Spunky Survivor Speaks Out; Taking Sides; And Horsing Around *Weekend Open Thread*


I suppose I could have added a bit of “Madness” to the title above since we are in the midst of March Madness, in more ways than one (unfortunately), but there will be time enough for that as the NCAA tournament continues. Hey, as long as the Tar Heels of UNC and the Cavaliers of UVA keep winning, I’m happy. If you have some skin in the games being played, feel free to share that in the Comments below.

But this weekend, I want to focus on a few other stories instead. Since Israel has been in the news a whole lot of late, I want to share this powerful story of Sonia Warshawski. From Huffington Post:

A Holocaust survivor with a fierce attitude is using her words to uplift others.

Sonia Warshawski, or “Big Sonia,” as she is affectionately known, was forced to live in the Majdanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps when she was a teenager during World War II. After the war ended, Warshawski moved to the United States and eventually began speaking out on her experiences during the Holocaust. Now, at 89, equipped with funky style and a big personality, the survivor, who stands just 4 feet 8 inches tall, continues to visit churches, schools, prisons and juvenile detention facilities to inspire others through her story.

April 15th marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. To celebrate the milestone, the 89-year-old’s granddaughter, Leah Warshawski, who describes Big Sonia as “a force of nature,” has directed a documentary featuring the Holocaust survivor’s undying spirit and efforts to uplift the people around her.

“Her ultimate hope is that the next generation can learn from her story to stop bullying and discrimination,” Leah told The Huffington Post in an email about her grandmother’s drive to educate others on the Holocaust.

The 89-year-old underwent traumatic experiences during the war. Before her liberation from Bergen-Belsen, Warshawski witnessed her mother get sent to a gas chamber, and endured death marches. The mother of three, who now lives in Kansas City, Kansas, has been speaking to people about these experiences for about a decade. Leah told HuffPost that her grandmother was driven to speak out after observing the existing prejudice in society.

“She has not always spoken about her past so openly,” Leah said. “But, over the years she saw that hate crimes and discrimination are still rampant and she felt it was important for her story to be heard.”[…] (Click here to read the rest of her compelling story, and its impact on those who hear it.)

Here is a little more about the documentary Sonia’s granddaughter, Leah, is doing about her life:

What an amazing and inspiring woman. If you go to the HuffPo article, you can see a trailer for the documentary. The impact Sonia has on those who hear her story is palpable. I hope her voice, and her story, are heard all across this land.

And this leads me to taking sides. No, I don’t mean Obama vs. Netanyahu, though that is certainly a major topic of conversation here and elsewhere, understandably so. No, I am talking about police officers. But not in the way you might think given all the ginned up stories in the media. Nope, I am talking about two police officers taking sides – in a neighborhood football game:

I do so love hearing the laughter of children, and they sure were laughing during this game. IJReview has more of the story:

Despite the controversies regarding police officers in the news lately, two Plymouth, Minnesota officers are being praised for doing what Michelle Keenan’s son referred to as the “coolest thing ever.”

Earlier this week, Keenan’s son and his friends were playing football in the grassy area near their apartment complex. When a police car pulled up and two officers exited the vehicle, Keenan got nervous.

But instead of reprimanding the children, the two officers each picked a team and joined in on the fun.

Officers Matt Kaley and Mike Passig played ball for about 25 minutes. They told KARE 11 that the radio was quiet so they jumped at the chance to have a little fun with the local kids. Kaley recalled:

“[It was] just a friendly game of football, and the kids loved it.”

Keenan thought this was a successful, trust building experience for the police officers – and for the kids. By engaging with the police in this friendly manner, it allows the children to trust and respect authorities. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Isn’t that a great story? I agree with the mother that this is the kind of thing that builds a real relationship with the police. I bet it happens more often than we know, or hear about, because it doesn’t fit a particular narrative. But good for these police officers for just doing what they do, putting their lives on the line, and serving their communities, whether it is on patrol, or on an improvised gridiron. That’s some good, clean, horsing around, isn’t it?

Okay, you know it is coming after that line – some real horsing around! It is officially Spring now, thank heavens. While our azaleas are blooming, some parts of the country are still dealing with snow, including New England. I am sure they are sick to death of all that snow, but here are some others who are loving it:

Aren’t they so cute rolling around in that snow? A few times, it looked like they were going to choose sides to play some football too, but the draw of rolling around in it was just too strong.

But wait, there is another one I just have to show you. This one also involves snow and horses, only these horses are mini-horses and they are “sledding.” Well, the little boy is sledding and they are joining in on the fun (h/t Helen):

How stinkin’ cute were all those minis running along?! I love the one who came back to check on the little boy, too.

So that’s it for me. Feel free to discuss any of the above, the news of the day, share some funny videos or tunes, whatever is on your minds. This is your Weekend Open Thread.


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33 Responses to “Spunky Survivor Speaks Out; Taking Sides; And Horsing Around *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. foxyladi14 Says:

    Happy Saturday!!

    Better get another job.
    We are going to pay more taxes. 👿


  2. HELENK3 Says:

    Out of the 11.57 million NCAA basketball tournament brackets submitted for ESPN’s Bracket Challenge, only 1 remains perfect – @SportsCenter

  3. HELENK3 Says:


    it is getting nuttier by the day

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    I hope more of the quickly disappearing Holocaust Survivors speak out while they still can.

    For many in Israel, who are the offspring of those survivors, those that the Sabra’s called bars of soap at one time, they are right to say “Never Again.” They have the right and the reason to say that.

    Unlike others, the perpetual “victims” who whine if someone isn’t stroking their palms with money constantly, to alleviate their pain, the Jews of the world KNOW what can, and did happen and that it can happen again.

    Why isn’t it PC to say that?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Because it might offend their delicate sensibilities? That seems to be the mandate by which we all have to act now. Can’t upset anyone for any reason at any time in any way. It is ridiculous.

      And you are so right – these people know first hand the horrors that people can visit one upon another, the mass genocide that can happen while “civilized” countries sit by and allow it to happen.

      Thank heavens Sonia’s granddaughter is getting all this recorded for future generations. One can only hope that they, like the young woman who heard Sonia speak, will have their lives changed as a result. Maybe it will stop some of their whining already…

  5. foxyladi14 Says:

    Wish we had another one like him. 😀

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    This just made my head explode. What in the hell ahs happened to the education system in this country? Actually, too often, it seems more like the “indoctrination” system. This kind of thing is just astonishing, and does not serve our youth one BIT for the real world: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2015/03/21/virginia-schools-want-to-ban-zeroes-because-they-are-morally-wrong-n1973286

  7. HELENK3 Says:


    backtrack can only focus on one thing at a time, and this week it is climate change not foreign policy

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

    Derek Hunter skewers “Starbucks” and the arrogance of its rich, but stupid CEO.

    Coffee Talk

    Would you like a lecture on race with your latte?

    That may sound like the name of a breakout session at a “White Privilege” conference or a new class at an Ivy League university, but it’s the new corporate policy at Starbucks. You now can be lectured by an otherwise unemployable gender studies graduate while paying $7 for a a penny’s worth of hot water run over a nickel’s worth of ground coffee beans and a splash of milk. What took Madison Avenue so long to cook up this marketing scheme?


  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    Like many on the right, Michael Goodwin is more of a hardliner than I am. As unpopular as the word has become, I am and will probably remain more of a moderate. That doesn’t mean that I don’t admire and often agree with men like Goodwin. In this case 100%!

    Israel: Beware of Obama

    First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.

    He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.

    Now he’s coming for Israel.


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I saw a headline yesterday – damned if I can find it now – that basically claimed Netanyahu’s comments on Palestine were not translated properly by the WH. So they got their panties in a wad for nothing. If I find it again, I’ll put up the link.

      Thanks for the piece from Goodwin. He is SPOT ON abt Obama. Those of us who are awake see this, but I swear, there are way to o many who blithely go along with whatever Obama and the Dems say. So disturbing to me how willfully blind people can be…

  10. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Remembering those who fought so bravely for us at Iwo Jima:

  11. HELENK3 Says:

    for Sunday Morning

  12. foxyladi14 Says:

    Awesome Helen thank you. 🙂

  13. HELENK3 Says:

    a commenter from the crawdad hole wrote this

  14. HELENK3 Says:


    good for him

  15. kenoshamarge Says:

    The thing that simply amazes me about lefties like Ron Fournier is their never-ending self-rightiousness. He knows, admits and glosses over the lies and distortions of the Democrats and the Obama administration while pointing out, repeatedly, the flaws on the right. Flaws which pale in comparison to an administration that lied and lied and lied. But since it was all for the “greater good” that’s okay. For the self-righteous folks like Fournier it is quite alright to lie to people so long as your motives are pure. Thus the liars on the left are superior to the liars on the right.

    According to Fournier the reason most voters don’t like ObamaCare is because of a lack of trust. That certainly is a part of the dislike. Fewer people “trust” this government than any I can remember since Nixon.

    Perhaps people don’t like having the government “force” their “better angels”. Perhaps that’s something that comes from the heart and soul not a government “mandate”. All in all I found this piece by Fournier a desperate attempt to convince himself that the bill he has favored from the beginning is a good thing, something “better than the alternative”. An attempt that fails rather pathetically IMO.

    (Not So) Happy Anniversary, ObamaCare!

    White House lies sold it. Republican lies soiled it. Most Americans don’t like it.

    Democratic lies sold it, Republican lies soiled it, and most Americans don’t like it. On the fifth anniversary of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act stands as an ugly reflection of today’s political culture: partisan, short-sighted, and flawed—and yet, better than the alternatives.


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Good grief – “Republican lies soiled it”?? WTH?? This bill, now law, has been opposed by the majority from its INCEPTION. Rep “lies” had nothing to do with it. EVERYTHING people warned abt with this law have come true – everything. Our entire healthcare system was blown up for a fraction of the population, sending costs spiraling, forcing rural hospitals to close (a headline from the other day), costing BILLIONS, and a lot of that on failed software programs, and he is going after Reps? Please.

      I am not a fan of Fournier’s anyway, but you sure summed it up, Marge – that is precisely the mindset. It is okay to lie and lie and lie as long a it is for what THEY see as “the greater good.” The sanctimony is the bitter pill the rest of us have to swallow. Great comment!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I am not a Fournier fan either. However my “less than better angel” finds his attempts to be honest and still support the left amusing.

        When he’s on Special Report he often ties himself in knots trying to have it both ways. I believe, in many ways, Ron Fournier is a good man. But he has allowed his ideology to overtake both his character and his common sense. A normal flaw in many otherwise decent people on the left.

        As for the others, they care for nothing but what they “believe” and what they “want”. Which means they have no character and they have killed their “better angel” with deception.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Yes, good point. He does rather tie himself up in knots on Special Report, doesn’t he? And he is no intellectual match for the likes of Charles Krauthammer, that’s for sure.

          I appreciate your ability to acknowledge that Fournier is a good, if misguided, man.

          That said, we continue to see the results of those whose ideology overrules all, including the facts on the ground.

          Great comment, Marge!

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