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 Bryan 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.

In Memoriam John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In the summer of 1960, when I was 14, I saw and heard John Fitzgerald Kennedy when he spoke to the people of Cincinnati, downtown, at Fountain Square. He had such a beautiful voice

On November 22, 1963, a few months after I had moved to Tucson, I was running around the perimeter of Catalina High School with my gym class, doing the “grinder”, when kids started yelling out that the President’s car had been bombed.

When we got back to the locker room, Mr. Gridley came came over the public address system and told us all that our President was dead.

Some kid said “Good. He got what he deserved”. For the only time in my life, I snapped. I started beating the shit out of that kid. The other kids couldn’t pull me off of him. Finally, coach Cliff Myrick, a former Marine, disentangled us.

I wept that day. And I weep today as I type this.

I loved John Kennedy. He was my hero. The song of freedom and brotherhood that he sang, the belief he shared of universal betterment, rang true in my heart, in my soul. I believed then, as I do today, that together we can truly change the world and the way in which we treat one another, the animals and sweet Mother Earth.

The powers that guide the universe willing, the clear, fine song of equality and justice will be heard again in this land and there will be another great President who calls for understanding, tolerance and acceptance.

Be brave. Be strong. Dare the impossible. Stand by your truth, be it unpopular. Never lose your dreams.

I miss you John Kennedy. I hope you rest with the angels.