Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A complicated moment

First off, check out Betty, Kat, Stan, and Ann from last night:

CNN has an interesting report on how the video was framed and how it spread.

Jimmy Dore also does a great job of reviewing what the initial video showed and what the longer video showed. 

As a general rule, society should not be a lynch mob against children.  I do not know how this happened or how anyone thought this was acceptable -- to go after children.  It is outrageous.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019.  Let's really honor MLK by remembering what he fought for and by telling the truth.

In "The real MLK," Kat noted the realities of MLK as opposed to the p.r. attempts which rob him of his power and agency.  Yesterday was the day when the country supposedly honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  But it doesn't really, does it?  It lies about what he stood for.  It lies about why he was killed.  It pretends that some lone crazy killed him.  The FBI actively worked to destroy him, tried to force him to suicide, but when he dies, please note, there's no government connection -- no, none at all, none at all.

I was a friend of Coretta Scott King and I don't buy the nonsense that the US media pushes.  In part, I don't buy it because I remember what happened when Coretta died January 30, 2006.  Do you remember?

We called that crap out.  We were alone in doing so. Supposedly Bob Herbert was some social justice warrior.  He was nothing of the sort.  He was a semi-left columnist for THE NEW YORK TIMES who colored in the lines required.

Coretta's death, to THE NEW YORK TIMES, was no big thing.  Gail Collins saw that her friend, the so-so playwright Wendy Wasserstein, was remembered.  Fat White girls stick together, I guess.  The same week, NYT ran a major front page story on Wendy and ran a major column on her and an editorial.

For weeks after, we complained that Coretta got no editorial, got no column.

Grasp that, if you think your NYT or other crap media gives a damn, grasp that.

And after weeks of complaining here and complaining to friends at the paper, Coretta got a paragraph in a Bob Herbert column.

The whole world was supposed to have been touched by Wendy Wasserstein and her really bad plays -- she was a really bad playwright.  But Coretta Scott King?  To NYT, she was nothing.

And that's honestly how they felt about her husband when he was alive.

"Dr. King struggled and what he struggled for continues," Larry Hamm noted during a discussion with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford on this week's BLACK AGENDA REPORT.

Hamm rightly notes that "What mainstream America, corporate America, focus on is that of Civil Rights, the struggle for Civil Rights.  But Dr. King was also fighting for systemic change."  That's reality.  Hamm noted MLK wrote, We need a radical redistribution of power and wealth in our society, that's a quote."

How many of the useless celebrities who use Twitter to make themselves look like that have a caring soul will note, to honor MLK, the vast poverty in the world?  Nick Beams (WSWS) reports on Oxfam International's latest findings:

As members of the world’s financial elite gather today in Davos, Switzerland, for the opening of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a new report by the UK-based charity Oxfam International has highlighted the vast accumulation of wealth at the heights of society, and the accelerating growth of social inequality.
The report showed that last year, the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $900 billion, or 12 percent, while 3.8 billion people—half the world’s population—saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.
Last year, the billionaires increased their wealth by $2.5 billion every day, while a millionaire moved into their ranks every two days.
In the decade since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, governments and financial authorities have imposed its full impact on the backs of the world working class, in the form of stagnant and lower wages and austerity programs that have gutted health and other social services, to name just some of its effects. Meanwhile, wealth has become ever more concentrated. Last year, just 26 people controlled as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people who comprise half the world’s population, compared to 43 people the year before.
Oxfam noted that just 1 percent of the $112 billion fortune accumulated by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, was equivalent to the entire health budget for Ethiopia, a nation of 105 million people.

The Oxfam report found that the top tax rate for the rich in the developed countries plunged from 62 percent in 1970 to 38 percent by 2013, and pointed to the tax cut introduced by US president Trump at the end of 2017, benefiting the wealthy and corporations.

Will Alyssa Milano note that?  Will 'caring' Alyssa note that?  As Ann points out in "Hey, Ruth Graham, maybe not be such a f**king bitch?," Alyssa Social Justice Celebrity was a producer of CHARMED but that didn't result in people of color getting roles on the show.  Week after week, episode after episode, including supporting characters and included guests for the week, but we never saw Alyssa use that to add actors of color.  In fact, it was the original producer (forced out and Alyssa didn't support her) who created the only two significant roles for actors of color that the show ever had.

MLK was a threat to the government per the US government itself.  It's why the FBI spied on MLK, it's why they tried to blackmail him, it's why they did so much to destroy him.  And, yes, those are the reasons many of us will always believe the US government killed him -- the same way they killed Fred Hampton.

But those beliefs are about real social justice.  They're not attacking some 16 or 17-year-old boy for a look on his face.  It's always to attack a person -- especially a child.  To call into question a government?  Few ever do that.

Hamm observes of Dr. King, "He'd be calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he'd be calling for an end US involvement in the war in Yemen and the eight other wars that we are involved in.  He'd be calling for drastic cuts to the military budget."

India's ECONOMIC TIMES reports:

Last week a lawmaker demanded Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi provide a written explanation for the ongoing US military presence in Iraq and a timeframe for their stay.
MPs are also drafting a law that would set a deadline for a US withdrawal, according to Mahmud al-Rubaie of the Sadiqun bloc, one of the political groups working on the text.
"We categorically reject the presence of foreign troops in Iraq," Rubaie told AFP.

The ongoing war hits the 16 year mark in March.  16 years of war and occupation.  When does it end?

I'm sorry, I'm asking when does the US war end.  I'm not asking when does US interest in the war end because we all know when that was -- at the end of 2008.  That's when, despite boots on the ground, the networks shuttered their offices in Iraq.  It's when ABC had the 'cost-cutting' notion that they would continue to cover Iraq by  . . . re-running BBC reports.  That didn't last long because there wasn't much interest on the part of the press in war.

Like Alyssa Milano, they can work themselves into a rage over the actions -- or possibly the supposed actions -- of a child but they can't hold a government accountable.

Sorry, Alyssa, Debra and all the other worthless ones, hatred for Donald Trump does not qualify as holding a government accountable -- especially when it's over issues like immigration that you looked the other way on for eight years while Barack Obama set records for deporting immigrants.

The ongoing war his the 16 year mark in March.  And the Alyssas want you to believe that's not a big deal and that it's suddenly normal.  It's not normal at all.  It's outrageous.

So much isn't normal.  Read this garbage from HURRIYET:

At least six PKK militants were “neutralized” on Jan. 20 in northern Iraq, the Turkish Defense Ministry has announced.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Airstrikes carried out in the Zap, Sinat-Haftanin and Hakurk regions neutralized militants plotting attacks on Turkish bases, the ministry said on Twitter on Jan. 21.

Often the word "neutralized" . . .?

They used airstrikes, they used war planes.  No one "surrendered."  No one was even "captured."  They were killed.

And just because the Turkish government says the people killed were PKK does not make it so.  They have killed farmers, villagers, children and they have done so repeatedly.  They've done so as the world press and various so-called human rights organizations -- Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International -- have remained silent.

Turkish jets continue bombing Iraqi claiming to be targeting PKK bases and guerrillas. This bombing happened very close to a village in Sidakan area province on Sunday. Video via Rudaw -I

In other news . . .

Great News! Since no Jews can live in Iraq anymore they will never see artifacts of their own community!

And will this be followed by other great news?  The Iraqi government turning these stolen items over to the Jewish community?  These are stolen items.  Stolen items stolen by a regime that the current Iraqi government (US-installed) says they loathe.  Stolen items stolen by a regime that the US government went to war to overthrow.

These items do not belong to any Iraqi government.  They never did.  Thieves are being rewarded.  The people who were the victims, they are victimized all over yet again.

Catch the lie in the next Tweet:

Great News! U.S to Return Jewish Artifacts to Iraq, Despite Protests The trove includes books, religious texts, photographs and personal documents looted during Saddam Hussein's regime, and then found by U.S. troops in 2003


Hell to the f**k of no.  Looting is what people do, remember?  This was a government program.  This was a government abuse.  This was not looting, this was a planned program of abuse carried about by the Iraqi government.

Now the stolen items are thought to have some historical value so the new Iraqi government is insisting they own the items.  How do you own "stolen" items?  And if this ownership is going to be allowed to exist, I will no longer advocate for museums to return stolen property.  If it no longer matters if the original property was stolen (I'd say it damn well matters), then let's just forget the whole thing.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated: