The Celebration of Mediocrity

Welcome to my site. Here you will be able to read about everything between heaven and earth. Sometimes factual, sometimes fictional, sometimes serious, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes none of the above and sometimes all of the above. It all depends on my mood. Please do click on the comments link after every entry and write a comment or two. All I ask of you is that you use a name and not the anonymous button. If you like what you see add my site to your bookmarks and please come again.

July 30, 2006

Bush is the new Hitler

Here is exactly what most Europeans think of Bush and republican voting Americans. Written by a Jew now living in America. These are indeed sad times we are living in.

The Bush Hitler Thing

Friday 09 January 2004

Dear Sir,

My family was one of Hitler's victims. We lost a lot under the Nazi occupation, including an uncle who died in the camps and a cousin killed by a booby trap. I was terrified when my father went ballistic after finding my brother and me playing with a hand grenade. (I was only 12 at the time, and my brother insisted the grenade was safe.) I remember the rubble and the hardships of 'austerity' - and the bomb craters from Allied bombs. As late as the 1980s, I had to take detours while bombs were being removed - they litter the countryside, buried under parking lots,buildings, and in the canals and rivers to this day. Believe me, I learned a lot about Hitler while I was growing up, both in Europe and here in the US - both my parents were in the war and talked about it constantly, unlike most American families. I spent my earliest years with the second-hand fear that trickled down from their PTSD - undiagnosed and untreated in those days.

I'm no expert on WWII - but I learned a lot about what happened in Germany - and Europe - back in those days. I always wondered how the wonderful German people - so honest, decent, hard-working, friendly, and generous - could ever allow such a thing to happen. (There were camps near my family's home - they still talk about them only in hushed conspiratorial whispers.) I asked a lot of questions - we were only a few kilometers from the German border - and no one ever denied me. My relatives had obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the war - they still haven't forgotten - I don't think anyone can forget such a horrible nightmare. Among the questions I asked:

Why didn't you do anything about the people in the camps?

Everyone was terrified. People 'disappeared' into those camps. Sometimes the Nazis came and lined everyone up, walking behind them - even school children - with a cocked pistol. You never knew when they would just shoot someone in the back of the head. Everyone was terrified. Everyone was disarmed - guns were registered, so all the Nazis had to do was go from house to house and demand the guns.

Didn't you see what was happening?

We saw. There was nothing we could do. Our military had no modern weapons. The Nazis had technology and resources - they just invaded and took over - we were overwhelmed by their air power. They had spies everywhere - people spying on each other, just to have an 'ace in the hole' in case they were accused - and anyone who had a grudge against you could accuse you of something - just an accusation meant you'd disappear. Nobody dared ask where you had gone - anyone who returned was considered suspicious - what had they said, and who did they implicate? It was a climate of fear - there's nothing anyone can do when the government uses fear and imprisonment to intimidate people. The government was above the law - even in Germany, it became 'every man for himself'. Advancement was possible by exposing 'traitors' - anyone who questioned the government. It didn't matter if the people you accused were guilty or not - just the accusation was enough.

Did anyone know what was going on?

We all knew. We imagined the worst because the Nazis made 'examples' of a few people in every town and village. Public torture and execution. The most unspeakable atrocities were committed in full view of everyone. If this is what happened in public, can you imagine what might be going on in the camps? Nobody wanted to know.

Why didn't the German people stop the Nazis?

Life was better, at first, under the Nazis. The war machine invigorated the economy - men had jobs again, and enough money to take care of their family. New building projects were everywhere. The shops were full again - and people could afford good food, culture, and luxuries. Women could stay home in comfort. Crime was reduced. Health care improved. It was a rosy scenario - Hitler brought order and prosperity. His policies won widespread approval because life was better for most Germans, after the misery of reparations and inflation. The people liked the idea of removing the worst elements of society - the gypsies, the homosexuals, the petty criminals - it was easy to elicit support for prosecuting the corrupt 'evil'people poisoning society. Every family was proud of their hometown heroes - the sharply-dressed soldiers they contributed to his program - they were, after all,defending the Fatherland. Continuing a proud tradition that had been defeated and shamed after WWI, the soldiers gave the feeling of power and success to the proud families that showered them with praise and support. Their early victories were reason to celebrate - in spite of the fact that they faced poorly armed inferior forces - further proof that what they were doing was right, and the best thing for the country. The news was full of stories about their bravery and accomplishments against a vile enemy. They were 'liberating' these countries from their corrupt governments.

These are some of the answers I gleaned over the years. As a child, I was fascinated with the Nazis. I thought the German soldiers were really something - that's how strong an impression they made, even after the war. After all, they weren't the ones committing war crimes - they were the pride of their families and communities. It was just the SS and Gestapo that were 'bad'. Now I know better -but that pride in the military was a strong factor for many years, only adding to the mystique of military power - after all, my father had been a soldier too, but in the American army. It took a while to figure out the truth.

Every time I've gone back to Europe, someone has taken me to the 'gardens of stone' - the Allied cemeteries that dot the countryside. With great sadness, my relatives would stand in abject misery, remembering the nightmare, and asking 'Why?'. Maybe that's why they wouldn't support the US invasion of Iraq. They knew war. They knew occupation. And they knew resistance. I saw the building where British flyers hid on their way back to England - smuggled out by brave families that risked the lives of everyone to help the Allies. As a child, I had played in a basement, where the cow lived under the house, as is common there. The same place those flyers hid.

So why, now, when I hear GWB's speeches, do I think of Hitler? Why have I drawn a parallel between the Nazis and the present administration? Just one small reason -the phrase 'Never forget'. Never let this happen again. It is better to question our government - because it really can happen here - than to ignore the possibility.

So far, I've seen nothing to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course as Hitler. And I've seen far too many analogies to dismiss the possibility. The propaganda. The lies. The rhetoric. The nationalism. The flag waving. The pretext of 'preventive war'. The flaunting of international law and international standards of justice. The disappearances of 'undesirable' aliens. The threats against protesters. The invasion of a non-threatening sovereign nation. The occupation of a hostile country. The promises of prosperity and security. The spying on ordinary citizens. The incitement to spy on one's neighbors - and report them to the government. The arrogant triumphant pride in military conquest. The honoring of soldiers. The tributes to 'fallen warriors. The diversion of money to the military. The demonization of government appointed 'enemies'. The establishment of 'Homeland Security'. The dehumanization of 'foreigners'. The total lack of interest in the victims of government policy. The incarceration of the poor and mentally ill. The growing prosperity from military ventures. The illusion of 'goodness' and primacy. The new einsatzgrupen forces. Assassination teams. Closed extralegal internment camps. The militarization of domestic police. Media blackout of non-approved issues. Blacklisting of protesters - including the no-fly lists and photographing dissenters at rallies.

There isn't much doubt in my mind - anyone who compares the history of Hitler's rise to power and the progression of recent events in the US cannot avoid the parallels. It's incontrovertible. Is Bush another Hitler? Maybe not, but with each incriminating event, the parallel grows -it certainly cannot be dismissed. There's too much evidence already. Just as Hitler used American tactics to plan and execute his reign, it looks as if Karl Rove is reading Hitler's playbook to plan world domination - and that is the stated intent of both. From the Reichstag fire to the landing at Nuremberg to the motto of "Gott Mit Uns" to the unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq to the insistence that peace was the ultimate goal, the line is unbroken and unwavering.

I'm afraid now, that what may still come to pass is a reign far more savage and barbaric than that of the Nazis. Already, appeasement has been fruitless - it only encourages the brazen to escalate their arrogance and braggadocio. Americans support Bush - by a generous majority - and mass media sings his praises while indicting his detractors - or silencing their opinions completely. The American people seem to care only about the domestic economic situation - and even in that, they are in complete denial. They don't want to hear about Iraq, and Afghanistan is already forgotten. Even the Democratic opposition supports the occupation of Iraq. Everyone seems to agree that Saddam Hussein deserves to be executed -with or without a trial. 'Visitors' are fingerprinted. Guilty until proven innocent. Snipers are on New York City rooftops. When do the Stryker teams start appearing on American streets? They're perfectly suited for 'Homeland Security' - and they've had a trial run in Iraq. The Constitution has been suspended - until further notice. Dick Cheney just mentioned it may be for decades - even a generation, as Rice asserts as well. Is this the start of the 1000 year reign of this new collection of thugs? So it would seem.

I can only hope that in the coming year there will be some sign - some hint - that we are not becoming that which we abhor. The Theory of the Grotesque fares all too well these days. It may not be Nazi Germany - it might be a lot worse.

With the new laws Bush just passed legalizing the use of torture it looks like America is taking a very big step towards fascism and a sad repeat of history.

June 26, 2006

Hey

Hey people, I'm still here. I just haven't had anything I'd like to write about in a while. But it'll happen eventually.

I guess I can tell you all that my car broke down yesterday coming back from Burbank. So I had to walk up and over the mountain to get home to Hollywood from the 101's Barham onramp. The only good thing I can say about that is that the Hollywood Hills have some very nice neighborhoods.

May 07, 2006

Impeach Bush NOW

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Aaaaaah.
I'm sorry You had to witness that folks but I'm just so sick and tires of this administrations constant lying , killing and just downright evildoing (to use a term "they" understand).

March 21, 2006

The Correspondent’s New Clothes

I found this commentary by journalist Samuel Rachlin a Danish Jew of Russian descent. Samuel Rachlin, Danish journalism's anchor of classical virtues, cuts to pieces the scandalous biased program on Denmark, aired by 60 Minutes anchor: Bob Simon, “The State of Denmark”.

Samuel Rachlin is a Danish TV Correspondent and writer based in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Copenhagen University and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He has worked as a Moscow Bureau Chief and Washington Bureau Chief for DR1 and TV2 - the two national networks in Denmark. He joined the World Bank in 1995 as a media advisor.

The Correspondent’s New Clothes

By Samuel Rachlin

WASHINGTON The picture of Denmark presented by CBS and its 60 Minutes magazine on American TV as a country of aggrandizing, arrogant bigots, blond models and happy-go-lucky fools out of tune and touch with the real world has nothing in common with the country I call home. Moreover, it is home for immigrants from all over the world of all faiths and cultures who have found happiness and a safe haven for themselves and their families taking full advantage of what Denmark has to offer. They are doing much better than one would think after having watched Bob Simon’s story The State of Denmark on 60 Minutes.

This kind of journalism does not have much in common with the tradition of Ed R. Murrow or what his associate, Fred Friendly, taught me at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University when I took my degree there in the late 70ies. The snide asides and sarcasm that permeated the narrative do not mix with the high quality journalism I have learned to expect from 60 Minutes. What we got was a presentation so biased, distorted and corrupted by so many inaccuracies and innuendos that it was impossible to recognize Denmark. I am sorry to say it, but it is shameful for the profession that both Bob Simon and I belong to.

Contrary to what we were told, Jyllandsposten, the Danish paper that published the cartoons, has actually printed cartoons of Jesus Christ too, and yes, they have also rejected some. Contrary to what was said, Danish Muslims have graveyards all over the country. They have been offered a plot for a cemetery, but have not been able to agree among themselves or to raise the funds to operate it.

Contrary to Simon’s story, there are many mosques, but the 19 Muslim communities in the country have not been able to agree on building a new mosque or raise the necessary capital. Many in these communities operate their own schools with 75 percent of their budgets covered by public funds.

Both national and international polls, as documented in a 1999 survey by the European Values Study of 31 European countries, show that Danes have some of the least xenophobic attitudes among European countries. A poll by the analysis bureau, Catinét Research, showed that more than 66 percent of immigrants feel well integrated into the Danish society. More immigrants than ever are seeking entry to Denmark.

Like the U.S. and all other countries in Europe, we have had our share of problems with minorities and integration. No surprises here, but we are learning and accommodating and understand that it takes time. We are looking at what others have done and are trying to avoid their mistakes. We know, too, that Mr. Simon’s own country has had its own share of problems with immigration and integration. We witnessed with sadness how the legacy of these problems spilled over in the wake of Katrina. But no Danish journalist I know walked around in New Orleans pointing fingers or taunting Americans for what they had wrought.

The editor of Politiken, Toger Seidenfaden, who was presented by Bob Simon as a defender of Jyllandsposten has, in fact, been one of the fiercest critics of the paper, a competing paper. Seidenfaden is an adamant campaigner against the government. He is now being charged with having launched a vendetta against the government, and his paper has lately been busy with publishing numerous corrections of major errors in its coverage of the cartoon scandal. In the TV story, he gets away with saying “They (Jyllandsposten) explained on their front page that they were doing this, and I quote, “To teach religious Muslims in Denmark that in our society, they must accept to be scorned, mocked and ridiculed.” He is committing one of journalism’s worst sins, misquoting a source.

This is what Jyllandsposten wrote on its front page: “The modern, secular society is being rejected by some Muslims. They demand an exceptional position when they insist on special consideration for their religious feelings. This is incompatible with a secular democracy and freedom of expression where one must be ready to take scorn, mockery and ridicule.” One may agree or disagrees with that view, but it definitely is not what Seidenfaden said.

Viewers were told that Flemming Rose, the editor who published the cartoons and spent some time in the US when Simon was in Copenhagen, was staying at a five star hotel in DC. My goodness, what difference does it make if he stayed in Econo Lodge or in a private home? Such a cheap shot is worthy of the supermarket tabloids.

From speaking to colleagues at Jyllandsposten, I understand that the message from the 60 Minutes producers was that they should line up for the interviews or else… The tone and attitude were intimidating. This is 60 Minutes and we are not accustomed to be turned down. Well, we saw what “or else” means in Bob Simon’s school of journalism. It means pay back time in primetime and dressing down not only the editors but the entire country with its blurry “lines between fantasy and reality”

Too bad that Bob Simon’s own view of reality was so blurry that he lost sight not only of the freedom of speech at the core of this entire problem, but also of what Denmark is about. He set out with a preconceived view to tell a story about the weak and the strong, the good and the bad and he painted a picture of a divided society with fearful, victimized immigrants among paranoid Danes in fairy tale land.

Despite the references to H.C. Andersen, the correspondent seems to have missed the point of The Emperor’s New Clothes, one of my favourite stories. It reflects something crucial about Danes and their mentality: we don’t care much about “The Authority” and speak our mind when we are faced with dogma, fakery or doctrinaire thinking whether we deal with royalty, governments or some other hierarchies.

We have this disrespectful streak which sometimes gets us into trouble. But quite frankly, we don’t give a damn and, like the little boy in the fairy tale, we will tell anyone that they are naked, if that’s what they are. We don’t care if it is an emperor, an editor - or a correspondent.

March 07, 2006

Taggert

Ok, enough drawings crap let's get on with it.

I got tagged by Ala'a. So here goes.

Q: Who’s the 4th person on your received call list?
A: Well what do know, Mother

Q: What’s your main ringtone on your phone?
A: Hehe it's: Europe - The Final Countdown

Q: What were you doing at midnight last night?
A: I was at Lars's playing computer

Q: What did the last text message on your cell phone say
A: "Why?"

Q: Whose bed did you sleep in last night?
A: Mine.

Q: What color shirt are you wearing?
A: Blue.

Q: Most recent movie that you watched?
A: hmm, I don't remember.

Q: Name 3 things that you have on you at all times?
A: My Cell phone, My Visa card and my driver's license

Q: What's the color of your bedsheets?
A: Yellow.

Q: How much cash do you have on you right now?
A: 29.25 Danish kroner, 1 Swedish kroner, 0.80 British pounds and 5 US Dollars.

Q: What is your favorite part of the chicken?
A: Breast.

Q: What's your favorite town/city?
A: Copenhagen.

Q: I can't wait to (till)...?
A: See my wife again.

Q: When was the last time you saw your mom?
A: Yesterday (monday).

Q: When was the last time you saw your dad?
A: 11 years ago.

Q: When was the last time you talked to them?
A: Yesterday (monday).

Q: What did you have for dinner last night?
A: Taiwanese by the royal palaces in Copenhagen.

Q: How long have you been at your current job?
A: 6 months.

Q: Look to your left. What's there?
A: My guitar.

Q: Who is the last person you spent over $50 on?
A: Me !!!!.

Q: Whats the last piece of clothing you borrowed from someone?
A: A T-shirt I think

Q: What website(s) do you visit the most during the day?
A: Yahoo, Hattrick, TV2.dk and Tommy's

Q: Do you have an air freshener in your car?
A: No way, never.

Q: Do you have plants in your room?
A: If you wan't to call them that.

Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A: My head.

Q: What city was your last taxi cab ride in?
A: Copenhagen.

Q: Do you own a camera phone?
A: Of course.

Q: What's your favorite starbucks drink?
A: Tall cafe late.

Q: Recent time you were really upset?
A: Can't remember.

Q: Have you been in love with anyone?
A: It happens.

Q: Who do you think will repost this?
A: I have no idea.

So, I guess it's now my turn to tag someone. I'll get back to you on that one.

February 28, 2006

Muslims???

I found this picture today. I think it pretty much sums up the impression westerners have of the Islamic world. Or rather, the Islam we are being presented with in the media. (click picture to enlarge)


Feel free to make a comment below but think before you write.

February 23, 2006

Me not understand

Well well, no comments on my Muhammad entry on this site. However on February 22nd on my other blog, Tommy's, I got the following comment after an entry about Champions League Football. I'm still trying to work out what this guy wants to say. I don't think he's read my previous entry on this site by the way.:

"Very the communication with one of Denmark's citizens pleases me a very sad when a newspaper carries out from Denmark the distortion of the messenger image if you carried out the knowledge of this messenger biography if you knew the sacrifice of this messenger if you knew Gamal the messenger that he is the messenger of Allah of all of the humans being so that it brings them out of the darknesses to the light that he is the favour if you knew the biography of this noble prophet not you carried out your act of this you have offended the greater a human in the humanity history I hope you I do not request from you that you believe in this messenger then you are freemen but they consisted fairs I hope you try you that you make read and if few about prophet Mohamed's biography and you will know that you committed a crime against this prophet and who the Lord sent mercy of the human being and they accepted a superior my greetings of a friend from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were loving Denmark"


I don't think he's trying to offend or anything. I just don't know what he's trying to say to me. What I got from it is that he wants me to read about Muhammad and that Saudi Arabia loves Denmark??? or something.

If anyone can decipher the text please do so and click the comment button bellow and elaborate.