Holocaust Denial

Looks like this is an excellent movie you might look forward to seeing:

And here is a snippet of the real Professor Deborah Lipstadt upon whose experiences, in part, the story the movie is based.


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How Does An Accident Like This Happen?

This morning’s Hoboken, NJ train crash into the terminal at high speed.  First thoughts sadly these days are terrorism, mindful of The French Connection.  Except this was no Hollywood story of Gene Hackman racing the clock to prevent a runaway hijacked subway car from crashing into its terminal in Paris.

This morning it was the real thing.  Of course, it may have nothing to do with terrorism and simply be operator error.  The motorman in the front car asleep at the wheel, perhaps drug induced, sleep deprived, heart attack, or some other explanation.  Over a hundred injured, and with fatalities still being sorted out as a result of slamming through the terminal’s retaining wall.

In this day and age of impending driverless cars, how could there not be an automatic override switch? A train approach it’s terminal at excessive speeds beyond a certain part has to have the brakes remotely applied to negate operator error or terror.

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August Landmesser, Rassenschande, and the Courage to say No.

Rassenschande.  Almost sounds like “rise and shine” though in the German language it means quite the contrary.  You know what “schande” means — a shame or embarrassment.  Rassenschande had a specific connotation in Nazi Germany as part of the Nuremberg Laws, translated as racial shame stemming from the “crime” of an Aryan having sexual relations with a non-Aryan.  This was the crime of August Landmesser, a German who sought to marry Irma Eckler – Jewish enough under Nazi guidelines even though her mother wasn’t Jewish.

I was reminded of Landmesser’s story by an article from Aeon in my inbox this morning.  His famous act of defiance to mob mentality has been posterized, and made the internet rounds.


It took a great toll on him, and on his family – as previously chronicled in Mental_Floss.  And as one blogger wondered aloud, how many among us would be part of the crowd with outstretched arms today, as opposed to a Landmesser with folded arms in defiance?

Though not addressed in the Aeon piece, I found myself thinking about Colin Kaepernick.  Initially I felt it inappropriate that Kaepernick would use a public display to protest during the national anthem, and the fact that it signifies the flag as symbolic of the land of the free and the home of the brave.


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels during the national anthem before the team’s NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

And then I found myself reflecting on how much Kaepernick’s action differed from Landmesser’s.  Is it mostly a matter of perception?  Or something deeper …


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The Lester of the Evils


Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool – RTSPKD5

See that little man in the center of the screen?  That’s Lester Holt who had no clue how to moderate a debate, largely sitting quietly by as The Donald ran roughshod over any attempt to get him to respect the clock.  The Donald did something amazing tonight – for the first time in Presidential Debate history, he invoked the name of Howard Stern (as support for his claim that he was not supportive of the War in Iraq).  I have a simple question to pose to NBC:  Why wasn’t Lester given a cutoff switch, so when he said he was giving either candidate 20 seconds to finish their “rebuttal”, he could actually enforce it?  Instead The Donald ran roughshod over Lester’s feeble attempts to impose any real time or subject constraints,  turning Lester’s best efforts into a journalistic embarrassment of epic proportions.


“Trust me”.  “It’s a beautiful thing.” “It’s a disaster.”   “It’s unbelievable.”  “Believe me …” (The top five Trumpisms.)  And as The Donald was trampling the clock, Hillary had this inexplicable smile plastered on her face – as if her advisors were in her ear with reminders to appear more warm and friendly.

You’d learn alot more about the candidates, and with alot more substance than by watching these prime time fiascos, by reading Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Maureen Dowd’s marvelous book, The Year Of Voting Dangerously.  Believe me.



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A Cascade of Events

“You’d think it would happen in Everett or Seattle, but a small town of Burlington, I’d never dream something like this would happen.”  A representative quote from a report after 20 year-old Arcan Cetin was arrested for (allegedly) gunning down five people at random in the Cascade Mall in Burlington, WA.  Nor is it just The Wild West.


Two weekends ago on the East Coast, pipe bombs were detonated in Seaside Heights, NJ, prompting this reaction: “This is scary. This is an area where this doesn’t happen. It’s a safe area, it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around it,” said Linda Ulak of Brick.  And then Ahmad Khan Rahami surfaces as the link between the Seaside bombs and the subsequent detonations in the Chelsea area of downtown Manhattan.


Some very disgruntled people are on the loose, and the public is being asked to stay vigilant about people or things that look out of place (without “profiling” of course) while law enforcement officials work on connecting the dots.  It appears these days that truth is deadlier than fiction, and though our way of life may not be altered, life itself may be.


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Philadelphia, Wentzylvania

Good one, Dan (P).  The City of Brotherly Love is going gaga for the start of the season that QB Carson Wentz is having for the Eagles.  Three consecutive games with no turnovers and an impressive presence in the pocket.  Cheesesteaktees.com is doing a brisk business:







Aside from Wentz, Wendell Smallwood played large today at running back with some key yardage on the ground that enabled Wentz to repeatedly penetrate the Steel Curtain.


Jim Schwartz’s Eagles’ defense was really dialed in today, easily toppling Big Ben and giving Schwartzie plenty of reasons to look smug on the sidelines.


Aside from the pressure they kept on Roethlisberger, the Eagles defensive backs played well, perhaps none better than Nolan “Look What I Found” Carroll with a huge end zone interception of a sure TD pass.





So there you have it, the new face of the Eagles as they head into their bye week:



As the post-game crew sings the praises of the Eagles who whupped the normally competitive Steelers in every phase of the game.


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Near Epic Collapse/Comeback

Entering tonight’s game at Citi Field the Philadelphia Phillies had never blown a 10 run lead in their one-hundred and thirty-three year history, and the New York Mets had never overcome a deficit of 10 runs (in their fifty-four year history).  The Phillies, going nowhere last year, this year, and for who knows how many years to come, were hoping to be spoilers as the Mets clung to their wild card chance for the playoffs. But after the Phils built a 10-0 lead in the 5th inning, the two teams did their best to arrange a monumental Phils’ collapse and Mets comeback.


Aided by four unearned runs attributed to errors by Galvis & Franco, and 5 whiffs by Roman Quinn (who stranded 8 batters all by himself) the Mets battled back to 10-8 in the bottom of the 9th inning with the winning run at the plate and only one out.  Pitching coach Bob McClure trotted out to chat with Michael Mariot, deciding that it would be his game to save or lose with ex-closer Jeanmar Gomez warming up in the bullpen (presumably ready as a warm body if the game went into extra innings).


SNY TV announcer Gary Cohen mused aloud: “I wonder what Phillies fans watching this game are thinking?”  To which sidekick Keith Hernandez quipped: “They’re waiting for the Eagles game.”

Mariot induced Travis d’Arnaud to bounce back to the mound, and his flip to Tommy Joseph spared these Phillies the ignominy of the worst single game collapse in their history. E-A-G-L-E-S … Eagles!


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