Israel and Hamas Are Engaged in a Blindfolded Gunfight
New leaders with new ideas are desperately needed. And stop killing each other. It doesn’t help.
Iwas going to write about the ceasefire in Gaza this morning but, just as I started, people started getting shot at the al-Aqsa mosque. So I figured that, once again, I should wait for further events to unfold. From the BBC:
“Both Israel and Hamas claimed victory in the conflict. The truce faced an early test on Friday when fresh clashes broke out at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP news agency that Palestinians had thrown stones at officers, and that "riot" suppressing measures had been taken in response.
At least 243 people, including more than 100 women and children, were killed in Gaza, according to its health ministry. Israel has said it killed at least 225 militants during the fighting. Hamas has not given casualty figures for fighters. In Israel 12 people, including two children, were killed, its medical service says.”
Just shut up, all of you. Shut the fck up for the love of the living god and keep your hands off each other. Tell us how many of the 243 people you say were killed actually were fighters. Don’t tell us that 225 of the 243 dead people were “militants.” Tell the damn truth. You’re making war on each other, and people die when war is made upon them, and distinctions of age, occupation, and bloody nomenclature don’t matter a damn. Here in the shebeen, we call it the Goat Cart Driver Factor. Let’s say there’s an actual militant who’s been launching rockets. So you call in an airstrike to kill him. At exactly the wrong time, a woman driving a goat cart into town to buy spices and melons happens by, and she gets killed along with the actual militant. She has children, and a husband. They’ve never done anything to anybody. But how do you suppose they’re going to react now? Their lives are now in a completely different channel. Now, imagine this dynamic playing itself out since the Bronze Age.
Because Bibi Netanyahu is an international thug and hoodlum, his government seems bound and determined to fail just as badly and bloodily as any other occupying force always fails, because no occupying force can kill people fast enough to last. The sooner that the world no longer has to deal with a guy who will blow up apartment buildings to a) stay out of jail, and b) stay prime minister, the better. And sending $735 million in arms to his government in the current circumstances?
As for Hamas, they’ve moved into that brainlessly violent phase that comes to every guerrilla outfit that’s past its time. Maybe there was a time when it all made sense, but now it’s one half of a blindfolded gunfight, just the way Northern Ireland was before the Good Friday Agreement, or South Africa’s apartheid state was when Nelson Mandela walked out of his cell. New leaders with new ideas are desperately needed. And stop killing each other. It doesn’t help.
And fck Bibi's government for this, too.
t’s time to let the Substack smart set, who spend more time than is healthy worried about “cancel culture” and the terminology used at the salad bar in the commissary at Oberlin, to go find a secluded corner of the Intertoobz to walk away their desperate concerns that, somewhere, some Black people are getting away with something. Their silence—or worse, in Andrew Sullivan’s case—over the disgraceful treatment of Nikole Hannah Jones at the University of North Carolina, and the monumental gutlessness of the Associated Press in the matter of Emily Wilder, exposed the whole “anti-woke” movement as just another conservative puppet show. Alyssa Rosenberg in the Washington Post calls all the bluffs.
“The incidents at the Associated Press and UNC are hardly novel. At the same time that conservatives have turned the supposed scourges of 'cancel culture' into a major cause, they’ve moved to use the law to shut down ideas they don’t like.
In academics, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has documented an uptick in the number of state legislatures that have tried 'to limit or prohibit the teaching or training of certain viewpoints on campus.' Many are conservative attempts to push back on concepts such as 'critical race theory' or to ban the teaching of 'divisive concepts,' such as that “the State of Rhode Island or the United States of America is fundamentally racist or sexist.”
But, as Rosenberg points out, the conservative side of this is putting the force of law—and the momentum of the family Buick—where its mouth is.
“Beyond campus, Republican lawmakers have also cracked down on protest, in ways ranging from the punitive to the grotesque. Minnesota legislators want to bar anyone arrested at a protest from receiving state student loans. Indiana Republicans have proposed to ban anyone convicted of rioting from state jobs. Iowa and Florida have passed bills granting civil immunity to people who drive their cars into protesters blocking traffic.”
But I’m sure, somewhere at a small liberal-arts college nobody’s ever heard of, someone renamed today’s soup, so everything’s equal.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “The Bible Is Right” (The Gospel Songbirds): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: From 1960, here’s Syngman Rhee beating feet (with the help of the CIA) as South Korea reacts badly to his re-election as dictator. There’s some nice video of WWE action in the SoKo parliament. And I had no idea that Rhee’s VP and his entire family went out in a suicide pact. History is so cool.
From the ever-busy It’s Always Something desk of the shebeen’s newsroom, we have this bit of news. From ScienceNews:
“Astronomers have long known that Andromeda is on a collision course with our galaxy (SN: 5/31/12). But not much has been known about what will happen to the gargantuan black holes each galaxy harbors at its core. New simulations reveal their ultimate fate. The galaxies will coalesce into one giant elliptical galaxy — dubbed 'Milkomeda' — in about 10 billion years. Then, the central black holes will begin orbiting one another and finally collide less than 17 million years later, researchers propose February 22 at arXiv.org and in an earlier paper published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. Just before the black holes smash into each other, they’ll radiate gravitational waves with the power of 10 quintillion suns (SN: 2/11/16). Any civilization within 3.25 million light-years from us that has gravitational wave–sensing technology on par with our current abilities would be able to detect the collision, the researchers estimate.”
So we have 10 billion years to come up with a better name than “Milkomeda,” which sounds like an old anti-constipation nostrum from your grandmother’s medicine cabinet. Meanwhile, Brood X is gettin’ some some serious strange out there. From Vice:
“Cicadas in the United States are infected by fungal amphetamines that will drive them yet again to engage in sex-crazed mating orgies. Massospora cicadina, a yellow-white fungus, grows in the insects’ bodies and boosts their sex drives to the point of mania. It also makes their genitals fall off.”
Ewww. However, it seems as though nature is trying the evolve a strategy.
“And Massospora – laced with psilocybin, the same chemical as psychedelic mushrooms, and capable of producing compounds of an amphetamine called cathinone, or 'bath salts' – is making some cicadas want to mate more than usual…Infected cicadas also spread spores of Massospora as they walk and fly – in turn infecting other insects and earning them the name 'flying salt shakers of death.'”
Live at Budokan.
And speaking of oversexed insects. I don’t think the Republican primary process brings out their best people.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, ScienceDaily? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
“'There were lots of exciting types of mammals in the time of dinosaurs that included gliding, swimming and burrowing species, but none of these mammals belonged to modern groups, they all come from earlier branches in the mammal tree.' said Dr Elsa Panciroli, a researcher from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and a co-author of the study. 'These other kinds of mammals mostly became extinct at the same time as the non-avian dinosaurs, at which point modern mammals start to become larger, explore new diets and ways of life. From our research it looks like before the extinction it was the earlier radiations of mammals that kept the modern mammals out of these exciting ecological roles by outcompeting them.'”
As mammals ourselves, we now are declared innocent of complicity in the death of the dinosaurs. I feel very relieved, and happy, because they lived then to make us happy now.
I’ll be back on Monday to see what new stonewalls have been erected in the Congress. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snakelike, wear the damn mask if the server asks, and get the damn shots.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.