Monday, March 19, 2018

In Whose Times?


That's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hillary's Tainted Get Out The Vote Effort."

Ruth and I flipped to see who would get The Progressive (her) and who would get In These Times (me).  I thought for sure I would come out on the better end of the deal.  It’s the 15th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War and surely In These Times would be covering it, right?  There are probably 58 links on the main page, the front page of In These Times.  Guess how many are about the Iraq War?


Go ahead, guess. 


No, really.  I’ll wait. 


Give up?




Zero links go to anything about Iraq.  Again, at least 58 links on the main page.  No time for Iraq.  How typical and how sad.  Starting to get why David Lindorff and the rag became such a poor fit.  They think they’re changing the world but they’re not doing a damn thing.  They should be embarrassed and ashamed.  But that would require awareness, right?  And nothing thus far indicates that they have awareness.


Or intelligence.


You wonder why this war has never ended?  Because of useless garbage like In These Times.  They can – and do – cover everything but the Iraq War.  They can – and did – write a lengthy defense of the show Hanibal and how it is a feminist statement.  That’s the sort of garbage they can serve up.


Now at THIRD, Ava and C.I. cover media, yes.  But that is often hard hitting.  They’ve used TV to cover Iraq.  They used it last week to call out the CIA (see “TV: Don't pull at the string ”).  But they never used it to argue that cannibals were feminists.



In These Times is worthless because it has decided to be worthless.


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, March 19, 2018.  The Iraq War hits the 15 year mark.

Earlier this month, VARIETY profiled Barbra Streisand . . . for some reason.  I loved the notion that the star had used her power to get the stories made that she wanted.

What stories?

That awful STAR IS BORN remake?  It wasn't NUTS, she stepped over Debra Winger to steal that role so the film would have been made regardless (and much more believable with another actress).  WHAT'S UP DOC? -- she hates that film to this day.  In the feature, she talked about the hideous HELLO DOLLY.  Are we really supposed to believe that musical wouldn't have been made without Barbra?  It would have been made with Doris Day or any other musical comedy performer (Debbie Reynolds, for example).  FOR PETE'S SAKE -- the film that captured Barbra's homophobia on camera?  (Later, she'd visit the set of one of the RAIDERS and hurl -- joking! -- homophobic comments at Harrison Ford -- you can probably find that online.)  THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT?  That would have (and should have) been made with Elizabeth Taylor but at least it proved Barbra could have two homophobic movies in her filmography -- what an accomplishment for a woman who would be nothing without her gay fans.  I won't begrudge her YENTL.  But that's over a decade into her box office power.  After that, she's got nothing to brag about or even anything that qualifies as a noble failure.

That got overlooked in all the rightful outrage over her demonstrating that she was someone with too much money and too little common sense: She's cloned her dogs.  She should be ashamed.  Not only because there are rescue dogs in need of homes but also because it shows where her priorities are -- bringing to life dead dogs.  She's is the dead.  The Living Dead.

And the rightful shock over the cloning of dogs led many to miss the most outrageous part of the feature.

This is what the nut case said:

And now, in retrospect, Bush looks quite good compared to Trump. At least he’s not mean-spirited.

Useless nut said what?

Bully Boy Bush looks quite good compared to Trump.

Let's quote someone more gifted and more knowledgeable -- certainly more ethical -- than Barbra.  This is Harry Belafonte from his best selling MY SONG:

I really did think -- still do -- that George W. Bush was a terrorist.  My only mistake was in calling him the greatest terrorist in the world, since I had not met them all.  His launching a war against Iraq without cause, and with treacherous intent, resulting in the needless deaths of thousands of American servicemen and -women and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens, the majority of them civilians, qualified him for the title, as far as I was concerned.  Those thousands of innocent lives lost were, to the Bush Administration, just "collateral damage," a phrase that I find infuriating.  To me, collateral damage is just a brazen attempt to find moral grounds for crimes against humanity.

That reality never occurs to Barbra.  She's apparently stuffed her face so full of fillers that there's no chance for an independent or honest thought to penetrate that skull.

Recently, still needing applause but too lazy to do anything, Barbra's taken to praising herself for not being harassed.  She leaves out the part about how her then live-in Jon Peters harassed plenty of women and Barbra didn't hold him accountable but instead blamed the women.

Today is the 15th anniversary of the start of the ongoing Iraq War and an airhead like Barbra is so out of touch she actually declared this month, "And now, in retrospect, Bush looks quite good compared to Trump. At least he’s not mean-spirited."

Think of all the millions dead and wounded in this illegal war and you start to grasp how a society can arrive at a point where they exclaim, "Off with her head!"

In Iraq, babies are born with birth defects because of the weapons the US used there.  But Barbra's cloning her damn dogs.  She should fear people storming Malibu.  Maybe that would force her to do something wiser with the money too many have foolishly forked over to her.

Let's note crazy Barbra's hero Robert Mueller.

Amid the hysteria in Britain & as the 15th anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq nears, here's a video of Robert Mueller lying to the world about WMD's

This vile criminal, responsible for countless deaths, has been fully rehabilitated by liberals


Robert Mueller in 2003 ahead of the start of the Iraq War: As Director [George] Tenat has pointed out, Secretary [Colin] Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its Weapons of Mass Destruction willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international  community.  Our particular concern is that Saddam Hussein may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material.

Harry Belafonte one more time:

To which I say, nine years later: Who was right and who was wrong about Iraq?  About the satellite images showing supposed mobile factories for chemical weapons?  About the supposed bunkers of munition workers?  About the stockpiled weapons of mass destruction?  And is it too much to suggest that Powell and [Condi] Rice, in their eagerness to please their president, did indeed make the moral compromises that house Negroes made in the days of slavery?  That had they followed a higher moral calling, they might have helped prevent that war?

Some stand tall,  Some cowards (Barbra, we mean you) slither on their bellies like the snakes they are.

Pay attention, Barbra:

Here’s my problem with many, though not all, of . Many of the GOP leaders they now eviscerate for enabling Trump also enabled phony WMD evidence & torture before and during Iraq war. As did they.

Oh.  Believe he burned you, Barbra, worse than in any of his  film reviews attacking you.

What trash like Barbra and Rachel Maddow have done is muddy the waters.

Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, 48% of Americans say the decision to use military force was wrong, while slightly fewer (43%) say it was the right decision.

That number should be much higher but when liars go around spinning for the War Merchants like Robert Mueller and Hillary Clinton and Bully Boy Bush, it's no surprise that the number isn't higher.

It's cute to watch the whores line up to redeem the death merchants who sold the Iraq War.  But, hey, they also feel that Hillary Clinton was presidential and she voted for the Iraq War, she supported it and only finally called it a mistake after Barack Obama used it to bury her in the Democratic Party primaries of 2008.  And, only much later, would she explain the "mistake" she made was not to vote for and support the illegal war but to believe that Bully Boy Bush would have sent more US troops into Iraq in March of 2003 than he ended up doing.

That's her "mistake."  And, for the record, though the press has repeatedly insisted in the last four years that she has apologized, she never apologized for the Iraq War.  Nor did she use her time as Secretary of State attempting to help Iraqi women.  She even rejected the pleas of one of her few actual female friends who begged her to do something for Iraqi women.

Cindy Sheehan has an essay about this 15th anniversary of the ongoing tragedy and we'll note this section:

o call the 2003 US invasion and subsequent (and ongoing) occupation of Iraq a "mistake" would also be highly inappropriate. The US war machine and its "coalition" knew exactly what they were doing---the destruction of Iraq to seize the oil fields and enrich the war profiteers has been highly successful for them. The destructive US foreign policy is policy, not “oops, we just fell into a war and made a mess.”

The consequences for today are a horrid legacy of poverty and disease for the people of Iraq. Depleted uranium and poisoned water and land are still killing the people there and the US is still occupying the country despite the fraud of Commander in Grief Obama ending the war in 2009; as agent orange and unexploded land mines are still haunting the people of Vietnam, who "won" the war, but have lost the peace. 

The ongoing war has destroyed the country of Iraq and reduced it to a nation of widows and orphans where the median age isn't even 20.  Are they thrilled?  They must be!  We keep hearing that things have never been better in Iraq.  Campbell MacDiarmid (ALJAZEERA) explains that the sentiment of the few rulers and not the feelings of the masses:

"My older brother grew up a few years ahead of me and had friends in different governorates across Iraq but for me, I have only friends in Anbar, I don't have friends in Basra or in other governorates," said Mahmoud Zaki, 34. "Because of what happened with the invasion and the sectarianism that came afterwards divided the Iraqi fabric, it kept us apart."
With dead relatives, lost opportunities and a feeling of insecurity, many Iraqis remain less interested in elections and democracy than taking care of their loved ones. "I don't want to be wealthy; I want to have a decent life, I want to be safe, I want my family to be safe," said Zaki, who spent two years in American-run prisons on spurious accusations of supporting the rebellion.
The ongoing violence even makes many Iraqis nostalgic for the relative stability under the former strongman.

"Under Saddam, you could do whatever you wanted to do, so long as you stayed away from politics and didn't say anything against the government," said Sami Josef, a 32-year-old Christian from Baghdad whose uncle died fighting the Americans. "Until this day, I say God rest the soul of Saddam."

We need honesty.

Instead we get lies from idiots like Amanda Terkel (HUFFINGTON POST).  Idot?

She did write:

In 2012, Obama won re-election against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was one of the biggest hawks in Congress.

In 2012, Barack ran against Mitt Romney.  They're called facts, Terkel.

Need some more?  Ben Rhodes is a hack and a hawk.  You shouldn't promote him if you're talking about a future of wise decisions.

Nor should you promote War Hawk Tammy Duckworth.  She is not a progressive.  And her being in Congress didn't stop Libya from being attacked, did it?

It's interesting that Terkel pretends to be against the Iraq War -- such a poser -- but I'm seeing tons of pro-War Hawks in her article and only  two -- Russ Feingold and Katrina vanden Heuvel -- who actually opposed the war.

The Iraq War started on March 19th (US) and March 20th (Iraq).  That's the time difference.  We'll note the anniversary tomorrow as well.

But for those that don't grasp the Iraq War has continued, note this:

This week in 2017, the US dropped a 500 lbs bomb on a crowded residential area of West Mosul, Iraq, unleashing a massive explosion, which killed nearly 300 civilians, many of them children. The strike was the US’s most deadly air strike for civilians in 25 years.

Also don't forget that seven US service members were killed in the helicopter crash last week in Iraq.  From the US Defense Dept:

Killed was:
Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. For more information, media may contact the 23rd Wing public affairs office at 229-257-4146.
Also killed were:
Captain Andreas B. O'Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.
All four were assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York. For more information, media may contact the New York National Guard public affairs office at 518-786-4581.
Also killed were:
Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida.
Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. For more information, media may contact the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office at 321-615-0329.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fat, Ugly and Old Nick Robinson should not have been cast in Love, Simon

So a group of us went to see Love, Simon last night.

Thought most of the cast did a great job.

But why was Nick Robinson cast?

First off, he's fat.  Second off, he's ugly with his boxy face.  These guys have no careers with the boxy bodies and boxy faces -- not in films.  They move over to an NCIS or something if they're lucky.  Third, he's too damn old.  22 and playing a high school student in a film?

Most importantly, he's not gay.

I'm sorry they can't find any 18 or 19 year-old gay male actors?

The whole point of the film is that a gay man can find acceptance on the way to finding himself.

This isn't just a character who happens to be gay -- the acceptance and the growth is all part of the movie's story.

So it's undermined when they cast a straight actor in the role.

I didn't have a problem with straight Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk, for example.

But I don't see how we say, "It's okay to be gay!" with a film where the gay character is a straight actor?

And I'm also really bothered by the "It's okay to be gay!"

As a lesbian of a certain age, this film felt like the late 90s.

In other words, hopelessly out of date.

Have we not progressed?

How about, "It's great to be gay!"

Because it is and maybe we should be imparting that message?

Seems like it would do a lot more to help the "It gets better" PSAs.

And what is Love, Simon really except an extended PSA?

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, March 16, 2018.  Seven more US service members dead in Iraq.

The Iraq War hits the 15th year anniversary in a matter of days and the ongoing war was brought to the world by so many -- most of whom have never faced any real accountability.  Take US Senator Dianne Feinstein.  From the state of California, she voted to support the war.  Opposing the war was no problem in California.  Barbara Boxer, for instance, was also in the Senate at the time and she voted against the Iraq War.

California US House Reps who voted against it?  Susan Davis, Loretta Sanchez, Hilda Solis, Bob Filner, Joe Baca, Lois Caps, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Maxine Waters, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Diane Watson, Xavier Becerra, Gary Condit, Sam Farr, Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, Anna Eschoo, Pete Stark, Barbar Lee, Nancy Pelosi, George Miller, Lynn Woolsey, Robert Matsui and Mike Thompson.

Her vote is not forgotten.  For example, in October 2017 this letter was published by THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:

To the editor: Feinstein has made a highlight-free Senate career out of the feckless "third way" triangulation that treats bipartisanship as though it were an end in and of itself.
She lost my vote in 2002 when she voted for the Iraq War. Now, she says we should give the race-baiter-in-chief a chance. What brave, bipartisan sentiment.
California has now wasted 25 years of precious Senate representation on someone who thinks the best outcome is the precise midpoint between right and wrong. Feinstein needs to retire, but since she refuses to do what's best for her constituents, I'll be casting a vote to send her packing.
Branden Frankel, Encino

Feinstein has remained in office all this time because she's never had a serious challenger.  Now she does: Democrat Kevin de Leon who is currently the leader in the California state senate.  The primary is in June and Dianne will likely be on the general ballot in November.  But this is California and our state doesn't operate like every other state.  The June primary?  The top two vote getters -- regardless of party i.d. -- will be on the November ballot.  If the primary were held today, the top two would probably be Kevin de Leon and Dianne Feinstein.

Last month, Alexei Koseff (SACRAMENTO BEE) reported:

Then de León launched into a list of policies he would never vote for, obliquely highlighting some of the most controversial moments of Feinstein’s tenure in the Senate: supporting school vouchers in Washington D.C., authorizing the Iraq War, and voting for a law that allows intelligence agencies to sweep up Americans’ communications without a warrant as they are spying on foreign nationals. De León also criticized Feinstein for using young undocumented immigrants as “bargaining chips” with Trump.
“I’m running because California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority,” he said. “Who do you trust to have the courage of your convictions?”

Kevin was on CSPAN's WASHINGTON JOURNAL yesterday.

While he was talking about how we move forward, the state was reminded last night of how Dianne Feinstein is our past and not a pleasant past at all.

Dianne stood for -- and continues to stand for -- the Iraq War.

That would be the ongoing war, that would be the war that cost another 7 US lives yesterday.

Thanks, Dianne.

. mourns the loss of personnel in yesterday's helicopter crash in western Iraq. Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and fellow service members of our fallen troopers.

All 7 troops onboard a U.S. military helicopter died when their helicopter crashed near the Iraq-Syria border on Thursday evening 

JUST IN: All 7 US military members on board a helicopter that crashed Thursday in western Iraq near the Syrian border were killed, a US military official says


Again, thanks Dianne Feinstein.  You made your choices.  Your choices came with consequences.  Others have paid for their choices, it's time Dianne did as well.

Tomorrow, THE DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL will run their count of the US service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It's one of the few US outlets that regularly notes the US dead in these wars.  Their count should be 4542.  The seven who've died from the helicopter crash will bring the total number of US service members who've died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion to 4542.

Let's do some more figures because the US media ignores those killed in Iraq -- the Iraqi civilians and the US service members.

We are in the third month of 2018.  And?  Already more US service members have died in Iraq in 2018 than died in 2012 in Iraq, than died in 2013 in Iraq, than died in 2014, than died in 2015, than died in 2017.  Of recent years?  Only 2016 has had more deaths.  That number is 17.  We're only in the third month of the year and the number of US service members who have died in Iraq for the year is 9.

Along with the seven from last night's crash, two had already passed in Iraq: Sgt Christina Marie Schoenecker and Spc Javion S. Sullivan.

Melanie's "Till They All Get Home" (first appears on her album CRAZY LOVE):

Pray that the souls of the 7 U.S. servicemen who passed away in western Iraq RIP and their families and units have the strength to cope.

7 US service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Senator Dianne Feinstein turns 85 this year (June 22nd).  She's gotten to live a long life.  How sad that her actions have ensured that so many others did not have that same opportunity.  She's supported this war -- this ongoing war -- since 2002.

Time should be up for Dianne when it comes to serving in the Senate.  She should be sent packing.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: