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  1. Steven Curtis Chapman wrote this song for his 5 year old daughter who died being hit by a car. it was already the saddest song I ever heard before I became a parent. and now it just hits completely different. (Can’t listen to it or even read the lyrics without tearing up)
  2. Andddddddd following this latest debacle; Netanyahu is now officially out as Prime Minister after a 12 year run https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/13/middleeast/israel-knesset-vote-prime-minister-intl/index.html "After four elections in two years, Bennett's incoming government breaks a long political deadlock and ushers in the most diverse coalition Israel has ever seen, including the first Arab party to serve in the government. In his speech before the Knesset confidence vote, Bennett celebrated the diversity and warned of polarization within the country. "Twice in history, we have lost our national home precisely because the leaders of the generation were not able to sit with one and another and compromise. Each was right, yet with all their being right, they burnt the house down on top of us," Bennett said. "I am proud of the ability to sit together with people with very different views from my own." "Bennett's path to victory seemed all but lost during 11 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants last month, when Netanyahu appeared to scuttle any chances of the opposition parties forming a government to replace him. But Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party which holds 17 seats, forged the agreements between the different parties that led to the end of Netanyahu's grip on power. The arrangement places Bennett at the head of a coalition that includes right-wing, left-wing, and Arab parties, united largely by their desire to dethrone Netanyahu." ____ 1) New Prime Minister immediately sending some signals that Israel is looking to move in a different direction with that kind of talk and coalition 2) Wondering now if this whole recent blow-up in Gaza was Netanyahu reading the writing on the wall that he was on the verge of losing the support he needed to stay in power. And trying to pride-prick the nationalists + posture himself as Israel's strongman in a last-ditch effort to keep it together. (he's just enough of a crooked bastard that i wouldn't put it past him)
  3. Like I get that Joe Biden has been in Washington for so long and has so many old relationships with Republican Senators going back decades and decades that he thought the strength of his interpersonal relationships would be enough to overcome the current climate of partisanship. And I get that he wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt they were only acting the way they were acting because they were playing Follow-the-Leader. (i.e. that they would behave better and go back to being the old Republican Party once Trump was out of office) ...but Republicans have made it abundantly clear now they intend to obstruct everything Biden brings to the table... Not even just on the hot-button issues like immigration and healthcare; everything down to the banality of infrastructure spending and stimulus checks is scorched earth political blitzkrieg. Their calls for bipartisanship are not coming from a place of good faith. And whatever he hoped he might be able to do with them coming in; Biden has to be aware of this now. There's no middle road here. Democrats have to just govern as Democrats and shut Republicans out of the process if they want to get anything done.
  4. "Whats that? You don't think you have a good enough pitch to get rid of the filibuster? Here's a gift. I want you to have this." -Republicans For Some Reason-
  5. I've always considered the best precedent for what a good peace deal should look like to be the cooling of relations between Israel and Egypt. Where for Israel's entire early history, they were bitter enemies. And there was a history of bad blood between them going all the way back to biblical times. And Egypt joined the invading armies that tried to wipe Israel out in the 1967 war. And thereafter, when Israel won, Israel pushed outside its borders to place Egyptian land in the Saini Peninsula under Israeli occupation as a buffer against further Egyptian invasions. ^^^ there was a 15 year period from like 1967 to 1982 where that entire orange landmass was under Israeli occupation. What wound up happening was the Egyptians agreed to recognize Israel as a neighbor state, wage no further wars against the Israelis, and on their own end self-police + self-patrol to make sure that The Sinai wasn't a safe zone for terrorist organizations and jihadist fighters trying to amass attacks against Israel. And the Israelis, in turn, agreed to fully withdraw from the Saini. Remove their troops. Deconstruct their settlements. And return the land to the Egyptians. And Egyptian/Israeli relations have been peaceful for the past 30+ years now. ___ In a perfect world, thats what a resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict looks like. The, big difference, of course, is that The Saini was a giant fuck-off tract of largely uninhabited desert. (i.e. one city in The Gaza Strip has the population of the entire Saini) There were no pre-existing cities or heavily populated areas. There weren't a ton of Israeli settlers rushing to move there. The Israeli presence in The Saini was almost entirely a military occupation, and Israel disengaging from Saini was for the most part simply a matter of withdrawing its military forces. (i.e. there was no large-scale issue with returning The Saini to Egypt meaning that Jewish settlements had to be dismantled and Jewish settlers had to be relocated) There were a few small Kibbutzim out there like Avashalom and Dikla that had to be demolished, but nothing of the size and scope of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. (note that the Gaza Strip itself is technically Egyptian land. But Egypt doesn't even want it; it knows that place is an absolute powderkeg, and doesn't want the trouble of being the party responsible for governing it) ...The settlements and the expansion of the settlements just make everything so much more messy... But in theory. The arrangement that was worked out between the Israelis and the Egyptians could be the arrangement worked out between the Israelis and the Palestinians. At some point when they're ready to start talking peace again.
  6. Here's the totality of the present circumstances, as I understand them. (take my 2 cents for whatever its worth) There are two (2) obvious moves that need to be made to get to the presumably desirable outcome of a peaceful 2-state resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict. [On the Palestinian Side]: The obvious move is that they need to get to a place where they accept that Israel exists and will continue to exist as a Jewish neighbor, self-police their own radicals and religious fanatics, stop electing Hamas to represent them, and renounce the Hamas Charter (i.e. 'Israel exists and continues to exist until Islam will annihilate it; all who leave the circle of conflict with zionism shall be cursed. The day of judgment will not come until the Muslim fights the Jew, killing the Jew.') [On the Israeli Side]: The obvious move is that they need to accept their legally defined UN borders is the Land of Israel. The territory they occupied after the 1967 war is The Land of Palestine. The Land of Palestine is not Israeli land to build upon or evict occupants from or populate with Jewish settlements. And the settlements constructed on the occupied land they've been holding since the 1967 war are illegal + must be abandoned and relinquished back to the Palestinians. ...now Israel presently perceives...correctly, imo...that regardless of what they do on their end, the Palestinians aren't anywhere close to making the move that they would need to make on their end... This perception is grounded in the fact that past Israeli Prime Ministers who have been good-faith stewards of the peace process have attempted to unilaterally evict Israeli settlers from Palestinian Land (i.e. Ariel Sharon) and make territorial concessions to Palestinian Statehood (i.e. Ehud Barak) And it was never enough. The Palestinians never recognized Israel or moved off their position of support for Hamas or committed to ending the 'Intifada.' There are 2 schools of thought in Israel on how you engage with that reality. The first school of thought says: "Doesn't matter whether or not they're ready to make that move. We always want to be the peace-seeking party; as long as we're ready to make a move, that means we can have peace once they're ready. So to show that we're good faith partners in the peace process and that we want them to come to the table and we're ready when they are; let's NOT settle the post-1967 land. Leave returning it on the table. And keep communicating that when they're ready to make their peace, we're ready to endorse Palestinian Statehood. We're ready. We moved. The ball is in their court to make the next move." The second school of thought says: "Well if they aren't gonna get there anytime soon--fuck em. Just do what we wanted to do anyway and everything that serves our immediate national interests for all the difference it will make. Occupy all the land. Build more settlements. The peace process wouldn't move forward even if we didn't, and at least this way we have more land + more settlements." ...obviously...these positions breakdown largely upon left/right grounds. With the 1st mindset being more characteristic of the Israeli Left. And the second mindset being more characteristic of the Israeli Right. ___ The present problem, as others have pointed out in this thread, is that with Netanyahu at the helm for the past decade, the Israeli Right has really been in the drivers seat. The hawkish nationalists who are always itching for a fight and the ultra-conservative Orthodox Jews who make all their decisions based on religious doctrine have largely been left untethered to call the shots. While the progressives and the secularists have been largely powerless to stop them. The ultra-conservative Orthodox Jews are particularly problematic, politically, because they literally believe their mandate to The Land of Israel doesn't come from international law. It comes from Old Testament God and the covenant with Abraham. And they believe they have a god-given right to expand Israel's borders + settle the Palestinian Territories. The result of Netanyahu allying with these ultra-conservatives and giving them free reign to do as they please is that Israel in the last ~10 years has gotten much more aggressive with pushing into the Palestinian Territories. Evicting Palestinians from their land. And building illegal settlements. (Israel for its part comes up with all kinds of legal theories for why they are entitled to do this ranging from military law to landlord-tenant, but these evictions and settlements outside of Israel's UN defined borders ARE almost universally recognized by the rest of the international community as illegal) Israel then sends in the IDF to quell local uprisings and violence against settlers, when the persons being evicted by the settlers inevitably react violently. Hamas then responds with calls for vengeance. And this escalates the conflict + leads to all-out war, rather than deescalating and leading back towards the peace table. This escalation will continue for the foreseeable future, as long as Netanyahu and the conservative party is in power. And if it ever deescalates back to a point where peace talks are possible again. Those talks now become more difficult moving forward. Because now there's MORE Israeli disengagement from the Palestinian Territories that needs to be worked out and more settlers that need to displaced as a precondition to working out any kind of functional peace deal. (I know that was a long-winded explanation and lots of text to read. But the complexity of the issue is such that I feel like this is the absolute shortest I can make a general overview of my thoughts on the matter. And I still feel like I left a lot out, for the sake of keeping it short)
  7. This has always been the obvious answer to the question: "how do you defund and demilitarize the police + reduce over-policing, without reducing protection against violent crime" -take them off of the work of setting up speed traps and harassing motorists for ticketing revenue -take them off the work of locking up sex workers -take them off the work of prosecuting the war on drugs Narrow the scope of police work to actually policing for + arresting dangerous criminals. (i.e. murderers, robbers, burglars, kidnappers, arsonists, rapists, child-abusers, fraudsters and racketeers; i.e. people who actually threaten the peace and safety of their communities with their criminal conduct) ...if that's where you focus all police manpower, and you cut out the frivolous nonsense... Then you can have smaller police departments. Fewer cops on the streets. Less policing. Fewer opportunities for abuse and excessive use of force in law enforcement. And you can do it all without leaving less-policed communities more vulnerable to criminals or being 'soft on crime.'
  8. I spent over an hour this morning arguing a motion for summary judgement in a NJ Superior Court defamation case. The issue of whether or not intent matters actually came up in the arguments. Defense's position was that what matters is whether you're stating a purported statement of fact or an opinion. And if you're stating an opinion it doesn't matter what your intent was; opinions can't be defamatory. Only (false) statements of fact can be defamatory. My position was the distinction isn't fact vs. opinion. Its fact vs. reasonable opinion. A defendant doesn't actually need to know what they're saying is false to commit defamation; they only need to speak with unreasonable disregard for truth or falsity that could be ascertained by a reasonable person. So intent is relevant insofar as it relates to care for truth or falsity, and the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the purported opinion. ___ We'll know in about 1 or 2 weeks when the judge issues an opinion whether I was right or not.
  9. ...He's the only president ever to be twice-impeached ...He's the only president to attain office by a 3 million vote deficit in the popular vote and then never once in his entire presidency hit a majority approval rating ...He's the only president ever to declare himself the winner of an election that he lost and then attempt to block the lawful transition of power to his successor ___ Second-place-runner-up is still an open contest between some of the other baddies. But all-time-worst is Trump by a mile
  10. Of course we do. The question is do we have the intent to govern the way they governed when they had the Presidency and both Houses of Congress. (i.e. "We won. You Lost. Elections have consequences--deal with it")
  11. I don’t know if there’s anything to it or if it’s just a dumb Internet rumor But I keep hearing people say he’s going to pardon Joe Exotic
  12. I’m working on a defamation case right now and these things are damn near impossible for plaintiffs to win in all but the most egregious cases. It’s a tough one
  13. The spectacle of the attack on the capital and the sheer brass balls of the attempted power grab have backfired so hard on republicans, it’s giving progressives some breathing room they didn’t have before to just go for the jugular. ...like... I think full legal status + voting rights for the ~11 million immigrants without legal status currently in the country might actually be a thing we can do in the next 2 years now. There's enough energy on the Democratic side behind "ohhhhhhhh? The Republicans say this is an assault on law-and-order and a bad-faith attempt to pack the electorate with Democrat voters? Cool. Cool. They just tried to declare themselves the winners of an election that they lost and stop the lawful transition of power to the next President of the United States--fuck em."
  14. I’m enjoying watching them have mental breakdowns a bit too much. not gonna lie
  15. Imagine for a moment that you’ve spent the past 4 years on alt-right message boards, getting your mind and ego obliterated to the point that you actually believe all that Donald Trump says and does is part of some 4-dimensional chess grand master plan you’d have to be a genius to understand. You board a plane to Washington in the middle of a pandemic to “stop the steal.” You listen to Donald Trump whine about Oprah and Mike Pence at a rally, then march up to Congress at his prompting to smash sh*t and wander around aimlessly. You go home to hear that Biden won anyway. All your favorite ((news)) sites with names like “Patriot News of the West” and Roman Statue avatars have your picture up. And everyone there is calling you a gay communist antifa actor. The God-Emperor you pasted into Warhammer memes is now cucking himself going: “I’m sorry! It was a heinous act! Please, let me tweet again!” You can’t go to the airport and catch a plane home, because the FBI has your picture and is looking for you. It’s been 3 days. You’re holed up in a roadside motel with a 38 year old man you met on 4Chan named “Kekeistan_9139.” You’re pretty sure he’s high on something, but you don’t know what. — Day 4. The sun is going down, and you’re getting cold. You’re beginning to think MAYBE Donald Trump isn’t as smart as you thought he was.
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