Today in Domestic Terrorism and Stochastic Violence

This week the weekly phone in bomb threat to multiple Jewish Community Centers and synagogues came a day early. Instead of Tuesday, the preferred day for the last several week’s worth of calls, the caller moved it to Monday. Perhaps to capture the festive spirit of Presidents’ Day.

WHITEFISH BAY — Officials with the Village of Whitefish Bay say a bomb threat was called into the Jewish Community Center at 10:08 a.m. on Monday, February 20th.

The Jewish Community Center posted on its Facebook page, Twitter account and its website that the facility was “safely evacuated.”

A limited number of students were at the center because of the holiday. Other guests who were on site using the gym and pool facilities were also evacuated.

Police say the center was cleared by bomb sniffing dogs. The “all clear” was issued around 12:30 p.m. — after the sweep of the building.

This appears to be one of several threats made to Jewish community centers around the country on Monday.

There was also a threat called into the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, AL.

The Levite Jewish Community Center was briefly evacuated Monday morning after receiving a bomb threat. Many parents picked their children up from the child care facility.

Authorities have given the all-clear now, and staff and students are now back in the building.

A Birmingham police officer said there have been several of these threats across the U.S. today.

The JCC has received bomb threats before, including one in mid-January.

The FBI has been investigating threats to Jewish centers in Alabama and several other states.

Both the Whitefish Bay and Birmingham JCCs received similar phoned in threats in January.

Here’s what I think the security issues are going forward:

1) We’ve got some knucklehead who gets his gratification calling these in and seeing the news coverage. He may or may not be a hard core anti-Semite, but he’s basically in it for ego gratification. And based on decades of criminological research into deviance, delinquency, and offending, it is highly likely it is a he. So step up your game ladies! He may or may not even be in the US, given VOIP technology. And he may never intend to do anything but make these calls.

2) Or he intends to eventually escalate. Specifically after he feels that he has made enough of these, or other copycats have, to create a sense of complacency for the folks at the JCCs and synagogues. Basically emergency alert fatigue. At that point he actually plants a bomb at one of these locations because he figures he’s got a reasonable expectation of casualties because the threats have become commonplace and are no longer being taken seriously.

3) Or, even worse, he never originally intended to escalate, but because the threats have become commonplace the coverage drops way off. He doesn’t get his gratification and as a result escalates in order to get his rush. Basic addictive behavior pattern. Also, serial criminal pattern.

4) Or, also even worse, he never intends to escalate beyond calling in the threats, but someone else who does want to do real, physical damage to property and harm to people does. This individual or individuals waits until the coverage begins to drop off because the calls are every week or every other week like clockwork and the local news decides it needs to cover something more important. And then this person that wants to cause real harm and actually hurt people decides its time to strike because complacency has set in and some synagogue or JCC isn’t going to take the threat as seriously.

And I fully expect that this pattern will at some point be fully extended to mosques and Hispanic and Asian churches, as well as Sikh temples. I know that the Hispanic and Asian churches in my area have seen an increase in both vandalism and threats, just as the synagogues and mosques have, because they are viewed as immigrant places (of worship) and therefore acceptable targets despite being churches.

Updated at 6:15 PM EST

Thanks to commenter Timurid, this also happened today:

I cannot emphasize enough just how bad this is. Not the property damage, in and of itself that’s bad, but because ground that has been the site of violence cannot be sanctified/re-sanctified. Provided that this is just cosmetic damage to the headstones – defacing, being knocked over, etc – there should be no problem. But if the graves themselves have been desecrated, then it will require reburials and the spaces will never be able to be reused as Judaism prohibits reusing a grave. This means that if someone has to be reburied in another plot, then the final resting place and marker/memorial will either be aware from the remainder of their relations graves or everyone will have to be relocated. This is not only traumatic for the living, but becomes prohibitively expensive to deal with.

163 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    🚸 Martin says:

    Reposting from below:

    The northern California rain/flooding problem in one image.

    This is the ‘atmospheric river’ flowing into northern California. What the image shows:

    1) Think of California generally as having two mountain ranges – the coastal ranges which goes up along the coast, and is of varying height, but generally pretty low (think Appalachians) and the inland ranges (Sierra Nevada, etc.) that go up along the eastern/central side of the state. The inland range is tall – up to 14,000 feet. Think Rocky Mountains. Between these is the Central Valley which extends about 450 miles – pretty far south to a bit below Bakersfield.
    2) There’s a notable gap in the coastal range where San Francisco is and feeds into a low-lying area (the Sacramento San-Juaquin River Delta). Parts of this region which extends inland almost 100 miles are below sea level and have an extensive series of deltas. It’s like a small version of Louisiana but is inhabited more like the Netherlands. This is pretty much all agriculture and fisheries.
    3) The worst part of the storm system comes in over the south bay – San Francisco to Monterey, centered roughly over San Jose. Low coastal range here. Storms into California are low – they come off the cool Pacific (currents here come down from Alaska, unlike the East coast where they move up from the Gulf) and don’t usually have a ton of height. They roll over the coastal range and into the central valley.
    4) Where you see the ‘T’ shape form, that’s the low storm that has cleared the coastal ranges (or gone between them near SF) hitting the tall Sierra Nevadas, and not able to get over it. The weather then spreads out north and south. Some will go over, but the heavy rain clouds can’t – they need to drop a lot of their moisture before they can lift over, so they pile up against the mountains and dump water until they’re dryer and more buoyant. You can see a bit of that in the green band extending to the south before the coast – some of the clouds can’t make it over even the coastal range and they push southward a bit until they dry out and can get over. On the top of the ‘T’ you see blue where the clouds push up high enough to turn to snow. Cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, so as the clouds push upward, they drop more and more moisture.
    5) The Central Valley exists as an agricultural region because of this dynamic. Water is dumped on both the leading and trailing ranges, washing downward and carrying sediment with it. The valley collects all of that slowly over time leaving a nice relatively flat, rich farmland. The water dives below this region and forms an aquifer below it (which we are depleting too rapidly). That aquifer actually helps to hold the ground up above it. Places where we’ve depleted the aquifer too much have subsided – up to 30′ in places. We collect water in dozens of reservoirs in that region and move it downhill to the California Aqueduct which distributes it through the central valley until it’s pumped over the mountains north of Los Angeles and into SoCal for LA drinking water. The place would look more like a lake if it didn’t stretch roughly from New York to Cleveland. The system of dams in the north is a water/power ladder. Lots of reservoirs with power plants lead into other reservoirs with power plants into yet other reservoirs with power plants.

    There’s only one natural outflow for all of that water, and that’s through the Delta. Everything else is man-made – dams, canals, aqueducts, pumps, and so on. That man-made system was pretty much at or above it’s limit before that storm even hit. Enough concentrated water in that part of the state threatens to completely overwhelm the entire man-made water system everywhere. One challenge of the delta is that you have sea water on the west and freshwater on the east. So long as enough water is flowing in, the estuary – the part where salt/fresh water mix is more to the west, closer toward San Francisco. During drought, it encroaches on the freshwater fisheries and farmland where it threatens farmers, moving closer to Sacramento. Much of the water battle in California is really wrapped up in controlling that line, and how much water can be rediverted south for other uses. But during floods, it can be equally bad because the levee/canal system manages all of this. If the levees fail, then fresh/salt water gets mixed together and salt water can work its way far inland when uncontrolled.

    A similar set of conditions in 1861 flooded most of the valley. It was bad enough to force California into bankruptcy as ¼ of the economy was destroyed. An inland lake 300 miles long and 20 miles wide formed – roughly the size of Connecticut in acreage. Nearly a million cattle drowned, and around 1% of the state population died due to the floods. We have a lot more control over things now than we did then, so presumably we would need to go quite a bit past this point to see anything on that scale, but where there were maybe 200,000 people living in valley back then, there’s 6.5 million now, and the whole country depends on that region for food. We grow half the nations fruit and vegetables.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    At least the weather was nicer.

    Local news reported a swastika painted on the dumpster of the Y where I work out. Not sure what to make of that.

  4. 4
    🚸 Martin says:

    What an atmospheric river looks like from space. That extends all the way to Hawaii. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence it looks a little bit like a mushroom cloud over NorCal.

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    JPL says:

    Headstones at a Jewish Cemetery in Missouri were damaged today..

  6. 6
    ByRookorbyCrook says:

    The piggyback/copycat scenario is terrifying to me. After 9/11, we had a spate of bomb threats to the school district I was working at. The teen calling them in was from a neighboring district enjoying the spectacle. During the investigation, the police uncovered a plot to place explosive devices at the safe locations students were moved too, from kids within the district. The opportunity to learn and adapt to make a bad situation worse never fails to terrify.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: Hadn’t seen that, I’ll add an update. This is very, very bad.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve put an update up top to incorporate Timurid’s information and provide an explainer as to why this is bad.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You’ll recall the scene from “Schindler’s List” where the headstones from Jewish cemeteries were used as paving stones at Amon Goeth’s camp.

  10. 10
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    but, but…. Oligarchy!

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    JPL says:

    @Timurid: I didn’t click on your link, before adding my own. That should not happen here or anywhere. Hopefully 24/7 cable news reports on that, because it is not right.

  13. 13
    ThresherK says:

    I’ve been watching the mainstream media all weekend.

    Why is Trump the only public figure willing to tell the truth about the violence in Stochastica?

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    Thank God Trump is the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen.

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    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Baud: I thought it was a big mistake for Clinton to put Joan Collins on the tickety.

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    Hitless says:

    I thought fascists were supposed to be tough guys. These jackasses bully the dead. Sad.

  17. 17
    frosty says:

    @🚸 Martin:
    a) Holy shit! What an image.
    B) Thanks for the updates on this, Oroville, etc.

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    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Baud: if he had any friends, some of his best friends would be Jewish

    moreover, if she wasn’t his daughter…..

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🚸 Martin: Thanks for this. I knew some of it, it flows logically from the geography of California, but the additional detail is both fascinating and sobering. I know you guys are getting what we up here in Oregon normally get…and you’re just not used to it at all.

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    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Not to worry – I’m sure Romney fly to St Louis and conduct some posthumous baptisms

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🚸 Martin: Pineapple Express, right there.

  22. 22
    🚸 Martin says:

    General Kelly has an odd way of pushing back against Trump.

    Buried deep in the Trump Administration’s plans to round up undocumented immigrants is a provision certain to enrage Mexico — new authority for federal agents to deport anyone caught crossing the southern border to Mexico, regardless of where they are from.

    If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico. Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum.

    President Trump wants them to do so from Mexico, communicating via videoconference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities that Mexico would presumably be forced to build.

    The new authority for immigration agents is among the dramatic, some would say untenable, tactics the Trump Administration is preparing to deploy as it upends President Obama’s policies on illegal immigration.

    A pair of memos signed by John Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, and disclosed over the weekend by McClatchy outline the plans for what present and former government officials say will be a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants.

    Just so everyone is clear, California sees quite a lot of Chinese immigration across the Mexico border. This plan would result in the US deporting them to Mexico. Mexico could adopt the same policy, and simply deport them back to the US. And presumably this will save money.

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    Gelfling 545 says:

    Locally there were 2 threats: one in Buffalo & one in Amherst. This kind of thing has been pretty much unheard of here before.

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    🚸 Martin says:

    And another nice detail from the above story:

    The Trump administration says it, too, is focused on deporting criminals, but it has redefined crimes to include any activity that might bring a conviction, including entering the U.S. without permission. Effectively, that makes virtually everyone in the U.S. without a proper visa subject to roundup at their workplace or home.

    We’re focusing on criminals, but to simplify things, we’ve redefined ‘criminal’ to mean ‘everyone’.

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    SFBayAreaGal says:

    Pineapple express has hit where I live.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Plea to front pagers: Don’t bigfoot Adam for a couple of hours. This shit is important.

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    japa21 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Totally agree. And with this latest news on the deportation front, we are seeing a powder keg being lit right in front of our eyes. There will be blood.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have a post schedule for 10 PM EST. Is that okay.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🚸 Martin: Except undocumented entry is a Federal felony with no specified punishment other than being subject to deportation.

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    Elmo says:

    @🚸 Martin: That was beautifully done. Thank you.

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    japa21 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: 3 hours is more than a couple, so you’re good.

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    @Adam L Silverman: Overstaying your visa is a civil offense not a criminal one.

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    @🚸 Martin: Thank you, this bullshit fangirling of all these generals in JC’s thread was getting a bit much for me.

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    japa21 says:

    I would estimate that for every 5 undocumented that get deported, one documented will also be included. None of them will be European.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yep and if I’m recalling correctly overstaying your visa doesn’t have any specified penalty at all.

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    EBT says:

    Punching Nazis is too good. We should start hanging them.

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    HRA says:

    This has to be either very organized or copy cat events.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That should be fine with me. I’ll be in the Ops Center if circumstances require a schedule change.

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    I would estimate that for every 5 undocumented that get deported, one documented will also be included.

    Omelette, eggs. Of course it’s a lot easier to take that view when you don’t know any chickens.

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    Davebo says:

    @schrodingers_cat: @Adam L Silverman:

    Whether you overstay your visa or sneak across the border if caught, and you seek to avoid deportation, your case is heard in the EOIR immigration court system which is civil.

    Improper entry is a misdemeanor.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @japa21: I would not be surprised if the Geheimne ICE acts to deport US Citizens who have the wrong skin tone/surname.

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    @Davebo: That’s what I thought too, but I am not a lawyer and wasn’t sure. Thanks for the clarification.

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    dr. bloor says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Since you’ve made your feelings known repeatedly, perhaps a break from the computer is in order?

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    @dr. bloor: Have you been appointed the tone police for the thread?

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    Kathleen says:

    The Jewish Community Center in Cincinnati, which houses a day care, received a bomb threat a couple of weeks ago and a swastika was painted at Hebrew Union College about a month ago.

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    dr. bloor says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No, just pointing out that your comments–or, comment, actually–is really quite tiresome after the third or fourth pass.

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    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I mentioned this in a downstairs post but will share again and giggle and chortle: Milo also lost his book deal today as well as the CPAC grift.

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    bmaccnm says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Bummer. I wonder if he has any marketable skills?

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    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I thing wingnut welfare will dry up on him pretty fast. Supposedly, even some Brainfart writers want him ousted.

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    I wonder if he has any marketable skills?

    I’ve read that there are paid political trolls…

  52. 52
    lgerard says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I heard that CPAC was giving him the Dennis Hastert Award

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    randy khan says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    At some point, you’d think that someone would point out that sending non-Mexican nationals to Mexico without Mexico’s permission is kind of a violation of Mexican sovereignty. (And then, immediately after that, someone would say “only if they can stop us,” missing the point entirely.)

  54. 54
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): They picked up someone who is famous only for being hateful and thought he’d make a fine contribution to American literature. Now they’re surprised he’s the creep he always appeared to be.

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    randy khan says:


    We’ll be lucky if that ratio is close to 5:1.

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    @randy khan:

    At some point, you’d think that someone would point out that sending non-Mexican nationals to Mexico without Mexico’s permission is kind of a violation of Mexican sovereignty.

    Yeah, like the people who want immigrants deported instantly care about things like other countries’ sovereignty.

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    FlyingToaster (Tablet) says:

    @japa21: Don’t count on that. ICE has been turning Canadians back at the border, and the Portuguese and Greeks and Armenians who overstay their visas in Boston are a big piece of the service economy.

    ICE is in California now, but they’ll be in Boston and New York come summer.

  58. 58
    randy khan says:

    Since this thread has taken an immigration turn, and since someone in a thread yesterday asked about it, my wife and I returned to the U.S. today and our first use of Global Entry went without a hitch. (No real surprise, as despite my nym, neither one of us is Muslim or looks Muslim.)

    My wife kept saying “That’s it?” as we skipped the CBP agents at their little desks and skipped the Customs line. Based on my single anecdotal experience, I highly recommend Global Entry.

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @randy khan: I have it. Used it once. It was great. Hope Trump doesn’t ruin it.

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    randy khan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    To be clear, I get that. Obviously, the entire purpose is to shove as many of the wrong people across the border as fast as possible, and Mexico is the nearest convenient border for most of them.

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    El Caganer says:

    I’m sure the President stands ready to support the Jewish community. Why, I fully expect him to come out with something like this tonight:

    “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

    It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

    May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

  62. 62
    HeleninEire says:

    @EBT: This

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Caganer: Written by staffer. Stumbled through with lots of “uhs” and “ehs” by the short fingered vulgarian.

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    jl says:

    @El Caganer: Frump might condense that into a phrase expressing a perfunctory wish that people should knoci it off, after he brags about how he wold have won the popular vote if it weren’t for Democratic voter fraud by tens of millions of illegal immigrants, and bashes the press for fake news of some sort.

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @bmaccnm: Based on his own statements in both the video interviews, apparently, thanks to Father Michael, he gives a hell of a hummer. He could always go pro. My guess is that one of the porn production companies offers him a deal just for the publicity.

    The real question will be is how long he hangs on to his Breitbart job. The majority funder is the Mercers. While the amount of money they have inoculates them from pressure, it will be interesting to see if orders come down the leash from those paying the bills that he’s done.

  67. 67
    mike in dc says:

    We are long overdue for a real governmental and cultural crackdown on domestic terrorism, white supremacists and their ilk. What form it would take I’m not entirely sure, but I’d note that the FBI was highly effective at undermining the Klan in the 60s.

  68. 68
    Darkrose says:

    @🚸 Martin: Yikes. Just picked up again here.

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    Pogonip says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well, now you’ve done it. Any second now we’ll be hearing how Cole fell over the (fill-in-the-blank).

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    jl says:

    I heard news report with details of the new immigration order. Seems to me that still a fatal absurdity in the damn thing which makes it stupid and unconstitutional, which is that only the same seven countries included. All the ones with Trump businesses still excluded from the order. So, we restrict immigration from seven countries, which historically have had a lower chance of bringing in dangerous immigrants (in some cases zero historical chance) than countries with no restriction. Why? Trump scams operating in the countries excluded from the ban is the only thing I can see.

    Can they bring some rationale to the next court hearing when this revised piece of shit EO is challenged? That lack of any rational basis alone dooms it, right? Seems to be it should. Any lawyers here can help me? Anyway, stupid dangerous and immoral executive order is revised to still be stupid dangerous and immoral.

    I mean, what if we had a blonde/redhead immigrant terrorism threat, and Trump decides to ban only those with freckles. Why? Who the fuck knows? Trump don’t need no reason because this toxic ignoramus is president? Is that how it works?

    I hope this revised POS is stayed too.

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    Pogonip says:

    Persons who desecrate cemeteries should immediately become the next occupants of same. I include in this teenagers spray-painting and knocking over tombstones for “fun.”

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    HeleninEire says:

    @Pogonip: Ahhhhh yeah. Honestly I try to stay on topic (except that Raven always says “stay on topic? I just say what I wanna say”) But I so wanna talk about how weird this Hilton in NYC is. Really I think Hilton is trying a whole new concept in Hotels.

  73. 73
    efgoldman says:

    @mike in dc:

    We are long overdue for a real governmental and cultural crackdown on domestic terrorism, white supremacists and their ilk.

    When are you going on the road with your standup routine?

  74. 74
    The Lodger says:

    @El Caganer: Mr. President:
    Haim Rabinowitz here from Boston.
    I have a fig tree?

  75. 75
    randy khan says:


    What’s fascinating to me is that the original stay of the order was issued more than two weeks ago, and stories about a revised order being imminent started immediately. I imagine they’re having trouble writing an order that might pass muster in court and that makes the base (anti-Muslim, pro-Christian) happy. Or, probably more likely, they don’t know what they’re doing and won’t ask the actual experts.

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    raven says:

    @HeleninEire: I do? I usually say “the hell with a topic”!

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    Baud says:

    @randy khan: Doing things right often takes time even when people are smart and acting in good faith. With these yahoos, it’s anyone’s guess.

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    efgoldman says:

    @The Lodger:

    Haim Rabinowitz here from Boston

    Hah! That was my grandfather’s last name when he got off the boat – in Boston, sometime in the first decade of the 20th century.
    It was not the family name he was born into, though. Nor was either the name he got ON the boat with in Russia.

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    efgoldman says:

    @randy khan:

    Or, probably more likely, they don’t know what they’re doing and won’t ask the actual experts.

    And Secretary Kelly is decidedly not an expert.

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    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Pogonip: I am reliably informed via Twitter that it was antifa and leftist kids what did it.

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    HeleninEire says:

    @raven: Same thing, no? You just go about your business and when someone says “sorry for going off topic” you say “topic? there’s a topic?” Yeah we are saying the same thing.

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    Even their symbols are appropriated. Master race, indeed.

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    amk says:

    beebs about McMaster

    He does not appear to have close ties to Moscow, and was recently commissioned to study the ways the US could counter some of Russia’s military advances.

    wonder how long the puppeteer putin will allow him to last.

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    raven says:

    @HeleninEire: Ah, got it. I’m multi-tasking and the bride is having a dog parade organizing meeting so I’m totally distracted.

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    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlyingToaster (Tablet): …and what seems like half of Brazil.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Frump might condense that into a phrase expressing a perfunctory wish that people should knoci it off, after he brags about how he wold have won the popular vote if it weren’t for Democratic voter fraud by tens of millions of illegal immigrants, and bashes the press for fake news of some sort.

    He was asked about it twice last week in as many days, and in neither case did he condemn or decry the vandalism done to synagogues and JCCs (now, as Adam and Timurid flagged, we sadly have to add Jewish cemeteries to the list). But there isn’t an anti-Semitic or racist bone in his body, so it’s all good.

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    Baud says:

    @raven: How many dogs are there?

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    raven says:

    @Baud: 125 in the parade, only one extra one at the meeting and his owner is holding him close since the Bohdi jumped his ass at an earlier gathering. Bohdi is a good boy but does not take kindly to young dogs fooling around his bowl!

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    JPL says:

    @Baud: I’d love that. A meeting of the dogs.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Bohdi is a good boy but does not take kindly to young dogs fooling around his bowl!

    And who among us would? Let Bohdi be Bohdi.

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    @SFBayAreaGal: I’m still picking the pineapple out of my teeth from Friday.

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    Baud says:

    @JPL: It’s their parade. They deserve a say!

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    jl says:

    Something has been rumbling around in my mind for a while, and now I have it formulated well enough to ask one of the BJ legal squad.

    I, as a (natural born! white male!) US.citizen and taxpayer, my personal safety and property would be endangered by having government policy set by a weak minded ignorant old bigot fool, who not only gets all his information from Fox News, but is so out-of-it that he mistakes in idiotic smear disguised as a background report on immigration to Sweden for a report of a specific terrorist attack.

    Do I have standing to force bigshot 45 into a competency hearing? Yes or no?

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    JPL says:

    @Baud: Mr. Finch agrees.

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    Thru the Looking Glass... says:


    I don’t know if anyone else has pointed this out on this thread or an earlier one, but Simon Schuster has CANCELLED Yiannopolous’ book deal…

    If this has already been commented on, apologies… but I personally find this delightful… it’s so… satisfying… to see this greasy little git implode himself like this…

  98. 98
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Baud:It seems it’s been ruined already – the JPL guy who had to hand over his phone has Global Entry. But his surname isn’t European looking, and I think he has long hair. The photos I saw showed a pretty pale dude but I’d bet his skin tone got a little darker after a couple of weeks of South American sun. With the name and all that, somehow Global Entry didn’t work for him.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @danielx: The problem with Elliot Abrams, of course, was not that he’s a war criminal, but he wrote something critical of short-fingers prior to the election.

  100. 100
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You know that if such an outbreak had happened under President Obama or even, god help us, Bush there would have been a statement by now. Reporters wouldn’t have had to ask for it & go unanswered.

  101. 101
    Lyrebird says:

    @jl: So not a lawyer, but if you can get this suit going, I’ll line up to write my very firstest amicus brief!

  102. 102
    raven says:

    @Baud: He didn’t hurt him just put him in his place. The pup belongs to a first time dog owner so she got a little freaked but not enough not to keep bringing him. He’s one of them Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

  103. 103
    jl says:

    @Lyrebird: Is the WH petition thing still going? Let’s ask for competency hearing for bigshot 45. Or maybe could do it through a class action?

  104. 104
    Redshift says:

    @El Caganer: The president’s press secretary has said the the president “has made it abundantly clear” that this sort of thing is unacceptable. Which is weird, because as far as I can recall he hasn’t said a word about it. He generally treats any mention of it as a personal accusation against him.

  105. 105
    efgoldman says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Simon Schuster has CANCELLED Yiannopolous’ book deal…

    He’s also been disinvited from the kkkrazy kkkonservative kkkaukus (aka CPAC) annual meeting. If he’s too meshugah for CPAC….

  106. 106
    Lyrebird says:

    @The Lodger: Nicely done.

    If we can keep our kinda strained democracy going here and maybe get the current Republican admin escorted out of the white house soon, I will enjoy sipping some of the tears of the Republican recruiting groups in the Jewish, African American, and Latino communities…

    Meantime I’m a tad worried about said administration defunding investigations of white supremacists while this stuff is ramping up.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Redshift: And that same press secretary, in his released statement made no mention of anti-Semitism or synagogues or JCCs. Its almost like they can’t bring themselves to say these things.

  108. 108
    Lyrebird says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @efgoldman: He claims that he was being sarcastic, and I even believe him. As I said in the previous thread, kinda sickening joke but also kinda sickening that he could get the book deal in the first place after cyberstalking, inciting hatred, etc.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They wouldn’t know a “J” if it bit em in the ass.

  110. 110
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @efgoldman: I saw that…

    How… delightful…

    Here today, disgraced tomorrow… couldn’t happen to a more deserving arsehole…

    Now he’s playing the victim card… ‘but… but… I was MOLESTED…’

    Maybe he was… and I’m SURE that’s going to go over well w/ actual victims of childhood sex abuse…

  111. 111
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Ah… so you did get here 1st w/ the news…

    Yes… it is to laugh…

  112. 112
    Lyrebird says:

    @jl: I like your thinking — not just waiting in hopes that that AG from Washington State can save our hides.

    In the meantime, since none of my nearby congress folk are having town halls, I’m planning to send them copies of this op ed from some Republican judge (ret.?) in Ohio calling for impeachment & pointing out that his own rep. drafted articles of impeachment for (Mr.) Clinton for far less… Tell ’em that’s what a Republican with a sense of decency and rule of law sounds like & ask them to step up.

  113. 113
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This is true. At this point what’s a war criminal and convicted perjurer among the freak show that is (more or less) passing for a regime?

  114. 114
    amk says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That article paints russia as a smarter superpower or something.

  115. 115
    Lyrebird says:

    @raven: Looks like the usually so bland Jake Tapper might be aiming to try just that! Here is the video of Tapper saying “arf! arf!” to goad Breitbarters

  116. 116
    jl says:

    @Lyrebird: Good idea. Maybe send a version of the letter to the local newspaper and see if they print it.

  117. 117

    Between Hamilton and Tolkien, there’s a quote for every situation:

    “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

  118. 118
  119. 119
    🚸 Martin says:


    Do I have standing to force bigshot 45 into a competency hearing? Yes or no?

    I’m going to guess ‘no’, simply on the perspective that the federal courts would look at such a case as kicking a door way the fuck open to anyone taking any kind of grievance against the President. While they might agree that such a hearing is necessary in this case, I think there’s no chance to wanting to set a precedent there. The 25 Amendment provides that remedy.

    Besides, it’s likely such an evaluation would fail. Trump isn’t non-functional, he’s simply functional in a way that is harmful to the country, which unfortunately isn’t a disqualification from office. That’s what elections are supposed to do for us.

  120. 120
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The real question will be is how long he hangs on to his Breitbart job. The majority funder is the Mercers. While the amount of money they have inoculates them from pressure, it will be interesting to see if orders come down the leash from those paying the bills that he’s done.

    They’re lovely people, aren’t they, those Mercers? The people they’re willing to embrace in order to advance their agendas are really quite remarkable.

  121. 121
    Shalimar says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Maher introduced Yiannopoulos as “author of the upcoming book Dangerous” and then had a caption below Milo when he spoke that said “Author, Dangerous”. Whoops.

  122. 122
    danielx says:

    Before I get sidetracked: may those who phone threats to community centers and vandalize cemeteries….be reborn as cockroaches.

    Trying to remember a literary quote, something along the lines of “among the enemies general of humankind, to be dealt with as wolves are”.

  123. 123
    Lyrebird says:

    @jl: Really good idea!

    I have been fearful (cowardly?) about sending anything to our local paper, and the news in this thread doesn’t help. out of a town population of <10K, I'm one of maybe 5 Jewish heads of household. And I have a little child.

    I have coworkers who regularly sound off on the op ed pages, and sfaik the only responses they've gotten have been angry written cracks about the liberal professors, but most of them are men who keep large dogs.

  124. 124
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    Absolutely right. I think it might have taken a little longer with Dubya, but his people would have given him a nice statement to read. Obama’s would have been quick, mostly written by him, and entirely from his heart. Neither of them would have bragged about, or even mentioned, their unimpeachable (sorry!) credentials as lifelong anti-Semites.

  125. 125
    Shalimar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Milo’s apology is obviously meant to enable him to hang onto the Breitbart job. There are supposedly half a dozen staffers threatening to quit, but then they already had exoduses to the Trump administration and also last year when Lewandowski grabbed Michelle Fields and Breitbart backed him instead of it’s own reporter, so who knows if they care about that sort of thing. There are always new graduates of the conservative think tank program looking for work.

  126. 126
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    A few items about the St Louis Cemetery desecration.

    1. The Chesed Shel Emeth Society website has a place for donations.
    2. In the KSDK news report online, the first letter to comment pointed the finger at Middle Eastern refugees. No evidence.
    3. Ianka Trump today tweeted: America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC
    4. Her father has not addressed these attacks and threats at all, as far as I know. Are there no cameras? Are there no microphones?

    BC in Illinois (now living in St. Louis)

  127. 127

    Why are professional atheists like Maher, Dawkins and Harris so dickish?

  128. 128
    chris says:

    @Jeffro: Adam, too. According to The Washingtonian half a dozen Breitbart staffers will leave if Milo isn’t fired. FWIW

  129. 129
    jl says:


    ” That article paints russia as a smarter superpower or something. ”

    Probably their military people are smart. But is Vlad all that smart? From reading TPM blog last two days, it looks like Trump’s weakness for Russia stems from his past (and current?) dependence on Russian mob pumping him lots of liquidity through back channels. I guess that is how Trump can say he doesn’t have any ‘business dealings’ with Russia. Well, no he doesn’t. He just, by chance, though he’s never happened to notice it for some reason, has lots of Russian mob and oligarch dough flowing into his projects, sweet old Russian mobsters plunking down list price for posh quarters in his scammy real estate projects, is all. That is not really ‘business dealings’.

    And coincidentally, Trump’s close advisers, and project CFOs who Trump claims he barely knows, are very tightly plugged into international Russian financial flows.

    So Vlad figures he can get a bogus pro-Russian Ukrainian peace deal (aka sell out) going by having one of Trumps Russian connection flunkies hand him the outlines of the secret deal? That is too crude and stupid to imagine, certainly that a supposedly bright guy like Putin would think is a solid plan. Yet looks like the Trump flunky Cohen admitted that is exactly what he did, though he is now trying to back out of the admission, after probably someone spent a few hours explaining to the dope why it was a bad thing to admit.

    Anyway, I thought Russia’s angle was a more sophisticated and long range economic deal to get more foreign oil exploration investment into Russia.
    But it looks like reputed genius Dr. Evil mastermind Putin figured he could leverage Trump’s reliance on Russian cash to promote a BS Ukrainian peace deal out of the blue. Weird.

    Maybe when it comes to some things, Trump and Putin have more in common than we thought. They are both crude clueless oafs.

  130. 130
    HeleninEire says:

    OK since no one asked. This Hilton, in the middle of Manhattan, does not have a restaurant. It has an “Herb -n- kitchen” which is a high priced 7-11.

    There’s no seating anywhere near the lobby.

    There’s a bar, but it doesn’t open until 5:30. And when you drink here and get your bill, they just ask you to sign with your room number and name. They don’t ask for a key card or anything. So what’s to stop me from signing the bar bill “Baud, president of these here United States; the White House”.

    Absolutely nothing stops me. I should try that.

  131. 131
    jl says:

    @🚸 Martin: Are you a lawyer? If not, I will keeping hoping that a REAL lawyer will come along and say it as easy as snap and tell me how to file the court papers.

  132. 132
    lgerard says:

    No doubt Leslie Jones will be hoisting a few tonight

  133. 133
  134. 134
    raven says:

    @Lyrebird: go on wit you bad sef Jake!

  135. 135
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And that same press secretary, in his released statement made no mention of anti-Semitism or synagogues or JCCs. Its almost like they can’t bring themselves to say these things.

    They can barely bring themselves to acknowledge that any Jewish folks died in the Holocaust, as if it were just, you know, an incidental thing. Not really surprising that they won’t speak about the bomb threats.

    I don’t think that they think anti-Semitism even exists, honestly…or if it does, they just see it the same way they do racism: just pushing back on folks being ‘uppity’, folks not knowing their place.

    It’s strange…Fro Jr. and I spent most of the day today at the Air & Space Museum in DC. I sprung for tickets to “A Beautiful Planet” (IMAX, with Jennifer Lawrence narrating) and the planetarium show “Dark Energy”* (with Neil deGrasse Tyson narrating).

    And we watched these amazing things – ‘Planet’ is mostly footage shot on/from the International Space Station**, while ‘Energy’ is an amazing look at the known universe, and just how much we know already from our tiny little vantage point called Earth – and just marveled at all that our backwards species can do right sometimes. I know I stared at the Voyager 1 & 2 exhibit for five minutes just thinking of both probes out there, well past the solar system at this point***…we can do and know all these things, yet some are so backwards that they call in bomb threats, or knock over tombstones to get their jollies.

    Ah well. Education is key, and the more science education, the better. Biology or astronomy, geology or physics, kind of hard to beat that combination of awe and insight into how the world and universe works.

    *also a great Cult album!
    **you can track the ISS and get an alert when it’s going to fly overhead: never gets old!
    ***did not know until today’s visit that the Voyager missions did not keep zooming outwards along the plane of the solar system; V1 went “up” and out, while V2 went “down” and out…

  136. 136
    jl says:

    @Jeffro: Silence can be a great dog whistle if you time the pauses correctly. Muslims (squeak!) Hispanics (squeak), Blacks (squeak), Jews (…) immigrants (squeak).

    These people are filth.

  137. 137
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Shalimar: Haven’t looked at the Maher bit yet but I read about it… in keeping w/ the general tenor of the Trump Era, it seems Milo’s faux pas is yet another unforced error…

    Given the general disdain even righties in this country have for pedophilia, hopefully Milo is done for…

  138. 138
    jl says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    [public] disdain even righties in this country have for [public expressions of approval for] pedophilia,

  139. 139
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @jl: Okay… that’s good…

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Communist?

  141. 141
    raven says:

    Ivanka Trump ✔@IvankaTrump
    America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC
    6:59 PM – 20 Feb 2017

  142. 142
    Darkrose says:

    @Gelfling 545: I saw this posted on Twitter, with a reply from someone insisting that there had been an epidemic of Jewish cemetaries being vandalized under Obama, but the press didn’t report it.

    I’m not joking.

  143. 143
    jl says:

    @raven: Good for Ivanka. But, gosh, I do not believe we elected her to anything. Probably things would be somewhat better if we had, but that is irrelevant.

    So, what does bigshot 45 have to say about it? Anything?

    Edit: but, IT’s tweet will be a nice excuse to ask Donny about it at the next press conference or press availability. Or maybe at WH press briefing. We need some more material for that new Melissa McCarthy show.

  144. 144
    BC in Illinois says:

    And again: Can’t her father say anything?
    Are there no cameras? Are there no microphones?

  145. 145
    The Lodger says:

    @efgoldman: You know, I came this close to saying Rhode Island…
    A guy I knew once told me his grandfather changed his name at Ellis Island and never told anyone what his former name was in the old country because of how badly he wanted to leave his old identity behind. To this day no one knows anything about who he was before he landed in America.

  146. 146
    amygdala says:

    @HeleninEire: They may not bother with the restaurant, because hey, it’s NY, and there are restaurants everywhere.

    The lack of lobby seating is weird. I was there earlier this month and had a ticket to see Hamiton. It was cold out and they wouldn’t be seating for 20 minutes, so I walked over to a nearby hotel (Marriott, maybe? I can’t remember…). I got a cup of tea at the Starbucks in the lobby, and there was no seating in either place.

    I’ve always thought of big chain hotels as safe places to hang while on the road, but I guess not, at least in and around Times Square.

  147. 147
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: I’ve never seen the report it refers to. So have no idea if the Politico write up is representing it well.

  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BC in Illinois: Tracking, thanks for the info.

  149. 149
    amk says:

    @jl: He and his comrades got elected an absolute knownothing lying pos as president. He is no idiot.

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: First: spoiler tags! Okay?//

    My only real concern at that museum is the exhibit that lays out what we do when a Voyager probe comes back and demands to speak with its creator.

  151. 151
    Darkrose says:

    BREAKING: @PressSec responds to my request for comment about wave of threats to Jewish community centers. @NBCNews— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) February 20, 2017

  152. 152
    Steve in the ATL says:


    the bride is having a dog parade organizing meeting

    If I had a dollar for every time….

  153. 153
    Geeno says:

    Why is it that whenever he says “I’m the least anti-semitic person”, I hear “Stay kosher, my friends” in my head?

  154. 154
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:


    I’m not sure they were organized enough yet.
    My dad ad some of his siblings were commie-curious (but no more than that) in the 30s and 40s.

  155. 155
    efgoldman says:

    @The Lodger:

    A guy I knew once told me his grandfather changed his name at Ellis Island and never told anyone what his former name was in the old country because of how badly he wanted to leave his old identity behind

    We always celebrated my grandfather’s birthday on Passover, because he claimed not to know the actual date.
    Even as a very old man, he still had some visceral fear that the Cossacks were going to come looking for him.Ironically, one of his brothers who stayed in Russia became a decorated Soviet general in the siege of Leningrad.

  156. 156
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Geeno: Interestingly the actor who played the most interesting man in the world, Jonathon Goldsmith, is Jewish. He’s also one of the few people to play a red shirt on Star Trek the Original Series to make it all the way through the episode.

  157. 157
    J R in WV says:


    Irish, honey, Adam put the Open Thread in the list of topics for this thread.

    I’m so interested in your Hilton, partly because our traveling girl in New Mexico mentioned a resort at a Pueblo north of Albuquerque that turned out to be a Hilton, with a facility for rescue horses, that once healed, guests can ride in the Pueblo trails.

    Partly also because we gravel to NYC from time to time for a few days of culture, and am always interested in a different kind of place to stay. We stayed at the Affinia by Madison Square Garden last trip, it’s older, with big rooms and suites. Different, interesting, like a time warp, a little bit. Old but stunning lobby, giant rooms with views of the Empire State Building, etc. Different.

    What was your Hilton like? Which one was it? What did you like about it?

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: I think a lot were small “c” communists. My grandfather, who was not an immigrant, was. He actually taught himself Russian so he could correspond with a Russian economist. My grandfather had survived the Depression after his mother died of tuberculosis at the sanitorium in Denver, where they’d moved from Minnesota, because she and my great grandfather both had it. My great grandfather walked off the ward as she lay dying, leaving my grandfather, his two brothers, and his sister behind. None of them ever saw him again. My grandfather sold apples and newspapers on the streets of Denver with Baby Doe Tabor (at this point destitute and broken after the Matchless Mine had played out) during the Depression. I think this experience had a lot to do with his being enamored of the concept, though certainly not how it was being implemented in Russia and the Soviet Union.

  159. 159
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: I know that place. Though if I was staying in the area around/between Santa Fe and Albuquerque it would be La Fonda in Santa Fe.

  160. 160
    J R in WV says:


    would be endangered by having government policy set by a weak minded ignorant old bigot fool,

    Didn’t you leave out “sonofabitch” between ignorant and old, or perhaps between bigot and fool??? Somewhere in there, though, surely!

  161. 161
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa at the Santa Ana Pueblo is what she visited, just to see things, she didn’t stay there.

    La Fonda in Santa Fe, as soon as I looked it up I remembered it. We had drinks there several times when we stayed in Santa Fe for most of a week, for the Indian Arts Fest on Museum Hill. It is a wonderful looking place. It reminds me of Lodge on the Desert in Tucson, which was way out in the empty desert when it was first built, and is now downtown, nearly.

    Thick stucco Adobe walls, like a bank vault. You can’t hear the A-10s coming and going from D-M AFB at all. Nor the urban sirens. Nice restaurant, small pool and tub, old fashioned large rooms, some with fireplaces. If you stay there, ask for old rooms, they’ve got style.

    The La Fonda looks just like that, only more monumental. Lodge on the Desert is individual buildings as if it were a Pueblo instead of a Spanish fort or palace. Easy to get lost in the grounds, fantastic desert plantings and pathways.

  162. 162
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV: I need to more traveling in the US.

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: To do, ffs.

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