For those who do not live in Los Angeles, you won’t be aware of him, but we have a local news celebrity by the name of Hal Fishman. Hal has been a local entity in television for as long as I’ve lived here and a while back started making editorials on a regular basis. This post is partially a response to one of his recent pieces as well as some related political commentary of my own.

I have met Mr. Fishman on a couple of occasions, out of work when he eats at a little restaurant near where he keeps a personal plane, or at least used to… He is a very personable man, quite cordial and overall seems to be very well informed. But as happens to us all, we sometimes get so busy thinking about one aspect of something that we fail to go deep enough to the other side, this is one of those times in my not so humble opinion…

Well, someone at KTLA‘s website needs to get on the ball. The commentaries haven’t been updated in quite a while so you will have to take my word that Hal said the following…

Hal was giving a piece on a high school having some controversy over its yearbook and a couple of students. The yearbook, like many, allows (graduating?) students to give a quote that they would like to have on their picture. The problem seems to be that a couple of students wanted to use quotes from Adolf Hitler and some of the local people were quite upset about it.

Hal went into why was it not caught by the teacher-advisor to the yearbook staff and the usual statements of Hitler’s vile history. He then went on to comment that if the students really wanted to have quotes from Hitler’s Mein Kampf attached to their names for eternity, so be it.

He never really mentioned the idea of Freedom of Speech, but then when Hitler is being referenced, we usually forget that the concept also means saying that which might make your blood boil, sorry (not) political correctness (but I digress).

Shame the one question that I was waiting for was never answered in the piece–what were the quotes?

After doing a quick search on the internet, I found an article from the News & Observer that says the quotes were:

  1. “Strength lies not in defense, but in attack.”
  2. “The great masses of people … will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

One of the boy’s father was quoted as saying, “I guess he didn’t seriously consider the source; he was more interested in the quote,” and while the source is questionable, the quotes themselves are very timely in their subject. No wonder they weren’t mentioned.

Now my Conservative, Republican, Bush supporting friends, look away, You are definitely NOT going to like what I’m about to say…

The first quote has nearly been identically quoted in substance by the Pentagon in the form of our recent examples in foreign policy, especially in the so called War on Terror and Iraq. This administration has basically made policy saying we will attack before provocation or imminent danger.

As to the second, we have examples of that all around us in this administration. From the claims of undeniable proof of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq to Saddam Hussein’s claimed involvement in al-Qaeda and the events of September 11th. Even though the President has admitted “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11 [attacks]” nearly every time they try to justify the war in Iraq, they mention 9/11 as if the opposite is the case, not a big lie is it?

So maybe the title of this post is accurate since though he has low numbers, the people are not willing to do something about it, that would require thought and action from the busy lives of the people.

By the way, the quote at the subject of this entry, “What good fortune for governments that the people do not think” is from Adolf Hitler, as quoted by Joachim Fest. Maybe the world’s most famous fascist CAN teach us a little something.

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

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  1. avatar
    Spirit Geek Reply

    Before anyone tries to imply otherwise:

    No, I am neither a supporter of Hitler, the Third Reich, Socialism (or any ism for that fact). I am not a fascist but I am aware of the early ideals of fascism popping up in the world and America around me.

    Most people forget that such things always start slowly with the erosion of a bit of a time of the freedoms and privileges that we take for granted. While this is happening, we think we have the best of intentions and purposes in what we are doing, but a knee-jerk reaction will usually be to our detriment in the long run.

    We appear to be living in the world of “Wag the Dog” where we are constantly having our attentions diverted from the substance to the vaporous.

    Our government does things that are an apparent violation of our most basic concepts of civilization and government and when called on it, say that the reporters and whistle-blowers are traitors to the country and should be penalized. What about the actions being performed?

    “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.” Thomas Paine

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without a rebellion.” Thomas Jefferson

    “Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” Woodrow Wilson

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