505 Comments

Always excellent, dear Doctor. However, in the phrase "Since then, Israel has accelerated the settlement of Israelis on Palestinian lands in the West Bank", you omitted the crucial word "illegal".

I hold no brief for Hamas, or its atrocities. I also cannot support the appalling actions of Netanyahu. The Gazans have been trapped in an open prison for years and there is no political or moral justification for bombing one of the most densely populated areas in the world. There are no bomb shelters, nowhere is safe. Cutting off power, water, food is a crime against humanity. Collective punishment is a war crime. Forcible moving of populations is a war crime.

This is not all, of course. Armed "settlers" on the West Bank are attacking their neighbours. Places of worship of Muslims and Jews all over the world are vulnerable to attack by extremists and the ignorant, whipped up by those in whose interest it is to encourage them.

Biden and Sunak and others "stand by" Israel unequivocally, uncritically, and with no understanding of the history. The Israeli government has an extraordinary record of flouting international law, knowing that it will not be held to account.

Hamas appalling, inhumane actions are the pustulent bursting of a boil that has been festering for years.

I apologise for this lengthy post, coming as it does from a place of a love of humanity, of peace, of co-existence.

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Thank you. If only more people realized that Hamas didn't come out of nowhere, the grim situation in Gaza before Oct. 7 didn't come out of nowhere, the Netanyahu government didn't come out of nowhere . . .

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Extremism never comes out of no where. FDR has a quote about how autocrats take over a democracy- something like this:

When the government is unable to deliver for it citizens, then an autocrat can rise up to be the "solution" to the problems.

Here in the U.S., the right wing has managed to create a belief that mostly white Americans have been affected by minorities. As LBJ once stated, if you can convince the poorest white man that his problems are because the Blacks, then you can get him to vote for you.

Dr. Richardson has shown that to be true in her writings. It is how the rich whites in the South got the poor whites to march off to war against their own government.

Thanks to the billionaire class, there has been created an environment of hate. Putin has bullied his oligarchs to bend to his wishes and as long as they follow him, they get rewarded. Some Western oligarchs have seen this and are copying him. We have a lot of billionaires here in the U.S. that could change this, but they seem to do little and allow the Murdochs, Mercers, Sinclairs and Musk to flood the media scape with their lies.

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Indeed! A couple of additions: (1) Let's not take our surplus of billionaires as a given. Before the tax and deregulation policies of Reagan et al., they were fewer, and less powerful. (2) It wasn't just that the government was unable/unwilling to deliver for its citizens, it's also that the Democratic Party was too long unwilling to deliver for its voters and potential voters. With Obama that began to change, and I think we're seeing much more substantial change with the Biden administration. Getting the word out not just to people who habitually vote Republican but to the greater number who don't vote at all -- that's the challenge.

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Thank you, Susanna and Rickey. You have outlined the essence of the problems here.

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It appears to me that "the root of all evil" is abuses of power. Economic advantage is one form of power, evident in Musk's control of "X" (even the new name is creepy) and "perfectly legal" organized crime, such as "payday loans". I could go on and on with that one. Obviously in a land where money (perfectly legally) buys votes and judicial outcomes, justice is corrupted.

That leads into the power of the state, that can be the defender and advocate of equal protection and justice but can also be the principle source of oppression. Lincoln said "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy." It would be hard to say it better. Notice that the extent and severity of mistreatment of people in a society tends to mirror their access to wealth.

Violence is another form of power over people, and one we generally deem justified in certain circumstances; but again, the devil is in the details. Paired relationships can be abusive, evidence is accumulating for lifelong behavioral damage to children who are only verbally, let alone physically or sexually abused. Our prisons are disproportionately populated with the victims of such abuse and our society impacted as a whole by knock-on abuses. And abuse can be predatory and/or irresponsible. The polluter may just be indifferent to spreading harm, but not seeking to harm specifically. The politician who favors the interests of wealthy contributors over the public good simply indifferent to the latter, though some seem to get a rush of a sense of power from causing others to suffer. And isn't that "evil"?

The temptation to take an abusive advantage of other is always there, even in world's playgrounds. Put another way, bullying and pernicious irresponsibility, from abusive or threatening social transactions to genocide, is the root of all evil, and what we do about it today threatens our societies right now, and robs the options of people as yet unborn. I think it is a revealing lens through which we can better understand our circumstances.

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Abuses of power are not significantly different from "the love of money" as the root of all evil. After all, those who abuse their authority are almost always doing it for the benefit of wealthy people who are able to make the "contributions" (i.e. bribes) that keep the powerful in authority.

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Thank you for this post about the abuses of power. And so it has been throughout history. I am at Bismarck in a history of Middle Europe which is the story of the people in power abusing those beneath them or whom they viewed as foreign.

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5% of students create 80% of the issues in a school and as adults the percentage is same for citizens who litter the highways and otherwise do not follow norms of society. Minority of people make the majority uncomfortable.

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Ricky, further to this point that you make: "Thanks to the billionaire class, there has been created an environment of hate." Pres. G.W. Bush, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on 3/31/2001 said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." Thomas Frank proved Bush to be correct with his book "What's the Matter with Kansas," published in 2004. The wealthy have used wedge issues to manipulate the gullible into voting against their own best social and economic interests. Today, with social media, it is rampant.

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As someone pointed out above, this has long been a ploy of the wealthy to turn people who might have combined causes against them into enemies.

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Yes, for example, those making less than $50,000 per year have more in common politically, financially, socially, etc. than they do with the billionaire oligarchs. We have failed to teach critical thinking skills in our schools.

Think of something that you believe is true . . . .

1. How SURE are you that it's true? (0-100%)

2. What is the SOURCE of the belief?

3. What are your REASONS for believing it's true?

4. How could you FIGURE OUT if it's true?

5. How would you FEEL if you were WRONG?

6. What facts would CHANGE YOUR MIND?

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I have been retired for a long time, but I taught critical thinking in asking students to assess sources in my writing and independent study classes. I didn't ask these questions explicitly though. We did have discussions about each person's project. Right now we are busy with standardized testing which teaches test taking and trying to make up for losses during the pandemic. Then there is sports. Impending teachers' strike in Portland (OR), but district says sports will go on when nothing else will. Trouble in a small school with frosh football hazing of a sexual nature and the super ended their season. Then she lost her job. We have our priorities wrong in so many ways, but then that suits those who have the power and money.

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Commonality in economic stratus is a given. We've not only failed teaching critical thinking in schools, but have (and are) undermining those very institutions; I believe this is by design. And this failure has worked it's way up the ladder in politics, MSM and the public as a whole.

On the other hand, the rise/demand of entertainment has taken up an undue amount of oxygen.

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As a science educator I agree, teaching critical thinking skills is the key to learning and understanding concepts. What you described connects with “Claim-Evidence-Reasoning-Rebuttal” a framework used in science classrooms and supported by the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association). I find CER/CERR can be applied to all disciplines. I acknowledge that too many false claims are being proliferated without any evidence. The challenge we face is in verifying that any evidence used to support claims is true. False claims are also being supported by fake evidence, hence the need to teach critical thinking skills.

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Yes, critical thinking should be a mandatory in our schools. But, we have politicians that control the education forum. Having a populace that's smart and thinks critically is not in their best interests.

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Isn't our evolutionary advantage as a species dependent upon our ability to accurately map our circumstances? Are we not obliged to make constant decisions about accuracy and value, even as we scan this page? Is not extreme ignorance or psychosis disabling? How, as a matter of practice, do we choose what is (ultimately) advantageous for us to believe? We learn techniques to improve our odds, but I think more often obliquely than directly. Scientist speak of "degrees of confidence". What as a matter of practice has proved to justify confidence in terms of outcomes? It is and isn't "rocket science".

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Do they even have Social Studies in high school anymore? If so, these questions are exactly what should be asked. Thanks for posting!

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Who really gained from slavery? Who fought for it?

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And Kansas keeps electing idiots funded by the Koch network.

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"Divide and rule" goes way back.

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Thank you Rickey! And not nearly enough attention is paid to the allies of the oligarchs - Russian oligarchs. HCR's last sentence should send chills up the spines of every American! And yet, the MSM and the owners of SM largely ignore it.

"A senior State Department official told reporters that Russia was so successful in amplifying disinformation about the 2020 U.S. election and the COVID-19 pandemic that the Kremlin decided to up its game."

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Absence of Government oversight. Republicans and wealthy in the US have joined forces for decades to increasingly concentrate wealth in very fewer hands while undermining public education. We have have little government oversight in key areas such as finance, media and technology, and here many in academia have joined the mantra of governments having little to no role/

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In academia - yes. George Mason Univ. is one example.

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I experienced that during an executive program at an Ivy League university in MA on artificial intelligence and business. I have no basis to extrapolate that experience into what actually is the discourse across that university, but I must say there was a consistent mindset from professors in that course when it came to government role being minimum close to non-existent. I was more surprised by the tone and widespread consensus within that group of professors than by the position itself. They spoke as if in authority and in control, both to internal and external audiences of influencers in the field. It was not a subject open for discussion but a sine qua non.

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A Mason University professor recently published a column in the newspaper claiming that disinformation and misinformation was more a matter of demand than supply. I'm sad to say that I'm not surprised by something like this from a George Mason professor. Walter D. Williams used to put out the same kind of stuff.

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The continually growing inequality in the U.S. helps Wealthy White Christian Nationalist Male Billionaires pervert our law based system of government. They fund a multiplying array of Dark Money anonymously funded organizations that have created a fact free environment they exploit to deceive Americans. Lawsuits brought by these organizations and propaganda spewed by their traditional media and online platforms turn the First Amendment on its head effectively making free speech the freedom to lie with impunity.

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Yes, dishonesty is either the foundation stone or one of them for the trouble our country is in, internally as well as externally. The other foundation stone clear to me is not caring about others nearly enough. Nowadays the only language we seem to have is either acts of war or showing off, aggression or narcissistic display, but even those extremes of human communication are not being correctly understood. Empathy and insight are lacking, as well as the responsibility and commitment to take care of the real needs.

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Equality for all...it’s premise chills the hardened, self pardoned, hearts ...the disenfranchised outnumber ..the rich control standing on their backs leading yet another charge.

Throughout time this has been the outline for the incessant changing of the guard...Dems clean up messes Republican’s create and when complacency sets in , all gets quiet on a western front , Repubs throw another long on the fire and history retells the rest...

Looking at the Big Picture..what indecency has been wrought -we HAVE come a long ways...

Fine tuning is built off of what works and fine tuning sees the cracks and paves over for the even better drive.

We’ve created a monster with unchecked wealth disparity , capitalism’s thoroughly documented human factor ( greed /false importance), so equality is still a goal , the fine tuning aspect not given its due.

Might it be the missing link perchance?

I hope so

💙💙VOTE ALL THE COMPLICIT OUT💙💙

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The lucky ones, those who managed "to capture the ring" on the merry-go round, think and feel that that "did it on their own." Some were smart but more than anything else, they were lucky. Right place, right time, right product or service, and more, but without people buying or paying for what they have, they would have nothing. But, "I did it on my own" is the refrain that I most often hear.

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Smart man once pointed out the dangers of believing ones own propaganda. The root of "I did it all on my own" illusion of those who rose above their station. Hubris and humility never fit together.

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I consider myself to be among the luckiest on this planet.

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Oct 22, 2023·edited Oct 22, 2023

Well said and I think aligns with what HCR has endeavored to teach us, especially in “How the South Won the Civil War” and “Democracy Awakening.”

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Just started reading, she writes so eloquently (thanks Heather 🫶) .

Teaching: the humble gift of givers.

Reading: the shortest distance to understanding .....and in the mix?

See, stop, and separate this evil called disinformation.

Ahh truth...let it be known and known well...

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Another FDR Quotation worth repeating here--remembering he was up against so many autocrats, dictators and emperors at home and worldwide: ". . . There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness."

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BINGO!

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Back to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians- the entire state of Israel is a manipulation by the Zionist movement who is racist. So is this your way of identifying that what happened to the indigenous people of this country is exactly the same thing that is happening and has been happening since 1948 thanks to Truman and the UK? Because that is what we are talking about. Not Putin - not Russian.

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perhaps you missed what is happening in Ukraine and Putin's goal?

I do not support the happenings in Gaza and what the Israeli government has done to the Palestinians. I know a few people that have been there and the treatment of the Palestinians is horrid. Likewise, the way the Arabs treat the Palestinians is also horrid. They use them as a way to continue the conflict.

as far as being exactly the same thing, maybe not exactly but very similar. Corrupt power always seeks to use groups to blame and then proceed to exterminate them and then move on to another group.

So, yes, we are talking about Putin and Russia. Read Red Famine, by Anne Applebaum, Strongmen, Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat. Dr. Richardson's book on Wounded Knee. Only the faces and geography changes. Evil is there underneath a rock waiting to come out again.

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You assume I am not educated. You assume I have not already read all of your suggestions. Are you aware that the Zionist agenda was born in Russia long before Putin was born? Regardless this isn’t about Russia. This is about the Ethnic Cleansing, the genocide, the Holocaust of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli and US governments. Talking about Putin is a distraction that removes the responsibility of The United States government who is footing the bill and the weapons to murder Palestinians.

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Definitely true.

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To add to your list a must see is "The Killings of Moon Flower". Knowing the problem is 1/2 the battle. We are hovering just below the top of the left side of the societal learning curve... As we reach the top and the banner is being passed to our youth we share faith that their good spirit will prevail. And Musk wants us in his AI cars!

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Read the book. It was a sad read.

Add Wilmington's Lie, The Burning, The Sum of Us.

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The media never describes, at least I haven't seen, Hamas as a resistance group. Not condoning their tactics that are a reaction to Israeli more sophisticated military actions and settlement land grabbing. The whole thing is a swirling cesspool of religious fueled hate on both sides.

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We could sure use Solomon on the scene.

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No it is NOT religious fuels hate. That’s what they want you to believe. That is how Israel has been able to manipulate the narrative. Palestine was filled with all religions. They were occupied by the UK- look up the Balfour agreement. Read Israeli Historian Ilan Pape’s The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. He has been kicked out of Israel for writing it. Stop talking about Hamas. There are 2.3 million people at risk. The oppressed have become the Oppressors. Let’s be clear many, many, many Jews know NEVER AGAIN IS FOR EVERYONE.

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True, Hamas did not come out of nowhere. It grew, in large part, from a strain of extremism that has called for the extermination of Jews in the Holy Land, where they have lived continuously for well over 2000 years.

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I can't help noticing how often when discussing Israel/Palestine, people like to jump back 2,000 years and ignore the 20th century. At the time of the Balfour Declaration (1917) about 93% of the population of Palestine was not Jewish. Arab aspirations were curbed if not squelched after Versailles and during the Mandate period, then Palestine was, in effect, expected to provide reparations to survivors of a Holocaust perpetrated by Europeans (and which was preceded by decades of pogroms especially in eastern Europe and Russia). Cold War dynamics after WWII of course helped keep the resentments building and the arms flowing. Hamas grew from that -- and I daresay they learned a few lessons from the Irgun and the Lehi (aka the Stern Gang).

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It appears that, in the midst of all the clamor and finger-pointing, someone has taken the time and effort to learn and apply the context of history. Nice. Thank you.

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You're welcome. ;-) Long time ago I started college as an Arabic major (wound up a history major with a lot of credits in "Oriental Studies"), and though my life went in a different direction, I've never lost interest in the area or the cultures -- and they've never stopped being critically important to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

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My first introduction to a more balanced view was during a class in international relations back in the early 70s. Before that my imagination had been mostly informed by the theme song from the movie Exodus.

You might appreciate Clare Daly's response to an address by Ursula von der Leyen: https://twitter.com/ClareDalyMEP/status/1658131096440127490

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Susanna, I just read your "The Drive to Correct." It's a task, isn't it, knowing when to "let it go?"

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Since you’ve distilled down the history of the State of Israel to a short oversimplified paragraph, here’s another: At the opening of the 20th century Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. As WW1 reached its conclusion, The Ottoman Empire fell and those territories were under British control. The British then distributed the prize of war as they saw fit. After the Holocaust, the worst slaughter of Jews in history - and that’s saying a lot since slaughtering and expelling Jews from around the world has been occurring since time immemorial - the British gave the land to the Jews to establish a homeland in the place that Jews have called home since Abraham set foot there (see Hebrew Bible, Parshat Lech Lecha). I say this for context, not merely to jump back a couple of millennia, but to demonstrate that Jews have inhabited and have had an enduring longing to return after being expelled (note 2 Temples destroyed). Modern day Israel has been defending that land ever since 1948, occupying disputed territories as a result of being repeatedly invaded and winning those wars.

The argument that the Jews were a tiny population in a mostly Muslim land is misleading and beside the point since Jews make up about .2% of the world population. The point is, really the question is: do the Jews get to exist in safety and have a place to call home?

Here’s where I depart from the oversimplification story. I am not comfortable with Arabs or Armenians or any other group being displaced in the establishment of a Jewish homeland and I think provocative settlements are a mistake. If there is a silver lining to the Hell rained down on Israel this month maybe it will be that Netanyahu is finally dispensed with. He has not helped. As I’ve said in these comments before, this part of the world is complicated. We would all do well to pause before offering up our erudition and THINK about what we are saying. I have no illusions about the probability of a two state outcome happening soon. But I do have hope. It is the prerogative of the Jew to hope. Ha Tikva is our anthem. We hope. Hope triumphs over experience. Offers have been made and rejected. And before you tell me the offers have been unreasonable to the Palestinians, Arafat was offered 98% of what he asked for and said no. Still, he got a Peace prize. As long as there are those that call for a Jew free river to the sea how can there be 2 states? Now I know there are good faith Jews and Palestinians who want to live in peace and community. I have seen it with my own eyes. I’ll end my comment on that positive note.

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If you read what I actually wrote, you'll see that I wasn't attempting to give "the history of the State of Israel." As to "the British gave the land to the Jews" -- seriously? (1) The land wasn't Britain's to give away. (2) If you're referring to the Balfour Declaration (1917), it "view[ed] with favour" the establishment of a home for the Jews in Palestine as long as it didn't interfere with the rights of the existing population (which as I noted was an estimated 93% of the total at that time). (3) The interwar period and the post-WWII years in Palestine were contentious and often violent, with the Jewish paramilitary groups often fighting the British civil authorities. Read up on the attack on the King David Hotel (July 1946), in which the Irgun bombed the British administrative HQ for Palestine.

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Thank you for the engagement, Susanna. Indeed, oversimplifying the very complicated doesn't help us get down to causes and conditions or solutions. I'm wondering what is the point you want to make about the fact that Jews were not a majority in British Palestine?

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Very good, thanks. 🫶

It all is so like our own civil war , still being fought- need I say, over and over. Finger pointing is a fools game .

Faulting is a two edged sword .

Losers remain in a circular game , sight/insight blinded from the intended goal by ‘not winning’ !

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It also has a few things in common with the Europeans' arrival in the "New World" -- along with some major differences, in time, weaponry, and geopolitics among other things. But the notion that there was no one, or no one of consequence, already there: that's a common thread.

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A great injustice.

We have these CULTURE WARS. It’s so Neanderthal! I understand love of country or even a state, but all the differences are so unique -art, medicine, music, traditions, beliefs, the lists are long and it is so many missed opportunities.

Radicals in any/every sector do NOT represent the whole.

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Fed by Iran. Hamas is apparently very wealthy with investments all over the Middle East, from money Iran has given them over the years. For a small window of time around the 2008 election, they spent some of it on the Palestinians people, but since then, not much. Suffering in this life helps focus people on what they need to do to gain rewards in the next life, although suicide bombers appear to have fallen out of favor, moving on to tunnel digging engineers...

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How long have the Palestinians lived on that very same land!

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Oct 22, 2023·edited Oct 22, 2023

Palestinian Muslims, or Palestinian Jews? I believe they both lived there, together, before Britain conquered (stole) and redistributed their lands.

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"I believe" is thoroughly inappropriate in this kind of context, all the more so when what is believed corresponds so poorly to what took place.

One can't discuss history like this.

In a context as fraught as the Israeli/Palestinian one it is worse than misleading to speak or write carelessly like this.

I'm sorry to have to comment so harshly but the historical continuum has involved such immense horrors that respect for all parties demands that we avoid loose talk about the issues.

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I agree about the loose talk and need for care in speech and writing on this very difficult subject. That said, Nancy is correct that Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Jews have both inhabited that tiny area the size of New Jersey for a very long time!

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I'm no expert, but T.E. Lawrence, in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, wrote that the people in what is now Palestine came from the Arabian desert. That would have been a long time after the first Jews arrived--they encountered Canaanites and Philistines. But I don't mean to suggest that Jews have a superior claim. Jews (apart from a tiny splinter who ought to be excommunicated--yes, you can be excommunicated from Judaism, see Spinoza--do not call for the extermination of Palestinians. And, to be fair, most Palestinians don't seek the extermination of Jews. But those who do have inordinate power.

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I firmly believe everyday Palis and everyday Israelis are fine with a separate state for each, because they mostly want to live their lives peacefully, with food and jobs and safety for their families, and not have to blow up other peoples' homes.

What keeps this from happening is people whose income and careers depend on chaos and fighting, which means politicians, political interest groups--"Free Palestine!" to "Free Israel!"--and, of course, terrorists. Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Islamic Jihad, Taliban, and their paymaster, Iran, couldn't exist without violence, so violence they will bring. A peace treaty would destroy their business model.

Jews don't have a "superior" claim to a state in Palestine--Muslim Arabs have lived their long enough to qualify for a state, too. But they have an equal claim. It's why the Mandate decision to split Palestine--two people, two states--was the only real solution to that problem. Jews agreed to their half, and build Israel on their half only. Muslim Arabs rejected the notion that Jews should be sovereign over any of "their" land and invaded.

That rejection and the war(s) that followed were correct from their point of view, but a terrible decision politically: Palestine was NOT an Arab state, it was a land in which Jews and Arabs lived, Jews had lived the longest, and splitting it as the UN did was the fairest solution to an impossible problem.

I wish they'd taken the deal and spent the last 75 years thriving as Israel has.

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Oh dear, more opinions, more "beliefs"...

I am taken aback, being used to a higher standard of comment in the community that follows LFAA.

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Haaretz reports that for 14 years Netanyahu’s policy was to keep Hamas in power. To avoid a two-state solution.

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Sounds right to me. Netanyahu is what we would call a shonda--a curse.

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He has been Israel’s Trump. Shonda is right.

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Where who has lived for well over 2000 years? Israel fell to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Many Jews at that time were dispatched to foreign lands.

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Jews have lived in the Levant/Canaan/Judea/Palestine/Ottoman Empire/British Palestine/Israel for nearly 4,000 years without a break in population. That various conquerors took over sovereignty of the land and exiled some of the Jewish population to foreign countries doesn't mean ALL the Jews were exiled. They weren't. There were always enough Jews in Palestine to, like Motel Six, keep the light on when their families returned home from their "travels."

Ironic, isn't it, that Jews were forced to live in Europe for many generations, but when they finally broke free to return to their homeland, they were mocked as "you're not a REAL Jew, you're from Europe!"

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It's complicated, very complicated. Parochialism is an issue, as are the different cultures, languages, religions, politics, etc. I feel for all of the people there. The causes for all of this is not of their own making.

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Many. Not all. Same when the Babylonians came in. And the Crusaders. And the Muslims under Saladin.

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No not true

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Wrong

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Excuse me, Jon Margolis, this may be secondary to your main point but "Jews in the Holy Land, where they have lived continuously for well over 2000 years" is grossly incorrect; and "continuously" makes it even more so...

Surely you didn't mean this.

The problem is, after all, "where they had NOT lived"...

Otherwise, why "Next year in Jerusalem"?

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Some jews have lived in the land for more than 2000 years, as I said. If all Jews had been expelled by the Babylonians, or Assyrians, or Hellenized Syrians, then Jesus could not have lived in Bethlehem, Jerusalem or Galilee. But he did, at least according to his followers. As for "next year in Jerusalem," that is a phrase coined among the Jews of the diaspora. That most Jews did not live in the Holy Land does not make my statement inaccurate.

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Rome.

Destruction of Jerusalem in CE 70.

Bar Kokhba revolt.

Exile.

Diaspora.

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Are you suggesting that all Jews were expelled? I think that is just plain wrong. Got some evidence that all were?

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Actually an important dynamic is wealth inequality. In the world and particularly in the occupied territories. If the ability to earn sufficient purchasing power were available to all, the demagogues would not have so much appeal. Gaza has a 50% unemployment rate. Had there been sufficient local economic activity, the PLO and then Hamas would not have been so successful. People everywhere simply want to work and support their families with food, clothing, appropriate housing, health care and education. Address those concerns and the fires of discontent will die down if not die out completely.

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Access to land would also help.

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Wrong the Palestinian people were expelled from their land, ethnically cleansed by the Zionist- Racist- Jewish Supremacy regime that created Israel. The indigenous people of Palestine have the right to return they are of all faiths. Arab Israeli’s do not have the same rights as Jews in Israel. That is not a democracy it is a theocracy and an apartheid state.

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Israel has never accepted the 2-state solution. The have never even pursued peace with the Palestinians. Their only approach has been to attack Palestinians and intimidate Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. I just found the other day, that Israel has been executing a blockade for 16 years on Gaza. Israel has basically controlled all essential goods and services to the people of Gaza - and basically, starving them. Yet, the U.S. continued to give them $6 Billion every year to continue their apartheid. I do not condone Hamas' kidnapping, killing and killing/beheading babies but the World should realize that this is a possible consequence of cruelty and genocide to others. I recall a few months back that Israeli soldiers were shooting civilians across the border to Gaza for no other reason than to kill and intimidate.

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Just as our own current disaster didn’t come out of nowhere. Delighted that Professor Richardson was able to report on Putin’s current activities in US. Makes Trump’s continuing power even more understandable.

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It's a long history. I suspect the US government has a lot of information on it.

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Excellent post.

Check out the orthodox wing of Israel and see how their influence is most likely a root cause of the West Bank illegalities. They choose not to serve in the military, but are willing to let other Israelis die in their place.

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Rickey, THAT is, to me, the most puzzling aspect of Israel's politics. Why the rest of the Israeli population, men and women, all of whom are required to serve their time in the armed forces would excuse the ultra-orthodox not only from service in the IDF but then allowing so many of them as settlers to perpetrate violence on the indigenous Palestinian people is completely beyond me.

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It’s the fundamental problem with theocracy in general.

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And this applies to both Muslims and Jews in this particular area. Ethics are only for members of one’s own group, and perhaps provisionally extended to/from its allies when those allies are willing to be entirely partisan too. This is obviously not workable.

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Because these people, or a substantial part of them, have a totally religious identity and affiliation. And “the other” is at best only a second class citizen and at worst, a nobody fit only to live in the shadows and be the outcast or enemy.

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Tribalism.

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You have got it in one. Ironically too, the term ‘Semite’ applies historically to both Jews and Arabs. These are “brothers” in a sense, yet unrecognized or accepted by each other as “family”. This story follows in the theme of Cain and Abel—one generation from Adam and Eve, two sons and there is murder.

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Love the term Indigenous Palestinians. Jewish people were never indigenous anywhere? Is it due to being Nomads?

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And the men I think do not work. They study.... Nice gig.

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No need to apologize for sharing a passionately written perspective.

That is why we are here. To learn from perspectives different from our own.

Or. To support similar perspectives.

All OK.

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Among Hamas’. “appalling, inhumane actions” are hiding among civilians and thus using them as human shields. That is a crime against humanity tha pt needs to be called out. How is Israel to carry out its right to defend itself and its people in such a situation? To concentrate only upon Israeli actions in Gaza without giving at least equal attention to Hams’ continuing crimes is to put a thumb on the scale, in favor of terrorists.

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I believe I said that I do not in any sense condone the actions of Hamas. Not at all.

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This is continues the propaganda. Do you know how big Gaza is? Its roughly the size of Detroit. Hamas has tunnels, they do not embed themselves in the population. The hostages would all be dead if that were the case. This is Propaganda intended to dehumanize (making them easier to murder in plain site) the Palestinian refugees who are being occupied by the Zionist government of Israel and have been since 1948.

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Gaza is approximately 25 by 15 miles. Hamas has no military bases of camps, so it necessarily has its forces in among the civilian population. Its tunnels run under civilian structures. Its use of human shields was demonstrated when it told civilians in the northern part of the strip not to move south, where they would be less exposed to Israeli strikes. Hamas is fine with civilians being maimed and killed if it gives them cover, either physical or in public relations. Perhaps we should not be surprised by that attitude. Hamas sees no distinction between Israeli civilians and soldiers, it kills babies and old people. That it would have a similarly callous view of its own people is to be expected.

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I thought this was a place for education. The response you gave is propaganda. There are no sides. This is a Genocide. Until you read Ilan Pape’s Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinians please do not bother responding to me. You are uneducated about this matter. Not trying to be rude but saving my energy for people who actually care.

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First, the only genocide being attempted, per the United Nations' definition of the term, is by Hamas, which wants to obliterate Israel. Israel has not sought to do the same to Palestinians. True, there are a few extremist Israelis who would like to send all Palestinians across the Jordan, but they are a very small minority. Oh, and unlike its neighbors, Israel is a democracy (although the Netanyahu regime threatens that, as Trump has here), and it looks like there will be regime change in a good direction when the dust settles.

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Thank you, Constantine, because your post speaks the truth. I see lots of posts of Facebook alleging that speaking of what you have written is somehow antisemitic and I have answered that it isn't and briefly tried to explain this morass. I agree also with Susanna who cites the longstanding awfulness in Gaza as great breeding grounds for terrorism.

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Nothing antisemitic. I refer you to the organisation "Jews for Peace" who came out in such huge numbers to protest. My wife is Jewish. The argument is also not against the Israeli government or the Palestinians, but the extremists on both sides who cause this horror for their own ends. I include Netanyahu. They need this to justify their existence.

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A lot of people seem to read anything negative about Israel as antisemitic, which in people who should know better, I find troubling. And I agree with what you have said here, the violence serves Bibi and extremists which is why they refuse any compromises and keep up it up. So sad when most people there want to live their lives in peace.

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The violence also serves Russia, Iran, and maga

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Thanks for including Netanyahu.

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Constantine, absolutely terrific post. I have listened to Norman Finkelstein on the Chris Hedges podcast and find it the most enlightening of anything I have heard. Your comment shares many of Dr. Finkelstein’s observations. Thank you, sir. May Peace come to all on this earth.

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I see I must repeat the comment I made yesterday (please see paragraphs below), with this addition: I ask people interested in the history of this chapter in Gaza to remember - Israel left Gaza to Palestinian control in 2005, by forcibly removing the Israeli population that had developed beautiful communities, farmland, and a beach resort there between 1967 and 2005. Israel had decided it was worth it for peace; and it was a good experiment to see if a self-governing Palestinian entity could succeed. The only reason an Israeli (and Egyptian) blockade began around Gaza was Hamas, having taken over in Gaza (and dispensing with the more reasonable Fatah), continued to send barrages of rockets into Israel, send terrorists across their borders, and arm themselves to the teeth from any direction they could manage, rather than helping improve Gazans' quality of life. With the huge amounts of money donated to Gaza during that time, Hamas could have helped their population in so many ways, for example, by providing bomb shelters, if they intended to continue sending rockets at their neighbors. They didn't. If you ask me, "Hamas' appalling, inhumane actions" are the pustulant bursting of a boil that is solely one of Hamas' creation.

Here is yesterday's comment:

The "entrenched far right politicians" currently in Netanyahu's coalition are despised and opposed by the majority of Israelis (my family there and Israeli friends included). A reckoning will come with this coalition when Israel is out of the dangers of the present horrible situation. For now, the sane and decent military leadership, as well as the folks who led the protests against Netanyahu's extremists, have turned on a dime to unite - volunteering in a myriad of ways to help their countrymen survive, to overcome the trauma that occurred on October 7, and insure it never happens again.

Meanwhile, I ask that, along with the strongarming by the US of Israel's leaders determined to destroy Hamas in Gaza, Egypt also be strongarmed, indeed shamed, into allowing a humanitarian escape route to get helpless Gazans out of the way, something Egypt has refused to do so far. Hamas has made Gazan's lives a living hell for many years and cares even less about what happens to them now in Israel's attempts to destroy these terrorists. In truth, Gazans need liberating from Hamas, much more than from Israel. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to read interviews done secretly, early in 2023, with Gazans - look for What's Life Like Under Hamas - whispered in Gaza". Egypt has plenty of space to set up temporary shelter for people wanting to escape, allowing Israel to do the job Egypt surely appreciates (Hamas = Moslem Brotherhood; put down already in Egypt), but dare not admit publicly, to avoid angering the "Arab street". Surely other nations would contribute to the cost of temporarily sheltering these people and rebuilding Gaza eventually. Money is already pouring in to help Gazans, but who knows if it won't land in the hands of Hamas?

If Egypt (and other Arab countries) truly support the Palestinian cause, it's time they show it by calling out Hamas and their ilk for the fanatical and violent leaders who are in the way of their ever being a Palestinian state next to Israel. Israel does not want to stay in Gaza; they just want peace on their borders, as they sought in 2005, when they left Gaza under Palestinian control. If not for the violent belligerence that persists with groups like Hamas, there would have been a Palestinian state begun years ago, a result of one of the many attempts Israel has made to achieve compromise. I know Israelis would still accept such. They can deal with their own extremists when the time comes - as they did in leaving Gaza - when Palestinians demonstrate they can be peaceful neighbors.

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Oct 23, 2023·edited Oct 23, 2023

Thank you for that. Your response underscores the terrible actions on both sides. I think the "resettlement" of Palestinian Arabs in 1947 was also a contributing factor... I sincerely thank you for your informative responses. I am no scholar of the situation, and welcome elucidation. I think we are in agreement, and are responding as humans shocked by atrocities.

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Please read my comment again if you think it underscores terrible actions on both sides. It tries to explain that Israel has been put in an impossible situation. To paraphrase one commenter said on this site - it would have been much better for all concerned if the partition Israel agreed to in 1948 had been also agreed to by Palestinians. Again and again since then, Israel has offered land for peace, and has been answered with continual violence. As much as I despise the tactics and intensions of the extremist settler movement in the West Bank, they are at least partly a result of the frustration born of trying to make peace with an implacable foe. When Israel has a rational peace partner with whom to come to an agreement...these people (extremist settlers) will be dealt with . Until then, Israel must do what it must do to protect its borders, even when the fickle world thinks it's a war crime to try to get a civilian population out of harm's way to defeat Hamas.

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Many of us support democracy in Israel but do not support its current government just as we support democracy in America and do not support Republican traitors. Tea Party and Hasidim have entirely too much in common.

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Thank you Constantine. There is absolutely no need to apologize for anything. It is very difficult to discuss psychological operations & violence by all the players inside & outside the War Zone but, you ticked off many important realties & HCR did her usual good job.

Digital communications are part of the 'War Zone' . So-called "Content Moderation" efforts have failed. All Platforms run to total-immunity refuge under Section 231 just like Musk-X, Google & META. Any restated legal remedies must work swiftly.

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No apologies needed. You are on point, this situation is not simple and cannot be condensed easily.

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Thank you Constantine, Your post is not lengthy enough.

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What I would like to see is Jews and Christians living in Palestine having the same legal rights as Arabs living in Israel. No one should be persuaded by segregated identity.

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Of course. It is "apartheid" and has been designated as such by Amnesty and the UN amongst other respected organisations

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Yes.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_Arab_Muslims?wprov=sfti1

We'd have to go back 60 years to find a notable Jewish Palestinian.

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Eh?

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"Eh" used to represent a sound made in speech in a variety of situations, in particular to ask for something to be repeated or explained or to elicit agreement.

If you want me to explain, ok. 20% of the Israeli population are Israeli Arabs. In contrast there are no Jewish Palestinians. Israel can be criticized, but not for being anti-Arab.

Unaccountable Muslim countries at the UN don't want their governments to be compared to Israel..

Democracy works best when the majority are not persuaded by arbitrary authority or segregated identity. That concept hasn't yet sunk into the consciousness of the Amnesty or the UN.

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For what it's worth, Constantine, I don't find this post remotely antisemitic. It's a fair representation of that point of view. I don't happen to agree with some of your points, and I'm sure you don't agree with some of mine. But this post is fair and not Jew-bashing, in my opinion. It is a worthy addition to the commentariat.

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Thank you, Shane

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My pleasure.

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It's interesting how the responses to Constantine's post pivoted from discussion of the Israel - Hamas conflagration to a discussion of the billionaire class in the U.S. While that is also an interesting and important topic, Gaza is more immediate. It would help the situation in Israel-Palestine if Hamas would drop destruction of Israel as a foundation stone of its charter. Of course Israel should stop the settlements (as well as various other things). This is not to draw moral equivalency between the parties. That's much more complicated.

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Right on! Keeping a Cool Head and Warm Heart During a Crisis | Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-pacific-heart/202310/keeping-a-cool-head-and-warm-heart-during-a-crisis

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Thank you Ravi, "keep cool" :& "avoid divisive narratives". 🙏🏻

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Thanks for reading :) A work in progress, always -

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You definitely hit the nail on the head with your perspective. I totally agree.

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As I read HCR's letter this morning the question of "Where is Russia in all of this?" kept coming to mind. The question, of course, was answered in the last paragraphs.

Vladimir Putin must be put at the top of the list of bad actors of the world. It is gratifying to see his team of agents operating in the US House of Representatives is having a difficult time of it of late as some members of what has become the Putin Party seem to be awakening from a deep sleep. And his top US agent is likely to be neutralized by mounting legal troubles. However, Putin's ambition and ability to be a disruptive force in as many places in the world as possible, especially in the US, is going to continue as long as that little man is in power. Putin is a leader who desires to be welcomed into the organizations of the civilized world, yet he keeps demonstrating reasons why that should never happen.

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Our Senate needs to come up with a plan with teeth to regulate cryptocurrency so Putin's illegal crypto largess is stymied.

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The iron rule of McConnell is fading. Senators Paul and Tuberville are acting in a manner that shows there has been a plan to thwart the operation of the United States Government on the foreign stage. Both the diplomatic Corp and military assignments have been disruptive and more or less quietly so until recently. Who is the power behind Trump. He started his 2015 campaign without sufficient organization, some say it was so weak as to indicate he wasn't a serious candidate. I would also remind folks that there was early reporting the the Trump Organization was leasing several NY apartments to Russians. Did that story turn out to be untrue?

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If you believe in such things (and I do), Greg Olear's piece written back in 2020 follows the trail of the Trump family and their ties to mobsters, both Italian and Russian:

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/tinker-tailor-mobster-trump

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More to the point that Trump is a symptom and WHY are/were MAGA Americans so unhappy that they had to elect this guy??

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Trump was also allowing Russian women to come over here and have their babies. His trump tower on Sunny Isles Beach has long been dubbed “Little Moscow” thanks to the many Russian immigrants that came and went through tfg’s International Beach Resort. Not sure what is happening lately but there’s no reason to believe any of that activity has slowed down unless the Biden administration has put the kebosh on it.

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Read Craig Unger’s “American Kompromat” for info on KGB’s continued influence in the US+

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He is a pupet megalomaniac.

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Ralph he is using this crisis (which I suspect he had a hand in orchestrating) in order to extend his autocratic reach in Russia and beyond. He has arrested all of Alexei Navalny's attorneys on charges of "terrorism" and is taking even more steps to eviscerate any opposition to his rule. And one assumes that the rhetoric coming out of Russia these days about annexing parts of Poland and his ministers calling Lativa and Lithuania Russian "client states" even though they are NATO allies (as mentioned in one of Truscott's substance essays) is designed to signal his next steps.

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I have the same suspicions, especially given the timing with events, or lack thereof, in the US Congress.

Statements about Poland and the Baltic countries underscore the importance of Ukraine succeeding in shutting down the Russian invasion/occupation.

I don’t think it’s any secret that Putin’s goal is to re-establish some form of the Soviet Union.

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my comment.

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Poland will prevail.

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Never happen, he had a chance and his power-hungry greed prevailed. I would say top of the list, along with the money supporting chaos and ruin

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Not sure if Net Neutrality could have any affect. I’m going to do a deep dive into that soon because I don’t know enough but I think Trump took many of the protections off, didn’t he? We can be more easily breached in our personal spheres of content.

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The world is burning and Putin, Bannon and the House republicans are thrilled to watch it all burn down. All is going to plan.

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Had Jordan been elected Speaker, I would agree with you. His support, shrinking with each ballot, is, to me, the first bona fide indication that the MAGA hold on the GOP is slipping. Let’s see if the trend continues and what happens with the several legal problems besetting tfg.

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They’ve still got a long way to go yet. The MAGA runs deep in that bunch and time is getting terribly short before the shutdown or before Ukraine runs out of money which, of course, plays right into Putin’s hands.

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His legacy is a continuity of nikita khrushchev's promise 60 years ago to the USA, "We will crush you" . As with any evil threat, defending freedom is an eternal challenge. Humanity is in a shifting rennassance from a "scarcity" to a persective of "abundance". How to change our linguistics so that sharing and equitable flow of work and basic goods is NOT communism? A new nomenclature will help greatly. I like the word "communitarian" but it still sound too much like khrushchev's party....

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I think any program that helps the collective citizenry will be defamed as “socialism!” by the Republicans. That said, how about “community-focused” as a new term?

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I’m sorry- are you saying Putin is responsible for the Occupation of and Ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians? I don’t think he’s even as old as this genocide. However the Zionist regime did begin in Russia. Please try to stay focused on the actions of the Zionist government and the active Genocide, Nakba, Holocaust if the Palestinian people who are comprised of both Muslim, atheist and a Christian people.

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"...are you saying Putin is responsible for the Occupation of and Ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians?"

No. I'm saying Putin is an instigator of conflict and devisiveness anywhere he can find an opportunity. Responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians can be spread around to many places, not just Israel.

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With all due respect, the soul responsibility for this genocide is wholly on the hands of UNITED STATES AND ISRAELI governments. People have the right to resist occupation and under the Geneva convention the right to return. Period.

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'The View from My Window in Gaza'

'Two days before Israel escalated attacks in the Gaza Strip, my family bought some bread. After we evacuated, I biked home to get it.' (The New Yorker, excerpt)

By Mosab Abu Toha

'It is Thursday, October 12th, and half sheets of paper are falling from the sky in Beit Lahia, the city in northern Gaza where my family’s house is. Each sheet is printed with an Israeli military emblem, along with a warning: stay away from Hamas military sites and militants, and leave your homes immediately.

When I go downstairs, I find my parents and siblings packing their bags. Local schools, many of them run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, are already crowded with displaced families. But my uncle has called my mother to say that we can stay with his wife’s family in Jabalia camp, the largest of Gaza’s refugee settlements and home to tens of thousands of people.'

'My wife, sister-in-law, mother, sisters, and children travel to the camp by car. My older brother, brother-in-law, and I ride our bicycles. On the road, we see dozens of families, walking with whatever they can carry. Israel will soon tell more than a million residents of northern Gaza to evacuate immediately, an order that the U.N. calls' “impossible.”

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Fern,

I so appreciate your sharing Mosab Abu Toha's letter. It increases the realities....the craziness many are living through at this time. This person's letter lays out the reality of ONE person's life created by the selfishness of a few who seek control and power for themselves....humans who will live for a short time on this earth. This situation is one cause for the problems at our border and at the borders of many other countries.....the necessary movement of human beings.....for the sake of their lives....movement being forced upon them by a few people who have been given power to do so!!!

We must help others ....this is a worldwide problem...a few powerful people are using our globe and our fellow human beings as they play a "board game" to win power not for humanity but for personal power. We must VOTE.

Leaders who are risking their lives and position to stand up for working together for decent treatment of our fellow citizens on this planet are the heroes. I thank them and applaud their efforts!

We must also face the realities of the way we disrespect one another. Prejudice is a horrible reality.

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Oct 22, 2023·edited Oct 22, 2023

Good morning, Emily. Mosab Abu Toha is a Palestinian poet from Gaza. 'His début poetry book, “Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear,” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won an American Book Award.' The excerpt you read is his personal story. I believe that it is currently in The NEW YORKER. Thank you for reading it. Unfortunately, I could not provide a link. You and I agree, the more we know from the people living through the most difficult of struggles, the greater our understanding and the realization of how high the stakes are for us in the US. Salud!

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I saw a photo, among several online, of an Israeli father trying to cover his son from incoming fire. The child is covering his ears with his hands. That intense image struck me to my core, the terror in their faces was apparent. I forget where the photo journalist took the photograph but she/he was in the line of fire also. It is no doubt far worse in Gaza and my heart aches for the innocents, especially the children! Mostly the children. I believe that Hamas and the Israeli government are both at fault.

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I saw the photo as well, Sally, of the father and son. The chills just began moving up my arms. Yes, 'the terror' in their lives - all.

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Thank you, Fern, for your heartfelt down-to-earth reminders of what has been taking place.

I write as one who remembers being bombed when a small child.

Shocked by the sloppy irrelevance of some earlier posts and the discussion surrounding them.

I find it very painful to look at, let alone to write about the long historical continuum of evil.

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Oct 22, 2023·edited Oct 22, 2023

Thank you, Peter. I have been watching reports from Israel and Gaza sporadically during the day. It is excruciating to hear the emotion coming through the words of the mothers whose children are hostages and then to the Palestinians. Impossible to turn away for long and impossible to keep watching. You are living with the experience of war as a young boy as well as what is taking place today, I am glad that we can read each other's thoughts and have this assembly, so that we are close in feeling.

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The more we learn...YES🙌 key factor and why education is thwarted in so many places and wanting to be rewritten here. The bad actors don’t give a hoot about what, who, or how the people live there or anywhere , is just destabilize and create chaos , and make another move on the control chessboard. Many are in cahoots vying for a seat at the table. It’s classic, old, centuries old. The tactics are a little more sophisticated today but it’s the same game. Or was , until the mole got in and created the cult..used conveniently by the bigger knowns.

Great communication today folks. Enjoyed the reads.

💙💙VOTE💙💙

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Excellent. Thank you for continuing clarity of world wide issue. We must Read, Talk & Listen to each other, Vote.

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A very humbling and sobering narrative of the human toll in this endless conflict.

The fact of the bouncing ball of a two state solution remains a hope that has little support by the sufferers and disregard by Israel.

A problem wrapped in challenges shrouded by mutual denial.

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Thank you for this, Fern

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Thank you, Bonnie Black, for reading the words of, Mosab Abu Toha.

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Have mention him to several friends today. The expanse of Knowledge with Heather and contributors in Comments is an incredible gift for me personally. No doubt for many.

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Chump’s idiocy will keep on destabilizing the world for decades to come. Putin is just waiting for his puppet to return so he can rule us all without firing a shot. How much more convenient than a slog like in Ukraine. Joe had a great chance to undo much of the damage before Kevin invited the cancer (chump) back into relevance and the Republicans went full-blown traitors. Chaos is their means, method, and aspiration. Joe and Dems are far from perfect, but they are competent, determined, and focused on democracy awakening.

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“X,” formerly known as Twitter, is one of the worst actors.”

And why is Elon Musk permitting this to happen? The only answer I can come up with is greed. I do not know what is the actual process occurring inside of Elon Musk’s brain. On one level he is clearly a brilliant man in the development of Tesla and SpaceX. But, when it comes to morality, he has none. The United States once known as “the land of opportunity” is now the land of opportunists at the expense of everyone else.Trump, Musk and Bezos are only three examples of those who act with no moral constraints whatsoever. Almost all of our multibillionaires thumb their noses at any concept of “The Common Good.” Clearly they believe that any such sentiments are for suckers.

Musk is permitted to behave and act in the manner he does because the moderating functions of our government that should be protecting its citizens from the effects of such greed have been disabled by the politicians doing the bidding of the ultra-wealthy. The ultra right politicians in the House of Representatives are not representing me nor are they working for the American people. Like the ultra-wealthy, they are motivated by greed and the desire for power. If we the people cannot right the sinking ship of democracy, we will have to come up with a more representative system.

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I would add that the number of responsible citizens who care for the original ideals if the constitution far outnumber the far-right wing-nuts who are attempting to take us down the road to Autocracy for the benefit of the wealthy. But, individuals such as Musk are making money off of amplifying their messaging aided and abetted by Putin and his henchmen.

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I was under the impression that all MUSK did was purchase/buy Space X and Telsa. Thus, I just think of him as a Trust Fund Baby who spent Daddy's money for someone else ideas. Then torn them down with his inept management...

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No, he started those companies.

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He didn’t start Tesla. He became their largest stock holder and pushed out one of the partners then later took over the company. Musk does not invent things , he pays people to do that. He is a venture capitalist.

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Frontline (PBS) has an hour episode on Musk.

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No he might of “founded” spaces but Tesla he purchased

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Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with his own money. Tesla was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. He joined the board of directors and invested a substantial amount of his own money out the outset. In 2004 he became the company’s largest investor. He then became involved in the company’s operations and product development. As CEO he became the face of Tesla. That does not mean he was a good guy, but he certainly was a brilliant opportunist and capitalist. Unfortunately he is a very greedy man who seems to care little for others.

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You can take the man out of apartheid but you can’t take apartheid out of the man. Why do the Feds give Musk grant money to “grow” his businesses ? Assuming they still do this, anyone who participates in disrupting peace anywhere in the world should be barred from grants or subsidies of any kind.

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Why are foreigners’ ownership of big media not more restricted or at least scrutinized?

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The other dimension of the problem is that wealthy corporations and individuals are permitted to own media as conglomerates. As a monopoly they wield an inordinate amount of power.

When we talk of “foreigners” we set up an us verses them dynamic. We are all one people and we all share the same planet and we must all face world issues such as Climate Change and potential world wars together.

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Musk is a long time supporter of the far right having been born to a wealthy, white family in South Africa.

He found many sources of money to fund his rise and I am sure he will run for President someday.

If he wins it will, like Trump, be the last time any of us vote.

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Fortunately, that is not possible at this time because Musk was not born in the United States.

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Or to American citizens.

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I’m a white South African and I resent the assumption that South Africa can be a distorted projection screen for self-righteous liberals (I’m often a self-righteous liberal). You undermine yourself when you paint whole peoples with brushes intended for individuals among that people.

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No one should be painted with a broad brush. I didn’t hear that statement with the same nuanced assumption you felt. However, I do agree with your comment about grouping people together.

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Ahhh Marc, we again come to the corrosive effects of the Citizen's United decision allowing money to stand in as "free speech." It has become quite clear that this decision has multiplied the overwhelming power of overwhelming amounts of money on politicians. It has seemed increasingly apparent that they would rather have the money than actual votes of their constituents.

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John, I agree with you completely and I would add the desire for power as well as money.

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Marc Nevas, you ask "why is Elon Musk permitting this to happen?"

Why are we allowing Elon Musk to continue to make money from Xitter?

Why does anyone still use Xitter?

In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I have never used Twitter.

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Billionaire wealth has been financing the parties since .... Methusala?

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Yes. Allow me a Sunday morning fantasy. The Democrats will win the "Blue Trifecta" on November 5, 2024. The first bill Biden will sign would remove dark, big money from elections - essentially gutting the travesty called "Citizens United".

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...and then, Bill, expand the Supreme Court (to 13?) to reflect the expansion of the number of federal districts. And perhaps introduce efforts to grant statehood to a number of territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, DC, etc!

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Then codify voting rights and outlaw gerrymandering and voter suppression .

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Yes, yes, yes!

How about automatic voter registration when you get a Social Security number? And maybe, mandatory voting - minor penalties. Like no drivers license or a small fine. Re: Australia

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I like the idea of engaging in Sunday morning fantasies (regarding progressive solutions for our current state of affairs.) We must visualize an ideal system if we want to get there. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream and although slowly, it did change the course of history for people of color and all of us in the United States.

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What's your fantasy about the Supreme Court Bill? Right there with you on the other part.

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JohnM is on the right track! But another fantasy is that Alito and Thomas fly in a private plane chartered by friends of Leonard Leo. The plane vanishes. I don't wish death on anyone, so they are discovered years later being treated well by their captors somewhere near Artic Circle. They adapted to a natural life and Clarence is quite happy to be out from under Ginni's thumb.

In the meantime, Joe appoints two terrific new justices. They sail through a Democrat led Senate. And the world returns to expanding equality and happiness.

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Yes🙌

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And Methuselah had time to play the long game.....

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To think tax payers are funding their, magas, inefficient toddler behavior... The extremists that I hear. quip "Faith, family. and USA", as their rallying cry. Like the klan.

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Some truths are being told. Interesting, the widespread communiqué warning of Russian interference in elections.

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Thank you Professor Richardson. I rely on you daily to bring a sense of clarity and perspective to the news of the day. Amidst all the chaos around the world and here at home your voice is the single thing that gives me hope. Half way through listening to your book with my wife is an experience we both look forward to every time we get into the car. I couldn’t sleep tonight and have to get up in an hour anyway, but I do hope you can get some much deserved rest.

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There is only a short bit of time between now and Monday morning in Gaza/Sinai, so it is best not to amplify angst over the waiting period. What does need attention, continuously, is the attention paid to Putin's and Musk's House of Lies. There is no end to the damage these two can cause, if they are not called out at every turn.

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The State Department warning about the effectiveness of Russian election interference is extremely sobering.

New Jersey is having some weird reporting about "phantom" candidates showing up on ballots. Would not put it past Russia to spread broader disinformation and scandal by buying off people to participate. Interesting way to up the game by creating "real" news about Democrats to bolster their earlier "fake" news about Democrats and election interference. Lots of dark money showing up in the NJ cases.

https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2019/04/09/anti-machine-democrats-in-camden-county-complain-of-phantom-candidates-960442

https://newjerseyglobe.com/legislature/gop-candidates-ask-sellinger-platkin-to-investigate-phantom-candidates-shadowy-outside-group/

https://newjerseyglobe.com/legislature/phantom-candidate-says-democratic-senator-encouraged-her-to-run-he-says-he-doesnt-know-her/

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