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This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, August 12, 2022. Iraq, Lisa Kudrow, monkeypox -- as Stefon might say, this snapshot has everything: "Pugs, geezers, doo-wop groups, a wise old turtle that looks like Quincy Jones — and you’ll have your own WHEN HARRY MET SALLY moment when you share a special kiss with Gizblow, the coked-up gremlin."
There's a lot to cover today.
The public e-mail account is worked by a lot of people -- primarily Martha and Shirley -- (it's firstname.lastname@example.org). I'm told that the biggest issue there is that I'm not commenting on the search or raid of Donald Trump's home.
No, I haven't commented. I haven't taken a side either way. I've noted videos (most of which I didn't stream) on the topic. I haven't weighed in.
I get it that it's popular topic. Crap cable would have been all over in the 90s the same way it is today because it's cheap and doesn't cost anything. A lot of people talking about things they know nothing about, yammering away.
I doubt Merrick Garland is Satan but I also doubt he's Gandhi returned to us.
Was there cause for the action? I don't know. None of us do. I can tell you there's a Clintonista that we're all laughing at because he's insisting that it took place because Donald took documents about UFOs!!!!!! That's his go to for everything -- and explains why Hillary's campaign tanked in 2016, his obsession on that topic is unnerving. (That is not me being Tim Russert and attacking a Dennis Kucinich for believing in UFOs -- we defended Dennis here on that. That is me saying the creepy man I'm not naming is so obsessed with that topic it's hard to believe he ever got any work done in the 90s when working for the administration.)
I have no idea what they were looking for or what if anything they found. I do not believe that every search the FBI carries out is justified. I don't think, for example, that they had any business searching and stealing Jennifer Dohrn's panties (that's Bernardine's sister). There are many others examples, far too many.
Donald Trump also does get an auto pass from me for the same reason: his past history of remarks.
I have no idea what happened there and I don't believe anyone does. If anything needs to be done, Garland needs to be calling out the leaks to the press and, the fact that he hasn't, may indicate that he himself is part of the leaking to the media. Who ratted out Trump!!! I'm not interested in that headline, I'm interested in who is leaking to the media from the FBI and how the media's running with it.
But at this point, there's is not enough in the public record to determine what happened or why.
And we have many more topics to cover.
Let's get to Iraq.
It's Friday. A day of worship in Iraq. The equivalent of Sunday in the US. So after services, Moqtada's cult went to publicly pray outside the Parliament building. And, as you see those (limited) reports in western media, ask yourself why the non-Moqtada protests this week were so under-reported. I'm not talking about Nouri al-Maliki's counter-protests. I'm talking about the Iraqi people taking to the streets over the poor pulic services. Iraq set a record this week for hottest temperature. And you've got electricity brownouts in Iraq. An oil rich country expects its citizens to rely on home generators because it can't stay on the grid without blackouts. These people had serious demands but so few in the west were interested. This morning, Moqtada's called for protests across Iraq. So maybe now, the western media will discover the protests in, for example, Basra and report on them next week pretending that they're in response to Moqtada's call.
The PACT Act passed -- it will help to some degree veterans who were exposed to burn pits while serving. What is needed now is for every veteran who is suffering from those effects to have a medical discharge. A medical discharge should be the push now. See Sunday's "" if you're not understanding why. Leila Fadel has done two important reports on burnpits this week for NPR. From her MORNING EDITION report:
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
If you've heard American veterans celebrating one thing about the PACT Act, which President Biden will sign into law this week, it probably has to do with burn pits. These were massive piles of uniforms, equipment, computers and other things the U.S. military incinerated to prevent them from falling into the hands of the wrong people. American veterans, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be able to access VA support for a variety of medical problems they likely suffered because of their exposure to burn pits. But soldiers are not the only people still struggling with their damaging effects. Kali Rubaii studies the toxic legacies of the U.S. war in Iraq. She's an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University.
KALI RUBAII: Veterans saw acute short-term exposure, and they were at peak health. Iraqi people were in all stages of their life course when they were exposed to burn pits, and they were exposed for over 10 years. Even those who live at a distance and downwind face a lot of health effects, and they're varied. Farmers who live downwind noticed a lot of birth defects and fertility issues with their crops and their livestock. And then children report symptoms of, you know, dizziness, balance problems. There have been many cases of brain cancer near and around burn pits. The issue that I'm most focused on is intergenerational damage. And the incidence of birth defects in Iraq may be linked to burn pits and other detritus of war.
FADEL: So you've been documenting intergenerational impacts on people in Iraq. What are you finding? Fallujah's a place that's seen several U.S. offensives. I used to speak to families who didn't lose their house once but twice, maybe three times - lost family members. So...
RUBAII: Yeah. So in one way, burn pits are the least of the violence done to Iraqi people. For example, in 2004, 74% of Fallujah was leveled. I mean, what does that actually mean? That means no water, no electricity, no hospital - massive injury and death, lots of pollution released into the air. So in Fallujah today, the long-standing effects of that level of bombardment are there is still only a few hours of electricity. My tap water, living there, is brown. It's undrinkable. The hospitals still lack essential equipment.
So it's in the wake of all of this destruction that doctors like Dr. Samira Alani, who's a pediatrician at Fallujah Hospital, started noticing, around 2004, all of these babies that were born with birth defects. And they started cataloging it because it just was anecdotally noteworthy that there were more and more. And the tragedy here is that it's unclear what the cause is, but it definitely indicates there's an environmental factor. And people notice that the timeline indicates something about U.S. occupation.
Click here for the report that Leila did today. Both reports are audio and text.
Robert Pether is in Iraq. The Australian man went there on business and was arrested. THE GUARDIAN notes:
Doctors for an Australian engineer jailed in Iraq have privately warned the Australian government of fears that Australia will be repatriating “a corpse” if his condition continues to rapidly deteriorate.
Robert Pether’s family have repeatedly raised fears about the 47-year-old’s health since he was jailed over a business dispute relating to the construction of a new headquarters for Iraq’s central bank, which Pether’s firm was working on.
Pether’s family say he is innocent and a UN working group has expressed concerns Pether’s detention and trial were potentially compromised.
His family also say in the 16 months since he returned to Iraq and was arrested, Pether has lost more than 40 kilograms, shed muscle mass, and suffered from low blood pressure and prolonged dizziness.
United Nations investigators have raised concerns Pether, and his Egyptian colleague, Khalid Zaghloul, have been exposed to torture techniques while imprisoned.
Pether's family spent nine months trying to get him access to medical experts in Iraq, after a photo of lesions on his back was sent to a doctor in Italy.
"His doctor was absolutely appalled at the state of him," Pether's wife Desree told the ABC.
"He's got so many new moles on his back, he's got a new mole on the same ear that he had a melanoma before, and it has changed significantly in the last few months.
"It's displaying the same aggressive behaviour as the melanoma that he had."
He's falsely imprisoned, was imprisoned without a trial, was invited to Iraq just so he could be arrested. His government does nothing for him.
Remember, if you're Australian, you have no rights because you have a pathetic government that will let you be tortured -- whether your name is Robert Pether or Julian Assange -- by other governments. You have no rights because your own government will not fight or even advocate for you.
If Robert dies in Iraq, that's on the do-nothing Australian government. (The British government got their thief out. They did it by appealing to the Iraqi government and they did it low-key because getting a thief out of Baghdad while they themselves torture Julian looks like the hypocrisy it is.)
Now to monkeypox. Will Lehman is running to become president of the United Auto Workers. As we noted earlier this week, he has called attention to monkeypox, specifically at the SHAP factory and has called for it to be shut down. Tom Hall (WSWS) reports:
Two new cases of monkeypox have been reported at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) north of Detroit, a local independent news outlet has reported.
The new alleged cases follows the disclosure by sources, and reported on the World Socialist Web Site Sunday, of the first case. According to sources, workers were informed of the case, which occurred in the crowded General Assembly area, during team meetings last week, but management and the United Auto Workers have provided no further information and taken no measures to prevent the spread of the deadly, painful disease.
According to Metro Detroit Crime Report Facebook page, sources say that on both Monday and Tuesday workers were taken out of the plant on stretchers in what is believed to be due to cases of monkeypox. “As of now there are no plans to suspend production at SHAP due to the spread of Monkeypox,” the report said.
The apparent spread of the disease at SHAP raises serious concerns of a looming outbreak throughout the Detroit area. Seven thousand workers are crammed into the plant, the largest workforce of all plants in the area. It is almost certain that more cases are in both SHAP and other plants, either undetected or being deliberately concealed by management and the UAW. This is their long-established modus operandi in response to COVID-19, where they have concealed the extent of cases in order to maintain production.
Monkeypox, which is caused by a virus closely related to smallpox, is a serious disease. It has a similar fatality rate to COVID-19 and causes extremely painful symptoms, including skin lesions. Longstanding research has shown that monkeypox can spread through the air via aerosols, just as COVID-19 does. However, this long-established finding is being concealed from the public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health institutions who are claiming falsely, instead, that it spreads mainly through sexual contact.
No, it is not a sexually transmitted disease. Reporting for OPB, Amelia Templeton notes:
Starting next week, OHA will allow a smaller dose of the vaccine to be injected into the outer layer of the skin, as opposed to the fat underneath. The technique, called intradermal vaccination, uses a smaller dose per person. Experts at the FDA believe it could allow a single dose to be split into up to five doses.
Earlier this week, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization approving the technique.
It’s still unknown if the smaller dose will offer the same degree of protection against monkeypox infection, but experts think it’s a promising strategy. Sidelinger says there’s good reason to believe it will work because of special immune cells present in the skin.
“It’s thought that by injecting them not so deeply into the skin, allows those cells to perform their duty better and provide a similar response,” he said.
Another potential challenge is that administering vaccines this way takes some skill and not all vaccinators may be comfortable doing it.
The demand for vaccines continues to far outstrip the supply, with more than 2,000 people on a waitlist for the vaccine run by Multnomah County.
Sadly, we need to note Lisa Kudrow. I know her and I like her. Doesn't mean I'm not going to call her out. She gave the two creators of FRIENDS a pass for the all White show and she made a really stupid statement.
First, Marcia's "Lisa Kudrow exposes herself as a racist" and Ann's "Grand Dragon Lisa Kudrow" and Betty's "Lisa Kudrow needs to apologize" already covered Lisa's dumb remarks and did so beautifully. So why am I weighing in? Because Lisa is full of s**t and you're an idiot if you're defending her right now. That's not opinion, that's fact and I'm about to show you why.
First, her remarks:
Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college. And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color.
I think that's racist.
If for some reason you don't agree with me, that may be because you believe her.
You believe her?
Or you believe what she said?
Because it's two different things and that's why I'm weighing in.
GHOSTING: THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.
Do you know that title because Lisa does. It's a 2019 TV movie. Guess who produced it?
I'm failing to understand how she can say what she said and then produce a film featuring characters of color when the film's written by . . . a White Irish woman named Laura Donney.
If Lisa believes the crap she's spewing, she needs to explain why she produced a TV movie starring Kendrick Sampson, LisaGay Hamilton and Jazz Raycole -- among others? Why did she produce that when she knew it was a White person that wrote the script. No business she says but then she produces GHOSTING: THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.
Lisa, I love you, but you're full of s**t. You're trying to defend something that's can't be defended. You need to own what all of you did -- excluded people of color -- and stop trying to justify it.
Staying on racism . . .
Okay, I'm confused.
Why are they defending Jimmy Dore?
It's beyond stupid.
Jimmy and others love to say that it's 'identity politics' and that we need to focus on 'class.'
They say that. And then they create their content and what do we get?
We don't get African-Americans on Jimmy Dore's show or Jackson Hinkle's. Time and again, over and over, they go to White men. They'll go to convicted pedophile Scott Ritter before they'll bring on an African-American.
I don't know what happened at REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT a few months ago but it appears that they trusted and welcomed a White person into their show and then that person, they feel, betrayed them and acted in a racist manner.
Maybe they're just a little too trusting of White people?
Nina calls Jimmy out and RB rushes to defend Jimmy?
Are they trying to be on the plantation?
I don't get it.
Jimmy doesn't answer to a network or to sponsors. He is responsible for his show. He can bring on any guests he wants. And time and time again, over and over, it is White people.
He whines about 'identity politics.' And I'm sorry to break it to you, RB, but most of us have heard that before and we can remember it being used as a cop out to avoid addressing racism and sexism.
Class issues do matter, obviously and absolutely. And we are all much more connected than we are apart.
But for those of us who have lived through this nonsense before, we've learned that when someone starts dismissing real issues as 'identity politics' because they are not the straight White male's issues, it's a good idea to take a look at what these people do.
Again, it's Jimmy's table and he only wants to break bread with White people. That's who gets invited, show after show.
That I can see this and you can't is very disturbing.
I'm not fond of Nina Turner. But I find it very sad that she makes a charge and it's not even examined -- "I don't know what she's talking about" -- then maybe you shouldn't be doing segments attacking her and defending Jimmy Dore.
When this site closes down, I will know I did everything I could here to make sure that we were inclusive. I didn't refuse to seat anyone. This lunch counter was open to all. It's amazing that sit-ins were required to open up lunch counters but a show from radical African-Americans today is rushing to defend a man who repeatedly 'refuses service' to African-Americans.
This is not a new topic in this community. Betty's covered it many times at her website such as in "Let's build our community:"
I am tired of Black YOUTUBE working overtime to chronicle and defend Jimmy Dore.
He doesn't care about us -- the Black community. That's fine. He made his choice. So let's makr our choice to not build our lives around him.
Every week he has drama and a lot of it is self-created.
I'm tired of Sabby Sabs and other Black YOUTUBERS making it their mission to be Jimmy Dore's Secret Service.
It's pathetic and it's insulting and most of all it is waste of time.
Let's build our community. And it doesn't have to be all Black. But the people we build it with have to be supportive of us. We're not here to be second banana. We've played the best friend in enough movies. Dave Chappelle gave Tom Hanks cred in YOU'VE GOT MAIL -- Tom's done nothing for us -- except make us crazy pirates that people cheer to watch die.
I don't get this need for the cult of Jimmy. "I agree with Jimmy on this point," chirps Kit on HARD LENS MEDIA covering the same non-story and pretending that he doesn't blow Jimmy every time. He's the original fluffer. I'm sorry Indiana just had a farewell ceremony for yet another US troop rotation in Iraq. And I'm not seeing any of you -- not one damn YOUTUBE show -- noting the ongoing Iraq War. Not a one. But you all have time to jump on an African-American woman in order to defend personality Jimmy Dore?
I'm not a Nina fan but it's really telling that he can ignore African-Americans until it's time to trash them. And Kit you're a racist.
Let me repeat that: You are a racist.
It's not just that you can't find African-Americans for your show, you're insisting Jimmy has "all kinds of Black people" on his show.
I don't know if I've told this story before or not. It was the 90s. A friend was dating a good looking -- momentarily (I told her those looks would fade within two years and they did) -- TV actor who was famous for about three minutes. Never liked him, I could tell just by looking at him that he was a creep. But she brings him over to my house and he's going through the music I have in my room -- my bedroom, not the music room where everything is. There are probably about 100 compact discs in the bedroom that day. And he gripes, of course, because all I do is "listen to Black people."
Were that true, is that really something to complain about?
The next day when my friend came back over without him, I brought that up because it really did bother me, everything about him did. So we count. In the bedroom there were 35 CDs by African-American artists. And there were 75 or 74 by non-African-American artists. So about a third.
He looked at them all and saw a third that were African-Americans and so it was all too much for him.
It's the same way Kit looks at Jimmy Dore's nearly all White guest list and insists that Jimmy has "all kinds of Black people" on his show.
Alice Walker has always said she writes to create the world as it could be. A great sentiment.
It's a real shame that YOUTUBE on the left wants to just be a White circle jerk. It's a real shame that Kit does a show out of Chicago that brings on a lot of people but somehow can't find guests of color. I'm sorry I've been to Chicago many times, the on air of HARD LENS MEDIA is not reflective of the diversity in Chicago. Or on Jimmy Dore. And, Kit, when your see four or five African-American guests (if that) in a year on Jimmy's daily show and claim: "He's had a lot Black commentators, philosophers, politicians, pundits on his show."? I say, "Racist." Because apparently a tiny sliver is more than enough for you.
You're not reaching beyond your initial scope -- actually, you're running people off.
Ava and I made this point many times before Glen Ford passed away. The White left YOUTUBE world is not inclusive. After he passed away, we noted that again and pointed out that Margaret Kimberley was still alive and these shows, as we had said before, needed to invite her on. We didn't see her on RISING, we didn't see her on Jimmy Dore, or HARD LENS MEDIA or Little Jackie Hinkle or . . . Only one program appeared to realize the problem: THE KATIE HALPER SHOW.
FAIR and its radio program COUNTERSPIN used to make a big deal out of the lack of diversity in the guests on corporate media programs. Or they did until Ava and I called them out in a piece where we did the numbers and discovered that COUNTERSPIN had less diversity in their guests than PBS' NEWSHOUR which they had just called out for lack of diversity in their guests.
That's why you fail to enlarge your audiences. People watch or listen and they see you supposedly champion, for example, Civil Rights. But then they start thinking about it and start noticing that you talk one way but you act another. It is past time that White YOUTUBERS started integrating their programs. And it is past time that I have to be saying this.
I am damn tired of it. And I am damn tired of getting feedback on this from people who agree but won't change. They'll say, "You're so right we need to bring on more African-Americans but . . ."
Most of you don't have sponsors and you're responsible for your own content. You're choosing to self-censor. You're choosing to be a part of apartheid. I said the same thing to Jann Werner when they wouldn't give Michael Jackson the cover for ROLLING STONE. And I heard the excuse back, "Black artists don't sell magazines." Really? A few months later, ROLLING STONE was so desperate for a Michael Jackson cover that they ran one with a drawing.
I'm tired of the excuses. And I'm really damn tired of REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT e-mailing me from time to time to agree with my sentiments and then devoting a segment (actually they did two yesterday) attacking Nina Turner so that they could defend Jimmy Dore who does nothing regarding diversity and inclusion. Don't e-mail me again, if you're with REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT because I'm tired of it. I'm tired of having to lead on this subject, day after day, take the fallout from Jimmy freaks and know that you know exactly what I'm talking about but you're more interested in being a token in a racist circle jerk then in defending equality.
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