Archive for November 10th, 2008

Deny THIS.

So much for the Holocaust being a myth…

The 28 yellowing blueprints show an 11.66 metre by 11.20 metre room marked “Gaskammer” (gas chamber). The plans also include a crematorium and a room marked “L. Keller” – an abbreviation for “Leichenkeller”, or corpse cellar.

Hans-Dieter Kreikamp, head of the federal archives office in Berlin, told Bild that the blueprints offered “authentic evidence of the systematically planned genocide of European Jews”.

The plans also offer evidence that the Nazis planned the Holocaust from an earlier date than previously believed.

The decision to kill Europe’s 11 million Jews has historically been dated to the Wannsee Conference in January 1942. A copy of the minutes, known as the “Wannsee Protocol”, is generally regarded as one of the most important documents from the war.

But the newly discovered Auschwitz plans, published ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht purge against Jews, are dated Oct 23, 1941, offering evidence that the Nazis had developed plans to kills Jews on a mass scale earlier than previously thought, the newspaper said.

The plans of the death camp, which was built near Krakow, in Poland, were drawn by SS technicians and inmates.

Dr Kreikamp said one green ink sketch on the plans appears to be in the hand of SS chief Heinrich Himmler.

Dr Kreikamp said he attached “extraordinary meaning to the documents”.

He added; “The documents reveal that everyone who was concerned with the planning and building of the extermination camp would have known that human beings were to be put to death here on an industrial scale.

“The documents disprove beyond all doubt that which Holocaust deniers claim – that Auschwitz was nothing more than a labour camp where no gassing took place.”

Chilling, but not exactly surprising.  To most of us, anyway.

(h/t Elliott)

November 10th, 2008 at 11:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Racism

Disaster Progressivism

Paul Krugman’s FDR-didn’t-go-far-enough(!) column today featured a very intriguing quote by Obama’s sharp-elbowed (and not particularly progressive) new Chief Of Staff, Rahm Emanuel:

[Y]ou don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste.

I’m not sure Rahm and I necessarily share the same view of exactly what a crisis should be used for, but it’s an excellent point: One man’s crisis is another man’s opportunity.  During times of crisis, everyone desperately wants someone to do something – anything!

The Republicans have used the crises of the last eight years (many of them of their own making) for evil, stampeding a frightened public and a pliant Republican Congress into passing the basest, most unjust and destructive policies imaginable, and hoovering up mass quantities of unchecked, unconstitutional power.

Now it’s Obama’s turn.  He has a Congress that’s even more heavily Democrat than Bush’s Congress was Republican (but alas, not as progressive as Bush’s was conservative), and a financial crisis that could do for economic policy what 9/11 did for foreign policy.  If he is as strong-willed and savvy about doing good as Bush was about doing evil, he can achieve a lot, starting with his stated goals of a fairer tax policy, and healthcare, education, and energy reform.  Not to mention restoring the integrity and oversight of the financial system and all the rest of the industries regulated by the federal government.

But does he want to?  Does Obama truly burn to put this unique opportunity to good use, make his case directly to the public so that they demand the change he promised them, or is he content to merely take what the Republicans and Blue Dogs give him?  It’s hard to tell from his campaign rhetoric, since he promised both change and bipartisanship.  If he leans too hard on the latter (unless it’s Bush style bullying-the-opposition-into-submission bipartisanship), then the former will be watered-down and disappointing.  We would still get reform on all those fronts, but it would be half-assed and suspiciously corporate-friendly.

Given the choice between passing bipartisan sham reform and using a “For the love of God, just FIX THIS SHIT ALREADY” mandate to ram through genuine reform, I hope Obama chooses the latter, but very much dread that he will choose the former.  I sure hope Biden was right about how much steel there is in his spine – he’s going to need it.

1 comment November 10th, 2008 at 08:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Obama,Politics

Republicans Contemplate Life Without Texas

Well, at least some Republicans remember that there’s an awful lot of Latino voters in Texas and the Southwest…

Earlier today on Meet the Press Tom Brokaw cited NDN in asking Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) whether the weak showing of the Republicans these last few years with Hispanics was endangering their Party’s ability to be a majority in the 21st century. The transcript:

MR. BROKAW: …. Jill Lawrence wrote in USA TODAY: “`If the Republicans don’t make their peace with Hispanic voters, they’re not going to win presidential elections anymore. The math just isn’t there.'” That’s according to Simon Rosenberg, head of the NDN, a Democratic group that studies Hispanic voters.” How do you get back to the Hispanics?

SEN. MARTINEZ: Governor Jeb Bush–former Governor Jeb Bush last week made a comment that if Republicans don’t figure it out and do the math that we’re going to be relegated to minority status. I’ve been preaching this for a long time to my colleagues within my party. I think that the very divisive rhetoric of the immigration debate set a very bad tone for our brand as Republicans. The fact of the matter is I think in Florida there was not a great ideological shift, but I think there was plenty of room for improvement in how that state was looked upon.

The fact of the matter is that Hispanics are going to be a more and more vibrant part of the electorate, and the Republican Party had better figure out how to talk to them. We had a very dramatic shift between what President Bush was able to do with Hispanic voters, where he won 44 percent of them, and what happened to Senator McCain. Senator McCain did not deserve what he got. He was one of those that valiantly fought, fought for immigration reform, but there were voices within our party, frankly, which if they continue with that kind of rhetoric, anti-Hispanic rhetoric, that so much of it was heard, we’re going to be relegated to minority status. (bold added).

For three years now NDN has argued that the way the Republicans had handled the immigration issue – by demonizing Hispanics – was one of the biggest political mistakes made by a political party in the last 50 years of American politics.  As Peter Wallsten writes in the LA Times today, this failure with Hispanics may have cost them 4 prominent states in this election, but may cost them Arizona and Texas in the coming years.  If that comes about it is game over, lights out for the GOP in the Electoral College for a very long time.

If the Republicans lose Texas, they might as well go home.  Game over.  But I don’t think they can let go of their hate, not even to save their own pasty white skins.

1 comment November 10th, 2008 at 06:32pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Politics,Racism,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging

Freakycool contortionist breakdancer on So You Think You Can Dance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpMCYiaxzds

He does a nice little encore at the end of the clip, too.

November 10th, 2008 at 11:30am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Gah!

This is just creepy and wrong:

According to VW’s PR team, the BabyMaker3000 has brought 314,384 digital babies into the world since going live a month ago — surpassing the number of real babies born in the U.S. during a comparable timeframe (295,075). An estimated half million visitors have checked out the site, a pretty mind-boggling number that probably says something about our desire for this type of technology in the real world.

The animated sample baby at the BabyMaker3000 site is creeping me right out.  No, I have not tried it.

November 10th, 2008 at 07:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Technology,Weirdness


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