615 Comments
founding

I so completely agree with you, Dr. Reich. It is in engaging with others who have different opinions or work from a different set of facts that not only do we have the greatest impact, but ourselves engage in the greatest growth. Certainly, universities and colleges should encourage such dialogues.

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Exactly. Dialogue, not harassment.

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Another issue is at play here. Powerful women in charge of prestigious Universities are being attacked as though we are in McCarthy’s era. Repugnant lElise Stefanik planned attacks on these women publicly, gating their language toward dangerous waters, engaging with Repugnant type University leadership to ‘take them out!’ GOTCHA politics. We don’t want women to control their own bodies in half the states, can not pass the ERA ( which would not have allowed this to unwind) and we want to BREAK women leaders. Blame the diversity, equity programs. The women, the colored are less than the Whites. White Males that is.

Thom Hartmann just shared on his substack the facts that in our time, in fact it is white males and their chosen, who are unraveling US democracy. This warrants more discussion. I was shocked that 2 out of 3 Women leaders in the last round of attacks were ousted. I do not share the Columbia presidents view but her lack of courage is quite common in the face of such McCarthy like attacks. Who should be stopping this? Who could have stood up with her? Why are all the Repugnant Senators who could not impeach Trumpty the Mobster , white boys who could have banded together, but were afraid of Trumpty not brought before a committee and shamed, thrown out of their jobs! Much more is remiss

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One explanation against women. My mother said men are afraid of women. I see this more and more in the attacks. They are afraid!!!!!!

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Penny,

What do you think they are afraid of?

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Honestly, I think we are all a bunch of fruitcakes. The Middle East just can't give it up. They destroyed the Ancient Egypt world. The Greeks and Romans took each other out.

Are humans just doomed to fight with each other? ;)

I'll go have a margarita - ville. Let know when everyone's ready to knocked it off.

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founding

Janet, many on this forum are of what we call “retirement age.“ However, some such as Dr. Reich consider it to be an opportunity for repurposing their lives to confront the negative tendencies in our society and in the world. I would suggest that we follow the examples of people such as Dr. Reich, Heather Cox Richardson, and others, who utilize their time to add positive thoughts, ideas and action into the mix and not sit back while the demagogues and Trumper’s take center stage.

It is also an excellent time to look at alternative forms of economies and governance that can take us well into the next century and a period of a more lasting peace. For me, I am closely studying an alternative economic system called Economic Democracy as well as another approach, called progressive utilization theory. It is important to look towards the future with positivity because getting bogged down in negativity only assist those who would attempt to bring authoritarianism into our lives.

However, a margarita once in a while, may assist in this process.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Everyone should be on here ;) young, middle, and young - older ;)

We're never too old to debate ;)

My point is - the middle east can knock it off. :)

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What I don't understand or like is how the fate of Palestinians always gets so much concern, far more than any other group of people. Yes, they are brutally oppressed & deserve sympathy, advocacy & aid, but so do the Kurds, the Uyghurs & Tibetans in China, the Chechens, Dagestan & many more minorities in Russia, the Rohinggya of Myanmar, Sudanese citizens, indigenous in the Amazon & elsewhere in the Americas & around the world. Add to that the Ukrainians, victims of Russian barbarity, whose plight Putin conveniently diverted global attention from with his likely planning, preparing & equipping Hamas for their attack on Israel with assistance from Trump (yes, this is just one of the disastrous results of Trump’s treasonous divulgence of government top secret information to the likes of Putin, MBS & Xi, in this case classified intelligence of Israeli military operations to Russian government officials), & the combination of all these other atrocities doesn't get nearly as much attention, sympathy & outrage as the Palestinians alone.

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Perhaps more than asking why "so much concern" about the future of Palestinians, we should demand that every human being regardless of his/her ancestry have undeniable rights as recognized by the international community. What makes the Palestinian case slightly different is that they are being exterminated with the assistance of the US and for no meaningful reason whatsoever.

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As unacceptable as the huge loss of life in Gaza is, it is Hamas who puts no value on the lives of their fellow Palestinians. They knew that their attack in October would provoke the Israelis to war against them, but they would accept the death of thousands to make Israel into a Pariah. Hamas' only interest is in eliminating Israel, they have spent a fortune on tunnels and arms. Tney don't give a damn about the millions of Palestinians who suffer and die.

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And why does Trump get so much media attention? He farts in court, and it makes headlines. Sadly, the purpose of most media outlets today

is to make as much money as possible. Covering Trump and the Gaza conflict maximizes their audience and ratings. Bigger advertising revenue.

My two cents...

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Main Street media jumped the shark long ago.

Under the desk news

Crooked media

Brian redfick

Emily on your phone

Political girl

And so many more vet the good ones and share share share.

With Instagram shinnanigans many rely upon Tim tok as a media platform

Watch out when the Republican contingent want to “ban” it yet sell it to their “donors”

It is all a way to limit your information access. Do not be fooled.

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Perhaps because we have a relationship with Israel that we can use to try to modify the treatment of the Palestinians. The others we have no control over.

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I don't know. There must be money involved somewhere. I'm just speculating.

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Always follow the money.

Look who wants to buy til tok. The right wing

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Yes. Money is the answer.

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Trump's smirky little Rosh Hashanah "greeting" last year -- He said he hoped Jews would start making better decisions. -- tipped me off that something real bad was about to hit. And then it did.

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Hmmm... That's interesting. Trump is close to & in frequent communication with both Putin & Netanyahu, both of whom have acted suspiciously in this affair. I think Trump is complicit, if only in the beginning & accidentally, but if this is an indication that he had any foreknowledge of what was to happen last October, it means he is somehow kept in the loop & may have a more active role than even I imagined. Whatever it is, there is no doubt in my mind that Trump is a traitor to the highest degree.

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Agree completely with your post. Underlying reason: antisemitism.

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Underlying reasons: anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry, hasbara propaganda heavily funded by the criminal State of Israel.

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Not all of it, but a lot more than I can make sense of.

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People of European blood descent get more sympathy from fellow European races including the US which is still predominantly European Caucasian in its essence.If there were equal allocations of revulsion against genocides elsewhere then the US would have ceased trading and investment with China by now.

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Wrong! The Israelis are not European Caucasian...They are many different races and nationalities. READ

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Excellent point--there is death and destruction all over the world.

Part of it is that US taxpayers are supporting Israel with weapons and other aid (though there are similar protests in other countries). Part of it is that there is a lot of oil money in the Arab/Muslim world to organize and finance pro-Palestinian activity but not pro-Uighur or pro-Rohingya. Where did all the identical tents in this picture come from? Follow the money!

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/6627c7032300002a1abc445d.jpeg?ops=scalefit_720_noupscale&format=webp

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Appreciating your observations, Jaime Ramirez, I will add to them a similar reaction to the BDS movement which was aimed at Israel and only at Israel. Even through the horrors of Rwanda, even through the devastating crackdown against the PEACEFUL protesters in Hong Kong, even through South African apartheid, even through the brutal oppression, displacement and genocide in Tibet, even through the oppression and "lawful" killing of women, journalists, dissidents in Saudi Arabia and Iran, even through the innumerable horrors committed by Russia...... even through all of that and much, much more, it was always and only Israel that has been targeted as "the enemy."

Such thinly disguised hatred for Jews and from the academic world via the disingenuous, dishonest BDS and now in the, yes, horrific events in Gaza, but so quickly and facilely buried horrors of October 7 committed by Hamas and continued holding of hostages. (And what about those held hostage in Russian prisons? AMERICAN families wait for years, reporting they hear nothing from the Biden administration, while their family members are held in Russian prisons! You can get Britney Greiner out, almost ‘stat’, but not an American journalist or other American citizens??!!)

The "situation" in Gaza and Israel is horrific for a million reasons and what on earth will be the solution or resolution......

My "suggestion" is always that Germany bear all responsibility and cost, accepting all refugees and providing them with housing, jobs, income, education. It may have been England that finally created the hopeless division but it was Germany (WWI and WWII) whose wars against European countries and organized virtual erasure of the Jewish population created the need for European Jews to settle in Israel for any hope of peace and safety; the meaning of refuge. That the way in which Israel was established created a whole new setting in which Jews have had to constantly fight for survival is a cruel irony.

In October 2023, it hardly took a minute for the world's attention and compassion to shift from the latest attacks on Israeli Jews to the Gazan Palestinian residents who, by the way, had harbored Hamas for years - and other terrorist groups as well.

It is untenable, unsustainable perennial stand-off and it is a stand-off that has apparently now taken hold in the U.S. as well, probably with Russian/Putin and Middle-East backing, due to the agendas of those regions of the world that have no interest at all in what happens to Palestinians, but tremendous interest in furthering the advance of despotic, dictatorial governments, including in the apparently vulnerable, morally ambiguous U.S.

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The attacks on the Palestinians have lasted much longer and been far more horrific than the one time attack on the Israelis. Israelis aren't enduring starvation and complete destruction of their infrastructure, including medical care. Hamas exists because of the oppression, subjugation, and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian population by European Jews for the past 75 years.

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I have never understood the widespread, deep, vitriolic hatred for Jews. Why? From so many sources. Obviously Israel's actions in this war won't help their image, but this hate directed at Jews started long before. I have no particular feelings 1 way or the other towards Jews, just like about every other ethnic group, but I certainly feel lots of compassion for all the suffering they've experienced through the millennia.

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"the Gazan Palestinian residents who, by the way, had harbored Hamas for years - and other terrorist groups as well."

Is it proper to say that the Palestian residents 'harbored' Hamas? Or that they can actually do anything about Hamas? I'm ignorant of the facts, but I get the impression that the residents really can't get rid of Hamas due to division and lack of opportunity.

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Typical talking point of Zionist supporters of genocide.

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Jaime, I think it is the situation of the Palestinians, their land or a large chunk of it handed over to another entity, then little to no effort to establish the two states as separate but equally important states. The western world was reeling from WWII and the inaction to save the Jewish people from Nazi destruction. Guilt is part of this, guilt on the part of the US, in particular. The groups you mention are equally deserving of attention, but the old guilt is not there and they don't get as much attention from the media for a variety of reasons.

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You make a good point. I would say there should be lots of guilt in the Western world for abandoning the Kurds & for so long denying them any sovereignty for their homeland, which was divided & ruled by 5 of the most oppressive regimes. The others should probably evoke guilt for the neglect the rest of the world has given them.

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Many will not like my opinion, because it smacks of conspiracy theory: For a reason I don't know, Israel holds power over the US. Every administration bows to Israel, regardless of the enormous oppression over Palestine. Israel is perhaps holding powerful US people by the balls. Maybe Israel/Loyal Jews can spend enough money to change any US election?

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That really well-funded Israeli lobby pac, called something like AIPAC, has been spending lots of money against progressive Democrats, but 1 of their targets, Summer Lee, just won big, so I guess they're not winning everything at least.

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It's almost a rule that any politician has to automatically support Israel. My first vote ever for President was for Shirley Chisholm in the Democratic primary. The only difference between her & George McGovern was their stance on Israel, he like everyone else defending Israel no matter what, & she making support conditional on behavior. How can we be an honest broker in Middle East affairs if we have already taken Israel's side before negotiations have even begun?

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That's because it's the Jews who are "doing" the oppressing. Believe me, antisemitism was a way of life in Europe from 1492-1700 (approx). Shakespeare had never met a Jew because they had been forced out of England almost 200 years before him yet he can satirize them in his plays and everyone "gets" it.

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It's the State of Israel that is doing the oppressing. I'm Jewish and I'm not oppressing anyone.

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Democratic Socialism. Capitalism works perfectly ONLY when it is regulated and wealth is redistributed. Wealth disparity is always a reality, but it must be limited. What we have today and what we had earlier in the last century does not work - dah.

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Actually, it's mostly men who do the fighting and destroying. So the question is, will men ever stop seeing violence as appropriate to solve problems? Early humans needed the brute strength and violence that is more natural in men to protect and help the group survive. Now that same tendency in men is a destructive force that may indeed doom our species.

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I completely agree. This will not stop on either side until men change their perspective , and don't expect that to happen in the near or far future.

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Male toxicity . .. the mainspring of History . . .#the space takes . .

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J. Nol, Veda Vaughn,

As a White Male, let me say the obvious. NOT ALL MEN FIGHT & DESTROY.

Some of it is Nature, & there have been women who took testosterone and reported the violent aggressive impulses different from their norm. But much of it is Cultural Imperative forcing Boys into Male Roles.

In High School, I was a writer & artist and loathed violence. And Yet at 18, I was forced by law to register for the draft and had a good chance to be conscripted into a Slave Army against my will to kill or be killed by other young men against their will. Yeah, I still resent that. Why just boys got drafted? I'm glad they stopped the slave army, glad my grandsons have a choice not to kill & destroy.

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I married a man who had been in the AF only a few months. He went in because of the draft. He stayed 20 years and we lived all over the world never saw any action. We raised four children the last was adopted from South Korea have never regretted any of it. I don't think we would have the gang problems we have today if all of the 18 to 30 year old's had to do some time serving this country both the men and the women. I'm sure many do won't like my attitude but it's called discipline something parents of the last several generations have seems to have forgotten. My children all had chores and the older two eventually the responsibility of the younger two when I worked. There is a five year gap between two and three. But we all worked together to get the job done and have free time. Today #1 is a corrections officer, (spent 3 years in the Army of of high school). #2 is a flight attendant, #3 is working two part time jobs he marches to a drum beat only he hears. Number 4 is a county employee about 10 or more years now. All have families and are doing a good job with the grandchildren. You can't teach them responsibility at 18 you start with you took your toys out and played them now you need to pick them up and put them away. And as they get old enough you move up the chore list. I worked out of state for 6 months and by that time our two youngest were a junior and a senior in high school. Their father was home and our daughter quickly learned about shopping and cooking for the three of them.

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I agree with a year or 2 of compulsory civil service. Many countries have it.. It doesn't have to be in a combat role.

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I, too, agree with that because, for one reason of probably many, our country needs something to build consensus, a sense of belonging and mutual responsibility, sorely lacking now and the lack is contributing to the dissolution of the "unum" in our "e pluribus."

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YES!!!! They overwhelmed Cleopatra. To everyones destruction..

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Sure. Men do most of the roaring and destructive grunt work but women are not all sugar and spice either. Give women like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Marine Le Pen the power to express their own inner violence and they will show us that they are no different from men, even more subtle and dangerous. Maybe a megadose of some anti-depressant would tamp down the powerful urge to kill and destroy.

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There's always someone who has to say yes but. The fact is that most destruction, violence, and wars are caused by and implemented by men. Men are the more violent of the species. Since we're all of the same species, of course women can be violent. But the reality is violence is the domain of men. More women by far are killed by men than the reverse. It would be more productive if most of us worked toward helping boys grow into men who are able to control their violent urges and who value nonviolence as much if not more than violent responses.

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Janet, I retired and now do public affairs for the National Council of Jewish Women in CO. It is vital that we stay engaged!

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Yes :)

#ShowUp

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The problem is that, all too often, it is the necrophiles who seek and rise to positions of power ( i.e. those enamored with death, destruction, power, order, and control. (Eric Fromm - “Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”).

Contrast that with the people on the ground in Gaza, risking their lives to deliver medical and humanitarian aid. THOSE are the kind of people who should be running the world, not the kill-happy maniacs.

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Speaking for yourself, eh?

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I don't know what you are referring too but it sounds like you are diverting the conversation to another topic because you have no facts to support a counter argument to my comment.

Typical projection ??

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The problem is not debating people with different facts as you stated, it is alternative facts that one can not debate. Anytime you engage a trumpster they will regurgitate a load of "facts", facts that any informed person would never utter, but they live by them.

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Apr 23Liked by Robert Reich

Hear! Hear!

This is all part of the right-wing agenda to turn universities into glorified community colleges designed to turn out identical, well-indoctrinated, unthinking replaceable human robots who will do what they're told and, of course, vote GQP (as long as voting is still permitted).

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I enjoy a good exchange of ideas as long as the discourse remains on a civil level. People who offer no real solutions to our problems are doing little more than making noise. If everyone agreed on the positions that need addressing, how boring our lives would be. It's our embedded difference that help our society to grow and prosper. Our campuses should be social growth centers where the exchange of ideas is encouraged, not frowned upon. Young minds search for answers the previous generation had little success in finding. Let's hope the hatred seen in today's politics will fade along with Trump's memory. Our country is a land of hope not a depository for Trump's bad dreams.

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Great points. I always tell my students that if you wish to criticize/protest/decry an institution, a situation, an action, a policy, you need to come with potential solutions/alternatives. They don't need to be perfect, but they should be a step in the right direction - that is towards a better existence for all. And, I do agree, somehow the supreme sociopath, trump, has taken all American civil discourse down several notches. He and his GOP cronies are the perfect example of your point. They are against EVERYTHING (except the oligarchs, I suppose). They do nothing but make noise, offering zero solutions (other than the repossessing of other peoples' rights). I fear it will take decades to undo the damage he has done.

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Gary--My main problem with Trump is the man has an endless capacity for destruction, but he never offers solutions once the entity has been destroyed. He reminds me of Gaza--total destruction with no plans to rebuild for the future.

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Donald - but jared's plans involve luxury hotels on the dispossessed Palestinians' beaches.

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Paul--I'll bet that thought crossed his mind. Along with the supposedly vast oil reserve that lies beneath Gaza.

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A Killer Not! a Loser . ..a k a He Touches It Dies . .quite a list so far. . ..

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Especially his CASINOS!

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John--No doubt it will grow.

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Nihilists never offer solutions, just more chaos.

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Mike--Maybe your solution was beyond their understanding, give them a hand.

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100%. Same with all his republican flunkies.

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. . . nah. I prefer "repeal and NOT replace!"

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Too bad you don't follow your own advice, Don. Bj

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Paul--I don't tell people what to do, that would be impetuous of me. I suggest and let others make up their own mind, something Trumpers could never do because they can't think, they just blindly follow.

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Don - if you do not engage Trumpers, which is your wont, you are not following your own stated advice. Bj

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Paul--You do yourself a disservice, I would love to engage thoughts with any Trumper, there's just one problem, the fools who blindly follow the orange guy don't have thoughts of their own, they just kiss Trump's ass and ask what's next, while they're down there.

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I gave up talking to brainwashed Trumpers. It’s aggravating and a waste of time

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One cannot engage Trumpers. In the same way that a non believer can engage a believer. An antifascist engage a fascist, An antiracist engage a racists. Donald engaging you.

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I would agree with you, were the "Trumper" impolite or dismissive. However, if the "Trumper" states his position and provides the factual basis and reasoning for it, why can't you engage the "Trumper", by either disputing his facts or his reasoning or analysis? You may well not end up with any agreement, but I don't see why there cannot be a respectful exchange. I am a "Trumper" and my experience on this thread by Prof. Reich is that I am, more often then not, disrespected, dismissed and/or shunned. Moreover, a very common response to what I post is that I should get off of the thread and go somewhere else. That said, I have had a few nice exchanges with some intelligent people -- so, it's not all bad.

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Yes!

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progwoman--Never say yes to an old man, that's an invitation to a heart attack.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Let's all have a moment of silence for former Governor Bob Graham. He did so much for public education in Florida and then Jebby Bush & Co. started charter schools - then took over the university board of governors. He didn't give up. He was against the Iraq war. Great man.

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Yes, and in his later years he worked to bring awareness to Floridians about the dangerous disastrous environmental path the state is following.

Definitely will be missed.

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The Dems need to challenge every seat in Florida as a show of solidarity. Do you know anyone willing to run?

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His daughter Gwen should have been governor and not nanny DeSantis. He's like Trump, wave money at him and he will do your bidding.

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That's the truth. And Nikki Fried should have been governor and Charlie screwed that up.

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It is not just a right-wing agenda. Do you hear president Biden or Chuck Schumer speaking on behalf of the university stuedents of professors? Are any of them coming to Ilhan Omar's defense. No, because in 2019 they attacked her for telling the truth about AIPAC. The agenda is to promote democracy as long as it doesn't upset the imperialist agenda. I see Democrats condemning Rashida Tlaib and looking to suppress activism at the upcoming DNC in Chicago, and I've seen them censure and wag their fingers at women of color in their caucus for speaking out.

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So you decided to join RR's forum Boris O. Kaufman

You are a stalking horse for Putin, you have made that obvious on Thom Hartmann's substack. You don't give a rats about the Mideast, other than Putins support for Iran and HAMAS.

People should know that your real agenda is to take out Biden, to sow discord among "liberals", the left, that Trump wins in November, which is the goal of Putin.

If Trump wins, Gazans are in deeper shit His Son in law, daughter, grandson ae Jews, Trump has said that Gaza has some prime real estate , and Jared has floated the idea of building beach side condo's on the Gaza beach.

You don't care about Gaza, just a tool to use to descredit Biden and the Democrats, for the sake of the Republicans and Putin.

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Exactly, and it is a knee-jerk reaction to the pressure university presidents now feel as a result of political pressure from wealthy Republican donors, who just recently orchestrated their removals over "wokism".

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I object to your assessment and condemnation of Community Colleges, Maureen. Your description is the opposite of my experience and, I am sure, many others. I hope you try another one where your learning goals can be achieved.

I believe that ample public funding of universities and community colleges to perform as Dr Reich prescribes - with the understanding that our tax dollars endeavor to produce citizens who can think critically, who can reason and debate - is a priority in a functioning democracy.

School boards are being pressured by big donors seeking to influence curriculum. That dependence can be relieved by ample federal funding and confidence in educators to achieve those ends.

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Free education for those who qualify qua the Danish model would solve a lot of financial problems all the way around.

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I think you misread my comment. I did not say that community colleges ARE "designed to turn out identical, well-indoctrinated, unthinking replaceable human robots who will do what they're told and, of course, vote GQP (as long as voting is still permitted)." II said that what the GQP WANT universities to be--and what they want community colleges to be, I might add.

In fact, I have taught at both community colleges and at universities; the goals are different--both are worthy goals, just different ones.

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I apologize for misinterpreting your comment and appreciate all you teachers who remain committed to actual education. Thanks for the clarification.

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Thank you for responding.

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Maureen, Why “glorified community colleges”. That’s all the higher education some people have and. It is an asset.

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24

Because the purpose of universities and community colleges are different. The latter are intended to teach job skills that are specific to particular occupations; the former to develop cognitive abilities which may or may not be applicable to a wide variety of jobs as well as to self-development.

Of course, it is an asset. Furthermore, I think far too many people go to university seeking the kind of education community college is intended to give them and end up disappointed.

One of my former students went to a community college to learn the specific skill set and background knowledge she needed for the career she wanted after she finished her university degree. She told me she values both educations, thinks she did them in the right order, and thinks university taught her how to make the best use of her community college education.

I have taught at both the community college level and the university level and found both to be valuable.

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You obviously have an incorrect opinion of what community colleges are and do.

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Please explain in what way.

My sense is that most people have an incorrect opinion of what universities are and do.

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Justy look at the takeover of the Florida flagship universities by the DeSantis nanny! It's offensive to say the least.

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Probably not.

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I am a graduate of Columbia University. Columbia College '86. Mailman School of Public Health '04.

I will speak soon to student protestors empathetic toward the plight of Gazans who even the police—that arrested them when Columbia removed them from the campus lawn for sitting with signs that was peaceful, not hateful, and an expression of solidarity with those being killed in Gaza—said were some of the most respectful, peaceful, good-natured protestors they had met.

Why do people tend to presume that those who support freedom for Palestine are anti-Semitic while not making the same presumption—that they are Islamophobic—of people who support the right of Israelis not to be executed by those in Hamas who targeted innocents.

People who believe in freedom for Gazans are not by dint of that position anti-Semitic. People who believe in the right of Israelis to not be summarily executed or kidnapped are not by dint of that position Islamophobic.

And yet, if we are to look at Columbia University and its official pronouncements regarding antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus, those who advocate for Gazans, when they protest are the target of such broad swipes at their humanity, that you get the distinct sense that Columbia University is playing a dangerous game here.

There is no doubt that since the United States refuses in politics to separate itself from a Christian ethic that antisemitism at Columbia University, in New York City (which has one of the largest population of Jews outside Israel), in New York State, in the United States exists.

Antisemitism exists regardless of political conservatism or progressiveness because the United States most often defines itself not by its Judeo traditions but by Christian traditions that target Jews. That is clear.

That same Christian ethos, ridden with Islamophobia, sometimes nationalistic in fervor, targets Muslims because of their Islamic faith. That much is clear.

But, if one listens to pronouncements from Columbia University, from the New York Governor, to the President of our nation even as Muslims celebrated Ramadan and Eid last month and Jewish folk celebrate Passover this month, the university speaks largely of antisemitism.

Rarely has it spoken of Islamophobia even as those who have peacefully demonstrated have been suspended and targeted and expelled not ostensibly for violating rules. They actually followed the rules of protest for the most part and engaged in a peaceful civil disobedient action to challenge and invoke a right to protest against targeting civilians for war.

Because they speak for people of Arab descent, those rules have been applied in a way that has been as disingenuous as it is practical to silence those who speak of the grave, horrific policies of a nation state, a pseudo theocratic state now run in coalition with an alliance with a religious party that spoke openly of killing Gazans years before Hamas with depravity targeted Israeli innocents.

*

I graduated from Columbia in 1986 and was a student leader of the anti-apartheid/pro-divestment movement at the college. I was one of seven students who fasted for 13 days. We held a sit-in that lasted 22 days.. Our protest started on April 4, 1985, which marked the 17th year since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The month before we started our protest, there was a massacre of student protestors in South Africa. White Afrikaners gunned down students who were treated no less than fodder for rubber bullets and live bullets in the back.

Together, hundreds of students, which grew to be thousands, blockaded Hamilton Hall, renamed it Mandela Hall, and said we would stay until Columbia University divested.

The university president at the time was Michael Sovern. In terms of the hunger strike, our request was not that Columbia divest, but that President Sovern meet with us. He invoked the name of Desmond Tutu to criticize the protest. Tutu responded that he supported the students. Due to faculty supporters, when two of us (one native South African) were hospitalized, Michael Sovern met with us.

Across what seemed a great divide, one of my fellow students mentioned to President Sovern that we had heard about his wife who was suffering from cancer.

She spoke on behalf of all of us, as she acknowledged Sovern’s family’s pain and spoke of our empathy for what he, his wife, his family faced. Too, we spoke of what moved us to risk health to put before the university in clear relief what the university might do to unlink itself to apartheid.

Seven of us participated in the hunger strike. Two were native South African. Three were African descendant like me. Two were White/European American, one whose family heritage connected him to Great Britain. The other was Jewish. This was a coalition of concerned students who did not hate Whites but were pro Black and knew racist investments were immoral.

We were not violent. We were angered by a university steeped in the traditions of liberalism and free speech could not see its way to separate itself from investments that literally buttressed the South African government via corporations who were willing to exploit conditions in South Africa in which Africans were required by law to be separated, where Africans could not roam freely, where their borders were under strict lock-down for no other reason than they were Black.

*

Apartheid is an Afrikaner term. It literally translates into "Separateness."

There is little difference between the conditions of Africans under apartheid and Palestinians in Gaza except that ostensibly the government of Israel was elected by all citizens of Israel as its citizens collectively chose a path that its own Israeli citizens had to know was coming when they elected Benjamin Netanyahu who intentionally formed a coalition with a political party so far right and so founded and practiced on hatred of Gazans that its ministers as part of its political mandate justified settlor violence against Gazan citizens who were summarily executed to be "relieved" of land they occupied.

But Israel is not without citizens who wanted for Palestine the same freedoms they as Israelis enjoyed. Those Israelis were not a political majority, but they existed, including likely, among those who were executed at gun point by Hamas, kidnapped, and targeted for no other reason that they were celebrating a festival based on Israeli culture, tied to Judaism defined by a God that like the God of Islam is linked to the prophet Abraham.

*

Back to Passover. Its tale is not dissimilar to those evoked by other faiths.

During Passover, the God of the Old Testament literally murdered every single first born child of Egypt in order to convince the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. Passover celebrates not only the liberation of the Jewish people but CELEBRATES HOW the Israelites were liberated in Old Testament lore. Christians embrace this lore as their own.

It's as if Passover is repeated in Gaza.

*

And it’s not only Passover in which wars are invoked in the name of holiness.

What of the End Times of Armageddon in Christianity? Of heavenly rewards in not only Christianity but also Islam for warriors of God.

Why do we embrace as liberation lore, any religion justifying the slaughter of innocents ruled by dictators who could care less if they lived or died.

I say “any religion” to make clear that such tales are not limited to Judaism.

President Obama—God Bless him, I suppose—told an audience that, though it is difficult to accept, children will be casualties of war. Spoken like a President who has dropped bombs from drones and killed children.

And yet, because so called progressives believe Trump a common enemy, we look past our bombs obliterating children as revenge for a barbaric massacre of innocent Israelis. Dutifully, the calculus is we vote for a president who says he loves an Israeli Prime Minister that intentionally partnered with a settlor political party that called for the obliteration of Gaza decades before Hamas executed or kidnapped Israeli citizens.

*

And on the eve of Passover, those who speak for children in Gaza are libeled anti-Semitic.

Israel. Hamas. United States. Rwanda. Bosnia. Armenia. Turkey. Russia. Japan. China. Syria. El Salvador. Nicaragua. Chile. Italy. Germany. Not only Nazis invoke terror though the Nazis in 20th century were one of the most efficient in their quest to rid the world of peoples—Jews, gays, and others—in the name of religion.

Leaders who know better—Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Benjmain Netanyahu, Mohammed Deif (Hamas military leader), Ismail Haniyeh (political leader of Hamas)—offer comfort to those who target innocents ostensibly claiming a moral high ground NONE OF THEM can claim.

And what of our responsibility?

*

We CHOOSE to NOT undo a cycle of hatred tied to suspect moralities invoked by leaders manipulating the human penchant to faith in a God in order to kill each other.

And we call that what?

Godly.

We need to pass over, and not in the Biblical sense, those who manipulate the truth to libel those who in seeking liberation do not exalt hatred. The protest at Columbia against the actions of Israel are not in and of themselves anti-Semitic. It’s time for all peoples to stop equating being anti-Israeli and anti-American war policy in Israel as antisemitism.

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Tony, I noted that the pro Palestinian protest at Columbia was relabeled as an anti-Israel protest on Fox News. In one deft headline, Fox News mischaracterized what was in fact, a positive movement to stop the slaughter. It was not at its heart an anti-Israel movement as Fox News would’ve had its watchers believe. What Fox News did is one of the worst examples of anti-Semitism.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Marc ; I believe that Oct 7 was planned to stop the Israeli protests that were against Netanyahu. And give Putin a gift that would place President Biden in an untenable situation, allowing Russia to take Ukraine, with his puppet tRUMP controlling Congress' purse strings, and using this terrible situation in Gaza to divide our country and take votes away from Biden. I was surprised that Speaker Mike Johnson defied tRUMP, and joined with Democrats to fund Ukraine. The funding of more military assistance without any conditions to Israel is disappointing. A cease fire to help save lives in Gaza, and possibly free hostages, would be better than unconditional weapons supplied for more killing of innocents.. Netanyahu knew it was coming. The Oct 7 attack. He wants to stay out of jail , like tRUMP! And do anything to achieve that goal!

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If you are correct, it's a major tragedy, Laurie. Speaker Johnson surprised me, too, in a very positive way.

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I think Putin and Russian intelligence assessed the political situation and got Hamas to commit the worst atrocities they could. Netanyahu simply snapped at the bait.

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Yes. To all your points. But I believe Trump "allowed" Johnson to bring the Ukraine funding to a vote as an act of political calculation. Just as he is back pedaling on the political insanity of abortion prohibitions, he knows support for Ukraine is strong.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

That's a theory, and plausible. I don't see his sycophants slowing down the IVF and abortion bans though. Talk is cheap. But so is he.

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He knows that he will be remembered as a traitor should he continue to side with MTG; that’s why he flipped.

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Speaker Johnson was between a rock and a hard place. Negotiations almost always involve things the public is unaware of. With that in mind I suggest exercising caution about giving credit where little credit is due.

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I give no credit. Just registered 😮 surprise.

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You're Trumaphobic and insane.

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I'm tRumpaphobic ,because HE is insane!

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I don't debate that but just watch those conspiracy theories they sometimes can obscure the truth.

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I do not know about such a conspiracy. But the Palestinians who attacked were certainly not paid actors.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 24

Robin : since Netanyahu knew about the planned attack a year earlier, and there was no defense, It was set up. Netanyahu was and is very unpopular with the Isaelis , who were recently protesting him and his policies in large numbers. He wants to change the judiciary, and avoid prison! Like tfg.

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It’s possible what you say is true. I’m no supporter of Netanyahu and am aware of how unpopular he is. I’m merely saying that none of that takes away from what Hamas did and bows to do again.

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Robin : I'm not trying to "take away" anything about the scourge of Hamas. But they are not the only bad actors here! Netanyahu , Putin and Iran do not give a rat's ass about the harm done by Hamas. They allowed it!

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Recall also that Bush-Cheney had credible warnings about the likelihood of terrorist attacks months before 9/11 AND recall that the WTC had been attacked previously when Clinton was President. And recall that it was men from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq or Afghanistan who took their pilot training in Florida and flew the planes on 9/11; yet American President after American President travels to Saudi Arabia and bows to their despotic "monarchs."

Recall also that we have all been taught for decades that the Pentagon was impenetrable, and then terrorist planes struck.

Netanyahu is by all reports and accounts a criminal, his wife an indicted criminal, is she not? Trump is a criminal and head of a crime family and organization. Putin and his whole organization are brutal, vicious criminals.

Hamas, and the Palestinians, saints? Hardly.

If Netanyahu actually enabled - by intention, neglect, indifference or agenda - the horrors inflicted on Israeli Jews on October 7, he is a monster and a criminal and should be treated accordingly. Do you really believe he orchestrated by enabling those horrors against his own citizens?

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24

19 of the hijackers were Saudis. George W Bush was called affectionately, "Bandar Bush" and was sometimes spotted holding hands with his beloved Saudi guest when visiting the Bush Atlantic coastal compound, at Walker point. Kennebunkport, Maine. Dick Cheney was the "Ex" CEO of Halliburton, an "oil services company", that was interested in all the oil under Iraq. He went to the Pentagon and twisted arms to get "Evidence" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussien was not a nice guy. That never really bothered some of our leaders. His major "sin" was that he played with oil prices : jerking them up and down, which disrupted the oil business. His country was sitting on the largest pool of oil in the world. He did not want to cooperate with certain oil interests....That was what made him so bad. His mistreatment of his subjects was fine. But when he angered the oil interests : he was a very bad criminal, a threat to everyone, and an enemy who had to be stopped. So "we" (the Bush administration); attacked Iraq in a Blitzkrieg that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And started a war that may never end.

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24

I think he might look the other way. Or was tricked/betrayed by Iran /Hamas. His intelligence knew for a year that this was coming. I think he wanted to punish the demonstrators, and saw them for a threat to his power, also did not want to go to jail. He wanted to change the justice system, like tRUMP has, to keep himself in power.

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24

"Hamas, and the Palestinians, saints> Hardly." Annie Cross ; I'm not sure where you are coming from or to whom you may be attributing these beliefs. But it ain't me. I feel for the Palestinian and other ethnic inhabitants of Gaza. The median age is 18: and all they have known is war. Women and children especially. They don't know what peace is. Have no self determination. Have been de facto prisoners for decades.

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The biggest challenge is that Hamas hides in the civilian population, like the Viet Cong ; making it impossible to fight effectively. Also, the median age in Gaza was 18 at the start of this post Oct7 attack. virtually all they knew is war. Hardly surprising.

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Robin ; Are Any soldiers ever "paid actors"? Only on a movie set.

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Fox News, they sow discord to the advantage of Putin.

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Fox News is not credible, but The Atlantic magazine is abundantly credible and this piece of journalism is worth attention:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/04/columbia-university-protests-palestine/678159/

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Marc, good observation! Racist conservatives (Fox News is one of their many mouthpieces) are using "antisemitism" as a ramming rod to gain control of university administrations. Their main goal is to fire liberal professors and replace them with white supremacists like themselves. Domination and control is what they want.

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It was under "Antisemitism on campus"in The New York Times.

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THANK YOU, Marc

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Tony Glover, thank you for your touching story. And thank you for the cultural translation of the word, apartheid as separateness. I didn't know that. It truly points toward the truth of what keeps the human species, like no other, trapped in all kinds of violence, neglect, abuse, conflict, persecution, discrimunation, and war. Our feelings of separateness from one another and from other species in nature cause so much death and destruction and prevent us from living healthy, joyful, peaceful lives in harmony with one another and every species in nature. So, I choose to aspire everyday to wholeness, to love and to understanding.

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Tony, as you’ve noted, there’s little moral high ground to be had by any leader in this situation. None of the players or decision-makers can claim

it. Innocents have been crushed by violence for millennia & there will always be people like Trump, Netanyahu and Putin in powerful positions who will justify their slaughter of innocents as collateral damage for what they believe to be a greater cause, or even to justify their own greed by lying to those who elevate them.

It doesn’t have to be that way, but it will continue until we learn to recognize and expose these so-called leaders before they amass power—which is what many of us in the U.S. are trying to do before our next presidential election. No one can be a perfect leader, but a leader worth having is one

who exhibits compassion for all people and doesn’t allow him or herself to be manipulated by others

whose goals are self-serving.

Humanity has taken steps in the right direction with the Geneva Convention, by creating international rules of war to allow non-combatants to administer aid to innocents caught up in the violence and by creating an international tribunal for the purpose of seeing justice done.These rules and institutions are steps in the right direction. They exist for us to support, nurture and guide to create a better world, as is the United Nations.

All we can do in this current situation is try to de-escalate it by not casting blame and by not

tolerating violence, including verbal violence.

Casting blame only perpetuates the violence. It’s utterly useless. We must move beyond blame and violence before we can find and exert reasonable, rational steps to peace.

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A phobia is an irrational fear. There is nothing irrational about opposing decrying hating radical Islam. Sorry but I hold by western values. I am not going to consider Sharia law an alternative worth discussing.

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Good post, Tony, My only point of disagreement is in the election of Netanyahu. He is not the majority preference of the Israelis, which is one of my main reasons for disliking parliamentary systems. Fortunately our Constitution didn't give us one. Although in giving us the Electoral College they deliberately gave us minority Presidents.

In the parliamentary system there are too many competing parties so no one gets to be a majority. With luck you end up with a good leader - but it's pure chance. I don't know why the Europeans seem to prefer this system.

Netanyahu's party didn't even get the most votes, That's why he needed to form a coalition with two other parties So, Israel is now led by bad, worse and worst. Over 80 % of the people polled would prefer anyone BUT Netanyahu; who is under indictment in his own country on charges of fraud and corruption and only being Prime Minister is keeping him from trial, conviction, and prison. Sound familiar?

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Tony Glover, thank you for this take on the dividers of our time. We need to remember that at base all of these people are human with rights to life and liberty. We need to stamp out hate and search out compatible solutions for all humans to enjoy. And we need to stop relying on religions to show us the right way to live and love, since religion seems to be the source of many of our disagreements and much of the hatred.

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"Antisemitism" is a magical word, it casts a spell, and that makes it a powerful weapon.

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It is not Israel who opposed a Palestinian state. If was the Palestinians themselves and all Arab countries in the neighborhood. It was offered and refused. Now they are pawns used by radical islamists. It sucks. But that’s the truth.

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"Why do people tend to presume that those who support freedom for Palestine are anti-Semitic while not making the same presumption—that they are Islamophobic—of people who support the right of Israelis not to be executed by those in Hamas who targeted innocents."

I will do my best to answer. I am not a spokesman for my people nor an expert. But since you ask...

I felt the same way most of my life but I don't feel that way now. It is because of the lack press and lack of protest that occurs in other mid eastern wars where Muslims are killing Muslims. It is because of the UN's concentration on Israel, among the member states. It is because those who question the very existance of Israel are not returning to the lands that their own forefathers came from-- Israel is seen as an invader state yet America, Canada and ultimately just about every other country on Earth is not. What about the Pakistan protests we see on every campus? We don't? Pakistan was created by a British mandate the same year as Israel because of religious differences. Between half a million and two million died in the ensuing violence. Then there is the mirror vocabulary used to make what Israel is doing resemble the Jewish holocaust. Then there was the Fatwa put out against me and Jews world wide the Friday after the 1200 people in Israel were killed. I put up a mezuzah on my door for the first time in my life so they would know where to find me.

I understand protest against a government and I engage in it. But is there another country in the world that has its right to exist questioned?

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I value and applaud your comment, Mr. Kasman. To answer your ending question, might one consider Tibet where the native Tibetan people have been effectively displaced by Chinese nationals by way of taking over that country and subjugating the Tibetans to Chinese will?

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Many of us were raised in homes where disagreement was not possible. In my family, disagreeing with a parent was a crime that warranted a physical attack. To attend an open-minded campus where all points are considered and nonviolent ways of dealing with viewpoints is the norm was a breath of fresh, living air for us. Let’s keep that sacred, without hurting individuals. Just look at what closed-minded thinking has been doing to the US of late. Let’s keep that from infiltrating our campuses, our centers of *higher* learning.

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Lisa Bennett, thank you for sharing that for some students being allowed to speak their opinions is literally freedom and dignity. One of my parents rained violent, ruthless, mental/emotional abuse down on us if we voiced a differing opinion or fact. Thank you, Lisa. I hadn't made that connection in my mind as to why I am a such a strong supporter of let the young people speak.

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Just like me. 💞

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Lisa Bennett, ♡ to you.

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I also can relate to such a childhood, from one parent, but not the other. Tough emotional environment throuh which to maneuver during youth; perhaps a valuable lesson in learning to analyze and maneuver through all sides later, though definitely not a recommended parenting method!

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I hear you. I was raised only by my mother. Her vote was law, and opposition was futile. I met my father 3 years ago, and he asked me why I don’t like Trump. I told him I’m not going there with him (my upbringing wouldn’t allow a dissenting opinion). He said, “I’m not going to argue with you, I just want to know why!”

And I told him.

And we disagreed.

It was like magic. 🧚‍♂️

And it isn’t supportive to regret the fact that I wasn’t raised with him in my life. I get to learn how to disagree intelligently with people who have minds open enough to hear another perspective. I get to learn this as an adult.

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Lisa - thank you for sharing your experience, which was the same as mine. It brought back traumatic memories of a childhood steeped in dishonesty and fear. That long ago environment mirrors what we have now in our political discourse.

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Authoritarians have a rigid and narrow world view. They feel annoyed when questioned and threatened when their assumptions are challenged.

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Absolutely, transparency and an excellent life coaching program (which is open to all and incredibly inexpensive, ping me if you’re interested) is supporting my healing. I’ve written a poem about it, the hardest thing I’ve ever delivered on an open mic — and DOZENS of people wanted to talk about their childhoods afterwards. It feels so risky, and it changes everything. We trust people who are able to be truly vulnerable in our presence.

We were all vulnerable in college, open minds and sponges for new information, becoming adults and forming new opinions outside our families. We get to keep that environment safe. Our future depends on it.

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Like you I teach at a university. Like you I am frustrated, angry even, at the lopsided view of the administration of my institution. It wants to "do right" but often stops short of what many faculty, students, and yes, progressives, want. Why? It is painful to say this, but money. Funding is the main priority of the administration, not education, not ethics, not building a place of learning that heals the planet. It is just money. The state keeps cutting educational funding, so the university increases tuition and relies on increased gifts from wealthy alumni. Unfortunately those wealthy alums are disproportionately conservative when it comes to economics, foreign policy, and sometimes social issues. They support the Israeli government likely with a kind of American misunderstanding of Zionism rooted in conservative evangelicalism. Allowing students to protest the actions of the Israeli government threatens that funding, so you create an ethical disjoint between administration, faculty and students. Universities chose leaders based on their ability to raise money (favoring majors that produce wealthier alumni) not their ability to educate for the greater good. In a sense, universities like mine and Columbia, Harvard, and many more are as broken as Boeing. It is a sad situation when football, or AIPAC, become more important than redirecting our system away from the self-destructive consumption of fossil fuel energy that is destroying our only home.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Wayne Teel, I see the same going on in NPR and my local affiliate. Legislators unable to feel connected to their fellow citizens, to feel our human bond, have drastically defunded Public Radio (and Public Television) forcing them to look increasingly to the public for donations. And the people are stretched, so over the last few years, they have turned to corporations and individual wealthy donors, who like the legislators who cut the funding that caused the shortfalls, have the same perverse solitary self-interest completely devoid of a feeling of kinship with their fellow citizens. NPR's and my local affiliate's programming and content has increasingly reflected their bargain with these anti-democracy donors.

Funding needs to be restored to allow Public Radio and Television and Colleges to be more discerning in their choice of donors. It won't fix everything but it would be a good start.

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This is an interesting idea. Partisan politics arises from a lack of public funding in the public sphere. We can even see this on substack. Substack is mostly privately funded and even the "good guys" like Matt Taibbi become ever more partisan because they need to write for readers that pay. It seems that it doesnt matter whether the readers are "small" (paying $5 per month) or big (advertisers, VCs). Is that an iron law of writing? Writing for a profit distorts the writing. Writing for a profit must seek attention instead of truth.

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Alexander Kurz, good questions about writing. I don't think profit is the problem. Making a profit by writing is not bad. Making a lot of profit isn't bad. I believe we must look further back to the individual's or group's motivation and the degrees of it. Is it in service of the ego (our conditioned minds and emotional patterns like fear and anger) or in service of pointing to the truth (love, concern for your fellow citizens/humans, seeking to understand others, equality of human value, our kinship to and obligation to protect all of nature,...)? I think in any situation, we can vary in our degrees of operating from ego or from the truth, which of course is reflected in our writing and speaking.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

"Making a profit through writing is not bad". I want to agree with this, but I think it depends on the circumstances. In a market economy, incentives rule. If we want to change things, we need to change how incentives are structured. I believe that if the current economic system incentivizes writers to outrage their readers to increase profit, democracy cannot work.

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Alexander Kurz, sure outraging your readers to drive profit or power comes from egoic motivation not truth telling motivation and therefore causes harm and so, is undesirable. We could even say immoral or unethical but those doing so, would call their purely or mostly self-interest, moral and ethical, no matter what harm it does to others. Whatever strong emotional response you want to evoke, it all comes back to the motivation. I am okay with a writer evoking anger to get people to wake up and see that democracy is in peril and that they need to do something about it.

And I don't believe it is an entirely bad thing that some writers are outraging people for profit or power. It is extreme negativity which for at least some people will get old as they realize they are being manipulated or they just recognize the constant negavity is weakening their well being. These people that awaken can become aware of the bigger picture of those trying to destroy democracy, or at very least get a little closer to the truth. And as the outrage screamers become more petty and egregious the likelihood of increasing numbers of people waking up are very good. This a win for people who wish to strengthen democracy. All positive, sustainable change must come from within individuals not be forced upon them from the outside. Otherwise, the change will be short-lived and unsustainable and will return with violent repression as we are seeing today in our politics.

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"And I don't believe it is an entirely bad thing that some writers are outraging people for profit or power." I agree with this point. But not with your outlook. Whether writing to outrage readers is bad depends not on whether it happens at all, but how much this happens. This is where the incentives come in. Incentives act like amplifiers. Bad behaviour, as long as it remains the exception, is not a problem that puts democracy in danger. But if the economic incentives are structured in such a way that bad behavior gets amplified too much, one can reach a tipping point where it does put democracy in danger. To summarize, yes, "all positive, sustainable change must come from within individuals", but if the incentives are preventing positive change from spreading, individual change will not be enough.

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"Writing for profit" is not the work of an artist. Writers and artists are often driven by the wish for attention, even if that is secondary to the impulse to create.

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I agree. Maybe we need to make some distinctions, eg between artists and journalists.

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Yes! I often think of Columbia cutting loose its library school and Union Theological, which is now independent and just built a huge high rise apartment building into its quad so that wealthy investors can sustain it. None of those grads are likely to become big donors, but it doesn't mean they don't contribute to the intellectual and moral life of our country.

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Yes! Let's hear it for libraries!

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Plus, these wealthy "Conservative" donors want President Biden to lose the election. The Media is boosting this narrative. too. "Biden is bad", for sending military support to Netanyahu, thus supporting the killing of innocents. So students ' votes , and Arab votes and those who hate killing of innocents of any age, are lost to him.

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Wayne, this is now. Republicans have a different future in mind: Hillsdale College is their ideal--an institution dedicate to the creation of a Christian white supremacist nation.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

I remember the killing of four students at Kent State. It was shocking to learn of peaceful , unarmed protesters gunned down. They went to college to learn and were expressing their freedom of speech. It was shocking and awful. Ohio is still very "Conservative". Vietnam was seen by reasonable people as unnecessary. Kids were drafted into that war against their wills. Without knowing why they must go fight and risk their lives while killing people they did not even know.

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I met a woman who was friends with one of the students who was killed😢

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Even though it was long ago, it was just as real as what is happening today.

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Because only the names changed through the years but basically the same wealthy families have been colonizers and oppressors for centuries.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

Jasmine, It must have been terrible for your friend to lose a friend that way. Oppression is evil!

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I'm sure it was. She still teared up talking about 20 some odd years later😢

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Jasmine : if she lives to be 100, it will still hurt. There may still be tears. 😢.

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Peaceful protests can easily turn rowdy and even violent. When police are present, they themselves easily turn violent. A proactive university administration can avoid protests. Administrators need guidance from faculty.

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So shocking. It was quite a line to cross. I was still young, a high school senior, in a midsize mostly conservative Indiana town. The next day I went to school with a black armband over a long sleeve white blouse for maximum effect. Most of the few other students who wore black armbands were told by teachers to remove them, and they complied. No one told me to remove mine; either they knew they would be in for an argument, or they did not notice it (not likely). (I was one of three Merit Scholars in the class, and I wondered if our having a photo of us in the local paper, providing good publicity for local schools, was also a factor.) It did seem that when the National Guard actually crossed a line by shooting into the people at Kent State some but not all people were shocked that our country had decided to use tactics usually witnessed in dictator countries against protesters. Our divisiveness today may be much worse. I doubt we would be shocked today.

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Margaret, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. We can all learn from it.

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The National Guard rolled down the city streets in jeeps and then occupied my college campus, armed as if for combat, and students, or anyone, entering campus proper had to show ID. A chilling experience.

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Excellent! Columbia needs to take a good, hard look at itself.

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Thank you Professor! I thought I was going nuts for not understanding what's happening at Columbia. It is pretty sad that free speech is being suppressed and punished on some college campuses, and yet, we have Trump claiming "free speech" right for his vile, hate-filled rant.

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Free speech, even when expressing an unpopular opinion, must be respected. Calling out individuals or entire groups on the basis of a supposed belief can be countered by active witnessing and intervention. If not at the University, then where can we learn these vital skills?

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And if a Jewish student is harassed or physically threatened or assaulted (by being called an anti-semitic name, or being blocked while simply going to class, or having their backpack or an Israeli flag taken from them for instance) then they have every right to call campus police and file a complaint with charges. That is how to respond to isolated incidences of anti-semitism. And hopefully the students under attack will be helped by other students, faculty and staff who have witnessed the incident, by filming it, following the attacker, comforting the victim etc. The President is caving to pressure from RW donors, "Special Investigations" like Stefaniks, and one overreacting local Rabbi, rather than taking this terrible conflict and using the anger and grief it naturally engenders to encourage the practice peaceful dialogue and the free debate of ideas. Admittedly in one of the most complex and sensitive areas of our history. But this is Columbia. She is underestimating its students and faculty.

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All I can say is that I am so glad I am NOT in college these days. I was there when we protested the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia. Today, I would absolutely be torn by my loyalty to Israel and my disgust at the way Netanyahu is conducting this war. I despise HAMAS and am at a loss to understand why some Palestinians support it. We need a viable and enforceable 2-state solution but will this solve this age-old enmity? I don't know. OY!

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It's time for everyone to increase their "loyalty" to humanity, to the Earth, to all the things that really matter.

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Right: what’s crucial to a more-peaceful life on earth isn’t adherence to religio-ethnic heritage that predisposes members to discriminate against non-members. Religion should be an exercise in the poetry of existence, not an exercise in My Team Versus Your Team, which of course justifies war.

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University was hard enough without being assaulted for my ethnicity.

I would love to see a two-state solution but I have been listening closely... The Palestinians don't want it. They want to destroy Israel. And at this point, the Israelis don't want it either. It will not happen in my life time.

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It's not a good idea to generalize. HAMAS wants to destroy Israel. NETANYAHU despises Palestinians. How many people in the U.S. are represented accurately by Donald Trump? Don't lump the people in with their rulers. It doesn't work. It's not fair or accurate. And when the MEDIA gets in the middle of it, fugeddaboudit! Chaos.

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A two state solution would never work. What is called for is a three state solution: a Palestinian state, an Israeli state, and a far right Jewish extremist state.

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O PLEASE!

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Right?!

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As a grad of Columbia and a Professor emerita of Yale University I agree that the student demonstrations against the genocide in Gaza is not antisemitism. The students must speak and must be heard.

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I am disgusted.

Have you seen the protesters call, for the slaughter of Jews?

If not, you aren’t looking, because they aren’t hiding it.

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Saying "the protestors" implies that "all protestors" are doing this, which is definitely not true. From what I can gather, the protestors you are referring to are a tiny fraction of the total. And in all protests involving strong feelings, it is highly likely that there will always be a few who take it way too far. They are no longer being respectful, they are engaging in verbal violence against others, which should not be tolerated. Meanwhile, the vast majority who constitute the peaceful protestors should be encouraged and protected.

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See “agent provocateur”.

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Just like the Hamas themselves, lost in a city of Gazans!

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I haven't. I have combed over the news and I haven't seen the protestors on Columbia's campus say that. If you could post some links I would greatly appreciate it, because I am writing to some newspapers about it and I need help. Thank you.

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Yes, that's been one of my big frustrations: I hear claims of antisemitism that sound serious, and the whole world is so habituated to social media that the claim is made without any clarity.

It's a world of cameras. Share it, each time, with footnotes and details.

Much of the conversation depends on better footnotes and details than anyone is sharing.

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Have you seen the many more protesters who have not called for the slaughter of Jews?

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Robert. I've had people actually shoot at me -- here and in war -- and when people actually tell me they want to kill me I call the cops.

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founding

When you speak truth to power, power responds, often powerfully. I have also suffered threat of physical harm because of my opposition to policies of a particular organization. Fortunately, that threat was disarmed by a loyal group of friends of mine, and those that threatened the harm ended up being hunted down as criminals for other offenses.

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You must be a white dude.

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founding

Jasmine, in this case, it was not about the color of my skin, but about the words that came out of my mouth and out of my pen and broadcast to others. There are times when words are mightier than swords.

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I said that because the only people who seem not afraid to call the cops are white men.

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You forgot about Karen of Central Park bird watcher fame and la presidente of Columbia University, just to mention two non-male white people.

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They aren't wise enough to know they will be thrown under the bus too. Fascists hate women. A lot of cops beat their wives.

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I believe Jasmine was replying to Daniel Solomon, because often when people of color have people shoot at them "here" it is the cops doing the shooting.

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Yes, Daniel, call the cops, don't shoot back! You may save lives, including your own (this is not to deny that police violence is a serious problem).

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One of the reasons we are where we are is because (mainly) MAGA and Republicans are so entrenched in their beliefs. No room for questioning or discussion. I learned from mrs Bitter ( no joke), a German language teamchef, that learning codes from a thesis, an antistress which develops a New thesis. Having had that instilled upon me in high school made me open to opposite view on subjects. I vehemently disagree with my best friend, but we always end up with a glass of wine to celebrate our differences. We too are entrenched, and unkikely to change our point of view but that is ok. Unlike people Who lost friendships and family over political disagreement, unfortunately. Debate and be kind and respectful. Kind regards from Belgium to all!

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