October 8, 2008

As the Markets’ Difficulties Deepen …..

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:09 pm

….. I can’t help but thinking that the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy I described at the beginning of July has been worse than I feared.

I knew that the prospect of impending tax hikes would be a drag on current consumer spending and shareholders’ discounted cash flow expectations.

I knew that their intransigence on oil and natural gas drilling until September 30 would be a problem.

But I didn’t anticipate the blow-up of Barney’s Rubble, aka Fredron and Fanron, and the spreading mess it has precipitated.

Barack Obama may be the first presidential candidate in history to accomplish the seemingly impossible — proactively participating in taking down the economy during, and not after, a presidential election campaign.

Things I’d Like To Post About Today ….. (100808, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 9:43 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • The Saturday Night Live skit about the bailout bill, which was taken down by NBC shortly after it was posted, is back up again — in revised form. Here’s the caption that got removed. Anyone think Ken Lay would have been able to have a similar caption removed?
  • Sean Motley at NewsBusters has the ultimate Chris Matthews “in the tank for Obama” video beatdown.
  • So Ohio’s early voting turned out 80% lower than predicted by the Obama campaign. Take out the likely hundreds of flat-out frauds, and it might be closer to 90%. Where’s all that hyped-up enthusiasm?
  • A great fog may be lifting in the Gopher State — Newsosaur noted last week that the Minneapolis Star Tribune is openly talking about bankruptcy after missing a second required quarterly interest payment. I might kick in a few bucks for the Strib’s survival if they promise to stop generating their bogus polls. Otherwise, the sooner the paper ceases print operations before Election Day, the better. Then Lileks can run the Internet operation, if and only if he promises to keep blogging.
  • Barney Frank says that criticizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which without doubt threw gasoline on the subprime mortgage fire, is racist. I say the KKK couldn’t have come up with a better idea for keeping thousands of African-American families in long-term destitution than lending them large amounts of money to buy homes they obviously couldn’t afford with punitive rates and terms. But we’re supposed to concede that this result is okay since beloved Fredron and Fanron enabled this result, largely in the name of carrying out the (supposedly) well-intentioned goals of CRA’s supporters. No it’s not. The creator of Barney’s Rubble did more to block action to stop this mess than just about anyone in Congress, and his characterizion of those who point this obvious fact out as racist should be grounds for censure, or worse.

Positivity: Death camp liberator will receive Shofar of Freedom

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Boulder Hill, Illinois:

An honor for a hero

October 5, 2008

LeRoy Petersohn still has the dreams.

They stem from that one big nightmare, the one he lived beginning May 5, 1945.

That was the day he and other members of the 11th Armored Division of Gen. George Patton’s Third Army came upon the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

What he saw and experienced after that was more than any 23-year-old should see. As an Army medic, he already had seen the horrors of war. But this was worse.

“It was a horrible sight,” he said. “This was definitely a death camp.”

From the stacks of bodies to the crematoriums — with the ovens still roaring — Petersohn saw things that haunt him to this day, as an 86-year-old retiree and widower in Boulder Hill.

Since that time, he has married, raised four sons and a daughter, and worked 46 years as a printer for The Beacon News.

He has been recognized time and again for his courage at Mauthausen — the work of a man at his best, trying to salvage something from the ashes of mankind at its worst.

In 2005, at a reunion at Mauthausen, he was awarded the Golden Badge of Honor from the president of Austria. As a member of the Armed Services, he earned a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars and a Medical Badge, among other decorations. He still carries shrapnel he has had inside him since the Battle of the Bulge.

Now he will receive another recognition.

On Thursday, Petersohn, along with other members of the 11th Armored Division, will receive the Shofar of Freedom Award from Temple Israel in Albany, N.Y.

The award has been given by the congregation for the past 20 years to those “who risked their lives to save members of the Jewish people and others as well,” according to Rabbi Paul B. Silton of Temple Israel.

“One of my greatest privileges and honors for the past 20 years at Temple Israel has been bringing and honoring these extraordinary redeemers of our people,” Silton said in a recent letter.

The award presentation is timed to coincide with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Petersohn, his son, Brian, and other members of the 11th Armored Division will be on hand to accept the award before the entire Temple Israel congregation.

While Petersohn will accept with the 11th Armored, he also will be recognized individually for the work he did with the camp prisoners — particularly one of its smallest and most fragile ones.

He found a baby girl while he was searching the women’s barracks. Maybe seven weeks old, she suffered from massive infection with huge open sores. Petersohn and his commanding officer operated on her, lancing the sores, sewing them back up and praying the penicillin would work on the infection.

The baby lived, and for many years Petersohn wondered what had happened to her. The topic would often come up whenever he would talk about World War II.

“He’d say, ‘I wonder whatever happened to that baby,’” Brian Petersohn said.

LeRoy Petersohn found out in 2003, when Dr. Hana Berger-Moran, a vice president for her family’s Biosciences firm in California, e-mailed the 11th Armored Division site, looking for the men who saved her life.

In 2005, at the 60th reunion in front of Mauthausen, LeRoy Petersohn and Hana met again.

“She came in the door, and she hugged me so tight I thought she was going to kill me,” Petersohn said. “I had wondered about her, and she had often wondered who it was that saved her life.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.