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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trump Embraces Nazis



"There were many fine people on both sides.." said trump today at an impromptu press conference.
Really, trump?
Fine Nazis and white supremacists?
This president is proving to be the most unAmerican president in our history.
He has defended Putin while reviling the leaders of our democratic allies.
Now he is embracing Nazis "They were peacefully protesting. The people on the left came for violence."
David Duke, the former head of the KKK tweeted today, "Thank you Mr. President for speaking truthfully."
Its bad enough that trump is unfit for any public office, now we know that he despises Americans.
He is a disgrace.
He must go.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Neo-Nazi Site Daily Stormer Praises Trump’s Charlottesville Reaction: ‘He Loves Us All’



“When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him,” wrote a Nazi website’s founder.

President Donald Trump is coming under fire from both sides of the aisle for his unwillingness to explicitly condemn the role of white supremacists at the deadly protests in Virginia on Saturday. “We must call evil by its name,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) urged Trump, who had earlier told reporters that “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.

“It is not too much to ask to have a president who explicitly condemns Nazis,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in a pointed Saturday tweet.

But at least one group appears happy with Trump’s muted comments: White supremacists themselves.

Reacting to Trump’s words on Saturday, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer praised the president’s comments as “good.”

“He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us,” wrote Andrew Anglin, the website’s founder.

“No condemnation at all,” Anglin continued. “When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes The Daily Stormer as a site dedicated to “spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism.” “Jewish Problem” and “Race War” are among the editorial sections that can be found on the site.

Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke said on Saturday that the white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville ― called “Unite the Right” ― was in line with “promises” made by Trump.

“We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” said Duke, speaking at the rally. “That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said he’s going to take our country back. That’s what we gotta do.”


Hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacists descended upon Charlottesville this weekend to protest the proposed removal of a Confederate statue from a city park. Many counter-demonstrators also took to the streets, and heated clashes were reported between the two groups.

Three people died in connection with the violence on Saturday: A 32-year-old woman who was struck by a car that plowed into a group of counter-protesters, and two Virginia state troopers who, while responding to the riots, died in a helicopter crash.

Dominique Mosbergen
Reporter, HuffPost


Donald Trump  U.S. News  Hate Speech  Racism  White Supremacy



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Settler's View of Israel




HEBRON, West Bank — Last week, Israel’s Parliament passed a controversial bill that allows the government to retroactively authorize contested West Bank Jewish communities by compensating previous Palestinian land claimants. Opposition parties warn that this law could open Israel to prosecution at The Hague, and the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said, “Israel’s Parliament has just approved a law to legalize theft of Palestinian land.” This theme has been echoed recently at the Paris peace conference, in a United Nations Security Council resolution and by a major policy speech by then Secretary of State John Kerry, which all condemned settlements.
Israel never seems to have a good answer to accusations against the settlement enterprise. Whenever the claim that Israel stole Palestinian lands is heard, Israel’s answers inevitably are: “We invented the cellphone,” “We have gay rights,” “We fly to help Haiti after an earthquake.” Obvious obfuscation. And when pushed to explain why the much-promised two-state solution is perennially stuck, the response is always to blame Arab obstructionism.
This inability to give a straight answer is a result of 30 years of bad policy that has pressed Israel to create a Palestinian state in the historic Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria, which the world calls the West Bank. This policy has worked to legitimize the idea that the territory of Judea and Samaria is Arab land and that Israel is an intractable occupier. Today, as Israel is beginning to walk back the two-state solution, it is not easy to admit we were wrong; and many people’s careers are on the line. This is why Israel mouths the old party line, yet takes no steps toward making a Palestinian state a reality.
But for us settlers, the truth is clear: The two-state solution was misconceived, and will never come to pass, because Judea and Samaria belong to the Jewish people. Our right to this land is derived from our history, religion, international decisions and defensive wars. Jews have lived here for 3,700 years, despite repeated massacres, expulsions and occupations — by the Romans, Arabs, Crusaders and Ottomans. And the world recognized the Jewish people’s indigenous existence in this land in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the San Remo Accords of 1920.
When Israel declared independence in 1948, Jordan, along with five other Arab states, attacked Israel, occupied Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, and drove out Jewish residents. Again, in 1967, Jordan attempted to wipe out the Jewish State, but this time, Israel forced the Jordanian army back across the Jordan River. While the government of Israel was ambivalent about whether to retain the newly emancipated areas, the settler movement was not. We set about holding and developing the land, just like the pioneers of the Kibbutz movement.
Today, the estimated number of Arabs living in Judea and Samaria is 2.7 million, though some researchers dispute the data and argue that the figure is far lower. Yet the presence of these Arab residents alone does not warrant a new country. Arabs can live in Israel, as other minorities do, with personal rights, not national rights. But many Arabs reject that option because they do not recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish State, with or without settlements.
This pervasive intolerance was laid bare in the aftermath of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, when Hamas seized control in 2007 and turned the territory into a forward base for jihad, starting three wars in seven years. As a result, most Israelis, however pragmatic, no longer believe in a policy of forfeiting land in hopes of getting peace in return. While a Hamas-controlled Gaza is now a reality, no Israeli wants an Islamic State of Palestine looking down at them from the strategic heights of Judea and Samaria.
Therefore, most settlers say without ambivalence that the two-state solution is dead, and the time has come for a discussion of new options by which Israel would hold onto the West Bank and eventually assert Israel sovereignty there, just as we did with the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem. Yes, Israel will have to grapple with questions of the Arab population’s rights, and the issues of the country’s security and Jewish character, but we believe those questions can be worked out through the democratic process. At least five credible plans are on the table already.
The first option, proposed by former members of Israel’s Parliament Aryeh Eldad and Benny Alon, is known as “Jordan is Palestine,” a fair name given that Jordan’s population is generally reckoned to be majority Palestinian. Under their plan, Israel would assert Israeli law in Judea and Samaria while Arabs living there would have Israeli residency and Jordanian citizenship. Those Arabs would exercise their democratic rights in Jordan, but live as expats with civil rights in Israel.
A second alternative, suggested by Israel’s education minister, Naftali Bennett, proposes annexation of only Area C — the territory in the West Bank as defined by the Oslo Accords (about 60 percent by area), where a majority of the 400,000 settlers live — while offering Israeli citizenship to the relatively few Arabs there. But Arabs living in Areas A and B — the main Palestinian population centers — would have self-rule.
A third option, which dovetails with Mr. Bennett’s, is promoted by Prof. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University, near Tel Aviv. His premise is that the most stable Arab entity in the Middle East is the Gulf Emirates, which are based on a consolidated traditional group or tribe. The Palestinian Arabs are not a cohesive nation, he argues, but are comprised of separate city-based clans. So he proposes Palestinian autonomy for seven non-contiguous emirates in major Arab cities, as well as Gaza, which he considers already an emirate. Israel would annex the rest of the West Bank and offer Israeli citizenship to Arab villagers outside those cities.
The fourth proposal is the most straightforward. Caroline Glick, a Jerusalem Post journalist, wrote in her 2014 book, “The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East,” that, contrary to prevailing opinion, Jews are not in danger of losing a demographic majority in an Israel that includes Judea and Samaria. New demographic research shows that thanks to falling Palestinian birth rates and emigration, combined with opposite trends among Jews, a stable Jewish majority of above 60 percent exists between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (excluding Gaza); and this is projected to grow to about 70 percent by 2059.
Ms. Glick thus concludes that the Jewish State is secure: Israel should assert Israeli law in the West Bank and offer Israeli citizenship to its entire Arab population without fear of being outvoted. This very week, Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, announced his backing for the idea in principle. “If we extend sovereignty,” he said, “the law must apply equally to all.”
Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, similarly advocates for annexation and giving the Palestinians residency rights — with a pathway to citizenship for those who pledge allegiance to the Jewish State. Others prefer an arrangement more like that of Puerto Rico, a United States territory whose residents cannot vote in federal elections. Some Palestinians, like the Jabari clan in Hebron, want Israeli residency and oppose the Palestinian Authority, which they view as illegitimate and corrupt.
Finally, there is a fifth alternative, which comes from the head of the new Zehut party, Moshe Feiglin, and Martin Sherman of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. They do not see a resolution of conflicting national aspirations in one land and instead propose an exchange of populations with Arab countries, which effectively expelled about 800,000 Jews around the time of Israeli independence. In contrast, however, Palestinians in Judea and Samaria would be offered generous compensation to emigrate voluntarily.
None of these options is a panacea. Every formula has some potentially repugnant element or tricky trade-off. But Israeli policy is at last on the move, as the passing of the bill on settlements indicates.
Mr. Kerry’s mantra that “there really is no viable alternative” to the two-state solution is contradicted by its manifest failure. With a new American administration in power, there is a historic opportunity to have an open discussion of real alternatives, unhampered by the shibboleths of the past.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

My Handsome Grandson

The baby looks around him,
Such a sight to see,
He shares a simple secret with the wise man,
He's a stranger in a strange land








Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My grandson


With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Putin Pulls Rank on Trump


Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is expelling 755 U.S. diplomats and technical personnel in retaliation against new U.S. sanctions proposed against Moscow.

On Friday, Russia's Foreign Ministry had signaled that the U.S. would need to downsize its staff to 455, to exactly match the number of Russian diplomatic and technical staff in the U.S. Now, Putin has announced the exact number of staff he's ordered the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to cut.

In an interview Sunday on Russian TV, Putin said he is opposed to any additional retaliatory actions against the U.S., at least "as of today," Reuters reports.

The new U.S. sanctions against Russia were overwhelmingly approved by Congress earlier this week, with a veto-proof majority. President Trump was initially opposed to the sanctions, but the White House says he is preparing to sign them into law.

"The legislation slaps Moscow with new financial restrictions on doing business with American entities while also restricting Trump's ability to waive those penalties. Often, a president has a freer hand in dealing with foreign governments, but the bill deliberately takes away that discretion.
"To waive sanctions on Russia, Trump would have to send Congress a report explaining and justifying his decision, and lawmakers would then get 30 days to decide whether to allow it.
"The vote puts Trump in an awkward position. He raised eyebrows from his first days on the campaign trail by expressing a desire to improve the U.S.- Russia relationship. He and his staff have specifically expressed an openness to easing sanctions.
" 'I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only, is possible, absolutely possible,' Trump said last year at a campaign speech in Washington."
Speaking in Estonia on Sunday, Vice President Pence criticized Russia's "destabilizing activities." But, he said, "if Russia will change its behavior, our relationship will change for the good."






Sunday, July 23, 2017

After terrorist murder lawrence Wilkerson Blames Israel


After the terrorist murder that left three Jews dead,
Lawrence Wilkerson,
hard left former advisor to one term President Carter led the attack  against the Jewish state this morning on CNN.
"The Zionists’ ultimate goal,” said Wilkerson, was an expansion of Israeli control into “greater Israel,” including Gaza, Jerusalem, the “West Bank,” the Sinai Peninsula, parts of Lebanon and Syria, and all of Jordan. He described this vision as “untenable” and contributing to “apartheid” between Jews and Arabs.

The former adviser of antiJew Bernie Sanders stated earlier this month that Israel “would be eliminated by the international community” or surrounding Muslim Arabs if the status quo of the Jewish state continues.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Ret.) was tapped as a quasi-adviser by Sanders’s campaign, reported left-wing Politico in February. He formerly served as Chief of Staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, illustrating that former President George W. Bush was not particularly diligent in staffing the executive with right-wing persons.
Speaking with socialist outlet The Real News, where he has a regular eponymous segment, Wilkerson described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “ultra-right-wing.” Attributing Netanyahu’s political party with dismantling the “peace process,” the former colonel stated that Likud had fomented the discord which led to the assassination of left-wing former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Rabin’s death, according to Wilkerson, led to the demise of the “peace process,” and is attributable to Netanyahu’s politics.
Casting America as “one-sided” in its approach to the conflict between Israel and the “Palestinians,” Wilkerson regularly describes the American-Israeli relationship as a liability for U.S. interests. Adopting the narrative of left-wing academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt - authors of The Israel Lobby - Wilkerson claims that American foreign policy has essentially been hijacked by a minority ethnic interest group to benefit Israel at America’s expense.
Casting AIPAC - a left-wing Democrat-run organization that provides cover to anti-Zionist politicians like President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton - as right-wing, Wilkerson warned against what he described was America's subservience to Israel. Speaking at a left-wing anti-Zionist conference entitled, "Israel's Influence: Good Or Bad For America?", he stated that Islamic terrorism resulted from widespread perceptions among Muslims of desperation. He recommended that Islamic terrorism be combated with international aid and development, not-so-subtly invoking the neo-Marxist view of Jihadism as a function of global income inequality. Ceasing military aid to Israel, he added, was another essential ingredient to pacify Islamic terrorism targeting America.
“The ultra-right-wing of Israel has captured AIPAC, and AIPAC has captured the United States Congress, and to a certain extent, the Oval Office,” said Wilkerson, aligning himself with neo-Nazi and Islamic viewpoints of malevolent Jewish conspiratorial political control.
Wilkerson also claimed that Israeli policy towards the “Palestinians” amounted to an ethnic cleansing, stating that the American-Indian Wars of the 19th century amounted to a meaningful parallel.

So, CNN was able to bash Israel via proxy Wilkerson.
Shameful.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Breaking News: trump to pardon himself?


The spokesman for trump's legal team has just resigned and NYT Has just reported that trump is questioning his aides about pardoning his family, his co-conspirators  and himself.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This Country Deserves Better



It’s exhausting, I know, but don’t let outrage fatigue numb you to the moral bankruptcy and gross incompetence of the Trump administration.
This ugly departure from American norms and values must be opposed with sustained passion — and with the knowledge that things will probably get worse before they get better.

Heaven help us, look where we are.
We have a president — commander in chief of the armed forces, ostensibly the leader of the free world — whose every word is suspect. President Trump is an inveterate liar. He dismisses provable facts as “fake news” and invents faux facts of his own that bear no relationship to the truth. He simply cannot be trusted.

We have a president whose North Star is naked self-interest, not the good of the country. Trump cares about his family, his company and little else. He dishonors the high office he holds, then reportedly spends hours each day railing against cable-news coverage that he finds insufficiently respectful. His ego is a kind of psychic black hole that devours all who come into its orbit.
We have a president whose eldest son, son-in-law and campaign chairman met with emissaries purportedly sent by the Russian government to deliver dirt on Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump claimed on Twitter that “most politicians” would have gone to such a meeting, which is another lie. Try to find politicians who say they would have attended.
We have a president who fired the director of the FBI for continuing to investigate “this Russia thing” — a sophisticated effort by the Russian government, according to U.S. intelligence officials, to tip the election in Trump’s favor. Will he also try to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III? If he does, will Congress let him get away with it?

We have a president — was he made in Russia? — who has declared this to be “Made in America” week, despite the fact that so many of the retail products that bear his name or that of his daughter Ivanka are made in Mexico, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh. When asked about this irony by Politico, a White House spokeswoman responded, “We’ll get back to you on that.” They won’t.

Trump has broken his promise to help the struggling middle class. After pledging health insurance “for everybody,” he supported legislation that would strip more than 20 million people of coverage. His approval rating, according to a new Post-ABC News poll, has fallen to 36 percent — a historic low for a president at this point in his tenure. Yet Trump continues to enjoy strong support from self-identified Republicans, whose resentment against liberal “elites” he plays like a violin.
His administration is in shambles. Members of his inner circle snipe at one another via anonymous quotes to reporters. They compete for the president’s favor not by doing their jobs well but by showing a willingness to defend anything he says and does, no matter how ridiculous. In the space of a week, his surrogates went from “the campaign had no meetings with Russians” to “there was a meeting but no collusion” to “collusion is not actually a crime.” One wonders how they sleep at night.
Trump presents the world with something new: In place of American leadership, there is a vacuum. In keeping with the pattern set at the Group of 20 summit, adversaries will try to use Trump’s ignorance to their advantage while allies try to nudge him into doing the right thing.
The “madman theory” of foreign relations can only be employed effectively by a leader who is actually steadfast and serious; Trump is neither.
There is no point in looking to Republicans for salvation. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still hope to get Trump to sign into law massive cuts in taxes and entitlements. Many rank-and-file members fear Trump’s loyal support among the base. The former “party of Lincoln” has adopted the moral code of the Oakland Raiders’ late owner Al Davis: “Just win, baby.”

So that is what Democrats and independents have to do — win. As long as there are pro-Trump majorities in the House and Senate, there will be no real congressional oversight and no brake on an out-of-control president’s excesses. Incumbency and gerrymandered districts mean that winning anti-Trump majorities in 2018 will be difficult. But not impossible.

The Democratic Party needs a plan, a message and a sense of urgency. Trump hopes to bully critics into submission, but the country is bigger than this one president. And much better.
Eugene Robinson



Monday, July 17, 2017

"Trump is Making U.S. a Laughingstock"


The outgoing director of the Office of Government Ethics has accused President Donald Trump of "profiting from the presidency," saying the United States is "pretty close to a laughingstock."
In an interview with The New York Times published on Monday, Walter Shaub lamented that Trump has had a damaging attitude toward ethics, undermining the US position abroad.
“It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” he told the newspaper over the weekend. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.”
Shaub, who will leave office nearly six months before the end of his term, said the president’s frequent trips to his own business properties have raised ethics concerns.
“Misuse of position is really the heart of the ethics program, and the internationally accepted definition of corruption is abuse of entrusted power," he added.
“It undermines the government ethics program by casting doubt on the integrity of government decision making.”
Shaub announced earlier this month that he would resign after challenging the White House on ethics issues for six months, saying he felt he could not accomplish much in the Trump administration.
Shaub, who started his tenure during the George W. Bush administration, will officially step down from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on July 19, according to a letter to Trump that Shaub posted on Twitter.
Before Trump was inaugurated, his lawyer unveiled how Trump would structure his businesses after taking office. Rather than completely divesting, Trump would maintain limited connections to his business empire.
Shaub denounced the arrangement, calling it “wholly inadequate” in resolving any potential conflicts of interest.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Jimmy Carter, Antisemite



William Bradford Smith, Chair of the Division of History, Politics & International Studies at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, once sent a letter to the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia, which said in part:
When I taught at Emory University, I used to see former President Jimmy Carter on a fairly regular basis, and it was all I could do at times to stop myself from spitting at him.

Carter’s hatred of Israel and, by extension, of all Jews (and make no mistake, if you spend any time in the man’s presence, his discomfort at being in the same room with someone who merely appears to be Jewish is palpable), is rooted in the man’s megalomania, and his unflinching belief in his own rectitude.
In an interview
Carter once  said, “When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that’s a violation of basic human rights.” But, if the former president really believes that, he should look at his own life, since he has displayed anti-Semitism during much of his presidential and post presidential career.

According to many observers Carters anti-Jewish bigotry stems from his feeling that he lost reelection campaign because he became the first Democrat since 1920 not to receive a majority of the Jewish vote. Carter got 45%, Reagan received 39%, and 3rd party candidate John Anderson got 14%. It is also that perceived abandonment behind Carter’s disdain of Israel.

Ambassador Marc Ginsburg was Jimmy Carter’s deputy senior adviser on the Middle East, and from 1977 through 1980 was White House liaison to the State Department. He has a unique perspective of Jimmy Carter’s Middle East dealings. According to the Ambassador, the reason Carter goes out of his way to bash Israel is that he feels American Jews did not fawn over him enough for all that he did for Israel.

…When former President Jimmy Carter revealed that Israel has more than 150 nuclear weapons, he clearly had a motive, according to his administration’s deputy senior adviser, Marc Ginsberg: “I think there’s no doubt — particularly given the vantage point I had in the White House at the end of his administration — that he resents the way in which Israel and the American-Jewish community have failed to express sufficient gratitude for his efforts on behalf of peace in the Middle East.
“In my judgment, there’s no other explanation,” Ginsberg says.
(…) “There’s no doubt he knows exactly what he is doing when he’s making these statements, or making misrepresentations that Hamas has agreed to recognize Israel if certain conditions occur, or to the book he wrote [‘Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid’] referring to Israel.”
Believe it or not, when he was in the Oval Office, President Carter rejected someone for a position on the board of the Holocaust Memorial Council because the guy’s name was too Jewish. That’s right the Holocaust Memorial Council. Monroe Freedman, who was executive director of the council during Carter’s presidency, told a reporter that Aaron Klein, that a noted Holocaust scholar who was a Presbyterian Christian, was rejected from the council’s board by Carter’s office because the scholar’s name “sounded too Jewish.”
Freedman said he sent a memo to Carter’s office containing recommendations for council board members. The memo was returned with a note on the upper right hand corner that stated, “Too many Jews.” The note, Freedman said, was written in Carter’s handwriting and was initialed by Carter.
Ultra-liberal famous law professor Alan Dershowitz also feels that Carter is a Jew-hater. In an essay talking about Carter’s anti-Semitic claims that the Jews control foreign policy and the media, he wrote:

The entire premise of his criticism of Jewish influence on American foreign policy is that money talks. It is Carter, not me, who has made the point that if politicians receive money from Jewish sources, then they are not free to decide issues regarding the Middle East for themselves. It is Carter, not me, who has argued that distinguished reporters cannot honestly report on the Middle East because they are being paid by Jewish money. So, by Carter’s own standards, it would be almost economically “suicidal” for Carter “to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine.”

(…) If money determines political and public views as Carter insists “Jewish money” does, Carter’s views on the Middle East must be deemed to have been influenced by the vast sums of Arab money he has received. If he who pays the piper calls the tune, then Carter’s off-key tunes have been called by his Saudi Arabian paymasters. It pains me to say this, but I now believe that there is no person in American public life today who has a lower ratio of real to apparent integrity than Jimmy Carter.
Ken Stein was director of the Carter Center and even collaborated with Jimmy Carter on the book, “The Blood of Abraham,” resigned in protest from the center after Carter published his biased tome “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.”
Jimmy Carter should examine his own life before makes false charges of bigotry against others. Thankfully the drug he is taking that was tested in Israel seems to have eradicated the cancer in his brain (yes the nation and people he abhors may have saved his life). I only wish him a long life to examine the hatred in his own heart.

By Jeff Dunetz


Sunday, April 23, 2017

In a Time of holocaust Deniers, Nanette Konig Talks about Her Friend, Anne Frank.


Looking through the barbed wire of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 14-year-old Nanette Konig could barely recognize her friend and classmate from Amsterdam, Anne Frank.

Both girls had been caught by the Nazis in the Dutch capital and were sent to starve to death in a place Konig describes today as “hell on Earth.” Both were emaciated when they saw each other again in different sections of the same German camp in 1944.

“She looked like a walking skeleton, just like me,” Konig, one of the few living friends of the teenage diarist, told JTA in a video interview from her home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 6, which was her 88th birthday.

As more and more Holocaust survivors die each year, Konig was compelled a decade ago to break her long silence and join a diminishing group of witnesses who now tell their story in the media and at schools. Her lectures, which Konig says she has delivered to thousands of students on three continents, are something that “survivors owe to the victims.”

But it’s also her way of repaying Anne Frank’s father, Otto, who comforted Konig in the aftermath of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, even as he was grieving for his own two daughters and wife.

Otto Frank, who edited the diaries his daughter wrote while the family was in hiding into the best-selling “The Diary of a Young Girl,” met Konig in 1945 at a rehabilitation center in eastern Holland. Konig, who was 16 and weighed only 60 pounds, was brought there following the Allies’ liberation of Bergen-Belsen — “a hell where people were not exterminated immediately, but died from hunger, dysentery, typhus, cold, exhaustion, beatings, torture and exposure,” she says.

Yet Konig was one of the lucky ones to survive. Anne Frank and her older sister, Margot, were among the estimated 50,000 who perished at Bergen-Belsen in 1945 after arriving there from Auschwitz. Their mother, Edith, died at Auschwitz a month before her daughters, just three weeks before the Red Army liberated the death camp.

Otto Frank, the sole survivor from his family, already knew his daughters and wife were dead when he came to the rehabilitation center to visit Konig, who is also the only survivor from her family. Konig said he wanted to know as much as possible about his family’s last weeks.

Listening to her stories and seeing her emaciated physique “visibly caused Otto Frank a lot of pain,” Konig recalled.

But despite his grief Frank, who died in 1980, “gave me support, encouraged me at a point in my life when I had no one,” she said. “He was a very special man and I will always be grateful for the consolation he offered me.”

Like many of Anne Frank’s schoolmates and friends, Konig recalled the diarist as a “sunny, smiley child.”

But unlike most of them, Konig also witnessed Anne “change into an adult” in a matter of weeks at Bergen-Belsen, she said.

“We had a childhood and then we had no adolescence,” she said. “We simply became grown-ups overnight. It was the only way to survive.”

During their meeting, Otto Frank told Konig that he intended to edit his daughter’s diaries — there were three of them — into a book. During their conversation, he said he was still thinking of omitting some of the personal details that Anne included in the diaries, including her tense relationship with her mother and her account of getting her first period.

Ultimately, though, he included these details — countless readers of Anne Frank’s book regard them as crucial to achieving the personal connection many of them feel to her.

“The Diary of a Young Girl” is perhaps the world’s most-read manuscript about the Holocaust; it has been translated into 70 languages in dozens of countries.

After the war, Konig worked as a bilingual (English-Dutch) secretary in England. She married a British man and moved to Brazil in the 1950s. She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren, as well as several great-grandchildren.

But it wasn’t until a decade ago that Konig felt the drive to bear testimony — similar to what Otto Frank felt when he published Anne’s diary and set up the educational Anne Frank Foundation in Basel, Switzerland.

“I saw he was the exception,” Konig said of Otto Frank. “Most Holocaust survivors decided not to talk about it, maybe it was too painful. Maybe it was too complicated. In the Netherlands there was a sense that Jews shouldn’t make too much of a fuss about their own tragedy when everyone suffered.”

Gradually, Konig began speaking at schools – first the ones her grandchildren attended. Then she was invited to speak about the Holocaust on Brazilian television and other media. She went on to speak at schools in the United States and Europe, and give interviews to leading media in her native Netherlands.

In 2015, Konig published a book in Brazil titled “I Survived the Holocaust.”  It has since been published in Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. She said she is looking to have it published in English as well.

“It became clear to me that we, the survivors, have a duty to the victims, even when it’s an unpleasant one,” Konig said.

The Jews, she said, “are not so vulnerable anymore in a world that has a strong Israel and its robust voice.”

But other minorities, she adds, “are as vulnerable as we were.”

In her talks at high schools, Konig tries to impress upon her listeners how the Holocaust was the result of a democratic transition of power.

“Two weeks after he took office,” she said of Adolf Hitler, “he revoked the constitution, closed parliament and declared himself a dictator. When your time comes to vote, be sure to exercise it wisely.”

When she speaks in  the Netherlands, Konig said part of what she regards as her duty is to talk about the checkered history of the population of that country, where both Nazi collaboration and heroism were prevalent.

The Netherlands has an outsize number of Righteous among the Nations — non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. More than a fifth of all the 26,513 Righteous recognized by Israel are from the Netherlands, a nation of 17 million people. Its tally of 5,595 Righteous is the second-largest in the world after Poland’s 6,706.

But the Netherlands also has the highest death rate of Jews in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. The genocide, which resulted in the murder of 75 percent of the country’s pre-Holocaust Jewish population of 140,000, was facilitated by Dutch police, collaborators, and headhunters, and was followed by callous treatment of those who survived. Thousands were required to pay taxes on properties while they were in camps or in hiding, and fined for missing payments because of this reason.

Konig herself had to pay the equivalent of thousands of dollars in medical bills for her own rehabilitation after returning from Bergen-Belsen, she said.

This appears to have left her bitter toward the Dutch state.

“I never went back and I never considered going back to that country, where most of the Jews were killed,” she said. “In fact, I left as soon as I could.”

Yet Konig draws a distinction between the country and its people.

“I don’t think the Dutch wanted to kill us. They were acting out of fear,” she said. “And people will do most everything when they are afraid.”

http://www.jta.org/2017/04/13/news-opinion/world/anne-franks-final-days-as-told-by-her-former-classmate


Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Real Story Behind The Syria Strikes

 I detest empty conspiracy theories. If the most straightforward logical explanation for something is well supported by the facts, then it’s probably true most of the time. But here’s the trouble with the events of the past forty-eight hours: none of it makes sense on its face. Not the gas attack in Syria. And certainly not Donald Trump’s response. I hate to say it, but these events only logically make sense if they’ve all been arranged by Vladimir Putin.
 Let’s start with the gas attack in Syria. In my view, the rebels lack the motivation and the organization to have been behind it. And ISIS was so weakened during the Obama administration that it now lacks the muscle to have pulled this off (and ISIS would be loudly taking credit if it did). And yet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, genocidal as he may be, would not have done something like this without the approval of the Kremlin, because he is a longtime Russian puppet in both an economic and military sense.
 But Vladimir Putin knows full well that a gas attack like this was likely to prompt at least some kind U.S. military response against Assad. So Putin wouldn’t have been behind this unless he wanted the U.S. to take military action in Syria. And the only logical reason for Putin to want that is if he was trying to set up a win for Donald Trump, which could boost his historically low approval rating. It would also allow Trump to paint himself as being willing to go against Russian interests, as an argument against the most serious charges in the worsening Trump-Russia scandal.
 Moreover, the U.S. Tomahawk missiles used in the attack could have been struck down by the S-400 weaponry which Russia already had in place in Syria (source: Washington Post) – but Russia chose not to do so. Additionally, NBC News is reporting on-air that the U.S. strike only took out planes and fueling stations, while leaving the two airstrips intact. The airstrips would have required significant reconstruction, but the equipment can theoretically be replaced tomorrow.
 The U.S. attack seemed tailor made to look fierce to casual viewers at home, while inflicting as little real damage to Assad’s air force capability as possible. Trump went out of his way not to substantially impair Assad, and in return Russia went out of its way to allow the U.S. attack to happen. For that matter, Russia seemed to have already known what the U.S. would hit when it made the decision not to take out the incoming missiles. Regardless of any public jawing between the U.S. and Russia tonight, this reeks of carefully crafted military theater.
 Combine that with the reports this week from Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show that the U.S. military had already been building up troops in Syria before the gas attack, and it strongly suggests Donald Trump knew he would soon be taking military action there. Further, Trump tried to keep the troop buildup a secret, suggesting he didn’t want anyone to figure out that he already knew the gas attack was coming.
 This is a hell of an accusation to make on my part. I’m suggesting that Vladimir Putin orchestrated a gas attack in Syria so Donald Trump could strike back in minimal and symbolic fashion, and that Putin told Trump ahead of time to go ahead and begin building up troops in advance, and that Trump went along with the horrifying stunt. And yet this is – incredibly – the least convoluted explanation that makes any logical sense.
 Whatever the real story behind the surreal events of the past forty-eight hours, which has cost the lives of Syrian children and has put U.S. troops in harm’s way, Donald Trump’s role in it must be investigated to the fullest. Because if my logical theory is even half right, then Trump just became a genocidal war criminal.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Rhandi Rhodes speaking truth to power

Randi explores the danger of having a crazy person as President.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Compared to GW Bush, trump is a Blithering Idiot

Donald Trump Makes George W. Bush Sound Like a Certified Genius,
Remember when we all used to laugh about what a doofus George W. Bush was?


As we gear up to watch the  Message To Congress,  we are taking a trip down memory lane. An awkward trip, full of longing for the more erudite days… of George W. Bush.










Monday, February 27, 2017

Trump simply wants the truth not to be true

Trump lashes out with mindless twaddle, insinuating that the media has fully abandoned the pillars and principles of journalism to join the opposition.


Donald Trump’s unrelenting assault on the media is in fact an assault on the implacability of truth, the notion of accountability and the power of free speech. It is also a bit of a bow to the conspiracy theorizing that Trump is wont to do.

Last week at CPAC, the politically crippled Reince Priebus delivered a soliloquy lamenting Trump’s negative media coverage, saying, “We’re hoping that the media would catch up eventually.”

Trump’s “boss,” Steve Bannon, immediately blasted the notion the way a shotgun blasts a quail rising from the brush:

“The reason Reince and I are good partners is that we can disagree. It’s not only not going to get better. It’s going to get worse every day.”

Bannon continued:

“And here’s why. By the way, the internal logic makes sense. They’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed — adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has.”

He later added:

“And as economic conditions get better, as more jobs get better, they’re going to continue to fight. If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. Every day — every day, it is going to be a fight.”



Friday, February 17, 2017

Will Trump be assassinated, ousted in a coup or just impeached?


Although the temptation is to say to trump's remaining supporters "I told you so!"
It should be resisted.
Most of us knew the main reason trump would be the first president in modern times to hide his tax returns is that they show he has stupidly squandered his inheritance.
His presidency is following the same pattern as his forays into business, he is a loser.
He tries to cover his incompetence by saying "This is the information I was given."
During the campaign businessmen who worked around trump unanimously said he was a terrible businessman.
MFBSR

All Washington can talk about is how badly trump's reign will end.


The ‘most deadly adversaries of republican government,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton, arise ‘chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?’ Hamilton’s warning against ‘intrigue, and corruption’, published in 1788, speaks eerily to the Washington of today, where Donald Trump’s enemies imagine he is a Russian ‘agent of influence,’ bought or blackmailed by the Kremlin. The new chief magistrate himself is in full Nixon mode, at war with the media, the intelligence community, the ‘establishment’ and the ‘rigged system’, even as he takes his place behind the desk in the Oval Office . The scandal — if that’s what it is — has now inevitably been titled ‘Watersportsgate’. Is it conceivable that, like Nixon, Trump might eventually be forced from office?

Paul Wood, Freddy Gray and Kate Andrews discuss Trump’s arrival at the White House:



It seems absurd to ask this question in the week of the new President’s inauguration. Still, the Senate Intelligence Committee has already announced hearings into ‘links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns’. The committee’s Republican chairman issued a statement saying the inquiry would be ‘bipartisan’ and would rely on ‘the issuance of subpoenas if necessary to compel testimony… The Committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads.’ If Trump’s staff or friends did meet with Russian officials to co-ordinate hacking the US presidential election, there is a word for that: treason, the first and most important of the ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ set out in the constitution as grounds for impeachment. But Trump’s people have denied that any such meetings took place. And even if there were meetings, what was discussed? And if there were any discussions that would trouble a Senate committee, was Trump even aware? What did the President know and when did he know it?

If, if, if — a long chain of ifs. Importantly, there is almost no public discussion in Congress — from either party — of impeaching Trump. One of the very few to talk openly about the possibility was Congresswoman Maxine Walters, a Democrat, as you would expect. She told the cable news channel MSNBC that Trump had ‘wrapped his arms around Putin so tight… I don’t buy it, I don’t think the American people buy it, and he’s not going to get away with it. We’re going to investigate him and find out what is this real connection he’s got.’ She concluded: ‘Let’s find out… whether we’re putting a man in the most important office in the free world who may be held hostage by Putin and Russia.’ I was told by a senior Congressional aide that other House Democrats were keeping quiet until after the inauguration for tactical reasons. They recognised there was no support for hearings among the majority Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, the place where any move to impeach would have to originate. This is not (yet) 1974.


A university professor called Robert Kuttner has begun his own effort to get the impeachment bandwagon rolling. He is trying to convene an ‘independent body of very reputable jurists and other blue-chip people’ to assemble a ‘running dossier of impeachable abuses’. The dossier (a word that now resonates in Washington) would be given to the House Judiciary Committee if, as Kuttner hopes, it eventually convenes impeachment hearings. ‘You have to let him take office,’ he told me, echoing the Congressional aide’s analysis. ‘You have to see which of his actions that look like they are impeachable carry over into his actual presidency. The evidence has to accumulate… to the point that Republican members of Congress feel the need to put some distance between themselves and Trump… this is what happened with Nixon.’

Professor Kuttner is pinning his hopes on the emoluments clause of the US Constitution, which says office holders cannot receive gifts from foreign states unless Congress gives permission. ‘Trump is incapable of not mixing his personal self-interest with his duties as President. He just doesn’t have the impulse control to know how to do that.’

The founding fathers thought the dangers of corruption by foreign powers were such that they put the emoluments clause in the first article of their new constitution. They had in mind a notorious incident involving Benjamin Franklin, who had been given a diamond-encrusted snuff box by the king of France. Franklin was allowed to keep it only after the Continental Congress approved.

Trump’s lawyers have said they don’t think the emoluments clause applies to him. And Trump himself said, in an interview with the New York Times after the election, that ‘The law is totally on my side, meaning the President can’t have a conflict of interest.’ He has since announced plans to put his businesses into a trust — though, as it is run by his sons, this is far from the kind of blind trust that other presidents have used. His lawyer, Sherri Dillon, told the news conference called to discuss all this: ‘No new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump’s presidency. New domestic deals will be allowed, but they will go through a vigorous vetting process.’

But what happens if foreign diplomats start booking out Trump’s hotel in Washington? If foreign banks lend his companies money at cheap rates of interest? If foreign corporations buy up condos in Trump Tower? Trump has stated — correctly — that he has few business interests in Russia, but Russian money has poured into New York real estate and (as his son Donald Junior has acknowledged) into Trump’s companies.

Trump’s opponents may think he is doing to the constitution what those Russian hookers are alleged to have done to the bed in the Ritz Carlton’s presidential suite. (Pity the poor maid if this is true.) But no one has seen any sex tape. It is a distinct possibility that there is no kompromat — compromising material. Instead, another Russian secret service term is needed to understand what is going on: provokatsiya — a provocation, or hoax, designed to confuse the enemy. Last March I was told by someone in the US intelligence community of another alleged tape, about Kremlin money going to Trump’s associates for his campaign. The recording was supposedly made by the Estonian secret service. One of the (many unproven) allegations in the dossier compiled by the ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele is of a meeting his sources say was monitored by the Estonians. If the Senate Intelligence Committee finds nothing at the end of this trail of breadcrumbs, there will be no votes among House Republicans on the judiciary committee for impeachment hearings. If more comes out, however, anything is possible. Trump might then complain, along with Nixon, of Congressional attempts to overturn the result of an election. ‘Resigning now,’ Nixon told his Cabinet as pressure grew for him to step down, ‘could start America down the road to a parliamentary type of government in which the executive stays in office only as long as he can win a vote of confidence from the legislative branch.’

For some of Trump’s supporters, this is the least of it. The most popular story now on the right-wing ‘news’ site Infowars is headlined: Will the CIA assassinate Trump? ‘If you are at home, shelter in place and prepare to ride out a storm,’ the website advises. ‘Do not trust the media; and try to take notice if a coup has taken place, and constitutional authority subverted.’

Infowars is a vehicle for Alex Jones, who told listeners to his radio show to expect a military coup. Evidence for this included a tweet calling for martial law by Rosie O’Donnell, a liberal TV personality who has feuded with Trump in the past. ‘You heard this from me first,’ Jones said. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, they’re nakedly saying they want to overturn the election. They are prepping… saying we need a national emergency to clear up if Trump is a Russian agent…They are planning to put 50 million Americans in re-education camps. These people mean business.’

Funnily enough, I heard something similar at an impeccably liberal cocktail party in Washington before the election. The crowd were national security intellectuals. ‘If Trump is elected,’ said one of the guests, ‘it will end in a military coup. Tanks on the White House lawn.’ He was the second person to tell me that at the party. Conversations in Washington have taken on a hallucinatory quality. Impeachment — however far-fetched an idea — is not the most outlandish possibility being discussed in this town as the 45th president


Paul Wood

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky