Saturday, May 10, 2008

Miles City, Montana Donkey Massacre

Photo by Steve Allison: Sierrah, left, and Sarissah Hagemeister look after Crackers. The week-old survivor of a mass donkey shooting.

Miles City, Montana, "where the prairies and people are open and friendly!" So reads the banner of the Miles City Star.

It seems, however, some folks around Miles City aren't so open and friendly. Someone, or a group of someones, in Custer County is shooting donkeys, the Loomis' donkeys in particular. Bonnie and Garry Loomis are pretty upset by the whole affair and so are their friends and neighbors who have already increased the Crime Stoppers reward to three times the usual reward.

Donkey reward up to $3,775
By Marla Prell

Six donkeys were shot along Sheffield Road either April 18 or 19. Four donkeys, one of them pregnant, died in the field. A jennie died a day later, leaving a week-old colt. Another jennie was injured, but she is recovering. A six-month-old filly was not injured. The donkeys belong to Bonnie and Garry Loomis.

“We’d love to have a good, substantial lead that we can follow, but we don’t have one yet,” Custer County Undersheriff Pat Roos said.

“We will follow up on every single lead we have,” he stressed. Authorities have received many tips, but most relate to what people have heard, rather than what they’ve seen. “We have sent some evidence to the crime lab, and we’re waiting for results,” Roos said.

As of Monday, the Crime Stoppers reward was up to $3,775. According to Miles City Police Sgt. Mark Reddick, Crime Stopper rewards are typically limited to $1,000, but if funds are earmarked for the donkey investigation the reward can exceed that amount. If the donkey case goes unsolved, the donations will be used for other Crime Stoppers investigations.


A local citizen, Clark Malvin, has taken it upon himself to approach businesses and others to raise reward money. Malvin also donated $100 of his own money. He is now working with Crime Stoppers. Malvin said his initial reaction to the donkey shootings wasn’t suitable for print, adding, “I’m still very upset about it.” Others he spoke to felt the same way, and they readily donated reward money.

Malvin was involved with a similar effort when he lived in Minnesota. Tips and reward money led to arrests and restitution for paintball vandals there. Referring to the local offenders, Malvin said, “If it’s kids, it’s too bad, but the parents, they should be held responsible. If it’s adults, I can’t tell you what I’d do to them.”

“What did those little donkeys ever do to anyone?” he asked. The Loomis family also don’t understand why their donkeys were targeted. "I would like them (the offenders) caught,” Bonnie said in an interview Tuesday. “And I don’t have hatred in my heart for people ... I just think they should pay for what they did. She also expressed a desire to know “‘why did you do it?’”

The Loomises have been surprised and pleased by the community response, however. “We’ve got a lot of wonderful people that have called,” Bonnie said. “We’ve had people who’ve called crying, we’ve had people that drove by (before), and said they missed them.”

The remaining three donkeys are doing as well as can be expected. The older jennie is recovering, Bonnie said. “She’s up on her feet now. She gets penicillin shots daily. She’s still dragging one hind leg; we’re hoping she’ll get the use of it, but she’s still hurting.

“Crackers (the filly) is doing good. She runs, bucks and kicks, happy as a little meadowlark.” Initially Crackers had difficulty taking a bottle and was wobbly due to a lack of vitamins, but a shot remedied that. The uninjured 6-month-old filly is doing well.

In addition to the Crime Stoppers reward, there is a fund to assist the Loomises with veterinary bills and other costs. Jeff and Bernie Skidmore, who admired the Loomises’ donkeys and had bought one from them, have been seeking donations on their behalf.


“It’s been very wonderful of people,” Bonnie said of the donations and support. “I just can’t possibly thank them enough."

Such wanton cruelty to harmless, innocent animals in inexcusable. It's shame sometimes that law books came West with the settlers. There was a time when folks knew how to deal with animal killers.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Al Gore is Whistling Dixie

People by the hundreds of thousands have died in the cyclone that has devastated Myanmar. Former VP Al Gore thought this would be a good time to blame global warming. Al never misses a chance to miss a chance to appear sympathetic.

And as we’re talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated. And last year a catastrophic storm from last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China – and we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.

Apparently, Al didn't get the memo about the ARGOS deep ocean buoys that show unequivocally the ocean to be cooling ever so slightly, but cooling nevertheless. Dr. Josh Willis noted in an interview with National Public Radio, "there has been a very slight cooling" over the buoy's five years of observation.

"Actual observations," says Investor's Business Daily, "trump computer models and as we learn more about the Earth we start to realize how puny and irrelevant man's contribution to climate change really is."

Not all the young, pretty people are fooled by Al Gore and his travelling snake oil show. BeautiJunki commented at Sugar, "did cyclones occur before global warring in south east asia? could this just be mother nature??? This is a terrible tragedy and in a country suffering under the thumb of a horrible government and we need to concentrate on helping the victims now who are in despair."

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

There Will Be Blood and Gore

Al Gore has blamed the Myanmar cyclone on global warming. And Hurricane Katrina, too. Why would he say that? Just about every weather condition Gore manages to blame on GW. Recently it was learned that the Earth's temperature is actually decreasing, and somehow Gore managed to attribute that to GW. It's only a respite, in twenty or thirty years, warming will return. Why would he insist the planet is going to fry? Could it be for money?

[G]lobal warming is a growth industry designed to keep Earth and some bank accounts green.

Gore himself joined the venture capital group, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers just last September. On May 1, the firm announced a $500 million investment in maturing green technology firms called the Green Growth Fund.

The group announced another $700 million to be invested over the next three years in green-tech startup firms. But if the green technology business, uh, cools down, there will be no return on that investment. There would be no need for such investments if global warming wasn't a threat. So Gore just launched, among other things, a $300 million on an ad campaign to convince us it is so.

Speaking at a conference in Monterey, Calif., on March 1, the former vice president admitted to having "a stake" in a number of green investments into which he recommended attendees put money rather than "subprime carbon assets" such as tar sands and shale oil. He also is co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offsets that allow rich polluters to continue polluting with a clear conscience.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Bill Clinton was the First Black President ... Sort of

Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton "the first Black President" in an October 1998 article written in the New Yorker. Not everyone read the piece. Frankly, I don't know of anyone who did. The phrase, however, has entered the American political lexicon and history books. But, what did she really mean?

TIME magazine has a series in which they submit ten questions from readers to famous folks. This week, TIME ten questioned Ms. Morrison. Justin Dews of Cambridge, Mass. had this question:

Do you regret referring to Bill Clinton as the first black President?
Ms. Morrison answered:

People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race.
What we found out was that Clinton was a guilty perp and was being treated appropriately. Barrack Obama made a similar defence of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and he found out the hard way that the public was right, Wright was wrong. Just goes to show that sometimes the majority knows what's going on.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Al-Qaida in Iraq al-Masri Captured in Mosul

The Iraq Interior Ministry is saying they have captured Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. Al-Masri is the reputed leader of the pathetic group of criminal thugs called al-Qaida in Iraq.

Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Mosul police were told by an informant that al-Masri would be at a house in Wadi Hajar, Mosul around midnight Wednesday. Mosul police arrived at the appointed time and "arrested one of al-Qaida's leaders at midnight and during the primary investigations he admitted that he is Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir... Now a broader investigation of him is being conducted."

Pentagon sources have yet to confirm the story. Iraqi state television and Arab satellite TV stations are reporting the capture. Ninevah governor Duraid Kashmola is also saying that al-Masri had been arrested.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Poorest, Filthiest Countries Also Greenest

If you were at all unsure where Environmentalists are taking the world, this should remove all doubt.

National Geographic in cooperation with the polling company GlobeScan released their "Greendex 2008: Consumer Choice and the Environment—A Worldwide Tracking Survey" today. In it, countries were not judged by their environmental impact, but by the individual behavior of their citizens based in four categories: housing, transportation, food, and consumer goods. A determination was then made as to how sustainable the practices were.

Brazilians and Indians each scored 60 on the sustainable-consumption scale. Citizens of other nations scored as follows: China (56.1); Mexico (54.3); Hungary (53.2); Russia (52.4); Great Britain, Germany and Australia (each at 50.2); Spain (50); Japan (49.1); France (48.7); Canada (48.5); and the U.S. (44.9).


Housing factors included dwelling size; energy use for heating, cooling, and appliances; and water needs. Brazilians topped this category because they typically have smaller homes, rarely use air conditioning or heating, and rely heavily on on-demand, tankless water-heating systems.

Transportation behaviors measured included ownership rates and average usage of motorized vehicles, length of daily commutes, and utilization of public transport. Chinese scored highest on transportation, because, at least for now, most rely on bicycles or walking and drive few motorized vehicles per capita.

The foods category polled consumers on their consumption of locally produced foods, as well as their relative consumption of bottled water, meat, and seafood—products that typically have high environmental impact. Indians had the greenest food habits because they consume little meat and eat many fruits and vegetables.

The goods category looked at the items that people typically buy, reuse, and discard—including both day-to-day purchases and larger items such as televisions. Consumer preference for environmentally friendly products and packaging, as well as overall levels of personal consumption, were also considered.


"The biggest concern I have is that [it appears to be] a kind of inverse poverty scale. When you look at the map you can see that the poorest countries are ranked the best, and the richest are ranked the worst," said environmental consultant Michael Brower, co-author of the Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The poorest people in the poorest countries would love to consume more."
Poor folk may want to consume more and improve their lives, but enviros have judged that the poor people of the Earth have the most sustainable living practices. They live in small dwellings, often mud huts or tents made of the skins of animals they've raised as food. They have neither constant electricity sources, nor dependable clean water for drinking and cleaning. They do have high infant mortality rates and high incidence of death by disease.

But, at least it's sustainable. And that is all that counts to the enviros. The poor people of the Earth must remain poor, filthy, and poor. Not only that, but the wealthy people of the Earth, the people to whom the poor look for their example of a better way of life for themselves and the children, must also become poor, filthy, and poor. he best sustainability plan is that all mankind becomes the noble savage of whom Rousseau wrote, but never really believed in.

The real questions that should be asked are about helping the developing world enter sustained prosperity without the long periods of hyper-pollution the West experienced. No one should be looking to return the human species to the conditions of the pre-industrial age. Not even the Islamofascist really want to return to the 7th Century as exhibited by their mastery of modern technologies. But, environmentalists seem to be quite adamant about the destruction of all that mankind has done and are are more than ready to throw the baby out with bath water.

During the Vietnam War, a US military officer was asked why he had ordered the total destruction of a village. Famously he replied, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Do we really have to destroy the human beings in order to save the planet? For many enviros, the answer is yes.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Over Ten Gitmo Detainees Return to Jihad

Photo: Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi posted on jihadist Web site.

All too often bloggers have a story that takes the MSM awhile to catch-up. The story of Abdullah al-Ajmi,the ex-Guantanamo prisoner who blew himself the smithereens in Mosul, is one of those stories.

I wrote about Ajmi on Thursday, May 1 Former Gitmo Guest Explodes in Mosul, and again Saturday, May 3 Ex-Gitmo Bomber's Death Toll. It's been nearly a week and the BBC has finally published a report:

'Guantanamo man' in Iraq bombing

A former Kuwaiti detainee at the US camp at Guantanamo Bay carried out a recent suicide bombing in northern Iraq, the US military has said. A spokesman for US Central Command told the Associated Press that Abdullah al-Ajmi took part in an attack in Mosul on 29 April that killed several people. Ajmi and two other Kuwaitis blew up two explosive-packed vehicles next to Iraqi security forces, media reports say.

The US transferred Ajmi to Kuwaiti custody from Guantanamo Bay in 2005. He was later acquitted by a Kuwaiti court of terrorism charges.

According to Kuwaiti and pan-Arab media reports, Ajmi and his two alleged accomplices, Nasir al-Dawsari and Badr al-Harbi, were able to leave Kuwait a month ago without alerting the attention of the authorities because they had wrongly been issued new passports.
According to a CNN report today, al-Ajmi isn't the first Gitmo guest to be released only to return to the battlefield. Pentagon officials say more than ten former Gitmo prisoners, the worst of the worst, have been killed or captured after their release. Cmdr. Jeff Gordon said, "Our reports indicate that a number of former [Guantanamo Bay] detainees have taken part in anti-coalition militant activities after leaving U.S. detention. Some have subsequently been killed in combat."

Mostly notable was the 2004 release of Abdullah Mahsud who returned to Afghanistan to become a militant leader of the Mahsud tribe in southern Waziristan. In October 2004, Mahsud orchestrated the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers in Pakistan. During an attempting rescue by Pakistani forces, one of the hostages was shot by a kidnapper. Five of the bad guys were killed, but Mahsud was not one of them. It has been discovered that Mahsud has been working with the Taliban since he was a teen and has been an al-Qaeda facilitator. Cmdr. Gordon said, "As these facts illustrate, there is an implied future risk to U.S. and allied interests with every detainee who is released or transferred from Guantanamo."

Guantanamo officials have released more than 500 detainees since 2002. Thirty-eight are considered to be no longer a threat to the U.S. and Allies. However, a staggering 462 have been repatriated who are still considered to be a threat to civilization. If so, why were they allowed to walk away? Especially when ex-detainees who return to the fight are reported to be dedicated to the cause and trained to be deceptive. That will not dissuade the Pentagon, officials say, the catch and release program will continue.

Oh, I feel better now that the Pentagon is showing its softer, more compassionate side.

Further reading:
The Washington Post
The Arab Times
International Herald Tribune
The Earth Times

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Future Predictions Past

Yogi Berra was right, "The past ain't what it used to be." Walter E. Williams reminds us of some predictions of what the future (our present) held for us.

(Photo: Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent)
At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind."

C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed."

In 1968, professor Paul Ehrlich, former Vice President Al Gore's hero and mentor, predicted that there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and "in the 1970s . . . hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death."

Ehrlich forecast that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and that by 1999 the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million.
Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier: "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."

In 1972, a report was written for the Club of Rome warning that the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992.

Gordon Taylor, in his 1970 book "The Doomsday Book," said Americans were using 50% of the world's resources and "by 2000 they (Americans) will, if permitted, be using all of them."

In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads warning, "The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000."

Harvard biologist George Wald in 1970 warned, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." That was the same year that Sen. Gaylord Nelson warned, in Look magazine, that by 1995 "somewhere between 75% and 85% of all the species of living animals will be extinct."

It's not just latter-day doomsayers who have been wrong; doomsayers have always been wrong.

In 1885, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that there was "little or no chance" of oil being discovered in California, and a few years later they said the same about Kansas and Texas.

In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last only another 13 years. In 1949, the secretary of the interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight. Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey advised us that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas. The fact of the matter, according to the American Gas Association: There's a 1,000- to 2,500- year supply.
Read the rest at IBD Editorials.

I wonder if the prognosticators are just a little bit embarrassed? If not, they should be. Personally, I prefer history, it's easier to predict.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Eight Year Old Yemeni Divorcee - An Update

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser was only 8 years old when her father married her off to a man nearly three times her age. Very bravely, Nojoud did the unthinkable in Muslim Yemeni society - she sued for divorce.

After two months of physical and sexual abuse, Nojoud ran away from her husband. With the help of her uncle, she filed a court case against her father and husband. She bought herself out of the marriage on April 15, 2008 with the help of her lawyer, Shatha Mohammed Nasser, Judge Abud Al-Khaleaq Ghowber, and an anonymous Emirates donor who kicked in YR 100,000.

Photo: Nojoud and her lawyer

Judge Ghowber told the Yemeni Times, "This was the first time a girl came to us for a divorce. We are going to do our best to push the parliament to change the marriage law."

Nojoud said, "I am so happy to be free and I will go back to school and will never think of getting married again. It is a good feeling to be rid of my husband and his bad treatment." She said she feels lucky her marriage was over and didn't have to live like her sisters who had also been married off by the father when they were young, but not as young as Nojoud.

Her sisters had children of their own soon after their weddings. Almost one half of Yemeni girls marry before they are 18 years old. Most will have their first child within the first year and have a child nearly every year of their reproductive years.

The Minister of Endowment, Judge Hamoud Al-Hitar, believes there should be legislation establishing a minimum age for marriage. The former Minister of Endowment and religious scholar, Yahiya Al-Najar said, "Those who approve of girls marrying at 13, 14 or even below 18, are barbaric men who abuse childhood and are irresponsible." He went to say the minimum age for marriage should apply to both girls and boys so their physical and mental development can continue until they are ready for the responsibilities of marriage and family.

The Editor of the Yemeni Times wrote in an editorial, "As educated Yemeni people we must start advocating for children’s rights and stop such violations. We must live up to our Islamic teachings which tell us to stop harm from being inflicted on others."

Perhaps eight year old Nojoud has achieved something bigger than just freeing herself from the barbaric pedophilia established by the perverted, sick bastard, the Prophet Mohammad. No child should be married before an appropriate age of consent and most certainly not without their personal consent freely given.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Ayn Rand Goes to College

Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" has been called one of "the best defense of capitalism ever written." CEO John Allison of BB&T, the large banking firm, wholeheartedly agrees. So much so, that he is putting his corporate money where his mouth is by donating $1 million dollars to a West Virginia college for the teaching of Rand's capitalist philosophy of Objectivism.

National Public Radio this morning broadcast a report, portions of which are wriitten here. Listen now to the 4 min 8 sec story.
Morning Edition, May 6, 2008

Since 2005, the BB&T Charitable Foundation has given 25 colleges and universities several million dollars to start programs devoted to the study of Rand's books and economic philosophy. In January, the company announced it was donating $1 million to Marshall University in West Virginia.

The money would establish a course dedicated to Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, and help create the BB&T Center for the Advancement of American Capitalism on campus.

But not everyone at the university is excited by the gift. Rick Wilson, a sociology instructor at Marshall and head of the West Virginia Economic Justice Project, says that Rand's philosophy, objectivism, is based on the view that selfishness is the only moral value.

"[Objectivism] goes against the collective wisdom of the human race, I think, pretty much everywhere," says Wilson. "I think it's a curious interpretation of philanthropy to use corporate money to promote, really, an extreme philosophy."

But Marshall professor Cal Kent, who is slated to direct the center funded by the grant, says BB&T officials just want to give students an additional perspective on capitalism.

"In my experience you're not able to propagandize students," says Kent. "Certainly that's not our intent in this course, and if it were our intent, we would be doomed for failure from the beginning."

"It's [Rand's philosophy] based on the idea of individualism," he says. "That means the freedom of individuals to contract with other people, the freedom to choose their occupation, the freedom to do what they see as being in their own best self interest with the resources they have."

Despite the criticism by some professors, Marshall Faculty Senate President Larry Stickler says it's too early to judge the course's merit. He supports offering the class on an "experimental" basis before making it an approved course.

Dan Holbrook of the history department first objected to the grant, but now says he's willing to give the course a chance.

"I think it's very easy to blow this out of proportion ... the smart thing to do is to wait and see exactly how they teach those books, because there's no one right way to teach those books or to even read those books," says Holbrook.
It's about time a capitalist country and nation actually teaches capitalism and the philosopical underpinnings. We have far too long trying to be capitalists with socialist and Marxist ideologies.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Something Unbelievable This Way Comes

A small miracle has occurred. The Huffington Post has published what was supposed to be an opinion piece by Sam Harris in the Washigton Post, but was declined as "too critical of Islam."

And holy moly is it ever critical of Islam. Harris doesn't spare the reaction of the West, either. The whole essay, Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks, is must read.

(h/t Atlas Shrugs)
Wilders, like Westergaard and the other Danish cartoonists, has been widely vilified for "seeking to inflame" the Muslim community. Even if this had been his intention, this criticism represents an almost supernatural coincidence of moral blindness and political imprudence. The point is not (and will never be) that some free person spoke, or wrote, or illustrated in such a manner as to inflame the Muslim community. The point is that only the Muslim community is combustible in this way. The controversy over Fitna, like all such controversies, renders one fact about our world especially salient: Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name. Our accommodation of this psychopathic skewing of priorities has, more and more, taken the form of craven and blinkered acquiescence.

There is an uncanny irony here that many have noticed. The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do. When they burn your embassies or kidnap and slaughter your journalists, know that we will hold you primarily responsible and will spend the bulk of our energies criticizing you for "racism" and "Islamophobia."


The lesson we should draw from the Fitna controversy is that we need more criticism of Islam, not less. Let it come down in such torrents that not even the most deluded Islamist could conceive of containing it. As Ibn Warraq, author of the revelatory Why I Am Not a Muslim, said in response to recent events:

It is perverse for the western media to lament the lack of an Islamic reformation and willfully ignore works such as Wilders' film, Fitna. How do they think reformation will come about if not with criticism? There is no such right as 'the right not to be offended; indeed, I am deeply offended by the contents of the Koran, with its overt hatred of Christians, Jews, apostates, non-believers, homosexuals but cannot demand its suppression.

It is time we recognized that those who claim the "right not to be offended" have also announced their hatred of civil society.
Could it be that Liberals are coming to their senses, or is it simply that George Bush is leaving office soon and an "oppose Bush at all costs" environment is no longer needed? Is sympathy for the Devil, after 7 years too unseemly to continue?

Whatever. At least Sam Harris has written something I can get behind.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Post-War Britain Agonized Over Jewish Refugees

Following The Great War, the war to end all wars, the British and French found themselves in the unenviable position as world's gendarmerie again. The Ottoman Empire had fallen leaving the entire Middle East in limbo without direction or director. Tribe fought tribe and bandits ran rampant with only the colonial powers of Europe to keep any kind of uneasy peace and order. Countries as European concieved them, did not exist in the Levant, so four score and six years ago Britain, France, and the League of Nations drew some lines on a map, filled in the country names and created the pretext Osama bin Laden used to attack America on 9/11.

Britain confronted a Hobson's choice - what to do with thousands of Jews left as refugees from the world after World War II? The Jews couldn't be returned to Germany so soon after the war, and they couldn't be allowed into the British Mandate of Palestine, the Arabs wouldn't stand for a larger Jewish presence. Jews from devastated Europe believed it was time for the diaspora to end, 'Next year in Jerusalem' was no longer something simply said at the end of Seder dinner without earthly meaning. It must sometime mean something. If not now, when?

Documents released Monday show how the British government tried to send thousands of Palestine-bound Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide back to postwar Germany without inflaming world opinion.

Could it be done? The answer was no. It was just two years after the end of the war and the world was outraged by the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in what became known as the Holocaust.

Despite the best efforts of early spin doctors to portray the move in the most sympathetic light, the decision to turn away the more than 4,500 Jews on board the Exodus refugee ship turned into a humanitarian and public relations debacle for Britain.

The story is detailed in more than 400 pages of formerly secret documents at Britain's National Archives made available to the public on Monday.

The Jews aboard the Exodus were trying to enter Palestine illegally during the tumultuous months in 1947 before the United Nations voted to create a Jewish homeland in part of Palestine.

Britain was still governing Palestine and the British government felt it had to keep the immigrants out to preserve the demographic balance between Arab and Jew. But Britain did not have a safe place to send the Jews from the Exodus, who were placed on three smaller British steamers.

After much agonizing, the British concluded that the only place they could send the Jews was to the British-controlled zone of postwar Germany, where the Jews could be placed in camps and screened for extremists.

After Germany, many of the passengers were eventually detained in military camps in Cyprus along with other Jews deported from Palestine. When the state of Israel was founded in 1948, the Exodus' passengers were able to move there.

The Exodus' ordeal focused world attention on the British blockade of Palestine and the plight of Jews fleeing Europe after World War II.

The documents show that diplomats and military officers knew that sending Jews back to Germany and putting them in camps so soon after the Holocaust would set off protests.

"These documents show the British perspective for the first time," said Mark Dunton, contemporary history specialist at the National Archives. "It's obvious in the files the British were sensitive to the claim they were putting Jews into concentration camps."

A British diplomat in France sent a coded warning to the Foreign Office in London in August 1947.

"You will realize that an announcement of decision to send immigrants back to Germany will produce violent hostile outburst in the press," he says.

He suggests an early measure of spin control — telling the press that the Jews will enjoy some freedoms even though they will be confined.

An unsigned cable from the Foreign Office on Aug. 19, 1947, explains that the decision to land the Jews in Germany has been made because it is the only suitable territory under British control that can handle so many people at short notice.

Three days later, a follow-up Foreign Office cable warns diplomats that they should be ready to "emphatically" deny that the Jews will be housed in former concentration camps after they are offloaded in Germany.

The Aug. 22 cable states that German guards will not be used to keep the Jews in the "refugee camps" and adds that British guards will be withdrawn once the Jews have been screened.

But security concerns were heightened on Aug. 30 when a secret telegram from the British Embassy in Washington warned of a possible terrorist attack by the Irgun and Stern gangs, two Zionist extremist groups determined to prevent the forced offloading of the Jews in Germany.

The Exodus passengers were successfully taken off the vessels in Germany, although a number were injured in confrontations with British troops that involved the use of batons and fire hoses.

An officer identified as Lt. Col. Gregson, in a formerly secret report, said he considered using tear gas to subdue the Jews but decided not to risk inflaming the situation.

"The Jew is liable to panic," he wrote.

Security fears seemed justified after the Jews were removed when a large, homemade bomb with a timed fuse was found on one of the three ships. It was apparently rigged to detonate after the Jews had been removed, the cables indicate.

The postscript on the operation comes from the British regional commander who says that the disembarkation could be regarded as successful because it was carried out with only minimal casualties. But he says Britain's reputation was damaged by the highly critical press coverage of OASIS, as the operation was known in diplomatic and military circles.

"It is impossible to deny that among the Hamburg population OASIS was one additional cause for reduction in British prestige," he ruefully concludes.
The past continues to be now, the choices and answers have not changed, only the names of the players have changed.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Rev. Jeremiah Wright on Covetous Lust and Marriage

Never having married, I have no wonderfully cute story on how I met my spouse. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright has a great story about winning the hand of his wife, Ramah. It's really cute.

The very Reverend Wright was performing his duties as a marriage counselor for a young couple in the 1980s. Delmer Reed was an investigator in the Illinois secretary of state's office, his schedule was very hectic, and it was harming his marriage. He and his wife sought counseling at Trinity United Church of Christ pastored by Jeremiah Wright. Reed spoke with Wright four times over a few months. Husband wife decided to attend counseling together to work things out.

Well, to make a long story short, and here's the really cute part, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright accepted lust into his heart, coveted his neighbor's wife, and coincidentally the Reed marriage soon ended in divorce. Ramah Reed and the very Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Man of God, married.

I bet you didn't see that coming. Delmer Reed sure didn't.

Delmer Reed, 59, confided to pals that he believed the minister moved in on his wife while Wright was counseling the couple at his Chicago church in the early 1980s, The Post has learned.

"That's exactly how he said it," Reed's divorce lawyer, Roosevelt Thomas, told The Post.

"It looks like Delmer might have been right," he said, because after Delmer and Ramah Reed were divorced, she got remarried - to Wright. "Either that or this was the biggest coincidence in the world."
Isn't that a heartwarming story. I know the cockles of my heart have been warmed. Do you have a wonderful spouse meeting story that you would like to share? It would be hard to beat the Wright's lust, covet and get-some tale, though.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.