Ralph welcomes Professor John Kindt to discuss his recent article in the Capitol Hill Citizen, "Time to Criminalize Internet Gambling." Then, our resident international law expert Bruce Fein takes us to the International Court of Justice and explains the lawsuit that South Africa has filed against Israel, which alleges genocide. Finally, Ralph has some choice words about Boeing's latest disaster.
John Kindt is Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at the University of Illinois Gies College of Business, where his teaching focuses on—among other topics—the socio-economics of gambling and legal policies. Mr. Kindt has frequently testified as an expert witness before state legislative and congressional committees.
Illinois was one of the first states to get the so-called riverboat casinos. And of course, this was just deployed to bring casinos everywhere to Illinois and to other states. They promise what we call “the E's” — they'll help education, they'll help the environment, they'll help the elderly, they'll help employment. None of that is accurate. They just throw nickels and dimes at this.
I feel very comfortable naming names of these companies. If you just talk about “Big Gambling”, you're nowhere near specific accountability. When you talk about specific names of companies, the next step is the names of the CEOs, the names of the Directors of Marketing and Advertising. You find out whether there are any whistleblowers.
Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.
To my mind, this perhaps is the strongest case in the history of the Genocide Convention…Literally hundreds of officials from the highest levels of the Netanyahu administration have openly stated, “We are going to lay a siege. No water, no food, no medicine, no shelter, no hospitals.” You can't survive under those conditions… And they've also stated clearly that in their view, Palestinians are animals and will be treated accordingly. Many statements saying, “They need to be driven out of Gaza. They don't deserve to be there.” These are the most flagrant, direct confessions of a genocidal intent that's imaginable.
The FAA has inspection offices up in Seattle and they go to the Boeing factories all the time, but they've been rather lax over the years— to put it mildly. They have delegated regulatory authority to Boeing to regulate itself, and then they do the paperwork at the FAA… There’s going to be more and more disclosures, and it will come right back to the lack of regulatory enforcement and prosecution of the culpable executives who have turned a once-proud engineering aerospace company into a speculative tool to increase the stock price on Wall Street.
In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis
1. In response to Israel’s campaign of destruction in Gaza, South Africa has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice alleging that Israel’s actions “‘are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part’ of the Palestinians in Gaza,” per PBS News Hour. Israel – which PBS acknowledges “has a history of ignoring international tribunals,” – intends to send a legal team to the Hague to fight this case.
2. South Africa is joined in this case by a number of states, including the Organization of Islamic Countries, the Plurinational state of Bolivia, Jordan, Turkey, and Malaysia, according to Al Jazeera. Some high-profile individuals have also signed on, most notably Israeli Leftist MK Ofer Cassif, who said “My constitutional duty is to Israeli society and all its residents, not to a government whose members and its coalition are calling for ethnic cleansing and even actual genocide.” Common Dreams reports that in retaliation, Right-wing Israeli MKs are seeking to expel Cassif from the Knesset.
3. Speaking to Democracy Now!, Professor Francis Boyle – the only lawyer to have ever successfully won a Genocide Convention case at the ICJ – said “I believe South Africa will win an order against Israel to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Palestinians.” He added that Israel has historically heeded orders from the U.S. to cease attacks on Palestine, meaning “We here in the United States of America have the power to stop this.”
4. Leaking anonymously to the Guardian, extremism experts at the Anti-Defamation League are expressing outrage at the organization’s attempts to draw “false equivalences,” between anti-Semitism and Left-wing anti-Zionism, emphasizing that such equivocation undermines their mission to stop anti-Semitic hate. One ADL employee went so far as to say “The ADL has a pro-Israel bias and an agenda to suppress pro-Palestinian activism.” Since October 7th, the ADL has “been working with law enforcement to crack down on college campus activism … [developing] a legal strategy to go after branches of Students for Justice in Palestine… [and describing] grassroots calls for protests of Israel’s military campaign as ‘pro-Hamas activism’.”
5. A stunning report in the Intercept reveals that “Whether reporting from the Middle East, the United States, or anywhere else across the globe, every CNN journalist covering Israel and Palestine must submit their work for review by the news organization’s bureau in Jerusalem prior to publication.” While CNN corporate claims this does not significantly impact their coverage of Israel and Palestine issues, a CNN staffer, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisal, disputes this claim – saying “Every single Israel-Palestine-related line for reporting must seek approval from the [Jerusalem] bureau — or, when the bureau is not staffed, from a select few handpicked by the bureau and senior management.” As Jim Naureckas of FAIR puts it, “When you have a protocol that routes all stories through one checkpoint, you’re interested in control, and the question is who is controlling the story?”
6. President Biden is facing a campaign staff revolt related to his policy on Gaza, POLITICO reports. In a letter, 17 current Biden campaign staffers wrote “As your staff, we believe it is both a moral and electoral imperative for you to publicly call for a cessation of violence…Complicity in the death of over 20,000 Palestinians, 8,200 of whom are children, simply cannot be justified.” Beyond the clear moral imperative of this plea, the staffers emphasize that this is a form of “tough love,” intended to help Biden avert electoral catastrophe come November, already ominously portended by “volunteers quit[ting] in droves,” over Gaza.
7. Over 130 constituents of Representative Elise Stefanik, along with groups representing District members and concerned citizens, sent a letter to the Congresswoman this week decrying her conduct in the recent hearings that led to the ouster of the presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. The letter excoriated Rep. Stefanik for charging the university presidents with anti-Semitism while herself full-throatedly endorsing the ongoing genocide in Gaza, ending with the clear demand “Resign and let us be done with you!”
8. The Federal Trade Commission has won a temporary block of IQVIA’s Acquisition of Propel Media, according to a statement released by the Commission. The FTC sought to block this merger because “the proposed acquisition would give IQVIA a market-leading position in programmatic advertising targeted to doctors and other health care professionals.” Senator Elizabeth Warren congratulated the FTC on social media, writing “This court win is the [FTC’s] fourth merger victory in the health care industry in less than a month. [Lina Khan] continues to fight for more competition and against bad deals that would raise health care prices for consumers.”
9. You may have heard about the recent Boeing 737 MAX 9 crisis, in which a violent explosive decompression event resulted in a door plug blowing out of the plane while in midair. Amid the flurry of information coming out about this story, it is worth highlighting the response by the Association of Flight Attendants, headed by labor icon Sara Nelson: “Our union supports the FAA's quick and decisive action to ground certain 737 MAX 9[s] that do not meet the inspection cycles specified in the Emergency Airworthiness Directive. This is a critical move to ensure the safety of all crew and passengers, as well as confidence in aviation safety. Lives must come first always. Last night’s incident could have been worse, but Flight Attendants and Pilots of Alaska 1282 ensured all passengers and crew arrived safely back on the ground. We commend the entire crew. We are closely monitoring and working with our airlines - Alaska and United - the FAA, and DOT to ensure that aircraft are not returned to service until they are deemed safe for all. AFA is also participating in the NTSB investigation and we support that process for full safety findings and actions. Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders. We are trained for emergencies, and we work every flight for aviation safety first and foremost. We fly only when it’s safe.”
10. Finally, taking notice of the recent, groundbreaking Senate hearing on Corporate Crime, the Washington Post devoted an entire column to the issue. Focusing on the costs of corporate crime, the paper notes “The size and scope of corporate crime are massive, with an annual price tag exceeding $300 billion, according to FBI data…street crime…by comparison, is a meager $16 billion.” Furthermore, the Post repeated Senator Durbin’s lamentation that the Department of Justice lacks resources “to battle deep-pocketed corporations,” sending a message that “if you’ve got enough money, you can game the system and walk away with…billions when it’s…over.” In his closing remarks, Durbin wondered aloud, “What does it say about the system of justice in America…if the big guys are exempt and the little guys go to jail…?”
This has been Francesco DeSantis, with In Case You Haven’t Heard.