Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Eminem, Eric Clapton

boeberts hands


From about three hours ago, that's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Gross, Daddy, I Know Where Her Hand's Been."   

Eminem’s youngest child Stevie has gone public with their new romance after coming out as non-binary.

Back in 2021, the 22-year-old - who was born Whitney - announced in a video on TikTok that they were gender fluid, and would alternate between using the pronouns he, she and they. During a recent appearance on their sister Hailie Jade Scott’s podcast Just a Little Shady, they discussed the relationship which has developed into a serious romance over the last few months.

“He moved in with me last year, like December. It’s going really well, we’ve been together like two years now,” they explained after being quizzed by Hailie. Stevie had been in the long-distance romance for a few years before he moved in with them, prompting Hailie to call their relationship “crazy”.

“It’s hard but I feel like if you really have a connection with someone it can work, especially if you make time for it to work," Stevie continued. “It’s a pretty hard thing but it’s a lot easier and it’s worth it once you get to live together and actually experience those things.”

I did not know that about Eminem's 22-year-old child.  First I'm learning of it.  I went to Eminem's WIKIPEDIA page and there was nothing on it about Stevie.  Good luck to Stevie, I hope they find nothing but happiness in life.  Someone who's making life a little harder for everyone is Eric Clapton.  THE LOS ANGELES TIMES reports Clapton had two fundraisers this week:

Yet the Crossroads festival came just days after Clapton’s appearance at a smaller, very different benefit in seeming conflict with the progressive ideals many of those boomers famously embodied. On Sept. 18, Clapton, 78, headlined a fundraiser for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the now-independent presidential candidate known for spouting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories — among other things, he's suggested that vaccines cause autism and that the COVID-19 virus was designed not to infect Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people — and for his coziness with conservative political figures such as Elon Musk, Jordan Peterson and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; the event, held at a private estate in Brentwood, raised $2.2 million, according to Kennedy’s campaign.

“I am deeply grateful to Eric Clapton for bringing his musical artistry and rebellious spirit to my gathering in Los Angeles last night,” Kennedy said in a statement issued the next day. He added: “Eric sings from the depths of the human condition. If he sees in me the possibility of bringing unity to our country, it is only possible because artists like him invoke a buried faith in the limitless power of human beings to overcome any obstacle.”

That could be it. Or it could be that in Kennedy, the wayward inheritor of the Democratic Party's most recognizable brand name, Clapton sees something of a kindred soul: Once regarded as part of the liberation-minded hippie movement (even if signs of dissent were clear early on), Clapton has veered conspicuously rightward in recent years, especially as pertains to COVID.

And he’s not the only one. In 2020, Clapton and the legendary Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison teamed for “Stand and Deliver,” a shaggy blues song protesting pandemic lockdowns in which they ask the listener, “Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?” Months later, Morrison, now 78, released a 28-track double album full of rants about supposed welfare abuse and government mind control; one cut, “They Own the Media,” flirts with an established antisemitic trope.
How sad.  I'm sadder about Van Morrison because I liked him.  Eric Clapton's well known racism always prevented me from being a Clapton fan.

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2023.  The assault on Gaza continues, the world's voice opposing it continues to grow louder, Susan "Medea" Benjamin has entered her LIFE WITH LUCY period while the boys on THE VANGUARD finger-point at Peter Daou while refusing any self-examination.

Meghann Myers (MILITARY TIMES) reports, "The total number of drone attacks on bases in Iraq and Syria housing U.S. troops has grown to at least 23, a senior defense official told reporters Monday. That amounts to at least 14 attacks in Iraq and at least nine attacks in Syria since Oct. 17, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record."  US President Joe Biden painted a target on the backs of US troops in Iraq and Syria the same as he did on the Palestinians in Gaza and on the West Bank when he a-okayed the genocide being carried out by the Israeli government.  

The United Nations children’s agency has warned Israel is committing rampant grave violations of human rights against children in the besieged Gaza Strip. On Monday, UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russell briefed the U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, warning Israel’s assault is killing or injuring more than 420 children in Gaza every day — a number she said should “shake each of us to our core.”

Catherine Russell: “I implore the Security Council to immediately adopt a resolution that reminds parties of their obligations under international law, that calls for a ceasefire, that demands the parties allow safe and unimpeded humanitarian access, that demands the immediate and safe release of all abducted children, and that urges parties to afford children the special protection to which they are entitled.”

Palestinian health officials say over 8,500 people -- mostly women and children -- have been killed over the past 26 days. On Monday, an Israeli warplane bombed the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the only hospital in Gaza for cancer patients. The attack set part of the building on fire and damaged medical equipment, drawing a strong condemnation from Turkey. In the past 24 hours, Israeli air raids have also struck near the European Hospital, the Indonesia Hospital and flattened homes in the vicinity of the al-Quds Hospital, where some 14,000 Palestinians are sheltering.

Where's Amy Schumer denying that hospital bombing?  Or have we reached the point where even the liars know there's little use in pretending the assault on Gaza is about flowers and sunbeams?  War Crimes are being carried out.  THE TIMES OF ISRAEL reports:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Israel was “completely out of its mind,” accusing it of crimes against humanity over its ongoing war against the Hamas terror group.

Erdogan vowed to bring Jerusalem to justice over “crimes committed in the Gaza Strip,” and accused the United States and Europe of being complicit in them, while making no mention of Hamas’s deadly onslaught on October 7.

“I believe that we should stop Israel — which looks as if it’s completely out of its mind and lost it — as soon as possible. We will ensure that those responsible for war crimes in Gaza will face justice,” he said in a statement following a cabinet meeting.

Turkey isn't the only country calling Israel out.  Manveena Suri (CNN) notes:

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday condemned Israeli forces' "inhumane targeting" of the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza, saying it "totally rejects the repeated targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of densely populated civilian areas."

The Israeli strike targeting a Hamas commander in the densely populated camp Tuesday killed a large number of people and left catastrophic damage, according to eyewitnesses and medics in the enclave.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms possible the inhumane targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of the Jabalia refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip, which caused the death and injury of a large number of innocent civilians,” Saudi's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
"The Kingdom condemns and totally rejects the repeated targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of densely populated civilian areas, and its continuing violation of international law and international humanitarian law."

The “dire humanitarian situation stemming from the ongoing escalation cannot be justified,” the statement added, noting that “halting the bloodshed, protecting civilians and the cessation of military operations are urgent priorities.”

“The failure to promptly adhere to these principles will inevitably lead to a humanitarian disaster for which the Israeli occupation and the international community bear responsibility,” it said.


When the basic rules of engagement are not followed by a country, it provides other countries with the excuse to break the laws.  And people are noticing what's going on.  Around the world, people are registering how innocent civilians have been penned into Gaza where the government of Israel turned off water, turned off electricity and bombed indiscriminately.  People are registering this violence.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

  Human rights attorney Craig Mokhiber left his United Nations post with a resignation letter excoriating the U.N. response to Israel's devastating war on the Gaza Strip—a four-page document that has been circulating on social media this week.

Mokhiber, who has spent decades with the U.N., was serving as the New York director for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). His letter to the agency's leader, Volker Türk, is dated October 28—when Israeli forces were shifting to the "second stage" of a war that has killed thousands of Palestinians in Gaza in retaliation for a deadly Hamas-led attack on Israel.

"Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it," Mokhiber wrote. "As someone who has investigated human rights in Palestine since the 1980s, lived in Gaza as a U.N. human rights adviser in the 1990s, and carried out several human rights missions to the country before and since, this is deeply personal to me."

"We have lost a lot in this abandonment, not least our own global credibility. But the Palestinian people have sustained the biggest losses as a result of our failures."

"I also worked in these halls through the genocides against the Tutsis, Bosnian Muslims, the Yazidi, and the Rohingya. In each case, when the dust settled on the horrors that had been perpetrated against defenseless civilian populations, it became painfully clear that we had failed in our duty to meet the imperatives of prevention of mass atrocities, of protection of the vulnerable, and of accountability for perpetrators. And so it has been with successive waves of murder and persecution against the Palestinians throughout the entire life of the U.N.," he continued. "High commissioner, we are failing again."

The attorney asserted that "the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate."

While the death toll in Gaza has risen—topping 8,500 on Tuesday, including over 3,500 children—hundreds of legal scholars have said Israel's war could amount to genocide. Human rights defenders have sounded the alarm over recent comments from Israeli leaders and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of an "explicit call to genocide" in a Saturday speech.

As Mokhiber noted: "In Gaza, civilian homes, schools, churches, mosques, and medical institutions are wantonly attacked as thousands of civilians are massacred. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, homes are seized and reassigned based entirely on race, and violent settler pogroms are accompanied by Israeli military units. Across the land, apartheid rules." 

AMY GOODMAN: Top United Nations officials are expressing growing alarm over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as the enclave’s last remaining hospitals are on the verge of shutting down due to a lack of fuel, as Israel intensifies its ground invasion while rejecting growing calls for a humanitarian ceasefire. Palestinian health officials say over 8,500 people, mostly women and children, have been killed over the past 26 days. The head of UNICEF said, “The lack of clean water and safe sanitation is on the verge of becoming a catastrophe.” Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestine refugees, repeated his call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, saying it’s, quote, “become a matter of life and death for millions.”

PHILIPPE LAZZARINI: The current siege imposed on Gaza is collective punishment. Two weeks of full siege followed by the trickle of aid last week mean that basic services are crumbling, medicine is running out, food and water are running out, fuel is running out. The streets of Gaza have started overflowing with sewage, which will cause a massive health hazard very soon.

AMY GOODMAN: In north Gaza, Israel attacked areas next to the Indonesian Hospital Monday, where Dr. Moaeen al-Masry said the staff is struggling to treat patients.

DR. MOAEEN AL-MASRY: [translated] The damage has been caused to more than one area in this unit. The damage has directly led to the disconnection of the electricity line of this unit. As you know, this means no electricity for the patients and injured here, which directly threatens their lives and could lead to the death of many of these patients. … In a few hours from now, the power will be cut due to the limited fuel available in the generators. Running out of fuel means power will be cut, meaning certain death for many of the patients in the ICU, some of whom need respirators, as well as patients in the surgical suites and patients in other units who numbered around 240 or 250.

AMY GOODMAN: We go now to Gaza City, where we’re joined by Dr. Hammam Alloh, who works at Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza.

Dr. Alloh, thanks so much for joining us. I know you’ve just left the hospital a few minutes ago. You told Jewish Currents yesterday, “I had to stop the resuscitation of a patient who went into cardiac arrest in the dialysis unit, because if she made it back to life, we had no ventilator to offer her. We have to prioritize patients who are younger, healthier. We have lost the ability to provide true care.” If you can talk about the situation right now at your hospital and overall?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: Hey. Thank you for contacting me.

This is not an incident I would really love to keep remembering, but this is — what you just said was exactly what happened to me. As physicians, we are trained to resuscitate patients who go into cardiac arrest, hoping they would make it back again to life, and consequently put them on ventilators to help them live again, go back to life. But I had to stop my co-nurses and my physicians from doing this. They asked me, “Why are you asking us to stop resuscitating the patients? It’s like you’re asking us to kill her.” I told them, “We have no better options. We have no other choices, because in case she makes it back to life, we have no ventilators to offer her. And if there is any, we would prevent a younger, healthier injured patient from entertaining that victory — I mean the ventilator.” So, I don’t know if you would imagine the amount of regret, the amount of sadness I’m living with since this happened with me, but I’m sorry to say there was no better options to go for except stopping that resuscitation.

And if this tells us anything, this tells us how things are really getting worse and worse. I was talking to a journalist an hour ago or so, and he kept asking me, “You told me a week earlier that things are bad. And are these now the same? Because you’re telling me things are very bad, as well, now.” I told him, “Yeah, this was probably a very strange answer from my side, because things were really bad one, two weeks into war, but now they are getting really worse.” We have patients admitted to emergency departments where they shouldn’t be admitted, where there should be vacant beds for newcomers, for new patients. We have patients admitted to dialysis unit. You know, dialysis unit is a closed unit where you offer a service, and when you’re done with your patients, you close your doors. But we can’t do this anymore. We are allowing people to live in the unit, actually. And we are admitting now patients who need care other than dialysis patients.

As the few trucks that were allowed in with aid to Gazan people actually is almost nothing compared to what we need, and there was — many of the contents of these trucks that were allowed into Gaza had water, gloves and gauze, and this is not what we are looking for. We are looking for devices, medications, things of really major help and concern for providing real healthcare for people in need. Number of injured patients is increasing. The number of people with chronic medical illnesses who need regular follow-up and regular maintenance of and the provision of medications is increasing. We are not capable of providing the care, other than keeping people dying from death. This is the only thing we can do. And we can’t properly provide this care, because we are getting — we are running out of medications and supply.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Hammam Alloh, you’ve said, “Every day, I see a fear in their eyes that I can’t do much about. It’s very painful. If you have kids, you know how horrible it is not to be able to comfort them, to ensure they are alright, to make them hope for anything beyond living one more day.” If you can talk about that in the hospital, which, as you said, is not just a hospital for sick people? Thousands are taking refuge at Al-Shifa and al-Quds and the other hospitals. And also, we’re talking to you as you just left Al-Shifa. How do you comfort your family? What’s happening to your family as you’re at the hospital?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: I tell them at least we still have a house with a door to close. But many thousand refugees, people like us, who used to live in dignity have no longer houses and no doors to close to protect them as they are surrounded by wastewater, by garbage. They don’t have a liquid, continuous supply of clean water to drink. Many of them have a lot of missing members of their families. They don’t know if they are alive or not. I tell them at least we still have a house to live in, but they don’t have. And surprisingly, my 4- and 5-year-old kids, they accept this as a comfort, as a better situation compared to those refugees living — they are living actually in hospitals, but it’s not like they are living inside the hospital departments. Many of them do not have enough space to go into hospital hallways, so they are living around the buildings and in the garden. So, yeah, surprisingly, my very young kids accept this.

AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli military has dropped thousands of pamphlets warning people where you are, in northern Gaza, to leave. Why don’t you go with your family south?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: And if I go, who treats my patients? We are not animals. We have the right to receive proper healthcare. So we can’t just leave.

AMY GOODMAN: The World Health Organization talked about this issue of telling doctors to leave their patients, choosing your own lives over your patients. Can you talk about that choice, since so many patients can’t leave — for example, babies in incubators?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: You think I went to medical school and for my postgraduate degrees for a total of 14 years so I think only about my life and not my patients? I’m asking you, Ma’am. Do you think this is the reason I went to med school, to think only about my life? This is not the reason why I became a doctor.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what’s happening to the hospitals? Just in our headlines today, we talked about, and in the last few days, the attack on the Indonesia Hospital. The Turkish Hospital is the only cancer hospital?


AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the significance of these places, both as a sanctuary, thousands of people taking refuge, and for patients?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: Yeah. Indonesian Hospital is providing healthcare for over 400,000 citizens in the Gaza Strip. And this part of the Gaza Strip is being split from the rest of the Gaza Strip. If this hospital stops providing care, so we are exposing many thousand Palestinian souls to the dangers of disease and death.

Turkish Hospital, with its very modest capabilities even before war, was the only hospital providing care and medications for cancer patients from around the Gaza Strip. It was airstruck yesterday. I don’t know how many patients and healthcare professionals were wounded. And many patients are dying now because they are not safe with their families to go to receive care and to continue their chemotherapy.

Ministry of Health has declared two hours ago also that the electricity would be cut off from Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital, representing 40% of the healthcare power in the Gaza Strip and providing services for many machine-dependent patients, like the ventilated patients and the hemodialysis patients. So, if electricity is cut out from this hospital, so we are directly deciding those patients are going to necessarily die. Ventilated patients will die in minutes. Dialysis patients will die in hours to days after stopping their hemodialysis. Many patients are now being treated with the modest supplies we have. Many diabetic patients are now being admitted to hospital because of their insulin is not being kept in the refrigerator, so it’s not working. We are out — we ran out of many medications, like antifungal medications. We have a patient who died earlier this week with mucormycosis. This is an invasive, ugly type of fungal infection that killed her because we had no amphotericin to offer her. So, my very simple answer to your question is that death is coming to so many people in the Gaza Strip, in hours to days, if this continues the same way it’s going on.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Alloh, the Middle East Eye reports on a baby who died, says, “His death certificate has been issued before his birth certificate.” A 1-day-old baby has been killed by Israeli bombing in Gaza. Israel, the military, the government, says that Al-Shifa, your hospital, is Hamas —


AMY GOODMAN: — the site of Hamas command and control. Can you respond to that, Dr. Alloh?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: I’ve been working this hospital for over two years, and I never saw this. So, I’m no lawyer, I’m no attorney, but this is how I am simply replying. I never saw this for over two years. If this is true, I would see at least a clue.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to ask you about the shipments of aid coming in. Normally, in normal times — if there’s ever a normal time in Gaza — over 400 trucks a day. We’re talking about a trickle of trucks now, maybe a dozen, maybe eight in a day. Have you ever seen this aid arriving at the hospital? And can you talk about what you need right now?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: Well, that number you just mentioned that was allowed into Gaza Strip is actually — is actually what you were referring to. It is nothing compared to what we need, nothing compared to the shortage in supplies, machines and medications we are in need for. The only thing, came just as I was leaving the hospital today, was a carton of IV fluid bottles. This is the only thing I saw. And I don’t really know if this came through the aid trucks in the few couple of days, or that was from the stores of the Ministry of Health. In addition, I happened to ask about in the hospital administration, and what they mentioned that was all about the gloves and gauze. And this is not what we are actually only in need for. This is what maybe the least we care for, the least we are in need for. So this is, again, nothing compared to what we are in need for in terms of supplies and medications.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Dr. Hammam Alloh, your message at this point to the United States, where we’re based, and to the world?

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: Actually, the message hasn’t changed since the beginning of this war. First, we need this war to end, because we are real humans. We are no animals. We have the right to live freely.

Second, if you were, and your citizens, to live under these circumstances, what would you do for them? This is what we exactly would like you to do for us as a superpower country, as the United States, because we are really as human as your U.S. citizens are.

We were expecting more — earlier, I mean, solutions for that humanitarian and healthcare catastrophes and the crises, but what we are seeing, mainly through trucks allowed into Gaza, is nothing compared to us. So, we are being exterminated. We are being massly eradicated. And you pretend to care for humanitarian and human rights, which is not what we are living now. To prove us wrong, please do something. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Hammam Alloh, speaking to us from Gaza City, where he works at the largest hospital, Al-Shifa Hospital. Please be safe.

DR. HAMMAM ALLOH: I hope I will be. Let’s hope, both together, I will be. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you. Coming up, we speak to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, author of many books, including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: “Palestine Will Be Free” by the Lebanese Swedish singer Maher Zain, who sung at an Istanbul solidarity protest on Saturday.

Let's move to the topic of protests.

Despite the assaults on liberty and speech, people are protesting the assault on Gaza.  And good for them.  In most cases, good for them.

Protest is important.  But the point is the protest raising awareness on an issue, not being used to gather attention for one's own ego.

Someone needs to tell Susan "Medea" Benjamin to sit that nasty, tired ass down.

The point of protest is to note an objection with the hope that you can get others to see the issue from a different point of view.

But when it's Susan yet again in a Congressional hearing yet again waving her hands with red paint?

The reaction is not, "How courageous!"  The reaction is, "Oh, her again.  That old woman who protests everything."  No one takes those kind of people seriously.  

Susan needs to grasp that she is not a star and that she needs to stop her attention-seeking behavior.

She's not helping anyone.  She's seen as a kook -- for good reason -- and the true left -- not the airhead Katie Halper set -- grasped fake ass Susan "Medea" long ago -- back when she was saying Barack Obama shouldn't pull US troops out of Afghanistan.

She's a fake ass and she's the face of CODEPINK.  That helps her get media attention but it does not help CODEPINK nor does it help any cause.  It's past time she was pushed out to pasture.  CODEPINK should have made the face of the organization someone much, much younger.  She's the Dianne Feinstein of the faux activist set.  At 71, her tired ass needed to take an elder position long ago.  It's not just certain members of Congress that refuse to allow new blood into the public square.  Isn't it time that Susan moved over to The Raging Grannies?

As it is, she harms the movement.  She looks like a gadfly who only shows up when the cameras are present.  The split last February between her and rank-and-file CODEPINKERs should have ended her association with the group.  She wanted to speak with and stand with transphobes, KKKers and homophobes.  

Due to push back from the rank-and-file, Susan only stood with them, didn't speak with them.  But the fact that she refused to read the room and stood with those people is more than reason enough to show her the door.

Gloria Steinem burned a lot of good will by refusing to step aside for new blood.  Susan is making the exact same mistake.

Click here to see her looking ridiculous as she tries to get attention at yesterday's hearing.  You watch her dramatic, overly dramatic, acted struggle with the police and just fear she's about to hurt herself -- in other words, she's entered her LIFE WITH LUCY period and needs to step aside.

Would I say that to Jane Fonda about her Firedrill Fridays?  No.  Jane created those not all that long ago and there's no organization built beneath her.  They do not bring her celebrity -- the way Susan gets media attention for her ego -- and they often result in real problems for her that she doesn't bore the public with.  

Susan bores everyone with everything.  I got a pie in the face!  Someone bookstore didn't want to do an event with me!  Me! Me! Medea! Me!

CODEPINK was supposed to be a number of things.  But it's supposed to be a group.  And in a group you get new leaders.  I'm not telling Susan to retire.  I'm telling her to step aside at CODEPINK and do a serious evaluation of what she thinks she can bring to the movement.  This isn't it.  Again, she's LIFE WITH LUCY time (and she's only four years younger than Lucille Ball was when she did that awful sitcom).

In other news, what do two capons sound like?  Check out THE VANGUARD.

Peter Daou.  That's who the capons call out.  While Zac calls him out.  And there's no awareness for Zac or Gavin.  These two capons preached and insisted upon Marianne Williamson and then on Cornel West.  "Even with a huge name like Cornel West," Zac insists, some things can't be done.  Cornel West is not a huge name.  He's a nothing.  I'm sorry that you're so dumb and uninformed that even now you can't grasp that.  Cornel was the shuck  and jive artist brought on to shuck and jive.  To make nice with the right wing "brother this, sister that" and that's all he was.  He had no base.  He whined publicly when one university kicked him out the door.  He wasn't able to must enough support to stay at that university.  He was not a big name, he was never a big name.

Zac and Cody -- that's who they are politically, Zac and Cody -- want you to know that Peter Daou needs to stop correcting the record and engaging.  It doesn't look good, they insist.

What doesn't look good is too stupid overgrown boys who never know what they're talking about attacking Peter instead of apologizing to their audience.

They were wrong about Cornel and they were wrong about Marianne.

Now what doomed Marianne from the very start was Kristal Ball screeching at viewers that they had to get behind Marianne.  No, in fact, they did not.  And next go round, tell your supporters to shut up, just shut up.  No one wants to be bossed around and Krystal's actions at the opening of the campaign meant there was going to be resistance.

There's also the reality that Marianne was one of what -- 30, was it 30 how many candidates were there for the 2020 Democratic Party's presidential nomination?  And she didn't do very well with the primary voters.  So that's a reality that Zac and Cody and Krystal should have factored in.  It was no secret that she was rude and toxic with campaign staffers in 2000 -- and with staffers prior to her public run.  

If this was news to Zac and Cody, they should have done the work required before using their program to promote Marianne.

And this should have been the program where they apologized for what they'd done and took some accountability.  Instead, they whine and gripe at Peter and take no responsibility.

They are Michael Moores -- Zac's gaining enough weight to be two Michael Moores.  He was useless long before 2004 and writing essays and columns about how we needed Oprah to be our candidate.

And that is the problem with Zac and Cody.  They don't want to get behind a candidate.  They want to short circuit the process, they want a celebrity that they can rally behind.  

It's so much easier to market a celebrity, after all, than build a true political campaign.

Cornel was a so-so celebrity at best.  But the answer to building something is not taking short cuts -- all that will do is get your construction flagged.  You need to build something solid and you're not going to do that by chasing after whatever celebrity you think you can catch.

There's another issue here that nobody wants to explore and that's the whole behind the scenes thing of The People's Party.  Chris Hedges worked it out that Cornel would get their nomination (Chris was supposed to be on the ticket in fact until, at the last minute, his wife told him "no" -- this has all been covered at BLACK POWER MEDIA but apparently Zac and Cody and most other White YOUTUBERS are too scared to watch hard hitting programs.  Cornel fled them within the week.  Then he goes for the Green Party nomination (with Chris trying to strong arm the party into giving it to him) and then Conrel leaves that.

And you're carping about Peter?

You're griping that he said family problems was why he left Marianne's campaign?

Marianne, your precious Marianne, is the one who told him he better not bad mouth her when he told her he was leaving.

So if you don't like what he said about leaving, you take it up with your hero Toxic Marianne.

But at some point you really need to get on board with self-reflection and accountability for all the spit polishing you both did of Conrel's knob.  (Do you think I care if we're pulled today?  They pulled us yesterday, reverted it to draft.  I'm not changing how I speak when I dictate these things.)

You made fools of yourselves while you tried to make fools of others.  Take some accountability and stop trying to act like Peter was or is the problem.  Your heroes Marianne and Cornel were the problem.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

APPLE+ is garbage

 There's a reason no one watches APPLE+.  Nardine Saad (LOS ANGELES TIMES) reports:

Director Sofia Coppola says Apple executives axed her small-screen adaptation of an Edith Wharton novel because "the idea of an unlikable woman wasn't their thing."

The "Priscilla" director was set in early 2020 to develop a series based on the incisive novelist's 1913 book "The Custom of the Country" — a story that centers on the social ascent of protagonist Undine Spragg, a newly wealthy Midwesterner who tries to break into New York society. The social-climbing character, Coppola said when the project was first announced in May 2020, is her "favorite literary anti-heroine."

The "Lost in Translation" Oscar winner would write and direct the prestige series for the streaming service, but, as she recently told the New York Times, the executives didn't want to spend money on the five-hour project due to issues they had with the "unlikable" lead.

"But that’s what I’m saying about who's in charge," she said.

Representatives for Apple did not immediately respond Monday to The Times' request for comment, nor to those made by the New York Times.

"The Virgin Suicides" director, daughter of award-winning "Godfather" filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and Eleanor Coppola, said "the people in charge of giving money are usually straight men, still."

She added later, "If it’s so hard for me to get financing as an established person, I worry about younger women starting out. It’s surprising that it’s still a struggle.”

That is so offensive and THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY is my favorite Edith Wharton novel. So I'm really ticked.

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

[For anyone wondering, this was dictated this morning and published at 8:30 am EST this morning.  BLOGGER/BLOGSPOT unpublished it and turned it back into a draft.  This was then followed by the appeal protest.  At 6:30 pm EST, BLOGGER/BLOGSPOT would allow it to go up.  Because most people did not see it when it was briefly up this morning, when BLOGGER/BLOGSPOT dropped objection/censorship, I posted at that time 6;52 pm EST so people would see it.]

Tuesday, October 31, 2023.  The US government continues in lockstep with the Israeli government as the assault on Gaza continues. 

The editorial board of THE FINANCIAL TIMES notes, "More than 8,000 people -- including more than 3,000 children -- have already been killed in Israel’s three-week bombardment of the strip, according to Palestinian health officials."  Kareem Khadder and Manveena Suri (CNN) report, "At least 13 people have been killed in an overnight Israeli airstrike in central Gaza, according to a staff member at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. The strike hit a home in al-Zawaida in Deir al Balah killing all 13 people inside, including children, Dr Khalil Al Dikran, head of nursing at the hospital, told a journalist working for CNN."  Edith M. Lederer (AP) reports:

The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees told a U.N. emergency meeting Monday “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire has become a matter of life and death for millions,” accusing Israel of “collective punishment” of Palestinians and the forced displacement of civilians.

Philippe Lazzarini warned that a further breakdown of civil order following the looting of the agency’s warehouses by Palestinians searching for food and other aid “will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the largest U.N. agency in Gaza to continue operating.”

As the assault continues, leaders do damn little -- especially in the US.  Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) noted yesterday:

The U.N. General Assembly voted 120 to 14 Friday in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce and for aid access to Gaza. Israel and the U.S. voted against the resolution, which also calls for the release of captive civilians. Forty-five member states abstained, including Canada. Some countries, including South Africa, urged the U.N. to do much more to stop the bloodshed.

Mathu Joyini: “South Africa urges the United Nations to impose an arms embargo on all parties involved in this conflict, given the nature of the death and destruction we are witnessing every day.”

The resolution is nonbinding but holds political and symbolic weight.

On the same topic, Andre Damon (WSWS) notes:

The United States, a leading instigator and supporter of Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza, has once again publicly rebuked global calls for an end to the war.

At a news briefing Friday, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was asked to comment on Friday’s overwhelming 140-15 vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favor of a ceasefire in Gaza.

“We do not believe that a ceasefire is the right answer right now,” Kirby said. “We believe that a ceasefire right now benefits Hamas, and Hamas is the only one that would gain from that right now.”

Kirby reiterated the talking points of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vocally condemned all those both within Israel and worldwide who are calling for an end to Israel’s attacks on Gaza. 

Also from yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!, we'll note this discussion.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re also joined by Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, former Foreign Service officer who served in Jerusalem, Tunis and Beirut, has worked on Israel-Palestine and the broader region for over 30 years, former director of policy and government relations at Americans for Peace Now, Americans for Shalom Achshav.

It’s great to have you with us, Lara. Can you talk about what’s happening in the Congress now, and if you feel movement, a change in Biden’s position from the beginning of the — after October 7th?

LARA FRIEDMAN: Sure. And thanks for having me.

I do think that we’re seeing, and in the piece that you had before we came on here, we’re seeing real movement in the grassroots. There’s really a surge in energy and a surge in support for Palestinian rights that we haven’t — I think has never been seen before.

I think it still remains to be seen how that’s going to be reflected in Congress. If we just go by the statements that are being made by members of Congress, which, except for a small number — and Congresswoman Ramirez is among them — except for a small number, are, at best, very, very cautious about saying anything that would validate the humanity and the rights of the Palestinian people. The narrative on both sides of the aisle is mostly about the rights of Israel to defend itself, and that is — to defend itself is defined basically to mean Israel can do and should do whatever it wants to do, and it bears no responsibility, has no agency, with respect to the results when it comes to human casualties. Congress has bought, completely, the framing which says that any Palestinian that dies in Gaza from an Israeli bomb or who gets sick or starves or dehydrated or ill or dies in a hospital, that’s all on Hamas. That is not Israel’s fault. Everything is Hamas’s fault, which suggests a new ethos of war that really opens the door for everyone to target civilians.

There’s also the framing of human shields, which basically says, you know, it’s Hamas’s fault that we’re killing your civilians, that we’re killing your children, which, I mean, there is truth to the argument that Hamas has placed itself behind human beings. It raises the question: You know, if bad guys invaded a school, would the United States say, “Ah, for the sake of killing the bad guys, we need to bomb the school. We’re going to kill all the children in the school, because we have to, and it’s the bad guys’ fault”? The inhumanity of it is stunning.

But what we’ve seen, really, since the beginning, since October 7th — and I follow — I do a report every Friday covering every single thing that happens in Congress related to the Middle East and Israel-Palestine — is a deluge of new legislation, of resolutions and of letters, which, by and large, either ignore or diminish the humanity of Palestinians, which directly conflate criticism of what Israel is doing in Gaza or assertions that there is any context, that there is history before October 7th, conflate it with antisemitism, conflate it with support for Hamas and terror. And we’ve seen that with the attacks on the members of Congress, like Congresswoman Ramirez, who have dared to do something like call for a ceasefire, with really despicable language used by members of Congress against their own colleagues on both sides of the aisle. This is coming at them, suggesting that daring to talk about ceasefire is a betrayal of support for Israel and is a form of antisemitism and support for terror.

AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this month, you tweeted, quote, “Reminder: 6 mos before Israeli elex that made Kahanists arguably most powerful political force in Israel, the Biden Admin decided to do its part in normalizing Kahanism by removing Kahanist groups from US list of foreign terrorist orgs, where they’d been listed for decades.” For those who don’t understand who Kahanists are, explain the significance of this tweet.

LARA FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, whole books have been written about the Kahanists. The Kahanists — Rabbi Meir Kahane was an American citizen rabbi from the New York area. He wrote many, many books. His basic philosophy was, you know, all of the land of Israel — and that extends far beyond Israel’s current borders — belongs to the Jews, because it was given to the Jews by God. And he made clear that — I mean, you have to give him credit for honesty — that this wasn’t — that this is not a conflict that was going to be resolved in a way that would address everybody’s rights or needs, that this was going to be a war and that the Arabs were going to have to lose, and this meant removing Arabs. And he was very, very clear. It’s a worldview that is openly racist, openly Islamophobic, almost proudly so, and, in effect, suggests that people who think that there’s some other solution are naive.

That strand of thinking was much, I would say, maligned and disrespected for a very long time. The Kahanist party was outlawed in Israel as a racist party during Rabbi Kahane’s lifetime. He was eventually assassinated. But what’s happened since then is the mainstreaming of his worldview in Israel and, I would say, in the United States amongst many supporters of Israel — a lot of the financing for his work and his thoughts comes from the United States still — and to the point where today you have very powerful people in the Israeli government, very powerful political strands in Israel, which are largely identical, whose worldview is largely identical to that of the Kahanists. The fact that the Biden administration elected to remove the Kahanist parties from the terrorist list — and they were on the terrorist list because of acts of terror committed by acolytes of this movement against American citizens, you know, not in recent years, but it was — I don’t know why they chose that moment to remove them, but it certainly speaks to the mainstreaming and normalizing of this approach to the Palestinians.

AMY GOODMAN: Lara Friedman, can you talk about the hostage negotiations? You have Qatar and Egypt involved in those negotiations, mainly Qatar right now. You have the hostage families, who are a powerful force. We hear their stories repeatedly in the U.S. media, as we should. They should be a model for also the coverage there should be of Palestinian suffering. But those families are calling for this exchange of the hostages — it’s believed there’s more than 220 or 230 of them that are being held by Hamas and other groups in Gaza — and Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian prisoners, of which I think there are more than 6,600. I think they’re calling it “everybody for everybody.” Can you talk about this?

LARA FRIEDMAN: Yeah. I mean, look, the taking of hostages, the taking of civilian hostages by Hamas — I mean, the October 7th attack was heinous in every aspect. The aspect of taking the hostages brought this home to Israelis in a way that is just — I don’t think anyone who has not spent time in a small country where everyone is — you know, there’s one degree of separation. This is incredibly real and incredibly personal for everyone in Israel.

What is notable is, in past experiences where there have been hostages taken, Israel has sort of turned over every rock possible, done everything possible to get them back. You have negotiations. You have contacts. You have — think of Gilad Shalit. I mean, the entire country mobilizes to get the hostage back — “hostage,” singular, “hostages,” plural. In this context, after October 7th, the issue of hostages is raised constantly by the Israeli government as a reason for why it has to do what it’s doing in Gaza, notwithstanding the fact that carpet bombing Gaza, using deep, deep penetrating bombs that are trying to get at the tunnels, seems like a very likely way to kill your own hostages. There has been a clear signal given — and if you listen to the — if you look at the Israeli media, the contacts that the families of hostages have had with the Netanyahu government, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that there isn’t actually a lot of desire on the part of the Israeli government to get the hostages back.

There have been numerous — and it’s been public — from other governments, from negotiators, there have been numerous offers by Hamas to exchange hostages, to release hostages in certain circumstances. There was, you know, a 24 — for a brief ceasefire. And so far, the argument seems to be, from the Israeli side, “We won’t do that, because anything we do would be a victory for Hamas. And that is — that we can’t let that happen, so releasing the hostages is simply not a priority.”

But talking about the hostages and accusing anyone who talks about ceasefire as not caring about the hostages is a wonderful tactic. All of us who are speaking out on this in social media, on media like this, are accused constantly of, “Well, you don’t care about the hostages.” The answer is, no, I care very much about the hostages. I don’t understand why the Israeli government doesn’t care more about the hostages. I would suggest that the Israeli government’s approach to the hostages makes clear that their objectives in this war are not about freeing the hostages. And that, I think, requires further thought.

AMY GOODMAN: Lara Friedman, I want to thank you for being with us, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and Congressmember Delia Ramirez of Chicago for being with us, as well.

Next up, as the death toll in Gaza tops more than 8,000, as Israel intensifies its ground and aerial attack, we’ll speak with a doctor in Cairo who’s been trying for two weeks to get back into Gaza. Stay with us.

With the exception of Rashida Tlaib and a few others, Congress has been a huge embarrassment on this issue and you can't talk Congressional embarrassments without name checking Bernie Sanders. Eloise Goldsmith (IN THESE TIMES) noted the senator last week:

More than 365 former campaign staffers for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have signed a letter urging the nation’s most famous democratic socialist to introduce a Senate version of the House resolution that calls for an immediate cease-fire and de-escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine. That resolution, backed by more than a dozen House progressives, has gained support throughout the past week. The letter also asks that Sanders support lifting the blockade of Gaza and advocate for the United States to stop providing military funding to the Israeli government that helps further the occupation and violence.

The signatories of the letter to Sanders, including In These Times’ executive director Alex Han, join a growing chorus of concerned former political staffers making similar demands of other powerful elected officials. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John Fetterman (D-Pa.) both received open letters from former campaign staff last week urging them to support a cease-fire. Fetterman and Warren have also recently been the targets of efforts by Jewish groups and anti-occupation activists calling for the same action to be taken.

Throughout your career, you have spoken with moral clarity on the issues in Israel and Palestine,” the signees wrote to Sanders. Today, we’re asking you to use your power, the respect you have across the United States and globe, to clearly and forcefully stand up against war, against occupation and for the dignity of human life.”

Last night in "Idiot Bernie Sanders," Kat noted that Bernie's new 'stand' is that the US must continue to fund Israel's slaughter but caution that it must not be used to slaughter civilians.  What the hell does Bernie think is happening right now?  Or does he need a "mother, may I?" request before each bombing?  Will that do for him?  What an idiot.  I always knew he was a fake ass but who need he'd flaunt that in front of his former followers.  This, Bernie supporters, is the idiot I called out for dismissing -- in a hearing he chaired -- the VA using keeping two wait lists to conceal the real times veterans were waiting for appointments -- and dying in the process.  I called him out for that because the news was reported that morning and hours after, as Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, he instructed everyone not to focus on that or ask questions about that because he had called this hearing to explore holistic medicine.  What an idiot.

  Human rights defenders on Monday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of an "explicit call to genocide" after he delivered a televised address calling Israel's imminent invasion of Gaza a "holy mission" and invoked an ancient mythical foe whom the God of the Hebrew Bible commanded the Israelites to exterminate.

Declaring the start of a "second stage" of Israel's war on Gaza—which he described as a "holy mission"—Netanyahu said that "you must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible."

According to the Hebrew Bible, the nation of Amalek was an ancient archenemy of the Israelites whose extermination was commanded by God to Saul via the prophet Samuel. 

  "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass," states the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 15:3.

The holy text further states that Saul infuriates God by sparing some of the Amalekites and their livestock.

"If it was not obvious from the carpet bombing, use of white phosphorus, and indiscriminate killing that the Zionist government of Israel [has] clear genocidal intentions, then the... reference to Palestinians as Amalek in Netanyahu's speech describing his plans for Gaza should be enough to convince you," British religious scholar Hamza Andreas Tzortzis wrote on social media Monday. 

At ZNET, Jessica Corbett writes about who's getting rich off the bloodshed:

With more than 7,300 Palestinians killed so far in Israel’s three-week bombardment of Gaza, a series of reports this week have exposed how U.S. weapon-makers and billionaire donors are enabling what legal scholars say could amount to genocide.

After Israel declared war in response to Hamas killing over 1,400 Israelis and taking around 200 hostages, the stocks of major American and European war profiteers soared. A Thursday report from Eyes on the Ties—the news site of LittleSis and Public Accountability Initiative—targets five U.S. firms with a record of providing weaponry to Israel.

The outlet stressed that while announcing a supplemental funding request that includes $14.3 billion for Israel, U.S. President Joe Biden last week “invoked ‘patriotic American workers’ who are ‘building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom,’ but it’s the defense company CEOs who rake in tens of millions a year, and Wall Street shareholders, who are the real beneficiaries of warmongering.”

The five targeted industry giants collectively recorded $196.5 billion in military-related revenue last year, Eyes on the Ties reported. They are Boeing ($30.8 billion), General Dynamics ($30.4 billion), Lockheed Martin ($63.3 billion), Northrop Grumman ($32.4 billion), and RTX, formerly Raytheon ($39.6 billion).

“The top shareholders in these five defense companies largely consist of big asset managers, or big banks with asset management wings, that include BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, Capital Group, Wellington, JPMorgan ChaseMorgan Stanley, Newport Trust Company, Longview Asset Management, Massachusetts Financial Services Company, Geode Capital, and Bank of America,” the news outlet noted.

While so much of the US government looks the other way as the assault on Gaza is carried out, they're not as silent in the Iraqi government.  MEMO reports:

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Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shayya’ Al-Sudani, warned yesterday that the region is going through a dangerous turning point that threatens the escalation and expansion of the war on Gaza.

Al-Sudani said during a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni: “What happened on October 7 is the result of years of injustice, killing, lack of respect for international covenants and conventions, and depriving the Palestinian people of their most basic rights to live in safety.”

According to a statement by the Iraqi government, he reiterated: “Iraq’s firm and principled position on the Palestinian right and the great need for a responsible position by the international community and the global superpowers, in order to remedy the humanitarian crisis and prevent the expansion of the conflict, affecting energy supplies and adding a new war to the current wars and conflicts.”

The Iraqi prime minister stressed the need to “open safe corridors for humanitarian and medical aid to reach the more than two million Palestinians living in tragic conditions.”

Let's wind down in the US.  I'm not a DSA-er.  I have a long history of disappointment with regards to that group and with regards to the group it sprung from.  DSA stands for Democratic Socialists of America and I have no problem with socialism or with democrats (lower 'd') or with democracy.  My  problem with that group has to do with some members (not all) lying about who they are politically and it has to do with the factory feature on earlier DSAs wherein they came with removable spines for when the weather got bad and they needed to slither for cover.  

 As representatives of the national leadership body of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), we believe it’s always unfortunate when members choose to leave the organization. When they tell us why they’re leaving, we seek to give them a respectful hearing and learn any lessons that we can.

This week, longtime DSA member Maurice Isserman used an article in The Nation to explain why he was quitting our organization. We want to thank Isserman for his years of dedication to the organized left, and for his scholarship that has contributed to a better understanding of the history of social movements for liberation. It is regrettable that he felt he had no other choice but to end his association with DSA.

However, while everyone is entitled—even encouraged—to express their views about the decisions we make, we fundamentally disagree with Isserman’s portrayal of DSA, and we want to set the record straight about several of his assertions and analyses.

The central argument of Isserman’s piece is that DSA’s growing consensus on our solidarity with Palestinian liberation is a result of the organization’s being “captured by left sectarian ‘entryists.’” This is not true. DSA’s political commitment against the Israeli occupation is just one small part of a broader generational and cultural shift in the way the public understands the conflict. The moral case for ending Israeli apartheid has never been clearer. Our taking a strong stance isn’t due to organized entryism but the result of years of dedicated organizing by anti-occupation activists across the globe—and a robust internal democratic process within DSA.

On October 7, a coalition of armed Palestinian groups entered Israel, killed more than a thousand people, and took hundreds of hostages. Israel responded by launching an indiscriminate bombing campaign against Gaza. As we write this, Gaza is now under massive bombardment from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Over 7,000 Gazans have been killed—nearly 3,000 of them children. Millions are displaced. As anti-war activists call for a cease-fire and de-escalation of violence, the IDF and the United States prepare for a potential ground invasion in which many more will surely be killed.

Isserman accuses DSA’s position on the conflict—demanding a cease-fire and calling attention to the history of occupation and apartheid in Palestine—of being “politically and morally bankrupt.” Let us be clear: we do not seek to justify or excuse the killing of any civilian. As we have said publicly, we abhor the deaths of Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike. Every life is precious.

What we are also determined not to do, though, is abandon our calls for Palestinian liberation, and for an end to Israeli apartheid. There is no contradiction in our eyes between recognizing the tragedy that has befallen too many innocent people in both Israel and Palestine and understanding that the root cause of that tragedy lies in Israel’s occupation and discriminatory policies.

The history of this conflict did not begin on October 7, despite the simplistic narrative being driven by much of the media. Since Palestinians were driven out of their homes en masse in the 1948 “Nakba” (Arabic for “catastrophe”), Israel has increased its control over the territory, including with the occupation of territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War such as Gaza and the West Bank. This occupation has been a humanitarian crisis for the Palestinian people, with Gaza being turned into an “open-air prison,” and increasing settlement in the West Bank becoming an explicit political priority of the Israeli state in recent years.

I don't know the two who wrote the column and I'm too busy to make calls to DSA friends to find about them.  But I'm going to assume that they're being honest.  If so, good for them.  And if they actually stand by this position after they're slammed and criticized, very good for them.  

DSA is an embarrassment for many reasons but their position on the Palestinians hasn't been one of those reasons.  

I hope Kristin Schall and Sam Heft-Luthy sticks with their position and that DSA backs them on that.

The position of Palestinian liberation Kristin and Sam are expressing is the consistent position of the DSA.  

Also when I say I don't know the two, that's not an insult to them.  Later on, they reveal a criticism regarding that.  I am not up on DSA and my ignorance of the two leaders is a generational thing and not a reflection on either of them.

The following sites updated: