Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Jimmy Dore, Ajamu Baraka

Jimmy Dore.


If the media can't scare you, they can't deliver ratings.  Then again, cable news doesn't really deliver ratings these days.  CNN's in the toilet, for example.  


Now this is from a column by Ajamu Baraka:


The 21st Century was supposed to be the century of continued and unchallenged global dominance by the U.S., at least that was the plan advanced by the right-wing political hacks at the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Their optimism was understandable. With the dismantling of the Soviet Union, it was reasonable that the petit-bourgeois intellectual servants of capital would see no rival or check on U.S. power. According to liberal theorists like Francis Fukuyama, with the dismantling of the Soviet state and system, the historic struggle to establish the hegemony of classical liberalism and capitalism as the inevitable outcome of the “Western” driven project known as modernity had come in an end.

For both classical liberals like Fukuyama and neoconservatives who would rise to power during the George W. Bush administration, it was asserted that the societies of the U.S. and Western Europe should be viewed as representative of the apex of collective human development that all should aspire to because history and objective rationalism had determined it so, and – “there is no alternative.”

But human societies, even when they are claimed to be guided by objective scientific laws, have never emerged as a tabula rasa. What develops at any point in history is the outcome of the social and economic contradictions of the previous era with many of those unresolved contradictions still present in the new era.

The permanent unipolar dominance of the U.S. and the end of history that was decreed in the nineties proved to be as much of an ideological fiction as the thousand-year rule of Hitler’s Third Reich. And like Hitler, with whom the managers of the U.S. empire share a common philosophical commitment to white supremacy along with the recognition that global hegemony required a colonial empire, U.S. policymakers also made fatal strategic blunders once they found themselves with unchallenged global power.

Why?

The delusional quality of consciousness and a worldview infused with white supremacist ideology makes it exceedingly difficult if not impossible for individuals infected with this mental affliction to cognitively grasp the world as it really exists, let alone to understand the limitations of their power.

That is precisely why with the dawn of the 21st century the U.S. found itself embroiled in two simultaneous military conflicts that U.S. policymakers thought they could successfully conduct with a poverty conscripted army and a dubious rationale provided by the “War on Terror.”

 

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 

 Tuesday, November 30, 2021.  Still no final voce count released in Iraq, still no one arrested for the assassination attempt or 'attempt' on Mustafa al-Kahdimi, don't call it progress.


Hassan Ali Ahmed (AL-MONITOR) emerges from the steno pool to type:


Iraqi national security adviser Qasim al-Araji appeared at a press conference on Nov. 29 to unveil the first report prepared by a special committee tasked with investigating a drone attack on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's residence earlier this month.

The committee, headed by Araji, was formed a day after the Nov. 7 drone attack to investigate and find the party behind the attack that was widely condemned by the international community.

The members of the committee consist of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, deputy commander of the Joint Operations Command Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari, head of the National Security Service Hamid al-Shatri, deputy of the intelligence service Majid al-Dulaimi and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.

The report revealed new details on the attack.

Araji disclosed that two explosive-laden drones packed with Composition C-4 targeted the prime minister's residence in the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad in the early hours of Nov. 7. Initially, the first drone aimed its explosives at the flat roof, only to be followed by the second drone immediately targeting the entry of the courtyard. 

This style of attack was intended to strike Kadhimi with the second drone while he was fleeing the scene through the entry, the report noted. 

 

Generally, the only ones who can tell you what was intended are the culprits themselves.  What's Araji confessing to?


This garbage that AL-MONITOR has run is exactly why Iraqis have never bought into the notion that this was a real attack.  Per AL-MONITOR, the investigating body can mind read but they can't figure out who pulled it off?  


It's more garbage.  That's all it is.  It's not making the attack or 'attack' look real.  Everyone's fully aware that this is the last day of November and that the alleged attack took place at the start of the month.  They want high drama and yet the reality is that if an attempt was made on Mustafa's life, ther should have been arrests long ago.  The fact that this didn't happen backs up the beliefs of many that the whole 'assault' was staged and staged to create sympathy for Mustafa.  


Was the 'attack' real?  I have no idea, I wasn't there.  But I do understand people in Iraq rolling their eyes over this nonsense.  Were the attack real, that would mean an assassination attempt took place.  And yet approximately one month later no arrests??  If there was an assassination attempt, that's not the normal response.  


The whole thing has felt suspicious from the start and it's now, as one Shi'ite noted on Arabic social media this morning, just looking desperate.  


Where are those election results?  Still not in.  Can't count ballots, can't catch killers, what can Mustafa's government do?


The electoral Committee is handing complaints over to the judiciary.  That's where it stands now.  


Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert heads the United Nations' mission in Iraq.  She's done a miserable job.  Last week, she spoke to the UN Security Council and lied.  SHe lied.  The October 10th election -- that we still don't have a final tally on -- was free and fair.


She deserves the bad reputation has in Iraq.  We've ignored a lot of her problems because, with that position, we largely cover what they 'testitfy' to while appearing before the United Nations.  But, to recap some of her greatest hits,  she oversees a staff who told a man 'just don't burn yourself in front of our mission.'  He walks in and explains his problems and how the UN is not addressing them and that he's going to set himself ablaze.  And the UN response -- her staff -- is fine, just don't do it in front of our building.


Then there was the man who was assassinated in public and Jeanine's refusal to meet with the mother.  The mother had to protest and more before the press on this got so bad that Jeanine had to get off her lazy ass and meet with the mother.  


Now there's all the issues regarding Israel  that would take multiple snapshots to cover but we'll just note that she's seen as a supplicant to the government of Israel and not a represetnative of Iraq.


With that baggage and so much more, she shows up to the UN Security Council and lies that these were free and fair elections.


No.


When you disenfranchise, they aren't free elections.  And many groups were disenfranchised but let's just note the most obvious one.  A week before the election, on Mustafa's orders, the electoral commssion announced that a segment of the militias -- those publicly opposed to Mustafa -- would not be allowed to vote the Friday before the election.  They couldn't vote on Sunday.  They were being deployed around the country to protect polling stations.  That was the entire reason for the early vote.  And most of the security forces got to early vote.  But not all.  


That is discrimination and that is disenfranchisement.  In addition, Layal Shakir (RUDAW) notes, "Qais al-Khazali, secretary-general of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, one of the pro-Iranian PMF militias, met with the head of the United Nations mission in Iraq earlier this month and said he presented her with evidence of electoral fraud."


Jeanine's a liar.  She's not an honest broker.  


Back to the assassination attempt or 'attempt,'  ALJAZEERA reports:


Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, an Iran-backed armed group under the Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella, had long denounced the blame as well as the election results.

In a televised speech on Sunday, al-Khazali said the investigation committee must “provide tangible and real evidence” instead of “allegations from the media and Facebook”.

Telegram channels affiliated with pro-Iran armed groups charged ahead with their campaign against al-Kadhimi, spreading unsubstantiated claims that the prime minister staged the attack to blame it on the armed groups.


Well when you fail to do the most rudimentary of forensics on the alleged crime scene, apparently all you have for 'evidence' is social media.


In other news, the PUK did poorly in the election.  Hiro Talabani is upping her game after the election and has begun deploying her son Bafel to make public statements calling out 'the government'  for the way protesters in Sulaymaniyah are being treated.  Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports:


The head of Sulaimani’s ruling party on Tuesday apologized to students for a violent crackdown on last week’s protests, two days day after he met with a group of students. 

“I am deeply saddened by the unjust violence that has been executed against a number of students. I sincerely ask for pardon from my sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers who walk towards a glimmering future with hope,” read the statement from Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) co-chair Bafel Talabani on Tuesday. 

He pledged to make “immense changes” and “resolve the shortcomings,” adding that they “will work closer with the youth and students.”

Student protests began a week ago at the University of Sulaimani and were met with a crackdown as police used electric batons to disperse the crowd. But the protests continued, growing in size every day and spreading to other cities and towns across the Kurdistan Region over the week and security forces used tear gas and water cannons to quell the demonstrations. There were also reports that forces used live ammunition. 


We'll wind down with this from Black Alliance for Peace:


Black Alliance for Peace Statement on Venezuelan Elections

The news out of Venezuela related to the elections is that there is no news. All attempts to attack and delegitimize the process failed and the people of that beleaguered nation once again chose independence and dignity over surrendering to the imperialist gangsterism of the United States and their white supremacist, European colonial allies.

For the first time in four years elements of the political opposition participated in elections that saw nearly 70,000 candidates representing 37 national political parties and 43 regional organizations for 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 lawmakers, and 2,471 councilors.

Demonstrating once again that it is committed to open, fair, and clean elections, the Consejo National Electoral (CNE), the governmental body responsible for organizing elections in the country, issued credentials to over 300 international observers from 55 countries and institutions such as the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and the Carter Center.

The result?

The “Great Patriotic Pole” (GPP), a coalition of parties and social movements organized by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), won overwhelmingly including 20 out of 23 key governorships in the sub-national election.

According to BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka, “The support of the Venezuelan people for their process demonstrates once again, like what we just saw in the Nicaraguan elections and the failed revolt in Cuba on the 15th, that the white supremacists do not understand that when a people have tasted freedom, reconnected with their pre-colonial cultural traditions of knowledge production and independence, they become immune to the political, ideological and material attempts to drive them back into subordination.”

The elections in Venezuela and Nicaragua, the abandonment of reactionary forces in Cuba by the Cuban people, and the solidarity from progressive forces globally in support of the struggles for national liberation and self-determination in the Americas, represent the upsurge of popular opposition and the growing weakness and fragility of U.S. and European imperialism.

They all forcefully affirm that the colonial realities are being reversed. It is a victory for all oppressed, colonized, and working-class peoples when a people, working to build a new society for themselves freed from the dehumanizing effects of the colonial/capitalist system, are able to withstand the systematic assaults on their democratic process and national sovereignty. BAP stands firmly with all of these attempts and proudly salutes the people of Venezuela.

No compromise, no retreat! 


The following sites updated:






Somebody needs to grow up

Did you hear about Will Ferrell?  He's gotten his panties in a twist with friend and business partner Adam McKay because Adam cast someone else in a role:


McKay said the last time he spoke to Ferrell was the phone conversation they had talking about breaking up. “I said, ‘Well, I mean, we’re splitting up the company,'” the director said. “And he basically was like, ‘Yeah, we are,’ and basically was like, ‘Have a good life.’ And I’m like, ‘F**k, Ferrell’s never going to talk to me again.’ So it ended not well.”

Vanity Fair notes that “McKay says he’s written emails to Ferrell, attempting a rapprochement, but has never heard back.” The director concluded, “In my head, I was like, ‘We’ll let all this blow over. Six months to a year, we’ll sit down, we’ll laugh about it and go, It’s all business junk, who gives a shit? We worked together for 25 years. Are we really going to let this go away?’ [But Ferrell] took it as a way deeper hurt than I ever imagined and I tried to reach out to him, and I reminded him of some slights that were thrown my way that were never apologized for.”

Will needs to grow up. He's 54 years old and his career's not really been doing that well for some time.  Little snit-fits like this aren't going to make us like Will any better.  


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Monday, November 29, 2021.  Is an arrest about to take place in Iraq and what's the Democratic Party's White House hope in 2024?


Columbia University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs Tweets the following:


Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg could agree to run together in 2024 if Biden does not run again, giving the Democratic Party a very strong ticket that would seem like a natural continuation of Biden's first term, writes . | ow.ly/elwQ50GW4tp
Image

 

And gaijinggirl2004 Bronx Progressive responds:


This is EXACTLY what I predict the Dem establishment is going to try to stuff down our throats. And that Harris will be an incumbent (with PB as Veep) - the primary cancelled, and all opposition deflected with charges of racism, sexism and homophobia. Slightly frowning face


Pete and Kamala are largely charisma free.  I don't like Kamala personally -- and I've noted that here for years.  Our mutual friend, Willie Brown, tells me I've never given her a real chance -- maybe he's right.  But though I don't like Kamala personally, I've thought she could handle her own in court -- yes, I've known her that long and I thought she projected likeability.  


And maybe she does for those of us in California.  But for whatever reasons, that has not been the case nationwide.  And that goes back to her campaign for the presidential nomination and through her term as vice president.


Her image is now established.  Sorry.  Unless you're Tina Turner -- and few of us are -- you get one shot at an image.  She can't be re-invented -- not while in office -- and attempts at image rehab while she's a Vice President are not going to take.  


People know her.  They have formed their opinion.  And it's not a good one.  To combat that, you'd have to have a nation filled with people willing to admit that they could be wrong.  And I don't think we live in that country.  I could be wrong.


All known examples and studies would predict that it's too late for her to change her image.


Pete?


He didn't connect with voters and he got graded on a curve because the media loved him.


"Magic Negro"?  Remember that?  When Barack Obama was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, David Ehrenstein contributed that column to THE LOS ANGELES TIMES (March of 2007).  And it ran.  It was satire and it was a critique.  (For the record, I have encountered David and I do not care for him.  I disclose that because I'm not going into too much detail about that column or David's writing because I doubt I will be fair.)  David's 1/4 African-American and he was noting how Barack Obama wasn't presented as an actual person by the media but as the supporting character who does for you what you need.  


That column ran and ran without huge controversy.  


I mention that because Dale Peck wrote a piece about Pete in 2020 for THE NEW REPUBLIC that his campaign (Liz, chiefly) immediately jumped upon and sent out the bots leading THE NEW REPUBLIC to disown the column and immediately remove it.


It was censorship plain and simple.  THE NEW REPUBLIC should be ashamed of itself but considering it's entire history -- especially with regards to the Iraq War -- the publication is clearly not capable of shame or thought.


Pete is gay.  And his lunatic celebrity supporters (I'm thinking of Jane Lynch especially), gave the appearance that the LGBTQ community was at one in their opinion of Pete and all behind him.  Nope.  Dale Peck was addressing issues with regards to Pete and issues with regards to the LGBTQ community.  


This was ignored in the bot storm Liz created.  The bot community really came into its own during Barack's run for the presidency.  It was created in 2004 -- I was present -- to address the debate coverage.  They targeted soft commentators -- soft meaning that they could go either way int heir analysis and, if they were Democrats, were likely to lean to the right to be 'fair.'  Dana Milbank was one of the targets and I'm surprised to this day that he has never written about this.  He had triple the e-mails after the first debate that he usually got at his work e-mail account.   He had a snit fit about it.  The e-mails came mainly from 100 people with several accounts who were paid to write them as various people.  In 2007, Barack deployed the bots -- a larger force by then -- and the press was both mute and moot as a result.  I explained to an editor friend at THE NEW YORK TIMES in 2008 what was going on -- again, I was present when this bot community was thought up and budgeted for back in 2004 -- and they started checking the ISPs on, for example, the comment thread to a live debate and found that the 100s of 'people' were usually about 120 people posting as one person and about 100 people posting as 500.  


When the lies of Russia-gate emerged, I saw a lot of projection from various Democratic activists.  I wasn't at all surprised when they finally went after bots -- insisting Russia was using individuals who posed as multiples to influence on the internet -- something the Democratic Party started paying for in 2004 but that reality was left out.


The point is that the bot community cannot protect Pete in another go around.  

Dale Peck's article, if published today, would seem well worth exploring.


Especially after MAYOR PETE (Ava and I covered it in "TV: You can learn a lot from documentaries -- more than they intend to teach").  


The larger community is more aware today and the LGBTq community now know Pete and aren't likely to see him as the poor victim of the press again.  You can, for example, look at how Tucker Carlson's commentary against Pete -- one that people tried to create a controversy over -- didn't succeed.  (And as Ava and I argued in "Media: A Little More Conversation     ," it really seemed -- Tucker's 'critique' -- a plea to his own wife to give him more nipple play during sex.)


To watch MAYOR PETE really should make a lot of the people who bought into the attacks on Dale Peck grasp he was making solid points.  What does it mean to be gay?  What does it mean to be a later0in-life come out?  


I hope Pete's a better person now than he was in the documentary.  I hope Chasten's had some impact on his life since then.  I think he has and I think Pete's using paternity leave was in response to some demands -- needed ones -- that Chasten made.


However, that paternity leave is also a problem.  During an ongoing pandemic, you don't take weeks of leave -- maternity or paternity.  And when you do and supply lines become an issue and you are Secretary of Transportation, you have a serious problem that is not going away if you try to seek higher office.


I know how this works, I've been in that room (no longer, life is too short and I'm not in the mood to fool myself anymore that me insisting that we tell the truth and stop trying to manipulate means I'm fighting for truth).  Pete's gay.  Kamala's half0Black.  They're going to be the dream ticket.  That really never happens.  The Democratic Party honchos have farmed that out over and over and it's never really worked.  At one point, they farmed it out to Texas because they knew they stood no real chance of winning.  So they used Texas as a test ground and ran some idiots -- Ron Kirk among them -- and called it "the dream team."  And?  It didn't work.  They knew it was going to be a loss ahead of time, the point was to see it raise the votes in a way that could be measure.  A closer loss, if you will.  It didn't work out.  They saw a boost in turnout for the groups that the candidates represented -- but just for those candidates.  The dream ticket actually didn't lift anyone.  


I have no idea if it was why Hillary went with Mr. Bland as her running mate -- Id walked out of that room by that time -- but it's been proven not to not be a winning strategy.


If you ran actual leaders from those communities, it might work.  Instead, corporate whores are run (hello, Ron Kirk! are you being held accountable yet for the destruction of your city's pension from when youy were mayor or is it still a few years down the line before that's really noticed).  But corproate whores are really all the party has to offer at this point.  


So Kamala is damaged and there's no real recovery for her.  Pete's not vice president so he's been lower under the radar.  He also distanced himself from Chasten while running for the presidential nomination in 2020 so he might have the opportunity of being rehabbed.  Chasten next to him on the couch as Pete discusses how he's grown comfortable in the fact that he's a gay man and saying he's not there to hide or accept half-measures could rehab Pete.  But Pete can't rehab Kamala.


That dream team strategy benefitted Kamala once.  Stacey Abrams came awfully close to being Joe's running mate in 2020.  Joe favored her.  It was explained by various honchos in the party, explained to Joe, that she was "too Black."  And, of course, when compared to Kamala who's half Indian (her mother is from India), Stacey is 'Blacker.'  But they thought, the ones advising Joe, that they'd see the rejection of the ticket with Stacey on and that Joe needed to go with a 'whiter' person of color.  Which is why Kamala got the nom.  Up until 16 hours before that was announced, Joe was still saying Stacey would be a better choice.  Would she have been?  I don't know but I think it's fair to say her poll numbers would be higher than Kamala's are.




"He now has more than 350,00 deaths on his watch.  He used to say that Trump got all these people killed because he didn't know what he was doing.  So now we have 350,000 plus something coming over the ocean  that we don't know anything about.  So in every possible way, Joe Biden's presidency is slipping away."


Turning to Iraq, MEMO reports:


The Secretary-General of Iraq's Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq movement, Qais Khazali, warned on Sunday of "attempts" to accuse what he called "resistance factions" of trying to assassinate Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. According to Khazali, such allegations are likely to drag the country into a major crisis.

In a televised address, he called on Iraq's Supreme Shia cleric, Ali Al-Sistani, to intervene as the situation "has reached dangerous levels" in the country.

"The targeting of the prime minister's house [on 7 November], if true, is serious and cannot be tolerated at all," said Khazali, adding that Al-Kadhimi refused the participation of two "resistance factions" — militias — in the investigation into the attempted assassination. "We send a message to the committee charged with the investigation… You must provide concrete evidence and real proof, not allegations."


If true.  And if carried out by Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq.  That's not a slam at the group.  I don't like them -- or the other militias in Iraq.  But there is serious skepticism among the Iraqi people over what happened or didn't happen at the prime minister's home all those weeks ago.  


Western outlets have wrongly ignored this skepticism.  I have no idea what happened.  I don't pretend I do.  But I do know the skepticism was there from the start and that it has only increased.  All by itself, that's a story.  But when we get into the possible reactions to an arrest, this mood really becomes important.


Many believe the attempt or 'attempt' was nothing but a stunt to try to make people rally around the inept Mustafa al-Kahdimi.  The current prime minister is reviled and seen as a failure.  They were not moved to rally around him.


In the weeks since the attempt or 'attempt,' you've seen rallies and demonstrations around the country -- none hgve been by Mustafa supporters.


The US government backed Mustafa and they were the original suspect in the attempt or 'attempt.'  Most Iraqis on Arabic social media feel it was an attempt carried out by the US government that was never meant to harm but that was meant to provide sympathy for the Iraqi people.  Many compare it to September 2005 when 2 UK soldiers were arrested.   The incident did rec3ive some US coverage (mainly THE NEW YORK TIMES) but the Iraqi people know it well.  Two UK soldiers were arrested when Iraqi police found them acting suspicious and with explosives and wigs in their vehicle.  They were to pose as insurgents and conduct violence to cause unrest.  They were taken to a Basra prison and the UK responded by attacking the prison.


It was a big deal in Iraq -- and should have been around the world.  Arabic social media has made that incident a major topic since the attempt or 'attempt' on Mustafa's life.


If someone is charged -- all this time later -- the popular mood willnot surprise those of us paying attention.  


We'll deal with the UN rep in Iraq tomorrow.  She's worthless and she's amde herself that.


Kat's "Kat's Korner: Documenting Joni's epic talents live" went up this morning.  The following sites updated:






Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Joe Biden needs to learn to read the room

First up, Jimmy Dore.



Rachel Maddow is a fake ass and nothing more.


Now Joe Biden. I knew he was a moron but, jeez, read the room. I read this story and was shocked.

Joe Biden intends to run again in 2024, White House confirms (yahoo.com)

Great-grand pa thinks he's up for a second term as president. He can't even manage this term. What an idiot. How about, just once, doing what's right for the country and stepping aside. What an ego maniac.

 Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, November 23, 2021.  The facts in a legal case continue to be twisted and/or ignored, in Iraq, students are protesting but where is the western media?


Starting in the US, with Jimmy Dore.



And now from THE HILL.

 


Betty, Marcia, Ava and I shared our take on the media malpractice in "We didn't know Al Sharpton had gone into labor (Be..." and Ann just posted last night "Whoopi can't let go of the crazy."

I've got to make one more comment.


Across state lines?  I didn't know Kyle Rittenhouse was being accused of violating The Mann Act.  Do these raving lunatics get how idiotic they sound.  Whoopi Goldberg, you're just an argument for ABC to cancel THE VIEW at this point.  You're uninformed and you have no legal knowledge to argue.  Nor can you admit that you have gotten this case wrong from the beginning.  That 'brave' man that you're mourning went up to a kid and hit him with a skateboard.  You don't know anything and yet you babble on.  The media is guilty of malpractice yet again.  And it's really past time that accountability came to bear.  


Here is what Betty, Marcia, Ava and I noted of the young man Whoopi is mourning:


Anthony Huber looks like smart mouth trash in every photo we see of him. Doesn't mean he deserved to be shot. He was shot by Kyle while he had a skateboard in one hand and was reaching for Kyle's gun with the other. His girlfriend wants the world to know that he was intelligent. Nope. He was a f**king idiot. What a sense of White entitlement to think you could grab a gun out of someone's hands. You didn't catch any African-Americans playing the fool. 


The law is the law.  And you're bitching and whining that you weren't able to twist and turn it to fit your desires is really embarrassing.  Self-defense was always going o prevail, the video evidence was going to ensure that.  Apparently, most of the chattering heads either didn't watch the videos or chose to ignore them because the evidence didn't fit with their desires to froth at the mouth.  


An actual legal expert, Jonathan Turley, covered the case repeatedly and wisely.  This is from his latest:

The aftermath of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict is a lesson in unrequited rage. After a jury of 12 citizens in Kenosha, Wis., acquitted Rittenhouse on all charges, politicians and media figures lashed out at the judge, the jury and the entire legal system.

Like our politics and our media, the legal system has become a vehicle for collective rage; there is no room for doubt or deviation from our predispositions. Yet in denouncing “vigilante justice,” pundits and politicians seem to be advocating for a form of mob justice.

The difference between vigilante and mob justice? Perspective and numbers.

For some, Rittenhouse running down Sheridan Road in Kenosha with his AR-15 is a vigilante. For Rittenhouse, people chasing him with guns and chains is a mob. Neither involves actual justice, which is what juries mete out through the dispassionate application of law and facts.

Most of us — including his defense counsel, following the verdict — were critical of Rittenhouse and his decision to take his AR-15 to a riot. However, the trial revealed key facts that sharply diverged from past media reports. For the first time, the public was not reading facts filtered and framed by the media. In a great demonstration of the value of cameras in courtrooms, the public could reach its own conclusions.

It turned out that Rittenhouse was not an “outsider” but someone with long, close ties to Kenosha. He spent much of that fateful day in Kenosha cleaning graffiti from the walls of the high school and was asked by a business owner to protect his property that night. He did not chase down his victims and shoot one, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, in the back as Rosenbaum attempted to flee. Instead, he was attacked by all three men he shot, including one who pointed a gun at his head. Rosenbaum, a convicted child molester with a history of mental illness, threatened to kill him and others earlier.

Yet the “white supremacist” narrative was a “fact too good to check” by the media, which almost uniformly failed to report on facts supporting the claim of self-defense.

Within days of the shootings, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden referenced Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist” despite no evidence supporting that widely repeated claim.

Likewise, when the judge ruled on motions for Rittenhouse, he was declared a racist. When the jurors ruled for Rittenhouse, they — including a black juror — were declared to be racists, too. When Rittenhouse was allowed to go free, the entire legal system was denounced as racist.

Even after grudgingly stating that we “must abide” by the verdict, President Biden added that the verdict left “many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included.”


Read the entir column and grasp how those who should be taking accountability are refusing to do so.  


You have painted yourself into a corner.  I don't ever do that.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.  I don't double down and make it worse by telling lies.  You distorted reality and you tried to incite a mob.  I really think a large number of pundits should be off the air over this.  The verdict was not surprising at all given the evidence.  That grown ups who are allowed to host programs got it so wrong and are now refusing to own up to their mistakes argues that the networks have chosen very poorly when selecting hosts.


Supposedly, we want truth and not disinformation.  Well THE VIEW is nothing but propaganda at this point and should come with a warning label.  It's far from the only one that requires a sticker.


Now before we go further, Saturday's "No, US forces most likely are not leaving Iraq at the end of 2021" noted the following:


On things that go up here . . .


I'm asked by a certain writer why we're not noting him here?  


Does he cover Iraq?  No.  So it would be doing him a favor.  I was fine with that in the past.  


I've noted that my eyes are in serious decline.  I see two different eye surgeons and have had multiple surgeries since 2020 on my eyes.  I'm not here to put myself out to do you a damn favor when you start sneaking the f-word into your writing -- your lo-o-o-ng writing.  I don't have the time to through and change every f-word into "f**k" so it will be safe to post here.


That's how you get banned.  I don't have the time.  I don't have the energy.  And I just don't give a f**k.  Do you, who use that term without "**" over and over, grasp that?


I have better things to do with my time.  Again, I don't work for you.  I also don't owe you a damn thing.  You pushed yourself off this site.


A video panel?  Four panelists.  It was on Iraq.  It didn't get noted despite two panelists asking it be noted.  I don't have to agree with something for it to go up here.  But the first panelist to speak was a complete liar and I'm just not in the mood.  If he'd been the third or the fourth, it would have been fine.  But as the first to speak, he's all most would have listened to and I would've heard about all the e-mails asking why I highlighted a known liar and what was I thinking and . . . 


If the panel had opened with a proper introduction, for example, I might have posted it.  But it opens with this one man already in the midst of making an argument and he doesn't know what he's talking about and his claims are insensitive to the Iraqi people.  


I don't have to like you for you to go up here.  I don't even have to agree with you.  But there are some things that aren't going to go up here.


If I can't use the f-word in full here, you can't either.  If you want to misrepresent (and insult) the Iraqi people, I'm not interested.  


If you're trying to get something you did noted at this site, you need to grasp what's needed to go up at this site and you need to grasp that it's not my job to rewrite you, to edit you, to clean up your copy, whatever.  


To me, the above was clear.  To the writer?  Apparently not which is why yesterday evening he submitted another piece, this one contained f**king in the opening sentence -- but without "**".  You're now blocked.  You'll go to spam automatically.  I consider your submissions to be harassment.  I've made clear that this has to be work safe.  I've made clear -- several times this year -- that my sight is going.  Injections aren't helping.  Laser isn't helping.  Surgery isn't helping.  I don't have time to do your work for you and what kind of a jerk are you that you would expect me to in the first place?


I don't care that everybody's banned you.  You got yourself banned here because you couldn't follow the most basic of policies.  I don't agree with your viewpoints.  But I did share them over and over.  Until you started with the f-word.  


I'm not going to disrespect the community here.  We had to go work safe because a community member -- who worked for a Catholic Church, got written up for reading a WASHINGTON POST article in which Dick Cheney was using the f-word and the article didn't censor the f-word.  


That policy, that we have to be work safe, has been in place for the life of this site.  We aren't changing it for you.  


You're not being censored here because of your political speech.  You're being censored because I am not your editor, I don't work for you and don't drop your crap at my door and expect me to fix it for you.


I've been more than kind to you over the years, noting everything you sent in.  You never noted us because, let's face it, that's how men like you are.  You expect everyone to do for you.


Well I'm not your Mommy. Clean up your own mess.  You will go to the spam folder from now on and everyone checking the public e-mail account has been informed to delete you without opening your e-mails.  Go away.


Protests continue in Iraq.   TASNIM reports:


University students from across the Iraqi Kurdistan Region staged protests for the third day in a row, demanding that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) resume issuing their monthly stipends.

Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets on Tuesday as thousands of university students stormed the streets of Sulaymaniyah for the third day in a row calling on the government to reinstate their student allowances, which have been cut since 2014.

The students initially blocked the main Kirkuk- Sulaymaniyah road before heading towards the center of the city, where they were faced with a significant number of security forces.

Just meters away from the headquarters of Sulaymaniyah's ruling party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), located in the city’s Salim street, the protesting students were confronted by an extra number of security forces firing rubber bullets, teargas, and using water cannons to stop them from proceeding further.


Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports:

Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets on Tuesday as thousands of university students stormed the streets of Sulaimani for the third day in a row calling on the government to reinstate their student allowances, which have been cut since 2014.

The students initially blocked the main Kirkuk-Sulaimani road before heading towards the center of the city, where they were faced with a significant number of security forces.

Just meters away from the headquarters of Sulaimani's ruling party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), located in the city’s Salim street, the protesting students were confronted by an extra number of security forces firing rubber bullets, teargas, and using water cannons to stop them from proceeding further.

Rudaw video footage showed protesting students responding to security forces with stones, and a few students picking up teargas canisters and throwing them back at the forces.

The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) told Rudaw English that protestors were heading to the city center when they were confronted by security forces.


Warrior0028 Tweets:

Student protests have taken place in Sulaimani for the third day in a row, alongside protests today in Erbil, Koya, Halabja, Rania, and Kalar. Across the Kurdistan Region, students are calling for the restoration of a government study allowance, which has been cut since 2014.
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NRT Tweets:


Gunfire reported as students carry on protesting in Sulaimani #NRTnews #Sulaimani #Protest


That's an impressive turnout.   Ruwayda notes:


Students protest in Sulaimani and other areas today. Proud of your spirit and determination in making your democratic voice heard. Blue heartVictory hand#Kurdistan
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NRT reports:


New Generation Movement (NGM) President Shaswar Abdulwahid issued separate statements on Monday (November 22) on student protests to authorities in the Kurdistan Region and the demonstrating students.

Abdulwahid said in his statement to the authorities that the NGM had sent water and supplies to residents of the Sulaimani University residents but the donations were not allowed to reach the students.

"If you are not serving these students, let others do so,” the NGM president said in his statement to the authorities.

Abdulwahid said students are seen internationally as resources for their country and their calls should be answered.

Speaking to the protestors, the NGM president said, "You students are the revolution and change of hand in every country. We are with you and support you with our media and parliamentarians. Don’t give up.”


Sheelen notes last night in a Tweet:


University students protested in #Sulaimani on Monday, calling for restoration of a government study allowance. The protest turned violent with police using force, electric batons, and tear gas. #twitterkurds #Kurdistan #السليمانية_تقمع
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While Mazin H. Sulaiman appeals to a NEW YORK TIMES reporter to please cover these protests (protests the western press is ignoring):


Hello madam , please talk about Kurdish students , Student protests have taken place in Kurdistan region for the third day in a row . Across the Kurdistan Region, students are calling for the restoration of a government study allowance, which has been cut since 2014.





The following sites updated: