Friday, November 30, 2007

Strong-arm campaigning by Putin in Russia

Vladimir Putin is not trying to extend his term as president of Russia. But he is acting authoritarian in many ways. He has strengthened one of the other offices, which has always been a figure-head post. But he has stengthened it so when he steps down as president he moves into that office and still has power. And his political party is using strong-arm methods to get votes. They are destroying the campaign literature of opponents. Opponents have been arrested in Perm while campaigning. And much more. Washington Post reports:
Millions of pieces of opposition campaign literature have been seized or destroyed, those observers report. Parties have found themselves unable to secure billboard or other advertising space, so that on the streets of Moscow and other cities it appears that only one party, United Russia, is running. Campaign workers have been arrested and beaten across Russia. For example, in the Urals city of Perm, workers were detained while attempting to canvass voters. A party organizer was reported beaten up in the Mordovia region. And a candidate for the Yabloko party was shot and killed last week in the southern republic of Dagestan.
Of course Putin knows nothing of this.
But across the country, people tell a different story. Employees and students at state enterprises and institutions, including hospitals and universities, have come under pressure from their bosses and deans to vote for United Russia on Sunday or face retribution, according to activists. On national and regional television stations, which are controlled by the authorities, opposition parties have received brief, non-prime-time slots for political statements and been neglected or derided in news programming. Putin and other United Russia leaders, in contrast, are the subject of glowing reports. "There was no political campaign; there was only propaganda for United Russia," said Lilia Shibanova, director of Golos, a Russian private organization that monitors elections. "In all state media, there was huge preference and prevalence in coverage of United Russia. Any coverage of other parties was almost 100 percent entirely negative." ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stalin starved Ukraine 75 years ago

Soviet leader Josef Stalin used starvation to weaken the poor into submission. When there was resistance to collectivizing in the Ukraine area he took farmers' entire harvest so they starved. When I was reading the history of this time I was shocked to learn that soon after the Bolshevik take over the Communist leaders called for a "struggle for food." By struggle they meant to take it by force. And they did. BBC
Seventy-five years ago, Ekaterina saw seven members of her family and almost all of her neighbours starve to death, in a man-made famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine. Tree bark and roots The "Holodomor" or "famine plague" as it is known in Ukraine, was part of Joseph Stalin's programme to crush the resistance of the peasantry to the collectivisation of farming. Don't go near the priest's house either - because the neighbours there have killed and eaten their children Ekaterina Marchenko recalls a warning from her mother When in 1932 the grain harvest did not meet the Kremlin's targets, activists were sent to the villages where they confiscated not just grain and bread, but all the food they could find.

Monday, November 26, 2007

US leads the world in competitiveness

The US is on top of the world for competitiveness, the World Economic Forum finds. They publish this ranking of every country every year, using public data plus conducting their own interviews. The US is high due to almost everything - labor market efficiency, financial market sophistication, innovation, infrastructure, business sophistication, even market size helps. We are only middle of the pack on macroeconomic instability. Yes, adapting to changes requires being less stable. Stagnant countries are more stable. And we are second tier for "institutions" and "health and primary education." Read the report at World Economic Forum. Noel Shepherd at News Busters points out that the news media have been almost silent on this good news. Only Investors Business Daily trumpeted it. Time buried the US and featured number 3 Switzerland. After all, George Bush might get credit for good news.

The Dems have passed one of 12 budget bills

The budget year began October 1. They have one of 12 bills passed and signed by President Bush. Failure

Show us your proof, distinguished Senator Kerry

Distinguished Senator John F. Kerry has convinced the main-stream media that the Swift Boat Veterans smeared him with lies about his service in Viet Nam during the 2004 campaign. How did he convince the gullible newsmen and women? By showing his records? No. By blunder, his only weapon. T Boone Pickens, the Texas oil investor, challenged Kerry to prove any of the Swift-boat allegation untrue. Boone offered $1,000,000 for just one proven allegation. So Kerry wrote and told Pickens where to send the million. Did he provide any facts? Any records? No. Just "send me the money." Emmett Tyrrel can't control his laughter, writing in the New York Sun:
Well, during the last week I have been following Jean-Francois Kerry's controversy with billionaire investor and environmentalist Boone Pickens, and I believe I am in need of "laughter management counseling." Every time I think of this ponderous stone-headed senator bellowing phony pieties, I suffer a dreadful agitation in the funny bone. I only hope that my health insurance is applicable.
And he is aiding distinguished Senator Kerry by running a count-up clock to see how long it takes for Kerry to produce his Navy records. He calls it "The Crybaby Kerry Clock:"
At the American Spectator

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Europe's improving relations with US

More people are writing to point out positive developments in the relations between the US and Europe. I reported two weeks ago on blogger Don Surber's observations. Now more main-stream sources are making similar observations. Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist at the Washington Post, reports. And 10 days ago W Post columnist and former foreign columnist William Drozdiak reported: "Four myths about America-bashing in Europe"
Myth 2 Europeans look down on the American way of life. Young Europeans are more eager than ever to work and study in the United States. A brain drain from France and Germany has sent some of their best and brightest to the United States. A top destination is Silicon Valley; an estimated 80,000 young French people, known for their math skills, have migrated there in pursuit of jobs with high-tech firms. When I spoke last year with about 50 Germans studying at MIT and Harvard, not one of them expressed a desire to return home. They all wanted to live and work in the United States, where, they said, opportunities are far more abundant. Many complained that the sclerotic welfare states in Europe punish those who work and reward those who don't. So they're fleeing the crushing tax burden at home for more lucrative challenges in the United States. Europe's leaders are slowly waking up to the fact that, with shrinking birth rates and a diminished work force, the continent may no longer be able to afford lavish social benefits, such as universal health care, retirement on full pensions as early as age 50 and up to nine weeks of paid vacation per year. They are exploring best practices in the United States to see how to rekindle entrepreneurial spirit and push people off welfare rolls. Similarly, European politicians are seeking to learn from the United States about diversity. Faced with growing difficulties in integrating Turkish and North African immigrants, European governments that once scorned affirmative action are now looking to America for ideas to improve racial integration and encourage class mobility.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ecological high cost of a UN climate conference

The earth's ecology takes a hard hit when the United Nation gathers its professional conference goers and hangers on to talk about protecting the earth's ecology. Someone calculated the cost of 15,000 people traveling to the Indonesian island of Bali. 106,000 tons in the US system just for getting there. Times (UK) reports:
Calculations suggest flying the 15,000 politicians, civil servants, green campaigners and television crews into Indonesia will generate the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of extra CO2. That is similar to the entire annual emissions of the African state of Chad. When it was first conceived, only a few thousand politicians civil servants and environmentalists were expected to attend the conference — about normal for such an event. The meeting, which runs from December 3-14, aims to create the framework for a successor to the Kyoto treaty on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, which expires in 2012. However, climate change’s growing political importance has led to a surge in interest in the conference, which is being held in the luxury holiday resort of Nusa Dua on Bali’s palm-fringed southern coast. .... Indonesian officials say the final tally could reach 20,000 — and fear it could stretch the resort’s infrastructure to the limit. About 90% of the emissions will be generated by delegates flying thousands of miles to Bali, with the rest coming from the facilities they will be using. Chris Goodall, a carbon emissions expert who did the calculations for The Sunday Times, estimated that each person flying to Bali would, on average, generate the equivalent of 6.48 tonnes of CO2. If 15,000 people attend, this adds up to over 97,000 tonnes of CO2. To this must be added about 13,000 tonnes of CO2 from the conference venue and hotels — a total of 110,000 tonnes. [A tonne is a metric ton which is a 1,000 kgm - about 2,200 lbs.]
I don't think we can afford so many concerned people flying all over the place. The same people want you and me to stop traveling. But they are different.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lorna Jean Schaper 1942-2007

My sister lost her battle to ovarian cancer on November 13. She was in stage 4 for over two years and fought it to the end. Update. There is an online web site for her at where you can leave a condolence.

Lorna Jean Schaper (1942-2007)

On November 13, 2007, Lorna Jean Schaper lost a two-year battle to stage 4 ovarian cancer. She is missed by her family, friends, and co-workers. She was born Lorna Jean Hebron in Oskaloosa, Iowa, March 30, 1942. Her family moved to Washington before her first birthday. She attended schools in Richland and Kennewick, Washington before moving to Seattle. She graduated from West Seattle High School, then attended Seattle Pacific College and Edison Technical School. She earned an Associate of Arts in Applied Sciences at Seattle Central Community College. She worked for Boeing until leaving to be a full-time mother. Her passion was teaching elementary children as an Instructional Assistant for 22 years in Seattle Public Schools – Coe, TT Minor, Cooper, Cleveland High, and Summit K-12 Schools. She worked in a number of reading assistance programs and supervised recess (even when weak from cancer!), until illness forced her to leave in June 2007. She enjoyed hobbies such as cross stitch, knitting, puzzles, reading the Seattle Times, sewing, and sudoku. As an accomplished seamstress she once made matching suits for her husband and son. She enjoyed her condo with its views of Elliot Bay and the commercial traffic, especially tugboats. She traveled to several states by private plane and enjoyed vacations at Sun Cove in Orondo, (Eastern) WA, Florida, and Hawaii. She was a Mariner’s Baseball fan and an avid fan of the Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Team as a season ticket holder since their inception as the Breakers in 1977. She participated in church throughout her life, singing in the church choir at Gatewood Baptist Church, teaching 3rd grade Sunday School class while at McMicken Heights Baptist Church. As a counselor, she took teens to Youth for Christ rallies and volunteered at a Billy Graham Crusade. As a member at Elim Baptist Church in Wallingford, she held different positions including Financial Secretary until the time of her death. She is survived by her brothers Ronald (Virginia), Curtis (Mary), Richard (Lilly), and Gordon (Debbie) Hebron, and her Son, Scott (Patricia) all of the Seattle-Tacoma area. Memorial service will be Dec. 1, 2007 11:00am at Elim Baptist Church 2410 N 46th St Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 632-4354 Special thanks to the countless people that helped care for Lorna, the Elim Family and Swedish Cancer Institute, Ballard Treatment Center, ICU, and specifically Dr. Milder and Dr. Rivkin (who saved her life in Sept-2007).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stem-cell breakthrough - good news

Adult cells can produce the stem cells needed for certain therapies. The evidence has been mounting; here is more Ledger-Enquirer
In the journals Science and Cell, the scientists reported that they had coaxed regular human cells into mimicking the disease-fighting potential of embryonic stem cells - without destroying budding human life... Stem cells extracted from embryos a few days old can morph into any type of tissue and are widely considered to hold the greatest promise of treatments and cures for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other ailments. But extracting the stem cells destroys the embryo. [President] Bush and his allies consider that crossing an ethical line that taxpayers should not be forced to finance. Proponents of the process say public money would only be used on embryos that would be discarded anyway under the vetoed legislation.

Thank our troops with text - 89279

Show our US troops in Iraq and Afganistan that you support them this Thanksgiving. Send a text message to 89279. Watch the messages appear in real-time in the window below:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UN lowers AIDS counts by 40 per cent

The United Nations is backing off its scare tactic of overestimating the numbers of people suffering and dying from AIDS. They have been so far over year after year that knowledgeable people have been complaining every year. Why did the UN bureaucrats and scientists make such a huge error? They wanted more funding, so they lied, I mean, emphasized the immensity of the problem. Washington Post
The worldwide total of people infected with HIV -- estimated a year ago at nearly 40 million and rising -- now will be reported as 33 million. Having millions fewer people with a lethal contagious disease is good news. Some researchers, however, contend that persistent overestimates in the widely quoted U.N. reports have long skewed funding decisions and obscured potential lessons about how to slow the spread of HIV. Critics have also said that U.N. officials overstated the extent of the epidemic to help gather political and financial support for combating AIDS. "There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure:Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way." [link in the original]

9 days exploring Washington's Pacific coast

Travels with Brian in the Seattle Times If you love Northwest beaches and quaint beach towns, chances are many of you head for the Oregon coast for vacation. So what's the beef with the Washington coast? Well, nothing. Well, everything. Well, let's go take a fresh look. That what I'm doing for the next 10 days. I'll jump in a Jeep, packing high boots, foul-weather gear, camera and a laptop. The plan is to drive, hike and poke around just about every Pacific beach in the state of Washington reachable by car, and some that aren't, from Neah Bay to Ilwaco.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pastor Hutcherson to buy Microsoft over gay bill

Pastor Ken Hutcherson is fighting back against Microsoft because MS supported a gay-rights bill in Washington state. I agree that the law promotes sin, but I disagree with his tactic. He is trying to gain control of Microsoft by people buying shares. Worse, he claims he can succeed. The Telegraph (UK) reports
His ambitious plan signals a new offensive in his two-year battle with Microsoft after it abandoned its neutral stance on gay rights legislation, which he says he helped secretly negotiate before outraged gay employees intervened. By trying to become a political player in Washington state, he said, the company was trying to impose its sinful ways on others. "Microsoft stepped out of their four walls into my world so that gives me the right to step out of my world into their world," he said. "They tried to turn their policy into state policy, making their policy something I had to submit to. And my playbook [the bible] tells me you don't submit to sin."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

State college supporting blockading the streets of Olympia

Rep. Kagi, Why are my tax dollars supporting people forcing their children to block the streets of Olympia? Have you seen the photos of the baby dropped by his/her mother? But its my tax dollars that bother me. They are using the resources of Evergreen State College. See this email:
From: Johnson, Leslie Sent: Wed 11/14/07 13:03 To: All Staff & Faculty DL Subject: FW: Port demonstration Debrief with Counseling Center staff —–Original Message—– From: Johnson, Leslie Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:15 PM To: Gaetz, Gloria Subject: Port demonstration Debrief with Counseling Center staff The Counseling Center will be holding a debriefing specifically for TESC students who have been involved The Olympia Port war protest. The purpose of the debriefing is to provide emotional support and help students process traumatic experiences. This will be a therapeutic setting and as such no media will be present or allowed. If you are aware of a student who was involved in the protest and is having difficulty coping with or processing this experience please encourage them to attend this therapeutic debriefing. When: Thursday Nov. 15 Time: 6- 8 p.m. Where: CAB room 108 Leslie Johnson, MSW Mental Health Therapist TESC Counseling Center Ext. 6802
Why? Ron Hebron Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Friday, November 16, 2007

Constitutional coup by Chavez in Venezuela

The Washington Post now realizes: Hugo Chavez in Venezuela might have been elected, but he is conducting a coup by revising the constitution to keep himself in power:
In fact, Mr. Chavez's rewrite would complete his transformation into an autocrat. It would lengthen his presidential term from six to seven years and remove the current limit of two terms, allowing him to serve indefinitely. He would have broad powers to seize property, to dispose of Venezuela's foreign exchange reserves, to impose central government rule on local jurisdictions and to declare indefinite states of emergency under which due process and freedom of information would be suspended. As a populist sop, one provision would reduce the workday from eight to six hours; that benefit, the state's control over national television and the voting process, and the apparent intention of many Venezuelans to stay away from the polls are expected to deliver the necessary ratification. The strength and courage of the resistance to Mr. Chavez is nevertheless growing. Despite the attacks by government goons, students have continued to march by the thousands. Bloggers have posted photos and videos of the government-sponsored violence. Opposition leaders have continued to speak out despite being labeled "traitors" by Mr. Chavez and harassed with death threats. Venezuela is on the verge of succumbing to a dictatorship that will isolate and retard the country, maybe for decades. It's encouraging that so many of its people aren't prepared to give up their freedom without a fight.
And it's not just his long-time enemies; those who have supported him agree:
Mr. Chavez's apologists like to dismiss the Venezuelan forces opposing his deconstruction of democracy -- which include the Catholic Church, the private business community and labor unions as well as students -- as a corrupt elite. So it's worth noting what some of Mr. Chavez's long-standing allies are saying about his constitutional changes. The political party Podemos, whose members ran for parliament on a pro-Chavez platform, call it "a constitutional fraud." Mr. Chavez's recently retired defense minister, Gen. Ra¿l Isa¿as Baduel, said it was an "undemocratic imposition" and that its approval would amount to "a coup."
Rick Moran at American Thinker concludes:
But sooner or later, as it happens in all socialist countries, the economic realities of socialism's failures will overcome any good that might be done and the Venezuelan economy will go south. How Chavez maintains power then will be difficult. But judging by his bullyboy tactics recently, he won't go into retirement easily.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Poverty from the dictator

Venezuela is getting billions in oil revenues. But Venezuela has a dictator who is squandering it for his personal gain and spreading his form of Communism around Latin America. Poverty is the result. Stores have no eggs, milk, sugar and cooking. That is, the stores not reserved for his political cronies. Guardian (U.K.)
Welcome to Venezuela, a booming economy with a difference. Food shortages are plaguing the country at the same time that oil revenues are driving a spending splurge on imported luxury goods, prompting criticism of President Hugo Chávez's socialist policies. Milk has all but vanished from shops. Distraught mothers ask how they are supposed to feed their infants. Many cafes and restaurants serve only black coffee. Families say eggs and sugar are also a memory. "The last time I had them was September," said Marisol Perez, 51, a housewife in Petare, a sprawling barrio in eastern Caracas. When supplies do arrive long queues form instantly. Purchases are rationed and hands are stamped to prevent cheating. The sight of a milk truck reportedly prompted a near-riot last week.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Scientists fear not being trusted

Scientists fear not being trusted. Well, actually they miss not being the final authority in every matter they voiced an opinion. What went wrong? The previous situation was wrong. No area of science can claim to be the final authority. Maybe they stumbled into the situation, maybe not. But they accepted their place on the top of the mountain. Then they wasted their moral authority capital. Much of it was wasted on Alber Gore, Jr. He got them to use massive points on his global warming theory. They continued to claim absolute authority while backing his theory. And they backed Gore when he ruled that there can be no debate. "Game over. I won. (I make the rules.)" The damage is huge. Gore is willing to set the US economy back two generations (very few had cars; few owned homes) and force poverty on us for his theory. And parents now refuse to get their children vaccinated for childhood diseases because they no longer trust scientists. The Toronto Sun reports on a group of scientists facing reality:
After two days of provocative ideas and spirited exchanges at an international gathering recently in Toronto, British museum curator Robert Bud neatly summed up the collective wisdom. "The scientists are terrified." This widespread angst among scientists has been sparked by evidence that the traditional social compact between science and the public has been irrevocably sundered. Put bluntly, much of the public no longer implicitly trusts either scientists or their pronouncements about everything from climate change to the safety of children's vaccines.
Surprise: Scientists express opinions. And sometimes lay people know more than the scientists.
A repeated theme among workshop participants was that many scientists still act as if they possess the "facts," while the public merely has "opinions." In reality, however, scientists are increasingly expressing opinions, and laypersons sometimes possess greater expertise than the scientists, especially in the case of rare medical afflictions.
Hat tip to Denyse at Post-darwinist.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Weather Channel Founder John Coleman - global warming is a sham

"Global warming is a sham." John Coleman was the founder of the Weather Channel and ran it for the first six years. He now works for KUSI TV in San Diego. The following is his own blog post at a blog called Icecap. John Coleman:
It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus. Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmentally conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minute documentary segment. I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party. However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you “believe in.” It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe a me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it. I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming. In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious....
Via Blonde Sagacity

Thursday, November 08, 2007

US's good relations with other countries

Don Surber observes that the US is in improved relationships with many countries. France has elected Sarkozy, its most pro-US president in generations. Germany replaced hostile Schroeder with positive Angela Merkel. Great Britain continues the good relationships under Tony Blair with Gordon Brown. Suber at Daily Mail continues:
Again and again, the West is rallying behind pro-American candidates. That’s because we finally have an adult president. We finally have a president who isn’t so self-centered and insecure that he needs 55% public approval all the time. We finally have a president again who wore the military uniform, knows which hand to salute with and doesn’t use the Pentagon as a dumping ground for ex-girlfriends. 53 weeks of active duty training to be a jet pilot. Unless you’ve been a jet pilot (and I have not) button it about Bush’s service. As to our enemies, Bush fixed that little mess that Clinton and Carter (and Richardson) left in North Korea. Actual Americans began an actual dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuke reactor this week. Gaddafi? He quit terrorism and gave up his WMD.

US troops "cheat" to stay in Iraq

The standard line is that the US can only field forces in Iraq because our economy is so bad that young men and women have no other opportunities and are forced to join the military. I have been hearing constantly that the morale of our forces is very high. They want to be there. Now USA Today reports that young men want to stay with their buddies in Iraq so bad that they cheat on a medical test so they can stay. When someone is near an explosion there is danger of concussion. The test is for concussion. Read about it at USA Today.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Travel in Thailand, Malaysia and Viet Nam

Seattle Times travel writer Carol Pucci traveled to Bangkok, Penang and Hanoi and looked for the unusual.
River cruises. Fresh beer. Strong coffee. French baguettes. Bike rides along shaded canals. Cooking classes in secluded villas. Five-star hotels with sky bars and rooftop pools. Paris, Venice, London? Try Hanoi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. If it's your first time or your tenth, surprises await in modern Southeast Asia. More accessible and easier to travel around than ever, it's a place where English is widely spoken and the dollar still packs power. Beginning Monday, join in online as travel writer Carol Pucci reports from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Follow her dispatches, see her photos and offer your own comments and tips.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Syria's authoritarian secrecy aids Israel

The facility in Syria that is reported to have been a nuclear plant and was reportedly attacked by Israel - no verification on either - was vulnerable due to Syria's internal secrecy. Israel attacked the site in early September. It is not widely reported, but Syria had bought the best air defenses available other than from the US. So they were stunned that Israel was able to attack. And the reports seem to be that Syria didn't know at the time that an attack was underway. So they were doubly stunned. The Syrian authorities were so secretive about the nuclear site that they didn't tell the military. Duh. "Please defend this such-and-such." "Defend what?" "Don't ask, just defend it." But they apparently didn't. So the authoritarian regime hurt itself by its secrecy. The Jerusalem Post reports on the secrecy. Look at the before and after satellite photos. Syria has leveled the site. They must have something to hide. The attack - Times UK. The clean up, I mean, the cover up - Background at Global

Friday, November 02, 2007

Struggled against Nazis vs. the joiner

Joachim Fest passed away at the time his book was published. He tells about how his family resisted and worked around the Nazis of Germany in the 1930s and 40s. But they didn't join. The Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Gunter Grass. For decades Grass was feted as the moral authority, but he was accused of being a Nazi himself. At the end of his life Grass admitted his involvement. Fest said of Grass:
"This confession comes a bit too late. I can't understand how someone who for decades set himself up as a moral authority, a rather smug one, could pull this off."
Read more at No-Pasaran! and at International Herald-Tribune. Fest's book, Ich Nicht, is only available in German!