Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Now let us get back to the Iranian Electoral Crisis.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Take good care y`all.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Blood of our fathers, wing of our nation!
(Philippine flag image copyright of Mr. Clay)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
“I cannot grasp that it is already 1943, four years since this hell began. The days pass by quickly; each day looks just like the previous one. Everyday it’s the same frozen and oppressive boredom. There is great excitement in town. A lot of people are about to leave for ‘the land of our forefathers,’ to Palestine...”Thus begins the sixty handwritten pages of the 14 year-old Rutka Laskier’s memoirs, written between January 19 and April 24, 1943 and hidden under the floorboards of a friend’s apartment during the rest of World War II, before she, her brother and mother were deported to the Auschwitz gas chambers and murdered upon arrival in August of 1943. It was the eve of the 20th century, the darkest hour of evil returning, a period most infamously known as the Holocaust. Three years before, in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland after the partition of Czechoslovakia. In 1943 the war was at its height, yet it would take two more years before the world realized that there was more than meets the eye, upon the discovery of camps of Jewish manslaughter in Nazi Germany’s occupied territories.
More than sixty years later, in June 2007 Stanislawa Sapinska, Laskier’s childhood friend then 89 years-old, presented the diary to the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority after her nephew’s prodding.
The diary revealed a chilling account of Laskier’s life in the Jewish ghetto in Bedzin, Poland, coupled with observations of growing up and explorations on love, including an expressed infatuation with a boy of her age. However, the reality of extermination led her into a continual reflection on war, inhumanity and death, reaching the point where she even lapsed into a desperate crisis of faith.
“Oh good Lord. Well Rutka, you`ve probably gone completely crazy. You are calling upon God as if he exists. The little faith I used to have has been completely shattered. If God existed, he would have certainly not have permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with butt of guns or be shoved into sacks and gassed to death...”During the German Aktion, or the segregation of Jews to be taken to concentration camps on February 6, 1943, Laskier described the horrors which became a day-to-day occurrence. It was an ocean of horrible inhumanity which beleaguered her nation’s threshold and then entered to ransack it to the last Jew in sight:
“When I looked beyond the fence I saw soldiers with machine guns aimed at the square in case someone tried to escape - how could you possibly escape from here? People fainted, children cried. In short, Judgment Day...On February 15 she wrote: “I’m only afraid that we Jews will be finished beforehand.” And in another entry: “If only I could say, it’s over, you die only once... But I can’t, because despite all these atrocities I want to live, and wait for the following day.”
“Oh, I forgot the most important thing. I saw how a soldier tore a baby, who was only a few months [old], out of his mother’s hands and bashed his head against an electric pylon. The baby’s brain splashed on the wood. The mother went crazy. I am writing this as if nothing has happened. As if I were in an army experienced in cruelty. But I’m young, I’m 14, and I haven’t seen much in life.”
On February 20 she expressed her apprehensions and a longing to escape the war’s dark and tormenting atmosphere:
“I have a feeling that I am writing for the last time. There is an Aktion in town. I’m not allowed to go out and I’m going crazy, imprisoned in my own house... For a few days, something’s in the air... The town is breathlessly waiting in anticipation, and this anticipation is the worst of all.Her last entry was written on April 24, 1943, before she and her family were taken to the ghettos, about which she had written on February 5th:
“I wish it end already! This torment; this is hell. I try to escape... like nagging flies.”
“The rope around us is getting tighter and tighter. Next month there should already be a ghetto, a real one surrounded by walls. In the summer it will be unbearable. To sit in a gray locked cage, without being able to see fields or flowers, and it reminded me that one day I would be able to go to Malachowska Street without taking the risk of being deported. Being able to go to the cinema in the evening. I’m already so ‘flooded’ with the atrocities of the war that even the worst reports have no effect on me.”When the ghetto was still not closed off to non-Jews, the Laskiers lived in the Sapinskas, where she first met Stanislawa Sapinska. When Laskie told her that she was writing a diary, it was kept confidential from the family. Worried that she would not survive the war, Rutka requested to her friend to hide it beneath the staircase’s double-flooring, to be retrieved by Stanislawa after the end of the war. After they departed, Stanislawa never heard of her friend anymore.
Laskier wrote in 1943 while she was the same age as the Dutch Anne Frank, who perished from typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Frank’s diary formed the book published in 1947 by her father Otto Frank, the only member of the family who survived the Holocaust. Both girls perished in the pangs of the war.
Unlike Anne Frank, Laskier did not have the time to rewrite her memoirs. Yet the genuine freshness of Laskier’s draft provided an honest and revealing experience bitterly plucked from the turbulence of Nazi-occupied Poland, right from the manner they were handled by the German troops to the psychological trauma which accompanied the fear of premature death. The hand which slew Laskier, Frank and the others was the hand which interrupted the blossoming of the age by depriving history of what could have become some of the world’s most prized possessions for the years to come.
“Polish ’Anne Frank' Diary Revealed,” by Etgar Lefkovits, Jerusalem Post, 5 June 2007
"Holocaust Diary of 14-Year-Old Dubbed the 'Polish Anne Frank' Unveiled," Fox News, 4 June 2007
Laskier, Rutka. Rutka's Notebook: January-April 1943. Jerusalem, Israel: Yad Vashem Publications. 2007
Sunday, June 7, 2009
From my point of view it doesn't look as if Susan rose to stardom as a result of her singing talent (though it cannot be disputed that she really possesses that awesome vocal prowess) in the show, but rather because Britain's Got Talent made out of her a human curiosity to gather huge audience. The reality show got a considerable worldwide harvest, but not without exploiting Susan Boyle and her unsuspecting asset waiting to be utilized in some ways other than intense exposure to the excitement of the program (for instance by just recommending her to a recording producer), considering Susan's different condition.
On Larry King Live, The Wrap Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman said there have been reported eleven suicides connected to reality shows, and Dr. Drew Pinsky said emotional and mental breakdowns, suicide attempts and Truman Show Syndromes do arise not only from being rejected or defeated in such, but even from winning in reality shows.
Now that's how reality show producers take much advantage over people who desire their fifteen seconds to fame. In showbusiness there are predators who care less on who they are using than on the potentials of higher ratings. And worse, they kill. Remember that Bulgarian contestant who died while taping Survivor here in the Philippines just days ago?
The only thing wherein reality tv gets useful is -- advocacy and muckraking!
Friday, June 5, 2009
"Thank you, but we do not drink beer," refused the two.In the wake of many betrayals and looming dangers the archipelago are 7, 107 droplets of water waiting to merge and, over the heat of injustice and impending tyranny, boil into a steam that will propel the machine of national solidarity paving into greatness and a return of respect for human rights as well as good governance. Let it boil! Let it boil! But save the unsuspecting people idly trapped inside!
"Oh, that's not good," said Simoun who did not know what to do. "Beer is something good, and I heard from Fr. Camorra this morning that this land's dullness owes to the fact that people are drinking too much water."
Isagani, who was just as tall as the jeweler, straightened himself up before him.
"Then tell Fr. Camorra," Basilio immediately intervened, secretly nudging Isagani to calm down "-tell him that if only he drinks water instead of wine or beer, then we can win anytime without much fuss."
"Tell him too," added Isagani, ignoring his friend's warning, "that water may be tasteless and drinkable, yet it sweeps away the taste of wine and beer and quenches fire; that when heated it becomes steam, and when angered it turns into an ocean that once destroyed mankind and the whole world."
Simoun raised his head, and though his eyes could not be seen behind his blue pair of spectacles it was obvious that he was somehow astonished.
"A good answer," he uttered, "albeit he may ask when the water becomes steam and when it turns into an ocean. I'm afraid Fr. Camorra is playful and a skeptic."
"When it is heated over the fire, once small and separate rivers fall, triggered by tragedy down to the pit men have been digging," Isagani answered.
"No, Mr. Simoun," Basilio added, bringing the conversation's mood down to a jest. "It will be better if you keep in mind these verses by my friend Isagani:Water we are and you are the fire,
Come if that's what you want to believe!
Beware that you shall never incite
Water to raise arms and bear fight,
And if so, we go on endowed
With Wisdom to think and never be cowed,
And without hatred nor horrid disgust
Small droplets we merge, united we must
Altogether boil into steam
To fuel our great Progressive machine,
Lighting the torch of civilization,
Breathing life over every nation."
"A dream! Nothing but a dream!" was Simoun's dry reply. "Go find your machine -- I will drink my beer."
Without a word Simoun left the two.
(The selection above is my rough translation of a portion of the 2nd chapter of Rizal's El Filibusterimo, First Revised Edition of the de Guzman Tagalog translation, pp. 17-18)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
While the Senate is looking for a "justiciable controversy" so that the matter should be taken up to the Supreme Court, there is an appalling silence in the streets.
Is this the frog analogy that Al Gore was talking about?