Monthly Archives: April 2024

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by Reid Fitzsimons

Every once in a while some hapless Republican is excoriated for suggesting some version of, “Well, Hitler did some good things,” a statement often quoted without context. With the exception of a handful of neo-Nazi morons and a frighteningly larger number of anti-Jew extreme leftists (who do their anti-Jew things with tacit support from establishment leftists), pretty much nobody thinks Hitler did anything overall “good,” but from a historical perspective, it’s not unreasonable to ask, “Did he do anything that could have been perceived as “good” that rallied millions upon millions of people to support his ascendancy and policies?” This is an important question for this moment in time, as there are worrisome indications the world is once again turning to authoritarianism.

So...how did Hitler obtain absolute power in Germany? Undoubtedly there have been innumerable papers and books on this subject, but ultimately the answer is as old as history and is in play to this very moment. For brief background, Germany was in shambles following its utter defeat in WW1. The victorious allies, acting on understandable emotion but with little wisdom, forced upon Germany a repressive and retributive agreement called the Treaty of Versailles (www.britannica.com/event/Treaty-of-Versailles-1919), designed to prevent Germany from ever again becoming a military power. It demanded huge reparations and allotted heretofore chunks of Germany to other nations. Not surprisingly there were wannabe left wing and right wing revolutionary movements and all the chaos they entailed, so the reasonable solution was some form of democracy that came to be called the Weimar Republic (www.britannica.com/place/Weimar-Republic). Nevertheless, great discontent continued and there were vacuums to be filled, and Hitler had the skill to fill the void, and the patience.

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by Reid Fitzsimons

The “Hate Crime and Public Order Act” became effective in Scotland on April 1, 2024. One can intuit the nature of this law, which offers special protections to preferred demographic groups, but the essence of the law can be seen in the March 29th statement of First Minister Humza Yousaf: “I would say to anybody who thinks they are a victim of hatred, we take that seriously, if you felt you are a victim of hatred, then of course reporting that to police is the right thing to do.” In other words, the Act is based on feelings and not objectivity, and is selectively applied.

Prior to law law going into effect, I emailed the Scottish tourist agency, VisitScotland, for reasons explained in the text of the email below. Their response, also below, was prompt and courteous, and can be summarized as, “We don’t know.”

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf on the left. "Hate," of course, is a largely undefinable and subjective word. This is not a great analogy, but imagine a parent who tells the child not to eat candy before dinner, as compared to "don't do anything that upsets me before dinner." The first in objective and can be obeyed, the latter is nebulous and based upon the whim of the parent.

Greetings (or perhaps Latha math) from the US:

My wife and I are long-retired and spent many years living in other countries, but these were always impoverished places in Africa and Central America where we were either volunteering with other organizations or running our own charity project. For quite a while we’ve discussed the time when our life situation would allow us to be regular tourists, and that time has arrived. For years our number one destination desire has been Scotland. I’ve read pretty much every Ian Rankin and Denise Mina book, and almost feel that the fictional character Hamish MacBeth is a distant relative we could visit in The Highlands!