Sunday, December 17, 2023

Speaking of Which

I'm extremely preoccupied with other work, so don't expect anything more than the occasional for-future-reference link here. Of course, if I did have time, I could write much about these pieces (but, especially re Gaze, refer to recent weeks. Meanwhile, look for links to Sarah Jones below.

PS: I've added a couple more links and/or comments since this was originally published Sunday afternoon. They are marked with a red right-border, like this one:

Top story threads:


Also note that the New York Times has run a collection of articles under the title What is the path to peace in Gaza? The dumbest is "Let NATO nations send troops," by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, although not by a huge margin over Bernard Avishai and Ezzedine Fishere's "The answer lies with Biden." The closest to my thinking is Jerome M Segal's "Grant Gaza statehood." He's much more tentative than my proposals (from recent weeks, shouldn't be hard to look them up), as he misses one key component: that Israel should have absolutely no say in or direction over the territory of Gaza and its people. Israel has proven, beyond any doubt, its incompetence as well as its inhumanity as what used to be called a "mandate" power. The other key point of my plan is that it separates Gaza off from Israel's more general, deeper, and intractable problem with the Palestinians still under its power. While a more general solution is still desirable, the case for separating Gaza off has become extraordinarily more urgent, not just for the people suffering there but also for those who realize the grave peril Israel and the United States are causing to their reputation and standing in the world.

US, Israel, and a decaying empire:

Zionism, Antisemitism, and Palestinian rights:

Trump, and other Republicans:

Biden and/or the Democrats:

Legal matters and other crimes: Also see the Sarah Jones article in the main section, which relates to the Kate Cox abortion case but goes much deeper. I've moved other pieces on Cox down there.

Climate, environment, and COP28: Isn't the latter supposed to do something about the former?

Economic matters:

Ukraine War:

Other stories:

David Atkins: [12-13] Conservatives have lost the culture war: Which is why it works for them: it gives them an endless source of complaints, a fount of anger to ride to power on, with nothing they can actually do.

Kyle Chayka: [12-07] The terrible twenties? The assholocene? What to call our chaotic era.

Elise Craig: [12-10] Resilience is invaluable in tough times. Here's how to build it.

Tom Engelhardt: [12-13] Keeping TomDispatch alive: In deeply troubled times: Bills itself as "A regular antidote to the mainstream media." For 23 years, one of the world's most important sources of critical thought and fine writing on the world's really big issues. Only thing I can think of to make it better would be if they took an interest in publishing little old me.

Trip Gabriel: [12-16] Paul Chevigny, early voice on police brutality, dies at 88: "An eminent civil rights lawyer, he was one of the nation's foremost experts on abusive policing. He also successfully challenged New York's Cabaret Law." I remember his book, Police Power: Police Abuses in New York City (published in 1969).

Masha Gessen: [12-09] In the shadow of the Holocaust: I cited this article last week. It has since become news controversy in its own right.

Jeet Heer: [12-15] The 2 Murrays and the age of pretend anarchy: "The strange global influence of anarcho-capitalism." Bookchin and Rothbard: I've noted the name they share before, as I've been fascinated with both.

Jordan Heller: [12-14] An oral history of the George W Bush shoe throwing, 15 years later.

Sarah Jones: [12-14] The anti-abortion movement is anti-human: Read this one:

Abortion opponents try to hide their authoritarian tendencies. In victory, though, their motives are clear, and so is the movement's true character. Forced birth is not an accidental outcome of the end of Roe v. Wade, but rather the primary goal -- no matter the consequences. A woman's needs become secondary to fetal requirements. The viability of a fetus does not seem to matter, nor does the woman's health. Just ask Kate Cox. . . .

These women have revealed a crucial truth: Abortion bans weren't written for human beings. As written, they strip women of their humanity and reimagine them as vessels. A vessel is not a person. A vessel has no rights. A vessel is only useful as long as it is functional. When it is no longer fit for purpose, it is cast aside; there are plenty more where it came from.

Also on abortion and the Cox case:

Inkoo Kang: [12-10] The best TV shows of 2023: Having almost totally lost my appetite for movies, and having given up reading fiction decades ago (never any time), streaming TV series has become my only respite from the long work day. Still, I've only seen four of these: Reservation Dogs; Somebody Somewhere; Barry; and Succession (of course). More TV links:

  • Inkoo Kang: [11-21] Why can't we quit The Morning Show?

  • Inkoo Kang: [12-14] The Crown ends with a whimper. "Without a living protagonist fit to carry it, The Crown is increasingly populated by ghosts."

  • Matthew Gilbert: [12-01] The 10 best TV shows of 2023: Boston Globe piece, so no way I can read the details, but add Bear and Poker Face to the list we've watched, and Fargo from the HMs (which we're in the middle of, same for Slow Horses, and Shetland -- which has taken a very Fargo-ish turn this year). Year End Lists have more lists I should check out, like this one from Playlist, where numbers 20-16 are Full Circle, Slow Horses, Shrinking (which I didn't like, but there's something to it), Justified: City Primeval, and Fargo.

  • Vikram Murthi: [11-21] How Reservation Dogs changed the TV landscape.

Josh Katz/Aatish Bhatia: [12-17] Seven things we learned analyzing 515 million Wordles.

Joshua Keating: [12-13] Why we still underestimate what groups like Hamas are capable of: "Two decades after 9/11l, extremist groups continue to pull off surprise attacks. Why?" Article quotes Erik Dahl: "We have too much information and not enough understanding of what's going on in the world."

Matt McManus: [12-12] It's time to break up with our exploitative political and economic system: Review of Malaika Jabali's book, It's Not You, It's Capitalism: Why It's Time to Break Up and How to Move On.

Charles P Pierce: [12-14] Andre Braugher was one of the greatest actors of his generation.

David Remnick: [12-10] Are we sleepwalking into dictatorship? Liz Cheney has a book to sell you.

Norman Solomon:

Jeffrey St Clair/Alexander Cockburn: [12-15] The sinister career of Ariel Sharon: From Sabra and Shatila to Gaza: Old piece from 2001, when Sharon had just become Prime Minister, so this misses his most politically toxic years, as he systematically demolished the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority. Baruch Kimmerling wrote a good book about Sharon's rule, for which he coined the term Politicide. That's still a pretty accurate term for Israel's plan, although it never fully masked a hope for genocide. Despite the title, the piece does go back before 1982, mentioning the 1951 massacre at Qibya that did so much to establish Sharon's reputation as a war criminal.

Rick Sterling: [12-15] From Dallas to Gaza: How JFK's assassination was good for Zionist Israel.

George Varga: [12-13] Lester Bangs at 75: Legacy of 'America's greatest rock critic' endures 4 decades after his death.

Joan Walsh: [12-14] I finally left Xitter because of Alex Jones. Lots of complicated reasoning can go into deciding whether or not to engage in a social media platform, but the marginal difference of Alex Jones being on or off it is infinitesimally small. Of course, the point could simply be that Jones and Musk are each so bad they deserve each other, but if that were the point, why does Walsh make it about herself?

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