Saturday, November 19, 2016

What "good" registration systems look like.

This is my great-grandfather, originally born Elias Seneft in an area that is now part of Poland or Western Ukraine. His father was a Rabbi. At the time, the area was a part of the German Republic, called Galacia. Many of our ancestors died in the Pogroms of World War I, and in fact, the town my great grandmother is from was entirely wiped off the map, but Elias's parents fled to England for safety. There's a quick over view of how WWI affected the Jewish population, especially in that area, you can read more here.
Because the Seneft family came from an area that was part of the German Republic, and because they had German citizenship, at the beginning of World War I, Elias was sent to a camp for enemy aliens, known as Camp Douglas. Even though they were fleeing certain death at the hands of German and Russian hands. Even though they were fleeing invaders who destroyed their homes and killed their families. The Jewish population of the camp was kept in a separate location from the rest of the populace and treated less well then the other enemy aliens. Since they were in the camp, they also could not become citizens, and once the war was over, they were expelled from England and sent back "home" to Germany just in time for Hitler's rise to power, and I won't bother you by reminding you how that ended.
Let's concentrate instead on this "good" version, and you can read specific details on this page here. My Great-Grandfather and the other detainees were treated well in the internment camps. They were well fed, given health care, and ample opportunities for work, education, and socializing. I can't actually find any information about the Jewish section of the population, and if they were treated differently than the rest, other than being housed separately. A lot of this information has been lost to time and the righteous indignation over what happened during World War 2.

From Encyclopedia 1914-1918

The internment of over 32,000 German and Austro-Hungarian civilians in Britain between 1914 and 1919 took place against the background of a rising tide of xenophobia and panic over "imagined" spies in the run-up to the outbreak of war.[24] Although Tammy Proctor is right to say that internment was a policy enacted by the state,[25] in the British case in particular public opinion appears to have played an important role in pressuring the government to act. The main waves of internment, in October 1914 and May 1915, coincided with outbreaks of anti-foreigner violence in many British towns and cities, during which German-owned property was destroyed or looted. In some cases Germans and Austrians were arrested for their own personal safety, although the official line was that the measures had been undertaken to safeguard the nation against internal spies and to appease the "strong feeling against Germans roused by the Belgium."[26]

Does that remind you of anything? Here's the chilling thing. I mean, other than Trump's supporters specifically mentioning Japanese Internment camps as constitutional reasons why his Muslim registration plan has constitutional backing. NSEERS, the program that the proposed policy would likely be based on is, according to a number of law professionals, constitutional without that precedent. It doesn't target people by religion, it targeted them by country of origin. Like the camps my great grandfather was sent to, it predominantly targeted young men, and the requirements separated them from their families and in many cases, sent them back to the countries they left for safety reasons.

From Immigration Impact

NSEERS consisted of three parts: 1) port-of-entry registration, fingerprinting and photographing of males from certain countries; 2) “call-in” registration requiring certain males to register at immigration offices; and 3) exit registration at the time of departure from the country. There were severe penalties for failing to comply, and then-Attorney General Ashcroft made the arrest and deportation of violators and visa overstays a priority.
More than 80,000 men underwent registration, and thousands were subject to interrogations and detention. Many of those who came forward and attempted to comply with NSEERS ended up deported or unable to secure an immigration benefit, and those who failed to comply—even if they were unaware of the requirements—also faced severe consequences. However, many people continue to feel the negative impact of NSEERS, and many families remain separated.

I am not Jewish. My Grandfather never explained why he turned his back on his faith, but I believe his experiences fleeing the Nazis as a child, living as a refugee in France and the United States, and fighting in World War 2 may have shaken his faith in God. It may also have made him feel unsafe identifying as a Jew. He married a Presbyterian, and they raised their children as Atheists. But I do know that if he were alive he would be appalled at the anti Muslim rhetoric that has taken root in our country, and he would be among the first to stand up and fight against a registry program.
I plan to create a letter version of this post and mail it to the Jewish organizations that are currently supporting Trump and his white supremacist cabinet picks, specifically Bannon, and Sessions. That there are so many Jewish groups who are in support of this man, and his plan is completely confusing to me. I hope that if you are reading this, and you are Jewish, you will consider reaching out to them and urging them to change their positions as well.
The Republican Jewish Coalition

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I haven't been feeling blogging lately. I hate what Flickr has done to their website, and since that's where I've been storing the pictures I mean to use here, that impacts how I feel every time I try to post here. I didn't like the internal photo uploading from blogger when I tried it last, and I haven't found any place I like better then flickr, even with what it's become, so I am feeling stuck and resentful about it all.
I think the best bet it to stop feeling like I should do this, and just stop for awhile, and then maybe I can come up with a better idea for photos and then I will be back. Or not.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 43

Davis has been asking to take this picture at the Nordic Heritage Museum ever since he got his Elsa costume.

I took the kids to the pumpkin patch, and we all came home smelling like a biodynamic farm. But it was fun.


We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What we did the last two weeks

The day after GeekGirlCon was Walker's birthday. We spent most of the day hanging around the house. Walker and the kids worked on one of the electrical kits they got him for Father's Day.

The kids and I walked/biked up the hill to the new Gluten Free bakery that just opened to buy Walker a birthday cake. Moira biking down steep hills will never not make me feel super nervous.

Davis still wants to play lots of board games.

Moira has a new penpal, and Moira wouldn't let me finish the letter until she got a chance to write down her answers to each question.

I bought a cheap compass at a back to school sale, so we tried that out on art day. It's too flimsy, and so it's hard to get it to stay in one position. But the kids enjoyed it enough that they asked to use it later in the day to make more circles.

Davis didn't want to go to nature school, but I made him and he enjoyed the indoor activities, especially this sorting one. As soon as it was time to go for a walk he insisted we go home.

Later that day he was less cranky, and we took his sister and friend to the Science Center to see the Ripley's exhibit.

My aunt had the day off from work, so she came over to hang out with us. I got a bunch of work done while she played with the kids. They also painted.

And turned Davis into a robot.

I took the kids to the pumpkin patch, and tried to institute a "you carry your pumpkin" policy, but they were all really big. Davis kept trying anyway.

Davis discovered the joys of really big mud puddles.

And Moira showed off her balancing skills.

I let them get teeny pumpkins at the farm too, and both kids decided to paint them. Moira got it set up all on her own. I love that she can do that now.

We bought a foam roller coaster, and spent an afternoon putting it together. I was pleasantly surprised with how much of it Moira could do on her own.

Moira was interested in the concept of calendar wheels when we were learning about Ireland, so we printed one up for her to color in, and then she figured out how we could hang it up so it can spin. She was in the spotlight that week at her drama class, so she's posing with the class mascot.

Davis I played with Snap Circuits.

Davis didn't want to go to nature class again, because it's too much fun and there are too many kids, so this was our last time. He did enjoy the activities, just not the walking and games

We had a good time at the Nordic Heritage Museum. They've redone some parts of the exhibits, so there was lots of interesting little things to find.

The kids carved pumpkins with Walker. He reports that Moira did her own carving, and Davis tried as hard as he could to get the electric pumpkin carver he bought to work right.

They also finished assembling the lego train Moira bought him for his birthday, and they found out that we can fit the duplo one inside the lego one and they both fit around the christmas tree stand.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 42

Davis loves his new Elsa dress. So so much.

Walker had another birthday. He's old.


We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Click Get the code here below to add the blog hop to your blog and join the fun. (Also sign up to be added to a comment group!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 41

Playing in a gym with some of Moira's earliest friends.

We had our first sewing session for the Skittles and my friends helped me fit and alter a coat pattern for my crocodile vest.

My leather
And here's the very pretty leather Angela bought for me in New York. Yum.

Linked up at Hobo Mama

Monday, October 13, 2014

What we did last week

Fall crafts
I had plans to can tomatoes all day with Angela, so I set the kids up with a craft kit. They did a great job entertaining themselves for most of the day, and with the help of Angela's super blender we finished the tomatoes before dinner time.

Building a man
It appears that Davis can build with he fort kit now. Mostly he just builds whacking sticks.

Mashed potato salad
We ended up with a big batch of leftover Gak after the Halloween craft day and the kids have been having crazy fun with. Davis likes to make it into mashed potato salad or gumbo. And yes, both recipes require the use of his tools. Moira likes to make sushi rolls with the plastic wrap we are storing it in.

Moira's bird outfit
Moira wanted to dress up like a bird for her class trip to Rikki Tikki Tavi. This was the result.

Davis helps
At park day, Davis decided to help this merry go round full of teenagers go faster. No, he didn't want to get on. Yes, they did help with their feet a little.

Fall field and sky
We had an art day, the fist one in a long time. Moira picked the materials, mixed media with glitter glue. This is us at a pumpkin patch.

Davis had a much more minimalist interpretation. He spent most of his time cutting up black paper, and this was the final result.

Moira's car
Davis asked to get out the legos, and Moira wanted me to build her a car. I walked her through following the diagram and helped her find pieces, and she assembled this almost entirely on her own.

Lego world
I also built a truck for Davis and then when I was doing chores, they collaborated on this lego city.

Checking Davis' legs
We went back to the podiatrist where we found out that Moira's pronation is much better, and Davis's feet are so far looking fantastic.

They got fancy and put on a show.

Davis greatly enjoyed his first interaction with a microscope at nature class.

He also really enjoyed learning how to make a leaf pile and jump in it. And burying the teacher.

He also insists on walking the whole way on this raised planter. Especially the parts where the heather is overgrown and blocking access.

Tailor bird nest
Moira made this Tailor Bird nest in class. There are little sparkly eggs that go with it.

Fairy house
We brought her friend Sammy home after class and they made this fairy house, "Since the last one got knocked down."

Moira's new hair cut
A new haircut! She wanted a bob with it shorter in the back and longer in the front, but then she asked the hair stylist to cut the front shorter. She's happy. Davis was impressed and considered for a little bit getting a hair cut of his own, but then I had to break it to him that a hair cut will make your hair shorter, not longer, so now he says he'll do it only at Minnie's Pet Salon.

Cave spider
We had Animal Encounters class again, and the creatures were less cuddly this time. I thought this cave spider was awesome.

Baby wallaby
I think the kids were most impressed with the Wallaby and Joey.

We can do it!
After class we go to the gym to get some wiggles out. The older kids really enjoyed playing with these blankets. Davis mostly played with the soccer ball.

Magic wands
Moira made dinner again, this time with wand shaped fruit kebabs.

Exploding a diaper
I got to go to GeekGirlCon with my friends JW and Sika. Among other things, we did science! JW got the high score for the day on how much water she could fit in a diaper. We also extracted DNA from strawberries, and discovered that Sika had the thinnest hair of the day.