For most of us in the civilized world, there is no doubt regarding the holocaust or it’s effects on the Jewish people and scores of other minorities. This story defies logic unless, of course, you at least consider the source. A professor who took a group of Palestinian students to Auschwitz has been disowned by his university and branded a ‘traitor’ by those in his community. Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian students from Al-Quds University to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland in March. The trip was part of a joint venture focusing on conflict resolution between the university and two others. However, when the professor and the group returned, the university distanced itself from the trip – saying professor Dajani and the students ‘acted in their personal capacity and were not representatives of the university.’
According to the Washington Post, Professor Dajani was also reportedly called a ‘traitor’ by some members of his community, while some of his friends advised him to go on holiday until the controversy died down. The professor, who believes the group may have first Palestinians students to visit Auschwitz, has since said he doesn’t regret the trip – and he would return if given the opportunity. Writing on Facebook, he said: ‘My response to all this tirade is that my duty as a teacher is to teach, to have my students explore the unexplored, to open new horizons for my students, to guide my students out of the cave of perceptions and misperceptions to see the facts and the reality on the ground. ‘I will go to the university, I will put my photos of the visit on Facebook, and I do not regret for one second what I did. ‘As a matter of fact, I will do it again if given the opportunity. I will not hide, I will not deny. I will not be silent. I will not remain a bystander even if the victims of the suffering I show empathy for are my perpetrators and my occupiers. ‘The aim is not to get any one’s approval but to do the right thing.’
A student who went on the trip told haaretz.com: ‘Most people said we shouldn’t go. It is a strange thing for a Palestinian to go to a Nazi death camp. But I would recommend the trip.’ The controversy came as the Obama administration attempted to move towards a peace deal with the Middle East. The trip was part of a research project called ‘Heart of Flesh — Not Stone’. It was reportedly paid for by the German Research Foundation and run by the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. According to the project’s Facebook page: ‘The project analyses individuals and groups experiencing the “suffering of the other” as a means for understanding how and why groups may become more or less open to reconciliation.’
A Palestinian newspaper al-Quds wrote a piece about the trip – which was reportedly pulled down following a heated discussion in the comments section of the piece. According to reports, one reader said the trip was not freedom of expression – but treason. TV analysts and newspaper columnists also spoke against the trip, while others claimed the professor was attempting to brainwash his students. Auschwitz was a network of concentration and extermination camps built during World War II. It was operated by the Third Reich. The network consisted of original camp Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II–Birkenau, Auschwitz III–Monowitz and a further 45 satellite camps.
Refusing to acknowledge to holocaust does not mean it did not happen. Understanding how and why it happened might just keep it from happening again…but sadly…probably not. When man’s depravity reaches a low to the point of denying history, in effect trying to rewrite it, we are all bound by centuries old hate and nonsense.
You may recall the story about a 5-year old Texas boy malnourished, who was allegedly held captive in a locked closet has been saved from the abusive home? There is some great news to report…he is recovering and thriving! Little Jordan Bleimeyer, his scabbed and skinny back shown in horrific pictures taken by police after his rescue last month, has gained weight and a smile as he recovers in the hospital. A picture posted Monday to the Facebook page “Toys for Jordan” shows a smiling, healthy boy lying in a hospital bed, covered in a Super Mario blanket and surrounded by a Ninja Turtles stuffed animal and children’s books like “Cars” and “Elmo.” “The power of love and prayers bring us this amazing smile,” the page administrator wrote.
Tiny Jordan drew support from around the world since the story of his condition broke last week. The boy’s 16-year-old stepbrother told cops that Jordan’s father, Bradley Bleimeyer, was keeping the boy locked in a closet. When officers searched the Spring, Texas, home, they found a lock on a closet below a stairwell and a soiled mattress inside. When officers caught up to the boy’s stepmother, Tammi Bleimeyer, they found the 5-year-old tot in a soiled diaper, weighing just 29 pounds. Photographs taken of the blond-haired tyke showed him severely underweight, with a scabbed back and his shoulder blades, ribs and vertebrae showing through his skin.
Bradley and Tammi Bleimeyer were arrested and charged with endangering a child.
On Friday, tiny, fair-skinned Jordan was moved from the pediatric intensive care unit. And on Saturday, the boy had his IVs removed and his dietary restrictions lifted, according to the Facebook page documenting his recovery. “He enjoyed food so much that he finally said he was full,” the post reads. “Unlike most of us, we’re thrilled to report that he’s already increased his weight by four pounds to 33 lbs.” The boy’s stepmom, Tammi Bleimeyer, 33, is out on $2,000 bond after being arrested for child endangerment. The mother of five said the pictures showing her emaciated stepson “shocked” her. “I don’t know what caused him to look like that,” Tammi Bleimeyer told KHOU-TV. “I don’t know if it’s a health issue or something else like that.” “I don’t want to be like everyone else and assume the worst,” she said.
Bradley Bleimeyer, 24, who was out on bail on a burglary arrest, remains jailed on a child endangerment charge. His ex-wife, Windy Hall, has been reunited with the boy and is fighting to keep custody. Hall told reporters that little Jordan told her a horrific tale of druggings and abuse at the hands of his father. He was fed just bread and a cup of water or milk once a day, Hall recounted. “He was locked up under that stairwell. In a separate room. His daddy hitting him. He can’t cry when the other children took his food,” Hall told reporters at Houston Hospital last week, according to KHOU-TV.Almost 5,500 people have “liked” the toy drive Facebook page, which has pictures of donations of Batman and Ninja Turtles clothes, games and toys, while a local company donated a swing for little Jordan.
A Minnesota teenager who was forced to hand over her Facebook password by school officials so they could check her private messages has been awarded $70,000 in damages. Riley Stratton, now 15, was just a sixth grader in Minnewaska, Minnesota when she gave staff the sign-in details – an incident that left her so distraught that she is now being home schooled. Minnewaska Area Schools have agreed to pay $70,000 in damages and rewrite its policies after a lawsuit claimed officials violated Riley’s constitutional rights by viewing her online accounts. Riley was just 13 when she posted to Facebook two years ago that she hated a school hall monitor because she was mean, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
The school was alerted and she was given an in-school suspension for what she had said, even though the comments were made out of school time. Afterwards, she went on Facebook and asked who had told on her – a move that could have been seen as threatening to students, school officials argues. ‘I was a little mad at whoever turned me in ’cause it was outside school when it happened,’ Riley told the Star Tribune on Tuesday. Her attorney, Wallace Hilke, who took the case pro bono with the American Civil Liberties Union, said she had been punished for doing what school students had been doing for generations. ‘She wasn’t spreading lies or inciting them to engage in bad behavior, she was just expressing her personal feelings,’ he said.
Following that incident, she was hauled before school officials again after a parent complained that Riley had engaged in a conversation of a sexual nature online with her son. ‘I was in tears,’ she said. ‘I was embarrassed when they made me give over my password.’ As a deputy sheriff looked on, school officials looked through her Facebook page. Her mother, Sandra Stratton, said the school had called her about the complaint but that she had not been told that her daughter was expected to hand over her password. ‘It was believed the parent had given permission to look at her cellphone,’ Minnewaska Superintendent Greg Schmidt said. But Schmidt said the district did not have a signed consent from the parent, which is now a policy requirement, he said.
After the incident, Stratton fell behind on schoolwork because she was too distraught and embarrassed to attend school, according to the lawsuit. The new rules state that electronic records and passwords created off-campus can only be searched if there is a reasonable suspicion they will uncover violations of school rules, the Star Tribune reported. Schmidt, who was not superintendent at the time of the incident, said that they wanted to make children aware that their actions outside school can harm them. ‘The school’s intent wasn’t to be mean or bully this student, but to really remedy someone getting off track a little,’ he said. Stratton released a statement about the settlement decision, saying: ‘I am so happy that my case is finally over, and that my school changed its rules so what happened to me doesn’t happen to other students. ‘It was so embarrassing and hard on me to go through, but I hope that schools all over see what happened and don’t punish other students the way I was punished.’
Do you have what it takes to be a T.I.E. Fighter Pilot in the Galactic Empire? The Emperor sure could use a few good troopers that can shoot straight… To celebrate the launch of the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series coming to Disn…
Sharpen your fangs… The highly anticipated Vampire Academy enrolls in theaters this Friday, and we’ve recruited four of the hot stars from the film — Sarah Hyland, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry and Dominic Sherwood — to quiz each other on everything fro…
Olivia Newton-John is gearing up for a fun-filled series of shows in Las Vegas, and ET’s own Brooke Anderson spends a day with the movie and music icon! Does she gamble? Is she down for taking selfies with fans? And why is the opportunity so bittersw…
The gunman who killed two women in an an Indiana supermarket late Wednesday reveled in his bloodlust for at least two years on Facebook. Shawn Walter Blair, 22, stormed Martin’s Super Market in Elkhart around 10 p.m. and shot a 21-year-old store employee and 44-year-old customer, Sgt. Trent Smith said. “I wouldn’t say it was well-planned, but it was obviously thought-out,” said Smith. “He was going to the store with a mission.” Blair’s mayhem ended when two police officers arriving quickly on the scene shot and killed him as he pointed his semi-automatic handgun at a potential third victim.
Police had not uncovered a motive, but the gunman’s Facebook provided a window into his demented mind. Blair showed a fascination with serial killers, and posted a gruesome photo of his face bloodied by what he said was a bite from a pit bull.
“I MAY BE GOING TO HELL BUT ATLEAST I’M GOING HONEST AND YOU KNOW WHAT THATS ALL I’VE EVER BEEN YOU LOOK AT ME AND SEE THIS FREAK I SEE A GOD BECAUSE I EMBRACE MY F—– UP SIDE AND WHEN I’M IN HELL I HOPE YOU PASS THROUGH MY RACK HAVE FUN WITH THAT AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” he wrote in August 2011.
“I HOPE YOU ALL BURN IN THE FURTHEST PITS OF HELL I HOPE THE TORTURE LASTS FOREVER AND EVERY SECOND OF EVERY MINUTE YOUR THINKING ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES. EVERYONE WILL PASS THROUGH TORTURE RACKS MADE OF BONE WITH RAZOR BLADES MADE FROM FIRE I WILL BE PICASSO WITH A FIRE RAZOR BLADE BENEATH MY FINGERS,” he wrote.
Other posts featured disturbing artwork of clowns, crime scenes, and a poster of notorious serial killers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Police had not released the names of the victims, saying they were still notifying the victims’ families of the tragedy. “There’s not a day that goes by, it seems like anymore, where we’re not learning of a school shooting or at a business … we hope that this would never come to our hometown and here it is,” Smith said during a prior press conference at the scene of the crime.
Blair made his move at around 10 p.m., armed and carrying a knife, Smith said. He shot one of the victims and then stalked 12 aisles of the store before killing his second. Two police officers happened to be nearby and were on the scene within three minutes and heard a gunshot as they entered the supermarket, Smith said. When the cops came upon Blair he was pointing his gun at a third person. The suspect then pointed his gun at the cops and they opened fire, killing him, according to WSBT. Officials praised the cops for acting quickly and preventing more deaths. “They were professional,” said Smith. “They strategically cleared the store.”
It didn’t appear Blair knew his victims, according to reports. Police were still investigating his criminal background.
Elkhart is a town of 51,000 that’s 15 miles south of South Bend, Ind. Martin’s said the store would be closed Thursday. “The entire Martin’s family is saddened by this tragedy,” company president and CEO Rob Bartels said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved and the entire community.” Tony Elkhart told the Elkhart Truth his mother had been working at the deli of the supermarket when the chaos unfolded. He said she called him after being evacuated from the store. “As reality set in, and her being upset, I knew something was wrong,” Tony told the newspaper. “It makes me feel angry, obviously. This world I guess is kind of screwed up right now. You can’t even go to the grocery store and be safe.”
This story is heartbreaking! A Nebraska toddler who repeated a slew of profanities in an online video has been taken into child protective custody, Omaha police said Wednesday. While authorities found nothing criminal in the video, officials from the Omaha police’s Child Victim Unit and the Nebraska Child Protective Services took the infant and three other children into custody on Wednesday, the police department said on its Facebook page. The joint investigation found safety concerns, the statement said. DMN learned of development through Twitter.
In the video, the diapered child is bombarded with obscenities and racial slurs by the adults around him. The African-American toddler knocks down a chair and gives nearly as good as he gets, responding to some of the comments with an upraised middle finger and telling one of the adults at one point, “Shut up, bitch.” The adults laugh and prompt him to repeat other crudities. Just another day on the Internet — until the police union in Omaha, Nebraska, posted the clip on its website to highlight what it called the “cycle of violence and thuggery” the community faces.
The Omaha Police Officers Association came under fire from the city’s police chief, the ACLU and at least one community leader. They say the move needlessly antagonizes the city’s minority communities, who make up about a quarter of Omaha’s 409,000 residents. Sgt. John Wells, the union’s president, said the video was “disturbing” and “offensive.” “The focus here isn’t on any particular ethnic group. The focus here is on the troubling behavior towards this child,” Wells said. “This behavior is going to potentially lead this child down a path that is completely unhealthy.”
On the website where the video is hosted, the union said the clip came from “a local thug’s public Facebook page.” “We here at OmahaPOA.com viewed the video and we knew that despite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in,” the police union wrote in a post accompanying the video. “Now while we didn’t see anything in this video that is blatantly ‘illegal,’ we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint,” it added.
Wells said one of the adults mentions a local street gang in the video. “That is why when we talk about the culture, the criminal culture, that this is to try to break the cycle and deal with the culture of violence and the culture of gang activity,” he said. But in a city where police officers’ treatment of minorities led to lawsuits, criminal charges against two officers and the firings and reassignments of several others in the past year, critics say the video is poking at raw wounds. Willie Hamilton, president of the community activist group Black Men United, said the union “crossed a line by doing this.” “For them to take a video out of context — a 2-year-old who doesn’t have the brain capacity to know what’s going on — and to say that this child, because two adults acted inappropriately, is going to end up in a life of crime is totally inappropriate,” Hamilton said. And the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, which filed an excessive-force suit against the Omaha Police Department on behalf of an African-American family on Monday, said the union’s use of “racially charged language” was “very disconcerting.”
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer tried to distance his agency from the controversy in a statement issued Tuesday, saying that the union’s website and Facebook page are separate from those of the Omaha Police Department and that he has little authority over the public statements of union members. “With that background and understanding, I want to make it explicit and clear that the views expressed on the OPOA Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the Omaha Police Department,” Schmaderer said. “I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations.”
Wells said union members have turned the video over to the department’s child victim unit, which will work with child-welfare agencies to investigate the circumstances. He said the organization “didn’t think we’d get this big of a reaction.” “Hopefully, the impact is, it gives law-abiding citizens what law enforcement deals with on a daily basis, and it sort of throws back the blinders that these type of problems are going on,” he said. “And we can have a very frank and open discussion on how to tackle these issues and come up with solutions.”
There is nothing cute or funny about the video. There is nothing cute or funny about very public abuse of a child. Sadly, there is no test before people become parents but perhaps there should be. This little guy clearly does not have a chance with these adults in his life.
OMAHA, Nebraska | DMN — The Omaha Police Officers Association in Nebraska has come under extreme criticism after it posted a video of an African-American toddler uttering profanities to use as an example of ‘the thug cycle’. The diapered child is seen in a phone camera video taken by two purported relatives who are swearing at each other and the child and teaching him to swear back. ‘… despite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law-abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in,’ said the post on their website.
The website states: ‘Now while we didn’t see anything in this video that is blatantly ‘illegal’, we sure did see a lot that is flat-out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint.’ The post tells the public that they are ‘literally watching “the cycle” of violence continue right in front of your eyes. A powerful cycle that must be broken if we ever hope to get a handle on violence in Omaha. A powerful cycle that the police alone cannot stop.’ The so-called ‘thug’ who posted the video of the toddler has lashed back in a comment on the police association’s Facebook page, which has not done him any favors as it’s laced with f-word bombs.
Union President John Wells, who is a sergeant in the Omaha Police Department, told Gawker that they use the term ‘thug’ as a ‘general term on our Facebook page’, but that it could be substituted by a variety of other terms including ‘abnormal, antisocial, criminal’. However, many people have taken to social media to criticize the move. One user, Joshua David, said on the union’s Facebook page: ‘As a union employee and member, I’m ashamed that this post exists. Not because of the video, but because of the racism. But hey, at least he’ll learn early that he’s nothing but an n-word to society.’
Defending their action of posting the video of the toddler and likening it to violence, Wells said that ‘a lot of these children end up dealing with law enforcement’. ‘[But] I’m not saying that this kid won’t grow up to be a productive member of society.’ The post called the video’s creator, who is reportedly the toddler’s uncle, a ‘local thug’, but Wells said: ‘I don’t know that he’s a gangbanger… he mentions 29th Street, which is a local Bloods gang here’. He told Gawker.com that his association is different to the police department, which is why they have ‘a lot more latitude to be a little more edgy’ and that edginess is necessary to force a deeper conversation on the city’s crime problems. Omaha is largely ethnically segregated, he says, and many residents dismiss crime by saying ‘it didn’t happen in my part of town, that’s not a problem’, he said.
Self-described Tea Partier and a member of the Quaker faith, Brian Schwanke, who slammed President Obama’s lack of of self-control during Nelson Mandela’s funeral on his Facebook — couldn’t resist an undercover agent’s child pornography advances, according to reports and family members. The Michigan man — using the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” — began trading images and videos with an investigator who claimed to share a love of underaged girls. After a month-long sting, investigations found a collection of 34 videos and two pictures on Schwanke’s computer in August, according to the federal complaint obtained by The Smoking Gun. “I know they took his computer away, which was a good idea,” his estranged mother Doris Schwanke, 79, told DMN. “I don’t know beyond that.”
On his Facebook, the EMT and security guard, railed against President Obama’s selfie incident with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. “What a classy president we have. His wife has to sit between him to make ‘lil Barry “behave,” wrote Schwanke, according to his Facebook page, as reported by The Smoking Gun. During the email exchanges, Schwanke claimed to have slept with girls as young as 10. His multiple dating profiles, ironically, preached openness and honesty in the beginning of any relationship. “I don’t have skeletons, just have mileage. lol,” he wrote on his profile on PlentyofFish.com Schwanke is a father of four and went through a bitter divorce, his mother said. His profile on ChristianDatingForFree.com, Schwanke said that he places his relationship with God above his kids and described his body type as “A Few Extra Pounds.” “I have hobbies that are not popular to some people,” he wrote, not realizing the meaning that would later take on. “I hunt and I eat what I kill. I teach American History through reenacting.” His mother, however, shot down any claims that he was a man of God.
“I was shocked. I just could not understand how I could not have known that,” the mother said. “I thought I taught him better.” Clearly, this proves that people in glass houses should not throw stones.