Saturday: Hili dialogue

October 21, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to CaturSaturday, October 21, 2023, and National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day. Oy, what a repugnant hybrid dessert! Ben & Jerry’s has added another dessert to the mix to produce this:

It’s also ‘Back to the Future’ Day (the day they travel to in the first movie is October 21, 2015), International Sloth Day, Apple Day, International Day of the Nacho, National Mezcal Day, Reptile Awareness Day, Garbanzo Bean Day, Sweetest Day (buy your squeeze some chocolates), Trafalgar Day in the British Empire, and, of course, Birth of the Báb (2017) celebrated by members of the Baháʼí Faith.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 21 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*At last—trucks are moving into Gaza from Egypt with humanitarian aid.

A convoy of 20 trucks carrying aid moved through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza from Egypt on Saturday, according to the United Nations and images shown on Egyptian state television, after days of diplomatic wrangling to get food, water and medicine into the blockaded enclave where essential supplies were running out and hospitals were nearing collapse.

The convoy carrying “life-saving supplies” will be received in Gaza by the Palestinian Red Crescent with the support of the United Nations, the U.N. spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said. Four of the trucks carried medicine and other health-related essentials, the World Health Organization confirmed, which warned that Saturday’s deliveries would “barely begin to address the escalating health needs” in Gaza.

It they can keep this aid out of the hands of Hamas. Remember, the Hamas terrorists took UNICEF first aid kits with them when they entered Israel to butcher civilians.

*Another update on the war. Two American hostages—a mother and daughter—were released by Hamas without any bargaining.

Hamas on Friday released two American hostages — a mother and daughter — who were being held in Gaza. The Israeli military received them at the border and took them to an army base in central Israel to be reunited with family members, according to statements released by Hamas and the Israel government.

The release of the hostages came on the same day the Biden administration formally asked Congress for billions of dollars in emergency funding for Israel and Gaza.

The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., identified the released hostages as Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17. It said they were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack on Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

Abu Obeidah, the spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing, said Friday in a statement on Telegram that Hamas had released the women for “humanitarian reasons” after mediation by Qatar.

Well, it’s a start.  But why has the world seem to have largely forgotten about the hostages. Biden mentions them frequently, but this war crime is drowned out by the rebukes to Israel for “genocide”.

On the down side, it doesn’t look like humanitarian aid is coming to Gaza very soon (see update above; this was written yesterday evening):

Hopes that humanitarian aid would begin to trickle into Gaza from Egypt on Friday were fading as Egyptian, Israeli, U.S. and United Nations officials were still hammering out thorny issues, including who will inspect the shipments for weapons, several U.N. and European officials and diplomats familiar with the talks said.

Israel, for instance, wants to be involved in those inspections and is against shipping in fuel, those people said. Other officials say fuel is needed to keep generators on at hospitals and to provide clean water to desperate Palestinians stuck in Gaza.

Talks in Cairo on Thursday had yielded a step forward, with an agreement to set up a United Nations-operated system at the Rafah border crossing in northeastern Egypt. President Biden said on Tuesday that he had secured agreement from the Israeli government to open up the aid corridor.

I can understand Israel’s position, and think they should be involved in inspecting the shipments for weapons. Egypt doesn’t care and the U.N. isn’t exactly pro-Israel. As for fuel, there is of course a danger that it could be used for terrorism, and Hamas could siphon off a lot, so there should be some way to keep them from getting it.  If the aid is to help the people, it should not be used to help Hamas.

*And we still don’t have a Speaker of the House.

Rep. Jim Jordan lost an internal ballot to remain the GOP speaker nominee, hours after failing to win the speakership in a third round of voting on the House floor Friday.

Republicans will now start over, planning a new candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. Monday night.

*At the WaPo, author Yuval Noah Harari asks the question, “Is Hamas Winning the War?”  His answer is “yes”, and his analysis is pretty good.

Hamas launched this war with a specific political aim: to prevent peace. After signing peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Israel was on the verge of signing a historic peace treaty with Saudi Arabia. That agreement would have been Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s biggest achievement in his entire career. It would have normalized relations between Israel and much of the Arab world. At the insistence of the Saudis and Americans, the treaty’s conditions were expected to include significant concessions to the Palestinians, aimed to immediately alleviate the suffering of millions of them in the occupied territories, and restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

, , , Hamas slaughtered hundreds of Israeli civilians, in the most gruesome ways it could devise. The immediate aim was to derail the Israeli-Saudi peace deal. The long-term aim was to sow seeds of hatred in the minds of millions in Israel and across the Muslim world, thereby preventing peace with Israel for generations to come.

. . . Hamas knew its attack would make Israelis livid, distraught with pain and anger, and the terrorists counted on Israel to retaliate with massive force, inflicting enormous pain on Palestinians. The codename Hamas gave its operation is telling: al-Aqsa Tufan. The word “tufan” means flood. Like the biblical flood intended to cleanse the world of sin even at the cost of nearly wiping out humanity, Hamas’s attack aimed to create devastation on a biblical scale.

. . . If Hamas’s war aims are indeed to derail the Israeli-Saudi peace treaty and to destroy all chance for normalization and peace, it is winning this war by a knockout. And Israel is helping Hamas, largely because Netanyahu’s government seems to be conducting this war without clear political goals of its own.

Israel says it wants to disarm Hamas, and it has every right to do so in protecting its citizens. Disarming Hamas is vital also for any chance of future peace, because as long as Hamas remains armed, it will continue to derail any such efforts. But even if Israel succeeds in disarming Hamas, that’s just a military achievement, not a political plan. In the short term, does Israel have any plan to rescue the Israeli-Saudi peace deal? In the long term, does Israel have any plan to reach a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians and normalize its relations with the Arab world?

Ceiling Cat help us if Harari is right. But I can’t see any huge flaws in his argument.

*As usual, I’ll steal three items from Nellie Bowles’s weekly news report at The Free Press; this week’s is called “TGIF: Guilty until proven innocent.” (This refers to reporting on the Palestinian rocket misfire imputed to Israel.)

→ The blood libel heard ’round the world: So let us get this straight: terrorists burst across the border of Israel, slaughtered innocents, raped women, took captives—including toddlers who remain in their hands—then accidentally exploded a rocket in their own Gaza hospital parking lot, and somehow, in all of this, Israel is still the bad guy.

Let’s start with the rocket. As soon as it went off, Hamas blamed Israel, which in turn said it needed a minute to verify what happened. Do you know who doesn’t need a minute? The mainstream American press. ReutersThe Washington Post, and The New York Times blindly ran with the Hamas account: an Israeli strike, a hospital, hundreds of deaths—500, according to the Times. (A great collection of those headlines can be found here.) The Times even ran an image of a blown-up building—but it wasn’t the hospital. The news ricocheted around the world, leading to attacks on synagogues and marches on embassies. It is the dominant narrative now and likely forever. Even though it is a lie. In the information war, this was a spectacular win for Hamas.

After Biden announced that U.S. intelligence confirmed the Israeli government account—it was a failed rocket from within Gaza—there were no apologies, no corrections, just subtle headline changes to make it slightly factual-ish. (Just compare this to the uproar after Tom Cotton’s op-ed, which led to the firing of the paper’s opinion editor.) And so it was a bit of an awakening for me. This is the week I realized that the adults I thought were flawed but trying are actually on meth and don’t care. Or maybe it’s even worse: they know it’s a lie.

Nellie adds that one of the NYT’s liveblog reporters on the war happens to be an Israel-hating aide to, yes, Rashida Tlaib. Shoot me now!

→ Why do you want those babies back anyway? What are you implying by saying you don’t want your children kidnapped? And now you want them back? I suggest you ask yourself why that is. In cities around the country, Jews have been posting the faces of the Hamas-held hostages. And in cities around the country, activists have been tearing those images down. Those plaintive images of babies are really harshing my pro-Hamas march vibe. In New York, protesters are desecrating their faces (obviously, that’s happening everywhere in England). The images of the kidnapped victims are being torn down by all sorts of people, like this Florida dentist. Welcome to the new Keep the Hostages movement. Why deprive Hamas of hostages? Do you know how high a terrorist’s cost of living is these days?

But my favorite Keep the Hostages activists are the two young women at NYU—Hafiza Khalique and Yazmeen Deyhimi—running around gleefully holding the ripped images of those hostages. Worth looking at some pics, because they’re just having so much fun doing it. But their pleasure is not what makes these two girls my favorite; it’s that Yazmeen was an intern at the—wait for it—Anti-Defamation League. Her apology: “I have found it increasingly difficult to know my place as a biracial brown woman, especially during these highly volatile times.”

Here’s a professor at University of California, Davis. (The school has taken down her faculty page and likely doubled her pay.)

Professor Decristo is trying to stir up literal violence against journalists (I might be in the top 500 on Jemma’s list, but Bar is definitely in the top 5, so if anyone wants to take her into your home that would be great). Jemma is trying to provoke people to do real-life harm to journalists and their children. She adds a knife, an ax, and three blood drops to make it really clear. (No one ever said terrorists were smart.) Do not hold your breath for one of the dozens of journalist dignity defense groups to speak up here. They’re camped out waiting for Trump to post a Truth so they can Stand Together Against Mean Trump Posts. Meanwhile, I’m going to email Professor Decristo to ask if her plan is to kill me tonight or tomorrow and what the vibe is exactly of knife, ax, blood blood blood.

See more on the sickening Professor Decristo here.

There’s a lot of stuff in Nellie’s report this week, so go have a look.

*The NYT reports that “On Israel, progressive Jews feel abandoned by their Left-wing allies“:

Progressive Jews who have spent years supporting racial equity, gay and transgender rights, abortion rights and other causes on the American left — including opposing Israeli policies in Gaza and the West Bank — are suddenly feeling abandoned by those who they long thought of as allies. This wartime shift represents a fundamental break within a liberal coalition that has long powered the Democratic Party.

“When a people have been subject to decades of apartheid and unimaginable violence, their resistance must not be condemned, but understood as a desperate act of self-defense,” Black Lives Matter Los Angeles posted on Facebook, in its first response to the attack. A reproductive-rights group sharply criticized the “Zionist occupation,” saying that the Israeli government denied “Palestinians control over their bodies” and that “there can be no justice, peace or reproductive freedom underneath colonial occupation.” A number of socialist organizations across the country did not directly condemn the killings by Hamas.

And many protests have included chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a slogan that leaves no place for the state of Israel to exist in its own land.

From email listservs of progressive Jewish groups to protests on university campuses to social-media campaigns by prominent liberal Jewish celebrities like Sarah Silverman, the war is bringing to a head more than a decade of tensions about Israel on the American left.

. . .Interviews with dozens of liberal Jewish leaders and voters, and a review of social media posts, private emails and text chains of liberal Jewish groups, reveal a politically engaged swath of American Jewry who are reaching a breaking point. They have long opposed the Israeli government’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, supported a two-state solution and protested the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

But in the Hamas attacks, many saw an existential threat, evoking memories of the Holocaust and generations of antisemitism, and provoking anxiety about whether they could face attacks in the United States. And they were taken aback to discover that many of their ideological allies not only failed to perceive the same threats but also saw them as oppressors deserving of blame.

Yes, one of those who feel abandoned is Sarah Silverman, who saw this odious Democratic Socialists of America Instagram post and commented on it (below)

And another Instagram statement from The Divine Sarah:

*Andrew Sullivan’s Weekly Dish post this week is called “A party unfit for government,” and you know he’s talking about Republicans.

And I know you know this, but it’s still vital to remember that a major political party is backing this incoherent, unhinged, fact-free narcissist to be president of the United States. It is therefore no surprise to discover that the same party is completely incapable of forming a stable majority in the House of Representatives because it too is incoherent, divided, unhinged, and narcissistic. We’ve never had this amount of time without a Speaker in the history of the House. But then we’ve never had a majority party as utterly vacuous as this one.

The leading candidate for the Speaker, who keeps running and keeps losing, is Jim Jordan, the apotheosis of Republican nihilism: he has passed no legislation in his time in office — zero! — and he was up to his neck in the attempt to overturn the last election and in the storming of the Capitol on January 6. He has launched investigations into every Trump prosecutor. His supporters have run intimidation campaigns, including death threats. He is entirely a negative, howling artifact of ideology.

So is his party. A party wedded to ideological abstractions, emotional hissy-fits, constitutional brinkmanship and a strongman candidate is not a conservative party. It is the anti-conservative party. Objecting to everything is objecting to nothing. Gerrymandering yourself into a homogeneous, minority cult only rewards ever more extremism. Obsessed with themselves, demanding the impossible, and risking everything for it: this is not a party that is in any way fit for government, and yet it is a party that is all but guaranteed huge sway because America is so polarized that extremists get away with anything.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej are again discussing philosophy:

Hili: Is scepticism a world view?
A: No, but sometimes it helps against the worst mistakes.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy sceptycyzm jest światopoglądem?
Ja: Nie, ale pozwala czasem bronić się przed najgorszymi błędami.


From Richard:

From Merilee, a tee-shirt that would be useful for many of us (including me0:

From BuzzFeed, more capitalistic lying:

A tweet from Masih showing a bloodied Iranian child attacked by the regime (sound up). Zahedan is in Iran.

From Jez, a WaPo flub. (The papers are having trouble with the war.) DETAINED by Hamas? Seriously? What about KIDNAPPED? Is it against the Post’s stylebook to say that Hamas kidnaps people?

From Barry; these ducklings will be well protected, but they need to learn how to be ducks (and get proper food):

From Frits, a REAL catwalk:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a mother and three-year-old child gassed upon arrival at the camp:

From Dr. Cobb who got it from Tina. The speaker is apparently a Jewish comedian who lives in the West Bank, but his words are dead serious. I think he’s speaking in Arabic.

Cat in an orchestra (sound up):

. . . and a groaner:

22 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1805 – Napoleonic Wars: A British fleet led by Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet under Admiral Villeneuve in the Battle of Trafalgar.

    1854 – Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses are sent to the Crimean War.

    1867 – The Medicine Lodge Treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate to a reservation in the western Indian Territory.

    1879 – Thomas Edison applies for a patent for his design for an incandescent light bulb.

    1910 – HMS Niobe arrives in Halifax Harbour to become the first ship of the Royal Canadian Navy.

    1921 – President Warren G. Harding delivers the first speech by a sitting U.S. president against lynching in the Deep South.

    1940 – The first edition of the Ernest Hemingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published.

    1941 – World War II: The Kragujevac massacre against Serbian men and boys takes place.

    1944 – World War II: The first kamikaze attack damages HMAS Australia as the Battle of Leyte Gulf begins.

    1944 – World War II: The city of Aachen falls to American forces after three weeks of fighting, the first German city to fall to the Allies.

    1945 – In the 1945 French legislative election French women vote for the first time.

    1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves the transfer of all US Army space-related activities to NASA, including most of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency.

    1965 – Comet Ikeya–Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers (279,617 miles) from the sun.

    1966 – A colliery spoil tip slips onto houses and a school in the village of Aberfan in Wales, killing 144 people, 116 of whom were schoolchildren.

    1967 – The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam organizes a march of fifty thousand people from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon.

    1971 – A gas explosion kills 22 people at a shopping centre near Glasgow, Scotland.

    1983 – The metre is defined as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.

    1987 – The Jaffna hospital massacre is carried out by Indian peacekeeping forces in Sri Lanka, killing 70 Tamil patients, doctors and nurses.

    2005 – Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in documenting its discovery.

    2011 – Iraq War: President Barack Obama announces that the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq will be complete by the end of the year.

    2021 – A shooting occurs on the set of the film Rust, in which actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop weapon which had been loaded, killing the director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director Joel Souza.

    1687 – Nicolaus I Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician and theorist (d. 1759).

    1772 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, philosopher, and critic (d. 1834).

    1833 – Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and engineer, invented dynamite and founded the Nobel Prize (d. 1896).

    1911 – Mary Blair, American illustrator and animator (d. 1978).

    1912 – Georg Solti, Hungarian-English conductor and director (d. 1997).

    1914 – Martin Gardner, American mathematician and author (d. 2010).

    1917 – Dizzy Gillespie, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (d. 1993).

    1921 – Malcolm Arnold, English composer (d. 2006).

    1921 – Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld, Dutch astronomer and academic (d. 2015).

    1922 – Liliane Bettencourt, French businesswoman and philanthropist (d. 2017).

    1926 – Leonard Rossiter, English actor (d. 1984).

    1929 – Ursula K. Le Guin, American author and critic (d. 2018).

    1929 – George Stinney Jr., African-American scapegoat, youngest with an exact known age executed by the United States (d. 1944). [Executed by electric chair aged 14. His murder conviction was vacated in 2014, seventy years after he was executed, with a South Carolina court ruling that he had not received a fair trial, and was thus wrongfully executed.]

    1940 – Manfred Mann, South African-English keyboard player and producer.

    1941 – Steve Cropper, American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and actor.

    1944 – Mandy Rice-Davies, English model and actress (d. 2014).

    1949 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli captain and politician, 9th Prime Minister of Israel.

    1955 – Catherine Hardwicke, American film director, producer, and screenwriter.

    1956 – Carrie Fisher, American actress and screenwriter (d. 2016).

    1957 – Julian Cope, English singer-songwriter.

    1957 – Steve Lukather, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

    1976 – Andrew Scott, Irish actor.

    1980 – Kim Kardashian, American reality television personality, actress, model, businesswoman and socialite.

    It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls:
    1805 – Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, English admiral (b. 1758).

    1904 – Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and journalist (b. 1877).

    1969 – Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet (b. 1922).

    1971 – Minnie Evans, American artist (b. 1888).

    1980 – Hans Asperger, Austrian physician and psychologist (b. 1906).

    1984 – François Truffaut, French actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1932).

    1985 – Dan White, American assassin and politician (b. 1946).

    1999 – Lars Bo, Danish author and illustrator (b. 1924).

    2014 – Ben Bradlee, American journalist and author (b. 1921).

    2014 – Edith Kawelohea McKinzie, Hawaiian genealogist, author, and hula expert (b. 1925).

    2020 – Frank Bough, English television presenter (b. 1933).

    2021 – Bernard Haitink, Dutch conductor and violinist (b. 1929).

    1. I didn’t know Haitink died (well he was bound to, in his nineties), but he was one of my favoured conductors.

  2. USAians, help me out here. Given that the GOP is an “incoherent shit-show” (in the words of Sullivan, a commentator sympathetic to the right), and given that their likely nominee has a host of well-documented character flaws, how come the polls are saying he could well win the battleground states and hence the presidency?

    1. I’d guess the same things that led to the worst regimes from the past that started as populist movements gaining power. Due to concerted propaganda efforts over years a significant fraction of the population had become seriously detached from reality. And a significant fraction are apathetic about politics and voting and are therefore relatively ignorant.

      And note that the kind of dedicated propaganda campaign I’m talking about here doesn’t just affect those already predisposed towards the political party executing it. It has very notable affects on all groups, even the opposition. For one little example, note how even here at WEIT, a website hosted by a life-long academic liberal, how many people take the Hunter Biden laptop scandal seriously. Or how many people repeated the easily proven false claim that Hillary Clinton didn’t address the needs of the working class during her campaign.

      Also, I’m not so sure that any of these polls are trustworthy. The 2 or 3 I spent some time looking into had some serious flaws pointed out by other experts. Some suggestive data is the results of elections over the past 1 – 2 years. In nearly every case DP candidates have been significantly “overperforming” compared to RP candidates. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won the election, though often they did, but that the percentage of votes they received was much higher than DP candidates received in those regions in the recent past.

    2. That candidate taps into the resentment of voters who are tired of being condescended to by their betters. Those betters believe that candidates with character flaws should be eliminated from the race by non-electoral means so as to prevent those deluded voters from making incorrect choices.

      1. Those betters believe that candidates with character flaws should be eliminated from the race by non-electoral means …

        “Eliminated”? Eliminated how, Leslie? Donald Trump ran for the office of US presidency in 2016 and 2020. And if he is the Republican Party’s nominee for US president in 2024 (as looks increasingly likely to be the case) his name will appear on presidential ballots across the country once again (even if he stands convicted in one or more of his pending criminal prosecutions).

        Trump is not being prosecuted by anyone’s “betters” or by his political opponents, but by career state prosecutors and by a special federal prosecutor who is as removed from political pressures as US law can currently provide. Should Trump be allowed to escape prosecution for his blatant violations of US criminal laws merely because he has decided to run for the US presidency for a third time?

        1. I was just answering the other commenter’s question as to why Mr. Trump is leading in the polls in battleground states despite his objective character flaws. Indict him all you want, sue him into penury. He’s still the middle-finger candidate.

    3. And also despite the obvious that Tr*mp is unfit to be president and is extremely dangerous, rank after rank of Republican voters will vote for him because he can accomplish what they want. A common refrain is they will say “yes, I know he is a #$%$^$3 and a #%^$^!!#$%, but he has been very effective at bringing about [insert right wing cause], and so I will vote for the $%$#. “

    4. Polls are less than meaningless nowadays, especially when they’re a year out. America’s largest voting block, Millennials through Gen Z can’t be polled and they despise Trump and the GOP. Women in America are up in arms with the overturning of Roe v Wade; this fact is also vastly under polled. There isn’t one instance where anti-abortion laws haven’t been overturned when brought up for a vote, even in ruby-red states like Kansas or South Carolina. When the Democratic campaigning actually starts (remember that Trump and those in the GOP primary are the only candidates actively campaigning right now) Trump and the GOP will be tied to the abortion ban. It should also be noted that this past week, two of Trump’s staunchest allies, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro have both pleaded guilty in the Georgia case. In other words, they have turned on Trump and are cooperating with his prosecutors. It can’t be overemphasized how bad this is for Trump. The fact that Trump’s ass-kissing-cultist Jim Jordan didn’t win the Speakership seems to imply that Trump’s stranglehold on the GOP is weakening. The walls are closing in on Trump and he knows it. The GOP (cult that it is) is in complete denial that Trump will very likely be convicted of many felony charges before 11/24.

      Though it is also true, as darrell rightly points out, there is a huge swath of America that is pretty much brainwashed, and they are full of piss and vinegar and immune to facts. So it’s very important to keep fighting against this American tyranny. Americans not in the cult need to realize that Trump’s end-goal is to vanquish American Democracy. Once the campaigning starts, I’m sure this fact will be repeated again and again and tied to every MAGA candidate. The majority of Americans still want to live in a Democracy; that gives me hope.

    5. Coel, attempt #4 at this comment. (The earlier tries, slipping under Da Roolz at 597 words, might have sent the comment to purgatory. The first comment posted in the wrong place; the next attempts never posted; I never saw a “duplicate comment” notice.)

      I’ll first echo what Leslie says. Despite his being a Canadian, he has tapped into the general feelings of a lot of Trump voters who I know across several US states and disparate regions. None of them will frame their argument in terms of “resentment,” but you can hear it in their voices and sense it in their comments. I have talked to and heard many over the last year who would prefer someone other than Trump—DeSantis and Haley are most often mentioned—but they seem to feel that Trump has momentum, for whatever reason, and are rallying behind him—even if they don’t like him as a man. I have heard people who should know better and who have more sense elsewhere in life simply write off all the charges against Trump as politically motivated. Why do many Trump voters so readily believe this? Well, because their own concerns have been lampooned, lied about, made up, distorted, and dismissed by the other side for many years. Condescending rhetorical questions from the left about “Why do ‘those people’ always vote against their interests?” gave way to attacks of “racist, sexist” before morphing into “stupid, brainwashed, deplorables who cling to their guns and religion” flavor. There is little attempt to understand, only to denigrate. And these attacks long predate Trump; in my estimation, they greatly contributed to his rise. Many Trump voters interpret the political attacks and legal charges against Trump as more of the same. Attacks on him are attacks on them. Distinctions are lost. He has become a symbol.

      It isn’t, of course, all resentment. For some it is the economy. Many others on the right have serious concerns about several of the issues we talk about here, and they see in the Woke an illiberal assault on the very foundations of our system: attacks on free speech, advocacy of censorship, an uncontrolled border, sexual mutilation of children, race-based discrimination in the workplace, ideology in the press, the universities, the K-12 system, etc. And they see the Biden administration as putting all of this on steroids. They see the nation’s most powerful media, the leading universities, many of the top corporations all advancing what to them is insanity and national suicide. Most recently, we all witnessed the hatred of Jews and apologies for terror—promulgated, ignored, or excused by leading media and universities, mind you, not by the misfit, mostly powerless, low-wage Neanderthals who marched in Charlottesville. Nearly all of this is coming from the well-placed left, yet those on the left who share these concerns continue to elect the same people, support the same universities, give to the same NGOs that are either facilitating or leading (or at least not standing up to) the illiberal charge. To the well-informed Trump voter—and they do exist—they find this as incomprehensible as those on the left who wonder how anyone could ever vote for Trump.

      There’s more, but this is [still] barely under Jerry’s word limit already, and it is only one man’s take. As I have said several times on this site: we need better choices.

  3. I notice the Turkish flag in the background of the “REAL catwalk”, which makes sense given their national love of cats.

  4. The manner in which (some on) the left have responded to the Hamas attacks sickens me. There is so much wrong being committed by so many individuals and groups that it seems to almost impossible to fight back. Jemma Decristo at UC Davis is a perfect example—a terrorist with a platform. Threatening people with violence is a crime, but her current post is too general to prosecute. Maybe her next post—whether on the Davis web site or not—will be more specific. If universities would jettison their grievance “studies” departments, the entire world would be better off.

    And one really needs to behold the joyous NYU women, Hafiza Khalique and Yazmeen Deyhimi. One can only hope that their 17-seconds of video fame will follow them for the rest of their lives. Who would want to put these terrorists on their payroll? Employers take note:

    Just about every synagogue in my area has something on its web site touting the congregation’s commitment to social justice. Their naïveté saddens me. I hope that what we are seeing now from the radical left serves as a wake-up call.

    Sadly, Yuval Noah Harari seems to be correct in that Hamas has achieved its aim—at least in the short run. That said, Saudi Arabia’s interests haven’t changed and may have even been reinforced by the Hamas atrocities. It is more than ever in Saudi Arabia’s interest to make peace with Israel and stand firm against Iran.

  5. Malgorzata mentioned the other day about the greenhouses that the Palestinians almost immediately trashed in Gaza that had been left behind in 2006. I vaguely remembered that, but went looking for a story on it and had no trouble finding one, in this case from al Jazeera.

    And is everyone having to put their email and username in manually in order to post anymore these days?

  6. 1971 – A gas explosion kills 22 people at a shopping centre near Glasgow, Scotland.

    I remember it well. It happened in Clarkston, where my mother and aunts would meet once a week for coffee and a chat, right in the middle of the centre. By chance they had cancelled coffee that day. Such is life.

    1. Yes, it was a terrible disaster – I remember it being on the TV news because my mother was so upset that it stuck with me. I was nearly five at the time, so only a little younger than some of the victims, and had just started school as a “rising five”.

  7. The video posted by Yasmine is great and correct, and kinda hopeful for the reasonable Muslims around us. Tlaib does not appear to be amongst those reasonable ones.
    How did she get elected in the first place?

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