The “guardians” of the Holy City, the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the clerics, have a deep hatred of history. They want everything to look brand-new. Meanwhile, the sites are expanding to accommodate the rising number of pilgrims, up to almost three million today from 200,000 in the 1960s. The initial phase of Mecca’s destruction began in the mid-1970s, and I was there to witness it. Innumerable ancient buildings, including the Bilal mosque, dating from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, were bulldozed. The old Ottoman houses, with their elegant mashrabiyas — latticework windows — and elaborately carved doors, were replaced with hideous modern ones. Within a few years, Mecca was transformed into a “modern” city with large multilane roads, spaghetti junctions, gaudy hotels and shopping malls.
It’s clear what we will, and what we must, do with our fear: master it, get our kids their shots, be grateful for our good fortune to live in the time and place we do, and move along to stuff that matters, like helping the less fortunate around the world get medical care, too. So a better question, the only one that makes sense, is, “Why did we let those wrongheaded people make us so afraid? And how can we stop them?”
RICHARD HOFSTADER: I don’t recollect the past—I examine, dissect, and explain it. If we don’t carefully analyze our histories, we won’t learn anything from them. For example, the best way to avoid the destructive use of paranoia in American politics is to study it in the past and use that to prevent it now and in the future. Anything important that has happened benefits from serious analysis like that. With his backward defiance, it was only inevitable that Hofstadter would collide with the most active purveyor of oral history in the early 21st century: Jim Nelson, editor in chief of GQ.
When we dug deeper, we found that college graduates in particular have less wealth than their parents. That’s related to their student debt. In 2011, four in 10 Gen Xers with a college degree still had student loan debt. The typical amount was $25,000. Quite a drag on their wealth.
The older brother – remember him? – hears music and dancing. Dad had enough time to hire the band and the caterer, but he never searched for his older son. He had two sons, and he didn’t count. Our parable is less about forgiving and more about counting, and making sure everyone counts. Whom have we lost? If we don’t count, it may be too late.
Don’t let people in Columbus or those that abandoned ship now control our transportation policies. Come join us in Mariemont, Madisonville, Kenwood, Over-the-Rhine, Oakley, North Avondale, Clifton, Northern Kentucky, etc. Locate your home or business here and enjoy what we have to offer. Or stay in Clermont County if you wish – perfectly fine. Just no way you’re going to convince me that you have some constitutional right to an easier commute or trip to the Reds game. Deal with the traffic you helped create when you located there. I’ll deal with my neighbors.
But the lesson of the Holocaust is a lesson for mankind. And it’s every German’s job to make that clear at all times and to everyone, regardless of where you think you come from.
Chancellor Merkel has made a start in this respect, but unless Europe’s leaders make it clear to their people that Jewish genocide is unacceptable wherever it might occur, the rising tide of Jew hatred will not abate.