A Survivor’s Memory, an Ill-Fated Peace Process

 

My cousin John died this past weekend in London. He was a short, quiet, unassuming man, a research chemist by training. He never married and had no children. His British English had a tinge of an almost undetectable accent. To those poised to notice such things, he dismissed it as acquired during frequent business trips over many years to Norway, a bleeding of Norwegian into his university-trained English. In reality, his accent was from the residual Polish of his childhood, a childhood stolen from him, and one he worked hard to forget.

 

John was not his real name. He was born Isaac in Lodz about 1928. He remembered the Polish boycott of Jews in the 1930s, which received official government approval in 1937, and was known as the “cold pogrom.” Of course, it was anything but cold and incited real pogroms of terror, brutality, and death. His father was out of work and his family almost starved. Those were the good years.

 

Lodz fell to the Germans in 1939 without a fight. Poland had already been defeated. Lodz contained the second largest Jewish population in all of Europe. The Germans’ brutality, sadism, and savagery during the Lodz ghetto period are well-known and documented in over ten thousand pages of manuscripts written in four languages and indefatigably translated by thirteen translators. Two Jewish photographers took thousands of pictures of the ghetto; the Germans themselves inadvertently added to the collection, loving to document their sadism, some of it in color photography. The Germans had made color film commercially viable in 1936 and cherished using it.

 

For a long time, I knew little of John’s life in the ghetto or during the Holocaust. He spoke of the Holocaust as “the war” when he did speak of it. Bits and pieces came out here and there by accident. For sixteen years, I gently tried to speak to him directly of his experiences. He had no interest, and I did not pursue it. Information occasionally oozed out like puss and blood from a wound that would not heal but was well-bandaged. When he finally opened up, it was as if he had opened a vein and let the blood flow freely, and it was I who was psychologically unprepared for the event.

Read more here…

Government Incompetence and Malfeasance

Jason Stverak of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity explains  why upholding our Constitution is an issue all Americans should be concerned about.

 

Upholding our Constitution is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue

By Jasoon Stverak, Originally Posted on Fox News

About a year ago, Taymour Karim, 31-year-old doctor in Syria was abducted and tortured for his protest against the government in Damascus.

His captors beat him so hard that they knocked out two of his teeth and broke three of his ribs, yet he refused to give up the names of his friends.

Despite his efforts, his computer had already told the men beating him everything they wanted to know.

“They knew everything about me,” he told Bloomberg. “The people I talked to, the plans, the dates, the stories of other people, every movement, every word I said through Skype. They even knew the password of my Skype account… my computer was arrested before me.”

To many Americans, Karim’s tragedy seems like an awful story of abuse in far off country, but this week, we learned that the United States government isn’t much different.

Continue Reading Here…

 

Do you think you’ll have the right to conceal and carry a firearm soon? Not if Attorney General and daughter of Sith Lord, Speaker Michael Madigan has anything to say about it.

 

Hold your holsters: Illinois concealed carry not likely until 2014

By Ben Yount, Originally Posted on Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD — Just because Illinois lawmakers approved concealed carry legislation last month don’t expect residents to legally carry a gun anytime soon.

In fact it may be next year before Illinois gun owners can put a pistol on their hip.

“It all depends on what Gov. Pat Quinn does,” said Todd Vandermyde, a NRA lobbyist who has waited years for Illinois to finally allow law-abiding gun owners to carry a firearm. “He could sign the (legislation), he could veto it, or he could amendatory veto it.”

If the governor signs the legislation, the Illinois State Police would then have 180 days to set up a system to allow concealed carry. Legal gun owners could be carrying a pistol by January 2014.

But it could be spring or even summer 2014 before gun owners could carry in Illinois, if the governor vetoes the proposal, or changes the legislation with an amendatory veto.

Continue Reading Here…

 

Madigan and Cullerton are “bad men”

The Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune features a spot-on editorial pertaining to the failures of House Speaker (Sith Lord) Michael Madigan and Senate President (Count Dooku) John Cullerton. The article addresses the negative impact their “petulance” has had on the state, especially with the recent session ending and so many crucial matters unresolved – kicked further down the road.

But in typical Tribune fashion, the publication takes a step back and puts on a façade of kindness with the clarifying statement, “These aren’t bad men. As we’ve said before, they want what’s best for Illinois — provided they don’t have to seriously affront the public employees’ unions and other supplicants that reward them with campaign money and muscle.”

My disagreement with the editorial staff is that Madigan and Cullerton are “bad men.” When have they ever shown any sign that they want “what’s best for Illinois?” I know it’s not polite to say such things about a man’s character or claim to know what is in a person’s heart, but actions have consequences and speak volumes. When you knowingly implement laws that hurt and arguably destroy lives for the sake of your own power and pocket book, you are a piece of shit.

Madigan Cullerton Devastating

Illinois has a pension deficit of $130 billion, unemployment hovering around 10%, over $7 billion in unpaid bills and is 51st (behind Washington D.C) in the nation when it comes taking care of the mentally and physically disabled. Businesses laugh and cringe at the idea of operating in Illinois; our state credit rating is at a level saved for crack-addicts and offered by loan sharks. “Prosperous Illinois” is officially listed as an example of an “oxymoron” by Websters.

Turning our state into a shithole didn’t happen overnight. Madigan and Cullerton are smart men who knew damn well that their policies would lead us off a cliff, but they also knew that the few who would benefit (unions) could keep them in office and increase their power.

Don’t tell me these men want “what’s best for Illinois,” they only want what is best for their political and personal lives. The rest of us can go to hell for all they care and under the State of Illinois flag waving in shame; we are well on our way.

The articles below shed light on Springfield’s latest failure and it’s impact on your family and mine.

Pension reform letdown, bending over for redevelopment, and fracking at the IL Capitol

 

By Ben Yount, Illinois Watchdog

Illinois lawmakers raced through dozens of new proposed laws, but limped to a possible pension reform solution on the second to last day of the spring session.

Two late night votes show the huge divide that still exists in the Illinois Capitol over how the state can bring its $130 billion pension debt and $8 billion pension payment under control.

The Illinois Senate quickly killed the sweeping pension reform plan (SB1) sent to them by the House.

Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, said just because the House wants to adjourn Friday is not the reason to “cheat” public employees. Click here to continue reading...

Erasing “temporary” from the temporary tax hike

By Scott Reeder, Journalist in Residence Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois lawmakers did their best today to erase the “temporary” from “temporary tax increase.”

You remember Speaker Mike Madigan’s lame duck shenanigans two years ago when a  “temporary” 67 percent tax increase was rammed through the legislature, resulting in the confiscation of an extra week’s worth of wages each year from the average Illinoisan.

But, hey, they told us at the time that tax was just temporary and would be used to pay down the state’s backlog of unpaid bills.

Springfield insiders smirked when this was said, but that was the promise made to the taxpayers of Illinois.

The tax increase is due to expire at the end of next year, but you wouldn’t know it based on how the Illinois General Assembly behaved today. They passed a budget $2 billion larger than last year’s, despite still having billions in unpaid bills.  Click here to continue reading...

IL lawmakers punt on spending decisions; ultimately pass blame

By Ben Yount, Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD — Don’t blame us, say lawmakers.

Target your frustrations elsewhere, they’re telling voters who may be angry about pay raises for public workers, cuts to services for the poor or fewer dollars going to public schools.

The state Legislature is piecing together a nearly $36 billion budget in the last days of the spring session.

Lawmakers, however, are punting spending decisions to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

“We gave them a lump sum so they can decide where they’re going to spend their money,” state Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, told lawmakers as he detailed the $70 million for Illinois’ prisons.

A lump sum budget is as simple as it sounds. Lawmakers decide what will be spent, but the Quinn administration decides how it will be spent. Click here to continue reading...

Paulies Point: Democrats disdain for real journalists…

If you are a “friend” of mine on Facebook you should be aware of former Democratic National Committee Chairman and current Virginia Gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe failed green energy car company GreenTech Automotive. An investigative series conducted by Virginia Watchdog revealed McCauliffe and GreenTech didn’t deliver on their promises and weren’t always upfront with the public.

Instead of admitting their faults and failures, GreenTech has engaged in the new Progressive tradition of attacking the press – filing an $85 million dollar lawsuit against the parent media outlet of Va Watchdog, Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.

I urge you to check out Franklin Center President Jason Stverak interview with The Blaze and join Franklin Center in standing up for the truth and the First Amendment.

Track government spending with your phone

Now you can see how much your government is wasting your tax dollars on your phone. Adam Andrzejewski of For the Good of Illinois explains in a Wall Street Journal op-ed  how a new phone app uses your zip code to track local government spending in your area as well as reveal the horrors of federal spending as our nation approaches $17 trillion in debt.

Thank you Adam for the transparency and nightmares.

Terror in Woolrich: today London, tomorrow the world

My Uncle Abe has a knack for revealing how f*cked we are unless we wake up from political correctness dreamland. His take on the brutal murder of a British soldier and young father on the streets of London by an Islamic fundamentalist is a must read.

“If history teaches us anything, it teaches us that once created, mass movements move not to the center but to the extremes. They become Tocqueville’s proverbial uncontrolled cart running down hill going where no one intended for it to go.”   Click here and read in it’s entirety.

Michelle Obama uses military drones for vacation planning

Check out my latest on Schmuck Weekly. Sure to make you laugh and think how this isn’t that far fetched.

Let’s try this again

Welcome to the third installment of Paulie’s Point.  From 2006 until roughly 2009, blogging was simple. If something was on my mind or I felt the need to spew my opinion, I’d blog about it. For a couple of years I simply didn’t have the time to write. From January 2010 to early last year I didn’t write any op-eds for any national publication, let alone my own blog.

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Over the past year I have made the time to publish as well as inform my followers on social media networks about the fine work of friends and colleagues. At the same time, I’ve showcased   excellent journalism produced by new media outlets and bloggers.

This new installment of Paulie’s Point will feature the best of both worlds. My objective is to post numerous times each week the stories you will want to read. Momentous news that hits home on every level—national and international, as well as our own Land of Lincoln—will take center stage on my site. My original themes extolling a free market economy, limited government and standing with Israel remain close to my heart and will always be prominent on my blog.

I hope you will consider subscribing to Paulie’s Point and following me on Twitter. Please “friend” me on Facebook if you haven’t already.

With best wishes for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,

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