Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Billionaire Businessman -- the Essence of Trump

Trump has been skewered (and rightfully so) for his injudicious comments about Senator and former Vietnam War prisoner John McCain.  If you do not know by now what Trump said then you must have been hiding under a rock.  The media thinks it died and went to heaven as Trump provides much entertainment and Americans love entertainment just ask John Stewart.  Trump, of course, impugned Senator McCain as-less-than-a-hero because he was captured in Vietnam.  No matter how many times Trump tries to finesse those statements he cannot.  The 21st century uses the handy dandy proof of video tape.
Trump is about one thing success.  He did not choose his words artfully because Trump suffers from foot-in-mouth disease as he is repeatedly prone.  His blabbering morphs into a grand mal verbal faux pas seizure as he shoots himself in the foot first, while asking questions later.  Trump’s algorithm for success in war (or for that matter anything) is to win.  In war it is to capture or kill the other guy first while you avoid that fate.  Success in the world according to Trump means ending up on your feet at any cost while the other guy ends up on his posterior feet first out the door.  Trump is about winning and nothing else.  Objectively, if a soldier gets captured or killed he is not improving his odds of winning the war.  Trump’s heroes, as he perceives it, are those who like General MacArthur or Patton win by hardening themselves in war against the softness of feeling.  Trump is about hardness and the objectivity to do whatever it takes to win the game and one does not win the war by getting captured or killed.
Unfortunately, a man who had four military deferments and another deferment for a foot bone spur loses cred in the arena of war.  Odd how he cannot remember which foot had the bone spur. It turns out he had them in both feet – a memorable malady one would think. I digress.
Trump cannot see that luck in war plays a part as to whether one ends up captured, tortured or killed succumbing to the laws of physics or whether one ends up on one’s feet the winner. Sometimes it is simply a roll of the Game of Risk dice.  The heroes, I think, he was saying, are those who outsmart the enemy and end up on their feet.  Such is Trump's brain.  Great title for a book:  “Trump’s Brain.”  It could outsell “Bush’s Brain” doncha think?
There is little room for empathy in Trump world.  He does not care that many of the so called illegals have families, are trying to make a living, risking their lives to get here or if their mother has cancer and they need money to pay for her and support their family.  Trump is NOT about that. He is about Trump and making sure he wins by exploiting an issue which will help him do just that.
Progressives, generally, are not simply about that.  They are about compassion, empathy and understanding for the little guy who tries but cannot overcome his fate.  I want the greatest number to win even if they happen to come from Mexico and my heart is broken if they die in the desert trying.  Liberalism cares about the inequities of life while Trump cares solely about himself and winning life’s war.  The inequities of life and its unfairness do not play a part in Trump’s repertoire or if they do they play a part it is only how he can exploit them to his advantage and win.
Billionaire businessman success and nothing else but success is the essence of Trump.

Another Oscar Schindler--a Rightous Gentile--Leica and the Jews of Europe

Sent to me by a friend to be forwarded to any you choose.  He should be listed among the righteous Gentiles.  My friend states:

This is quite a story.  They always made good cameras, but I never knew about this part of the Leica history.

            Leica's Jews 
German camera inventor helped
Jews escape at shudder speed during the Holocaust 

      The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product - precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient.
Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially-oriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty.  E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany's most famous photographic product, saved its Jews.
And Ernst Leitz II, the steely-eyed Protestant patriarch, who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a way as to earn the title, "the photography industry's Schindler".
As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country. As Christians, Leitz and his family were immune to Nazi Germany's Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited their professional activities.
To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as "the Leica Freedom Train", a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas. Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members were "assigned" to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong, and the United States; Leitz's activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned across Germany.
Before long, German "employees" were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremenat a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz, Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry.
Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom - a new Leica camera. The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers, and writers for the photographic press.
Keeping the story quiet, The "Leica Freedom Train" was at its height in 1938 and early 1939, delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks. Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders.
By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes' efforts. How did Ernst Leitz II and his staff get away with it?
Leitz, Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced cameras, range-finders, and  other optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz's single biggest market for optical goods was the United States.
Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works. A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews and freed only after the payment of a large bribe.
Leitz's daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland. She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning.  She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s.  (After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officer d'honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)
Why has no one told this story until now?
According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts.
Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the "Leica Freedom Train" finally come to light.  It is now the subject of a book, "The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: 
The Leica Freedom Train,"by Frank Dabba Smith, a California-born Rabbi currently living in England.
Thank you for reading the above, and if you feel inclined as I did to pass it along to others, please do so. Memories of the righteous should live on.