Tuesday Link Encyclopedia

Have you considered the oppressive nature of pumpkin spice lattes before buying one, you oppressor?

Maternal and offspring fitness interests are aligned in certain domains and conflicting in others, which may have led to the evolution of fetal microchimeric phenotypes that can manipulate maternal tissues.” This is a crucial and often ignored area of research. I’ve experienced both the positive and the negative effects this study discusses and was stunned to discover how clueless doctors are about this phenomenon.

Raising tax rates on the highest earners will not have any impact on income inequality. The kind of economy where it did is dead. It’s not coming back. The time has come to stop fantasizing about its rebirth and start engaging with the new set of circumstances.

Kids’ palates are so undeveloped that they are incapable of eating school lunches that consist of anything but grease, junk, and garbage.

A really good observation on the weirdness of American dating practices.

In a wide-ranging interview Friday, Fiorina also explained her opposition to abortion rights in the most personal way since her campaign officially started last fall. “I myself was not able to have children of my own, and so I know what a precious gift life is,” Fiorina said.” Ah, well, this explains the weird fixation on the imaginary “kicking fetus” video.

Russian ambassador to Poland blames Poland for WWII. Apparently, the new Russian definition of the word “diplomatic” is “capable of antagonizing everybody in sight with extreme assholery.”

The absolutely ridiculous things American psychotherapists are taught about sexuality. Please be very careful before you contact one for help with sexual problems. Instead, consider doing Skype sessions with specialists from Europe.

[Russian] A really good, honest post about the reasons why life in Haiti sucks so badly. Great photos, too. It’s only in Russian or Ukrainian that one can read insightful posts on the topic and not find the same idiotic regurgitation of the evil French and the nasty reparations.

I never heard of Garbage Pail Kids before but we had something very similar in the USSR in the form of little poems. These kinds of things perform hugely important functions for kids, and only idiots would try to censor them in any way.

Australians refuse to punish even the most egregious and horrifying kind of domestic abuse because the perpetrator is a woman.

The extremely bizarre situation of the NY school janitors.

The offensive and disturbing way in which a Chicago news station celebrated a Jewish holiday.

Do read this great report about the time when Obama humiliated Trump. It’s hilarious.

81 thoughts on “Tuesday Link Encyclopedia

  1. \ The absolutely ridiculous things American psychotherapists are taught about sexuality.

    I am simply confused regarding – “Most normal children experiment with sex with their peers in ways that could get them in huge trouble with the law.”

    I am sure it is untrue. Have no idea what those imaginary ways are either, except girls having sex with much older boys / young men, aka statutory rape.

    \ A really good, honest post about the reasons why life in Haiti sucks so badly.

    Truly frightening photos and post. Would never have travelled here both because of fear of 1001 special deseases and because of fear of being robbed / raped / murdered.

    After IDF service, many Israelis travel to third world countries. Have never understood the attraction of seeing poverty, disease and hopelessness (and probably catching some nasty third world disease, as I heard about travellers doing), even if it costs much less than travelling to Europe.


    1. He’s right about kids. Just a single example: when I was 5, my best friend and I coerced a slightly older girl to strip for us. As I remember it now, she might have been suffering from a mild degree of retardation.

      Today I obviously don’t force sexual acts on disabled people and consider it to be a crime.


    2. Or there was that other time where we bribed a boy to take off his pants for us. We were maybe 6 at that time.

      Today, this would be solicitation of prostitution.

      Plus, all kids play doctor, which if adults did it would not be legal.


    3. As for travel, learning is always an uncomfortable task. And learning about the world is doubly uncomfortable. If I’d never gone to Cuba (and I don’t mean on a controlled package trip) and seen things for myself, I might now be one of the saccharine fools who prattle about how great things in Cuba are. That trip was a traumatic experience but its value was greater than that of any order trip I ever made.


  2. Took a brief look at the “soaking the rich” article. Little bit of a trick there, talking about 1) “Highest earners” and 2) how redistributing the taxes collected from the highest earners to the lowest won’t have an impact on inequality.

    Here in Ohio, our Governor Kasich was instrumental in eliminating our state’s estate tax. These monies used to go to local governments. Now our local governments have the following choices: they can cut back needed services or they can raise local taxes, or some combination. So, the wealthy have even more money, because there is no inheritance tax, and people like me have less, because our taxes are going up. Plus, we receive fewer services (for one, the level of snow removal in my suburb has really deteriorated). That all moves the inequality needle but it is subtle so most people do not notice what is going on.

    It is tricky to talk about “Highest earners” because a great deal of the wealthiest’s assets are not the type of “income” that is taxed; for example, you don’t get a W-2 from receiving an inheritance, or when your stock appreciates.

    And distributing whatever taxes that are collected from the wealthiest to the poorest, that is a complete red herring. The idea is to take the money that is collected and use it for things that increase EVERYONE’s wealth. We all benefit from improved education, transportation, etc.

    What made New York City the economic powerhouse it is today? Believe it or not, the Erie Canal was very important in the city’s economic development. It is public works like that we need, no one is suggesting just moving money from the wealthy to the poorest’s pockets. This is a very old Libertarian trope.


    1. I’m in favor of raising the inheritance tax up to 90%. But I’m entirely alone on this continent with this idea.

      As for what you call “a red herring”, have you not heard that the most popular idea today is fixed minimal income? The linked piece addresses this very popular idea. It’s a waste of time, of course, because fixed minimal income, a.k.a. a road to complete marginalization of a large underclass, is unavoidable.


      1. “I’m in favor of raising the inheritance tax up to 90%. But I’m entirely alone on this continent with this idea.”

        Hey, I paid taxes on almost everything I own — and am still paying ongoing significant taxes on my real estate, automobile, etc. — so why should I have to give 90% of my personal wealth to the government when I croak?


        1. Marginal rates, how do they work? Currently, the federal inheritance tax is on estates OVER $5.43 million. That is, the first $5.43 million is not taxed. I’m going to guess you have a long way to go to get there. Also, I join our blog hostess in wishing the rate was 90% but right now it is only 40%.

          But you are right, you do pay too much in taxes. That is because the wealthy are not doing their share. As I mentioned earlier, my local taxes have gone up and my school taxes will be going up because the wealthy in my state have gotten out of paying estate taxes. I am covering their debt to society.


          1. After we die, we can’t give anything or do anything.

            But it’s all moot anyway because nobody supports the idea.

            Let’s look, instead, at Trump’s tax plan and make fun of the naive people who thought Trump was going to benefit anybody but his own social class of the extremely rich.


          2. Reply to Barbara (I’m not sure where WordPress will place this comment).

            “I’m going to guess you have a long way to go to get there. ” Guess away –not all of the commenters here belong to the proletariat.

            I think estate taxes should be ZERO, same as for capital gains taxes. But I was specifically addressing Clarissa’s statement that inheritance taxes should be 90% (and she didn’t say “marginal,” or above “X million” dollars).

            The wealthy in this country are already paying the vast majority of income taxes. Why should they be obligated to pay an even greater percentage, just because they can afford it? The capitalist system in a free society means that if you earn a lot of money, it’s YOURS — not the government’s and not the “people’s.”

            Trump will never be President, so his ideas on taxes or any other issue is irrelevant.


            1. Yes, absolutely, I believe that property rights, just like any rights, cannot last past death. So I’m in favor of 90% tax on all inheritance. This would bring real equality of oportunity.

              But as I said, what’s the point of discussing it if nobody will ever agree? I’m not delusional, I know this idea will never attract anybody but me.


            2. I also believe that any tax on earned (as opposed to inherited) money that is higher than 25% is morally wrong and unfair. Maybe I could imagine a tax rate of 30% as acceptable, but anything higher on any earned income is daylight robbery.


              1. I would certainly agree to a maximum cap on all earned income tax of well under 25% — a simple flat tax, with virtually no loopholes or deductions. Of course, “earned” income would logically include capital gains and dividends on investments, since the investor earned the original money that he/she invested.

                But a simple flat tax has the same chance of passing in the U.S. as a universal guaranteed income, so it’s only a fantasy for idle discussion.


              2. In terms of a flat tax rate, I at least understand the logic behind it. Maybe there is a logical justification for a progressive tax rate but people are refusing to reveal it. All I ever hear by way of argument is the childish, “The rich people will still remain rich after they pay 50%in taxes.” And that’s too infantile for me to engage with.


      2. The first time I heard an argument like this one, it was ten years ago from one of my husband’s oldest friends, who is an ardent Libertarian. In his version, all of Bill Gates’s wealth divided up would give everyone else I don’t remember the pitiably small amount he recited; in this article, the taxes from increases on the highest earners would only give the lowest households an additional $1,300 a year. That is certainly not going to allow anyone make lasting changes in their life.

        Anyone framing the question about redistributing income this particular way knows the answer will sound ridiculous. By ignoring that tax receipts can be used for the common good, these people help undermine the idea that there is actaully such a thing as the common good.

        I admit that I do not know many details of the various schemes for a fixed common income. I gather there are both Libertarian and progressive variations on this theme. I have to say that I don’t spend any time thinking about it because we can’t even manage to give people enough in food stamps to let them eat for an entire month at a time. Where is the will to give everyone a fixed income going to come from?


        1. The will is going to come from the people who want an easy way out of solving the problem of the growing underclass. Unfortunately, that’s the majority, it seems. Of course, it’s all framed as caring, etc. But I’m surprised anybody could have missed the obsession with this idea that dominates the political left in this country and almost the entire political spectrum in Western Europe and Canada.


        2. This comment will probably end up in the wrong place, this thread is a little mixed up. It is in response to Dreidel’s view that estates and capital gains should not be taxed.

          Oh Dreidel. Let me tell you a story, one that I have told often. Once a long time ago, my cousin’s husband went to work for Microsoft. What did Bill Gates provide for him to help him do his job? A desk, a chair and at least one computer, along with the requisite electricity.

          And what did I, Miss Taxpayer, provide Bill Gates? Cousin’s husband, who had been educated in public schools from kindergarten through a master’s degree; the patent and court systems, which protect Bill’s ability to make money off of the ideas Cousin’s husband came up with; the roads his trucks carried new software to stores with; the police and criminal justice system which prevents pirates from stealing and looting those trucks; and the list goes on and on. Why, if it wasn’t for the federal rural electrification projects, people in the boonies wouldn’t be able to use his software at all and so would not purchase it.

          People who have made enormous wealth (or just as likely, inherited enormous wealth) have done so because efforts to build successful businesses were supported every bit of the way by an infrastructure lots of other people chipped in for. And because they have benefitted so mightily, they need to pay back mightily. It’s the fairness of paying back (or as is fashionable to say these days, “forward”), not the ability to afford, that is the principle here.

          Somehow or other, rich families in this country managed to stay rich for generations even when tax rates of all kinds were higher. If you really have a nest egg of several million, you can more than afford a good attorney to help you build a nice tax shelter.

          And PLEASE, enough of this “rich people pay the majority of income taxes.” Poor and middle class people pay a much higher percent of their income in all sorts of taxes (see for example, Warren Buffet’s comment about his secretary’s tax liability). To zero in on “income taxes,” as if they are the ONLY sort of taxes, is not an honest argument. Poor people may not pay income taxes but they pay many other types of taxes; really rich people pay a piddly percent towards Social Security.


          1. “…they have benefited so mightily, they need to pay back mightily.”

            I agree, but the rich ALREADY pay back mightily. Gates pays more taxes in a year than most Americans would pay in a thousand lifetimes. It’s the actual dollar amount of taxes that the rich pay that’s important, not the percentage that progressives seem to find so important.

            Just because Gates could afford to pay more, why should he be compelled to? If you want to argue for lower tax rates on the middle class because that class has a higher burden, I won’t disagree (the total amount of money involved in inconsequential to the government, anyway).

            But the rich are already paying their share. You want to ease the load on lower wage earners, fine — but there’s no benefit to playing Robin Hood with the wealthy.


          2. I personally don’t mind taxes and have a very indifferent attitude towards money. But I do have a form of autism which makes it impossible for me to accept any argument that is not based on logic and on a set of clear, specific principles. Nobody has been able to explain the logic behind the progressive system of taxation to me.

            The argument “they benefited more from public services so they should pay more in taxes” is not based on logic. Everybody has the same public roads (water supply, patent bureau, etc). Yet some people do derive a great profit from all of this while others don’t. That makes it clear that something else is at play. Some third, fourth, fifth ingredient that is not provided by public funding and is decisive in creating vastly different outcomes in spite of the same access to the same public roads. So the argument of “they benefited from the infrastructure” is dead because it leads us into the quagmire of why some people benefit from that infrastructure and others don’t.


            1. The progressive system of taxation is based on a practical reality: The rich have more money, so the government can squeeze more cash out of them. The principle is simple : Intelligent crooks rob banks instead of homeless people, because that’s where the $$$ is.

              Like I said, I’m all for a flat income tax for everybody above a certain very low income level.


            2. How about this for one of the reasons why graduated tax levels are best: As Louis Brandeis said, “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

              Now Dreidel seems to believe that the most salient thing about the US is that we aspire to have the free-est market possible but I think the most important thing about us is that we are (more or less) a democracy. As a result, Dreidel and I will never agree and I will be ending my participation in this thread momentarily and moving onto today’s errands and chores.

              In short, one powerful way of preventing very concentrated wealth (and the wealth in our country is increasingly concentrated) is through tax policy. If you value protecting, nourishing and furthering democracy, this is a tool you use.

              On another note, you ask why some people benefit more from our shared infrastructure than others. As you said, this question leads to a quagmire, it is a question like, What is the meaning of life?, ultimately it is unanswerable. People have varying degrees of luck and fortune and it is all random. Even to have ample native intelligence, and the energy level to persevere, is just luck. Why should there be a thing such as “luck”? That is beyond human understanding I think. But without random chance there would be no universe.

              On the topic of why some prosper and some don’t, I am reminded of several years ago when the custodial workers at the local Jewish nursing home threatened to go on strike for more pay. A friend of a friend was incensed. She said that they could all get cleaning lady j0bs and easily earn $20 an hour (the going rate around here then, now it has crept up to $25) if they wanted.

              I tried to point out that even if the every custodian had everything he or she needed to go into business for him or herself — a dependable car, the savvy, knowledge and skills to navigate the paperwork associated with owning a business, the networks needed to build a customer base, and enough people in the area who wanted and felt they could afford to pay for regular cleaning — and there is no reason to think that all the custodians were so blessed, WE WOULD STILL NEED SOMEONE TO MOP THE FLOORS IN THE NURSING HOME.

              Looking at everything through the lens of the individual and not through the lens that we are a community and society (Sorry Maggie, you were wrong), can blind one to the really obvious. Such is the drawback of the current Libertarian zeitgeist.


              1. I’m not seeing how concentrated wealth cancels out democracy. The enormous concentrated wealth of the Koch Brothers didn’t manage to pull Scott Walker through more than a couple of months of the campaign and buy him even a 1% rating.


              2. I am writing this with a wry smile and a twinkle in my eye; if I was speaking, I would have a affectionately teasing tone in my voice:

                Yes, I am sure that if Louis Brandeis had only lived to see Scott Walker bow out, he would have rethought and renounced his entire lifetime of deep study, observation, reflection and analysis on the law, democracy, society, justice, and the like. How can all his scholarship stand up to one miscalculation on the part of the Kochs?


              3. I honestly have no idea who Louis Brandeis is and why his opinions matter. I’m guessing from your comment that he is dead and, quite possibly, has been dead for a while. Wouldn’t it make more sense to look for fresher insights from the scholars who work with today’s circumstances?


        3. I just read this headline in one of Clarissa’s links in this “encyclopedia” post: “Average NYC school janitor makes $109K a year.”

          I doubt if those janitors are complaining about the inequalities of free-market capitalism (with a little help from their public-sector unions, of course).


          1. The janitor article brought back memories for me. When I was a teen, growing up in New York City (and that was 40+ years ago, almost half a century now), there was an expose on how much the school janitors were earning — much more than anyone else in each school building. The adults around me patiently and ruefully explained that the janitor’s union had ties to organized crime and that their high pay rates were a very old story. The janitors did not conduct negotiations, they extorted.

            Frankly, I am surprised they are currently only making in the very low three figures. I would guess that is about what a principal earns. Maybe the real story is that their pay levels have plateaued?

            What is organized crime except unregulated capitalism? So Dreidel is correct, they owe their comfortable livings to a (too) free market.


              1. One of the great benefits of growing up in NYC is that there has always been a lot of corruption there. Even after decades of living in the mid-west, I am continually amazed by how naïve my local friends and neighbors are, they were not raised by cynical people and so are shocked surprised when back deals, cronyism, and the like are discovered. I was raised to expect that. I suspect you were too.

                The other cute thing about my current milieu is how paranoid they all are about crime. They are afraid of going downtown to the center city. But spending my youth in 1970s New York inoculated me. Not that I always feel safe, just that I can be judicious in deciding when to be on alert and paranoid.


  3. Food and kids. Just ask your young kids to prepare food with you, as some sort of game, and they will eat pretty much everything that you eat. And ask them to wash the dishes. They will love it.


  4. The school lunch article fails to take into account the dismal conditions in which US school children eat these lunches. A 20-minute lunch period, half of which is spent being herded in lines. Huge echoing lunch rooms with long tables and fixed benches. And the food (healthy or not) is rarely prepared on site from fresh ingredients. Of course kids go for the easy comforting calories–who wouldn’t?


    1. Everybody who wasn’t trained to see this junk as comforting, I guess. And dismal conditions, come on. The absolute majority of people in the world would kill to be fed this food in these conditions.


      1. Sure–but the article wasn’t comparing US school children to the children around the world who regularly go hungry. It was comparing them to well-fed children in other first-world countries. Those French kids probably get more than 10 minutes to eat their four courses, which probably haven’t been prefabricated to sit in cold storage until they’re trucked in for the day’s meal. It doesn’t explain the differences in palate, but I’m just saying–if you want to use school lunch to correct the US taste for fat, sugar, and empty carbs, then you need to give the alternative a fighting chance.


  5. On therapy of sexual problems… I have reasons to believe most Americans are not ready for some other kind of therapists and would be intimidated by them. (This is not about Americans, any clients are not ready for therapists who operate from some totally different paradigm.) Those who are not intimidated can find decent therapists already, in currently existing US of A. But to do that one indeed has to ask therapist about his/her philosophy. not only with respect to sex.

    On taxes… I wouldn’t mind flat tax rate if it were on everything. Not just on wages, but on all kinds of income. No loopholes.
    However, I have a philosophical problem with statements that “X is not coming back and one has to adapt to a new set of circumstances”. The opposite of X did not magically evolve out of vacuum, it evolved as a result of people’s action or inaction. Thus, people may make X come back, if they believe it is socially beneficial, for example, and if they make a concerted effort. And maybe the “new circumstances” should not be accepted. Maybe they have to be rejected. I am sure you can think of many unfortunate recent developments… Why wouldn’t you adapt (and encourage others to adapt) to budget cuts to your university, or to your health insurance defaulting on paying to your doctors? To resent these changes is un-American, socialist2 and in general on the wrong side of history. 🙂


  6. When Hilary Clinton decides to chirp about pumpkin lattes on her social media confessing that she stopped liking them when she found out the caloric amount, I find it both unfortunate and slightly scary.


  7. The new circumstances in question are the technological revolution and the death of the manufacturing model. I don’t believe anybody is likely to reject robotics and go back to hiring huge numbers of manufacturing workers because that would be good for these workers. In the meanwhile, the fantasy that it can be done is obscuring the alternative possibilities of what can be done for these workers.


    1. I do not subscribe to the idea that everything is just a consequence of technical progress. Some actions or inactions are consequence of value systems of the players. And these days too much emphasis is placed on making money and doing business, to the detriment of everything else… This is not a conspiracy, this is a self-regulated system. One just should not assume that a self-regulated system is necessarily working for the common good or appealing to what is best in people…


      1. “I do not subscribe to the idea that everything is just a consequence of technical progress.”

        • Me neither. 🙂 This link was not a “theory of everything”, though. All I’m saying is that “give people free money” (which is a statement I see many Libral bloggers make verbatim and with a strange obsessiveness) is not a productive idea.


        1. But how else do you propose to feed all the people who already are or will become unnecessary as a result of technical progress? Make the population more dumb and insecure to create (or expand) sectors of the economy that abuse peoples dumbness and insecurities?
          One has to feed and entertain those people somehow, or they will revolt eventually…


          1. “But how else do you propose to feed all the people who already are or will become unnecessary as a result of technical progress?”

            • We should make them necessary! This is enormous human potential that will be squandered if we just sit here impotently and refuse even to try. Of course, it is so much harder than stick “free money” into their faces and turn away. But that’s inhuman and just wrong. These are people who are doing all they can to attract our attention. They support Trump, they form crazy Tea Party-like organizations, they shoot up churches. And we just sit here, making fun of them and feeling superior. And yes, I obviously am superior to the loser who shot up a church or went to a Trump rally. But we will all gain from giving him a chance to crawl out of that losership.


            1. One cannot make them necessary within the existing framework. In order to earn money (honestly and in not psychologically damaging ways) they have to produce some goods or services. Since it takes less and less people to produce goods and services, in order to employ all these people the system will have to trick people into having more and new and more variable demands. I do not see what these demands may be, if not something superficial and originating from insecurities. Or from one part of the system fixing problems created by other part of the system (for instance – food industry and pharma).
              The framework has to change. But this is baaad pink socialism. 🙂


              1. New goods and services come up all the time.

                I follow the Inc.com website and every other post on it is on how to enhance one’s productivity. The reason why there is a whole class of people who need to enhance their productivity is that there is a shortage of people who can do what they do. There is a lot of space in the current job market, and every study supports that. But there is a real shortage of people who are qualified to fill that space. So the ones who are qualified are stretched very thin to cover the need.

                Just to give one example, when I was editing my article to satisfy the British publishers, everybody suggested I should pay somebody to do this mechanical work. The problem, though, there isn’t anyone capable of doing it. The only people capable are other professors but they have too much shit of their own to accept modest payment from me for this work. The work is not strictly mechanical, it requires some intelligence and inventiveness as well as great attention to detail. And I literally can’t think of anybody who can do it.


              2. Also, on the subject of demands. The very first thing students hear in Econ 101 is that human demands can never be satisfied because they are endless.


  8. Report: Russian fighter jets strike Syrian rebel strongholds. Reports of Moscow’s military involvement come hours after Putin gets unanimous backing from the Russian parliament for ‘limited’ operation.


    France launches war crimes inquiry into Assad regime
    Probe into alleged war crimes to be based on 55,000 photos of a former Syrian army photographer who defected in 2013, and display the regime’s ‘unbearably cruel’ conduct. […] “Russia and Iran say they want to be part of a solution,” Hollande said. “So we must work with these countries to explain to them that the route to a solution does not go through Bashar al-Assad.”


    1. “Russian fighter jets strike Syrian rebel strongholds. Reports of Moscow’s military involvement come hours after Putin gets unanimous backing from the Russian parliament for ‘limited’ operation.”

      • This will take away the resources and the people from the invasion of Ukraine, at least. Putin didn’t manage to get a rise out of Americans in Ukraine, so now he’s trying to do it in Syria.


      1. “This will take away the resources and the people from the invasion of Ukraine, at least.”

        Will it really, though? Russia still has the second most powerful military in the world. Doesn’t it still have the conventional military resources to engage in two extremely limited (by major warfare standards) regional conflicts simultaneously?

        But it will distract world attention from the Ukraine, no doubt about that.


        1. That’s a myth, though. Russian weaponry is so faulty that it falls apart during the military parades. And the soldiers are so inept that they were trounced by the non-existent Ukrainian army.


  9. Today in Israeli news during Jewish holidays period:

    A husband and wife in thier 30s, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin from the settlment of Neria, were killed in a drive-by shooting attack on the road between Itamar and Elon Moreh in the West Bank on Thursday night. Their four children aged 9, 7, 4 and 4 months were in the car and were said to be physically unharmed but treated for shock.

    A Hamas spokesman praised the attack by the “brave resistance,” calling the murderous act “heroic,” and vowing to continue the struggle against Israel. The organization call for its members to carry out more attacks against Israel.

    The Popular Resistance Committees also “blessed” the attack, saying it was a natural reaction to “Israeli crimes.”


        1. “Do you feel like a new round of the war is approaching?”

          I don’t think Netanyahu will overreact to this horrible incident. He made his point very forcefully speaking at the U.N. yesterday, and was live on American television tonight.

          But have you noticed a couple of chillingly persistent facts about individual murders like this in the Middle East?

          Whenever crazed Jewish settlers kill individual Palestinians, the liberal media publicizes the story very widely, damning Israel to hell, and 2) the Israeli government also condemns the incident and punishes the killers.

          When Palestinian butchers slaughter Jewish families, the liberal media is totally silent, and 2) the Palestinian leaders praise the murders as heroes.


          1. “Whenever crazed Jewish settlers kill individual Palestinians, the liberal media publicizes the story very widely, damning Israel to hell,”

            I think you are insane.


            1. You’re obviously in denial, or don’t read popular “progressive” websites like “The Nation,” “Salon.com,” and Slate.com.”

              Do some research (and get a medical degree) before you start making psychiatric diagnoses.


  10. (In Russian) Why bombing Syria is good for Russia:

    My mother heard on Israeli TV that Russia is bombing Syria не точечно, while Russian TV reports the opposite.

    In other news:

    Abbas fails to address the murder of an Israeli couple in speech which took place during a celebratory ceremony held in Ramallah upon his return from the UN on Friday night.


    A Palestinian source reported on Saturday that an Israel had shot a six-year-old Palestinian boy near Qalqilya, hitting him in the stomach. According to the source, the child was next to the road and the Israeli driver stopped, shot him and fled the scene. The child was taken to a hospital in Qalqilya.


  11. Thank god the six-year-old wasn’t shot by a Jew:

    // An IDF source said no Israelis were involved in the shooting of a 6-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank, and that the incident appeared to be part of an inter-Palestinian conflict. A Palestinian source claimed earlier that an Israeli driver had shot the child.

    A Hebrew news site reports the child was shot while playing with his brother’s weapon. (The older brother is a policeman.) The family made up the story to prevent the policeman brother from having problems and to get money from PA as a family which suffered from terror.

    In other news:

    // Nine dead at Afghan hospital after US air strike
    Military admits it “may have” bombed facility run by Doctors Without Borders, potentially renewing concerns about US air power in Afghanistan.

    That’s why I couldn’t be as angry as news writers wanted me to be after reading that Russia (may) kill citizens in Syria by its uncareful bombings (*). If you bomb at all, you definitely will kill citizens too. Israel gets a lot of international condemnation during each Gaza op too, don’t see it hapenning to US.

    (*) Russia bombing US-trained Syrian rebels is another matter. Obama said “We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia.” The question is whether Putin will agree to follow such rules.


    1. ” Israel gets a lot of international condemnation during each Gaza op too, don’t see it hapenning to US.”

      • You can’t be serious. The US is blamed (and welcomes the blaming) for every bomb falling everywhere on the planet. Don’t you remember how Russians were convinced they were fighting NATO in Donbass and even reported seeing drunken black NATO soldiers? People in Russia have been marching with “Obama is killing children in Donbass” since the beginning of the war. And that’s just one region. Gosh, my students are blaming the US for invading the Iberian Peninsula in 711. Can anybody else top that in terms of getting blamed?


  12. // Gosh, my students are blaming the US for invading the Iberian Peninsula in 711.

    They are complimenting their country here. Extreme patriotism is very different from true blaming. 🙂

    I meant real blaming which would lead to BDS against US or, at least, something like UN resolution against America. UN resolutions against Israel are countless.

    Breaking news:

    2 killed, 2 wounded in Jerusalem attack
    Baby among wounded in attack near Lions’ Gate; Palestinian attacker stabbed one victim, shot at group of tourists before being neutralized by police.

    Putin ‘worried’ by Israeli strikes in Syria
    Russian leader expresses concern over artillery strikes on Assad’s forces despite security agreement reached with Netanyahu.

    Putin’s comments came just two days after Israel fired artillery at Syrian government forces in retaliation to a rocket that landed in the Golan Heights in an apparent spillover from fighting across the border.


    1. Americans are teaching the world a great lesson on how to respond to condemnation: embrace it and enjoy it. They will milk every ounce of their historic guilt for every bit of pleasure they can derive from it.


  13. Is A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES by Howard Zinn a good book? It’s on Internet. Here I read a few new (to me) things about slavery and the civil war:

    This sounds true:

    // The clash was not over slavery as a moral institution-most northerners did not care enough about slavery to make sacrifices for it, certainly not the sacrifice of war. It was not a clash of peoples (most northern whites were not economically favored, not politically powerful; most southern whites were poor farmers, not decisionmakers) but of elites. The northern elite wanted economic expansion-free land, free labor, a free market, a high protective tariff for manufacturers, a bank of the United States. The slave interests opposed all that; they saw Lincoln and the Republicans as making continuation of their pleasant and prosperous way of life impossible in the future.

    With the Proclamation, the Union army was open to blacks. And the more blacks entered the war, the more it appeared a war for their liberation. The more whites had to sacrifice, the more resentment there was, particularly among poor whites in the North, who were drafted by a law that allowed the rich to buy their way out of the draft for $300. And so the draft riots of 1863 took place, uprisings of angry whites in northern cities, their targets not the rich, far away, but the blacks, near at hand. It was an orgy of death and violence. A black man in Detroit described what he saw: a mob, with kegs of beer on wagons, armed with clubs and bricks, marching through the city, attacking black men, women, children. He heard one man say: “If we are got to be killed up for Negroes then we will kill every one in this town.”


    1. Zinn is good as long as he stays away from the Spanish conquistadors and women. On the subject of women, he’s especially tone – death to the point of being offensive.

      This particular part you quote is too Marxist to be meaningful. People in the North (as well as in Europe) did care about abolition passionately. Zinn is channeling the long-standing Southern apologist narrative here, which is a bit bizarre coming from him.


    2. “This sounds true:”

      I’m not much for monocausality (the idea that big events are caused by a single issue). Typically wars have economic (land, money, resources) and ideological (religion, autonomy, subordination of some group) reasons.

      It can be really tough to untangle the two and the same issue can be economic for one and ideological for the other (and change over time). The idea of something like the Civil War happening for ideological reasons alone just doesn’t make sense.

      The Civil War had economic reasons (southern debt to the north, slavery) and ideological reasons (slavery and maintaining the union). The mix of motivations differed from time to time and from individual to individual.

      It’s worth noting that Slavery was slowly disappearing in the US before the cotton gin made it economically viable for cotton (which had not been one of the previous slave crops). So slavery had both economic and ideological aspects.


  14. В последние годы президента России Владимира Путина все чаще сравнивают с лидером нацистской Германии Адольфом Гитлером. Platfor.ma предлагает вам проверить, можно ли отличить цитаты одного государственного деятеля от изречений другого.

    I got 10 out of 13 and was told I could function as a speech writer for both.


  15. I may have been mistaken about in my hopes about new round of war, though it’s too early to tell yet for sure. I am sure about one thing: people abroad won’t hear about rocket fire and terrorist acts from Gaza, so Israel’s new op will come as a surprise, showing once again how violent Israel is to attack peaceful citizens.

    // A terrorist stabbed a 15-year-old overnight Saturday in Jerusalem, moderately wounding the teenager. The attacker fled and was killed by police fire after security forces noticed the knife in his hand.

    // Military strikes Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza in response to Sunday night rocket fire, which sounded alarms across Gaza adjacent communities, no injuries or damage reported as a result of the rocket fire.

    // PM orders new steps against terror
    Violence continues Sunday across the West Bank, East Jerusalem; Palestinian teen killed in clashes as speculation increases of Third Intifada.


    1. ” I am sure about one thing: people abroad won’t hear about rocket fire and terrorist acts from Gaza, so Israel’s new op will come as a surprise, showing once again how violent Israel is to attack peaceful citizens.”

      • That’s not entirely true. These attacks are being reported in the media here. The NYTimes has been covering them, for instance. The issue is whether anybody is going to be swayed from the coverage to move away from the “good guys, bad guys” approach.


  16. Do you think this post is right?

    \ Луганск воевал за Ефремова
    Главный результат войны в Луганской области: старые элиты сохранили власть в полном объеме

    Мои читатели помнят, что с первых дней войны на Донбассе я указывал. что есть главной проблемой этой войны. Центральным является вопрос За что воюем?

    Ну вот, прошли парижские переговоры, и можно дать ответ. Разрушение густонаселенного региона, тысячи трупов с обеих сторон и миллион беженцев были крайне необходимы для одного – для сохранения власти “донецкого клана” над вверенным ему регионом.
    И уже Петр Шуклинов, комментируя итоги Парижа, пишет: “США рассчитывают выстроить альтернативную управленческую вертикаль на основе возможностей Ахметова. Ожидается, что именно он станет центром принятия решений в Донбассе”.


    1. Akhmetov only has power as long as the people of Donbass allow him to have power. The main question right now is whether this experience has taught the people of the region anything or if they will continue just sitting there passively, waiting for a kindly benefactor to give them food and circuses. Who that benefactor is in their imagination – Putin, Akhmetov, Poroshenko – is not important.

      I’m not optimistic because these folks haven’t even been able to organize a resistance movement in all this time. They are just sitting there, waiting to be rescued. There is a resistance movement in the Crimea, for instance, but not in Donbass.

      But who knows, I was totally wrong about the Revolution of Dignity when it first began. I hope to be wrong here.


    1. For me, gun control is one of those issues I don’t much care about one way or the other. I see no reason to believe that gun control or even a repeal of the 2nd amendment will in any way reduce the number of these mass shootings. I don’t think these shootings happen because there is easy access to guns.
      So ban them don’t ban them, it will change nothing.

      I hope that nobody will start telling me “But in other countries.” That’s a very, very silly argument.


    2. “The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery”

      Nonsense. The article you linked to was written for a radical, far-left website which considers America to be an unjust, racist nation, and posts opinion pieces to support that warped viewpoint.

      The 2nd amendment was based on several major factors: English common law (from which much of the Constitution and the U.S. judicial system is derived), the knowledge that the colonists had just defeated the British Army with mostly civilian-soldiers, and the idea that citizens had an obligation to take part in the country’s common defense against internal or external government oppression. (That idea made more sense when government forces were mainly armed with flintlock rifles and not tanks and helicopter gunships.)

      If you’re unfamiliar with the origins of the 2nd Amendment (and most non-Americans are, no surprise there), you’ll need to google multiple articles to get an accurate understanding of how it came about.


    1. I’m hearing Israel is benefiting from Russia’s Syrian adventures. The longer the chaotic situation in Syria persists, the easier it is for Israel to keep occupying the Golan Heights.


      1. Israel is probably going to keep the Golan Heights forever.* They’re a strategically important location from which terrorists could easily fire weapons down at Israel, and Syria made no serious attempt to get the area back anytime between 1967 and 2010, when the current Syrian civil war started.

        *Or until Syria has a stable, reliably peaceful, Israeli-friendly government similar to Jordon and Egypt to trade “land for peace” with — essentially, until “forever.”


  17. NATO condemns Russia’s violations of Turkish airspace

    NATO ambassadors told Russia to halt its incursions into the airspace of Turkey, a member of the alliance, saying the violations were both extremely dangerous and irresponsible.

    Following an emergency meeting in Brussels, ambassadors to the US-led alliance called on Russia to immediately explain itself, while expressing concern for Russian military attacks on Western-backed rebels in Syria.


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