Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Giving thanks for all we have

Now that the presidential election is over, we can now concentrate on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, a time for giving thanks for all that is good in our lives.

Thanksgiving is also a good time to post Norman Rockwell’s series The Four Freedoms, inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s speech to congress in January of 1941, and published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms."

"The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world."


"The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world."


"The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world."


"The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world"


Our nation and the world at large would be a better place to live in if President-elect Barack Obama and the members of Congress would do all in their power to ensure these four freedoms are guaranteed to everyone -- everywhere in the world.

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms."
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1941

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Giving thanks to those who serve

On this day we honor all United States military veterans, both men and women, who have served our country so honorably and nobly, during times of peace and war. We thank them for our continued freedoms and for their heroic sacrifices.

Thanks to my husband and my son for their service in the United States Navy. I am so proud of them both. Thanks to my Uncle Al who gave his life in April 1945, just as the war in Europe was ending. You can read about him here. Thanks to all my cousins and nephews, and my cousin's daughter who was just promoted to Captain in the U.S. Navy, for doing their duty.

One of my previous posts about Veteran's Day is found here.

We must continue to remember all those who have died in the name of freedom and oppression throughout the ages. My dream for the future of this country and for my grandchildren's future is for everlasting peace and an end to hatred. May we experience this in our lifetime.

Finally, my best wishes are sent to President-elect Barack Obama who is destined to take over the reins of this country on January 20, 2009. Hopefully, by next Veterans Day, our troops will see an end to all hostilities overseas and will be returned to their loved ones. God Bless America.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

This date in history: Kristallnacht


A massive, coordinated attack on Jews throughout the German Reich on the night of November 9, 1938, into the next day, has come to be known as Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass.

The attack came after Herschel Grynszpan, a 17 year old Jew living in Paris, shot and killed a member of the German Embassy staff there in retaliation for the poor treatment his father and his family suffered at the hands of the Nazis in Germany.

On October 27, Grynszpan's family and over 15,000 other Jews, originally from Poland, had been expelled from Germany without any warning. They were forcibly transported by train in boxcars then dumped at the Polish border.

For Adolf Hitler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, the shooting in Paris provided an opportunity to incite Germans to "rise in bloody vengeance against the Jews."

Read orders to the Gestapo regarding Kristallnacht

On November 9, mob violence broke out as the regular German police stood by and crowds of spectators watched. Nazi storm troopers along with members of the SS and Hitler Youth beat and murdered Jews, broke into and wrecked Jewish homes, and brutalized Jewish women and children.

All over Germany, Austria and other Nazi controlled areas, Jewish shops and department stores had their windows smashed and contents destroyed. Synagogues were especially targeted for vandalism, including desecration of sacred Torah scrolls. Hundreds of synagogues were systematically burned while local fire departments stood by or simply prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings.

About 25,000 Jewish men were rounded up and later sent to concentration camps where they were often brutalized by SS guards and in some cases randomly chosen to be beaten to death.

The reaction outside Germany to Kristallnacht was shock and outrage, creating a storm of negative publicity in newspapers and among radio commentators that served to isolate Hitler's Germany from the civilized nations and weaken any pro-Nazi sentiments in those countries. Shortly after Kristallnacht, the United States recalled its ambassador permanently.

In Germany, on November 12, top Nazis, including Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels, held a meeting concerning the economic impact of the damage and to discuss further measures to be taken against the Jews. SS leader Reinhard Heydrich reported 7500 businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned (with 177 totally destroyed) and 91 Jews killed.

Heydrich requested new decrees barring Jews from any contact with Germans by excluding them from public transportation, schools, even hospitals, essentially forcing them into ghettos or out of the country. Goebbels said the Jews would be made to clean out the debris from burned out synagogues which would then be turned into parking lots.

At this meeting it was decided to eliminate Jews entirely from economic life in the Reich by transferring all Jewish property and enterprises to 'Aryans,' with minor compensation given to the Jews in the form of bonds.

Regarding the economic impact of the damage from Kristallnacht and the resulting massive insurance claims, Hermann Göring stated the Jews themselves would be billed for the damage and that any insurance money due to them would be confiscated by the State.

"I shall close the meeting with these words," said Göring, "German Jewry shall, as punishment for their abominable crimes, et cetera, have to make a contribution for one billion marks. That will work. The swine won't commit another murder. Incidentally, I would like to say that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany."

Copyright © 1996 The History Place, All Rights Reserve

The pogroms marked an intensification of Nazi anti-Jewish policy that would culminate in the Holocaust—the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews.

The word ‘Jews’ is scrawled on the exterior wall of the destroyed synagogue in Buehl. The synagogue was burned during Kristallnacht. The Hebrew inscription over the entrance reads: ‘I shall make for them a holy place.’ Buehl, Germany. Circa November 1938.USHMM #98603, courtesy of Stadt Buehl Stadtgeschichtliches Institut

A man surveys the damage to the Lichtenstein leather goods store after the Kristallnacht pogrom. Berlin, Germany. November 10, 1938.USHMM #73909, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

The faces of evil


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Friday, November 07, 2008

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty

Here's what I found out on the deck this evening, calmly eating my cats' food. This little stinker didn't even run away when I opened the slider to get his picture. Isn't he cute? Didn't even spray me. I think I'll keep him.

(click to embiggen)

By Linda Chew

Skunks are stinky, but they are pretty

Sometimes they look like a kitty

White stripe up back, the rest all black

They’ll make their home under a shack

Don’t give a skunk anxiety

He’ll begin to pee . . . and pee

Putrid is that wretched smell

So you’ve met a skunk, I can tell

Now you’re stinky, as stinky can get

Do not worry --- do not fret

Take a bath in tomato juice

Oh, let that stinky smell get loose


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Victory is Sweet

President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

Yes, we can!!!

American is Beautiful, full of opportunity not only for white people,
but for everyone regardless of race, creed, or plain simple-mindedness!