Federal authorities have accused two upstate New York men of assembling a portable X-ray weapon they intended to use against opponents of Israel.
Prosecutors say 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford, of Galway, and 54-year-old Eric J. Feight, of Hudson, have been charged with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists following a yearlong undercover investigation.
Investigators say Crawford approached local Jewish organizations looking for people to help him with technology that could be used to secretly deliver damaging and even lethal doses of radiation against those he considered enemies of Israel.
Authorities say they assembled the mobile device, but it was inoperable and nobody was hurt.
Earlier this year, the Republican National Committee released a 100-page report detailing how the GOP needed to retrofit its agenda and soften its tone. But if Republican officials had wanted to save time, they could have issued a shorthand summary that read: Be less like Steve King.
The Iowa congressman’s outspoken conservatism embodies the kind of politics that, in the RNC’s own words, alienates minorities, young voters, and moderates, the very people the GOP desperately needs to bring under its tent. That immigration reform brings out King’s most incendiary rhetoric is especially troublesome, because regaining popularity among Hispanic voters is the party’s biggest priority heading into 2016.
It’s particularly heavy baggage for Republicans. While Democrats and civil rights groups stand largely united behind the broadest interpretations of the Voting Rights Act, for Republicans it’s a trickier matter. On one hand, they are eager to reach out to minority voters. They eagerly tout their charismatic, high-profile minority officeholders like Sens. Tim Scott or South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. If Congressional Republicans seem unwilling to rebuild the Voting Rights Act should the court curtail it, they risk being seen as indifferent or even hostile to minorities. On the other hand, the party’s Tea Party wing is likely to revolt if the Republican House they elected tries to re-establish what many see as a federal overreach. Already, Cruz has offered an amendment to address the Supreme Court’s decision in an Arizona voting rights case earlier this week that struck down a proof-of-citizenship requirement.
If the court strikes down Section 5 but gives Congress room to recraft it then the matter could create a mess comparable to immigration reform, fracturing the GOP. We don’t know yet because Congressional Republicans haven’t weighed in on a pending case although many Democrats submitted amicus briefs on behalf of keeping the law just where it is, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
So here is the scenario:
- SCOUTS kills Section 5 of the Voter Rights Act with ONLY Republican appointed Justices finding it unconstitutional. (This will probably be done with dubious legal arguments).
- Democrats in Senate immediately file legislation to correct it forcing the Republican Senators to filibuster it.
- SCOTUS overturns DOMA on Federalist grounds. Increasing Republicans gay-bashing chorus.
If I was SUPER cynical I would say that I wish for SCOTUS to overturn Roe v Wade on the same Federalist grounds as they will use on DOMA but I am not a moster.
Then and only then will lazy, apathetic Democratic voters will see what happens when they sit on their asses and not vote in local and off-year National elections and only vote then when they have a “Hero” like Obama running. Elections are about choices, 2 yours and theirs and if you don’t go a vote for yours you get theirs!
This was not a fun article to read, but I think it’s important—necessary even.
Sometimes almost nothing is known to tell the stories of lives that were not lived, except a name.
As Yishai Szekely - a doctor who serves as a reserve officer in an artillery unit - explains, in some families first-hand memories are passed down. There are photographs or books and ornaments with stories attached, that make the dead seem real.
Here, the reading of the names is the only way to reclaim the dead from the anonymity of genocide.
“Six million is such a huge number, even to think of 1,000 it confuses you,” Szekely says. “The power is in the name because we don’t have much left. That’s the only thing we can touch or understand or imagine, our only connection that we could start to make to our past… When you connect to one name, one person to one name, it makes it easier for you to understand.”
When the last name has been read, I stroll between the blockhouses with Yechiel Aleksander, who was brought to Auschwitz as a teenager in 1944, on one of the Eastern Transports - the trains that carried the Jews to the selection process between life and death.
He survived of course and went to Israel after the war.
Any period of history changes when there is no-one left alive who remembers it at first hand.This is his 35th trip back to Poland with Israeli delegations to deliver lectures about what life was like here and to answer questions when he can.
The first nine or 10 trips back here affected him very badly, he says. For a moment, switching between Hebrew and the fluent Polish he still remembers from childhood, he is lost for words. He describes how the visits depressed him, by holding his hand out straight and level and then suddenly bringing it down in a plunging, swooping motion.
He still comes, though. He believes that those who know what it was like here have a special responsibility towards those who do not. […]
Any period of history changes when there is no-one left alive who remembers it at first hand.
I can remember writing stories back in 1998 about the 80th anniversary of the end of World War I when you could still talk with men who’d fought on the Somme or at Jutland, and with the women who had nursed them.
Fifteen years on from that moment, they are all gone.
And who knows, perhaps 15 years from now all the Holocaust survivors will be gone too.
Yechiel Aleksander feels that those who endured these horrors have a special responsibility to talk about them.
When you meet him, you are reminded that the rest of us have a special responsibility to listen.
Before we left Israel for Poland I wanted to try to understand a little more about the role the survivors play in passing on the memory of the Holocaust.
I spent some time with Asher Aud, who lives with his wife in a homely apartment in a block of sheltered living units in the middle of Jerusalem.
His wife, Haya, likes to paint, and she loves her grandchildren. Those two passions have between them filled almost every available inch of hanging space with pictures and photographs.
Your eye is drawn though to a wooden panel that Haya made to mark her husband’s 70th birthday, on which scenes from his life are etched into the wood in brightly coloured inks.
One panel, decorated with rings and hearts, marks the day they married. Another records the births of each of their four children.
A third commemorates Asher Aud’s time in Auschwitz. […]
It’s a lot of things: identity, previous knowledge, fear and a pile of other factors. But we humans are more often rationalizing animals than rational ones.
House Republicans flexed their cultural and conservative muscles Tuesday, passing the most restrictive abortion measure in years. They also advanced legislation to crack down on immigrants living illegally in the country, even as senators pursue a plan that would offer those same millions a shot at citizenship.
The actions reflect a roiling debate among Republicans over why they lost two elections to President Barack Obama, and how best to rebuild a winning formula.
There are various other examples of this trend. But the gist is that the GOP, based on the House of Representatives where it may well have a lock through 2020, has decided that there’s really nothing that needs fixing with the party’s emphasis on social conservatism and being the political party, overwhelmingly, of white people. Indeed, House Republicans are now increasingly vocal that all the stuff about an autopsy or rebuilding the party post-2012 was basically bunk.
As much of the GOP strains to implement a post-2012 course correction, the party has found itself stymied over and over by what leaders describe as a tiny rump of ham-fisted pols with a knack for stumbling onto cable news. No matter what the party leadership is up to in a given month, there’s almost invariably a back-bencher in the House of Representatives or a C-list player out in the states who’s only too eager to take the wind out of a conservative comeback with some incendiary comment that seizes national attention.
Democrats fell far short of winning the House in 2012, an otherwise banner year for the party, and many are privately glum about taking back the chamber in 2014.
But that grim immediate outlook raises a far more troubling longer-term prospect for Democrats: that the newly drawn congressional lines have tilted the electoral playing field so decisively in the GOP’s favor that the party could control the House through 2020.
Col Latifa Nabizada, the first female pilot in the Afghan air force, has battled prejudice, the Taliban and personal tragedy - but her ambitions for her young daughter soar even higher.
My sister and I always talked about the stars and the universe.
We talked about how aeroplanes were made and what it would be like to fly one - how it would feel to be a pilot. There were water butts near where we lived and I used to climb on top and imagine I was flying a helicopter.
After we had finished school, Laliuma and I told our parents we wanted to be professional pilots. They were quite shocked. At the time, not many women in Afghanistan could work and there we were, thinking of becoming pilots. But we managed to convince them. My father’s support was huge and it helped us a lot.
Latifa and Laliuma were repeatedly denied admission to the Afghan military school on medical grounds, but they eventually joined in 1989 after being certified fit by a civilian doctor. No women’s uniforms existed, so they made their own.
We were the first two women pilots in Afghan air force history.
The other students threw stones at us. We used to leave the classroom in protest - then our teachers would come out and apologise and we would go back in. We were all so young and such things happened at that time. Considering the social conditions, people were quite positive about it. […]