Or should we?
Here in the United States, we pretend to have ‘Freedom of Speech’. The First Amendment and all that.
Of course, even that has it’s limitations. Child pornography for example. Yelling fire in a crowded theater. Criticizing a President, who happens to be Black.
Other countries, even those vanquished by us in war whom we rebuilt – not so much.
Germany, who placed restrictions on religion (Scientology). And, until recently, politics (National Socialism).
I don’t know if this is backlash to the influx of Muslim refugees, who obviously include some terrorists, or the resurgence of anti-Semitic thoughts and actions rising throughout Europe (and the World) during the past 20 years.
Or perhaps the ubiquitous yin-yang battle between Jews and Arabs…
But something new has been added. or perhaps re-added.
It’s one of the most talked about publications of the year. It’s not a new book. And it’s not even a well-written book. But Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, which hits German bookshops for the first time in 70 years on Friday, is certainly attracting attention.
Hitler’s anti-Semitic tirade is seen as the forerunner to the Holocaust. But that is also why historians want it republished.
Hitler wrote it mostly while in prison in the mid-1920s, and academics say it helps explain the Nazis’ crazed ideology when they came to power less than a decade later.
As such, they say, it’s a crucial academic text. Not pleasant reading, but essential to understanding the Holocaust and Hitler’s brutal rule.
Surprisingly, some Jewish groups have also supported this edition.
This is an annotated, critical version, with thousands of academic notes.
And without this republication, the only hard copies available in Germany would be the pre-1945 Nazi editions, still found in second-hand bookshops or online. Those are certainly not critical.
The idea is that republishing Mein Kampf will help undermine it.
Until now, the copyright has been in the hands of the Bavarian government. But because 70 years have now passed since the the death of the author – in this case, Adolf Hitler – that copyright has expired.
Germany could ban it. After all, the swastika and other Nazi symbols are outlawed here, under incitement-to-violence laws.
Germans see that not as an infringement of free speech, but as a way of guaranteeing it, by not allowing fascist groups to intimidate minorities.
But the problem with banning Mein Kampf is that this could simply increase its power. (taken in part from BBC-World-Europe)
Is censorship bad, prima facie?
Or does Europe need to look it’s demons in the face, full-on?
And by extension, we as well?
(a follow-up to the November 8 post I Sometimes HATE Novembers, as promised…)
So, here I was, in my insurance-paid-for-rented-condo, about a mile North of my home, while contractors rebuilt it, after the drunk driver had hit it two weeks prior. That’s what I get for buying a corner lot, off a street that zig-zags. Drunks never caught that nuance, head straight for the alley, see the power pole, and crash into my back yard.
It had happened before. Last time it was just the fence that was destroyed.
I, of course, still had to go to work, pay bills, and check the mail at the house, all while surveying the excruciatingly-slow process of rebuilding the rear of my home and replacing the fence.
Thankfully (?) I was beginning to have more health issues (joy, joy) which meant I was missing more work. Which gave me the excuse to stop by and check the mail and the progress of the reconstruction more often.
And, it had been a couple of days since I had last checked the mail, and it was my birthday(!), so I thought I’d check the mail again. Hell, there might be a birthday check from someone in the mail? :-)
I pull into the driveway. No contractors present. This always bothered me, as this process was taking forever. Of course, mine wasn’t their only project.
(This had been a little over two weeks!)
AND THE SIDE DOOR WAS STANDING OPEN ABOUT TWO INCHES!
This alarmed me, as no one was around. The door had been always locked and the extra key placed in one of those Realtor-access combination locks around the door knob. Which was now nowhere to be seen!
I exited the car and drew my 1911 pistol. (Yeah, I know. All my training (which I had trained others to do many times before) was to leave the area to a relatively safe location and call the police to respond. After all, there may have been multiple armed intruders inside burgling my home!)
BUT, this was MY HOME! And the training went out the window. Sigh.
I slowly entered the kitchen, listening intently for any activity inside, pistol at-the-ready. Then into the living room, bath and two bedrooms. This was relatively quick, as it was a 740 square-foot house.
It was obvious someone else had been inside. Someone NOT a contractor. A home computer, portable television, stereo, some faux Samurai swords and a number of other items were missing. Movers had taken many of the larger furniture items to put into storage prior to the reconstruction. But I was told they were unable to take the gun safe, as they were prohibited from storing firearms.
They had removed the Dillon XL 650 reloading press from it’s mount, preparatory to the rebuild. But had not put it into storage. (I guess it was gun-related). It was gone.
And the 800 pound, Fort Knox gun safe was missing. And this was on the floor…
Someone obviously had pried off the combination dial and locking lever to open the safe. And when that failed, THEY TOOK THE ENTIRE 800 POUND SAFE!
Credit cards, spare checks, school transcripts, cameras, my birth certificate and over fifty firearms! Gone.
First, I called the insurance company, to see if they had perhaps authorized storage of the safe and it’s contents, and had inadvertently broken the locking mechanism somehow in transit. Then, I called the mover and the police.
And was scolded by the 911 operator, as it was for emergencies only. How was fifty+ firearms possibly out on the street was not an emergency?
Ultimately, the contractor, the storage guy, my insurance man and the police arrived on the scene. I recounted my actions upon arriving multiple times for each of them. And I was livid. To keep me occupied (and busy and out of the way) the police advised me to make a list of what was in the safe, including all the firearms and serial numbers.
I knew most of their descriptions by heart, but the list (with Polaroids and serial numbers) was not around. It was probably in the materials previously packed and moved to storage.
Fortunately, I still had many of the receipts and gun boxes, which were labeled on the edge with the numbers.
And set about making the list on a legal pad.
All parties were questioned. The contractor’s employees all had cellular telephones they were required to keep with them at all times (for GPS tracking purposes). And all passed the location test.
As if someone couldn’t have left the phone at home off-hours to do a burglary? Or they told someone else? Come on! I never broadcast about the safe in my home, suddenly, after many strangers had seen it, it went missing.
After six months, the house was reconstructed, painted, re-floored (safe drag marks) cleaned (even clothes in the closet dry cleaned!) and restocked with the stored items. I had called in to stop all my credit cards the same day.
I received a check for the maximum available from my policy. (Note-to-self: Make certain all valuables are covered, and if there is a cap it covers all firearms. I was insured for a maximum of 5K on the firearms, eventually paid just over 7K total. Firearm valuation of the missing? Over 21K! in 2009 gun values)
Fortunately, I had taken my favorite 1911 and .38 snub with me to the condo!
And none of the identity items, credit cards or firearms have ever surfaced.
I’m thinking Mexico, and thank God that Fort Knox makes a quality piece of security equipment! I suspect it’s abandoned in the desert somewhere, still unopened. (Let this be a lesson – if you’ve not done so already, bolt your safe to the foundation and wall studs – even if it weighs 800 pounds!)
And among the missing are my electroless nickel Colt Gold Cup, 1969 Browning High Power, 4 AR-15s, my Ithaca Deerslayer Police Special 12 gauge, my pre-model 27 Smith & Wesson 5″, my Sig-Sauer P220 – marked made in W. Germany(!) and my 1942 Springfield Garand!!
I had to use the insurance money for other things, and never was able to replace any of the missing firearms.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
FTC – Fort Knox safes gave me nothing. I bought it at a gun show. Leave me alone!
As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.
I don’t know why, exactly?
Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans). And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.
And with the addition of the instant news cycle, see some of the physical damage caused to them.
On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!” I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon. And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.
I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars. I didn’t see what they were. I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand. It was the very least I could do.
After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran. Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older. A larger man, with silver hair. With his wife.
After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them. I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service. He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.
Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.
I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.
(and no inappropriate joke is intended here!)
The Obama Department of Education has ordered the Palatine school district to allow a male transgender student into the girls locker room and showers.
The DOE threatened to cut off funding if the transgender student was not given locker room privileges.
Enjoy the new rules, girls.
The Daily Caller reported:
Gee, I wonder how much more confusing THIS is going to get? I, for one, feel if one is sexually-identity ‘confused’, one should seek counseling. OTOH, if there truly is a genetic issue (chromosomally-based, suggesting a surgical solution) that is another matter. My understanding is the percentage of these folks is very small.
How many pubescent teens would like to see the other sex naked? I’m guessing most of them.
The DOE threatened to cut off funding if the transgender student was not given locker room privileges.
Sound familiar? Like threatening to cut off highway funds if the speed limits aren’t lowered, or certain traffic laws aren’t changed to conform an arbitrary federal standard?
Sounds like blackmail to me.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (Wikipedia)
Unless the Feds have an agenda they are pushing…
h/t Brock Townsend
I’m sitting here this morning (actually, a couple of days ago), doing my morning routine: shower, dress, morning rituals, medications, the all-important diet soda, the GiA blog, reading other blogs, news and emails…
Waiting for the stopping point. When my muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy kick in! Sometimes in an hour, sometimes more.
Pain in my extremities, feet, legs and even hindquarters. From SITTING for chrissake!
AND, I already took medications!
And I remember being young. Well, younger…
Lifting weights, walking long distances, jogging, karate – even with a fused hip! And the hot shower accompanied by perhaps a couple aspirin did the trick.
Well it did in my 30’s.
But alas, no more.
And I remember older people from my youth, whining and complaining about this pain or that ailment, and me having no understanding.
And even thinking it was funny.
Karma IS a heartless bitch!
And then I think of Bob, a recent 1/2 leg amputee currently braving throat cancer, and my attitude improves…
Gratitude, my friends, is the key!
…or Send In The Clowns!
I cannot decide which meme is better.
There have been many blog postings of late, some of which even on this humble blog, writing of the growth in worldwide anti-Semitism, government-sponsored violence, religion-sponsored violence, massive surveillance, and wholesale Statism.
And there appears to be a modicum of support against such things.
There is a tendency to view such things as off-shore. Somewhere else. Another countries’ problem. And to turn a blind eye to our own versions of such things.
Until it’s too late.
Some folks write as if it IS too late. That civil upheaval is inevitable. Others clamor for constitutional conventions. As though people who control such things can keep the outcome constitutional.
And this new world order of constitution will certainly
include or delete a second amendment.
Depending on the flavor of the new constitution’s founding fathers.
What to do, what to do.
Sit on our hands and whine? Join the convention(s)? Join the revolt?
Or have the decisions already been made for us? On the dark web.
DON’T BOTHER – THEY’RE HERE!
I’m old enough to remember the Watts riots in L.A., Detroit. Rodney King? And a multitude of others. And something has always bothered me:
WHY do these folks feel the need to violently destroy THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS to make a point?
In days of yore, I participated in protests. I remember one at the State Capitol, wherein we stood in the Summer heat (all 250 or so of us) to protest The Clinton so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban’, and our own State legislature considering similar legislation. This was in the 90’s – the temperature was around 100°.
And not one of us engaged in violence, criminal looting or destruction. We had been advised not to come armed, and we didn’t. We carried signs (and American flags), signed petitions, talked amongst ourselves and drank lots of water. And listened politely to speakers like Sheriff Mack. And watched media trucks circle us deciding whether or not we were worth a spot on the 10 o’clock news.
Apparently we weren’t.
Here’s one opinion as to why they foul their own nests:
The borderline-Jacobins at Slate, who believe spanking is child abuse, and personal responsibility is out of fashion, try to explain looting away as a social phenomenon: “Why would anyone burn down the only CVS in their neighborhood?”
The reason, I think, is likely the same reason that poor black Americans in cities across the country burned “their own” neighborhoods in the late 1960s:
They did not experience those places as their own. Then, like now, police brutality was a precipitating cause of the violence, but it was the long-term experience of the indignities of the ghetto that gave shape to the riots. Then, like now, commentators compared the rioters to animals who had run wild and needed discipline. Rioting, to these bystanders, was not proper political protest but the criminal actions of poor people who merely wanted to grab what they could for free. This narrative, which I heard throughout my childhood growing up in Baltimore in the 1980s, put the blame not on the depredations of the ghetto, but on the character of its residents. It completely misapprehends the political economy of our poorest neighborhoods.
In other words: they riot because society has ignored them. Not only is that a specious argument, but it also highlights the fact that Baltimore hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1968. So which party is responsible for ignoring the downtrodden social class?
Told another way, Abraham Miller at National Review wrote:
Of course, the writer above seems to think the only answer lies with which flavor of government.
What do YOU think?
h/t Brock Townsend
I enjoy a good political discussion. Or even a debate. Unfortunately, in today’s climate, they often regress into name-calling, accusations and loud pronouncement as akin to grade school’s “Oh YEAH? Yeah!”
Why does this happen? Back as early as the 80’s, political enemies would do the “Oh Yeah” thing across the aisle, then adjourn to the neighborhood bar to share a beverage or two, and tell each other how great and principled each one was.
It’s become a sharper exchange, now. One where one might be reviewing the dark bar parking lot for the presence of ‘friends’ as well as enemies!
The reason? People no longer seem to subscribe to agreeing to disagree, because whatever the political cause, it’s become their RELIGION.
Want to annoy a Roman Catholic? Tell him he’s a papist, and that the Pope IS indeed fallible. A Republican? That he’s a shill for corporate lobbyists, and therefore has no soul. A Democrat? That most any policy foisted upon this nation by the current President is extra-Constitutional and illegal, and he deserves to be impeached, convicted and imprisoned.
Their response will undoubtedly be you don’t like him because he’s Black, and you are therefore racist. And that makes any argument you present invalid.
And that will p*** you off!
No more are there rational, reasoned exchanges back and forth regarding policies. Now it’s all name-calling and telling people what they believe is B.S.
It indeed may be, but that is not a way to discuss and argue.
“Just the facts, Ma’am.” – Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb)
THAT should be everyone’s mantra.
(As the election is FINALLY over, and it’s been a while since we shared a Guffaw!)
As told in LOLtrek GIF style!
Click to play whole episode, if it doesn’t work right!
When it comes to television entertainment, many times I’ve been behind the 8-ball! For example, I liked science fiction as a child (must have read Bradbury’s Marooned on Mars 20 times in the 4th Grade, and watched Forbidden Planet and The Outer Limits whenever they were on).
But most 60’s TV, sci-fi wise was lacking. Lost in Space? Puleez!
I kept hearing about this show Star Trek from my geek friends. “Gotta watch it!” So one night when my parents were out for the evening, I turned it on. The episode, unfortunately, was ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.
I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen – right up there with the Adam West Batman show. Of course, I didn’t understand ‘camp’.
Fast forward a few years and Star Trek went into syndication. And I started picking it up by default. Except for Tribbles, I never watched it in prime time. Later, I learned to appreciate it. Great stuff!
It was as if I determined I didn’t like all grapes because the one I picked was sour!
Of course, since that time, I became a minor trekker (not trekkie) and have seen most of the later TV permutations and movies.
(I even dated a beautiful sci-fi nerd who had Star Trek porn – but, that’s another post! :-) )
My career as an (unsuccessful) television critic continued when it was announced M.A.S.H. would become a TV show. I’d seen the film, and read the book, and decreed there was no way they could do those things on television! Of course, they softened and rebranded it, and it lasted (I think) eleven years!
This from the kid who was profoundly annoyed when they replaced The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In!
The times (and me, apparently) were a’changin’!