The Flash finally arrived in theaters— and, much to my surprise, the film was a pretty big flop. It had a smaller opening weekend than Black Adam, which was already considered a significant disappointment for Warner Bros. and DC Comics. The movie was supposed to start a new era of DC movies from filmmaker James Gunn, and instead it feels more like the final nail in the coffin of the DC Extended Universe.
Good. That's what DC gets. They should have released Batgirl.
That really started the anti-DC mood. And a new report says it was a good movie. But they scrapped Batgirl. Then came word that Jason Momoa split with Lisa Bonet. Sorry, I know people acted as though he was Jesus Christ returning but he was a so-so actor and the reason a lot of of us gave a damn about him was Lisa Bonet conferred coolness on him. That's gone. Then we found out that there would be no Wonder Woman 3, then Henry Cavill was fired as Superman and James Gunn's new slate really doesn't promote women.
So, no, we don't give a damn about DC currently. They were idiots to think they could f**k with the fans.
And Ezra should have been fired and all of his scenes reshot.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Donald Trump’s behavior has already made it clear that he and his followers have no respect for the rule of law. Now they are making it clear that they have no respect for the institutions either.
In a dramatic escalation of rhetoric, Republicans are attacking the very structure of federal law enforcement, with the goal of not only discrediting it but destroying it altogether. They want the Department of Justice and the FBI to respond to the demands of the president, rather than maintain their current independence and integrity. Should the GOP succeed, it would have dire consequences for LGBTQ+ rights in the country.
The proponents of this radical change dress it up as justifiable homicide. They argue that any federal agency is essentially under the president’s direct control and should act as such.
“Conservatives are waking up to the fact that federal law enforcement is weaponized against them and as a result are embracing paradigm-shifting policies to reverse that trend,” Russell Vought, who served Trump as director of the Office of Management and Budget, told The New York Times.
In short, the way to fight the alleged weaponization of the government is to really weaponize it.
Of course, not to be outdone, Trump’s rival Ron DeSantis goes one step further. He would dismantle the FBI and Department of Justice.
“We’re not going to let all this power accumulate in Washington, we’re going to break up these agencies,” DeSantis said during a private strategy session, according to a tape obtained by Real Clear Politics. He said that if he was elected, “some of the problematic components of the DOJ” would be “shipped to other parts of the country.”
This fits into a broader plan to stack the civil service with partisan hacks who will carry out the will of the president without regard to law or regulation.
Judge Indira Talwani agreed with the school that, actually, it was Morrison who “invaded the rights” of students through his factual, nonviolent statement. She cited the school’s unproven claim that offending a gender-dysphoric child’s sense of identity in any way puts them at risk of suicide. Even some doctors who support transitioning children agree that this narrative is “exaggerated and hysterical,” and there is no solid data to back it up, but Talwani treats it as an undisputed fact.
“School administrators were well within their discretion to conclude that the statement 'THERE ARE ONLY TWO GENDERS' may communicate that only two gender identities … are valid, and any others are invalid or nonexistent,” Talwani wrote, “and to conclude that students who identify differently, whether they do so openly or not, have a right to attend school without being confronted by messages attacking their identities.”
It would be impossible to argue that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution with the intent of protecting "gender nonconforming" children from any statement that might invalidate their feelings, a right given to no other group in society. But the leftist legal movement abandoned all notions of judicial integrity on politically charged legal matters long ago. Even so, Talwani's mental gymnastics are breathtaking.
One thing these new laws do not take into account is that the 12 federally recognized tribes in Montana have historically recognized multiple gender identities, including transgender identities. Most Indigenous peoples recognize multiple gender identities that are believed to be the result of supernatural intervention.
In this regard, Montana state Rep. Donavon Hawk, a Democrat from Butte who is Crow and Lakota, said, “It surprises me that this country is only a couple hundred years old, and we are not able to function with LGBTQ people in our communities.” Indigenous communities have incorporated LGBTQ+ peoples within their societies for centuries.
As an Indigenous scholar who studies the history and religion of Indigenous peoples, I am troubled by how these new anti-transgender laws might affect religious expression and the rights of Indigenous communities, not just in Montana but across the nation.
Indigenous ideas about gender
Indigenous peoples have been in North America for at least 30,000 years. As their societies developed over time, hundreds of different ethnicities, languages, religious practices, gender expressions and identities emerged.
Transgender individuals, an umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity is not linked to the sex they were assigned at birth, have existed throughout history, including within Indigenous communities.
I learned from my maternal grandparents about Blackfeet religion and history. The Blackfeet acknowledged and accepted individual gender expression and identity because it was granted by the divine. Personal gender identity was rarely questioned, because it was tantamount to questioning the divine.
I first learned about Blackfeet ideas about transgender individuals as a young person from hearing oral history stories about famous Blackfeet religious leaders, warriors and adventurers who were transgender. They were viewed as having a direct connection to the divine. People often sought out these individuals for blessings, prayer or spiritual guidance.
Indeed, anthropologists and historians have studied Blackfeet gender expression and learned that the Blackfeet recognized multiple gender identities, including what is defined today in Western societies as transgender.
Into this folder, place the following:
A letter from your child’s pediatrician, confirming your child’s gender identity. Provide evidence of annual wellness checks and thorough vaccination records.
A letter from your child’s pediatric neurologist, detailing the negative impact of gender dysphoria on your child’s mental health. Ask them to please explain in layman’s terms how dysphoria—a feeling of unease or hatred of one’s body—is not necessarily inherent to being transgender but does result from having people (e.g., family, classmates, teachers, strangers, etc.) refuse to accept your gender identity. Ask them to explain that the disparity between the way society demands we behave and the way we see ourselves causes intense stress that often leads to depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.
A seemingly harmless comment on the first day of kindergarten—_________ is wearing a dress!—can plague a child’s sense of self. ________ is wearing a dress! is the line she repeated to you when you tucked the covers around her tiny shoulders and she asked if she had to go to school tomorrow—only then the pronoun was he because you hadn’t yet understood what your child meant when she told you she is a girl. You’d set down your phone and, with the most self-satisfied look a parent can give, told your child that she didn’t have to be a girl to like girl things, that there was no such thing as girl or boy things.
[. . .]
You might do this because, one day, the CPS agent could knock on your door, and you would want the essential documents to be visible right away.
Have a plan for what you would do if the CPS agent does come. Accept that your life has now come to require these sorts of contingencies. Know exactly how you want to handle it if you hear the knock. We’re going to answer questions calmly. We’re going to help our children pack their essential items. We’re going to calm the neighbors. We’re going to keep our lawyer’s number in our favorites so that we can call right away.
Then we are going to stop. We’re going to look our babies in the eyes. We are not going to cry. We’re going to tell them that this is wrong and that we’ll see them soon. Then we will turn to the agent. We will tell them that they might not understand this now, but they could. That if they stop and really think about what’s happening, they’ll know this is wrong.
Do you understand now?
CPS did not open an investigation against our family, but the threat is real enough that my children and I are in Oregon now.
My daughter asking, Am I going to die? is when it felt most real. School employees calling CPS in tears, I don’t want to report this family, but I can’t lose this job. That is real. That is happening in our lifetime.
It doesn’t matter that we weren’t reported. Tragedy shouldn’t have to come knocking for you for it to matter to you.
With the US besieged by a rightwing culture war campaign that aims to strip away rights from LGBTQ+ people and others, blame tends to be focused on Republican politicians and conservative media figures.
But lurking behind efforts to roll back abortion rights, to demonize trans people, and to peel back the protections afforded to gay and queer Americans is a shadowy, well-funded rightwing legal organization, experts say.
Since it was formed in 1994, Alliance Defending Freedom has been at the center of a nationwide effort to limit the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people, all in the name of Christianity. The Southern Poverty Law Center has termed it an “anti-LGBTQ hate group” that has extended its tentacles into nearly every area of the culture wars.
In the process, it has won the ear of some of the most influential people in the US, and become “a danger to every American who values their freedoms”, according to Glaad, the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization.
Through “model legislation” and lawsuits filed across the country, ADF aims to overturn same-sex marriage, enact a total ban on abortion, and strip away the already minimal rights that trans people are afforded in the US.
Under the Trump administration, the group found its way into the highest echelons of power, advising Jeff Sessions, the then attorney general, before he announced sweeping guidance to protect “religious liberty” which chipped away at LGBTQ+ protections.
The organization counts among its sometime associates Amy Coney Barrett, the supreme court justice who the Washington Post reported spoke five times at an ADF training program established to push a “distinctly Christian worldview in every area of law”.
ADF is engaged in “a very strong campaign to put a certain type of religious view at the center of American life”, said Rabia Muqaddam, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“[The ADF campaign] extends to abortion, it extends to LGBTQ folks, to immigration, to what kind of religion we think is America, what kind of people we think are American,” Muqaddam said.
A 2,800-year-old stone tablet has gone on display in Iraq after being returned by Italy following nearly four decades.
The artefact is inscribed with complete cuneiform text - a system of writing on clay in an ancient Babylonian alphabet.
Italian authorities handed it over to Iraq's President Abdul Latif Rashid in the city of Bologna last week.
It is not clear how the tablet was found - or how it made its way to Italy where it was seized by police in the 1980s.
Iraqi Culture Minister Ahmed Badrani said that it might have been found during archaeological excavations of the Mosul dam, which was built around that time.
ALMAYADEEN notes, "The Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian civilizations, to which humanity owes writing and the first cities, originated in the land of modern-day Iraq."
The figurines, stolen during the Gulf War, were smuggled into New York in the late 1990s, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The bull was part of the private collection of Shelby White, a billionaire philanthropist and Met trustee.
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Italy returns stolen tablet to Iraq
- Media: How can you trust a journalist today?
- 2023 passings
- Tweet of the week
- Hate merchants
- New report looks at the changing face of extremist...
- SUPERMAN & LOIS dumps all actors of color (Stan)
- Matt Taibbi the Transphobe
- This edition's playlist