My 83-year-old mother recently surprised me with yet another story from her childhood that I had not previously heard.  My Mom was born in Germany and spent the early years of her life under Nazi rule; certainly not an easy place to live, especially if you were Jewish.

Mom and her parents lived in large apartment building in Mannheim.  At some point after the Nazis came to power, her father stopped taking the family’s trash down to the refuse room in the basement out of fear that if he encountered a female gentile-Nazi sympathizer, she might falsely accuse him of accosting her.  At that time, arresting Jews on the word of a non-Jew was as easy as buying an apple.

Monday, much of the world learned of the violent riots that had taken place Sunday evening in Cairo.  Coptic Christians, who make up 10% of city’s population, marched through the streets to protest the growing violence against their community.  At some point, they were confronted by the Egyptian Army troops who opened fire on the unarmed demonstrators.  Armed military vehicles rushed the crowds indiscriminately, killing and injuring dozens of people.  Egypt’s military government reported today that 25 people in all were killed Sunday night; dozens were in area hospitals, all the victims were Coptic Christians.

The New York Times reported a little known fact on Monday that was as disturbing as any other news from Cairo:

“Nada el-Shazly, 27, who was wearing a surgical mask to deflect the tear gas, said she came out because she heard state television urge “honest Egyptians” to turn out to protect the soldiers from Christian protesters, even though she knew some of her fellow Muslims had marched with the Christians to protest the military’s continued hold on power.    “Muslims get what is happening,” she said. The military, she said, was “trying to start a civil war.”

So much for the Egyptian revolution.  A treacherous, manipulative military government determined to stifle protest and divide the people at any price, is clearly in control.  Mubarak must be laughing in his jail cell.

In case you believe that living in fear of the kind of the unscrupulous behavior that was the norm in Nazi Germany and is the norm today in many countries like Egypt, China, North Korea and Iran, consider this story, as reported by the website, (FDL)

Over the weekend, the media reported on violent confrontations that took place Saturday between protesters who are sympathetic to the Occupy-Wall Street movement and guards at the Air and Spaced Museum in Washington, DC.  Disturbing photographs and video  showed museum guards pepper-spraying the protesters who had just been chased from the museum.

What has only come to light in the last day with the publication of pictures from the confrontation, is that the protesters were incited to enter the museum.  An assertive member of their group egged them on: Moving their demonstration inside the museum would  be good publicity for the cause.  And didn’t they have as much right to protest in a national museum as on the public street?

What none of the marchers knew until he was identified in photographs, was that the man who had encouraged them to go into the Air and Space Museum  was Patrick Howley,  Assistant Editor of the conservative magazine, The American Spectator.

Now that the truth has come out, Howley, readily admits that his motivation was to paint the protesters in a bad light.  Charlie Grapski, who prepared the story for FDL, notes that:  “It is highly likely that the events that occurred would not have taken the turn they did if it were not for Howley’s admitted adventure in an effort to discredit the Occupy movement.”

In a classic “Fox Noise” effort to spin a story that makes political conservatives look unscrupulous, Howley proudly declares on the Spectator website:

“As I scrambled away from the scene of my crime, a police officer outside the museum gates pointed at my eyes, puffed out of his chest, and shouted: “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.” He was proud that I had been pepper-sprayed, and, oddly, so was I.  I deserved to get a face full of high-grade pepper, and the guards who sprayed me acted with more courage than I saw from any of the protesters. If you’re looking for something to commend these days in America, start with those guards.”

Do you hear that America?  A true patriot and defender of the Constitution orchestrated a violent confrontation to bring out the best in the civil servants guarding the Air and Space Museum, (who BTW, are over-paid and should not be unionized!)

Deceitful, covert activity intended to discredit the political opposition: tyrannical governments and religious fanatics the world over must be enjoying this story.   The nation that prides itself as being the freest and most democratic on Earth, is not immune from the most conniving, duplicitous behavior of the worst despots in  history.

This is the photo that identified Howly. (
Howley's face blown up; his Facebook photo