“If you had become too involved, I think you would have probably gone mad…”

5 Comments

I just finished watching a new HBO documentary entitled “Night Will Fall.”

Since I read a write-up of it in The Guardian, I’ve been wanting to see this film – not because I needed a grim reminder about the horrors of the Holocaust, but because I needed a glimpse into the minds and memories of the liberators. I wanted to see what they saw. I wanted to understand and experience their reality as closely as possible when they marched through the idyllic German countryside into what one former Soldier described “the world of a nightmare.”

“Night Will Fall,” directed by André Singer (and making its television premiere on HBO on Monday), tells the story of “Factual Survey,” incorporating archival and current interviews with people involved in its making. It also fills out the story of how the British, American and Soviet cameramen documented the unbelievable scenes that the liberating troops found, and includes touching sequences in which soldiers and camp inmates who appear in the old footage describe their horrific experiences seven decades ago.

And most harrowingly, it incorporates about 12 minutes of the restored “Factual Survey.” Belying its bland, clinical title, the original film, in these excerpts, is a measured but unflinching account, with brutally explicit footage of naked, emaciated corpses lying in stacks, littering fields and being thrown and shoveled into mass graves. Nearly as hard to bear are the scenes (backed by a pointed narration, newly recorded by the actor Jasper Britton) of warehoused eyeglasses, teeth and bales of human hair.

So I sat down and watched this film that explored the horrors of what people did to one another with clinical detachment in the footage of the original “Factual Survey,” juxtaposed with the tears, the raw emotion – even 70 years later – from the Soldiers who documented the horror.

I saw the conquered SS troops being forced to clean up the aftermath of their mass murder. They dragged these emaciated, naked bodies to pits where they were to be buried – by the arms, by the legs, or merely carried like sacks of bone. The Allied troops figured since the SS was responsible for the horror, these ostensibly human men and women should be forced to deal with it.

But they weren’t human. They looked to have felt nothing as they tossed the skeletal remains of the lives they destroyed into pits like so much garbage. They were born and bred to be heartless automatons, who viewed their victims as little more than breathing sacks of meat.

When I was a freshman in college, I had the privilege and honor to sit down with one of the world’s greatest authors – Ray Bradbury. Our discussion centered around being human. I asked him, “What is it you believe makes each one of us human?” His reply remains with me to this day. He told me that being human means not murdering – NOT not killing, mind you, but not murdering. There is a difference. He told me he considered his dog human, because his best friend was kind and would never murder a human being.

These people were not human.

But the Soldiers who filmed these horrors during the spring of 1945 were.

I was reminded of the true role of military journalists and combat cameramen. They tell the military’s story. This is something even the military forgets when they’re painted as spin meisters and told they’re not real troops. They are there, and they are troops, and they see what the troops see…

film

…and they document it for posterity. Everything. The horror. The absolute repugnance. The abomination that was the German death camps.

And the apathy of the German villagers, who lived near those camps, who profited economically from the slave labor, who should have known what kind of horrors were being perpetuated upon their fellow men in Bergen Belsen, in Dachau, in Auschwitz…

They should have known, but they didn’t want to and didn’t care to. Because to them, these cattle… these Jews… didn’t mean anything. They weren’t human beings. They were barely worth a second thought. Their festering carcasses littered fields, were stacked in mass graves, and the stench of death permeated the air of the German countryside.

And yet, these Germans going about their lives didn’t care.

They were brought into Dachau and other camps after the prisoners were liberated. They were filmed walking lightheartedly into what one former Soldier described as “the most appalling hell possible,” as if they were taking a stroll through a museum, but some got physically sick when they were shown shrunken heads of people who were murdered there, real physical evidence of the horrors and torment that took place inside those gates.

The British, Russian and American Soldiers, still raw in their memories, recalled the starved, wasted, diseased prisoners who greeted them upon their entry. An elderly British cameraman wept openly during his interview, apologizing for his bout of emotion. Russian liberators expressed their horror at what they saw. I was struck – based on what I know of Russian culture and Russian military mindset – by how affected they were by the bags of human ashes, sacks of human hair, teeth, eyeglasses, and other remnants of the thousands upon thousands of human beings who were murdered in those camps. Russian troops are tough. They’re not unfeeling, but they’re certainly hardened and toughened in their attitudes. What they saw – and what we saw through their combat camera lens – broke even their steely shells.

Worse yet, the movie revealed, the Russians discovered these horrors during the summer of 1944, and passed the intelligence to other allies. But the British chose not to trust the Russian intel, since the Russians were infamous for falsifying their reporting.

I didn’t cry during this movie. I sat tense and grim, looking at what people are capable of – what they did to one another – appalled that this film was never released by the Brits because of political considerations…

…because they, among other reasons, recognized that the German people would be critical allies in the nascent Cold War, and didn’t want to demoralize them with yet more guilt – for not knowing, for not caring, for supporting the Nazi monsters. They wanted allies, not dejected, guilt-ridden zombies to help them battle the new Russian threat.

Some of the footage did see the light of day. It was used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. The original haunting, restored documentary aired in two theaters in the United States.

I hope to be able to see the original – not because I need a reminder about the horrors humans heap upon one another, but as a reason to keep fighting to ensure it never happens again.

Moerk proves the criticisms true.

11 Comments

I didn’t think I would write about this again, but apparently, 1SG Katrina Moerk continues to make the news. Her blog is now private, and I’ve seen several reports on Facebook that her command issued what amounts to a “gag order” for the troops on this topic. Not sure whether this is true or not, and I won’t speculate.

The Army Times picked up the story yesterday.  They write:

First Sgt. Katrina Moerk said she never sought recognition for correcting soldiers’ unethical behavior online, but received it anyway, and from high places.

This opening sentence alone brings me to doubt her claim. If she never sought recognition for correcting Soldiers’ inappropriate behavior, why in the name of dog would she bring Pentagon brass into an issue that is best addressed with said Soldiers’ units?

This act alone brought on three investigations into three different commands, according to the article. I won’t rehash here what I wrote in my previous entry on the issue. Suffice it to say, I think 1) she was looking for attention, 2) she got an undeserved ARCOM for merely doing her job as a senior NCO, and 3) she’s now playing victim, because she not only got the attention she sought, but also much more than that.

She claims that there were threats, obscenities hurled, and other unseemly behavior. If this is the case, I strongly condemn this. She’s someone who seems to lack the maturity to have attained the rank she holds, and I am convinced now more than ever that she was wrong to drag Pentagon brass into this issue. But if she and her family are being threatened or abused, that’s appalling, and it needs to stop.

That said, Moerk consistently has refused to acknowledge her responsibility in the backlash (legitimate backlash, not threats, if there were any). She corresponded with Jonn from This Ain’t Hell after he had the class and integrity to drop her an email. What transpired confirms everything I already suspected about her character.

So, I did what she did to the soldiers that she trolled – I looked her up on AKO and emailed her. When she answered my email, she cc’d her company commander. (emphasis mine) The first sergeant said that she didn’t understand why I would assassinate her character (which I didn’t – I couldn’t assassinate that which I couldn’t find).

Then, for some stupid reason, she emailed Bulldog at Guardians of Valor and asked him to influence me to remove the post about her. She said that she had asked me to remove it (she hadn’t) and that I had mumbled something about “freedom of speech” (I didn’t).

The rumor is that her command has instituted a “gag order” forbidding anyone in her unit from speaking about the same thing that the Department of Defense had issued a press release to celebrate. For all I know, that same gag order is instituted through out the Army.

So my assessment of her stands. She did her job when she contacted the Soldiers about their inappropriate behavior, but based on her statements and actions after the fact, as well as her insistence on bringing the Director of the Army SHARP program into what is essentially NCO business, I judge her to be an immature attention whore, who was shocked that the attention she received wasn’t all accolades, sunshine, and rainbows blown up her ass.

To be sure, she did her job when she corrected inappropriate Soldier behavior.  But her subsequent behavior speaks of bigger issues, and her inability to appropriately handle challenges without dragging mommy and daddy Army into her drama, shows her to be unwilling or unable to take responsibility for situations she created.

For those of you who look at the Army Times piece, they do mention this blog, but my last name is not Grimes, although that’s a nice nod to “The Walking Dead.”

Happy New Year!

The Stupid Grows

7 Comments

If you enjoyed the lunatic Moms Demand Action leader in my last post pontificating about what a wise man Josef Goebbels was, you’ll LOVE this!

Found this through Bob Owens at Bearing Arms asking if this is possibly the most ignorant gun control op-ed in history.

I think it just may be. The historically ignorant, obtuse blatherings contained in this editorial are burning stupid. Flame retardant stupid. Weapons grade stupid. Beat your head against the wall until cerebrospinal fluid leaks out of your eyes stupid. Are we getting the message here?

I won’t fisk the whole thing, because frankly I value my sanity, and I can’t look at this cross-eyed dimbulbery without wanting to burn my own eyes out with sulfuric acid. I will just point you to a few items of note.

Kasie Strickland, the author of the abject dumbassery in question, thinks that:

1) The First Amendment protects a “right to life”

2) The 1993 Brady Bill and 1994 Assault Weapons Ban were both passed by a Republican president (George H.W. Bush).

3) Our forefathers in 1791 had no idea about the weapons technology we would have in the future.

She also feels it’s not actually necessary to bring facts into her diatribe, because it’s an “opinion piece.”

One can only shake one’s head in disbelief. But then after Allison A. Martin’s laudatory words for the wise Josef Goebbels, nothing much surprises me.

Maybe we should make it mandatory that newspaper columnists actually pass a history class before being allowed to spew. After all, we’re not limiting their right to free press. We’re just making sure that they publish the truth – for the common good…

Or maybe we should just beat this dumb harpy over the head with a history book. I’m thinking this is the only way anything will penetrate her thick skull.

 

I know you’ll be shocked to know this…

7 Comments

But apparently the leftist gun-grabbing assgobblers in the media twist facts. The latest evidence of this comes in the form of a sniveling Washington Post editorial from a Philip Bump. Now, I don’t expect much from the Post as a general rule as far as objectivity goes, and no their token pet “conservative” Jennifer Rubin hardly counts. But this guy Lump Bump is amusingly biased. Hell, you could tell that just by his impressive resume of progtarded publications.

Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He previously wrote for The Wire, the news blog of The Atlantic magazine. He has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Daily, and the Huffington Post. Philip is based in New York City.

Well, gosh! We can certainly expect a balanced opinion from this drooling Lump Bump.

NOT!

But I figured I’d take a minute and quickly show you just how Lump Bump uses mental acrobatics to achieve his goal, which is to somehow shame Congress into implementing more gun control.

His first few sentences alone should be instructive, and for the ignorant and those who have a clear political agenda, the gymnastics are par for the course.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University sheds more light on one of the more remarkable aspects of U.S. politics: Americans overwhelmingly support expanding background checks for gun purchases. Yet when the issue came up for a vote in the Senate last year, enough senators opposed a compromise proposal to expand background checks that supporters couldn’t overcome a filibuster. But why not?

In the latest survey, 92 percent of respondents favored “background checks for all buyers.”

Here’s the problem with the way the poll question is phrased and the way Lump Bump portrays it: we already have background checks for all gun buyers. Anytime you go into any store that sells firearms, the store is required by federal law to run a background check. Any licensed firearms dealer must run the check, which also can deny an individual a gun purchase on the recommendation of psychiatrists, mental health institutions and family members.

That is the current law. Any person wishing to purchase a gun will undergo a background check.

What we DON’T have is background checks for private transactions, which the hysterical gun grabbers will tell you comprise 40 percent of all gun purchases. That particular statistic, even though it is continuously trotted out by hoplophobes in an effort to push their agenda of basically outlawing private firearms transfers, has been discredited many times over.

First – it is already a felony for private sellers to sell a firearm to a person who they reasonably believe could not pass a background check. In other words, I’m not going to sell one of my pistols to a dude sporting gang colors and tattoos, who smells like weed, and has several bags of what appears to be coke strewn about the trunk of his car, OK?

And second – the “survey” on which this “40 percent” figure is based was conducted about a year after mandatory background checks became law. In other words, the vast majority of respondents likely purchased firearms before the Brady background checks became law. Additionally, this survey asked only 2500 people where they purchased guns. Talk about your tiny little samples!

Fact is we just don’t know how many firearms are purchased without a background check.  But we do know how criminals purchase their firearms – by their own admissions.

In 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a survey of state and federal prisoners in an effort to find out how criminals get firearms that they use in their crimes. Do you know what it found?

  • Only 18.4 percent of criminals purchased firearms from a retail store or pawn shop.
  • 1.7 percent got guns from a flea market or gun show, blowing that “gun show loophole” theory right out of the water.
  • The vast majority – 40.5 percent – got their guns from family and friends – whether paid for, borrowed, stolen or traded.
  • And another 30.9 percent got guns through the black market or other illegal means – theft, off the street, their drug dealer, etc.

For gun grabbers who are too stupid to understand what that means, let me put it simply: no existing background check, and no expanded background check will stop criminals from obtaining guns. Last year, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed an ineffective and stunningly stupid law requiring expanded background checks be conducted for all gun purchases. I’m sure you’ve seen how well that law has worked in the warzone of Chicago, right?

And this brings me to the real point of this post.

EXPANDED BACKGROUND CHECKS.

EXPANDED.

BACKGROUND.

CHECKS.

Lump Bump claims in his steaming heap of bovine leavings that 92 percent of Americans support EXPANDING background checks, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, but that’s just not true.

The poll asked a very general question: Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?

And the total reply was 92 percent in the affirmative. It asked nothing about EXPANDED background checks. The interesting part is the phraseology of the question, because it leaves the interpretation up to the respondent. Does the question ask about expanding background checks, or does it mean the already-existing background check system in which anyone who purchases a firearm must undergo a background check? It’s pretty convenient for Lump Bump to interpret the responses to suit his agenda when the question asked was vague enough to allow it.

Additionally, according to the poll, the nation is evenly split on the question of increased gun control. Expanding background checks does mean increased gun control, and exactly 50 percent of respondents want to see increased gun control. So it’s hard for me to believe that expanded background checks do not equal increased gun control in most people’s minds. And it’s hard for me to believe that at least 50 percent of the respondents weren’t voicing support for already existing background checks.

But Lump Bump wouldn’t let little things like facts stand in his way. The majority of Americans support expanded background checks, he whines, when thee research indicates no such thing. Why doesn’t Congress?

Perhaps because as power-hungry and disgustingly morally corrupt as most politicians are, they understand that alienating gun owners, who actually… you know… vote, might not be the best idea to further their careers.

NEWSFLASH: Ed Schultz is a dipshit!

6 Comments

How does someone as loutish and ignorant as Ed Schultz get a job in media? Hell, how does a moron like that get a job anywhere?

What am I talking about?

This.

Tweet1

No, really! What in the actual fuck? (h/t: This Ain’t Hell)

It is true that the Nazis didn’t just target Jews, but also homosexuals, gypsies and people with disabilities.

But let’s get a bit real here. Two-thirds of the Jews who lived in Europe at the time were exterminated, along with Poles, random prisoners of war, transsexuals, homosexuals, Romani, political opponents, etc.

But to ignorantly claim that really, it was the homosexuals who were targeted. They were the real victims. They were the ones persecuted. It was all about the gays… How fucking ridiculous do you have to be to spew something so incredible?

Why does this abhorrent, reprehensible slob still have a job?

Oh… I forgot. It’s MSNBC. They just erased the Tweet and went on with their lives.

Unfortunately, dipshits, the Internet is forever.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

11 Comments

It’s about time Piers Morgan took a hike.

Arrogant Euro-snob Piers Morgan bade a farewell to his American CNN audiences Friday after tanking his show’s ratings for several years with preachy rhetoric, boring harangue and abuse of guests with whom he disagreed.

via So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

“Journalist” Attacks 9-Year Old

15 Comments

This is my third contribution to JPFO for the week.

Journaljizzer attacks a little girl from the safety of his keyboard, knowing that said little girl can probably kick his ass in real life.

This guy is a jackass.

Shyanne Roberts is a competitive shooter who is skilled in numerous firearms, and who has been wowing fans at tournaments for the past two years. Columnist Mike Kelly is claiming her sport of choice is creepy.

via “Journalist” Attacks 9-Year Old.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: