The Evening Blues - 4-23-24


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Juke Boy Bonner

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Texas one-man band Weldon "Juke Boy" Bonner. Enjoy!

Juke Boy Bonner - Stay off Lyons Avenue

“We attacked a foreign people and treated them like rebels. As you know, it's all right to treat barbarians barbarically. It's the desire to be barbaric that makes governments call their enemies barbarians.”

-- Bertolt Brecht

News and Opinion

Israel Is Turning Hospitals Into Mass Graves While The West Fixates On ‘Antisemitism’

A mass grave created by the IDF has been uncovered at a Gaza hospital, where Palestinian civilians appear to have been the victims of a gruesome massacre.

“Bah, that’s old news Caitlin,” you may be saying. “We already know about the massacre and mass graves which were discovered a few weeks ago at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.”

No no, that’s a different mass grave from a different IDF massacre at a completely different Gaza hospital. The now completely destroyed al-Shifa Hospital was in Gaza City; I’m talking about the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, where some 210 bodies have reportedly been discovered in a mass grave after Israeli forces withdrew from the city earlier this month. Two different massacres, two different hospitals, two different mass graves full of Palestinian civilians.

The IDF are just attacking hospitals and mowing down civilians and trying to bury the evidence of their crimes, so naturally we’re seeing the western political-media class focus very hard on the problem of antisemitism allegations on college campuses.

Biden denounces antisemitism on college campuses amid Columbia protests,” reads a new headline from The Washington Post.

As Protests Continue at Columbia, Some Jewish Students Feel Targeted,” The New York Times urgently warns us

White House condemns ‘blatantly antisemitic’ protests as agitators engulf Columbia University,” blares Fox News.

Columbia University faces full-blown crisis as rabbi calls for Jewish students to ‘return home’,” says CNN.

Columbia University: White House condemns antisemitism at college protests,” the BBC reports.

Getting far less attention than the fact that some Zionist university students are feeling uncomfortable feelings because other students say Palestinians are human beings is the fact that Israel is establishing a pattern of massacring civilians and burying them in mass graves outside hospitals in Gaza, or the fact that the IDF has been butchering children in Rafah, or the fact that the International Criminal Court is reportedly considering charging Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials for war crimes.

Those matters are important, just not nearly as important as how some western Jews feel emotionally upset about pro-Palestine protests. For that, the world must stop spinning on its axis until this extremely egregious problem has been addressed.

All the western spin and distortion around Israel’s mass atrocities in Gaza these last six months have revolved around centering feelings over human lives. How western Jewish Zionists are feeling about pro-Palestine sentiments. How Joe Biden’s feelings secretly feel about Netanyahu. How Israelis feel about October 7.

Wherever there’s an opportunity to focus the narrative on what feelings are being felt by a politically convenient population, the western press fall all over themselves to do so with tumescent enthusiasm. Wherever there’s an opportunity to focus on Israeli atrocities, the western press are nowhere to be found.

If you belong to a group that isn’t supported by the western empire, you can see your entire family murdered right in front of you and the western political-media class still won’t consider you a victim. If you belong to a group that the empire regards as human, then even someone offending your feelings will be viewed as an unforgivable hate crime.

G@za Hospital Was Site Of Mass ExecutIons!

Israel has yet to provide evidence of Unrwa staff terrorist links, Colonna report says

Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of its claims that employees of the UN relief agency Unrwa are members of terrorist organisations, an independent review led by the former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna has said.

The Colonna report, which was commissioned by the UN in the wake of Israeli allegations, found that Unrwa had regularly supplied Israel with lists of its employees for vetting, and that “the Israeli government has not informed Unrwa of any concerns relating to any Unrwa staff based on these staff lists since 2011”.

Allegations of the involvement of Unrwa staff in the 7 October Hamas attack on Israel led major donors in January to cut their funding to the agency, the main channel of humanitarian support not only to Palestinians in Gaza but to Palestinian refugee communities across the region. ...

On Monday, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson, Oren Marmorstein, accused more than 2,135 Unrwa workers of being members of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He said the Colonna review was insufficient and an “effort to avoid the problem and not address it head on”.

“The Colonna report ignores the severity of the problem, and offers cosmetic solutions that do not deal with the enormous scope of Hamas’ infiltration of Unrwa,” he said. He added that Israel calls on donors not to give money to Unrwa in Gaza and instead to fund other humanitarian organisations in the territory.

Gaza Mass Graves, Intel Chief Resigns, UNRWA Claims Collapse

Gaza war has had negative impact on human rights, says US state department

The war between Israel and Hamas that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis has had “a significant negative impact” on the human rights situation in the country, the US state department said in its annual report on Monday.

Significant human rights issues include credible reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings, enforced disappearance, torture and unjustified arrests of journalists among others, said the state department’s 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

The secretary of state, Antony Blinken, denied that Washington has a “double standard” when applying US law to allegations of abuses by the Israeli military in Gaza and said that examinations of such charges are ongoing.

“In general, as we’re looking at human rights and the condition of human rights around the world, we apply the same standard to everyone,” Blinken told a briefing at which he unveiled the annual human rights report.’

“That doesn’t change whether the country is an adversary, a competitor, a friend or an ally,” he continued.

US KowTowing To ISRAEL And Doing ‘Bare Minimum’ To Thwart Genocide: Trita Parsi

Gaza doctors save baby from womb of mother killed in Israeli airstrike

Doctors in Gaza have saved a baby from the womb of her mother as she lay dying from head injuries sustained in an in Israeli airstrike. The girl was delivered via an emergency caesarean section at a hospital in Rafah. The woman, Sabreen al-Sakani, was 30 weeks pregnant when her family home was hit by an airstrike. Her husband, Shoukri, and their three-year-old daughter, Malak, also died.

“We managed to save the baby,” Ahmad Fawzi al-Muqayyad, a doctor at the Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah, told Sky News. “The mother was in a very critical condition. Her brain was exposed, so we saved one of the two.” On Sunday the baby lay wriggling and crying in an incubator in the neonatal unit of the nearby Emirati hospital. The tag around her wrist bore her dead mother’s name.

The baby would stay in hospital for three to four weeks, Dr Mohammad Salama, the head of the unit, told news agencies on Sunday. “After that we will see about her leaving, and where this child will go, to the family, to the aunt or uncle or grandparents. Here is the biggest tragedy: even if this child survives, she was born an orphan,” he said.

The baby’s grandmother Mirvat al-Sakani told Associated Press that she would take care of her. “She is a memory of her father. I will take care of her,” she said. “My son was also with them. My son became body parts and they have not found him yet. They have nothing to do with anything. Why are they targeting them? We don’t know why, how? We do not know.” ...

Another Israeli airstrike in Rafah overnight killed 17 children and two women from an extended family. ... Asked about the casualties in Rafah, an Israeli military spokesperson said various militant targets were struck in Gaza.

Matt Hoh: Can Israel Fight Iran Alone?

West Bank Pogrom 'Underscores Urgent Need to Dismantle Apartheid': Amnesty

Amnesty International said Monday that the ongoing surge in deadly violence by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank "underscores [the] urgent need to dismantle apartheid" in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

For more than a week now, Israeli settlers have been attacking West Bank Palestinians in towns and villages including Al-Mughayir, Duma, Deir Dibwan, Beitin, and Aqraba, killing at least four people including a child; wounding dozens of others; and destroying homes, vehicles, and other property.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops have either stood and watched or participated in the settler attacks, which the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem and others are calling a "pogrom."

Amnesty said the "alarming spike in violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians across the occupied West Bank in recent days highlights the urgent need to dismantle illegal settlements, end Israel's occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories, and its longstanding system of apartheid.

"The appalling spike in settler violence against Palestinians in recent days is part of a decadeslong state-backed campaign to dispossess, displace, and oppress Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, under Israel's system of apartheid," Amnesty Middle East and North Africa regional director Heba Morayef said. "Israeli forces have a track record of enabling settler violence and it is outrageous that once again Israeli forces stood by and in some cases took part in these brutal attacks."

"Establishing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories flagrantly violates international law and constitutes a war crime," Morayef added. "Violence is integral to the establishment and expansion of these settlements and to sustaining apartheid. It's time for the world to recognize this and pressure Israeli authorities to abide by international law by immediately halting settlement expansion and removing all existing settlements."

The latest wave of settler violence was sparked by the disappearance of Binyamin Achimair, a 14-year-old Israeli from the illegal settler outpost of Mal'achei Hashalom who went missing on April 12 while herding sheep near the village of Al-Mughayir east of Ramallah. As Israelis searched for Achimair, settlers began attacking Al-Mughayir's residents and property.

Achimair's body was found the following day. Israeli officials said he was killed in a "terrorist attack." However, no Palestinian resistance group has claimed responsibility for the incident. A 21-year-old Palestinian man was arrested Monday in alleged connection with the boy's death.

Late Friday, IDF troops and armored vehicles surrounded the Nur Shams refugee camp east of Tulkarem and besieged the community of more than 6,000 Palestinians during a 50-hour raid in which residents were shot, homes were destroyed, and scores of people were arrested.

By Saturday, IDF soldiers had killed 14 people in the camp, including at least one child. More than 40 other Palestinians were wounded.

"I saw one of my relatives, Jihad Zandiq, put his hands in the air to the soldiers but then they shot him anyway from point-blank range and killed him. Half of his skull exploded," eyewitness Mahmoud Qazmouz told Middle East Eye on Sunday.

Palestinian officials said Israeli troops attacked first responders attempting to rescue victims, including a volunteer paramedic who was shot in the leg.

Meanwhile, a funeral was held Sunday for Mohammed Awad Allah Musa, a 50-year-old Palestinian Red Crescent Society volunteer paramedic who was shot dead Saturday by Israeli settler-colonists while trying to reach Palestinians wounded by rampaging settlers in the town of Sa'wiyah south of Nablus.

The Nur Shams raid and ongoing settler attacks came as the U.S. State Department on Friday announced new sanctions targeting far-right Israeli settler leaders including Ben Zion Gopstein, the founder and head of the Jewish supremacist group Lehava.

The Biden administration—which backs Israel with billions of dollars in military aid and diplomatic support—is also reportedly considering imposing sanctions on the IDF's Netzah Yehuda battalion over war crimes committed in the West Bank before the current Israeli war on Gaza, including the January 2022 death of Omar Assad, a 78-year-old Palestinian American man.

Responding to the prospect of the first-ever U.S. sanctions on his country's military, far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that "I will fight it with all my strength."

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 485 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since October 7, when Gaza-based militants attacked Israel. More than 1,100 people were killed in the attack—some by responding Israeli forces—and over 240 Israelis and others were kidnapped by Hamas and other militants.

Israel's 199-day retaliatory assault on Gaza—which critics including Israelis have called genocidal—has killed at least 34,151 Palestinians, mostly women and children, while wounding over 77,000 others, according to Palestinian and international officials. At least 11,000 Gazans are missing, presumed dead and buried beneath the rubble of the hundreds of thousands of homes and other buildings that have been destroyed or damaged by Israeli bombardment. Around 90% of Gaza's 2.3 million people have been forcibly displaced, and Israel's continued obstruction of humanitarian aid delivery has fueled a burgeoning famine in which dozens of people, mostly children, have perished.

Hope for Russia defeat hits reality. MIC big winner

Bankers Upgrade Lockheed Stock After Iran Strikes at Israel

Over the weekend, Iran launched over 300 missiles at Nevatim Air Base, a base in southern Israel that houses U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who oversaw a strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria just a few weeks ago, has already promised to retaliate. Observers viewed these brewing tensions with concern, ringing the alarm bells of the breakout of a wider war.

Not JP Morgan analyst Seth Seifman. On Monday morning, Seifman upgraded JPMorgan’s outlook from “hold” to “buy” for Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of Israel’s F-35s, and set a higher price target for the stock.

Seifman says the change was pre-planned, but noted that these developments could be good for business. “What we can say is that it’s a dangerous world and while that is not a sufficient condition for defense stocks to outperform,” he said, “it is a potential source of support, especially when they are under-owned.” JP Morgan owns $355 million worth of Lockheed Martin stock, about a third of which was bought in the last quarter of 2023.

UK investment bank Liberum Capital was similarly bullish on defense stocks, so long as a wider war does not break out. “In our base case scenario of Israel retaliating but in a limited way that keeps the conflict from escalating further, this could lead to a 5-10% correction in the stock market together with further strength in the U.S. dollar,” Liberium told investors. “The obvious short-term winners will be oil & gas stocks as well as defense contractors.”

As finance journalist Jacob Wolisnky put it in a recent preview of defense stock picks, “Where there’s war, there’s money to be made.” ...

Lockheed Martin has played a large role in Israel’s bombing and invasion of Gaza, manufacturing Hellfire missiles, providing transport planes, and supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets. A missile that hit journalists on November 9 of last year in Gaza City was reportedly manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

Pro-Palestinian Campus Encampments Spread Nationwide Amid Mass Arrests at Columbia, NYU & Yale

Columbia faculty members walk out after pro-Palestinian protesters arrested

A huge crowd of faculty members who teach at Columbia University in New York held a mass walk-out on Monday afternoon to protest the institution having called police to arrest students at a pro-Palestinian encampment protest last week.

Hundreds of members of the teaching cohort at Columbia walked out in solidarity with the students who were arrested by the New York police department last week and also suspended by the university.

The solidarity protest came as students put protest tents back up in the middle of campus on Monday after they were torn down last week when more than 100 arrests were made.

The university on Monday morning announced that classes would be held remotely after further days of unrest on the New York campus, following the arrest of pro-Palestinian protesters there last week.

With tensions rising further across many US university campuses, police officers also began arresting pro-Palestinian protesters at Yale University on Monday. More than 45 protesters, including some students, were arrested, according to Yale Daily News, the university’s paper.

ADL: National Guard MUST BREAK Columbia Protesters

Juan González Reflects on Historic 1968 Columbia Protests & Crackdown on Gaza Solidarity Encampment

The McCarthyist Attack on Gaza Protests Threatens Free Thought for All

With the encouragement of the state, universities from coast to coast are taking draconian steps to silence debate about US-backed violence in the Middle East.

The Columbia University community looked on in shock as cops in riot gear arrested at least 100 pro-Palestine protesters who had set up an encampment in the center of campus (New York Post, 4/18/24). The university’s president, Nemat Shafik, had just the day before testified before a Republican-dominated congressional committee ostensibly concerned with campus “antisemitism”—a label that has come to be misapplied to any criticism of Israel, though the critics so smeared are often themselves Jewish.

A sense of delight has filled the city’s opinion pages. The New York Post editorial board (4/18/24)  hailed both the clampdown on protests and Congress’s push to ensure that such drastic action against free speech was taken: “We’re glad to see Shafik stand up…. Congress deserves some credit for putting educrats’ feet to the fire on this issue.” The paper added, “Academia has been handling anti-Israel demonstrations with kid gloves.” In other words, universities have been allowing too many people to think and speak critically about an important issue of the day.

In “At Columbia, the Grown-Ups in the Room Take a Stand,” New York Times columnist Pamela Paul (4/18/24) hailed the eviction, saying of the encampment that for the “passer-by, the fury and self-righteous sentiment on display was chilling,” and that for supporters of Israel, “it must be unimaginably painful.” In other words, conservative pundits have decided that campus safe spaces where speech is banned to protect the feelings of listeners are good, depending on the issue. Would Paul (no relation!) favor bans on pro-Taiwan or pro-Armenia demonstrations because they could offend Chinese and Turkish students?

And for Michael Oren, a prominent Israeli politico, Columbia students hadn’t suffered enough. He said of Columbia in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (4/19/24):

Missing was an admission of the university’s failure to enforce the measures it had enacted to protect its Jewish community. [Shafik] didn’t address how, under the banner of free speech, Columbia became inhospitable to Jews. She didn’t acknowledge how incendiary demonstrations such as the encampment were the product of the university’s inaction.

Shafik had assured her congressional interrogators that Columbia had already suspended 15 students for speaking out for Palestinian human rights, suspended two student groups—Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 11/10/23)—and had even terminated an instructor (New York Times, 4/17/24).

The hearing was bizarre, to say the least; a Georgia Republican asked the president if she wanted her campus to be “cursed by God” (New York Times, 4/18/24). (“Definitely not,” was her response.)

The former World Bank economist had clearly been shaken after seeing how congressional McCarthyism ousted two other female Ivy League presidents (, 12/12/23; Al Jazeera, 1/2/24).

“What happened at those hearings yesterday should be of grave concern to everybody, regardless of their feelings on Palestine, regardless of their politics,” Barnard College women’s studies professor Rebecca Jordan-Young told Democracy Now! (4/18/24). “What happened yesterday was a demonstration of the growing and intensifying attack on liberal education writ large.”

Her colleague, historian Nara Milanich, said in the same interview:

This is not about antisemitism so much as attacking areas of inquiry and teaching, whether it’s about voting rights or vaccine safety or climate change — right?—arenas of inquiry that are uncomfortable or inconvenient or controversial for certain groups. And so, this is essentially what we’re seeing, antisemitism being weaponized in a broad attack on the university.

Jewish faculty at Columbia spoke out against the callous misuse of antisemitism to silence students, but those in power aren’t listening (Columbia Spectator, 4/10/24).

Shafik justified authorizing the mass arrests, which many said hadn’t been seen on campus since the anti-Vietnam War protests of 1968. “The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies,” she said (BBC, 4/18/24).  “Through direct conversations and in writing, the university provided multiple notices of these violations.”

One policy suggested by the university’s “antisemitism task force,” according to a university trustee who also testified (New York Times, 4/18/24): “If you are going to chant, it should only be in a certain place, so that people who don’t want to hear it are protected from having to hear it.”

Meanwhile, the University of Southern California canceled the planned graduation speech by valedictorian Asna Tabassum—a Muslim woman who had spoken out for Palestine (Reuters, 4/18/24). The university cited unnamed “security risks”;  The Hill (4/16/24) noted that “she had links to pro-Palestinian sites on her social media.”  Andrew T. Guzman, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement that cancelation was “consistent with the fundamental legal obligation—including the expectations of federal regulators—that universities act to protect students and keep our campus community safe” (USC Annenberg Media, 4/15/24).

This is happening as academic freedom is being rolled back across the country. Republicans in Indiana recently passed a law to allow a politically appointed board to deny or even revoke university professors’ tenure if the board feels their classes lack “intellectual diversity”—at the same time that it threatens them if they seem “likely” to “subject students to political or ideological views and opinions” deemed unrelated to their courses (Inside Higher Ed, 2/21/24).

Benjamin Balthaser, associate professor of English at Indiana University South Bend, told FAIR in regard to the congressional hearing:

There is no other definition of bigotry or racism that equates criticism of a state, even withering, hostile criticism, with an entire ethnic or religious group, especially a state engaging in ongoing, documented war crimes and crimes against humanity. Added to this absurdity is the fact that many of the accused are not only Jewish, but have strong ties to their Jewish communities. To make such an equation assumes a collective or group homogeneity which is itself a form of essentialism, even racism itself: People are not reducible to the crimes of their state, let alone a state thousands of miles away to which most Jews are not citizens.

Of course, witch hunts against leftists in US society are often motivated by antisemitism. Balthaser again:

The far right has long deployed antisemitism as a weapon of censorship and repression, associating Jewishness with Communism and subversion during the First and Second Red Scares. Not only did earlier forms of McCarthyism overwhelmingly target Jews (Jews were two-thirds of the “defendants” called before HUAC in 1952, despite being less than 2% of the US population), it did so while cynically pretending to protect Jews from Communism. Something very similar is occurring now: Mobilizing a racist trope of Jewish adherence to Israel, far-right politicians are using accusations of antisemitism to both silence criticism of Israel and, in doing so, promote their antisemitic ideas of Jewishness in the world.

These universities are not simply clamping down on free speech because the administrators dislike this particular speech, or out of fear that pro-Palestine demonstrations or vocal faculty members could scare donors from writing big checks. This is a result of state actors—congressional Republicans, in particular—who are using their committee power and sycophants in the media to demand more firings, more suspensions, more censorship.

I have written for years (, 10/23/20, 11/17/21, 3/25/22), as have many others, that Republican complaints about “cancel culture” on campus suppressing free speech are exaggerated. One of the biggest hypocrisies is that so-called free-speech conservatives claim that campus activists are silencing conservatives, but have little to say about blatant censorship and political firings when it comes to Palestine.

This isn’t a mere moral inconsistency. This is the anti-woke agenda at work: When criticism of the right is deemed to be the major threat to free speech, it’s a short step to enlisting the state to “protect” free speech by silencing the critics—in this case, dissenters against US support for Israeli militarism.

But this isn’t just about Palestine; crackdowns against pro-Palestine protests are part of a broader war against discourse and thought. The right has already paved the way for assaults on educational freedom with bans aimed at Critical Race Theory adopted in 29 states.

If the state can now stifle and punish speech against the murder of civilians in Gaza, what’s next? With another congressional committee investigating so-called infiltration by China’s Communist Party, will Chinese political scholars be targeted next (Reuters, 2/28/24)? With state laws against environmental protests proliferating (Sierra, 9/17/23), will there be a new McCarthyism against climate scientists? (Author Will Potter raised the alarm about a “green scare” more than a decade ago—People’s World, 9/26/11; CounterSpin, 2/1/13.)

Universities and the press are supposed to be places where we can freely discuss the issues of the day, even if that means having to hear opinions that might be hard for some to digest. Without those arenas for free thought, our First Amendment rights mean very little. If anyone who claims to be a free speech absolutist isn’t citing a government-led war against free speech and assembly on campuses as their No. 1 concern in the United States right now, they’re a fraud.

Tucker Carlson Says Politicians Are TERRIFIED Of The Intelligence Agencies!

the horse race

Trump trial: hush money was ‘election fraud pure and simple’, prosecutors say

Donald Trump “orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election” in his efforts to cover up an alleged affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels, the prosecution said on Monday in its opening statement in the former president’s criminal trial, with the defense countering that “there’s nothing wrong with trying to influence an election – it’s called democracy”.

After opening statements from both sides, the historic trial also briefly heard from its first witness, David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer and a man at the heart of Trump’s alleged crimes.

A jury of seven men and five women living in Manhattan will weigh whether Trump’s alleged efforts to conceal an affair with Daniels, which he feared would damage his bid for the White House, were illicit. Trump was charged in the spring of 2023 with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The case, brought by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, hinges on a $130,000 payment that Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels to keep her story under wraps. Bragg contends that Trump masked the true nature of the payment in business records, by describing repayments to Cohen as lawful legal expenses.

Challenging the Duopoly: Jill Stein on Why She’s Running for US President as Green Party Candidate

the evening greens

Students at US universities file legal complaints over fossil fuel investments

Campus organizers at three universities filed legal complaints on Monday arguing that their schools’ investments in planet-heating fossil fuels are illegal, the Guardian has learned.

The students from Columbia University, Tulane University and the University of Virginia each wrote to the attorneys general of their respective states calling on them to scrutinize their universities’ investments. They accuse their universities of breaching the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, a law adopted by 49 states that requires non-profit institutions to consider their “charitable purposes” when investing, and exercise “prudence” and “loyalty”.

“[T]he privileges that Columbia enjoys as a non-profit institution come with the responsibility to ensure that its resources are put to socially beneficial ends,” the Columbia students wrote.

Investments in coal, oil and gas violate each of the three schools’ stated missions and pledges to prioritize climate action and research, the complaints say. From a purely financial standpoint, investments in fossil fuel stocks are also volatile, the students argue.

“Despite the demonstrable financial and social benefits of institutional fossil fuel divestment, the Board has remained steadfast in its support of an industry whose business model is based on environmental destruction and social injustice,” the University of Virginia students wrote.

The drain awaits:

‘This country is what the world would like to be’: can Costa Rica’s environment minister keep the country’s green reputation intact?

“This country is what the world would like to be but is not,” says Franz Tattenbach, Costa Rica’s minister of environment and energy. The 69-year-old economist is keenly aware of his role as guardian of the country’s reputation for forward-looking biodiversity initiatives and forest restoration. Since the 1970s, successive governments have sought to do justice to its wildlife, enacting a widely praised conservation policy that has boosted the country’s image as a model of environmental preservation. ...

But Tattenbach is under pressure. Recently, environmentalists and NGOs have expressed increasing concern about the country’s ecological future. Since the president, Rodrigo Chaves, took office in 2022, there are signs that he is shifting the country’s focus from sustainability to economic growth, including going back to producing fossil fuels. The same country that in 2021 considered a total ban on the exploitation of fossil fuels appears to have given up on phasing out oil and gas production and is now considering reintroducing drilling into its economy. To do so, the centre-right government could reverse a decree from the previous administration that ordered an oil and gas exploration moratorium, scheduled to last until 2050.

“For those who argue that gas extraction is inherently harmful to Mother Nature and cannot be conducted in an environmentally friendly manner, I have one word for them: Norway,” said Chaves last August, citing the European country as a model for investing in public services, pensions and infrastructure without raising taxes. “We must carefully assess these resources,” Chaves added. “This is a multibillion-dollar industry, and as a nation we should discuss its potential.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Tattenbach agrees: “Decisions must be made considering the cost-benefit [of these activities].” Tattenbach says the government faces a wave of lies, jealousy and ideological criticism from opposition parties, the press and environmental organisations, and that environmental preservation remains a priority. The difference, the minister says, is that Chaves is more focused on generating wellbeing for the people. According to Tattenbach, Costa Rica’s new dilemma is maintaining its environmental reputation while generating wealth by “protecting more and obstructing less to private companies”.

During the UN’s Cop28 climate conference in December, Costa Rica declined to sign the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance declaration, presented by a coalition of governments and partners outlining the goal of eradicating oil and fossil gas extraction globally. A former president, Laura Chinchilla, said the country was “betraying its green vocation”. Costa Rica co-founded the alliance with Denmark in 2021 under the unpopular government of Carlos Alvarado Quesada. But Tattenbach says the picture is different now. He does not see a hydrocarbon ban as realistic in coming years.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Iran’s Strategic Patience Is Spent

Israel still has no proof of Unrwa terrorist claims – but damage to aid agency is done

Etiquette for College Students

Ralph Nader: Palestinians as “The Others”

EU Delusion on Sanctions and Europe’s Future

State Department To Delay Withdrawal Of U.S. Troops From Niger

US Strategy for Great Power Competition: More Graft and Hope for Wonder Weapons

China Anti-Espionage Laws Threaten Pharma Supply Chains and Multinational Manufacture in China

The Black Tax: why have African Americans been cheated by the system for so long?

Relief as San Francisco public toilet finally opens – and not for $1.7m after all

‘Where are they supposed to sleep?’: US supreme court appears divided on key homelessness case

George Galloway: A Vote For The Establishment Is A Vote For Genocide

Labor Organizer Jane McAlevey on UAW's Astounding Victory in VW Tennessee

Google BLACKLISTS California News Sites, FIRES MORE Protesters

'Atrocity, Anti-Jew': MSNBC, CNN MELTDOWN Over Columbia Protests


Batsh*t Nancy Pelosi Goes On Crazed Rant About Putin & Ukraine!

U.S. House Approves $95 Billion MORE In W@r Funding!

Tony Blinken stonewalls The Grayzone on Gaza & int'l law

Scott Ritter: Ukraine Collapsing In Plain Sight.

A Little Night Music

Juke Boy Bonner - Carried To The Cleaners And Hung Out To Dry

Juke Boy Bonner - Running Shoes

Juke Boy Bonner - Call Me Juke Boy

Juke Boy Bonner - Mojo hand

Juke Boy Bonner - It's A Shame, Shame, Shame

Juke Boy Bonner - Life Gave Me a Dirty Deal

Juke Boy Bonner - Mr. Downchild

Juke Boy Bonner - Let's Boogie

Ted Hawley & Weldon Bonner – Trying To Keep It Together

9 users have voted.


9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


well, that's kind of shockingly not shocking. when i hear about viral "antisemites" in various social media at rallies i always wonder how many of them are bought.

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


Just watch the first few minutes of Pelosi’s drunken ranting.

The guys go on to talk about all the times America has used rape against its enemies or protected its allies for their rapes. Abu Garib happened, but Nancy wasn’t interested in holding Bush accountable because apparently he’s above the law.

Columbia bigwigs need to remember what was previously stated on free speech and protests:

“There is nothing more fundamental to a university than the protection of the free discourse of individuals who should feel free to express their views without fear of the chilling effect of a politically dominant ideology. … This matter cuts to the heart of what are fundamental values at a great university.”

8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


i salute the speaker immediately following pelosi who spoke a profound truth, "The gentlewoman's time is expired."

6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


Snickers….. the sign says Jews for a free Palestine

The couple must have been reading the Slimes and believed that all Jews were in danger from the pro Hamas anti genocide crowd. No wonder she looked so confused…

8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


wow, defiantly confused. i guess that's a thing.

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


Jewish women has taken the video down…lol I guess she couldn’t handle the flack of being ridiculed for being ignored. How very brave of her.

4 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

@snoopydawg idiotic to post it on social media in the first place.
I wish people could be perfect like you and I.

4 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp
she thought she was making a statement
just by being there
and ignoring the surroundings?

3 users have voted.

@QMS the benefit of the doubt.
I see body language and facial expression that screams out she is spoiling for a fight.
Without a doubt.
You are just a nice guy, my friend. By comparison, I am an iron ass.
But still perfect, so don't misunderstand me. /s

4 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

Imagine how much better the world would be.

I have another video on her that I’ll post tonight. It’s even better. You should join the Twit just so you read reviews.

4 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

@snoopydawg I might play around with it this evening.
Can't wait for her next video!

3 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

yesterday to the effect that we were going to be pulling out of Niger. It was quite reassuring to read the MOA coverage on that which indicates that we simply agreed to jerk them around for an indeterminate amount of time. My faith in the good ol' USA has been restored.

be well and have a good one

6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

yep, it's just like blinken said the other day, when you get americans in your house, it can be hard to get them to leave.

or something like that.

have a good one!

5 users have voted.
soryang's picture

....with the judge analyzed the Israel-Iran relationship. He expressed an important opinion on the alleged "nuclear attack." He also had an opinion on Iran's readiness to produce deliverable nuclear weapons. I think his opinion on the latter is based on some assumptions. It could be true, but I've read one authoritative analysis that without a nuclear test, of the engineered weapon, it's not ready. There is also the matter of the package being in a deliverable form with the delivery systems available.

Appreciate the EBs Joe.

5 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the video! ritter's opinion about pepe escobar's story about a downed f35 with a nuke on it is similar to larry johnson's which he offered on an earlier judge napolitano video.

frankly, i can't see why iran needs a nuclear warhead when israel has conveniently placed nuclear weapons and a large reactor facility where iran could blow them up with conventional warheads and spread radioactive material all over israel. no testing required.

have a good one!

8 users have voted.