Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Despite Moscow’s efforts to obstruct the funeral of Alexie Navalny (veiled threats to funeral homes and churches, warning citizens not to attend, etc.), the funeral of the murdered Putin critic was held today in Russia. Untold thousands of bold and defiant Russians filled the streets to pay their respects, as well as remind Putin that Navalny’s legacy will live on. All of this while rows of riot police lined the streets. While one can reasonably assume that the funeral enraged the Kremlin, the multitudes in the street chanting “Navalny,” must have sent them over the edge. And of course, everyday citizens boldly speaking that which must not be said is the cherry on top:

I have no idea who these brave women are, especially the first one. One no longer scared, the other scared, but what courage they both display. This is the stuff of which I really know nothing about in my own cushy life here. Big love and admiration for both for their bold clarity and refusal to remain silent when that would be the safest thing to do:

And finally, Yulia Navalnaya says goodbye to her husband:

Second news item

Ethnic cleansing happening in occupied states in Ukraine:

Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian-appointed governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, acknowledged the forced deportation of Ukrainian citizens and hinted that the Russians are executing Ukrainians.

According to him, the Russian occupation authorities “expelled a large number of families…who did not support the ‘special military operation’” or who “insulted” Russia, including the Russian flag, anthem, or Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Balitsky tried to justify these actions, which constitute war crimes, by claiming that the forced deportation of Ukrainian families was for their own benefit, as occupation authorities would have had to “deal” with them in an even “harsher” way in the future, or other pro-Russian citizens would have killed them…

. . .Russia is trying to destroy the Ukrainian language, culture, history, ethnicity and identity, including through actions that violate the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Third news item


Delaying the January 6 trial suppresses critical evidence that Americans deserve to hear. Donald Trump attempted to overturn an election and seize power. Our justice system must be able to bring him to trial before the next election. SCOTUS [supreme court of the US] should decide this case promptly.

Fourth news item

Competing stories about Wednesday’s horrific tragedy in Gaza:

Israel blamed:

The Palestinians were trying to access basic humanitarian aid from trucks when the shooting started, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds of others.

Israel denies the accusations :

Israel has refuted claims it was responsible, saying instead that Palestinians were trying to loot humanitarian aid from trucks and that dozens were killed and injured in the rush.

“No [Israeli Defense Forces] strike was conducted toward the aid convoy,” said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesperson.

How the media is framing the story is well, interesting. For exampled, from NBC:

Israeli forces fired on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City. At least 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the enclave’s Health Ministry, said today. NBC News has not independently verified the reported death toll, and it’s not clear how many people were killed from gunfire or the ensuing panic. The Israeli military said that civilians surrounded an aid truck, causing pushing and trampling, and that it was reviewing the incident. An Israeli government source said Israel Defense Forces troops responded with “live fire” after people surrounded trucks carrying humanitarian aid.

Note: The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, which provides the numbers, is Hamas-controlled, and several media outlets have also stated, along with NBC News, that the death toll could not be independently verified by their organizations. Additionally, an IDF spokesman clarified what happened:

“At 4:45 am, a mob ambushed the aid trucks bringing the convey to a halt…the tanks that were there cautiously tried to disperse the mob with a few warning shots. When hundreds became thousands, the tank commander decided to retreat

No IDF strike was conducted toward the aid convey. Let me repeat. No IDF strike was conducted toward the aid convey.

On the contrary, the IDF was there conducting a humanitarian operation to allow the aid convey to reach the designated distribution point.”

A fuller look at the different stories can be found here.

I watched a video this morning of an elderly Palestinian woman crying that the aid was being stolen from the people who need it. Also, a group of men in Rafah have organized to stop the profiteering on food items being sold on the streets.

It’s understandable why desperately hungry people who are suffering under deplorable conditions would stampede an aid truck bringing in food. It’s also understandable why a country is determined to destroy a terrorist group that continues to hold hostages who are suffering under deplorable conditions. Every single bit of what is happening is just overwhelmingly tragic.

Fifth news item

He’s in the race:

Former Rep. Justin Amash is entering Michigan’s Republican Senate primary, he announced on Thursday.

“After thoroughly evaluating all aspects of a potential campaign, I’m convinced that no candidate would be better positioned to win both the Republican primary and the general election,” Amash wrote on social media.

Sixth news item

Bearing the standard:

When a party is broken both sides get to speak of why they’re right and the other side’s wrong. That is why it is legitimate and constructive—it is a very 80% move!—for Ms. Haley to stay in and argue against Mr. Trump and his policies. This is right, helpful and clarifying. Mr. Trump tends to avoid this, or rather to do half, the part about why he’s the right person. He doesn’t much address his own policies, or explain why Ms. Haley is wrong in hers. But he owes it to the country. Is he capable of engaging on issues? Is he too old, too scattered and unfocused?

Some say Ms. Haley should get out now to preserve her viability for 2028. This is fantasy. She is taking on the more-than-half part of her party now and alienating them every day. They won’t forget it. In any case, future presidential cycles aren’t at all predictable or plannable. Everything changes; people will enter whose names we don’t know. If Ms. Haley has a presidential future it will more likely be with a third party. For now she is doing an authentic public service in bearing a standard and explaining why it must be borne, and that is enough.

Seventh news item


Against a tide of antidemocratic threats and a rise in autocratic movements around the globe, representative democracy still remains largely popular, but support has slipped over the last decade, according to the results of a wide-ranging survey from Pew Research Center.

. . .

Half or more respondents in 17 countries are dissatisfied with the way democracy works, a share that has declined since the survey was last performed in 2017.

According to the report, 42 per cent of respondents believe that no political party represents their views.

Though autocracy remains generally unpopular worldwide, with a majority of respondents in all but five countries rejecting it, a worrying share of respondents are open to authoritarian governance. Support for an autocratic form of government has significantly increased across three Latin American countries that were polled, as well as in Germany, India, Kenya, Poland and South Korea, according to the survey.

Count your blessings, and have a good weekend.


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