The incoherence of a ‘middle road’

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Annexations


Fig. 1. Photograph by author, November 25, 2020.

Ryan Deto, “Wilkinsburg annexation failure reflects merger hurdles for Pa.’s 2,560 municipalities,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 10, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/regional/wilkinsburg-annexation-failure-reflects-merger-hurdles-for-pa-s-2560-municipalities/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 2. 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.

This is what you call “middle ground,” hailed by so many who are convinced that policy should be formed not from any logic or evidence but rather follow a mythological “middle road.”

“It reeks of cowardice — an unwillingness to state the obvious,” said one Democratic lawmaker, who, like several people interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a frank assessment of the report [on Israel Defense Forces war crimes in Gaza]. The lawmaker said the Biden administration’s position “appears to defy the facts.”[2]

“Middle ground” is reliably incoherent. It does not in fact exist. Appeals to it are a desperate lie meant to preserve the status quo, as in this case.

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/

Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel puts Rafah in the eye of the storm,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/09/rafah-gaza-city-palestine-history/

John Hudson, “U.S. says Israel may have violated humanitarian law using American weapons,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/10/biden-israel-gaza-us-weapons/

Toluse Olorunnipa and Jacqueline Alemany, “Biden’s isolation grows as Gaza report both criticizes and clears Israel,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/10/biden-israel-human-rights-report/

Times of Israel, “Report: State Department set to confirm Israel not breaking international law in Gaza,” May 10, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-state-department-set-to-confirm-israel-not-breaking-international-law-in-gaza/

United Nations News, “UN General Assembly presses Security Council to give ‘favourable consideration’ to full Palestinian membership,” May 10, 2024, https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/05/1149596

Brett Wilkins, “Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel,” Inter Press Service, May 10, 2024, https://www.ipsnews.net/2024/05/biden-moving-goal-post-threat-withhold-bombs-israel/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Finances


Fig. 3. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Paul Kiel and Russ Buettner, “IRS Audit of Trump Could Cost Former President More Than $100 Million,” ProPublica, May 11, 2024, https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-irs-audit-chicago-hotel-taxes


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Toluse Olorunnipa and Jacqueline Alemany, “Biden’s isolation grows as Gaza report both criticizes and clears Israel,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/10/biden-israel-human-rights-report/

Solomon understood that splitting a baby wouldn’t work. Will Joe Biden?

I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in between the clouds tonight. No luck.


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.

Still trying to split a baby:

The Biden administration announced Friday [May 10, 2024] that it was “reasonable to assess” that Israel violated international law using U.S. weapons in its military campaign in Gaza, but found there was insufficient information to draw a firm conclusion in any specific instances, meaning American military aid could continue to flow to the country.

The findings were contained in a convoluted 46-page unclassified report that President [Joe] Biden ordered this year in response to growing alarm from Democrats in Congress about Israel’s conduct in the conflict. Despite clear internal concerns that U.S. weapons may have been used in war crimes, the report concluded that assurances provided by Israel that it is not violating U.S. or international law were credible, a finding at odds with assessments made by the United Nations and major international aid groups. . . .

Despite Biden’s criticism and assurances that the administration will continue to assess Israel’s activities, Friday’s decision amounts to a stamp of approval on the legality of Israeli actions in Gaza, in the face of what critics say is a war that has made little effort to distinguish innocent Palestinian civilians from Hamas fighters. Aid groups say thousands of children have been orphaned, and the United Nations has warned that much of Gaza’s population is on the brink of starvation.[2]

The Biden administration’s credibility is now on par with that of the George W. Bush administration, which lied about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/

Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel puts Rafah in the eye of the storm,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/09/rafah-gaza-city-palestine-history/

John Hudson, “U.S. says Israel may have violated humanitarian law using American weapons,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/10/biden-israel-gaza-us-weapons/

Times of Israel, “Report: State Department set to confirm Israel not breaking international law in Gaza,” May 10, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-state-department-set-to-confirm-israel-not-breaking-international-law-in-gaza/

Brett Wilkins, “Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel,” Inter Press Service, May 10, 2024, https://www.ipsnews.net/2024/05/biden-moving-goal-post-threat-withhold-bombs-israel/


Neoliberalism

Work


Fig. 2. 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.

Lindsay Ellis, “AI Bots Are Taking Over the Job Application Process. Everyone Is Losing,” Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024, https://apple.news/AYPPOSYxKRtaRAHYq851RGw


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]John Hudson, “U.S. says Israel may have violated humanitarian law using American weapons,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/10/biden-israel-gaza-us-weapons/

Binyamin Netanyahu puts his thumb in Joe Biden’s eye. And Biden lets him get away with it.

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.

Joe Biden was undoubtedly desperate for the State Department to find that Israel has not committed war crimes. And so it likely will.[2] They should have taken Chris Van Hollen’s advice:

The State Department report must be “seen to be based on facts and law, and not based on what they would wish it would be,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who pushed for the national security memorandum, said last week.[3]

Only Zionists will believe this report while Biden is losing credibility even on[4] his threat to withhold offensive weapons in the event of a Rafah invasion.[5]

[Joe Biden] said invading Rafah was a red line. Israel invaded Rafah anyway, bombing buildings, burning and crushing children to death. Biden is now moving the goal post by adding a completely subjective descriptor: ‘Major.’ Now Israel has a green light to destroy Rafah in slow motion.[6]

We need to understand that Biden is a genocidal Zionist, determined to support Israel regardless. There can be absolutely no excuse for voting for him (let alone his opponent).

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/

Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel puts Rafah in the eye of the storm,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/09/rafah-gaza-city-palestine-history/

Times of Israel, “Report: State Department set to confirm Israel not breaking international law in Gaza,” May 10, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-state-department-set-to-confirm-israel-not-breaking-international-law-in-gaza/

Brett Wilkins, “Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel,” Inter Press Service, May 10, 2024, https://www.ipsnews.net/2024/05/biden-moving-goal-post-threat-withhold-bombs-israel/


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken; Times of Israel, “Report: State Department set to confirm Israel not breaking international law in Gaza,” May 10, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-state-department-set-to-confirm-israel-not-breaking-international-law-in-gaza/
  3. [3]Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken
  4. [4]Brett Wilkins, “Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel,” Inter Press Service, May 10, 2024, https://www.ipsnews.net/2024/05/biden-moving-goal-post-threat-withhold-bombs-israel/
  5. [5]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/; Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA; John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/; Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/; Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken; Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel puts Rafah in the eye of the storm,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/09/rafah-gaza-city-palestine-history/
  6. [6]Omar Baddar, quoted in Brett Wilkins, “Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel,” Inter Press Service, May 10, 2024, https://www.ipsnews.net/2024/05/biden-moving-goal-post-threat-withhold-bombs-israel/

Joe Biden sounds tough. Binyamin Netanyahu seems tougher.

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.

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel puts Rafah in the eye of the storm,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/09/rafah-gaza-city-palestine-history/

China


Fig. 2. “Map of Qing Empire filled with the flag.” Graphic by Daniel222potato [pseud.], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Ishaan Tharoor, “China’s Xi wades into Europe’s political divides,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/10/xi-jinping-europe-france-serbia-hungary/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 3. Cartoon by Jesse Duquette, undated, via “Minneapple23” [pseud.] on Imgur, April 1, 2023, fair use.

It sounds to me like Stormy Daniels made a fool of Donald Trump’s attorney.[2] Of course, that shouldn’t be even a little bit surprising.

Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Why Stormy Daniels’s account of sex with Trump may be problematic, and other takeaways,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/07/trump-trial-takeaways-hush-money-stormy-daniels/

Niha Masih and Leo Sands, “What Stormy Daniels said happened in Trump’s hotel suite, from the transcript,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/stormy-daniels-transcript-trump-trial/

Heather Cox Richardson, “May 7, 2024,” Letters from an American, May 8, 2024, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-7-2024

Marianne LeVine, “New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan scolds Trump attorney,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/09/judge-scolds-trump-lawyer-mistrial/

Patrick Svitek, Devlin Barrett, and Perry Stein, “Stormy Daniels’s testimony got heated. Here were the most intense exchanges,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/09/stormy-daniels-trump-lawyers-testimony/

White Christian nationalism


Fig. 4. 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.

Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, “Virginia school board restores Confederate leaders’ names to two schools,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2024/05/10/shenandoah-county-school-board-confederate-school-names/


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Patrick Svitek, Devlin Barrett, and Perry Stein, “Stormy Daniels’s testimony got heated. Here were the most intense exchanges,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/09/stormy-daniels-trump-lawyers-testimony/

Joe Biden still has done nothing to rein in Binyamin Netanyahu. Nothing.

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.

We’re many months past the time to call Joe Biden’s bluff:

President [Joe] Biden said Wednesday that he would halt the shipment of U.S. offensive weapons to Israel, which he acknowledged have been used to kill civilians in Gaza, if the country moves ahead with a long-planned ground invasion of Rafah — the first time he has threatened to withhold U.S. military aid, and the most direct threat he has made in the seven-month war.[2]

Remember, Joe Biden still hasn’t actually done anything. He’s certainly said things, even made threats. But this still looks like a bluff.

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” CNN, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 2. Stormy Daniels at Ron Jeremy’s birthday party. Photograph by Luke Ford (Lukeisback.com), March 10, 2007, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5.

I have followed Stormy Daniels on Twitter and certainly not because I find her attractive (I find breasts anything like the size shown in figure 2 repulsive) and so I understand that she plies her trade with a lot of sass. Expecting her not to testify in great detail about sex would simply not be on my bingo card.

And so she did. And now the fear is that her testimony will be seen as prejudicial and irrelevant. At the very least, it will be grounds for appeal.[3]

Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Why Stormy Daniels’s account of sex with Trump may be problematic, and other takeaways,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/07/trump-trial-takeaways-hush-money-stormy-daniels/

Niha Masih and Leo Sands, “What Stormy Daniels said happened in Trump’s hotel suite, from the transcript,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/stormy-daniels-transcript-trump-trial/

Heather Cox Richardson, “May 7, 2024,” Letters from an American, May 8, 2024, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-7-2024

Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023-2024


Fig. 3. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Marjorie Taylor Greene claims to be a bible-fearing Christian. So here’s a Bible passage for her.

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.[4]

But she had to open her fucking mouth:

Only 11 Republicans supported the move to “table” a measure by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), while 196 Republicans embraced keeping Johnson in the speaker’s job. Democrats also overwhelmingly voted to save the GOP speaker, 163 in support of keeping him and 32 against. The overall vote was 359-43, with seven Democratic lawmakers voting present.

All 11 Republicans who supported Greene’s push to consider ousting Johnson were members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, while all Democrats who voted in opposition of Johnson’s leadership or voted present were liberals.[5]

The overwhelming message here is that the far right caucus that’s been holding the House of Representatives hostage is not in any way representative of the chamber. Greene can be credited with an own goal here as this vote makes that clear for all the world to see and my expectation is that that caucus will henceforth be sidelined. She shoulda held her fire, but like Lauren Boebert, she’s built her political career on stupid and this isn’t just an act for an anti-intellectual constituency.

Tina Nguyen, “Johnson’s Rules for Radicals,” Puck, May 8, 2024, https://puck.news/mike-johnson-has-a-rules-committee-sized-problem/

Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro, “House Speaker Mike Johnson survives vote to oust him from leadership,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/motion-to-vacate-house-speaker-marjorie-taylor-greene-mike-johnson/


Pennsylvania

Traffic non-enforcement


Fig. 4. Obviously, nowhere near Pittsburgh: “A Pennsylvania state trooper checks motorists’ speed using a radar gun.” Unattributed photograph credited only to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[6]

I remember, before moving to Pittsburgh, my mother warning my that the city was fifty years behind the times. Having come here, my impression is that applies more generally to Pennsylvania as a whole, and one of the ways that shows up is that I see even cops driving down the road yakking on their cell phones.

Jan Murphy, “Pa. set to become 27th state to ban handheld cellphones while driving, ” Harrisburg Patriot-News, May 8, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/politics/2024/05/pa-set-to-become-27th-state-to-ban-handheld-cell-phones-while-driving.html


So-called ‘ridesharing’

Bezzle


Fig. 5. “Clarkdale Classic Gas Station, Clarkdale, Arizona,” Photograph by Alan Levine, October 28, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.

So I guess I’m back to looking for commentary from Hubert Horan:

The ridehailing and delivery company reported a surprise net loss of $654 million for the first quarter of the year, as legal settlements and equity investments proved to be more of a drag on Uber’s business than many expected.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting a profit of $474 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. In particular, the company’s never-ending legal battles over the classification of its drivers, as well as the waning demand in certain markets, were seen as slowing down Uber’s financial momentum.[7]

Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber’s not out of the woods yet,” Verge, May 8, 2024, https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/8/24151901/uber-q1-2024-earnings-net-loss-profit-settlement-drivers


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/
  3. [3]Niha Masih and Leo Sands, “What Stormy Daniels said happened in Trump’s hotel suite, from the transcript,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/stormy-daniels-transcript-trump-trial/; Heather Cox Richardson, “May 7, 2024,” Letters from an American, May 8, 2024, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-7-2024; Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Why Stormy Daniels’s account of sex with Trump may be problematic, and other takeaways,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/07/trump-trial-takeaways-hush-money-stormy-daniels/
  4. [4]Prov. 17:28 (New International Version).
  5. [5]Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro, “House Speaker Mike Johnson survives vote to oust him from leadership,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/motion-to-vacate-house-speaker-marjorie-taylor-greene-mike-johnson/
  6. [6]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/
  7. [7]Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber’s not out of the woods yet,” Verge, May 8, 2024, https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/8/24151901/uber-q1-2024-earnings-net-loss-profit-settlement-drivers

Aileen Cannon strikes again

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.

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” CNN, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 2. Stormy Daniels at Ron Jeremy’s birthday party. Photograph by Luke Ford (Lukeisback.com), March 10, 2007, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5.

Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Why Stormy Daniels’s account of sex with Trump may be problematic, and other takeaways,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/07/trump-trial-takeaways-hush-money-stormy-daniels/

Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 3. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.

Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, “Judge indefinitely delays Trump’s classified documents trial in Florida,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/trump-classified-documents-trial-delayed-cannon-florida/


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/

When it’s anti-Semitic to protest killing, anti-Semitism isn’t the problem

There is a significant update to my recent post, “4:00 a.m. thoughts: The paradox of veganism.”


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.

Ishaan Tharoor points out that the hue and cry over campus demonstrations diverts attention from Israel’s crimes in Gaza.[2] It’s a red herring: We aren’t really upset about war crimes. We’re upset about the protests against war crimes. Meanwhile, as if in response, Binyamin Netanyahu is ratcheting up his defiance not only, supposedly,[3] of Joe Biden but of the entire world[4] and more substantively threatening Rafah.[5]

Like I said, when it’s anti-Semitic to protest killing, anti-Semitism isn’t the problem.

Deutsche Welle, “UN court rules German military aid to Israel can continue,” April 30, 2024, https://www.dw.com/en/un-court-rules-german-military-aid-to-israel-can-continue/a-68956989

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” CNN, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

Russia


Fig. 1. Historic Russian empire, from the New York Times, possibly March 6, 2014, fair use.[6]

Vladimir Putin seeks to remold Russia. Women are to have babies and lots of them. Men are to fight for Putin’s empire. LGBTQ+ is “extremist.” The U.S. is “terrorist.” Education will consist of military preparation and indoctrination in traditionalist and imperial talking points.[7] Oh, but let’s not forget the tankies who think the only problem is the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization.[8]

Robyn Dixon, “Under Putin, a militarized new Russia rises to challenge U.S. and the West,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2024/putin-values-russian-society-conservatism/


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/
  3. [3]I ever more strongly doubt that Joe Biden is sincere in his criticism of the Israeli war on Gaza.
  4. [4]Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256
  5. [5]Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” CNN, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html
  6. [6]New York Times, “Ukraine Crisis in Maps,” n.d., http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/27/world/europe/ukraine-divisions-crimea.html
  7. [7]Robyn Dixon, “Under Putin, a militarized new Russia rises to challenge U.S. and the West,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2024/putin-values-russian-society-conservatism/
  8. [8]Roane Carey, “Don’t Be a Tankie: How the Left Should Respond to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” Intercept, March 1, 2022, https://theintercept.com/2022/03/01/ukraine-russia-leftists-tankie/

Oh, so maybe Joe Biden does want to be re-elected

Something bad happened (figure 1).

Fig. 1. The now empty nest by my front door. Photograph by author, May 5, 2024.

I stopped by my apartment to pick up a package the delivery person had left exposed to rain—with rain in the forecast—and grab some lunch (my main meal of the day) which that delivery made possible (I subsist on Huel freeze dried meals). I picked up the package and was immediately confronted by an enormous amount of bird poop.

The robin’s nest, built in what I had thought was an impossible location, a location I thought impregnable to predators, is now empty except for the black against the far wall. There had been three eggs and I had seen three imprudent beaks poking up from the nest.

The parents were still defending their nest when I had arrived. They’ve been giving me a ration of shit every time I go in or out my front door (the only access to my apartment). I was hauling out buckets of water to wash down my balcony deck. When I came back home this evening, they left me alone. And I wasn’t seeing the beaks peeking up from the nest. To be honest, they’d been hassling me less lately; I think they were desperately trying to find food for their babies.

But tonight, I decided I should reach up and take a photograph (figure 1) to see what was going on. I can’t say this looks good.


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.

Nobody is commenting on a report that the Biden administration held up an ammunition shipment to Israel. So while the Axios story makes it sound like Joe Biden might actually finally be reining in Binyamin Netanyahu, we don’t have confirmation,[2] we do not know what’s actually going on.

My presumption at this point is that anything Biden does is about getting re-elected, not about doing the right thing. I am unimpressed.

Deutsche Welle, “UN court rules German military aid to Israel can continue,” April 30, 2024, https://www.dw.com/en/un-court-rules-german-military-aid-to-israel-can-continue/a-68956989

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” CNN, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

You thought you could pressure Joe Biden into stopping the Zionists? He’s playing you just like the Democrats always do

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.

[I]n [Joe Biden’s] stance it was also impossible to miss a skepticism, shared by many of his allies, that young voters will actually abandon him en masse over Gaza. (Many of Biden’s allies have recently noted the Harvard Youth Poll showing that young voters ranked the war 15th in importance out of 16 issues presented to them, far behind first-place inflation.) Even so, it is an article of faith among some prominent Democrats in his camp that a ceasefire could significantly ease the current pressure that he is feeling from young voters. His remarks showed that he has a greater long-term concern about civility and the perception of chaos — a line pushed by many of his Republican critics in the past week.[2]

Joe Biden is doing what the Democrats always do, each and every election, election after election, taking the progressive vote for granted.

The protesters, many Bidenites conclude, are not representative of the broader youth population, and the encampments may fade away once summer vacation begins. They believe the dynamic is reminiscent of a familiar one for [Joe] Biden: Young activists seeking to push him left ultimately siding with him over the unacceptable alternative presented by Trump’s Republicans.[3]

The Vote Blue No Matter Who folks should be hauled up on war crimes charges right along with Biden.

Deutsche Welle, “UN court rules German military aid to Israel can continue,” April 30, 2024, https://www.dw.com/en/un-court-rules-german-military-aid-to-israel-can-continue/a-68956989

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” CNN, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 2. Cartoon by Jesse Duquette, undated, via “Minneapple23” [pseud.] on Imgur, April 1, 2023, fair use.

Victoria Bekiempis, Hugo Lowell, and Léonie Chao-Fong, “Hope Hicks tells hush-money jury of Trump’s control over 2016 campaign,” Guardian, May 3, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/03/hope-hicks-testimony-trump-hush-money-trial


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw
  3. [3]Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

How Donald Trump wins

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.

Writing in part from personal experience, Rollie Atkinson compares the pro-Palestinian protests today to the antiwar and counterculture protests of fifty or sixty years ago.[2]

I remember President Nixon pretending to ignore us — except he couldn’t.[3]

Atkinson doesn’t say so, but my bet is that Joe Biden is in the same position. Unlike Lyndon Johnson, Biden has not stepped aside. He is now clearly seen by pro-Palestinian protestors much the same way kids of the 1960s and early 1970s saw Richard Nixon, who succeeded Johnson and seemed to be lying about getting us out of Vietnam.

Nixon won in 1968 and was re-elected in 1972 in part with a backlash to the antiwar and counterculture movements[4] that spawned neoconservatism.[5]

I know I grew up thinking of Nixon as the epitome of evil. I was wrong, profoundly wrong. I would say that every president since has been at least as bad and most, if not all, have been worse.

But Nixon did, eventually, secure “peace with honor.” It was a sham, of course, as the North Vietnamese took over the South soon after the U.S. pulled out. But it was enough of a fig leaf that Nixon could pull out. (Saigon fell in 1975, under his successor, Gerald Ford, after he had resigned due to the Watergate scandal.)

We don’t know if Biden will eventually bring Binyamin Netanyahu to heel and I believe he must if he is to have any hope of winning the election this November, but he still shows no sign of doing so as Netanyahu reiterates his intention to cross Biden’s alleged “red line” with an invasion of Rafah.[6]

There is some suggestion that, just as with the antiwar and counterculture movements of my childhood, today’s protesters are unhappy about much more than Gaza, that complaints about a number of issues the Democrats have responded inadequately to if at all will be part of what’s driving these protests.[7] If that proves true—my inclination is to think it will—Biden will be in for a very rough campaign. I don’t even see how he hangs on, let alone wins, and Donald Trump should be much more grateful to Palestinians than he is.

I cannot condemn Biden harshly enough. I’m not yet forecasting a Trump victory this November—this remains awfully hard to imagine—but this situation is very bad and I’m getting a lot closer.

Deutsche Welle, “UN court rules German military aid to Israel can continue,” April 30, 2024, https://www.dw.com/en/un-court-rules-german-military-aid-to-israel-can-continue/a-68956989

Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/

J. Brian Charles, “After Negotiations Collapse, Police Sweep Through Columbia U. and Arrest Dozens,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-negotiations-collapse-police-sweep-through-columbia-u-and-arrest-dozens

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” CNN, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters

Abigail Hauslohner, “House passes antisemitism bill over complaints from First Amendment advocates,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/01/antisemitism-awarness-act-campus-protests/

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/

Stefan M. Bradley, “Columbia University protests look increasingly like those in 1968 as police storm campuses nationwide,” Conversation, May 2, 2024, https://theconversation.com/columbia-university-protests-look-increasingly-like-those-in-1968-as-police-storm-campuses-nationwide-228851

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux
  3. [3]Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux
  4. [4]Ellen Schrecker, “The 50-Year War on Higher Education,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 14, 2022, https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-50-year-war-on-higher-education
  5. [5]George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
  6. [6]Lazar Berman, “Netanyahu tells Blinken he will not agree to end war on Hamas as part of hostage deal,” Times of Israel, May 1, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-blinken-blames-hamas-for-hostage-deal-holdup-gaza-humanitarian-crisis/; Paul Ronzheimer and Carlo Martuscelli, “Netanyahu vows to defy Biden’s ‘red line’ and invade Rafah,” Politico, March 10, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/israels-netanyahu-says-he-will-defy-bidens-red-line-and-invade-rafah/
  7. [7]Erin Gretzinger, “Unrest Has Gripped Campuses Across the Country. These 3 Colleges Struck Deals With Their Protesters,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/unrest-has-gripped-campuses-across-the-country-these-3-colleges-struck-deals-with-their-protesters