Friday, June 10, 2022

Michele Dauber, let's play your game (Ava)

Ava here, filling in for Ann.  If you read many things in the community, you know I'm a Latina.

No, AOC, not LatinX.  


Michele Dauber is an Anglo-White woman who has taken to attacking Camillle Vasquez because that's what the Matriarchy does.

As C.I. and I noted in HILDA'S MIX two weeks ago, it was so very cute the way Camille was being attacked.  She was a woman and she was attacked for this.  She was betraying feminism, according to the Matriarchy.

Johnny was suspect, the Matriarchy insisted, for having a woman on his team.

But, as C.I. and I pointed out, Amber Heard wasn't called out for having a woman on her team or, for that matter, for having men on her team.  

The Matriarchy -- excuse me, the Anglo White Matriarchy -- had no problem with that.  They only had a problem with the Latina.

That's how it goes, by the way, they let their hatred for 'the other' loose.  The Matriarchy is as pathetic and as limited as the Patriarchy.  As a feminist, I reject them both.

Camille did an excellent job and deserve praise for what she did.

Michele Dauber -- a very repulsive person (and I don't just mean physically ugly, although she is) -- instead attacks Camille because, well, what's a Karen going to do?

Amber Heard is a cheap liar who couldn't even keep her own lies straight during the trial.  

But Michele wants to stan for her -- of course she does, this is the anti-democratic Matriarch who doesn't feel an accuser should have to face the accused.

What world are you living in because it sounds like something out of THE CRUCIBLE.

Shame on you.


And now I'm going to show you, Michele, what you're doing.  I'm going to show you by doing it to you. 

How many lies have to told, Michele?

Was your daughter really 25 in 2008?  I'm not saying she wasn't.  Just seems strange that you didn't marry Ken Dauber until 1997 yet Amanda Dauber was 25 in 2008.  I was told, maybe true, maybe false, that Ken wasn't her father.  That it's a man you knew earlier.  That you public presentation of Ken as Amanda's father was insulting to the actual father.

Is that true, Michele?  Care to comment.

Here's the other thing, dear, I have a child.

And my child's not going to commit suicide because I wasn't there for her.

You don't like to talk about Amanda's suicide.  So maybe you shouldn't speak publicly.

I'm told you worked very hard on your career.  And that Amanda was left alone and isolated.

That would explain the suicide, wouldn't it?

Don't like what I'm writing?  I don't like you attacking Camille.

Also, as a mother, I don't need to hear the opinions of a woman who failed her own daughter but wants to judge others.  

Now children do take their own lives.  

And it doesn't have to be the parent's fault at all.

But if the child was neglected?  

I think the parent needs to take responsibility.

You got multiple degrees from 1991 to 2003.  Must have been a lot of work.  And you also clerked during that time period.  And you were a 'fellow' here and there as well.  You were so very busy.  

Must have been hard for Amanda.  

Again, suicide happens for any number of reasons.  But if you want to put Camille on trial in the court of public opinion, I'm happy to put you on trial there as well. 

It's cute the way the parents who abandon their children later want to pretend that the suicide happened for reasons other than their own failures as parents.

Judy Collins, for example.  As C.I. and I have noted -- see "Trapped in an AA meeting with Judy Collins (Ava and C.I.)"  she doesn't want to take responsibility for Clark's suicide and she's written her own biographies, changed details, to run from her responsibility.  Not all that surprising when you grasp that's what she did with Clark.  She ran from her responsibilities as a mother.  She sure had an exciting life didn't she -- and she sure thinks she was a hot piece of ass and wants you to believe she was.  Maybe if she'd slept around less, maybe if she'd stayed at home and not farmed Clark out to a house keeper and then to military school, maybe if she'd been around he wouldn't have felt so much depression and so isolated.

So, Michele, if you want to attack a strong Latina woman named Camille, this Latina woman named Ava is inviting you to get honest about how you failed your own daughter.

Of course, you could always just stop attacking Camille.

Whatever you do, don't think you're fooling anyone with your pretense to be a feminist.  You're part of the Matriarchy and that's just the flip side of Patriarchy.

In other words, you're pathetic.

C.I. and I have covered the lies of Amber Heard repeatedly but, if you want our most recent take, "Media: Justice for everybody" went up earlier this week.

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


Thursday, June 9, 2022.   We look at a local election in the US and a consensus appears to be building in Iraq on how to end the political stalemate that hits the 8 month mark tomorrow.

Patrick Martin (WSWS) writes:

The most significant results Tuesday were in two municipal contests in California. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled in a special election, by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. In Los Angeles, real estate mogul Rick Caruso and Congresswoman Karen Bass finished as the top two candidates in the mayoral primary and will face each other in the November runoff.

Boudin, a left liberal backed by the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party along with its pseudo-left supporters, was first elected in 2019 campaigning against police brutality and excessively long jail terms. He clashed repeatedly with the police unions and real estate and other business groups and became a focal point for a right-wing law-and-order campaign, aimed particularly at whipping up fears in the Asian community over a sharp rise in anti-Asian violence.

Once enough signatures had been gathered to force a recall, with support from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party establishment, business interests, including hedge funds and venture capitalists poured in more than $4 million to promote the vote to remove Boudin.

Like the recall of three members of the San Francisco school board earlier this year, right-wing forces took advantage of the political bankruptcy of identity politics with its incessant emphasis on racial divisions. Boudin and his supporters presented police violence as the product solely of racism, concealing the class role of the police as the defenders of capitalist property against the working class.

The complete failure of the Biden administration to improve the conditions of life for working people, to say nothing of the Democratic Party-run state government in Sacramento and the administration of Democratic Mayor London Breed, created widespread popular anger and disgust and indifference to the fate of Boudin. 

The result was an election in which there was a sizeable turnout only in the wealthiest areas of the city. Overall voter turnout plunged: from the huge 449,866 anti-Trump vote in 2020, to only 123,926 votes in the recall. Tuesday’s vote was only half as large as the 251,032 votes cast in the special election for mayor in 2018 which put London Breed in office.

The vote will be seized on by Democratic politicians to use as a shield against Republican attacks seeking to link the Democrats to the calls to “defund the police” that arose after the 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which led to massive worldwide protests against police violence.

I agree with Patrik that the establishment Dems will use this to justify further sell outs.  But on the race . . . The race could have been closer and could have gone Chesa's way -- see Elaine's "Chesa defeated Chesa" for her thoughts.  

I love Roseanne Barr.  That doesn't mean I agree with her on everything.  We disagree regarding Palestinians, obviously.  But Roseanne described San Francisco a few years back.  Two?  Maybe three?  It was an ugly description of a place I've made my home.  

But it was also a valid description.  It predated Chesa.  Chesa was supposed to bring in a new approach.  That's why he was elected.

But he refused to sell his approach.  He should have been on all the public affairs programs talking about what was happening, what he was doing to address things and assured people that things were changing.


It's also true that crimes against Asian-Americans have increased in the city -- hugely.  Some would argue this is a result of communities competing -- or feeling they are -- aginst one another for limited resources.  Chesa's programs were supported by a greater percentage of African-Americans than by Asian-Americans.  And a lot of high profile cases that the media covered were African-American attacks on Asian-Americans.  Chesa needed to communicate with the Asian-American communities and he failed at that.  Let's not pretend that the opposition invented a division and used that successfully.

They took a very real division and they amplified it.  

Chesa should have long ago addressed that division.  His faltering support in the Asian-American community was clear as far back as 2020 and he failed to seriously address that issue.  You were left with a community that felt targeted (and statistics would bear out that they were) and felt the district attorney was blowing this off and ignoring them.  They may not have supported his policies if he'd done any real outreach but they would have known he was at least aware of them.  I don't think Chesa ever got the make up of this city.  I think he came in with some interesting ideas about ways to make things better but I don't think he knew this city.

There are serious issues and a new approach was needed.  But Chesa didn't sell the approach.  He didn't explain how we might take a temporary hit due to X program but there is a long range benefit.  He believed in his programs but he wouldn't sell them.   A friend said he acted as though we were a collective and would just support him.  No, because a collective works together and everyone is informed of what's taking place.

Was he afraid he'd be giving people ammo to use against him?

I don't know.  But he didn't make a case for what he was doing.

Before he assumed office, we already had huge problems and his new tactics did not stop those problems -- they might have if given more time and we might have been willing to stand with him (I voted to keep him) but we needed to be on the same page.  

Like every other major city, we need to be addressing the homeless problem.  Like every other major city, we need to be addressing crime.  And it's not right to dismiss some store owners' concern.  Those owners include Asian-Americans, they include everyone.  And people were struggling before the pandemic and it only got worse after the pandemic started.  

Chesa can speak very movingly but he didn't find his voice once elected.  He refused to use it.  

So we were left with the results of life post-Chesa winning office and it wasn't what people wanted.  The results.  If Chesa believed in his program  and had spoken of how they were and would be addressing these issues, he would have done better and possibly might have held on to his offic

And he should have been speaking all along.  He should have people sharing their own stories of how this or that change did help them personally.  He didn't want to sell his policies.  Hopefully, he'll learn from this.  40% of the vote was amazing.  San Francisco needs massive improvement and that does include people feeling safe.  When Rosanne made her statements in an interview some years back, they weren't kind.  But they also weren't false.  And they weren't of one class the way some are trying to portray it.  The shoplifting is not just a business owner's issue.  The shop lifting effected a lot of people including those struggling who would say they felt like idiots because they were paying for things in a city that some didn't have to.  They wanted a level playing field.  This is a transitional time for San Francisco and we did need someone like Chesa who cared about more than Big Business.  

The opposition to Chesa were on message.  And they also had reality on their side as well because this is not the San Francisco that the city needs to be.  But if Chesa had sold his programs, had spoken out about where we were headed with these programs, I do think the vote would have been closer.

I don't know where our city goes now, but I hope that Chesa learns from this because he still has a lot to offer.  And I would argue against simplistic readings of thie results -- especially, if you haven't been in San Francisco and you don't know our issues.


Elections.  Iraq held elections October 10th.  Still no prime minister.  Still no president.  The llatest development?

Iraqi influential Shia cleric and the leader of Sadrist Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, has asked the members of the Iraqi parliament from his bloc to “write their resignations” and wait for his instruction. #Iraq | #Baghdad

So if he carries this out, he's attempting to dissolve the Parliament and trigger new elections?

If so, that's not that far from what Ayad Allawi proposed over the weekend.  Shafaq News explains,  "The National Iraqiya coalition led by Iyad Allawi called on Sunday to form an interim government to run the country’s affairs and rerun the parliamentary elections."  INA reported:

Allawi said in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA), "After the political process has reached a state of stagnation and halt, which portends dire consequences, and after numerous appeals from national political and social figures, our national and moral duty prompts us to put forward an initiative and develop an appropriate solution for the country's current crisis."

He indicated that "in order to preserve the unified homeland, achieve the people's hopes and aspirations for growth and prosperity and ensure a decent life for their them, and in order to restore part of the confidence in the political process after the great upheavals, getting out of the crisis requires taking a number of steps and in a period to be determined during an unconditional patriotic meeting for national political leaders, the date of which will be determined at a later time.

He explained, "The steps will contribute to stopping violations of constitutional timings, and is represented in choosing an interim government that works to achieve security and stability in Iraq, that takes upon itself the holding of fair elections, and the selection of a new commission to organize the upcoming elections that enjoys the confidence of the Iraqi people and works with transparency and high integrity, as well as achieving  a new electoral law that fulfills the requirements of the decisions of the Federal Supreme Court in a manner that guarantees a fair representation of the Iraqi people.

He noted, "The position of the Prime Minister is the actual conflict, and therefore the Prime Minister-designate in the interim government must be given the freedom to choose his ministerial (cabinet) provided that its standard is efficiency and integrity, and he manages the affairs of the country and implements a government program that works to meet the needs of the people and provide what is needed. ,” noting that the initiative also included “strengthening the state, the government, and the three presidencies and supporting them in facing external and internal challenges and pressures, in addition to discussing during the meeting (the conference) other important issues that are included in the conference’s agenda, and that the forces, national political figures and parties that  It has seats in the parliament , as well as representatives of federations and trade unions, and an open meeting to approve the proposal’s formula and choose the figures for the three presidencies in the interim government.


Allawi calls for forming a temporary government and holding a new election Former Iraqi PM Ayad Allawi during a meeting with the Iraqi Nationalism bloc, called for forming a temporary government to run the country and hold a new election

If a consensus is emerging, it appears to be that new elections are required.

In other news, AFP reports:

Three people were wounded Wednesday evening after an armed drone struck a road in the suburbs of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Irbil, security services said.
“Several vehicles were damaged” in the attack, the Kurdistan Autonomous Counter-Terrorism Agency said in a statement, which took place on the road that connects Irbil to Pirmam to its northeast.
The attack, which was not immediately claimed, took place three kilometers from the construction site of the new US consulate on the outskirts of central Irbil.

Julian Bechocha (RUDAW) adds:                                                                             

Iraqi President Barham Salih also voiced his condemnation of the attack, calling it "criminal" and saying it is a violation of the country's safety.

"The attack on the city of Erbil is a condemned and reprehensible criminal act targeting national efforts....We must stand firmly against attempts to plunge the country into chaos and undermine security and stability," the president tweeted, urging for a strengthening of security services against "outlaws."

Reber Ahmed, the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) interior minister, told reporters at the hospital that one of the three injured civilians is in critical condition due to the explosion.

The UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) described the attack as "reckless" and said "Iraq does not need self-proclaimed armed arbiters," calling on the state to solidify its stance and hold those responsible accountable.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but such attacks are often attributed to Iran-backed militias who have launched a spate of attacks against Kurdish land in recent months.

Hossein Dalirian, affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was one of the first individuals who described the attack as a drone strike, at a time when the Kurdistan Region's authorities had not specified the means of the attack.

The following sites updated:

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A good question


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

Tuesday, June 7, 2022.   Joe Biden thinks he can market the pandemic while a British subject finds out that the British Empire can't keep him out of an Iraqi prison and that White entitlement may get him good coverage in the western media but didn't sway an Iraqi judge.

At WSWS, Benjamin Mateus reports:

A report in Politico Monday sheds light on the ruthless and cynical effort by the Biden White House to convince Americans that the COVID pandemic has officially ended. Citing three sources, the website reports internal conversations among Biden aides as to what would be a “general metric” for daily COVID death figures that would be acceptable to the public and provide the basis to declare the pandemic over.

This would come from the president who declared last summer that America had entered a period of “freedom” from COVID, to be followed by a deluge of infections and deaths that stunned the population and pushed the health care system once more to the brink of collapse. COVID vaccines were being hailed as decisive in lifting the country out of the pandemic, but while effective, they provided only limited relief.

Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, the three individuals who spoke to Politico did so on conditions of anonymity, knowing the explosive nature of making these calculations public. Politico reported that “the discussions, which took place across the administration, and have not been previously disclosed, involved a scenario in which 200 or fewer Americans die per day, a target kicked around before officials ultimately decided not to incorporate it into pandemic planning.”

Politico remarked, “the discussions represented at least a nascent effort to create a framework for a post-COVID world. One of the three people involved in the conversations last year said it was an effort to gauge what the American public would ‘tolerate.’ ‘Five hundred a day is a lot. You still have 9/11 numbers in a week,’ the person said. ‘People generally felt like 100 [a day] or less, or maybe 200, would be ok.’”

What is such talk?

These cold-blooded calculations show representatives of the White House, supposedly sworn to protect and defend the population, speaking like insurance executives who are determining the cost of their payouts versus income from premiums. It is clear from the casual character of these discussions that such barbaric mathematics are part of everyday life in the top circles of the Biden administration.

And while the death toll from COVID is calculated in the tens and hundreds of thousands, the death toll from an all-out war with nuclear-armed Russia or China will be tallied in the millions, if not billions.

The White House conversation sounds like something out of Stanley Kubrick’s macabre Dr. Strangelove. When General “Buck” Turgidson, played by George C. Scott, advocates a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, he tells the president, “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.” 

Turning to Iraq. as we noted yesterday, Jim Fitton was convicted for attempting to steal antiquities from Iraq.  The British citizen's family has boo-hooed since the beginning -- when not insisting Jim was a modern day Indiana Jones.  It's so unfair!!!!! Whine, whine, whine.

But the verdict was out for two hours yesterday when, five minutes before the snapshot posted, a man claiming to be Jim's son or son-in-law posted to Twitter that Fitton might be executed.

Remember that was an option.  But the Iraqi court decided to just put the man behind bars.

Now some would see that as a good thing.  The family no longer has to worry that Jim Fitton is going to be executed.  Instead, it's more whining.  THE DAILY MAIL notes:

The daughter of a retired British geologist condemned to 15 years in an Iraqi jail after he was convicted of trying to smuggle shards of antique pottery broke down on national television this morning as she spoke of her father's fate.

Jim Fitton, 66, was yesterday found guilty of intending to take the 200-year-old artefacts he picked up at an archaeology site in Eridu, southern Iraq, out of Baghdad in March.  

[. . .]

Fitton's daughter Leila this morning appeared on Good Morning Britain to give an interview regarding her father's detention, but only managed to utter two sentences before breaking down in tears.

'We feel helpless... we're so so broken,' she sobbed, before her husband Sam Tasker told hosts Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid: 'We only just found out yesterday, it's a very emotional time. This whole thing has been unbelievable.'

A 15-year jail sentence would see Fitton languish behind bars into his eighties. 

The rotten family was teamed up with at least one rotten host.  Never having seen what Fitton was caught with, the morning host Madely went on to tell everyone that what Fitton had tried to steal was "completely worthless, like stuff you'd pick up on a beach."  

Listen to the press whore.  He's never seen the evidence but, by all means, lie like a whore does.

The worthless son-in-law "claimed the retiree had been made an example of by the Iraqi judge who was appealing to an anti-Western crowd."  They really know how to sweet talk for their loved one, don't they?  Can someone tell them to shut up before they make things even worse for Fitton?

As they all minimized the actions of the convicted, the world was left again with spoiled, rotten British citizens who still refuse to apologize.

They minimize the theft.

Here's a thought for Fitton's daughter and the rest to contemplate:  If at any time, any of you had made even one public statement noting the continued theft of Iraqi artifacts and offered any sort of apology, that might have registered with the judge.

Instead, despite all evidence to the contrary, you have insisted that Iraq is in the wrong and your family member's 100% innocent.

Your father's responsible for his actions.  And you all made it worse for him.

He's convicted now.  Stop making it worse.

Quit your lying and quit your bulls**t.  He's in the custody of the Iraqi government.  If you're wanting an early release, both you and he will have to show remorse.  Otherwise, expect that 15 year sentence to last at least ten if not all 15.  I can't believe how stupid the Fittons have come off in all of this.  But that's what happens when you go around believing your entitled.

Your father went into a foreign country.  He then picked up things that did not belong to him.  He then got caught trying to leave the country with this things.

Stop pretending he is the innocent in this.

The whole family should have publicly apologized before the matter went to court.

But, hey, we're from the west and we do what we want and we don't care how it looks in your country -- where the trial will take place -- we're just going to insult you by refusing to apologize and by making rude remarks.  

The ego and the lack of humility is amazing.  

And now they want to cry on TV?

And they want to offer insults to the judge?

They're White Entitlement personified.

NBC NEWS Headlines "British man sentenced to 15 years in Iraq for smuggling artifacts,"  BBC NEWS goes with "British geologist jailed in Iraqq after taking artefacts," but then you get the worthless NEW YORK TIMES insisting ''shards'' in their headline.  I thought they were 'woke' but I guess it's a funny kind of woke that doesn't take into account the feelings of non-Whites outside US borders.  Then again, we shouldn't forget, that NYT stole from Iraq as well, remember?

We called it out here.  We weren't like some idiots -- oohing and ahhing over a podcast.  We saw it for what it was: Theft.

And we were not alone.  For example, The Society for American Archivists issued the following statement in real time:

Statement on Removal of ISIS Records from Iraq by New York Times Reporter

June 13, 2018—The Society of American Archivists (SAA) is deeply concerned about recent reports related to archival records in Iraq, specifically the April 4, 2018, New York Times article by Rukmini Callimachi in which Ms. Callimachi admits to removing more than 15,000 pages of Islamic State (ISIS) documents from Iraq.[1] Although we welcome the Times’s recent commitment to returning these records to the Iraqi government, this case still raises several important issues.

The New York Times code of ethics states that journalists “may not purloin data, documents or other property, including such electronic property as databases and email or voice mail messages.”[2] The plundering of the ISIS archives is a direct contravention of this important principle.

SAA objects to the Times’s plan to digitize and disseminate the ISIS records. The Times must give consideration to the human and privacy rights of the individuals whose lives are captured in the material. Public accessibility of this information could have harmful repercussions on private citizens. If the Times proceeds with this project, we urge it to partner with archivists and the Iraqi government to ensure that all due consideration is given to the citizens who may be harmed by the dissemination of these documents.

The 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property during armed conflict covers “manuscripts, books…of…historical…interest; as well as…important collections of books or archives” and requires parties to protect and safeguard such materials. Although the New York Times and its staff are not parties to this convention, we nevertheless believe that journalists in war zones must adhere to these internationally accepted standards. Indeed, the 1983 International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism, under Principle VIII: Respect for universal values and diversity of cultures, states that journalists should “be aware of relevant provisions contained in international conventions, declarations and resolutions.”[3]

Further, the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics enjoins journalists to “be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.”[4] Although this is a commendable sentiment that the archives profession supports, we believe that respecting the integrity and documentary heritage represented by the ISIS archives should be paramount.

In 2008 the Society of American Archivists and the Association of Canadian Archivists released a statement calling for the U.S. government "to return to the lawfully established government of Iraq – with all deliberate speed – Iraqi records now in its possession. Moreover, the United States government has the responsibility to intercede, to the greatest extent possible, in ensuring the return of Iraqi records removed by private parties" due to its obligation under commonly shared international agreements and its own past practices.[5] Nothing in the intervening period has given SAA any reason to change this stance or to relieve private individuals from their responsibility to repatriate records to legal authorities once they have been removed from circumstances that would have resulted in their loss or destruction. As noted in recent reports, the issue of displaced archives from Iraq, and other conflict zones, continues to raise ethical issues and denies communities access to their documentary heritage.[6]

Archives preserve and provide access to the essential evidence of government, protect individuals’ rights, improve cultural knowledge and understanding, and ensure transparency and accountability of officials. Archives are the foundation by which a society can assess the past, think critically about the present, and consider directions for the future – and they should not be dispersed arbitrarily, no matter how noble one’s motives, by a single individual.

He stole.  He got convicted.  He's going to prison.

It's time for him and his family to grasp that they gambled that no one needed to show remorse and they lost.

Now that he's going to be behind bars, they better grasp that remorse -- public remorse -- is required.

And they should have grasped earlier that westerns going into a foreign country that is sick and tired of people stealing from it are not going to go easy on a westerner stealing from them.  

How stupid and uninformed are the Fittons that they thought this was something minor?

Your stupidity helped get your family into this situation.

Back in August, for example, Hadani Ditmars (TRT) reported:

The US-led invasion created the destruction that paved the way for Iraq’s looting. Without political stability, the future of Iraq — and the artefacts — remain endangered.

When Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi returned home from his visit to Washington last week with more than 17,000 antiquities over 4,000 years old, the unprecedented return of looted artefacts seemed a good first step. But it underscores an issue that has plagued Iraq for decades: you can’t separate the suffering of a nation from damage to its patrimony; they are inexorably linked.

While the pilfering of antiquities in Iraq is not a new phenomenon, the illegal smuggling of artefacts began in earnest under UN sanctions. The salaries of civil servants plummeted to a few dollars a month as the dinar devalued by over 1,000 percent and desperate Iraqis sold whatever they could to survive.

I remember visiting the ancient city of Babylon in 1997 and being offered a few choice artefacts by a guide. We toured the grandiose 1987 reconstruction spearheaded by Saddam Hussein, who saw himself as a neo-Nebuchadnezzar and had bricks inscribed with his name. It was completed at the height of the Iran-Iraq War that bankrupted the country as the US funded both sides and a million young men perished on the battlefield. 

The guide, who had a PhD in archaeology, complained that his children were going hungry. He told me that, like so many Iraqis who suffered under the draconian 12-year UN embargo, he had to sell his furniture for basics like food and medicine.

NPR from the year before:

Seventeen years after it was stolen, archaeologist McGuire Gibson still checks eBay for a 4,000-year-old stone cylinder seal that he excavated in Iraq in the 1970s.

Gibson was the field director at a University of Chicago-led excavation in Nippur, the ancient Mesopotamian religious capital, when he discovered the seal — used by a governor who became a king. When rolled over a clay tablet, the seal certified the governor's documents.

"I was cleaning around a drain and I put the pick in and the thing jumped out," Gibson says. "I hit the seal on the end and it jumped out. It was a magnificent agate seal with a really wonderful depiction of a human being led to a god."

The inscription indicated it had belonged to Shar-Kali-Sharri, who later became king of the Sumerian and Akkadian empires.

"It's a exceptional seal and a very important one," says Gibson, the coauthor of Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums. "I'm still looking for that one particular seal ... I'm pretty certain that it's out there."

The piece was among thousands looted from the National Museum in Baghdad in 2003, he says. Without instructions from the U.S. military to protect the museum, American soldiers who helped topple Saddam Hussein stood by while Iraqi looters rampaged through the museum.

It's laughable that a citizen of the British empire was unaware that non-westerners might take offense to his helping himself to historic artifacts.  Adela Quested showed more awareness in E.M. Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA back in 1924.

The following sites updated:

Monday, June 6, 2022

What we watch



That's   Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The DUI explained." which went up over the weekend.  So did Kat's "Kat's Korner: Party at HARRY'S HOUSE" about an album I just can't stop listening to: Harry Style's Harry's House.

Okay, whaat do I watch on TV?  That's what Edith wanted to know in an e-mail.  I mainly use YOUTUBE TV.  According to YOUTUBE TV, here is what my husband and I watch the most:

1) American Dad

2) Will & Grace (original run)

3) Call Me Kat

4) The Nanny

5) Martin

6) The New Adventures of Old Christine

7) At Home With Amy Sedaris

8)Big Sky

9) Superman & Lois

10) Keeping Up Appearances


1) 1935's Mark of The Vampire

2) 1968's Hot Millions

3) 1944's Kismet

4) 1950's Stage Fright

5) 1940's The Letter

6) 1954's Witness To Murder

7) 1958;s Horrror Of Dracula

8) 1988's Dangerous Liaisons

9) 1978's California Suite

10) 1977's Julia

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

 Monday, June 6, 2022.  A British man gets 15 years for theft in Iraq and we look at how there's a historical aspect to sheep-herding for the Democratic Party and if you're not addressing that, you're not addressing anything.

And you try to tie together some connections

You get some ribbons and some bows

And get back out on the road again

-- "Juliet," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on her THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR


The DSA -- Democratic Socialists of America -- has a nasty history.  Michael Harrington was a reactionary, red-baiting piece of trash who did not encourage young activists (he attacked Tom Hayden and Alan Haber for their seminal Port Huron Statement).  Back in 2013, Joe Allen explained it at SOCIALIST.ORG:

What did the tradition that Harrington championed represent during the Vietnam era?

The Socialist Party that he had joined by the end of the 1950s was increasingly distinguished by shrill anti-communism on issues of U.S. foreign policy. Norman Thomas, the leader of the SP at the time, was a founding member of American Friends of Vietnam, along with Sen. John F. Kennedy and Cardinal Spellman of New York. The group became known as the "Vietnam Lobby"--and spent the '50s pressing for greater U.S. military and political assistance to the Diem dictatorship in Vietnam and its crusade against "communist aggression."

When a new generation of young activists, politicized by the civil rights movement, emerged in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and very gingerly challenged the suffocating anti-communist consensus, they were met with utter hostility. Harrington led the attack on the authors of SDS's founding document, the Port Huron Statement.

Sunkara writes that this was "an error that Harrington would later recognize and lament." But why did Harrington take the position in the first place? Because it was the logical product of his tradition's support for anti-communist crusades at home and abroad. This attitude was why people who became radicalized during the 1960s and early '70s viewed the old social democrats--among which Harrington was one of the youngest--as redbaiters from the left edge of the liberal establishment.

Harrington may have had his regrets about how he responded to SDS and the New Left, but he never dropped the anti-communism that underlaid that response.

Did Harrington support the Vietnam War? It's true that he never said in so many words that he backed the U.S. war in Southeast Asia. What he did do--over and over again, even as it placed him more and more at odds with the growing antiwar movement--was echo the chief ideological justification of the U.S. war: anti-communism.

"I am anti-communist on principle," Harrington declared in 1965, "because I am pro-freedom." Such a declaration at that particular political moment was, at the very least, a huge concession to the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy throughout this era, used to justify all sorts of criminal behavior in the world, from "police actions" in Korea and the Dominican Republic to CIA-sponsored coups all over the place.

Harrington's stated position on Vietnam was support for negotiations to end the war. But the antiwar movement of that era more and more came to identify this as a pro-war stance. For one thing, it accepted the legitimacy of U.S. imperialism playing a part in determining the future of Vietnam and Southeast Asia. For another, it accepted the continuation of the war effort while negotiations took place.

In the introduction to a 1965 book titled We Accuse, a collection of writings, speeches and other documents from opponents of the war, James Petras explained the antiwar movement's growing rejection of calls for negotiations in favor of demanding immediate withdrawal. Referring to a 1965 debate between Hal Draper of the Independent Socialist Clubs and pacifist Robert Pickus, speaking for the "negotiated peace" position, Petras wrote:

To oppose American intervention in Vietnam, as Hal Draper pointed out in his debate with Pickus, is to call for the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. To call for it "later" (under whatever pretense) is to legitimize violence in the here and now--since one cannot impose utopian dreams on what the U.S. Army does in fighting a war of conquest. One would not be too irreverent to refer to this type of "peace" approach as "War now--Peace later."

Whether or not one agrees with this characterization, it can't be denied--and Sunkara agrees on this score--that Harrington was deeply and wrongly hostile to the radicalizing antiwar movement. R.W. Tucker, a contemporary of Harrington's, recalled a 1970 convention of the Socialist Party where Harrington, as chair of the convention, "presided over a spurious expulsion of the entire Wisconsin delegation, consisting of 22 antiwar delegates, and then bullied through a resolution on the war that in effect supported it."

Episodes like this put Harrington, it seems to me, on the wrong side of the divide between pro-war and antiwar.

THERE'S A lot more to say about Harrington that neither Sunkara nor I have even brought up yet. For example, Harrington spent much of his later life trying to create what he called the "left wing of the possible." He argued for leftists to orient, whatever their criticisms, on the Democratic Party as the only realistic vehicle for achieving political change.

Such an orientation has a powerful practical appeal, particularly for newly radicalizing activists. It certainly did for me. It seemed to combine both the realism necessary to deal with U.S. politics and the idealism of fighting for socialism. But does it work?

Whatever doubts might have lingered for me about the question were cleared up by a debate between Harrington and Peter Camejo during the 1976 presidential election campaign, when Camejo was running as the presidential candidate of the Socialist Workers Party.

I read the transcript of the debate when it was published by Pathfinder Press several years after it took place. Harrington and Camejo were both in top form. Harrington was subtle and nuanced. But I thought Camejo, arguing for the importance of socialists remaining independent of the two capitalist parties in the U.S., won the debate.

I wasn't surprised by Harrington's pitch for a "lesser evil" vote for Jimmy Carter over the incumbent and unelected Republican President Gerald Ford, but I was struck by one particular point. Harrington said, "The conditions of a Carter victory are the conditions for working class militancy, and the militancy of minority groups, and the militancy of women, and the militancy of the democratic reform movement. We can actually begin to make victories on full employment, national health and issues like that."

I knew from my own experience of the Carter years that none of this happened--the mass movements didn't advance because of a Democratic victory. And if we replace Carter with Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry or Obama, can we say any different? This strategic "engagement" urged by Harrington weakened the left terribly during the post-Vietnam war era.

Sunkara believes that once Harrington's writings are understood in their context, "some value can be gleaned from his work"--and this is certainly true, as it is for many other political figures.

But it's also true that Harrington's political career demonstrates pitfalls for the left on critical issues, including its relationship to the Democratic Party, the tradition of anti-communism among some socialists, and confusion, at best, about opposition to U.S. imperialism. Hopefully, the left we seek to rebuild today can learn the negative lessons of Michael Harrington's legacy, too.

In 2000, historian Kimberly Phillips-Fein wrote a ridiculous piece for IN THESE TIMES rationalizing Michael Harrington's many failures but even that enabler couldn't avoid the basic truth: 

He opposed Communism in the 50s, and in the 60s he did not support the anti-war movement. He never held a position of influence in any large institution. The Other America is a moving book, but Harrington’s reputation as the man who discovered poverty” is wildly overrated, and his actual influence on the War on Poverty legislation was negligible.

Right now, REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT, Sabby Sabs, Katie Halper, BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Jimmy Dore, THE CONVO COUCH and others act as though they can't understand why certain toy radicals keep sheepherding people -- this is the reason.

This is what to pay attention to.  It's why the feminist movement went from active and accomplishing things to pathetic.  Gloria Steinem was a failure as anything but a token for the press.  Little doll for the press to play with and support.  When she had a true rival, Betty Friedan, Gloria fought.  She fought unsuccessfully (see Miami, 1972) but she fought.  Germaine Greer disagrees on that and you can refer to HARPER'S for her piece "McGovern, the big tease" (October, 1972).  Germaine may have been right.  But what she did in 1972 compared to how she whored in 1976 looks like fighting for 1972 to me.  I may be grading on a curve or being too easy -- I certainly made that mistake in the past with Gloria.  By 1976, having vanquished Betty Friedan, Gloria was elevated by friends in the press to a leadership role that she used to weaken the movement (see Veronica Geng's "Requiem for the women's movement," the November 1976 cover story of HARPER'S).  That might have been because she's pathetic and weak herself.  REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN makes that case as her idea of 'success' for the feminist movement is a front cafe that she runs where, in the shadows, a few women gather to learn about feminism.  But the movement went from active and making demands to submissive and begging.  

If Sabby, Margaret Kimberley, and others want to show America where just going along blindly with the Democratic Party leads, they can look at pre-Gloria feminism where women occupied the offices of magazines to demand better representation and coverage, for example, and to today where ROE V WADE may be overturned.  It's the cowardice of Gloria.  (Some would argue its her CIA ties.  Since we're discussing DSA we should note that DSA has always been willing to collaborate with the CIA because of shared goals and the makeup of the CIA.)  

ROE V WADE may no longer be the law of the land.  If that happens, abortion may become illegal in certain states.  If that happens, plans to transport females across state lines for abortion in other states would be illegal acts -- a fact that weak-ass feminists don't want to tell you right now.  (Not all feminists are weak-ass.  This is not an attack on feminism.  It is, however, an attack on where some feminists have led us.)  This is a very sad moment and I see Feminismt Majority, for example, at least trying to raise issues but I don't see Gloria popping up, do you?

She was there when needed.  Right?  By whom is the question.  She showed up to justify women voting for Joe Biden.  That's when pathetic drew her ugly face back in front of the cameras, went on a little press tour to justify Joe's grotesque grabbing of women.

And the bitch passed it off as feminism -- groping, the new consciousness-raising!!!!  

I wrongly defended Gloria for too many years and thought her ineffectual nature was a phase she would grow out of.  It is her core state and she has betrayed women over and over.  And I'm not in the mood to defend her anymore.  When THE NEW YORK TIMES wrote about her CIA work as fact -- because it is -- I was again asked to defend Glroia.

Let me explain defending Gloria to you, that means we use our personal friends in the media and ask them to intervene for her sake.  Seems we all spent much more time doing that than we ever did focusing on advancing women.  Gloria was always a distraction and, in hindsight, a disappointment.

To be clear though, I never took part in her organized efforts to smear or silence Redstockings.  I did take part in efforts where she was under attack from men.  They knew better than to ask me to defend her against other feminists because everyone knew how disappointing I found Gloria.  

We're moving on, I can talk about her at length another time.

The point is feminism was alive and vibrant and women were taking action and making demands and accomplishing a great deal.  Then Gloria eases Betty out (I hope Susan Faludi would write differently about that now then she did in BACKLASH -- it was a bit more than the media loving a young blond) and we're done.  We have no major victories that we fight for.  We're encouraged to do pathetic actions that are nothing more than begging for crumbs from the Democratic Party.

And that's where we are today in terms of the left.  It's the point Margaret makes, it's the point the late Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford made.  It's a point that needs to be made and it's something we need to grasp that is not just happening.  

Take the Dem party over from inside!  

That's Michael Harrington, folks.  Too stupid and lazy to build something, he wanted to take it over.

But they don't, do they.  What they really do is use the Democratic Party to elevate themselves, to keep themselves front and center as useless voices.

And when you call out, say, Bill Fletcher for it -- as we did in 2008 -- he goes on COUNTERSPIN and insists that you're "red-baiting."  When I'm not a red-baiter.  When, unlike DSA, I'm not in fear of Communism.

But I do believe people have a right to know the political plan that's taking place whereas DSA  believes they can trick their way into power.

DSA, like any organization, probably has some caring members.  Probably people are wonderful at a lunch or party.  But the organization itself has nothing to be proud of.  They're a bunch of opportunists who think they can trick and deceive and that tricking and deceiving is a-okay because they are working for a larger good.  

Eric London (WSWS) reports today:

At a recent panel event hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America’s (DSA) chapter for the state of Maine, Vladyslav Starodubstev, a leader of the Ukrainian pseudo-left Sotsialnyi Rukh (Social Movement), put forward the chilling perspective that “the war creates the possibility for a push of socialist ideas in Ukraine.” The panelists and DSA moderators stated their agreement with the speaker and demanded the US government deploy more tanks, missiles, and howitzers to wage war against Russia, regardless of the risk of nuclear holocaust.

This was the outcome of an event cynically titled “Ukrainian, Russian and Polish socialists speak out for peace,” moderated by DSA member and former International Socialist Organization (ISO) leader Todd Chretien.

It is a strange kind of “peace” meeting that calls for deploying American weapons, praises NATO and the Pentagon, explicitly opposes any negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine and urges “solidarity” with a government dominated by neo-Nazis.

Starodubstev got right to the point:

“The Ukrainian people have a right to fight,” he said, “Left-wing people can support Ukrainian people to fight to be Ukrainians. To support this fight, people need to voice their opinion for sending weapons to Ukraine and for limiting the military possibilities of the Russian regime, by pushing also for sanctions. This is my main point. Diplomatic solutions won’t work. To have a diplomatic discussion, to negotiate something, one needs to have power.”

Beyond Starodubstev, the event also featured Zofia Malisz, a representative of the Polish pseudo-left party Razem. Malisz echoed Starodubstev’s call for expanding the war.

“We should deliver weapons to Ukraine,” she said. “You strangely find yourself in a situation where you may actually agree in practice with the US State Department. You suddenly find yourself in alliance with whatever NATO is doing.”

In reality, there is nothing “strange” about this. The DSA and its international associates represent a section of the upper-middle class whose material interests correspond with Wall Street’s drive for world domination. They “agree in practice” with American imperialism because they share the same social interests. For its entire history, the DSA has formed a part of the State Department and imperialist apparatus. DSA founder Michael Harrington said, after all, that the organization would play “a pro-American, Cold War, State Department kind of role.”

If the left wants to get real in the US, that's going to mean knowing your history.  That's going mean using your brain to make connections.  For those thinking I'm soap boxing, I'm not.  I didn't use my brain for years.  I didn't know Gloria was DSA until I was online here.  It had never come up.  I don't ask people their group orientations.  I work on issues and I work to build bridges.  And that allowed me to mistake Gloria for both a friend and ally.  By the 90s, I was repeatedly apologizing for her behavior as she made one promise after another to people in need and then failed to keep these promises.  By the '00s, when it was women from Afghanistan making these comments to me, I moved privately away from her.  I took the break public when, due to being online, people began educating me on the reality of Gloria -- a reality I wasn't prepared to deal with prior.  

Point being, we all need to learn.  

When the US government pushed for war with Russia through the proxy Ukraine, we saw the DSA at work.  Some were surprised by what they were seeing.  Don't be surprised.  CODESTINK has always been DSA.  Why are you in bed with them?

Because you're both working on the same issues?  I've been there.  But the reality is, you're not working on the same issues.

________, you're not working on the same issues with CODESTINK.  You think you are because they're supposed to be about peace.  But there they are championing Ukraine, pushing propaganda (Ann Wright, how could you?) to jusitfy war.  It's the same stuff John V. Walsh and Justin Raimondo called CODESTINK out on at the end of the '00s when they decided to call for the US to stay in Afghanistan, remember?  

This is the group that made their name opposing the Iraq War.  That would be the ongoing Iraq War, the one they stopped caring about ending when Barack Obama was elected.  

I do not have shared goals with CODESTINK.  I thought once that I did.  But they don't pursue anything -- they drop every cause if something else comes along.  They're not about winning peace.  They are a bout being used by Jodi to elect Barack -- again, her being a bundler for Barack and her using her minions to 'birddog' other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2007 and 2008 exposes CODESTINK for what they really are.  She owed, the group owed it to make honest disclosures.  They  are fake asses.  If you're going to pretend along with them, you're just running in place and you're not helping anyone advance.

(_____ has called them out in the past -- and done so publicly -- but felt the need to 'reteam' with them in 2020 and wrote me here to defend the decision.  There is no defense for it.  Especially if you are currently calling out sheepherding and efforts to settle for far less than what this country needs.)

Here's John Stauber (he's not the writer I'm referring to in the parentheticl above):

The phony #Dem peace-posing #progressives like #Bernie and #TheSquad are now all-in for war on #Russia. Such cowards. They and/or their organizations and partners enjoy receiving money. Pigs at the trough.

Back before Twitter did their 'blue check' nonsense, we could copy and past John's Tweets into a post -- just grab his Tweets from the last 24 hours.  The blue check move meant that no longer worked -- a large black X would obliterate the Tweets.

And since John doesn't appear to write much beyond Twitter these days, we don't note him very often.  But he's an important voice and someone who has repeatedly chosen truth.  Not just this year, but for decades.  And it doesn't matter that some fake voices then attack him.  He still chooses truth.

I don't know why he doesn't write more.  I do wonder why he's not asked to come on YOUTUBE programs.  You want to know about politicians selling us out, tricking us, about sheep hearders deceiving us?  John Stauber's your guest for the hour.

Let's deal with some nonsense: 

Our father is facing the death penalty in Iraq. #FreeJimFitton - Sign the Petition! via

Your father?  And you just Tweeted this minutes ago?

If it's really your father, you should have known he's not facing the death penalty.  This was reported    hours ago:

A British citizen was sentenced Monday by an Iraqi court to 15 years in prison after being convicted of attempting to smuggle artifacts out of the country, in a case that has attracted international attention.

The verdict handed down to retired geologist Jim Fitton, shocked the court in Baghdad, including his defense attorney. He and his family have argued that Fitton, 66, had no criminal intent.

“I thought the worst case scenario would be one year, with suspension,” Fitton’s lawyer Thair Soud, visibly shocked, told The Associated Press.

German national tried with Fitton was found not to have had criminal intent in the case and will be released.

Judge Jabir Abd Jabir found that, according to the government’s investigation, Fitton had criminal intent to smuggle the artifacts that he had picked up and intended to transport them out of the country.

You're saying your his family, let's take you at your word.  The Iraqi judicial system is harsh, at best.  But you didn't care, did you?  You were fine with that up until it was your father.  You're very good at self-interest and being selfish.  You're just not much of a human being.

Maybe that's reflecting your father's influence in your life.  You presented him to the press as the modern day Indiana Jones.  Yeah, it did appear that way in one regard, he was 'rescuing' artifacts - which is also known as theft.

According to you, he was smart and didn't mean to do anything wrong.  If he knew anything about anything, he knew there was a long history of the west stealing Iraq's historical treasures.  He had no business taking anything other than pictures -- did he not have a camera or a camera on his cell phone?  He wanted to steal and he got caught.  And he made the mistake of being a westerner who stole from Iraq -- after Hobby Lobby and others had gotten slaps on the wrist from their own governments.

All things considered, he got a pretty fair deal in that court judgment.

Now he goes off to an Iraqi prison?  I guess, you, his family, are now concerned about that.  It's a shame you couldn't have been concerned before hand -- Iraqis have spent years being disappeared in prisons, being tortured.  Maybe you'll learn from this, as a family, that there's a great big world outside of your bubble and that we're not going to drop everything to suddenly focus on the plight of prison in Iraq for . . . a British man.  

Again, Iraqis have faced for years what your father's about to.  Some of us called it out and pointed out that Nouri al-Maliki had started it.  

Your dad stole and he stole in Iraq.  Now he's facing justice -- or what passes for it -- in Iraq.

If the UK government decides to insist upon his release?  I would love that because that strengthens the case for Julian Assange's release.  Otherwise?  Not interested, sorry.  Not interested in helping your father get away with theft.

Over the weekend, Kat's "Kat's Korner: Party at HARRY'S HOUSE" went up as did Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The DUI explained."  The following sites updated: