Sunny | Thanksgiving Meal | Ed Notes | Recognizing Fascism | Bridge Photos | Robocall Torture | Name That Polypore | Non-Public Utility | Pacific Skyscape | Mayor Duenas | Yesterday's Catch | Flying Spur | Ukraine | Beauty Inspires | Cockrum Art | Gaza | Missing Woman | Making Peace | Moving Sale | Apocalypse Coming | Devil Draymond | Wingbaby | Dealey Plaza | Sly 1969 | Thanksgiving Lament | Beer Babe
HAPPY THANKSGIVING weather fans! 44F under clear skies this holiday morning on the coast. Most of all we have safe traveling weather thru the weekend forecast. Some wind today will usher is much cooler temps for the weekend. Dry skies prevail into Wednesday then rain is forecast to return later next week. (Stephen Dunlap, Fort Bragg)
COOL AND DRY conditions will prevail across the region through early next week. In addition, gusty north-northeast winds will develop across exposed ridges tonight and persist into Friday. (NWS)
SLEEP, an on-line comment: “As society slowly spirals out of control, there is no one single topic more deserving of investigation (and all the funding necessary to get there) than better sleep, along with simple obvious things like 90% of people fail to physically tire themselves at all during the day (walking helps but exercise is better) are incapable of emotionally handling minor everyday stresses (thanks to “social media” and ridiculous “news” telling me I should be “terrified” of some idiotic thing) along with the rational sadness caused by they're not getting ahead economically as the greed-mongers have bribed etc to keep the playing field anything but level, people's sleep has suffered. And the best way to be at your peak and fight back against these malignant forces (except the last one, that would take a courageous congress which will never happen as it is right now) is to sleep; restfully, fully and unstressed. So sacrifice the next aircraft carrier or unneeded manned aircraft (drones made you obsolete already) and instead spend that money helping people instead of killing them.
SLEEP, the editor's opinion, which he passes along on the off chance it's of assistance to the ancients who read this paper. I agree wholeheartedly with the above comment, so far as it goes. I get a solid hour of vigorous exercise a day, as I have for many years, which probably accounts, at least partially, for my longevity. Stress? Double, even triple the exercise. Additionally, I don't eat after 6pm while mostly maintaining modest portions when I do eat rather than the constant temptation of straight-up gluttony, and I stopped drinking, except for an annual quality whiskey binge around Christmas. I do fine on 7 hours of sleep, even 6 hours if I can get in an afternoon nap. I often take a couple of Tylenol PMs an hour before lights out, which in my case, as an obsessive-compulsive, is 9pm. (Obsessive-compulsion disorder, doesn't seem neurotic to me but seems necessary in my line of work, the disappearing newspaper business.) I sleep with my bedroom window open year-round, which my sorely put upon wife adjusted to early in our marriage as the poor thing adjusted to all manner of her husband's quirks. None other than Ben Franklin recommended an open bedroom window, explaining that closed bedroom windows are contra-indicated because they lock in communicable diseases like flu, which circulate best in closed spaces.
THE CHRON has cancelled its comment line because, they have explained, it was too difficult to prevent the maliciousness of too many commenters. The Press Democrat runs a tight comment line, while MCN, the Mendocino Coast's chatline overseen by the Mendocino School District, has recently weathered arguments about demeaning exchanges, deciding to continue a wide-open comment policy, resulting in about one in every fifty comments being relevant to life as it's lived in Mendocino County. The rest is a half-dozen of the same guys insulting and threatening each other. I edit the AVA comments because I think the MCN policy allows way too much vituperation, most of which is boring because it's so hackneyed. (Like most people I enjoy a well-phrased insult.) But I try to edit out witless insults of the blunderbuss personal type. Allowing it, imo, lets in fake name trolls and, in the end, is not only boring but discourages sane people from commenting at all. I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Nikki Haley, a person wrong on every other issue, but I agree with her opinion that commenters on whatever medium should identify themselves with their real names.
I WAS STARTLED then saddened by the Press Democrat's recent front page story that first said an unidentified elderly woman was missing in the Cazadero area. Then the missing person was identified as Johanna Lynch, “suffering early onset dementia” was still missing. Subsequent issues of the paper described the all-out search for Johnanna and, finally, the young reporter on the story for the rose-free ‘Rose City’ daily, Madison Smalstig, identified Johanna properly as the well-known West Sonoma County journalist at her Russian River Times that she had been for many years.
I KNEW JOHANNA for much of her tenure at the Times. We collaborated on a few stories; I enjoyed a coffee or two with her, and I often talked with her by telephone, and always I was intrigued by her back story, which I was reluctant to ask her about because I always sensed her reserve behind her posh Brit accent. Johanna was very smart, a good, clear writer and, in her unique presence in the cast of wild NorCal personalities she found herself in, she was refreshing in her sense of herself, her decorousness.
I CAN'T IMAGINE Johanna succumbing to “early onset dementia,” whatever that is, and what's early about the onset of any disability in a person well into her eighties? I'd like to have the name and bona fides of the quack who suggested Johanna had lost possession of herself, that one Sunday she simply wandered out her front door and forgot her return path. I don't believe it. I'll bet an autopsy would show heart failure, or stroke — something tangible. I know Johanna would have laughed at her uncomprehending journalo-sendoff by the Press Democrat.
HE'D UNDOUBTEDLY DENY saying it, but even Donald Trump said back in 2020 that individuals and trusts worth more than $10 mil should be smacked with a 14.25% tax on their net worth, which would raise an immediate $5.7 trillion, eliminating the national debt in a year and freeing up for worthwhile public projects the $200 annual billion in juice the national debt presently costs taxpayers. Such a tax would tap Trump himself for an estimated $725 million. Under the Trump plan, the upper middle-class — the $150,000 a year people — wouldn’t even be touched.
NOT NEARLY heavy enough on the millionaire class, but a return to the 1960 tax rate of 90 percent on the super-rich would do economic wonders for our depleted, dying country in restoring at least a minimum of security to the seriously struggling millions.
JOHN KENNEDY was assassinated on November 22nd, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, where thousands of Texans had turned out to see him, even a glimpse of the last truly charismatic president we've had. I liked Kennedy in my politically naive youth. I still admire him in many ways. He was one of only two candidates I've worked for as a precinct gofer. The other was George McGovern. My house was McGovern headquarters for all of Mendocino County. We had the voter lists and made hundreds of calls on George's behalf, a deluge of verbal abuse resounding back at us through Mendo's phone lines. “That communist? Are you kidding?” Mendo went something like 80 percent for Nixon. Of course most of the Mendolib demographic was still playing naked grabass up in the hills in '72 and couldn't be bothered to electorally participate, but then and now I didn't understand how it was intellectually, emotionally possible to vote for Nixon. And then we had the comprehensively destructive W. Bush regime, and then Trump, a straight-up fascist.
I GO BACK AND FORTH on the Kennedy Assassination, which I'll always put in caps since that event, non conspiracy or conspiracy, amounted to a coup by the evil bastards who run this country to this day. My opinion is heavily influenced by the latest I've read on the case, but mostly I've thought Kennedy was the victim of a tight conspiracy to kill him.
FOR THESE REASONS: Oswald was a wholly implausible character. A lightly educated young guy goes from the Marine Corps of 1956 to Russia, renouncing his citizenship, then takes his citizenship back and returns to the US with a bride who just happens to be the daughter of a KGB colonel? Please. Oswald unaccountably gets a job overlooking Kennedy's route to downtown Dallas from where he shoots the president, an easy shot of about 150 feet, especially easy with the scoped rifle he did the deed with. (It's all bullshit that the Italian-manufactured rifle was antiquated and unreliable; gun guys have time and again replicated the fatal shots with the same issue gun from the same vantage point.) Then Oswald is shot to death in the basement of the Dallas Police Department (!) by a low rent assassin who claims to have been so distraught by Kennedy's death that he had to, just had to, knock off the perp. And the government has sequestered documents related to the Assassination to this day because, obviously, they implicate our government in the event. Now we have eight doctors who did the Kennedy autopsy saying that a bullet hole in Kennedy's throat meant someone was also shooting at him from the front. Yeah, there was a murder plot, maybe two plots — Oswald firing from the rear, and another shooter from the front. Were they associated? Probably, in some way. The two best books on the event are Don DeLillo's novel, Libra; and Norman Mailer's non-fiction Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery.
ROBERT JORDAN, wiping out the stew bowl with bread, explained how the US income tax and inheritance tax worked. “But the big estates remain. Also, there are taxes on the land,” he said.
“But surely the big proprietors and the rich will make a revolution against such taxes. Such taxes appear to me to be revolutionary. They will revolt against the government when they see that they are threatened, exactly as the fascists have done here in Spain,” Primitivo said.
“It is possible.”
“Then you will have to fight in your country as we fight here.”
“Yes, we will have to fight.”
“But are there not many fascists in your country?”
“There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.”
“But you cannot destroy them until they rebel?”
“No,” Robert Jordan said. “We cannot destroy them. But we can educate the people so that they will fear fascism and recognize it as it appears and combat it.”
— Ernest Hemingway, “For Whom The Bell Tolls” (1940)
RITA CRANE'S PHOTOS OF THE ALBION RIVER BRIDGE at the Albion post office through the end of this month
You might enjoy seeing the exhibit of local photographer Rita Crane at the Albion post office through the end of this month. She displayed photos of the Albion River Bridge in its many moods and from different angles. The 79 year old historic timber trestle bridge was listed in 2017 in the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources.
Rita Crane is the daughter of LIFE photographer Ralph Crane, whose photos were published in the magazine from 1936 to 1972, during the Golden Age of Photojournalism. Her work can be seen locally at Prentice Gallery on Main Street in Mendocino, or at her website https://www.ritacranestudio.com/
Here are some snapshots of the show.
— Annemarie Weibel, Albion
I know I'm farting in a whirlwind here, but I thought I'd send you. It may be good for a chuckle.
On Monday, November 13, I called AT&T and talked to "Page" about robocall reduction and was told that caller ID runs $7 or $8 a month but she couldn't help me. She transferred the call to "Grace." Grace tried to be helpful but with her high-pitched voice and difficult to understand accent it was hard to communicate. She told me of caller ID and call blocking for $14 a month each. She couldn't tell me how to use it or how it works. Something about star 67, but it also blocks calls from family, friends and other calls we do want to receive, calls that are not a nuisance. That day we got ten calls and only one to confirm a dentist appointment starting at 7:06 AM.
I asked for a supervisor. None were available but they would call back within an hour. Then Grace went into the AT&T/Direct TV spiel. The same one I'm trying to stop. Of course, the supervisor never called back. And sure as there is no snow in hell, AT&T/DirecTV called at 3:54!
Is there no mercy?
There are called blocking machines, but you need caller ID at $14 a month. That would more than double my phone bill for calls I don't want and shouldn't have to pay to not receive.
I have kept a call log from June 1 through November 11, 160 days. I'm still logging them and it's getting worse. The total count for that period was 404 calls not counting those days when we went to town, 11 days.
It adds up to 22 calls before 8 AM, 42 calls from AT&T/DirecTV, 76 calls where no one is there but the line is open and 211 assorted calls from "your TV service," "your utility company," health advisor, Medicare, accident adviser, MasterCard/discover, and many others. There were only 64 legitimate calls from family, friends, doctors, dentists or PG&E. If only one minute is wasted per call (usually more by the time one stops your meals, laundry, etc.) it adds up to 5.65 hours of my time. It wouldn't be unfair to figure it at 10 or 11 hours. Since AT&T only gets paid if the call is completed or answered, it seems they are using me to charge the robocallers. They are also using me to educate the artificial intelligence machines. I should be in on the action and get paid a percentage rather than having to pay for calls I don't want!
Grace also told me about a "local" no call list, but didn't offer to put me on it. I've been on the national no call list for over five years to no avail. After six months AT&T/DirecTV should realize that no, no, NO! I do not want DirecTV! That alone would be a 10% reduction.
This strikes me as cruel and unusual punishment on the verge of torture. Much akin to water torture. It's a form of elder abuse. Could this be a court case? I will never believe they don't have the know-how to stop this.
Being driven crazy,
PS. Copies of this letter have been sent to the California Public Utilities Commission, the FCC computer complaints line, Governor Newsom, Senator Mike McGuire, and Assemblyman Jim Wood.
THE NON-PUBLIC UTILITY
A recent article discussed how utility bills have increased over the years and how the Public Utilities Commission has approved yet another increase to PG&E utility bills for infrastructure repairs.
I could understand an increase to improve infrastructure if PG&E had, in the past, maintained the transmission system. Unfortunately, it didn’t and ended up being responsible for massive wildfires that destroyed communities and caused the deaths of many people. Why didn’t PG&E maintain the transmission system? Because it is expensive and cuts into shareholder profits.
PG&E has no competition. We don’t have a choice between utility providers. Local municipalities have choices when it comes to choosing a trash and recycling company for a contracted period of time. We don’t have that option with PG&E. We are subject to a PG&E monopoly.
Something has to change. PG&E needs to be converted from a for-profit company to nonprofit organization. That way profits will go toward ongoing maintenance and continue to provide good wages and benefits the hardworking employees deserve for keeping the lights on.
FREQUENT AVA COMMENTER ‘Call It As I See It,’ commented on MendoFever’s article by Sarah Reith about the selection of Josephina Duenas as Ukiah’s new mayor:
Wow, this is something! Two elected officials going after another elected official. Maybe they can take a page out of BOS playbook and get Eyster to charge her with something so they can remove her. And on top of all this, she is handicapped.
Put aside the handicap, we the voters put someone in office who has no business being on the City Council. And brain dead Doug Crane is pushing her right into the Mayor’s office. Why? Crane is known for being more conservative; this is his dream. Two of the more liberal council women are going after the handicapped liberal woman. Crane is breaking out the popcorn.
Why do I say, “she has no business being on the council”?
Let’s go back to the Dragon’s Lair fiasco. The owner of the property applied for a demo permit. The building is basically in very poor condition and an eyesore in the downtown area. Because three or four psychos showed up in protest saying it’s the last building in Ukiah that some metal on it puts it in landmark status, Duenas votes “No.” Her reasoning? The kids who walk to the library (across the street) from the nearby school loved to look at the dragon painted on the side of building. Who cares the building is in a state of disrepair and an eyesore in a downtown area that the city is trying to reform? Better yet the the vote to allow the demo permit is turned down 4-1, Jim Brown was the only one using common sense. What did Brown get for his effort? Voted out of office. And yes, Crane and Rodin were part of this vote. And they are not even hearing impaired. Go figure!!!
This is our fault, the voters! We put them in office. When you don’t take elections seriously this is what you get at City and County level. Right now, no one on the City Council deserves to be there, handicapped or not.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, November 22, 2023
KIRSTEN BRITTON, Covelo. DUI causing bodily injury.
JOSE BUENROSTRO, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, metal knuckles, failure to appear, probation revocation.
VANESSA ELIZABETH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
SILVINO GUTIERREZ-ROBLES, Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
WHITNEY HUGHES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MEGAN LARAMORE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
KENNETH PARTRIDGE, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, contempt of court.
CHRISTOPHER POWELL, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ALEXANDER RAMIREZ, Fort Bragg. County parole violation.
CHRISTIAN STRINGHAM, Ukiah. Concealed firearm in vehicle with prior.
LEONARD WHIPPLE II, Covelo. Reckless evasion, probation revocaiton.
THE LEAD STORY on the tv news Wednesday night: A 56-year-old businessman and his wife died when their Bentley Flying Spur plowed into the US checkpoint at high speed before bursting into flames. They had been at the Seneca Niagara casino resort prior to the explosion - but were only there for 'minutes', a spokesman told DailyMail.com. The couple was intending on driving to a Kiss concert in Canada. There are reports the driver, from a well-known family in Grand Isle, New York, had a medical issue. New York governor Kathy Hochul told a press conference on Wednesday evening that the crash on Rainbow Bridge near Niagara, which sparked terrorism fears, was shocking, and it was miraculous that there were not more injuries. One agent with Customs and Border Patrol suffered minor injuries in the crash. He was treated in hospital and has been released.
UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY, 22ND NOVEMBER
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has claimed that Ukraine is suffering “colossal losses” on the east bank of the Dnipro river, which is occupied by Russian forces in the southern Kherson region.
Ukrainian and Russian officials confirmed last week that Ukrainian units had managed to cross the Dnipro river — which has effectively acted as a front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces on either side of the wide waterway — and had established several footholds in villages on the east bank of the river.
Russia promised to inflict “hell” on the Ukrainian units there and Shoigu claimed Tuesday that Ukrainian Marines and Special Ops personnel were suffering huge losses while trying to gain ground. CNBC was unable to verify the claims made by Shoigu or the battlefield assessment.
Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to conduct offensive operations in the east and south of the country despite deteriorating weather conditions on the ground in Ukraine.
ONE NO LONGER SEARCHES for any ulterior significance in all this; as in the finest music, the meaning is in the music itself, not in anything beyond it. All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.
― Edward Abbey
ISRAEL SAYS NO HOSTAGE RELEASE OR PAUSE IN FIGHTING BEFORE FRIDAY
Final details on an agreement are still being worked out.
by Patrick Kingsley, Ronen Bergman and Aaron Boxerman
The temporary cease-fire paired with the release of hostages held in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails will likely not begin until Friday at the earliest, Israeli officials said on Wednesday night, as negotiators continued to hammer out details of an agreement between Israel and Hamas that would see a pause in fighting to allow for groups of hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be released.
The new timing for the releases came in a statement issued by the National Security Council through the Israeli prime minister’s office, and appeared to rule out the possibility that hostages could be freed on Thursday, as many of their families had hoped.
The timing on the cease-fire was disclosed by an Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity about the highly sensitive issue.
The new information underscored the fluidity of the negotiations between Israel and Hamas, which are being mediated by Qatar.
The two sides have not announced specific plans for an exchange of at least 150 Palestinian women and children jailed by Israel for at least 50 Israeli women and children held in Gaza, including exactly when people would begin being released and who would be included.
The Israeli military also said that it “continued to fight in the Gaza Strip,” highlighting that the agreement to pause the fighting was not yet in place.
At a news conference on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the agreement for a temporary cease-fire was a step toward Israel’s objective of freeing all of the captives held in Gaza, and that Israel intended to continue its military campaign. “I want to be clear: the war continues,” he said.
Here’s what we know:
- Hamas and Israel still disagree on how many captives are being held in Gaza, making it hard to work out who exactly will be released, according to four Israeli officials who spoke anonymously to discuss a sensitive matter.
- The Israeli government said in a statement that the hostages would be released in four phases during the pause in fighting, with at least 10 hostages released at each stage.
- Israel published a shortlist of 300 Palestinians who could be released from Israeli jails, but had yet to narrow the list to 150 names.
- The pause would allow for an increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza, through both the Egyptian and Israeli borders. But there is not yet agreement on the amount of supplies that would be allowed through, according to a fifth Israeli official.
Israeli officials have confirmed that the Israeli air force will not fly over southern Gaza during the temporary cease-fire, and will have a six-hour daily window in which there will be no flights in the northern end of the territory.
Hamas and its allies in Gaza captured about 240 hostages during their raid on southern Israel on Oct. 7, during which they killed an estimated 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials. Israel has responded with thousands of airstrikes and by invading Gaza with ground forces, killing more than 12,000 people in the fighting, according to health officials in the Hamas-controlled territory.
If the multiday pause holds, it would be the longest halt in hostilities since the start of the 47-day war. But with no third party on the ground to secure the deal, it could easily break down, like many other cease-fire deals in the long history of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday that while it had agreed to a truce, “our hands will remain on the trigger.”
And Israeli officials have said that their war in Gaza will continue once the pause ends.
JUSTICE FOR PALESTINIANS; SECURITY FOR ISRAEL
by Bernie Sanders
There have been five wars in the last 15 years between Israel and Hamas. How do we end the current one and prevent a sixth from happening, sooner or later? How do we balance our desire to stop the fighting with the need to address the roots of the conflict? For 75 years, diplomats, well-intentioned Israelis and Palestinians and government leaders around the world have struggled to bring peace to this region. In that time an Egyptian president and an Israeli prime minister were assassinated by extremists for their efforts to end the violence.
And on and on it goes.
For those of us who want not only to bring this war to an end, but to avoid a future one, we must first be cleareyed about facts. On Oct. 7, Hamas, a terrorist organization, unleashed a barbaric attack against Israel, killing about 1,200 innocent men, women and children and taking more than 200 hostage. On a per-capita basis, if Israel had the same population as the United States, that attack would have been the equivalent of nearly 40,000 deaths, more than 10 times the fatalities that we suffered on 9/11.
Israel, in response, under the leadership of its right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under indictment for corruption and whose cabinet includes outright racists, unleashed what amounts to total war against the Palestinian people. In Gaza, over 1.6 million Palestinians were forced out of their homes. Food, water, medical supplies and fuel were cut off. The United Nations estimates that 45 percent of the housing units in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. According to the Gaza health ministry, more than 12,000 Palestinians, about half of whom are children, have been killed and many more wounded. And the situation becomes more dire every day.
This is a humanitarian catastrophe that risks igniting a wider regional conflagration. We all want it to end as soon as possible. To make progress, however, we must grapple with the complexity of this situation that too many people on both sides want to wave away.
First, Hamas has made it clear, before and after Oct. 7, that its goal is perpetual warfare and the destruction of the state of Israel. Just last week a spokesman for Hamas told The New York Times: “I hope that the state of war with Israel will become permanent on all the borders, and that the Arab world will stand with us.”
Second, Israel has done nothing in recent years to give hope for a peaceful settlement — maintaining the blockade of Gaza, deepening the daily humiliations of occupation in the West Bank, and largely ignoring the horrendous living conditions facing Palestinians.
Needless to say, I do not have all of the answers to this never-ending tragedy. But for those of us who believe in peace and justice, it is imperative that we do our best to provide Israelis and Palestinians with a thoughtful response that maps out a realistic path to addressing the reality we face today. Here are my thoughts as to the best way forward and how the United States can rally the world around a moral position that moves us toward peace in the region and justice for the oppressed Palestinian population.
To start, we must demand an immediate end to Israel’s indiscriminate bombing, which is causing an enormous number of civilian casualties and is in violation of international law. Israel is at war with Hamas, not innocent Palestinian men, women and children. Israel cannot bomb an entire neighborhood to take out one Hamas target. We don’t know if this campaign has been effective in degrading Hamas’s military capabilities. But we do know that a reported 70 percent of the casualties are women and children, and that 104 U.N. aid workers and 53 journalists have been killed. That’s not acceptable.
There must also be a significant, extended humanitarian pause so that badly needed aid — food, water, medicine and fuel — can get into Gaza and save lives. If Wednesday morning’s deal — in which 50 Israeli hostages are to be freed in exchange for a four-day pause in fighting — is honored, it is a promising first step that we can build upon, and hopefully work to extend the pause. Meanwhile, the United Nations must be given time to safely set up the distribution network needed to prevent thirst, starvation and disease, to build shelters and evacuate those who need critical care. This window will also allow for talks to free as many hostages as possible. This extended pause must not precede a resumption of indiscriminate bombing. Israel will continue to go after Hamas, but it must dramatically change its tactics to minimize civilian harm.
If long-suffering Palestinians are ever going to have a chance at self-determination and a decent standard of living, there must be no long-term Israeli re-occupation and blockade of Gaza. If Hamas is going to be removed from power, as it must be, and Palestinians given the opportunity for a better life, an Israeli occupation of Gaza would be absolutely counterproductive and would benefit Hamas. For the sake of regional peace and a brighter future for the Palestinian people, Gaza must have a chance to be free of Hamas. There can be no long-term Israeli occupation.
To achieve the political transformation that Gaza needs, new Palestinian leadership will be required as part of a wider political process. And for that transformation and peace process to take place, Israel must make certain political commitments that will allow for Palestinian leadership committed to peace to build support. They must guarantee displaced Palestinians the absolute right to return to their homes as Gaza rebuilds. People who have lived in poverty and despair for years cannot be made permanently homeless. Israel must also commit to end the killings of Palestinians in the West Bank and freeze settlements there as a first step toward permanently ending the occupation. Those steps will show that peace can deliver for the Palestinian people, hopefully giving the Palestinian Authority the legitimacy it needs to assume administrative control of Gaza, likely after an interim stabilization period under an international force.
Finally, if Palestinians are to have any hope for a decent future, there must be a commitment to broad peace talks to advance a two-state solution in the wake of this war. The United States, the international community and Israel’s neighbors must move aggressively toward that goal. This would include dramatically increased international support for the Palestinian people, including from wealthy Gulf States. It would also mean the promise of full recognition of Palestine pending the formation of a new democratically elected government committed to peace with Israel.
Let’s be clear: this is not going to happen on its own. Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party was explicitly formed on the premise that “between the Sea and the Jordan [River] there will only be Israeli sovereignty,” and the current coalition agreement reinforces that goal. This is not just ideology. The Israeli government has systematically pursued this goal. The last year saw record Israeli settlement growth in the West Bank, where more than 700,000 Israelis now live in areas that the United Nations and the United States agree are occupied territories. They have used state violence to back up this de facto annexation. Since Oct. 7, the United Nations reports that at least 208 Palestinians, including 53 children, have been killed by Israeli security forces and settlers. This cannot be allowed to continue.
Mr. Netanyahu has made clear where he stands on these critical issues. So should we. If asking nicely worked, we wouldn’t be in this position. The only way these necessary changes will happen is if the United States uses the substantial leverage we have with Israel. And we all know what that leverage is.
For many years, the United States has provided Israel substantial sums of money — with close to no strings attached. Currently, we provide $3.8 billion a year. President Biden has asked for $14.3 billion more on top of that sum and asked Congress to waive normal, already-limited oversight rules. The blank check approach must end. The United States must make clear that while we are friends of Israel, there are conditions to that friendship and that we cannot be complicit in actions that violate international law and our own sense of decency. That includes an end to indiscriminate bombing; a significant pause to bombing so that massive humanitarian assistance can come into the region; the right of displaced Gazans to return to their homes; no long-term Israeli occupation of Gaza; an end to settler violence in the West Bank and a freeze on settlement expansion; and a commitment to broad peace talks for a two-state solution in the wake of the war.
Over the years, people of good will around the world, including Israelis, have tried to address this conflict in a way that brings justice for Palestinians and security for Israel. I, and some other members of Congress, have tried to do what we could. Obviously, we did not do enough. Now we must recommit to this effort. The stakes are just too high to give up.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I do think things are going to continue to get bad, but it seems like I may live in a different country. There are no bread lines around here. I don’t know where the people are getting money for their cars and gas, but they seem to be doing OK. Maybe it’s because they are all two breadwinners. My wife bought a turkey that was 21 pounds yesterday, it was fresh and it was $22. A buck a pound for turkey isn’t too bad so I’m not so sure how many people are going to be starving, or foregoing Thanksgiving this year. I still get almost everything I order online from groceries to tools to distractions in a timely manner. Gas is currently about $3.13 at its lowest. My homeowners and auto insurance tried to jack up my premium by $2000. I was able to find an alternative namebrand company that actually saved me nearly $2500. No doubt there’s an apocalypse coming but I’m not sure it’s arrived yet.
EITHER DRAYMOND GREEN FIGURES IT OUT, OR COSTS WARRIORS ANOTHER TITLE SHOT
by Ann Killion
The Golden State Warriors halted their free fall in the Western Conference standings on Monday night, holding on to beat Houston. As they head back on the road to Phoenix, they sit in 10th place in the conference, having plummeted from second in the space of just 16 days.
We haven’t reached the quarter pole of the season yet, when assessments about who a team actually is can really begin to be made. But a six-game losing streak that includes five straight losses at home is alarming no matter at what point it comes in the season. This has been a crisis moment, even in mid-November. A Warriors’ Crisis brought to you, as usual, by its regular sponsor: Draymond Green.
What we have learned while the Warriors wasted their hot start — hey, the 49ers can relate — is how vulnerable they are when they aren’t whole. And they won’t be whole for another two games, when Green will return from suspension.
RIP to early season takes (guilty) lauding the team’s “adult” behavior, an October development that seemed to be a direct result of the influence of Chris Paul calming the second unit and adding a respected voice to the core of vets. Maybe Green would be one of those adults?
Like Lucy with the football, Green always manages to yank away any optimism that things are going to be different this time. And, like Charlie Brown, the Warriors are left flat on their backs, looking foolish, once again.
Steve Kerr has said that Green’s five-game suspension for choking Rudy Gobert is deserved, that Green understands and is embarrassed by his mishap and that everyone is working hard behind the scenes to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Whether that includes anger management counseling has not been revealed, but if ever there’s a candidate for learning how to control a hair-trigger temper, it’s Green. Though when I asked him about that possibility a year ago, in the wake of the Jordan Poole punch, Green was dismissive of the idea.
So Green will return and everyone will hold their breath and hope things will be different. And eventually he’ll yank the football away again.
This is the deal with the devil — their devil — that the Warriors made when they gave Green a new four-year, $100 million contract in the summer. Back then, a loud portion of fans thought keeping Green was a mistake, a feeling that has only intensified with recent events. The anti-Green camp believes the Warriors should have cut ties with an erratic, aging player who is no longer as good on the court as he once was, yet still makes the same hot-headed behavioral mistakes that he did when he was younger.
But the Warriors were convinced they had no choice but to keep Green. They say — and they are 1,000% right — that they don’t win any championships without Green. They haven’t developed a successor to him. They wanted to keep their core together, devil included.
The Warriors still rely on that devil. What we’ve seen in Green’s absence in recent games is that the Warriors’ assessment of themselves was right: They aren’t a very good team without him. He’s their defensive anchor, their playmaker, their court visionary. And even as unpredictable and damaging as his behavior is, he still makes the team better. Whole.
Without Green on the court the Warriors had no answer for the Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or the Rockets’ Alperen Sengun, who almost took over Monday night’s game. Without Green on the court, the Warriors aren’t as connected or as potent.
Despite their recent woes, the Warriors still firmly believe that they have at least one more championship run in them. After the win on Monday, Stephen Curry spoke of not wanting to “lose our identity” and of staying confident that they’re still a good team.
They are a good team. They’re better when they have Green. But somehow Green — who is often lauded as a great teammate — keeps failing to put his team first.
Many have excused his violence against Gobert as the reaction of a good teammate, of Green having Klay Thompson’s back. But being a good teammate goes beyond being an enforcer. It means being available when your team needs you. It means making adult decisions.
Green often calls Curry the GOAT, the greatest of all time. Last spring he stated, “There’s no debate. Steph is the greatest.” He knows neither of them wins rings without the other. He knows that one negative word about him from Curry could have ended his hopes for a new contract.
He also knows that his on-court partner is 35 and won’t play forever. Green’s antics risk derailing another year of Curry’s career, of wasting something precious and profound in the world of sports.
That’s not being a good teammate. If Green can figure that part out, maybe next time the football won’t get yanked away.
Maybe next time things really will be different.
SIX DECADES AFTER JFK’S ASSASSINATION, DEALEY PLAZA IS AS HAUNTING AS EVER
by Jack Ohman
Like millions of Americans, I have been haunted by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in the 60 years since he was murdered on a Dallas street.
The shooting happened while Kennedy, Texas Gov. John Connally, their wives and two Secret Service agents were riding in a 1961 Lincoln Continental, past the banal exterior of the Texas School Book Depository and through a park called Dealey Plaza.
Today, the plaza is oddly pleasant if you don’t know what happened there.
My 29-year-old son, a student of Robert A. Caro’s books on President Lyndon B. Johnson, and I decided to visit Austin, Texas, to see the LBJ Presidential Library and his nearby ranch in the Texas hill country. I suggested that we depart Texas from Dallas, so I could show him Dealey Plaza. He agreed. I hadn’t been there in 38 years.
Dealey Plaza is virtually unchanged from Nov. 22, 1963. The so-called “Grassy Knoll” is there, intact, save for a new fence where some people erroneously assert that some of the shots were fired. People hawk books and pamphlets there now, a jarring commercial counterpoint to the still-somber scene.
The Texas School Book Depository is now the Dallas County Administration Building, and, on the sixth floor, is a museum dedicated to the assassination.
There is a reason why there’s a museum there: It’s where, no doubt in my mind, Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed the president and wounded Gov. Connally. Exhibits display Jack Ruby’s fedora and the tan suit worn by Detective Jim Leavelle, cuffed to Oswald when Ruby killed the assassin live on national television.
One can see through now-streaked glass down Elm Street, where, 88 yards away, Oswald fired his last shot into Kennedy’s head.
The wavy window glass was like a clouded prism; the 60 years takes the span of time and imagery and distorts it. It was just yesterday for some, forever for others.
It is most likely that Oswald cooked up this catastrophe in the dank warehouse of his own mental state, an attempt to be, in his mind, a historic revolutionary figure like his hero, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Persuasive evidence exists that Oswald may have told someone of his plans, likely at the Cuban or Russian embassies in Mexico City six weeks before the assassination. To this day, the Central Intelligence Agency withholds useful information about that trip. Why?
In Dealey Plaza and on the sixth floor, I heard truly ridiculous assertions.
A teenager announced, “There is no way that he could have fired seven shots in four seconds.”
That would be three shots in about six seconds, and, yes, for Oswald, a U.S. Marine marksman using a telescopic rifle, a fading target going 11 miles per hour was a rather easy shot.
Behind the Grassy Knoll fence, a woman pronounced, “This is where the shots actually were fired.” No credible photographic or physical evidence supports this.
On the sixth floor, in the southeast corner of the building, visitors can see a surreal recreation of Oswald’s grimy sniper’s nest.
I walked my son around the plaza, pointing out where one critical moment after the next happened. Here is where a Dallas steamfitter saw Oswald fire the last shot. Here is where the president’s car disappeared behind the Stemmons Freeway sign. Here is where on Elm Street, at Zapruder film frame 313, a military bullet crashed into Kennedy’s head.
Someone has painted an “X” on the street where Kennedy died in front of young families. You can see them in the films, their parents shielding their children. Years later, one of those children described seeing what he thought was confetti coming from the car.
In a macabre traffic dance, people take selfies on the exact spot in the street where John F. Kennedy died.
I didn’t see people in their 60s or older doing this, because they remember the moment and where they were when they heard about Kennedy. I vividly remember it as a 3-year-old. My mother, her friend and her daughter, were at our house watching the CBS soap opera “As The World Turns.”
What I recall, fragmentally: The screen going black. Mom and her friends screamed and cried. My father came home from work during the day. Me saying, repetitively, “Kenny dead.”
I had no idea who “Kenny” was.
But I knew something was terribly wrong.
As my son and I entered the Book Depository, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. The scene was eerily similar to Nov. 22: sunny, low 70s, high noon, the brilliant light, the green grass and the trees, the red brick building, the milling crowds.
I felt like I was walking in the Zapruder film, an unwanted virtual reality.
In the sniper’s nest, overhead light fixtures appeared to be original, the scuffed wooden floors stained with oil, with exposed pipes in the ceiling.
In the adjacent window, there was essentially Oswald’s view: a winding street somewhat obscured by oak trees, cars drifting away. I looked at Oswald’s perch, then sat on a bench and wept. My son approached me, picked me up, and said quietly, let’s get the hell out of here.
A man in his 70s was on the elevator with us. He looked at me. He wasn’t weeping.
He knew why I was.
(Jack Ohman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and writer. He can be reached at jackohman.net, on Instagram at @jackohman60 and Threads at @jackohman60.)
MY BROTHER’S THANKSGIVING LAMENT
by Maureen Dowd
Thanksgiving began as a time of prayer. We could use some prayers right now, in a country inflamed with hate and prejudice and generational mistrust. Americans are at each other’s throats, living in different realities, fraught by two brutal, calamitous wars. So, as this annus horribilis lurches to a close, with the hope that we can understand each other better, or at least eat pie together, here is the annual holiday column from a man I frequently disagree with, but always love, my conservative brother, Kevin.
* * *
Less than a year before the country chooses a president, President Biden’s poll numbers are almost catastrophic. The overwhelming majority of voters say he is too old, and Donald Trump is beating him in five of six battleground states, according to one recent survey.
While majorities of the country find both Trump and Biden unacceptable, Trump remains the Republican front-runner, bolstered by what his supporters see as overeager Democratic prosecutions. This scenario holds great peril for Republicans because Trump is the weakest candidate against Biden. He already lost to him in 2020 and the reflexive hatred he generates, especially among women, could boost Democratic turnout as only Trump could manage.
Biden’s three years have been a disaster. An exorbitant round of unnecessary Covid spending sent inflation through the roof, leading to a destructive rise in interest rates and further squeezing consumers.
We should fear that John Kerry and Antony Blinken are projecting weakness, leading to an unimaginable alliance of China, Russia and Iran that threatens our future. Our botched and tragic withdrawal from Afghanistan set Putin’s invasion of Ukraine into motion.
The disgraceful show of support by college students for Hamas exposed the underlying antisemitism being taught and tolerated in our “best” universities. There should be no moral confusion here. This is a battle between good and evil, and encouraging the side that just massacred 1,200 people and is holding scores more hostages is a pretty clear example of what happens when you get your news from TikTok. It is incomprehensible to see Osama Bin Laden lauded online as if he were a great writer, much less a visionary, a mere two decades after his orchestration of the worst terrorist attack in American history.
Biden’s posture toward Iran, the leading sponsor of terror in the world, is inexplicable. He tried to restart the Iran nuclear deal, thankfully to no avail. He even handed over $6 billion to release five hostages, money to which Iran was denied access only after Hamas’s attack.
Biden’s border policies unwittingly created a national security crisis, with asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants pouring over our Southern border; since Biden took office, border patrol estimates approximately 6.5 million encounters. Many of them remain in the United States, unvetted. The tidal wave of migrants has flooded many major cities.
The 2024 election may well decide the future of our republic. Biden is too old, both cognitively and physically, to serve out another term. It is unthinkable that we could have Kamala Harris as an accidental president. His policies have weakened us at home and abroad and invited our enemies to test our resolve. He is in the midst of a House impeachment inquiry, setting the stage for two impeached presidents to run against each other.
Trump’s nomination would distract from framing the conversation on Biden and his job performance. He would have to mount a vigorous presidential campaign while defending himself in four separate criminal cases. The Democrats show no signs of letting up on making the campaign about him and the evil MAGA Republicans. Not to mention that some voters might object to casting a ballot for a convicted felon if any of the cases bear fruit.
Trump has already announced that his second term would essentially be a revenge tour, settling old scores and fighting the Deep State. Under less heavy hands, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. could use a deep cleaning, after their disgraceful conduct in the Russia collusion hoax and their handling of the multiple sins of Hunter Biden.
I am conflicted. Trump’s behavior since the 2020 election has been reprehensible, and I fear it will grow worse. I am not sure he could beat Biden and I would find it difficult, if not impossible, to vote for anyone convicted of a felony.
I would prefer neither man be on the ballot in 2024. The temperature in Washington needs to be lowered. Surely, the greatest country in the world can do better than these two men. I could vote for Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley or, better yet, both of them to begin the repair work.
Trump was the right man in 2016 but his time has passed. The country owes him a debt of gratitude for saving the Supreme Court from Hillary Clinton. We need some fresh faces in the presidential arena.
Did Joe Manchin say who his running mate is?