Wednesday, July 28, 2021

DaBaby is an idiot and needs to be called out

 No link to DaBaby's latest garbage.  Another 'apology' and more insults.  Excuse me, Jimmy Iovline, are you a homophobe?  is there a reasons you're keeping someone like that on your label (Interscope)?

He should be sent packing.  He's a hate merchant and he still can't offer a real apology.

I'm sick of it.  I'm sick of homophobia being acceptable.  I'm sick of Black radio being okay with this.  They should be announcing that they've dropped him from airplay.

He's skating away, getting away with it because no one really cares about homophobia, clearly.



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


Wednesday, July 28, 2021.  Is Joe Biden all there?  Is the press?

How sentinent is Joe Biden?  At 78, it was never a surprise that people would question his coherence.  This is someone who was hidden from the press while campaigning -- as a strategy.  Even hidden away, his words weren't connecting.  SKY NEWS is building a cottage industry around his questionable moments.

For example:


We could go on and on.  

Joe was too old to run for president and never should have been given the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He's 78.  How old was Ronald Reagen when he left office?  77.  He was elected at 69 and served two terms.  It was obvious Reagan wasn't coherent at the end.  

Some argue it's already apparent that Joe is incoherent.  

That might explain why he's so determined to mislead the American people and why some in the press are so willing to lie.

Garbage like the article credited to "agencies" that Pakistan's DAILY TIMES runs which insists "After 18 years, US announces to end combat mission in Iraq."  If you're as senile as many fear Joe Biden is, you might just nod along.  If you're mind hasn't gone to mush, however, you'll probably be remembering this was declared in Barack Obama's first term as president.  

NBC NEWS allows a little truth to emerge via a column they run online by Daniel R. DePetris:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's visit to the White House on Monday produced what the Biden administration is marketing as a major announcement about the U.S. troop presence in Iraq: There won't be any U.S. combat troops in Iraq by the end of the year. The U.S. presence in the country will now focus on training, advising and enabling Iraqi security forces to conduct operations independently against the Islamic State militant group.

The Biden administration has framed this shift as a "significant evolution" in the U.S. mission in Iraq, with support personnel and logisticians favored over Apache helicopters and special forces. There's only one problem with this line of thought: The latest announcement won't do much to change U.S. military operations in Iraq, let alone end them.

What the White House is trumpeting as a withdrawal is more like a reclassification, in which combat troops become trainers and advisers in behalf of the Iraqi army. The current U.S. force posture in Iraq, about 2,500 troops, will remain almost the same. The mission U.S. troops are tasked with today is the same mission they were tasked with a week ago, with little sign of letting up: a seemingly endless endeavor to build a perfect Iraqi military.

So that's Daniel R. DePetris, Ruth Sherlock, (NPR) and us.  Guess what?  We're all still breathing.

Meanwhile, ANTIWAR.COM continues to lie -- most recently in the latest from Jason Ditzy.  WSWS just completely ignores the whole issue.  Didn't think either of you outlets existed to provide cover for politicians but I guess we can tell by your actions, right?

Look, Daniel, Ruth and us, we're all in the pool.  Como on in and join us, you can even stay on the shallow end or visit the kiddie pool.

I'm just sick of this garbage.  You self-present as truth tellers but you take a pass time and again.  WSWS needs, apparently, multiple days after an announcement (lie) is issued by the government to respond and Ditzy and his ANTIWAR gang just run with whatever the government says.  

Do we need to buy them floaties?  Would that help.

(Yes, we are fine.  I've read the e-mails and was already aware of what happened last night.  Their little games do not hurt us and haven't in the past and they're learning that payback is always meted out -- not by me but by UK supporters.  That's all we'll say here.  If we had a community newsletter today or tomorrow, I wouldn't even say that.  This will be addressed in the gina & krista round-robin.)

The front pages of THE PROGRESSIVE, THE NATION and IN THESE TIMES have nothing on it either.  Noting that before ________ with WSWS to whine that others didn't cover it.  

WSWS has spent how many weeks calling out JACOBIN?  For not covering this or that?  But it can't cover this lie being spread by the White House via the press?  

It really is a garbage media we are being asked to build.  Send money, send money!!!!!  We are the last tellers of truth!!!!!

What a load of garbage.  They're lazy pandhandlers.  And they prove it by doing nothing with the money they've been given.

Trudy Rubin is someone I've long disagreed with on many things releated to Iraq.  We've included her frequently over the years because she truly does care about Iraq.  This is from her latest from THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:

But he also made clear that U.S. forces — probably most of the 2,500 now in the country — would be rebranded to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS.”

Unlike his abrupt end to the “forever war” in Afghanistan, Biden wants to deepen a strategic partnership with Iraq.

Moreover, the White House wants to help Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, an unusual Iraqi leader. He is trying to pull together a country fragmented by sectarianism, corruption, and by Iranian meddling, including aid to Shiite militias that challenge the government.

And there it is.  The US is trying to rig the election for Mustafa.

Mustafa is a lousy prime minister.  But even if he was a great one, the pretense Joe Biden's carrying out is an attempt to influence a foreign election.

Joe should really learn to butt the hell out.

He is the one who negotiated The Erbil Agreement -- the legal contract that threw out the 2010 votes so that Nouri al-Maliki could get the second term that the Iraqi people voted to avoid.  

Back then, Susan Rice and Samantha Power were insistent that Nouri al-Maliki had to have a second term.  It was the only way, they insisted, to achieve US goals.  The man running the secret prisons and torture chambers, the man who saw everyone as his enemy must be given a second term over the objection of the Iraqi people.  Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates did object.  But Joe sided with Rice and Powers.  (Hillary and Robert's stance was what Joe's had been originally in March of 2010 -- that the winner should be named prime minister-designate -- that would be Ayad Allawi.)  

Anybody remember how that turned out?

Nouri's second term saw him persecute even more Iraqis and ISIS rose up as a result of his persecution of Sunnis.  ISIS, under Nouri, would terrorize the country.  It would also do something that terrorists don't generally do, it would seize control of parts of the country.  

That's on Joe Biden and the gang who couldn't support democracy or respect the votes.

They just knew better -- in their minds.

We're there again with Mustafa.  He has accomplished nothing.  The Iraqi people are suffering.  But here's the US government yet again trying to influence the government.  As noted in the roundtable for POLLY'S BREW with Iraqi community members, there's a feeling of why even bother to vote this go round since Joe's back in the White House and they know he overturned their votes in 2010?

A lot of people are saying that they won't participate in the elections.

Some leaders in The October Revolution have announced that they won't be voting.  Some Christians have announced the same. XINHUA notes that there are now three political groups that are also saying they won't participate:

The Iraqi National Dialogue Front announced on Wednesday its withdrawal from the parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 10.

It is the third political group, after Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc and the Iraqi Communist Party, that has decided to withdraw from the upcoming Iraqi elections.

"The failure to provide a safe environment for early elections and the proliferation of out-of-control weapons are all factors that confirm that no clear change will happen, and accordingly, the Front decided not to participate in the elections," the Front said in a statement.

The Front, led by Salih al-Mutlak, participated in the 2018 elections as part of the al-Wataniya (National) Coalition led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a veteran secular politician. The coalition won 21 out of the 329 seats in the parliament.

On the withdrawal of Ayad Allawi's National Dialogue Front, Halgurd Sherwani (KURDISTAN 24) notes:

In a press conference on Wednesday in Baghdad, Judge Wael Abdullatif, the deputy of the Forum, announced the decision. The electoral list was headed by Allawi, a former prime minister and seasoned politician.

Abdullatif said he expects very low turnout in the planned elections, which would result in a “weak government.” 

He urged other political parties to take the same position. 

It is not yet clear how the latest withdrawals by major parties will affect the planned vote. Government officials, including Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi regularly reiterate that the election will be held on time – Oct. 10.

In 2010, Joe Biden tossed aside the Iraqi votes and Ayad Allawi's chance at being the prime minister.  Wonder if Joe's position as US President currently had any impact on Allawi's decision?

The CIA estimates that Sunnis make up approximately 34% of Iraq's population -- a significant number -- unless you're ANTIWAR.COM.  (ANTIWAR.COM works to disappear the Sunnis the same way WSWS works to disappear the Kurds.)  Their votes?  It appears that there is a huge enthusiasm gap.  ARAB WEEKLY offers a lengthy analysis which includes:

Most Iraqi Sunnis do not trust the political forces and parties that represent them. The tensions between Halbousi and Khanjar have increased that level of mistrust ahead of the parliamentary elections, which are expected to be held next October.

Sunnis, whether displaced or residing in their areas, realise that Halbousi and Khanjar have been picked by the ruling Shia parties to play the role of the community’s representatives.

Khanjar is allied with a number of Iranian-aligned Shia forces, including the Badr Organisation headed by Hadi al-Amiri and the Islamic Dawa Party headed by Nuri al-Maliki, while al-Halbousi enjoys the support of Kurdish and Shia leaders, including former Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and the leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr.

After the elimination of most of the supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq, Khanjar made a radical shift in his political position, transforming himself in the process from a radical critic of Iran to ally of the Shia Islamist regime in Tehran.

Halbousi’s supporters say that Tehran wants to reward Khanjar for this political u-turn by giving him the chance to participate in returning part of the Sunni community of Jurf al-Sakhar, 60 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, to their areas. Local media sources have earlier suggested that Khanjar has reached an agreement with Shia militias, according to which he gave up most of the areas in Jurf al-Sakhar in exchange for allowing part of the Sunni population to return to their homes.

Since 2018, no Iraqi official has been able to enter Jurf al-Sakhar after the displacement of its Sunni residents, while sources say that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps directly supervised the transformation of parts of this area into camps for Shia militias, weapons stores and sites for taking off and landing drones. The Shia militias also exploited vast agricultural areas in Jurf al-Sakhar to create farms and fields, raising livestock, poultry and fish.

Independent Iraqi politician Jabbar al-Mashhadani told The Arab Weekly that Khanjar’s alliance with Iran, through Qatari mediation, is his magic recipe for hijacking Sunni votes.

Mashhadani, however, warned the spell could turn on Khanjar if the political situation changes or if regional balances shift.

RUDAW has an important piece that we'll note the opening of:

US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller spoke with Rudaw's Roj Elli Zalla in Washington DC, discussing developments in the US mission in Iraq, the upcoming parliamentary elections, and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region. 

Echoing other US officials, Tueller reiterated Washington's role in Iraq is to enable Iraqi security forces to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), saying that anyone criticizing the US presence is resisting the state. 

The US is also providing financial support to the UN mission in Iraq, and the electoral commission, in preparation for the October elections. 

He also refuted claims that the US is "quiet" on the Turkey-PKK conflict, and says Washington wants a strong Iraqi state to contribute to a more peaceful Middle East.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Some of the militia groups are saying combat troops, advisor troops, this is just a change of names and the US is not really withdrawing. What do you say to that?

The security issue has dominated much of the discussion, but let me remind everybody that of course our presence there is at the request and invitation of the Iraqi government, they asked us to come in and lead an international coalition to help the Iraqi government deliver the decisive and enduring defeat of ISIS. We have accomplished much of that mission and we are at a stage now where we can assess what are the capabilities of the Iraqi forces, whether from the Peshmerga, the Iraqi security forces, or the counter terrorism forces and what are their needs. That’s the nature of the discussion. I would dismiss those who are criticizing this or anything because what they are really resisting, is they are resisting an Iraqi state, they are resisting a state that is able to provide security for the Iraqi people, they are resisting an Iraqi state that is able to provide jobs, predictability that is what their resistance is. There is no occupation by any foreign force, certainly not by the US. Our role there, operating within the Iraqi bases and the Iraqi operation centers, is to enable and make the Iraqi forces the most capable they can be.

This agreement between Iraq and the US, do you think this might lead to a better condition for the embassy to open up, and the US bases there that would face less attacks?

Well of course we do not have US bases in Iraq, we have some of our military that are on Iraqi bases whether in Ain al-Assad or Erbil or elsewhere so there are no US bases. We have an embassy, as we have embassies in any country in the world, and it is normal that a host government is responsible for protecting embassies and protecting forces that are in the country of the invitation. So the real question is for the Iraqi government, will they be able to stand up to those forces that as I said are resisting the Iraqi government. Will they be able to hold accountable those who are conducting these attacks, will they be able to deter them, will they be able to chase them down. I have seen some success in that regard and we hail that and we hope that the Iraqi government will continue to pursue very, very aggressively these forces that ultimately are threatening the interest of Iraq and the Iraqi people.


The following sites updated:

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Doing The Best That I Can (Escape from Berlin)

 That's Stevie Nicks' "Doing The Best That I Can (Escape From Berlin)."  It first appears on her album The Other Side Of The Mirror. Stevie wrote the song. 

 It was one for was three for me
It was very was everything
So here it little pieces...
I just played the part...I didn't win or lose
Maybe next time I'll think about how I'm feeling...
"Cause I'm doing the best that I can
And the whispered secrets...go on and on
No one says anything to anyone
You watch after her...and your word is law
She thought she was out there...but nobody saw
I didn't win or lose...I just threw the cards
But I paid a price for it...

And it's alright, baby...I'm doing the best that I can
And I'm trying hard to change...I'm doing it the best that I can
Well because fate causes fortune and fortune takes it away
Well it's alright, baby...I'm doing the best that I can


What does the song mean?  From the Buckingham Nicks website:



"That song certainly could have been said in a lot harder terms. And I could have sounded a lot angrier. The music could have been a lot angrier behind it. But I chose to make it more poignant as opposed to you know, like if I had been speaking all those words, I probably would have been yelling. So, 'doing the best that I can,' in the hardest of terms, means 'get off my back,' basically. I'm doing the best that I can. And I have been doing the best that I can for as long as I can remember, so either give me a break or leave me alone. And it's a very serious song for me... I mean, it's sad: 'in my distress/I wanted someone to blame me/in my own way, disaster was the only thing that I could depend on.' I mean, that's pretty much down in the very depths of despair. Which is where I pretty much was when I wrote this song; which meant, I cannot take all of this advice and keep on living with all of you. You've got to let me grow up and leave me to make my own decisions. I'm a grown up. I'm not a child."
~Stevie Nicks, Castle Walls interview

"I wrote this song to tell people that yes, I did suffer, and I have suffered but that I refuse to let the bad parts ruin my life and the good parts of my life be erased. So I said I'm just going to simply remove the bad parts and I'm coming out of a phase now, I think, where I was unhappy, and I was very lonely and I didn't feel if I exactly knew if I should still be here or not. Maybe I would be better off on the next plain, living a much more spiritual life, maybe. Saying 'in my distress, I wanted someone to blame me,' because people would go around me and like if I did something that wasn't right, they'd take the blame for it or they'd get me out of it. I'd get to the point where I'd go 'just get mad at me, it's my fault. I did it, nobody else did. I did it. Why are you blaming somebody else?' And it says 'in my devastation I wanted so much to change.' I did, I wanted so much to be happier because I was becoming more unhappy by the day and in my own way they only thing I had to depend on was disaster because it seemed like nobody would get off my back, nobody would leave me alone, nobody would keep their opinions to themselves. It was like most of the people I know are quite a bit younger than I am and I would want to say to them, 'you haven't been through what I've gone through, so please stop telling me what I should do!' It means let me do what I have to do. This is not your problem, this is my problem."
~Stevie Nicks, 1989


My favorite Stevie songs tend to be the less obvious.  For example, I really love "Rock A Little (Go Ahead, Lily)."  I don't meet a lot of people who put that in their top ten favorite Stevie songs.

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


 Tuesday, July 27, 2021.   The media serves up more lies, very little truth.

Yesterday, the White House issued the following:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi of Iraq to strengthen bilateral coordination under the Strategic Framework Agreement.  Together they discussed expanded initiatives on climate, energy, education, and combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.  They committed to a continued security partnership to ensure that ISIS can never resurge and to allow communities recovering from terror to rebuild with dignity even as the United States shifts to a purely advisory role. The leaders reaffirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, the rule of law, and promoting a secure environment for Iraq’s upcoming elections in October. The leaders agreed on the vital importance of holding these elections on time, and welcomed the UN monitoring mission to support their full transparency and fairness. 

Together, they discussed the important role of Iraq in the region and the significant diplomatic efforts led by Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi to improve and strengthen Iraq’s relationships in the region.  They lauded the historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq earlier this year, the trilateral summit with Egypt and Jordan, and the important role Iraq plays in promoting interfaith tolerance and the common bonds of humanity in the Middle East.  They agreed that Iraq’s stability was central to the stability of the entire region. 

And from Joe's Twitter feed:

Today, I met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi of Iraq in the Oval Office. We reaffirmed our commitment to expand cooperation through new initiatives focused on education, health, and climate as well as support for Iraq’s democracy and strengthened rule of law.

Yesterday, US President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.  It was the rollout for Mustafa's re-election campaign.  As AFP observed this week, Mustafa is a "weakened leader."  He's a failure who has been a gross disappointment. He came into office promising early elections and insisting that he'd serve one brief term.  Now he wants a second term.

He failed at everything.  You could even argue that he failed at early elections.  Elections were supposed to take place right away, he was supposed to be sworn in and begin the process.  Grasp that Adil Abdul-Mahdi was run out of office because of his inability to address the needs of the Iraqi people.  Also grasp that the election that brought Adil to power took place in 2018.  In October, 'early' elections are supposed to take place.  That's over three years later -- two more months of postponing and they'd be four years later.  Which is pretty much what the cycle already was.

Mustafa is a failure.  

The Iraqi militias ignore him unless they're trying to intimidate him -- like storming the Green Zone and circling his compound.  They make public remarks insulting him and accusing him of treason, etc.  Grasp that these militias are part of the Iraqi forces -- officially.  And that they are supposed to be under the command of the prime minister.  But they aren't.

He can't deliver electricity.  Potable water?  Another summer where Iraqis are being told in some areas to boil water before drinking it.  No jobs.  No protections.  No acknowledgment of COVID 19 -- students have complained about the exams -- specifically, the inability to social distance.  Activists are assassinated and no one is ever put in prison.  

Mustafa's a failure.

He's been to Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc, in recent weeks.  He's attempting to pose as a leader in the hopes that this will garner him votes.  Leaders in the protest movement have stated that they will sit it out and so has Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.  Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's former prime minister and forever thug, remains a formidable rival.  

Is a photo op really supposed to change all of this?

A photo op and a lie?

US forces aren't leaving Iraq.  And Barack Obama publicly sent them back in when Joe Biden was Vice President.  He didn't call it combat, if you missed it.  This was a security mission.  But now that weasel word "combat troops" is yet again being used.  A number of us remember calling out Barack during his second term because he kept denying they were combat troops.  We'd note, for example, that a US service member in a plane carrying out a bombing mission was engaging in combat.

How meaningless are the statements from Mustafa and Joe?

Let's see . . . Joe's claiming that he's ending the Afghanistan War (he's not).  That's this month hat he's claiming it.

We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year.  Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer. 

Those aren't Joe's words.  They're Barack Obama's.  September 10, 2014, then-President Obama delivered those remarks.  So 'combat' ended later in 2014?  Hmm.  And Joe just 'ended' the Afghanistan War in . . . 2021?  

It's all word games and distractions,

Ruth Sherlock, yesterday on NPR, managed to get in some truths -- a rare thing for US journalism.  We noted her report yesterday but we'll again note it today.  Nothing is changing, per the military brass she spoke with and "Analysts say this is actually more about politics and diplomacy than any real change on the ground for now.  They see this as almost window dressing to help the Iraqi prime minister with domestic politics back in Iraq."

These are basics.  And it's not just the corporate press that can't note them, read the garbage Dave DeCamp's written for ANTIWAR.COM -- no link, not linking to lies.  See Saturday's "Lies don't help anyone" which addresses some of the big lies in ANTIWAR.COM's coverage of Iraq.  I'm not in the mood to rehash and, yes, he's still misleading people about the vote in Parliament.  

Once upon a time, people pretended to care about Iraq.  There was a lot of money to be made in pretending.  Ask Amy Goodman who used it to sell books (yes, briefly, she was able to sell those clip-jobs) and herself.  Ask any of them.  They all made money off the war while decrying the money made by the weapons industry.  PACIFICA RADIO raised millions off the Iraq War.  They blew the money -- on whores like Amy Goodman who does not dserve the millions she gets and especially does not deserve them if PACIFICA does not own the final product (and they don't, think closet case Leslie Cagan for that and wonder how she got away with misuing her board position and especially wonder why, since we all know about it, I'm the only one who can ever call her out publicly).  They'd offer a film 'about' Iraq or  book or this or that and they'd pretend the war was appalling and had to be stopped.  PRetend until their boredom was too much.

That is what happened.

The war did not end but their interest in it did.

Iraqis continue to suffer because of the 2003 US-led invasion.  But watch everyone pretend, day after day, that there are so many other, more important things to address.

Like a certain singer?  I'm glad so many people are such experts on mental health.  That was sarcasm.  I really think this playing out in the courts means that it has a chance of fairness and we don't need the press 'oversight' of a woman's troubles.  I really think the world could back the hell off right now and stop obsessing over her.  I think Ronan's TMZ posts demonstrate that he was never really a journalist.  Her 911 call?  We needed to know about that?  She had no right to privacy regarding that?  THE NEW YORKER has no standards, clearly. 

Or the equally absurd press fascination with Meghan Markle.  I know Meghan, have for years, I like her.  I'm not interested in reading about her.  I'm not interested in pretending that there's any news value in covering her.  

The Iraqi people? 

The October Revolution started in the fall of 2019.  The Iraqi people took to the streets.  Few bothered to note that.  Few have ever noted how the were attacked at protests or how they were harassed after protests or how they were assassinated outside of protests.  They just want to end corruption and have a representative government.  

It's so poorly covered that we still get e-mails accusing me of covering it because I love "those Sunnis" protesting.  I don't have a problem with the Sunni people and they are victimized in Iraq.  Deborah Amos wrote a whole book about that -- one of the best books written on Iraq by an American author.  But The October Revolution is a Shi'ite led movement.

Yet people honestly confuse the movement with a Sunni movement because there's so little coverage of it for US news consumers.  You get more coverage about the bi-sexual actor and the lesbian actress pretending that they're getting back together to get headlines than you do about the Iraqi people.  

The press fails us -- All Things Media Big and Small.  They can preach their agendas, they just can't cover reality.  They can misuse their positions and betray their profession, they just can't, you know, report.  It's too hard for them.  Not a new development in the US press but the consolidation craze has meant fewer and fewer outlets so less and less chance of reality.  Now you have YOUTUBE and others censoring speech.  Less and less chance of reality getting out or of actual reporting being done.

Where is anyone noting in the JOE BIDEN ENDS COMBAT MISSIONS IN IRAQ! hysteria noting that he was vice president when Barack did the same thing?  

That's why the mission in Iraq switched from DoD to the State Dept or do we all not remember that as well?

There's no context, there's no analysis and we won't get it from the corporate media or from Pandhandle Media (media's that always got their hands in your pocket begging for 'donations')

If we want a better world, that's on us.  If we want wars to end, that's on us.  If we can't focus, that's on us.

Ashford & Simpson's "Til We Get It Right" first appeared on their album LOVE OR PHYSICAL.

We'll close with this from Restore The Fourth:

It's legal for NSA to vacuum up billions of communications a year without a warrant, including "incidental" collection on Americans who are one or two "hops" from a target. Those Americans could be a journalist writing on terrorism, an immigration lawyer, a Catholic priest opposed to legal abortion, or an organizer of pipeline protests in touch with people in Canada; we don't know, and NSA won't tell.

Congress declared this gigantic warrantless suck-machine legal because it was for "foreign intelligence collection purposes" and therefore, they reasoned, shouldn't be subject to the same Fourth Amendment constraints.

but then...

The FBI started wondering about what was in that massive data mountain. After 9/11, the FBI asked for, and got, permission to dip into NSA data for evidence of federal crimes - again, no warrant required. So the Bush administration loosened the rules, and eventually the Obama administration gave them pretty much free access, trusting to the FBI's discretion. Critics call these searches "FBI backdoor searches."

but then...

The secretive FISA Court revealed in 2019 that the FBI was taking this dipping a little far. In fact, the FBI accesses NSA data on Americans over three million times a year. And, thanks to "parallel construction", criminal defendants typically never know that the evidence against them originates with a warrantless search of NSA data. The Court could have imposed penalties, or barred them from doing this altogether, but chose not to.

That leaves Congress. And for the first time in years, members of Congress have introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill to prohibit such searches without a warrant. The cosponsors, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Warren Davidson (R-OH), differ greatly in their politics, but come together in their concern about this issue. The House passed versions of this prohibition in 2014 and 2015, and failed to pass one in 2016. Now, for the first time since 2016, we have another shot.

The floor vote on the Commerce Appropriations bill is currently expected for Thursday. Before then, please callemail or tweet at your member of Congress, urging them to vote Yes on this amendment.

Here's our coalition letter on the topic that is going out to Congressmembers:

The following sites updated:

Monday, July 26, 2021

DaIdiot is DaBaby

DaBaby needs to grow the hell up:

In one of the most bizarre and hateful speeches by a superstar rapper in recent memory, DaBaby took time out of his Rolling Loud Miami set to insult gay people, slander women, and demonize those suffering from autoimmune disorders.

The North Carolina MC was trying to hype up the crowd by asking that they hold their cell phone lights aloft. But he did so with a list of the kinds of people he hoped would not participate. “You didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of those [?] sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die [in] two, three weeks, put your cellphone light in the air,” he said, showing off a questionable grasp of science.. “Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put a cell phone light in the air. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking n**** dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lights in the air.”

 TMZ adds:

That worthless piece of trash just needs to go away.

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


 Monday, July 26, 2021.  The day of the meet-up is finally upon us, look for the US media to whore on Iraq and then quickly drop the topic.  Just like they always do.

Finally, the day is upon us.  Iraq's prime minister Mustfa al-Kadhimi is in the United States and will meet with President Joe Biden later today.  Mustafa has been puffing out his chest and declaring that Iraq does not need US "combat troops."  So troops leave?  No, "combat troops."  Weasel words.  Mustafa wants US troops to remain in Iraq, he just wants them to be called something other than combat troops.   On NPR's UPFRONT this morning, Ruth Sherlock explained, "Analysts say this is actually more about [politics and diplomacy than any real change on the ground for now.  They see this as almost window dressing to help the Iraqi prime minister with domestic politics back in Iraq."

AFP refers to Mustafa as a "weakened leader" and notes, "Technically, there are no actual combat troops on the ground in Iraq, where the US military has officially only deployed advisors or trainers."

ALJAZEERA pretends something is really going to take place in the meet-up.

As Ruth Sherlock notes in her audio report, even US military brass are saying that there is no real change taking place.  But so many want to pretend otherwise, don't they?

Douglas A. Silliman was the last US Ambassador to Iraq under then-President Barack Obama.  He spoke last week with KURIDSTAN 24.

Across Twitter you find fools and liars (and paid whores) perpetuating the lie that US troops are leaving Iraq.  That's not the case.  Troops will not be called "combat troops."  There is not expected to be any real change in numbers.

This is a shell game and con artists and dupes are required for shell games to work.  Saddest of all may be the ones posing as Iraqis (Iraq's tiny Jewish population today does not allow for me to be that persons with Jewish first names and last names are Iraqis) who invoke the name of Allah to lie about what's taking place.

If you're going to waste US taxpayer dollars on Twitter efforts at least hire more convincing people.

In October, elections are supposed to be held and this latest spin and garbage is an attempt to help build support for Mustafa's weakened government.

Mustafa's statements are similar to those made by Fuad Hussein, Foreign Minister of Iraq, to THE WALL ST JOURNAL.  THE TEHRAN TIMES noted, "According to the American newspaper, the purpose of the statement, current and former officials said, is to enable the Iraqi leader to blunt the political pressure from Shiite factions who want all of the approximately 2,500 American troops in the country to depart, while maintaining U.S. support for Iraqi security forces."

As elections approach, Shi'ite cleric, goon squad head and one-time movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr pouted that he would sit out the process.  At THE NEW ARAB, Azhar al-Rubaie notes reactions to  Moqtada's tantrum, 

“Muqtada al-Sadr withdrew from the next election just in the media, but nothing is official,” Ahmed Sameer, a 35-year-old Basra-based resident told The New Arab.

“The Sadrists run the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Electricity and both sectors have corruption, so his announcement was to clean up his movement after getting a bad reputation since they won the majority of parliament seats,” he added.

“I will never vote for anyone in the next elections, we all hope that Iraq will be ruled by a good person but unfortunately all of them have an affiliation to outside [powers], mostly supported by Iran-backed wings,” said Sameer.

He added: “The government, with or without al-Sadr, will do nothing in favour of the people, they work in their own favour, they have run Iraq for more than 18 years. What will they bring to us? They bring us poverty, crime, corruption, and zero services”.

For political analyst and activist Ghanim al-Abid, Sadr’s withdrawal leaves many unanswered questions as to his motivations.

“The Sadrist movement’s withdrawal from the early elections has raised many question marks, considering that the Sadrist movement was keen to hold the elections on time,” he told The New Arab.

The Iraqi government is a failure.  It is unable to deliver even the basics such as potable water and electricity.  

REUTERS notes:

The US-Iraqi statement is expected to detail a number of non-military agreements related to health, energy and other matters.

The United States plans to provide Iraq with 500,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine under the global COVAX vaccine-sharing program, the senior administration official said.

The United States will also provide $5.2 million to help fund a UN mission to monitor October elections in Iraq.

In other news, Rania Khalek Tweets:

1/ After being in Iraq 2 weeks ago when the electrical grid shut down, I found the following passages in Neta C Crawford’s “Accountability for Killing” about the aftermath of America’s 1991 war on Iraq enlightening (no pun intended). Destroying Iraq’s electricity was intentional

2/ US military leaders openly viewed destruction of Iraq’s electricity as “psychological warfare … exceptionally valuable in creating the system wide strategic paralysis we wanted to impose on Iraq … the Iraqi people would overthrow their government if they felt enough pain.”

3/ US leaders said destroying Iraq’s electricity “gives us long-term leverage …we wanted to let people know, ‘Get rid of this guy & we’ll be more than happy to assist in rebuilding. We’re not going to tolerate Saddam Hussein or his regime. Fix that & we’ll fix your electricity.”

4/ The logic behind destroying 88% of Iraq’s electricity infrastructure in 1991 was cruel & criminal. It’s also the same exact logic behind crippling sanctions today on Syria, Venezuela, Cuba & Iran: To intentionally cause pain & suffering as political leverage for regime change.

The following sites updated: