Friday, October 30, 2009

Recent Deaths of Note

"Some say that [Voldemort] died. Codswallop, I say."
- Rubeus Hagrid


I wanted to take a moment to mention a couple of recent significant deaths in the news.

First was the death, last month, of Susan Atkins, who spent her entire adult life in prison in California after her participation in the Manson murders in 1969. She murdered, either by her own hand or through helping others, a number of innocent people: Sharon Tate, her unborn son Paul Richard Polanski--who, had he lived, would have been 40 years old this year--and her friends Voychek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, and a visitor to their property, eighteen year old Steven Parent, at 10500 Celio Drive. (It is sad that I remember all these names from perfect memory). She also murdered, as an accomplice, Mr. and Mrs. Leno and Rosemary LaBianca as well as music teacher Gary Hinman in a previous incident.

Susan Atkins was 61; she died of brain cancer, having never obtained even compassionate parole in her last days, having been at the end of her life the longest incarcerated female inmate in the history of California.

I neither rejoice at her death nor mock her. Having spent 40 years in prison, never freed, she is now (to quote Stephen King) "square with the house."

Her acts had, ironically, a profound influence on my life: the story of her (and Manson's) convictions at the hands of prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the book Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, was a powerful influence on my eventual career decision to work in the legal world.

Manson, himself, of course, remains incarcerated, far too dangerous even now to be set free. He turns 75 on November 12th, and still gets loads of fan mail. A man who murdered by command has had his music played by Axl Rose and others; he is, in spite of his abominably evil acts, a celebrity monster. He still has his followers and devotees.

* * * *

Second was a death in the last two days or so here in Detroit.

It appears that a local gang of radical "Muslims" (I use the quotation marks most advisedly; these, er, individuals had nothing in common with the decent Muslims I work with on a daily basis) have been engaged in various highly illegal activities. They were led by one Luqman Ameen Abdullah, formerly Christopher Thompson. Two days ago, eleven of these people were arrested by the FBI on gun and terror related charges.

Mr. Abdullah chose to respond to the arrival of a dozen FBI agents appearing at his workplace by shooting back. He was 53.

Mr. Abdullah, it turns out, was a spiritual follower of one Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a prisoner you may have heard of under his former name: H. Rap Brown, former head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the late 1960s after it transmorgrified itself from a civil rights group to a violently revolutionary movement before it died.

Al-Amin/Brown later made his name as a killer of two policemen. He now leads his "Islamic" group out of the Colorado Federal Supermax.

Sixties radicals--the gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Heinlein on Obama's Peace Prize


Robert A. Heinlein, 1977, Detroit, MI (Photo by RLK)


ROBERT HEINLEIN AND THE OBAMA PEACE PRIZE

I have to admit the whole Affirmative Action Peace Prize given to our first black President just for being black .... continues to disturb me. It seems to me to be left-wing "soft racism of low expectations".... writ large.

I found a passage which describes just why this whole thing is ridiculous. Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers, written 50 years ago, has this whole situation nailed.

The scene is a High School senior class on History and Moral Philosophy, some 200 years from now. A teacher is quizzing a student.

“Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain.” He had been still looking at me and added, “If you boys and girls had to sweat for your toys the way a newly born baby has to struggle to live you would be happier… and much richer. As it is, with some of you, I pity the poverty of your wealth. You! I’ve just awarded you the prize for the hundred-meter dash. Does it make you happy?”

“Uh, I suppose it would.”

“No dodging, please. You have the prize — here, I’ll write it out: ‘Grand prize for the championship, one hundred-meter sprint.’ ” He had actually come back to my seat and pinned it on my chest. “There! Are you happy? You value it — or don’t you?”

I was sore. First that dirty crack about rich kids — a typical sneer of those who haven’t got it — and now this farce.

I ripped it off and chucked it at him.

Mr. Dubois had looked surprised. “It doesn’t make you happy?”

“You know darn well I placed fourth!”

“Exactly! The prize for first place is worthless to you…because you haven’t earned it. But you enjoy a modest satisfaction in placing fourth; you earned it. I trust that some of the somnambulists here understood this little morality play. I fancy that the poet who wrote that song ["The Best Things in Life are Free"] meant to imply that the best things in life must be purchased other than with money — which is true — just as the literal meaning of his words is false. The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion… and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself — ultimate cost for perfect value.” '

Precisely. Precisely!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Did He Fall Or Was He Pushed?

This is Not Good.

[In Vienna, Austria, a] 47-year-old man died after falling more than 120ft to the bottom of a stairwell. He has not been named.... He worked for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, an international agency charged with uncovering illicit nuclear tests.

A UN spokesman in the Austrian capital said there were no "suspicious circumstances" surrounding the man's death.

Police said no other person was believed to have been involved. No suicide note has been found.

Four months ago another UN worker also believed to be British fell from a similar height in the same building, it has been reported.

The latest incident happened on Tuesday as the United States, France, Russia and Iran held talks nearby about Tehran's nuclear programme.


Nothing to see here, folks, just move along....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

It's been almost four months since the death of John Hughes, a man whom I have always admired--a man whose skills with a camera, and a pen, created some wonderful movies.

Here follows a bit of brilliance: the three-minute scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off where Ferris, Camron, and Sloane visit the Chicago Art Institute, with Hughes' commentary.



The music in the background is The Dream Academy's cover of The Smiths Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, which I have never been able, until now, to find.

I regard it as the single greatest soundtrack song. Ever.

Enjoy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tattered Remnant #015: Ilse Sonja Totzke



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

ALONE AND FORGOTTEN: ILSE SONJA TOTZKE (1913?-????)

In The Nazis, A Warning From History: Companion Volume to the BBC Television Series, by Lawrence Rees, (New Press, New York City, 1997) pp. 67-68, 6969, there is a discussion of the Gestapo files in Würzburg, which almost unique in Germany were found largely intact at the end of the war. The files contained information on a woman who otherwise would have been lost to history. Nobody had even heard of her before they found the file. The following is a quote from pp. 67-69, slightly edited.


Ilse Sonja Totzke went to Würzburg, Germany, as a music studient in the 1930s. [A Gestapo file in that city, still extant,] reveals that she became an object of suspicion for those around her. The first person to denounce her was a distant relative, who said that she was inclined to be too friendly to Jews and that she knew too much about things that should be of no concern to women, such as military matters. .This relative said that he felt driven to tell the Gestapo this because he was a reserve officer (though there was nothing in being a reserve officer that required him to do so).

Totzke was put under general surveillance by the Gestapo, but this surveillance took a strange form: it consisted of the Gestapo asking her neighbours to keep an eye on her.

There follows in the file a mass of contradictory evidence supplied by her neighbours. Sometimes Totzke gave the 'Hitler greeting' (Heil Hitler) and sometimes she didn't, but overall she made it clear that she was not going to avoid socializing with Jews (something which at this point was not a crime). One anonymous denouncer even hinted that Totzke might be a lesbian ('Miss Totzke doesn't seem to have normal predispositions'). But there is no concrete evidence that she had committed any offence.

Nonetheless, it was enough for the Gestapo to bring her in for questioning. The account of her interrogation in the file shows that she was bluntly warned about her attitude, but the Gestapo clearly didn't think she was a spy, or guilty of any of the outlandish accusations made against her. She was simply unconventional. The denunciations, however, kept coming in, and eventually the file landed on the desk of one of the most bloodthirsty Gestapo officials in Würzburg - Gormosky of Branch 2B, which dealt with Jews.

... in 1941, one of her neighbors denounced her, saying:

Ilse Sonja Totzke is a resident next door to us in a garden cottage. I noticed the above-named because she is of Jewish appearance.. . I should like to mention that Miss Totzke never responds to the German greeting [Hell Hitler]. I gathered from what she was saying that her attitude was anti-German. On the contrary she always favoured France and the Jews. Among other things, she told me that the German Army was not as well equipped as the French... Now and then a woman of about 36 years old comes and she is of Jewish appearance ... To my mind, Miss Totzke is behaving suspiciously. I thought she might be engaged in some kind of activity which is harmful to the German Reich.


On 28 October 1941 Totzke was summoned for an interrogation. The Gestapo kept an immaculate record of what was said. Totzke acknowledged that, 'If I have anything to do with Jews any more, I know that I can reckon on a concentration camp.'

But despite this, she still kept up her friendship with Jews and was ordered once more to report to the Gestapo. [In 1943, s]he took flight with a [Jewish] friend and tried to cross the border into Switzerland, but the Swiss customs officials turned her over to the German authorities. In the course of a long interrogation conducted in southwest Germany, she said:

I, for one, find the Nuremberg Laws and Nazi anti-Semitism to be totally unacceptable. I find it intolerable that such a country as Germany exists and I do not want to live here any longer.


Eventually, after another lengthy interrogation in Würzburg, Totzke was sent to the women's concentration camp at Ravensbrück....

In Saving the Jews: Amazing Stories of Men and Women who Defied the Final Solution by Mordechai Palliel, published ten years after the above account, it was revealed that she spent most of the war at Ravensbrück, was sent for several months to Auschwitz, was returned to Ravensbrück, and was still alive at the time the camp was liberated by American forces in 1945.

Her ultimate fate to this day is unknown.

But this much is known:

Her name was placed on the wall of honor in Yad Vashem in 1995.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tattered Remnants #014: Gov. John Slaton of Georgia


THE ANTI-PILATE: GOVERNOR JOHN M. SLATON

I can endure misconstruction, abuse and condemnation ... but I cannot stand the constant companionship of an accusing conscience which would remind me that I, as governor of Georgia, failed to do what I thought to be right . . . It means that I must live in obscurity the rest of my days, but I would rather be plowing in a field than to feel that I had that blood on my hands. - Governor John Slaton, 1915


In 1955, Profiles in Courage was published under the name of then-Senator John F. Kennedy. This book, famously remembered by title but little read today, describes several politicians, most United States Senators, who risked their careers and reputations for standing up for what was right rather than what was popular at the time.

Now, the men he honored in this book were, no doubt, politically courageous in their own ways. But whatever these men may have risked, they never truly lost anything for their political beliefs.

But one man in their number above all showed himself to be one of the Remnant, risking, and losing, all in order to save an innocent man from the noose–a man who died in spite of his order to save him.

LEO FRANK AND THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGAN

On April 26, 1913, a thirteen year old girl named Mary Phagan, who worked in an Atlanta, Georgia pencil factory, went to work to get her paycheck. The hours at the factory had been temporarily cut due to a shortage of supplies, so her pay for the week was only $1.20. It was a holiday, Confederate Memorial Day, and most of the factory was empty. Her employer, a Jewish engineer from New York City named Leo Frank, gave her pay to her. She left his office and was never seen alive again.

The next morning, her body was found in the basement of the factory. She had been strangled, probably raped, and robbed.

Evidence in the case was compromised from the beginning. Near her body were two notes, not in her handwriting, but purporting to be notes that the girl left, blaming "a negro" for having killed her.

Suspicion fell to two people: one was the factory owner, Leo Frank, a highly educated and cultured engineer. He had graduated from Cornell University, and had apprenticed at a number of factories to study the business of pencil manufacture. He and his wife had only recently moved to Atlanta, where he was active in opera, tennis and other cultural pursuits. He was also president of the local chapter of B’Nai Brith.

The second suspect was an uneducated black man: one Jim Conley. He had a criminal record and a drinking problem, and admitted his involvement in the crime almost from the first. However, he claimed that his involvement was strictly that of accomplice: for, although he gave many differing versions of what occurred, they all revolved around two basic facts that remained unchanged through all his different versions of the truth. First, he had helped cover up the crime. Second, the person responsible for the crime was Leo Frank.

Looking back, the convoluted tale remains a bit difficult to unravel at a distance of almost a century. But two things are clear through this story: Leo Frank consistently maintained his innocence in the matter. And Jim Conley kept changing his story.

Two local newspapers, recently acquired by the Hearst chain, began a campaign of classic yellow journalism to hype the circumstances of the crime. Passions were raised, and many subterranean cultural hatreds began to bubble to the surface, including a hitherto-hidden cultural hatred of Jews, who were seen as bearers of Yankee capitalism among the purer people of the South.

Georgia was undergoing its first major demographic changes since the end of the Civil War. Northerners and immigrants were moving to the state in significant numbers; Jews and Catholics, hitherto largely unknown there, were viewed by Georgians of the time as being an alien, invading force.

Furthermore, the case was corrupted by old-style Southern racism involved here as well: but in this case, it worked against Frank, as Conley, being a black man, was viewed as being too lacking in intelligence to attempt to cover up a crime he himself would have committed; he "must have been told what to do." (This was, in fact, the first case in Georgia history where the testimony of a black man was held over that of a white. Unfortunately, it appears to have been perjured.)

Leo Frank put on trial for his life only three months after the murder. It being held in the middle of Southern summer heat, the windows of the courtroom were opened, revealing to all–particularly the jury–that hundreds of people were outside the courtroom listening to the proceedings.

There was no doubt what their mood was: they wanted Frank convicted.

The trial proceeded for 24 days. Frank, himself, was well defended; no less than eight attorneys and expert witnesses stood with him as he fought for his life. Furthermore, Georgia law of the time allowed Frank himself to make an unsworn statement on his own behalf without being cross-examined; he gave a lengthy analysis of his work that day, which he stated left no time for him to have committed the murder.

As to the charges that he was "nervous" when the police had come for him, he replied:

Gentlemen, I was nervous. I was completely unstrung. Imagine yourself called from sound slumber in the early hours of the morning ... To see that little girl on the dawn of womanhood so cruelly murdered — it was a scene that would have melted stone.
It should also be said that, in attempting to lay blame on Conley, Mr. Frank’s own attorneys engaged in racial slander in their own right.

Lead defense attorney Luther Rosser, said to the jury: "Who is Conley? He is a dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying, n----r." Leo Frank himself had issued a widely publicized statement questioning how the "perjured vaporizings of a black brute" could be accepted in testimony against him.

All was for nought. Frank was found guilty of the murder of Mary Phagan. He was not present in the courtroom when the verdict was read, as the judge feared "violence" if the verdict was not guilty.

Leo Frank continued to fight the case all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. In 1915, the Supreme Court found against him 7-2.

Leo Frank's guilt seemed to be well established. His date with the hangman was all but certain.

But, while Frank's guilt was passionately held by many–even today–it is clear that while he may have been found guilty by a jury, there was still much room for reasonable doubt. The unfairness of the trial, the anti-Semitic bigotry of many commentators, and the whiff of Judge Lynch just outside the boundaries of the courtroom corrupted the process profoundly, indeed, irredeemably.

It is entirely possible that Frank was innocent of the crime. It is also entirely possible that he was as guilty as all hell. Who can know, now, a hundred years later?

Throughout the trial and the appeal process, public pressure through the press grew on those with the powers to decide Frank's fate. The jurors and judge heard the clamoring mob just outside the courtroom; in the halls of power, the howls of the press, particularly those of populist politician Tom Watson, for Leo Frank's blood.

It was at this point that Leo Frank sought clemency from the governor.

ENTER JOHN SLATON

In the summer of 1915, two years after the murder of Mary Phagan, John M. Slaton was approaching the end of his term of office. He looked ahead to his prospects. He had had been appointed governor of Georgia once, and then later ran, and won, a race for governor in his own right. He was a protegee of Tom Watson, a prominent Georgia politician–Watson had once run for Vice President under the Populist ticket–and now was a major player in Georgia state politics. Watson had many political opportunities within his gift: one he now offered Slaton. If Slaton would simply stay the course and not rock the boat, he, Watson, would see to it that Slaton's long dream of service in the United States Senate would one day soon be fulfilled.

But.

Watson's politics had taken a turn for the dark side in the days since his national prominence. He who had once been a national name was now a festering, blistering advocate of anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, and anti black bigotry, everywhere seeing the decline of Western civilization in demographic change that he barely understood and could not abide.

And Tom Watson wanted to see Leo Frank hang.

Slaton had a terrible choice to make. First, there was the issue of conflict of interest: for he himself was a law partner of the firm that had defended Frank. On the other hand, had he chosen to keep clean hands and decided to recuse himself, he saw a tremendous potential for injustice: an innocent man might be hanged by the State of Georgia.

Third, and perhaps most profoundly, Slaton was a Christian in a Christian society, and the story of the New Testament haunted him. He heard the echoes of another trial, two thousand years earlier, involving a certain other accused Jew, a reluctant governor, and a howling mob. And he could not bring himself to repeat the mistake of Pontius Pilate.

Two thousand years ago, another Governor washed his hands and turned over a Jew to a mob. For two thousand years that governor’s name has been accursed. If today another Jew were lying in his grave because I had failed to do my duty, I would all through life find his blood on my hands and would consider myself an assassin through cowardice.
Slaton, after reviewing the 10,000 pages of evidence associated with the case, came to decide that it was very likely that Leo Frank had not committed the murder. Although he first decided to pardon him outright, he was convinced by his aides instead to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, to give the system another opportunity to review the evidence.

Nobody was prepared for the reaction to the decision. A huge mob of thousands of outraged Georgians flooded the street in front of the governor's mansion. The state guard, together with a band of Slaton's friends who were hastily deputized to keep order, managed to keep the mob at bay. Slaton was forced to flee the state.

Less than a month later, a mob, led by Tom Watson and a committee that called itself "The Knights of Mary Phagan", invaded the prison where Leo Frank was held. They drove him over 250 miles back to Marietta, Georgia, and hanged him from a tree.

Leo Frank was the only Jew known to have been lynched in the history of Southern mob violence. But one was enough: half of the Jewish population of Georgia fled the state in the aftermath.

Tom Watson went on to a brilliant career. He used the aftermath of the Frank lynching to help to relaunch the second Ku Klux Klan in Georgia. Himself eventually elected Governor, he spent the last two years of his life in the United States Senate, dying in Washington at the age of 66 of a brain aneurysm. A statue stands today on the grounds of the Georgia State House. Its plinth holds a placard that reads: "A champion of right who never faltered in the cause."

John Slaton never again held public office, and was forever after vilified for having attempted to grant life to Leo Frank. He never achieved his dream of serving in the U.S. Senate. He spent the next two decades serving on the committee of the state bar that reviewed candidates for legal licensing. And when he died in 1956, they buried him in a mausoleum to prevent his grave from being desecrated. Even forty years later, there would those who never forgave him for pardoning "the murderous Jew."

But he was not forgotten. Some remembered him, including Senator John F. Kennedy, who memorialized him that year in Profiles in Courage.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Who *Didn't* Get the Nobel?

Tattered Remnants, all:

* A woman who risked death to teach girls how to read

* A hostage of the Columbian FARC rebels

* A doctor who cares for rape victims in the Congo region

* An organization that fights the use of land mines

* Two opponents of Chinese communism

Details about these individuals here.

And the prize goes to .... Barack OBueller.

THEY. HAVE. TO. BE. KIDDING.

Obama wins... the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!!?!!?!!!!!!!

IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, WHY??? WHAT HAS HE ACCOMPLISHED?

Now it's officially a worthless piece of crap.

We thought it was when the mass murderer Yasir Arafat got the thing.

Now it has officially become a leftist ass kiss.

Well, at least we know one thing: the Nobel people don't watch Saturday Night Live.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now This

Hell Freezes Over

I'll give David Letterman this much credit: while piling on the apologies for his own abominable sexual behavior on his show, yesterday, he added this:

"And through all of the heartache, and the attention, and the embarrassment, I still feel like I did the right thing [in fighting the blackmail], and now also, because what can it hurt, once again I'd like to apologize to the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. I'm terribly, terribly sorry. So there we go," he added to cheers from the crowd.
I still think Dave Letterman is a swine. And I'm still tempted to say, "Apology accepted, Captain Needa."

But that gesture is a small, small start.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Debunking the Shroud?

It sez here that Italian atheists have debunked the Shroud of Turin, using methods they say would have been available in the XIV Century.

Apparently, they put a bronze statue of Jesus into a pizza oven at 350 degrees for four hours with a cloth on it, then put it on a guy wearing a rubber mask; the mask was covered in red ochre. Voila'! Instant jeezus!

Right. Forgive me for being dubious, as this little methodology does not explain why:

1. The Shroud has pollen in it from plants that grow in the Jerusalem area?

2. Why the "pennies in the eyes" are surely 30 AD Pilatine small copper coins (how many coin collectors did they have in the XIV Century?

3. The medical perfection of the wounds on the Shroud: how many forensic coroners with postmortem reconstructive training did they have in the XIV century?

Yanno, I wish they put as much effort into debunking the left as they do Jesus.

Of course, debunking the Left is a lot easier to do. Doesn't require a lota brains...

Just look wherever they've taken power, and count the bodies.

Of course, there are a *lot* of bodies to count.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tattered Remnant #013: Marek Edelman and the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters





A TRUE VOICE OF A TRUE REMNANT: MAREK EDELMAN AND THE GHETTO FIGHTERS

October 3, 2009

Sometime in my elementary school years, I read a children's book entitled Escape from Warsaw, by Ian Serraillier, a rip-roaring children's book about the 1944 Uprising of the city of Warsaw against the Nazis.

Many people know about the Warsaw Uprising: that was a desperate act by the Polish Home Army to liberate their nation's capital and bring home the Government-in-Exile in London before the Soviets had a chance to impose a Communist regime in their state. They were betrayed by Stalin, however, who had his armies sit on their collective duffs long enough for the Nazis to send in the SS to flatten Warsaw. And Escape from Warsaw was a resounding good read about a family who managed to reunite themselves in Switzerland after being blown to the winds by the forces of history.

But when I was in seventh grade, I found a book in the Ottawa Junior High School library entitled The Uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto, by Irving Werstein, thinking it was a history book about the 1944 battle described in Escape from Warsaw. And I learned it was about a much different battle that happened a year earlier, one not so well known.

And in that book I had, I believe, my first real moral awakening. Up until then World War Two, which my parents had lived through, was nothing but a kind of a big adventure that had happened thirty years earlier. You know: Patton, Hogan's Heroes, Combat, etc etc.

It was in reading about the courage of the leaders of the Ghetto Uprising--of Marek Edelmann, of Mordechai Anielewicz, of Zivia Lubetkin, and those who decided, in the face of utter, overwhelming odds, to stand up to evil and to fight back against the extermination of their people--that I first learned the true meaning of human evil, and too: the true meaning of human courage.

Their story bears recounting. It is as great a story as any in the Old Testament; indeed, its heroes bear remembrance in the same ranks as Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Samson.


THE UPRISING
.


After a third of a million people were gassed at Treblinka, some fifty thousand remaining survivors in the Ghetto rose up against the German occupiers from January to May 1943. They fought under the banner of the resistance group Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (ŻOB), the Jewish Fighters' Organization. Seventeen Germans were acknowledged killed (although it is possible that the number was higher); of the Jewish defenders, seventeen thousand killed in armed combat or through on-site execution and the rest were sent to the gas chambers.

It was an honorable fight--more one-sided than Thermopylae, and against an enemy more to be feared even than the dread Xerxes.
Edelman (and Zivia Lubetkin also, it should be noted) was among a small group of ghetto survivors who broke out on May 10, 1943, and escaped to the nearby woods to fight as partisans. They fought the Germans again in the Warsaw Uprising the following year.

Lubetkin, and all the other Ghetto survivors, relocated to Israel after the war and formed their own kibbutz, the Ghetto Fighter's Kibbutz, or Lohamei HaGeta'ot.

This is good. If Israel is to survive then Israel must be strong. And none were stronger than the Ghetto fighter survivors. Today, Lubetkin's granddaughter is the first female fighter pilot in Israel.

But.

But one man chose to remain in Poland, the last voice of the Polish Jewish community, now a tiny band of 4000 people where once they had been three million.

MAREK EDELMAN

Edelman's courage during the Uprising was exemplary. But it was his long, lonely stand for human freedom under the Communists where he truly showed his great worth.

He chose a medical career, becoming a cardiologist. Later, he became a spokesman for freedom, and was active in the Solidarity labor movement that eventually pitched the Communists. The Soviets feared him so much that they interned him in 1981 during the Communist suppression of the union movement. Later he served in the Polish Parliament, and he was awarded Poland's highest honor, the Order of the White Eagle, in 1998.


Many of the others in our group presented here are members of the Remnant--but the Remnant itself is a metaphor for an underlying truth.

But in Mr. Edelman's case, it is the most horrifying literal reality.

Once the children of Israel were three million strong in Poland alone.

Today they are but a scattered few in that sad nation.

No better representative could have been chosen for them, though, than Marek Edelman: soldier, doctor, healer, resister of Nazis, resister of Communists, and at the end of his life, numbered among the great of his peoples, both the Poles among whom he was born and the Jews to whom he was a shining example.

Title of the Year

...for a discussion of the Polanski arrest.

The Divine M. Steyn.

You can’t make a Hamlet without breaking a few chicks?

Bravo, Mr. Steyn.

Bravo.

With an O.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Those Who Live In Glass Skyscrapers

Hey, David Letterman!

Do you remember THIS little routine?



The one where you called then-Governor Palin a "slut" and implied that her 13 year old daughter was sexing up a baseball player?

Turns out YOU have been sexing up YOUR OWN EMPLOYEES.

On Late Show Thursday night, Letterman admitted to having "had sex with women who work with me on this show" and said that he had testified against his alleged extortionist before a grand jury earlier that day.
Now mind you, we found out about all this because some scum in the TV industry tried to blackmail ol' Dave. I am no fan of blackmail, and Robert "Joe" Halderman (emphatically not Joe Haldeman, the science fiction writer), if he really tried to blackmail him, deserves a little trip to the pokey.

But.

In the mean time.

How about an APOLOGY, DAVE?

Not for insulting a sitting Governor or for sliming a 13 year old girl.

I mean, for your mere existence?

/spit.

Brain and Brain! What is Brain?

...continuing the 'brain' meme from below....



This.

Is.

Simply.

Frakking.

Brilliant.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

FACEBOOK Assassination Poll: It Was A Stupid Kid.

Remember that poll? The Facebook poll?

The one that asked if Obama "should be assassinated"?

The one that had Charles Johnson peeing his pants about, shrieking about "bad bad craziness"?

Turns out that a child had posted it.

Wasn't a GOPER threat after all.

We're waiting for your apology, Trelayne.

We're waaaaaaiting.......

Brain Detected in Hollywood!

I must admit, the then-thirty-ish Kirstie Alley, playing Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, has always held a place of honor on The RLKESQ List of Serious Babes.

Okay, okay, so she hasn't aged well. These days she appears to be, er, more Babe than a babe... resembling the god Vulcan more than she does a vulcan. Alas. The aging process sucks. I know. (I know!)

But.

Almost drowned out by all the moral idiots bleating in Hollywierd, all attempting to justify their defense of the now-righteously-arrested Roman Polanski, she was quoted by E! magazine as saying:

When U wrote "for the record, Polanski copped to unlawful intercourse with a minor (as opposed to rape)..." did u mean we should think that it's LESSER than RAPE? sorta like asking Jeffrey Daumer if he MURDERED his victims or was just trying to make ZOMBIES out of them as he "copped" to doing..let's see..43 year old Director Roman Polanski put his ***** in a 13 year old girls ****** and then her ANUS after he gave her drugs and alcohol, while she was telling him to STOP..hmmm that's a tough one.."as (opposed to rape).." Have we really gotten so STUPID and TWISTED that we care what the CRIMINAL says he was doing? and do we REALLY think a 45 day stay in jail makes up for RAPING a child? Polanski was afraid he wouldn't get a FAIR TRIAL? hmmm ISN'T THAT WHAT ALL CRIMINALS SAY? I'm going to go bang my head on the floor..makes more sense than defending a RAPIST."


Brava. Brava. And again, Brav-a. (You don't say "Bravo" to a woman, BTW.)

Now, Kirstie may be slightly zingy, particularly with her giving zillions of dollars to the "Church" of Scientology and all. But: SHE IS DEAD RIGHT ON THIS ONE. The Stopped Clock rule applies here.

Oh, and Whoopie? The term for Roman Polanski's crime is not technically "rape-rape." I just saw a man (not one of my clients, thank God) go to prison for 25-50 years for the same crime, what we here in flyover country call "Criminal Sexual Conduct In The First Degree". A second offense (and there usually is a second offense) gets you life in prison without possibility of parole.

But the schmoe I saw was 17. And he wasn't a world famous, zillionaire movie director.

And remember. Polanski admitted doing it.

I have to admit I do feel sorry for Roman Polanski. Life has handed him a super-sized ration of naked grief. As a child, he survived the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto. Later on, he lost his wife Sharon and unborn son Richard to Charles Manson's gang of thugs. But ... but.... he raped that girl. That's a hideous crime. He needs to stop making movies and go to prison and think about it for a while before he dies.

ADDENDUM

Yanno, I remember a few years ago, an Oscars show, where one of Polanski's art-movies got some award, while people were sliming That Evil Anti-Semite Mel Gibson for building a church in Hollywood (this was maybe a year after The Passion of the Christ came out). Some columnist said something like: "Yeah, that's Hollywood. Rape a girl? No problem BUILD A CHURCH!!?!! OH MY GOD!!!"