Tuesday, November 24, 2009

KY Census Hanging: It *was* Suicide.

AP reports: "authorities" say that the Census worker found hanged in Kentucky committed suicide, and was not murdered.

Evidence: two recently purchased life insurance policies with no-pay-for-suicide clauses, fighting cancer, and a $10K indemnity from the USG to his survivors, and the fact that it was apparently still physically possible for him to hang himself in the manner described.

God rest him and forgive him, but, also, thank God he wasn't murdered after all.

And I don't mind correcting the record. Although I DID say "let's not rush to judgment" as well as the possibility that it was more likely not political.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The 10 Ugliest Buildings In The World

Of all the ten, here follows my personal favorite, The Royal Ontario Museum ("ROM"):

Looks like it collapsed into the building next door--a visual architectural joke.

"At least when the Germans bombed London they didn't leave anything behind that was uglier than rubble." - Charles, Prince of Wales, on modern architecture (the only thing he ever said that is worth remembering).

Lest We Forget 11/22/1963

"Will you kiss me?"

President Obama meets, er, the Chinese leadership.

Painfully, horribly funny. But, alas, NSFW.

If you're at work and want to see the exact same thing written by an economist instead of Saturday Night Live, read this. It won't make you laugh, however. Trust me on this.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tattered Remnants #019: Irena Sendlerowa

(Read all about the Tattered Remnants by clicking {here}.)


[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Longtime readers of this blog will be aware that Your Author continues to be annoyed that the 44th President of the United States was given, as a Christmas present, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009, his sole accomplishment being that he was not George W. Bush. He is not the first to have that distinction; Jimmy Carter, in 2004, and Al Gore, in 2008, were also Peace Prize winners, and they, too, were most decidedly not George W. Bush. I'd like to discuss someone who was not named as the 2008 Nobel winner, just for comparison's sake.]

Irena Sendlerowa (known in English as "Irene Sendler") was a social worker in Poland who was among the tiny minority of Polish Catholics who took direct action to save those trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto from death at the hands of the Nazis during the German Occupation of Poland (1939-1944). Specifically, she headed a group of individuals known as Źegota; approximately two dozen of whom cooperated in the salvation of some 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

For her efforts, she was captured, tortured, interrogated, had all four limbs broken, and was sentenced to death–escaping only when her designated executioners secretly cooperated with the Polish underground to enable her escape.

Poland's long history of anti-Semitism has many bitter incidents to its history, long before the arrival of the German army in 1939. But through that long night of bigotry, many names shone who resisted the popular prejudice against the Jewish people. One of those resistors was Irena Sendlerowa.

Her Catholic father, a physician, died in 1917 of typhus, contracted from treating his Jewish patients, who were suffering from an epidemic in that dark time of the First World War. Others would have used that as an excuse to become anti-Semitic. Irena, on the other hand, remembered her father's sacrifice and became a Judeophile in a land where Jews were held as a bitterly hated and feared minority.

She first showed her courage during the so-called "Ghetto Bench" controversy when in university in the 1930s. In those dark days between the wars, Poland was a dictatorship, run by a shadowy coalition called Sancja ("Sanation" or "The Healing Coalition"), under the iron fisted rule of Jozef Pilsudski, the general who, holding various high political offices, was the true ruler of Poland until his death in 1935. After his death, "Sanation" split into three weak parties as Poland tried to come to terms with the growing Nazi threat to its west.

During this period, German anti-Semitism found a dark echo among students in Polish universities. This resulted, starting from the death of Pilsudski, with demands among nationalist students that Polish Jews in the universities be forced to sit apart from the main body of students, to the left hand of each lecture hall. Organized harassment of Jewish students by nationalists became an ongoing problem, particularly as those running the universities, jealous of their independent status, would not allow local law enforcement to intervene to stop the beatings. Starting in December 1935, Lwow Polytechnic instituted a policy whereby Jewish students were forced to sit in these "Ghetto Benches." Jewish–and Catholic–students who resisted the order were ordered suspended, then expelled from the Universities, in the name of "preventing violence."

Irena Sendlerowa thought the system unconscionable. As a result of her refusal to submit to this organized humiliation of a minority, she was suspended from Warsaw University.

For three years.

When the war broke out, she was working as a social worker in the countryside surrounding Warsaw, and watched in horror as the Germans began to segregate the Polish Jews–first by expelling professional Jews from their work and ordering all to wear a Star of David, then, more ominously, by forcing them to live in a segregated area, the Ghetto–as it developed, the largest in Europe.

The Germans coopted the local Polish city government bureaucracy, and Irena was given an assignment almost unique among Polish Catholics. She was ordered to enter the Ghetto on a regular basis to monitor the appearance of typhus and other diseases–not because the Germans cared if the Jews of the ghetto got sick (they didn't) but because they feared its spread to the civil populace in the rest of the city. She therefore had special papers allowing her to come and go freely in the Ghetto.

While she was inside its walls, she freely chose to wear the Star of David on her arm–both out of sympathy and solidarity for those confined there and out of a desire not to be conspicuous.

What nobody at the city bureaucracy had noticed was that Irena had made contact with the Polish underground.

The Polish underground during the war was actually many "undergrounds." Although most were associated with the Government-in-Exile in London, some were Communist controlled; furthermore, there was much internal division even among those under the London Poles. Most were dedicated to armed resistance against the Germans and thus had few resources (and even less desire) to assist the Jews caught in the grip of the Nazis.

Irena, however, joined a small group, known today as Źegota, the Committee of Aid to the Jews. As part of that group, she began to organize a quiet underground of some two dozen people to assist the Jews in their time of darkest need.

In 1941 and 1942, she commenced an organized effort to remove children from the Ghetto and place them in surrounding farms and families, with convents and parishes. While it was the policy of many to convert Jews in their care to Catholicism, she was determined that these children would retain the birthright of their identities once the war was over. Accordingly, she kept the names of the children she hid, the names of their families, and the places they were hidden in buried jars, so that when the war was over she would be able to reunite them with their birth families. Furthermore, she made specific promises to these children she cared for that they would one day, if possible, be reunited with their parents.

In 1943 the Gestapo captured her, tortured her severely, and sentenced her to death. She was taken to the woods outside Warsaw, where her executioners, possibly having been bribed by Źegota operatives, forewent shooting her, instead beat her severely and left her for almost-dead, breaking both her arms and legs. She was rescued by the Underground and assumed a new identity until the war was over. The Germans listed her among those executed.

The end of the war came and she kept her promise; she dug the jars up and used the information to try to reunite the children with their parents. Alas, however, the parents were almost all killed at Treblinka death camp.

Her work with Źegota was recognized by the new Communist regime: as an agent of the London based Government in Exile, she was declared an enemy of the new Polish state. During this post war period, she lost a child to miscarriage.

In 1965, however, Yad Vashem had obtained enough information to verify her status as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. She was not allowed to travel to Israel to receive recognition for her wartime work until 1983.

It was only in her old age that her work began to gain the recognition it deserved. Again, Wikipedia:

In 2003 Pope John Paul II sent [Sendlerowa] a personal letter praising her wartime efforts. On 10 October 2003 she received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest civilian decoration, and the Jan Karski Award "For Courage and Heart," given by the American Center of Polish Culture in Washington, D.C..

On 14 March 2007 [Sendlerowa] was honored by Poland's Senate. At age 97, she was unable to leave her nursing home to receive the honor, but she sent a statement through Elzbieta Ficowska, whom [Sendlerowa] had saved as an infant. Polish President Lech Kaczynski stated she "can justly be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize" (though nominations are supposed to be kept secret). On 11 April 2007, she received the Order of the Smile[, an international award recognizing adults who performed special acts of heroism on behalf of children] as the oldest recipient of the award.

In May 2009, Irena [Sendlerowa] was posthumously granted the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award. The award, named in honor of the late actress and UNICEF ambassador, is presented to persons and organizations recognized for helping children. In its citation, the Audrey Hepburn Foundation recalled Irena [Sendlerowa]’s heroic efforts that saved two and a half thousand Jewish children during the German occupation of Poland in World War Two.

In 1999, a group of high school students in Kansas were inspired to write and perform a play based on her life, entitled A Life In A Jar. This has led to the creation of The Irena Sendler Project, an ongoing educational program to teach children about the Holocaust. The funds raised by this project are being used to raise a statue to her memory in Warsaw in 2010, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

The best monument to her efforts remain the children she saved. Although they are not remembered as a collective in the way the Schindlerjuden are known, their numbers are even greater than Oskar's accomplishment. Generations will thrive because of her efforts.

Her work with the Warsaw Ghetto children was truly worthy of honor. I must admit, however, that I am almost more impressed with her willingness to resist the segregation of Jews in her university days. One small advantage of resisting tyranny such as Naziism is that the evil is naked and undeniable, with life and death and salvation and damnation all clearly at stake. But who would risk expulsion in this day and age from university studies over a matter of principle?

In the end, only one award, alas, eluded her. In spite of Lech Walensa's and others' enthusiastic support for her nomination that year, the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize was granted to Albert Gore, Jr., a noted science fiction/fantasy film maker.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Palin’s Daughter Arrested in Wasilla for Dangerous Drunk Driving

No.... really?

No. Really.

Good call, Publius. Since it was really Kerry's daughter arrested, ... well, we know what the Press had to say. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Over the Rainbow

Eva Cassidy (1963-1996).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kitten on the Keys(tone Kop)

Monday, November 16, 2009

You Have Been Summoned... to Las Vegas!

Well-known anti-Muslim, ethnic-cleansing-advocating, pro-Mecca-bombing goon "Rodan" at blogmocracy.com (formerly LGF2) announces a convention for his blog members:

and the location I have chosen is Las Vegas.
No doubt having been summoned there by Randall Flagg.

Yeah, LGF1 has turned into a sewer. But so, in spite of certain individuals, has LGF2. Alas.

A plague on both their houses.

ADDENDUM: I'm adding this in response to Mr. Anonymous's comments below: Rodan is a vile genocide cheerleader, as revealed from things said to me personally on LGF2 during the brief time I participated there. For instance, in this discussion here, he actually praised the dead Serb war criminal Arkan and those who committed the genocide at Srebrenica as well as accusing me personally of causing 9/11 (see Comment #23).

Rodan is a slime and needs to be read out of civilized society. There are some at Blogmocracy/LGF2 who are fairly decent, but as long as they allow this obscene child to continue to rant in their name, I want nothing to do with it, by whatever name it goes by.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tattered Remnant #018: Ignaz Semmelweis

(Read all about the Tattered Remnants by clicking {here}.)


Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor who worked in Vienna in the mid 19th Century was a man who literally saved countless lives--by making a science out of something mothers have been saying for thousands of years.

Always wash your hands.

He should be remembered for two reasons: one, as an example of a courageous member of the Remnant, standing against established opinion; secondly, as an example of someone who, though absolutely and utterly right, might have made a bit more impression if he had been just a little more politic in what he had to say.

In 1846, Dr. Semmelweis was the Assistant (a title meaning, roughly, Chief of Surgery) in one of Vienna's finest hospitals. Vienna, then as now, had a small problem with infanticide that nobody really wanted to talk about. Since poor women lacking husbands were essentially rejected by society, the abandonment and death of newborns was a horrific, ongoing problem. Accordingly, those hospitals in place in Vienna opened special clinics that treated poor women who were expecting children. The fees were paid by voluntary contributions through charity and from the rich nobility.

His hospital was so well known, and so well regarded, that they opened not one, but two clinics, to treat the women in labor.

But there was a strange statistical fluke that nobody understood: at the hospital where he worked, for reasons truly unknown, the women of Clinic 1 died of puerperal, or childbed, fever at an astoundingly higher rate than the women in Clinic 2. In Clinic 1, deaths varied between ten to an astounding thirty three percent! from month to month. In Clinic 2, deaths were steadily under 5%.

This became so widely understood on the streets of Vienna that women literally begged not to be assigned to Clinic 1 for their cases.

But how could this possibly be?

The superficial difference between the two clinics was that Clinic 1 was run by medical students and Clinic 2 run by midwives, i.e., former prostitutes who had been retrained in childbirth procedures.

Furthermore, it was known that deaths at home from childbed fever did not come near matching the death rate of Clinic 1.

How was it possible that doctors and medical students were killing their patients through puerperal fever while those treated by women--whores!--were not?

You know the answer of course: dirty hands. He and his students had been working in a dual environment: with women in labor and then also with corpses under dissection. They carried "something" from the corpses to the women (we know of course that the something was germs, but this was some 25 years before Pasteur, so there was no germ theory as yet).

Dr. Semmelweis discovered that, once he had his students wash their hands in what was essentially a primitive form of Chlorox that the death rate dropped to near zero, almost immediately. In April 1847, deaths reached 17%. In July and August, under 5%. In September 1847, 0%.

You'd think that such an astounding advancement in treatment, such a dramatic drop in the deaths of the innocent–particularly as it required almost no expense to implement!--would be news that would be trumpeted from the rooftops and immediately incorporated by doctors worldwide. Semmelweis's name should have taken its place within his lifetime next to Galen, Edward Jenner, and William Harvey.

Such was not the case, at least not while he lived.

To begin with, Dr. Semmelweis, although a determined surgeon and statistical analyst, clearly did not understand the politics of the medical world. At the beginning of his successful discovery, he chose not to publish the results of his discovery immediately, or to notify other doctors through medical journals–the standard procedure, then and now, of publicizing key scientific discoveries, particularly those in the medical world. Word spread–but through word of mouth, not through rigorously challenged peer review. Semmelweis's discovery therefore was imperfectly transmitted, and, being imperfectly transmitted, was not well received.

His treatment required hand washing using a sort of diluted lime solution. However, other doctors, getting the word wrong through word-of-mouth, merely washed with soap and water, leaving infectious agents in place and not significantly improving survivability of the women in their care. His methods therefore were considered suspect even when he finally formally published them.

Again, Wikipedia:

Beginning from 1861 Semmelweis suffered from various nervous complaints. He suffered from severe depression and became excessively absent minded. .... He turned every conversation to the topic of childbed fever. ...After a number of unfavorable foreign reviews of his 1861 book, Semmelweis lashed out against his critics in series of Open Letters. They were addressed to various prominent European obstetricians [and] were full of bitterness, desperation, fury, and were "highly polemical and superlatively offensive"at times denouncing his critics as irresponsible murderers or ignoramuses. ...The attacks undermined his professional credibility.
It also did not help that the violence of his critiques raised suspicions that he was mentally ill. Even today it is thought he may have suffered from some sort of psychosis. Again, Wikipedia:
... It is impossible to appraise the nature of Semmelweis' disorder. It may have been Alzheimer's disease, a form of senile dementia, which is associated with rapid aging. It may have been third stage of syphilis, a then-common disease of obstetricians who examined thousands of women at gratis institutions. Or it may have been emotional exhaustion from overwork and stress.

On July 30[, 1865, an associate, Dr.] Ferdinand von Hebra lured him, under the pretense of visiting one of Hebra's "new Institutes", to a Viennese insane asylum ... Semmelweis surmised what was happening and tried to leave. He was severely beaten by several guards, secured in a straitjacket and confined to a darkened cell. Apart from the straitjacket, treatments at the mental institution included dousing with cold water and administering castor oil, a laxative. He died after two weeks, on August 13, 1865, aged 47, from a gangrenous wound, possibly inflicted by the beating.

The autopsy revealed extensive internal injuries, the cause of death pyemia—blood poisoning.

Ironically, he died of the very disease he had fought so hard to prevent in women.

He was, like Mozart some 75 years earlier, buried in a pauper's grave. His death went unnoted by his professional compatriots–not surprisingly, as some of them had murdered him.

But he was not forgotten. Today, he is remembered with Pasteur, the discoverer of the germ theory of disease and Joseph Lister, the father of antisepsis. He has been honored on postage stamps and his birth home in Budapest is now a national museum.

If ever you have undergone a surgeon's knife or poke, thank this man. He may have saved your life. And the fact that he tried so hard to pound his truths into the head of an unthinking medical world–even if he was mentally ill by the time he began the effort in earnest–shows that, even ill, he was one of the Tattered Remnant.

"Or Detroit..... I dunnoooo....."

"We do so many showwwwws in a rooooowwwww......"

Looks like the Boss forgot what state he was in on Friday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Ayn Rand: Good Novelist; Evil Philosopher

Peter Wehner, on National Review On-Line, could not have put it better:

Objectively, Ayn Rand Was a Nut [Peter Wehner]

According to Politico.com, Ayn Rand — the subject of two new biographies, one of which is titled Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right — is “having a mainstream moment,” including among conservatives. (Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina wrote a piece in Newsweek on Rand, saying, “This is a very good time for a Rand resurgence. She’s more relevant than ever.”).

I hope the moment passes. Ms. Rand may have been a popular novelist, but her philosophy is deeply problematic and morally indefensible.


Many conservatives aren’t aware that it was Whittaker Chambers who, in 1957, reviewed Atlas Shrugged in National Review and read her out of the conservative movement. The most striking feature of the book, Chambers said, was its “dictatorial tone . . . Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal . . . From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘To a gas chamber — go!’”


Ayn Rand may have been an interesting figure and a good (if extremely long-winded) novelist; but her views were pernicious, the antithesis of a humane and proper worldview. And conservatives should say so.

So say we all. Read the whole thing.

Just because it's Friday morning.

More Vader silliness.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If I were #2 to the Galactic Emperor....

...I'd probably act like this too.

Tattered Remnants #017: Nien Cheng


[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, recently left her post as mouthpiece for the Obama administration after a video was found where she called Mao Zedong one of her "favorite philosophers" (along with, for some reason, Mother Theresa of Calcutta). Perhaps before she philosophizes again, she should read a bit about Nien Cheng, and about the Maoist regime that killed up to 72 million people, plus at least 250,000,000+ more these last 40 years through abortions, including those forced, as directed by the one child policy.]

Imagine, if you would, having your home invaded by a gang of politically correct teenaged thugs. Imagine having your goods smashed, books burned, letters destroyed, family pictures shredded. Imagine watching them kill your spouse or child in front of you because they won't denounce you.

Imagine being dragged off to a prison for several years and then being harangued the whole time with the writings of, oh, I don't know, whatever random political leader happens to be in charge.

An obituary for the recently deceased 94 year old Nien Cheng, who died in Washington, DC on November 2, 2009, describes a woman who underwent precisely this kind oppression at the hands of Mao's Red Guards, that is, the forces of Political Correctness (to use a term first used in Mao's Little Red Book).

Nien Cheng was a survivor of the Great Cultural Revolution. The Telegraph begins her story with these paragraphs:

On August 30 1966, between 30 and 40 high school students, wearing Red Guard armbands, arrived at the gates of her elegant house in Shanghai to "take up revolutionary action" against her. As the wealthy widow of the former general manager of the Shell oil company in the city, Nien Cheng had been expecting the

The youngsters, seized with Maoist fervour, smashed her antique furniture and porcelain, destroyed her paintings and burned her books. When she tried to save some irreplaceable items she was kicked in the ribs. "They are the useless toys of the feudal emperors and the modern capitalist class and have no significance to us, the proletarian class," she was told.

The visit was the beginning of an excruciating six-and-a-half years of torture, during which Nien Cheng was falsely accused of being a spy and kept in solitary confinement in Shanghai's No 1 Detention House. During her captivity, her only daughter, Meiping, an actress in revolutionary propaganda, was beaten to death by Red Guards.

Read the whole thing.

Wikipedia adds:

Maoist revolutionaries used [her employment by Shell Oil] to claim that Cheng was a British spy in order to strike at Communist Party moderates for allowing the firm to operate in China after 1949. Her book documents her amazing courage and fortitude that enabled her to survive her imprisonment.
Cheng endured six-and-a-half years of squalid and inhumane conditions in prison, all the while refusing to give any false confession. ... Cheng was rehabilitated after the Gang of Four (including Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong's wife) were arrested, and she used the opportunity to leave for the United States, as she was still a constant target of surveillance by those who wished her ill. Cheng used Mao's teachings successfully against her interrogators, frequently turning the tide of the struggle sessions against [them].
After she was released, she managed to go into exile from the regime that despised her, and, like her spiritual brother Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, she looked to the West as a place of refuge among some who were still arbitors and protectors of human freedom. She made her way to Canada, and applied to enter the United States. Having been told that she could be granted immediate entry if she asked for asylum, she refused as a matter of principle: instead, she waited for an immigrant visa to come up in the normal turn of events. She immigrated to the United States in 1982 and, in 1987, was seated at a place of honor next to Ronald Reagan at a state dinner.

She told the story of her stand against tyranny in her book Life and Death in Shanghai.

She passed away in her sleep, peacefully, at her home in the Washington DC area.

The fates of the Red Guards who brutalized and tortured her and murdered her daughter--like the eternal fate of Mao Zedong--remain unknown at this time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Thank you George and Laura...." from THESE GUYS?

From a gay Democrat political blog in Chicago:

[W]e will always be grateful for what George and Laura Bush did this week, with no media attention, when they very quietly went to Ft. Hood and met personally with the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.


The Bushes went and met privately with these families for HOURS, hugging them, holding them, comforting them.

If there are any of you out there with any connection at all to the Bushes, we implore you to give them our thanks…you tell them at a bunch of gay Hillary guys in Boystown, Chicago were wrong about the Bushes…and are deeply, deeply sorry for any jokes we told about them in the past, any bad thoughts we had about these good, good people.


We hope someday to be able to thank George W. and Laura in person for all they’ve done, and continue to do. They didn’t have to head to Ft. Hood. That was not their responsibility.

The Obamas should

have done that.

But didn’t.

Emphasis mine.

Well, I'll be damned. And I thought I was the only person who thought that Obama's non-appearance at Hood was a bad, bad move. Color me picking jaw off of floor.

11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In memory of all Americans (and British, and Canadian, and Australian, and South African, and Indian, and African, and French, and all the free peoples everywhere) who gave their lives in the four great wars of the century, the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1931*-1945), the Cold War with Soviet Socialism (1945-1992), and the present-day Long Conflict (2001-present).

We also remember those peoples of the now-former Soviet Union who gave their lives resisting either National or Soviet Socialism.

We especially remember the thirteen American service members killed and 31 wounded by a violent jihadist and, yes, traitor to his uniform and the nation of his birth, at Fort Hood last week.

I salute you all. Non sum dignis, omnes.

*Yes, 1931, not 1939. Like many scholars of the time I count the start of the war from the "China Incident" that commenced the Japanese aggression against China as the true start of the Second World War.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anita is Dunn At The White House

It appears that Anita Dunn is stepping down as White House communications director.

And why is that?


Or to paraphrase an old cat food commercial from the 1970s:

Mao Mao Mao.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And The Answer Is: He Was Pushed

The nuclear scientist who was thrown down 17 storys worth of stairs to his death last week, noted below, and in the Daily Mail, was definitely a victim of murder.

Timothy Hampton, 47, a scientist involved in monitoring nuclear activity, was found dead last week at the bottom of a stairwell in Vienna.

CTBTO staff monitor tremors in countries worldwide to uncover illegal nuclear tests. It has been suggested that Mr Hampton may have been involved in talks discussing nuclear testing in Iran. The UN has strongly denied the claims.

Two words. Rut roh.