Category Archives: resistance

Am I a Calzone?

No, I don’t mean the food thingy, I mean the person, as in Ron Calzone.

Ron Calzone is a citizen, a mere mortal citizen. Well, a regular citizen with an incredible energy level. He raises horses and cattle and has a small manufacturing business. And then there is his side line. In his “spare” time Ron goes to Jefferson City to talk to legislators. Ron talks to them from a Constitutional viewpoint. He opposes things like eminent domain, and about anything that gives government more control over people lives or their property. He talks to legislators about having good firearms laws, that protect ownership and their owners. And he is very good at it. He is part of a group in Missouri called Missouri First. Ron is often in Jefferson City at the Capitol wearing down the leather on his shoes. Now not every citizen can get off work to go to Jefferson City to testify before a committee when the bills they are most interested in either seeing go through or stopped dead are to be heard. In those cases Missouri First has come up with something very ingenious, called Liberty Tools. People that are subscribed to their mailing list will be sent a notice when a bill of interest is about to be heard, and if you can’t go, you can fill out your witness statement online, MoFirst will print it off and take it to the hearing FOR YOU. Then your Representatives and Senators can get online and see which of their constituents weighed in on it. Either for or against, doesn’t matter, the choice you made, your comments will be there in the liberty tools section. Even if your vote and comment go the opposite of what Missouri First is recommending, it will be there. Pretty nifty huh? I heard from a very reliable source who was in a hearing for a Missouri Firearms Freedom act bill that Ron showed with a stack of witness forms about 18 inches or so high from people in Missouri who were in favor of it. That is a LOT of input.

So what’s the problem? Sounds like a stand up guy, right? I mean he takes time off from his own business, farm and family to go to Jefferson City and do what groups are always urging their members to do, get involved, go talk to legislators, send emails, write letters, make phone calls. He represents those that can’t be there but want their voice heard with piles of witness forms at hearings. Good stuff for citizens right? What could go wrong?

Well, he is good at being heard. And that has resulted in angering some politicians. Let’s look at a couple things.

When Sen. Kevin Engler thought he was a shoe in for position of the Senate’s President pro tem.

In 2010, along with multitude of Tea Party and Patriot group members, I also quite vocally opposed the election of Senator Engler, who was the majority floor leader, to the position of the Senate’s president pro tem. For the first time in decades, the Senate declined to make the majority floor leader their next president pro tem.

Right, Engler didn’t get it, and he was livid.

Now let’s uncover just a couple more skeletons. This one named Ron Richards. Ron was Floor Majority leader in the house at one time. That time would be 2013 and what was at stake was a fabulous bill called the Second Amendment Protection act. Now Ronnie has proudly proclaimed his pro Second Amendment status. He demonstrated this by running away from this bill screaming like a little girl. Actually I’ve seen some girls with bigger, never mind. Anyway, apparently Ron was upset that the bill would prevent newspapers from being able to publish the names of gun owners, you know, like they have in other states. But he promised he would sponsor an even better bill and get it passed. What can you say, he’s a RINO in Missouri. It’s two years later, and still not done. Then there was that time back in 2010 when Ron fought a bill that then Speaker of the house Ron Richards wanted, later the Missouri Supreme court struck it down, so guess Mr. Calzone was correct after all.

Then just recently, Rep. John Diehl was up to be Speaker of the House. Missouri First took the position that he would not be a good speaker, and set his legislation contact list to calling their elected Representatives to ask that they pick someone else other than a “bad Diehl”. The people did the contacting but the House still elected him speaker. Though they did get rid of him after he was caught in a big sex scandal. Oh well.

So what does all this have to do with the price of Israeli coffee in America?

Well this is where it gets really interesting.

A little more background. The Governor of Missouri is Jay Nixon, anti-gun. He’s the one that did the best barry impersonation “The police acted stupidly” when the Police officer shot thug Michael Brown. Jay promised swift justice for Michael. Actually, I think justice had probably already been done, but that was Jay’s first response. His second was to prevent the National guard from stopping the rioting after he illegally called them in before the riot started. So that’s Jay.

Governor Jay is the one who appointed the six members of the Missouri ethics commission. I’m sure they are all up to Jay’s demanding “standards”. Chuckle.

From the MoFirst website:

MEC says about their mission: “The MEC serves the public interest by promoting and maintaining transparency, accountability, and compliance with campaign finance, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws.”The Ethics Commission claims they have no responsibility to consider constitutional arguments that might otherwise be presented in a defense against complaints.While it’s true that MEC has no authority to declare a statute unconstitutional like a real court of law would, they do have a responsibility to support the Constitution, so they should actually at least be considering the constitutional implications of various interpretations of statutes relating to a complaint. In other words, if there are two possible ways to interpret a statute – one is constitutional and the other is not – they should feel obligated to choose the constitutional approach. They do not feel thus constrained, however, and that does not bode well for our free speech rights.

Ready for the juicy stuff?

At the September 3, 2015, hearing before the Missouri Ethics Commission, a witness called by the Commission’s own attorney revealed during sworn testimony a very interesting and very telling fact. The testimony was that Representative Kevin Engler and Senator Ron Richard had talked to the Missouri Society of Governmental Consultants (MSGC), asking them if they had any interest in my status as a lobbyist. After that, MSGC filed a complaint against me with the Ethics Commission.

Only natural persons are allowed to file with the Ethics (guffaw) commission. And within five days they were to have told Ron who his accusers were. So SEVENTY-FOUR DAYS later the Missouri Ethics (yes, I am having trouble typing that with a straight face) commission told Mr. Calzone who had filed the complaint against him. And it wasn’t a person. In fact the lawyer that drew up the complaint made it clear that the filing entity wasn’t a person.

What is the fallout? Ron has been accused of being a lobbyist. That he hasn’t registered and paid the $10 fee, and hasn’t filled out the necessary paperwork. So that results in a thousand dollar fine. If he persists, he could face jail time.

Ready for the punch line? Ron isn’t a lobbyist. He is a citizen, working with other citizens and with other freedom minded groups. He is paid NO money for going to Jefferson City, and he buys the legislators no gifts, no meals. If he’s a lobbyist? He stinks at it.

That’s what makes this so ugly to me. This is an attempt to keep mere citizens from suiting up and showing up to speak to legislators. At one time this was something I did, and not long ago, I was one of two people tapped to be the citizens showing up to talk to legislators on behalf of a group of combined Second Amendment groups. I could have been in Ron’s boots. This is an attempt to stifle free speech and shut out influence of mere citizens from bothering the elected officials. That and some ugly political payback.

At a time when more than ever citizens need to be involved in the political process in an effort to protect our rights this is a very bad thing. If other states should begin to consider such actions? Citizens need to have access to their elected officials, whether it’s showing up themselves, or if they can’t, filling out a online form to be presented at a hearing, they need to be involved. We all need to be suiting up and showing up in whatever capacity we can.

Am I a Calzone? I hope so.

Politics always take an interest in you
Politics always take an interest in you

 

Who rules over you?
Who rules over you?
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Four of the best comments on the Oregon campus shooting

Forget the pathetic little mama’s-boy murderer and remember Chris Mintz, the man who charged straight at him.

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Stop pretending that your “commonsense” anti-gunnery will end mass shootings. Although this piece by Trevor Burrus advocates paying more attention to mental illness — a dubious proposition when applied to gun owners in this age when 25% of the population is considered “mentally ill” — it also contains some questions we should ask everybody who wants more gun laws:

Perhaps you think all guns should be confiscated. Okay, tell us how you will do that without stormtroopers roaming the country systematically violating our Fourth Amendment rights in a way that makes Donald Trump’s call for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants look like taking a census. …

Perhaps you think that all guns should be registered and licensed. Again, explain how you will do that without a battalion of stormtroopers kicking down doors. Sure, some people will voluntarily register their guns, but they are unlikely to be criminals or would-be mass shooters.

—–

Time to talk about gun-free zones.

As details emerge, it’s clear some that Umpqua Community College students did, in fact, carry firearms despite the school’s weasel-worded anti-weapons policies. But too few — and none of them in that classroom where the little creep chose his victims.

—–

If there were no guns by Joe Huffman. Huffman doesn’t directly address the Oregon killings (though clearly his post was inspired by them).

He says, “Because of this change from a society of force to a society of reason one could, and should, go so far as to say the gun is civilization. Those who claim ‘civilized countries’ are disarmed have it exactly backward.”

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“Black lives matter” is a great slogan

… if your aim is to guilt-trip Democrat politicians and alienate potential friends. Otherwise it’s just spouting a truism while denying the broader truism “All lives matter.”

But those who espouse the slogan are determined to hang on to it. Several activists have insisted that saying “all lives matter” is a violent statement against black people. (Short of a specific threat to do harm, I’m not actually sure what a “violent statement” is, and how valuing life could be a threat escapes me.) Taking a more moderate position, one Leonard Pitts writes in the Miami Herald (using specious examples) that it’s merely an act of moral cowardice to claim that all lives matter.

There’s nothing wrong, of course, with an interest group trying to protect its own interests. And some specific proposals of the Black Lives Matter movement could go a long way toward helping people of any race, color, or creed who encounter cops:

The platform also demands that all officers be equipped with body cameras; for hog-ties, nickel-rides and chokeholds to be felony offenses; for officers to undergo consistent racial bias training; police demilitarization and the establishment of a permanent special prosecutor at the federal level who will independently investigate all cases of a police killing or seriously injuring a civilian.

But shouting, “Black lives matter” — with its clear implication that other lives don’t matter is … well, at the very least, it’s terrible PR. It’s divisive and hostile (imagine how we’d react to the equivalent statement, “White lives matter”!).

Fortunately, if this poll is correct even most black people prefer the broader “all lives matter” viewpoint.

—–

But what about what these Black Lives Matter activists are actually doing to protect themselves and their communities? Petitioning for laws to curb out-of-control cops is well and good. But it’s not the same as taking personal responsibility to defend lives.

I think back to the Deacons for Defense and Justice, who clearly believed with their hearts and souls that black lives mattered, but who walked their walk. They didn’t bother disrupting and intimidating politicians. They just armed themselves. Not merely for protection against “freelance” racist thugs, but against those who enforced noxious Jim Crow laws.

Later came the Black Panthers, who were even more in-your-face than the Black Lives Matter activists. Their techniques were divisive, too. They scared the heck out of “honkies” and some of their techniques may have boomeranged on them badly (with the help of J. Edgar Hoover, who loathed them and militated against them).

Their sudden armed appearance at the California statehouse in 1967 may have been one of the factors that led to passage of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968. But let’s also not forget that, on that day at the California Assembly, they were acting as pro-gun activists. They were protesting a proposed bill to outlaw carry of loaded firearms.

To this day, historians debate whether the original Panthers (there’s now a revival party) were good or bad for the black community. But of one thing, there’s no doubt whatsoever. They armed themselves and took responsibility for trying to protect and better their communities. Per Wikipedia:

At its inception in October 1966, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of police officers and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California. In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics.

If Black Lives Matter advocates really believe what they say, then they won’t just protest and petition. They won’t wait — patiently or otherwise — for the political establishment to fix the problems they perceive. They’ll step up to defend real lives in the real world as the Deacons and the Panthers did.

It would be a bonus if they recognized that the very political establishment they’re looking to for their salvation is the one that militarized the police, equipped them with both the mindset and the materiel of soldiers, and ensured that few armed agents of the government would ever bear personal accountability for excessive brutality. That same establishment is the creator of the drug war that has wrecked so many black homes, left so many black children fatherless, and filled so many cities with gang violence.

If black lives really matter — and they should — then activists will step up to personally defend them. Not only with defensive arms, but with the understanding that government is a cause, not a solution, to their problems.

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Pant, pant, pant … posting as fast as I can to catch up!

First thing: Thank you BIG TIME to Sheila and Y.B. for carrying the blogging load the last week or so. I’ve been trying to get here for at least a small post but … life.

So I’d just like to give a couple of quick updates:

  • Thanks to everybody who submitted dumb anti-gun quotes for TZP targets. We’ve verified those that can be verified (and thank you so very much to you who submitted quotes with original-source links!) and are now passing the entries around among the TZP leadership group. We’re not sure exactly when we’ll announce the winners, and it may be that after we’ve chosen our “favorites” a designer will have the final say as he fits everything together. But we’ll keep you posted. We definitely got some grins and groans out of your submissions.
  • The same day our quote contest closed, Lucky Gunner announced the final results in its poll to give away the money owed to it by the Brady Center. Your votes kept TZP solidly in the middle of the pack all the way to the end. Our numbers were modest but we still came out in the vicinity of several larger, better-known groups. And the main thing is that we had an unprecedented chance to get noticed. Kudos to you.

Now, that said, here are some links I’ve been collecting for you:

  • A couple of my recent posts were about resistance within Germany to the Nazis. Y.B. sent these links to information on Christians who resisted on principle.
  • “They Hate You Because You’re Jewish, You Idiot!” No comment.
  • Man, this is (almost) enough to make a body like Chuck Schumer. And note how quickly the Obama White House stabbed him in the back.
  • This spring, I stumbled across a weird story about officials in a Greek town demanding — of all things! — that a star of David be removed from a Holocaust museum. Um … srsly? But the actions of a couple of politicians halfway around the world didn’t seem all that newsworthy, so I just sat on the link at the time.
  • Then more recently, Y.B. sent me these poll results — which put the actions of Greek officials into much more chilling perspective. No wonder the Jews of Europe are either getting out or beginning to agitate for the right to bear arms.
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Trying to Snuff Out the Canary

JBGreuzeCanary

In June I wrote about an informative and new anti-BDS site called Canary Mission.  Their mission is to reveal just who the actors in this  movement really are and what they truly espouse, often with their own words.

Well, the BDS crowd is not happy about Canary Mission.  Not.  At. All.

In a new article from award winning investigative reporter and author Edwin Black, he notes an increasing level of shrill and violent threats against Canary Mission.  Well worth reading in it’s entirety.

And, if you have not yet done so, do please check out Canary Mission’s site, too!  A valuable resource.

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My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

I’m of the generation that grew up watching John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and greatly admired both men. After I read a few of the books written by Dale Evans Rogers, Roy’s wife, I admired him even more. They were straight shooting, honest men. Hard working, with guts and integrity. And that was just in their private lives, let alone their persona in the movies. As you can tell, I’m from a time gone by.

I guess what got me to thinking about heroes was a facebook meme I saw a couple days ago. It had a picture of Batman and said “My boss told me to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Now I’m sitting in Human Resources at a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.” I was telling a girlfriend about it and said I wanted to find one that said I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Judah Maccabee. She seemed a little astonished. She said Judah’s battles were in many arenas. Spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological. She felt that was quite a chunk to chew. I agree.

The night before I had watched a 1982 movie called “The Wall” about the Warsaw ghetto, and how the resistance came to be. Well, at least Hollywood style. One of the leaders of the resistance turned out to be (in the movie anyway) a woman named Rachel. She was one of the first to insist to the resistance the cattle cars weren’t going to the Ukraine. She was the first to insist they were going to have to be responsible for defending themselves. She was the one that was teaching them how to shoot a pistol. Sadly there is not enough back-story in the movie to know how she acquired such knowledge, but her directions were pretty good. But as best as I can tell, she was just a nice woman who was enjoying a nice Jewish life with her family when the world went crazy.

Judah was the same, he and his family were having a nice Jewish life in Modin. Well, as nice as you can have when Antiochus has decided your religion will not be allowed to exist and you must abandon it and now accept HIS religion. Oh, and if you follow yours, you will die.

My girlfriend pointed out some of my thought processes are a tad bit different than a lot of peoples. Ok, maybe so. So I asked her who HER heroes are? She is quite a bit younger than I am.

Her choices were Corrie Ten Boom, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry and all the founding fathers. For quite similar reasons. Corrie? A nice old lady building and fixing watches, well, until the world went cray-cray. Laura? She and her family were some of the early pioneers. Their lives were not easy and they went through many difficult and trying times. But they stuck it out to help settle their land and have nice lives. The founding fathers? Well, they were farmers and simple men. Men with families just going about their daily lives. Yet, when the need for them to rise to the challenge in the case of freedom and liberty, they did. She summed it up with ordinary, everyday people doing extraordinary things. People with regular lives becoming amazing heroes. Ordinary people overcoming extraordinary odds.

I asked a relative of mine who her heroes were. She is five years younger than I am. Hers? Winston Churchill, “Iron” Margaret Thatcher, and sigh, Colin Powell. All for the same reason, they were people who took unpopular stances when it was necessary to do the right thing, because it was the right thing.

A friend of mine a couple years older? Leonard Bernstein. Because he stepped in and did such a marvelous job when the chips were down. I kind of caught her off guard with the question as our whole conversation up to that point had been a completely different topic.

My point is this, all of the people I surveyed are within about 15 years of each other. We have similar reasons for picking our heroes.

What are children taught today are heroes in the public schools? There are pages on Michael Jordan, paragraph on George Washington? Really. The media tells us it is a football player who is “courageous” enough to tell the world he is “gay”. Ok, takes courage, but is the result the same as Nathan Hale? A man has a sex change operation? Courage? Um, well, ok. But actually I think his/her saying on public television that he/she is a Republican took more. It reminds me of collage in the 60s. All these kids dressed alike, bathing as often, chanting the same slogans and protesting for the same causes claiming they are “bucking the system” and never seeing the irony.

Today we have celebrate “diversity”, as long as you go along with what the liberal political correctness tells you IS diversity. If not? You will be attacked in the media as a hater, your bank account subject to IRS seizure and the tolerant left will try to shut your business down. We must be diverse, as long as we are diverse the way it’s “allowed”. Ahh, what was it Hitler said about giving him a generation? I’m sure professor Bill Ayers said similar though. Just a guess.

So now I will sound like the old person I am. I will bemoan that today the main topic is who will win American Idol, what are the Kardashians wearing and where is Paris Hilton, while they may not know there is a Paris, France.

Perhaps it is just me, perhaps it is the rainy day, but I can not help but wonder, for how little can the title “Hero” be purchased today? Will people be the same today as they were in the meeting in the film clip from “The Wall”, they delayed fighting evil, because they did not recognize evil for what it was, and if they began to they were unable to admit to it. Almost every hero listed above, no matter who selected them, recognized a threat to their area and addressed it.

From 1st Maccabees 3:17

Now when Seron, a prince of the army of Syria, heard say that Judas had gathered unto him a multitude and company of the faithful to go out with him is to war ; he said, I will get me a name and honor in the kingdom ; for I will go fight with Judas and them that are with him, who despise the king’s commandment. So he made him ready to go up, and there went with him a mighty host of the ungodly to help him, and to be avenged of the children of Israel.

And when he came near to the going up of Beth-horon, Judas went forth to meet him with a small company: who, when they saw the host coming to meet them, said unto Judas, How shall we be able, being so few, to fight against so great a multitude and so strong, seeing we arc ready to faint with fasting all this day ? Unto whom Judas answered.

It is no hard matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few; and with the God of heaven it is all one, to deliver with a great multitude, or a small company: for the victory of battle standeth not in the multitude of an host; but strength cometh from heaven. They come against us in much pride and iniquity to destroy us, and our wives and children, and to spoil us but we fight for our lives and our laws. Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow lo them before our face and as for you, be ye not afraid of them.

Now as soon as he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and so Seron and his host was overthrown before him. And they pursued them from the going down of Beth-horon unto the plain, where were slain about eight hundred men of them ; and the residue fled into the land of the Philistines.

Then began the fear of Judas and his brethren, and an exceeding great dread, to fall upon the nations.

Judah Maccabee Meme
Judah Maccabee Meme

So who are YOUR heroes, and why?

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What we do for love

Co-blogger Sheila has been telling you about the highlights of her recent trip to Israel. One thing she hasn’t told you is this:

TZPWesternWallPhoto_Sheila

That’s a closeup of one of the niches in the Western Wall or Kotel — what Americans not-so-respectfully refer to as the Wailing Wall. The slip of paper on the upper right contains the names of each TZP founding member and blogger, the names of our families, and TZP’s name.

I was so moved when Sheila told us she did that. A famous quote connected with the Western Wall is: “There are hearts and there are hearts. There are human hearts, and there are hearts of stone. There are stones and there are stones. There are silent stones, and there are stones which are hearts.” And I must say that what Sheila did melted my sometimes-stony heart.

—–

Life has taught me to be cynical and unsentimental. Aside from having a soft spot for dogs, I tend to be one who avoids or questions things I find to be vague, “soft,” or emotional. I’ve become a “just the facts, Ma’am” sort of person when it comes to claims that can’t be well-defined or proven through a rigorous examination.

Reading novels, I skip the mushy scenes. I’m baffled when people make religious arguments based on their feelings and quotes from scriptures (just as they’re baffled by my expectation of hard evidence). When a salesman or a preacher wants me to “experience” something before I gather the data about it, I’m instantly on guard. When Dumbledore tells Harry Potter that “love” made his baby self invincible against the evil power of Voldemort, I cringe and hit the fast-forward button. In fact, the dreadfully overused word “love” is in general enough to set my BS alarm clanging. Give me the facts, Ma’am. Just the facts.

I’m not really that cold — I hope! I’ve merely learned through a lifetime of experience that feelings sans facts are often a trap, nothing more than a form of manipulation and deception.

Our gun-hating opponents are excruciating examples of this. Their wild emotional rantings, their claims of sentiment toward the victims of shootings (victims in whose blood they gleefully dance), their stubborn choice to remain ignorant about firearms, their complete refusal to sit down and think about how the laws they demand would actually work in the real world, their bizarre lack of reasoning … all are perfect examples of why feeeeeelings should aways be suspect. Especially when someone uses their emotions (or tries to manipulate the emotions of others) as an excuse to get something they want.

—–

Of course, feelings can be plenty useful. That hinky sense you get when you see a suspicious stranger or enter a dangerous place. That inner voice that screams, “NO!” even when a course of action seems otherwise perfectly reasonable. That warmth that floods you when you realize you’ve met someone you can truly trust. That rush of satisfaction when you know you’ve gone the extra mile and done good. All great, all needed.

But when it comes to discovering truths that lie beyond our immediate realm, feelings are no substitute for accurate, checkable data. Give me the facts, Ma’am. Just the facts. I’ll decide for myself what to feel about them, thank you.

So when I saw Sheila’s photo and heard her describe what’s on that piece of paper — a prayer placed in an ancient wall for the people of TZP — at first I didn’t know why I felt so moved. I don’t believe there’s a god standing behind that wall, seeing, hearing, and above all caring about us (fellow blogger Y.B. will differ, of course). I don’t believe that the stones of the wall or the words on those slips of paper have any mystical power. Yet I felt a power just knowing what Sheila had done. I felt the power of the stones and the words and Sheila’s action in placing TZP in such an ancient holy place.

But why?

Many reasons, I think. But here’s the core thing: We who hold fast for gun rights and the human rights to life, liberty, and individual sovereignty ultimately do what we do out of love. Yes, that mushy, highly suspect word. There it is: love.

Oh yes, we have facts and data and knowledge on our side. Unlike the overwrought, screeching enemies of freedom, we analyze the data, we look at the facts on the table, we project the consequences of proposed laws into the future. We ask, “How does this work? Or would it work?” Some of us know the physics (that is, the facts) of the making of steel or the ballistics of a shot. Some of us have studied the history of firearms or firearms laws. Some of us can cite firearm statistics or crime statistics off the tops of our heads. Some track and analyze upcoming laws or regulatory actions. We have different areas of expertise when it comes to guns and gun rights. But generally, we tend to be people of the fact. We’re passionate about our commitment, but many of us got here by looking at the data or studying the history and knowing why we’re here.

Yet of course we don’t do what we do — we don’t join and stay in this endless struggle for freedom — because of facts alone. That wouldn’t be enough.

We stand here against all manner of hate and all attempts to smash our freedom. We stand like the stones of that ancient wall not only because we know we’re right. Being “right” is never enough; any moron can think he’s “right” about anything and still run for the hills the moment things get tough. We stand because we love life and liberty so much that surrender is inconceivable. What we do, we do for love.

It has been said of the Western Wall:

Secure and invincible with its Divine strength, the Kotel holds its own — throughout the generations of change, transformations and vicissitudes, the horrors and the shocks, which visited the land and its inhabitants. The Kotel is in them and with them.

…. [L]ike a stone fortress, it stands guard, without moving and without allowing its inner dignity to be sullied. It remains pure and exalted in the strength of its very essence…

There are hearts of stone and stones with hearts. Those who stand for gun rights are a wall, a fortress. It was right that Sheila placed TZP names in that niche in the Kotel. The words on that slip of paper aren’t just our names, individually. Our names stand for everyone who cares unyieldingly about self defense, the defense of others, and the undying principles of liberty. Our names in that wall stand for the love that holds so many great hearts so strong in this crucial cause.

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Defiance in the face of deadly evil

Yesterday, Y.B. wrote a remembrance of Lothar Kreyssig, a German judge who defied the Nazis. Kreyssig didn’t succeed in halting their genocidal plans, but he lived — and lived a good, meaningful life.

Unconsciously, it seems to have become part of modern myth that nobody, but nobody, in Germany openly defied the Nazis. Sure, people all over Europe covertly defied them in ways large and small. And partisans outside of Germany took up arms against them, attacking and fading into the woods. Finally, even the most downtrodden captives in Sobibor and Warsaw openly defended themselves against their monstrous tormentors.

But ordinary “Aryan” Germans? We’re so unaccustomed to thinking of them defying their rulers that “good German” remains a term of contempt 70 years after the fact.

But defy they did, even if it was rare and dangerous. Another example, besides Kreyssig’s refusal to give an official stamp to deadly eugenics, was the Rosenstrasse protest, in which “Aryan” wives laid their lives on the line to save their Jewish husbands.

The wives won. Some 1800 Jewish men were saved. Today, there’s a monument at the site of the protest that carries this inscription: “The strength of civil disobedience, the vigor of love overcomes the violence of dictatorship; Give us our men back; Women were standing here, defeating death; Jewish men were free.”

The wives not only saved their husbands. They revealed a weakness in the Nazi regime (that also applies to many tyrants in our day): even the worst brutes on earth squirm and cringe when the light of bad publicity shines on them.

—–

Germans also committed more acts of covert defiance than we give them credit for. A great example is a story that got quite a bit of coverage last year (two good versions here and here).

A German photographer, asked to submit entries for a Nazi-sponsored “perfect Aryan baby” contest, submitted the photo of a child he knew to be Jewish. Her adorable picture beat the rest of the competition and was printed on magazine covers and postcards.

The photographer didn’t ask the family’s permission and his act potentially put both them and himself in danger. At the time, the child’s parents were horrified. But today that baby (now known as Hessy Taft and a professor of chemistry in New York) says she’s quite proud to have been part of the deception.

The photographer wanted to prove that the Nazis were fools — and he succeeded wildly, even though he had to keep his victory and his laughter to himself.

—–

Just think how different, and how much less deadly, 20th century history might have been had even more “good Germans” showed their courage, anger, contempt, and love of decency and refused to be so “good.”

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Remembering Lothar Kreyssig

On July 6th 1986, Lothar Ernst Paul Kreyssig, passed away after living a life of honor and principle.  This was especially so during times when it seemed these virtues were rapidly leaving the world forever.

A member of the Confessing Church, he spent his later years working vigorously to atone for the wrong his countrymen had wrought, believing that even those who resisted should have, and could have, done far more to stop the evil in their midst.

Trained in the law, in Leipzig, he became a district court judge. Soon he was transferred to Brandenburg an der Havel and his new duties were as a guardianship judge for the mentally ill.

Many people think of Nazi Germany as pioneers in the field of eugenics, but that is not really so. That distinction belongs to the United States and Great Britain, and included such names as Margaret Sanger and Sir Francis Galton. Still, the eager understudy, Germany made up time with persistence and passion.

By the summer of 1940 a program known as Aktion T4
was quietly in full swing. The flip-side to nationwide programs encouraging childbearing among Aryans, this program worked to create “Racial Hygene” by removing the ill, the infirm, the defective… the üntermenschen, from the gene-pool of the Master Race. A race for the New World Order.

But, being Germans, everything about this quiet program had to be nice and tidy, with all the documents organized and everything correct. And legal.

Judge Kreyssig kept seeing reams of odd paperwork, often nearly identical, except for the names, cross his desk for approval. Dozens, then hundreds of people were dying under his watch. He soon concluded that this was in fact a forced euthanasia program on a huge scale, and he was placing his own imprimatur on the horrible act.

He refused to do so.

Moreover, he wrote Minister of Justice Franz Gurtner, protesting in very strong terms the treatment of people under his charge, including now, prisoners and residents of a concentration camp, writing:

“What is right is what benefits the people. In the name of this frightful doctrine — as yet, uncontradicted by any guardian of rights in Germany — entire sectors of communal living are excluded from [having] rights, for example, all the concentration camps, and now, all hospitals and sanatoriums.”

Trusting in German Jurisprudence, Judge Kreyssig then filed criminal charges against the program administrator, and issued an injunction against the operation.

Judge Kreyssig was in for a rude awakening. He was called to a meeting by the Justice Minister, and shown a letter authorizing the Aktion T4 signed by Adolph Hitler himself.

This was the Führerprinzip (Leader Principle) in ‘action”. The Law must serve the State. The Leader embodies the State. Thus, the letter of the Law bends to the will of the Leader.

Horrified, but not stupid, Judge Kreyssig, this very powerful and respected jurist, narrowly avoided being sent by the Gestapo to a concentration camp himself. Marginalized over the next two years, he was finally forced to retire from the bench.

Most of us know of the trials of major political and military leaders of the Nazi regime at Nuremburg. There were also trials of morally corrupt Doctors, and of willing (or worse) Prosecutors and Judges.

It is said that when the Nazi Judges were tried by the Allies at Nuremburg, they looked everywhere for a  Judge who under the Regime steadfastly refused to do evil. They found just one:

Lothar Kreyssig.

But, after refusing the seduction of the National Socialist German Workers Party, since the Judge lived in Saxony, he had a new problem. He was now in the “East Zone”… soon to become the new Deutsche Demokratishe Republik. Communist, East Germany.

And, THEY wanted him to be a Judge. Having seen this show before, he refused.

A life-long Evangelical (Protestant) Christian, instead he returned to a prior focus on his faith and community, becoming President of his church for the province of Saxony, and on to many other positions of community leadership.

Most noteworthy, in 1958 Mr. Kreyssig founded the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP), an international organization that continues to this day.

This organization’s view, as an outgrowth of the ideology of Confessing Church roots, calls for “repentance and reversal” on the part of those who do harm to others. Thus, in the context of postwar Germany, not just individual or communal guilt, but an earnest and direct request to aid those who were harmed.

The ARSP sends nearly two hundred volunteers annually to engage in long- and short-term social work for survivors in Belgium, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine, Israel and the U.S.   Over the years thousands have served.

When faced with a society filled with mindless evil, Judge Kreyssig refused to bend. When lured by a sister-evil, he refused. Instead, Mr. Kreyssig worked the rest of his life for true reconciliation and encouraged others to follow his lead.

A model for us all.

Kreyssig

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Profiles in Courage-updated

One of the museums we visited was the Etzel museum in Tel Aviv. That monthly pass really is a good deal. I still have a couple days left on it, I keep contemplating popping back over there to just add a bit to my story, but I guess I won’t. There is more than one Etzel museum in Tel Aviv and this one was named for Amichai (Gidi) Paiglin.

This is one of those things that at the time seemed like a good idea, and seemed like it would be simple. I’d just make a few notes on the people and topics that really struck me and I wanted to share with our readers and then supplement with info from the net and put in a few links. That’s not how this turned out. What seemed to me, like something that would certainly have a page on Wikipedia, or I could find information “somewhere” on the web, there is nothing but a barren wasteland of info. At least for my first part, which is going to have to be done only from my notes and memory. Which at times is a barren wasteland in and of itself.

Ten days before the State of Israel was declared by David Ben-Gurion (whom I like less all the time) was the last day of a truce. The British were going to be pulling out, and The Irgun had decided to capture Jaffa. The battle had been pretty fierce and there were a many lives lost. In the area of of town where our story takes place the Irgun thought that they had an area where it would be safe for the women to bed down for the night, and that by the next morning they would finish the operation. That probably seemed like a good idea at the time as well. It didn’t work out the way it was planned either. The Arabs managed to sneak past the Etzal during the night and were in the parts of the town where most of the women were.

Marion Aharoni was one of the two women in the minaret who woke up to the sound of Arabic voices the next morning and realized that there were enough of them that the forces in that part of the town wouldn’t be able to hold it. Apparently communications had already been disrupted, and so Marion told the other gal to try to get to headquarters and advise them of the situation. In the meantime headquarters had become aware of what was happening and was trying to sort out their resources and their people to figure out how to best deal with the situation at hand. One of the people in charge of a unit was Ruth Moritz, I believe I have her code name down as Dvora. Ruth was amazing, she was a beautiful woman, I think, and had shown a lot of command skill. Her boyfriend Avaham Canaaite had been killed at the battle of Yafo (Jaffa). Ruth was near headquarters when the other lady finally arrived and informed them of the situation. Headquarters informed Ruth they had talked to their people in that area and no one was left in the minaret. Ruth said she was going to head over there anyway to make sure Marion got out. Headquarters told her no. Ruth said she was going and for everyone else who had legs to get out of there now. Headquarters advised Ruth she should go see to her unit and make sure they were all ready to roll, either evacuate or fight. Ruth told them she would just go check the minaret herself and make sure no one was left behind to face the Arab mob alone. And so she went. If she met fighters along the way, she advised them to get out. She made it to the minaret where Marion was still holed up waiting for orders. Not that there was a thing she could have done. By the time Ruth made it there the Arab mobs were very close. And there were a lot of them. And so to avoid falling into the hands of the Arab mobs they chose to jump from the minaret. Many Arabs at that time, as now, have the same unfortunate goal and tendency to slaughter Jews when possible. No one really knew what happened to the women. After two years a mass grave was found with the bones of two women and three men. I believe it was four years later that they finally found out what had happened.

Another update: We knew Ruth had incredible courage to go back and try to get out Marion who was in her company because she felt she was responsible for Marion. But something that is in the video that I had forgotten is Marion’s incredible courage. Marion was still in that tower because she had not heard the command to retreat. She heard the Arab mobs, she knew they were close. But she stayed and held her position because she had not heard the retreat command. What kind of incredible courage would that take? These were two amazing, smart, strong, courageous women. They deserve to have their names known and remembered outside of Israel.

The view of the minaret I think they jumped from was visible from my “office”.

View from my "office"
View from my “office”

And the evening we walked home from Yafo to Tel Aviv we walked by what I believe is the tower they jumped from.

The minaret
The minaret

The other thing that was striking to me was the Altalena. Yes, of course I knew about the Altalena, the ship. I did not know that was the name Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote under in Russian newspapers though. The other thing was the date. I was at this Etzel museum on 1 June. 1 June 1948 was the day the Irgun, Hagana, and Lehi were all to have been disbanded and incorporated into the newly formed IDF. The cliff notes version of this is the Altalena was a ship bound for Israel carrying fighters and much needed weapons to the Irgun. Timing was an issue, and David Ben-Gurion, was aware the ship was coming in and basically sold the Irgun and Menachem Begin out. The IDF was ordered to attack the Altalena if they wouldn’t turn over all the weapons to the new IDF. That did not happen, and a firefight broke out between the IDF and the Irgun. Menachem Begin headed for the Altalena in a rowboat under fire from the IDF. He made it to the ship and they sailed for Tel Aviv where there were more IDF forces. Ben-Gurion ordered the ship sunk on the high seas by the new Israeli air force before it reached Tel Aviv.

Heiman Shamir Deputy Commander of the Air Force, tried to convince non-Jewish pilot volunteers to attack the ship. However, three pilots refused to participate in the mission, one of them saying, “You can kiss my foot. I did not lose four friends and fly 10,000 miles in order to bomb Jews.”

I told a Rabbi once, not everything that wasn’t born Jewish is an enemy of Jews. These three pilots would nicely prove this point.

In the end, Jews fired on Jews, and the Altalena was sunk despite having raised a white flag on Begin’s orders as he attempted to prevent a civil war.

Take-a-way thoughts of mine. We know the name of the shooter in the church in South Carolina, we know the name of several famous gangsters in America’s history, and possibly some names of famous Israelis. Certainly Ben-Gurion and Begin. While I was at the museum some groups of young soldiers were coming through. They were to study at the museum as part of the class apparently. In fact one room we were unable to access. It was a room where perhaps there was a movie you could view, but it was being used for a party of some sort. But these student soldiers study the people, the events and the history. And it matters to some of them, and perhaps to some, not so much. I was actually very surprised there was nothing on the net about Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni, but there isn’t, and so perhaps this telling, as imperfect as it is, will keep a memory of valor, courage and leadership alive.

Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni
Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni

And make no mistake, Ruth was a leader. When we have people like Shannon Watts, Dianne Feinstine, Nancy Pelosi and every other anti-gun harpie out there telling women that they won’t be safer if they can defend themselves, you know what crap it is. When you have the screeching harpies telling women that if they have a gun someone will take it away from them and use it on them, that’s crap. When you have the faux feminists telling women that a gun is too complicated, that they should get mace and a whistle, you know it’s crap. When the faux feminists tell women to just call the big strong policeman and wait, that’s crap. Ruth and Marion were true feminists, they were strong, beautiful women that fought in defense of themselves, their families and their country.

Right now part of America is busy throwing away the heritage that they have been sold by a liberal educational system and biased media. They throw it away with both hands because they don’t know true history, and don’t understand what they are throwing away. I was very glad to see those young Israelis going through that museum.

When in a dire situation, more people on your side is a very good thing.

The Altalena take-a-way? Politicians do what’s best for politicians. Betrayal sadly, apparently, should be expected. It’s about the power baby, it’s about the power.

Etzel Museum
Etzel Museum

 

I have never been so happy to need to update something as I am to add this. If you whine to the right people, sometimes, just sometimes, really great things happen. The whining was about the lack of information on Ruth online. The victim listener of my whining suggested that some problems are solved by going back to the language in which the incident occurred. That would be Hebrew. JACKPOT!!!

I had forgotten that Marion was in Ruth’s unit. A bit more than friends, I believe Ruth was her leader.

These sites are all in Hebrew, but with evil google’s translate you can read a rough version in English. Enough to get more information. AND, a movie. I’ve written the museum to see if they would consider posting the English version I saw while I was there.

Wikipedia

Etzel Museum remembrance page

Irgun Fighters of Independence

תודה לך דב עוד פעם

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