Vueling, British Airways’ sister airline, has just signed on with WheelTug, which it will be highlighting next week at this conference in Barcelona. Their booth will include this video.
Airlines have been signing up with WheelTug for decades and it’s still not flying; so BOREF shareholders should not cartwheel at this news. But it does suggest the company continues to inch forward.
I hope before long to take you to the Uri Geller Museum, the Dead Sea, and the Stations of the Cross. But as I wrote earlier this month — Could Israel Go The Way of Hungary? — Israelis are in the midst of something really scary. To avoid prison, their leader is in the process of dismantling Israel’s precious democracy.
My young hosts love their country and are looking to raise their kids in Tel Aviv . . .
. . . yet WhatsApp-ed just now:
We are getting very worried. It may sound overly dramatic but with the laws having just passed “first call” in the Knesset, we feel we are on the precipice of an autocratic abyss. We are thinking of all the ways we can protect our democracy while at the same time fighting our own disbelief that this is actually happening and looking for countries to emigrate to just in case (like so many of our friends).
One thing that is clear is that unless our allies take direct action now Israeli democracy will perish. Like any slippery slope, one cannot ‘wait and see’ as one’s friend’s slide turns into a fall. Hence, we feel our biggest ally must intervene NOW.
There are three steps the US can take to help safeguard Israel’s democracy:
> First, change approach from ‘wait and see’ to ‘actively protect’ Israeli democracy.
> Second, speak up clearly against Bibi’s autocratic moves. Much more clearly and more frequently than thus far. Biden must pressure Bibi through public and diplomatic channels as Bibi responds only to pressure.
> Third, the US should threaten to reduce its financial and diplomatic support for Israel as a form of penalty for any anti-democratic step the government takes.
Remember our rude taxi driver? [He shouted at us for asking him to stop earlier than planned.] The only way for Avshi to knock some sense into him was to shout back just as forcefully. Our allies in the US need to understand that in this region, and especially with this government, being polite and diplomatic is ineffective. Worse, it emboldens the extremists.
Bibi needs a rude wake up call and slap from Biden! The sooner the better.
The most recent Washington Post list of “ten most likely 2024 Democratic nominees” – spoiler alert: I’m with Biden – begins with these four, in this order:
- Joe Biden
- Pete Buttigieg
- Kamala Harris
- Jared Polis
Fifty years ago I wrote a book in which I imagined the whole “gay” thing . . . “the love that dare not speak its name” that led to so much shame, fear, discrimination, blackmail, self-loathing, misery, and suicide . . . might one day have become “ho-hum.” A non-issue.
And now two of the top four on that list for President of the United States happen to be gay. (And happily married.)
We’re not home free, of course, any more than racism and anti-Semitism have disappeared. But how far we’ve come.
Many of you, straight and gay, helped make this happen.
It’s a huge deal of which I hope you are duly proud.
That said — as referenced above with Israel — progress can be reversed. Democracies can be lost. Demons can be released. Entire nations can be mis-led into doing unspeakably terrible things – as the Russians now are.
“Elections matter” . . . SO MUCH.
> Imagine if the winners of the popular vote in 2000 and 2016 had been allowed to lead the country. No war in Iraq (very possibly no 9/11 at all), a progressive majority on the Court, less of the massive inequality that has led so many voters to feel victimized by a system that’s stacked against them.
> Imagine if George Santos and four other New York Republicans had LOST in 2020 and WE had retained control of the House. Not out of lust for power (well, maybe, being human, a little of that) nor to enrich our uber-rich supporters (virtually none of that), but to enact the kinds of things Democrats have been pushing for nearly a century: Social Security, affordable health care, a decent minimum wage, a vibrant middle class, civil rights, women’s rights, equal rights, sensible gun laws, paid family leave, drinkable water, breathable air.
> On the flip side, imagine if in 2020 Trump had prevailed. By the end of his second term we would have had democracy in name only, with no peaceful way to reverse the descent. (Democracies are lost via politics but won by blood.)
It’s easy to dismiss how close he came . . . and to let down our guard thinking the danger has passed.
Click here, if you can — now, when most people are NOT giving and the seeds you plant have the most time to grow.
Help save democracy.
As our wonderful president would say: “No joke.”
And yes, I do think he’s wonderful, this past week in Kiev and Warsaw just driving that home.
You wish he were younger. I wish he were younger. HE wishes he were younger.
But with his re-election we get 1,200 young, competent appointees AND their deeply decent, exceptionally experienced, 80-something coach. No transition or learning curve required.
Last point: supporting Democratic infrastructure helps ALL Democrats, in every state at every level.
Giving to the DNC is like index fund investing: boring, but generally more effective than giving to individual candidates (picking your own stocks).
As usual, I’ll see whatever you do as soon as you do it, to say thanks.
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When you have nothing to say, sing it.~Old Madison Avenue adage
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