Monday, March 27, 2023

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


The good:

Israel's largest trade union group launched a strike across a broad swath of sectors Monday, joining a surging protest movement against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to overhaul the country's judiciary — a plan that has drawn unprecedented opposition. The strike by the Histadrut umbrella group, which represents more than 700,000 workers in health, transit and banking, among many other fields, could paralyze large parts of Israel's economy, which is already on shaky ground, ratcheting up the pressure on Netanyahu to suspend the overhaul.

Despite the mounting pressure from workers and weeks of growing protests on the streets, Netanyahu's far-right religious-nationalist coalition government survived a no-confidence motion filed by the country's political opposition parties Monday. The motion — called over the judicial reforms — failed by a vote of 59-53, according to the speaker of Israel's legislature, the Knesset.  [snip]

The Israel Medical Association quickly announced "a full strike in the health system" that looked set to impact all public hospitals, according to the French news agency AFP. Israel's Airports Authority said departing flights from the country's main international airport, Ben Gurion Airport, had been grounded due to the strike. Tens of thousands are expected to be affected by the flight changes. But planes will for the moment still be able to land at the airport outside Tel Aviv.

The growing resistance to the plan came hours after tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets around the country in a spontaneous show of anger at Netanyahu's decision to fire his defense minister after the minister called for a pause of the overhaul. Chanting "the country is on fire," they lit bonfires on Tel Aviv's main highway, closing it and many others throughout the country for hours while police scuffled with protesters gathered outside Netanyahu's private home in Jerusalem.

The overhaul, driven by Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, and his allies in Israel's most right-wing government ever has plunged Israel into one of its worst domestic crises. It has sparked a sustained and intensifying protest movement that has spread to nearly all sectors of society, including its military, where reservists have increasingly come out publicly to say they will not serve a country veering toward autocracy.

The struggle to save democracy in Israel from the corrupt authoritarian Netanyahu mirrors the same struggles in nations around the world, including here in the U.S.  Every time one of these bastards is defeated is a victory for us all.

The bad:

Facing a potential indictment, former President Trump took a defiant stance at a rally Saturday in Waco, disparaging the prosecutors investigating him and predicting his vindication as he rallied supporters in a city made famous by deadly resistance against law enforcement.

With a hand over his heart, Trump stood at attention when his rally opened with a song called “Justice for All,” performed by a choir of people imprisoned for their roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Some video from the attack was shown on big screens displayed at the rally site as the choir sang the national anthem and a recording played of Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

The display opened Trump’s first official rally of his 2024 Republican presidential campaign. He then launched into a speech brimming with resentment and framed the investigations targeting him, including one by the New York grand jury, as political attacks on him and his followers.

“You will be vindicated and proud,” Trump said. “The thugs and criminals who are corrupting our justice system will be defeated, discredited and totally disgraced.”

Glorifying the real thugs -- the insurrectionists -- and vowing their vindication and the defeat of those who stand up for the rule of law?   The Republican front- runner's escalating rhetoric is that of a deranged narcissist, willing to burn down everything to save himself from the consequences of his own actions.  And he has legions of gullible MAGA morons ready to go.

The ugly:

The Florence museum housing Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece the “David” invited parents and students from a Florida charter school to visit after complaints about a lesson featuring the statue forced the principal to resign.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella also tweeted an invitation for the principal to visit so he can personally honor her. Confusing art with pornography was “ridiculous,” Nardella said.

The incredulous Italian response highlights how the U.S. culture wars are often perceived in Europe, where despite a rise in right-wing sentiment and governance, the Renaissance and its masterpieces, even its naked ones, are generally free of controversy.

But the board of the Tallahassee Classical School pressured Principal Hope Carrasquilla to resign last week after an image of the “David” was show to a sixth-grade art class. The school has a policy requiring parents to be notified in advance about “controversial” topics being taught.

This latest episode in Making Floriduh Edumacation Great is just too depressingly stupid to comment on any further.


Ole phat Stu said...

Whan I saw the David statue I noticed it doesnt have an asshole. As opposed to Maralago.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Stu -- =rimshot=