Friday, July 17, 2020


This week on MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD, the episode focused on May and Yo-Yo.  It was a good episode -- not as good as last week, but good.

Jemma gave data Coulton a body and then legs.  She also communicated with Fitz. 

They were still stuck in the 1980s.  Yo-Yo still doesn't have her powers.  Daisy's recovering still.  So Daisy says to fix Yo-Yo's powers, they need to go Jiaying -- that's Daisy's mother -- her evil mother who went to war with SHIELD in the '00s.  May and Yo-Yo went to see Jiaying.  They eventually discover that Yo-Yo is the problem.  She's blocking her powers out of guilt.

We get a flashback to when her uncle was killed.  She and her brother were with him, he put them in the closet when a bad guy came over.  They watched as the bad guy threatened him.  He said he was giving all the money he had.  The man spotted a gold cross on a necklace and said he was going to take that.  It was a family heirloom and Yo-Yo and her brother didn't want it taken so Yo-Yo snuck out of the closet to grab it.  The bad guy noticed it was gone and knew others were present so the uncle got loud and active to make sure Yo-Yo and her brother weren't discovered.  As a result, he ended up shot dead.

By the end of the program, Yo-Yo had her powers back.

Jiaying was a good character on the show -- she was good on this episode, yes, but she was a great character when she was on season two.

Dichen Lachman plays the character and she's been good in a number of shows -- including DOLLHOUSE where she was Sierra, the Canadian production of BEING HUMAN, the first season of THE HUNDRED, the first season of ALTERED CARBON and on ANIMAL KINGDOM (which needs to return with new episodes!!!).

Dichen Lachman's return reminded me of all the great characters the show has written off.  I miss Ward, Bobbi and Lance, Lincoln, Glenn Talbot, Robbie (Ghostrider) and Raina.  All of those characters were more interesting than Coulson and a better show would have ditched him and kept at least one of them. 

If the show had any respect for the fans, they'd include those characters in this final season.

There is especially no reason for not bringing Bobbie and Lance back.

For those who don't know, Bobbi and Lance left to save SHIELD.  That was the storyline.  They were exposed and they left.  That was so that the two could be in a spin-off that ABC wanted.  Then ABC didn't want the spin-off.  They didn't bring Bobbi and Lance back (well, Lance came back for an episode last season or the one before -- just one episode).  They should have.  Now that they are time hopping, they easily could introduce the characters in an episode that's set in a time before the two left SHIELD.

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

Thursday, July 16, 2020.  The media and the ones who refuse to hold them accountable are the clear danger to democracy.

Starting with US politics, former US House Rep and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney Tweets:

So, let me get this straight: I'm clean as a whistle, do my job, represent my constituents, and get kicked out of Congress; my colleague, Joe Biden, is corrupt as heck, brags about it, and gets promoted to the White House! What's wrong with that picture??

She's linking to Ben Shreckinger's POLITICO report from earlier this year:

n 2005, Joe Biden’s brother bought an acre of land with excellent ocean views on a remote island in the Caribbean for $150,000. He divided it into three parcels, and the next year a lobbyist close to the Delaware senator bought one of the parcels for what had been the cost of the entire property. Later, the lobbyist gave Biden’s brother a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels.
The Virgin Islands land deal, reported here for the first time, furthers a pattern in which members of the Biden family have engaged in financial dealings with people with an interest in influencing the former vice president.
In this case, a Biden staffer left the Senate in the early ’90s to become a lobbyist. Both before and after the land transaction, his clients benefited from Biden’s support and appropriations requests. A firm the lobbyist co-founded — which features a testimonial from Biden praising his “emotional investment” in his work on its website — specializes in federal contracts for niche law enforcement and national security programs for which Biden long advocated. 
After the land deal, Joe Biden vacationed elsewhere on the tiny island, which once protected a nearby submarine base before it became a tropical getaway, on at least three occasions.

Empathy Educates Tweets:

A Biden-Trump Election Is a Loss for Our Democracy Corporations and billionaires dominate our political economy through a system of legalized corruption—They purchase the allegiance of politicians and ensure legislation is supported by pro-corporate judges

The Tweets goes to Kenneth Peres' article:

A Biden-Trump Election is a Win-Win for Wall Street

On the Republican side, the plutocrats are comfortable with Trump. The problem was the Democratic side of the ledger.  The plutocrats did not like Warren, but they hated Sanders. Their goal was to defeat Sanders at any cost and to select a Democratic candidate on which they could depend.  Buttigieg rose and then fell. Bloomberg spent a lot of money, rose and then fell. Biden was really their last chance. A Biden-Trump election was the plutocrats’ dream scenario.
Biden Is A Product and Supporter of the Plutocracy. Biden has been and continues to be a willing participant in the system of legalized corruption. He has always relied on donations from Wall Street and the billionaire donor class and he has returned the favor by supporting policies that aide Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street. (See this article for a detailed analysis of Biden and his relationship to Wall Street and billionaires).
  • Biden Relies on Wall Street and Billionaires. Wall Street has always supported Biden. According to the Center for Responsive Politics the entire finance capital sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has been the largest business sector contributor to Biden’s various senatorial and his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.  Between 1990-2007, this sector invested $6.87 million in Biden. And that support has continued for his 2020 presidential campaign. The finance capital sector’s investment in Biden is just behind its investment in Trump and much greater than its investment in any other Democratic candidate. In terms of small donors, Biden has raised $25.3 million or 37% of total funding from small donors – much less than Sanders.
According to the Center on Responsive Politics, the Financial Sector as a whole (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has invested $47.2 million in the 2020 presidential election so far. Of this total, $10.3 million or 22% has gone to Trump; $10.1 million or 21% has gone to Biden and just $2.8 million or 6% has gone to Sanders. And it is clear that Biden is due for a massive increase in funding following Super Tuesday. These figures are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg and will soon explode; after all, the Financial Sector invested $338 million in the 2016 presidential election.
Biden also relies on billionaires. According to an updated Forbes article as of January 2020, sixty-six billionaires have given to Biden’s campaign. Most of these billionaires are from the financial capital sector. Also, expect Biden to pick up the backing of the 94 billionaires who previously supported Buttigieg and Klobuchar – the two candidates who suspended their campaigns and endorsed Biden immediately before Super Tuesday. In addition, there is a Super Pac that supports Biden called “Unite the Country.” Super PACs can legally spend unlimited amounts of money and can buy ads to support or oppose particular candidates. They are not supposed to be controlled by or tied directly to campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Unite the Country spent $8.9 million as of March 5, 2020. The finance/insurance/real estate sector accounted for $5 million or 56% of the total raised by this PAC. All these figures will increase substantially in the near future
  • While Biden speaks of change – He literally promised Wall Street and billionaire donors that “nothing will fundamentally change… if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.” In his first campaign speech delivered to a largely union crowd in Pittsburgh, Biden stated “Let me say this simply and clearly, and I mean this: The country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers, CEOs and hedge fund managers. It was built by you. It was built by the great American middle class.” In an interview, Biden stated, “It’s high time we helped Main Street.” His website is full of plans to increase taxes on the wealthy, enhance Social Security, expand government social services and get tough on Wall Street.
All these statements and plans sound very progressive.  But based on past policies and current statements, it is apparent that Wall Street does not have to worry much about Biden actually delivering on his anti-Wall Street rhetoric. As detailed in a previous article, Biden has supported and often led the fight for legislation that further consolidated the financial industry, eliminated laws that had curbed Wall Street’s penchant for excessive speculation, and increased protections for banks while eroding protections for consumers. And he supported trade deals that benefitted Wall Street and other big corporations while eliminating 4 million U.S. jobs primarily held by union manufacturing workers. Conversely, he is culpable for the failure to pass legislation that would have helped strengthen unions and protect the rights of consumers.
And Biden even admitted all of this when he gave a wink and a nod to Wall Street and the billionaires at an elite fundraiser in NY City last year. Biden stated “The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins, but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change…I need you very badly. I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.”

You could write that at COMMON DREAMS . . . in March.  Not now.  As Betty noted in "COMMON DREAMS is a joke -- and a dirty one at that:"

I went to their embarrassing website tonight.  It was hate Trump -- story after story.

When you've got nothing to offer, nothing to inspire, all you can sell is 'hate the enemy.'

They don't hold Joe Biden accountable, they don't try to push him to the left.  They just offer story after story attacking Donald Trump -- for what he said, for what he didn't say, for what his daughter did, for what some family member says . . .

They're like an obsessed ex.  It's frightening.

They should be leading us to a better world, focusing on our needs, preparing us for what to fight for should Joe Biden win and giving us the strength to press on should we end up with another term of Donald but instead they just do the work of the Democratic Party -- whore.

They're a joke.

She's exactly right.  And it's true of BUZZFLASH as well.  They don't exist for any real reason except to promote whatever the leaders in the Democratic Party wants.  They're too scared to be independent, they're too scared to leave the echo chamber.  Yet they present themselves as brave new media.

How 'independent' is independent media?

Years ago, Ava and I noted that DEMOCRACY NOW! expanded to two hours a day for a week -- one week to cover the Democratic Party's convention and one week to cover the Republican Party's convention.  Ten hours of coverage a week for one and then ten hours of coverage for another.  And what did DEMOCRACY NOW! do for the Green Party convention that year?

A headline.

A single headline was enough to cover the Green Party national convention.

And we noted then, shame on the members of the Green Party who don't call Amy Goodman out, who don't pressure her to give real coverage, equal coverage to their party.

Well, that was many years ago.  And things have only gotten worse.

Saturday (see "Howie Hawkins declared Green Party presidential nominee as US military convoy attacked in Iraq."), the Green Party's national convention concluded with Howie Hawkins receiving the party's presidential nomination.

This year, not even a headline.  

And Amy Goodman's supposed to be the queen of independent media?  She's more like the matron in the toilet.  

Again, Greens have allowed this to happen.  Shame on you.  You need to be objecting.  We've noted Howie's video this week but let's note it one more time.

Howie's objecting to the corporate media.  Why can't his supporters object to what's supposed to be independent media?

The corporate media has largely ignored the Green Party's convention as well.  We noted that on Saturday night and it's still true.  (POLITICO would be the main exception.)  

When you let so-called independent media get away with this nonsense, then don't complain when corporate media cuts back on their coverage as well.

Shame on you all.  Get off your ass, if you're a Green or anyone who believes in fair journalism, and start calling out the likes of Amy Goodman.  

When Goodman shuts out the Green Party convention, she doesn't just shut out their candidates, she also shuts out their ideas.  This year, some Democrats are promoting the Green New Deal.  Howie was promoting a version of it back in 2010.  

Ten years later, some Democrats in office are supporting it.  

Imagine how much larger that number would be if the media had been addressing the deal when the Green Party was first proposing it.  

Independent media could play a significant role in bettering our world but it instead whores for the Democratic Party.  Instead of addressing what's needed or what we could have, they throw all their resources into demonizing whichever Republican is the target.

Joe Biden is a center-right, War Hawk corporatist.  And that's the challenger to Donald Trump?  That's the difference?

Only in a landscape where the media has abdicated their role.

We need a better world but we also need a better media.  I seriously wonder if there's a chance for this world.  How do we survive climate change and these never-ending wars (which do impact climate change, let's stop pretending all these bombings have no effect on our ecozone) when the most 'radical' action we can imagine is voting for a used up hack like Joe Biden?

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party's 2016 vice presidential candidate, Tweeted the following:

The democrats are doing all they can to prevent agreement that would end the 19 year Afghanistan war. What is the difference on issue of war & peace between Democrats & Trump? Answer: democrats might be worst. Make peace a campaign issue. Support Black Alliance for Peace.
6:52 PM · Jul 14, 2020

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has determined climate change and the interlocking issues of war, militarism, and the now-normalized and still illegal U.S. interventionism pose the greatest threats to humanity.
That is why we have launched a campaign demanding all 2020 candidates for local, state and federal offices in the United States take a position on U.S. interventionism (read our official statement).
BAP’s goal has always been to educate people on the connection between U.S. foreign interventions and the domestic war on African people and other oppressed groups (see No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad).
In 2019, the Trump administration announced “Operation Relentless Pursuit,” a program that claims to support local "crime fighting" efforts by injecting federal funding for a “surge” of new hires and equipment, as well as coordination of federal agents at the local level.
Of the seven targeted U.S. cities, four are predominantly African:
  1. Baltimore (62.8% African)
  2. Cleveland (50.41% African)
  3. Detroit (79.12% African)
  4. Memphis (63.9% African)
The Nixon-era "War on Drugs” actually was a war on Africans, since it was an aspect of the state's counter-insurgency effort against the Black Liberation Movement. Trump's Operation Relentless Pursuit is an initiative in the same vein, being the latest version of the ongoing war against the African working class.
Operation Relentless Pursuit is the logical extension of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which is primarily responsible for transferring more than $4 billion in military-grade equipment to local police forces over a 15-year span. Along with “Deadly Exchange”—whereby Israeli Defense Forces train local U.S. police executives—these three programs represent the core elements of the U.S. national security state's repressive strategy to contain the resistance of oppressed communities and peoples in the United States.

Jimmy Dore addressed the issue of Democrats working with Republicans to destroy peace.

Jimmy Dore: Hey, what did Congressional Democrats do this week?  Well, they prevented Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.  What did Congressional Democrats do last week?  They increased Trump's military spending.  What gets bipartisan support in Washington, DC?  Endless war.

The lack of independence in the media -- All Things Media Big and Small -- is why Robert Draper and THE NEW YORK TIMES believe they can get away this morning with whoring passed off as journalism:

In August 2018, in the course of researching a book on the lead-up to the Iraq war, I went to see Powell at the office in Alexandria, Va., that he has maintained since leaving the Bush administration in early 2005. Powell, who is now 83, is as proud and blunt-speaking as he was during his career in public service. Over the course of our two hourlong conversations, he made clear that he was all too aware of the lonely turf he was destined to occupy in history.
It was not the turf that anyone, least of all Powell himself, would have imagined for him in 2001. He entered the Bush administration as a four-star general of immense popularity and political influence. He left it four years later, discarded by Bush in favor of a more like-minded chief diplomat, Condoleezza Rice. He mournfully predicted to others that his obituary’s first paragraph would include his authorship of the U.N. speech.

Draper, it's hard for me to understand everything you're trying to say when you're speaking at the same time you're juggling Colin's balls in your mouth.

Colin lied.  To the UN, to the world.  It's a little late for you to start pretending otherwise and no one should believe your lies about Colin being misled.  He knew what he was doing.  He exploded at one point that he wasn't going to say that "s**t" because he knew it was a lie.

Ava and I covered this nonsense in 2005, see our "TV Review: Barbara and Colin remake The Way We Were."  Along comes Draper hoping everyone's forgotten reality.

I'm so sick of this garbage and this media environment -- big and small -- that allows the lies not just to be told once but to be retold over and over.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, July 16, 2020

No to Joe, yes to Howie

First up, Jimmy Dore.

No one wants Joe Biden, not if they're honest with themselves. Excuse me, no one but a War Hawk wants Joe Biden.

There are alternatives and that includes Howie Hawkins.

He is the Green Party's nominee and he'd make a great president.

Joe's nothing.  He's not a leader.  He's not planning to seriously address climate change.  Joe's the status quo.

We deserve so much better.

Again, as long as he remains a real candidate, I'm supporting Howie.

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2020.  Julian Assange remains persecuted, Toby Dodge insists one death in Iraq matters -- at least one, and much more.

Starting with this video from CONSORTIUM NEWS> 

That's the documentary film NOT IN OUR NAME: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE OF JULIAN ASSANGE and then Reporters Sans Frontieres' Rebecca Vincent moderating a discussion with the filmmaker John Furse and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer.  

Julian continues to be persecuted and, yes, tortured.  He became a target of the US government when he released video regarding Iraq.  Monday April 5th, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two REUTERS journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.

The video was news.  Publishing it was a public service.  The US government had repeatedly lied about what took place.  It had denied REUTERS requests -- official and unofficial -- for more information about the deaths of their reporters.  

This week, Dean Yates discussed that issue with Chris Hedges on Hedges' program ON CONTACT..

"In terms of the significance of this tape, Chris, I think it will be -- It's easily as significant as the photographs that came out of the Abu Ghraib detentions," Dean Yates tells Chris, "because it showed the world what the war in Iraq really looked like. It showed for the first time, it showed the American public what the war in Iraq really looked like."

Dean states that the video Julian published was as significant as the photos that emerged of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal -- torture of Iraqis overseen by -- and carried out by -- the US government.  

Dean Yates was the head of REUTERS' Baghdad beureau when the July 12, 2007 attack took place killing REUTERS journalists Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh -- the attack carried out by the US government.  Last month, Paul Daley  (GUARDIAN) quoted Yates stating, "What he did was 100% an act of truth-telling, exposing to the world what the war in Iraq looks like and how the US military lied … The US knows how embarrassing Collateral Murder is, how shameful it is to the military – they know that there’s potential war crimes on that tape."  Whistle blower Chelsea Manning was serving in the US military.  She turned the material over Julian Assange.  She has been persecuted repeatedly -- the most recent attempts have been carried out to attempt to coerce her into testifying against Julian.

Julian Assange remains persecuted by the US government.  His crime is that of journalism.  In another article last month, Daley focuses on Dean Yates:

Yates, shaking his head, says: “The US assertions that Namir and Saeed were killed during a firefight was all lies. But I didn’t know that at the time, so I updated my story to take in the US military’s statement.”
[. . .]
Reuters staff had by now spoken to 14 witnesses in al-Amin. All of them said they were unaware of any firefight that might have prompted the helicopter strike.
 Yates recalls: “The words that kept forming on my lips were ‘cold-blooded murder’.”
The Iraqi staff at Reuters, meanwhile, were concerned that the bureau was too soft on the US military. “But I could only write what we could establish and the US military was insisting Saeed and Namir were killed during a clash,” Yates says.
The meeting that put him on a path of destructive, paralysing – eventually suicidal – guilt and blame “that basically f**ked me up for the next 10 years”, leaving him in a state of “moral injury”, happened at US military headquarters in the Green Zone on 25 July.

Staying with the topic of Iraq, Mina Aldroubie (THE NATIONAL) offers:

A "fatal blow" will have been dealt to Iraqi government control if Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi does not catch those who ordered the killing of scholar Husham Al Hashimi, experts said.
The Iraqi political and security expert was shot dead at point-blank range by unknown assailants as he parked his car outside his house on July 7.
Mr Al Kadhimi pledged to hold a transparent investigation into the killing and said no one was above the law.
A week has passed and the government has not announced any developments.
Toby Dodge, an Iraq expert and friend of Al Hashimi, said failure to bring to justice those responsible for his assassination would be a challenge to the state’s authority. 

That death was important.  So are other deaths.  I'm so sick of the Toby Dodges who speak up for the friends but not others.

The September 8, 2011 murder of journalist Hamdi al-Mahdi.   That didn't matter?  

No one's ever been held responsible for that murder.  Hamdi was a journalist who reported on the protests.  That alone made him a target of the government.

Toby's up in arms over the death of his friend.  Who bothers to remember the murder of Hamdi?

From the September 8, 2011 snapshot:

In Iraq, a journalist has been murdered.  In addition to being a journalist, he was also a leader of change and part of the movement to create an Iraq that was responsive to Iraqis. 
Al Mada reports Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi is dead according to an Interior Ministry source who says police discovered him murdered in his Baghdad home.  Along with being a journalist, Al Mada notes he was one of the chief organizers of the demonstrations demanding change and service reform that began on February 25th -- the day he was arrested by Iraqi security forces and beaten in broad daylight as he and others, after the February 25th protest, were eating in a restaurant. The New York Times didn't want to tell you about, the Washington Post did.  And now the man is dead. Gee, which paper has the archives that matter to any real degree.  Maybe it's time to act like a newspaper and not a "news magazine" with pithy little human interest stories?  (That is not a dig at Tim Arango but at the paper's diva male 'reporter' who went on NPR to talk of an Iraqi college this week.)  So while the Times missed the story (actaully, they misled on the story -- cowtowing to Nouri as usual),  Stephanie McCrummen (Washington Post) reported:
Four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.
"It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists," said Hussam al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who was among a group and described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. "Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."

A picture of the new democracy in Iraq, indeed.  And now one of the four is dead.  But back to that roundup, from the February 28th snapshot:
Over the weekend, a number of journalists were detained during and after their coverage of the mass demonstrations that took place in central Baghdad's al-Tahrir Square. Simone Vecchiator (International Press Institute) notes:
["]During a news conference held on Sunday, four journalists -- Hussam Saraie of Al-Sabah Al-Jadid newspaper, Ali Abdul Sada of the Al-Mada daily, Ali al-Mussawi of Sabah newspaper and Hadi al-Mehdi of Demozee radio -- reported being handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened by security forces. They also claimed they were held in custody for nine hours and forced to sign a document, the contents of which were not revealed to them. 
Aswat al Iraq news agency reported that the journalists will file a court case against the executive authority in response to the alleged violations of their civil rights.
This episode is the latest in a series of repressive measures adopted by security forces in order to stifle media reports about the current political and social
NPR's Kelly McEvers interviewed Hadi for Morning Edition after he had been released and she noted he had been "beaten in the leg, eyes, and head." He explained that he was accused of attempting to "topple" Nouri al-Maliki's government -- accused by the soldiers under Nouri al-Maliki, the soldiers who beat him.  Excerpt:
Hadi al-Mahdi: I replied, I told the guy who was investigating me, I'm pretty sure that your brother is unemployed and the street in your area is unpaved and you know that this political regime is a very corrupt one.
Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was later put in a room with what he says were about 200 detainees, some of them journalists and intellectuals, many of them young protesters.
Hadi al-Mahdi: I started hearing voices of other people.  So, for instance, one guy was crying, another was saying, "Where's my brother?" And a third one was saying, "For the sake of God, help me."
Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was shown lists of names and asked to reveal people's addresses.  He was forced to sign documents while blindfolded.  Eventually he was released.  Mahdi says the experience was worse than the times he was detained under Saddam Hussein.  He says the regime that's taken Sadam's place is no improvement on the past. This, he says, should serve as a cautionary tale for other Arab countries trying to oust dictators. 
Hadi al-Mahdi: They toppled the regime, but they brought the worst -- they brought a bunch of thieves, thugs, killers and corrupt people, stealers.
Madhi had filed a complained with the courts against the Iraqi security forces, noting that they had now warrant and that they kidnapped him in broad daylight and that they beat him.  Mohamed Tawfeeq (CNN) adds, "Hadi al-Mehdi was inside his apartment on Abu Nawas street in central Baghdad when gunmen shot him twice with silencer-equipped pistols, said the ministry official, who did not want to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to media."  Mazin Yahya (AP) notes that in addition to calling for improvements in the basic services (electricity, water and sanitation), on his radio program, Hadi al-Mehdi also used Facebook to get the word out on the Friday protests in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.
Al Mada notes that Hadi has been killed on the eve of tomorrow's protest.  The youth activists took the month of Ramadan off and announced that they would return to downtown Baghdad on September 9th (tomorrow).  And tomorrow they'll now be minus at least one.  Al Mada quotes Hadi writing shortly before he died on his Facebook page about the demonstration, noting that it would herald the emergence of real democracy in the new Iraq, an Iraq with no sectarian grudges, just hearts filled with tolerance and love, hearts saying no to corruption, looting, unemployment, hearts demaning a better Iraq and a government for the people because Iraqis deserve the best and they deserve pride and dignity.  The Great Iraqi Revolution notes, "The funeral of the martyred jouranlist Hady Mahdy, who was killed earlier today will process from his Karrad home where he was assassinated to Tahrir Square. The funeral procession will commence at around 9 A.M."
Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns the well-known journalist Hadi Al-Mahdi's murder in Baghdad today, on the eve of nationwide protests that he supported. His body was found at around 7 p.m. in his home in the central district of Al-Karada. He had been shot twice in the head. There can be no doubt that his murder was politically motivated.
Offering its sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues, Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to quickly investigate this murder and to assign all the necessary resources to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice. This crime cannot go unpunished.
Aged 44, a Shiite and married to a Kurd, Mahdi hosted a talk show called "To whoever listens" on Radio Demozy (104,01 FM). His irreverence, his well-observed criticism that spared no one, neither the prime minister nor his detractors, and his readiness to tackle subjects ranging from corruption to the deplorable state of the Iraqi educational system made it one of the most popular talk shows in Baghdad.
It was clear from the messages that Mahdi had sent to relatives that he knew he was in danger. He had received many warnings and had told friends two days ago that something terrible could happen ( But he was determined to tough it out, regardless of the risks.
After covering a demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on 25 February, he and three fellow journalists were arrested, threatened and beaten.
Shortly after graduating from Baghdad's Academy of Fine Arts in 1989, Mahdi fled to Syria and then to Sweden and did not return until 2007, after nearly a decade in exile. He began hosting "To whoever listens" for Radio Demozy, an independent station, a year later. (A New York Times profile of Mahdi)
He was the seventh Iraqi journalist to be murdered since the start of 2011 and the 12th since the United States announced the withdrawal of its combat troops in August 2010.
Mahdi's murder comes exactly a month after the Iraqi parliament adopted a law on the protection of journalists on 9 August.
Nouri al-Maliki's forces beat Hadi.  They are under Nouri's command.  Nouri demonized the protesters all along.  He has repeated the slurs in the last weeks that the September 9th protests are organized by Ba'ahtists, are out to topple him, are out to turn Iraq into a lawless state and much more.  Did Little Saddam aka Nouri al-Maliki, thug of the occupation, order his forces to murder Hadi? 

Husham al-Hashimi's murder is awful.  I'm not denying that.  But when Toby Dodge blusters as he does, he not only renders all the other murders unimportant, he encourages others to do so as well.

Hadi gave his life for freedom in Iraq.  It's a real shame that so many have rushed to forget him.

Toby knows who Hadi was.  To make a point in a Twitter discussion last December, Toby Tweeted:

In September 2011, a high profile activist in the protest movement, Hadi al-Mahdi, a journalist and theatre director, was murdered on the eve of another big demonstration he helped organize

It that the only time to remember Hadi?  When you need to make a political point?  

Protests continue in Iraq.  Sunday, Fazel Hawramy (RUDAW) reported:

Security forces fired upon a group of demonstrators in southern Baghdad on Sunday lunchtime, killing two and wounding over a dozen, according to a protest spokesperson.

Thousands of people travelled from several southern Iraqi provinces to Baghdad in the early hours of Sunday morning, protesting an end to monthly, government-allocated compensation as part of an economic reform package announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

“They fired on us upon direct orders from Kadhimi and killed two of us,” protester spokesperson Sheikh Amer Shalan Rafawi told Rudaw.

Peaceful protestors standing outside Baghdad geen zone in protest to PM policies forced to evacuate after a violent crackdown by security. No european or American media. These are #IraqProtests too but pro-US occupation activists are on holiday! #Iraq
1:32 PM · Jul 12, 2020

This attack took place after Mustafa al-Kadhimis public promise that he would bring those who attacked protesters to justice.  Bring them to justice?  He can't even prevent them from being attacked today and, in fact, he may be the one ordering the attacks.  His response to Sunday?  To deny that anyone was shot at, that anyone was killed.

Protests continue.  Amsiiiraq Tweets:

Baghdad: Medical school graduates have demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Health building; To protest the government’s neglect, and to demand their appointment, amid the deteriorating health sector in Iraq.
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هيئة علماء المسلمين في العراق
الهيئة نت| بغداد: خريجو المجموعة الطبية يتظاهرون أمام مبنى وزارة الصحة؛ احتجاجًا على إهمال الحكومة لهم، وللمطالبة بتعيينهم، وسط تدهور القطاع الصحي في العراق. للاشتراك في قناة الهيئة على تطبيق (تيليغرام):
4:22 PM · Jul 13, 2020

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