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Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War CriminalsAnatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals by Joel E. Dimsdale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What is evil?

Hannah Arendt, a witness to the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961, discussed what she called "the banality of evil," i.e., the actions of Adolph Eichmann, a bureaucrat presiding over various aspects of the vast machinery responsible for 11 million deaths of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, Christians during Hitler's Third Reich, whom she described as little more than a small cog in that gigantic machine. But she mentioned nothing about his vitriolic hatred of Jews, and didn't bring a professional psychiatrist's or clinical psychologist's expertise in her analysis of Eichmann or evil in general. Nor did she really bring out the true horror of what the Nazis did to their victims, including honest German citizens who themselves were horrified at what their government was doing, and said so.

In actuality, evil always has a core of the truly alien for those of us who have not embraced it. As author Joel Dimsdale himself says in Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals, the analysis of the German war criminals at Nuremberg by psychologists and psychiatrists at the time if the Nuremberg trials was highly controversial and, ultimately, unsatisfying. What could have made so many people commit such devastating crimes against humanity in the thankfully short, 12-year term of Das Tausend-Jahre Reich? To date, that questions still has not been satisfactorily answered, and may never be. Evil has always been with us, wily as the metaphorical fox, and will be until we are no longer human or have become extinct.

A brilliant analysis of that seminal moment in modern history by psychiatrist Joel Dimsdale, this book is must reading for anyone interested in learning why modern history has gone as it has, and wants to understand something of the reality and presence in evil in human affairs.

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Review: Art Spiegelman, THE COMPLETE MAUS

Called "the first masterpiece in comic book history" (the New Yorker), a winner of a Pulitzer prize, this is one of the most moving books I've ever read.

"An epic story told in tiny pictures" (the New Yorker), Maus tells the story of Vladik Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Vladek's harrowing narrative is woven into the author's account of his relationship with his aging father. Combining two books in one volume -- My Father Bleeds History and And Here My Troubles Began, it illuminates not only the impact of the Holocaust on survivors, but also the ways it has affected the children of such survivors. It also reveals a harrowing statistic: in countless cases, a survivor was the only member of his or her family, often a large, extended family, to survive the Holocaust.

The comic strips in the book represent different populations in animal form. The Jews are mice, reflecting the Nazis' view of them as "vermin," while Germans, especially Nazis, are cats, i.e., state=sponsored "exterminators" of the "vermin." (And the representation of Jews as tiny mice also reflects the persecutions and pogroms they have suffered down the ages at the hands of much larger groups directed by powerful, wealthy special interests. The Poles are pigs, Americans are dogs, and so on. (None of these animals conform to the kosher food laws, by the way, but neither do human beings, so this is no insult to mice).

I remember seeing excerpts from this work in the comix I loved so much, the ones that also included the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy's cat, and all the rest. But never before had I read the whole work. Doing so now, I wept over it many times, seeing the soul of a man laid bare by his son, who in turn bares his own soul, both souls wounded by the Holocaust in two different ways. If a reader doesn't weep while reading this, he or she has no heart, no empathy, no conscience.

The author deals with his material in a totally honest, simple way, laying bare one history's greatest horrors so that the generations to come will never, ever forget, and always be aware that true evil is a reality which psychology and psychiatry both find nearly impenetrable. Dos Passos said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat. And don't think it only happens to Jews: Hitler's Germany also murdered many Christians, Slavs, and Gypsies -- not to mention Germans with a conscience who tried to stand up to the Nazis and met their deaths in the horror-shows that were the cell's in the Gestapo's dungeons.
There's a thing most people alive today in this country don't remember: during the presidential administrations of John F Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the US economy was thriving -- so much so that we had an economic surplus. That's right: two Democratic administrations brought about enormous prosperity for this country's citizens, and paid off the national debt -- and then some. How? Because of the space program and the race to the Moon.

-- And then, when Richard M. Nixon took office as President, he killed the Mars Program and most of the rest of the space program, and this nation's economy slid into the crapper, thus proving that one of the very best ways to bring about real prosperity in this country is to get humans into space, onto other worlds, and make bases and settlements on large moons and planets such as Mars -- and that killing the space program is one sure way to kill the U.S.'s economy.

Not only did the glory days of the space program create endless well-paying jobs and support countless businesses and corporations producing the materials and hiring people who could in turn support the space program, but also, from the research and development needed to meet the technological needs of the space program, they produced innovative, brand-new and very effective means of treating all sorts of medical conditions. Engineers were inspired to design computers far better than the ones then currently in use, something that helped give rise to today's computers and the information revolution. Materials scientists and technicians envisioned and implemented cutting-edge solutions to problems in industries of all kinds. And Joe F. and Adrienne Consumer were happy to spend their money on the new products and services that were spin-offs of these industries and the space program itself -- money they were earning thanks to the boost in well-paying employment by those industries and the space program itself.

If Richard Nixon hadn't murdered the Mars and Moon programs, our economy would have continued to accelerate, virtually every nations on Earth would be benefiting from the creation of their own space programs, we'd have moved factories out into space that used material available at large throughout the Solar System to create products needed on Earth, and would have built space elevators to bring those products safely down to Earth and ferry passengers between Earth and the Moon. By now, we -- the whole world -- would be embarking on a Golden Age of prosperity, new hope, and the building of bridges to the stars.

Instead . . . well, look at the economy now.

If I were Donald Trump, one of the first things I'd do as President would be to re-initiate the space program as it was back in the 1960s, which would quickly make vast improvements in the economy. Today's Democrats wouldn't -- you can't control people once they've gone off-planet and making lives for themselves out there. So any of you who read this, email whoever your chosen candidate for President is and ask him/her to ratchet up the space program and get us heading for the stars. The one that says and does "Yesss!" to that is the one you should vote for.

Review: Christopher Galt, BIBLICAL

Christopher Galt's Biblical is one of the oddest and most satisfying novels I have ever read.

Something strange is sweeping across the planet. People are having visions, seeing angels, experiencing things that defy reality. A French teenager witnesses the martyrdom of St. Jean d'Arc. A wealthy man in a luxuirous Central Park apartment dies of malnutrition. A nfundamentalist Christian sect kidnaps and murders a geneticist. People commit suicide alone and in groups for reason no one but the dead are sure of.

Then there are the graffiti -- WE ARE BECOMING -- that have appeared in every major city around the world. And everywhere people are talking about John Astor, the author of a mysterious book that seems to be at the center of it all.

John Macbeth and a team of FBI agents and scientists come together to get to the bottom of all the often-lethal weirdness. Is this a spiritual phenomenon -- or something far more sinister?

I will not provide ultimate spoilers, but will point out that the Epilogue at the novel's end is nothing that the reader who reads this book faithfully from beginning to end could ever have predicted. It takes everything that came before, turns it inside out and upside down, and leaves the reader feeling like someone who has just jumped off a 3,000-foot cliff -- and finds the bottom is just two feet from the edge of the cliff, providing a staircase to an even stranger reality.

Liberal Syndrome

Many of us who are conservatives have noted the childishness, aggressiveness toward anything or anyone perceived as "not liberal", and other alarming behaviors of so many liberals (we need a better word for it, people; "liberal" suggests "classical liberal," which is not the same thing). Well, why not work that up the way medical problems are, describing the hallmarks of the syndrome and trying to find possible causes of it? Is diet, e.g., junk food or food to which people can be allergic, involved in it? A history of drug abuse? Whatever it is, it causes irrational states of mind and behavior, and we really need to find out what it is.

Viva la Siesta!

Question: Why do men name their, er, wedding-tackle?

Answer: Well, you wouldn't want a total stranger doing half your thinking for you, would you?


I don't have anything to live for

I'm finally having to accept that I will never achieve any of my important goals by the time I die, that I will never be able to pay my keep, that I will die all alone and friendless, that I will be dirt-poor until I die, that I have never really benefited anyone, and that I'll never be with anyone who truly loves me and whom I truly love in return.

I don't mean that I'm about to commit suicide. I have tried that several times in my teens, and never succeeded. And I have sworn to outlive my cat Hannah so that I will always be with her and she will always be taken good care of by me.

But it's hard knowing your entire life has been a waste and that it will never be anything else, however long you live. I feel like G-d hates me and has hated me all along. I have prayed and prayed and prayed and done ritual after ritual of Ceremonial Magick for a good marriage, getting my writing commercially published, being accepted by the people I respect as one of their own, and all the rest of it. No answer. Everyone supposedly has a guardian angel. Well, mine either died when I was born or joined the enemy shortly thereafter. There is no point or purpose to my life. If not for my cat, I'd make a quick exit.

Such is the sum and substance of my life. People tell me casually, "Just get over it! You know you can do it!" Well, my reasons for despair are situational, not something solely psychological or neurological. So sorry -- no can do. And yes, I do know the 23-step prayer:

Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
For I am the meanest SOB in the valley.

That doesn't work, either.
Around 66 million years ago, an object some six miles in diameter impacted Earth in what is now the Yucatan. Not only did the kinetic energy of the impact itself cause great fires in southern North America and northern South America, but the blowback from that event in the form of debris kicked up by the impact falling back to Earth liberated even more kinetic energy transformed into thermal energy started firestorms all over the world, fires that could sweep whole continents. This was the K-T event, the event that closed out the Cretaceous Period and the Mesozoic Era of Earthly life.

As Daniel James Brown points out in his Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, a firestorm is not like other fires, even relatively large ones, and does not fit into zny of the three wildfire classifications of ground, surface, and crown fires. It likely has been all of these in the course of its evolution, but it now becomes capable of growing into something very different from them, and very unusual: a mass fire, to use the term used by Stephen J. Pyne in his landmark study, Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Book (see Brown, op. cit., pp. 63-65).Read more...Collapse )

The Big Bang and Magick

Two objects, once put into contact with each other, forever after are entangled, so that forever after, if either of them changes state for whatever reason, the other instantaneously does so, as well. Somehow, no matter how great the distance the two objects are separated, each of them seems to somehow know what is happening to the other, and reacts accordingly. This is a basic finding of quantum mechanics, and has been well known since the 1930s. It drove Albert Einstein crazy -- he derogatorily called it "spooky action at a distance." (He also declared, concerning the weird uncertainties of the quantum universe. "God does not throw things where they cannot be found. God does not play dice." To which Neils Bohr replied, "Albert, who are you to tell the good Lord what to do?")Read more...Collapse )
How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

Steven M. Druker is a public-interest attorney who initiated a lawsuit that forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release its files on genetically engineered foods. As a result, the way the agency had covered up the warnings of its own scientists about the risks, lied about the facts, and then allowed those "foods" onto the market in violation of federal law. He has served on food safety panels held by the National Research Council and the FDA, presented lectures at numerous universities, met with government officials throughout the world, and conferred at the White House Executive Offices with a task force of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Druker discusses the politicization of science and the Institutionalization of illusion; the expansion of the biotech agenda and the intensification of the politicization; how the facts about a deadly epidemic caused by a genetically engineered food have been consistently obscured; the governmental faud that put GE foods on the market; how food safety officials in Canada, the EU, and other regions also sidestepped science and sound policy; multiple risks accompanied by minimal caution; media accomplices in cover up and deception; oversights, anomalies, and delinquencies; how the research on GE food has failed to show that they're safe and instead confirmed that they should be off the market; the inescapable risks of altering complex information systems, whether electronic or biological; the devolution of scientists into spin doctors, genetic engineering's most malignant mutation; and abandoning genetic engineering and advancing to safe, sustainable, and sensible modes of farming.

This is a frightening book. Nobody wants to find that the products that they eat and depend on for life itself are laced with hideous toxins that have killed pets, sickened and killed humans, caused cancer, and a host of other things right out of the Inferno. The instinct is to push that information, ward it off, deny it holds and can hold any validity, a very human thing to do. The instinct is to sneer at that information and remind people of the story of Chicken Little, who cried, "The sky is falling!," scaring everybody for no good reason.

But there is good reason. The sky, metaphorically speaking, has fallen, and the fallout has already entered our bodies and those of our children, our pets, and our farm and work animals, doing endless mischief which, in many cases, as altered genes in our food take up residence in our DNA, will continue for decades, even centuries, if not millennia, spreading Satan's largesse of misery and sickness and death for all. For your own sakes, and those of your children and later descendants, please read this book and see what you are risking from lack of good information on this evil, and what your descendants are likely to suffer from it, as well.


Let's Roll
Yael Dragwyla

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