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


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

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!

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

“If the Queen can’t pay the bills, why not sell a palace or two?” TheGuardian

“If the Queen can’t pay the bills, why not sell a palace or two?” TheGuardian


If the Queen can’t pay the bills, why not sell a palace or two?

It’s a bit rich that the public is paying £150m for repairs at Buckingham Palace when the Queen has so many valuable asse

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/02/queen-buckingham-palace-public-150m-repair-bill?CMP=fb_gu

The Government of Hungary Is Going to Pay Its Young People Just to Live There

The Government of Hungary Is Going to Pay Its Young People Just to Live There


Originally posted on TIME:

The Hungarian government is so concerned about the number of young Hungarians leaving the country that it is offering to fly them home and pay them to stay.

“Come home, young person!” is a new program aimed at persuading Hungarians living abroad to return to their home country. A Hungarian government event in London on June 28 to promote the program touted its promise of a free return flight, a 100,000 forint monthly allowance (about $350) for a year, and the possibility of a job close to family, Hungary Today reports.

Szabolcs Pakozdi, managing director of Hungary’s job placement office, stressed to the audience that participants were not obligated to work in the country for a specific period of time.

The Hungarian Central Statistics Office estimates that 31,500 Hungarians left the country in 2014, a 46% increase over 2013, Reuters reports. In total, there are thought to be 350,000 Hungarians…

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“David Cameron abolishes poverty, just like that” TheGuardian

“David Cameron abolishes poverty, just like that” TheGuardian


David Cameron abolishes poverty, just like that

The prime minister is the most shameless practitioner of political mendacity – to be poor from now on will mean to be in need of correction, not cash
poverty, children
‘Research shows that, correcting for everything else, poverty itself – lack of money – harms the life chances of children, into adult life, as much as a bad education.’ Photograph: Christopher Thomond for The Guardian

“We can make British poverty history, and we will make British poverty history,” said David Cameron back in 2007 – and he’s done it, just like that. Wave a magic wand, he and Iain Duncan Smith are abolishing child poverty as we know it. As an issue, poverty is to vanish, no longer a target or a word in the Conservative lexicon.

Other things will be targeted instead – worklessness, family breakdown, addictions, debt and educational success. In doublespeak, the very meaning of the word poverty disappears when to be poor no longer means to lack money. To be poor will from now on mean to fail, to be poor apologies for human beings, people in error, in need of correction not cash. That means 64% of children formerly known as poor will now vanish from the government’s reckoning because their families are not failing, but “hardworking” – just earning too little to keep afloat. Morally they are just fine, so they are no longer poor even if they queue at food banks at the end of the week. …http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/02/david-cameron-abolishes-poverty-poor?CMP=fb_gu

Over 90,000 Children Now In Temporary Accommodation As The Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse – You can read the latest homelessness statistics at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-january-to-march-2015

Over 90,000 Children Now In Temporary Accommodation As The Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse – You can read the latest homelessness statistics at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-january-to-march-2015


Over 90,000 Children Now In Temporary Accommodation As The Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse

homeless-march1There are now over 90,000 children living in temporary accommodation according to the latest official statistics – a rise of over 15% in just one year.

The number of these families living in B&Bs – which usually just means one room, often with shared facilities – has leapt by a shocking 35% compared to a year earlier.  990 of these families had been living in this kind of accommodation for over six weeks, over double the number from the same period last year.

Every measure of homelessness has risen according to the latest statistics, with 13,520 households accepted as homeless by Local Authorities between January and March 2015, a jump of 8% on a year earler.

The main reason for families becoming homeless was the loss of an assured tenancy with a private sector landlord.  Soaring rents, stagnant wages and shrinking benefits – combined with a barely regulated private rental sector where landlords can evict on a whim – is driving the homelessness epidemic as many people can simply no longer afford to pay their rent.

This week’s figures only represent a very small sample of the true number of homeless people in the UK.  Only those legally eligible for help from local authorites are included, which in practice means only those with children, significant disabilities or health problems and people over pensionable age.  Homelessness charities have warned that this measure only shows the tip of the iceberg of even these groups as recent changes to the law mean families fobbed off into insecure private rented accommodation by councils are no longer included in the figures.

A recent report found that rents have risen by 10% in the last year, and that’s across the UK, not just in London.  George Osborne has already pegged rises in Housing Benefits at just 1%.  The impacts of the Bedroom Tax and first Benefit Cap have still not been fully felt as local authorities have used Discretionary Housing Payments to top up Housing Benefits.  These payments will soon come to an end.  The number of houses built at a social rent, meaning they are genuinely affordable to low income families, fell to the lowest level in the history of council housing in 2013/14.

A perfect storm has already been created and we have not yet seen anything like the worst of it.  The full impact of Iain Duncan Smith’s bungled welfare reforms have not yet been fully felt according to managers of homelessness services in local councils when questioned by homelessness charities last year (PDF).

But even this will just be the beginning.  The government have already pledged a lower Benefit Cap, which will leave almost the entire private rented sector in the south of England unaffordable for out of work families.  Tens of thousands of people in social housing will also be affected, particularly larger families who will have nowhere they can afford to go.  Osbourne is also likely to scrap housing benefit completely for those under 21, whilst a mass sell off of housing association properties is also on the cards.  And that’s just what we know about.  Billions more is set to be cut from the social security budget, and however the Chancellor does that it will mean many people can no longer afford to stay in their home.

Disabled People Against Cuts have already called a protest outside next week’s budget.  Everyone who cares about having somewhere to live over the next few years should join them and say #balls2thebudget.  Please join, share and tweet the facebook page for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1455266081436327/

You can read the latest homelessness statistics at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-january-to-march-2015

Suspect pulls gun on cops in dramatic footage that shows why officers acquitted over death

Suspect pulls gun on cops in dramatic footage that shows why officers acquitted over death


Originally posted on Global News:

WATCH ABOVE: Body camera footage of the death of a Texas man at the hands of two police officers has been released and shows exactly why officers opened fire. Field Sutton reports. WARNING: Disturbing footage. Viewer discretion is advised.

TORONTO – A pair of Texas police officers that shot and killed a suspect in May have been acquitted, both by a judge and the court of public opinion, after dramatic footage was released that shows a man pull out a gun and motion towards them.

Officers from the Palestine Police Department were called to a Walmart Supercenter on May 31 with a report of a white male wearing tan shorts and a black shirt that had allegedly stolen beer and made his escape in the direction of a nearby Applebee’s Restaurant.

Sgt. Gabriel Green and Officer Kaylyn Griffin searched the restaurant and found James D. Bushey, a man who matched the…

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Honeymoon over for Greek couple in NYC, begging after bank cards declined

Honeymoon over for Greek couple in NYC, begging after bank cards declined


Originally posted on Global News:

NEW YORK – A trip to New York City turned out to be a nightmare for one Greek newlywed couple.

Their U.S. honeymoon ended in a city they always dreamed of visiting – but not penniless.

READ MORE: How the Greek financial crisis could affect Canadians

Valasia Limnioti and her new husband ran out of cash a few days ago. Their Greek-issued credit and debit cards were declined. The Greek government has stopped card withdrawals as the country careens into financial disaster.

Limniotis says she cried for two days. They spent their last dollars on dinner at McDonald’s.

Now, two Greek Orthodox churches in Queens are coming to the couple’s rescue. The churches, along with a New York-based Greek journalist, have given them survival cash.

The newlyweds return to Greece on Friday.

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Two dozen trans women set to move to women’s immigration facility

Two dozen trans women set to move to women’s immigration facility


Originally posted on Fusion:

Two dozen transgender women will be moved to a women’s immigration facility in the next few weeks, an immigration official told Fusion on Thursday.

The move will mark the first instance in which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) knowingly locks up transgender women alongside other women. Previously, they had been detained in men’s facilities, where they faced increased risk of sexual assault.

Beds are arriving this week at a new women’s branch of the Adelanto Detention Facility in Southern California. But before any transgender detainees are admitted, officers at the Adelanto facility will be trained on new guidelines to interact with trans detainees, according to ICE officials.

The move is expected in August, but officials could not confirm a final move-in date.

ICE officials say the two dozen women must be detained under the agency’s mandatory detention guidelines and therefore cannot immediately be released on parole. Members of Congress

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