Sunday Reads: Lights out, in the city of lights….

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The Eiffel Tower was darkened last night in honor of those killed during Friday’s attacks on Paris.

 

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As you can see, many countries and cities throughout the world took up the cause and brought Paris, city of lights…into their own, by setting their landmarks, arenas, buildings, etc., alight in three colors of “liberté fraternité et égalité.”  Showing support of a city that has been hit by extremist, bloodthirsty, murdering terrorist.

 

Images from this thread:

People Around the Globe Show Their Solidarity With Paris – NBC News

 

Good Late Morning/Early Afternoon

Let us start this post with the current updates on France, in quick link fashion:

Two attackers killed in Paris were Frenchmen who lived in Brussels: prosecutor | French News | Expatica France

Two assailants who died in the Paris attacks were Frenchmen who had lived in Brussels, Belgian prosecutors said Sunday.

The Belgian authorities are holding seven people for questioning in connection with the attacks, and investigators have found that two cars used in the operation were rented in Belgium, they added.

“It appears that two French nationals, who lived in Brussels …, were identified as among the attackers who died on the spot,” the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“In addition, two cars registered in Belgium were found in Paris, one near the Bataclan and the other near Pere Lachaise,” the statement said.

The Bataclan concert hall is where 89 people were killed, while Pere Lachaise, known for the cemetery where leading literary and other figures are buried, is nearby.

“The investigation shows that the two vehicles were rented at the beginning of the week in the Brussels area,” the statement added.

It said that a total of seven people had been detained for questioning.

French officials: Manhunt in Europe for at least 1 suspect ‘directly involved’ in Paris attacks – The Washington Post

Authorities were scouring Europe on Sunday for at least one other suspect, and possibly two, who were “directly involved” in Friday night’s attacks in Paris, as investigators tried to ascertain whether they were among a number of people arrested over the last 48 hours in Belgium, according to two French officials familiar with the case.

[…]

But police continued searching for at least one other participant in the attacks. French officials and the Islamic State both initially claimed that eight men carried out the attacks. Police said seven attackers died, six of them by detonating suicide vests and one in police gunfire.

There is more at the links of all of these articles…

The Latest: Sunny Skies in Paris; Hearts Full of Grief – The New York Times

PARIS — The latest on the deadly attacks in Paris. (All times local)

The Latest: Officials track passport found by bomber’s body – Houston Chronicle

4:45 p.m.

Balkan authorities are tracking the travels of the owner of a Syrian passport that was found next to a suicide bomber’s body at France’s national stadium on Friday night.

Officials in Greece say the passport’s owner entered the country Oct. 3 through Leros, one of the eastern Aegean islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have been using as a gateway into the 28-nation European Union.

Serbian police say he registered at its border entry with Macedonia on Oct. 7.

Croatian police say he was checked at a refugee center on Oct. 8. Police spokeswoman Helena Biocic said Sunday the man was not flagged as suspicious and continued his journey toward Hungary and Austria.

It is still not yet clear whether the Syrian passport is fake or real, or whether it belonged to the dead bomber. European officials say there is a brisk trade in fake Syrian passports to help people get refugee status in the EU.

I think I will refrain from comment on the passport thing until all the facts are in.  Because the news on this is very fluid:

Two men linked to Paris attacks registered as migrants in Greece: police | French News | Expatica France

Two men who French police are seeking to identify in connection with the Paris attacks registered as migrants with Greek authorities earlier this year, the Greek police confirmed on Saturday.

 

French authorities had asked their Greek counterparts to check a passport and fingerprints of one man who died in the attacks and the fingerprints of another.

Both were thought to have registered in Greece, the main entry point into Europe for Syrian refugees.

At least one Syrian passport was found at the scene of the Stade de France attack.

The Greek minister for citizen protection, Nikos Toskas, said in a statement that one of the men had been registered on the Greek island of Leros in October.

“We confirm that the (Syrian) passport holder came through the Greek island of Leros on October 3 where he was registered under EU rules,” said a statement issued by Toskas.

French police said the passport was found “near the body of one of the attackers” during the investigation into the main attack of Friday’s carnage, at the Bataclan concert hall, where 82 people were killed.

The authenticity of the passport was being checked, but its discovery indicates a possible Syrian connection which has been a working hypothesis for investigators after assailants hit six separate locations in Paris late Friday.

A Greek police source said the second man had also registered in Greece, with TV station Mega adding this was also on Leros in August.

European security officials had long feared that jihadists could take advantage of the mass migration influx, mainly from war-torn Syria, that Europe has been experiencing since the beginning of the year.

“It is clear now that together with the victims of Islamo-fascism in the Middle East that come as refugees, extreme elements are crossing to Europe,” Defence Minister Panos Kammenos after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Greek police are not ruling out that the Syrian passport changed hands before the attacks.

However, a European security expert on Saturday argued: “The most logical assumption is that it’s the same person, sent on a mission to Europe.”

– ‘Unequalled challenge’ –

“If this is established, it would be the first such case. In any event, this proves that the unchecked flow poses an unequalled challenge for European security. We simply don’t know who is coming through,” the expert added.

Greece’s junior minister for migration Yiannis Mouzalas had admitted in September that it would be “foolish” to completely discount the possibility of jihadists sneaking into Europe among the refugee wave.

Over 800,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, with over 3,400 dying in the process.

But Mouzalas noted that the number of Europeans joining extremist groups in the Middle East was far higher.

The important part to remember here is this…the people, refugees, are fleeing this kind of treatment in their own country.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday insisted that the refugees fleeing Syria “are hunted by the same terrorists” that struck in Paris on Friday.

“We must find solutions to the drama of the people who leave their homes, hunted by the same terrorists, and drown in the Mediterranean,” Tsipras said in a televised address, after conferring with his police, migration and intelligence chiefs.

But back to the passport thing:

Holder of Syrian passport found in Paris attack was asylum seeker | Reuters

The holder of a Syrian passport found near the body of one of the gunmen who died in Friday night’s attacks in Paris was registered as a refugee in several European countries last month, authorities said.

The man, identified by Serbian authorities only by his initials A.A., came into Europe through the Greek island of Leros, where he was processed on Oct. 3, Greek officials said on Saturday. He was among 70 refugees who arrived on a small vessel from Turkey.

Serbian authorities said on Sunday the same man had been registered at a border crossing from Macedonia into Serbia a few days later.

The information is significant because if one or more of the Paris gunmen turned out to have come into Europe among refugees and migrants fleeing war-torn countries, this could change the political debate about accepting refugees.

“One of the suspected terrorists, A.A., who is of interest to the French security agencies, was registered on the Presevo border crossing on October 7 this year, where he formally sought asylum,” the Serbian interior ministry said in a statement.

“Checks have confirmed that his details match those of the person who on October 3 was identified in Greece. There was no Interpol warrant issued against this person.”

A spokeswoman for the Croatian interior ministry said the man was registered in the country’s Opatovac refugee camp on Oct. 8 and from there he crossed into Hungary and then Austria.

“There was no (police) record about him at the time of registration and there was no reason for us to stop him in any way,” she said.

Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said however the assertion that the suspect attacker had passed through Austria had “no concrete basis.”

“According to the latest information available, that is no more than conjecture and speculation,” he said.

Any identity documents and fingerprint records would have to be matched with the remains of the attackers to establish whether they passed through various countries posing as refugees, or perhaps bought or stole passports along the way.

Greek government sources said a second suspect attacker was also likely to have passed through Greece.

Following the Paris bloodshed, populist leaders around Europe have rushed to demand a halt to an influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa. Poland said it could not accept migrants under EU quotas without security guarantees.

Human Rights Watch’s Emergency Director Peter Bouckaert said on Twitter the Syrian passport found may have been fake, adding such fake documents are widely available for sale in Turkey.

“The answer to the Paris attacks and the possibility that one of the attackers came by rubber dinghy to Greece… is not to shut the door on those desperately fleeing war,” he said, calling for Europe to put in place a coherent asylum policy that would both help those on need and address security concerns raised by uncontrolled flows.

“People fleeing war need refuge. And trying to build fences and stopping them at sea only drives them deeper into the hands of criminal gangs, and drives them underground where there is no control over who comes and goes.”

Paris Attacks: What We Know and Don’t Know – The New York Times

Paris attacks highlight France’s gun control problems | World news | The Guardian

No credible threats found in US after Paris attacks as cities step up security | World news | The Guardian

No credible threats found in US after Paris attacks as cities step up security | World news | The Guardian

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: Paris. First Thoughts

Paris. First Thoughts.

Paris bleeds because it is part of a river of blood:  The Russian plane dying in the skies over Egypt, the Hazaras of Afghanistanbeing relieved of their heads, the suicide bombings in a Shiite neighborhood of Beirut, Libanon.Or so the propagandists of Daesh or ISIS or ISIL tell us.  Some of those rivers of blood may be from old rivulets, sourced from old racial hatreds (the Hazara massacre), old religious schisms (the Shias vs. the Sunnis, the Muslims vs. the Christians).  But the Daesh river of blood is real and has not yet been dammed.

And its sources are many.  I read my Twitter feed and was told that everything the deranged god-soldiers of ISIS did was caused by American oil politics and Western colonialism, as if those neo-Salafist clerics who designed ISIS had no agency, no way of choosing another form of rebellion but an extreme life-denying religious one, as if the religion they had created for themselves* from what the Saudi Wahhabism supports and funds in this world**  has played no role.  Instead, millions and millions of westerners are equally to blame, for genetic or historical reasons or at least for not voting various politicians out of power.

I read my Twitter feed and was told that everything the deranged god-soldiers of ISIS did was caused by their religion, that  every single of hundreds of millions of Muslims is just waiting to behead the first infidel they come across.  Once again, as if those neo-Salafist clerics who designed ISIS had no agency, as if millions and millions of Muslims are equally to blame, just because ISIS calls its religion theirs.

And I read my Twitter feed and was told that everything the deranged god-soldiers of ISIS did was caused by western discrimination and racism or by old religious discrimination in various Middle Eastern countries, as if those neo-Salafist clerics who designed ISIS had no agency at all.

Puppets.  ISIS consists of nothing but puppets.  Who holds the strings depends on the tweeter’s own prior beliefs, on whom he or she would wish to blame.  There are even some who believe that US has created ISIS on purpose and funds it!

And what was tweeted on Friday night and later, truly reflected the hobby-horses of various tweeters.  Frank Bruni writes and I concur:

Can’t we wait until we’ve resolved the body count? Until the identities of all of the victims have been determined and their families informed? Until the sirens stop wailing? Until the blood is dry?
Or must we instantly bootstrap obliquely related agendas and utterly unconnected grievances to the carnage in Paris, responding to it with an unsavory opportunism instead of a respectful grief?

Is this the famous death of empathy possibly caused by staring at an inanimate screen while talking to real people?  Is it the masks we wear in cyberspace which allow us to act as if we have mislaid our hearts altogether, as if all that matters is the well-being of whichever group or theory we hold most dearly?  And in counterpoint, is empty sentimentalism or patriotism  the answer we assume if then accused of heartlessness?

It’s as if many in social media forgot about the ones who lost the most in those terrorist attacks, whose lives were prematurely discarded, whose pain served a political function, whose personalities were erased, whose families were left with bleeding wounds, perhaps never to close.  In that they appear in agreement with the Daesh who also regarded the victims as less than nothing:  a bit of filth to be sucked up by the divine vacuum cleaner.

The old customs about the immediate aftermath of death serve a function:  Spend some time thinking about the deceased, give support to the family who is bereaved, sit in silence for a while, offer a cooked dish and offer help.

We don’t really have a cyberspace version of that respect for the individual.  But surely all the different commentators with their pet issues could wait a day or two before forgetting all about the actual human lives which were ended or permanently mutilated by the terrorists?

And from Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo.

Meanwhile in news outside of Paris:

U.S., allies conduct 18 strikes in Syria, Iraq: military | Reuters

Turkey: Suicide bomber wounds 5 Turkish police during raid | Miami Herald The Police were raiding a suspected Isis safe house.

Labour may back action against Syria without UN approval – Lord Falconer | Politics | The Guardian

This next one is good: Reality check: Number of displaced Syrians in Europe – Al Jazeera English

And again it must be said: Here are 10 of the worst domestic terror attacks by extreme Christians and right-wing white men

What about the debate last night? Here is a series of links that discuss just that:

Who Won the Democratic Presidential Debate in Des Moines? – The Atlantic

The Daily 202: A defensive Hillary Clinton lost last night’s debate – The Washington Post

 If you missed the debate last night, Election 2016: Democratic debate transcript: Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley in Iowa – CBS News

The Second Democratic Debate: What the Candidates Said About Paris and ISIS – The Atlantic

Huckabee: Dems More Interested in Protecting Islam’s Image Than Protecting Americans | Mediaite

I hate Huckabee.

CNN’s take of course: Hillary Clinton doesn’t capitalize on resume at debate – CNNPolitics.com

And this last batch of links are about other things in general…

Disturbing as hell:  CIA Director Documentary: ‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular’ – POLITICO Magazine

From prison to power: Aung San Suu Kyi, Mandela and others… – BBC News

Baltimore homicides top 300 for year, worst since 1999 | Reuters

Contract calls for anti-abortion group to line up counseling | WISH-TV

Yemen: Travel Ban on Women’s Rights Advocate | Human Rights Watch

Republicans Look for Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood, Repeal Parts of Health Law – WSJ

‘Poverty Pay’ Leads Wal-Mart Employees to Steal Lunches From Co-Workers – Truthdig

And lastly, a link dump about T1D:

Type 1 Diabetes: An Unrelenting Disease – US News

14 realities of having type 1 diabetes in your 20s | BreakingNews.ie

Call For Healthy Eating And Exercise On World Diabetes Day Neglects Innocent Type 1 Patients

So what are you reading about today?

I realize this is a lot of links….take it one at a time. 😉

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33 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Lights out, in the city of lights….”

  1. Sorry I accidentally hit the wrong button earlier.

  2. janicen says:

    So many reports saying that Clinton lost the debate but then, who won? Everybody acknowledges that Sanders looked shamefully weak on foreign policy and then we have O’Malley, well he’s just weak on everything so yeah, Hillary stumbled but I still don’t think she lost.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I haven’t seen the reports saying she lost, but I just read this at the WaPo about an actual poll.

      Why Hillary Clinton just became an even bigger front-runner

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/15/why-hillary-clinton-just-became-an-even-bigger-front-runner/

      • janicen says:

        In JJ’s link above…

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/11/15/the-daily-202-a-defensive-hillary-clinton-lost-last-nights-debate/

        and inside the link there are many references to her answer invoking 9/11 to justify accepting money from Wall St. I thought it was clunky and she will polish it up when it comes up again but I think it’s the only thing people have to seize on.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Thanks. I guess they had to find something to attack her about. Meanwhile the part of that answer about getting most of her contributions from women came back as one of the most striking parts of the debate for lots of the audience CBS interviewed.

          I’ll go read that article now.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Some of the critics in that WaPo article had no problem with Obama taking millions from Wall Street–far more in fact than either Hillary or John McCain in 2008.

          • Some of the critics in that WaPo article had no problem with Obama taking millions from Wall Street–far more in fact than either Hillary or John McCain in 2008.

            Oh exactly BB, I really cannot stand the crap these people are saying about Hillary. They don’t have a problem with any of the GOP nuts and their money men either.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            That was such a great answer, I got online and sent her more money right after the debate!!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      How did Hillary stumble? I missed that too.

      • NW Luna says:

        I don’t think she stumbled…It’s CDS again.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Some of the usual suspects are saying she committed a “gaffe” by claiming she gets donations from Wall Street workers because of her work after 9/11. The only other thing I’ve seen them focusing on so far is the discussion of Hillary’s Iraq vote, which took place many years ago.

          Normal people change and grow. Apparently Bernie Sanders has never changed his position on any issue. To me that signals some inflexibility.

      • janicen says:

        I meant the 9/11 reference. See my explanation above.

        • bostonboomer says:

          OK, thanks.

        • I put this in the wrong spot up top:

          I would not call it a stumble, I would call it a huh moment. I think the only one thing which bothered me last night, was the part about I take wall street money because 9/11. I did feel that sense of “say what” when she said something like, I did a lot for wall street during 9/11 so I can take their money. But, I did think that one part when she the wall street people were not endorsing her was a good point….and that she had real economist backing her plan, that too was a good answer.

      • Beata says:

        Hillary didn’t stumble. Even Fox News said Hillary was the clear winner in the debate. They went on to say she has such a strong command of all the issues, she’s basically running unopposed in the primary.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Wow. Fox News said that?

          • Beata says:

            I paraphrased but the Fox News panel speaking right after the debate said Hillary won. It was not a Fox News love fest by any means but rather an acknowledgement of Hillary’s skills as a candidate. Charles Krauthammer called her “masterful”. He said the Democratic primary was essentially over, that it isn’t “even a contest anymore”. Others on the Fox News panel had similar views.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Even on an off night, she rolled over Bernie. And O’Malley, he doesn’t even belong on the stage with Hillary.

          • That is something, about Fox News.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I don’t think there was a single question from the moderators on reproductive rights or women’s health issues in general, even though the Supreme Court has agreed to take a case on abortion rights in Texas.

  4. Ron4Hills says:

    Did anyone see Meet The Press. They showed a focus group from the debate. They asked who do you trust on terror? One hundred percent of the group raised there hands for Hills. But today the media criticizes her foreign policy answers. Talk about bias. It is infuriating.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m just letting it roll off my back at this point. It’s pretty clear she’s going to be nominated unless something really dramatic happens about her email–highly unlikely.

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    Even though it wasn’t one of her best performances, Hillary won that debate. Bernie looked inept. If he can’t use his stump speech to answer the question, then he can’t answer the question at all. O’Malley, I hate to say it, but he’s sort of a hunky doofus. He really has nothing valuable to add to the discussion, so he keeps repeating his resume. Pretty boy needs to drop out.

    And the latest poll of NH

    New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary
    Gravis Clinton 46, Sanders 25, O’Malley 3 Clinton +21

  6. Take a look at this:

    The Wingnut Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times | News Corpse

    [quote]The warped philosophy of conservatives in America has long held that the primary reason for the persistence of terrorism is that President Obama and other Democrats are reluctant to utter the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” They somehow have concluded that those magical words are key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. And they wonder why we think they’re stupid.[/quote]

  7. William says:

    The sooner O’Malley drops out, the better. I did not appreciate him jumping in to criticize Hillary right after Sanders did. Maybe after Iowa, certainly after New Hampshire. Hillary and Sanders having some debates together, would be more balanced, and even perhaps enjoyable.

    All Hillary said with regard to Wall Street donations, was that as Senator from NY, she helped with the massive rebuilding project there; and apparently some Wall Streeters appreciated that. Then Dickerson and staff found the tweet they wanted, which was undoubtedly from some Sanders supporter or group. In any event, Sanders could not do 1% of what he proposed, so what is the point of him telling us that the stock market is a con game, and that he only accepts small donations?

    Anyway, the key here is for Hillary not to alienate Sanders; and hopefully he will have the graciousness and concern for the country, to strongly endorse Hillary at some point. Some of those Sanders supporters seem fanatical, and might not vote out of spite.

  8. gregoryp says:

    Sigh! George Bush’s dumber brother is on TV right now advocating a no-fly zone. WTF? ISIS doesn’t have an Air Force. All a no-fly zone would do would be to make it easier for ISIS by keeping Syrian government troops from patrolling. These morons are just repeating a refrain that sounds good to them even if it makes no logical sense. And special forces tactical teams aren’t going to do any good now either. Need a coalition of world power and a hundred thousand to 1 million troops to go in, retake all of ISIS territory and disarm the entire populace. We have to ferret out all arms in those areas and destroy them. Then we have to establish a real police presence. Then we have to rebuild and get all of the refugees to move back home. This isn’t going to be quick, easy or cheap. It may well be impossible. We created this mess by destabilizing the whole region. Just sucks.