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Broken Carousel WWI Poetry Review

Broken Carousel WWI Poetry Review

Broken Carousel WWI Poetry Review.docx

 

Resurrected Voices of a Century Ago

Rabbi Carl Choper

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

 

Broken Carousel: German-Jewish Soldier-Poets of the Great War;

Selected, edited and translated by Peter C. Appelbaum with James W. Scott;

Stone Tower Books, Lampion Press LLC; Silverton, Oregon; 2017

 

The Son

 

                                                            Mother, please let me go,

                                                            Mother, it hurts when you touch.

                                                            You can tell by my face

                                                            How I flame and burn up.

 

                                                            Give me one last kiss.  Set me free.

                                                            Pray for me as I go.

                                                            And that I shattered your life,

                                                            Mother, forgive.

-Alfred Lichtenstein, 1889-1914

 

One of the things I like best about having a connection with a small liberal arts college is the possibility of learning across disciplinary lines. When people who are experts in their particular field of study are gathered in such a small space, knowledge and ideas are bound to cross-pollinate.

 

So it was that as Adjunct Jewish Chaplain of Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, I found myself sitting next to Dr. James W. Scott, a retired professor of German language and literature. We started talking and he said, “You can help us with something.”

 

He continued to tell me that for years a colleague of his has been collecting poetry of Jewish soldiers who served in the German army during the First World War.  Dr. Scott explained that some soldiers at the front would write poetry and send the writings back to their families.  Many of these soldiers did not survive the war, in which case the poems were left in the hands of their families.  After the war, many were not interested in re-visiting the war so the poetry was often ignored.  Later, as we know, the German-speaking Jewish community was annihilated so there was not even a natural audience for such literature.  Perhaps that is why Dr. Peter C. Appelbaum, retired Professor of Pathology at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, spent years collecting this poetry, much of which has never before been published.  Dr. Appelbaum eventually approached Dr. Scott for assistance in translating the 140 poems from 17 different Jewish soldier poets.  At the time I found myself sitting next to Dr. Scott, the volume of poetry titled Broken Carousel had just recently been published and greeted with what Dr. Scott characterized as “a deafening silence.”

 

Perhaps publicity about the publication of the book has been poor and so no one has heard about it.  Perhaps still today few people want to read the poetry of young German-speaking men who fought in a purposeless war for a country which twenty years later turned viciously on them and their families.  The tragic irony of the entire situation is heart-breaking.  Yet on some level that hard and sad context makes reading the poetry that much more compelling. Here are the thoughts and feelings of men sometimes compelled, sometimes willing, maybe both compelled and willing to give their lives for the German Fatherland.  Exactly a century later, we readers may want to warn these soldier-writers not to continue.  But they could not know the future.  These poems are artifacts testifying to a German-Jewish cultural reality which is hard for us to understand or accept today.

 

These poems are also in many cases by modern standards good literature, from what I can see.  The poems are published both in the original German and in English translation on facing pages.  This is important, as it is difficult to translate poetry preserving meaning, meter and rhyme scheme.  The translator notes that it is the rhyme schemes that he sacrificed most, so it helps the English speaker to be able to read the English meaning and note the German rhymes.  My own German is poor, coming from a knowledge of Yiddish combined with times traveling in German-speaking countries.  My own knowledge of German literature is also limited, coming from time I spent looking with my Austrian-born grandmother at some of her favorite poems.  She came of age in the German literary world between the wars, and as she grew old she returned to that world more and more.  These poems remind me in style of the literature she recalled.

 

The poems themselves seem to depict a wide variety of Jewish self-awareness.  Some poems are Zionist, some are full of German patriotism, and many others reflect the universal fears and yearnings of men away from their families and at war.

 

According to the short biography provided within the book, Ludwig Franz Meyer was a Zionist who died of his battle wounds in May 1915 at the age of 21.  He is one of the few in this anthology whose poems were previously published, in a little book at the request of his mother one year after his death.  One of his poems is titled “Galuth,” which tellingly is not a German word but a Hebrew word meaning “Exile.”

 

This is our galut – speaking foreign tongues

While having our own songs inside our hearts.

This is our galut – breaking foreign bread

And eating honey from other’s hives.

 

That is our galut – bearing the sharp pains

Of want, the curse of loneliness.

That is our galut – to hold within our hearts

The highest hopes, but never risk attainment.

 

That is our galut- ever so softly weeping,

Yet hardly knowing whence this sadness comes.

That is our galut – ever to seem cold,

Although a thousand torches burn within.

 

This be our galut – that we might give

To all our tears but one single expression:

That we struggle now and yearn in order

To live with new joy in our ancient land

 

The poems of Leo Sternberg who survived the war, but whose brother did not, often celebrate the German cause.  His poem Germany For Ever and Ever, begins with a reference to the British having cut the trans-Atlantic cable near the beginning of the war:

 

So what if the cables were cut, that cross the ocean’s floor,

the butterflies will go flying over the seas as before,

with tidings of German gardens and their perfume.

 

And if the German oak should shattered fall,

-the wind would put out the lights in every hall

and turn the world into a tomb.

 

So let our blood flow down then in broad rivers!

There will awake, wherever two kiss as lovers,

a longing that calls the German hero home.

 

Students of Jewish history will know how deeply many Jews of Germany had absorbed German patriotism into themselves, but poems such as these help us see and realize this in a fuller way.  The juxtaposition of Jewish and German sensibilities shows how seamlessly these identities seemed to so many German Jews a century ago.  A striking example is found in Samuel Jacobs who struggled to maintain Jewish observance while in the German army during the war, and wrote:

 

Tisha B’Av 1916

 

I look behind and peer ahead

And doubts arise within me now.

I beg you, Lord of All, Creator of all beings,

Oh please have mercy!  Look graciously down on us

On Tisha B’Av.

 

Let lightening flash and thunder roll,

Our duty calls, we must and also wish

To faithfully defend our cherished Fatherland

On Tisha B’Av.

 

The poems also depict the numbing horror of war and the minutiae of trying to exist in the midst of trenches we read about in history books. Ernst Toller wrote:

 

Going Off Duty

 

Man after man

Staggers in the communication trench.

Knapsack weighs on tired bones.

Mud-caked clothes chafe.

In grey faces dull eyes.

Someone stumbles, falls down.

Rally at the burial ground in the woods.

One man dreams by the mass grave

“For just such piles of gingerbread

I once wished as a child,

So many….”

One mine blew fourteen buddies to bits.

When was that anyway?

Yesterday.

 

Many more of the poems are simply heart-breaking. All together as a collection, the poems take us into a social reality different from ours today, but with potential parallels.  They remind us of the pointlessness of most wars, and of the dangers of giving too much of ourselves over to nationalisms.  Reading many of these poems feels something like watching a traffic accident unfold in front of us in slow-motion.  On the other hand, they can cause us to ask if a century from now others will feel the same way about how we navigated our lives in the societies in which we participate now.

 

The editors of the anthology included short biographies of each of the soldier-poets.  Some of the biographies are very short indeed, in some cases because little else is known of the poets.  The greatest limitation of the book is in telling the history of the poems.  How did the poems get from the poets to us?  When I met the translator, Dr.  Scott, he told me that Dr. Appelbaum went to great lengths to find these poems and these poets.  I understand he dug through libraries and archives to bring these voices to our attention.  But the book itself only gives hints of what that process was.    Where have these poems been through the last century, and how did they come into our hands now?   The book would be more of a literary adventure, and would do more honor to the poems, the poets and their families, if that story were better told.  After all, most readers will not have the opportunity I had to be seated next to the translator who could give me an explanation directly.

 

Still even with this limitation, this anthology of poems 100 years after the events that inspired them does us a great service. The poems even with minimal framing bring us into the historical moment in ways few history books can.  By resurrecting these lost voices, Drs. Appelbaum and Scott have given us another view into a significant, forgotten and tragic piece of the Jewish experience of the last century.

 

 

 

Rabbi Carl Choper is based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he serves as a de-facto community rabbi, working as Rabbi of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg, a state prison chaplain, campus rabbi at Lebanon Valley College,  President of the Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania and encouraging interfaith dialogue and cooperation as  founding director of The Religion and Society Center. 

Community Responders Network combats bias in midstate

Community Responders Network combats bias in midstate

Community Responders Network combats bias in midstate

(Harrisburg) — A group that responds to bias and hate crimes is warning racism and discrimination are legitimate concerns in the midstate.

The Community Responders Network brings together leaders of several regional groups to provide guidance for dealing with the impact of intolerance.

YWCA of Greater Harrisburg Executive Director Tina Nixon says the organization has its roots in a 2008 incident when someone received an anti-Muslim DVD.

“The conversation surrounded, how do we respond to this as a community,” Nixon remembers. “What other people can we bring to the table, knowing we all have different circles of influence? By bringing everyone together to have a very deliberate response to hate crimes, we let individuals know that we’re all in this together.”

Nixon says the network has put together a manual on how to respond to incidents of bias based on race, background, faith or sexual orientation.

She says supporting and counseling victims months or even years after an incident is often-overlooked and an important part of the healing process.

Religion and Society Center Executive Director and Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania President Rabbi Carl Choper says the group also deals with incidents that aren’t necessarily criminal.

“There are also what we call hate incidents,” Choper explains. “Those are acts of hate, emotional attacks, verbal attacks, things that do not violate the law.”

Choper says communities can be vulnerable to discrimination or hate when no one will speak out against bias.

Here’s why that Colorado same-sex wedding cake case threatens true religious liberty – Opinion

Here’s why that Colorado same-sex wedding cake case threatens true religious liberty – Opinion

Here’s why that Colorado same-sex wedding cake case threatens true religious liberty | Opinion

Lydia Macy, 17, left, and Mira Gottlieb, 16, both of Berkeley, Calif., rally outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the 'Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission' today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Lydia Macy, 17, left, and Mira Gottlieb, 16, both of Berkeley, Calif., rally outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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By Carl Choper

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that threatens to redefine the concept of religious liberty in America to the point that some people’s ability to freely practice religion will be threatened.

A Christian bakery in Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop, claims that it has a First Amendment right to refuse to sell a cake to a gay couple as part of their same-gender marriage celebration–in violation of a Colorado non-discrimination law and disregarding the religious freedom of its customers.

To insist that freedom of religion means the right to hinder someone else’s free practice of religion turns the concept of religious liberty on its head.

Let us suppose, for example, that there is but one commercially-available banquet hall for rent in a particular isolated small town in the Western United States.

Let us suppose that this banquet hall is owned and operated by a Christian who believes that his religion is the one true way to life and that all other faiths are a path to death and eternal damnation.

Further, let us suppose that this Christian believes that he must love his neighbor to the point that he cannot do anything to facilitate them walking down these paths.

Now let us suppose that in this same isolated town there is a small Jewish community, and into that community, a baby boy is born.

Should businesses be allowed to deny service on religious grounds?

Should businesses be allowed to deny service on religious grounds?

Critics argue a Colorado baker’s decision to deny service based on a couple’s sexual orientation is discriminatory.

On the eighth day of that baby’s life, the family and its community want to celebrate a bris, a ceremony of entering the Jewish covenant involving the ritual circumcision of the boy, followed by a seudat-mitzvah, a traditionally-mandated banquet meal celebrating the joyous occasion.

The Jewish community would want to rent the only commercially-available banquet hall.

But in the name of his own religious liberty, the Christian banquet hall owner refuses to rent his hall to the Jewish community, which is effectively prevented from holding its traditionally-mandated banquet.

Does the business owner have the right to prevent the small Jewish community from observing their faith?

There have been cases in Pennsylvania where rape victims have come to emergency rooms only to be denied access to emergency contraception because the hospital disapproved.

Suppose there is a Jewish family living in a rural part of Pennsylvania where the only local hospital is a Catholic hospital. Suppose there is some tragedy and a Jewish woman from that family is brought into the emergency room with a condition requiring treatment involving contraception.

Pa. lawmaker to colleague: 'I'm a heterosexual ... stop touching me all the time'

Pa. lawmaker to colleague: ‘I’m a heterosexual … stop touching me all the time’

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe on Tuesday lashed out at a Democratic colleague after the latter touched him in the arm to get his attention. “Keep your hands to yourself,” he said.

Catholic teaching and Jewish teaching diverge on this matter. Does the Church which owns the hospital have the right, protected by religious freedom, to prohibit the Jewish patient from following the teachings of her own religion?

This danger to religious liberty also extends potentially to Christianity, if a non-Christian business owner claims a religious objection to being involved in any way with the activities of a church.

In Masterpiece Cakeshop and similar cases, the same-gender couple may understand their own wedding in religious terms–a religious moment which the baker happened to disagree with.

Each of these examples involves one party depriving another party of religious liberty in the name of protecting their own religious liberty.  In such cases, whose right should be protected?

The Constitution guarantees each American the right to freely practice religion and states that the government cannot compel an individual to violate the teachings of his or her own faith without some compelling need.  Additionally, though, the state has a Constitutional obligation to provide equal protection of the laws for all persons.

The government has a compelling and constitutionally-based reason to uphold equal rights for all its citizens in the public realm. The government cannot allow merchants doing business with the public to serve only those with whom they are in religious agreement.

Just a few decades ago it was common practice for many hotels to refuse service to Jews.

Such a practice is illegal today, but it could become legal again if the hotel owner is a Christian who claims that it is a violation of religious liberty, based on medieval readings of the New Testament, to be forced to lodge Jews.

A legal system under which such religious discrimination was allowed would be failing in its obligation not to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Is the state, in this case, however, compelling the banquet hall owner to violate his right of religious practice by insisting he must do business with everyone regardless of his own personal religious judgment?

No, because the government has not forced the banquet hall owner to be in that business.

If he cannot in good conscience run a banquet hall in a manner that allows for the compelling social need that every person must enjoy equal protection of the laws, perhaps he should not be in that business.

Or perhaps he should modify his business in some way.

A businessperson who does not feel he can serve people with whom he has deep religious disagreements cannot expect that the larger society will abandon its principles of equal protection of the laws in matters of public accommodation.

In a just society, businesses cannot refuse to serve certain customers because of who they are or how they celebrate who they love.

Rabbi Carl Choper is a community rabbi in Harrisburg, and president of the Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania. He writes from Harrisburg.

Religious liberty means liberty for all involved

Religious liberty means liberty for all involved

By Rabbi Carl S. Choper

In some ways, it is encouraging that the Roman Catholic Church has found a new interest in religious liberty. Historically, this is quite a positive development for a major Western religious institution that began only 60 years ago, with the Second Vatican Council, to examine in earnest its relationship with the other world faiths.

A woman prays.

Ordinarily, we who are daily preaching the need for respecting the faith of others would be happy with the Catholic Church’s newfound emphasis. This is why it is so disappointing to many religious leaders nationwide that the Catholic leaders spearheading this effort have crafted an inverse definition of “religious freedom” to promote.The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called for their followers to mark the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July holiday as a “Fortnight for Freedom.” From June 21 through July 4, the bishops are calling for a “special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action [that] will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.”

We acknowledge with gratitude how far the Roman Catholic Church has come in the last half-century to the point that it is emphasizing a heritage of liberty as it regards religion. It becomes all the more important then that we enter into conversation about what religious liberty means and looks like.

Religious liberty means first doing unto others as you would have done unto you. If you want the freedom to make major life decisions in accordance with the principles of your own faith, then you also must afford others that same freedom to make their own major life decisions in accordance with their own faith.

Specific to the cases that the Catholic Church is choosing to emphasize, if you want the freedom to be guided by your own faith in making your own health care and family planning decisions, you must allow others the same freedom to be guided by their faith in health care and family-planning decisions.

If you want the freedom to be guided by your faith in celebrating your own marriage, you must allow others the freedom to celebrate their own marriage in accordance with their faith. Unfortunately, Roman Catholic leaders are applying the principle of religious liberty in a most ironic way.
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Rabbi Carl Choper

They are claiming in the name of religious freedom that they should have the right to use their economic power as employers to coerce their employees into making major health care decisions in accordance with Catholic doctrine, whether those employees are faithful Catholics or not. They are using the argument of religious freedom to claim the right to force upon others a definition of marriage, even if the married couples are not Catholic.The unfortunate effect of this new Catholic emphasis on religious liberty is that it comes to seem more like an attack on the rest of us in the name of respecting others, rather than becoming a teaching on what it means to affirm being Catholic while respecting others.

In turn, this then opens up old wounds, evoking historical memories in many of our faith communities of times when the Catholic Church was much less concerned about religious freedom than it is now. This idiosyncratic definition of “religious liberty” does not help us build a stronger multifaith society. Nor does it do honor to Catholicism or the Catholic Church for Catholic leaders to attack the religious practice of others in the name of religious freedom.

Religious liberty as advanced by the Roman Catholic Church cannot be narrowly defined as only the freedom to be Catholic. It also must entail Catholic support for the freedom of others not to be Catholic. Those of us who work on interfaith issues welcome the decision of Catholic Church leadership to begin emphasizing the principle of religious liberty.

We look forward to hearing more from them about how the Catholic Church and the rest of us can co-exist with one another in a multifaith society marked by religious liberty for all.

Rabbi Carl S. Choper is president of The Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Islamic Society of Harrisburg Marks 911 with Open House Interfaith Peace Vigil

Islamic Society of Harrisburg Marks 911 with Open House Interfaith Peace Vigil

Islamic Society of Harrisburg Marks 9/11 with Open House, Interfaith Peace Vigil

Source: The Patriot News

http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/112634417012860.xml&coll=1

On September 10, 2005 The Patriot News reported, “A Steelton, [Pennsylvania] mosque will open its doors tomorrow, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for a tour and an interfaith candlelight vigil.

The event at the Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg is sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania.

‘Our message for that day is one of peace and unity,’ said Rabbi Carl Choper of Temple Beth Shalom, Mechanicsburg, co-founder of the alliance… The vigil is scheduled to open with readings from sacred texts on peace and the unity of humanity. ‘Clearly Muslims have been blamed in our culture for the events of 9/11 and have suffered attacks in this country,’ Choper said. ‘All religious traditions are capable of being hijacked … It is important for religious people to speak out, in the name of our traditions, for peace.’”

Harrisburg residents speak out against Act 47 financial recovery plan

Harrisburg residents speak out against Act 47 financial recovery plan

Harrisburg residents speak out against Act 47 financial recovery plan

Rabbi Carl Choper asked Harrisburg’s Act 47 team members Tuesday night if they thought about what a reduction of police officers on the streets would mean.

Choper, of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg in Lower Paxton Twp., has had a recurring nightmare about the matter.

“We have a significant numbers of neighborhoods here where children kill children too regularly. I understand what made you suggest that police be reduced and foot patrols be reduced. But I wondered if you understood what that meant. And to put that next to the bondholders’ interest, not principal, is just horrifying,” Choper said.

JENNY KANE, The Patriot-News Harrisburg City Council President Gloria Martin-Roberts, left, listens to Evelyn Hunt of Harrisburg ask questions to members of the Act 47 committee during a public hearing Tuesday at Harrisburg High School.

Choper’s comments expressed a universal theme of residents at Harrisburg’s Act 47 public hearing at Harrisburg High School: The state’s recovery plan chews up the city and protects bond investors.

Harrisburg resident Les Ford asks questions to the Act 47 committee.JENNY KANE, The Patriot-News

“I see a plan insanely influenced by companies that got us into this mess,” said Scott Siciliano, 25. “I’m young, but I’m not stupid. I read the plan.”Siciliano was one of about 40 residents out of 200 in attendance who spoke against the plan. Residents consistently said the plan does nothing but put financial pain on the city.

Siciliano has lived in the city for about a year despite the bad fiscal news that has plagued it. He and his partner bought a house in Bellevue Park, and they would pay about 40 percent more in taxes should the city switch from a two-tier tax system to a blended rate, as the Act 47 plan suggests.

Other residents complained about the call for a blended tax rate, saying property owners outside the downtown would see their taxes significantly increase while downtown property owners would see theirs decrease.

The plan goes out of its way to protect bond investors, Dauphin County and the bond insurance company that backed much of Harrisburg’s $310 million in incinerator debt but asks for too much from the city, residents said.

“Where is the accountability? I see a lot of people being awarded who ought not be awarded,” said Roy Christ, president of the Harrisburg School Board.

Neil Grover, a city resident and co-founder of community watchdog group Debt Watch Harrisburg, said the plan is akin to stealing from city residents.

“You are reaching into every kitchen in this city with this plan,” Grover said.

Sights and sounds of Biblical Hebrew

Sights and sounds of Biblical Hebrew

Do you recognize the language this text is written in?

This semester, five Gettysburg College students studied Biblical Hebrew from a beginner level with Professor Carl Choper. As their final project, they saw the text above and were asked to say everything they could about each word, using their own knowledge and a specialized dictionary. By the end of this course, the students were able to engage directly with this text in its original language. See below for an annotated version of the text. Do you recognize it now?

Although Biblical Hebrew is not a spoken language, Professor Choper brought an oral element to the class through his work as a rabbi. In addition to teaching at Gettysburg College, Professor Choper works with interfaith dialog, advocacy, and community-building groups and is a rabbi at the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg and the State Correctional Institute – Camp Hill. In his work as a rabbi, he often sings in Biblical Hebrew, and he decided to bring singing into the classroom as a teaching and learning tool. As Professor Choper said, “Singing is a wonderful way of putting foreign words into your mouth.” Listen to his beautiful voice below:


 

Penn State Harrisburg to present discussion on building relationships among faith communities

Penn State Harrisburg to present discussion on building relationships among faith communities

Penn State Harrisburg will present a panel discussion, “Building Bridges Among the Faith Communities: Interfaith Dialogue and the Future (And Why Young People Should Care),” as a part of its Center for Holocaust and Jewish Studies speaker series on Tuesday, January 24 at 7 p.m. in the Russell E. Horn Sr. Spiritual Center, Student Enrichment Center on campus.

Panelists include:

  • Christopher Khalid-Janney, Hadee Mosque, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania;
  • Rabbi Elisha Friedman, Kesher Israel Congregation, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania;
  • Rabbi Carl Choper, The Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania;
  • Semontee Mitra, Lecturer and Ph.D. candidate in American studies at Penn State Harrisburg and
  • Rev. Tabitha Ssonko, Monumental AME Church, Steelton, Pennsylvania.

This event is co-sponsored by Penn State Harrisburg’s Diversity and Educational Equity Committee and the Religion and Society Center.

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 717-948-6727, email abb20@psu.edu, or visit harrisburg.psu.edu/chjs.

Letters: Ft. Bragg Wife; Covert, Michigan

Letters: Ft. Bragg Wife; Covert, Michigan

Audio:

Transcript:

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

And now your letters. We received many responses to last week’s commentary by Rebekah Sanderlin, the wife of a soldier at Fort Bragg. Rabbi Carl Choper of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania expressed the sentiments of several listeners. He wrote…

ELLIOTT: (Reading) Rebekah Sanderlin’s editorial on how the army went to war and the rest of America went to the mall was poignant, but her anger is misdirected. It is our civilian leadership, not the American people themselves, who have made the decision that the public outside of the military will not be asked to make significant sacrifices. The American people, by and large, support the troops.

ELLIOTT: He continues…

ELLIOTT: (Reading) It is our leaders, starting with the president, who failed to mobilize the rest of the nation beyond the military to make any sacrifices, starting with the enactment of massive wartime tax cuts.

ELLIOTT: Deborah Sackett(ph) of Warren, Indiana was upset at last week’s explicit report on the chaotic scene at the hanging of Saddam Hussein. We warned listeners the story would be disturbing, still Ms. Sackett wrote…

ELLIOTT: (Reading) Was it truly necessary to give the horrific audio? The importance of Saddam Hussein at this point in history is irrelevant. Glorifying his death with audio detail makes him more important than he proved to be.

ELLIOTT: And finally, a thank you note to Jacki Lyden from listener Maxine Harris. She was moved to tears by Jacki’s story about Covert, Michigan, a town which integrated itself despite segregationist laws in the 19th century. Ms. Harris said the story showed the best of humanity. If you have thoughts to share about our program, go to our web site, npr.org. Click on Contact Us and select Weekend ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. And please tell us how to pronounce your name.

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