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National Geographic, The Little Ice Age, and Climate Change
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

I go to my local public libraries on a regular basis to check out books and read up for these blogs.  So one day I found a really nice colorful book by National Geographic.  Aside from their belief in macro-evolution, and their recent caving to the PC crowd, I think their books and magazines are really great!  Well, this book is titled, "The Medieval World--An Illustrated Atlas" (2009, John Thompson, editor is Susan Tyler).  

What a great book!  Filled with great stories (I love reading about the Medieval World...It wasn't so "dark" after all, you know) and beautiful, colorful illustrations!  And then, I came to quite a surprise.  On page 306 the author(s) admits that "climate change" has NOTHING to do with man produced CO2!!  How so?  The book very factually and forthrightly tells us about "The Little Ice Age."

Here's the quote:. "Before the 14th century, Europe had enjoyed a relatively warm climate, enabling farmers to produce abundant and varied crops.  Lack of summer ice in the North Atlantic allowed the Vikings to explore the northern realms of the ocean from Iceland to Greenland and North America.  Thereafter, the climate underwent a change.  From about 1300 to 1800, the Little Age-- probably caused by complex interactions between atmospheric pressure and ocean currents-- brought lower than average temperatures.  Sea ice locked up formerly passable lanes in the North, while early fronts spelled crop failures in Russia and Poland.  Glaciers began advancing in Scandanavia and the Alps.  

At the beginning of this period, most of Europe benefitted from unusually dry, warm summers, owing to low pressure over Greenland.  But by the end of the 14th century, unpredictable weather wreaked havoc on food production and trade-- in some years rivers froze, in other years flooding rains brought wide-spread devastation.  Bitterly cold, snowy winters followed by blazing hot summers.  Previously reliable weather patterns shifted, and adjacent regions suffered diverse effects though it is nearly impossible to tease out the precise impact of the environment on large historical movements, certainly local crop failures led to famine and disease, which contributed to political instability.  Since people relied on subsistence farming, they had to adjust.  In England and the Low Countries, for example, clover and root crops augmented the standard cereal crops that depended on reliable weather."

Wow.  National Geographic admits all that climate change, from the "Medieval Warm Period" to "The Little Ice Age".  And not a single smoke belching factory, car, or Harley in sight.  Fascinating.

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 10:18 PM

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Eichman and the Banality of Evil
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

Adolf Eichman was an "Oberstrumbannfuhrer" (Lt. Colonel) in the SS in World War II.  He was hand picked by SS General Reinhard Heydrich to manage the logistics of transporting millions and millions of Jews to be murdered in the Nazi death camps.  He did his work very well.  At least 1.5 million Jews were murdered by his fellow Nazis at Auschwitz alone, between 1942 and the summer of 1944 when the Nazis dismantled the gas chambers out of fear of advancing Soviet forces.

Eichman was not discovered by Allied agents for years after the war. He actually settled down in Austria until 1950.  Fearing that Nazi-hunters were on his tail, he fled for Argentina.  He and his wife and kids had a nice little life there, until Israeli Mossad and Shin Bet agents captured him and smuggled him out of the country.  

The mass murderer stood trial in Israel.  All the damning evidence, from Nazi documents to eyewitnesses confronted him.  He denied none of the Holocaust.  He freely and nonchalantly admitted his role in exterminating Jews.  He even said at one time that he would leap laughing into his grave because having 5 million people on his conscience was a source of extraordinary satisfaction.

Hannah Arendts was a political theorist who covered the trial.  She coined the phrase "the banality of evil." By that she meant that there is a tendency of ordinary people who simply don't want to be bothered with thinking or making hard moral choices.  For them it is easier to simply follow orders, conform to groupthink and just do whatever they are told.  Apparently millions of Germans thought that the excuse of "I'm just following orders" excused all culpability.

Eichman denied any guilt to his last breath.  He was merely following orders.  The Israelis found him guilty, then marched him to the gallows and hanged him. . . the only capital punishment ever carried out by an Israeli court.

His body was sent to a crematorium, and his ashes were pitched into the Mediterranean Sea.

A fitting end for a monster.

Thursday, March 23, 2017, 04:03 PM

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Dealy Plaza
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

I just recently came back from a visit to Dallas Texas.  An unusual city. . . no shopping area filled with restaurants in the downtown area (unlike New York or Chicago).  We wandered into a Western Wear store where I finally found the pair of cowboy boots I've always wanted.  Yeehaaww.  Now I walk a little taller!  Happy day!  

Then I found out that just a few blocks south was Dealy Plaza.  I have known all my life was happened there.  I was just 20 months old, napping or playing when President John F. Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963.  

We went to the "Sixth Floor Museum".  The museum is in the old "Texas Schoolbook Depository" building where Lee Harvey Oswald built his sniper's nest and shot the President from the sixth floor.  The museum is excellent, but horribly sad.  All of it points to tragedy.  I held back tears the whole time I walked through it.  One of the saddest things I saw was the table setting that was for President Kennedy at the luncheon he was scheduled to visit. All the people joyfully expecting the President to show up and eat lunch with them.  That happy day destroyed by a hate-filled murderous misfit.

Did Oswald really do it?  Although the museum gives much evidence that there were other shooters, I think that Oswald was indeed the man who fired the fatal shot.  Three empty shell casings were found at his sniper's nest (you can still see the area where he set up).  The first shot missed.  The second shot went through Kennedy's back and throat and wounded Governor Connelly.  The third shot blew the top part of President Kennedy's head off.  As I was standing there with some former Marines, I commented that it was one whale of a shot.  They concurred.

The street (Elm Street) is still a busy street.  A white "X" marks the spot on the street where the first shot hit.  A second "X" marks where the second shot killed him.

I just stood on the "grassy knoll" and stared at it.  With tears in my eyes.  And walked away.

What could have been, but never was.

Monday, March 13, 2017, 09:49 PM

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The 442nd RCT
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

They were Americans, willing to fight and die for America.  And they were "nisei"-- "second generation" Japanese who were born and raised here in the USA.  Immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt had all of the Japanese-Americans on the west coast of the US rounded up and shipped to internment camps. (Nisei in Ha waii were exempt from this executive order.). Although horribly discriminated against by having their constitutional rights crushed, many of the young men decided to fight for America anyway.  This was their home, and the last defense of freedom in the world.

By 1943 the 442 Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Brigades were formed, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans.  They were shipped off to Europe in 1944, and there they were sent into battle along the rugged mountain slopes of Italy.  They fought in dozens and dozens of tough battles in Italy, southern France, and finally in Germany at the war's end.  How did they do?

These Americans, whose loyalty was doubted by some, earned 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4000 Bronze Stars, and 9,486 Purple Hearts.

They were the single most decorated unit inthe history of the United States Army, and in all of America's military.  

 

Saturday, February 25, 2017, 10:44 PM

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Wannsee Conference
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

It was a conference of 15 high ranking Nazis, lasting only an hour and a half.  But it was a meeting that sealed the fate of millions of Jews in Europe who were enduring Nazi occupation.  Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS, convened the conference on January 20, 1942 at a palatial villa at 56-58 Am Grossen Wannsee (a suburb of Berlin).  

The Nazis had been marking out Jews for special persecution and indescriminate killing since 1933.  When they invaded Poland in 1939 they began cordoning off Jews into ghettos to starve them to death.  Some Nazis were interested in deporting all of Europe's Jews to a remote place, like Madagascar.  However, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941, the Nazis shifted from deportation to extermination.  

On July 31, 1941, Herman Goring (second in command under Hitler) gave orders to Heydrich to draw up plans "for the final solution of the Jewish question".  The plan was to deport all 11 million of Europe's Jews to special camps in Poland, and murder them all.

The German Wermacht in Russia had been systematically gunning down all Jews whenever they would overrun Jewish villages (look up the Nazi massacre at Baba Yar), but they had not yet turned their murder into a full scale, coordinated, industrialized mass murder.  The extermination camp system set up by Heydrich insured that an industrial, highly technical , assembly-line form of murder would take over.

The Wannsee Conference did not bring up anything new.  They plans had already been drawn up.  The conference was merely to ensure that there would be the full cooperation of government and industry, run entirely by the SS.

At the close of the meeting, all the Nazis were served cognac and sherry.  They sipped sherry while contemplating the murder of millions. . . . 

Friday, February 24, 2017, 10:46 PM

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Eichman and the Banality of Evil
03/23/17
Dealy Plaza
03/13/17
The 442nd RCT
02/25/17
Wannsee Conference
02/24/17
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Unit 731
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