Thursday, December 24, 2020

K.T. Oslin

Country singer-songwriter K.T. Oslin passed away.  She died, like Charley Pride, of COVID-19.  I really don't know K.T.'s music but she was outstanding in one of the 90s most underrated films THE THING CALLED LOVE.

It's a film about music and love.  Samantha Mathis arrives in Nashville desperate to make it as a songwriter.  K.T. is the wise and sage club owner who can tell it to you straight and does to Samantha when the songs are too cute and not from the heart.  Samantha falls for River Phoenix and shares a room with Sandra Bullock (who is adorable in the film) while she decides whether she loves River or Dermot Mulroney.

She did TV after but they should have flooded K.T. with film offers.  Watch the movie, she's a natural.  Very gifted, very real and very moving.

Watch the movie, in fact, because it's great.  Everyone is doing their best and that includes director Peter Bogdanovoch.  It reminds you of the great work he is capable of (MASK, PAPER MOON, WHAT'S UP DOC?).  

Peter James also deserves praise for some of the finest cinematography I've ever seen.

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

Thursday, December 24, 2020.  Donald Trump considers response to an attack in Iraq on Sunday (that he blames on Iran -- who may or may not be responsible), his pardons get coverage, and more.

That video features Mark Kimmitt as the expert.  Who?

Mark Kimmitt was the Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs for the final five months of Bully Boy Bush's occupation of the White House.  He was also a Brigadier General in the US military and he was the subject of an internal DoD investigation in 2008 at the behest of then-US Senator Joe Biden.  It involved his manner of leadership and included a focus on his time in Baghdad in 2004.  The charges included that he was deficient in leadership and that he referred to women with profanity.  There is a rumored charge that is much more serious but was found lacking so we aren't going to mention it.


He is also known for lying to the public about a US attack on a wedding in Syria.  From the PRESS ASSOCIATION, May 24, 2004:

A home video taken in Iraq supports victims' claims that US forces bombed a wedding celebration and killed up to 45 people in the attack.

The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended on Tuesday night before the planes struck. The video was obtained yesterday by Associated Press Television News (APTN)..

The US military says it is investigating the attack, which took place in the village of Mogr el-Deeb about five miles from the Syrian border, but that all evidence so far indicates the target was a safe house for foreign fighters.

"There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration," Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, the chief US military spokesman in Iraq , said on Saturday.

"There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations too."

But video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans, and brightly coloured beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed-out tent.

In the video above, Kimmitt is discussing what might happen should elements of or loyal to the Iranian government attack US troops or US facilities and workers in Iraq.  The issue is raised by Sunday's attack.  Dropping back to earlier this week:

The big news in Iraq today?  A missile attack.  Aqeel Najim, Hamdi Alkhshali and Nicky Robertson (CNN) report:

A rocket attack on Baghdad's diplomatic Green Zone Sunday night was "a terrorist act" that undermines Iraq's international reputation, the country's president says.

Eight rockets were fired at the heavily fortified area, with at least one Iraqi soldier injured when a rocket landed near an Iraqi security checkpoint, according to a statement from the Iraqi military.
The military said most of the rockets hit the Qadisiya residential neighborhood near the US Embassy, damaging several buildings and cars.

The US Embassy in Baghdad Tweeted the following:

The U.S. Embassy confirms rockets targeting the International Zone resulted in the engagement of Embassy defensive systems. There was some minor damage on the Embassy compound but no injuries or casualties. 1/

We have received reports of damage to residential areas near the U.S. Embassy and possibly some injuries to innocent Iraqi civilians. As we have said many times... 2/

... these sorts of attacks on diplomatic facilities are a violation of international law and are a direct assault on the sovereignty of the Iraqi government. 3/

We call on all Iraqi political and governmental leaders to take steps to prevent such attacks and hold accountable those responsible. 4/4

Hadi al-Amari heads the Badr militia (which the US government defines as a terrorist organization).  ALSUMARIA reports that al-Amari has condemned the rocket attack.  ALSUMARIA also has a photo essay about a nearby apartment that was hit by a photo essay.

The attack was Sunday.  Yesterday, US CENTCOM issued the following statement:

The Dec. 20, 2020 rocket attack on the green zone in Iraq was almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed Rogue Militia Group. While this 21 rocket attack caused no U.S. injuries or casualties, the attack did damage buildings in the U.S. Embassy compound, and was clearly NOT intended to avoid casualties. 

These groups are Iranian-backed because Iran provides both material support and direction. They are rogue because they are actually acting on behalf of Iranian interests  and direction in a direct betrayal of Iraqi sovereignty. It is important for the people of Iraq to understand that past attacks by the Iranian-backed Rogue Militia Groups have killed more Iraqi civilians and members of the Iraqi Security Forces than they have killed Americans. The United States will hold Iran accountable for the deaths of any Americans that result from the work of these Iranian-backed Rogue Militia Groups.

Captain Bill Urban, USN, U.S. Central Command Spokesman

Steve Holland (REUTERS) notes, "Top U.S. national security officials agreed on Wednesday on a proposed range of options to present to President Donald Trump aimed at deterring any attack on U.S. military or diplomatic personnel in Iraq, a senior administration official told Reuters."

In other news, AP reports on President Donald Trump's latest pardons including of four Blackwater mercenaries:

In the group announced Tuesday night were four former government contractors convicted in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left more a dozen Iraqi civilians dead and caused an international uproar over the use of private security guards in a war zone.

Supporters of Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard, the former contractors at Blackwater Worldwide, had lobbied for pardons, arguing that the men had been excessively punished in an investigation and prosecution they said was tainted by problems and withheld exculpatory evidence. All four were serving lengthy prison sentences.

The pardons reflected Trump’s apparent willingness to give the benefit of doubt to American servicemembers and contractors when it comes to acts of violence in warzones against civilians. Last November, for instance, he pardoned a former U.S. Army commando who was set to stand trial next year in the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker and a former Army lieutenant convicted of murder for ordering his men to fire upon three Afghans.

“Paul Slough and his colleagues didn’t deserve to spend one minute in prison,” said Brian Heberlig, a lawyer for one of the four pardoned Blackwater defendants. “I am overwhelmed with emotion at this fantastic news.”

In Iraq?  Aqeel Najim, Kareem Khadder and Kara Fox (CNN) report:

"My message to US President Trump is to not pardon or release the perpetrators, they are terrorists," Jasim Mohammed Al-Nasrawi, a police officer who was injured in the attack, told CNN over the phone from Baghdad on Wednesday.
"I am still not a hundred percent recovered from my head wound, which [was] sustained in the gunfire by Blackwater guards in 2007, and have not been completely compensated for the attack. I will not waive my right to this case, I am not giving up," he added.
Al-Nasrawi, who attended the trial in the US as a witness, said he had received some compensation following the ruling, but believes he is owed more.

Any anger over the pardons is understandable and we have covered the slaughter in depth.  Martin Chulov and Michael Safi (GUARDIAN) do a service by noting the following:

The 14 victims killed by the Blackwater guards were Ahmad Haitham Ahmad al-Rubaie, Mahassin Mohssen Kadhum Al-Khazali, Osama Fadhil Abbas, Ali Mohammed Hafedh Abdul Razzaq, Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Qasim Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Sa’adi Ali Abbas Alkarkh, Mushtaq Karim Abd Al-Razzaq, Ghaniyah Hassan Ali, Ibrahim Abid Ayash, Hamoud Sa’eed Abttan, Uday Ismail Ibrahiem, Mahdi Sahib Nasir and Ali Khalil Abdul Hussein.

They undercut their solid work with nonsense like this:

As the incoming president, Biden is certain to be lobbied heavily by Iraqi officials to reverse the decision. “It will be the first thing we discuss with him,” said an aide to Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the Iraqi prime minister.

If you're so stupid that you write something like that, maybe you shouldn't write.

I have not slammed this pardon.  My stance is the same and has been throughout the life of this site -- 16 years now -- and throughout my own life.  I don't slam pardons.  Doesn't mean I agree with them.  I don't police the pardon power.  I believe that, among others, Leonard Peltier should be pardoned.  

The pardon is a right granted the US president by the Constitution.  I think more pardons should be granted.  For some on the right, Peltier is off limits and deserve to rot in prison.  I don't agree with that.  I see him as a political prisoner.  I don't go reactionary on their choices because I do not like it when they go reactionary on leftists in needs of pardon.

But the stupidity here is that Joe Biden, when he becomes president, or anyone who is president, can overturn another president's pardons.  That would destroy the whole power the Constitution grants.  It would lead to back and forths to the end of time -- back and forths that would do on well past the death of the person pardoned.  

For the power to exist, it has to exist: Meaning a president has the right to pardon.  When you take back or overturn that power, don't pretend it exists.

There is no legal precedent for overturning a presidential pardon.  For THE GUARDIAN to fail to note that is fake news of the worst sort.  

And do not e-mail me with garbage about Andrew Johnson's pardons and what President Ulysses S. Grant did.  That's not the same thing.  Johnson pardoned two people but the pardons weren't issued.  They were delivered but basically intentionally not opened and recognized.  As a result, new President Grant pulled them back.  Had they been opened and the two men set free, Grant couldn't have done what he did.  We do not live in the days of the Pony Express.  Trumps pardons have been issued and are recognized.  This is in no way a similar situation.  

The nonsense from THE GUARDIAN will be read and give people false hope of something that will not happen -- that might include people in Iraq.  Shame on them.  Again, that is the epitome of fake news.

Win Without War issued a statement that includes, "With today’s pardon, Trump once again sent a signal to the world that while the United States government supposedly champions human rights, when it comes to taking responsibility for its own actions, it will happily excuse even the most heinous crimes."

Actually, the stronger message sent is that Win Without War is a piece of crap, do-nothing group.  They have no message on Iraq nor do they recognize the ongoing war.  They are a partisan organization which only exists to tar and feather Republicans.  Would that tar and feathering Republicans end the never-ending war, I'd gladly join in.  But the reality is that Democrats have also allowed the war to continue -- not to mention allowed it to start.

For opposition to the pardon that is actually ethically grounded, see Patrick Martin's response at WSWS

We'll wind down with this from Andrew Bacevich's latest column at COMMON DREAMS:

Surely, though, war has contributed in no small way to “the bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe” besetting our nation today. And were Merle Haggard to update “Are the Good Times Really Over?” he would doubtless include the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq alongside Vietnam as prominent among the factors that have sent this country caroming downward.

In the evening of my life, as I reflect on the events of our time that ended up mattering most, the wars in Vietnam and Iraq top my list. Together, they define the poles around which much of my professional life has revolved, whether as a soldier, teacher, or writer. It would be fair to say that I'm haunted by those two conflicts.

I could write pages and pages on how Vietnam and Iraq differ from each other, beginning with the fact that they are separated in time by nearly a half-century. Locale, the contours of the battlefields, the character of combat, the casualties inflicted and sustained, the sheer quantity of ordnance expended -- when it comes to such measures and others, Vietnam and Iraq differ greatly. Yet while those differences are worth noting, it’s the unappreciated similarities between them that are truly instructive.

Seven such similarities stand out:

First, Vietnam and Iraq were both avoidable: For the United States, they were wars of choice. No one pushed us. We dove in headfirst.

Second, both turned out to be superfluous, undertaken in response to threats -- monolithic Communism and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction -- that were figments of fevered imaginations. In both cases, cynicism and moral cowardice played a role in paving the way toward war. Dissenting voices were ignored.

Third, both conflicts proved to be costly distractions. Each devoured on a prodigious scale resources that might have been used so much more productively elsewhere. Each diverted attention from matters of far more immediate importance to Americans. Each, in other words, triggered a massive hemorrhage of bloodtreasure, and influence to no purpose whatsoever.

Fourth, in each instance, political leaders in Washington and senior commanders in the field collaborated in committing grievous blunders. War is complicated. All wars see their share of mistakes and misjudgments. But those two featured a level of incompetence unmatched since Custer’s Last Stand.

Fifth, thanks to that incompetence, both devolved into self-inflicted quagmires. In Washington, in Saigon, and in Baghdad’s “Green Zone,” baffled authorities watched as the control of events slipped from their grasp. Meanwhile, in the field, U.S. troops flailed about for years in futile pursuit of a satisfactory outcome.

Sixth, on the home front, both conflicts left behind a poisonous legacy of unrest, rancor, and bitterness. Members of the Baby Boom generation (to which I belong) have chosen to enshrine Vietnam-era protest as high-minded and admirable. Many Americans then held and still hold a different opinion. As for the Iraq War, it contributed mightily to yawning political cleavages that appear unlikely to heal anytime soon.

And finally, with both political and military elites alike preferring simply to move on, neither war has received a proper accounting. Their place in the larger narrative of American history is still unsettled. This may be the most important similarity of all. Both Vietnam and Iraq remain bizarrely undigested, their true meaning yet to be discerned and acknowledged. Too recent to forget, too confounding to ignore, they remain anomalous.

The American wars in Vietnam and Iraq are contradictions that await resolution.

And we'll note this tweet from Middle East Research and Information Project:

1. January will see the start of the Biden Administration, and with the transfer of power, MERIP believes U.S. #ForeignPolicy in the #MiddleEast could use an overhaul. Read our policy manifesto from the spring issue, Exit Empire:

The following sites updated:


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Russell Maroon Shoatz

As Christmas approaches, remember that peace and joy shouldn't go hand-in-hand with the creation of political prisoners.  Ted Kelly (WORKERS WORLD) writes about one political prisoner in the US:

Since 1972 — nearly half a century ago — Russell Maroon Shoatz has languished in a prison cell built on stolen land, poisoned and irradiated by the fossil fuel industry. 

A Black Panther Party member and soldier in the Black Liberation Army, Shoatz was falsely accused of killing a cop in the Cobbs Creek area of Philadelphia in 1970. 

His family, pillars of their community, have tirelessly fought for his release and carried Maroon’s revolutionary message through the years, whether in solidarity with MOVE, Mumia Abu-Jamal, George Floyd, Walter Wallace Jr., or other struggles demanding justice.

After 48 years of imprisonment, Shoatz, 77, is currently held at SCI Dallas in Luzerne County, Penn. In 2015 the state Department of Health found the cancer rate there was “significantly higher than expected.” Shoatz survived prostate cancer only to develop Stage Four colon cancer in 2019. In November, he tested positive for COVID-19.


There's so much work to be done to make this a better world.

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2020.  This is going to be a brief snapshot.  And I warned yesterday that it would be late.  I just got out of surgery and I'm still woozy so this isn't going to be very long.

Rakmini Callimachi has been exposed as a fabricator and a racist.  THE NEW YORK TIMES 'reporter' is in free fall.  Brian Cathcart (BYLINE TIMES) notes, "After a lengthy internal investigation, the New York Times (NYT) has issued a series of corrections and apologies relating to work by one of its star reporters, terrorism specialist Rukmini Callimachi, winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy. Callimachi, who has admitted only limited errors, has been moved to other duties."  Sana Saeed (AJPLUS -- scroll down) points out:

Caliphate, like most journalism around "terrorism" and "Muslim violence" or "radicalization," relied on unconfirmed sources, displayed disregard for usual ethical and factual considerations in reporting, and uncritically accepted the Global “War On Terror” (GWOT) narrative. The latter, in particular, introduced us to a lexicon of terms and ideas that reinforce the concept of a looming, amorphous threat of brown and Black bogeymen from the lands of sand and oil.

As an example, take the term “radicalization” – there’s no agreed upon criteria for how to define this term for any group. State bodies like the FBI have long exploited that ambiguity, and the media has followed suit. Think back to that moment when a horde of reporters in 2015 went into the San Bernardino shooters’ home and examined innocuous Muslim ritual beads and books as proof of brewing “radicalization.”

The Caliphate project and Callimachi's work were simply well-produced exercises in fearmongering rooted in racist tropes of Muslim/Muslim-adjacent subjects – even if you take out the fraudulent story of Shehroze Chaudhry, aka “Abu Huzayfah.”

Very rarely, if ever, does this strain of journalism focus on anything other than so-called “radical Islamist violence.” Other forms of nonstate political violence such as white nationalist or militias will be categorized under other beats. In doing so, nonstate violence by groups and individuals identified as Muslim or using language derived from Islam to package their political goals (whether or not it’s “actually Islam” becomes irrelevant) is pathologized; it becomes something unique, cosmic and disconnected from the historical circumstances and material conditions.

And in this process, there is a mass dehumanization of Muslims.

Irena Akbar points out:

Rukmini Callimachi’s post-2014 reporting in NYT stands officially discredited today but it has done the damage of creating the most evil, bizarre, barbaric stereotype of Muslims which has been used by Islamophobic governments around the world in their anti-Muslim propagandas.

In the US, we pretend to be offended by anti-Muslim hate and racism against Arabs.  We pretend.  A blowhard like Donald Trump makes an idiotic statement and we all pretend to be outraged.  Pretend.  That's become so obvious.

Bill Maher continues to host a program on HBO despite his non-stop attacks on Arabs and Muslims.  And Rukmini's actions are ignored.

Ignored?  Why this or that reported on them!!!!

FAIR.  Where's FAIR?  FAIR calls out THE NEW YORK TIMES for everything.  Except racism against Arabs.  They've published posts at FAIR as late as yesterday but not one word on Rukmini.  What about the other media watchdog?  What about POYNTER?  Nothing.  This is the biggest media story of the week and not one word at the media watchdog POYNTER.

Again, in the US we pretend to be bothered by racism . . . except when the racism is used to justify war.  Then all our 'brave' watchdogs look the other way.  Racism that demonizes humans as 'the other' doesn't get called out.  They're all Bill Maher in the media apparently -- which means they are all disgusting.

BBC NEWS reports:

US President Donald Trump has pardoned four former Blackwater security guards convicted over their involvement in the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard opened fire in Baghdad's Nisoor Square while escorting an American diplomatic convoy.

The White House said the pardons were supported by the public and lawmakers.

But the father of a boy who died called them "indescribable" and a rights group said Mr Trump had hit a "new low".

Yes, that is disgusting.  But as the western media is making clear, the lives of people in the Middle East do not matter.  They won't waste time defending them.  There will be a little outcry regarding the Blackwater issue because it can be used to attack Donald Trump.  But it's all pretense and that's obvious by their refusal to call out Rukmini.

Again, in the US, it's Christmas time and that's supposed to be about humanity and peace and love and compassion and being grateful.  You'd never know as the intrinsic racist nature of the corporate media --and much of the 'alternative' media -- is on full display yet again.

Malaysia's HERALD notes:

Christmas is a propitious time "for reconciliation and to achieve peace," writes the Chaldean patriarch Card Louis Raphael Sako in his Christmas letter to the faithful, recalling the apostolic letter "Fratelli tutti" in which Pope Francis invites us to "be brothers, rather than fight each other".

He continues "Christians and Muslims should leave their differences aside, love and serve each other as family members. Let us join hands as one team to change our situation and overcome these crises and give the priority to our homeland, by mutual respect that consolidate values of coexistence."

For Iraqi Christians the Christmas holidays represent a double celebration: because, for the first time, it will be a celebration of the whole nation, without making distinctions between Christians and Muslims. A joy and satisfaction that are the prelude to the visit by Pope Francis, who in early March will make an apostolic journey - the first abroad since the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic - to the Arab nation, touching symbolic places: from Baghdad to Mosul, passing through Ur dei Caldei and the plain of Nineveh, the cradle of the Christian presence in the country.

The Patriarch writes: "For the past two decades, we have celebrated Christmas in an insecure condition that continue to worsen significantly in 2020 due to Corona pandemic in an unprecedented way. Moreover, we were obliged to suspend prayers and pastoral activities in our Churches since March 2020 for the safety of our people.".

We live in a disappointing time in a disappoint nation with really no one to look up to.

AOC is a non-stop embarrassment,  Jimmy Dore has noted this repeatedly.  But did no one catch this Tweet from AOC?



you stood by in total silence when your GOP colleague called a Congresswoman a “f— b—“ on the Capitol steps in front of press. You weren’t big enough to speak then, & you don’t get to sob now. BTW that is the right word for those who fleece & scam working families.

Marco Rubio didn't rush to defend AOC.  And so she thinks its payback that's she not defending him or anyone else as Joe Biden's staffer offers curse words about Republicans?

Payback, is that what you're offering, AOC?  Then you are useless and I'm sorry I defended you when you were called a bitch.  If you were offended when your were name called, you should be willing to step and defend others.  You're not doing that, you're being a hypocrite.  You have nothing to offer except to reveal what a tremendous fake you truly are.

Nancy Pelosi is awful, no question, but AOC is kidding herself if she thinks she herself has the maturity to replace Nancy.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Peggy Lee and musical memories

 Last time, in "Peggy Lee," I noted a Peggy Lee song.  It's from 2 SHOWS NIGHTLY and we noted the album in THIRD's "Live album to check out."

I never heard it until we were working on THIRD.  C.I. said, "Anybody mind if I bring in some Peggy Lee?"  Nope.  Assumed it was going to be a greatest hits or something.  Instead it was this album that most of us had never heard.  We all fell in love with it.  It's just a gorgeous album.  

Peggy decided she didn't like the album and withdrew it before it was officially released at the end of the sixties.  Promo copies had gone out to reviewers -- resulting in some positive reviews but she was having problems with CAPITOL RECORDS and was convinced the album was a stiff and a plan on the part of the label to bury her.  

It's an incredibly engaging album and already one of my all time favorite live albums.

In 2021, I think I'll review an album or two by Peggy Lee.  She really was an amazing artist and I have never grasped just how amazing until this album.  I knew her for her big hits but that's really it.  I remember one time in the early seventies, during the daytime, I was talking to my grandmother and Peggy came on TV.  It was some talk show and Peggy was on a fairly dark stage and singing "Is That All There Is?"  I knew the song but didn't have much of a reaction one way or another.  But my grandmother was all excited and animated and telling me that was Peggy Lee and Peggy Lee sang this and that.  

I'd forgotten about that until this week.  But I bet you anything that I get my love of music from my grandmother (on my mom's side).  We all love music in my family but my grandmother loved it like crazy and would talk about artists like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughun, Dinah Washington and Johnny Desmond.  She really loved music and she is the only person I knew with a 78 collection.  Vinyl records are called 33s or 33 and 1/3 because that's the speed they're played at.  45s were singles and that's the speed they were played at.  78s preceded both and that was their speed -- they go back to the days of the victrola.  My grandmother had a victrola.  We were not allowed to crank it.  The crank was in one of the two cabinets on either side.  The cabinets also housed records.  But she would get the handle out, attach it to the side of the victrola and crank it.  

So a lot of musical memories this week.  

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2020.  We look at standards -- or the lack of them -- as well as the lack of compassion for the real victims of Rukmini Callimachi's 'reporting.'

Starting off with two e-mails to the public account.  Shirley says two people feel I am not noting RISING enough.  There are other things to note but when Shirley told me about those e-mails, I did go to RISING last night and look for something else to highlight.

And then I didn't give a damn.

We'll continue to highlight them but I do have standards.  I don't care if your commentary or interview or whatever reflects what I belive or not with one major exception.  I don't believe in promoting unethical people.

RISING needs to get some standards.  When I went to the website I saw yet another man as a guest.  They struggle to find women and that's really sad.  But when they can't find a woman more worthy of being a guest than Gerald Posner, that's outrageous.

He's a serial liar and a plagiarist and these are not new developments. This and his attacks on others (especially those who demanded the government release the records about the JFK assassination) were well known.  He was fired from THE DAILY BEAST in 2010 because he stole the work of others and passed it off as his own.  Though he claimed it was an accident, THE MIAMI NEWS TIMES looked at his articles and found more theft.  When he tried to dispute it, they then looked at his books and found even more.  He's a plagiarist.  

Why the hell would you want him on your show?  

Get some standards already.

Again you refuse to find qualified women for guests but you get a disgraced 'journalist' on as a guest?

And you're also a visual medium.  Meaning?  Maybe tell Ryan Grimm that the dye job's not working as is.  He needs to go to a lighter shade and he needs to do it all over his hair because the black shoe polish on top with the white sides does not look real -- it makes it look like the dark part is a toupee.  But Gerald Posner?  He's had more (and worse) plastic surgery than Kim Novack.  He should be considered a plastic surgery victim and, looking at him before and after, you have to wonder what look he was going for because the look he achieved was freak.  

We didn't promote the hideous Gerald Posner before he was outed as a thief and that's mainly due to the fact that Michael Ratner put me wise to him and warned me.  If that had happened, I might have promoted him and I'd owe an apology to people here as a result.  (So thank you to the late Michael Ratner who rescued me on many occasions.)  But, again, you have to have standards.

I can see you bringing on someone like April Oliver for example. The corporate media worked to discredit her for her CNN report but I believe her and the investigation didn't prove her wrong because it took the attitude of a legal investigation as opposed to what is required to report.  (Which is one of the reasons that CNN had to pay April a seven-figure settlement to avoid losing bigger in court.)  So bring on April Oliver and I have no problem.  But when you bring on a serial thief 

To wit: In the past week, doctoral student Gregory Gelembiuk and New Times — using special software and perusing texts — have come up with 16 brand-new instances of stolen prose by the author in Miami Babylon (as well as three formerly undisclosed examples from other work). We shared the thievery with Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar and plagiarism expert at St. Petersburg's Poynter Institute.

[. . .]

"These look like obvious cases of plagiarism to me," Clark says. "The fact that Posner at times changes a word or two is not nearly enough to qualify as paraphrase."

New Times sent Posner an email detailing all of the new problems we found in Miami Babylon. He didn't respond to the email or to multiple phone messages.

Posner, on his blog, defends his earlier transgressions by arguing "there are degrees of plagiarism" and that his is less serious because he accidentally copied other people's work.

"Mine is not a case like Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass where there was either wholesale copying from others or in some instances fabrication," Posner wrote March 17. "Any sentences copied by me from published sources were never done with the hope or expectation I'd trick others and get away with it."

Posner, a San Francisco native and Berkeley grad, landed a job when he was just 23 years old with the blue-blood New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, according to his Simon & Schuster bio. By 1986, he had left to publish his first book, a biography of Nazi death doctor Josef Mengele.

Posner has been journalism royalty since 1993, when he made best-seller lists and was a Pulitzer finalist for his fifth book, Case Closed, which attempts to prove Oswald acted alone in killing JFK. Since Case Closed, Posner has added to his resumé six more nonfiction works on topics from 9-11 to Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

In 2004, records show, Posner and his wife Trisha bought a $385,000 condo in SoBe's South of Fifth neighborhood.

When Tina Brown started her Daily Beast website in 2008, she hired Posner as chief investigative reporter. His writing included local stories about Fontainebleau heir Ben Novack Jr.'s death and national pieces on Michael Jackson's last hours. His 454-page book about the sordid history of his new hometown, Miami Babylon, debuted to positive reviews last year.

Everything began unraveling this past February 5, when Slate's media columnist, Jack Shafer, nailed him for stealing seven sentences from the Miami Herald in a Daily Beast piece. Posner said he was "horrified," apologized, and promised it was "inadvertent."

That's when the doctoral student, Gelembiuk, became involved. He's an unlikely journalistic sleuth. A 48-year-old who studies zoology at the University of Wisconsin, he teaches biology and researches invasive species.

For years, Gelembiuk has been using a website called to catch students who plagiarize. In his experience, Gelembiuk says, plagiarists "never do it just once." After reading Shafer's column, he didn't buy Posner's apology. So he ran a half-dozen of the author's Daily Beast stories through the plagiarism site — as well as through software called Viper and Copyscape — and quickly came up with 11 more lifted sentences in three other Beast stories.

Shafer wrote another column, and on February 10, the Daily Beast accepted Posner's resignation. He again apologized, blaming the "warp speed of the Net" for his problems. He later explained he'd stolen only "the most mundane information." Shafer didn't buy it.

"You don't have to rob from Proust to qualify as a low-down plagiarist," Shafer wrote. "Even mundane information takes time and energy to collect and type up — sometimes more time and energy than it takes to toss off an original sonnet."

But even that excuse went out the window March 16, when New Times published Owen's discovery of eight stolen passages in Miami Babylon. Posner again admitted he stole them. But again he had a scapegoat: a new system of "trailing endnotes" that led him to undercredit Owen's work.

Now comes the new evidence turned up by New Times and Gelembiuk. For Miami Babylon, it seems Posner also borrowed from this publication, PBS, the Herald, Ocean Drive, and Men's Vogue. The pilfering seems to include both stand-alone sentences and longer passages.

Fourteen of the new problems were found by Gelembiuk, who purchased an ebook of Miami Babylon to run it through plagiarism software when Posner's second apology also rang hollow. In our own review, we found two passages that seem to be lifted from one New Times story.

Why would you bring someone like that onto your program?  Stephen Glass wasn't available?  

RISING needs to work at developing some standards.  Their efforts at rehabbing Gerald Posner are disgusting.

And let's note one more time, it's a visual medium.  In an earlier time, some may have (wrongly) insisted that Ponce de Leon discovered The Fountain of Youth but all the 66-year-old  Posner de Plagiarist discovered was The Fountain of Freak.

Second on the e-mails, Martha counted numerous e-mails to the public account about how dare I trash Glenn Greenwald for supporting the new Judith Miller Rukmini Callimachi.  At first, I thought they meant the posts at other community members' sites:

But Martha explained they came in before those went up so people are talking about yesterday's snapshot.  I didn't write anything new about Glenn.  I did want it established that I'd been calling Rukimini out for years and I quoted from a March 2014 snapshot.  Yes, Glenn was criticized in that snapshot -- he was promoting her.  With the exception of her theft of Iraqi records that belonged to the Iraqi people and that the Iraqi government lodged a protest over, any snapshot would have likely included Glenn because he was forever praising her.  

That's from 2014 before he left THE INTERCEPT learn to read.  

I have been very supportive of Glenn over the years.  I don't like him.  I don't like some of the positions he takes -- and were he set up better currently, I would explain that at length.  But when he broke the Ed Snowden story, I praised him repeatedly.  When he broke from THE INTERCEPT, I praised him repeatedly.

Now Glenn's never done anything for me so I don't get why some people are telling me in e-mails Martha read that I ''owe him."  For what?

Chris Hayes?  I owe Chris and that's why I refrain from watching his show because I don't want to criticize him.  Ava and I have on two occasions, I believe, at THIRD.  But a number of journalists and left figures (including the disgusting Matthew Rothschild) were asked by me to please cover Iraq Veterans Against The War's Winter Soldier presentation.  I got a lot of promises.  And Chris was the only one who kept it.  I've disclosed that before.  I do not forget that.  I praise Chris for that.  

To be clear, the others who promised did not pan the hearings, they just ignored them.  And you could pan them.  We did a whole edition at THIRD and we covered some great hearings.  We also called out the hearing on gender assault.  They had people who weren't assaulted.  Deciding to dance with someone is not an assault.  You made the decision to dance with him.  In addition, they had men on the panel who were not assaulted but wanted to talk about what ifs . . . That was an embarrassment and we weren't the only ones who felt that way, a member of IVAW who had been raped stopped me at that convention and expressed to me how outraged she was.  I shared that ourage.  We called out that panel -- and got a lot of cry babies with IVAW slamming us for that -- ignoring all the praise we heaped them, ignoring that we all -- every community site -- covered the hearings.  We wrote multiple pieces on that presentation.  But some of the cry babies on that panel were so upset and demanded that we unpost the piece on that panel.  We didn't.

But the Matthew Rothschilds who promised they'd cover it?  They didn't.  And I was very clear in my request that the coverage had to happen while the hearings were taking place so that people would know about them and could tune in -- KPFA broadcast them in full.

Jeff what's his name, Phil Donahue's friend. Jeff Cohen?  One of those FAIR refugees.  He covered Winter Soldier.  After the fact.  And still got it wrong.  And that pissed me off.  He said that WBAI and others offered live coverage of all the hearings.

No, they didn't.  KPFA did.  PACIFICA stations could have carried it.  Instead, WBAI offered their tired Saturday programming including a canned program hosted by Dead MUNSTER Grandpa.  They aired crap and garbage when they could have aired live programming.  So, Jeff Cohen, don't write your garbage praising people who didn't do what they were supposed to.  KPFA broadcast the entire thing and they broadcast it live.  

Glenn's never done anything for me except piss me off with his support for the Iraq War, his ongoing sexism and his praise of Rukmini among other things.  

Despite that, I do note him here.  Despite that, I did defend him when he was attacked for the NSA reporting and when he was (and continues to be attacked) for his departure from THE INTERCEPT and all that came with that decision.

One single op-ed, preaching violence against American protestors, led to the (rightful) resignation of editor James Bennett while the collapse of Rukmini Callimachi's entire reporting project that also put ('foreign') human lives at risk, led to her being reassigned.

The west is not getting this story.  You've got idiots Tweeting junk like 'everybody gets something wrong.'  The problems go beyond her heavy drama podcast.  Her podcast had nothing to do with the paper's DC bureau telling everyone there to fact check anything she offered that they included in their articles.  The warnings from TIMES reporters came long before the podcast.  I was getting e-mails from her colleagues in 2014.  Then there are the whiners trying to make her a face for feminism.  This is not Bash The Bitch.  This is her being held accountable (finally) for the damage she did.

And in you're White centric, Anglo, possibly Christian worlds, you're not getting how much damange she did.  You're not grasping why Arabs complained for years about her coverage.  It was offensive.  

And as someone who knows Rukmini's work, don't try to play the feminist card.  That liar never gave a damn about Iraqi women and she didn't cover them.  So it's a little late for her defenders to pretend that somehow she's a feminist.  

She needs to be fired.  Not reassigned, fired.

And the idiots praising her for the stolen documents?  What she did was unethical.  And she only returned them because the Iraqi government demanded they be returned.

Talk about Western entitlement, all these idiots praising her for raiding and stealing documents.  You have no respect for national sovereignty and your entitlement is showing.

She has caused serious damage in the Middle East but, hey, you really enjoyed that plate of nachos while you listened to her dramatic podcast so what do the lives of 'others' matter anyway, right?

Shame on you.  You're disgusting.  You place no value at all on an Arab life but you rush to rescue a serial liar when she's finally put on the hot seat.  Shame on you.

The lack of compassion for the Arab world is especially sad when we stop a minute to think that this is Christmas.  We are three days away from Christmas.  Yet no one wants to address the way Rukmini victimized Arabs, the western commentators just want to play the girl-card and pretend like we owe a non-feminist who refused to ever cover the problems facing Iraqi women something because she has a vagina.  I don't owe Rukmini a damn thing except scorn.

As the Iraqi government now speaks of shuttering displacement camps where tens of thousands of these internal refugees have been sheltering since then and returning them to their villages, the prospect of retribution back home awaits.

“The Islamic State is gone, and we’re still living in their wreckage,” said Kadhim al-Khazaraji, a local Shiite Muslim sheikh as his gaze settled on a house that had collapsed like a half-melted candle. “If I see someone here who was with ISIS back then, I will kill them. They killed my family.”

This hostility represents one of the largest obstacles to the government’s plan, announced in fall, to move ahead with the camp closures as part of a program of “safe and voluntary return.” Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has made the shutting of the camps one of his marquee promises.

More than three years after the Islamic State was ousted from its territory in Iraq, at least 1 million mostly Sunni civilians remain displaced and communities they hail from remain divided, the psychological scars of war often as fresh as those still etched into the facades of Dujail. There is no ready answer for how to stitch society back together.

But the Baghdad-based government is forcing them out -- something we've been calling out here since October.  In the KRG, they are not closing the camps.  Elsewhere in Iraq, they are.  This is not about helping the Iraqi people.  This is about saving money -- Iraq's got budget issues.  (So does the KRG but, again, they are not moving to close the camps.)  It is not safe for these people to return home.  Use your brain and you'll grasp that returning home as opposed to living in an open-air camp?  Anyone who could would gladly return home.

This is a punitive measure, it is not about helping anyone.  It needs to be called out.

Finally, tomorrow's snapshot may be later in the day that normal.  That's your heads up.

The following sites updated: