A Student of History

March 6, 2008

In trouble for reading a book

Filed under: PC,The Academy — John Maass @ 8:28 am

Keith John Sampson never thought he could get in trouble for reading a book, especially not on a college campus. But that’s what happened.

And…it was a history book!

Read the rest here.

March 5, 2008

Obama’s Hideous Abortion Stance

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 7:04 am

From cnsnews.com:

Obama also has been more aggressive in framing his pro-abortion position previously than he was on Sunday. When he was in the Illinois Senate, for example, he repeatedly opposed a bill that would have defined as a “person” a baby who had survived an induced-labor abortion and was born alive.

In a 2001 Illinois Senate floor speech about that bill, he argued that to call a baby who survived an abortion a “person” would give it equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment and would give credibility to the argument that the same child inside its mother’s womb was also a “person” and thus could not be aborted.

Thus, even if you are born alive, your not a “person” until Obama says you are….

Fortunately (for the unborn that is) there is brighter news: The Indian government plans to give cash incentives to the families of baby girls in an effort to limit the number of abortions of females because of a preference for sons.  As reported by the UN, India continues to lose almost 7,000 girls every day through abortions, while the British medical journal The Lancet has put the loss of females at 10 million over the past two decades.  I guess Obama would say 7,000 “non-persons” every day…….

March 4, 2008

Hats off to Drew Barrymore

Filed under: Simple Living,The world today — John Maass @ 10:51 am

At least one celeb is putting her wealth into the fight against hunger, and should be widely recognized for it.  [See my prior post on March 1st] Drew Barrymore just donated $1,000,000 the UN’s World Food Program to feed kids in Kenya.  More details are at http://www.wfp.org/index.htm

“Isn’t it crazy in a world where we have so much abundance, and I mean everybody in this country compared to the rest of the world is living in abundance, but isn’t it crazy that people are still dying because they can’t get enough to eat?” she said.


The Rome-based agency has an annual budget of about $3 billion, but it said it needs $500 million more this year than it anticipated to help feed the world’s poor because of the rising food and energy prices.

Founding Fathers Chic

Filed under: Early America — John Maass @ 8:05 am

Is there no limit to the popularity of the Founding Fathers?  Now one can get a John Adams adjustable fit ball cap, a tie in to the new HBO series coming this fall to TV.  It is based on David McCullough’s best-selling book of the same name.  Much of the filming was done at Colonial Williamsburg

Of course, not everyone is enamoured with the FF’s.  See Barry Gwen’s long essay in the NYT of 2005, where he says that they were all “paranoid hypocrites and ungrateful malcontents.”  T.H. Brands also discussed the Founder Chic in the Atlantic, in 2003.

Holocaust memoir is really fiction

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 6:50 am

From the IHT:

A best-selling Holocaust memoir has been revealed to be a fake. The author was never trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. Neither was she adopted by wolves who protected her from the Nazis, nor did she trek 1,900 miles across Europe in search of her deported parents or kill a German soldier in self-defense. She wasn’t even Jewish, The Associated Press reported. Misha Defonseca, 71, right, a Belgian writer living in Dudley, Massachusetts, about 60 miles southwest of Boston, admitted through her lawyers last week that her book, “Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years,” translated into 18 language and adapted for the French feature film “Surviving With Wolves,” was a fantasy. In a statement to The Associated Press, Defonseca said: “The story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving. I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed. I beg you to put yourself in my place, of a 4-year-old girl who was very lost.” Defonseca, who gave her real name as Monique De Wael, said her parents were arrested and killed by Nazis for Belgian resistance activities when she was 4; she was cared for by her grandfather and uncle. She came under pressure to defend her book after Sharon Sergeant, a genealogical researcher in Waltham, Massachusetts, said she had found clues in the unpublished United States version of the book.

Google Book Search has this to report:

“Surviving with Wolves” was the subject of a motion picture, “Survivre avec les loups”, billed as “a true story”, that premiered in Paris in January, 2008. The book has been published in 18 languages as an authentic account of the Holocaust experiences of a little Jewish girl who walked 3,000 miles across the European theater of war in search of her parents, at times living with wolves in the forest.

Regards, the French magazine, posted an online expose on February 20, 2008, calling Misha Defonseca’s book “Surviving with Wolves”, “the biggest scam of the decade.” Defonseca claims in the book that she lost her identity in the Holocaust; she never knew her surname, nor her parents surnames, nor her place of birth. She says she was given a false identity, Monique Valle, age 4, by the foster family that took her in after her parents were arrested in 1941 when she was 7 years old.

Defonseca, born May 12, 1937, according to records of St Gertrude’s Church in Etterbeek, Belgium, was baptized Monique Ernestine Josephine DeWael, daughter of Robert DeWael and Josephine Donvil. Monique DeWael was registered in school in Schaerbeek, Belgium in September 1943, the period of time when Defonseca claims to have been living with a pack of 10 wolves in the Ukraine.

To view the baptismal record and the school registration, the documents referenced in the Regards article, see the blog by Defonseca’s former publisher: www.BESTSELLERthebook.blogspot.com.

See also Deborak lipstadt’s blog.

Front Cover

March 3, 2008

Heaney Slams Tara Road Project

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Ireland — John Maass @ 12:00 pm

The construction of a motorway by the Irish Government through one of Ireland’s most historic areas has been condemned in a BBC Radio Ulster documentary, “Tar on Tara,” by the country’s foremost poet and 1995 Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney, and other international experts.

Seamus Heaney

March 1, 2008

Fuel, not food!

Filed under: Simple Living,The world today — John Maass @ 4:25 pm

It is a sad state of affairs when, as we learn from the Washington Post, that the U.S. government’s humanitarian relief agency will significantly scale back emergency food aid to some of the world’s poorest countries this year because of soaring global food prices, but there seems to be no limit on how many billions we can spend on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  When we stand before the final judgment of God or history or something else one might believe in, how is that going to go over? 

“Sorry, God, I know we humans allowed hundreds of thousands of people to die of famine, malnutrition, and disease, but we had to use the money for warfare.”  God (or future generations studying our era) will be sympathetic, right?

The Post article says that “USAID officials said that a 41 percent surge in prices for wheat, corn, rice and other cereals over the past six months has generated a $120 million budget shortfall that will force the agency to reduce emergency operations. That deficit is projected to rise to $200 million by year’s end. Prices have skyrocketed as more grains go to biofuel production or are consumed by such fast-emerging markets,” such as China.  In 2007, USAID gave about 2.5 million tons of food, accounting for more than 50 percent of the emergency aid in a number of nations.

Thus, to save us from too much foreign oil dependence, we take our food to make fuel, which means we all pay more for the food and millions get nothing to eat.  Is that fair/Christian/charitable/moral, or any of them? 

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