Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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B g bonds

Money from these bonds is not earmarked, so it just goes into the general fund. There is no knowing if the bond I bought was used to expand settlements, was used to build an apartheid wall, was used to buy weapons. They're doing that intentionally. They know that people don't want to directly support war efforts or that it would be better if you could say, “The bond money was going purely to infrastructure projects” or something of the sort, but they don't do that. There's no disclosure or transparency. Once it is in the general fund of the treasury, it can be used for anything. The far right finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, a man who is deeply committed to the project of genocide against Palestinians, is technically in charge of these general funds. I's a very scary thought.

Clark Randall, a past guest, and Lucy Randall who co-wrote The Nation article, "How Israel Bonds Put the Cost of the War in Gaza on US States and Municipalities: After October 7, Palm Beach County, Florida, bought $660 million in Israel bonds. A new lawsuit argues that it’s a bad deal for taxpayers."
Clark is an independent journalist and PhD student at Brown University. His work considers questions of race, class, and finance in the US and internationally.

Lucy is a freelance journalist and an immigration lawyer representing asylum seekers in New York City.

Clark was on last August to talk about his Boston Review article, "Bond... read more

 


Feb 7 2023
Posted by Alexander Jerri
Darth coffee

I’m coming to you today from the shipyard in Popham, ME, where dry-dock professionals are currently refitting the fishing trawler, the SS Merkin, to be airlifted for use by the Ukrainian Navy should the hostilities become pelagically noir – or, whatever, move into the Black Sea. Somehow.

 

Must there be nations? Well, whether or not there must be, there are. Must a nation have a leader? Well, most do. Must the leader be wealthy? Well, most are.


If there must be nations, and if a nation must have a leader, and if a leader must be wealthy, maybe they shouldn’t be the wealthiest person in the nation. And maybe the wealthiest person in the nation, leader or not, shouldn’t be wealthier than the nation itself or be able to leverage their wealth to determine national policies. Just as a rule of thumb.

There are a lot of things wrong with the way wealth is distributed, especially now, and there are a lot of things wrong currently with the leadership of nations. It’s hard to imagine that the two problems aren’t somehow related.

 

Economic wealth and political power both give the bearer delusions of strength beyond their actual physical abilities. They become so used to getting what they want, it’s only natural that many of them tend to esteem themselves superhuman.

 

The opposite is also true, however. The über-privileged are also prone to indulge delusions of fragility. King Charles VI of France famously believed he was made of glass and took elaborate precautions to avoid accidentally shattering. Napoleon is said to have been afraid of cats, and this fear is also said (by me) to have stemmed from the worry that he might step on their tails and be visited by them in the night where they would steal his breath in revenge. Emperor Augustus Caesar was under the delusion that he contained a highly conductive fluid that would attract a fatal lightning strike. Genghis Khan was irrationally fearful of being eaten by dogs, even small fluffy ones. The celebrated novelist, Balzac, had a fear of burning up in the sunlight, as did the Count of Dracula.

 

Two moderately old sayings should be kept in mind, though:

 

1.     The rich are different.

2.     It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

 

The wealthy and powerful are physiologically different from the rest of us losers, based on a peer reviewed... read more

Jan 25 2023