Monday, October 16, 2017

Oil spill and Hillary gets booed

weinsteineffect



Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Weinstein Avoidance" went up Sunday.





And did you hear about Hillary?  She got booed in Wales.


Hillary Clinton is booed as she arrives at Swansea University via





Meanwhile, did you hear about this?


Aren't we tired of headlines--and reality--like this?




That's appalling.

And it's gotten zero attention.

I can remember EXON VALDEZ and that huge oil spill.

But I guess these days, it's just not news.

Corporations protect each other.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:


Monday, October 16, 2017.  Chaos and violence intensify as new tensions break out.









Kirkuk offensive: Thousands flee amid Iraq army advance
















ALJAZEERA explains:




Federal forces, backed by Shia militia, launched a major offensive over two fronts on Monday, aimed at retaking the Kurdish-held city.
Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from the outskirts of Kirkuk, said an increasing number of Kirkuk residents were trying to flee.
"Thousands of cars are filling the roads leading out of Kirkuk and the numbers are increasing. There is a lot of fear in the city for the Iraqi army's advance."






Chaos and fear -- as usual, the Baghdad-based government has a hand in it.






David Zucchino (NEW YORK TIMES) notes:




Iraqi state television said early Monday that Iraqi forces had begun an operation to seize the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk and its surrounding oil fields, despite weeks of urgent efforts by the United States to keep tensions between its allies from boiling over into another war in the Middle East.
[. . .]
It was unclear whether American troops were in the area Monday morning. A spokesman for the coalition in Baghdad did not immediately respond to a request for comment. There was no immediate response from the American Embassy in Baghdad.







The RAND Corporation has repeatedly noted the issue of Kirkuk, such as in 2011:








The Kurds successfully pushed for the TAL and the 2005 constitution to require a census and a subsequent referendum to determine Kirkuk’s status, both of which they believed would strengthen their arguments to expand the boundaries of the KRG to include Kirkuk and other areas. Although Article 140 of the constitution required the census and referendum to take place by December 31, 2007, political leaders never agreed on how to conduct them, in part because Arab and Turkmen parties questioned the voting eligibility of Kurds who settled (or perhaps resettled) in the area since Saddam Hussein’s fall and feared that their participation would skew the results. Since the constitution failed to specify what would happen if the dead- line was not met, Arab and Turkmen leaders now argue that the constitutional requirement for the census and referendum has expired, while the Kurds maintain that the requirement to conduct a census and referendum still exists. Th is stalemate—which is aggravated by unresolved ques- tions related to federalism and regional autonomy—obstructs eff orts to resolve the status of the disputed territories. Any political settlement will require Iraqi leaders to come to agreement on whether to undertake a census and/or referendum in some manner or to eliminate the require- ment, after which they must modify the constitution and relevant statutes appropriately.
The historically multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk has immense political, emotional, and economic importance to the groups involved. Kurds see the city as a critical piece of their history and as the center of an autonomous (and perhaps eventually independent) Kurdistan. Further- more, the city of Kirkuk itself sits directly on top of the largest oil fi eld in the region—making the territory a very lucrative asset.




The vote was due at the end of 2007.


The Shi'ite dominated government in Baghdad refused to follow the Constitution.


Not only that, but The Erbil Agreement included that Article 140 would be implemented.  The Erbil Agreement was how Nouri al-Maliki got a second term after the Iraqi voters rejected him as prime minister.  This legal contract was backed by then-US President Barack Obama.


But once Nouri got his second term, he walked away from the contract and Barack acted as though it never existed -- despite the fact that the US government brokered it.


The US government has been disgraceful in its dealing with the Kurds.


Repeatedly, it tells people to abide by the law.


But only when the law says "wait."


When the law is on the side of the Kurds, the US government ignores the law.


The law is that a referendum and census were to be held by the end of 2007.


It has not taken place.


Kirkuk remains unresolved.


And now yet another war may break out as a result.


But it's the Kurds that are at fault?


Not Nouri al-Maliki who never held the referendum and census?


Not the US who looked the other way as the law was ignored and broken?




You may remember that Hayder al-Abadi, current prime minister of Iraq, insisted on Friday,  "Our forces cannot and will not attack our citizens, Arab or Kurd."

Yet 24 hours later . . .






demands the withdrawal of forces from areas occupied since 2014 including by 02:00 or they will be taken forcibly.










 While so many rush to defend Baghdad and its use of Iranian-backed militias to attack the Kurds, not everyone's on board.






Replying to 


Every major city in is in a mess. Armed militias act with impunity/extremism/sectarianism. have reason to be skeptical.











The Latest: US military downplays fighting in Iraq's Kirkuk (from )




























Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Weinstein Avoidance" went up last night.  New content at THIRD:





















 


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

If only Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had been gay (or had stayed that way)

They wouldn't be in the mess they are now.

They could be legally married and pursuing interesting film projects instead of doing a variation of HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS (Matt) and a comic book character (Ben).

They could be two hunks having hot sex with each other.

Instead, they're sad cases who are losing fans for good reasons.

Here's ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:


This week, in the wake of numerous sexual misconduct allegations, many of Weinstein’s longtime collaborators came out and denounced the producer. Included among those names was Matt Damon, who was criticized for citing his daughters while condemning Weinstein.
“Look, even before I was famous I didn’t abide this kind of behavior. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night,” Damon told Deadline. “This is the great fear for all of us.”
Said Apatow on Friday after mentioning that kind of commentary (though not explicitly calling out Damon), “As if you have to be a father of daughters to know this is awful, right? You shouldn’t need daughters to get this.” He then joked, “As an owner of a bird, I think this is awful.”



Matt and Ben were the buddies of Harvey Weinstein -- predator, rapist and serial harasser.

They've tried to pretend they didn't know.

Rose McGowan (a hero) says bulls**t to that claim for Ben because he knew.  For over a decade.

And you know Matt knew too.

And Matt, of course, vouched for a rapist at the behest of Harvey.

Ben's got other problems.

Numerous women coming forward to talk about how he groped their breasts, their asses -- they're calling him "Buttman," in fact.

There is no excuse for what Ben Affleck has done.

There is no minimizing it or pretending it is okay.

He should not be cast as Batman.

I don't see why anyone should spend any money to see either him or Matt in any films.

Get that it's not just that they were silent, they were part of the problem.

Harvey blacklisted Rose.

Ben and Matt didn't just stay silent.

They refused to help Rose.

They could have gotten her into any of their movies.

They didn't even do that (PHANTOM with Rose and Ben was before Ben became mega star).

They were not just silent, they were part of the blacklist.

Their careers should be over.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Friday, October 13, 2017.  Iraq again on the brink of civil war?


How bad are things?

A Talabani e-merges.

Jalal Talabani was a two-time president of Iraq.  His family is one of the ruling families in the KRG.  He died last week and there was little international focus -- in part because Jalal disgraced himself by kowtowing to the United States and betraying Kurdish interests and also because for the last two years of his presidency he hid from the people because he was too ill to hold the post -- he could not speak and he was paralyzed.

His wife Hero helped fool the Iraqi people.

But the reality was that his PUK party then went from the first ranked party in the region to beneath it's long term rival the KDP (led by the Barzanis) and also beat out by the newly emergent Goran party.

Today, Jalal's eldest son Bafel has issued a statement:

Today we face a massive financial crisis and we stand under the specter of war -- a war we do not need, a war we do not want.  Today the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi army are facing each other across a potential battlefield.   


Bafel Talabani, Mam Jalals Son makes an statement in English regarding current political situation in - Iraq Video Part 1




That's how bad things are: a Talabani sees a political opening.



Hayder al-Abadi never had a shot at being a smart person.  When you are best described as "sniveling," chances are the only marks you'll ever leave will be in your own underwear.

But did anyone grasp that he was this stupid?

ALJAZEERA reports:

 The Kurdish Regional Government has deployed thousands of troops around the disputed oil city of Kirkuk for fear of an attack by Iraqi government army and militia, a senior official said.
"Thousands of heavily armed peshmerga units are now completely in their positions around Kirkuk," a top aide to Kurdistan regional president Masoud Barzani posted on social media on Friday.


Remember September 25th, when the Kurds held a non-binding referendum?

And all the leaders or 'leaders' of various countries were in a state of high drama, this referendum will tear Iraq apart!

It didn't.

It was a peaceful vote.

It did nothing other than register the opinions of over 90% of Iraqi Kurds.

The drama came not from the Kurds but from those around them.

And now that Baghdad is threatening the Kurds, where are the same leaders or 'leaders' to condemn these remarks and actions?


govt deploys ‘tens of thousands’ of fighters in to confront Iraqi ‘threats’ (Archive image)



What's going on?


IBT reports that Hayder is denying that the Iraqi military is being mobilized and on the verge of attacking.

PM "Our forces cannot & will not attack our citizens, Arab or Kurd. The fake news being spread has a deplorable agenda behind it"



While some are calling it fake news, there is this:


Soldiers from Iraqi ERD are posting photos on social media alongside newly captured Peshmerga positions south of



: Iraqi general announces beginning of military operation against Kurdish-held province

Iraqi militia burning a Kurdish flag in a position they took over near Kerkuk. Why Kurds don't trust these sectarian & racist scum.




Oil rich Kirkuk has always been a hot spot.

Bully Boy Bush had to send troops to defuse the situation at one point, former President Barack Obama had to do the same.

Baghdad wants Kirkuk due to the oil, the KRG wants it due to the oil.

The RAND Corporation, at the end of Bully Boy Bush's occupying the White House, identified Kirkuk as the hot spot noting that the unresolved status meant problems for the future.



Iraq is about to declare war on Iraqi Kurdistan simply because the want freedom. Is the US going to abandon its loyal ally again?




The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:
















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