Still Standing

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The Free Press has a helpful FAQ, providing Everything You Need to Know. Sample, with a description of American culpability:

If Joe Biden strongly supports Israel, as he says, why did he send $16 billion to Iran? Help square that for me.

When he was Obama’s vice president, Biden was a central progenitor of the Iran Deal, which he then solidified as the cornerstone of his own administration’s Middle East policy.

By allying the U.S. with Tehran, the Iran Deal created a deadly embrace between the United States and a terror state run by corrupt medieval clerics who keep power through violence against their own people and by promoting terror and chaos abroad. As a self-proclaimed “revolutionary regime,” Iran explicitly aims to set not just Israel, but the entire region, on fire.

Giving the Iranians the backing of the U.S. was a recipe for chaos and a green light for terror throughout the region, which is exactly what has happened since Obama announced his deal. Funding Iranian terror, to the tune of $16 billion that the Biden administration sent to Iran in recent weeks, is an act of criminal negligence. As a result, it is fair to say that America has Israeli blood on its hands, too.

Repeat that: America has Israeli blood on its hands.

A good fraction of that blood was shed at the "Supernova" rave, where the BBC reports 260 bodies recovered. Detail of the horror:

"It was a massacre," said Yaniv, an emergency medic who was called out to the party. He told public broadcaster Kan News: "I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was a planned ambush. As people came out of the emergency exits, squads of terrorists were waiting for them there and just started picking them off.

It's deeply sobering to see how many Americans are just fine with that sort of thing, including some of the Best and the Brightest down in Cambridge: Harvard student organizations claim Israel ‘entirely responsible’ for Gaza attacks

Shortly after the attacks, Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups released its statement signed by 27 different organizations that blamed Israel entirely for the attacks and voiced support for Palestinians in Gaza.

"We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence," the statement began.

Probably not all Harvard students feel that way.

Also of note:

  • The "adults were back in charge." That's what sycophantic Chris Cilliza said at CNN back in 2021 after a Biden/Putin meeting. How's that working out? Here's Eli Lake at the Free Press describing Delusion in the White House. Bloodshed in Israel..

    Since taking office, the Biden administration has taken numerous steps to relieve pressure on Hamas and its international patrons as a means of restoring U.S. foreign policy to the way it was under Barack Obama, complete with a resurrected Iran nuclear deal.

    Until last week, the Biden administration considered its approach to the region a success. Speaking at an Atlantic magazine event on September 8, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan boasted, “The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades.”

    After this weekend, the administration’s Middle East strategy is in tatters. And the self-delusion among our foreign policy establishment is at the root of the problem.

    Lake notes the embarrassing dispatch from the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem which urged "all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing." (This dispatch was memory-holed shortly afterward.)

    Oh, yeah? I'm pretty sure violence "solved" that little Nazi problem we had back in the 1940s. I'm hoping for a similar eventual result here.

  • Amtrak could tell you, but they'd have to kill you. Randal O'Toole noticed some big black bars in a recent Inspector General report on 19th-century technology: Amtrak’s Acela Is Redacted.

    Delays and cost overruns are plaguing the new trains Amtrak is counting on to replacing its aging fleet of semi-high-speed Acela trains, according to a new report from Amtrak’s own inspector general. One of the reasons for the delays is that 34 cars that the manufacturer tried to deliver to Amtrak were returned as defective.

    How much are the cost overruns? We don’t know because the number was redacted from the report. How long are the delays? At least three years but we don’t know exactly because the number was redacted from the report. The report even redacts the name of the manufacturer, even though it is well known to be Alstom. “Certain information in this report has been redacted due to its sensitive nature,” says the report cover.

    But what they don't censor is bad enough:

    Amtrak should be completely privatized. Randal used to cover this beat for Cato, but that torch has been passed to Chris Edwards. An excerpt from his most recent update on the issue:

    Congress should consider privatizing Amtrak as a way to improve performance, reduce costs, and spur innovation. A private company would have more incentive and flexibility to prune excess workers, to base worker pay on performance, and to end inflexible union rules.

    A private Amtrak could also close the routes that lose the most money. Passenger rail makes sense in the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, but that corridor accounts for fewer than 500 miles within the current 21,000-mile system. Other corridors may make sense within a lower‐cost privatized system, but that would be for a private entrepreneurial Amtrak to find out. By closing the least successful routes, Amtrak could shift investment and maintenance spending to high‐demand routes and improve service.

    Probably won't happen, given Congressional obsession with choo-choos.

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    Naomi Watts could not be reached for comment. Tyler Cowen reads a lot, and his latest report is pretty funny, reporting on the latest from Naomi Klein, Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World. (Amazon link at right. No, your right,)

    Have you ever been confused by Naomi Klein vs. Naomi Wolf? Intellectually they are both pretty crazy. And they are both named Naomi. Some might think they bear some resemblance to each other. Well, here is a whole book on that confusion! And it is written by Naomi Klein. How much insight and self-awareness can one intellectually crazy person have about being confused for another intellectually crazy person? Quite a bit, it turns out. Recommended, though with the provision that I understand you never felt you needed to read a whole book about such a topic.

    The description on the Amazon page does not contradict Tyler's "crazy":

    What if you woke up one morning and found you’d acquired another self—a double who was almost you and yet not you at all? What if that double shared many of your preoccupations but, in a twisted, upside-down way, furthered the very causes you’d devoted your life to fighting against?

    Not long ago, the celebrated activist and public intellectual Naomi Klein had just such an experience—she was confronted with a doppelganger whose views she found abhorrent but whose name and public persona were sufficiently similar to her own that many people got confused about who was who. Destabilized, she lost her bearings, until she began to understand the experience as one manifestation of a strangeness many of us have come to know but struggle to define: AI-generated text is blurring the line between genuine and spurious communication; New Age wellness entrepreneurs turned anti-vaxxers are scrambling familiar political allegiances of left and right; and liberal democracies are teetering on the edge of absurdist authoritarianism, even as the oceans rise. Under such conditions, reality itself seems to have become unmoored. Is there a cure for our moment of collective vertigo?

    I know, right? For decades, I've been confused with this guy.

    Past Pun Salad looks at Naomi Klein's deranged ravings: here, here, here, here, and here.

    I don't think Naomi Wolf has been mentioned once in this blog's 6798 days (A "long-standing tradition of existence," Dean Wormer.) But, yeah, she's a nutter.

Last Modified 2024-01-10 5:59 AM EDT