Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • 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 Dave Bolger Letters to the Editor Dear Editor: The Senate Finance Committee members are considering restrictions on women’s access to reproductive health services. These basic health care services are essential, particularly during difficult economic times, to give women the tools they need to protect and support their families. This is particularly true when you consider that women of childbearing age spend a remarkable 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health needs. Currently, 87 percent of employer benefit health plans and most private plans cover family planning as part of a broader health care package. Any attempt to prohibit health plans from covering family planning would be a reduction in benefits and make women worse off under health care reform than they are today. This would be a dramatic and dangerous shift in the status for women, weakening access to care. According to a recent Mellman poll, most Americans would not support health care reform efforts if they failed to include existing reproductive health care, including abortion. Republicans and Democrats alike believe that under health care reform, people shouldn’t lose benefits they currently have from the provider of their choice. Why should women’s health care be any different? Barry Poskanzer Allendale Dear Editor: John Koster may be an expert on Wagner (Outlaw Jour- Wants health care maintained nalist, July 29), but his knowledge of the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak is meager at best. Dvorak wrote “From the New World” (Symphony No. 9) not in Minnesota but in New York City while occupying a post there. His knowledge of American Indian music derived largely from a summer living in Spillville, Iowa. I do not believe there were Lakota Indians in Iowa, my native state, but I could be mistaken. Dvorak never lived in Minnesota. There is a small Dvorak museum in the second story of a house in Spillville -- the very house he rented, I believe. While in Spillville, he did write a masterpiece, the delightful “American” quartet. Koster got half the story of the impeding change for WQXR. The station will not only be publicly supported, but is being purchased by the WNYC Foundation, which owns WNYC, New York’s other classical station, but not on a full-time basis. I doubt The New York Times subsidizes WQXR. Even in this recession, it carries a wealth of commercials. It is more likely, I believe, that The Times believes a quick infusion of cash will do more for its survival than a continuing trickle of revenue from WQXR. But maybe Koster knows something I don’t. Robert C. Malone Ridgewood It is the policy of the Villadom TIMES to have a signed copy of letters to the editor in our files. Please fax a signed copy to (201) 670-4745 or drop a signed copy in the mail to Villadom Times, P.O. Box 96, Midland Park, NJ 07432. Signed letters may also be dropped off at our office located at 333 Godwin Avenue in Midland Park. Thank you. Responds to Koster’s column