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Standing between Statehood and Annihilation

"You win, you bald-headed son-of-a-bitch!"
-- President Harry S. Truman, arguing with his friend, Eddie Jacobson, February 1948. [1]

Births are messy things. One percent of Jewish soldiers will be dead before this is over. One day it will be considered a fair trade. For now, untrained men step off the boat, grab a rifle and march off to face one of the fiercest types of Darwinian selection... war. For centuries Jews have been forbidden firearms. These skills and many more will have to be learned while under fire. But they have already undergone the most rigorous of Darwinian selections under the Nazis. "The best of us did not return," as Dr. Frankl said. By "best" he means "kindest". Those selfless souls who gave away their last crust of bread are dead now. What is left will do whatever it takes to survive because they already have. Most Jews are under military discipline, but there are smaller, independent groups that are terrorists, plain and simple. They are shooting Englishmen on sight, so the British forces are pulling out. Now it is Jew against Arab. It is probably better this way, however it turns out. But we are from the future. We know how it turns out, and how it will continue. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. What about the Arabs? What's their gripe? They have been getting hosed by the British, the French and the Italians for a good long time. Now the Russians want some of the action, so from the Arab perspective (setting aside any religious disagreements or antisemitism) the Jews look like just one more group of westerners trying to take all the land from the Arabs. Sure. They could make room, but why should they? Now insert any religious disagreements and outright antisemitism and you can see why the Arabs have their backs up. The USA has been trying to balance the principles of liberty with support for their World War 2 Allies, but they are all colonialists! And if the USA supported Arab independence, what should they do with the Jews? Forcing the Jews out of their Biblical homeland at the point of a bayonet looks bad in God-fearin' America, son! There were no good answers, so people picked the least bad ones and moved forward. (FYI, Alex Shrugged is Jewish and supports the State of Israel while acknowledging the many injustices that followed in the wake of its creation.)

A Wall between Church and State

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable.
-- Justice Hugo Black, writing for the court in Everson v. Board of Education (1947) [12]

In the aftermath of World War 2, the Churches are remembering how Hitler subverted their institutions with promises to protect "The True Church" from godless communism. Now the Churches are rethinking their relationship with the state. In this environment, a series of challenges to state support of religious institutions have come up. Last year in Everson v. Board of Education, Justice Hugo Black ruled that a separation between church and state must be nearly absolute. Now Justice Black must rule on whether a school district can set aside TIME AND SPACE for voluntary religious instruction. This is called release-time. Currently 1.5 million students attend weekly religious sessions on school grounds. In McCollum v. Board of Education, the school is picking the religious instructors and coaxing young James McCollum to choose one of the three religions. I know there are more than three religions and that's the point. Isn't it? The release-time program must undergo radical change. [13] [14] [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Baptists supported the ruling. I assume they were one of the religions being shut out by school officials. My experience with "release time" is unhappy. Hugo Black's ruling became a prohibition of any religious group renting a school room. They had to park a trailer on the street, and only the larger denominations could afford to do that. So why have religious instruction available at all? Students should understand what religion is even if their parents do not ascribe to a religion. I am Jewish, but I have studied Christianity. I know its value and its issues. I know Judaism's issues as well. We all have our complaints, but without an education in the basics, how can I hope to understand what is best for me? For an informed decision, I need to know what I am deciding about. Having the state decide that I don't need to know about ANY religion is itself coercive, and frankly, makes the state my only god by default. Telling me that it is my own responsibility is insufficient. It's like telling me that the school will teach reading and writing, but math is my responsibility. I'm not expecting calculus... just some basics so I can balance my checkbook, and my life. [16]

Notable Births

** Everyone listed below was living last time I checked.

  • Al and Tipper Gore: VP of the United States and 2nd Lady, now divorced. [17]
  • Howard Dean: Presidential candidate. "YEE HAH!" [17]
  • Charles, Prince of Wales: the heir apparent to the throne of England. [17]
  • Dennis Prager: Radio talk show host, author (and one of my heroes). [17]
  • Terry Bradshaw: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and analyst on Fox NFL Sunday. [17]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- In Music...: Ted Nugent, Cat Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne, and Olivia Newton-John. [17]
  • -- Avery Brooks: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Captain Benjamin Sisko. [18]
  • -- Samuel L. Jackson: Jurassic Park, Kingsman: The Secret Service and voice talent for the children's audiobook, Go the F--- to Sleep!. [17]
  • -- Gerard Depardieu: French actor who left France after a 75% tax combined with other taxes became an effective 100% tax. [17] [19]

This Year in Film

  • The Red Shoes: A young ballerina joins a ballet company called The Red Shoes. (In the fairy tale, a child is condemned to dance in her red shoes even after death.) [20] [21]
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Starring Humphrey Bogart. [20]
  • Key Largo: Starring Humphrey Bogart. [20]
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein: A comedy that makes as much money as any of the above films this year. [20] [22]

This Year in Music

  • Twelfth Street Rag: An instrumental by Pee Wee Hunt & His Orchestra. [23] [24]
  • Nature Boy: Nat King Cole. "The greatest thing is to love and be loved in return." [23] [25]
  • The Woody Woodpecker Song: Kay Kyser & his Orchestra, vocal by Gloria Wood (with Harry Babbitt). [23] [26]

In Other News

  • Zombies Beware! The Halligan Bar is here: Hugh Halligan prototypes a pry-bar for NY firefighters, and it works on zombies too. (BONUS!) [27] [28] [29]
  • The 200-inch Hale Telescope is complete: It will remain the largest in the world for 28 years. [30] [31]
  • The Hells Angels are founded: The motorcycle gang is named after a P-40 Mustang squadron in World War 2. ("The Flying Tigers" were a similar P-40 squadron.) [30] [32] [33]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1948, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Truman Library: Eddie Jacobson to Josef Cohn, April 1, 1952. Weizmann Archives Records, Subject File. Relations between the United States, Palestine, and Israel.. trumanlibrary.org (April 1, 1952). Retrieved on 8 February 2017.
  2. Oren, Michael B.. Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present. W. W. Norton, 495-495. ISBN 9780393058260. 
  3. Black, Edwin. IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation. Crown. ISBN 9780609607992. 
  4. Dawidowicz, Lucy S.. War against the Jews, 1933-1945, The. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 9780030136610. 
  5. Jonah Goldberg. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385511841. 
  6. Walter Isaacson. Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743264730. 
  7. Larson, Erik. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Crown. ISBN 9780307408846. 
  8. Pressman, Steven. 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission Into the Heart of Nazi Germany. HarperCollins. 
  9. Wyman, David S.. The Abandonment of the Jews. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0394428137. 
  10. Frankl, Viktor Emil. Man's Search for Meaning. Pocket. ISBN 9780671454623. “But apart from the selection of Capos which was undertaken by the SS, there was a sort of self-selecting process going on the whole time among all of the prisoners. On the average, only those prisoners could keep alive who, after years of trekking from camp to camp, had lost all scruples in their fight for existence; they were prepared to use every means, honest and otherwise, even brutal force, theft, and betrayal of their friends, in order to save themselves. We who have come back, by the aid of many lucky chances or miracles--whatever one may choose to call them--we know: the best of us did not return.” 
  11. Alex Shrugged notes: I've read a lot about Truman and his decision to support the creation of Israel. I have also given a 1 hour lecture on the subject along with questions and answers on the whole subject. Trying to boil it down to a couple of paragraphs here has been a challenge and I apologize for any distortions in the telling. I suggest you read the books that the footnotes reference. There are many others that I have not listed.
  12. Hugo Black - Wikiquote (2017). Retrieved on 8 February 2017. “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. -- Writing for the court, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947).”
  13. McCollum v. Board of Education - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 February 2017. “The case tested the principle of 'released time', where public schools set aside class time for religious instruction. The Court struck down a Champaign, Illinois program as unconstitutional because of the public school system's involvement in the administration, organization and support of religious instruction classes. The Court noted that some 2,000 communities nationwide offered similar released time programs affecting 1.5 million students.”
  14. Everson v. Board of Education - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 February 2017. “The case was brought by a New Jersey taxpayer against a tax funded school district that provided reimbursement to parents of both public and private schooled people taking the public transportation system to school. The taxpayer contended that reimbursement given for children attending private religious schools violated the constitutional prohibition against state support of religion, and the taking of taxpayers' dollar bills to do so violated the constitution's Due Process Clause.”
  15. Metaxas, Eric. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 9781595551382. 
  16. Alex Shrugged notes: My experience with release time comes from Long Beach, California. I was a member of the local synagogue and we discussed the problem of coercion, because we could not afford to buy or rent such a trailer for Jewish children.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 1948 Births - Wikipedia (2017).
  18. 1948 Births - Wikipedia (2017).
  19. Gerard Depardieu: French film star stirs tax row - BBC News (17 December 2012). Retrieved on 8 February 2017. “Last week, Depardieu announced he had quit Paris for a small town 800 metres (yards) from the French border, seemingly to dodge a 75% top rate of tax expected to come into force next year.”
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 1948 in film - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  21. The Red Shoes (fairy tale) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017. “An angel appears to her, bearing a sword, and condemns her to dance even after she dies, as a warning to vain children everywhere. Karen begs for mercy but the red shoes take her away before she hears the angel's reply.”
  22. Variety (January 1949) (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 1948 in music - Wikipedia (2017).
  24. 1948 HITS ARCHIVE: Twelfth Street Rag - Pee Wee Hunt (his original #1 version) - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017.
  25. Nat King Cole - Nature Boy (1948 First Recording) - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017.
  26. 1948 HITS ARCHIVE: Woody Woodpecker - Kay Kyser (Gloria Wood-H Babbitt, vocals) (their #1 version) - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017.
  27. Halligan bar - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 8 July 2015. “The tool was designed by and named after a New York City Fire Department First Deputy Chief named Hugh Halligan in 1948. Later that year the first prototype of the Halligan bar was made by Peter Clarke (a blacksmith). Despite the fact that the device had been invented by one of its members, the FDNY did not initially purchase the tool because of a perceived conflict of interest. The City of Boston Fire Department was the first major customer of the Halligan, purchasing one for every fire company in the city.”
  28. The Halligan Bar – By: Rob Fisher - Brotherhood Instructors. (2015). Retrieved on 8 July 2015. “The 2nd generation and later Halligan bars were printed on the forks with what looks like AM+D6. It is, however, believed to be AMDG, which is a Latin acronym for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam or 'for the greater glory of God.' This Latin phrase was a favorite of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Pope John Paul II routinely used it in his writings. He would print AMDG in the top left of every page he wrote.”
  29. John Ringo. Under a Graveyard Sky, Black Tide Rising. Baen Publishing Enterprises. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 1948 - Wikipedia (2017).
  31. Hale Telescope - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017. “It was the largest optical telescope in the world from its completion in 1948 until the BTA-6 was built in 1976, and the second largest until the construction of the Keck 1 in 1993.”
  32. Hells Angels - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017. “The name 'Hell's Angels' was inspired by the typical naming of American squadrons, or other fighting groups, with a fierce, death-defying title in World Wars I and II, e.g., the Flying Tigers (American Volunteer Group) in Burma and China fielded three squadrons of P-40s and the third Squadron was called 'Hell's Angels'”
  33. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 February 2017.

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