Saturday, January 30, 2010



BY Another Victim of War

I’d like to ask American Veterans Against the War
to support the victims of the public square massacre by Blackwater. Until now Blackwater has had total impunity in the United States. Please speak out and get your loved ones—especially concerned Americans to speak out now.

The following points come from an interview on DEMOCRACY NOW yesterday. It concerns the famous BLACKWATER MASSACRE in a public square in Iraq—it was the case that forced Blackwater to change its name to Xe.

GARY MAUNEY, lawyer prosecuting Blackwater/Xe: This is not a case about national security at all. These were people who are in a public square in Iraq, much like the main intersection in Charlotte, North Carolina is called Trade and Tron, its the primary intersection in the city where we live. It’s the equivalent place to where this occurred. The Blackwater employees were in that square and they opened fire.

JEREMY SCHAHILL, filmmaker, reporter, & Iraq expert: [Paul] Dickinson [second lawyer taking Blackwater to Court while judges have thrown out all other cases] and Mauney have gathered volumes of evidence and interviewed scores of eyewitnesses. Perhaps the greatest piece of evidence comes from one of the men they are suing, Jeremy Ridgeway, a turret gunner on the Raven 23 team that day pled guilty to killing an unarmed civilian. Mauney points to Ridgeway’s own sworn statement.

GARY MAUNEY: He said Raven 23 was not supposed to be there, and what they did was not justified by any provocation whatsoever. This is not some lawyer making hyperbolic argument. This is Mr. Ridgeway was who was there, working for Blackwater at the time.
JEREMY SCHAHILL: In addition to Jeremy Ridgeway’s statement, Mauney and Dickinson plan to introduce statements made by other Blackwater guards in the square that day, who said they were horrified at what their colleagues did, saying that they shot at civilians for nothing and for no reason. With the Justice Department’s criminal case against Blackwater very much up in the air, Mohammed Kinani could well be the one man left standing between Blackwater and total impunity for the Nissour Square massacre. . . .
As Mohammed sat in his SUV with his 9-year-old son Ali, his sister Jenan and her three children, he realized that attempting to escape was not an option. As the shooting intensified, Mohammad yelled for the kids to get down. He and Jenan did the same.
MOHAMMED KINANI: Bullets were coming from the right and the left. My younger sister was trying to cover me with her body. So I pulled out of her grip and covered her with my body to protect her. I have pictures that show the head rest of my sister’s seat is full of bullet holes. It was horrific- extremely terrifying. I still wake up from sleep startled… ‘Why?’ I ask, ‘Why would they do this? We were civilians sitting in our cars. Most of the cars had families in them, so why did this happen? I kept hearing Boom, Boom, Boom in my car. Bullets were flying everywhere. It was horrific, horrific… I don’t know. I don’t know how to describe it.
After they killed everyone in sight, my sister and I kept still. I had her rest her head on my lap and my body was on top of her. We would sneak a peek from under the dashboard. The continued shooting here and there, killing this and that one. Then it cleared. Nothing was moving on the street. Only the Blackwater men were moving. Then, they drove off.
GARY MAUNEY: This is the last case standing in the United States right now. This is it. This is it.
Americans need to write their Congressmen, Senators, President Obama and VP Biden to hold Blackwater’s (Xe’s) feet to the fire. This memory will not remain only with the victims but with all Americans who stand for what is right—and not crawl away from what we did wrong in Iraq.
JEREMY SCHAHILL: Baghdad, September 16, 2007. Shortly before noon, a convoy of four armored vehicle departs the Green Zone, the heavily fortified U.S. base in Iraq. The men inside of the vehicles were elite private soldiers working for Blackwater. Their code name: Raven 23. The men had defied orders from their superiors to remain in the Green Zone and proceeded on to the streets of Baghdad. As they departed, they were again told to return to base, but they didn’t. Within minutes, Blackwater Raven 23 would arrive at the congested Baghdad intersection known as Nissour Square. 15 minutes later, at least 17 Iraqi civilians would be dead, more than 20 others wounded in a shooting that would down in infamy as Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday. You probably have never heard his name, but you likely know something about how 9-year-old Ali Mohammed Hafed Kinani died. He was the youngest person killed by Blackwater forces at Nissour Square. To this day, Blackwater has never faced justice for killing Ali and the other Iraqis that day. But his father Mohammed who was with Ali in Nissour Square, is determined to change that.



I do not mean that metaphorically. A punishment is essential. The UN Working Group on Mercenaries advocate immediate action in the courts for the victims of the Nissour Square, i.e. in the Iraq/USA and elsewhere abroad.

Blackwater (Xe) leadership must apologize in dozens of ways, but simply saying an apology for dozens of needlessly wasted lives is an important start for America anew in 2010—a new decade to clean up the mess of privatized military of the Bush years.


Well, let’s put up some NGO’s for office against the Great Corporations of the World?

Well, let’s put up some NGO’s for office against the Great Corporations of the World?

By Kevin Stoda, Online candidate for Senator from Kansas 2010

I just saw the video clip of a Maryland corporation running for Congress. The spoof shows MURRAY HILL INC. telling us Americans in the Wake of One of the Worst USA SUPREME COURT DECISIONS in 200 years that Corporations are ready to officially take their seats in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House.

Murray Hill Inc. tells us Americans, it is time that corporations take their rightful place in America. This includes corporations, such as FOX News and General Motors, are ready to move permanently into the Legislative and Executive offices ASAP:

The Murray Hill Inc. speaks for Corporate World, Inc. and promises a Brave New World of Corporate Certainty, like ENRON accounting skills, and other great financial skills, like the Lehman Brothers. The video states to America (and the world).

“It's a new day, until now, corporations influence politics with high paid lobbyist and backroom deals, however, as much as a corporation can give to politicians, we could never be absolutely sure they would do our bidding. But today, thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, corporations now have all the rights the founding fathers meant for us. It's our democracy, we bought it, we paid for it, we're going to keep it, that's why MHI is taking democracy's next step, running for Congress. The way we see it, Corporate America has been the driving force behind congress for years, but now it's time we got behind the wheel ourselves. MHI will bring enlightened self interest and corporate accounting to government to put business first. It is a vision for the future we can all be proud of. Now that democracy is for sale, MHI is offering top dollar. Vote MHI for Congress, for the best democracy money can buy.”

See the Murray Hill Website for more background.

I ask, “Well, let’s put up some NGO’s for office against the Great Corporations of the World?”

You see, I have been trying to get Americans interested in Pirate Campaigns for congress and the presidency for a number of years, now.

I think it is time, i.e. 2010,--very high time to do it! Don’t you?

What is a Pirate Campaign? Well, it simply means that the party will take over where other parties are not functioning well in Cyberspace governance and societyand will put up great candidates simultaneously for office in several places. It has worked in Sweden, German and in the European Union Parliament in the last 10 months.

Those pirate parties in Europe are not quite as humanitarian as I would like to see in most pirate campaigns, but that could change due to the high unemployment and suffering in the USA over the past decade. Utah residents are already setting an example, by recruiting their best candidate online

Here is the premise for the Utah citizen’s recruitment.

“Many Utahns are concerned that Congressman Jim Matheson has sold out every progressive constituency to corporate interests. The Citizens' Candidate is about taking our political system out of the hands of corporations and putting citizens back in control. The candidate elected through answering a Craigslist ad will always remember he or she is accountable to the public interest. Progressive Congressional Representative wanted to represent the people of Utah's 2nd district in the United States House of Representatives. Must have solid moral values and a resistance to selling out to corporate interests. Eligible candidate should have a strong commitment to defending fundamental human rights over corporate profits.”

The conditions or responsibilities for the Citizen’s Candidate include:

“-Stopping catastrophic climate change
-Giving all Americans access to healthcare
-Protecting and reinstating the rights of workers and unions
-Granting equal rights to LGBT people
-Defending the rights of immigrants to basic human dignity and a US foreign policy that allows them to make a living in their home country
-Ending imperialistic wars of aggression
Travel is required between Washington, DC and Utah. Employee is expected to meet with supervisors (Utah voters) regularly and publicly. This is a salaried position with a two year contract beginning January, 2011. Selection process will occur over most of 2010.
-Be at least 25 years old
-Be a US citizen for at least 7 years
-Be a resident of Utah
-Commitment to transparency
-Honesty, integrity, courage”

Interestingly, Utah, where the Citizen Candidate is being selected and drafted into office. is where Robert Redford has lived for decades.

Redford told Americans how a candidate should run for office over 4 centuries ago in another spoof (a political spoof) called THE CANDIDATE. Bill McKay, the political talking-head played by Redford, looks into the camera and tells viewers and real candidates to NOT IGNORE THE ISSUES.”

McKay stated to the American viewer, “In the beginning—I think it’s important to note what subjects we haven’t discussed. We’ve completely ignored the fact that this is a society divided by fear, hatred and violence. And until we talk about just what this society really is, then I don’t know how we’re going to change it. For example, we haven’t discussed the rock that destroys our cities. We have all the resources we need to check it, and we don’t use them. And we haven’t discussed why not. We haven’t discussed race in this country. We haven’t discussed poverty. In short, we haven’t discussed any of the sicknesses that may yet send this country up in flames. And we better do it. We’d better get it out in the open and confront it, before it’s too late.”

In short, REAL CANDIDATES need to stop ignoring the facts and needs of the electorate.

This why many leading online- and statewide-citizen organizers in Utah explain their efforts as follows in 2009-2010, “This is really a grass-roots initiative that was an experiment. It has been an experiment the whole way through. It grew out of the realization over 2009 that Jim Matheson and a lot of the Blue dog Democrats were really doing more harm than good, that they were causing more of a problem with our system than the Republicans, actually, and that we needed to replace them. But all of our influential progressive politicians here in Utah, weren’t willing to run against him because of the political risk. So, we were searching for a candidate, and it was somewhat out of frustration that I put a help wanted ad on Craigslist, with the whole job description, requirements, and what we wanted out of people. So that is kind of where it grew out of, and then we pulled together this Progressive Coalition… .”


An alternative to corporate institutions officially taking over the White House, the Senate, The House, your Governor’s office, etc. in 2010 would be to put great NGOs with great names and histories up across from the MURRAY HILL INCs of America in 2010.
How about putting Doctors Without Borders up against Dr. Pepper in Texas?

What about Habitat for Humanity against Coca Cola in Georgia?

Why not imagine Human Rights Watch over Citibank in New York State?

Surely, Amnesty International could whoop up on genetically-modified Monsanto in Missouri?

Anyway, AMERICANS, DON’T EVER AGAIN ALLOW 5 poor decision makers on the Supreme Court decide your next President (Senator, Representative, or Governor) like they did so arbitrarily in December 2000, i.e. when 5 misguided judges mistakenly picked the wrong victor for U.S. president. What a disaster that was?

We need to not just write letters, WE NEED TO ADDRESS REAL ISSUES AND REAL SOLUTIONS.

Don’t you think that is “the key?”

Become active! Get a real functioning Constitution and Country in 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, January 29, 2010



By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Candidate of U.S. Senator from Kansas 2010

Let’s start counting the ways that Washington, D.C. is either sleepwalking through history or running the clock back on progress or simply existing in slow motion:

(A) The British parliament is currently appropriately investigating the crimes leading up to Tony Blair’s insistence that the UK must make war on Iraq in 2003. Tony Blair is having to answer for all the world to see. Why isn’t this being done in the USA?

(B) Meanwhile, despite overspending, bad spending, and horrible military management of resources over the last decade[s], Barack Obama has announced in his most recent State of the Union Address that the DOD is still America’s sacred cow, i.e. no foreseeable burden-sharing by the military budget managers over the next 5 years in paying off the huge debt that American banks and wars have caused over the past presidential and senatorial terms. Why is this sacred cow to remain untouched?

(C) In his recent State of the Union Address, Obama also stated that the US would build many more coal and nuclear powered plants at a time when he is supposedly committed to oversee Americans reducing their production of Greenhouse producing gases. The Germans, South Koreans, and even the Chinese will surpass America’s development of alternative energy-related technologies if the USA does not stop turning the clock back on progress. Germany’s clean technological focus has already made that part of its economy a great “economic weapon”. Many East Asian nations are going to copy and follow Germany’s every moves. Why isn’t the USA out front in developing and using this “economic weapon”? Why build nuclear power plants when we can build and produce safer and cleaner energy technologies already cheaper than the Germans due to our weak dollar?,,5006007,00.html

(D) In that same State of the Union Address, Obama said that along with building and developing new rail systems and technologies for mass transit and transport nationwide, he wanted to rebuild the highway system in the USA. Woah!! Let’s only build more roads if the trains can’t get there. Build the train system first. I dream of a train system that load American cars on and off in 2 minutes. Such a system makes sense for the greatest portions of American where dense populations can be served by trains and less densely populated corners could load and unload cars, trucks and trailers in minutes. Why not focus instead of wasting too much money on more roads?

(E) What a waste of time we have seen in the health care system over the last two years! America needs universal coverage. Washington (1) has no reason not to allow portability of health care coverage indefinitely and (2) certainly has complete support from the American public to allow for a no-preexisting condition in all health care contracts. WHY THE DELAY? Both the executive branch and congress have the ability to pass those two changes as of YESTERDAY. Once we get this ball rolling, what can stop the movement?

(F) America needs several major Amendments to the US Constitution. The Supreme court guaranteed that need ten days ago when our USA Supreme Court unexpectedly allowed unlimited contributions by the wealthiest peoples and corporations around the globe. Why do not Senators and Congressmen meet TODAY and get the Amendment passed to stop unlimited campaign spending etc. IN 2010 and send the Amendment off to states for the approval it needs ASAP. (Why not support the bill that Rep. Donna Edwards has already suggested?)§iontree=23,24&itemid=256

In all these cases, Washington, D.C., the official seat of power in America, has started 2010 behind the curve. There are so many more areas that we need to have legislatures and American activists work on now and in the coming decade.

American citizens need to take over.

What are your suggestions for things that the executive and legislative branches need to be getting done in 2010?

Send me suggestions at this web site. I will share them and take your ideas more seriously than current U.S. Senators would.

NOTE: KAS is running an online campaign again this year, He encourages others to get online and maybe America can actually turn the tables on the money monsters by running on a shoestring and winning congressional or senatorial seats this year. (Why do we need congressmen and senators doing fundraising 2 to 3 days of every week instead of empowering you?)


Thursday, January 28, 2010



By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden

This week a U.S. Court granted a German family from Hessen the right to asylum in the USA. The family had fled Germany two years ago under threat of jailing and separation of parents from their children in the name of a school law that undermines their freedom.

The Washington Post noted Tuesday, “The decision clears the way for Uwe Romeike (roh-MY-kee), his wife and five children to stay in Morristown, Tenn., where they have been living since 2008. Romeike says his family was persecuted for their evangelical Christian beliefs and for homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory. When the Romeikes wouldn't comply with repeated orders to send the children to school, police came to their home one October morning in 2006 and took the children to school. German state constitutions require children to attend public or private schools and parents can face fines or prison time if they don't comply.”

The Washington Post also reported, “In November 2007, Germany's highest appellate court ruled that, in severe cases, social services officials could remove children from their parents. After that decision, Romeike said, ‘We knew we had to leave the country.’”

I had written about the issue of homeschooling in Germany—NICHT ERLAUBT [NOT ALLOWED]—a year ago. I have sometimes wondered since if my advocacy for allowing homeschooling here was one reason that my wife’s visa here was denied twice in the past year.

You see, there is a lot of bullying in German schools and it has carried over to administrations of civil servants in Germany and firms, too. I reported on one mobbing case with tax officials in an article earlier today.

On German radio yesterday and today, I have heard discussions on the U.S. court’s decision supporting the claim of the Romeikes to take asylum in the USA. The discussants noted that the claim to homeschooling was tied to the Romeike family’s desire for religious guidance in education and the right of parents to raise their children in a less consumerist and competitive environment. In short, there is too much peer pressure verging on bullying in some schools. The Romeike’s wanted their children to be able to stand up to those pressures in society and become more like their parents, i.e. with their religious preferences being passed on to their children. In order to do this, they felt the need to incubate (educate) their brood longer within the household than German school laws allow.

The UK newspapers share: “Christians Uwe Romeike, a piano teacher, and his wife, Hannelore, moved to Morristown, Tennessee, in 2008 after ¬German authorities fined them thousands of euros for keeping their children out of school and sent police to escort them to classes, Romeike said. They had been holding classes in their home.”
According to THE GUARDIAN: “In 2006 the Romeikes pulled their children out of a state school in Bissingen, Germany, in protest of what they deemed an anti-Christian curriculum.”

According to that same newspaper, "’Home schoolers in Germany are a particular social group, which is one of the protected grounds under the asylum law,’ said Mike Connelly, attorney for the Home School Legal Defence Association, who argued the case. ‘This judge looked at the evidence, he heard their testimony, and he felt that the way Germany is treating home schoolers is wrong. The rights being violated here are basic human rights.’"

Connelly noted that this is the first time ever that home schooling has been an issue in an asylum case in the USA. “Along with thousands of torture victims, political dissidents, members of religious minorities and other persecuted groups who win political asylum every year, the Romeike family will now be free to live and work in the US. The case does not create a legal precedent unless the US government appeals and a higher immigration court hears the case.”

Only the FDP (liberal party) in German seems to be currently for legal home schooling in Germany. There are fears that many Islamic families would try to home school their children if such a law came into effect.

The Romeikes indicated, “They said textbooks presented ideas and language that conflicted with their Christian beliefs, including slang terms for sex acts and images of vampires and witches, while the school offered what they described as ethics lessons from Islam, Buddhism and other religions. The eldest son got into fights in school and the eldest daughter had trouble studying.”




By Kevin Stoda, State of Hessen, Germany

Last summer 2009, while I was struggling with injustices against my wife’s visa application which resulted from the lack of whistle-blowing culture among the civil servants in the Integration Office in Wiesbaden, all the newspapers were reporting a case of criminality and bullying of another group of civil servants in the same state of Hessen.

In that case from last summer, known as the Hessen Tax-Collector Affair, four amazingly diligent civil servants working for the Finance Ministry (i.e. U.S.’s federal Internal Revenue Service counterpart) were treated as insane by others until they were forced to leave their work. Each had been responsible of collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes from various German firms and individuals.

Moreover, each of the 4 civil servants became victims of what German’s call “mobbing” or bullying. The 4 were actually guilty of recovering too much tax money. (Who instigated the mobbing? Why? How was it carried out? Why did these people who instigated the mobbing and mislabeling of civil servants could get away of the crime?)

For this extra-effort beyond the call of duty, these 4 Finance Ministry officials in Hessen were harassed by other civil servants in and out of their ministry until a single Psychiatrist, known as Psychiatrist H. in the media, declared each of them mentally unfit to work as civil servants.

These 4 victims of the lower and unfair [kangaroo] courtroom’s justice in Hessen originally lost their jobs--and in German society today, one who is declared mentally unstable has little chance of new employment. The youngest among the four was in his 30s.


To me, if the episode had happened to a single employee, I would have considered the whole affair simply a scandal. However, the fact that it happened to four employees fairly simultaneously leads me to think that the bullying among the civil servant system in Germany is systematic—or at least out of control.

A lot of self-introspection and investigation was what Hessen citizens have awaited in vain since July 2009 when the four Finance Ministry employees won their case in Hessen and had their jobs reinstated. However, little has been done since then by the CDU-FDP government in Hessen, led by Roland Koch.

Koch had actually been in charge of the state of Hessen back in 2001, when the 4 victims were already being labeled “Querulanten“ or whiners or complainers by other officials in Hessen. [Note 2001: that was also the era when CDU leader Koch and his own party in Hessen were under investigation for hiding slush money in Swiss banks.]

Meanwhile all cases in Hessen, in which a Psychiatrist H. [until formally charged with crime the name is withheld] was involved in, are naturally being called into question. Psychiatrist H. had declared all four of the civil servants in Hessen to be more than mentally suspect, but he had done the same in hundreds of other cases around the state, too, over the years.

Typically, it appears that the current Roland Koch-led CDU-FDP government is slowing down the post-trial investigation of the Hessen government, law enforcement, finance, and psychiatry offices in order to prevent all 4 victims from suing the immediately the government.

This trial has been delayed because the 4 victims have agreed--in unity with the political opposition in Hessen--to not file their claims against abusive persons and bullies in the Hessen government until the State Parliament has finished its full investigation.

In short, justice comes slowly in Germany to bully’s and state-financed criminals and/or civil servants. Hopefully, justice will eventually be had in this case. However, a slow investigation by Koch and Co. will not bring any reform to a culture of civil servants in Hessen (or elsewhere in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) who almost never are publicly calling into question the very system, practices, abuses, mismanagement, codes, and rules in which they are working under.

The bottom line is that “mobbing” or bullying of others in Germany must be ended and soon. Too many of the school shootings in Germany in the past decade have resulted after years of bullying and mobbing. The schools in Germany need to create more independent students and groups who can stand up and say something is wrong or unjust—without having to resort to courts and years of prosecution. This public German education would eventually mean that issues, like bullying or other bad government policies, could be brought to the attention of media and electorate faster, too.,,contentMDK:20134008~menuPK:286372~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:286367,00.html




By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany

Almost a week before international Holocaust Recognition Day (today January 27), the German newspaper, DIE ZEIT, ran a three article series on how Turkish Germans and Turkish peoples in Germany see the Holocaust and Holocaust education in Germany. One of the articles included a lengthy review of an opinion poll exclusively of Turkish Germans and Turkish peoples in Germany.

This article was called “Was geht uns das an?” (“How does that [the Holocaust] relate to Us?”) and was found in the hard copy of DIE ZEIT on the 21st of January 2010. Interestingly, the online version of a similar article from that same date is

entitled “Divided Memory: German-Turks and the Holocaust” (“Geteilte Erinnerung: Deutschtuerken und der Holokaust”)

What is interesting to me in reading both stories is that DIE ZEIT editors who had produced the poll, which was carried out in German schools and at actual Holocaust sites in Germany over this past year, had had a pre-poll hypothesis that German-Turks or Turkish-Germans would think and respond in their replies statistically differently than the masses of the German population might. Considering that Turkish peoples have made up the largest non-ethnic-German population in the Federal Republic of Germany for most of my entire life (more than 4 decades), I was very surprised that this had been DIE ZEIT writers and editors expectations for their German cohabitants in Europe: i.e. the Turks.

One survey question asked the following: When you see photos of the starving Jews in the Concentration Camps [of the Nazis during the Holocaust], how do you respond? The responses were as follows:

-74% Above all, compassion.

-27% Only very little compassion as I had nothing to do with it.

-23% Above all, a disgust with the Germans.

-7% I don’t know or No Answer.

The survey’s various questions do demonstrate by the high number of those who replied “Not enough information” or “ No or little knowledge of the Holocaust” or “it doesn’t apply to me” in various parts of the survey on their Holocaust awareness, education on the Holocaust must be improved in Germany for the many minorities (such as the Turkish Germans) who do not feel responsible for learning anything about the Holocaust—i.e. as they are/were not responsible. [In short, some creative forms of empathy-building are needed in German schools for minorities along with the implementation of a variety of educational training methodologies need to be employed more to integrate minorities in Germany.]


It is only in the area of how to approach Israel that the Turkish-German and German-Turkish peoples significantly disagree with many in Germany (including the official Angela Merkel policy statements in the Knesset). The survey question in DIE ZEIT poll, i.e. related to this concept of Germany’s relationship to the State of Israel & actually quoted from the German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s visit to the Knesset. There, in the Israeli Knesset, Merkel had claimed that “Germany and Israel’s raison d’état and destinies are intertwined.”

While that statement by Angela Merkel, as head of the German government, might be either accepted, rejected or simply questioned by many different Germans in 2010, this question was posed in DIE ZEIT survey specifically to the second largest Muslim audience on continental Europe.

I ask myself---Why would Turkish-Germans or German-Turks not be expected to be more aware of the abuses and crimes of Israel (and the weaknesses of German’s own government in terms of promoting human rights) than the average German?

Naturally, as a mostly Muslim population, the Turkish peoples surveyed are going to go against the status quo in Germany—with all of the Holocaust burden which has been passed on to young Germans in school for nearly 4 decades now.

On the other hand, I was happy that overall in the survey that the German-Turks (non German citizens) and Turkish-Germans (German citizens or destined to be) in 80 to 90 percent of the poll results came out looking fairly integrated—not only integrated into the German social and political status quo but well-integrated with all of Europe in their empathy for their fellow man.

That is, through DIE ZEIT survey, the Turkish peoples-surveyed obviously hold many supposedly universal human qualities that align well with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. It is this universalizing of human rights ideals that is the great legacy of man’s overall response to the horrors of the Holocaust. This is certainly good news as this UN Holocaust Day is recognized around the globe today.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010



By Kevin Anthony Stoda, the Train Runner in Bavaria

I was riding on a series of trains through Bavaria during a light snowstorm today. As I rode--and then ran through--the central terminals in Nurnberg, Wurzburg, and Aschaffenburg on my way back to Wiesbaden this below zero day in history January 2010, I took time to read through Khaled Hosseini’s THE KITE RUNNER, set primarily in pre-9-11 Afghanistan.

I started my journey westward from near the Czech Republic from one of the U.S. Military [Grafenwoehr] Bases in Bavaria and marveled at how the connections to Afghanistan were so evident around me in these particular hills of the Upper Palatinate. In just a few months, locally stationed American volunteers by the thousands are going to leave the snow country of Germany—a place of relative security globally—in order to expand American presence in snowy Afghanistan (and even into Pakistan in terms of indirect and direct U.S. military moneys, drones, and forces.)

I had picked up the book, THE KITE RUNNER, on base in Vilseck and was pleased that American soldiers and their families were familiarizing themselves with Hosseini’s Afghanistan by introducing themselves to the complex history of 20th century Afghanistan. Like Hosseini many American soldiers and their families are writers and poets, too.

[Blood ties is a major theme in THE KITE RUNNER.] Here is an example of one Army mom’s prayer for her offspring and blood.

God bless my son
As he falls to sleep,
I pray this night the peace to keep.

When he wakes to start the day
I pray that love will lead the way.
If there's danger
And if there's strife,
Please send Angels to guard his life.

Keep him safe and free from fear,
Bless my soldier and keep him near.

Until he's home, Until he's safe
Bring peace to our hearts
And strength to our faith.

--Army Mom

Like the Himalayan residents of Hosseini’s Afghanistan and Pakistan, various soldiers have their own prayers for each important occasion in life and new mission. For example, here is the 2nd Cavalry Prayer:

Almighty, merciful, and loving Father, you are the one who hears all our prayers and grants our petitions.
We, the troopers of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment, ask you to remember, as we do, the tremendous sacrifice made by those who went before us. They have given their lives so that we might live and breathe freely.
We ask you to receive those Valiant Troopers of the 2nd U.S. Dragoons into your hands. Father, give us the strength and wisdom to learn from their examples, to uphold freedom and life at home and around the world. Keep us vigilant as we guard the frontiers of freedom.
Give our leaders the wisdom and the strength to lead well. Grant all of us courage and confidence.
Be, for all of us, troopers, a wise counsel in keeping peace and a strong shield for us against enemies.
Oh, heavenly Father, give us the determination that the peace and freedom won at such a high price be lasting!
Father, hold all of the troopers of the 2nd U.S. CAVALRY Regiment in the palm of your almighty hand and protect us in the shadow of your wings.

At many junctions in THE KITE RUNNER, Hosseini allows us to see that the religious strife between shia and sunni tribes in Afghanistan entangle with ancient tribal or newer blood feuds.

Another important historical theme has to do with modern and twisted ideologies that have motivated nations to fight wars over the last two hundred years. For example, when one reads of the life story of the main character, named Amir, in THE KITE RUNNER novel, one cannot ignore the transformation of the boy raised in the family of enlightened well-to-do business-class world of pre-Soviet Invasion Afghanistan to the man who prays regularly his prayers in a daily ritual practiced half-way across the world in Haywerd, California (a year after the 9-11 bombings in New York and Washington, D.C.) In short, the tale of the kite flyer, Amir, and his journey back to Afghanistan in 2001 is similar to the American soldiers’ journeys to do good or to achieve real manhood in the 21st Century.

THE KITE RUNNER is partially a coming of age story for men in his 30s because he has hesitated to grow up earlier. This is not a bad way to look at it because many American leaders, like the last U.S. President Bush, have to often never have grown up—and only try to grow-up with the nuclear war buttons first at their finger tips. The fact is, in a more favorable light, the kite flyer, Amir, is growing up slowly throughout Hosseini’s novel. Bit by bit, Amir very slowly becomes “man enough” to overcome his own actions of the past which have haunted him from his earliest child-hood years.

All adults need to do this to some degree, otherwise we end up like George W. Bush, trying to fight the wars or clean up the mess of our fathers.

Amir faces the same nemeses that Americans and their military have fought on-and-off in the 20th Century, too. For example, one reoccurring enemy in the young Amir’s childhood is a sociopathic bully, named Assif, is an avowed Hitler-fanatic. As a young teen, Assif raves about how he would like to lead a Hitler-like revolt someday in Afghanistan. Many decades later, as an adult, we see the same Assif as a leading religious fanatic leading Taliban excesses in 2001 Kabul, Afghanistan. (This only occurs after Assif joins the opposition to the Soviet occupation of both Assif and Amirs homeland in the 1980s.) In short, the narration of modern Afghanistan is that of a proxy for 20th Century’s major “isms”—fascism, communism, and fanatic End-time Islamism.

Of course, there is also racism and the shia/sunni conflict at the center of intra-personal conflicts. This racism is embedded in the blood relationships of kin and status of individuals and tribes over generations among those who make up the modern Afghani world—both in exile and at home. It was thus poignant for me that I had read this Afghani tale in the Bavarian hill country, near Nuremberg, where Hitler had found so many faithful followers on-and-off the farms just over 7 decades ago. Hitler was not only a fascist and too often a role model Islamic jihadists, but he was believer in blood kinships.

This blood based racism led to tribal Germania viciously taking on most of the rest of the continent before his dreams died in the snowy and cold winter of 1942 in Stalingrad and in the ice and snow of 1944-1945, called in Germany history as the Hunger Winter.

The U.S. base in Grafenwoehr is currently situated where the training camp for the infamous Flossenburg Concentration Camps nearby in WWII. The Grafenwoehr Base is where special commandos were trained to abuse, control and kill detainees during the last five years of the Nazi Reich.

Similarly, wherever U.S. troops are stationed in Afghanistan, they will land in the footprints or at ex-military bases of Taliban forces, Northern Front forces, Soviet Occupiers or other local or global imperialists, from Genghis Kahn to the British forces of the 19th centuries have fought their wars and left their genocidal marks. It is no accident of history that this very week, the most popular political magazine in Germany—DER SPIEGEL’s—cover story is called the “Cemetery of Empires” and the title refers, of course, to Afghanistan.,1518,ausg-4655,00.html

The subtitle for the “CEMETERY OF EMPIRES” is “Afghanistan: 200 Year War”.
The aim of that headline article is to attempts to explain why the Great Powers always collapse in the Hindu Kush highlands. In contrast, Hosseini’s novel, THE KITE RUNNER, ends more optimistically because, like Hosseini’s own life, the main protagonist, Amir, has become a bit Americanized and is hopeful in the year 2002 that 30 years of war in Afghanistan can be recovered from—“albeit slowly” [Amir recognizes this].

Now, we readers are almost ten years further down the line in the 21st Century and most Germans this cold winter do not believe that either in the middle or long term, the mission of NATO forces in Afghanistan will succeed. Similarly, Americans are not so sure either. Nonetheless, NATO and America are readying to go several more rounds with their enemies in the Hindu Kush.,1518,673790,00.html

Do the American soldiers and their NATO leaders really understand what Hosseini has shared in THE KITE RUNNER is that piece-by-piece the past can be overcome—however—such recovery takes decades and more importantly a will (or a strong desire) to change by all the hundreds of political and religious factions in Afghanistan?,1518,674081,00.html

Amir had the will to change and to do good. Do the thousands of other tribes, factions, victims, and perpetrators of Afghanistan?,1518,674080,00.html

Perhaps NATO and American military’s want or desire to do good, but if the other participants don’t play, perhaps it is time to go home—like the other Great Powers before them.

In Haiti we could do good—without even using many weapons. Why not do what is easier and more peaceful until the Afghanis can and actually desire to cooperate in overcoming their past sins?


Monday, January 25, 2010

Article Claims to have found Republican Smoking Gun. What do you think

This Raw Story report claims that Republicans always have sought to increase overall budget and cites Orrin Hatch. What do other media critiques, concerned Americans and other pundits say in response?

Sen. Hatch admits GOP ’standard practice’ was to run up deficit

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow believes she has found the smoking gun proving Republicans' hypocrisy on health care and the budget deficit: an admission by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch that, during the Bush administration, "it was standard practice not to pay for things."

"Every single Republican opposed the health reform bill when it was voted on on Christmas Eve, and that includes the 24 Republicans who voted for George Bush's Medicare prescription-drug expansion in 2003," Maddow said on her show Monday night. "Now that expansion in 2003, unlike the reform bill that's being currently debated, added tens of billions of dollars to the deficit. And this makes for some awkward politics, because many Republicans are citing worries about the deficit as their reason for voting against health reform now."

The host of The Rachel Maddow Show then quoted Sen. Hatch, who told the Associated Press that, when the Medicare expansion was passed in 2003, "it was standard practice not to pay for things." The AP reported:

Some Republicans say they don't believe the CBO's projections that the health care overhaul will pay for itself. As for their newfound worries about big government health expansions, they essentially say: That was then, this is now.

Six years ago, "it was standard practice not to pay for things," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "We were concerned about it, because it certainly added to the deficit, no question." His 2003 vote has been vindicated, Hatch said, because the prescription drug benefit "has done a lot of good."

The inconsistency — or hypocrisy, as some call it — has irked Democrats, who claim that their plan will pay for itself with higher taxes and spending cuts and cite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for support.

By contrast, when Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House in 2003, they overcame Democratic opposition to add a deficit-financed prescription drug benefit to Medicare. The program will cost a half-trillion dollars over 10 years, or more by some estimates.

"This is going to make the 2010 campaign so much simpler," Maddow quipped.

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 28, 2009.

Go to this link to get original story and source on TV.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

KEITH OLBERMAN SAID IT RIGHT, & We see “Worst Media Coverage on the newest Supreme Court DECISION in USA ever”

KEITH OLBERMAN SAID IT RIGHT, & We see “Worst Media Coverage on the newest Supreme Court DECISION in USA ever”

By Kevin Stoda, Germany

I have certainly seen a lot of progressives on the horn today about the HORRIBLE SUPREME COURT DECISION yesterday to allow unlimited spending by special interest groups, businesses, lobbyists, in all American elections forever.

Common caused responded correctly, “Moments ago, in a stunning decision, the Roberts Court opened the floodgates to out-of-control corporate and union spending in elections. This wrong-headed ruling doesn't just disrupt the way elections work. It poses a direct and immediate threat to the vibrancy of our democracy. An already corrupt system that makes it hard for citizens to have a voice could become a chaotic free-for-all in which ordinary people's voices will be permanently drowned out of the electoral process. Only a popular uprising in response to this decision can save the day. “

However, with Haiti all over the news, the momentous story of Supreme court’s activism in changing American democracy has been ignored by too many USA media giants and small-town wannabee media conglomerates.

However, Keith Olberman of MSNBC’s Countdown gave an outstanding talk on TV today stating that if the Supreme Court had thrown out all spending caps in professional football, all the Sports media would be up in arms and wondering what would become of the smaller NFL franchises once players and teams had the right to gather and spend as much as they want from any source. Yet, as Olberman noted, “The [USA] political press greeted it [Supreme Court Decision] with a Yawn.”

Earlier, in the same program, Olberman had warned the USA rightwing pundits to note that the Roberts’ US Supreme Court—America’s most activist supposedly conservative court ever—had opened the door to Venezuelan-owned owned CITGO throwing its money around in USA elections.


Similarly, like in the USA football parable noted above--Olberman added that whereby the Green Bay Packers would be forever-bankrupted by such Supreme Court activists if the Court chose to meddle in NFL football agreements the way it has in American election regulations, almost all USA political parties may be wiped from the map:

Good-bye Republicans, Good-bye Democrats, Good-by any hoped-for progressive third party.

Bob Edgar of Common Cause added, “We have to immediately press Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act -- public financing of campaigns. It's the only way ordinary people can have a fighting chance that we won't be completely overwhelmed by special interests. We also must make it clear that corporations, unions, or anyone else exploiting the Roberts Court's indefensible ruling will be exposed to public scrutiny. We'll have to act fast if we want to prevent the 2010 elections from becoming a special interest-driven tragedy. With spending limits thrown out, corporations and unions could spend as much as $6 billion to directly influence the election of candidates in 2010. And that's just if they match what they spend lobbying Congress in an election cycle. As massive corporate spending goes flying into campaigns, the opportunity to make progress on critical issues like health care and energy will go flying out the window.
We can't let that happen.”

With a stroke of a pen, American history has been transformed with no justification for reversals.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

On Behalf of American Veterans, Sign the Petition, Demand Closure of Gitmo Today

“Nearly a dozen family members of mine are veterans. Over half of those have served in the Middle East and Afghanistan. They are not made safer by the continued existance of Guantanamo–as they are called up to serve again and again in areas of danger.” Kevin Stoda


For too long the prison at GuantanamoBay has remained a blight on the American conscience. Guantanamo is a recruiting tool for terrorists that undermines our troops and undermines our security. As veterans of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we urge you to take immediate action to permanently close the prison at GuantanamoBay.

General Colin Powell has said that if it were up to him, he would close GuantanamoBay not tomorrow, but this afternoon. General David Petraeus made clear in testimony before Congress that he believes that GuantanamoBay should be closed. Many other military leaders, both active and retired, have expressed this view. They know what is at stake for our men and women in uniform.

We stand with them.

Every day that the facility at GuantanamoBay remains open and detainees are held there without trial is another day that terror networks have an effective recruiting poster that the United States applies the laws to some, but is hypocritical when it comes to others. Guantanamo has been used in videos by senior al Qaeda leadership at least 32 times since 2001 and four times this year alone. Guantanamo is harmful to our national security and to the men and women in uniform who we have put into harm’s way.

There are many viable options to house and try detainees here on U.S. soil, including the possible purchase of the state prison in Thomson, Ill. We support these options as we know that our justice system is capable of handling those who are accused of harming us. More than 300 terrorists foreign and domestic are currently being held on U.S. soil. 195 terrorism suspects have been tried and convicted in a U.S. court of law. We believe in the justice system that we have fought to protect. Those who would use fear-mongering and demagoguery to tarnish our system of justice run counter to everything we fought for the defense of our laws, our Constitution, and our way of life. Theirs is a position of weakness. Ours is a position of strength.

Closing the prison at GuantanamoBay is in the national security interest of America and of the troops we send into harm’s way. We urge you to do so without delay.


Guantanamo is known the world over as a place where people have been abused and tortured. Many of the egregious techniques that shocked the international community – stripping and hooding detainees, blaring music non-stop at ear-shattering levels, “stress positions,” and waterboarding – have been used there.

It has been one year since President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order calling for the closure of the prison at GuantanamoBay. Today, 20 veterans are on Capitol Hill, representing over 2000 veterans who have signed the letter telling Congress to follow through and support President Obama’s call to close the detention center at Guantanamo as a matter of national security. But the right wing led by Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman continue to play the old game of politics and fear. It’s time for us to stand up and finish what President Obama has started. Stand with our veterans to demand the closing of Guantanamo.

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A TIME to Grieve

Hello All,

Mere minutes after I sent out today's update (January 20), I received the following letter from Shirley Edgerton and after reading it, I just had to share it with all of you. I think that we all need to take a few minutes to read, cry, grieve and pray together with the Edgerton's this evening.

In HIS Service,

Julie Pohl
VIM & Disaster Response Coordinator
KS East Conference UMC
(785) 989-3237

A Time to GRIEVE:

We have washed the smell of decaying bodies from our clothing, sorted the files and forms from a Roundtable meeting in PaP, and sit before wooden wick candle burning on a hundred year old coffee table, in our 100 year old bungalow, listening to an acustic guitar playing a mournful tune, and try not to think of the last week of our lives. A jof terror, death and destruction bracketed by spontaneous praise to a God who secured the night and prayer and chants to beg God’s protection and preparation for a new day of uncertainty.

Days ago we jthe terror of earthquake with our Haitian friends as the world collapsed in a cloud of dirt, broken water lines and crushed bodies. Homes of millions avalanched down mountainsides as an already hopeless lifestyle became one of confusion, death and chaos. A culture developing the rudiments of new technology was reduced once again to isolation from communication, hunters of food rotting in smashed markets, and water under layers of dirt and debris. No light in the darkness of belief their world was floating on water that had become crazy. Clinging together we helped dig through tons of collapsed rock and concrete to find nine year old babies and 90 year old angels. Now I sit, having searched and secured the body of a lost colleague to his loved ones, and I weep with God because of a nation in a palpable pain. I don’t ask “why”. I fear some jerk would offer an offensive scientific reason. I don’t want an answer, I want to cry. I want to cry all night.

Once I sat at the bedside of my comatose son, whose skull was broken, and my heart hurt so bad I could not breathe, I could not pray, I could not swallow. This night, I cannot swallow. I can only turn off NPR and give thanks we have no TV to subject me to the negative assessments of a broken, desperate people and those attempting to hold together a gaping hole leaking out the life of a nation. Tonight I allow myself to sit by the bedside of my Haitian friends who fight desperately to locate the lost and live, themselves, through another night. Tonight, I allow myself to grieve. There is nothing more I can do, this night.

I am safe and warm in a cold world. I have the face of a young man before me, asking “Madame, I am hungry and have no money, won’t you give me one dollar?” I tell him I have not enough dollars for all who stand with him, uncertain and hungry. He asks, “What will we do? Will the water swallow us?” I tell him, I do not know what he can do but the water is not his enemy. I tell him, “help will come”. I will keep his face in my heart, and tell my people, his friends are hungry. I ache to embrace this almost child with a scarred face but take him by the shoulders, and I cannot swallow. He thanks me and I leave with my dead friend.

There is a time for everything, the scriptures say. Tonight is my time to cry. Tomorrow there is much work to do, phone calls to make; emails to send; prayers to pray; stories to tell; funds to raise; plans to make; money to send; buried bodies to find; bodies to bury; questions to answer; answers to seek; and worry to do.

Tonight, thinking Sam; thinking Clint; thinking Jim; thinking Haiti; tonight, I cannot swallow.

Shirley, holding my breath, January 20, 2010


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TEARING THE SILENCE---What is a German American Identity?

TEARING THE SILENCE---What is a German American Identity?

By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden

Studies of individual and collective memories as well as how these memories are used and/or distorted by society and individuals have been of major interest to me for decades. Looking back, there are several reasons for this focus of mine as a historian and researcher.

First of all, for decades, I, myself, had never called myself a German-American, but historically speaking I have almost every right to do so.

That is, all my American born grandparents have strong lineage of German speaking grandparents or ancestors themselves. This means that going back to my family’s 5th, 6th, 7th , and 8th generations Germanic ancestors sailed from Europe to the United States and integrated them into the new American Experiment in the 18th and 19th centuries.

German-Americans continued to influence 20th Century America but by this time the melting pot theory had come to dominate. Texas and Kansas families, like the Eisenhauers, had in the meantime changed their name’s spelling to Eisenhower.

My name Stoda comes from the von Stade Saxon clan. Stade was a royal family and involved in various other regimes in northern and central Germany and in England from the 7th century onwards. The plattdeutsch for Stade is Stood (long vowel o)

My mother’s maiden name Whisner comes via Holland and the UK to the U.S.A. from Germany, too. Like Stoda, Whisner had one of two writings in German--Weisner and Wiesner are not an common name in Germany or America today. Where I live currently in Wiesbaden, my doctor works in the same clinic as one Dr. Weisner. On both grandmothers’ sides there were certainly Germans: Schiffmans, Maels, and Leiboldts from various German ancestries and regions.

In short, what makes one a German-American by definition? It is naturally simply the fact that someone identifies you as German. [Nearly 65 million Americans come from German or Austrian heritage. ]

Interestingly, until 1990, in America (my homeland) I was never once recognized as being of German descent. I was 28 years old, when I returned from living and studying 3 ½ years in Germany. At that time, I had begun teaching German language in a high school in Kansas when one day, the principal of that very high school noted I was obviously of German heritage—i.e. of German-American descent.

In making this identification with me, this particular Principal had had a lot of experience. He proudly stated that he was from an ethnic German family and recognized all the Germanic traits I displayed in and around the school, e.g. the high standards I had for others, the way I pushed others to excel, my determinedness or hardheadness, the way I talked or argued, the way I analyzed things, and my impatience with tomfoolery.

For me, this proved to be a sort of transformation of my identity.

Until then, I had never been identified as a German-American (in Germany or) in the USA, and there had been many opportunities to do so: From 1980 through 1985, I had attended a largely ethnic-German (Mennonite-founded) college in Kansas, named Bethel College. No one there at Bethel had ever noted my German-American characteristics. (The Mennonite founders of Bethel College in the late 19th century were German-speaking immigrants from Russia.)

Perhaps this lack of recognition of me as a German-American was because at that time (1980-1985), I did not carry myself as a German, or perhaps it was because ethnic Mennonite Germans saw all non-Mennonites as non-ethnic (German). Similarly, as a child, I had lived in several small Midwestern towns where no Germanic heritage was overtly displayed, so until I came to study at Bethel I had hardly known well any ethnic Americans well. [1]

In summary, as a child and as a young adult I had had no idea that the mannerisms and genes passed down to me from my parents were particularly Germanic. It is with interest, therefore, that I recently came across and read Ursula Hegi’s TEARING THE SILENCE: On Being German in America (Touchstone: 1997). TEARING THE SILENCE focuses on German immigrants to the USA, who were born between 1939 and 1949. In her work, Hegi writes in a thoughtful reportage-style narration that would make Studs Terkel proud. That is, Hegi allowed the interviewed German Americans to pretty much have their own voice.

What struck me the most about the 17 “autobiographies” in TEARING THE SILENCE was that so many had lived lives similar to my own. Admittedly, I have never known life of hardship as a war orphan, e.g. as some of those interviewed by Hegi did. Neither did I personally know war nor had I experienced life in immediate post-war Germany, i.e. where unemployment was high, food scarce, refugees everywhere, and everything had to be rebuilt up from catastrophic conditions. What I mean by “they and I” living similar lives is how their lives (and lives of their children) as teens and as adults had proceeded over the decades.

By the way,Hegi had begun her research for this book around 1990—a time when I was first identified by an ethnic German in America as ‘German”. The character and lifestyle of the different interviewees in Hegi’s collection are similar to mine in these ways.

Many interviewees have:

(1) apparent signs of Attention Deficit or Compulsiveness [2],
(2) a great sense of wanderlust—bouncing back and forth between continents--,
(3) an positive attitude in ever-searching for or finding oneself--or identifying “who one is” by reflecting on the past and destructive traits or practices,
(4) a strong interest in learning about the Holocaust and why it happened,
(5) decade’s long effort in helping the world not replay the horrors of WWII by being involved in peace movement, witness, and awareness raising activities
(6) strived to become fairly educated,
(7) tried to learn/maintain German as an adult and/or learned of other cultures with great zeal as adults,
(8) come to accept certain of their German traits/characteristics and embrace portions of traditions or heritages that are positive—as well as balancing those understandings with the ejection of negative traits and impulses.
(9) experienced being seen as outsiders in both Germany and in America.
(10) tended to be to direct with people in expressing their opinions or feelings too strongly, firmly, or loudly

Those descriptors do not describe all 17 “autobiographies” in TEARING THE SILENCE, but they fit too many of them for me not to feel a connection between those Germans who have settled for life in the USA and me—an American who has thrice moved to Germany. [3]


In autumn 1990 and in winter 1991, I was teaching in Great Bend, Kansas while President Herbert Walker Bush prepared America for war and then carried out world wide war on Iraq, an Arab state which had made the huge error of taking over Kuwait oil fields just as the Cold war was winding down.

That autumn, I did not like the fact that in Great Bend High School, the army, navy, marine, air force, and national guard recruiters were allowed to wander the school’s hallways and even meet students in the cafeteria. I stated so loudly in the teachers lounge. I spoke up specifically against this undue level of influence these recruiters and the school had on adolescents. Soon thereafter, my principal let me know that he had grown up with Germans and knew “how they speak and think”. I was going to have to learn to speak more tactfully—i.e. show more concern and feeling. In short, the principal was warning me about my hardheadness and seemingly German-behavior in how I expressed myself at school.

Later, in February 1991—as the Gulf War was still going on in Iraq and Kuwait--, my “Germanic” principal unilaterally canceled the school exchange program between Great Bend High School, Kansas and a private partner (Gymnasium) High School in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Over 30 families and youth were affected by the cancelation of the exchange program.

None of these families in Great Bend or Germany were contacted before the decision was made—neither was the head of the partner school in Germany contacted. Naturally, safety and security of the students was the reason this principal gave for the decision. (Recall: The war ended before February was over. So, the preemptive cancelation was totally unnecessary.) The “Germanic” principal at Great Bend High School had made the decision without talking either to me or to my partner, the principal of the Gymnasium in Germany—nor had he talked to the students or parents. (The fact that he did not contact our counterpart, the principal of our Partner school in Germany led to trouble in that interschool intra-school partnership over the next years.)

Interestingly, that following June of 1991, I was back in Munich attending an international seminar for German teachers from all over Europe and North America at the Goethe Institute. One day, in a subway I talked to an older man (in his 60s or 70s) who heard my American accent as I spoke to him in German. He suddenly turned to me in rage and blamed me unfairly and loudly for the following:

(1) Causing the U.S. led alliance in making war on Iraq that winter.
(2) Having forced Germany to take part indirectly in that war—the first such time in post-WWII history for Germany.

The man was loud and a bit out of control. That German reminded me a bit in self-righteousness of many Bush-Republicans and my previous high school principal in Great Bend (as well as reminding me of my own father when he got angry over politics).

After I had gotten away from my German heckler at the next train stop, I began to ponder:

(1) Was he a former Nazi himself? or
(2) Was he a child of war—i.e. like the German Americans interviewed in Hegi’s book? Or
(3) Was he a lifelong pacifist who had always stood against war? And saw me as the American military enemy.

I didn’t know for sure because I had just been glad to get away from the German. In the end, I saw him as an old man who was simply mis-projecting his anger at the United States government and military on any U.S. citizen—even one [like me] who had actually opposed the Gulf War in Kuwait/Iraq fairly vocally earlier that winter. In this new silence of mine, I had behaved like many of the individuals in Hegi’s book, TEARING THE SILENCE.


Several of the characters interviewed in TEARING THE SILENCE talked about love-hate relations they had observed on-and-off over the decades with the USA and Germany. Two of the interviewees noted that the worst thing one could be called in Germany when they were growing up was “An Ami”—or American (usually American in Occupying Army but not exclusively), i.e. when “ami” was said in a very derogatory tone of voice. Meanwhile, in and after WWI, the worst you could say to a German was to call him a “Kraut”. Later, in the post-war period, the worst thing was to call a German a “Nazi”. Many interviewees shared how much they had hurt to feel unfairly called the name, “Nazi”.

Every one of those interviewed by Hegi had experienced being called a “Nazi”—even those who were born after 1945 experienced this. Nothing bothers a German of the post-WWII world more than being referred to as a Nazi.

I would have to concur—for most Germans this is true today.

Similarly, a German educator, I had once known in Wuppertal, shared that in the 1970s when she was 19, she was working as a nanny in New York City. She was out on the town one Saturday taking pictures with a fellow German nanny when her camera stopped rewinding properly. The two German teens subsequently went over to the nearest camera shop. They asked for help with the camera.

The Jewish owner looked at them and asked, “Are you German?”

They said, “Yes”. [They, in fact were.]

“I thought so,” the photo shop owner nodded.

Then, before the young German women’s eyes, the camera shop owner tore the camera open and intentionally let the film fall to the floor--exposing it to the light and spoiling the photos.

Tearfully, these German girls left the Jewish camera shop. They certainly felt charged with a crime from their parents and grandparents generation. Without exactly saying it, the Jewish owner had called them Nazis.

These teens were being called Nazis by an American Jew. They felt defenseless. All they could do was walk away—in silence--and possibly go back home and learn a bit more about their country’s Nazi past.

Such antagonism between Jews and Germans is, however, seldom present in TEARING THE SILENCE. Most of the 17 German-Americans interviewed have had positive working and familial relationships with Jews and Jewish families in America. Some even say that they find a bond in a common history between Jews and Germans that brings them together as they don’t have to explain their anguish in much detail for the other to comprehend the source or memory causing the pain or worry.

However, this does not mean that German-Americans (Jews and Non-Jews, too) do not need to work on their pasts and their identity through reflection and responses to the Holocaust. For Jews and Germans today around the globe, this usually means that they are both almost equally burdened by what they have seen and learned about the Holocaust and the III Reich in films and school.

As well, many of those German Americans interviewed in TEARING THE SILENCE knew what it was like to be either a refugee or as an underdog (or both) in their won society or in American society. This has created for most of them empathy for the downtrodden in both America and in post-WWII Germany. They see that foreigners take on duties that the natives don’t want in both countries. Yet, the foreigners and minorities will be the first to be targeted when the economy goes badly or if there are any societal conflicts.


“The Holocaust was unspeakable, and the silence—eventually—spoke much louder than the words have” said Katherine in interview. The author, Hegi, wants Germans, and German Americans to go beyond the silence.

Yet, as I read TEARING THE SILENCE several times during trainrides in Germany this winter, I was struck by the silence of Germans. In contrast to foreigners, most Germans are sitting and reading in their own silence. (This happens in Japan but most of those travelers are sleeping.) Those foreigners who are known Germanized, too, sit in silence far too often--when they don’t have a coworker or a compatriot beside them.

German-American author, Ursula Hegi, wrote in her autobiography: “I don’t want to go beneath that silence again.”

“Those brave enough to ask about the war (WWII)were told not to dwell on the past but focus on the good things in our lives.” Hegi added.

Other phrases, like “Don’t spoil [soil] your own nest”, were responses to the same queries or calls for commitment from her elders to not go through the skeletons in one’s own [family] closet.

Things have changed since Hegi and her generation grew up in Germany and the USA. There is much more media and method in German education providing fuller understanding for the III Reich catastrophes causing present and past German Angst. However, silence is too often a problem in Germany. Only a minority are often active in international exchange efforts and international development or peace efforts. More internalization and multicultural education is needed.

Naturally, there are many Germans and German-Americans who have well-studied the WWII horrors, and many of these peoples have committed themselves to never allow such horrors to take place again. However, the overall German silence to its own multi-cultural world (the EU and many recent post-WWII émigrés) bothers me and should bother Germans (and German-Americans alike). Similarly, I am disturbed by the generalized silence of American opinion-makers and/or German-American educator silence about injustice and war crimes originating in my homeland, the USA.


[1] It is very likely that WWII and WWI had taken their toll on small-town-America concerning American willingness to identify with any German-American heritage outside of ethnic German settlement towns: like Marian or Victoria, Kansas.

[2] See Kevin Stoda’s ADD and Germans, auf deutsch

and in English

and Dostoyevsky and ADD in Wiesbaden, Germany

[3] Jewish German Émigrés to America



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

HAITI REMAINS LARGELY PEACEFUL--and the lack of good media Reporting from Haiti


By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden

Greek government leaders listen to Democracy Now and other American alternative media. Why don’t Germans and other European states and statesmen listen and/or watch alternative news?

Earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was on Democracy Now (DN) and let listeners know that he, in fact, listened regularly to DN in order to get important news from the USA. I do not recall any other Premier or Western Head of State saying that he listened to a good progressive alternative reporting media source.

I would think that German government officials and other EU leaders and ministers should listen and watch alternative progressive media sources often so as to stay ahead of the curve in the information world in this information age.

Amy Goodman and others at DN are out driving around Haiti this week. They report from the ground where help has not landed on the ground. They show where help needs to be sent.

Only by going out through Haiti, from Carrefoure to other places far from Porto Prince, can aid be distributed properly, but the militarized (led by the USA) groups arriving to aid the poor Haitians are getting stuck at the airport in big tents. Nonetheless, only Amy Goodman and others seem to be doing this sort of fact finding.



Amy Goodman says that most places are unbelievably peaceful. Throughout the region, people have been digging out each other and looking forward to a civilized world helping them out.

Many of these Haitians interviewed by DN were astounded that the United Nations and the USA are more concerned with rioting and violence than helping them help themselves dig out their loved ones.

On Saturday, US forces diverted at least 5 planes filled with physicians and relief supplies to Santo Domingo.

Is this anyway to save Haiti?

One Al-Jazeera reporter called what the USA and others are building at the airport as a big new Green Zone, like in Baghdad.


BLACKLISTED NEWS (BN) reported 3 days ago why the relief effort was beginning to run amok.

“The main actors in America's ‘humanitarian operation’ are the Department of Defense, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (See USAID Speeches: On-The-Record Briefing on the Situation in Haiti, 01/13/10). USAID has also been entrusted in channelling food aid to Haiti, which is distributed by the World Food Program. (See USAID Press Release: USAID to Provide Emergency Food Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims, January 13, 2010)”
I do not recall the US Army or DOD handling major health and safety related emergencies in Iraq in 2003-2007. I do not find they have done a great job in Afghanistan. (The DOD is better than 20th Century Russian occupiers and 19th Century British would-be occupiers of Afghanistan in terms of offering some humanitarian service.) The idea of putting the DOD in charge of humanitarian affairs has not been working. Why is Obama doing this?

BN continued in its report, “The military component of the US mission, however, tends to overshadow the civilian functions of rescuing a desperate and impoverished population. The overall humanitarian operation is not being led by civilian governmental agencies such as FEMA or USAID, but by the Pentagon. The dominant decision making role has been entrusted to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). A massive deployment of military hardware personnel is contemplated. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has confirmed that the US will be sending nine to ten thousand troops to Haiti, including 2000 marines. (American Forces Press Service, January 14, 2010)”

Already, the SS Carl Vinsons was off the harbor on the 15th of January. Immediately, the focus for the DOD should have been on saving lives (1) not on building a tent city to-be-mistaken-for-a-Green-Zone at the single major airport and (2) not spreading rumors of riots when people are still helping each other dig themselves out.


Only this evening—7 days after the earthquake shook the Caribbean and destroyed Haiti’s infrastructure—did I hear my first report in German Radio News on the U.S. militarization of relief efforts in Haiti. In the radio report on HR1 (Hessen Radio One) there was only barely a hint of skepticism at what the USA is up to in Haiti.
Danny Glover on Democracy Now today asked the right question: Why were George W. Bush (a war criminal) and Bill Clinton put in charge of the U.S. effort? More importantly, why wasn’t Jimmy Carter brought in at all by Obama?
Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela advised the US to avoid the militarization approach: “Mr. Obama, send field hospitals instead of so many soldiers, so that there are fewer soldiers with machine guns and rifles, and a generous amount of doctors and nurses and medical equipment.”
On January 17th , Anzel Herz of MediaHacker reported something that has since been heard again-and-again in rural Haiti by Amy Goodman:
“More tents have been erected in the roads where Haitians gathered, away from crumbling structures. In the public squares across from the collapsed national palace yesterday, a young couple told me that the yellow tent overhead was given to them by a wealthy Haitian. That area, called Chanmas, strikes me as an ideal place to distribute aid to the thousands of people sitting and sharing food and shelter in orderly fashion. But people said no aid groups had stopped by to give them anything the whole day. Two US Navy helicopters flew overhead in opposite directions while we talked. Earlier in the day, I saw hundreds of American soldiers walking back and forth inside the airport. Dozens of Haitian men organized a digging and rescue operation on a pile of rubble in the suburb Santo. An huge orange Caterpillar bulldozer sat nearby, stationary. Heavy equipment from the Haitian construction company CNE is all over the city.”
In short, I am not happy to hear that the majority of areas in Haiti are not receiving help one week after the earthquake.

Amy Goodman ended her report by noting:
“They [the rural Haitians] are getting almost no help. We went from one family to another, and they said, continually, their lives are in the hands of God. The UN itself made the statement about security. And we wanted to know what was it they were referring to. We walk freely from one place to another. The people desperate, but certainly peaceful.”
Goodman added, “You know, Juan, what it looks like, where people are, they have formed—and it’s remarkable. As Sister Mary Finnick said to us, where—in Port-au-Prince at a place called Matthew 25, it was a hospitality house that has now become a house of hospitality for over a thousand people on the soccer field next door. There are camps, refugee camps, all over. In Léogâne, some are smaller, some are larger. We would look behind cars, and people had erected with sheets and with anything that could protect them from the sun. You would look inside, and there would be many women, children, men laying on sheets on the ground—if they were lucky, they had been able to drag out mattresses—on chairs, on car seats. And they’re there, wherever you go. And in the main plaza, you have more than a thousand people who are gathered. And all they ask for, they ask for food, they ask for water. They ask for search and rescue equipment, although, of course, at this point it is hard to imagine that people could survive.”
Goodman praises the Haiti spirit, but if no help arrives soon she fears what will happen soon.

Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health reported from the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince in Haiti, where 1,000 people are in need of operations. He criticized the many delays caused by the fact that militarization has taken place over the past few days—while at the same time continuing to praise the Haitian spirit in the midst of the worst of catastrophes in an already underdeveloped and poor land.
“I think, you know, the singing …, I know, is clear to many, certainly anyone who has followed Haiti and cared about this special country. One thing that I think is really important for people to understand is that misinformation and rumors and, I think at the bottom of the issue, racism has slowed the recovery efforts of this hospital. Security issues over the last forty-eight hours have been our—quote “security issues” over the last forty-eight hours have been our leading concern. And there are no security issues. I’ve been with my Haitian colleagues. I’m staying at a friend’s house in Port-au-Prince. We’re working for the Ministry of Public Health for the direction of this hospital as volunteers. But I’m living and moving with friends. We’ve been circulating throughout the city until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning every night, evacuating patients, moving materials. There’s no UN guards. There’s no US military presence. There’s no Haitian police presence. And there’s also no violence. There is no insecurity.”

Well, there is certainly some violence in Haiti, but not as much violence as the UN and USA leadership are claiming to-date. YET, GERMAN MEDIA BIASES THE REPORTS FROM HAITI TO THE CONTRARY.

Why? Are the German media expecting America to give them something for toeing the official USA government line about security as being the major problem—not the slowness of aid to most of Haiti a full week after the Earthquake.

“But we don’t need soldiers, as such, you know? There’s no war here” is what Haitians are saying.

Germans, Europeans, ( Americans) and the UN need to get the focus in Haiti back on saving lives and rescue—not on saving property and security which is being hawked to us by hawks, who love to make war and do not have good records on relief (like W. Bush and Clinton in Haiti over the past two decades or the DOD in Iraq).




Dostoyevsky and the Rhine Society in and around Wiesbaden circa 1865

Dostoyevsky and the Rhine Society in and around Wiesbaden circa 1865

By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden

In literary circles, it has been well-noted that in despair, very lonely, and already in trouble for gambling too much, Fyodor Dostoyevsky fled his many debts in Russia and came to Wiesbaden around 1865. To this day there are still many evident links to Dostoyevsky and the Russian love with/of the West (especially Germany) in 19th Century Wiesbaden.

The very street in Wiesbaden City which bares his name, i.e. Fiodor-Dostojewsk-Strasse, is exactly where the Hessen regional Finance Ministry offices are located, i.e. this is where Germany residents, employers, and employees of all nationalities pay their taxes or have their tax books investigated. Fittingly, Dostoyevsky wrote his famous work, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, while living on the run in Wiesbaden and in neighboring gambling towns, such as Bad Homburg. Dostoyevsky naturally continued to gamble away his own moneys week-after-week, making him quite familiar with the material for his second novel in Wiesbaden—THE GAMBLER.

Across town from the Finance Ministry and nearer to the Hessen Parliament, itself, is located the most famous gambling hall in the region: The Spielbank (Casino) Wiesbaden. Dostoyeski and other emigrants from all over Europe came to this hall to play.[1]

It should be noted that at the beginning of the 19th Century, Wiesbaden was barely recognized as major town on the Rhine. Kilomers away--Nassovian Bieberich was where the royalty lived. It was not until Castle Bieberich and its surrounding township slowly became fully suburbs of Wiesbaden during the mid-to-late 19th Century, that Wiesbaden had clearly arrived as an elite and entertainment town for Germany’s wealthy—including the German Kaisar and his family. (The largest bank in the region is still called the Nassau Sparkasse-Bank.)

The original attraction for wealthy folks and schemers from all over Europe (and even North America) deciding to settle for months and years at a time in Wiesbaden was, however, not casinos.

The original attraction for coming and visiting Wiesbaden had already been very well-known in Roman times. This attraction was the fact that Wiesbaden was blessed with dozens of hot springs. Therefore, the township, where Wiesbaden is located, had been called by the Roman Empire 2000 years ago “Aquae Mattiacorum” or the Waters of the Mattiaci, i.e. It was named after a German tribe that lived in the area named Mattiaci. (In between the main train station and the street where I live in Wiesbaden is where an old gate to the Roman City Aquae Mattiacorum once stood.)

“By 1370, sixteen bath houses were in operation [in the township]. By 1800, the city had 2,239 inhabitants and twenty-three bath houses. By 1900, Wiesbaden, with a population of 86,100, hosted 126,000 visitors annually.” During that same 19th century, famous visitors to Wiesbaden (other than the German Kaisar and Dostoyevsky) had included Goethe, Wagner, and Brahms—and loads of foreign royalty from all over continental Europe and America.


Seemingly afloat over the city of Wiesbaden (in the direction of the Taunus Mountains) is a wonderful Russian Church with four golden onion domed towers. The church was built in mid-19th century by a Nassau noble for his young Russian bride who had died in child birth. This church holds the body of the young royal Russian bride. The church is known as the Russian Chapel and still dazzles the eyes of any visitor in Wiesbaden who comes across it while viewing the green hills north of the town.

A “Nassovian master builder Philipp Hoffmann, who was also responsible for building St. Boniface's Church and the Synagogue on Michelsberg, was also in charge of this [Russian chapel’s] construction. . . . Hoffmann [had been sent by the husband of the unfortunate Russian bride to Moscow before constructing the chapel]. . . . [Hoffman] studied contemporary Russian architecture, [and] he decided to take the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow as a model.”

“The church, which has come to be known as the ‘Greek Chapel’ still serves the Russian community in Wiesbaden today as their parish church. Behind the rectory lies the Russian cemetery in which there are numerous graves of dukes and princes from the 19th century.” Some of these Russian princes and dukes took on very German or French names while staying in Wiesbaden. When I went to the Russian cemetery, e.g. some of the Russian graves were marked “Baron von Osten” or “Countess von Osten” in German or French. In short, one could not tell where Prussian nor Russian citizenry began or ended in this cemetery named for the Russian inhabitants of Wiesbaden.

In short, in the 19th century, the wealthy and poor émigrés of either Western German lands, Eastern Prussian lands, Austria, and/or Russian estates, there was no real border in the central continent in those days. Like Dostoyevsky, one moved relatively easily back and forth between Central Europe lands(where Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland are located) and Eastern Europe, where Russian Czars dominated. In Wiesbaden, Dostoyevsky found a thriving Russian society mixing with the French, Dutch, British and German elite in Wiesbaden during his self-imposed exile of the mid-1860s.

Russians and many from Eastern Europe came to Wiesbaden’s spas to get recovered from long snowy winter nights. Naturally “[g]ambling followed bathing en suite and in the 19th century Wiesbaden was famous for both. Its casino[s] ("Spielbank") rivalled those of Monaco and Baden-Baden.” Although Dostoyevsky had little luck gambling in Wiesbaden, he successfully wrote two novels in Wiesbaden: both THE GAMBLER and the aforementioned CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, became extremely popular. Moreover, Dostoyevsky finally found in his Wiesbaden days a bride to marry--just prior to his leaving the casinos and entertainment of Wiesbaden behind. (He and his bride decided to move all half-way across Prussia to Dresden in order to set up home and family .)

The novel, THE GAMBLER is largely set in cold and wintery Wiesbaden and Bad Homburg. I read this Dostoyevsky work in the German language last autumn just as the first cold spell hit the area and surprised us all in Wiesbaden with snow. I could imagine walking along the parks near the spas, the casinos, and the hotels with Dostoyevsky in the snow.

Currently, Wiesbaden is recovering from another recent snow and I can visualize the constant temptation to gamble that Dostoyevsky experienced here. In short, there are dozens of casinos here nowadays to attract players from across the continent. One is less than a block from where I live. Luckily, the city offers so much more in terms of entertainment: music, theater, musicals, opera, cabaret—these are often set in the most romantic of buildings or in stunning locations.

In 2010, “Wiesbaden is a city in southwestern Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hessen. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens (mostly associated with the American military). Wiesbaden, together with the cities of Frankfurt am Main and Mainz, is part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region, a metropolitan area with a combined population of about 5.8 million people.” However, as Wiesbaden is scheduled now to take over the entire European Command for the U.S. military—a command that may often reach well into Russia, the Middle East, and Asia in years to come. (Therefore, it is likely that the number of Americans involved in this American Army expansion in Europe will at least temporarily push the number of Americans in Wiesbaden to double its current size.)

Wiesbaden is still a melting pot for Europe—just as it was in the time of Dostoyevsky. Now, over 30 percent of its inhabitants are foreign born. Many Germans of Russian descent, like Dostoyevsky, have also landed here. Some émigrés are involved in casinos, too. Some come for spas and medical tourism—just as traditionally been the case. Some, like Elvis Presley, were just temporarily stationed in the area. Others come and go after a few days or weeks.

As a whole, many Russians (including Volga Germans, etc.) and other foreigners are busy trying to integrate into the German world of the Rhine-Main region.

However, during this past decade, Europe has created a great Wall of anti-non-European intentions: No longer can authors and economic migrants, like Dostoyevsky, move in and out of the European Union at will—without the proper papers and the proper connections.

Editors for UNESCO’s International Journal of Multicultural Studies, Kristin Touzenis and Ryszard Cholewinski, noted recently concerning the rights of emigrants worldwide:

“Migration and human rights intersect at a number of points, starting when the migrant crosses a frontier, the act that defines international migration. While international human rights law recognizes the right to leave one’s own country, there is no corresponding right to enter another country, even for a refugee, without that state’s permission. This means that where a state decides that a migrant entered the country without authorisation, this decision does not of itself, and if properly taken, conflict with human rights principles. But, more importantly, the fact that a migrant entered or remained without authorisation does not nullify the state’s duty under international law to protect his or her basic rights without discrimination . . . .”

Europeans have-- to a great degree--recognized the fact that émigrés have rights. However, the recent blockade of foreign-born spouses by the Rhine Main Integration and Immigration offices is very contradictory to the goals of multicultural integration.

I have lived in lands, like Kuwait and the UAE, where often millions of workers are employed with little chance that their spouse can join them—even after they have been in those lands for five to ten years. This is a losing approach to integration.

Yet, in recent months I have run into several German citizens in the Rhine Main region who have already been awaiting their spouses (or the children of their spouses) after three years or more of awaiting and constantly facing bureaucratic blockades. Moreover, in a town like Wiesbaden, one runs into dozens of foreigners whose spouse’s arrival is blockaded by the same bureaucratic mistreatment---and for decades at a time in some cases of injustice.

Such policies and so-called bureaucratic due process are so anti-family that one might be surprised to learn that Germany has a Ministry of Family Affairs to aid parents and children in this society.

In summary, if an addicted gambler, like Dostoyevsky, could find his luck in Germany, why can’t Germans (fearing the foreign) do more to integrate and inculturate themselves-- and others. This part of the world has almost always been a melting pot.

Let’s all work on being more multicultural in 2010 and onwards.…and unite parents and loved ones much more quickly, too.

[1] Authors Note: I feel that part of Dostoyevsky’s problems with both gambling and supposed epilepsy seizures were related more ATTENTION DEFICIT SYNDROME or ADD or ADHD. That he could produce so many pages of writing in such a short time, should show a tendency to hyperfocus. Gambling or risk-taking is high among émigrés and peoples with Attention Deficit. I have ADD and my dad had seizures. I think there is a connection.


Dostoyevsky, CHRONOLOGY,

Education and Integration of Emigrants,

Knocking on the Doors of Fortress Europe,

Multi-Cultural Case: CROSSING,

PT TYPES: Dostoyevsky,