Still Alive!

Things were pushed back a few days, so I am back at home until Saturday or Sunday. Went with my bags packed and ready to go, and there were complications beyond my control, so I went home. And man, it sucked. I was totally mentally prepared to surrender and just let it all go, and got basically cock-blocked by bureaucracy. I’ll just get myself stoked up again in a day or two. At this point, I’m so pissed off that I am beginning to take it personally- “FUCK THE MACHINE, I WILL GET SOBER AND YOU WILL HELP ME YOU MOTHERFUCKERS.” Also, the pleasant bonus for the craptacular day was 2 and 1/2 hours of sitting in Pittsburgh traffic listening to Shawn bitch, because he hates sitting in traffic. More than most people. More than even me, and I never pass up an opportunity to get pissed off about something.

Glad to see TBOGG and Zaid posting, and I hope you like their contributions. I honestly have no idea if Betty, Sooner, and Mistermix seriously were raptured, but I do have another guest poster who will be showing up soon. I’ll let her introduce herself, but I think you will like her work.

The news of the day has been rather catastrophic. Apparently Ukrainian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner, killing close to 300 people, using Soviet weaponry. They then allegedly bragged about it on twitter, then, like an American politician busted sending a dick pic, thought they could delete it and no one would notice. There are also alleged recordings between separatist rebels and Russian advisors discussing the attack after the fact. Make of it what you will (cough, cough, Gulf of Tonkin, etc.).

At any rate, from my understanding, these are the folks that Putin whipped up during his blunderous (new word?) Crimean takeover and then essentially bailed on when he was kicked in the dick with financial sanctions. I have no idea what will happen next, but hopefully Europe, dependent on Russian gas and oil, will finally be motivated to do something about the chaos in their backyard.

Meanwhile, on my tv, John McCain is getting his war on, and talking about repercussions and stringent responses. The same John McCain who wanted to arm unknown rebels in Syria. Kinda like Putin armed untrained and unknown separatists in Ukraine. Why is this geriatric fool still on tv and treated as if he knows anything?

In other news, Bibi has launched another invasion into Gaza, meaning that three dead Jewish children will end up in misery and death for untold thousands of Palestinians. Meanwhile, our compliant media is hitting new lows:

Ayman Mohyeldin, the NBC News correspondent who personally witnessed yesterday’s killing by Israel of four Palestinian boys on a Gazan beach and who has received widespread praise for his brave and innovative coverage of the conflict, has been told by NBC executives to leave Gaza immediately. According to an NBC source upset at his treatment, the executives claimed the decision was motivated by “security concerns” as Israel prepares a ground invasion, a claim repeated to me by an NBC executive. But late yesterday, NBC sent another correspondent, Richard Engel, along with an American producer who has never been to Gaza and speaks no Arabic, into Gaza to cover the ongoing Israeli assault (both Mohyeldin and Engel speak Arabic).

Mohyeldin is an Egyptian-American with extensive experience reporting on that region. He has covered dozens of major Middle East events in the last decade for CNN, NBC and Al Jazeera English, where his reporting on the 2008 Israeli assault on Gaza made him a star of the network. NBC aggressively pursued him to leave Al Jazeera, paying him far more than the standard salary for its on-air correspondents.

Yesterday, Mohyeldin witnessed and then reported on the brutal killing by Israeli gunboats of four young boys as they played soccer on a beach in Gaza City. He was instrumental, both in social media and on the air, in conveying to the world the visceral horror of the attack.

Mohyeldin recounted how, moments before their death, he was kicking a soccer ball with the four boys, who were between the ages of 9 and 11 and all from the same family. He posted numerous chilling details on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, including the victims’ names and ages, photographs he took of their anguished parents, and video of one of their mothers as she learned about the death of her young son. He interviewed one of the wounded boys at the hospital shortly before being operated on. He then appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, where he dramatically recounted what he saw.

Despite this powerful first-hand reporting – or perhaps because of it – Mohyeldin was nowhere to be seen on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast with Brian Williams. Instead, as Media Bistro’s Jordan Chariton noted, NBC curiously had Richard Engel – who was in Tel Aviv, and had just arrived there an hour or so earlier – “report” on the attack. Charlton wrote that “the decision to have Engel report the story for ‘Nightly’ instead of Mohyeldin angered some NBC News staffers.”

Indeed, numerous NBC employees, including some of the network’s highest-profile stars, were at first confused and then indignant over the use of Engel rather than Mohyeldin to report the story. But what they did not know, and what has not been reported until now, is that Mohyeldin was removed completely from reporting on Gaza by a top NBC executive, David Verdi, who ordered Mohyeldin to leave Gaza immediately.

Also, in Israel, here’s some video of Israeli’s standing on a hill watching missiles rain down on civilians in Gaza, cheering and hooting and hollering:

The reporter that was there was accosted by the Israelis in the area and told if she said anything wrong, they would wreck her car, and she tweeted as much and said they were scum for threatening her, so, of course, she is now America’s #1 anti-Semite to the right-wing blogosphere. Someone threatens to wreck my car, scum seems kind of mild for what I would call them. But I guess when you are caught on film cheering on the deaths of others, you get kind of sensitive and being called scum might hit a little close to home and make you think about what the fuck you are actually doing. So I guess there is that.

Might check in tomorrow. Might not. Today was a really shitty day all around. I was ready.

129 replies
  1. 1
    different-church-lady says:

    I do believe that is many many more words than you have written in quite a while. This rehab thing seems to be working nicely before it even officially starts.

  2. 2
    Not Adding Much to the Community says:

    Good to see you, Mr. Cole, even if the circumstances are shit. It’ll all come out in the wash (your thing, I mean; FSM only knows what’s going to happen in Israel or Ukraine).

  3. 3
    Helen says:

    Did not read the post. Saw the title. Knew it was John. Going to read now. DUDE! we miss you. ETA: I used to think you were just the gatekeeper. Turns out you’re the DAD. Go figure.

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:

    Hope you got to see the semis. That was an amazing defensive performance by Canada, holding the Iroquois scoreless for almost 55 minutes. That said, the way the US team is playing, I don’t think Canada has a prayer on Saturday.

  5. 5
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    John, despite your problems of the day, among them sitting in Pittsburgh traffic (hey, at least it’s not Northern Virginia!), this was a well thought out and excellent post and one of the reasons Balloon-Juice is at the top of my blog list. Thanks, and I look forward to all your fellow front-pagers, permanent and temporary, over the next few weeks.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    Glad you showed up, too bad it’s under such awful circumstances.

  7. 7
    James K Polk, Esq. says:

    Take care of yourself Mr. Cole. Everyone is rooting for you!

  8. 8
    Felonius Monk says:

    Sounds like a “Fuck the world, I want to get off” sort of day. You deserve much better, Mr. Cole. And you will get it.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    Dude! Two(?) days gone and things go to complete shit. Not here, of course, but everywhere else.

    Don’t get a complex about it, but NEVER LEAVE AG’IN.

    Requesting now that we have Vlad and Bibi go into a cage and kick each other in the balls, to the death. We’ll all be better for it.

  10. 10
    HRA says:

    Happy to see you here John if it is only for a few days. I am always rooting for you even if it’s in silence here.

  11. 11
    Anne Laurie says:

    Sorry you had such a bad day, John, but I’m very glad you’re doing well enough to write so eloquently about it.

    BettyC is on vacation, in NYC, but I think she’ll be back in a few more days.

    What was decided about the hernia, if you don’t mind talking about it?

  12. 12
    beltane says:

    @trollhattan:

    Requesting now that we have Vlad and Bibi go into a cage and kick each other in the balls, to the death. We’ll all be better for it.

    That’s the best idea anyone’s had in a long time.

  13. 13
    ⚽️ Martin says:

    The news of the day has been rather catastrophic.

    This is what we do when you leave us leave us unattended.

    You’re doing good, boss. Don’t let the paper pushers win.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Also, the pleasant bonus for the craptacular day was 2 and 1/2 hours of sitting in Pittsburgh traffic listening to Shawn bitch, because he hates sitting in traffic. More than most people. More than even me, and I never pass up an opportunity to get pissed off about something.

    Back when I was married, we would switch drivers so that I would not be at the wheel during a traffic jam or in construction around a city. I can handle it as a passenger, but if I am behind the wheel the inability to move simply makes me crazy.

    Stay strong, JC.

  15. 15
    trollhattan says:

    @beltane:
    Would a Kickstarter campaign be too obvious?

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @trollhattan: Too obvious? Maybe. But it sure would rake in the bucks.

  17. 17
    Origuy says:

    In honor of Nelson Mandela’s birthday tomorrow. the Google Doodle is an animated series of quotations from him. Worth stopping by.

  18. 18
    Sandia Blanca says:

    My spidey sense indicated we would hear from you again soon, John Cole! Sorry it was under such sucky circumstances. Good luck holding those “I’m ready” thoughts.

  19. 19
    Elie says:

    Its good to have you back!

    What a world! You picked a bad day to….. (per Airplane fame)

    Seriously, only the very very best to you… I promise you, there will be plenty of messed up stuff to write about on your return —

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @beltane: Bibi was a special ops guy in his youth. Vlad is ex-KGB and does judo. Cool.

  21. 21
    LT says:

    Dang, frustrating. Glad to see you’ve still got your head up. Good stuff.

  22. 22
    Anya says:

    I can’t wait for Barack Obama’s reign of sucktitude to end. He’s a total coward when it comes to the P/I conflict. It hurts my heart every time I see him repeat the stupid canned “Israel has a right to defend itself.” I think he’s more harmful than any other president. He gives cover to Israel because of his personal popularity in the world.

    Netanyahu will drag Israel to a point of no return and the world will continue to isolate Israel. America’s enabling will not help them. I actually believe that the fact that the world doesn’t hate Obama like they hated Bush helps them a little bit but in a decade, it will be America and Israel alone.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anya: Quoi?

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    Don’t forget to add both of your state’s US Senators to that list — their resolution to support Israel passed unanimously.

    The US’s suckitude on Israel goes far, far beyond the policies or personality of a single president.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Also, in Israel, here’s some video of Israeli’s standing on a hill watching missiles reign down on civilians in Gaza, cheering and hooting and hollering:

    No, they rain down on civilians. “Reign” Is what Queen Elizabeth does. “Rain” is what falls from the sky. “Rein” Is what you use to steer a horse.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: Can we please throw BoBo in to be the ref?

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    So happy to see a thread from you, John, especially one as righteous as this one. But it completely sucks that you were there and ready and they turned you away. Just maddening.

    Do not let the bastards win. Get yourself psyched and try again.

    (I’m glad Shawn was with you; he’s a good friend.)

  28. 28
    amk says:

    @Anya:

    Yeah, what with the decades of israel arming & enabling and 100% nut n yahoo ass kissing congress critters, it’s the kenyan muslin that is the real problem.

  29. 29
    Steeplejack says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’ve just about given up.

    Ditto “the Israeli’s in the area.”

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “Three men enter; no one leaves!”

  31. 31
    Genine says:

    I’m sorry, John. I’m glad that it’s just a bump in the road and not a roadblock. You’ll get there (and it sounds like it’ll be sooner rather than later).

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Israel lobby puts the gun lobby to shame in terms of having an absolute, unconditional, seal of approval from the United States government. At least with the gun issue, some amount of debate is permitted. When it comes to Israel, there is no debate, no discussion, just a disgustingly servile attitude to a so-called client state.

    It’s just plain weird.

  33. 33
    Helen says:

    @Anya: Please name an American who can possibly, maybe, be the President who will be better than Obama for Israel. Many questions after this but first answer the first. WHO will make you Hap Hap Happy?

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    To answer your question about TBOGG and Zaid…
    of course we love TBOGG! And Zaid was very well received. Really great opening post!

    Edit: Cole, I hope you read all 500+ comments in your thread from the other night, and if you did you might have noticed multiple requests for “John loves us and wants us to be happy” as a rotating tag line. Can we have that, pretty please?

  35. 35
    amk says:

    @Helen: nutroot season?

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    John

    Today was a really shitty day all around. I was ready.

    Do yourself a favor.
    Stay ready.
    It’s not like you’ve never had a shitty day before, right? I’ve had lots of shitty days, I’ll bet we all have.

  37. 37
    Anya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): This one issue, makes me hate him to tell you the truth. After I watched the images described above, I saw Obama’s Iftar comment and that really, really angered me. I want him to have a little courage and stand up to the bullies. What is he saying, Palestinian lives have no value? Am not saying he’s the only one or his words can change a lot, but it will mean a lot to the oppressed. I think history will judge him harshly on this issue.

    @Mnemosyne: Tell me about it. I wrote both them but it’s a wasted effort.

    I am really emotional right now. I feel deep sadness and I feel disempowered so I am going to bed.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: But you’ve gotta admit that getting turned away like that was a real kick in the teeth.

    But stay ready? Absolutely. On Cole’s worst day, he’s got more guts than most of us.

  39. 39
    Elie says:

    Nothing stays the same forever and sometimes its surprising how things flip and how fast…

    Israel KNOWS that what it is doing is wrong. That is why it is so aggressive and angry. It is AFRAID.

    I am so sad that my tax dollars go towards arming this country! They take our money and commit genocide and impose apartheid.

    They know they are on borrowed time… remember in Genesis. God admonishes Cain that he can hear his brother’s blood cry out to him. Banishment and payment for mortal sin…

    They know it

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    @Anya:
    WTF?
    You only listen to faux news or what?

  41. 41
    Cain says:

    @beltane:

    Demographics is going to be against them. They are completely supported by the wealthy older jews. Eventually, their power is goign to wane. Younger jews don’t give a shit shit about Israel from what I gathered. There is some active hatred as well for teh crap they have been doing. I can’t imagine that a lot of the younger generations support Israel like the older folks do.

    I mean, I can understand, Israel is alone surrounded by countries that would be happy to see it die. But that isn’t any excuse to persecute the people who were there in the first place. For 4 teenagers, over 200 people have to die and counting? Is that really where we are now?

  42. 42
    David Koch says:

    the problem with europe isn’t just the gas imports, but of greater interest is the vast money they make in russia on finance and oil exploration.

    The CEO of Shell recently bowed to Putin.

    even if they received all their fuel form different suppliers at the same price, they still wouldn’t want to lose a precious euro giving up oil field rights in the arctic circle.

    For all the fancy finger wagging, the euros are as corrupt and greedy as anyone.

  43. 43
    Anya says:

    @Ruckus: Because Faux news cares about the Palestinians.

  44. 44
    Elie says:

    @Cain:

    I think that the teenagers were just a proximate excuse. They have wanted to bust up any ability of the Palestinians to resolve their issues and unify. They want a fractured palistine. No one is getting paid in Palestine right now…they have no alternatives and Israel likes that just fine.

    Sick

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anya:

    This one issue, makes me hate him to tell you the truth.

    Got it. You found your firebagger issue. Good for you. Me, I know that all presidents are shitty on something I care about. Obama is the first anti-capital punishment president of my lifetime. I still voted for Clinton.

  46. 46
    MvR says:

    Get well Cole! Sounds like you’ve thought it through.

  47. 47
    Karen in GA says:

    Good to see you, John, but it’s too soon. Psych(e?) yourself back up, and go take care of yourself.

  48. 48
    amk says:

    some perspective from fareed zakaria.

  49. 49
    Helen says:

    @David Koch: The problem with Europe? whom? Who are you responding to here?

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @amk: Thanks for that.

  51. 51
    Anya says:

    @Helen: No one, but Clinton was better than him, Bush Senior was better. He even surpised Bush the Lesser in how much he kowtows to Israel.

    Besides, as I said, he gives Israel some cover. Most of the world likes him so the world public opnion does go to the default anti-American knee-jerk reaction.

    I expect better from him.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Helen: I think it was intended as a response to this from the OP:

    I have no idea what will happen next, but hopefully Europe, dependent on Russian gas and oil, will finally be motivated to do something about the chaos in their backyard.

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Sure it’s a kick in the teeth. But shit happens. It happens more often for some of us than others. My life sure hasn’t been/isn’t gold plated. And yet all that frustration and anger, and I’ve had my fair share of that too, that’s just like piling on yourself. Not that it makes any difference at the time. Of course I’ve had quite a few shit plated (as opposed to gold plated) years to figure this out and I still have to work at it every day. Life ain’t no fucking cabaret that’s for sure.

  54. 54
    Anya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): And if he was running, I would probably vote for him again. But this issue taints his legacy for me. If I am realistic, I don’t think he can do much when you consider how strong the Israeli lobby is but sparing little bit more sympathy for the Palestinians would help.

  55. 55
    James E. Powell says:

    Wait, Pittsburgh has traffic?

    Sincerely,

    Everyone who lives in Los Angeles

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anya: How does “I can’t wait for Barack Obama’s reign of sucktitude to end.” fit with “And if he was running, I would probably vote for him again.” If you are disappointed with him on this, fine. I hate his education policies. Your original statement that I questioned was insanely over the top, wasn’t it?

  57. 57
    Helen says:

    @Anya: Assuming by “him” you mean “Obama” and by that you mean “America” tell me what else we can do.

    Really? 3 billion dollars a year is not enough? Really? How much will make you Hap Hap Happy?

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Helen: Do you think that Anya is coming at this from a pro-Israel side?

    ETA: If so, go back and re-read.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @Anya:
    Girl, you have been drinking. Way too much.
    I’m not saying President Obama is perfect or even right on this issue, but really, look at the big picture, not just one selected highlight. Even if that is your key issue. And if faux news is your source of information on this or any other issue, you are misinformed. Sadly misinformed.

  60. 60
    ⚽️ Martin says:

    @Anya: Worth noting:

    Since its founding more than 60 years ago, Israel and the United States have been steadfast, trusted, and reliable allies. I unequivocally support the right of a Jewish, democratic state of Israel to exist, and to be safe and secure. The U.S.-Israel relationship is rooted in shared values and common interests, based on a commitment to liberty, pluralism, and the rule of law. These values transcend time, and they are the basis of our unbreakable bond.

    To me, it is a moral imperative to support and defend Israel, and I am committed to ensuring its long-term security by maintaining its qualitative military edge. Israel must be able to defend itself from the serious threats it faces from terrorist organizations to hostile states, including Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others.

    Elizabeth Warren, from her foreign policy page.

    Face it, you aren’t going to see any stronger opposition to Israel out of the White House in the foreseeable future. The candidate you want doesn’t exist in an electable form.

  61. 61
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): She talked about Obama’s “sucatude” Pro Israel? Pro Palestine I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK. Except I am bored to death with my many many tax dollars going to kill people.

  62. 62
    amk says:

    @⚽️ Martin: bubble burster

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @⚽️ Martin: The first few paragraphs of J R in Wv’s post sum up a lot of the left’s support for Israel and then disillusionment:

    When I was a kid, I read a lot of history of WW II, about the pogroms of Czarist Russia, the death camps and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The Jews of Europe finally gave up on living safely in Europe, and wanted to take the Zionist path to Israel.

    In the historical novels of Leon Uris the travails of the migrants from Europe to British Palestine were described in horrific detail. From reading those novels, it appeared that the Zionists bought land from the Arab land owners in order to found collective farms that their people could flee to as Europe became awash in blood, some of it Jewish.

    At some point, looking at historical maps of the region, I noticed that the country now referred to as “Jordan” was then called Trans-Jordanian Palestine, and I wondered why Palestine wasn’t a home land for Palestinians – why were they in refugee camps?

    I read a lot, still do. I’m more cynical and critical nowadays. Now I know that the Hashimite Kings of Jordan didn’t want revolutionary Arabs to interfere with their good gig as rulers of Jordan (NOT Trans-Jordanian Palestine!!).

    Then came the 1967 war, and the occupation of the west bank. The displacement of lots of people in war time isn’t unusual, but this was different – it looked a lot like theft of land to me.

    Even if one knows that the current Israeli government is awful, the original story and sympathy still linger.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Helen: Well, if you are going to fight with her, I just want it to be on accurate terms.

  65. 65
    Cain says:

    I think Obama and Netanyahu hate each others guts. I don’t hate either one of them, they are who they are. But I am very disapointed in Israel for electing this guy. I guess they got what they want?

  66. 66
    cckids says:

    Hey John, hang in there. Silver lining: you get to hug the piglets again. Heard this on the radio today & the chorus made me think of you.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Cain: We had Bush. Did you get what you wanted?

    ETA: Neither did I.

  68. 68
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Fight with her? Thanks for your support but I don’t fight with stupid people.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    This issue is like one of those Russian box toys, the ones where you open it and inside there is another box. There are so many layers that emotions are seemingly the only real active layer left. No matter who you are you can find fault with the other side and so the blood bath will continue until someone steps ups and intervenes. Reading what Martin quoted from Elizabeth Warren, she isn’t wrong, nations have the right to protect themselves. But protection and aggression are two different things, and usually have drastically different results, as we have seen in our own country.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @cckids: That reminded me of this.

  71. 71
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Cole, I regret and sympathize for your delay, but I’ll miss your posts. For example, this post is the best I’ve read about the plane shoot down. You’ve a gift which brings goodness to us all.
    Get well. Get right. Kick ass. Win. Accept loss. Stay clean. One day at at time.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Ruckus: I agree. The I/P conflict will end when both sides are too tired of the death on each side to continue. IMO, we should step completely away from supporting either side, and be willing to help facilitate a real conversation between the parties. I also think I should have a god-damn unicorn. Pony up, ye gods.

  73. 73
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    My related-to-addiction song today (which did make me think of Cole momentarily) was Emer Kenny’s cover of the Stranglers’ “Golden Brown.” I’ve been playing it over and over.

  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    Unicorns for everyone!
    I don’t foresee anyone with a political chance in hell that would be able to engage an actual peace process. Too many hands in the till.

    Unsaid in my comment was that I don’t expect any change in my lifetime. There is hope though as I am of Medicare age so there may still be some in your lifetime.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steeplejack: K’s Choice?

  76. 76
    Calouste says:

    @⚽️ Martin: To riff off Gandhi, I think that a democratic state of Israel that is committed to liberty, pluralism and the rule of law, is a good idea. And I agree with Senator Warren that it would be worth supporting, rather than the apartheid state that exists now.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Ruckus: I turn 50 in about two weeks. It will happen. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the arc of history is long – longer than our lives. As a child, I did a lot of backpacking and camping with my mom and dad. The rule my dad taught me was “Leave the place cleaner than you found it.” Best advice ever.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    The rule my dad taught me was “Leave the place cleaner than you found it.” Best advice ever.

    A very, very good rule. That more people and countries would follow it.
    My dad’s was to never stop learning. He never said this in so many words but he taught me this by example. Of course one of the things to learn was that it’s just as easy to be wrong as right and that the more sure you are of one or the other the better chance of you being wrong.

  79. 79
    Steeplejack says:

    Night shift (emeritus) checking in. I had a pretty good day, all in all. I spent half of it driving from D.C. to BWI and back to pick up my college girlfriend and two of her daughters for my brother’s big gay wedding, which is happening Saturday. He and the Brazilian brother-in-law were legally married in a Maryland county clerk’s office a year ago, but now that the anti-same-sex-marriage walls of Jericho are falling and the BIL has his double-secret, no-backsies “family” green card, they are celebrating with a big wedding ceremony and party at a downtown hotel Saturday evening. Friends and family are coming in from all over, including a contingent of yakky Brazilians who have overrun Sighthound Hall, Bro’ Man’s palatial Arlington estate.

    I will omit vast tracts of Steepletonian family history, but my college girlfriend later became good friends with Bro’ Man, and the C.G.’s No. 2 daughter lodged at Sighthound Hall for a school term while she was doing research at the Library of Congress. I reconnected with the C.G. as a good friend with a shared background in the distant past, and I bonded with No. 2 daughter. It’s good to have a chance to spend some time with them, and we’re looking forward to a kick-ass party on Saturday. A mutual college friend of mine and the C.G.’s will be at our table at the wedding, and they haven’t seen each other in 40 years. Although we’re trying to get together for dinner tomorrow night, so maybe that reunion will happen before the wedding.

    Anyway, what kept me sane in the terrible traffic today was SiriusXM. Found myself bouncing between Soul Town and Sixties on Six and heard a lot of great songs. This one is so old it’s even a little bit before my time, but I always loved it. And this take on it somehow fits in with the wedding theme this weekend. Talk about your strange tribal customs of the upper Midwest.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steeplejack: Good god. I wasn’t born until about two months later.

  81. 81
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Steeplejack: I listen to music off monster phone via my bluetooth audio system(what normal people call a stereo). For the 3rd time this week I chickened out getting new ink today. So I guess the delay is a good thing if I’m indecisive about it. On the other hand got some good walking distance in.

  82. 82
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Pretty good, but I’m feeling old-school tonight. James Brown and the J.B.’s, “King Heroin.”

  83. 83
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I forgot to add that they’re all Republican teabaggers now, except for that hot 15-year-old in the black dress, who is no doubt currently the regional director for Planned Parenthood and a true-blue Democrat.

    And that is a great post-doo-wop song. There is a whole subgenre of “not quite worthy of Jersey Boys” stuff that flourished briefly before the Beatles crushed everything in their path.

  84. 84
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    I was in the middle of high school, just starting to worry about what would turn out to be a rather large war which I might have to be involved in. Right on both.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steeplejack:

    There is a whole subgenre of “not quite worthy of Jersey Boys” stuff that flourished briefly before the Beatles crushed everything in their path.

    If it doesn’t include Ronnie, I am iffy about it.

  86. 86
    Steeplejack says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yeah, tats are definitely something you want to be definite about. LOL.

  87. 87
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Oh, yeah, we’ve got your Ronnie, fresh and live.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steeplejack: Oh, Jesus. Swoon.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steeplejack: Joey and Ronnie.

  90. 90
    Steeplejack says:

    This song is indefensible, but I love it so: Randy and the Rainbows, “Denise.”

    And the Del Vikings, “Come and Go with Me.”

    This stuff was all over American Bandstand and local “teen” shows when I was 11 or 12 in Illinois. The calm before the storm that was the British invasion.

  91. 91
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Nice. How about a little Eddie and Ronnie. Well, maybe too much Eddie and not enough Ronnie, but you take what you can get.

    Better Ronnie video here.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: You are crashed but if you look back her is
    Run Baby Run – The Newbeats

  93. 93
    another Holocene human says:

    My wife who avoids politics more than follows it was all “What is John McCain doing? Why is he calling for another war? ” yesterday.

    Old man yelling at clouds. Take him off the teevee box for his own good.

  94. 94
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @beltane: you could eliminate the deficit and fund free unicorns for everyone if you sold tickets for that

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @Steeplejack:
    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Billy Joel, who wrote “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” for her, also wrote the foreword to her autobiography — which is worth a read.

  96. 96
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @raven:

    Perfect. Close harmony and that falsetto on top.

  97. 97
    Anya says:

    @⚽️ Martin: I know. And that’s precisely what makes me depressed. I just hate that we deem some people expendable for politics. I am not dumb, I do understand how our political system works and who really holds the power. But I guess I was having a moment of desperate anger.

    I wish out politicians would think of Palestinian children as children worthy of life and some semblance of peace. Just like their children and grandchildren — they too deserve safety and happiness. It’s futile but I am angry and disappointed with my PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine) politicians. Barack Obama is a gifted man, who knows how to use language and he can’t even muster original and sympathetic words for the suffering palestinians. That makes me heartsick. But what triggered my anger the most is that he invited bunch of Muslims to Iftar and then he lectured them about Israel’s right to defend itself when Israel is the one bombing a tiny area to the ground.

  98. 98
    Citizen_X says:

    @Anya:

    He even surpised Bush the Lesser in how much he kowtows to Israel.

    Link, s.v.p.?

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @Citizen_X: on iPhone so I am not sure if will work but start here: https://www.njdc.org/media/entry/obama_israel_the_facts

  100. 100
    shelley says:

    I like the word ‘blunderous,’

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:

    @Anya:

    I wish out politicians would think of Palestinian children as children worthy of life and some semblance of peace. Just like their children and grandchildren — they too deserve safety and happiness. It’s futile but I am angry and disappointed with my PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine) politicians. Barack Obama is a gifted man, who knows how to use language and he can’t even muster original and sympathetic words for the suffering palestinians. That makes me heartsick. But what triggered my anger the most is that he invited bunch of Muslims to Iftar and then he lectured them about Israel’s right to defend itself when Israel is the one bombing a tiny area to the ground.

    Here’s how Mouin Rabbani put it:

    Over the past 14 years, Israel has killed Palestinian children at a rate of more than two a week. There seems to be no Israeli child in harm’s way that Barack Obama will not compare to his own daughters, but their Palestinian counterparts are brushed aside with mantras about Israel’s right to self-defence.

    For the record: two kids per week for fourteen years is more than 1400 kids.

  102. 102
    KXB says:

    When you look back at the period the U.S. was able to exert some leverage on Israel, such as the negotiations that resulted in peace between Israel & Egypt, and then later between Israel & Jordan – that was a period when money in politics was present, but not in the flood that you see today. But, as restrictions are lifted, we see that something like 90% of the money that goes into campaigns comes from fewer than 5% of Americans. Included in that group are deep-pocketed Jews with very hard-right positions on Israel. Yes, the evangelicals are a voting block to support Israel, but that is in the Republican party. In the Democrats, among primary voters, it is more likely to see an even-handed approach – but they are not the ones writing the checks. The ones who right the checks set the issues.

    Now, the Jewish vote in the U.S. is solidly Dem. Even on Israel, there is an increasing divide between older generations and younger. After all, a 20-something Jewish med school student studying alongside his Muslim classmate is probably not going to view all Muslims as hoping to wipe him out. But, to beat a dead horse, they are not writing the checks. Their grandparents are.

  103. 103
    J4n1 says:

    So i watched thursdays Rachel Maddow, Last Word and All In.
    Lot of words about the plane, very little of I/P conflict.
    Words used for Israel: precise, limited, targeted &”right to protect”
    Words used for Palestinian civilians: victims (of Hamas)
    Words used for Hamas: Terrorists

    There was, like, one panelist in All In who was critical of Israel.

    And most of the time i listened for the guy standing in for Chris Hayes, i just wanted to yell “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO????????”, and then strangle him.
    Especially i wanted to strangle him when he kept talking about taking shelter, while the woman he was talking to kept telling him that there is no shelter to take in Gaza.

  104. 104

    @Anya:

    I wish out politicians would think of Palestinian children as children worthy of life and some semblance of peace.

    They do think of Palestinian children as worthy of life and peace. They also know that they can’t do anything about it. They aren’t indifferent. They are powerless. Israel can take all of Palestine the moment they wish. They can kill every Palestinian that stands in their way, and there’s even a certain will to do it – both in Israel and in the US. Standing in its way will only end a US politicians career and do nothing to stop it.

    When someone is making bad decisions, you need to be in a trusted position to gently pull them back. If you push, they’ll push harder. Condemning Israel will only make the current Israeli government kill Palestinians faster. In their mind they’ll act until they believe they’ve earned the condemnation that they’re already saddled with.

  105. 105
    Cervantes says:

    @⚽️ Martin:

    When someone is making bad decisions, you need to be in a trusted position to gently pull them back. If you push, they’ll push harder. Condemning Israel will only make the current Israeli government kill Palestinians faster. In their mind they’ll act until they believe they’ve earned the condemnation that they’re already saddled with.

    How does this notion apply to bad decisions made by actors other than the state of Israel?

  106. 106
  107. 107
    kc says:

    l@Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Do you enjoy needling people?

  108. 108
    Paul in KY says:

    @⚽️ Martin: I’ve said it before, the Palestinians need to try the Ghandi non-violent resistance way.

    How do you defeat a nation that you cannot beat militarily? That was the conundrum Ghandi faced (and the Palestinians too). His answer: Beat them in the realm of public opinion. Show your unity through non-violent resistance & become the more noble of the two sides.

    It’s the only way they will ever win.

  109. 109
    Cervantes says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I’ve said it before, the Palestinians need to try the Ghandi non-violent resistance way.

    But they have tried it.

    Beat them in the realm of public opinion.

    Sure, but the fact that you don’t know they have tried non-violence should tell you something about how public opinion is formed in this country.

  110. 110
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cervantes: They have not tried it. Not the way Ghandi, Congress Party & Jinnah all tried it. It took them years of doing this, but it changed public opinion in England & US & rest of Western Europe to point where independence had to happen.

    The Israelis know that it could work, that’s why one of them joked about the Palestinians having to turn into Finns to get their independence. The Israelis don’t think they can do it.

    Problem from Palestinian side would be getting buy-in from all parties.

  111. 111
    Cervantes says:

    @Paul in KY:

    They have not tried it. Not the way Ghandi, Congress Party & Jinnah all tried it.

    Instead of repeating myself directly, I’ll simply refer you to these comments: (1), (2), and (3).

  112. 112
    JC says:

    @Cervantes: Cervantes, here is the thing – in every instance you cite, these are not the LEADERS OF THE PEOPLE, who are choosing non-violence, as a strategy.

    So your instances and examples, are not the same, as leaders of a people choosing non-violence.

    And remember who these leaders are – Hamas.

    Why can’t Hamas even make a deal with Egypt, to open up the border, so their people get food, supplies, etc?

    Why couldn’t, as an example, Hamas renounce violence completely, stop building tunnels into Israel – ignore Israel completely, as much as possible, and turn all it’s influence into giving Egypt whatever would make them open up the tunnel, so they get their people fed, clothed, and supplies? So their people stop suffering?

    What are you doing for your people, in the end?

    If Hamas is too ineffective to even convince Egypt to open up their mutual border – how in the world, would any other country be confident in Hamas to be an effective leader of their people?

    Remember, I completely agree that Israel is occupying, controlling, and weakening at even step – the palestinian people.

    But the Hamas leadership keep giving the Israelis cover:

    Tunnels into Israel.
    Missiles turned towards Israel.
    No recognition by Hama that Israel isn’t going away.

    You won’t get sympathy and movement from the world, when you aren’t competent enough as leader, to even get a border opened, from a Muslim neighbor.

  113. 113
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cervantes: Non-violent resistance, as Ghandi & rest did it is an all encompassing strategy that is much more than sitting in front of bulldozers, etc.

    Most of it involves complete removal from the colonizer’s economic life. Not working for them, buying from them, etc. There also has to be a sophisticated PR arm that publicizes the acts of non-violent resistance that occur.

    The Palestinians may have tried a half-assed version of it, but I can guarantee they haven’t done it with the foresight & planning that was done in India.

  114. 114
    JC says:

    And yes, this is so easy to say, from my desk here in the US. There are certain times I’ve been treated like shit in the past, by a girlfriend, or a boss – and I don’t know that I’ve ever ‘forgiven’ them, in some psychological sense, though I’ve moved on.

    I can’t even imagine the type of total mistreatment of your people, your family, your right to dignity, that Israel has perpetrated on the palestinians.

    It’s easy to say ‘do 10 years of non-violence, completely committed, to turn the tide 100% on public opinion on what Israel is doing to you”. You do that for 10 years, and still, nobody listens, nobody cares.

    And in fact, you are removed as leaders, because your people won’t stand for being a doormat.

    This is why it’s only going to be worse and worse, as far as the eye can see.

    I don’t see the solution, myself.

    But I would start with, “Egypt, what do you need, what can we do, so that we can have full access to our mutual border?”

  115. 115
    AxelFoley says:

    @Anya:

    I can’t wait for Barack Obama’s reign of sucktitude to end.

    I can’t wait either, to see if you whiny ass emos will blame the next president for as much shit as you blamed Obama for.

  116. 116
    JC says:

    @Paul in KY: Paul,

    It still may not work though.

    there are differences that make a difference. In the India/British situation, it’s a country half a world away, trying to maintain authority over a people, where in the area, they are outnumbered – what, 10,000 to 1? That simply wasn’t maintainable.

    This is somewhat different.

    That is why I still am curious:

    a. Why doesn’t Gaza turn towards Egypt completely, turn attention west, forgetting all about Israel, for the moment?
    b. Why doesn’t Hamas make bilateral economic agreements, say with willing western european countries, and get the spectacle of Israeli warships, meeting French, Italian, German ‘supply ships’, being turned away and threatened?

    Gaza has access to the sea – Gaza has access to Egypt.

    What do other countries need from Gaza, in order to make economic agreements with Gaza?

    Again – ignoring Israel completely?

  117. 117
    JC says:

    Here is a perfect example of shooting yourself in the foot behavior:

    Hamas Rockets Attacks help Israel Right Wing win elections.

  118. 118
    Paul in KY says:

    @JC: They ain’t gonna win militarily, so they need to try something else.

  119. 119
    Paul in KY says:

    @JC: I think the Israelis put pressure on Egypt to not help Hamas in Gaza.

    Edit: Agree that Palestinians situation is worse vis a vis their colonial overlord than the Indians had it.

  120. 120
    Cervantes says:

    @Paul in KY: “Much more than sitting in front of bull-dozers”? Have you tried sitting in front of a bull-dozer operated by the IDF?

    Consider the following:

    I would risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race.

    What does this mean and who do you think said it?

  121. 121
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Cervantes:

    Ghandi said that of course.

    Hamas’ goal seems to be to get Israel to overreach in a spectacular form – to commit what can only be described as genocide. I can see that’s the strategy (100s of rockets that kill or hurt almost no Israelis but instead produce counter-strikes that leave hundreds of Palestinians dead), but I’m not sure how wise it is. There is also the South African model for fighting apartheid – started out non-violent and then Mandela essentially became a “terrorist” leading the ANCs military wing. It took decades but change came to South Africa.

    More journalists like Ayman Mohyeldin could change the way the conflict is talked about by the average American. Which is why NBC pulled him out of Gaza. The US is committed to its current course. The rest of the world is starting to view Israel’s actions the way they came to view the actions of the architects of apartheid in South Africa. Which in the long term is not good for Israel.

  122. 122
    JC says:

    @Cervantes: Cervantes, you are ignoring the point of what Paul said. Which is non-violence, as an overall strategy.

    Also, while quoting Gandhi – you left out the rest of the quote:

    “But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier…But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature….”

    The point being, ‘being weak’, afraid to die, and running, is cowardice and abdication of self-determination. Violence is superior in this sense, to running off in weakness.

    While non-violence, used in a smart strategy, is a superior method of self-determination. And actually braver, and morally superior. (at least this is how I read the quote.)

    So, I’m still wondering – what has been Hamas strategy, towards the rest of the world? Towards Egypt?

    What is the culpability of the group of nations, not to trade with Hamas? From US to england to russia, to egypt? Right now, Hamas is classified as a terrorist group, by the US, European nation, and a lot of other countries. Thus, there will not be any trade with them.

    What would it take Hamas, to get that classification revoked? In the eyes of western nations?

    And again – what is the culpability of Hamas, to gather, prepare, and shoot missiles at Israel as a strategy, when it clearly doesn’t work, and as a strategy for dealing with Israel, hasn’t worked for 40 years?

    when all it does is get more of your people killed?

    I’m the last to “know” that non-violence as a strategy will work in this case – but it’s been 40 years.

    Could Hamas at least go about, working to get its status as a terrorist organization revoked?

  123. 123
    Terrye C says:

    I don’t seem to remember CNN getting all that worked up when Palestinians were dancing in the streets and passing out candy on 9/11. The double standard where Israel is concerned is just stunning. It really is. Meanwhile Hamas is asking civilians to stay put so that more of them can get killed the media can get all upset about it. It is almost as if they see this as a sort of performance art.

  124. 124
    Terrye C says:

    Hamas is totally dependent on Iran for its financial survival. They did not run on a platform of jobs, or peace…they ran on a platform of hatred and never ending war.That is what the people of Gaza voted for. I don’t begin to understand that mindset but is it really all that surprising that Israelis would just go off on them?

  125. 125
    Terrye C says:

    @Felanius Kootea: They pulled him out because of remarks he made on social media.

  126. 126
    Terrye C says:

    I read these comments and I can not help but think how disappointed many of you must be that Hitler did not finish the job he started…but here we have the left going after Israel for existing as they make excuses for terrorists like Hamas who do not even acknowledge basic human rights of their own people. Disgusting.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:

    @Terrye C:

    They pulled him out because of remarks he made on social media.

    How do you know this? So far as I know, the network has not officially given a reason.

    And what were the remarks he made? If they led to his removal, then why?

  128. 128
    Cervantes says:

    @Terrye C:

    Hamas is totally dependent on Iran for its financial survival.

    “Totally dependent?” Do you have a source for this startling assertion?

    Israeli intelligence sources have said they think about 15-20% of Hamas funds are from Teheran, and the money goes to Hamas in Syria rather than in Gaza. You have better sources?

  129. 129
    CDWard says:

    Israel has been taking the Palestinian’s land, water, homes, olive groves, and lives ever since it began. The Palestinians have every right to fight back.

Comments are closed.