I’ve been waiting for the right inspiration to wish my readers well today. This image comes from Andrew Sullivan’s blog where he regularly publishes photos his readers have taken from the windows where they are reading his blog. They are called the VFYW or View From Your Window.
This one is a beaut. From Woody Guthrie’s This land is your land, this land is my land, From California to the New York Islands…..
Would it be anti-semitic of me to deplore the slow abandonment of democratic principles by Israel’s Jewish population?
“…according to a 2010 survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, 86 percent of the Jewish public believe that decisions critical to the state should be taken only by a Jewish majority;”
“…and 55 percent say that greater resources should be allocated to Jewish communities than to Arab ones.”
…for the past 3,000 years or so. Very cool website for the history minded.
Every now and then I’ll hear some piece of information back to back from very different sources which amplify the importance of the information.
That just happened to me today. In the broadcast referred to in the previous post about George Marshall I learned that George Marshall was appointed Chief of the Army the night that Germany defeated France. He was woken at 3AM and given the news.
Just now I was watching BBC Newsnight when an interview about German author Hans Fallada took place. I’d never heard of him. He was an opponant of Hitler and fascism during the war and when it was over wrote a novel Alone in Berlin about a middle class couple who defied the Nazi’s and paid for it by being beheaded by the Gestapo.
The book has been well known in Germany but until now has not had a good English translation. Apparently it has finally been successfully translated and its a cracker jack story.
For as long as I can remember going back to my years in elementary school I’ve heard people ask why Germans rolled over and let the fascists get away with what they did. The folks on the BBC interview said that while 12,000 folks are estimated to have been resisters in Berlin almost all Germans fell into line when France fell to Germany and it was obvious that resistance was futile.
In both America and Germany most people thought that a war would proceed along the lines of the First World War and end up in a long stalemate along the French border where my grandfather earned his Congressional Medal of Honor.
History doesn’t always repeat itself. For instance, I don’t always lose elections.
I’ve always planned to live to age 100. If I manage it that leaves 40% of my life yet to look forward to. When I was young I was very aware of the youth of famous individuals who accomplished remarkable things at a tender age.
Today on MPR I heard a wonderful broadcast about a giant, albeit one that young people may not have heard of, George Marshall. Until he was 59 his life was largely of no consequence beyond his own immediate circle. After that he became a giant in war and peace.
Since I’m 59 too I found this news particularly gratifying.
And one more thing. George Marshall became a figure beloved in Congress because he was scrupulously non partisan, so much so that he never voted. When asked by partisans what his political leanings were he told them that his Mother was a Republican, his Father was a Democrat and he was an Episcopalian.
If anyone is going to solve Minnesota’s budget problems they’d better be an Episcopalian.
The Lincoln book I’ve found most interesting so far is about his Cooper Union Speech. This one sounds pretty good too.
Gone with the Wind Published Aug. 1, 2008
“As a little kid growing up in Topeka, Kansas, my family would often troop down to the basement when civil defense sirens warned us that conditions were ripe for tornados. I always wanted to stay above ground to see a twister like the one that blew Dorothy Gale’s house onto the Wicked Witch of the East. . .”
A sneak peak at my Reader Weekly column for this week.
Once again Hollywood is the enemy of the truth as Newsweek’s Evan Thomas points out.
Richard Viguerie is the man who developed the voter identification services that helped make the Republican Party the majority party and helped bring about talk radio which put both spine and venom in the GOP. I heard him on NPR today explaining why he expected the Democrats to fail. I can’t find that story on the NPR webpage. However this story from a few days earlier explains why he didn’t at all ming having the GOP take a tumble last Tuesday.
My campaigning is almost at an end. I could have put up lawnsigns today but I’m content to let my handful of remaining ads do the heavy lifting.
Since myÂ wife went off with a number of church women to a retreat today I took the afternoon to watch Clint Eastwood’s Flags of our Fathers. Claudia isn’t interested in gore and this movie has that in spades but like Tom Hank’s Private Ryan it was shown in the service of honesty not exploitation. Apparently Eastwood plans on filiming another movie about the fighting on Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view. I’ll be sure to watch that movie too.
I knew the story well enough that I wasn’t confused by the cuts back and forth in time. As I left Jim and Carol, also from our church told me that her family had known one of the flag raisers, a fellow who still lives in the Twin Cities. Like me they stayed through the movie credits which showed original war photos from the island. Jim told me that the theater should let every native American into the movie free. I understood what he meant. AdamÂ BeachÂ performance asÂ Ira Hayes a Pima Indian was wrenching.
A pedantic but important speech on American traditions based on a Pulitizer Prize winning history of the Revolution.
â€œDo not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a swordâ€ (Mt. 10:34).
WhenÂ Christian punditsÂ accuse Islam of being a violent religion based on quotations from the Koran they ought to give some thought to their own scriptures.
I’m still catching up with all the newspapers I missed while overseas. One very interesting New York Times article that I’ve just read by Sam Tanenhaus,Â suggests that today’s blogging lefties are the equivelent of Bill Buckley and the conservatives that sweptÂ aside moderate RepublicansÂ while championing Goldwater and Reagan. I’m not sure what to make of Tanenhaus’s claim that today’s lefties are less extreme but they may indeed be a harbinger of things to come.
An article today caught my eye and on a topic I’ve been licking my lips to expound on. The GOP and its new ethos that confuses the making of money with the strengthening of the economy.
It seems that the US military which pays starvation wages to its enlisted personnel wants to crack down on Payday loan establishments that prey on servicemen. In the story today one soldier took a $255 dollar advance on a $300 guaranteed pay check. This used to be called usury and most states usedÂ to have laws against it. That fee is comparable to a 459% interest rate. Compare that with the going rate for a home mortgage loan and you can see how soldiers are being taken.
But the military sees its servicemen being bled dry by these Republican sanctioned outfits. The military wants to protect its troops from these predators but everyone should be protected from them. The growth of the once non existent car “title loans” is the same thing. Poor people hand over their car titles for emergency money and lose their only means of transportation for loans that are in the neighborhood of 100 % or more.
Rather than protect the vulnerable poor (even servicemen) Republicans insist that the poor are entitled to ruin themselves and have only themselves to blame. Too many of these modern Era RepublicansÂ never saw anything wrong with any way to make a buck (other than selling drugs).
Just look at gambling. Once strongly anti-gaming the Republican Party now pushes gaming everywhere despite it socially destructive consequences. The Republicans, hate to tax wealthy people even when the wealth is acquired moreÂ through legislation than enterprise.Â ButÂ with reduced tax revenues, socially destructive gambling has become an acceptableÂ new source for revenue. Except for Indian gaming……That’s why Republicans in state’s like Minnesota have tried to break into the Indian gaming industryÂ andÂ why they railÂ against Indian sovereignty. Why are we letting all these poor Indians keep all this money? It would be better if we justÂ let them sell cigarettes and set up title loans on the Rez.