robertthomasson Free

UK writer, dog lover, astrophysicist and cook.

Recent Comments

  1. about 3 hours ago on Mike Luckovich

    Also need to step back from the issue and look at the bigger picture. It is not about rewriting history so much as about control. Control of history allows control of thought and the political process. Control of reproductive rights allows the control of women. Control of drag queens and LGBQT+ allows control of society, they define what is acceptable behaviour, in and out of the home and especially in the bedroom. And access to weapons allows control of the many by the few. And so on.

  2. about 3 hours ago on Mike Luckovich

    Yep, we Brits started the form of slavery practiced in the West Indies and US Southern states. We started trying to use indented workers, people who committed to a period of effectively forced labour on the plantations in exchange for relocation and a pay out at the end. The plan collapsed as the poor whites shipped over died like flies from over work and tropical illnesses. So the plantation owners were forced to find alternative cheap labour as the economics of the system did not work if they had to actually pay a proper wage to their workers. So Europeans turned to Africa, where indeed they negotiated with local rulers to take prisoners of their hands, as well as raiding themselves. But I cannot see any justification for slavery in the fact that black Africans helped in the capture of slaves; it is still an inhuman practice.

    Slavery has existed in most cultures but has rarely been even close to benign.

  3. about 6 hours ago on Mike Luckovich

    And to reply to ‘for centuries, under the british union jack slavery existed’. True, we started it, we did it, some of our national heroes like Drake were involved in slavery. If you come to London and walk around the City of London (our business district) there are firms who started their business in the Triangle Trade (trinkets to Africa, slaves to the West Indies, sugar, cotton and tobacco back to Britain. Spin and repeat. The buildings of the City were paid for by slavery.

    But at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, after a 21 year global conflict (paid in no small part by the racist policies in our Empire), the Royal Navy had 700 warships of all classes. Rather than scrap them and pay off the crews, they set 2 goals: (1) map the world (most coastal sea charts are still based on that survey, it took decades) (2) the eradication of the slave trade. We could not stop slave owning countries from continuing, but we did stop the inhuman trafficking in people. It also took decades, and to some extent is still going on.

    As DDWiz says, know your history and rejoice in the good stuff, but do not shy away from the bad stuff… and learn from it.

  4. about 7 hours ago on Mike Luckovich

    I would recommend ’America’s First Black general: Benjamin O. Davis’ about the life of Benjamin O. Davis. He was a black cavalry officer through the early half of the 20th century. Mostly posted as a training officer to black colleges in the South. There is a wonderful but chilling story of torch lit KKK marches through the town where he lived. He would put on his full dress uniform and sit on the porch with his family and say nothing. He hoped to command a US division at the end of WWII when the US Army was strapped for troops and had to commit its black soldiers, who had been relegated to support roles. But it was not to be.

    His son was the second US black general, air force brigadier in WWII and retired as a Lt Gen after being deputy air force commander Europe then ran Carter’s Sky Marshalls. When he was at West Point in the 30s no one spoke to him except on matters of duty.


  5. 1 day ago on Doonesbury

    Let’s hope Trudeau does a special, these Sunday strips are created weeks in advance.

  6. 2 days ago on Clay Bennett

    On a point of fact, NYC is way safer now than when tRump was a power player there in the 80s and 90s, all crime and especially murder way down.

  7. 2 days ago on Clay Bennett

    As ever, this is reflection.

  8. 2 days ago on Clay Bennett

    I have a London bridge he can have, too, only one careful owner, hardly chipped, gen-u-ine Victorian antique.

  9. 2 days ago on Clay Bennett

    Said it before, ‘Truth Social’ is like the Holy Roman Empire (which was wrong on all 3 counts, not holy, not Roman and no way was it an empire). In the same Way, the Orange Reapers platform has no truth and is antisocial.

  10. 2 days ago on Clay Bennett

    Good book.