Editorials: Calm down; and There is no ethnic cleansing lite

the masses
These ARE deadly serious issues, but as much as dour fanatics might wish for such a thing, there is no law against you laughing and making sick jokes while stranded by a national strike. Unattributed photo posted on X of this national shutdown beginning in Santiago.

Relax. Network with those close to you for what you need. Survive.

As traffic slows down and comes to a halt, we hope you are out of it, or get out of it soon.

Remember where you are, who you are and what your best neighbors ought to be convinced to think of you.

This is PANAMA. Gringo “time is money” notions don’t work here. Acclimate to the “maybe ma├▒ana” attitude for your own health and safety.

HOW LONG will these protests last? It might be days or weeks. They might be cut short by an intervening decision or event.

In the meantime, calm down. Find something to do around the house.

If there is a need to get supplies, better to network with others than to be an individual in a crowd of hoarders at one of the big supermarkets. These twisted so-called “Darwinians” will tell you about the strongest and toughest and smartest and richest surviving. Actually, it’s those who form the most adequate associations with other people who do that best.

Does the editor have a suggested end strategy for this crisis? Of course. The high court rules that this contract, like the prior one, is unconstitutional. Nito, Benicio and the PRD cower at the thought of starting this up again. In any case those who were for selling off part of Panama as a mining colony get sent to political oblivion in next May’s elections, and because the company is a foreign entity that has intervened in Panamanian politics, the new administration declares First Quantum non grata and kicks them out of the country.

Will they sue in some international court? Let them. They won’t win before any impartial tribunal.



An unprofessional, tragically botched handling of a hostage situation.

It’s easy — and just — to say a plague on Hamas
AND a plague on Netanyahu. HOWEVER…

Each for their domestic political reasons, Israel’s Netanyahu regime and Gaza’s Hamas regime decided that war and pogroms against noncombatant civilians were the way out of long festering and unsustainable political crises. Go much beyond that and the equivalencies stray ever farther from the truth.

Hamas won the last Palestinian elections, in 2006, with Gaza their stronghold. They did so with Israeli help. Since shortly thereafter the loser, Mahmoud Abbas, has stayed on as an illegitimate and ineffectual authoritarian with an ever-shrinking part of the county on the West Bank, as violent Israeli settlers grab ever more land and destroy ever more Palestinian property. Hamas has become ever more violent and extreme in Gaza, from time to time putting on deadly pyrotechnics shows that only bring destruction and misery to the people whom they govern.

Nobody speaking for Israel has any right to comment on how badly the Palestinians are led. It’s like a rapist taunting his victim on a grand scale.

You can understand fascists anywhere liking all the death and destruction. People like that are really into cruelty, and there a many of them in many countries cheering for the Israeli bombing campaign.

But a large majority of the American people look at what’s going on over there and are sickened by it and want a ceasefire. What Uncle Sam is paying for instead is more bombing, more war, and an ethnic cleansing campaign directed at a civilian population of more than a million people, most of whom are too young to vote now and who certainly had no voice in the 2006 election.

STOP IT! Stop feeding the slaughter now, find a mediator who can be neither the United States nor any other knee-jerk supporter of either side, end this atrocious war, end this atrocious apartheid scheme, bring war criminals from both sides to the defendants’ dock of international justice and get on with the business of promoting two states that will get along with each other.

While we are at it, let’s get past the hypocrisy. The dispossession and removal of so many conquered peoples are the national stories of most of the modern-day countries of the Americas. An honest look at what has been done in the places we are from, and a bit of humility about that, are steps along the way to understanding the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians and making proper moral judgments about the aspects of it. There is no ethnic cleansing lite, nor are there glorious tales to be truthfully told about the process. Look at all the war propaganda in that light.┬á


Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.

James Joyce

Bear in mind…

There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.

Mary Renault

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Self-knowledge is not knowledge but a story one tells about oneself.

Simone De Beauvoir


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