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An argument over trucks turns ugly
June 17, 2004 10:07 AM   Subscribe

"...listen here you smug little fuck. I have caught you fucking up facts and figures on several occasions and you admitted wrong. STFU" - An argument over trucks turns ugly.
posted by troutfishing to Etiquette/Policy at 10:07 AM (78 comments total)

Reading these sorts of flamefests is often a lot more enjoyable to read than the blah blah blah Iraq blah blah Bush is bad posts. I say more of it but maybe I am alone in that opinion.
posted by xmutex at 10:20 AM on June 17, 2004


clav is always so much more coherent when he's being an asshole.
posted by jpoulos at 10:23 AM on June 17, 2004


just don't tell clavdivs that you belong to a certain ethnic/religious group.
then the argument'll get really ugly
posted by matteo at 10:24 AM on June 17, 2004


I'm shocked to see a flamefest break out in a thread like that. Shocked!
posted by trharlan at 10:25 AM on June 17, 2004


whoa, that turned ugly way before that. where's our election2004.metafilter.com to wick away some of this crap from the Blue? I thought we'd have it by now?
posted by badstone at 10:26 AM on June 17, 2004


Yes, after Seth's little rant here the other day, I was really yearning for an American-election-slash-politics subsite that would just get all this shit out of here, once and for all.
posted by JollyWanker at 10:52 AM on June 17, 2004


***waits for this thread to be summarily deleted with no action taken or explanation given***
posted by rushmc at 10:52 AM on June 17, 2004


Time for a BlogStop session! Kumbaya, my Lord.... Kumbaya!

Nasty, but I've seen worse in the past day or two. And it's not an argument about trucks. It's an argument about Hitler's trucks. And you know what they say about an argument with the word "Hitler" in it...
posted by scarabic at 11:02 AM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs has his mood swings.

As for election threads--there's one topic on which I am happy to the take the no posts pledge. Comments in moments of weakness, perhaps, but no posts.
posted by y2karl at 11:04 AM on June 17, 2004


And you know what they say about an argument with the word "Hitler" in it...

Sooner or later it devolves into endless wrangling over whether Chaplin or Hitler had the better moustache?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:08 AM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs definitely used over-the-top language and lost it, but it's at the end of a long argument in a shitty thread to start with, and I can cut him some slack because it wasn't just an insult that stood alone, but he explained why some of the historical facts pulled up were subject to dispute and interpretation on all sides.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:10 AM on June 17, 2004


I am so happy to see the use of "STFU." That's awesome. How can you take anyone seriously when they say "STFU"? It's like someone earnestly singing the lyrics to "Convoy." You can't not laugh.
posted by Skot at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2004


"Uh, Breaker One-Nine, this here's the Rubber Duck
You got a copy on me, Pig-Pen? C'mon."

posted by keswick at 11:16 AM on June 17, 2004


I have no truck with this.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:17 AM on June 17, 2004


"listen here you smug little fuck. I have caught you fucking up facts and figures on several occasions and you admitted wrong. STFU.

You think that's bad, you should see some of the expletives being thrown around in this thread.
posted by soyjoy at 11:23 AM on June 17, 2004


Metafilter: listen here, you smug little fuck.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:31 AM on June 17, 2004


apologizes for the nastyness. But you have to admit, the Troy comment was nice and snarky.
so I leave you trout with this little gem:

"It is a dangerous Illusion to believe that historical analogies can serve to forcast the future. Analogy is not the same as identity. Circumstances are never exactly the same. For years politicans were obbseed by memories of Munich and Yalta. The conclusion was that slightest attempt at appeasement or conciliation was amistake. The expression "another Munich" would damn any negoation. But it is often wise to negotiate. Hitlers blind folly is not a historical factor....The projection of past memories onto future events cannot supply the answer. Everything depends uopon an objective appraisal of the present factors of the problem."

-Andre Maurios, "Illusions"

sometimes ya really have to love the French.
I anal-o-gize also, it is a tool to help better understand the situation but in the long run, Maurois is right IMO.

but this is about bad words and anger, do i turn all mellow and Om-Mane now? No, just it takes so much energy to counter an bad postion but i guess not to much because i fell into that thread like the rest.
I've said: I care therfore I bark. It offers little concelation but it is true. I do not trust your assertions anymore. You must graps more facts and context to make blanket statements and this comes from experiance. from my experiance at university and my stupid anger ridden rants. But one must try i guess. Your smug IMO but the little and fuck were uncalled for. but i recognize smug, esp. when i look at my mug in the mirror.

forgive the grammer, the spell check is a bit gamey on my browser.

P.s. I was providing you with ammo to counter my claims and I wish you would have picked up on that little...aspect of the conversation and topic at hand.
posted by clavdivs at 12:04 PM on June 17, 2004


So the lesson here is that people love their trucks, even though Fords suck and Chevy's rule on race day! Yeah, eat that Ford dorks! And you Mopar guys can stick your Hemi where the sun don't shine. Wooo!

(insert window decal of calvin pissing on something)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:18 PM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs, you need to keep it on an even keel. You get lucid when you get angry, and you'll never survive Caligula's reign if he figures out that you're bright.

It's a historical reference. I'm not comparing Matt to Caligula. I don't even know if Matt has sisters.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:24 PM on June 17, 2004


So the lesson here is that people love their trucks, even though Fords suck and Chevy's rule on race day! Yeah, eat that Ford dorks! And you Mopar guys can stick your Hemi where the sun don't shine. Wooo!

I've heard geeks here argue just as irrationally about Mac Vs. Windows Vs. Linux.

Which just proves that in the immortal words of my freind Scotty, "Everyone's a geek for something."
posted by jonmc at 12:33 PM on June 17, 2004



posted by scarabic at 12:59 PM on June 17, 2004


[more inside]
posted by scarabic at 1:00 PM on June 17, 2004


I'm not comparing Matt to Caligula. I don't even know if Matt has sisters.

but the real question is, who's the horse then
posted by matteo at 1:07 PM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs - in the first place, my comments weren't yolked to the overall point of the thread.

As for your comment :

"RIGHHHHT. hats like like blaming Troy for supplying the Greeks with wood......this is the bullshit im talking about. Did Ford and GM own all the plants by 1941? HUH?......part of them, none of them...what? see you use history as your agenda deal breaker."

I added a bit of context on that to the thread to address that objection.

A bit of that : "Ford Cologne's head of production during the war, Hans Grundig, denied the Nazis were in control.

"We on the [shop]floor didn't have the impression that we were owned by the government. We considered that we were still owned by the shareholders and that we were working for the Ford organisation in Germany," he said.

Grandy, who was never a Nazi, went on to become Ford's European Vice-President.

Ford was placed under a special government official known as a Reichscommisar, called Robert Schmidt. He retained the civilian management. "
(BBC)

"GM resisted efforts to turn their manufacturing plants into war plants in the US, but they were happy to do just that in Nazi Germany.......Mooney [ GM's head ] conducted talks with Hitler a few weeks after war broke out in Europe about converting some of the automobile plants into war plants to produce planes and other such products, necessary for war.  It is noteworthy though, that they refused to change their American plants stating that they were “not adaptable to the manufacture of other products”.  That is strange because they were quite adaptable in Germany. " "

Moreover : " "It can be stated," Fings writes, "that Ford Werke's course in the 1940s was followed with the full knowledge and support of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn." When the war ended, many of the same executives who had been in charge of Ford Werke after a brief hiatus returned to their old jobs.

General Motors' Opel division was in many ways a mirror image of Ford's Werke subsidiary"

I haven't addressed the issue of profits here (later), but it's historically inaccurate to assert that the Nazis were running Ford's and GM's German subsidiaries - although the Nazis did impose quotas, yes.

Ford and GM seem to have been somewhat enthusiastic participants rather than Hitler's recalcitrant hostages, as you paint them out to be.
posted by troutfishing at 1:41 PM on June 17, 2004


mathowie - I certainly didn't post this thread to make the case that you should somehow punish clavdivs. I was just irritated by the combination of condescension and expletives. Public shaming is redress enough.

It's about standards.
posted by troutfishing at 1:44 PM on June 17, 2004


trout, clav, continue your debates in the thread itself, not here please.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:45 PM on June 17, 2004


MetaTalk: continue your debates in the thread itself, not here please.
posted by timeistight at 2:01 PM on June 17, 2004


Trout, regular applications of huge blocks of text should clear this right up.
posted by yerfatma at 2:25 PM on June 17, 2004


(insert window decal of calvin pissing on something)


posted by eddydamascene at 2:52 PM on June 17, 2004


I don't understand.

clavdivs, Henry Ford was a damned Nazi. He sent Hitler money on Hitler's birthdays. There's no contoversy over this, it is well-documented. No need to call trout names.
posted by Shane at 3:04 PM on June 17, 2004



(Hitler had a portrait of Ford on his office wall in Munich. They were buds. Etc.)
posted by Shane at 3:17 PM on June 17, 2004


The point is:

Truculent though he can obviously be,
clavdivs might still be a Hottentot.

Despite the fact that the 1920 Encyclopaedia Americana ascribes to the Hottentot a "happy-go-lucky, friendly disposition" (which clavidivs' disposition sometimes is not), clavdivs might still be a Hottentot.

Because truculent Hottentots have since been observed; first one, then a lot; so clavdivs might be a Hottentot - and this pleases me as I like Hottentots a lot, even the forgotten, now remembered, truculent Hottentots.

But whether he's a Hottentot or not, the point is that he might be (or he might not), regardless of 'history'. So when history ties to neatly a knot, remember that clavdivs might be a Hottentot.

Of course, clavdivs might really be living granite, and while I do like granite generally, I prefer the inorganic variety; static stone is easier to decorate with. But I digress.

In summation, all things considered, rendering it all into useful advice, why don't we make ourselves more comfortable by sitting on something indisputably nice.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:25 PM on June 17, 2004


My hat's off to you, sir - I bow and sweep it off, humbled I defer - but no! - that hat's not leather, not cow...

It's a pizza. Wow, ain't that nice! Vegan, cheese-free and tofu sooths stirred-up riled passion with estrogens now,

Have slice.
posted by troutfishing at 3:55 PM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs is metafilter's "Boomhauer".
posted by interrobang at 4:08 PM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs definitely used over-the-top language and lost it, but it's at the end of a long argument in a shitty thread to start with, and I can cut him some slack because it wasn't just an insult that stood alone

So bad behavior is permissible as long as someone else has set the tone earlier in the thread?

I would strongly disagree with that reasoning myself, but even if one accepts it, one should still hold the initial offender responsible.
posted by rushmc at 5:12 PM on June 17, 2004


Are we stotting yet ?
posted by troutfishing at 8:05 PM on June 17, 2004


Shane - I at last impulsively clicked on your little swastika image - a Google search on "henry ford nazi".

Lo.
posted by troutfishing at 8:10 PM on June 17, 2004


and behold?
posted by amberglow at 8:26 PM on June 17, 2004


Behold ! - Henry Ford through one lens, darkly.
posted by troutfishing at 8:38 PM on June 17, 2004


On second thought,

fuck this

shit.
posted by troutfishing at 9:02 PM on June 17, 2004


(insert window decal of calvin pissing on something) : One of these days I will buy one of those 'pissing Calvin' decals and one of those 'praying Calvin' decals, cut them up and adhere Calvin pissing on the cross. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:29 PM on June 17, 2004


Meaning - I feel that I need to stop feeding my creative energies into Metafilter. This forum has been wonderful up to a point.


But, in life, everything changes.


[ clavdivs - here's a giant cheeseburger for you : Why Iraqi Detainees Should Sue Michael Moore ]
posted by troutfishing at 9:30 PM on June 17, 2004


trout, no...please. This week is just weird.
posted by amberglow at 9:36 PM on June 17, 2004


Only this week?
posted by dg at 1:33 AM on June 18, 2004


moreso than usual
posted by t r a c y at 1:56 AM on June 18, 2004


> New Documents Reveal the Close Ties Between Dearborn and the Nazis"

Just go through those documents, cross out every instance of "Dearborn" and "Nazis" and substitute "Saddam Hussein" and "Al Qaida" and see what you get. Coincidence? I think not.
posted by jfuller at 5:16 AM on June 18, 2004


Troutfishing, the shitstorm comes and goes in waves. Have we not argued about the same damned problems with the Blue for the last six months or a year or two or three (or four) years?

Too serious, too many pissing contests, too much news, signal/noise, egos in the way of discourse, etc etc ad absurdum.

It's a story that's as old as time. You know that, trout. It's why people take breaks.

This place can suck, but everywhere else sucks even worse. For what it's worth, you've certainly affected my outlook with your rantings and occasional meanderings in here.
posted by chicobangs at 6:50 AM on June 18, 2004


I reviewed the brouhaha again and was unable to really put my finger on what instigated the whole trainwreck. And then, at the end of all that unpleasantness, trout defends clavdiv's creative butchering of the English language (which I defend too, as I get a kick out of it and know it is clavdiv's schtick.)

Screw it, I'm defying the unwritten laws of taglining and I'm creating my own:

MetaFilter: What's the rumpus?

Everybody shut up and watch the bouncy man.


(trout, I was hoping my title tag of "CLICKY!!" would give away the link on the swastika, but I guess that wasn't very apparent.)
posted by Shane at 7:03 AM on June 18, 2004


So bad behavior is permissible as long as someone else has set the tone earlier in the thread?

No, that wasn't my point. My point wasn't that it was permissible at all, I said clav lost his shit and should not have. My only point was that the comment was merely "STFU jerk" but essentially that, plus several paragraphs refuting earlier claims. He definitely overstepped the bounds of decent behavior but it wasn't merely an attack, since he stuck around long enough to explain himself, which is much different than simply attacking someone and leaving.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:23 AM on June 18, 2004


Fair enough. I just hope somewhere along the line that was made clear to HIM, as unremarked this sort of behavior tends to repeat (and escalate). What you have to be aware of is that the offenders that you decide to let slide for your own (possibly quite reasonable) reasons don't know why they got away with it; they only know that they got away with it.

I know you don't want to be a babysitter, nor do I blame you, but a few very public negative shout-outs against egregious transgressions can nip a hundred more in the bud. That's all I'm saying.
posted by rushmc at 10:24 AM on June 18, 2004


"several paragraphs refuting earlier claims" - Beg pardon? clavdivs asserted that I was pushing an agenda and - essentially - so acting as a propagandist for not explicitly noting the fact that Hitler had officially nationalized US corporate subsidiaries in German.

Well, that's true on the face of it, but that objection ( sans expletives ) doesn't hold up so well to scrutiny (see additional post material).
posted by troutfishing at 10:28 AM on June 18, 2004


Matt, I had a totally different take on that thread. I didn't see clav actually refuting any points troutfishing made. All he did was tell trout to shut the fuck up, and then launched into an extended ad hominem attack. His argument was that trout had been wrong many times before and thus was wrong this time too, so he didn't even have to look at the material trout was providing.

Or do you mean the stuff clav said about how trout was ignoring that the Germans had confiscated the plants? "Did you give any context to the history of Ford and german business relations. How Hitler Nationalized the plants." That was just total bullshit on clav's part. He didn't bother reading anything trout linked too, since he decided trout wasn't a reliable source--or as he put it, "see you use history as your agenda deal breaker. You don't fool me thats why I pay little attention to you anymore." Except, here are a couple of opening paragraphs from one of the article's trout had linked to before clav went postal:
Ford argues that company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, lost control of its German plant after the United States entered the war in 1941. Hence, Ford is not responsible for any actions taken by its German subsidiary during World War II. "We did not do business in Germany during the war," says Lydia Cisaruk, a Ford spokeswoman. "The Nazis confiscated the plant there and we lost all contact." She added that Ford played a "pivotal role in the American war effort. After the United States entered the war, Ford threw its entire backing to the war effort."
That Ford and a number of other American firms--including General Motors and Chase Manhattan--worked with the Nazis has bee previously disclosed. So, too, has Henry Ford's role as a leader of the America First Committee, which sought to keep the United States out of World War II. However, the new materials, most of which were found at the National Archives, are far more damning than earlier revelations. They show, among other things, that up until Pearl Harbor, Dearborn made huge revenues by producing war matériel for the Reich and that the man it selected to run its German subsidiary was an enthusiastic backer of Hitler. German Ford served as an "arsenal of Nazism" with the consent of headquarters in Dearborn, says a US Army report prepared in 1945.
Anotherwords, the only refutation on clav's part was to say trout was ignoring things he wasn't ignoring at all. Clav wasn't "explaining himself," Matt. He was just libeling trout. Saying the other person is wrong because he's ignoring history contrary to his position is certainly a refutation, and if that had happened, well, clav would have put some content into his rant. But that's not what happened. At all. Trout did address the issues clav claimed he was dodging.

For the record, I didn't post in that thread, I don't think it was a good FPP, I don't have any issues with clav that are biasing my opinion, I don't know trout very well at all, and I didn't even see this little shitstorm until it showed up here on MeTa. But after reading clav's comments--the full comments, not just the "stfu" quote cited at the top of this thread--I can't help but think clav was entirely out of line, in a way I've rarely seen in the three and a half years I've been reading MeFi. Quite frankly, his illogical arguments made me pretty angry, and that's why I held off on commenting until today, with a cooler head.
posted by jbrjake at 11:58 AM on June 18, 2004


Gotta agree with jbrjake here. I like both clav and trout, but I think clav was getting bent out of shape for no good reason and trying to trash trout's (perfectly sensible) point. But there's a lot of that going around lately.
posted by languagehat at 12:45 PM on June 18, 2004


MetaFilter: What's the rumpus?

MetaFilter: Hunt the Wumpus.

I loved that game.
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM on June 18, 2004


MetaFilter: Eats, Shoots and Hangs Around to Explain Himself.
posted by wendell at 7:56 PM on June 18, 2004


look, matt wanted to keep the argument in that thread but i see that will not happen. I agreed with trout saying we did build plants for trucks and tractors, geez Hitler even gave Ford a medal which he tossed out after the war started. But it seems he was asserting that america was supplying alot of the german war machines material at the during the war.(1941-42) He did not catch the arangement that tied us to germany way into the war concerning Buna, the germans really caught us there until FDR just cut that off. (middle 42' i believe)

yeah, i got mad, get over it. But i do not see a list of other war material, that "we suppled", like tanks planes, ships etc.

The Ford Motor Company has admitted forced labour was used at Cologne. But it denies any responsibility, blaming the Nazi government which they say comandeered the plant.


see, the germans commandered the plant and that article is 6 years old.

should chekoslavakias' SKODA works sue the Germans because they supplied tanks, and arty to the germans?

darn it, that SOB Hiler declared war on us and used material, we sold, against us. And brave German americans fought there own brothers, in some cases, to rectify this evil mans way.

my contention was not the trucks, i agreed with that and then he goes off to explain the history of the german mobile infantry, one third supplied by the U.S. (during peace)
oh i looked jbrjake, esp. at all those neato graphics with swastikas and dead image links. does not anyone see the mistake trout made? I asserted Ford built an arsenal to help defeat Hitler. Trout then said what about the trucks and i said "yeah, they did use the trucks" then he goes on about the spooky Dulles brothers and IG Farben and G.E.
posted by clavdivs at 11:12 PM on June 18, 2004


Dang ol' trucks, man. Dang ol' trucks.
posted by interrobang at 12:03 AM on June 19, 2004


clavdivs - to clarify the record, I've re-posted, in chronological order, our exact comments (excerpted from all the surrounding comments from other people) on the "Is the US like Germany of the 1930's" thread.

matt - I am responding to this because clavdivs seems intent on falsely representing my statements. [ "it seems he was asserting that america was supplying alot of the german war machines material at the during the war." - clavdivs ]

Here is my original statement in question :

"Oh - and speaking of Ford's arsenal : you mean, I'm sure, the arsenal produced by Ford factories in the US and not Ford (and GM) subsidiaries in Germany that made vehicles for Hitler's armies, right ?
posted by troutfishing at 10:00 PM PST on June 13"

clavdivs' response -

"yeah trout, that big mega complex in Detroit that was used to Crush that SOB....what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?
posted by clavdivs at 9:59 AM PST on June 14"

my reply :

"what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?" - clavdivs, you surprise me.

"......Ford vehicles were crucial to the revolutionary Nazi military strategy of blitzkrieg. Of the 350,000 trucks used by the motorized German Army as of 1942, roughly one-third were Ford-made...

......new materials, most of which were found at the National Archives, are far more damning than earlier revelations. They show, among other things, that up until Pearl Harbor, Dearborn made huge revenues by producing war matériel for the Reich and that the man it selected to run its German subsidiary was an enthusiastic backer of Hitler. German Ford served as an "arsenal of Nazism" with the consent of headquarters in Dearborn, says a US Army report prepared in 1945..... a secret wartime report prepared by the US Treasury Department concluded that the Ford family sought to further its business interests by encouraging Ford of France executives to work with German officials overseeing the occupation. "There would seem to be at least a tacit acceptance by [Henry Ford's son] Mr. Edsel Ford of the reliance...on the known neutrality of the Ford family as a basis of receipt of favors from the German Reich," it says....."
posted by troutfishing at 8:19 AM PST on June 15"
posted by troutfishing at 7:01 AM on June 19, 2004


Oh, by the way, GM's Opel subsidiary in Germany produced warplanes as well as trucks.
posted by troutfishing at 7:03 AM on June 19, 2004


Oh - and that BBC article has some other information, too, that calls into question the extent to which Ford and GM subsidiaries in germany during WW2 were "commandeered" . (see above quote)

"Ford Cologne's head of production during the war, Hans Grundig, denied the Nazis were in control.

"We on the [shop]floor didn't have the impression that we were owned by the government. We considered that we were still owned by the shareholders and that we were working for the Ford organisation in Germany," he said.

Grundig, who was never a Nazi, went on to become Ford's European Vice-President."
posted by troutfishing at 7:10 AM on June 19, 2004


"For the morally challenged, here's a hint - try inserting a different ethnicity in place in Severin's statements noted here, as in "Severin said that Fallujah, an Irish town of over one hundred thousand residents, should be destroyed by nuclear weapons" or "Spanish American citizens, according to Severin, will never be true Americans and constitute a fifth column within the US which is attempting to take over the country. According to the talk-show host every man, woman, and child of this group - comprising many millions - should be killed."

If that doesn't make my point clear, simply insert the old standby (for appropriate moral clarification) - Jews.
"

this is what I reacted to at first, this analogy, heck insert Albanians or Cambodians. Then he praises Stavs eloquently put Hitler was skilled evil and that any analogy to Bush makes Hilter look bad.....and that is plain wrong.

whats with the chronology, I stated Hitler "liked" Ford, and this was a fact BEFORE the war and you brought up the truck business...what gives...that your arguing with yourself. what is your point, that you agree with me about that or that America supplied germany during the war.
I am confused, what is your thesis...that Ford supplied plants to germany....I agree with that obvious thesis.

German Ford served as an "arsenal of Nazism" with the consent of headquarters in Dearborn, says a US Army report prepared in 1945..... a secret wartime report prepared by the US Treasury Department concluded that the Ford family sought to further its business interests by encouraging Ford of France executives to work with German officials overseeing the occupation.


do you have a link for that, I mean to the secret report.

You must have evidence trout, not assertions or links or lawsuits pending. The historian needs facts. You have some but place no other explanination that sheer collabortion on U.S. companies behalf to explain these things. I am sure the "truth" would have been told by now. Yes, there is alot of shady shit, for this i agree but you and i do not know the whole story.

but now you playing shuttling chronology between here and there.

so, what did i say was wrong (other then being nasty) there is no contention.

I'm done here unless you can state what I posited was wrong.
posted by clavdivs at 11:31 AM on June 19, 2004


so, what did i say was wrong (other then being nasty) there is no contention.

I just spent 10 minutes trying to decipher that variety pack of letters and still have no fucking clue what you're saying. It is simply impossible to parse your words into an English sentence. I understand spelling and grammar and syntax aren't as important as communicating an idea, but now you've achieving none of the above. I'm afraid to respond to the rest of your comment without fully knowing what it is you intended to articulate, as I don't want to misrepresent your argument...

I've always assumed Matt doesn't let you post until you've previewed in order to avoid circumstances such as this.
posted by jbrjake at 1:12 PM on June 19, 2004


(stavrosthewonderchicken) "Suggesting Bush is anything like Hitler is an insult to Hitler. That man was evil, but skilled. Bush is merely a small, small man blinking into the glare, vaulted into a position for which he is woefully inadequate by the springboard of money and nepotism, kept there by the failure of the media to serve the citizens it is meant to inform, by the ignorance (willful or otherwise) of so many of those citizens, and by the corporate interests who stand to gain from a witless weakling in the White House."

[The stavros quote is a zinger. It deserved a repeat play.]

(clavdivs) "this is what I reacted to at first, this analogy, heck insert Albanians or Cambodians. Then he praises Stavs eloquently put Hitler was skilled evil and that any analogy to Bush makes Hilter look bad.....and that is plain wrong."

Well, first - why not "insert Albanians or Cambodians" ? Or are you saying that the mass murder of Arabs (which Jay Severin advocated) is acceptable? I can't believe that and so I am unclear about what you really do mean there.

Moving along - (clavdivs) "I stated Hitler "liked" Ford, and this was a fact BEFORE the war and you brought up the truck business...what gives...that your arguing with yourself. what is your point, that you agree with me about that or that America supplied germany during the war." - clavdivs, your semantic games are pointless.

I never said that "America" supplied Hitler with anything.

I DID say that GM and Ford built trucks and planes crucial to Hitler's war effort and that their German subsidiaries which did the work showed a great deal more enthusiasm at that task than you have suggested was the case.

I have said much more as well. But - to address your specific challenge to the veracity of the sources I cite.......you should take that up with the Washington Post and the US National Archives [ "Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration " ]. Your historian's mantle is wearing thin, my friend :

"In 1935, GM agreed to build a new plant near Berlin to produce the aptly named "Blitz" truck, which would later be used by the German army for its blitzkreig attacks on Poland, France and the Soviet Union. German Ford was the second-largest producer of trucks for the German army after GM/Opel, according to U.S. Army reports.

The importance of the American automakers went beyond making trucks for the German army. The Schneider report, now available to researchers at the National Archives, states that American Ford agreed to a complicated barter deal that gave the Reich increased access to large quantities of strategic raw materials, notably rubber. Author Snell says that Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer told him in 1977 that Hitler "would never have considered invading Poland" without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors.

As war approached, it became increasingly difficult for U.S. corporations like GM and Ford to operate in Germany without cooperating closely with the Nazi rearmament effort. Under intense pressure from Berlin, both companies took pains to make their subsidiaries appear as "German" as possible. In April 1939, for example, German Ford made a personal present to Hitler of 35,000 Reichsmarks in honor of his 50th birthday, according to a captured Nazi document.

Documents show that the parent companies followed a conscious strategy of continuing to do business with the Nazi regime, rather than divest themselves of their German assets. Less than three weeks after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, GM Chairman Alfred P. Sloan defended this strategy as sound business practice, given the fact that the company's German operations were "highly profitable."

The internal politics of Nazi Germany "should not be considered the business of the management of General Motors," Sloan explained in a letter to a concerned shareholder dated April 6, 1939. "We must conduct ourselves [in Germany] as a German organization. . . . We have no right to shut down the plant."


U.S. Firms Became Crucial

After the outbreak of war in September 1939, General Motors and Ford became crucial to the German military, according to contemporaneous German documents and postwar investigations by the U.S. Army. James Mooney, the GM director in charge of overseas operations, had discussions with Hitler in Berlin two weeks after the German invasion of Poland.

Typewritten notes by Mooney show that he was involved in the partial conversion of the principal GM automobile plant at Russelsheim to production of engines and other parts for the Junker "Wunderbomber," a key weapon in the German air force, under a government-brokered contract between Opel and the Junker airplane company. Mooney's notes show that he returned to Germany the following February for further discussions with Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering and a personal inspection of the Russelsheim plant.

Mooney's involvement in the conversion of the Russelsheim plant undermines claims by General Motors that the American branch of the company had nothing to do with the Nazi rearmament effort."


As for the 1945 US Army report in question

"AMERICAN CORPORATIONS COLLABORATE WITH THE NAZIS

In 1998, the Justice Department declassified documents which showed that 300 American companies continued doing business in Germany during the war. Additionally, there have been allegations that Ford and General Motors' subsidiaries in Germany used slave labor. German factories also constructed factories and railroads throughout South America. Several of these corporations continued to keep subsidiaries in Germany during the war.

Approximately 50 corporations employed slave and forced labor during World War II. These included American companies -- Bayer, BMW, Volkswagen, and Daimler-Chrysler -- which reached agreement in December 1999 to establish a $5.1 billion fund to pay victims. Opel, General Motors' German subsidiary, announced it would contribute to the fund. Other American companies operating in Germany during the war included General Motors and the Ford Motor Company.

FORD MOTORS. The Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan opened Ford Werke, its first German plant in Berlin in 1925. Its second plant was completed six years later in Cologne. Ford Motors immediately cozied up to the Nazi regime after Hitler seized power in 1933. A large portion of the automobile manufacturer's close relationship with the Nazis is attributable to the anti-Semitism of Henry Ford. His pamphlet, The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem, was embraced by Adolf Hitler.

According to the American Army report of 1945, prepared by Henry Schneider, Ford Werke producing military vehicles for Hitler even before the war began. Ford Motors also established a war plant ready for mobilization day near Berlin "with the ... approval of Dearborn." After Hitler touched off World War II by invading Poland in 1939, Ford Werke became one of the largest suppliers of vehicles to the German Army. National Archives' documents showed that Ford Motor had contracts with the German SS and police."

"A U.S. Army report by investigator Henry Schneider dated Sept. 5, 1945 accused Ford's German branch of serving as ``an arsenal of Nazism, at least for military vehicles'' with the parent company's ``consent'', the Post said....Similar allegations have been leveled at General Motors Corp and a book scheduled for publication next year will accuse the company of playing a key role in Adolf Hitler's invasions of Poland and the Soviet Union, the Post said. ``General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland,'' author Bradford Snell told the Post. He said Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer had told him in 1977 that Hitler ``would never have considered invading Poland'' without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors... Both General Motors and Ford insist that they bear little or no responsibility for the operations of their German subsidiaries"
_____________________________

[ November 28, 1998 ]

"U.S. Automakers Said To Have Collaborated With Nazis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Historians and lawyers researching class-action suits for former prisoners of war have found evidence that major U.S. automakers collaborated with Germany's Nazi regime, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Washington attorney Michael Hausfeld, who is involved in a class action suit against Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - news) by
former Russian prisoner and forced laborer Elsa Iwanovat, told the Post similar legal action could be taken against GM.

``There are many indications that there were surreptitious contacts taking place'' between the automakers and their German affiliates even during the war, Steinberg said. Researchers were trying to determine if the automakers directly or indirectly profited from the use of forced labor.

The U.S. automakers have vigorously denied that they assisted the Nazi war machine or that they significantly profited from the use of forced labor.

A U.S. Army report by investigator Henry Schneider dated Sept. 5, 1945 accused Ford's German branch of serving as ``an arsenal of Nazism, at least for military vehicles'' with the parent company's ``consent'', the Post said.

Schneider said Ford's U.S. parent had agreed to a complicated barter deal that gave Germany increased access to large quantities of strategic raw materials, notably rubber.

Similar allegations have been leveled at General Motors Corp (NYSE:GM - news) and a book scheduled for publication next year will accuse the company of playing a key role in Adolf Hitler's invasions of Poland and the Soviet Union, the Post said.

``General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland,'' author Bradford Snell told the Post. He said Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer had told him in 1977 that Hitler ``would never have considered invading Poland'' without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors.

Switzerland's largest banks agreed last August to make a $1.25 billion settlement to Holocaust survivors, breathing new life into long-standing investigations into issues such as looted art, unpaid insurance benefits and the use of forced labor at German factories during World War Two.

Both General Motors and Ford insist that they bear little or no responsibility for the operations of their German subsidiaries, which controlled 70 percent of the German car market at the outbreak of war in 1939 and rapidly retooled themselves to supply war materials to the German army...."
posted by troutfishing at 11:01 PM on June 19, 2004


Will you two just fuck already?
posted by interrobang at 11:19 PM on June 19, 2004


interrobang - I suppose you like to watch.
posted by troutfishing at 6:44 AM on June 20, 2004


I DID say that GM and Ford built trucks and planes crucial to Hitler's war effort and that their German subsidiaries which did the work showed a great deal more enthusiasm at that task than you have suggested was the case.

Ok, this is your thesis and I'm happy your sticking to it. That shows integrity but I do not agree with "enthusiasm" but that is a semantic differance.

Albert Speer huh, interesting but i doubt Hitler made that decison on Synthetic fuels alone, it may well have been a factor. The Dearborn Independent, was, at times, filled with anti-jewish, anti-communist articles.

Your historian's mantle is wearing thin, my friend

I do not think so, questioning is part of the process, I question you and the sources, but I am happy you supplied links. As far as "My Mantle" I am happy to disagree with you on the above stated thesis, you provide some good stuff but have overlooked more things esp. operations that continued into 1942. I have the data, you do not. See, a Historian does not use allegations and "supposed" and other yet-to be proven facts to write a final thesis, which needs to be supported. Lawyers can and do. I am curious as to the outcome of this "trial". There are hard facts about the auto giants that we both agree on and that is were I will stop.

I can't believe that and so I am unclear about what you really do mean there.
ditto for your insertion of "jews".

have a good one trout.
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 AM on June 20, 2004


I stand corrected.
posted by yerfatma at 10:10 AM on June 20, 2004


yerfatma - your first comment made me laugh out loud.

No, huge blocks of text and scads of links don't clear up this sort of thing, nor do they necessarily make anyone 'see the light' (wherever it is). But some arguments I'm unwilling to let go :

Like This one, where I got called into Metatalk or this one, over new scientific research into the danger of cooked food.

When I'm sufficiently annoyed, I neither get tired or bored - and so I'm indebted to clavdivs for irritating me into delving deeper into the US corporate/WW2 Nazi connection than I might have for years.

So, thanks clav. But.....
posted by troutfishing at 1:00 PM on June 20, 2004


"you provide some good stuff but have overlooked more things esp. operations that continued into 1942. I have the data, you do not." (clavdivs) - So what is the data ?

I wasn't aware that I was, here, functioning as a historian writing a final thesis. Still, I've been the one supplying all of the actual quotes and links to articles, and I've been painstaking about addressing your objections.

But I can't object to things you merely gesture at :

Your historical citations and allusions don't hold much weight - especially if they are sufficiently obscure - unless you take more explicit care to explain what they are, what they mean and - further - where I or any other reader can find out more about them.

I did that with the 1945 Schneider Report. it's in the National Archives ( as reported by the WaPo and Reuters ). I'd like an opportunity to know of those "operations that continued into 1942" - what operations are you referring to ?

I trailed your "Buna" reference for quite a while, and it was a good lead for my case - of US corporate complicity in working both sides of the fence during WW2 (which isn't so much an historical thesis - given that I'm not a trained, practicing historian, but it is a valid, fruitful field of inquiry at the lest) and, along the way I discovered (from my last provided quote) that "Schneider said Ford's U.S. parent had agreed to a complicated barter deal that gave Germany increased access to large quantities of strategic raw materials, notably rubber......``General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland,'' author Bradford Snell told the Post. He said Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer had told him in 1977 that Hitler ``would never have considered invading Poland'' without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors." Very interesting indeed!

I certainly found out a lot more about Buna, but nothing concerning your reference. I've no doubt it's grounded in acknowledged history, so where can I find out more about that ?

As for my reworking of the Severin statement, well - historians, if they are honest ones, are mandated to supply the context of their points as well as their quotations. But since you want to assert that my quote is somehow inappropriate or antisemitic, well here is a bit of the context :

"Severin has also called for the destruction of Fallajuh by nuclear weapons.

In continuing to air Severin, it would seem that WTTK-FM tacitly approves of such extreme hate-speech.

For the morally challenged, here's a hint - try inserting a different ethnicity in place in Severin's statements noted here, as in "Severin said that Fallujah, an Irish town of over one hundred thousand residents....."

posted by troutfishing at 1:05 PM on June 20, 2004


*boggles at the train wreck, moves along*
posted by dmt at 4:58 AM on June 21, 2004


MetaFilter: Eats, Shoots and Hangs Around to Explain Himself.

posted by Shane at 8:32 AM on June 21, 2004


But since you want to assert that my quote is somehow inappropriate or antisemitic, well here is a bit of the context :

I understand, we can agree that severin is a nasty bag of adjectives.

Your historical citations and allusions don't hold much weight - especially if they are sufficiently obscure


I agree but I do not have much to refute nor prove.

I DID say that GM and Ford built trucks and planes crucial to Hitler's war effort and that their German subsidiaries which did the work showed a great deal more enthusiasm at that task than you have suggested was the case.

This is your thesis or point of contention to my saying "perhaps some trucks", your right, one-third is not 'some trucks' you stuck to your point and added more points to help you support your thesis and you did well.

You will have to find the buna connection on your own, i doubt it is on the internet but, when i have time i will share it with you.

I had a problem with you not acknowledging the isolantionist attitudes held by american companies and individuals, say from 1939-1941. Ford was asked to make 3000 aircraft engines and said he would not because he did not want to supply arms to "belligerants"...yeah, i know. old edsel started lossing his health after that.

shanes gif up there is making me browser gamey and i had something earlier to say but me browser crashed.

you and i are not historians perhaps i have been trained more. I have one paper that has an orginal thesis dealing with post war rehabilitation of solders in industry. The subject was....
posted by clavdivs at 11:47 AM on June 21, 2004


...a industrial psychologist whom worked in flint and set up alot of standards of rehab and job placement. many companies thought him to be tops in his feild. He was doing things for vets no one else was as far as industry was concerned. I even interviewed his widow whom i talked at great length with and she agreed with my thesis and liked the paper i sent here.
I know the hard work involved but will not share that energy here. But you should, but think through things, heck i need too also.

i will share one open source thing you could look up. In summer 1941, The german resistance, mostly the aristocracy crowd, started plotting with a few generals. The had no chance really for a big coup but they did have a plan, the plan was for Louis-Ferdinand to regain the throne. Then, 33, he spent 5 years working in Dearborn, at Ford, before ending up at lufthansa. And the ties led right to the White House.
(Wm. Shirer is the source)

things are never what they appear to be, for the most.
posted by clavdivs at 12:01 PM on June 21, 2004



posted by Shane at 1:06 PM on June 21, 2004


"I had a problem with you not acknowledging the isolantionist attitudes held by american companies and individuals, say from 1939-1941." - well, yeah : there were many who held those attitudes. But I was focussing on the companies who were actively participating in Hitler's re-armourment program, including Ford, GM, and all.

Those seemed to be 1) intent on war and 2) ready to work both sides of the fence.

I was surprised to find out that not only did GM provide Hitler with key synthetic fuel technology and patents but also that GM actually made MORE trucks than Ford so, together, GM and Ford subsidiaries in Gemany accounted for over 2/3 of the Wermacht's truck fleet.

A number of US corporations played a similar role, through their subsidiaries. IBM, Edwin Black asserts (in "IBM and the Holocaust", continued to make profits (laundered through switzerland, I seem to recall - but I could be wrong on that) - from it's IBM/German subsidiary - in servicing the IBM punch card machines which proved very useful to the Nazis in the rounding up of Jews and others marked for elimination.

The key point of contention here, though, is : how willingly did those subsidiaries - and the US based home parent corporations - go along with Hitler's demands ?

Most seemed more than willing or - at the least - willing enough.

According to Black (and he's not advancing really a new thesis - just building on an already acknowledged case) - ".....American corporate philanthropies launched a national campaign of ethnic cleansing in the United States, helped found and fund the Nazi eugenics of Hitler and Mengele — and then created the modern movement of "human genetics." ( from "The war Against The Weak" )

Anyway - I agree that things are not always what they seem. Usually, I'd add. There are layers within layers, and this story I'm describing - the complicity of a number of US corporations in aiding Hitler - still could be merely an outer layer in the onion.

Is the core rotten ? Or good ?
That, we may never know.

All we can do is peel them away one by one, inspecting for decay as we go.

Best, Trout.

BTW - Dostoevsky had a great parable about onions, a vegetable sometimes added as a garnish, to cheeseburgers. I hope you enjoyed my Michael Moore "Cheeseburger" post. No one's all good or all bad. But some can sure eat a burger. With onions?
posted by troutfishing at 1:10 PM on June 21, 2004


shane - what is that thing? A marsupial rodent?
posted by troutfishing at 1:12 PM on June 21, 2004


Also - clavdivs, I bet you know this but (just to let you know that I know) a lot of political progressives in the US in the early part the 20th Century believed in the Eugenics Movement. Like Margaret Sanger. It was, I gather, a fairly popular position and not merely some top-down corporate foisted plot.
posted by troutfishing at 1:22 PM on June 21, 2004


yup, cheeseburger with onions, but I'm sliming down. good take. Also, GM, produced almost double what Ford did for the allied war effort. The layers are huge, glad to see you know that but your bright and know this. Hey, how about them sovs training the wermacht. Sure, there is a lot of rotten stuff and no one really thought Hitler would go that nuts, say around 1935. But some did and were ignored.
posted by clavdivs at 10:47 AM on June 22, 2004


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