Thursday, March 11, 2021

Ryan Grim is hideous


Ryan Grim really is disgusting and he presents as a reporter.  He's a liar and he's a joke.  He works for The Intercept which tells you everything you need to know about him -- no ethics and a partisan whore.

Now he's smearing the Green Party.  He really has nothing to offer that's not written already in the Democratic Party's playbook.  

That he can pass for a reporter goes to how awful the state of journalism is.  As far as I'm concerned, he's a betrayer of Tara Reade.  He didn't pursue the story and when she was being attacked he walked away because he's a worthless whore.  He also failed to inform her about Time's Up's connection to the Biden campaign.  She had to find out about it after it was published.  That's both a bad reporter and a bad person.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, March 10, 2021.  As Pope Francis talks about humanity and opposes war and weapons, US Catholic Nancy Pelosi charts her own 'religious' journey.  And we address some e-mail topics.

Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "Separately, a grenade was tossed near the Imam Bridge in Baghdad on Monday which killed one woman and wounded 11 pilgrims. No one immediately took responsibility. The bridge is located on the Tigris River, which connects the predominately Sunni Adhamiya area to Kadhimiya, which is mostly Shiite."  Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) explains the pilgrimage, "On every 25th of Rajab of the Islamic calendar, tens of thousands of Shia pilgrims mark the death of Imam al-Kadhim, the seventh imam according to the Shia community.  On Wednesday, the number of Shia arrivals to Al-Kadhimiya is expected to reach a peak amid tight security measures imposed by joint forces from the army and police. The rituals include walking from different areas of Baghdad and some nearby provinces toward the Al-Kadhimiya area in northern Baghdad, where the shrine of Imam Al-Kadhim is located."  Of the Iman, ABNA offers:

Imam Musa Al-Kathem was reared under the care of his father, Imam Jaafar As-Sadeq (peace be upon him). He lived with his father for twenty years, and during these years he learned in his father’s seminary of jurisprudence and science. As a young child, he was the most prominent among his siblings.

The Political Circumstances during his Imamate
After the death of his father, the phase of Imam Musa Al-Kathem's Imamate was marked by the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate. The Abbasid authority had become established and strengthened, and the Imam assumed leadership in very difficult and tough circumstances because the Abbasid Caliph, Al-Mansur, was very oppressive.

What made matters harder was that the brother of the Imam, Abdullah Al-Aftah, falsely claimed that he was the Imam. Some people followed Abdullah, and they were later known as the faction of “Al-Fatahiya”. There was another group known as the Ismailites who believed that Ismail, the eldest son of Imam Jaafar As-Sadeq (peace be upon him), was the rightful Imam –even though Ismail had died while Imam Jaafar As-Sadeq (peace be upon him) was still alive. At first, the Abbasids were in doubt as to the true identity of the appointed Imam and thus they were heedless of Imam Musa Al-Kathem (peace be upon him). They were not able to ascertain who the true Imam was in order to persecute or assassinate him. This granted Imam Musa Al-Kathem (peace be upon him) a greater chance to fulfill the role God entrusted him with.

We'll note this Tweet:

Name Imam Musa Title : Al-Kazim Date of Death : 25th Rajab 183 AH, at the age of 55 years old. Cause of Death: Murdered by poisoning by Harroun Al-Rasheed Al-Abbassi. Buried : In Baghdad, Iraq by his son The Eighth Imam Ali AI-Reza #شہادت_امام_موسیٰ_کاظمؑ

The pilgrimage follows another religious event in Iraq, the historical visit of Pope Francis.  Fri Benedict Mayaki (VATICAN NEWS) reports on the Pope's remarks this morning in Rome:

“The Iraqi people have the right to live in peace; they have the right to rediscover the dignity that belongs to them,” Pope Francis stated.

Recalling the country’s religious and cultural roots which are thousands of years old, the Holy Father noted that Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization.

Historically, he added, Baghdad is a city of primary importance, "hosting for centuries the richest library in the world."

“And what destroyed it? War!” the Pope lamented.

War, he explained, “is always the monster that transforms itself with the change of epochs and continues to devour humanity.”

“But the response to war is not another war, the response to weapons is not other weapons... The response is fraternity,” Pope Francis affirmed.

This, he insisted, is the "challenge not only for Iraq but for many regions in conflict and, ultimately, for the whole world.”

Philip Pullela (REUTERS) also covers the remarks:

On Sunday the 84-year-old pope saw ruins of homes and churches in the northern city of Mosul that was occupied by Islamic State from 2014 to 2017.

"And I asked myself (during the trip), 'who sold the weapons to the terrorists?, who sells weapons to terrorists today who are carrying out massacres elsewhere, for example, in Africa?,'" he said, departing from his prepared address.

"It is a question that I would like someone to answer."

Francis has said in the past that weapons manufacturers and traffickers would have to answer to God one day.

And this was Tweeted from Pope Francis' official Twitter account:

The response to war is not another war. The response to weapons is not other weapons. The response is fraternity. This is the challenge not only for Iraq. It is the challenge for many regions in conflict and, ultimately, for the entire world. #Peace #GeneralAudience

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is Catholic as is US President Joe Biden.  This is not a historic moment.  When JFK was president, the Speaker of the House was John W. McCormack who was also Catholic.  Unlike Nancy Pelosi, McCormack oversaw the passage of needed programs for the We The People -- including LBJ's Great Society programs.  Instead, Nancy overseas the passage of pork that enriches the already well off while failing to do anything substantive for We The People.  She has declared that the so-called COVID relief package still not passed will most likely be the last one Congress entertains.  And in that bill, that one time bill in her mind, the American people are worth?  $1400 provided they qualify to begin with.  $1400.  

That's with Democrats controlling the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  $1400.

Donald Trump, as president, oversaw $1800 (first $1200 and then $600).  Despite Joe promising $2000 checks in January, the Democrats are only going to deliver $1400 -- and that's if you qualify.  In the midst of pandemic, when other nations were offering UBIs, the government never thought enough of their bosses to give them the relief they needed.  And, of course, 'Catholic' Nancy and Joe oppose Medicare For All.  Both will soon be gone from this world due to their advanced age and one wonders what they believe awaits them after death?  I can't see how the religion that they practice gives them belief in any eternal peace.  Maybe they're amassing so much wealth on earth because they're hoping their survivors can use that money to buy them out or purgatory?

Or maybe Nancy's just planning on rotting in hell?  Or maybe she's not very good when it comes to picturing the future?

At the start of last month, Christiana Zhao (NEWSWEEK) reported, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said that Joe Biden's stimulus package, which includes a third relief check of $1,400 to eligible Americans, will be passed by Congress 'before the end of February'."

Nancy, wrong once, wrong always.  

But, hey, she doesn't have to worry about monthly bills so what does she care if the American people are struggling with rent, electricity and other items.  Didn't they plan better use of that previous $1800?  Weren't they able to stretch that $1800 out of a full 12 months?  She has no idea of what the average working class person has to struggle with.  Maybe Congress should be forced to live a few months on minimum wage each year.  Might teach them compassion -- if they're capable of learning.

The Pope's visit to Iraq came ahead of the 18th anniversary of the start of the ongoing Iraq War.  The US-led invasion began this month back in 2003.  18 years later and US troops are still on the ground in Iraq.  Why?  Darren Beattie Tweets one possible reason:

A dark, but real reason why we keep troops in Iraq ---we keep them there precisely to get bombed. They are there for the purpose of being bombed (allegedly by Iranian proxies) for whenever we feel the need to escalate tensions and need a pretext That's how it works

Moving over to issues non-community members are raising in the e-mails.  

Taylor Lorenz? I have no idea why I'm being asked to weigh in. She's a journalist whose work I've never read. She states that she is being threatened. Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey do not believe this to be true. Are they the reason I'm being asked to weigh in?

I think Michael Tracey is toxic and have stated that before. You can Google when we called him out for going to town on Kamala Harris in a manner he never went to town on with a man. It was excessive -- to put it mildly -- and goes to his dislike of women. That doesn't mean he's wrong in this situation. Doesn't mean he's right. Glenn has sexism that he doesn't see. But it's there. Doesn't mean he's wrong on Taylor Lorenz.

The only thing I have to say on this topic -- that doesn't interest me in the least -- is that Taylor needs to stop playing Christopher Columbus. 

Oh, no, mean things were said!!!!

Threats? I've written of them here -- we posted the FBI thing on the side of the site because of it. That was more than one person but, yes, it was one of Bob Somerby's roll dogs. Not everyone can call up someone at the FBI. I can. Presumably Taylor can as well. If she feels she's being threatened, that's the way to go. But, again, she doesn't need to play Christopher Columbus and pretend she's discovered a new world. Digby of HULLABALOO, Delilah Boyd, Betty and many others have already dealt with what she says she's dealing with. In the words of Stevie Nicks, "Who in the world do you think that you are fooling? Well I've already done everything that you are doing" ("Two Kinds Of Love" written by Stevie, Rupert Hine and Rick Nowels, first appears on Stevie's THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR). I would hope Taylor is a feminist. If she is, she should be familiar with the term "reinventing the wheel." We get stuck reinventing the wheel when we are unaware of what came before. Women being abused and threatened online didn't start in 2019, Taylor. If she wants to use her platform, she might try calling out institutions and not individuals. In 2008, for example, we called out CBS NEWS and helped effect change. In 2008, CBS NEWS posted their policy on comments and rightly would not allow racist comments. Barack Obama was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination at that time. CBS NEWS would, however, allow sexist comments. Hillary Clinton was running for the same nomination that year. At first, CBS NEWS tried to look the other way and would justify it in one-on-one conversations. It took many moths but they finally altered their posted policy. It's a real shame that a great site, INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE, has a new posted policy but sexism is not anything that their policy rejects. Maybe Taylor could do a report on that?

Or maybe she could do a piece on many of the homophobic remarks her supporters are making against openly gay Glenn Greenwald? Glenn's not going to call attention to that -- he'll 'toughen' it out. But I don't support homophobia and I will call it out. To be clear, a joke about teen slang and how young Glenn's husband is misses the point (better wording could have helped the joke land) but it is not a threat and it is not abuse. Others go beyond jokes -- failed or landed -- and are homophobic. I see Taylor's included on these Tweets and have to wonder why she never calls them out?

Glenn and Michael could be right. Taylor could be right. Believe it or not, all three could be right.  Equally true, those  charging sexism at Glenn over this -- or even at Michael -- could be wrong in this instance.  I've spent about as much time on this topic as I plan to.  That's (a) because she's made it about herself, (b) there are solid allegations -- made by Glenn and Michael and others -- that this is not about threats but about silencing criticism and (c) her Tweets reveal that she's not a very caring person.

The most ludicrous one was when she realized how entitled she was coming off (she went to a Swiss boarding school) and she attempted to enlarge the landscape asking for support for women and for all people of color.  What about LGBTQs who are not people of color?  What about -- go down the list.  She made it about herself.  Criticized for coming off entitled, she attempted to be expansive but only came across more obtuse.  If the issue truly mattered to her, she'd be saying no threats to anyone.  She's not doing that. She's acting and her performance does not convince me.  


Iraq. I've got e-mails about how I ignored Tara Reade all last week. I am on record stating that I believe Tara Reade. I am on record stating that Iraq and Tara Reade are the reasons I could not vote for Joe Biden. (I voted for Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker.) I do not know Tara. I have never corresponded with Tara. I have never spoken to her. You may follow her every move but I do not.

Iraq was a big story last week and this week And it didn't matter to most Americans. We did a roundtable with 7 community members in Iraq for POLLY'S BREW focusing on an issue one member had already raised in an e-mail. The western media -- especially the US media -- was putting out coverage that was insulting and hurtful to some Iraqis. No one wanted to deal with that. Not in the US. The Iraqis in the roundtable spoke of how the US media looked down on them, portrayed them as ignorant and as savages, felt they weren't worthy of a visit from Pope Francis, felt that though the US could hold various events and campaign in the midst of the pandemic, the Iraqi people were too backward to grasp how to act at an event held during the pandemic, etc. This was a very big issue to them and this became a very big issue here. We noted the complaints in one e-mail, we noted the events that actually took place. It may not have mattered one bit to you -- I hope that's not the case -- but it was an issue to Iraqis we spoke to.

Related, yesterday, I noted Jeff Mackler and his idiotic column. This led to drive-bys (drive-bys, Taylor, are not threats, they're word projectiles hurled over the internet). It's so wrong, I'm told over and over, and I'm so evil!!!! I may very well be evil. I've never made the case for myself being a good person. But it wasn't wrong.

In January of 2020, then-US President Donald Trump killed a vile person. Being a vile person doesn't mean Donald had the right to kill the man and we never argued that Donald had that right (we don't believe he had that right). But what followed was a bunch of crap from the usual group of knee-jerk idiots. That vile man targeted Iraq's LGBTQ community -- or are you unaware of when boys and men suspected of being gay had their anuses glued shut? -- and he targeted Sunnis and he targeted . . . Your arrival late to the party does not excuse your glorification of a vile person. Some of you insist that it is anti-Shi'ite to call him out. You feel that way because you're an uninformed idiot and I don't feel the need to pretty that up. Yes, the people who turned out -- on orders from Moqtada al-Sadr -- to parade in the person's honor were Shi'ites. Guess what, the protest that began in the fall of 2019? Predominately Shi'ite. They started that protest without Moqtada. Moqtada tried to glom on the protest because it was a powerful group. They wouldn't let him order them around (he was opposed to, among other things, men and women protesting together). He then denounced them. He was surprised that many international observers saw him as weak. He only looked weaker when he immediately tried to disown his denouncing. He was back and forth and erratic and the protesters didn't give a damn what he had to say. He is part of a corrupt system and they are protesting corruption. Again, this a predominantly Shi'ite group, these protesters.

It this is news to you at this late date, don't know what to tell you. Here's some more news for you: Moqtada's cult members that paraded to honor the vile person in January of 2020? They attacked protesters in the fall of 2020 in Baghdad. They continue to attack protesters in Nasariyah. These are the goons that saluted the vile person.

Jeff Mackler shows up with no knowledge and steals the ongoing protests from the actual protesters and turns them over to eh paraders of January 2020. No, that's not accurate and it's not fair to the Iraqi protesters who have risked so much. He wanted to make political points but was too stupid to do the research required so he distorted the ongoing protests -- which were not related to the vile person. In fact, the paraders for the vile person attacked the protesters on that Saturday in Baghdad. The two groups do not overlap. It was a distortion and it shouldn't have been published. I loved Alexander Cockburn but COUNTERPUNCH -- then and now -- prints a lot of useless garbage that is factually incorrect.

My obligation and loyalty at this site is not to Mackler. It's not to Dr. Margaret Flowers (who I do respect). It's to the Iraqi people. Enough people in the US walked away from them long ago. I'm not going to allow anyone to lie about them or distort them without calling it out. They have suffered enough. They have endured enough. If Mackler has some points he wants to make about Iran (or, knowing his history, some glorification of the government of Iran), have at it. But don't use the Iraqi people to do so. It's a real shame that they have protested for months and months and no one wants to portray that accurately or give them the credit for their actions.  It's flat out offensive that Mackler wants to take their hard work and credit it to those who have physically attacked the protesters.  

The protests continue with MEMO reporting yesterday:

Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated in Al-Muthanna governorate again, on Monday, to demand the dismissal of Governor Ahmed Judeh from his post, while protesting against the poor level of services and mismanagement.

The demonstrators chanted slogans calling on Governor Judeh to "prevent bloodshed and resign from his post."

Authorities in Al-Muthanna governorate did not issue any official statement regarding the popular protests until 14:00 (GMT).

After Babylon, Al-Diwaniyah (south), Wasit (central), and Dhi Qar (southeast), Al-Muthanna was the fifth Iraqi governorate in which demonstrators have demanded the dismissal of the governor due to widespread corruption and official failure to serve the people's interests.

As for Tara Reade, I don't know the details.  I have, since learning of yesterday's e-mails, become aware that Michelle Goldberg had made another insulting and dishonest remark about Tara Reade.  That is in keeping with Michelle Goldberg.

Michelle claims Tara destroyed #MeToo.  Like Rose McGowan, I consider that to be pure nonsense.  It was people like Michelle that destroyed MeToo's power.

Michelle is writing about Andrew Cuomo.  I've resisted writing about that here.  We have posted videos of the allegations against him.  I know Andrew.  I am not in New York, I don't live there.  It is up to the people of New York to decide what happens next.  He holds statewide office.  If he held national office or represented my location, I would probably weigh in.  On Gavin Newsom, I had planned to write of him before I ended up in the hospital.  What I was going to say there is that I do not support a recall.  That's about it.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

Ruth's "Children are still in cages" also went up but is not showing on the links yet.

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