Saturday, December 03, 2022


Could it be?  Have people finally wised up?  Wednesday's episode of THE GOLBERTS found Adam needing to grow up.

A woman he works with was talking to him and flirting with him and Adam didn't have a clue.  His co-worker let him know. Adam ended up bailing on the mother-son bonding event Bev had planned -- the would watch the 'perfect' mother-and-son movie, ENDLESS LOVE.  

Adam went out with the female co-worker instead -- they doubled with two other workers.  Adam drank booze.  Adam got drunk.

He then woke up a nervous nellie, the next morning, on the female co-worker's couch. What happened, our young virgin wondered?  He was the perfect gentleman.  But now he had to sneak back home without Bev finding out.  No such luck.  He steps outside and Bev has posted reward posters for his return.

The point of the episode was that Adam needs to grow up.  And he does.  He needs to do so immediately.  At least the show now seems aware of the problem.  

Maybe they can fix it?

In other news, Barry stayed at Goeff's parents with his girlfriend because he got a B in class.  He was convinced that his medial career was on the verge of being ended as a result. He was a pain in the rear to everyone -- typical Barry -- but did learn a lesson finally.

Barry was the best part of the episode.

On the railroad workers, I'll note this:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) are being criticized online for voting to forcibly end a potential nationwide rail strike on Wednesday.

The House passed legislation yesterday that would force an agreement between the railway workers' unions and management companies, utilizing a 1926 rule giving the government power to order tentative agreements between the country's rail laborers and their managers.

The legislation—which passed 290-137 in the House—is headed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has all but guaranteed its passage. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law swiftly, averting a railroad strike that some experts estimate could cost the U.S. economy upwards of $1 billion in the first week.

The bill passed by the House would provide railroad workers with 24% pay increases retroactive to 2020, immediate $11,000 payouts upon the legislation getting signed, and an extra paid day off. In a separate bill, the House approved a resolution to give workers seven days of paid sick leave instead of one, potentially giving railroad workers paid sick leave which they don’t currently have.

Lots of fakin' and shakin' going on.  

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

Friday, December 2, 2022.  Persecution exists around the world -- including the US where so many work overtime to pretend they're fair while attacking groups of people.

Let's start with the deeply stupid.  Notorious homophobe Jonathan Turley is back to sharing his increasingly warped and unfit opinions:

Justice Amy Coney Barrett is facing increasing calls to recuse herself from a major Supreme Court case due to her religion. These absurd demands say less about the ethics of Barrett than the bias of her critics, who have waged an unrelenting and vicious campaign against the jurist and her family.

At issue is 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis’ Dec. 5 argument. Even before the court granted review, I noted it could be one of the most important free-speech cases in history. It involves a web designer who declines jobs for same-sex marriages over her religious beliefs.

Liberal academics and pundits have decried Barrett’s participation in the case because she has been part of the Christian group People of Praise, which holds traditional views of marriage and homosexuality. The media are quoting former members calling themselves “survivors” saying the group holds views that make it impossible for her to judge the case fairly.

Impossible, that is, if Barrett is willing to discard every principle of legal and judicial integrity she has maintained her entire career.

It's not a free speech case, first of all.  Tradeswoman Lorie Smith designs webs sites.  She wants the government to give her an out so she never has to design for thoe 'icky' gays -- apparently Lorie's a closet case who fears proximity to equality will unleash her inner demons and immediately turn her into a muff diver if she's forced to treat all customers the same.

Jonathan lies -- because that's what he does now -- and writes that Coney Barrett (it is Coney Barrett -- those are two last names and Jonathan and others need to get that right) is being called out for being "part of the Christian group People of Praise, which holds traditional views of marriage and homosexuality."  Let's leave aside Jonathan's misguided nothing of ''traditional'' -- he's a raging homophobe -- and focus on that claim -- all she did was belong to a group that holds beliefs.


Stephanie Kirchgaessner (GUARDIAN) explains a detail Jonathan -- accidentally, we're sure -- omits:

They point to Barrett’s former role on the board of Trinity Schools Inc, a private group of Christian schools that is affiliated with the People of Praise and, in effect, barred children of same-sex parents from attending the school.

A faculty guide published in 2015, the year Barrett joined the board, said “blatant sexual immorality” – which the guide said included “homosexual acts” – had “no place in the culture of Trinity Schools”. The discriminatory policies were in place before and after Barrett joined.

The schools’ attitude, the former People of Praise members said, reflect the Christian group’s staunchly anti-gay beliefs and adherence to traditional family values, including – they say – expelling or ostracizing members of the People of Praise “community” who came out as gay later in life or their gay children.

“I don’t believe that someone in her position, who is a member of this group, could put those biases aside, especially in a decision like the one coming up,” said Maura Sullivan, a 46-year-old who was raised in the People of Praise community in South Bend, Indiana. Sullivan identifies as bisexual and recalls coming out to her parents, who were members of the People of Praise, when she was 19.

“They decided that I wasn’t allowed to be around my sister, who was 13 at the time, without them around, because I could ‘influence’ her in bad ways. Stuff like that. So I had a tenuous relationship with my family,” she said. “To be cut off from my family was the ultimate loss of community.” Sullivan and her parents, who are no longer members of the faith group, have since repaired their relationship, she said.

Questions about the People of Praise’s attitude toward LGBTQ+ members and their families, and Trinity Schools’ policies, have resurfaced because the supreme court will hear oral arguments on 5 December in the case of 303 Creative LLC v Elenis.

Jonathan Turley is not an honest broker.  Her sitting on the board and doing so when it refused children because their parents were same-sex goes to why she should recuse herself.  It's the equivalent of racial restrictive covenants that allowed 'traditional' people to refuse to sell their home to Jews, African-Americans, etc.

This isn't minor.  And she should have to recuse herself.

Jonathan's confident that she can follow the rules.

Of course, Jonathan was confident -- even after DOBBS was leaked -- that ROE wouldn't be overturned.

And, of course, in that case Amy tossed aside precedent, five decades of precedent, to abuse the law and to 'honor' her 'religion.'

Jonathan's becoming a damn liar.  He seems to have some grand purpose these days involving self-humiliation.  It's sad and pathetic to watch him.

Amy sat on a board that discriminated against gay people and she did so only a few years ago.  She didn't disclose this when she nominated for the Court:

Barrett has never publicly acknowledged her membership in the community since becoming a judge and did not disclose it during her 2020 confirmation. It was reported at the time that the People of Praise erased all mentions and photos of her from its website ahead of her meetings with lawmakers.

Had she made the disclosure, she wouldn't be on the bench now.

She's part of the reason it is now an illegitimate Supreme Court.  Liars like Amy misled America to get on the bench and now are refusing to respect settled law so that they can instead attack the very fabric of America.  

And there's Jonathan Turley lying for them.  

By the way, Jonathan, don't think I'm forgetting that you've claimed this Lori Smith case is about freedom of religion, not freedom of speech.  You left that out in this column, didn't you?  Why?  Because freedom of religion means that the American people are free of it and being free of someone imposing their religion means Amy and her history necessitate that she excuse herself from the case.

You've become so pathetic, Jonathan.

We're not done with the pathetic and stupid.  Self-proclaimed 'radical feminist' Marissa Darlingh takes to FOX NEWS -- because that's what we feminists do, right? -- and whines that she's lost her job as a counselor at a public school and it's all so unfair.  Marissa moans:

On April 23 of this year, a Saturday, on my own time, I delivered a very short, unscripted speech at a feminist rally denouncing the threat that gender identity ideology poses to the physical and mental health of my students. This rally was on the steps of the state Capitol, far away from my school district. For this I was fired from my job. This clear violation of my First Amendment right to free speech is why I am suing Milwaukee Public Schools and the MPS employees who were involved in my termination. 

I have worked in a few different urban public school districts across the Midwest with hundreds of students who come to me with an array of experiences that shape their emotional lives. My politics have never interfered with my work or my relationships with students, their teachers or their families. After I spoke out in April, a top-down investigation began of my fitness to serve in my role as a school counselor. Ostensibly, this was because I said the words "f--- transgenderism" and for expressing my personal belief that a child cannot be born in the wrong body. 


Your statements mean you can't do your job.

You're working with children.  They may go through a period where they think they are trans or they may, in fact, be trans.  And your statements indicate that they can trust you and that they will not receive rational care.  

Your statements removed you from your job because you declared to the world that you are not impartial.  

You can't continue in your job having made that statement.  You're a liability to the school. 

As a counselor -- and even one as woefully uneducated and unprepared as you -- should grasp that these type of statements create walls between yourself and those you are supposed to be helping.

You screwed up.  The school was within their rights.  They hired a person with the expectation that the person would be able to address the various issues the student body might have.  Instead, they got you declaring "F**K transgenderism."  With that statement alone, you created a problem for the school and the student body you were supposed to serve.

You are supposed to counsel.  Students have problems and difficulties are supposed to believe you will be fair and help them.  Your statements were offensive and prejudicial.  The school did what you forced them to do -- find a counselor who could serve all the students.

Let's stay on this topic for a moment more to include something cut earlier this week.  

Charlamagne The Odd.  

And The Stupid.  

Lenerd does not like the term "transphobic" and went to FOX NEWS to lament about -- well nonsense.  The truth needs to be slapped upside his head.  He's an idiot.  Tulsi Gabbard went on TV citing 'statistics' on this huge wave of surgeries being done on children.  Idiot that he is, Lenerd bought into it.  

Was Tulsi lying?  She's an idiot so she was probably just sporting her stupidity or maybe her cult leader, Guru Chris, told her to say it.  Who knows?  Who cares?

But we pointed it out once this week, let's point it out again: A parent or a guardian has to okay surgery on a minor (unless the minor is an emancipated minor).  

Get it?  Tulsi didn't.  Lenerd does either.

"Things like that bother me. . . . Like I'm transphobic because I feel like I', you know, just using a little common sense here."

A little?

Try none.

You've fallen for the media spin and lies.

Again, a 14-year-old's not walking into a doctor's office saying, "Get out the knives."

It doesn't work that way and never has.

If someone under 18 is having gender reassignment, that's been discussed as a family matter and Lenerd really doesn't need to be injecting himself into what a family's decided about surgery.

Lenerd's a real idiot because there is a science here and predates the 21st century.  There are tests -- physical and mental -- that are done before a gender reassignment surgery.

Like Tulsi, Lenerd has made no effort to learn a damn thing.  Tulsi's excuse is she never attended a real school.  She went to her cult's school for two years and then was schooled by her parents for the rest of it -- homophobic cult members.  

Lenerd should be striving for so much more.  But, let's be honest, he's middle-aged and out of touch.  He's COMEDY CENTRAL's idea of young.

He told FOX, "And I think that you're cheating those kids by not having the conversation."  If they're kids, the conversation is taking place with their parent or guardian.  Try to grasp that.  "Like, let's all come to the table and talk about it" -- with you?  Are you The Decider -- like Bully Boy Bush.

Lenerd, you are the idiot because you've bought into the lie that 12-year-olds are deciding by themselves -- and on a whim -- to have surgery.  Next up, Tulsi 'reports' on a new craze with an 800% increase where 14 year olds are DIY-ing the gender surgeries themselves!!!!

"But you know, who am I to judge?" Lenerd asks at the end.  Exactly: Who are you to judge?  Especially when you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Lenerd built a career around common sense.  How very sad that it's now failed him.

Prejudice and persecution exist all over the world -- and needs to be combatted where ever it pops up.  The editorial board of THE NATIONAL notes:

Christians in Iraq were persecuted by ISIS, which forcibly transferred them, seized their property and subjected them to sexual violence and other “inhumane acts”, a UN report has found.

An investigative team said they had collected evidence that strengthens preliminary findings that the extremist group committed crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Christian community after it seized about a third of the country in 2014.

The report on Thursday night to the UN Security Council said crimes also included enslavement, forced conversions and destruction of cultural and religious sites.

The team said they had identified leaders and prominent members of ISIS who participated in the attack and takeover of three predominantly Christian towns in the Nineveh plains north of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, in July and August 2014 ― Hamdaniyah, Karamlays and Bartella. It also started collecting evidence of crimes committed against the Christian community in Mosul.

ISIS fighters seized Iraqi cities and declared a self-styled caliphate in large areas of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014. The group was formally declared defeated in Iraq in 2017 following a three-year bloody battle that left tens of thousands dead and cities in ruins, but its sleeper cells continue to stage attacks in different parts of Iraq.

ISIS was not defeated.  It's a terrorist group.  By definition its goal is to disrupt and terrify.  It somehow -- Nouri al-Maliki and his pathetic leadership -- managed to seize control of multiple cities in Iraq and try to 'govern.'  That's what the pushback and battles ended.  They never ended the actual terrorism and ISIS has continue its acts of terrorism.

Christians are only one of many persecuted in Iraq. Helen Fitzwilliam explains at Chatham House:

Malaeen Luqman was 13 years old when Islamic State militants kidnapped her family in a coordinated attack on the Yazidi homeland of Iraq’s Mount Sinjar in 2014. Separated from her mother and taken to Raqqa in Syria, she managed to escape to Turkey after 12 weeks of captivity. 

Today, Malaeen is one of 16 women survivors scattered across camps in northern Iraq who are documenting the experiences and customs of the Yazidi people on camera, canvas and film to create a digital cultural archive. It is one of many initiatives to safeguard this fragile minority’s identity since Islamic State jihadis tried to erase their heritage by mass murder, sexual enslavement and the destruction of historic shrines and villages.

Considered heretics by the jihadis, 5,000 Yazidi civilians were killed  when they refused to accept forced conversion following the onslaught. Some 2,700 Yazidi women and children remain unaccounted for. Though estimates vary, it is thought that Iraqi Yazidis numbered more than 600,000 when Islamic State embarked on what United Nations investigators have described as genocide. 

Up to 40 per cent of Yazidis fled abroad. More than 200,000 are displaced and weary of living in displacement camps around Dohuk in northern Iraq. If they seek asylum in the West, the fear is that the memories and practices central to their culture and religion will disappear as well.

This esoteric peacock-worshipping sect has no holy book, and its sacred scriptures are passed on orally by a priestly caste of sheikhs. Yazidis do not accept religious converts and many elders have opposed writing oral traditions down or putting them online. Their syncretic faith combines elements of  Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam, but as Gerard Russell remarks in his book Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: ‘The religion’s secrets have been kept well, even from its own followers.’

And FANACK notes:

The Kakaism minority lives as a non-missionary religious group in Iraq, a country known for its rich ethnicities and multiple religions. Kakaism is trying to preserve its identity amid the transformations and changes that the world and the region are witnessing. At a time when Iraq’s religious and ethnic diversity faces multiple threats, Kakaism has had its share of these pressures. Kakaists suffer from significant stresses that threaten their faith and existence.

Kakaism dates back to 3000 BC. While this sect is called “Kakaist” in Iraq, its followers in Iran refer to it as “Yarsanist,” meaning “lovers of the Creator.” The followers of this sect are not limited to Iraq and Iran, but their presence extends to Pakistan, India, Turkey and other countries.


Researcher Abdulrahman Karim Darwesh traces the origin of “Kakaism” to the Kurdish word “Kaka.” This word means “elder brother who is compassionate, helpful, chivalrous, honest, supporting, responsible for the affairs of others, a caretaker and defender of the weak.” According to Darwesh, in some cases, this name is given to the father and grandparents in large families. The name “Kaka” is also given to public figures.

Researcher Jamal Rashid links the term “Kakaism” to the development of the historical roots of the Kurdish honorifics. According to Rashid, the common roots of the term have evolved to be interpreted by both Kurds and Kakaists.

Some believe the Kurds designated the term to Kakaists out of respect. Others believe that the name reflected their religious beliefs, which preach brotherhood among human beings and oblige them to call any human being by the word Kaka.

Based on the name, Iraqi historian Abbas al-Azzawi believes that Kakaism has become a spiritual bond around which Kakaists are united.

Some in Iran call Kakaists Ahl al-Haq or People of Truth. Other names include Men of Magnanimity, People of the Chain, and Yarsanism: Yar San, meaning friend of the sultan. Yarsanism in Persian and Kurdish also means “the beloved.”

We'll wind down with this from Restore The Fourth:

Restore the Fourth and the #StopShotSpotter Coalition have launched a petition to Demand the ShotSpotter CEO stop using faulty and invasive technology to track our daily lives for profit at the expense of our safety and privacy.

ShotSpotter sells faulty aerial gunshot recognition technology that at least 130 U.S. cities and towns are squandering money on. The 20-25 sensors per square mile they install stores vulnerable audio data for days at a time. Some state courts have ruled audio evidence from ShotSpotter sensors as inadmissible under wiretapping statutes.

ShotSpotter has reserved the right to own and sell this data with little oversight or regulation - including selling it to third parties and developing biometric surveillance devices. The sheer scope of ShotSpotter's operations guarantees that one of their devices could be outside your home, recording the conversations and activities of your daily life. These eavesdropping devices record everything they hear, even conversations at normal volume up to 50 feet away.

The fight against this mass surveillance infrastructure is growing. Just yesterday, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Detroit's community members against an $8.5 million expansion of ShotSpotter technology. It's not too late to join this fight for our right to privacy and sign the petition: Demand the ShotSpotter CEO stop using faulty and invasive technology to track our daily lives for profit at the expense of our safety and privacy.

Consider supporting the work we do by making a donation here.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Bernie fake asses yet again

You ready for The Land of Make Believe?  Dusty Springfield sang a song "In The World of Make Believe."  I feel that way when I read this.  Bernie Sanders is 'mocking' Republicans over the railroad workers.  That's typical Bernie Sheep Dogging.  He's herding us away from the reality that a Democratic Party is betraying the railroad workers.  I've noted that several times this week:

But here comes Bernie -- our brave voice -- and he's telling everyone Republicans are treating the workers wrong.  

That's Bernie, lying and distracting, misdirecting.

To a far more direct and open degree than before, workers are locked in a fight against the capitalist state itself. To the extent that anything “positive” has come out of this, it is that the vote completely exposes all factions of the political establishment.

This includes the self-described “most pro-labor president in American history,” Joe Biden. But a critical role was also played by the pseudo-left factions of the Democratic Party, including Senator Bernie Sanders and “The Squad,” four congresswomen who are members of or affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

The injunction could not have passed in the form that it was, with the speed which it was, without their support.

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced a proposal, originally drafted by Sanders in the Senate, to add seven sick days on top of the contract that they were imposing. This was a sham aimed at providing political cover. It had no chance of reaching the 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. Even if it did pass both houses, it would do next to nothing to seriously address workers’ demands.

Before the vote on the continuing resolution, three out of four members of “The Squad” joined with the vast majority of Democrats to vote in favor of imposing the contract, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Defending her vote, Ocasio-Cortez later nonsensically claimed that her vote for the injunction was cast in order to allow Democrats to fight for sick days in the Senate.

The Senate, after voting to reject a Republican proposal to extend the deadline into February, voted down the sick days proposal, as expected, in a near party-line vote, with Democrat Joe Manchin playing his assigned role of joining with Republicans against his own party.

Significantly, Sanders’ proposal in the Senate was framed as an amendment to the injunction bill, whereas the House proposal was a “concurrent resolution” voted on separately. This means that, because both houses technically passed identical legislation with respect to the question of imposing the contract itself, it went immediately to Biden’s desk without delay instead of being sent to Conference Committee, which could have delayed passage. That would be completely unacceptable to the ruling class, which was demanding the contract be imposed immediately, well before the December 9 strike deadline.

The most significant element of the voting in the Senate, however, was the expedited procedure, worked out in negotiations involving both parties and the White House, which required the unanimous consent of all 100 members of the house. If either Bernie Sanders, the “progressive” Elizabeth Warren or anyone else objected to this, the vote would have been delayed.

In other words, Sanders’ support was decisive, under conditions in which the outcome of voting was known in advance. Not only that, he was a principal architect of the parliamentary maneuvering through which it was passed.

Sanders and the Democrats are cynically using the Republican opposition to sick days to posture as friends of workers after they voted to impose the contract by an even wider margin than Republicans, many of whom voted against it for factional reasons. 

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

 Thursday, December 1, 2022.  One scandal after another when it comes to the care that the US is supposed to be providing veterans, Iraq's oil returns are down, IRAQI OIL REPORT runs fluff for Bafel Talabani, and much more.

Starting in the US . . . 


Former U.S. Army Sgt. Joel Gomez, 42, of Wheaton died Nov. 22 after developing pneumonia and kidney problems. Gomez, who had been living with quadriplegia since his wartime injury, was buried Tuesday at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

He becomes one of more than 4,400 U.S. military members who have died from injuries suffered during the Iraq war, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Gomez’s spine was broken in two places in 2004 when the armored vehicle he was riding in plunged into the Tigris River during a combat mission to capture enemy soldiers.

 Stacy St. Clair (CHICAGO TRIBUNE) explains:

Gomez had been forced to move into a nursing home a little more than a month before his death because his longtime caretaker, Elva Cuahquentzi, was stuck in Mexico dealing with an immigration issue. He developed pneumonia within a few weeks of arriving at the facility and was so frightened by the level of care, he asked a friend to call 911 and have him taken to a nearby emergency room.

He was admitted to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park on Nov. 8 and diagnosed with pneumonia. He died in the hospital intensive care unit surrounded by his sister, niece, nephew and a close friend.

Equal parts heartbreaking and infuriating for his supporters, Gomez spent his last conscious days asking for Cuahquentzi and dreaming about returning to the accessible home built specifically for him by the Wheaton community.

Reporting on the funeral, St. Clair notes:

Mourners also paid tribute to Gomez’s longtime caretaker, Elva Cuahquentzi, who had returned home to Mexico to deal with an immigration issue and had not yet been permitted to return. Her departure forced Gomez to move into a nursing home last month, where he developed pneumonia within a few weeks of arriving at the facility and was so frightened by the level of care, he asked Masterson to call 911 and have him taken to a nearby emergency room.

Gomez spent his last conscious days asking for Cuahquentzi and dreaming about returning to the accessible home built specifically for him by the Wheaton community.

Cuahquentzi, 50, remains in Mexico awaiting word on her immigration application. Her son Emmanuel Perez, however, read a letter from her during the service. She described Gomez as her purpose in life and said she loved him as if he were one of her own children.

“Learning to love Joel was easy,” Cuahquentzi said in her letter. “Forgetting Joel will be impossible.”  

Staying with poor care delivered to veterans, Ted Sherman and Susan K. Livio (STARS AND STRIPES) report:

New Jersey wants someone else to take charge of New Jersey’s troubled state-run veteran’s homes.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday ordered state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to seek an outside vendor “who can manage systemic changes and provide qualified, administrative staff to help lead these initiatives.”

The move comes after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week cut off federal funding for new admissions at the Veteran’s Memorial Home at Menlo Park after major shortcomings in care and deficiencies in pandemic infection control led to a declaration that residents at the nursing home in Edison were in “immediate jeopardy.”

CMS said on Tuesday that the facility was “currently not in substantial compliance,” threatening fines and other penalties, and warned it could see permanent termination of all Medicaid and Medicare funding by March if the situation at Menlo Park is not corrected.

How do you get to that point?  How much corruption and how much failed leadership have to exist before you get to that point?

Two weeks ago, Lindy Washburn and Scott Fallon (NEWJERSEY.COM) reported:

As COVID raced through the state-run veterans home in Paramus at the start of the pandemic in 2020, an administrator watched with growing alarm as residents died, staff members fell sick and the facility ran short of masks, gloves, gowns and tests. Panic spread as quickly as the virus itself.  

When the death toll climbed to six or seven a day at an institution that typically saw three or four resident deaths a week, that administrator became the whistleblower who called himself “vetkeeper.”  

On April 8, 2020, using his pseudonym and an encrypted email service based in Switzerland, he contacted to report what he was seeing.  

“Nearly 40 resident deaths since March 25,” he wrote. “Ten more residents positive, 47 waiting test results ... The public needs to know. I am on the inside. I will keep you posted.”  

The first story of the deaths at the New Jersey Memorial Veterans Home at Paramus, based on information from “vetkeeper” and other sources, broke that evening. “Vetkeeper” arrived at work the next morning to find two news trucks out front, a helicopter overhead and the National Guard on the way.  

But in many respects, it was too late. Nearly a third of the residents at the Paramus veterans home would die of COVID or presumed COVID. In all, more than 200 residents died at New Jersey’s two hardest-hit veterans homes — 86 from confirmed COVID in Paramus and 72 in Menlo Park, with another 47 at the two homes presumed to have died from COVID.   

Now “vetkeeper” has decided to reveal his identity and say more about the veterans home. He is Dave Ofshinsky, former business manager and, for a brief period, assistant CEO for non-clinical affairs at the Paramus home, where he worked for 5½ years.  

He says he is doing so out of frustration at what has not happened since that initial COVID crisis.  

“Nothing has happened from the administration [of Gov. Phil Murphy] on this,” Ofshinsky said in a recent interview at his home. “When it was happening, the governor said there was going to be a ‘post-mortem. We’ll get to the bottom of this.’”

Turning to Iraq, we're reminded that 'access journalism' is all about whoring.  IRAQI OIL REPORT is an outlet that charges for its mediocre content.  Despite charging for its content, it breaks no news, it produces nothing of value.  So I generally ignore it.

But they decided to really whore this time.  The interview Bafel Talabani with one soft ball question after another and pretend he's answering truthfully.  They can't even get to truth in the 396 words of the preamble to the interview.

Lot of words to pretend Bafel's not part of the problem.  The issues with Bafel go beyond he's PUK and the dominant party is KDP (PUK has still not rebounded from the lies of Jalal and Hero Talabani when they spent months defrauding the country and pretending that Jalal was healthy enough to govern as president of Iraq when, in fact, he couldn't speak and he couldn't move and, per the Constitution, he should have been removed from office).  Bafel can't even get along with other member of the PUK -- and that includes his failure to get along with his own blood relatives. 

At the start of November, Amberin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) noted:

The difference today is that not only are the parties at odds with each other, they are also mired in internal rivalries. Lahur Talabany, former co-chair of the PUK who led the Sulaimaniyah region’s intelligence services and the US-trained Counter Terrorism Group, was ousted by his cousins Bafel and Qubad Talabani last summer in a Byzantine power grab. It was the most overt manifestation yet of the intra-family feuds simmering in the Talabani and Barzani dynasties.

Iraq in November earned a billion dollars less in oil revenues than it did in October, the country’s oil ministry announced on Sunday.

According to a statement from the ministry, Iraq in November exported over 99 million barrels of crude oil at an average rate of 3.3 million barrels per day and an average price of $82.4 per barrel.

The country’s total revenue from oil exports in the month was over $8.2 billion, falling nearly a billion short of October’s $9.25 billion revenue.

The drop in the country’s oil revenue comes despite the country claiming to have taken advantage of OPEC+ production cuts by maintaining export levels and increasing revenue.

“Iraq did not reduce its exports according to this reduction, but rather reduced domestic production and invested in the rising prices by stabilizing the export rate, a strategy that succeeded in achieving high financial revenues," deputy general manager of the Iraqi National Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) Saadoun Mohsen told Iraqi state media late last month.

So does that mean there's less money for the corrupt officials to steal?  Or does it just mean, they'll increase the percentage that they steal to make up the difference?

The "heist of the century."  Remember that?  Revealed just weeks ago.  $2.5 billion stolen. 

The following sites updated: