Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Pretenders, The Beatles, Nina Simone

That's The Pretenders "Criminal."  It's a brilliant song and, due to the reception of PACKED! in real time, a bit of a hidden gem.  PACKED! got attacked in real time but it's really held up and is one of the band's best albums.  And there's some good news about the band today.  ROLLING STONE reports:

The Pretenders are back with a new album, Relentless, Chrissie Hynde and company’s first LP in three years.

“I enjoy seeing the various meanings and origins of a word,” Hynde said of the album title in a statement. “And I liked the definition: ‘showing no abatement of intensity.’ So when it came to an album title, it seemed fitting. You know…to keep doing it. I think anyone in a band is constantly questioning if they should keep going. It starts as a youthful pursuit and eventually, it makes you wonder, why am I doing this? It’s the life of the artist. You never retire. You become relentless.”

Ahead of the album’s September 1 release, the Pretenders have shared the first single, “Let the Sun Come In”:

Relentless finds Hynde and guitarist James Walborne working with producer Dave Wrench and a band they’ve dubbed The Pretenders Collective: Kris Sonne (drums), Chris Hill (double bass), Dave Page (bass), and Carwyn Ellis (keyboards and guitars). Additionally, on the album closer “I Think About You Daily,” they collaborated with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who orchestrated the strings on the track.

Here's the new song "Let The Sun Come In."

I really like it.  A lot.

The Beatles have achieved another milestone: one of the band's most famous hits has surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify, becoming the first Beatles song to do so.

"Here Comes the Sun," a George Harrison-penned track from the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album, on Tuesday became the 406th track to join Spotify's Billions Club. Seven years ago, Drake became the first artist to have a song reach one billion plays on Spotify with his smash "One Dance," from the 2016 album "Views."

I was just listening to "Here Comes The Sun" this morning.  But it was on AMAZON and it was Nina Simone's version.  

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

Thursday, May 11, 2023.  The bees in Iraq, democracy in the US -- what are things that suffer currently?

The American Taliban.  You think so many can't call it out because they're in bed with it?  Tucker Carlson defenders, for example, who call themselves post-left.  Nick Pemberton (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:

Upon Tucker Carlson’s firing the position of the post-left became even more clarifying. Consider these tweets from the Post-Left Watch: “These people went on Tucker Carlson: Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Maté, Max Blumenthal, Michael Tracey, Russell Brand, Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Oliver Stone, Matt Taibbi, Roger Waters, Lee Fang, Tara Reade, Jimmy Dore, Cornel West, Ro Khanna, Krystal Ball…. Other people who went on Tucker Carlson: Anya Parampil, Zaid Jilani, Stephen F. Cohen, Andrew Yang, Jill Stein, Matt Stoller, Angela Nagle, Rod Blagojevich.”

I'm sorry, who on that list is supposed to impress me?

Stephen F. Cohen is someone I knew and he went on there to get the word out on Ukraine.  He didn't do testimonials for Tucker.  As for the rest?  Where's the person that's supposed to impress me?  A bunch of do nothing self-promoters.

Glenn Greenwald -- libertarian, not left.  Dennis Kucinich?  He sold out his followers at the 2004 DNC convention.  It's not my fault that people don't know their history.  After that? He talked a big game about universal healthcare, said it's what we needed, said ObamaCare wasn't that (he was right) and swore he would never vote for it.  Then Barack got on that plane with him and explained how easy it would be to primary him and get him out of Congress.  When that plane landed, Dennis was all for ObamaCare.  Here's the joke -- well, Dennis is always the joke, here's the punchline: Barack forced Dennis to vote for it and in the next election cycle still had Dennis face a real primary challenge and Dennis was out of Congress.  Tulsi Gabbard -- homophobic, transphobic, cult member.  Cornel West?  Tavis Smiley is a friend, I don't care for people who stab my friends in the back.  Who on this list is supposed to impress me.  Rod Blagojevich?  The man who tried to sell Barack's Senate seat.  Rod went to prison, he's a corrupt politician.  Do these idiots -- these post-lefters -- not know a damn thing?  That would explain why they all cozy up to convicted pedophile Scott Ritter.  Tara Reade?  Tara may have been assaulted.  Didn't give her super powers, didn't make her a nice person and she's never was that left and ran to the right as soon as she could.  She pretends to believe all victims while promoting Scott Ritter, the registered sex offender that was sent to prison.  

It's the American Taliban that's threatening democracy and human rights.  And they can't call it out because they're too busy defending it.  Tara's gal pal, for example, is Marjorie Taylor Greene.  

And while they stay silent, the American Taliban destroys a little  bit more each day.

Here's her speech.


At JACOBIN, Matt McManus tackles hate merchant Matt Walsh:

A media commentator for the Daily Wire, Walsh tackles big questions like the scientificity of a black mermaid and the fertility of sixteen-year-old girls. But Walsh has become most well-known for the relentless bile he directs at the LGBTQ movement, particularly in his widely cited documentary What is a Woman? and its sister book.

While the competition has become stiff, Walsh’s truly obsessive fixation on what people do with their genitals has made him the US right’s homophobe and transphobe in chief. And he pairs this bizarre preoccupation with a crusading right-wing Christianity, on full display in Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians.

[. . .]

Adding to this, we can ask whether it should be an ethical norm to not misgender people. Some, like Walsh, insist that they will refuse to call anyone by their identified gender since it deviates from (crudely conceived) biology. But as Ben Burgis points out, this is an absurd claim that doesn’t even conform to already-existing social expectations. For instance, when someone describes their adopted child as “my daughter,” no one except Matt Walsh would take issue with it by saying “she wasn’t born that way and I’ll never call her your daughter!”

Turning to Iraq . . .

Saturday, Baghdad kicked off the three-day International Water Conference.  Let's note some Tweets.

Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) reported:

Iraq on Saturday called for emergency assistance from the international community to help restore the flow of water in the country's two main rivers.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani made the plea for “urgent international intervention” at the start of the two-day Baghdad International Water conference.

“The issue of water has become a sensitive one not only in Iraq but in all countries,” Mr Al Sudani said.

Water levels in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which account for more than 90 per cent of Iraq's freshwater reserves, have declined significantly over the years, partly as a result of the construction of dams and diversion of water upstream in Turkey and Iran.

The Prime Minister warned that a shortage of water compounded by climate change would have a substantial impact on Iraq's economic development and environment, with wider ramifications for regional stability.

KURDISTAN 24 adds:

The KRG Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Begard Dlshad, is heading the delegation to present the Region’s perspective on water issues such as drought, that has negatively impacted Iraq in recent years, the minister told Kurdistan 24.

The United Nations is also participating in the conference along with representatives of neighboring countries, including Iran and Turkey.

“The KRG’s dam construction project aims to reduce the reliance on water flow from neighboring countries,” the minister told Kurdistan 24 and added that 30 percent of Iraq’s water reserves are in the Kurdish region.

The 45-year-old Begard Dlshad Shukralla has her degree in biology and has previously held the following posts: 2011 to 2013 head of the PUK's Office for Monitoring and Follow Up, 2013 to 2017 MP in the Kurdistan Parliament and, in 2017, Secretary of the Kurdistan Parliament.


Julian Bechocha (RUDAW) reports:                                                                             

Iraq is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including water and food insecurity, according to the United Nations. It is facing a severe water shortage because of reduced precipitation and higher temperatures, and waste and mismanagement. The crisis is worsened by dams upstream in Turkey and Iran that have led to a significant decrease in the volume of water entering the country. 

A visit by Sudani to Turkey in March saw measurable success after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to double the water releases in the Tigris River for a period of one month, saying the decision was made “in order to relieve Iraq’s distress.”

“The government has set the water file as one of its priorities, and has taken many policies. And it was necessary to identify the problems with upstream countries so our meetings with the countries emphasized the need to give the full share of water,” Sudani said. 

During the conference, Sudani also pleaded for “the efforts of all friends” of the international community to “urgently” assist Iraq counter water insecurity.

In one of the latest stark warnings of the threats a heating climate poses to Iraq, a report by the Ministry of Water Resources late last year predicted that unless urgent action is taken to combat declining water levels, Iraq’s two main rivers will be entirely dry by 2040. 

The Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary General spoke at the conference.  Here's what Ghulam Isaczai stated:

Distinguished guests, good morning.

Today, I have the honor of speaking at the 3rd Baghdad International Water Conference, at the invitation of H.E. Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Prime Minister of Iraq, and H.E. Aoun Diab, Minister of Water Resources.

I would like to begin by highlighting some positive developments related to the water agenda that have taken place in recent months, thanks to the joint efforts of the Government of Iraq and the United Nations.

Specifically, I would like to congratulate Iraq for being the pioneer in the region to accede to the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. This accession will open new opportunities to enhance transboundary water cooperation, while strengthening national water policies and practices, and enhancing intersectoral cooperation and stakeholder participation.

From our side at the United Nations, we have established a Water Task Force comprising water experts from different international organizations and think tanks to provide technical assistance and advice to the Government of Iraq on water issues. Our advocacy and engagement on water challenges in Iraq have increased significantly, reflecting our commitment to supporting Iraq in addressing its looming water crisis.

At the national level, there is a need to:

  • Initiate a national dialogue on water and around SDG6 on Clean Water and Sanitation leading to development of a national Water Roadmap.
  • Make water resources management as a national priority, while allocating sufficient funds towards research, analysis, innovation, and transfer of efficient technologies for integrated water resources management.
  • Invest in national capacity building, water infrastructure including dams, irrigation systems, and wastewater treatment plants, to maximize water usage.
  • Promote water conservation measures: such as repairing leaky pipes, introduce water-saving technologies, and enforce regulations on water usage.
  • Revive traditional Rainwater harvesting practices such as building catchment systems, to collect and store rainwater for future use.
  • Establish water monitoring systems for river and ground water, and take regulatory, technological, and behavioral measures to prevent water pollution, while also investing in urban water recycling.
  • Combat desertification through integrated and adaptive land, water, and forest management.
  • Launch education and awareness campaigns to promote responsible water usage and conservation.

At the regional level there is a need to:

  • Strengthen regional cooperation to develop equitable and eco-friendly water use policies, while developing a negotiated strategy encouraging riparian countries to sign river-basin-management agreements based on a win-win approach.
  • Conduct regional water assessment of the economic, environmental, regional integration and political benefits costs of non-cooperation on water resources.
  • Actively leverage relevant global legal instruments on transboundary water.

To effectively address Iraq’s water challenges, we must work jointly and transparently. The cross-cutting nature of water means that challenges must be addressed through a whole of government and whole of society approach, and approach that is inclusive and engages the Iraqi people, that is those most directly affected by the water situation.  

On our side at the United Nations, we will continue to actively engage with our government counterparts, through the Water Task Force and the Inter-agency working group on climate and environment.

Let me close by saying that all technical solutions to the water problems are within our reach; what we need is effective policies, investments, incentive mechanisms, regulations, and enforcement actions.

The United Nations stands ready to support. I wish you all a fruitful conference.

Thank you.


The following sites updated:

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Adam Lambert, Dustin Michael

Adam Lambert's comments that U.S. lawmakers are "using children as an excuse" to discriminate against drag queens and members of the LGBTQ+ community has sparked outrage online.

Drag queens have become a talking point on social media and across the political spectrum. States such as Tennessee and Kentucky have passed legislation banning drag shows from being performed in public or in front of children.

Much of the backlash has been linked to a focus on transgender people. This was heightened in recent weeks after influencer Dylan Mulvaney was sent a personalized can from Bud Light as she commemorated 365 days of her living as a woman.

Queen singer Lambert, 41, released a video over the weekend in which he took aim at those attacking drag queens. He later appeared at the "Drag Isn't Dangerous" livestream telethon on Sunday. The event raised more than $500,000 for LGBTQ+ charities. These included groups fighting anti-drag legislation in such states as Florida and Tennessee.

"Drag is joy. It's a celebration of all the things that make queer people who we are," Lambert said in the video posted on social media. "Drag is an amazing way to bring light to the world. And these lawmakers are terrified of just how brightly we're shining. They're using children as an excuse to take one more thing away from us."

He's exactly right.

Good for him.

And this is not about children and has never been about children.  This is about, as they infamously said at their conservative gathering, "eradicating" trans people.  It's outrageous and no one should support their efforts.

They are harming children because there are LGBTQ+ children.

Good for Adam.   And if you ever doubt how little Republicans care about protecting children, "A bill that could have prevented child marriage was defeated in the West Virginia House. The Republican-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee denied the bill 9:8, a week after it passed the House of Delegates. "

Another good for them story, USA TODAY reports:

B5's Dustin Michael is revealing he's in a "very beautiful relationship" with director D. Smith.

The R&B singer, 35, shared a video on Instagram Tuesday, addressing the stigma of dating trans women and why he chose now to discuss his relationship.

"I'm in a very beautiful relationship with someone who makes me very happy. She's very sexy, very talented. And most of all, she has a beautiful kind of spirit, which I love. My girlfriend, she is transgender. Her name is D. Smith," Michael shared.

Good for Dustin Michael and good for D. Smith.  I hope they have a wonderful relationship and get nothing but warm wishes from everyone they know.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2023.  The UK returns some of the loot to Iraq, the GOP playbook is right there out in the open but 'left' YOUTUBERS would rather cover their friends' weddings than the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.

Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, has argued that his party could win the 2024 elections if it continues its anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.

The governor said during a televised interview on Monday (8 May) that he believes Americans think that Democratic representatives have “gone too far” in protecting the LGBTQ+ community.

He claimed that if Republicans continued to dismantle queer rights, the party would be sure to “win” when Americans go to the polls in November 2024’s presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections.

What do you think?

The media has normalized hate against the LGBTQ+ community.  People don't want to address that reality because it would require pointing a lot of fingers at themselves.  THE NEW YORK TIMES has yet again walked from science -- they do that all the time -- to target this community.  They did it during AIDS.  At the height of AIDS, the paper was run by the most homophobic editor at any US publication.  And they're just reclaiming their old image these days.  But, please note, as bad as that is, it's the silence that's worse.

The mushy middle of America goes back and forth.  That happens for a reason.  They have no core beliefs and they just go with where the wind blows.  So when THE TIMES and FOX NEWS and others attack the LGBTQ+ community and the rest remain largely silent, the mushy middle goes along with the only group speaking.

In other words, that band of useless YOUTUBERS -- straights who think the whole world should be grateful if an aside in a one hour podcast mentions LGBTQ+ persons -- won't say anything, then, yes, that hate merchant in Oklahoma is probably correct.

THE VANGUARD?  Zac and Gavin present as allies.  Present.  But then, see Ruth's "I do not question THE VANGUARD's ethics, just their focus," this program that can never devote the full hour -- or even 15 minutes -- to the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, wasted three hours on the wedding of Kyle and Krystal?  

Time and again, they make time for everything but defending the most at risk in the current climate.  That's THE VANGUARD, that's all the ones with White hosts pretty much.  BLACK POWER MEDIA grasps what's going on while so many other play obtuse. 

Louisiana representatives on Tuesday passed a "Don't Say Gay" bill, advancing it to the Senate with a vote of 67-28.

Driving the news: House Bill 466 prohibits K-12 public school employees from teaching or discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom.

  • It also regulates pronouns and names, saying they must match birth certificates.

The big picture: New Orleans has one of the largest concentrations of LGBTQ+ people in the U.S., with 4.7% of the adult population identifying as members of the community.

  • A 2021 analysis from UCLA's Williams Institute estimates there are about 46,000 LGBTQ+ community members here.

Zoom out: Including the "Don't Say Gay" bill, Louisiana lawmakers are debating five anti-LGBTQ+ bills this session that could affect nearly every facet of life, particularly for youth.

Issues include:

Pronouns: House Bill 81, called the “Given Name Act” by its author, requires students to use the name and pronoun on their birth certificate. It passed 61-33 in the House on Monday and now heads to the Senate.

  • It has an exception if there is written consent from the parent, but teachers can reject the parent’s choice if it conflicts with the teacher’s “religious or moral convictions.”

Health care: A bill that prohibits doctors from offering gender-affirming medical care, such as hormone treatments or puberty-blocking drugs, to anyone younger than 18 advanced out of committee and heads to the full House.

I'm sorry but that?  It's much more important than Krystal's late-life wedding.

When John Stauber and Jonathan Turley mis read the actual backlash to Bud Light because they don't realize that LGBTQ+ people are pissed at the brewer and done with Bud Light?  It's because they apparently don't know any gay people.

And I have to wonder if the bulk of the left -- positioning themselves as spokespeople and media -- know any.

Maybe if you did, you would use your time on YOUTUBE or wherever to actually talk about things that mattered -- that will never, ever be your friends' wedding, not when you're claiming to do a political show.

So many people walked through school unscathed.  So many, because of the age, were too focused on themselves to grasp what was going on around them.  But for a lot of LGBTQ+ people, school was a living hell and it was made worse by adults who laughed and encouraged attacks on the ones seen as different. 

And now we've got hate merchants who want to return to those times.  I don't know why you wouldn't call this out. 

But grasp, those of you so worried that someone votes for Joe or Robert or Marianne, your silence is going to destroy the Democratic Party's chances in 2024.  You need to get off your candy ass, deal with whatever issues you have that make you silent, and come out in defense of a group of people who are now under daily attack.

A Wisconsin community is outraged after the local school board renewed the contract of a teacher who allegedly used racist and homophobic language in class.

At a school board meeting in Wausau, Wisconsin, on Monday night, nearly 30 speakers testified for an hour-and-a-half in support of a gay student of Hmong-Lao descent who recently filed an official complaint against Robert Perkins, alleging that the Wausau East High School band instructor directed racial and homophobic slurs at him. 

Nevertheless, following the public comment period, the school board, which had previously dismissed the student’s complaint, renewed Perkins’s contract for the following school year, the Wausau Daily Herald reports.

Hmong-Lao is required, by law, to attend school.  He is a kid and he's taking abuse at school.  That's outrageous and it only becomes more outrageous when you grasp that it's an adult abusing the child.  There needs to be a lawsuit immediately.  

This crap went on in the past and was outrageous then but in 2023, a teacher mocking a child, spitting hate at the child, oh, hell no.

Robert Perkins should have been fired.

But let's talk about Krystal and Kyle's wedding instead, right?

In a better world, high school musicals would have become more friendly toward LGBTQ+ people than my Catholic high school was when it required our production of Spamalot to replace all utterances of “gay” with “happy.” Unfortunately, as the Washington Post reports, school districts across the country are canceling high school theatre productions for including LGBTQ+ content and characters, as well as frank discussions of race and racism and anything else administrators deem inappropriate.

This kind of censorship made national headlines in January, when, halfway through rehearsals, school board members in Ohio canceled a Cardinal High School’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The school board objected to it because it had, among other perceived infractions, a character whose fathers are gay. Although the musical was eventually staged with some revisions after Spelling Bee creators Rebecca Feldman and Rachel Sheinkin reached out to the board directly, other schools haven’t been so fortunate.

As the Post reports, high school theater productions have been stopped across the United States, often because they include LGBTQ+ content or depictions of racism. Examples range from a gender-bending reimagining of Robin Hood (titled Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood) being scrapped in Indiana because of phone calls complaining about the play’s queer characters, to the axing of a Florida production of the play Indecent, which centers on an affair between women.

Where's that defender of art, Richard Dreyfuss!  You know, the man's who has given the same performance since his bit part on BEWITCHED back in 1966.  He hid behind art to flaunt his hatred of others but he won't defend actual art.  He'll just go out the joke he always was as the American people laugh at his whining that he can't wear Blackface and those of us in the arts laugh about that as well but also about the fact that he thinks he can do Shakespeare.  

The Republican Party has made this the campaign issue for 2024.  If you're not up to defending the LGBTQ+ community, you're not up to running for president.

I'm looking at you, Robert, and you, Marianne.

Joe's old, he's old as dirt, there's no denying that.  There's also no denying that he's the only one of the three grasping the GOP playbook and the only one of the three tackling this issue.

Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor, Brandon Wolf, did not mince words for disgraced "journalist," Megyn Kelly, after she made disgusting comments on Twitter attacking gun reform activists. 

Kelly, a former Fox News Channel anchor, who was fired from NBC in 2018 over blackface comments on the air, tweeted, “Serious q for gun control advocates: you’ve failed to effect change. Pls face it. You can’t do it, thx to the 2A. We’re all well aware you don’t like that fact, but fact it is. What’s next? Must we just stay here sad, concerned, lamenting? Could we possibly talk OTHER SOLUTIONS?”

Kelly’s post, which was tweeted while police were still canvassing the crime scene at the Allen, Texas outlet mall mass shooting, leaving eight dead over the weekend, was not only callous, it’s inaccurate. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, contrary to Kelly's claim that gun reform advocates have 'failed,' Connecticut now actually has the sixth lowest rate of gun deaths, after enacting laws there in the wake of the mass shooting deaths of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown in 2012. It’s not only safer in Connecticut, but it’s also safer in surrounding states. Additionally, as of 2021, Connecticut had the eleventh lowest rate of crime gun exports. Texas, which has continued to expand access to guns, has the 28th highest gun death rate in the country, including the horrific deaths of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde last year.

Wolf, an LGBTQ civil rights and gun reform activist, who's currently serving as the press secretary for Equality Florida, responded to Kelly’s tweet and invoked his own horrific mass shooting encounter at Pulse in Orlando: “I refuse to believe that dead children on a sidewalk must be the price of admission for being an American, that my best friend’s mutilated body on a nightclub floor is just the way the cookie must crumble.”

"No. I refuse to accept this nightmarish experiment as inevitable," he added on Instagram. 

In the wake of the 2022 Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs and the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, which was the second deadliest in US history, LGBTQ Americans feel especially at risk and unsafe as it pertains to gun violence, which has become an epidemic. As of May 7th, The Gun Violence Archive reports there have been more than 200 mass shootings in 2023.

The issue of mass shootings has become so commonplace, that other nations around the world are issuing travel advisories against their people visiting the United States. CNN reports that Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan, and New Zealand have all issued travel warnings to anyone considering traveling to the United States. 

In an interview with GLAAD, Wolf said that his message is simple: "It does not have to be this way. We do not have to serve our children up as sacrifices to the profit-obsessed gun lobby. We do not have to sit by while our neighborhoods become war zones, content to throw up our hands and refuse to address the common denominators. No matter your gaslighting, we know the truth. It's the guns. And we can do -- and expect -- better."

"The LGBTQ community is under assault. Extremists are wielding the power of government against us while they use fear and intimidation to try and force us back into the closet. That reality is making life less safe for us. But we have been here before. We have long been demonized, dehumanized, and used as a cultural wedge issue. But we have forged ahead, securing civil rights protections and greater social acceptance than ever before by refusing to be erased and being unapologetically us. This moment calls for us to raise our flags higher than ever and send a message that we will not be erased," Wolf added.

Wolf also told GLAAD that we all have a stake in this fight and encouraged everyone to take action in their own way: "Every day Americans must be on the frontlines in the fight against gun violence. Find an organization building grassroots power and volunteer or donate. Start showing up in the state legislature. Become a voter for whom refusal to support gun safety reforms is a dealbreaker. Educate and induct your neighbors into the fight. Do not wait until it is your child lifeless on the sidewalk or your best friend who never gets the chance to return your call."

Most of all, "Act now," Wolf said.

Megyn doesn't want to talk about that shooting because she and Glenneth can't pin it off on a transgender person.  She also doesn't want people exploring the roots of that shooter because they lead back to her and her hatred.

On that, some asked in e-mails, "Are you going to be nicer to Glenn Greenwald?"  Because his husband died?  Hell no.  I warned Glenneth as far back as October that his husband was going to die and that he needed to put the talk show on hold, get his ass to the hospital and stay there.  He made his choice.  Now his Twitter feed is one sad Tweet about David after another. Maybe that helps Glenneth but it doesn't thing for David.  Dropping everything and being there for David would have meant something to David.

I've buried a husband, I know what I'm talking about and that's why I publicly called him out in real time over this.  Glenn's never going to get over the guilt.  That's his own problem.  He made a choice.  

His failure to do what was needed goes to his ego.  

If you're sad for him right now, grasp how pathetic his future relationships are going to be.  He was at his most 'left' when he met David and he also looked a lot better.  Now he's a transphobe cozying up to homophobes and he's going to try to find a new man?  Lots of luck with the selections available to a self-hating gay man who looks about sixty and has that ridiculous hair color (from a box).  

Let's move over to Iraq.

The media working overtime trying to normalize what just happened.

You show up at my door in a pickle because your curling iron shorted out and I lend you mine.  You keep it for a week or even a month before returning it, then you did borrow it.  You keep that curling iron for 100 years?  You stole it.  

This was never borrowed property.  It was stolen.

More than 6,000 ancient artefacts have been returned to Iraq, bringing the total recovered in five years to 34,000.

The birthplace of the world's earliest recorded civilisation is home to thousands of artefacts. Many have been lost and stolen through conflict and by opportunistic poachers and have yet to be found or returned. Others were on long-term loans.

The latest items were handed back by the UK after they were borrowed more than 100 years ago.

“We have succeeded, through diplomacy, in returning 34,502 artefacts since 2019 until now,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al Sahaf told The National on Tuesday.

According to the Iraqi Presidency statement, President Rashid attended a ceremony at the Iraqi Embassy in London to retrieve the 6,000 antiquities that Britain had “borrowed” from Iraq for “scholarly purposes” since 1923.

The move occurred on the eve of Rashid’s journey to the United Kingdom to attend King Charles III’s coronation ceremony, during which Rashid chose to bring the relics back to Baghdad and hand them over to the Iraqi National Museum.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Ahmed al-Sahaf, announced in a statement that Iraq is getting 38 crates containing Iraqi antiques borrowed by Britain.

Hakim Al-Shammari, Media Director of the Iraqi State Board of Antiques and Heritage (SBAH), noted that the retrieved antiques are a vital indicator of Iraqi diplomatic achievements under the current administration.

Iraq declared the greatest recovery effort for smuggled Iraqi cultural relics and jewels, returning some 17,000 precious artifacts from the United States at the end of July 2021.

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The following sites updated: