Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Except for some fringe nuts here and there, no one denies that the Germans, having decided in January 1942 that the final solution to the Jewish question was to be murder on an industrial scale, went on to murder 6 million European Jews before the end of the war. Part of that awful toll was the so called Holocaust by bullets, carried out by Nazi Einsatzgruppen mainly in newly conquered parts of the Soviet Union. One of the earlier massacres took place in a ravine north west of Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, on the 29th and 30th of September, 1941, four months before the Wannsee Conference. The name of the ravine, near one of the Jewish cemeteries in Kiev, is Babi Yar.
The German forces secured Kiev on September 19, 1941. Over the next week, Soviet NKDV sappers conducted a bombing campaign which was immediately blamed on the Jews. On September 26, 1941, a notice was posted informing all Jews (the notice used the word "Kikes") in and around Kiev to report at 8:00 am on September 29 at Dorogozhitskaya Street, next to the Jewish cemetery there. Failure to assemble was punishable by death.
Since there was no history of large scale massacres by the Germans at that time, the Jews obeyed and lined up at the appointed time and place. Historians tell us that they believed they were being relocated, a practice which did then have a history following the German conquest of Poland. After a few exemplary murders to set the tone and get the group in motion, they were marched to the ravine where they were told to undress and then rushed in groups of ten or so into the ravine, There they were told to lie down and were then shot by rifles and machine pistols. Over 33,000 men women and children were killed over the rest of the day and the next. It is considered to be the largest single massacre of Jews by bullets during the war.
It was not the end of the slaughter. Over the next year and a half, nearly 270,000 more, many of them Soviet prisoners of war, but mostly Gypsies, were murdered there--shot and buried by collapsing the walls of the ravine onto the bodies.
Starting in 1943, when the Red Army was on the march to liberate the Ukraine, an attempted cover up began and most of the bodies of those murdered in the ravine were dug up and burned.
Intermixed in the photos of the cover up activities are other photos of the original massacre. Most of the overseers seem to be other than German soldiers, and it is my belief that some of the killing and much of the crowd control was done by Ukrainian police. The last three photos are not the saddest but the most graphic as the naked women, some with infants in their arms face the penultimate line up and in the last photo, are actually shot.
I am reminded of the never-dying hatred of the Jews displayed in Babi Yar when I read recently of the return of open anti-Semitism in Western Europe and the ravings of Ahmadinijad in Iran, who denies that there was a first Holocaust as his government feverishly prepares to cause a second.
UPDATE: I am informed by this article about the 75th anniversary of the slaughter, that there were slaughters of Jews with higher body counts than here. Sorry. It's difficult to keep up with the count.
Labels: Babi Yar; Holocaust by Bullets
Monday, September 27, 2010
An Inappropriate Self Sentence
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The End of Summer
The Northern Ocean sea ice extent has passed its nadir last week and is on the rise. The Summer melting was worse than last year but better than the two years before that. In extent, the sea ice bottomed out just under 5 million square kilometers, or an area the size of India and Afghanistan. Since India is the 7th largest country, not quite the ice free ocean Warmie True Believers like Colorado's Mark Serreze tell us is just around the corner. Or not.
In Antarctica, the sea ice area was well above normal all during the Southern Winter, but two weeks ago it took a nose dive and is now below the 1979-2000 normal line. It peaked just above 16 million square kilometers, the second highest extent in our pitifully short period of satellite measurement.
Labels: Summer; Fall; Sea Ice Extent
Thought of the Day
Really, there is nothing to run on? Nothing at all?
No, there isn't. The deep gloom that has settled on the country is only in part economic. Hard times have come and gone before, but in the modern networked age never has so obviously a clueless set of leaders been so completely and obviously inept, tone deaf and at the same time inarticulate. President Bush wasn't a great communicator, but he limited the damage he did to his own case by not conducting townhalls built around calls for civility while the brass knuckles were still on the fist.
The anti-Obama tsunami seems to be growing, and in unexpected places like New York and West Virginia. The Congress adds fuel to the fire every time it meets, and the president is now on notice that even hand-picked audiences cannot avoid embarrassing him. His cheerleaders want him off the teleprompter until they hear him off the teleprompter.
And his back-up act is Joe Biden
Labels: Hugh Hewitt quote
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thought of the Day
John J. Ray
Hiding the decline with a "trick" is also the opposite of good, honest science. Ergo...
Labels: John J. Ray quote
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thoughts of the Day
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Thought of the Day
Almost always well worth reading, Sowell here makes clear a persistent left/right divide regarding the amorphous but feel good idea, "social justice." The right demands freedom and strives only for equality of opportunity; the left demands equality of outcome and freedom is secondary. The left's idea is unworkable and wrong. A child in kindergarten knows it's unfair to reward the goof-off and punish the hard worker, but that's precisely what the left believes in.
Labels: Thomas Sowell quote
Monday, September 13, 2010
Selling Out -- Recent TV Commercials With Rock Miusic
How Do You Like Me Now--The Heavy for Kia automobiles
Fascination--The Human League for Samsung Android phone
Under the Milky Way--Sia (cover) for Lincoln automobiles
Major Tom--Shiny Toy Guns (cover) also for Lincoln automobiles
I Ran--Flock of Seagulls for XM Radio
Happy Together--The Turtles for Clinique
From the Morning--Nick Drake for AT&T
Love Train--O-Jays for Coors light
Saturday Night--Bay City Rollers for Planters
For Your Love--The Yardbirds for Zales
Smoke on the Water--Deep Purple (cover) for Dodge
Honey Tree--The Mostar Driving Club for Honda
Silly Boy--The Blue Van for Samsung Behold phone
Fly Me Away--Annie Little for Amazon Kindle
OK some of the latter ones were not rock at all, at least not the rock I recognize.
Labels: Rock Songs in TV Commercials
Thought of the Day
Leon H. Wolf
Mr. Wolf made this observation while writing a review of Meghan McCain's book, Dirty, Sexy Politics. I don't think he liked it very much. We might soon have to add Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) to the list of moderate Republicans who can't let go.
Labels: Leon Wolf quote
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thought of the Day
Former Theater Critic Frank Rich
My fundamental ideal of fairness is to have the Government maximize the conditions of freedom so that we Americans can work hard to approach and join the top 1%. My fundamental ideal of fairness could never include the government redistributing income a la Robin Hood. The left elevates equality of outcome over freedom--a fundamentally unAmerican ideal.
Labels: Frank Rich quote
Why Time Magazine is Becoming Ever More Irrelevant
The Chapter of al Qaeda which became known as al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and which we called al Qaeda in Iraq ("AQI") started up in the Kurdish region (under a different name) shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 1991 kicked al Qaeda out of Afghanistan. It flourished there and after the cold version of Gulf War I got hot in March, 2003, it drew reinforcements from all over the Muslim part of the World because al Qaeda really wanted (and I believe expected) AQI to punish and defeat the American forces in the heart of the Caliphate. But we kicked its ass and nearly eradicated it. No one is forgetting the help of the locals in the Awakening, et al. Just as no one forgets the vital importance of the Northern Alliance to our success in kicking al Qaeda and a lot of the Taliban out of Afghanistan. However, not to mention the troops specifically tasked with destroying AQI, who did a magnificent job, and only mention the helpful locals is a distortion of true history which no red blooded American patriot should abide.
The only al-Qaeda "chapter" to gain any traction was the one that came into existence in Iraq in response to the U.S. invasion, and thrived while its presence was tolerated as a force multiplier by mainstream Sunni insurgents. But the group's ideology and propensity for vicious sectarian murder of Shi'ites turned the insurgents against them, and eventually the bulk of the insurgency turned on al-Qaeda, with many Sunni insurgents going onto the U.S. payroll under the rubric of the "Awakening" movement.
It would be like discussing the Little Big Horn battle on June 25, 1876 and only mentioning the Crow scouts and making no mention of the 7th Cavalry and its leaders other than to say that the Crow scouts were on the American payroll.
Mother of God. Is all the American media this corrupt or just ignorant?
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thought of the Day
Rev up the base? Win back some independents? Tall freakin' orders in the next 7 weeks. Mr. Corn clings for dear life to the recent Gallup poll finding the generic ballot tied. Never mind that the more reliable ones, regarding likely voters, have the Republican advantage at plus 12 and 13 respectively. Notice too all the caveats and wishful thinking. And then he ends with it may be as bad as every one believes. This is a Democratic true believer's pep talk.
I feel better already.
Labels: David Corn quote
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
History and Remembrance
Before that, office mate and Arapahoe Republican big wig Nathan Chambers took apart Dan Maes and then shook his hand. I thought, first, the evisceration and then the handshake. Maes might have done himself some good today, but I was already going to vote for him. I am a party man and believe that party trumps person, as Mike Rosen used to say.
Monday, September 06, 2010
The Weirdest Thing
I interpreted the pain numbness and tingling in the left arm to be along the ulnar nerve distribution pattern. And I guess that I slept in a bad position and caused a rhomboid muscle to spasm and the spasm caused a temporary (I hope) nerve problem down my arm.
I'll keep you updated.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
News on the No Energy Economy
One of the lasting legacies of my old friend Bill Ritter's tenure as Governor, besides the permanent lack of widespread oil and gas drilling, is the stupid mandate that within 10 years, a full 30% of Colorado's electricity production come from inferior, intermittent, stupendously expensive "green" generation, like wind generators and photovoltaic arrays. The Governor somehow got the idea that there would be cheap unicorns and pixie dust to power our energy needs. Unfortunately, not only are they not cheap, they don't, er, actually exist. So the local monopoly energy providers are shutting down perfectly good (and relatively cheap) coal powered boilers and purchasing power from sources many times more expensive (when they are actually producing electricity, which is seldom). Proving that there really is no such thing as a free lunch, the massive added cost will indeed be passed on to us, despite a cynical and dishonest so called 2% cap. The anticipated additional cost per Colorado customer is $2,800. Here are the details.
Up until 2007, Xcel was obligated to provide electricity at "least cost." Now, however, the Public Utilities Commission says that climate change — rather than affordability — is the "main driving force" behind resource planning. Xcel customers are poorer as a result, no matter how the politicians spin the costs of green energy.Thanks, Bill.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Margaret Carlson and the Big Lie
She starts off about Iraq and then switches to Afghanistan and the horrible ending of Pat Tillman's life there from friendly fire. The facts regarding his death were indeed kept from his family and the general public, at least for a while. Since we assume that the military command knew the real way Tillman died and did not reveal that truth, the first versions of how he died were almost certainly lies and not mere mistakes. (That they were "white" lies designed to let the family et al. think he met a more heroic end doesn't seem to matter much to Ms. Carlson). But then there is this bit of cognitive dissonance:
When you start a war with such a big lie, the others you’re tempted to tell seem smaller and get easier.Unless you're a Truther, or just really stupid (but I repeat myself), you can't think the war in Afghanistan was started with a big lie. Ms. Carlson must be referring to Iraq. She mentions in passing the "credible reports" that Bush wanted to invade Iraq before 9/11. The Bush administration was indeed sensitive to Iraq before 9/11. More on why below. But that mere fact that no stockpiles of chemical weapons were found following the March 2003 invasion does not mean that they were never there (chemical weapons were indeed used by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds repeatedly, and to a horrible effect). It is quite possible that existing stockpiles were transferred to Syria before the resumption of Gulf War I ground fighting. Even if we discount the credible reports of last minute movement of WMD, it simply was not a lie to say Saddam Hussein had them, unless one knew that Saddam Hussein did not have them. Only a few fringe Democrats very stupid (again I repeat myself) think that President Bush actually knew there were no WMD but said that there were. Ms. Carlson walks up to that line with her "contrary to reports from arms inspectors on the ground." The consensus (and nearly every bit of intelligence is a consensus) from every nation in the loop, including ours, was that Saddam Hussein had kept his WMD stockpile and was gaming the weapons inspectors. Even the lamest of Democrats in the throes of Bush Derangement Syndrome will admit, on proper cross examination, that Bush actually believed wrongly that Hussein had WMD. Not a lie at all; at worst a mistake.
But I submit that it was not a mistake to end properly Gulf War I and if one actually looks at the recent history of Iraq (which sadly Ms. Carlson doesn't) one can easily see why it was proper to invade Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein's support of terrorists (Baghdad as the terrorist retirement home and the $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, etc.) and his use of WMD in Iraq's war against Iran and domestically, and, most importantly, his invasion of Kuwait which caused a grand coalition of nations to go to war against him, which war ended merely in a cease fire with conditions, none of which were met by Hussein--all these things singled out Iraq as a nation under a sadistic despot which had to be dealt with. (David Harsanyi asks in a recent thoughtful column why Saddam was deposed and not others? This is why, David. History.)
And history is why this paragraph by Ms. Carlson is so maddeningly inane.
The war was started by Hussein when he invaded Kuwait. President Bush properly ended it after many years, many mistakes and some tough fights won through our military's sacrifice and skill. President Bush just didn't decide to free Iraqis from the horrible, sadistic yoke of oppression out of the blue in 2002 and 2003. There were things going on there which needed to be addressed and these things needed to be addressed before 9/11 made them imperative. The result is that Iraq is now an Islamic Republic, if they can keep it. Worth it, in my book, but just barely.
Republicans were up in arms that Obama kissed off Bush’s role with a brief, nothing-burger mention -- “no one can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops or his love of country,” he said -- and didn’t give him credit for the surge of American troops in 2007. But there would have been no surge had there been no decision to go to war in the first place. You don’t get credit for improvements made necessary by catastrophes you create.
Saddam invaded, people died, we won. That's actual history's meme. Democrats lose credibility every time they ignore and distort actual history. Ms. Carlson has very little left, I fear.
Labels: Gulf War II
Seeing the Same Thing
Great minds, etc.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Photos From the Front
Labels: Afghanistan; Ruger Mini 14 rifle
Second Thought of the Day
Yes, the guy bellowing "God damn America!" is the one vouching for Obama's Christianity. That's like saying you got sober with the help of your A.A. sponsor Lindsay Lohan.
Labels: Ann Coulter quote
Thought of the Day
Victor Davis Hanson
And, as Mr. Hanson points out, we destroyed al Qaeda in Iraq and proved the strong horse there, to the credit of our forces and their leadership and to the benefit of our nation's security. The Democratic response thereto, that we created AQI by invading, which is hooey (the only thing that changed in March '03 was the name of the organization) takes absolutely nothing away from that accomplishment.
Labels: Victor Davis Hanson quote