~ Featuring ~
‘Schindler’s List’: 25 Years Later
White House directs Army Corps of Engineers 
to look at ways to fund border security
by Gregg Re  
{} ~ The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to "look at possible ways of funding border security,"... Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News on Thursday night, as the ongoing partial federal government shutdown over money for a border wall is less than two days away from becoming the longest in the nation's history. Separately, Fox News is told the White House directed the Corps to examine the February 2018 emergency supplemental, which included disaster relief for California, Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, among other states, to see what unspent funds could be diverted to a border wall, according to a congressional aide familiar with the matter. Such a move still could require the president to declare a national emergency in order to access those funds to build a wall, because they were earmarked for a different purpose. The discussions with the Corps suggest the White House is closely looking at the possibility of declaring such an emergency, as Trump has floated repeatedly in recent days. Sanders said Trump has not met with the Corps to discuss the matter. Approximately $13.9 billion is available from the congressionally approved February 2018 supplemental spending bill, intended to cover natural disasters, and much of the available money comes from flood control projects, Fox News is told. The Military Construction appropriations bill could provide additional funding in the event of an emergency declaration...
Trump plan would improve current border situation
by Byron York
{} ~ One remarkable feature of the debate over the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border is how little some commentators seem to know about what the Trump administration is doing... Pundits regularly get facts wrong. Talking heads engage in passionate arguments over dubious premises. Confusion reigns. Much of the blame goes to the commentators themselves, who do not appear to have tried very hard to find out what is going on. But some blame also goes to the administration, starting with President Trump himself, which has often been unclear about its plans. So here, in the interest of clarity, is what officials say is happening: First, the Department of Homeland Security says there is currently some sort of barrier on 654 miles of the 1,954-mile border. Some of it is high-quality fencing that greatly discourages illegal crossing. But some of it is so old and dilapidated that it is not really a barrier at all. Some is fencing designed to stop vehicles but allow pedestrians to walk right through. For almost all of its proposed construction, the administration has settled on a steel bollard design, or what the president has called "steel slats." It is a hybrid of a fence and a wall, and either word could reasonably be used to describe it. But since Democrats object so strongly to the word "wall," Trump has taken to calling it a barrier. Homeland Security says it has already finished erecting about 35 miles of the barrier and is on track to increase that to 40 in the next few months. About two miles have been put in place at the El Centro Sector in California. DHS divides the border into nine sectors, and that is how it cites the locations of new barriers. Another 20 miles has been finished in the El Paso Sector in New Mexico. Fourteen more miles in the San Diego Sector in California are set for completion in May, with another four miles in El Paso slated for completion later this year...
As dirty cop-Mueller probe drags on, House Republicans
demand update on investigation into bias at DOJ
by Jerry McCormick 
{} ~ House Republicans are finally starting to fight for their president. After months of hearing virtually nothing... House Republicans are now demanding an immediate update from John Huber on the investigation into FBI and Justice Department bias, including by members of dirty cop-Robert Mueller’s team. Huber’s investigation started more than nine months ago, but to this point, we have heard very little about it. Apparently, that has also been the case among members of Congress. House Republicans were recently notified that several key witnesses in the case have still not heard from Huber. Those witnesses are believed to have key information regarding conduct by the FBI and Justice Department that could prove they were biased against President Trump. Huber’s failure to reach out to those witnesses motivated the GOP to set a fire under Huber and call for a more efficient investigation — and even start one of their own...
'Swamp' reigns in Mueller's Trump-Russia probe
by Rowan Scarborough 
{} ~ The Trump-Russia investigation, with its dynamic cast of judges, defenders and prosecutors, can have the look of an exclusive club... Checks of official biographies and legal sources reveal a maze of professional connections that, while not unethical, show that the Washington establishment thrives inside the Justice Department. What President Trump called “the swamp” is often controlling legal maneuvers — and possibly his fate. “Personnel is power in D.C., and Trump advocated an Andrew Jackson takeover of the government with half measures and bad hiring,” said a former Justice Department lawyer who asked not to be named for career reasons. When defense counsel Eric A. Dubelier filed an argument Dec. 20 for his Russian client, he attacked special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller, the top Russia investigation prosecutor and longtime Washington figure, by harking back to a major Justice Department conviction that failed. On the surface, the reference to the defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen appeared to be pure legal arguing. But a closer look shows that the U.S. District Court judge to whom Mr. Dubelier was arguing, Dabney Friedrich, has a connection to the Andersen case. Her husband, Matthew W. Friedrich, was one of the lead prosecutors. He persuaded the jury to convict Arthur Andersen of obstruction of justice in the Enron financial scandal...
Somali Muslims Attack Assimilation: 
“We’re Here To Stay, Whether You Like It Or Not!”
by Tim Brown
{} ~ OK, lots of stories have poured out of Maine about Somali Muslims, in a similar fashion as they have in Minnesota... The latest comes by way of video clips that are from a town meeting in Lewiston back in June 2018, a town where Somali mobs have taken to beating and harassing Maine citizens in Kennedy Park. However, what’s amazing is the defiance of the Somalis who spoke, blasting assimilation and integration into the culture they are being allowed to live in and even claiming that they are what makes Maine great and has put it on the map. Under the usurper, Barack Hussein scumbag/lir-nObama Soetoro Sobarkah, America saw a plethora of these people pour into our country and settle all across the US. President Trump has all be stopped the majority of it. However, there are plenty who have settled in Maine, and the town of Lewiston is being taken over by these Muslims in a similar manner to Dearborn, Michigan. Take a look at some of the comments of these Somali immigrants as they demonstrate their ungratefulness and defiance against those who would call them to assimilate into American culture in a similar manner that they would present if we were to travel to Somalia...
‘Schindler’s List’: 25 Years Later

{} 1 In third grade, the social studies teacher at the Hebrew day school I attended flipped off the lights and switched on an 8mm projector. Looking back, I suspect he didn’t trust his words to adequately convey what we were about to see.

The newsreel, the kind my parents watched in movie theaters at the end of World War II, showed scenes from the liberation of Auschwitz.

Images from that film stay with me to this day — such as the man with sunken cheeks, bones sticking out under his striped prisoner’s uniform staring blankly into the camera.

I knew that his eyes would haunt me for the rest of my life. I wondered what he might have said if given the chance.

Thirty years later, I stood inside Grand Central Terminal in New York as the nonprofit I founded, StoryCorps, opened its first booth. Its goal was to encourage everyday people to interview a loved one and to celebrate the stories we can find all around us when we take the time to listen. Since that day, more than 500,000 Americans have recorded StoryCorps interviews, each of which will live forever in the Library of Congress.

As we mark the 15th anniversary of StoryCorps, I’m reminded that it’s also the 25th anniversary of another effort to illuminate, honor and preserve the human story: producer-director Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece “Schindler’s List.”

My appreciation for the film and for Spielberg is rooted in his belief that there are few actions more important than reminding people that their lives and stories matter. That they won’t be forgotten. That they are not alone.

I spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving debating whether it was time for my 10-year-old son to watch this film. 

My son has been asking me questions about the Holocaust for years, but it’s hard to know when the time is right for your child to have that moment, the one I’d had all those years ago.

So while thinking about “Schindler’s List,” I shared with him a StoryCorps interview. In it, Debbie Fisher asks her father to tell her about Auschwitz. Her father had always downplayed his experiences there as a child, insisting that she not “knock on the door.” But when he was gravely ill in the hospital, she knocked one last time. He said, “I’ll let you in, but if I let you in this room, you will never, ever get out. Do you want to come in?”

After a few days, my wife and I decided it wasn’t the right time to let our son in the room.

But late one night recently, I sat down and screened the film alone. As I watched Amon Goeth stand on his balcony and casually pick off Jews with his rifle, I was transported back to my third-grade classroom.

I thought about the word Untermenschen — subhuman — which the Nazis used to call Jews, blacks, the disabled — anyone who posed a threat to an Aryan “master race.” I thought about how they branded people in concentration camps with numbers, not names.

Which is to say: They didn’t think of them as human beings at all. 

This is why, 25 years after its debut, “Schindler’s List” matters more than ever.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “Words create worlds.” He would remind his children that the Holocaust didn’t start with the gas chambers. It began with words. With Hitler putting calculated, dehumanizing speech out into the ether.

In the United States today, words of loathing and disgust directed at fellow human beings — whether they be asylum seekers or those we disagree with across political divides — are in the air as they have never been in my lifetime. Something dangerous and toxic has been unleashed in this country and it demands our attention.

Let’s be clear. Are we in 1930s Germany? No. 

Are we treating one another in ways that could lead us further down an extremely perilous path? Unfortunately, yes.

With StoryCorps’ new initiative, One Small Step, we are, for the first time, putting strangers across the political divides together in StoryCorps booths, not to talk about politics, but to be reminded of the fact that we are all living, breathing human beings. We hope to convince our countrymen that it is our patriotic duty to recognize the humanity in people who we may have regarded as “the other.”

So far, One Small Step has been working in all the ways StoryCorps hoped it would. Looking another human being in the eyes and asking, “Who are you?” “What lessons have you learned in life?” “How would you like to be remembered?” reminds us that listening is an act of love. Coming face to face with the stories of strangers we may have feared — or even hated —reminds us of our shared humanity.

History has taught us what can happen when we forget those inviolable truths. History also has shown what can happen when the world hears the voices of the most vulnerable among us, as they did a quarter of a century ago in Spielberg’s film. Numbers became names.

Soon after the release of “Schindler’s List,” Spielberg created the Shoah Foundation to ensure that the voices and memories of all Holocaust survivors could whisper in our ears forever; that their words would help to create a different world, where we listen to one another, where we recognize that what’s at stake are individual human lives, not statistics.

That’s the world I want my son to grow up in.

I await the day when my son watches “Schindler’s List.” He’ll knock when he’s ready to come in the room. 

And just as Debbie’s father did for her, I’ll open that door, and sit right there beside him.

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