I doubt Simon is making excuses for Hitler - he's more pointing out that we tend to focus far more on him and his purported amazing skills than on the much bigger picture of how Nazi Germany operated.
I'd hope so, though I'm a little dismayed at his use of expressions such as "Speer's genius" and "economic miracle". The tawdry reality behind these political myths is that they were fuelled by industrialised ideologically-sanctioned theft and murder.
You've followed up with the old excuse that Hitler never knew.
While I doubt that's how it's intended, the very sinister implication is certainly there. Simon and Tom's analyses are a little bloodless (no twisted pun intended) for me. It's as if statistics were the final arbiter of history, and Nazi Germany was driven by something akin to contemporary corporate efficiency, rather than a ghastly and all-pervasive ideology.
Where, for example, is the recognition of the massive and murderous use of slave labour, and the vast appropriation of property from those destined for the death camps in creating this "impressive" "economic miracle"? To be intrigued by "how much MORE they could have produced" is tantamount to being fascinated by the possible scale of genocide if the regime had flourished unchecked.
For a really comprehensive analysis of how genocide and ideology drove the Nazi economy try Michael Thad Allen's The Business of Genocide: The SS, Slave Labor, and the Concentration Camps.
Way back in the early 90s, in the run-up to MMP, someone (can't remember who) reckoned it had popular support mainly because Helen Clark & Simon Upton didn't like it.
Also Bolger's preferred option was an upper house, but someone else who I can't remember pointed out that he already had one, in the form of the Business Roundtable.
But anyway, I have little time for Douglas Bader.
Those old flying aces did tend to become raving reactionaries in their dotage. Bader's outspoken support for Rhodesia's Ian Smith was pretty on the nose, though not as risible as the barking Eddie Rickenbacker, who advocated using nuclear weapons against the "two-legged animals" in Vietnam.
One point in Bader's favour - he survived being portrayed as a garrulous grandma by the awful Kenneth More in Reach for the Sky. More had a remarkable knack of infusing an element of someone's dotty nana into every character he played, even the captain of the Titanic.
Taste is the enemy of art!
Too right. Mrs. Skin's on the money with the sequins. Let's have LEDs too. Lots of them.
Austria has a little Taj - and a whole lot of other shrunken stuff - but at least they have the decency to quarantine it in the service of a worthy cause.
Re. Melbourne and Sydney. It's hard to visit Melbourne without being asked if you've ridden the trams yet. In Sydney, though, no-one asks if you've ridden the ferries. If there's a better public transport experience than a Port Jackson ferry on a good day I'd love to try it.
But you think I'm going to hire a lawyer:)
Not when you can draw a perfectly good one.
Graphing sexuality is also complicated by the fact that drive in particular, and any other axis you can name to some extent, are subject to change with time, circumstance and experience.
Like, perhaps, the very singular "sexologist, physician, and social reformer" Havelock_Ellis.
"In November 1891, at the age of 32, and still a virgin, Ellis married the English writer and proponent of women's rights, Edith Lees (none of his four sisters ever married). From the beginning, their marriage was unconventional; Edith Ellis was openly lesbian, and at the end of the honeymoon, Ellis went back to his bachelor rooms in Paddington, while she lived at Fellowship House. Their 'open marriage' was the central subject in Ellis's autobiography, My Life."
"According to Ellis in My Life, his friends were much amused at his being considered an expert on sex, what with the fact that he suffered from impotence until the age of 60, when he discovered that he was able to become aroused by the sight of a woman urinating."
. . . when performing cunning linguisitcs, letting the tongue write the letters of the alphabet....
What, no actual sentences? "Dear Sir/Madam . . ."