Archive for the ‘Totalitarian States’ Category

Christians Driven from Mosul

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The extremist Islamist purge of Christians from Mosul and other Middle Eastern towns after almost 2,000 years represents the authentic beliefs of no religion, for such acts contradict all religion.

Please contribute to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, which is trying to help the refugees.

Please also contact your own government representative. Too many governments are silent about this injustice!

Here’s an editorial in the 7/22/14 Wall Street Journal on Mosul.

Supporters of the exiled Christians are now displaying the Arabic letter nun, which the extremists used to mark the homes of Christians (n for followers of Jesus of Nazareth).

Nun

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Aphorism LXXXI

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Some dictatorships and rogue states are kept alive by larger states to serve as disruptor states, to undermine and divert the resources of the rivals to the larger states. Several of the world’s dictatorships would not exist but for the fact that they served another state’s disrupting purpose. In this way, human misery is prolonged, human rights are eroded, and progress toward human freedom is delayed.

States that feed disruption in smaller states for the purpose of geopolitical strategy thus commit crimes against humanity.

For example, both the Nazis and the Soviets fueled anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and the Middle East for geopolitical reasons. While both the Nazis and the Soviets are gone, their legacy of strategic hatred endures, and may endure for centuries.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Remembering Dr. Erich Klausener, 1/25/1885 – 6/30/1934, German Catholic Action Leader Shot by Hitler’s Henchmen

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

I’ve written previously of Dr. Erich Klausener, one of the very first victims of Hitler’s 1934 “Night of the Long Knives” purge on 6/30/1934, now 80 years ago —

Source: www.frankjankowski.de

Dr. Klausener was the leader of Catholic Action in Germany, shot at his desk, whose crime against Hitler was to co-author the Marburg Speech by German Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, which criticized the violence and mob rule of the Nazis. Dr. Klausener also gave an anti-Nazi address just a few days prior to his death.

Erich Klausener is considered one of the first Catholic martyrs against Hitler, and is memorialized as such in a Berlin church, Maria Regina Martyrum.

To my knowledge, while there is a biography of Dr. Klausener in German –

Adolph, Walter. 1955. Erich Klausener. Berlin: Morus-Verlag.

– one is still lacking in English. Quite a pity! When critics write about the “silence” of German Catholics against Hitler, they conveniently leave out Dr. Klausener, the head of German Catholic Action, who publicly witnessed, and quickly died a martyr’s death.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Podcast of the Seventh Class Session, Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church Course

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Here is the audio podcast of the seventh class session of the course The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church held on the evening of 4/22/14 at the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Chicago as part of the School of Catholic Thought.

Here is the Page for the course, containing links for previous session podcasts, along with notes.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Talk on Margaret More Roper at 6PM on 6/24/14 at St. John Paul II Center in Chicago

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

I’ll be presenting a free talk entitled “Margaret More Roper: translator of Erasmus, bridge to More, homeschooler,” for the School of Catholic Thought at the St. John Paul II Newman Center at 6PM Tuesday, June 24, 2014, after evening Mass at the St. John Paul II Newman Center Library, 700 S. Morgan St. Chicago, info@schoolofcatholicthought.org, 312-226-1880. Here’s the flyer in PDF format.

Here’s a png version —

Announcement_MargaretMoreRoper_060514

Here’s the podcast of the talk.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The Disappeared in Ukraine — Mr. Putin’s Gangster Tactics?

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

It is time to speak out, loudly, for the disappeared, kidnapped, missing, and murdered journalists, civic, and local leaders in Ukraine, apparent victims of a state-supported ethnic Russian insurgency that has degenerated, perhaps by design, into hoodlumism. Some of those abducted, among whom are included international journalists, are documented by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.

Vladimir Putin’s attempted statesman-like argument in his 3/18/14 speech that Russia has a legitimate claim to reunify, citing the example of reunification of Germany post 1989, is undermined by the gangster tactics being used to destroy civil society in Ukraine with Russian-supporting insurgents apparently kidnapping local leaders and those who could report on Ukrainian events. One cannot pose as a statesman while allowing political kidnappings and murders to continue.

Such abductions appear simply to be a modern crowdsourcing of the same old gulag, where each abductee is introduced to their own private hell. Indeed, some abductees have been reportedly been tortured.

[Warning: if you don't want your computer or website to be hacked, then stay away from Russian or proxy websites with videos of Mr. Putin's speech.]

These numerous and systematic Ukraine kidnappings and killings are a human rights issue and should be confronted by an international human rights campaign bolstered by social media. Although world-wide human rights campaigns terrify totalitarian states, the current weak US administration is relatively silent on the human rights aspect of the Ukrainian disappeared, and thereby a great opportunity is being lost.

Human rights campaigns work in two important ways that frighten totalitarian regimes. One is that they erode international support among the intelligentsia and the young for the bullying regime, and the other is that they alienate both the intelligentsia and the young within the bullying state and strengthen the prospects of an eventual political opposition. Machiavellian tactics only endure when the pose of morally-based action can be maintained over time. Constantly shifting Machiavellian media pivots thereby gradually undermine a totalitarian regime’s credibility.

Even with technological advances, it is no longer possible for a totalitarian regime to shield all news out as when print and radio dominated the 1930s. So modern manipulators jimmy the news cycle to distract and misdirect world and local attention. But an unrelenting human rights campaign focused on individual suffering victims breaks through such manipulation, because human rights campaigns are based upon the compelling stories of unjustly persecuted individuals. And there is nothing so persuasive and arresting as the story of an unjustly suffering human being. No state can long succeed in standing between the compassion of one human being for another.

Therefore, we remember among those recently abducted: Artem Deynega, Paul Gogo, Kossimo Attanasio, Dmitry Galko, Serhiy Lefter, Yevhen Hapych, Vitaliy Kolupa, Irma Krat, Oleg Prokhorov, Volodymyr Rybak, Vadym Sukhonos, Mr. Yakymov, and Nelya Shtepa.

Each such disappeared person in Ukraine therefore needs to be supported by social media efforts. They should not be forgotten. Everyone who possibly can should share and link to the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty website on The Abducted and the Missing in Ukraine.

And for all those uninformed pundits who think Mr. Putin is playing chess, the truth is, by allowing the kidnappings and murders to continue, Mr. Putin is now not even playing checkers. By letting his effort descend from statesmanship to ham-handed gangsterism, Mr. Putin will sooner than he thinks be out of pieces with which to play, even given the weakest US regime in recent memory.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Film: Honor Diaries

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The film Honor Diaries, which documents the accounts of seven women who have suffered some form of honor violence — beatings, genital mutilation, child marriage, etc. — is making news since critics, accusing the film of Islamophobia, have managed to have showings of the film banned at a small number of universities.

I have not seen the film, only the trailer.

Honor Diaries is available on iTunes here.

I may comment further after I have a chance to view the film.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Time for Congressional Hearings on Prosecutorial Overkill

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

The current story in the Wall Street Journal about how prosecutors in Milwaukee during an alleged political vendetta allegedly ruined the finances and employment prospects of Kelly Rindfleisch, 45, a former midlevel official in the Wisconsin governor’s office, over a misdemeanor e-mail infraction of sending of fundraising e-mails from her personal computer while employed in a government building, has generated outrage.

When the chief of staff to the Illinois governor made a similar e-mail infraction in 2010, he stepped down, but was not prosecuted.

The Milwaukee example dramatizes the plight of many poor people entangled as witnesses in criminal and drug investigations, whose lives are ruined as collateral damage, with little recourse. There are few checks on prosecutorial power in our society except the press, and few consequences for those prosecutors lacking a sense of proportion who may abuse their power. Many, many more people have been and are caught in predicaments like Ms. Rindfleisch.

The first purpose for the secrecy of grand juries is to protect the rights of citizens before felonies are charged, not to shield prosecutorial overkill or to make those prosecutors who abuse their powers unaccountable to anyone.

Years ago, Chicago columnist Mike Royko wrote an article about how he learned over time not to completely destroy with his journalism the life of a common, everyday person who made a mistake, to relent, and to not totally ruin the life of some “poor slob” who fouled up and had already suffered the consequences.

Erich Fromm once described totalitarian societies as societies without mercy, without forgiveness. Those who make politics a blood sport, and who destroy the lives of common citizens for no good reason, erode the very democratic nature of our society.

It is time for Congressional hearings on prosecutorial abuse. But it is also time for a wider, bipartisan discussion of how such abuse hurts innocent people, thus eroding justice and our confidence in our government.

As Euripides said in his play Trojan Women, “What the law permits, let shame forbid!”

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Aphorism LXXVI

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Those who export their own repressive radical politics abroad engage in a destructive form of colonialism.

This includes political hobbyists who are pacifists and civil libertarians at home, but who support violent, inhuman, or manipulative regimes or schemes far away in the mistaken attempt to improve the lot of their chosen “pet” poor people.

The face of distant war brought close to the eyes is terrible indeed.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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UN Report on Human Rights in North Korea

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

From the Jubilee Campaign, here is the link for the UN Report on Human Rights in North Korea. There is the link for the detailed testimony.

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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