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Mon, 13 Jul 2020
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Defying Hitler - Sebastian Haffner

defying Hitler cover
© Unknown
There's a reason why the UK History channel is approximately 24 hours a day of wall-to-wall Nazi documentaries - Hitler sells. The rise of the Nazis exerts a horrible fascination; it's hard to fathom how a decent and progressive nation could suddenly become complicit in horrific acts of genocide. Sebastian Haffner's personal account, written shortly before the outbreak of WW2, takes a long hard look at the German psyche in the years between the wars, and exactly what it was that caused the country to buckle before the extremists.

Haffner's perspective on the subject is a very interesting one - a young Prussian lawyer who grew up during WW1, he was exactly the type of young patriot that swelled the ranks of the Nazi party in its early days; in fact, he'd even been in the forerunner to the Hitler Youth. In the circumstances, you might expect him to be bending over backwards to deny his involvement with all things evil, and demonstrate his own high moral standing, but in fact he is very honest about his own cowardice in his lack of opposition to the new regime. Though the book's title is Defying Hitler, there's very little defiance going on, as Haffner describes the national reaction to the dictatorship as everyone simply putting their fingers in their ears and going "la la la", almost literally, and hoping that it would all get better soon.

2 + 2 = 4

Virginia Middle-Schoolers Assigned Opposition Research on GOP Candidates

Image
© Unknown
A Virginia middle school teacher recently forced his students to support President Barack Obama's re-election campaign by conducting opposition research in class against the Republican presidential candidates.

The 8th grade students, who attend Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, were required to seek out the vulnerabilities of Republican presidential hopefuls and forward them to the Obama campaign.

"This assignment was just creepy beyond belief - like something out of East Germany during the Cold War," one frustrated father, who asked for his family to remain anonymous, told The Daily Caller.

Airplane

Air Canada seizes passenger's Mexican pinata as potential security risk

Image
© unknown
Watch out! It's the latest high tech terrorist weapon!
Airline security seems to be entering the realm of the absurd: Witness an Air Canada flight attendant confiscating a pinata from Nova Scotia resident Robert Braunschweig.

QMI Agency reports Braunschweig was returning from Mexico earlier this month when he bought the papier-mache animal figure at a gift shop in Toronto's Pearson International Airport during a connection stopover.

As Braunschweig boarded his flight home, a flight attendant spotted the toy in his carry-on bag and confiscated it, claiming it was a threat to security.

"My eight-year-old daughter was seriously disappointed," he told QMI. "She insisted that I bring her something from Mexico so I bought her a small pinata."

Leaving aside Braunschweig's thinking behind buying a Mexican souvenir for his daughter in Toronto, the pinata seems an unlikely threat.

Mexican pinatas originate with Christmas festivals and can be made of paper-covered clay. Today they're mostly associated with children's parties, with blindfolded kids whacking suspended pinatas to break them and disgorge the treats inside.

Eye 1

Wife: 'Kony 2012' director suffers from psychosis, expected to be hospitalized for weeks

Jason Russel
© TMZ
Jason Russel meltdown
US, California - The director of a wildly popular video about brutal African warlord Joseph Kony has been diagnosed with brief psychosis and is expected to stay in the hospital for weeks, his wife said Wednesday.

Jason Russell, 33, was hospitalized last week in San Diego after witnesses saw him pacing naked on a sidewalk, screaming incoherently and banging his fists on the pavement. He was in his underwear when police arrived.

His outburst came after the video's sudden success on the Internet brought heightened scrutiny to Invisible Children, the group he co-founded in 2005 to fight African war atrocities.

Russell's family said that the filmmaker's behaviour was not due to drugs or alcohol. He was given a preliminary diagnosis of brief reactive psychosis, in which a person displays sudden psychotic behaviour.

"Doctors say this is a common experience given the great mental, emotional and physical shock his body has gone through in these last two weeks. Even for us, it's hard to understand the sudden transition from relative anonymity to worldwide attention - both raves and ridicules, in a matter of days," Danica Russell said in a statement.

Dollar

Wal-Mart Fined $120K in Teen's Death

Walmart
© unknown
Wal-Mart Canada has been fined $120,000 in connection with the death of a teenaged employee last year in Grand Falls, N.B.

Patrick Desjardins, 17, was electrocuted while using a floor buffing and polishing machine on the wet floor of a garage at the Wal-Mart outlet in the northwestern New Brunswick community on Jan. 5, 2011.

Wal-Mart pleaded guilty Tuesday in Grand Falls provincial court to three charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, while supervisor Denis Morin pleaded guilty to two charges under the act.

Crown prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock said Desjardins' death was neither deliberate nor intentional on the part of Wal-Mart or Morin. It was an accident, resulting from imprudence, not malice or corner-cutting, she said.

"We did not find they have put profit ahead of safety concerns in this case," Lamrock said.

Wal-Mart has taken several remedial steps, the court heard.

Still, the Crown asked the court to consider imposing a fine of $100,000 for Wal-Mart, plus a $20,000 victim fine surcharge.

The highest fine ever imposed in New Brunswick for a violation under the act was $30,000, the court heard. But the legislation was changed in 2008, increasing the maximum fine per count to $250,000.

Sherlock

Cold case break: Father, stepmom charged in death of teen found in suitcase in 1994

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© Toronto Police supplied photo
Melonie Biddersingh, 17, was found dead north of Toronto on Sept. 1, 1994.
Canada, Toronto - A major break in a cold case involving human remains found in a burning suitcase in 1994 has resulted in first-degree murder charges against the victim's father and stepmother.

Toronto police say even the identity of the victim remained a mystery until a "person of conscience" phoned investigators.

That tip allowed them to identify the victim as 17-year-old Melonie Biddersingh after visiting the girl's biological mother in Jamaica and obtaining a DNA sample.

Det.-Sgt. Steve Ryan says the teen's stepmother, Elaine Biddersingh, and father, Everton Biddersingh, were arrested on March 5 and charged with first-degree murder.

Ryan wouldn't comment on reports that Melonie had been a victim of ongoing abuse, saying only that based on the information he'd gathered, "her life in Toronto wasn't pleasant."

Play

Theft Of Palestinian Water

rubble in spring
© credit CPT
02-26-2011/ Water cistern filled with dirt and rubble by Israeli military bulldozer in Amnyir.
According to a report released yesterday Monday March 19 2012 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, the zionists jewish colonists have "seized" Palestinian Water Resources (dozens of natural springs) in the occupied West Bank, barring Palestinians and limiting their access to the scarce water in the area.

In addition to the zionist crimes and which the UN does not mention in their report, is that the Israeli army and the so-called civil administration, a military branch of the Israeli army, helps the Zionist squatters in their theft by declaring the locations of the Palestinian water sources as "military zones". To this end they have issued hundreds of military orders with the aims of perpetrating genocide and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians by barring them from living in their land or even reaching them, and so subjecting them to conditions which all but ensure their destruction as individuals and as a group. The occupiers have also declared hundreds of thousands of dunums which are rich in water and well supplied with springs as "state-land".

Bizarro Earth

Feeding The Homeless Banned In Major Cities All Over America

homeless man
What would you do if you came across someone on the street that had not had anything to eat for several days? Would you give that person some food? Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live. Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America. Other cities that have not banned it outright have put so many requirements on those that want to feed the homeless (acquiring expensive permits, taking food preparation courses, etc.) that feeding the homeless has become "out of reach" for most average people.

Some cities are doing these things because they are concerned about the "health risks" of the food being distributed by ordinary "do-gooders". Other cities are passing these laws because they do not want homeless people congregating in city centers where they know that they will be fed. But at a time when poverty and government dependence are soaring to unprecedented levels, is it really a good idea to ban people from helping those that are hurting?

This is just another example that shows that our country is being taken over by control freaks. There seems to be this idea out there that it is the job of the government to take care of everyone and that nobody else should even try.

But do we really want to have a nation where you have to get the permission of the government before you do good to your fellow man?

It isn't as if the government has "rescued" these homeless people. Homeless shelters all over the nation are turning people away each night because they have no more room. There are many homeless people that are lucky just to make it through each night alive during the winter.

Wolf

Food Police? Mayor Bloomberg Bans Food Donations to Homeless Shelters

Apparently going without is more nutritious than having food that is not nutritionally perfect. At least in Michael Bloomberg's eyes it is. I will admit I will savor chips, cocktail weenies and sugary punches when I wandered the streets as I lacked cooking facilities to make proper food. I also dumpster dived to supplement my intake as I found those food choices lacking for the carbo and protein burning rigors of sleeping outdoors and carrying everything I owned on my back. Homeless and hungry tip-Trader Joe's has awesome noms from the dumpster.

Roses

NH Woman Sued For Planting Flowers In Her Front Yard

Kimberly Bois' tiny front yard garden isn't much to look at right now. But in a few weeks, it'll be in full bloom, and every blossom will cost her dearly.


Even though she says her builder gave her permission to do a little planting, the current condo board now says she's in violation.

They're charging the Portsmouth, New Hampshire homeowner $50 a day for being so petal pushy. That fine has reached close to $6,000, plus the board's legal fees.