Tuesday: Hili dialogue

October 17, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to The Cruelest Day: October 17, 2023, and National Pasta Day.  Try some bucatini, my greatest pasta discovery ever, thanks to a kind reader who sent me some.  It’s thicker than spaghetti, giving you a more noodle-y experience, and there’s a small hole down the middle of each noodle, which helps absorb the sauce.

Here’s a plate of bucatini al’amatriciana:

Why is it the cruelest day? For the same reason T. S. Eliot described in The Waste Land:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

It’s also Four Prunes Day, so named “because it is believed that someone looking for digestive regularity will get it by eating between four and nine prunes in a sitting”, Black Poetry Day, Wear Something Gaudy Day, Forgive an Ex Day, World Trauma Day, and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 17 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The far right Law and Justice party is out in Poland, with a better government (a coalition) in the offing.

Europe stands on the brink of a political earthquake, as election results in Poland suggest the end of power for a hard-right government that chipped away at liberal democracy, stifled the free press and exerted control over the courts while undermining LBGTQ+ and women’s rights.

Now one of the world’s strongest pillars of conservative illiberalism — Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party — faces the same stark choice that confronted Donald Trump in the United States and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil: how to handle defeat in the same democracy it sought to undermine.

Observers see little chance of the kind of insurrections that jarred Washington and Brasília. But Law and Justice, many argue — including some in the party itself — may not go that gently. Under Poland’s parliamentary system, a transition of power could be dragged out for two to three months, during which time Law and Justice, known by its acronym PiS, is likely to search for potential defectors in opposition ranks.

. . . With 100 percent of ballots counted, according to the Polish elections website, Law and Justice remained the top vote-getter, with 35.38 percent. But it appeared to fall well short of a governing majority, and without a path to a governing coalition. The opposition Civic Platform, although in second place with 30.70 percent of the vote, appeared to be in the far stronger position. It has two likely coalition partners — the Third Way and the Left party — which would help it achieve a comfortable majority.

My friends in Poland are very happy.

*More on the war from the NYT, including an increase in the number of hostages and a proposed visit to Israel by Biden.

President Biden on Monday weighed an extraordinary invitation to visit Israel — a grieving nation on the brink of invading territory that has fallen into a desperate humanitarian crisis, with two million people trapped and critical supplies dwindling.

A trip by Mr. Biden — after an invitation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the eve of a major escalation of the conflict in the Mideast — would be a remarkable gamble. To accept the invitation would demonstrate American solidarity with Israel, signaling to its rivals like Iran, Syria and Hezbollah that it has the power of the United States behind it at a time of increasing anxiety about a regional war. But it would also tie Mr. Biden, and the United States, to the bloodshed in Gaza.

The invitation came as Israelis learned more about the terrorist attacks that, nine days ago, killed more than 1,400 people, making them the deadliest in the country’s history. The military said it now believes 199 people were taken hostage by Hamas, the group that controls the Gaza Strip, nearly 50 more than previously thought.

Israel’s retaliation for those attacks has already surpassed the scope of past conflicts with Hamas, which the United States and the European Union consider a terrorist group. Hundreds of airstrikes have pounded Gaza, and Israel says it has killed at least six senior leaders of Hamas so far.

But the strikes are exacting a growing toll on Gaza’s people. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Monday that 2,808 people have been killed and 10,850 wounded.

Remember that Palestine’s figures may be misleading, given that they don’t distinguish between civilians and terrorists in these reports.

  • Mr. Biden has sought to head off a wider conflict with both diplomacy and a show of military might. The Biden administration warned Iran against escalation through back-channel messages with intermediaries in Qatar, Oman and China, its point backed up by a pair of aircraft carriers heading toward the eastern Mediterranean. And the U.S. secretary of state returned to Israel for another round of talks in his marathon effort to broker deals — including getting U.S. citizens out of Gaza and aid into it for civilians.

  • Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Sunday that the Rafah border crossing with Egypt would reopen, raising hope that food and medicine could be brought into Gaza and foreigners could get out. The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem told American citizens in Gaza on Monday to “move closer” to the Rafah crossing if they believed it was “safe” to do so. But hours later, the scores of people who had gathered on the Gaza side of the crossing, toting what they could carry in suitcases, were stuck waiting as diplomatic efforts foundered.

This last bit ticks me off. There is STILL no water to Gaza delivered by Israel, despite the siege for water, food, and medicines being lifted, and the border with Egypt still isn’t open.  I can (barely) understand why trucks bringing relief supplies to Gaza must be inspected for weapons, but I don’t understand why people with an American passport can’t get out.

* Thomas Warrick, identified as “”a nonresident senior fellow with Middle East programs at the Atlantic Council [who] served in the U.S. State Department from 1997 to 2007.” has written of the lessons the U.S. should draw from the problems we had after defeating Iraq. His NYT op-ed is called”I saw what happened to America’s postwar plans for Iraq. Here’s what Israel should plan for Gaza.” There’s a lot f advice, but here’s six bullet points he proffers:

1. End Hamas’s culture of economic corruption in Gaza. Corruption is at the heart of what Hamas uses to keep the Gazan people in line. This needs to end. You may have a chance to put in place once-in-a-generation root-and-branch reforms in public integrity in government contracting, civil service hiring and business practices in Gaza.

How exactly, is Israel going to do that? It’s not the rules, it’s the culture!

2. Listen to what Gaza’s residents want. Ordinary Gazans must have a say in their future.

Of course!

3. Change the educational curriculum. This has been Hamas’s basis for ensuring enduring hatred of Israel. But don’t listen to the equally poisonous voices in Israel that would overplay your hand and undermine lasting educational reforms that would work for Gaza. There are many experts today in the Middle East and outside it who have constructive ideas for an educationalcurriculum that is true to Palestinian history and in the best interests of lasting coexistence.

That’s fine so long as they don’t fan the flames of Jew hatred.

4. Find a path for Gazans to write a constitution that will lead toward a more democratic state that can live in peace side by side with Israel. Israel needs to demonstrate that it is committed to a two-state solution. This is one way to do that.

Sounds good, but there cannot be Hamas, or any other terrorist group, in charge. There must be honest brokers on both sides. And I fear this suggestion is too late. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians want a two-state solution, and most Palestinians want Israel erased. Will a new constitution fix that?

5. Show Gazans that Israel is prepared to help Gaza rebuild economically. This close to Oct. 7, Israelis cannot readily conceive of committing to a Marshall Plan for Gaza. But Israel needs to think through what conditions would make this the right thing to do.

The money should be left to the other Arab states, which have plenty and have already given plenty (much of it used for terrorism). It’s not Israel’s responsibility to fund Gaza’s resurrection, though they can provide technical advice and cooperation.

6. Border security for Gaza that Israel can live with — not a siege — is vital. . . . It is obvious that the measures Israel has had in place since 2007 have not prevented Iran from funding, arming and helping train Hamas. Israel needs now to do better. Even when Israeli ground forces ultimately pull back from Gaza and Gazans start to provide their own police force, Israel will want to ensure for at least three decades, as unobtrusively as possible, that neither Iran nor anyone else has the ability to smuggle into Gaza the means of waging war. At the Department of Homeland Security, I helped draft this kind of plan for Israeli-Palestinian border security that could be retrieved from storage and updated — and to be made real.

This is totally unrealistic, particularly in light of the money Iran has given to Palestine over the past decade.  Warrick means well, and seems to have the chops, but this seems like a big fat pie in the sky.

*Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal tells us how “The Israel-Hamas War is tilting the global power balance in favor of Russia, China.”  So many pundits and so little time!

But, for now, the war launched by Hamas on Oct. 7 with a brutal attack on Israeli towns and villages that killed some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, is proving a boon for America’s main geopolitical rivals. China, Russia and Iran have long sought to undermine the U.S.-backed international system and are now taking advantage of America’s distraction.

“What we are seeing is part of a shifting and moving world order,” said former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who is currently running for Finland’s presidency. “When the U.S. leaves power vacuums, someone is going to fill those vacuums.”

To be sure, the U.S. is already back in the Middle East, showcasing its role as the indispensable partner for Israel and key Arab nations with shuttle diplomacy and military deployments—an engagement that enjoys bipartisan support and dissipates some of the isolationist sentiment that has been gaining ground in recent years.

Still, as Washington’s attention focuses on the Middle East, Russia is probably the clearest beneficiary of the spreading upheaval. Pointing at the mounting Palestinian deaths—around 2,750 by the latest count—Moscow revels in what it calls the hypocrisy of the Western governments, which have roundly condemned Russian massacres of civilians in Ukraine but offer only mild, if any, criticism of Israeli actions in Gaza.

China, too, has embraced the Palestinian cause in a way it hadn’t done in decades. Its once cordial ties with Israel are in tatters. Despite Beijing’s repeated invocations of the need to combat terrorism as it repressed Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region, China has pointedly refrained from using the word “terrorism” as it described the Hamas attack, much to Israel’s dismay—even though there were four Chinese citizens killed by Hamas and three more taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities.

“The crux of the matter is that justice has not been done to the Palestinian people,” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday, in his first public remarks since the Hamas invasion triggered the war.

Had enough punditry? I have!

*Marc Rowan, chief of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School’s board of advisers, has announced that, in light of the school’s ideological capture by activists and its “repulsive moral equivalence between victims of terror and the perpetrators of that terror”, he will no longer donate to the school. (As CEO of Apollo global management, he donated $50 million to the school in 2018).

A debate over how universities should address the Israel-Hamas war has compounded one of the most emotionally charged board fights in years.

It involves two of the most prominent modern figures in finance: Marc Rowan, the chief executive of Apollo and chair of the board of advisers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Scott Bok, the chief executive of Greenhill and chair of Penn’s trustees.

After Hamas’s terrorist attack last Saturday, Rowan called for Bok and Penn’s president, Elizabeth Magill, to resign. Rowan denounced, among other things, the school’s decision to allow on campus, two weeks earlier, a Palestinian literature festival that he said had hosted speakers who presented antisemitic ideas. He believes the school, his alma mater, has an inconsistent approach to the values of free speech.

“Words of hate and violence must be met with clear, reasoned condemnation, rooted in morality from those in positions of authority,” Rowan wrote in an opinion piece submitted to, but not published by, Penn’s student newspaper this week.

“The academic, moral and objective truth of our elite institution was traded for a poorly organized pursuit of social justice and politically correct speech.”

Rowan told CNBC the day after his opinion piece became public that the school had asked three trustees to step down for “publicly disagreeing” with university leaders. He said he had been subtly encouraged to do the same.

Donors are responding big time, sending in only one measly buck until Bok resigns. Now I don’t know the political climate at Wharton or the University of Pennsylvania, but, like college presidents themselves, trustees should be politically neutral in their public statements. If Bok has, however, made Penn overly woke, and has issued public staatements, he should either leave or adopt Chicago’s three foundational principles (Kalven, the Shils report, and the Principles of Free Expression). See also Jacob Savage’s new Free Press article, “Can a donor revolt save American Universities?

*Japan is now allowing legal sex (i.e., gender) changes without surgery (they don’t say anything about whether other medical treatments can be dispensed with; see below.

A court in central Japan ruled Thursday that it is unconstitutional to require a transgender person to undergo surgery to remove their current reproductive organs in order for them to receive documentation under their new gender.

The verdict in Shizuoka family court upholds a transgender plaintiff’s request to change their gender from female to male without having surgery, a decision that was hailed as a landmark by LGBTQ+ advocates. The verdict sets only a limited precedent, but a similar case before Japan’s Supreme Court could set legal precedent nationally.

Gen Suzuki, 48, filed a lawsuit in 2021, seeking a court decision to allow a change of his biologically assigned gender of female to male to match his self-identity without an operation. He said the requirement to undergo surgery was inhuman and unconstitutional.

On Thursday, the Shizuoka family court upheld his request, saying that surgery to remove sexual organs would cause an irreversible loss of reproductive functions, and that to require the surgery “raises a question of its necessity and rationality” from medical and social perspectives.

The decision comes at a time of heightened awareness of issues surrounding LGBTQ+ people in Japan.

Activists have stepped up efforts to pass an anti-discrimination law since a former aide to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in February that he wouldn’t want to live next to LGBTQ+ people and that citizens would flee Japan if same-sex marriage were allowed. Japan is the only Group of Seven country that does not allow same-sex marriage.

Suzuki has had a double mastectomy and hormone treatment, so this appears to be about reproductive organs alone.  Japan appears to be behind the times with regard to same-sex marriage, but I’m not sure what should be the requirements for any country to permit a legal change of “gender” (they mean “sex” as indicated on documents). I’m surprised to realize that I haven’t thought about this issue in any depth. What do readers think?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being a home inspector again:

Hili: A ruin.
A; Where?
Hili: Another two tiles fell off
In Polish:
Hili: Ruina.
Ja: Gdzie?
Hili: Tu, znowu dwie płytki odpadły.
. . . and a wonderful photo of Kulka taken earlier this year by Paulina:


From Mark. Do you get it? If not, go here.

From a Buzzfeed collection of funny signs,

An excellent cartoon by Guy and Rodd from Jesus of the Day:

From Masih: Iranian women remove their hijabs and send the videos to Masih.  Discontent is rife!

Northwestern joins three other schools in trying to do damage control by insisting that yes, they really do think that what Hamas did was bad. They should all adopt Chicago’s principle of institutional neutrality.

Simon’s favorite tweet. Good lord!

From Michael Shermer via Barry. I’m not sure that one can blame it all on religion if Israel has tendered several sincere and general peace offers that were rejected:

From Jez, who calls this “an astonishing video of a Palestinian letting rip at Hamas and the Palestinian Authority”:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: A survivor who died in 2005. Read about him here.


Tweets from Professor Cobb. The first one is like getting a shower while you’re napping:

A visit to the hidden chambers underneath Tower Bridge. Sound up, though there are captions.

A great view of the eclipse the other day:

24 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1091 – London tornado of 1091: A tornado thought to be of strength T8/F4 strikes the heart of London.

    1456 – The University of Greifswald is established as the second oldest university in northern Europe.

    1558 – Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service, is founded.

    1604 – Kepler’s Supernova is observed in the constellation of Ophiuchus.

    1660 – The nine regicides who signed the death warrant of Charles I of England are hanged, drawn and quartered.

    1771 – Premiere in Milan of the opera Ascanio in Alba, composed by Mozart at age 15.

    1814 – Eight people die in the London Beer Flood.

    1860 – First The Open Championship (referred to in North America as the British Open).

    1907 – Marconi begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service.

    1931 – Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.

    1933 – Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States. [Via a brief stay in a secluded wooden cabin on Roughton Heath, just outside Cromer on England’s Norfolk coast.]

    1941 – World War II: The USS Kearny becomes the first U.S. Navy vessel to be torpedoed by a U-boat.

    1943 – The Burma Railway (Burma–Thailand Railway) is completed. [Around 90,000 civilians died during its construction, as did more than 12,000 Allied prisoners. Most of the line was dismantled shortly after the war.]

    1943 – Nazi Holocaust in Poland: Sobibór extermination camp is closed.

    1945 – A large demonstration in Buenos Aires, Argentina, demands Juan Perón’s release.

    1956 – The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield, England. [It was originally called Windscale, but was renamed after a major fire the following year. I wonder why?!]

    1961 – Directed by their chief Maurice Papon, Paris police massacre scores of Algerian protesters.

    1969 – The Caravaggio painting Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence is stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo.

    1970 – FLQ terrorists murder Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte.

    1973 – OPEC imposes an oil embargo against countries they deem to have helped Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

    1979 – Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    1992 – Having gone to the wrong house, Japanese student Yoshihiro Hattori is killed by the homeowner in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    1994 – Russian journalist Dmitry Kholodov is assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces.

    2000 – The Hatfield rail crash leads to the collapse of Railtrack.

    2001 – Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi is assassinated by Hamdi Quran, a member of the PFLP, thus becoming the highest-ranking Israeli to be killed by a Palestinian.

    2003 – Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, becomes the world’s tallest high-rise.

    2018 – The recreational use of cannabis is legalized in Canada.

    2018 – A mass shooting and bombing at Kerch Polytechnic College in Crimea kills 21 people including the attacker and injures 70 others.

    2019 – Drug dealers in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico force the government to back down on an arrest.

    1538 – Irene di Spilimbergo, Italian Renaissance poet and painter (d. 1559).

    1720 – Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini, Italian harpsichord player and composer (d. 1795).

    1813 – Georg Büchner, German-Swiss poet and playwright (d. 1837).

    1840 – André Gill, French caricaturist (d. 1885). [Drew portrait caricatures of Sarah Bernhardt, Otto von Bismarck, Émile Zola, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, and Richard Wagner. In 1868, Gill faced a lawsuit after drawing a pumpkin that was believed by the magistrates to represent the head of a judge. Ever since Charles Philipon had drawn a pear to represent Louis Philippe, any fruit drawn by caricaturists was believed to carry satirical value and was suspect in the eyes of the court. Gill’s lawsuit brought him fame –as well as a prison sentence. He was, however, released after a short time.]

    1860 – Henry Campbell Black, founder of Black’s Law Dictionary (d. 1927).

    1864 – Elinor Glyn, English author, screenwriter, and producer (d. 1943).

    1893 – Raffaele Bendandi, Italian clockmaker and seismologist (d. 1979).

    1903 – Nathanael West, American author and screenwriter (d. 1940).

    1915 – Arthur Miller, American playwright and screenwriter (d. 2005).

    1917 – Marsha Hunt, American actress and singer (d. 2022).

    1918 – Rita Hayworth, American actress, singer and dancer (d. 1987).

    1919 – Violet Milstead, Canadian World War II aviator and bush pilot (d. 2014).

    1920 – Montgomery Clift, American actor (d. 1966).

    1922 – Pierre Juneau, Canadian broadcaster and politician, co-founded the Montreal World Film Festival (d. 2012).

    1925 – Harry Carpenter, English sportscaster (d. 2010).

    1930 – Robert Atkins, American physician and cardiologist, created the Atkins diet (d. 2003).

    1933 – The Singing Nun, Belgian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and nun (d. 1985).

    1935 – Michael Eavis, English farmer, founded the Glastonbury Festival.

    1938 – Evel Knievel, American motorcycle rider and stuntman (d. 2007).

    1962 – Mike Judge, American animator, director, screenwriter, producer and actor.

    1963 – Toby Young, English journalist and academic. [Founder and director of the Free Speech Union. His father coined the term “meritocracy”, which he intended to have negative connotations.]

    1966 – Mark Gatiss, English actor, screenwriter and novelist.

    1968 – Ziggy Marley, Jamaican singer-songwriter, guitarist, and voice actor.

    1969 – Wyclef Jean, Haitian-American rapper, producer, and actor.

    1972 – Eminem, American rapper, producer, and actor.

    1974 – Ariel Levy, American journalist and author.

    1974 – Matthew Macfadyen, English actor.

    1979 – Kimi Räikkönen, Finnish race car driver.

    1983 – Felicity Jones, English actress.

    It’s funny how most people love the dead, once you’re dead, you’re made for life:
    1271 – Steinvör Sighvatsdóttir, Icelandic aristocrat and poet.

    1528 – Hernando Alonso, Spanish conquistador, first Jew executed in the New World.

    1837 – Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Austrian pianist and composer (b. 1778).

    1849 – Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist and composer (b. 1810).

    1868 – Laura Secord, Canadian war heroine (b. 1775).

    1920 – Michael Fitzgerald (Irish republican) died on Hunger Strike (b. 1881).

    1979 – S. J. Perelman, American humorist and screenwriter (b. 1904).

    1998 – Joan Hickson, English actress (b. 1906). [The definitive Miss Marple?]

    2008 – Levi Stubbs, American singer (b. 1936).

    2019 – Elijah Cummings, American politician and civil rights advocate (b. 1951).

    1. 1989 – Loma Prieta Earthquake (6.9) rocked the San Francisco bay area of California collapsing a double decked freeway and the upper deck of the east span of the Bay Bridge. 63 people died.

  2. It’s not Israel’s responsibility to fund Gaza’s resurrection, though they can provide technical advice and cooperation.

    No it’s not their responsibility but, if they want to persuade ordinary inhabitants of Gaza that it’s Hamas who are the bad guys and that living with Israel is better than fighting Israel, it seems like a good thing to do.

    Letting other Muslim states pick up the tab for all the destruction caused by Israeli ordnance seems like a bad idea, unless you want them to perpetually think of Israel as the enemy.

  3. 7. Give up religion — as if religion is an addictive drug with misery, death, and destruction of society in its path.

  4. # 1: Corruption is endemic throughout the Middle East. Why would a new Gaza be any different?

    # 2: Gazans want an end to Israel. That is what Gazans want.

    # 3: Pipe dream. Antisemitism is too pervasive. You would need to import all new educators.

    # 4: Another Unicornia pipe dream.

    # 5: Israel should help literal Nazis rebuild their country? Seriously? ISRAEL?

    # 6: As Jerry points out, a big fat pie in the sky.

    Option # 7: Open the Rafah crossing, get as many through as possible, and SHUT THE GATE.

    Gaza is a hellhole, and it would remain a hellhole if every Jew were extracted from Israel. The fight would simply migrate to battling Fatah.

  5. The rationale for changing the record of birth sex on official documents is that the sex/gender “assigned” at birth was wrong and has been superseded by the “true” gender that emerged thanks to life-saving grooming by school officials and social media. (The last part is sarcasm but I am describing the premise sincerely.) Because the premise is absurdly false on its face, requests to change official documents on the grounds of gender identity should be denied by statute absolutely and without exception.

    This is a separate question from whether sex or the imaginary “gender” should be the basis for the bureaucratic classifying of humanity. Unfortunately medicine seems to have been captured by the idea that in medical care and research, gender is more important than sex. (A woman who identifies as a man who then gets pregnant is cited with all sincerity as refuting the idea that men can’t get pregnant.) With us having lost our way, it is not fair to expect the rest of society to do any better.

    Some accommodation has to be provided for those born with ambiguous genitalia whose sex cannot be immediately observed at birth (or during pre-natal ultrasound.) But since transgenderism has nothing to do with rare intersex conditions, we don’t need to get into that to oppose document changes for transgender people.

    Many jurisdictions do allow sex to be changed on documents on nothing more than a doctor’s say-so which I think is a mistake made out of intimidation (of both bureaucracy and doctors), not for good policy reasons. Like men competing in women’s sports, I suspect the policy-makers initially hoped that there would be too few people doing this to bother making a fuss over it.

    1. “… the “true” gender that emerged thanks to life-saving grooming by school officials and social media. (The last part is sarcasm but I am describing the premise sincerely.)”

      In their own words (bolding added):

      “It may be that Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is “family friendly,” in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is “family friendly” in the sense of “family” as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street.”

      Keenan, Harper, and “Lil Miss Hot Mess.” (2020) “Drag Pedagogy: The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood.” Curriculum Inquiry 50(5): 440–461.

      So yeah – Miss Hot Mess didn’t write “grooming”, it’s true.

      I’m interested to see if changing the birth year on official documentation works out for The Queer Family – aka Queer Nation. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with “eroticism that transgresses generational boundaries” (as Gayle Rubin writes in Thinking Sex). They wouldn’t go that far, right? That’d be preposterous. That’s a pretty well stabilized “norm(s) of identity” that is reasonably “assimilationist” (E. Drabinski).

      1. You know, TP, I have learned so much from reading your comments. Now is a good, if overdue, time to tell you that.

    2. Also remember that the surgery is “inhuman [sic] and unconstitutional” but also life-saving and medically necessary.

  6. I have read that some donors intend to cut-off donations to universities tied to Hamas. My response amounts to ‘finally’. For better or worse (worse), universities have been bastions of extremism for some time now. Let me use UPenn as a bad example. UPenn has a history of extremism that predates (by years) its ties to Hamas. UPenn actually nominated a man (William Thomas) as NCAA ‘Woman of the year’ back in 2022. UPenn actually hosted a pro-Hamas conference before Hamas attacked Israel.

  7. From Jez, who calls this “an astonishing video of a Palestinian letting rip at Hamas and the Palestinian Authority”:

    I listened to the short speech, but did not notice that the Hamas member attacked Hamas, but only the official Palestinian government.

    The government sits in Ramallah and consists of members of the Fatah movement. However, the latter has had no control over the Gaza Strip since Hamas drove Fatah out of it in 2007. To my knowledge the Hamas government in Gaza is not recognized by any state and has no representation in any UN body in contrast to official Palestinian government. Moreover, numerous Hamas members were arrested after the 2006 elections, which Hamas won.

    Seen in this light, the verbal attack by the Hamas member makes much more sense. He is attacking the Fatah government, which is hostile to Hamas and has been repeatedly rocked by corruption cases in recent years, and which has refused for years to hold elections in the autonomous regions.

    However, I am happy to be corrected if I misunderstood the tweet.

  8. My guess is that in hindsight, Hamas and Iran will emerge as big losers from the current conflict. Russia will emerge as a loser, but not a big one. China will gain slightly, and the US will lose modestly.

    My overall opinion is that the WSJ is wrong. Russian and Chinese cheering is very premature. However, China may gain as a relatively neutral party that plays some role in negotiating the final settlement. A parallel might be the US role (under Teddy Roosevelt) in negotiating and end to Russo-Japan war in 1905.

    Russia will tend to lose simply by its association with Iran.

    Of course, all of this assumes that Israel does not end-up trading hostages for prisoners (or anything else). If Israel does trade hostages, then all bets are off.

    1. A thing that burns my marshmallows is when a pundit declares that this or that deplorable regime is winning whenever they step in to a fracas that did not really concern them. That is an incredibly shallow and superficial take on any political matter. There, the pundit is just trying to seem insightful and relevant when in fact they are neither.

  9. Noted in passing. The Mosab Yousef thing looked interesting, but since I don’t tweet, all I got was a new page with a micro-version of the tweet when I clicked it (sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Why is that? Something to do with how the Tweet is embedded?)

    But with his name I found it on YT, where you can see a longer version that sets up the context of the usual palaver there. The main thing is that this is from 2017. Not that that changes anything – the guy is great, but just for the sake of full disclosure or something like that.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *