Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Grammys are only one part of the problem

Okay, first books:
 
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Be sure to check out Ruth and Ann’s book reviews.  Now science. 
 
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That’s Betty and my science posts from yesterday.
 
Now let’s talk about ROLLING STONE.  I was looking for some music news, so I went to RS’ music page.
 
After 15 – the top 15 stories – I stopped.
 
Where were the women?
 
Oh, excuse me, there were women in one of the top 15 stories: “Watch Offset’s Avatar Walk on Giant, Nude Women in New Lil Jon Video.”
 
Are we seriously pretending the Grammys are the biggest obstacle for female artists?
 

Seriously?


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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018.  Dianne Feinstein embraces a torture queen, Iraq sees false checkpoints erected on the highway between Baghdad and Kirkuk, the IMF dictates reality for the US colony of Iraq, and much more.



Turning to the issue of Iraq, one person stood tall, the other lied and hid his whole life.  Let's start with the heroic: Stephen Hawking.  He has passed on but his actions and work are remembered.


Stephen Hawking condemned the illegal US-UK invasion of Iraq, calling it in 2004 a "war crime" based on "lies."





RIP Stephen Hawking. Nothing but respect for a great physicist who despite a debilitating condition, profoundly expanded science. He also always found time to oppose wars & colonization. Vietnam, Iraq, fundraising for palestinians, supporting their liberation & boycotting Israel.




And then there's the embarrassing Oliver Willis who leaves the Bordello of Brock long enough to Tweet:

2018 taught me that opposing the Iraq war, supporting health care reform and defending social security while believing in climate science is "centrist." Which is the new "I don't like it so I'll call it neoliberal."





What's going on?

CNN's Jake Tapper addressed an issue of hatred.  Little Ollie No Balls issued a snarky Tweet because Ollie was offended that Jake might call out racism on the left.  In Ollie's world you must never call out the left.  Even if you work for a news outlet that is supposed to play it down the middle.  So Jake responded and called Ollie "left" and people rushed to point out that Ollie's a centrist.  Since being tagged accurately, Ollie's been repeating that nonsense about "opposing the Iraq war, supporting health care reform . . ." nonsense non-stop.  We don't need reform, we need Medicare for all.  Ollie is a centrist who works for David Brock.  As for "opposing the Iraq war" -- when, Ollie?

When?

Iraq remains occupied and the war continues.  When did you last oppose it?

You haven't done a damn thing and you need to stop pretending otherwise.

Unless you're trying to tell us that you would be commenting but David Brock won't let you.  Unless you're repeatedly asking, "Daddy David Brock, will you pull your dick out of my mouth long enough to let me speak out against the ongoing war?"  only to find that David Brock will not pull it out to let you speak your mind.

Just stop trying to use Iraq.  You don't write about it, you don't Tweet about it.  But every time you get into trouble -- or get smacked around by Jake Tapper (yea, Jake!!!!), you go running to the topic of Iraq.  Iraq does not exist to be your get-out-of-jail card -- talk about 'First World' Entitlement.  Stop using Iraq.  If you've got something to say about Iraq, write or talk about it.  But stop trying to pretend like you've ever done a damn thing thus far to help the people of Iraq.

The people of California need help.  We need help to move into the 21st century.  We won't get there via Dianne Feinstein who, please remember, voted for the Iraq War and has justified and excused it, done everything but to try to end it.  (Is Dianne really just Oliver Willis in drag?  Shhh, no rumors.)  We have a chance to step into the 21st century nationally via Kevin de Leon who has already fought for California in the state but is now running for the US Senate.

Kevin is running against Dianne currently and this has a Canadian woman hiding in New York in a tizzy.  Why?  This isn't her damn election and she needs to butt the hell out of it.  If you can't vote in the election, we don't need your opinions on it.  It's that simple.  Politics are local and, no, Canadian twit, your thoughts on this election are not needed.  Nor is your uninformed and ignorant hysteria.  I can't even remember that stupid woman's name right now so let's just call her Idiot.  Idiot, Kevin's not going to mean a Democrat won't be in the Senate as you have repeatedly lied.  Idiot thinks Kevin's going to hurt Dianne's chances at re-election and allow a Republican to pick up the seat.  Why does Idiot think that?  Because she's a damn idiot who needs to learn to mind her own damn business.

In my state, we will hold a June primary.  All candidates who are running for the US Senate seat will be on that ballot.  The two candidates who get the most votes will then advance to the November general election.  Were the June primary today, that would be Kevin and Dianne.  There will not be a Republican on the ballot.  If that's confusing to the Idiot, it's because she doesn't know what she's talking about.  She needs to shut her damn mouth because she's an idiot who is misinforming people with her idiotic Tweets.  We are not New York, we are not Canada.  In California, our election is a little bit different.  You need to know these facts to comment even semi-intelligently.

Dianne represents a Democrat if you're living in a centrist state -- maybe the centrist state of Ollie Willis' mind?  She does not represent California voters and has not for over two decades.  She voted for the Iraq War when there was no confusion on our part, in the state of California, that the Iraq War was illegal and wrong.  She repeatedly betrays our state with her efforts to move the conversation to the right.

Don't get it yet?

US President Donald Trump is proposing a new person to head the CIA.  Where's Kevin stand?  Where's Dianne stand?

I would vote NO on confirming Gina Haspel if elected to represent California in the U.S. Senate. Following orders is a poor excuse to commit torture and tear at the fabric of our great democracy.




  • Having released a torture report, Feinstein knows better than most how morally and legally wrong torture is. This should be an easy call. Not only should she be a NO vote on Trump's CIA pick, she should also be a leading voice rallying all Dems against this nomination.





  • It is very concerning Senator Feinstein is ‘open to supporting’ CIA nominee Haspel, who ran a ‘black site’ prison that waterboarded and beat prisoners. Believes she has been a ‘good’ deputy CIA Director.






    Dianne has excused away and turned a blind eye to torture.

    Those might be values to embrace in another state but they are not California values and Dianne needs to go.

    And she can take her violet and blue mornings with her.



    So where have you gone
    Have you gone so far from the eyes that
    Speak trouble and even when the warning is
    Overwhelming...

    Well it's hard to hide from
    Eyes that are all over you
    That only some
    Make you lose your composure

    "Well it's hard on my heart"
    Said, "Well open your eyes"
    "It gets harder every day"
    Said, "I need to know now"


     Soon you will be gone
    Take your violet and blue mornings with you

    -- "Violet and Blue," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on the AGAINST ALL ODDS soundtrack


    Take your violet and blue mornings with you, Dianne.

    That, in California, we are having to contact Dianne's office to let her know that torture is not a California value?  That's appalling and one more indicator of how out of date and out of touch Dianne Feinstein is.

    In Iraq, KITABAT's talking about the hideous torture queen Gina Haspel.

    But Dianne's so out of touch she thinks a cute little talk -- over tea, you dottering old fool? -- with Gina makes everything all right.  It does not.  Gina broke laws.  Gina's actions are repugnant and unethical.  Gina belongs in a prison.  That Dianne Feinstein can't grasp that goes to the fact that her brain has completely decayed and that the woman who turns 85 in less than three months needs to retire and if Great Granny Dianne can't retire on her own, it is our job to retire her.  85 is too old to continue serving in the US Senate.  Electing her to another six year term would put her at 91 when it's over.  That is disgusting. 

    Iraq's got elections scheduled for May 12th.


    Will Moqtada al-Sadr support a second term for Hayder al-Abadi?  ALSUMARIA reports the question was put to the Shi'ite cleric and movement leader who stated he would not be endorsing anyone at this time and noted that he was waiting -- still waiting -- for Hayder to address corruption.

    AL MADA reports that Ammar al-Hakim met with Vice President Ayad Allawi and the two spoke of the need for the elections to be carried out in a calm manner.  But KITABAT explains that voting buying has already started.

    In an effort to look like they do something, the Parliament rushed through a 2018 budget earlier this month.  To term it 'problematic' is to put it mildly.

    ALL IRAQ NEWS reports that Iraq's president, Fuad Masoum, declared yesterday that he was sending the 2018 budget back to Parliament to rework it and that he would not sign off on it as is.  ALSUMARIA notes that Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition is screeching that Masoum has violated the Constitution.  No, he hasn't.  He's used his veto power over laws -- it's the same power that the vice presidents also have.  In the fall of 2009, this right/power was clarified when Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi used his veto on the election law.  He didn't feel it properly represented and accounted for refugees.  He used his power to veto the law.  It was sent back to Parliament and reworked.  (This is why the 2009 elections ended up taking place in March of 2010.)  ALUMARIA also notes that the leader of GORAN (Change) in the Parliament, Amin Bakr, stated that the Parliament refused to use the legal committee when drafting the budget which accounts for so many of the problems with the budget -- including features that were unconstitutional.  Meanwhile NINA reports that the United Kingdom has declared the budget Fuad sent back to contain a large budget deficit and stated that it does little to create jobs.  Here's their official statement:




    UK welcomes the passage of the Iraqi budget last week, which will allow Ministries to plan their spending and projects. But the budget deficit remains high, and we were disappointed that there were no new measures to improve public finance management, including procurement processes. Doing more to show commitment to the IMF support package will help Iraq build its credibility as an economic partner and help tackle corruption and waste of public money. Of course some decisions are more difficult in election year, but the UK will continue to work with the Iraqi authorities and the international community throughout the coming year to improve the environment for local and international business and investment. With a million young Iraqis coming onto the jobs market every year, a better environment for business is the only way to create enough productive jobs. This will be a big issue in the upcoming elections, and we are asking all the senior politicians what they plan to do about it.

    Fuad's actions really don't matter though.  Regardless of him, the budget has to be redone.  That's what happens when you sell your soul to the IMF.  For years, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani warned the government of Iraq not to fall into the trap the IMF repeatedly attempted to lay out for them.  For a long time, Iraq's government listened.  Under Hayder al-Abadi, it stopped listening.


    Saturday, THE FINANCIAL TRIBUNE reported:



    The International Monetary Fund, which controls Baghdad’s access to over $5 billion in international loans, has come out against Iraq’s recently-passed 2018 budget, in large part due to the decrease of the share allocated to the Kurdistan region.
    “The budget is not satisfactory because we think it’s not enough to maintain macroeconomic stability in Kurdistan, which is an important region of Iraq,” Christian Josz, deputy division chief of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asian department, told Iraq Oil Report, Kurdistan24 reported.
    Iraq’s adherence to regulations in the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement acts to free up $5.34 billion in international loans. It also indirectly allows Iraq to access billions more, due to the positive effect on the confidence of investors and businesses that IMF partnership carries.

    If Baghdad fails to reach specific economic and governance benchmarks laid out in the SBA, the IMF can cite non-compliance to put the agreement, and therefore billions of dollars for Iraq, on hold.

    Regardless of Fuad, the budget was going to be reworked.  Iraq has no choice on the matter because Hayder sold the country to the IMF and now the IMF gets to dictate what happens.  The only thing that stopped in Argentina was the people rising up.  (See Naomi Klein here.)

    In other news, the airports in the KRG are being re-opened.

    Some are hailing Hayder.

    They don't need to.

    No, don't hail the puppet, hail the puppet's master.




    Welcome the reopening of international airports in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the result of dogged diplomacy over many months. Important step towards post-ISIS stability, which requires a strong and unified KRG within the constitutional framework of Iraq.






    So Hayder finally broke under US pressure?

    Is anyone surprised?  Iraq's a colony of the US.  The war drags on and the colonization continues.


    And what's 'liberation' look like?

    ALSUMARIA reports an attack last night on a Baghdad cafe that left 1 person injured (a grenade was tossed into the cafe), 2 people were shot dead to the north of Baquba and an armed clash in Samarra left 1 Iraqi military officer dead.  In addition, Wael Grace (AL MADA) reports fake checkpoints have been set up on the highway between Baghdad and Kirkuk to carry out violent attacks.  So far the deaths include 10 people shot dead and five people burned inside a car.



    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and DISSIDENT VOICE -- updated: