Wednesday, February 22, 2023

McDuff's Mindfields, ep. 204: "Mae Brussell, Reinhard Gehlen and the JFK assassination"


Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Return of Diva Don."

diva don

Now time to note the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Randy e-mailed asking me to note this one.


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

Wednesday, February 22, 2023.  Hate merchants in the US continue to sport their stupidity, Human Rights Watch notes the attacks on the LGBTQ community in the Middle East and North Africa and much more.

Starting in Iraq where Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) reports:

 An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale hit Nineveh governorate in northern Iraq on Wednesday morning, according to a statement issued by the Iraqi Meteorological Organization and Seismology.

The Seismology Department of the Ministry of Transport mentioned in the statement that the seismic observatories recorded an earthquake on Wednesday morning, February 22, 2023, at 10:09 local time, 39 kilometers southwest of Al-Hadar district in Nineveh governorate, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

The statement confirmed that the earthquake was felt by the citizens in the area, and emphasized that no losses were reported.

No losses will hopefully continue to be the reality.  Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has issued a new report on the targeting of LGBT people in the Middle East and North Africa:

Government officials across the Middle East and North Africa region are targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people based on their online activity on social media, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces have entrapped LGBT people on social media and dating applications, subjected them to online extortion, online harassment, and outing, and relied on illegitimately obtained digital photos, chats, and similar information in prosecutions, in violation of the right to privacy and other human rights.

The 135-page report, “‘All This Terror Because of a Photo’: Digital Targeting and Its Offline Consequences for LGBT People in the Middle East and North Africa,” examines the use of digital targeting by security forces and its far-reaching offline consequences – including arbitrary detention and torture – in five countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. The findings show how security forces employ digital targeting to gather and create evidence to support prosecutions.

“The authorities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia have integrated technology into their policing of LGBT people,” said Rasha Younes, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “While digital platforms have enabled LGBT people to express themselves and amplify their voices, they have also become tools for state-sponsored repression.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed 90 LGBT people affected by digital targeting and 30 experts, including lawyers and digital rights professionals. Human Rights Watch also reviewed online evidence of targeting against LGBT people, including videos, images, and digital threats. The research had support from members of the Coalition for Digital and LGBT Rights: in Egypt, Masaar and an LGBT rights organization in Cairo whose name is withheld for security reasons; in Iraq, IraQueer and the Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM); in Jordan, Rainbow Street and the Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA); in Lebanon, Helem and Social Media Exchange (SMEX); and in Tunisia, Damj Association.

Human Rights Watch documented 45 cases of arbitrary arrest involving 40 LGBT people targeted online in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. In every instance of arrest, security forces searched people’s phones, by force or under threat of violence, to collect – or even create – personal digital information to enable their prosecution, Human Rights Watch found.

In reviewing judicial files for 23 cases of LGBT people prosecuted based on digital evidence under laws criminalizing same-sex conduct, “inciting debauchery,” “debauchery,” “prostitution,” and cybercrime laws in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia, Human Rights Watch found that most of those prosecuted were acquitted upon appeal. In five cases, people were convicted and sentenced to one to three years in prison. Twenty-two people were never charged but were held in pretrial detention, in one case for 52 days at a police station in Lebanon.

LGBT people who were detained reported facing numerous due process violations, including officials confiscating their phones, denying them access to a lawyer, and forcing them to sign coerced confessions. LGBT detainees reported being denied food and water, family and legal representation, and medical services as well as verbal, physical, and sexual assault. Some were placed in solitary confinement. Transgender women detainees were routinely held in men’s cells, where they faced sexual assault and other ill-treatment. In one case, a transgender woman held in a police station in Egypt said she experienced repeated sexual assault for 13 months.

Human Rights Watch documented 20 cases of online entrapment on Grindr and Facebook by security forces, who created fake profiles to impersonate LGBT people, in Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan; and 17 cases of online extortion by private individuals on Grindr, Instagram, and Facebook in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, including by organized gangs in Egypt and armed groups in Iraq. The six people who reported the extortion to the authorities were themselves arrested.

Human Rights Watch documented 26 cases of online harassment, including doxxing and outing, on Facebook and Instagram in Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. As a result, LGBT people reported losing their jobs, suffering family violence, being forced to change their residence and phone numbers, and deleting their social media accounts, fleeing the country, and suffering severe mental health consequences. Most reported the abuse to the relevant digital platform, but none removed the content.

The targeting of LGBT people online is enabled by their precarious legal status, Human Rights Watch said. In the absence of protection by laws or sufficient digital platform regulations, both security forces and private individuals have been able to target them with impunity.

Under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, social media companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, including the rights to nondiscrimination, privacy, and freedom of expression. Digital platforms, such as Meta (Facebook, Instagram), and Grindr, are not doing enough to protect users vulnerable to digital targeting, Human Rights Watch said.

Digital platforms should invest in content moderation, particularly in Arabic, by quickly removing abusive content as well as content that could put users at risk. Platforms should conduct human rights due diligence that includes identifying, preventing, ceasing, mitigating, remediating, and accounting for potential and actual adverse impacts of digital targeting on human rights.

Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia each have obligations under international and regional human rights law to address violations against LGBT people. The five governments should respect and protect the rights of LGBT people instead of criminalizing their expression and targeting them online, Human Rights Watch said. They should introduce and enforce laws protecting people against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, including online.

“Online abuses against LGBT people have offline consequences that reverberate throughout their lives and can be detrimental to their livelihood, mental health, and safety,” Younes said. “Authorities across the MENA region should stop targeting LGBT people, online and offline, and social media companies should mitigate the adverse impacts of digital targeting by better protecting LGBT people online.”

Hate spreads around the world.  No doubt helped along by US hate merchants.  Which one of our Christian illiterates to start with today?  How about the high school drop out who struggled with her GED repeatedly after disappointing her church and her family by getting pregnant out of wedlock and underage?  Sorry, Boh-Boh, those are supposed to be your values.  Maybe a little more repenting for violating your own church teachings and a little less hate -- and stupidity -- would help you out?  Alex  Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports Lauren's latest stupidity:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) took to Twitter to denounce an international group of scientists that is working to make language in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology more precise and inclusive… and it seems she didn’t really understand what they are doing.

“The ‘party of women’ really wants to erase women,” she tweeted in reply to a screenshot from a headline from the U.K.’s Telegraph.

There is a lot wrong with that statement that could be found in just a few minutes of searching online. 

First, she is referring to the Democratic Party in the U.S. with the expression “party of women,” but the article she is sharing is about the EEB (ecology and evolutionary biology) Language Project, which is being led by an international group of ecology and evolutionary biology researchers. The British newspaper article she was referring to even presented quotes from English and Canadian scientists. None were from the U.S. or associated with the Democratic Party.

Second, the article isn’t about an attempt to erase any language in common speech, but instead about a discussion of language used in scientific articles. That is, literature that Boebert herself is not likely to ever encounter.

Third, the specific complaint about “egg-producing” and “sperm-producing” replacing “female” and “male” isn’t about women, which is a word used for humans. Since they’re biologists, they are often talking about other species that express sexual dimorphism.

How humiliating.  She's just reminding everyone what an uneducated moron she is.   Poor Boh-Boh, such a stupid idiot.  Humiliated by her own mouth and her own ignorance yet again.  If stupidity were a felony, Lauren would be serving a life sentence.

Daniel Villarreal (LGBTQ NATION) reports on one of Lauren's supposedly smarter peers:

Former Trump administration official and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) kicked off the first rally for her new presidential campaign on Wednesday in South Carolina with an invocation by John Hagee, an evangelical pastor who opposes same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination ordinances. Hagee has also said that the Antichrist is gay, that God sent Hitler to push Jews into Israel, and that God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for holding a Pride parade.

The following day, while speaking at an Exeter, New Hampshire town hall, Haley said of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law “I don’t think [it] goes far enough.” While the law bans Kindergarten through third-grade teachers from discussing subjects related to sexual orientation and gender identity, which some say includes even mentioning LGBTQ+ people, a teacher’s same-sex partner, or a student’s LGBTQ+ parents, she compared such acknowledgment to sexual education.

At her South Carolina kickoff rally, Haley said “Pastor Hagee, I still say I want to be you when I grow up,” after he finished his invocation. The line was met with scant applause from the audience. When she served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, she spoke to Hagee’s group, Christians United for Israel, at its annual summit. Hagee also presented her with an award for her support of Israel.

Wait.  Nikki wants to be Pastor Hagee?  She wants to be a man?  Did she just come out as transgender?  

Regardless, at 51, you should have already grown up long ago, Nikki.  But thank you for explaining that you hadn't and thereby giving the American voters another reason to reject you.

Where there is hate there is always Marjorie Taylor Greene.  Alex Bollinger notes Marjorie's fallen for another conspiracy:

While Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been under fire during Presidents’ Day weekend for calling for secession, she also promoted an unlikely and unverified story about a transgender teenager who regrets taking testosterone as part of hormone replacement therapy.

The eccentric Canadian anti-transgender activist Chris Elston posted a screenshot to Twitter of a story an anonymous person wrote on Reddit. Greene decided to share that with her nearly two million followers and wrote: “This is incredibly heartbreaking. We must pass my bill Protect Children’s Innocence Act.”

Let's note THE DAILY SHOW again for Chelsea Handler's look at MTG.

Marjorie Taylor Greene: I have people come up to me and say crazy things to me out of the blue in public places that they believe because they read it on the internet.

Chelsea Handler:  Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle QAnon.  This woman thought 9/11 was a hoax, that the Clintons killed JFK Jr. and that Jews are in charge of space lasers.  But please, don't come at her with some crazy ideas -- she might believe them. 

Some are surprised that the great Glenneth Greenwald would make Marjorie his gal pal.  Why?  It's just his way, as the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War approaches, of Glenneth returning to his roots.  He pretended to be left but he never was.  He was always a Libertarian and he was always the pathetic ass that was cheerleader for the Iraq War.  Naturally he'd want MTG for his hag.  

CODESTINK quickly.  Yesterday's snapshot resulted in questions.  I'm going to try to zip through this.

Medea Benjamin and her ilk have betrayed many and that includes a number of veterans who turned against the war.  We could go into details on that but the leadership is good at getting headlines and press coverage, but they're not helping anyone -- and, in fact, they've left a number of people hurt.

Grass roots activists have also been hurt.

And as DiFi finally goes packing -- finally -- let's call out Medea for her nonsense.

You need to step aside, old woman.

This was supposed to be a thriving and young organization.  You and your old age are killing it.

Gloria Steinem worked to kick Betty Friedan out of leadership on the feminist movement when Betty was in her 50s.  Gloria became everything she accused Betty of as she refused to step aside and make room for young blood.  Now, in the early seventies, when some feminists (including Gloria) were under fire for being unaware and unsympathetic to the plight of feminists of color, Gloria went around (briefly) with one of two African-American women.  So she did know how to share the stage -- when she was afraid of being called a racist -- not so afraid that she'd stay away from a millionaire racist later on and expose Alice Walker's daughter Rebecca to the racist.  

But the point is, when it was good for her, she happily spoke with another woman.  Yet in the 80s, 90s on up to today, she never felt the need to partner with a younger feminist and ease a transition in leadership.  

Medea's become the new Gloria Steinem.  

Too desperate for the spotlight to step aside.  

CODESTINK doesn't need to die with Medea.  The young women have always been the most interesting and most vibrant thing about CODEPINK. 

And, in fact, these are the women who opposed sharing a stage with convicted pedophile Scott Ritter and forced Medea to step down from the stage for that fake-ass event.  

Medea whined about it on Twitter.

If she were serious about a movement, Susan Benjamin would have said some time ago that she was stepping down, that at 70, she's really too old for this and that it's time for her to let other women, younger women, lead the way.  

But I Need Attention Benjamin would rather have her close up for eternity than end any wars.

The following sites updated: