Political cartoonist Ted Rall (from the Left) and Scott Stantis (from the Right) discuss the week in politics and current events and culture. This week, the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Birmingham, Alabama’s experiment with a universal basic income.
In the first segment of this week’s DMZ America podcast, Ted and Scott dig deeper than ever before into the domestic and international implications of the war in Gaza. The two cartoonists delve into Israel’s right to exist, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in administrative detention, hostage exchanges, and whether there is a future two-state solution or whether a future single Republic of Palestine could reasonably accommodate members of all ethnic groups.
In the second part of the DMZ America podcast this week, Scott explains an experiment in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama in which single women are paid a universal basic income of $385 per month. The mayor says he wants to renew it because it’s doing well. Should a universal basic income be adopted by the United States? Ted and Scott talk about the economic and cultural risks and rewards of giving people a paycheck without having to work, with an emphasis on the fact that automation and artificial intelligence may make it so that society has no choice.
Watch the Video Version of the DMZ America Podcast:
DMZ America Podcast Ep 126 Sec 1: Gaza — Left vs. Right
DMZ America Podcast Ep 126 Sec 2: Alabama’s Basic Universal Income
On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong discussed a wide range of topics from around the world, including rival governors Gavin Newsom and Ron Desantis preparing to debate.
The Final Countdown – 11/28/23 – Hunter Biden Says He’s Willing to Testify to House Oversight Committee
On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong discussed top news from around the world, including Hunter Biden offering a public testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The Final Countdown – 11/27/23 – Stopgap Funding Enters Crunch Time as Congress Opens Discussion on Dec. 4
On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong discussed a wide range of topics, including the Stop Gap funding.
It is useful when you feel stumped to step back and ask yourself: what if I were coming to this person/situation/decision fresh, without precedents or historical baggage?
Inertia is a powerful and insidious force. How many times, working in an office, when you ask why a something is done a certain way, do you get the circular answer that it’s because it’s always been done that way?
About that friend you’ve had since you were both kids: sure, you’ve known each other for decades. If you met the guy now, for the first time, though, would you still want to hang out?
What about your job? It may have been a good fit when you first took it. Is your workplace still better than what’s available now?
If your answer is no, perhaps you’re due for a rethink—and possibly a radical change.
America is long overdue for a rethink of its toxic relationship with Israel.
We’ve been in deep with Israel since its creation. Supporting the creation of the Jewish state helped Harry Truman win a close election in 1948. Israel served as a bulwark against Soviet influence in neighboring Egypt and Syria during the Cold War. But we aren’t afraid of the commies anymore. Israel is no longer pretending to be a democracy.
Why are we still together?
It’s not like we’re getting much out of this romance. We pay Israel $4 billion a year even though they are living better than we are, with national healthcare and subsidized college tuition. They don’t have oil. Every time they murder a Palestinian, the bullet or the bomb is stamped “Made in USA”—which makes us a target for Islamist terrorism. Our relationship with Israel is an alliance, not a marriage, so we never promised “for better, or for worse.” But even if we had, so what? You’re surely allowed to run out the door when your partner is draining your bank account, ruining your reputation and dragging you into fights. If he’s turning violently insane, you should split.
Israel’s war in Gaza makes one thing clear: Israel has lost its mind. It’s time to cut them loose before they suck us down their maelstrom of madness.
According to military historians, the ferocious war Israel is waging against the innocent civilian population of the Gaza Strip is being waged at a scale unheard of in human history. According to the New York Times, Israel has killed more people in Gaza over the past two months than have died in two years of fighting between Russia and Ukraine. And that’s in a tiny space that’s 1/1500th of the area of the Russo-Ukrainian front. Proportionally, the Palestinian death rate in Gaza is 20,000 times higher than in Ukraine.
Casualties are sky high and soaring because Israel, unlike most combatants, refuses to open Gaza’s borders in order to allow refugees to escape the carnage. Israel doesn’t even allow boats to flee via the Mediterranean. Also unique to Israel’s efficiently bloodthirsty assault is its subjecting of a population to both siege warfare and bombing, simultaneously denying food, water, fuel and medical supplies to 2.3 million people at the same time missiles are raining down upon them.
Moreover, the Times reports, Israel is using nukes to kill flies. “Israel’s liberal use of very large weapons in dense urban areas, including U.S.-made 2,000-pound bombs that can flatten an apartment tower, is surprising, some experts say…In fighting during this century, by contrast, U.S. military officials often believed that the most common American aerial bomb—a 500-pound weapon—was far too large [emphasis mine] for most targets when battling the Islamic State in urban areas like Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria.”
A 2000-pound bomb is a devastating weapon. Military experts say that the minimum safe distance away on the ground from the detonation of a standard U.S.-made 2,000-pounder of the kind being used by Israel in Gaza is over half a mile; a plane dropping such ordinance should fly at least 4000 feet in altitude to avoid being damaged by flying debris from the blast. Israel has dropped at least 20,000 bombs, each with a blast radius of 1 square mile, enough to flatten the whole territory more than 100 times over.
“They are using extremely large weapons in extremely densely populated areas,” Brian Castner, a weapons investigator for Amnesty International and a former explosive ordnance disposal officer in the Air Force, told the Times.
Israel has carried out numerous atrocities over the past 50 years, including a bombing campaign and ground invasion of Gaza in 2014. The brutality and scale of the 2023 conflict, coupled with the racist and genocidal rhetoric of Israeli political and military leaders, is so extreme that it’s no longer possible to ignore.
Even the U.N. is disgusted. “We have in a few days in Gaza thousands and thousands of children killed, which means there is also something clearly wrong in the way military operations are being done,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
So are many others, including nations with close relations with Israel. “These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy,” added French President Emmanuel Macron. Jordan, Bahrain, Chad, Turkey, Colombia and Chile have recalled their ambassadors from Israel to protest the bloodshed. South Africa, a long-time ally of Israel dating to the apartheid period, has severed diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel has nearly exhausted the world’s patience. The amount of time that it can continue to wage war against Gaza without being isolated as a pariah state is measured in months, perhaps weeks. More embassy closings are coming. Sanctions will follow.
The United States should prepare itself for the next step: cutting Israel loose. This means cutting off military aid and logistical assistance, no more blank checks for its actions against Palestine. In just two months, American domestic public opinion has reversed, with a majority of young Americans now opposed to further assistance to Israel. Older voters are not far behind.
Getting back to the question raised at the beginning of this essay: if we were considering the question anew, free of the burden of history, would we embrace Israel as it looks and acts today? Would we supply them with weapons to bomb Gaza? Of course not.
We may or may not be able to stop Israel from its reckless and murderous carpet-bombing of Gaza. We certainly don’t have to be joined at the hip as they commit war crimes. Our alliance with Israel has outlived its usefulness.
(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)
On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong discussed a plethora of topics, including the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, and Elon Musk’s bombshell lawsuit against Media Matters.
On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong discussed several topics worldwide, including Israel and Hamas getting close to reaching a hostage deal.
Daniel Lazare: Independent journalist & author
Carter Clews: President of Constitutional Rights PAC
Ryan Cristian: Founder & Editor, The Last American Vagabond
Aquiles Larrea: CEO of Larrea Wealth Management and Finance Expert in New York City
The show kicks off with independent journalist Daniel Lazare discussing President Biden’s dwindling approval ratings.
Then, President of Constitutional Rights PAC Carter Clews shares his perspective on the Los Angeles grand jury probe into Hunter Biden.
The second hour begins with Ryan Cristian, the founder & editor of The Last American Vagabond, weighing in on the latest out of Gaza, including the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas.
The show closes with CEO of Wealth Management and Finance Expert Aquiles Larrea sharing his perspective on New York City’s budget cuts.
The Final Countdown – 11/20/23 – Biden Approval Rating Plummets as Democratic Supporters Turn on Him
On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong discussed several topics from around the globe, including Biden’s approval rating dropping.
Steve Abramowicz: CEO of Mill Creek View, Host of Mill Creek View Podcast
Steve Gill: Attorney, CEO of Gill Media
Fiorella Isabel: Journalist, Geopolitical Analyst
Ray McGovern: CIA Officer and Political Activist
The show kicks off with CEO of Mill Creek View and Podcast Host Steve Abramowicz talking about the NBC poll revealing President Biden’s plummeting approval ratings.
Then, Attorney and CEO of Gill Media Steve Gill joins to discuss the Stop Gap money for Ukraine losing Republican support.
The second hour begins with journalist Fiorella Isabel, who shares her perspective on the newly elected president of Argentina.
The show closes with CIA Officer and Political Activist, Ray McGovern, to discuss the Israeli military operation inside Gaza and the possible expansion of the conflict.