Saturday, September 26, 2009

Time for a whine

I thought I was just having fatigue for the past few days, but now I have nausea and serious dizziness and aches. My ears hurt and I have a bit of a sore throat.

The aches I understand because I slipped down my steps inside yesterday after a 5 p.m. fatigue session. It's weird how, when you are older, going down the steps on your backside isn't fun like it was when you were seven. It's also weird how you used to be able to stop yourself before you reached the bottom step, but you can't when you are older.

I'll tell you, townhouse stairs are no joke. They make the house difficult to clean, but worse, they obviously pose other hazards. I think all of us have fallen down those damn stairs at least once since living here. With me, it has been about three times.

Oh well. The family doesn't feel like doing much today anyway, and all else will have to wait until mom feels a little better. Maybe tomorrow.

Draft of Poem as Yet Untitled

On the first day of fall—real fall—

when the air remembers summer is gone—

I begin to wander again, open my arms

to wet weeds as tall as I, invite them—

no, embrace them—as I did when I was a child,

quiet child, sensitive child, child of the Earth,

wanderer, kind of child that needs an eye kept on,

inquisitive, explorer, bent on finding that perfect den

beneath the breathing pines. I held cones


close to my heart, took them with me as an adolescent,

brought their scent to the refuge: pond, hill, reservoir,

trails of imagination, dry leaves, wind and moodiness,

and my best friend isolation. We wrote poems before nine a.m.


My own child wanders, too. I watch her in a patch

of backyard elm, guarded by suburbia, ,

eye on birds and sky, scanning for branches and sunlight,

listening for sounds of the living, in this new world,

closed world, world of parental fear.

How many fences will she try to climb

before she discovers my autumn?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheating on Dive

Heh. Well, I missed last week's 500 words, and Dive already posted another one so I did what I do with my words of the day (which I am also behind on) and combined the sentences into one weird piece. Enjoy!

--------------------------------------------
Randomly Speaking

I don't shoot animals and I hate cold weather, so maybe I had no business following Boone to the Alaska Range for a season of Dall sheep hunting. I ended up retching in the snow bank turned pink with sheeps’ blood. Since then, my life had been reserved for more cerebral pursuits, among those, what I call intellectual meandering.

“Tell me what you do all day,” he said, crossing his arms under his tilted-back head, and pushing his hat forward to screen the sun-dazzle.’

The last thing you want to tell a potential employer is that you spend the day on the Internet, reading items of random interest and then blogging about them. It’s true the economy is bad, but still. Employers want to see you being productive, even if it means working part-time folding someone else's laundry.

“Well, I have devoted quite a bit of time to researching since I plan to find a job in the industry.”

I tried to sound confident. He nodded and picked up his coffee cup, sipping the liquid steaming in the cool morning light. Originally, I had thought it was odd he wanted to meet outside in the café, but when I saw him light up a cigarette, it made more sense.

“Tell me about a time that really made an impact on you,” he said between sips and puffs.

“Well, once I followed my friend Boone to Alaska for a season of Dall sheep hunting,” I said.

He looked at me quizzically. “Boone is a college friend. He always had rather esoteric tastes.”

“And what did you learn from…sheep hunting?”

“I learned I hate blood and snow,” I said.

Actually, that was a lie. I knew I hated blood and snow long before I went with Boone. Boone knew it, too, but his argument was that I would get over it and grow as a person, stretch out of my comfort zone and all that.

“So how did you manage?”

“I threw up.”

He nodded and made some notes.

I shivered, not only because it was chilly out and I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt under my sports jacket, but because I was remembering bloody snow.

“This isn’t going so well, is it?” I asked.

He shrugged. “What are you going to bring to the team that I can’t get from anyone else?”

I thought of telling him I could get a ram’s heads from Boone, but then thought better of it.

“Well, I have an intense curiosity and a tenacious character,” I said. “If given an interesting topic, I will search every nook and cranny available to find new, rare information. I never give up.”

“What if the topic is boring?”

I hesitated. I had this habit of making up weird stories about boring things which ultimately made those things more interesting. But I thought saying that would be bad.

“I try to be positive and find something interesting in everything.”

“And what if we have a deadline?”

“I will work night and day to make that deadline.”

“What happens if you fail?”

“I would ask for an extension.”

“Let’s say you can’t get one.”

“Um….I would apologize profusely?”

He made a few more notes.

I had the distinct feeling I would be standing in the unemployment line for at least another few months.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Thoughts on War

My best friend and I have discussed WWII for as long as I can remember--and that's a substantial amount of time considering we met 17 years ago.

She is someone who has watched Schindler's List multiple times. I am one who read Diary of Anne Frank again and again as a child. We got thrown out of the National Holocaust Museum because I brought in a stroller (the kids were babies). And I bawled going with her through the stream of the Holocaust Memorial in Boston.

It seems many of my younger memories were of war--Viet Nam when my uncle came to stay with us immediately after his discharge. The Cold War. Desert Storm. Iraq. Afghanistan.

I dreamt of war. I was a soldier. I got shot. In one dream, my dad lay dying in my arms.

I watched all the Rambo movies and cried. I watched the Clint Eastwood movies and cheered when he freed the POW's. Now, I find myself analyzing "Hogan's Heros" and the Nazis in all the Indiana Jones movies. I can barely get through a war movie now. It's too real--though I have never served.

I am not surprised my first book revolves around the Civil War.

Why war?

Outside of family and television and a highly sensitive nature, the psychology of my connection with war is complicated. No therapist has ever had to tell me that.

On a superficial level, I have always hated fighting. I hated to see innocent people abused. I hated to see what trauma did to people, and I saw it at an early age.

In recent years, in overcoming PTSD, I've connected even more with war and our soldiers wounded in body, mind and soul. I know what it's like to walk or drive down the street and suddenly fall apart. I know what it's like to hide in the basement, stay in the house all day because it's too frightening to face potential triggers. You never know when they will come along, those sights, smells, feelings, sounds...that's all you need to set you into a panic attack or worse. I am lucky I've never had a car accident.

The idea of war and the threat of the ideology that promotes it frightens me. And it makes me angry. Why can't we recognize when we are headed in the direction of war? Why can't we acknowledge when we see the roots that caused the Civil War, WWII, Viet Nam? What is wrong with us as human beings that we are so ignorant of ourselves and our past?

My friend said she would like to read Mein Kampf with me--over the phone because she is in Massachusetts. I told her I don't want to, but I think now maybe I do. The more we know, the better armed we are. Some day, perhaps we will know enough to stop hurting one another.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us

Seven years ago, the weather was much like it was today--warm, sunny with the slight scent of autumn. Except we were on the water, so there was a touch of the sea and perfume from flowers and hair spray.

David was 35. I was 33. Erika was 5. Alexandra was 4. Our nephews and nieces were around the same ages as our kids. And we were happy, as we are today.

Everyone looked a little younger. I can see it in the photos, but it doesn't seem the wedding was so long ago. And I don't feel older.

David and I just went through the scrapbooks and looked at ourselves and our family-made wedding. How fortunate we have been.

Seven is a lucky number.

Hitler Poster Provokes

I Read this article about an Obama with a Hitler mustache poster that provoked a 70-year old man to get into it with campaigners. Since WWII and the Holocaust have been themes of my thoughts, the article gave me plenty to think about.

From the article:

--
As a child in Armenia, Henry Gasparian witnessed firsthand the horrors of Nazi Germany. Two uncles were killed, his father wounded and a brother starved to death during the German invasion and occupation of the Soviet Union. So when Gasparian, 70, of Edmonds, saw a poster of President Obama with a Hitler mustache near the entrance to the Edmonds Farmers Market on Sept. 5, he admits that his reaction was "personal and emotional."

He tried to grab the fliers being passed out by supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, a perennial presidential candidate who has likened Obama's health-care proposals to the Nazi extermination of Jews and other "undesirables."

Two young LaRouche supporters told police that Gasparian repeatedly pushed them and grabbed one of their arms. Gasparian said it was they who first pushed him.

Now Gasparian is charged with two counts of fourth-degree assault in Edmonds Municipal Court for what he describes as an attempt by "an old man to say you cannot insult the president with this outrageous campaign."--


Before I post anything else, let me say, God bless Henry Gasparian and they better drop those charges. No one was hurt, and we are now even more ripe for a nationwide discussion on WWII/Nazi Germany and its potential manifestations in the US. I hope Mr. Gasparian will take front and center of that discussion.

Here is the video:


The issue of WWII and use of Nazi symbolism and phraseology in our culture is almost as twisted as it was when the original Nazis reigned; I cite things like the Neo-Nazi movement, and now this trend of portraying Obama as Hitler. As always, these images make it to the forefront, but what doesn't always make it to the media is the discussion behind symbols, what we mean when we use them, and why we use them. How many extremist groups use terms, phrases, symbols and propaganda reminiscent of Nazi Germany? How do we, as a nation, react?


Given
Mr. Gasparian's experience, I think we are called to think "Why?" Why this sudden resurgence of associations with violence and extermination? And in this case, why are these LaRouche supporters making the comparison between Obama and Hitler when, clearly, Obama has no intention of trying to wipe out a population?

First, it is being done so LaRouche has a shot at making it big in the political world. The fliers, posters and papers look like propaganda aimed at readers who are easily convinced that whatever they read must be true (see my brief discussion on propaganda). Easy wins, then, yes?

Second, of course, Obama with a Hitler mustache is bound to catch people's attention. It's good shock value, isn't it? So why not use it? Brings more people to the pamphlet table, one way or another. At least, this must be their mentality.

It seems clear to me that the LaRouche followers didn't try to engage in an intellectual dialog with Mr. Gasparian. Nowhere do I see that they attempted to figure out why Mr. Gasparian was so angry or explain to him why they believe what they do (they probably don't have a clue, anyway, especially if the ideas were fed to them, too). We have to assume that the campaign is using all this rhetoric as a means to a political end and that there is no deeper meaning to any of it other than what people will do to gain power (which sounds like the main reason why Mr. Gasparian is so angry).

I am left with several questions.

How much longer will we allow personal gain to take precedence over the greater good of this country? When are we going to learn to work towards consensus and not against each other in a struggle to gain political power? How is it we have created a political system and a society in which we are so mistrustful of one another that we can no longer even sit at the same table and talk about issues reasonably?

Are we bent on self destruction?

I really do wonder.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Happy Simpleton


Autumn is finally creeping in. We have turned off the AC and thrown the windows open, and so far, we aren't dying of heat. This is big.

I wait for this every year. Fall is my favorite. The smell of brown leaves...nothing like it. Pumpkins. Hayrides. Halloween costumes. Thanksgiving. It's better than Christmas, I think (though I love Christmas, too).

Winter is okay for awhile, especially if it snows. But winter is too long. I would like about a month of winter--mostly with snow. And that's it. Because most of winter here isn't pretty. It's gray. I mean, there's a certain mystique about that, but if we are going to have gray, we can have that in any old season. Why extend the winter with a bunch of gray? Better to have spring gray than winter gray. Gray is just so....gray.

Okay, I'm not feeling particularly sophisticated writing wise. Didn't yesterday, either. I 'm letting my simpleton side in (more so than usual). My simpleton is a nice change sometimes. She is calm. She is kind of sleepy and uncaring about the stupidities of the world. She is content to have a messy house.

I think it's because the windows are open. It feels so fresh in here. And I turned 40 on the 12th. I like it. We celebrated at my in-laws'. David's sisters were there with their families. They did everything, of course. We went to the berry farm and on an amazing hike. It rocked. I am very lucky.

Speaking of lucky, tomorrow is David's and my 7th wedding anniversary. Last night, we did our tradition--went to the Lazy Susan dinner theater in Woodbridge. "Little Shop of Horrors" was the show....funny as hell (I wonder why hell is funny). We all loved it. I love being able to celebrate all together like that. Besides, it's more than our anniversary. It's an anniversary for the kids, too. It's the anniversary of our becoming a family. The kids remember being in the wedding. It's like we all got married that day.

Tomorrow, the "real day" I am going to pull out the wedding albums.

Yep. My simpleton is quite happy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Letter to God

Dear God:

I am writing to you because there is a lady who hates me.

I don't mean she just doesn't like me. I mean she spends hours upon hours putting effort into hating me.

Do you know how some people talk behind your back if they don't like you? Or they do mean things to try to hurt you? Well, she does a lot more than that. And from what I gather, it must take a lot of her time to do the things she does.

The things she does don't hurt me much. You know that. And you also know I'm not saying this to gloat or antagonize. I am not writing this because I think I'm great or because I look down on her. I don't pity her because pitying is a form of being condescending. I am writing this because I know you know these things she does DO hurt HER. And if she is reading this, I want her to know I don't want her hurting, whether she believes that or not. (And she probably won't.)

God, I am having a hard time with this. It's not that I expect people to like me. Sure, there are lots of people who do. But there are lots of people who don't. That's okay. There are people I don't really like. That's life.

And it's not that I expect people to agree with that I believe in or what I feel about politics and that kind of thing. It's a fact that people get nasty over politics and social issues. That's also a part of life, part of a bigger social picture. But her hatred goes beyond not liking what I write or what I believe or what I do politically.

It's very personal with her--partly because we used to have necessary interactions that a couple of times didn't turn out so well. But that was a long time ago. And there were no traumatic outcomes. No, she hates me on so many levels, she actually goes out of her way to find more reasons to hate me. It makes me wonder. And it also makes me kind of sad.

I am telling you this because I saw her today and I was shocked. I know she has been miserable (at least where I'm concerned, because you can't go around hating someone for a long time and possibly be genuinely, completely happy unless you are insane, and she is not insane), but this was different. She looked physically unhealthy.

God, I am not always the nicest person. I can be impatient and irritable. I lose my temper too often and I don't always do the right thing. I get into some difficult situations that require me to make tough decisions, and some people don't like the decisions I have had to make. But I've never seriously hurt this lady from any decision I've made. I'm just not enough of an integral part of her life to have that kind of impact on her.

When I HAVE had to interact with her (and it has been a LONG time since that has happened), I've never been mean to her or talked behind her back or tried to hurt her. I know that doesn't always mean anything. You can be really nice to some people and they won't be nice back because their lives are chaotic. In her case, she has things going on that have nothing to do with me, and that sometimes can cause people to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do.

I can totally understand why she probably lashes out at some people. She has a family and two VERY little girls, and she has a LOT of stress at home. She has a sick husband. She has a difficult job. When someone bugs you, all these things add up and people like me give people like her an easy outlet for their frustration. I "get" that.

But God, I don't want her to hurt like this. Her hatred interferes with her family and her job. She looks physically ill. I don't wish that on anyone, no matter who they are.

There's nothing I can do about what she chooses to do with her time or her life, of course. And there's nothing I can do about the way she feels because I've extended olive branches to her over and over again. She doesn't want those.

I sometimes wonder if, on some level, she needs to hate me because she gets something from it. A distraction maybe? I don't know. I can't read her mind.

I used to think it would be easy for her to just ignore me and move on. After all, we don't see each other (today was a fluke, and I know she didn't see me). We have no contact with each other, and we don't need to. We just have no reason to cross paths. This is one reason her hatred is so mind boggling. It's like she just hates that I exist. And she WANTS that hate.

Anyway, God, I was wondering if you would work on this so she can get back to her life and her kids and be happy.

I think you would want it that way, too, right?

LMAO!

Found this great poem online.

Apparently, it's a Girl Scout song. Listen to it here.

"I'm a Nut"

I'm an acorn small and round
lying on this cold hard ground.
Everybody steps on me,
that is why I'm cracked you see.

I'm a nut (clap, clap)
I'm a nut (clap, clap)
I'm a nut, I'm a nut, I'm a nut (clap, clap)

Pepsi Cola came to town
Coca Cola shot him down.
Dr. Pepper fixed him up,
now we're drinking 7- Up.

I'm a nut (clap, clap).
I'm a nut (clap,clap).
I'm a nut, I'm a nut, I'm a nut (clap, clap).

Called myself on the telephone
just to see if I was home.
Asked myself out on a date,
picked me up at half past 8:00.

I'm a nut (clap, clap)
I'm a nut (clap, clap)
I'm a nut, I'm a nut, I'm a nut (clap, clap).

Took myself to the movie show
sat myself on the very last row,
rapped my arms around my waist,
get too fresh, I'll slap my face.

I'm a nut (clap, clap)
I'm a nut (clap,clap)
I'm a nut, I'm a nut, I'm a nut (clap clap).

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Facebook Test Results


Katherine completed the quiz "What Decade Fits Your Personality Best?" with the result 1960's.

You are anything but square...you're more like a flower. You are a cool, laid-back, deep-thinker type of rebel-- one who has strong beliefs about ...keeping the peace with regards to society and the world. You go against the norm and are proud of it; you don't care what others think because, after all, your differences are what make you stand out in order to make a difference. You clash with the rules and regulations of the cultural norm which stereotype you as a Class-A Rebel-- but a rebel WITH a cause. You are also in tune with nature and protecting the environment; therefore you are most likely drawn to bohemian, earthy styles (or perhaps anything that stands you out in a crowd of boring colors). Your style and attitude POP. You are in touch with your inner-self, feelings, and deep-seeded emotions, and love to express them with music and art. .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Only two words today

This is almost like catching up. I only have two words. And the words are: efficacious and logorrhea

Taking advantage of Marietta's
logorrhea and monopolization of Humberto, I made my efficacious slip into the crowd, leaving Humberto to deal her recitation of recent (likely fictitious) exploits.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Six New Words

Here they are--lucubration, crapulous, bucolic, inure, puissant and noisome.
-----------------------

Some of the more puissant corporations, however, produced noisome bi-products, which, in spite of being acknowledged by the Board, did not impede production.

Like crapulous boys at a Fraternity party, the owners howled in delight as they carelessly pumped these substances into the more bucolic regions which they claimed were inure to the threat of environmental hazards, if only because the residents tended to ignore such things.

But to everyone's eventual surprise, a child, compelled to substitute lucubration with writing by flashlight, did, indeed, notice. And that is where our story begins.

Monday, September 14, 2009

When?

The adage "We must learn from history or we are doomed to repeat it" has become mostly a trite, ignored sentiment in our country and in our county.

Here, in the birthplace of the Civil War, in the very place where our government struggled with ideals and ended up as a union--ended up as a democracy based on freedom--it has been decided that we should pursue division, discrimination, racism, fear-mongering, bullying and persecution as
means to an end.

I fear these tactics will instead
end our reputation as a culturally rich, diverse, positive place to be and turn the place we have lived into one of social and even physical warfare, destroying what has been created through the efforts of centuries.

I don't think we will have peace in our communities until our local government realizes or at least acknowledges how dangerous its actions have been. And given the extremism our nation is demonstrating, I felt the need to make another contentious post on my blog. In fact, I have three new postings under immigration.


I believe we must work actively towards peace, but we can't do that until we get people to THINK.

You can't MAKE people think, I know, but I do truly believe there must be some open minded people still out there who might "get it" and at least try to come up with reasonable solutions.

Admirable people in this county have started. Admirable people in this country have started. But we need more people to stand up and say, "Enough!"

As my previous posts have shown, there is a clear comparison between what has happened here in Prince William County, VA and what elements were invoked and supported the Nazi regime.

Ironically, the United States fought the Nazis and won.

Are we now endorsing the politics and behaviors that lead to "the final solution"?

That is a question, and you will find many questions relating to my morning reading.

But my ultimate question is, when will we find JUST solutions and have, once again, peace in our communities?

When?


----------------------------------------

--Nazi leader Adolf Hitler devoted two chapters of his 1925/26 work Mein Kampf, itself a propaganda tool, to the study and practice of propaganda.[2] He claimed to have learnt the value of propaganda as a World War I infantryman exposed to very effective British and ineffectual German propaganda.[3] The argument that Germany lost the war largely because of British propaganda efforts, expounded at length in Mein Kampf, reflected then-common German nationalist claims. Although untrue – German propaganda during World War I was mostly more advanced than that of the British – it became the official truth of Nazi Germany thanks to its reception by Hitler.[4]--

Where are we getting our "official truth"? Are we getting it from leaders? Radicals? Bullies? Are we having "truth" forced down our throats? Why are we being threatened if we confront those who hold claim to "the truth"?

--Mein Kampf contains the blueprint of later Nazi propaganda efforts. Assessing his audience, Hitler writes in chapter IV:

"Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (...) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (...) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (...) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood."[5]--

This is the tact used by radicals and extremists who wish to inflict their ideas, policies, and wills on us. The leaders of these groups--local and national--are not stupid. They formulate a message that will spread fear. These groups do what Hitler intended: "awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses."

What do they intend us to imagine? That Hispanics are going to take over the world and subjugate us as we, in many cases, have them? That illegal immigrants are responsible for everything from litter to the national deficit? That we should fear our neighbors because, especially if they are illegal or Muslim, they are terrorists?


Why is being "feminine," as Hitler described the population, considered an insult? How should we respond to the misogynists among us who wish to denigrate those who embrace femininity?

How long should we put up with attempts to manipulate our nation by fear mongering?


--As to the methods to be employed, he explains:

"Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (...) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (...) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula."--

How is it we have allowed our reason to be replaced by lack of objectivity and pursuit of pragmatic, just solutions?

What slogans do we hear? What slogans have we embraced? Look at the terms we have endorsed as part of the immigration debate in PWC, terms some never bother to analyze or question, terms put out there by our leaders whose propaganda has filtered through the ruling classes of policy makers and into the streets, as if these terms hold some indisputable truth when applied to immigrants of all ethnicity: "Rule of law;" "lawlessness;" "un-American;" "terrorists;" "blood suckers;" "cockroaches;" "illegal immigrant sympathizers;" "socialists;" "OUR culture."


--Hitler put these ideas into practice with the reestablishment of the Völkischer Beobachter, a daily newspaper published by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) from February 1925 on, whose circulation reached 26,175 in 1929. It was joined in 1926 by Joseph Goebbels's Der Angriff, another unabashedly and crudely propagandistic paper.--

Where do we get our news? Look beyond newspapers and mass media. Look at the Internet, at blogs, at discussion groups. How much of this news is propaganda? What is the penalty for disputing what has been put out there as "truth"?

--During most of the Nazis' time in opposition, their means of propaganda remained limited. With little access to mass media, the party continued to rely heavily on Hitler and a few others speaking at public meetings until 1929.[6] In April 1930, Hitler appointed Goebbels head of party propaganda, who soon proved his skills. Among his first successes was the organization of riotous demonstrations that succeeded in having the American anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front banned in Germany.[7]--

When radical extremists do not have access to formal publishing and traditional media, where do they go to spread their propaganda? Do they do it through government? Do they do it through shouting in the streets? Do they publish blogs? Do they censor opposing ideas? The means does not always invalidate the message, but what IS the message?

--Before World War II, Nazi propaganda strategy stressed several themes. Their goals were to create external enemies (countries that allegedly inflicted the Treaty of Versailles on Germany) and internal enemies (Jews). --

Whom have we "created" as enemies in order to suit our agendas? Are they real enemies? Are they people to be rounded up and shipped off in an attempt at forced emigration, ethnic cleansing? Should we "gas them all" as Hitler almost did with the Jewish people? Whom have we lied to in order to meet our goals of ridding ourselves of people we do not like? How far have we gone to do this?

--Hitler and Nazi propagandists played on the anti-Semitism and resentment present in Germany. The Jews were blamed for things such as robbing the German people of their hard work while themselves avoiding physical labor. Hitler blamed Jews for “two great wounds upon humanity: Circumcision of the Body and Conscience of the Soul.” Der Stürmer, a Nazi propaganda newspaper, told Germans that Jews kidnapped small children before Passover because “Jews need the blood of a Christian child, maybe, to mix in with their Matzah.” Posters, films, cartoons, and fliers were seen throughout Germany which attacked the Jewish community, such as the film The Eternal Jew.--

How many lies have been spread about immigrants? How many times have they been blamed as a group for things like disease, violent crime, the ruining of our nation, terrorism? How many times have they been blamed for being here when they were allowed to be here for so long?

--Reaching out to ethnic Germans in other countries such as Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, the Soviet Union and the Baltic states was another aim of Nazi party propaganda. In Mein Kampf, Hitler makes a direct remark to those outside of Germany. He states that pain and misery is forced upon ethnic Germans outside of Germany, and that they dream of common fatherland. He finished by stating they needed to fight for one’s nationality.[8] Throughout Mein Kampf, he pushed Germans worldwide to make the struggle for political power and independence their main focus.--

How many times have we heard that immigrants are a threat to "our way of life"? Do we really believe a "fatherland" should have one culture, a pure race?

--Nazi propaganda efforts then focused on creating external enemies. Propagandists strengthened the negative attitude of Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles by territorial claims and ethnocentrism. When the Treaty was signed in 1919 non-propagandists newspapers headlines across the nation spoke German’s feelings such as “UNACCEPTABLE” (Frankfurter Zeitung, front page 1919). The Berliner Tageblatt, also in 1919, predicted “Should we accept the conditions, a military furore for revenge will sound in Germany within a few years, a militant nationalism will engulf all.”[9] Hitler, knowing his nation's disgust with the Treaty, used it as leverage to influence his audience. He would repeatedly refer back to the terms of the Treaty as a direct attack on Germany and its people. In one speech delivered on January 30, 1937 he directly states that he is withdrawing the German signature from the document to protest the outrageous proportions of the terms. He claims the Treaty makes Germany out to be inferior and “less” of a country than others only because blame for the war is placed on it. The success of Nazi propagandists and Hitler won the Nazi party control of Germany and eventually led to World War II.[10]--

How many times have we heard threats from those who espouse to take the law into their own hands? How many times have we seen people harass and/or kill immigrants simply because they were immigrants? How many times have we seen our police used as a means to an end--a means of ridding ourselves of cultures we do not understand, that we fear, and that we subsequently hate and try to eradicate?

--For months prior to the beginning of World War II in 1939, German newspapers and leaders had carried out a national and international propaganda campaign accusing Polish authorities of organizing or tolerating violent ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland.[11] On 22 August, Adolf Hitler told his generals:
“ "I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. Its credibility doesn't matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth."[12][13] ”--

How many times have we heard that those who wish to help immigrants are "pro-illegal"? How many times have those who want just, fair reform been labeled "socialists"?

How much longer will we put up with this injustice, the repeating of history in which extremism, discrimination, violence and racism will truly cause our nation to crumble?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Click to enlarge

500 words, early

-->
I peeked at myself from the corner of my eye into the dusty chest-mirror. Yes, that was me, tight jeans and a big belly, someone who should be someone else, but it was me, confused as the old Beatles song: “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly. I'm crying….I am the eggman…they are the eggmen…I am the walrus…”
Bed or front door? An existential question of great worth, one fit for a valet standing outside the door, except people like me and places like these didn’t earn valets. The door, I decided. Scratched my hair……dandruff under my nails again.
When you don’t sleep well, you see things…. the front desk clerk wearing a cub-scout master uniform. Or maybe he really was. Maybe it was den meeting night and when he got off his shift he would show up at the blue and gold banquet and race hand-carved pinewood cars. Maybe I should crash the party…. declare myself pit-crew and re-assemble the cars that lost their plastic tires. I bet they’d eat good spaghetti.
To the door and….somewhere, some coffee shop maybe with strong stuff hopefully without the floaties you get in a roach pit place. A shop across the street. Black windows. Good. Even if it was a front-business for a MAFIA gang, they probably had coffee. I could barter for it. Here’s some pocket lint for a cup. Or would you consider my rusty key chain? The keys aren’t on it, but that’s okay. I can’t remember what they open anyway.
Turns out to be an actual coffee shop, guy with a big black nose-ring and eyebrow piercings. The cash register is one of those old ones, looks like a manual typewriter.
“Coffee, black.” He doesn’t look at me.
“That it?”
“No.”
“What else?”
“ A new identity.” I say it just because I want to see his response.
He puts out his hand for the money, doesn’t say anything. Poor sport.
“You got a toilet?”
He points to a set of stairs. I bring the coffee with me. Place smells like a turtle tank I visited once at an aquarium. The seat is brownish but I don’t think it’s wet so it must just be stained. I sip my coffee, wait for my body to accommodate me.
On the door: “The Flagship is coming.”