Unspeakable

Every month, it seems, yet another movie is released based upon some real or some fanciful event of World War Two. Invariably, like some stylized Greek drama in which the actors all wear the same masks and all chant the same lines, the cast in these propagandistic morality plays are as predictable as the message. . . .

On one side are arrayed the Allies, the good guys; generally, these are the happy-go-lucky gum-chewing Americans who are heroically “fighting for freedom” and are striving to save the world and the folks back in Ohio from slavery. On the other side are the arrogant Germans, the evil Nazis; this is the dark force the world is being saved from, those overbearing monsters who live only to murder, rape, torture, kill, and make lampshades and bars of soap out of defenseless, harmless Jews.

It has now been over 70 years since the conclusion of the so-called “Good War.”  Thousands of books, articles and movies have been devoted to this pivotal period and the supposedly heroic sacrifice of the so-called “Greatest Generation.” Despite the sheer tonnage of material dedicated to the victor’s version of WWII, there has yet to be an honest, accurate and straight-forward retelling of that cataclysmic event and what it really looked like, not merely from the victors’ perspective, but through the eyes of the vanquished, as well.

The following is from my book Hellstorm—The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947. To date, this book remains the only in-depth account of what the end of the war and the beginning of the so-called “peace” looked like from the German perspective.  To this day, what happened to Germany and her people, especially after the war, remains the darkest and best-kept secret in world history. And to this day, what happened to Germany and her people also remains, by far, the greatest and most sadistic crime ever committed in the history of mankind.

***

Since the German invasion of the Soviet Union in September 1941, the fight on the Eastern Front had been little better than a savage war of annihilation. A contest between “European Nationalism” on the one hand, and “International Communism” on the other, would have been a most desperate struggle under any conditions. But then, fighting for his life, Josef Stalin deliberately exacerbated the situation.

Dubious over the loyalty of his armed forces, aware of the massive Russian surrenders during the First World War, the Red premier steadfastly refused to sign the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war or the Hague Treaty regarding land warfare. It was Stalin’s belief that if a soldier had no guarantee of survival in captivity, then he must of necessity fight to the death in battle. Despite such ruthless measures, Soviet troops surrendered by the hundreds of thousands in the first weeks and months of the war. Swamped by the flood of prisoners, strained to adequately clothe, feed and house such numbers, and understandably hesitant to even do so unless the Russians reciprocated, the Germans time and again tried to reach an accord with Stalin. The efforts were flung back with contempt.

“Soviet soldiers do not surrender,” communist officials airily announced. “[A] prisoner captured alive by the enemy [is] ipso facto a traitor…. If they had fulfilled their duty as soldiers to fight to the last they would not have been taken prisoner.”

“Everyone who was taken prisoner, even if they’d been wounded . . . was considered to have ‘surrendered voluntarily to the enemy,’ ” wrote Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana, whose own brother was captured and promptly disowned by her father.  “The government thereby washed its hands of millions of its own officers and men . . . and refused to have anything to do with them.”

Hence, growled a disgruntled captain of Russian artillery, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “[Moscow] did not recognize its own soldiers of the day before.”

Not surprisingly, many Red Army men, including General Andrei Vlasov, swiftly turned on their government after capture and became “traitors” not only in name, but in fact, by joining the Germans in their anti-communist crusade.

That the Soviets would treat their own troops in such a deplorable manner bode ill for that German soldier, or Landser, unlucky enough to fall into enemy hands. Although responses varied greatly among Soviet units and some captured Germans were treated as POWs, most were not. During the first glorious days of German victory in 1941, the Red Army’s headlong retreat precluded the likelihood that large numbers of Landsers would be captured. Nevertheless, thousands of unwitting Germans did fall into communist hands and were dispatched on the spot.

On July 1, 1941, near Broniki in the Ukraine, the Soviets captured over 160 Germans, many of them wounded. In the words of Corporal Karl Jager:

After being taken prisoner . . . other comrades and I were forced to undress. . . . We had to surrender all valuable objects including everything we had in our pockets. I saw other comrades stabbed with a bayonet because they were not fast enough. Corporal Kurz had a wounded hand and . . .  could not remove his belt as quickly as desired. He was stabbed from behind at the neck so that the bayonet came out through the throat. A soldier who was severely wounded gave slight signs of life with his hands; he was kicked about and his head was battered with rifle butts. . . . Together with a group of 12 to 15 men I was taken to a spot north of the road. Several of them completely naked. We were about the third group coming from the road. Behind us the Russians commenced the executions . . . panic broke out after the first shots, and I was able to flee.

“My hands were tied up at my back . . . and we were forced to lie down. . . ,” said another victim in the same group. “[A] Russian soldier stabbed me in the chest with his bayonet. Thereupon I turned over. I was then stabbed seven times in the back and I did not move any more. . . . I heard my comrades cry out in pain. Then I passed out.”

In all, 153 bodies were recovered by advancing Germans the following morning. Despite the summary slaughter of their own men at Broniki and elsewhere, Wehrmacht field marshals strictly forbid large-scale reprisals. One group which could expect no mercy from the Germans was the communist commissars who traveled with Red Army units. Composed “almost exclusively” of Jews, it was these fanatical political officers, many Germans felt, who were responsible for the massacres and mutilations of captured comrades. Explained one witness, Lieutenant Hans Woltersdorf of the elite SS:

One of our antitank gun crews had defended itself down to the last cartridge, really down to the last cartridge. Over thirty dead Russians lay before their positions. They then had to surrender. While still alive they had their genitals cut off, their eyes poked out, and their bellies slit open. Russian prisoners to whom we showed this declared that such mutilations took place by order of the commissars. This was the first I had heard of such commissars.

With the threat of torture and execution facing them, many idealistic German soldiers had an added impetus to fight to the death. In the minds of most Landsers, the war in the east was not a contest against the Russian or Slavic race in particular, but a crusade against communism. In the years following World War I, Marxist revolutionaries had nearly toppled the German government. Because most of the leaders were Jews, and because Lenin, Trotsky, and many other Russian revolutionaries were Jewish, the threat to Nazi Germany and Europe seemed clear. Hence, from Adolf Hitler down to the lowliest Landser, the fight in the east became a holy war against “Jewish Bolshevism.”

“The poor, unhappy Russian people,” said one shocked German soldier as he moved further into the Soviet Union. “Its distress is unspeakable and its misery heart-rending.”

“When you see what the Jew has brought about here in Russia, only then can you begin to understand why the Fuhrer began this struggle against Judaism,” another stunned Landser wrote, expressing a sentiment shared by many comrades. “What sort of misfortunes would have been visited upon our Fatherland, if this bestial people had gotten the upper hand?”

Following the devastating German defeat at Stalingrad in 1943, the “upper hand” did indeed pass to the enemy. Supplied by the US with a seemingly inexhaustible amount of goods, from tanks and planes to boots and butter, the resurgent Red Army assumed the offensive.

As the heretofore invincible Wehrmacht began its long, slow withdrawal west, a drama as vast and savage as the steppe itself unfolded, the likes of which the modern world had never witnessed. In dozens of major battles, in thousands of forgotten skirmishes, a primeval contest was waged wherein victory meant life and defeat meant death.

***

Overwhelmingly outnumbered in men and materiel, especially the dreaded tank, for young German recruits sent to fill depleted ranks there was no subtle transition from peace to war on the Eastern Front—they simply stepped straight from the train or truck into the inferno. Likewise, the step from boy to man could, and often did, come within a matter of moments once the recruit reached the lines. Guy Sajer’s youth ended abruptly one day when his convoy was ambushed.

Anybody hit?” one of the noncoms called out. “Let’s get going then. . . .” Nervously, I pulled open the door [of the truck]. Inside, I saw a man I shall never forget, a man sitting normally on the seat, whose lower face had been reduced to a bloody pulp.

“Ernst?” I asked in a choking voice. “Ernst!” I threw myself at him. . . . I looked frantically for some features on that horrible face. His coat was covered with blood. . . . His teeth were mixed with fragments of bone, and through the gore I could see the muscles of his face contracting. In a state of near shock, I tried to put the dressing somewhere on that cavernous wound. . . . Crying like a small boy, I pushed my friend to the other end of the seat, holding him in my arms. . . . Two eyes opened, brilliant with anguish, and looked at me from his ruined face.

In the cab of a . . . truck, somewhere in the vastness of the Russian hinterland, a man and an adolescent were caught in a desperate struggle. The man struggled with death, and the adolescent struggled with despair. . . . I felt that something had hardened in my spirit forever.

“The first group of T34’s crashed through the undergrowth,” another terrified replacement recalled when Russian tanks suddenly shattered his once peaceful world.

I heard my officer shout to me to take the right hand machine. . . . All that I had learned in the training school suddenly came flooding back and gave me confidence. . . . It had been planned that we should allow the first group of T-34’s to roll over us. . . . The grenade had a safety cap which had to be unscrewed to reach the rip-cord. My fingers were trembling as I unscrewed the cap . . . [and] climbed out of the trench. . . . Crouching low I started towards the monster, pulled the detonating cord, and prepared to fix the charge. I had now nine seconds before the grenade exploded and then I noticed, to my horror, that the outside of the tank was covered in concrete. . . . My bomb could not stick on such a surface. . . . The tank suddenly spun on its right track, turned so that it pointed straight at me and moved forward as if to run over me.

I flung myself backwards and fell straight into a partly dug slit trench and so shallow that I was only just below the surface of the ground. Luckily I had fallen face upwards and was still holding tight in my hand the sizzling hand grenade. As the tank rolled over me there was a sudden and total blackness. . . . The shallow earth walls of the trench began to collapse. As the belly of the monster passed over me I reached up instinctively as if to push it away and . . . stuck the charge on the smooth, unpasted metal. . . . Barely had the tank passed over me than there was a loud explosion. . . . I was alive and the Russians were dead. I was trembling in every limb.

Another Landser who found truth facing Russian tanks was eighteen-year-old Guy Sajer. Armed with single-shot “Panzerfausts,” a shoulder-held anti-armor weapon, Sajer and five comrades cowered in a shallow hole. “Our fear reached grandiose proportions, and urine poured down our legs,” admitted the young soldier. “Our fear was so great that we lost all thought of controlling ourselves.”

Three tanks were moving toward us. If they rolled over the mound which protected us, the war would end for us in less than a minute. I [raised] my first Panzerfaust, and my hand, stiff with fear, [was] on the firing button.

As they rolled toward us, the earth against which my body was pressed transmitted their vibrations, while my nerves, tightened to the breaking point, seemed to shrill with an ear-splitting whistle. . . . I could see the reflected yellow lights on the front of the tank, and then everything disappeared in the flash of light which I had released, and which burned my face. . . . To the side, other flashes of light battered at my eyes, which jerked open convulsively wide, although there was nothing to see. Everything was simultaneously luminous and blurred. Then a second tank in the middle distance was outlined by a glow of flame. . . .

We could hear the noise of a third tank. . . . It had accelerated, and was no more than thirty yards from us, when I grabbed my last Panzerfaust. One of my comrades had already fired, and I was temporarily blinded. I stiffened my powers of vision and regained my sight to see a multitude of rollers caked with mud churning past . . . five or six yards from us. An inhuman cry of terror rose from our helpless throats.

The tank withdrew into the noise of battle, and finally disappeared in a volcanic eruption which lifted it from the ground in a thick cloud of smoke. Our wildly staring eyes tried to fix on something solid, but could find nothing except smoke and flame. As there were no more tanks, our madness thrust us from our refuge, toward the fire whose brilliance tortured our eyes. The noise of the tanks was growing fainter. The Russians were backing away.

After pulling wounded from the burning tanks, Sajer collapsed in a heap. As the young Landser and his exhausted comrades well knew, however, the respite would be brief: “They would undoubtedly reappear in greater numbers, with the support of planes or artillery, and our despairing frenzy would count for nothing.”

Sajer was correct. In yet another contest between man and machine, the soldier and his companions could only watch in helpless horror as the steel monsters overran a gun emplacement.

Our cries of distress were mingled with the screams of the two machine gunners and then the shouts of revenge from the Russian tank crew as it drove over the hole, grinding the remains of the two gunners into that hateful soil. . . . The treads worked over the hole for a long time, and the Russian crew kept shouting, “Kaputt, Soldat Germanski! Kaputt!”

Many scenes from the East Front, like the above, seemed scripted in hell. After a hastily organized force of mechanics, bakers and cooks had beat back one enemy assault, a group of Landsers, including Hans Woltersdorf, crept up to a damaged Russian tank. “The men looked into the tank,” the lieutenant remembered, “and they were near vomiting, so they didn’t look further but instead went away, embarrassed. A headless torso, bloody flesh, and intestines were sticking to the walls.”

Several soldiers did succeed in pulling an injured driver from the wreck. “He lay there, wearing a distinguished award for bravery,” noted Woltersdorf.

The back of his head was gaping open and bloody brains were pouring out. He was foaming at the mouth and his breath was still rattling, the typical rattle after an injury to the back of the head. You’re dead but your lungs are still puffing….I took his military papers and the award. Later, when it was all over, I would send them to his family and write to them that he had fought bravely to the last for his country . . . he had given his best … they could be proud of him … what does one write at such times?

Terrible in their own right, sights and sounds such as the above were made doubly horrifying by the haunting suspicion that the viewer was gazing down on his own fate. “One always sees oneself sticking to the walls in thousands of pieces like that,” confessed Woltersdorf, “without a head, or being dragged from the tank with a death rattle in one’s throat.”

***

LandsersNationalArchive78Facing cold, robot-like tanks was terrifying enough. When humans became such, the results were devastating. Perhaps the most frightening moment in any Landser’s life came when he first faced the human wave. In a nation so vast that it compassed two continents, men were a resource the Soviets could afford to waste . . . and did. Following a Russian artillery barrage upon his position, Max Simon redeployed surviving soldiers along a ridge.

“Then,” the SS general wrote, “quite a long distance from our positions there were lines of brown uniformed men tramping forward. The first of these crossed a small river and was followed at about 200 meters distance by a second line. Then there rose out of the grass—literally from out of the ground—a third wave, then a fourth and a fifth.”

“To see them, the Ivans, rise up from the ground and just stand there, thousands of them, was really frightening,” said another who faced the human wave. “They would stand there, within range . . . silent, withdrawn and not heeding those who fell around them. Then they would move off, the first three lines marching towards us.”

Returning to General Simon:

The lines of men stretched to the right and left of our regimental front over-lapping it completely and the whole mass of Russian troops came tramping solidly and relentlessly forward. It was an unbelievable sight, a machine gunner’s dream. … At 600 metres we opened fire and whole sections of the first wave just vanished leaving here and there an odd survivor still walking stolidly forward. It was uncanny, unbelievable, inhuman. No soldier of ours would have continued to advance alone. The second wave had also taken losses but closed up towards the center, round and across the bodies of their comrades who had fallen with the first wave. Then, as if on a signal, the lines of men began running forward. As they advanced there was a low rumbling “Hoooooraaay.”

“The sound of that bellowing challenge was enough to freeze the blood,” admitted one trembling Landser. “Just the sound alone terrified the new recruits.”

Again, Max Simon:

The first three waves had been destroyed by our fire, but not all of the men in them had been killed. Some who dropped were snipers who worked their way forward through the grass to open fire upon our officers and machine gun posts. The rush of the fourth wave came on more slowly for the men had to pick their way through a great carpet of bodies and as the Soviets moved towards us some of our men, forgetful of the danger, stood on the parapets of their slit trenches to fire at the oncoming Russians. The machine guns became hot from continual firing and there were frequent stoppages to change barrels….

The great mass of the Soviet troops was now storming up the slope towards us but our fire was too great and they broke. About an hour later a further five lines of men came on in a second assault. The numbers of the enemy seemed endless and the new waves of men advanced across their own dead without hesitation…. The Ivans kept up their attacks for three days and sometimes even during the night. Suddenly they stopped and withdrew.

While the slaughter of thousands in such suicidal assaults seemed senseless, the results were not altogether one-sided. The psychological wounds inflicted on the Germans were, as Gen. Simon acknowledged, perhaps an even greater blow than the physical havoc wrought on the Russians. “The number, duration and fury of those attacks had exhausted us… ,” confessed Simon. “If the Soviets could waste men on our small move, and there was no doubt that these men had been sacrificed, how often, we asked ourselves, would they attack and in what numbers if the objective was really a supremely important one?”

The carnage following battles such as the above was truly horrific. Although most recruits soon became hardened after two or three similar encounters, no soldier ever became complacent about war. The battlefield had many grim faces and no two were alike. Surprisingly, some of the most shattering moments in a Landser’s life concerned the dreadful impact war had on horses, thousands of which served both armies. Harald Henry remembered vividly one animal in particular, lying by the wayside:

It reared, someone gave it a mercy shot, it sprang up again, another fired…. [T]he horse still fought for its life, many shots. But the rifle shots did not quickly finish off the dying eyes of the horse…. Everywhere horses. Ripped apart by shells, their eyes bulging out from empty red sockets…. That is just almost worse than the torn-away faces of the men, of the burnt, half-charred corpses.

After just experiencing what he imagined was all the horror one battle had to give, Lieutenant Friedrich Haag noticed a “beautiful white horse grazing by a ditch.”

An artillery shell … had torn away his right foreleg. He grazed peacefully but at the same time slowly and in unspeakable grief swayed his bloody stump of a leg to and fro….I don’t know if I can accurately describe the horror of this sight. . . . I said then . . . to one of my men: “Finish that horse off!” Then the soldier, who just ten minutes before had been in a hard fight, replied: “I haven’t got the heart for it, Herr Lieutenant.” Such experiences are more distressing than all the “turmoil of battle” and the personal danger.

Although massed human assaults and tank battles were dramatic, earth-shaking events, surviving German soldiers could normally expect a welcome, if brief, respite between contests. Not so with the ever-lurking partisan war. For that Landser behind the front who dropped his guard, the result could mean instant death … or worse. “When German soldiers were captured by guerrillas, they were often abominably treated,” one Wehrmacht general recounted. “[I]t was not unusual for the Soviets to torture their prisoners and then hang them up, sometimes with their genitals stuffed in their mouths.” Other Landsers were released, then sent staggering down roads toward their comrades, naked, bloody, eyes gouged from sockets, castrated.

Unable to deal decisively with the civilian-clad irregulars, German reprisals against the surrounding communities were swift, grim and arbitrary.

“A partisan group blew up our vehicles,” recorded one private, “[and]. . . shot the agricultural administrator and a corporal assigned to him in their quarters…. Early yesterday morning 40 men were shot on the edge of the city. . . . Naturally there were a number of innocent people who had to give up their lives…. One didn’t waste a lot of time on this and just shot the ones who happened to be around.”

As with commissars, “no quarter” was the standard fate of guerrillas who fell into German hands. Wrote a witness:

Businesslike, the men of the field police emerge and tie with oft-practiced skill seven nooses on the balcony railing and then disappear behind the door of the dark room…. The first human package, tied up, is carried outside. The limbs are tightly bound …a cloth covers his face. The hemp neckband is placed around his neck, hands are tied tight, he is put on the balustrade and the blindfold is removed from his eyes. For an instant you see glaring eyeballs, like those of an escaped horse, then wearily he closes his eyelids, almost relaxed, never to open them again. He now slides slowly downward, his weight pulls the noose tight, his muscles begin their hopeless battle. The body works mightily, twitches, and within the fetters a bit of life struggles to its end. It’s quick; one after the other are brought out, put on the railing…. Each one bears a placard on his chest proclaiming his crime…. Sometimes one of them sticks out his tongue as if in unconscious mockery and immoderate amounts of spittle drip down on the street.

***

As the Wehrmacht was pressed inexorably west, the daily attrition was staggering. Repeated Russian attacks opened gaps in German ranks simply too great to be filled. Outnumbered sometimes ten to one, each Landser was thus expected to fight as ten if they were to survive. Many did. After beating back waves of Soviets with only a handful of men, Leopold von Thadden-Trieglaff refused to abandon his tiny section of line. Holding on throughout the night, the surrounded squad again fought furiously the following dawn.

“[A] hail of fire rained on us, from right, from left,” recorded the young soldier in his journal. “In a few minutes our bunker was full of wounded and I struggled to quiet the poor fellows. . . . Screams and groans, and singing. I had to strain every nerve in order to remain as calm as before.”

Finally, a German counterattack broke through and rescued the survivors, ending “the most terrible night and the hardest battle of my life. . . ,” wrote Thadden-Trieglaff. “As I returned to my command post in the village I gaped at the dead comrades. I was so shaken that I almost cried. . . . When might this hideous defensive struggle come to an end?”

For the heroic twenty-year-old, that end came the following day when he was killed.

As the crushing attrition ground the German Army into the Russian mud, the turnover rate from death and wounds was tremendous. Green recruits often found themselves within months, even weeks, the oldest veterans in their unit.

“I noticed that it was particularly in the first few days that newcomers were most likely to get killed,” observed Jan Montyn (below).

Jan Montyn (Courtesy of Jan Montyn)Gert was one of those newcomers. He was sixteen….I saw in his eyes, behind his round spectacles, the same bewilderment that I had felt myself when I was finding my way around that first day—almost a month ago now. His legs were trembling, he kept blinking. He had never held a real gun in his hands before. And I felt that he would not be with us for long. “You have to think carefully about everything you do,” I told him. “You must not allow anything to become a habit. On the other side there are snipers on the look-out day and night. If you as much as strike a match, you are finished. They notice every regularity in your behavior. When you have to scoop out a trench, don’t throw the earth over the side in the same place twice. . . . Gert nodded. He would remember. But less than two hours later I heard a cry. He had climbed out of the trench. He had been hit with his trousers down. In ten paces I was with him, and pulled him back into the trench by his legs. Oh, you idiot! Did I have to say that …? There was a big hole in his groin. I pulled a roll of substitute bandage out of my breast pocket. But the poor quality paper was drenched within a few seconds. I tried to close the wound by pressing on it with my thumbs, begging and praying that someone might come along. I dared not call; that might provoke mortar fire. Gert lay panting, his mouth half open. He did not seem to feel any pain. For God’s sake let someone come. No one came. The blood that gushed through my fingers mingled with the mud. And Gert no longer moved.

Added to the trauma of watching comrades die one by one, was concern for the safety of loved ones at home. Unlike Allied soldiers, whose words from home brought comfort and cheer, for the German Landser a letter from a loved one was merely one more burden to bear. Penned Martin Poppel in his diary:

My wife wrote to me: “Today we are worn out after this terrible hail of bombs. To be hearing the howling of these things all the time, waiting for death at any moment, in a dark cellar, unable to see. . . . Everything gone. . . .”  

No, here at the front we musn’t think about it…. We understood the feelings of the people at home, suffered with them and feared for our loved ones who had to bear terror bombing.

“A few days ago,” scribbled a tormented sergeant, “I found out that just at the same time as we dreamed of home, the rubble was smoking in my home city of Mannheim. What a bitter irony.”

“These pigs . . . think they can soften us up in that way. But that is a mistake, a mistake,” growled another sergeant. “Ah, if only the Fuhrer would send a pair of … divisions to England. They would deal a death dance that would give the devil himself the creeps. Oh, I have a rage, a wild hatred.”

Despite official orders against killing prisoners, the unofficial reality was often quite different. Living without hope, dealing with death on a daily basis, aware of the fate their loved ones at home were facing, as well as their own should they be captured, many crazed, brutalized individuals could not be restrained.

“A prolonged and penetrating cry rose from the hole on my left…,” Guy Sajer noted after one desperate fight. “Then there was a cry for help.”

We arrived at the edge of a foxhole, where a Russian, who had just thrown down his revolver, was holding his hands in the air. At the bottom of the hole, two men were fighting. One of them, a Russian, was waving a large cutlass, holding a man from our group pinned beneath him. Two of us covered the Russian who had raised his hands, while a young [corporal] jumped into the hole and struck the other Russian a blow on the back of his neck with a trenching tool. . . . The German who had been under him . . . ran up to ground level. He was covered with blood, brandishing the Russian knife with one hand … while with the other he tried to stop the flow of blood pouring from his wound.

Where is he?” he shouted in a fury. “Where’s the other one?” In a few bounding steps he reached the … prisoner.

Before anyone could do anything, he had run his knife into the belly of the petrified Russian.

Following three days of frenzied fighting, Sajer and his sleepless comrades finally snapped.

Sometimes one or two prisoners might emerge from their hideout with their hands in the air, and each time the same tragedy repeated itself. Kraus killed four of them on the lieutenant’s orders; the Sudeten two; Group 17, nine. Young Lindberg, who had been in a state of panic ever since the beginning of the offensive, and who had been either weeping in terror or laughing in hope, took Kraus’s machine gun and shoved two Bolsheviks into a shell hole. The two wretched victims … kept imploring his mercy…. But Lindberg, in a paroxysm of uncontrollable rage, kept firing until they were quiet.

We were mad with harassment and exhaustion. . . . We were forbidden to take prisoners…. We knew that the Russians didn’t take any … [that] it was either them or us, which is why my friend Hals and I threw grenades . . . at some Russians who were trying to wave a white flag.

Nevertheless, amid the insane upheaval of combat, the same soldier who might one moment murder helpless prisoners could the next risk his own life to pull men from burning enemy tanks. Hans Woltersdorf stood for one eternal instant, his machine-gun trained on several Russians he had surprised, the last flicker of humanity struggling mightily against all the dark forces of his past.

“Do I shoot or not? ” the lieutenant asked himself, as the terrified prisoners begged for mercy. “They got up. . . , stumbled backwards a few steps more to the fir thicket, turned round, put their hands down and ran like the devil…. Did I try to shoot? Did my machine gun really fail to function, as I claimed later?”

Very often, death was the highest act of kindness one could show an enemy. “On Tuesday I knocked out two T-34’s… ,” one Landser wrote. “Afterward I drove past the smoking remains. From the hatch there hung a body, head down, his feet caught, and his legs burning up to his knees. The body was alive, the mouth moaning. He must have suffered terrible pain. And there was no possibility of freeing him…. I shot him, and as I did it, the tears ran down my cheeks. Now I have been crying for three nights about a dead Russian tank driver.”

“From time to time one of us would emerge from torpor and scream,” admitted Guy Sajer. “These screams were entirely involuntary: we couldn’t stop them. They were produced by our exhaustion. . . . Some laughed as they howled; others prayed. Men who could pray could hope.” Sajer continues:

We felt like lost souls who had forgotten that men are made for something else . . . that love can sometimes occur, that the earth can be productive and used for something other than burying the dead. We were madmen, gesturing and moving without thought or hope…. Lindberg … had collapsed into a kind of stupor…. The Sudeten … had begun to tremble . . . and to vomit uncontrollably. Madness had invaded our group, and was gaining ground rapidly….I saw … Hals leap to his machine gun and fire at the sky….I also saw the [sergeant] … beat the ground with his clenched fist…. [I] shout[ed] curses and obscenities at the sky…. After hours and then days of danger … one collapses into unbearable madness, and a crisis of nerves is only the beginning. Finally, one vomits and collapses, entirely brutalized and inert, as if death had already won.

 “[We were] the dead or the dead to be,” stated one Landser simply.

***

As the East Front moved steadily west, the struggle became even more desperate. By the winter of 1944, the Red Army had finally driven the invaders from Russian soil and was pressing them through Poland. Although enormous losses had melted away much German manpower, and although the odds remained overwhelmingly in the Soviets’ favor, the Red Army suffered grievously as well. For every German casualty on the field of battle, there were four Russians. Many Soviet units had been reduced to a mere 50% of their original strength. Consequently, Red ranks were increasingly filled by troops from far eastern provinces. “This is not the Red Army,” spit one Russian officer. “The Red Army perished on the battlefields in 1941 and 1942. These are the hordes of Asia.”

In addition to Asians, Soviet officials called up a motley reserve— boys as young as thirteen, women, cripples, even convicts. “We opened up our penitentiaries and stuck everybody into the army,” Stalin admitted. If possible, these raw levies were thrown away with more criminal disregard than ever. Wrote a German soldier:

It does not matter that these conscripts are untrained, that many are without boots of any kind and that most of them have no arms. Prisoners whom we took told us that those without weapons are expected to take up those from the fallen. …I saw … attacks which were preceded by solid blocks of people marching shoulder to shoulder across the minefields which we had laid. Civilians and Army punishment battalions alike advanced like automata, their ranks broken only when a mine exploded killing and wounding those around it. The people seemed never to flinch nor to quail and we noticed that some who fell were then shot by a smaller wave of commissars or officers who followed very closely behind.

“This was not war anymore,” a Landser who witnessed the massacres confided. “It was murder.”

Of all the horrors the East Front could inflict—human waves, Red crewmen bolted inside burning tanks, murder of prisoners, partisan atrocities—the facet most frightening to the average Landser was undoubtedly “Ivan” himself.

“The Russian infantryman . . . always defended himself to the last gasp. . . ,” remembered Gen. Max Simon. “[E]ven crews in burning tanks kept up fire for as long as there was breath in their bodies. Wounded or unconscious men reached for their weapons as soon as they regained consciousness.”

Added another German soldier, Erich Dwinger:

Among the prisoners waiting to be ferried back across the river were wounded, many of whom had been badly burnt by flame-throwers. . . . Their faces had no longer any recognizable human features but were simply swollen lumps of meat. One of them also had had his lower jaw torn away by a bullet and this wound he had bandaged roughly. Through the rags his windpipe, laid bare, was visible and the effort it made as his breath snorted through it. Another soldier had been hit by five bullets and his right shoulder and his whole arm was a ragged mass of flesh. He had no bandages and the blood oozed from his wounds as if from a row of tubes….

Not one of them was moaning as they sat there in the grass. . . . Why did they not moan? But this was not the most tragic picture of that day. . . . [S]ome of our soldiers brought out barrels of margarine and loaves of Russian bread. They began their distribution more than thirty metres distant from the place where the badly wounded were lying and these rose up, yes, even the dying rose up quickly and in an inexpressible stream of suffering hurried toward the distribution point. The man without a jaw swayed as he stood up, the man with the five bullet wounds raised himself by his good arm . . . and those with burned faces ran … but this was not all; a half dozen men who had been lying on the ground also went forward pressing back into their bodies with their left hands the intestines which had burst through the gaping wounds in their stomach wall. Their right hands were extended in gestures of supplication. . . . [A]s they moved down each left behind a broad smear of blood upon the grass . . . and not one of them cried … none moaned.

As Dwinger makes implicit, such scenes left a profound impression on thousands of Landsers. The almost unearthly stoicism of the Russian, his fatalism, his willingness to suffer and die in silence, was bewildering to German soldiers. To some, it was as if the harsh climate and crushing conditions of communism had molded a man in which normal human emotions were no longer important.

“It’s not people we’re fighting against here,” one Landser burst out, “but simply animals.”

Perhaps. And yet, as deep as their differences undoubtedly were, there were also similarities, some as elemental and ancient as the earth itself. On December 24, 1944, a strange, seemingly impossible understanding was reached by the deadly foes in which each side promised to stop hating the other “from four o’clock in the afternoon until six o’clock the following morning.”

“An unreal silence fell,” recalled Jan Montyn.

Hesitantly, we crawled out into the open. We on our side. They on theirs. Step by step we approached one another, almost timidly. And the enemy, of whom we had seen nothing until then but the vague movement of a helmet or the barrel of a gun, suddenly turned out to be boys like ourselves. They too were dressed in rags, they too were starving, ill, filthy.

We met in the middle of no-man’s land. We shook hands, exchanged names and cigarettes. They tried out their few words of German, we our Russian. We laughed at one another’s accents. Merry Christmas. We made big bonfires, shared out our Christmas rations….

When we withdrew, after midnight, each to his own side, the fires in no-man’s land were still glowing. For several hours the silence lasted. Then firing broke out. Was it heavier than the day before? Not at all. But there were more casualties than ever. The break, however brief, had broken the resistance of many of us.

Obviously, by the winter of 1944, German soldiers on the East Front were well aware that all their sacrifices during three years of war had been for naught; defeat was inevitable. Close as victory had once been, by invading the Soviet Union tiny Germany had unleashed a force of almost unlimited resources; a colossus spanning much of the globe. To continue the struggle against such a giant was hopeless. And yet, many German soldiers, especially those of the elite SS, were determined to fight to the death, or, as one private wrote, “to sell our skins as dearly as possible.” Explained an observer:

Even the last soldier was aware that the war was lost. He was aiming to survive, and the only sense he could see was to protect the front in the East to save as many refugees as possible. . . . [H]e was hoping for a political solution for ending the war…. but … the demand for unconditional surrender left in the light of self-respect no alternative but to continue the hopeless fighting.

As was the case during the Christmas truce, when “Fritz” looked into the face of “Ivan” the White Russian, or “Popov” the Ukrainian, he generally saw himself reflected. Not so the inscrutable Mongolians and other Asiatic “slit eyes” that usually followed just behind the front. In their faces the German saw something ferocious and frightening and something not seen in Europe since the days of Ghengis Khan. Lurking in the back of every Landser’s mind, especially after the horror at Nemmersdorf, was the nightmare should this new “yellow peril” reach the Reich to run loose among the cities, towns and farms of Germany, among wives, sweethearts, sisters, and mothers.

Trial By Ambush

By Taylor McClain

As a lawyer, I am often asked by a friend or acquaintance about the “Miranda” decision. What they are really asking is “Don’t you think it’s unfair to coddle these criminals, especially murderers, with all these ‘rights’ that some smart (translation: “crooked”) trial lawyer will use to get the punk off on a technicality?”

So, one day I decided to write a short narrative that explained if not defended, the rationale for the Miranda decision that I could hand out, now email, to anyone who inquires about this subject. I call it “trial by ambush’ because that is what all lawyers, prosecutors and defense lawyers, called the tactic.

A grievous example of “trial by ambush” was revealed in the prosecution of nineteen-year-old Harry Solberg for the murder of homemaker Dorothy Thompsen in Litchfield County, Connecticut, on June 15, 1965. The case pitted one renowned Connecticut State investigator, Major Harry Rome, who famously had never lost a case, against a team of local investigators led by ambitious Lieutenant Cleveland Fuessenich.

Rome, who conducted the initial investigation, focused on the decedent’s mother-in-law, sixty-four-year-old Agnes Thompsen, who was living in an apartment on the second floor of the Thompsen home. Her son Arnfen and his wife Dorothy occupied the first floor. Agnes previously was institutionalized in the Connecticut Valley Hospital for paranoid schizophrenia.

On the day of the murder, Agnes’ first words to her son Arnfen upon his return home from work was, “Is she dead yet?”

Arnfin returned Agnes to the hospital the next day.

Rome knew that Agnes was insane and could never be well enough to stand trial for the killing assuming she did it. His task was to try to establish events or thing Agnes knew which would coordinate with the evidence found at the scene of the murder. He was not trying to get a confession from her to be used in court—he was trying to solve a murder for which there might never be a criminal prosecution.

There were plenty of items found at the grisly murder scene that Rome could use to establish Agnes’ familiarity with the event. The attack against her was ferocious. Dorothy had been stabbed in the neck and back multiple times with a meat fork, bashed in the head with a sledgehammer then with a heavy rock, strangled with an electrical cord (though she was probably already dead by this time), dragged through her kitchen and flung off the porch balcony where, because of the electrical cord catching on a rail, she hung until the cord broke.

Rome’s methods of interrogation were theatrical. He even had a fellow police officer pretend to act as Agnes’ legal counsel. The judicial system would not countenance such stark bravado in the politically correct world of today. This was 1965, however, and the famous Harry Rome was heading the investigation. All the questioning took place in the presence of the hospital’s doctors and nurses with the understanding that the hospital staff could halt the bizarre tableau at any time they felt it was detrimental to Agnes’ mental health.

When the questioning was over, Rome was satisfied that Agnes was the killer. She simply knew too much about the crime; had too many details. When his critics, and there were many, decried his methods and questioned the dependability of the verbal ejaculations of a deranged mind, Rome instantiated that, “Even from an insane mind you can get details that can be corroborated. She can’t dream these things up. No matter what inducement you offer, she cannot tell you what she doesn’t know.”

But nine months later, Harry Solberg, mentally slow and ill-educated, was accused of the murder by Fuessenich’s team. If Rome’s investigation was a theatrical farce, then Fuessenich’s was a legal travesty. Over a three-day period, Solberg was ruthlessly questioned, lied to about the evidence supposedly arrayed against him, denied access to his parents, refused legal counsel, given a bogus polygraph examination, and never warned of his Miranda rights even though the investigation focused squarely on him; no one else was even considered as a suspect.

Solberg consistently denied any involvement in the killing and wrote out in his own hand the events as he recalled them on the day of the murder.

On my ride back from Granby I stopped into their house to see if my report information he (author’s note- ‘Arvin’) had gotten for me was there. I went inside because the front door was open and the baby was crying. I was going to leave a note, but no one answered. I walked into the kitchen and I saw blood on the floor and I saw it in the living room, too. Then I saw her, Dotty, out on the ground because the blood went that way. I tried to help her but she was too full of fight so I grabbed the latter (author’s note- ‘letter’) and ran through the house and got out. I was work with my father. This is all I can remember except for the letter. [signed] Harry Solberg.”

Solberg wrote this letter on March 14, 1966, at 8:27 p.m.

But on March 15, 1966, at 12:13 a.m., Solberg, after being tirelessly (some might argue ruthlessly) examined by Lieutenant Fuessenich, answered a series of questions to which he mostly responded “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember.” Here is a portion of that question and answer session.

Q. Why are you here, Harry?

A. Because I am accused of killing Dottie Thompsen.

Q. Did you?

A. Do I have to answer that, right now?

Q. Don’t you want to answer it, right now?

A. No. I killed her. That’s what you want.

Q. Is that the truth?

A. That’s my answer.

Q. Is that the truth?

A. That’s my answer.

Q. Is that the truth?

A. I can only give you my answer.

Q. What is your answer?

A. I killed her.

The state’s attorney, Thomas Wall, who nursed a grudge against Major Rome, used the March 15 statement to reopen the investigation and indict Harry Solberg for capital murder. Astoundingly, Wall never reviewed Rome’s investigative file and never consulted Rome about the case.

Not so surprisingly, as it was the days of trial by ambush, was that the March 14 handwritten letter of Solberg in which he denied any participation in the murder was concealed by Wall from Solberg’s lawyers! Instead, Wall used Solberg’s March 15 forced confession to seek the death penalty for an innocent man.

Luckily, for Solberg, the jury could not reach a verdict at the first trial. In June 1966, the Supreme Court handed down its famous Miranda decision. At the second trial, begun in January 1967, a different trial judge threw out the forced confession based upon the police not reading Solberg his Miranda rights. Wall finally gave up his “Police Inspector Javert” pursuit of Solberg.

Such were the typical events in every jurisdiction of trial by ambush.

Taylor McClain is a practicing attorney and an alumnus of the University of Alabama

 

A POLITICALLY INCORRECT MARDI GRAS

By Taylor McClain

Last Tuesday marked the end of the Mardi Gras season and the beginning of the Lenten season. For those of you non-Catholics and non-Mardi Gras celebrants, Lent lasts forty-six days and marks a period of austerity and frugality, and is generally a period of fasting of at least one food or drink.

Mardi Gras is the time of joy and celebration—and much inebriation. During the last few years, many cities have begun their own parades, emulating Mobile and New Orleans in that respect. There is one parade however, that is distinct and can only be viewed in Mobile—the Comic Cowboys parade. It is not the colorful spectacle associated with other parades—the floats are quite drab—nor is it that the “Queen” of the organization is a male (see here) member in drag (only men comprise the organization); rather it is the large wooden signs affixed to the floats on which are written very funny, witty, ribald, and often scatological one or two sentence barbs.

The signs are most often directed at local politicians, but a few are well-aimed and hit the bullseye of state and national figures. This year, the most commonly lampooned targets were Alabama Republican Governor Bentley and President Donald Trump. Bentley was prominently featured because of his alleged extra-marital affair and divorce woes. And Trump—well, because he’s Donald Trump.

Up until this year, everyone who was targeted by this misogynistic, homophobic, racist, feminist-baiting, union bashing, un-politically correct, federal government trashing, gaggle of boozehounds looked askance and the next day all was forgiven. After all, it is Ash Wednesday.

That is until this year.

It seems that the ‘Boys’ signage crossed over the PC line when a City Councilperson was the object of a well-slung arrow that took aim at his trip to Africa. The sign did not question the purpose of his trip, be it personal vacation time, personal business matters, or City of Mobile taxpayer funded recruitment of—what, the importation of Dashikis or to foster a “sister city” relationship? None of these. It was their reference to the robbery and shooting of the Councilmember, whose name is C. J. Small, and who happens to be Black, while he was there.

In case you were not aware, the City of Mobile is populated by 50% African Americans and has a very high rate of violent crime. Some might argue that the violent crime statistics of Mobile match that of similar-sized African towns or townships, or whatever they call an aggregation of Blacks on that continent.

And with that as context, the sign admonished Mr. Small that it would have been cheaper for him to stay in Mobile and taken a bullet from one of the Saturday night specials possessed by a member of one of the many local gang members. The sign didn’t mention that Small was Black but most everyone in Mobile knows this. See here. There was also a sign on a different float that hit two separate targets with one arrow. It read that the President’s “outreach’ program to Africa was similar to his campaign slogan but slightly more nuanced to read, “Make America Mo’ Great Again.” You can interpret this one, however, you will, but it is telling that both Whites and Blacks signified it the same way—the dire education of Blacks in both Mobile and America. And, finally, there was the stone the ‘Boys threw at the controversial, hate mongering organization, Black Lives Matter. That sign announced that the Black Lives Matter group demand justice, but “They’ll Settle for Big Screen TVs.”

Okay, so that is one send up of Blacks generally, one well-placed spear chunked in the foot of a local politician, and one critique of a racist trolling tribe that has no doubt heard this before. But no matter—all hell broke loose in Mobile.

A City Council meeting was convened the following week at which there was much preening, virtue signaling, gnashing of pearly whites, and lamentations that were probably heard all the way back to Pretoria. The Mayor and a White councilmember doxed themselves, expressed umbrage in their best “look at me carrying the cross” manner, and resigned their membership in the ‘Boys.

Paula Deen could not have been more proud if the two of them had been her own sons.

Mayor Stimpson said . . .

“And even though to some, what they’re trying to do may be humorous, to others it’s very hurtful. And so, as the mayor, I can’t afford to be associated with an association that is being divisive, so I tendered my resignation.”

In other words . . .

“I’m up for reelection this year, and I need the Black vote.”

There are several noteworthy items here. First, Mr. Small’s comment that the sign about him implied that Mobile was overrun with violent crime. That was a “disservice,” he said. But was it? And if so, then who was disserved? The three Canadians who flew into town to snatch candy and plastic cups from the air during the parades? The Councilmembers who moralized that they kept their children home on the day of the ‘Boys’ parade so that they would not be exposed to the material that was “likely” to be unfit for them to read?

I imagine that these same parents are going to keep their children home from school on the day the teacher discusses “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which is filled with a vivid description of rape, racial discrimination, violence against children, dirty words, and on and on.

But this is more than just an issue of free speech; it is rapidly devolving into an issue of one’s ability to exercise free will. When the President of the local Mobile County Branch of the NAACP tells the City Council that not only is an apology required from the ‘Boys but also the council should enact a city ordinance, “to eliminate such embarrassing and bad behavior from people like the Comic Cowboys.”

What she and other Blacks want is the iron hand of government to hammer White men into cowering submission so that Blacks will no longer be embarrassed by rednecks behaving like, well, you know, rednecks.

This kind of governmental overreach would be far beyond laws criminalizing speech that is hateful; it is a call to ban behavior that is annoying or bothersome—to Black people. And, Lord knows we certainly don’t want to agitate a Black woman ahead of us in the checkout line at the grocery store when she can’t find her EBT card in her purse.

Small’s attitude seems to imply that his feelings were hurt only because the ‘Boys poked fun at the fact that he was shot, and not because he was shot in Africa. But suppose the shooting had occurred in a white neighborhood in Mobile or while he was traveling in Iceland; would he still be so mortified?

Blacks in Mobile want the right not to be embarrassed by misbehaving White folks, and I can imagine Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court writing a decision opining, “Yep, here it is right here in the Constitution and I found it—the right of persons of color not to be embarrassed by Caucasoids.”

But what of the right of White people not to be bewitched, bothered and bewildered. There were no complaints emanating from Blacks or the Council or the local newspaper about that despite the ‘Boys’ knuckle-dragging cartoons about the White race, especially of the male subspecies. See here.

Or this cartoon of Attorney General Jeff Sessions shown cutting out Klan-style robes for the Supreme Court. See here.

Small took umbrage at the ‘Boys implying that Mobile’s level of violence was high, but what he was really saying was that the sign about him implied that the level of Black violence was high. Perhaps he was correct in his observation, which may be the reason there was, let’s call it, a spontaneous meeting on March 5, 2017, of Black youth at the local mall to discuss this issue and see if a consensus of opinion could be arrived at. See here.

There had been many such spontaneous discussions in recent years at this same mall with no resolution, which may be the reason mall officials issued new guidelines concerning unsupervised teens holding meetings on Friday and Saturday nights. These rules follow similar restrictions implemented last year at local movie theaters after a spontaneous meeting of Black teens where it was alleged that someone had a knife and also alleged that someone else had a gun. Moreover, it was alleged that someone heard gunshots. The four teens with bullet wounds taken to the ER in an ambulance seemed to confirm the allegations.

Theater management announced that in order to provide the public with a more “family friendly” environment has made the theaters “gun free” zones.

I recall when Tipper Gore in 1985 called for a ban on offensive language in music recordings and a warning label on the covers of CDs containing curse words or foul language. In like manner, I suggest that the Comic Cowboys have the lead float in their parade carry a large sign (in English and Spanish) announcing that, “People of color and members of the Snowflake generation should beware—potentially embarrassing or offensive signs to follow.”

Taylor McClain is a practicing attorney and an alumnus of the University of Alabama

 

 

On Men & Arms

Ever heard of John Wesley Powell? He was the man back in 1869 who explored the Colorado River.

Can you imagine what Powell and his nine-man crew must have thought upon entering the Grand Canyon in those little boats on that roiling river? If one can envision the first mission to Mars, one would probably be just about dead-on. Imagine a canyon so vast that there was no earthly standard to go by. It is easy today to see the grand adventure in rafting the Colorado through this colorful chasm because we were brought up on these images via TV, movies, calendars, and tedious home slide shows. But Powell & Co. had no such luxury.  They were the first men on Mars, so to speak. For all these explorers knew there were giant lizards just ahead waiting to gulp them down like popcorn, or a great whirlpool around that next bend which would suck this Jason and his American Argonauts down to China. Bravery has many faces. This grand adventure in the grandest canyon of them all was one of America’s grandest moments.

What Powell did ranks right up there with other famous American explorers, including Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone and John C. Fremont.  But guess what?  Powell did all his exploring with just one arm.  If you imagine that this is no big deal, not so tough, then let me suggest that next time you jump into a swimming pool or climb a cliff that you do so with one arm tied behind your back.  I think pretty quick you will see what I mean.

Does anyone remember “Mr. Merriweather”?  He was that crusty character in the movie, Little Big Man, who showed up bye and bye, but each time he did so he was always short another body part?  An arm here, a leg there, an eye, an ear. . . .

“Hey, Mr. Merriweather,” laughs Jack Crabb as he lays drunk in the mud. “You better watch out or pretty soon there won’t be enough of you to bury.”

Merriweather reminds me of a fellow I ran into during research for my Indian War book, Scalp Dance.

Back in the 1860s, during a prolonged siege by the Sioux against Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming Territory, soldiers mysteriously began turning up drunk. When officers investigated they found, just beyond sight of the fort, a mule cart containing two barrels of “rank poison.” Tending this portable saloon was a tough-looking customer, 50 or 60 years of age, who also sported a peg leg. Hundreds of miles of wilderness . . . the prairie alive with hostile Indians . . . alone and encumbered by a wooden leg . . . and yet this wily old pirate somehow managed to not only survive, but make a living.

For the fellow above, for Mr. Merriweather, for Major Powell, for tens of thousands of others who had lost limbs in the American Civil War, there were no handicap parking stalls, no ramps at the mall and no rails at the library to aid them; it was a life in which you either sank or you swam. Surprisingly, many not only “swam,” many also conquered.

WHAT FAKE NEWS CAN YOU BELIEVE?

by Taylor McClain


On Saturday, March 4, 2017, a British newspaper, The Guardian, reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was, in the 1980s a “Gun for Hire” during his tenure as the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. The newspaper alleges that Sessions used his power to “target Democrats” at the behest of Republican Party politicians. The article goes on to say that Sessions worked from a “hit list” of names of Democratic Party politicians and officials indicting one after another for corruption.

The article uses phrases like “Sessions had no direct evidence” in most of the cases, “a flimsy, weak case,” “remarkably thin prosecution cases,” “he went after political enemies,” “he’s an ideologue,” and “the evidence…was far from clear cut.”

Also, the article points to Sessions’ prosecution of Mobile County Commissioner Lambert Mims on corruption charges arising out of “obscure four-year-old negotiations” over the contract for a waste recycling plant, as curious since the indictment arose after a prominent Republican announced that he, in addition to Mims, was running for Mayor. But one might ask about the relevance of The Guardian’s rehashing of thirty-five-year-old claims against Sessions especially since Sessions has already been confirmed as the U.S. Attorney General. This is more than curious.

Yet, the article does not mention that Sessions was just the prosecutor and not the jury that convicted the Republican Party defendants. And if all the pejorative phrases the article levels against Sessions were true, then how did Sessions’ office achieve a solid 98% conviction rate during his term as the U.S. Attorney?

Jeff Sessions has to be one of the most investigated and background-checked people in Washington, D.C. and in 1986 an independent Justice Department investigation into the same claims made by The Guardian confirmed that the charges against Sessions were “utterly without foundation.”

So, what dog does The Guardian, a British tabloid, have in this hunt?

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, The Guardian ran a piece that boldly announced . . .

“Wikipedia bans Daily Mail as ‘unreliable’ source.”

For those of you who are not anglophiles, both The Guardian and the Daily Mail are British newspapers, which have U.S. editions online. Both compete for the same eyeballs in the U.S. For the Daily Mail to be tarred and feathered as a news source that is not dependable because of poor fact checking and sensationalistic by the prestigious online encyclopedia Wikipedia, would certainly be a kick down the ladder for the conservative Daily Mail and by derivation a step up for the liberal The Guardian.

Or would it?

Noteworthy is that the Wikipedia editors have asked for volunteers to review about 12,000 links to the Daily Mail already on Wikipedia and replace them with alternative sources wherever possible. And what alternative sources are there? Hmmm…The Guardian perhaps.

So, this all begs the question of the reliability of both The Guardian and Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is administered by volunteers of content editors who are tasked with fact-checking the articles since anyone can post anything on the site. But the decision to ban the Mail — the only major news outlet on the face of the Earth to be so censored — was supported by a mere 53 of its editors or 0.00018 percent of the site’s 30 million total, plus five ‘administrators.’

Banned as source material by many universities, Wikipedia’s reputation for carrying fake news has seen it claim (among other things) that Robbie Williams eats domestic pets, that the Greek philosopher Plato was a Hawaiian surfer who discovered Florida, and that the TV news presenter Jon Snow has been patron of the British Conifer Society. (For the record, Mr. Snow himself has said: ‘I hate conifers, and I’m not the society’s patron.’)

It seems as though Wikipedia is now aggressively recruiting colleges to shore up their reputation. And, “Today, educators are among those more concerned than ever with standards of truth and evidence and with the lightning-fast spread of misinformation online.” Do you believe this assertion? According to National Public Radio, it is true and on February 22, 2017, published an article in the NPREd online site that praised Wikipedia for giving professors the technical assistance they need to assign students, instead of writing a research paper, to write a brand-new Wikipedia entry, or expand an existing entry, on any topic in virtually any discipline.

This spring, 7,500 students are expected to participate—lots of opportunities for social justice warriors to expand their reach. And with the recent announcement of a 10-year, $100 million “permanent safekeeping” endowment, Wikipedia has the wherewithal to replenish its corps of unpaid volunteers with generous contributions to professors and colleges. What a great deal—the students continue to rack up tuition debt and their college fills its coffers by offering them as debt serfs to Wikipedia.

Sweet.

But I digress—back to the fake news. So, while climate science deniers on both sides of the Atlantic are working in concert to whip up a media storm to spread doubt and misinformation amongst the public about climate science, Leftist publications like The Guardian and TLE are, in concert with Wikipedia, diligently enlightening us with the whole truth.

Right.

For those of you who missed the story. climate change eccentric William Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. “Fake news” is an old story, used extensively by radical climate alarmists and environmentalists. But when author Lawrence Solomon tried to correct an article in Wikipedia that claimed that Dr. Bennie Peiser, a world renowned climate change skeptic, agreed with climate change scare scientist Naomi Oreskes, he found there was a problem—a big problem:

Of course Oreskes’s conclusions were absurd, and have been widely ridiculed. checked with Peiser, who said he had done no such thing. I then corrected the Wikipedia entry and advised Peiser that I had done so.

Peiser wrote back saying he couldn’t see my corrections on the Wikipedia page. I made the changes again, and this time confirmed that the changes had been saved. But then, in a twinkle, they were gone again. I made other changes. And others. They all disappeared shortly after they were made.”

As noted in the notrickszone.com and by Andy May in WUWT.com, William Connolley and his team tried to show that the global cooling scare of the 1970s was a myth. They also tried to scrub Wikipedia of any mention of the Little Ice Age or the Medieval Warm Period. A perfect example of fake news. They claimed only seven scientific papers of the period discussed global cooling. There are actually 163 papers on the subject, including seven that claim CO2 is causing global cooling not warming and include an article by the CIA. 

Getting back to the Mail censor by Wikipedia, the Mail discovered that the architect of the anonymous ban was a Wikipedia editor who goes by the alias of—are you ready for this—Hillbilly holiday. The Mail reported that “in the modern world, bigoted oddballs who are over-familiar with the internet can wield tremendous power — and this potty-mouthed man is a case in point” who posts obscene images and racist sentiments. According to the Mail, “His Facebook page includes an image of two gay men performing a sex act in public, a photograph of a naked, dark-haired man having oral sex with himself, and a painting that depicts bestiality between a man and a sheep.”

So, what news organization can the public put their faith in for reliable fake news? I’m not necessarily the best judge of these matters, but I find The Onion to consistently be the most reliable source for up to the minute fake news. Just yesterday The Onion reported that Jeff Sessions spit in the face of an FBI interrogator who tried to get him to turn on President Trump. But Sessions told the interrogator . . .  

“I’m not gonna crack, so you G-men can threaten me with whatever the hell you want—you’re just wasting your time. I’ll fucking die before I flip, so you got the balls to kill me?”

However, unhappily, The Onion reported that later, Sessions “had begun to break down and was frantically divulging everything he knew after agents asked him how long he thought he would last on the inside with all the people he had helped put away on marijuana charges over the years.”

Now there is some fake news you can depend on. 

 

Taylor McClain is a practicing attorney and an alumnus of the University of Alabama

Dresden, 1945

(The following is from my book, Hellstorm—The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947.  It describes one of the greatest crimes of World War Two and perhaps the largest one-day massacre ever recorded. )

***

Fashing is an annual German event similar to the Latin celebration of Mardi Gras. On this particular evening of “Shrove Tuesday,” normally staid, reserved Teutons don outlandish costumes, join friends or complete strangers, swarm into bars, restaurants and theaters, then partake for several hours in pointless, yet harmless, merry-making. Because of the exigencies of war, however, the celebration, like most else in the devastated Reich, had been all but abandoned. In only one city did the Fashing tradition continue much in the manner it always had, and on the night of February 13, women and children, along with the few remaining men, flooded its streets to celebrate.

Dresden was truly one of the world’s great cultural treasures. Known as the “Florence on the Elbe,” the ancient showcase in the heart of Saxony was a virtual time-capsule of Gothic architecture and medieval culture. At every turn on every narrow, cobbled street of the old town was an ornate palace, a museum, an art gallery, or a towering, centuries-old cathedral. Like Paris, Rome and Venice, Dresden was both beautiful, romantic and enduring. For decades, the city had been one of the “must stops” for continental travelers, especially those from Britain and America.

Welcome as it was, the fact that a city the size of Dresden had survived when all else was destroyed, mystified some residents and troubled others. Since only two tiny daylight raids had occurred during five years of war, many assumed Dresden’s salvation was due to its reputation as an “art city”; that as a priceless, irreplaceable gem of Western culture even “terror-bombers” lacked hatred sufficient to efface such beauty. Others surmised that since Dresden had almost no heavy industry—and what little it did have had no bearing on the war—the enemy simply did not deem the city a viable target. When skeptics pointed out that many other beautiful German towns with little or no industry had been systematically obliterated, rumors invented new reasons for Dresden’s miraculous survival.

One belief embraced by many stated that an aunt of Churchill’s lived in Dresden. Another hinted that the town was spared because of huge American investments. The fact that Dresden had become a “hospital city” with numerous medical facilities seemed a rational explanation to others. To some, the twenty-six thousand Allied POWs interred in the town appeared a more logical answer. Among many Dresdeners, however, perhaps the greatest explanation as to why their city lived when all else died was that undoubtedly a spark of mercy yet burned in the hearts of British and American flyers. Of all the many names it was known by, nothing better described Dresden in February, 1945, than “refugee city.”

Since the Soviet invasion in January, millions of terrified trekkers, desperate to put as much space between themselves and the Red Army as possible, had fled through Dresden in trains, cars, wagons, or afoot. Hundreds of thousands more, though—injured, wounded, starving, or simply separated from their families—washed up in Dresden like castaways on an island. At the main train station, a city within a city had sprang up wherein thousands of people, many of them lost or orphaned children, lived a semi-permanent existence. A seventeen-year-old Red Cross worker, Eva Beyer, offers a glimpse at the heart-rending agony:

Children were searching for their parents, parents were searching for their children, there was constant calling and asking. A boy of about nine years of age, holding his little four-year-old sister by the hand, asked me for food. When I asked him where his parents were, the boy said to me: “Grandma and grandpa are lying dead in the carriage and Mummy is lost.” The children had no tears any more. . . . In one compartment we found a woman. She had twenty-three children with her, and not one of them was her own. She had buried her own child three weeks ago. Her child had died of cold and tonsillitis. I asked her where all those other children came from, and she told me that all these were children whose parents were lost or dead. “After all, somebody has got to take care of them,” she said. . . . [T]hose children’s faces were not the faces of children any more. They were the faces of people who have gone through hell. Starving, wounded, lice-ridden, in rags. And the most treasured thing they had, security and the love of their parents, they had lost.

As truly appalling as the situation at the railroad station was, conditions were little better in the surrounding city. From a normal population of 600,000, Dresden had swollen by the night of February 13 to perhaps double that figure. Every which way residents turned they found frightened, ragged refugees.

“[E]ach restaurant, cafe, pub, and bar . . . was crammed full of people with suitcases, rucksacks and bundles,” a woman wrote. “You literally fell over these people and their possessions. It was so bad that you did not like to watch it, and it spoiled all the usual happy atmosphere of the Fashing.”

Nevertheless, in spite of the crowds and the fact that the Russians were a mere seventy miles away, thousands of Dresdeners were determined to take to the streets and celebrate what was certain to be the last Fashing of the war.

***

Just before ten p.m. the Dresden sirens sounded. There was no panic. Most residents simply ignored the sounds. Even had there been any public air raid shelters few would have fled to them for there seemed little doubt on this cold, yet cheery night, that like the 171 false alarms that preceded it, this warning too would end in nothing. Instead of the “All Clear” siren, however, seconds later Dresden heard another sound.

“Suddenly,” said one startled woman, “a thundering and roaring which made the whole earth tremble. An earthquake?”

Almost before this lady and others could guess the answer, the black sky above Dresden turned brilliant. Many spectators were dazzled by the colored lights and stared in awe. “It’s getting light, it’s getting light, it’s bright as day outside!” shouted an incredulous friend to young Gotz Bergander who was indoors listening to his radio.

Weary Red Cross worker, Eva Beyer, had just awakened moments earlier and paid a visit to the restroom:

I saw a green light shine through the window. What was this? When I opened the door, I could see what it was. The “Christmas Trees” were in the sky. . . . I went to warn the other people in the building. . . . I ran through the whole house, calling out: “Alarm! Alarm!” and waking everyone up. . . . Another five families lived in this building and together we totaled eleven women, six children, and one man—Kurt, the wounded ex-soldier. Then I went back to the flat and fetched the children from their beds. . . .  [T]hey started to scream because they didn’t know what was happening and there was no time to explain anything to them. We all went down into the cellar and I put just a blanket round each child, because there was no time for anything else. I myself was only in my nightgown, but I didn’t even feel the cold.

At the railroad station, Gisela-Alexandra Moeltgen was standing at the window of an idle train talking to her husband on the platform when the chilling lights showered down.

Many optimists stayed in order to secure a good seat, but I broke the window—it was only made of cardboard—grabbed the handbag in which I carried my jewelry, grabbed my fur, too, and got through the window. The others followed suit. We ran along the completely blacked-out platform in the dark and found that all the barriers were closed. Over the barriers, then! The police wanted us to go into the already overcrowded air raid shelter at the station, but we had only one urge—out, and away from the station!

We ran across the road to the Technical High School where, it was claimed, there was a good cellar. And above us—very low—the planes. Masses of people were already in the cellar when we arrived, and I collapsed then. It was my heart.

I was still very weak and all the running had exhausted me completely. Somebody asked us to move on, further into the crush in the cellar, and we did so.

“Air raid warning!” grumbled an indignant SS officer, Claus von Fehrentheil, as he lay in a military hospital with half his hip shot away. “After all, we understood we were in an open city, world-famous for its art, undefended, declared a ‘hospital town.’ ”

Only after very intensive efforts urging us to shelter, did we concede to go into the cellar. . . . For one thing, we regarded the whole affair as probably a mistake at this time. Then also, a soldier who had been on the Front felt too restricted in a cellar, a place where he could not dodge any threatening dangers. . . . So we stood in the passages and on the staircases outside the air raid shelter.

“Get dressed, get dressed! Quickly, get down to the cellar,” cried nuns in the hospital where twenty-year-old Annemarie Waehmann was a patient. “Bedridden patients were put into push-chairs, and there was nothing but hurrying and rushing about. We had hardly been in the cellar for five minutes when [the bombs fell]. . . . This is the end, we thought. . . . Many screamed in fear, and prayed, and we crept trembling under the beds.”

“All hell broke loose over us so suddenly that no one really had a chance to perceive what was actually going to happen,” recalled Erika Simon, whose parents had only seconds before whisked the little girl and her brother and sister to the cellar. “I remember I had my head in my mother’s lap under a blanket and was putting both hands over my ears in an attempt to blot out the horrific noise.”

As wave after wave of RAF bombers appeared overhead, ton upon ton of bombs tumbled down. “It was as if a huge noisy conveyor belt was rolling over us,” Gotz Bergander thought when he heard the strange, terrifying noise, “a noise punctuated with detonations and tremors.”

Added to the normal payload of high explosives, hundreds of two- and four-ton “Block-busters” slammed into Dresden, effacing entire neighborhoods. Centuries-old cathedrals, palaces, museums, and homes were reduced to rubble in seconds. At the railroad station, those hundreds of individuals on the trains who had refused to leave their coveted seats were blown to bits. At the huge indoor circus, spectators, performers and animals were slaughtered by blast and hissing shrapnel. In the streets, on the sidewalks, atop the bridges over the Elbe, costumed revelers with nowhere to run were slain by the thousands. Without let-up, the massacre continued.

Because Dresden lacked any sort of anti-aircraft weapons, enemy planes were able to fly so low that victims could be seen running through the streets. Despite this, and the fact that night was “as bright as day,” the numerous hospitals were not spared.

“We patients,” Claus von Fehrentheil recalled, “had been reassured that even the smallest hospital had the distinctive red cross on a white background painted on its roof. It seemed to us as the night went on that these served as excellent markers for the bombs of the English.”

Said Annemarie Waehmann from her own hospital: “There was crashing and thundering, whistling and howling. The walls trembled, swayed by the impact of the bombs. This is the end, we thought. . . . Then some of the doctors screamed: ‘Everyone out of the cellar, the whole building is going to collapse!’ I too ran for my life into the next building. . . . Everyone was in such a panic that all we wanted was to save our naked lives.”

Elsewhere, as the bombing rose in fury, horror-struck Dresdeners huddled against the onslaught. “Time and again I gazed at the ceiling, expecting everything to collapse on us,” confessed Margret Freyer from a cellar containing forty-three women. “Somehow I had switched off and was expecting the final catastrophe; it must have been for this reason that I did not join in the weeping and praying of the totally terrified women, but tried to calm them down as best I could.”

“The attack continued and the mood among us reached panic pitch,” remembered Gisela-Alexandra Moeltgen from the crowded high school basement. “Then a shout—‘At once, everyone leave, there is danger of collapse!’ Out through the narrow cellar windows we went, flames whipping down the staircase, the whole building alight. . . . Flames, flames wherever one looked.”

“I can see my father leaning against this wall,” reminisced Erika Simon, “and I felt that the walls were coming towards us and that my father was trying to stop them from falling down on us.”

“And then,” said the surprised little girl, “suddenly, the noise ceased.”

“There was absolute quiet,” another listener added.

Several minutes later, the welcome silence was broken by the even more welcome sound of the “All Clear” signal. Those who had clocks or watches and thought to look were stunned—what had seemed an all night trial by fire had actually occurred in just under half an hour. In those thirty minutes, however, one of the world’s most beautiful treasures had all but vanished. As the people stumbled from their holes they were stunned at the strange sight that greeted them.

“[C]oming out of the cellar was unforgettable,” wrote teenager Gotz Bergander. “[T]he night sky was illuminated with pink and red. The houses were black silhouettes, and a red cloud of smoke hovered over everything…. People ran toward us totally distraught, smeared with ash, and with wet blankets wrapped around their heads. All we heard was, ‘Everything’s gone, everything’s on fire.’ ”

“I saw only burning houses and screaming people . . . ,” added Margret Freyer when she entered the street. “It was frightening—I found myself completely alone, and all I could hear was the roaring of the fires. I could hardly see, due to the flying sparks, the flames and the smoke.”

Those who managed to reach the streets found their way almost entirely blocked by fallen trees, poles, wires, and collapsed buildings.

As the dazed survivors scrambled for safety, fire brigades arrived from outlying communities to battle the blaze. Red Cross workers also appeared and began pulling victims from the rubble.

Meanwhile, at the great city park in the center of town, another type of rescue was in progress. Like everything else in Dresden, the magnificent zoo had been heavily damaged. Remembered Otto Sailer-Jackson, the sixty-year-old zoo inspector:

The elephants gave spine-chilling screams. Their house was still standing but an explosive bomb of terrific force had landed behind it, lifted the dome of the house, turned it around, and put it back again. The heavy iron doors had been completely bent and the huge iron sliding doors which shut off the house from the terraces had been lifted off their hinges. When I and some of the other men . . . managed to break in to the elephant house, we found the stable empty. For a moment we stood helpless, but then the elephants told us where they were by their heart-breaking trumpeting. We rushed out on to the terrace again. The baby cow elephant was lying in the narrow barrier-moat on her back, her legs up to the sky. She had suffered severe stomach injuries and could not move. A cow elephant had been flung clear across the barrier moat and the fence by some terrific blast wave, and just stood there trembling. We had no choice but to leave those animals to their fate for the moment.

In other areas of the zoo, cages had been blown open and frantic animals had escaped to the park. When Sailer-Jackson approached a monkey, the terrified little animal reached to him for help. To the old man’s horror, he saw that the monkey had only bloody stumps for arms. Drawing his pistol, Sailor-Jackson sadly put the poor creature out of its misery.

As rescue work continued into the early morning of February 14, those in Dresden whose homes had escaped the flames began to mechanically sweep the glass and plaster from their beds and floors or fasten cardboard over windows to keep out the returning cold. “My God, the work was pointless!” admitted one woman, “but it calmed their nerves and their conscience.”

***

As shattering as the destruction of their beautiful city had been, no one in the stricken town was emotionally prepared for what came next. At 1:30 a.m., the earth began to shake again.

“[S]omeone yelled, ‘They’re coming back, they’re coming back,’” young Gotz Bergander recalled:

Sure enough, through the general confusion we heard the alarm sirens go off again. The alarm system in the city had ceased to function, but we could hear the sirens from the neighboring villages warning of a second attack. That’s when I was overcome with panic, and I’m also speaking for the rest of my family and those who lived in our house. It was sheer panic! We thought this couldn’t be possible, that they wouldn’t do such a .thing. They wouldn’t drop more bombs on a city that was already an inferno. . . . We rushed into the cellar

Margret Freyer was equally stunned: “[M]y friend and I looked at each other, terrified—surely it wasn’t possible? Are they coming a second time? I just caught the radio announcer’s message: ‘Several bomber units are approaching Dresden.’ The voice of the announcer was anything but steady. I felt sick—so they were coming a second time. Knees shaking, we went down into the cellar.”

Once more, the pathetic patients at Claus von Fehrentheil’s military hospital hobbled, crawled or were carried to shelter below. “From the sound of the engines,” noted the SS officer, “we could hear that this time a very large number of aircraft were taking part, definitely more than in the first wave.”

Yet again, as more than a thousand bombers roared overhead, a veritable rain of death showered down on Dresden. In addition to the usual payload of explosives, the second wave brought thousands of incendiary bombs. “[A] non-stop hail of bombs . . . ,” thought a terrified Margret Freyer. “The walls shook, the ground shook, the light went out and our heavy iron door was forced open by [a] blast. In the cellar now, there were the same scenes as had occurred before . . . a crowd of crying, screaming, or praying women, throwing themselves on top of each other.”

“This was hell, hell itself … ,” said Gisela-Alexandra Moeltgen. “I thought: ‘Surely this will have to stop some time.’ ”

I had the feeling that each individual plane tried to hit our house, because it was not on fire yet but brilliantly lit up by the burning house next to it. The planes flew just across the roofs, or at least, that is what it sounded like. I kept shouting: “Open your mouths!” The sound of the bombs—“bschi-bum, bschi-bum”—came wave after wave. There was no end to it. . . . The house seemed to come crashing down and shook continuously. When the direct hit came, no one noticed it, for the whistling noise of the bombs drowned all other noises. In any case, it was the others who confirmed that the house was on fire. From that moment on I felt a little calmer. My feeling was: “Thank God they have hit it at last and yet we are still alive.”

Unbeknownst to Gisela-Alexandra and thousands more, many of the bombs they heard hitting their homes were phosphorous. While Eva Beyer and the other women and children in her cellar huddled in terror, the wounded ex-soldier, Kurt, disappeared briefly.

Suddenly Kurt was beside me as I crouched. He whispered very quietly into my ear: “We have fire bombs in the coal cellar, come quick and help me throw the things out!” I gathered all my courage and went with him. Three incendiaries lay there, and we managed to throw out two. The third one we could only throw sand over because it had already started to smoke, and then there was supposed to be only thirty seconds before the thing would explode like a firework.

In a matter of minutes, the thousands of fire bombs ignited the debris in Dresden and a racing furnace of flame erupted. Unfamiliar with bombing raids and fire storms, most Dresdeners reacted slowly. Erika Simon and the nuns at a military hospital stood frozen in terror.

So there we were, paralyzed by horror and fear, clinging to the Sister in a corridor amongst the dead, the wounded, and soldiers who had just had their legs amputated and were now lying on stretchers, helpless amongst the chaos. Gruesome . . . [were] the Catholic Sisters constantly saying their prayers, murmur ing over their rosaries. I am sure nobody bothered to save the screaming soldiers.

One patient who had no intention of being broiled alive was the severely wounded officer, Claus von Fehrentheil.

Now I was in the open, no longer surrounded by walls, but by flames instead. . . . No path was recognizable between the buildings, no obvious path of escape, because walls were collapsing and adding to the heaps of rubble. The suction of the flames was . . . strong. . . . Even the pieces of clothing which I had hurriedly picked up and thrown over myself began to smolder. Because of the flying sparks my eyes became useless. I was blind. Small holes must have been burnt into the cornea, which were incredibly painful. They made it impossible for me to open my eyes even briefly, just to see where I was.

Another person determined to escape was Margret Freyer:

Out of here—nothing but out! Three women went up the stairs in front of us, only to come rushing down again, wringing their hands. “We can’t get out of here! Everything outside is burning!” they cried. . . . Then we tried the “Break-through” which had been installed in each cellar, so people could exit from one cellar to the other. But here we met only thick smoke which made it impossible to breathe. So we went upstairs. The back door, which opened on to the back yard and was made partly of glass, was completely on fire. It would have been madness to touch it. And at the front entrance, flames a metre and a half high came licking at short intervals into the hall.

In spite of this, it was clear that we could not stay in the building unless we wanted to suffocate. So we went downstairs again and picked up our suitcases. I put two handfuls of handkerchiefs into a water tub and stuffed them soaking wet into my coat pocket. . . . I made a last attempt to convince everyone in the cellar to leave, because they would suffocate if they did not; but they didn’t want to. And so I left alone. . . .

I stood by the entrance and waited until no flames came licking in, then I quickly slipped through and out into the street.

“[S]omebody screamed: ‘Everyone out of here, the place is on fire!’ ” Maria Rosenberger recalled. “When we arrived upstairs we saw that the street was on fire. . . . Burning curtain material was flying towards us and glowing pieces of wood came flying down on us from above. . . . Now everyone started to make a run for the outskirts in order to reach some open space.”

As with Maria and her companions, once in the streets victims did everything they could to escape the ancient inner city where the fire storm seemed centered. Here, in the heart of old Dresden, temperatures reached upwards of 3,000 degrees. Metal roofs, copper cupolas, glass, even sandstone, liquefied in the furious heat and poured down like lava. A hurricane of smoke, flame and dust roared toward the vortex from all directions as the cold air beyond Dresden was drawn in by the fire ball. Many disoriented victims, especially the thousands of refugees, took wrong turns on strange streets and were swept like feathers into the furnace.

“The whole of Dresden was an inferno,” said one teenage boy. “In the street below people were wandering about helplessly. I saw my aunt there. She had wrapped herself in a damp blanket and, seeing me, called out. . . . The sound of the rising fire-storm strangled her last words. A house wall collapsed with a roar, burying several people in the debris. A thick cloud of dust arose and mingling with the smoke made it impossible for me to see.”

“[I]t was like ‘The Last Days of Pompeii,’ ” remembered Eva Beyer. “People came crawling on their hands and knees, so as to be near the ground and be able to breathe better, but not knowing, as they crawled, whether they were really getting away from the fire-storm or merely heading into other burning areas of the city.”

As he groped blindly through the holocaust, Claus von Fehrentheil well knew he was only seconds from death:

One could forecast what must happen next: the oxygen in the air becomes completely burnt away, so one becomes unconscious and hardly notices that one is burning to death. Blind, I accepted that this must happen. Suddenly, someone touched my shoulder and asked me to come along. He had found a way through the rubble to the outside. And so, holding on to the arm of a comrade, I was led through burning Dresden.

Like von Fehrentheil and his timely guide, others were desperately trying to reach the huge city park or the open spaces along the Elbe River. The trials of twenty-four-year-old Margret Freyer were the trials of many:

Because of flying sparks and the fire-storm I couldn’t see anything at first. . . . no street, only rubble nearly a metre high, glass, girders, stones, craters. I tried to get rid of the sparks by constantly patting them off my coat. It was useless. . . . I took off the coat and dropped it. Next to me a woman was screaming continually: “My den’s burning down, my den’s burning down,” and dancing in the street. As I go on I can still hear her screaming but I don’t see her again. I run, I stumble, anywhere. I don’t even know where I am any more. I’ve lost all sense of direction because all I can see is three steps ahead.

Suddenly I fall into a big hole—a bomb crater, about six metres wide and two metres deep, and I end up down there lying on top of three women. I shake them by their clothes and start to scream at them, telling them that they must get out of here—but they don’t move any more. . . . Quickly, I climbed across the women, pulled my suitcase after me, and crawled on all fours out of the crater. To my left I suddenly see a woman. . . . She carries a bundle in her arms. It is a baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire. It’s only my eyes which take this in; I myself feel nothing. The woman remains lying on the ground, completely still. . . .

[T]here are calls for help and screams from somewhere but all around is one single inferno. I hold another wet handkerchief in front of my mouth, my hands and my face are burning; it feels as if the skin is hanging down in strips. On my right I see a big, burnt-out  shop where lots of people are standing. I join them, but think: “No, I can’t stay here either, this place is completely surrounded by fire.” I leave all these people behind, and stumble on. . . . In front of me is something that might be a street, filled with a hellish rain of sparks which look like enormous rings of fire when they hit the ground. I have no choice. I must go through. I press another wet handkerchief to my mouth and almost get through, but I fall and am convinced that I cannot go on. It’s hot. Hot! My hands are burning like fire. . . .I am past caring, and too weak. . . .

Suddenly, I saw people again, right in front of me. They scream and gesticulate with their hands, and then—to my utter horror and amazement—I see how one after the other they simply seem to let themselves drop to the ground.

I fall then, stumbling over a fallen woman and as I lie right next to her I see how her clothes are burning away. Insane fear grips me and from then on I repeat one simple sentence to myself continuously: “I don’t want to burn to death— no, no burning—I don’t want to burn!” Once more I fall down and feel that I am not going to be able to get up again, but the fear of being burnt pulls me to my feet. Crawling, stumbling, my last handkerchief pressed to my mouth . . . I do not know how many people I fell over. I knew only one feeling: that I must not burn. . . .

I try once more to get up on my feet, but I can only manage to crawl forward on all fours. I can still feel my body, I know I’m still alive. Suddenly, I’m standing up, but there’s something wrong, everything seems so far away and I can’t hear or see properly any more. . . . I was suffering from lack of oxygen. I must have stumbled forwards roughly ten paces when I all at once inhaled fresh air. There’s a breeze! I take another breath, inhale deeply, and my senses clear.

Through sheer will, some, like Margret, did succeed in reaching safety—but most did not. Standing alone on the far hills outside Dresden, one viewer stared in silent awe at the fiery massacre.

I did not understand what my eyes were seeing. I stood in the darkness, paralyzed, numbed, with my eardrums aching from the hellish uproar. . . . It was simply beyond comprehension, beyond the wildest imagination. It seemed actually unreal….I saw the rising of a flaming sea which . . . inundated the entire city in one huge glowing wave. . . . [T]he entire area was in flames. Huge red and yellow tongues of fire were roaring toward the sky. Streaming, trembling, madly onrushing clouds . . . intermingled with brilliant white, red, and yellow explosions out of which the big bombers seemed to rise like flocks of giant birds.

Without ever having been through a big air raid before, I knew at once that here something quite different was happening.

The view from above was even more compelling. “Dresden was a city with every street etched in fire,” said one RAF navigator.

“At 20,000 feet,” a comrade added, “we could see details in the unearthly blaze that had never been visible before.”

For those planes which ventured down, the view quickly became more personal. “I saw people in the streets,” admitted one crewman. “I saw a dog run across a road—and felt sorry for it.”

“Oh God,” one airman muttered over and over again, “those poor people.”

After half an hour or so, the bombers broke off the attack and banked for home. Equipped with a movie camera, a single aircraft remained to record the drama:

There was a sea of fire covering in my estimation some 40 square miles. The heat striking up from the furnace below could be felt in my cockpit. The sky was vivid in hues of scarlet and white, and the light inside the aircraft was that of an eerie autumn sunset. We were so aghast at the awesome blaze that although alone over the city we flew around in a stand-off position for many minutes before turning for home, quite subdued by our imagination of the horror that must be below. We could still see the glare of the holocaust thirty minutes after leaving.

It was on that dark return flight home, when crewmen had a chance to ponder, that some first came to realize that the war had gone “a step too far.”

“[F]or the first time in many operations,” a Jewish pilot confessed, “I felt sorry for the population below.”

“I was sickened,” echoed a comrade simply.

***

With the merciful departure of the planes, rescue teams soon began inching toward the center of town. “Because of the fire-storm, at first it was possible to give help only at the periphery of the fires,” explained one worker. “I had to look on, helpless, as people who were clinging to iron railings were seized mercilessly by the suction and plucked off into the flames. And not human beings only, but all sorts of things, even prams, were seized by this force and sucked into the sea of fire.”

When the inferno finally abated later that morning, rescuers and relatives entered the still flaming city to search for survivors.

What we saw . . . was indescribable, horrible. Thick smoke everywhere. As we climbed with great effort over large pieces of walls and roofs which had collapsed and fallen into the street, we could hear behind us, beside us, and in front of us, burnt ruins collapsing with dull crashes. The nearer we came to the town center, the worse it became. It looked like a crater landscape, and then we saw the dead.

“Dead, dead, dead everywhere,” gasped Margret Freyer as she stumbled through the ruins.

Some completely black like charcoal. Others completely untouched. . . . Women in aprons, women with children sitting in the trams as if they had just nodded off. Many women, many young girls, many small children, soldiers who were only identifiable as such by the metal buckles on their belts, almost all of them naked. Some clinging to each other in groups as if they were clawing at each other. From some of the debris poked arms, heads, legs, shattered skulls. . . . Most people looked as if they had been inflated, with large yellow and brown stains on their bodies…. [T]here were also so many little babies, terribly mutilated.

“Never would I have thought that death could come to so many people in so many different ways,” noted a stunned rescue worker.

[S]ometimes the victims looked like ordinary people apparently peacefully sleeping; the faces of others were racked with pain, the bodies stripped almost naked by the tornado; there were wretched refugees from the East clad only in rags, and people from the Opera in all their finery; here the victim was a shapeless slab, there a layer of ashes. . . . Across the city, along the streets wafted the unmistakable stench of decaying flesh.

Indeed, of all the hideous scents wafting through Dresden—sulfur, gas, sewage—the heavy, sweet stench of cooked flesh blanketed all. “There is nothing like it; nothing smells so,” one nauseous woman wrote. What were at first mistaken to be thousands of burnt, blackened logs scattered about the streets were soon found to be charred corpses, each reduced to roughly three feet. “All the way across the city,” said a horrified rescuer, “we could see [these] victims lying face down, literally glued to the tarmac, which had softened and melted in the enormous heat.”

“The thin and elderly victims took longer to catch fire than the fat or young ones,” observed another witness.

Horribly, many frantic relatives were compelled to examine countless such bodies in hopes of identifying loved ones. “I can still see my mother,” remembered eleven-year-old Erika Simon, “bending down and turning over dead children, or bits of dead children, for she was still desperately searching for my little brother.”

“One shape I will never forget,” a rescue worker recalled, “was the remains of what had apparently been a mother and child. They had shriveled and charred into one piece, and had been stuck rigidly to the asphalt. They had just been prised up. The child must have been underneath the mother, because you could still clearly see its shape, with its mother’s arms clasped around it.”

At every turn, a new nightmare awaited. When she kicked from her path what seemed a burnt piece of wood and discovered it was not, young Eva Beyer ran screaming round a corner. Once there, she froze in horror: Hanging with claw-like hands from a metal fence, like so many blackened rats, were those—men, women and children—who had vainly tried to scale the barrier to safety. The sight was too much; Eva vomited on the spot.

Wrote another witness:

In the middle of the square lay an old man, with two dead horses. Hundreds of corpses, completely naked, were scattered round him. . . . Next to the tram-shelter was a public lavatory of corrugated iron. At the entrance to this was a woman, about thirty years old, completely nude, lying face-down on a fur-coat. . . . A few yards further on lay two young boys aged about eight and ten clinging tightly to each other; their faces were buried in the ground. They too were stark naked. Their legs were stiff and twisted into the air.

Curiously, while most victims had been burned to cinders in the streets, others, according to one viewer, “sat stiff in the streetcars, bags in hand, open eyes, dead, with but a slight trickle of blood having run down their noses or coming from their closed lips.”

“One woman was still sitting in a destroyed tramcar as if she had merely forgotten to get out,” recorded Maria Rosenberger. Another victim, she continued, was a completely shriveled corpse of a man, naked, his skin like brown leather, but with his beard and hair in tact.

Adding even more horror to the scene, terribly burned and mutilated zoo animals screamed in pain amid the rubble.

At the main railroad station, where thousands upon thousands were sheltered prior to the attack, few escaped. In the vast basement under the station, no one survived. Unlike those above, victims below died from smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning. “What I saw,” said one who entered the tomb, “was a nightmare, lit as it was only by the dim light of the railwayman’s lantern. The whole of the basement was covered with several layers of people, all very dead.” Added another who witnessed the scene: “What we noticed . . . were not so much dead bodies as people who had apparently fallen asleep, slumped against the station walls.”

Aware that those in the old city would flee the flames to the open spaces, the RAF had hurled tons of high explosive bombs into the huge central park. Here, the slaughter was ghastly. “I could see torn-off arms and legs, mutilated torsos, and heads which had been wrenched off their bodies and rolled away,” commented a Swiss visitor who attempted to cross the park. “In places the corpses were still lying so densely that I had to clear a path through them in order not to tread on arms and legs.”

At the numerous hospitals in Dresden, the survival rate was naturally much lower and many wretched victims could only lay helpless as they slowly burned to death. When Eva Beyer passed a women’s clinic she made the mistake of glancing over as clean-up crews brought out victims.

“I went down on my knees, trembled and cried . . . ,” the young Red Cross worker recounted. “Several women lay there with their bellies burst open . . . and one could see the babies for they were hanging half outside. Many of the babies were mutilated. . . . Scenes like that one saw everywhere and very slowly one became numbed. One acted like a zombie.”

Later that morning, recalled Erika Simon,

the news spread in a most mysterious way, that all those people who were walking about lost and helpless should assemble in the [city park]. Thus a gray mass of people began to move along in a line. One had ceased to be an individual and was only part of a suffering mass. The gray line of people climbed over debris and over the dead. One’s feet stepped on burnt corpses and one didn’t even think about it.

As the stunned survivors assembled at the park and along the grassy banks of the Elbe, some found missing loved ones. Most, however, did not. Absorbed as they were with the hell all about, few were aware of their own condition. When Margret Freyer asked for a mirror, she was staggered by what she saw: “I . . . did not recognize myself any more. My face was a mass of blisters and so were my hands. My eyes were narrow slits and puffed up, my whole body was covered in little black, pitted marks.” Others suddenly realized that they themselves were seriously injured, or that their hair and much of their clothing had been burned away.

***

By noon, February 14, a strange silence settled over what once was Dresden. “The city was absolutely quiet,” Gotz Bergander remembered. “The sound of the fires had died out. The rising smoke created a dirty, gray pall which hung over the entire city. The wind had calmed, but a slight breeze was blowing westward, away from us.”

And then, shattering the calm, came the sounds. “I suddenly thought I could hear sirens again,” continues Bergander. “And sure enough, there they were. I shouted, and by then we could already hear the distant whine of engines. . . . The roar of the engines grew louder and louder.”

As US bombers began blasting the rubble to dust, American fighter planes zeroed in on the thousands of refugees at the park, along the river and in other open spaces. Recalled Annemarie Waehmann:

We looked up and saw how they flew lower and lower. “They’re coming here. . . ,” we screamed. A few men took over and gave commands: “Split up! Scatter! Run into the fields! Down on your faces!” While we were lying in the dirt, our hands clawing at the earth as if we wanted to crawl inside it, they came after us, wave after wave, circling, flying low, shooting with their machine-guns into the defenseless people. Popping noises right and left, clods of earth flying up, screams. Like everyone else, I expect, I prayed: Dear God, please protect me. A few seconds’ pause, as the planes circled in order to come back at us again. The men screamed: “Up, up! Run on! Run towards the trees!”  But again that popping noise as they fired without mercy into the people, and screams and clods of earth flying around. . . . I took Hilde by the hand and without turning round once, without even looking to see how many people did not get up again, we ran.

“[P]anic broke out,” said fifteen-year-old Gerhard Kuhnemund. “Women and children were massacred with cannon and bombs. It was mass murder. . . . While we literally clawed ourselves into the grass, I personally saw at least five American fighter-bombers, which from an altitude of approximately 120–150 metres opened fire with their cannon on the masses of civilians. My companion . . . was killed beside me in this attack. There was a hole in his back the size of a palm.”

Near the park, zoo-keeper Otto Sailer-Jackson watched in stunned disbelief as one American pilot mowed down people running in the street. “He attacked several times, flying very low, firing from cannon and machine-guns into the refugees. Then he flew low over the Zoo and made several firing runs at anything he could see that was still alive. In this way our last giraffe met her death. Many stags and other animals which we had managed to save, became the victims of this hero.”

Although the raid lasted only ten minutes, the Americans returned the next day, and the next, and the next, seemingly determined that not a single living thing should survive in Dresden. “There seemed to be no end to the horror,” said Eva Beyer.

Desperate to prevent epidemics, the survivors of Dresden scurried between raids to dispose of the corpses. With thousands of bodies littering the streets and parks, the task initially seemed simple. “They had to pitchfork shriveled bodies onto trucks and wagons and cart them to shallow graves on the outskirts of the city,” a British POW engaged in the cleanup observed. As the ghastly work continued, however, it soon became clear that in no way could such a slow process handle the enormous amount of bodies. Hence, huge grills were fashioned from girders in various parts of town and corpses were stacked on them like logs. When the piles reached roughly ten feet high and thirty feet wide, flame throwers were used to ignite the mass. Elsewhere, workers simply built great mounds. Eva Beyer watched in horror as men poured gasoline over a large pile composed entirely of heads, legs and other body parts. While that mound was ablaze trucks arrived and dumped more such loads.

As the recovery continued and workers entered the ruins, even greater horrors were in store. Acting like vast ovens, super-heated cellars had rendered their victims into liquid fat.

“[R]escuers were walking about up to their ankles in sludge,” recounted Margret Freyer.

With his father, ten-year-old Thomas Weyersberg entered the basement of his family’s business to salvage from the ruins. In spite of the horror already experienced, neither father or son was prepared for what they found. “We literally waded into the pit of hell,” the boy said, “carrying out fat-soaked documents, company books, stationery[,] even some typewriters. . . . The walls . . . were still warm when we progressed . . . wading ankle-deep in the fried human drippings.”

Despite Dresden’s frenzied efforts to recover the dead, ten days after the raids, “mountains of bodies” still awaited disposal and for weeks workers with carts and trucks hauled thousands of corpses through the streets. Clearly, the dead in Dresden outnumbered the living.

***

One month after the massacre, the Dresden Chief of Police reported that over 200,000 bodies had been recovered from the ruins. The official added that the toll might possibly reach 250,000. Later, the International Red Cross estimated that 275,000 had died in the raids. Because of the incredible density of Dresden’s population on the night of February 13–14, because thousands of victims were refugees with no records, because many bodies either lay buried forever in the ruins or had simply melted like wax, other estimates that place the death toll at 300,000 to 400,000 may well be closer to the mark.

***

As news from Dresden spread slowly throughout the rest of the Reich, there was shock and horror, but mostly their was anguish. “Dresden was a glorious city. . . ,” wrote Ruth Andreas-Friedrich in her diary. “It’s a little hard getting used to the idea that Dresden, too, no longer exists. I almost feel like crying.” And Rudolf Semmler, aide to the propaganda minister, also took note that public facades of strength and courage could easily crumble in private: “For the first time I saw Goebbels lose control of himself when two days ago, he was given the stark reports of the disaster in Dresden. The tears came into his eyes with grief and rage and shock. Twenty minutes later I saw him again. He was still crying and looked a broken man.”

When word of the Dresden bombing first reached Great Britain there was initial joy. That the seventh largest city in Germany should be scorched from the map was “wondrous news,” trumpeted the British press; that hundreds of thousands of women and children should be burnt to cinders in the process was also “an unexpected and fortunate bonus.” Cabinet minister, Sir Archibald Sinclair, heartily agreed with this attitude and lyrically termed the firestorm a “crescendo of destruction.”

As more facts and information from neutral Swiss and Swedish sources began to arrive, however, many throughout the world were horrified. For the first time in the war, those in England, America and elsewhere learned what Germans had known for three years—the Allies were engaged in “deliberate terror-bombing.”  Angered and shamed by such a course when the war was clearly on its last leg, Richard Stokes lashed out in the House of Commons: “What happened on the evening of 13th February? There were a million people in Dresden, including 600,000 bombed-out evacuees and refugees from the East. . . . When I heard the Minister speak of the ‘crescendo of destruction,’ I thought: What a magnificent expression for a Cabinet Minister of Great Britain at this stage of the war.”

Most outrage, high and low, was directed at Arthur Harris, Chief of Bomber Command.

“[W]e were told at the briefing that there were many thousands of Panzer troops in the streets [of Dresden], either going to or coming back from the Russian Front,” one angry RAF crewman later explained. “My personal feeling is, that if we’d been told the truth at the briefing, some of us wouldn’t have gone.”

“To just fly over it without opposition felt like murder,” added a comrade. “I felt it was a cowardly war.”

Once known affectionately by many of his men as “Bomber” Harris, after Dresden the air marshal earned a new nickname—“Butcher.”

“Butcher Harris didn’t give a damn how many men he lost as long as he was pounding the shit out of German civilians,” growled one British airman.

Meanwhile, the man directly responsible for the Dresden massacre began to publicly distance himself from both Harris and terror bombing. Winston Churchill:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretextsshould be reviewed. The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing. . . . I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives . . . rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction.

Public pronouncements to the contrary, the air terror continued unabated. Lost almost entirely in the furor over Dresden was the February 23 leveling of Pforzheim in western Germany. Although much smaller than Dresden, in nineteen  minutes  the city was utterly destroyed with nearly 20,000 dead. A short time later, the “hospital city” of Wurzburg was likewise incinerated. Additionally, in what appeared an attempt to broaden the war, American planes struck neutral Switzerland, raiding Schaffhausen in late February and striking Basel and Zurich on March 4.

Fun With Dumb, Pt. 2

 

Some hapless, hopeless, homeless-sapien over in Miami, 49-year-old Richard Brandenburg, decided he would play gallant hero the other night and fetch some fair maiden’s lost car keys from a flooded down town storm drain.

“But forsooth,” sayeth Sir Richard, “I must first this half pint of rum guzzle down lest my right strong right arm become bone-chilled in yon swirling flood below.”  And what’s more, continueth Sir Dick, “A cigarette first I must smoketh lest my nerves become unsteady for the heroic feat I am about to perform.”

With that, our brave white knight, tattooed and drunk, dutifully dove down into the murky muck below fishing for his fair lady’s lost keys.

After a few minutes of groping in the mess, up popped Sir Dick, sans keys.  Never fear.  Another smoke, announced he, would stand his nerves in right good stead, and perhaps another stout swig of yon fiery rum would stay the chill in his limbs, if but some kind soul nearby would deign offer him some.  They dideth.  Although our shirtless knight clad only in tattooed armor claimed to have prior “experience in sewers,” this chivalric affair, this quest for the Holy Car Keys, was proving a tuff nut to crack.

At length, our cavalier screwed his courage up yet again and once more, into the foul, fetid, foam-flecked froth did he yet again goeth.  After a minute or so, however, once more Sir Dick’s head popped up for yet another rum and smoke breaketh.

At last, with the tears and entreaties from the lovely maiden urging him onward! Onward!! ONWARD!!! our noble knight now determined to do his duty or dieth in the attempt, and thereupon pitched he back into the froth again head firsteth.

This time, however, as the minutes ticked by, no Sir Richard.  More minutes, no Sir Dick.  More minutes, no Knight, no nothing.  Minutes. Nothing.  Minutes.  More no nothing.

Finally, some drunken sot in the crowd began to wonder aloud how anyone, knight or not, could hold his breath for a solid half hour and yet remain among the living.  This in turn awakened concern among the other drunken dolts.

“ZOUNDS!” they shouted in unison.  “We must this bold knight saveth!”

When Fire and EMT appeared on the scene they quickly followed the sewer to the first manhole cover down the street.  There, they flipped the lid, and Gramercy! there was our Sir Dick, limp as linguini, more dead than alive, more past than present, more drowned corpse than drunken clown, and so on.

And thus, while our boozed up hero never did recover the car keys, he himself was recovered by his rescuers and is now recovering in a local hospital.

Swamp savage, dumpster-diver, stump-grubber, rum-chugger, cig-sucker . . . add sewer-skimmer to Sir Richard’s credits of questionable talents.

***

Vaginas in the News

A Port Charlotte mother decided to make a day of it when she invited her teen daughter and friends along while she burglarized a home.  Seems the owner of the place had recently kicked the bucket and the mom reasoned that if she didn’t break in and steal everything, someone else would.  Adding some family quality time to the business operation was just icing on the cake because, after all, love and sharing are what mom’s are for, right?

Well dang it, after nosy neighbors spotted this hard working crew loading the loot into the back of a truck, sure enough cops showed up and rained on this fun-filled family parade. Turns out that this delectable damsel, this mom—as short and squat as she is sneaky and stupid—has a rap sheet as long as she is wide.  Certainly one of the most mis-named drug-addicted thieves anywhere, Enchantra Love Meade is anything but enchanting, loving or sexy.

Up at the “Railroad Death and Dismemberment Capital of Florida,” Lakeland, nothing new to report from the homeless-headless hobo world but little Chauntasia Gardiner up there is now five months old forever. No, the child did not die on train tracks as virtually everyone else up there seems to do.  Nope.  Chauntasia’s ma, Tavishia, or Tamisheika, or Takashima, or whatever, just let her starve to death.  Lame excuses were proffered about confusion in mixing baby formula or reading food instructions or whatever alibis pops into an empty head, but the fact is that the baby weighed less when it died than it did when it was born. Seems that the same vagina which squeezed out the child spent waaay more time trying to come up with a clever, original name for the baby than it did feeding it.  Pretty clear to this old city boy that the child is better off dead than being “raised” by something almost too ignorant to breathe much less make babies and keep them alive.

***

Kismet. Bob Bodenheimer was one of our lazy locals who wanted it both ways—when he went out on his bike to buy booze or smokes he wanted to reach his destination but he didn’t want to put out any effort to reach it.  Since a motorcycle would cost way more than Bob could afford, he put his mind to work.  Bingo!  Being something of a tinkerer, old Bob found or stole himself a cheap little motor, attached it to the chain, and shezzam!  he had himself a motor bike.

Problem.  Other than the stares and laughter of those on real motorcycles and those on real bikes, not to mention those in real cars and real trucks, Bob’s biggest issue was that his silly contraption was too slow for the road and too fast for the sidewalk.  This posed a challenge.

Solution.  Enter one 74-year-old modern mature motorist and his 85-year-old geezer passenger.  Together, the combined age of these two was about the same number of years as it took for the Roman Empire to rise and fall, but the cumulative eyesight of these two fossils, as well as their cumulative earshot, was still not enough to see or hear Bob puttering along like an idiot on his bike-a-cycle.  And so, Ebenezer and Methuselah simply ran over him.

Conclusion.  Alas, neither geez was hurt in the least, naturally, unfortunately; no surprise here.  But poor Bob was pretty used up and just about mortally killed.  Since Bob cracked his coconut on the concrete in the mishap, and since there is no mention of a helmet in the report, that means Bob was clearly wearing one.  It also means that the helmet didn’t matter a dime.

Lord, I had hoped that all the geezers had either fled Florida by now to continue their reign of terror up north or that those remaining here had all strolled along a serial canal and nature did the rest, but nope, nope and nope.

 

The Cause of the Second Civil War in America

by Taylor McClain

I had hoped for a long time that the U.S. could more or less peaceably split apart in the manner of the USSR.  In 1991, the USSR, beset with problems of debt, glasnost/perestroika, failure of national leadership, democratization, and out-of-control military spending, broke apart into 16 separate countries—some autonomous, others partially so.  The remarkable context of this was that, for the most part, it occurred peacefully, that is, without the central ruling elite unleashing the might of its army against those regions, and without the terror/suicide bombing of the institutions of the then Soviet Union that we see today as a pretextual political statement in other parts of the world.

It was a remarkable transition made even more so by the fact that the citizens of the 16 regions achieved separation of their areas, then formed governments, when they had never before participated  in a fully operational democratic process at the national level.  In other words, the citizens avoided what could have been, in an earlier time in history, a casus belli, by participating in a civic event.

It was also unusual that the central state did not resort to force of arms to compel the 16 regions to remain within the united government.  Why it did not do so is, as they say, “complicated.”  But the simple overarching reason is that the citizens of the USSR who also composed the entire geography of the country’s 16 regions, did not want to live and work together as part of, and be governed by, the same political entity. They, the citizens, desired to be part and parcel of an area where they exercised their right as they defined it to control their own land mass according to geopolitical expectations, be those based on culture, religion, race, ethnicity, or language.1  In order to utilize “might” to maintain a functioning central authority, the USSR would have found it necessary to make war against the total population living within the boundaries of the entire country.

When comparing the dissolution of the USSR with that of the United States one hundred and fifty-five years ago, one must ask why the North and the South could not have split apart, gone their separate ways, and become two distinct governing regions of one geographic mass? It would have been mutually beneficial—the South providing cotton to the North for weaving into fabric and milling of grain such as corn for food; and the North maintaining its manufacturing infrastructure to weave the cloth from the South’s cotton and to sell farming implements and other goods to the South.

The South would have transitioned its slave-based farming system in a few years (it was already on the decline) due to political pressure from foreign trading partners. The threat of the imposition of a trade embargo by Great Britain would have been very ameliorative. In this deliberate and cautious manner, over 600,000 of the North and South’s best genetic stock of white IQ and aptitude would not have been leeched into the mud of places like Appomattox and Gettysburg.

Moreover, the cautious approach would have obviated the devastation of the South’s infrastructure, circumvented the humiliation of Reconstruction and the resulting animus of the Southern people against the North (which continues to this day), and the starvation of countless numbers of Southern women and children. The list of grievances is nearly endless to the modern-day Southerner who can find a history book to read not cleansed of historical truth by NEA “educators.”

But all of this debate is better left to Marxist academicians and revanchist Rebel flag bearers who like to spend their time measuring the volume of water that has flowed over the dam. It happened, and it is history.

Let us, however, as White Nationalists and Alt-Righters, living and working in all parts of this land, not delude ourselves as to the primary cause of the American Civil War. The reason is instructive. It is important to our present cause that we understand the genesis of that war because it happened for one reason: the presence of four million Black people living in our midst at that time.

This means that the current popular mantra voiced by some guilt-ridden Southerners that secession and the ensuing fratricide of the war, was all about the political notion of “states’ rights” is a fiction. While it is true that the Declaration of Independence and the writings of Thomas Jefferson lend credibility to the idea that the bands of unity could be dissolved when the Government becomes destructive to certain self-evident truths, like the “equality of all men,” it is not true that the seceding states obliged its people to the North’s version of “shock and awe” due to a romanticized ideal.

Countries do not wage war over an “ideal,” unless the ideal is yoked to religion, culture, language, ethnicity, and a shared ground and a common history of its people. Wars were fought and are being maintained in the modern era for this reason. Such was the case of the North versus the South; such will always be the case.

It is true that Abraham Lincoln made florid speeches about “equality” and “freedom for all people” ad nauseum in the immediate walk-up to the war and afterward, but the published view of his low opinion of Blacks is too well known to be the subject of even the most ardent revisionist historian or of motion pictures produced by the Jewish media. Lincoln made several efforts to have Blacks peaceably ex-migrated to South America, Haiti, and to Caribbean colonies, and helped to finance the founding of the Liberian project on the African coast.2 God bless him—he tried.

Black slaves, however, not only wanted to be free men (who can blame them), they wanted to exercise that freedom within the borders of the United States (who can blame them), not in South America, and certainly not in sub-Saharan Africa, where many of them came from. Growing up and working in the cotton fields of the South may have been constraining and hard but to have been beamed back to the jungles and savannahs of their origin, would have been a death sentence.

To the Southern plantation owner, however, the Black slave (or White slave for that matter and, yes, Virginia, they did exist in surprising numbers) was his property. The farmer had bought the slave in exchange for U.S. dollars (usually paid to Northern slave market entrepreneurs). The farmer provided the slave with housing, certainly better than the former slave lived-in in Africa, food, health care, and in some cases, education (how do you think Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs learned to write and orate?). The farmer expected in return for his investment, that the property (the slave) work and produce a valuable commodity, which the farmer, in turn, could sell to the North and export to foreign countries.

Make no mistake about this; the slave was a farm tool or animal, if you like, just as a plow or a mule. Some ignorant farmers might neglect their plows or beat their mules, but if the farmer was prudent, he maintained the plow and kept the metal parts from rusting, just as he cared for the mule by feeding it and keeping it healthy so that it would have many years of productive service.

This was not a system of forced employment as in a 1940s prison system where the laborers were kept busy busting rock for gravel. Laborers such as these were cheap and fungible, and so cruelly worked that they might drop dead where they stood. They were easily replaced by the next inmate imprisoned for “vagrancy” because they cost the State next-to-nothing. In the antebellum Southern system, the slave was capital—costly to purchase and expensive to maintain. The Southern slave could not be neglected just as a farmer’s tool could not be neglected and allowed to degenerate into disrepair.

During the four years of the Civil War the South lost its slave labor, and yet most of the agrarian economy made a comeback over time without the inhumanity of the slave system. The South would certainly have survived without slave labor if the North had allowed it to secede from the Union.

What so devastated the South was the loss in four years’ time of the value of its capital, and this was even more devastating than the loss of its labor. Astoundingly, the dollar value of the South’s slaves in 1860 was approximately three billion dollars. As the total wealth of the U.S. at this time was about 16 billion dollars, this meant that the South’s slaves were worth about 19% of the economy.3 One can only imagine what this loss would have done to the South if all this capital had been wrenched from it virtually overnight. Oh, wait! We don’t have to imagine it because it actually happened—beginning on April 12, 1861, with devastating long-term results to the South’s economy.

On March 16, 2013, the world’s attention was riveted by the Cyprus government’s attempted implementation of a policy of skimming off 10% of the savings accounts of Cyprus citizens held in banks. How “unfair” the citizens screamed, and the world, at least that which was not a part of the European Union, agreed, especially the Russians who had vast wealth deposited in Cypriot banks. So what would be the reaction if the Federal government in Washington, D.C. announced that it was going to immediately confiscate 19% of everything White people owned, money and property, to make reparations to Blacks for the South’s past sins of commission and omission?4

There would be no outcry about the violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers clause or some other unenumerated power reserved to the States. It would be all about the sanctity of the ownership of private property. As the historian Larry Schweikart demonstrates, the South’s elected representatives spoke to the heart of the matter in the debates over the Compromise of 1850. Robert Toombs of Georgia exemplified the sentiment that it was only slavery and not a violation of state’s rights that was at the root of the Southerner’s resentment of the Federal government.

I stand upon the great general principle that the South has a right to equal participation in the territories of the United States [and to] enter them all with her property and securely enjoy it. 5

Toombs use of the word “property” was not a euphemism. It was a fact—the “property” was the plantation owner’s slave.

At the same time, the Northern congressional representatives could make all the high-toned, pro-Constitution, abolitionist speeches they wanted, but it was the Northern newspapers who told the hard economic truth of their cause against the South.

Let the South adopt the free-trade system [and the North’s] commerce must be reduced to less than half what it now is. 6

As the Northern newspapers recognized, if the South seceded, then it could establish commercial free trade that would massively divert foreign trade from the Northern ports to those in the South, such as the port in Charleston, South Carolina, which imposed lower tariff rates.

The average White Southerner may not have had the benefit of the education afforded to his Northern counterpart, but he was no fool, and it would have been the height of folly for him to risk his life, the well-being of his women and children, and the loss of his property, to merely prove a philosophical debating point—the “state’s rights” accorded to the individual states the ability to secede from the Union. Such esoteric legal doctrines as “state’s rights,” “interposition,” and “nullification,” were foreign to most Southern White people and meant nothing.

But these doctrines did mean something to the lawyers of the South who prior to the outbreak of the War utilized these principles for all their worth in the service of their plantation owning clients. The railed in Congress against the North’s efforts to circumvent the Fugitive Slave Act as being a clear affront to the authority of the Federal government. They attempted to use the power of the Federal government to prevent abolitionist newsletters from being delivered by the U.S. postal service. And when the Supreme Court of Wisconsin held that the state of Wisconsin pursuant to the doctrine of nullification could lawfully void a Federal law, the Federal Fugitive Slave Act, Southern Congressmen howled in protest at this illegal disregard of Federal authority.7

And when the Southern states formed the Confederacy it was made clear in the Confederate Constitution that it was illegal for any of the states signatory to this document to enact any legislation “denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves.” 8 (Italics mine). So much for the doctrine of “state’s rights” in this land of not-Lincoln.

On January 9, 1861, the Montgomery Advertiser jubilantly predicted Alabama’s secession and gave the reasons for this to happen.

A large majority of the members of our convention will not hesitate a moment to co-operate with South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi in the formation of a Southern confederacy on the basis of the United States as construed  in the Dred Scott case. The Union is already dissolved, and we will at once set about the work of preserving our liberties and honor by uniting with those gallant Southern States that are determined not to live under the free negro rule of Lincoln. 9

The Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court in 1857 was an apparent victory for the slaveholding states in that it said, among other things, that no Black person, slave or free, could become a U.S. citizen. The North was shocked having expected a completely contrary result from the Supreme Court. But the South was elated and said the decision was necessary to preserve the Union. In an attempt to go around the ruling, Northern Democrats promulgated the idea that even if the expanded territories could not prohibit slavery, there would need to be local police regulations to accompany and protect the slaves and the owners. If the local jurisdictions did not want to pass such regulations, then slavery could not be supported. Obviously, this view enraged the South.

When Georgia seceded, the fifth state to do so, a statement of secession was published on January 29, 1861, which enumerated the “causes” which “have led to the separation” from the Union. Several thousand words later, it is clear that there was only one causeslavery.  The document begins . . .

For the last ten years we have had numerous . . . causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.” The last paragraph lays it out explicitly by stating that, “Because of their [the Northern states] declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property [slaves] in the common territories of the Union. . . .” 10

The average Southerner who didn’t own a slave and would never have the wealth necessary to buy a slave, chose to fight, not to protect the capital of the wealthy plantation owner (whose wealth he probably resented), but for one reason only—the prospect of hordes of Black people suddenly freed to roam at will.

One has to cast his mind’s eye back one and one-half centuries to a time when the average Southerner was not a plantation owner but rather a fairly well off small farmer, business owner, or professional person. 11 His only contact with a Black was perhaps walking by a shopkeeper’s porch sweeper or a cotton gin laborer. The Blacks were uneducated and behaved in a manner totally alien to the Southerner. He did not understand the Blacks’ language or their culture transplanted from their African homeland and had no desire to understand the ways of these, to him, odd-looking people. They were foreign and different from all the White people he had grown up with.

The average Southerner also attended church on a semi-regular basis. He was a Baptist usually but may have been a Methodist or a Presbyterian. 12 As he sat and listened to the pastor speak of the presence of freed Negroes walking among them, his fear grew precipitously. There were, so his pastor said, Northern abolitionist preachers of the firebrand variety who were coming to the South, holding tent revivals well attended by Negroes, where their minds were animated into a frenzy of the expectations of freedom. They were being inculcated with the ideas that they would have the right to demand wages not paid to them for all their years of toil in the hot sun. Further, they would have the right to vote for politicians who would promise them new laws that would impose heavy taxes on the White men, the monies to be to be distributed to the Negroes.

But the darkest vision of all, as portrayed by the pastor, was that the freed Negro would have the right to “court” the Southerner’s daughters and sisters, and even marry them if the women should sink to such depravity because the anti-miscegenation laws would be repealed by the Negroes’ elected politicians.

It also occurred to the average Southerner that if the Federal government could intercede in the business affairs of the wealthy plantation owner and take his property, that is, slaves, from him, then the next day that same government could by force take his plow or his mule, and might even give the plow and the mule to the freed Negro so that he might have a fair and equal chance to earn a living—level the field, so to speak.

It was all too horrific for the average Southerner to contemplate. And that is why the average Southerner joined with the son of the plantation owner and both went off to fight and die. It was the looming specter of Blacks leaving the plantations and exercising their right to live in the White Southerners’ neighborhoods, attend their schools, and worship in their churches. If the average Southerner had heard of the political doctrines of interposition, nullification, or states’ rights, he might have cared about them and pondered the effect of such arcane theories on his ability to earn a living and care for his family. But in the main, he had not heard of them. He fought because of something more mundane, tangible, and cognizable to him.

So we now must ask how all this is a portent for the White man today?

The USSR broke apart without the bloodletting of a civil war because the various peoples were naturally divided into geographic regions where they shared a commonality and the adhesiveness of culture, religion, language, or ethnicity. There is no simulacrum of this in the United States, a country where people of all colors, Whites and Blacks and Browns, share an uneasy coexistence at best, in the same state, county, city, and in some instances, in the same neighborhood. The U.S. is a country where Whites have been attempting to secede from Blacks since the 1950s by selling their homes and buying a house in a newer, whiter, area of their town. In some instances, the Whites have uprooted the entire family and moved to a different part of the state or to another state. That manner of secession is no longer viable as Blacks, and now Latinos, have become ubiquitous in the U.S.

Additionally, in the USSR there was no single racial, religious or ethnic group that was dependent on another group for their sustenance, even for their very survival. The people of Latvia were not dependent on tariffs on phosphate mining in Estonia. The Lithuanians were not heating and cooling their homes with power produced by the nuclear reactors in Armenia. There was simply no large wealth transference from one ethnic group to another that would cause the transferees to howl with displeasure at the thought of their impending loss of borsch or vodka.

In the U.S., however, there exists a very large sub-group who cannot and will not survive without being propped up by subsidized payments in the form of the many faces of welfare: Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8 subsidized housing, the WIC program for women with infant children, HEAP emergency heating payments, the earned income tax credit, SNAP supplemental nutrition, TANF temporary food assistance, supplemental security income, AFDC for families with dependent children, free cell phones, subsidized day care, affirmative action, set-aside programs, subsidized public transportation, and so forth. All these programs paid for, primarily by working White people, men and women, of the white and blue collar variety.

And most recently, of course, we are saddled with mandated health insurance, the so-called Obamacare, that is too expensive for most working individuals and for most small employers who have resorted to hiring more workers on a part-time basis in order to avoid the law’s mandated coverage for full-time employees.

But if one is unemployed there is still the old stand-by: the hospital emergency room where Blacks and Latinos, especially illegals, go for treatment on a regular basis. The hospital staff in every ER in this country shares a name for these patients: frequent fliers. They come to the ER several times a week for every illness, real or imagined. For the imagined aches and pains, the ER staff will administer a hypodermic of harmless saline solution in the butt, and the patient immediately feels relieved of their pain. And the taxpayer picks up the costs for this because the Federal government mandates that a hospital cannot refuse treatment.

At the time of its dissolution, the USSR had a large standing army trained to defend its borders and protect its people. What it did not have was a large standing police force ever ready to attack the populace.

The U.S. has created (thank you George W. Bush) the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the bombing of the twin towers, to combat terrorism. The DHS has morphed (thank you Janet Napolitano) into the world’s largest and most secretive semi-autonomous security force. It is armed with the latest personal defense weapons and is constantly emptying the inventory of ammunition manufacturers to increase its cache of bullets—for what? 13 Perhaps an invasion by the Al Qaeda National Army?

The DHS has armored troop carriers with bullet-proof tires to transport thousands of Kevlar-wrapped personnel who are ready, willing and happy to menace us like RoboCops. The DHS is monitoring our emails and phone calls, watching our movement with drones; and give them a half-ass excuse, and they will search your home without a warrant, as they did in Watertown, Massachusetts in April 2013.

This demonstration of force-of-arms is in a very scary sense, a private army belonging to the people who are the recipients of the largess of the welfare wealth transfer programs; and don’t think for one second that the representatives of these people would hesitate to sic their dogs of the poverty war on you if you dared to resist your necessary contribution to the system. You see, they have no choice; they cannot survive without you.  They have no meaningful work to support themselves and their babies’ mommas and their drug habits, and their hip-hop trash music, and their ever-changing choice of the latest roundball sneakers. They own no personal property that they might barter for food. They own no real property that they might sell to raise cash in order to go grocery shopping. 14

All they have is you, and your toil, and your sweat, and your tax payments.

So today we talk about secession, and we grind our teeth and seethe in silence at the thought of another day of this capitalist crapper that we live in while we cozily recline in front of the Jewtube believing that Trump is going to save our lazy asses. And yet, at the same moment, tens of thousands of whining tardbots hit the streets on cue from George Soros, the Democrat Party, and wealthy Republicans to violently protest the merest first step of safeguarding our borders from Mexico’s vomiting of its vermin into our schools, our jobs, and our neighborhoods.

So, in this coast to coast milieu of perversion, of Black on White crime, and of Muslim terrorism, can we envision a somewhat peaceful breaking apart as did the USSR in 1991, or as in the Velvet Divorce of Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993, or as did Sweden and Norway a century ago, or as did the Jews in 1948? Can we not look to these actual historical events, not as curious factoids, but as exemplars, as a blueprint perhaps, for our own dissolution—for our people, for White Europeans, to have a land of our own? 15

No, we cannot. There is a difference, you see, between our desired secession and these named examples of countries falling apart by peaceable design or by political persuasion (as in the case of the creation of Israel). It is the same circumstance that prevailed in 1861. That circumstance is the presence of Black people living among us, who are totally dependent on us for their sustenance. That is what caused the first American Civil War.

That will be what causes the second.

______________________________________________________________

 

  1. http://www.historyorb.com/russia/intro.php
  2. Magness and Page, Colonization After Emancipation (Univ. of Missouri Press, 2011)
  3. Larry Schweikart, 48 Liberal Lies About American History (The Penguin Group, New York, 2008) p.195
  4. Lucky for us that won’t happen here since we have a system where the U.S. government would just print more money.
  5. Schweikart, supra, p. 196
  6. Thomas E. Woods, Ph.D., The Politically Correct Guide to American History, (Regnery, 2004), p. 68
  7. Sam G. Dickson, Race and the South, Race and the American Prospect, ed. by Samuel Francis (The Occidental Press, 2006), pp. 206-207
  8. Constitution of the Confederate States of America, Art. II, Sections 2 and 3
  9. http://www.archives.state.al.us/ahei/Alabama’s_Secession_in_1861_Embraced_with_Joy_and_Great_Confidence_September_2011.pdf

Taylor McClain is a practicing attorney and an alumnus of the University of Alabama

 

Dog Daze

This long, narrow island is a favorite place for folks to walk their dogs in the evening. While anyone who takes the time and energy to exercise their pooch is clearly a kind and considerate cut above the rest, almost all humanoids I see have one major failing, viz., nearly everyone refuses to allow their hound to do their business in hound time.

Most dog owners love their dogs but most dog owners are embarrassed by their dogs. After all, here is an important businessman who owns a yacht and moves millions each day, now standing idly around under his neighbors’ gaze, while his pug’s mug is plunged into some pee puddle or poop plop. And who could blame the blushing young woman, the one with her eye on the tanned young god approaching, if she tugs hard at her Golden Lab which picks THAT precise moment to double-hunch into a gigantic public BM?

Consequently, rather than “walk” their pets I’ve noticed that many owners drag and jerk them along at a self-conscious, avoid-embarrassment-at-all-cost human pace, not in dog time. Alas. I can only imagine what some of us would do if we were jerked off the can every night right in the middle of doing our business. And, as for the seemingly interminable sniff-a-thons that dogs go through when a curious scent is detected, if folks would only keep in mind that this is IT for the dog; after a day of boredom, yawning and sleeping in the house or backyard by themselves, this walk with all its sights, sounds AND smells is the dog’s big deal for the day; it is his daily newspaper, his magazine, his television, his telephone, his internet, his book, his banter at school, his chit-chat in the workplace. This is IT; this is the only time in the dog’s day where the world has purpose and meaning and interest. If people understood this I think they would learn more patience with their pets. But I must admit, I too feel embarrassment like everyone else.

My peke, Pepper, was more into sniffing pee than any dog I have ever known (it was a science with him and this little pissologist could seemingly “study” samples for hours). If the opportunity availed itself, however, Pepper was always mindful of matters canine carnal.

I was in the habit of, bye and bye, taking Pepper to a nearby “bark park” when I was living in Kansas. One evening just after arrival, hardly had I put Pepper down than a fluffy little black varmint dashed over. Within seconds, these two were madly trying to do each other.

Nose-to-hole, nose-to-hole, nose-to-hole, HUMP . . . . Nose-to-hole, nose-to-hole, nose-to-hole, HUMP. . . .

And so on. The fact that they were both males didn’t seem much of a problem except when each tried to “saddle up.” Both dogs wanted to be the mounter, not the mountee, and it was hilarious watching each try to quickly avoid the others lusty embrace. By far, the little black fluff was the faster of the two and before Pepper hardly knew what had happened his assailant had switched positions in a blink and was now hard astern. Being an Alpha male (with a capital “A”), my little guy found no humor at all in that and with growls and gruffs he fought to free himself each time.

Finally, the black fluff dashed away to other fields of conquest, leaving my little pervert just standing there, dry whacking empty air in rhythmic motion.

One thousand one . . .  one thousand two . . . one thousand three . . . one thousand four . . . (look down . . . dog still dry whacking . . . red face . . . look away) . . . one thousand five . . . one thousand six . . . one thousand seven . . . (look down . . . roll eyes . . . weak smile) . . . one thousand eight . . . one thousand nine . . . one thousand ten . . . (act indifferent . . . look away . . . women laughing . . . glance down . . . dry whacking . . . “Oh God! Make it end!”)

Dogs will be dogs, I know, but this was one time I really was embarrassed.

“Is that your dog?” asked an amused lady.

With a feeble grin, I wanted to say, “Dog . . . what dog?”

As revolting as this shameless display was, when once a week I took Pepper over to see his fenced-in friend, “Ozzie,” it was the canine version of Sodom and Gomorrah. What that kinky little pervert did to Pepper I won’t even attempt to describe. Even Ozzie’s mistress called him “nasty.”

Meanwhile, East Bound and Down . . . here in Florida . . .

. . . seems nothin’ ever normal at Punta.  Seems among the stump-grubbers and swamp savages over there abnorm is the new norm.  At the local nose-to-hole-hump-and-grind outdoor canine theater aka the Bark Park, 57-year-old Joe Johns got all bent out of shape one steamy eve because some chap in a wheel chair could not, or would not, control his pooch.  Seems the cur in question persisted in “jumping up” on JJ (that’s sissy-speak for “leg-fucking Joe’s leg”).  A normal person would have simply shook the dog loose and forgotten the incident in five minutes.  But hey, if Joe Johns was a normal, rational, mentally sound individual I wouldn’t be blogging about him, now would I?

And so, mentally disturbed Joe—burning with indignity—and burning from the tears of laughter pouring from those who were watching the dog grind on his leg—somehow slipped from the dog’s amorous embrace, walked over to the dog’s owner, then gave him a right sharp rap right in the puss.  Since that not only stopped the laughter but also felt pretty good too, Joe smote the man again . . . and again.  By now, Joe was really warming to the idea of smiting someone who couldn’t smite back and so our boy then knocked the cripple from his wheel chair and really got with the program.  Already helplessly confined to the chair, when the victim hit the turf he was as defenseless as an earth worm.  JJ continued to beat, kick and punch the leg-humping dog’s owner.  When the leg-humping dog’s owner’s girl friend’s mother stepped in, she too got a sound beating.

Meanwhile, the cops—on chariots drawn by only the swiftest of tree sloths—eventually showed up.  Although JJ insisted that it was HE who was the actual victim, it was pretty hard to shake all that pesky evidence—wheel chair turned over, cripple cringing on ground in curled fetal position, old woman knocked unconscious, cripple’s dog whimpering in sorrow for his smitten master while leg-humping cop’s leg. In spite of his pleas of innocence, the bark park bully was cuffed and carted away.

No doubt Joe Johns is now out on bond, presumably looking for more paraplegics and old ladies to pound on, and perhaps even a toddler or two.

Who could make this crap up?

Blunt Force Drama

A few thots on a few local news items.

***

Preface–Home is Where the Beer Is

And when God created the heaven and earth he noted that the land was empty and void and it troubled him greatly.  Thus, God created Adam and Eve, who in turn created Cain and Abel.  Abel chose to stay home like a good son but after Cain slew him, Cain fled into Gog or Megog or maybe Eggnog and thus became the world’s first homeless man.” 

That’s Scripture.  That’s fact.  It’s in the Bible so it’s got to be true.

Today, we here in the Sunshine State have a surfeit of those homeless descendants of Cain.  Indeed, in any given season it seems as if the descendants of Cain outnumber the descendants of Abel by about a hundred to one.  For the most part, these homeless here are not the tug-at-your-heart-strings sorts, the down-on-their luck families, the recently unemployed, the recently foreclosed on, the parents struggling to hold it together, the kids struggling to attend school, the pets struggling to avoid being eaten, etc.  No, those accounts of the truly homeless which make the evening news are the rare–mercifully rare—here in paradise.  The homeless we Floridians mostly have in mind when the term is mentioned are those who drink and drug for a living, those who sleep on cardboard down by the river, those who live in the woods or under bridges, those who exist in the great outdoors like wild hogs, those whose situation here has zero to do with up-ticks or down-ticks in the economy. 

The following is dedicated to those boozed up losers, those maxed-out meth heads and those mentally deranged maniacs out there whose numbers here in Florida seemingly grow by a million or more each year. Without the contributions of these stalwart stump grubbers and swamp savages this article could never have been written.  Thanks to each and every one of you Florida homeless-sapiens out there for your help . . . you know who you are.

_________________________________________________________

PART ONE–HOW THE HOMELESS GOT HOMELESS

Maybe we can’t fix stupid, or crazy, or pervy, or senile, but we can damn sure cure ‘cheater’.” 

So spoke some wise person, perhaps a cheatee themself who had been cheated on at some time in the past by some cheater  Or perhaps when our seer penned those trenchant words they merely had in mind the Florida female fun fest that took place recently over on the wrong side of the state. 

In Broward County, a 30-something wife walked in and discovered her husband (and daddy of her child) with a female business associate engaged in hard work.  Judging by the passionate embrace and the tight fit of their plumbing the labor had nothing to do with business.  And sooooooooo. . . .

It’s a sad state of affairs when women must carry stun guns on their key chains for defense.  Well, surprise!   Some ladies actually use a taser for offensive purposes.  The husband let slip his erotic embrace the very moment the volts of vengeance reached his main sex unit.  Over and over again, a totally outraged wife zapped, zapped and ZAPPED some more the cheating cad.  While the hub did his little chicken dance on the bed sheets, the cuckolding Jezebel made her naked flight out the window.

With her unfaithful rat of a husband now more electrode than human, the wife turned her attention to the fleeing harlot.  Chasing her down, the furious woman gave the deal-breaker some good old timey down home tase therapy from her ray gun.  As the neighborhood looked on in disbelief . . . on her back, on her belly, on her butt, on her fake boobs . . . everywhere there was a spot, there the juice of justice sought satisfaction.

Meanwhile, also over on the wrong side of the state at Palm Coast, 41-year-old party beast, James Irvine, faced a dilemma—he was a hankering to go out and get dead-dog drunk but with the old lady at work there was no one to watch the couple’s ten-month-old baby.  Well, for a desperate booze bag like Jim this conundrum was a no brainer.  Bingo! Leave the child with his “sweet-natured” and “great with children” pit bull.  And so, Jim simply took his much-needed break from the rigors of child-rearing and stepped out for a night of some serious get-down pub-crawlin’.  Somehow, perhaps from an aroused conscience at the bar, Irvine’s wife caught wind of what her soon-to-be-ex husband had done and she called the cops.

Although the baby was found safe in a bedroom, all concerned can be thankful that the pit was not hungry–a flimsy mobile home door would have been no match for a starving four-legged food blender. 

Lingering longer on the wrong side of the state. . . . Imagine for a moment that you are a fifty-something-year-old man, deep in debt and your double-wide is headed to the bank; imagine too that there are no jobs in sight except perhaps baggin’ grub at the local super or donning a Statue of Liberty costume and waving a sign all day outside a “We Buy Gold” pawn shop; imagine that you pop pain pills like other people pop popcorn and you drink up and pee out your weight in box wine per week; imagine that the cutie pie you married two decades back now more resembles a Kenmore Refrigerator than a human and last time you remember having sex with her it was like trying to screw a sofa.  Imagine that you . . . well, shoot, there’s lots more bad to “imagine” but space is short and I’m sure you get the drift.

Now, just when you think it can get no worse, imagine that it does. WHAM!  A piece of space junk crushes your last mode of transportation, a rusty girl’s bike, your human refrigerator wife suddenly demands sex again, or, as actually did happen the other day over at Pembroke Pines, a septic tank truck crashes right at your door step.

At the time it occurred, Joe Dirt, a driver for “All Star Toilets,” was texting his drug dealer about an impending transaction when he lost control of his sewage truck.  The vehicle then hit a utility pole, then overturned, then dumped a million gallons of “waste” all over the place.  Within seconds a “really sinister odor,” a smell from hell matching any of those in the fabled plagues of Egypt, swept over the entire community forcing a mass exodus of nose holes to points up wind.

In fairness, authorities responded quickly.  Clean-up crews were soon “Johnnies-on-the-spot” and the area was sucked up and flushed in a jiff.  Authorities grandly announced that there was no longer any danger to nostrils and the denizens could now return to their homes to live and smell in peace. Right.  Of course there was no longer any foul odors for the authorities; “authorities” had long since rolled up their windows and left as quick as they could.

__________________________________________________________

Part Two—HOW THE HOMELESS GET HEADLESS

When the Fit Hits the Shan–Over here on the right side of the state for a change, in one of the numerous hobo jungles that shame affluent Sarasota, three habitually homeless bums were holding high carnival the other night. Seems one of the thieves had “borrowed” some steaks from the local grocery store and the three were having an old-time cook out. During the party, as the gentlemen were guzzling “borrowed” beer and swapping lies about how successful they had been in former lives before cops, lawyers, judges, and $30,000 in unpaid child support conspired to bring them down, one of the rioters accidentally kicked the grill and plopped the sizzling steaks plunk into the sand. Seems this awkward act upset one of the revelers just a tad. Ranting and raving, the hungry hobo jumped up, cussed a few licks, knocked down the clumsy hobo, then grabbed a nearby machete and let him have it. Five minutes later, when the hungry hobo was finished, he dropped the bloody machete, wiped the sand from the bloody steaks, placed them back on the grill, grabbed himself another brew, then sat back and quietly watched dinner cook.

The next day the angry hobo was sitting in the county clink without bond. Not far away, the clumsy hobo was laying in the county morgue without his head. Never a dull moment down here among the swamp savages.

Postscript: Seems that the “friend” of the homeless, headless victim, one Donald Wayne Mann, may have had a hand in the above head case.  If readers can remember back that far, the three gentlemen in question were drinking stolen beer late one night and grilling stolen steaks on a stolen grill at their jungle lair in Sarasota.  When one of the drunks accidentally kicked the grill and dumped the sizzling steaks onto the sand, the fat hit the fire, literally.  Within seconds the clumsy drunk had not only kicked the grill but he also kicked the bucket when a very drunk, very hungry, and very angry Ricky Leer grabbed a machete and chopped off the awkward man’s head.  No trial date set.

A short time later, again at Sarasota . . . .

chop . . . chop . . . chop . . . CHOP . . . CHOP . . . CHOP . . . chop . . . .chop. . . . 

. . . a gentleman was merrily chopping wood at another of the numerous homeless camps that so enliven this sun and fun resort town. Perhaps as our woodsman worked, perhaps he was even singing that old Monty Python ditty about the life of a brawny lumberjack.

LUMBERJACK:

I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay.
I sleep all night and I work all day.

MOUNTIES:
He’s a lumberjack, and he’s okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

LUMBERJACK:
I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go shoppin’
And have buttered scones for tea.

MOUNTIES:
He cuts down trees. He eats his lunch.
He goes to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays he goes shopping
And has buttered scones for tea.

He’s a lumberjack, and he’s okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

LUMBERJACK:
I cut down trees. I skip and jump.
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women’s clothing
And hang around in bars.

MOUNTIES:
He cuts down trees. He skips and jumps.
He likes to press wild flowers.
He puts on women’s clothing
And hangs around in bars.

He’s a lumberjack, and he’s okay.
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

Unfortunately, at the same time as this was going on, 58-year-old Michael Joseph Silva was nearby rolling in the weeds, trying to get some sorely-needed shut-eye.  

chop . . . chop . . . CHOP . . . chop . . . chop . . . CHOP . . . chop . . . chop. . . .

LUMBERJACK:
I cut down trees. I wear high heels,
Suspendies, and a bra.
I wish I’d been a girlie,
Just like my dear Papa.

OHHHH . . . I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay.
I sleep all night and I work all day.


When the lumberjack refused to quit his chopping and howling as ordered, Silva charged the crooning chopper and took an angry swing.  The singer dodged and the fist missed its mark.  Spotting a machete nearby (seems ALL hobo jungles in Sarasota have machetes laying close at hand), the enraged attacker gave a mighty Paul Bunyan chop of his own in hopes of detaching the lumberjack’s yodeling head from his chopping body.  Once more this jack-be-nimble was quick and he ducked the main blow, though he did receive a small slash on his head.

Now thoroughly convinced the sleepless attacker meant business, our woodsman had the good sense to flee the scene posthaste and call 911.  Today, the attacker lies on a Sarasota County cot getting those Zeeee’s he so desperately needed and the would-be victim is back, it is assumed, chopping his wood and humming his tranny tunes.

After this incident, and the machete head removal preceding it, one thing seems clear to me:  If you are planning on becoming a homeless vagabond any time soon, and if you value your cabeza, steer clear of the “Anger Mismanagement and Decapitation Capital of Florida,” Sarasota.

___________________________________________

PART THREE–HOW THE HOMELESS GET HOMES

Homeless Honeymoon—Staying with Sarasota, two twenty-somethings, one Brittany Smith and one Robert Davis, simply could not resist all that animal magnetism each was exuding one evening.  It was sex at first sight.  Like sparrows, rabbits, Mexicans, and other critters who breed on sight, one look and these two homeless-sapiens just decided to screw . . . and screw the preliminaries.  Since the two had no digs, no need to ask, “Your place or mine?”—the couple simply stopped on someone’s front yard, took ‘em off and got it on. 

Meanwhile across the street, self-chosen officials of the local Neighborhood Lust Watch, Fred and Ethel Mertz, were getting more and more scandalized the more and more they watched.  Ethel grabbed the phone to dial Sarasota Carnal Control but before she could, Fred decided that they needed more evidence.  And so, peering from their window, Fred and Ethel watched and watched . . . and watched . . . and watched . . . . . and . . . . . . watched, and just to make extra sure certain that the amorous couple over there whacking on the lawn was doing what the Mertzes thought they were doing, Fred and Ethel watched some more.  Finally, despite Fred’s insistence that they collect even more evidence, Ethel pegged 911.  Carnal Control swat was on the scene in ten seconds flat.

Alas, it proved a costly tryst for our Romeo and Juliet—not only were Bob and Brit caught with all that evidence hanging out, but the bond for First Degree Naked Exposure and Illegal Use of Private Parts in Public (fucking on lawns) was set at $7,500 each. 

Panty-Sniffers in Paradise—Over by Punta Gorda, local vagabond 43-year-old Lee Hill, was returning to his home under the bridge down by the river the other day.  With him was a 14-year-old he had met a few hours earlier and who he proudly introduced to any and all as his “son.” Gone to buy more beer were the boy’s mother and sister who Hill proudly called his “wife” and “daughter.”  Well, it so happens that as the two homeless gents approached their home under the bridge down by the river they noticed a familiar figure—another homeless-sapien.  Seems at the time this 48-year-old chap was preoccupied with the sleeping arrangements of Hill’s two beer-buying women folk, viz, he was busily sniffing the underwear of Hill’s “daughter.”  When confronted, the surprised sniffer first tried to deny what he was doing, then nervously laughed it off as a joke.

Lee Hill was not smiling, Lee Hill was not amused.  Like an enraged Don Quixote defending the honor of his fair Dulcinea’s underwear, Hill and his “son” pitched into the pervert and gave him a curb stomp that he would never forget for as long as he sniffed panties. When finished, the knight-errant and his faithful squire had broken every major and most minor bones in the wretch’s body and very nearly used him up utterly.

Somehow the victim managed to stagger away to a nearby Race Trac convenience store.  At this Mardi Gras time of year, one can only imagine what the startled clerk thought when she looked up and saw this fellow wander in with every pore pouring . . . (sorry, couldn’t resist) every pore pouring blood from head to heal.

“Wow, now that’s the most life-like Freddy Kruger mask I have ever seen. . . . EEEOOOOOWWWWWRRRRRGGGG . . . . OH MY GOD!

The panty-sniffing pervert survived this vigilante beat-down, but just barely.  Although panty-snorting is pretty pathetic in and of itself, it is not a crime as far as I know and the perv is facing no charges. Not so Don Quixote, aka Lee Hill.  Although Hill defends his action, insisting that any other self-respecting “father” would defend the honor, chastity and purity of his child’s underwear, the “family” itself does not seem all that impressed by the chivalry of this modern day cavalier.  Indeed, none have even bothered to visit their “father” and “husband” in his new home, the county calaboose.

Notes on Nose Lust: I suppose it is a lot like prison.  When everything has been taken from you—whether through your own dumb fault or not—it stands to reason that you become very sensitive about the few things that remain to you, including your “ethos.”  Willing to fight, even die, for what you believe in–even if what you believe in is crazy as hell—when one who has little left to lose fights for what he construes as right and proper, then he can really lose his marbles over something.  And clearly, Lee Hill loses his marbles over panty-sniffing.

Actually, it was not so much the beat-down of the perv that amazes me, so much as the over-the-top degree of the beat-down administered by Hill & Co.  Now, loathsome as the act may have been, to my knowledge smelling up someone’s undies has not yet become a capital offense and Lee Hill, vagabond vigilante or not, had no business sentencing the culprit to a near summary execution.

Whatever, from homeless vagrant to heroic Man of La Mancha, the legend of Lee Hill, and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza (fourteen-year-old “son”) will no doubt spread far and wide and will be told and retold and reretold around countless homeless camp fires for ages to come. Together, these two did in fact gallantly uphold the virtue, honor and chastity of their fair Dulcinea’s Holy Underwear by roundly cuffing, thoroughly throttling, and mostly killing a panty-sniffing pervert under a bridge over near Punta Gorda, Florida.

Who could make this crap up?  And where am I going with it?  No place really. It ends right here.  But. . . . Oral sex?  Anal sex?  Hand sex?  Now nasal sex?  Hmmmmm.  Whatever happened to just plain vanilla vaginal sex? 


It’s Hurts At All Costs

 

by Taylor McClain

Just when I thought it was safe to consider college football as insulated from the creeping insidiousness of political correctness and leftist trolling, there appears an article by a staff writer for ESPN’s website titled It’s time for Alabama freshman QB Jalen Hurts to be a Heisman candidate.

I tried to ignore the obvious bias by a Black sports writer for a Black football player, a freshman, after only 8 games into a 14 game season. But then at the end of the season, in an e-zine called The Undefeated, came A BRIEF HISTORY OF ALABAMA PHENOM JALEN HURTS — AND THE BLACK QBS WHO CAME BEFORE HIM.  Not content with establishing Hurts as a “phenom” the writer, Aaron Dodson, another Black sports reporter, subtitles his screed with, “The freshman may just be the best Crimson Tide quarterback—regardless of age or race—in 125 years.”  This sports, culture, etc. site is devoted to everything Blackness and has ESPN on its masthead. Assuming that the title was so outrageous that no one would accord a scintilla of credibility to its content, which was self-touted as a “brief history of Jalen Hurts,” again I sought to look askance. I was wrong, and since then the legend of Jalen Hurts dominates the Southeastern Conference sports news in college football’s offseason.

Hurts is a freshman and appears to be a fine young man from a quality family. He is also Black, which is nothing new in college football or on the Tide football team. Michael Landrum was the first Black quarterback recruited at Alabama in 1979. But he only participated in two plays in the waning minutes of the Tide’s final winning game against Vanderbilt—a 66-3 smack down. Dodson, however, seems to credit Landrum with some of the success of the Tide’s national championship season by writing, “But before he left, Alabama ended the 1979 season by winning the national championship.” Thus begins a subtle shift in the bulk of the writer’s narrative from straightforward football team analysis to one of the racial profiling of Blacks as unworthy to helm the starting quarterback spot at the Tide.

Dodson then writes, “One year later, midway through (Walter) Lewis’ freshman season, longtime legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant did what he’d never done before — he started a black quarterback.” This is misleading since Don Jacobs, who is White, was the primary starting quarterback in 1980, accounting for four passing touchdowns. Lewis had none. Nevertheless, Lewis did start as quarterback in 1981.

Dodson vaguely hypothesizes that Hurts, “represents the school’s five African-American starting quarterbacks before him.” This asserted number of “starting” QBs is correct. He is incorrect in his statement that Philip Sims was a member of the 2012 team that won a national championship. He played in 2011 but only ran five plays from scrimmage and left the team as a redshirt freshman in May 2012 to play QB for Virginia in the ACC in all 12 of their games during the 2012 season.

Dodson is also incorrect when he writes that Blake Sims was the, “first black starter to win Alabama a national championship.” In fact, Blake Sims was the main starting QB in 2014 when the Tide won the SEC championship, but not the national championship. A.J. McCarron was the starting QB in 2011 and 2012 when the Tide did win back-to-back national championships.

Dodson writes that Blake Sims would join, “Landrum, Star Jackson and Philip Sims” as quarterbacks (incorrect as to Philip Sims) who would wear championship rings. It is difficult to fact-check much less discern the real meaning of this statistic as Alabama has had so many quarterbacks, Black quarterbacks included, who may have played sporadically or who sat on the bench during a non-championship season. For example, during the 1981 season, Alabama played three other quarterbacks in addition to Lewis who combined threw for as many touchdowns as Lewis.

Instead of taking pride in Blake Sims’ team participation in winning a national title, Dodson plays the race card and reaches back to 1963 to link George Wallace’s University of Alabama registration door stand (with state troopers he adds) to the asserted but unverified impediment of Blake Sims becoming the starting quarterback in 2014. Dodson’s racial take on this is that Alabama has had, “Just six black starting quarterbacks in the 125-year history of what some consider to be the greatest college football program of all time — one which has churned out more national titles (16) than any other school.”

Okay, fair enough; but using Dodson’s own stats, in the thirty-four years since Walter Lewis began playing, Alabama has started an African-American quarterback in seven of those years. This tells us that 20% of the time an African-American has been the Tide’s starting quarterback. How many African-American quarterbacks have sat on the bench or seen limited playing time is difficult to ascertain, but we can assume there have been many, and certainly the number is well above the percentage of African-Americans in the national population. One has to wonder if Dodson will only be satisfied that there is no institutional racism at the University of Alabama when an African-American is the starting quarterback 100% of the time.

The followers of Crimson Tide football can mark the exact moment when Hurts was crowned. It was during the first game against USC when Hurts went into the game to relieve the starting QB, Blake Barnett. The ESPN sideline reporter, Samantha Ponder, excitedly told us that a change could be sensed among the Tide players (most of whom were black) and they seemed to rally around the freshman QB. Apparently, their enthusiasm did not diminish when Hurts on his first play fumbled the football turning the ball over to USC. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth gushed about the “improvement” this young man would make, and how much better he would become as the season progressed. Yes, improvement in Hurts’ performance could be expected, and according to the Tide coaching staff, he was already the best QB on the team.

But was Hurts as good as the media, especially ESPN and the Black media said, and would he become even better? Let’s look at this.

Remarkably, Hurts’ first game (USC) was his second best according to his passing efficiency rating of 186. The only time he surpassed that rating was the October 8 game against Arkansas in which he earned a 229 rating. But in the semi-final game against Washington on December 21, 2016, he earned a paltry 84 rating and passed for only 57 yards. Against Clemson for the national championship on January 9, 2017, he did improve somewhat achieving a 95 rating, but still completed only 14 passes for 155 yards and only one touchdown. He completed only 44 percent of his passes. He ranked number 35 in the statistic for passing touchdowns for the 2016 season. In yards completed per passing attempt, Hurts did not even rank in the top 50; and there were four other freshmen QBs who did rank in the top 50.

According to NCAA statistics, Hurts did not lead the Tide into the season’s top 10 lists for team passing yards, rushing yards, passing offense, or rushing offense.

On the other hand, Hurts’ defenders argue that he is a “dual threat” QB who can run as well as pass. So, how important was Hurts’ rushing ability to the Tide’s regular season success? He did not even rank in the top 50 for rushing yards in the season or in rushing yards per game. He did tie with 10 other players for number 30 in rushing touchdowns in the 2016 season. And the top rated rushing QB for the season was Will Worth of Navy who was the number 2 ranked rusher in the country—ever heard of him? No, he’s a White guy.

A lot could be written in comparing Hurts with the Tide’s previous QBs. But let’s look at Hurts’ immediate predecessor, Jake Coker, the Tide’s QB ( a White guy) for the 2015 season. Coker will never be ranked by the media as one of the Tide’s “great” QBs. Perhaps he should be. He was not known for his throwing or running ability, but in some way, he always seemed to “get the job done” especially when the chips were on the table as in the Tide’s final game run to its national championship. His 3rd down conversion percentage (a vital part of any team’s success) for the full year was 59 percent. For the 2016 season, Hurts’ 3rd down completion rate was 35 percent. And in Hurts’ last game with Clemson, he completed only 2 out of 15 third down attempts—a catastrophic 13 percent.  In the semi-final game against Michigan State, Coker’s efficiency rating was 179, which improved to 203 in his final game against Clemson for the national championship. Recall that in Hurts’ final two games (Washington and Clemson) he had a rating of 84 and 95 respectively.

How did the Tide get to the 2017 national championship game with a mediocre QB? The answer is by playing the type of game the Tide is traditionally known for—defense. In fact, as has been widely discussed, the Tide would have won at least six games if the offense had sat on the bench. That is how important the Tide’s defensive behemoth was to their success in their 2016 season.

How did the Tide’s other QBs feel about the offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin starting a freshman at QB over them—they left the team. First, the original starting QB Blake Barnett announced his transfer. One can hardly blame him. In his start, his only game, against USC before he was pulled from the game in favor of Hurts, he completed 11 out of 19 passing attempts for a pass completion rate of 58 percent. He was efficiency rated at 189.  Then the backup Cooper Bateman (a five-star recruit) left, and finally David Cornwall. Has there ever been such a complete QB vacating of a major college football team in history—especially during the Tide’s 125-year history? Was this because the other QBs were White? Not really, since it can be shown that such large defections never occurred in the past when other Black QBs, more talented than their teammates, took the helm.

It should be obvious that Jalen Hurts is not the Tide’s greatest QB in 125 years and, as shown by the statistics, he did not improve over the course of the season—no kudos there for the ESPN announcers’ failed prognostication. Sadly, he may not have even been the best QB on the player roster beginning in 2016—history may provide that answer.

However, when it comes to tooting the black horn, there is no wrong note that can be played. The facts, in this case, the statistics, do not matter—it is all about the perception of racism. And that is why Jalen Hurts will struggle on as the Tide’s starting QB next season.

I almost forgot to mention an item that Mr. Dodson failed to report, a statistic that African-American sports reporters will never unveil, and that is the drastic increase in thuggery committed by African-American athletes. Perhaps this shameful behavior began at the University of Alabama with the Tide’s 1979 signing of Michael Landrum as the Tide’s first African-American QB. Landrum is now serving a life sentence for the murder for hire of his three-year-old daughter and her grandmother. Let us hope that Dodson is wrong and that in the future Hurts does not come to “represent” him.

Taylor McClain is a practicing attorney and an alumnus of the University of Alabama

 

Human Ant Hill

Some super scientific thoughts on fame, infamy, finity, and infinity. . . . 

Take, for example, the modern mania for tattoos and body piercings. Are not these self-mutilations merely a manifestation of one’s desperate desire for relevance?  Is not skin graffiti and rivets in the nose a wild, maniacal scream in the night, as per “HEY!  Look at me!  I am different!  I am cool!  I am sexy!  I count!  I do count, don’t I?  I don’t count?  You’re kidding me?  Please tell me I count!  Please tell me!  Please!  Help!”

Alas, when everyone does it, as they are doing now and as they always do, silly fads such as these become mere herd ritual, stale, staid, passé, boring, zzzzzzzzzz.  And when that happens, the more insecure and desperate among us look for other, even more outrageous and debasing, fads to run to.

Long hair, beads and sandals were the shock and awe scream of the Sixties generation announcing to the world that they were different.  But the clock was ticking and from the moment an idea is uttered it is never young again.  Soon, everyone was sporting long hair, beads and sandals until virtually everybody looked like everybody, again.  No sight was ever more ludicrous-looking than that of thousands of “rebelling” hippies all marching in lock step carrying signs and all looking just like the other hippies. . . .  Well, maybe no sight was more ludicrous-looking, that is, unless it was that of so-called outlaw biker gangs sporting standardized “colors” as predictable as any military uniform or any three-piece Wall Street business suit ever was. So much for individuality, uniqueness or significance from those quarters. These large-scale attempts at relevance were just new forms of herd behavior.  When given the chance, virtually all humans opt for the safety of numbers and remain unthinking, unquestioning, unremarkable members of the mass.

After “flower power,” then came into vogue new attempts to shock such as spiked red and purple hair, black lip stick, green lipstick, male earrings, female nose rings.  In their heart of hearts, no one wants the hassle of dying their hair continually green or pink or seeking new places to perforate their skin.  But in our mad quest to be relevant, money, time and pain are small obstacles in our path.

Ever seen full-body tattoos in which virtually every inch of a person is covered in ink?  Of course you have.  Obviously, full-body tats are not just a repellent waste of good ink and bad skin, they are a scream to the world, “Hey, mother fuckers, look at Me!  LOOK AT ME! I am unique.  I’m different.  I am sexy!   I matter!  Love me!  Follow me!  Admire me!  Honor me!  Exalt me!  Worship me!  Deify me!”

For shy followers, a simple tat on the breast or butt or ankle is a way of saying, “Hello!  See me?  I’m up-to-snuff.  See my tat?  I’m cool too!  I’m a rebel.  I’m different.  I’m someone!”

Question: When everyone is “someone,” is anyone anyone?

Honestly, 99% of us are about as noteworthy as an ant on a million-ant ant-hill, tattoos or no tattoos. We shuffle through life, running from the light, going along to get along, fearing to risk, fearing to fail, fearing to fall out of step or fall from fashion. And we do this with all the mind-numbing anonymity of those professional street-crossers in Seinfeld re-runs. We read history, we watch history, we even write history, but we don’t make history. For whatever reasons–guts, brains, talent–almost all of us lack what it takes to be remembered even 15 minutes after we are dead. We are intrigued, fascinated, and awed by those who take the risks and make the history. We live our lives vicariously through them.

My recommendation to anyone who totally lacks the brains, drive or guts to do mighty, memorable deeds and who wants to be remembered for maybe a month or more after their execution by lethal injection: Go postal!  Just do it!  Kill a noteworthy person, or massacre a bunch of unnoteworthy persons.  That should make you unique, different and remembered for at least as long as your trial lasts.  Unfortunately for you, your fifteen minutes of infamy will not be of much solace after you are put down.  You will be excoriated for the first ten minutes and in another five minutes you will be all but forgotten and as relevant as a hula hoop.