Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection," Performed by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Directed by Claudio Abbado

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9, Performed by the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Directed by Claudio Abbado


"First loathing, then loving, the all-encompassing symphonies of Gustav Mahler," says Barton Swaim of my symphonic first love, thanks to a certain Muff State prof — Music That’s Everything. Mr. Swaim begins:
    I never cared much for the music of Gustav Mahler. I tried to like it, but without success. The problem, for me, wasn’t that Mahler was modern or unapproachable or “difficult.” Somehow, and despite a natural predisposition against modernism of all kinds, I had learned to appreciate the music of Schoenberg and particularly Shostakovich. Mahler’s symphonies, though, which in one sense are much more approachable and “tonal” than that of modernist composers (he’s commonly categorized as “late Romantic” rather than modern) struck me as deliberately incoherent.
Like the author, "despite a natural predisposition against modernism of all kinds, I [too] had learned to appreciate the music of Schoenberg and particularly Shostakovich," but for me Mahler was the bridge to the past. Tolle, lege.

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Jeremy Pinnell Performs "The Way Country Sounds," "Rodeo," " I'm Alright With This," & "Feel This Right"

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Deplorable Leftist Fellow-Travelers

CounterPuncher John V. Walsh reminds us that "Hillary’s words will give the attendees at a $250,000 per plate event a feeling of moral superiority that they are not among the 'irredeemables' but are in fact among the Redeemers" — Progressives Are Targets of Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables” Speech. A sample:
    Make no mistake about it, this bit of invective was no accident. Hillary is carefully scripted, and especially so in these months of her campaign. Cameras were rolling and she knew it. Moreover, she has said the same thing repeatedly on camera in front of high-end donors. Why then did she say such a thing?

    The first and obvious point is that it was heartfelt. She, like the rest of the Elite, harbors deep feelings of contempt for the common Joe and Jane.

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Maria Katasonova for Duma!

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Black Privilege


The search engine of record, Steve Sailer reports, has it that the vast majority of "American Inventors" were black — Great Moments in Google: "American Inventors". Ditto for "American scientists" and American mathematicians" as search terms:



Either American whites have always lagged behind their black fellow-citizens in intellectual achievement, or, as Mr. Sailer suggests, "This phenomenon appears to be tied into propagandizing schoolchildren in K-12."

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Not in My Driveway!

A bit miffed that I was left off this list — White supremacist fliers dropped in Pittsford driveways. No link to "the web address of an apparent white supremacist website" is given nor any description of the flyers' content, so the reader is unable to judge if the phrase "white supremacist" is used here with its standard meaning of "stuff libruls don't like."

A little digging uncovers that the latter is the case with the site White Rochester from this story — Local Website Promises to Make Rochester Great Again…By Making it Whiter. This is not supremacism:
    WhiteRochester.org holds and promotes that European-Whites should not feel constrained in recognizing their ethnic and racial identities and in promoting their interests. It is thus taken as legitimate for Whites to challenge attempts to turn Whites into a minority.
Suggesting whites have a space (a safe space?) to "not feel constrained in recognizing their ethnic and racial identities and in promoting their interests" is simply allowing for them what other groups already have, or equalism.

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Jalen 'N Gonda Performs "Holler" & "Why I Try"




"... in front of a giant wooden megaphone made by RUUP."

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

case/lang/veirs Perform "Atomic Number," "Honey & Smoke," "Song for Judee," "Blue Fires," "Delirium," "Greens of June," "Behind the Armory," "Best Kept Secret," "1000 Miles Away," "Supermoon," "I Want To Be Here," "Down," "Why Do We Fight" and "Georgia Stars"

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Read the The Anti-Federalist Papers Today

    On this Constitution Day let’s be honest with ourselves. The Constitution and the Federalists did not deliver on the promises of limited powers. The Anti-Federalists, however, perspicaciously saw the flaws in the system and tried to warn the people. If we desire to reform our all-powerful national government, we should jettison The Federalist Papers and instead listen to the wisdom of Brutus, Cato and their fellow Anti-Federalists.
So rightly writes William J. Watkins, Jr., mentioned on Radio Derb's latest installment — Did The Constitution Deliver?

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The Frugal Revolution

Jacky Perry finds what he "believe[s] to be the 'magic bullet' that can abolish the government and Wall Street together in a 'death of a thousand cuts'" — The Frugal Revolution: Bleeding The Beast. And I thought I was just cheap! Here's how it works, making perfect sense:
    What is the “magic bullet”? You might not believe this, but it’s actually consumer spending. The entire apparatus of the federal government, local governments, and Wall Street are held together and kept alive by consumer spending. How and why? This is how it works: People become convinced via the media that they need all these non-essential items or essential items vastly overpriced because of “brand”. Now, the federal government inculcates into the people that consumer spending is important to the economy. And it is. The entire economy, the government, and Wall Street are all held together by it. Because once people chase after these things and buy them, they must be paid for. Thus, they must work (and work even more hours than ever before) in order to pay for this crap. In so doing, they are taxed by the federal government whose tax rates go up when their income does. Therefore, the more you buy, the more you have to work, and the more taxes the government collects.

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Lakota Lessons

    The Indian, in his simple philosophy, was careful to avoid a centralized population, wherein lies civilization’s devil. He would not be forced to accept materialism as the basic principle of his life, but preferred to reduce existence to its simplest terms. His roving out-of-door life was more precarious, no doubt, than life reduced to a system, a mechanical routine; yet in his view it was and is infinitely happier. To be sure, this philosophy of his had its disadvantages and obvious defects, yet it was reasonably consistent with itself, which is more than can be said for our modern civilization. He knew that virtue is essential to the maintenance of physical excellence, and that strength, in the sense of endurance and vitality, underlies all genuine beauty. He was as a rule prepared to volunteer his services at any time in behalf of his fellows, at any cost of inconvenience and real hardship, and thus to grow in personality and soul-culture. Generous to the last mouthful of food, fearless of hunger, suffering, and death, he was surely something of a hero. Not "to have," but "to be," was his national motto.
Thus spake Charles Eastman, "born Hakadah and later named Ohíye S’a," whose quote begins this piece — Lessons from the Sioux in How to Turn a Boy Into a Man. I'm currently reading Fred Chiaventone's excellent A Road We Do Not Know: A Novel of Custer at Little Bighorn.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dengue Fever Perform "Ghost Voice," "Tokay," "Girl From The North," & "No Sudden Moves"


In honor of the late, great Bill Nojay's Cambodian connections.

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Assemblyman Bill Nojay (1956-2016) and the Democracy of the Dead

    Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.
Thus spake G. K. Chesterton; not what G.K.C. had in mind when he wrote it, but what came to my mind when I cast my vote yesterday for this winning candidate — Bill Nojay, deceased, wins Assembly primary election.


It was not only the novelty of voting for dead man that earned him my vote; it was his steadfast opposition to Benito Cuomo's gun-grabbing NY SAFE Act, his management of the Trumpening's state campaign, and his earning of this distinction last year — Nojay ranks as most conservative NY lawmaker.

Yet, we cannot overlook the manner of his death, about which G.K.C. had this to say:
    Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world. His act is worse (symbolically considered) than any rape or dynamite outrage. For it destroys all buildings: it insults all women. The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not: that is his crime. He cannot be bribed, even by the blazing stones of the Celestial City. The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it. He defiles every flower by refusing to live for its sake. There is not a tiny creature in the cosmos at whom his death is not a sneer. When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury: for each has received a personal affront. Of course there may be pathetic emotional excuses for the act. There often are for rape, and there almost always are for dynamite. But if it comes to clear ideas and the intelligent meaning of things, then there is much more rational and philosophic truth in the burial at the cross-roads and the stake driven through the body, than in Mr. Archer's suicidal automatic machines. There is a meaning in burying the suicide apart. The man's crime is different from other crimes -- for it makes even crimes impossible.
Nor can we ignore the "charges of fraud in Cambodia related to a $1 million investment in a proposed rice exporting operation gone bust" and the fact that "Nojay had been scheduled to appear in federal court Friday on fraud charges related to a $1.8 million trust fund he managed for a longtime client and friend."

We might be tempted again to quote G.K.C.'s "It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged," but my conjecture is that the latter embezzlement was committed to cover up the former deal gone bad, the classic stuff of Greek tragedy. Through my secretary, I have three degrees of separation from the deceased, and know that he lived in Cambodia for two years and adopted two of his three kids from that country, and was a pretty stand-up guy.

His story could be the material for an opera, perhaps a rock opera, titled, Dead Man Running. It would begin with his suicide this past Friday at his family's cemetery plot, next to his disabled brother's grave and the future graves of his parents. This would be followed by flashbacks to his personal and political career, including his Cambodian ties and his local talk radio show. The opera would end with yesterday's posthumous electoral triumph.

Bill Nojay, may God rest your soul.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

JP Harris & The Tough Choices Perform "Home Is Where The Hurt Is"


As my less-than-ideally-functioning family tries to sell its house (St. Joseph, ora pro nobis), this song's title comes to mind.

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Ahmadiyya Muslims Strike Again

With what Catholics would call a corporal act of mercy — Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Holds Annual Blood Drive In Honor Of 9/11 Victims. From the story:
    Mubarak Bashir serves as Director of Faith Outreach and the Youth President for the Rochester Chapter, and says through the event, they want to show that there is no conflict between Islam and American values.

    "As Muslims we're going to show the true picture of Islam and give our blood to save lives, when you have those who claim to be Muslim, that are taking innocent lives."
Was Imam George W. Bush then right about the "Religion of Peace" and those who think otherwise nothing more than Islamophobic deplorables? Well, in real life it turns out that these pacifists are about as representative of Global Islam as the Shakers are of Global Christendom.

The Ahmadiyya, who "view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam," are not at all orthodox; in fact, "[m]any mainstream Muslims consider Ahmadi Muslims as either kafirs or heretics" and "in many Islamic countries the Ahmadis have been defined as heretics and non-Muslim and subjected to persecution and often systematic oppression."

Here is what the orthodox Islamic Center of Rochester, which serves a community so large that they hold two Friday prayers, or so I am told, was doing that same day:
    For your convenience, Eid dinner tickets will be available for sale tomorrow, September 11 from 7:30pm to 9 pm. Don’t miss the chance to get the tickets at $12/person (kids under 3 free)!
I'll give them that their use of the language of marketing shows "no conflict between Islam and American values."

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Hillary's 9/11 Collapse — Was She Wasted?

The official story is she had pneumonia, the conspiracy analysis is that she may have Parkinson's, but could it be that she was just dead drunk, recovering from an all-night bender? Exhibit A: this photo posted by Lew Rockwell of Hillary before she collapsed, "with no make-up, greasy, unwashed hair with no wig or extensions, odd, dark glasses hiding her eyes, and yesterday’s clothes:"


I may not have I've looked like that before, but I have felt like that before, after drinking until about 4 am and having to go somewhere after the sun rises. Never fun. Exhibit B: the much-watched collapse video:


I've carried my mother, roughly the same age, out of restaurants after one too many, in much the same way. Not at all fun. Exhibit C: The mysterious piece of metal that fell out of her pant leg:


There is speculation that this may have been a catheter or some other medical device we'd rather not thing about; might it simply have been a flask? I'm not a flask-carrier and hope never to be one. Exhibit D: The fact that as Lew Rockwell notes, "Hillary handlers ditched ER on 9/11 [and t]ook her instead to Chelsea’s palatial pad, to avoid unowned docs and nurses," and her subsequent performance for the lap dog press:


"It's a beautiful day in New York," she said. The anniversary of the greatest loss of life in America since the Civil War is a "beautiful day?" Had her opponent said that he would have been pilloried for insensitivity. That aside, my alcoholic mother is largely incapable of uttering anything than the most trivial banalities, which is all we've heard from Hillary in years, unless she is blathering something completely stupid. Sad. And scary.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Flag Perform "No More," "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie," "Jealous Again," "Wasted," "Clocked In," "American Waste," "Padded Cell," & "Louie Louie"

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"Loud, Abrasive, Hostile, White, Back to Basics, and Fun"

Steve Sailer makes the case that "the alt-right phenomenon of 2016 is basically political punk rock" — Political Punk Rock — and follows up by finding "an even more direct connection to rock music history" — Alt-right as Alt-rock. A commenter writes:
    There has been definitional confusion concerning the alt-right, among members and those who just heard the term yesterday alike. It ought by right to refer to either to anything outside the rightist mainstream or outside the mainstream on the right. (That is, outside the normie mainstream, which is the Overton Window, or outside of Conservatism, Inc. on the right. Which might sound like the same thing, but technically isn’t.) But I detect a more precise definition flying under the broad name. I don’t know what to call it, exactly. The populist right? The nationalist right? Anyway, it is eating up the name “alt-right,” which is confusing.

    What do you call right-libertarians, for instance? Or neoreactionaries? Or paleo-conservatives who don’t exactly fit the prevailing definition? The alt-alt-right? That’s confusing.

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Imaginging an Alternative History Without the Protestant Reformation

    “The Unintended Reformation,” by Brad Gregory, a history professor at Notre Dame, is noted as an example of work that posits a “road not taken,” one in which medieval Christianity could have produced a modern world much like our own, only better: less consumerist, free from relativism, more humanly fulfilling.
A chapter of the book reviewed here — Roads Not Taken: Mark Lilla on Political Reaction.

"The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society" covers ideas I've kicked around since returning to Rome:
    In a work that is as much about the present as the past, Brad Gregory identifies the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation and traces the way it shaped the modern condition over the course of the following five centuries. A hyperpluralism of religious and secular beliefs, an absence of any substantive common good, the triumph of capitalism and its driver, consumerism—all these, Gregory argues, were long-term effects of a movement that marked the end of more than a millennium during which Christianity provided a framework for shared intellectual, social, and moral life in the West.

    Before the Protestant Reformation, Western Christianity was an institutionalized worldview laden with expectations of security for earthly societies and hopes of eternal salvation for individuals. The Reformation’s protagonists sought to advance the realization of this vision, not disrupt it. But a complex web of rejections, retentions, and transformations of medieval Christianity gradually replaced the religious fabric that bound societies together in the West. Today, what we are left with are fragments: intellectual disagreements that splinter into ever finer fractals of specialized discourse; a notion that modern science—as the source of all truth—necessarily undermines religious belief; a pervasive resort to a therapeutic vision of religion; a set of smuggled moral values with which we try to fertilize a sterile liberalism; and the institutionalized assumption that only secular universities can pursue knowledge.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Fred Jacobs Performs Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger's Passacaglia


A theorbo appeared in a dream of mine last night.

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"What Distinguishes Evolution from Other Sciences"

The title of a subsection, posted below in its entirety, of Fred Reed's "atrociously long, criminally even, by internet standards," article — Darwin Unhinged: The Bugs in Evolution:
    Early on, I noticed three things about evolution that differentiated it from other sciences (or, I could almost say, from science). First, plausibility was accepted as being equivalent to evidence. And of course the less you know, the greater the number of things that are plausible, because there are fewer facts to get in the way. Again and again, evolutionists assumed that suggesting how something might have happened was equivalent to establishing how it had happened. Asking them for evidence usually aroused annoyance and sometimes, if persisted in, hostility.

    As an example, consider the view that life arose by chemical misadventure. By this they mean, I think, that they cannot imagine how else it might have come about. (Neither can I. Does one accept a poor explanation because unable to think of a good one?) This accidental-life theory, being somewhat plausible, is therefore accepted without the usual standards of science, such as reproducibility or rigorous demonstration of mathematical feasibility. Putting it otherwise, evolutionists are too attached to their ideas to be able to question them.

    As an example, consider the view that life arose by chemical misadventure. By this they mean, I think, that they cannot imagine how else it might have come about. (Neither can I. Does one accept a poor explanation because unable to think of a good one?) This accidental-life theory, being somewhat plausible, is therefore accepted without the usual standards of science, such as reproducibility or rigorous demonstration of mathematical feasibility. Putting it otherwise, evolutionists are too attached to their ideas to be able to question them.

    Or to notice that others do question, and with reason. They defend furiously the evolution of life in earth’s seas as the most certain of certainties. Yet in the November 2005 Scientific American, an article argues that life may have begun elsewhere, perhaps on Mars, and arrived here on meteorites. May have, perhaps, might. Somewhere, somewhere else, anywhere. Onward into the fog.

    Consequently, the discussion often relies on the vague and murky assertion or ignores obvious questions. Starlings are said to have evolved to be the color of dirt so that hawks can’t see them eat them. This is plausible and, I suspect, true. But guacamayos and cockatoos are gaudy enough to be seen from low-earth orbit. Is there a contradiction here? No, say evolutionists. Guacamayos are gaudy so they can find each other to mate. Always there is the pat explanation. But starlings seem to mate with great success, though invisible. If you have heard a guacamayo shriek, you can hardly doubt that another one could easily find it. Enthusiasts of evolution then told me that guacamayos were at the top of their food chain, and didn’t have predators. Or else that the predators were colorblind.

    On and on it goes. On any coral reef, a scuba diver can see, or rather not see, phenomenally good camouflage in creatures such as octopuses, said to prevent their being eaten. It does. But many fish are garishly colored. What is the advantage?

    Second, evolution seemed more a metaphysics or ideology than a science. The sciences, as I knew them, gave clear answers. Evolution involved intense faith in fuzzy principles. You demonstrated chemistry but believed evolution. If you have ever debated a Marxist, or a serious liberal or conservative, or a feminist or Christian, you will have noticed that, although they can be exceedingly bright and well informed, they display a maddening evasiveness. You never get a straight answer if it is one they do not want to give. Crucial premises are not firmly established. Fundamental assertions do not tie to observable reality. Invariably the Marxist (or evolutionist) assumes that a detailed knowledge of economic conditions in the reign of Nicholas II substitutes for being able to answer simple questions, such as why Marxism has never worked. This is the Fallacy of Irrelevant Knowledge. And of course, almost anything can be made believable by considering only favorable evidence and interpreting hard.

    Third, evolutionists are obsessed by Christianity and Creationism, with which they imagine themselves to be in mortal combat. This is peculiar to them. Note that other science, such as astronomy and geology, even archaeology, are equally threatened by the notion that the world was created in 4004 BC. Astronomers pay not the slightest attention to Creationist ideas. Nobody does—except evolutionists. We are dealing with competing religions—overarching explanations of origin and destiny. Thus the fury of their response to skepticism.

    I found it pointless to tell them that I wasn’t a Creationist. They refused to believe it. If they had, they would have had to answer questions that they would rather avoid. Like any zealots, they cannot recognize their own zealotry. Thus their constant classification of skeptics as enemies (a word they often use)—of truth, of science, of Darwin, of progress.

    This tactical demonization is not unique to evolution. “Creationist” is to evolution what “racist” is to politics: A way of preventing discussion of what you do not want to discuss. Evolution is the political correctness of science.

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Fostering Genius or Inclusion?

"What can be gleaned about the nature of intelligence from tracking 5,000 child prodigies over 45 years?" asks Arts & Letters Daily, answering itself: "That the 10,000-hour rule is bunk" — How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children. This excerpt is telling:
    Although studies such as SMPY have given educators the ability to identify and support gifted youngsters, worldwide interest in this population is uneven. In the Middle East and east Asia, high-performing STEM students have received significant attention over the past decade. South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore screen children for giftedness and steer high performers into innovative programmes. In 2010, China launched a ten-year National Talent Development Plan to support and guide top students into science, technology and other high-demand fields.

    In Europe, support for research and educational programmes for gifted children has ebbed, as the focus has moved more towards inclusion. England decided in 2010 to scrap the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, and redirected funds towards an effort to get more poor students into leading universities.
Those three countries (one half-country and two Chinese city-states, really) that "screen children for giftedness and steer high performers into innovative programmes" happen to top this list (and others) of Average IQ by Country, whereas the country that "redirected funds towards an effort to get more poor students into leading universities" is just average:
    Hong Kong 109
    Singapore 109
    North Korea 106
    South Korea 106

    [....]

    United Kingdom 100
I suppose these numbers mean that intelligence people promote more intelligence while mediocre people promote more mediocrity. But these numbers, which are corroborated elsewhere, are interesting in other ways, too.

Singaporean Chinese must be super-smart as that average must also take into account not negligible Tamil and Malay populations. And what does it say about ethnicity and intelligence (and about nature vs. nurture) that the two Koreas, separated for more than six decades in totally opposing political economies with a vast material imbalance, should come out equal(ly high); this could be one giant separated twins study.

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Fifteen Years of Unanswered Questions

"WhoWhatWhy believes there are essential pillars of the 9/11 debate that must be acknowledged by all parties before any healthy discussion of that paradigm-changing topic can take place," offering a list of 19 "broad aspects of 9/11 that are at present beyond reasonable doubt" — 9/11’S Known Knowns.

The article concludes with an invitation: "We invite you to add your own bullet points in the Comments section below, though we encourage you to focus on what has been well-documented, i.e., what is available for all to verify on the public record."

The point I would add "is potentially one of the most important 9/11-related stories ever reported," brought to my attention by the heroic Justin Raimondo almost ten years ago — The High-Fivers. Here's the story:
    Of particular interest is the coverage by The Forward, the oldest newspaper of the Jewish community in North America. They reported on one key aspect of the Israeli-9/11 connection: the story of the five employees of a moving van company apprehended hours after the twin towers were struck. They had been observed in Liberty State Park, New Jersey, overlooking the Hudson, with a clear view of the burning towers. A woman had seen them from the window of her apartment building overlooking the parking lot: they came out of a white van, and they were jumping up and down, high-fiving each other with obvious glee. Their mood, it could be said, was celebratory. They were also filming the towers as they burned, and taking still photos.

    [....]

    The Forward confirmed that the company they ostensibly worked for, Urban Moving Systems, of Weehawken, New Jersey, was in all likelihood a Mossad front. Dominik Suter, the owner, fled to Israel the day after a police raid on his office. The five detained Israelis were sent back to Israel, where they claimed to be innocent victims of harassment. Here they are on an Israeli talk show. Of course they don’t mention any of the above, or that they were found to have multiple passports in their possession, along with $4,700 stuffed in a sock and maps of New York City highlighted in certain spots.

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