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Behind the Aegis

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
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Happy National Coming Out Day...So sayeth Wonder Woman!



Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Oct 11, 2021, 08:38 PM (2 replies)

80 years and several failed projects, Ukraine inaugurates historic memorial to Babyn Yar victims

Ukraine’s government inaugurated a memorial complex to the victims of the Babyn Yar massacre this week, 80 years after the tragedy that has long been a flashpoint in the country’s collective Holocaust memory.

The memorial at the Babyn Yar site, where Nazis and local collaborators killed some 33,000 Jews in a ravine near Kiev in September 1941, is still under construction. But it currently features a quartz crystal-studded “Wall of Crying,” designed by the famed Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović, and a new wooden synagogue above the only portion of the ravine, into which victims were ordered to lie before they were shot, that remains visible.

By 2026, its organizers say, the center will also house museum space and additional monuments. It costs around $100 million and is privately funded. A large portion of the funding has come from a group of billionaires, including Russian Mikhail Fridman and Ukraine-born Viktor Pinchuk, who are both Jewish.

Various initiatives to commemorate Babyn Yar victims had previously failed to materialize and, for decades, the only reminders of the tragedy were a couple of small and neglected monuments.

“The time for memory has come,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, at the inauguration ceremony.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Oct 8, 2021, 03:30 PM (0 replies)

Our History: Meet the Dutch gay man who defied the Nazis & saved thousands of lives

In the final days before his execution in July 1943 at the hands of the Nazi party, Willem Arondeus asked his lawyer for one last request: to spread a message after he was gone.

“Let it be known,” he said. “Homosexuals are not cowards.”

A battle cry of defiance and a bold assertion of his strength, Arondeus lived his life by these words. An openly gay man and a tireless member of the Dutch resistance against the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, he willingly sacrificed his life for a mission that ultimately protected hundreds of thousands of Jews’ lives.

A budding artist struggling to survive
From an early age, Arondeus was no stranger to the concept of defiance.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Oct 7, 2021, 04:27 PM (1 replies)

Auschwitz museum hit with antisemitic graffiti

Police in Poland are investigating antisemitic vandalism at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Spray-painted slogans in English and German, some of them “antisemitic in nature,” were found on the museum’s grounds recently, the institution wrote in a statement Tuesday. There were “two references to the Old Testament, often used by antisemites, and denial slogans,” the statement also said.

The statement did not include further information on the vandalism. The site has robust security and enforcement measures in place to prevent vandalism and other abuses, which are rare.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Oct 5, 2021, 03:00 PM (2 replies)

At Dutch COVID protest, men dressed as Nazis make mock arrest of participant wearing yellow star

Several men dressed like Nazis were seen pretending to arrest a man wearing a yellow star as part of a rally against COVID-19 measures in the Netherlands.

Saturday’s incident in Urk, near Amsterdam, was the latest among the hundreds of rallies worldwide in which protesters have drawn what they regard as parallels between the persecution of Jews by Nazis to rules meant to curb the spread of the virus.

But the protest in Urk was unusual because of its theatrics and the fact that it happened where the Nazis actually rounded up Jews at gunpoint.

The 10 men involved in the incident apologized for their actions in writing in a statement obtained by the “Hart van Nederland” television program.

“We wish to express out sincere apologies,” the statement read, adding that the protest “crossed a line that it should have not crossed.” The protesters said they did not mean to offend Jews.


How fucking charming! You know, a country with a history of liquidating its Jews really shouldn't do shit like this!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 04:46 PM (7 replies)

Jewish social services groups kick into high gear as Afghan refugees begin to arrive in US

Jewish communities around the world are reactivating their refugee-support networks as they prepare to help resettle Afghans who have fled the Taliban takeover of their country.

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Afghans have been airlifted from Kabul after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan with the U.S. exit from the country after 20 years. Many will spend time in another country while they wait to be admitted to the United States, but some are already arriving – and needing support as they adapt to a sudden relocation and a new country.

The importance of welcoming strangers is so deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and experience that immigration issues have long enjoyed a bipartisan consensus in Jewish communities even amid deep polarization on other topics. Many cities have social services agencies that began to support Jewish immigrants and now work with new arrivals of all backgrounds, often coordinating with HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, to identify refugees and meet their needs.

Those agencies — and the Jewish communities that support them — are now scrambling to prepare for a wave of new arrivals as the United States wages an around-the-clock effort to remove as many people as possible who supported the U.S. military mission in advance of an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Aug 25, 2021, 04:29 PM (6 replies)

After 15 years, my beloved Voodoo has left me. (long story and more than a few pics)

Voodoo is gone.

(If you need to, skip to the section called “Memories” and share in our happiness. The first section is the recounting of the torturous last three weeks.)

The last three weeks have been Hell! Voodoo got sick in mid-July. We figured it was an upset stomach or some such; it wasn’t. He stopped eating and became lethargic. We took him to the vet immediately, but after a week of no improvement, and three vets unable to figure out the cause, and a bad blood work test, we took him to the animal hospital in Tulsa the last Wednesday of July. It appeared his kidneys were in failure, but that wasn’t an absolute. When Friday came, two days in the hospital, we got the call to come immediately to Tulsa. We arrived a little over an hour later, and were handed a rag doll. Voodoo was in really bad shape. The decision was made to put in a nasogastric tube as well as a blood transfusion. On the long hour drive home, we were called and told he took the tube well and they would start feeding in a few hours. Later that evening, we got an update saying he was responding well.

My husband and I drove to Tulsa again, on Saturday, and it was like night and day! Voodoo was alert, but still weak. By Sunday, he was even better and trying to stand on his own. He even nuzzled us both! He hadn’t done that in over a week. I called twice a day for updates and all his blood work was coming back improved. He was rebounding! Then came the Tuesday update.
We were speaking with the doctor and he said Voodoo was walking funny, and showing possible signs of neurological issues. We were taken aback, because we didn’t know he was walking on his own! We knew he would be monitored, but figured, after almost 9 days with little food, he was probably just weak. That evening came the next update that he might have had a mini seizure. The decision was made to up some meds and change a few others. It was 10PM.

Tuesday moved to Wednesday, August 4th, and at 3:30am, the animal hospital called; Voodoo had had a major seizure. The doctor decided to take aggressive measures with medications, but I was told we needed to come see him later that day. 4:45am, I had crawled into bed; the phone rang. Voodoo had several more seizures, and was seizing periodically. We needed to come to the hospital, now. I woke my husband, and within an hour and a half, we were back in Tulsa. We were led to a waiting room with a blanket, a Kleenex box, lowered lights and a candle burning. I broke down in tears.

After the paperwork was sorted -- why, even at a time like that, is there always fucking paperwork that has to be done?! -- Voodoo was brought in to us. By this point, I was sobbing. My husband, who rarely cries, was in tears. He had several more seizures and started vocalizing in a way we had never heard. My husband held him like a baby, and he drifted off to sleep. We summoned the doctor, and at 6:49am, Wednesday August 4th, 2021, in the arms of my husband, and my hand and lips on his head, Voodoo left us. We held him for a bit longer…and then more paperwork. FUCKING PAPERWORK!

We cried on the long drive home, but laughed too. As sad as we were, and still are, there were 15 and half years of memories! So, I am going to wrap up this memorial post with a few of those memories, so any tears being shed won’t just be of sadness, but of joy and laughter, as well.


Born on January 13, 2006, sharing a birthday with one of my brothers, Voodoo came into our lives two months later in March. We were preparing to move to New Orleans (NOLA), so we gave him a name associated with NOLA…Voodoo! And so began fifteen and half years of love. He was just a bit bigger than a beer can when we got him. The funny thing is my husband didn’t like “little” dogs; we were at the store to get a Rottweiler. He thought Voodoo was a baby Rottie until we were corrected, but by that time, Voodoo was already in our hearts. Our cat, Tony, who passed a few years ago, was not impressed! I wanted to make sure Voodoo could sleep on his own, so I told my husband, he had to stay in his cage at night…that lasted THREE whole days! I was in my office late one night and no longer heard Voodoo crying, so I figured he was settling in; I was wrong! My husband snuck into the living room, took him out of his cage and took him to bed, where I found them both, asleep, Voodoo tucked in the nape of my husband’s neck. Voodoo rarely slept in a cage again.

In April of that year, we moved to a still recovering New Orleans. We had to find a house first, so we drove down there, Voodoo in toe. The hotel where we were going to stay expected a pet deposit. OK. So, I was standing at the front desk, Voodoo tucked into my arm, and the manager asks to see our dog. I was confused. I asked if I needed to hand Voodoo to him. He said “No, I just need to see him.” I looked down at my arms and Voodoo twitched. The manager exclaimed, “Wait?! That is a real dog?! Yeah, I am not gonna charge you a pet fee!” See, he thought Voodoo was a stuffed animal because he was so small. The next day, at the Easter Day parade, Voodoo attracted many onlookers, got several beads (we didn’t get jack!) and a toy bunny, which was his favorite until he “killed” it about a year later by ripping out all the stuffing.

The house where we lived for five years was just outside the French Quarter, so we often took Voodoo to The Quarter for walks and outings. He was a great conversation starter. We met many people that way, some became our friends. We spent obscene amounts of money buying his toys, clothes, and pretty much anything that would spoil him, including one plush toy, that looked like a wrapped gift. He liked to hump it, and thus was born, “Sex Bomb”! He also liked hanging out at the front door, peeking through the curtain, waiting for my husband to come home from work. At that age, he also had the annoying habit of dragging our underwear out of the hamper and dragging it to the front door to make a nest! Let’s say there were more than a few times we didn’t spot the “nest” before a houseguest did!

While in New Orleans, we got the sisters, also chihuahuas, Laveau and Marigny. They all palled around for a bit, but usually just did their own things. Voodoo was very attached to both me and my husband and there was never any jealousy in regards to who he “preferred”.

We moved back to Oklahoma in 2011, and he was eventually joined by another chihuahua, Zatanna. Everyone just did their own thing and would run about, racing up and down the stairs, and all over our very big backyard. When the movers brought in our furniture, Voodoo, remember he is now slightly larger than two cans of soda/beer, bowed his front legs in and “woofed” at the movers. They were so shocked at the sound coming out of this tiny little creature, they all stopped and one said, “Is he for real?!” Here was this tiny dog, acting like a big dog, letting them know, in no uncertain terms, this was HIS house!

Over the years, Voodoo has travelled with us all over the States, including fleeing a hurricane with us. All of my family loved him. He wasn’t a “typical” chihuahua in that he usually didn’t tremble, unless there was a thunderstorm or fireworks, he wasn’t “yippie”, and he wasn’t aggressive, unless you were in the house and he usually just made sure you knew whose house it was. He was also the ring-bearer for us when my husband and I were finally allowed to legally marry. The girls were maids of honor.

We were together for fifteen years. There have been lots of laughs, lots of cuddles, lots of “zoom zooms”, and lots of playing, and now, there is a void. But, I am thankful for the time I had and I will miss him greatly. Here are some pictures of BooBoo, BooBoomeister, the Mighty Voodoo, our little man…Voodoo.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Aug 5, 2021, 04:58 PM (79 replies)

New report finds little progress in online platforms' efforts to combat hate

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube have made few significant changes to address hate, racism, and misinformation on their platforms, according to a new report by the Stop Hate for Profit coalition of businesses, civil rights and other groups.

Released Thursday, the report found that Facebook made the least progress out of the five platforms studied by the group — which also included Reddit. It also found that TikTok’s most serious weakness was its handling of antisemitism.

“Despite the events of the past year presenting grave threats to our democratic institutions and to the safety of marginalized communities, and despite the clear evidence of how widely hate and incitement are spread online, no platform has enacted the large structural changes needed to address the consequential issues raised by Stop Hate for Profit,” the report read.

The coalition color coded its evaluation of the platforms, with “green” awarded for “many significant changes.” None of the platforms received a green seal. TikTok and Reddit were credited with doing the most to fight against hate, earning a yellow seal for enacting “many significant changes.” Both are smaller platforms than Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook received the worst rating of the groups, a red seal signifying “incremental changes.”


Not surprising, but interesting nonetheless.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jul 24, 2021, 02:34 PM (0 replies)

(Jewish Group) Former Congresswoman Tweets Bizarre Image Stating That 'Zionists' Did 9/11

For 12 years Democrat Cynthia McKinney represented Georgians in the U.S. House of Representatives, but on Monday she represented some of the worst the internet has to offer. McKinney tweeted an image of the Twin Towers ablaze as if part of a jigsaw puzzle. McKinney wrote, “The Final Piece of the Puzzle…” The text on the image says, “Zionists did it.”


The tweet repeats a favorite claim of some 9/11 conspiracists, who believe Israel perpetrated the attacks to lure the U.S. into a Middle Eastern war and destroy rival countries. A corollary to this theory stated that no Jews died during the 9/11 attacks because those who worked in the towers had foreknowledge. This is also wrong.

McKinney has a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Last year, she misrepresented the contents of the article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which referred to a database that identified 4.8 million victims by name, while the rest “have yet to be discovered, and may never be known.” But that’s not how McKinney described the data.



One of the BEST responses?


And in honor of Mel's birthday...

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 29, 2021, 12:25 AM (1 replies)

(Jewish Group) We're here, we're queer, we're Yiddish: LGBTQ stories, and silences, in the Forward

We’re here, we’re queer, we’re Yiddish: LGBTQ stories, and silences, in the Forward archives

It’s traditional for the gay community to gather for brunch before a Pride march during Pride month, or nachas khoydesh in Yiddish.

Today, we propose instead a forshpayz, an appetizer-sized portion of queer archival Forverts history — rare treasures celebrating LGBTQ dignity, visibility and equality: our first archival Pride march back in time.

For me, it’s a march that’s deeply meaningful — and also fraught.

As a young Jewish lesbian, I came out in the 1980s to the beat of the second National March on DC for LGBTQ rights, and the massive NAMES project quilt celebrating the lives of those lost to the AIDS pandemic. I lived on San Francisco’s gayest Castro Street, in a communal apartment above the Castro Street Station, one of many popular gay bars that were community gathering spots, especially on Friday nights.

I fell asleep to the bar’s throbbing disco beat below my futon, my head beneath a Jewish poster about AIDS that spoke of vast complicit silences and histories lost to shame. “Who will say kaddish for me?” it asked, referring to those dying of AIDS who were refused Jewish pastoral care on even the most basic level.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jun 28, 2021, 04:22 PM (0 replies)
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