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Looking Backwards Forward

A great way to plan ahead:


Do something today that your future self will thank you. (Sean Patrick Flannery)

For whatsover a a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

I saw a story ( about a World War II bomb that exploded at a construction site in Euskirchen, Germany. A bulldozer driver was killed when he hit a bomb that had been buried since the war. Another 13 people were injured because of the explosion.  Window, roofs, and doors over 400 meters away (quoting the article since I’m too lazy to do the metrics mathematics) were also damaged in the blast.

Another explosion occurred in Goettingen, Germany. The explosion happened at a site where they knew that a bomb existed and needed to be removed.  About 45 minutes before the men planned to take the final step to remove the bomb, they had to wait to allow a passenger train to go past. Moments later, the bomb went off.

The team had been working on explosive removal for years and were highly experienced in defusing buried bombs from World War II. More than 2,000 tons of American and British bombs; as well as German grenades and Russian artillery shells, are unearthed in Germany each year. The great majority are defused without incident. The reminder is that the past still catches up, whether positively or negatively.

I suspect that you didn’t think I would be blogging about a World War II story. Bombs in the past that are dangerous in the present.

Sometimes I think it would be more fun to blog that Kenny Rogers has announced, “You can count your money. The dealing is done“.  Or maybe “chicken in the bread pan picking out dough“. Something like that.

Instead, just a reminder of the principle that can be positive or negative. It can be a disconcerting thought… or a comforting thought. We reap in the future what we are sowing today. As Uncle D likes to say, “You need to wear work boots, if you want to make footprints in the sands of time”.

And for pic o’ day, I am guessing that the editor took the day off:


Free Speech or Just Against the Law?

Did you know that it is against the law to do the Hitler Sieg Heil Salute in Germany. In fact, you can face jail time. I thought that this story would put into perspective our freedom of speech in the US.

This old story comes from the The story of Adolf the dog.


There are TV shows on how to train your dog to sit, rollover and even bark a song. But in Germany, one man learned that government officials take it seriously when you break the law on the Hitler salute.

A German dog owner taught his dog Adolf to do a Nazi salute. The German Shepherd mixed-breed lifted his paw up high on command, which made the dog look like he was giving the infamous raised-arm greeting that was used by Hitler and all of Germany during World War II.

The dog owner, known as Roland T, would command his dog to “give the salute” right in front of police. Even though it was a dog trick, the Nazi salute is banned in Germany. Multiple times he was told to stop but he wouldn’t stop. Finally, they arrested him,  jailed him because he could not pay the fine.

The article goes on to give us a clue on how crazy this dog owner could carry his obsession. He told police that since the dog was born on Hitler’s birthday, that he also planned to have him put down on the anniversary of Hitler’s suicide.

I guess we learn a bit about free speech laws; a view into crazy; and wonder what this dog owner would have done… if he had owned a Unicorn. OK, maybe we don’t wonder about that last one.

And for pic o’ day… this one made me smile!


Law of Heil Hitler

When you think of pictures of Hitler, your mind probably goes to one that shows him saluting, like the picture below. It’s a picture of Hitler returning the Nazi Salute. Literally this was known as a gesture of the Hitler Salute, which was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany. Heil Hitler became a greeting with the extended right arm or left arm, if disability kept someone from raising their right arm. The salute was also accompanied with the expression Heil, mein Führer. (Hail my leader


This picture below of this crowd in Germany is an attention-grabber from that Hitler era. It shows more than just a man in the crowd. As you can see, the circled man is the only person in the picture not gesturing the Hitler Salute.  As of 1926, the Heil Hitler salute was made compulsory. It served as a display of commitment to the Nazi Party.



     Depending on the date of this photograph, the man could be facing punishment for not saluting. Compulsory saluting moved to a decree of the law, by the Minister of the Interior. As of July 13, 1933, all German public employees were required to use the salute. By the end of 1934, special courts were established to punish all citizens who refused to salute. Your failure to salute was considered rebellion against the Nazi government.

The progression of the salute as a matter of law, shows what happens when a government can continually seize the rights of its citizens. Soon, laws can have no bearing on effective governing. They simply are enacted to control.

The ending to the salute came with the defeat of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Currently, this salute is considered a criminal offense in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. In Switzerland and Sweden, the salute is illegal and has been classified as illegal hate speech.

When I saw that historical photo of the one man, it made me think?   Even put on my thinking cat.  Yes, a crazy, scary law to test loyalty.


And now, for pic o’ day. How about some more costumes? (Can’t bring myself to mention the Colts game last night)


The Bebelplatz Burning Reminder

The Bebelplatz (from Wiki) is a public square that is centrally located in Berlin, Germany. The square is named after August Bebel, who is credited as the founder of Germany’s  Social Democratic Party.

The Bebelplatz is known as the infamous site where, on May 10, 1933, over 20,000 books by Jewish authors were destroyed . On that date, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was invited by the German Student Union to give a speech before the burning. He stood to give an inflammatory speech as a precursor of events to come, and then the SS and Hitler Youth groups set fire to the books, which included many well-known works by such writers as Karl Marx and Albert Einstein.

Today in the square, there is a memorial set up as a reminder to the destruction of those books. It commemorates the great loss of those books with a glass plate set in the cobble stones. As evidenced by this photo, the memorial shows a view of empty bookcases that is large enough to hold 20,000

There is a German engraved plaque next to the glass plate. Translated in English it reads, “That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people“.

Several years ago one of my New Year’s resolutions was to lose weight. I joined a nearby Weight Watchers. Not surprisingly, several other people had the same resolution.

During the subsequent weeks, we would all show up for the weekly meetings. First, we would go behind a curtain and weigh-in. Then, we would have a brief motivational lecture to equip us with techniques for weight loss. Reminders to eat pickles or Fat Free Cool-Whip if we needed to fight cravings. (Typing that made me hungry.)

One lady faithfully attended each of the weekly meetings. Her weight loss was dramatic. The reason that I remember her so well is that she would always come into the meeting with the same dress over her other clothes. Then she would take that outer layer dress off, after her weigh-in.

That dress was what she wore to the very first Weight Watchers’ meeting. Through the weeks, it became very apparent that she had lost a considerable amount. In fact, by the end, that sagging dress  looked comical on her.

The two stories are not equal in the gravity of the event. But, they both used reminders to move forward in a positive direction.

If you have made resolutions for 2015, there will be great temptation to think “Oh well”. I have that same little voice in my head. So,  I have tried to set up some motivating reminders for some of my resolutions.

Now to my personal unintentional reminder. I was reviewing past TV spots that were run in years past, for the law firm. I pulled up some ads that were cut in 2011. Who was that fat guy in a little coat? It was me. What was I thinking? It looks like pork chops hanging from my neck.

Every year, I put some resolution emphasis on exercise and weight loss. My reminder for this year is to just pop in a 2011  JB Firm spot… and watch it. Boom.


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