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Behind the Aegis

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
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At Dutch COVID protest, men dressed as Nazis make mock arrest of participant wearing yellow star

Several men dressed like Nazis were seen pretending to arrest a man wearing a yellow star as part of a rally against COVID-19 measures in the Netherlands.

Saturday’s incident in Urk, near Amsterdam, was the latest among the hundreds of rallies worldwide in which protesters have drawn what they regard as parallels between the persecution of Jews by Nazis to rules meant to curb the spread of the virus.

But the protest in Urk was unusual because of its theatrics and the fact that it happened where the Nazis actually rounded up Jews at gunpoint.

The 10 men involved in the incident apologized for their actions in writing in a statement obtained by the “Hart van Nederland” television program.

“We wish to express out sincere apologies,” the statement read, adding that the protest “crossed a line that it should have not crossed.” The protesters said they did not mean to offend Jews.


How fucking charming! You know, a country with a history of liquidating its Jews really shouldn't do shit like this!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 04:46 PM (7 replies)

Jewish social services groups kick into high gear as Afghan refugees begin to arrive in US

Jewish communities around the world are reactivating their refugee-support networks as they prepare to help resettle Afghans who have fled the Taliban takeover of their country.

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Afghans have been airlifted from Kabul after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan with the U.S. exit from the country after 20 years. Many will spend time in another country while they wait to be admitted to the United States, but some are already arriving – and needing support as they adapt to a sudden relocation and a new country.

The importance of welcoming strangers is so deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and experience that immigration issues have long enjoyed a bipartisan consensus in Jewish communities even amid deep polarization on other topics. Many cities have social services agencies that began to support Jewish immigrants and now work with new arrivals of all backgrounds, often coordinating with HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, to identify refugees and meet their needs.

Those agencies — and the Jewish communities that support them — are now scrambling to prepare for a wave of new arrivals as the United States wages an around-the-clock effort to remove as many people as possible who supported the U.S. military mission in advance of an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Aug 25, 2021, 04:29 PM (6 replies)

After 15 years, my beloved Voodoo has left me. (long story and more than a few pics)

Voodoo is gone.

(If you need to, skip to the section called “Memories” and share in our happiness. The first section is the recounting of the torturous last three weeks.)

The last three weeks have been Hell! Voodoo got sick in mid-July. We figured it was an upset stomach or some such; it wasn’t. He stopped eating and became lethargic. We took him to the vet immediately, but after a week of no improvement, and three vets unable to figure out the cause, and a bad blood work test, we took him to the animal hospital in Tulsa the last Wednesday of July. It appeared his kidneys were in failure, but that wasn’t an absolute. When Friday came, two days in the hospital, we got the call to come immediately to Tulsa. We arrived a little over an hour later, and were handed a rag doll. Voodoo was in really bad shape. The decision was made to put in a nasogastric tube as well as a blood transfusion. On the long hour drive home, we were called and told he took the tube well and they would start feeding in a few hours. Later that evening, we got an update saying he was responding well.

My husband and I drove to Tulsa again, on Saturday, and it was like night and day! Voodoo was alert, but still weak. By Sunday, he was even better and trying to stand on his own. He even nuzzled us both! He hadn’t done that in over a week. I called twice a day for updates and all his blood work was coming back improved. He was rebounding! Then came the Tuesday update.
We were speaking with the doctor and he said Voodoo was walking funny, and showing possible signs of neurological issues. We were taken aback, because we didn’t know he was walking on his own! We knew he would be monitored, but figured, after almost 9 days with little food, he was probably just weak. That evening came the next update that he might have had a mini seizure. The decision was made to up some meds and change a few others. It was 10PM.

Tuesday moved to Wednesday, August 4th, and at 3:30am, the animal hospital called; Voodoo had had a major seizure. The doctor decided to take aggressive measures with medications, but I was told we needed to come see him later that day. 4:45am, I had crawled into bed; the phone rang. Voodoo had several more seizures, and was seizing periodically. We needed to come to the hospital, now. I woke my husband, and within an hour and a half, we were back in Tulsa. We were led to a waiting room with a blanket, a Kleenex box, lowered lights and a candle burning. I broke down in tears.

After the paperwork was sorted -- why, even at a time like that, is there always fucking paperwork that has to be done?! -- Voodoo was brought in to us. By this point, I was sobbing. My husband, who rarely cries, was in tears. He had several more seizures and started vocalizing in a way we had never heard. My husband held him like a baby, and he drifted off to sleep. We summoned the doctor, and at 6:49am, Wednesday August 4th, 2021, in the arms of my husband, and my hand and lips on his head, Voodoo left us. We held him for a bit longer…and then more paperwork. FUCKING PAPERWORK!

We cried on the long drive home, but laughed too. As sad as we were, and still are, there were 15 and half years of memories! So, I am going to wrap up this memorial post with a few of those memories, so any tears being shed won’t just be of sadness, but of joy and laughter, as well.


Born on January 13, 2006, sharing a birthday with one of my brothers, Voodoo came into our lives two months later in March. We were preparing to move to New Orleans (NOLA), so we gave him a name associated with NOLA…Voodoo! And so began fifteen and half years of love. He was just a bit bigger than a beer can when we got him. The funny thing is my husband didn’t like “little” dogs; we were at the store to get a Rottweiler. He thought Voodoo was a baby Rottie until we were corrected, but by that time, Voodoo was already in our hearts. Our cat, Tony, who passed a few years ago, was not impressed! I wanted to make sure Voodoo could sleep on his own, so I told my husband, he had to stay in his cage at night…that lasted THREE whole days! I was in my office late one night and no longer heard Voodoo crying, so I figured he was settling in; I was wrong! My husband snuck into the living room, took him out of his cage and took him to bed, where I found them both, asleep, Voodoo tucked in the nape of my husband’s neck. Voodoo rarely slept in a cage again.

In April of that year, we moved to a still recovering New Orleans. We had to find a house first, so we drove down there, Voodoo in toe. The hotel where we were going to stay expected a pet deposit. OK. So, I was standing at the front desk, Voodoo tucked into my arm, and the manager asks to see our dog. I was confused. I asked if I needed to hand Voodoo to him. He said “No, I just need to see him.” I looked down at my arms and Voodoo twitched. The manager exclaimed, “Wait?! That is a real dog?! Yeah, I am not gonna charge you a pet fee!” See, he thought Voodoo was a stuffed animal because he was so small. The next day, at the Easter Day parade, Voodoo attracted many onlookers, got several beads (we didn’t get jack!) and a toy bunny, which was his favorite until he “killed” it about a year later by ripping out all the stuffing.

The house where we lived for five years was just outside the French Quarter, so we often took Voodoo to The Quarter for walks and outings. He was a great conversation starter. We met many people that way, some became our friends. We spent obscene amounts of money buying his toys, clothes, and pretty much anything that would spoil him, including one plush toy, that looked like a wrapped gift. He liked to hump it, and thus was born, “Sex Bomb”! He also liked hanging out at the front door, peeking through the curtain, waiting for my husband to come home from work. At that age, he also had the annoying habit of dragging our underwear out of the hamper and dragging it to the front door to make a nest! Let’s say there were more than a few times we didn’t spot the “nest” before a houseguest did!

While in New Orleans, we got the sisters, also chihuahuas, Laveau and Marigny. They all palled around for a bit, but usually just did their own things. Voodoo was very attached to both me and my husband and there was never any jealousy in regards to who he “preferred”.

We moved back to Oklahoma in 2011, and he was eventually joined by another chihuahua, Zatanna. Everyone just did their own thing and would run about, racing up and down the stairs, and all over our very big backyard. When the movers brought in our furniture, Voodoo, remember he is now slightly larger than two cans of soda/beer, bowed his front legs in and “woofed” at the movers. They were so shocked at the sound coming out of this tiny little creature, they all stopped and one said, “Is he for real?!” Here was this tiny dog, acting like a big dog, letting them know, in no uncertain terms, this was HIS house!

Over the years, Voodoo has travelled with us all over the States, including fleeing a hurricane with us. All of my family loved him. He wasn’t a “typical” chihuahua in that he usually didn’t tremble, unless there was a thunderstorm or fireworks, he wasn’t “yippie”, and he wasn’t aggressive, unless you were in the house and he usually just made sure you knew whose house it was. He was also the ring-bearer for us when my husband and I were finally allowed to legally marry. The girls were maids of honor.

We were together for fifteen years. There have been lots of laughs, lots of cuddles, lots of “zoom zooms”, and lots of playing, and now, there is a void. But, I am thankful for the time I had and I will miss him greatly. Here are some pictures of BooBoo, BooBoomeister, the Mighty Voodoo, our little man…Voodoo.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Aug 5, 2021, 04:58 PM (79 replies)

New report finds little progress in online platforms' efforts to combat hate

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube have made few significant changes to address hate, racism, and misinformation on their platforms, according to a new report by the Stop Hate for Profit coalition of businesses, civil rights and other groups.

Released Thursday, the report found that Facebook made the least progress out of the five platforms studied by the group — which also included Reddit. It also found that TikTok’s most serious weakness was its handling of antisemitism.

“Despite the events of the past year presenting grave threats to our democratic institutions and to the safety of marginalized communities, and despite the clear evidence of how widely hate and incitement are spread online, no platform has enacted the large structural changes needed to address the consequential issues raised by Stop Hate for Profit,” the report read.

The coalition color coded its evaluation of the platforms, with “green” awarded for “many significant changes.” None of the platforms received a green seal. TikTok and Reddit were credited with doing the most to fight against hate, earning a yellow seal for enacting “many significant changes.” Both are smaller platforms than Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook received the worst rating of the groups, a red seal signifying “incremental changes.”


Not surprising, but interesting nonetheless.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jul 24, 2021, 02:34 PM (0 replies)

(Jewish Group) Former Congresswoman Tweets Bizarre Image Stating That 'Zionists' Did 9/11

For 12 years Democrat Cynthia McKinney represented Georgians in the U.S. House of Representatives, but on Monday she represented some of the worst the internet has to offer. McKinney tweeted an image of the Twin Towers ablaze as if part of a jigsaw puzzle. McKinney wrote, “The Final Piece of the Puzzle…” The text on the image says, “Zionists did it.”


The tweet repeats a favorite claim of some 9/11 conspiracists, who believe Israel perpetrated the attacks to lure the U.S. into a Middle Eastern war and destroy rival countries. A corollary to this theory stated that no Jews died during the 9/11 attacks because those who worked in the towers had foreknowledge. This is also wrong.

McKinney has a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Last year, she misrepresented the contents of the article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which referred to a database that identified 4.8 million victims by name, while the rest “have yet to be discovered, and may never be known.” But that’s not how McKinney described the data.



One of the BEST responses?


And in honor of Mel's birthday...

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 29, 2021, 12:25 AM (1 replies)

(Jewish Group) We're here, we're queer, we're Yiddish: LGBTQ stories, and silences, in the Forward

We’re here, we’re queer, we’re Yiddish: LGBTQ stories, and silences, in the Forward archives

It’s traditional for the gay community to gather for brunch before a Pride march during Pride month, or nachas khoydesh in Yiddish.

Today, we propose instead a forshpayz, an appetizer-sized portion of queer archival Forverts history — rare treasures celebrating LGBTQ dignity, visibility and equality: our first archival Pride march back in time.

For me, it’s a march that’s deeply meaningful — and also fraught.

As a young Jewish lesbian, I came out in the 1980s to the beat of the second National March on DC for LGBTQ rights, and the massive NAMES project quilt celebrating the lives of those lost to the AIDS pandemic. I lived on San Francisco’s gayest Castro Street, in a communal apartment above the Castro Street Station, one of many popular gay bars that were community gathering spots, especially on Friday nights.

I fell asleep to the bar’s throbbing disco beat below my futon, my head beneath a Jewish poster about AIDS that spoke of vast complicit silences and histories lost to shame. “Who will say kaddish for me?” it asked, referring to those dying of AIDS who were refused Jewish pastoral care on even the most basic level.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jun 28, 2021, 04:22 PM (0 replies)

For Mel Brooks' 95th birthday, 4 ways he changed the world

From one Brooks, how many rivers flow?

There’s a bit of trivia about the filmmaker, who turns 95 on Monday, that I often turn over in my head.

On an episode of Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” Carl Reiner said that the two funniest people he knew were Brooks and a 16-year-old kid named Albert Einstein. Einstein, whose parents, of course, were comedians, later changed his last name to Brooks and became an accomplished director and writer in his own right. Whether or not it was a tribute, Albert Brooks and all comedic filmmakers — including a quite different Brooks, James L. — are toiling in the erstwhile Melvin Kaminsky’s shadow.

It’s hard to overstate Mel Brooks’ sphere of influence, felt in every genre spoof, contemporary ribbing of National Socialism and out-of-left-field musical extravaganza. It’s just as difficult to ignore how poorly some of the material has aged, particularly during Pride Month. But that’s the rub for a career of such long duration. As we approach a century of Brooks — still a far cry from 2,000 years — here are just some of the surprising ways his work keeps on giving.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jun 28, 2021, 04:16 PM (15 replies)

Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse Pride march in Istanbul

ISTANBUL, June 26 (Reuters) - Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd that gathered for a Pride parade in central Istanbul on Saturday, detaining some of those seeking to take part in an event banned by local authorities.

Reuters TV video showed police in riot gear pushing and dragging people, some waving rainbow flags as they assembled for the event in a side street off the city's central Istiklal Avenue.

Some 20 people, including a photo journalist, were detained, according to media reports.

Turkish authorities have repeatedly banned Pride events in recent years. Before then, thousands of people used to take part in the parade on the Istanbul street.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jun 26, 2021, 08:40 PM (2 replies)

(Jewish Group) Antisemitism: How to respond if you're the victim or a witness

While a tenuous ceasefire between Israel and Gaza seems to be holding despite tit-for-tat violence last Wednesday, American Jews are still reeling from a reported surge in antisemitism following the conflict in the Middle East. Incidents include a window at a kosher pizzeria in Manhattan shattered with a brick, a synagogue door in Utah vandalized with a swastika and bottles thrown at Jewish diners in Los Angeles.

An Anti-Defamation League survey released this month found that about 40% of American Jews are “more concerned about their personal safety” in the wake of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians and highly visible and sometimes dramatic antisemitic attacks.

“The antisemitic attacks we’ve witnessed in the streets and on social media in the past few weeks are weighing heavily on the American Jewish community,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, in a statement when the report was released.

Experts agree that reporting incidents to the police is important for holding perpetrators accountable and tracking patterns in behavior. But while it can be difficult to know how to respond in the moment, there are best practices for de-escalating a situation, supporting a victim and dealing with the emotional costs of antisemitism. The Forward asked experts to advise readers on some productive and healthy ways to respond.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:36 PM (0 replies)

Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination

Democratic senators introduced a resolution Friday that would acknowledge and apologize for the mistreatment and discrimination against LGBT individuals in the U.S. military, armed forces and government posts.

The resolution, lead by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who is an openly gay member of the Senate, and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), "acknowledges and apologizes for the mistreatment of and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LBGT) individuals who have served our nation as civil servants or members of the Armed Forces and Foreign Service."

The resolution also reestablishes a commitment by the U.S. government to "military service members, veterans, foreign service employees, federal civil service employees, and contractors with equal respect and fairness, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

The lawmakers' resolution comes in the middle of June, a month set aside to celebrate LGBT pride and activism.

The senators' resolution notes that dating back to the 1940s, discrimination against the LGBT community was part of military policy.


6 The Senate—
7 (1) acknowledges and condemns the discrimination against, wrongful termination of, and
8 exclusion from the Federal civil service, the Foreign Service, and the Armed Forces of the
9 thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (referred to in this section as “LGBT”)
10 individuals who were affected by the anti-LGBT policies of the Federal Government;
11 (2) on behalf of the United States, apologizes to—
12 (A) the affected LGBT military service members, Foreign Service members,
13 veterans, and Federal civil service employees; and
14 (B) the families of those service members, veterans, and Federal civil service
15 employees; and
16 (3) reaffirms the commitment of the Federal Government to treat all military service
17 members, Foreign Service members, veterans, and Federal civil service employees and
18 retirees, including LGBT individuals, with equal respect and fairness.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jun 18, 2021, 01:48 PM (0 replies)
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