It won't surprise you to learn American policing has a racism problem. It may surprise you to know that the FBI has been quietly, systematically investigating the white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.
Alice Speri writes that there's just not much anyone in politics is willing to do about it—and an inevitable conservative-led backlash when they try—but the FBI is starting to treat local cops the way it treated hippies: as a problem worth getting its hands dirty over.
“For some reason, we have stepped away from the threat of domestic terrorism and right-wing extremism,” Jones continued. “The only way we can reconcile this kind of behavior is if we accept the possibility that the ideology that permeates white nationalists and white supremacists is something that many in our federal and law enforcement communities understand and may be in sympathy with.”
Investigation is difficult:
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Although officers have been fired for expressing hateful views — sometimes to be re-hired by other departments, as happens regularly with officers accused of misconduct — some officers have also challenged those dismissals in court. Robert Henderson, an 18-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol, was fired when his membership in the Klan was discovered. He sued on First Amendment grounds and appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear his case. Last year, 14 officers in the San Francisco Police Department were caught exchanging racist and homophobic texts that included several references to “white power” and messages such as “all niggers must fucking hang.” Most of those officers remain on the force after an attempt to fire several of them was blocked by a judge, who said the statute of limitation had expired.
Israeli author Shahak Shapira found a use for foolish and disrespectful selfies taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
A newly unveiled online project called “Yolocaust” delivers a stinging message for those who not only act disrespectfully at a Berlin Holocaust memorial but capture their behavior and share it with their friends on social media. The project, which debuted on Wednesday, was visited by so many Germans that the computer server hosting it crashed, according to reports in the German media, where it was covered with great interest.
You only live once, but we die twice: once when the body fails, the second when we are forgotten.
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We've all heard that Nazi soldiers were fueled by methamphetamine. (This isn't uncommon in military history. For example, see the US army's use of "pep bills" in Vietnam.) But new research gets way more specific about the history of drugs in Nazi Germany. From CNN:
Now, meth, cocaine and even opiates have been referenced in association with German soldiers in a new book by German author Norman Ohler, "Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich," set to publish in the United States in March, but already released in other parts of the world, including the UK.
"Norman Ohler's Blitzed depicts the pervasive drug culture that allegedly developed in Germany's Third Reich," wrote Paul Weindling, a research professor at Oxford Brookes University, in an article in the journal Nature in October.
"Nazi officials took high-performance drugs such as methamphetamine hydrochloride (crystal meth) and cocaine. German military units and aviators were dosed with the patent methamphetamine-based drug Pervitin (manufactured in Germany from 1937) to improve operational efficiency. And drugs such as Pervitin and metabolic stimulants were tried out on students, military recruits and, eventually, in concentration camps," Weindling wrote. "Questions remain, however, over precisely how the drugs were tested, prescribed, distributed and used."
"What drugs were the Nazis on, anyway?" (CNN) Read the rest
How fast things move! Here's us, suggesting that media people stop using the cutesy term "alt right" to describe Sieg Heiling white supremacists. But they're already moving onto panel discussions on whether Jews are people. Read the rest
Prosecutors in Germany have launched a formal investigation of Mark Zuckerberg and other executives at Facebook, the Munich prosecutor's office said Friday, over a complaint that Facebook broke German laws against hate speech and sedition by failing to remove racist hate-posts on the social media service.
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Keyakizaka4, a Japanese pop duo, posed in Nazi-styled outfits at a 22 October concert. Sony, their label, has apologized; the youngsters themselves likely had no idea of the SS uniforms' deeper significance, reports the BBC, despite having worn them for the Halloween event.
Keyakizaka46 went on stage in Yokohama on 22 October wearing black capes and caps resembling those of SS officers
Social media users were quick to point out similarities with the uniforms of Hitler's brutal paramilitary force. The band is a sister act to the country's popular AKB48 super group. Both are produced by Japanese hit-maker Yasushi Akimoto, an executive board member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics committee.
Yasushi Akamoto posted his own apology as well. The machine translation is dubious but among the sentences it surely got right was "I'm terribly sorry."
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Novelist Norman Ohler became fascinated with the Third Reich's reliance on opiods and methamphetamines when DJ Alexander Kramer mentioned it to him in passing; he set out to write a novel, but in Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich he produced what historian and authority on the Third Reich Ian Kershaw called "a serious piece of scholarship."
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In this 1915 photo, the children appear to be raising their arms in a siege heil salute of the American flag. Actually, this gesture was part of the Pledge of Allegiance ritual for decades. Then, um, Hitler happened. From Smithsonian:
Originally known as the Bellamy Salute, the gesture came to be in the 1890s, when the Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis J. Bellamy. The Christian socialist minister was recruited to write a patriotic pledge to the American flag as part of magazine mogul Daniel Sharp Ford’s quest to get the flag into public schools.
At the time... Bellamy and his boss both agreed that the Civil War had divided American loyalties and that the flag might be able to bridge those gaps. His campaign centered around the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the new world. He published his new Pledge as part of a unified Columbus Day ceremony program in September 1892 in the pages of the Youth’s Companion, a popular children’s magazine with a circulation of 500,000.
“At a signal from the Principal,” Bellamy wrote, “the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag…'”
Then in the 1930s, Hitler reportedly saw Italian Fascists doing a similar gesture, likely based on an ancient Roman custom, and adopted it for the Nazi party. Read the rest
Everyone hates Nazis. For decades they've been the go-to villains for movies that need bad guys. With the modern sensitivity toward Native Americans, Russians and other traditional villains of American screenwriting, I predict we will see a resurgence in film and television with lots more nasty Nazis. The Man in the High Castle, anyone?
So what could be more fun than a gift whose function perfectly follows its form than this candle of that nasty Nazi rat-bastard SS agent Arnold Ernst Toht, Gestapo agent? The little weasel gets his well-deserved comeuppance in perfect style when his face melts off like hot butter, when the hell hiding in the Ark of the Covenant is unleashed at the end of first Indiana Jones flick Raiders of the Lost Ark.
You gotta love this candle! Let's watch his soul get sucked out of his stinking Nazi skull with the flick of a match. Available from Firebox for a mere $28.39 in the UK (hence the odd price), I really have to buy two: one to keep, and one to melt.
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Here's a report about a Catholic priest said to have been found snorting cocaine in a room adorned with Nazi symbols. In other words, another Monday on the internet.
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New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer has a new book coming out, Dark Money, which chronicles the influence of a small handful of ultra-rich dynastic American families on US politics.
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Donald Trump, a Republican candidate for Führer of the United Fascist States of America, said today there should be a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” including Muslim citizens who are currently abroad.
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What if the Axis won World War II? An America occupied by Germany and Japan is the premise of Philip K Dick's novel, The Man in the High Castle, and it's been filmed by Amazon Studios as an exclusive drama for Prime subscribers.
The new trailer is striking: the script seems restrained and measured, almost like an old BBC spy drama, but with the handsome looks that big budgets bring. I even thought for a moment that I saw Colin Firth in there, but it turned out to be Rupert Evans looking particularly determined in the shadows. It all gets unlocked Nov. 20.
Previously: Amazon's The Man in the High Castle Read the rest
I love reading about all the drugs Hitler was on and the implication that his insane medical treatments made him even crazier and nastier than he otherwise was. Andrea Maurer takes a deep dive into the "High Hitler" story and finds it to be even more disturbing than popularly understood. Read the rest
Yep, pretty sure this is all of it. Read the rest