Does Pearl Harbor still “live in infamy”?

You’re not entitled to your opinion

infamy-fdr-speakingI asked a not-so-random teenager if she happened to know what December 7, 1941, signified. No, but she did know the magnitude of the bombing of Pearl Harbor as the entry of the United States into World War II.

I’m constantly reminded why some folks keep chanting, “Never forget.” And as the generations pass, people WILL forget. I mean, these may be events that are marked in the history books, but it just won’t have the same resonance to another generation. 1776 and 1861 and 1941 all signify ancient history.

Born a little over a decade after Pearl Harbor, I can still hear in my mind’s ear not only the words of FDR’s address to Congress on December 8 but his speaking pattern. But I was learning this a mere quarter-century after the consequential event, as opposed to 75 or 80 years later. December 7, 1941, for many, I surmise, will not always be “a date which will live in infamy.”

What Holocaust?

It is inevitable that elements of history fall through the cracks. But it troubles me that history can be so distorted. I’m thinking of the Holocaust both-sides-ing debacle, in Texas, unsurprisingly.

One can analyze the Why. For instance, the Germans could not accept they had been defeated in World War I. They needed convenient scapegoats. The Holocaust was partly a result of that.

Surely, one may analyze what other countries, such as the United States, could have done to avert some of the slaughter. But what IS the “other side” that suggests that the events did not take place at all?

Always learning

This is not to say that ‘history” is inviolate. In my lifetime, I’ve learned a great deal, from the NASA women immortalized in the movie Hidden Figures to Tulsa 1921. These were not stories that were in my history books growing up. Invariably we will recontextualize what we learn.

But denial of facts troubles me greatly. I came across this article from 2012. “No, you’re not entitled to your opinion,” a philosophy professor wrote. “No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven. But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false. And this… is a distinction that tends to get blurred.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day

National Archives

Holocaust Remembrance DayInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day is a memorial day designated by the United Nations to mark the anniversary of the January 27, 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp.

“The National Archives is the international epicenter of Holocaust-related research. NARA holds millions of records created or received by the U.S. Government during and after World War II that document Nazi war crimes, wartime refugee issues, and activities and investigations of U.S. Government agencies involved in the identification and recovery of looted assets (including gold, art, and cultural property)—as well as captured German records used as evidence at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunals.”

So I was… appalled is far too weak a word… when I saw one of the January 6 insurrectionists. He was wearing a Camp Auschwitz T-shirt. Did he not know the awful history of the place? Or did he approve of it?

“By the end of World War II, the Holocaust had claimed the lives of over 6 million Jewish people—nearly two out of every three in Europe.” Was he a Holocaust denier? If he believed the Big Lie about the “stolen election,” maybe he had drunk that Lool-Aid too.

Nuremberg

I no longer remember the first time I watched a film of emaciated people walking out of the camps. It was at least half a lifetime ago. The survivors reminded me of sentient skeletons. Seeing them on film was far more awful than looking at still photos.

With the clear growth of a white supremacist movement in the United States and elsewhere, perhaps you should view Investigating the Holocaust. It is a series of short videos that “trace the history of the Nazi Party from its inception through World War II… The videos feature original film footage used as evidence by the International Military Tribunal at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany — the most famous courtroom drama in modern times, and the first to make extensive use of film as evidence.

“The FDR Presidential Library and Museum has also produced an accompanying Curriculum Guide to introduce students to the Holocaust through historical materials drawn from the FDR Library’s archives and the recently remastered documentary, ‘ Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today.'”

Also, check out the ADL website.

 

July rambling #1: Joe Sinnott, and Marigolds

Where are the boxed prunes?

I’m told kitten pictures are allowed if they’re yours. One of these is now ours, this from 3 years ago.


My wife had foot surgery on the morning of July 5. It was not required, but it was suggested if she wanted to maintain her mobility as she gets older. She’s recovering well.

NRA Issues Call for White Supremacy and Armed Insurrection

Fundamentalism, racism, fear and propaganda: An insider explains why rural, Christian white America will never change – I don’t believe people can NEVER change

My Aunt Had a Dinner Party, and Then She Took Her Guests to Kill 180 Jews

John Oliver exposes The Right-Wing Media Empire Taking Over Your Local News

I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People

My Life With a Pre-Existing Condition

Three Misunderstood Things, including The Masterpiece Cakeshop case

NOT ME: Bello, dressed in a white medical coat to conceal an AM-15 rifle, spotted Dr. Roger Green on the 16th floor. “Why didn’t you help me out when I was in trouble?” Bello demanded of Green as he pulled his AM-15 assault rifle from its hiding spot and took aim. [Green as not hit, but one was killed and several wounded before the gunman at the Bronx hospital killed himself.]

The Hijacked American Presidency

Internet Wading: Pride in June

Unspoken Funeral Etiquette Rules Every Guest Should Follow

Jaquandor on choosing happiness

A Name for the Micro Generation Born Between 1977-1983

Understand The Difference Between Second Cousins And Cousins Once Removed

Inker Joe Sinnott, inking the Spider-Man strip at 90. He is one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met.

I want to see the production of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill

Every TED talk ever

Coca-Cola taste test

C’EST MOI: On Bing …Roger’s got the top search result for Spaulding Krullers; also true on Google

Is Cookie Monster part of the resistance?

In case you need to know, the boxed prunes are next to the raisin in the produce section of the Madison Avenue Market 32, fka Price Chopper.

Now I Know: The Sleep-away Camp That Starts At Night and The Color of Feeling Better and Why (Some) Coins Have Ridges and How Long Would It Take to Count to a Million?

Family Feud: Gilligan’s Island Vs. Batman and Gilligan’s Island Vs. Lost in Space

MUSIC

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir’s “In This Cold Place”

Higher Love – Lilly Winwood and Steve Winwood

K-Chuck Radio: Rock Hits in Early Stereo and Making it on Promo CDs

Someday Baby Blues – SLEEPY JOHN ESTES & HAMMIE NIXON (1935)

Too Darn Hot – Charlie Rosen’s Broadway Big Band with vocalist Alan H. Green

Okie From Muskogee – Phil Ochs (1970/Live At Carnegie Hall)

Lists, to music

Paul McCartney Finally Regains Beatles Rights After Near 50-Year-Long Battle

Annie Lennox Has ‘Potential,’ Purported Radio Station Scout Says

Elie Wiesel, Jesse Williams, JEOPARDY!

“…trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”

elie wieselSaturday, I was watching the previous Monday’s game show JEOPARDY! while checking my email on my tablet – and they say I can’t multitask! – when I read that Elie Wiesel had died. I believed his powerful witness to our inhumanity to each other was a necessary reminder of our need for addressing persecution, wherever it may take place.

I mentioned aloud the news of his passing, and someone asked who he was. I was about to try to assemble my thoughts when this JEOPARDY! showed up on the TV screen: “‘Night’ is this author’s autobiographical work about a 12-year-old enduring Nazi camps.” I paused the DVR recording to say, “THAT’S who Elia Wiesel was.”

One of my favorite quotes of his was this: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Also this: “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.”

It was a bit startling how that TV clue about Elie Wiesel popped up nearly simultaneously with that news item.

jesse williamsAs you may know, Jesse Williams, who has been on the long-running ABC-TV nighttime medical soap opera Grey’s Anatomy since 2009, gave an impassioned speech at the BET awards last month. Williams has been involved in Black Lives Matter, as well as other activism, a fact I wasn’t aware of until recently and was receiving BET’s Humanitarian Award.

The latter part of the address:

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”

Lots of comments on social media, pro, and con. From the latter, someone started an online petition “to fire Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy for racist rant,” which early on, had about 10,000 signatures, In response, another person devised a counter-petition, “Don’t let the racists win! ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, don’t fire Jesse Williams,” which had over 20,000 signatures, including mine. In fact, there were at least 10 other petitions in support of Jesse, with anywhere from a dozen to about 1,000 signatures.

Interestingly (to me), there was a question, with a photo, on the TV game show JEOPARDY! on May 5, 2016: “Seen here, former Philly high school teacher Jesse Williams as Dr. Jackson Avery on this TV drama.” NO one got the question correct, or even rang in. I suspect that would be different now.

July rambling #1: a dog for mayor of Schenectady, and the benefits of music

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” – Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Um
On ISIS’ Terms: Courting a Young American.

Nicholas Winton, Rescuer of 669 Children From Holocaust, Dies at 106. Here’s the 60 Minutes piece from 2014.

Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up? Is it because of a loss of the spirit of e pluribus unum?

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on transgender rights.

Same-Sex Marriage DOES Threaten “Traditional” Marriage. It’s “a threat to those who do not believe in EQUALITY between the sexes in general.”

So much anger about love. Related: There are 6 Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible. Here’s what they really say. He could have gotten into St. Paul’s interesting pro-celibacy position in 1 Corinthians 7.

100 Percent Is Overrated. People labeled “smart” at a young age don’t deal well with being wrong. Life grows stagnant.

John Green explains — in under eight minutes — the mess that is the economy of Greece.

Leonard Starr, R.I.P.

Stephen R. Bissette: comics pioneer & evangelist, from Radio New Zealand.

Dondi creator Irwin Hasen’s final interview.

I Can’t Believe This Is an Archie Comic.

A most disturbing story about Jackie Fox of the Runaways: One famous band. One huge secret. Many lives destroyed.

Garrison Keillor sees transition out of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’.

Ken Levine’s ode to radio, and your own “radio station.”
Nailed_it
Brian Eno Lists the Benefits of Singing: A Long Life, Increased Intelligence, and a Sound Civilization.

Polyphonic overtone singing – Anna-Maria Hefele.

Keith Richards: Life. Full Documentary Movie – 1 hour.

Music video: “HAVE A NICE DAY” – WORLD ORDER.

Songs that Stephen Sondheim wishes he’d written. (This is part 3, but the first two are linked within.)

Paul McCartney Opens Up About Lennon, Yoko, and More. “Our greatest living rock star on why Lennon’s a martyr, who gets the credit, and touring in his seventies.”

Nice story about guitarist Lawrence Juber.

Now I Know: A Tale of One Cities.

Leonard Maltin remembers Omar Sharif. I noted that I knew him better from reading his bridge column, initially with Charles Goren, trying (and failing) to ascertain the art of the artificial bid.

BBC Radio 2003 half-hour documentary of the romantic (and business) relationship of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz available for the month of July. Here’s Mark Evanier’s brief encounter with them.

Korean age.

Meet The Obscure Exclamation Comma: Because Excitement Can Happen In The Middle Of A Sentence. Sorry, I ain’t buying.

A Dog Named Diamond Is Running for Mayor of Schenectady, New York. And her owner, Kathy, sits about ten feet from my desk at work. In fact, I have Roger Fur Mayor bumper sticker on my office cubicle wall, from when that cat ran in 2011.

Maria from Sesame Street retires. That would be Sonia Manzano.

Muppets: Congressional Muppets and what is marriage and number six and a thank you.

This Crazy Fan Theory About ‘Jeopardy!’ Actually Makes Total Sense. Or not.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

The Friends of the Albany Public Library presented the library with a check at the Washington Avenue branch. “The $3,500 will go towards the costs of the summer reading program. Albany’s Tulip Queen was also on hand for the presentation.”

Preparing the circus’ center ring. The state of the Republican debate.

Jaquandor links to stuff.

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