News and Notes

Published: 2014-10-05

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*** Der Spiegel is one of Europe’s most influential magazines. It’s commonly held that its influence is based on the moral authority established by the quality of its investigative journalism. Der Spiegel employs the equivalent of 80 full-time fact checkers, which the Columbia Journalism Review calls “most likely the world’s largest fact checking operation.”

To illustrate the quality of the German press, as represented by the fact checkers of the Der Spiegel, one has only to refer to a story printed there dated 25 August about the roundup of some former Auschwitz guards. Klaus Wiegrefe, a house journalist for DS, writes about how a number of suspected Auschwitz guards were rounded up by the State for possible prosecution. The youngest was 88 and the oldest almost 100. Nevertheless…

Writing that more than a million victims were murdered in gas chambers at Auschwitz, Klaus Wiegrefe goes on to note: “The SS ground up the bones of the corpses and sold the meal to a fertilizer company in the vicinity. The ashes of the incinerated bodies were used in road construction, the hair of the women was spun into yarn and processed into felt, and gold tooth fillings were removed and melted, formed into bars and turned over to the Reichsbank, Germany’s central bank during the Nazi era.”

That all got past more than 80 full-time German fact checkers? In 2014?

It’s not just the Americans.

*** Borjastick is the signature used by a primary figure who posts on the CODOH Forum. A pseudonym of course. But he signs each post with: “Of the four million Jews under Nazi control in WW2, six million died and, alas, only five million survived.”

*** My second chemotherapy session was cancelled because of an eruption of shingles. The shingles infection was encouraged by the fact that the first chemo session had blown out the bottom of my immune system. My new oncologist, a lady from Taiwan, said she didn’t want to risk other infections while the immune system is so weak. She delayed the next infusion for two weeks. After ten days I called oncology to tell them that the infection was still cooking and we should delay it another two weeks. They agreed. It’s interesting how painful shingles can be. I would not have thought so.

*** Re my new photo: it’s been observed by a couple three people that my eyes look like slits. One person associated it with a Fu Manchu squint. I’d like to think the narrowness of the eyes represents on my part an increasing range of calculating shrewdness.

*** Without Thought is the title of a book I would like to work on but doubt I can find the time for. I was on the phone last night with Tom Moran, and he was telling me that he is so busy with his business that he simply does not have time to do the writing he would like to do. That’s the way it is with me. There’s CODOH, there’s Smith’s Report, the Campus Project, there’s this and there’s that and I don’t have time to write. When I write about writing I do not mean Smith’s Report or anything to do with CODOH or the Campus Project or any of the outreach I do. I mean writing about the life itself.

The first idea for Without Thought would tell the tale of the morning in Korea when I chose to stand in full view of and ignore a Chinese machine-gunner who was trying to kill me so that I could burlesque the guys in my platoon who had taken refuge in an irrigation ditch and looked like drowned rats. I could hear the bullets whooshing past my head but I was invested in my line of gags until the moment a bullet glanced off my left temple and knocked me to my knees. I have written about the incident, but have not told the whole story. And what I did tell was not informed by the concept of taking place “without thought,” a concept that is now available to address, perhaps explain, a number of primary yet “brainless” decisions I have made over the last 60-odd years. And then, who am “I” if my decisions are made without thought?

*** A wonderful review of my A Personal History of Moral Decay by James J. O’Meara has been published at Counter Currents Publishing: More than 4,000 words, many insights that would not have occurred to me. I’d like to print the entire review here but there isn’t, won’t be, room. Now Fredrick Töben has reviewed Moral Decay, from a point of view that is uniquely his. That makes four sophisticated, literate reviews of the book. Reviewers are associating Moral Decay with William Burroughs, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Hemingway and others. At the same time, I do want to make it clear, that my work is only being associated with the work those guys did, not being compared to it.

*** At the computer this mid-morning the brain is empty (not a straight-line). I go through my mail, mess around with this and that, losing time. At noon, in the kitchen, I prepare my twice-daily drink of whey and take my supplements which are extensive, then go in the bedroom and lie down. I guess I sleep for a while then just lie there thinking about the work. And then slowly it comes to me. I see where I have to take the work. I come into the office, type the above couple three sentences for the record, and now when it is time to address the core idea that came to me while still in bed, it’s gone. I have no idea what the idea was.

This has nothing to do with my “without thought” concept. I just forgot.

*** A new outreach concept. We have found a way to access academics, journalists, students and other media people in a way that has never before been used by any of us. Don’t want to go into details publicly for the usual reasons, but the results should begin to show up this fall. We’ll see. But this could become something very special.

*** Illegal immigration. It’s the big story on the US-Mexican border. What we never see on American television are shots of the masses of kids and others from Central America riding on the roofs of Mexican trains for 800 miles from Central America to the border with Texas. The “immigration” is being organized by special interests in their home countries to profit the organizers themselves, whoever they are, and processed by the Mexican government through its rail system to break through the American border. The kids are being used to achieve the goals, which are likely various, of the adults manipulating the adventure. Meanwhile, American Congressmen are unwilling to stand up to this aggression and fraud. They are focused on ISIS and Syria, where the “real” danger is. Once again: it’s not “them,” it’s us.

*** Hoaxocaust! is a new one-act play written and performed by Barry Levey “with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran.” There are Persians who know how to apologize as well as the rest of us. Hoaxacaust! ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, and has been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center for four (4) performances (it’s a blow-out). In an article published by the Jewish Algemeiner Levey gives us 10 things he learned while “writing a satire of Holocaust deniers”: I will note only the first one here.

#1. Putting Deniers’ actual theories on stage, verbatim, without comment can be hysterical. When tenured Northwestern University professor Arthur Butz claims that most of the Jews who vanished after the war secretly moved to Brooklyn to escape their arranged-marriage spouses, you do not editorialize. Letting crazy speak for itself is comic gold.”

This story is so stupid I would not touch it were it not that Butz’s name is—used!

*** The charge of Holocaust Denial, often combined with anti-Semite and Nazi, is sheer, blind hatred, calculated to engender yet more hatred in others. It is attack and invective, displacing their civilized alternative for opposition, reasoned argument.

Logically it is quite the same as implicating an opponent of the death sentence for a criminal, in the crime itself. You oppose the execution of Anders Breivik, the mass murderer of Norway? Then you’re a mass murderer yourself, and an anti-Norwegian to boot.

“Holocaust denier” combines the bigotry of “nigger” with the medieval consignment of “blasphemer.” Like those two, it should be banished from the realm of polite conversation and respectable reportage, and someday, it will be.

Holocaust denial is to Holocaust revisionism what witchcraft is to chemistry.

(I did not write the above. I have lost track of who did. Regardless of author, it’s pretty solid.)

*** Hernandez, my right-hand man here in the office for some three years before he moved south to Guanajuato, is in town for a couple three weeks. He’s seeing to getting a book of poems published and drinking beer with old friends. Before he came up he had five books delivered from the States to my PO Box. They include:

  • New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind, by Noam Chomsky.
  • How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
  • The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
  • Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, by Howard Gardner.
  • The Germ Code, by Jason Tetro.

He’s looking through my books now, looking.

I’ve suggested to Hernandez that he lighten up a bit, but he says he finds this stuff entertaining.

*** A Personal History of Moral Decay was published in mid-June. It’s been reviewed beautifully four times, while a couple more reviews are in the works. A reader of Smith’s Report writes:

“Congratulations Bradley. Your new book seems to be a home run. I liked Toben’s review especially. Hope this book ends any financial problems you may have.”

Well, not yet. The book has received four very good reviews, but the distribution of those reviews is limited. They were not published in The New York Times Book Review. While I hardly tried to sell the first three books, this time it’s different. I want to promote this one. The idea is to use the reviews to create a story, use the story to promote the book, use the book to promote revisionism. Same ole, same ole, but that’s what I do. Promote revisionism. To date sales are minuscule. I know what the odds are.

*** Same Ole, same ole. Again. The fall semester is here, student newspapers are publishing, we’ve submitted a very simple text link to the online edition of The Daily Trojan at USC. It reads:

“My History of Moral Decay”

The link takes the reader to the review of A Personal History of Moral Decay that appeared in Counter Currents. And to where the reader can buy the book.

The plan is to focus on USC, the home of the Shoah Foundation and the rabbinical filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Mr. Spielberg is rabbinical in the sense that with film he focuses on creating martyrs of Jews, even when they claim to have participated with Germans in the victimization of Jews.

This time the idea is to focus, focus. It will be the same if the link is run or not. There are a lot of testimonies here that ache to be addressed. I worked some of them last year but wandered off. No wandering this time. This time it’s to be—Single-Mindedness!

Ya think?


Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: News and Notes
Sources: Smith's Report, No. 209, October 2014, pp. 3, 4, 11, 12
Published: 2014-10-05
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 5, 2014, 7 p.m.
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