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Big THANKS to everyone who helped make the latest fund drive a success!!

By David Futrelle

The Spring 2018 kind of came to a weird close, with me knocked out for a couple of days by health crap. And then NEWS HAPPENED and so on and I didn’t have a chance to thank everyone who contributed.

So: HUGE THANKS to everyone who donated, whether your gift was big or small! These contributions, much more than the ad revenue, enable me to keep this blog going. So again, thanks for making this fund drive a big success.

If you meant to donate but hadn’t gotten around to it just yet, click the button below!

Speaking of ads: My goal is to get rid of them entirely. As I mentioned in the post that launched this fund drive, a very generous supporter donated enough last year to allow me to get rid of the most obtrusive ads on the site. And while the donations for this fund drive weren’t quite enough to enable me to get rid of the rest of the ads, we got pretty close; if I get enough extra donations between now and the next fund drive I may be able to chuck the ads after all,

Thanks again to everyone who donated, and to everyone who helps to support this blog in other ways.

Again, if you don’t have cash to spare, you can help a lot by posting links to my posts on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, wherever). And if anyone is a WordPress expert, I can always use help in working through technical snafus.

Here are couple more cats saying thanks. Well, the first one is the same cat as the one above, but I ran it through a different filter. Have I ever mentioned that I like running pics through weird filters?

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Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
2 years ago

I’ll get you some money when I can my duck, you deserve it! And do take care of your back and head. You only get one of each!

Other matters: for all the lovely commenters, just so everyone can see: there’s something up with comments. Your Name and email don’t auto-fill from the cache, and when you post something it can take a couple minutes to percolate. Makes me wonder if there’s some database update thrashing or something going on in the back end. Either way, for me at least it does seem that comments do go through, it just takes a few minutes to trickle through. Patience in these trying times!

Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
2 years ago

I’ve noticed some wonkitude regarding the comments posting, too. I figured it was me, computers and electronics HATE me….

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
2 years ago

Thank you for saying that about the autofill, Scildfreja. I was wondering if it was just me.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
2 years ago

@David, clearing your server-side cache shouldn’t cause any long term issues – i mean, talk to your provider obviously, ’cause I don’t know WordPress, but in general the cache is just going to provide static views of pages. Delayed updates and the like could be involving slow cache updates. Also worth seeing what your database memory useage is and whether it’s close to capacity. May need to pay for more hosting capacity if you’re getting close to limits!

I dunno though I don’t run a site!

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

Thank you for this site. I’ve followed for a few years now and feel like I have a clearer sense of what’s happening (still wth but understand the roots better). Rather than being afraid, this site has helped me to understand why we must fight back.

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

David, thank you for running such an excellent site for so long. You’ve not only allowed a great community to thrive here, but also – perhaps more importantly – you’ve continued fearlessly documenting the very worst people on the web, years before the rest of the world knew who they were.

May you continue for as long as you want to.

bluecat
bluecat
2 years ago

Thank you for everything, David. Great site, great community.

When I have some money you shall have some of it – and may that day be soon!

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

Sorry for the OT, but: the anti-abortion side has conceded defeat in the Ireland referendum! This is a huge change for Ireland!

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
2 years ago

I was just looking at the same news, Moggie! Something to celebrate *\o/* !!!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/may/26/irish-abortion-referendum-result-count-begins-live

Pie
Pie
2 years ago

Looks like a 60% voter turnout, which isn’t too bad, and about 70% in favor of repeal, which is pretty good.

Nice to know that things aren’t universally getting worse.

Pie
Pie
2 years ago

ot: i’m getting a weird delay between posting and my comment actually appearing on the site. the timestamp seems about right, but even a control-f5-force-refresh didn’t show it to me until a minute or two after posting. if it is a caching bug, i don’t think it is at the client side, fwiw.

Otrame
Otrame
2 years ago

1. Thank you, David for slogging through the sewage tank so we don’t have to. Got to explain to my sis and BIL what an incel was. She was horrified. He was enraged. “Who the hell do those little creeps think they are?” My sister said, “They just have a terminal case of sour grapes. And that will make sure a woman never gets anywhere near them again.”

2. Congratulations, Ireland. I’m happy for you. Just don’t be complacent. The US should be a warning to you all. For us, one more hard right SC judge and we could lose what you just won.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Something I read yesterday, and something else I read today, disturb me, particularly when combined:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/25/you-cant-commit-genocide-without-the-help-of-local-people/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/26/politics/trump-rights-due-process-curiel/index.html

Trump has opened the door to deporting citizens, if immigration detainees are denied a hearing. Anyone could be rounded up and shipped off to who knows where, on a mere accusation, a ratting-out by neighbors or co-workers, in such an event.

It’s not hard to see how this could progress into a full-on horror. Next comes a slight modification to (existing!) asset forfeiture laws, whereby the assets of a deportee are seized by the state, and some of them potentially used as a reward to pay informants. And then finally at some point the trains stop going across the Mexican border and instead go to some tightly-guarded, middle-of-nowhere camps where smokestacks belch day and night …

The “it can’t happen here” folks in America are wrong. Not only can it, there are only two more oncogene mutations disabling key regulatory limits left to go before it will happen.

Trump, and trumpism, must be stopped immediately.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

@ Surplus to Requirements

Regrettably, we in the UK have beaten the USA to it over wrongfully deporting our own citizens.

And our current Prime Minister’s time as Home Secretary seems to have been key to the wrongful removal of at least 63 British Citizens of Caribbean origin, a situation that came to light as the Windrush scandal.

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

I’m bummed. I blew up at a friend-of-a-friend recently and it’s causing social repercussions.

He said that “True English people are now a minority in most parts of our country [the UK], and we need to take it back.”

I asked him what his definition of “True English people” was; he said that it was those who “embraced proper English culture”, and upon further questioning said that as I was a foreigner, I would never understand.

I probably should have held my tongue after that, but I didn’t. I’ve had several people come up to me and say that I was unfair to him, he’s a nice guy really, he’s not racist, my dad says stuff like that, and so on. One person even qualified her support of him by noting that she was 1/16th Bengali, which is ironically perhaps the whitest thing I’d heard.

I’m so tired. Britain is a scary place nowadays; it suddenly feels as if the multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance was only ever a veneer over something much deeper and more primally hateful.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@EJ

I’m so tired. Britain is a scary place nowadays; it suddenly feels as if the multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance was only ever a veneer over something much deeper and more primally hateful.

If I had to contemplate where that resentment comes from, I think it’s a function of a couple things. For a lot of people, their idea of “multiculturalism” is essentially the “tokenism” of certain communities that surround you. For example, you might live in an urban centre in an upper-middle class neighbourhood surrounded by people that look like you, but once a year there’s a celebration of Greek heritage in Greektown or Chinese New Year in Chinatown and you can go and eat Greek or Chinese food, have fun and go back to your white Anglo life without having to have any of “those people” around. And everything’s fine.

But then you see too many of “those people” around your neck of the woods. They don’t dress and act like you. Suddenly all those traditions you only cared about for the half-day you were at Taste Of The Danforth are in your neighbourhood too! And those traditions get celebrated! So the fall-back is “they don’t respect [insert nation here] traditions”.

But what is that tradition? You don’t go to church. Your community interaction is likely superficial at best. All you are is what you consume: the food you eat, the car you drive, the video game console you play. So what traditions are you really lamenting here? Ask a Canadian what “Canadian traditions” are and I’ll bet you’ll get eight answers about hockey and one about apologies. But I’m willing to bet the Greek residents of the Danforth play hockey and say “Sorry” a lot too. The question then remains: what traditions are not being respected?

Case in point: Doors Open Toronto took me to the Revue Cinema, the oldest continuously-operating movie theater in Toronto, opened in 1912. It is located in Roncesvalles Village, which was known as an immigrant enclave and now boasts a significant Polish population. The Revue was playing short subjects about Toronto and I sat through a couple of business development films obviously trying to attract people from late 1920s or early 30s. The way they were pitching it was as Canada’s Queen City (read: second banana to Montreal, which was larger at the time) and boasting how it was the jewel of the British Empire. The CNE! Sunnyside! Mary Pickford! U of T is bigger than Oxford or Cambridge! Union Jacks everywhere.

So there I was, in the Polish community of Toronto, watching a propaganda film about how British Toronto was a century ago. As much as the University of Toronto quad has remained pretty much the same, the rest of the city has changed dramatically. Change upsets a certain segment of people. I don’t know how to placate them, and I don’t think anybody really does.

I gotta say, it was fascinating what made for selling points back in the 20s.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

EJ, if your racist friend-of-a-friend knows what “proper English culture” is, can you let me know? Because in more than half a century of being white English, I’ve never got a real handle on that. I was born in Surrey, one of the most affluent areas of the country, but my family was working class. I figured out early that we probably had more in common with the Romany family down the street than the local stockbrokers, let alone the landed gentry at the other end of the village. I’ve lived most of my life in London, and London’s eclectic mix of cultures is my model for Britishness (and to hell with Englishness, as long as there’s a UK). A culture which can embrace cricket and mosques and chicken tikka masala and hanukkah displays and say “this is all part of who we are, as long as we get along” is stronger than one where some apoplectic Daily Mail reader is gatekeeper for what is “proper”.

The intolerance appears to have got markedly worse since the brexit vote. I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve being conciliatory towards racists like your FoaF. Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
2 years ago

I gotta say, it was fascinating what made for selling points back in the 20s.

Especially since IIRC in the ‘oughts and teens they’d specifically been trying to recruit immigrants from Eastern Europe, though that was to go farm the Prairies, so maybe they still did want people from the UK for Toronto.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@Moon_Custafer

Especially since IIRC in the ‘oughts and teens they’d specifically been trying to recruit immigrants from Eastern Europe, though that was to go farm the Prairies, so maybe they still did want people from the UK for Toronto.

They also compared Sunnyside to Coney Island and the intersection of King and Yonge to Times Square (laugh along with me now), so clearly they were trying to entice Americans as well.

But I think you nailed it on the recruitment meant to go out to the Prairies. Seems Canada was fine having Doukhobors, Jews and Mennonites go out to Saskatchewan and Manitoba to farm, but they didn’t want them setting up shop in the Queen City. After all, look what happened to The Ward.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
2 years ago

I think at least part of the Prairie recruitment strategy was “let’s get Ukrainian farmers who are used to (a) growing wheat and (b) cold winters.” They also ended up with my British great-grandparents, due to my great-grandfather’s search for a dry climate to help his lungs; apparently he had to occasionally convince skeptics at first that he wasn’t a “remittance man,” i.e. some upper-class twit whose scandalous behavior had caused his family to exile him to the colonies.

Chris O
Chris O
2 years ago

I know it might be slightly off-topic, but let’s not forget to spare a thought for our fallen troops on this Memorial Day(or Rememberance Day, depending on where you live).

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@Chris O

I know it might be slightly off-topic, but let’s not forget to spare a thought for our fallen troops on this Memorial Day(or Rememberance Day, depending on where you live).

Well, Canadian Remembrance Day coincides with the American Veterans Day on November 11th. Closest holiday we got to Memorial Day is Victoria Day which was last weekend.

Still, any time I’m at Mount Pleasant, I always take a moment to visit William George Barker inside the Mausoleum:

comment image

Just read his Victoria Cross citation:

“On the morning of the 27th October, 1918, this officer observed an enemy two-seater over the Fôret de Mormal. He attacked this machine, and after a short burst it broke up in the air. At the same time a Fokker biplane attacked him, and he was wounded in the right thigh, but managed, despite this, to shoot down the enemy aeroplane in flames.

He then found himself in the middle of a large formation of Fokkers, who attacked him from all directions; and was again severely wounded in the left thigh; but succeeded in driving down two of the enemy in a spin.

He lost consciousness after this, and his machine fell out of control. On recovery he found himself being again attacked heavily by a large formation, and singling out one machine, he deliberately charged and drove it down in flames.

During this fight his left elbow was shattered, and he again fainted, and on regaining consciousness he found himself still being attacked, but, notwithstanding that he was now severely wounded in both legs and his left arm shattered, he dived on the nearest machine and shot it down in flames.

Being greatly exhausted, he dived out of the fight to regain our lines, but was met by another formation, which attacked and endeavoured to cut him off, but after a hard fight he succeeded in breaking up this formation and reached our lines, where he crashed on landing.

This combat, in which Major Barker destroyed four enemy machines (three of them in flames), brought his total successes up to fifty enemy machines destroyed, and is a notable example of the exceptional bravery and disregard which this very gallant officer has always displayed throughout his distinguished career.

Major Barker was awarded the Military Cross on 10th January, 1917; first Bar on 18th July, 1917; the Distinguished Service Order on 18th February, 1918; second Bar to Military Cross on 16th September, 1918; and Bar to Distinguished Service Order on 2nd November, 1918.”

I realize that I can often be the one to throw a wet blanket on military chest-beating, but anybody who takes to the skies in contraption made of wood and canvas, engages overwhelming numbers (Wiki indicates 15+ planes!) of enemies and manages to take out four of them in a tailspin while wounded in at least three places and lives to tell of it gets a salute from me.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

@Katamount

He then found himself in the middle of a large formation of Fokkers, who attacked him from all directions

So basically, he was a woman expressing an opinion on the internet? (sorrynotsorry. How can you resist making jokes about the name of those planes?)

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Katamount, @Rabid Rabbit – I recognized the name “Fokker” from a William Gibson story where there’s a circuit of virtual-plane fighters (“Dogfight”, I think?) but I didn’t know it was a real aircraft until now! So much for using my fiction reading to make up for a lack of history knowledge.

(Most of my early knowledge about WW1 came from L. M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside, which painted a vivid portrait of the “home front” but was also gratingly patriotic in places.)

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@Rabid Rabbit

LMAO! Well played, good person, well played!

@epitome

Yeah, the name comes from the planes’ designer, Dutch aviation pioneer Anthony Fokker. I actually find it rather remarkable that all of the names associated with any WWI flying machines quickly vanished into the mists of history. For the Germans, the reason was obvious: the Treaty of Versailles meant no military manufacturing, so Fokker, Pfalz, Albatross… they all had to go elsewhere or manufacture other things in Germany. But the British and French manufacturers like Sopwith, Airco, Nieuport, SPAD, they all either went belly-up or merged into other companies.

Also, a lot of the high-scoring aces led rather charmed lives following the war (the few that survived that is). Charles Nungesser disappeared attempting a transatlantic flight, Barker was an alcoholic who died in a plane crash, Manfred’s brother Lothar survived only to die in a plane crash 4 years after the war, Goering… well, he got fat and became a Nazi, Ernst Udet tried in vain to rebuild the Luftwaffe, only to realize how terrible Nazis were and committed suicide.

Even the American ace of aces Eddie Rickenbacker almost died twice in separate plane crashes and was left adrift at sea, but miraculously survived.

The ones that were considered national heroes during the war like Max Immelmann, Manfred von Richthofen, Georges Guynemer, Frank Luke and James McCudden were all killed in action. Guynemer was only 22 when he disappeared, but he had already been lionized by the French populace and his disappearance and presumed death triggered mourning across the country.

You either die a hero or live long enough to become a fat Nazi, apparently.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

Can’t mention Fokkers without this classic.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
2 years ago

Well, aviation in those days was newer tech than space travel is now. Anyone who decided to get into flying was likely a thrill-seeking personality, and anyone who did so and survived WWI was probably still a thrill-seeking personality, only with PTSD on top. Roy Brown (credited at the time with shooting down Von Richtofen, probably didn’t, didn’t take credit for it himself, managed the far more impressive feat of never losing any of his squadron in combat) sounds like he was one of the more stable people to have been a WWI ace, and he still died of a heart attack at fifty.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

Next year, we’ll be further removed in time from the first space flight, than the first space flight was from the Wright brothers’ flight. So how come we don’t have jet-packs?

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

@ Alan

Posting links is beyond me but typing ‘real life Iron Man’ into a search engine might lead to a video you would find amusing on the subject of jet packs.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

@Katamount

Or you go back home and have a musical written about you, if you happen to be Billy Bishop.