Democracy Vs. Autocracy July 25, 2023July 24, 2023 Sunday’s first “Israel” post was quickly followed by a second, so if you missed it — and want to see the good that planting an olive tree, or a whole grove, could do (and how little it costs) — check it out. As you know, Israel took a giant step backward yesterday. Even so, a young Israeli friend writes: It’s a setback but I think/hope that we can leap out of it stronger and emboldened. The liberal secular public in Israel is galvanizing. The current head of the Mossad spoke to his employees yesterday and was quoted as saying: “if it comes to it I assure you I will stand on the right side of history”. All former heads of the Israeli defense apparatus are against this move. The name of the game now is perseverance – fighting on with no loss of enthusiasm! Nick Kristoff thinks It’s Time to Start Discussing the Unmentionable. Here at home, the same fight is underway: Autocracy versus democracy. A strongman who refuses to give up power, vows retribution, kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, admires Putin; a demagog and a liar who assaults women and stiffs creditors, vilifies the press and the FBI, watches gleefully as rioters storm our nation’s Capitol refusing — for hours — to call them off; a bully and a narcissist who could walk down Fifth Avenue shooting people without losing votes. (“You’re damn straight he could!” shout his supporters when they read a sentence like that.) Versus a normal Administration that respects the Constitution, the rule of law, and civility; works long hours trying to make life better, safer, and healthier for its citizens and for generations to come. Jonathan Alter says 2024 should be about A, B, C, D . . . Abortion, Bidenomics, Climate, Democracy . . . but that the last of these is the one to emphasize. This is an election to decide whether we keep the world’s longest-running democracy — a beacon to the world — or watch the light go out. If you can help, click here. Barbenheimer‘s giant opening weekend pushed AMC stock up more than 30% yesterday, closing at $5.85, The nearly identical shares we own, APE, closed unchanged at $1.80. Fairly soon, the two stocks will be one and the same . . . although a lawsuit wound up changing the terms slightly: instead of each APE share converting into an AMC share, it will convert into just under nine-tenths of a share. At what price the combined stock will trade after the two merge — and in the years to come — I have no idea. But I’d rather own nine-tenths of a share for $1.80 than a full share for $5.85.