Rally over Gaza

2 Feb 2024

Our usual line in front of the office of Senator Fetterman (D-PA), prottesting his position on Gaza. On his press release, his first paragraph is a good one. But the second paragraph, which speaks of the need to eliminate Hamas, really needs updating to acknowledge that Palestinian residents of Gaza are on the wrong side of what the International Court of Justice made an interim ruling on, that Israel needed to comply with six provisional measures designed to ensure that Israel was not committing genocide.

our buddy
Irving Courtley Jones aka as Karamo Muchuri Sulieman. I deal with him as National Writer's Union Philadelphisa Chapter Chair.

The war in Gaza is really starting to hurt President Biden electorally.

In a new NORC/ AP opinion poll, 50% of Americans say that they believe Israel has gone too far in its war on Gaza. That is up from 40% in November.


Scores of people protesting Israel’s conduct in Gaza were detained Monday afternoon after refusing the leave the Pennsylvania Capitol’s main atrium.

Scholars are studying whether or not Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, but as one scholar pointed out:

Israel has committed “nearly every act outlined in Article II [of the Genocide Convention] … that accounts for the more totalized ‘destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group’”.

There's a reason that disapproval is climbing. 122 days on, over 27k Palestinians have died and 66k have been wounded since the Hamas attack of October 7th. Israeli deaths from that attack have shrunken a bit, 1,147 as opposed to 1,400. Both sets of deaths are still horrific. One of the real horros of the war is that there's simply no safe place for Palestinians to go to. Also:

The UN Agency for Palestiniane Refugees (UNRWA) has said that “there is very limited access to clean water and sanitation amid [the] relentless bombardment.”

close-up of the line

With the House of Representatives continuing to stall on passing the Ukraine aid that President Biden proposed last October, the Ukrainian Army is suffering "shell hunger." Both Ukraine and the Europen Union are struggling to provide as many artillery shells as possible, but "Russian Artillery Gunners Are Getting Cocky. As Ukraine Runs Out Of Ammo, Russian Guns Gather For Devastating Salvos." Forbes
Also, Ukraine appears about to lose their first city to Russian advances (Avdiivka) since the loss of Bakhmut back in May of last year.
Blogger who write about national security matters looks at how European allies perceive the stranglehold that the Republican House has on US foreign policy and how Russia and China are both delighted by that.

line loking inwards
Bowing for a moment of silence.

Our blogger at TPM feels that House Republicans have really painted themselves into a corner by first, demanding certain provisions in a border bill and then, when Democrats say okay, suddenly deciding nah, they don't want those provisions after all. Right now, the Senate has assemled a 370-page bill that largely lines up with general reporting on it. The agreement

would be the most aggressive border security and migration overhaul bill in decades if it passes Congress. It would raise the standard to get asylum, send away those who don’t qualify and expedite cases for those who do.

Representative Greene is very upse that the House vote to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas crashed and burned, going to an extremely narrow defeat. She then blames Mayorkas for all kinds of things, ignoring the fact that the House could have passed the immigration bill that was being offered by the Democrat-run Senate and that would solve a lot of problems that Mayorkas is being blamed for! And yes,Republicans have now passed up the best opportunity they'll have had in decades. Speaker Johnson is nowhere close to being anywhere near as good at his job as Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi was.

Poetry read from the steps.

The legal trials that Donald Trump is undergoing? All of them are stalled at the moment, but Democrats could point out that if Trump was really convinced that he was innocent of all of the charges, then why is he acting to delay his trials? Wouldn't a truly innocent person seek to get verdicts before November's election?

Ronna McDaniel, who was appointed in 2017 to be the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC), which is in charge of fundraining, was unceremoniously tossed under the bus by Trump after it became clear that the RNC had their

-Worst fundraising year since ’93 -Lowest cash on hand headed into a presidential in decades -Worst month for contributions in a decade.

Is it her fault? Ha, ha, ha! Of course not. Also, "More than $27M in Trump campaign fundraising went to legal costs in the last six months of 2023" MSNBC

In his latest trial, on the question of "absolute immunity," the court skipped the usual honorific of referring to him as "President." Citizen Trump does not have any more immunity than any other American citizen.


Back in the day, Kevin Sorbo was a notable TV actor in some good series."Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Andromeda" being especially good ones. Lately, he hasn't been so popular, so he's been on Twiter/X, where he normally says pretty foolish things. His latest is a meme with his pictue saying "Instead of diversity hiring, how about giving the job to the best person?" Hmm yeah, a good idea in theory. Problem is, there was a reason the US started Affirmative Action. People who hire other people have a tendency to hire folks who are similar to themselves. I used to be a Congregationalist, then became a Methodist. Both are under the umbrella of the United Church of Christ (UCC). So let's say I was the hiring manager and have a choice between a Roman Catholic, a Southern Baptist and a fellow UCC member. Even though the best person might be the Baptist, there would be a powerful tendency for me to pick the UCC person.
Now, in the armed services and in corporate jobs and in other large organizations, there are a large number of people to choose from and the leadership is mission-oriented and folks who aren't picked might complain or just be quietly resentful. So there's a strong tendency to pick the best person. Brittney Griner, a basketball player who's an African-American lesbian who's more spiritual than religious, would easily make it up the career ladder in a large organization because she's highly talented. Would she do well with a small company in rural, heavily white Nebraska? My gess is, ehh, probably not.