Member Profile

Total number of comments: 421 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:41)


Showing comments 421 - 401

  • Why is Intel Community Targeting Kushner?
    • Thanks for this, Mr. Page! Let's further call it the "professional bureaucracy" to emphasize that these are people who know their jobs, understand their responsibilities, believe in following the law, and are in it to serve the public. (Yes, I know there will always be a few exceptions.)

      One of the right wing's highly successful tactics is to rebrand good things in evocative and insulting ways. Here we have "deep state." Before that, "family re-unification" became "chain immigration." We've endured the "estate tax" as "death tax" for far too long. It's time to push back.

  • The Fempire Strikes Back: #MeToo and the Man-Monsters
    • Women have always had a hard time getting their stories of assault taken seriously. As noted, the man sets it up so there are no independent witnesses, and thus it's a "he said, she said" case. Then, more normal men frequently refuse to believe a man could possibly act that way, "She has to be lying!"

      At this particular moment, it seems that women are finally being heard! Yet now, they're criticized for "waiting so long." This is a heads up to younger, more technically-savvy women: DOCUMENTATION. Phone video. Take advantage of any surveillance cams, preferrably with mics. Let there be no doubt.

  • The Rapture of Dominionists: Now Evangelicals are Dictating US Mideast Policy
    • It's too bad that the "book of Revelation" wasn't relegated to the Apocrypha many centuries ago. History shows that people anticipating the End of the World tend to be right - for themselves. And literature, from Oedipus Rex (or earlier) to Harry Potter and Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice & Fire to purists) emphasizes that those who try to force prophesy pay heavily.

  • Another way Trump will get us Killed: to move US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
    • Josh Marshall, over at Talking Points Memo, had some useful commentary on Trump's impulsive decision:

      Here are a few excerpts:
      The motivation: "The idea that you would just do something like this purely to gratify the Republican base, spurred by the President’s boredom and desire to upset people. That’s all unthinkable. Yet that is pretty clearly what is going on here."

      What the Zionist right wing in the US is saying, through Trump, by this move: "What keeps the conflict going is Israel’s and the international community’s indulgence of unrealistic expectations on the part of the Palestinians. The path to peace is to make it totally clear, with established facts, that the Palestinians will essentially get nothing. "

      Marshall concludes "Obviously nothing possibly good can come of this."

  • Could Africa skip Pipelines straight to Solar Panels?
    • Moving directly to renewables would be smart, and in fact, would fit right in with Alvin Toffler's 1980 book "The Third Wave", which postulated that third world nations had no need to go through the Industrial Revolution, the Petroleum Phase, etc, but should instead leap directly into the 21st century.

      The sad part is, the United States could be getting in on the market as well as applying its foreign aid to help build renewable energy installations in African countries. But the US has chosen to actually go backwards in technology. I dread the announcement of the first coal-fired automobile from Detroit. Not to mention the significant tax rebate we'll get if we buy one.

  • World's Cheapest Solar Power in Mexico a Coal-Killer
    • "How would you like your electricity bill to fall by 80% or 90%?"
      I keep making this argument to my rightwing acquaintences. If you owned a business - or even a house - why would you want to have to keep buying and paying for fuel every month, when you could pay for solar collectors (or say wind turbines) once and get all or most of your power needs FREE THEREAFTER?

      Their only response has been that some days are cloudy and nights are dark. Sure, but this is ALBUQUERQUE. Over 300 "nice days" per year. Forget that some of your power might have to be delivered via PNM; a substantial fraction, maybe most, would not - and that cuts way back on carbon emissions overall. Wait! Scratch that! It cuts back how much of YORE MUNNEY you have to spend - have to remember the audience...

  • Groping for Manhood: Time for the Bystanders to Challenge the Bullies
    • This is good. Be nice if Mr Lipsyte's attitude catches on. It would be a shame if (white) men had to be banned from the workplace; many of them are reasonably good people who know how to behave decently, and many have talent and ability.

  • Former Trump NSC Adviser Flynn Accused of $15M deportation Deal with Turkey
  • Former CIA Dir.: Trump is afraid of Putin Kompromat
    • How quickly we forget. The US intelligence agencies DID NOT "blow it" on Iraq. Their conclusions were that Iraq did not have nuclear weapons, nor a significant nuke program. Iraq was in compliance with, and permitted, IAEA inspections. This didn't fit with the Cheney/Bush narrative, so data was cherry-picked, stove-piped, and distorted to make a bogus case for intervention.

      As Mueller's investigation keeps illustrating, the intelligence community was right about Russian interference, too. And complicity looks even more likely.

  • Prince Charles baffled no US President will take on Israel Lobbies
    • The screams of outrage following the publication of Prince Charles' letter should tell him pretty clearly why the United States has never challenged the Israel lobby or Israel - and may never.

  • Was Democratic Nomination rigged for Clinton against Sanders?
    • As Democrats, we all need to dedicate our time and energy to fighting one another tooth and nail while the Republican Party goes increasingly off the rails and the country is in the hands of its delusional con man. That's nothing in comparison to the awful possibility that our own party might have a couple of slightly-differing liberal factions. Perspective, people!!

  • Dear John Kelly: Yes, Slavery was wrong in 1860s & Muslims helped Convince Americans to end It
    • Er, because nearly everybody else believed women should be subjugated? Seriously, it wasn't unique to Islam and it's still alive and well today, even in the broadcast and movie studios.

    • Thanks for the followup on Columbus. (Will follow up on your links!) As I recall, Columbus was tried, convicted, and imprisoned for his treatment of the "Indios" by the Spanish government. They knew brutality and torture, even "500 years ago."

  • SNL: Kelly Anne Conway as "It" devours Anderson Cooper
    • This was really excellent. Makes me think it's past time for me to start watching SNL again.

  • On one day in May, Italy got 87% of its Electricity from Renewables
  • Top Five Rogues Pardoned by Presidents; will Trump try to be 6th?
  • What's with the Victorious GOP's obsession with Civil War?
    • "What’s odd is that this sort of rhetoric is usually reserved for whoever loses a presidential election, as a kind of half-serious pressure valve. "

      Sore winners. The reactionary right have been sore winners for the last 30 years. It's like rage is their only emotion, the primal scream of (slightly diminished) white male privilege.

      It's no wonder Democrats are unable to "compromise" with them. Even when you give these guys the whole pie, they think they deserved more.

  • Top 5 things Trump is doing to us Worse than insulting Mika
    • Weapons of mass distraction. Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) had a great editorial last week on how Trump's nasty and vicious outbursts all but require a response, lest silence look like complicity. So he can easily distract the news cycle from Russia, the environment, the tax code, Russia, judicial appointments, Russia, access to medical care, Russia, foreign relations, and of course, Russia.

      He's the bright shiny object - look, look!

    • "Medicaid is for low-income and disabled patients."
      Well, in theory. But in fact, don't the majority of the dollars spent go for keeping elderly (largely white) folks in nursing homes?

      The "low income" component allows Trump's dupes to feel good about cutting off all those lazy parasites. But wait 'til Grandma comes home and requires 24x7 care.

  • Why it Matters that the World thinks US under Trump is Laughingstock
    • Well, the US still worships "freedom" and "democracy". But their meanings have changed. "Freedom" is basically gross irresponsibility. And "democracy" describes representation of the worthy - the white guys (sorry, ladies!) with enough leisure time to jump through an increasing series of hoops to register and to vote.

  • Trump's Folly: Oil is a Worthless Commodity and Saudi's Crown Prince Knows It
    • It's really too bad that the United States has cheerfully surrendered most of its leadership positions under the pretext of "becoming great again." In technology, we want to go back to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. In politics, we like feudalism. In international relations, we like mercantilism. In journalism, whatever sells advertising is what gets printed or broadcast or put on the main web page. ("Donald Trump")

      The "journalism" part is particularly damaging. Not only has news been dumbed down and reduced to "one big thing per day, at most", a whole major segment of the US population believes all the news that contradicts what they want to hear MUST be "fake." The US may be in a hole that it can't dig itself out from.

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  • Sen Schumer parodies Trump's Fawning Cabinet Meeting
    • Schumer's approach of making fun of Trump is good. Nothing Trump hates more than being laughed at. Expect him to tweet out something stupid, which his staff will be forced to defend. Maybe even something that's (further) incriminating.

  • How Trump should have responded to London Attacks if he were Normal
    • If Americans wanted a sane, liberal minded, well informed, compassionate president, they would have elected one.

  • Russians Troll Trump, release Photos of Meeting
    • Ask him at the end of the week - I hear he's off for the Middle East even as we speak...

      And I'm sure Trump will be coming back with all kinds of historical "revelations" (which nobody ever knew before or ever thought about) that were poured into his ear by whoever he talked with last.

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens
    • Right now, they've got the dual distractions of the Gorsuch confirmation and the vote on TrumpCare. If not for that, we might get a series of inane, misspelled "tweets" griping about - oh, I don't know, maybe all the mean people saying mean things about that GOOD Mexican, Mr. Nuñes. Or the UNTRUE! ALL LIES!!! fake news that Melania won't sleep with him anymore. Bad! B-A-A-A-A-D!!

  • Trump covers Rockwell: Sometimes it Feels like, Obama's Watching You
    • Re: distracting Congress.
      Indeed. The Republican Congress has been refusing to investigate the Russian connection, in any of its many and burgeoning manifestations for months now - but they've leapt right into starting up an investigation of the bogus Obama Wiretapping. And Hillary's email server. BENGHAZI!!!

  • Top 5 Ways Obama is Behind Leaks, Protests against Trump
    • "His only reaction possible is to strike out."
      Hey, don't give the media any more excuses to normalize this guy, nor placate or flatter him! Some news outlets are just now starting to rediscover that long-lost, arcane art: JOURNALISM.

  • Spurned Reporters should dump Trump Briefings, turn to Investigative Journalism
    • You left out "both siderism". It seems an ironclad rule that, if you report a Bad Thing about Republicans or the rightwing (please - they are NOT by any definition "conservatives"), you must include something to "balance" the article that shows how Democrats/the left are doing something just as bad.

      Like, most recently, the obvious facts that Trump and his various families are working his position as "president" bigtime to make as much money as possible. Visit or call foreign countries, remind them who's "president" and ask for "a good deal" for Trump, Inc. Tell foreign heads of state that they really need to stay in Trump Suites while they're in DC. Hold all your public events in Trump properties, bill the federal government, and the money goes right into your pocket. Oh, and he's doubled his rates on everything. Et cetera.

      And the Dems? Well, while Hillary was Secretary of State, Bill was running the Clinton Foundation, and getting contributions from all around the world. Zingo!!! Not that any quid pro quo or even favoritism on the part of the Obama government could ever be found, but "there were dark clouds..." Equivalence! Clinton Did It First!!

    • Coward Donald Trump won't allow any news outlet that doesn't flatter him to attend White House briefings. He says he won't attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, because he's thin-skinned and can't take a joke.

      What a loser!

      Pass it along.

  • Buyers' Remorse: Americans think Trump is bad at almost Everything
    • I wouldn't blame "the founders" so much as the 200+ years of their successors (including US) failing to amend this thing.

      I mean, come ON! We've amended the constitution to make "Senator" a popularly elected office, not an appointment by the state's legislature. We now let people without real estate vote; also former slaves, native Americans, and even women. AND reduced the age at which they can vote. We've changed how the apportionment of Representatives to population works, when the newly-elected take office, set term limits on the presidency (and how's that workin' for us?)

      The same can - and should - be done for the electoral college, a sordid remnant of slavery. The blame is still with "the voters".

    • "I saw on social media someone quoting a Trump supporter that they want us to give them a way to say they were wrong and made a mistake, without our telling theses voters that they were bad people."

      Well, they are "bad people." Folks who at best voted thoughtlessly, without thinking it through, and folks who were drunk on the fake fact universe of the right wing and hopped up on rage and hatred. I don't see why they need to get a pass; these people need to be discouraged from ever doing this again. I say, rub their noses in it. Miss no opportunity to remind them how they screwed up, how they let themselves be snookered, how they're being ripped off. How the 21st Century Republican Party is a con job.

  • Trump plots to keep Palestinians Stateless forever
    • So, apparently changing your religion negates all your property rights?! Who knew?

      And conversely, claiming a particular religion gives you inalienable rights to other people's property. Sigh.

  • Psychologists: Trump's Rage makes him incapable of Serving safely as President
    • Few, if any, of us never lie. But even fewer of us resort to the ridiculously overblown, easily disproven, self-serving lies that the so-called "president" does, nor stand by them when the lies are debunked or deny saying them, when it's all there on videotape. Much less doing both these evasions simultaneously.

    • $250!!! The man is a second George Soros!

  • Can Peak Gerrymandering by GOP be Challenged by Progressives?
    • "the American experiment a failure"

      Well, maybe. But if you'll recall, the original design was that the system would continue to work in spite of AND BECAUSE all the parties would be motivated by self-interest.

      Where it severely fell apart near the end of the 20th was when simple decency, recognition of rules, and (I'm serious) actual patriotism were completely jettisoned and replaced by party interests by one (1) of our two permissible political parties. Worse, this has been celebrated as "thinking 'out of the box'!" and "the rules have changed!!" And no one dares question anymore that the democratically-elected representative government is an alien, oppressive, evil force.

  • Image of the Day: "Jonah and the Whale" (Persian Miniature)
    • Well, you're not half so pedantic as Herman Melville. His detailed review of whale art through the ages notes that it's a rarity to find a horizontal-tailed whale portrait. Nearly every artist assumed the "great fish" had a fish tail.

      .... well, at least up through 1850 or so ...

  • Yemen withdraws blanket approval for US action after Trump's botched Raid
    • So Yemen has told Trump that US military incursions are no longer "approved"? Oh, I imagine the "vulgar talking yam" (per Charles Pierce) is shaking in his loafers. Just wait for him to tweet out that so what? If the US wants to come in, it'll come in and just try to stop us.

      After all, isn't that about what he informed Mexico last week?

  • Mexico 'Astonished' at Israel's Netanyahu's Tweet backing Wall
    • Israel is already growing less popular in the US. Binding itself to the Most Hated President To Date (he's number one!!) isn't going to improve Israel's prospects with Americans. To say nothing of the rest of the world.

      And, incidentally, Trump's most trusted advisor Steve Bannon is not only a promoter of antisemitism, but also holocaust denial. As are too many of Trump's admirers.

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy?
    • Although some may despair that the corporatized, neo-liberal Democratic Party can be changed, remember this: the Dems were originally the pro-slavery party, and within living memory, stood foresquare for Jim Crow.

  • Assange Agrees to Extradition if US Releases Chelsea Manning
    • Well, Assange/Wikileaks did a lot for Trump by fencing those apparent DNC emails and getting the lefty-liberal side all riled up against "Killary." Trump owes him.

  • The Russian Honeypot: Putin has had big plans for Donald Trump
    • "I don’t think Russia directly tampered with the vote in November. "

      Probably not "the vote" itself (the tabulating machines, etc) but most definitely the "wetware" that went into those voting booths and filled out their ballots. Or simply stayed home in dismay and depression.

      We all need to be saying it: Trump's apparent victory is questionable at best. He's not a legitimate president.

  • Meryl Streep calls out Trump: Having Bully-in-Chief Coarsens whole Culture
    • Plages is right.

    • "$5000 gowns"? Are you serious, Mr. Glad? What do you think Mr. Trump's suits cost? Moreover, this is the Golden Globes Award ceremony, for which Ms. Streep is accepting a Lifetime Achievement award - and you begrudge her dressing up a little??

      Please - get a life.

  • Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House
    • "Contempt and disdain"? Not hardly, when any "tweet" that Trump farts out at 3am is suddenly the top national/international news and blared out and repeated endlessly 24x7.

      And why not? It gets the clicks and eyeballs, and that means revenue. The US has decided it wants a "for profit" media, not a "free press." This is what happens. All fits in nicely with the "fascist" model of combining government and industry. Which, non-coincidentally, Trump Industries is using to make Big Money already.

  • Now is the time for Obama to Recognize Palestine
    • ... and any decision is easy for his successor to reverse, preferably with great fanfare and adulation. This is what happened in the Bill Clinton/Gw Bush transition.

  • No, America, it wasn't Russia: You did it to Yourself
    • re: "it's the ELECTORAL COLLEGE"

      That doesn't make it right. Anybody in favor of democracy or representational government ought to be howling at this travesty and working to amend the Constitution. Oh, and lobbying the Republican electors to look at the news and then vote their consciences - assuming some of them have consciences. Or demanding either a re-do, or simply acclaiming the person with the most votes to be the winner.

  • Top 4 Republican Plagiarisms of the Democrats
    • Re #3: "Watch what we DO, not what we SAY" was what the Nixon folk always told their Republican supporters.

  • Sufi Boxer Muhammad Ali's last fight was against Extremism & Politicians' Islamophobia
    • Well, it's always seemed to be ironic to me that Ali considered "Cassius Clay" to be a "slave name," given that he was named after Cassius Marcellus Clay, a noted abolitionist during the 19th century.

  • Are Sanders' Criticisms of Israeli Occupation Policies unprecedented in a Presidential Campaign?
    • This really is, as the Vice President might say, a "BFD." And yet another reason Sen. Sanders is striking a chord with the younger, lefter voters.

  • White Oregon Terrorists mocked: YeeHaw-dists, Y'all-Qaeda
    • "the feds send in a team"

      You may or may not recall, but this went over very badly at Ruby Ridge and Waco in the 1990s and created a whole passel of "martyrs to gummint tyranny", as well as accompanying conspiracy theories. RR was what inspired good ol' boy Timmy McViegh to blow up the Murrah federal building in OK City, as a result.

      Now, doing basically nothing has just emboldened more of these Judas Maccabee wannabes, and encouraged a big increase in the number of wingnut "militias", so the "let them wear themselves out" strategy leaves a lot to be desired also.

      This being a presidential election year, any kind of effective government action will be cited as evidence of Democrat tyranny, and mobilize the wingnut (Repub) base. So we may be stuck just letting these yahoos tear up and damage as much as they can in the wildlife refuge, at least until the second week in November.

  • How the NRA is harming American Security: Mass Shootings as Serial Terrorism
    • Dont't call them "animals." They were living, thinking human beings, just like the rest of us, but with some very different motivations and beliefs. And what they did was a crime, not some act of evolutionized instinct.

      And don't pooh-pooh the very idea of "laws", just because some people will break them. EVERY law has been broken at one time or another. Hey! People have been killing one another for tens of millenia, so let's just abolish the laws against murder, right? They clearly haven't worked.

      What laws - whether to control access to firearms or limit killings - do is:

      * Impose barriers, making it more difficult for people to impulsively commit the crime.

      * Impose penalties for lawbreaking, such as fines, confiscation, imprisonment, and in some jurisdictions, even death.

      It would, as you suggest, be helpful if there were a stronger societal disapproval of the action. A lot of people consider the Columbine school massacre to be "cool" (or whatever the current term is); potential mass killers study past mass killings and learn, as well as doing homage ("Catcher in the Rye", anyone?) Unfortunately, we in the US appear to have given up hope of change: the Republican-run Congress won't do anything, and will block any executive action.

      Given that we're coming up on a presidential election year, the opportunities to change our federal government will never be better. Candidates could run on this issue. (not to mention global warming)

  • Jeb Bush Wants A Time Machine To murder a Baby -- Hitler
    • Go back in time to kill an innocent baby? Yeah; what a man J!E!B!!! is. If I had a time machine and was targeting Adolph Hitler, I'd use it to change his unhappy childhood and war experiences, and try to turn him into a better man, a more decent ruler - someone who would help Germany to rise, not as an avenging war power, but more like the economic powerhouse it later became. Oh, and with social justice to rival that of FDR here in the US.

      But then, I'm not a Republican.

  • Can Ben Carson be Commander in Chief if he Lied about West Point?
    • Can Ben Carson become president, given he lied about West Point (a "Stolen Valor" thing)? I hate to say it, but IOKIYAAR: It's Okay if You are a Republican.

  • Are Red Meat & Bacon As Cancer-Causing As Cigarettes and Plutonium?
  • Bernie Sanders: Why I'm sick of Clinton's email
    • From what I'm hearing/reading so far, Senator Sanders "won the morning" for his Hillary email quote, due probably to his use of "the D-word." There's been little substantive followup, just highlighting that "damned." Again, I fear for our democracy.

  • Parenting in Fear: Leaving a Climate Apocalypse to our Children
    • Ms Berrigan may think zombie movies when she contemplates the future, but I think of a public service ad from England that came out, literally decades ago. In this stark b&w video, a mother and father wake their children in the middle of the night and bundle them into the family car. They drive through the night, past factories belching vast clouds of smoke, past a polluted landscape, far out into the country.

      Then the car stops, they get the children out - and leave them there alone, bewildered and abandoned, driving rapidly off into the darkness.

  • Israel's Deep Role in Syrian Refugee Crisis: Saga of Yarmouk
    • Sure, there's a certain logic that Israel help Syrian (and other regional) refugees. But we all know that this would mean these refugees would be confined to tiny camps, denied vital materials and supplies, forbidden to establish economies, put onto near-starvation "diets", regularly abused by Israeli civilians and the military, and periodically attacked by the Israeli army - just like the Palestinians. Why would anyone actually want that?

  • Why is the GOP listening to Netanyahu on Iran? They just hate Obama & anything he does
    • "the media as a whole are beating the drums of war as if they have not learned from their past experiences,"

      No, they're beating the drums of war BECAUSE they've learned. War means big money, if you're a broadcast or print "news" outlet! You can switch into 24x7 breaking news mode, and people will watch in order to not miss anything important. That means advertising revenue goes UP. Since you only need to cover the One Big Story, expenses for reporting staff go down. Win-win!

      The media are complicit in the runup to war these days. It's been a long time since we've seen "journalism" practiced by the big infotainment outlets.

  • Ban real-life Terminator Robots! So say Hawking, Wozniak, Musk, Chomsky
    • Anyone who has ever programmed a computer knows about the flakiness and vulnerabilities of software. Amazingly, after decades of abominations like Windows and Internet-borne malware, it's like the public still doesn't have a clue.

  • What can World History teach us about Cooperating against Global Climate Challenge?
    • In the distant future, the "history of mankind" won't be the irrelevancies of which king conquered which lands or which political theory or clique prevailed at any given time. It'll be the story of which technologies developed and sustained - or devastated - human civilization.

  • To fight Climate Change, we have to Eat Fewer Hamburgers
    • No need to go the "full vegan" route - merely cutting back on meat portions, using meat as a condiment rather than The Meal, selecting poultry more often than beef - all will make a major difference in cattle-caused global warming.

      As an added bonus, these choices might even result in a healthier diet. Weight loss. Fewer health problems. Lower cost (have you priced beef lately?) Heck, this might even drive some of the welfare ranchers fattening their cows for near-free on public lands, while slaughtering all the wolves, out of business.

      These dietary changes need to be framed in terms of ADVANTAGES, rather than deprivation.

  • Ghosts of King George III: Top 5 Things that threaten American Independence Today
    • On fining people $10 for not voting. Yeah, sounds plausible for us comfortable white middle class people. However, would YOU spend over 4 hours waiting in line to "save" $10? And if you finally had to leave after 5-6 hours, in order to pick up your children from school or go back to work or be fired, being forced to pay a fine just adds insult to injury.

      True, the fine might target the lazy. But it would hurt those who don't vote because it really is extremely difficult for them to get their hands on that ballot. Better to push for more early voting and better hours, more polling places better distributed (New Mexico now has "Vote Centers", ANY of which you can vote at within your county), and same-day registration.

      And let's not forget the concerns about forcing people to vote who really don't want to, don't care, and don't know. A solution there would be getting Americans engaged in their own government and providing better, more accurate, and just plain MORE information about what it's doing. ... Well, I can dream, can't I?

  • No, GOP, biblical Marriage was not between one man and one woman
    • The fundamentalist Christianists in this country consistently ignore the fact that the institution of "marriage" is a civil arrangement, codified by law. Its goals include property rights, rights of children, and the smooth transfer of these assets in the event of death or divorce.

      As a civil, legally-defined arrangement, OF COURSE marriage can be re-defined as needed to keep up with the times. Moreover, the legal definition -- since it's defined by law -- necessarily overrides the "scriptural" definition. People are free to graft on their own rules and expectations on the legal state of marriage, stuff like "love" and "fidelity" and even "subservience" -- but this is not a part of the actual LAW. Plus, they can supplement existing law with their own additional contracts.

      In short, people have no fewer rights from this Supreme Court decision. So what's the big fuss?

  • Can the GOP live down Donald Trump's Middle East "Policy"?
    • Trump is the Ahmadinejad of America. Scratch that; just one of far too many. I don't think we appreciate how bad these klowns make the United States look to people living in other countries.

      Frankly, I've heard more intelligent rants in bars shortly before closing time.

  • 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 (

      Today Democracy Now! ( 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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