The Death of Schillenger: Auschwitz and Tadeusz Borowski

   Today is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz prison camp, just to the east of Krakow in Poland, January 27, 1945, now Holocaust Remembrance day. I had been reading Mr. Borowski for the past couple days anyway, having found the Jan Kott edition of “This Way For the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” in the library sale for a dollar.

   In one story, called the “Death of Schillenger,” there is a brief revolt at the gas chamber. Schillenger was a first sergeant, in charge of Labor Sector D at Birkenau, just across the tracks from Auschwitz. There was a transport of Polish Jews, from Bedzin, and unlike the foreign Jews, the Polish Jews knew that they were about to be gassed. Schillenger selected one outstanding woman from the group of naked Jews being loaded into the crematorium. As he went to lead her away, she threw gravel into his face, took his drawn gun as he shrieked in agony, and shot him twice in the stomach, before also shooting the chief of the crematorium workers. The SS officers then fled the room, leaving the Polish workers to deal with the uprising. These workers had of course been selected for being the most cruel and calloused among the imprisoned Pols. The man telling the story describes how these selected Polish workers were successful, using clubs and driving the Jews into the gas chamber. Borowski heard this description from the gas Chamber foreman: Schillinger…

…walked up to the woman and took her by the hand. But the naked woman bent down suddenly, scooped up a handful of gravel and threw it in his face, and when Schillenger cried out in pain and dropped his revolver, the woman snatched it up and fired several shots into his abdomen The whole place went wild. The naked crowd turned on us screaming. The woman fired once again, this time at the chief, wounding his face. Then the chief and as well as the SS men made off, leaving us quite alone…

As they lifted Schillenger to a car, he groaned through clenched teeth,  “O Gott, mein Gott, was hab’ ich getan, dass ich so leiden muss? That is, “What have I done to deserve such suffering?” Borowski said to the man telling the story,  the Polish camp commander: “That man didn’t understand even to the very end. What strange irony of fate.”

   The reader is left to realize that it is these workers who might have joined the Jews and, applying the same principles that the woman had used, turned the crematoriums on the SS, taken their weapons from them, and liberated the camp. But escape was impossible. The prisoners would first have needed to take or destroy the guard towers. Just before the camp was to be evacuated, as the Russians approached, the same camp commander, realizing that the Polish workers would be killed, led a revolt which failed when, after breaking through the barbed wire, the escapees were machine gunned down from these guard towers.

   It may be possible for some of the survivors from the Bedzin region to piece together the name of this woman, and who she might be: This beautiful and heroic woman from among the Polish Jews of Bedzin, deported in 1943 or 44. There was one great uprising burning crematorium III at Birkenau on October 7, 1944, and it is likely to have been a few months before this that she rebelled.

   Mr. Borowski died in 1951, of an apparent suicide, at the age of 31. It is likely that he feared torture by the communists, given that his friend had recently been tortured. The same friend to whose apartment Borowsky had gone to look for his fiance when he was seized by the Nazis was tortured just two weeks before the suicide of Borowski, and when Borowski interceded for the friend, he was told that “”the people’s justice was never mistaken” (Kott, p. 19). Mr. Borowski was a communist, or thought himself so. He is one of those who somehow think that what is essential to the West is that thing called “capitalism.” He had a chance to escape with his fiance, now his wife, and spent a year in Berlin. But made the fatal choice of remaining in Poland. He returned to Warsaw to write as a “socialist” party activist. Which is better for the human soul and spirit, individualism, every man for himself, or holding hands, sharing things and working together? Borowski was just 31, the age of many silly young men who are college philosophy students. This thing, “capitalism,” is a literary fiction of Karl Marx, who taught us to contrast east and west in terms of his theories about history and economic classes. It is because of the spiritual and human emptiness of this “capitalism” that Borowski thinks himself a “communist.” The most fundamental statement Borowski is a view of man permanently calloused by a world we hope to never see, in the story called The January Offensive: “There is nothing men will not do to save themselves…the world is ruled by power,and power is obtained with money.” Survival will “tear away a man’s freedom like a suit of clothing.” He had seen plenty of that in the camps.

   What is rather more essential to the West is that we are quite allowed to read Mr. Borowski, and even glory with him in the Russian January offensive that directly led to the liberation. Had Mr. Borowsky realized this, he might have saved his life. Yet it is questionable: What would have occurred had he come to live in America, believing himself to be a communist? He would have endured the blacklisting, etc. of the McCarthy era, and it is the realization that in the West this sort of thing does occur that seems to have led him to take his chances with a communist Poland.

   And not only are we allowed to read Borowski. Had he come to read with us, he may have been transported far beyond the ridiculous contrast of the free and totalitarian methods of dealing with the economy, to the roots of political liberty in Ancient Greece, to ancient Greek Socratic philosophy, and through the great political philosophers and thinkers, to read the American founding fathers. What would Marx make of a statement like that of Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia (XVII), when he worries that with the passing of the founding generation, the Americans will forget the principle of liberty of the Revolutionary era, and be lost in the more mundane concerns of moneymaking?

The time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to to the people for their support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. 

Marx never read Jefferson, and moneymaking is not mentioned at all in our Declaration of Independence. Jefferson believed in industry, and did not believe in slavery, but had things he considered more important to do, and Jefferson does not translate well into German. Indeed, a strange irony of fate.

Fukushima and Modern Technology

mmcdonald77

When the disaster at Fukushima occurred, I called in a comment to the National Public Radio, that mankind is like the guy in the Farside cartoon, walking into the Midvale School for the Gifted, pushing on a door that has a sign that says “Pull.” The physicists and their bosses who thought it would be OK / profitable to build a nuclear power plant near a fault line apparently also thought they could keep the electricity on for 10,000 years- as is apparently necessary to prevent a meltdown. “Never fear if the power goes out and there is damage from an earthquake, for we have backup generators.” These, of course, were disabled by the flood that follows upon some earthquakes. Mankind may simply be too stupid to wield the powers given us by technology.

We too, in the U. S., have done things that are that stupid, and have nuclear…

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About About Blank

About Blank is Google. Just erase the words “About Blank,” and you will be able to search, on the same page, on Google, without wondering if the page behind the page is collecting your searches, or doing something else you have not thought of yet. Do this a few times, and it goes away entirely!

While attempting to remove the Doctor PC or PC Doctor things that arrived among my programs when I attempted to download Duck Duck Go, the whole computer froze. It will not allow it to “uninstall” the PC Doctor, but insists that I hit uninstall on its pop up, and is also willing to check 100 files for me, for free! And if you think that is nice, when I called the number on the pop-up, a voice from India or Pakistan was there to offer to uninstall the program, if I would just allow him to take over my computer! I told him I would inform the FBI, and have done so.

WordPress has also asked me how much I am willing to spend to fix the problem that there is no keyword or cross reference traffic on my website, literally offering a sliding scale that began suggesting 230$, and could be moved up to 1000$. Hence my previous blog.

It was the day after the “Is Google Practicing Extortion” blog that NPR aired the story of genuine, illegal extortion by the encoding of one’s files to be given back for a fee. A Police department was even seized electronically, and the FBI had to tell them to consider paying up.

Integrity in small things is important.

Internet Integrity II: Does You Tube Violate Natural Rights with Compulsory Advertising?

As nearly everyone knows, You Tube will play a nice video add before allowing one to view a video. One can skip the add, sometimes, if one can quickly find the button. The difference between this and legitimate advertising is obvious upon reflection. If one is very busy, attending to matters of higher priority, one may continue in the face of normal advertising, but with involuntary shopping, one has no choice, but must stop what they are doing to attend to what You Tube has chosen for you. Writers are especially annoyed by this practice, because we often have more thoughts than we can attend to, and need concentration, while the usual American surfer may be more at leisure. Further, writers do not have much money, and so do little shopping. The same is true when these viruses and our other friends, such as the Website builder Wix, take or send us on an involuntary shopping spree, involving the taking over, or usurpation, of our computer screen.

The Fifth Amendment prohibits government from depriving us of liberty without due process of law. We no longer recognize that the Fifth Amendment prohibits our government from randomly interfering with the citizens, for example by staging fake events, then seeing if our reaction can be understood suspiciously. I received a nice survey about guns after sending comments to public radio, and am often treated to machine guns popping up on my screen, just to see if I am interested. The survey said it was about radio, but centered on guns, asking for example do I have one in the house- a question it is not even safe to answer. But lives have been saved by these programs, they will say, when finally they admit that these things are being done. But we no longer uphold the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. That is why these things are being done by private companies that happen to have access to a piece of our liberty. And this is why police are accidentally shooting people they perhaps had no right to interfere with to begin.

Soon the information collectors will realize that our trash has been declared public so that the police can look through it. Tell them I have the bank statements and credit card offers of very rich people, right under the cat litter! My apologies to the police, but, someone must continue to live free in order for the liberty you are sworn to defend to have any meaning. Did you pee in a little cup for your boss? I have told our governor directly that I plan to die a virgin to your drug testing. But that is more about the Fourth Amendment. It is Facebook, who we are also supposed to flatter, that has especially taken its cue from the non-existence of the Fourth Amendment.

A few days ago, I attempted to download Duck Duck Go on to my computer. This is a company based on integrity, where Google depends on their calculation that the Americans care more about selfies and American Idol than their constitution. The download did not work, and still does not work, but my screen was taken over by PC Doctor and PC Keeper, volunteering their services to help me and Kypersky with our internet security. Google or WordPress had already cut or curtailed keyword searches and cross references, hoping that like everyone else I would quickly “upgrade,” i. e. pay for access. We think this because, even in America, it is mathematically impossible that, of the thousands of topics, words and keywords on my webpage, there is not a single visit from a reference in many days, and then just a trickling few. After my last Blog, word of mouth traffic may even be curtailed. Imagine setting up a business based on getting long distance telephone calls, only to find after four months that the connections won’t work without additional pay, which they are sure that, after so much work and time invested, and having no other choice, you will cough up. You set up your business assuming that receiving long distance calls was free? How do you expect them to pay for the service?

Or imagine driving down the road, and having a billboard set in the middle of the lane, so that one must stop, get out and do something before being allowed to proceed. Do the Republicans think this is just advertising, and should continue unregulated? Have those twenty lobbyists influenced their position- it cannot be called an opinion or view. The cost to the U. S. GNP is stunning, and far exceeds the profits that Google and others will have at our expense. But for enough of a campaign contribution, to either party or both, they will again sacrifice the public good to special interests.

When a company violates my natural rights, such as in compulsory shopping, I refuse to do business with them again. The reason is not only a sticking to principle: they will do the same in larger ways, seen and unseen, so that the principled reaction is a point of future safety. I once had a boss, who had given me about 100$ at Christmas the previous year, withhold my pay in order to compel me to be more on call. I work for several craftsmen, usually on certain jobs, and then return to my study when the job is over. First he withheld 500$, then he finally paid me, but it was 100$ short. I could pick this up when I worked for him again. For a mere 100$, I saved myself the trouble of learning later, and in a larger way, that his way of doing business was extortion and control, or might become so, given the mood. I will simply not answer his calls, even when I am dangerously unemployed. Honor in the trades is very important, especially for laborers, who extend a great deal of credit to their employers each week. One like this might get you into a position where they can really slam you, say for a thousand dollars. I had this occur once, and only with the threat of reporting the event to the labor board did I recover three quarters of it. He thought because my pay was in cash, there would be nothing I could do about it. He did not appreciate the importance of paying ones taxes voluntarily, or proudly. Because I had done so, I could call on the state for my defense, and did not need to be thrown into a state of nature with him. But for only 250$, I learned many things, including not to place myself in such a position again. Another wanted 10% from my boss for referring him to homeowners. He did not know it, but I, the laborer, was angry enough to fight him over it, though I did not understand why.

Regarding the reasoning of any unseen matters, the first response of those entrusted with doing something about them is as though one were delusional. “Your crazy” they will say, even three times. Then when it becomes clear and publicly admitted, they will say “So what?” This is what we are in danger of doing on the issue of internet integrity. “Oh sure, Google or someone is interfering with searches on the internet. Three times they will respond as though I were delusional. Then when the matter becomes public knowledge, and Google pays off our legislators with their funds swollen from our payments, their marketers have shaped public opinion regarding their “image,” everyone, including those entrusted to secure our rights, will say “So what? Is that not only the price of doing business?”

This same has occurred regarding surveillance. Have 10 million Americans, that is, one of every 28, been subjected to “infiltration” by the U.S. government? The statistic was given by a professor from Ohio on Public radio. He noted that our odds of being killed by a terrorist are one in four million, of being murdered in America, one in 22,000, and of being killed in a car wreck, one in 8,000. (Go take your kids driving, just don’t smoke!). But one in 28 are being “infiltrated.” Are you sure the people around you are who you think they are? One in 28 surely cannot be sure. Are you sure you are not one of the 28? And how much more likely is it if one is involved in matters of some importance? And what do we care if the government takes our privacy? I would say ask the fellow who failed to get his hands out of his pockets quickly enough, but we can no longer ask him. But so what if they do this to ten people: regarding one, lives were saved and terrorism avoided. It is the other nine we worry about. And this number, like the number of innocent persons tortured in the “enhanced interrogation” program, can go up infinitely, while from the one Zarqawi it will be argued that the program is effective in stopping terrorism. Now we need those other nine, and might only find one. Had we used persuasion, say from a reading of the Koran, we might have those nine, even if what was done to Zarqawi had to be done. We would also have saved ourselves from the national sin of torturing innocent people. Mr Muhammudu is the one we care about, and he has a book describing Guantanamo from the inside, inside the soul of one who suffers these injustices.

It is the very purpose of government, according to the third assertion of the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, to secure rights. The purpose of legislation regarding the internet is to prevent things like extortion and compulsory shopping. If we allow these things to occur when we can do something about it, we place ourselves in danger of similar things occurring in larger and less visible ways.

So, do I want to place a video on You Tube at the expense of other people having to do back flips through hoops in order to skip the adds? Looks like there is an opening for a competitor to set up a You Tube with integrity, unless by the tactics of a monopoly they can subvert the enterprise. Anything that is legal, profitable, and possible will be done, unless Congress and the President act together to bring law and order to this new wild West of the internet. In the mean time, I am afraid that it is quite legal, profitable, and possible for Google and others to control searches to a stunning extent. Have you said three times that I am crazy? And will you now say “So what?

Internet Integrity: Does Google Practice Extortion?

When I search on the internet for my website, the first thing that comes up is the suggestion from WordPress that I “upgrade.” This is not what I was searching for. Similarly, if one searches for example for my book on King Lear, even by name and title, references to Russ McDonald come up far more frequently, and any mentions in review publications are very far down the list. The Revelation book will not come up at all. I also find that what I see, from the home computer I use most, is tailored to me, and that it is not the same as what appears on the web, when by word of mouth people do find my website. It is tailored not only for my benefit, as may first appear, but especially for the financial gain of the tailor. It is not to their advantage that I see the adds they put on my website, so I do not see them. This is said to be because one is supposed to pay, as WordPress and Russ McDonald have apparently done, so that one’s website will actually be on the internet. Websites are sold with the illusion that one is on the internet. Then it turns out that, as is the case with hit songs or access to Christian e-bookstores (1000$), access is by payola. Mine is free, and so, surprise, even if all our efforts were undertaken assuming that people would be able to find our pages by keyword and cross reference searches, and dependence on this illusion results in the failure of our projects. There is sure to be nothing that can be done about it. The poor have no access to the courts, so until someone rich enough to afford a lawyer also has testosterone enough to oppose this stuff, it will continue.

An addition to my ideas for inventions, then, is a website called “Fine Print,” which reads those user agreements for us, summarizes them, alerts us to possible concerns, and rates the user agreements in terms of honesty. This is a good idea, though it depends on finding lawyer types capable of reading those agreements. Perhaps they could work half days at a time to avoid adverse health effects.

We, the people, must insist on true searches of internet material. This means that Google and others like them must get converted quickly, or be superseded. All the people need do is insist, and these companies, following their bottom line so closely, will quickly jump on board.

Consider this: Say I am not a crackpot but a visionary, and my water distiller would save lives and ease suffering. Now what if Google, practicing their extortion and the perversion of the web, prevents these benefits from occurring. Will we sacrifice these benefits for our narrow concern with moneymaking and our success and marketing view of life?

Extortion is practiced when organized crime takes over the marketplace. Where the law cannot reach, the pursuit of narrow self interest and the acquiescence of the people make the extortion system a foregone conclusion. Better study the Mafia and Russian government for your business model. People think these things are to their advantage, but the gains from all this backscratching turn out to be short lived, as when the bigger fish show up at one’s door. They too will say these things are just the price of doing business. How do you expect to pay for the internet if you do not allow advertising? And ignore the difference between orderly advertising and involuntary shopping, convenient coupon information and the tracking of your location and the sale of this information to foreign groups and governments. When someone appropriates my liberty, as in deciding when it is time for me to go shopping, I am offended, and will simply not do business with them again.

And like any big city in the gangster era, we the people have the power to put an end to these atrocities, if only we stand up, first a few at a time, then finally all at once. We can elect officials who will not allow what is becoming not only a drag on the GNP but also a serious threat to national security. We can also insist that those we have elected stand up to those twenty lobbyists hired by these now swollen financial interests to oppose every single quiet voice of reason. Our representatives can be stolen back from the special interests if only we insist. They may have campaign funds for those attack adds and laminated junk mailings, but we have minds, and votes.

Now is the time that these questions will be decided, and for some time to come. Will we follow the ways of the free market and limitations of market interests by the natural rights, such as liberty? Or will we follow the model according to which everything is for sale, and posterior-kissing is just the way of doing business? Remember the famous scene in the movie finding Nemo, when all the fish were stuck in the fishing boat’s net, and Nemo thought to say “Everyone swim down!” They overturned the boat.

These swollen companies should recognize immediately how their very opportunity to do business depends upon political liberty. A lot more money will be made in the medium and long run, with the added advantage that one might be more happy with oneself and their work in the world, and stand in the memory of Jefferson proud.

Airdrop Water Distiller and Other Thoughts

Today we launched the Airdrop Water Distiller on Kickstarter. I have no idea what those three parts cost to have made, but I will ask around, and put them together in the garage, if no one else will. If I had one, I’d use it for my radiator leak. I often just put in bottled water, since I can’t yet make a cup of stove-top distilled water.  The airdrop-able model seems useful, and they could have used a pot lid like this in Ohio not too long ago. It takes too much energy to distill water for daily use, but if your out completely, or in a disaster zone, it would come in handy. The pros use pressure, and this raises the efficiency to make it affordable. Hmm…but I like low tech. We are considering something like a percolator with places for the liquid water to move down, and the stem to take the steam straight up, without making it go back through the liquid water. On the internet, it says to use the steam or cooling end to preheat the water on its way in, and then in a disaster I would dig a small hole for the collection bottle, and run some of the hose through the ground for cooling, so we might go straight to a six foot hose or more. My friend Kirk suggests a funnel rather than a pot lid, clipped on to the pot. This would work in a pinch, and is nice for the tight connection to the flex tube, but maybe too tight. The parts must expand together, and have enough play if they do not expand together. Half the genius of this thing is simply to manufacture the parts to fit one another, and the whole pot lid especially for the purpose of distilling water. Another fellow has a pot lid with a hole drilled in it, and this one combines features of those two, though it came all at once over a year ago. I wonder about the best way to refill this thing. Maybe I’ll include a wooden wrench, some oven mitts and a separate wrench-style pot handle!

Here are some updates: Frank Mendez, at WaterDistillers.com, has a manufactured stove top distiller that works, as Lars has pointed out to me on Kickstarter (Thanks!). I still like mine, for simplicity, etc. But his is brilliant for its use of the preheating for condensing, and he too assumes that we have pots of various sizes available. His fit different sizes from 9-11,” so he has rejected the standard 7,” which I have as a place to begin, with the most common size, for when one is really out of clean water. His could be airdropped into disaster zones, even with a pot or two. I bet they have metric pots in Haiti, so his might even fit these.

The solar ovens on the internet do work: I like the parabola. My stand is developing, maybe glass around the underneath of the pot, on the high part of the stand, to keep the heat in. Multiple glasses and mirrors works very well. A circle of 12 small ones might ring the stand, joining to boil the water. Parabolas might follow the sun with sensors for light or shadow behind the parabola itself,, set to shift till they are both in sunlight. What is it that magnetizes in the sunlight? Then the parabola, floating like a compass needle, could be made to follow the sun. Two sensors at each edge of the shadow of the parabola, which is on a rotating stand. The sensors are solar electro-magnets, and when the east magnet turns off, the west magnet, which is on, pulls the stand around, because it is attracted to metal on a stationary ring around the stand. It moves until the east magnet comes on again, when it is in the sun again. We might need just one west sensor and a radius, instead of a whole stand. Now our parabolic mirrors can follow the sun, at least a little. A Parabola on a stand would need to move around high and low according to the date, or according to how high the sun is in the sky. Then it needs to follow the sun around for the 12 hours of the day, which may as well be done with a clock. So the parabola can sit on a round stand that is either a clock or an electromagnet rotater, and then on a vertical stand to tilt it according to the date.

Now I want to make solar rooms on the South ends of houses, with mirrors and magnifying glasses to make a solar furnace, or at least an indoor solar grill. Maybe a glass solar/Kerosene furnace for my medium sized people pods. Much of the early winter is grey and cloudy around here.

I still want to put water distillers on furnaces and cast iron wood stoves, to distill water for zero energy dollars. That would be my low tech answer to the use of pressure, which drops the boiling point of the water.

Other ingenious items featured on my Inventions page include the smallest people pods, an insulated triangle, and thoughts about the next smallest, and how I will get the roof to collect rainwater, and the gutters to flow high in the wall above the low sink, and how I will prepare for the water stored in the wall to freeze, like have a huge freezable bag in there. For refugees, freezing may not be a concern, and the water tank could be emptied, or it would just break. But it is long past time we had triangle beds, then we could even drop the house heat a bit at night. The homeless sometimes live in cardboard boxes, so for the price these would be an improvement. Today I worked on the hinged door, and how to safely ventilate these things.

Water evaporating might be done on sea-side indoors, even with glass, like recycled windows, which are free. What kind of plastic is least absorbed by water? We’ll include a good piece of clean plastic in the package for airlifting, instead of shipping popcorn.

Oil skimming too might best be done if a chamber inside a large ship would still the waves, and then a drain collect the oil from below the water level. Maybe this is what that huge oil skimmer that volunteered in the Gulf was doing. Just get a giant pop bottle and sink it down below the surface!

Visit my Inventions page, up one level and the dashboard and over a bit.