Tuesday, June 27, 2023

JFK Assassination The Prayer Man Controversy Audio Interview Witness Sarah Stanton's Granddaughter


JFK Assassination The Prayer Man Controversy Audio Interview Witness Sarah Stanton's Granddaughter


Lou noted that video in an e-mail.  Glad to include it.  I try to note the assassination every week -- do not always manage to.  But I was a college freshman when President John F. Kennedy was murdered.  I am an elderly woman now.  Yet we still do not have access to all the information on this assassiantion that we should.


If you are trying to reach me, I do check my e-mail but if you would instead e-mail common_ills@yahoo.com, Martha and Shirley (and others, but mainly them) work that account Monday through Friday and they will notify me that I have X amount of e-mails that they have moved to my folder. 

My apologies to ______ but I am not noting your video.  I am sorry about that.  But I do not like Gerald Posner.  I do not forgive serial plagiarists.  I know, judging by the glorification of serial plagiarist Chris Hedges that some people have no problem with serial plagiarists but when I went to college, you got caught plagiarizing, that was it for you.  

That is strike one.  Strike two is that face that has had way too much plastic surgery and that many of us believe was done in an attempt to make Mr. Posner look 'ethnic.'

Third is that he has always dismissed questions about the assassination.  

I appreciate you e-mailing, _____, but I will never post any video of Gerald Posner for those reasons.

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


Tuesday, June 27, 2023.  John Kerry lies about the Iraq War yet again, RFK Jr prepares to hump hate group Moms For Liberty, THE NATION has a major piece on the war on transpeople, and much more.

Let's start with pathetic and legacy ending.  Aidan McLaughlin (MEDIAITE) reports:

A French TV anchor confronted John Kerry over whether U.S. condemnations of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s bloody and baseless invasion of Ukraine come as hypocritical in light of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Kerry, who serves as the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate and was in Paris for a climate summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, appeared for an interview with veteran journalist Darius Rochebin on French news channel LCI Sunday night. They discussed Kerry’s work to combat climate change and the Russian war against Ukraine, which prompted Rochebin to bring up recent criticism of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 from countries in South America.

[. . .]

“We have to judge Putin for crimes of aggression, of course. But you, the Americans, you committed the crime of aggression in Iraq,” Rochebin said. “These countries of the Global South say, should we judge George Bush? Why isn’t Bush judged in the same way?”

“No,” Kerry shot back.

“Why?” Rochebin asked.

“Because there’s never even been a direct process or accusation or anything with respect to President Bush himself,” Kerry said. “Have there been abuses in the course of that war, yes.”

Rochebin asked: "Was it not a crime of aggression to enter Iraq based on a lie?"

Kerry, the U.S. presidential envoy for climate issues, replied: "No, no, no... Well, we didn’t know it was a lie at the time. You know the evidence that was produced, people didn't know that it was a lie. So no, again, I think, you’re stretching something. That’s not constructive."

"But he lied," the French journalist said about President George W. Bush. "He lied, he lied."

"Sir, I’m not going to re-debate the Iraq war with you here right now," Kerry said. "We spent a lot of time doing that. I opposed to going in, I thought it was the wrong thing to do. But we gave the president the power, regrettably, in the Congress, based on the lie. And when we knew it was a lie, people stood up and did the right thing."

It's all so shameful and embarrassing.  And let me do a confession before we go further: I supported John Kerry for the 2004 presidential Democratic Party nomination.  I'd known him for years.  He was talking big about how he'd stand up to the press, no buckling to NEWSWEEK this time, blah blah blah.  The party never wants who I want.  That was the first time in my lifetime that a non-incumbent got the nomination after I'd supported them in the primary.  And what a huge disappointment and disaster he was.

And still is.  Actually, he's much worse now.  Oh, sure, he's not 'entangled' with reporters covering the State Dept, but his outright lying has gotten even worse.

"I opposed to going in."

He just can't stop lying.  In 2004, he made a mockery of himself by trying to explain his vote for the Iraq War by saying "I was for it before I was against it."  And he was for it.  He voted for it.  Despite everyone laughing at him for that ridiculous "I was for it before I was against it" -- more laughter than he even garnered -- Wait, we'll come back to that. 

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said Monday he would not have changed his vote to authorize the war against Iraq, but said he would have handled things "very differently" from President Bush

That's two years after the vote.  He wasn't opposed to it when he voted for it.  He wasn't opposed to it two years after. 

Then John dropped the for-it-before-against-it pose and just started lying that he'd been against it all along.  He told that lie on MSNBC in September of 2013 prompting FACTCHECK.ORG to call him out:

Of course, Kerry knows he voted on Oct. 11, 2002, to give Bush authorization to use military force in Iraq, along with 76 other senators, including Hagel. He was reminded of it throughout the 2004 presidential campaign, when he was the Democratic Party’s nominee. During a presidential primary debate in May 2003 — about seven months after the Senate approved the use of force and two months after the war started — Kerry was asked by moderator George Stephanopoulos about Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.
[. . .]
It’s not inconsistent for Kerry to authorize Bush to go to war and then criticize the president’s execution of the war. But for Kerry to say he “opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq” ignores the ample record that shows the Democrat agreed with Bush that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and should be forcibly removed from power, and it ignores his vote that allowed Bush to do just that.

And he's still lying today.  He just can't stop lying. 

He's a huge disappointment and a huge screw up.  And I realized that when he ruined my 2004 suggestion.  The GOP convention that year was going to be hate filled -- that was a given and they were going to try terrorize people into voting with fear-fear-fear.  Months before anyone had seized the nomination -- though, outside of Howard Dean, it did appear it was going to be John Kerry -- there was a big meeting for strategy on another issue.  Someone brought  up the upcoming conventions, I want to say it was Harold Ickes -- and we were talking -- all of us -- about how fear based Bully Boy Bush's campaign had to be for him to win the election.  How do we counteract that?  

I said with normalcy.  I said sunshine -- openness.  And then I said, because I have a home in Hawaii, that the candidate should go there during the GOP convention.  First of all, few presidential candidates go there and it does lead to the state feeling ignored and dissatisfied so this could be an opportunity to fix that growing attitude.  Second, Hawaii's beautiful.  Strolling through the streets, hanging out on the beach?  The news crews would love it and get tons of stock footage that would air and wouldn't require a lot else.  Bully Boy Bush and company are preaching destruction and yet, here in sunny Hawaii, is  our candidate strolling around and greeting people suggesting that, yes, the world continues and goes on and it's not all doom and gloom the way the GOP is portraying it.  

How was I to know, when they decided to run with the idea, that John's vanity was so great, he'd squeeze himself into what resembled sausage casing and do a sport that was seen as elitist.  I was talking about strolling through the streets, relaxing on the beach, a luau.  Things that would make the point, we can all breathe and relax to counter the fear mongering.  Instead, John's showing off stalk and tip in a ridiculous outfit that no man his age should have been wearing.

He took what was a solid photo-op with a subtle message and turned it into weeks of laughter -- at him -- because he was so damn stupid.

And, yes, we did know ahead of time that Colin Powell lied to the UN.  We did know that Bully Boy Bush was lying.  That was why Senator Bob Graham repeatedly begged other senators -- most of whom, like Hillary Clinton, refused -- to go look at what they were calling 'the evidence.'  Go to the secure room, read it over.  

John's just a cheap liar.

I know Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as well.  And -- what do you say there?

I can't hold it back anymore.  What? The destruction of Cheryl's career.  

I've begged friends not to judge her by Robert.  But it's over for her now.  And it's a shame because she's a nice person and she's a talented actress and director.  But her husband's decision to appear at a Moms For Liberty event has shredded any wall that those of us who like Cheryl have attempted to build.  She's done nothing wrong herself but studio exec and producers and everyone down the line are now referring to her as "that bitch."  She didn't do anything wrong.  I hope Robert realizes as he appears to sink his own campaign, that his getting chummy with hate merchants destroyed his wife's career.

The vax argument isn't one I get into, I've discussed that here before.  Autism is a cause I've worked my whole adult life on and I don't get into that debate, it hurts fundraising and its hurts people's feelings.  And it's not my intent to do either.  

But that stance that Robert has?  It didn't hurt Cheryl.  There are some who are inclined to side with Robert on that in the entertainment industry and most are sensitive enough to grasp that there are no points to be scored on this issue.

But Moms For Liberty?

For Marianne Williamson, this is perfect timing.  She needs a win bad.  And the same week Robert's buddying up to Moms For Liberty, she's supposed to be delivering a major statement regarding the attacks on the transgender community.  If she does and delivers it and does it even half-way well, this could see her get the campaign on track finally and also move up in the polls (Robert has been sinking of late).

right-wing inquisition is singling out young transgender Americans, their parents, their teachers, and their doctors as targets in the battle over what kind of nation we are and want to be. Since 2021, roughly half the states have passed at least one law designed to eliminate medical or educational policies that recognize trans youth and protect them from abuse. According to the ACLU, 20 states enacted 72 new anti-trans laws in the first six months of 2023; more than 200 are in the pipeline.

Anti-trans campaigners seek to create a blanket of repression. Because the recent wave of anti-trans laws was not triggered by a landmark event like the rush of anti-abortion laws enacted in the wake of the Dobbs decision, this new reality has crept up on the country. Major media outlets have struggled to keep up with which laws have been passed in which states. With the exception, perhaps, of the trans people who find themselves in the cross hairs of these new laws, almost no one saw it coming.

The geography of gender panic illuminates the right wing’s stranglehold on a large swath of the United States. As of June 1, 24 states, including Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Arizona, account for almost all of the recent explosion of anti-trans legislation. More than 140 million people—42 percent of the US population—live in these states. All but Arizona and Georgia cast their electoral votes for Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020, and of the states that voted for Trump twice, all but North Carolina, Ohio, and Alaska have binged on anti-trans laws (though North Carolina passed the nation’s first bathroom ban in 2016, which it later gave up after public pressure and business boycotts, and Ohio banned trans athletes from school sports).

As a comparison, the Guttmacher Institute counts 26 states where abortion is now banned or significantly restricted—a nearly identical list. With the passage of a handful of new laws or court decisions, the overlap may soon be complete. Laws attacking “critical race theory,” which also came on suddenly and are now widespread, have less of a complete overlap because such resolutions often arise in local school boards rather than in state legislatures. Nonetheless, according to a report from the UCLA Law School’s Critical Race Studies program, anti-CRT laws now affect 22 million public school students, almost half the nation’s total.

Given the avalanche of anti-trans legislation, it might be surprising to learn that the bulk of Americans are turned off by the extremism and cruelty of these laws. According to Roll Call, recent polling found that 64 percent of Americans believe that the sudden onset of anti-trans bills this year amounts to “too much legislation,” with politicians “playing political theater and using these bills as a wedge issue.” On youth access to gender-affirming medical care, an NPR/Ipsos poll found that 47 percent of Americans oppose restrictions while 31 percent support them, with 21 percent declining to answer. On allowing trans girls to compete in girls’ sports, however, the same survey found that 63 percent oppose. A Pew survey from June 2022 found that the number of people who think American society has gone too far in accepting trans people (38 percent) is roughly equal to the number who think it hasn’t gone far enough (36 percent).

How is it possible that a country with so little demand for anti-trans policies produced such an onslaught of anti-trans laws? The most important characteristic that these states share with states that have passed new anti-abortion and anti-CRT laws is a legal structure that reinforces minority control of governance—in effect, a democracy deficit. Political scientist Jacob Grumbach calls such states “laboratories against democracy.” Eight of the 24 states that have passed the worst anti-trans laws rank among the worst states for legislative gerrymandering, according to ratings issued by either the University of Southern California’s Schwarzenegger Institute or the World Population Review.

Nan makes solid points and writes a great article.  I would quibble with the "how" aspect above.  It wasn't just that.

It was a group of people egging it on.  It was supposed leftists like Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald (again, Glenn was never left, he was a Libertarian who had a whatever as his hag and people mistook him for a liberal) making 'jokes' and be insulting to transgenders.  (Again, Chelsea Manning saw Glenn's transphobia before anyone did -- certainly before I did.)  It was Max Blumenthal's wife attacking and mocking the transgender community. 

It was THE KATIE HALPER SHOW, USEFUL IDIOTS, and so many more refusing to treat this war on LGBTQ+ as a serious issue and devote time to it.  Not everyone was silent and those who deserve credit for speaking out include BLACK POWER MEDIA, Karen Hunter, DEMOCRACY NOW!, THE VANGUARD, etc -- and Olayemi Olurin especially deserves credit for her strong work -- which included calling out -- on air -- to their faces, not one but two hosts of RISING who were laughing at and mocking transgender people.  No surprise, while White YOUTUBERS mocked and ignored, it was people of color who spoke up maybe because they historically know the importance of standing together to stand up.

It was RISING on THE HILL doing one transphobic segment after another.  It was BREAKING POINTS trying to use MonkeyPox to target gay men.

It wasn't just the people working in the shadows (often advised by Jonathan Turley -- everything Lawrence Tribe said about Turley was true), it was also a pathetic left that refused to stand up and say, "Stop it."  That refused to say, "These people are our family and we're not going to be silent while you attack them."  What's so interesting when we speak with people around the country is that, in their areas, people stood up.  It's just the left media that didn't.  Especially those people on YOUTUBE. 

And when super-cool Matt Taibbi's laughing at transgenders, well don't we all want to be cool and laugh at them like he does.  I don't but maybe some do -- you know the ones who want to suffer from male pattern baldness and erectile dysfunction.  

The left media didn't stand up and immediately call this out.  Instead, they ignored it or they joined in.  

A lot of people now live at risk because of this.

I've noted repeatedly that when DOBBS was overturned, LGBTQ+ people rushed to the front to stand with us.  And, unless you're a lesbian that gets raped, unwanted pregnancy was really only something the B in LGBTQ+ really had to worry about.  But they, as a group, stood up.  NETFLIX had a comedy special on LGBTQ+ and these comedians made DOBBS part of their act and called it out.

But we couldn't speak in support of them.  We couldn't call out the hate being directed daily at them.  And when THE NEW YORK TIMES staff pointed out that the paper had used extreme and sensationalistic stories to get clicks and sell copies, who stood up for those employees.

I know who stood against them.  Glenneth Greenwald.  The empress was not amused by unruly employees who would disparage their employer.  The empress was not used to serfs being so unruly.  Glenneth Greenwald's royal "we" was not at all amused and felt the need to trash them over and over.

When in fact, it is THE NEW YORK TIMES that has repeatedly been behind on the science as anyone knowledgeable about science was aware.  Yes, there was the AIDS crisis and their attacks on gays and ignorance on science.  But even something like extinction level events -- check the archives of the paper -- they got that wrong as well.  Despite being known for their science section of the paper, they repeatedly fail on that topic.

And they failed transgendered people by refusing to report accurately and by who they sought out for sources to their bad articles.

But, hey, uptight prig needs a laugh -- and apparently his reflection in the mirror of that still bad dye job out of box to cover his gray hair wasn't doing it.  He got a lot of laughs, didn't he?  And played like he was Demi Moore in ST. ELMO'S FIRE -- only I don't believe Jules, as much as she wanted that "fabulous talk show," would have abandoned her dying husband in the hospital.  (Yes, Glenneth, tea was spilled by your ex to us about that college infatuation.)

Oh.  And Tucker.  Don't forget that Mother Tucker.  Lying over and over, trashing the LGBTQ+ community over and over.  They didn't object -- not Aaron Matte, not Jimmy Dore, not Max Blumenthal, not Glenneth, not any of the whores who went on Tucker's show.  No,  they all worshiped at his crotch -- Glenneth, Matt, Tara Reade, all of them.

These are the ethics of the people who couldn't stand up for transgender people as they were clearly under attack.  The hate merchants only got as far as they did because too many of us refused to object and let our silence -- or giggles -- feed and encourage the hate merchants.  A united front over nine months ago and we might have been able to stop it.  Instead, we just grinned at the big wooden horse and fell asleep as the hate merchants emptied out of it and took over our world.

This is probably a good time to note that we're said goodbye to Naomi Wolf.  I don't like a dog pile.  I was fine with giving her a platform when she was under attack.  She was getting banned by everyone and she was humiliated.  We could have looked the other way and ignored her.  I'm not a good person so if I'd known that she'd get in bed with hate merchants like Moms Of Liberty, I wouldn't have been kind.  Her downward spiral (I believe she's on meds, by the way) started with -- wait.  Did it start with the custody battle?  I don't know.  It's been so long since I gave a damn about her.  As Ava and I had established at THIRD, she had a racist streak and identified with authoritarianism among other things.  We established that with her actual work.  She practically brought herself to orgasm while describing White Victoria Woodhull who, honestly, looked like a young boy, not a pretty woman.  And then, mere paragraphs later, this is her book FIRE WITH FIRE, by the way, she's referring to Madam CJ Walker as ugly.  Look it up.  Didn't even enter her airheaded head that (a) she'd fallen into her own beauty myth and (b) Madame CJ Walker wasn't ugly -- unless you don't believe Black Is Beautiful.  

We called her out for PROMISCUITIES -- that's the book where she lets slip (did she even read what she wrote) that she kept silent when a college woman was raped.  Naomi was there.  She heard that night and then the men joking about it the next morning -- bragging about it.  It gave her pause.  Not enough to make her report it, not enough to make her walk out, not enough to make her break up with the frat boy she was seeing, not even enough to stop eating her eggs,  but, hey, it brought her buzz down during breakfast and, after all, isn't that enough of a sacrifice for her?

Judith N. Shklar.  Very important political theorist.  I loved her work.  I spoke with her about her work many times.  I wouldn't use the word friend but I knew her and liked her.  And that's why I never bought into Naomi Wolf's THE BEAUTY MYTH which largely cribbed from Judith's Oxford lectures.  Oxford.  Who went to Oxford?  Oh, that's right -- Naomi Wolf and she went when Judith was lecturing.  Did no one else notice that all the literary examples first popped up in Judith's THE FACES OF INJUSTICE -- which is based upon the Oxford lectures.

I love Judith's work.  In November of 2004, after a group of us finished a lengthy post mortem on the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry and after I suggested we needed to think about the things we didn't do, I did just that.  I asked myself to think about that.  It was a Friday.  I knew nothing about blogging.  I knew it had impacted the election.  And I knew I needed to do something that I hadn't already done.  I was at my desk and nervous -- I probably ran to the bathroom three times in the thirty minutes it took to set up this site on Blogger/Blogspot. (It is much quicker now but it's also true I didn't know what I was doing so that took longer too.)  Everything about it made me nervous.  (I'm someone who can cold call for an issue like the Iraq War but someone who wouldn't answer the home phone myself many times, people find it hard to believe but I am shy.  That's also why I don't plan what I'm going to say in front of groups.  If I spend time planning, I'm going to be nervous.)  So, creating this site, I got to the point where I had to name it and I went with "The Common Ills" in a nod to Judith's work.  

I don't think Naomi grasped, when she was stealing from Judith, how obvious the theft was or how some of us would immediately catch on.

Again, Ava and I have called her out for all of that and more.

When she published OUTRAGES in 2019, she finally committed career suicide.  Turns out the primary research for the book was wrong.  Not flawed, wrong.  You can search and find  where, in a roundtable at THIRD, Ava and I are expected to be gleeful but instead refuse to join the dog pile and I say that the publisher is responsible for fact checking so they bore part of the blame.  She misunderstood the records she was examining.

If we were doing the roundtable today, I would say, however, she needs to return her doctorate.  I wasn't aware that the 2019 book was actually the work she'd done on her doctorate.

That book has been pulped -- something that rarely ever happens without the threat of a lawsuit.  That's how wrong it was.  I don't think she is entitled to have that doctorate now.

And we're not defending her anymore.  OUTRAGES was actually a book where she examined the treatment -- mistreatment -- of gay people historically.  She'd turned her back on so much of the left during her manic period.  So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that now she's in bed with the anti-LGBTQ+ hate mongers Moms for Liberty.

You've made your bed, lay in it and lie from it.

I could pull quote Nan B. Hunter's entire article (it's that strong and that important) but we have to note at least one more section:

Despite its massive impact, there is a temptation to dismiss the anti-trans campaign as merely another battle confined to the domain of cultural politics. Some on the liberal left agree that the cruelty is unconscionable but believe that the underlying problem is less significant than questions of economic redistribution. But the flood of anti-trans, anti-abortion, and anti-CRT laws is much more than a distraction from economically regressive legislation. Instead, the attacks on women, people of color, and trans people work hand-in-glove with attacks on the social institutions that we all depend on.

The inseparable nature of attacks on trans people and on our democratic institutions can be seen in the debates over public schools. The anti-trans campaign is a bonanza for groups engaged in a war against public education, which has long been a major target for the right wing, in spite of the fact that public education has support even in some deeply conservative states.

Painting schools as dens of “woke indoctrination,” as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put it, facilitates disinvestment, which has direct material consequences. Of the 23 states most actively targeting trans youth and their families, the Education Law Center gave 16 grades of either an F or a D for their per-pupil funding level relative to the national average. In effect, however, there is a sectarian carve-out: Religious schools are often shielded from policies that starve public schools. A report issued in September 2022 estimated that by the end of that school year, Florida would shift an estimated 10 percent of its education budget from public to private schools. Most of the schools receiving those funds are religious and lack accreditation. In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee has plans to start dozens of conservative charter schools by partnering with the K-12 school management arm of Hillsdale College, a Christian school in Michigan that DeSantis wants to use as a model for a public liberal arts college in his state.

In fact, there is a growing nationwide movement to reallocate public funds to private schools, including many religious schools using the same rhetoric of “parental freedom” that the anti-trans campaigns deploy. The Supreme Court opened the door for it, especially with its decision in 2021 in Carson v. Makin, which struck down a restriction on public tuition assistance funds going to religious schools. Although billions of dollars are at stake, the shifts in funding have gotten far less attention than anti-trans bills and the attacks on CRT and school libraries. The right wing is building a potentially massive edifice of religious, pro-market, and highly profitable education institutions in the same states where anti-trans hysteria has taken root, but the two issues are rarely discussed together.

Having failed to stand up and stop it when it was gathering steam, we now have a lot of work to do.

The following sites updated: