Mon, 04/12/2023 - 04:55
I write this brief letter and appeal on this fifty-second day of conflict between the Israeli government and the hapless population in Gaza. I also write as a child of Holocaust and concentration camp survivors. LETTER TO THE DANDENONG COUNCIL, Melbourne, Australia, ABOUT THE IMMINENT GENOCIDE IN GAZA, November 29, 2023. The propaganda narrative since Continue reading »
Mon, 04/12/2023 - 04:51
A frontline medic writes of two individuals she met in Kayah State, whose stories exemplify the diverse ways Myanmar’s youth are contributing to, and sacrificing for, the revolution. As the conflict grinds on, every month brings fresh horrors. Since early last year, when I left my medical studies in Yangon and joined a team of Continue reading »
Mon, 04/12/2023 - 04:50
The Israeli government is putting pressure on the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz to line up in support of the government in its conduct of the war in Gaza. The communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, has suggested financial penalties be applied to the paper accusing it of “lying, defeatist propaganda” and “sabotaging Israel in wartime”. The proposal aims Continue reading »
Mon, 04/12/2023 - 04:00
Via Axios: Muslim Americans in several swing states are scheduled to gather in Michigan on Saturday to start a campaign they’re calling #AbandonBiden, a reflection of their outrage over President Biden‘s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.  Arab American and Muslim American anger could hurt Biden’s re-election prospects in most of the 2024 swing states he won in 2020, as those groups have been heavily Democratic. Muslim American leaders from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania are expected to meet in Dearborn, Mich., to start the new campaign. “This #AbandonBiden 2024 conference is set against the backdrop of the upcoming 2024 presidential election and the decision to withdraw support for President Biden due to his unwillingness to call for a ceasefire and protect innocents in Palestine and Israel,” the group said in a statement. “Leaders from swing states will work together to guarantee Biden’s loss in the 2024 election.” The campaign primarily will focus on social media for now, organizer Jaylani Hussein of Minneapolis tells Axios.
Mon, 04/12/2023 - 02:30
There are dozens A Newsweek headline on Saturday caught my attention: Democratic 2024 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson compared the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Florida Democratic Party to the now defunct Soviet Union, telling Newsweek on Saturday that their actions ahead of the primaries are “essentially authoritarian.” Williamson, along with fellow Democratic contenders Cenk Uygur, a political commentator and creator of the The Young Turks, and Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota, has slammed the Florida Democratic Party’s decision to not include their names on the primary ballot. Instead, Democratic voters in the southern state will only see Biden’s name listed—unless the decision is reversed. In an earlier story, Newsweek reminded readers that Uyger is ineligible to serve as president. But that’s an aside. As for the Florida Democratic Party, it’s been a mess for some time. Not that we can talk here in North Carolina where Democrats in 2022 opposed Green Party recognition. Unwisely, I think. I hope that’s changed.
Mon, 04/12/2023 - 01:00
Sleepwalking into dictatorship The first time I heard colonizer used was (IIRC) in Black Panther (2018). Since then the smear has caught on a bit, and not in a Martin Luther King sort of way. But that single word of dialogue served in the film to instantly replace the European view of Africa with an African view of Europeans. It carries racial connotations, but is anchored not as much in skin color as behavior, on what Europeans do. We’ve used enablers in the past to describe Donald Trump’s allies inside and outside of government. Former Rep. Liz Cheney offers on “CBS Sunday Morning” a more pointed term for Trump’s confederates based on what they do. They are collaborators, and she doesn’t mean colleagues. She deploys collaborators as the French Resistance might against the Vichy government. “If you look at what Donald Trump is trying to do, he can’t do it by himself,” Cheney tells John Dickerson. “He has to have collaborators.
Sun, 03/12/2023 - 22:11
Swedish-Eritrean journalist and writer Dawit Isaak has been held in Eritrean prison for 22 years without trial. He is the only Swedish citizen held as a prisoner of conscience. The Swedish government should initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible in Eritrea for crimes against humanity. Dictators all over the world must be held accountable for […]
Sun, 03/12/2023 - 12:00
Yes, I know. That’s an oddly generic (some might even say silly) title for a post by someone who has been scribbling about film here for 17 years. Obviously, I like movies. That said, I am about to make a shameful confession (and please withhold your angry cards and letters until you’ve heard me out). Are you sitting down? Here goes: I haven’t stepped foot in a movie theater since January of 2020. There. I’ve said it, in front of God and all 7 of my regular readers. *sigh* I can still remember it, as if it were yesterday: It turns out that it is not just my imagination (running away with me). A quick Google search of “Seattle rain records” yields such cheery results as a January 29th CNN headline IT’S SUNLESS IN SEATTLE AS CITY WEATHERS ONE OF THE GLOOMIEST STRETCHES IN RECENT HISTORY and a Feb 1st Seattle P-I story slugged with SEATTLE BREAKS RECORD WITH RAIN ON 30 DAYS IN A MONTH. Good times! February was a bit better: 15 rainy days with 4.1 hours a day of average sunshine. But hey-I didn’t move to the Emerald City to be “happy”.
Sun, 03/12/2023 - 10:00
A lot! Joyce Vance gives us the low down: Friday night, Judge Chutkan rejected Trump’s “big” argument that he couldn’t be criminally prosecuted for acts committed during his presidency because he had blanket immunity. We discussed the motion when he filed it in early October (read here if you want a refresher on its substance). At the time, I characterized the argument as a flawed one, likely to be a swing and a miss. Judge Chutkan agreed. “The Constitution’s text, structure, and history do not support that contention [that the charges should be dismissed],” she wrote in her opinion. “No court—or any other branch of government—has ever accepted it. And this court will not so hold. Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.’” Read her entire opinion here.
Sun, 03/12/2023 - 08:30
Philip Bump takes the time to outline all the ways that Trump has already shown that he will fulfill the plans he’s touting on the campaign trail [T]his would not be comparable to his inauguration in 2017, an event that took most people by surprise and demanded that he quickly figure out what, exactly, he was going to do. Positioned between the base that devoured his hostile rhetoric and the party that facilitated his election, he split the difference, bringing with him advisers (Stephen K. Bannon and Reince Priebus, respectively) from each camp. He learned his lesson. The latter camp encouraged him to respect the informal (and, of course, formal) boundaries that accompanied the job. The former camp let him do what he wanted. By the end of his term, nearly all that was left was those enablers, and he’d discovered that most of the boundaries he’d been encouraged to respect were transparently thin. That’s the recognition that he’d take into January 2025. Trump’s rhetoric, as the likelihood of his being renominated increases, has been less constrained even than it was on the campaign trail in 2015.
Sun, 03/12/2023 - 07:23

Our friend and former McSweeney’s editor Gabe Hudson passed away on Thanksgiving. As with any loss, the ache is dulled a bit when we can hear new stories about someone we’ve lost. It expands our sense of the person and adds pages to their story. So we’d like to invite all those who knew Gabe to help us remember him. Friends, family, colleagues, former students—please send us memories of Gabe. Doesn’t matter how short or long. Email them to, and we’ll post new memories every day.

- - -

From Michael Matesich:

I hosted an event with Gabe in the summer of 2017 in Tampa, Florida. We were together for just two or three hours, which is, it is apparent, two or three hours more than Gabe needed to show you the whole of the beautiful, sensitive person he is. My mother was there at the event that day, and she met Gabe in the signing line. “Whether it’s about writing or not,” she told me after, “please, please be like Gabe.” We have kept in touch ever since.