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Total number of comments: 357 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:41)

Zandru

Informed Comment supporter

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  • Who does Jerusalem belong To?
    • Actually, I'd go with the 1947 mandate that Jerusalem be "internationally administered." Bring in a UN force - both security and administrative - of Hindus from India. Make Jerusalem like Washington, D.C. - a jurisdiction where the residents have no voting rights and are at the mercy of non-local powers, in this case, the UN and the Hindu occupation team.

      Make sure policing by the UN team is adequate to prevent hate crimes, which will have proportionally higher penalties, as they should. Open the city for tourism, bigtime, to encourage members of ALL THREE of the Abrahamic religions to be able to safely visit. Israeli police and the Israeli military will be banned from entering this new International Zone.

      The only way to get religions to coexist, at least in this part of the world, appears to be by banning overt religious activity.

  • Obama: Palestinians deserve end to indignity of occupation
    • President Obama will have a hard time changing the US's policy towards Israel, what with The Lobby, the billionaires, and Israel's politicization toward the GOP, which now controls Congress. His change in rhetoric is good, but the real test is the follow through.

      The pressure from the EU - and the Vatican! - might make a difference. Also, I would recommend that constituents in favor of justice to Palestinians should contact their elected representatives (including the White House) and let them know they support the President's new harsher tone towards Israel, and want him to dump the dead and sterile obsession with "process" and go right to a viable independence for the nation of Palestine.

      By "viable", I mean Palestine collects all its own taxes and tariffs, without the Israeli middlemen. Palestine controls its borders, not the Israeli military. Palestine is allowed to have airports and seaports, like any other country. Palestine will also be allowed its own military. How else to keep Israel honest?

      The US, in conjunction with the EU and UN, ought to put forth a plan that includes borders for Israel. And when Israel declines to negotiate with the Palestinian government, it loses the right to negotiate the terms of the agreement.

  • Anger Translation: Why Obama was Ranting against GOP Climate Policy at Press Dinner
    • I think you're neglecting the role of Congress in our political system. Also, the Constitutional limitations and a hostile Supreme Court. Obama is still merely the President, not the King of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

    • "NG will still be required"
      No, it won't. Your "natural gas" is basically methane, a byproduct of various organic reactions. Thus, it can be produced here on the surface, from existing carbon sources.

      We can have sustainable "natural gas" and absolutely zero need to frack it out of deep rock formations - bringing up carbon that's been sequestered OUT of the biosphere for millions of years and injecting it directly into the atmosphere (often literally: there's a lot of careless leakage, not to mention the flaring that's STILL going on).

      We can recycle the carbon we've already got and get your "good buffering" that way. All those new NG-fired power plants can still be put to good use.

  • Why Gaza Casualties were so High: Israel relaxed rules re: high-explosives in populated areas
    • I guess we shouldn't be surprised. During the bombardment of Gaza, Israeli spokes were on all the news media, touting the IDF's pinpoint accuracy and surgical strikes, and how terribly careful they were to protect Palestinian civilians, even notifying them before their homes were bombed.

      This, in retrospect, should have been the tell that they were actually doing just the opposite.

  • Pakistan as Hong Kong West: China's New Silk Road & US Failure
    • "The Marshall Plan and its Japanese adjunct worked, so why are they so forgotten in American political discourse?"

      Maybe for the same reason the reigning politicians have "forgetten" Econ 101 and how Keynesian deficit spending, not austerity, is what it takes to lift a country out of recession. That's a "Democrat policy." Like WWII was a "Democrat war" and the Marshall Plan a "crazy Democrat idea."

      These days, not even the elected Democrats want to identify with the party's big successes of the 20th century.

  • Khamenei: US invented nuclear Myth; Iran will Never Invade another Country
    • US politicians can't even say the US will not initiate a nuclear attack anymore. "No first strike" as a doctrine is, incredibly, off the table for the US! And, not that long ago, it would have seemed to be a no-brainer.

  • Iran: Putin Explains to Israel's Netanyahu: Air Defense System is, like, Defensive
    • Note to Bibi: those anti-aircraft guns won't "threaten Israel" unless Israel, ya know, flies its bombers and fighters over Iran and opens fire.

  • Iran Deal: Michele Bachmann Psyched For Judgment Day
  • Why Palestine joining the International Criminal Court could be a total game changer
    • How is it that Israel collects taxes for the Palestinian Authority? How can this make any sense? (Outside of the fact that it gives Israel a deathgrip on the finances of the PA.) Why hasn't there been a demand to let the PA collect its own revenues, in all the years this has been going on? (I'm in the US, so admittedly, I miss much of any news that isn't blatantly pro-Israel.)

  • Mideast Apocalypse 2030: Why Obama wants the Palestine Issue Solved. Now.
    • But where is the United States, good old "Uncle Freier", in this scenario? Even assuming Tel Aviv's grip on the US federal government has been broken, it's unlike America to fail to intervene militarily, particularly in that region.

      One would have to assume: the Zionist lobby is totally discredited, and there may even be a feeling of revulsion for Israeli tactics. The US has dramatically cut back on its miliary, particularly as regards foreign adventurism. The US Congress AND President feel no compulsion to support Israel. Ditto for US Jewry. We're no longer a slave to oil.

      The 600-lb gorilla is otherwise "in the room" and should have been accounted for.

  • Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel's Netanyahu from the Vulcan
    • Thanks, Dr Cole, for translating the "language of diplomacy" into regular human-speak! I hope your version is reasonably accurate. One wonders which "language" the President uses when he's on the phone with "Nutty-yahoo" (Ben&Jerry's least favorite flavor)

  • Mideast Reacts with Horror: "Israel has elected Extremism and Racism"
    • You nailed it! This afternoon, the once & future PM was all Emily Litella: "Never mind...."

    • On more Intifadas:
      I'd advise NO. Palestine as a nation has begun to be officially recognized at the United Nations and by civilized nations throughout the world. Palestine has become a member of the International Criminal Court, and is filing charges of war crimes against Israel.

      On the Israeli side, even Americans are getting the news of Netanyahu's big win being driven by last minute racist appeals and a categorical rejection of any Palestinian state, ever. We may even remember this when he unleashes the next war against Gaza or even the West Bank.

      This is no time to jinx the process of accepting Palestinians as civilized, rational human beings who will use legal, peaceful means to accomplish their goals.

  • Apartheid Forever: Israel's Netanyahu rules out Palestinian Citizenship Rights
    • "We should have laid down the law..."

      Should have, could have, would have - What. Ever. The fact remains that every few months, Israel gives the US yet another opportunity to "lay down the law" - whether it's by announcing new settlements on Palestinian lands or outright invasion and war upon said lands, or just gratuituous insults to US diplomatic efforts and our elected officials.

      The US has muffed each and every new opportunity. But never fear! With "Bibi " back in charge, there will be many, many more! It's time to start working on our elected officials, if we expect any change to take place in the US's apparently perpetual acquiescence.

    • These election results show that it isn't just Netanyahu: the Israeli population, by its rallying vote, doesn't want to stop stealing Palestinian lands. The Israeli population doesn't want to dignify Palestinians by negotiating with them. The Israeli population is fine with continuing to insult the United States, secure in the knowledge that the US will always come through for them, no matter how insolently Israel behaves.

      This is a "special relationship", for sure. But it's looking less and less sustainable.

  • European Leaders: GOP Letter Helped Iran in Nuclear Negotiations
    • They don't consider President Obama - or any Democrat - to be "their" President. These Republicans don't think a Democratic President could EVER be legitimate.

  • Iran's Khamenei: GOP Letter Disgusting, shows Decline of American System
    • "a really small nation"

      You want to see "a really small nation"? Then look at Japan. Look at Germany. Then consider how these tiny geographies brought the world to war, and held it at bay for several years.

      Geographic footprint on a map is near irrelevant in modern warfare. Israel knows this, but plays most Americans like a Stradivarius whining about "poor little Israel" against the big bad Ay-rabs. (Also Persians.) As if their empty desert wastes pose some kind of active threat.

  • Did GOP Leaders Betray Our Country By Writing Letter to Iran?
    • The only thing unusual about the Republican Party treating with the mullahs of Iran is that finally they're actually doing it out in the open.

      That said, this pseudo-diplomatic letter now establishes that sedition/treason are valid political strategies for the GOP. They've already normalized the filibuster, government shutdowns, and jeopardizing the full faith & credit of the United States of America. Now, they also get to disrupt the treaty process and swear allegiance to rulers of other countries.

      What next? -- Bear in mind that under no circumstances would a Democrat be allowed to get away with any of this.

  • The Letter: Top 5 Similarities of GOP and Iran Hard Liners
    • Well, Republicans in and out of office have a long and sordid history of trying to mess up US diplomatic relations. Recall the Nixon campaign in 1968 working with the Communist government of North Vietnam to block peace talks, so LBJ and his VP Presidential candidate HHH would look bad?

      Then there's the GOP's long-standing affair with the mullahs of Iran, dating at least back to when the 1980 Reagan campaign convinced Iran to not release the American hostages holed up in the US embassy in Tehran on Jimmy Carter's watch? This formed the basis of a beautiful friendship during the Reagan administration, wherein the Reaganites secretly sold arms to Iran in violation of US law.

      So now the Republican Senate is overtly getting into the sedition business. Democrats and other Americans should not just cynically accept this.

  • Scott Walker compares unions to ISIS
    • Teachers are equivalent to Daesh terrorists. Yeah, sounds like what a drop-out might say.

  • Why Netanyahu's Congress Speech will Fail: Iran Can't be Stopped, only Monitored
    • Actually, if American Jews are eligible to vote in Israeli elections (dual citizenship), the US could make a BIG difference. There are about the same number of Jews in the US as there are in Israel.

  • Israel earmarks vast area of Palestinian Hebron/ al-Khalil land for annexation
    • This is another reason that you should tell your Senators and Congressmen to boycott the Netanyahu speech in March.

  • When you've Lost Bernie Sanders: How Netanyahu destroyed the Israel Lobby
    • "11 congresspersons and one senator [are not] a stampede"

      Give them time. Last week, there were only one or two, total. Now there are 12. The ball is just starting to roll.

  • Big Oil wants N. Dakota to ease radioactive waste laws on Fracking
    • It's not just the NORM, it's the TENORM (technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring radioactive material) that's produced in drilling and fracking operations. Local papers have found that drilling companies were stashing their highly radioactive filters in abandoned gas stations and other unattended places, instead of properly disposing of them in licensed landfills. Buildings that were literally filled with this stuff were found all over the state.

      There are the filters, the fluids that come back up the hole, the scale that forms in the pipes and casing - all sources of radiation, all regulated.

      What's wrong with just letting The Free Market® (in Whose Name We Prey) take care of the problem? Proper disposal of radwaste is a cost of doing business. No reason the government should step in and bail out/subsidize the lavish lifestyles of these freeloading losers, right?

  • Netanyahu & Boehner: How Israel went from being a Democratic to a Republican Project
    • "(a majority of Israeli Jews are actually arabs themselves being blissfully ignored)"

      Yeah, well what US supporters of Israel don't know about the Israeli experiment is basically EVERYTHING in Israel's history.

  • Obama, Modi and India's Solar Future
    • The expansion of solar energy in India is great news! India will be fortunate to be able to skip much of the 19th century Industrial Revolution-style carbon pollution by going to solar instead. China has found out how much environmental devastation results from trying to modernize its population the old fashioned coal&oil-powered way.

      Unfortunately, NPR yesterday preferred to concentrate on a new nuclear power agreement whereby US nuke builders would be able to build in India WITHOUT the normally-required indemnity insurance required by the Indian government.

      As too few Americans know, the only thing making nuclear power economically-viable in the US is the Price Anderson Act, which provides effectively unlimited coverage to nuke operators via the federal government - us taxpayers.

      American companies attempting to get any kind of liability insurance that ISN'T Price Anderson will find that it's basically impossible, at any price. Insurance companies put in explicit exclusions for anything dealing with "radiation" or "nuclear." If a nuclear power plant had to buy insurance on the free market, they could not remain in business.

      And really - why in the world would one wish to build a multibillion-$ facility, requiring containment, exclusion zones, radiation protection and monitoring, terrorist protection, etc - to simply BOIL WATER - when all you really need to do is concentrate sunlight on said water?

  • Netanyahu Imported by GOP to ensure Iran War
  • Why Martin Luther King would support Pres. Obama's Tax on Super-Rich
    • I like the idea of increasing the cap gains rate for people with high incomes (I almost typed "high earners", but really, few of these folks "work" - they mainly watch the dividends roll in).

      It's also about time for a securities transaction tax. It doesn't need to be high - let's assume for argument 0.1% per transaction. You sell $100,000 of stock, you pay the feds $100. This only begins to bite if you sell/buy/resell/rebuy etc the same securities many times per second.

      Simple economic methods like this - hey! use the power of The Market (In Whose Name we Prey) - will not only raise money for the Treasury from the high rollers; it will help curb the bane of lightning-fast trading which has made a mockery of the stock exchange.

      And seriously - if we have no problem with brokerage firms, fund managers, and the like each taking their cut on every transaction, why not the federal government, who makes it all possible? Why not?

  • Can History Resolve the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict?
    • If Americans actually were aware of these facts - or any actual facts about Israel's zionist project - they probably wouldn't give Netanyahu the level of approval they currently do.

      Maybe even Sen. Lindsey Graham might remember that he's an American, not an Israeli...

  • Will Women bear the brunt of Climate Change and its Inequalities?
    • The Oxfam "Sisters on the Planet" program has long recognized that women are at the bleeding edge of climate change. It's great to see all these women's groups in many countries getting the assistance they need to meet the challenge.

  • Green Continent? Will Solar Power allow Africa to Leapfrog Expensive Grid-Building?
    • "The Third Wave" by Allen Toffler, way back in the 1970s, predicted that modern advances in electronics, computing, energy generation, etc would permit "Third World" nations to skip the Industrial Revolution steps in their development and move directly to the 21st century. It looks as if this is actually happening!

  • Why the Founding Fathers thought banning Torture Foundational to the US Constitution
    • It is long past due that Americans of lefty political orientation start to call out the GOP for its blatant anti-Americanism. This discussion of torture should be read by all Democrats in public office. Maybe we constituents ought to send them the link.

  • Massive Oil spill from major pipeline threatens Israel nature reserve
    • Rule 1 about pipelines: They leak.

      Any word on who's pipeline this is, anyway? Is it one of The Usual Suspects?

  • Top Five Washington Assumptions on Mideast that Are not True
    • Thanks for this strong dose of sanity on a Monday morning, Gen. Bacevich! The US government, unfortunately, has a lot of inertia when it comes to changing its course and and even more so its world-view. But even more significantly, there are big powerful wealthy lobbies that keep these five assumptions from ever being questioned.

  • Israel and Mississippi: Racist Plans for 2nd Class Citizens and Religious Legislation
    • I'm afraid that most Americans will just shrug and say "Well, OBVIOUSLY." Of course Israel is "a Jewish state". Of course Israel is "the Jewish homeland of the Jewish people." That's what it was founded to be, that's WHY it was founded.

      We Americans have very little sympathy (not to mention very little knowledge) of all of those crazy Arabs hanging around where they're not wanted. If they don't like being oppressed, they should just leave.

      In short, the 70+ years of AIPACkish lobbying and news spinning in the US has succeeded. It'll take an equivalent effort to unwind it.

  • American Public's Rewards for voting GOP control of Congress (Political Cartoon)
    • Good summary. What WERE we thinking?!

      Oh yeah -- "freedom." No more "free loaders" (except the large corporations and 1%). "Personal responsibility" (for thee, but not me). Lower taxes, yeah!!! And, of course, "patriotism" (the first refuge of the scoundrel). Plus, the mandatory kick in the hindquarters of all them hippies from the sixties, uppity wimmenfolk, uppity colored people, and don't forget the preee-verts.

      I feel as if I've gone back in time...

  • Turkish President Alleges Muslims 'discovered' America before Columbus
    • Impressive, if true. However, Leif Erikson and the Vikings reached America around 1000, and actually had settlements in Canada.

  • G20 conclude "Climate Change Summit:" Obama Pressures Australia as PM presents lonely defense of Coal
    • When companies start profiting from manufacturing and selling alternative energy systems, and countries see their economies rebounding as a result, the rush to wind/solar/etc will be on. Australia needs to remember the old stockbroker's adage: "Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance."

      And "clean coal"? Fuggetaboudid. No such animal.

  • A Day Late & a Dollar Short: Obama & China agree on Languid Climate Goals
    • Okay, so we all understand that the handshake between China and President Obama was too little, too late and basically irrelevant. Plus, we've elected ourselves a Congress that will never, ever come to grips with global warming. Good work, USA! Better start looking for that wormhole out near Jupiter.

      However, I'd prefer to think that this do-almost-nothing agreement is AT LEAST a start, a breaking of the logjam the US has imposed on its political system. For one thing, it's making our new Republican Congress go crazy (-er?): for years they'd been saying that the US cannot and will not lift a finger unless China (and India) go first. Now, they'll need to harp on India and try to affirmatively block the legal authorization that the Preident already has to implement changes in environmental policy. It's really a shame that this agreement didn't materialize a month before the election; maybe a few Dems would have voted. Today's Democrats just don't "do" politics, I guess. Or the Republican undercover foreign policy team got to China first, as they did with Vietnam and Iran.

      But, getting back to the mandatory pessimism. The article cites all kinds of carbon emission figures -- where did they come from? Are they calculated, based on US fossil fuel consumption? If so, there is NO accounting for the vast clouds of lost natural gas that we now know are emitted from fracking and other petroleum production sites, and hover over them like a deadly greenhouse shroud. The US isn't decreasing its emissions; it's boosting its greenhouse effect exponentially. We may cut back on coal and petroleum USAGE, but if we keep releasing methane at increasing rates, we're just kidding the Chinese and rest of the world.

  • The New McCarthyism on Israel: Naming and Shaming . . . Hillel
    • Well, I apologize for being a bigot. I took my description from the article itself, where it says

      "The guidelines grew out of work by the Anti-defamation League which in 1974 defined the “new anti-Semitism” as criticism of Israel and reinforced that concept with a publication in 1982. "

      We may say that opposing particular actions of Israel is not "anti-semitic", but the most powerful Jewish and Israeli organizations say otherwise.

    • Good listing of the problems! I'm particularly relieved that younger Jews are questioning the blind worship of Israel that's taken over "political Judaism."

      The current policies of Israel are building a severe backlash, a new "anti-semitism" that is clearly based on actual facts, documented on video, and visible to the world. This is unlike the old medieval ("traditional") anti-semitism, which was rooted in unhelpful interpretations of the Bible, scurrilous rumors, and general malice towards people who acted different, set themselves apart, and tended to be economically successful.

      This new anti-semitism is rooted to Israel's violations of international law and actual war crimes. It's becoming increasingly clear that Israel has used up its "victim credit" as an excuse, but just keeps on spending. We can all hope that the younger generation of Jews can get the attention of the Israeli public and change Israel's policies in time to avoid total disaster.

  • Anti-Science Congress cut $600 mn. from Agency Leading Ebola Response
    • This would be an excellent time, just before the November general election, for Democrats AND the Obama adminstration to stop saying that the CDC has handled the massive budget cuts "nicely."

      With Republican-leaning voters whipped into a frenzy of fear over Ebola-bearing ISILs coming across the southern border, and demanding major interdictions against all foreigners, this would be the time to start laying out just what the CDC had to cut, and why there still isn't an Ebola vaccine, even though work started over 6 years ago.

      And WHO it was who demanded those across-the-board, draconian cuts. Name names. Count votes. Give people the information they need to vote intelligently.

  • Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution
    • Wow! Perhaps the new alliance with Hamas is putting some steel into Mr. Abbas's backbone.

  • US strikes ISIL oil fields in Quest to Defund it: But will it Replace oil with Fracking?
    • I'm confused. The article talks about the US bombing "refineries", not oil production facilities, as everyone seems to be assuming. The refining infrastructure is a lot more concentrated than production, and thus forms a better choke point.

      And, need I add that cutting back on world oil refining capability will ultimately benefit the US. Koch Bros?

      Output of 100,000 bbl/da is certainly trivial when compared with world usage. However, its sale gives a nice chunk of change to ISIS, so its loss will be felt.

  • NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies that had no Effect
    • Not that I entirely disagree with your statements on the importance of money, but last I heard, elections are still won by the candidates that get the most VOTES.

      You may not be able to be a Koch-size contributor, but you can vote, and you can mobilize your friends, neighbors, and associates to vote. "When Democrats vote, Democrats win" is one of the more encouraging slogans for Get Out The Vote efforts. (Replace "Democrats" with the party of your choice, of course.)

      Oh, and this (9/23) is National Voter Registration Day. You can't vote if you're not registered.

    • Thanks, Mr. Bodden! I just read similar sentiments over on The Rude Pundit's blog (rudepundit.blogspot.com).

      Today Democracy Now! (democracynow.org) covered the big march, and some of the folks interviewed mentioned that they had worked hard for 8 months to organize it. Eight months! Imagine if they had spent all that time, energy, and money in getting a better Congress, instead of a big vanity parade.

    • Too many people haven't realized that it isn't the Sixties anymore. Demonstrations aren't novel or newsworthy. When your main media sources are owned by the wealthy and big corporations, it's easy to just downplay or even ignore those weird folks walking down the middle of the street in the city center, where few people live or are out on the streets. If a demonstration takes place and it isn't in the news, did it really happen?

      And what's with the "demonstration"? What are they "demonstrating"? Their frustration? What I would appreciate, and I'm probably not alone in this, is concrete and definite information on what I can do about the problem.

      * Is there a local or regional lobbying group that I can join?
      * Are there template letters that I can send to Congress, and how do you contact those people, anyway?
      * What are some technological or behavioral solutions, and how can I promote them to my elected representatives?
      * What ameliatory measures can I adopt that aren't totally trivial (like unplugging your TV when it's turned off to save microvolts!!!!), and will encourage the neighbors to adopt them, the retailers to sell them, and the manufacturers to make and promote them?

      For me, just strutting down the street with inflamatory signs doesn't cut it. It's what they do the next day, and the day after that, and the years after that, that matters. The "march" is just vanity.

  • Not the Onion: Shooting Range raises Age Limit to 12 after 9-year-old girl Kills Instructor with Uzi
    • This year's winner of the "Darwin Award"! For giving a machine gun, set to 'full automatic' mode, to a small child, and then standing on the side that the weapon will rotate towards when fired! Personal responsibility, man.

      Oh, and he may also have made an anti-gun crusader out of the little girl, possibly even her parents. This guy probably won't win any posthumous awards from the NRA.

  • Blown Chances in Gaza Israel and the U.S. Miss Many Chances to Avoid War
    • My previous attempt timed out during editing! Here it is again:

      Good questions! I think Israel’s exit strategy is when they get it all, and all the inconvenient Palestinians are either dead or fled.

      I’m less confident in guessing Hamas’s goals. At the very least, I think they would insist on an independent Gaza, and probably an independent and fully contiguous West Bank as well: no Israeli guards or checkpoints internally; a free flow of goods and population on the borders; airports. It seems totally unreasonable that an independent Palestinian state be demilitarized: this just tempts “mischief” from Israel.

      Going by the last century or so of Israel's history, none of these goals would ever be acceptable to Israelis. No wonder they won't even talk.

  • Veiled Mona Lisa, Missiles over Big Ben: Israeli War Propaganda Hits New Lows
    • On that "American accent" -- a few weeks ago, an NPR interview featured an Israeli general (?) with a polished BRITISH accent. NPR/PBS listeners react positive to this kind of thing in a big way, and it's a far cry from the standard Israeli accient, which sounds reminiscent of a semi-literate eastern European Elmer Fudd. I thought it was a PR masterstroke.

  • Israel & Palestine both Need to Root out the Hate
    • This is really great. Although it seems small, and it'll probably take decades to bear fruit, the Kids4Peace effort seems to be one of the best ways to bring Palestinians and Israelis together so that a fair and just peace can occur. Thanks, Mr Englander, for this note of hope!

      Reading comment boards and listening to statements by Israelis in the news, it appears too many of them have lost the ability to feel empathy. Many Israelis seem to feel that their sense of unease over distant booms from rockets is somehow more significant and valid than the feeling of a Palestinian watching his home and family literally blown apart.

      Worse is the impression that, having become the bully of the Middle East, Israel is relishing its role as invincible, unstoppable destroyer. You can almost hear Take that, Adoph!

      Queue up the new generation. This one has become dangerously obsolete.

  • Israel's Gaza Campaign Endangers US Security: Why Obama & Kerry are Furious
    • This is when I continue to deplore another one of the classic George Bushisms, "We can't reward 'bad behavior'", which so memorably crystalizes thought... in the worst way possible.

      I've heard this argument from Netanyahoo and other Israeli officials. It's the all-purpose excuse: when your adversary is so desperate that he does uncivil things, this negates the need to address any of the problems that motivated those actions. He was 'bad." He gets nothing. End of story.

      The United States needs to stop buying into this pathetic excuse to avoid talking with Hamas, or the PLO, or the PA, or indeed, any Palestinian. I'm with spyguy: the US needs to lay out, in detail, a plan for peace, and then insist it be followed. The two parties will never arrive at an agreement, since it's near-impossible to ever even get them together.

      To make the situation clearer, the $3.2B destined for Israel should immediately be rebudgeted to the Veterans Administration. This should make the deficit hawks happy.

  • If Israel Is In Mortal Danger, Why Did Bloomberg Fly There? (The Young Turks)
    • Great! Everybody is noticing this now. How can Israel claim that it's "very existence is threatened" by Hamas's bombs ... but YOUR air flight is in no danger at all?

      So, which one is it?

  • On 'Human Shielding' in Gaza: The Israeli army has tried to justify striking civilian areas
    • Actually, if Israel has an "Iron Dome" starwars missile system which protects it from all of Hamas's primitive rockets, why does Israel have ANY need to attack the putative launch sites and sources of these rockets? No Israeli can possibly be in danger, because of the hi-tech defensive system! (Not to mention the pathetic record of Hamas's rockets in hitting anything.) This "ultimate defense" concept was the reason the United States and Soviet Union signed a treaty to ban such systems: because, with sufficient protection against the missiles from the other side, there would no longer be a deterrant against starting a nuclear war. Not as "MAD" as it sounds!

      The obvious conclusion is that Israel just wants to kill Palestinian civilians and destroy their homes and livelihoods. No wonder they have to slap on an awful lot of lipstick for the American audience.

  • From Kerry to Selena Gomez & Rihanna, Israel's Claims of Precision, Compassion are Dissed
    • There was a report in today's (7/21) Albuquerque Journal from a graduate of the University of New Mexico who was vacationing in Israel. She gives a sympathetic portrayal of Israeli suffering in Tel Aviv: spending days at the beach, dancing in nightclubs full of people, watching the World Cup from sidewalk cafes. Oh, and sometimes warning sirens sound and Israeli jets fly over, which is so scary she has to sleep with her windows closed. "Civilian life has remained relatively regular," she notes and ends with the obligatory "I can't help but wonder what America's response would be if it were under attack."

      Clearly, she has no idea of what it means to be "under attack."

  • The Court Trial of Bibi Netanyahu
    • Excellent! I do appreciate your summarizing the Netanyahu replies as one-liners which get to the essence of what his response would have been. (And yes, we all know the standard responses, which trolls keep spewing out on every comment board and Israeli officials elaborate upon...)

      In actuality, of course, there would be literally hours of hasbara, irrelevant and inaccurate historical alusions, zionist propaganda, anti-(Muslim)-semitism, legalistic word-chopping, etc.

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