Slavery and ‘law of the jungle’ economics

It seems the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, 163 years ago yesterday. In her essay today, Heather Cox Richardson delves into the ideology on each side, and she thus, without saying it, effectively shows how little the Civil War actually solved—we continue roughly to have pretty much the very same debates today. The elites today are every bit as entitled as those Richardson points to in the Confederate South.[1] And we have swapped in varying degrees formal slavery for wage slavery, and, even worse, the “gig economy.” When we treat each other in these ways, it is hard to see how much progress has been made, really, in our regard for each other as human beings.

Some of us—I am mystified as to how this is even human—take unabashed delight in brutalizing others in any number of ways: physical, economic, financial, psychological. “Fuck Your Feelings” and “Make A Liberal Cry” bumper stickers that I saw during the 2020 campaign are simply heavy on one corner of a field spanning the blatant and annoying to the subtle and ruinous or harmful, even murderous or genocidal. And far, far, far too many of us, not by any means only on the political right, are complicit in varying ways with that brutality.

As I drive by the guns on display, the statues of soldiers, I see who our heroes are and what we admire them for: violent people doing violent things. In Pittsburgh, it often seems like we commemorate them on every spare high visibility scrap of land. Stop at a traffic signal. Gaze to your left. There might be a stone commemorating soldiers or police who died “in the line of duty,” or be taken aback as you realize you are looking right at the business end of an artillery gun. Oh, here to the right, here’s a god damned tank! Look a little higher at the banners hanging from street poles: All too often, they commemorate veterans, identified by name and rank, and sometimes list the unit they served in or the wars they fought in. Almost always, those veterans are white and male, even in neighborhoods where people of color are highly visible and even though people of color and of various genders often choose to go into the military.

We can argue whether the wars they fight really protect the country—Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq are only among the more recent dubious examples—but disproportionately poorer people, who are variably but about as often as the general population also of color,[2] put their lives at risk to serve the foreign policy goals of the U.S. elite. And we celebrate that—when they are white. This is progress?

That we hallucinate the Civil War as having settled anything more than whether the Union would be preserved—at least until the next one—exposes the superficiality of our response. If we are to survive the climate crisis, it can only be because we cooperate to do so. Cooperation is the opposite of brutality. And capitalism is “law of the jungle” economics.

  1. [1]Heather Cox Richardson, “April 12, 2024,” Letters from an American, April 13, 2024, https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-12-2024
  2. [2]Amy Lutz, “Who Joins the Military?: A Look at Race, Class, and Immigration Who Joins the Military?: A Look at Race, Class, and Immigration Status Status,” Journal of Political and Military Sociology 36, no. 2 (2008): 167-188.

On Joe Biden versus Binyamin Netanyahu, watch much more what they do, much less what they say

See updates through May 25, 2024, at end of post.


I had only to see the title of Jonathan Freedland’s article before I began writing this. And guess what? Freedland makes many of the same points.[1] Sigh. This paragraph is a hasty addition, made as I finished reading the article. Just about every one of my footnotes includes a citation to Freedland’s article, as I’d frankly very much rather have others say or imply what I might be thinking, simply cite them, and thus hope to avoid even the slightest suspicion of any plagiarism. Anyway, now on to what I’m here, up much too late at night, for:

The failure of Joe Biden to rein in Binyamin Netanyahu in Israel’s war on Gaza is attracting ever more notice. In the eyes of a very great many observers, including senators in his own party, Biden undercuts his own rhetoric opposing Israel’s conduct of the war by refusing to cut off financial and military support for Israel.[2] He thus enables and facilitates genocide and war crimes[3] even as he rejects that ‘genocide’ label but criticizes a war that seems to be much more against Gazan civilians than Hamas fighters.[4] Adding insult to injury, as president of the United States, he does so in all Amerikkkans’ names, rendering all of us, absolutely all of us, complicit in yet more imperialist and settler-colonial brutality. Read more

  1. [1]Jonathan Freedland, “In defying Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu is exposing the limits of US power,” Guardian, March 22, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/22/joe-biden-benjamin-netanyahu-israel-gaza-donald-trump
  2. [2]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/; Yasmeen Abutaleb, John Hudson, and Tyler Pager, “Biden moving closer than ever to a breach with Netanyahu over war in Gaza,” Washington Post, February 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/11/biden-netanyahu-closer-to-a-breach/; Zack Beauchamp, “Are Biden and the Democrats finally turning on Israel?” Vox, March 8, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/2024/3/8/24093748/biden-israel-democrats-state-of-the-union-gaza-port; David S. Cloud, and Summer Sai, “Israel’s Netanyahu Rejects U.S. Plan for Postwar Gaza,” Washington Post, December 12, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israels-netanyahu-rejects-u-s-plan-for-post-war-gaza-d60fc0c3; Susie Coen, “Joe Biden considers going public with frustration over ‘a–hole’ Benjamin Netanyahu,” Telegraph, February 12, 2024, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/us/news/2024/02/12/joe-biden-going-public-frustration-benjamin-netanyahu/; Susie Coen, Nataliya Vasilyeva, and Nick Gutteridge, “US moves to stop Israel’s invasion of Rafah,” Telegraph, February 19, 2024, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/02/19/us-use-un-force-israel-halt-rafah-invasion-hamas-idf/; Stephen Collinson, Caitlin Hu, and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “A momentous twist in US-Israel relations,” CNN, March 14, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/newsletters; Karen DeYoung, “Biden’s support of Israel could come at a cost to U.S. foreign policy,” Washington Post, December 16, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/16/biden-netanyahu-israel-support-gaza/; Jonathan Freedland, “In defying Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu is exposing the limits of US power,” Guardian, March 22, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/22/joe-biden-benjamin-netanyahu-israel-gaza-donald-trump; Lauren Gambino, “Top senator calls on Biden to ‘use all levers’ to pressure Israel over Gaza,” Guardian, March 16, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/16/biden-senator-chris-van-hollen-israel-gaza-aid; Gershom Gorenberg, “Why Biden and Bibi Are Tangling, and Why Biden Could Win,” New Republic, March 15, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/article/179736/biden-netanyahu-feud-gaza; Liz Goodwin, “Schumer calls for ‘new election’ in Israel in scathing speech on Netanyahu,” Washington Post, March 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/03/14/israel-elections-netanyahu-charles-schumer/; Guardian, “US highlights ‘gap’ in Israel’s commitment to protect civilians in Gaza,” December 7, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/08/us-israel-hamas-war-gaza-civilian-protection-anthony-blinken; John Hudson, “U.S. floods arms into Israel despite mounting alarm over war’s conduct,” Washington Post, March 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/03/06/us-weapons-israel-gaza/; David Ignatius, “In the West Bank, I saw how peace will require confrontation with Israel,” Washington Post, December 16, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/12/16/west-bank-settlers-violence-peace/; Ron Kampeas, “Biden slams Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority in CNN interview,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 9, 2023, https://www.jta.org/2023/07/09/israel/biden-slams-israel-and-the-palestinian-authority-in-cnn-interview; Ron Kampeas, “US officials deny pressing Israel for a war ‘deadline,’ but differences between the two are emerging,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 8, 2023, https://www.jta.org/2023/12/08/united-states/us-officials-deny-pressing-israel-for-a-war-deadline-but-differences-between-the-two-are-emerging; Ron Kampeas, “Biden administration, Reform Jewish leader slam Smotrich and Ben Gvir for calling for Palestinians’ removal from Gaza,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 2, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/01/02/politics/biden-administration-reform-jewish-leader-slam-smotrich-and-ben-gvir-for-calling-for-palestinians-removal-from-gaza; Ron Kampeas, “Calling Israel’s response in Gaza ‘over the top,’ Biden conditions defense aid on allowing humanitarian assistance,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 9, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/02/09/politics/calling-israels-response-in-gaza-over-the-top-biden-conditions-defense-aid-on-humanitarian-assistance; Ron Kampeas, “Will the US recognize a State of Palestine? The Biden-Netanyahu gap deepens over plans for Gaza’s future,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 23, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/02/23/politics/will-the-us-recognize-a-state-of-palestine-the-biden-netanyahu-gap-deepens-over-plans-for-gazas-future; Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Patrick Kingsley, “A Blinken Visit Puts U.S.-Israeli Tensions on Full Display,” New York Times, February 9, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/08/world/middleeast/blinken-netanyahu-gaza-negotiations.html; Matthew Lee, “The Biden administration once again bypasses Congress on an emergency weapons sale to Israel,” Associated Press, December 29, 2023, https://www.vox.com/world-politics/23972967/river-to-sea-palestine-israel-hamas; Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond, “Biden tells donors Israel is losing support, Netanyahu must change his government,” CNN, December 12, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/12/politics/biden-israel-losing-support-netanyahu/index.html; Eric Lutz, “Joe Biden’s Delicate Dance With Netanyahu Can’t Go on Forever,” Vanity Fair, March 11, 2024, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/joe-biden-benjamin-netanyahu-rift; Eric Lutz, “Will Biden’s “Immediate Ceasefire” Resolution Actually Change Netanyahu’s Calculus?” Vanity Fair, March 21, 2024, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/will-bidens-ceasefire-resolution-change-netanyahus-calculus; Jacob Magid, “Biden: ‘Indiscriminate’ bombing costing Israel support, Netanyahu ‘has to change,’” Times of Israel, December 13, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/biden-indiscriminate-bombing-costs-israel-support-netanyahu-has-to-change/; Dion Nissenbaum and Vivian Salama, “Biden-Netanyahu Relationship at Boiling Point as Rafah Invasion Looms,” Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/biden-netanyahu-relationship-at-boiling-point-as-rafah-invasion-looms-b893bec5; James Politi and Felicia Schwartz, “Biden’s troubled Gaza strategy: ‘the US looks feckless,’” Financial Times, December 22, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/edebf6ef-155e-4aad-a41b-7e31016cad96; James Politi and Neri Zilber, “Biden says Israel must have plan to avoid civilian casualties in Rafah,” Financial Times, February 11, 2024, https://www.ft.com/content/b00a8dcc-f8e3-4da6-a65b-280bb2289f5f; Barak Ravid, “Schumer’s anti-Netanyahu speech stuns Israel,” Axios, March 14, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/03/14/schumer-israel-netanyahu-speech-reaction; Noga Tarnopolsky, “The Biden Plan to Ditch Netanyahu,” New York, March 9, 2024, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/the-biden-plan-to-ditch-israels-netanyahu.html; Adam Taylor, “Biden has huge leverage on Israel. He hasn’t really used it yet,” Washington Post, March 12, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/03/12/israel-united-states-military-aid-leverage/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Biden muddles along with Israel as West Bank violence spirals,” Washington Post, July 7, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/07/israel-us-biden-west-bank-violence-status-quo/; Ishaan Tharoor, “It’s the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are radical on Israel,” Washington Post, July 19, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/19/israel-republican-democrat-partisan-racist-state/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Biden’s rift with Netanyahu grows wider,” Washington Post, March 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/03/05/biden-netanyahu-gantz/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s war on Hamas brings famine to Gaza,” Washington Post, March 19, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/03/19/gaza-famine-aid-warn/; Times of Israel, “White House ups pressure on Israel to end ‘high-intensity’ fighting in Gaza soon,” December 15, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-ups-pressure-on-israel-to-end-high-intensity-fighting-in-gaza-soon/; Times of Israel, “‘Very senior’ Israeli official accuses US government of seeking to oust Netanyahu,” March 12, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/very-senior-israeli-official-accuses-us-government-of-seeking-to-oust-netanyahu/; Times of Israel, “Biden hails ‘good speech’ by Schumer criticizing Netanyahu, says many Americans agree,” March 15, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/biden-hails-good-speech-by-schumer-criticizing-netanyahu-says-many-americans-agree/; Luke Tress, “Chuck Schumer calls for new elections in Israel, says Netanyahu has ‘lost his way,’” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 14, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/03/14/israel/schumer-calls-for-new-elections-in-israel-says-netanyahu-has-lost-his-way; Washington Post to 5-Minute Fix list, “The 5-Minute Fix: What’s behind Biden’s steadfast support for Israel?” November 27, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/the-fix/; Aime Williams and James Shotter, “Joe Biden calls out ‘extreme’ elements within Israel’s government,” Financial Times, July 9, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/6c91f5df-58ce-4fe2-b4f3-de12f565eac2; Patrick Wintour, “Biden in a bind as Netanhayu ready to flout any US attempt to rein in Israel,” Guardian, December 15, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/15/biden-in-a-bind-as-netanhayu-ready-to-flout-any-us-attempt-to-rein-in-israel
  3. [3]Tom Bowman, “The brutal calculus of war: Is the killing of civilians ever justified?” National Public Radio, November 11, 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/11/11/1212326333/proportionality-israel-gaza-war-war-crimes; Juan Cole, “Israel’s Reputation forever Besmirched by UN Court Injunction to Cease Genociding Palestinians,” Informed Comment, January 27, 2024, https://www.juancole.com/2024/01/reputation-besmirched-palestinians.html; Steve Crawshaw, “This momentous ICJ ruling may be brushed aside by Israel – but the US and UK can’t afford to ignore it,” Guardian, January 26, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/jan/26/israel-gaza-icj-genocide-ruling-the-hague; Democracy Now! “Judith Butler on Hamas, Israel’s Collective Punishment of Gaza & Why Biden Must Push for Ceasefire,” October 26, 2023, https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/26/judith_butler_on_hamas_israels_collective; Democracy Now! “Palestinian Lives Matter Too: Jewish Scholar Judith Butler Condemns Israel’s ‘Genocide’ in Gaza,” October 26, 2023, https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/26/judith_butler_ceasefire_gaza_israel; Kareem Fahim et al., “Images of stripped and humiliated Palestinians draw condemnation,” Washington Post, December 13, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/13/gaza-palestinian-detainee-photos-israel/; Andrew Feinstein, “Has Netanyahu misjudged tolerance for his actions?” New Internationalist, November 1, 2023, https://newint.org/features/2023/11/01/has-netanyahu-misjudged-tolerance-his-actions; Jonathan Freedland, “In defying Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu is exposing the limits of US power,” Guardian, March 22, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/22/joe-biden-benjamin-netanyahu-israel-gaza-donald-trump; Ryan Grim, “Netanyahu’s Goal for Gaza: ‘Thin’ Population ‘to a Minimum,’” Intercept, December 3, 2023, https://theintercept.com/2023/12/03/netanyahu-thin-gaza-population/; Mark Leon Goldberg, “Why Israel Can’t Just Wave Away International Justice Charges,” New Republic, January 10, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/article/177983/israel-gaza-international-justice-charges; Ryan Grim, “South Africa Just Made Its Case at The Hague. What’s Next?” Intercept, January 11, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/01/11/south-africa-israel-genocide-charges/; Steve Hendrix, Hajar Harb, and Claire Parker, “As Gazans return to destroyed homes, Israeli ministers push resettlement,” Washington Post, January 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/04/gaza-displaced-civilians-resettlement-israel/; John Hudson et al., “Unguided ‘dumb bombs’ used in almost half of Israeli strikes on Gaza,” Washington Post, December 14, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/14/israel-unguided-dumb-bombs-gaza/; Owen Jones, “The west’s complete contempt for the lives of Palestinians will not be forgotten,” Guardian, January 21, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/jan/21/palestinian-lives-gaza-politics-media; Just Security, “Top Experts’ Views of Int’l Court of Justice Ruling on Israel Gaza Operations (South Africa v Israel, Genocide Convention Case),” January 26, 2024, https://www.justsecurity.org/91457/top-experts-views-of-intl-court-of-justice-ruling-on-israel-gaza-operations-south-africa-v-israel-genocide-convention-case/; Ron Kampeas, “Israel faces charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice. Here’s why, and how Israel will respond,” i>Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 4, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/01/04/politics/israel-faces-charges-of-genocide-at-the-international-court-of-justice-heres-why-and-how-israel-will-respond; Ron Kampeas, “International Court of Justice rules that some allegations of Israel committing genocide are ‘plausible,’” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 26, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/01/26/politics/international-court-of-justice-rules-that-some-allegations-of-israel-committing-genocide-are-plausible; Hussein Ibish, “Israel’s Dangerous Delusion,” Atlantic, November 1, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2023/11/israel-gaza-after-hamas/675856/; Nina Lakhani, “Israel is deliberately starving Palestinians, UN rights expert says,” Guardian, February 27, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/27/un-israel-food-starvation-palestinians-war-crime-genocide; Edward Luce, “Biden’s mounting self-harm on Israel,” Financial Times, December 15, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/cfb4660f-de36-4453-9b44-531996c6ec9e; Barbara Moens, Jacopo Barigazzi, and Eddy Wax, “South Africa’s genocide case against Israel lays bare Europe’s feeble power,” Politico, January 11, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/south-africas-genocide-case-against-israel-lays-bare-europes-feeble-power/; Loveday Morris, Sarah Cahlan, and Jonathan Baran, “What to know about Israel’s controversial ‘buffer zone’ in Gaza,” Washington Post, January 24, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/24/israel-buffer-zone-gaza-war/; Tori Otten, “Report: Israel in Talks With Third Country to Expel Palestinians Entirely,” New Republic, January 3, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/177837/report-israel-expel-palestinians-gaza-third-country-congo; Claire Parker and Emily Rauhala to Today’s Worldview list, “What to know about the genocide case against Israel at the ICJ,” Washington Post, January 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/newsletters/todays-worldview/; Khaleda Rahman, “Israel Committing ‘Textbook Case of Genocide,’ Holocaust Historian Says,” Newsweek, October 17, 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/holocaust-historian-israel-committing-genocide-raz-segal-1835346; Emily Rauhala and Steve Hendrix, “U.N. court orders Israel to halt killings in Gaza, but no cease-fire,” Washington Post, January 26, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/26/israel-icj-ruling-decision-south-africa-gaza/; Kenneth Roth, “The ICJ ruling is a repudiation of Israel and its western backers,” Guardian, January 26, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/jan/26/icj-ruling-israel-western-backers; Roya News, “Exposé reveals list of essential aid items banned by ‘Israel’ from entry into Gaza,” March 10, 2024, https://en.royanews.tv/news/49795/2024-03-03; Mehul Srivastava, “UN chief denounces ‘clear violations’ of international law in Gaza,” Financial Times, October 24, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/61c23c82-4eaf-499b-8989-ecdebb86c839; Alice Speri, “After Historic Ruling, Lawyers Vow to Keep Fighting Biden Over Complicity in Gaza Genocide,” Intercept, February 1, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/02/01/gaza-biden-genocide-lawsuit-ruling/; Robin Stein et al., “A Times Investigation Tracked Israel’s Use of One of Its Most Destructive Bombs in South Gaza,” New York Times, December 22, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/21/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-bomb-investigation.html; Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Gaza offensive stirs a wave of global protest,” Washington Post, October 29, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2023/10/29/gaza-protest-demonstration-ceasefire-israel-hamas-offensive/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Israeli calls for Gaza’s ethnic cleansing are only getting louder,” Washington Post, January 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/05/wv-israel-hamas/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Gaza’s spiraling, unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” Washington Post, March 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/03/01/gaza-humanitarian-catastrophe/; Times of Israel, “Intelligence Ministry ‘concept paper’ proposes transferring Gazans to Egypt’s Sinai,” October 31, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/intelligence-ministry-concept-paper-proposes-transferring-gazans-to-egypts-sinai/
  4. [4]Evan Hill et al., “Israel has waged one of this century’s most destructive wars in Gaza,” Washington Post, December 23, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2023/israel-war-destruction-gaza-record-pace/; Loveday Morris, “Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas. Yet the group remains largely intact,” Washington Post, December 5, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/05/israel-military-offensive-hamas-destruction-gaza/; Paul Rogers, “Israel is losing the war against Hamas – but Netanyahu and his government will never admit it,” Guardian, December 21, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/dec/21/israel-losing-war-against-hamas-netanyahu-idf; Jeremy Scahill, “This Is Not a War Against Hamas,” Intercept, December 11, 2023, https://theintercept.com/2023/12/11/israel-hamas-war-civilians-biden/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel is struggling to destroy Hamas, but it’s destroying Gaza,” Washington Post, December 20, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/20/israel-battlefield-gaza-defeat-hamas/; Ishaan Tharoor, “Netanyahu’s delusional, deadly quest for ‘total victory,’” Washington Post, February 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/02/09/netanyahu-israel-total-victory-hamas-palestine/; Nicholas Vinocur, “Belgian PM warns Israel against using hunger as ‘weapon of war’ in Gaza,” Politico, March 16, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/belgian-prime-minister-alexander-de-croo-warns-israel-against-hunger-weapon-war-gaza/

Anti-semitism, visible compliance, and righteousness

[Donald Trump] told the Republican Jewish Coalition in 2015 that “you want to control your politicians” and suggested the audience used money to exert control. In the White House, he said Jews who vote for Democrats are “very disloyal to Israel.”

Two years ago, the former president hosted two dinner guests at his Florida residence who were known to make virulent antisemitic comments.

And this week, Trump charged that Jewish Democrats were being disloyal to their faith and to Israel. That had many American Jews taking up positions behind now-familiar political lines. Trump opponents accused him of promoting antisemitic tropes while his defenders suggested he was making a fair political point in his own way. . . .

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the CEO of T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization, said Trump has no business dictating who’s a good Jew.

“By insinuating that good Jews will vote for the party that is best for Israel, Trump is evoking the age-old antisemitic trope of dual loyalty — an accusation that Jews are more loyal to their religion than to their country, and therefore can’t be trusted,” she said. “Historically, this accusation has fueled some of the worst antisemitic violence.”[1]

That trope is getting my attention right now because it reflects a larger conundrum involving identity, practice, and the attention these draw from the perspectives they are drawn from.

In the U.S., we normalize being white, vaguely Christian, heterosexual, and middle class. The wealthy seek to distinguish themselves with power and privilege and we seem to accept that. But when people distinguish themselves in other ways—any other ways—they invite disdain.

The loyalty trope casts non-normality as disloyalty and thus as a threat. But I draw a blank when I ask myself, disloyalty to what and threatening to what? This “white, vaguely Christian, heterosexual, and middle class” thing somehow isn’t even a thing to me precisely because I have normalized it to such a degree. It is like the air I breathe. I can’t really even imagine the vacuum of space and so it is that, yes, I do absolutely notice when I’m driving through Squirrel Hill and see people dressed in an orthodox style walking, often on their Sabbath, when they aren’t supposed to drive. As well, I notice when I see the words “Kosher” or, for that matter, “Halal” (both words mean approximately the same thing, differing mainly in Biblical interpretation).

On the one hand, distinction seems to be a means of proselytizing. If I dress in a particular fashion, I am not only complying with what I think is a religious mandate, but identifying myself with that religion. What do we think when we see a woman dressed in a Burka? And what do we think when we see two white men in suits with black name plates affixed to their jackets walking or bicycling down the street? Or when we see two or three people loitering with a stand of pamphlets anxious to proclaim “good news!” This isn’t just about the mandate but a certain claim to righteousness attached to compliance with that mandate.

The Latter Day Saints’ missionary work isn’t just about door-to-door evangelism. As with Jehovah’s Witnesses, even if they never come to my door, I see them. In this frame, they are righteous. And pointedly, especially because I reject this frame, I am not.

But there is something peculiar in the way we respond to the Jewish forms of distinction. And there is something peculiar in the way an allegation of anti-Semitism gets weaponized, particularly with regard to Israel, where to think of Palestinians as human beings with human rights has, by Zionist logic, become anti-Semitic.[2]

Donald Trump affirms Zionist logic by denigrating Palestinians. For some Jews, he is thus their hero.

That’s not just a problem because it’s about Trump.

  1. [1]Peter Smith and Tiffany Stanley, “US Jews upset with Trump’s latest rhetoric say he doesn’t get to tell them how to be Jewish,” Associated Press, March 21, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/trump-jewish-voters-democrats-antisemitism-a43bf6f6266d9c6a4b761b82281aa512
  2. [2]Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, “ADL Officially Admits It Counts Pro-Palestine Activism as Antisemitic,” New Republic, January 10, 2024, https://newrepublic.com/post/177993/adl-abandons-pretense-tracking-antisemitism-honestly-palestine-rallies

The real ‘doom loops:’ intellectual fraud at the Federal Reserve, intellectual fraud in economics

There is a reason I call economics the evil stepchild of Human Science: It’s evil.

Should investors take heart from the sale [Mori Trust bought half an office block next to Grand Central Terminal from real-estate investment trust SL Green], even though it is just a single Manhattan office block? Does it mean the disaster in office ownership is a bit less bad than thought?

The answers will reverberate well beyond the narrow group of buyers of high-end New York real estate. A crash in office values could start a doom loop with banks, with falling prices leading to less finance and thus lower prices. Gloomsters think that could spread across the multitrillion-dollar commercial real-estate sector, sucking money out of the economy as banks and institutional investors turn more cautious.[1]

The Federal Reserve’s high interest rates, ideologically meant to punish workers when corporate price-gouging and supply chain issues are more probable causes of inflation,[2] also make real estate loans more expensive, undermining a banking line of business[3] at the same time as those interest rates undermined the value of bonds in banking portfolios, leading to banking failures earlier this year.

The inescapable message is that even banks may be sacrificed on the all important neoliberal altar of subjugating workers. This policy is rooted in what can now only be described as intellectual fraud.[4]

[T]here could be a further financing blow from the troubles of the midsize lenders in the wake of the bank runs in the spring. Banks are less willing to lend, and because they make up about 40% of all commercial real-estate lending, other lenders are unlikely to be able to fill the gap. Less lending means higher rates, more distress and lower prices.

So far, we haven’t had any sort of doom loop. Prices are down thanks to higher interest rates—as is normal—combined with the twin problems of work from home hitting office demand and online shopping hitting retail. If recession leads to a big rise in layoffs, expect far worse as firms cut back on the cubicles the newly unemployed used to occupy.[5]

The “doom loop” here stems from a combination of lower property values and higher interest rates, leading to borrowers walking away from their mortgages, adding foreclosed properties to the market, driving values down further—rinse and repeat, as that leads even more borrowers make the same calculation as the earlier ones did.[6] As this happens, banks can be expected to be stuck with a lot of distressed property in their portfolios, adversely impacting their capital reserve ratios, leading to further pullbacks in lending, further depressing values,[7] as increasingly only those able to pay very large, albeit diminishing amounts of cash can purchase property—rinse and repeat, yet again.

In systems theory, we call these “rinse and repeat” iterations destabilizing feedback loops. What’s needed here—and which I do not see—is a stabilizing feedback. As desperate as the Federal Reserve is to do it, punishing workers simply doesn’t work here, as layoffs can only free up yet more office space—um yeah, do that rinse and repeat thing, yet again.

Economists generally won’t tell you any of this because they’re sticking with their intellectual fraud. That’s why they’re evil.

  1. [1]James Mackintosh, “How Scared Should You Be About Commercial Real Estate?” Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-scared-should-you-be-about-commercial-real-estate-1ba0f913
  2. [2]Cory Doctorow, “Why the Fed wants to crush workers,” Medium, January 19, 2023, https://doctorow.medium.com/why-the-fed-wants-to-crush-workers-ff086f3b952a; Lora Kelley, “Why It Matters Who Caused Inflation,” Atlantic, June 16, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/06/why-it-matters-who-caused-inflation/674448/; Stephanie Kelton, Deficit Myth (New York: Public Affairs, 2021); Justin Lahart, “Giving Labor Less of the American Pie,” Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/giving-labor-less-of-the-american-pie-11675792087; Eric Levitz, “Larry Summers Was Wrong About Inflation,” New York, June 14, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/larry-summers-was-wrong-about-inflation.html; Brian Merchant, “The real aim of big tech’s layoffs: bringing workers to heel,” Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2023-01-30/column-how-big-tech-is-using-mass-layoffs-to-bring-workers-to-heel; Jon Schwarz, “In Confidential Memo, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Celebrated Unemployment as a ‘Worker-Discipline Device,’” Intercept, January 24, 2023, https://theintercept.com/2023/01/24/unemployment-inflation-janet-yellen/
  3. [3]James Mackintosh, “How Scared Should You Be About Commercial Real Estate?” Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-scared-should-you-be-about-commercial-real-estate-1ba0f913
  4. [4]Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013); David Fickling, “The Gig Economy Compromised Our Immune System,” Yahoo!, July 25, 2020, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gig-economy-compromised-immune-system-000048670.html; Amir Fleischmann, “The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative,” Jacobin, March 5, 2017, https://jacobinmag.com/2017/03/fiscal-conservative-social-services-austerity-save-money; Jason Hickel, “Progress and its discontents,” New Internationalist, August 7, 2019, https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents; Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); Stephanie Kelton, The Deficit Myth (New York: Public Affairs, 2021); Robert Kuttner, “Austerity never works: Deficit hawks are amoral — and wrong,” Salon, May 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/05/austerity_never_works_deficit_hawks_are_amoral_and_wrong/; Eric Levitz, “Neoliberalism Died of COVID. Long Live Neoliberalism!” Review of Shutdown, by Adam Tooze, New York, October 14, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/10/neoliberalism-died-of-covid-long-live-neoliberalism.html; Dennis Loo, Globalization and the Demolition of Society (Glendale, CA: Larkmead, 2011); Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis, “Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel,” Nation, July 6, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/article/austerity-has-failed-an-open-letter-from-thomas-piketty-to-angela-merkel/; John Quiggin, “Austerity Has Been Tested, and It Failed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2013, http://chronicle.com/article/Austerity-Has-Been-Tested-and/139255/; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “How Austerity Kills,” New York Times, May 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “Paul Krugman’s right: Austerity kills,” Salon, May 19, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/19/paul_krugmans_right_austerity_kills/
  5. [5]James Mackintosh, “How Scared Should You Be About Commercial Real Estate?” Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-scared-should-you-be-about-commercial-real-estate-1ba0f913
  6. [6]Dror Poleg, “The Next Crisis Will Start With Empty Office Buildings,” Atlantic, June 7, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/06/commercial-real-estate-crisis-empty-offices/674310/; Carol Ryan, “Property Loans Are Starting to Crack,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-today-dow-jones-06-09-2023/card/heard-on-the-street-property-loans-are-starting-to-crack-0tae3dxXRfn1hWR5jqar; Kevin Truong and Noah Baustin, “Westfield Gives Up Downtown San Francisco Mall,” San Francisco Standard, June 12, 2023, https://sfstandard.com/business/westfield-gives-up-downtown-san-francisco-mall/; Natalie Wong et al., “The World’s Empty Office Buildings Have Become a Debt Time Bomb,” Bloomberg, June 23, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-06-23/commercial-real-estate-reset-is-causing-distress-from-san-francisco-to-hong-kong
  7. [7]James Mackintosh, “How Scared Should You Be About Commercial Real Estate?” Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-scared-should-you-be-about-commercial-real-estate-1ba0f913

For regulating artificial idiocy, against regulating cryptography

Margaret Heffernan correctly argues for regulation of artificial intelligence idiocy.[1] But I need to refine her argument.

Even when apostate pioneers in artificial intelligence warn vociferously against its dangers, an equal and opposite cohort (sometimes even including the same voices) argues that the technology is too young to be constrained, that there isn’t yet sufficient evidence of harm and that business can be trusted to do the right thing.

But no other industry gets such a free pass. Electrical appliances are tested to ensure they don’t explode or catch fire. Cars aren’t allowed on the road if they don’t meet safety standards. Pharmaceutical businesses must prove their products are safe before they can go on sale. If harms emerge in any of these, regulation piles on top of regulation. Developing and enforcing standards is a cornerstone of the social contract: citizens expect their governments to strive to keep them safe.

So why is technology the exception? When Facebook was found to have experimented on users without their consent, when social media has been shown to harm young and vulnerable users, calls for regulation resound and then go quiet. In the argument that new technology is too precious an economic opportunity, AI is but the latest target. Its evangelists argue that, so far, it hasn’t shown any signs of harm, and the engineering is too abstruse for legislators to understand. The first point is debatable, the second is often correct. I have had many conversations with MPs and chief executives who privately acknowledge feeling out of their depth when it comes to tech. It’s less embarrassing to avoid the gnarly problems, meaning they find common cause with the companies who also benefit from ignoring them.[2]

Read more

  1. [1]Margaret Heffernan, “The tech sector’s free pass must be cancelled,” Financial Times, June 28, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/c668bf20-40ea-4eb9-8910-ab63d213a63b
  2. [2]Margaret Heffernan, “The tech sector’s free pass must be cancelled,” Financial Times, February 28, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/c668bf20-40ea-4eb9-8910-ab63d213a63b

Jack Smith set to fail?

See updates through June 12, 2023, at end of post.


Special counsel Jack Smith has indicted Donald Trump for mishandling classified records.[1]

[Donald] Trump faces a total of 37 counts on seven different charges, including willful retention of national-defense information, withholding a record, false statements and conspiracy to obstruct. On five of the counts, Trump was charged alongside his military valet, Walt Nauta, who went to work at Mar-a-Lago resort after working in the White House. Nauta separately faces a false-statements charge.[2]

Read more

  1. [1]Devlin Barrett, Perry Stein, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump charged in classified documents case, second indictment in months,” Washington Post, June 8, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/08/trump-classified-documents-mar-a-lago/; Marc Caputo, “‘Prosecuting Politicians is Hard Here’: Why South Florida is a Tough Place for DOJ to Try Trump,” Messenger, June 8, 2023, https://themessenger.com/politics/trump-south-florida-miami-doj-jury-challenge; John Cassidy, “Trump Is Desperately Trying to Define the Narrative About His Federal Indictment,” New Yorker, June 9, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trump-is-desperately-trying-to-define-the-narrative-about-his-federal-indictment; Gabriel J. Chin, “Trump indictment unsealed – a criminal law scholar explains what the charges mean, and what prosecutors will now need to prove,” Conversation, June 9, 2023, https://theconversation.com/trump-indictment-unsealed-a-criminal-law-scholar-explains-what-the-charges-mean-and-what-prosecutors-will-now-need-to-prove-207469; Joseph Ferguson and Thomas A. Durkin, “Trump charged under Espionage Act – which covers a lot more crimes than just spying,” Conversation, June 9, 2023, https://theconversation.com/trump-charged-under-espionage-act-which-covers-a-lot-more-crimes-than-just-spying-207373; Alan Feuer, “Trump-Appointed Judge Is Said to Be Handling Documents Case,” New York Times, June 9, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/09/us/politics/aileen-cannon-trump-judge.html; David Gilbert, “‘We Need to Start Killing’: Trump’s Far-Right Supporters Are Threatening Civil War,” Vice, June 9, 2023, https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxjjgb/trump-supporters-are-threatening-civil-war; Alex Isenstadt and Kyle Cheney, “Trump notified that he is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation,” Politico, June 7, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/07/trump-notified-that-he-is-the-target-of-an-ongoing-criminal-investigation-00100920; Ankush Khardori, “The Chaos Inside Trump’s Legal Team,” New York, June 8, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/donald-trumps-lawyers-on-his-dysfunctional-legal-team.html; Hugo Lowell, “Donald Trump charged with illegal retention of classified documents,” Guardian, June 8, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/08/donald-trump-charged-retention-classified-documents; Tom Nichols, “Trump’s Indictment Reveals a National-Security Nightmare,” Atlantic, June 9, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/06/trumps-indictment-reveals-a-national-security-nightmare/674362/; Stefania Palma, “Donald Trump says he has been indicted on federal charges in documents probe,” Financial Times, June 8, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/06/09/trump-indictment-garland-smith-justice/; Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman, and C. Ryan Barber, “Trump Charged Over Willful Retention of Classified Information, Obstruction,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-associate-also-indicted-in-mar-a-lago-documents-case-759cbb17
  2. [2]Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman, and C. Ryan Barber, “Trump Charged Over Willful Retention of Classified Information, Obstruction,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-associate-also-indicted-in-mar-a-lago-documents-case-759cbb17

Vladimir Putin’s ‘real’ red line and Joe Biden’s incremental boldness on Ukraine; do the two meet?

See update for June 1, 2023, at end of post.


A couple days ago, I noted an apparent contradiction between Patrick Tucker “sens[ing] that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might well choose to intervene in Ukraine”[1] and Julia Ioffe “still pointing at ‘Washington’s reddest of red lines: not getting into a hot conflict with Russia.’”[2] I thought Ioffe was more likely right.[3] Read more

  1. [1]Patrick Tucker, “Estonia Will Ask For a Clearer Path for Ukraine to Join NATO,” Defense One, May 30, 2023, https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/05/estonia-will-ask-clearer-path-ukraine-join-nato/386879/
  2. [2]Julia Ioffe, “Yalta 2023: Planning for Life After the Russian Invasion,” Puck, May 30, 2023, https://puck.news/yalta-2023-planning-for-life-after-the-russian-invasion/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Vladimir Putin must surely now be getting desperate,” Irregular Bullshit, May 30, 2023, https://disunitedstates.com/2023/05/30/vladimir-putin-must-surely-now-be-getting-desperate/

It should be obvious by now: Donald Trump and Doug Mastriano are not the future of the Republican Party

See update for June 17, 2023, at end of post.


A few days ago (on March 23rd, if you must know), I wrote:

Figures from [the Anti-Defamation League] showed sharp rises in antisemitic activity nationwide last year. Pennsylvania saw a 65% increase.

The report, released Thursday, details how Pennsylvania and New Jersey broke records when it came to vandalism and harassment targeting Jewish people. With 114 reported incidents in Pennsylvania alone, the amount of activity was the highest in the ADL’s four-plus decades of collecting data.[1]

Increases in anti-Semitic activity are a nationwide trend,[2] and I’m inclined to associate it with an increasing radicalization of white Christian nationalist supporters of Doug Mastriano, who ran for Pennsylvania governor last year, and of Donald Trump.

Both candidates have hewn to an extreme paleoconservative and social conservative agenda,[3] even as it became increasingly apparent that this agenda would—and did—alienate voters in the general election.[4] It’s not a tilt that makes obvious sense.[5]

It’s reasonable to think these extreme views will not be a deal-breaker for white Christian nationalists. But given the 2022 results,[6] I just don’t see how this wins the 2024 general election.[7]

Read more

  1. [1]Jesse Bunch, “An alarming report shows rising antisemitism in Pa., days after a white supremacist campaign targeted Port Richmond,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2023, https://www.inquirer.com/news/antisemitism-data-adl-report-port-richmond-stickers-white-supremacists-20230323.html
  2. [2]Jesse Bunch, “An alarming report shows rising antisemitism in Pa., days after a white supremacist campaign targeted Port Richmond,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2023, https://www.inquirer.com/news/antisemitism-data-adl-report-port-richmond-stickers-white-supremacists-20230323.html
  3. [3]William Bender, “Doug Mastriano’s comments on Islam and climate change resurface, the latest hit for his campaign,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-islam-global-warming-2018-governor-pennsylvania-20220819.html; William Bender, “In a rare rebuke, two retired War College professors say Doug Mastriano is unfit to be governor,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-war-college-biddle-coplen-alvin-york-20221016.html; William Bender and Jonathan Tamari, “As campaign struggles, Doug Mastriano plans ‘40 days of fasting and prayer,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-fasting-prayer-campaign-rally-struggling-20220928.html; Chris Brennan, “‘Mastriano is unacceptable’: A group of Pennsylvania Republicans is organizing to support Shapiro,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/josh-shapiro-doug-mastriano-governor-republicans-endorsements-20220706.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano wore a Confederate Army uniform in an Army War College faculty photo,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/doug-mastriano-confederate-uniform-photo-army-war-college-20220826.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano will flirt again with the QAnon crowd as another election approaches,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/doug-mastriano-josh-shapiro-governor-election-mike-flynn-rudy-giuliani-20221021.html; Stephen Caruso and Ethan Edward Coston, “How Doug Mastriano built a grassroots movement in Pa. on election denial, Christianity, and Facebook,” Spotlight PA, May 23, 2022, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/05/doug-mastriano-pa-governor-pennsylvania-shapiro/; Philissa Cramer, “Republican Jews call on Doug Mastriano, GOP candidate for PA governor, to stop using Gab,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 22, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/07/22/politics/republican-jews-call-on-doug-mastriano-gop-candidate-for-pa-governor-to-stop-using-gab; Kristen Holmes, “Trump expresses support for Capitol rioters as he continues to embrace extremist groups,” CNN, December 2, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/02/politics/donald-trump-january-6-rioters-support/index.html; Ron Kampeas, “Critics compare salutes at Trump and Mastriano rallies to Nazi ‘Sieg Heil,’” Times of Israel, September 20, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/critics-compare-salutes-at-trump-mastriano-rallies-to-nazi-sieg-heil/; Dana Milbank, “And on the eighth day, God said: Let Mastriano win Pennsylvania,” Washington Post, September 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/09/doug-mastriano-prophet-julie-green/; Tina Nguyen, “Doug Mastriano’s Snowflake Strategy,” Puck News, September 14, 2022, https://puck.news/doug-mastrianos-snowflake-strategy/; Greg Sargent, “Say it clearly: Republicans just nominated a pro-Trump insurrectionist,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/18/doug-mastriano-insurrectionist/; Andrew Seidman, “A top GOP candidate for governor campaigned at an event promoting QAnon and conspiracy theories about 9/11,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 27, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-teddy-daniels-qanon-conference-gop-candidates-20220427.html
  4. [4]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, February 28, 2023, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  6. [6]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Tales from the fringe (of white Christian nationalism),” Irregular Bullshit, March 23, 2023, https://disunitedstates.com/2023/03/23/tales-from-the-fringe-of-white-christian-nationalism/

The closing of the Florida mind

Samuel Joeckel has been teaching a unit on racial justice in his writing class at Palm Beach Atlantic for twelve years. This year, a student complained about the unit to his parents, who complained to the university president. Joeckel is now out of a job. White Christian nationalist Florida Governor (and presumptive presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis visited the university the very evening he was terminated.[1] Read more

  1. [1]Megan Zahneis, “A Florida Professor Lost His Job After Complaints About His Lessons on Racial Justice,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 17, 2023, https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-florida-professor-lost-his-job-after-complaints-about-his-lessons-on-racial-justice