The US political and media establishment lies in defense of Israel

Chris Hedges writes that pretty much everything that emanates from Washington and Tel Aviv and the mainstream media about the situation in Gaza is a lie, with only a few reports and analyses presenting anything remotely close to the truth.

Nearly all the words and phrases used by the Democrats, Republicans and the talking heads on the media to describe the unrest inside Israel and the heaviest Israeli assault against the Palestinians since the 2014 attacks on Gaza, which lasted 51 days and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children, are a lie. Israel, by employing its military machine against an occupied population that does not have mechanized units, an air force, navy, missiles, heavy artillery and command-and-control, not to mention a U.S. commitment to provide a $38 billion defense aid package for Israel over the next decade, is not exercising “the right to defend itself.” It is carrying out mass murder. It is a war crime. 
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The brutality of chain gangs

Even though I am aware of the utterly barbaric way that prisoners are treated in the US incarceration system, I keep coming across new things that can still shock me. Take this account by Winfred Rembert who was born in 1945 and died this past May, about his experience in a chain gang, where the prisoners do very hard labor in public areas, often alongside roads.

As a teen-ager, he got involved in the civil-rights movement and was arrested in the aftermath of a demonstration. He later broke out of jail, survived a near-lynching, and spent seven years in prison, where he was forced to labor on chain gangs.

He was released in 1974 and took up painting, depicting in stark ways his memories of the horrors he endured. Here he describes one example.
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The New Yorker article on UFOs

The New Yorker has a reputation for being a serious magazine. It is famed for its rigorous fact-checking of its pieces. So when I came across an article in the May 10, 2021 issue titled How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously, I took the article seriously. My attitude towards UFOs is, I suspect, similar to that of many, deep skepticism about the claims that extra-terrestrials have visited us but that the issue is not worth the effort to look into and debunk each and every claim closely.
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Caitlyn Jenner is not ready for prime time

There is currently a recall election for the governor of California and according to the way the system works, there are two things to vote on on the same ballot: Whether to recall the current incumbent Gavin Newsom and, if that vote garners 50% + 1 of the vote, then who should replace him among all the people vying for the position. As I have written before, this is a strange system in that in a highly contested race, it is possible for the incumbent to be voted out by getting just shy of the 50% mark and be replaced by someone with a much smaller fraction of the vote.
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Using non-human animals as slurs

Some people (and I include myself) sometimes describe bad behavior as animal-like, even though many of us treat our pets as members of the family. Commenters are quick to point out that this comparison is often a slander on non-human animals because much of the depraved behavior that humans can indulge in are not found among them. So how did this tendency arise? David Egan writes that the way we use non-human animals as slurs in our language reveals quite a lot about us, and what it reveals is zoophobia, defined as fear or antipathy towards non-human animals.
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We are truly a barbaric nation

The evidence for the above claim lies is in the way we treat people for even minor offenses.

An inmate who spent 22 years in solitary confinement in an Illinois prison after being arrested for stealing a hat and a dollar bill is campaigning for legislation to end a practice that he says drove him to self-mutilation and a suicide attempt.

Anthony Gay said he was “tortured for decades” by his isolation for up to 24 hours a day in a cold, tiny cell he likened to a dungeon, and was denied access to necessary mental health care.

Gay was first arrested for robbery in 1994 for his involvement in a street fight, in which he stole a hat and $1 from another participant. A subsequent probation violation put him back in jail, and a violent altercation with another inmate landed him in solitary confinement.

From there, Gay said, things snowballed. He was resentenced to seven years for the original robbery charge and reacted badly to the solitary confinement, resulting in more time alone.

“I would cut on myself, I would act out, throw urine, liquids,” he said. “They would extend my time and things of that sort instead of allowing me to see mental health [professionals] and taking it as a health concern.”

That, he said, led to the “psychological torture” of 24-hour solo incarceration, with occasional breaks of no more than one hour.

“It’s dark and it’s cold as a dungeon, psychologically anyway,” he said. “The light is dim in the room, it just seemed like the walls are caving in.”

Who can blame someone for acting out and becoming suicidal when they are tortured like this? It would drive anyone insane.

The latest flareup in the Middle East

Once again, we have a flare up in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. As of yesterday, 65 Palestinians, including 16 children have been killed, and at least 365 people have been wounded, while six Israelis have been killed.

And once again we have the US reacting in predictable ways, with most of the political establishment repeating the myth of Israel being the plucky little underdog facing a huge sea of enemies, the David battling the Goliath of Arabs, when in reality it is Israel, possessing one of the most powerful military machines in the world, that is not only the Goliath that arrogantly throws it weight around but is backed up by an even bigger Goliath in the US, that supplies it with massive amounts of military and other aid and protects it diplomatically. Biden has repeated the ritualistic statement of unwavering support for whatever the hell Israel does, couched in the language that it has the ‘right to defend itself’, coupled with the usual call for all sides to end the violence, which ranks right up there on the scale of uselessness with the calls for ‘thoughts and prayers’ after every mass shooting in the US.
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