Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues



Possible topic for 13 May

Here’s a link ( to a column by Bret Stephens in the 9 May edition of The New York Times, arguing that Biden was wrong, for many reasons, to pause delivery to Israel of some large bombs and, possibly, other weapons in order to persuade the Netanyahu government not to invade Rafah. And here’s a link ( to a column by Tom Friedman in the 10 May edition of The Times, arguing that Biden made the right decision but taking issue with the way he announced it.

Was Biden right to “pause” (whatever that means) delivery of those bombs to try to encourage Israel not to “invade” (whatever that means) Rafah? How long should the “pause” last? If Israel decides to “invade” Rafah while the “pause” is in effect, what should the US government do then? Is Biden’s decision likely to trigger a wider war, involving Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Iran? Does Biden’s decision affect the role the US could play in future with respect to negotiating a pause in the war, a prisoner-hostage swap, a cease fire, how Gaza and the West Bank will be governed after the fighting ends, and whether and how Palestinian statehood might be achieved? How might Biden’s decision affect domestic politics in Israel or the US?

What can be done to keep local journalism alive?

For Monday, April 8, we decided to discuss “local journalism,” particularly in the Blue Hill Peninsula context.

John O. has provided some relevant links:

A House bill to grant tax credits to support local journalism: the Local Journalism Sustainability Act
The American Journalism Project (and description at UPenn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy)
Local newspapers are dying. Here’s how we can save them (Editorial: LA Times)
How public policy can save local news (Opinion: Columbia Journalism Review)

Consider some local resources, such as:

The Ellsworth American
Penobscot Bay Press
The Quietside Journal

What will happen if Trump is elected in 2024?

There’s an opinion piece in today’s (18 December) New York Times ( that I think is related to the topic Steve Kramer suggested for our next meeting on 8 January. It tries to make the case that Trump is a political moderate and pragmatist. Whether it does so successfully might be part of the conversation next time.

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