Helen Thomas Is Back, Welcome Back Helen!

I had the great privilege to meet Helen a few years back here in Michigan and have swapped emails with her a few times when she was the only voice asking tough questions in that White House briefing room, particularly during the Bush years but even into the Obama administration. Helen is awesome and I don’t believe at all that she is antisemitic. The comments that got her in deep shit were certainly “inartful” and reactionary, I too get pissed at the Israelis who bomb children (lovely cluster bombs…is that a toy, boom) and kill innocent people indiscriminately. I don’t blame her for lashing out, the Israeli government is fucking brutal.

In her first column back in the Falls Church New-Press, Helen writes about the recurring idea of privatizing Social Security and gives a great historical lesson for us. Here is an excerpt from her column…

The difference between the Great Depression and the current Great Recession is “spirit” – during the 1930s Americans cared about each other. They flocked to Washington – teachers, social workers, doctors and nurses – selflessly offering their services.

Next door to us, a family with six children lived on a $13 (equivalent to $163 today) per week welfare check. Somehow they survived and kept their faith. Along came FDR who told the stricken people, “You have nothing to fear but fear itself.” The power of hope restored confidence in the country and in its leadership.
We were happy to emerge from the depression, but many Americans at the time believed we rebounded economically because of the looming clouds of World War II. The world by this time was swept up by the “isms.” The U.S. was divided between the interventionists in World War II (on the side of the allies) and the non-interventionists – they were the isolationists – who disappeared at the start of the war on Dec. 7, 1941.

President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935 to cover the elderly, and eventually through amendments, widows, orphans and the disabled. Payments are split 50-50 by the employer and the worker. What has been missing in our current society is compassion and creativeness. Think of the bargains the President had to strike to renew the biggest (Bush) tax cut to the richest Americans, this in exchange for an extension of unemployment compensation for the millions who lost their jobs – some deal! That’s the compassion part.

I’ve long felt that the 1980’s and the Reagan revolution turned America into a land of selfish, I’ve got mine-you get yours-rat bastards. It became acceptable to be selfish, to stop caring about those less fortunate, to grab all you can get and fuck the rest. I know I’ve written this before but I had a great conversation with a very wise 17 year old exchange student from Germany back in the 1980’s and he said the difference between America and Europe (particularly when it comes to covering everyone with health insurance) was that the culture in Europe is one where people actually care about their friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. If someone is sick, they actually want them to be better. They don’t think only of themselves, but of the greater good of all in the society. He went on to say that because of everyone being taken care of, people are less stressed, friendlier and they live in a much nicer environment. Doesn’t sound very much like America now, does it?

Glad to have you back Helen. Still kicking ass at 90 years old.

H/T to the Raw Story


10 thoughts on “Helen Thomas Is Back, Welcome Back Helen!

  1. It’s kind of interesting actually that this country claims that we have freedom of speech yet we show time and time again that we actually don’t. If you come out against Israel your antisemitic. Holocaust films are invented to make people feel ashamed of what the German’s did. They’ve yet to make a movie to show what Israel is doing to Palestinians and if they do they’ll be accused of being antisemitic.

    To be frank I’ve watched plenty of holocaust films from Shindler’s List to The Pianist. They were great films very enjoyable yet they fail every time to address what other groups other than Jewish had to go through. Doctor Joseph Mengele actually experimented on primarily Gypsies and wasn’t nearly as interested in Jews.

    Again this is to convey the fact that deceptions have existed throughout history to classify the Jewish community as the victim. That the holocaust was the worse form of genocide that ever existed is completely false.

    If you read and believe the Torah actually the Jews themselves committed genocide against a group of people yet this was okay because ‘God’ told them to. What utter nonsense. Of course this is to say if this ever actually occurred.

    I guess this makes me antisemitic except that I’m not. I actually don’t hold any ill feelings towards any religion or race. Just stating the facts.

  2. Consortium News just put up a great article praising Helen Thomas and revealed how she was set up by Zionist factions, including the racist JDL. It is written by Danny Schechter, who is Jewish himself (maybe “self-hating” since he doesn’t toe the Zionist line). Helen Thomas is of Lebanese Arab heritage, but like a sizable minority of Lebanese, she is Christian.

    She may be a critic of Israel but never a hater of Jews, a distinction the world recognizes, but that right-wing backers of the Israel lobby (and the media that backs it) refuse to accept in the name of a black-or-white, “you are with us or ag’in us” ideological agenda which has no tolerance for critics, differences of opinion or the anger of the dispossessed.


    Since we have so few REAL journalists anymore, Helen Thomas’s craft is no longer recognized.

  3. Yea Jeff, I wouldn’t agree with everything you said, but you are right in the paradigm we live in where any criticism of Jewish people or Israel is pounced on pretty hard. I’ve tempered my words about how brutal they are to the Palestinian people for that very reason.

    I’ve met and interviewed several Holocaust survivors for a project and I don’t doubt for a minute that the Holocaust was the worse form of genocide that has ever existed. It was, at least as far as all the history that I learned.

    If there was a worse one, tell me about it.

  4. Sadly, history has been full of holocausts (but only the Jewish Holocaust is to be capitalized I’ve been told). Most Americans never learn about the Armenia holocaust in the early 20th century where as many as 1.5 million were slaughtered by Turks. We just had the 160th anniversary of the slaughter of all the hundreds of Sioux Indians…men, women and children, who were encamped at Wounded Knee, SD by U.S. military. The latter was part of the much larger holocaust of the Native Americans.

  5. Yea, after I typed that I thought, well maybe the crusades…Native Americans, who knows how many were slaughtered?

    I never feel good about any kind of denying of the Holocaust, it was real and horrible. But I have a lot of problems with how the Jewish community uses it and my experience interviewing survivors…in Texas by the way…at the Holocaust Museum of Houston, there were even differences among the people we talked to about how it is talked about within the Jewish community. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much about it, from eye witnesses, not some filtered interpretation.

  6. By the way Grant, I have all comments going to moderation right now, I’m expecting some trolls from my commenting at a couple of blogs. :)

    I’ll keep checking as much as I can until I put the moderation setting back.

  7. Their were a lot of terrible tragedies that occurred throughout history but if you want to go through world war two. Lets look at what the Japanese did to the Chinese. Did you know that they ate the chinese thinking that they weren’t human? How about they cut chinese heads off and placed them on platters. They had death camps as well that were in some ways worse than the Jewish ones.

  8. Well, I think when you start having a pissing contest about such tragedies, then you have entered into morbid territory. It all sucks and they shouldn’t be pitted against each other or compared.

    The goal is to not repeat these things.

  9. Sounds to me like newbie Orson P. may be a REICHwing troll pretending to be a progressive. If he is left, then may be an IDEOLOGUE, just as wacky (even dangerous) as a righty teabaggin’ IDEOLOGUE…not here much for discussion, but to throw bombs. With such types, it is always “my way or the highway”!

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