Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Uncle Joe Memorial

“The Uncle Joe Memorial”

By Richard E. Noble

To me War is Uncle Joe.
When I was a little boy and fascinated with six-shooters and guns, and playing army with my box full of little tanks, and trucks, and infantrymen, I was looking through a photo album with another of my uncles, my Uncle Ray. The album was filled with pictures of my Uncle Ray and my Uncle Joe in their army uniforms. Seeing my uncles all dressed up in their uniforms prompted me to ask;
“Uncle Ray, did you ever kill any Germans?”
My uncle laughed. Why was he laughing, I wondered? I suppose that it was the naiveté of a child enthusiastically talking about War and killing as if these things were positive achievements for mankind. I’m sure that he realized instantly from the gleam in my eye and the thrill in my voice, that if he said, “Darn right, I did. I wiped out a whole platoon of them suckers!” he would have been an instant hero. But, I’m sure, as much as he wanted the admiration and hero worship of a young idol seeker of about six or seven years of age with eyes just burning to hear a tale of war, victory, and brave endeavor - and knowing that he could tell me any number of lies and I’d never know the difference - made him see a humorous situation written all over my little face.
“No, no,” he said still laughing. “I never left Fort So-and-So. The closest that I got to see any war was at a John Wayne movie.”
“But, but. . .” I said pointing to his picture in his army suit, “you were a soldier.”
“Oh yes, yes,” he explained. “But there were millions and millions of us soldiers who never even shot a weapon. I spent most of the war shooting off a typewriter in this far away foreign land called California.”
Needless to say, I was gravely disappointed. My hero, Uncle Ray, was a typewriter shooter assigned to killing enemy file cabinets in California. Boy, you would think that he could have, at least, knocked down a German - or beat one up - or something. But no, unfortunately, my Uncle Ray was one of those guys who could not tell a lie. He probably read too many cheery tree stories.
But then, seeing all the disappointment dripping from my face, he quickly added; “If you want to know about killing and shooting bad guys, you’ll have to ask your Uncle Joe.”
“Uncle Joe?”
“That’s right. Your Uncle Joe is the man who saw the action. He can tell you all about it.”
I was very glad and proud that I had an uncle who saw action and killed a bunch of enemy people - but Uncle Joe?
Uncle Joe was somewhat of a family mystery. He was semi-mystical. When anybody in the family mentioned his name, a look came over them - as if they were talking about someone who didn’t really exist. Someone who had died a long, long time ago. But Uncle Joe wasn’t dead. He was alive and periodically, I would bump into him. He died before I was twelve years old, yet I can describe to you, in detail, every one of the few encounters that I had with Uncle Joe throughout those years.
Uncle Joe lived as a kind of recluse. He lived somewhere in the neighborhood, but I never did know where. I think that he lived in a little apartment up on Center Street. The apartment was above a small neighborhood tavern known as Coza’s Cafe’.
Uncle Joe had these deep penetrating eyes. They seemed to be sunk deep into his skull - like they were trying to hide back inside his head. The skin around his eyes was always somewhat yellow - funny looking. When I asked my mother about it, she told me it was because my Uncle Joe had contracted malaria during the war. He always looked yellow and . . . . well. . . ghostly.
I learned about Uncle Joe, little by little. He got put together in my life like a picture puzzle - a mass of little jagged pieces, frayed, torn and never quite fitting together properly.
Uncle Joe was the brave, warrior guy who saw all the action and killed all the Germans, but Uncle Joe looked like the saddest, most sensitive, all-alone person who I had ever met. He never got married. He never had any children. And, even though he lived just around the block someplace, you very rarely saw him. Whenever my mother or my aunts talked about Uncle Joe, they talked in “used-to-be's”. Uncle Joe used to be like this; or Uncle Joe used to be like that. Uncle Joe used to be something. Uncle Joe used to be someone, but now . . . what is he? Who is he?
Uncle Joe popped into our apartment one Christmas. My Dad, who was a man of very few words, loved my Uncle Joe. Whenever Uncle Joe walked in that door everybody laid it onto him. He was the wailing wall of the family. Whenever he popped his head out of his “foxhole” it seemed that everyone in the world came running towards him with their arms wide open. And there would be “crying and the gnashing of teeth” as they dumped all of their petty problems and grips onto his shoulders. My mother could moan and cry and bellyache to poor Uncle Joe for hours. I remember sitting on the parlor floor on this particular Christmas, and saying to myself, “Why don’t these people just shut up; can’t they see that they are just going to scare Uncle Joe away? He is just going to fly off someplace.” Uncle Joe was the butterfly – the delicate, sensitive loving butterfly. Didn’t they realize that they were going to chase him right out of the house and that he might never come back?
From my perspective, Uncle Joe was the one who needed the comfort. He was the one who obviously needed the hug and someone to say; “It’s all right. Don’t worry. You’re safe.” But instead, he got the exact opposite. He was the toxic dumpsite for everybody else’s pent-up frustrations - everybody else’s problems. He was the one who understood everyone, but also the one who everyone else didn’t understand. He was the mystery man.
A week later when my older sister and I were taking down the Christmas tree, we found three envelopes scattered among its branches. They had our name written on them - my name on one, my sister’s on another and my brother’s on a third. When we opened the envelopes we found a dollar bill inside. The name of the giver was not to be found on the envelope anywhere.
My sister and I stood for a moment looking at our dollar bill and the unsigned envelope. Then, we looked at one another. Without hesitation, we both said, Uncle Joe! Who else would give and not want anything in return - not even a thank-you, or a hug, or a kiss. Who else did we know who would leave dollar bills hanging in the Christmas tree anonymously - probably the only three dollars that he had.
I still, to this day, don’t know what Uncle Joe did for a living. He didn’t work at the mill or own a car, or a house, or own anything as far as I knew.
One time, my mother was getting back at me for showing too much attention towards my grandmother. I always liked my grandmother. She would cook the same dish that my mother would prepare, and I would eat my grandmother’s and not my mother’s. My mother would get infuriated.
“1 use the exact same recipe that your grandmother uses; in fact, she is the one who taught me how to make this dish.”
“Sorry Mom,” I’d say. “You can blindfold me or put me into a dark closet; I’ll still be able to pick out grandma’s pirogues over yours every time.”
Well finally, this one day, my mother blew her top; “You think that your grandmother is so darn wonderful; well let me tell you this, sonny boy - that woman is the same woman who threw your favorite Uncle Joe out into the street when he came home from the war.”
Boy, my mother knew how to hurt. Could that possibly be true? I didn’t believe my mother. My grandmother was a round, jolly, barrel full of hugs and kisses and chocolate pudding with milk on the top; and cheek-pinching and smiles and laughter.
“I don’t believe you,” I said. “Why would Grandma throw Uncle Joe out into the street?”
“Because he didn’t have a job - that’s why, smarty pants!”
“So, your wonderful grandmother didn’t want your Uncle Joe, war hero, sitting around her house and eating her food, without paying any rent.”
Well, I wasn’t going to argue with my mother, but I also knew that she had a sharp tongue and could often say things without thinking - even make up things, sometimes. But just having this new knowledge made me look at my grandmother differently. Could anybody do that to their child? Work was important, but a son? . . . home from the war? Could my grandmother have done such a thing?
One day I was puttsing around helping my Uncle Ray with something. I popped the question; “Did Grandma really throw Uncle Joe out into the street after he came home from the war just because he didn’t have a job and couldn’t pay her any rent?”
My Uncle Ray stopped dead in his tracks. He turned and looked at me.
“Who told you that?” he asked. I lowered my head, shuffled about, and kicked at the concrete at my feet. He could tell that I wasn’t about to squeal. “Well,” he said sitting down on an old crate. “Your grandma did put Uncle Joe out, but your description was not exactly the way that it happened. You see, when your Uncle Joe came back from the war, he wasn’t the same as before he left.”
“I know. He got malaria.”
“Yes, he did have malaria, but he had something else also - something that nobody had a name for; and no cure for either.”
“What was it?”
“Well it is hard to describe. It is something that comes with war and killing people. It makes a man different inside. When your Uncle Joe came back, he was different. He didn’t want to work or even look for a job. He sat in your grandmother’s living room and just stared out the window.”
“So what? I do that sometimes.”
“Yeah, but your Uncle Joe did it day after day after day - for a long, long time. Your grandmother was worried about him. He couldn’t just sit there in the parlor staring out the window for the rest of his life. He was making himself sick inside. Your grandmother tried and tried and tried. She talked and talked, but Uncle Joe just sat there staring out the window and smoking cigarettes. Finally one day she just couldn’t stand it anymore. She packed his bag and brought it to him. She told him that if he wasn’t going to live anymore . . . he would just have to find someplace else to die.”
“So what did Uncle Joe do?”
“He left. Then after awhile he got a job, and pretty soon, he was all right again.”
“What is Uncle Joe, anyway?”
“Well,” my Uncle Ray said with a smile. “Uncle Joe is kind of a Jack-of-all-trades. You know, he was always the kind of guy who could do anything - and be good at it too.”
My Uncle Joe is a part of the reason that I don’t like war. It always seemed to me that my Uncle Joe was a casualty of World War II. Somehow his life ended over there in Burma or Bataan or wherever it was, but his name never got carved into a wall or put on a plaque. Unfortunately he was still alive. But what was he? Who was he? Where did he live? What did he do for a living? Who did he care about? Who cared about him?
War sprouts bodies like my Uncle Joe. Guys who make it back, but don’t make it back. They live under bridges, and in flophouses, out in some woods, or in empty apartments. My Uncle Joe fought on the “right” side in World War II. No question about it. He didn’t fight no “Little Hitler”; he fought the real Hitler - the democracy hating, Jew killing, monster who wanted to take over the world and didn’t care who or how many died in the process. No mistake there, my Uncle Joe fought on the right side - for the good guys. But yet he couldn’t find his way back from Burma - and why? He was right; they were wrong. What’s the problem?
War creates a lot of heroes. We get a lot of plaques and a lot of monuments. We get bronze guys on horses - concrete guys with swords. We get statues, and walls, and pillars, and pits, and ponds and lakes, all surrounded by canons, and cartridge boxes and stars and stripes and flags - lots and lots of flags. But war also creates a hell of a lot of Uncle Joes.
There are no memorials to the Uncle Joes. I doubt if there ever will be. How do you carve a ghost out of marble? How do you paint a picture of a man searching for the soul he lost on Pork Chop Hill or in some Vietnam village or on Bataan or at the Battle of the Bulge or in Flanders Field? How do you make a statement about a man who no longer has anything to say?
The Uncle Joe War Memorial? what would it look like?
My guess is that these Uncle Joe types would not want a memorial. They would probably tell the public to keep the money and put it into the hot lunch program at the public schools.
So don’t start up a collection or hire a sculptor just yet. These guys probably like living under the bridges and in those empty apartments - it’s now a tradition; a very, very old tradition.
I don’t know about you but there is a part of me who lives in an empty apartment; a part of me who would rather live under a bridge; a part of me who doesn’t want any hugs and kisses; a part of me who just wants to be left alone - all alone; a part of me who thinks that he has nothing left inside of him - nothing left to give; a part of me who would just like to die - to die in peace; and may they all someday rest in PEACE; someday . . somehow, somewhere - may we all rest in PEACE. . . amen.

Hoboing America III

Hobo-ing America III

Peaches in Mena Arkansas
[This is another excerpt from my book “Hobo-ing America” – A workingman’s tour of the U.S.A.]
By Richard E. Noble

We were strolling through the Wal-Mart in downtown Mena, when the local news flipped onto one of the TVs being displayed. A young, eager and very dapper announcer was heralding the arrival of the peach:
“Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. And here I am, right in the middle of all the action at Barbrough farms, in Polk County. We’re out here at the Barbrough fruit stand, just off highway sixteen at the junction of state road two-two-two and highway ninety-eight. The folks out here, as you can plainly see right behind me, are as busy as they can be. Aren’t you folks? (The camera zooms in on a fruit stand immediately behind the announcer. Men, women, and teenage boys, all displaying colorful Barbrough aprons and ball caps, were bouncing about in all directions gleefully toting crates, baskets, and bowls filled to overflowing with succulent, rosy-red looking peaches ... ‘We sure are’ everyone screams, as the camera gives them all another chance to be seen on TV by all of the folks back home ...) So get out those Mason jars, and Aunt Tilly’s peach preserve recipe, and shuffle yourselves out here to Barbrough Farms and pick up a couple of bushels of these wonderful, tree ripened peaches at just twelve dollars a bushel. You can’t beat that folks ... tree ripened, juicy, rosy-red peaches. A bargain by the bushel, just twelve dollars ... right here at Barbrough farms ... on the corner of…”
As we watched the young man on the screen peddling Mr. Barbrough’s peaches, we couldn’t help but to think of those yesteryears. The smell of peaches ripening in the cellar or pantry. Those homemade peach pies, coming hot from the oven. Grandma’s hand churned peach ice cream, made with the chunks of whole fresh peaches paddled into the cold sweet delight. Remember those peach preserves, peach cobblers, and peaches and cream? How about the luscious burst of those outrageous juices overflowing the corners of your mouth as you lean your head forward in an attempt to keep from staining mama’s freshly washed and pressed school clothes? Peaches! How could anyone ever forget the peach? How could anyone not love a peach? Forget the apple. It had to be the peach that tempted Adam and Eve to revolution. Only the thought of the moist, succulent peach could have lured mankind’s parents into the loss of Paradise. And at just this point our reverie was broken by the sound of the young announcer crunching into his pink peach.
Crunching? We both stretched forward listening more closely to the sound track. Peaches didn’t crunch. They squished. The announcer rolled his eyes and head with delight, as he nodded his approval and satisfaction to us viewers, while having the audacity to take another crunch from his pink, “tree ripened” peach.
“Why does he pick a green peach for his demonstration? What is the matter with this guy?” I screamed in desperation at the department store television set. “You mean to tell me, this man is at a peach farm and he can’t find a ripe peach? I can’t believe this! Wait until he gets back to the studio.”
“Wait until Mr. Barbrough sees this commercial that he probably just paid twelve zillion dollars for?” added Carol.
“I just don’t understand it. Hasn’t this kid ever eaten a peach before? Doesn’t he know what a peach is supposed to taste like? What does he think a peach is, a fuzzy variety of an apple?”
Although we were very dubious about any more John Steinbecking our way around the country after our experiences with onion topping and three-legged ladder Gravenstein apple picking, the lure of the peach was too much for us to overcome. Within a week we were running behind the divots coughed up by diesel gasping, dust provoking, tractors, roaring along through rows of peach trees, at what seemed to be breakneck speed.
We again found ourselves immersed in a land of foreign speaking peoples. The predominant language was, once again, Spanish. Most of the workers were from Mexico, or came to this country via Mexico from other Central American, or South American countries. Carol was the only female fruit picker. There were other female general farm workers, though.
Peach trees are small - no ladders!
We were instructed that first morning by a rather spindly, tobacco chewing, Arkansan foreman, on the intricate art of peach picking. Here is what the man had to say: “Owa wapt! Blawabba dobablatter durnbwadder peaches.” He then paused to spit some tobacco juice onto his assistant’s cowboy boot, after which he held up a peach and tried to stretch his middle finger and thumb around it. “No blabba butter be!” he announced very sternly pointing to the peach wrapped between his middle finger and thumb. His middle finger and thumb were touching as they stretched around the peach. “Da blabba dubi daba dito aplapa troba,” he added almost in a yell as he pointed over towards two pickup trucks and a van. Immediately all the workers started heading that way. Carol and I followed.
Actually we were no worse off than the Mexicans. They didn’t understand “American” and we didn’t understand this particular American. So we were all equal - none of us knew what the hell we were supposed to be doing.
Well now, nothing to this. We had our instructions, and here we were in a van heading toward “Tick Hill”. We rode over hill and dale, highway and byway, and then dirt road, followed by two-track. Finally there we were in a peach tree Garden of Eden.
Peach trees are wonderful looking things. They have these long narrow leaves, and these delicate, awkward looking limbs. For a tree, they are sweet and gentle looking. They look so frail and fragile, one would think that nature would have incorporated a sign on them stating; “Be careful, you barbarian, this tree can be damaged easily.” A peach tree looks exactly like a tree that would bear such a sweet, soft, juicy, delicacy.
We were given these burlap sacks that strapped over our shoulders and around our backs, with the sack part flopped in front of our bellies. We were lined up behind a tractor which was attached to a long trailer. On the trailer sat three large wooden bins. They probably held between fifteen and twenty bushels. Then suddenly we were off.
The tractor jerked ahead with its two front tires lifting off the ground like a top eliminator at a drag strip. Thinking back on our instructions Carol and I had no idea what we were supposed to be doing. So we simply watched the others for the first forty or fifty feet. The scene was one of literal carnage. It looked like a bunch of Huns bursting into a Playboy Bunny lounge - the Bunnies being the fruit trees. It was a disaster. The workers just spewed out from both sides of the tractor trailer, and raped the trees. They ran around the trees in a frenzy, and if the worker was a little short, or the tree slightly larger, he would simply leap into it. The sound of limbs cracking, and separating from the peach tree trunk were secondary only to the roar and rumble of the tractor’s diesel engine puffing along at breakneck speed.
The idea seemed to be to get as many peaches into your sack as quickly as possible, all the while, keeping within a reasonable distance from the speeding tractor. If you dallied too long, you would be forced to run a quarter of a mile chasing the tractor with a full sack of green peaches strapped around your neck.
All the peaches were green. I don’t think that I saw a red, ripe peach that entire day. Some of the peaches were just too small to bother picking. Clearly one would never fill his sack if he grabbed the peaches that were the size of marbles, or ping pong balls. So you ran around the tree as fast as you could, snatching at the largest peaches within reach and sight. Then you galloped after the tractor trailer, jumped up onto the trailer and dumped your sack into one of the bins. I can still hear the clunking sound of those rock hard, little peaches bouncing onto the wooden bottom of those bins. The assistant, who rode on the trailer, then handed you a token. It was a wooden token about the size of a quarter. We did this until about noon. At that time all the tractors, with their cargo of green peaches were routed back to our starting point and unloaded.
The bins were stacked on flatbed trucks, and us gladiators were all instructed to take a lunch break. Carol and I got our tuna fish sandwiches and jug of Kool-aid from the van. We then retired to the shade of an equipment shelter. We shuffled a couple of bushel baskets together. We stretched a dusty, paper sack we found laying on the ground across the bushel baskets in place of a table cloth, and sat down to eat.
It was a beautiful day. How wonderful it was, I thought, to be working out in this fresh air, instead of some apple cannery, breathing rice hulls and sawdust through a paper filter. The scene was one of pickup trucks, dusty red farm tractors, forklifts and flatbed trucks buzzing about in the noisy, but enjoyable, atmosphere of production. The sky was bright and blue and littered with random white, puffy clouds. The still live, but semi-exhausted, bodies of peach pickers were sprawled about the area.
A tank truck was spraying ground crops in a field next to our peach grove. The trucks spray was being buffeted by the wind, and occasionally woofed up, and pushed across our lunching sanctuary. We ate in a cloud of dust and a hearty cough cough cough. In between puffs of spray and dust, I noticed that our tablecloth had words and symbols stamped about its surface. One of the symbols was a rather distinctive skull and cross bones. I hadn’t seen a symbol such as that since our last retreat to the Daytona motorcycle races. Why would they stamp a skull and cross bones onto a paper sack, I wondered. As I munched on my tuna fish sandwich, I shifted and cocked my head around reading the lettering on our makeshift tablecloth. It went something like this: WARNING! This bag contains a highly poisonous material fatal to animals and human beings. The contents of this bag should be handled with extreme care, and only in strictest accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. This bag should be considered hazardous waste material and should be either buried or incinerated in accordance with federal regulations. Persons involved in the handling of this material should be trained and instructed in its proper use, and should wear the recommended protective equipment.
I nearly spit up my tuna fish. I stopped eating and pointed out the skull and cross bones to Carol. She began to read the package. Our lunch was over.
That next morning when we reported for work, we received a lecture from the management, “El jefe es no happy,” Garbled the Arkansan foreman. “Peaches mucho verde and too damn small. Mr. Barbrough ain’t gonna pay you the forty cents a bushel that you were told. These peaches ain’t gradin’ to nothin’. All that you gonna get for these peaches is twenty cents a bushel, and if you don’t do better today you might only get ten cents tomorrow. You folks knows what yer supposed to be doin’; so let’s do it!”
Needless to say Carol and I were beyond shock. The fact that our wages were determined after the work was supplied, and even that price could be changed and manipulated according to the whim of el jefe was really of no consequence when one considered that even at forty cents a bushel this job didn’t surpass the prime wages involved in the craft of onion topping. So forty cents, twenty cents, ten cents, or no cents at all - at this rate of pay what did it really matter. We had already decided to hit the road that evening, but for some unexplainable reason we made the decision to stick around for a little longer. I don’t know if it was the faces on those Mexican workers, or just curiosity.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Who Will Tell the People

Who Will Tell the People?

Book Review

By Richard E. Noble

I have been educating myself for over forty years now. I have had many great professors, but I won’t get into that at this moment, other than to tell you about my most recent selection as professor of Civics.
In high school I had a course called Civics. I never figured out exactly what the word “Civics” meant, but I interpret the word as encompassing an explanation of the society and world currently happening around me - politically, socially, economically. In my high school Civics class we read the daily newspapers, random magazines, and kept up on the local government issues, among other things.
In trying to understanding the modern day world - governments, societies, and general direction of the civilization - I found myself very confused. I wanted to find a professor who could get me up to speed on what is really going on in the world around me. As you know one must choose selectively because there are “so many books and so little time”. Consequently I have chosen William Greider as my “Civics” professor.
I have finished my third book by William Greider this morning, “Who Will Tell the People.” I thought that to be a wonderful title for a book. I have been asking myself that same questions on many different subjects for many years. If you have also been wondering “Who Will Tell the People”, I think I can tell you quite sincerely that one of the people who will tell the people is certainly William Greider.
It is so rewarding when you find an honest, straightforward voice in this world of obfuscation and - for lack of a better word - pure bullshit.
On Mr. Greider’s web site he calls himself an old journalistic type - but Mr. Greider is much more than a Journalist. He is an educator; he is a teacher, an instructor; he is a professor. He has his Doctorate in personal experience in the affairs of the world - that becomes obvious as you follow along behind him.
In Who Will Tell the People we learn - among many other things - how our Democracy works ... or doesn’t work. Mr. Greider tells us how the Democracy we think we have, lines up to the Democracy we really have.
He tells us about how the laws are made - and then un-made. He tells us about the lobbyists, and the lawyers and the Democrats and the Republicans and the Repubocrats - and who owns each of them. He tells us about the money, the big business, the banks, the international conglomerates. He tells us about the environment; about the military and the pentagon; about who’s in, and who’s out - and why.
At various points in reading Mr. Greider I say to myself - This guy is giving me more than I really want to know. I mean the more I know, the worse it gets. But then he throws in a suggestion, an idea, a possible solution and once again I’m thinking positively.
I am basically a skeptic and I think of the “Power of Positive Thinking” as a prescription for dilution - but you have got to have some kind of hope - even if it is farfetched, distant and on the borders of impossibility - something! Mr. Greider brings us to the brink, then pushes us off - but then half-way down, falling into the abyss of eternal despair we find there is a bungee cord wrapped around our waist. It isn’t much, and the discovery is a little late and maybe not totally reassuring - but it helps.
This book was published in 1992, when we were beginning to talk of “peace dividends” and cutting back on the Military Industrial Complex. Listen to what Mr. Greider was saying way back then:
“The Defense Department was planning a modest five year reduction in the Cold War mobilization ... If the U.S. defense budget were cut in half, it would still be four or five times larger than that of the next strongest nation ... The next round of demobilization would be for real: bringing home troops that had been stationed abroad since the 1950s, closing scores of domestic military bases, shutting more factories ... A few liberals introduced “conversion” bills that did little more than encourage communities and industries to plan for their post-Cold War future. Conservative thinkers concentrated meanwhile, on trying to devise substitute “threats” - Third World terrorism or nuclear proliferation - that might justify continuing the nation’s permanent war footing.”
Chapter 15 of this book is entitled “Citizen GE”. This chapter alone is worth the entire price of the book. My tendency is to tell you myself what Mr. Greider has to say - but I couldn’t tell the tale as well or with any greater poignancy. I can only say get the book and read it for yourself. It is not that GE is any worse or better than any of the others; it is more shocking to understand that they are just one of a bunch of like-acting and similar thinking Mega-mights.
If I wanted to continue quoting from this book, this review would be one hundred pages long.
My advice is to buy Mr. Greider’s books and study them. That’s what I’m doing. I’ve only read three thus far, but I know that I am already a world ahead of where I was less than a year ago. Mr. Greider is more than “a read” - he is an education. I feel so lucky to have found such a treasure.

Monday, May 29, 2006

You are not going to Heaven

You are not going to Heaven

By Richard E. Noble

You have probably heard a lot of people tell you about God, and what He expects from you if you want to go to heaven. You have probably read a lot of words that you have been told were inspired by God. You may, in your lifetime, have even talked with people who have spoken with God. You may spend quiet moments in your evenings reading the inspired words of God or the revealed words of God. Well, if you do or have done any of the above, you will not find it shocking when I tell you that I too have a communication with God. Not only do I speak with God, but He, in turn, speaks to me. We two (T(t)who?) have regular conversations with one another. And I don’t mean this to upset you, but yet, I feel that it is my duty to all mankind to express what God has personally revealed to me.
Last night we (W(w)e?) were talking about you, and He told me that you would not be going to Heaven. I spoke up for you, and I told God that you were a good person, and that you always tried to do the right thing. You were good to others, and kind even to animals. But He said that none of that mattered. He said that He felt that you had a bad attitude. He said He thought you to be presumptuous. He said that He found the fact that you just presumed that because you were good and kind that He should open the gates of Heaven to you was obnoxious. So I just thought that you should know, you ain’t getting in, and it doesn’t matter what you do.
But don’t feel bad, Billy Graham isn’t going either. God said that He had nothing against Billy Graham; it was just that He already had so many preachers in Heaven that they were getting on His nerves. So He felt that for the next few centuries, no more preachers.
No more Popes for right now, either. Like God said to me last night; “If you’ve heard one Pope, why you’ve heard them all.”
I suppose.
And I suppose that some of you might find this hard to understand, but you must remember that God’s ways are mysterious, and beyond your reason, understanding and even your common sense. These words of God might sound downright stupid but that is only because you are a finite, ignorant oaf, and if you had half a brain you might be dangerous. In any case, it will all be made clear to you in the next world. Unfortunately for you, your next world is going to be a hot one, so dress light, and take a cooler.
God also told me that He was seriously considering letting no one into Heaven from now on. “But why?” I asked. He said that He was just tired of looking at them. Some of them were so damn ugly He wondered how He could even have created them. And what difference did it make if a few billion of them all just disappeared for awhile. “Who’s counting,” He said. “Yeah, but what about the Redemption,” I asked. “Redemption, shemption,” He answered. “What the Lord givith, the Lord can sure as heck takith away. This is going to be a new thing. It comes between The Redemption and The Salvation; I’m going to call it The Intermission - The Divine Intermission. Even God needs a break sometime.”
I understand that You need a break, and that there are a lot of ugly, stupid people out there, and The Divine Intermission sounds like a great idea, but what about me, I asked. Am I going to Heaven?
“Sure,” God said. “I like you. You’ve got a sense of humor, and that’s just what’s lacking up here. See you soon.”
“All right!” I screamed, jubilantly. “But what do you mean - soon? Couldn’t we change that to - see you later? a lot later?
Hello? Are you still there? Hello?”

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Labor and the Global Economy

Labor and the Global Economy

By Richard E. Noble

This TV documentary began in India or Bangladesh or some such place. I remember very little of the details but for this short, sad story, the details are not the important thing. You’ll get the point without them. But let me relate the report as best I remember, anyway.
A reporter was taking the viewing audience through a modern day sweatshop in some third world country. The story focused on this one young lady. She was very beautiful with a sweetness in her eyes and expression that couldn’t help but to attract the camera and the viewers. She was dressed in the colorful wardrobe of her ethnic community. She made dresses. We first see her running cloth through her sewing machine in a very businesslike fashion. It is clear that she knows what she is doing and has been doing this job for some time.
She is working in a room with hundreds of other woman - all participating in the same craft. The scene looks like something out of America’s 1860s. We see her working and then we walk home with her.
Where she lives, looks like a cut from “The Gangs of New York” movie - the Four Corners section. Her apartment is on the third or fourth floor of a rickety wooden tenement structure. As the camera pans the building one wonders what is holding this structure together.
We follow this pretty little thing in her colorful Indian gown as she walks across perilous looking wooden planks and pathways. We finally arrive at a room. This room is filled with people. It looks like Grand Central Station. She walks in and about and around people until she comes to a curtain or blanket that is draped over a cord in a far off corner. She pulls back the artificial drape and we meet her family. I don’t remember the whole family but there are a number of generations living in the 20x20 square behind this blanket. There are mats strewn about where everyone sleeps. I don’t remember what they ate, how they cooked or where the bathrooms were - if there were any. The street leading up to the apartment looked like a giant cesspool anyway. The whole thing was so shocking it was hard to keep focused, but I resisted changing the channel.
The reporter and his crew then explain this young lady’s situation.
She works nine hundred hours a week and makes twelve cents a month and you should be able to make up the rest for yourself. But the reporter now tells us that we are going to go on a journey through the social structure to find out who is responsible for all of this.
First we go and interview the man who owns the sweatshop. For some reason this gentleman does not appear to be from the same culture. He is not an Anglo but an Asian. He is a businessman. He is very businesslike but not totally without compassion - if you can believe what he say. We do not follow him to his home. He says that he is paying his workers as much as he can afford without going under himself. He sounds like all bosses everywhere. I was one for a time myself. My standard line was; “Well, if you don’t like it, just do as I have done. Work your ass off for forty years; save every penny that you can; then open up your own business and get rich - just like me. It’s easy!
So I listen to this Chinese guy tell this American reporter why he can’t pay this Indian lady enough money to buy single ply toilet tissue, and I start thinking.
The reporter asks the Chinese guy why he can’t afford to pay this little lady enough money to live on. He says that it is because of the department store chain that buys his stuff. They tell him what they will pay him for the dresses. “If you will buy these dresses for more money than these department stores are offering, I will buy them from you and give the extra money to the women workers,” he claims. He sounds very sincere. It is hard for a decent person to believe that he isn’t telling the truth.
Next we go to the head of economic development of this whole country. Our American reporter is now at the palace interviewing the King or the General in Charge, or the El Presidente or whatever.
This man is extremely well spoken. He has a very kind and sympathetic look on his face. He bows and bends his head while holding his hands in prayer-like posture. “What am I to do?” he says. “I am but a poor simple King. This woman you tell me about, she is living in an apartment. She has a roof over her head. She has food to eat. She has some money. There are millions of others in this country who have none of these things. We are glad that any business comes here and pays our people anything. We are not in a position to bargain.”
The King seems sincere. We do not interview any concubines and next we are on an airplane heading for New York or Nebraska, Berlin or London or someplace. We are now in the office on the 116th floor of the Ball Mart Department Store chain. “Sir, our policy here at Ball Mart is to provide our customers with the best possible product at the cheapest possible price. We do not operate any sweatshops anywhere in the world. We buy all of our products from independent businessmen. We do not tell them how
to run their enterprises. We believe in free competition, individualism and entrepreneurship. These are the virtues that have made America great. These are the virtues that have made the United States of America the idol of the whole free world. What would you like us to do?” We leave this man’s office with a free American flag and everyone singing the Star Spangled Banner.
We go back to the Four Corners of Bangladesh and pick up our little Indian sweetheart. We put her on the plane with us and fly her to the Ball Mart Department Store in Uptown Downtown America. She is very thrilled. She looks rather out of place as she walks through the Ball Mart Parking lot in her native Indian attire.
Once inside the store we take her over to the dress department. She excitedly looks through the racks of clothes and finds a dress that she herself made for three cents. She recognizes it. She shows it to the reporters. She has a big smile on her face. She is quite thrilled and proud to see a product that came from her own hands selling inside this fantastic department store. Everything that she has seen over here in this country is beyond her wildest dreams. She asks the reporters how much her dress is selling for. They tell her the price. Her eyes open wide and her tiny well-worked fingers rush up to cover her open mouth. She is in shock. The price of one of her dresses is equivalent to one whole year of her salary. She is bordering on tears. She tells the reporters that if she could get only five cents more for each of her dresses, she could live a decent life back in her home country.
There is a lady shopping at the store. She is going through the racks of dresses. The reporters bring the little Indian lady over to the shopper and introduce them to one another. They tell the American shopper that this lady made the dress that she is looking at. The American lady tells the Indian lady that she likes her dress and is probably going to buy it. They quickly tell the American shopping lady about this poor Indian lady’s sad life. They explain how little money she makes and how she lives in the most unhealthy and horrid conditions. They explain that this poor woman says that if she could receive one nickel more per dress her whole life would be changed for the better. They ask the American shopping lady if she would be willing to pay an extra nickel for that dress so that this Indian lady could live a better life.
Without hesitation the American lady says no. She says that she is working two jobs herself and that she is also trying to raise three children - without a husband. She tells the Indian lady that she must fight her own battles just as everyone else in this world must do. Then she walks away.
The reporters translate what the American lady had to say. The dark black eyes of the Indian Lady well up with tears as she listens. The tears flow readily down her cheeks as she stands there without moving. She makes no attempt to wipe her cheeks or turn her face away. She stares straight ahead, silent, as the tears flow freely down the front of her face.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Nobody Likes You
By Richard E. Noble

I am going to take this onto myself,
simply because no one else seems to be willing to do it.

I feel that you should know and be made to understand.
No one should be allowed to live in a complete delusion.

Now you listen to me.

Are you listening?
“Yes, I am.”

Okay -
No ... one ... likes ... you -
Let me repeat that, just in case you weren’t paying attention.

Look at me now! Okay, let me repeat
NO ... ONE ... LIKES ... YOU!

Did you get that?
Now I’m telling it to you like it is.

Absolutely no one who knows you, intimately or otherwise,
cares for you one iota.

Your Mother ... that’s right, your Mother
told me before she died,
that you were nothing but a pompous ass.

You are not constantly being disconnected by a faulty line
at the phone company.

Those people are hanging up on you.
You are abusive.

You are old and you are abusive.

Your employees all think that you are a skinflint.
You are so cheep you make Jack Benny look like a big spender.

You pay out wages to people as if
they are being donated to a charitable organization.

Let me clue you in,
your employees think that they more than earn
the pittance that they are begrudgingly granted
by Your Highness.

You live like a Coolie;
and you are loaded.
What in God’s name is wrong with you?

Don’t tell me about the damn Depression.
I’m as old as you are and I know darn well
you weren’t even alive during the Depression.

You were born in an age of prosperity.
Your parents were professionals.
You are simply ... cheap.

You are so cheap you reek.

You are small minded.
You are jealous of everybody.
You think you know everything.
You are an elitist, obnoxious, pompous ass.

If you didn’t have the money to pay for other people’s attention,
there is nobody in this world who would even talk to you.

“I feel that you are exaggerating.”

I could have guessed.

Friday, May 26, 2006



By Richard E. Noble

I think that most folks here in this country have the above two topics confused. Somehow many Americans have come to believe that these two concepts (majority rule and democracy) are inter-changeable or one and the same, or synonymous. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. What is wrong with regards to this majority rule concept?
Well, let’s say that there are only three people in the world - me, my one-eyed perverted cousin - Screwy-Louie, and Bo Derrick. The three of us keep bumping into one another, and fighting over all sorts of things. So, we decide to establish a Democracy so as to facilitate a peaceful co-existence. The first rule of conduct that we discuss and agree upon, is that we will all agree to abide and conform our individual eccentricities to the legal vote of the majority of the participants in this our new government. I agree. My cousin, Screwy-Louis, agrees. And, Bo agrees. So everything goes fine.
But then after a couple of political gatherings, my cousin Screwy-Louie suggests that he feels that it is an imposition on the body politic that the members, of necessity, be required to wear clothing. He makes a motion that all governmental meetings be conducted in the nude. Bo votes - ‘nea’. Myself and Screwy-Louie vote ‘yea’. Of course, Bo is a party pooper and she argues for a bit. But then in the spirit of freedom and representative democracy, she agrees to attend all future meetings a la - naked as a Jaybird.
This goes great, and proceeds well for a number of meetings. But then, Screwy-Louie gets motion sickness again. He suggests that the condition or requirement of nakedness for official government meetings has caused, or has produced among some of the government members, an ‘anxiety’, or ‘discomfiture’, and he makes the motion that government representative Bo Derrick be assigned chairperson in charge of “lessening tension” and facilitating a relaxation of political anxieties among or between the other members of the parliament’. After considerable deliberation and much ‘consciousness’ raising, I second the motion. Bo, unfortunately, is the lone dissenting vote. She states her case, and gives her reasons and logic, but after a ‘re-count’ and a roll call, the vote remains the same. Bo then states that she don’t care what government don’t allow, she gonna put her clothes back on any old how.
As Bo attempts to re-dress the grievances, the remaining members of parliament, or government discuss the situation, and come to the conclusion that the use of force - a pre-preemptive strike - in this instance of “clear and pressing danger and national security”, is of necessity. They decide that the only way to get ‘action’ in this case of parliamentary impropriety on the part of the minority ‘wimp’ is to call for a red alert. An attack plan is devised. The plan of action will be categorized under the secret file heading “Operation Bo-Banger Diddily-Bang Bang-Wang-er” or “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”. This will be an all out, no holes barred invasion. Any rights to privacy or any other written or unwritten previous agreed to, parliamentary crap will be temporarily suspended. And there will be no cameras allowed on the floor - or the walls or the ceilings.
Well, as you can see, if the rule of majority is the sole and utmost principle of fair, honest, representative government some ‘body’ in this government is going to get ‘miss-represented; or under-represented, or over-represented . . . maybe. However you choose to look at it, unless Bo is well skilled in the martial arts, or kung-fu, ginsu, and tofu, she is about to have her constitutional rights violated, assaulted, and circumspected.
I think in our society today, we have turned this majority rule thing into a tool of power and domination for which it was never intended. There are certain things that are not subject to a vote of government. Like Bo’s right to govern over her own body, or the right of you and I to determine who, what, where, why, or for what principals or principles we will sacrifice our very lives. These things are not subject to a vote of the majority.
Our forefathers recognized this. They even wrote it into the Constitution. They stated that there were certain rights that were inalienable. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY FELT THAT THERE WERE CERTAIN THINGS THAT A GOVERNMENT OR RUUNG BODY HAD NO RIGHT OR AUTHORITY TO VOTE AWAY, OR RULE AWAY FROM INDIVIDUALS. And that among these rights were an individual’s right to his LIFE, his LIBERTY, and the pursuit of his happiness.
Most people understand these things when it comes to applying these rights to themselves. The problems seem to come when “the other guy” expresses his right to these same basic principles.
The framers of our Constitution also realized that this language was a little vague, and could be manipulated or misrepresented. So they clarified this notion of inalienable rights and listed SOME of the rights that they thought could be taken away under no circumstances. We call this partial list our ‘Bill of Rights’.
Now, as far as I am concerned, I have many rights that are not listed in the “The Bill of Rights”, or in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is not the end-all to political rational thought, or individual freedom, but it is a good guideline, or starting point. And I think that is what it was meant to be. We should understand the intent and spirit in which it was written.
Our forefathers were, for the most part, a divergent group of misfits, adventurers, and cast-offs or throw-aways from other more structured and ridged societies. Our forefathers were not so interested in making laws or judgments, as they were in encouraging co-operation, understanding, and acceptance of radical opinions and religious positions. They were attempting to develop a new, more encompassing, form of government; one that encouraged greater elasticities and left more and more room open for debate and possibility. If, they were not seeking innovative and creative government, they could have simply made George Washington King, and started their own American Monarchy. But they didn’t, and old George didn’t want to be a King.
The majority rule principle works fine, and under many, many circumstances works well. But there are some decisions that require a much wiser principle of judgment, and should be put to a tougher standard. And what is that tougher standard?
I don’t know. You think about it. This is your country and your government also. This majority rule principle is a system or technique that was agreed upon by the participants in this democracy, as a means to facilitate and promote the concept or philosophy of democracy. It is not ‘the’ democracy ITSELF. Democracy is the philosophy of a political ideal in which the people of a group, state, system, country etc., attempt to rule or govern over themselves. Majority rule is simply a voting technique used, hopefully, to achieve the intended goal of DEMOCRACY.
If we want to get Constitutional on this point, or try to determine the actual intent of our forefathers with regards to this issue. I think that they were very clear. If they intended that ‘majority rule’ would be the ultimate criterion in the judgment or enactment of a law or rule within their new society, or government, they would never have bothered to set up two houses for voting - the Senate and the Congress. One house based on population, the Congress; the other based on participation in this new Democracy, the Senate. Obviously this action shows that they were concerned, very concerned, with setting up a more acceptable, and representative technique for judgment than the obviously flawed notion of ‘Majority rule’.
Also, if their intention was to have a country governed solely by the concept of Majority Rule, they would also have abolished individual state government. Our forefathers obviously had no desire for government that was centralized and all powerful but, envisioned a government that was represented by a stratification of diverse opinions, formulated through a wide variety of people and localities. They were not trying to set up one, dominant, ruling opinion, but seeking interaction, co-operation and compromise among a wide group of separate but equally opinionated constituencies, to facilitate and approach, or seek their “ideal” of establishing a government of, for, and by the people - all of the people!
That was the goal, at least, as I see it. And I hope that it is still the “ideal” or goal towards which America strives to this very day.
We should consider it our birthright as Americans to be seeking out these ‘higher’, more just, more fair, more tolerant, more understanding, standards. We should be trying to make our government more representative of its diverse population - not less. We don’t need less democracy - WE NEED MORE DEMOCRACY. It may certainly be true that this country needs less BUREAUCRACY, but we certainly don’t need less DEMOCRACY.
We need more cab drivers, more fishermen, more school teachers; more everybody taking part in our government. This won’t be easy to do, but that is no reason for us to give up. Democracy was a world revolutionary idea back in 1776 and it is still a good idea. So don’t push for less democracy, and less representation in your government. Push for more democracy and more multiple and varied representation from all classes of our society. And if there are segments of our society that are not represented, then let’s think up democratic ways to get them represented. If the ‘group’ exists, then they should have representation; rich and poor, upper, middle, bottom, and top. Homeless or estate owners, we are all human beings, and we have a RIGHT to be. Or else, we wouldn’t be - would we?
If you want less something, push for less bureaucracy, but never, never stop stretching out for more democracy. It’s this notion of democracy, and all the freedoms contained within this concept, that has made this country the great nation that it is. And don’t be confused by the babblers - it is not Capitalism, or Socialism, or even Baptism. There is no ‘ism’ involved here at all. It’s that notion of democracy. It’s that feeling that you get inside when you hear those words. “All men were created equal”... We can joke about it and even debate the real world legitimacy of the concept but, deep down inside, we all know what those words mean. We don’t need a clarification, or an amendment to the
Constitution to explain it. You and I both know what those words mean. And it is this respect for one another, and this recognition of these mutual rights; the right to be . . . to be free . . . and to disagree that distinguishes the United States - our Country - from all of the others on this planet.
So, “You have a Republic ma’am... if you can keep it.”

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Doug Rokke

Doug Rokke, Ph.D.

DU Depleted Uranium

By Richard E. Noble

I had heard of Depleted Uranium (DU) but I thought that it was basically harmless. It sounds harmless. It’s uranium but it’s “depleted”. Sounds kind of harmless to me. But wait until you hear what Mr. Rokke has to say about it. It not only doesn’t sound harmless, it sounds catastrophic.
First, what is DU?
Depleted Uranium is a metal. It is made from uranium hexafluoride which is the by-product of the uranium enrichment process. Uranium hexafluoride is the non-fissionable residue or by-product of the uranium enrichment process during which fissionable Uranium 235 and Uranium 234 are separated from natural uranium.
The fissionable products are used to make nuclear explosives and as fuel for nuclear power plants - they precipitate a chain reaction.
The non-fissionable uranium by-product DU is a radioactive waste material.
Depleted uranium is refined from Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) - from radioactive nuclear waste product. The United States Department of Energy has so much UF6 stored at various sites that any use that increases disposal of this waste product is welcome.
Natural uranium contains 99.2% by weight U-238 while DU contains 99.8% by weight U-238. Recent documents released by the U.S. Department of Energy provide evidence to suggest that a small proportion of other toxic heavy metals such as plutonium also may be present.
Plutonium is fissionable and is used in nuclear explosives.
DU is claimed not to be an external hazard (won’t burn the skin etc.). It is an internal hazard and with constant inhalation, ingestion and wound contamination poses significant and unacceptable risks - the alpha particle emissions (radiation) are not reduced but proportionally increased. Spent penetrators or parts of penetrators cannot be touched or picked up without protection.
A penetrator can be a bullet, missile, or a war head. The U.S. munitions industry produces the following DU munitions 7.62mm, 5Ocal., 20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 105mm, 120mm and other types.
DU is an ideal metal for use as kinetic energy penetrators (armor piercing), counterweights, and shielding or armor. High density and pyrophoric nature are the two most significant properties that guided its selection for use as a kinetic energy penetrator. DU is used to manufacture kinetic energy penetrators.
“DU is an extremely effective weapon,” Mr. Rokke explains. “Each tank round is 10 pounds of solid uranium - 238 contaminated with plutonium, neptunium, americium. It is pyrophoric, generating intense heat on impact, penetrating a tank because of the heavy weight of its metal. When uranium munitions hit, it is like a firestorm inside any vehicle or structure ... It is devastating.”
Besides the above uses DU has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a component of road and structural materials. All of these current or proposed uses are designed to reduce the huge U.S. Department of Energy stockpiles left over from the uranium enrichment process.
It seems that Mr. Rokke isn’t Mr. Rokke but Major Rokke. He has a Ph.D. in Health Physics and he was trained as a forensic scientist. He is a Vietnam and a Gulf War veteran. He has been in the Military Service for over 35 years and has a box full of awards and medals. Unfortunately he is now radioactive and dying.
“I was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Army and assigned to the U.S. Army Chemical School located at Fort McClellan, Alabama as the DU Project Director and tasked with developing training and management procedures. The project included a literature review; extensive curriculum development project involving representatives from all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense and representatives from England, Canada, Germany and Australia; and basic research at the Nevada Test Site located northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, to validate management procedures.”
Doug’s job during the Gulf War was to prepare soldiers to respond to nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. We all think of that first Gulf War in much the same light as Andrew Jackson’s encounter at the Battle of New Orleans. We beat the bloody Iraqis and sent them scattering back into the damn desert - with hardly a blemish on our own side. Of course there were 760 immediate casualties with 294 dead and over 400 wounded - but that’s not bad for a War. And Saddam didn’t blow off any nuclear or chemical or biological weapons, so everybody was safe. Right?
“The U.S. Military decided to blow up Saddam’s Chemical, and radiological stockpiles in place,” explained Major Rokke, “which released the contamination back on the US troops and on everybody in the whole region. The chemical agent detectors and radiological monitors were going off all over the place. We had all the various nerve agents. We think there were biological agents, and there were destroyed nuclear reactor facilities. It was a toxic wasteland. And we had DU added to the whole mess ... When we first got assigned to clean up the DU and arrived in northern Saudi Arabia, we started getting sick within 72 hours ... It doesn’t take a long time ... We didn’t know anything about DU when the Gulf War started.
“As a warrior, you’re listening to your leaders, and they’re saying there are no health effects from DU. But, as we started to study this, to go back to what we learned in physics and our engineering - I was a professor of environmental science and engineering - you learn rapidly that what they are telling you doesn’t agree with what you know and observe ... In June of 1991, when I got back to the States, I was sick ... They didn’t do tests on me or my team members ... Any excretion level in the urine above 15 micrograms of uranium per day should result in immediate medical testing ... when you get up to 250 micrograms ... you’re supposed to be under continuous medical care ... I was director of the Depleted Uranium Project for the Department of Defense ... My excretion rate was approximately 1500 micrograms per day ... They didn’t tell me for two and a half years ... (symptoms of exposure to DU are) Fibromyalgia; Eye Cataracts from the radiation. When uranium impacts any type of vehicle or structure, uranium oxide dust and pieces of uranium explode all over the place. This can be breathed in or go into a wound. Once it gets into the body, a portion of this stuff is soluble, which means it goes into the blood stream and all of your organs. The insoluble fraction stays - in the lungs, for example. The radiation damage and the particulates destroy the lungs ... As the director of the Depleted Uranium Project, I developed a 40 hour block training. All that curriculum has been shelved. They turned what I wrote into a 20-minute program that’s full of distortions ... The equipment is defective. The General Accounting Office verified that the gas masks leak. Unbelievably, Defense Department officials recently said the defects can be fixed with duct tape
“The U.S. Army made me their expert. I went into the project with the total intent to ensure they could use uranium munitions in war, because I’m a warrior. What I saw as director of the project doing the research and working with my own medical conditions and everybody else’s, led me to one conclusion:
uranium munitions must be banned from the planet, for eternity, and medical care must be provided for everyone, not just the U.S. or the Canadians or the British or the Germans, or the French but for the Americans of Vieques (testing site for DU weapons), for the residents of Iraq, of Okinawa, of Scotland, of India, of Maryland, and now Afghanistan and Kosovo.
“If you’re going to be sent into a toxic wasteland, and you know you are going to wear gas masks that leak and chemical protective suits that leak, and you’re not going to get any medical care after you’re exposed to all of these things, would you go? Suppose they gave a war and nobody came? You’ve got to start peace sometime...
“Religions say; ‘And a child will lead us to peace.’ But if we contaminate the environment, where will the child come from? The children won’t be there. War has become obsolete, because we can’t deal with the consequences on our warriors or the environment, but more important, on the noncombatants. When you reach a point in war when the contamination and the health effects of war can’t be cleaned up because of the weapons you use, and medical care can’t be given to the soldiers who participated in the war on either side or to the civilians affected, then it is time for peace.”
Since the end of that “easy” victory, a couple of more Gulf War causalities have signed in at the office of Veteran Affairs. It seems that 221,000 soldiers have been awarded disability according to a report released on September 10, 2002. The causality rate for Gulf War #1 is now calculated at 30%. And Major Rokke says that his military ordered investigation has led him to the conclusion that anyone who may have been downwind of any uranium dust, or working around uranium contamination or within a vehicle, structure, or building that was struck with uranium munitions should be seeking care.
The problem is two fold. Not only did we blow up any building or storehouse in which the enemy might have stored something hazardous, we used our own uranium missiles and bombs to blow them up. So if you were a soldier anywhere in the vicinity of any such explosion; or even if you were assigned to clean up after such an explosion you may be in store or already suffering from any of the following: Reactive airway disease, Neurological abnormalities, Kidney stones and chronic kidney pain, Rashes, Vision degradation and night vision losses, Gum tissue problems, Lymphoma, Various forms of skin and organ cancer, Neuro-psychological disorders, Uranium in semen, Sexual dysfunction and birth defects in offspring.
For those not in the military it is interesting to note that adverse health effects of this nature have been documented in employees of and residents living near Puducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Hanford, Washington. Also employees at uranium manufacturing or processing facilities in New York, Tennessee and the four corner’s area of southwest Colorado have reported similar health effects.
But, no need to worry, despite all these findings the United States and NATO officials continue to state that there are no known adverse health effects form DU exposure.
Major Rokke has this to say about that: “If you do not provide medical assessment for those with verified exposures and health problems then you can say DU did not cause any adverse health problems. So much for medical science when a cover up is directed by politicians to limit liability for non combatants, warriors, and others.”
As you may readily understand Major Rokke, besides being one of the untreated walking wounded and infected, is also persona non-grata in military circles these days. He is at present urinating and excreting large proportions of radioactive materials. “It is impossible to get proper care and treatment,” says Major Rokke. Several of his old buddies who served with him in his Military mandated DU clean-ups and investigations are already dead.
In the Balkans they are referring to these symptoms as the “Bosnian Crud”.
So far according to major Rokke medical care has not been provided to all DU casualties; environmental remediation has not been completed; DU contamination and damaged equipment and materials have been recycled to manufacture new products; DU training and education has only been partially implemented; DU contamination management procedures have not been distributed.
What should happen next? Mr. Rokke says that the international community and all of the world must raise a unified voice in opposition to future use of Depleted Uranium munitions and force those nations that have used depleted uranium munitions to recognize the immoral consequences of their actions and assume responsibility for medical care and thorough environmental remediation. Specifically: Depleted uranium munitions and the use of depleted uranium must be banned; all individuals who were exposed or who may have been exposed to any form of depleted uranium and its various integral contaminants or other contaminants created during combat, research, or training activities must receive a thorough physical examination and medical care to alleviate or cure the physiological consequences caused by inhalation, ingestion, or uranium wound contamination; all depleted uranium penetrator fragments, depleted uranium contaminated equipment, and depleted uranium oxide contamination must be cleaned up and disposed of at secure sites.
Major Rokke recommends that concerned citizens call their Congressmen and Senators and ask them what is being done about depleted uranium munitions, our sick soldiers, and the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims here in the U.S. and around the world.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mother Jones - Mary Harris Jones

Mary Harris Jones (1830-1930)

“Mother Jones”

By Richard E. Noble

Mother Jones was born in 1830 and died in 1930 - but no one is quite sure. That she died in 1930 seems pretty sure but the exact date of her birth is cloudy to say the least. Even though she wrote her autobiography, her personal life remains a mystery.
She was “Mother” to the American Labor movement, especially miners, and in that capacity her activities are well known - among a certain interested minority.

I am coming to the conclusion that the labor movement in America and around the world is the key to understanding and consequently misunderstanding modern history.
From the traditional perspective Unions are bad. They have been violent, destructive to progress, against business and inventive entrepreneur-ship. Traditionally they have been controlled not by idealistic dreamers with utopian visions, but by malicious, self-serving gangsters.

Reading the history of the American labor movement gives another side of the story; unions are idealistic, humanitarian, protective of family values, promotional of the Social Good, courageous, persecuted and maligned, and totally dedicated to the plight of the common man.

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in-between.

Mother Jones was much involved in making labor history throughout her life. She organized her first labor strike at the age of forty-seven and went on from there to become known to the Establishment as the most dangerous woman in America.

If you see any pictures of Mother Jones, you would probably envision her as anybody’s grandmother - if you are Caucasian. If you are of another race, you will certainly see her, nevertheless, as somebody’s grandmother if not your own. She is a little old lady who dresses like a little old lady.

She married an Iron Molder and they had four children together. They all supposedly died in the Memphis yellow fever epidemic. Mother told this story in her autobiography - she didn’t mention her husband’s name or the names of her children.

She was obviously a secretive woman when it came to her personal life. But, in her role as outspoken reformer and anti-establishment figure, it is no wonder. She was called a whore, a tramp, a communist and every other such thing. If any records were available they probably would have accused her of wiping out her own family or purposely inflicting them with the yellow fever.

If you have ever spoken out or blown a whistle on any power structure, you know what I’m talking about. It is the same today as it was then. People who have never spoken out or gone public on anything really have no understanding of what it takes of an individual to do such a thing.

People are often of the opinion that reactionaries become rich and famous - they write a book or get paid by some unknown reactionary underground. The reality is that they more often become poor and abused and disappear into anonymity. I would recommend reading the life of Karl Marx, for example. Before you start, write down your present views of Karl Marx. When you are finished your research, write down your newly educated opinion. Then compare the two. I have performed this experiment hundreds of times myself. I find it continually fascinating. What really fascinates me is how I had such in depth opinions of various historical figures, before I ever did any serious reading at all. It is amazing.

I see these reformers in the early days of the labor movement as nothing but courageous, to say the least. And today, they are for the most part forgotten.
Mother Jones was known as a militant labor agitator. This means that she advocated strikes, walkouts, sit-ins and the like. Real militancy was usually left to the government, mill owners, and industrialists in general. This is not my opinion. This is a matter of record in the history books of the times, in the trials and legal proceedings, and in many of the most famous labor cases and inquisitions brought up and exposed before the general public.[click on Bread and Roses or Joe Hill – Search This Blog] Management thugs, corrupt Pinkerton agents, local militias, state and federal troops, management infiltrators and bomb throwers - often bought-and-paid-for by the bosses and industrialists and attributed to labor agitators.

When one reads about that labor movement period from the 1830s to the 1930s one can see in plain view what is going on today more subtly behind closed doors and in secret meetings around the world.

I predict that the labor movement is going to make a comeback around the world and maybe woman and grandmothers like Mother Jones will once again be a major part of it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



By Richard E. Noble

“Hey! I got this great idea. It’s a way to put light into everybody’s house.”
What’s the matter with candles?
“Candles are messy, and they cost a lot of money.”
Well what about Coleman lanterns, or oil lamps?
“They’re sloppy and can be dangerous.”
Well, what is your idea?
“I’m going to call it electricity.”
Really? How does it work?
“Well, when I get everything set up, all that you are gonna have to do is flip a switch, and you will have light all over your house if you want.”
How do you get it set up?
“Well first, I block off all the rivers in the United States with giant damns, and then I put in these monster turbines. These turbines have magnets and stuff in them and they produce electricity. I store this electricity in these giant power stations that I have set up all over the country. Then I cut down about four hundred million trees. I peel the bark off these trees and soak them in creosote. Then I stick one of these trees in front of every house in America. Then I take these high tension wires and I run them from tree to tree all over the country. I run wires from each of these trees to each of the houses, and then I wire the houses. I stuff wires into all of the walls of all of the houses in America, and I rig them all up with control boxes and fuse thing-ees, and switches on all of the walls. Then I crank up the turbines at the damns, and the coal and nuclear power stations that I’ve put up where there are no damns. Then I charge everybody money to hook up to the electric, and wammo! I’m a multi-billionaire.”
Wow, that’s a real good Idea Elroy; and after that why don’t you import twenty million Chinamen and equal number of starving Irishmen, cut down the rest of the forests in America and start building wooden tracks from one end of the country to the other; blast your way through mountains, build bridges over all of the rivers, make track connections at every small town in the U.S. of A. and invent a railroad with giant engines that pull a hundred coal cars from one end of the country to another.
“Oh come on, now you are just being silly.”

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cattle Theory

Cattle Theory

By Richard E. Noble

The cattle are all grazing in a pasture not far off from the farmer’s house and barn. One of the cattle wanders away from the herd. He ends up grazing in a patch of tall grass just behind the barn. Suddenly he hears the farmer’s voice. The farmer is talking to the butcher. They are negotiating a price for the cattle. The bargaining is tight and in the debate the butcher bemoans the depressed price of meat and the excess of hides for sale at the market. By the end of the negotiation a price for the cattle is agreed upon. The butcher hauls off a load of squealing pigs, and the farmer returns to the farm house with a freshly killed chicken for supper as a celebration.
The steer, which was silently grazing behind the barn, is in total shock. He can not believe what he has just overheard. He runs back to the pasture where all of his compatriots are grazing peacefully.
“You are not going to believe this!” he screams. “I have just overheard farmer Jones. He is about to sell us all to a butcher. The butcher is going to slit our throats, drain our blood, cut and grind our flesh, and sell it to other humans for food. They are going to pickle our brains and tongues, boil our hooves for glue, make chip dip out of our livers, kill and fry our babies. They are even going to tan our hides and make clothing out of our skins. These humans are insane beasts. It is all a trick! The farmer only cares for us and shows concern for our health to fatten us up for the kill. He feeds us cheep free grass, and then sells our flesh, blood, and bones by the pound to other of his horrid merciless human neighbors. Our friends, the pigs, have already gone off to their deaths, and I saw with my own eyes the slaughter of a defenseless chicken. The farmer grabbed the poor thing up by the feet and then with one blow, lopped off its head on a stump. It was the most horrid thing that I have ever seen in my life. We must do something! We must unite. We must organize against the human beasts before it is too late and we are all hopelessly murdered and slaughtered.”
The cattle in the pasture all simultaneously lifted their heads and moo-oaned...
“Oh no, not another conspiracy theory!”

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf

Chapter 3 Part 2

By Richard E. Noble

“...Many European States today are comparable to pyramids standing on their points. Their European territory is ridiculously small as compared with their burden of colonies, foreign trade etc. One may say, the point is in Europe, the base in the whole world; in comparison with the American union, which still has its bases in its own continent, and touches the remaining part of the world only with its points. From this results, however, the unheard-of internal strength of this State, and the weakness of most of the colonial powers ... England cannot be compared with any other state in Europe, if only because of her linguistic and cultural communication with the American Union. For Germany, therefore, the only possibility of carrying out a sound territorial policy was to be found in the acquisition of new soil in Europe proper ... If one wanted land and soil in Europe, then by and large this could only have been done at Russia’s expense.”
One problem here was that Russia already had people living there, but so were there people living in the Americas and all other of the European colonial expeditions. So Adolf s basic principal was a policy of German manifest destiny. Unfortunately the Russian people would have to be sacrificed in much the same manner and ‘necessity’ as the American Indian, or the natives of Mexico, or the indigenous populations of South America, or wherever colonization was incorporated. What’s the big problem, kill some Indians, or kill some Russians? A nation has got to do what a nation has got to do.
This philosophy I consider to be a key in the successful rise to power of Adolf Hitler. The free nations or Capitalist nations of the world were not happy with the direction that the Russian Revolution was taking. If they could use whatever influence that they had, dollars etc., to point Adolf in that direction wouldn’t this be a perfect ending to a very unpleasant political philosophy (bolshevism)? I am convinced that this is exactly what happened. And my reading and research on the subject of “Who Financed Adolf Hitler” has more than substantiated this notion. Even during the Depression gold by the millions and billions was exiting America and being deposited in Germany - and elsewhere in Europe.
Adolf goes on to contend that Germany’s past gov’t was basically too fearful to attack the Russians directly, and consequently were turned to compete with the British in trade, shipping and colonization. This eventually precipitated World War one. If Germany would have had the courage to simply attack Russia there would have been no World War One, contends Adolf.
Adolf, in a few pages gives his answer to Winston Churchill’s very long and winded explanation of the pre-World War One arms race.
“... Quite unintelligible threats came over from England; therefore, one decided to build a fleet, but again not for attack or for the destruction of England, but for the ‘defense’ of the already mentioned ‘world peace’ and of the ‘peaceful conquest’ of the world
the talk of the ‘peaceful economic conquest’ of the world was certainly the greatest folly that was ever made the leading principle of a State policy ... people today ‘learn’ history without understanding or even grasping it ... No nation has more carefully prepared its economic conquest with the sword with greater brutality and defended it later on, more ruthlessly than the British. Is it not a characteristic of British statesmanship to draw economic conquest from political force and at once to mold every economic strengthening into political power? But what a mistake to believe that England was perhaps too ‘cowardly’ to shed her own blood in defense of her economic policy ... England always possessed the armament that she needed. She always fought with the weapons that were required for success ... I will remember the astonished faces of my comrades, when in Flanders we faced the Tommies personally. After the first few days of battle the conviction dawned on everyone that these Scots did not quite correspond to those one had thought fit to describe to us in comic papers (as cowards) and newspaper dispatches ... In those days I formed my first reflections about the usefulness of that form of propaganda ...”
Well, one would like to say that Adolf s accusations here towards the British are hogwash, but when one looks at the British Colonization attitudes and history, one hasn’t much to say in their defense. The British attitude to the Scots and the Irish is well known, and the conflicts continue today. Here in the colonies we had our own uprising. We can read about British exploits in China, the Boxer rebellion, the opium wars etceteras. We can read Gandhi’s account of the attitudes of the British in India. We can read Exodus and find out about the modern Jew and the British. We can see the remnants of British racism in their South African legacy. I really don’t think we can come up with a very good historical argument here to defend the British against Adolf s accusations. The only argument that I can think of, is that there is no country that can defend their historical development in any brighter light as far as I can see. Even if we pick the most maligned and sympathetic cultures today, they come off not much better. The Africans are still slaughtering one another, and the American Indians weren’t peaceful grain eating flower children either. The only conclusion that I can come to here is that the history of all Humanity is for the most part a brutal experience. I recommend reading “The Rise and Fall of Practically Everybody” by Willy Cuppy. We can only hope that what we have been seeing is an evolution to a better more humane future. Let’s all hope that we are learning from the mistakes of the past, and that Adolf s resolution to the facts of life as he describes them is not the forever of human relationships.
But his argument is strong. At this point his country is wallowing in disgrace and defeat. Armed conflicts are still bubbling in the streets. His government is in the hands of an occupying force as far as he is concerned. He contends that if only past German leaders had attacked Russia directly, World War One would probably have been avoided. One might also contend that if the U.S. had sided with Germany in 1917, instead of with the British, there may have been no World War Two either. But the nature of ‘if’ is very difficult to analyze.
At this point Adolf has made his case, and he seems to be telling his followers and the world his plan. Actually I think that the remainder of this chapter, and possibly this whole book is an outright campaign finance endeavor. He makes the point that the Russians would be easy. The Japanese had no problem with them in 1904. Just imagine what we could have done to them in or about 1910 or 1914. He goes on for the rest of this chapter to point out to the world and all of his potential financial backers, that it was the Jew Communist Marxist that was responsible for crippling the German effort in World War One. That the real enemy of Germany and of the world is the Jew, Bolshevist, communist who are involved in their plot to destroy civilization, and that if you listeners will send your dollars and personal checks to Adolf Hitler in care of the third Reich, Nazi Germany; We will take care of them. He closes the chapter along these lines.
“… I expressed for the first time the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation is the question of the destruction of Marxism.”
This is clearly and obviously his bread and butter argument and it was successful. My question now is, who were his financial backers? Who were his backers inside Germany, and who, if any, supplied funds to his campaign from the free world?
Chapter five is entitled ‘The World War’. This chapter is a history lesson on World War One. He gets into his exhilaration as a young soldier. He was clearly impressed with death, destruction, and ‘the glory’ of War in general. On the very first page he hits the reader with a reality check.
“… ‘Peaceful competitions of nations’ that means a quiet mutual cheating, excluding forceful measures. The individual States began more and more to resemble enterprises which cut the ground from under each other, stole each others customers and orders, and tried to cheat each other by every means, setting this in a scene which was as noisy as it was harmless ... This development however, not only seemed to endure, but it was intended to transform the world (with general approval) into one big department store, in the lobbies of which the busts of the most cunning profiteers, and the most harmless administration officials were to be stored for eternity ... Why could one not have been born a hundred years earlier? For instance, at the time of the Wars of Liberation when a man really was worth something, even without ‘business’...”
I suppose a true Capitalist would call this sour grapes, but I can not think that there are any of us, born with a critical conscience, who has not felt this way at one point or other in our lives. The world of business seems so cold and calculating, and never involved in principle or morality. Business minded always seem to stand back aloof, and detached from all the devastation and tragedy that their ‘practical economic decisions’ cause in the lives of the average.
Factories move overnight, leaving thousands unemployed. A big term today is ‘downsizing’. Companies claim bankruptcy, and default on all their employee promises of the past. On the international scene whole countries are exploited for natural resources or minerals or labor, and when their usefulness is over, abandoned. We have a strange god in this Capitalist world, and when the economic decisions become devastating to whole populations, believers simply look at the devastation as an unavoidable natural disaster, much like an earthquake or volcanic eruption. But those who find themselves caught in the economic slaughter can not be so pragmatic or philosophical. They see the
disaster as manmade, and seek revenge. And always the business mentality is shocked by the ‘ignorant attitude of these uneducated to the natural laws of supply and demand.
This analysis by Adolf clearly hit the mark, and I imagine that it was even considered more on target back in the year 1923, and to a nation of unemployed, and to a people undergoing the ravages of the industrial revolution.
“… The Boer War appeared to me like a summer lightning. Everyday I was on the lookout for the newspapers; I devoured dispatches and reports, and I was happy that I was being allowed to witness this heroic struggle, if only from afar ... The Russo-Japanese War ... I had at once taken the side of the Japanese. In the defeat of the Russians I saw also a defeat of the Austrian Slavic nationalities.”
Adolf is obviously a frustrated European. He resents greatly the power of the English, and has a yet to be explained hatred for the Slavic races. And the Slavic lands seem to include a vast area east of whatever Adolf considers Germany proper.
“...When the news of the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand reached Munich (I was in the house and heard only vague details of the event), I was at first worried that the bullets might perhaps have come from the pistols of German students, who because of their indignation at the continued Slavization activities of the Heir Presumptive, wished to free the German nation from this internal enemy. One could imagine well what the consequences would have been in that case; a new wave of persecutions which now would have been justified and ‘motivated’ in the face of the whole world. When, however, soon after I heard the names of the suspected murderers, and read that their nationality had been established as Serbian, a slight horror began to creep over me because of this revenge of inscrutable Destiny ... The greatest friend of the Slaves had been felled by the bullets of Slav fanatics . . .Those who had an opportunity to observe continuously the relations between Austria and Serbia during the last few years could not doubt for even a moment that the stone had been set rolling on a course that could no longer be checked ... The fight of the year 1914 was certainly not forced upon the masses, good God! but desired by the entire people itself ... To me personally those hours appeared like the redemption from the annoying moods of my youth. Therefore I am not ashamed today to say that, overwhelmed by impassionate enthusiasm, I had fallen on my knees and thanked Heaven out of my overflowing heart that it had granted me the good fortune of being allowed to live in these times ... A struggle for freedom had broken out, greater than the world had ever seen before; because once fate had begun its course, the conviction began to dawn on the great masses that this time the question involved was not Serbia’s or Austria’s fate, but the existence or non-existence of the German Nation.”
I have to proclaim my amazement at how many times during the book Adolf makes reference to God, or heaven or the ‘spiritual’, Divinity or Providence. Adolf clearly has some sort of Faith, or spiritual belief. Without doubt his god is a cruel one, but never the less he is able to find some sort of inner strength and personal confidence in his religious beliefs. It is also amazing to me that from the beginnings of recorded history, we see country after country marching off to war with god on their side. And almost without question both sides in any conflict have claimed god’s support to their cause. And life in this world today is no exception. Religions of all types continue to claim god’s support for all of their prejudices and hatreds, and seem perfectly willing to kill other humans on “His” behalf. Here we see Adolf the preacher.
At this point Adolf gets into his soldiering experience. These next passages are quite something to me. Here is Adolf being exposed to his first combat fire.
“…Then at last came the damp, cold night in Flanders through which we marched silently, and when the day began to emerge from the fog, suddenly an iron salute came wizzing over our heads towards us and with a sharp report the small bullets struck between our rows, whipping up the wet earth; but before the small cloud had dispersed, out of two hundred throats the first hurrah roared a welcome to the first messenger of death. But then it began to crackle, and roar, to sing and howl, and with feverish eyes each one of us was drawn forward faster and faster over turnip fields and hedges till suddenly the fight began, the fight of man against man. But from the distance the sound of a song met our ears, coming nearer and nearer, passing from company to company, and then, while Death busily plunged his hand into our rows, the song reached also us, and now we passed it on; Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt...”
I don’t speak German, but my guess is that the song is the National Anthem of Germany ... and it is probably saying Germany, Germany ... above all, above all, in the world.
Adolf now continues with his experience as an evolving soldier. I think the above passage is about as close as Adolf ever gets to writing poetry. Clearly he was thrilled to find himself next to death.
Thus it continued year after year; but the romance of the battles had turned into horror. The enthusiasm gradually cooled down and the exuberant joy was suffocated by the fear of death. The time came when everyone had to fight between the instinct of self-preservation and the admonition of duty. I, too, was not spared this inner struggle. Whenever death was on the hunt, an undefinable something tried to revolt, tried to present itself to the weak body in the form of reason and was really nothing but cowardice which in this disguise tried to ensnare the individual. A strong pulling and warning set in and only the last remaining spark of conscience made the decision. But the more this voice tried to warn me to take heed, the louder and more urgently it lured, the sharper was my resistance, till finally after a long inner struggle my sense of duty triumphed. The struggle had already been decided for me during the winter of 1915-16. My will had finally become master. Whereas during the first days I was able to join exuberantly and laughingly in the storm, now I was quiet and determined. This was the most enduring. Only now could fate set out for the last tests without tearing my nerves or my reason giving out ... The young volunteer had become an old soldier
So young Adolf marched off to war. First he felt the glory of facing death; then he felt the doubt of his reason and his desire for self-preservation, which he calls cowardice. He then develops fearlessness in the face of death, and it transformed him into a brave and hardened soldier. Similar passages can be found in the memoirs of General Patton and in the writings of Theodore Roosevelt. Just recently I found a statement and description very similar to Adolf‘s in a recounting of an early battle written by George Washington - and in all the above cases I am referring to the glory of the wizzing bullets and the “afterglow”, not the second thoughts, fears or resignation.
One question that never concerned Adolf was the morality or justification for the killing of his fellow human beings. Killing is a given to Adolf. He seems to never have had any fear for the killing of others, rightfully, or wrongfully. His only battle with fear came with his conflict of saving his own butt on the battlefield, and once he overcame his own fear of death he was transformed into a heroic soldier. And Adolf is never lacking to call those who turned against the war, for whatever reasons, not only cowards but traitors. Even though, when these traitors returned home they continued to fight and risk their lives dodging bullets in the streets of Munich and Berlin fighting against what they considered a misguided cause on the part of their Government.
In their case, risking their lives under arms was not heroic but cowardly in the philosophy of Adolf. So it is not fighting, or facing death that makes one a hero in Adolf s eyes. It is fighting on his side for those things that he believes. I must also presume that Adolf must consider all of his enemies cowards because they were not fighting on his side. And then again we have no evaluation of all of those who fought on both sides simply because they were ordered to fight or be executed or go to prison in their own countries for refusing to do so. Is it a ‘brave’ man who is willing to kill another man simply because he is ordered to do so?
We find this philosophy in Dante’s Inferno and in our modern day Republicanism. I would imagine this has always been a Conservative foundation stone – “you are either with me, or you are against me/my country right or wrong.”
Adolf hated pacifists and considered any man not willing to fight and kill others in defense of his own life a coward. Mahatma Gandhi had an interesting answer to this attitude. He asked a very interesting question. I will attempt to paraphrase; Who is the braver individual, asks Mahatma Gandhi, the man who stands behind a gun or cannon and shoots and kills his fellow man in fear and defense for his own life, or the man who stands in front of the guns and canons, with no arms, and resists the oppression of the more powerful by accepting death from their bullets and bombs?
If the criterion for bravery is facing death fearlessly, then certainly Mahatma’s men are the braver. Mahatma’s men are not only braver physically by being willing to give their lives in resistance to oppressive power, they are also miles ahead by maintaining the moral high ground of refusing to kill others on behalf of whatever excuses have been offered to them.
When I offered this scenario of Gandhi’s to an individual on a past occasion, he said; “Well, I don’t know who is the bravest, but I certainly know who is the dumbest.” In other words, it was a dumb man who would die in his defense of not killing others of his kind on demand.
I think that after analysis, Adolf’s definition of bravery has little to do with the spirit of sacrificing one’s life for principle, but more with one’s willingness to kill and be brutal to ones fellow man. So I don’t interpret these remarks by Adolf as a defense of the brave and courageous, but much more in tune with placing a heroic taint and defense on his personal lust and passion for killing. I think also that his entire career serves as an adequate proof of this point. Adolf clearly enjoyed seeing other humans die - on either side of the battle line. This may be more the norm than many of us think – note the popularity of war movies; or raping and killing in general – maybe we all enjoy the slaughter somewhat, even if only vicariously.
It is interesting that it has been noted that Adolf would turn away from a screen in horror if a horse were to stumble or if a dog or other animal was pictured as being injured. If I am not mistaken, he was also a vegetarian.

[This is a part of a continuing series on this blog. This is my 8th entry. Click on “Search This Blog” to find other entries]