Saturday, April 2, 2022

Jizzy Pants Ghislanie loses again

 If you missed it, convicted felon Ghislaine Jizzy Pants Maxwell has been trying to get her conviction overturned.  She was Jeffrey Epstein's sometime lover/whore and also a partner in assaulting young girls.  Ghislaine got her conviction and then hoped she would walk away.


Enjoy prison, Jizzy Pants.  She's facing up to 65 years behind bars.  Oh, and she has another trial she'll have to face.

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

Friday, April 1, 2022.    Lies and censorship are tools of war.

Starting with a video.

FACEBOOK is censoring that video.  WSWS reports:

Facebook’s censorship of the video “No Third World War! Against the Ukraine war, NATO aggression and German rearmament!” by the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) has provoked strong condemnation by workers and young people. Under the hashtag #StopCensoringSocialism, supporters have opposed this act of political censorship. Under conditions where the threat of a nuclear world war between NATO and Russia is extremely great, they are speaking out against the silencing of anti-war voices.

 A video statement by SGP Chairman Christoph Vandreier—which explains the political motives behind the deletion of the original video and highlights its importance in the fight against war—received more than 1,200 views and dozens of “likes” on Tiktok within a few hours. The video was also widely distributed on Instagram. “This censorship is not only directed against us, but against the mass opposition to a world war,” says Vandreier. The socialist anti-war perspective of the SGP “is to be banned and censored in the midst of deafening war propaganda for a third world war.”

Through the World Socialist Web Site and the SGP’s Twitter and other social media accounts, we received protest statements and solidarity messages, some of which we report here. We call on all readers to post their own statements under #StopCensoringSocialism and #DefendSGP and to stand up against censorship and the threat of a third world war.

So much has to be censored and so much has to be disappeared for governments to get their way.  If you can't fool the people, you can't launch endless wars -- wars that steal from the pubic treasury and ensure that the needs of the people will not be met.  Andre Damon (WSWS) observes:

With the proxy war between US/NATO and Russia over Ukraine now in its second month, the social consequences of the conflict are coming into sharper focus.

All over the world, governments are massively increasing military spending. The German government has tripled its military budget with the aim of making the German army the largest in Europe. France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Australia are all implementing or planning major increases in expenditures on war.

However, nowhere is this process clearer than in the United States, the center of world imperialism. On Monday, the White House announced the largest US military budget in American history, focused overwhelmingly on preparations to fight a war with Russia and China.

The budget proposes spending $813 billion on the US military, up from $782 billion in 2022. When the costs of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the cost of debt from previous defense spending is added in, the figure rises to over $1 trillion. And that is not to mention the hundreds of billions spent on federal, state, and local police forces and the United States’ intelligence apparatus.

The US spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined. Writing in Newsweek, Lindsay Koshgarian of the Institute for Policy Studies noted, “The U.S. alone already spends 12 times more on its military than Russia. When combined with Europe’s biggest military spenders, the U.S. and its allies on the continent outspend Russia by at least 15 to 1.”

We can't have Medicare For All in the US.  We can't have debt fogiveness.  We can't even address homelessness.  Grasp that what passes for the evening news fails to address the homeless crisis.  Every broadcast should deal with that reality but instead they ignore it and condone it.  Their silence makes it seem normal.  There is no excuse for the United States to have a homelss population and yet, rather than address that, hundreds of billions of dollars are going each year to war and war making.  

The homeless population is only going to increase.  But we can't address that reality.  And, in fact, inflation has been pooh-pahhed and dismissed.  We stood alone in calling out the nonsense offered on the Democratic-lite site that the COVID checks were "raises.'  That those tiny checks made for an increase in wages.  And we've watched supposed economists who love to play populist and pretend to be 'progressive' go out of their way over the last six months to normalize the outages that are taking place, to dimsiss them, to minimize them.  At the end of the day, they have revealed themselves to not be on the side of the people -- the ones they depend upon to have a career because corpoarte media is not airing these whores -- but on the side of the elected Democratic power strugture and they are apologist for that structure.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) points out:

The rising cost of living will force the average American household to spend $5,200 more a year just to buy the same goods and services as last year, according to a report released Thursday by Bloomberg Economics. This comes to an average of $433 a month robbed from the pockets of workers and their families, under conditions where 60 percent of the US population cannot afford an unexpected expense of $500.

.  This staggering fact demonstrates the human cost of the rise in the rate of inflation, which hit a 40-year record of 7.9 percent in December. The rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index slipped slightly to 7.5 percent in January and 6.4 percent in February, but it is still well above the forecast of both the Federal Reserve and the Biden administration.

The core inflation rate, not counting food and energy prices, which fluctuate more from month to month, stood at 6 percent in January and 5.4 percent in February, according to figures released by the federal Department of Commerce Thursday. This means that regardless of efforts by the Biden administration to manipulate temporarily the price of gasoline at the pump, the reduction in the living standards of the working class will continue.

Bloomberg Economics—part of the publishing empire of billionaire Michael Bloomberg—pointed out the benefits for capitalist employers of the inflation “tax” on workers. “Accelerated depletion of savings will increase the urgency for those staying on the sidelines to join the labor force, and the resulting increase in labor supply will likely dampen wage growth,” the authors of the report said.

Patrick Martin is a journalist.  That's not an attack.  My point is that Patrick Martin can address reality while whores like Dean Baker can't (this week's latest from dean Baker was more whoring distortions insisted "the economy has bounced back" -- again, Dean Baker's not making a living via the corporate media.  He's a cheap whore who lies for the Democratic Party and hopes they'll keep him afloat for tricking voters.  Robert Reich was always a known whore.  People are just starting to catch on with regards to Dean Baker.

On this week's BLACK AGENDA RADIO, Margaret Kimberley spoke with Gerald Horne who pointed out the following:

But certainly this food crisis has to be taken seriously.  It has to be taken seriously in the first place in the United States of America.  You have millions of people who exist on food stamps, millions of people who are food insecure,  You have prices going through the roof not only because of the eastern European crisis but also because of pre-existing supply chain glitches that has ships lined up as if it's the Long Island the coast of Los Angels' Long Beach trying to deliver goods but apparently unable to do so.  So the hunger question in this country will be exacerbated certainly by this crisis.  That's not to mention what will happen overseas.  Already, in Egypt, you see rumblings with regard to the point that a significant percentage of the bread that is the stuff of life in Cairo comes from the agricultural fields of Ukraine and Russia.  That is problematic as we speak and so therefore it can lead to disruption in Egypt.  And so this crisis?  Obviously, the planners in the State Dept did not think through everything that went in to making a deicison to heighten tensions with Moscow and Russia on the Ukraine border.

But, by all means, continue to depend on Dean Baker because he's billed as our 'friend.'  He's not.  He's a con artist and a whore.  These are life and death matters and clowns are an extravagance that the people just can't afford. 

Reailty can be found with ELETRONIC INTIFADA.

The government of Ukraine had to be white-washed or they wouldn't have been able to do their marketing blitz passed off as news in order to sell war to a people.   

Ajamu Baraka (BAR) explains:

As soon as the Biden Administration took power, the plan to escalate the situation in Ukraine was executed — a plan that included a clear understanding of the nature of forces behind the newly elected presidential front man for the right-wing Ukrainian oligarchs and U.S. forces that engineered his election. The Biden Administration also understood that the most effective military forces in Ukraine were grouped around and/or associated with various ultra-right and neo-Nazi elements. But who cared when the commitment to “full spectrum dominance” and interests of U.S. finance and corporate transnational capital are driving U.S. policy in Ukraine? 

We, the colonized, the working class, the oppressed, must be as cold-blooded and sober in our analysis and actions. Look at how they lied to the public on the existence of ultra-right forces in Ukraine and the nature of that corrupt regime. We will not lie to the people, but we have to separate ourselves from the propaganda when attempting to understand the world.

The U.S. press loudly proclaiming that there was no neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine even though it was common knowledge in the United States and Europe for years that there was always a problem with the extremist nationalist elements in that country.  Because of that, the line taken by the U.S. state and the capitalist press after the U.S. engineered coup in 2014 with the extreme right and neo-Nazi forces at the center of the action, was that while those forces’ presence in the street actions was never disputed, the line was that their political significance in the government was minimal.

That line was taken because the historical record was replete with references to the role of the ultra-right in Ukrainian politics since world-war II. And that not only did Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and literal neo-Nazis end up in the new post-coup government in 2014, but the press, human rights organizations, the governments of Europe, and the U.S. were aware of the nature of those forces

That is what made the new line by the liberal corporate press that there was not an issue with the extreme right in Ukraine so bizarre. Apparently, to buttress their drive to war, the new narrative required that the Ukrainian state be represented as the innocent victim of the mad Vladimir Putin, and the presence of ultra-right forces, including neo-Nazis, as a figment of his imagination.  

Yet, there is always a method to the madness, in this case the real madness of U.S. imperialism.

Also refer to Patrkic Martin's two-part series (Part One | Part Two) at WSWS on the marketing of this war by the Democratic Party for many, many years now.  

To sell lies to the people, you have to censor the truth -- thereby explaining US President Joe Biden's continued persecution of Julian Assange for the 'crime' of journalism.  Also explaining the disappearance of Chris Hedges from YOUTUBE.  At SCHEERPOST, Chris notes:

The entire archive of On Contact, the Emmy-nominated show I hosted for six years for RT America and RT International, has been disappeared from YouTube. Gone is the interview with Nathaniel Philbrick on his book about George Washington. Gone is the discussion with Kai Bird on his biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Gone is my exploration with Professor Sam Slote from Trinity College Dublin of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” Gone is the show with Benjamin Moser on his biography of Susan Sontag. Gone is the show with Stephen Kinzer on his book on John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. Gone are the interviews with the social critics Cornel West, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Gerald Horne, Wendy Brown, Paul Street, Gabriel Rockwell, Naomi Wolff and Slavoj Zizek. Gone are the interviews with the novelists Russell Banks and Salar Abdoh. Gone is the interview with Kevin Sharp, a former federal judge, on the case of Leonard Peltier. Gone are the interviews with economists David Harvey and Richard Wolff. Gone are the interviews with the combat veterans and West Point graduates Danny Sjursen and Eric Edstrom about our wars in the Middle East. Gone are the discussions with the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi. Gone are the voices of those who are being persecuted and marginalized, including the human rights attorney Steven Donziger and the political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. None of the shows I did on mass incarceration, where I interviewed those released from our prisons, are any longer on YouTube. Gone are the shows with the cartoonists Joe Sacco and Dwayne Booth. Melted into thin air, leaving not a rack behind.

I received no inquiry or notice from YouTube. I vanished. In totalitarian systems you exist, then you don’t. I suppose this was done in the name of censoring Russian propaganda, although I have a hard time seeing how a detailed discussion of “Ulysses” or the biographies of Susan Sontag and J. Robert Oppenheimer had any connection in the eyes of the most obtuse censors in Silicon Valley with Vladimir Putin. Indeed, there is not one show that dealt with Russia. I was on RT because, as a vocal critic of US imperialism, militarism, the corporate control of the two ruling parties, and especially because I support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, I was blacklisted. I was on RT for the same reason the dissident Vaclav Havel, who I knew, was on Voice of America during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. It was that or not be heard. Havel had no more love for the policies of Washington than I have for those of Moscow. 

Are we a more informed and better society because of this wholesale censorship? Is this a world we want to inhabit where those who know everything about us and about whom we know nothing can instantly erase us? If this happens to me, it can happen to you, to any critic anywhere who challenges the dominant narrative. And that is where we are headed as the ruling elites refuse to respond to the disenfranchisement and suffering of the working class, opting not for social and political change or the curbing of the rapacious power and obscene wealth of our oligarchic rulers, but instead imposing iron control over information, as if that will solve the mounting social unrest and vast political and social divides. 

Kevin Reed (WSWS) notes:

 As reported previously by the World Socialist Web Site, the Russian state-funded cable news network RT America was shut down in the US on March 3 and all 120 of its employees were laid off at offices located in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Miami.

Although the management of the news channel said the network had experienced “unforeseen business-interruption events,” the abrupt shutdown of RT America was no doubt part of the anti-Russian offensive mounted by corporate media outlets and governments aligned with the US and NATO in the proxy war being fought in Ukraine against the regime in Moscow.

Among the RT America programs terminated were several popular left-wing and anti-war TV shows including Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp and On Contact with Chris Hedges. These programs were specifically targeted for censorship because they adopted an anti-war standpoint that was opposed to the narrative developed by the ruling political establishment in the US and Europe.

This campaign to silence voices critical of the role of imperialism in provoking the war in Ukraine has been extended to the removal of video content from YouTube, podcasts from Spotify and other censorship measures by the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

There's another way to censor.  Drop coverage.  You know, the way the same US corpoarte media that sold the Iraq War by spewing endless lies now avoids covering the results of their actions.  

The big news out of Iraq today?  TRT reports:

A powerful Iraqi Shia cleric has decided to step back for the next 40 days and give his Iran-backed rivals the chance to form the country's next government.

The surprising decision on Thursday by Muqtada al Sadr comes against the backdrop of a persisting political deadlock in Iraq, five months after general elections.

Sadr's offer came in a tweet, in which he also called on his followers not to interfere "neither positively not negatively" as his rivals form the Coordination Framework, a coalition of Iran-backed Shia parties, try to cobble together a cabinet.

This translates into a nod to Sadr's rivals to pursue the cleric's Kurdish and Sunni allies in possible negotiations. There was no immediate response from the Coordination Framework to Sadr's offer.

When they're not lying, they're selling State Dept talking points -- regardless of whether or not they're factual.  No one in their right mind who knew Iraq's recent history would have expected Moqtada al-Sadr to be a 'kingmaker' who was going to pull together a government following the election.  But three failed attempts now since the October 10th election and we're still not seeing the corporate press admit to the fact that they got it wrong.  They got it wrong because they parotted the US State Dept -- the same State Dept that paid (bribed) Moqtada back in August -- but they looked the other way on that too.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Call Me Kat

Just finished watching tonight's episode of Call Me Kat (Fox).  First things first, Swoosie Kurtz's hair looked incredible.  I'm sorry to start with that but her hair has never looked so good on this show.  I don't think it ever looked that good on Mike & Molly or even on Sisters or in the film Wildcats or ever.  That was great hair.  

It was also a pretty good show.  Oscar and Phil are on a bowling team and have a lot of fun.  Oscar invited Kat to join them.  Sheila warned that her daughter couldn't bowl.  But Kat went for it.  She wasn't very good.  Then Oscar explained some basics to her and she could see it as a math problem.  Oscar's nickname had been ''the ringer' because he was so good on the team.  Then Kat ended up the best player and, even though she got really bossy, Phil and Wyatt wanted her to stay on the team when she talked about quitting (even though she banned french fries because she said greasy fingers were bad for bowling).  Oscar?  He didn't like it.  A) The game had stopped being fun and (B) he was a little jealous that Kat was better than him and he was no longer "the ringer."  He told Kat it was his problem and he'd work it out.  

Max had a shot at an 'influencer' recording a song he'd written but he told her that her own songs.   Randi worked to make Max an influencer of his own and put together a production number that she and Carter could do with Max.  That and the mother of the 'influencer' ended up giving Max a second shot at the 'influencer' recording his song.  He got a check and said he could buy a steak dinner . . . with a moderately priced wine.

Then everyone -- except Oscar -- gathered to celebrate Max's potential success and Kat hooked Phil up with the guy he liked.  During bowling, she's stepped on his big moment (he was trying to find out if the guy was gay).  She invited him so he and Phil could get to know each other.  (Phil quoted from Valley of the Dolls to discover that the man was gay.

It was good in terms of humor (and Sheila's hair!!! Seriously, I am in awe of Swoosie's hair this episode) and it was good in terms of remembering that Oscar and Kat are supposed to be in a relationship.

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

 Thursday, March 31, 2022..  Robert Pether remains in an Iraqi jail, Julian Assange remains persecuted, Iraq still can't name a president and Jada Pinkett remains bald.

Kicking off with the assault of Chris Rock, let's note this from Jimmy Dore about how Will Smith's assault is now encouraging others to call for assaulting comedians.

It's amazing.  And, as Elaine pointed out:

I like Jonathan Turley but I think he's missed the boat on one issue.

He rightly documents the attacks on free speech.  So far, however, he has not written of Will Smith attacking Chris Rock at the Oscars.  Maybe he is doing a column on it?

If so, he may be holding the topic for that reason.

But I would argue that all the attacks on free speech, all the self-righteous grand-standing to justify censoring  people.  We see that in the attack, we see that in some of the responses to the attack.

I support free speech.  

What Will Smith did was outrageous.  Some of the reactions to the assault have been even more outrageous.

This is part of the attack on free speech.  It's also something more.

I'm remembering having to learn the name of Nicholas Sandman.  My life was fine without ever knowing his name.  But he was made into a national incident and a monster by the same group that's defening Will and talking how hard it is on Jada Pankitt.  Nicholas didn't do anything to warrant the outrage or the hate heaped on him.  But Will slapped Chris Rock on a national statge -- that Will wasn't supposed to be on -- in front of the whole world and lairs and whores want to pretend like it's okay?

I've read that garbage THE WASHINGTON POST published from the dumb idiot who wanted to argue in favor of Jada and tell you it was race and sexism and Jada was the victim.

You stupid f**king idiot.  You are the reason outlets used to argue that women couldn't cover abortion -- they were women and they could get pregnant so they couldn't be objective was the claim..  We saw that same thing with the idiot in Congress who Tweeted applauding the assualt because she's bald too.

Get over yourselves.  Being bald?  If that's the worst thing in your life, you should be thanking your higher power, personal god, whatever that this is all you're facing. 

And stop applauding Will for 'defending' his wife while claiming to be a feminist.

A woman needs rescued?  That's offensive.  A woman can't handle words?  That's offensive.

You certainly are trapped in your gender roles as you stumble around at the corner of race and gender.  

And you miss the reality of the actual trope that's at play -- because you can't/won't refute the systematic racism of the system you are electing to endorse, embrace and play with it.

A woman needs defending, you argue, so Will was alright to do what he did.


As you spew your garbage endlessly, do you not realize what you're doing?

Because the way I see it, violence gainst a Black man is again being justified because someone claims a woman's 'honor' has been besmirched.  

Emmett Till wasn't an exception, he's just one of the few that's widely known.  Time and again, Black men were targeted in the US with the claim that they had dishonored a woman in some way.  Women?  We can defend ourselves.  Claiming otherwise is a cute way for men to justify attacking others.  Claiming that we can't defend ourselves -- not even from words -- is sexism.

But that reality is ignored and Chris Rock is attacked.

Chris Rock deserved to be attacked because he's Black?

I'd drop your faux feminism and your academic nonsense and grasp the reality of the situation.  Violence against a Black man is once again being justified and minimized.  

Don't tell me #BlackLivesMatter when you think it is perfectly acceptable for Chris Rock to be assaulted while performing an act he was asked by the Academy to perform on live television.  

Chris Rock has been very nice about this and very kind.  And who's sticking up for him?  (I know Chris Rock and consider him a friend.)  No one.  Whores like Pee-Pee in his mouth Diddy lied -- and I told you he was lying -- to protect Will Smith.  Who's defending Chris.

Chris was the one attacked.

And Jada, ya still bald.

And it's still not the end of the world, and you're still not going to die from it.  

Chris was invited on that stage.  Will was not.   Chris was doing exactly what he was asked to do by the Academy.  And he got assaulted.  There's no excuse for that.  There's no defense for that.  And shame on anyone applauding that attack and not grasping that they are falling into the historical racist construct that says it is okay to assault a Black man to defend a woman's 'honor.'

An attack on free speech is what the persecution of Julian Assange is all about.  US President Joe Biden continues to persecute the journalist for opening the truth up to the world.  Attacking Julian is about intimidating any journalist in the future with knowledge of War Crimes carried out by the US so that the journalist will not report them.

John Jiggins (INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA) reports:

In marked contrast to the war in Ukraine, the Iraqi war was covered by journalists embedded with the invading forces.

Civilian deaths were dismissed as “collateral damage”.  

When WikiLeaks showed us what “collateral damage” looked like from the perspective of Iraqi civilians, releasing a video of a massacre by an Apache helicopter gun crew of Iraqi civilians and two Reuter journalists, Julian Assange called it Collateral Murder.  

This intervention played an important role in ending the illegal UK, U.S. and Australian invasion of a sovereign nation, and because of this, the war criminals he exposed are destroying Julian Assange with the consent of the Australian Government, claiming he is the criminal.

But Assange was a hero for peace. 

For the Apache helicopter crew, the civilians on the ground were dehumanised. Like boys playing a computer game, they exclaimed “light ‘em up!” as they blew apart their victims from their unseen platform a mile in the sky.  

When a good samaritan stopped to help those still living, he and his children were ruthlessly machine-gunned. The crew blamed their father, saying he shouldn’t have brought children to a war zone.

Let's note two reports from 60 MINUTES>

And let's note that this 60 MINUTES in Austrtalia.  In the US, nothing.  In the US, whose president is persecuting Julian Assange?  Silence.  

Julian's 'crime' is journalism.  He is targed by the president of the United States.  And you have to look to 60 MINUTES in aonther country to get coverage.

 Julian remains persecuted.  And the silence goes a long, long way towards explaining why that continues.  

Meg Sherman (DISSIDENT VOICE) observes:

Hard working, principled journalists — who’d be legends and treasures in a long lost era of good press ethics in society — and their sources are paying a high price out of their human rights under the aegis of a craven new age of US imperialism. Most modern states bar the integration of legitimate journalistic activity with the penal code, like those currently being deployed to get Julian Assange. But in the data age, with less developed laws around the link between technology and sources, criminalisation is being embraced, or at least is being seized upon in the moment before laws and regulation are clarified and tightened up to get Assange.

But it stinks. For one evidence cited in attempts to justify his arrest and pursuit under the law are at best dubious, at worst slanderous. Moreover in a zeitgeist defined by Brexit negotiations steeped deep in the rhetoric of protecting parliamentary sovereignty it ought to worry us British courts are willing to yield to the whims of US courts who are willing to put Assange away for life, or kill him, for the crime of doing journalism.

It’s time that the establishment drops pretences and stops using the phrase “no man is above the law” as if the mantra is still meaningful. Either justice is a right or its not. For so many, conspicuously all in the business of exposing corruption, they don’t get it. It’s time to reform society’s treatment of whistleblowers and remove all legal obstructions to their freedoms.

Joe Biden has become a threat to a free press and to the First Amendment.  Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) addresses the damage that Joe's doing with his words:

“I mean what I say when I say it!” Those words were spoken by president elect Joe Biden in December 2020 during a meeting with a group described as “civil rights leaders.” Video of the meeting was leaked and Biden’s insulting and dismissive attitude towards Black people was clear even to those who ignored this tendency he has shown throughout his 50 years of public life.

Biden did us a favor by revealing himself and by telling us to pay attention when he speaks. That advice should be followed no matter how strange his words may seem. Even in his bad tempered confusion, Biden always reveals what he is doing.

He recently made news for all the wrong reasons during his recent trip to Europe where he attended a combination G7 summit and NATO meeting in Brussels followed by a trip to Poland.

At the NATO meeting he rather nonchalantly informed the people of the world that they will all suffer because of the misguided effort to punish Russia with sanctions. “With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages and it’s going to be real. The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It's imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well. And because both Russia and Ukraine have been the bread basket of Europe in terms of wheat for example.” Ukraine won’t have a good harvest in the near future and Russia won’t be able to sell what it grows. That means rising prices for those scarce wheat products that may still be available. Biden’s casual tone is an indication he thinks people and governments all over the world should accept the oncoming disaster he created without complaint.

Not content to disrupt global food supplies he also announced his future plans for Ukraine. He said this to 82nd Airborne troops stationed in Poland. "And you’re going to see when you’re there.  And you — some — some of you have been there.  You’re going to see — you’re going to see women, young people standing — standing the middle of — in front of a damn tank, just saying, 'I’m not leaving.  I’m holding my ground.'  They’re incredible." Why are U.S. troops going to see anything in Ukraine? He tried to clean it up with “you may have already seen it” but he was saying that he intends to have US troops deployed in a country where Russia already has forces. His photo opportunity turned into the announcement of a hot war.

The most remarkable Biden statement that his apologists call a “gaffe ” also took place in Poland. He gave what was supposed to be a conventional speech portraying the U.S. as the beacon of freedom and democracy while Russia is really bad. His remarks should have been fairly standard and unexceptional but as always Biden told us what he was up to. In referring to Vladimir Putin he said, "This man cannot remain in power."

The clarifications and backpedaling were immediate, but no one could unhear Biden’s words. Despite all denials to the contrary, Biden is after regime change against the Russian government and his actions prove it. The very idea that Russia’s government will fall because of sanctions pressure is ludicrous. But once again, Biden gave a heads up in July 2021 .

“When I was with Mr. Putin, who has a real problem. He's sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else. Nothing else. Their economy is, what, the eighth smallest in the world now, largest in the world? He knows he's in real trouble, which makes him even more dangerous, in my view."

As the US government pursues conflict with Russia, the site of the ongoing war that the US started, Iraq, gets worse and worse.  As we noted yesterday, for the third time this year, Iraq held a session of Parliament to elect a president.  nd for the the third time -- this year -- they failed to do so. 

This year.  We're in the third month of this year.

Three times, they have failed.

The parliamentary election was held when?  October 10th.  And they are supposed to move quickly.  They didn't.  That is why they are now almost two months beyond the date set in their own Constitution for naming a president.

They can't name a prime minister until they have a president.

Follwing the results of October 10th, too many corporate outlets in the west tried to spin reality.  Reailty was that the turnout was the lowest ever.  Further reality is that turn out has gone repeatedly ever since Joe Biden (via The Erbil Agreement) overturned the 2010 election results.  The people didn't want Nouri al-Maliki to have a seond term.  The  White House did.  The result was the rise of ISIS, yes.  But it also resulted in an eroison of trust in the ballot box -- something many of us were warning of at that time.

The whorish corporate press wanted to name Moqtada al-Sadr a victor, hurrah!  A kingmaker, they called him.  They didn't bother to note that not only did he not win enough seats to form a government on his own but that his group also got less votes than they did in the previous elections.  

Moqtada was hailed by the western press -- as though he'd never been responsible for the deaths of US troops, as though he'd never attacked Iraq's LGBTQ community, as though he wasn't attempting to curtail the rights of women.  all of that was washed away.

Reality, Moqtada's not a kingmaker.

Reality, Nouri al-Maliki continues to stall and delay him.  What Nouri's not personally carrying out is other people copying Nouri's previous plays.

And Moqtada, hailed by the corporate press backin October, still can't form a government.  We're tend days away from April 10th, ten days away six months since the elections.  And the political stalemate continues.  

None of this is surprising if anyone had paid attention.  We did. I'm not suprised at all and I said over and over that Moqtada was not a kingmaker, that nothing indicated he was, that facts argued he had lost support.  But facts and today's corporate press are at opposite ends.  They're openly hostile to one another.  

The western press that sold the illegal war still can't get the facts right all this time later.

Salam Faraj and Laure al-Khoury (AL-MONITOR) note:

Six months after Iraq's parliamentary vote, the war-scarred country is no closer to electing a president amid a bitter political stalemate that has thrown institutions into limbo.

Wrangling between rival Muslim Shiite blocs in the assembly on Wednesday scuppered the legislature's third attempt to elect a head of state.

Though a largely ceremonial role, the president determines the country's next prime minister who will in turn form a cabinet to be voted in by an absolute majority of lawmakers.

- What is the hold-up? -

A schism running through the so-called "Shiite house" of Iraqi politics lies at the heart of the impasse.

Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has long claimed the largest bloc in parliament, with 73 seats out of the 329-member legislature.

But his bloc does not have enough members to establish a clear majority -- forcing him to reach out to form an untraditional alliance.

Eschewing the more predictable grouping with other Shiite factions, Sadr has chosen to ally with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sunni parties to form a coalition dubbed "Saving the Homeland", with 155 seats.

The coalition backs KDP candidate Rebar Ahmed for the presidency -- a post reserved for Kurds, while the post of prime minister by convention goes to a Shiite.

Shirking the tradition of forming a "consensus government" between Shiite parties, Sadr hopes to put forth a "majority government" led by his cousin, Iraq's ambassador to Britain Jaafar al-Sadr.

This has placed his coalition at loggerheads with the Coordination Framework -- a powerful force that includes former premier Nuri al-Maliki's party and the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the Shiite-led former paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi.

The stalemate continues.  So does the imprisonment of an Austrailan citizen.  Robert Pether was imprisoned in IRaq with no access to justice or fairness.  He was locked away and his medical needs were ignored.  He remains impisoned.  THE GUARDIAN notes that the United Nations has called his imprisonment and that of his collegaue Khalid Radwan an "enfoced disappearance."  Erin Pearson (THE AGE) reports:

A United Nations body is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Australian man Robert Pether from an Iraqi jail cell, finding his detention contravenes international law.

A report from the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention this month found the imprisonment of Mr Pether and his colleague Khalid Radwan to be arbitrary and in contravention of international law.

The report found the men were “lured” into returning to Iraq on the pretext of assisting in an investigation and “arbitrarily detained, without any legal basis” ever since.

Mr Pether, an Australian engineer and father of three, was arrested in Iraq alongside an Egyptian colleague in April. They were both later jailed following a dispute between their employer and the Central Bank of Iraq.

The working group said it was of the opinion the men were then forcibly “disappeared” during the first few days of their detention and their capacity to defend themselves was “undermined and compromised” during subsequent court proceedings.

Maybe ahead of next year's Academy Awards, Mila can announce that she once again misspoke about what country she was from and that, this time, it was really Australia and then she can ask for a moment of silence to honor the persecuted Robert Pether and Julian Assange?

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Green Party Renews calls for Green New Deal in State Budget

In a perfect world, I would note Howie Hawkins' latest videos every week (usually manage that) and I would note, in a different post, Green Party news.  Don't often manage that latter one.  So let me note this:

ALBANY, NY – The Green Party of New York today said that the accelerating climate crisis calls for the state to enact the Green New Deal as part of this year's state budget, with at least $30 billion devoted to the state building out renewables and enactment of an economic bill of rights including universal single payer health care, a guaranteed living wage job and income, universal child care, affordable housing and tuition-free public education from pre-K through college.

Green Party of New York

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2022

Peter LaVenia, Co-chair, GPNY
Gloria Mattera, Co-chair, GPNY

Rather than halting the state's taxes on gas, the Greens would provide a large rebate to low-and-middle income New Yorkers funded through a carbon tax (polluter penalty), and tax on the profits of gas and other fossil fuel companies.

Transportation is one of the two largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and emissions have continued to rise in New York from cars and vehicles over the decades. "What we are seeing at the gas pumps is price gouging and we need to halt it. We need to accelerate the move away from fossil fuel vehicles while also dramatically improving and expanding mass transit and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians," added Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States.

The Greens strongly oppose any government funds for a sports stadium for the Buffalo Bills. The Greens noted that such corporate welfare giveaways never produced the promised resulting tax revenues, jobs or economic stimulation.

"Efforts in New York to change the criminal justice system should focus on ending the systemic racism within the local police departments. They need to be demilitarized, with the focus on community protection and de-escalation techniques, ending their culture of using violence and intimidation. Public security needs to be overhauled to embrace community control with present police funding allocated to more services such as mental health and nonviolence training," said Peter LaVenia, co-chair of the Green Party of NY.

The Greens also support proposals such as parole for elderly inmates, and expanded programs to assist offenders in re-integrating into the community starting with jobs. The Greens pointed out that studies such as by the NYC Comptroller shows that bail reform is working. In the US, individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty and the role of bail is merely to ensure that defendants appear for trial.

Howie Hawkins first proposed an ecosocialist Green New Deal in his 2010 campaign for Governor. "The IPCC has declared a Code Red for life on the planet because politicians' efforts like the CLCPA are far too slow and timid to prevent climate collapse. Climate change is accelerating. We need to focus on public ownership and democratic planning on the energy and economic systems to speed up the transition to 100% clean renewable energy and zero emissions by 2030. We have to halt all new fossil fuel use and infrastructure and rapidly phase out existing uses," said Hawkins.

Hawkins said he supports the proposals put forth by the Climate Can't Wait collaboration of 40 climate groups. The Greens support the All Electric Building act which has a 2024 deadline for ending the use of gas in new buildings compared to Hochul's 2027 proposal. The Greens continue to support the Off Fossil Fuels / 100% Renewables by 2030 Act as a replacement to the CLCPA and are critical of the state's unwillingness to actually provide adequate funding for environmental justice communities and for a Just Transition. The Greens support the proposal to end more than a century of pollution in the Sheridan Hollow low-income community by transitioning the Capitol complex to 100% renewable energy. They would also stop the climate-busting proof-of-work system such as the Greenidge facility near Seneca Lake.

The Greens support the call to adopt a much stronger Extended Producer Responsibility act post-budget to reduce packaging and other waste, as well as expanding the state's bottle bill.

The Greens have advocated for an expanded and improved Medicare for All program for decades and urge lawmakers to finally adopt it this year, especially in light of the pending retirement of long-time lead sponsor Assemblymember Richard Gottfried. The Greens also support providing $3 billion in funding for excluded workers struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic.

The Green Party will field a candidate for Governor in 2022 despite the new ballot access laws passed by the Democrats to kill the non-fusion third parties.

Howie's right to do a video each week.  We can't just show up in presidential election years and expect to get anywhere.  We have to be building and we have to work at that regularly.  On my end, that means I need to do a better job of noting Green Party news at least once a week.

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

 Wednesday, March 30, 2022.  Another MOqtada failure in Iraq as Whoopi Golberg continues to conduct herself in an unethical manner.

We're back on Will Smith's assaulting Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.  I hope we'll be off soon.  We're gong to note Jimmy Dore and we're going to note Betty and then I'm gong to write about whoopi Goldber who needs to learn to shut her damn mouth.  That's why I'm covering it again.  I do think it's worth covering.  I'm glad it's being covered.  But I did not plan to do three days worth here.

I don't approve of people who break the rules.  That's not Will, he's a psychopath who needs to be punisehd.  But I believe we've made that point here.  I'm referring to Whoopi Goldberg who has her own actions this week to apologize for and whose actions have been highly unethical.

First up, Jimmy Dore.

It's an important point. It's many important points.  I'm glad he covered it.  Now let's note Betty who did a wonderful job on another aspect:

Jada Stinkit and Wee Willie Weenus

 I'm sick of Jada Stinkit and Wee Willie Weenus and their pretend marriage.  I'm sick of Jada an Willie insisting that you don't talk about a Black woman's hair.

Chris Rock didn't joke about her hair -- she's got no hair.

Grow the hell up.

And I'm sick of the boo-hooing from her and other women who are bald.

Did you lose both legs like Tammy Duckworth in Iraq?

Uh, no, you didn't.  You've got it pretty good.

I don't like Tammy, she's to the right of me politically.  But I don't hear her whining.  She's taking care of business.  She wants a family?  She starts a family.  She can't fly in to vote on House membership and Nancy refuses to let her vote via phone, she doesn't whine.

I admire Tammy's spirit, I admire her grit and I admire her love for life.

I don't think I could handle losing both legs.  I don't.  

But I damn sure can handle losing my hair.  I'd wear a wig if it happened.  But I could handle it.

Jada Stinkit, you've have access to millions of dollars, you have two kids, you have your own talk show, grow the hell up, you ungrateful fool.

God has been very kind to you.

There are people in the US who had their whole faces burned in Iraq.  There's the Iraqi girl who had acid thrown on her face.  

These people are dealing with real issues.

You don't have hair?

Do you know how many children with terminal illness would give anything in the world to have their biggest problem be that they didn't have any hair?

You are a stupid, an ignorant and an ungrateful woman.  I hope God brings you to your knees.  How dare you spit on everything you've been given.  You're a greedy sinner who thinks you deserve everything so you can't say a thank you for all that you do have.  

As for her trashy husband, you embarrassed us all.  As a Black woman, I find your behavior shameful.  As the mother of two boys, I find your behavior disgraceful.  

You were given so much -- that night alone, you got an Oscar, but there were you attacking poor Chris Rock.  There you were striking him and cursing at him and doing it on live TV.  You aren't an adult, you're not fit to be in an adult coversation.

You're both embarrassments.

Exatly, she should be on her knees giving thanks that her big problem is being bald.  Again, it's not life threatening.  Betty's right, there are kids with cancer who would gladly switch places.  There are veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars who have lost limbs, who have lost sight, who have lost hearing, you name it and those men and women are dealing with real issues.  Jada's bald.  If she can't handle that, she's more pathetic than her husband.

Now let's go to the woman whose mouth always runneth over.  Monday, on THE VIEW, Whoopi Goldberg declared that Will Smith would not lose his Oscar following his Sunday assault of Chris Rock.  Monday, the Academy announced that they had started an investigation into the events.  Tuesday, Whoopi made various claims on air -- no, she couldn't support them and I know at least one was an outright lie.

Anyone see the problem?

I know Whoopi's a problem.  She's a nightmare.  She's so unhappy she can't stop eating even though her blood sugar is destroying her body.  No one cares enough to tell her that because she's such a bitch that no one really cares about her anymore.  Some people even encourage her to keep eating, ekeep eating.  They say it's to keep her happy but maybe it's to help her along to the other side.  Who nows?

What we do know is that she needs to shut her damn mouth.

I can say whatever I want.  Rob Reiner can say whatever he wants.  For the most part, whomever can say what they want.

Whoopi?  No.

I'm not serving a term on the Board of Governors.  Whoopi is.

How real and fair is this investigation going to be when Whoopi is already telling the wold on THE VIEW what the outcome's gong t o be.

She needs to shut her damn mouth.  

She's unethical.  She wants to talk about it during an ongoing investigation?  She can resign her seat.  

But while she holds that seat, she needs to shut her damn mouth.

I have not heard Larua dErn (who I know and love) say a word about it since the investigation has been launched.  Nor have I called her to say, "What do you think?"  Because she's really not able to comment.  The same with Rita Wilson.

But Whoopi -- the owman who told us that Roman Polanski drugging a 13-year-old girl and then having sex with her wasn't "rape-rape" now wants to come along and defend another who doesn't deserve defending.  Reminds me how tight Whoopi used to be with Harvey Weinstein.

Whoopi needs to shut her damn mouth or resign her seat.  Holding that seat and making the comments she's making could potentially influence the outcome of the investigation.  She needs to shut up.

Her conduct is outrageous and idiotic.  I realize she's not educated and not too bright, I've spoken with her many times.  So maybe she's so damn stupid that she doesn't grasp the ethical conflict she has created.

She needs to shut her damn mouth now.  

I don't watch THE VIEW.  I know of this because members of the Acdemy are talking about.  Are talking about her.  Everyone is offended by what she's doing.  

HOw real do most people think the investigation is going to be?

Some mebers (including me) don't think it's going to amount to anything.  Others think it might make a difference.  But everyone agrees that the Academy announced it to improve their own image and Whoopi, a sitting member of the Academy's Board of Governors, passing her opinions (where she dimisses it and underplays the assualt and creates -- cause she can see into peoeple's souls, you understand -- excuses for what happened) is a conflict of interest and could influence -- or even appear to influence -- the investigation.

She needs to shut her mouth.

As I heard about it from one person after another, I got transcripts of Monday and Tuesday's shows and read over her remarks.  They are utrageous considering the position she currently holds.  I don't think she's qualified to weigh in on anything.  But she's certainly not ethically allowed to be saying what shes saying right now while the Academy is conducting an investigation.  

The words she's struggling for are: I cannot comment while the Academy is conducting an investigation.

That's all she really has to say.  

In real life, Whoopi Goldberg is a monster.  She is not the character she has played.  (She can only play one character, if you haven't noticed -- sometiems, she lucky to pull off even one.)  She was a nightmare from the beginning.  She was so rude and ugly to Penny Marshall who was doing her a damn favor.  The director of JUMPING JACK FLASH was not working and the film could have been shut down.  Penny ws brought in to save it.  And Penny did.  Sher realized the limitaions of WHoopi and shot around those, she created additional business in the script for other characters, she brought in talented supporting actors.  She made that film watchable.  None of Whoopi's comedies are in those early years.  How many times are we going to blame everyone else for Whoopis's failures?  At any rate, whoopi was a real bitch to Penny.  I heard about it from Penny in real time and we're all talking about it now and what a bitch she was on this set, and on that set and . . .

She's a monster.  

The reason I'm bringing this up is she better curb herslef or she's going to be curbed.  She has no friends in the industry and she's pissing people off by refusing to condcut herself as a member of the board should.  If she can't curb her comments, people will be seeking for the Academy to correct her behavior.

Grasp that she wants tow weigh in daily on what should be done about a violation and that in weighing in she is also committing a violation.

Get some flash cards, maybe a dry erase board, a sippy cup filled with juice and someone sit her down and explain it to her.

(And to be clear, there are people who are nasty for a performance.  They have to go deep into a character to get ahold of it.  I'm not talking about that kind of behavior.  Whoopi's gahavior had nothing to do with her performance -- probably with her insecurity, but not her performance.  She throws fits about her trailer, she throws fits about the craft table, she throws fits about this and about that.  she's get pissed that someone said "good morning" to her and explodes, she's just a bitch and a pain in the ass to work with.)

Now to Iraq.

#BREAKING Iraqi parliament fails for the third time to elect a state president over a lack of quorum #Baghdad #Iraq

Are we still calling Moqtada l-Sadr a "kingmaker."

He filed to get his nominee elected in Feburary.  He failed over the weekend.  And now hes failed again.  Three times now. Three announced votes.  And the Parliament's not showing up.  They're making it clear that ehy don't support him.

I thought he was supposed to be a ''kingmaker."  Guess he is just a cult leader and he's now a cult leader who is trying to install his cousin as prime minister.

When is the western media going to stop glorifying Moqtada.

And when might they start doing their thought pieces about how wrong 'others' were to immediately declare Moqtada a kingmaker and a stateman?  Others because they won't point the finger at themselves.

Moqtada is ahateful man who repeatedly destroys his own standing.

I told yout he cult was dwindling.  Motada's condeming female protesters and insisting that men not protest with women was rejected by the youthful protesters who saw it as outdated and wrongful thinking.  We've covered that at lenght.  We've also covered how Sadr City remains a slum.  He can't provide for his own cult.  

WHile the western press was insisting the October 10th elections were a glory moment for Moqtada, we were pointing out that not only was it Iraq's lowest turnout ever but that Moqtada's bloc actually got fewer votes than they had in the previous election.

Yet the media promoted Moqtada as though he were a world leader.  

He may eventually get a presidnetial nominnee in place and a prime minister desginate.  Eventually.

But it's about to be April and elections were held October 10th.  It's going to be six months after the election shortly and the poltiical stalemate continues, drags on.  Moqtada is not a national leader, he's not a kingmaker.  He is the leader of a cult and it's a cult that hs signficantly decreased. 


#Iraq-i lawmakers have failed for a third time to elect a new national #president, for lack of a quorum, officials say, prolonging the political paralysis in the war-scarred country.

The following sites updated: