Footnotes for tonight's TV show on Nazism

RESEARCH:

A BLOCK: Linking the Nazis and the Muslim Brotherhood

Jew-Hatred and Jihad

The Nazi roots of the 9/11 attack.

Matthias Küntzel – The Weekly Standard

September 17, 2007, Vol. 13, No. 01

  • Islamism was born not during the 1960s but during the 1930s. Its rise was inspired not by the failure of Nasserism but by the rise of Nazism, and prior to 1951 all its campaigns were directed not against colonialism but against the Jews.

  • It was the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, that established Islamism as a mass movement. The significance of the Brotherhood to Islamism is comparable to that of the Bolshevik party to communism: It was and remains to this day the ideological reference point and organizational core for all later Islamist groups, including al Qaeda and Hamas.
  • The Brotherhood's jihad…focused almost exclusively on Zionism and the Jews. Membership in the Brotherhood shot up from 800 to 200,000 between 1936 and 1938, according to the research of Abd Al-Fattah Muhammad El-Awaisi for his book The Muslim Brothers and the Palestine Question 1928-1947.

  • In those two years the Brotherhood conducted only one major campaign in Egypt, and it was against Zionism and the Jews.

  • This campaign, which established the Brotherhood as a mass movement, was set off by a rebellion in Palestine directed against Jewish immigration and initiated by the notorious grand mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al--Husseini.

  • The Brotherhood organized mass demonstrations in Egyptian cities under the slogans "Down With the Jews!" and "Jews Get Out of Egypt and Palestine!" Leaflets called for a boycott of Jewish goods and Jewish shops, and the Brotherhood's newspaper, al-Nadhir, carried a regular column on "The Danger of the Jews of Egypt," which published the names and addresses of Jewish businessmen and allegedly Jewish newspaper publishers all over the world, attributing every evil, from communism to brothels, to the "Jewish danger."

  • The Brotherhood's campaign against the Jews used not only Nazi-like tactics but also German funding. As the historian Brynjar Lia recounted in his monograph on the Brotherhood, "Documents seized in the flat of Wilhelm Stellbogen, the Director of the German News Agency affiliated to the German Legation in Cairo, show that prior to October 1939 the Muslim Brothers received subsidies from this organization. Stellbogen was instrumental in transferring these funds to the Brothers, which were considerably larger than the subsidies offered to other anti-British activists."

  • After World War II it became apparent that the center of global Jew-hatred was shifting from Nazi Germany to the Arab world. In November 1945, just half a year after the end of the Third Reich, the Muslim Brothers carried out the worst anti-Jewish pogroms in Egypt's history, when demonstrators penetrated the Jewish quarters of Cairo on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. They ransacked houses and shops, attacked non-Muslims, and torched the synagogues. Six people were killed, and some hundred more injured. A few weeks later the Islamists' newspapers "turned to a frontal attack against the Egyptian Jews, slandering them as Zionists, Communists, capitalists and bloodsuckers, as pimps and merchants of war, or in general, as subversive elements within all states and societies," as Gudrun Krämer wrote in her study The Jews in Egypt 1914-1952.

  • In 1946, Amin al-Husseini, the former grand mufti who was being sought as a war criminal by Britain and the United States, was granted asylum and a new lease on political life in Egypt.

  • As leader of the Palestine National Movement, al-Husseini had been a close ally of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Nazis. Based in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, he had directed the Muslim SS divisions in the Balkans and had been personally responsible for blocking negotiations late in the war that might have saved thousands of Jewish children from the gas chambers. All this was known in 1946. Nonetheless, Britain and the United States chose to forgo criminal prosecution of al-Husseini in order to avoid spoiling their relations with the Arab world. France, which was holding al-Husseini, deliberately let him get away.

  • For many in the Arab world, what amounted to amnesty for this prominent Islamic authority who had spent the war years broadcasting Nazi propaganda from Berlin was a vindication of his actions. They started to view his Nazi past with pride, not shame, and Nazi criminals on the wanted list in Europe now flooded into the Arab world. Large print-runs of the most infamous libel of the Jews, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were published in the following decades at the behest of two well-known former members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat. Both the Muslim Brothers' unconditional solidarity with al-Husseini and their anti-Jewish riots mere months after Auschwitz show that the Brotherhood did not object, to say the least, to Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

  • The consequences of this attitude, this blindness to the international impact of the Holocaust, continue to affect the course of the Arab-Jewish conflict today. How do Islamists explain international support for Israel in 1947? Ignoring the actual fate of the Jews during World War II, they revert to conspiracy theories, viewing the creation of the Jewish state as a Jewish-inspired attack by the United States and the Soviet Union on the Arab world. Accordingly, El-Awaisi writes, the Brotherhood "considered the whole United Nations intervention to be an international plot carried out by the Americans, the Russians and the British, under the influence of Zionism." The mad notion of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, suppressed in Germany since May 8, 1945, survived and flourished in the political culture of the Arab world.

  • In particular, Nazi-like conspiracy thinking persisted and grew. An especially striking example of its continuing influence is the charter adopted in 1988 by the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, better known as Hamas. In this charter--which "sounds as if it were copied from the pages of Der Stürmer," as Sari Nusseibeh, former PLO representative in Jerusalem, has written--Hamas defines itself as "the spearhead and the avant-garde" of the struggle against "world Zionism." The Jews, the charter explains, "were behind the French Revolution [and] the Communist Revolution. . . . They were behind World War I . . . they were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. . . There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it. . . Their plan," states Article 32, "is embodied in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.

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Mufti and The Führer: (The Nazi/Islam Connection)

jewishvirtuallibrary.org

  • Haj Amin al-Husseini - appointed Mufti of Jerusalem by the British in 1921
  • Haj Amin al-Husseini was the most prominent Arab figure in Palestine during the Mandatory period
  • Al-Husseini was born in Jerusalem in 1893, and went on to serve in the Ottoman Army during World War I
  • Anti-British and anti-Jewish, the mufti was the key nationalist figure among Muslims in Palestine. Fearful that increased Jewish immigration to Palestine would damage Arab standing in the area, the mufti engineered the bloody riots against Jewish settlement in 1929 and 1936.
  • The decision to grant al-Husseini the position was made by Herbert Samuel, the first high commissioner of Palestine. It was odd that Samuel, a British Jew, would appoint a man who would be responsible for so much unrest within the Mandatory area.
  • Al-Husseini in fact had been sentenced to ten years in prison by the British for inciting riots in 1920. None of that sentence was served, as al-Husseini had fled to Transjordan, and was soon after amnestied by Samuel himself.
  • Al-Husseini had used his influence to quiet additional disturbances in 1921. He assured Samuel that he would continue to maintain order, and it was with this understanding that the high commissioner granted him the position of mufti. In the following year, he was also appointed to lead the Supreme Muslim Council, expanding his already significant powers. Known later as the Grand Mufti, al-Husseini was able to establish himself as the preeminent Arab power in Palestine.
  • One of the mufti's most successful projects was the restoration of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque.
  • With funds collected from India and various Arab states, the Dome was plated in gold. The impressive looks of the Dome greatly enhanced the status of Jerusalem in the eyes of Muslims throughout the world. Similarly, al-Husseini's own status as Mufti of Jerusalem increased his standing as an influential Arab leader.
  • The mufti was dismissed from his position following the riots of 1936. No longer able to stay in Palestine, he continued his extremist activities from abroad.
  • During World War II, the mufti was involved in the mobilization of support for Germany among Muslims.
  • In November 1941, the Mufti met with Hitler. Although he continued to be involved in politics, al-Husseini's influence gradually declined after the defeat of the Arab armies in 1948.
  • The Mufti sent Hitler 15 drafts of declarations he wanted Germany and Italy to make concerning the Middle East. One called on the two countries to declare the illegality of the Jewish home in Palestine. Furthermore, “they accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, in accordance with the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method, that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries.”
  • The Nazi dictator rebuffed the Mufti's requests for a declaration in support of the Arabs, however, telling him the time was not right. The Mufti offered Hitler his “thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches....The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely....the Jews....” Hitler replied:  Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews.
  • In 1945, Yugoslavia sought to indict the Mufti as a war criminal for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslim volunteers for the SS, who participated in the killing of Jews in Croatia and Hungary. He escaped from French detention in 1946, however, and continued his fight against the Jews from Cairo and later Beirut.
  • Al-Husseini died in 1974

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Media Ignore Muslim Brotherhood Role in Fomenting Anti-Jew Hatred and Pro-Hitler Sentiment

By Brad Wilmouth | February 27, 2011

As the mainstream media have reported on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s beliefs, failing to pick up on contradictory claims by its leaders that the Islamist group opposes terrorism, also ignored was the role that the Muslim Brotherhood has long played in fomenting anti-Jew hatred in the Middle East. After Nazi Germany financed and helped build up the previously struggling Brotherhood in the 1930s and 1940s, the group disseminated anti-Jew propaganda and inspired the kind of persecution that sent almost a million Jewish refugees fleeing violence, confiscation of property, and expulsion in Muslim countries between the 1940s and the 1970s. Some even estimate that the land confiscated from Jewish residents in Muslim countries amounts to four times or even five times the total area of the state of Israel. A number of Muslim countries saw their Jewish populations almost completely erased, including Egypt where the number dwindled from about 100,000 Jews to only a couple of hundred.

Even somewhat recently, Brotherhood leaders have made such incendiary statements as praising Adolf Hitler to declaring that Muslims should stop fighting each other and fight against Israel instead. As previously documented by NewsBusters, an interview on CNN's Parker-Spitzer helped reveal the tendency of Muslim Brotherhood leaders to twist the meaning of words, as one leader claimed that the group opposes terrorism and violence but then suggested that Palestinian militants are not engaged in terrorism against Israel but instead "resistance," which he rationalized. He also refused to give a straight answer on whether the group would support adherence to Egypt’s treaty with Israel.

But on the January 31, NBC Nightly News, not picking up on Muslim Brotherhood wordplay, correspondent Richard Engel claimed, "The Muslim Brotherhood denounces terrorism, but supports Islamic law, is anti-Israel, and opposes U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."

On the February 6, World News Sunday, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, having just interviewed a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood member, claimed, "He told us the Brotherhood is not seeking the presidency or any cabinet position, and he says the Brotherhood accepts Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel."

Back to the Parker-Spitzer interview, when Eliot Spitzer asked if the Brotherhood had any connections to terrorist organizations, spokesman Mohammed Morsy claimed that his group opposes violence: "We do not have any kind of relationships with any organization that is practicing violence. We are against violence, wherever it comes from, governments, states, individuals, organizations. This is not acceptable at all."

But, moments later, when asked about Israel and the Palestinians, Morsy justified violent actions against Israel as "resistance" by Palestinians. Morsy: "We do not use violence against anyone. What’s going on on the Palestinian land is resistance. The resistance is acceptable by all mankind, and it’s the right of people to resist imperialism."

In the February 7, 2011, article, "The New Leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in His Own Words," CAMERA’s Steven Stotsky picked up on a translation of Mohammed Badie’s first public address after being chosen as Muslim Brotherhood leader in January 2010. Badie encouraged Muslims to stop fighting each other and fight against Israel instead:

"[The Arab and Muslim regimes] have forgotten, or are pretending to have forgotten, that the real enemy lying in wait for them is the Zionist entity. They are aiming their weapons against their own peoples, while avoiding any confrontation with these Zionists and achieving neither unity nor revival for their nations. Moreover, they are disregarding Allah's commandment to wage jihad for His sake with [their] money and [their] lives, so that Allah's word will reign supreme and the infidels' word will be inferior...

"Today the Muslims desperately need a mentality of honor and means of power [that will enable them] to confront global Zionism. [This movement] knows nothing but the language of force, so [the Muslims] must meet iron with iron, and winds with [even more powerful] storms. They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life."

As he complained about the most recent negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Badie declared that "Resistance is the only solution."

Stotsky also cited the Carnegie Guide to Egypt’s Elections as having related that "Badie’s election was generally viewed as a victory for the Brotherhood’s conservative wing and a marginalization of its reformist trend."

In the February 16, 2011, article, "Tariq Ramadan Obscures the Truth About Muslim Brotherhood," CAMERA's Dexter Van Zile recounted Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusef Qaradawi’s recent history of expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler:

Then there are the public statements of Yusef Qaradawi, who was twice offered the position of Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and who is described as the movement's spiritual leader or father figure. In January 2009 he stated that Hitler was a "divine tool" sent to punish the Jewish people for their sins. He also called on Allah to "take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one." (Qaradawi, who is mentioned nowhere in Ramadan's piece, offered a prayer in the 1995 funeral of Tariq's father, Said Ramadan.)

The same article also relates German Professor and author Matthias Kuntzel's contention that anti-Jewish sentiment in the Middle East was fomented by the Muslim Brotherhood:

"The Muslim Brotherhood was also responsible for stoking anti-Jewish hostility – not just in Palestine – but in Egypt as well. Matthias Küntzel, author of Jihad and Jew Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 (2009, Telos), reports that the Muslim Brotherhood was a "driving force" behind "a shift in direction in Egypt from a rather neutral or pro-Jewish mood to a rabidly anti-Zionist or anti-Jewish one, a shift that changed the whole Arab world and affects it to this day." This shift, Küntzel states, took place between 1925 and 1945 and was stoked by a 1936 boycott against Jewish business owners in Egypt organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. Küntzel writes "In mosques, schools, and workplaces, the Brotherhood worked up the believers with the legend that the Jews and British wished to destroy the holy places of Jerusalem, tear up the Koran, and trample it underfoot." (Page 21)"

In the January 31, 2011, American Thinker article, "Why We Should Fear the Moslem Brother," Karin McQuillan recounted:

What you haven't been told is this: the Moslem Brothers were a small, unpopular group of anti-modern fanatics unable to attract members, until they were adopted by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich beginning in the 1930s. Under the tutelage of the Third Reich, the Brothers started the modern jihadi movement, complete with a genocidal program against Jews. In the words of Matthias Kuntzel, "[t]he significance of the Brotherhood to Islamism is comparable to that of the Bolshevik Party to communism: It was and remains to this day the ideological reference point and organizational core for all later Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda and Hamas."

What is equally ominous for Jews and Israel is that despite Mubarak's pragmatic coexistence with Israel for the last thirty years, every Egyptian leader from Nasser through Sadat to Mubarak has enshrined Nazi Jew-hatred in mainstream Egyptian culture out of both conviction and political calculation. Nasser, trained by Nazis as a youth, spread the genocidal conspiracy theories of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, making it a bestseller throughout the Arab world. On the Ramadan following 9/11, Mubarak presided over a thirty-week-long TV series dramatizing Elders and its genocidal message.

She later continued:

In the 1930s, the Third Reich poured men, money, weapons, and propaganda training into the Moslem Brotherhood. It was the Reich that taught the fundamentalists to focus their anger on the Jews instead of on women. By war's end, thanks entirely to Hitler's tutelage and direct support, the brotherhood had swelled to a million members, and Jew-hatred had become central to mainstream Arab culture. Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini listened daily to the Nazi propaganda broadcast from Berlin by Moslem Brother Haj Amin al-Husseini. So did every Arab with a radio, throughout the war, as it was the most popular programming in the Middle East. Thanks to Hitler, the Moslem Brothers enshrined anti-Semitism as the main organizing force of Middle East politics for the next eighty years.

B BLOCK: What’s Past is Prologue

Brief look back in history at some of the bigger moments where Jews have been persecuted, expelled or killed:

  • Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria & the Seleucid Empire (175-163 B.C.) – the first to try to outlaw Judaism

  1. thought Jews were the root cause of the opposition to his policy of Hellenization
  2. circumcision, owning a Bible, and the Sabbath were outlawed
  3. Jews of 2nd Century BC were the only monotheists in the world – if they had been eradicated – Islam & Christianity may not have come into existence

  • 167 B.C. - Mattathias & the Maccabees revolted against Antiochus (Hanukkah)

  1. Maccabees rule Judea from 164-63 B.C. when the Romans captured Jerusalem

  • 72 A.D. - Romans expelled the Jews from Palestine (they settled in North Africa, Spain, and eastern and western Europe)
  • 1096 - 800 Jews killed in Worms, Germany as part of The Crusades – 12,000 killed during first months of First Crusade (Av ha-Rakhamim prayer)
  • 1099 – Crusaders captured Jerusalem – gathered all the Jews and burned them
  • 1215 - Pope Innocent III in at the 4th Lateran Council decreed that Jews should wear a solid yellow circle sewed onto an upper garment

  1. Pope Innocent III:  “Jews, like the fratricide Cain, are doomed to wander about the earth as fugitives and vagabonds, and their faces must be covered with shame.”

  • 1240 – King Louis IX ordered the Talmud to be put on trial in Paris
  • July 18, 1290 - Jews expelled from England on by King Edward I (9th of Av,

the saddest day on the  Jewish calendar … not welcomed back until 1650s)

  • 1306 & 1394 - Jews expelled from France
  • 1349-1360 - Jews expelled from Hungary
  • 1421 - Jews expelled from Austria
  • July 30, 1492 - Jews expelled from Spain on (Ferdinand & Isabella) … approx.

200,000 Jews (the thought was the Jews would taint newly converted Christians)

  • 1445 & 1495 - Jews expelled from Lithuania
  • 1497 - Jews expelled from Portugal
  • 15th century to 1772 - Jews not permitted in Russia
  • 1555 – Jews in Italy forced into ghettos – made to wear yellow hats outside of ghettos
  • 1543 - Martin Luther’s “Concerning the Jews and Their Lies”:

  1. Burn all synagogues
  2. Destroy all Jewish homes
  3. Confiscate all Jewish holy books
  4. Forbid rabbis to teach, on pain of death
  5. Forbid Jews to travel
  6. Confiscate Jewish property
  7. Force Jews to do physical labor
  8. [if preceding restrictions prove insufficient] Expel all the Jews

  • 1648-49 – Chmielnitzki massacres in Ukraine … 100,000 Jews killed
  • 1925 – Mein Kampf published
  • 1933 – Nazi Party comes to power in Germany
  • 1935 – Nuremburg Laws introduced
  • Nov. 9-10, 1938 - Kristallnacht (Luther’s birthday Nov. 10) – public Judaism ceases in Germany
  • 1941 - Babi Yar, Ukraine – 33,000 Jews killed
  • 1941-1945 – 67% of European Jews are murdered (5.9M out of 8.8M)

Did a Nazi say it or a radical Muslim?

  • Are they human beings? ... They are a group of blood-thirsty savages putting all other criminals to shame."
  • “I’ve always said the Jews are the most stupid devils that exist…They are liars, forgers, deceivers.” 
  • "…kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them."
  • “All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews.” M
  • “We won't waste much time on the Jews…The more that die the better; hitting them represents a victory…We will crush these Jews wherever we can.”
  • “The Jew is the parasite of humanity. He can be a parasite for an individual person, a social parasite for whole peoples, and the world parasite of humanity.”
  • "[The Jews] suffer from a mental disorder, because they are thieves and aggressors…They are not human beings. They are not people. They have no religion, no conscience, and no moral values.”
  • “We extended our hands to feed these hungry dogs and wild beasts, and they devoured our fingers. We have learned the lesson – there is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation."
  • “If we eradicate this plague, we will be carrying out a good deed for mankind.”
  • "There once was a dog that frightened the entire neighborhood with its barking. This dog begot a pup which was more wicked than its father. The Jews are always the same, brothers. Both dogs and pups bark and bite, and both are impure. That is the truth about the Jews."
  • “Anti-Semitism is exactly the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology. It is a matter of cleanliness.”
  • "It is not enough to isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind - the Jew has got to be exterminated."
  • "You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth."
  • · We must destroy the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible to do so.”

C BLOCK: The Depth of the Nazi hatred and what they wanted to do and

what they did to the Jews

  • “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (Wannsee Conference, 1942)
  • Concentration camps
  • Extermination, annihilation, holocaust
  • Quotes: Himmler, Hitler, Heydrich, Goebbels, Frank, Nazi propaganda

NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC QUOTES:

"If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job. As soon as I have power, I shall have gallows after gallows erected…Then the Jews will be hanged one after another, and they will stay hanging until they stink. They will stay hanging as long as hygienically possible. As soon as they are untied, then the next group will follow and that will continue until the last Jew in Munich is exterminated. Exactly the same procedure will be followed in other cities until Germany is cleansed of the last Jew!"

-Adolf Hitler to Josef Hell, 1922 (pg. 116 “Adolf Hitler” by John Toland)

“If we eradicate this plague, we will be carrying out a good deed for mankind.”

-Adolf Hitler - 10/21/1941 – pg. 488 “Hitler” by Ian Kershaw

“I’ve always said the Jews are the most stupid devils that exist…They are liars, forgers, deceivers. They’ve only got anywhere through the simple-mindedness of those around them. I the Jew were not washed away by the Aryan, he wouldn’t be able to see out of his eyes for filth. We can live without the Jews. But they can’t live without us.”

-Hitler - 11/5/1941 – pg. 489 “Hitler” by Ian Kershaw

“…this war will be the annihilation of Jewry. For the first time the old Jewish law will now be applied: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth…And the hour will come when the most evil world-enemy of all time will have played out its role.”

-Hitler speaking in the Sportpalast, Berlin, 1/30/1942 – pg. 459 “Hitler” by Ian Kershaw

"If I can send the flower of the German nation into the hell of war without the smallest pity for the spilling of precious German blood, then surely I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin."

- Hitler - "The Voice of Destruction: Hitler Speaks" by Hermann Rauschning

“We won't waste much time on the Jews. It's great to get to grips with the Jewish race at last. The more that die the better; hitting them represents a victory for our Reich. The Jews should feel that we've arrived. We want to put half to three-quarters of all Jews east of the Vistula. We will crush these Jews wherever we can. Everything is at stake. Get the Jews out of the Reich, Vienna, everywhere. We have no use for Jews in the Reich. Probably the line of the Vistula, behind this line no more. We are the most important people here.”

-Heinrich Himmler - November 25, 1939. Quoted in "Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and Its Legacy" - Page 160 - by Ismail K Merchant, Richard L. Rubenstein, John K. Roth - History – 2003

“I hope to see the very concept of Jewry completely obliterated.”

- Himmler - March 23, 1941. Quoted in "Murderous Science" - Page 48 - by Benno Müller-Hill - History – 1998

“I only want figures on how many Jews have been shipped off and how many are currently left.”  - Himmler to Ernst Kaltenbrunner. Quoted in "Hitler and the Final Solution" - Page 137 - by Gerald Fleming - History – 1987

"The Jewish people are being exterminated…. it's part of our plans, we're eliminating the Jews, exterminating them, Ha! A small matter."

- Himmler before senior SS officers in Poznan, October 4 and 6, 1943

“Anti-semitism is exactly the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology. It is a matter of cleanliness.”

- Himmler at Kharkow, April 1943.Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1946, Vol. IV, p. 572-574:

“The difficult decision has to be taken, to cause this Volk [people] to disappear from the earth.”

- Himmler before senior SS officers in Poznan, October 4 and 6, 1943

“A judgment is being carried out on the Jews which is barbaric, but fully deserved.”

-Josef Goebbels diary entry, 3/27/1942 – pg. 459 “Hitler’ by Ian Kershaw

We must destroy the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible to do so.”

-Hans Frank – 12/16/1942 – pg. 491 “Hitler” by Ian Kershaw

“The Jew is the parasite of humanity. He can be a parasite for an individual person, a social parasite for whole peoples, and the world parasite of humanity.”

-From a pamphlet originally published by the Nazi Party in 1943, and republished by the Wehrmacht for distribution among soldiers in 1944

“Jewry is neither a race nor a mixed race. It is a confusing mixture of races, racial mixtures, and racial fragments, artificially held together by its rabbis. It acts as a kind of counter-race, which can only destroy, never build. Jewry is the product of the inbreeding of asocial, criminal, sick, degenerate and rejected elements of every possible race in the ancient world. Jewry is neither a race nor a people nor a religion in our sense of those words. He possesses no homeland, but leads a rootless, parasitic life at the expense of the host peoples. Its current homeland is largely the criminal neighborhoods of the great cities of the world, its god is money, its policy is revolution and the destruction of the cultural treasures of mankind.”

-From a pamphlet originally published by the Nazi Party in 1943, and republished by the Wehrmacht for distribution among soldiers in 1944

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm#Speech

“The Jewish question is not only a German matter! It is also not only a European problem! The Jewish question is a world question! Just as Germany is not safe from the Jews as long as even one Jew remains in Europe, so Europe cannot solve the Jewish question as long as Jews live in the rest of the world. Jewry is organized world criminality. The Jewish danger will be eliminated only when Jewry throughout the world has ceased to exist.”

-1942 article from Julius Streicher’s anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer claims that Germany will be secure only when Jews have been eliminated from the entire world. Its writer, Ernst Hiemer, was a top editor for the Stürmer.

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm#Speech

"Germany will regard the Jewish question as solved only after the very last Jew has left the greater German living space...Europe will have its Jewish question solved only after the very last Jew has left the continent."

-Alfred Rosenberg, Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Vol.3, Nuremberg, 1947, p. 35)

"We swear we are not going to abandon the struggle until the Last Jew in Europe has been exterminated and is actually dead.  It is not enough to isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind-the Jew has got to be exterminated."

Robert Ley, Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Vol.3, uremberg, 1947, p. 36)

D BLOCK: What’s happening today

  • Anti-Semitism in the Middle East
  • Hamas, Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad
  • Hamas & Fatah alignment
  • Muslim Brotherhood rebirth in Egypt
  • New Nazi Party in Egypt
  • Israel in peril (Obama speech)

Ahmadinejad quotes:

  • October 26, 2005: "Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world

  • November 13, 2006: "Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear"

  • August 2, 2006: "Are they human beings?... They (Zionists) are a group of blood-thirsty savages putting all other criminals to shame."

  • May 28, 2006: "We say that if the Holocaust happened, then the Europeans must accept the consequences and the price should not be paid by Palestine.  If it did not happen, then the Jews must return to where they came from."
  • September 18, 2008: "The Holocaust is a lie and the real Holocaust is happening to the Palestinians."

  • March 11, 2010: "See what has become of Israel. They [the West] gathered the most criminal people in the world and stationed them in our region with lies and fabricated scenarios. They waged wars, committed massive aggression… and made millions of people homeless…Today, it is clear that Israel is the most hated regime in the world… It is not useful for its masters [the West] anymore. They are in doubt now. They wonder whether to continue spending money on this regime or not…But whether they want it or not, with God's grace, this regime will be annihilated and Palestinians and other regional nations will be rid of its bad omen."

HAMAS ANTI-SEMITIC QUOTES:

  • Qaradawi: Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place. (Al-Jazeera TV Qatar – January 2009)

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2005.htm

  • Qaradawi: The Jews are the most miserly of all people and the most protective of their lives, yet they devote their lives and their money [to their cause]. The Muslims worldwide must contribute to the regaining of Palestine. Palestine is not merely Islamic land. It is the land of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and of the holy places. (Dec 17, 2010)

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2731.htm

  • Qaradawi: To conclude my speech, I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad even if in a wheelchair, I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews.

  • Qaradawi: "kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,745526,00.html

  • Qaradawi: I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah,” (January 2009)

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2005.htm

  • Hamas Cleric Yunis Al-Astal: All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews. In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil. When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the united states of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic caliphate, and all these countries will turn into states within the caliphate. when this happens, any Palestinian will be able to live anywhere, because the land of Islam is the property of all Muslims

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2934.htm

  • Hamas Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments Abdallah Jarbu: "[The Jews] suffer from a mental disorder, because they are thieves and aggressors. A thief or an aggressor, who took property or land, develops a psychological disorder and pangs of conscience, because he took something that wasn't his… They want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world. It's not me who says this. The Koran itself says that they have no parallel: 'You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews… May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience. I condemn whoever believes in normalizing relations with them, whoever supports sitting down with them, and whoever believes that they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people. They have no religion, no conscience, and no moral values. http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2415.htm

  • Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: "The series of expulsions continues to this day. Blood continues to be shed, martyrs continue to fall, our sons continue to hoist the banner high, and Allah willing, their expulsion from Palestine in its entirety is certain to come. We are no weaker or less honorable than the peoples that expelled and annihilated the Jews. The day we expel them is drawing near… We extended our hands to feed these hungry dogs and beasts, and they devoured our fingers. We have learned the lesson – there is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation." http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2676.htm.

  • Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad: "The Jews have become abhorred and loathed outcasts, because they live off corruption and the plundering of the peoples – not only the Arab and Islamic peoples, but all the peoples of the world. The world has begun to be aware of this corrupting danger, and to applaud Hamas. The entire world says: 'Bravo, Hamas, for confronting these people of corruption.' Whenever we score a goal, by achieving something against the Jews, the world applauds us. When we are playing, the entire world supports us. http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2734.htm.

  • "Allah willing, the moment will come when their property will be destroyed and their sons annihilated, until not a single Jew or Zionist is left on the face of the Earth… There once was a dog that frightened the entire neighborhood with its barking. This dog begot a pup which was more wicked than its father. The Jews are always the same, brothers. Both dogs and pups bark and bite, and both are impure. That is the truth about the Jews." http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2080.htm

  • Egyptian Cleric Hazem Shuman: "I have a message for every Jew on the face of the earth. The army of Muhammad will return. Oh offspring of apes and pigs, the day of vengeance is nearing. Oh most accursed creatures created by Allah, those who swore before the Prophet Muhammad to die are returning. Wait for us and you will see, you most accursed creatures.” http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2274.htm

  • Egyptian Cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub: "If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not. The Jews are infidels - not because I say so, and not because they are killing Muslims, but because Allah said: 'The Jews say that Uzair is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that Christ is the son of Allah. These are the words from their mouths. They imitate the sayings of the disbelievers before. May Allah fight them. How deluded they are.' It is Allah who said that they are infidels… This is it. We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle - and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth." http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2042.htm

  • Statement from Hamas Ministry of Refugee Affairs : “We cannot agree to a programme that is intended to poison the minds of our children…Holocaust studies in refugee camps is a contemptible plot and serves the Zionist entity with a goal of creating a reality and telling stories in order to justify acts of slaughter against the Palestinian people." (on U.N. Relief and Works Agency plan to include Holocaust education in the curriculum taught Palestinian refugees, February 28, 2011)

  • From the Hamas Charter: “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks

    and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anti-Semitism in the Hamas Charter: Selected Excerpts

Preamble:

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised.

Article Seven:

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Muslim Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and after.

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Article Twenty:

In their Nazi treatment, the Jews made no exception for women or children. Their policy of striking fear in the heart is meant for all. They attack people where their breadwinning is concerned, extorting their money and threatening their honour. They deal with people as if they were the worst war criminals. Deportation from the homeland is a kind of murder.

Article Twenty-Two:

You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

"So often as they shall kindle a fire for war, Allah shall extinguish it; and they shall set their minds to act corruptly in the earth, but Allah loveth not the corrupt doers." (The Table - verse 64).

The imperialistic forces in the Capitalist West and Communist East, support the enemy with all their might, in money and in men. These forces take turns in doing that. The day Islam appears, the forces of infidelity would unite to challenge it, for the infidels are of one nation.

"O true believers, contract not an intimate friendship with any besides yourselves: they will not fail to corrupt you. They wish for that which may cause you to perish: their hatred hath already appeared from out of their mouths; but what their breasts conceal is yet more inveterate. We have already shown you signs of their ill will towards you, if ye understand." (The Family of Imran - verse 118).

It is not in vain that the verse is ended with Allah's words "if ye understand."

Article Twenty-Eight:

The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.

Arab countries surrounding Israel are asked to open their borders before the fighters from among the Arab and Islamic nations so that they could consolidate their efforts with those of their Muslim brethren in Palestine.

As for the other Arab and Islamic countries, they are asked to facilitate the movement of the fighters from and to it, and this is the least thing they could do.

We should not forget to remind every Muslim that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that "Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women."

Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. "May the cowards never sleep."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Egyptian activists 'to form Nazi party', newspaper reports

By YAAKOV LAPPIN

05/26/2011 16:41

Jerusalem Post

'Al-Masry Al-Youm' report says Facebook pages launched to attract followers; Nazi parties operated secretly in Egypt during Mubarak regime.

A group of Egyptian political activists have announced plans to set up a local version “of the Nazi party,” an Egyptian newspaper reported on Thursday.

Citing a leftist Egyptian news portal, the Al-Masry Al-Youm daily said that “the party’s founding deputy is a former military official,” and that the party would be aimed at bringing “together prominent figures from the Egyptian society.”

The report cited founding member Emad Abdel Sattar as saying that the unestablished party “believes in vesting all powers in the president after selecting him or her carefully,” and that “preparations are under way to choose the most competent person to represent the party.”

Almasry Alyoum added that an Egyptian Nazi party “operated secretly under former President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime prevented party leaders from carrying out their activities freely.”

The newspaper said it could not verify the report, but said it found two Facebook pages that appeared recently under the title of “the Egyptian Nazi Party,” which have so far attracted 70 followers.

Members are “increasing at an unexpected rate, and several people came to ask about the nature of the party and its plans,” the report said.

The party has a one-year plan to develop Egypt – unlike the “marginalized liberal parties, which are like dead bodies,” a source was quoted as saying.

The idea to start it came after some fundamentalist-religious waves emerged, which, according to the source, created a state of chaos, and led to the burning of churches, the destruction of shrines and assaults on unarmed civilians.

Responding to the report, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said Egypt was going through a highly turbulent period, adding that all manner of bizarre individuals were launching Facebook groups and attracting members.

Historically, he said, the German Nazi party saw three attempts to copy it in the Arab world in the 1930s in Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. The Egyptian party of that time was led by former president Anwar Sadat, who went on to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

“They were copying the extreme nationalism of Germany, before the Second World War, and before the word ‘Nazi’ became a coarse word,” Kedar said.

Irrespective of the unconfirmed report on “the Egyptian Nazi party,” Egyptian activists opposed to army rule in Egypt are planning to hold demonstrations on Friday, Kedar noted.

“Egypt is a country of 85 million people. Some activists want a second and a third revolution. No one knows where things are heading yet,” he said.

E BLOCK: More of current day’s events

F BLOCK: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat

it.” (wrap up)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We’ve talk about the bad, now let’s talk about the good … people from different ethnic backgrounds, who did not sit, but stood as symbols for good … the righteous among the nations:

  • Leopold Socha - Lwow, Poland

Leopold Socha lived in a poor neighborhood of Lwow and worked as a laborer for the municipal sanitation department in maintaining the sewage system. When the Germans occupied Lwow, Socha, horrified by the Germans’ atrocities against the Jewish population, befriended Jews who had been interned in the ghetto. After he decided to rescue at least twenty of them, he co-opted Stefan Wroblewski, a Pole who worked with him in cleaning out sewage canals, into his plans. One night, as he worked in the canals during the Aktion in which the ghetto was liquidated, Socha noticed several Jews wading through the effluent. Socha allayed their fears, stopped them from heading toward the mouth of the river—which was swarming with large numbers of police and Gestapo agents—and proposed that they stay where they were so he could assist them. The sewage canals became the Jewish refugees’ hideout, and Socha, his wife, and the Wroblewskis met their needs from that day on.

At the beginning, the hiding Jews paid their benefactors, but eventually the money ran out, and Socha and his wife continued to care for the fugitives and, together with the Wroblewskis paid for the food out of their own pockets.

Hiding in the sewers was very difficult and both the hiding Jews and their benefactors faced enormous challenges. Among the Jews was a woman named Weinberg, who was in the last month of her pregnancy. When conditions in the hideout caused her baby and her elderly grandmother to die, the rescuers went out of their way to bury them. Several Jews, unable to endure the harsh living conditions in the canals, perished after seeking alternative refuge. It was Socha and Wroblewski who found their bodies and had them buried.

Mrs. Socha and Mrs. Wroblewski provided the fugitives with clothing and, in a complicated operation, did their shopping. Socha brought the people in hiding newspapers. He also helped them keep their Jewish traditions: he brought them a prayer book that he had found in the ghetto area, and for Passover, he provided them with a sack of potatoes. The Chirowski family went into the sewers with their two children, aged 4 and 7. Keeping the children busy was not easy, and in her testimony to Yad Vashem, Paulina Chirowski told them stories and tried to teach her daughter as much as conditions permitted. They would spend time under the sewer grills, listening to the noises from the streets. Paulina Chirowski remembered how her little girl was saddened when she listened from below to the conversation between a girl and her mother, on their way to church one Sunday morning, as they were buying flowers. All Paulina Chirowski could do was promise her daughter that one day they too would be free, and that she would then buy her flowers.

On the day of the German defeat in Stalingrad and on July 27, 1944, when Lwow was liberated, the rescuers and the survivors celebrated together at the Sochas’ home.

After spending thirteen months hiding in the sewage canals, ten of the twenty-one Jewish refugees in the group survived.

  • Josef & Wiktoria Ulma – Markowa, Poland

Jozef Ulma was a farmer and lived with his wife Wiktoria and their six young children in the small town of Markowa in the county of Lancut, district of Rzeszow.

In the fall of 1942, while the hunt for Jews was going on in the entire area, a Jewish family from Lancut by the name of Szall came to Markowa to find shelter. When they asked Josef and Wiktoria Ulma to hide them, the couple agreed, and took them in along with two sisters – Golda and Layka Goldman. “These Jews stayed on the premises of the Ulmas and slept in the garret of the house... They never hid in particular, since all of them were busy helping to run the Ulmases’ farm,” reported Stanislaw Niemczak, a neighbor of the Ulma family. Although the Ulma house was at the outskirts, the Jews’ presence on the farm was soon discovered.

In the night of March 23-24, 1944 German police came to Markowa from Lancut. They found the Jews on the Ulma farm and shot them to death. Afterwards, they murdered the entire Ulma family - Jozef, Wiktoria, who was seven month pregnant, and their six small children - Stanislawa, Barbara, Wladyslawa, Franciszka, Maria, and Antoni. The eldest of the Ulma’s children had just begun to attend classes in primary school.

  • Oskar Schindler
  • Miep Gies – helped Anne Frank and her family hide
  • Jan Lipke – saved 40 of the last 200 Jews left in Latvia
  • Irena Sendler – saved 2,500 Jews in Poland
  • Constantin Karadja - saved 51,000 Jews in Romania

    • Selahattin Ulkumen – Turkish diplomat, who helped save the lives of some 42 Turkish Jewish families, totaling more than 200 persons, among a Jewish community of some 2,000 after the Germans took over the island of Rhodes
    • Victor Bodson - helped create and operate an escape route for Jews requiring Jews to cross over the river Sauer before meeting up with Bodson at his house in Steinheim, Luxembourg … using a special apparatus in his car, he would ferry these people to a safe haven that had been prepared in advance by his friends … approximately 100 Jews were saved from the concentration camps.
    • Chiune Sugihara - provided approximately 3,400 transit visas to Jews in need
    • Jose Castellanos Contreras - provided Salvadoran citizenship papers to approximately 13,000 Central European Jews
    • Aristides de Sousa Mendes - issued 30,000 visas to people escaping the Nazis
    • Carlos Sampaio Garrido - sheltered about 1,000 Jews in safe-houses in Budapest and gave them Portuguese documents to leave the country.
    • Luis Martins de Souza Dantas - Brazilian diplomat who helped Jews in France escape…estimated he saved 800 people, 425 confirmed to be Jewish

    Ryan: Elizabeth Warren does the Wing Ding

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Two thousand people yipped and howled as Elizabeth Warren bounced onto the stage like it was a stairmaster and she was a gym rat.

    Sold out. Maximum capacity. Whole place writhing, all 30,000 square feet, with tight rows of folding chairs like checkers on the dancefloor big as a Walgreens.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Under the disco ball that hung from the dark blue ceiling, the crowd screamed like Warren was Led Zeppelin and the year was 1970, when really she was a 70-year-old Senator and this was a fundraiser called Wing Ding, in Clear Lake, Iowa, at the Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly spent the last few cold hours of his life.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Warren did not stand behind the podium like Biden or Bernie Sanders.

    She was a yoga grandma! A rapping pastor! A beat-boxing cop! An energetic manager! A cat who thinks it's a puppy!
    It was like she needed to move around the stage and wave her arms and fire up the congregation or else the floor would belch into lava.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Iowa would work its magic on Warren. By the end of the weekend, she emerged as a top contender, a position she'd maintain with alacrity, then build on.

    In her turquoise blazer and her shoes-that-meant-business, she strolled out to the edge of the stage and gave her speech like a natural-born specialist of hootenanny.

    Only thing missing was The Who's "Teenage Wasteland," or, better yet, that "Sail away, sail away, sail away" song by Enya.
    Warren was a car commercial, the kind directed at Millenials, with plastic indie rock and a phony "who gives a shit" vibe. She was expensive cheese from right around the corner. She was Nancy Sinatra, but without Lee Hazelwood.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Voice like a stack of hay catching fire, she made promises. She riled the crowd. And it was an odd sight, the way these meek folks attempted to get rowdy. The way they grimaced and writhed, it was like seeing the reclusive kid volunteer to be the mascot.

    It was like they were trying to match the intensity of Trump rallies. No politician has been able to do that so far. The man fills arenas, for God's sake. And his supporters wait for hours outside hoping to get inside. Then he makes them wait. Let's the place get feverish.

    Until people are so psyched that they literally cannot remain seated, and they stand their eagerly for thirty minutes, gasping every time a song ends with the hope it means he has arrived.

    The Wing Dinger — God bless them — just didn't have that dragon energy, that ravenous devotion. Have you ever seen that show "Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job"? The people in the ballroom were hyperventilating and spazzing like characters from Tim & Eric. The whole occasion would have been a pickpocket's dream.

    Variously, they bulged and shuffled and freestyled to themselves. Who gave the kids sugar cookies at the Baptist youth sleepover? You know they can't handle it, you know they get twitchy, so manic it's almost violent.

    And that fed Warren, revved her manic engines.

    Full speech: Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding www.youtube.com

    If this had been the 1980s, I would have suspected everyone there had spent all day railing cocaine. And Warren would be the Sly Stone of the event, guarding the vault full of drugs.

    If only she could have pulled out a guitar and played AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" or performed a duet with a cat on a keyboard. My dad and I had arrived late, and both of us struggled to relax our eyebrows because this scene was unbelievable. It must have been especially odd for my father, who emigrated from Ireland at 33.

    And right now he was frowning because it was so loud in there.

    As Warren shouted into a handheld mic, my dad turned to me, almost upset, "Who is she?" he asked, but before I could answer, he said, "I do not like that woman."

    *

    When Warren was 12 years old, her father suffered a debilitating heart attack.

    He didn't die, but he wouldn't be able to work for years.

    The medical bills got so bad that Warren'sfamily nearly lost their home. The car was repossessed. Those were gritty, emaciating days.

    Her older brothers joined the military. Her mother got a minimum wage job at Sears. And, at 13, Warren started waiting tables.

    She grew up in Oklahoma, where I myself was raised, so I can tell you that it is the Cinderella of States. My personal favorite. At night, the stars croon down over you like they are checking on their infant in its crib and you are that infant. Much like Iowans, people from Oklahoma tend to be kind, and patient, and wild like Americans ought to be.

    *

    When Warren was growing up, Oklahoma was a Blue State. Her family wasn't Republican. And, these days, Warren is considered a progressive.

    But her worldview has evolved over the past few decades.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    As a girl, she had seen the effects of bankruptcy firsthand. But her early conclusions led her to personal responsibility. After all, she had taken a job at 13 to help pay her dad's medical bills.

    One of Warren's former students, told reporters that, "What changed [Warren's ideology] was the stories of ordinary people filing for bankruptcy. That speaks really well of her that she was presented with information contrary to her worldview and adopted it."
    Before that, she leaned right, politically. Or, in the words of one of her best friends growing up, "Liz was a diehard conservative in those days."

    Another friend called her an "ice-cold Republican."

    A colleague at the University of Texas in Austin, where she worked in the early 1980s, said that "Liz was sometimes surprisingly anti-consumer in her attitude."

    Another colleague said "I remember the first time I became aware of her as a political person and heard her speak, I almost fell off my chair. She's definitely changed. It's absolutely clear that something happened."

    Until 1996, when she was 47 years old, Warren was a registered Republican.

    And I do not mean this in a snarky way. Opposite. It's admirable when people undergo personal change. We have to. It's a matter of survival. A person who never evolves is blinded by hubris and destined to fail.

    Longtime Warren collaborator Jay Westbrook has told reporters, "It drives me crazy when she's described as a radical left-winger.

    She moved from being moderately conservative to being moderately liberal. When you look at consumer debt and what happens to consumers in America, you begin to think the capitalist machine is out of line."

    At some point she got pregnant for the first time, setting in motion a series of events that may have involved discrimination, or may have been a fabrication she has since used in stump speeches as a heart-tugging anecdote.

    As far as controversies go, it's as goofy and PG-rated as her onstage persona.

    Who cares if she lied for the sake of a story and the benefit of victimhood? Trump lies constantly. Politicians lie constantly. It's part of the reason public trust in government has sunk lower than ever before.

    No, it's not morally acceptable that politicians are habitually dishonest. But the outrage aimed at Warren isn't actually about that, is it?

    *

    Warren won state debate champion in high school. Shortly after graduating, at 19, she married Jim Warren, a mathematician who worked for IBM, then NASA.

    The two dated when Elizabeth was 13 and Jim was 17. Warren chose marriage over a full-ride to the prestigious George Washington University.

    Three years later, she gave birth to her first daughter. You can find the picture of her in the hospital bed, surrounded by white sheets, her eyes an oceanic blue, glowing as she holds her baby for the first time, a technicolor sash around her left shoulder.

    She focused on being a mom for two years, then put herself through law school at Rutgers. At her graduation, she was eight months pregnant. Most airlines won't allow women so close to their due date.

    After ten years of marriage and two children, her husband divorced her.

    Warren hadn't expected it. One night, she asked her husband, "Do you want a divorce" and he said yes, even though she'd been asking in that, "Something's wrong but surely things aren't so bad" kind of way.

    Imagine the enormity and disbelief she must have felt as her husband said he'd be leaving her. The kind of moment that gives a person vertigo.

    Warren tried to revive the marriage, but her husband had given up. Before long he moved out, quit smoking, got super into dancing, then remarried.

    Politicians tend to mention tragedies only as evidence for a policy stance. Or occasionally these stories will appear in a candidate profile. Or you can read the ice-cold Encyclopedia version.

    I always wonder about the desperation people suffered in those moments that must have seemed so long, the quiet after bitter words or desperate outbursts. The enormity they must have felt.

    In moments of trauma, we become intensely aware of the noises and smells and colors and momentos around us. What was the first object Warren noticed after hearing her husband say, "Yes"?

    She has since said that she and Jim never really fought. That she didn't blame him for leaving. But that they just didn't work out. "I can't imagine anybody putting up with me over long periods. It's why I can never be cranky about Jim. I get it."

    Still, a marriage has to be fairly bad for a couple with young children to divorce. But even an amicable divorce is devastating. It marks the death of a love that had once been good enough and deep enough for two people to bind themselves together, if only by law.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Now, Warren was a single mother. Surely, at times, that was lonesome. She must have felt moments of intense waywardness.

    There must have been anxious nights, lonely mornings, swarming with memories about life as it was, all those plans for the future that must feel so naive in hindsight.

    Warren's quirkiness has made her an easy piñata for her rivals.

    But I just think about her, alone in a room, folding clothes or staring off, blinking and slouching there alone, and I feel disgust for politics as a bloodsport.

    What do rancor or invective get us in the end? A winner who trounced a loser? What is the human cost? Not just for the people being targeted, but for the world as we'd like it.

    Why isn't it enough to disagree with an opponent? Why does there have to be humiliation?

    And if it's wrong from one politician, it's wrong from them all.

    A person can't decry the abuse that President Trump faces — which is daunting in intensity and volume — then cheer him on when he's doing the same exact thing.

    Somebody is going to have to take a slap or two to the face and not react, but it would accomplish far more than a vitriolic comeback.

    At this point, three years into Trump's Presidency, there was no way to tell who started it and who was just reacting, so everyone involved in the fight was guilty.

    In other words, people could no longer blame Trump for how the selfsame persona they had taken in response.

    To quote Morrisey, "It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind."

    When the ram charges straight for you, all you have to do is take a step to the left or the right and off the angry bastard goes, headfirst into the ground. Do that a few times and you'll get more support than you might expect.

    Which, I'm not saying to never fight. Conflict is healthy. Passivism can be worse than violence. To fight is to live honorably. But only if justice is the reason for fighting.

    If the ram is coming at you because it wants to silence or control you, grit your teeth, chalk up your horns, lower your head, and go to battle. Courage and morality are vastly different than bravado and self-righteousness.

    As Tolstoy wrote in his novel War and Peace, "If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war."

    *

    Two years later, Warren married Bruce Mann, a law professor. They've been married ever since.

    For nearly three decades, she taught law, mostly at Harvard.

    Then, she shifted to politics. In 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed her to a congressional panel. Two years later, she became a special advisor to Barack Obama, who had selected her as special adviser to the Treasury secretary, but stopped short of nominating her as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Shortly after, she resigned. A month later, she announced her Congressional bid, which gained momentum after her speech at that year's Democratic National Convention.

    In 2013, she was elected senior Senator of Massachusetts after beating Republican incumbent Scott Brown with 53 percent of the vote. She would go on to win a second term in 2018, this time with 60 percent.

    Every candidate has a stain. Warren's happens to have led to mockery. For years, she claimed Native American heritage. For many of the right, it was yet another example of the left's allegiance to identity politics.

    The left was more concerned with the way the issue come to attention to begin with, after remarks President Trump made during an event honoring Navajo code talkers. As has become the norm, many of the country's leading news outlets ran scathing anti-Trump op-eds that they labeled as hard news.

    In other words, opinion was being packaged as fact. In other words, propaganda. Like the passive-aggressive tone of this Washington Post article.

    Which is certainly not the right way to handle injustice. And is certainly not journalistically sound.

    Once again, the media's blatant disdain of Trump only served to further empower him. Gave him more proof of fake news. And allowed him to justify, in the eyes of his followers, the repeated use of the Warren's nickname.

    Worst of all, it widened the distance between the news media and the portion of the American public they'd long ago lost access to.

    Likewise, conservative news outlets pounced with an air of, "See? I knew it all along?"

    And responded with a different version of the same aggression used by the media. Outlets like FoxNews played up their masterful victim narrative, the idea that the mainstream media has a stranglehold on America, despite the fact that FoxNews has long been the dominant news source of the mainstream media they claim to be a victim of.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    This feedback loop played out until Elizabeth Warren's genetics became a national conversation.

    Last year Warren released a DNA test that revealed sher to be only between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native America. Fellow democratic candidate Corey Booker — a Senator from New Jersey — has more Native American DNA than Warren. And, unfortunately for Warren, the nickname that President Trump gave her gained more power.

    During an interview on MSNBC, Warren said, "It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur. Donald Trump does this over and over thinking somehow he is going to shut me up with it. It hasn't worked in the past, it isn't going to work out in the future."

    In a bizarre twist, Warren's ex-husband was a pioneer in the field of genetics and helped make the technology accessible to the public when he co-founded FamilyTreeDNA, which sells genetic testing kits.

    *

    Across the street from the Surf Ballroom, 300 yards from the entrance, a Trump 2020 sign the size of a front door glared out, impossible to avoid.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    It's a power play in line with Trump's own combat style — which, again, there's nothing wrong with a good fight, even if there is some dirty fighting, but why did it have to be all of the time? And why had everyone joined in on it?

    *

    Warren began her presidential campaign on Febraury 8, 2019, with a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, at the site of the 1912 Bread and Roses textile strike, a two-month-long standoff that led to 296 arrests.

    Three people died, an Italian immigrant, who was shot in the chest. A Lithuanian immigrant who was beaten to death for wearing a pro-labor lapel pin. And a Syrian boy who was bayoneted in the spine.

    The strike takes its name from a James Oppenheim poem.

    "As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,For they are women's children, and we mother them again."

    *

    As Warren drove her speech to a close, Kamala Harris paced down the long ramp by the side of the stage, then walked through a curtain that divided the hallway from backstage, then into the crowded ballroom, immediately surrounded by cameras, lights, hands, selfies.

    Ten feet behind the curtain, Joe Biden shifted at the side of the stage, chatting with several people in brand-new Biden 2020 shirts, and waiting to go on.

    Photo by Sean Ryan

    Each candidate had 10 minutes or so, which Biden, like most of the other candidates, would use to insult Trump and fumbled through his "President's words matter" speech, two days after his "poor kids are just as talented as white kids" comment, and I wondered if everyone else found the irony as hilarious as I did.

    Now Warren was pounding her fist.

    The already hysterical crowd became even more incensed with each of her words. It was the first moment I realized that Warren actually had a shot at winning the nomination.

    *

    Of all the towns we visited while in Iowa, Clear Lake was the most puzzling. It didn't feel like the rest of what we'd seen. It didn't resemble any other town in the country, far as I can say. Just a general ideal for "lovely American town."

    Maybe Clint Eastwood's Carmel, California, or the wealthy part of Charlotte, North Carolina, or the gorgeous shaded Rice Village neighborhood of Houston, Texas.

    Warren shuffled offstage and shook hands with Biden.

    Then cue the Bruce Springsteen song. And somebody hurry up and push the button that activates Biden's facelift.

    "The words that Presidents speak matter," said Biden. And some of the crowd were hearing him say it for the first time.

    Warren gabbed with a lady in a floral dress backstage. They held hands like sisters. After a minute or so, she vanished backstage. Then the whole gig was finished. Closing time had come.

    Andrew Yang hung out in the lobby after all the other candidates left. He took selfies. Talked policy. Behind him, young people in Yang 2020 shirts and hats that said "MATH" handed out Yang money.

    He hugged. He laughed.

    People puttered out of the Surf Ballroom in no sort of hurry, giddy in their candidate t-shirts, ready to effect change, to dethrone Trump.

    The air had a gentle sway, tilted by a northern cold that felt winter-like, especially for August.

    Right as the last big group of Wing Dingers walked out of the Surf Ballroom, a small car drove by, windows down, packed with young men who kept shouting, "Vote for Trump, baby!"

    Then, stalled at a stop sign, the driver revved the engine and spun the tires, and as it sped off, one of the guys in the back seat shouted "Trump 2020, bitches."

    New installments of this series on the 2020 elections come out every Monday and Thursday. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

    He may not be a super hero like he plays in the movies, but Chris Pratt is proving once again why he's a hero to so many. The silver screen protector of the universe announced on his Instagram page a contest that will benefit the Brain Treatment Foundation, who is a partner of Mercury One that does amazing work with veterans. The Brain Treatment Foundation specializes in helping combat veterans who are suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The contest asks fans to donate $10 to the foundation for a chance to win a trip to drop in on the Guardians of the Galaxy star on the set of his new film Tomorrow War.

    Watch his video below to hear all the details.


    Ryan: The Ascent of Kanye West

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Apollo, god of poetry, light, prophecy, dance. Star of Greek mythology, rivaled only by Zeus, his father. God of justice. God of purification, knowledge, healing. God of the Sun. But most of all, god of music. So they called him the Leader of the Muses.

    And on a bright Sunday morning midway through November, at the tail end of a decade, Kanye West looked out at the congregation of Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, a 16,000-seater originally built for the Houston Rockets, and said, "Jesus has won the victory: Now the greatest artist God ever created is now working for him."

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Kanye's newest album, Jesus Is King, had been out for three weeks, and like every Kanye album, it was controversial, as adored as it was unaccepted.

    Critics had shown a mostly tepid response, but nobody could tell if their disinterest was genuine, or if it was politically motivated.

    After all, for the past year, Kanye had once again managed to penetrate the epicenter of American society. The last two Presidents had literally shamed and cursed Kanye, but, still, who could've guessed he would befriend this one?

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    The week after Kanye's Olsteen appearance, at the House impeachment hearings, as the entire country watched and listened, Congressmen and diplomats would mention longtime Kanye collaborator A$AP Rocky no less than five times, in casual reference to the Kardashians and the deal between Trump and Sweden, struck at the urging of Kanye West.

    Meanwhile, Jesus is King became the ninth consecutive Kanye album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 — a feat he shares with Eminem and The Beatles — and the sixth time in the 2010s alone. And, to be fair, his only studio album not to debut at number one was The College Dropout, his first, which went triple platinum and earned the third-most Grammy nominations in one night, winning Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song with "Jesus Walks."

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Jesus is King was also the first record ever to top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Rap Albums, Christian Albums, and Gospel Albums simultaneously. All eleven tracks charted on the US Billboard 100, joining the other 96 Kanye songs to have landed on the Top 100.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    This album was different, and not just because of Kenny G. For the first time, Kanye was not a god or a self-destructive fallen angel. He was a father, a husband, a son, and, most important, a man full of belief, with his hands outstretched, surrounded by a choir.

    "I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a breakdown," he told the congregation, "and there's documentations of me drawing a church and writing about starting a church in the middle of Calabasas."

    That night, following an afternoon of ice-skating at the Galleria, Kanye returned to Lakewood Church and performed a concert. Imagine hearing a his electro-gospel opera in an arena designed, acoustically, for professional basketball games. Only better, because everything had been padded. With LSD graphics on the swirly blue carpet.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    When we experience art, it changes us.

    So there I was, four rows from the stage, crying in front of FoxNews. Because Kanye had brought his Sunday Service choir with him, and they were singing "Ultralight Beam," one of the few perfect songs ever made, a song that played during my wedding ceremony, the song my daughter, God willing, will be born to, a song I have never once listened to without at least tearing up.

    “Jesus Is King" A Sunday Service Experience at Lakewood Church with Kanye West youtu.be

    "This is a God dream, this is a God dream. This is everything."

    Kanye was the only person onstage dressed in his own clothing, a neatened blazer. The choir were draped in grey, like holy silhouettes.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    So who cares about FoxNews and their snotty reporters in their shoulder-padded blazers. The rest of us had drifted into the immediacy of it all. And I wasn't about to play stoic journalist here. I wasn't a reporter first and a human or an American later.

    The choir zigzagged on the loft flanking the stage. Each of them had a headset microphone, like Garth Brooks.

    God only knew how they sang so perfectly. How did they project their voices like that? More beautiful than anything we had ever heard, more beautiful than water.

    After "Ultralight Beam," it was "Every Hour," the mesmeric opening track of Jesus Is King.

    Sing every hour, Every minute, Every second, Sing each and every millisecond, We need you

    Every Hour youtu.be

    The performance felt all the more sacred because this was church, where people gathered to lose themselves, to sing as a chorus, to confront who they really are.

    Across the street, one protestor stood hollering.

    Meanwhile thousands of people waited at the entrance, giddy to get in. They would join us in no time. Soon, they would fill every seat in this church.

    *

    That morning, Kanye told Olsteen,

    "It's like the devil stole all the good producers, all the good musicians, all the good artists, all the good designers, all the good business people and said, 'you gotta come over and work for me.' And now the trend, the shift, is going to change."

    Jesus Is King was the result of a new cultural and artistic movement that more or less started with 2016's Life of Pablo, Kanye's closeted gospel album. Which was a surprising departure from 2013's Yeezus, with its tangled social commentary and fashionable solipsism. And that drum sound, the one every half-decent producer has spent the last six years failing to emulate.

    The 2010's saw him grow more cerebral. He even teased a book of philosophy titled Break the Simulation.

    Then, in 2018, he released Ye, the second of five albums in a Kanye-produced series, all recorded at his Wyoming studio. In keeping with the criticisms of hip-hop he voiced on "Ye vs. The People"

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Kanye eschewed many of the themes he'd embraced for so long, replacing them with meditations on mental illness, fatherhood, suicide, love, and addiction. The album's working title had been "LOVE EVERYONE."

    On "I Thought About Killing You," he raps,

    The most beautiful thoughts are always beside the darkest.

    The title "Ye" is not just the diminutive of "Kanye."

    As he said in an interview

    I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and, in the Bible, it means 'you,' so it's [saying] "I'm you, I'm us, it's us." It went from being Kanye, which means the only one, to just ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything, that I'm just more of a reflection of who we are, just as beings.

    Philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer wrote that

    All individuality is a manifestation of universal life, and hence everyone carries a tiny bit of everyone else with him, so that divination is simulated by comparison with oneself.

    In the months following the release of Ye, Kanye would live out this idea, and build his own movement, a reflection of who we are, then begin his church in Calabasas.

    *

    At 10:30 that morning, the three of us — Samantha Sullivan, my wife Caroline, and me —- strolled into the arena and claimed seats in the media section.

    That place resembled the inside of an ant colony. We were three ants.

    The service began with errorless music, then shifted into a quick, stirring message by Osteen, who always seemed to appear onstage from nowhere, privvy to the kind of big-money stage tricks you find at a Shania Twain concert.

    The entire place and all the Jumbo-Trons and all the people, it all had a cinematic presence.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    A preliminary giddiness spread through the room. Then, Kanye emerged, there on the stage, and the place erupted.

    A man in a "Jesus is King" shirt danced around his seat.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Everyone took their seats, but one man standing in the crowd shouted affirmations. "Speak truth my brother," he shouted.

    The man shouted several more times, then Kanye politely told the guy to hold off on the support because it wasn't helping, because Kanye needed relative quiet to capture and release his flow.

    The ceiling glowed in skittish purple.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Kanye described the corrupting force of the media. A chill came over the room. Behind him, the unapologetic blue of Jesus Is King.

    It was my first encounter with Joel Osteen, and I was surprised and somewhat baffled to find him likeable, based on everything I'd ever heard about the man.

    Kanye said as much, that Osteen is nothing like the version of Osteen many people have broadcast.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Osteen laughed, "When you've got Kanye defending you, you've made it, man."

    Rays of light danced through the arena. I'm talking Pink Floyd light show levels.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    With 21 Grammys, Kanye is tied with Jay-Z as the most decorated hip-hop artist of all time.

    Osteen asked Kanye what he would say to his younger self, if he could go back in time.

    "You know, it's nothing I can say to the younger Kanye through words," he said. "I could speak to the younger Kanye through music."

    *

    Osteen played the middle section of "God Is," arguably the focal point of the album.

    And Kanye danced and rapped along with it. And the surreality of the situation was daunting. Was that really Kanye West up there? with Joel Osteen? dancing to his gospel song?

    Six or seven years ago, I saw Kanye a mile away at the Toyota Center — coincidentally, the current home of the Houston Rockets — for his and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne tour. It was a much different experience than this.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    When Kanye finished, the media flooded out. As did a quarter of the people in the congregation. This bothered many of the regulars.

    Security and ushers yanked big grey mop buckets from cabinets, and dispersed them down aisles, and money music played.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Then the time for prayer. Prayer leaders lined the walls and pews. And anyone could walk over to them and pray. Men and women clung to strangers, crying sometimes, hugging. Holding hands, whispering phrases.

    *

    One of the media coordinators pulled us out of the sermon, led us through passageways and elevators, past classrooms and security guards, through a black sheet, then behind a barricade.

    This is where all the media had rushed off to like old folks trying to get the best seat for bingo.

    Each news outlet was allowed one question.

    After 15 minutes, the energy changed and you could tell they were near.

    Then, Kim Kardashian-West was walking our way, holding her daughter's hand, followed by Kanye, who was followed by Osteen.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    "Nice tags," Kanye said, referring to my "GOOD" necklace.

    Then:

    Brief interview with Kanye West and Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Nov. 17 in Houston, TX www.youtube.com

    Some of the outlets asked more than one question, but that was on them. They were the ones sinning in church.

    *

    As Kanye and Olsteen shuffled away, down the line of journalists, I said hello to a small crew from FoxNews as they packed their equipment.

    "We're from TheBlaze," I said, smiling. To which they sneered and glanced at one another then got back to their conversation.
    Samantha rolled her eyes and the three of us wandered around for an exit.

    "Did we just get stiff-armed by Fox News?" Said one of us. "I didn't think they were allowed to look down on anybody."
    "I've had that with people from Fox on several occasions," one of us replied.

    "I mean, I thought I was doing them a favor a favor by acknowledging them. Nobody else does."

    Then it happened again, a few minutes later, this time with someone we had worked with, someone who knew us.
    You bet we were salty.

    Bad as it felt to be judged like that, it was good to be underestimated. A relief. It meant we could perform without anyone caring or watching.

    They had no idea who we were or what we were really doing. Good.

    *

    In November 2007, Kanye's mother died during a routine surgery. He and his mom, Dr. Donda West, had always been incredibly close. She raised him alone, after Kanye's father left, when Kanye was three.

    A few months later, his engagement with Alexis Phifer abruptly ended.

    He was 30 at the time.

    Oddly, this tragic sequence of events would cause the birth of auto-tune in rap. Broken-hearted, Kanye wanted to sing. So he ran his voice through a vocoder.

    Kanye's album 808s & Heartbreak, which like Jesus is King has no curse words, shoved music ahead at least two decades, into a world of synth-driven robotic R&B/Rap love songs belted out in janky auto-tune. That description doesn't sound ridiculous today. But that's only because Kanye eschewed the stale hip-hop of the early 2000s and reinvented the genre, something he has accomplished with every album.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Then, he went on tour. But he never took off any time following his mother's death. And, by the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he'd fallen to what he calls his sunken place.

    He and then-girlfriend Amber Rose brought a bottle of Hennessy with them to the award show. They took slugs in the limo. Then on the red carpet.

    When Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video, Kanye stormed the podium, sunglasses on, and grabbed the microphone, said "Imma let you finish," then let everyone know the award should've gone to Beyoncé, for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."

    He was kicked out immediately. He tweeted, "Everybody wanna booooo me but I'm a fan of real pop culture... I'm not crazy y'all, I'm just real."

    Followed by an apology. Then a few days later, during an appearance on debut episode of "The Jay Leno Show"

    Leno asked Kanye, "What do you think [your mom] would have said about this?"

    That hit Kanyelike a punch to the jaw. He teared up, froze.

    He publicly apologized to Swift. Several times.

    But it did little to quell the blowback. Once again, it felt like the entire nation hated Kanye. Compounded by a hot-mic recording of Barack Obama — the country's first black President — calling Kanye a jackass.

    So the embattled Kanye retreated to Hawaii to record a masterpiece, 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

    *

    "We are a Christian country," Kanye said at one point, to uproarious applause.

    The vast majority of Americans, 90 percent, believe in a higher power.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    And America has the largest number of Christians in the world, with roughly 167,000,000, comprising 65-to-70 percent of the population. But that's down from 80 percent, as part of a downward trend over the last two decades.

    The percent of Americans who attend a religious service of any kind — church, synagogue, or mosque — is even lower, less than half.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    One political scientist blamed the public's growing distrust in institutions. Another blamed conservatives. A writer from New York Magazine took it a step further.

    Meanwhile, David French.

    As always, the issue is far more nuanced than either side will admit.

    Somehow, in the last twenty years, church and religion had become not just uncool, but slightly villainous.

    All day, every time I looked around — at people singing, at people dancing, at people crying in joy or in the relief and recognition of their pain — I thought, "How could this ever be a bad thing?"

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    I had spent my life going to concerts, had seen Kanye West numerous times, and this was something other than a concert, and unlike anything I'd seen from Kanye. It was also more than just religious or spiritual.

    A family of strangers in a city of 6 million, in a world of 7-and-a-half billion, broadcast live, led by a man who fought off the devil in front of us for years. Who struggled with life just like we do, only we could nitpick through the one-way mirrors of our phones and our TVs.

    But, now, he had been baptized in public.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    Some people were still negative about Kanye's recent faith, especially Christians. As Kanye raps on "Hands On"

    What have you been hearin' from the Christians?
    They'll be the first one to judge me
    Make it feel like nobody love me

    Consensus was, they couldn't believe him. As a Kanye fan since I was 13, I can tell you that he is genuine. It's really his only setting. Plus, his spiritual transformation has been building for quite some time.

    *

    By the time we returned to Lakewood that evening, the sky had turned dark blue, and frantic with airplanes.

    The sidewalks around the arena overflowed with people. Police cars jutted out in crooked lines to block entrances or exits, the strobe of red-white-blue whirling onto pedestrians' faces.

    Across the street, facing the giant arena, a man with a bullhorn ranted about the evils of sinful music.

    Earlier that day, sheepish protestors had occupied the spot, holding red poster-sized letters that spelled out "I M P E A C H." There were only four of them, though, so they had to double up and share, and sometimes the "H" slanted down or the "I" slipped loose.

    "Impeach Kanye?" one of us said, laughing.

    "Kanye 2020," shouted someone.

    The air was electric. People bounced when they stepped, or walked faster than normal, or turned oddly as they spoke like a third-year professor.

    They sang along as they passed traffic-jam cars, most of which were blasting Kanye.

    A chorus of police whistles and the usual rumble of semi-trucks passing on US-59. Just down the street, porn shops and strip clubs and a Ferrari dealership. Immediately Southwest, the Mahatma Ghandi District. West, the Galleria, home of the opulent Galleria mall, where Kanye and Kim and family gone ice-skating earlier.

    Inside the arena, a different world, low-lit and glowing. A dreamscape of lambent crimsons and violets, a deeper, warmer, slower take on the lights atop the police cars outside. Globular squares of blue were arrayed along the ceiling.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    When the musicians emerged to their instruments, the arena was still half-empty. The show had already been delayed 40 minutes. The demand to get in was so ferocious that the security gate was jammed up like a glass Ketchup jar.

    Then, like spirits, men and women drifted onstage in all-grey uniforms and matching hats that looked like they should say "VIETNAM VETERAN" but actually said "Sunday Service."

    Every single member wore brand-new grey YEEZY Boosts.

    From the start, the performance was cinematic, a sort of new-world opera sung by a chorus of young American muses with nose rings or gold chains or dreadlocks or pink hair.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    From the huddle, a young man rose, and began reciting a poem. It was the invocation of the muse.

    Gadamer wrote that poetry "becomes a test of what is true, in that the poem awakens a secret life in words that had seemed to be used up and worn out, and tells us of ourselves"

    *

    After a whirling rendition of Carl Orff's "O Fortuna," the choir began "Ultralight Beam."

    They let the song spread. It grew enormous.

    The air swirled as the song widened.

    Kanye waited out of view, then appeared without ceremony.

    A collective gasp when people recognized the melody of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed." Which sounds like a dream already, with all that wilderness.

    So it was even stranger when the song morphed into SWV's "Weak," a skating rink anthem written by Charlie Wilson of the GAP Band. A classic.

    The choir were their own countervailing force. Yet they also connected us to the drama of the performance.
    Looking back, I wish I could live in those moments forever.

    *

    Then came their cover of "Father Stretch My Hands" by Pastor T.L. Barrett And the Youth for Christ Choir.

    Father Stretch My Hands www.youtube.com

    Kanye has paid homage to Barrett's track on two different songs, from two different albums.

    It was his prayer.

    Pastor T.L. Barrett, a man who's lived an exciting and at times difficult life, only to become a Pentecostal preacher on Chicago's south side, and form a choir of 40 teenagers from his weekly choir practice.

    If you dive into Barrett, you'll better understand what Kanye is doing.

    *

    Ten seats from Kim Kardashian-West, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX) stared ahead in a neat grey suit, occasionally poking at his phone and blasting people on Twitter.

    Which means there were at least two people in the building who have appeared on Saturday Night Live.

    There were other politicians, including Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick. And even more at the earlier service. You could tell they were politicians the same you can tell a vegan burger from a real Whopper. Several times, Kanye held up his phone up and read the words from his newer songs.

    Like "Selah," which built into "Hallelujah"s at the end, intoxicating and perfect, like being sucked into an undertow. Which led into "Follow God," a continuation of "Father I Stretch My Hands."

    Kanye uses the image of stretched hands to express his own submission and the process that leads to his healing. As a reference to John 21:18

    Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.

    But the song is also about Kanye's literal father, and an argument they had. Then, under it all, he adds a sample of "Can You Lose By Following God" by Whole Truth. He ended the song with his Kanye shriek, somewhat confusing and abrasive with a choir present.

    Then — something I did not expect. The thumping bass of Cajmere's "Brighter Days (Underground Goodie Mix)."

    And now this was cosmic gospel.

    It felt like a rave. Have you been to a rave? It's people dancing, taking MDMA. That is what it felt like.

    Flourishes like that were part of Kanye's genius. No other gospel performance would dare. You won't find that kind of diversity at any other hip-hop show, either. The acoustic instruments, the choir. Maybe during a set by electronic musicians like Moodyman or DJ Koze. But, no choir. Yet here Kanye was, at Joel Osteen's church, blasting classic techno.

    Oddly enough, though, the most popular song of the night was "Closed on Sunday," Kanye's ode to Chic-Fil-A.

    Everyone in the arena knew the words. So then there were two choirs, in a dialogue. I didn't think it was possible, but the collective harmony got even more intense and engulfing than it had all night. So much so that the house speakers started to peak in one corner of the arena.

    Photo by Caroline Ryan

    The Ancient Greeks were the first to use a chorus. In the 5th Century B.C., 50 actors would gather in the orchestra pit and sing in unison, commenting on the action of the play, describing scenes to the audience. They were a collective force. They represented one character, who was able to connect the audience to the characters and events onstage.

    Kim Kardashian was front and center filming with her phone, as two of the West kids jumped around on the trippy blue carpet.

    The performance was nearing its end, and suddenly Kanye was dressed like everybody else in the choir. Grey Yeezy kit and the Sunday Service hat. His transformation. From Kanye West to Pastor Ye, stretching hands.

    Then, he was gone.
    One by one, the choir began fluttering off the stage, to the Clark Sisters' "You Brought the Sunshine."

    Half were gone, when I noticed the singer with braided hair crying. With every exhale, she collapsed her hands into the floor. Let them fall like tired flowers. Arrayed in fitful blue. She gasped. She heaved her shoulders like a wingspan. For a moment it was like she would actually take flight.

    A security guard peered over the railing from above the stage. He looked like God.Symbolically, he was.

    New installments of this series on the 2020 elections come out every Monday and Thursday. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

    Don't believe in time travel? Think it's just a wild conspiracy theory reserved for late night alien radio programs? Well, we have unearthed bombshell evidence that will blow you away and have you questioning everything!

    A 120-year-old photo PROVES climate change activist teen Greta Thunberg is actually a time traveler warning all generations of the dangers of global warming.

    Glenn did some exhaustive research and found several other photos and subjects in historical paintings. Check them out here and see if you are now a believer:

    Warning Elvis fans