Saturday, June 25, 2022

Nicky Reid's Whiteness is showing (plus 10 of my favorite LGBTQ films)

Nicky Reid is a White lesbian.  If she stuck to speaking for herself, that'd be fine.  But she wants to speak for the whole LGBTQ and, bitch, you don't even speak for "L"s.

Nor does this African-American lesbian need you to speak for me.

She has no taste so it's a laugh that she thought she could compile a list of films for "militant queers."

She writes garbage like this:

Being Queer is about being proud to be a freak and beating the sh*t out of anyone who tries to push you back into that closet, whether they’re a 12-year-old-bully or a role-crazy cop. When we bash back, we make everyone stronger, not just the people in our tribe but every 

First, I don't believe in beating up people.  I gotcha, Nicky, you think the male is ideal, that's what you're going for.  You're taking macho as a norm.  So you're pimping violence.

Well, bitch, grasp that if I, a Black faced person, resorts to violence, it's likely going to end differently for me than it does for White faced you.  It'll end it differently in court, for sure.

Your inability to leave your Whiteness for even a moment to think through your embrace of violence goes to why you shouldn't even be writing.  You're too damn stupid and too damn insulated.

Now I got ticked long before I got to that paragraph above.  

I guess she has sexual fantasies about Jodie Foster.  I don't know why else she's trying to rescue Silence of the Lambs.  Hey, I think Jodie can be really sexy too but Silence is a homophobic film and, no, we shouldn't try to 'rescue' it and to 'take back' the fictional character that is a homophobic and transphobic stereotype.  We should be calling out Thomas Harris (author of the book, the source material for the film).  And we should be thanking Act Up and the others who called the film out in real time -- they're campaign against that offensive film included noting that Jodie Foster was in the closet.  And they were right to note that. (Jodie finally kind-of, sort-of came out in 2013.)

It's a horrible film.  And Philadelphia did not make up for it -- Jonathan Demme was still homophobic when he made that film (an 'apology' to us for the homophobia of Silence) which is why Tom Hanks apparently caught AIDS from hugging.  

Her film list is as pathetic as she is.  Boys Don't Cry is the only worthy film on her list.

Here are ten films with LGBTQ themes that I enjoy (in no particular order).

1) The Living End -- this is the Gregg Araki film to see.  It's a road movie and it's powerful.  

2) Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman -- it's telling that White Nicky 'represents' Black lesbians with Set It Off (where the lesbian played by Queen Latifah dies and her romance isn't even a center storyline the way the romance Jada's character has with the bank guy -- the actress playing Queen's lover?  She's the 16th billed in the film).  The Watermelon Woman is all about how Black women are erased.  White Nicky really needs to see this film which is directed by a lesbian who also plays the lead character (who is a lesbian).

3) and 4) But I'm A Cheerleader and Trick -- two brightly colored films (almost day-glow) that explore same-sex relations and both came out in 1999.  But I'm A Cheerleader stars Natasha Lyonne as a cheerleader who is a lesbian and her parents send her off to straight camp where she finds a lover.  It was wonderful when it came out and it's only gotten better with age.  Directed by out and proud Jamie Babbit. Trick revolves around Gabriel (Christian Campbell) who wants to write a Broadway musical and meets a go-go dancer.  They try to hook up throughout the film but are thwarted and, at the end, realize there might be a relationship there to build on.  Both films have great casts -- drag queen Miss Coco plays herself in Trick, Rupal plays a counselor in Cheerleader, for example.  I have to note Tori Spelling.  I never cared for her in 90210.  I was amazed by how well she came off in Trick.  It's a performance worth applauding.  In both films, the same-sex main couple has real sparks and chemistry.

5) Bound.  TheWachowskis made this film before they made The Matrix.  Gina Gershon falls for Jennifer Tilley in this tight crime thriller.  Again, real chemistry between the leads.  Great film.

6) Moonlight -- it won the Oscar for Best Film for a reason.  

7) The Birdcage.  A great film.  It's hilarious -- Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Weist, Calista Flockhart, etc.  Robin and Nathan are a couple.  Their son is coming home to tell them he's going to marry Calista -- her parents are right wing.  Robin wants Nathan to disappear and to bring in a woman to play the mother.  Robin and Nathan own The Bird Cage -- a drag club below their apartment.  After trying to turn Nathan into someone's idea of a man (and failing), Nathan ends up posing as a woman.  This film has many, many levels and don't miss the media commentary that Elaine May's script brings to the film.  This and My Best Friend's Wedding were 90s films that helped get more LGBTQ films and roles with LGBTQ characters in films made -- and they built on the success of the 90s independent films (some of which are included on this list).

8) Beautiful Thing.  1996 -- the late 90s saw some very strong films with LGBTQ themes.  This is a great and moving film and it will make you listen to Cass Elliot songs for weeks and weeks later.

9) The Crying Game.  Neil Jordan's ground breaking thriller starring Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson, Adrian Dunbar, Ralph Brown, and Forest Whitaker.  It's about the IRA and it's about so much more.  I think it was Lily Tomlin, at the Academy Awards, who held her finger to her lips and said something like, "Shh, don't tell."  For first time watchers, there may be a major surprise early in the film.

10) Soldier's Girl and Normal. Those are two powerful TV films.  The first is based on a true story of a US soldier who falls in love with a transgender showgirl and this causes problems for some serving with him leading to them murdering the soldier.  It's a very powerful and movie film.  Normal is directed by out and proud Jane Anderson who has reshaped her play Normal into a film.  It stars Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson as a married couple whose life changes when the husband reveals on their anniversary that he is a woman and will be having surgery to be her true self.  It's not that easy for her and it's made harder for her since she lives in a small town.  I love both of these films so, despite being TV movies, I'm putting them on my list.

By the way, please read C.I.'s "Today is a story of betrayal -- one long betrayal"  -- powerful and well said (the death of Roe).

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

Friday, June 24, 2022.  War on Russia continues and requires obliterating uncomfortable truths, the persecution of Julian Assange continues, Iraq has a new make up in their legislative house, and much more.

Starting with the war on Russia, Larry C. Johnson looks at all the US intelligence failures in a column at ICH and concludes:

The CIA is learning the hardway the truth of Sun Tzu’s aphorism:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

That is where the United States intelligence community is; it is ignorant of itself and the Russians.

One of the old intel codgers, Graham E. Fuller, who was Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council at CIA back when I was an analyst, has it figured out. He wrote a piece sure to get him removed from woke Washington, DC parties:

The war in Ukraine has dragged on long enough now to reveal certain clear trajectories. First, two fundamental realities:

  • Putin is to be condemned for launching this war– as is virtually any leader who launches any war.  Putin can be termed a war criminal–in good company with George W. Bush who has killed vastly greater numbers than Putin.
  • Secondary condemnation belongs to the US (NATO) in deliberately provoking a war with Russia by implacably pushing its hostile military organization, despite Moscow’s repeated notifications about crossing red lines, right up to the gates of Russia.  This war did not have to be if Ukranian neutrality, á la Finland and Austria, had been accepted. Instead Washington has called for clear Russian defeat.

Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war.  Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.

Sadly for Washington, nearly every single one of its expectations about this war are turning out to be incorrect. Indeed the West may come to look back at this moment as the final argument against following Washington’s quest for global dominance into ever newer and more dangerous and damaging confrontations with Eurasia. And most of the rest of the world–Latin America, India, the Middle East and Africa– find few national interests in this fundamentally American war against Russia

This war could end today, said Sara Flounders back in March, but that would require reality being addressed.  For eight years, US officials and their military machine have fueled and organized to use Ukraine as a pawn for the war on Russia, have shelled the Russian border for eight years.  This is without a doubt.  There's just no mention in the media that it's US-NATO weapons that are responsible for 1400 civilian deaths . . ."


We can't get honest about that.  We can't get honest about the fact that Mila Kunis does not speak for Ukraine that, like any whore of war, she simplifies and pretends Ukraine is filled with people who 100% back a war on Russia.  That's not reality.

The nazi faction does back a war on Russia and separation from Russia.  

Earlier this week, Trina noted:

How stupid is Ben Stiller? He made a point to go to Ukraine and meet his ''hero'' Zelensky -- hero? This week, we learn Ben Stiller's hero is banning books and music. Guess Ben doesn't support the arts. Well, that would explain THE CABLE MAN and so much of the garbage he has appeared in. There was no reason for him to go to Ukraine. In a few years when we all accept the reality that the government of Ukraine was neo-nazis, I don't want to hear excuses from Stiller. No one twisted his arm. He elected to stand with and praise a racist.

At WSWS,  Jason Melanovski reported yesterday:

A Ukrainian court has officially banned the activities of the country’s largest opposition party, the Opposition Platform—For Life party.

The decision was handed down by the Administrative Court of Appeals No. 8 on June 20 in Lviv and effectively upheld President Volodymyr Zelensky’s banning of 11 political parties that Kiev regarded as “anti-Ukrainian” and “collaborationists” earlier in March. The measure was then approved by the Ukrainian parliament in May.

Ten other pro-Russian and left-wing parties were included in Zelensky’s ban, among them the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Party of Shariy led by the popular Youtube blogger Anatoly Shariy.

In addition to legally banning the party’s activities, the court also stated that the party’s property and assets will be confiscated by the State Treasury. 

The banning of the country’s largest opposition party marks the temporary culmination of an undemocratic campaign initiated by the Zelensky government against parties and individuals who could potentially undermine the war that Kiev is waging against Russia on behalf of the imperialist powers.

Led by oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, the party controlled 44 out of 450 seats in Ukraine’s parliament, surpassed only by the ruling Servant of the People party of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Prior to Russia’s invasion in February, several opinion polls showed the Russia-aligned party leading hypothetical parliamentary elections or finishing second.

In eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, Opposition—For Life functioned as the dominant political party at both national and local levels. It was the effective successor to the Party of Regions of former President Viktor Yanukovych. In contrast to his opponents in the oligarchy that, with the heavy backing from US and German imperialism, toppled him in 2014 in a coup, Yanukovich spoke for a faction of the Ukrainian oligarchy that has been seeking to balance between Western imperialism and the Kremlin, and opposed a direct alliance of Ukraine with NATO.


You don't ban political parties, books and music if you're all in agreement.  

You don't lie if you have truth on your side.  But it's been one lie after another to keep the war going.  No one can tell truth about the far-right in Ukraine and how the US government is supporting them.  (They did the same in Iraq.  A people under attack internally are less likely to be able to mount to fronts and expel the foreign invaders.)  

Nicholas Paul Pacheco and I are not in agreement on Ukraine and I want that clear so I'm not accused of distorting him.  But a lengthy piece he wrote for INKSTICK MEDIA notes:

The Azov’s success in battle has spanned back to the 2014 Crimean War, and the Ukrainian government has built a reliance on their fierce fighting capabilities in several theaters. Yet, despite dismissals of their danger to stability in Ukraine, several troubling patterns suggest that Azov and its political wing, the National Corps, should not be overlooked, especially in a post-war Ukraine. First, the Azov has increased its number of fighters from 300 in 2014 to between 900 and 2500 in 2022, which is in tandem with the National Corps’ growth in size to a party membership of between 10,000 and 15,000 people. Second, they retain popular support from all spectrums of the ideological zeitgeist, from nationalists to conservatives to neo-Nazis, who are now being conscripted to fight in the war. And third, while the party and the battalion are primarily men, there have been reports of women volunteering for various militias, including the Azov under the National Guard.

Signs of strategic indifference from policymakers and media have been expressed with the US military reversing its ban on training Azov soldiers and Facebook lifting the ban on its social media page. Withstanding the current Russian encroachment is pivotal to ensuring further aggression does not take place across Eastern Europe. But just like in the 1980s, when priorities of the Cold War resulted in policy oversights in Afghanistan, the United States and NATO may find themselves in a quagmire with a potential transnational actor that is not separated by a continent and dense terrain but rather has easy land access to various European states.

The reality on the ground of the far-right’s size in Ukraine cannot be defined by how many fighters are listed as serving under the Azov Regiment. At the start of the year, around two months before the invasion, former FBI agent Ali Soufan estimated that more than 17,000 foreign fighters had come to Ukraine over the past six years from 50 countries, with Azov orchestrating recruitment for a network of extremist groups that spanned from California, through Europe, and to New Zealand. As Soufan explains, consistent with the modus operandi of ideological non-state groups, the spread of far-right extremism is a transnational movement that actively recruits and spreads ideas beyond borders.

While not all of the recruits were confirmed to be neo-Nazis or even considered “far-right” by any kind of ideological litmus test, Azov has had a history of actively communicating with groups across Europe. For example, members of the group utilized the neo-fascist chat forum Iron March to convene with other neo-fascist organizations in Europe, including Italy’s CasaPound, the UK’s Blood and Honour, Sweden’s Nordic Resistance Movement, Greece’s Golden Dawn, and Serbias’ Serbian Action. There was also a confirmed correspondence by members of Azov with US-based Atomwaffen co-founder Devon Arthurs attempting organizing a visit to Ukraine according to monitoring undertaken at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. Arthurs’ correspondence showcases what potential the dichotomy of Azov’s continued growth can result in; the ability for radicals to travel and receive training and/or combat action.

Inquiries by independent researchers and international organizations, including the UN, also suggest assertions contrary to the notion that the Azov has gone legitimate and is now accountable to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as reiterated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In 2016, a report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights found that members of Azov were engaged in activities beyond their jurisdiction after the Nov. 11, 2014, date of their assimilation into the National Guard as a unit. These activities included corroborated reports of extrajudicial torture, sexual violence, and politically-motivated subversion of a Ukrainian television channel. In 2017, they proceeded to publicly project themselves as the vanguard of defense for the nation independent of the Ukrainian military, as their official Twitter account at the time tweeted: “When the Ukrainian Army ran, #Azov stood up to fight for #Ukraine” and followed this tweet with unsanctioned artillery shelling of pro-Russian separatist locations.

Even in the current conflict, despite the declaration by the Ukrainian government of a unified nation in this battle, reports on the ground have indicated there are instances of in-fighting between the Azov and Ukrainian military units. For example, independent journalist Patrick Lancaster, who’s been on the ground in Ukraine for the duration of the war, reports claims by locals of Mariupol that Azov fighters were opening fire on Ukrainian soldiers who were attempting to retreat under orders from their command because they wanted to stay and fight.

Again, reality matters.  Truth matters.  If they tell the truth for a losing cause -- like a meaningless war -- leaders lose support.  If they tell the truth about someone they're trying to persecute, leaders lose support.  Peter Osborne (THE NATION) notes:

And it is certainly true that the Wikileaks revelations has shone a horrifying light on crimes casually committed by the US during the so called “War on Terrorism.”

Wikileaks published a video of US helicopter gunmen laughing as they shot at and killed unarmed civilians in Iraq. Fifteen individuals were killed in the attack, including a Reuters photographer and his assistant. 

The US military refused to discipline the perpetrators of this grotesque crime, who remain unpunished. But the US government has thrown the book at the man who revealed their crimes.

Wikileaks revealed that the total number of civilian casualties in Iraq was far greater than previously admitted by the US government. It disclosed the abuse meted out to the inmates at Guantanamo Bay, as well as the fact that 150 innocent inmates were held for years without charge. 

This persecution of Julian is about silencing the press.  Monday April 5, 2010, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  That is when the persecution begins.  It was an intimidation carried out by multiple presidents starting with Barack Obama, continuing with Donald Trump and now the baton for killing the press has been handed off to Joe Biden. This has had the effect of scaring off many traditional news outlets.  They once partnered with Julian to report and now they act as though they've never heard of him.  Saving their own asses?  They may think that.  If they do, they're dead wrong.  An attack on Julian is an attack on all.  And if the attack on Julian is not loudly and publicly rebuked, you can be sure that next up will be THE WASHINGTON POST or THE MIAMI HERALD or some other institution -- despite the US Constitution -- the same one that's being ignored in this attack on Julian. 

Oscar Grenfell (WSWS) reports:

Immediately after British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday last week that she had approved Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, the publisher and journalist was stripped naked and placed in a bare cell of London’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.

This latest abuse of Assange’s democratic and human rights was reported by his father John Shipton to a rally in Berlin last Tuesday and at other speaking engagements in Europe. The brutal treatment was meted out on the grounds of preventing Assange from taking his own life.

In reality, it is a continuation of what outgoing United Nations Rapporteur Nils Melzer has branded as the state torture of Assange by the British and US authorities. 

The persecution of the journalist is proceeding along two tracks. On the one hand, there is the pseudo-legal extradition process, aimed at dispatching Assange to the US where he would face 18 Espionage Act charges and 175 years imprisonment for publishing true documents which exposed American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the other is the ongoing brutalisation of Assange, who has been subjected to different forms of arbitrary detention for more than a decade. This includes over three years imprisonment in Belmarsh Prison, a facility dubbed “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay,” the vast majority of that time without conviction.

On Twitter, Assange’s wife Stella Moris also reported that Assange had been denied visitors the entire weekend after Patel’s announcement. The extradition order will be subject to a further appeal through the British courts. But under conditions of a momentous decision, which has vast and potentially dire consequences for his life, Assange was deliberately isolated and left entirely alone.

The clear aim of the British authorities was not to prevent Assange’s suicide, but to intensify his suffering as much as possible. The implications of such treatment being meted out to a man with intense psychological issues, stemming from the protracted US-led persecution, are clear. The British state wants Assange dead.

They want what Joe Biden wants because that's who they're sucking up to.  Argentinian international law expert Beltran Gambier notes that Joe Biden has the power to end this nonsense, that Barack Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning and wonders how Joe can reconcile that while continuing to pursue the extradition of Julian?

The world is watching and it's not like Joe's not already embarrassing himself on the world stage.

From yesterday's snapshot:

The fake assery of Joe Biden.  That included, please remember, backing Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq.  Joe loves to trot out Beau Biden and Beau's service in Iraq.  Didn't stop him from siding with Moqtada who is responsible for the deaths of many US troops.  Didn't stop him from channeling the bribe through the US State Dept last August to get Moqtada to reverse his position on the Iraqi elections and instead announce that he now supported them.  

Those elections took place October 10th.  Over eight months later, still no prime minister, still no president.  Moqtada had a hissy fit recently and took his toys and went home.  He demanded that his MPs resign from the Parliament.  And they did.  

His usual sycophants in the media tried to spin this.  Just a bluff. Or some great move that he's going twist around and . . .

Iraq Parliament swears in new lawmakers to replace 73 members of Sadrist bloc who resigned – Reuters


They're gone.  They're replaced (by the next highest vote getters from the October 10th elections).

Today, AL-MONITOR observes:

Today, 64 new members took the oath in the parliament, including 40 seats for the Iran-backed Coordination Framework. The other 24 were distributed among the Sunnis and the independent members.

The other 9 members did not attend. Four of them belong to the Hoquq bloc, affiliated with the Kata'ib Hezbollah, and the others are independents.

Hoquq Movement issued a statement shortly before the parliament session, announcing that they will not take the Sadrist seats and they will resign as well, as a sign of solidarity with the Sadrists.

The Coordination Framework has 130 members now, but they need 90 more members to select the president. This requires an alliance with the Sunnis and the Kurds. However, this task is not easy for the Coordination Framework, due to the lack of confidence among those groups.

The Sunni leaders' headquarters and the Kurdistan region have been constantly attacked by the Shiite militias affiliated with the Coordination Framework.

Just yesterday, the Dana Gas company, which operates in the Kurdistan Region, was attacked by rockets around Kirkuk.

Moreover, the Coordination Framework was able to push the federal court to rule against Kurdistan's oil and gas law, creating serious obstacles against the international companies to work in the region.

Now, the KDP is setting terms and conditions on the Coordination Framework to accept the alliance with them —  including nullifying the federal court ruling.

The Sunnis as well see this political change a great opportunity to set terms and conditions in their political interests.

In such circumstances, the negotiations over forming the government  are likely to take time, if an agreement is even possible at all.


The following sites updated:

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