Someone passed along a quote to me yesterday made by the Nazi war criminal Herman Goering. Here is the original transcription, made by Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking intelligence officer and psychologist who was granted free access by the Allies to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail, of a conversation he had with Goering. It think it’s fairly appropriate in light of current events.
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
“Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”
“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”
“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
I’m not sure how much longer this will remain active, but the folks over at Desmond Crisis are hosting a temporary mp3 audio stream of a police scanner feed from the war protests in San Francisco. A friend has pointed out that DNA Lounge has tuned its audio streams to the police channels as well.On a related note, here are a few anti-war related sites in San Francisco, Chicago, and nationwide.
I received the following notifications today about road closures in San Francisco this week due to war protests.—Law enforcement officials have advised that numerous protests are expected in San Francisco, specifically in the financial district. Resources indicate protestors may block various street intersections and/or businesses throughout the downtown area, beginning tonight – Wednesday, March 19, 2003 at 5PM and continuing on and off through Thursday and possibly throughout the weekend. The primary stated purpose of these protests is to “stop business and traffic” within the financial district.—Although it is impossible to predict what events might occur and impact, not only the daily commute, but passage around the City, it is possible to plan ahead for possible disruptions to either public transportation or roadways. As you are probably aware, street closures due to protests have recently occurred in downtown San Francisco. Several organizations have identified various streets and intersections to be closed down upon confirmation that the United States has entered into a war. The aforementioned protests are scheduled to begin at 7am the morning after the confirmation of war. Although these may change, areas of potential activity, which include protests and/or blocking of streets, are as follows:1) Lombard & Van Ness2) Polk & Broadway3) Polk & Bush4) Market & Franklin5) Division & Van Ness6) 6th & Brannan7) 5th & Mission (SF Chronicle)8) 3rd & Folsom9) Harrison & 2nd10) Harrison & Fremont11) Embarcadero & Market12) Broadway @ Columbus13.a & 13.b) Stockton Tunnel14) Powell & Bush15) Market & 6th16) 16th & Valencia/Mission17) Howard & Fremont18) Embarcadero & Washington19) Embarcadero & Broadway20) Parking Lots:a. Civic Center (McAllister betw. Polk/Larkin)b. Sutter/Stockton (entries on Bush and Stockton)c. 5th/Mission (entries on Mission and on Minna)As morning hours are a time of heavy commute, please be advised that should your normal commute have the potential to be affected by the protests you should have an alternate route planned. There are numerous information resources available and I encourage you to review them, prior to any disruption that may occur. The following are some of the resources available to you:1) Dial 511 from any Bay Area phone and you will be connected to up-to-the-minute road conditions, public transportation announcements, and ridesharing options. 511 is a comprehensive system that includes Caltrans, California HIghway Patrol information and street and road closures for each county.2) Radio channels, KGO,KCBS, KPIX AND KTVU all carry travel information via their stations and the web. They also have maps and text descriptions of traffic and road conditions, and carry announcements from public transportation providers.
Jennifer and I hosted a potluck for our weekly dinner club. Every Thursday we try a new restaurant in the South Bay, though occasionally we’ll get together at someone’s house and pick a theme for the meal. This week it was “India and the East”. Most everyone brought a curry of some sort, though we did have a few Chinese dishes as well. Everything was delicious. I’ve posted a few post-meal photos. Not pictured are Eric and Loi (not sure how that happened! It wasn’t intentional, I swear!).