Open Forum, Rebound Edition

The Open Forum has been a dud so far in September 2022…why is that? Quality, of course, always quality, but participation is way, way down from past months.

Or, it could be a hopeful sign that all of the ethics problems in our culture and society are being resolved!

Yeah, that’s the ticket…

51 thoughts on “Open Forum, Rebound Edition

  1. RE: Post entitled “A Magnificent Jumbo! “Partisan Bias? What Partisan Bias?”

    While the post focused on the partisan bias of the nominee, the subject (anti-intellectualism) to which she drew Hawley’s scrutiny should be exposed as well.

    The entire concept of anti-intellectualism is predicated idea that man can reason, and anti-intellectuals are driven by emotion rather than scientific facts.

    Fear is an emotion which is constantly used to advance and agenda. So why do the “intellectuals” resort to using fear to control behavior?

    This concept has been bastardized by the left to mean that any ideas that incongruent to the approved narrative are baseless claims, unsupported by facts, ergo promulgated by anti-intellectuals. When there are scientific facts to back up a claim that violates the groupthink it is suppressed by the media, or in many cases, funding for further research necessary to replicate findings dries up by those who wish to maintain the prevailing scientific beliefs.

    True intellectualism requires the ability to think critically about your own closely held beliefs but from what I have read about anti-intellectualism I have come to conclude that much of the “scholarly” work on the subject is merely a polemic against conservative thinking to advance progressivism. One such website which weaves its ideas through the social justice narative is:

    https://www.studioatao.org/post/understanding-anti-intellectualism-in-the-u-s

    Never does this site examine the failings of its own ideas nor does it show any positive social betterment espoused by conservative ideology. Values such as meritocracy are conveniently labeled “white” constructs.

    I have come to the rational conclusion that those that claim the mantle of being an intellectual and who also denigrate and demonize others, or work to suppress any ideas other than their own are the real anti-intellectuals. It is quite possible that Colleen Shogan could be the poster child for actual anti-intellectualism.

    • Agreed. The Left has always believed itself to be intellectually superior to the working class – otherwise, why would the working class need them? That is why we get ideas that race, gender, ability are social constructs and not immutable characteristics, which does not mean or require value judgments.

      jvb

      • The Bushes went to Yale as legacies and they’re dumb. Al Gore went to Yale as a legacy, but he’s smart. George W. Bush went to Harvard for business school but he’s dumb. All the Kennedys went to Harvard undergrad as legacies and they’re smart. Trump went to Wharton, but he’s dumb. Obama and Clinton were the smartest guys in the room. Nixon went to Duke law school, but he was dumb. John Kerry’s a legacy but he’s smart. It’s always this way.

            • I think the “all Republicans are dumb” revealed truth caused Dems to throw Nixon into the usual category. He was “Tricky Dick.” He was despised. He must have been dumb, as well as sneaky and unshaven and weird. Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch, but I just can’t see Dems EVER acknowledging a Republican could actually be smart. Just not possible. If you’re a Republican, ipso facto, you’re dumb!

              • Republicans are whatever Democrats need them to be at any given moment. They are dumb until they are required to be evil geniuses like George W. Bush, masterminding what his father started by continuing a Western takeover of the Middle Eastern oilfields and becoming a dictator by encouraging Americans to inform on Muslim neighbors and spying on them via the Patriot Act.

    • This is so true. This isn’t intellectualism at all, it’s dogmatism. Any so-called science that cannot be debated or questioned isn’t science at all, but dogma. Good grief, even King David railed against God in the Psalms. God can handle questions while the self-appointed intellectuals of the world cannot.

      Is it any different from Eugenics being settled science under the Nazis which discouraged any deviation from their bigoted racial hierarchy? Is it any different from Stalinist scientists who had to produce the outcomes Stalin wanted regardless of whether or not scientific fact supported them.

  2. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/starbucks-pay-person-behind-act-035606614.html?.tsrc=fp_deeplink

    Here is an interesting article I spotted. A twist on the whole “Pay it Forward” movement. It’s certainly is ethical to pay for the person who comes after you (or behind you), but is it unethical to break the stream of paying?

    I don’t think so. I think it’s unethical to use pressure to coerce someone into doing something that should be voluntary, especially in public. This is why I resent the peer pressure to give standing ovations. Five people in the audience stand up and applaud so two hundred other people suddenly feel self-conscious and stand up, too?

    While I would quibble with her choice of wording, particularly the parts where she feels entitled to free food, I can’t argue with the idea that she shouldn’t be expected to pay for the person behind her. Contributing comments in the article actually reinforce something I’ve mused about in the past – what happens if the person behind you ordered far more than you expected to pay?

    • I’ve done this a few times in a drive-thru. I always asked “how much is the person-behind-me’s tab. Sometimes I’d pay for their order. I never was on the receiving end of this, and I never expected it to become a chain-reaction.

      I’ve never seen the movie “Pay it Forward” and will try to keep it that way. My impression was that people were buying lottery tickets by paying for some stranger’s food, expecting a big payout for what should be an act of selfless giving.

  3. Hey! There are no arms of color in that photo! Is this sort of cultural appropriation acceptable in an ethics blog?

    But in the meantime, from the Daily Mail, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the inimitable swift boating, M-1 toting, home movie in a war zone producing, John Kerry (whose actual surname was Kohn, speaking of Nikki Haley and Asuncion Hostin):

    Former Secretary of State John Kerry said publicly that President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t have ‘much’ to do with inflation – even as he praised the law’s billions in climate funding.
    Kerry was referring to the bill title that Senate leaders stuck onto the resurrected legislation after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer was able to hammer out a deal with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who had raised repeat concerns about potential impacts on record inflation.
    Negotiators scrubbed Biden’s proposals, many from his original Build Back Better plan, and slapped on the Inflation Reduction Act moniker, although many of its most ambitious programs that the administration cheered had to do with carbon emissions reductions and new funds to promote electric vehicles.
    Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy for climate, emphasized those provisions of the new law. The law includes $375 billion in programs intended to tackle climate change.
    ‘And I’m not sure how much it has to do with inflation, but that’s OK,’ he quipped at the International Energy Agency’s Global Clean Energy Action Forum, as Fox News reported.
    The former Massachusetts senator and former secretary of state also made another joke about the name. ‘We’re running around saying, ‘I support the IRA. That’s tricky in politics, but here we are.”

    Yes, John, here we are indeed. I think “here we are” may qualify as a sub-numbered rationalization. Congratulations! To call John reptilian would be a disservice to reptiles.

    • I wonder if “Quantum Leap” will ever jump back to the earlier, 1980s version of itself.

      The “new idea” tank in show business is bone dry, though I must nominate it for some kind of “green” award, given all the cheap recycling it does.

    • You used that word “new” very loosely. This is another remake of something old because there’s a sincere lack of actual creativity in Hollywood.

      Time is very linear; you cannot change history because it’s gone and therefore it cannot be changed, period. Now presented with the purely fictional possibility that it could be done, the previously known timeline is 100% irrelevant when the time line is changed in any way in the past so ethics of changing the timeline would essentially be irrelevant because what was in a previous timeline is no longer. Now the ethics of the action that’s taken to change the timeline is completely relevant, think murdering Hitler’s mother or father long before Hitler was ever conceived.

      Having the ability to peer forward in time (without physically going there) and changing the present based on what’s seen in the future to effectively change that possible future is an entirely different ethical conundrum. Think about the ethical and moral implications in the story “The Minority Report”.

      • I think there was an “Outer Limits”, not the original, but one of the remakes (agreed, no originality at all), where someone went back and tried to kill baby Hitler, ended up killing the Hitler baby only for the Hitler family housekeeper to be so afraid she’d be blamed that she ended up swiping a baby from someone and that turned out to actually be Adolf.

    • What are the ethics of changing history for the better?

      Wow. That question raises a lot of questions to even begin answering it! I’ve always been bemused by time travel escapades. Over time, I’ve hardened in my view that with time travel, you can only fulfil history, not change it, but there are a number of different views of what time travel might accomplish.

      First, one could travel back in time and alter history, so that the present changes. A lot people favor this one, with the idea of actually fixing what went wrong. “Back to the Future” took this route, as did “Star Trek”, especially in “Voyager”. “The Terminator” and “The Terminator 2” movies presented a hopeful view that the future could be changed.

      Second, the view I favor, is that one cannot change history by going back in time. When you go back in time, you then are doing the things that the present already has recorded you as doing. (One could launch a tangential debate about free will under this scenario: do you have free will if all your actions have, historically speaking, already been decided?) Ann McAffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern took this option, where some of the mysteries of the past were explained as the results of the present-day characters time-traveling. “Chronoliths” was an interesting novel in which a future dictator who was conquering the world was sending back to the present time these Chronoliths commemorating his victories. At the climax (which took place in Wyoming, and it always makes me giddy when someone includes my home state in their works), the characters thwart the dictator by disrupting the sending of a Chronolith, but one of the main characters hands herself over to the bad guys so that she could fulfill her role in teaching the dictator how to send the Chronoliths back in time. And “12 Monkeys” was an interesting movie in which we learn how the main character ends up fulfilling a scene he himself had witnessed as a child.

      A third view is a multiverse theory of time travel, which says that one can travel back in time, but any changes just spawn a new universe. If you follow the thought that there’s a universe for every decision anyone could make, then typically the time traveler does not go back into his own past, but into the past of nearby parallel dimension, so close to his own that they are practically identical for all intents and purposes. Michael Crichton’s “Timeline” took this view, as Akira Toriyama’s Dragonball series.

      “The Terminator 3”, which ruined the Terminator series for me (and it sits with “Alien 3”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and a few others that destroyed their franchises, as far as I’m concerned), took a gag-worthy, wishy-washy amalgamation of the first two views, where the future couldn’t really be changed, except it could, but only to some extent… I mention it for completeness, that one can probably take an approach that is some mixture of the three views above, in a variety of degrees, and come up with some unique notion of what time travel could accomplish.

      As a note, I enjoyed watching the original “Quantum Leap” as a kid, but I can’t recall right now if Sam actually changed anything in the past that we would recognize. The closest was the episode where he originally leaped into Lee Harvey Oswald, and then at the last moment leapt into a secret service agent to save Jaqueline Kennedy. Since Jaqueline Kennedy survived the assassination, it might be that Sam “putting right to what once went wrong” was merely correcting the timeline back to what it should have been, but I can’t recall off the top of my head.

      The next thing to ask is a question about time itself, such as whether either the past or future exist, or if only the present exists. Certainly if only the present exists, then the past would be inaccessible, so let’s assume the past still exists. What about the future? If the past can be changed, the future would be changed, so how much of the future already exists? Given how even small changes in the past could have drastic results on a long enough timeline, how much of the future could be changed? How many lives would be impacted?

      This leads to the next question, which is, how do you measure whether the changes you make in the past are leading to something better? I’m not going to suggest that we live in a Leibniz “Best of all Possible Worlds”, but given the way so many bad events ultimately work their way to the good, is it as likely to wreck the future as to make it better? Or suppose there’s a tradeoff. You might make the present you return to better, but the future ends up being worse. Or what if the present is better for you, but a lot worse for someone else? What if that leads to someone attempting to go back to undo what you did? What if your better present comes at the cost of some people not even being born? And I don’t mean the cliche going back in time and killing your grandfather, but more like in “Fringe”, when the watchers alter the past so that Peter does die in his childhood, and the baby born to him and Olivia never existed?

      And that leads to the final question of: who gets to time travel? Who has the authority to allow the past to be changed? I’m thinking of Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”, where a time travel group takes people back in time to hunt dinosaurs that have been meticulously vetted as about to die momentarily anyway, so that history is not altered.

      I don’t have answers to any of these, but they are all considerations that have to be made when assessing whether one should change the past, even assuming one even could change the past.

      • I don’t know if this is still the case (probably not), but once upon a time (hehe) there used to essentially be boxes for science fiction writers to check off in their career. This probably made more sense when a huge amount a science fiction came in the short story format, and was published originally in science fiction magazines.

        Some of the semi-obligatory things that sf writers felt they should do were time travel stories. Some of them ended up being classics, such as Heinlein’s ‘By His Bootstraps’, Leiber’s novel ‘Lest Darkness Fall’, ‘A Gun for Dinosaur’ by (I think) deCamp. David Gerrold’s ‘The Man Who Folded Himself’ was sort of an early multiverse novel, with the protagonist generating ever increasing versions of himself (and actually herself for some universes). One theme that I don’t think you mentioned was the Time Police, which Poul Anderson expounded on in several novels. Yes, Time can be changed but it’s a Bad Thing and needs to be policed.

        The fun thing about time travel stories is that the author basically gets to make up the rules to suit himself — much as authors do for faster than light travel which is equally not theoretically possible. There have probably been scores of ways time travel has been described and, as long as the author remains internally consistent, it’s all good and all part of the willing suspension of disbelief.

        Some of the other boxes authors used to feel obliged to check off include lost world stories, coming of age stories, alien invasion and first contact stories (both still very popular), and others but I think time travel has historically (hehe) been the most fun and most popular. This was not solely confined to science fiction authors — for example Rex Stout, who would later create the world’s largest detective (Nero Wolfe) early on wrote a lost world novel.

        Some story lines that are now obsolete include landing on the moon, Martian canals, tales of a super hot Mercury (that was supposed to be tidally locked), etc. Sadly science has rendered certain stories obsolete.

  4. The entertainment culture is rapidly changing!!!

    I’ve been noticing an interesting trend over the last ten years that has been growing exponentially over the last couple of years, that trend is the migration away from portraying heterosexual relationships in modern cinema, theater, television and general entertainment and a blatantly obvious shift to portraying lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender relationships.

    In a relatively recent blog post titled What’s Considered Normal? I openly questioned what is considered normal and abnormal in relation to the LGBT community and the rest of our culture and society.

    Here’s a related segment of that post…

    Here are three relatively simple definitions I found online for the word normal:
    • Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
    • Conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.
    • If something conforms to a general pattern, standard, or average, we describe it as normal.

    If we can ask and answer the question as to what’s considered normal then we can also ask and answer the question as to what’s considered abnormal. Here are three definitions I found online…
    • Deviating from what is normal or usual.
    • Not normal, average, typical, or usual.
    • Something that is abnormal is out of the ordinary, or not typical.

    What I’m seeing in the entertainment world from my perspective is that well over a third maybe even approaching or exceeding a half of the relationships portrayed are LGBT in nature. In some shows the LGBT relationships are really, really in-your-face and intentionally over emphasized with explicit scenes (not x-rated) and heterosexual relationships seem to be pushed to the back burner and almost entirely ignored. These are actual observations. I’m seeing these trends in advertisements, streaming movies, streaming series, reality television shows, even news coverage, etc, etc.

    Also in my What’s Considered Normal blog post I stated that the total number of LGBT in the USA is about 3.8% of adults which leaves 96.2% that are heterosexual and I provided a link to support the statistics. If we were to apply those percentages across the board to our entire culture and society then I would expect to see roughly the same kind of percentages portrayed in our entertainment, but that’s no longer true, in fact it is now very skewed in favor of LGBT relationships.

    Now I think we’ve all heard that in some ways what we see in our entertainment world can normalize certain things in our society and can actually drive social trends but I really don’t know if that is statistically provable; however, if it does normalize and drive social trends then what we are seeing being intentionally normalized is so far off what’s actually considered “normal” in our society with regard to the LGBT community that I think there is some obvious virtue signaling motivation behind it. It’s beginning to appear that our entertainment industry is trying to make that which is not “the norm” appear as if it is “the norm” and that is intentional manipulation. Intentionally presenting manipulating misrepresentations of our society is a lie. Not being “the norm” is not a judgement on right or wrong, it simply means that it’s not “the norm”, but intentionally lying about “the norm” to virtue signal and manipulate is wrong.

    We have a politically charged environment and so many people seem to be looking for anything that supports their bias and they can promote that as propaganda and this trend is no different, it’s pure propaganda.

    NOTE: This same kind of over representation trend can bee seen with the huge increase of interracial relationships and a huge over representation of minorities in the entertainment world.

    Now for a couple of questions…
    1. Is the trend of advertisements, news coverage, streaming movies, streaming series, reality television shows, etc to wildly over represent the LGBT community unethical manipulation?

    2. Are these trends evidence that the entertainment industry is openly pandering to modern social justice warriors so they won’t be canceled and remain socially relevant thus maintaining their cash flow?

    Have you noticed these trends?

    • Yes of course, Steve. One could recast your comment by changing “LBTQ” to “of color.” Thirteen percent of the American population is black. I’d say over eighty percent of people in television commercials are black. It’s ridiculous pandering and virtue signaling. Arts and the entertainment industry are dominated by gay people. Much of the executive class is straight (See, eg. Harvey Weinstein, et al.), but the talent is gay and lesbian.

      “There are three types of pianists: homosexual pianists, Jewish pianists and bad pianists.” — Vladimir Horowitz.

      By the way, I’m with William F. Buckley when he said, “If only three percent of the population is gay, I’ve met all of them.” I’m guessing at least ten percent of the population is LBTQ. Just a guess based on what I see.

    • I was listening to a local radio station today and the local and only mental health facility (I’m aware of) in this area is offering businesses diversity, equity and inclusion classes. According to the US census the county is 94.2% white. You can’t create something that isn’t there. There’s a lack of diversity, but that doesn’t make the businesses intolerant of others and I resent this top down approach of trying to make things like this standard when it makes no sense to do so. So in answer to your question yes I see it. The illiberal left are so focused on slicing and dicing ethnicities they are missing the human connection common to us all. If they really want to make a difference they should try to understand the rural/urban divide. There’s a lot less tolerance there and a lot more wholesale judgment. You can tell exactly who lives where and there’s no incentive to mix, not at all.

    • Why is it suggested that a conservative dominated court is somehow bad and a liberal dominated court is good?

      Seems to me that a judicious court would be best served by following the law rather than legislating according to political philosophy.

      Do these people lamenting the conservative majority realize how transparently hypocritical they are when they try to manipulate retirements to ensure they get ideologically similar justices on the bench?

  5. I’ve been involved in three scenarios of lost and found this week, and the last two have bothered me about my choice in the first.

    First, while driving saw what looked like a barbecue lighter in the middle of the road. Grabbed it and it turns out it’s a tire pressure gauge valued about $40.

    Second, driving again and see a zippered eyeglasses case on the side of the road. Time and traffic aren’t conducive to picking it up this time, but I see on Nextdoor later that day that someone did and reunited a pair of prescription sunglasses with their owner.

    Third, my oldest and youngest sons share a scooter. Scooter was accidentally left at the elementary school following an after-school event. Oldest son reminded youngest that he had left it there at sunset, so we set out to retrieve it. On the way, we encounter two older students who’ve brought it off school property, they share most of the same route home as ud, but don’t know us well enough to have been bringing it to us. They hand it over and we thank them.

    I don’t know their motivations for sure, but suspect it was along the lines of my reaction around the first scenario… “Hey, free tire gauge!”… Obviously the most ethical scenario is what happened with the sunglasses, but no ethics alarms were ringing in my head until the night of bringing the scooter home.

    • If you’re part of an online neighborhood community, you could pit out notice on what you found and how to reach you. Also, if the spot where the item was found is right by any houses you could check there.

      Once I rescued a bag of mulch from the middle of the road by an elementary school in the evening. I had no clue who’d lost it, and no way to find out, so I gave it to my roommate who has a vegetable garden at our place. If I had any idea at all where it had come from, I would’ve returned it, but i feel good that I at least didn’t let it go to waste.

  6. Isn’t it unethical for persons to move to a better location from their previous location, where their votes and political support have helped create unlivable conditions, and then continue the same behavior? This has been a concern in places like Texas, which has been receiving Kalifornia refugees.
    Apparently, though, many people decamping to Florida from places like New York, may not be engaging in this type of self-harm. According to this (link below), of over a million new voters having moved into the state since 2018, only about 18,000 have registered as democrats, and registered Republicans now outnumber them. Florida may now be a less-likely swing state. (Would that this may also happen to Georgia.)
    https://thefederalistpapers.org/us/desantis-wins-1m-new-voters-less-18k-registered-democrat?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=brief-FP&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=2022-09-23&ats_es=%5B-MD5-%5D

    • It’s a great story, and thanks for the updates. It will be great to have a third legitimate 700 homer great on the lifetime homer list (of course Barry Bonds doesn’t count) and one who hits the milestone playing for his original city, with his original team.(Babe hit his last homer while playing for his original city, Boston, but with the Braves; Hammerin’ Hank also ended up with the city of his original team, but in a different league and with another team (the Brewers).

      • By the way, just the night before Aaron Judge came perhaps 4 feet or so from an historic home run that would have simultaneously:

        – Tied Maris’s American League home run record
        – Been a walk off game winner, and
        – Been a walk off playoff berth clinching game winner.

        It wasn’t to be Thursday night, but I feel fairly confident he’ll get the two homers he needs, with 11 games to go. He is also, after going hitless this afternoon, hitting .314, just behind Xander Bogaerts .315 for the batting title. He’s going to win the HR and RBI titles, so he has a real, genuine shot at the Triple Crown.

        Dangit, what’s a died in the wool Yankee hater to do?

  7. Re: Diego Garcia’s comment at 1:23 am: I love Poul Anderson’s Time Patrol stories, but I do suspend my belief in what’s real and possible when reading them.

  8. I completed watching the first two episodes of Ken Burn’s Holocaust documentary. I noticed a few things that revealed Mr. Burn’s bias.
    First, he began by referring to other pre and post-Holocaust atrocities implying they were either causative or derivative of the Shoah. One of the first things articulated by the US Holocaust Museum educational programs is to avoid such comparisons. The history of the Holocaust is unique as is the history of other atrocities perpetrated by humans against other humans. We do not play the game of “whose atrocity was better or worse.”

    Second, there seems to have been a concerted effort to canonize FDR. When he came to the White House in 1932 he exerted his executive power a number of times to effect his New Deal over the wishes of Congress. Yet, as the immigration of the Jews and others became more and more problematic due to the “quota system of 1924 he is quoted in the documentary as being powerless and lacking executive power to effect any change.

    Third, it is told that FDR did appoint people of other ethnicities to significant political positions. He did so, not out of altruistic love for others, he did so because he read the political tea leaves and the changing demographics.

    Fourth, it caught my attention whenever a politician who was quoted as being against the Jews and their potential immigration their Republican party affiliation was noted. The political affiliation of others, who were Democrats, was not. Throughout the series, no mention was made of the fact that Congress was controlled overwhelmingly by the Democrats from 1932 until 1952.

    Fifth, the allusion to Joseph Kennedy, a staunch Democrat, who was also a staunch antisemite, who did little to nothing to assist the Jews and other refugees was quoted as saying, after the blitzkrieg that “Britain would be defeated,” revealed his defeatist and his “anti-USA involvement attitude. Yet, the series failed to mention that he made his fortune in the wartime production of materials in WWI and continued to do so in the years building up to and throughout WW2. Kennedy’s sons, Joseph Jr. and John may have been war heroes, but Joseph Sr. was not.

    Finally, all of the interviews of the survivors were done before Mr. Burns began his project. He edited them into his work. I don’t recall seeing attribution to the oral history project of the US Holocaust Museum from which they came, but I may have missed that.
    Tonight I will watch part three. I have read that it does end with a lot of reference to the immigration policy of the Trump administration as being a repetition of the past rejection of Jewish migrants. Of course, this series was produced before the hypocrisy of the left toward migrants was revealed by the elite leftist Democrats of Martha’s Vineyard actions and other ‘sanctuaries’. This is the true imitation of the policymakers of the 30–’40s.

    I apologize for the late and verbose entry to the Friday open forum. “Day late and a dollar short” as usual.

    • Excellent post, and thanks for making the effort both to watch the documentary and report on it.

      I was inspired by your post to do a little checking of my own on the internet. A year or so ago, I read most of an excellent book, “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust” published in 2019 by Rafael Medoff. I got most of the way through it — to around 1942, and petered out before giving it to a friend.

      Medoff makes several key points: The U.S. government actively discouraged and hindered Jewish Germans from emigrating to the United States during the 30s. Germany had a relatively generous immigration quota, I believe (as a favored nation), but that quota almost never came close to being filled during the 1930s. The State Department was a hotbed of anti-semitism, which it would appear Roosevelt shared.

      Rabbi Wise was one of the foremost leaders of American Jewry during the 1930s and 1940s, and he was an ardent admirer of FDR. He did have occasional access to the President, but that evidently did not translate into influence. FDR persuaded him that his best course of action was to remain quiet and not make a big public fuss. Wise and some other Jewish leaders feared a major backlash if they created too much public outcry over what the Nazis were doing to the Jews in Germany.

      Our government did essentially nothing to help get Jews out of Germany while they still could. It refused to take even minimal military action to hamper the Nazi death camps — such as bombing the rail lines leading to the camps. Frankly, I was shocked to read about Roosevelt’s actions in this area, as was my sister (who is a die hard Democratic activist). And, evidently, FDR had some of the same attitudes towards Japanese Americans — at least the internment camps were not covered up, although perhaps glossed over in a lot of histories.

      When I was looking at Wikipedia, there were articles stubs on both this book and another, published in 2013, “FDR and the Jews” by Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman, that views this same area from a diametrically opposed point of view (FDR did his best, we could not have saved any more than we did, etc). Wikipedia had the exact same description, word for word, of both books — “examining the complex relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jews” and that was the sum total description of the content of both books. Very interesting.

      Here is a review of this book by Mark Horowitz that appeared in ‘Commentary’ in 2020:

      https://www.commentary.org/articles/mark-horowitz/fdr-jewish-leadership-and-holocaust/

      I commend this article to you and, if it piques your interest, I thought it was a good book as well.

      I did watch the first few minutes and last few minutes of the final episode of this documentary — I was not impressed by the ending, to say the least.

      If Burns is subtly implying that all the anti-semites in America were Republicans, that is simply not true. Next he will be portraying Woodrow Wilson as a civil rights activist. I am sure anti-semitism in America has been a bipartisan activity and it certainly was entrenched in the government bureaucracy under FDR.

      FDR was a complex man, who did a lot of great things for the United States. We should not overlook or whitewash the fact that he at the same time did things that we simply cannot be proud of. It doesn’t make him a bad man or a bad president — just an imperfect human, whose overall legacy I still think should be celebrated.

      • Thanks for the compliment. I read both texts you recommended. They are in deed insightful. The Germans and other Northern European countres had privileged favor after the 1924 quota system was enacted due to a sleight of hand by the government. The quota was based on the percentage of
        a nation’s emigre American population that was already in the US. However, those percentages were calculated on the 1890 census at which time there were more settled emigres from the Northern Protestant nations, who were preferred, than from Southern and Eastern European nations that were predominantly Catholic & Jewish. It was not until the Democrats coming to power in 1932 that the Germans and the German Jew, in particular, were negatively affected. Hitler came to power in 1933, the Dems held both Houses and the Presidency from 1932-1952. As I think I said, Burns identified the political party of the anti-immigrationRepublican and never identified the political party of the anti-immigration Democrats who were in fact the policymakers.
        I watched the final episode last night. The lauded FDR for his heroic use of his executive power to form the War Refugee Board in January 1944, was too little too late, in my humble opinion. The last moments of the documentary certainly had an anti-Trump flavor. To compare the illegal immigrants of today who are coming for economic reasons for the most part to those who desperately tried to legally enter the country to escape genocidal extinction was a real stretch.

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