Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 06/17/2007 - 20:44.

Kurt Waldheim died this past week.  Hardly worth a thought, unless you are like me, the first-generation daughter of Eastern European immigrants.  Elizabeth Sullivan noted the event in her Plain Dealer column.  She tends to cover the Balkans, which makes me wonder, is she, too, a mixture of Celtic and Eastern European ancestry?  So many ugly skeletons in our closet. The sins of our fathers on this father's day.  

I look at Kurt Waldheim face and I see someone's father, someone who greatly resembles my dignified grandfather, who worked as a trade attorney for the Austro-Hungarian government before and during World War II.  Do I really know what happened?  Did he know what was happening? What horrors do we each turn away from and chose to ignore everyday?  Are there degrees of guilt? I see photos of my grandparents, my mother and my uncle taken after the war as they escaped from Hungary to Germany, to France, to Spain and finally, to America.  There are gaps in the story. My grandfather escaped before his family.  My uncle was smuggled out of Hungary on a train.  My mother and grandmother walked across a minefield.   Are these true stories?  Were identities changed? For awhile, my grandfather's papers state the name Bessner. Does it matter anymore?   Tivadar Soros, George Soros' father picked the same name as my grandfather's family name to use as the masquerade for his wife during the last years of war in Budapest, as the Jewish-managed commercial sector continued almost to the end, and Tivadar Soros maintained his daily swim to retain a semblance of normalcy, until he was forced, at last, to escape the hate. Later, his son found out that their survival was not so heroic.  

So, which lies and compromises are permissable?  Don't we all share complicity in not seeing the evil?  Are we all one and the same? Can we all be forgiven for the sins of our fathers?

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Can we be forgiven for our sins

I have relatives who still own land near Philadelphia they stole from the Native Americans - as Protestants, I believe that is what is called good business, for good living. In Cleveland, today, people cheer for an icon for genocide - Chief Wahoo (bringing to Cleveland a curse that was again reflected in the failings of the Cavs... we deserve no better). America's shameful murder and abuse of the native people of this land goes on today, and far predates the Holocaust, which America allowed and many prominent Americans supported. But none of that wretchedness compares to the harm caused by our parents and us to this Earth, which was not ours to destroy. How easy will it be for our children to celebrate us, as they watch their planet go to hell because of our greed and evil.

Disrupt IT


I think that everyone denies the reality of a situation, if they feel that their own survival or their families' survival takes precedence.  I think that my grandfather had to know what was going on, but like so many other people at the time, they felt they could not fight back against the machine, especially as they confronted the daily reality of trying to survive. What can I do now?  I am horrified to now know that I am contributing to the situation in Darfur, because I do not understand how my state pension funds are invested.  How many of us, live in this oblivious state of mind?

Darfur connection?

What is the connection between state pension investments and Darfur?

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Sorry for being obscure--  Click on the link for the full article

House considers compromise on divestment bill


After weeks of testimony and debate, the Ohio House of Representatives failed to vote Tuesday as expected on an Iran-Sudan divestment bill, H.B. 151, which state Rep. Josh Mandel (R-Lyndhurst) co-sponsored with fellow freshman state Rep. Shannon Jones (R-Springboro). Leaders of the Northeast Ohio Jewish community have strongly supported the legislation.

Instead of approving a bill that would have required the five state public pension funds to sell off all stock in energy companies with ties to Iran and all corporations with business dealings in Sudan, the House is now discussing a compromise measure.

The proposal would “require the pension systems to divest a half-billion dollars during the next six months and to pass the bill out of the House next Tuesday,” said Mandel in an e-mail to the CJN.


One thing that set my father apart from my mother was his love of vacations.  I am not being critical of my mother, but my father taught us to dream.  Vacations were his chance to live out his fantasy. Artist, archaeologist, biologist, my father loved the chance to put aside his mundane reality (production engineer for Ford Motor Company) for another reality.  This memory visits me as one strong artist father I know confronts his own mortality and struggles to recover from a heart attack, and another strong and artistic woman I know, grapples with her own father's death.

About vacations

My dad too. He's a psychiatrist, still, which is probably interesting to a degree and very mundane at the same time... by now my parents have probably been to over 150 countries, and they and are still going strong. In preparation, he reads books about the counties he visits, and biographies of related people. When my sister and I were young and traveling with my parents, we were expected to keep journals of our accounts or drawings, updated each day... as I grew older I was the staff photographer, which relieved me of journal duty, but the point was to absorb the world around us, and be one with that, and I really loved seeing and capturing the unknown... such memories are precious to me and clearly to my parents as well. More important, we learned the people of Kenya and Nepal and New Guinea are all our brothers and sisters, and that America is far from the center of anything important in the Universe... the more I saw the world the less I respected the people here in America. Was my dad seeking another personal reality, or escaping a lesser reality of life here. I am not sure. He was always so driven to be who he was that I don't think he allowed himself the luxury of even imagining another reality for himself, yet there are still signs there were lives he wanted to live.... park ranger especially. One thing I know for sure is that traveling makes him a better person for so many reasons.

Disrupt IT

Powerul Ponderances

All interesting comments and intellectual interludes.  Let's forgive and forget, and focus on the 'Power of Now'  (Tolle).  We all have a great role to play in the architecture of our Future, from Case Western Neurology Professor to Malley's Chocolate Magnate, to Doan Brook Watershed Coordinator to Pope to President.  We might even conjecture that getting the three together and ensuring equity would be amusing.  Let noone deny that I am a born and bred American Citizen with an Incredible love for God and Country  (USA!)


Anyway,  I hope the world realizes I've done my best to live a morals driven, purpose filled, and passionate life.  If this is the last record I leave on RealNEO I'd like to thank all my friends who made this great website first possible: especially REALNEO founder and friend extraordinaire,  Norm Roulet.


Power to the People.   Viva La Revolucion!    And we shall have global and sustainable peace soon, I hope!


Final thoughts for a New World of Hope :



We are all guilty

 This review of the Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans in the NYT book review touches upon what it means to be human and humane. 

Junot Diaz's fictional work addresses post-memory.  NEO is directly influenced by the diaspora, memory and history of our ancestors.  Spend a little time with your own ghosts.

Teaching tolerance

  Here is a link to the magazine Teaching Tolerance--a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Thanks to author JR Poulter for the suggestion and recommendation of this site--

Monday--it's a fresh start :)