Saturday, December 9, 2023

Who does that skank think she's fooling?











All government's lie, as I.F. Stone long ago noted. 

Caveat!  Except of course the government of Israel!  It never lies!  It's unique!  It's special!  

I'm sorry I'm not in the mood for crap.  I'm going try to be nicer than I was to the actress who called me last night and begged me to help with the effort on those mythical rape victims.  But I can't make any promises.

That was last night.  This morning"

One e-mail changed a little bit in the 43 times it was sent.  You got the wrong one.  You can't shame me.  Not on the topic of the assault.  I get it, you want us to all grab the Israeli government's hymnal and sing the chorus to "Rapes Took Place October 7th And My Heart Knows It Happened."  You got the wrong one.

(A) I was assaulted years ago as a child.  So I really don't need to hear from you sentences like, "Imagine if you were assaulted . . ."  _____, I was.  I don't have to imagine.  And what kind of sicko (a) wants me to relive that trauma?   (B) "You have said over and over, 'Believe all women.'''  One more time: You got the wrong one.  I never said that and I never would say that.  Check the archives and you'll see that I have long rejected that nonsense.  I do not believe in that blanket nonsense.  Some men lie, some women lie.  More to the point, I am a thinking person and I would be an idiot to turn off my brain and march along blindly.  There are women who came forward with charges against Donald Trump.  I don't like Donald and never have.  I believed some of the women, I didn't believe them all.  If you were serving on a jury, you'd listen to the information and process it using your best skills.  That's not "believe all women."  I've never argued that and I never would.  Some women I believe, some I don't.  Some I can't determine.  (C) "It is your duty to call out these rapists."  What rapists?  As with the women who allegedly were raped, we don't know anything about who raped anyone. 

I hear your claims.  I've heard them repeatedly in the media.  Where's your proof?

Some of you liars  on this are bringing back in the beheaded babies lie.  That is a lie.  There is no proof to that.  But it could have happened.  A sword swipe, a head comes off.  Yeah, that can happen.  But you're telling me that in the hours an assault took place on October 7th, as Israelis scrambled to get to safety and hopefully Israeli forces scrambled to fight the attack, Hamas took time to rape.  And to gang rape.  Wow.  

Doesn't play.  Doesn't mean it didn't happen.  But it doesn't play.  If  you pitched me that, I'd say that was a huge plot point error and that the audience will never believe it.  This was an attack lasting hours not days.  That the audience -- aware of all the money that's gone into the Israeli military alone would never believe that attackers would gang rape on site of the attack because they would be in fear of being caught.  They might drag someone away to rape them after the attack but to stop everything and conduct a gang-rape?  Again, it doesn't play.  Doesn't mean it didn't happen.  But it doesn't play.

There have been too many lies already.  WIKIPEDIA:

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described some of the evidence: "a young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father's eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother's breast cut off, the girl's foot amputated, the boy's fingers cut off before they were executed"; and "a baby, an infant, riddled with bullets. Soldiers beheaded. Young people burned alive. I could go on, but it's simply depravity in the worst imaginable way."[212][213]

Ha'aretz investigation into the claims of mutilation and torture found several examples where inaccurate information was disseminated by Israeli search and rescue units, the army, and by politicians. An Israeli army officer claimed that babies had been hung on clotheslines, though later investigations showed that one infant was killed, alongside her father, and that the reports of groups of children being slaughtered and multilated were false. Most of the children were killed alongside family members. Ha'aretz reported that "Hamas terrorists did desecrate corpses during the massacre, especially the bodies of soldiers. There were also beheadings and cases of dismemberment" but that "there is no evidence that children from several families were murdered together, rendering inaccurate Netanyahu’s remark to U.S. President Joe Biden that Hamas terrorists 'took dozens of children, tied them up, burned them and executed them.'"[214] ZAKA volunteers shared stories of atrocities, with one repeatedly describing twenty children having been bound and burned at a kibbutz; the same volunteer said a pregnant woman had her unborn baby cut from her womb and that he had found the woman next to two murdered children aged six and seven. However, the list of dead does not correspond with the claims, and there were no children of that age killed in the kibbutz; the kibbutz has denied that the story is related to the kibbutz.[214] Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli prime minister, sent a letter to US first lady Jill Biden claiming that a heavily pregnant woman was taken hostage to Gaza; the woman was identified as a Thai worker who had been taken hostage and later released. She was not pregnant and had not given birth.[214]

On rape?  Where are the survivors?  

There is no evidence.  But this is yet another attempt to distract from reality.

It's being used to try to justify the killing of children, the murder of innocent civilians.  They think they can make you dumb by appealing to your emotions.

That does work with some people.  It's never worked with me.  Some people think I'm very cold (and I may be) but for me it's the b.s. meter that I have where the more drama you produce, the more my gut tells me you're not telling the truth.

If it's learned that women were raped, we'll address it.  

Like we did with Abeer.  I don't remember Gal Gadot speaking out for Abeer.  I don't remember Mayim Bialik either.

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    Thursday, December 7, 2023

    It's time to end the stupidity

    They say there is a lid for every pot.  I do wonder though when you're dealing with hateful people.  But then, look at Riley Gaines, sure she had to go out of the country to find someone who could stand her, but she found someone.  And he's not bothered by Riley's hateful ways or oversized head or manly body.  So I guess there is someone for everyone.  Even hate merchants can find love.  Doesn't make them better people though.  They cling to their hate.  

    If you've missed it Riley's on a new kick to pretend that she's something other than a sore loser and bully.  Fox News viewers may be tricked but then they've been tricked and fooled for years.  

    In 2023, 24 states had laws or regulations in place prohibiting transgender students from participating on public school athletic teams consistent with their gender identity. These bans mean that a person whose sex assigned at birth was male but who identifies as a girl or woman cannot play on a girls or women’s athletic team at a public school in that state.

    The topic has spurred many debates about fairness, the science behind sports performancecivil rights and sports as a human right.

    As researchers who study diversity, equity and inclusion in sport, we were interested in understanding what prompted such bans. Though not a surprise, we showed for the first time through an in-depth study set to be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Sport Management that state-level politics and public biases against transgender people are largely to blame.

    We collected two years of data in 2021 and 2022 on states that passed legislation prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in sports on teams that connect with their own gender identities.

    To determine the political leanings of a state’s population, we collected data about the share of Republican state senators and the party affiliation of the governor.

    Finally, we collected information about the biases people had toward transgender individuals. The data came from responses to the Project Implicit website. People visiting the site can take tests aimed at measuring their biases toward different groups, including transgender people. Administrators then remove identifying information and make the data freely available. For our study, we aggregated the responses to have transgender bias scores for each state.

    States whose residents have conservative political leanings tend to have more restrictive views on civil rights issues such as immigrationhealth care and the use of the death penalty.

    These patterns hold for transgender rights, too.

    In our work, we found that states with conservative-leaning legislatures such as in Wyoming and West Virginia were most likely to enact transgender athlete bans. As were states with Republican governors, such as Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbott in Texas.

    These statewide patterns are consistent with national political actions.

    In 2023, the Biden administration proposed a change to Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination at K-12 schools and colleges that receive federal funds. Under Biden’s proposed changes, Title IX would also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    In response, nearly all – 25 of the 26 Republican governors – called on Biden to delay or withdraw the rule change. To date, Biden has not made a final decision and has delayed the change.

    But politics tells only part of the story.

    We found that conservative political leanings spurred collective biases against transgender people, which in turn prompted the bans.

    Political scientists have previously shown that politicians craft narratives and frame their arguments in ways that help shape people’s attitudes about social issues. In fact, people will sometimes adjust their perspectives to align with those held by their political representatives.

    That’s what we found.

    This has been a witchhunt against trans people and it needs to stop.  Now.


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



    Thursday, December 7, 2023.  As the assault on Gaza continues, Amnesty International and OXFAM sound alarms.

    Edith M. Lederer (AP) reports:

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres used a rarely exercised power to warn the Security Council on Wednesday of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and urged its members to demand an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

    His letter to the council’s 15 members said Gaza’s humanitarian system was at risk of collapse after two months of war that has created “appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma,” and he demanded civilians be spared greater harm.

    Article 99?  ALJAZEERA explains:

    It’s a special power, and the only independent political tool given to the secretary-general in the UN Charter. It allows him to call a meeting of the Security Council on his own initiative to issue warnings about new threats to international peace and security and matters that are not yet on the council’s agenda.

    In Article 99, the charter states, “the Secretary General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”.

    Now Guterres will have the right to speak at the Security Council, without having to be invited to speak by a member state, as is usually the case.

    As  CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."  ABC NEWS notes, "In the Gaza Strip, at least 16,248 people have been killed and 42,000 have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry."  In addition to the dead and the injured, there are the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."

    And let's note that it's not just Gaza or the West Bank, the Israeli government is killing people throughout the Middle East.  CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq,  Ben Wedeman and and Jessie Gretener report:

    Several students were wounded after an Israeli airstrike hit the town of Kounine in south Lebanon, the Lebanese national news agency (NNA) reported Thursday. NNA said students at the Kounine Institute were injured by shattered glass.

    Kounine sits several kilometres away from the country’s border with Israel.  

    Video obtained by CNN shows the aftermath of the strike, with thick black smoke billowing above the town, with people running to safety on the streets. 

    CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment on the incident.  

    Around 83% of households in southern Gaza suffering from inadequate food consumption, according to a new report from the World Food Programme.

    The organization also reported Wednesday that 97% of households in northern Gaza have inadequate food consumption.

    As a result, 95% of households are adopting extreme food consumption strategies to cope with food shortages in northern Gaza, the report said, with 82% of households doing the same in southern Gaza.

    Two months now the assault on Gaza has continued.  There is no excuse for this continued killing. And the world recoils in horror except for those who enjoy killing and those who delude themselves that collective punishment is self-defense.  It is not and it never will be.  International law is very clear on that.   Amnesty International notes:

    • Fragments of US-made JDAM bombs found in rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli air strikes
    • Attacks must be investigated as war crimes
    • “US-made weapons facilitated the mass killings of extended families” – Agnès Callamard

    US-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) were used by the Israeli military in two deadly, unlawful air strikes on homes full of civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip, Amnesty International has found based on a new investigation into those strikes. The organization found that these air strikes were either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks and is calling for them to be investigated as war crimes.  

    The organization found distinctive fragments of the munition in the rubble of destroyed homes in central Gaza following two strikes that killed a total of 43 civilians – 19 children, 14 women and 10 men. In both cases, survivors told Amnesty International there had been no warning of an imminent strike.

    On 10 October, an air strike on the al-Najjar family home in Deir al-Balah killed 24 people. On 22 October, an air strike on the Abu Mu’eileq family home in the same city killed 19 people. Both homes were south of Wadi Gaza, within the area where, on 13 October, the Israeli military had ordered residents of northern Gaza to relocate to.

    “The fact that US-made munitions are being used by Israeli military in unlawful attacks with deadly consequences for civilians should be an urgent wake-up call to the Biden administration. The US-made weapons facilitated the mass killings of extended families,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

    “Two families have been decimated in these strikes, further proof that the Israeli military is responsible for unlawfully killing and injuring civilians in its bombardment of Gaza.

    “In the face of the unprecedented civilian death toll and scale of destruction in Gaza, the US and other governments must immediately stop transferring arms to Israel that more likely than not will be used to commit or heighten risks of violations of international law. To knowingly assist in violations is contrary to the obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law. A state that continues to supply arms being used to commit violations may share responsibility for these violations.”

    In light of the evidence of war crimes and other violations, the US must follow its own laws and policies regarding the transfer and sale of arms, including its Conventional Arms Transfer Policy and Civilian Harm Incident Response Guidance, which together are meant to prevent arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to civilian harm and to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law.

    Amnesty International did not find any indication that there were any military objectives at the sites of the two strikes or that people in the buildings were legitimate military targets, raising concerns that these strikes were direct attacks on civilians. In addition, even if the strikes – which Israel has yet to provide any information about – were intended to target military objectives, the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in such densely populated areas could make these indiscriminate attacks. As such, these attacks must be investigated as war crimes.

    Amnesty International’s weapons experts and remote sensing analyst examined satellite imagery, as well as photographs taken by the organization’s fieldworkers of the destruction of the targeted sites and of fragments of ordnance recovered from the rubble. Based upon the significant damage to the target and surrounding buildings, the bomb that struck the al-Najjar family home likely weighed 2,000lb. The bomb that hit the Abu Mu’eileq family destroyed their home and likely weighed at least 1,000lb.

    In both attacks, the bombs used US-manufactured JDAM kits. The photos of the metal fragments from the weapons clearly show the distinctive rivets and harness system that indicate they served as a part of the frame that surrounds the body of the bomb of a JDAM. In addition, the codes stamped on the plates from both sets of recovered scrap, 70P862352, are associated with JDAMs and Boeing, the manufacturer. Additional codes stamped on the plates indicate that the JDAM that killed members of the al-Najjar family was manufactured in 2017, while the JDAM that killed members of the Abu Mu’eileq family was manufactured in 2018.

    War Crimes and the US government is a party to these crimes.  Patrick Wintour (GUARDIAN) notes, "The Biden administration faces a showdown at the UN security council in the next 48 hours at which it may feel impelled to use its veto to protect Israel by rejecting calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza."  THE GUARDIAN notes:

    The Israeli military onslaught in southern Gaza is causing destruction, danger, and civilian terror and suffering at such a scale that makes any humanitarian response impossible across the entire enclave, Oxfam has warned.

    Marta Valdes Garcia, Oxfam humanitarian director said:

    Our political leaders are failing – in abject weakness – to forge a ceasefire, which is the only possible humanitarian action that now really matters.

    The systemic, militarised chaos has overwhelmed the international humanitarian system. Our governments don’t even have the smokescreen of humanitarianism to hide behind now as Israel carries out its campaign of collective punishment.

    Israel’s so-called safe zones within Gaza are a mirage: unprotected, not agreed or trusted, not provisioned, and not accessible. We fear that masses of terrified people will be forced beyond Gaza itself under the guise of ‘safety’. This would force the humanitarian system into an impossible choice between helping civilians and being complicit in their forced deportation.

    The terrible irony is that this militarised destruction of Gaza is literally blowing away any chance of real security for both Palestinians and Israelis alike. Gaza needs a ceasefire now and humanitarian agencies need the guarantee of safe access in order to help its people and save lives.

    Oxfam staff in Gaza have seen young children asking their parents to pack their clothes into separate bags for when they are next forced to flee under fire, in case their parents are killed. People are reduced to fighting over basic necessities like food, water and fuel.

    One Oxfam partner said on Thursday:

    This is one of the most difficult days and wars that we have experienced. If you look anywhere around, you will find displaced people, injured people, people sleeping in the streets, and even we face many difficulties in distributing aid because there is no safe place in Gaza. Every area can be dangerous, each and every place can be bombed at any moment.

    Virtually no aid is now going into Gaza. Whatever Israel might allow to trickle in is insufficient and cannot be safely distributed to civilians being forced to run for their lives, Oxfam said.

    Amnesty International, Oxfam -- how deluded do you have to be to look at what's going on and to look all the humanitarian organizations raising red flags and concerns, to see all that, and just ignore it. Just lie to people and ignore the killing?  The apologists for this murder and genocide lie and whore and distract but they aren't foolling the world.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) takes on one of the latest attempts to trick the people:

    The US-Israeli propaganda machine has launched a new argument in defense of Israel’s mass slaughter in Gaza: the claim that Hamas, which carried out the October 7 cross-border strike into Israel that preceded the current war, was guilty of mass rape of Israeli women during that uprising.

    That there is no direct evidence to support these allegations is irrelevant to the perpetrators and defenders of genocide in Gaza. The claim, suddenly blared out in the media, serves to distract public attention from the catastrophic escalation of Israeli military operations against the population of Gaza since the end of the limited “pause” that accompanied the exchange of hostages held by Hamas for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

    More than 1,000 Palestinians were killed over the weekend by Israeli bombs and missiles. Some 2 million Palestinians have been herded into a tiny corner of Gaza, itself an enclave no larger in area than the cities of Philadelphia or Detroit but with many more people. The purpose of the Israeli military operations has become increasingly clear: to drive the entire population of Gaza across the Egyptian border into the Sinai Desert, emptying Gaza and making it available for Jewish settlers.

    Let's note this from yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

    AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from the U.N. climate summit in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

    We begin today’s show in Gaza, as Israeli tanks are moving into the center of Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest city, after days of intense shelling and airstrikes. Palestinian health officials say the death toll in Gaza has topped 16,200, including over 6,600 children. This is a resident of Khan Younis speaking after Israel bombed his home.

    HAMDI TANIRA: [translated] There were 30 people inside the house. Twenty of them were children, children aged 15 days, 1 year, 3 years, 4 years. We set up a place for them to sleep throughout the bombardment. We put them to sleep. We went to sleep. All of a sudden, what happened to us, we don’t know. The fire hit us. And like you see, all of it collapsed on top of us. None of us made it out completely OK. Everybody is hurt. How and why, we don’t even understand what happened ourselves. We rushed to the hospitals to check on the children and came back this morning to check the house. Look at this. I swear, we don’t even know how we made it out alive.

    AMY GOODMAN: On Tuesday, Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, released a statement, saying, quote, “The pulverising of Gaza now ranks amongst the worst assaults on any civilian population in our time and age. Each day we see more dead children and new depths of suffering for the innocent people enduring this hell,” he said.

    We’re joined now by Yousef Hammash, advocacy officer in Gaza for the Norwegian Refugee Council. He’s joining us today from Rafah.

    Yousef, thanks so much for being with us. If you can start off by talking about what’s happening right now, from Khan Younis, where you were, to Rafah, where you have fled now?

    YOUSEF HAMMASH: Thanks for hosting me, Amy.

    Unfortunately, after seven days of the humanitarian pause, we weren’t expecting that we will see this madness getting increased. The madness is getting bigger and bigger. And directly after the humanitarian pause, the bombing started mainly in the south, and the Israeli land operation started taking place in Khan Younis, and they turned Gaza into three pieces. While it used to be cut into two parts, now it’s three parts. So we have Gaza City and the middle area and Khan Younis and Rafah.

    And as the ground operation started the eastern part of Khan Younis, and they asked the residents to flee to Rafah, that’s what forced us to flee for the third time now to Rafah. And hundred thousands of people had to do this, to take this choice to flee into Rafah and to build these small tents made by wooden sticks and plastic under this harsh weather. And it became really crazy situation suddenly. And we had to witness the same as we witnessed in the northern part of Gaza when the military operation — even the war started on 12th — after the war started on 12th of October, when they asked us to flee to the south. And we didn’t have other option, and we fled to the south to Khan Younis, and now we found ourselves doing it again. Hopefully, it’s going to be the last time.

    Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation is catastrophic here. People are using anyplace as a shelter. People are living on sidewalks and streets and any empty area they found. They put anything to cover their heads, and they consider it as a shelter, without any means of protection. And it’s a horrible situation that I don’t think I have the ability to describe it. If you see it by your own eyes, you will be shocked. We never witnessed such horror. And you can see it in people’s face. They are in a miserable situation that doesn’t have any option to do. All what they do is looking for their safety, fleeing from a place to another place.

    AMY GOODMAN: Yousef, it’s not usual in most situations where the journalists themselves are trying to save their own families and their own lives as you report on the entire situation. If you can track your own journey with your family? I think some 60 journalists, Gazan and Palestinian journalists, about that number, have been killed in these last weeks, including the head of the Gaza journalists’ association, so many cameramen and reporters. But if you can start with your journey where you left, first north, and then going home to Jabaliya, and go from there, and why in each situation the terror and the destruction that you left behind?

    YOUSEF HAMMASH: So, at the beginning of the — on 7th October, I had to flee my house, because I lived in Beit Lahia, which is more near to the border, and usually, as in our previous experience from wars and escalation, it’s the first areas to be targeted. And I thought it’s better for me to take my children and my extended family to Jabaliya camp, which is the center of the north, and convincing myself that it’s going to be a bit more safe. And since the moment that I did this decision, I left everything behind. I didn’t care what I’m going to lose. I just was — I was looking for the safety of my family. The two, three days after the war, my house was targeted, and my parents’ house was targeted, and the other house with my brother was targeted.

    And on the 12th of — we had to stay in my grandparents’ house in Jabaliya. On the 12th of October, we started to receive these phone calls from Israelis and settlers just threatening us and warning us about what’s coming. And then I had to decide to flee again from Jabaliya to the south, based on what they asked us. And again, our responsibility towards our children and our extended families forced us to take these options. We fled to Khan Younis without anything, literally. We had to start our new life. And I was lucky because I have some relatives there, so I had to — I managed to find a roof to cover my head.

    And I wasn’t expecting that we will live this horror again, and we had to take this option again for the third time to go to Rafah. But, unfortunately, in Rafah we don’t have that option to have a roof to cover our heads. And since two days, I’m trying, surfing around Rafah, looking for anyplace to shelter my family. And unfortunately, until now, I didn’t succeed to find a place. Today I had to go to build a tent for my family, finding a safe place, as they call it, in al-Mawasi area, that’s going to be much safe there. And we follow what’s the instruction that — what we receive. And I had to do the same as the other hundred thousands of other people in Gaza who had to take that option also. So, I had to build a tent. I don’t know how we will manage to fit in it, but this is the option that we have.

    But especially the two days when the military operation started in Khan Younis, the horror that we saw from the bombardment, the nonstopping bombardment — I was calculating for the timing between each missile was eight seconds, imagining we were living in an earthquake, Amy. And that’s what’s, again, always putting us in a situation in front of our children that we are useless to protect them. We cannot even provide protection for our children and our — my sisters, for example. I felt very useless in front of them because I cannot do anything for them. So we had to take that option, convincing ourselves again that we will be safe. I am pretty sure there is no place safe in Gaza. But we’ll do as much as — I will take whatever it takes. I will do it to protect my family.

    AMY GOODMAN: Now, you’re not a journalist. You’re an aid worker. You are an advocacy officer in Gaza for the Norwegian Refugee Council. But your descriptions of what is happening there are so critical. How do you do your work and the other 50 or so Norwegian Refugee Council workers do their work in Gaza as they’re being forced to flee? And are you trying to get now over the border from Rafah into Egypt?

    YOUSEF HAMMASH: Yeah, Amy, we are trying to do our best, because this is our role, and this is why we are here. But, unfortunately, we are in the same situation like everyone is here. During the humanitarian pause, we were assessing the situation, trying to do distribution plan, because we are trying to help as much as we can people in need. The majority of — the entire population in Gaza are in need. So, you have to understand the situation in general. Half of the population before 7th October was relying on humanitarian aid. Imagining adding this catastrophic situation to the need of people. The entire population in Gaza is in need. And if you combine us all as humanitarian actors, we cannot cover the need that we are having here.

    We used these seven days to manage to have our trucks entered through Rafah and to do our distribution plan and trying to assist as much as we can. But then we found ourselves in the circle of violence again. And unfortunately, even in front of the situation now, we are useless. We cannot protect ourselves even as humanitarian workers. There is no protection for any of us. We are all in Gaza under the same circumstances. We are trying, but the situation is preventing us. And trust me, many of my colleagues are — had to sleep in the streets —

    AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what —

    YOUSEF HAMMASH: Sorry. Go ahead, Amy.

    AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what kind of aid is getting through and isn’t getting through, and what it means when you have something like 1.8 million, 1.9 million Palestinians, out of — what? — 2.3 million, who are on the run, who are internally displaced?

    YOUSEF HAMMASH: Honestly, Amy, what all of us as humanitarian actors can do is like a drop in the ocean of needs here. And we keep asking for allowing more and more trucks of aid to enter, but it’s too political, and everyone understands the situation now. They allow only — there is not even an accurate number for how many trucks per day we can get through Rafah. It’s too political situation, what’s bringing us to understand it. Trust me, in the past few days, we were chasing our trucks. We were trying to find solution how to get it through Rafah, manage — store it in some place, then trying to distribute it as fast as we can, because we understand it’s nothing comparing to the need. So we are trying to do our best. Even if it was few people that we can assist and help, it is something. But even to reach that small something is not easy. It’s almost impossible because of the situation that we are living in. The amount of aid that’s coming to Gaza is literally —

    AMY GOODMAN: Yousef Hammash — 

    YOUSEF HAMMASH: — not tangible and is not affecting the need. It’s not really affecting the amount of need that we are having in Gaza.

    AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you so much for being with us, Yousef Hammash, advocacy officer in Gaza for the Norwegian Refugee Council. He fled Khan Younis earlier this week, joining us now from Rafah. He was in Beit Lahia originally, fled to the Jabaliya refugee camp, then to Khan Younis, then to Rafah near the border crossing with Egypt.

    Coming up, Democracy Now! questions — attempts to question the head of the UAE state oil company, who is presiding over the U.N. climate summit. Stay with us.

    The Israeli government has much to answer for and some are demanding answers right now.  Irene Nasser, Tim Lister and Richard Greene (CNN) report:

    Leaked audio recordings of a meeting between freed Israeli hostages and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have revealed considerable anger at the government’s conduct, as well as the enduring terror of captivity by Hamas in Gaza.

    Audio of the meeting between the former hostages, relatives of some still being held, and Israel’s war cabinet on Tuesday was leaked, with parts of it published on Israeli news site ynet.

    It comes amid building pressure on Netanyahu to secure the release of the remaining captives, and scrutiny of Israel’s intensifying military campaign in Gaza.

    Ynet also reported that Netanyahu’s efforts to respond to the hostages and relatives were met with tense and angry remarks.

    A female abductee freed with her children – but without her husband, who remains in captivity – is heard on one recording saying: “The feeling we had there was that no one was doing anything for us. The fact is that I was in a hiding place that was shelled and we had to be smuggled out and we were wounded. That’s besides the helicopter that shot at us on the way to Gaza.”

    She adds: “You have no information. You have no information. The fact that we were shelled, the fact that no one knew anything about where we were… You claim that there is intelligence. But the fact is that we are being shelled. My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and taken to the [Hamas] tunnels” under Gaza.

    Turning to US politics,  Bully Riley Gaines testified before Congress because they'll let anyone in the building.  Being the mannish Riley Gaines, she, of course, lied.  One example:

    "Of course, there is a place for everyone, regardless of gender identity, regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of race, or what sports you play. There's a place for everyone to play sports in this country," Gaines said

    "But unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness, and ranking member Lee, if my testimony makes me transphobic then I believe your opening monologue makes you a misogynist," she added.

    She is a transphobe and she lied to Congress.  She's not concerned with women in sports.  If that were her task and goal, she wouldn't have bullied that teenager recently.  And let me again note, no one in the media called her out.  Ava and I did:

    You can't have WTF without the transphobic, ugly faced trash that is Riley Gaines.  What caused the sewer dweller to come to the surface?
    Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri named Tristan Young their homecoming queen.  A trans-female, she competed against four female students and the high school body voted her homecoming queen.  It should have been a great moment for her, a special moment for her.

     But Riley had to claw her way in and start trashing Tristan.

    No one called that out by the way.  Tristan is a high school senior.  Bully Gaines is an adult.  A bitter, ugly adult who lies and lies again.  

    Marcia covered this repeatedly so let's pull from her blogging:

    Why?  Because she's a loser. Last year, in March, she competed against Lia Thomas.  Lia is a transgender athlete and Riley knew that before the match.  She didn't have any problems with it.  Until she tied for fifth place with Lia.  Suddendly, as a loser, Riley released her inner-Karen on the world.

    Someone needs to tell her, Saltine, you lost.  But no one has the guts and she's just an overgrown cry baby.

    She started out insisting that she had no ill will for Lia and that the issue was the trophy:

    Gaines told ‘The Daily Wire’ in March 2022, that an NCAA representative told her that they only had one fifth-placed trophy and she would have to pose with a sixth-place trophy while a fifth-placed version would be mailed out at a later date.

    Gaines said that she argued with the official about why Thomas would get the trophy instead of her. Even though the two swimmers tied, Thomas is listed ahead of Gaines on the official results page, which indicates that Thomas touched ahead of Gaines by less than one-hundredth of a second, according to 'Swimming World Magazine.' 

    “It was a bit disheartening,” Gaines said, according to The Daily Wire. “It really was. I left the pool with no trophy. Not a big deal, but it was the goal that I had set all year.”

    As Peter mockingly says in the "Roasted Guy" episode of Family Guy, "Oh no, it's not a perfect day."

    And Riley insisted no hard feelings:

    “I am in full support of her and full support of her transition and her swimming career and everything like that because there’s no doubt that she works hard too, but she’s just abiding by the rules that the NCAA put in place, and that’s the issue,” she told ‘The Daily Wire’ in March 2022.

    But as she continued the right-wing circuit, Riley changed her tune.

    In April, Gaines spoke to Tucker Carlson on Fox News to discuss the issue further and stated that she thought Thomas had an has an ‘unfair biological advantage’ in the sport due to being born a male.

    Oh, poor little Karen, it's almost like you think you tied for first place.  But you didn't, did you?  No, you tied for fifth place.  Which means Lia's not the only woman that beat you.  Lia beat you by a-hundredth of a second but she's only one of the women who beat you, Riley.  Taylor Ruck came in first place.  Did she have an "unfair biological advantage" as well?  Isabel Ivey?  Kelly Pash?

    Lia is also much prettier than Riley.

    But then, Riley looks like she's on steroids.  That would explain her surprisingly flat chest.   Is she afraid that people in the stands that day thought she herself was the transgender athlete?

    Regardless, we don't have time for her living out her fears.  She's a loser.  An ugly loser and a sore loser. 

    And now the hate merchant is attacking Tristan Young.  This has nothing to do with athletics.  There was no physical competition.  But it's not about that.  It's about Riley's hate.  She's lied repeatedly and changed her stories over and over.  And we might have thought the sewer rat couldn't claw her way to any lower but now she's attacking a high school student.

    Do you get how outrageous that is and what a bully Riley Gaines is?

    Saturday, Molly Sprayregen (LGBTQ NATION) reported:


    Trans high school student Tristan Young has received an onslaught right-wing backlash after her peers at Kansas’s Oak Park High School voted to crown her homecoming queen.

    But Young won’t let the bigotry bring her down. She told The Kansas City Star that she’s not the kind of person to let people shut her down.

    “I like to stay strong. I don’t really buckle unless something is really wrong. Right now, what’s happening is people are trying to turn a joyous thing into something that I should regret. But it’s going to stay a joyous thing.”

    “Jesus says ‘Love thy neighbor.’ Love everyone as they are,” she added. “This is who I am… I’m proud of who I am. You can tear me down all you want. I’m not going to give back the crown.”

    For Young, the good outweighs the bad, and so it’s not worth harping on the haters.

    Good for her and shame on every adult that has followed this story and has refused to call out the bully that is Riley Gaines.  WTF indeed.

    But the media gave her a pass.  She is an adult and she chose to mock a teenager in high school.  She's a bully.  Stop pretending that she cares about anyone.  She's a transphobe.  There's no physical requirement for prom queen and the students voted the young woman prom queen.  It wasn't in Riley's city or school.  But the bully decided to mock the high school senior.  She's a bully.

    She's also ugly and trying to carpet that hair around that overly-big and boxy head doesn't make her look normal -- she still looks like the freak she is.  Maybe she tries to look that way for sympathy?  Somebody better tell her: God don't like ugly.

    Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) covers ugly Riley's caterwauling here.  Speaking of horrid hypocrites, Bridget Ziegler.  A letter to the editors of THE SARISOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE:

    So the holier-than-thou, book-banning Moms for Liberty co-founder who sits on the Sarasota County School Board engages in group sex.

    What am I missing? Bridget Ziegler should stay away from our kids and resign already! 

    That also goes for Ziegler’s position on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board the governor created to oversee governance of Walt Disney World. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her. Let’s see what he does.

    Her husband, Christian Ziegler, chair of the Florida Republican Party, is accused of sexual assault.

    I love how the Republicans constantly shoot themselves in the foot, preaching “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    Question:  Can school children say "Ziegler" in Florida.  I know that they can't say "gay" thanks to Ronald DeSantis, but can they say "Ziegler"?  And shouldn't her school board bio be updated?  "Noted bisexual Ziegler has served Florida . . ."  That sounds right, doesn't it?  Will we ever know for sure?

    If you're not getting what a liar, hypocrite and hate merchant the Mom for Bigotry is, let's note this from MSNBC>

    Last year, Ziegler was reelected to the school board with her term not coming to an end until 2026. School Board Member Tom Edwards officially called for Ziegler to step down on Tuesday.

    “Its not sustainable,” said Edwards.

    Edwards explained he is on the board to focus on student and academic achievement. He explained Ziegler has always been a distraction to the school board and the allegations against Christian is just the latest one.

    “I am not there to discuss the salaciousness of the Zieglers’ escapades. I am focused on other things, and I think our community wants us to be focused on other things. It’s obvious as long as she is on the school board, she will be a distraction,” said Edwards.

    Lisa Schurr, one of the co-founders for Support Our Schools, said Ziegler owes it to the public to resign with a full apology. Schur said Ziegler is a hypocrite.

    “She’s vilified the LGBTQ community, while at the same time having a sexual relationship with her husband and another woman. We don’t care who she has sexual relationships with. She’s a grown adult. The issue is, you can’t have a bisexual relationship and at the same time vilify the LGBTQ community,” said Schurr.

    Bridget and her friends attacked a man because he was gay and said vile things about him and all that time we now know Bridget was bi.


    At the hearing, Melissa Bakondy declared, "Mr Harris appears to be a lawbreaker and an LGBT groomer.  I am calling for an investigation into Mr Harris and the details surrounding his work from the inside to bring his woke agenda."  Love the wink Melissa gives Ziegler.  Is it supposed to mean, "You're hot and we're so going to get together."  Or maybe, "Nobody knows it but you and me and all the Moms For Bigotry are secret lovers in Pound Town."  Because Melissa is a Mom For Bigotry.  Someone needs to ask Melissa if she feels Ziegler is a groomer and, if so, what part of Melissa's body did Ziegler groom?  

    I’m late to the game on this one, but I simply couldn’t let pass without comment the last Sarasota County School Board meeting, during which a majority of the board members voted to eliminate the district’s Character Strong program while at the same time condoning a public character assassination of Tom Edwards, the one board member who dissented in that opinion. 

    Perhaps you read about the personal attack on Edwards by Melissa Bakondy, a former member of the conservative Moms for Liberty group and a regular meeting attendee who in the past fought student masking during COVID and applauded the firing of former Superintendent Brennan Asplen.

    Bakondy used her three minutes of public comment to deliver a homophobic tirade against Edwards that stopped just short of suggesting he was a pedophile and called on the board and Gov. Ron DeSantis to remove him as a “threat to the innocence of our children” and a “lawbreaker.” (DeSantis encouraged this by recently issuing a hit list of “woke” school board members statewide he wants out, including Edwards.) 

    The rant, bad enough in itself, was accentuated by Chair Bridget Ziegler’s refusal to interrupt it and her belated and cursory apology to Edwards, which focused more on her own discomfort than the offense given to him. 

    Melissa, are you comfortable with the graffiti around town calling you and Bridget "finger buddies" and "scissor sisters"?  They can't seem to paint over it fast enough.  You assassinated Edwards' character so I guess the graffiti can be seen as karma.  

    And let's not forget Sally Nista.  Sally, when Bridget hugged you, do you think she got a perverse thrill?  Do you think she thought of you while she was laying in bed at night?

    I read all through your thread -- all the hateful garbage you post and repost because you are trash. Strange though, not a word about your gal pal Bridget.  Reading Nista's Tweets, these people are crazy.  They are nuts.  Show them a black and white painting and they'll tell you it's brown.  The basic agreed upon facts in a democracy escape them.  And while they accuse other of destroying the country, they're language is pretty frightening.  Their stupidity is intense.  

    On Tuesday, another public commenter, Sally Nista, echoed comments made by Bakondy at the previous board meeting.

    “Interesting up until 45 minutes ago, nobody stated that what Melissa Bakondy stated at the last meeting was false. Tom Edwards is who he is, the fact that Melissa points out is what seems to be so upsetting. Why is it upsetting?” Nista asked. “Because what Tom stands for and what Tom wants to do to our children in this school district isn’t what a majority of what—.”

    Nista’s comments were interrupted by a crowd that started shouting. Sarasota School Board Chairwoman Bridget Ziegler told the crowd to let her finish speaking. This is when Edward walked out. Like Bakondy, Nista did not present any evidence to support her claims against Edwards.

    “I’m sorry I’m not going to sit here and allow this,” he said, according to the Sarasota County Democratic Party.

    The Sarasota County Democratic Party released a statement, saying Edwards was slandered, and that Ziegler allowed “an individual to sling homophobic slurs from the podium.”

    “Sally Nista took to the microphone to slander Edwards again. Nista, a local Republican activist openly affiliated with the Proud Boys, is a member of the Republican Party of Sarasota’s Executive Committee,” the release said.

    The following sites updated: