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‘Clothes Don’t Just Make the Man, They Can Save the Man’

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‘Clothes Don’t Just Make the Man, They Can Save the Man’

In his memoir ‘Measure of a Man,’ Martin Greenfield recalls how he survived Auschwitz to become an iconic tailor to the stars

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Clothier Martin Greenfield in his atelier. (Getty Images)
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Martin Greenfield is a legend in men’s fashion. He has hand-tailored suits for President Obama and President Clinton, as well as for such celebrities as Michael Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Jimmy Fallon, and Johnny Depp. His Brooklyn-based company—Martin Greenfield Clothiers, which he runs with his sons Tod and Jay—creates custom suits for labels like DKNY, Rag & Bone, Ovadia and Sons, Band of Outsiders, and Brooks Brothers. Greenfield has even made his mark in Hollywood, creating suits for the TV shows Boardwalk Empire and The Knick, as well as blockbuster films including Ben Affleck’s Argo and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

But if Greenfield’s suits are famous, his personal story is less well-known. Now, in his new memoir Measure of a Man, Greenfield goes back to the beginning of his life—before he got his start in the American garment industry, to his childhood in Czechoslovakia and his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Greenfield—then known as Maximilian Grunfeld—grew up in Pavlovo, a quaint Czechoslovakian village near the Hungarian border, overlooking the Carpathian Mountains. His father was an electrical engineer, his grandfather well known for building the synagogue, and the tight-knit town of some 50 families would eat Shabbat meals together every week.

The Nazis surrounded Pavlovo on the second day of Passover in 1944 and gave the Jews an hour to pack their belongings before they were stuffed into cattle cars and shipped to a ghetto in the Ukrainian town of Mukacevo. From there, Greenfield’s whole family was sent to Auschwitz, where he lost his parents, grandparents, brother, and two sisters—when Dr. Josef Mengele selected him to go right (life) and his relatives to go left (death). Greenfield remembers Mengele precisely because of the quality and shine of his black leather boots.

It was in Auschwitz, of all places, that Greenfield first learned how to sew. He worked in the concentration camp’s laundry room, where he stitched up a ripped SS shirt that had been thrown in the trash and wore it under his camp uniform. With his first stitch, Greenfield learned the power that clothing possesses. The shirt, he found, provided him with an unspoken elevated status, and as he writes in his book, he realized that “clothes don’t just make the man, they can save the man; they did for me.”

“Nobody in the concentration camp had a shirt, and it was a crazy thing to do but I put the shirt on,” Greenfield told me in his office on a recent visit. He sat in front of a wall filled with framed newspaper clippings, awards, and pictures of him shaking celebrities’ hands; a photo of the Lubavitcher Rebbe stood discreetly in the corner. “The shirt taught me that I had to be tough. Everyone thought I was important because of the shirt, and I was treated more nicely.”

Greenfield’s autobiography details the physical, psychological, and emotional abuse he endured under the Nazis. Morning call in Auschwitz was 4:30 a.m., when the prisoners stood in line for hours, freezing; they had hardly any food to eat and worked under horrible conditions with the constant fear of the smokestacks from the crematoria nearby. Prisoners were beaten frequently and shot at random. After Greenfield took a particularly gruesome lashing several months into his Auschwitz imprisonment, a merciful German reassigned him to the sub camp, Buna. Once the camp was bombed by the Americans in December 1944, the Nazis forced the most physically fit of Buna’s 10,000 prisoners on a death march, where they trudged 50 miles in the snow to the Gleiwitz concentration camp. Greenfield was then transported to Buchenwald, where he remained until the war ended.

Greenfield’s punishing experiences helped him develop an armor of gallantry—and an unprecedented level of chutzpah. In one incident soon after the war, a recently liberated Greenfield traveled back to Buchenwald’s neighboring town of Weimar to seek revenge on the mayor’s wife; when Greenfield had been assigned to do repairs on the mayor’s house after it was bombed, she had ratted him out to the SS for stealing pet food. Greenfield returned to her house with the intention to kill her, but once he pointed a gun at her head, he changed his mind. Instead, he stole her Mercedes Benz.

Greenfield wandered around Europe for two years after liberation, searching for a family he’d never find. Eventually, in 1947, he boarded a ship to America to live with wealthy, long-lost relatives. He changed his name, and with the help of a fellow immigrant he found a job at Brooklyn’s GGG Clothing, where he started his career as a floor boy, running items like fabrics around the shop to the factory’s hundreds of employees. The owner, William P. Goldman, took a liking to him and showed him the ropes. Greenfield made sure to learn every aspect of suit-making—hand-blasting, darting, piping, lining, blind stitching, pressing, fell stitching, armhole work—and quickly worked his way up the food chain. He was promoted, from blind stitcher to assistant supervisor, then to supervisor, then to head quality inspector, then to an executive.

GGG had a long roster of A-list clients. Everyone in the entertainment industry wore GGG suits, including such celebrities as Eddie Cantor, Paul Newman, and Walter Cronkite; so did major political figures. Greenfield had the chance to design suits for President Eisenhower in the 1950s, he felt a special connection to Eisenhower, who had liberated Buchenwald as a general in the U.S. Army. To offer the president unsolicited advice on how to end the Suez Crisis of 1956, Greenfield slipped notes into the pockets of Eisenhower’s suits.

“He’s got total confidence and has this amazing amount of trust in himself,” his son Tod mused inside the factory, shouting over the loud hum of sewing machines. “Rightfully so, he trusts his own feelings. He’s made it through all these things.”

In 1977, after 30 years at GGG, Greenfield bought the East Williamsburg factory from the Goldman family, renamed the company Martin Greenfield Clothiers, and continued serving a superstar clientele. He had developed an impeccable reputation by then and continued to work with big-name celebrities and political leaders. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, he established relationships with department stores like Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, and Saks Fifth Avenue to make their suits. He also mentored some young fashion talent in the ’80s, including Alexander Julian, Perry Ellis, and Isaac Mizrahi.

Greenfield returned to the White House once again to design clothes for President Clinton. (He snooped through the president’s closet, he recalls in his book, gasping at the number of track suits.) By this point, his notes to Eisenhower had become somewhat notorious in the White House, so Clinton told him when they first met—before Greenfield had the chance to slip any notes in any pockets—that if he had advice to offer, he should send him a fax.

Despite experiencing difficult financial times throughout the years, an advantage to keeping his near-century-old factory open in Brooklyn is the ability to boast “made in America,” which is a credit most retailers who flock to foreign countries for cheap labor cannot brag about. A suit made at Greenfield can retail for up to $2,700 because of its handmade craftsmanship.

Greenfield explains in his book why his suits cost so much: “I refused to compromise. We would only use the highest quality materials and methods. My suits would feature hand-shaped full-canvas fronts, Italian and English woolens and cashmere, handmade horn buttons affixed with a smart button stance, endless hand-pressing to mold the jacket’s form, hand-stitched and functional buttons and collars with a gorge done right to ensure a snug fit around the collar shirt. And above all, only over my dead body would any suit made by Martin Greenfield ever feature fused or glued interlining.”

Between designer lines, assignments from Hollywood, and private clients, Greenfield’s operation is making 15,000 suits a year for some very dapper clientele. His approach has won him accolades from customers and fellow designers alike. Scott Sternberg, the celebrated founder of fashion line Band of Outsiders, wrote to me in an email: “Martin taught me everything I know about classic tailoring, in his kind and colorful and story-infused way. What’s wonderful about Martin is that he’s not stuck in the past. We’ve always maintained a healthy dialogue about the classic, ‘right’ way to do things, and my desire to try something new—a shape, fabric, technique. He has a respect for both history and the need to innovate and move forward.”

Ariel Ovadia, one of the twins behind men’s luxury brand Ovadia & Sons, told me: “When we first started, Martin took out the time to work with us on developing our clothing. His knowledge and expertise is a lost art and we are grateful to have the privilege of working with him and his sons.”

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s been a longtime client, said of Greenfield: “Frankly, I’m in awe of him. We’re talking about a man who fought to survive some of the worst mankind has ever shown, came to New York with nothing, worked hard, thrived, and took care of his family. Martin is some of the best we can offer. His is not just an only-in-America story, in many ways this could only happen in New York. And I don’t buy my suits anywhere else.”

***

Greenfield’s memoir explains not only his spunk and desire to persevere, but also the rich array of impossible characters who appear throughout his life. In one moment, he’s standing in line next to Elie Wiesel in Buchenwald and shaking Eisenhower’s hand. Several chapters later, Greenfield is having a drink with Frank Sinatra in Manhattan and then meeting Lana Turner on a movie set in Los Angeles. Shortly afterward, he’s mentoring fashion icons like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. He wears a gold watch on his wrist with biblical images of the 10 Tribes’ signs on the front and an inscription that reads “Am Yisrael Chai” on the back; the watch, given to him by legendary Cadillac salesman Victor Potamkin, used to belong to Golda Meir. These fleeting characters demonstrate the incredible scope of Greenfield’s journey.

He ascribes these larger-than-life experiences to the opportunities America has to offer. “When I came here at the age of 19, and they gave me a green card and told me I was an American, I thought there was no other place in the world,” he told me. “The opportunities that are here! If you are willing to take time and study, be brought up by your parents the right way, you can be president! You can become whatever you want to become.”

Greenfield told me it was not easy to write the book. His son Tod noted that his father’s past was not something he often talked about—that is, until he spent hours divulging his story to a yeshiva student who had to interview a Holocaust survivor for a school assignment.

“After that day, he was much more open,” Tod said. “He told us and my mom his story, and when someone would ask [about his past] he would tell them. Also, he used to have nightmares and would wake up screaming almost every night. But after he told his story, he was much more peaceful. I guess it’s therapeutic to share after so long.”

***

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Female genital mutilation: Australian law, policy and practical challenges for doctors

United Against Female Genitale Mutilation

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Abstract
  • The issue of whether medical practitioners should perform “ritual nicks” as a method of meeting demand for female genital mutilation (FGM) has recently been debated in the United States and Australia.

  • Due to increasing numbers of people arriving and settling in Australia from African nations in which FGM is customary, demand for FGM in Australia is present and may be increasing.

  • Australian law clearly prohibits performance of any type of FGM.

  • FGM is also prohibited by the most recent policy of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

  • For legal, medical and social reasons, the RANZCOG policy is sound, and medical practitioners should not administer FGM in any form.

  • Development of an evidence base regarding incidence of and attitudes towards FGM, and the need for post-FGM treatment, would help inform sound policy and practical responses.

  • Strategies adopted in African nations to abolish FGM may…

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Watershed moment for Egypt’s FGM ban

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Watershed moment for Egypt’s FGM ban

Sohair el-Batea died after her father took her to a rural Egyptian doctor to have her genitals cut. The two men are the first to go on trial under Egypt’s FGM ban, which could be a turning point.

Sohair el-Batea

When Sohair el-Batea’s father took her to Dr. Raslan Fadl’s clinic in the Nile Delta village of Dierb Biqtaris to have her genitals cut, her family thought it would make her like most Egyptian girls. The vast majority of women in her community had undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), the illegal procedure done in the name of promoting chastity.

But when news spread that an allergic reaction to penicillin killed el-Batea during the operation and her father confessed that the procedure was done at the family’s request, local activists and international rights groups began to campaign for justice. And when the country’s chief prosecutor agreed to take up the case, el-Batea became the center of a seminal trial and the first of its kind since Egypt banned the practice in 2008.

With a further court date on Thursday in the trial of the doctor who performed the FGM procedure and el-Batea’s father, activists hope a precedent for justice and accountability will finally be set. But in a country where the practice remains widely accepted and deeply entrenched, others say the trial and criminalization will do little to eradicate FGM.

Impunity for doctors and families

“It is a deep-rooted tradition in Egypt, a cultural tradition that has been going on for years and years, as it has in Africa,” said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa consultant at Equality Now, the international women’s rights group that led, the push to bring el-Batea’s case to trial.

According to Egyptian government figures, 91 percent of women ages 15 to 49 have been subjected to the procedure. UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, estimates that one-fifth of the 125 million women worldwide who have undergone FGM are from Egypt. Only three countries – Somalia, Djibouti and Guinea – have a higher rate.

Following the death of a 12-year-old girl in 2008, Egypt passed a law banning the practice in all its forms. But doctors continued to practice FGM in private in both rural and urban areas, and little has been done to enforce the law. The death of al-Batea in June of 2013 brought FGM back into the spotlight.

FGM defenders

While this time around many believe the doctor and father will be convicted, members of al-Batea’s community have said they will continue the practice and have supported the doctor and her father.

“People in Dierb Biqtaris practice this ugly habit and they think it’s an Islamic tradition that should be followed and practiced,” Reda Al Danbouki, a lawyer and local activist, told DW. “And for that they are sympathetic with the doctor and the father of Suhair and say that her death was [the will of God and no one can stop it].”

Although many in Egypt’s poor, rural communities continue to defend FGM, citing religious reasons for the practice, there is no basis in religion. In other Arab Muslim countries like Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the practice is nearly non-existent. Practiced by both Muslims and Christians in Egypt, it has been condemned by leading religious figures.

“I don’t think very many people are taking the law seriously; they think the law is just something that is there that they can ignore – and the alarmingly high numbers are proof of that,” said Mona Eltahawy, an activist, writer and author of a forthcoming book on the fight for gender equality in the Arab world. “I think it is something that Egypt uses to show the international community that the law is on the books.”

In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, relatives of Sohair el-Batea, walk in front of her home, in Dierb Biqtaris village, on the outskirts of the town of Aga, northeast of CairoThe doctor in al-Batea’s case continues to see patients in the girl’s hometown of Dierb Biqtaris

Still, other activists see the trial as an important opportunity for the government to send a clear message that the ban will be enforced.

“Sohair’s case is very, very important in terms of implementing the law in Egypt,” said Abu-Dayyeh, adding that it is the first time since the legislation was passed that anyone has been prosecuted for FGM. “We believe – and we hope – that the judge will sentence the father and the doctor under the FGM law.”

Apart from setting a precedent for accountability in a country where very few people speak about the practice, Abu-Dayyeh said the trial has received considerable coverage in local media.

“The Egyptian media was very much interested [in the trial], and were with us in some of the sessions in court,” she said.

Regardless of the impact of the trial and the criminalization of FGM, people like lawyer al-Dankoubi say more needs to be done to educate and raise awareness. While civil society groups have been working to do this, he says the state must do more to train preachers within the ministry of religious endowments to educate people about the dangers of FGM. In addition to enforcing the laws, he said punishments should be tougher.

Female sexuality

And for Eltahawy, it is what she calls “society’s desire to control female sexuality” that needs to be addressed.

“What we need to confront in Egypt is our obsession with female virginity, because this is ultimately what FGM is about,” she said. “FGM is a way that families control their girls’ sex drives, and a way for society to control women’s sexuality, and unless the conversation about FGM is carried out within those parameters, we stand no chance of eradicating it.”

“You can have all the court cases you want and people will still do it, because they don’t believe women have the right to sexual pleasure,” she said.


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The Nazi Romance With Islam Has Some Lessons for the United States

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The Nazi Romance With Islam Has Some Lessons for the United States

Two new important histories look at Hitler’s fascination with Islam and Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey

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Soldiers of the 13th SS Division with a brochure about “Islam and Judaism,” 1943. (German Federal Archive via )
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Both Hitler and Himmler had a soft spot for Islam. Hitler several times fantasized that, if the Saracens had not been stopped at the Battle of Tours, Islam would have spread through the European continent—and that would have been a good thing, since “Jewish Christianity” wouldn’t have gone on to poison Europe. Christianity doted on weakness and suffering, while Islam extolled strength, Hitler believed. Himmler in a January 1944 speech called Islam “a practical and attractive religion for soldiers,” with its promise of paradise and beautiful women for brave martyrs after their death. “This is the kind of language a soldier understands,” Himmler gushed.

Surely, the Nazi leaders thought, Muslims would see that the Germans were their blood brothers: loyal, iron-willed, and most important, convinced that Jews were the evil that most plagued the world. “Do you recognize him, the fat, curly-haired Jew who deceives and rules the whole world and who steals the land of the Arabs?” demanded one of the Nazi pamphlets dropped over North Africa (a million copies of it were printed). “The Jew,” the pamphlet explained, was the evil King Dajjal from Islamic tradition, who in the world’s final days was supposed to lead 70,000 Jews from Isfahan in apocalyptic battle against Isa—often identified with Jesus, but according to the Reich Propaganda Ministry none other than Hitler himself. Germany produced reams of leaflets like this one, often quoting the Quran on the subject of Jewish treachery.

It is not surprising, then, that there are those today who draw a direct line between modern Jew-hatred in the Islamic world and the Nazis. A poster currently at Columbus Circle’s subway entrance proclaims loudly that “Jew-hatred is in the Quran.” The poster features a photograph of Hitler with the notoriously anti-Jewish Mufti al-Husaini of Palestine, who is erroneously labeled “the leader of the Muslim world.” The truth is considerably more complex. The mufti made himself useful to the Nazis as a propagandist, but he had little influence in most Muslim regions. Few Muslims believed Nazi claims that Hitler was the protector of Islam, much less the Twelfth Imam, as one Reich pamphlet suggested.

The Nazis’ anti-Jewish propaganda no doubt attracted many Muslims, as historian Jeffrey Herf has documented, but they balked at believing that Hitler would be their savior or liberator. Instead, they sensed correctly that the Nazis wanted Muslims to fight and die for Germany. As Rommel approached Cairo, Egyptians started to get nervous. They knew that the Germans were not coming to liberate them, but instead wanted to make the Muslim world part of their own burgeoning empire. In the end, more Muslims wound up fighting for the Allies than for the Axis.

Hitler’s failed effort to put Muslim boots on the ground still stands as the most far-reaching Western attempt to use Islam to win a war. Such is the judgment of David Motadel, the author of a new, authoritative book, Islam and Nazi Germany’s War. Motadel’s detailed and fascinating explanation of how and why the Nazis failed to get Muslims on their side is a must-read for serious students of World War II, and it has an important message as well for our own policy in the Middle East.

***

To grasp why the Nazis had such high hopes for Muslim collaboration—and why their hopes failed—we need to go back to the great war that made Hitler the fanatical monster he was. One hundred years ago, a few months into World War I, Germany looked like it might be in trouble. The German offensive had failed to break through at Ypres after a month of bloody fighting. The waves of German soldiers stumbling through no-man’s land slowed to a stop. The kaiser’s army was exhausted, and its commanders suddenly realized that the quick Western Front victory they had dreamed of was impossible. Meanwhile, Russia was massing troops around Warsaw, and the tsar had just declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

There was one bright spot, though. On Nov. 11, 1914, the highest religious authority of the Ottoman caliphate, Sheikh al-Islam Ürgüplü Hayri, issued a call for worldwide jihad against Russia, Britain, and France. Suddenly, the Great War was a holy war. Surely, the Germans dreamed, Muslims would join their side en masse and turn the tide of battle.

In the early years of World War I the German Reich caught Islam fever: Muslims became the great Eastern hope against the Entente. Helmuth von Moltke, chief of the German general staff, planned to “awaken the fanaticism of Islam” in the French and British colonies, making the Muslim masses rise up against their European masters. Max von Oppenheim, the German diplomat and orientalist, described Islam as “one of our most important weapons” in his famous position paper of October 1914. Oppenheim wanted to spark a Muslim revolt stretching from India to Morocco that Germany could use for its own purposes. Germany just needed to get the message across, Oppenheim insisted: Russia, Britain, and France were the oppressors of Muslims, whereas the Germans would liberate them.

The German strategy didn’t work. Instead, Britain and France won the game when they capitalized on the Arab uprising against a crumbling Ottoman Empire. T.E. Lawrence, rather than the kaiser, inspired the Arabs. After the war, Britain and France sliced up the Middle East pie between them in the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.

Germany tried once again to mobilize Islam in WWII. Astonishingly, in 1940 Oppenheim, at that point 80 years old, championed the same plan that had failed so badly in the previous war. Even more surprising, Hitler and Himmler warmly embraced the part-Jewish Oppenheim’s idea: They too thought that Islam would help bring about a Nazi triumph.

“German officials would always refer to global Islam, to pan Islam,” Motadel told me over the phone from his home in Cambridge, England, where he is Research Fellow in History at the University of Cambridge’s Gonville and Caius College. The Nazis spoke of the Muslims as a “bloc” that could be “activated” against the British, the French, and the Soviets. Their belief that Islam was monolithic led them to ignore differences of region, sect, and nationality, which helped to ensure the failure of their efforts.

As Motadel documents, those efforts were indeed considerable. Germans sought out imams who would issue fatwas for their side, and they told their soldiers to be especially careful of religious sensibilities when traveling through Muslim territory. They gave special privileges to Muslims who joined the Wehrmacht: The Nazi leadership even allowed them to follow Muslim dietary laws. Astonishingly, German forces in the East permitted Muslims to practice both circumcision and ritual slaughter, proving more liberal on these two issues than many Europeans are today. At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the Germans murdered many Muslims because they were mistaken for Jews: They didn’t realize that Muslims were also circumcised. But Berlin soon corrected the error and cautioned troops in the East to make sure to treat Muslims with respect, since they were Germany’s potential allies. In December 1942 Hitler decided he wanted to recruit all-Muslim units in the Caucasus. He distrusted Georgians and Armenians, but the Muslims, he said, were true soldiers.

The Germans assumed that the Muslim world would naturally flock to the Nazi banner, since Muslims like Germans knew that Jews were the enemy, and since Germany was offering them freedom from France, Britain, and Russia. But for the most part, they were wrong. Muslims only embraced the Nazi cause in places where they were desperate to arm themselves against local persecutors, the Crimea, the Caucasus, and the Balkans. In most of the Muslim world, Hitler failed to attract a large following.

North Africa was a miserable failure for German recruitment. “230,000 Muslims fought for the Free French against the Axis from North Africa,” Motadel pointed out to me in our interview, far more than those who enlisted with Germany. The Germans had their millions of leaflets, but they were not the only propagandists in the field. “The Free French mobilized them with anti-colonial rhetoric. The British and French were the ruling powers; they had much more control over propaganda.”

The East was much more favorable than North Africa to the German recruitment drive. The Muslims of the Caucasus and the Crimea had many reasons to choose Germany over Stalin’s Soviet Union. “In the East the Muslim population had really suffered under Stalin, economically and religiously,” Motadel remarked to me. They had nothing to lose, they thought, by siding with “Adolf Effendi.” The Crimean Tatars took a notorious place among Germany’s most loyal and ruthless battalions, fighting both in the East and, near the end of the war, in Romania. The Tatars made the wrong choice: Stalin mercilessly deported many of them to his gulags after the war.

In the Balkans many Muslims turned to Germany in the middle of a brutal civil war, fleeing the rampages of the Croatian Ustase. The infamous all-Muslim Handžar battalion of the SS, organized in the Balkans late in the war, committed many atrocities. In Serbian areas, noted one British officer, the Handžar “massacres all civil population without mercy or regard for age or sex.”

The Nazis made sure, with few exceptions, that the Nuremberg laws could be applied only to Jews, not to those other Semites, the Arabs, nor to Turks and Persians—which paradoxically allowed certain communities of Jews in Muslim regions to also survive the Shoah. In Crimea, two puzzled officers of the Wehrmacht, Fritz Donner and Ernst Seifert, reported on “Near Eastern racial groups of a non-Semitic character who, strangely, have adopted the Jewish faith,” while also noting that “a large part of these Jews on the Crimea is of Mohammedan faith.” What to do? In the end the Reich ruled that the Karaites, traditionally seen as a Turkic people, could be spared, while the Krymchaks should be murdered as Jews, though both these Crimean tribes followed Jewish law. In the northern Caucasus, the Nazis decided that the Judeo-Tats, a tiny Torah-observant island in a sea of Muslims, had only their religion in common with Jews. In effect, they became honorary Muslims and were saved from death. The Karaites were close to the Muslim Crimean Tatars, and the Judeo-Tats also had deep ties to their Muslim neighbors. It was their supposed affinity to Islam that saved the lives of these observant Jews. In these cases the Nazi wish to cultivate the Muslim world even affected to a small degree their anti-Semitic policy—to the Jews’ advantage.

***

Hitler cultivated many parts of the Muslim world, but he was fanatically enthusiastic about only one country: Turkey (the Nazis officially decided in 1936 that the Turks were Aryans). Stefan Ihrig’s brilliant new book Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination demonstrates convincingly that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s conquest of Turkey was the most important model for the Nazis’ remaking of Germany, far more so than Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome, which is usually cited as Hitler’s main inspiration. Turkey had taken control of its destiny in manly fashion, in proud defiance of the international community—if only Germany would do the same! So argued many on the German right, including Hitler, during the 10 years between Atatürk’s victory and the Nazi seizure of power.

The victorious Entente had vastly curtailed Ottoman territory under the Treaty of Sèvres after WWI, just as the Treaty of Versailles shrank German territory. But the new nation of Turkey threw off the victors’ shackles and, after Mustafa Kemal (later renamed Atatürk) marched from Ankara westward, the Turks won the right to a homeland in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The Weimar Republic’s newspapers obsessively celebrated the Turks’ victory and endorsed their claims to the disputed region of Hatay (the Turks’ Alsace-Lorraine), portraying the Turks as more advanced than the Germans, trailblazers on the path to strong nationhood. “If we want to be free, then we will have no choice but to follow the Turkish example in one way or another,” the right-wing military man and journalist Hans Tröbst announced in the newspaper Heimatland in 1923. Nearly every item in Hitler’s playbook can be found in such Weimar-era endorsements of Atatürk: All Turkey had mobilized for the war; strong faith in their leader had saved them.

Ihrig argues that the Turkish treatment of minorities, both under Atatürk and earlier, was the true precursor for Hitler’s murderous policy in the East. Those “bloodsuckers and parasites,” the Greeks and Armenians, had been “eradicated” by the Turks, Tröbst explained inHeimatland. “Gentle measures—that history has always shown—will not do in such cases.” The Turks had achieved “the purification of a nation of its foreign elements on a grand scale.” He added that “Almost all of those of foreign background in the area of combat had to die; their number is not put too low with 500,000.” Here was a chilling endorsement of genocide, and one that surely did not escape Hitler’s eye. Shortly after his articles appeared, Hitler invited Tröbst to give a speech on Turkey to the SA.

From 1923 on, Hitler consistently praised Atatürk in his own speeches as well. Berlin, like Istanbul, was cosmopolitan and decadent. Munich, site of Hitler’s beer-hall putsch, was the place for a German “Ankara government.” When Hitler seized power in 1933 his Völkischer Beobachter cited Atatürk’s victory as the “star in the darkness” that had shone for the beleaguered Nazis in 1923, after the putsch’s failure. Turkey was “proof of what a real man could do”—a man like Atatürk, or Hitler.

The Third Reich produced many idolizing biographies of Atatürk. Six years after the Turkish leader’s death, in late 1944, a delusional Hitler was still dreaming of a postwar alliance between Turkey and Germany. He never got his wish. During the war, Turkey, as a neutral power, kept its distance from the Nazis until it finally declared war against Germany in February 1945.

In Turkey, criticizing Atatürk can still get you three years in jail, though the country’s increasingly unhinged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke the law himself last year when he called Atatürk a drunkard. While Erdogan wants to reverse his predecessor’s program for secularizing Turkey, he appears to be imitating Atatürk’s extravagant cult of personality along with his habit of demonizing his enemies. But while Atatürk disdained Hitler’s anti-Semitism, Erdogan is obsessed with Jews. The 2014 Gaza operation, he has remarked, was worse than anything Hitler ever did, and the Israelis have been committing “systematic genocide every day” since 1948. Perhaps if Erdogan had been in power in the 1940s, the Nazis would have found the Muslim ally they so desperately sought.

Weaponizing Islam has often been a temptation for the United States, just as it was for Germany. In its battle against Moscow, Washington recruited Islamic leaders after WWII, most famously Said Ramadan, a major figure in the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States even smiled on Saudi Arabia’s funding of radical Islamist organizations, hoping that religion would serve as a bulwark against Soviet Communism. Then the Muslim Brotherhood killed U.S. ally Anwar Sadat, and its follower Ayman al-Zawahiri became, along with Osama Bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaida. We supported the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, until the Mujahedeen turned into the Taliban.

We are still trying to turn the Muslim world to our own purposes, but this time by supporting Shiite against Sunni. In addition to courting Erdogan, President Barack Obama hopes to make use of Iran as a stabilizing regional force. In his most recent personal letter to Ayatollah Khamanei, Obama seems to have made a promise: We will repeal sanctions, fight against ISIS, and preserve the rule of Iran’s client Bashar al Assad as long as Iran agrees to a deal on nuclear weapons. But what will the United States get in return? In the best-case scenario—which is far from assured—Iran’s bomb-making abilities will be hindered by the deal they sign. But even an Iran without the bomb cannot be relied on to make the Middle East less conflict-riven, unless we are aiming at the kind of stability famously mocked by Tacitus: They make a desert and call it peace. Iranian actions speak for themselves: support for Hezbollah, with its hundred thousand weapons aimed at Israel, and support for Assad, who has massacred his people endlessly and thrown massive numbers of them into concentration camps. Anyone who looks at the Syrian defector “Caesar” ’s photographs of the thousands of starved, mutilated bodies produced by Syria’s bloodthirsty optometrist-in-chief, which are now on permanent exhibition at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, a few blocks from the White House that has refused to grasp their meaning, will ask the same question: Don’t these Arab bodies, resembling so exactly the bodies of Jews at Auschwitz, have the same call on our conscience?

One thing is certain: If Khamanei and Rouhani are given a larger role in the Middle East, they will not serve U.S. interests, nor those of the majority of Muslims. They will serve their own interests, which are inimical to ours. We still have not learned the major lesson of 20th-century history so adeptly conveyed by Motadel and Ihrig: Western leaders who try to get Islam on their side through propaganda and favors will be unpleasantly surprised.

***

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The Anti-Candida Diet

https://geraldgreenherbaltreatments.wordpress.com/dietary-advice/

The Anti-Candida Diet

DIETARY ADVICE FOR ALL AUTO—IMMUNE AND OTHER SERIOUS DISEASES

The Anti-Candida Diet

Candida, a normally friendly yeast, has in the above diseases grown out of control and become a parasitic fungus.

This is because it no longer has any good bugs to feed, which have all been killed off by antibiotics and steroids. After the disease, it is definitely your worst enemy, as it assists the disease, making your condition far worse than it needs be.

Like us, Candida is a living organism with likes and dislikes as to what it ingests from your food intake. For instance, it loves all forms of sugar, such as lactose in cow’s milk and all its products, white and brown sugar and even honey.

It also loves yeasts found in bread, Oxo, Bovril and Marmite, alcohol, over-ripe fruit, mushrooms etc.

Knowing this, it follows that if a patient continues to ingest these items, they will boost Candida’s population and the multiple problems it causes in the above diseases.

As explained in the I.B.D. and M.S. info sheets, Candida causes a condition termed “leaky-gut” syndrome, resulting in allergies to certain foods/drinks (see also: ‘What is auto-immune disease’). Hence, as soon as any molecules of these allergens pass through the bowel wall into the gut, the immune system attacks, so causing immunological self-attack.

How can dieting help?

Cow’s milk is made up of molecules six times larger than those of either sheep or goats milk and are six times more difficult to digest. So if either goats’ milk (used neat) or sheep’s milk (diluted 50/50 with water) is used, it is digested where it should be, in the small bowel.  It never gets into the large bowel or colon where the holes are, to leak through and cause allergic triggers to relative auto-immune disease symptoms.

It should also be realised that auto-immune patients have a very poor output of digestive enzymes (especially I.B.D. patients), so it makes good sense not to eat/drink difficult to digest foods/drinks, thus ensuring they are absorbed in the small bowel.

Hopefully you can now see the benefits of cutting these products out of your diet, and why it is essential that you:

a)            deprive Candida of the products it thrives on

b)            avoid hard to digest items

c)            find and cut out all the Candida-induced triggers to symptoms (see the Rotation diet).

One of Candida’s most commonly induced allergens in M.S. (and in 35% of I.B.D. cases) is Gluten, which is always taboo in M.S. and sometimes in other auto-immune diseases.

The Rotation Diet

The way to find your dietary. triggers is as follows:

First pick 18 dietary items you like, say:

1) potatoes, 2) lamb, 3) cod, and so on.

Now use any 5 of these items plus a drink, 6 all told per day. Using these in any order you like, simply rotate and ring the changes from your 18 items to give variety.

A dietary plan as above must be written out, so that if you had a bad day, you would know what you had the day before and could look for the item that triggered your symptoms. If you feel ill at the end of the day it may be something you had that same day.

This way you will be able to find the ‘baddies’ and cut them out of your diet. Once these are removed, patients will make either a partial or full recovery.

Using the Rotation diet, in conjunction with the Anti-Candida diet to reduce your Candida levels, it should not take long to achieve this. You will have a more noticeable medicinal effect as Candida’s masking effect is reduced.

The Two-Day Elimination Diet (Six-Day Elimination for MS)

If this relief does not materialise after a few weeks, it usually means that there is another allergen trigger which has not yet been found, but which must be eliminated to get relief. With only 18 dietary items all told, it is easy to find using a Two-day elimination diet (Six-day elimination for MS).

This is quite painless, in that you only exclude one item at a time, and only for two days. (MS six days)

Simply number each dietary item one to eighteen.

Now take out no. 1 for two days, returning it into the diet afterwards if you neither get better or worse, proving it is a non-reactionary item.

Then take out no. 2 for two days, and so on, until you suddenly find one day, that you feel a lot better (as if the medicine has been switched on to full power).

This means that you have found a ‘baddie’ that was masking the medicine’s effect and this has to be excluded from your diet. There may be more than one allergen trigger however, so you should carry on until all 18 items have been checked.

If you find that you have had to get rid of two or three items from your list of eighteen, this need not be a problem.

You simply replace them with other items that were not originally on your list (although not with items that are excluded by the Anti-Candida diet of course, which must be excluded for life).  Obviously, if you react to the new items, exclude them again immediately.

Cow’s milk replacements are goats’, sheep’s or soya milk (sheep’s milk can be diluted 50/50 with water)

Sugar is replaced by the herb Stevia or by Sweetex, but not by Canderel, being lactose, (cow’s milk sugar) which we must avoid.

Yeast can be avoided by using soda bread and excluding other items mentioned earlier.

Anything that feeds Candida is bad, as are ready made convenience foods, which are full of all sorts of additives, any one of which you could react to. You’ll need to buy ingredients to make your food, so you know what you’re eating at all times.

Dried fruit contains high amounts of sugar, as does over-ripe fruit and fruit juice, so should be avoided.

Don’t have more than one fruit a day, say an apple, pear or a Kiwi, and not high sugar fruits like grapes or melon. Bananas too can cause problems.

Coffee is taboo for life. Some patients may be able to have tea (not too strong or too many cups). Herbal teas are a safe alternative.

Anything containing citric acid, bio chemically made from sugar wastes and yeasts, is taboo.

It makes good sense for patients with auto-immune diseases to eat organically grown foods (to reduce their intake of organo-phosphorous).  In cases where this is not possible, always peel and wash thoroughly.

Only your body’s immune reactions will tell you if something is good or bad for you.  When you are symptomless, you could obviously recognise a symptom if you did react to a newly introduced food/drink.

Add a new dietary item every two days (six for MS), keeping it in your diet if it doesn’t react, while dropping it instantly if it does. When symptomless again, after such an upset, continue adding one item you fancy every two days. This way you can eventually build your diet back up to a possible 85% of what it was prior to dieting.

For 50% of M.S. patients, and 90% of I.B.D. patients, the diet alone is sufficient to control their Candida population. In M.S. patients with a very high Candida population however, (the other 50%), methods other than diet alone are needed.

We have been successful with some of these patients by attacking this with other herbal remedies in the three main problem areas (see M.S.info sheet).

With our herbal remedies and dedication to the diets, which eventually get much less austere, remission is there for the asking.

**The following is a two-page list which can be copied and printed off.

THE ANTI-CANDIDA DIET

You may look at the list below and feel despondent, but please be assured, it is a small price to pay for what you will GAIN. After following this diet for a few days, you should notice increased energy, easier movement, better sleep, less digestive problems, in fact, many people report ALL their symptoms disappear, especially when they use the herbs and supplements suggested. Try it and see for yourself.

ELIMINATE:

All cows’ milk products: cheese, yoghurt, whey — all cow’s milk derivatives.

Yeast products: alcohol, bread (soda bread is allowed), Marmite, Oxo, Bovril, vinegars, mushrooms, processed and smoked fish and meats,

All sugar products: honey, fructose, lactose, glucose, dextrose, NutraSweet, Canderel.

Nearly all fruit: overripe fruits are full of sugar and yeast (hence they go mouldy when over-ripe). Fruit juice, even the unsweetened kind, contains far too much natural sugar and is not allowed on the diet.

High-sugar root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, beetroots. NB: If you really can’t live without potatoes, wean yourself off them slowly and try to end up with one a day.

The list below shows you the foods Candida loves and thrives on. These need to be eliminated from your diet for between 3-6 months to begin with. Once the Candida is ‘under control’, you may feel inclined to gradually reintroduce the foods listed below, gradually meaning one by one. Whether this is successful or not will depend on various factors, for instance, the strength of your immune system. If any of your old symptoms reoccur, this is a sure sign that you should remove the last food you reintroduced.

Too much carbohydrate turns to glucose rapidly:
Bread and all of its relatives: crackers, pastries, doughnuts, pies, muffins, cookies Cereals, hot or cold, sweetened or unsweetened          Snacks including crisps, pretzels and popcorn       White rice, potatoes and corn              Products made with white flour, such as pasta.If you feel you can’t cut out potatoes completely, wean yourself off them slowly and try to end up with one a day

Most fruit                           Root vegetables  such as carrots, turnips, parsnips and beetroot   Chick peas, dried beans, lentils, pinto beans

 

Avoid allconvenience/junk foods, as they contain hidden sugars  and other undesirable ingredients.  Cheeses (except non-cow’s milk cheeses)              Milk and yoghurt
Processed meats  such as bacon, sausage, ham, salami, bologna, pastrami, hot dogs and smoked fish (high salt content) Mushrooms and fungi     Condiments, such as pickles, all shop bought sauces Hydrogenated fatty acids and partially hydrogenated fatty acids as contained in margarines and many processed foods
These fruit and veg are best avoided until the Candida is under control: Apricots, Artichokes, Asparagus, Aubergine, Avocado, Blackberries, Courgettes, Grapefruit, Kumquats, Okra, PassionFruit, Peaches, Peas, Plums, Pumpkin, Raspberries, Sauerkraut, Sugar Snap Peas,  Squash, Strawberries, Tomato, WatermelonFLUIDS                 Coffee and other caffeine containing beverages, fizzy canned drinks                      Alcohol in all forms                               Fruit juices and squashes.

Health Supplementscontaining lactose, gluten, citric acid

 

GOOD FOOD CHOICES

The foods below have the lowest possible sugar/yeast content and are your best choice. You will notice there are several oils included, this is because certain ‘good fats’ are vital for health, these are omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.

EAT PLENTY OF THEFOLLOWING FOODS:        Alfalfa Sprouts Bean Sprouts       Bell Peppers (sweet)                        Bok Choy      Broccoli               Brussels Sprouts      Cabbage  Cauliflower      Celery         Cucumber        Endive               Fennel                 Garlic                        Green Beans   Greens                         Hot Chili Peppers Kale                    Lettuce              Onions              Parsley          Radishes                 Spring Onions  Spinach                      Swiss ChardGranose Sunflower Margarine, Tomor Kosher Margarine (from health food shops) FATS (in moderation):Avocado oil        Fish oil              Flaxseed oil
Rapeseed oil       Hemp oil Mayonnaise Monounsaturated fats                         Olive oil       Primrose oil         Coconut 0ilFLUIDS: Try to drink 8 glasses of water each day; the body is 60-70% water, so needs fresh supplies daily for optimal hydration and to help flush out toxins. There are many benefits from drinking more water —  increased energy, better concentration, clearer skin, etc. Herbal teas are acceptable.
Free range eggs   Fresh fish and seafood              Pork, lamb and veal         Poultry:       chicken, turkey, particularly skinless white meat                    GameSheep’s milk and cheeses (dilute sheep’s milk 50/50 with water and it will taste the same as cow’s milk)

Goat’s milk and cheeses

Yeast-less bread = SODA bread (look out for added sugars and other undesirable ingredients in commercially produced Soda breads)

Culinary herbs and spices

For those with a sweet tooth, to sweeten foods, use Stevia, this herb is 100 times sweeter than sugar and is also a natural anti-fungal agent. Sweetex is acceptable though Stevia is far superior. Also…

•             If you can’t do without bread, buy a yeastless bread such as Soda bread, or even better, bake your own. (recipe available from me)

•             Although most fruits are taboo, you may have one piece of ‘firm’ fruit a day: apple, pear or kiwi.

•             To help further boost the immune system Astragalus and Echinaceaare taken in capsule form, along with a minimum of 1 gram of Vitamin C daily.

•             It’s advised not to eat potatoes, but for some people, this is just too strict, so try to wean yourself off them slowly and end up with one potato a day.

Final Note:  To maintain a Candida-free body, you should always follow a well-balanced diet, very low in sugar and yeast


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A Small Man in a Big Office

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393251/small-man-big-office-kevin-d-williamson

A Small Man in a Big Office
The president’s operating principle appears to be that democracy is what you can get away with.

Kevin D. Williamson

My mother was, in her modest way, an Ayn Rand villain, someone who lived by the moral principle thatJohn Galt mockingly summarized: “It is your need that gives you a claim to rewards.” She believed that being poor gave one a warrant to exploit any situation to one’s own material benefit. The results of this were generally comical, if cringe-inducing: On the few occasions upon which we found ourselves staying in motels, she and her husband would steal practically everything that was not nailed down: towels, bathrobes, ashtrays — this was in the pre-Enlightenment era, when hotel rooms still had ashtrays and Gideon Bibles. Come to think of it, there were a couple of Gideon Bibles in our house, too, the provenance of which was suspicious. This belief was not limited to economic concerns: She was an enthusiastic partisan of the intentional, strategic foul in football, and of the proposition that athletes should attempt, when possible, to inflict disabling injuries on their opponents. Having been initiated into the ancient mystery cult that is West Texas high-school football, I knew these beliefs to be barbarous, heretical. The Lubbock High School Westerners had a fine long tradition of losing with honor.

I have seen a high-school football coach refuse to shake the hand of his opposite number after a football game in response to perceived affronts to sportsmanship, and that’s a serious thing. (They take it seriously in that other kind of football, too.) It’s basically Sampson biting his thumb at Abraham in the opening of Romeo and Juliet. “When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s hands, and they unwashed, too, ’tis a foul thing.” You don’t shake hands with somebody who has behaved dishonorably.

I do not think I would shake hands with Barack Obama.

My friend Jay Nordlinger describes the president as operating according to what we might call the Warhol Doctrine: “Democracy is what you can get away with.” And why shouldn’t he? A lawyer or 20 could make a plausible legal case that the president is legally permitted to proceed as he has (and also that the law clearly forbids this, which is why the analysis of lawyers is of limited interest to me), just as you could make a case that, old-fashioned ideas about sportsmanship or gentlemanly behavior be damned, if the rules of the game make intentional fouls strategically useful, then one should commit those fouls when doing so is desirable.

This is, as many have pointed out, a problematic line of argument. The Congress would be legally within its rights to, e.g., refuse to fund government operations, filibuster in the Senate every single appointment that President Obama attempts to make, impeach him and everybody he has appointed to office, declare war on Canada and Togo, pass a law requiring that all future U.S. coinage be made out of papier-mâché and glitter, etc. Why shouldn’t Republicans impeach the president? There are practical considerations, of course: They probably would fail to convict him. But practical considerations are not the only considerations — surely there are higher and worthier motives at work than mere political calculation.

What stops a defensive tackle from intentionally injuring a halfback even if he thinks he can get away with it — even if he is willing to suffer the consequences of the foul — is sportsmanship. What stops a politician from adopting a what-you-can-get-away-with strategy is, under normal circumstances, patriotism. Congress forgoes impeaching the president every time it would be convenient for the legislative majority to do so not merely out of narrow self-interest, but because doing so would violate our constitutional principles even if the letter of the law could be interpreted to permit that course of action. It would be bad for the country. In an elected official, patriotism means, among other things, elevating the interests of the country above the interests of party and career. President Obama has failed to do that, seems personally incapable of doing that, and in fact has done the opposite. He might be reminded, at the very least, that his presidential duty is to the citizens of the United States, not to citizens of other countries, regardless of where they happen to be located at any given moment. But the very idea of taking that seriously seems foreign to him.

We already knew that Barack Obama is a coward – a man who, to take one obvious example, pronounced himself opposed to gay marriage right up until the millisecond that political calculation demanded he do otherwise, and who now believes that it is mandated by the Constitution. His putting off his amnesty announcement until after the election – and his dishonest refusal to acknowledge that it is an amnesty – is another example. We already knew that he is a liar (“If you like your coverage . . . ”) and have some reason to suspect that he is a fool. But the fundamental problem is that he is a lawyer, one without the intellectual or moral equipment to be anything more than a litigator of the picayune. For President Obama and his enablers, the law is a species of magic: He is entitled to do whatever he pleases, even when it plainly violates both the national interest and our longstanding habits of government, if he can simply think of a way to say the right words in the right order as he acts. That isn’t governance – that’s alchemical hokum, transforming the dross of Democratic political ambition into pure gold.

There are many defects with that model of government, but the largest one is that the words “illegal” and “legal” no longer have any meaning. If a sufficiently powerful person or faction demands that the illegal should be the legal, then it is so. Never mind the law – and certainly never mind the lawmakers, who are increasingly irrelevant in our emerging Gaullist, strongman form of government. Charles de Gaulle and his supporters at least had the intellectual honesty to call that form of government what it is: rule by decree.

And he may yet get away with it. But a wiser and better man would not try to.

— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent at National Review.

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Science Fiction, the step sister

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/ursula-k-le-guin-national-book_n_6188922.html?utm_content=buffer88d6f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Ursula K. Le Guin’s National Book Award Speech Was Stunning

Posted: 11/20/2014 10:18 am EST Updated: 11/20/2014 11:59 am EST
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Ursula K. Le Guin, a science fiction author venerated for her poignant diction, gender-bending characters and eerily accurate speculations about politics and technology, was honored for her life’s work at the 2014 National Book Awards. Her acceptance speech was both eloquent and bold in its predictions and accusations — which is par for the course for the author, who’s delivered a number of memorable commencement speeches.

In this speech, she targeted businesses aiming to commodify the art of writing (read: Amazon), and championed authors who delve into fantastical plots rather than sticking with straightforward realism. Accepting and sharing her award with “all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long,” Le Guin offered many notable thoughts:

“My fellow writers of the imagination … watched the beautiful awards go to the so-called realists.”
Le Guin voiced her feelings about genre — as a genre writer herself, she wishes science fiction and fantasy writers would be given due credit from critics and literary awards.

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.”
She also chastised our tendency towards nonchalance concerning our country’s current economic state, saying that just because a social structure seems pervasive doesn’t mean it can’t be challenged.

ursula le guin

“I think hard times are coming. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries, the realists of a larger reality.”
Le Guin’s speculations about the future have proven to be eerily correct in some cases, such as cross-continent communication, so when she says “hard times are coming,” it might be worth heeding her words of warning.

“We need writers who know the difference between the production of a commodity and the practice of an art.”
Le Guin emphasized the importance of uncoupling art and profit, and hinted less-than-subtly that Amazon and other industry juggernauts are guilty of this crime, to the detriment of literature.

ursula le guin

“I’ve had a good career. Here at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river.”
Again, the author noted that she’s concerned about the well-being of artistic pursuits, and hopes that publishers and writers alike eschew profit for the more rewarding payoff of freedom.