Donald Trump gagged (if only)

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[1] public domain.

Rachel Weiner, “Trump gag order reinstated but narrowed in Jan. 6 case,” Washington Post, December 8, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/12/08/gag-order-trump-appeal-reinstated/

Migration

Maria Sacchetti, “Federal judge approves settlement barring migrant family separations,” Washington Post, December 8, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/2023/12/08/trump-migrants-family-separations-biden/


  1. [1]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html

Even Joe Biden can’t ignore the ‘gap’ between what Israel says and does to protect Gaza civilians

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

Peter Beaumont, “Angry relatives of Hamas captives and ex-hostages confront Netanyahu,” Guardian, December 5, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/05/angry-relatives-of-hamas-captives-and-ex-hostages-confront-netanyahu

Loveday Morris, “Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas. Yet the group remains largely intact,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/israel-military-offensive-hamas-destruction-gaza/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Netanyahu is fighting two wars, and may not win either,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/netanyahu-wars-win-lose-political-endgame-career/

Steve Hendrix, Miriam Berger, and Hazem Balousha, “Israel touts civilian warning system, but for Gazans, nowhere is safe,” Washington Post, December 6, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/06/israel-gaza-civilians-protection/

John B. Judis, “Yes, Israel Is a Colonialist State. But Does That Matter Today?” New Republic, December 6, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/article/177306/israel-colonialist-state-history-today

Guardian, “US highlights ‘gap’ in Israel’s commitment to protect civilians in Gaza,” December 7, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/08/us-israel-hamas-war-gaza-civilian-protection-anthony-blinken

Nataliya Vasilyeva, “IDF strip Palestinian men and parade them through square once used by Hamas,” Telegraph, December 7, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/12/07/palestinian-men-stripped-to-underwear-gaza-idf/

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[2] fair use.

Washington Post, “ In Ukraine, a war of incremental gains as counteroffensive stalls,” December 4, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/04/ukraine-counteroffensive-stalled-russia-war-defenses/

Washington Post, “Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine,” December 4, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/04/ukraine-counteroffensive-us-planning-russia-war/


Neoliberalism

Academic repression

Student loans


Fig. 1. Unattributed and undated image via James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal,[3] fair use.

Adam S. Minsky, “Biden Approves $5 Billion In Student Loan Forgiveness For 80,000 As Key Deadline Nears,” Forbes, December 6, 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamminsky/2023/12/06/5-billion-in-student-loan-forgiveness-just-got-approved-for-80000-as-key-deadline-nears/


Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Infrastructure


Fig. 1. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

It took’em long enough.

Hallie Lauer, “Pittsburgh infrastructure commission holds its first meeting since the group was created nearly two years ago,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 6, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2023/12/05/pittsburgh-infrastructure-committee-bridge-repairs-inspections/stories/202312050108


Illiberalism

Gilead

White Christian nationalism


Fig. 1. If one weighs by geography rather than population, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

It’s not just that Donald Trump’s supporters are “America too.”[4] It’s that they are human.[5] It’s not a very pretty picture of the U.S. or of homo sapiens. And as I explain in my forthcoming book, we are all going to have to figure out how to coexist with people we find absolutely reprehensible.

Mark Leibovich, “Trump Voters Are America Too,” Atlantic, December 8, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2024/01/trump-2024-win-american-identity/676143/


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  3. [3]Richard K. Vedder, “Eliminate or Radically Restructure Federal Student Loans,” James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, September 16, 2020, https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2020/09/eliminate-or-radically-restructure-federal-student-loans/
  4. [4]Mark Leibovich, “Trump Voters Are America Too,” Atlantic, December 8, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2024/01/trump-2024-win-american-identity/676143/
  5. [5]Adam Serwer, “The Cruelty Is the Point,” Atlantic, October 3, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/the-cruelty-is-the-point/572104/

Fake electors settle in Wisconsin

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[1] public domain.

Patrick Marley, “Wisconsin Trump electors settle lawsuit, agree Biden won in 2020,” Washington Post, December 6, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/12/06/wisconsin-trump-fake-electors-lawsuit/


Imperialism

Israel


Fig. 1. John Bolton and Binyamin Netanyahu at a press conference. Office of U.S. National Security Advisor, August 20, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

If war is what it takes to keep Binyamin Netanyahu in power,[2] then war is what we’ll have. Endless war.

Joe Biden’s administration has been desperately trying to prevent the war from expanding, possibly involving Hezbollah and Iran, possibly drawing in the U.S.[3] Too bad Netanyahu’s government has other ideas.[4]

I don’t know how I could live in a country that can so easily be drawn into a war on Israel’s behalf.

Jamie Dettmer, “Israel could open second front in Lebanon, defense minister hints,” Politico, December 6, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/israel-could-open-second-front-lebanon-defense-minister-hintsgaza-hamas-war-yoav-gallant/

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[5] fair use.

Gazans reached by The Washington Post say Israel’s high-tech system has been no match for the brutal reality of its military campaign. In the chaos of combat, the Israeli directives are confusing, vague or contradictory, they said, often sending them from one battlefield to another.[6]

Loveday Morris, “Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas. Yet the group remains largely intact,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/israel-military-offensive-hamas-destruction-gaza/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Netanyahu is fighting two wars, and may not win either,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/netanyahu-wars-win-lose-political-endgame-career/

Steve Hendrix, Miriam Berger, and Hazem Balousha, “Israel touts civilian warning system, but for Gazans, nowhere is safe,” Washington Post, December 6, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/06/israel-gaza-civilians-protection/


Neoliberalism

Work


Fig. 1. The spectre of Death, in the form of a large skeleton, rises with the smoke and flames of the burning Asch Building during the Triangle fire, as people jump and fall to their death. Artist unknown, from International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) at The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

If it is indeed illegal for a county council to give county workers a pay raise,[7] then I think I need to get out of Pennsylvania. There is no universe where this is even remotely acceptable.

Steve Bonnel, “A court sides with Rich Fitzgerald in his fight with lawmakers over the minimum wage for county employees,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 6, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2023/12/06/allegheny-county-government-workers-minimum-wage-court-ruling/stories/202312060105


  1. [1]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html
  2. [2]Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us
  3. [3]Jamie Dettmer, “Lebanese hold their breath as fears grow Hezbollah will pull them into war,” Politico, October 16, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/lebanese-hold-their-breath-as-fears-grow-hezbollah-will-pull-them-into-war/; Raya Jalabi, Najmeh Bozorgmehr, and Felicia Schwartz, “Border clashes prompt fears of Hizbollah joining Israel-Hamas war,” Financial Times, October 11, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/213ce971-b93e-4756-8dd0-6ff163b21577; Liz Sly, “Mideast teeters on the brink of wider war as Iran weighs its options,” Washington Post, October 17, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/17/israel-iran-hezbollah-wider-war/
  4. [4]Jamie Dettmer, “Israel could open second front in Lebanon, defense minister hints,” Politico, December 6, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/israel-could-open-second-front-lebanon-defense-minister-hintsgaza-hamas-war-yoav-gallant/
  5. [5]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  6. [6]Steve Hendrix, Miriam Berger, and Hazem Balousha, “Israel touts civilian warning system, but for Gazans, nowhere is safe,” Washington Post, December 6, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/06/israel-gaza-civilians-protection/
  7. [7]Steve Bonnel, “A court sides with Rich Fitzgerald in his fight with lawmakers over the minimum wage for county employees,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 6, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2023/12/06/allegheny-county-government-workers-minimum-wage-court-ruling/stories/202312060105

Binyamin Netanyahu’s folly

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

So we understand Binyamin Netanyahu has extreme aims in Israel’s war with Hamas. He wants to “thin” Gaza’s population.[2] He wants to wipe out Hamas,[3] though he still has no plan for Gaza’s governance after the war.[4]

One could certainly suspect that such ambitious goals forestall an election that is surely coming as soon as the war ends and that will almost certainly remove him from power.[5]

Quite apart from Netanyahu’s fantasies, the reality is that he is increasingly coming under pressure to limit casualties[6] and not many foreign leaders are acquiescing to goals that, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, would require ten years to achieve.[7] I don’t know how much longer this war can last. But Netanyahu will have a lot of egg on his face when it does.

Loveday Morris, “Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas. Yet the group remains largely intact,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/israel-military-offensive-hamas-destruction-gaza/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Netanyahu is fighting two wars, and may not win either,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/netanyahu-wars-win-lose-political-endgame-career/


Electric vehicles


Fig. 1. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

James Bikales, “Congress provided $7.5B for electric vehicle chargers. Built so far: Zero,” Politico, December 5, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/12/05/congress-ev-chargers-billions-00129996


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us
  3. [3]Jason Burke, “Netanyahu sets out uncompromising postwar vision as Israel pounds Gaza,” Guardian, November 12, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/12/main-gaza-hospital-totally-surrounded-director-says-as-netanyahu-rejects-ceasefire-calls
  4. [4]Michael Birnbaum, William Booth, and Hazem Balousha, “Who will run Gaza after the war? U.S. searches for best of bad options,” Washington Post, December 3, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/03/palestinian-authority-gaza/; Hussein Ibish, “Israel’s Dangerous Delusion,” Atlantic, November 1, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2023/11/israel-gaza-after-hamas/675856/; Jamie Dettmer, “A broken Netanyahu is miscalculating over Gaza, former Israeli PM says,” Politico, November 8, 2023, https://puck.news/the-day-after-the-war-ends/
  5. [5]Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us
  6. [6]Jamie Dettmer, “Israel has only weeks to defeat Hamas as global opinion sours, former PM Ehud Barak says,” Politico, November 7, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/ehud-barak-israel-palestine-war-hamas-global-opinion-sours/; Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/; Andrew Feinstein, “Has Netanyahu misjudged tolerance for his actions?” New Internationalist, November 1, 2023, https://newint.org/features/2023/11/01/has-netanyahu-misjudged-tolerance-his-actions
  7. [7]Loveday Morris, “Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas. Yet the group remains largely intact,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/israel-military-offensive-hamas-destruction-gaza/

Binyamin Netanyahu’s castle walls are crashing down, into the moat

Illiberalism

Israel


Fig. 1. “Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu signing the visitors’ book, at Teen Murti Chowk, in New Delhi. . . . The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is also seen.” Photograph credited to Prime Minister's Office (GODL-India), January 14, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, GODL-India

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Netanyahu is fighting two wars, and may not win either,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/netanyahu-wars-win-lose-political-endgame-career/

Gilead

Gun nuttery


Fig. 1. “Rally Against Gun Control ‘Come and Take it’ flag at the Minnesota State Capitol,” photograph by Fibonacci Blue [pseud.], April 28, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

You had to know this was coming:

[Mass killings in Texas and Washington] were the 37th and 38th shootings this year in which four or more victims were killed, the highest number of mass killings in any year since at least 2006. Last year’s 36 was the previous record.[1]

Bonnie Berkowitz, “Double mass shootings over weekend set grim U.S. record,” Washington Post, December 4, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/12/04/mass-shootings-record-year/

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[2] public domain.

Chris Christie, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and former prosecutor, has some interesting observations about Donald Trump’s legal travails. He thinks a criminal conviction is likely inevitable and could happen sometime next year;[3] I have to think this would be during the campaign.

I’m not sure, honestly, how much a conviction will move the needle. I think most people have already formed opinions about Trump’s culpability, based of course principally on whether they love him or hate him. And of course that love or hate hasn’t really all that much to do with the charges.

So if you’ve already decided Trump is guilty because you hate him, how does a conviction change your vote? Or, it you’ve already decided Trump is your guy regardless of the charges, how does a conviction change your vote? I’m just not seeing that it does.

Peter Hamby, “Just Spoke to Christie…” Puck, December 4, 2023, https://puck.news/just-spoke-to-christie/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[4] fair use.

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Netanyahu is fighting two wars, and may not win either,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/netanyahu-wars-win-lose-political-endgame-career/


  1. [1]Bonnie Berkowitz, “Double mass shootings over weekend set grim U.S. record,” Washington Post, December 4, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/12/04/mass-shootings-record-year/
  2. [2]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html
  3. [3]Peter Hamby, “Just Spoke to Christie…” Puck, December 4, 2023, https://puck.news/just-spoke-to-christie/
  4. [4]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/

When Zionists tell you who they are, believe ’em

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

“God gave us this land” is the age-old cry of the settler-colonist. To accept this claim is to embrace ethnic cleansing and genocide around the world, all in “God’s” name, of course. We saw it in the western hemisphere.[2] We’re seeing it in Palestine.[3]

Yana T. R. Golding, “Tracking lost pro-Palestinian posts,” Columbia Journalism Review, November 27, 2023, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/excessive-moderation-meta-palestinian-7amleh-nashif.php

Summer Said and Dov Lieber, “Israel, Hamas Agree to Extend Truce by Two Days,” Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/talks-to-extend-israel-hamas-truce-go-down-to-the-wire-8f1cbba9

Ishaan Tharoor, “How Israel keeps hundreds of Palestinians in detention without charge,” Washington Post, November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/27/israel-palestine-detention-adminstrative-prisoners-jail/

Washington Post to 5-Minute Fix list, “The 5-Minute Fix: What’s behind Biden’s steadfast support for Israel?” November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/the-fix/

Henry Bodkin, “Inside the Israeli settlement being turned into a battleground by the hard-Right finance minister,” Telegraph, November 28, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/11/28/settlement-israels-finance-minister-has-made-a-battleground/

Julia Ioffe, “The Day After the War Ends,” Puck, November 28, 2023, https://puck.news/the-day-after-the-war-ends/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer, “Democrats’ Israel dilemma,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/11/29/democrats-israel-dilemma/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Why Christmas is canceled in Bethlehem,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/29/palestinian-christians-christmas-ceasefire-cancel/

Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Mohammad Salem, and Humeyra Pamuk, “Hamas hands over two female hostages, others expected after truce extended,” Reuters, November 30, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/talks-intensify-extend-israel-hamas-truce-after-more-hostages-prisoners-freed-2023-11-30/

Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/

Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us

Stephen Kalin et al., “Israel Resumes Combat Operations in Gaza as Cease-Fire Stalls,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/blinken-returns-to-israel-as-negotiators-race-to-prolong-gaza-cease-fire-24ae6601

Antony Sguazzin and Courtney McBride, “Israel Focuses on Gaza’s South as Cease-Fire Talks Rejected,” Bloomberg, December 2, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-02/israel-recalls-negotiators-from-qatar-steps-up-strikes-on-hamas

Michael Birnbaum, William Booth, and Hazem Balousha, “Who will run Gaza after the war? U.S. searches for best of bad options,” Washington Post, December 3, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/03/palestinian-authority-gaza/

Ryan Grim, “Netanyahu’s Goal for Gaza: ‘Thin’ Population ‘to a Minimum,’” Intercept, December 3, 2023, https://theintercept.com/2023/12/03/netanyahu-thin-gaza-population/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Migration

Alicia A. Caldwell and Elizabeth Findell, “Texas Ordered to Remove Buoy Barrier at Southern Border,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/us-news/law/texas-ordered-to-remove-buoy-barrier-at-southern-border-867ca604


Gilead

Right-wing militias

Military


Fig. 1. Image of unstated origin and unknown date posted to Quora by Karl Burkhalter,[4] fair use.

Military.com has reported that many of those efforts [to make a show of dealing with the problem of extremism among troops] — including the military-wide extremism training stand-down ordered by Austin — were largely symbolic and were widely considered as just another box for commanders to check.[5]

Konstantin Toropin, “Dozens of Troops Suspected of Advocating Overthrow of US Government, New Pentagon Extremism Report Says,” Military.com, December 1, 2023, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2023/12/01/dozens-of-troops-suspected-of-advocating-overthrow-of-us-government-new-pentagon-extremism-report.html


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Bill Chappell, “The Vatican repudiates ‘Doctrine of Discovery,’ which was used to justify colonialism,” National Public Radio, March 30, 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/03/30/1167056438/vatican-doctrine-of-discovery-colonialism-indigenous
  3. [3]Democracy Now! “Judith Butler on Hamas, Israel’s Collective Punishment of Gaza & Why Biden Must Push for Ceasefire,” October 26, 2023, https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/26/judith_butler_on_hamas_israels_collective; Democracy Now! “Palestinian Lives Matter Too: Jewish Scholar Judith Butler Condemns Israel’s ‘Genocide’ in Gaza,” October 26, 2023, https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/26/judith_butler_ceasefire_gaza_israel; Khaleda Rahman, “Israel Committing ‘Textbook Case of Genocide,’ Holocaust Historian Says,” Newsweek, October 17, 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/holocaust-historian-israel-committing-genocide-raz-segal-1835346
  4. [4]Quora, “Do you agree with the Marine Corps’ decision to ban the public display of the Confederate flag?” n.d., https://www.quora.com/Do-you-agree-with-the-Marine-Corps-decision-to-ban-the-public-display-of-the-Confederate-flag
  5. [5]Konstantin Toropin, “Dozens of Troops Suspected of Advocating Overthrow of US Government, New Pentagon Extremism Report Says,” Military.com, December 1, 2023, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2023/12/01/dozens-of-troops-suspected-of-advocating-overthrow-of-us-government-new-pentagon-extremism-report.html

Binyamin Netanyahu, prime warmonger

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

Benjamin Netanyahu should have resigned after an hour, then a day, then a week and a month after the 7 October debacle, the most horrific day in Israel’s history. He did not, because he isn’t wired that way. Accountability and integrity are alien concepts reserved for the weak and feeble – not for him. He sees himself as a historic figure, responsibility as beneath him. He is not merely defiant, but terrified that his trial for corruption and bribery would proceed if he was to resign, and paralysed by the thought that he and the state will no longer be one.[2]

Binyamin Netanyahu does not want the war to end, Alon Pinkas argues, because that will likely mean an election that removes him from power and aborts his emasculation of the judiciary, which would mean that his court trial for corruption would go ahead.[3]

Yana T. R. Golding, “Tracking lost pro-Palestinian posts,” Columbia Journalism Review, November 27, 2023, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/excessive-moderation-meta-palestinian-7amleh-nashif.php

Summer Said and Dov Lieber, “Israel, Hamas Agree to Extend Truce by Two Days,” Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/talks-to-extend-israel-hamas-truce-go-down-to-the-wire-8f1cbba9

Ishaan Tharoor, “How Israel keeps hundreds of Palestinians in detention without charge,” Washington Post, November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/27/israel-palestine-detention-adminstrative-prisoners-jail/

Washington Post to 5-Minute Fix list, “The 5-Minute Fix: What’s behind Biden’s steadfast support for Israel?” November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/the-fix/

Henry Bodkin, “Inside the Israeli settlement being turned into a battleground by the hard-Right finance minister,” Telegraph, November 28, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/11/28/settlement-israels-finance-minister-has-made-a-battleground/

Julia Ioffe, “The Day After the War Ends,” Puck, November 28, 2023, https://puck.news/the-day-after-the-war-ends/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer, “Democrats’ Israel dilemma,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/11/29/democrats-israel-dilemma/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Why Christmas is canceled in Bethlehem,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/29/palestinian-christians-christmas-ceasefire-cancel/

Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Mohammad Salem, and Humeyra Pamuk, “Hamas hands over two female hostages, others expected after truce extended,” Reuters, November 30, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/talks-intensify-extend-israel-hamas-truce-after-more-hostages-prisoners-freed-2023-11-30/

Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/

Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us

Stephen Kalin et al., “Israel Resumes Combat Operations in Gaza as Cease-Fire Stalls,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/blinken-returns-to-israel-as-negotiators-race-to-prolong-gaza-cease-fire-24ae6601

United States

Henry Kissinger


Fig. 1. “Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton receive the Germany Freedom Award in 2009.” Photograph by Gero Breloer for the Associated Press, 2009, via Mother Jones, fair use.

Thomas W. Lippman, “Henry Kissinger, who shaped world affairs under two presidents, dies at 100,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/obituaries/2023/11/29/henry-kissinger-dead-obituary/

Julian Borger, “‘Aura of credibility’: why Democrats and elites revere Kissinger despite war crimes allegations,” Guardian, December 1, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/01/henry-kissinger-death-age-100-war-crimes-allegations-democrats

Justin Sherrin, “Henry Kissinger,” December 1, 2023, https://www.patreon.com/posts/henry-kissinger-93911115


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us
  3. [3]Alon Pinkas, “Netanyahu is stuck as he battles Hamas: he can’t afford to lose, yet can’t find a way to win,” Guardian, November 30, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/30/netanyahu-hamas-lose-win-israeli-public-us

Chest-thumping time, yet again, for Zionists

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

Zionist manhood is defined by massacring Palestinians. I know the U.S. is pressing Israel to limit civilian casualties,[2] but this would deprive Zionists of their manhood.

Yana T. R. Golding, “Tracking lost pro-Palestinian posts,” Columbia Journalism Review, November 27, 2023, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/excessive-moderation-meta-palestinian-7amleh-nashif.php

Summer Said and Dov Lieber, “Israel, Hamas Agree to Extend Truce by Two Days,” Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/talks-to-extend-israel-hamas-truce-go-down-to-the-wire-8f1cbba9

Ishaan Tharoor, “How Israel keeps hundreds of Palestinians in detention without charge,” Washington Post, November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/27/israel-palestine-detention-adminstrative-prisoners-jail/

Washington Post to 5-Minute Fix list, “The 5-Minute Fix: What’s behind Biden’s steadfast support for Israel?” November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/the-fix/

Henry Bodkin, “Inside the Israeli settlement being turned into a battleground by the hard-Right finance minister,” Telegraph, November 28, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/11/28/settlement-israels-finance-minister-has-made-a-battleground/

Julia Ioffe, “The Day After the War Ends,” Puck, November 28, 2023, https://puck.news/the-day-after-the-war-ends/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer, “Democrats’ Israel dilemma,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/11/29/democrats-israel-dilemma/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Why Christmas is canceled in Bethlehem,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/29/palestinian-christians-christmas-ceasefire-cancel/

Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Mohammad Salem, and Humeyra Pamuk, “Hamas hands over two female hostages, others expected after truce extended,” Reuters, November 30, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/talks-intensify-extend-israel-hamas-truce-after-more-hostages-prisoners-freed-2023-11-30/

Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/

Stephen Kalin et al., “Israel Resumes Combat Operations in Gaza as Cease-Fire Stalls,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/blinken-returns-to-israel-as-negotiators-race-to-prolong-gaza-cease-fire-24ae6601

United States

Henry Kissinger


Fig. 1. “Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton receive the Germany Freedom Award in 2009.” Photograph by Gero Breloer for the Associated Press, 2009, via Mother Jones, fair use.

Julian Borger, “‘Aura of credibility’: why Democrats and elites revere Kissinger despite war crimes allegations,” Guardian, December 1, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/01/henry-kissinger-death-age-100-war-crimes-allegations-democrats


Illiberalism

Gilead

Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[3] fair use.

Nimo Omer thinks Elon Musk is now trying to drive the company formerly known as Twitter into bankruptcy.[4]

Nimo Omer, “What Elon Musk’s latest outburst means for the future of X,” Guardian, December 1, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/01/first-edition-elon-musk-advertisers

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[5] public domain.

Rachel Weiner and Spencer S. Hsu, “Trump can be held civilly liable in Jan. 6 riot, judges rule,” Washington Post, December 1, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/12/01/trump-can-be-sued-jan-6-immunity/


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Stephen Kalin et al., “Israel Resumes Combat Operations in Gaza as Cease-Fire Stalls,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/blinken-returns-to-israel-as-negotiators-race-to-prolong-gaza-cease-fire-24ae6601
  3. [3]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  4. [4]Nimo Omer, “What Elon Musk’s latest outburst means for the future of X,” Guardian, December 1, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/01/first-edition-elon-musk-advertisers
  5. [5]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html

Henry Kissinger escapes justice a final time

Imperialism

United States

Henry Kissinger


Fig. 1. “Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton receive the Germany Freedom Award in 2009.” Photograph by Gero Breloer for the Associated Press, 2009, via Mother Jones, fair use.

Thomas W. Lippman, “Henry Kissinger, who shaped world affairs under two presidents, dies at 100,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/obituaries/2023/11/29/henry-kissinger-dead-obituary/

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

It is “forbidden to respond to terror with terror,” [Pope] Francis said [to Israeli President Isaac Herzog], according to a senior Israeli official familiar with the call, which has not been previously reported. . . .

That private call would inform Israeli interpretations of Francis’s polemic statement, at his Nov. 22 general audience in St. Peter’s Square, that the conflict had “gone beyond war. This is terrorism.” Taken with the diplomatic exchange — deemed so “bad” by the Israelis that they did not make it public — the implication seemed clear: The pope was calling their campaign in Gaza an act of terrorism.[2]

The pope may even have used the word “genocide.”[3]

What’s more significant here is that the Israelis are getting the message that what they are doing in Gaza is completely unacceptable.[4] Being the self-righteous assholes they are, I doubt they’ll take the hint anytime soon, but we can hope the message sinks in eventually.

Yana T. R. Golding, “Tracking lost pro-Palestinian posts,” Columbia Journalism Review, November 27, 2023, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/excessive-moderation-meta-palestinian-7amleh-nashif.php

Summer Said and Dov Lieber, “Israel, Hamas Agree to Extend Truce by Two Days,” Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/talks-to-extend-israel-hamas-truce-go-down-to-the-wire-8f1cbba9

Ishaan Tharoor, “How Israel keeps hundreds of Palestinians in detention without charge,” Washington Post, November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/27/israel-palestine-detention-adminstrative-prisoners-jail/

Washington Post to 5-Minute Fix list, “The 5-Minute Fix: What’s behind Biden’s steadfast support for Israel?” November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/the-fix/

Henry Bodkin, “Inside the Israeli settlement being turned into a battleground by the hard-Right finance minister,” Telegraph, November 28, 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/11/28/settlement-israels-finance-minister-has-made-a-battleground/

Julia Ioffe, “The Day After the War Ends,” Puck, November 28, 2023, https://puck.news/the-day-after-the-war-ends/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer, “Democrats’ Israel dilemma,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/11/29/democrats-israel-dilemma/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Why Christmas is canceled in Bethlehem,” Washington Post, November 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/29/palestinian-christians-christmas-ceasefire-cancel/

Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Mohammad Salem, and Humeyra Pamuk, “Hamas hands over two female hostages, others expected after truce extended,” Reuters, November 30, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/talks-intensify-extend-israel-hamas-truce-after-more-hostages-prisoners-freed-2023-11-30/

Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Finances


Fig. 1. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Jennifer Peltz, “Appeals court reinstates gag order that barred Trump from maligning court staff in NY fraud trial,” Associated Press, November 30, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/trump-fraud-lawsuit-trial-gag-order-15304270ea3f61284a414f938155ae62


Pennsylvania

Traffic non-enforcement


Fig. 1. Obviously, nowhere near Pittsburgh: “A Pennsylvania state trooper checks motorists’ speed using a radar gun.” Unattributed photograph credited only to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[5]

Ben Wasserstein, “You might not like it, but Pennsylvania might expand use of speed cameras,” WESA, November 30, 2023, https://www.wesa.fm/development-transportation/2023-11-30/pennsylvania-expand-use-speed-cameras


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/
  3. [3]Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/
  4. [4]Anthony Faiola, Stefano Pitrelli, and Louisa Loveluck, “In undisclosed call, Pope Francis warned Israel against committing ‘terror,’” Washington Post, November 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/30/pope-francis-israel-war-terrorism/
  5. [5]Associated Press, “Senate OKs local police using radar for speed enforcement,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/senate-oks-local-police-using-radar-for-speed-enforcement/

Elon Musk all but admits that the social network formerly known as Twitter is going belly up

Illiberalism

Gilead

Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

It’s over and this[2] is Elon Musk’s admission that it’s over.

Mike Murphy, “Elon Musk lashes out at advertisers who boycott X: ‘Go f— yourself,’” MarketWatch, November 29, 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-lashes-out-at-advertisers-who-boycott-x-go-f-yourself-3664f8d8


  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  2. [2]Mike Murphy, “Elon Musk lashes out at advertisers who boycott X: ‘Go f— yourself,’” MarketWatch, November 29, 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-lashes-out-at-advertisers-who-boycott-x-go-f-yourself-3664f8d8