Friday, May 3, 2024

Nepo Baby Willow Smith's next stop is likely rehab

Why?  Because the woman's deluded.  And when you're that divorced from reality, a drug problem is on the horizon.

 The Los Angeles Times had nothing better to do so they profiled Willow.



We should probably start there, right?  She's a failed actress and a failed singer.  She's the daughter of the suss and cringe Jada Pinkett and Will Smith.  

Alexandra Del Rosario is the writer of the puff piece in which Willow wants the world to know that, at 23, she's driven even harder to prove herself to avoid the nepo baby label. 

Let me offer a definition of nepo baby:

Nepo baby, short for nepotism baby, is a term referring to celebrities whose parents have succeeded in the same careers. The implication is that, because their parents already had connections to an industry, the child was able to use those connections to build a career in that industry.


 She's the ultimate nepo baby.  She got all the breaks because of her parents.  And she's a nothing.  She's 23 and she's a nothing.  


The paper tries to pretend otherwise with sentences like this: 

Since "Whip My Hair," several of Willow's other hits, including "Emo Girl" and "Meet Me at Our Spot," have cracked Billboard's Hot 100 chart.  


"Whip My Hair" -- which she didn't write or produce -- was a hit  or 'hit' mainly because of promotion and novelty.  Her parents used their celebrity to promote it and to promote that their 9-year-old daughter had sung it.

 As hits go, it didn't chart that high.  It made it to number eleven for one week.  It did not go top ten.  She has never had a top ten song.  Her "other hits" -- LAT's term?  "Emo Girl went to number 77 and "Meet Me At our Spot" went to number 21.  She's never had a top ten hit.  And she's only had two top forty hits -- one at number 11 an done at number 21.  She's released 26 singles and only two cracked the top forty, none cracked the top ten.

Did you watch the TV show Coach?  That ABC sitcom ran for many years.  The female star of it would be Shelley Fabares.  Before Fabares co-starred in that show for nine seasons, she'd done a lot of other TV.  In the 70s, for example, she was Francine on One Day At A Time.  She also starred with Elvis Presley in three films.  She's done a lot of things.  But she first became famous on the sitcom The Donna Reed Show where she played Donna's daughter Mary for eight seasons.  

I bring Shelley up because she can be considered a singer.  While she was on The Donna Reed Show, "The Things We Did Last Summer" went to number 46 and "Johnny Loves Me" went to number 21.  But what nails her credit as a singer?  "Johnny Angel."  In April of 1962, "Johnny Angel" made it all the way to number one.

Number one.

Willow's considered a singer and a success and she's never had a top ten hit, let alone a number one hit.  Worse for her, that number 11 hit?  Her first single.  Everything else has bombed.

She's just released her sixth album and none have gone platinum (million selling) -- they have never even gone gold (half a million). 

She's a failure as a singer.  We all need to stop kidding and pretending and, most of all, that means her.

There's no career there.  You're 23 and you've recorded for for about 13 years.  It's going no where.  Stop fooling yourself.


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


Friday, May 3, 2024.  Looking back on the week and all the media abuse and lies.

Things do not always get noted.  This snapshot, for example, may or may not include Iraq's LGBTQ+ community.  The hope is it will.  That's been the hope for every one this week but hasn't happened because of other events taking place.  That is true also of the videos going up here throughout the day.

This week, the primary focus has (rightly, in my opinion) been on the students in the US under attack for demanding an end to genocide.   

As America’s liberal elites declare open warfare on their own kids, it’s easy to see why they’ve shown no empathy at all for the murdered, maimed and orphaned children of Gaza. Back-of-the-head shots to 8-year-olds seem like a legitimate thing to protest in about the most vociferous way possible…But, as Dylan once sang, maybe I’m too sensitive or else I’m getting soft.

So some things don't get noted.

There's also some things that will not be noted. 

Tavis Smiley?  

Love him.  He's a great guy.  I'd use the term "friend" easily.  I try to note his program whenever possible.  

Yesterday, he had Janine Jackson of FAIR on in the first hour and no problem there but the same hour he had on columnist which would normally be no problem either.  But Columnist apparently wants to disgrace himself like he did repeatedly in 2002 and 2003.  

Let's be really clear that I don't owe you anything.  You make a confession to me, you do it because you want to.  Columnist, you were guilty of journalistic crimes and you felt guilty and you unloaded to me.  Now I already knew your employer was human garbage.  I already knew that they LIED to attack Sheryl Crow because Sheryl had spoken out against the impending Iraq War.  

I'd already heard the excuses from the woman who wrote that fact-free attack because I'd cancelled my own interview with that woman.  When she was desperate to reschedule, I agreed to speak to her on the phone and off the record.  I explained to her that I wouldn't do the interview with her because she had flat out lied to work an attack on Sheryl Crow into her piece of garbage 'analysis.'  She wouldn't attack me, she swore, and it wasn't her fault and her bosses told her to work Sheryl into the article -- and an attack on her, no less -- and that what was she had to do, she had to make a living and she had to --


Just no.  

I've had hard times in my life.  I didn't use it as an excuse to lie about someone who wasn't harming anyone.  And if I had done it, I certainly wouldn't have whined about it afterwards and pretended I was the victim.

Now Sheryl can -- and often does -- annoy the hell out of me.  But she did not deserve to be attacked for any reason -- let alone for speaking out against the Iraq War.  And for the writer to invent an attack on her, to degrade her music with a lie?  

You crossed the line.  And not only did I refuse to be interviewed by you, I made sure my friends and representation got the word out on you.  I don't think that woman's a working journalist anymore.  And I say good to that.  Don't wish starvation on anyone but when you're taking part in baseless attacks on Sheryl   -- or anyone -- just because she had "PEACE" on her guitar strap as she performed on a TV broadcast, putting lies into print about her?  You're not a journalist and I'm not going to cry that you lost your career.

Their employer  -- her and the Columnist -- was among those who dictated a party line.  Management at that paper and many others were attacking various well known people.  (It ended right after the release of MONSTER-IN-LAW in 2005 but not soon enough to stop some of the attacks on Jane.  We called them out in real time.) 

So I mean, Columnist, do what you want.  And I'll be kind enough to focus on your female co-worker and not go into detail here about what you did and what you told me you did and how you regretted it.  I'll be that kind.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to use my space and time to promote you.  Last word on the issue here:  You should be ashamed of yourself for your attacks on the students -- you clearly learned nothing from the last time you whored big for the Iraq War.

 So I'm not going to post Tavis' video due to Columnist and I'm not going to promote Columnist by naming him.  I love Tavis so if you want go stream his show from yesterday and you can see who Columnist is. I'll make it easy for you, I was so shocked by Columnist's statements that I did leave a comment and it's the only comment there so that'll help you on the four videos -- one is the full show and then there are three more videos where they break each hour of Tavis' show up.  

But this person -- Columnist -- who whined to me about how he was forced to do this or that with regards to published writings on Iraq, who whined like a little baby and wanted absolution from me for what he'd done, is now attacking the protesters with lies?

My mouth dropped listening to Columnist's garbage presented as facts.

And it was clear that right now, he's doing what he wants and when he was cheerleading the Iraq War he was doing what he wanted.  He was doing it then and he's doing it now.  He's being led around by the ring in his nose.  He whores for his employers.  

In the prologue to Janis Ian's SOCIETY'S CHILD,, she writes about the suggestion that she drop race from the song "Society's Child." 

If Janis would drop race from the song, she was told, "I can guarantee you a number one record. Just change 'black' to anything else." Ian writes: "I thought about it for around two seconds; then our friend looked at me and said, 'You whore now, you'll whore forever.' Strong words for a fifteen-year-old to hear, but they made sense."

It's an important lesson and one that many people learn too late and that some never really learn.

Columnist is one person (whore) but you see so many others right now doing the same thing.  It's not by chance and it's not by accident.  They're trying to get us all in agreement on the latest big lie.  They dressed it up so much better in THE REPUBLIC.  These days, they don't even pretend it's a "noble" lie.

Back to Jeffrey St. Clair:

+ Here’s the political background to the police raids against antiwar students on campuses across the country this week, violent crackdowns that have Joe Biden’s fingerprints all over them: On Tuesday, Biden demonized the protesters as hate groups. On the same day 22 Democratic House members called for the students at Columbia to be cleared from the campus, this was followed by Chuck Schumer speaking on the floor of the Senate denouncing the occupation of Hind Hall as an act of terrorism. Then the NYPD did its vicious nightwork at Columbia and CCNY. On Wednesday morning, the Biden White House compared these brave students–from Columbia to UCLA, Indiana to Texas–to the white power tiki torch thugs at Charlottesville. On Thursday, Biden gave a speech that would have condemned the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement, women’s movement, Native American Rights movement, anti-Vietnam War movement, Stonewall, anti-apartheid movement, BLM and the labor movement he claims to venerate (not to mention the Boston Tea Party) as outside the American tradition of free speech. Biden is the author of the most repressive crime laws in the history of a nation whose statutes are full of repressive crime laws. He hasn’t changed. In fact, he’s gotten worse as his brain demyelinates and his grip on power becomes more and more tenuous.

+ In contrast to Biden’s reactionary blandishments of the antiwar movement, here are the words of the most successful progressive leader in the US today, Shawn Fain, head of the UAW:

The UAW will never support the mass arrest or intimidation of those exercising their right to protest, strike, or speak out against injustice. Our union has been calling for a ceasefire for six months. This war is wrong, and this response against students and academic workers, many of them UAW members, is wrong. We call on the powers that be to release the students and employees who have been arrested, and if you can’t take the outcry, stop supporting the war.

Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden gave a speech from the Oval Office backing the violent suppression of protests against the US-Israeli genocide in Gaza by police forces throughout the country. “Order must prevail,” Biden said.

Without citing a single example, Biden asserted that the mass nationwide peaceful protests by millions of people were violent and antisemitic.

Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It’s against the law, vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations. None of this is a peaceful protest, threatening people, intimidating people. Instilling fear in people is not peaceful protest. It’s against the law.

In fact, the violence that has taken place has been directed against the protesters.

Biden was speaking only hours after a huge force of police, including California state troopers dispatched by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, swooped down on the UCLA campus and arrested or dispersed the protesters who were camped there. On Tuesday night, a group of Zionist thugs, armed with clubs and firecrackers, assaulted the encampment when most of the protesters were asleep, while police stood by and gave them free rein.

New York City police carried out similar attacks, arresting nearly 300 students and supporters at Columbia University and City College of New York. There were also mass arrests at Dartmouth, the University of Wisconsin, Portland State University in Oregon and other colleges.

Biden’s reference to the “cancellation of classes and graduations” is particularly rich, given that it is administrators who have cancelled classes and graduations as part of the effort to suppress and shut down protests. 

For more WSWS coverage on this issue, you can refer to:

What about The Holy Trinity of Cowards?  Last Friday, we noted how no writers for THE NATION, IN THESE TIMES or THE PROGRESSIVE were tackling the subject.  

Did any of them get over their laryngitis this week?


IN THESE TIMES?  They've published article this week . . . just none on the student protests.  But, hey, they did a poem on Gaza back in December and doesn't that count for something?  Can't we instead just excuse away their silence on this issue and applaud the useless garbage that they've published this week?  Can't we?  (Maybe you can, I won't.)  

THE PROGRESSIVE?  This week, they've published Stephen Zunes' "The Crackdown on Campus Protests Is a Bipartisan Strategy to Repress Pro-Palestine Speech" and Hank Kalet and Sean T. Mitchell's "The Crackdown on Campus Protests Is a Bipartisan Strategy to Repress Pro-Palestine Speech."  This will probably come off bitchy though it's not intended as such, but that is a lot for them.  They don't publish much online to begin with.  

THE NATION?  Mike's noted them twice this week (here and here). Today, on the home page, they've got Nicholas Nicrchos' "The Police Take City College,"  Alyssa Oursler and Anna Dalcortivo's "The Abolitionist Roots of Anti-War Encampments," Alyssa and Anna's "The Abolitionist Roots of Anti-War Encampments," Lara Nour-Walton's "Why Students at Columbia University Are Occupying Hamilton Hall" and Owen Dahlkamp's "Students at Brown Just Secured a Vote on Divestment. What Happens Next?."

So The Holy Trinity of Cowards dropped from three to one. 


We don't have time to mention everyone who has done a strong job and I'm sorry but this snapshot's going to be long enough as it is.  However,  I do want to again note FAIR.  Their continued coverage this week includes Janine Jackson's "‘This Weaponization Is Meant to Shift Focus Away From Gaza’: CounterSpin interview with Sam on Students for Justice in Palestine" and Jim Naureckas'  "Divestment Can’t Work, Media Tell Protesters—Even Though It Has."

Remember, decades from now, when IN THESE TIMES tries to pretend they were brave, they weren't.  What IN THESE TIMES couldn't and wouldn't cover (while pretending to be left and for the working class) Ann Vettikkal (COLUMBIA SPECTATOR) could and did:

   When University President Minouche Shafik authorized the New York Police Department to move into the east side of South Lawn on April 18, hundreds of Columbia students watched from behind the fenced perimeter as protesters sat in two concentric circles, arms linked. In the outside circle, protesters faced the crowd, media, and police; on the inside, shielded from view, protesters faced each other, singing and crying together as they watched police arrest their colleagues one by one.

By the time the NYPD arrived on the lawn, the protesters, who had expected sweeps since setting up the encampment early April 17, had planned for possible arrests, and assembled quickly into their circles. Protesters had promised not to budge until their demands were met: financial transparency and divestment from Israel. The demands also noted that, at the time the encampment began, Gaza’s health ministry reported that the Palestinian death toll was over 30,000.

Arrested protesters told The Eye that the formation was intentionally stratified. Those sitting in the outer circle were mostly white or deemed themselves to have “greater privilege.” Protesters who opted for the inner circle considered themselves to be at greater risk—people of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities. Khanh, a Columbia student who spoke to The Eye on the condition of anonymity citing safety concerns, said that choosing to sit in either circle was a personal choice; no one wanted to “police anyone.”

Police gave each of the sitting protesters a tap on the shoulder, signaling it was their time to stand up and put their hands behind their back. It was a strangely slow process, giving the protesters time to sing part of a song, barely audible amidst the yells and chants of spectators in protest of the arrests. Students in the inner circle told me they didn’t realize how many eyes were on them until they stood up.

“I just felt incredibly safe, not necessarily because of anything Columbia related, but because of how my community was making me safe,” Khanh said about being in the inner circle at the moment of arrest. “Like literally by insulating me and my other community members.”

As encampments spread across the world, outside media coverage—notably an April 19 New York Post article centering protesters with “multimillion-dollar mansions” and “wealthy and powerful families”—have painted a picture of a majority white and wealthy group of Columbia students who were arrested on April 18. When House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who encouraged further arrests and suspensions of pro-Palestinian protesters, visited Columbia for a press conference on Low Steps, he told students to “stop wasting your parents’ money.” The effect of such coverage has not only doxxed certain individuals, but it has also failed to adequately represent the protesters’ intentions, especially those in the inner circle.

In order to better understand the community that formed the original encampment—one that would inspire a global movement—The Eye sent a survey about “class positionality” in a private group chat of arrested students. Created to connect arrested students, the chat is only accessible via invitation and is now used by arrested students to support one another with activities like healing circles and discussing financial and legal support. With 37 responses, the surveyed students describe a more complex picture of those arrested on April 18. 

Here’s how some individuals responded when asked about the suspension’s financial and material impacts:

“I am a student on full financial aid — I rely on Barnard’s support for almost all of my resources. … My family also lives 7,000 miles away so I don’t have an alternative place to live and had to rely on goodwill community housing after leaving my dorm. … Additionally, my personal belongings were lost at the encampment after being mishandled, so I have to purchase replacements.”

“I am one of the very few arrested that isn’t a Columbia student- I am a Pakistani Muslim community member. If I was an active Columbia student, I would absolutely be dependent on financial aid to be able to attend.”

“I was forced to choose between going to my off campus job or housing. I chose my job so was evicted from campus housing. I am also a TA for a Barnard class and am unable to go to class in person, therefore unable to work.”

“I am a student who got my GED, grew up homeless, and grew up in the social services system. I relied on my work study to supplement my income.”

Students have shown so much bravery and have risked a lot to try to end a genocide.  It's a shame that the media has largely attempted to either discredit them or ignore them.

LEFTIS MEDIA did their Thursday night broadcast and drove home (in the video below) just how many liars are on television and heavily vested in the big lie that the students were the problem.

From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: As we broadcast this morning, Los Angeles police in riot gear are dismantling a pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA’s campus, after hundreds of police used flashbang grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas in a faceoff with protesters who chanted, “We are not leaving. You don’t scare us.”

PROTESTERS: You don’t scare us! We’re not leaving!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: The police raid at UCLA came a day after pro-Israel counterprotesters attacked the encampment with fireworks, metal rods and tear gas for hours late Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning. At least 15 people were injured.

This is how UCLA’s student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, described the violence instigated by counterprotesters in an editorial: quote, “It began with ear-piercing screams of wailing babies loudly emitting from speakers. Counter-protesters tearing down the barricades. Laser pointers flashing into the encampment. People in masks waving strobe lights. Tear gas. Pepper spray. Violent beatings. Fireworks sparked at the border of the encampment, raining down on tents and the individuals inside,” the Daily Bruin wrote.

The editorial noted Los Angeles police did not arrive until slightly after 1 a.m. Meanwhile, around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, four UCLA student journalists were attacked by the pro-Israel counterprotesters on campus. One of the journalists was treated for injuries at the hospital and has since been released. There were no arrests after Tuesday night’s attack. Wednesday’s classes were canceled.

The Daily Bruin’s editorial ended with a question: quote, “Will someone have to die on our campus tonight for you to intervene, Gene Block? The blood would be on your hands.”

AMY GOODMAN: University of California President Michael Drake and the UCLA Chancellor Gene Block have launched an investigation into what California Governor Gavin Newsom condemned as the, quote, “limited and delayed campus law enforcement response,” unquote. Meanwhile, the campus police union issued a statement that, quote, “the decisions regarding the response of the UC Police rest firmly in the hands of campus leadership.”

For more, we’re joined by three guests. Shaanth Kodialam Nanguneri is a senior staff writer for the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper. They are one of the four reporters who were attacked. Mel Buer is a staff reporter for The Real News Network. She was at the Gaza solidarity encampment Tuesday night when counterprotesters violently attacked it for several hours. And Gaye Theresa Johnson is an associate professor of African American studies and Chicana/Chicano studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA. She writes and teaches on race and racism, cultural history, spatial politics and political economy, a member of UCLA’s chapter of Faculty for Justice in Palestine, which has called on UCLA faculty to refuse university labor today, the day after May Day, quote, “in protest of the university administration’s egregious failure to protect the student protest encampment from attacks by self-professed and proudly Zionist mobs coming to campus every night to enact violence,” unquote.

Welcome to all of you. We want to begin with Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson. Before we get into the horrifying details of the attack on the Gaza encampment, if you can explain why you are withholding work today and the overall context of how UCLA is dealing with this protest encampment, and why the issue, so often not talked about in the corporate media, of why the Gaza encampment exists?

GAYE THERESA JOHNSON: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on.

We are so inspired by our students today. We are refusing our labor to the University of California, Los Angeles because we know that the conditions under which they were arrested, the conditions upon — the conditions that they were subjected to night before last with the counterprotesters, the violence that they have endured night after night after night, the complaints that they have lodged and that have been ignored by the university administration, all of the ways in which they were failed by the university administration, those are also our work conditions. And until our students are supported, we will also be stopping work.

The necessity for the camp was, I mean, what is going on in Gaza, what is happening here in the United States is linked. And these students, who have done so much study and who have done so much organizing, are clear about the connections between U.S. racism and international imperialism, and they are so clear about their role and purpose in this movement. So many of them have now been politicized, and this will not stop just because of tonight.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Shaanth, if you could explain? You were one of four journalists who was attacked. Tell us what happened.

SHAANTH KODIALAM NANGUNERI: Walking back from that protest where a group of pro-Israel counterprotesters had stormed and seized upon the encampment on campus at Dickson Plaza and near Powell Library, and me and three other journalists —

AMY GOODMAN: Shaanth, if you could speak as loud as you possibly can? We’re hearing — and come closer, yes, to your computer. And also, you’re describing what happened. Tell us what night, about what time it was, you with your four Daily Bruin — the three other Daily Bruin reporters.

SHAANTH KODIALAM NANGUNERI: Yeah, it was about, I want to say, 2 or 3 a.m. It was really late. We had all spent hours being out there on the field reporting, sending messages to our editors, really scared about the scenes that we were seeing on campus towards the protesters in the encampment, the level of violence and vitriol that was in the air. We had documented reporters hearing things like racial epithets. I personally witnessed a counterprotester slam a wooden slab onto an individual who had her hands on the barricade of the encampment and smashing her fingers, and listening to her scream and watching how that changed the environment. And many more harrowing scenes have been discussed by students on this campus, but —

AMY GOODMAN: And who were these people?

SHAANTH KODIALAM NANGUNERI: Yeah, we have been trying our best to be accurate about that. And I think in a Los Angeles Times article, my colleague talks about being attacked by one of these pro-Israel counterprotesters and how they have known who we are on campus. And they know that we report on these issues, and sometimes they know our faces.

And when we were leaving and were vulnerable and were in a small group, we were encircled and attacked. And they started shining lights in our face, spraying us with very strong irritants, circling in particular one of my colleagues and physically harassing and assaulting her. And by the time I had finally managed to help get three of us out of there, we found one of us had turned back. And by the time we had looked back around, they were on the ground being violently assaulted. And we were trying our best, as we ran back screaming their name, to pull them out of that fight, pull them out of the ground, pull people off of them. And we were begging while they were flashing [inaudible] —

AMY GOODMAN: And this was Catherine Hamilton, who was hospitalized?


AMY GOODMAN: How were they beating her?

SHAANTH KODIALAM NANGUNERI: You know, it was a very, very quick scene. I know she got hurt in the stomach. And I know that initially we had been — we had had so much tear gas in our eyes already from the protest that by the end of it, it was just hard to walk back. It was hard to make it back.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Shaanth, could you explain? I know that you said people are being careful about trying to talk about who the counterprotesters are, but could you tell us what you know? Were most of them not students? Were they students? If you could explain what you know?

SHAANTH KODIALAM NANGUNERI: Yeah, I mean, we do see students on, you know, rallies supporting pro-Israel groups. We have a pro-Israel group for Jewish faculty. And they themselves have actually distanced themselves from this behavior. But we do see a lot of non-UCLA students coming onto campus and sparking a lot of these controversies that end up going viral online and on social media and that do require deep, thorough reporting that goes beyond the kind of outrage bait that unfortunately fuels a lot of the conversations.

AMY GOODMAN: Where were the police? Where was security as this attack went on?

SHAANTH KODIALAM NANGUNERI: They were nowhere to be found. We actually walked up to a few campus security afterwards asking for help, as one of my peers was crying and having a breakdown, and I was trying help the other two, as well. And they were not able to help us with anything. They didn’t know what to do. And, in fact, we had documented that campus security, when faced with threats — these are private security guards handled by the campus, before the actual police had even come on campus — they would run away when they — or hide in buildings, and deny reporters access to those buildings, when they were afraid of what they saw on the scene and on the site when they got too violent.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Mel, you were there reporting on what happened. Could you describe where you were and what you witnessed?

MEL BUER: Yeah. So, myself and another reporter showed up around 10 p.m. We found ourselves on a side barricade next to Royce Hall. And we had a pretty good vantage point of the two sets of barricades that were separated by a sidewalk, prior to the confrontation happening.

Around 10:30 or 10:45, there was some sort of altercation, some sort of argument between the private security and the pro-Israel counterprotesters. And they very quickly dismantled the barricades and began ripping flags down from the Gaza encampment, pulling barricades apart, trying to rip apart the wooden barricades behind the metal ones that were installed there. And that continued for about three, four hours. It was a chaos, very scary, very quickly.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, it’s fascinating that the corporate media is describing this as just clashes between two different groups, the pro-Palestine groups and the pro-Israel groups. Mel, from your perspective — you’re a reporter with The Real News Network — what we’re hearing here is an assault by one group on the encampment.

MEL BUER: Right. You know, I’ve been to the UCLA encampment on the first day, when they were setting up. And from the jump, there have been individuals who have tried to agitate these demonstrators, these students. They’ve tried to get a rise out of them. They’ve tried to provoke some sort of violent reaction. And, you know, to their serious credit, these disciplined students have spent a lot of time and energy and effort not responding to that, or trying to deescalate situations, trying to keep each other safe, trying to keep the integrity of the encampment safe, because the point is not to get into an argument with counterprotesters, right? The point is to continue to pressure UCLA to divest from the various relationships that they have with Israel and to boycott these programs that are funding an occupation and a genocide.

So, to see what happened the other night was, essentially, these counterprotesters, many of them riled up and angry and throwing slurs over the fences, getting a chance to try and rip their way into the encampment. And this had been — tensions had been growing for multiple days, right? This was not the first instance of violence where pro-Israel counterprotesters were knocking over students, were trying to provoke fights. Some fights broke out even two nights before. So, from my assessment, as I was there, these groups, this giant group, probably 150, 200 or so counterprotesters — some of the were university age, some of them were much older and did not appear to be UCLA students — launching assaults on this barricade. And, you know, this was consistent for many hours. The bear mace was in the air. I mean, you know, I witnessed a lot of folks getting bludgeoned by parts of the barricades, by wooden sticks, batons, whatever they could bring. And that was a constant for the four-and-a-half, five hours that I was there.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Professor Gaye Theresa Johnson, if you could describe what you know is happening right now on campus at UCLA, and what the response of the administration has been to the encampment since it went up?

GAYE THERESA JOHNSON: This is something that so many of us feel disgusted by. We are — many of the faculty who I spoke to, as late as just about 45 minutes ago, were feeling shocked. They were feeling so disillusioned by the response of the university. This is a university administration that has for weeks, for months equivocated the experience of people who are proclaimed Zionists to those Muslim students who have been doxxed and harassed every day, and faculty, as well.

And so, this is a situation in which students have been subjected by the university to a complete negation of their experience, not only here at UCLA, but across the world, the idea that there are, as Amy said earlier, clashes between protesters or that there are fights that are breaking out between these two people. We’re talking about a nonviolent protest. We’re talking about students who have been organizing for months, who are trained, have taken it upon themselves to educate themselves on tactics of nonviolence, and the incredible and brave way in which they defended themselves all of these nights. But, of course, in the culminating violence of night before last, and then, of course, of the violence of this night, as well, as they’ve been gassed, flashbangs that have been set off by the LAPD, and it’s just been incredible, the way that they have responded in the face of the gaslighting that the university has done against them. They are just — they have just done such an incredible and brave job.

And many of us, while we are shocked, we are also understanding, as faculty, that thousands and thousands of students across the nation, across the world have been politicized today, and there is no way, just because the LAPD and UCLA have mandated the dispersal of these students, that this is the end. It is only the beginning, because there are so many people now who understand that this is a movement. And it cannot be unseen. It cannot be put back in the box.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And finally, if you could explain: Where do negotiations stand? Has the administration been speaking with students about their demands that UCLA divest from Israel?

GAYE THERESA JOHNSON: The other day, the university offered the students three options. One was negotiations, which we saw yesterday there was no negotiation. There was an offer of absolutely nothing. Students had demands that were completely ignored, that wasn’t even in the discussion once administrators came to the camp. They were offered absolutely nothing.

The second option was to continue in a sort of long-term action with encampment. But it wasn’t a real, legitimate choice that the university was giving these students, because they were going to make them adhere to policies that they call time, place and manner that would have evicted them from the encampment and forced them into other places that would have been completely ineffective as far as protest and visibility.

And the third action that administrators — third choice that they gave students was police action. And they said, you know, “If you don’t take the first two,” — which were, in effect, completely false — “then we will assume that you want the police action.”

And in the end, they didn’t care. They didn’t ask what students wanted yesterday. They just simply went into what was already scheduled, what was already planned, which, one, I will say, many of us think that it’s almost as if, like, we’ve seen this many times over history — in Katrina, for example, in New Orleans, where politicians said, “Let the hurricane do for New Orleans what we couldn’t do.” This was the same thing that was echoing for us as we watched these counterprotesters so violently attack our students, is the “We’ll just sit back and let that happen instead.”

And the irony of these counterprotesters attacking these vulnerable students, who are also incredibly strong and brave and organized, in an enclosed space, the analogy that we can make to what’s happening in Gaza is obviously lost on all of these counterprotesters. They have no regard for the lives, just as the UCLA administration. People could have died the night before last and this night, as well. And these are the conditions under which students are trying to enact free speech.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Gaye Theresa Johnson, I want to thank you for being with us, UCLA professor of African American studies and Chicana/Chicano studies. We also want to thank Mel Buer of The Real News Network and Shaanth Kodialam Nanguneri. Shaanth is one of four reporters, a senior reporter, with the Daily Bruin, the UCLA paper, who was attacked by the counterprotesters.

Coming up, we’ll speak to the former president of Brandeis University, founded by the American Jewish community in the wake of the Holocaust. What he says about today’s student protests may surprise you. Back in 20 seconds.

This morning, THE NATIONAL reports:

Turkey has confirmed it will stop all trade with Israel until the country allows humanitarian aid to flow uninterrupted into Gaza.

The decision expands on a move announced in April to restrict some Turkish exports to Israel due to the “worsening humanitarian tragedy in Palestine”, Turkey's Trade Ministry said on Thursday.

It said efforts were under way to ensure that Palestinians were not adversely affected.

The pause took effect on Thursday, sources told Bloomberg.

“The second phase of the measures taken at the state level has been started, and export and import transactions related to Israel have been suspended to cover all products,” the ministry said.

“Turkey will firmly and decisively implement these new measures until the government of Israel allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

And ALJAZEERA reports:

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, has released stark figures showing the extensive toll that Israel’s war on Gaza has taken on Palestinian women.

Since October 7, more than 10,000 women have been killed in the besieged and bombarded territory, while 19,000 others have been wounded. Many of the victims are mothers, meaning that an average of 37 children are losing their mothers every day, according to UNRWA.

The desperate humanitarian conditions in Gaza are also stopping pregnant or breastfeeding women from getting the nutrition or sanitation supplies they need. Currently, 155,000 of these women have “severely limited access” to water and sanitation, the agency said.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 210 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   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."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  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."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "At least 34,622 Palestinians have been killed and 77,867 injured since Israel's war on Gaza began on October 7, health authorities in the enclave said. In the past 24 hours, 26 people were killed and 51 injured, the ministry added."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

As for 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."

Lastly, Esha Karam and Shea Vance (COLUMBIA SPECTATOR) report:

 The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened an investigation into Columbia on Thursday following a complaint filed by Palestine Legal alleging a pattern of anti-Palestinian discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The investigation is the third that the department has opened into Columbia since November 2023.

Spectator obtained a copy of the letter sent from the Department of Education to Palestine Legal attorneys, which confirmed that the department will investigate whether Columbia “responded in a manner consistent with the requirements of Title VI to alleged harassment,” “violated Title VI by engaging in disparate treatment,” or “violated Title VI by engaging in retaliation” of Palestinian affiliates.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Puppy killer Kristi Noem also kills horses



That's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS  "This is CNN?" and it went up yesterday. And I looked the guy up and he does look like one of the guys in Kid 'N Play.  Perfect call!  

Now for a topic we noted earlier this week in "Kristi Dog Killer Noem" which also noted this:

That's the group post on Noem that Wally, Betty, Isaiah, C.I., Cedric and I did Monday night on killer Kristi Noem.  

When the news of Kristi Noem shooting her puppy -- dead, shooting it dead, and on purpose, not an accident -- emerged, I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before Mitt Romney weighed in.  The former governor and current US senator was in the news constantly in 2012 due to his dog Seamus.  Sarah Fortensky (THE HILL) reports:

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) pushed back on comparisons between the politically damaging dog stories that plagued both his and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) potential bids for the White House.

During Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, a decades-old story about him tying his dog Seamus to the roof of his car on a family road trip became a political headache for the then-Republican candidate for the White House.

Now, more than a decade later, Noem faces a similar political firestorm that could doom her chances of being selected as former President Trump’s running mate in 2024. But Romney rejected the correlation.

“I didn’t eat my dog. I didn’t shoot my dog,” Romney said Tuesday in an interview with HuffPost. “I loved my dog, and my dog loved me.”

During his presidential campaign, the outgoing senator defended his decision to strap his dog’s kennel to the roof of his car during a 12-hour road trip to Canada in 1983, despite the Irish setter suffering from diarrhea.

“This is a completely airtight kennel and mounted on the top of our car,” Romney told Fox News at the time. “He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home, a great deal of time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable, and we had five kids inside the car.”

I am offended by a dog being in a kennel strapped to the top of a car for 12 hours.  I am offended by it.  I wouldn't do that to my dog.  But he is right that it is not the same as shooting a dog.  I'm sure many families that travel with pets would have done what Mitt did.  And, again, it is not the same as killing the dog.

I don't know how Noem has not been charged in this yet.  She shot a puppy.  Intending to kill it.  And she did.

She thinks it's a sign that she make tough decisions.

We can go through PolitFact's nonsense if anyone wants to but I'm noting them just for this:

Noem answered her critics in an April 26 X post, sharing the Guardian article and writing, "We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm. Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years."

Again, I think their 'findings' are wrong and can go into that but I'm just noting them, PolitiFact, for the above. So she's shot dead a goat and a puppy.  Now she's bragging she put down 3 horses?  Does no one see this woman as a sicko?

I grew up with horses.  In fact, three.  Simaron, Leige and Moore (registered quarter horses -- which explains the spelling of the names, by the way -- we bought Moore and she was already named -- we spelled the other two that way to be able to register them).  Moore was the mother of the other two.  My point?  Moore died first, natural causes.  Leige was next, probably three years later, and died at the age of ten due to a disease that made his lungs fill with liquid -- I remember my dad having to stand out there with the vet putting a hose through Leige's nose and down on inside him and my dad had to wait out there for all the liquid to drain.  This was taking place once a week.  Then it became twice a week and then the vet said it wasn't worth it to Leige because it was going to be daily since he wasn't getting better.  So Leige was put down.  Simaron is still around, alive and kicking.

But here's my thing.  A few weeks ago?  She put down a horse?  Okay, maybe the horse was sick.  Three horses?

Seems like she just hates animals. 

If I'd gone to school and told my classmates, we put down three horses yesterday, they would have looked at me like, "Huh?"  I don't care if she had 10 horses or 20.  Putting three down a few weeks ago is not normal.  Did they get sleeping sickness?  If they were sick and it was something else is it her responsibility as the owner?  By that I mean, were those horses not taken proper care of and as a result they got sick?  (Sleeping sickness usually comes from a mosquito bite.  Clearly, that's not her fault if they had something like that.  But there are diseases horses get that are preventable and that's why I'm asking if the horses were properly cared for.) 

I grew up with animals.  They do get sick.  We never shot an animal dead.  We weren't cheap like Noem is.  We dealt with death in a humane and loving manner.

In the PolitiFact nonsense, someone says that it may have been legal because the law allows them to kill a dog because it was attacking chickens.  No, it had attacked chickens.  She brags about a second location -- remember John Mulaney's joke about second locations -- where she took the dog and killed it.  It was no longer attacking.  More to the point, a fourteen year old puppy is going to attack chickens and she's the one responsible because she's got the dog in the back of a truck and stops to chat with someone when the puppy sees the chickens and hops out and goes after them.

So maybe she should have gone alone to "the gravel pit" and shot herself.  

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


Thursday, May 2, 2024.  The attacks on students in the US continue and are cheered on by the likes of Donald Trump and MORNING JOE.

We have to start with the political crazy first since US politicians and their insanity are at the heart of so many problems around the world..  Robert Kennedy Junior is back in the news as he makes a fool of himself yet again.  The presidential election is in November. And Junior wants to play LET'S MAKE A DEAL: CELEBRITY EDITION with Joe Biden.   USA TODAY's Rachel Barber reports that Junior has a plan.  So, right away, we all know it's crackpot and insane.  Barber explains:

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. proposed to take a "no-spoiler" pledge with President Joe Biden at a campaign event in New York Wednesday, as he feuds with former President Donald Trump.

The pledge, as he laid out, would have Kennedy and Biden co-fund a 50-state poll of more than 30,000 people in mid-October that would pit each of them against Trump in a two-man race and agreeing to drop out of the presidential race if they lose.
After presenting results from a campaign-commissioned poll that showed scenarios where he could win against both Biden and Trump in separate head-to-head races, Kennedy alleged Biden is the "spoiler" in the race, not him.

There is so much that is wrong with that.  It's difficult to know where to start.  

Let's say Joe was as crazy as Junior and agreed to that, okay?

Legally, Joe could announce he was out if he came in second to Junior.

That would not drop to a two-person race -- Junior versus Donald.  The Democratic Party would find another nominee.  The same is true if Joe dropped dead tomorrow or next week decided he was finally sick of politics and dropped out.  Joe can leave at anytime he wants; however, the Democratic Party retains a spot on the ballot.  Remember that, they retain a spot on the ballot.  And, yes, the party would fill that spot.

This is not complex.  We're not getting into the weeds of Constitutional law with this.  It's basic.  And Junior's an attorney, remember that.  So we might be wasting our time on another cheap publicity stunt from an aged carny barker.  But let's just continue this for a bit more.  In the nutso world Junior lives in, if Joe were to accept this challenge and the Democratic Party were to waive any objections, the deal would still make no sense.

Junior's claiming voters will turn out for him.  He can claim that all he wants.  But there's no proof of that.  Even in the polling, he's not ahead of Joe Biden.  But more to the point, he's never been in an election.  Well the Libertarian Party's California primary.  I guess we can count that.  96 votes were cast and he was the big high profile name.  How many votes did he get?  

45?  That would have been a good showing.  But, no, he didn't get forty-five or forty or thirty-five or . . .

One.  Out of 96 votes cast, he got one vote.


People say a lot -- especially months ahead of an election.  Doesn't translate into actual votes all the time.  He has never faced an election before so this notion that Joe's his spoiler is laughable.

Equally true, ballot access.  Joe Biden cannot give Junior's his own ballot access.  That's not Joe's to give.  The Democratic Party appears on those ballots because they met all the requirements.  


The only thing tinier than his penis may be his ballot access.   According to his campaign, he has qualified for ballot access in the states of . . . New Hampshire, Michigan and California.   That would be great . . . if the United States only had 3 states.  Yesterday, there was an article about Junior's efforts to get on the ballot in Texas and how time was running out.  Time may not be his only problem.  For example?  I hope the people mentioned did not sign the petition because more than one is not registered to vote.  That's not registered in Montgomery County or Harris County,  I'll forward the names to a friend at the DNC.  Oh well, he doesn't need valid signatures from registered voters to be a write-in.  His name won't be on the ballot but he can be a write-in.  As long as he gets that paperwork filed and accepted by the end of August.

The joke that is Junior.

 Remember how at the start of April, Junior was insisting that Joe was a bigger threat to democracy than Donald?  Yet now, he's insisting he wants some sort of dance-off between himself and Joe?

Crazy men and crazy women -- as Stevie Nicks sings.  And you can't talk crazy for very long before the name Donald Trump pops up.  This will actually lead us into Gaza.  Jacob Miller (TRENDY DIGEST) reports:

Donald Trump has recently drawn a provocative comparison between Columbia University student protests and the violent January 6 Capitol riot, suggesting a disparity in the treatment of left-wing versus right-wing demonstrators. His remarks arrive while he navigates multiple felony charges and amid his pursuit to recapture the presidency, amplifying his long-standing narrative of political victimization.

Speaking outside a Manhattan courtroom, Trump emphasized the scale of the campus unrest, stating, “They took over a building. That is a big deal.” He then pondered whether the students would “be anything comparable to what happened to J6,” referring to the Capitol riot perpetrators as victims of an unfair justice system. This juxtaposition comes despite the Columbia protests—centered on pro-Palestinian sentiments and demanding a ceasefire and university divestment from Israel—not posing the same threat to democracy as the Capitol riot, which aimed to overturn the 2020 election results.

There is a world of difference between peaceful protests and the attempted insurrection on January 6, 2021.  

And for any drive-by whiners, I'm not in the mood.

I don't like Donald Trump.  I have never liked him.  (I don't think he likes me either -- yet if we were in the same room, I'd have to walk away from him because, based on previous experiences, he would attempt to talk to me and I don't talk to people like that.)  That was known online years and years before he ran for president.  Because I don't like him, I try to make very sure I'm fair to him.

What this has to do with insurrection?

I didn't rush to screaming the t-word (that carries the death penalty) or rush to judgement.  I did not label it an insurrection at the start.  I said it was a rebellion for sure but that further evidence would be required to call it an insurrection.  I think Congress did a horrible job in their impeachment.  They were too worried about selling and marketing and not at all bothered by the actual laws -- some of which they didn't even cite -- that Donald Trump broke.  It was not until the cases in various states resulted in prosecutors making arguments and presenting evidence that I was comfortable using the term insurrection.

That's what it was.  It was an attempted insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government.  And I waited until I had something more than the word of Adam Schiff (who I'll apparently be voting for since mafia queen Nancy Pelosi gave him her stamp of approval) was presented as evidence.

The mob was supposed to attack the halls of Congress.  It did.  Shame on everyone of them and they should all face lengthy prison sentences and be thankful for those sentences because they could have been put to death.  

The attack was supposed to create a panic among the public.  

This might be confusing to some.  It's not hard to instill a panic in the American people.  FOX "NEWS" instills a panic in their viewers pretty much daily.  But if you can remember 2000, think back to the election that year.  There was more than enough time for a real recount.  But the media began the hysteria -- that's the corporate media and not just FOX "NEWS" -- some of that was due to the need for drama because without drama you don't have a newscast.  

But they were hoping for something similar. 

Which is another reason I didn't join in on all the "OMG!!!!  The country is falling apart!!!!" Or because I'm cold person, you can say that.  As I noted and stressed during that, the system held.  That's the message you need to put out repeatedly during times of crisis.  And you'll rarely ever hear propagandists who use fear to influence people make that statement.

But the hysteria was supposed to build -- ideally on that same day -- and this would force 'action.'  Which means this would force compromise and, I'm sorry, maybe you're new to this country but when they say "compromise" they really mean: Democrats fold.

The hysteria was supposed to result in Donald getting a second term as president.

Of course, it's a criminal offense.  No, there is no immunity from it and that will be true even if the crooks on the Supreme Court break the law again to give Donald what he wants.  There is no immunity for anyone -- let alone a sitting president -- attempting a coup against the nation.


There's not.

The students across America have not launched a coup against the United States.  And if some idiot's screaming "insurrectionist!" at them, I'm worried not only about the idiot's grasp of reality but also about their loyalty because Israel is not our government in the US.  Now maybe you've got some divided loyalties like Dana Bash on CNN (as evidenced by her participation in roundtables where she fails to disclose as required and where she repeats obvious lies).  Could be.  But students in the US protesting Israel are not attempting an insurrection.

Possibly all those years of bad hair dye have resulted in chemical damage to Donald Trump's brain.  Or are we all pretending that 77-year-old man has naturally strawberry blond hair at his age?  

They were peaceful protests and they were not attempting to destroy democracy.  They were an example of a living democracy.  Do not confuse nor conflate them with the attempt to overturn an election and carry out a coup against the United States.   

And as Kyle noted on yesterday's SECULAR TALK, the MORNING JOE squad was echoing Donald.

Oh, look, it's the raccoon eyed Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski Scarborough.  You know, who looks at you and asks, "What the hell is going on?" Mika?  The whole educated world knows your trash bag father started the Afghanistan War with the ha-ha of dragging Russia into it and we all know how that ended in the 21st century.  Your trash bag father who was a joke and an idiot and Jody Powell used to laugh about him -- as did pretty much anyone who ever encountered him.  Cigar bombs!!!! His freatk out over that was especially a source of mockery.

So between that and the fact that your face is packing on pounds, you might be a little hesitant in the future before stepping on camera to slam the students with one of your lies comparing them to the insurrectionists.

And we should all remember that when Donald Trump made fun of Mika and her plastic surgery, Joe and Mika turned on him.  However, prior to that point MORNING JOE was pretty much campaign central for Donald Trump and, more than any other talk show, is responsible for getting Donald into the White House.

So that moral ground that you think you're standing on, Mika, it doesn't exist.

But if you need to feel better, Jody told me all about the hookers your dad went through during the Carter administration and I will be happy to go through all of his kinks if that'll help you feel less trashy yourself -- knowing dad was a bigger whore than you are might make you sleep better.  We can even talk about the women who weren't hookers that he abused.  Would that help you?  Daughter of a political Harvey Weinstein?

Oh, Harvey.  E-mails on that so since I brought him up . . . 

He's guilty as sin.  He's getting a retrial in NY.  E-mails want me sounding off about that.  Are you new to this site?  No, I'm not going to argue that if misconduct took place we ignore it.  It's always been the position that better one guilty person go free than a prosecutorial misconduct be tolerated.  This is not a new opinion at this site, this an opinion instilled in me decades ago in Constitutional law courses.  

He's guilty as sin.  That doesn't justify a prosecutor overstepping.  If that happened a retrial takes place.  It's a core belief of the law.

Am I dancing in the streets over it?  No.  I'm also not tearing my hair out over it. And his California conviction remains.  Since we're mentioning him, a recent book tells you that Harvey exhausted the entertainment community.  Interesting.  I'm not promoting the book because I don't like liars.  The book wants act like this was known and discussed in the media in real time.  

No, it was not.  We did discuss it here.  We discussed it here repeatedly.  And had to in 2013 when certain 'leftists' were part of one of his attack campaigns.  Blood sport.  That's what I repeatedly said here.  He'd turned the Academy Awards into a blood sport.  He'd angered too many people.  I'm glad a new book can talk about some of that -- all these years later -- I just don't care for the pretense that this was being discussed in the press before his downfall when it wasn't and when 2013 saw a lot of 'lefties' take his money to clear the field for him in the Academy Awards.

Let's get back on track.  From DEMOCRACY NOW!'s headlines yesterday.

AMY GOODMAN:  New York police in riot gear raided the campuses of Columbia University and the City College of New York Tuesday night, arresting more than 200 student protesters in the latest crackdown on peaceful Palestine solidarity protests on U.S campuses. Over the past two weeks, police in the United States have arrested more than 1,200 protesters on college campuses as students set up encampments calling on schools to divest from Israel. The raid on Columbia came less than 24 hours after students occupied Hamilton Hall. It was 56 years to the day after police stormed the same hall during the historic 1968 protests at Columbia. On Tuesday night, police climbed into the barricaded building using a ladder attached to a police vehicle.

Protesters: “Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Let the students go! Let the students go! We hear you! We love you and support you! Free, free Palestine!”

During the raid on the Columbia campus, the New York police also broke up the Gaza Solidarity Encampment, which had inspired similar encampments across the country. Columbia President Minouche Shafik has asked the NYPD to “retain a presence on campus through at least May 17, 2024” — two days after graduation. On Tuesday, faculty at Barnard College, which is part of Columbia, overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence for President Laura Rosenbury.

In California, pro-Israel counterprotesters armed with sticks and metal rods attacked a pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus of UCLA shortly after UCLA’s chancellor ruled the encampment was unlawful. Pro-Israel counterprotesters launched fireworks at the encampment, which they tried to tear down.

In Richmond, Virginia, police deployed pepper spray on student protesters at Virginia Commonwealth University. At least 13 arrests were reported.

In Louisiana, a police SWAT team raided an encampment at Tulane University early this morning, arresting at least 14 students. The raid came hours after the school suspended five students and the school’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.

In Missouri, a history professor was hospitalized Saturday after police violently threw him to the pavement. Steve Tamari, who teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, was filming a protest at Washington University on his phone when he was attacked. His wife, Sandra Tamari, who is Palestinian American, was arrested during the same protest.

Meanwhile, at Brown University, student protesters have voluntarily ended their encampment after school officials agreed to hold a vote on divesting from Israel.

On Tuesday, the United Nations criticized the police crackdown on student protests. This is Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Marta Hurtado: “We are troubled by a series of heavy-handed steps taken to disperse and dismantle protests across university campuses in the United States of America. Freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are fundamental to society, particularly when there is a sharp disagreement on major issues, as there are in relation to the conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.”

This is the violence that Mika is justifying, the violence she won't see, while she whines about peaceful protests being allowed in this country.  

Body camera footage published by the New York Police Department and exclusive footage obtained by CNN shows the use of stun grenades—colloquially known as “flashbangs”—against protesters and provides insight into scenes inside occupied Hamilton Hall during the Tuesday police sweep that resulted in 109 arrests.

The CNN footage depicts the NYPD officers’ use of roughly nine stun grenades—which flash blinding light and make a loud explosive noise to disorient individuals—on their way into the barricaded building preceded by one officer saying “let’s deploy a flash bang.” The footage also appears to show an officer shoving a protester to the ground upon entry.

CNN reported that it took officers six minutes and 40 seconds to breach the barricades during the sweep.

The NYPD footage shows officers strategizing in advance of the sweep, looking at images of campus and Hamilton Hall on a television screen. Officers broke a window and used an electric saw to enter the building. Once inside, police pried open doors to classrooms that appeared to have been locked, where demonstrators had set up sleeping bags and stockpiled supplies, while holding shields and drawing their guns.

Isha Banerjee (COLUMBIA SPECTATOR) notes officials reaction and we'll include this section:

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who both visited the encampment on Friday, condemned the “guns being drawn on peaceful protesters at Columbia University.”

“And for what? Simply exercising their First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble as they protest the collective punishment and murder of civilians in Gaza,” Brown said in a speech on the House floor that was posted to X on Wednesday. “Are we in a police state or is this a democracy? We must stand with our young people.”

Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a post on X on Tuesday that if “any kid is hurt tonight” the responsibility will fall on the Mayor and university presidents.

“Other leaders and schools have found a safe, de-escalatory path. This is the opposite of leadership and endangers public safety. A nightmare in the making,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “I urge the Mayor to reverse course.”

And let's get an expert opinion in here because there is an expert, Juan Gonzalez.  An award winning journalist (two-time George Polk Award winner, among other accolades) and someone involved in the 1968 Columbia action as a student.  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. And it’s Juan we’re going to turn to next.

The massive police raid on Columbia University last night came 56 years to the day after a similar raid by police quashing an occupation, or attempting to, of Hamilton Hall by students protesting racism and the Vietnam War. A week into the historic 1968 student strike, on April 30th, New York City police stormed the campus. Hundreds of students were injured, 700 arrested. The campus newspaper the Columbia Spectator’s headline read, in part, “Violent Solution Follows Failure at Negotiations.”

Juan, you were there. Juan González, you were a leader of the Columbia revolt. You were one of the founders of the New York chapter of Young Lords. Yesterday we played archival clips of you and the other students taking over Hamilton Hall. What were your thoughts as you watched what happened with the student takeover and then the police raid?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Amy, I think the similarities are really amazing in terms of the persistence of these students, the issues around which they were fighting, this opposition to a genocidal war occurring in Gaza.

And, you know, I was struck especially by the stands of these university presidents, not only at Columbia and Barnard, but also across the country. You know, the great Chris Hedges, I think, said it best, when he talked recently about the moral bankruptcy of these presidents of these universities who are condemning disruptions of the business as usual at the universities, while every single president of an American university has been silent about the massive destruction of universities in Gaza and of high schools and schools in Gaza by the Israeli army. They are silent about what is occurring in education in another country, another part of the world, financed by the United States.

So, I think that the importance to me in terms of the similarities are the students understand that at times you must disrupt business as usual to focus the attention of the public on a glaring injustice. And I think that’s exactly what they’ve been able to do. The entire country today knows what divestment means, what divestment means from the Israeli government and the Israeli military, whereas, before, this issue was on the margins of political debate. No commencement in America will occur in the next month where the war in Gaza is not a burning issue, either outside with the protesters or inside in the speeches and presentations. So I think that the students have managed to focus the entire attention of the country on an unjust war.

I don’t see how President Shafik survives. Many of these presidents across the country are going to be known not for whatever they accomplished previously, but they are going to be known throughout the rest of their lives as being the people who brought the police in to crush students who were maintaining a moral position of opposition to genocide.

So, I think the students are going to carry — those who were arrested are going to carry this badge of courage, as opposed to this profile of cowardice of the university presidents that dare to try to suspend or expel them. And the students’ lives have been changed forever — and, I think, for the best — in terms of the importance of dissent and opposition to injustice.

AMY GOODMAN: Juan, I wanted to go back to 1968, the student strike, students occupying five buildings, including the president’s office in Low Library, barricading themselves inside for days, students protesting Columbia’s ties to military research and plans to build a university gymnasium in a public park in Harlem. They called it Gym — G-Y-M — Crow. I want to go to a clip of you from the Pacifica Radio Archives, then a Columbia student, speaking right — it was before the raid, during the strike.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now we want to go into the dorms with all of you, with some of you who may not — who may not agree with a lot of what we’ve been saying here, who have questions, who support us, who want to know more. Let’s go to the dorms. Let’s talk quietly, in small groups. We’ll be there, and everyone in Livingston — in Livingston lobby, in Furnald lobby, in Carman lobby. We’ll be there, and we’ll talk about the issues involved, and we’ll talk about where this country is going and where this university is going and what it’s doing in the society and what we would like it to do and what we would — and how we would like to exchange with you our ideas over it. Come join us now.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that is Democracy Now! co-host Juan González when he was a student at Columbia University in 1968. It was before the police raid. Juan, tell us what happened after the police raid of Hamilton Hall, as they did last night of Hamilton Hall, 700 arrests. In fact, Juan, you only recently graduated from Columbia. This is the 56th anniversary. What was it, 50 years later, a dean at Columbia said, “Please, we need you as a graduate”?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: No, actually, it was 30 years later they gave me my degree, because I was a senior then. I was supposed to graduate that year. And, you know, amazingly, being suspended from college is not a big deal. You know, it only delays your career a little bit, and I think you gain more sometimes if you were suspended for the right reason. So I don’t think that that’s a big issue.

But I want to raise something else about these protests that I think people — I’ve seen little attention to. Back in the '60s, most of the student protests were led either by Black students who were in Black student organizations or white students. I was one of the few Latinos at Columbia at the time. And today, these student protests are multiracial and largely led by Palestinian and Muslim and Arab students. This is a marked change in the actual composition of the American university that we're seeing in terms of the leadership of these movements. And I think the willingness of these administrations to crack down so fiercely against this protest is, to some degree, they find it easier to crack down on Black and Brown and multiracial students than they did back then, when it was largely a white student population. And they always figured out a way to rescind the suspensions or get the students their degrees, because they saw them as part of them. Now, I think, they’re seeing these student protests as part of the other, and they are much more willing to crack down than they have been in the past. And I think it’s important to raise that and to understand what is going on in terms of the changing demographics of the American college student population.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Juan, thanks so much for being with us today and co-hosting. Juan González, student leader of the 1968 Columbia revolt, one of the leading journalists today in the United States.

Coming up, it’s May Day. We go to the University of Southern California, what is the labor union and worker movement, how it links to Gaza solidarity. Back in 20 seconds.

It began with ear-piercing screams of wailing babies loudly emitting from speakers.

Counter-protesters tearing down the barricades. Laser pointers flashing into the encampment. People in masks waving strobe lights. 

Tear gas. Pepper spray. Violent beatings.

Fireworks sparked at the border of the encampment, raining down on tents and the individuals inside.

At around 5 p.m. yesterday, Chancellor Gene Block sent an email to the UCLA student body claiming that security presence in the area had been increased. That was not visible in the midst of escalating violence. And even with the security present, there was no mediation far into the night.

UC President Michael Drake expressed support for Block’s decision to declare the encampment “unlawful” Tuesday evening, adding that action was needed when the safety of students was being threatened. And yet, in spite of official statements from the university and the UC, we witness little being done on the university’s part to ensure the protection of students who exercise their rights.


The grassy expanse of the University of Queensland’s Great Court has long been the center of student life at the Australian state’s biggest university.

Now it’s a gathering point for rival camps pitched around 100 meters (328 feet) from each other – one populated by supporters of the Students for Palestine UQ, and another smaller cluster of tents with the Israeli flag among others strung between trees.

These camps are among protest sites at seven universities around Australia – from Melbourne and Sydney in the country’s southeast, to Adelaide in its center, and Perth along the western coast.     

Mary Osako, vice chancellor of UCLA Strategic Communications, released a statement at 12:40 a.m. acknowledging the violence, adding that the fire department and medical personnel were involved.

“We are sickened by this senseless violence and it must end,” Osako said.

This came after a source in the encampment told the Daily Bruin that at least five protestors have been injured.

But for hours, UCLA administration stood by and watched as the violence escalated. LAPD did not arrive on the scene until slightly after 1 a.m. – once Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass sent them in for assistance at Block’s request.

Daily Bruin reporters on the scene were slapped and indirectly sprayed with irritants. Despite also being students, they were offered no protection.

The world is watching. As helicopters fly over Royce Hall, we have a question.

Will someone have to die on our campus tonight for you to intervene, Gene Block? 

The blood would be on your hands.

Exactly.  And these students are standing up for the people of Gaza, civilians being injured and killed.  Over 14,000 children so far being killed.  And the US government does nothing and Secretary of State Antony Blinken is working on the same 'cease-fire' he worked on throughout April with no results.  The Israeli government is chomping at the bit to attack Rafah fully -- they're already attacking Rafah and have been but the White House and the media pretend it's not happening yet.  ALJAZEERA reports this morning:

  • After several hours of standoff, police have moved in on the UCLA campus to clear a pro-Palestine encampment.
  • Officers in riot gear have used flashbangs, removed barricades and arrested a number of protesters.
  • Protesters have chanted slogans such as “This is a peaceful protest” and “Shame on you” as police advanced.
  • A few dozen protesters remain currently at the campus, out of an initial 400, a witness has told Al Jazeera.

Follow our live coverage of the protests here.

So they go after the people who call for  peace while excusing and ignoring the ones who terrorize civilians and pursue the illegal collective punishment?

Today marks a week since pro-Palestine protesters first began a sit-in in McCosh courtyard, citing an array of demands, including that the University divest its endowment from companies with ties to Israel. Fifteen students — two on April 25, when tents were briefly set up in McCosh courtyard, and 13 on Monday during a short occupation of Clio Hall — have been arrested and barred from campus. The University has since condemned the Clio Hall occupation and publicly reiterated its position on time, place, and manner restrictions on student speech, but has not commented on the demands since the sit-in’s beginning.

Since Monday, conflicting accounts have emerged of interactions between protesters and staff in Clio. Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun called the treatment of staff “abusive” in a campus message on Tuesday, while Prof. Ruha Benjamin, who was present in the building as a faculty observer, said that students were calm and polite. Students also continued to react to these events, with over a number of cultural and affinity groups signing on to a letter speaking out against the University’s response to the sit-in.

On Wednesday, protesters on Cannon Green were briefly joined by a May Day march led by Resistencia en Acción NJ, a local migrant justice organization. The night ended with a film screening.
While encampments at Columbia, Yale, and Brown have been cleared, protests at other campuses have continued to escalate. Police in riot gear arrested 90 people at Dartmouth on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, including two student reporters from The Dartmouth. The situation at the University of California-Los Angeles continues to develop after police breached a pro-Palestine encampment early Thursday morning.

Tomorrow is World Press Freedom Day.  Ahead of that observation, the International Federation of Journalists has released the following:

Ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) spotlights Gaza, Palestine, and condemns the killing of more than one hundred journalists and media workers since the war started. This has been a prolonged onslaught on press freedom and the world’s ‘right to know’, as have the arbitrary arrests and intimidation. The Federation calls on governments across the world, and particularly the Israeli government, to protect the lives of journalists and press freedom in accordance with international obligations.  

The journalists’ death toll in Gaza is without precedent. At least 109 journalists and media workers have been killed in the Gaza war since 7 October: 102 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese, according to IFJ data. It is one of the deadliest conflicts ever for the media and yet, there is another critical casualty: press freedom. 

Since the Israeli government blocked civilian access to the Gaza Strip on 7 October, following the attack by Hamas, only Palestinian journalists based in the enclave and, to a very limited extent, international media crews embedded with the Israeli military under controlled conditions, have been able to report on the ground. The IFJ has several times called on Israel to let foreign press enter Gaza, and stop hindering journalists' work and the public’s right to freedom of expression. 

“It is a matter of global public interest that not only local but also international journalists bear witness and document the ongoing war in Gaza. Prolonging the ban on entering the enclave is denying the world a true picture of events in Gaza and it deliberately infringes freedom of the press. This is why on World Press Freedom Day, we call upon Israel to stop targeting journalists and infringing press freedom – actions that are unfitting of a democracy," said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. 

Despite suffering terrible losses or being injured themselves, local journalists have become the world’s eyes and ears and the sole source of information from Gaza to the world. 

The IFJ and its affiliate the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) have worked closely to raise solidarity funds to provide emergency support to Gaza’s journalists through the IFJ Safety Fund with the outstanding solidarity of journalists’ unions. 

Next joint efforts will be focusing on rebuilding the media landscape in Gaza. Thanks to the support of the IFJ’s Canadian affiliate Unifor and the Norwegian Union of Journalists, solidarity newsrooms will be established in the enclave

The PJS, which has a branch in Gaza, will clear safety concerns with the Israeli military to ensure that everyone allowed in the IFJ-PJS solidarity newsrooms is a professional journalist to avoid targeting by the IDF. 

As the war drags on, more funds are needed for rebuilding Gaza’s media landscape and supporting the work of Palestinian journalists, such as the IFJ-PJS newsrooms project. All donations count and can be made here

On World Press Freedom Day, the IFJ restates its calls for the urgent adoption of a binding international instrumentthat will strengthen press freedom by forcing governments to investigate and respond to attacks against the media. 

IFJ president Dominique Pradalié said: “Since the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration in 1991, little has been done to better safeguard journalists in international law or conventions. The freedom and security that journalists require to do their jobs is absent in many parts of the world. Today, Israel appears determined to silence Gaza’s journalists, including targeting them. Crimes against journalists must not go unpunished. We urge governments across the world to publicly acknowledge their support for a binding international instrument that protects journalists. By adopting such a Convention against impunity, the United Nations General Assembly will assert unequivocally that massacres against journalists, such as the one ongoing in Gaza, will not be repeated”.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

Follow the IFJ on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Subscribe to IFJ News

Gaza remains under assault. Day 209 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   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."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  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."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse." THE NATIONAL notes, "At least 34,596 Palestinians have been killed and 77,816 injured since Israel's war on Gaza began on October 7, health authorities in the enclave said. In the past 24 hours, 28 people were killed and 51 injured, the ministry added."    Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

As for 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."

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "From The River To The Sea No Student Shall Be Free" and "This is CNN?" went up yesterday.  The following sites updated: