A reminder to guard our freedoms

Possibly the history of the Third Reich does not prominently appear in high school or college curricula these days. It should. We are seeing dark signs that, once again, grim history may repeat itself, even in our own land.

President Trump has identified his “Others”: immigrant and refugee families and children, Muslims, the poor and, well, others. We are told to fear them as threats to “our” Great way of life, and fear is the first cousin of hatred. Hitler preached hatred to his followers as well and most Americans, we hope, know where that led. Of course he was abetted by the fervent, often fanatical members of his own Nazi Party. Many in the general German public were less enthralled by the Fuehrer, but simply grew weary of the turmoil, immorality and fog of lies. They turned away to their own busy lives. That, of course, was a page in the Nazi playbook. A benumbed, confused populace is easier to subjugate. Faint-hearted — or worse, ambitious — politicians, officials and compliant judges stepped aside as if to say, “Hey, no hassle from us!” The press was mocked and criticized and eventually suppressed or cowed into submission.

In Fox News, Trump has his servile Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed in the Reich by Joseph Goebbels, a skilled public speaker and proud anti-Semite. Goebbels didn’t even have the benefit of Russia’s smirky approval, nor social media as a weapon. Still, he managed to take control of all books, magazines, radio, public meetings — even art, music and movies. Bonfires of books offensive to the regime sparked enthusiastic rallies for young Nazis. The Reich’s wartime Minister of Justice, Otto Georg Thierack, was in all ways an acolyte, loyalist and minion of Chancellor Hitler. The horrors that the Reich “Justice Department” eventually visited upon Hitler’s “Others” and his own personal enemies are too gruesome and “Final” to chronicle. Other now infamous, chilling names spring to mind: Reich Minister of the Interior, Heinrich Himmler; Deputy Fuehrer and “Minister Without Portfolio,” Rudolf Hess (not unlike a Personal Attorney?); Hermann Goering, a morphine addict who oversaw creation of the Gestapo before handing it off to Himmler. They all knew, without being told, precisely what the Fuehrer wanted, and they delivered. All of them cheerfully played their parts in engineering the Holocaust.

Leading them all was a cunning, dysfunctional megalomaniac. Do we doubt that any man who crows about his unparalleled wisdom, claims absolute power and brooks no dissent, yearns to be a dictator, untouchable and bound by no law? Maybe an early sign of this would be purging the government of everyone who did not exhibit loyalty and fealty to the Supreme Leader. Is all this far-fetched, even hysterical? Maybe. Is it impossible? No.

History, like science, demands our attention, and we ignore both at our peril. Traditions, constitutions and courageous patriots (“Take her out!”) can, and in the past have, been brushed aside, before a nation’s unbelieving eyes and with breathtaking speed. Let’s carefully guard our cherished freedoms, lest they are plucked and smothered, one by one by one . . .

Ric McKittrick



Protesting cancellation of film

Once word got out that Vose Library was showing the documentary "Vaxxed," pressure was put on the library and the library president canceled the event. This appears to be a clear violation of the Library Bill of Rights which states in part:

"The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services….

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996."

It looks like the folks at the Vose Library in Union don't support the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1: Section 4 of the Maine Constitution. It is ironic that the cover to the video reads: "The Film They Don't Want You to See" The question is, who are the folks in Union that don't want people to see it?

Jessica Whitworth

Founder of Liberty for ME