Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • August 5, 2009 the Japanese and the Western nations. They found it with yet another Russian forgery, “The Tanaka Memorial.” This was a fake memorandum supposedly sent from Baron Giichi Tanaka to the Emperor of Japan outlining plans to take over the world – first China, then Europe, then the United States. Using circumstances around Japan’s seizure of Manchuria due to the economic impact of the Great Depression, the Russians concocted a fake world takeover plan that hardcore racists found quite plausible – so much so that The Tanaka Memorial was featured in two Hollywood movies of the war years, “Jack London” and “Blood on the Sun.” For all that, the Tanaka Memorial was a Russian forgery. When the Russians were asked to see a copy of the Tanaka Memorial, they found some renegade Japanese communists and had them translate it from Russian, the original language, back into Japanese. The translation was so awkward that nobody who knew Japanese found it in any way convincing, as Herbert Romerstein pointed out in the notes to “The Venona Secrets,” a fascinating and massively documented book about Stalinist traitors in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration. Since the Tanaka Memorial was part and parcel of the FDR administration’s frantic attempt to touch off a war with Japan so FDR could save Britain with a collateral war against Germany, this forgery cost the lives of millions of people and thousands upon thousands of Americans. The lesson of history is that when you want something you can’t get by fair means, you get it by foul means. We have an example of that right in our own backyard. Two factions, it would appear, are locked in a battle to save Graydon Pool. One group wants to convert the lake-like pool into a series of concrete pools that are easier to keep sanitary and might attract enough dues-paying members to take the load off the taxpayers. The other group wants to improve the filtration at the existing pool and improve water quality without changing the appearance of the site. A third suggestion, probably since obviated, was the use a filtration system based on thirsty hydroponic plants that would filter the pool water naturally. The proponents of this plan let it slip that the process had been invented in Germany, which means there is not a chance to putting it over through the media. If the Germans invented a cheap reliable cure for cancer, most papers wouldn’t write about it. I take no sides in whether to use concrete, aeration, or hydroponic plants to solve Graydon’s problems with water quality. My right leg is a mess due to my adventures as soldier and pedestrian, and I don’t swim in public. My problem is that one side in the controversy tried to make David Bolger, a world-class philanthropist, as the villain of the piece for reasons best known to themselves. They set up a blog that some people seem to love with statements like: “It has belatedly been revealed that one force behind this project is David Bolger. For a shocking revelation about what he envisions as a high-priced concrete incorporating/ appropriating our Stable….” Two things wrong so far: Bolger only came into the picture at the end, when nothing was getting done. This I confirmed with people in the Ridgewood administration, who wanted no part of this blog. Second, it was Bolger who saved “our” Stable for Ridgewood many years ago when he had it restored at his own expense and donated it to Ridgewood as the headquarters for the recreation program. The thrust of the blog is that Bolger is somehow responsible for a plan that was drafted by a group of Ridgewood residents long before he got involved in any way. Bolger came in – as he did on the Pease Library – after everybody else had failed to get it done. He saved the Pease Library. He also saved a painting of Jesus that belonged to the Pease family and had hung in the library for years. Bolger is now getting up a case against the bloggers for what sounds very much like a libel suit. Libel is very interesting. To prove libel, you have to prove “falsehood” and “malice.” Prove both, and you’ve got a conviction. I once covered a libel suit against the New York Times by a Circassian Muslim man who had been accused of being a Nazi war criminal and a member of a mass murder team when he was able to prove that he had been in the Soviet Red Army fighting against Hitler when the mass murders in question took place. I had hoped, in fact, to trick him into a confession and put a noose around his neck – I’d already done some very minor anti-terrorist work for Mossad, and I have no sympathy whatsoever for Nazi murderers – but a 10-minute look at his document file, checked with officials in Israel and in West Germany, provided that he had been framed by an ambitious and unscrupulous reporter. The Times kept the case going for years, but in the end they settled out of court, reportedly for $500,000. I never got one penny of it, but the framed “war criminal” was later blown to bits on his doorstep by a radio-detonated bomb. He was not an especially nice man, but he absolutely never killed Jews for Hitler. Murder on accusation is not an American tradition. It is a Nazi or Soviet tradition. David Bolger is not a war criminal. Neither is he the prime instigator or sinister genius behind a pool project some people don’t like. Bolger gave Valley Hospital $30 million of his own money, gave Mount Bethel Baptist Church $500,000, and saved Pease Library when everybody else failed to get things done because they choked on their own envy and their own tedious rhetoric. He gave them his own money. If people want to hate him for being rich and generous, they need to get a life and see a shrink. Once upon a time, while the snow was falling on the Urals, a couple of bored Tsarist officers got together around the samovar to deal with a problem. People in Russia wanted reform and modernization that left these officers and their mentors uncomfortable. They came up with an answer to their problem: Let’s blame it on the Jews. Scribbling through the short winter days and the long winter nights, they concocted a fantasy based on a novel written by a German in 1869 and an essay written by a Frenchman in the 18th century. Both of the original works were clearly labeled as fantasy and no more to be taken seriously than Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” or “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. The Tsarist officers, however, wanted everything they wrote to be plausible. In the end, their evil masterpiece as a success: “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” probably led to more mass murders than any other document in history. “Protocols” starts with the premise that many Jews are smart and deal with money or publishing. The Jews were said to be using their intelligence, money, and literary contacts to corrupt the majority of Russians, undermine Christianity and the aristocracy, and control the world. Every movement the Tsarist officers didn’t like was blamed on the Jews and seen as part of the world takeover. When this book fell into the hands of quasi-literate people in the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire, or in the defeated Germany just after World War I, it convinced people who needed scapegoats that the Jews were to blame for everything they didn’t like, ranging from national defeat to the Communist revolution to their own personal academic failures. The result was Adolph Hitler. The snow kept falling on the Urals, even after the Tsar was dead and his officers were murdered or scattered to the four winds. In the early 1930s, a new group of Russian officers, this time communists, got together to deal with another problem: Japan. Russia had always wanted a seaport on the Pacific Rim, but the British noticed the fierce patriotism of the Japanese and the tenacity with which the Japanese resisted colonialism, first from Spain in the 1600s and then from the United States in the 1800s. American children don’t learn this in school, but the United States not only sank Japanese warships in Japanese coastal waters in the 1860s, but tentatively invaded Korea in 1871. Both countries kicked us out. The Philippines proved to be somewhat easier to seize. When the Filipino people resisted, American troops slaughtered them with abandon, an atrocity deplored by everyone from William James to Mark Twain to Ambrose Bierce who had served in the Civil War. The Japanese had industrialized and militarized to such an extent that they proved a useful ally to Britain and France in World War I – and Britain and France were anti-communist. Having the Japanese on one flank and the Western European nations on the other – France, in particular, was a strong supporter of Polish independence – the communist Russians had to find a way to drive a wedge between Bloggers’ protocol: Blame David Bolger Letters to the Editor Dear Editor: Our present Ridgewood Village Council is fixated on the idea that the Graydon Pool needs a complete overhaul. First the council considered a $22 million liner. Then, it was suggested that the facility needed a $13.9 million revamping. Also under consideration: a “hydroponic” filtration system. I do not understand why the council now believes it is necessary to spend $10 million plus cost overruns for these supposed improvements. My family used to belong to the Graydon Pool and we did not give any thought to the water quality, as it seemed perfectly fine. Would the State of New Jersey allow the pool operation if the water were unsafe? As far as we knew, the pool was replenished by an underwater aquifer, which cooled the water at the beginning of summer. Then as summer progressed, the water became warmer and more tolerable. I do not recall anyone complaining about this issue or about water quality. I fail to understand why the Ridgewood Council at this time appears determined to undertake expensive work on the pool. The current economic climate, I think, would not encourage spending the town’s hard-earned tax revenue on a project such as this, furthermore, to float another bond when the town is still paying for the municipal building bond, the school bond, etc. This is not an opportune economic time to conjure up useless expenditures and appropriations. Furthermore, I have not heard anyone explain the reason behind what appears to be a luxury expenditure of Ridgewood’s tax revenue. Surely there are more urgent and valid projects. Keep pool project simple Although, regrettably, I am no longer able to afford membership in the pool, part of my tax money as taxpayer and resident of Ridgewood goes to the upkeep of the facility. I urge the council to reconsider the plans for this undertaking. Please keep it simple. Harry Weissfisch Ridgewood Dear Editor: I see where the Ridgewood Pool Project and Mr. David Bolger are pushing the Ridgewood Village Council to issue bonds to underwrite their plans for Graydon Pool. Not noted anywhere in your article is the fact that many, many patrons who actually use the pool oppose these plans. Hence the rush to commit as much money as possible, after which the RPP figures it will have built momentum and the plan will roll on, based on the fallacy of sunk costs, otherwise known as “throwing good money after bad.” There is an organization forming to oppose these plans. However, in this letter I speak only for myself. I know, though, that I am not alone in my sentiments. I’m not sure what Mr. Bolger sees wrong with the bathhouses. They are, after all, bathhouses. They do not need to be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. One stays in them only long enough to change or do the necessary. Some patrons are a bit slovenly, but a bond issue won’t change that. The bathhouses could be spruced up a bit, but that would cost considerably less than the proposed bond issue. As for the pool itself, I have already noted that people (continued on page 23) No need to rush to bond