Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Who are the Proud Boys?


Are the Proud Boys antisemitic?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Trump gives go-ahead to fascist "Proud Boys" for violent action during the election

New York Times reporting on Trump's remarks about right-wing extremists at tonight's debate. He directly addressed the Proud Boys, a violent, fascist militia that attacks Black Lives Matter protestors and others demonstrating in favor of racial justice.
President Trump refused to categorically denounce white supremacists on Tuesday night, diverting a question about right-wing extremist violence in Charlottesville, Va., and Portland, Ore., into an attack on “left-wing” protesters.
“Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and groups to say they need to stand down and not add to the violence and number of the cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?” Chris Wallace, the moderator, asked the president.
“Sure. I’m willing to do that,” said Mr. Trump, quickly adding, “Almost everything I see is from the left wing. Not from the right wing.”
When Mr. Wallace pressed on, the president asked, “What do you want to call them?”
“White supremacists,” the moderator replied.
“Proud Boys, stand back and standby,” he said, apparently addressing the far-right group, then added: “But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody has to do something about antifa and the left. This is not a right-wing problem. This is left wing.”
Mr. Trump highlighted left-wing violence when asked to condemn white supremacists, despite racist extremists’ committing more lethal attacks in recent years. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, said days later that “when white supremacists act as terrorists, more people per incident are killed.”
When Mr. Wallace pointed out that Mr. Trump’s own F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, had said that antifa is an idea, not an organization, the president replied, “You have to be kidding.” (The director also said this month that “racially motivated violent extremism,” mostly from white supremacists, has made up a majority of domestic terrorism threats.)

More on the Proud Boys from the SPLC -

Monday, September 21, 2020

Ruth Bader on "One People" after the end of WWII

When she was in eighth grade, Ruth Bader (later to become Ruth Bader Ginsburg), wrote a very thoughtful article for the graduation issue of the Bulletin of East Midwood Jewish Center.

Some highlights:

"The war has left a bloody trail and many deep wounds not too easily healed. Many people have been left with scars that take a long time to pass away. We must never forget the horrors which our brethren were subjected to in Bergen-Belsen and other Nazi concentration camps. Then, too, we must try hard to understand that for righteous people hate and prejudice are neither good occupations nor fit companions. Rabbi Alfred Bettleheim once said, 'Prejudice saves us a painful trouble, the trouble of not thinking.' In our beloved land families were not scattered, communities not erased nor our nation destroyed by the ravages of the World War."

"Yet, dare we be at ease? We are part of a world whose unity has been almost completely shattered. No one can feel free from danger and destruction until the many torn threads of civilization are bound together again."


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The smoke from the west coast fires has reached eastern Massachusetts

None of these photos shows the true color of the sun. It was very hazy, and the sun was orange. It was almost possible to stare at it directly.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The 9/11 attacks in the time of corona

Photo of the Tribute in Light - two blue searchlights reaching into the sky.
Tribute in Light, commemorating the Twin Towers
Credit: NY1

Today is the 19th anniversary of the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. I've written about them here over the years, but my feelings this year have almost been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disasters afflicting our country and the world now: the almost 200,000 dead of coronavirus in the US (and over 920,000 deaths worldwide), the corrupt and near-fascist Trump regime, the ongoing protests for Black Lives Matter and against white supremacy, the rise of violent right-wing gangs, increasing antisemitism and anti-Black racism, and now the apocalyptic fires in the American west (about 10% of the population of Oregon has had to flee for their lives). Seeing the photographs of the orange sky in California really shook me. (Below photos are screenshots of San Francisco from the New York Times article linked above).

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Antisemitism - right-wing or left-wing?

It's not only leftists like Jeremy Corbyn who post pictures of an antisemitic mural. Today a Republican state representative from Louisiana posted a photo of the same mural. I wonder who he got it from.

He deleted it, but this is the screenshot.


Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Accomplices in the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists go to trial on September 2

"I am Charlie," photographed in Bochum, Germany, in early 2015.
I was living in Bochum, Germany in early January 2015, when the offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked by Islamist terrorists and twelve members of the staff were murdered. The next day, a kosher market in Paris was attacked and four patrons were murdered by other Islamist terrorists. Tendance Coatsey reports that they have just republished the caricatures of Muhammad that got them into so much trouble in 2006.

From the France 24 article on the republication -
French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre by Islamist gunmen in 2015, said Tuesday it was republishing hugely controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to mark this week's start of the trial of alleged accomplices to the attack. 
"We will never lie down. We will never give up," director Laurent "Riss" Sourisseau wrote in an editorial to go with the cartoons in the latest edition. 
"The hatred that struck us is still there and, since 2015, it has taken the time to mutate, to change its appearance, to go unnoticed and to quietly continue its ruthless crusade," he said.

Twelve people, including some of France's most celebrated cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi went on a gun rampage at the paper's offices in Paris. 
The perpetrators were killed in the wake of the massacre but 14 alleged accomplices in the attacks, which also targeted a Jewish supermarket, will go on trial in Paris on Wednesday. 
The latest Charlie Hebdo cover shows a dozen cartoons first published by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005 -- and then reprinted by the French weekly in 2006, unleashing a storm of anger across the Muslim world. 
In the centre of the cover is a cartoon of the prophet drawn by cartoonist Jean Cabut, known as Cabu, who lost his life in the massacre. 
"All of this, just for that," the front-page headline says. 
The trial starts tomorrow at 8:00 am GMT. "The suspects ... are accused of providing various degrees of logistical support to the killers."
The court in Paris will sit until November 10 and, in a first for a terror trial, proceedings will be filmed for archival purposes given public interest.

National anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard dismissed the idea that it was just "little helpers" going on trial since the three gunmen were now dead. 
"It is about individuals who are involved in the logistics, the preparation of the events, who provided means of financing, operational material, weapons, a residence," he told France Info radio on Monday. 
"All this is essential to the terrorist action."
My blogposts on Charlie Hebdo from 2015 -