LESSONS FROM THE HOLOCAUST 3

This will be my final entry on this subject regardless of what may transpire after I post it.

It will be the longest entry and the most difficult for me to write.

This week I have sent an email to dozens of friends and attorneys, Jewish and not Jewish, that I feel close enough to, asking them to read the last two entries in my blog.

On the 23rd I sent such an email to Matt Landau, asking him to forward it to Stuart Mellon, CEO of the Jewish Federation, one to Nathan Rothschild and one to Brian Davis.

On the 24th I emailed Matt again, asking if he had forwarded my email to Mr. Mellon. He has not responded to me.

On the 24th I called Brian Davis and spoke with a woman at the Holocaust Museum, asking her to give him a message to please call me. She said that he was there and that she would find him and would give him the message. I gave her both my office and home telephone numbers. He did not return my call.

On the 23rd I wrote a letter to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild asking him to read those entries. Brian Davis had told me that the Mayor was aware of the Lessons program. The Mayor is Nathan Rothschild’s father and is a Jew. The letter left my office for delivery by the runner yesterday morning. I had written the word “Personal” on the front and the back of the envelope in red ink in hope that it would reach him.

For years I have been sending emails and letters to individuals, businesses and politicians asking them for help save animals and the environment. Some were addressed to President Trump.

On the 22nd, for the first time since the last Presidential election, I received an email from the White House, thanking me for my contact and directing me to “click here” to learn about the administration’s foreign policy. I did not click on it.

I received the same email on the 23rd and did not click on it.

Every morning I google two things after I turn on my lap top and get on line; Mike Peters’ Mother Goose and Grimm and Jeffrey Blackman attorney or lawyer or Tucson to see if I have any new reviews.

Up until the 23rd there had been 30 reviews on Google for many months. On the 23rd 16 of the reviews were no longer there and my rating had fallen. 15 of the 16 that were removed were 5 star reviews and 1 of the 16 was a 4 star review.

This morning there were 15 reviews and my rating had fallen again.

I don’t believe much in coincidence.

I believe that the the world wide web is totally insecure and that there are folks “watching” all of us, using key words to alert them to whatever it is they’re looking for.

Whether it was Jew or Nazi or Robert Kennedy or David Crosby (and so on) I’ll never know.

I firmly believe that my blogs somehow brought about the White House contacts, the reviews disappearing and my rating falling.

I have never heard back from Amelia Cramer, Nathan Rothschild, Kat Wyler nor the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

I believe that it is highly unlikely that I will hear back from anyone connected with the Jewish Federation and its museum nor Amelia Cramer.

Of the thirty to forty folks I contacted after I spoke with the four attorneys I mentioned in my first Lessons entry, seven got back to me:

My friend, Barbara Osborne, told me that what I had written had made her cry. Barbara is an animal advocate who fosters sick cats.

My friend, Sean Clancey, told me that usually people don’t do anything about situations like mine until after it’s a fait accompli. Sean is a business attorney in Scottsdale. We were Public Defenders together in Phoenix thirty years ago. He is a true patriot and one of my true friends.

My friend, William Koch, told me that he supported me in what I am doing, that he understood how important this is to me. William works at Raytheon and has very high security clearances. I don’t know what he does out there. I do know that he is a Christian who is truly Christian and embodies the finest of Christ’s teachings.

My friend, Weaver Barkman, told me that it has to do what he calls “malignant indifference”. He told that Simon Weisenthal had said something to the effect that indifference is more dangerous than hate. He sent me Martin Niemoller’s quote (which was one of those shown and read in the Lessons) that ends with “Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”. Weaver is a retired Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy and a superb private detective.

My friend, David Curl, told me that it would be so easy to remedy Lessons, that all they would have to do is to say “We are all the guardians of freedom” instead of “…the police are the guardians of freedom.”. We spoke about the growing intolerance for many races and creeds here and abroad. David is an excellent insurance defense attorney and a good, enlightened being.

My friend, Harvey Karchmer, told me that he is frightened by what is taking place in America today. Harvey is my oldest living friend. We graduated from Catalina High School together in 1966. We lived a few blocks apart. Our senior year he was Student Body President and I was Chief Justice of the Student Court. Harvey met his wife of almost 50 years in Israel. They are both retired and are going to go see Russia soon. I hope that they are allowed to leave.

And last, I heard from my friend, Tom Schaumberg, the little boy who bit into a raw egg at the time of the liberation. Nothing about the Holocaust nor my blog was mentioned. There was no need for this. Tom is the older brother that I never had. Look at his law firm’s web site in Washington, D.C. Next to Tom’s skill, expertise and achievements I look like a country bumpkin.

So here’s the back story on all of this:

My mother taught me that when called names a gentleman should turn the other cheek, take the higher road, walk away. My father taught me to say to a bully “Look, you big dumb son of a bitch, if you don’t leave me alone I’ll break your arm.”. He taught me that bullies bully because every one is afraid to stand up to them which encourages them to continue to bully.

My best, dearly departed, friend, Charles Timberlake Callison, left Tucson with his family after the end of our junior year at Catalina.

Early in my senior year, his dearly departed mother, Betty, called me. Tim had loaned his drum set to a guy named Gary (I can’t remember his last name) who was refusing to return it. She asked me if I would get the drums back.

I spoke with Gary. He brought the drums to school. And when I went to get them he started calling me a dirty Jew in front of whichever students were outside the front doors of the school at that moment.

Remembering my mother’s teachings, I did and said nothing.

I felt disgusted with my self.

And I decided within my self “never again”.

My next test came later that year.

My kid brother came home and told me that Eugene Brown, a football player, was picking on him.

Brownie was over 6 feet tall and had to weight 180 to 200 pounds. I’m still 5′ 9 1/2″ , 145, just like I was then.

The next day at school I walked up to Brownie. He said “Hi Jeff. How are you doing?”. And I said “Look Brown, if you don’t leave my brother alone I’m going to kick the shit out of you.”. I can still remember, more than 50 years later as I write this, that millisecond, waiting for him to clobber me. He said “I’m really sorry, Jeff.”. And he left my brother alone.

The next time was at my dad’s store, Stereo-A-Go-Go, on  Speedway a few doors down from where the Orange Julius used to be. Two guys from school came into the store. One of them wanted to beat me up for some reason long forgotten. I told them to walk around to the back of the building and that I would go through the store and meet them there.

I met them out in the alley, put my arms at my side and told the fighter “Go ahead and hit me.”. He said “What?”. I said “Go ahead and hit me. I want to be able to tell them that it was self defense when they see what I’ve done to you.”. His friend was yelling “Go on, go on, hit him.”.  The fighter just turned and walked away.

After that, all of my confrontations, as fate would have it, had to do with anti-Semitism.

The first time was at a ball game at Hi Corbett field. Three or four guys about 10 rows behind us were yelling about the “Jew” playing in right field. I left the folks I was with, walked up to those guys, looked them dead in their eyes and told them that I was a Jew and if they didn’t shut up I was going to beat the shit out of all of them. They shut up.

There was an afternoon when I was sitting at a table with a date in a pub in London, England, having a beer. Two men and a woman were standing at the bar yelling out about the Jews this and the Jews that. I stood up, told my date that I would be right back, picked up my beer bottle, held it by the neck in my right hand and walked up to the bar. I got in their faces and said “I’m a Jew and an American and you’re all a bunch of assholes.”. The pub was instantly silent. They apologized and the bartender chastised them.

I think that you get the picture.

I have done this many times in many places in many countries.

I spent the Gulf War working in the tape factory at Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev Desert making the tape for the sealed rooms.

I remember being out in the open in a small town in Israel when the sirens started to blare, the warning that scuds were on their way, running full tilt boogie, trying to get my gas mask on.

Helping my brothers and sister in Israel during that war was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I once had a close friend here in Tucson, a dentist named Ralph Clary. He was a fine athlete of German descent. We played tennis together regularly. Our rule was that the receiver made the call. One night at Reid Park he hit one deep far left. I paused and then gave the hand signal for “out”. And he started yelling “Juden. Juden. Juden.” I walked across the court to the bench where our gear was, picked my stuff up and walked away. I have never spoken to him again.

The Lesson from the Holocaust is that hatred, intolerance and bigotry come in many shapes and sizes, all of which are poisonous.

I am what I am because I don’t know how to be any other way.

When someone attacks the Jews they are attacking my parents, my brother, my grandparents, my cousins, my friends, my people. And all non Jews who are the target of hatred and discrimination.

It is my job to protect them.

The only fear that I have known my entire adult life is that I would turn my back upon what I know in my heart and in my soul to be right, that I would look the other way, that I would remain silent and do nothing.

I think that when we get to the end of the trail it won’t matter much to us what we owned nor the status we achieved. I think we’ll remember those we loved, a few special moments and the things we believed in and stood up for and the things we did in their regard.

If I have a mantra, it is these lines from Frank Herbert’s “Dune”:

I shall not fear. Fear is the mind killer, the little death that brings total obliteration. I shall face my fear. I shall allow it to pass over me and through me. And when the fear is gone I shall remain.

I typed that up and had it taped to my bathroom mirror for years so that I would read it every morning when I shaved.

The New York Times got my name as one of the 100 American volunteers going over to Israel before the Gulf War had begun from whatever agency it was that sponsored the flight. They called me here in Tucson and asked me why I was going. My answer was I was going so that I’d be able to look my self in the eyes when I shaved in the morning.

I left Tucson for New York on a Thursday, got into New York on Friday and flew out for Israel later that day, the day the first scud was fired.

I was renting office space from Deborah Ward and James Hunter at the time.

We must all be Maccabees.

We must all be eternally vigilant and look after the weak and those unable to help themselves.

We are all the guardians of freedom.

Read My Glorious Brothers by Howard Fast.

Read Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally.

Finally, this:

All of my heroes are dead. John Kennedy. Martin Luther King Jr.. Robert Kennedy. John Engeman. Ralph Blackman.

We need brave souls from every corner of the world to pick up and carry the torch of freedom.

This Memorial Day I will be at the Veteran’s Administration at Ajo and 6th. That’s where my dad died.

Thanks Dad for teaching me to have courage when the bombs are dropping.

 

LESSONS FROM THE HOLOCAUST 2

This is a follow up to my posting this past Sunday.

Two days ago I sent an email to, and left a telephone message for, the Holocaust Museum here in Tucson, asking to be contacted.

I also spoke with three Jewish attorney here in Tucson, Richard Bock, Michael Bloom and John Kaufmann. They all agreed that the police are not the guardians of freedom.

Yesterday I called the Kat Wyler (sp?), the Director of education at the Holocaust Museum in Washington and left my second message, asking her to return my call. She still hasn’t called me.

I spoke with a fourth Jewish attorney, Jim Stuehringer, who also agreed that the police are not the guardians of freedom.

Matt Landau, from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, gave me the names of the co-chairs of the local Cardozo Society, both attorneys. One is retired, the other is practicing. I called the practicing attorney, Nathan Rothschild, leaving a voice message, asking him to call me, explaining why. His secretary had told me, prior to transferring me to his voice mail, that he is in trial all week.

I called the Jewish Anti-Defamation League in Phoenix and sent them an email. I have had no response.

I finally had success when I received a call from Brian Davis, who heads the local Holocaust Museum.

I explained everything to him.

He knows Amelia Cramer, who has still never returned my call, and Nathan Rothschild. He knows the Lessons program. He told me that he will speak with both of them and arrange a meeting so we can all sit down and talk.

So as I write this I am hopeful that the Holocaust will never be used again as a political message to non law enforcement and prosecutorial personnel that the police are the guardians of freedom.

Assuming we meet as mentioned above, there is one other thing I will address.

The Lessons used many quotes from famous people.

One, by Thomas Jefferson, stated that “…all men are created equal…”. This is in the second paragraph in our Declaration of Independence.

When Amelia Cramer got to this point in her presentation she left her script and shared a personal story about law enforcement officers in northern Arizona giving her a poor review after her presentation of Lessons because she said told them that “All men and women are created equal.”.

It drew laughs from the crowd here in Tucson.

I didn’t laugh.

It wasn’t funny.

The message of the Holocaust is deadly serious.

That’s why it is referred to as The Holocaust with a capital H.

While I believe that everything in the Declaration applies equally to women and men, I found it in very poor taste to interject into the Lessons presentation an unrelated matter to elicit a few yucks.

When the neo Nazis came to Tucson all those years ago, I was renting office space from John Neis and William Callaway. John had been the Pima County Public Defender and Bill had been his Chief Deputy. They are both excellent attorneys and fine men.

They were very concerned about my carrying around a baseball bat.

But they weren’t as concerned as I was.

 

Speak out, you got to speak out against

The madness, you got to speak your mind

If you dare.

Written by David Crosby after Robert Kennedy’s assassination.

LESSONS FROM THE HOLOCAUST

I am a Jew.

I don’t go to temple and I don’t belong to any Jewish groups nor organizations.

My heritage, the fact that all my fathers and mothers were Jews, going back for more than 5,000 years, is something I am fiercely proud of.

I remember my father’s father, Harry Blackman, telling me, when I was a boy, how he was beat up on the street corners of Detroit, before the turn of the last century, trying to sell newspapers for a penny, by Irish kids because he was a Jew.

I remember learning from my mother’s family how her father, my grandfather, Jacob William Glantz, left his small town in Lithuania early in the last century because the Cossacks would ride through town killing the men, raping the women, burning buildings, while they blundered the Jews. Jacob came to Minnesota, United States of America, where he met my dear, sweet, long departed grandmother, Eva.

And more importantly, I remember what my father, Ralph Leonard Blackman, taught me.

He was a tail gunner on a B- 24 Liberator, a member of the Army Air Corps, during World War II. His plane was shot down over Germany during a bombing raid. Five of his ten crew member went down with the plane. My father and four others parachuted out before it crashed. My father was shot while floating to earth. He landed, bleeding in the snow, in a German’s backyard. And he was taken to Stalag XVII.

While the other American prisoners were taken into the barracks, the Jews, who had an “H” for Hebrew on their dog tags, were put in holes in the ground covered with metal grates. My dad and these other men waited to see if they would live or die.

My dad told me how the German guard woke him up each morning by poking him with a bayonet and how the Germans, when the end of the war drew near, marched him and the other prisoners through Austria toward the coast, killing the sick and the lame on the way so they wouldn’t be slowed down.

I went to Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio until we moved to Tucson in 1963. Kids from all over the city, black and white, went there. I remember a day when I was about 12.

I wasn’t a cool guy yet I was standing there with the cool guys. One of them was a black kid named Albert Netter. He was handsome, a great athlete, adored by the girls. We were shooting the shit. Albert left. And all the cool white guys started calling him a nigger.

That night at the dinner table I told my dad what had happened. And my dad told me that the same guys who call a black kid a nigger when he walks away will call me a kike when I walk away.

I believed him then and I believe him now.

My parents’ best friends when I was a boy in Cincinnati were Ernst and Pollo Schaumberg, Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. They were sent to Bergin-Belsen. They both lost their entire families during the Holocaust; parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. I remember Mr. Schaumberg telling me how an American soldier, after the liberation, handed their son Tom a raw egg and how Tom, who was hungry, bit into it because he had never seen an egg before.

I remember the numbers tattooed on Ernst and Pollo’s arms.

Fifteen or twenty years ago a group of neo Nazis came to Tucson. Emojean Girard, a Justice of the Peace, called me and asked me to come to her office. She showed me the indictment that had been delivered to her, accusing her of crimes, as a Jew, right out of the Spanish Inquisition; killing babies, drinking blood and so on. They had sent these indictments to every Jewish judge in town, ordering them to appear before their grand jury to answer for their crimes. Emojean wasn’t Jewish. Her husband was.

I copied her documents and sent a copy to every  judge and lawyer in town that I knew to be Jewish, asking for help against this evil. The only person who responded was Paul Saba, a fellow attorney.

We went and spoke to a lawyer in the civil division of the Pima County Attorney’s Office. He told us that there was nothing his office could do.

I mailed copies of the documents to, and then called, the three Rabbis in Tucson. Two told me to just ignore it. The Rebbi at the orthodox synagogue told me that he would inform his congregation.

I called the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and spoke to its president. He told me that he and his Board knew about what was happening and planned to do nothing. I urged him to tell the Jewish community. He refused.

My friend, Craig Reay, whose family owned Gordon’s and then Wild Oats, called me and told me that these documents were being tacked to the bulletin board at his store (the former El Rancho market).

I had had enough.

So I wrote the neo Nazis and I told them that I would appear before them, by my self, because I was a Jew and what their kind had done was never going to happen again.

Their first approach was when I came out of Federal Court one morning. A guy ran up to me and yelled “We’re going to kill you!”.  And ran away.

Then two guys came at me in my parking garage right around the corner on Alameda.

After that I started carrying a baseball bat with me.

So it was with great anticipation that last Thursday I attended a seminar, sponsored by the Tucson Cardozo Society of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, held at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy, entitled “What You Do Matters: Lessons From the Holocaust”.

It was presented by Amelia Cramer, Chief Deputy of the Pima County Attorney’s Office, and Lt. Doug Hanna from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

A program designed to be presented to law enforcement personnel by prosecutors was being presented to Jewish attorneys in an annex building at the Jewish Community Center.

The program was excellent until the very end when an unknown woman was quoted as saying “The police are the guardians of freedom.”.

After spending three hours being reminded of the atrocities committed by the Nazis and their henchmen, seeing photographs of the German police aiding the Nazis in their mad quest against the Jews, the gypsies, the mentally and physically infirm, seeing them murder Jews, we were told that they are good guys.

Well, most are yet some aren’t.

But either way, they are not the guardians of freedom.

They, and the prosecutors, enforce the law.

As an honorable professional adversary of prosecutors and law enforcement, I was embarrassed for Lt. Hanna and the law enforcement officers who were being referred to.

Law enforcement officers and the prosecutors ask the courts, decade after decade, to do away with the protections guaranteed to all American citizens in the United States Constitution, and in the Constitution of the State of Arizona, by asking them to construe fact situations in a way favorable to their ultimate goal; to construe the law in a way that will result with a citizen being convicted of a crime.

This, in turn, affects the rights of every citizen.

I’m sure they would tell you they’re just doing their jobs. That’s true.

Ironically, that’s what all the defendants said at the Nuremberg trials.

I have been a criminal defense attorney for a few months shy of 42 years.

So I called the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, whose historians developed the presentation I had seen, along with law enforcement personnel and prosecutors, and left a message for the Director of their education department. My message told her what I had experienced and asked her to call me.

I also sent an email to the museum’s general mail box.

She hasn’t returned my call and no one has responded to my email.

I called Amelia Cramer and spoke with her secretary. I explained who I was was, that I had attended the program and that I wanted to speak with Amelia. I left a message asking Amelia to call me.

She hasn’t returned my call.

I called Matthew Landau, the man from the Jewish Federation who was in charge of the presentation, and spoke with him about all of this. He agreed with me. It was he who suggested that I contact Amelia Cramer.

Since we spoke, I have sent him an email asking him to arrange a meeting for him and me and the head of the Federation.

We will see.

We regularly see maniacs ruling other countries who commit acts just like Hitler.

And we say to our selves that it can’t happen here.

Yet out greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.

Say there was a President with an enormous ego who was power hungry, who felt that it was okay to lie and to break the law to suit his (or her) own purposes, who wanted the public to believe falsehoods and had the money and power to carry out such a design.

It can happen here folks.

It can happen anywhere, any time.

The moral of this story is that we are all the guardians of freedom.

You have to speak out against the madness.

You have to stand up and do the right thing when evil and hatred pop up their ugly little heads.

Don’t let a stranger define freedom for you.

And don’t rely upon a stranger to protect your freedom for you.

She is resting comfortably, deep in your soul, waiting for the moments when you must protect her.

HUMANS ARE UNDERMINING EARTH’S BIODIVERSITY AND CLEAN WATER SUPPLIES

March 24, 2018

The United Nations issues four reports stating that the Earth is losing plants, animals and clean water at a dramatic rate.

The Americas, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the Asia-Pacific: none are doing well.

Severe declines in the numbers of elephants, tigers and pangolins, the most visible and charismatic of the thousands of species that are in trouble.

Crucial habitat has been cut apart, alien species have invaded places, chemicals have hurt plants and animals, wetlands and mangroves that clean up pollution are disappearing and the world’s waters are over fished.

Man-made climate change is getting worse and global warming will soon hurt biodiversity as much as all the other problems combined.

“We keep making choices to borrow from the future to live well today.” Jake Rice, Canada’s chief government scientist for fisheries and oceans, who co-chaired the Americas report.

Are things pretty dire? “Yes.” Stuart Pimm, Duke University conservationist.

By 2040 the Americas will have 15 percent fewer plants and animals than now. Nearly a quarter of all species are threatened, nearly two-thirds are declining and more than one-fifth are decreasing strongly.

28 percent of the species living in Europe are threatened.

More than 20 percent of Africa’s species are threatened, endangered or extinct.

If trends continue, there will be no exploitable fish stocks in the Asia-Pacific by 2048. Around the same time, the region will lose 45 percent of its biodiversity and about 90 percent of its crucial corals.

The outlook is bleak if society doesn’t change. Robert Watson, team chairman, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy on Biodiversity and Ecosystem.

There are only 2 Northern White Rhinoceroses left in the world.

Only man and the pack rat foul their own nest.

 

SUDAN DIES

March 21, 2018

Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhinoceros.

“Utter tragedy today. We just can’t sit back and watch more species disappear.” Boris Johnson. British Foreign Secretary.

Timmy

You’d be 70 today.

Happy Birthday dear friend.

You weren’t supposed to die so damn young.

I thought we’d be old farts together.

But it’s just me turning old

while you remain forever young.

There’s nobody I can give a hard time to.

And no buddy that I have fun with like you.

I miss you pal.

The great under statement of 2017.

I love you Charles Timberlake.