Thursday, September 8, 2022

Oh, look at the film director, legs in the air and ass exposed

Olivia Wilde really thinks she's hot.  She's not.  Her caked on make up is scary.  And half the time, she looks like a bush baby with those eyes.  But she's never looked as bad as she does on the cover of the new Vanity Fair.  Please grasp that she's a 'director' now.  I don't know about you but I never accepted Steven Spielberg more as a director than when he showed up on the cover of Newsweek wearing a speedo.  Or John Singleton on the cover of Time in a banana hammock.  Translation, pull your skirt down, Wilde, we don't need to see your butt.

She's using T&A and wonders why no one takes her seriously.  Well . . .  She's using A.  She doesn't have any T.  As Johnny Carson infamously once said of Shelley Hack, "Even where her A is put where her T should be, it still doesn't jiggle."

Why would she post for such a picture?  Wearing a skirt way too small while on her back with her legs stuck up in the air?

Does she not grasp what a struggle it has been for women to become film directors in the last decades?

I guess that's why the lady is a tramp, as the song says.  

She laughably tells the magazine:

"We worked too hard, and went through too much together, to be derailed by something that really has nothing to do with filmmaking."

Derailed by something that really has nothing to do with filmmaking?  Like you wearing a see-through skirt on the cover of Vanity Fair with your legs hiked in the air and your butt exposed?  She thinks that pose and outfit has something to do with filmmaking?

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

Thursday, September 8, 2022.  John Pilger notes the persecution of Julian Assange and the history of US government propaganda, a threat to the LGBTQ community emerges in Kurdistan, the Iraqi judiciary repeats itself, and much more.

Starting with this Tweet from Matt Kennard:

We must get Julian Assange out of prison. Future generations won’t forgive us if we let the US-UK kill him for exposing their crimes. The stakes are impossibly high. For everyone. Act now.

US President Joe Biden continues his ongoing persecution of Julian Assange.   Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death. 

To make sure no one's confused, Joe Biden is not going after Julian Assange because Julian committed War Crimes in Iraq.  Joe is going after Julian because Julian exposed War Crimes.  In Joe's mind, War Crimes are like his son's laptop in that both should be hidden from the public.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that he has invited relatives of Julian Assange and Che Guevara to attend the country’s Independence Day celebrations next week.

Left-wing Lopez Obrador said former Presidents of Bolivia and Uruguay, Evo Morales and Jose “Pepe” Mujic, were also invited, along with relatives of Nelson Mandela, US civil rights leader Martin Luther King and US union activist Cesar Chavez.

Releasing the name list at a regular press conference, Lopez Obrador said the guest list had yet to be confirmed. However, he noted that Morales, who was granted asylum by Mexico when he was forced out of office in 2019, said he would attend.

The world is watching -- as noted at PRESSENZA:

Julian Assange, has now spent over 1,200 days in a maximum-security prison. If we consider the date of June 19, 2012, when he first sought Ecuador’s protection from the very charges he now faces, he has now been deprived of his liberty for over 10 years.

With this in mind, we’re writing to stress the importance of continued pressure in our news reports and broadcasts, including asking our representatives what is being done to bring this situation to an end.

In light of this, you are probably aware of the positive development that a number of US citizens – lawyers and journalists who worked with Assange – recently sued the Central Intelligence Agency and its former director Mike Pompeo in the Southern District of New York.

We want to provide a little more information. The plaintiffs are US lawyers Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Deborah Hrbeck; German-American journalist John Goetz; and British-American journalist Charles Glass. They allege Pompeo and the CIA breached their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment, protecting against illegal search and seizure.

This was, they allege, performed on the CIA’s behalf by the Spanish security firm UC Global and its founder David Morales – both also listed as defendants in the complaint.

The plaintiffs are represented by lead attorney Richard Roth, of Roth Law, and a full copy of the motion filed on August 15 can be found here.

Thanks to the reporting of Kevin Gosztola of The Dissenter, it has also been confirmed that Judge John Koeltl has been assigned to preside over the case. Positively, as Kevin reports, Koeltl previously ruled in favour of Assange and WikiLeaks in 2019 when the Democratic National Committee tried to hold them liable for publishing its emails three years earlier.

At CONSORTIUM NEWS, John Pilger reviews the long history of US government propaganda farmed off as 'truth' by a controlled press and we'll pick up with Ukraine:

The news from the war in Ukraine is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission.  I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda. 

In February, Russia invaded Ukraine as a response to almost eight years of killing and criminal destruction in the Russian-speaking region of Donbass on their border. 

In 2014, the United States had sponsored a coup in Kiev that got rid of Ukraine’s democratically elected, Russian-friendly president and installed a successor whom the Americans made clear was their man. 

In recent years, American “defender” missiles have been installed in eastern Europe, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, almost certainly aimed at Russia, accompanied by false assurances all the way back to James Baker’s “promise” to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990 that NATO would never expand beyond Germany. 

NATO on Hitler’s Borderline

Ukraine is the frontline. NATO has effectively reached the very borderland through which Hitler’s army stormed in 1941, leaving more than 23 million dead in the Soviet Union. 

Last December, Russia proposed a far-reaching security plan for Europe. This was dismissed, derided or suppressed in the Western media. Who read its step-by-step proposals? On Feb. 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened to develop nuclear weapons unless America armed and protected Ukraine.  

[Related: John Pilger: War in Europe & the Rise of Raw Propaganda]

On the same day, Russia invaded — an unprovoked act of congenital infamy, according to the Western media. The history, the lies, the peace proposals, the solemn agreements on Donbass at Minsk counted for nothing. 

On April 25, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin flew into Kiev and confirmed that America’s aim was to destroy the Russian Federation — the word he used was “weaken.” America had got the war it wanted, waged by an American bankrolled and armed proxy and expendable pawn.

Almost none of this was explained to Western audiences.

[Read:  Joe Lauria: Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War]

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is wanton and inexcusable. It is a crime to invade a sovereign country. There are no “buts” — except one.

When did the present war in Ukraine begin and who started it? According to the United Nations, between 2014 and this year, some 14,000 people have been killed in the Kiev regime’s civil war on the Donbass. Many of the attacks were carried out by neo-Nazis. 

Watch an ITV news report from May 2014, by the veteran reporter James Mates, who is shelled, along with civilians in the city of Mariupol, by Ukraine’s Azov (neo-Nazi) battalion.

In the same month, dozens of Russian-speaking people were burned alive or suffocated in a trade union building in Odessa besieged by fascist thugs, the followers of the Nazi collaborator and anti-Semitic fanatic Stepan Bandera.  The New York Times called the thugs “nationalists.”

“The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment,” said Andreiy Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battaltion, “is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Since February, a campaign of self-appointed “news monitors” (mostly funded by the Americans and British with links to governments) have sought to maintain the absurdity that Ukraine’s neo-Nazis don’t exist. 

Airbrushing, once associated with Stalin’s purges, has become a tool of mainstream journalism.

In less than a decade, a “good” China has been airbrushed and a “bad” China has replaced it: from the world’s workshop to a budding new Satan.  

Much of this propaganda originates in the U.S., and is transmitted through proxies and “think-tanks,” such as the notorious Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the voice of the arms industry, and by journalists such as Peter Hartcher of The Sydney Morning Herald, who has labeled those spreading Chinese influence as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows” and suggested these “pests” be “eradicated.” 

News about China in the West is almost entirely about the threat from Beijing. Airbrushed are the 400 American military bases that surround most of China, an armed necklace that reaches from Australia to the Pacific and south east Asia, Japan and Korea. The Japanese island of Okinawa and the Korean island of Jeju are like loaded guns aimed point blank at the industrial heart of China. A Pentagon official described this as a “noose.”

Palestine has been misreported for as long as I can remember. To the BBC, there is the “conflict” of “two narratives.” The longest, most brutal, lawless military occupation in modern times is unmentionable. 

The stricken people of Yemen barely exist. They are media unpeople.  While the Saudis rain down their American cluster bombs with British advisers working alongside the Saudi targeting officers, more than half a million children face starvation.

This brainwashing by omission is not new. The slaughter of the First World War was suppressed by reporters who were given knighthoods for their compliance.  In 1917, the editor of The Manchester Guardian, C.P. Scott, confided to Prime Minister Lloyd George: “If people really knew [the truth], the war would be stopped tomorrow, but they don’t know and can’t know.”

The refusal to see people and events as those in other countries see them is a media virus in the West, as debilitating as Covid.  It is as if we see the world through a one-way mirror, in which “we” are moral and benign and “they” are not. It is a profoundly imperial view.

The history that is a living presence in China and Russia is rarely explained and rarely understood. Vladimir Putin is Adolf Hitler. Xi Jinping is Fu Man Chu. Epic achievements, such as the eradication of abject poverty in China, are barely known. How perverse and squalid this is.

When will we allow ourselves to understand? Training journalists factory style is not the answer. Neither is the wondrous digital tool, which is a means, not an end, like the one-finger typewriter and the linotype machine.

In recent years, some of the best journalists have been eased out of the mainstream. “Defenestrated” is the word used. The spaces once open to mavericks, to journalists who went against the grain, truth-tellers, have closed.  

The case of Julian Assange is the most shocking.  When Julian and WikiLeaks could win readers and prizes for The Guardian, The New York Times and other self-important “papers of record,” he was celebrated. 

When the dark state objected and demanded the destruction of hard drives and the assassination of Julian’s character, he was made a public enemy. Vice President Joe Biden compared him to a “hi-tech terrorist.” Hillary Clinton asked, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” 

The ensuing campaign of abuse and vilification against Julian Assange — the U.N. rapporteur on torture called it “mobbing” — brought the liberal press to its lowest ebb. We know who they are. I think of them as collaborators: as Vichy journalists. 

Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the overwhelmingly compliant U.S. Congress, are all to blame for that dictatorial regime’s pursuit against that champion of truth-telling; and the same blame applies to the leadership in UK. On 10 December 2021, BBC bannered “Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules”. Blatantly, both America and England lie in order to refer to themselves as being democracies. In fact, America has the world’s highest percentage of its residents in prisons. But can the Government of Australia be any better, since Assange is an Australian and they’ve done nothing whatsoever to protect him from his would-be executioners? After all: Assange will be dying in prison regardless of whether or not he even becomes formally tried for any alleged crime. That’s a democracy? Of course not! It is a country that is controlled by its roughly 1,000 billionaires. It is an aristocracy. And the public are merely their dupes. And that is the reason why, in the only international poll of this that has ever been published on approval/disapproval of Assange — and its findings then were suppressed — only in the U.S. did a majority of the public disapprove of Assange.

A protest rally is planned for October 8th, starting at noon, in front of the US Justice Dept in DC.

Turning to Iraq, Rasha Younes (Human Rights Watch) calls attention to a proposed measure that would greatly limit the rights of those living in Kurdistan:

On September 4, members of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq proposed an odious bill to Parliament that, if passed, would punish any individual or group who advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The bill is reportedly gaining momentum among parliament members.

According to the “Bill on the Prohibition of Promoting Homosexuality,” anyone who advocates for LGBT rights or “promotes homosexuality” would face imprisonment up to one year, and a fine of up to five million dinars (US$3,430). The bill would also suspend, for up to one month, the licenses of media companies and civil society organizations that “promote homosexuality.”

If passed, the law would endanger free expression in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and eradicate public discussion around gender and sexuality. Even as LGBT people across Iraq have faced egregious violence, including murder, over two decades, the KRI was a comparatively accessible space for activism.

The proposed bill comes amid a heightened crackdown on free assembly and expression in the KRI, where just last month security forces arrested dozens of journalists, activists, and politicians in advance of planned protests over worsening corruption, poverty, and unemployment.

The new law would make a bad situation worse for LGBT people in Iraq, who can already be arrested under a range of vague penal code provisions aimed at policing morals and limiting free expression. In June 2021, police in the KRI issued arrest warrants under a “public indecency” provision against 11 LGBT rights activists who are either current or former employees at Rasan Organization, a Sulaymaniyah-based human rights group. As of September 2022, the case remained open pending investigation, though authorities had not detained the activists.

Advocates who support LGBT rights and document abuses against them should not fear reprisals for speaking up. The Kurdistan Regional Government should immediately quash the proposed bill and publicly guarantee the right to free expression, including around the rights of LGBT people.

In Iraq, the political stalemate continues.  October 10th, Iraq held elections.  Still no prime minister, still no president.  All these months later.  Overeater and Cult Leader Moqtada al-Sadr failed repeatedly, month after month, at forming a government.  Exposed as a failure, he continues to flounder.  PRESS TV reports:

Iraq's supreme court says it lacks the constitutional authority to dissolve the country's parliament as demanded by influential Shia cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

In a ruling on Wednesday, which came in response to a lawsuit filed by lawmakers affiliated with Sadr, the country's apex court said it was only the parliament that could dissolve itself if it were to be found in default of its duties.

After the ruling, Iraqi security forces closed the gates to the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, the seat of the government, fearing angry reaction from Sadr's followers, according to reports.

The Arab country has been grappling with a political stalemate since last October when Sadr's parliamentary bloc won the general elections but refused to join an alliance with its fellow legislative factions to form a government.

I'm going through articles at ALJAZEERA and AL-MONITOR and from various wire services and it's as though everyone has amnesia.  

The judiciary response?  It's their second response.  From the August 15th snapshot:

Last week, Moqtada made the demand that the judiciary dissolve the Parliament.  The judiciary has responded.  ALJAZEERA carried an AP article which notes, "Iraq’s top judicial body says it does not have the authority to dissolve the country’s parliament, days after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr escalated a political standoff by giving it one week to dismiss the legislature so new elections can be held."

The response this week was the same as last month.  And what happened last month?  Moqtada then sent his cult to intimidate the judiciary.  

Let's wind down address a few topics showing up in drive-by e-mails to the public account (  First, Donald Trump is stating that he should be named president.

We have addressed that over and over.  The people do not elect the president. The electoral college does.  If there was a time to call the vote into question, it was before the electoral college voted.  Once that took place, it was over.  

There is no process by which the electoral college is overturned.  I believe Al Gore won in the 2000 election -- a topic will come back to.  If one day after the electoral college voted in 2001, there had been proof to this effect, it wouldn't have mattered.  Someone else was named and they were named to a four year term that would only be stopped by death or impeachment.  That's it.  And if Bully Boy Bush had died in 2001, Al wouldn't have become president.  There is an order of succession.  It would have gone to Dick Cheney in 2001.

There are not do overs as such.  Once the electoral college votes, that's it.

So let's say Donald Trump had proof -- proof no one questioned or doubted -- that he should have been named president in January 2021?  It doesn't matter.  He can try running again as someone who was denied the office.  But he's not going to replace Joe Biden as president this year or next year or in 2024.  Were he to win the 2024 election, he could become president in January 2025.  But we don't go backwards on that.  

Those opposed to abolishing the electoral college could make that a point for keeping it.  (I oppose abolishing the electoral college and having the people directly vote for the presidency.)

Karine Jean-Pierre.  I haven't written a word about her.  She's the White House spokesperson.  If she addresses Iraq, we'll note her.  Right now?  Honestly, not interested.

E-mails are saying she was fairly called out or unfairly called out on FOX NEWS.  

They pointed to some election in 2016 that she claimed was falsely decided.

If that's all she did, so what?

JFK probably did not defeat Richard Nixon -- Chicago's dead voting put JFK over the top.  

That's not the only election in doubt.  More recently, the Supreme Court stopped the count in GORE V BUSH.  They didn't have the right or power to stop that vote.  If there is doubt, it goes to the House.  They also are not supposed to do one issue one time cases -- yet they insisted that this was not to be seen as a precedent.  You also had Sandra Day O'Connor having a hissy fit at a party when a network called it for Gore.  After she stormed out of the room, her husband explained that she was planning to retire but she couldn't if a Democrat was going to be in the White House.  For that reason, she should have recused herself from the decision.  She had a vested interest in the outcome -- and the public would forever be left to wonder if she made the decision on legal grounds or because she wanted to retire?  

Trust is not a minor issue.  When you rise to the level of Supreme Court Justice, or president, or leader of one of the houses of Congress, you're not just supposed to avoid conflicts of interest, you are supposed to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Sandra didn't do that.

You will never, ever convince me that Bully Boy Bush won the 2000 election.  

And I can say that.  It's a free country.  I said it in real time.  I did not call for people to descend upon DC.  I did not call for violence.

I can use my words however I want -- that's what free speech means.

Hillary Clinton, after 2016, looked like a sore loser going around pretending that she won if things were fair.  No, she didn't win.  The rules were in place before she ran.  And, unlike me, she's never called for the electoral college to be abolished.  "I won the popular vote!"  Who gives a damn.  The popular vote isn't how we elect presidents.  She knew that before she filed papers to run for president in 2016 -- hell, she knew it before she tried to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008.

That's the system.  She lost.  She lost because she was lazy and she lost because she wanted to be Barack.  (The complaints -- valid complaints -- about her 2016 campaign largely overlook the candidate she was in 2008 -- that candidate could have won.)  

I've said she should let it go -- and she should have -- but I didn't say she was crazy (she was a hypocrite since she never called for abolishing the electoral college).  She can use her words how she wants -- that's why she got away with Russia-gate, remember.  She chose to lie and she did get away with it but the record is the record and history will hold her accountable.  

If that's it with regards to Karine?  Then she hasn't done anything wrong.  Elections have been stolen -- here and in other countries.  It does happen.  She's entitled to her opinion.  She's not entitled to call for violence.  If she called for violence (I doubt she did) Karine and I would have a problem.  But her believing that an election was stolen?  That's her right as a US citizen.  

And let's clarify on stolen because I've seen the raw data on the polls NPR and others have used recently.

No.  That's not polling.

Benito can support Donald Trump and believe that the election was stolen.  He can state that belief.  That does not mean that he believes the votes were counted wrongly, for example.  It just might mean that he believes Donald was the better choice and Joe winning the office was 'stealing' it from a better candidate.  

For example, a large number of us who belong to the Academy believe that Geena Davis stole the Oscar.  I've referred to her as The Accidental Award Winner.  I don't, for one moment, believe Geena stuffed the ballot box or that she ran off with some ballots and destroyed them.  I just happen to believe that no one gave a better performance that year than Michelle Pfeiffer in DANGEROUS LIASONS.  No one gives a damn about THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST and everything Geena does in that movie she did in TOOTSIE, in her failed sitcoms, etc.  Geena's work isn't very impressive (THELMA AND LOUSIE, THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT and AVA are films where she stretches and achieves, she coasted through the 80s).  Michelle tore your heart apart in DANGEROUS LIASONS.  Stan called her "One of the most underrated actors" and I agree (I know Michelle and consider her a friend, however, I have a lot of friends and you don't see me posting about how they should have won this Academy Award or that one). I 100% believe Michelle was robbed, that the award was stolen.  I do not, however, believe that Geena cheated, stuffed the ballot box, destroyed ballots, etc.  The polling could be stronger if they were more precise in their in conveying terms and what they meant.  

"Stolen" could just mean you think someone else should have won.

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