Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Revenge of the Swiss Banks

The Colombia-born son of Jewish refugees from Hitler's Austria offered the IRS a novel excuse for his squirreling away $10 million in untaxed taxable income with Switzerland's UBS bank. While the judge made respectful noises about the plea of irrepressible hoarding brought on by fear of governmental expropriation such as accompanied the Holocaust his parents escaped, he nonetheless threw the book at Jack Barouh with fines and a ten-month prison sentence.

Barouh's case reminded me of the 1999 extortion by the World Jewish Congress and other claimants of $1.25 billion from the banks of Switzerland to get the JWC to call off the boycott of Swiss banks then spearheaded by New York State Comptroller Allan Hevesi and New York Congressman Alfonse d'Amato. This article notes that Barouh's name was among some 4,450 names of Americans turned over to the IRS by UBS Bank.

I can't help wondering, as UBS violated the promise of secrecy that once was its stock in trade, whether they considered that the names of more than one supporter or beneficiary of the 1999 extortion might have been among those they were turning over. Of course, I don't even know whether Barouh was in fact a supporter or beneficiary of the extortion, but there are those other 4,449 names . . .

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Hangman Goes to His Reward

Whitney Harris, a lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg Witch Trials, should be presenting his case to Saint Peter right about now. I wonder if the heavenly gatekeeper will have any difficulty deciding what to do with the soul of the victorious avenger.

Harris, who died at the ripe old age of 97, wrote at least one book about his deeds in and about Nuremberg, which included "getting the confession of" Rudolf Höss, erstwhile commandant of the Auschwitz labor camp. Hard work that was, for confessor and confessee alike (Höss had to write it by hand, but given the pending death sentence, he may have been in no real hurry anyway).

At least Harris, alone among the prosecutors, had the guts to actually attend the executions he had secured. He may need more of those guts if he receives justice in the hereafter.

The Daily Titan at Cal State U-Fullerton explains why it suppressed CODOH ad

Editorial: Free speech vs. moral obligation

By Daily Titan Editorial Board

Published: April 21, 2010

The Daily Titan staff does not share the opinion presented by Smith, but we felt for a time that if we silenced Smith by removing his ad from our site, we would be hypocrites. As advocates for free speech, we would be silencing someone’s voice simply because we disagreed with what they said. It did not sit right with us to decide for society what it should and should not be exposed to. But in the end, we realized that this is something we do every day, just not to such a complicated and controversial degree. As journalists, we are the gatekeepers of information. We make decisions based on what we believe is important or of interest to the Cal State Fullerton community.

We ultimately decided to remove the ad from our website because we believed we have a responsibility to the sensibilities and sense of decency of our readers. We hold the right to free speech in the highest regard, but we also make a distinction between our legal right to publish this ad and our moral obligation to our readers; that is what lead us to our decision.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coffee with Bradley Smith: Arguing with Fervor

Smith is walking along in the dark while thought independently moves across the surface of such matters as nuclear weapons, Israel, the destruction of European culture, President Obama, gas chambers when suddenly, as fast as a speeding bullet, he is brought up short by seeing a cat sitting alone in the dark on the curbing.

View this Video here

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guilt, or Remorse? Take Your Pick

The Wall Street Journal reviews two books newly out that celebrate societal guilt and/or remorse, clearly a hot growth industry. Examples discussed in the review include the US being punished (by 9/11) for its sins . . . where? Well, some of them might have been committed in, to, or for the Middle East. Somehow the author (Bruckner) of the first book neglects to explore Germany as a case in point despite frequent references to Nazism and the Holocaust, skipping the actually penitent state in favor of the crimes for which its prolonged and excessive suffering continues into the present day, and on through the foreseeable future.

The second book is from the author of the bestselling The Reader (1995), which was made into a movie. It's by a German, about Germany, and demonstrates how its eternal condemnation for crimes it is said to have committed in the past century continue to hobble its considerable potential to provide this evil-ridden world with a little much-needed good.

Not mentioned in the review is the ability and tendency of some societies to perpetuate and exploit the guilt they attach to another society(ies). Do you think either book gets into that?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Letter to the Editor of the Daily Titan

Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327

14 April 2010

Sergio Cabaruvias:
Executive Editor
The Daily Titan
California State University-Fullerton

Mr. Cabaruvias:

This note is to congratulate the staff of the Titan for its willingness to run an on-line banner that links to the text of a talk I gave at the Holocaust conference in Tehran in December 2006. The full title of the talk was “The Irrational Vocabulary of the Professorial Class with Regard to the Holocaust Question."

At the same time that I note my appreciation to The Titan staff, I feel it obligatory on my part to point out – if it has not already been pointed out to you by others – that the professorial class, as a class, is committed to enforcing a taboo against any suggestion of a free exchange of ideas about the orthodox Holocaust narrative. No matter that one fundamental ideal of the university in the West is to forward exactly that—a free exchange of ideas.

As to what you can expect—and I am willing, even anxious, to be proven that I am wrong about this—you can expect to be contacted by campus academics and individuals representing special-interest organizations who will argue forcefully that you should remove the banner from the Titan on the grounds that it is anti-Jewish. In the end, there is no other issue. It will be argued, at bottom, that the Titan can encourage any question on any other historical issue it wants, but no critical question about the orthodox Holocaust narrative. Ever.

One question is: who benefits from this exercise in academic conformity? Palestinians? Students? Germans? Muslims? Who benefits when an entire professorial class is committed to a rigid intellectual conformity on one historical narrative, and will demand of those students it professes to teach to commit itself to the same orthodoxy?

I do not expect one academic on your campus to stand with you in public and argue for a free exchange of ideas on this matter. I hope it will be demonstrated that I am wrong about this. My suggestion, if I might, is that when you are being pressured to remove the banner that you ask that academic, that representative of a special-interest organization, to repeat one phrase, one sentence, from the document itself that suggests that the text of the talk should not be made available to students on your campus.

Anyhow, good luck with this.

--Bradley Smith
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust

PS: I will copy this note to some number of students and faculty at Fullerton.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Student newspaper at U South Dakota publishes ad for Sherlock Holmes

The online edition of The Volante, the student newspaper at University of South Dakota, has agreed to run one of the ads we are submitting to colleges around the country.

Samuel Crowell
The full text of the book is here.

The ad is displayed at the head of each section of the paper. The Volante ran an ad in its print edition for my book Break His Bones several months back with no great outcry or protest. I think that faculty at USD might be considerably less conformist than their “progressive” counterparts proved to be last month at U Wisconsin-Madison.

Anyhow, we should give whatever support possible to the student journalists working at The Volante.