putin.”

…Putin’s long-winded foray into historical revisionism was a reaction to the European Parliament’s Sept. 19, 2019, resolution, “On the Importance of European Remembrance of the Future of Europe.”

That resolution, among other things, condemned Russia for “whitewash[ing] crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime,” blamed the Soviets (alongside the Nazis) for starting World War II, and called for the removal of Soviet war memorials across Europe.

…The verdict is that Putin the amateur historian would not get a passing grade at any reputable university. Nor would he be able to get his views published in any peer-reviewed journal. Although the factual side of his presentation checks out, he has twisted his evidence to support preconceived notions. He is also guilty of gross omissions.

…First, he argues that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, an agreement that mainstream historians would agree, contributed handsomely to the outbreak of World War II by partitioning Poland, was not particularly unusual in the context of the times.

…Putin goes on to argue that had the French stuck by their commitments to defend Czechoslovakia against a German invasion (Paris and Prague signed a treaty of alliance in 1924), the Soviet Union—which also had a treaty with Prague—was prepared to come to the latter’s aid. The problem was that the Soviets had no common border with Czechoslovakia and so depended either on Romania’s or Poland’s willingness to allow the transit of Soviet troops.

…It is naive to argue that Stalin, for his part, would have jumped at the chance to join France in a war against Germany in 1938. Indeed, none of the evidence he cites shows that the Soviet Union was genuinely committed to Czechoslovakia’s defense. Even as he accuses the British and the French of “cynicism,” he seems unwilling to see Stalin as a cynical operator who would have been overjoyed to see Germany and the West at each other’s throats.

…The second part of Putin’s revisionist narrative concerns Poland’s policies in the run-up to World War II. In a nutshell, he argues that Poland was an architect of many of its misfortunes as it not just prevented the Soviets from helping Czechoslovakia but actively colluded with Germany to partition it.

…The problem with Putin’s interpretation is that he fails to distinguish between Poland opportunistically seizing a part of a long-disputed territory deemed essential for national defense, not least against Germany, and active collusion with Nazi Germany to bring about this result.

Indeed, as the prominent Polish-American historian Anna Cienciala has long argued, the Polish cabinet kept its options open and was not averse to taking military action against Germany in defense of Czechoslovakia if France and Britain joined in the fight. 

…It is hardly a revelation that anti-Semitism was pervasive in Eastern Europe both in the interwar period and after the war; Poland was no exception. Soviet leaders, too, shared anti-Semitic views, and Stalin himself waged an anti-Semitic campaign in the final years of his life. Seen in that broader context, Putin’s attack on Lipski is nothing short of bizarre.

Vladimir Putin Is Rewriting World War II History


When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americans

French Canadians had been pouring into states like Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, finding work in the region’s burgeoning industries. “Manufacturing New England, Puritan and homogeneous no longer, speaks a French patois,” she wrote.

Furthermore, Graffenreid continued, French Canadian workers huddled in “Little Canadas” of “hastily-constructed tenements,” in houses holding from three to 50 families, subsisting in conditions that were “a reproach to civilization,” while “inspiring fear and aversion in neighbors.”

…These Little Canadas, often wedged between a mill and a Catholic church, formed a cultural archipelago, outposts of Québec scattered throughout the Northeast in densely populated pockets. By 1900, one-tenth of New Englanders spoke French. And in the region’s many cotton mills, French Canadians made up 44 percent of the workforce—24 percent nationally—at a time when cotton remained a dominant industry.

French-Canadian workers often lived in overcrowded, company-owned tenements, while children as young as eight years old worked full shifts in the mills. Contemporary observers denounced the mill town squalor. When 44 French Canadian children died in Brunswick, Maine, during a six-month period in 1886, most from typhoid fever and diphtheria, local newspaper editor Albert G. Tenney investigated. He found tenements housing 500 people per acre, with outhouses that overflowed into the wells and basements.

…Some Fall River tenements, continued Hale, “do not compare favorably with old-time slave-quarters,” a not-so-distant memory in the 1890s.

Other immigrants also faced pitiable conditions, but the French Canadians were unique because they thought of themselves as Americans before they came to the U.S. …In their view, “American” was not a nationality, but a collection of “all the nationalities” living under the Stars and Stripes. In keeping with this understanding, they coined a new term for their people living in the U.S.: Franco-Americans.

….If naturalized citizens obeyed the laws, defended the flag, and worked for the general prosperity, he felt their duties were discharged—language, religion, and customs could remain in the private sphere. Gagnon’s concept of citizenship was based on Québec’s history, where French Canadians had maintained a distinct cultural identity despite British rule since 1763. The Franco-American elite expected their people to maintain their identity in the U.S. just as they had done in Canada.

…By the 1880s, elite American newspapers, including The New York Times, saw a sinister plot afoot. The Catholic Church, they said, had dispatched French Canadian workers southward in a bid to seize control of New England. Eventually, the theory went, Québec would sever its British ties and annex New England to a new nation-state called New France. Alarmists presented as evidence for the demographic threat the seemingly endless influx of immigrants across the northeastern border, coupled with the large family size of the Franco-Americans, where 10 or 12 children was common, and many more not unknown.

…”This is the avowed purpose of the secret society to which every adult French Canadian belongs.”

… In the mid-19th century, supporters of the Know Nothing movement led attacks on Catholic neighborhoods from New York City to Philadelphia. In New England, among other incidents, a Know Nothing-inspired mob burned a church where Irish and French Canadian Catholics met at Bath, Maine, in July 1854. In October of that year, Catholic priest John Bapst was assaulted, robbed, tarred and feathered, and driven out of Ellsworth, Maine. While the Know Nothings faded away, in the late 19th century the nativists regrouped as the American Protective Association, a nationwide anti-Catholic movement.

…The New York Times reported in 1881 that French-Canadian immigrants were “ignorant and unenterprising, subservient to the most bigoted class of Catholic priests in the world. … They care nothing for our free institutions, have no desire for civil or religious liberty or the benefits of education.”

…Amaron and Morehouse identified Protestantism with Americanism. For them, it was unthinkable that the U.S. could accommodate a variety of religious traditions and yet retain its political culture.

In retrospect, the fevered discourse about New England’s class of destitute factory workers reveals how little chattering classes in the U.S. knew their neighbors—a people whose presence in North America preceded Plymouth Rock.

…Talk of a French Canadian threat waned in the first years of the 20th century, as migration across the northeastern border slowed temporarily. This Victorian episode faded from memory only when U.S. fears were transferred to new subjects: the even more foreign-seeming Jewish and non-Protestant immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, who, in the early 20th century, began to arrive in growing numbers on U.S. shores.

When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americans | History | Smithsonian Magazine


Odell Beckham Jr. butt-slap case: Superdome officer won’t press charges, sources say

Odell Beckham Jr. butt-slap case: Superdome officer won’t press charges, sources say | Crime/Police | nola.com

What the Faaaaa is up with this story?

First off that police officer is a snowflake.

Secondly, the fact that his first response was a dsire to punch someone should disqualify him from wearing his badge in the first place. At the very least he should have mandatory treatment for his anger issues if he is to coninue as an officer of the law.

Nancy Pelosi Ripping Up Trump’s Speech Wasn’t Subtle. That Was The Point

Trump’s State of the Union speech wasn’t designed to linger. It was meant to be experienced in real-time, to wash over a crowd of viewers at home and then dissipate into the ether. He hinted that his predecessor had harmed the economy, instead of pulled it out of a recession. He bragged about people lifting themselves off food stamps, when, in fact, his administration has cut back eligibility. He claimed he would “always protect patients with pre-existing conditions” when he has repeatedly pushed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t matter what the fact-checkers were going to say. The audience he cared about — loyal Republican partisans and apolitical casual viewers — wouldn’t be searching for confirmation.

…In the hours after the speech, that debate raged on — with some predicting that Pelosi’s big gesture would create a backlash, or worse.

…Among the Democratic leaders, Pelosi may not be the smoothest talker, but she is the best, hands-down, at nonverbal communication. From her sarcastic-looking, arms-extended clap at last year’s State of the Union to her standing-up-to-power moment at a White House meeting in October, she has managed to craft small moments into lingering symbolism.

Nancy Pelosi Ripping Up Trump’s Speech Wasn’t Subtle. That Was The Point | Cognoscenti


People Keep Asking Elizabeth Warren Whether She Can Win

How do you acknowledge the reality of the challenges that women face without going too far and contributing to the forces that keep them from winning?

… Nearly four years later, political scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how much of an impact sexism had in the 2016 election. The consensus among most of the experts I’ve spoken with is that sexism does seem to have moderately helped Trump and hurt Clinton — but seeing the attacks on Clinton may also have galvanized some of her supporters. And all of this might not tell us much about how a different woman, with different policies, in a different year, would fare.

Why People Keep Asking Elizabeth Warren Whether She Can Win | FiveThirtyEight


Trump Thinks Only Black People Are on Welfare, But Really, White Americans Receive Most Benefits

In the spring of 2017, the newly elected president met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. During that meeting, one of the members mentioned to Trump that welfare reform would be detrimental to her constituents— adding, “Not all of whom are black,” according to NBC News.

The president was incredulous. “Really? Then what are they?”

Statistically speaking, they were probably white.

In fact, whites are the biggest beneficiaries when it comes to government safety-net programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly referred to as welfare.

…When it comes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP—the initiative formerly known as food stamps—the numbers look similar.

…Just over 40 percent of SNAP recipients are white. Another 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American.

Trump Thinks Only Black People Are on Welfare, But Really, White Americans Receive Most Benefits