September 1, 1939 vs. September 1, 2014–A Polish Perspective

By midnight August 31, 1939, more than one and a half million German troops had secretly taken up their final positions on the Polish border in preparation for their ordered invasion that was to commence at dawn. 

The last barrier separating war and peace was the German pretext upon which Adolf Hitler would use to justify the attack on Poland and the start of the Second World War.

William Shirer’s definitive account of Nazi Germany, so brilliantly retold in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reichreports of Hitler’s promised to his generals given just a few weeks earlier, that he would personally create “a propagandist reason for starting the war.”

They need not worry, Hitler reassured them, whether or not such a pretext was plausible. “The victor,” Hitler promised, “will not be asked afterwards whether or not he told the truth. In starting and waging a war it is not right that matters, but victory.”

Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels successfully taught Hitler that good propaganda needed convincing deeds at least as much as it needed convincing words. At the direct instruction of Hitler, Goebbels deputy, SS man Alfred Naujocks concocted a scheme to fake a Polish attack on a German radio station at the border town of Gleiwitz. 

SS men outfitted in Polish army uniforms were ordered to stage an attack on the radio station leaving as their dead victims drugged concentration camp inmates. German newsreel cameramen were conveniently pre-positioned at the spot to record images of these ‘German civilians’ murdered in the barbarous and unprovoked Polish attack.

“We seized the radio station, as ordered,” Naujocks minuted to Goebbels, “we broadcast a speech of 3 to 4 minutes over an emergency transmitter, fired a few pistols shots and then left.” 

At 5:40 AM on September 1, 1939, Hitler’s proclamation announcing his army’s invasion opening salvo against Poland was broadcast over German radio. 

“The Polish state,” Hitler’s communiqué read, “has refused the peaceful settlement of relations which I desired, and has instead appealed to arms. A series of violations on the frontier, intolerable to a Great Power, prove that Poland is no longer willing to respect the frontiers of the German Reich. In order to put an end to this lunacy I have no other choice than to meet force with force.”

Shirer’s vivid account of that morning’s drama is worth quoting directly. 

“At daybreak on September 1, 1939, the very date which Hitler had sent in his first directive for Operation Case White back on April 3, 1939, German armies poured across the Polish frontier and converged upon Warsaw from the north and the south and the west.

Overhead German warplanes roared toward their targets: Polish troop columns and ammunition dumps, bridges, railroads in open cities. Within minutes they were giving the Poles, soldiers and civilians alike, the first taste of sudden death and destruction from the skies ever experienced on any great scale on the earth and thereby inaugurating a terror which would become dreadfully familiar to hundreds of millions of men women and children in Europe and Asia over the course of the next six years and whose shadow, after the nuclear bombs came, would haunt all mankind with the threat of utter extinction.”

Within the first few hours of the German invasion, nearly all of the 500 first line fighters and bombers that comprised the Polish Air Force were wiped out, most without ever getting in the air; their ground crews were either killed or wounded; nearly all their support installations destroyed.

By nightfall on September 1, 1939, the battle to secure the Polish Corridor– the land bridge created by the Treaty of Versailles to give the new Polish state access to the Baltic thus separating Prussia from the rest of Germany, had been won. Von Kluge’s Fourth Army, invading from the west had met up with the German Third Army that poured into Poland from Prussia in the east. The Polish Corridor was no more. 

Before that day was over Germany had a new military hero. He was commander of Germany’s XIXth Panzer Division. His name was Heinz Guderian. His state of the art tanks formed in innovative new formations raced across the Corridor, brushing aside numerous heroic but hopeless counterattacks by Polish cavalry brigades on horseback, who themselves were being attacked by Stuka dive bombers fitted with speakers to blare their terrifying screams to spread fire and carnage at everything moving below them. 

As Shirer wrote in his dispatch that evening, “Whole divisions of tanks breaking through and thrusting forward and seizing and securing 60 miles that day, self-propelled rapid firing heavy guns racing down ruddy Polish roads, the incredible speed of even the infantry, of the whole vast German host of 1.5 million men on motorized wheels, directed and coordinated through a maze of electronic Communications consisting of intricate radio, telephone and telegraph at networks. This was a monstrous mechanized juggernaut such as the earth had never seen.”

Almost immediately, Poland’s government faced the prospect of abandoning Warsaw for Lublin, farther east.

The Poles never had a chance. The attack was so ferocious and came so unexpectedly that Poland was only able to mobilize 35 of its divisions and within days most of them would either be obliterated, conquered or trapped inside vast German pincer movements closing in around Warsaw. By September 17, 1939 the last vestiges of organized Polish resistance had been crushed. All that remained were scattered units strung along the Russian border and a few that with incredible fortitude held out hopelessly in and around ever shrinking sectors of Warsaw.

As Shirer wrote, “For the proud nation of Poland, all was over; all except the dying.” Case White, Hitler proclaimed, would “wipe Poland off the map.” No country’s suffering or destruction in World War II even compared to that of Poland. As cited in Norman Davies book God’s Playground: A History of Poland, Volume 2, by war’s end, one out of four Poles was dead. More than 90% of those who survived the war were homeless. Unlike any city devastated by the war, including Hiroshima, Dresden or Tokyo, Warsaw was completely destroyed; literally. When Russian forces entered Warsaw in January 1945, to begin their own brutal 45 year occupation Poland, not a single pre-war permanent structure remained standing inside the ancient Polish capital.

Today, 75 years to the day that Germany launched history’s most destructive war to erase Poland from the maps and minds of mankind, Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, was elected President of the European Council to lead the 28 nations of the European Union.




Source: Breitbart Feed

UK Abortion Laws Questioned As Babies Survive at Just 23 Weeks

Fresh calls for a rethink on British abortion laws have been raised after new figures showed an increasing number of babies survive birth at 23 weeks. The figures, uncovered by The Sunday Times, raise concerns that the current legal time-frame for abortion of between 0 and 24 weeks gestation has failed to keep up with modern science, prompting MPs to call for a new vote on British abortion law.

The figures show that at least 120 babies born during the 23rd week have survived over the last four years, but that the chances of survival differ markedly from hospital to hospital. Larger hospitals with centralised expertise showed the best results, with one such hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, successfully saving all five such babies born last year.

The legal timeframe for abortions in Britain has been changed before. The original 1967 legislation allowed for abortions up to the 28th week of pregnancy, but in 1990 this was revised downwards to 24 weeks due to improvements in neo-natal care during the intervening decades.

The matter was last debated in the House of Commons in October 2012 when pro-choice MP Nadine Dorries brought a motion to be debated in Westminster Hall (an alternative debating chamber), which included a call for a further reduction for the upper limit to 20 weeks. Introducing her motion, the controversial MP for Mid Bedfordshire said “As it stands, the 1967 Act is a joke. Everyone knows that in this country abortion is obtained on demand by whoever wants it, whenever they want it. … Parliament’s reluctance and nervousness about reforming abortion law, or even discussing it, creates an atmosphere of disrespect for Parliament among abortion providers.”

Commenting on the new figures on premature survival, Ms Dorries today told Breitbart London “It is time for the house to vote again on this issue and I shall be exploring options in what remains of this Parliament. In the past, the vote has shamefully stuck at twenty four weeks. This position is no longer acceptable and parliamentarians have to look at the facts and vote accordingly and not adhere to their own false political ideology.”

In 2008, MPs voted down attempts to reduce the limit to 20 or 22 weeks.

The figures for babies born at 23 weeks between 2011 and 2014 uncovered by the Sunday Times are as follows:

–          Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 10 out of 16 survived.

–          University College London Hospital, 20 of 26 babies treated survived

–          North Bristol NHS Trust, 15 of the 19 babies survived.

–          Barts Health NHS Trust, London, six of 11 babies admitted to the neo-natal unit survived.

However, in smaller hospitals the survival rate can be as low as zero percent. A study published in 2012, with figures based on births in 2006, showed that just 19 percent of babies born at 23 weeks survived nationally, but this may have improved in the meantime.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dr Ngozi Edi-Osagie, clinical director of neonatal services at Central Manchester University Hospitals, said: “It is a concentration of expertise, both in medical and nursing, that contribute to making a difference in survival at this very low gestation.” She believes that a positive attitude made all the difference, adding. “If you say that they don’t survive, they won’t.”

Meanwhile, there were 565 babies aborted at 23 weeks gestation in 2011. Chairman of the all-party pro-life group, Conservative MP Fiona Bruce said “I do not understand why there is not more outcry about the fact that we allow viable babies to be aborted.

“The new figures support what we have known for a while: that advances in pre-natal care make a mockery of our 24-week abortion limit.”

And speaking to Breitbart London, Peter D Williams, Executive Officer of campaign group Right to Life said “As pre-natal care allows more premature babies to survive, society is naturally questioning abortion at such a late point in pregnancy. In light of the effort a hospital will put into saving wanted babies, that the same hospital could be ending the lives of unwanted babies who might otherwise be saved shows the callous inconsistency and injustice of our laws and medical system.

“When most of Europe has a standard upper limit of 12 weeks – half the limit allowed in the UK – the need for reform of our abortion legislation in this area is clear. Hopefully, the further discussion and reflection engendered by welcome improvements in medicine will also bring more attention to the core of the abortion debate: the humanity, innate dignity, and right to life of pre-born children, as of every member of the human family.”




Source: Breitbart Feed

Lying, Greedy, Promiscuous Feminist Bullies are Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart

It’s easy to mock video gamers as dorky loners in yellowing underpants. Indeed, in previous columns, I’ve done it myself. Occasionally at length. But, the more you learn about the latest scandal in the games industry, the more you start to sympathise with the frustrated male stereotype. Because an army of sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners, abetted by achingly politically correct American tech bloggers, are terrorising the entire community – lying, bullying and manipulating their way around the internet for profit and attention.

It’s a fact of life that the video games industry is awash with marginalised, troubled people who have found it difficult to manage their lives in mainstream society. It’s particularly the case when you look at independent or “indie” video game developers, a remarkable proportion of whom suffer from depression or anxiety disorders. Many of these people end up as enthusiastic campaigners for one or more causes they feel deserve wider attention. 

The journalists who cover games and gamers are subject to similar peculiarities and challenges, which perhaps explains widespread frustration from players that every blog out there seems more concerned with policing misogyny and “transphobia” than reviewing the latest game releases. As a result, gaming sites and their readers have drifted apart in recent years. Journalists have sided with activists to pen soporific op-eds about the need for “equality” in video games, while the people who actually play games just want to know if the latest instalment is good value for money. 

Meanwhile, there have been grumbles that journalists are getting too close to their subjects, and that they speak ever more insultingly about their bread and butter customers – that is, their predominantly male readers – the longer they spend in the company of feminist activists and other agitators. 

You might think it cruel to delve too deeply into the private lives of damaged people. But when, say, a video game developer and activist with a history of outrageous dishonesty, whose games aren’t up to much but nonetheless always seem to get glowing reviews, gets accused of exchanging sex for positive coverage and other benefits, the public interest is overwhelmingly clear.

Lying and cheating

Step forward Chelsea Van Valkenburg, who goes by the pen name Zoe Quinn. Quinn recently released an online novel called Depression Quest, described as an “interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression.” It’s an internet version of one of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books – except boring, and as excruciatingly badly written as its promotional material suggests.

You can play it here, if you’re feeling masochistic. It’s barely a game at all, really, more of a hyperlinked Tumblr blog. Anyone could have made it, as this cruelly worded but factually sound run-down of the current controversy around Quinn points out. Quinn started furiously marketing her game just after Robin Williams died. Tasteless and opportunistic, sure, but many gave her the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps she was just trying to “raise awareness.” But what later came out, thanks to a startling series of confessions from Quinn’s ex-boyfriend, is just what an unpleasant and manipulative human being she is.

It’s hard to believe some of the allegations made about Quinn, who has been held up as an icon of probity by the liberal tech press, but web sleuths have provided copious evidence in support of their claims. Though she presents herself as a champion for depression sufferers, Quinn picked on a forum for depressed men called Wizardchan, misrepresenting content there to claim she was being harassed. She used her influence to torpedo a charity – a charity! – which was later hacked by one of her supporters.

She is alleged to have used spurious copyright claims to stifle criticism. She threatened to end the careers of developers who disagreed with her in comment threads. She leveraged friendships with moderators at online forums to have nearly 25,000 comments deleted. She swept an allegation of sexual misconduct under the carpet using intimidation. There’s even a theory floating around that she is planning to have herself beaten up at an upcoming conference.

Quinn is not alone. There is a platoon of irritants in the media whose talents are vanishingly slight, but who generate column inches by the thousand for victimising innocents and manipulating their way around an over-sensitive industry. Some of them, such as Anita Sarkeesian, have no discernible higher purpose in life, except to bother innocent games developers. 

These women purposefully court – and then exploit – boisterous, unpleasant reactions from astonished male gamers and use them to attract attention to themselves. What’s remarkable is how deeply unpleasant the skeletons lurking in their own closets often are, how completely those skeletons give the lie to their public image, and how uncritically their claims are repackaged by credulous games journalists.

Death threat hysteria

Let’s be honest. We’re all used to feeling a niggling suspicion that “death threats” sent to female agitators aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. And indeed there is no evidence that any violent threat against a prominent female figure in the media or technology industry has ever been credible – that is to say, that any feminist campaigner on the receiving end of internet trolling has ever been in any real danger.  Even in the most famous American case, that of Kathy Sierra, there is no evidence the target was ever at risk.

But that doesn’t stop women like Quinn from using these admittedly feverish tweets and emails from angry men to change the subject (usually from their own shortcomings and misdeeds) and play the victim with the help of limp-wristed journalists. Tweets tagged #GamerGate, from video gamers frustrated by the antics of women like Quinn and the journalists who ignore her sins, have been skyrocketing in the past few days.

They’re ungallant, obviously, but death threats are sent by bored, lonely people – or simply out of casual malice. What’s even more pathetic than taking to the internet to work off your anger, though, is using death threats to get sympathy, or to vindictively pursue your ideological opponents and see their lives destroyed with jail sentences.

Showing off injudicious responses from bewildered men has become something like a badge of honour for a certain generation of feminist campaigner, which gives you some indication of how seriously they take the implied threats. (That is: not in the least.) It’s a sort of online Olympics, where women strut and peacock and compete to show off the most explicitly-worded and imaginative hate mail they’ve received.

Often, they call law enforcement agencies, try to get perpetrators banged up, and even tweet about how they’ve been “forced out of their homes.” Broadcasting information about your whereabouts on social media is an odd strategy for a person who claims to be in fear for their life. The police tend to advise against it. But even drawing attention to that fact is enough to get you slandered on the internet these days, and branded a hateful bully.

The phenomenon’s not unique to the video game industry, of course: back in British politics, it reaches a monstrous zenith with professional troll Caroline Criado-Perez. The jealousy from her fangirls, such as the New Statesman‘s Helen Lewis, is almost palpable. “How come CCP gets all the love?” you can almost hear them saying.

Death threat hysteria, whipped up by campaigners who are “offended by design,” is a cancer in the public square. It is designed to stifle debate and silence critics. Conversations are hijacked. Police time is wasted. Serious journalism becomes impossible. So why are so many American video game journalists allowing themselves to be taken in by it? The answer is ugly and sinister: because they get themselves laid if they toe the party line.

Virtual currencies

The economics of the indie gaming world are intriguing. Far from the multimillion dollar turnover of so-called “AAA” developers, most amateur writers and programmers are flat broke – mostly because their games simply aren’t very good. Many of the loudest voices seem to exist on handouts from the public. Even some mainstream gaming journalists can be seen begging for money online, which may explain their sympathy for women like Quinn, who regularly put out pleas for cash, alongside dubious claims about “muggings.”

Writers such as Nathan Grayson – with whom, along with at least four other men, Zoe Quinn cheated on her boyfriend for calculated professional advancement – know that they will be rewarded with sexual favours for promoting substandard work by female developers. Grayson wrote about Quinn a few days before he admitted to starting a sexual relationship with her. His editor, on learning this, said no disciplinary action was necessary or would be forthcoming.

And it’s not just sex-for-coverage that’s dogging video games: many of the same journalists who write about sexually liberated gals like Quinn even pay her money, publicly donating cash to keep her afloat while turning a blind eye to her vindictiveness and mendacity. Not for any specific purpose, you understand: just to exist. The chutzpah it takes for them to ignore each other’s, and their own, conflicts of interest is astonishing. It has not gone unnoticed by their readers, who have been publishing exposés of their own in the last two weeks, demonstrating more investigative flair than any supposed reporter I have encountered in the video game industry.

Some websites, such as Polygon, owned by Vox Media, don’t care that their journalists financially support the same people they write about. (They do now ask for disclosures, though, in an apparent admission that there was a problem before.) Another website, Kotaku, part of Gawker Media, will not allow the donations to continue.

The mainstream gaming journalist linked to above, by the way, is Leigh Alexander, who writes for VICE, Gamasutra and the Guardian, among others, on video games. Alexander also runs a public relations consulting firm selling services to – you guessed it – game developers. The brazenness of it all is mind-blowing. She called a celebrity who mocked the uptight self-righteousness of gaming journalists “a washed-up crackhead.”

So corrupt, unethical and unprofessional are these gaming sites, they make tech startup blogs look like the Wall Street Journal. The manner in which the liberal tech establishment has closed ranks on the issue in defiance of their readers is remarkable, and unprecedented in the decade I have been a journalist. It’s fifty per cent political instincts, and fifty per cent the knowledge that they and their mates are up to their necks in it.

The penalties for dissenters, even other media outlets, can be severe. TechRaptor, one of the few gaming and technology sites that has posted positive coverage of #GamerGate, had its official account banned on reddit. reddit is a major traffic source for any technology outlet. 

A fatal mistake

Instead of addressing allegations of corruption, examining their own prejudices and giving consideration to an industry-wide failure to provide any kind of acceptable service, the games press rounded on its own readers, accusing them of bigotry and misogyny and refusing to acknowledge that the community was sick of being lectured to and guilt-tripped on a daily basis by hypocrites and liars.

Watching the fallout on blogs, in forums and on Twitter, it’s tough to understate the extent of the shockwaves from all this, or the rift that has opened up between writers and readers as a result of Left-wing journalists reflexively defending their ideological allies. Gamers have uncovered evidence of such widespread corruption and conflicts of interest that the gaming blogs may never recover from it. The response from reporters – for the most part, denial and dismissal – is akin to mass professional suicide. 

While the entire gaming journalism establishment is speaking in one voice, mocking dissenters and tweeting that all men should be killed, readers and those outside the world of video games are scratching their heads, wondering how so many bright people found themselves selling their souls for sex, a few quid in their PayPal accounts, and a warm feeling of standing up to “misogyny.” 

There’s a lesson here for would-be social justice warriors: bang on about equality, respect and ethics all you like. But don’t expect to be treated as an oracle when your personal behaviour is utterly reprehensible. The internet being what it is, Depression Quest has already spawned a hilarious parody, which is perhaps the real moral of the story here. Although one substandard generation of journalists has been replaced in the internet era by another, with the advent of the internet, anyone can fight back at injustice in their own, uniquely, cruelly, hysterically funny fashion.

The enduring effect of #GamerGate is obvious: the gaming media has destroyed its reputation and its relationship with readers, who will never again trust it on any issue beyond which power-up is most likely to get you past level 17. By blaming its readers and burying its head in the sand, the politicised bloggers who previously influenced the opinions of millions have voluntarily given up their authority to rabid, single-issue campaigners who silence criticism and sleep with journalists and peers to get ahead.

This is a subject I’ll return to in a later column: a brief history of corruption in video game journalism needs to be written. In the meantime, those of us with some critical distance from the chaos can only sit back and marvel at how wide-ranging and fundamental the damage to the indie games industry has been these last two weeks. There are now two, bitterly opposed factions in the industry. Journalists and activists, who care more about gender politics than the video games they are supposed to be reporting on, and gamers, mocked, derided and bullied… but unbowed.

Video gamers, and video game culture, will never be the same again. 




Source: Breitbart Feed

Carswell’s Extraordinary Popularity Means He’ll Sweep the Clacton By-Election

It’s UKIP all the way in Clacton. Being in the seaside town at the weekend was like arriving at party conference four week early: UKIP supporters flocked in from as far afield as Dundee and the atmosphere was celebratory.

The overwhelming majority of residents in the town were delighted Douglas Carswell had joined UKIP because they were going to vote for the party anyway. Most of the rest were determined to stick with him for the forthcoming by-election because he’d helped them, a friend or neighbour, or someone in their family.

Given some of the stories I heard, Douglas is clearly doing a great job in his constituency and very few voters are prepared to risk losing him. Only a handful I met said they were voting for someone else or couldn’t be bothered to talk about how Clacton came to find itself the centre of huge media attention.

The staggering Survation poll putting UKIP on 64 percent (44 percent ahead of the Tories) exactly mirrors my own experience out canvassing. When the man himself appeared on the High Street in Walton-on-the-Naze with Nigel Farage, cars hooted their horns, drivers waved and cheered, pedestrians clamoured to stop and talk to them both. It was like Carnival had landed. Both men told me later – independently – how impressed each was with the obvious popularity of the other.

If his experience is anything like mine when I defected from the Tories in May last year, Douglas Carswell won’t regret his decision for a moment. I could empathise when he expressed on Twitter how sad he was to “read one or two unkind comments by one or two former colleagues,” but I can also assure him he will find enough love and support here in UKIP to counteract that.

As Nigel Farage said, Douglas Carswell is a perfect fit for UKIP. I hope, like me, he will soon feel that in joining UKIP he has ‘arrived home.’ His bombshell speech on Thursday certainly suggests he will. He revealed the truth of what UKIP has long been saying: Cameron’s referendum promise is a sham; the three old parties will say anything to get or stay in power and then drop their promises like hot cakes the moment the elections are over. Significantly Carswell blew apart the myth that there’s much difference between the old parties – “same clique, different sofa” got the point across perfectly.

There was so much hope in 2010 that the Tories would put right Labour’s thirteen years in Government, years that proved to be so catastrophically disastrous for Britain, socially and economically.

Yet they too fed us a string of broken promises: the great ‘Reform’ bill to wash away the swathes of red tape and new legislation introduced by Labour? It didn’t happen. Parliamentary recall? What a joke. “We will cut the national debt.” Please! It’s set to be 50 percent higher by 2015!

I was personally most enthused about the concept of localism but that too was a deceitful invention. Almost every day now in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency where I’ll be standing for parliament, UKIP gets requests from furious locals to help campaign against a new, ill-thought out, unnecessary housing development on precious agricultural land.

The days of the Tories being the party of the countryside are long gone. Only the top down re-organisation of the NHS that nobody wanted and which we were assured wouldn’t happen, actually happened, at vast cost and with vast consequences.

UKIP’s stance on the EU and controlling all migration, not just non-EU migration is well known, but we have a whole raft more policies, many of which will be unveiled over the next few weeks. Significantly though, a UKIP Government would look very different to the one Douglas Carswell has been so critical of this week: it would be much smaller and far more cost-effective – both the size and cost of Government departments would be slashed.

We would scrap some altogether. Significantly there would be a real power of recall for MPs, where constituents get the final say, not other MPs. UKIP genuinely does want real change and a Parliament that is accountable to the people and a servant of the people, not the other way around.

The determination to reform Parliament is a key factor that drives UKIP and it’s a strong differentiator between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Both supporters and elected politicians in UKIP have guts; they do what they say they will, no shilly-shallying or woolly-wobbling.

Carswell said of his fellow MPs: “Few are animated by principle or passion. Those that are soon get shuffled out of the way. Many are just in it for themselves. They seek every great office yet believe in so little.”

You’ll find none of that here Douglas; we put people first, not pollsters. Welcome to UKIP, to the home of conviction politics. It’s great to have you in the ranks and thank you for helping fire up our political revolution.

Suzanne Evans is Deputy Chairman of UKIP




Source: Breitbart Feed

Suicide Bomber Kills 37 in Western Iraq: police officers, medical official

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Thirty seven people were killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed Humvee military vehicle into a construction site, used by the army and police, according to two police officers and a medical official.

The blast killed 22 security personnel and 15 civilians, the medical and police sources said. The nine-story building under construction, used as a base by security personnel, was located in the center of Ramadi in western Anbar province.

Read the rest of the story at Reuters.com.




Source: Breitbart Feed