Good Sunday morning, bookies! It’s bright skies and warmish weather here in West Tennessee and my least favorite month of the year has given way to my second-least favorite month of the year. February is a month of hope, no matter how cold it might be. Because in less than two weeks I’m going to read those magic words that mean Spring is just around the corner: ‘Pitchers and catchers reported to training camp today.” That’s right, baseball season is getting close, and they don’t call them the Boys of Winter, now do they? Heck, college baseball season starts in less than two weeks. Let’s get this show on the road.
*** Sometimes I tell you things and you don’t listen. Like last August when I told you about the new start-up ebay alternative I had found and made a home, Bonanzle. You didn’t believe me, or you blew it off and thought ‘yeah, yeah, where have I heard that before?’ But here we are, six months later, with Bonanzle past the million listing mark and being heaped with praise from media everywhere. Of course, it’s still early in the company’s history, so you, too, can jump on the bandwagon.
*** The list of Best and Worst places to work in 2008 seems a bit harsh to me. The Best Place to work would be anywhere that gives you a paycheck that doesn’t bounce. The worst would be the place that lays you off. But, using different criteria, Glassdoor has compiled its own list, presumably one of companies that actually still pay their employees. And guess who at Number 47 in the bottom 50? Yep, you guessed it, ebay. The site-that-aims-to-have-zero-traffic has never been a highly rated place to work, but bottom 50 is pretty bad. I guess John Donohoe hates his employees as much as he hates his sellers. and no, that doesn’t make sense, but neither does anything else the company has done for the past year.
*** Since we’re on the subject of auctions sites and ebay, here’s a quick little round up of what some of them plan for the immediate future:
Coming soon to a site near you
*** And, since there’s more ebay stuff, we’ll just pile it all on here. This actually involves more than just ebay, it’s about how our beloved Congress wants to make life even harder for those trying desperately to make a little extra cash on the internet. Why people want these buffoons to have even more control of their lives is beyond me.
Of course, the irony in the attached story is that while Congress is out to destroy the small internet seller once and for all, ebay, who has spent the last year trying to do this very thing, wants help from the small seller in fighting against Congress. In other words, the Devil wants our help fighting Satan.
*** Ah, finally, you say. An actual blog entry about a book. Isn’t that what this blog is supposed to be about?
There is an obvious new trend in World War II histories, one that is quite refreshing to someone like me, but might be easily misunderstood. Namely, historians are examining the role of the Allies in what some might call atrocities. Certainly the Americans, French and British did not set out to commit atrocities, and those that were committed were done so against the rules. But not so with the Red Army, whose behavior in Germany was at least as bad, if not worse, than the German behavior in the USSR. But the Germans had in coming, you say? Not so fast there, bucko.
Let us not forget that until June, 1941, the USSR was no friend of either England or the USA. Stalin had, by that point, invaded and conquered half of Poland (we always forget that the Red Army also attacked Poland in September of 1939), the three Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, had attacked Finland (without provocation or warning) and taken the Karelian Isthmus for herself, had taken Bessarabia from Rumania…in other words, Stalin was every bit the aggressor that Hitler was, except that his conquests did not have ties of allegiance to the west. Nor was he any less bloody in his treatment of the populace. How many Ukranians were killed during the collectivization of the 20’s? Millions, surely, but how many millions? 10-20 million is the figure I see most often.
So the Russo-German War was, in reality, a clash between one murderous dictator and another, nothing more, nothing less. Does the fact that Stalin was an ally of the West during the war years excuse the Red Army’s barbarous behavior? It’s a question that probably could not have been asked until recently.
Here’s a seven year review of Anthony Beevor’s Berlin: The Downfall, who was the first of the big named authors to start down this path.
*** Hallelujah, hallelujah, we are saved from ourselves by the US Congress! But not for another year.
Bookies have read my rants about the idiotic new anti-lead law passed by the US Congress that was so poorly written that it banned almost anything that could even be seen by a kid under 12, including used books. I commented at the time that, like almost everything Congress does, it was so out of touch with reality that it would need to be seriously amended, delayed or cancelled. Well, the government has picked delay. The silliness won’t go into effect until next year, presumably so they can issue guidelines to try and make sense of the senseless.