caleb36

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12 hours, 57 minutes ago
  • There is no doubt whatsoever that Eric Holder and the President could have weighed powerfully on the grand jury verdict. No doubt that they knew the verdict in advance and could have used the immense influence of the Presidency to stop it. I always thought that, bad as Obama has been, at least the fact of his Presidency could go a long way toward eliminating racism in this country. I disagreed with, but thought I understood, his apparent decision to sacrifice all other policy outcomes for the worthy goal of completing two terms as the first black President.

    Turns out I was completely wrong. Obama’s tenure has coincided with a new, high-tech era of racism enforced by militarized cops. His Presidency has become the absolute opposite of the “hope and change” he promised. He has been instrumental in allowing what is really a new Dred Scott decision that tells people of color, and really all of the rest of us as well, they we have no rights. I said in an earlier comment last night (before the grand jury verdict was announced) that I suspected the President’s executive order on illegal immigrants–so untypical of him in its worth and assertiveness–was a cover for something very bad. Now we know what that bad thing was.

    For his betrayal of a centuries-old promise dating to Frederick Douglass and beyond, Obama now ranks as the worst president in American history.

  • This postulate has mathematical certainty: Obama never does anything politically with good intentions. And yet his executive order on immigration, however imperfect, is a good thing, and quite a significant thing at that. Furthermore, he did it after the election, which means he did not do it to wins votes. Also, it showed some guts and courage, completely atypical for Obama. All of which to me means that the executive order must be a cover for something really bad that Obama has in mind.

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post The Roundup for November 19th, 2014

    2014-11-20 08:04:38View | Delete

    I defer to your far greater knowledge of economics but have had some passing contact with the history of the subject in recent decades. I am a 1972 Yale graduate with a B.A. in economics but did not pursue the subject further. At the time, there was an association of radical economists known as URPE (Union of Radical Political Economists). Some members of this organization held Marxian views, some did not. There was a definite leftist current in academic economics brewing at this time of Vietnam War protests and the “counterculture.” I took a credit course in history of economic thought taught by an absolutely brilliant graduate student named David Levine who was a Marxian scholar of the highest order (don’t know anything about his future career).

    My point is that any budding economist at the time had ready access to a fruitful stream of academic thought well to the left of the U.S. mainstream. Krugman and Stiglitz, as far as I am aware, were not influenced by this alternative perspective. That being said, it’s my impression that there is now a distinct difference between Krugman’s and Stiglitz’s present political positions, with Stiglitz definitely to the left of his counterpart (participating in Occupy, for example).

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post Election Night Live Blog

    2014-11-04 21:29:34View | Delete

    I don’t think Obama will use his veto pen, not because he is afraid of an assassination attempt, but because he is a Republican. I don’t mean a Democrat with largely Republican views, as so many in the Democratic party are. I mean a real, institutional Republican whom the Republicans were able to sneak into the presidency on the Democratic ballot. Compare Obama’s reaction when the Democrats were trounced in 2010 to that of Bill Clinton when the same thing happened to him in 1994. Clinton, conservative DLC as he is, was clearly shattered, Obama showed no emotion whatsoever, not a hint of disappointment as a spoke of a “shellacking.” He won’t show any disappointment tomorrow either. Obama has fulfilled his mission to the Republicans. Being overwhelmingly responsible for the Democrats’ second off-year election catastrophe in 4 years, Obama has now brought the entire national Democratic party to ruin. (I am particularly saddened tonight by the victory of Republican plutocrat Bruce Rauner for governor of Illinois over the incumbent Pat Quinn).

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post Cantor Repeats the Same Old Nonsense: Shows He Hasn’t Learned A Thing From Defeat by letsgetitdone.

    2014-10-29 05:02:29View | Delete

    I have flagged your comment. You have apparently listed every Jewish member of the U.S. House of Representatives (or at least, those you believe are Jewish) and called them “traitors.”

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post No Purpose Other Than to Humiliate and Degrade by Isaiah 88.

    2014-07-20 07:43:31View | Delete

    Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed overnight in Gaza in what has absolutely become a war for survival by Israel against a sinister foe (who infiltrate Israel through tunnels carrying tranquilizers and handcuffs seeking to kidnap Israelis). Are you satisfied now that there are significant Israeli casualties? Really, the slant against Israel here is a disgrace. [...]

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post 410 Palestinians, 5 Israelis Killed in Gaza Conflict; Media Disinfo or No Info by fairleft.

    2014-07-20 04:14:40View | Delete

    No, what I am “troubled” by is not the individuals on this website, or even FDL itself, but that the political left, with which I identify, seems for the most part to have turned completely against Israel. And I am not talking about specific incidents, which often DO deserve condemnation, but a basic viewpoint. Whereas [...]

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post 342 Palestinians, 5 Israelis Killed in Gaza Conflict; Media Disinfo or No Info by fairleft.

    2014-07-19 22:44:30View | Delete

    This has for a long time been really troubling to me, but has become more so with the eruption of the latest Gaza war. FDL is an absolutely indispensable website, IMO, in exposing the reality of plutocratic politics and society in this country and around the world. The Israel/Palestine issue is a complex one, and [...]

  • You are correct that it is men alone who usually pose a physical but violence is bi-gender. Men tend to be violent directly and women tend to indirect violence, often with a very distant chain of causation. Girls’ cliques in school are every bit as vicious as those of boys but the violence they do to each other is more psychological (e.g., verbal bullying and ostracism). It is, indeed, “people” who are violent.

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Robert Silverberg by dakine01.

    2014-07-19 11:14:59View | Delete

    I highly recommend Silverberg’s “Science Fiction 101″, a primer on how science fiction is written together with an anthology of illustrative stories.

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post What The Media Is Getting Wrong About Israel And Palestine, And Why It Matters by Mnar Muhawesh.

    2014-07-19 10:48:26View | Delete

    I totally agree with your ideal solution but how is this even remotely possible with the fanaticism on both sides? Isn’t a less perfect two-state solution more feasible?

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post Civilian Aircraft Shot Down In Ukraine War Zone

    2014-07-18 08:39:42View | Delete

    You’ve left out the six ton elephant in the room. This is the second Malaysian jet liner lost in a few months. The odds that two large passenger airlines from the same country would be lost in such a short period are very low indeed (unless there are unusual safety issues with Malaysian aircraft, which has never been asserted). Has it really been established that a missile, rather than a bomb, destroyed the aircraft? Investigations as to the causes of airline crashes normally take months. If there was a bomb aboard the Malaysian airline, it would be perfect cover to make sure it flew through the Ukraine war zone at the time of the plane’s destruction.

  • Reading the English-language Israeli press is beginning to make me entirely change my view of the war. I expected that the initiation of ground hostilities would be widely condemned by the Israeli left, which loudly denounced, for example, the Israeli incursions into Lebanon in 1982 and 2006. But this has not happened. Even Ha’aretz, a very dovish, almost non-Zionist publication, has tentatively given its support to a limited tunnel operation.

    On the other hand, the bloody aerial attacks by Israel with their sickening civilian toll, seem in retrospect to have been almost entirely unnecessary given the success of Iron Dome (which the Israeli military must have foreseen given Iron Dome’s earlier success in 2012 against Hamas rockets). The Israeli press has indicated that it is only with respect to the tunnels that Israel does not have a military advantage and faces a real danger. Two days ago, 13 Hamas infiltrators crossed a tunnel and nearly put a kibbutz under seige. The tunnels are clearly the root (literally) of the present conflict.

    So the question arises, why not a limited tunnel war initially, without an accompanying massive air attack? From a propaganda aspect alone, it appears Israel has blundered massively.

  • caleb36 commented on the diary post Israel Invades Gaza, 246 Gazans and 1 Israeli Dead, But U.S. Media Has Moved On by fairleft.

    2014-07-17 21:05:38View | Delete

    Very terrible that Israel has started a ground war. I’ve differed from most (not all) commenters around here in basically supporting Israel in its latest conflict. But a ground incursion was unnecessary given the success of Iron Dome, and shows aggression on Israel’s part. For me, this is the dividing line of my support.

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post The 2016 Republican Frontrunner Is Rand Paul

    2014-07-17 21:00:12View | Delete

    As long as Rand Paul is the only candidate who speaks out against the surveillance state, I will support him.

  • Based on my conversations, there are a very large number of Democrats who are very unhappy with the prospect of Hillary Clinton as the presidential nominee. A serious challenger could be very successful (if the party honchos would permit her or him to run).

  • I’ll try to keep it simple. There’s a long history here but I won’t go into any of it, not even the kidnappings and murders on both sides that immediately preceded and set the mood but did NOT create a necessity for this latest conflict. This war started when Hamas started lobbing dozens of missiles [...]

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post As Israel’s Attacks On Gaza Intensify US Role Questioned

    2014-07-14 15:10:04View | Delete

    It must be emphasized that Israel is no longer an occupying power in Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza completely and unconditionally in 2005. The conditions of the Israeli blockade of Gaza are onerous, but Israel is not an occupying power of this strip of land which is governed wholly by Palestinians.

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post As Israel’s Attacks On Gaza Intensify US Role Questioned

    2014-07-14 11:57:07View | Delete

    The vaunted Israeli defensive wall has been breached since at no time since (at least) the initially successful invasion by Egyptian and Syrian troops in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. The kidnapping and murder of the three Jewish youths was a national trauma. The added discovery that the Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Kheidr was killed by Jewish extremists has infinitely compounded the trauma, as it has made viscerally clear that a terrorist streak lies within the very core of Jewish Israel, and showed that the terrorism of the two sides, conventionally depicted as antithetical, is really one.

    Militarily, Israel’s Iron Dome system has made the country virtually impregnable from missiles(these are not primitive missiles, by the way, as some commentators here have claimed–they are able to reach all parts of the country and capable of causing great damage if not stopped). In psychic and moral terms, however, Israel is fighting a struggle for its very existence. How to fight this struggle, when the main enemy is within, is its great quandary. Despite the relatively low level of conflict in historical terms, this is, for Israel, a very major war, and the identity of the victor is greatly in doubt.

  • caleb36 commented on the blog post 81 Palestinians Dead From Israeli Strikes On Gaza

    2014-07-10 10:08:03View | Delete

    “Israel has proven itself completely uninterested in peace, which is their right.”

    Arguably this is true about the current Netanyahu government. It has certainly not been true about many previous Israeli governments, however. Israel accepted proposed peace deals partitioning the lands west of the Jordan river between Arab and Jewish states in 1937, 1947, 2000-01 (the Clinton-Barak-Arafat negotiaions), and 2008 (Prime Minister Olmert’s offer to give up essentially the entire West Bank). Each time, the Palestinian leadership rejected these deals.

    To focus specifically on Gaza: In August 2005, previous arch-hawk Ariel Sharon, then Israel’s Prime Minister got the Knesset to approve a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, with no hooks, no conditions. Approximately 8,600 Jewish settlers were uprooted from Gaza (in exchange for compensation) as part of this withdrawal, in some instances through use of military force by the Israeli army. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_disengagement_from_Gaza

    Gaza could have been a successful beginning of true Palestinian self-governance. There were ample development funds available, and the beaches of Gaza could have been turned into prime Mediterranean vacation resorts. American Jewish donors bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from the former Israeli settlers for $14 million and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Following the Israeli withdrawal, the greenhouses were destroyed by looters. In 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in the so-called Battle of Gaza http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9331863/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/looters-strip-gaza-greenhouses/, and soon commenced its rocket attacks against Israel. On three occasions Israel has tried to knock out the Gaza rockets with little permanent success to date–Operation Cast Lead in 2009 (a bloody aerial and ground attack) ; the less lethal, purely aerial “Operation Pillar of Cloud” in 2012, which saw the introduction of the Iron Dome defensive shield; and the current Israeli assault that hopefully will not devolve into ground war. It should be pointed out that, while Israeli retaliatory actions were at times excessive, Hamas provoked all three attacks by sending swarms of rockets directly into Israel, something no nation in the world would tolerate.

    Regarding the controversial Israeli blockade of Gaza, it should be noted that Gaza borders Egypt as well as Israel, and that Israel has justification for at least a blockade of military-related items. Certainly, even if the blockade is condemned, to compare the situation in Gaza to that of the Warsaw Ghetto, as some commentators have done, is wildly incorrect.

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