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Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Arizona Primary Ballot

OK I am back in the US and in the next few days I will have some observations on my trip to Italy.

In the meantime, I was going through all the mail that accumulated during my absence. Particularly amusing was the sample ballot for the upcoming Arizona primary. Here are the names of the candidates in the order they are listed. Kinda amusing. I understand the order was determined by random drawing of names.

Lyndon LaRouche (yep, he's first!)
Fern Penna
Keith Brand
Bill Wyatt
Ray Caplette
Carol Moseley Braun
Al Sharpton
Wesley K. Clark
Dennis J. Kucinich
John Edwards
Evelyn L. Vitullo
Dianne Barker
Dick Gephardt
William Barchilon
John F. Kerry
Howard Dean
Joe Lieberman

LaRouche first (heh) and Lieberman bringing up the rear (heh, heh).


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Holocaust Rememberance Day - 27 January

I'm in Italy right now - am leaving tomorrow prestissimo - to return to the US. In the following days I'll be posting some notes and observations about the trip. So if there is anyone out there actually reading my blog (would be nice if you left a note so I know whether I actually have any readers!!!), the next week will be kind of interesting as far as what I have to say.

So, today, all day on the TV it was all Holocaust all day long. At times it got to be a bit much, but then the Holocaust was a bit much as well and most people don't spend half the day in front of the TV - at least, those who have jobs

Last year I wrote an essay on Italy and the Holocaust, which you can read here. (Wow it's #4 when you google "Italy" and "holocaust"!!!!!)

So anyway, on RAIUno this morning there was a long special sesison of the Italian Senate with speeches on the Holocaust. Steven Spielberg sent a representative for his Shoah project. There were several VIPs there including Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. PM Silvio Berlusconi was busy with something else I guess. Maybe with Dick Cheney... though I do remember seeing him visiting the Pope today. I would have loved to be a fly on THAT wall after the press left the room and they were all alone with the translators. I would hope the Pope told him exactly where to go (or where he's going, if you catch my drift...) in regards to the Iraq war, which the Pope was very much against.

The Holocaust was a constant theme in news programs and daytime shows here. Sunday night RAIUno ran a 90 minute program profiling Ida Marcheria, a Jewish Holocaust survivor from Trieste who was 14 when she was sent to Auschwitz, and was re-visiting it. Very moving and fascinating and sobering. If you can read Italian, here's the best link I could find. Get with it, RAI!!! Where's the accompanying website to your story?

It's really refreshing to see REAL NEWS on TV. And you know what? RAI is government-owned and subsidized. True, you see some coverage of fashion and so on but it's not at all the celebrity-obsessed tripe we are subjected to in the US. So much for the theory that corporate, free enterprise media is inherently superior. (I'll have a post on Berlusconi's media and their coverage, in a few days. Stay tuned.)

I find it a little disappointing that the Holocaust is incessantly associated with Jews. Not that I want to discount the deaths of Jews, but rather remember the other victims. The figures I find show that there were about 10-11 million Holocaust victims. The widely accepted figure for Jews slain by the Nazis, is 6 million. So about 55% of Holocaust victims were Jews, but the coverage of the Holocaust is, like, 95% about Jews and the gays, Communists, Socialists, gypsies, and other undesirables are barely an afterthought. It was like that here today and of course it's like that in the US too.

(I really hope you, gentle reader, are intelligent enough to discern that I am not trying to discount the deaths of the Jews murdered by the Nazi fascists, but rather to remember ALL the victims, Jew or gentile.)

So as I wrote above, today has been all Holocaust remembrance, all day long. That's a good thing, that Europeans remember their history, even if the Italians themselves were exceptional in comparison with the rest of Europe, in that they largely refused to collaborate with the Nazis in exterminating the Jews (read my essay!).

Too bad we Americans are so damn good at forgetting even the very recent past...