A breakthrough against Israeli apartheid at the New York Times

The growing worldwide support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement to pressure Israel over its treatment of Palestinians has led the Israeli government to ban 20 organizations that support BDS from entering Israel. The list includes Codepink, American Friends Service Committee, and Jewish Voice for Peace. The Israel lobby in the US has also used its clout to try and silence voices that support Palestinian rights and BDS.
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Seth Meyers catches up on the news

It turns out that Donald Trump’s ‘executive time’ (i.e., time to watch TV, tweet, and gossip on the phone with his friends) occupies a much larger portion of his daily schedule than was previously reported, with many such periods included throughout the day. In fact, it looks like being president is just something he does in his spare time, and that may not be altogether a bad thing.

This Trump legal maneuver will fail

One of the methods used by wealthy people and businesses to intimidate people and prevent them from taking action against them is to threaten them with legal action. Even if you, as an individual, are completely in the right and they are completely in the wrong, you will encounter a lot of up front costs and hassle in pressing your case, because the high-priced lawyers on the other side will make things as hard as possible for you. People like Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein use this tactic repeatedly and, sadly, it usually works to silence critics.
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I had no idea that this law existed

A Sri Lankan friend of mine alerted me to the fact that since 1955, there has been a law on the books in that country that women were not allowed to purchase alcohol. I had no idea that such a law existed, probably because it was never enforced. That law has just been repealed.

Sri Lanka is to allow women over the age of 18 to buy alcohol legally for the first time in more than 60 years.

The government said that it was amending a 1955 law that it agreed was discriminatory against women.

The amendment to the law, announced on Wednesday, also means that women will be permitted without prior approval to work in places that sell alcohol.

Critics of the repeal warn that it might lead to more alcoholism among women. Apart from the fact that gender-based legislation is inherently problematic, this concern seems unwarranted. Although alcoholism is a problem in Sri Lanka, no one seemed to be aware of this unenforced law at all before its repeal so practically it is not going to have any effect.

Taking a more holistic approach to treating depression

All of us, even if do not suffer from depression ourselves, know people, often many people, who do suffer from it. It is telling that often, when we are informed that someone has depression, we ask whether it is ‘clinical depression’, a term that suggests that it is not some transient phenomenon caused by some immediate factor whose effects may decrease with time (like the death of a loved one), but is instead caused by something that is not just deep-rooted but also based in biology.
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Trump as Calvin

In that great comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin is always imagining himself in heroic exploits that showcase his genius and where he vanquishes all who dare challenge him. That reminds cartoonist Reuben Bolling of someone …

Tom the Dancing Bug 1370 donald and john – genius

A new euphemism for goofing off

A report says that in 2018, Donald Trump will reduce the demanding schedule that he pursued in 2017 which involved playing a lot of golf at the various course and resorts that he owns. (There is a website that tracks the amount of golf that he plays.) This year he has told his aides that he wants more ‘executive time’, i.e., time alone, and that his first scheduled daily meeting will be his intelligence briefing at 11:00am. And it does not get much busier the rest of the day either.
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The problem with open secrets

James Fallows says that the recent revelations of widespread sexual abuse and harassment by powerful people in so many areas of work share one significant feature with the revelations in the new book Fire and Fury about how all the people working in the White House or who have come into contact with Donald Trump have known all along that he is utterly unsuited to the job. In both cases, the situation was an ‘open secret’, in that insiders knew what was going on and yet did nothing about it, except whisper the truth among themselves and warn those whom they happened to know personally.
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