KUSHINER: PLACES WE’D RATHER NOT GO

UnnamedBy James M. Kushiner – 

Despite the hyper-version of “Godwin’s Law” (1990) which suggests making any comparison to Hitler in debating a contentious issue means losing your credibility, I am going to use a 4-letter N word that conjures Hitler: Nazi. I can’t help it: reading McEhinney and McAleer’s haunting true-crime story Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killerforces a comparison, even if the book doesn’t make it.

In Nazi Germany, late April 1945, my father and other soldiers were invited to visit a newly liberated Nazi concentration camp. He declined, but other seasoned soldiers came back sickened by what they saw. The miniseries Band of Brothers depicts the liberation of a death camp. American officers rounded up German civilians, including the mayor, his wife, many well-dressed and nice looking, and took them to the camp to show them the carnage. Some were made to dig graves for thousands of murdered victims of the Nazis.Beginning then and ever since a piercing question has often been forced upon ordinary German civilians, soldiers, bureaucrats, and others: “What did you know about the camps?” What, for instance, did Brunhilde Pomsel, Goebbel’s secretary who recently died at 106, know? The subject of a 2015 documentary, A German Life, she said,

“I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing, it was all kept well secret….We believed it – we swallowed it – it seemed entirely plausible.”

But those Germans who courageously opposed the Nazis were not “nice” — in the old sense of the word, that is, “unknowing”:

[nice]: late 13c., “foolish, stupid, senseless,” from Old French nice (12c.) “careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish,” from Latin nescius “ignorant, unaware,” literally “not-knowing,” from ne- “not” + stem of scire “to know.” …”agreeable, delightful” (1769); … by 1926, it was pronounced “…. a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness.” [Fowler]

But ignorance, willful or semi-willful (the heart is deceitful) is not unique to Germany, and does not seem much different than the grand display of such “nice” Americans, including well-educated officials and media, turning blind eyes to the death camp run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, Philadelphia abortionist doctor now serving three life sentences for murdering born-alive infants, among other crimes.

There were many signs of something not right at the “clinic”; complaints were made to health officials for years. Nothing was done. No investigations. It didn’t fit what most people wanted to hear and report about an inner city abortion mill. The physical contents of his mill and the manner in which babies and women were treated there can only be described as nightmarish and hellish. (Investigators were creeped out by the place. Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said, “I felt like people were touching me in side that building.”)

By many accounts, Gosnell was a community leader, a charming and nice man. Except he wasn’t so nice to hundreds of children aborted past Pennsylvania’s legal limit, born alive, then stabbed to death. (Sorry, it’s ugly). The place contained shelves of bottles of dead babies and hundreds of preserved tiny severed feet.

Reading the book’s grim eyewitness accounts, I couldn’t help but think of those Nazi camps my dad talked about. Well, in 1978 Dr. Gosnell visited Auschwitz. The authors quote his account:

“What was most impressive were the bins where they kept the children’s shoes … hair … clothing…. [T]he sheer volume of it was very impressive.” That was the only adjective he used: “impressive.” Not heartbreaking or tragic or horrific. No, Gosnell thought the storage of the little shoes, clothing, and remains of small, innocent Jewish children who were massacred by the Nazis was “impressive.”

Big media refused to cover Gosnell’s trial until shamed into it by social media exposure and Kirsten Powers’ mea culpa column in USA Today. They were dragged to the trial like those German civilians were dragged to the death camp. The media’s enlightenment didn’t last. Those today who seek to expose the truth about abortion, like David Daleiden with his uncover videos, are hated and are not “nice.” Gosnell sold out at Amazon in 3 days and reportedly ranked 4th in book sales (non-fiction hardcover). Surprise–the New York Times did not include Gosnell in their bestsellers list. Nice.

Some people want to make America great. Some think it is already great. They may fight each other about it. But as long as a nation refuses to face its crimes and repent of such bloodshed, it has no chance of being great. It could, I suppose, aspire instead to being both Nazi and nice. My hat’s off to authors Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.

James M. Kushiner is Executive Director of The Fellowship of St. James

Fr.TEDTalks EP02 – Raising Kids in Mixed Marriages

Nonna Time

Our granddaughter has visited with us several times through out this summer.  Though her energy far out matches mine and Papi’s, we enjoy every breathing minute of our time together.  She loves to be outside roaming around the yard exploring the rocks, bugs, mulch, grass, flowers, birds, holes in the ground and whatever else happens to catch her eye.  During walks she raises her hand to wave, smiles and says, “HI!” to every person she passes.  Every dog she sees she says, “RUFF!” and toddles over to give it a kiss on the back (with the owner’s permission of course), waves BYE-BYE and toddles off giggling to herself.  This, of course, takes an enormous amount of time but I don’t mind.  How I wish I had this amount of patience when my children were her age.

It constantly amazes me how much love one can contain in their heart for another human being.

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Da kidz

These pics were taken by the hubster with his new camera.  He is still learning the in’s and out’s, but these still came out very, very good.  The hubster has a very creative eye for these types things.  If he will let me, I shall post some of his “experiments.”  Until then, enjoy these pictures of our children…a term I use loosely as DD is 23 and DS is 28.  I am so pleased with how nice they look together!

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Post Thanksgiving OR Thanksgiving Post!

One down (Thanksgiving).  Two to go (Christmas & New Year’s).

There is much I love about the holiday season.  Crisp air.  Good food.  Loving family.  Catching up with those we see infrequently.  However, it produces stress for me.  Perhaps because the “regular stuff” of life does not stop when the season arrives.  The requirements of the season are just layered on top of it.  Perhaps it will be different next year.  Anyway,  I have not yet figured out how to handle that.

Why will it be different next year, you ask?  Because…I GRADUATE MAY 17TH!!  Yeppers!  The paperwork is rolling right along.  Thanks be to God.

Thanksgiving weekend was spent at the hubster’s brother’s house located a bit further south of our hometown.  We arrived on Thanksgiving Day, enjoyed a delicious dinner and dessert, and enjoyed laughter and frivolity.  Clean-up was pretty simple and quick.  I still haven’t figured out why but it does not much matter.

Friday the hubster and his bro played a round of golf in which both hit 90.  A good round for them.  I spent time catching up on the necessary sketchs for my sketchbook review tomorrow night and starting my third Lit. paper.

Saturday my two SIL’s and I made children sized hospital gowns to be sent to Sierra Leon.  My one SIL is involved in Girl Scouts.  One of the Scouts is working towards her Gold Award.  Her project is to send a finished supply of hospital gowns to a mission hospital in Sierra Leon.  It was fun to do and felt right to be doing something for little ones that might make them smile.  The fabric choices were all bright and cheery colors with a variety of characters, etc. on them.  SIL did a good job picking them out.  We got three or four made before the sewing machine bit the dust.  So we cut out the rest of them and did as much as we could that required ironing.  She’ll deliver them to the Scout who will zip them up on a machine that works.

The weekend ended with a joyful celebration for the hubster’s Mother who celebrated her 90th birthday on the 17th.  I hope to have a few pictures once the hubster downloads them on the computer.  Mom looked absolutely fabulous!  And the CCRC chef, where she and Dad live, made an absolutely delicious dinner for 24.  It was a great celebration made even more special because Mom has had several serious illnesses in the last two or so years where we did not think she would pull through.  As usual, she surprised us all!

While I enjoy seeing family and traveling (once I am out the door), it is always a comfort to come home again.

Glory and thanks to God for all and in all things!

And you look so young!

Friday we celebrated DS’s 28th birthday. Thank you, yes, the hubster and I DO look soooooo young! The boy, however, is looking mature and older. His features have that grown man look; the chiseld jaw line, the strong forehead…sigh…he’s a nice lookin’ kid if I do say so myself.

  • The boy asked for quite the celebratory meal, which is a family tradition in our home. He requested the following:
    Scrippelle soup (thin French crepes sprinkled with parmesan cheese and rolled. Once placed in a bowl, hot boiling chicken broth is poured over top. Yummy!)
    Shrimp & Pasta Alfredo
    Couscous with diced tomatoes, scallions and fresh parsley
    Homemade birthday cake
    White wine

I started cooking at 2:30 and did not finish until 6:00. The feet were tired. But the dinner was fabulous if I do say so myself! I’ve never made Alfredo sauce before. The recipe I was given was super duper easy and delicious!! It is a keeper and definitely will be repeated.

The photo shows the boy opening his birthday present. A one of a kind present; painted and framed by yours truly. He really liked it as did his girlfriend. I showed the gang the rest of my work and the boy has laid claim to another drawing I did which I will post in the coming day or so.

Enjoy!

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The “Doin’s” of the Day

After sleeping in a bit this morning and the rain dissipating, the hubster and I spent 4 hours cleaning out the front garden bed which had become a major cultivation area for thistle weeds.  These are nasty weeds that grow as tall as four feet.  They have very pretty purple flowers but the leaves are spiked with little nasty needles that give me hives whenever they scratch my skin.

We donned garden gloves and I, a long sleeved shirt, we went out with hoe and pick-axe to break up the ground and pull out weeds and bulbs.  We also trimmed all the bushes and trees.  We hauled off 6 bags of yard muck and we still are not done.

But boy it sure feels good to see the area clean.  I hope to get some mums planted in the coming days to give the area some color.

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