Thursday, March 29, 2018

Teacher who saved hundreds of Jewish children dies at 107

Teacher who saved hundreds of Jewish children dies at 107

Johan van Hulst, a former Dutch senator and teacher renowned for his efforts to save hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust, died March 22 at the age of 107, the Dutch Senate announced this week.

As principal of the Reformed Teachers Training College, van Hulst found himself at the center of a growing operation to smuggle Jewish children out of Amsterdam to protect them from Nazi persecution during the Second World War.

The college garden bordered that of a Jewish day-care center, from which hundreds of Jewish children were passed over the garden fence to be temporarily hidden by van Hulst before being collected by members of a children's rescue organization and smuggled to safety.

"Try to imagine 80, 90, perhaps 70 or 100 children standing there, and you have to decide which children to take with you.... That was the most difficult day of my life," he remembered of the period in 1943 when the Jewish day-care center was due to be cleared out, according to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

"You realize that you cannot possibly take all the children with you. You know for a fact that the children you leave behind are going to die. I took twelve with me. Later on I asked myself: 'Why not thirteen?'"

Following the end of the Second World War, he became an active member of the Christian Democratic Appeal Party and later became a senator.

Ankie Broekers-Knol, president of the Dutch senate, told CNN in a statement that van Hulst "led an extraordinary life. He will be remembered as an icon of democracy. He dedicated both his work as an educator as well as his work in the Senate to the democratic values of freedom and equality. He serves as an example to us all."

Ruth Peetoom, chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Appeal party, described van Hulst as "an icon of justice."

"Van Hulst was intelligent, courageous and modest," she said in an email to CNN. "In his long life he has meant a lot to others in different ways."

He was honored by Yad Vashem in 1972 as Righteous Among Nations, in recognition of his resistance to the Nazi persecution of Dutch Jews.

Yad Vashem spokesperson Simmy Allen said van Hulst will be remembered by "the entire Jewish people for his valiant efforts in the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to van Hulst during a trip to the Netherlands in 2012.

"We say those who save one life saves a universe. You saved hundreds of universes. I want to thank you in the name of the Jewish people, but also in the name of humanity," Netanyahu told the senator, according to The Times of Israel.

The Dutch ambassador to Israel, Gilles Beschoor Plug, told CNN that van Hulst "will be remembered especially as a hero of the Dutch resistance during World War II. His passing is a great loss. His courageous acts saving many Jewish children remain an inspiration for generations to come."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TV episode with main Trump-like character

The Big Valley season 2 episode 7

Click on the link and watch the main character who lies and lies and tell me who he reminds you of.

Ex Supreme Court Justice comments on 2nd Amendment

Click on the link
The Second Amendment should be repealed, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says
A former Supreme Court judge says it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment, a NRAer’s worst nightmare

A former Supreme Court judge is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.
Former Justice John Paul Stevens — appointed in 1975 by Republican President Gerald Ford, who emerged as one of the court's liberal voices until his retirement in 2010 — pointed to the recent nationwide protests for gun control as a sign that America was ready for such a major change.
"That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms," Stevens wrote in The New York Times. "But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment."

After describing the Second Amendment as "a relic of the 18th century," Stevens said the notion that it protects unlimited gun ownership rights was a modern concept.
For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Stevens pointed to the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, declaring that the court's finding of an individual's right to bear arms had managed to serve as a "propaganda weapon of immense power" for the NRA. As a result, Stevens decided, the most effective way to protect children and other Americans from being victimized by gun violence would be to outright repeal the Second Amendment.

There is a rich irony to Stevens' call for repeal of the Second Amendment. Prior to the 1970s — when the NRA was hijacked by right-wing radicals who transformed it from a sports club to a place for spreading paranoid fantasies about government mass confiscation of guns — no one in the mainstream was calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. This is because, as Stevens pointed out, the very notion that the Constitution could guarantee someone unlimited access to firearms had not yet been constructed. As a result, when moderate gun regulation became necessary, there was little opposition to it — and, as a result, little reason to believe that more extreme measures might be necessary.

Hence the not-so-subtle subtext in Stevens' op-ed: Because the NRA has managed to stymie legislative efforts to save lives and reduce mass shootings through common sense (and overwhelmingly popular) gun control measures, and has used the Second Amendment to do so, it may now be necessary to repeal that amendment in order to get the government working again.