Nowhere Else to Go

 

    My Lion-Friend Mike sent me one of those-mails that we pass around from person to person.  The Subject of this one is 1938 Austria. Since that is the year I was born, the article got my curiosity. I decided the story is worth spreading around the entire country. Every school from coast to coast must tell the story to our kids over and over until they understand what it is about.  Many times, I spread stuff because I want to believe it is true, and it is not.  Each time someone dupes me, I resolve not to let it happen again.  This is so important that I searched the net and found the author, one Kitty Werthmann. She is an activist living in South Dakota. What is her passion? It is simple. Don’t let our freedoms slip away. Read the account below and let me know what you think. Is it possible that a story such as this one is the reason that educators are eliminating history from school curriculums?

America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away

By: Kitty Werthmann  

     What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or will
ever read in history books.
     I believe that I am an eyewitness to history.  I cannot tell you that Hitler
took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.  We elected him by
a landslide – 98% of the vote..  I’ve never read that in any American
publications.  Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and
took Austria by force.
     In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression.  Nearly one-third of our workforce
was unemployed.  We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
     Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily.  Young people
were going from house to house begging for food.  Not that they didn’t want
to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.  My mother was a Christian woman and
believed in helping people in need.  Every day we cooked a big kettle of
soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.
     The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each
other.  Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were
destroyed.  The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let
them decide what kind of government they wanted.
     We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in
power since 1933.  We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or
crime, and they had a high standard of living.  Nothing was ever said about
persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise.  We were led to believe
that everyone was happy.  We wanted the same way of life in Austria . We
were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and
help for the family.  Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted,
and farmers would get their farms back.  Ninety-eight percent of the
population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
     We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had
candlelight parades.  The new government opened up big field kitchens and
everyone was fed.
     After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we
suddenly had law and order.  Three or four weeks later, everyone was
employed.  The government made sure that a lot of work was created through
the Public Work Service.
     Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women.  Before this, it was a
custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home.  An
able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his
family.  Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could
retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:

     Our education was nationalized.  I attended a very good public school.  The
population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools.
The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to
find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag.
Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t
pray or have religion anymore.  Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland,
Uber Alles,” and had physical education.
     Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance.  Parents were
not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum.  They were told that if
they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first
time.  The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the
third time they would be subject to jail.  The first two hours consisted of
political indoctrination.  The rest of the day we had sports.  As time went
along, we loved it.  Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment
free.  We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful
time we had.  
     My mother was very unhappy.  When the next term started, she took me out of
public school and put me in a convent.  I told her she couldn’t do that and
she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful.  There was a
very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political
indoctrination.  I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it.  Every
once in a while, on holidays, I went home.  I would go back to my old
friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.  Their loose
lifestyle was very alarming to me.  They lived without religion.  By that
time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.  It seemed
strange to me that our society changed so suddenly.  As time went along, I
realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that
kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home:

     In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established.  All food was
rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps.  At the same time, a
full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t
get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death.
Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable
skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.
     Soon after this, the draft was implemented.  It was compulsory for young
people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps.  During the
day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their
barracks for military training just like the boys.  They were trained to be
anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps.  After the labor
corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.  When I go
back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are
emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors
of combat.  Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an
air raid attack.  I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go
into the labor corps and into military service.   

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:  

     When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government
immediately established child care centers.  You could take your children
ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a
week, under the total care of the government.  The state raised a whole
generation of children..  There were no motherly women to take care of the
children, just people highly trained in child psychology.  By this time, no
one talked about equal rights.  We knew we had been had.   

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:

     Before Hitler, we had very good medical care.  Many American doctors trained
at the University of Vienna .  After Hitler, health care was socialized,
free for everyone.  Doctors were salaried by the government.  The problem
was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.
When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already
waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.  If you needed
elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn.  There was no
money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine.  Research at
the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and
emigrated to other countries.
     As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income.  Newlyweds
immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a
household.  We had big programs for families.  All day care and education
were free.  High schools were taken over by the government and college
tuition was subsidized.  Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as
food stamps, clothing, and housing.  
     We had another agency designed to monitor business.  My brother-in-law owned
a restaurant that had square tables.  Government officials told him he had
to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on
the corners.  Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities.
It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar.  He couldn’t meet all
the demands.  Soon, he went out of business.  If the government owned the
large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.
     We had consumer protection.  We were told how to shop and what to buy.  Free
enterprise was essentially abolished.  We had a planning agency specially
designed for farmers.  The agents would go to the farms, count the
live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.   

“Mercy Killing” Redefined:

     In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps .  The
villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were
closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.  So people intermarried
and offspring were sometimes retarded.  When I arrived, I was told there
were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good
manual work.  I knew one, named Vincent, very well.  He was a janitor of the
school.  One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting
into a van.  I asked my superior where they were going.  She said to an
institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and
to read and write.  The families were required to sign papers with a little
clause that they could not visit for 6 months.  They were told visits would
interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.   
     As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a
natural, merciful death.  The villagers were not fooled.  We suspected what

was happening.  Those people left in excellent physical health and all died
within 6 months.  We called this euthanasia.   

The Final Steps – Gun Laws:  

     Next came gun registration..  People were getting injured by guns.  Hitler
said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by
matching serial numbers on guns.  Most citizens were law abiding and
dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms.  Not
long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in
their guns.  The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not
to comply voluntarily.   
     No more freedom of speech.  Anyone who said something against the government
was taken away.  We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but
also priests and ministers who spoke up.
     Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943,
to realize full dictatorship in Austria .  Had it happened overnight, my
countrymen would have fought to the last breath.  Instead, we had creeping
gradualism.  Now, our only weapons were broom handles.  The whole idea
sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our
freedom.
     After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria .  Women were raped,
preteen to elderly.  The press never wrote about this either.  When the
Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling
whole factories in the process.  They sawed down whole orchards of fruit,
and what they couldn’t destroy, they burned.  We called it The Burned Earth.
Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses.  Women hid in
their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized.  Those who couldn’t, paid
the price.  There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women
who were massacred by the Russians.  This is an eye witness account.
     “It’s true..those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.  America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away”

“After America , There is No Place to Go”

Happy Birthday Aunt Marie

Marie at Ninety-fourIt isn’t easy getting to ninety four. Aunt Marie has done it. She is a physical wreck but still a mental whiz. Her sense of humor is great.

Today, we brought a cake to her home and had a party with her co-residents. The staff came by and sang Happy Birthday with us. Everyone ate cake and all were happy.

Marie is slipping and tired. Maybe the arthritis pain is creeping up on the pain scale, but she seems depressed. Maybe it is her lack of social contact because of her incontinence. She refuses to leave to go out anymore.  Whatever the reason, she is not the same Marie as she has been.

Every week, for the last three and a half years, Peggy and I visit with her. Each time we come home we feel better because Marie has a unique ability to see life as a positive thing. She cheers me up. Today, however, was different. I wasn’t cheered. In fact I became depressed.  Her depression transferred to me.

Birthday Cake

Pink Rose Bouquet

Princess Baloon

Stimulus and Spending; Are They Really the Same?

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

I watched the speech and waited for something that would make sense to me. It didn’t happen. Last night, President Barack Obama addressed the Democratic representatives at their posh retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia. I recall many times during my working life when the company was going through a recession our leader never sent us to a resort for a retreat. Instead, he put the screws to everyone in the company to shape up. That meant working harder, smarter, and with fewer resources. I survived the stress with some long term side effects that I carry to this day. It was never a fun time to let people go, and to work the ones, who remained, harder to get more done.  

I don’t see that happening in the government sector of the economy. The government never lets staff go, they do make it bigger though. Back to the speech. I saw PBO at his finest. His suave and flawless delivery reminded me of his campaign speeches that hypnotized the masses. He did it again last night. I saw something else this time. He definitely had the sound of a black preacher man in his timing and his delivery. The audience of democratic leaders shouting “amen,” to his points of emphasis. Maybe he did listen to the Rev. Jeremiah all those years. He certainly sounded like him.

PBO made a joking reference to the cable networks calling his stimulus bill a spending bill. He railed that spending is stimulus. I like to think there is a slight difference between the two words. A stimulus is a sharp prod to get things to move again. It could be money, and spending. Spending on the other hand is an exhaustion of money, energy, or resources. Over sixty percent of the bill presented by congress was spending that is not a jolt, but rather an ongoing drain. Sure, some of it might even create a job or two, but  not in the short term. If the economy is to be rallied to head off a depression, something more drastic needs to be done. 

PBO kept ranting that he didn’t want to be presented with tired old ideas that don’t work, with the expectation that something different will happen. I agree, “if you keep on doin’ what you been doin’  you’ll keep on gettin’ what you been gettin’.  I also believe that if you want to see a big effect occur, you need to make a big change.

Here is my proposal for big change. It is an old idea, but one that will provide stimulus and long term good health for the economy and the country.

1. Cut ten percent of the employees from every department of the Federal Government. The private sector does this all the  time to cut costs. The president, his cabinet, the house of representatives, the senate, and all employees of the Federal Government take a salary cut of 50% until the economy recovers. Most of us in the private sector will be asked to take reduced wages to save our jobs, why shouldn’t the federal government employees be asked to make the same sacrifice?

2. Balance the budget. Base the budget on twenty percent  less income.

3.  Can the entire SEC. It has a budget of $904 million. They are totally remiss to all of the thieving going on in Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the banking system, Bernie Madoff, etc.

4. Can the entire Department of Education. It has a budget of $68.6 billion. It is money saved. As many as fifty percent of our kids don’t finish school so why continue to throw more money toward a system that is failing?

5. Can the entire Department of Health and Human Services. It’s budget is a whopping $737 billion dollars. We have a fabulous private health care system, but Medicare is going broke. Who can afford to go on as it is?

Need I go one further? I think I have given the President some bold ideas that he does not have the balls to act on. The tired old idea that does work is this: “Spend less on Government, and the consumer will regain confidence in the economy.”

The money saved by this plan will stimulate the economy because it will require less tax to run the government. The private sector will have more money to invest. “Joe the Citizen” will have more money to spend. All of the people who lose those fat government jobs can work in the private sector doing all the jobs that are currently filled by illegals. With fewer service jobs available to them the illegals will stay in their own countries: another problem solved.

Come on PBO, you can do better than “just words.”

Bah Humbug Blahs

Winter Bear

Winter Bear

As good as I felt last Sunday after our Lion Club food basket distribution, I am in a Bah Hum Bug mood today. It’s two days before Christmas, and I have the blahs. Maybe its light affective disorder, or something like that. It has to be a hormone gone wild to make a person feel so down. I can’t explain it. It couldn’t be that for the last twelve months I’ve been brainwashed by the messiah speaking about failed economic policies, and  another preacher damning America, or that the entire banking system came tumbling down by some social engineering. The weather isn’t helping me out either. It’s way too cold, it’s snowing and blowing. My joints all ache, and my muscles long for a walk, but I’m too lazy to go out .  Maybe I feel blue because I just wrote to my Senator telling him not to give himself a raise, and I expect him to give me the finger instead. Watching my 401K vanish  hasn’t added any light into my life either.

For many years, people referred to me as Scrooge. I created that personae in order to survive my job. We always had ‘performance appraisals’ right before Christmas. Often,  the news I gave my staff was not what they wanted to hear, therefore, the “Scrooge,” moniker. A negativity overtook me like the devil. I became negative the year around. Then one day, I heard a motivational speaker, and he changed my life. His name is Bernie,  he’s a medical doctor, and he changed my life with his speech. I learned that “positive” works much more effectively than “negative.”

It took me several years to break out of the negativity habit, but I did it. I  became a positive person. That is why these blahs are affecting me so. My mind wants to revert to negative, yet I know its the wrong way to go.  I see myself  being tempted by Darth Vader.  I hear him calling me to the “dark side.”

Several times today, I had to stop what I was doing to  find a positive moment to reflect upon. It has kept me going. I have to make alist of everything positive happening in my life today. It will help me bury the blahs.

How Much Is A Trillion?

The last few days I have heard the words “trillion dollars” bandied about like it meant a dollar. Just what is a trillion? How many of us have tried to fathom what a trillion dollars is? I like to break things down into terminology that I can understand. I worked for over fifty years, and my lifetime salary approached something like three million dollars. Sounds like alot doesn’t it? Well I earned that much over a fifty six year period.  A very significant portion (about $800,000.00)of that salary went to pay taxes to the state and federal governments. At this moment the federal government is considering spending seven hundred and fifty billion dollars to correct a mistake they created.

 

A trillion is the number “one” followed by twelve zeros ($1,000,000,000,000.00). Lets break that down to something more basic. Lets say that you turned twenty-one years old today, and because of new technology we know you will live to one hundred. That translates into seventy nine years or 28,835 days of life. How lucky you are. Now lets divide a trillion dollars by twenty eight thousand eight hundred and thirty five days. The answer is thirty four million six hundred eighty thousand and seventy six ($34,680,076.00) per day, or one million four hundred forty five thousand and three ($1,445,003.00) per hour 24/7. Do you really think you could spend that much? Think about it. It took me fifty six years to earn three million dollars, and I had a very nice life. Sure I could have used more money, but I can’t imagine spending thirty four million in my lifetime much less spending it every day for seventy nine years.

Here is another way to put the number one trillion. Lets say that we wanted to buy a nice double wide manufactured home for some of the poor people in this country. How many could we buy if they cost one hundred thousand dollars a piece? Are you ready for the answer, ten million.

The whole reason for the sub prime mortgage fiasco was to lower the lending rules so poor people could buy homes. Well the program exceeded our expectations. It is costing us nearly a trillion dollars. I think the government would have been smarter to give each poor family a manufactured home. Think of the jobs that would have created. Making that many houses takes alot of effort. With four people living in each of these homes we could have housed forty million people, over ten percent of the population. Instead, we have people losing their homes, banks going out of business, and our country is at risk of a “great” depression. The politicians are pointing at the greed of Wall Street as the root cause. The Feds created two organizations for the purpose of creating investment vehicles for investors. They really got iinto the “greed” thing and decided it was great scam so they hid thousands of known bad loans into packages that were sold to banks and to investors. Sure the investors were greedy, I am too when it comes to my pension. What I nor anyone else knew is that our glorious leaders were pirates. Many politicians profited from this effort also. The “Wonder Man”  BO was among them. By the way, BO is also connected to the invention of the entire scheme.

This great program to become socialist is going to cost each one in the population twenty eight hundred and fifty seven dollars($2857.00). That means me, you, your wife, and each of your kids, etc. for every single member of the 350,000,000 population.

I happen to think I can do better with my money than to give it to Uncle Sam to pay for his mistakes. I sure don’t want to give the responsibility of spending trillions to a socialist leaning BO.

Conserve or Die

WOW! Our country is two hundred and thirty two years old today. WIll we make it to two hundred and thirty three? Will this country, which was built by people who sought religious freedom, and freedom from the oppression of fuedal systems last another year? I often wonder if we will, but that is negative thinking. It is pessimistic, and I hate pessimism even though I am the master of it. Our country will survive. We will even survive the upcoming election. I figure we can last four years of the next president no matter how uncapable he might be. We, the general population will pay for his incompetancy with a devalued dollar, super high gasoline prices, and a lack of jobs. Most likely he will lead us into a “depression.” 

 I was born at the end of the last depression, and I remember the effects it had on my parents. They did everything they could to conserve and preserve what they had in order to survive another depression. Mom saved everything, Dad worked two jobs, and collected scrap. He sold the spare wheels off his car. If something wasn’t necessary, they lived without.

I’m not sure I could live up to that kind of lifestyle. I am positive that, 98% of the population of the U.S.A. would not. The only ones who could are the illegal aliens who came here with the shirts on their backs. The rest of us would take to starving, or stealing to survive.

Conservation is what it will take to get ready for a  “depression.” A mindset that focuses on those things that are necessary to survive. Grow food, sew clothes, repair shoes, preserve food, and walk or ride a bike to get places.

If the next president begins to tax us as I suspect he will, business is going to take a dive. More business will leave the country to avoid taxation. That means our jobs leave too. Of course we could leave to live in Mexico, or China, or Zimbabwe, or wherever the hell the jobs go. Or, we will rise up and challenge the government to provide more, by taxing the rich. Impeach the man who suggests that the American people should be industrious and work for themselves. Perish the htought. 

It’ll be a fun time, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’m looking for every volume of Foxfire I can find. I want to learn the ways of survival from the mountain people of Appalachia. If the rest of you are wise, you will do the same, or you might just pick a president who believes in a system of incentives that motivate business and businessmen.

The Funk Rules Negative People

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerWow! It seems like forever since I last posted. So much has transpired. The baby steps have been ticking off faster and faster. In spite of all the positive activity toward my goals I have been stricken with a slight case of depression. My self-esteem is low, and that always is the result of depression. Some little thing triggered me into a funk. The funk is over, I’ve survived and now it’s time to BLOG again. How did I get myself out of the funk? Well first there is work. Good hard physical work. Thank God, I can still do physical work. That meant taking many baby steps in the garden. In the past week I planted about forty perennials around the pond. I added annuals, and planted seed too. All of it is doing fine except for the few plants that the rabbits are bothering. Two of my most expensive perennials being native hibiscus are being munched on by the rabbits. They gave up on the rose of sharon, and are now on tastier plants. If you are old enough to remember Elmer Fudd, and his ongoing battle with Bugs Bunny, you will understand how I must proceed with the critters. Unfortunately, my dear Peggy is an animal lover, and she will prevent me from openly taking a shot at the furry creatures. I’m a poor shot anyway.

A friend stopped by last week and deposited ten good size goldfish into the pond. We can now see fish from our kitchen window, whereas before, the little guys were invisible. Everyday, Peggy and I throw a handful of fish pellets into the water to feed them. I want to train the fish to come to us when we approach the edge of the water.

Another powerful tool for getting ot of the funk is to pray. I pray every night before retiring. I coax my sub-conscious into bringing me only good health, great stories, and abundance. Included is a request to help a bunch of people who need it. In the morning, when I walk, it is  another opportunity to pray and speak to God. I can’t walk without praying. It’s a habit I developed over the last seven years.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the endorphins begin to kick in and the funk begins to disappear.

Today, I wrote a letter of introduction to my new writing instructor. Yes, I signed up for writing school. Hopefully, my style will improve and I will get as good as the really fluid writers on the blogs I visit. Man are they good. I admire people who can write their thoughts clearly, concisely, and in a completely understandable way . They amaze me. How can some writers be so descriptive with their words and others like me are complete klutzes. Do you believe this, I’m writing myself into a funk just by giving someone unknown to anyone an “atta boy.”

I am not a klutzy writer, I do well. Even though others can write rings around me, I must concentrate on the positive in my life and not dwell on the negative. The negative, “or dark side,” can quickly envelop the id and predominate. We have to learn and practice being positive every moment of our lives. Being positive is much more fun than being negative. Funk rules the negative person.

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