Mein Kampf Revisited

hitlerIn 1925 Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf was first published and outlined in vivid detail Hitler’s philosophies and plans for world denomination. As noted by famed author William L. Shirer in his epoch treatise, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, “The blueprint of the Third Reich and, what is more, of the barbaric New Order which Hitler inflicted on conquered Europe in the triumphant years between 1939 and 1945 is set down in all its appalling crudity at great length and in detail between the covers of this revealing book.” Hitler’s racist views on Jews and non-Aryans, their “treacherous acts” against German society and the need for what became the “final solution” were clearly outlined for all to see, assuming they were able to work their way through this rather ponderous and tedious book. While history and the Allied armies of World War II ultimately rebuked Hitler’s attempts at a new world order under laid by nationalistic and nihilistic racism, unfortunately, we continue to face ongoing assaults on our basic liberties and freedoms both within and outside of our country. Continue reading

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A Christmas Wish

Rome's Ancient Colosseum

Rome’s Ancient Colosseum

This past September while standing in a long tourist line to enter Rome’s ancient Colosseum I was mesmerized by a little boy held in his mother’s arms right in front of us.  I had just taken out a banana to maintain my failing strength (tourism is tough!) when I caught sight of the youngster eyeing my banana as I slowly and now very deliberately peeled it with a devilish grin in my own eyes.  The youngster squirmed in his mother’s arms as I teasingly ate the banana while wondering if it would be impolite or taken wrong if I offered the child a bite.  Before I could make up my mind to share (or not) the young mother, alerted to her child’s awakened appetite, cleverly pulled out her own banana to give the child!  As he eagerly grabbed the proffered banana from his mother I mimed my need to have a bite.  He wisely ignored my growing, silent entreaties to share that which I had refused to share only moments before.  We both laughed when he dramatically finished off his snack leaving me looking desperate and famished—a fun moment to pass the time in a long, boring line.  Having broken the ice we introduced ourselves to the young couple. “Where are you from?” we asked.  “Russia,” they replied.  “And you.”  “We’re Americans.”—only a slight hesitation but I could sense for both of us conflicting thoughts, “But you’re the enemy.  You seem so nice.” Continue reading

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Made in the USA – The Prison Industry and Its Profits

4796934The prison population has grown nearly-exponentially in the last few decades, and the US now holds 25% of the world’s prison population, yet has only 5% of the world’s population. The incarceration rate per capita is far higher than any other industrialized nation.  According to the World Prison Population list, the United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, 743 per 100,000 of the national population. The next closest is Rwanda at 595. Why is this?  Is there something about US society that produces such massive numbers of criminals, or is something else going on?  Former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia tried to ask this question, by establishing a commission to recommend changes to the criminal justice system, only to see his efforts blocked in the Senate, despite widespread support from law enforcement groups as well as civil liberties organizations such as the ACLU. Continue reading

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