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  1. #1
    DeeDee1965 is offline Gold Scams Member User Rank
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    Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Hello People,

    First, I want to apologize to all the kind, rational, thoughtful people on this board.

    Unfortunately, the time has come to tell some nasty, unpleasant, and possibly cruel, home truths. This excerpt, is very relavent to the climate in today's America. For all those who will scream, and whine, that I am, "overreacting," or making a "gross exaggeration," I would encourage you to *read* the piece before, either dismissing the information, or raising your hackles in denial.

    DeeDee1965

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    They Thought They Were Free The Germans, 1933-45, by Milton Mayer

    An excerpt from:

    "But Then It Was Too Late"

    "What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

    "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

    "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.


    ----

    [...] "The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

    "To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop.Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

    ----

    ....."[o]ne doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true.Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

    "Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’


    "And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.
    ----

    "But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

    "And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

    "You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

    "Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

    ----

    "Once the war began, the government could do anything ‘necessary’ to win it; so it was with the ‘final solution of the Jewish problem,’ which the Nazis always talked about but never dared undertake, not even the Nazis, until war and its ‘necessities’ gave them the knowledge that they could get away with it. The people abroad who thought that war against Hitler would help the Jews were wrong. And the people in Germany who, once the war had begun, still thought of complaining, protesting, resisting, were betting on Germany’s losing the war. It was a long bet. Not many made it."



    Copyright notice: Excerpt from pages 166-73 of They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©1955, 1966 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the University of Chicago Press. (Footnotes and other references included in the book may have been removed from this online version of the text.)

    FULL EXCERPT
    Last edited by DeeDee1965; 01-18-2006 at 03:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Right on DeeDee!

    Lady Mod

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Um..."Right on" ? What an interesting article...so--what segment of society will we be isolating and killing?
    Please do not say "all". That is not how it works. This is concerning a small segment of society that was abused, deported and murdered. I want to know who is treated like this here?
    Last edited by pwrone; 01-18-2006 at 11:44 PM.

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    "First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me." -Martin Niemoeller

  5. #5
    DeeDee1965 is offline Gold Scams Member User Rank
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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrone
    Um..."Right on" ? What an interesting article...so--what segment of society will we be isolating and killing?
    Please do not say "all". That is not how it works. This is concerning a small segment of society that was abused, deported and murdered. I want to know who is treated like this here?
    Hi Pwrone,

    If you read the excerpt, and then think about our time now, a pattern will begin to emerge. The inability to see the creeping lawlessness of government officials. Yes, there are a few people going down for their crimes (i.e., T. Delay, B. Frist, R. Cunningham), but the shadow of lawlessness, groping and grabbing for imperial power is still not seen, is denied, and ignored, by most Americans.

    It is not going on "right here, right now." That is not the point of the excerpt, or what I am trying to illustrate by posting it. The point is, this is how the loss of our country starts. If the Germans had paid attention. If they had stood up when the freedoms and rights of *others* were curbed, thwarted, cut back, etc., maybe fascism would not have taken such a strong hold. If they had recognized every "crisis" was not happening in a vacuum, but was interconnected, the eventual power grab by the government, might have been avoided.

    From excerpt:

    "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pwrone
    Please do not say "all". That is not how it works. This is concerning a small segment of society that was abused, deported and murdered. I want to know who is treated like this here?
    I cannot say it better then this:

    From excerpt:

    "And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

    DeeDee1965

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    I have a few comments and questions about this post. DeeDee1965 seems to indicate that George W. is at risk of becoming the next Hitler. She seems to be complaining that people in this country are not doing enough to stop this trend.

    It would be interesting to know if DeeDee1965 lays any blame on Europe for not stopping Hitler as he violated the treaties signed after WWI that disallowed Germany from building an army. Or does she believe that the total blame falls on German citizens for not speaking up.

    Europe only seemed to get involved after Hitler invaded them. Then they promptly asked the U.S. for help. The U.S. at first turned them down, then later agreed to supply weapons but no troops. Does DeeDee1965 think this policy was right?

    Only after Japan attacked Hawaii did the U.S. bring to their aid the full force of the American military. Is this the same type of response DeeDee1965 expects form our leaders today? To watch from a safe distance as our allies are destroyed? Would DeeDee1965 have us respond if Iran invades Pakistan? What about Spain? France? England?

    If Hitler had not invaded Russia until after it had defeated England and the rest of it’s western targets, if Japan had not bombed Pearl Harbor until after they had defeated China, could we, the U.S. have defeated them by our selves? I think not.

    Would DeeDee1965 be happy speaking German or being exterminated as was being done to the Jews?

    I will step out on a limb here. I do not think DeeDee1965 would be happy under German rule. I do not think DeeDee1965, using hindsight thinks we should have waited until all our allies were defeated to help defeat Germany. I do not Think DeeDee1965 would leave zero blame on Europe for ignoring Germanys build up of a military after WWI.
    Perhaps I am wrong; if I am please forgive me.

    This of course leads into my point:

    Should the U.S. have stood by as Iraq exterminated Kurds and other ethnic groups?

    Should we stand by as Iran builds a Nuke, after they have claimed to want to destroy Israel?

    If North Korea informs us that they are going to Nuke South Korea, should we bring our troops home and stand by and watch them do it?

    After Iran nukes Israel, after they nuke France, and England, do we stand back and watch?

    When do we get involved, would you have us wait until they Nuke New York? Would you not then complain that our Government let it go too far?

    If Europe had stopped Hitler in the 1930’s there would have been no Holocaust. Can you not see a parallel here? Since Bush invaded Iraq we will never know what might have been. If we stop Iran we will never know if they would have ever really followed through on their threats to destroy Israel, Would DeeDee1965 rather wait and see?

    I too am very concerned about the powers being abused by our President here in our own country. But I see DeeDee1965 as not much different than those Germans in the 1930’s, DeeDee1965 do you have a sign in your front yard warning of the miss use of powers by our President? Have you rented bill boards in several major cities to get your message across? Do you do anything at all besides post on this forum that reaches less than 1000 people?

    Please forgive my assumptions, my picking you out, if I have miss guessed you please correct me.

    All you others that believe as DeeDee1965 does please replace your name with hers in the above post. You know who you are. ;)
    Last edited by Worried_in_the_USA; 01-19-2006 at 05:39 PM.

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    DeeDee1965 is offline Gold Scams Member User Rank
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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Hello Worried,

    If you read what I posted. If you think about how people, can and do allow things to happen, to progress, to grow. Not because most people are bad, evil, or even uncaring. But they let things happen because it does not impact them directly.

    They let things happen because, for now, their lives are moving along just fine. If not fine, then good enough. If not good enough, then without to much trouble. And on, and on, until our lives are not what they were before we let those things happen.

    I have said this before, you know nothing about me. What I write here is what I think, on subject pertaining to a Internet message board.

    Your sarcastic diatribe, lends nothing to the understanding we all must have for our past. The past includes, ALL parts of our past as human beings. Not just the successful military victories. Or the triumphant 'spreading" of "democracy." Or the defeat of the "enemy." We must also understand what ordinary, regular people did, and did not do, and why. We must understand why heroes and heroines go out of their way to help others, and risked their lives. We also must understand why the greedy, hurting, and hateful among us, try to destroy all that is good, and fine in this beautiful world of ours. We must understand it all.

    Complacency afflicts us all. Sitting in front of a computer, with electricity, running hot and cold water, food, clothing, leisure time, and money in the bank, causes complacency in us all. However, in posting this excerpt of this book I heard about several years ago, helps us to stay vigilant. Keeps us from sinking into our easy, calm, lives. The information in this book, forces us to see we have a part to play, now and always. A part to play, in keeping our selves and our fellows human beings happy, safe and free. Knowing, and understanding, the whole story, or as much as we can get of the whole story, is our best and most lasting weapon.


    So, I am not saying President George W. Bush is going to become the next Hitler.

    DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS NOW???


    DeeDee1965

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee1965
    Hello Worried,

    If you read what I posted. If you think about how people, can and do allow things to happen, to progress, to grow. Not because most people are bad, evil, or even uncaring. But they let things happen because it does not impact them directly.

    They let things happen because, for now, their lives are moving along just fine. If not fine, then good enough. If not good enough, then without to much trouble. And on, and on, until our lives are not what they were before we let those things happen.

    I have said this before, you know nothing about me. What I write here is what I think, on subject pertaining to a Internet message board.

    Your sarcastic diatribe, lends nothing to the understanding we all must have for our past. The past includes, ALL parts of our past as human beings. Not just the successful military victories. Or the triumphant 'spreading" of "democracy." Or the defeat of the "enemy." We must also understand what ordinary, regular people did, and did not do, and why. We must understand why heroes and heroines go out of their way to help others, and risked their lives. We also must understand why the greedy, hurting, and hateful among us, try to destroy all that is good, and fine in this beautiful world of ours. We must understand it all.

    Complacency afflicts us all. Sitting in front of a computer, with electricity, running hot and cold water, food, clothing, leisure time, and money in the bank, causes complacency in us all. However, in posting this excerpt of this book I heard about several years ago, helps us to stay vigilant. Keeps us from sinking into our easy, calm, lives. The information in this book, forces us to see we have a part to play, now and always. A part to play, in keeping our selves and our fellows human beings happy, safe and free. Knowing, and understanding, the whole story, or as much as we can get of the whole story, is our best and most lasting weapon.


    So, I am not saying President George W. Bush is going to become the next Hitler.

    DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS NOW???


    DeeDee1965

    'Worried' is not posting sarcasm, as far as I can tell. His points are extremely well made and on topic. There is an interesting give and take on this thread. In answer to his questions to you, you had several excellent reasons for posting what you do. May I have permission to simply cut and paste portions of your answer in response to your repeated questioning of why I post the things that I do? Thank you.

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    DeeDee1965 is offline Gold Scams Member User Rank
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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrone
    'Worried' is not posting sarcasm, as far as I can tell. His points are extremely well made and on topic. There is an interesting give and take on this thread. In answer to his questions to you, you had several excellent reasons for posting what you do. May I have permission to simply cut and paste portions of your answer in response to your repeated questioning of why I post the things that I do? Thank you.
    Hi Pwrone,

    Why not write answers from your own experience, and world view? The things I write are from my point of view. When I ask, why you think or do the things you do, I am hoping to be enlightened by your point of view.

    Also, this thread is not about why you post what you post. It is about, what we as human beings, can do, to make and keep our world, a fit place to live. And to try to learn from the mistakes of the past.

    DeeDee1965

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    DeeDee1965 I would still like to hear your answers to the questions I asked. I am sorry I am so stupid, but I did not see any answers in your response.

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    DeeDee1965 is offline Gold Scams Member User Rank
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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Hi Worried,

    The reason for my response, was in answer to the implication, I was building a case of a resurrected Hitler in the person of Pres. Bush. What I wrote was an explanation of my reasons for posting the excerpt. Not a line by line analysis, of what went wrong during the first four decades of 20th century Europe.

    If you want to know what I am trying to say and do, reread my answer to your post. I would like to talk about, how the excerpt, is in my opinion, a very real reflection of our country today.

    Your "questions" are designed, to pull me and anyone else into a debate on what the present administration should or should not have not done. Neither you, or I, or anyone here, has all the relevant facts, information, analysis, etc., to be able to say with any certainty "what" should have been done, in Iraq, Iran, North Korea.

    So, the empty war of words and haggling about "facts" gets us nowhere. No matter what I say, how I explain my position, write out my thoughts, you will find a problem with them. You will see a flaw in my reasoning. You will question my loyalty, civic pride, sense of fair play, righteous indignation, etc., etc., etc. You will characterize my personality, likes and dislikes, wants and desires. So I respectfully decline to answer your particular "questions." If others want to answer them, feel free.

    My way of viewing things is, to see the "gestalt" of any given situation, or event. The minutiae can be argued to death. In arguing to the details to death, the fabric, is weaken and finally unravels completely.

    Can you look around and see a trend of "crisis" situations that keep everyone off balance? Have you noticed the slow and almost unseen erosion of our civil liberties? Have you noticed how Americans are, scoured and skewered if they have a differing point of view? Do you see how some people in this country whose rights are challenged, or nonexistent are not championed by other Americans, not part of these groups?

    Of course, I do not expect you to answer my questions, C'est la vie. ;)

    DeeDee1965

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee1965

    Can you look around and see a trend of "crisis" situations that keep everyone off balance? Have you noticed the slow and almost unseen erosion of our civil liberties? Have you noticed how Americans are, scoured and skewered if they have a differing point of view? Do you see how some people in this country whose rights are challenged, or nonexistent are not championed by other Americans, not part of these groups?

    DeeDee1965

    Can you cite any examples of what you refer to above?

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrone
    Can you cite any examples of what you refer to above?
    Hi Pwrone,

    Do you understand asking questions can be a way to, task someone into observing their surroundings? Thus prompting a response that will further debate?

    If you do not understand this, fine. The questions were asked in order to garner information about people's observations. If they have any to share, great, if not, that is great as well.

    So your question is inappropriate, to the purpose. :)

    DeeDee1965

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Hey, DeeDee

    OK...this is the second time on this thread that it is made clear to me that there are different protocols when YOU post something than there are when--lets say-- I post something.

    Often, when I post a thread dealing with a subject that interests me, you will ask me why I am doing it..."why are you posting this here instead of (fill in the blank)? Why don't you get out there and(fill in the blank)?" I usually answer much as you have above...but that is no good. You will doggedly pursue an 'answer', much as the above poster has on this thread.

    Similarly, whenever I post a statement(s) in order to prompt a response, I am (rightfully) asked about my sources or evidence. Apparently, that is also verboten when you are the poster. Is this true? And, if not, won't you please provide a single example of the deteriorating rights of Americans? Here, I'll start you out... 1) You may have to submit to a search in order to ride in the subway. Okay...your turn. I will even settle for those who are "scoured and skewered" for their opinions, OR the "groups" who are singled out for discrimination. Okay, GO.

    The fact that we are sooo kind and gentle and understanding to "groups" who want to kill us may eventually be our undoing. Would interring Muslims be wrong? Of course. Would it prevent the deaths of innocent Americans? Undoubtedly.

    If you travel , or read, you will realize that there are MANY examples of what you are writing about, all over the world. You should be able to compare and contrast those situations with whatever tiny imposition you are suffering from here.

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    DeeDee1965,

    Your last response makes it sound as though you would do the same things as our President if you were in office. You seem to be bit.ching just to bit.ch. I am sorry if you don’t like this statement, but what other conclusion do you expect from such a response. Pwrone is right, you seem to have very different standards when you’re the one writing about what you "think". You have ripped us both apart before, now I ask you what you would do different and you say you would do nothing different, which is all any one can read into your response. If you do not answer questions put to you, how can you expect any one here to respect you and your opinions? If you do not care what we “think”, why post here at all? But don’t feel alone; none of the other Bush haters here are willing to say that they would do any different either. At least Pwrone and I are willing to defend what we believe. You remind me of the politician in “ The Best Little Who.re House in Texas” when he sings his ditty, “I take a little side step”.
    Last edited by Worried_in_the_USA; 01-20-2006 at 02:18 PM.

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    Re: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

    Your point seems to be that the loss of freedom happens in small, incremental stages. I am sure that this is true. That is why I have asked for examples, that I might be more vigilant. ANY example of any of your allegations or implications...

    I assure you that I am not trying to pick on you, it is just that I find this article(which I have read before) heartbreaking. And when you try to compare what these people lived and suffered through to present-day America, it is frankly nauseating. I understand that you don't like the current administration, but it will change and be replaced...as will THAT one. That is our system, designed specifically to prevent the situation described in the article. Once in a while, why not appreciate where you live and the freedoms you enjoy as an American? When you compare our living conditions to the brutal imposition of exclusionary laws, the singling out of an ethnic group for torture and murder, you show disrespect to those victims that lived, and died, during the 'night of broken glass'.
    Last edited by pwrone; 01-20-2006 at 08:32 PM.

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