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September 1, 1939

HitlerMonday, September 1 marks the beginning of one of the most significant events of the twentieth century — and, maybe of all time.  The German nation, under Adolf Hitler decided to invade their neighbor, Poland, thus, signaling the beginning of World War II.

What caused this?  To some people ( including me) World War I had never ended.  When the shooting stopped on November 11, 1918 the Allies and Germany began negotiating a more permanent peace.  Germany would be required to pay reparations.  Initially, the Allies and Germany sent some very astute economists to determine what Germany could pay.  Unfortunately, before long the press got wind of what was being discussed and they were not happy.  The press wanted, in their words, “Squeeze them until the squeak”. So Germany finally signed a reparations agreement that could never be paid.

Time passed on.  One German government after another fell. The only way that Germany could pay reparations was to keep printing more money. The German Mark became all but valueless.  The political party that Hitler founded, “The National Socialist Party” (NAZI) became the largest party in parliament and in 1933 he was appointed the chancellor of Germany. He was a very popular leader for his many actions.  First, he tore up the Treaty of Versailles (ending World War I and specifying the amount of reparations that Germany was to pay), he started a huge rearmament program, started the Autobahn, etc.

NewspaperHis main goal was to seek “Living Room” for his German people.  That Living Room was to be taken at the expense of the European Slavic population.  Number one on the list was Poland.  It was important to Hitler that it looked as if Poland attacked Germany.  So, the Germans took a number of prisoners from a local jail, dressed them in Polish Army uniforms — and then shot them.  They were placed strategically along the German-Polish border and movies were taken.

On September 1, 1939 Germany defended its “honor” by invading Poland.

We’ve studied World War II in our history books and Hitler is put in a category as one of the worst murders of all time, just as the Russian leader, Joseph Stalin.  What happens if, instead of carrying out the invasion of Poland, Hitler had died?  If that happened, he probably would have been honored as one of Germany’s greatest statesmen.  After all, he got rid of the Treaty of Versailles, put Germans back to work during the greatest depression that the world had ever known, annexed some territory from Austria that was inhabited by mostly Germans, and the list goes on.  To keep “law and order” he strengthened the national police force, called the Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei or Gestapo).  He also organized his personal army, the Schutzstaffel (SS). As far as his anti-Semitism, well, that was par for the course.  Most Eastern European leaders were anti-Semitic, hence, it was pretty hard to hold that against Hitler.  He hadn’t started the concentration camps yet.

The world would have been very different.  Since Jews are disproportionately represented in science, and the medical fields, with the 6-million Jews that were murdered in concentration camps, it is conceivable that one of them was a doctor who had the genetics to find a cure for cancer or heart disease.  England might have kept its empire.  The reason that they had to give it up was because of the monitory cost of World War II.  There probably would have not been fighting in the middle east.  There was some friction between Arabs and Jews but there was also lots of cooperation as well.  Everyone there, of course, would have been ruled by the British.

All in all, some 60 million innocent people had to die — because Hitler didn’t.

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A quote by Garrison Keillor

Garrison KeillorThe party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

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Aid to Pakistan

“Some of my best friends are ___________ (fill in the blank)”.  Usually when I hear that phrase, it is spoken with “Jews”, or “Black” filling in the blank.  The speaker is trying to convince himself that he is not a racist or bigot.  Lately, I have found myself debating on Facebook with a number of people from Pakistan.  Are they some of my best friends?  No, but they could be.  Their statements are certainly interesting.  They are fun to debate.

map-pakistanThe big issue lately has been that the US should honor its “debts” to Pakistan.  Well, I guess that I am not as well informed about that area of the world as I thought I was.  I am sure that over the years we have pledged lots of money to Pakistan — with strings attached.  There are always strings attached.  Pakistan and the US are not “natural friends”.  Most Americans couldn’t care less about Pakistan and most probably couldn’t find it on a map.

I am quite sure that any military aid to Pakistan was with some sort of quid-pro-quo.  If we gave military equipment, for example, Pakistan, would have to pledge to preserve our secrets.  They would not be able to transfer or sell US equipment to any 3rd party.  I remember a number of years ago when we transferred some F16 fighter planes to Pakistan. It is accepted among the intelligence community ( //www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/200861402751.asp ) that Pakistan gave an F16 to China for examination and copying.  I am sure that was not with our approval.

2_aircraftPakistan claims that they are on our side in the war on terror — yet it is very clear that they shielded Osama Ben Laden from us.  When the US military caught up with Ben Laden and lost one of our stealth helicopters in the process, the Pakistanis allowed the Chinese to examine it.  That is a very serious breach of trust.

StealthPakistan has a long history of allowing the Taliban as well as Al Qaeda to have refuge in the Northern Territories of Pakistan.  They have a long history of hopelessly corrupt governments.  They have a very long history of allowing radical madrases to teach hatred and killing of the infidel (that’s us, folks).  It is disgraceful and immoral that we are giving them any aid at all.  I am convinced that it does not do any good.  It goes into the pockets of government higher-ups and that’s where it stays.

We are slowly removing our troops from Afghanistan.  Our mission of finding Ben Laden was accomplished.  It is time to leave Pakistan, too.  That will be good for the American taxpayer and it might actually be good for Pakistan as well.

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… After they have tried everything else.

ozIn World War II, shortly after we entered on the side of The Allies, things were not going well.  In our effort to supply England with war materials, we were losing a lot of ships.  Our Navy tried all sorts of schemes to get cargo across the Atlantic, but nothing worked.  The Royal Navy was furious.  Most of the schemes that were tried had already been tried by the Brits but no success.  They felt (rightly so) that we were wasting lives, time, and ships while learning the lessons that the Brits had already learned.

The Royal Navy officers had a meeting with the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.  In spite of the US losses, Churchill knew that, at least for a while, he needed to keep his mouth shut.  He told his officers to be quiet, too — but try to help the Americans as much as possible.  He was quoted as saying, We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing — after they have tried everything else!”

closedDid we just see something similar happen?  In the 23rd hour of the buildup to a catastrophe, the House of Representatives and the Senate did the job for which they were elected.  A budget deal was negotiated, voted on, and passed.  Our elected representatives deserve no credit.  This is something that should have been done some time ago.  Congress did the right thing — after they had tried everything else.

Democracy only exists if everyone is willing to play by the rules.  Germany of the the late 1920’s had a democracy but after a few National Socialists (Nazis) were elected, they had just enough power to make the German government come to a complete halt (like the Tea Party of today).  They refused to allow the German government to function unless Adolph Hitler was appointed Chancellor.   Paul von Hindenburg, the President of Germany appointed a few Chancellors but the Nazis refused to work with any of them.  Finally, Hindenburg — who was in his mid-eighties and showing signs of dementia — was forced to appoint Hitler — a person that Hindenburg thoroughly detested.  The rest, as the saying goes, is history.  After Hitler became Chancellor he changed the German constitution to get rid of those pesky elections.  Hindenburg died a year later.

Ted_CruzNow we have Ted Cruz and the Republican Right Wing.  If Ted and company will play by the rules and always remember that the good of the United States comes first, there would be no problem.  But, so far Ted and the Republican Right seems to be taking lessons from Hitler.  Please understand that I am NOT saying that Ted is another Hitler, but I am comparing his politics with Hitler’s — and they really are pretty close.

Ted was willing to hold a piece of legislation that was approved by the House, the Senate, signed by The President and vetted by the Supreme Court, hostage and was willing to let the US default on her debts in order to get his way.  This is an outrage.

The government shutdown cost The United States $24 BILLION dollars.  Ted Cruz must be one hell of a spellbinding speaker.  He sold a few members in the House a bill of goods in which there was no hope of winning.  One would think that that even a Republican would be smart enough to realize that they were on a fool’s errand.  There was no hope of getting their way, and it was very unlikely that they could get out of this mess looking good.  Ted Cruz and his Republican lackeys certainly are not doing their job.  Could it be that they are not too clear on what their job even is?

Actually, there may be loads of  Republicans who do not understand how a democracy works.  They are arguing that the US ought to impeach President Obama for signing the “unconstitutional” Affordable Care Act.  The Supreme Court has already declared it to be CONSTITUTIONAL.  I would be curious who is telling them that it is unconstitutional.

Another blogger started referring to the “Tea Party” as the Tealaban.  Not bad.

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Embarassed Yet?

imagesWell, Republicans, are you embarrassed yet?  As I write this (Wednesday evening) it seems that a last minute budget agreement has been reached.  In the process of doing this, the world has seen that some of the US House of Representatives is so irresponsible that they might not care if a default happened.  The really sad thing is that the votes were there for some time to end this mess, but the Speaker of the House, John Boehner would not let the proposals that the Senate made come up for a vote.

For some twenty years the Republicans were into impeachment.  That was the solution for everything.  If it tied up the government, so much the better.  Well, consider this: the Speaker Boehner’s loyalty was to a few willful Republicans who hated The Affordable Care Act more than they loved their country.  Their loyalty was to some 18th century economic ideas.  They did not care about the poor or middle class.  I would say that if the Republicans wanted to impeach someone, they should look at the actions of John Boehner.  His loyalty certainly was not to the people of the United States.  It was to a group of right-wing nitwits and racists.

I believe that the damage that the Republicans have been trying to inflict on the US has mostly been done.  The world looks in askance as we elect horribly irresponsible people as our leaders, people who are willing to use the bible in place of a good book on economics, or in place of sound scientific research.  They are willing to listen to Exxon, and BP regarding global warming — and totally ignore respected scientists.  They are people who have the gall to legislate what a woman can do with her pregnant body.

WhiteHouseDemoThese leaders are absolutely racist and elitist to their core.  The most important thing in their agenda is to make sure that if you don’t have the money to take care of yourself and loved ones, then you and the loved ones don’t deserve to live.  They are trying everything to make sure that Obamacare is a failure.  Why?  Well, that’s obvious, isn’t it?  This magnificent legislation was pushed through by a man with some African ancestry.  In spite of all the demonizing, President Obama will probably go down in history as one of our greatest presidents because of the Affordable Care Act.

The current Republican ideology celebrates pain and suffering.  It is founded on inhumanity to the poor and middle class.

Unfortunately, though affordable medical care will be available to more people, the Republicans were successful in seriously smearing the name of the United States of America.  My feeling is that if there are a few Republicans who are able to return some sanity the Republican party, the first thing they must do is change the name.  “Republican” is a hopelessly smeared name.  I don’t believe that there is any recovery possible without that change.

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That Dang Liberal Press

It seems to me that in recent years, the press has become too liberal.  What I mean by that is that they have bent over backward to give equal time to people who were horribly misinformed or certifiable nuts.

I like to read all points of view, but only if the premise makes sense.  For example, I would expect the press to censor out people who want to argue that the world is square, or it is suspended in space on the backs of 4-elephants, or, well, you get the idea.

obamacareIn recent years there have been those who have been denying global warming, or criticizing Obamacare on the basis of falsehoods.  As the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

I was glad to read this past weekend that the Los Angeles Times has put an end to this.  For example, a “contributor” wrote,  “No one (especially those in Congress) can realistically expect the president to budge on Obamacare. This bill is his lifeblood, his legacy. Yet still, is it asking too much for him to not exempt himself, as well as Congress, from his own health law?”

If the above statement sounds OK to you, then you really need to study Obamacare some more.  In reality, the law treats the president and the rest of the executive branch the same way it treats anyone else covered by a group health plan that was in place before the Affordable Care Act was enacted. Such plans are exempted from some of the law’s requirements, but they do have to eliminate their caps on lifetime payouts and, by next year, their annual benefit caps.  How many of you would really object to that?

For lawmakers and their aides, the act goes an important step further: It requires them to buy insurance through the new state exchanges. In other words, it kicks them out of the federal employee health plan.

ClimateFurther, the LA Times cracked down on Climate Change deniers.  There is simply too much proof that is very observable to the average person.  Unless the denier is a noted scientist who has credentials in the field, they should be ignored.

Bravo LA Times!

Ref: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/letters/la-le-1005-shutdown-obamacare-mailbag-20131005,0,3748083.story

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Take Back our Country

Roughly 50% of the American population could be classified as “white”.  The other half are a mixture of Latinos, Blacks, Asians, etc.  If you are a politician, presumably you want to be able to produce results for all of your constituents.  There is no question that you would be destroyed if you developed policies that just benefited one minority.  No question, but there seems to be one party that doesn’t understand it.

Republican In the 2012 presidential election, 95 percent of the Republican voters were white.  Is it any wonder that they lost?  The only reason that they did not lose by an even bigger tally is that they had a lot of big money donors and they were able to convince a lot of people in the South and Midwest that Republican policies are good for them, too.

The far right of the Republican party wants to “take back” the country.  I have a hard time with the “take back” phrase.  What does it mean?  Did they lose the country?  Did they lose their citizenship?   As far as I know they are every bit as much a citizen as is President Obama (visualize a smily face here).

No one seemed to complain when Affirmative Action was White.  Initially the VA and FHA home loan programs were not equally accessible to blacks.  The GI Bill —a real steppingstone to the middle class for soldiers returning from World War II was limited as far as black veterans went.  Eventually, under presidents Kennedy and Johnson a lot of those wrongs were righted.

MultiRacialNow, some 65 years after World War II, the Republicans are succeeding in rolling back the rights of racial minorities.  South Africa, under Apartheid, and Germany, under the Nazis both look very bad in the history books, yet it is known that a large number of whites as well as blacks tried, and were ultimately successful, in bringing the Apartheid regime down.  In the case of Germany, the Germans of today can always argue that Hitler never won a majority vote (true) and was simply put in power because he was appointed.

The German president, Hindenburg did not want to appoint Hitler as Chancellor and appointed someone else instead.  The Nazis in the Reichstag were unwilling to cooperate (much as the tea baggers of today).  So, Hindenburg appointed another chancellor, and then another, etc.   Hindenburg finally decided that he had no choice but to appoint Hitler.  The Tea Party of today seems to know that history VERY well!

There is no question in my mind that the 1% who are financing and running the Tea Party have contempt for all of us — as they do for the non-white poor of this country.  They are thumbing the bible with one hand and trying to strip food from the mouths of the poor with the other.

Christians claim that their beliefs come from the bible.  However, it doesn’t really appear to me that there is any relationship between what the bible says and what they believe.  What similarity do they have with their charity-preaching, forgiveness loving messiah?  I would say, “None”.

Ref: Alternet:

http://ow.ly/pigtv

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