Monday, June 26, 2023

An e-mailer is disappointed

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Cornel's Crackpot Cracker Parade" went up Saturday night. 


I do not understand an angry e-mail signed by "disappointed reader."  He or she is upset regarding Hunter Biden.  Okay, that I can understand.  But s/he is upset with me.  I am not the F.B.I., the Justice Department, or the Attorney General.  The e-mailer feels Mr. Biden got off easy.  I have written that I feel that way as well.  I have noted that the investigation is not over and that I am hopeful more charges will be forthcoming.  

Yet this is not enough for the e-mailer.

I have no idea what more they think I can do?  I feel like I have already spent years on this topic because I have already spent years on this topic.

If there are additional charges brought, I will cover those.  If he appears in court, I will cover that.


I am not really sure what there is to cover?

Should I be typing every day, "See the deal they made?  Know what that says?  It says I was right to cover this topic.  It says the law was broken."

It that what I am supposed to do? Pat myself on the back every day the way Jonathan Turley has?  He has now done six posts in a row on Hunter Biden.  If you are wondering, he has done nothing about the corruption revelations regarding Judge Alito.  Even though his is a legal blog that was supposed to be covering the Supreme Court.  

Mr. Turley is writing about impeachment and other things and yet there is nothing that currently rises to that level.  I can remember when he used to caution and offer caution regarding leaping to conclusions.  All he has done in the last weeks is leap.

I guess that is good.  His belly was getting very fat so physical exercise should do him some good.  


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


Monday, June 26, 2023.  Fears that the US is moving ever closer to destroying Julian Assange, increase, Iraq has money issues, Marianne Williamson has a make-or-break moment for her campaign this Wednesday as RFK Jr cozies up to the hate group Moms For Liberty, and much more.

For those who love to watch public affairs porn -- not public affairs programming mind you, but public affairs porn -- fresh off her joint-attack on the Green Party with Chris Hedges, Bri-Bri Joy Gray returns later today to speak with Media I Need Attention Benajmin to deflect on the topic of the sorry state of the peace movement in the US.  

You can be sure Bri-Bri won't ask about the defocused approach of CODEPINK.  You can be sure Bri-Bri won't bring up the summer where CODEPINK was supposed to be sending a delegation to Iraq -- had publicized for it and fundraised off it -- to discuss what peace would look like and that was to take place during an ongoing hunger strike carried out by CODEPINK to bring attention to the issue of Iraq -- but, days before the delegation was to arrive in Baghdad (I believe it was three days), they instead went to Palestine.  This was followed by CODEPINK and others refusing to call a DC action -- local actions everybody! -- because the Democratic Party was in charge of both houses of Congress and did not want a DC action.  That's right, CODEPINK, UFPJ and the rest didn't want to upset the Democratic Party.  When do you need to be in DC?  A year after Dems take control of Congress and have done nothing.  Don't expect Bri Bri to touch on that.

They wanted to end the Iraq War, or so they said, but they didn't want to upset the Democratic Party.
After Barack was elected president, CODEPINK then went around saying that the US couldn't withdraw from Afghanistan.  (Previous sentence corrected 6/26/23 10:40 am -- it wrongly read Iraq and not Afghanistan.)  ANTIWAR.COM's Scott Horton and others called them out for that.  

There are so many examples of how Medea and other so-called leaders destroyed the peace movement but she'll be on with Bri-Bri and Bri-Brive lives and loves to lie so it will pure public affairs porn.

In the real world, an interviewer might bring up the fact that Susan Benjamin has been the public face of CODESTINK for decades -- and started getting serious attention from the media in 2003.  20 years ago.  By 2004, complaints were coming in about how White and elderly CODESTINK was.  And CODESTINK was promising to address it.  All this time later, it's still elderly and White in leadership and all this time later Susan 'Medea' Benjamin is 70 years old.  Is there a reason she can't step aside or is she new Dianne Feinstein and Joe Biden?

In the real world, we also have the persecution of Julian Assange.  Sri Lanka's GUARDIAN has a column which notes:

Earlier this month, CNN reported that a British court has denied Wikileaks founder Julian Assange “permission to appeal an order to extradite him to the United States, where he faces criminal charges under the Espionage Act.” Although Assange’s legal team will continue to explore its options, the snare around his neck is clearly tightening. Time is not on his side. The US and British authorities who are pursuing him can afford to wait for any remaining public interest in his case to dwindle in the face of wars, climate change, anxiety about artificial intelligence, and other global issues.

But if we want to manage such challenges, we will need people like Assange. Who else will expose all the abuses and inconvenient truths that those in power want to keep secret – be it war crimes or social-media companies’ internal findings about what their platforms are doing to teen girls?

Wrong.  Also wrong?  The title of the column: "Without Whistleblowers, the West Is Lost."

Without a free press, there's no point in whistle-blowers  That's why the stupid statement against Judith Miller protecting her sources that Robert F. Kennedy Jr's writing partner put up Saturday was so wrong (see "Troubles for RFK Jr.? Abortion and The First Amen...").  Judith Miller went to jail to protect her source.  There's much to boo and hiss Judith for but that's not one because there is no need for whistle-blowers without a free press.  

And the bulk of the US press for far too long has been silent about the persecution of Julian.  Maybe it's time to stop protecting?

I don't mean Julian.  But if the US government is bound and determined to punish Julian, okay, punish all the 'criminals.'  Let's see the arrest warrants for THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST and everyone else.  Let's be fair in our persecution especially since a lot of idiotic journalists don't seem to get that any prosecution of Julian will be used against them.  Oh, not right now, that's not what the US government wants.  It doesn't want a First Amendment battle.  Not yet.  So now they go after Julian and, if successful, ten, twenty years down the line, they start going after press outlets.  

Why wait?  Why not let the US press see the fate that awaits them if they can't find their voice on Julian?

Julian is being persecuted for the 'crime' of journalism.  Julian Assange remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

The 2022 Booker Prize-winning author Shehan Karunatilaka recently remarked: “Julian Assange, divisive figure that he may be—he is a hero to many writers in South Asia because freedom of speech is not something we take for granted… Journalism has been criminalised in our parts of the world and so we are looking to the west to see how this case is prosecuted and how it ends up.” 

There is little doubt that Karunatilaka’s description is representative of the prism through which most of the world views the case against my husband. And that concern does not just exist outside the west.
At Unesco’s World Press Freedom Day event this year, held at the UN in New York, the secretary general of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, said: “It is not just what is happening in Iran or in Russia that should worry us, it is also what is happening here. Who is imprisoning Julian Assange? Sadly, the playbook of autocracy, the playbook of control over conscience, or control over speech, has been well learned by our so-called democratic leaders.” The president of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Jodie Ginsberg, noted that the US case against Julian “if brought to fruition could effectively criminalise journalism anywhere, for journalists everywhere”.

Russia’s trumped-up “espionage” charges against Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for his newsgathering activities mirror those brought against Julian for his newsgathering and publishing. The last US reporter to be prosecuted by Russia for “espionage” was Nicholas Daniloff in 1986. The playbook did not originate in America, but America has sunk to Soviet standards and revived it. It won’t stop there. That is why the Assange case is the greatest threat to press freedom worldwide.

Julian’s US accusers use “espionage” as shorthand for “journalism”. They do not allege that Julian was acting on behalf of—or colluding with—any foreign power. The WikiLeaks publications expose the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan; document evidence of torture and assassination squads; and reveal at least one potential war crime involving the slaughter of Reuters employees in Baghdad. The facts of the case are well-known and uncontested: the source, Chelsea Manning, was a US army whistleblower who acted on her conscience. She was sentenced to 35 years. The sentence was commuted by Barack Obama on his last day in office. 

Julian acted for the public’s benefit, and he is accused—of conspiracy to publish, and of receiving, obtaining, possessing and communicating “national defence” information—under a statute from 1917. The classification system was only invented 35 years after that law was written. There is no US “Official Secrets Act”. “National defence” information is whatever the US government says it is. 

We know these things because of a whistle-blower (Chelsea) and because of the press (Julian Assange, NYT, GUARDIAN, etc).  So if Julian's going to be put on trial, put the whole system on trial.  Let's not tip-toe to fascism, let's see the US government make a real charge towards it.  Maybe that will wake some people up and they'll finally find the voice to defend Julian.

The wife of Julian Assange has said the Wikileaks founder may only be a "few weeks away from extradition" during a protest outside Parliament.

Stella Assange was among many campaigners and supporters who marched through central London today as her husband faces potential life imprisonment if taken to the United States.

Assange, 51, has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison for more than four years while US authorities seek to extradite him to face trial on espionage charges linked to the publication of hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Maher Nazeh (REUTERS) reports that Iraqis are having to turn to ''cheaper natural remedies'' on healthcare -- such as herbs -- due to the Iraq War destroying everything including healthcare:

Iraq's healthcare system, once one of the best in the Middle East, has been wrecked by conflict, international sanctions, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and rampant corruption.

Although public medical services are free of charge, a lack of medicines, equipment and adequate services mean citizens often need to turn to the more expensive private sector.

In recent years, Sabah has seen more herbal centres open in the capital, Baghdad. There are now 460 establishments with a permit to sell herbal medicines, up from 350 in 2020, according to his database.

ALJAZEERA reports on other financial issues:

The Iraqi Council of Representatives passed the 2023, 2024 and 2025 federal budgets on June 12, nearly eight months after Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani’s new government was formed.

This year’s budget is Iraq’s largest at 198.9 trillion Iraqi dinars, about $153bn based on the official exchange rate. The 2024 and 2025 budgets will be the same unless the cabinet requests any changes and Parliament approves them.

[. . .]

However, Iraq’s economy and budget rely heavily on oil, which puts both in a precarious position. Nearly all state revenue is from oil sales. In 2022, Iraq earned a record $115.6bn from oil, but it is a volatile commodity. Iraq is not in control of the global oil market, and it is not a relevant decision-maker in OPEC despite being the second-largest member in terms of production.

This leaves Iraq vulnerable to the precarity of oil markets and the decision-making of other OPEC members regarding output, especially since this budget is based on an ambitious oil price of $70 a barrel. If the price dips, it risks unleashing a cascade of economic woes and public anger.

 Right now, Paul's latest novel is $14.99 on AMAZON KINDLE. 

Pride Month is winding down.  You've seen who you can trust and who you can't, haven't you?

As Ava and I note in "Media: Marianne's campaigning for right wingers, Cornel's trying to destroy The Green Party," Marianne's been silent.  Marianne Williamson hasn't even Tweeted -- in stark contrast to 2019.  This Wednesday, she's supposed to find her voice finally.  Insiders say that if she doesn't, her campaign's over.  Since announcing this run, she's struggle to find her voice (a lot of that is her own fault).  This is do-or-die time and, on Wednesday, she'll either turn the campaign around or struggle along weakly for a few more months before announcing she's ending her campaign.

She's not the only one with a struggle.  Robert F. Kennedy Jr. joins hate merchants Moms For Liberty for an event.  Ruth's "I move from support of RFK Jr. to wait and see" noted:

I want to vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the Democratic Party presidential primary and in the presidential race.  But?  I am not thrilled with his even with Moms For Liberty next week.  I realize that a presidential candidate has to appeal to many but that is an issue for me.  They are a hate group.  They persecute LGBTQ+ people.  I do not see Mr. Kennedy rushing to stand up on that issue (I know he has a family member who is gay and that he is close to her despite his mother's attack on her not all that long ago).  So I may have to walk away from him.

I am sorry if that happens but my grandson Jayson, who is gay, means the world to me and I will not betray him for any politician.  The hate group is back in the news:

An Indiana branch of the national Moms for Liberty organization apologized Thursday for featuring a quote from Adolf Hitler on the front cover of its newsletter.

The Hamilton County chapter of the organization, recently listed as an "extremist group" by a civil rights watchdog launched the newsletter "The Parent Brigade," Wednesday quickly drawing backlash on social media. Local politicians and candidates for elected offices added to the condemnation Thursday morning.

Moms for Liberty emailed IndyStar, a USA TODAY network paper, Thursday morning to post a statement on the group's Facebook page condemning Adolf Hitler and apologizing for using the quote. A new version of the front page without the quote or explanation was uploaded.

The quote just accidentally slipped past them, did it?  Find another Jewish woman to play the fool because I will not be the one who believes that lie.  You said exactly what you wanted to and then got called out and realized the optics were only getting worse so you rushed to pretend you were sorry.

I do not respect anyone who associates with Moms For Liberty.  That includes the disgusting Tulsi Gabbard.  I have been checking Naomi Wolf's TWITTER feed for the last six weeks to see if she has any association with them.  During the pandemic she did.  They were not known as hate merchants then.  They are now.  Should Ms. Wolf start reTweeting them or praising them, And she has!  C.I. just informed of that.  So I will drop her.  I can disagree with her -- and do on COVID -- and respectfully disagree with her.  I cannot, however, follow on TWITTER anyone who associates with a known hate group such as Moms For Liberty.

The issue also came up over the weekend in the "Roundtable" we did for THIRD:

Jim: Ruth?

Ruth: They are a hate group.  And RFK Jr. is about to do a rally with them so I am candidate-less.  As I wrote at my site finally, that is a big deal for me.  I thought he was different from his mother -- Ethel Kennedy is a raging homophobe.  She apparently blames gay men for not being able to turn her homely self into Jackie Kennedy or even Joan Kennedy.  Joan Kennedy had a lot of style, but no one had the style and chic that Jackie Kennedy did.  So Ethel Kennedy's a homophobe who raged against her own granddaughter and refused to attend the same-sex wedding and is she speaking for her son Robert as well.  Sorry.  It is a breaking point for me.  And to add one more thing, I noted Naomi Wolf.  Since I posted on Friday, she has Tweeted about her 'friends' Moms for Liberty.  Bye Naomi.  Did not have to agree with you on everything.  But when you promote a hate group -- a known hate group -- that is out to destroy LGBTQ+ rights, you have betrayed me, my grandson Jayson and yourself because it was not all that long ago that you had a book -- since pulled and pulped -- about attacks on LGBTQ+ people.  So you are dead to me.  Your looney chem-trail nonsense?  I could agree to disagree.  This?  Not playing.

Not only is Wednesday important for Marianne in terms of finding her own voice, it also has the potential of allowing her to snag some of Robert's supporters in a week where he celebrates hate by standing with Moms For Liberty.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Cornel's Crackpot Cracker Parade" went up Saturday night.  New content at THIRD:

And Stan's "THE SAD AND TRAGIC ENDING OF LUCILLE BALL: VOLUME TWO (1961-1989) OF A TWO-PART BIOGRAPHY" and the following went up this weekend: