Menachem Z. Rosensaft: A neo-Nazi beauty pageant – nefarious glorification of anti-Semitism at its worst


Menachem Z. Rosensaft: A neo-Nazi beauty pageant – nefarious glorification of anti-Semitism at its worst

20 Oct 2014

The following article was first published by the ‘Huffington Post’.

One of the most insidious, and perhaps ultimately one of the most dangerous, manifestations of neo-Nazi resurgence may well be its steady subversive infiltration of contemporary popular and consumer culture.

Rabidly bigoted – anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, generally xenophobic – modern day neo-Nazi parties and movements such as Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece are relatively easy to identify and fight through political, judicial and legislative means. They are the violent heirs of the Nazi Brown Shirts, the SA, who terrorized non-fascist Germans throughout much of the 1920’s and early 1930’s as part of Hitler’s rise to eventual absolute power.

Then there are the more nuanced modern-day fascists such as Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France who combine reactionary views with a calculated strategic effort to make themselves appear more palatable to the political mainstream, often with frightening success. Still, these ultra-right wing extremist movements and parties are relatively easy to identify and expose for what they are – at the end of the day they leave little to the imagination. Bigotry, after all, remains bigotry regardless of any intellectual or dialectic attempts to legitimize the preying on fears and often deep-seated prejudices.

But below the radar screen, there are nefarious attempts to legitimize Nazism and all that Nazism stood for in the popular psyche under the guise of cutting edge fashion, perverse home decoration, and even crass, prurient sexual exploitation. Among some of the more egregious recent examples are:

  • The peddling of silver ‘Swastika Rings’ on Sears’ online Marketplace that “are going to make you look beautiful at your next dinner date.” Faced with consumer outrage, Sears quickly yanked this example of what had been described as “gothic jewelry” and removed the offending vendor from its site.
  • The sale on the Walmart, Sears’ and Amazon websites of a “home decoration” poster featuring the “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work makes you free”) gate of the Dachau concentration camp. All three retailers pulled this item after their attention was called to it. “We were horrified to see that this item was on our site,” declared Walmart. “We sincerely apologize, and worked quickly to remove it.”
  • The Spanish retail clothing chain Zara was forced to apologize for marketing a striped concentration-camp-like tee shirt complete with a six-pointed yellow star. For what it’s worth, Zara had previously sold handbags embossed with swastikas. Lovely.

The latest, and possibly the most nausea-inducing example of this particular fad is an ever so sexy beauty pageant out of the former Soviet Union. Before it was apparently suspended by the Russian social media site Vkontakte, a page on that website solicited women who consider themselves Nazis to submit photos of themselves and statements on precisely why they admire Hitler.

To be eligible, according to the contest’s rules, a contestant had to be, among other things, “a woman Nazi” and “a woman who hates Jews.”

Among the entries are sultry Ekaterina Matveeva from St. Petersburg, Russia, who proclaims that “Adolf Hitler’s position is genius and true, that races are different not only in appearance, but also in intelligence,” and Katya Shkredova from Mogilev, Belarus, who “adores Adolf” and loves his willingness to “experiment on people.”

The winner of this revolting pageant was to be crowned Miss Ostland – the name given by the Nazis to the German occupation regime for the territory covering Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and part of what is today western Belarus – and receive a piece of jewelry featuring one of the Nordic runes that were popular with Heinrich Himmler and his SS. Second prize: a pendant with the German Iron Cross.

Granted, there is no indication that this particular beauty contest ever had a mass or even large-scale following. Nevertheless, it is a timely and potent reminder that neo-Nazism in its vilest form is enjoying a significant revival among at least some segments of society, and the Vkontakte page in question purportedly did have more than 7,000 Russian and Ukrainian followers.

In Kentucky, a white supremacist write-in candidate named Robert Edward Ransdell who is running for the US Senate is posting signs proclaiming “With Jews We Lose” that leave little to the imagination. Ransdell also took advantage of an invitation to participate in the University of Kentucky’s Constitution Week to spew his anti-Semitic bile to college and high school students.

And in Sydney, Australia, a neo-Nazi group is sending out flyers declaring that “It’s time for all White Australians to stop being blinded by political correctness and Jewish lies about equality, multiculturalism and the need for so called diversity. Diversity really means white genocide.”

To be sure, much of the virulent present-day anti-Semitism emanates from Radical Islamic and leftist pro-Palestinian sources. But these are increasingly finding disturbing common ground with the extreme right.

Cries of “Gas the Jews” are suddenly being heard once more in demonstrations in Germany and elsewhere. “The fear is that now things are blatantly being said openly, and no one is batting an eyelid,” Jessica Frommer, who works for a nonprofit organization in Brussels, told the New York Times. “Modern Europe is based on stopping what happened in the Second World War. And now 70 years later, people standing near the European Parliament are shouting, ‘Death to Jews!’ “

As Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, has emphasized, the prevailing atmosphere in which anti-Semitism has become acceptable empowers other equally odious manifestations of bigotry. “When hundreds of thousands of Christians – men, women and children – are killed, this isn’t war,” he declared at a recent gathering of Evangelical Christians in Jerusalem. “This is genocide. And we Jews know what happens when the world is silent to genocide.”

“Anti-Semitism has always been, historically, the inability to make space for differences among people, which is the essential foundation of a free society,” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “That is why the politics of hate now assaults Christians, Bahai, Yazidis and many others, including Muslims on the wrong side of the Sunni/Shia divide, as well as Jews. To fight it, we must stand together, people of all faiths and of none. The future of freedom is at stake, and it will be the defining battle of the 21st century.”

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the Nazi death and concentration camps by Allied troops, we must bear in mind that while the Third Reich was defeated at the end of World War II, the ideology that made possible the genocide of European Jewry is very much alive throughout much of the supposedly civilized world. We ignore or dismiss its presence in our midst at our peril.

Menachem Z. Rosensaft is general counsel of the World Jewish Congress and teaches about the law of genocide and war crimes trials at the laws school of Columbia and Cornell Universities. He is the editor of ‘God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors’ (Jewish Lights Publishing), available December 2014

Story from: http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/news/15269/menachem_z_rosensaft_a_neo_nazi_beauty_pageant_nefarious_glorification_of_anti_semitism

Fear of a Fat Planet: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight


r of a Fat Planet: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

A new study shows the scale of the global obesity crisis.

The Global Obesity Crisis: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

(Photo:BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

May 30, 2014

There are 1.35 billion people living in China, another 1.23 billion living in India. The world’s two most populous nations are each home to a crush of humanity that’s almost impossible to comprehend. But those numbers pale next to the overweight people who live in the world today—2.1 billion, or nearly a third of the world’s population.

The numbers come from a study published yesterday in the journal The Lancet. Researchers looked at 1,700 studies from 188 countries conducted between 1988 and 2013 in order to come up with a comprehensive view of what’s a truly global obesity epidemic.

However, it wasn’t North America—where Mexico and the United States have vied for the title of the fattest nation in the world—that registered the highest obesity rate. Rather, the Middle East and North Africa are the worst; nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are too heavy. The study says the U.S. is home to 13 percent of the world’s overweight population, the highest percentage of any country.

The sky-high rates in North Africa and the Middle East may come as a shock in the West, where public health stories from the Arab-speaking world can’t break through the wall of coverage of American invasions, oil, revolution, civil war, and military coups. If anything, most of the region borders the Mediterranean, which is most famous in dieting circles as a way to eat a healthy diet heavy in plants, seafood, and the occasional glass of red wine. Even if there’s less wine consumed with dinner in these predominately Muslim countries, they still consume a whole lot of olive oil. But the red flags have been flying for decades, however, and a combination of urbanization, globalization, and regional cultural norms has created a massive public health crisis.

In 2001, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the obesity rates in Morocco and Tunisia and found that while their governments were still working to address issues of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, the waistlines of women in both countries were expanding at an unhealthy rate. Public health officials were doing little at the time to address the problem, according to the researchers, “especially since female fatness is viewed as a sign of social status and is a cultural symbol of beauty, fertility and prosperity.” With more people living in urban areas, where processed foods were cheap and easily accessible, issues like malnutrition were steadily being alleviated. But the study goes on to say that, “Western culinary influences lead to new consumption patterns, which affect dietary habits and even the rhythm of consumption.” The study continues, “These new dietary habits have created conditions for chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes to take hold.”

Elsewhere in the region, especially in oil-rich countries, diet trends have followed a similar course. In Saudi Arabia, meat consumption increased by 500 percent between 1973 and 1980, according to a 2011 article in The Journal of Obesity. Changes weren’t as dramatic in less wealthy nations, but the same paper notes that people in Jordan nearly doubled how much meat they ate over the same period, and that the percentage of calories consumed as fat by children in Lebanon increased from 24 percent to 34 percent between 1963 and 1998.

Wealth and development can change diet and health by increasing the amount of meat used in regional cuisines—but American-style dining also seems to crop up in emerging markets around the world, and the Middle East in no exception. Just as global fashion brands and, more recently (and disastrously), institutions like New York University, have tried to catch some of the shimmer of the Gulf’s oil wealth, so have fast-food companies.

This $1,000 McDonald’s-Inspired Dress Is About More Than Income Inequality

“Demand for fast casual dining, which includes the more traditional fast-food chains such as McDonald’s as well as the table service brands like IHOP, is growing amid a rise in disposable income, extravagant shopping malls, and a seemingly unquenchable appetite for Western food concepts,” reads a 2012 trend story on the website Arabian Business. The article cites a study from the research firm Euromonitor that predicts the fast-casual dining in the United Arab Emirates will expand from $6.4 billion in 2011 to $8.7 billion in 2015. Burger chains are expected to propel the boom.

And just as meat consumption has increased across the region, so has the saturation of fast-food brands. The trade website Food Business Africa points out that the demographics across the Middle East and North Africa present an ideal market for fast-food companies: Huge populations of young people who have “grown up eating processed foods and dining in Western-style fast-food restaurants and coffee shops.” For the youth in this region—and around the world, for that matter—drive-through hamburgers are as much of a birthright as for kids in the U.S.

American-style fast food is no longer a foreign novelty, and neither is American-style obesity.

REDEMPTION! What You should know! Shelter killing is the leading cause of death for healthy dogs & cats in the United States!


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Nathan J. Winograd

Mai 8 um 6:46 PM

Join us for a documentary film about the No Kill revolution in America. Coming to a city near you. Click on the links for tickets:

•Albuquerque, NM: http://bit.ly/1imaROu

•Atlanta, GA: http://bit.ly/1ktZuos

•Austin, TX: http://bit.ly/1m8chgh

•Boston, MA: http://bit.ly/1jI8oxB

•Charlotte, NC: http://bit.ly/1m8dILE

•Chicago, IL: http://bit.ly/P3f7qG

•Denver, CO: http://bit.ly/1nosnCi

•Fayetteville, AR: http://bit.ly/Qnt83o

•Ft. Lauderdale, FL: http://bit.ly/1iTYFkE

•Louisville (Shelbyville), KY: http://bit.ly/1hRMdRl
•Minneapolis, MN: http://bit.ly/1kXtdsN

•Norfolk, VA: http://bit.ly/PM8Qjx

•Phoenix, AZ: http://bit.ly/Q9Yk6B

•Pittsburgh, PA: http://bit.ly/QM7eqK

•Sacramento, CA: http://bit.ly/1qEtiAu

•San Francisco (Palo Alto), CA: http://bit.ly/1t5s97k

•Troy, MI: http://conta.cc/1iUoIcP

•Washington, D.C.: http://bit.ly/1qYvkKg

The film will be followed in most cities by a workshop on building a No Kill community and others with an after party. Check on the links for more details. Coming soon: Buffalo, NY, Cleveland, OH, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, Modesto, CA, Nashville, TN, New York, NY, Seattle, WA, and Tallahassee, FL.

•To watch the trailer, click here.

•For more information about the film, click here.

—————-

P.S. 99% of the film is uplifting and while a small number of images may be difficult, they are not gratuitous. While we expect people who see it will experience a range of emotions, the primary ones they will come away with are hope, inspiration, empowerment, and well, redemption. In short, it is safe for animal lovers to watch.

No Kill Advocacy Center | 6114 La Salle Ave. #837 | Oakland CA 94611
http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org | facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter

Death Row News to fight the Death Penalty – Texas appeals court judge calls for abolishing death penalty


Death Row News to fight the Death Penalty – Texas appeals court judge calls for abolishing death penalty.

…The Dallas Republican’s comments, thought to be the first time such views have been voiced by a judge on the state’s highest criminal appeals court, came in a strongly worded dissent to the court’s Wednesday rejection of an appeal on behalf of Scott Panetti, a Fredericksburg double-killer said to suffer from schizophrenia. Panetti, 56, is scheduled to be executed next Wednesday.

“Based on my specialized knowledge of this process,” Price wrote, “I now conclude that the death penalty as a form of punishment should be abolished because the execution of individuals does not appear to measurably advance the retribution and deterrence purpose served by the death penalty; the life without parole option adequately protects society at large in the same way as the death penalty option; and the risk of executing an innocent person for a capital murder is unreasonably high, particularly in light of procedural-default laws and the prevalence of ineffective trial and initial habeas counsel.”

Price, 61, a former Dallas County state district judge, has served on the high appeals court since 1996. His term ends this year and he has said he will not seek re-election.

In his statement, Price asserted that “society is now less convinced of the absolute accuracy of the criminal justice system.”

He cited a 2012 University of Michigan-Northwestern University law school study that ranked Texas third nationwide in wrongful convictions during the past 24 years. He also cited a National Registry of Exonerations report that determined 2013 was a record-breaking year for exonerations in the United States; Texas topped the list.

“In my time on this court I have voted to grant numerous applications for writs of habeas corpus that have resulted in the release of dozens of people who were wrongfully convicted,” Price wrote. “I conclude that it is wishful thinking to believe that this state will never execute an innocent person for capital murder. … I am convinced that, because the criminal justice system is run by humans, it is naturally subject to human error. There is no rational basis to believe that this same type of human error will not infect capital murder trials.”

Greeted with surprise

Price’s comments were greeted with surprise by law professors and appellate attorneys active in death penalty cases.

“I’m still absorbing it. It wasn’t expected,” said Maurie Levin, a former clinical law professor at the University of Texas who now is based in Philadelphia. “It’s long overdue.”

While the concerns raised by Price have been “discussed and decried around the country for a number of years now … for a high court judge, a CCA judge, to articulate them so forthrightly is extraordinary.”

Levin, who frequently has represented Texas death row inmates, said she was “deeply grateful” for the judge’s statement. “He is somebody we would listen to,” she said. “He has had a front row seat. … He is part of a growing chorus of people who are intimately involved … who are uncomfortable with the system that implements executions, and that is not nothing.”

Rob Owen, a former professor at the University of Texas capital punishment clinic and now on the law faculty at Chicago’s Northwestern University, also hailed Price’s statement.

“I think it is important that he makes clear this is not a casual change of mind,” Owen said. “He’s not sentimental, feeling sorry for the guys waiting to be executed. He is concerned about public safety, and he says we have an alternative punishment that’s clearly sufficient in the eyes of many jurors and prosecutors and is far quicker than the years of appeals that go with the death penalty.”

While opinion polls reflect staunch support for capital punishment in Texas, Owen noted that “the death penalty is going away everywhere. The number of new cases in Texas is dropping steeply – they dropped about two-thirds in the 25 years I watched them. Every additional voice being raised that we should hasten it on its way is helpful and a spark for a lot of public discussion.”

‘Remarkably brave’

Jani Maselli Wood, an assistant Harris County public defender, an adjunct professor at the University of Houston law school and a former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals staff attorney, said she doubts Price’s statement will influence legislators or incoming juries.

But, “it will impact his legacy for what he wants us to remember,” Wood said. “He says we have life without parole, why do we need death convictions. He is remarkably brave. I think it is heroic.”

Price’s statement came in a dissent to the court’s 6-3 vote not to consider a new appeal on behalf of Panetti that argues his mental condition “renders him categorically ineligible for the death penalty under the Eighth and 14th Amendments, because imposition of the death penalty on offenders with severe mental illness offends contemporary standards of decency.” The court found the petition failed to meet requirements for applications of post-conviction writs of habeas corpus.

Judges Elsa Alcala and Cheryl Johnson issued a separate dissenting opinion, saying they would stay Panetti’s execution to allow for an examination of his claim that the Eighth Amendment prohibits execution of seriously mentally ill individuals.

Panetti was condemned for the 1992 murders of his mother- and father-in-law. At age 20, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic. While representing himself at his first trial, he attempted to subpoena Jesus Christ and President John F. Kennedy. His lawyers contend that his mental condition has worsened on death row.

In a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving Panetti, justices held that a condemned inmate must have a “rational understanding” of his punishment, not just an awareness that he is to be executed and why….

Death Row News to fight the Death Penalty – Texas appeals court judge calls for abolishing death penalty


Death Row News to fight the Death Penalty – Texas appeals court judge calls for abolishing death Penalty.
“In my time on this court I have voted to grant numerous applications for writs of habeas corpus that have resulted in the release of dozens of people who were wrongfully convicted,” Price wrote. “I conclude that it is wishful thinking to believe that this state will never execute an innocent person for capital murder. … I am convinced that, because the criminal justice system is run by humans, it is naturally subject to human error. There is no rational basis to believe that this same type of human error will not infect capital murder trials.”

 

“They’re going to have to take him from my cold, dead hands before they get a hold of him”


Originally posted on spiritandanimal.wordpress.com:

When pressed further about whether or not the government was going to be killing the animals, Lemoine finally admitted “If that’s what the ordinance says, then that’s what it says.”

Some local residents are refusing to go along with the new ordinance, and have promised not to back down easily.

 PITBULLY

“They’re going to have to take him from my cold, dead hands before they get a hold of him,” Pit Bull owner O’hara Owens said.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/louisiana-town-ban-dispose-of-pit-bulls-rottweilers-dec-1-2/#yYChTZ7UtmMpdYW9.99

View original

Louisiana Town to Kill All Pit Bulls and Rottweilers: Those Who Don’t Surrender Face Police Action | The Free Thought Project


A town in Louisiana has recently voted to ban all Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, calling them “vicious breeds” of dogs. Current owners of these specific breeds have just one more month to either move out of town, or hand their family pet over to the government to be killed.

via Louisiana Town to Kill All Pit Bulls and Rottweilers: Those Who Don’t Surrender Face Police Action | The Free Thought Project.

Dispatches: Wake up US, Ferguson Calling


Originally posted on colouredjustice.wordpress.com:

Dispatches: Wake up US, Ferguson Calling

Many questions are already being raised about the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri in August. However, many of those questions will, by necessity, remain unresolved: without hearing the same evidence the jury has heard in closed sessions over the past four months, it’s very hard to assess the soundness of their decision.

What is safe to say about the failure to indict…

View original 386 more words

Dispatches: Wake up US, Ferguson Calling


Originally posted on colouredjustice.wordpress.com:

Dispatches: Wake up US, Ferguson Calling

Many questions are already being raised about the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri in August. However, many of those questions will, by necessity, remain unresolved: without hearing the same evidence the jury has heard in closed sessions over the past four months, it’s very hard to assess the soundness of their decision.

What is safe to say about the failure to indict…

View original 386 more words

Frantic search for suicidal Ottawa police officer ended with tactical squad outside his office when they heard single gunshot


Originally posted on National Post | News:

The Ottawa police tactical squad mounted a frantic search on Sept. 28 at police headquarters for a suicidal officer and had zeroed in on his office when they heard a single gunshot.

Staff-Sgt. Kal Ghadban, 43, was found fatally wounded on the floor of his private office in the street crime unit, the province’s civilian police watchdog said in a news release Wednesday.

The Special Investigations Unit concluded that Ghadban acted alone and of his own volition when he took his own life with his service firearm.

In a statement, SIU director Tony Loparco said that the SIU had concluded that there were no reasonable grounds to charge any officer with the Ottawa Police Service with a criminal offence in relation to the death of Ghadban.

[related_links /]

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the incident, and seven police witnesses and one civilian witness were…

View original 362 more words

“Urge Arkansas Governor to Grant Clemency to Belynda Goff”



Urge Arkansas Governor to Grant Clemency to Belynda Goff


Belynda Goff is seeking clemency from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe for her two decades old murder conviction for the killing of her husband, Stephen. Stephen, who Belynda awoke to find lying unconscious just inside the doorway of their apartment, had been allegedly involved in an arson scheme at the time of his death and had told Beynda’s brother that he feared for his life. Despite there being no murder weapon found inside the apartment, no witness claiming she was the killer and no physical evidence linking her to the murder, Belynda became the target of the investigation and was eventually tried and convicted.

The Innocence Project has been fighting for and eventually won DNA testing in Belynda’s case. While we were seeking testing, however, crucial pieces of evidence were lost. While we are moving forward with DNA testing on the remaining evidence, it may not be able to provide the results we need to fully vindicate Belynda.

In order to guarantee justice for Belynda, we’re calling on the Arkansas Parole Board to vet Belynda’s petition for clemency and for Governor Mike Beebe to grant her clemency. Please send a message to Governor Beebe asking him to grant Belynda clemency and send her home for the holidays.

http://www.innocenceproject.org/?utm_source=Main+IP+Email+List&utm_campaign=239182422a-2014_October_Newsletter10_30_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_016cb74fd6-239182422a-350309553

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