Philip Germain: We are better than this

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Last Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, remembering those who endured such tragedy and inhumane treatment so many years ago.

President Trump remembered this day by signing an executive order restricting travel to America from Muslim countries.

My late grandfather, Benjamin Germain, survived the Holocaust after spending years in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and become an outstanding member of the community upon his return.

My late grandmother, Henrietta Kaplan, survived years of evasion in Poland as the war raged on. She would find herself in the United States years later, becoming a real estate agent and building a family.

These are just two stories of the millions which came out of such a horrific period in human history.

Last week, the president signed an executive order to ban immigration coming from predominately Muslim nations and a continuing policy to scapegoat an entire religion.

My grandparents’ stories are those of people immigrating to the United States, and I cannot stand by as the president seeks to close our borders to those doing the same.

A nation is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members. We must remember what history has taught us and stand against such behavior.

 

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Philip Germain: We are better than this

Last Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, remembering those who endured such tragedy and inhumane treatment so many years ago.

President Trump remembered this day by signing an executive order restricting travel to America from Muslim countries.

My late grandfather, Benjamin Germain, survived the Holocaust after spending years in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and become an outstanding member of the community upon his return.

My late grandmother, Henrietta Kaplan, survived years of evasion in Poland as the war raged on. She would find herself in the United States years later, becoming a real estate agent and building a family.

These are just two stories of the millions which came out of such a horrific period in human history.

Last week, the president signed an executive order to ban immigration coming from predominately Muslim nations and a continuing policy to scapegoat an entire religion.

My grandparents’ stories are those of people immigrating to the United States, and I cannot stand by as the president seeks to close our borders to those doing the same.

A nation is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members. We must remember what history has taught us and stand against such behavior.

 

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  • Gil Mertz

    Philip, stop watching CNN and get the facts. Your letter has many falsehoods.

    Shouldn’t you be better than that?

    • Karen Rose

      Isn’t the author Trish? I thought the title was a quote.

      • Ron Bischof

        A web error that leads to the confusion, Ms. Rose.

        Its occurred prior to this instance.

    • libbet

      Gil, if you want facts you will watch CNN. The FACT the Puppet is blackballing them tells the world they are telling the truth about the naked emperor. Sorry, comrade, your lies about what is fake news are rubbish and won’t work anymore.

  • Bill Reynolds

    Gee whiz, study up Phil. Trump’s temporary geographical immigration ban has absolutely nothing to do with the holocaust.

    • Karen Rose

      Maybe misreading this but isn’t the article by Trish… If one does ‘study up’ Trump has said that Christian refugees should be given priority. This in combination with nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia being left off the restricted travel lists makes the temporary geographical ban seem less about geographical location and more about fear mongering. The truth is this ban has absolutely nothing to do with anything, most importantly any real threat to Americans. Interpretors and others who helped our troops abroad are being targeted and we are not stepping up to help them. This has been going on for.a while, including under the Obama administration, and it is un American. If we keep throwing our allies to the wolves we won’t have any left to help our troops. That why you see so many veterans at these protests. They worked on the ground with these people. I trust our vets. Let them in. The current vetting process is rediculous and does not need to be any more ‘extreme.’

      • Gil Mertz

        Karen, how do you know there are so many vets at these protests? If that came from CNN or the networks, I’d need independent confirmation that this is true. As for Christians, they are under far greater threat of persecution by Muslims and Christians represent the lease terror threat in America compared to Muslims.

        • libbet

          MOST vets are watching Putin’s Puppet with horror. And republicans too I might add. They didn’t fight for this country to see the current Puppet of Putin destroy what they fought so hard for. Are you a Breitbarter coming in to confuse people with your ‘alternative facts’ known as LIES?

          • Ron Bischof

            And there you have it from noted puppeteer, Veteran and Republican representative, libbet. 😀

        • Karen Rose

          I was at the LAX protest.

          • lois eisenberg

            BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO !!!!!!

          • Gil Mertz

            Not sure why vets who fought to protect our country would be marching to ease restrictions on immigration from countries that even the Obama administration listed as threats, but do the vets you saw personally represent most veterans in America or can you provide some polling data that would be more persuasive?

            And asking me to prove that the mainstream is not biased in indeed a waste of time.

          • Gil Mertz

            Ed, if you think avoiding this forum is a good tonic, why not just avoid it all together?

          • Ron Bischof

            Your public frustration that your “arguments” aren’t found to be persuasive in a heterogenous forum are noted, Mr. Shalom.

        • Karen Rose

          I don’t get this CNN thing? Is it a trending story or something? I am a millennial we don’t have a TV or cable. So no I don’t watch CNN or ‘the networks.’ I don’t really watch anything. I listen to NPR and BBC and a number of other podcasts and at night while I’m getting my baby to sleep I tend to read through Reuters. The greatest treat of prosecution is for those who helped our troop whom we abandoned. You manner is that in which you seem to want to promote conflict. Sea Lioning is what the kids are calling it. If your argument is CNN and The Networks are lying than you are not providing your ‘unbias’ sources, yet you are forcing me to waste time explaining mine. It is unproductive. If you want to discuss the current and proposed new vetting processes, I am ready to listen.

      • Phil

        This article was written by me, I believe it was formatted by Trish?

        • Karen Rose

          Got it. I can only really read and post when I have a child asleep on me. (Btw teething, sucks) The mobile web view shows ‘by: Trish…’ I guess on the Opinion page the author is the person in the title before the : symbol..Makes sense.
          I wanted a local news source but haven’t figured out how to add Signal to my RSS Feed yet. Then I ended up in the comments. What do they say? ‘Never read the comments.’ I’m going to have to force myself away from these comment sections. It’s fine when my child is asleep but I would hate to miss time with my family banging on my cell phone because ‘someone is wrong on the internet.’
          Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Brian Baker

    “A nation is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.”

    A noble sentiment that has absolutely zero relevance to the issue at hand. The people whose travel is being restricted aren’t members of this nation. They’re foreigners, who have absolutely zero “rights” at all, other than those we as a nation decide to grant them as far as entering
    this country.

    • libbet

      WWJD?

    • Karen Rose

      I wouldn’t say ‘zero’ rights. Many are Green Card holders required to pay taxes and enlist for the draft. They are in the process of becoming citizens. We need to take a serious look at our immigration policies and the pathway to citizenship. Please note I am not pointing fingers left or right here. The system is not working and needs repair. Everyone pointing to Canada should note there system is based on job skills and ours is based on reuniting families… So I wouldn’t say Canada is morally superior by default here.
      Anyway. Many of these Green Card holders have lived here for many years, consider themselves Americans, most of their family are here in America and they are simply trying to make their way through this broken system. It is morally questionable to tell future citizens that they can’t visit family in their homeland because they will then be banned for returning to live with their family in America. Particularly when we have made it so difficult to complete the pathway to American citizenship.

      • Brian Baker

        The Green Card holders aren’t being restricted from entry, so your basic premise is fatally flawed.

        However, we’ve had travel restrictions in place for decades. After Iran fell to the ayatollahs, resident aliens in this country couldn’t go to Iran and expect to be allowed re-entry to this country. Same thing with Cuba, North Korea, and other nations.

        This isn’t anything new at all.

        • Karen Rose

          Just today the restriction was amended to allow in green card holders. Therefore it was previously restricting green card holders. Furthermore I would argue without the protests today’s amendment may not have happened.
          I am not saying bans have not existed in the past. I am not saying Obama’s policies were correct. I am saying the restrictions recently were wrong, uneducated and misguided. The executive order specifically calls out the 9/11 atracks. Even if the country list was cut and pasted from policies used during the Obama administration, the order hurt refugees and American allies.
          We are talking about now. We are talking about refugees in need right now. Military interpretors in danger right now.

          If you want to get historical the root cause of 9/11 was America’s foreign policies after fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and our role in the Israel/Palestine conflict. Religion and immigration are just side players here.

          • Brian Baker

            Absolute and utter nonsense from start to finish. Nothing but a regurgitation of standard leftist talking points.

            It wasn’t “restricting” Green Card holders; it was subjecting them to extra scrutiny if they were returning from certain countries. You need to get your facts straight.

            And I notice you very blithely shrug off the fact that this has been going on for decades. How convenient for you, right?

            So here’s a history lesson for you. Our problems in the ME don’t stem from engaging Russia there, nor do they arise from our support for Israel. They come DIRECTLY from Carter’s abject failure and cowardice in backing down when Khomeini took Iran, and our embassy there, over. If there’s ONE thing respected in that region, it’s strength, and when he backed down our troubles began. As far as they were concerned, from that point on we were a paper tiger.

            I lived in Iran for five years; I went to high school there; my Armenian mother was born and raised there; I still have relatives there. I KNOW what I’m talking about, while all you’re doing is spouting ignorant babble based on nothing more than left-wing mantra.

            You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • charlesmauricedetallyrand

      Does our federal government “grant” rights?

      • Ron Bischof

        An incisive question.

        I’m curious how a Millennial will respond.

        • charlesmauricedetallyrand

          I was more curious to see what a certain baby boomer who cites strict adherence to the “constitution” has to say, but given any response I make to him is quickly labeled as “spam” I doubt I’ll hear anything back.

          Maybe you can speak towards the constitution and the notion of “granting” rights?

          • Ron Bischof

            Your question has a universal reach.

            Our Constitution reflects the thought product of The Enlightenment, i.e. a recognition of innate inalienable rights not granted by government.

            Actual rights aren’t granted by governments nor can they be legitimately removed or infringed.

          • charlesmauricedetallyrand

            In regards to the discussion about the Federalist papers one of my favorites happens to be number 84.

          • Ron Bischof

            All the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers are useful context in Constitutional study.

  • Ed Shalom

    Trish:
    In recounting this moving history, I am surprised that you did not mention that on Holocaust Memorial Day, the Trump White House deliberately excluded any specific mention of Jews – supposedly, this was driven by a “higher purpose” of inclusion, since many Gypsies and homosexuals were also murdered. Their statement, contrary to that of previous administrations, ignores the fact that this commemoration was intended to specifically address the unique discriminator of genocide against Jews as a religion. In scope, I am sure that 6,000,000 gypsies and homosexuals were not systematically rounded up and murdered. The article below points out that the White House narrative is aligned with that of Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis:
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/white-house-holocaust-memorial-day/

    • Gil Mertz

      Ahhh yes, the same network that reported Trump hired prostitutes in Russia to give him golden showers. Got any other fake news you can share with us Ed?

      • Ed Shalom

        1. Is it “fake news” for CNN, and almost all major news organizations, to report on what has been acknowledged by all parties involved ?

        Gil, you should know that multiple news organizations only reported on the Trump dirty dossier (“kompromat”) when it became public knowledge that both Obama and Trump had been notified of the allegations. The fact that our intelligence agencies felt there was enough substance in these allegations to brief at the Presidential level should not be ignored: they DON’T do this for things that have NO credibility.

        The research by Christopher Steel, ex MI6 agent for Britain, who is highly regarded by his peers, cannot be ignored. Trump’s attempt to disprove the “golden showers” allegation by stating he is a germophobe is laughable: the allegation is that he hired prostitutes to do the “dirty work”, not that he did it personally.

        2. Is it “fake news” to cite verbatim the concerns of the ADL Director ?

        Anti-Defamation League Director Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that the “@WhiteHouse statement on #HolocaustMemorialDay, misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people'” and “Puzzling and troubling @WhiteHouse #HolocaustMemorialDay stmt has no mention of Jews. GOP and Dem. presidents have done so in the past.”

        Asked about the White House explanation that the President didn’t want to exclude any of the other groups Nazis killed by specifically mentioning Jews, Greenblatt told CNN that the United Nations established International Holocaust Remembrance Day not only because of Holocaust denial but also because so many countries — Iran, Russia, Poland, and Hungary, for example — specifically refuse to acknowledge Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Jews, “opting instead to talk about generic suffering rather than recognizing this catastrophic incident for what is was: the intended genocide of the Jewish people.”

        Downplaying or disregarding the degree to which Jews were targeted for elimination during the Holocaust is a common theme of nationalist movements like those seen in Russia and Eastern Europe, Greenblatt said.

      • libbet

        Oh, Gil, that ain’t fake news, pumpkin. That is blackmail. And that is true. Putin is already offing people involved in that, by the way. Who would have thought republicans would bend over for Putin and actually serve Russia’s interests over the USA?

      • Karen Rose

        Lol. Gil you are amazing. Your are a fantastic troll and sea lion! Awesome job. I love how you post FAKE NEWS! CNN IS BAD! MUSLIMS ARE BAD!
        You technique in getting people to engage and create meaningful dialog really works. As a result you are the best liberal on here! Three cheers for left wing Gil, king of the Sea Lions!

        • Gil Mertz

          Karen, isn’t it true that CNN had to fire Donna Brazille for leaking debate questions to Clinton? Isn’t it true that CNN had to apologize for their story about Trump and golden showers with prostitutes? And isn’t is also true that CNN runs stories of fear and hysteria about Trump almost non-stop?

          And I never said that all Muslims are bad as you childishly accuse. I’ve only presented indisputable facts that most of the religious persecution in the world is at the hands of Muslims, and not just ISIS terrorists. While I find these atrocities troubling, you apparently find them amusing in your mocking.

          Is this truly the best you’ve got?

  • lois eisenberg

    In honor of my two sets of grandparents who immigrated to America in the late 1800’s,
    and my love for America and for which it stands for, I will not support this evil, inhumane, appalling Travel and refugee restriction law!!!!!!!!!

    • Ron Bischof
      • libbet

        Have you actually seen the fallout from this debacle? Have you actually listened to what the Puppet has said about this? Do you know Bannon is a white supremacist? Do you even care? Your spin won’t help on this one.

        • Ron Bischof

          You make many assertions here. Care to support them with facts?

          Have you read the Executive Order?

          • libbet

            One only needs to look at the chaos. He says one thing then his minions say another and republicans say something else. You figure out what he means, he lies every single day! You prove this is all just wonderful! It’s a damn mess! So far every day has been another huge embarrassment to the country. We will never redeem out reputation! And why did he just ease punishment on Russia? Why did he insult one of our oldest allies? He’s called the Puppet for a reason. Where are those investigations about what Putin did in the election?

          • Ron Bischof

            Changes in policy that you disagree with does not equal “chaos”.

            The sun will rise tomorrow.

          • Ron Bischof

            The continued normality will disprove your hyperbolic assertions.

            Remember Occupy? Yeah.

          • Ron Bischof

            I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton and therefore am disinclined to respond to your wild and unsupported assertions. That you assumed I did indicates you’re an ideologue rather than an advocate of rational analysis.

            Given the nature of your posts, which consist of emoting, stating you seek understanding of critical thinkers is absurd on its face.

            If you and your fellow travelers think you can void an election and disrupt our civil society with mau-mau tactics, expect disappointment.

            I’ve been here for years to discuss policy and principles. That’s not what you’re offering.

          • Ed Shalom

            FYI – from Wikipedia, courtesy of a “Mau-Mau”
            On 12 September 2015, the British government unveiled a Mau Mau memorial statue in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park that it had funded “as a symbol of reconciliation between the British government, the Mau Mau, and all those who suffered”. This followed a June 2013 decision by Britain to compensate more than 5,000 Kenyans it tortured and abused during the Mau Mau insurgency

          • Ron Bischof

            My use was figurative, obviously. Bravo for focusing on the literal, Mr. Shalom. 😀

          • Ed Shalom

            From “Clouds” by the Greek playwright Aristophanes, about 2440 years ago (way to correct mistakes in a democracy….deja vu all over again)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Clouds

            And when you were selecting as your general

            That Paphlagonian tanner* hated by the gods

            We frowned and then complained aloud – our thunder pealed

            Among the lightening bursts, the moon moved off her course,

            The sun at once pulled his wick back inside himself,

            And said if Cleon was to be your general

            Then he’d give you no light. Nonetheless, you chose him.

            They say this city likes to make disastrous choices,

            But that the gods, no matter what mistakes you make,

            Convert them into something better. If you want

            Your recent choice to turn into a benefit,

            I can tell you how – it’s easy. Condemn the man –

            That seagull** Cleon – for bribery and theft.

            Set him in the stocks, a wooden yoke around his neck.

            Then, even if you’ve made a really big mistake,

            For you things will be as they were before your vote,

            And for this city things will turn out well.

            * “Paphlagonian tanner” is a reference to Cleon, who earned his money from tanneries. As Cleon came from Paphlagonia, Aristophanes is charging here that he was not a true Athenian.

            ** The seagull represents thievery and greed

          • Ron Bischof

            May I suggest you instead focus pragmatically on the Constitutional method for choice as suggested by the guy you voted for twice, Mr. Shalom?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q3GJhUkLr0

          • Ron Bischof

            Perfect! Because I don’t seek to impress you because you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you’re part of a mass movement “Resistance”.

            Emote on. I have passion for principles, logic and reason rather than faux revolutions. Therefore, we’re done here.

          • Gil Mertz

            Obviously libbet hasn’t read the actual order. This poster is too busy pressing the Russian election conspiracy. Can a sighting of the Locke Ness Monster be far behind?

    • Ron Bischof
    • Gil Mertz

      Did your grandparents migrate to America legally or illegally? Were they on Barack Obama’s list of terror nations that President Trump is using or from somewhere else?

      • lois eisenberg

        “Did your grandparents migrate to America legally or illegally? ”
        FIRST OF ALL IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!!
        AND SECONDLY YOUR POST IS UNCALLED
        FOR!!!!!!!!

        • Ron Bischof

          There’s your answer, Gil.

          Legal migration isn’t convenient to Ms. Eisenberg’s narrative. And she didn’t know that the list of 7 nations were designated by the Obama Administration.

          • Karen Rose

            Obama or Trump. Who cares. It’s wrong. This isn’t a left or right issue, it’s an issue. Immigration was bad during the Obama administration, it’s worse now. Let’s fix it. My Grandparents immigrated illegally from Italy, Poland and Ireland. They paid taxes till they died and contributed a lot to America and today I am a legal American.

          • Ron Bischof

            I agree, it’s an issue and our immigration system requires reform to reorient it to reflect the interests of U.S. citizens, Ms. Rose.

            First, you address security and ensure robust processes restore control. Then reforms to a stabilized system can be made.

          • Karen Rose

            I don’t understand how blocking refugees and green card holders addresses security. For me the more logical place to start would be by reviewing and understanding the current system before implementing holds.

          • Ron Bischof

            I’ll use piloting an airplane as a metaphor, Ms. Rose.

            When you’re not in controlled flight, you don’t resolve it by plotting navigation to a desired destination. Instead, the priority is on regaining control of the aircraft.

            Whether you agree or not, the majority of American voters in states have indicated the existing immigration system doesn’t adequately address security and they don’t wish to experience the massive influx of unvetted refugees that Europe has endured. Additionally, empirical data from border states reveals the U.S. doesn’t have control of its borders, a fundamental requirement of a stable nation state.

            “Green card” holders aren’t blocked. They’re subject to additional screening for security purposes.

          • Gil Mertz

            Since Karen seems stuck on children’s analogies, let me try this one:

            Imagine a big bowl of M&Ms sitting in front of your child. Only one of them is poison but it’s mixed into the bowl. Which one would you let your child eat?

      • libbet

        Don’t try to blame Obama for what Putin’s Puppet does. Republicans and the puppet own it all now.

        • Ron Bischof

          I’ve noted that the Left is fond of calling opponents puppets. They’re a predictable compliment to conspiracy theories.

  • Chief49erman

    What a joke! This is not a travel ban against all Muslims! Read the executive order! Besides President Trump is trying to protect Americans from terrorists who are bent on killing Jewish people and Americans who love freedom. Give me a break those of you that keep repeating that this is a travel ban on all Muslims are not being honest. We have the right as a country to determine who comes into our country and to make sure that they love America and will assimilate into our culture. We have every right to protect our country, that’s why we have the laws already on the books. We don’t have to take every refugee when there are plenty of Muslim countries that can and should take in these Muslim refugees. Taking in so many refugees is a new thing that Obama foisted onto the American people on his own. Obama didn’t even go through the Congress for approval he just did it. Glad he is gone.

  • Fluff

    How would you feel if Trump temporarily banned Nazis from entering the country until they could be fully vetted to be sure they did not have genocide on their minds? That is a more accurate way of looking at the ban. Unfortunately, you and many others simply don’t understand the true nature of Islam. It is not just a religion. It is a totalitarian, political and legal ideology with a religious component. That religious component has allowed it to enjoy protections and attitudes it does not really deserve. The true nature of Islam is as motivated to exterminate all Jews as Hitler ever was (In fact, there was quite a collusion between Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem). Consider these commands the prophet Mohammed gave to his followers shortly before his death:

    “The Jews will fight with you and you will be given victory over them so that a stone will say, “Oh Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; come kill him!”
    -Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume4, book56, number 791

    There are other references to stones and trees refusing to give Jews protection and the hatred of Jews is well demonstrated in Jihadi attacks. I would say that Trump honored your grandparents in a very practical way that puts real meaning into the often empty words, “Never again”. You are a very bright young man, it would serve you and your heritage well to take some time to study the Qu’ran, hadith and the life of the Prophet. Please understand the true nature of the Jihad threat that we all face (including Muslims) Don’t just listen to the apologists. It would be nice if what they say is true, but it is not. How many Jews are fleeing Europe due to the migrant crisis?

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