Rat Rescue members make themselves look silly
A humanist in the mold of Erasmus, I cringe when those supporting what might be a worthy cause adopt positions liable to make them look silly or have their concerns dismissed as laughable.
So just when we thought political correctness couldn’t get any daffier, Northeast Times readers are treated to a member of our city’s heretofore unheralded Philly Rat Rescue sparing a moment from her otherwise richly rewarding life to castigate political cartoonist Tom Stiglich for comparing heartless terrorists to … um, rats.
She supports the Mickey Mouse contention, Rats Are Our Friends, by suggesting the Black Death was not spread by rodents, but by “fleas and humans who traveled frequently throughout Europe … Recent findings in Europe have shown this as well.”
Eight-hundred years following the dissolution of the Roman Empire of the West are termed Dark Ages precisely because few traveled. Roads turned green with grass, tree roots knocked down town-walls, harbors silted-up, weeds stilled coursing rivers, trade halted and language changed every 20 miles. You didn’t speak Latin, you weren’t understood two days’ stroll from your own chimney-smoke.
And the fleas lived on genus Rattus. Rats were the vector – the host – just as birds spread avian flu by what lives on the birds.
So, cuddle these wee furry charmers all you want, be both “insulted and distressed,” just don’t mouth in public forum with shoddy, ill-conceived facts lauding your pet project and please don’t live in my neighborhood.
Holocaust education is necessary
I would like to respond to Mike Zecca’s letter published last week opposing mandated Holocaust education in the schools and chastising supporters, including state Rep. Brendan Boyle and state Sen. Anthony Williams.
Mr. Zecca argues that the officials are “pandering” to a special interest group by promoting Holocaust education. If by special interest group, he is referring to Jews, I must remind him that in addition to 6 million Jewish murder victims, Hitler killed 6 million non-Jews in the camps and other places, including political opponents, gays, Roma, mentally challenged and others. In fact, 1,700 priests were murdered in the camps.
If he thinks, as indicated later in his letter, that the Holocaust did not affect “us,” he needs to be told that what started out as hatred and bigotry was followed by all-out war that cost the lives of over 50 million people, including too many brave Americans.
While science, math and technology are necessary components to a great education, there is no more important lesson that can be learned by our young people than what hatred and intolerance can lead to.
For those of you who read his letter with equal disgust, let me assure you that we at the Museum do not regard it as a “wake up call.” We have been awake for decades.
In the school year about to end, we sponsored more than 260 survivor programs reaching over 35,000 students, mostly in the five-county area. Our 20 survivors and accompanying facilitators have done educational programs in public, private, charter and parochial schools to young audiences who sit in awe of having the opportunity to listen to eyewitness testimony from people who lived through the darkest period in human history. They use the example of the Holocaust to help our young people understand the consequences of government-sponsored hatred (Cambodia, Darfur, Rwanda, Bosnia).
Many of these programs, which are followed by question-and-answer sessions, end with standing ovations for our hero-survivors.
But reaching 35,000 students a year is not enough. The Boyle and Williams legislation will provide an opportunity for hundreds of thousands more students throughout Pennsylvania to learn a life lesson that unfortunately is necessary in a world where Holocaust deniers are on the rise.
“Special interests” and “pandering” for votes? It is our fervent wish that their colleagues see the importance of this legislation and join them in this necessary endeavor.
For the readers who are interested in helping us in our mission, please contact us to see what you can add to our amazing program.
President, Holocaust Awareness Museum at Klein JCC
Don’t reward illegal aliens with citizenship
At the present time, we are so overwhelmed by government scandals that we might overlook the glaring abuse being perpetrated right before our eyes.
Our precious gift of citizenship is being devalued like the U.S. dollar by corrupt politicians. illegal aliens, and their many well-funded advocates, make demands, and we succumb. There is no respect or gratitude for our largesse. Our country and its rule of law are being dismantled/destroyed with the help of our elected officials. We must refuse to sit back and watch it happen. We must be advocates for the law-abiding citizens of the United States.
Unfortunately, we are in a battle with our own government officials for the survival of our country. Our weapons are phone calls, emails and faxes to let our legislators know that we are firmly against their proposed thousand-page immigration reform legislation. We don’t need reform; we need our current laws to be enforced.
Our legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, are scheming to pass a reform bill by Aug. 1, just before they go on vacation. Will you join us in thwarting their efforts? Be persistent; be diligent. A phone call a day, an email a day, a fax a day isn’t too much to ask. It’s the least we informed patriots can do to save our beloved country.
Margaret W. Adelsberger