Saturday, July 16, 2022

The 5th Dimension's Portrait album

That's "Puppet Man" by The 5th Dimension.  I like The 5th Dimension and we have two albums of their hits.  I was at a garage sale today that a friend was having.  I brought over my stroller (we have two kids and we're not planning on more) and some other things.  

Royce brought over a stack of vinyl albums.  I flipped through and was asking him about them.  He had no idea.  They were his late uncle's albums.

There were several 5th Dimension albums.  I called C.I. and read off the titles to her.  Reflections was one I was thinking about but it's a greatest hits.  In fact, all but one was.  That was Portrait which came out in 1970 and is most famous for the number two hit "One Less Bell To Answer."  

I'm glad I called C.I. because my next step would have been Wikipedia and all they do is talk about the hits.  

 C.I. told me this was a personal album where the group looks at the world around them.  That's made clear with the opening track "Puppet Man."  The album also has "Feelin' Alright" which they were shown performing in concert footage in the Academy Award winning film Summer Of Soul.

Side two opens with their Laura Nyro hit "Save The Country."  This slides into a medley featuring The Declaration of Independence, Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere's "People Gotta Be Free."

Here's "Save The Country."

Kat wrote about "Laura Nyro" this week.  She was a singer and a songwriter and her songs were one of a kind.  Many were hits for The 5th Dimension -- "Wedding Bell Blues" (number one on the pop charts), "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Sweet Blindness," "Save The Country" and "He's A Runner."

And here's the medley of The Declaration of Independence, Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere's "People Gotta Be Free."

The 5th Dimension were a super group of the 60s and 70s.  The group was Lamonte McLemore, Marilyn McCoo, Florence LaRue, Ronald Townson, and Billy Davis Jr.  Marilyn and Billy were married and they left the group in 1975.  

In 1966, they had their first hit witha  cover of the Mamas and the Papas' "Go Where You Wanna Go" which made it to number 16 on the top forty pop.  Their last top forty hit was in 1971 with "Living Together, Growing Together." They had 20 top forty pop hits. They had 23 top forty adult contemporary hits (the last one in 1974 with "No Love In The Room").  They only had 8 hits on the top forty R&B (a ninth would come after Marilyn and Billy left the group).  

But they were a hugely successful group.

Marilyn and Billy are still married and still record together.  



Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons is the album they released last summer and Kat praised it here.  Cedric and I quickly added it to our streaming collection but could not add it to our vinyl collection because, for some reason, it was not released on vinyl.

Now we have this one and I love it.  I bought it at the garage sale and was leaving (I ended up giving the stroller away to a very young woman who was trying to purchase it and a playpen -- she looked like she was about to go into labor at the garage sale and she clearly needed them) when Royce came walking up and said, "Hey, take this one too.  For free."  

It was Individually & Collectively -- another studio album by The 5th Dimension.  I've been listening to Portrait all day so I haven't had time for it yet but I'm sure I'll love it.


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


Friday, July 15, 2022.  Joe Biden takes a blood march through the Middle East and Miss Moqtada al-Sadr throws a lazy Friday get together.

US President Joe Biden visits the Middle East and shows who his friends are.  We'll note some commentary and some Tweets.  Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) observes:

+ The fact that many newspapers and politicians are expressing “moral outrage” at Biden’s flight from Israel to Saudi Arabia but not at Biden’s flight from DC to Israel is a pretty clear indicator of how little “moral authority” the US has (or even pretends to possess)…

+ I’d have thought “our moral authority” had already eroded down to Ordovician strata of bedrock…

+ The Peace Prize Prez, Barack Obama, visited Saudi Arabia more frequently than any other president–four times in 8 years, visits during which the genocidal war on Yemen was plotted, financed and unleashed.

+ In its yearly Children and Conflict Report, the UN charges that Israel killed 78 Palestinian children last year and maimed another 982.

+ According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, around 80 Egyptian soldiers killed during the 1967 Middle East War are buried in a mass grave under Mini Israel, a popular Israeli theme park.

+ After he heaped praise on the Jewish State, declared himself a Zionist and mumbled vacant promises about an eventual “Two-State Solution,” Biden’s entourage took him through the streets of Bethlehem, where he encountered these signs erected by the Israeli human rights group, B T’Selem…


Dave DeCamp (ANTIWAR.COM) reports:

On Thursday, President Biden said he believes the “vast majority” of Americans are committed to Israel’s security. The president made the comments from Jerusalem after holding a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

“I think the vast majority of the American public, not just my administration — is completely devoted to Israel’s security without any ifs, ands, or buts — without any doubts about it,” Biden told reporters.

Biden made the comments a day after an interview aired on Israeli TV where he said progressives Democrats that have denounced Israel as an apartheid state were “wrong.”

“There are few of them. I think they’re wrong. I think they’re making a mistake,” he said. The president added that he makes “no apologies” for his support of Israel.

Nora Barrows-Friedman Tweets:

"Keep watching instead the daily dirty grind that is Israel’s occupation continue to brutalize Palestinians while stealing their land, their livelihoods, their dignity and their lives. Because the Biden administration offers nothing."

The Party of Socialism and Liberation notes:

While the inflation crisis and attacks on basic rights continue in the United States, Joe Biden is traveling abroad to focus on shoring up U.S. domination over the Middle East.

Biden began his tour with a visit to Israel, landing on Wednesday. In a speech upon his arrival, Biden went out of his way to emphasize his ideological support for Zionism – the racist political movement that established the state of Israel on the land of the Palestinian people. Echoing the religious fundamentalist justification for the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, Biden stated, “[Y]ou need not be a Jew to be a Zionist … Every chance to return to this great country, where the ancient roots of the Jewish people date back to biblical times, is a blessing.” 

Biden explained in the same speech, “From here, I’m going straight to a briefing on Israeli missiles and rocket defense capabilities, including the U.S. support for the Iron Dome and Israel’s new laser-enabled system called the Iron Beam.” The U.S. government gives Israel nearly $4 billion every year for military equipment to repress Palestinians and threaten neighboring countries. This is in essence a subsidy for U.S. weapons manufacturing corporations, who receive the contracts to provide these armaments.  

Biden has ignored demands for a meeting from the family of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist who was murdered by Israeli soldiers in May while she was reporting on an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. Despite being a U.S. citizen, American authorities conducted a sham investigation into her killing that clearly aimed to cover up the criminal role of Israel. 

Ford Fischer Tweets about reactions to Joe's tripl

New video received from Ramallah: Palestinians burn portraits of President Joe Biden, rejecting his visit to the region. "Your strategic allies, Biden, are the ones who killed [journalist] Shireen" Abu Akleh, I'm told one of the signs says. "Biden is not welcomed in Palestine!"

Joe's trip is revealing to many.  It says a great deal about the US government.

Land of snap decisions

Land of short attention spans
Nothing is savored
Long enough to really understand
In every culture in decline
The watchful ones among the slaves
Know all that is genuine will be
Scorned and conned and cast away

Dog eat dog
People looking seeing nothing
Dog eat dog
People listening hearing nothing
Dog eat dog
People lusting loving nothing
Dog eat dog
People stroking touching nothing
Dog eat dog
Knowing nothing
Dog eat dog

-- "Dog Eat Dog," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on DOG EAT DOG

Patrick Martin (WSWS) points out:

There may not be a photograph today of US President Joe Biden shaking hands with Saudi despot Mohammed bin Salman. The press has been largely excluded from the Saudi leg of Biden’s four-day trip to the Middle East, and Biden’s aides have announced a new protocol limiting Biden to exchanging fist bumps, not handshakes or hugs, supposedly due to the greatly accelerated spread of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant of the coronavirus.

There is good reason to believe that this policy has nothing to do with any new health concerns for the 79-year-old president. The White House desires to reduce the amount of attention given to Biden’s embrace of a notoriously bloodstained murderer. He is courting bin Salman in an effort to obtain a sizeable increase in Saudi oil production, both to ease the pressure on NATO countries from the cutoff of Russian supplies as a byproduct of the war in Ukraine and to defuse social discontent in the US itself as gas prices have soared to nearly $5 a gallon.

It is his first trip as president to the region where American imperialism has carried out its bloodiest crimes over the last three decades, waging wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya, supporting countless military coups and brutal repression by kings and dictators alike. Millions have died and tens of millions driven into exile. Biden is not seeking to alleviate the plight of those who have survived imperialist aggression but rather to add to the number of victims. He is devoting four days to intensive talks with the two most important US allies and client states in the Middle East. He has spent two days in Israel and will spend two more in Saudi Arabia, with the strategic aim of lining up the two countries behind the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, while promising US support to their preparations for war against Iran.

There is also a brief side trip to Ramallah, which has more the character of a slap in the face to the people of occupied Palestine than an acknowledgement of their rights. In relation to the Palestinians, Biden has continued all the measures adopted by the Trump administration: the US embassy, moved from Tel Aviv by Trump, remains in Jerusalem; the US consulate in East Jerusalem, the main point of contact for Palestinians, remains closed; the Palestinian mission in Washington D.C. remains closed; the US continues to demand that the Palestinian Authority cut off all support payments for the families of those murdered by Israeli troops and settlers, which Israel calls “financing terrorism;” and the US has not changed the Trump policy of recognizing the legitimacy of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law.

There is an overpowering element of imperialist hypocrisy in the Biden trip. The US government has been engaged for nearly five months in a war against Russia in Ukraine. It has poured in tens of billions of dollars in weaponry and deployed covert military forces. The claimed justification for this confrontation—which risks direct military conflict between countries possessing the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals—is that the United States is defending freedom, democracy and the right of self-determination of the Ukrainian people, as well as warding off a future Russian threat to America’s NATO allies. Yet this policy now leads the president of the United States to embrace two regimes that personify the very crimes that have supposedly justified the US intervention in Ukraine.

Turning to Iraq where Miss Moqtada al-Sadr's cult has turned out in Baghdad.


Sadr's supporters are chanting: "We listen to the orders of , not those who themselves get orders from #Tehran." #Iraq #Baghdad via

Moqtada is still upset that the government in Iran ordered him out of the 'kingmaker' role he was failing at.  October 10th, Iraq held elections.  The western press tried to redeem Moqtada on behalf of the US State Dept (who bribed Moqtada in August to endorse voting in the elections) who saw him as their way to keep Nouri al-Maliki out of power.  The western press ignored Nouri and refused to mention his name in the lead up to the election and in all the time that followed.

They lied and said Moqtada was a ''kingmaker."  Three times a vote was called in Parliament and three times it did not take place.  Moqtada's never accomplished anything so thinking he was going to name the next prime minister was always doubtful.

But even Moqtada had to wake up to some reality.  Now the Coordination Framework is pursuing the formation of a government and Moqtad and all his MPs are left out in the cold.

Ruba Ali al-Hassani Tweets:

Amid the Maliki-Sadr escalations, Tishreenis remind us the role Sadr played in violence against protestors. #Iraq

Moqtada had to pull from other provinces for the 'protest.'  Interesting because he was once able to turn out a larger group from Sadr City alone.  Those days are gone.  Equally true, the term "protest" was not used because his cult was leery of it.  Moqtada had to call it a ''national prayer."  January 24, 2020 had a much bigger turnout.

They started arriving last night.

IRAQ: Tomorrow, a mass prayer is expected in Sadr City in support of the Sadrist movement, who recently got out of parliament in protest of difficult government formation negociations, as a show of force.

Again, he's managed much bigger crowds in the past.  And didn't have to pull from other provinces.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "He Can't Run Again But He Can Scoot!" went up last night.  The following sites updated:

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Hugh Grant may play Pedo Prince in film



Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "He Can't Run Again But He Can Scoot!" went up tonight.   He's been on a hot streak this week.

Do you like Hugh Grant. I do. Enjoy the movies and enjoyed the HBO series with Nicole Kidman and the one on Amazon. I think I'll enjoy a new movie that he might be cast in. Rumors are that he will be playing Prince Andrew. The plan is to turn the disaster BBC interview into a film:

Prince Andrew’s ugly history with Jeffrey Epstein will be re-immortalized in a new film about his bombshell BBC interview, according to a new Deadline report. Casting hasn’t yet begun for the movie, called Scoop, but Hugh Grant is apparently on the wishlist to play the notorious Duke of York.
A quick recap: Shortly after Epstein’s death in 2019, Andrew agreed to sit down for an interview, ostensibly to distance himself from the other man’s horrific alleged crimes. The attempt was a complete trainwreck in which he memorably claimed he couldn’t possibly have assaulted a then-17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre because a war injury left him unable to sweat. Subsequently, he was retired from public life as a member of the Royal Family, sued by Giuffre, and eventually stripped of most of his royal titles.
The new film, from a script written by Peter Moffat (Your Honor), is based on the book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by Sam McAlister, one of the producers of the infamous interview. The story is “about how the BBC’s Newsnight team got the scoop, then the actual filming of it,” Moffat tells Deadline.

I'm sure Hugh will do a great job and I am glad that evil Andrew's actions will be immortalized in film and not just forgotten.

Hugh Grant is on a shortlist to potentially star as Prince Andrew in ‘SCOOP’, a film about the bombshell interview with Prince Andrew about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. (Source: Deadline)

One more Tweet:

Hugh Grant is going to play Prince Andrew in a biopic about his life. It’s rated PG-13 so Andrew’s girlfriends can go.


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


Thursday, July 14, 2022.  Each day brings more proof that Joe Biden is not up for the job.

Lame duck Joe Biden went limping to Israel.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) notes:

US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel Wednesday to begin a four-day trip whose major purpose is to align the main US client states in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia, with Washington’s plans for war against Russia and Iran. After two days in Israel and the West Bank, he will move on to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi leaders and with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the five other Persian Gulf sheikdoms as well as Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

It was supposed to be a ten-day trip but White House staffers don't think Joe's up to that so it was reduced to four days.  THE TIMES OF ISRAEL explains:

Concerns regarding 79-year-old President Joe Biden’s ability to weather a 10-day trip abroad were among the reasons why the White House decided to delay the Mideast portion of the tour, according to a Sunday report in The New York Times.

[. . .]

But while the White House hinted the delay had to do with factors regarding the host countries, a US official told The Times that it would have been “crazy” to put the oldest president in American history through a 10-day foreign trip.

He's not fit to be president.  He should step down but he's too senile to grasp that reality so he limps and shuffles across the world stage, creating one embarrassment after another.

Patrick Martin also notes:

In pursuit of this military agenda, Biden is simply dropping the issues of “human rights” that have been used to screen the policies of American imperialism. In particular, Biden will hold a face-to-face meeting with the de facto Saudi ruler, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he once denounced as a “pariah” because of his role in ordering the murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Israel too has been given a pass on murderous actions against the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza, although that is nothing new for the US government. Only a week before Biden left for his visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the State Department issued a report on the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akhlef, who was shot to death by an Israeli sniper while she was reporting on Israeli military operations in the West Bank city of Jenin for Al Jazeera Arabic.

The report found that an Israeli soldier likely killed Abu Akhlef, but the State Department claimed that there was no evidence the shooting was deliberate, despite the journalist wearing a bullet-proof vest and a sign clearly identifying her as press. Her death was merely a “tragic accident,” the US government agency declared.

Joe offers nothing to root for, nothing to be proud of.  

His 'accomplishments' tend to be failures.  Lucy Bayly and Alicia Wallace (CNN) report:

Inflation surged to a new pandemic-era peak in June, with US consumer prices jumping by 9.1% year-over-year, according to fresh data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's the highest level in more than 40 years and higher than the previous reading, when prices rose by 8.6% for the year ended in May. It is also much higher than the 8.8% that economists had predicted, according to Refinitiv.

 The Consumer Price Index for June also showed that overall prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose by 1.3% from May to June.

Much of the June increase was driven by a jump in gasoline prices, which were up nearly 60% over the year. Americans faced record-high gas prices last month, with the national average topping $5 a gallon across the country. Electricity and natural gas prices also rose, by 13.7% and 38.4%, respectively, for the 12-month period ended in June. Overall, energy prices rose by 41.6% year-over- year.

Old Man Biden, one failure after another.  He should be in a nursing home, not the White House.

Jerry White (WSWS) observes:

The rate of inflation in the United States hit 9.1 percent in June, with consumer prices rising at the fastest pace since November 1981, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Wednesday. Across-the-board hikes in fuel, food, housing, medical care, clothing and other living expenses are squeezing household budgets. Everything is going up except workers’ paychecks.  

The increase in the Consumer Price Index, which rose from an already four-decade high of 8.6 percent in May, continued to be driven chiefly by surging energy and food costs. Energy prices shot up 7.5 percent last month and are up 41.6 percent over the last 12 months. Gasoline rose 11.2 percent in June and is up 59.9 percent over the last year. 

The current national average for a gallon of gas was $4.63 yesterday, according to the American Automobile Association, with prices in California at $6.02 a gallon. This means it takes $60 to fill up an average passenger car or $120 for a pickup truck or SUV. With an average manufacturing wage of $24.95 an hour before taxes, a factory worker now must labor anywhere from three to six hours just to pay for gas to go back and forth to work. Many now carpool to work, while lower-paid and part-time workers find it increasingly unaffordable to drive at all. 

With electricity costs rising another 1.7 percent in June and 13.7 percent year-over-year, working class families and seniors on fixed incomes are shutting off lights and air conditioners despite the summer time heat wave. Natural gas rose 8.2 percent last month and 38.4 percent over the last year, leaving many wondering how they will heat their homes come the fall and winter.  

Food costs also continued to jump, with prices rising 1.3 percent between May and June and 10.5 percent over the last year, the highest increase since 1981. Many common food items have risen even higher over the last year, with eggs and margarine up 36 percent, chicken parts up 23 percent and whole milk prices up 18.8 percent.

The anti-hunger Feeding America program reported in March that 65 percent of its 200 food pantries had seen increased demand compared to previous months. One of its affiliates, the Killeen Food Care Center in central Texas, reported that it served a record 8,830 people in June, including 1,600 seniors. “We have fed the highest amount of people in our 35-year history,” Raymond Cockrell, the center’s executive director, told the Killeen Daily Herald. 

Joe will take no responsibility, he'll blame someone else.  He keeps doing that and the American people keep seeing that he's not up to the job.  It's causing panic for some Democrats facing re-election.  Rick Klein, Averi Harper, and Alisa Wiersema (ABC's THE NOTE) report:

Inflation is low-hanging political fruit for Republicans amid everyday reminders -- underscored by weekly and monthly data drops -- that show prices spiraling while policy solutions are fleeting.

But what might be as telling this week, with President Joe Biden in the Middle East for a high-profile foreign trip, is what some Democrats are saying about the rising cost of goods that’s clearly not transitory and also seemingly not lifting itself from voters’ minds in time for the midterms.

It’s not just Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who fired another shot across progressive bows with a new declaration -- in the context of ongoing talks with the White House -- that “no matter what spending aspirations some in Congress may have ... we cannot add any more fuel to this inflation fire.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio -- a member of the majority party in the House who hopes to join the Senate majority next year -- called the latest inflation numbers “awful” in a video posted from the campaign trail: “People are getting absolutely crushed. We need a tax cut now.”

Pennsylvania's Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, also currently in elected office and also looking to join the Senate, said: “We need bold action NOW to make more s--- in America, fix our broken supply chains, and take on corporate greed to bring down the cost of everything, for everyone.”

Those three Democrats share something of an everyman profile and also hail from states where Democrats may need to work extra hard to make working-class connections. It’s a brand of politics that isn’t all that foreign to “Scranton Joe,” though.

How bad are things really?  The International Money Fund is writing about the US:

The IMF’s annual review of the US economy focuses on the policies needed to return inflation to the Fed’s medium-term target. Most workers’ wages have failed to keep up with inflation, eroding the purchasing power of households and causing significant hardship. Although increases in gasoline and food prices have been affected by global events, the prices of a broader range of items have also risen strongly, including housing and transportation. If left unchecked, these price increases could become long lasting. In our assessment, we conclude that the Fed should act quickly and assertively to tackle inflation and restore price stability.

Joe Biden's biggest accomplishment?  Turning the US into a third-world nation.  At COMMON DREAMS, Jake Johnson writes:

Hotter-than-expected inflation data published Wednesday intensified fears among progressive economists that the Federal Reserve—in its single-minded drive to tame price increases—will needlessly lock in another major interest rate hike at its policy meeting later this month, further suppressing economic demand and moving the country closer to a recession.

"This morning's report highlights the fact that aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed have done little to combat the inflation that continues to take a toll on workers, families, and small businesses across the country," said Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative. "Additional rate hikes would push millions out of work and... raise the risk of a recession that would only worsen economic pain."

[. . .]

At its July 26-27 meeting, the central bank is widely expected to enact another rate hike of at least 75 basis points—and there's some concern that the Fed will go even further with a 100-basis-point increase.

The central bank appears hellbent on imposing additional rate hikes even though top officials, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, have admitted that the blunt policy tool will do nothing to tackle sky-high energy and food prices.

Rate hikes also won't repair supply chain snags stemming from the coronavirus pandemic or tackle corporate profiteering, which progressive economists and lawmakers have argued is a major factor in persistent inflation.

Andrew Keshner (MARKETWATCH) reveals, "In the meantime, waning purchasing power is grinding people down. It just takes a trip to the grocery store to remember that. The latest inflation data showed grocery prices climbing 1% month over month and 12.2% year-over-year, marking the biggest increase since 1979."

Meanwhile, the always ridiculous Mustafa al-Kadhimi takes time out from doing nothing to write a piece for FOREIGN POLICY:

When U.S. President Joe Biden comes to the Middle East this week, he will be arriving in a region facing numerous challenges, from terrorism to food insecurity and climate change. But the Middle East is also a region that is increasingly facing those challenges together under a group of leaders pursuing positive change. I will represent a resilient Iraq that stands more confidently on the international stage and is stronger than when he last visited Baghdad as U.S. vice president in 2016—or even than when we met in the Oval Office last year.

For many years, Iraq leaned heavily on the United States. We are grateful for the years of assistance and the sacrifice Americans have made to support us. Today’s Iraq is finding its own footing at home, in the region, and in the world. One thing I hope he takes away from our meeting in Saudi Arabia on Friday is the firmness of my and the Iraqi people’s resolve to solve Iraq’s problems with Iraqi solutions.

Iraq is now a multiparty, multiethnic constitutional democracy. Yes, we are still in a protracted process of forming a new government following national elections last fall. It has taken a long time, rightly frustrating many in Iraq and abroad. I share that frustration—but I’m also proud of how our state has carried on the everyday business of serving Iraqi citizens, safeguarding the country’s natural resources, and leading regional initiatives that promote prosperity and security.

Mustafa should be out of office.  Iraq held elections October 10th.  No one wants the failure to continue as prime minister.  But Iraq's inability to name a new president and a new prime minister leaves Mustafa in his job for now.

In their meeting, will Joe press the issue of equality?  Will he call out the push to outlaw LGBTQs in Iraq?  Cowardly and senile, Joe'll probably opt to offer another lecture about Ireland in the 1980s.  Nico Lang (X-TRA) reports:

Homosexuality has been legal in Iraq for almost 20 years, but some prominent leaders in the country want to change that.

Aref al-Hamami, an MP representing the State of Law coalition, confirmed last week that he intends to introduce a bill that would recriminalize acts of sexual intercourse between partners of the same sex. On July 8, al-Hamami told the Iraqi News Agency that members of the parliamentary legal committee have agreed to hear a proposal “to legislate a law prohibiting homosexuality in Iraq.”

“[The] legislation of such a law will be reinforced by legal provisions that prevent homosexuality and the perversions associated with it,” he said.

Al-Hamami did not outline what kinds of punishments would be mandated for same-sex intimacy or when the Council of Representatives—the formal name of Iraq’s parliament—might take up the bill. The future of the legislature is currently uncertain: 73 parliamentarians abruptly resigned in June after the lawmaking body failed to form a coalition government for nearly eight months, according to Al-Jazeera.

Among those who exited parliament was one of the bill’s most powerful potential allies: the influential Shia cleric and scholar Muqtada al-Sadr. In a May tweet, al-Sadr cited the monkeypox epidemic—which has disproportionately impacted the LGBTQ+ community on a global scale—as a pretense “for a repeal of laws upholding gay rights to protect humanity.” In a separate post, he called for a “special day against homosexuals and their reprehensible obscenity on earth and in heaven.”

Oh, that Miss Moqtada, always spreading love, spreading love.  He's disgusting and so is the US Congress which can't say a word on the issue.  They can, however, fret over other things. MIDDLE EAST EYE notes:

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to publicly oppose Iraq's recently expanded law which criminalises the normalisation of relations with Israel.

In a letter sent to the White House on Tuesday, 24 House and Senate lawmakers urged Biden to further promote normalisation between Israel and Arab countries during his visit to the Middle East this week.

Earlier this year, Iraq's parliament passed a law that would make it a crime to normalise ties with Israel, with violations of the law punishable with life in prison or the death penalty. The new legislation provides wider definitions for acts considered a violation compared with the original statute dating back to 1969.

When Clarence Thomas gets around to outlawing gays in the US, remember that the US Congress doesn't work to protect American citizens, it works to protect the government of Israel.  We'll note this Tweet:

I mean, if you're talking from an American perspective, over 300+ anti-LGBT bills have been filed in 2022 so far and the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has outright stated that gay rights are the next target after Roe v. Wade was overturned 🫤


Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Coffee Wisdom" went up last night.  The following sites updated: