Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Power

We watched some of The Power on Amazon.  The first three episodes are up right now.  We watched episode one.  Would have done more if we knew it was up already -- it was supposed to post to Prime tomorrow.  Toni Collette is the star.

"Bulls**t.  Blame Eve, always blame Eve.  That's what you're thinking, right, Allie?"

That's the voice in Allie's head that drives her out of church.  The voice tells her about a power and how it's in her hands.  Literally, it turns out.  She and all the other teenage girls develop electricity in their hands.  And they can make it happen for women as well. 

If you read Naomi Alderman's book a few years back, you know this transforms the society and leads females to be the dominant sex on earth. 

I'm interested to see how this plays out as a series.  


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

Tuesday, March 30, 2023.  The US Senate votes in favor of repealing the AUMF, Senators Patty Murray, Jon Tester and Sherrod Brown want accountability on the VA electronic record program, Mother Tucker Carlson continues to issue jihads against the LGBTQ+ community, and much more.

How long does it take to get something done in the US Congress?  Maybe at least 20 years.  Brad Dress and Al Weaver (THE HILL) report:

The Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal a pair of Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) with bipartisan support, taking a step toward closing the door on the Iraq War 20 years after it started. 

Senators voted 66-30 to officially repeal the 1991 authorization for the Gulf War and the 2002 AUMF that opened the door to the Iraq War the following March.

At least 20 years.  At least?  It's not repealed yet.  Mary Claire Jalonick (AP) explains, "If passed by the House, the repeal would not be expected to affect any current military deployments. But lawmakers in both parties are increasingly seeking to claw back congressional powers they have given the White House over U.S. military strikes and deployments, and some lawmakers who voted for the Iraq War two decades ago now say that was a mistake." Yes, now we're waiting on the House of Representatives.  

On the topic of Congress, March 17th's "Iraq snapshot" reported on the latest Senate hearing on the Electronic Health Record Modernization -- an effort that's gone on since Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.  Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray's office issued the following:

Murray, Tester, Brown Announce Comprehensive Bill to Overhaul VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Program

Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Appropriations Committees leaders spearhead effort to restructure, enhance, and improve the new EHR program while increasing oversight on behalf of veterans, VA personnel, and taxpayers

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are spearheading a legislative push to deliver a complete overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program.

The Senators will be introducing comprehensive legislation in the coming days that would require VA to implement a series of EHRM reforms to better serve veterans, medical personnel, and taxpayers. Their bill would restructure, enhance, and strengthen the entire EHRM program while also mandating aggressive reporting to Congress to increase oversight, accountability, and transparency following a series of challenges with the system and program, including those found in VA’s recent EHRM Sprint Report and a review from the Government Accountability Office. This is just the latest in a series of challenges related to the program which launched in 2017 and was deployed at the first VA hospital in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been clear from the start -- VA cannot continue with its current EHR system until it works for providers and keeps patients safe. This legislation will put into law the kind of aggressive oversight necessary to fix the current system -- that's my first priority,” said Senator Murray. “Importantly, this set of reforms will also overhaul the contracts and acquisitions process so that the issues we’ve seen these last few years can be prevented in the future. I want to make sure the dedicated providers at VA can do their jobs and that our veterans are getting the high quality care they have earned and deserve. Let’s pass the EHR Program RESET Act as soon as possible.”

“It’s clear that the new EHR system is failing veterans, medical personnel, and taxpayers, and we need aggressive measures to right this ship and get a better return on investment through this contract,” said Chairman Tester. “That’s why my colleagues and I are putting forth comprehensive legislation to increase transparency and oversight over the new electronic health record system—holding VA and Oracle Cerner accountable on behalf of the men and women who risked their lives to defend our country. Veterans deserve nothing less, and I won’t back down from our continued commitment to safely deliver them the health care they need and earned.”

“Too many veterans and workers have faced confusion and unnecessary problems because of VA’s Electronic Health Record rollout. VA needs a reset, and must meet specific metrics on patient safety, cost, and VA employee productivity, to improve morale and improve veterans’ experiences when they turn to the VA for care,” said Senator Brown. “As VA employees at Chalmers in Columbus continue to work through issues related to Oracle Cerner’s product, I’ll continue fighting for them, and for the veterans they serve, to improve this program before the Department moves forward with any other VA facilities.”

Among its many provisions, the Senators’ legislation would require VA to:

  • Develop clear metrics to guide whether and how VA should go forward with the new EHR at additional VA facilities and require additional resources to support those facilities;
  • Require VA and Oracle Cerner to fix the technology features connected to the health safety and delivery issues found in VA’s March 2023 Sprint Report;
  • Not move forward with the new EHR at other VA health facilities until the data at the existing five facilities demonstrates an ability to deliver health care to veterans at standards that surpass metrics using VA’s VistA system or that meet national health operations standards as determined by the Under Secretary for Health;
  • Appoint a lead senior negotiator and leverage other federal agencies and independent outside experts to offer advice and strategies for managing aggressive EHR contract negotiations with Oracle Cerner to protect taxpayers and veterans;
  • Develop an alternative “Plan B” strategy for a new EHR in the event Oracle Cerner will not agree to new contract terms that protect taxpayers and increase accountability and penalties for poor performance or when VA data shows it cannot get the technology to work to serve veterans efficiently and safely;
  • Reform major acquisitions at VA to prevent future programs with poor contracting, oversight, management, and planning from occurring; and
  • Require an existing VA Advisory Committee to add health care experts with proven experience implementing EHR deployments to advise VA leaders on potential strategies on how to improve VA EHRM’s implementation based on prior lessons learned in the private and non-profit health sectors.

The legislation would also require the Department of Defense (DoD) to report to Congress quarterly on steps it is taking fix DoD information technology systems, including those which are outdated and are negatively impacting VA’s ability to deliver health care, benefits, and other services, including through the new EHR.


On Iraq, tonight, at 7:00 pm EST, WBUR will air ON POINT's latest episode "The American Invasion Through An Iraqis Eyes."  Host Meghna Chakrabarti will be joined by Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.  If your local NPR airs it, great, grab it off that.  I'm sure the episode will go up at NPR's home page for ON POINT at some point.  I'm noting the Boston station because a friend there is the one who provided the heads up.  I've honestly never listened to ON POINT and didn't even know about it until the phone call.  I will be listening tonight.  And, no, Tom Bowman is not the voice of NPR.  Many people with NPR are offended by his nonsense last week.

A friend at PBS asked for a link as well.  No.  

They're not getting it.  Ava and I may rip apart what they wanted promoted this weekend.  Otherwise, we'll just ignore the airing of lies on the public airwaves.  

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq, a conflict that was broadcast into our living rooms on our TV sets in great detail thanks to the many reporters who were allowed to become “embedded” with U.S. troops as they made their way across the battlefields of Iraq.

Some commentators today refer to the War in Iraq as a mistake, but that implies a mere error in judgment. However, that assessment completely ignores the simple fact that the war was predicated on a deliberately-false narrative.

Someone at PBS needs to review that editorial with their staff.

Turning to the war on the LGBTQ+ community in the US,  Skylar Baker-Jordan (INDEPENDENT) reports:

The bodies of the six innocent victims – including three precious children – killed in the latest school shooting weren’t even cold yet before the “don’t politicize tragedy” brigade was politicizing tragedy.
On Monday, a female-to-male transgender man shot his way into Covenant School – a pre-k through sixth-grade private school affiliated with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of America – in Nashville, Tennessee. The right quickly pounced on the shooter’s transgender identity, using it to target an entire community that it has already spent the first three months of this year targeting through state legislatures.

Republican Senator JD Vance tweeted that the left needed to do some “soul searching” over the Nashville shooting because the shooter was trans and targeted a Christian school. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, his fellow Republican, blamed the “hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness” the shooter may have been on for the violence, adding that “everyone can stop blaming guns now.” Tucker Carlson, meanwhile, called transgender people the “natural enemy” of Christianity in a hateful tirade on his Fox News show.

These comments are all part of an emerging narrative on the right that seeks to turn an isolated incident – only three mass shooters out of over 300 since 2009 have been trans – into a rallying cry for further hate and violence against the LGBTQ community. We must reject this narrative because the reverse is true.

The right is the radicalized threat to public safety, not the LGBTQ community. I have the receipts to prove it.

[. . .]

If folks like Vance, Greene, and Carlson are concerned about sectarian violence in the United States – and we all should be, given its ubiquity in modern America – they ought to take a step back and consider the rhetoric they use to demonize and dehumanize their political opponents, the laws they pass targeting them, and the actions they take to harm them. They ought to also consider the use of violence on their own side.

Just last week, far-right extremists shut down an all-ages drag show in Kentucky with threats of violence knowing children would be present. In New Mexico, a defeated Republican candidate paid four men to shoot up the homes of four elected Democratic officials. Last year, a far-right extremist with ties to QAnon broke into then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and bludgeoned her husband, Paul, with a hammer. And then, of course, there was the January 6 insurrection – which was an act of far-right political violence whether Greene, Vance, or Carlson admit it or not.

For more on that Mother Tucker Carlson, see Gabriella Ferrigine's piece at SALON:

 Fox News host Tucker Carlson stoked anti-trans fears in the wake of Monday's Nashville school shooting, warning of what he described as the rising threat of "trans terrorism."

Carlson cited the deadly shooting at the Covenant School, a private Christian school, to assert a broad and unfounded claim that trans people are waging a war against Christians.

"Why are some trans people so angry, and why do they seem to be mad specifically at traditional Christians?" Carlson asked. 


What is FOX "NEWS" to do?  Haters in poverty and struggling watch FOX NEWS over the airwaves -- a low income group which effects advertising rates.  And when FOX NEWS owned FOX entertainment, that was good for the bottom line.  But ABC-DISNEY-et all now owns FOX entertainment.  So the free viewers continue.  But advertising alone's not making it these days.  Which is why they started FOX NATION. But, bit of a problem, the people who signed up for it -- a two week trial or even for a full month?  They're leaving.  And they're not leaving silently.  The feedback FOX NATION is getting -- and they do ask for feedback when you cancel your subscription -- is that there are too many hateful attacks on LGBTQ+.  They're getting comments like that.  Some of the comments include statements such as "I'm not a supporter of gay people but even for me it's too much with the attacks."  

Tucker brings in the freeloaders, no surprise there.  But FOX "NEWS" is going to have to figure out another way to get people to pay for content because those who sampled the for-pay service are not impressed with Mother Tucker.

In the real world, people have to live with the hate Mother Tucker stokes.   QUEER NEWS TONIGHT notes Nebraska state senator John Fredrickson.

It takes a lot of courage on the part of the LGBTQ+ community in this country as elements of the right-wing push for a holy war -- that's the only term for it -- against LGBTQ+ persons.  

Meanwhile, Josselyn Berry has resigned.  Who?  The press secretary for Arizona's governor.  Monday the shooting in Tennessee took place.  Monday night, Hobbs Tweeted with a gif of Gena Rowlands in GLORIA, gun in each hand, adding "Us when we see transphobes."  There's not a defense for it.  It was a dumb Tweet.  It also wasn't the end of the world.  She was right to resign because she would have been a distraction to the governor's work.  But it's also true that those whining that she was threatening them -- huh?

People can be stupid.  That includes HUFFINGTON POST which (mis)covered this.  Right-wingers, she wasn't talking about you.  It was in a thread about how harmful transphobes on the left are.  Oh, right-wingers, did you not know you could break bread with the left on this topic?  I've got an elderly, one-foot-in-the-grave, self-identified Communist just waiting to meet you!  (See Betty's "Shut your bigoted ass, Dr. Anthony Monteiro" for more on that fool.)  It had nothing to do with the right-wingers, but you know how they love to play the victim, you know how they're always playing the victim and always running for a Mommy or Daddy to tattle because they're just victims (Mother Tucker Carlson projects victimhood onto others), so they got butt hurt over something that had nothing to do with them as usual.  

Or maybe they were just whoring -- as usual.

Megyn Kelly knows she has to whore.  She's got no career at FOX and no career at NBC and no one else will touch her so YOUTUBE's all she got.  Remember that when she Tweets:

Thank God for the heroes at . Never ceases to amaze when you see courage like that on these tapes (of them taking out the shooter). Professionalism, bravery, respect for one another, honor.

The heroes?  

I believe the police department did a very poor job.  

A friend of the shooter's called the police department and was palmed off.   Hours after the shooting ended, they finally showed up to take the woman's story.  That's not good police work.  Now I know Megyn's not very smart.  But, let me repeat, that's not good police work.

Just reading the first Tweet she received over the phone to the first point-of-contact with the Nashville police should have been enough.  The statement indicates the person texting has plans to harm someone and is about to act on that plan.

This should not have been fobbed off. 

The Nashville Police Department needs to figure out how they failed.

Megyn appears to be praising those who shot the shooter.  

I know that a certain Texas school shooting lowered everyone's expectations regarding law enforcement but that is the police's job.  I don't know that those at the location did it well.  I don't know that they didn't.  But I know the Nashville police department failed Nashville when they treated the friend calling as something to push off and ignore.

Megyn's whoring isn't helping anyone and it won't make the people of Nashville any safer.  But, hey, maybe it'll get some right-wing crazies to embrace Megyn again?  For Megyn, it was either that or endorsing Blackface again -- she had to do something to rally her base.

Repeating, the first call should have addressed reality and done so immediately, then there was a second call and it didn't address the issue either.  This is not a time for praise.  A tragedy took place and Nashville Police needs to look at their actions and ensure more training so that they're not ignoring an impending shooting again when presented with clear information that someone's about to harm someone else in the city.

Related, "You are supposed to be a feminist! Trans 'women' are erasing women!"  So claims an e-mail. 

Uh, no, they're not.  A lot of straight, cis gender women are erasing women.  It's not your industry probably but I don't understand why, for example, actresses -- a noble profession -- are expected to want to be called "actors."  I don't get it.  Singer is an inclusive term.  Songstress is not, but singer is.  So fine and dandy.  But if we're really worried about women being erased -- and our society never has been -- then I'd worry more about women being forced to adopt male terms than about people misgendered by birth.   And then take a moment to grasp that this is happening in 21st century -- this notion that women should be happy with a male term.  If we're going to rename the profession why not go with "actresses" for all?  Why do we have to reward the male norm all the time?  That's a better worry if you're worried about erasure.  Then again, if you were worried about actual erasure, you'd be promoting Merlin Stone's WHEN GOD WAS A WOMAN and other books that deal with the actual erasure of women from history. 

If Erica is transitioning or has transitioned, how is her being a woman erasing me?  Help me with that because I don't see it.

The e-mail continues, "They are doing this just to win races!"  Really?  Most of the transgender people I know are over college age and not running or competing in any sport, first off.  And while there probably could be economic incentive for someone born physically female to switch to male, there's no benefit to the reverse.  Transitioning to male could allow an athlete to make a lot more money if they have talent at the sport.  Anyone who transitioned to female to make money in sports had bigger problems than greed because society ignores women's sports in this country.  The WNBA is mentioned most often to mock it.  (That's not me saying they deserve to be mocked.  They don't.  But if, for example, FAMILY GUY mentions the WNBA, it's to mock it.  And, no, the same thing does not happen with the NBA.)

Riley Gaines?  Isn't that the loser's name.  As Marcia's documented repeatedly, that woman has changed her story repeatedly.  Maybe now that her sports career is over, she feels she can be honest?  Here's some honesty, it's over because she wasn't that good.  More reality, Marcia's right, she came in sixth in that race she keeps whining about which is why she didn't get the fifth place trophy at the swim meet.  They had to send her a trophy.  They were being kind to her and letting her have a fifth place tie -- when she actually came in sixth.  No good deed goes unpunished which is how Riley ends up degrading us all today.  And, dear, with those tiny breasts, I don't think you need to be insulting Lia Thomas.  And maybe don't talk about others because, Riley,  your shoulders and arms do not look normal for a woman.  They don't look like normal swimmers shoulders, no.  And look at the bulky arms and then the chest that looks like it has pecs and not breasts.  

I get it, I really do.  Lia didn't just beat you in the water, she also beats you in front of any mirror.  Rachel McLish is a body builder who won many competitions and she never looked like she was juicing so I really don't get 'swimmer' Riley and all the testosterone that appears to be racing through her own system while she's attacking Lia.  Same with Cory Everson.   I started working out in the 80s -- like many, led there by Jane Fonda.  I knew what I wanted my body to look like and what I didn't want it to look like.  I wasn't going for Rachel or Cory's look but I didn't feel they lost any part of what made them a woman.  They looked like women with muscles.  Riley Gaines' body really doesn't look like a woman's body.  Again, that might account for her bitterness.  

 As we wind down, let's note this in Michigan:

South Central Michigan Greens

Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties Local
People and planet over profit.


For more information:
Monika Dittmann Schwab, Local Contact/SCMiGreens

John Anthony La Pietra, Organizer/SCMiGreens

South Central Michigan Greens to Hold Public Reading
of Dr. King's "Beyond Vietnam" Speech Sunday, April 2
Take "Time to Break Silence", Honor the "Other MLK Day";
Register on Zoom to Listen or Help Read Starting at 4pm

The South Central Michigan Greens local will hold a public reading of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech "Beyond Vietnam:  A Time to Break
Silence" starting at 4pm EDT on Sunday, April 2 on the Green Party of
Michigan Zoom account.

Dr. King delivered the speech at Riverside Church in New York City on
April 4, 1967 -- a year to the day before he was assassinated in Memphis
while supporting a strike of local sanitation workers.

Local Greens celebrate April 4 as "the Other MLK Day", breaking the
silence about Dr. King's recognition that "the greatest purveyor of
violence in the world today" was "my own government."

Since April 4 is a Tuesday, the celebration is being shifted to the
previous Sunday and will start at 4pm EDT to make it easier for people
across the country to take part -- by being in the audience or by
joining in the reading.

To register for the event, visit this link:

The reading is also a post on Facebook at:

Recordings and scripts of the original speech, made to a meeting of
Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam, can be found online.
Organizer John Anthony La Pietra has taken an online transcript
(possibly of the prepared text) and adjusted it to match the speech as
Dr. King actually delivered it.  A copy of this script will be made
available for the event.

To discuss details and news about the South Central Michigan Greens
local, please visit its Facebook page:

#  #  #

The Four Pillars of GPMI:
    Grassroots Democracy
    Social Justice
    Ecological Wisdom
For our Ten Key Values, add:
    Community-Based Economics
    Future Focus/Sustainability
    Personal and Global Responsibility
    Respect for Diversity

The following sites updated:

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