June 6, 2022

Posted by orrinj at 6:43 PM


Proud Boys Leaders Were Just Charged With Sedition Against the United States (Tess Owens, June 6, 2022, Vice News)

On Monday, top brass of the far-right street-fighting gang were indicted on federal sedition conspiracy charges for their alleged roles in the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Former chairman Enrique Tarrio, Joe Biggs of Florida, Zach Rehl of Philadelphia, Seattle's "Sergeant-at-Arms" Ethan Nordean, and Dominic Pezzola of Rochester, New York, were indicted. 

The men were previously facing an array of other charges, including conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding. The sedition conspiracy indictment comes months after their former co-defendant, Charles Donohoe, leader of the North Carolina Proud Boys, took a plea deal with the government and agreed to testify against the others. 

Posted by orrinj at 10:55 AM


THE FUROR AND FALLOUT FROM FLAGS (Michael J. Koplow, 6/02/22, Israel Policy Forum)

[D]espite the similar functions that celebrating the flag serves on both sides, there is one big difference. Israel has a state and is operating from a position of power, and Palestinians do not have a state and are operating from a position of weakness. That structural imbalance should in theory make Israelis less sensitive to the symbolic aspects of Israeli and Palestinian nationalism, but it doesn't. The fact of Israel's existence and Israel's strength--not only relative to the Palestinians but in absolute terms--has not appreciably lessened Israelis' insecurities, and Palestinian flags are still treated in many instances as physical threats that somehow have the ability to snuff out Zionism or Israel's existence.

Cohen's bill to make it illegal to display a Palestinian flag in universities is a response to a rally that took place last week at Ben Gurion University and was organized after students were not allowed to hold one on Nakba Day. Students, who according to reports were mostly Arab Israeli but included some Israeli Jews as well, waved Palestinian flags and sang Palestinian songs and some held up peace signs. The response from Israeli politicians was overwhelmingly negative. Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman called for Ben Gurion's state funding to be cut off, the mayor of Beersheva said that the rally crossed a red line, New Hope MK Sharon Haskell deemed any display of a Palestinian flag to be incitement, and the Likud issued a statement linking the appearance of Palestinian flags at this rally to the government's alleged inability to fight terrorism or preserve Zionism. Cohen's bill, despite being one introduced by the opposition, was granted a seal of approval by the government's Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which said that coalition MKs were free to vote their conscience rather than maintain the ordinary coalition discipline that would dictate voting against it, and Yamina, New Hope, and Yisrael Beiteinu all voted for it yesterday.

If all of this seems like an extreme overreaction to a national flag, that's because it is. If waving a flag threatens Israel's existence, then not only is Israel in far bigger trouble than anyone understands, but Zionism itself has failed. The success of Israel is not only in its establishment, but in the fact that it has become a military, economic, and cultural powerhouse. Protestors waving Palestinian flags and mourners displaying them at funerals does not threaten Israel's sovereignty or security in any tangible way, and to think otherwise betrays a deep and unwarranted sense of insecurity about Israel's durability and legitimacy. Palestinians are subject to Israeli control in ways large and small and don't have many outlets for expressing their nationalism or symbolically demonstrating their freedom; honing in on flags says far more about Israeli predilections than it does about Palestinian ones. The fact that Israel is now worried about Palestinian flags when twenty years ago Israel was worried about Palestinians with suicide vests is itself a demonstration of how much better Israel's position is, and how many inside of Israel are struggling with distinguishing between symbols of resistance that are actually violent threats and those that are not. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


'Facing a real test': Bennett warns Israel on brink of collapse (MEMO, June 5, 2022)

"Our unified sovereignty has disintegrated twice in ancient times due to internal conflicts. The first break-up took place 80 years after its foundation, whereas the second one came about 77 years later. We are now living in the third era, and are approaching the 80-year mark. We are all facing a real test, and wondering to whether we will be able to preserve Israel," Bennett stated in the communique sent on the first anniversary of the establishment of the coalition government.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The Benefits of Marriage Shouldn't Only Be For Elites (W. Bradford Wilcox and Chris Bullivant, 6/06/22, IFS Studies)

In 1970, there was virtually no marriage divide in America. Whether rich or poor, middle class or working class, a clear majority of men and women were stably married. 

No more. A new report we published at the Social Capital Campaign spotlights a growing marriage divide that separates Americans by class and education. Of 18- to 55-year-olds, the share of those who are married from an upper-class background is 60 percent. However, this figure falls to 20% for the poor. (It is 40% for the working class.) Again, what is especially striking about this divide is that it was basically nonexistent in the 1970s.

Today, whether you consider marriage to be a cultural construct, an expression of romantic love, or a union divinely ordained, it's still the case that most men and women in America wish to marry--and marry well. However, working-class and poor Americans are struggling to make good on this dream, with only the most educated and affluent among us having a good shot at dreams for a strong and stable family life.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


ACT reaps dividend from 100 pct renewables as energy bills fall despite market chaos (Michael Mazengarb, 6 June 2022, Renew Economy)

Electricity users in the Australian Capital Territory will see average electricity costs fall by at least 1.25 per cent come 1 July, as the capital territory's extensive contracts for 100 per cent renewable electricity shield its consumers from the chaos rippling through Australia's energy markets.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Russian General Reported Killed in Ukraine (Moscow Times, Jun. 6th, 2022)

Kutuzov had ordered his troops to storm a Donetsk region settlement Sunday and "was forced to lead the assault," Ivanov wrote on Facebook. [...]

Ukraine's General Staff claims at least 12 Russian generals killed.

At least 317 Russian officers have been killed in Ukraine, a third of whom are majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels, independent Russian media reported in April, citing publicly available data.