Monday, November 26, 2018

Good Evening, Mr. Waldheim

I just came across this Lou Reed song, from a Facebook discussion on songs about UN Secretary Generals on Facebook. It features Kurt Waldheim, the Pope (probably John Paul II), Jesse Jackson and the PLO, and Louis Farrakhan, and the underlying theme is antisemitism from the right (Waldheim) and left (Jackson). It's from his New York album, released in January, 1989.

Jackson had made a speech on "common ground" at the Democratic convention the previous summer, which Reed is reacting to in part in the song.

Anthony DeCurtis, the Rolling Stone review, writes, "Reed chides Jackson with the question 'Jesse you say Common Ground/Does that include the PLO?”' He goes on to ask, hammering a rhyme worthy of a rapper, 'If I ran for President and once was a member of the Klan/Wouldn’t you call me on it/The way I call you on Farrakhan?' The song doesn’t end hopefully; in the last lines, Reed snaps, 'Oh is it true/There’s no Ground Common enough for me and you?'”

Good evening Mr.Waldheim
and Pontiff how are you?
You have so much in common
in the things you do

And here comes Jesse Jackson
he talks of Common Ground
does that Common Ground include me
or is it just a sound

A sound that shakes
oh Jesse, you must watch the sounds you make

A sound that quakes
there are fears that still reverberate

Jesse you say Common Ground
does that include the PLO?
what about people right here right now
who fought for you not so long ago?

The words that flow so freely
falling dancing from your lips
I hope that you don't cheapen them
with a racist slip

Oh Common Ground
is Common Ground a word or just a sound
Common Ground
remember those civil rights workers buried in the ground

If I ran for President
and once was a member of the Klan
wouldn't you call me on it
the way I call you on Farrakhan

And Pontiff, pretty Pontiff
can anyone shake your hand ?
or is it just that you like uniforms
and someone kissing your hand

Or is it true
the Common Ground for me includes you too

Oh, oh, is it true
the Common Ground for me includes you too

Good evening Mr.Waldheim
pontiff how are you
as you both stroll through the woods at night
I'm thinking thoughts of you

And Jesse you're inside my thoughts
as the rhythmic words subside
my Common Ground invites you in
or do you prefer to wait outside

Or is it true
the Common Ground for me is without you

Or is it true
the Common Ground for me is without you

Oh is it true
there's no Ground Common enough for me and you

Sunday, November 11, 2018

80th anniversary of Kristallnacht

@ElishevaAvital posted some very disturbing photographs from an album that her grandfather had acquired somehow during WWII - photos of the events of Kristallnacht, which Germans now call Reichspogromnacht - Reich Pogrom Night, on the night of November 9-10, 1938. They depict Jewish homes being ransacked and show people in their pajamas, some bleeding, Nazis stealing Jewish books, the destruction of a Jewish-owned business, and the desecration and burning down of the main synagogue of F├╝rth, which is right next to Nuremberg. The scenes are very sad and frightening.

I wonder if it's possible to identify the terrified Jews in their robes and pajamas. There are several groups, including a man and woman in one of the rooms of their house.

You can click on the link above to see the whole thread.

Here's what she writes about the photos:

Below the jump are all of the photos she posted to Twitter.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Exit polls from the New York governor's race.

Just taking a look at the exit polls (all available at the CNN website).

Some results from the NY governor's race, Cuomo (D) vs. Molinaro (R)

Gender breakdown:

Cuomo won both men and women, but the percentage of women voting for him was much higher, 66% vs. 48%.

Age: Cuomo won all age categories from 18-65+. Most popular among the youngest voters.


Molinari won with white voters, 51% to 45%.
Cuomo won both Black and Latinx voters by overwhelming margins. If the state had been more white, Molinari would have been elected.

Race by gender:

Molinari won pretty overwhelmingly with white men, but lost with white women, I'm happy to say.

Whites by education and gender:

Education seems to be a key marker among white female voters. White college women voted by 2-1 for Cuomo, while white women without a college degree went for Molinari (by a smaller margin). White college men were almost evenly split between the two candidates, while white men without a college degree went overwhelmingly for Molinari. And all voters who were people of color went overwhelmingly for Cuomo. The most important factor is obviously race of the voter, but it's mediated by gender and education.

The other obvious marker was party membership.
87% of Democrats voted for Cuomo. (50% of those who answered the poll were Democrats)
89% of Republicans voted for Molinari. (24% were Republicans)
Independents (26%) were split: 44% Cuomo, 49% Molinari.

The sample size wasn't large enough to show religious differences, except between Protestants and Catholics. 48% of Protestants went for Molinaro, 47% for Cuomo. 51% of Catholics voted for Cuomo, 47% for Molinaro.

Urban, suburban, and rural

Cuomo won in the cities, and Molinaro in the suburbs. I wish the sample size had been big enough to show the breakdown among rural voters.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

GOP campaign ads with antisemitic imagery

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Antisemitic attack on a woman in Cambridge, Mass (my hometown)

A friend of a friend mentioned today on Facebook that a woman was recently attacked in Cambridge, Mass, by a man shouting antisemitic epithets at her. I hadn't heard about this before.
Massachusetts man faces hate crimes charges for assaulting Jewish woman, 66
JTA — A Cambridge, Massachusetts, man faces hate crime charges after he allegedly attacked a senior citizen woman while shouting anti-Semitic statements.
Jarrett Harris, 62, was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault and battery on someone age 60 or older, and assault and battery with intent to intimidate, a hate crimes charge.

The victim, 66, told police that she and another man spoke with Harris for a few moments about a nearby property and then he followed them down the street saying “Shut the [expletive] up [Jewish expletive],” The Boston Globe reported.

He also allegedly pushed the victim and began shouting, “You [expletive] Jewish [expletive],” and put his fist on her throat, she told police, adding that the attack was “unprovoked.”

Harris was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on Thursday and released on his own recognizance and a promise to stay away from the victim. 
The incident comes days after graffiti that included multiple swastikas and the words “Kill Kykes” next to a drawing of Hitler was discovered in Salem, Massachusetts, The Salem-based Jewish Journal reported Thursday. Several swastikas were found at Reading Memorial High School in the town of Reading, Massachusetts. Other racist graffiti were found in Reading last month. Officials declined to say what the graffiti in Reading said while police investigate the incidents, the Boston Globe reported Thursday.

See also:

Boston Globe article: