Mr. Nader, you are an inspiration every day. Without you and the few other people with your sense of justice, your level of intelligence and your idealism I (and probably a lot of others) would be hopelessly despondent with cynicism as the powerful and self-aggrandizing dominate, if not completely take over the planet.

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Thank you Ralph for your tireless over the decades (ad you still look good and sound good saying the things that people need to know. What creeps into my mind in the wee hours when my censor is asleep: the USA and it's sidekick (or is it the other way around) hope and plan to rule the world by hook or by crook, and they are using both. God help us and the world if they succeed!

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Always appreciate & respect Ralph Nader....absolutely LOVE his rant on Biden's ineptitude & unwillingness to do anything on the Israeli genocidal ethnic cleansing & his absolute cowardice toward Netanyahu. Obviously, Trump would be worse, but the fact these are the two options AGAIN, is disgusting & infuriating.

The Palestine/Gaza onslaught could have been ended days after Oct. 7th, but, like most of the goons & crooks in politics (left, right, & center), they all lack the fortitude to stand up to the corporations, donors, & lobbyist.

Keep up the tenacious efforts & willingness to inform & educate, Mr. Nader, you're a national hero!

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Mark Ryen Anderson

The Palestine/Gaza onslaught could have been ended days after Oct. 7th, but, like most of the goons & crooks in politics (left, right, & center), they all lack the fortitude to stand up to the corporations, donors, & lobbyist.

Please explain how?

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The UN's report on Israel's war crimes:


GENEVA (12 June 2024) – Israeli authorities are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the military operations and attacks in Gaza since 7 October 2023, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, said in a new report today. The Commission also found that Palestinian armed groups are responsible for war crimes committed in Israel.

The Commission’s report – the UN’s first in-depth investigation of the events that took place on and since 7 October 2023 – is based on interviews with victims and witnesses conducted remotely and during a mission to Türkiye and Egypt, thousands of open-source items verified through advanced forensic analysis, hundreds of submissions, satellite imagery and forensic medical reports.

Israel obstructed the Commission’s investigations and prevented its access to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In relation to Israeli military operations and attacks in Gaza, the Commission found that Israeli authorities are responsible for the war crimes of starvation as a method of warfare, murder or wilful killing, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, forcible transfer, sexual violence, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment, arbitrary detention and outrages upon personal dignity.

The Commission found that the crimes against humanity of extermination, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, murder, forcible transfer, and torture and inhuman and cruel treatment were also committed.

The immense numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza and widespread destruction of civilian objects and infrastructure were the inevitable result of a strategy undertaken with intent to cause maximum damage, disregarding the principles of distinction, proportionality and adequate precautions.

The intentional use of heavy weapons with large destructive capacity in densely populated areas constitutes an intentional and direct attack on the civilian population.

The report found that statements made by Israeli officials – including those reflecting the policy of inflicting widespread destruction and killing large numbers of civilians – amounted to incitement and may constitute other serious international crimes.

Direct and public incitement to genocide is a crime under international law whenever perpetrated, even by persons with no direct authority for the conduct of the hostilities. Incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is a serious violation of international human rights law and may amount to an international crime.

Although Israel issued hundreds of evacuation orders to people in north Gaza and other locations, the Commission found that they were at times insufficient, unclear and conflicting, and did not provide adequate time for safe evacuations. Furthermore, the evacuation routes and the areas designated as safe were consistently attacked by Israeli forces.

All of this, the Commission determined, amounted to forcible transfer.

The Commission determined that Israel’s imposed a “total siege” which amounts to collective punishment against the civilian population.

Israeli authorities have weaponized the siege and used the provision of life-sustaining necessities, including by severing water, food, electricity, fuel and humanitarian assistance, for strategic and political gains.

The siege has disproportionately impacted pregnant women and persons with disabilities, with serious harm inflicted on children leading to preventable child deaths from starvation including newborns.

The report found that specific forms of sexual and gender-based violence constitute part of Israeli Security Forces’ operating procedures.

It made the finding due to the frequency, prevalence and severity of the violations, which include public stripping and nudity intended to humiliate the community at large and accentuate the subordination of an occupied people.

In the West Bank, the Commission found that Israeli forces committed acts of sexual violence, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, all of which are war crimes.

Furthermore, the Commission found that the government of Israel and Israeli forces permitted, fostered and instigated a campaign of settler violence against Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

This is a devastating report; the UN didn't pull any punches. Let's see how John Kirby, Matthew Miller and Anthony Blinken mealy mouth this report.

I have to give the UN lots of credit for this report. It covers all the bases.

It should be read to the General Assembly and then a vote should be taken to censure and sanction Israel by all the nations of the world.

I can't see how the toady European countries can hide their heads in the sand anymore after publication of this report. Europe will explode with street protests against Israel and they'll demand that their governments boycott and sanction Israel.

I expect the governments there to use super heavy-handed police methods, but the European people fight back hard, real hard. They're very experienced in taking over the streets and burning down cars and buildings. This could break apart the European Union.

This report will also inflame the Arab countries, especially Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Maybe even Egypt too.

Things are going to get red hot this summer. Israel really screwed up with this one.

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Wow! Thanks so much.

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There are some great sources for content on cities and transportation, and how to improve them, on YouTube. Good places to start include the channels City Nerd, Strong Towns, Not Just Bikes, The Urbanist and City Beautiful. Organizations like AHAS should be working with these advocates on the ground to exchange ideas, get the word out, and help improve safety for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists.

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The article in the Capitol Hill Citizen about people financing campaigns instead of public financing sounds similar to One Demand. I am looking forward to reading more about it.

While the "choice" between Biden and Trump is the immediate dilemma that will not be resolved in a long term way with any votes in 2024, we can start using our votes in the 90% of gerrymandered congressional elections in 2024 that are already decided so votes for any candidate will not change the 2024 outcome by casting a write in vote to demand small donor candidates in 2026 taking the first step to a long term solution of people financing campaigns.

I am hoping your article includes this way of attaching our votes in 2024 to this one demand that could produce in 2026 small donor candidates that will offer promises citizens can believe in of future action on the many issues that citizens want addressed because those politicians will not be beholden to the big money interests.

It is even possible that it could be successful enough in 2026 to inspire small donor presidential candidates in 2028.

Thanks for addressing my comments and providing a forum with an opportunity for me to reach you with my opinions and ideas.

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This might well be the first I’ve heard of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. With that, I have some questions about the Advocates which perhaps the RNRH should consider addressing in future episodes about auto safety:

- How do the Advocates differ and/or supplement the work being done by another insurance industry-backed group, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI)?

- At one time not too long ago, the IIHS-HLDI would test vehicles for repair costs related to repairing minor fender-bender type damage. The results of these tests were often featured in magazines, newspapers, and TV shows. I have not seen these tests in a while though. Are the Advocates/IIHS-HLDI still taking repair costs seriously and, if so, why is there a lack of publicly-available information on this subject compared to what was available in the 1990s and 2000s? Is there an assumption that the insurance industry can just pass these costs on to the customers which, of course, leads to higher insurance premiums?

- The IIHS-HLDI has publicly taken the position that larger, heavier cars are safer cars...for the passengers of those cars at least which is what most consumers are going to focus on when buying a car. There is, of course, scientific data to back that position, but I have some concerns about that position. For one, the topic of pedestrian/cyclist safety was mentioned on this episode and larger vehicles are probably not safer for those groups given the added weight, decreased visibility caused by large blindspots in larger vehicles, and so forth.

Then, there is the problem with a size ‘arms race’ and how this relates to environmental goals. Larger, heavier vehicles use more fuel (gasoline or EV, this is a problem), heavier vehicles put more stress on infrastructure which causes new safety issues and more frequent construction is obviously environmentally destructive, heavier vehicles need more frequent tire and brake lining changes which has significant environmental and public health ramifications, and so forth.

I suppose the question then is how one approaches the balance between safety goals and environmental goals. Are these in conflict with one another or is it possible to achieve a good balance between the two? Are the Advocates and IIHS-HLDI considering the safety-environmental balance especially given that poor environmental outcomes may have a detrimental impact on other insurance sectors such as homeowners and health insurance?

- The IIHS-HLDI, and perhaps the Advocates as well from the limited sampling I got from this episode, advocate for increased use of electronic driving aids such as automatic braking and blind-spot monitoring. While there are certainly benefits to these systems, it seems to me that automakers are using the presence of driving aids as an excuse to de-emphasize ergonomic design factors, such as making cars have good outward visibility, for the sake of styling/marketing. Is there any regulatory and non-regulatory pressure being put on the auto industry to adopt electronic aids while also maintaining good ergonomics/visibility and so forth?

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While I do agree with Mr. Nader about Europe being ahead of the US in terms of income equality, as measured by Gini and other indices, and in terms of having some stronger safety nets, I will once again say that neoliberalism has hit Europe hard over the last 40-50 years and much of what was assumed about European social safety nets, health equality, and so forth are no longer true.

Since the USPS was mentioned, just look at the EU’s policy towards forced privatization of postal services, something which the public likely would not allow in the US. The lawyer in Mr. Nader would love to read Directive 2008/6/EC of the European (EU) Parliament which called for privatization of postal services in member countries for reasons including “non-inflationary growth,” “high level of employment,” “raising of the standard of living and quality of life,” and “raising of the standard of living and quality of life.” Link: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32008L0006

This is all clearly nonsense and if it wasn’t obvious 15 years ago, it is certainly obvious now when we look at the expensive and degraded quality of postal service in Europe where, in Germany for example, DHL runs Deutsche Post. If anyone has used DHL in the US or elsewhere, they know that even Louis DeJoy’s USPS is still much cheaper and more reliable than DHL! Government ownership means the USPS can maintain high staffing, if government chooses to maintain high staffing, and guaranteed service at low prices by the USPS guarantees low prices which benefits customers, small businesses, and also large businesses. The public USPS is inherently anti-inflationary. The privatized EU policy is inherently inflationary regardless of the balderdash which is written in that EU policy.

On that note, I dispute Francesco DeSantis’ description of Keir Starmer as being a ‘centrist’. I realize ‘centrist’ is a relative term, but really, everything about Starmer and his Labour/New Labour Party is right-wing. Starmer’s pro-NATO, pro-Israel foreign policy stance is entirely right-wing. In fact, New Labour is under strong influence with the conservative British think tank Policy Exchange which would be akin to US Democratic Party officials taking orders from The Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, and the Cato Institute.

Starmer does not want Labour cabinet members to join picket lines which, of course, is entirely opposed to the labor movement which historically linked to the Labour Party. Starmer is opposed to nationalizing public services and is a strong believer in austerity economics. Starmer gives lip service to environmental causes, but like other social democratic politicians who also espouse austerity, neoliberal economics, nothing will come from this as these social democratic politicians will falsely claim that they cannot afford to pay for environmental reforms and whatever environmental reforms they will push for are simply ‘derisked’ transfer payments to the private sector for the sake of increasing privatization.

Then there is Starmer’s authoritarian stance towards the large progressive wing of the Labour Party. Although the progressive wing of the Labour Party is bigger than the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Starmer is giving them even less of a voice than what Biden is giving progressives here in the US. That’s really saying something!

As I’ve long said in the comments section here at the RNRH, people in the US need to study Jeremy Corbyn and the challenges he has faced in his political career because those same challenges will face any true US progressive if they gain any political traction. I’m glad the news about Corbyn was mentioned in the Wrap Up, but the RNRH would do well to further discuss what Corbyn has faced so that we are better prepared to advocate for progressives here in the US.

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Hi Ralph,

After reading about healthcare costs disparities among low-income families from a recent HJM email, it dawned on me, what if we started a Medicare For All Union, funded by us, to negotiate better rates and to pay providers directly? We could bypass the useless, often cruel Congress and maybe be a force to be reckoned with.

Any thoughts?

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TCL, perhaps Mr. Nader will have a different opinion on this, but I don’t see the hypothetical health insurance union really solving many of the critical problems with the US healthcare system. The hypothetical union would still have to deal with the corporate medical provider structure, the inefficiencies of medical coding, hypothetical issues with members being taken to the wrong clinics or seeing the wrong doctors, often in emergency situations, where they might be billed for out-of-network expenses, and so forth. Another question I would have is if this union would still fight for what is needed, universal single-provider healthcare (Mr. Nader sometimes refers to this as VA For All and it would look similar to the UK NHS), or if the union would try to maintain itself as an institution and thus deny advocacy for all citizens even if they are not a member?

Another problem is that even as things are with significant numbers of Americans not having realistic access to healthcare, there are shortages of doctors, nurses, and medical facilities especially in rural and other more impoverished areas. Federal funding will have to be used to steer younger people into the healthcare professions and away from low-productivity fields such as finance and real estate. Federal funding will have to be used to build more medical facilities and steer qualified staff towards lower-income areas of need. Implementing a VA For All might be great, but it wouldn’t be as great as it should be if the VA For All is as underfunded as the current VA often is for veterans.

Ultimately, some sort of national labor movement will have to happen which forces Congress to appropriate sufficient funding towards universal coverage and an increased medical workforce. This is not unprecedented, the British labor movement achieved this with the NHS some decades back even with the UK being under greater resource constraints at the time than the US would be under now. Mr. Nader may have a different opinion on this matter, but I suggest rallying your colleagues around this matter and helping your colleagues understand not only the need for reform, but what specific policy reforms are needed. After all, there is a huge difference between a hypothetical universal Medical Disadvantage For All and a hypothetical universal VA For All.

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Oh dang, sorry. Wrong place for this answer. It's the news that follows your article

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Good analysis of the usps and the mismanagement there. I've been shipping parcels in ebay approved packaging for over 12 years and many are arriving now damaged or empty. You can file with your Congressman who will open a case, I'm not sure though whether it does any good with rampant thefts and dysfunction. The new "Ground Advantage" shipping option comes with $100 in insurance but they are quite onerous in filing claims and are usually not paying out.

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On the big governmental push to fight "anti-semitism" with new laws, I got this from Senator Blumenthal:

Thank you for your message regarding S.4127, the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2024. I appreciate hearing from you.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act was introduced on April 16, 2024 by Senators Tim Scott and Bob Casey. This bill would require the Department of Education to consider the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism when investigating violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Department of Education has used this definition when investigating and enforcing anti-discrimination laws on college campuses since 2018 and this bill seeks to codify its continued usage. Given the sharp rise in antisemitism on college campuses following the October 7, 2023 terrorist attacks in Israel, I am proud to support this legislation. No student should be subjected to discriminatory violence, threats of physical injury, or harassment.

On May 1, 2024, this bill passed the House of Representatives. This bill has also been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, of which I am not a member.

Thank you again for your message. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or concerns.


Richard Blumenthal

This bill outsources the definition of antisemitism to an outside group rather than to our legal system. Not only that, within this group the definition of antisemitism is a "working definition," meaning it can change from month to month depending on which political or religious groups dominate the organization.

It is totally possible that the definition could eventually be written to include any criticism or protests of Israel, or any BDS movement, or any vote against it in the UN, or any cutting off of US aid to Israel in response to its actions even those that grossly violate international law, or even reporting the truth from Gaza or showing any sympathy for the Gazans and West Bank Palestinians whatsoever.

That means that this group could end up controlling the laws and actions of this country just through a change in their definition, even to the point of eliminating our Constitutional protections like freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.

This action by the US Congress essentially turns over the sovereignty of the United States to a special interest group. Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of the United States. And it is to the shame and disgrace of this Congress that they were the first ones since this country came into existence to ratify such a law.

It is to the shame and dishonor of these current Congressmen and women that they refuse to recognize what every human rights organization on the planet has rightly called a brutal genocide that is killing an unprecedented number of innocent children through constant and daily indiscriminate bombings with weapons our Congress provides them and through deliberate starvation and deprivation of medical care.

Instead, they invite the mastermind behind this slaughter to address them so that they can applaud his despicable actions.

They have moral blinders on because of their fealty to Israel rather than to the truth and justice. Their oath of office did not include swearing loyalty to Israel but to the Constitution which they are violating with this law.

It's outrageous. It's shameful. It's beyond belief.

History and future generations of Americans will rightly condemn these lawmakers.

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