Category Archives: Protecting Children

My articles: Atlas Shrugged Movie Update and more!

 Hello, everyone. Please keep up with my writings at www.parcbench.com!

See http://www.parcbench.com/2010/07/29/atlas-shrugged-movie-wraps-where-is-john-galt/

and for more articles by me, see

http://www.parcbench.com/author/gregzeigerson/

You might also find a few humorous bits I wrote if you type Zeigerson in the Search box at

www.parcbench.com.

Keep up with me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/zigory

and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gregory.zeigerson

See samples of my artwork and caricatures at

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=39543&id=608848095&l=bf591a8f8f

and

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=126135&id=608848095&l=4138bf2600

Thank you!

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Stop US Government Control of Health Care

Here’s a thought: If you don’t like your insurance company today, you can change it. If you don’t like Government controlled health insurance, you will not have any alternative. Remember how you were unsatisfied with how Bush handled Katrina or the war? Or how Obama is handling unemployment? Or how the post office handles your mail? Why would you trust them with your health care? Write to Congress now! It will be nearly impossible to repeal such an all-encompassing law once it’s passed. It opens the door to more and more spending and bureaucracy. It violates your right to choose, and your doctor’s right to decide.Contact Congress! Kill the Bill!

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

or call 202-224-3121 and ask for the congressman or senator by name.

Government created high health care costs to begin with. Government is not the solution.

See http://blog.aynrandcenter.org/just-cant-wait-to-wreck-health-care/

Many doctors will quit if the health care bill passes. Most doctors oppose the bill.

See http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=527698

Finally, here’s an entertaining history of the bill in 90 seconds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brh-hGr8mXo&feature=player_embedded

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United States of Tara? Cuckoo!

Although The United States of Tara hasn’t premiered yet on Showtime, it is getting a lot of publicity. As Diablo Cody — who wrote the fine film Juno — is writing several of the episodes, and an expert (Dr. Richard P. Kluft) and a D.I.D. patient are consultants, I expect it to be done with some realism and seriousness. However, creating an entertainment program out of such a tragic situation is always difficult. When is humor in such a program proper or tasteful?

This review is encouraging:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/15/DDR915A82V.DTL

If you take a look at the series and become interested in more material about D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personalities), I have read a book that I think successfully merges humor and entertainment values with telling a story of D.I.D.– in this case, a true story. It’s an autobiography in the form of a graphic novel (“comic book”), by Madison Clell, entitled Cuckoo.

It tells of her slowly discovering memories of the traumatic events that caused her to have the disorder, and then attempting to cure herself. It is harrowing but it is also told with enough humor that it does not overwhelm you. In fact I found it impossible to put down. Some of the drawings are rough, and some of the lettering takes a minute to decipher, but they reflect the mental state being conveyed. Obviously the content is not for the squeamish and not for children.

Cuckoo is more genuine and straightforward than United States of Tara is likely to be, in that there is no barrier between the author’s own experiences and the reader. She speaks directly to you. Whereas, the cable series Tara is a fictional show created by professional dramatists primarily to entertain.

Get the Trade Paperback of Cuckoo at:

http://www.cuckoocomic.com/cuckoo_comics/purchase_comics.html

Also, in an unplanned juxtaposition, Cuckoo has been turned into a play, with more material and Madison Clell in a small role, which will be performed on stage during the month of February at the Phoenix Theatre in San Francisco, just as United States of Tara premieres on Showtime.

See: http://www.cuckoocomic.com/cuckoo_comics/the_play.html

Incidentally, Madison Clell, through therapy and her own heroic determination, has managed to cure herself of the disorder. The play of Cuckoo carries the story beyond the book, all the way to her final integration.

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News from Florida’s Disney World and Florida’s Kip Liles

My family visited Walt Disney World again over the Thanksgiving holiday. I was very impressed this year. While inrecent years I found thatthe formerly unmatched high level of customer service started todescend to the level of average or worse, this year we had nothing but outstanding customer service. Everyone was super friendly and helpful and in good humor. It mayhave helpedthat because the crowds were not so heavybetween Thanksgiving and Christmas, their stress level was lower. I particularly appreciated the cast members who seemed to be over retirement age. They had the magic in them, as if theyhad knownWalt Disney, and had somehow fully embodied his warm, benevolent, humorousspirit. Like Leon Trager whom I mention in my previous post, and like the recently deceased original Disney animators Ollie Johnston and his friend Frank Thomas whom I met at an animation art gallery years ago, the delighted-by-his-job senior citizen cast member who greeted me and answered my questions at the Pop Century Resort was an example of the kind ofperson I want to be likewhen I grow older.

I worked at Disney World in 1989 and I found it easy to be friendly and to enjoy my work and I think my customer service was Disney-worthy (I did well on my evaluation). Butin recent years I’ve seen a cast member at the Boardwalkroll her eyes when informed ofa slippery floorthat needed to be cleaned, and I’ve seen two Disney housekeepers at the elevator bank of the All Star Movies Resort,having a loud argument thatculminated inone punching the other inthe face. This year I saw nothing of the kind.

I also want to especially recommend one particular attraction. Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, which is the giant “golf ball” near the entrance, has been updated in the last year. The new version keeps all of the best qualities of the original, but is actually superior to the old one. It has many new, elaborate scenes and includes a wonderful interactive finale, where each passenger selects aspects of the future he’d like to see, and then sees himself in it. But most important is the overall theme. The new Spaceship Earth, which is sponsored by the excellent technology company Siemens, suggests that we are in the midst of a second Renaissance initiated by the vast opportunities that computers have made possible. The optimism and excitement about the future was a great contrast to the gloomy pessimism of CNN, MSNBC and the major networksand newsmagazines (except for theirrose-coloredreports on socialist Barack Obama,which causeme to expect soon the headline”The Sun Shines Out of His Behind,”apologies toThe Smiths ).

There were many more highlights. The Pixar attractions “Toy Story Mania” and “Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor” (not to mention the amazing “Turtle Talk with Crush” which we skipped this year) are as much fun as, or more funthan, you have already heard.

And this is the first year I have seen the Osborne Family’s Christmas (plus Chanukah) Lights. Talk about exceeding expectations:it is one more example of Disney and their partners at their best. Words cannot adequately convey the experience of seeing the city streets of the backlot lit up in such imaginative ways.

Also,we took side trips to the Wilderness Lodge to see part of Walt’s own model railroad train exhibited, and to the Grand Floridian Resort to see and smell the gingerbread house they have every Christmas season. And everyone, especially my daughter who loves to dance and sing, enjoyed the Hoop De Doo Revue.

We also were able to briefly meet up with Kip Liles and her husband. They are, once again, the kind of people I hope to be like, and the kind of people I want to surround myself with, people who are role models for all Earthlings. If you don’t know who Kip Liles is, she is the Super Foster Parent whom I interviewed on The Zigory Show. That podcast is available at http://zigory.solidvox.com/?p=3.

Update regarding the Kip Liles interview and the Michelle Malkin articlecalled “The Death of Bradley McGee”: Kip has learned from a source that Billy, the brother of Braddie,is alive, still living with his (murderer) mother Sheryl Hardy, and outwardly appears to be okay. However, appearances cannot be trusted and I hopeBilly’s community in Illinois keeps its eyes open. As should we all, for justice’s sake and our own.

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Wall E is Not Walt D–Repeat

I am re-running one of my blog posts from June 30, 2008, because Disney is releasing Wall E on DVD for the Holiday Season. I can think of few films less appropriate for Christmas, the festive, joyful holiday. Here is my review of Wall E withreaders’ comments following:

One of the most important qualities Walt Disney’s movies, television programs, and theme parks imparted to me as a child, and to children everywhere, was a feeling of reassurance. I’m referring to the works of Walt Disney himself when he was alive, and of his studio the first few years after his death.

Even if the story is about things going wrong in one character’s life, it is clear that there is a larger world out there of sensible people and a system and world that makes sense, that there is something called normalcy, and the goal of the characters is to get back to normalcy or better, to improve their lives and live happily ever after.

The Banks family in Mary Poppins is at first somewhat unhappy, but there is hope and magical delight in the world outside, and there is a policeman and there are friendly neighbors who bring runaway children home. The home of (1961’s) 101 Dalmations’ owners is a happy, sane, home, and once the dalmations fight off the bad guys, they return to a state of eccentric yet happy normalcy. The world is expected to be filled with reasonable people who can get along and solve problems.

Even the satirical post-Walt movie The Barefoot Executive indicates that the larger world may be a little silly, but still okay at its core.

To a child, the sense of a system and society that is dependable and rational is extremely important to his feeling secure and optimistic, to his feeling free and motivated to learn and grow and become ambitious within that society.

The new Disney-Pixar movie Wall E is not at all in the spirit of Walt Disney’s movies. The characters of Wall E, Eve and The Captain are Disney-esque and very charming and funny. But the universe they inhabit is the opposite of Walt’s universe.

We are expected to believe and accept that in the future human beings (A) allowed a corporate monopoly to replace the U.S. Constitution (and all other governments) and become a dictator and (B) that no one noticed a problem with garbage disposal until it got so bad, the entire species had to leave the planet. In this dystopian vision of the future, the technology to build extraordinary robots and a spaceship that holds and takes care of the needs of the entire human population exists, but not the technology to get rid of garbage and plant trees or grass. Human beings are intelligent yet immensely moronic simultaneously.

Above all, the problem with this film and the fact that busy parents, or their child care providers, will one day buy the DVD and play it over and over for their children without watching it is the message that the universe makes no sense and the future is dark and adults are incapable of dealing with their problems until long past catastrophe. This is not a reassuring message to children who love life and can’t wait to grow up and flourish. It is harmful.

As my 5-year-old son said, “That’s a Garbage Planet. That’s not Earth. Why are they calling it Earth?” He understands that Earth makes sense. People are rational beings.

I explained it’s a make-believe silly story about Earth in the future where, as my wife said, “people become stupid” and can’t get rid of garbage. I reassured him and his sister that it’s ridiculous and that this is not going to happen in real life.

I received the following comment from Artifex:

Exactly right! For all the visual beauty and charm of Wall-E, the world we’re presented with is complete nonsense. BnL can build a massive spaceship with seemingly inexhaustible energy supply, human level artificial intelligence, what must be near-total recycling of resources (although strangely enough they seem to be ejecting a lot of trash into space – where does all that matter come from?), and the ability to hyperjump into another galaxy (!) in a matter of seconds but they can’t figure out trash disposal? Why doesn’t earth-that-was just fill the Axiom with garbage and hyperjump THAT into another galaxy? Why don’t they use the same recycling technology that must be present on the Axiom to solve the same problems on earth? Completely insane. It’s a shame – I really wanted to love this one.

I received the following comment from Mike:

Great post.

Saw your comment at the Think Progress site; your words were a voice of reason amongst so much vitriol, those words of hate that seem to be only language of left-leaning websites.

(wouldn’t consider myself to be a right-winger, but I sure don’t want to be classified with those who are haters of traditional values)

I’m so glad there are folks such as yourself who teach their children to think for themselves. Not having children myself, it makes me feel better about the future of this country.

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Wall E is not Walt D

One of the most important qualities Walt Disney’s movies,television programs, and theme parks imparted to me as a child, and to children everywhere, was a feeling of reassurance. I’m referring to the works of Walt Disney himself when he was alive, and of his studio the first few years after his death.

Even if the story is about things going wrong in one character’s life, it is clear that there is a larger world out there of sensible people and a system and world that makes sense, that there is something called normalcy, and the goal of the characters is to get back to normalcy or better, to improve their lives and live happily ever after.

The Banks family in Mary Poppins is at first somewhat unhappy, but there is hope and magical delight in the world outside, and there is a policeman and there are friendly neighbors who bring runaway children home. The home of (1961’s)101 Dalmations’ owners is a happy, sane, home, and once the dalmations fight off the bad guys, they return to a state of eccentric yet happy normalcy. The world is expected to be filled with reasonable people who can get along and solve problems.

Even the satirical post-Walt movie The Barefoot Executive indicates that the larger world may be a little silly, but still okay at its core.

To a child, the sense of a system and society that is dependable and rational is extremely important to his feeling secure and optimistic, to his feeling free and motivated to learn and grow and become ambitious within that society.

The new Disney-Pixar movie Wall E is not at all in the spirit of Walt Disney’s movies. The characters of Wall E, Eve and The Captain are Disney-esque and very charming and funny. But the universe they inhabit is the opposite of Walt’s universe.

We are expected to believe and accept that in the future human beings (A) allowed a corporate monopoly to replace the U.S. Constitution (and all other governments) and become a dictator and (B) that no one noticed a problem with garbage disposal until it got so bad, the entire species had to leave the planet. In this dystopian vision of the future, the technology to build extraordinary robots and a spaceship that holds and takes care of the needs of the entire human population exists, but not the technology to get rid of garbage and plant trees or grass. Human beings are intelligent yet immensely moronic simultaneously.

Above all, the problem with this film — and the fact that busy parents, or their child care providers,will one day buy the DVD and play it over and over for their children without watching it —is the message that the universe makes no sense and the future is dark and adults are incapable of dealing with their problems until long past catastrophe. This is not a reassuring message to children who love life and can’t wait to grow up and flourish. It is harmful.

As my 5-year-old son said, “That’s a Garbage Planet. That’s not Earth. Why are they calling it Earth?” He understands that Earth makes sense. People are rational beings.

I explained it’s a make-believe silly story abou tEarth in the future where, as my wife said, “people become stupid” and can’t get rid of garbage. I reassured him and his sister that it’s ridiculous and that this is not going to happen in real life.

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Horton Hears A Who: Good for the Whole Family

We read the reviews that indicated that Horton Hears A Who was a good film and had nothing offensive for children, and so we took our five-year-old twins to see it. We all enjoyed it very much.

The story, as in the original Dr. Seuss book, is about aheroic dedication to justice, no matter the cost. Also, as Scott Holleran wrote at Box Office Mojo – click here –  it upholds careful thinking and learning about all the evidence rather than following pre-existing assumptions, tradition, or faith. It alsoupholds the value of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and of respecting every individual’s right to live regardless of non-essentials (“A person’s a person, no matter how small”). Obviously, in the story, any creatures that think, talk and act like human beings are considered persons.

This film contrasts dramatically with the offensive movie destruction of How The Grinch Stole Christmas of a few years ago(surprisingly directed by the usually talented Ron Howard). That film was full of vulgarity and it stretched out and undercutthe climax so that anyimpact was dissipated. I heard similar atrocities were committed against The Cat in The Hat ina recent version.

I understand the animators of Horton had previously created the film Ice Age, which I did not likebecause of too much vulgarity and scenes of torturous pain, inappropriate for children and unpleasant for me. Here with Horton Hears A Who, they clearly made an effort to be classier, and sensitive and respectful to the original material. However, there is a short preview of an Ice Age sequel before the Horton movie starts, and it is slightly disturbing for small children, but to a relatively minimal extent.

Incidentally, the same story is the major plotline in the musical Seussical. We took our children to see the shortened-for-children 90 minute version (or was it 60 minutes?) of Seussical when it played New York for free last summer and they loved it too. And the Seussical Broadway Cast Album became a great favorite.

In fact, our children have seen and loved every version of Horton Hears A Who, including the original book, and the superb Chuck Jones animated TV special.

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Activism Now! Israel, North Korea, Global Warming

Hi, everyone.

There are so many important issues out there on which to comment, and regarding which to take action. I don’t have the time to blog on all of them, butI’ll just list a bunch of links here and you can do the rest.

Here’s an easy way to protest the current demands at the Annapolis conference, for Israel to compromise with terrorists and murderers. This web site will automatically dial phone numbers to American and Isreali leaders so you can leave your own voice message defending the rights of Israel against the leaders of its enemies, the dictatorships that systematically violate the rights of their own citizens and engage in terrorism against Israel. Israel by comparison isa civilized, free country and democracy that has the right to self-defense.

http://callsforjerusalem.org/s/norpac.html

And be sure to read this excellent analysis of the Annapolis conference:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=CE6526B5-15D0-4F90-A9E2-CB2FD445F745

Here’s a link to a web site that is promoting a Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 protest against Chinese treatment of North Korean Refugees, at Chinese consulates around the world. These refugees have miraculously escaped the concentration camp that is North Korea, and yet have to endure mistreatment by China and then repatriation to North Korea, where they could then possibly betortured and murdered for daring to escape.

http://www.northkoreanrefugees.com/

http://www.nkfreedom.org/

And here (See sites listed below)are links to essays and web sites that answer Al Gore and other Environmentalists who want to use the alleged 3 degrees of climate improvement to comeover the next 100 years, as an excuse to immediately impose government regulations on the whole planet. This good news about the wonderful warm weather to come,is also the reason to systematically make self-sacrifice the habitual state of everyone, especially all the little children who are taught the world iscoming to anend. This state of self-sacrifice is necessary presumably so that everyone is so miserable they won’t notice that they have no free enterprise system any more,and they won’t care when all their money is taxed away to make the Green politicians and subsidized Green cronies rich, and all their actions need to be approved by Green-enforcer bureacrats via endless paperwork, or else!

Send these links, these articles, to all your fearful friends who want to give up everything, the whole industrial revolution,in order to merely slow down–not even stop–the inevitable end of the world, coming in their minds only of course:

www.nzcpr.com/guest76.htm

www.cei.org/pages/ait_response-book.cfm

www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm

www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=030306H

www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=010405M

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North Korean Refugees Activism

I’m passing along this information which is timely. It is from www.northkoreanrefugees.com.

The Thai government is negotiating with the United Nations and the South Korean government after Thai police followed a tip and found 175 North Koreans at a house in Bangkok.

Following a tip-off by the neighbors, the Thai police raided a house on August 22, 2006, where they found 128 women, 37 men and 10 children, all North Koreans.

The refugees were being sheltered while seeking asylum in other countries, including South Korea. See this article at VOANews.com: Thailand Discovers 175 North Korean Refugees Hiding in Bangkok

For your reference, we are attaching a sample letter below.
We urge you to send letters to the Thai Ambassador in your
country requesting that these refugees be safely released to
South Korea or other country where they will not be
repatriated to North Korea.

Sample Letter
Your Excellency,

I take this occasion to express concern for the 175 North Korean refugees being detained by the Thai authorities since August 22.

The world community is well aware of the excellent humanitarian record of Thailand and its granting of safe passage to North Korean refugees in the past.

There is global admiration for Thailand’s Mr. Vitit
Muntarbhorn, both as a distinguished legal scholar and as a tireless worker on behalf of human rights. He has helped reduce the hardships faced by North Korean refugees since being appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea.

I trust you will encourage your government in the strongest possible terms to continue its humanitarian treatment of refugees and arrange for the prompt safe passage of the 175 North Korean refugees to South Korea or other nation where they can be granted safe haven.

Respectfully yours,

________ Sign ________

Write to the Thai Embassy of your country.

Thai Embassy in Australia

Royal Thai Embassy
111 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla,
A.C.T. 2600,
Canberra, Australia
Tel: +06 273 1149, 273 2937
Fax: +06 273 1518
E-mail: info@thaiembassy.org.au
Website: http://www.thaiembassy.org.au
———-

Thai Embassy in Belgium

Royal Thai Embassy
Square Du Val de la Chambre 2
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32-(0)2-640-0716, 640-1986, 640-6810
Fax: +32-(0)2-6483066
E-mail: thailbxl@pophost.eunet.be
Website: http://www.waw.be/rte-be/
———-

Thai Embassy in France

Royal Thai Embassy
8 Rue Greuze
75116 Paris, France
Tel: +33-1 56265050
Fax: +33-1 56260446
Email: ambalaoparis@wanadoo.fr
Website: http://thaiembassy.org/paris
———-

Thai Embassy in Germany

Royal Thai Embassy
Lepsiusstr. 64-66,
12163 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +30 79 48 10
Fax: +30 79 48 1 511
Email: thaiber@snafu.de
Website: http://www.thaiembassy.de/
———-

Thai Embassy in Italy

Royal Thai Embassy
Via Nomentana 132
001 62 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 6 8620-4381-82
Fax: +39 6 8620-8399
Email: thai.em.rome@pn.itnet.it.
———-

Thai Embassy in Japan

Royal Thai Embassy
3-14-6, Kami-Osaki
Shinagawa-ku
Tokyo, Japan 141
Tel: +03 3441 1386, 1387, 7352, 7688, (03) 3447 2247
Fax: +03 3442 6750, 3442 6828
Email: infosect@thaiembassy.jp
———-

Thai Embassy in the Netherlands

Royal Thai Embassy
Laan Copes van Cattenburch 123,
2585 EZ
The Hague, Netherlands
Tel: +3170 345-0632, 2088, 9703
Fax: +3170 345-1929
Email: thaihag@pop3.dh.ixe.net
———-

Thai Embassy in Sweden

Royal Thai Embassy
Floragatan 3, 114 31
Stockholm, Box 26220,
100 40 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: +46 08 791 73 40
Fax: +46 08 791 73 51
———-

Thai Embassy in Switzerland

Royal Thai Embassy
Kirchstrasse 56, CH-3097
Bern-Lieberfeld, Switzerland
Tel: +41 31 970 30 30
Fax: +41 31 970 30 35
———-

Thai Embassy in United Kingdom

Royal Thai Embassy
29-30 Queen’s Gate
London, SW7 5JB
England
Tel: +07 1 5890173, 5892944
Fax: +07 1 8239695
Emails: thaiduto@btinternet.com, info@thaiembassyuk.org.uk
Website: http://www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk/
———-

Thai Mission to the United Nations (Switzerland)

Permanent Mission of Thailand
To The United Nations Office
28B Chemin du Pefit-Saconnex
1209 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (4122) 734-2010, 734-2018, 734-2020
Fax: (4122) 733-3678
E-Mail: thai.gva@itu.ch
———-

Thai Mission to the United Nations (USA)

Permanent Mission of Thailand
To The United Nations Office
351 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
USA
Tel: (1-212) 754-2230
Fax: (1-212) 754-2535,688-3029
E-Mail: thaun@undp.org
———-

Thai Embassy in the USA

Royal Thai Embassy
1024 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Suite 101,
Washington, D.C. 20007
USA
Tel: (202) 944-3608
Fax: (202) 944-3641
Email: consular@thaiembdc.org
Website: http://www.thaiembdc.org/
———-

Official List of all Thai Embassies

Website: http://www.thaiembassy.org/

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Never Again?

For those who say about the Nazi concentration camps and thedeadly prisoncamps of Stalin, “never again”, here is some news: it is again, now.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50382

More evidence about North Korea’s concentration camp Haengyong, with its”Killing Compound” known as Camp 22, is detailed in this article from WorldNetDaily. Political prisoners become the subject ofevil experiments here — when they aren’t starved or beaten or killed in gas chambers. Sound familiar?

Yes, it isn’t our job to save everyone, but clearly North Korea is a dangerous enemy of the West and the U.S. in particular, and they have nuclear weapons. The concentration camps make it even more obvious that we need to strike them with no reluctance or restraint. I have heard directly from Auschwitz survivors that while in the camp they welcomed the sound of the bombs getting closer even if it meant they would die too.

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