Holocaust denial from the White House on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Most of my regular readers probably haven't been following this blog long enough to know it, but early in its history this blog was more of a general skeptical blog. True, it always had a heavy emphasis on medical science and pseudoscience, but I also used to write about evolution and other topics from a skeptic perspective. Back then, dating back to the very earliest days after I discovered blogging, Holocaust denial was a frequent topic on this blog because it was a big interest of mine. It still is, even though I haven't had much opportunity to write about it over the last few years. It was just one of the topics that I drifted away from as this blog became more tightly focused on medicine.

That's why I debated about whether I was going to write about this or not. I had a topic all lined up for today, but ultimately decided that it could wait for a day, as I simultaneously kicked myself for not cranking something out over the weekend, given what happened: The White House engaged in Holocaust denial, when it issued a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day last Friday:

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.

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. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.

Do you notice anything? Lots of people did, including someone with whom I seldom agree but who was correct in this case to label the above statement The White House Holocaust Horror. Others called it out for what it is, a form of Holocaust denial, because that's what it is. Here's Senator Tim Kaine, for example:

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, someone whom I admire a great deal and the subject of the recent film Denial, which portrays her legal battle with David Irving, who sued her for libel in the UK for correctly characterizing him as a Holocaust denier, characterized the "de-Judaization of the Holocaust, as exemplified by the White House statement" as "softcore Holocaust denial."

Now, I'm sure that there will be readers out there who think this is hyperbole, that I'm exaggerating. I will also confess that at first I wasn't sure if this was cluelessness or intentional. A reader reminded me of an example of an atheist organization doing just this sort of thing as part of a protest against the use of the Star of David in a then-proposed Holocaust memorial in Columbus, Ohio. That was cluelessness. At first, I thought the White House statement was cluelessness, but it wasn't. I was quickly disabused of that notion by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus showing up on Meet The Press to defend the White House statement. Administration spokesperson Hope Hicks also took to the air to lay down the obfuscation, saying that "despite what the media reports, we are an incredible inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered." In other words, the omission of any mention of the Jews in the White House statement was intentional.

So why was this omission of the Jews a form of Holocaust denial? Prof. Lipstadt, who followed a similar trajectory as I did, at first thinking the statement a "rookie mistake," begins the explanation:

I quickly learned that the White House had released a statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism. Instead it bemoaned the “innocent victims.” The internet was buzzing and many people were fuming. Though no fan of Trump, I chalked it up as a rookie mistake by a new administration busy issuing a slew of executive orders. Someone had screwed up. I refused to get agitated, and counseled my growing number of correspondents to hold their fire. A clarification would certainly soon follow. I was wrong.

In a clumsy defense Hope Hicks, the White House director of strategic communications, insisted that, the White House, by not referring to Jews, was acting in an “inclusive” manner. It deserved praise not condemnation. Hicks pointed those who inquired to an article which bemoaned the fact that, too often the “other” victims of the Holocaust were forgotten. Underlying this claim is the contention that the Jews are “stealing” the Holocaust for themselves. It is a calumny founded in anti-Semitism.

I will continue it.

So why the controversy? Why all the outrage? Surely it's not wrong to "include" all the other groups targeted for extermination by the Nazis, such as the Roma, homosexuals, the mentally retarded, and people with mental illnesses, is it? It depends on what you mean by "wrong." It's not wrong in that it's not a bad thing to be inclusive and not to forget the other victims of the Holocaust. On the other hand, intentionally leaving the Jews out of an official statement reveals an intent to provide a distorted view of what the Holocaust actually was. Jews were central to the Holocaust.

As Gord McFee put it:

Does the focus on the Jewishness of the Holocaust take away from or minimize the suffering of the millions of non-Jews who were persecuted? Do the Jews, unintentionally perhaps, try to keep all the suffering for themselves? No. On the other hand, does the Holocaust have a particularly crucial and central Jewish element, even though millions of others died? Simply put, the answer is yes. The Holocaust, from its conception to its implementation had a distinctly Jewish aspect to it and, arguably without this Jewish aspect, there would have been no Holocaust. Most of the non-Jewish people would not have been killed because the killing machinery would not have been put into operation.

Coincidentally, about a week before the statement, I had just finished reading part one of Volker Ullrich's excellent new biography of Adolf Hitler, Hitler: The Ascent (1889-1939). Even though Part 1 ended just before the invasion of Poland, Ullrich included plenty of discussion of the antisemitism that animated the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler dating back to at least 1920. Indeed, one of the most puzzling questions in considering Hitler is the origin of his extreme antisemitism. Even though information about his life before he joined the Nazi party is sketchy and sources contradictory, with some claiming Hitler was antisemitic as early as his time in Linz, others saying it originated during his time in Vienna, while still others thinking it originated later, after the defeat of Germany in World War I. Everyone agrees, however, that from 1919 through the early 1920s, Hitler demonstrated increasingly intense antisemitism expressed through increasingly violent and apocalyptic imagery.. Whatever the source of Hitler's antisemitism, it was one of the animating forces of Nazi-ism, arguably the animating force. Indeed, Nazis regularly harassed and attacked Jews, while Hitler and other Nazis routinely referred to them as "our misfortune" in speeches and predicted a day of reckoning. Not suprirsingly, Jews were the first people targeted when Hitler came to power in 1933 and remained their target until Berlin burned in 1945.

Ever since Donald Trump became a candidate for President and support of the alt right (translation: white nationalists) coalesced around him, I've periodically remarked that, having drifted away from the topic, I never thought that all that knowledge of the Holocaust, Nazis, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists would ever come in handy again. To this I always add how sad I am that this knowledge has unexpectedly come in very handy all too many times in reent months. In any case, I knew immediately that it's a common, long-standing Holocaust denial trope to deny the centrality of Jews to the Holocaust. Basically, Holocaust deniers will say something along the lines of, “The Nazis killed lots of people during the Holocaust, not just Jews. What makes the Jews so special? The Holocaust was about more than the Jews.” Sound familiar? That's almost exactly what Trump administration flacks have been saying since Friday with its language about how Trump was trying to be "inclusive." The part about "What makes the Jews so special?" was implied, but not missed, as we will see.

Let’s be clear, though. The central purpose of the Holocaust was to rid the Reich of its Jews, and the Jews were central to the Holocaust. It started with taking away their rights, then evolved to violence against them, both promoted and carried out by the government, then to forced expulsion, and then finally to mass extermination. Yes, the Holocaust later expanded to target lot of other groups that the Nazis didn’t like, but it started with the Jews. To deny this is to deny the essence of the Holocaust.

As Podhoretz puts it:

No, Hope Hicks, and no to whomever you are serving as a mouthpiece. The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups—Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others. But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. There is no “proud” way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact. To universalize it to “all those who suffered” is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

Gord McFee agrees:

To minimize or trivialize the "Jewishness" of the Final Solution is to seriously understate, if not, unintentionally perhaps, deny its essence. This does not mean that the suffering of other groups is to be ignored; on the contrary, it was terrible. But without the Holocaust, without the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", the others live. The term "holocaust" was coined to describe the uniquely Jewish aspect of the Final Solution. It does not seek to negate the suffering of the other victims.

As does John Scalzi, who points out how stupid the whole act was:

Bannon’s reflexive racism and anti-semitism makes the Trump administration do stupid things, a fine example being it offering up a release on Holocaust Remembrance Day that somehow didn’t manage to mention the Jews, i.e., the principal targets of the Holocaust and the reason the Nazi’s built out the entire apparatus of the Holocaust. When called on it, the White House offered the same rhetorical line — “well, others suffered in the Holocaust, too” — that Holocaust deniers use to minimize the extent of the atrocity done to the Jews. Bannon’s fingerprints are all over this, and it’s appalling both that the White House put out a release like this, and that it either didn’t realize that everyone would see the dog whistle to America’s home-grown Nazis… or it didn’t care whether everyone saw it or not. Either, to me, is all Bannon; neither is especially smart.

Prof. Lipstadt elaborates:

There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was something entirely different. It was an organized program with the goal of wiping out a specific people. Jews did not have to do anything to be perceived as worthy of being murdered. Old people who had to be wheeled to the deportation trains and babies who had to be carried were all to be killed. The point was not, as in occupied countries, to get rid of people because they might mount a resistance to Nazism, but to get rid of Jews because they were Jews. Roma (Gypsies) were also targeted. Many were murdered. But the Nazi anti-Roma policy was inconsistent. Some could live in peace and even serve in the German army.

I cant' help but note here that those who seek to minimize the centrality of the Jews to the Holocaust sometimes like to point out that Communists were also targeted, but such an argument conveniently neglects the way that Hitler conflated Jews and Communism, believing Communism to be a product of Jews and frequently invoking "Judeo-Bolshevism" as the enemy of the Germany people. This is a common conspiracy theory that views Communism as a Jewish conspiracy, positing that Jews dominate and control worldwide Communist movements.

Prof. Lipstadt further observes:

Softcore denial uses different tactics but has the same end-goal. (I use hardcore and softcore deliberately because I see denial as a form of historiographic pornography.) It does not deny the facts, but it minimizes them, arguing that Jews use the Holocaust to draw attention away from criticism of Israel. Softcore denial also makes all sorts of false comparisons to the Holocaust. In certain Eastern European countries today, those who fought the Nazis may be lauded, but if they did so with a communist resistance group they may be prosecuted. Softcore denial also includes Holocaust minimization, as when someone suggests it was not so bad. “Why are we hearing about that again?”

A lot of people don't understand that, just as there are gradations of antivaccine views (for example), there are gradations of Holocaust denial. Relatively few deniers outright deny that millions of Jews died during the Holocaust. There is just too much evidence that they did for even the most antisemitic of Nazis to outright deny it. There are some, of course, who claim that millions of Jews didn't die, that there were no gas chambers, and that the Holocaust is all a big Jewish conspiracy, the "Holohoax," as some call it. They're the equivalent gradation of Holocaust denier as antivaxers who deny that vaccines work at all and claim they are dangerous or cause disease instead of preventing it are among vaccine denialists. (No, I'm not saying antivaccinationists are the equivalent of Holocaust deniers, just that the two denialism systems exist along their own spectrums of denialist beliefs, not as a yes/no clearcut dichotomy.) Then there are the "softcore" Holocaust deniers, as Prof. Lipstadt terms them. They range from conceding that millions of Jews were killed during World War II and denying that there was a systematic plan (the "World War II was horrible and millions of civilians died" gambit) to those who concede that millions of Jews were targeted and killed but, as the White House statement did, "de-Judaize" it by pointing to the other groups targeted by Nazis. (The "Nazis were horrible and targeted lots of groups" gambit.) In levels of denial, the equivalent would be the "too many too soon" antivaccine activists, who concede that vaccines prevent disease but promote "concerns" that somehow the current vaccine schedule is too much of a good thing that "overwhelms" a baby's immune system.

Of course, one way to tell if this is Holocaust denial is to look at how real Holocaust deniers reacted to it, for example, Chemi Shalev:

A Trump supporter responded:

And:

You get the idea.

The Daily Stormer is, of course, a vile, white supremacist, neo-Nazi site. The article linked to above was written by Erik Striker and characterizes "organized Jewry" as "frothing at the mouth" over Trump's statement. It also includes gems like:

The political “misstep”? Equating the suffering of all innocent people in World War II with the sufferink of Jews, which we all are supposed to know is different because Jews are a superior race.

This is the first time in history the President of the United States has made no mention of Jews, anti-Semitism, or the science fiction Zionist folklore about ovens and gas chambers so prominent in (((Hollywood))) narratives.

The Six Million meme Jews require their agents to constantly repeat through amplifiers in order to make the lie stick was also avoided. Without constant repetition, the myth and meme begins to decompose.

The writers at The Daily Stormer are hardcore Holocaust deniers, hence the reference to the "Six Million meme" and "myth." Either way a real Holocaust denier of the "Holohoax" variety, is happy that Trump is "exceeding expectations in pushing back against Jewish supremacy." Elsewhere, Andrew Anglin gloats, "Do you get it now, Jews? The jig is up."

Of course, none of this should be surprising. As Mark Hoofnagle points out, candidate Trump played footsie with white nationalists, who in turn adore him, and has been "hiring white nationalists, including Steve Bannon (also an alleged anti-Semite), and repeating propaganda from white supremacists (eg whitegenocide) and neo-nazis repeatedly during the campaign (anyone remember the “Sheriff’s Star”?)," summing it all up:

To summarize, this is classic Holocaust denial from an administration that (1) has been documented courting racists and neo-Nazis, (2) has a known white nationalist as a political advisor to the president, (3) has admitted the exclusion of the Jews from the statement was purposeful, (4) has expressed no regret about excluding Jews from the statement, and (5) received acclaim from neo-Nazis for the use of this language.

Exactly. Also, one more time, accepting that the Final Solution was, first and foremost, targeted at the Jews in no way minimizes or trivializes the suffering of other targeted groups. It merely acknowledges that the Holocaust grew from its primary focus on the Jews to target those other groups. As Prof. Lipstadt put it, those groups might also have been exterminated had Germany won, but the only group the Germans couldn't wait until the end of the war to kill was the Jews.

Sadly, I'm beginning to wonder if this is the reading list at the White House. Sadly, I'm beginning to wonder if this is the reading list at the White House.

The bottom line is disturbing. Not only do we have a science-denying administration in power, as evidenced by the appointment of anthropogenic global climate change denialists in positions of power, meeting with antivaccinationists like Andrew Wakefield and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., appointing a member of a crank medical organization as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and considering for the position of FDA commissioner technolibertarian cranks who think that online rating systems can replace science, but this administration openly spouts "softcore" Holocaust denial on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the same day Trump instituted a ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries that he linked to terrorism. I used to say that I feared for medical science under Donald Trump, but now I fear that that's the least of my worries for the next four years.

I also keep saying that nothing Donald Trump does surprises me any more, but fear that he'll prove me wrong.

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I don't agree with your interpretation. The White House statement was inclusive, because, in the future, the next victims of Nazi-like ideologies may not necessarily be Jews, but they can be Muslims or immigrants.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 30 Jan 2017 #permalink

You are, quite simply, incorrect about the Holocausr, although you are correct that next time the victims might be some other group than Jews.

A 'white-wash' from the 'gas-bags' occupying the U.S. administration? No, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 30 Jan 2017 #permalink

Some people really need a history-class.
I think last week also the Wahnsee conference was reminded, which is considered the starting-point of the Holocaust and by all means, this conference was about removing all Jews, because they were considered a tread, unlike other victims of the Nazis, which were just considered not worthy to live.

Some weeks ago a member of the German populist party considered the Holocaust monument in Berlin, to be a monument of shame and that Germany should be proud on his history and not just reminding the 12 years when Hitler ruled. This was a former history-teacher.
The populist party didn't kick him out, which speaks volumes to me.

When I hear the word "holocaust" I immediately think: Nazi extermination of Jews. Unless reminded I forget that other groups were sent to the extermination camps too.

I read and re-read and kept on re-reading the statement in question and could not see the problem. I was thinking purely in terms of extermination of Jews and I simply could not see a problem.

You see, that's my problem; I always forget that other groups suffered too.

By Leigh Jackson (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I fear we are seeing the ultimate Gish Gallop--albeit with the power of the Office of the President of the United States behind those doing the gallop.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@Jake - you should be embarrassed....the Holocaust is something that is set apart from the other atrocities of the Nazis. It would be entirely appropriate to talk about the other millions who died as part of Nazi barbarity, but no group was as singled out and quite literally "exterminated" as the Jews.

To ignore this singular issue, is to show just how biased and out of touch you really are.

And yes, next time it may just be another group - or, based on some of Trump's closest advisors, we might be right back to where all of this started too.

@Daniel - there is "inclusiveness" and then there is ignoring the singular, most poignant part of the Holocaust.

It would have been entirely appropriate to have issued a statement of sympathy for all victims, while also highlighting the fact that the Final Solution was directly specifically to eliminate the Jewish people from the planet.

@ Orac
I didn't make any statement on the Holocaust, only on the White House statement.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@Jake - to use Social Justice Warrior as a pejorative term is a clear statement that your opinions are so far from those of reasonable compassionate people that anything you say can safely be used as a guide to correct thinking - if you say it it is clearly wrong.

By Prog John (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@Jake: We all know that Ivanka Trump married a Jew and converted to Judaism, and that she and her husband are among her father's closest advisors.

Many of us are also familiar with the perjorative "Uncle Tom". It originally referred to black slaves in the US who would help their masters oppress other black slaves.

You should be able to deduce that many people consider Ivanka and Jared to be the Jewish equivalent of Uncle Toms.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Sadly antisemitism has been embraced by both the Left and the Right. The worst encounter with it I have had was when I confronted a pro-Palestinian activist whose home made slogans on his t-shirt called for Jews to be burned alive. His final argument before storming off was to tell me that by putting the word 'Israeli' in front of the word 'Jew' made the slogans legitimate political comment.

As for 'soft holocaust denial' it is much more dangerous and insidious because it emanates from both sides of politics, the Right is easy to oppose, the Left almost impossible, because they have powerful ideological tools to disarm critics.

In addition to the Holocaust denial in Trump's speech, Friday was the day he released the executive order banning the issuing of visas and the admission of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including refugees and other people already holding valid visas or even green cards. Despite multiple injunctions against the order, Customs and Border Patrol officials are still enforcing it. Last night Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who refused to defend the order because of its questionable legality.

The Holocaust started out with anti-Semitic rhetoric very much like the anti-Muslim rhetoric we have been hearing from the right. It can happen again. Especially with a President who seems to think he is not bound by law.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Jared Kushner, son-in-law & adviser of Drumpf, is the grandson of Holocaust survivors. I wonder what Kushner & his extended family feel about this particular imbroglio. Severe embarrassment hopefully.

By DrBollocks (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I don't get the sense that Jared (or Ivanka) care one bit...because they are part of the "inner circle" and don't need to be concerned with how they are viewed.

I also don't get the sense that people like Steve Bannon & Miller care that they are viewed as antisemitic, since it plays to their base.

Jake:Oh buzz off and go screw yourself, waste-of-space fascist jerk-off.

Dr.Bollocks: I don't think Mr. Kushner has the capacity for embarassment, empathy or any human feelings at all or he wouldn't have married into a family full of monsters.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Jake @#1: Consume excrement and expire.

Graham @#13: Do you have anything to back up the claims in your little "Both Sides Do It" screed, or are you just running the same game so many others do?

By Chan Kobun, th… (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I guess acknowledging the Jews would be in tension with the quest to make racism great again.

More seriously, many of the recent steps appear to be work towards mainstreaming racist views, giving them support. Does that seem right?

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

SJWs have reprogrammed Orac.

Yah, Jake, but what does John Best think of the statement? Is he still commenting at your place after that little Protocols mix-up, or are you mostly stuck with Hans/Sophie/Georg/White Rose?

You know the old statement, "If you lie down with dogs, you might get fleas"?

It's the same thing. If you don't want to be seen as a Holocaust denier, don't say things that deniers support.

Someone with shame might be appalled that Holocaust deniers would celebrate what they say.

By Marry Me, Mindy (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@ Eric #14

Pertinent here is the Secretary General of the U.N.

oday, we honour the victims of the Holocaust, an incomparable tragedy in human history.

The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.

It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism.

Tragically, and contrary to our resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive. We are also seeing a deeply troubling rise in extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred. Irrationality and intolerance are back.

This is in complete contrast to the universal values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/2017/SG.html

By Leigh Jackson (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Marry me Mindy: Someone with shame might be appalled that Holocaust deniers would celebrate what they say.

Someone with shame or even a smidgen of feelings wouldn't have accepted an endorsement from Richard Spencer or David Duke.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

FFS, Jake Crosby is sounding more like D*nnis M*rkuze every damned day. If it weren't for monomania being a known autistic trait coupled with his public history of abusive upbringing by unhinged hateful monsters, I would armchair-diagnose him as one of those "diagnostic substitutions" we hear about and immediately prescribe a supertanker-sized bottle of elephant tranquilizers and emergency fuckoff. What a hideously screwed-up human being.

"All Holocaust Victims Matter"

By Eli Rector (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

“All Holocaust Victims Matter”

Eli@26: I have no way of telling whether this post is snark, but I have seen people point out that in effect, Trump "All Lives Matter"-ed the Holocaust. Normal people will understand why some Americans, and not just Jews, would find this offensive.

If your post was meant seriously, you are part of the problem. If it was intended as snark, you need to be clearer about your snarking. Remember that Poe's Law is strictly enforced.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Has: Jake's just a monster. I wouldn't waste your sympathy. Those raised by monsters turn into monsters themselves.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Well, let's see:
what hasn't Trump botched this week?

I find his appointments ( with a few exceptions) abysmal but I am especially 'pleased' by how his reps - like Spicer- are dancing around and trying to make his actions sound reasonable and palatable.

I watch my television amazed by these people.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

what hasn’t Trump botched this week?

Well, he claims to be backing off a draft EO that, if not enjoined, would have completely eviscerated any protection of LGBTQ people. Although given his propensity for lying, I'd say that assurance plus $2 will get you through the tollbooth in Hampton, NH.

Also, we are not in a shooting war with Iran or China. Yet.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@Denice Walter, #28: Several of Trump's ardent supporters appear to think Spicer's doing a good job. "schooling the media."

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@ Eric Lund:

But it's only Tuesday... give him time

He'll name his choice for SCOTUS later.

Perhaps that'll be so bad we'll forget about the immigrant ban for an hour or two.

Someone I know ( not me) seems nearly happy because he knows these recent actions will lead to many donations to some charities he supports like ACLU, ADL.

There has to be better way to raise money besides fear.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@ Dorit Reiss:

I know.
Seems that they define "schooling" differently than I do.

I think he's *motivating* them.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Let me start with the memory of my grandmother saying, "if it didn't happen then somebody has to tell me where a hundred of my relatives are."
There is a uniquely Jewish dimension to the Shoah not delineated by the sheer horror of the numbers. There is another number that is just as important; one out of every three Jews alive in the world was murdered. There are few groups that have faced devastation in modern times (The Rwandan genocide comes to mind. It was smaller by the total, but even higher by percentage, and was accompanied by just as much savage cruelty, and received just about the same world reaction, namely not one rat's ass given.).
The very word "genocide" was first coined to describe what Germany had done to the Jews.
There is another side to the Shoah. This was the first time in modern history that the entire machinery of a state was dedicated first and foremost to the extermination of an entire people. The Nazis had everything planned to the smallest detail. The competitive bidding records for construction of gas chambers are still extant. An army film unit was assigned to record the extermination, and a film was made to document the actions of that unit. Jewish artifacts were gathered for a planned "Museum of a Vanished Race."
Maybe no other genocide was conducted with such cruel cynicism. Everyone is familiar with the "Work Will Make You Free: message above the gate to Auschwitz. Decorated German Jewish veterans of World War 1 were told to report with their families for resettlement in the east. A luxurious passenger train was laid on for them - sleeping cars, dining car, crack staff. It went directly to the platform of Treblinka, where they all were murdered.
So, yes, it is about the Jews, not forgetting all the others who died, but the Jewish dimension is the centerpiece and the core of Germany's crimes.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Trump is treating the Presidency as another version of the Apprentice....as long as he's generating drama, he thinks he's winning (think "ratings").

It doesn't matter what people say, as long as they are talking about him - he has no concept of good or bad, just pure ego.

OT: Orac, WH.Gov just published the "highlights" of his meeting with pharama cos. today...I know you were concerned about his FDA picks:

"President Trump Works To Make Drugs More Affordable, Create Jobs

Highlights From The President’s Listening Session With Pharmaceutical Industry Leaders

President Trump On His Commitment To Make Drugs More Affordable While Promoting Innovation

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “You folks have done a terrific job over the years, but we have to get prices down for a lot of reasons. We have no choice. For Medicare, for Medicaid, we have to get the prices way down, so that's what we're going to be talking about. We're also going to be streamlining the process so that from your standpoint when you have drug you can actually get it approved, if it works instead of waiting for many, many years. The U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country but the pricing has been astronomical for our country.”

President Trump Focused On Cutting Regulations To Encourage Drug Companies To Bring Back Operations And Jobs To The United States

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “So you have to get your companies back here. We have to make progress back. We're going to get rid of a tremendous number of regulations. I know you have some problems where you cannot even think about opening up new plants and then you can't get approval for the plant and then you can't get approval to make the drug.”

President Trump On Appointing A Leader To Streamline The FDA To Reduce Prices And Get New Products On The Market Faster:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re going to streamline the FDA, we have a fantastic person that I think I we’ll be naming fairly soon, he's going to streamline the FDA and you're going to get your products either approved or not approved but it's going to be a quick process. It’s not going to take 15 years. And we're going to do I think a tremendous -- I think we're going to make a tremendous difference to you. I read where it costs sometimes $2.5 billion on average, actually, to come up with a new product. Is that correct? 15 years, $2.5 billion to come up with a product where there's not even a safety problem. So it's crazy. I’m surprised you can't get them to move faster than that.”"
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/31/president-trump-…

ORD@34: The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia is estimated to have killed about a third of that country's population in a span of less than four years (April 1975 to December 1978). That includes death by starvation as well as executions. Ethnic (including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai) and religious (including Christian and Muslim, as well as Buddhist monks) minorities were targeted, as were "intellectuals", anyone associated with the previous government, anyone who wore glasses, and "economic saboteurs" (frequently, former city dwellers with no agricultural skills). But the bulk of this was Cambodians killing other Cambodians.

Astoundingly (or perhaps not), the Khmer Rouge were allowed to retain Cambodia's seat in the UN for about a decade after they were ousted from Phnom Penh, even though it was known that the regime had engaged in crimes against humanity. Sweden was among the first Western countries to withdraw support for the Khmer Rouge holding the UN seat, and then only because so many Swedish citizens wrote protest letters to their representatives in Parliament.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

This would be a good year for Tom Hanks to finally make the movie based on the book In the Garden of Beasts.

Also, I have taken to calling the White House staffers as "Nazi Spicer", "Nazi Bannon" and (of course) "Nazi Trump."

Now I'm starting to get actually worried for my immediate physical safety. I'm not Jewish, but my husband is. And unlike being a Christian, one does not have to practice to be Jewish; it's something you're born to.

I guess it's time to make contact with my Swedish relatives. Crap.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I have taken to calling the White House staffers as “Nazi Spicer”, “Nazi Bannon” and (of course) “Nazi Trump.”

An all too appropriate line from The Big Lebowski: "Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos."

Bannon is a self-admitted Leninist. He just wants to burn the whole thing down. Trump is simply a 70-year-old toddler. Nobody has ever told him "No!" before and been able to make it stick, because they know he will throw a tantrum if they do and they aren't willing to deal with it. With the Nazis, you could at least appeal to their self-interest--they may have had a warped idea of what that was, but they were familiar with the concept. That won't work with this administration. They want what they want, whether it's actually in their self-interest or not.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@JustaTech: I wouldn't panic yet, but yes, it may be wise to explore your options in case the worst happens. I don't think Trump's people are planning to go after Jews--among other things, the End Times Christianists need to have Israel around in order to fulfill some element of their Rapture/Tribulation prophecies/fantasies--but Bannon is someone you should definitely keep an eye on.

There are several Iranian students affiliated with my institute. I asked some of them today, and they said that while everyone they knew was safely (for now) in the US, there were some friends of friends who were stuck outside the country: at least one in Toronto, and possibly others elsewhere.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Somebody ought to update Orac's Wikipedia description to something like this:

"Orac is an SJW super-computer capable of mimicking any other SJWs' fake hate stories and built by a pretentious hack named Adam Bly. It uses a component called a "Science"Blog – a universal Seed Media component – to shout down ideas he doesn't like as being some form of bigotry. It can also control other computers, especially the one in his bedroom. Orac dislikes work that involves any deference to facts, enjoys gathering hate hoaxes and has delusions of grandeur."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake's_7

By Jake Crosby (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I, too, could have accepted the original press release as merely...abbreviated, shall we say?...given that we're talking about a guy whose favored means of communication is 140 characters or less. But once it's been pointed out that omitting the Jews from a discussion of the Holocaust is a known dog whistle for anti-antisemitism and Holocaust denial, the only acceptable response has to start with the words "it was never our intention to minimize the deliberate genocide carried out against the Jewish people..." etc. You can whine all you want about how you were just trying to be "inclusive" after you've established that baseline level of human decency. I'm still not sure if his actual response reflects closet anti-antisemitism or merely his usual inability to admit he's wrong.

...and immediately prescribe a supertanker-sized bottle of elephant tranquilizers...

I could use that supertanker, especially since Trump won the election.
Make mine a double!

As for the holocaust, I had two uncles help liberate a concentration camp, what little that they were willing to speak about was tinged, even so many decades later, with pure, distilled hatred and rage for the nazis involved.
My junior high school librarian was a holocaust survivor and she also told me some stories, which she considered appropriate for my years.

When the camps and the activities that went on in the camps was initially uncovered, the information was censored, lest there be a massive outcry for the extermination of every German alive. Later, when news did begin to trickle past the censors, that feeling was verified by the popular demand, often repeated, to kill every German alive. Fortunately, sanity prevailed.
Alas, I could never consider that a probable path for this administration.

Jake, now that we've established that you hate Justice, how do you feel about Truth, the American Way, mom and apple pie?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

When you add this to the already used "America First" slogan, it's just another rung on the ladder of American 21st Century Fascism.

Autocracies don't have to look like governments out of the 1930s....they will have their own modern spin.

And "useful idiots" like Mr. Crosby will whistle their way through the end of American democracy.

Eric Lund: "Bannon is a self-admitted Leninist. He just wants to burn the whole thing down. Trump is simply a 70-year-old toddler."

I stand corrected. But I am still going to call him a Nazi as an alternative to "alt-right." Though you might enjoy this cartoon:
https://twitter.com/PiaGuerra/status/825894457396514816

When's that Thompson PNAS paper that Hooker promised going to be showing up, Jake? Still trust him?

Slight revision:

“Orac is a super-SJW capable of mimicking any other SJWs’ fake hate stories and built by a pretentious hack named Adam Bly. It uses a component called a “Science”Blog – a universal Seed Media component – to shout down ideas it doesn’t like as being some form of bigotry. It can also control other SJWs, especially the ones who comment on its blog. Orac dislikes work that involves any deference to facts, enjoys gathering hate hoaxes and has delusions of grandeur.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake's_7

By Jake Crosby (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Is that The Gnat I hear buzzing around again? I must admit, the buzzing about "dislikes work that involves any deference to facts, enjoys gathering hate hoaxes and has delusions of grandeur" sure did destroy another irony meter of mine (not to mention give me a hearty chuckle). Otherwise, it's the same old hateful stupidity that The Gnat has unfortunately become known all too well for.

Buzz away, Gnat.

Someone I know ( not me) seems nearly happy because he knows these recent actions will lead to many donations to some charities he supports like ACLU, ADL.

Dare we hope that President Dilophosaurus is unwittingly doing everything possible to hand the Dems the 2018 elections...

By shay simmons (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Justatech@46 -

Jake Crosby and Truth have never occupied the same grid square.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Awwww... Young Master Crosby is now all grown up and is proudly a Young Nazi Crosby.

Isn't that just adorable?

Awwww… Young Master Crosby is now all grown up and is proudly a Young Nazi Crosby.

I suppose we could call him Young Master Race Crosby now.

Hope Hicks' tortured explanation has most of the elements of a notpology, except for the total absence of anything like an apology. Like all those notpologies, It doesn't recognize why their words were offensive. It doesn't really take ownership. It uses the poor-little-us it's-not-the-real-us gambit. Nor does it show any intent to prevent it from happening again. The only thing missing is "We apologize to anyone who might have been offended."

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I'm going to undoubtedly piss people off, but I agree with the original statement and don't find it to be anti-Semitic in any way shape or form. The main argument starts as if it weren't for trying to exterminate the jews, the others wouldn't have been killed. Bull hockey. Eugenics occurred all over the world up to ~1960. This includes in that bastion of evil, Canada. Would the Nazi's who started there camps with the defectives have kept them as work camps if they had not decided to kill Jews, or would they have taken the next step and slaughtered the poor bastards when resources were limited.

I admit to the possibility of being incorrect and inadequate in my knowledge because I never really gave much thought to a group of bigoted morons who got what they so richly deserved. I don't see a problem with including Jews under the rubric of "innocents" instead of naming all the groups killed, or glossing over everyone but the Jews. I hold all genocides to the same standard. Pol pot didn't just slaughter the educated, Stalin didn't just kill Ukrainians. Mao.. Well you get the idea.

Besides.. Is Trump the great redeemer of relations with Israel really supposed to be running an anti-Semitic administration? To me, this seems to be a case of "Look at the way that bitch is eating those crackers"

By Anonymous Pseudonym (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I have Roma ancestry (yes, really, Vilas - my great grandfather's name - is Sanskrit in origin and he was from Switzerland) and they were murdered in the Holocaust too.

But I would never argue that Jews weren't central to the Holocaust. To do so is a form of Holocaust denial, plain and simple.

There is, though, a name for the Roma genocide in Europe - "Porajmos," the Devouring.

Dare we hope that President Dilophosaurus is unwittingly doing everything possible to hand the Dems the 2018 elections…

He'd have to do quite a lot. In 2018, the terrain for the Senate is as hostile to Democrats as it was to Republicans in 2016, the latter of which was a blown opportunity. Way more Democrats are running for re-election than Republicans, and many are from states Trump won. In the House, gerrymandering will make overcoming the Democrats' current deficit incredibly difficult, maybe impossible.

Still, Trump's off to a good start to give the Democrats a chance to overcome those obstacles and take back the Senate and/or house. I have faith he can do the near-impossible and hand Congress to the Democrats in 20187. :-)

@58 @ 59 JP
And the Roma are still getting treated like crap by most of the European nations. But we're enlightened now, so it must be something they are doing. :-(

By Anonymous Pseudonym (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

But we’re enlightened now, so it must be something they are doing. ?

Well, my family *was* part of the Mafia in the Old Country. I'm guessing young Vilas left before he got his legs broken or something.

My advisor does a bit of victim blaming by pointing out that Roma culture is still oral and very insular...

I didn’t at first realise that it was some kind of a political dog whistle. But yes, it is definitely true that the Jews were singled out far more for the Holocaust. Some Jews escaped as far as Shanghai and were put into a ghetto there, and even there the Nazis tried to put pressure on Japan (which ruled the city at the time) to hand them over. The Japanese governor of Shanghai could not understand why the Nazis hated the Jews so much, and in the end never deported them as he was being pressured to do so.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

In the House, gerrymandering will make overcoming the Democrats’ current deficit incredibly difficult, maybe impossible.

The thing about gerrymandering is that a big enough wave can overcome it. The idea is that you try to crowd a bunch of the other party's voters into a few districts, and spread the rest out in such a way that your party has a much narrower edge in a bunch of districts. That's how you get many more representatives from your party than its share of the voters would indicate. But if you have a bunch of, say, R+6 districts in a D+8 election, then many of those districts flip.

I'd be more wary of voter suppression efforts coming down the pike. Trump's Attorney General nominee, Jeff Sessions, was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 (at a time when Republicans had a Senate majority) because he was too racist--he had a documented history as a prosecutor of pursuing dubious voter fraud charges against black people, and he still seems to think that "those people" shouldn't vote.

A Senate flip is definitely not happening. Only 8 of the 33 senators up for reelection are Republicans, and only one of those (Heller in NV) is in a state Clinton carried. The Democrats are defending a bunch of seats in states Trump carried: McCaskill (MO), Heitkamp (ND), Donnelly (IN), Baldwin (WI), Brown (OH), Manchin (WV), and that's just off the top of my head.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

What a mess.

I think we all should take the time to read some of the primary historiography relevant to this time period.

We all have the grade-school textbook Pop Culture version of the holocaust in our heads, but how many have actually studied primary sources and chemical and physical data from Aushwitz?

There has been a debate over cyanide residues inside of buildings.

So how many people died? How many Jews are you allowed to subtract from the body count before it becomes a crime?

If I say four million, would you call me a denier?

If I dispel the soap and lampshade myths, what does that make me? An anti-semite? Come on people, let's be rational.

But just as worse as stubbornly defending lollipop history is those who take anything radical and run with it. The people who follow the precept of "the most radical departure from established history" is most likely to be true.

Not so. There are outlets who pander to these folks: the National Enquirer, Jim Fetzer, and the New York Post. People can make many money by pulling something radical, intriguing, and false out of a hat and writing a book or going on a lecture tour.

The truth behind WWII is there for anyone's taking. It involves serious reading of many different historians, and not just the establishment historians because, let's face it, history is a highly politicized craft and historians are often financially dependent on politicians and the patrons of biographies and such.

For example, If I were charge an author with the task of writing a biography about me, I certainly would tell him to leave out the part where I was caught masturbating in a tree next to my neighbor's window (was that me or was that Michael Skakel? I forgot. I remember now, It was Micheal Skakel.)

Anyway, it's not so cut and dry. We all know that certain lies have been placed in Public School textbooks and it is up to us to disabuse ourselves of those lies. Just the simple passage: "Columbus discovered America" is without a doubt the most outrageous thing you could write on paper.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Ah. Our first Holocaust denier. No, no, don't try to say otherwise. I've been doing this nearly 20 years, and, even though I've been out of action in the Holocaust denial refutation front, I still recognize the tropes, such as the claim that there is a debate about the cyanide residues in the ruins of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. There isn't.

For instance, by referring to the "debate" about cyanide residues, you're referencing Fred Leuchter, the death-obsessed self proclaimed "expert" in methods of execution whose incompetent analysis of the walls of Auschwitz has fueled generations of Holocaust deniers. The bits about soap and lampshades are classic Holocaust denial, because soap and lampshades made of human fat and skin are not part of the historiography (as you put it) of the Holocaust coming from serious historians. So, no, if you dispel that "myth," it doesn't necessarily mean you are an antisemite or denier, but the way you brought it up is classic Holocaust denial. I've seen it many, any times. Ditto your question about "How many deaths can I subtract?" That's another classic denier trope.

Then there's this classic claim that history is so hopelessly politicized, with the implication that maybe Holocaust history is very, very wrong:

The truth behind WWII is there for anyone’s taking. It involves serious reading of many different historians, and not just the establishment historians because, let’s face it, history is a highly politicized craft and historians are often financially dependent on politicians and the patrons of biographies and such.

And:

Anyway, it’s not so cut and dry. We all know that certain lies have been placed in Public School textbooks and it is up to us to disabuse ourselves of those lies. Just the simple passage: “Columbus discovered America” is without a doubt the most outrageous thing you could write on paper.

Silly, silly. We're not talking about popular beliefs about the Holocaust. I'm not, at least. I'm talking about serious reading of multiple historians and, yes, reading "some of the primary historiography relevant to this time period," both of which I've been engaged in since I was in college in the 1980s. To what "historians" are you referring? David Irving?

The most painfully hilarious part is that they just *can't fathom* how this could be considered insensitive. And, good lord, Jake sounds like someone I know in real life - do they all recite from the same script? Tell me, Mr. Crosby, do you also hate Justin Trudeau?

And, well, huh. Gish galloping. So that's what it's called. Seems to be a favorite of the semi-educated, I've been buried in bullshit every time I try to argue any points.

Background which no one asked for: I'm an invisible minority. Dad's side of the family are Indian Muslims, but I'm as white as library paste, and if you can say with a straight face that you're sure that's not caused any problems for him, you are either naive, uninformed, or a douche. It started getting bad in 2001, of course - I got to be the audience to a gang of rednecks in a large truck hollering hateful things at my father on my 13th birthday, which was just lovely - but it's never gone away, just concentrated itself in the cracks.

As a result, I'm genuinely worried for my cousin, who left India for graduate school in America - he's on a very cosmopolitan campus but the fact remains that he is almost as alone as I am up here in the middle of whitebread Canadian Texas, only he can't blend in like I can. And also isn't in Canada. Carrying a firearm is legal in America, and in a city in a red state his chances of running into someone who is both armed and crazy enough to do something with that fact are non-zero. Worse, now that the Marmalade God-Emperor is making racism a-okay again, that terrible possibility is exponentially more likely than it was when I flew in to see him last fall. How the Actual Fuck is this okay?

By A Magnificent Sloth (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@A Magnificent Sloth,

As a result, I’m genuinely worried for my cousin, who left India for graduate school in America – he’s on a very cosmopolitan campus but the fact remains that he is almost as alone as I am up here in the middle of whitebread Canadian Texas, only he can’t blend in like I can.

If things get dicey, have your cousin get across the eastern border to Bossier Parish, we'll be a safehouse.
I've already stared down a truck full of rednecks, they took one look at my rifle and decided to drive rapidly out of range. I'll lay in some additional provisions just in case.
I hope your cousin likes Italian!* ;)

*I actually cook in multiple cuisines.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

In reply to by A Magnificent Sloth (not verified)

When historians write about the great fall of Murka that began this month, I'm sure that some will reflect on how we had wasted so much of our national energy on the pursuit of stupid entertainment experiences that we eventually became stupid entertainment. I'm sure that some will write about how we become so callous to the suffering of others that we even institutionalized the infliction of suffering as a virtue and as entertainment. And I'm sure that some will write about how sadism trumped human virtues and allowed a clique of callous sadistic monsters to take over the reins of power.

Is there anybody in the house who has a remedy in their doctor bag for the sort of anomie that Murka is suffering from ? Any spiritual wisdom to cure this affliction? Those of us who still have heart and soul are trying to be decent to each other. Is there any way that we can get that to spread ?

Is there anybody in the house who has a remedy in their doctor bag for the sort of anomie that Murka is suffering from ?

Alas, I suspect only a major nationwide disaster would remedy what's wrong currently.
The upside and downside are the same, that disaster currently occupies the Oval Office.
Rendering it the offal office.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

In reply to by SteveP (not verified)

I think we all should take the time to read some of the primary historiography relevant to this time period.

As opposed to "secondary historiography"?

I think we all should take the time to read some of the primary historiography relevant to this time period.

You could start with interviews and memoirs written by eyewitnesses.

Louis Vecchi of Benicia, CA was a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne. In an interview with Rachel Raskin-Zrihen of the Benicia Times-Herald, Vecchi described the Kaufering IV camp. The following quote is from the Times-Herald September 25, 2007 edition:

"It was the Landsberg slave labor camp (a Dachau death camp satellite camp)," Vecchi said. "When we got there, the people were practically dead from starvation. I know there are people who say the Holocaust didn't happen, but that's bull. I saw it."

Gene Cook was a soldier in A company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. After fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, Cook's unit was ordered to Hitler's vacation home in Berchtesgaden, according to an article by Alex McRae and Megan Almon in The Times-Herald, published on December 24, 2007.

According to The Times-Herald article, on the way to Berchtesgaden, the soldiers of A Company "came across a strange complex circled with barbed wire. It was Landsberg, a satellite operation for the massive concentration camp at Dachau."

The following quote is from the article written by McRae and Almon in The Times-Herald:

Cook will never forget the sight. "I didn't even know what we were looking at," he says. "It took me a while to realize it was a pile of dead bodies."

The prisoners came out of their quarters, emaciated, filthy and disoriented.

"It was awful, "Cook says. "Some walked around like zombies. Some were so feeble they couldn't even stand."

The prisoners all begged for food. Cook gave one man all he had - a small piece of cheese - and the man said in English "You are God in disguise."

By shay simmons (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Look, I am not denying anything. I am just saying that the Pop Culture understanding isn't necessarily true.

I am a non-conformist, but not an anti-conformist. I just haven't read enough to say with certainty that "six million Jews were murdered with Cyklon B" when there are so many people challenging this.

I know that when there are a small minority of people really committed to changing a historical record, there is usually some truth to it. We all know that the official explanation of the JFK Assassination is outrageous. Here is Bertrand Russell in 1964 writing about the logical stupidity of the official narrative. Bertrand Russell was no amateur, he won a novel prize and coauthored Principia Mathematica with Alfred North Whitehead. In short, he was a professor's professor, a hard-headed logician with a dedication for facts:
http://22november1963.org.uk/bertrand-russell-16-questions-on-the-assas…

So, you want to call me a denier! Try to associate me with neo-nazi's and crackpots because I understand the political bias of history?

The lies created by governments to sway the masses, to keep themselves in power, and to exploit native peoples?

So ORAC, if you have following the cyanide residue issue since it's inception,and if you have a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry as you say, then can you explain what happened?

Can you summarize the controversy?

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I am a non-conformist, but not an anti-conformist. I just haven’t read enough to say with certainty that “six million Jews were murdered with Cyklon B” when there are so many people challenging this.

Another sure "tell" that you're a Holocaust denier. No reputable historian claims that six million Jews were murdered with Zyklon B. Jews were murdered by many methods. Victims were machine gunned in batches, shot in the head at the edge of trenches, burned alive while crowded into churches, gassed in vans or fake shower rooms, starved or frozen to death, worked to death in camps, or beaten or tortured to death. For example, the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) killed an estimated 1.3 million Jews and many tens of thousands of others just by rounding them up in occupied territories and shooting them.

As for the claims of Holocaust deniers that there was not enough cyanide residues found on the walls to be consistent with their being homicidal gas chambers, that's based primarily on the work of Fred Leuchter and has been debunked by more knowledgeable people than I:

http://web.archive.org/web/20150906001516/http://holocaust-history.org/…

http://web.archive.org/web/20150905054945/http://www.holocaust-history…

Wzrd1: Later, when news did begin to trickle past the censors, that feeling was verified by the popular demand, often repeated, to kill every German alive.

I can kinda understand; I don't know how one could live on that soil or on Polish soil and not feel the evil radiating from the ground. I still think they should have been forbidden from say, having museums ever again. They got off pretty lightly after World War 2.

AP: Just because they're trying to get cozy with Isreal doesn't make them not anti-semitic. It just means they hate Jews slightly less than they hate Muslims.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I still think they should have been forbidden from say, having museums ever again. They got off pretty lightly after World War 2.

Interestingly, had Germany gotten off lightly after WWI, WWII would have been unlikely. Between the Great Depression and the punitive measures Germany was paying in reparations for WWI, the misery directly helped Hitler rise to power.
Would we really want to try on WWIII for size with Germany at the heart of that, yet again? If so, should we then raze all buildings, enslave the women and children, then salt the soil, as the Romans were said to have done at the close of the third Punic war?
Or would the decaying radioisotopes suffice?

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Politicalguineapig (not verified)

I think David Irving should be taken seriously.

He has had access to way more information and documents that just about anyone.

He is one of the preeminent WWII Historians, and was even considered so by the mainstream, until he started writing about historical facts antithetical to the Mainstream Holocaust Model.

The pseudoskeptics, establishment historians, and some Jewish people in the media have been smearing his character ever since.

This has nothing to do with racism, and nobody should be called and anti-semite. This is just a matter of the historical record. Nobody, not even most of your so-called "deniers", are racist Nazi's.

The fact is, nobody here was around to count the bodies. I think it is healthy to be skeptical of this "6 million" figure.

Does anyone here think they know more than David Irving? Seriously?

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Well, let's see. Germans were crazy about record keeping. Remains were found in phenomenal numbers, as the crematoria could not keep up (per the logs), the ash residue is fairly standard per adult human and the amount of ash measured.
Fresh cyanide was found in the "showers" by elements of the 101st airborne, counting two of my uncles who were present to liberate several camps.

So, all of those eye witnesses were liars, deciding to repeat some mythical official lie, a lie documented on our classified networks and survivors also managed to repeat the same lie, all for generations.

The US is infamous for the inability to retain any secret, it always ends up getting out. The Manhattan project had daily reports going to Stalin. Our allies, even today complain that any secrets that they share with us, Congress gets and that same day, they're in the press.
But, somehow, that secret, over many thousands of men and women all was kept.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Alistair Rhodes (not verified)

Ha.

Haha.

Hahahaha.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

David Irving should be taken seriously?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Thanks for the laugh. I needed it given what Trump's been doing since he took over.

SteveP: Those of us who still have heart and soul are trying to be decent to each other. Is there any way that we can get that to spread ?

Leave the States and go work for NGOs or local do-good associations elsewhere? That's what I'm going to try to do. There aren't any good people in America anymore. That's done. Trump's made us all into monsters.

Rhodes Jerk: Hey, what do you call Anne Frank's Diary? If that's not a primary source, I don't know what is. And then there's all the other letters, interviews, videos, etc. There are these fascinating things called library catalogs, and most every city has these cool new things called museums. If you can't find a primary source, that's only because you haven't LOOKED, klanhead.

AR: I know that when there are a small minority of people really committed to changing a historical record, there is usually some truth to it.

Nope! Wrong. They just don't WANT the holocaust to be true, because then they'd have to admit that they're nazi scumbags.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

The 'historiography' solecizing was enough, Fυcklesworth.

Ii would like to draw people's attention to the fact that what Alistair Rhodes is writing is sadistic. The insensitivity in his discussion of the brutal murders of vast numbers of people shows that something inside of him is broken. It appears that he enjoy hurting others. He has a disease which makes him easy to hate, but I think that we should see past that and see that, more importantly, his disease makes him pitiable.

OMG. What is wrong with you?

This is a simple matter of historical record, don't pathologize accurate bookkeeping.

Something in your brain is broken, some part of your temporal lobe. The logical center, wherever that may reside, obviously has problems.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Well this website certainly isn't a bastion for liberal conversation.

We have a Joker named SteveP who comes on with that annoying sort or armchair psychologizing that is usually reserved for people like Lee Harvey Oswald.

Just discredit people that don't swallow official dogma. Whatever.

I'll just say one more thing, certain intelligent historians have been vocal about certain errors in the historical record. They are persistent and then seem sincere. I don't think it is prudent to disregard every bit of information that does not conform to Pop History, especially if it comes from a well-read historian or a physical chemist.

It seems as if most people here just want to carry on this sort of charade: "I'm right because it's Pop History", "Whatever the people in power think, I will think what they want me to think".

Come to think of it, Narad rhymes with Charade,

Narad the Charade!

And wzrd1 just has one of those lazy and stupid screennames, something you would see on the leader board of an arcade game. Play pinball much wzrd1?
Pnbllwzrd1?

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

I’ll just say one more thing, certain intelligent historians have been vocal about certain errors in the historical record. They are persistent and then seem sincere. I don’t think it is prudent to disregard every bit of information that does not conform to Pop History, especially if it comes from a well-read historian or a physical chemist.

Do tell. Tell us these "certain errors in the historical record," with sources.

No one is "disregarding every bit of information that does not conform to Pop History," but thanks for the further tell that you're a Holocaust denier. I think you're doing my readers a service by showing that Holocaust deniers still exist and that they use logical fallacies and distortions of evidence in much the same way antivaxers, creationists, 9/11 Truthers, and the like do.

"I’ll just say one more thing, certain intelligent historians have been vocal about certain errors in the historical record."
[CITATION NEEDED]

"They are persistent and then seem sincere."
[CITATION NEEDED]

"I don’t think it is prudent to disregard every bit of information that does not conform to Pop History, especially if it comes from a well-read historian or a physical chemist."
[CITATION NEEDED]

"It seems as if most people here just want to carry on this sort of charade: “I’m right because it’s Pop History”"
[CITATION NEEDED]

"“Whatever the people in power think, I will think what they want me to think”."
[CITATION NEEDED]

Nobody was around to count the bodies? Sounds a bit like the creationist I had an argument with. Apparently you can't prove the Earth is 4 billion years old because no one was around to see it.

By NumberWang (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Here is a short paper by Dr. Rudolf (Doctorate in Chemistry from Max Planck Institute) on the iron cyanate traces in the walls of the purported delousing chambers and in the purported extermination chambers.

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n2p-3_rudolf.html

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

And...there's now no doubt that this is a Holocaust denier! Citing the IHR, one of the oldest and most influential bunches of Holocaust deniers out there? Yep. Holocaust denier.

Alistair Rhodes:
"purported delousing chambers and in the purported extermination chambers."

Orac:
"Our first Holocaust denier. No, no, don’t try to say otherwise. I’ve been doing this nearly 20 years, and, even though I’ve been out of action in the Holocaust denial refutation front, I still recognize the tropes, such as the claim that there is a debate about the cyanide residues in the ruins of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. There isn’t."

SteveP: his disease makes him pitiable.

And that right there is why the Democrats lost. Pity is a weak emotion; actually ALL emotions are weak, except for anger.

Wzrd1: But people can live without museums and culture, right? That's a pretty mild punishment. Heck, I'd be all for applying that to the red states- no museums ever, have fun with Ham's dismal anti-amusement park.

AR: Oh,grow up, nazi. Learn to use a library catalog. And yes, I'd certainly pit myself against Irving, who's just a sad stupid little man, who decided to spit on his profession and use his degree as toilet paper and got roundly, deservedly, humiliated. There's nothing wrong with my brain. You might want to get yours checked.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

OMG, it's as though the ADL has sent an army of trolls here.

Whatever.

We all see what happens to people who question the Holocaust. It's seems as though David Irving is the only one who hasn't been physically assaulted.

I am going to violate Scopies Law here, just to spite you people!

http://whale.to/b/attack_revisionist_q.html

But seriously, there are people who are committed very strongly to maintaining the Holocaust Idea, whether it be accurate or not. This is not me to say. All I am saying is that the views of certain historians should be taken seriously. These men are serious, have PhD's, and are intelligent.

Sure, all of the neo-Nazi's can go to hell. I don't like bigots and racists either.

I like science and real history. I feel insulted by Lollipop History and you should too!

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Hmmm. Who, I wonder, is "committed very strongly to maintaining the Holocaust Idea, whether it be accurate or not"? It wouldn't happen to be...the Jews...now would it? I mean, the mention of the ADL is kind of a big tell, you know. Again, I've been at this nearly 20 years. I know all the tells, the bit about "some people" being committed to the idea of the Holocaust even if it might not be true is a big one. Couple it with insinuations about the ADL, and it's a near 100% accurate identifier of a Holocaust denier.

Alistair Rhodes:
"Here is a short paper..."
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n2p-3_rudolf.html

"The IHR does not “deny” the Holocaust. Indeed, the IHR as such has no “position” on any specific event or chapter of history, except to promote greater awareness and understanding, and to encourage more objective investigation."

"IHR NEWS AND VIEWS"

"Real Politics Is Not a Game: The Stubborn Reality of Jewish-Zionist Power"

"Atzmon, MacDonald, Weber Address Spirited Meeting in S. California
Three noted writers and activists --- Gilad Atzmon, Kevin MacDonald and Mark Weber -- addressed a spirited, successful meeting on October 1 organized by the IHR at a hotel in southern California. About 80 men and women gathered for thoughtful, provocative talks on the formidable role of Jewish-Zionist power in political and cultural life"

NEWS AND COMMENT

"Three Jewish Moguls Among Eight Who Own as Much as Half the Human Race
D. J. Solomon – Forward (New York)
As the world’s mandarins prepare for their annual reunion in Davos, Switzerland, the British charity Oxfam is calling attention to income inequality by pointing out that eight billionaires — three of them Jewish — hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the Earth’s population. In their ranked list, headed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates ($75 billion), the Jews come in at six, seven and eight. "

IHR Store
"The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering"

"The Young Hitler I Knew"

"The Myth of German Villainy"

Support the Work of the IHR

"Please also consider a bequest to the IHR in your will. Your thoughtfulness now will help to keep the IHR fighting for truth and freedom for years to come."

"Week after week, we reach activists, students, educators and opinion-makers with solid information and sound perspective on World War II, American history, the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Zionist push for war, the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, Third Reich Germany, Soviet Communism, Holocaust propaganda, the Jewish-Zionist hold on our cultural and political life, and much more."

"We can never hope to match our adversaries dollar for dollar, but we are able to reach a large, global audience, bypassing the media masters who try to control what we see and hear."

IHR EVENTS

"• Defying Threats, Irving and Weber Address California Meeting
IHR Meeting April 2011
In spite of efforts by local bigots to disrupt the event, best-selling British author David Irving and American historian Mark Weber addressed a meeting in Orange County, California, on April 23, 2011. They gave talks on two of wartime Germany's most prominent leaders: Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels."

Links to Other Sites

Institute for Research of Expelled Germans -- Serious writing and documentation on the mass expulsion, mistreatment and “ethnic cleansing” of more than ten million ethnic Germans 1944-1949.

Alfred Lilienthal -- Informed ant-Zionist perspective on the Middle East, US-Israel relations, and more

The Scriptorium Archive -- Alternative, pro-German perspective on 20th -century history

BONUS:
"nce a prominent voice in extremist circles, the IHR has been on the decline, unable to publish its anti-Semitic Journal of Historical Review or sponsor major international Holocaust denial conferences since 2004. The organization still runs its website, where it peddles extremist books and other materials, and hosts some minor extremist gatherings. "

But seriously, there are people who are committed very strongly to maintaining the Holocaust Idea, whether it be accurate or not.
[CITATION NEEDED]

This is not me to say. All I am saying is that the views of certain historians should be taken seriously.
[CITATION NEEDED]

These men are serious, have PhD’s, and are intelligent.
[CITATION NEEDED]

I like science and real history.
[CITATION NEEDED]

AR: But seriously, there are people who are committed very strongly to maintaining the Holocaust Idea.

Maybe because it actually fucking happened and people need to know how and why? It's kind of funny to watch you try to reduce the Everest of evidence there.

AR: Sure, all of the neo-Nazi’s can go to hell. I don’t like bigots and racists either.

How many ferrets in your family tree? You are an insult to mustelids worldwide.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

In this supposedly scientific blog, it is easier to bring Nazi ideas than to talk about x-ray induced carcinogenesis.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

@Alistair Rhodes - Please explain to us, oh learned one, what the f*ck the exact number of people killed in the Holocaust or the exact chemical formula they were gassed with has to do with the topic of the post, which, in case you forgot, is the fact that the White House released a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that omitted any mention of the Jews, was informed that this was a mistake because, intentional or not, its a common dog whistle among antisemites and Holocaust deniers, and, instead of apologizing or acknowledging their error in any way, started whining about how they were just trying to be "inclusive" by ignoring the uncomfortably topical racial motivation behind the Holocaust entirely instead of, oh I don't know, mentioning both the Jews and the assorted other "undesirables" who were also killed. Protest all you want, the simple fact that you thought the most important thing to contribute to a discussion of the government's outright contempt for widely accepted norms pertaining to basic human decency was to fulminate against the "pop culture understanding" and "lollipop history" of the Holocaust pretty much tells us everything we need to know about you. Oh, and incidentally, you're not fooling anyone with your totally ironic and "just for spite" reference to whale.to, either.

Sorry Sarah, I was responding to the commentators, not ORAC's article.

Jews were put in camps, and that is horrible enough, but let's not lose perspective. Asian Americans were put into camps as well.

Just playing the devil's advocate. I don't like seeing people get swept into a whirlwind of patriotism and I don't like seeing commentators smearing David Irving.

Here is a good scientific article on prussian blue (iron cyanate) found in the delousing chambers and the alleged extermination chambers.

http://germarrudolf.com/germars-views/202-some-technical-and-chemical-c…

This man was imprisoned for this! For simply pointing out errors in the historical record. I think people need to let the revisionists make their case, they have something important to say.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Okay, screw Donald Trump and the Whitehouse for their omission and lack of compassion.

People should not be imprisoned based on their religion, race, or gayness. Even a flaming homosexuals should be treated fairly.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Alistair Rhodes:
"I don’t like seeing commentators smearing David Irving."

Southern Poverty Law Center:
"But since the 1980s, he has cultivated a reputation as the world's most prominent Holocaust denier, a status he cemented by suing Penguin Books and American scholar Deborah Lipstadt for libel in 2000 after Lipstadt wrote that he was a denier and a pro-Nazi ideologue. In a dramatic judgment, Irving lost his case and most of the considerable amount of money he made over the years selling his books. That, and his 2006 stint in an Austrian prison for denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, have made Irving a hero in extremist circles. Any reputation he once had as a real "historian" has been wrecked."
https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/davi…

"Here is a good scientific article on prussian blue (iron cyanate) found in the delousing chambers and the alleged extermination chambers."

[NOT A STUDY]

Alistair Rhodes:
"Okay, screw Donald Trump and the Whitehouse for their omission and lack of compassion.

People should not be imprisoned based on their religion, race, or gayness. Even a flaming homosexuals should be treated fairly."

THANK YOU!

I'll give Fendlesfroth +1 for trying.

1/10 is still just sad.

Oy, holocaust-denier boy: If you're going to take my name in vain, don't forget the apostrophe. Racist dickhead.

By Rich Scopie (not verified) on 31 Jan 2017 #permalink

Yes, Japanese–Americans were put into concentration camps too during the war, which is terrible, but as far as I can tell they weren’t, you know, systematically murdered en masse the way Jews were on the other side of the Atlantic.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

It was officially titled "The Final Solution of the Jewish Question."

I think that says it all.

And yes, I have read the first person accounts of now only the liberators of the camps, but also read the evidence collected and presented at the Nuremberg trials.

Funny how these Holocaust deniers can ignore the mountains of collected evidence and confessions of those who actually carried out the orders.

Wow. Those were some shit-brained comments. I'm racist now?

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Here's your apostrophe Scopie ' .

Here's a few more: ' ' '

I'm not racist. I'm just saying that a few things could have been exaggerated, you know, the way that most Governments inflate their enemy's wrongdoings while mitigating their own. You know, standard nationalistic bias and such.

But anyone who questions the Holocaust gets brutalized. This is strange indeed.

Mass insanity I tell you.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

But who is behind the "exaggeration"? Please, tell us!

most [...] inflate their enemy’s wrongdoings while mitigating their own.

But anyone who questions the Holocaust gets brutalized. This is strange indeed.

Mass insanity I tell you.

Heh.

I think you’re doing my readers a service by showing that Holocaust deniers still exist and that they use logical fallacies and distortions of evidence in much the same way antivaxers, creationists, 9/11 Truthers, and the like do.

ORAC, please. Just watch the video of Building 7 collapse. NIST even measured the roofline to have descended at free-fall acceleration for over two seconds.

And Niels Harrit, Professor of Chemistry in Copenhagen, actually found traces of a nanothermite composite in the dust. This was nanosized aluminum and iron oxide in an ethylsilane polymer matrix.

Obvious controlled demolition. Listen to the great chemist Niels Harrit and watch the video!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWorDrTC0Qg&t=7s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I51fDKsuJ_I&t=1629s

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

A 9/11 truther too?

Why am I not surprised.

Blow me Lawrence. Free-fall acceleration means that all of the columns were severed nearly simultaneously.

You simply cannot get that with a small office fire. Sorry, you lose.

Obvious controlled demolition Lawrence.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

@ Lawrence
"A 9/11 truther too? Why am I not surprised." He's tolerated here only because he does not believe in x-ray induced carcinogenesis.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

And the best, unanswered question the 9/11 Truthers never address, why?

Why building 7 and not all of the other buildings.

Oh, and there was that high-rise collapse in Iran....by fire alone.

Why am I not surprised.

Indeed. I'm waiting to see how far the crank magnetism goes.

Seriously Lawrence, you can't win here. You back to YouTube where you can brainwash the kiddies with that trash.

Any sane and intelligent person who watches the Building 7 collapse video will know that it was brought down by a controlled demolition.

You are just doing propaganda; damage control for the real criminals.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Okay, looks like ORAC went full propagandist. Why am I not surprised?

Reading straight out of the playbook of culturally-sanctioned ideas he doesn't have the balls to admit the truth.

He knows. Most people know. They pretend that they don't, but they do.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Very amusing. You can't refute a single statement or fact I relate. All you can do is whine and dissemble.

Thanks for the apostrophe Alistair.

*nods*

Are your bonkers views your own, or were they implanted in your rectum by aliens? Oh - and as a matter of interest, do you live in a US state that begins and ends in a vowel?

By Rich Scopie (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Oh, the childish insults....

Run along little boy, real adults are speaking here.

Since you already cited whale.to, we know exactly where you are coming from.

De-remembering the Jews from the holocaust is extremely...... different... and different in the same way that what happened to Germany in the 1930's and 1940's was..... different.

The American "civilization" is extremely.... broken. Some major nutrient is missing in the development of ... bullshit detection. Phony experts of all sorts abound..... side lining actual real life experts. It is all about creating impressive...... displays. A neotenized public has failed to develop critical thinking. It has caught a lethal disease.

The reptile brain resides in front of a video screen.

Don't be a douchebag Rich.

The most hard-headed scientist can examine the WTC 7 collapse and the physical evidence and come to the conclusion that it was a controlled demolition. There is nothing flaky about it.

Quite the contrary actually.

Watch the video of the collapse. You can see where the charges are set off. Keep in mind that it is impossible for a small localized fire to cause a symmetrical collapse at free-fall acceleration. Impossible in more than one way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mamvq7LWqRU

Now the Holocaust thing, I am not too sure about. I haven't read much on that. I just saw a few David Irving lectures and he seems truthful, but I cannot say for certain.

But I am 100% certain that WTC 7 was a controlled demolition. There are scores of scientists, with doctorates, who know this as well and are not afraid to speak out.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

ORAC is a James Randi fanboi.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

And that's all I needed to know that this is likely another Fendlesworth sock, along with the other comments with penis jokes. Buh-byyye.

Ah! I see! Evidence by YouTube!

Fail.

By Rich Scopie (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

It's a thirty second video clip douchebag, and it doesn't matter what website it's posted on. The content is the same.

Obvious controlled demolition Scopie!!!

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Obvious troll is obvious.

By Rich Scopie (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

No kidding - jeez, I've seen these wackos for almost 16 years now (longer for the other conspiracies they usually believe in).

Of course, the troll will try to derail the conversation into its favorite pet theory (9/11 being this ones').....

I bet you didn't even know that Soylent Green was made from people.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

You're a joke Lawrence. Watch the video. If you think that a small office fire did that to the building, then you are an idiot.

A cretinized cretin, a mongoloid from Mongolia.

By Alistair Rhodes (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Second Godwin's law: as an online discussion on Hitler grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving 9-11 approaches 1.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Again with the childish insults - oh, so the last bastion of the kook.

As for a "small fire" the one that afflicted Building 7 was neither small, nor of short duration....

These conspiracy theorists can't ever get their facts straight.

I started to suspect as much, pretty early on.

Very sad & so out of touch with actual reality.

I can't help but note he seemed quite familiar with Holocaust denial tropes. I was having acid flashbacks to my time on alt.revisionism in the late 1990s refuting Holocaust denial.

Denialists, in general, seem to have a hard time actually answering the question of "why."

Of course, if they answered truthfully, they would expose themselves as the kooks and anti-semites that they actually are (or racists, bigots, etc).

They try to couch their complaints in terms that appear to be rational, but at the end of the day, it is merely a cover for their true beliefs.

This certainly applies to the likes of Trump and Bannon (and Miller too) - they want to appear mainstream, but they most certainly are not.

a mongoloid from Mongolia.

Vile racist troll is vile racist.

By Rich Scopie (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

AR: Asian Americans were put into camps as well.

And if you'd lived back then, you would have been one of the racist yahoos trying to lynch the nearest Japanese family.
By the way, nice fail at pretending to have compassion for gay men and lesbian women. Here's a hint: if you object to being considered a racist right wing prick, maybe you shouldn't act like one.

SteveP: please don't post while on mind-altering substances.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Re ORD@34 - this is way, way, back, but I think the term genocide was coined to describe the mass murder of Armenians by Turks in WWI. The Armenians have a claim to our Never Forget as well.

Idjit:1. Soylent Green is fictional.
2, Harry Harrison stole the idea from Arthur Clarke.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

@PGP - "Soylent Green is people" is an artifact from the film, not the original book. That's never even implied in "Make Room! Make Room!"

By Rich Scopie (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

AR have you ever spoke with a vet that liberated one of the camps? I have. Have you ever spoke with a survivor of one of the camps? I have. I actually have spoken with more than one in each category. If you had ever spoken with people that had been there, you wouldn't doubt the holocaust.

I even am indirectly part of a genocide. A long time ago, I was on a rafting trip where a grad student from Rwanda fell out of the raft. He wasn't a good swimmer and didn't have a life jacket on. As he went by, I plucked him out of the river probably saving his life.

This grad student later went home and helped murder at least 75,000 men, women and children. I always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't plucked him from the water.

Rich Bly

Jesus that's awful. I hope you don't blame yourself. You couldn't have possibly known. The decisions he made were his own. His evil is his, not yours.
Hitler was famously spared in WWI...just saying.

By TX (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Rich Bly (not verified)

TX, I don't blame myself for what he did. I would blame myself if I hadn't saved him. But sometimes it makes an interesting what if thought train.

Rich Bly

I'm glad to hear it, I'm sleep deprived, so maybe I took it wrong.

"I don’t blame myself for what he did. I would blame myself if I hadn’t saved him"

That, my friend, is integrity. Good on ya.

But sometimes it makes an interesting what if thought train.
I see your point...I was just...concerned. That's a traumatizing thing.

By TX (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Rich Bly (not verified)

A long time ago, I met a professor who was the mentor for Charles Taylor, the notorious Liberian politician / warlord.

This was before what happened there, but I always wondered what he thought about Taylor's subsequent life & if he thought he might have been able to push him in another direction, had he known what was going to happen.

Rich Scopie: I am aware of that, yes. Actually, the film is really astonishingly different from the book that I got confused on the first readthrough, since they appeared to be two different entirely unrelated things. But the idea was still Clarke's.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

While I am loathe to wade into this topic since pretty much everyone trying to raise questions or point out a different viewpoint does so with ulterior motives, I do want to take exception with the idea that the Holocaust was purely aimed at the extermination of the Jews. It was aimed at all perceived enemies of the Nazi regime, of which Jews were absolutely one of the largest groups, but also included a very large number of political opponents and other "subversive" races.

My big example is the internment and murder of socialists, communists, trade unionists, and other left-wing political elements. They were the first to be sent to the concentration camps years before Hitler's anti-Jewish laws went into full effect. Even the popular song Die Moorsoldaten that is sung at Holocaust memorials and Jewish remembrances was written by people arrested for being trade unionists long before the Jews were being sent to the camps. And that's without even touching on the millions of Poles and other Slavs targeted for ethnic cleansing, the persecutions of the gay and Roma population, and so on.

Again I don't want to come across as casting doubt on the horrors inflicted on the Jewish population by the Holocaust, or that they made up the largest number of those killed, or deny that they were targeted because of anti-Semitic paranoia aimed at destroying them. I can see how coming up against the usual Holocaust denier claims can focus the attention on what happened to the Jews, but that misses that the Nazis had plenty of hatred to dole out in broad strokes as well.

I also don't want this to be interpreted as supporting Trump in any way. On its face, the idea of being "inclusive" in discussing the other victims of the Holocaust is commendable, but by how Trump went about it it's obvious that was not his goal. He didn't want to educate or expand knowledge about the event, he wanted to go into as few details as possible simply to send a knowing wink to his political allies that want no mention of it at all. It is the fallacy of the "'all lives matter" mentality that tries to deny bias when it is so plainly there. We should be remembering the victims and being inclusive by discussing all of them, not discussing none of them like Trump is doing.

You are right about the origin of the word "genocide". Having learned that Rafael Lemkin, who coined the word, was a Jew, I assumed it was first applied to the Shoah.
The Turkish genocide against the Armenians had an indirect role in the Holocaust. Hitler is claimed to have said, "Who today remembers the Armenians?", proving that Never Again has to be more than a slogan to make us feel righteous while doing essentially nothing.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

The Nazi's did kill a lot of people - both by design and as part of their normal way of doing business.

However, the Wannsee Conference made it abundantly clear that the main focus of the Reich's efforts would be the extermination of the Jewish people.

Not at least highlighting this, as part of the commemoration, should be considered in the poorest of tastes (at minimum).

@BT:

One question right here: Who was the target of the Final Solution?

After all, it wasn't the Final Solution of the Communist, trade unionist, Roma, Jewish, and general enemies of the state Problem. It was the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem. The others were all ancillary, while the "Jewish problem" was central. Hitler didn't exterminate the trade unionists he sent to the camps. True, many of them died because conditions at the camps were horrible, but they were targeted for punishment, not extermination. Ditto Communists. Jewish persecution began very soon after Hitler took Power. For instance, the first general boycott of Jewish businesses was ordered a mere two months after Hitler took power. A week later, he banned Jews from the civil service and the practice of law and a few days later imposed economic sanctions on Jews. Violence against Jews began before the Nazis even took power, being a feature of the activities of the Brownshirts. Basically, the Jews were the target before Hitler took power, were targeted immediately after Hitler took power, and were such a central focus of Hitler's priorities that considerable resources were diverted from the war effort to carry out the Final Solution. When the Nazis met at Wansee, it wasn't to discuss how to get rid of the Communists and trade unionists in the Reich. It was how to get rid of the Jews.

As for Communists, as I noted above, Hitler conflated Jews and Communism, frequently referring to "Jewish Bolshevism" or "Judeo-Bolshevism." As I wrote above (and you appear not to have read):

I can't help but note here that those who seek to minimize the centrality of the Jews to the Holocaust sometimes like to point out that Communists were also targeted, but such an argument conveniently neglects the way that Hitler conflated Jews and Communism, believing Communism to be a product of Jews and frequently invoking “Judeo-Bolshevism” as the enemy of the Germany people. This is a common conspiracy theory that views Communism as a Jewish conspiracy, positing that Jews dominate and control worldwide Communist movements.

To Hitler, Jews and Communists were more or less the same thing.

I get it. The Nazis did horrible things to a lot of people. They persecuted and killed a lot of groups. But central to that persecution were always the Jews. Hitler constructed his machinery of death for one purpose: To exterminate European Jewry. That he also used the same machinery to kill his other enemies doesn't change that, nor does acknowledging the centrality of the Jews to the Holocaust minimize the suffering of others targeted by the Nazi regime.

Also, The Gnat is very good at non sequiturs.

Depressing to see someone who had so much promise squander all that promise to become a disgusting, racist, antivax, vicious Gnat lacking in anything resembling critical thinking ability. In my opinion.

And someone who will always have the ability to hide behind his parent's money & never have to get real, gainful employment either.

If Young Mr. Crosby is so concerned, perhaps he should write about it on his own blog.....

BT: Many Jews were among the Moorsoldaten. Jewish intellectuals were especially targeted.
The main reason that anti-Jewish laws were rolled out in stages was because so many Jews were woven into the fabric of German society. It was necessary to marginalize them, make them invisible first, to reduce any sympathy people might have had. Some Jews were spared because of their occupations or individual skills, others because they had powerful protectors in the regime - Hermann Goering protected the doctor who tended his wounds after the Beerhall Putsch as one example.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

"Jews were put in camps, and that is horrible enough, but let’s not lose perspective. Asian Americans were put into camps as well."
I have known people who were in one kind of camp or the other. The biggest difference is that the Japanese-Americans came in through the gates and left through the gates. In the Nazi camps Jews came in through the gates and never came out again.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

It's depressing to see so many otherwise intelligent people who are willfully ignorant of the lessons of history.

I have seen people note, and I am inclined to agree, that the rise of right-wing nationalist movements in the West at the same time firsthand memories of World War II are fading is not a coincidence. Anyone who was a soldier in that war and is still alive is in his mid-90s or older. My mother is just barely old enough to remember some of the home front aspects of the war, e.g., saving fat from cooking to be sent to a central location where it would be converted into war material. She's in her late 70s. The perspective is much different for younger people who know this history (to the extent that they do) only from history books and stories that their parents or grandparents told them. And remember that by "younger" I'm including people up to age 75.

One of the trolls above mentioned primary sources. One reason we know as much about the Holocaust as we do is because the Nazis themselves kept meticulous records of what they were doing--they expected future generations to thank them for what they did. If Facebook or Instagram had been around at the time, no doubt many of the concentration camp guards would have posted selfies with corpses, just as many present day dumb criminals post selfies of their crimes on these platforms (making it that much easier for the cops).

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

History shows how easy it is to use hate and fear to do evil.

On my father's side of the family, all six uncles were in WWII (dad was in Korea). In a conversation with one of my uncles, we talked about his experience in fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. I said something about the Japanese never surrendering and he said that was bull. He stated that we just never allowed them to surrender.

Was my uncle an evil man? No. He was a man filled with hate at the time.

So see how easy it is for evil to creep in through the window.

Unfortunately, with the IDIOT in DC, I can see this country repeating history in very evil way.

@ Orac re # 158

in your list of adjectives describing the gnat you left off
* Trump worshipping*

Thank you in advance.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Worse, because unlike say, Germany, we are the most powerful country on the planet - by a wide margin. Even though other nations have nuclear weapons, none of them would actually use them to try to stop us, because they'd know that our retaliation would obliterate them from the map.

If Trump & his ilk decided to go to war, there is little to nothing that anyone could do to stop him. At this point, neither the Constitution or the War Powers Act has done anything to prevent past Presidents from using the military in whatever way they felt was appropriate.

Even the Bushes, at their worst, were still moral men who thought they were doing the right thing. In this case, Trump is not a moral man, nor would he ever do the right thing.

And that terrifies me.

Has anyone seen the latest Executive Order drafts floating around?

The first states that immigrants on Federal assistance could be deported and the second sets a "means' test" for all new immigrants - baring their entry if it is felt that they would require public assistance, at all.

What has happened to this country?

Eric Lund: I have seen people note, and I am inclined to agree, that the rise of right-wing nationalist movements in the West at the same time firsthand memories of World War II are fading is not a coincidence. Anyone who was a soldier in that war and is still alive is in his mid-90s or older.

Heck, some of those who were alive in the '40s voted for Trump, regardless. One of my uncles, the oldest, lived through the war as a kid, and he voted for Trump. (Well, for Stein, but the outcome was the same.) I don't think I'll be speaking to him again.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

@ Lawrence:

And it seems to be getting worse day by day.

It looks like a few states are taking steps to counter his actions- NY, WA, CA- ( Port Authority of NY/ NJ)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

You gonna write about the 16 countries that ban Israeli Jews – including six of the seven countries on the travel suspension list?

I hate to break this to you, Jake, but Pepe the Frog isn't going to give you a hummer no matter how hard you try.

Now, howsabout that PNAS paper?

And it seems to be getting worse day by day.

I have heard reports that federal marshals in California are not enforcing the federal court injunction issued there. I also saw an item on the BBC website that a Muslim athlete from India (not one of the seven countries on the list) who is scheduled to compete in the world snowshoeing championships may be unable to attend because the US Embassy in Delhi is refusing to issue him a visa.

On the plus side, in addition to the states listed @168, attorneys general in MA and VA have announced action against the travel EO. And at least two Republican senators (Collins of ME and Murkowski of AK) have announced their intention to vote against confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Whoa. That's good news, if true. Peel off one more Republican, and DeVos is toast.

So Jake says it's OK for us to have a Muslim ban (but only those that don't do business with The Donald), because, hey, they did it first to someone else. And here I was, thinking' we were suppose to be the good guys of the world, and set the standards of how a country should operate.

But, still, therein lies a tale.

Back in the day, I traveled a lot for the military, and carried an official passport. But the situation (back then at least) was even worse than Jake says it was. If you had an Israeli stamp in your passport, you wouldn't even be allowed into most Muslim majority countries.

The solution for us was simple. After you made a trip to Israel, once you returned to the States, you would be issued a new second passport, that you would only use for travel to those countries. Problem solved.

So I wind up in Israel, and while we're there, they say 'Guess what? We want you to stop in Morocco on the way back'. We noted our passport problem, and they said they had a solution.

Issuing us diplomatic passports would have been easiest, but we didn't qualify, and the State Department takes that serious. So what they did was send us to the Consulate in Jerusalem (not part of Israel, remember) and issue us standard civilian tourist passports, because they can't issue official passports at a Consulate.

So me and a couple other guys fly out of Ben Gurion Airport to Paris, use our new blue passports to transit to the airplane to Morocco, and show up at Morocco with 3 fresh, consecutively numbered passports, issued in Jerusalem, in civilian cloths, but with military IDs in our wallets, a second Israeli stamped red passport in another pocket, about 30 boxes of equipment, and we look the immigration/customs guy in the face and say 'nothing to declare'.

And we got away with it.

Yeah, we had US Embassy staff at the airport to meet us, and they may have greased the skids a bit, I dunno, but they were on the other side of the wall, and the Moroccans on our side of the wall had guns. I'm not ashamed to admit I was more than a little apprehensive standing in line.

You gonna write about the 16 countries that ban Israeli Jews – including six of the seven countries on the travel suspension list?

Let me swat down this piece of false equivalence. The countries in question have had this rule in place for years. They don't issue visas and then turn around and say, You can't enter the country because you are from a certain other country. Nobody is being turned back at the origin/transit airport, or detained at the destination airport, because of this policy.

That's not what happened with the travel ban EO. The rules were changed abruptly at about 18:00 EST on Friday, 27 January, such that people who had actually been issued visas, or even green cards, were not allowed into the United States. People who were issued permission to enter the United States, some of whom were actually en route to the United States, were suddenly being denied permission to board flights and being detained if they arrived in the US. Now, I won't deny that the US has the right to cancel visas and green cards for cause--but in the US that's supposed to mean something the traveler actually did, not just that the traveler happens to be from a certain country.

One of the reasons this rule is bad for business is because businesses don't like it when rules change in an arbitrary and capricious manner like this. If you know that certain company representatives can't visit your clients in a certain country because the representatives are Israeli Jews, you deal with it by sending a different representative. But if your negotiator could visit the United States yesterday, and a new rule is announced that he can't visit the United States today, then you are that much more likely to decide that doing business in the US isn't worth the hassle. That includes people looking to import goods as well as export goods. For instance, if you are an airline and you are not sure your pilots would be able to travel to Everett to take delivery of that new 777, you are probably going to order the A340 instead, because you have no similar doubts about your pilots being able to travel to Toulouse.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Really? Simply omitting specific reference to Jews amounts to denial these days? This is not the tribute you like so you attack it. I agree that not saying something can be saying something but this seems a bit nit picky.

SteveP @82: You said "The insensitivity in his discussion of the brutal murders of vast numbers of people shows that something inside of him is broken."

This was exactly (if less eloquently) the argument I made about the 9/11 truther a few months ago. (And then AR showed himself to be that too.)

These denialists are cruel in the extreme, but either unwilling or incapable of physically hurting people (which is fine) so they go after the one group that can't fight back: the dead. How pathetic is that?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Not only do they go after the dead, but they also go after the remaining family members (see Sandy Hook).

Remembering the Holocaust is not a bad thing.
But the Jewish Holocaust represents only 50% of the non-combatants murdered by the Nazis.
Who is mentioning the remaining 6 million victims? Can we remember them as part of "the Holocaust", or do Jews wish to insist on complete ownership of that term and the events it describes?

Meanwhile, Stalin's deliberate and systematic murder of civilians represented 125% the scale of the Nazi murders - from 1 million Kazakhs to 3.3 million Ukrainians in 1932-33.
Who remembers them?

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

You know, Alistair, I want to thank you, buddy. I've just made my way through this whole comment thread, and I am grateful to you for illustrating so beautifully how dangerously insidious anti-Semitism can be.

You began this discussion by trying so, so hard to be reasonable and "just asking questions" and "playing devil's advocate," and you ended it foaming at the mouth about how 9/11 was an inside job and defending David Irving.

Listen for the dog whistles, people. This is what's hiding beneath the surface.

Peel off one more Republican, and DeVos is toast.

DeVos’s ethics agreement does not require her to divest from Neurocore, a company that purports to use biofeedback techniques to help children and adults overcome the effects of conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. The company says that its approach can improve patients’ sleep, mood, focus and school performance.

She has invested between $5 million and $25 million in the company, according to her disclosures. Patru declined to directly address questions about potential conflicts of interest related to Neurocore.

Which is to say, DeVos is an autism scammer on top of all her other scams.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

I don’t like seeing commentators smearing David Irving.

Me, I would very much like to see David Irving spread thinly across a wall or other surface.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Bertrand Russell was no amateur, he won a novel prize

My admiration for Bertie borders on idolatry, but there is no gainsaying the fact that when he tried writing fiction it was a complete load of pants.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

@Craig - "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem."

I think that says it all...

HDB @177: I drove past a building the other day that had a sign that loudly proclaimed "Naturopath, acupuncture, colonic" treatments for autism. Right there on the sign, in letters a foot tall. No beating around the bush, no euphemisms.
So it doesn't surprise me at all that anyone as brazen as DeVos would be scamming the parents of kids with autism.

I have a colleague with a brain injury who uses Lumosity to try and not lose any more brain function (and because they're bored). I don't have the heart to tell this person that it's bunk. I mean, better than YouTube, right?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Lawrence @181: It's also like Craig's never heard of or seen any memorial to any of the soldiers who died in WWII. Isn't there even a memorial to all the people in London who died during the Blitz?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

Orac should have paid more attention to his general inclination to distrust John Podhoretz.

It simply doesn’t parse that Trump is a Holocaust denier. The news coverage of the kerfuffle played down The body of Sean Spicer’s defense of the adminstration, which, for once actually did make sense and is key to figuring out what might be going on here: Trump is poised to out-Hawk every previous adminstration in pro-IsraelLikud policy. Yam Head made Obama’s Mid-East policy and the Iran deal a key target in his campaign. He wants to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. His second favorite world leader after Putin is Bibi Netanyahu. (Where do you think he got the idea for a border wall?) The feeling is mutual. Trump-love on the Israeli right is so fervent, other Israelis are making messiah jokes.

Ivanka converted to Judaism to marry a descendant of Holocaust survivors. The Holocaust statement was written by Boris Epshteyn, “a strongly identifying American Jew, of Russian Jewish ethnicity, who is in the Trump inner circle and who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors.” [Rabbi Dov Fisher, Jewish Journal]. Trump’s Alt-Right mastermind, Steve Bannon, was, of course, very close to Andrew Breitbart, who was also ‘a strongly identifying American Jew’. The Trump gang are Islamphobes and institutional racists, not antisemites. Of course, Storm Front supports Trump. They know a fascist strong man when they see one, and they’re delusional on the rest of the facts. Trump never denounces anyone who supports him, and the neo-Nazis probably take that as an endorsement, which it’s not.

Please read Rabbi Fisher’s defense of Trump and Epshteyn: http://bit.ly/2jVnk0v
Now, I don’t share any politics with the players in this mess, but after doing a lot of fact-checking, I have to say they have a point, including a bit of (just on this issue) Sean Spicer’s ‘CNN is out to get us’. Read the first two sentences of the original statement again:

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.

I’ve put in a carriage return separating them visually, to show that they are in fact about different things denotatively. As Podhoretz, Lipstadt, and McPhee all observe, the term “Holocaust’ was “coined to describe the uniquely Jewish aspect of the Final Solution.” It is not, and never has been a synonym for ‘all the atrocities of the Nazis’. It’s hardly unreasonable then, to imagine Epshteyn thought his first sentence was indeed about the Jews and nobody else. The second then, is a very vague, and truthful, acknowledgement that Nazi depravity and horror was directed at some people who weren’t Jews. He didn’t name any of those groups either. He was trying to keep the statement short, and the reason the Holocaust reference is so brief is that the statement isn’t about the Holocaust, it’s about Trump. It references the non-Jews “who risked their lives to save the innocent” because that’s what Trump is claiming to be: “to do everything in my power to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good [to] make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”

Excuse me while I go throw up. As a number of previous commenters have noted, this statement was issued on the heels of the anti-Muslim travel pan. Coincidence? I think not. Making love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world? Well, Epshteyn’s the surrogate the Trump campaign sent out to claim the Trump Foundations’ purchase of a giant Trump portrait to hang in a Trump Hotel was “absolutely proper” because the hotel was doing the Foundation a financial favor by providing storage space for Foundation property. To steal a line from Doc Holiday in Tombstone his hypocrisy knows no bounds.

‘But, but, but…’ you may be thinking, ‘Hope Hicks said specific mention of Jews was left out of the statement intentionally, because “we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” What about that?’ Well, Hope Hicks didn’t say that. She did not, as Orac reported “take to the air to lay down the obfuscation”. CNN had asked for a comment on the criticism of the Holocaust statement by the Anti-Defamation League that had been circulating on line, to which Hicks replied, apparently in two different emails. Her emails avoided answering CNN’s questions directly. The first was just a forworded statement from Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress that read, in part:

It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory. Any fair reading of the White House statement today on the International Holocaust Memorial Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history.

The second email apparently began with the now-infamous ““Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” Hicks isn ‘t quoted as saying anything about Jews having been ‘left out’, much less ‘Intentionally’. The “because” was an inference by Jake Tapper of CNN, whose story is the only available primary source on what Hicks wrote, and which all the other stories about Hicks’ comments have relied on and referred to – including re-phrasing Tapper’s “because” into “intentionally”.

So, what’s really going on here? Is this a case where the Trump team assigned the statement to a prominent Jew who crafted a sincere and appropriate statement, only to run afoul of other overly-sensitive Jews, or who may want exclusive ownership of Nazi victimization for some reason. No. As I’ve already observed, Epshteyn’s statement isn’t sincere. It BS about the greatness of Donald Trump. And the complaints can also be explained in large part by concerns about Yam Head that have nothing to do with the Holocaust or anti-semitism.

Parts of the larger context here are rifts in the American Jewish community, between the ADL and the hard core conservatives on one hand, and within the conservatives on the other. The ADL, not surprisingly, is worried about Steve Bannon. All of the conservatives, though, are down with the Donald on his Islamophobia, as it dovetails with his and their support for as much anti-Arab aggression, repression and West Bank settlement building Bibi could ever dream up. However, the neo-con contingent represented by Podhoretz (and backed financially by Sheldon Adelstein) take issue with Trump’s Jews on two points. The first: [maybe you guessed it] Putin and Russia. Epshteyn is unusual among American Jews in being an overt Putin fan. You may have guessed the next bit, too. He stands to make a small fortune if the sanctions are lifted and the Russian deals he has a financial stake in go forward. The other reason the neo-cons don’t like Trump: they think he’s a loose cannon and are worried he’ll somehow screw the pooch so massively U.S. support for Israel with suffer, or he’ll make other trouble for Bibi without intending to.

So my hypothesis for the whole scenario goes like this: Epshteyn tries to turn the Holocaust anniversary into a celebration of Trump as savior of the Jews, champion of Good over Evil, bringer of peace and tolerance replacing violence and hate. The ADL, being aware of the religious bigotry of the Muslim ban and Bannon’s alt-right connections – and not knowing Epshteyn was the author – is incensed at the posturing, and attacks Trump for ‘softcore Holocaust denial’ because that will ‘play’ to their audience. Jake Tapper, no friend of Trump, picks up on the ADL critque and ask for a comment from thew White House. The job gets handed to Hop Hicks, because eveybody who matters in TrumpLand is busy with the real work of Muslim bans and trying to get Jeff Sessions, Steve Mnuchin, Tom price and Betsy Devos past the Senate. Hicks, essentially exactly the sort of incompetent amateur Podhoretz imagined, in way over her head, attempts to reply to Tapper by emailing him things other people have written or said and otherwise avoiding the question. The only instructions she has from the higher-ups is ‘don’t tell them the President had it ghost written by Boris!’ Tapper tags her ‘inclusiveness’ comment to the ‘Why no mention of Jews?’ query she didn’t answer, and gins up the “because” peg for the headline and lead.

This gives the already-concerned Podhoretz more ammunition for his goals: ginning up a media distraction from the Muslim ban, because the demonstration are confirming his worst fears that Trump’s heavy-handedness is going to backfire and mess up their mutual MidEast agenda. Finally, Reince Priebus goes on TV, and being the doofus he is, mangles his restatement of the ‘We were inclusive’ line (perhaps letting slip a wee bit of Wisconsin brand unfamiliarity with and antipathy toward Jews) does actually refer to the various non-Jewish targets of the Nazis as being victims of the Holocaust. (So, so, stupid…) Story blows up, Spicer screams at the press about Trump’s love for Israel replacing Barrack Hussein Obama’s betrayal of Israel, but the press only reports he called criticism of the Hollocaust statement “pathetic” and “just ridiculous”. Which leads to even more bad press for Trump, at which point the White House leaks Epshetyn as the author to try to chill down the stink a bit…
____

* The article on other victims of the Nazis to which Hicks referred Tapper doesn’t ‘bemoan’, and in fact begins with an explicit statement that there was something very “special” about the scale of the Nazi genocide of the Jews. i had included details in this comment but have deleted them for length. Check the link.

I respectfully disagree.

It is quite possible that members of the Trump Administration dislike Jews as much as they dislike Muslims.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Sheldon Adelstein

sb Sheldon Adelson.

I think it is very easy to over-analyze anything from Captain Kumquat (or Kaptain KumKwat, if you prefer).
Senior Co-President Bannon surely would point out to him that the base dislikes pretty much every identifiable group targeted by the Nazis, and fairness, a well-established priority, would require that none be mentioned specifically, unless all were mentioned. Mentioning all would bring the length of the press release perilously close to, or even past, the limit of the attention span of Kaptain K.

Here is a little poem that the non-racist Irving composed, then taught to his young daughter:

"I am a Baby Aryan
Not Jewish or Sectarian
I have no plans to marry-an
Ape or Rastafarian"

No doubt his desire for his daughter not to marry an "ape or Rastafarian" is motivated by a heathly fondness for historical inquiry. It couldn't be racism.

By Psalmanazaar (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

@Wzrd1 - Not gonna lie, I'd be _much_ less concerned if he WERE in Texas; we have an uncle there.

He's in Florida, where I grew up. That's why I'm so scared.

Also holy goddamn jeez. What the shit is this holocaust denying bullshit?

By A Magnificent Sloth (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

It's just Trump doing a Trump.
You know, pull a howler, while the press is going, "Oh, look! A shiny", he's pulling something dastardly with the other hand.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by A Magnificent Sloth (not verified)

"Simply omitting specific reference to Jews amounts to denial these days?"
It has always amounted to denial. In Kiyiv German troops massacred tens of thousands of Jews in the Babi Yar ravine, covering the bodies with dirt. Others would later be murdered there.
The Soviets tried and failed to eradicate the ravine itself, damming it and pumping into it the waste slurry from brickworks (The dam collapsed and the ensuing mudslide killed over a thousand.). Commemorating the murders there meant recognizing the slaughter of Jews in particular.
So yes, it is a form of denial.
The Nazi genocide held a unique place in the German murder program. Jews died first. Jews had to be completely and mercilessly exterminated just for the crime of existing. No other group in that time was singled out for so much attention from the murder regime. This was true even in the camps. To illustrate their thinking, take just one of their crimes. After the Battle of the Bulge, Jews were singled out from the rest of the American POWS and sent to be worked to death digging tunnels in hard rock. Realizing they didn't have enough Jews, only then did they pick out others who they thought looked Jewish or had names they considered Jewish. Last, the quota was filled out with anyone they thought was a troublemaker. That was always the pattern. First kill the Jews and then they would see about killing others.To show how deep was the madness, the digging was continued even after the program the tunnels were for was stopped, just to keep on punishing the Jews and alleged Jews. In their sickness, even while being pushed out of Libya, they managed to dedicate resources to find and kill the Libyan Jews. In the Channel Islands, part of the UK, they went after the tiny Jewish community there, all to send eight Jews to be gassed.
Yes, failing to remember the Shoah is a form of denial.

By Ole Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

fuckelsdolt returns

Yeah, Doug, I'm thinkin' you might be right, and hoping I'm wrong about that.

Clearing out a troll infestation, then a new poster shows up with a not unreasonable post, only to turn out to be said troll? That's only happened more than a dozen times so far.

My comment regarding the creep came in in a place different from what I expected. #190 ('zaar) is the target.

I also forgot to include the link to Mike the Mad Biologist who suggested the use of "co-president Bannon".

Jews died first. Jews had to be completely and mercilessly exterminated just for the crime of existing. No other group in that time was singled out for so much attention from the murder regime.

It is from a sense of gentle correction rather than mindless pedantry that I remind you of the Aktion T4 Rid-the-Reich-of-useless-mouths program.

In the Channel Islands, part of the UK, they went after the tiny Jewish community there, all to send eight Jews to be gassed.

After the war, the history of collaboration in Guernsey required a fair bit of sweeping-under-the-table activity. It was not considered a good look.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Feb 2017 #permalink

So here is the way I see it, Larry...
An individual "A" comes to a science blog and hijacks it to educate the rubes who live there. The individual ( or group of individuals posing as an individual... or individual posing as multiple different individuals or whatever ) cites numerous "authorities" in the process of arguing against the zeitgeist of the science blog. Never mind that many of the people who come to the blog are themselves authorities or highly experienced in the fields in question. Never mind that any one of a number of bullshit detection systems shows that the cited authorities that "A" brings to the table are bogus and are bullshitters. The question is, why does ths person come to the blog, challenging everyone on it? And why do the educated people at the blog get drawn into the sticky mess that "A" has created to ensnare them?

Maybe the behavioral scientists in the audience would care to comment. My guess has to do with some sort of adolescent male drive to hurt other humans, a type of anti-social sadism. What do you think?

@sadmar:

As usual, you dumped more verbiage into a comment than I sometimes do in a whole post: 1,653 words. 200-300 more words, and you'd have an average-length Orac post. When I see that, I'm tempted to suggest that you do your own blog. In any case, Podhoretz aside (seriously, I could have left him out without changing the point of my post), I tend to side with Prof. Lipstadt, who knows Holocaust denial better than almost anyone, Gord McFee, a comrade from the trenches of alt.revisionism from 17-18 years ago who helped teach me about Holocaust denial, and my own nearly two decades of dealing with Holocaust denial than, quite frankly, you.

Be that as it may, one thing here. Many white nationalists actually don't have (much) a problem with a Jewish state. In fact, they point to it as an example of what they want. Just as the Jews have a homeland for their race (and, yes, they view Jews as a race, not a religion), white nationalists want a "homeland" for the white race. In other words, there is not necessarily a conflict between being a Holocaust denial and being supportive of the state of Israel, if anything because the modern iteration of white nationalists fear and detest Muslim more than they fear and detest Jews. An Israel for the white race is what white nationalists strive for, and Bannon is, without a doubt, a white nationalist. His fingerprints are all over this.

As for Jared Kushner:

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.769017

Also, Richard Spencer loves the "de-Judaification of the Holocaust." LOVES it:

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.768982

When a white supremacist tells you that he fully approves of a statement because it is, as Prof. Lipstadt would put it, soft core Holocaust denial that seeks to obfuscate the central purpose of the Final Solution, I tend to believe that the statement is soft core Holocaust denial.

The de-Judaification of the Holocaust is an intentional goal of white nationalists and neo-Nazis. It's possible that Trump blundered into it, but I see Bannon's fingerprints all over this. It accomplishes three goals: De-Judaifying the Holocaust and praising Trump and distracting attention from the Muslim ban announced the same way. Fortunately, it failed at its last goal.

Orac: Most of your post is right on the nose, but you appear to have accidentally fused Richard Spencer and David Duke together. They're two separate individuals- although they're both odious racists, so I can see how the mistake developed.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

Momentary brain fart.

Obvious troll is obvious.....

F*ckwit: Now, the Principia Mathematica is a bit much for me.

Newton wrote the Principia Mathematica. Someone's google-fu is weak. Come back when you grow up, kiddy troll.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

Both calculus and the Principia Mathematica were invented by Sir Isaac Newton. A bit of historical trivia: Newton invented calculus in order to prove (in the mathematical sense) a specific point he needed in writing the Principia: that the gravitational force of a spherically symmetric mass distribution is equivalent, at all points outside said distribution, to that of the same amount of mass concentrated at the center of the sphere.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

Both calculus and the Principia Mathematica were invented by Sir Isaac Newton.

Well, that's a different Principia. I'll go ahead and note that Russell and Whitehead ultimately failed. (The van Heijenoort volume is well worth having, BTW. Mine, unfortunately, was perfect-bound and is disintegrating.)

In other news...

Mike Adams ( Natuiral News)- in light of what occured at Berkeley- asks whether it's time for Trump to declare a national emergency and take over the 'leftist' media.

Gary Null insists that the CIA is 'hacking' his radio show.

I swear, I don't make these things up!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

@ Orac:

The Haaretz editorial reflects the split in the American Jewish community I discussed. Haaeretz is a Labor-left paper, 'progressive' in current American terminology.

The way to create safety for the Jewish community is to join in solidarity with the other likely targets of a Trump Administration: Muslims, immigrants, women, people of color, and those living in poverty. In forming bonds of mutual support and protection, an alliance of American Jews and historically oppressed people is our strongest line of collective defense against the threats to come.

This is what I took to be animating the ADL critique of the statement, that it was code for concern over the Muslim ban rooted in "if they can do that to them, they can do it to us."

The editorial also notes that Kushner is Orthodox, and Orthodox Jews in general supported Trump, while Reform Jews overwhelmingly supported HRC. It's suggestion that Kusher is just a figurehead to give cover to Bannon's anti-semitism is pure wishful thinking. The first thing I saw in my news feed this morning was a story about how Bannon and Kushner are new BFFs, working together to create a new 'think tank' that may be intended to actually run policy while the traditional government agencies are maintained mainly for show. [tinyurl.com/zjbvqew]

Much if not most contemporary rhetoric on the Holocaust in both Israel and the diaspora is coded framing of the Palestinian problem. The long tenure of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud in controlling the Isreali government was secured by manipulating immigration policy under The Law of Return to swell the ranks of Orthodox voters who support Likud's hard line policies, including the wall and more and more settlements on the West Bank. When Haaretz says:

Donald Trump and his incoming administration represent the antithesis of the core Jewish values of recognizing the inherent human dignity of all people and protecting the most vulnerable in society.

you can scratch out "Trump and his administration" and fill in 'Bibi and Likud' and add 'Labor-Reform' before "Jewish values". Likud, after all, grew out of the quite different core values of the Irgun.

It's perfectly on point to critique Likud, and/or Kushner on their quasi-fascist politics. And it's perfectly on point to critique Kushner, as Haaretz does, for not denouncing the fringe anti-semites like Spencer riding the Trump train. However, the Orthodox right no doubt considers Spencer a useful idiot for imagining Trump's fascism will turn Nazi rather than Eretz Israel.

It's also worth noting that Bannon, like Breitbart before him, is a cynical Macchiavellian who doesn't believe most of the crap he publishes. The guys have massive egos, and believe they control the rubes who follow them like master puppeteers, and I'm not at all sure they're wrong.

As i alluded to above, Podhoretz critique of the statement is self-canceling. He asserts, correctly, that 'Holocaust' refers to the Millions of Jews who were executed or tortured in the camps in service of The Final Solution. It does not, and never has, referred to Nazi atrocities in general. Thus, when a Jew like Epshteyn writes about Holocaust victims, you simply can't assert he needs to spell out the definition again, or assume he's trying to de-Judify the term by emphasizing other atrocity victims under that rubric when he doesn't state that explicitly, and doesn't even mention any other categories of victims.

If were going to talk about 'things left out', I find it far more telling that the day after Trump issues his Muslim ban executive order, John Podhoretz wrote a critique of Trump supposed religious bigotry without mentioning that. Does anyone seriously doubt that the contemporary American parallel to the German anti-semitism of the 1930s is the Islamophobia of the Right. that if camps are built, they will be filled not with Jews, but with Arabs? Really...

I am not familiar with Professor Lipstadt, so I know nothing of her politics, and have no opinion on where she sits in all this. I do note however, that her characterizations of the HuffPo piece (http://tinyurl.com/otckcxg] on 'the other victims' is ludicrously unfair. It begins;

Six million Jewish people were murdered during the genocide in Europe in the years leading up to 1945, and the Jews are rightly remembered as the group that Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party most savagely persecuted...

The body of the stories details the experiences of 5 individuals, two of them Jewish women who received even more horrors because one had a history of mental illness, and the other was sent off with her identical twin to Mengele for his 'experiments.' One of the three non-Jews profiled is a gay man who was sodomized with a piece of wood inserted 10' into his anus, leaving permanent injury, and then forced to watch, along with the rest of the camp, while his lover was executed by being torn apart by attack dogs. i fail to see how telling his story amounts to 'softcore' anything.

The historical record here is pretty clear that while the Final Solution solution was indeed the Nazi's first and foremost priority for the camps, it was also only the first step in a much larger and more general radical eugenics program intended to produce and perfect an Aryan super-race. I sat in on a friend's European History class in the mid-70s, and I was struck by what the professor added briefly after a series of lectures on the horrors of the Holocaust. He said the Nazi's had no intention of shutting down the camps after the 'Jewish Problem' had been eradicated, that they had prepared an ordered list of who would be the next undesirables to be gassed, including people who were merely physically 'ugly'.

Isn't burying the idea that 'You could be next' as much a form of 'softcore' Holocaust denial as downplaying the centrality of the Jewish victims, a way to be blind to the lessons of the past? it appears to me that no one is more blind to the lessons of Nazi atrocities than John Podhoretz, or anyone else who imagines that in 2017 they apply only to anti-semitism, failing to recognize who is likely to fill any new camps that might be built.

[As a documentary film maker and teacher, I'll note two relevant and interrelated films concerning atrocities by Errol Morris: Mr. Death on holocaust denier Fred Leuchter, and Standard Operating Procedure on Abu Ghrahb.]

Addendum to previous comment:

In fairness to Prof. Lipstadt, I had not noticed the headline that appears on the HuffPo article when you scroll down the page. It's "The Holocaust’s Forgotten Victims: The 5 Million Non-Jewish People Killed By The Nazis". This certainly could be interpreted along the lines she does. However it does not at all fit the text or tone of the article. Few people outside of journalism 'pros' are aware that headlines are rarely written by the authors, but by 'page editors' in print, and 'web staff' online. i would guess that whoever created that headline was trying to 'punch it up' as click-bait, but I would agree it betrays a (likely unconscious) lack of sensitivity to the specificity of the Holocaust and appeal to subtle anti-semitic sentiments.

The Holocaust’s Forgotten Victims
An indicator, if nothing else, of the contempt that HuffPo headline writers feel for their readership.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

I knew I shouldn't have responded. sadmar just launched another 1,200+ words of the same. I'll probably regret responding here, but I'll make my response even briefer.

As for:

The historical record here is pretty clear that while the Final Solution solution was indeed the Nazi’s first and foremost priority for the camps, it was also only the first step in a much larger and more general radical eugenics program intended to produce and perfect an Aryan super-race.

Yes, but the Jews were the only group whose extermination could not wait until after the war, whose extermination was so important to Hitler that, even as the Nazis were retreating headlong in the East and its cities were being decimated by US and British bombers, instead of forgetting about the Final Solution in order to try to fight the Allies to a stalemate and a negotiated peace, the Nazis redoubled their efforts to exterminate the Jews in one last spasm because Hitler feared that he was out of time.

Oh, and I'm very, very familiar with Fred Leuchter.

Is the guy I was mistaken for a holocaust denier? Okay, Hitler and the Nazi party intentionally murdered 6 million Jews in a concerted attempt to wipe the Jewish people out. They did it with horrifying and well-documented meticulousness, motivated by antisemitism and its attendant conspiracy theories, none of which were remotely true.

Many of the victims died in death camps and labor camps, often by starvation or gassing with Cyclon-B. The evidence for all of this is so overwhelming that there is no credible argument to the contrary, and people who suggest otherwise tend to do so because of their own antisemitism.

In the case of Irving, the paucity of his arguments and the racist motivations for them were uncovered in great detail in libel case he foolishly brought in the UK. That he lost the case, despite absurdly pro-plaintiff libel laws in Britain, shows how little support his arguments had.

The poem was one of the pieces of evidence they uncovered to demonstrate that accusations of white supremacist sympathies by Irving were factually correct, and thus not libel.

I strongly dislike holocaust deniers.

By Psalmanazaar (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

Of course i know Orac is very familiar with Leuchter. I was making a note to the general readership about the 'softcore denialism' of our atrocities by folks like Podhoretz and American conservatives – not that Democratic administrations were innocent, just pikers compared to Republicans who supported the Apartheid regime, the 'disappearing" of opposition in Chile after the CIA directed fascist coup of Allende, 'Death Squads' in any number of Central American countries and in Indonesia.

Orac #210 simply restates a point I fully agree with and have not contested: the primacy of the Final Solution, and it's 'special place' in Nazism. If he decries wasting words in this thread, he might chose to address the issue of the lessons of the Holocaust for Trump's America instead... assuming that is, that he disagrees.

"It is from a sense of gentle correction rather than mindless pedantry that I remind you of the Aktion T4 Rid-the-Reich-of-useless-mouths program."
Aktion T4, for those not familiar, was the program in which mentally or physically disabled people were quietly murdered on the grounds that they were "life unworthy of life". The family was told that their loved one was to be taken to a special clinic where they would receive treatment and the best of care. When the victims arrived at the "clinic" they were murdered by lethal injection. Sometimes encouraging letters were sent to the family for a period of weeks. Sooner or later they were notified that the victim had died of typhus or some other disease and the body cremated for hygienic reasons. Questioning authority was not generally part of the culture, so it pretty much went unchallenged.
The murder of the Jews and others involved the full machinery of the state - military, industrial, intellectual, bureaucratic. The details of how these were employed are easy enough to find, so I won't go into them. By contrast the murder clinics operated so far under the radar that some were still operating months after VE Day.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

Also, When the first version of the Action T4 euthanasia program became known, Hitler stopped it, at least temporarily. Then, when it restarted, it was restarted in deep secrecy, and, unlike the first iteration, without an order signed by Hitler.

Sadmar, I like you, but in this case, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. The Trump administration is full of antisemites. Bannon is ambiguous, but I lean on the side of "yes," simply because he is who he is. Trump himself has made antisemitic comments (like about how the only guys he wants handling his money are short and wear yarmulkes, because all Jews are short and good with money, har har), so saying that he couldn't be antisemitic because Ivanka blah blah is sort of like saying he couldn't be a misogynist because he's married to a woman and has a daughter he appears to favour.

The Israeli right "likes" Trump, for a certain definition of "like" mostly because they hated Obama a lot. Netanyahu, as far as I can tell, doesn't actually like Trump either; he seems to be using him, which is about par for the course with Israeli pols and their American counterparts. (They're quite willing to suck up to Evangelical immanentize-the-eschaton types, for instance, because they don't believe that the Christian End Times scenario will ever happen, so why not get all the for-free out of them they can. The fact that the funnymentalist nutters might do something to hasten things along, shall we say, never seems to occur to them.)

And I agree with the majority opinion that this was definitely "softcore" Holocaust denial, although I'd like to point out to Orac, just because I'm persnicketty that way and in both target demographics, that the Jews weren't the only targetted group that couldn't wait until the end of the war, just the biggest. The Nazis practiced mass killing techniques on handicapped people which they then implemented in the Final Solution. Their rationale for expediting Aktion T-4 was that the "life unworthy of life" was using up money and resources needed for the war effort. The memorial to those victims only went up a few years ago.

By Interrobang (not verified) on 02 Feb 2017 #permalink

I too could not find the issue until Orac pointed it out. I see why this has upset people, but I'm not upset. I think there were good intentions had in the phrasing of that statement, and that phrasing came across as insensitive and ignorant to some people. To call this "holocaust denial" is hyperbolic even if such denial exists on a spectrum, because it lumps in well-intentioned hapless persons (regardless if this truly was well-intentioned or not) with true-blood deniers like Alistair; everyone is thusly a "holocaust denier" even if by accident. Ignorant and insensitive? Sure, if that's your perspective, then I think that's a valid opinion. But I wonder who here is willing to give the White House the benefit of the doubt knowing who currently sits inside it working his executive order pen into overdrive.

Interobbang, Aktion T-4 was implemented years before the war, and had less to do with resources than with the Nazi, and pre-Nazi vision of a racially "pure" German race (I refuse to call them Aryan because they are not.).
Their racial imaginings were not just euthenic, eliminating by various means so-called racial inferiors, but eugenic as well. The Lebensborn project had two arms. One was the provision of a sort of resort where pure "Aryan" women could go to breed with members of the SS. You can imagine how that deteriorated pretty quickly.
The other arm was the kidnapping of supposedly racially pure children from occupied countries, Poland most of all. I worked with a Jewish woman who had been hidden in the Polish countryside with false baptismal papers. She had the requisite fair skin, blue eyes, blond hair, and was in good health. She was fifteen when Lebensborn took her and had her adopted by a Berlin family.
This was all due to a preoccupation with their perverted views of race. For some illumination, look up "vril". If you follow it down the rabbit hole you will get a better understanding of where their bizarre ideas came from. And if you use Bovril you may never look at it the same way again.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 03 Feb 2017 #permalink

I ran across something today, which I unfortunately failed to bookmark & can't find again, claiming that the original statement contained specific reference to Jews but that the reference was removed by the White House. Whether this was done by the Supreme Satsuma* or his boss Bannon, I don't know.
Anyone else remember Howard Handupme? He seems like a good metaphor for BannonTrump.

*" One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands..." (Wikipedia)

Chris @ 220

And the supposed improvements were "measured" using CARS, which I have ranted about quite a lot lately as not being anything like good enough for assessing autistic symptoms. It's not like there aren't better tools around than CARS, so why not use them?

Oh, and places too much reliance on parent report without that being backed up...

I could buy Trump and Bannon as harboring a variety of anti-semitic prejudices, but that's a far cry from imagining Epshteyn and Kushner participating in Holocaust denial. In saying the Trumpers aren't anti-semites I mean only that this is not an animating defining aspect of their character, which still leaves room for things like money manager stereotype.

I don't know what group Interobang is referencing that has a "majority opinion' the statement is "definitely softcore Holocaust denial", but it's no better than argumentum ad populum if true.

The argument that the statement is denialist is much weaker than the still weak arguments that the defenses from Hicks and Priebus dipped into denialist territory. It amounts to 'any reference to the Holocaust that does not overtly name Jews as its victims is denialist'. Which is pretty silly since 'Holocaust' means 'what the Nazis did to the Jews' and has only been used several million times to designate that without spelling out the definition.

If you look at the statement, and what stands out to you is this possibly innocent sin of omisssion, rather than the elephant-in-the-room whopper that Donald Trump is doing everything in his power to "make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world," you've either got some serious blinders or an ideological agenda that depends on denying the reality of Trumpism.*

Pure conjecture, but Podhoretz is close enough to Netanyhu that his denialism accusation could have been meant as a warning shot from Bibi across team Trump's bow, to which the Trumpers' 'not having that; sty in line' reply was Nicky Haley's settlement warning at the U.N. But then Haley also told Russia to get out of the Ukraine, so who knows what's genuine and what's orchestrated hand-waving distraction?

______

* Which reality is bringing back my clinical depression bad enough I might not be round here much for awhile... just might as in to soon to tell... I'm not guessing I'll need to be hospitalized or anything, just not particularly communicative...

Which reality is bringing back my clinical depression bad enough I might not be round here much for awhile… just might as in to soon to tell… I’m not guessing I’ll need to be hospitalized or anything, just not particularly communicative…

I hope you come out of it soon, sadmar. Keep your fingers crossed for me, too.

We've been dealing with that with my wife, a chronic pain patient.
The level of effort to manage it is akin to arm wrestling a tornado with one arm and an earthquake with the other.
Doctor had prescribed an antidepressant, for off label neuropathic pain control, which resulted in a brief bout of suicidal ideation, causing me to hide that medication and immediately report to doctor the effect.
Needless to say, doctor completely agreed and he's since held off on new antidepressants. I think we'll have to find a proper pain management practice to work with these issues.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by JP (not verified)

Doctor had prescribed an antidepressant, for off label neuropathic pain control, which resulted in a brief bout of suicidal ideation,

I've been suicidal - off and on - since I was 14. The only thing keeping me from it now is the thought of what it would do to my mom and others. I guess I have some metaphysical worries too...

Post #220 is not me either.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

I hope you come out of it soon, sadmar.
What JP said.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

It sounds like the alt-right idiots are trying to claim credit for Trump (and taking advantage of Trump mistakes) in the same way left-wing idiots are trying to hijack the anti-Trump movement.

By Joseph Hertzlinger (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

Sadmar: My sympathies, depression is a bitch. I'm so far keeping it at bay by reminding myself that I have to live until at least next June, but living for other people is sucking hard. I've kind of dropped out of communicating with other people who aren't related to me. Oh well, friendship and love are for soft people, and I'm not one of those. (And it doesn't help that I'm 90% sure one of my former friends is being impersonated by her mother on Facebook.)

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

Also, in my considered opinion, the treatment for depression is nearly as bad as the disease itself. SSRIs might work for other people, though.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

Go away, Fendelsworth.

Should we respond to such a juvenile entry?
*Seriously*?! Should we also consider the town drunk as well, considering the counterfeit BS?
Blow away, clown boy.

JP: Huh? I haven't been hacked.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 05 Feb 2017 #permalink

Orac deleted the comment where Fendelsworth was impersonating him.

Thanks guys. i'm doing somewhat better. I stopped watching the news. SSRIs (specifically Lexapro0' 'work' for me, meaning they stop the spiral down before it sinks below just good ol' misery. I'd been on a reduced dose for awhile, but last month my shrink had me go back up because I've developed trichotillomania (that's obsessive hair-pulling so you don't have to Google, in my case, chin whiskers). I'd probably have been way down sh*t creek this weekend if not for that. While they didn't stop me from hitting actual clinical-type depression this time, they probably helped me resume some kind of tentative functionality by this afternoon. I actually did some cleaning! I'm still worried that the awfulness of things will smash me down again. I feel totally helpless, and as rationally as I can parse it, I think the state of the country is just going to get ]worse and worse...

Fwiw, the only long-term side effect I get from the Lexapro is total libido erasure, and I'm old enough I probably don't have much of that left to lose anyway. In my experience, indviduals' reactions to any given anti-depressants – both benefit and side effects – varies widely. For example, while I'm OK with the Lexapro, Celexa, which is almost identical chemically, gives me the shakes really bad.

JP, I do have my fingers crossed for you, and you can add me to the mom and others,.'Cause you are one of the good ones, there's too few these days, and besides, we need the recipe tips. :-)

Try lotus stamens. Seriously.

By A. Schaefer (not verified) on 06 Feb 2017 #permalink

@ sadmar:

Hope you're feeling better.

Pulling on chin whiskers may not be so bad after all- it'll make it look as though you are constantly carefully considering weighty matters ( I'm of course joking).

About the 'state of the country getting worse' I can certainly agree with you there- what a sh!t circus of ineptitude we've been seeing of late!
I am trying to look at it all from a position of enlightened disengagement- most of it will not truly affect me personally but I hate how his crappy ideas will hurt others when they have legal heft behind them. e.g. Supreme Court.
I try to imagine that comedy writers and investigative reporters will have great opportunities.

I am agreed about JP- she is quite the bees' knees.

I am also a fan of PGP - who has a way to go but perhaps has the right stuff as a sceptic - and I'll go out on a limb saying so although I acknowledge that she botches up the works with her hasty judgments and over generalisations - but hey, she's young and has time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 Feb 2017 #permalink

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

It didn't burn in a day, either.

It didn’t burn in a day, either.

You beat me to that one!

When I'm stressed, I literally start to sharpen the kitchen knives. The concentration needed to maintain the correct angle on the sharpening stone, while re-honing the knifes helps me refocus my mind and I get the added benefit of having sharp knives again in the kitchen.
Dull knives in a kitchen are quite literally dangerous, as they skip and catch on what you're trying to cut, resulting in accidental cuts.
Needless to say, when I'm sharpening those knives, the idiot box is turned off.

Of course, when I'm not stressed, sharpening the kitchen knives is a tedious chore.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Narad (not verified)

Neither did the British Empire either.

I’d been on a reduced dose for awhile, but last month my shrink had me go back up because I’ve developed trichotillomania (that’s obsessive hair-pulling so you don’t have to Google, in my case, chin whiskers).

Oy, oy, oy. A friend of mine from grad school has this problem, except it was the hair on her head; it doesn't sound like any fun at all. I hope the higher dose helps.

in my case, chin whiskers

As it happens, I only pluck my ears (if I live long enough, I'll probably have great tufts) when waiting to see my shrink – "appointments" are rather nebulous at this hospital clinic, but I appreciate that he spends as much time as needed with each person.

Sadmar, let me recommend a book for you about trichotillomania.
It's called "The Hair-Pulling Problem." The author is well-known in the small field of psychologists who specialize in treating it, and is on the scientific board of the Trichotillomania Foundation. You cannot rely on medication alone to treat it, and as of now there is effective treatment but no cure.
Two disclaimers here. I have a related condition of compulsive skin picking,and it did help me some. Also, I am related to the author, but gain nothing from his sales.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 06 Feb 2017 #permalink

ORD: My brother had some hair-pulling issues as a very small child. The pediatrician's solution was for him to get a buzz cut. That ended the hair pulling (although it transformed into pulling the fluff off stuffed animals). He didn't start it up again when his hair grew out.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 07 Feb 2017 #permalink

I once had a cat that pulled much of his fur out whilst taking steroids for asthma. It looked like a Mohawk for a while.

He recovered.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 Feb 2017 #permalink

My wife discovered this interview with Republican Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole.

https://www.nps.gov/nico/learn/historyculture/bob-dole.htm

It's worth listening to in order to hear him talk about working with Ted Kennedy to get the Voting Rights Act out of committee and passed.

Late in the interview he makes the comment that

"We're all Americans."

Such a contrast to Trump and the current batch of Republicans.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 07 Feb 2017 #permalink

I even have nice feelings about the Bushes now that we have Trump. We could play a game of "never have I ever _____ before Donald Trump."

Yeah, I've been spitting ten penny nails since Conway blathered on about the "Bowling Green massacre".
The IED bomber who was arrested, tried and convicted in Bowling Green, KY had killed a half dozen of my friends in Iraq.
So, to hear her blather nonsense to acquire some political capital is extremely enraging to me.
I so very seriously want to go trip her with my cane!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 07 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by JP (not verified)

Wzrd1:
"I so very seriously want to go trip her with my cane!"
Don't bother. She will fatally trip over her tongue soon enough.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Feb 2017 #permalink

True, but much less emotionally satisfying. ;)

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 16 Feb 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Old Rockin' Dave (not verified)

Yep. Only victims of the Holocaust were Hebrew. No diversity at all. How racist, oops, wait a minute, mixing Leftist drivel.