Today In Be Careful What You Wish For: Not So Strange Bedfellows Edition II

Shortly after the election the American Jewish Congress and the Islamic Society of North America formally entered into a civil rights protection and promotion and civil society defense agreement. Today, in response to yesterday’s violence and vandalism at St. Louis’s Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, Linda Sarsour and Tarik El-Messidi have started a fundraising campaign to help repair the damage done.

You may remember Linda Sarsour, the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, as one of the co-chairs for the Women’s March. Tarik El-Messidi is the founder of Celebrate Mercy, an educational outreach program intended to inform both Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammed.

So well done currently unknown dickheads and domestic terrorists – your stupidity has just drawn Muslim and Jewish Americans closer together. Give yourselves a round of applause for achieving exactly the opposite of what you intended to achieve: to scare Americans of different faiths and ethnicities in order to drive them apart and make them easier to prey upon in the future. Morons!

 



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.



Today in Domestic Terrorism: Exceedingly Pale Edition

Oh look, its a fine example of the “Master Race”!

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A man with connections to a white supremacy group was arrested in Myrtle Beach Wednesday after purchasing a gun from an undercover FBI agent, apparently intending to commit an attack “in the spirit of Dylann Roof.”

Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, from Conway, was arrested at around 5 p.m. Wednesday by the FBI, according to records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

On December 26, 2016, McDowell posted to Facebook a message: “I love love to act what u think,” followed by a link to the Temple Emanu-El Conservative Synagogue in Myrtle Beach, according to court documents. Horry County Police indicated to the FBI that McDowell had established White Supremacy Extremist connections while serving in prison in South Carolina for various criminal offenses. He also had tattoos indicating an affiliation with these groups.

Dylann Roof, also a member of the “Master Race”, was actually referenced in Mr. McDowell’s planning:

According to the federal complaint document, on January 5, 2017, McDowell posted to Facebook an anti-semetic screed referencing Dylann Roof, which included the statement: “they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline and trying to run us off of this Earth you can post pictures of f****** Viking and swords all the s*** you want to post if you ain’t got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did you need to shut the f*** up…”

Well done FBI.

I’ll leave the penultimate remarks to Congressman Schiff (D-CA):

And, as always, we leave the final say to 18 U.S. Code § 2331

(5)the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Candlemas Day

In a world lit only by fire, making it to the halfway point between the shortest day of the year and the Spring equinox was something worth celebrating… even if all you could do was to light a candle…
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via commentor MaryG:

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What’s on the agenda as we (hopefully) turn away from Winter towards Spring?
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The Lion’s Roar on the Turning of the Wheel – From the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha

 

(Depiction of the Historical Buddha)

Cakkavatti-Sῑhanāda Sutta: The Lion’s Roar on the Turning of the Wheel

[58] 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.781 Once the Lord was staying among the Magadhans at Mātulā. Then he said: ‘Monks!’ ‘Lord’, they replied, and the Lord said:
‘Monks, be islands unto yourselves, be a refuge unto yourselves with no other refuge. Let the Dhamma be your island, let the Dhamma be your refuge, with no other refuge.782 And how does a monk dwell as an island unto himself, as a refuge unto himself with no other refuge, with the Dhamma as his island, with the Dhamma as his refuge, with no other refuge? Here, a monk abides contemplating body as body,783 ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world, he abides contemplating feelings as feelings, … he abides contemplating mind as mind, … he abides contemplating mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, clearly aware and mindful, having put aside hankering and fretting for the world.
‘Keep to your own preserves,784 monks, to your ancestral haunts.785 If you do so, then Mara will find no lodgement, no foothold. It is just by the building-up of wholesome states that this merit increases.
[59] 2. ‘Once, monks, there was a wheel-turning monarch named Daḷhanemi, a righteous monarch of the law, conqueror of the four quarters, who had established the security of his realm and was possessed of the seven treasures. These are: the Wheel Treasure, the Elephant Treasure, the Horse Treasure, the Jewel Treasure, the Woman Treasure, the Householder Treasurer, and, as seventh, the Counsellor Treasure. He has more than a thousand sons who are heroes, of heroic stature, conquerors of the hostile army. He dwells having conquered this sea-girt land without stick or sword, by the law (as Sutta 3, verse 1.5).
3. ‘And, after many hundreds and thousands of years, King Daḷhanemi said to a certain man: “My good man, whenever you see that the sacred Wheel-Treasure has slipped from its position, report it to me.” “Yes, sire”, the man replied. And after many hundreds and thousands of years the man saw that the sacred Wheel-Treasure had slipped from its position. Seeing this, he reported the fact to the King. Then King Daḷhanemi sent for his eldest son, the crown prince, and said: “My son, the sacred Wheel-Treasure has slipped from its position. And I have heard say that when this happens to a wheel-turning monarch, he has not much longer to live. I have had my fill [60] of human pleasures, now is the time to seek heavenly pleasures. You, my son, take over control of this ocean-bounded land. I will shave off my hair and beard, don yellow robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness.” And, having installed his eldest son in due form as king, King Daḷhanemi shaved off his hair and beard, donned yellow robes, and went forth from the household life into homelessness. And, seven days after the royal sage had gone forth, the sacred Wheel-Treasure vanished.
4. ‘Then a certain man came to the anointed Khattiya King and said: “Sire, you should know that the sacred Wheel-Treasure has disappeared.” At this the King was grieved and felt sad. He went to the royal sage and told him the news. And the royal sage said to him: “My son, you should not grieve or feel sad at the disappearance of the Wheel-Treasure. The Wheel-Treasure is not an heirloom from your fathers. But now, my son, you must turn yourself into an Ariyan wheel-turner. 786 And then it may come about that, if you perform the duties of an Ariyan wheel-turning monarch, on the fast-day of the fifteenth,787 when you have washed your head and gone up to the verandah on top of your palace for the fast-day, the sacred Wheel-Treasure will appear to you, thousand-spoked, complete with felloe, hub and all appurtenances.”
[61] 5. ‘“But what, sire, is the duty of an Ariyan wheel-turning monarch?” “It is this, my son: Yourself depending on the Dhamma, honouring it, revering it, cherishing it, doing homage to it and venerating it, having the Dhamma as your badge and banner, acknowledging the Dhamma as your master, you should establish guard, ward and protection according to Dhamma for your own household, your troops, your nobles and vassals, for Brahmins and householders, town and country folk, ascetics and Brahmins, for beasts and birds.788 Let no crime789 prevail in your kingdom, and to those who are in need, give property. And whatever ascetics and Brahmins in your kingdom have renounced the life of sensual infatuation and are devoted to forbearance and gentleness, each one taming himself, each one calming himself and each one striving for the end of craving, from time to time you should go to them and consult them as to what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, that is blameworthy and what is blameless, what is to be followed and what is not to be followed, and what action will in the long run lead to harm and sorrow, and what to welfare and happiness. Having listened to them, you should avoid evil and do what is good.790 That, my son, is the duty of an Ariyan wheel-turning monarch.’

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Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Ugliness Seeps From the Shadows

This was Steve Bannon, Steven Miller, and the other Breitbrats now burrowing into the Trump administration like maggots into a dying animal. Sure, it was a little reward for their neo-Nazi defenders. But more importantly, it was a test for us “normies”: Would the lamestream media, and its low-info readers, pick up on the change in tone?

Even with all the other deliberate and incidental misfeasance this weekend, it was noticed:



Open Thread: Trump Caters to His (Very) Base

Trump — not to mention his “Chief Strategist” Steve Bannon — only care about religion as a tribal marker to help them pick off the rubes. But how does Mind-Behind-the-Man (Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner handle the dichotomy between the shoddy rhetoric and the ugly truth?

USAToday reports:

In a departure from predecessors on both sides of the political aisle, President Trump’s statement Friday marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the deaths of six million Jews — a lapse the head of the Anti-Defamation League called “puzzling and troubling.”

In the three-paragraph statement Friday, Trump said: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent,” he continued, again referring only to “the innocent.”

“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good,” he concluded. “Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”…

Trump’s generic phrasing contrasts considerably with Obama’s fuller statements on the occasion, which always spoke about the sufferings of the Jewish people, even though Trump has consistently portrayed Obama as a foe of the Jews and Israel.

The failure of the White House to mention the distinctive Jewish losses in the Holocaust could be problematic given that Trump has been accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic stereotypes and his campaign has been accused of employing anti-Semitic tropes. He has also been criticized for failing to call out virulent anti-Semitism among some of his supporters.

(Video proof here, if you don’t mind giving the ‘Christian Broadcasting Network’ a click.)