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Stedman Graham pens a new book “Identity” while Rachel writes “Drift”

Stedman Graham

Rachel Maddow in Seattle.
Rachel Maddow in Seattle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Identity: Your Passport to Success by Stedman Graham at Amazon

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow (it has good reviews and is #10 on Amazon so if you jest luv you some gay jew then buy her book)

What has this man done other than mooch off a Oprah?  I think he’s a business man and had a tough childhood but who the hell cares? I don’t.  They never married and there is no wonder.  He  is arm candy for sure even with gray hair.

He was on Joe and the Jews (Halperin, Allen and Karins the weatherman and Maddow) this morning touting his new book I wouldn’t get out of the library.

It is probably full of platitudes about being yourself.  What else is new?

UP, ups the Jewish panel count

Blogger Ezra Klein

Blogger Ezra Klein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had to delete my taped recording of UP this weekend.  Chris Hayes, Jewish, usually has a blend of Jews, gentiles and blacks on his show.  But Ezra Klein, Jewish, who filled in for him this weekend had a weekend panel composed entirely of Jews and one silent black on the panel, only on Sunday.

The pattern continues with the blacks who appear on UP, including McWhorter whom I like despite his being married to a NY Jew, was also silent.  He added one short comment during a two-hour show!

UP has sold out to Jewish interests already and I won’t be watching it.  Now Melissa in turn had the same Ezra on her show! This Jew is everywhere.  I don’t get it why have token blacks on your shows who will not be adding anything but color and fill it up with Jews who take over the whole show again with little to add to it? 

Cable is getting scary again.

Four shot dead at French Jewish School

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/19/us-france-crime-idUSBRE82I07N20120319

Toulouse prosecutor Michel Valet said the gunman killed a 30-year old Hebrew teacher, his two children aged three and six, and another child. A 17-year-old was also shot and in hospital for treatment.

“The attacker was shooting people outside the school, then pursued children into the school, before fleeing on a heavy motorbike,” Valet told reporters.

The assailant used a heavy-calibre firearm and another weapon. But officials could not say whether the guns were the same used in the killing of three soldiers in two separate shootings last week by a man who escaped on a scooter.

Movie Review: Sarah’s Key

The reel short take is about Sarah’s Key.  I read the book and listened to the audiobook and now I’ve seen the movie.  Heloise wrote a book review if you want to check it out. The movie could have easily been on HBO or a special on TV because it was just not that special.

This film won’t make any best of the year or end of the year movies to see but it was what I expected.  The book and the movie are sympathetic to the Jews in the story, no surprise there.  There are not many Germans in the film because it was the French who sent the jews to Vel d’Hiv and on to the death camps.

I think the problem with the movie is that it is so simple that it underwhelms.  To say plays it safe would not describe what this movie does.  It mostly moves from one scene to the other and back and forth between present and past. Finally we get back to the present where we find Kristin Thomas finding the son who did not know he was Jewish. In the book they get married or something but in the movie they do form a  bond.  There is nothing really emotionally about the progress of the film.

Sarah’s Key is just a basic movie that follows the book along pretty closely but does not move the audience IMO.  I give it two out of five stars.  It’s watchable.

Sarah's Key

Kristin Thomas

Book Review: God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World by Cullen Murphy


God's Jury by Cullen Murphy (pre order here)

First published at blogcritics.org  http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-gods-jury-the-inquisition/

Torture is a story that almost writes itself. No one wants to be its victim but it happens.  As for the torturers, there is no placebo in mind when they punch the clock. No doubt if is one captured in war or caught up in ethnic cleaning the prospect of torture looms large. So, that begs the question why should one want to read about torture and its legacy—I think when a polemic subject is well researched with new first sources into a fascinating page-turner. Cullen Murphy’s book God’s Jury joins a growing historical niche and adding adventure—told part travelogue part researcher and all investigative journalism. I even discovered torture’s real appeal to its inventors.

I received an advance reading copy of God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World (publication date 1/17/12) written by the same author of the widely acclaimed and prized Are We Rome?Cullen Murphy editor-at-large for Vanity Fair magazine.  And in his book Murphy takes us inside the Inquisition and its partners in crime.  There was not “one” Inquisition but at least four.  We learn that there is more than one way to skin a non-Catholic. The Spanish Inquisition famous for its Jewish hunt, the non converts left among them and the crypto-Jews who were converts in name only—continuing to practice Judaism is the one most oft cited.

Medievalism may conjure images of monasticism, romance and knights to modern minds, but for the huddled masses which deflect crushing poverty it was a time when the great men were popes, kings, queens, and the lesser men: clergy, the “urban intellectual” (often the impoverished peripatetic professor), craftsman and farmers.  Yes the 1% and the 99% as well as torture has always been with us.

Inquisitions support torture and Murphy defines its hallmarks: “…any inquisition is a set of disciplinary procedures targeting specific groups, codified in law, organized systemically, enforced by surveillance, exemplified by severity, sustained over time, backed by institutional power, and justified by a vision of the one true path.”  In today’s lingo—Inquisitions are probably the purest form of “hate crimes.”

Crimes against humanity are easy to perpetrate on illiterate masses and the Medieval Catholic Church took full advantage. Then it was a veritable and shameful “pay for pray.”   That meant that only those authorized to sell the stock of the day could do so.  Anyone else caught hawking “heresy” was instant fodder for the Papal torture-mill made up of God’s jury.  It was also a time you had to be Catholic or convert, true spiritual monopoly. And it  was imbedded into standard operating procedures—that went unchallenged.  The papal trail was closed to the non initiate. But the box which held the match and kindle wood was open.

The Papal Trail

The creation of the inquisition began innocently enough when “in 1231 Pope Gregory IX issued two documents  that effectively created what we know as the Inquisition…Rome would pick specially trained clerics to serve as inquisitors—primarily of the Dominican Order, but also Franciscans.” The inquisitor was judge, confessor and jury all rolled into one. For this reviewer, Cullen Murphy is a modern-day Paul Revere reading his way through some of the darkest hours in human history.  Warning us that the harbinger of torture remains whether in media metaphor or acted out in the well-maintained holds of Guantánamo bay.

Using the charm offensive he dazzles the reader with his command of the facts and the research doors which were opened to him at the Vatican in Rome.  It’s all assembled in a masterpiece of conviction that is fodder for the jet set or the desk set—a must-read book that is part Da Vinci Code and part picturesque Provencal post card.

In addition, God’s Jury weaves powerful tales that lurk beneath Christian cathedral cornerstones—including Ferdinand Martinez whom we might liken to a professional political blogger wielding a bully pulpit that literally whips up the 1391 frenzy complete with riots in Seville, Barcelona, Cordova and Valencia leading to the death of thousands of Jews in Spain.  This bloodletting was followed by the creation of ghettos, pograms, latter-day crypto-Jews, and yellow badges.  There were other methods—expulsion—when conversion did not work. All of which eventually barred Jews from professional life thereby structuring an adaptable and moral compass for Nazi Germany and other systematic genocides.

Just who was the architect of terror by torture? Without mention of “the mastermind” this book would be incomplete: the name Tomás de Torquemada strikes fear in the heart. Part myth part man and part converso (i.e., Jewish ancestry) which was not uncommon through the centuries of intermarriage, after royal Spanish sanction, Torquemada becomes the general inquisitor. An ascetic sight because “he wore a hair shirt, shunned finery, ate no meat…but amassed a considerable fortune.”  He even wrote the instruction manual for the holy inquisition.  It becomes clear in reading this book that Catholic Spain as well as Rome first shook hands with the devil before they burned him, along with thousands, at the stake. They burned bodies and books on the altar of conversion; the church sacrificed men to their gods of suspicion.

From the Middle Ages to the present age of terrorism, the world currency is suffering, America too sadly owns a brand of the inquisition—an outlet called Guantánamo Bay. Murphy argues that it was chosen “because it was a place where it was perfectly legal to have no legal regime at all.”  He says legal aspects were later added.  And we know now that it didn’t take long for writers and researchers to link those two words, thanks to Google Labs, creating a great uptick in the search for “Guantánamo” and “inquisition” morphing into tight linkage “The Guantánamo Inquisition.”

In God’s Jury Murphy is the benevolent inquirer peering into a fascinating society peopled by holy men who do unholy things in the pursuit of purity. He is also part tour guide taking the reader along on his “visa” from the Vatican to uncover the connection between the Inquisitions then and the inquisitions now. His focus is to gather evidence to support his claim that the roots of modern murder, torture, and genocide were built on a carefully constructed castle known collectively as the Inquisitions.  But it is not so simple since there were many inquisitions throughout Europe, not in one place one city or one country or within one decade. Under the guiding hand of Torquemada, the French, the Spanish, the Roman and the English all impose a face on the timeline of the inquisition. Europe is quick to find that there is more than one way to kill Cathars, Muslims, Jews, Joan of Arcs, Puritans and conversos.

Torture and the inquisition are roommates but the groundwork for activities such as water-boarding was laid down long before Guantánamo Bay welcomed its first Muslim. In Europe we are led from palatial halls to the dark dungeons where only the shadows of sins remain. In one of the final chapters “War on Error” we are transported to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba where the U.S. pays rent to the Cuban government for a piece of property where post 9/11 it will rise to new heights in population as well as infamy when details of torture go public.

Cullen Murphy is no stranger to the blank page as editor and award-winning author who has made an invaluable contribution to the literature.  While neither historian nor novelist by trade he finds and forges history any academician would honor.  It’s clear that one needs only a passion for truth and time to write a great expose on a dark cell of human history.  God’s Jury has all the elements of a gripping historical whodunit.

Bob Turner Wins old Weiner seat in NYC

Screen shot 2011-09-09 at 3.05.28 PM

Image by azipaybarah via Flickr

Just read it on Drudge that Bob Turner a republican won Anthony Weiner‘s old seat.  This is a Jewish stronghold so did the Jews take revenge against Obama’s position on Israel? I don’t know but that seat is no longer democratic as the dems rightly feared.

With the outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke Tuesday when voters in New York elected a conservative Republican to represent a Democratic district that has not been in GOP hands since the 1920s.

Bob Turner, the winner, cast the election as a referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the economy and, in the state’s Ninth Congressional District, which has a large population of Orthodox Jewish voters, the president’s position on Israel.

With 75 percent of the precincts reporting at press time, Turner had a commanding lead, with 53 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for Weprin.

Turner, 70, a retired cable TV executive who has never served in elective office, defeated Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, 55, who has two decades of experience in public service, to fill the seat left vacant when Anthony Weiner (D) resigned in disgrace in June after more than 12 years in the House.

Mel Gibson’s new Jewish film

National Museum

Image via Wikipedia

Mel is making a film about the Maccabees and what later became the Hanukkah holiday for Jews around the world.  I have seen more Jewish cultural films than any other type on Netflix.  They are some of the best filmmaking because they transport you to that time and place.  I’ve have many past life visits to my lives in Jerusalem and what I saw has been confirmed by archeologists.

The buildings were tall edifices that were bright red in color and that has been confirmed.  I mean where did I get that.  I also dreamt of the foods we ate and cooked in the Holy Land.  I would live there in a heart beat except that they don’t want me there LOL.

Book Review: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Philippe Pétain

Image via Wikipedia

First published at http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-sarahs-key-by-tatiana1/

The nonfiction book is my sheppard through history. But a novel rescues like a St. Bernard from desert monotony or the mirage of the mundane. Let’s face it in this over-heated summer of discontent we need a break for a few days. Avid readers often take refuge in the romance novel or the latest sci-fi blockbuster. But for this reviewer I need Europe pre-war, World War II where I can peer over stone walls into lives of uncertainty. I can’t get my fill of facts of life in private homes and the everyday of peasants to city people to ghetto dwellers who inhabited the late 1930s to the mid 1940s Western Europe, so I keep looking for books on the subject.

To that end two books caught my fancy this summer one a novel Sarah’s Key and the other a reconstructed autobiography Not the Germans Alone: A Son’s Search for The Truth of Vichy by Isaac Levendel which I read concurrently. Both dealt with the French role in the Shoah: with the tools of the Vichy Government under 84-year-old Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain, culminating in the Velodrome d’Hiver roundup, Vel’ d’Hiv for short where nearly 100,000 immigrant French Jews and French Nationals of Jewish origin were rounded up in a huge, now razed, stadium, moved to Drancy sent to final destination—ovens of Auschwitz. Transports from France differed from other ghettos transports in that they went directly to the gas showers and the crematorium.

De Rosnay has a vested interest in France, where she lives with her husband and two children, as an established European novelist/writer; however, her original manuscript, a novel about a French girl born in France to Jewish immigrant parents caught up in the Vel’d’hiv with a secret, was rejected. The author persisted and Sarah’s Key is now a major motion picture, a wonderful published novel and audio-book about a family in France fingered by the Vichy government and rounded up. French families caught in this waiting ghetto like those in Polish ghettos dare not go beyond the pale. And when Sarah realizes that her family will not return in time for dinner after the roundup frets secretly over locking her brother in a hidden closet. Sarah cannot go beyond the pale which in this case are bolted doors of Vel’ d’Hiv and posted guards. She begs, she cajoles but will she get out in time and what will she find when she gets back to her brother?

Sarah survives in the novel but what happens to her brother, her family and offspring and the present-day journalist covering the story de Rosnay weaves these subjects and more with intrigue, twists and turns, roadblocks and warm welcomes from the characters of Sarah’s Key.

I read the book and listened to the audio-book both I enjoyed for their company and information. One critique involves the two tales: one present and one mid-war Paris. I did not have a problem with the two timelines but often the journalist’s personal life impinged and I found myself saying TMI. Spliced with Sarah’s story was the journalist covering this story; her personal problems in a rocky marriage and an impending abortion. I just wanted to skip those details and did. I really wanted more or all about Sarah, her family’s tribulations at the hands of French police and German laws—the events at hand. Life hangs in the balance for them, since we do know one thing: the year 1945 was fast approaching and Hitler was in a hurry to carry out his plans before the end of his Third Reich.

The author’s clear caveat that this is not an historical novel brimming with brilliant research presented as novel. Yet, it holds many accurate details but you have to tease them out for yourself, because they are mixed with purely fictional characters and events.

While Warsaw ghetto life was well-documented with hundreds of books detailing the ghettos there, French collaboration with the Germans was not. It is no secret but the French were not exactly transparent: not exactly shouting the crimes from red tile rooftops about their eager alliance with the SS and its many racial laws. Laws that arrived one day and were implemented by the police before the ink dried. Sarah’s Key details some of the steps ordered by Germany. The final solution was a well-oiled machine that began with Kristalnacht, pogroms and restrictions and ended with Zyklon B pellets dropped into crowded “showers.”

Sarah’s Key tells a story set amidst German efficiency and need for order. They carefully set the stage in this truly historical genocide in steps: identification of the Jews; isolation of Jews; selection/roundup; transportation; final separation and final solution. Those who were separated and found “jobs” often survived the Holocaust or Shoah. The others were separated and marked for death and they did not return from the ashes of Auschwitz. But you will return from reading this book with a new appreciation for dark history brought to light.

Winehouse and Fielder Drugging it out

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/24/amy-winehouse-s-marriage-to-blake-fielder-civil-dark-love-affair.html

Amy and her husband Fielder-Civil both skipping their way down the broad road to destruction: drugs.  They were not just two London/British Jews in love with each other both from obscurity into the fame depot with songs from Amy’s “Back to Black” rocking the music world as one of the best albums ever. 

Well, some of us have had earthshaking love affairs and I should know, I’ve had more than one.  And love is a muse and acts as rocket fuel for the heart and mind.  There’s no cure for alcoholism and the only cure for love gone bust is time. 

Norwegian Neo-Nazi at work–updated

"Arabic Language" in the Arabic Al-B...

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s what Anders was looking for: browns, Muslims, Pakistanis who make up the majority of immigrants in Norway.  Their population is now over 11% immigrant, legal but that does not include illegals there. source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24island.html?_r=1&ref=andersbehringbreivik

The police have identified the suspect as Anders Behring Breivik, who in his writings has portrayed himself as a modern knight, charged with driving out Islam and immigrants and the political correctness that he said had been wrongly invited into Norway and was thriving there.

The campers at Utoya appeared to be the embodiment of his hatred.

Organized by the youth wing of the ruling Labor Party, the camp has become a kind of multicultural incubator in recent years. Many of the victims in Friday’s shooting were the children of immigrants from Africa and Asia who have begun to stake out a greater role for themselves in Norwegian society.

Khamshajiny Gunaratnam, 23, a camp member, was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Norway when she was 3. She is dark-skinned, wears a nose stud and speaks both Norwegian and English in seemingly native accents.

During the official service for the camp kids it was clear when they were called “the country’s future leaders.”  Where did that come from? How did they know they were leaders?  It must have been more political than we have been told.  To be called terrorism an act has to be politically motivated (I don’t agree completely) but by definition then this guy was a terrorist, forget the domestic part.  I call it also genocidal when a lot of people are targeted and not just buildings. 

Here’s what Anders was writing 1500 pages worth manifesto:  http://www.kevinislaughter.com/…

The Nazi part is okay in part because he was preaching an end to the blond, white, Christian Norwegian and hello to the brown, from the south Paki or Muslim who is not Christian and not blond and not a WASP.  Mexicans are taking over America as Muslims take over Europe an interesting parallel.  The news is calling this Nowegian bomber and shooter a Neo-Nazi.  He is conservative and Christian.  It seems he went looking for the other and found it in the form of kids who did not look blond and Norwegian like himself.  They were at some sort of camp.  The building he bombed was political in nature.  I don’t know why they call these people domestic terrrorists….they are terrorists plain and simple. 

What he did there could be done here or anywhere and it has been.  I do object to the wording of domestic and then calling this kid a New Nazi.  How do they know? Just because he wanted to kill up some people who did not look or think like him?  I think this nazism stuff has to stop.  I study the Holocaust, the Jews, and the Nazis and Hitler and I don’t see the parallel except that it’s genocide and that’s enough really.  Genocide can be particular or it can be specific but it’s still genocide.  Hitler did not invent it nor did the Nazis and they need to just call it what it is genocidal terrorism.  Now, if a comment or whatever is specifically targets against Jewish people or Arab people, both semitic, then it is all of a sudden Nazism? I don’t think so.  If the group are calling themselves some type of Nazi group that’s different.  However they must put the qualifier “neo” before it because it is a new form of Nazism.  But again I don’t think so but that’s just my opinion. 

Breivik has been reported in the Norwegian press to be a regular commenter on anti-immigrant websites like document.no, where Bruce Bawer is regarded as a godlike figure standing against the Muslim tide. Breivik is an acolyte of Bawer’s. It is inconceivable that they haven’t run across each other, even if it’s just Breivik commenting on Bawer’s posts.

Bawer has been published in The Stranger recently as well, in the “gay issue”, and has in the past spewed his anti-Muslim hate there as well; and last week he had a stint as guest blogger on Andrew Sullivan, repeating his three or four kernels of “proof” that Muslims have destroyed Europe and are about 3/4 of the way done here as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan Savage has met him; he’s quite the figure of gay-blogger royalty, despite his cretinous and murder-inspiring views.