The story of FDR as U.S. Commander in Chief is a heroic war story of a president who had already overcome great adversity in facing polio, but who went on to take the reins of our armed forces in the greatest conflagration in human history -- on our behalf.
Human Smoke is chock-full of small, often powerful but unrelated scenes. What you get is a Jackson Pollack painting in audio: a lot of vivid colors and absolutely no shape to any of it. It's a helter-skelter of disjointed events and it's up to us to connect the dots.
If we give up our rights to peaceably gather, protest and to question the motives of our elected officials under the cowardly fear of being labeled unpatriotic, then clearly, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, we deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Politicians and pundits of all persuasions should get it into their heads that making analogies to the Holocaust or Nazi Germany in the context of 21st century U.S. politics is not just unseemly but borders on, if not crosses over into, the obscene.
"Congressman Cohen -- can I call you Steve? -- what brings you all the way here from the hills of Tennessee?" "Well, it seems some people think I forgot the basics of the Congressional training course you taught."
As we approach the 2010 midterm elections, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic Parties must join together and declare once and for all that Nazi analogies have no place in our political rhetoric.