Stand up, speak up…evil flourishes when silence prevails.
Stand up, speak up…evil flourishes when silence prevails.
Canadians denied entry into US because they are anti-Trump:
Trump “at war with the media”:
Ex-CIA chief bashes Trump for his talk to the members of the CIA:
The World is worried about President Trump
The World Is Worried About President Trump
Trump’s government website takes down Civil Rights, LGBT and Climate Change
Trump’s White House Website Takes Down Official Pages on Civil Rights, Climate Change, LGBT Rights
In Trump’s mind, drain the swamp means fill top jobs with rich friends:
Björn Höcke of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) was giving a speech to the group “Young Alternative Dresden” on Tuesday when he began discussing how Germany remembers its history.
He urged the country to end its ‘culture of remembering Nazi crimes’, adding that Germany must make a 180-degree change in how it reflects on the past, describing it as a “stupid coping policy”, according to broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
“We Germans, our people, are the only people in the world who planted a memorial of shame in the heart of the capital city,” he said, referring to Berlin’s Holocaust memorial.
He also compared Chancellor Angela Merkel to Erich Honecker – the former socialist leader of East Germany who was put on trial for human rights abuses during the Cold War, including for the killing of people who attempted to flee the country.
When Höcke compared the Allied forces’ bombing of Dresden to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he received a round of applause.
He further described Germany’s frame of mind as “a brutally beaten people”.
“Instead of bringing up the new generation with the great philanthropists, the world famous, groundbreaking philosophers, the musicians, the ingenious explorers and inventors, of which we have many… maybe more than any other people in the world… and instead of exposing our students in schools to this history, the history – German history – is made into something rotten and ridiculous.”
The politician further said that both de-Nazification and the bombing of German cities had “cleared out our roots”.
Höcke also bashed the famous speech in 1985 by then President Richard von Weizsäcker, in which he called for Germany and all Germans to remember their historic responsibility in the crimes of the Nazis, marking 40 years after the end of the Second World War.
The AfD politician said Weizsäcker had made a “speech against his own people”.
The chair of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said he was shocked by the comments.
“The AfD have shown their true face with these anti-Semitic and extremely inhumane words,” Schuster said.
“I would have never believed that it would be possible for a politician in Germany to make such statements 70 years after the Holocaust.”
Höcke responded on Facebook on Wednesday, saying he was astonished by the media coverage of his speech. He defended his calling the Holocaust memorial a “memorial of shame,” saying he was also acknowledging Germans’ shame over the genocide.
“In my speech in Dresden, I was concerned with the question of how we Germans look back on our history and how this can can help us establish our identity in the 21st century. Undoubtedly, we must be aware in our self-assurance of our immense guilt. It is part of our history. But it is only part of our history,” he wrote.
“Guilt consciousness alone cannot create a healthy identity, but only a broken one. And it must also be clear to us that the integration problems that are all visible to us in this country also result from our broken identity.”
But Höcke did not comment on his other statements about city bombings, Weizsäcker, or “doing a 180” on remembering the Nazis’ crimes.
Opposing politicians have also condemned Höcke’s comments.
“Höcke held a rabble-rousing speech in Dresden, he wants to rewrite history,” wrote Social Democrat Ralf Stegner on Twitter.
“The AfD must unmistakably distance themselves from this and apologize to our Jewish friends,” Peter said.
AfD politicians have stirred controversy before with statements seemingly sympathizing with Nazis or downplaying the Holocaust. It was revealed in September that one then newly elected member of the Berlin parliament had referred to civilian victims of the Nazis as “guerilla fighters” and said that killing them was “legal”.
Another politician described the Holocaust, in a book, as “certain infamous actions” and Holocaust deniers as dissidents.
A lot of people aren’t just heartbroken. They’re scared. It doesn’t feel safe to be gay/black/female/Muslim/Latino/Jewish in America
A gentleman named Bill Howell wrote this letter:
Dear Mr. Trump:
It’s taken me a while to realize this and to admit it, but I’m grateful to you.
For the past few months I’ve spent a good deal of time lamenting your campaign and the poison it has so effortlessly generated. I’ve watched our country imploding, our public discourse become polluted, our political climate grows ever more corrosive, and wrongly assumed you were to blame.
It’s only lately I’ve come to understand that you haven’t manufactured our current national ugliness—you’ve simply revealed it.
By saying the irresponsible, mean-spirited, ignorant things you say so freely and so frequently, you’ve given other like-minded people license to do the same. You’ve opened up the floodgates for our corporate sewage to flow fully. People no longer conceal their vile mess, they now revel in it, they broadcast it and retweet it.
You’ve made bigotry and racism socially acceptable again and that has been a kind of twisted gift because it’s allowed me to really see people; not as they pretend to be on the surface—but in the very depths of their wounded, weaponized hearts.
Over and over as your campaign has persisted, your supporters would tell me that they like you because you “speak your mind”. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized that you speak their minds. You’ve given credence to their prejudices and made those prejudices go mainstream.
Thanks to the terrible ground you’ve broken, politicians, pastors, friends, and strangers, both in person and on social media now regularly out themselves as hateful, intolerant, and malicious—and they remind me just how close they are to me, just how deep the sickness in us runs, and just how far we have to go together.
You’ve emboldened people to be open about things they used to conceal for the sake of decorum, and though it turns my stomach, I know that this is the only way we can move forward; to have that cancerous stuff exposed fully so that it can be dealt with. Our progress as a nation is predicated on authentic dialogue, no matter how brutal and disheartening that dialogue is.
In other words, you’ve let us know what we’re really dealing with here and while it’s been rightly disturbing, it’s also been revelatory. That’s the thing about that kind of harsh light: you’re forced to see everything. Beauty and monstrosity equally illuminated.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think you’re the least qualified, least knowledgeable Presidential candidate we may ever have had participate this far into the process, and if you somehow were elected I’d fear gravely for the world my children would inherit—should it survive your Presidency at all. I believe you’re reckless, bitter, and completely reprehensible; the very worst kind of bully.
But whether you win or lose, you’ve already allowed me the blessing of Truth; about me, about you, about other candidates, about our nation.
And in the process you’ve also shown me that I am not alone in resisting you and this ugly thing you’ve revealed about us.
You’ve generated an equally loud, equally passionate response to it and this is where I find my hope these days.
I find it in those for whom equality isn’t just a cheap buzzword, it’s the most precious of hills to die on.
I find it in those people who refuse to be silent in the face of our impending shared regression.
I find it in those willing to be bolder in defending the inherent value of all people.
I find it in the growing army of those who will not tolerate hatred as a core American value.
I find it in those who reject violence as our default response to dissension.
I find it in the ever rising voice of people who will not let malice and bitterness represent them in the world.
Today I find my hope in those who, like me, will not be complicit in allowing bigotry and intolerance to become a source of national pride, because we’ve seen where that leads.
Yes, Mr Trump, you’ve unearthed our hidden sickness and you’ve allowed it to go viral.
You brought every awful thing about us out into the open.
You will NEVER Get My Vote!
© Chuck Duboff
“Human Rights: rights which are inherent to all human beings, regardless of nationality, race, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.” United Nations.
Questions to ponder:
Ask yourself these questions: do you believe that every human being living on this earth is entitled to basic human rights? Is there a piece within you which believes that you are more entitled to these rights than others? Do you look at individuals and say that they are deserving of their less than ideal living conditions and are therefore not as entitled to basic human rights? Do you believe that basic human rights are bestowed upon all individuals throughout the world, or is there a class of human beings which controls and subjugates others, to their benefit? Do you ever look down upon others? Do you generalize and stereotype others and develop a belief that they are less worthy of basic human rights?
Do you believe it is your responsibility to ensure that all citizens of this planet are receiving basic human rights or do you hide your head in the sand and let others do the hard work?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
While reading this list of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what were your thoughts? Did any of these rights make you uncomfortable? Do you believe that our society is making these rights available to all of our citizens?
I asked a wise man, my very good friend, Al Bryski, retired teacher, writer, philosophizer, how he would define Human Rights:
“To me a human right is the right for every person, every single one, to have equal rights to choice and opportunity, whether it be the freedom to get a job, to get a partner of one’s choice, the right to move freely, and the right to work at any job that they, the person, is qualified for, without threats of harassment, without any abuse, or any threat of being fired. It also means to me the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech and the right to equal treatment in the due process of law. Summing it up, it is for me treating every person with the dignity and respect they are entitled to.”
What are you doing to help promote Human Rights? Are you sitting on the sidelines or are you doing something to make this a healthier world in which we live?
“Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society.” Muhammad Yunus
****Due to the horrible, terrible, terrorist attack last evening in France…Geoff and I have decided that we can put our break from writing blogs on hold.”
Justine Ducros is a former exchange student of mine; she is from France. As events were unfolding last evening, Justine posted the following words…they are in both French & English.
So many of us are at a loss for words…please take a few minutes to read Justine’s words:
Comment peut on vouloir la mort, la peur, la haine à ce point au nom d’une religion, quelque soit cette religion ? J’ai un noeud à l’estomac à chaque fois que mon téléphone m’envoie les nouvelles du monde me demandant qui est mort cette fois ci… il semblerait que tous les jours apportent son lot de nouvelles attaques, nouveaux attentats, nouveaux morts, nouvelles tristesses… A chaque fois que je me rends à un concert, à un festival, à l’aéroport ou que je regarde un match à la télé je ne peux m’empêcher d’imaginer le pire… j’appréhende, je m’inquiète pour mes proches et pourtant j’ai la chance d’être française et de vivre en Europe. Dautres vivent dans des regions bien plus menacées par ce genre dattaques et le reste du monde n’en a que faire d’eux. Les individus commettant ces actes sont des individus isolés, perdus, fous, que la société aura probablement rejetés et qui se jettent dans la gueule du loup au détriment du reste. Pourra t-on jamais arrêter ces gens avant qu’ils ne commettent ce genre d’attaques ?? J’ai une pensée pour toutes les victimes et leurs familles à Nice aujourd’hui mais aussi pour tous ceux qui souffrent de ces violents affrontements à travers le monde alors qu’ils n’ont rien demandé d’autres que de vivre en paix.
How can we want death, fear, hatred at this point in the name of a religion, whatever this religion? I have a knot in my stomach every time my phone sends me the news of the world wondering who died this time… It seems that every day brings its share of further attacks, new attacks, new dead, new sorrows… Every time I go to a concert, a festival, at the airport or I watch a game on TV I can’t help but imagine the worst… I’m dreading, I’m worried about my loved ones and yet I have the chance to be French and live in Europe. Others live in regions much more threatened by these kind of attacks and the rest of the world has that to do with them. The individuals committing these acts are individuals isolated, lost, mad, that society will probably be rejected and who throw themselves in the mouth of the wolf at the expense of the rest. Can we ever stop these people before they commit this kind of attacks?? I have a thought for all the victims and their families in nice today, but also for all those who suffer from these violent clashes across the world so that they haven’t asked for anything other than to live in peace.
“ISIS is to Islam, what Westboro Baptist Church is to Christianity.”
“Donald Trump, like ISIS, is really a symbol of this irrationality. They both appeal to those who feel powerless and inferior, because they refuse to look at facts, weigh evidence, use logic.”
© Chuck Duboff
We are living in very troubled times with many knowledgeable commentators proffering the question: Are we in the midst of WWIII? A very disturbing thought indeed. It does seem that all parts of this world are being affected by the escalation of terrorism; in just the past few weeks, a jet liner has been brought down, Beirut has succumbed to the evils of terrorism and Paris was viscously attacked last Friday evening. ISIS has proudly announced their responsibility for these horrific actions, putting a city, country, continent and world in fear. With the announcement by ISIS that this is just the beginning of a reign of terror, outrage has taken over rational thinking. Countries around the world are closing their borders, Syrian refugees face barriers to finding a safe haven, US Presidential candidates are putting forth actions such as closing all mosques (Donald Trump), Muslim temples of worship are being set on fire and anti-Muslim rage has overtaken the world.
It would seem that all Muslims have been stereotyped and are paying for the sins of their ISIS brethren. This has led to violence towards all Muslims and the shutting down of borders to Syrian refugees out of fear of terrorists “slipping in”. Honest, hard working, peaceful Muslims are having their lives shattered.
I put forth this question: should all Germans have been held responsible for the atrocities committed by the Nazis? I say no; when I fist started my teaching career, one of my best friends was a man of German descent. I could not hold him responsible for the actions of evil people. Should good Christians be blamed for the actions of the KKK? I say no!!! My writing partner Geoff is a “good Christian”; he has good morals and is respectful of all cultures. Should he be held responsible for the actions of the KKK, who claim that they are good Christians who are doing God’s work.
Why then are ALL Muslims having their lives thrown into chaos, into fear. It is illogical for seemingly intelligent individuals to exacerbate, to incite further hatred, yet that is in fact what is happening. Leaders around the world are closing their borders to Syrian refugees, US presidential candidates are espousing religious tests for refugees (Ted Cruz), Mosques in Canada are being set on fire, while innocent Muslims are being branded as terrorists. Why I ask, why? Are these people supposing that all Muslims are terrorists? It is both illogical and irrational thinking.
This past summer my nephew got married in Barrie, Ontario. As I am, my nephew is Jewish and his beautiful bride is Muslim; that’s right, she is Muslim. The whole wedding weekend, the two ceremonies, the interaction between cultures was wonderful. Many times throughout the weekend I commented: “wouldn’t it be wonderful if the media spent time shining a light on positive cultural celebrations, rather than going 24/7 on the evils which have overtaken this world. It is so troubling to think that my nephew’s bride’s family must live with these horrifying attitudes and behaviours. They truly are some the kindest, friendliest, most helpful people I have ever met. Take a few minutes to read the blog which I wrote about the wedding and the coming together of two cultures:
I would suggest that in this time of fear and tragedy, this time of irrational behaviour and pure hatred, we all take a moment to breath and think about our values and the kind of people, kind of country we want to be.
Thank you for this brilliant parody Helen; you tell it like it is…to the tune of Don McLean’s great song, American Pie. Please share this video, if you believe in her message.
© Chuck Duboff & Geoff Brookes
Wake up Canada!! Do you realize what Stephen Harper is attempting to do to our civil rights? Every Canadian citizen must wake up to what Bill C51 proposes to do, what rights it proposes to take away and how our civil liberties will be infringed upon. Stephen Harper is using Fear Mongering as a means to take away your rights!!
I had the good fortune to live in Havana, Cuba for awhile; a beautiful city with warm, kind people. However, I was constantly reminded: “Chuck, quiet, the secret police are watching.” “Chuck, don’t say that, someone will report you.” “Chuck, there are people who live on every street who work for the government and report on what we do.” That is the life Cubans live. I saw police cars pull up beside people walking innocently on the street and they were grabbed and put into the police cars…That is the reality they live with.
If you think that you couldn’t live in a country like that..then wake up to what Herr Harper is attempting to do. We supposedly live in a democracy; live in a country where Freedom of Expression is something we are proud of. A country where up until now we weren’t afraid to express ourselves. I could refer to Stephen Harper as a Dictator and not fear for my safety. I could get a group of people together to march against Stephen Harper and his band of blind loyalists.
However, no longer will we have those freedoms if Stephen Harper has his way; if Bill C51 is passed, Harper’s Police State will be allowed to: read your e-mail accounts and follow your twitter feeds; no longer will we be allowed the right to peacefully assemble. It will allow search and seizure WITHOUT WARRANT!! The law will also allow the state to censor the internet and seize whatever it decides is “terrorist propaganda”. I hope this Blog isn’t considered terrorist propaganda.
DICTATORSHIP meet STEPHEN HARPER. AS NAPOLEAN SAID IN ANIMAL FARM: ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, YET SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS!!
It’s time for all Canadians to wake up to Bill C51; if you don’t take the time to do something about this, then you will have no right to complain when you have been stripped of your freedoms and civil rights.
© Julie Nugeus,
So, it happened. Terrorists executed 17 people on January 7 in France. They organized and planned it. They intentionally attacked journalists of the « Charlie Hebdo » newspaper and killed Jewish people in a kosher grocery store. These words, when said or written, still don’t seem real to me…
On the day it happened, the emotion was so big that my brain could not process it. I had to repeat the same words many times to my friends and to whomever crossed my path : « a terrorist attack killed journalists of Charlie Hebdo and four Jewish people in Paris »
No ! It can not be !…
Charb, Tignous, Honoré passed away too. Focusing on these caricaturists, who embodied the figure of freedom of speech, is an attack against freedom and the other values of the Republican state that France stands to represent. Whether you like Charlie Hebdo’s respect-less, impetuous and controversial tone or not, they defended with courage the uncensured expression within their drawings. For that, I admire and grieve for them.
But, light is never far. On the night of the same day, when I reached the square of the first gathering in Lyon, I realized we were so many overwhelmed with the same emotions : rage and sadness. But we had the will to express this rage all together, united. On a square in Paris, four words came out of the crowd just like a light : « we are not afraid ».
I spent the next three days watching this big solidarity movement that spontaneously organized itself in public spaces : in the cities, on social networks and among journalists everywhere in the world. I realized a major event was taking place. History is marching on every day, yet, we barely notice it. Though, during a great event like this one, it takes on significant importance. I caught a glimpse of its shape when aware of the impact of a terrorist killing against committed journalists.
This movement ended up in a big march on Sunday, January 11. Joyfully, even if heavy hearted, people marched the streets of Paris where 1.4 million people gathered, but also in Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Strabourg… and even small cities and villages. All together, around 3.7 million people expressed their support.
I am very moved by the ability of part of the French people to stand up for their values in solidarity and equality. I find it very beautiful.
Although, we have to be careful as not everyone was marching. People are divided. That major event woke us up to what was already in front of us. The big issues are still here. Some French people turn toward the extremist view of the Islamic group. French people descended from an immigration that other French people don’t tolerate. Is the French integration model right ? It is time for the French and European politicians and citizens to take the responsibility to rethink notions like integrity, secularity and put together sustainable solutions to progressively rebuild a tolerant and mixed society. If not done, the risk of an escalation of Islamaphobia and racism on one side and of violent radicalization on the other side is real.
As real as the feeling of hope which fills up my heart. I believe new resources will be developed and I have faith that education and culture will bring out healthier responses to such issues.
© Chuck Duboff
Several years ago, I had an exchange student from France…her name is Julie. She embraced Canada and was a big part of the human rights group I ran, the Maples Collegiate Unity Group. One of the events we held each year was a 12km march to the steps of the Legislature to promote human rights and fight racism.
Julie is back in France now. I contacted her via Facebook out of concern for her well-being following the events of last week. I asked her if she would share the experience for our blog. I am communicating with her right now and expect to post a first hand blog of yesterday’s marches in France.
This is the note I received minutes ago from Julie:
I did march yesterday in Annecy ( the city where I live in). The crowd was very impressive and it’s a small city… Some of my friends where at the march in Paris. Apparently, it was amazing to be there.
France and its people are courageously standing up against one of the darkest side of terrorism… it is amazing to be part of it.
I thought a lot about your proposition to write a note for your blog. I have been writing it all day. I should be able to send it to you tomorrow, if it’s still ok with you? It will need corrections though, will do that for me too?
Thank you for asking me that, I was wondering how I could contribute…
Each time I march in France, I remember what you taught us back in Maples… Thank you again because it some of the greatest teaching I got! It is so obvious when I commit to political causes.
I am glad you and other people in the world are aware of what is happening
Hope you’re well.
© Chuck Duboff
– On Wednesday I will be heading down to the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean for two weeks. During this time I will attempt to post blogs every second day; however, this will be dependent upon Wi-Fi accessibility. There is a Starbucks close by to the resort which I am staying at…there is free Wi-Fi there, so I may take my I-Pad over there in the evenings and post the blogs. I just ask for your patience and understanding during these couple of weeks.
– Was great getting an unexpected phone call from down in Cozumel the other evening; look forward to seeing my buddy Albert down there…perhaps a few cervecas together on Fifth Avenue in Playa.
– Thank you Teemu. The memories of your 76 goal season will never be forgotten!!
– Terrorists kill. Muslims don’t.
– Man, some great stories were told yesterday with Geoff, Al and Mick; and we sure did solve the world’s problems guys!! I’ll bring back the tequila and cigars to help celebrate the Jets getting into the playoffs!!
– On a much smaller scale, but very similar in nature…what happened this past week in Paris reminded me of when I received the letter filled with death threats: “Hitler knew what he was doing, kill all the jew pigs, we’re going to kill you.” I received this because I dared to promote human rights for all..while the idiots who write letters like that, hide in their basements, much like the KKK hiding under their cloaks. I was proud of my words and actions…yet these cowards never had the courage to stand up for what they believed in. Those cartoonists were brave and stood for all the values of democracy.
– As the Jets injured start to come back, we are hanging onto a playoff spot by the slimmest of threads; at our coffee yesterday there was pretty much a consensus that two things must happen for the playoffs to become a reality: Chevy must upgrade the 3rd and 4th lines…they are killing us; and Pav must either be traded or relegated to the bench. We all were in agreement that the Jets should run with Hutch and call up Conner Hellebucyk from St. Johns.
– 36 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training!!
– December 17, 2011…the night Teemu came back to Winnipeg…I will never, ever forget that night!! I think Teemu was overwhelmed by the love displayed by his Winnipeg fans. What a night. Thank you Teemu.
– Are we in the midst of a Holy War?
– As a very proud dad…and with a slightly biased opinion, check out my son Matt Duboff for some amazing photography…mattduboff.com…his website displays some brilliant shots. If you need some great photography done, either connect with Matt through his website or send me a note. I know you won’t be disappointed. Matt took this great shot of Big Ben and his friend in the Bruins jersey at practice:
– Steen taxi service: the best!!!! LMAO
– Big Ben: “Zaida, if the Yankees were playing the Goldeyes, who would you cheer for?” Gotta love the innocence of youth.
– Freedom of Speech: we are blessed to live in a country where I can openly express that I do not trust Brian Pallister for one second, while at the same time saying that the NDP must get their act together…it’s like a three ring circus.
– I fear something horrific is being planned by the terrorists to occur in the US…on a 9/11 scale.
– All Winnipeg Jets 1.0 fans recognize this great picture:
– To my friend Di, who lives and breathes Bruce Springsteen (springsteen2wpg.com)…here’s hoping the rumours are true!!
– This will probably be the last Saturday Morning Random Thoughts for a few weeks; however, if it is a rainy or cloudy Saturday morning, I’ll try and get to the Wi-Fi and share my goings on in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.