Monday, June 19, 2023

Praise for CM Punk boos for NEWSWEEK and Bubba Christopher Michael Pollock

There are a lot of disgusting people in this world, hate merchants.  Isobel van Hagen (BUSINESS INSIDER) reports:


A man has been charged with criminal harassment after he posted a photo of a woman's terminally ill father on social media following an argument about a Pride event, police said Friday.

Authorities said that Bubba Christopher Michael Pollock "consistently harassed" 36-year-old Britt Leroux on social media. He took this further when he traveled from London, Ontario, to a palliative care unit in Windsor, where he took a selfie with Leroux's terminally ill father.

Leroux had criticized Pollock online because he had called for Pride events in London to be canceled, according to CBC News, but they had not previously spoken.

Leroux told CBC News that she was shocked when she opened Facebook and saw her father in the background of Pollock's selfie, which he had posted in the comments of one of her posts. 

"At first I thought it was fake. I called the nurses and said, 'Are there red roses in dad's room?' and they said yes, and that's when I called the police."

Is that not disgusting? You would think people would be working to eradicate hate; however, hate merchants want to eradicate LGBTQ+ people and African-American people.  If they get their way, they will probably come for Jewish people next. 


More than 525 bills focusing on the LGBTQ+ community were introduced in different states and of those, 220 targeted transgender people, including access to gender-affirming healthcare for trans people, especially minors.

Of the 525 bills, 76 have been signed into law so far, which is more than any other year on record.

Where is the link to NEWSWEEK?  Not giving it.  The point of the story is that the Los Angeles Dodgers could not fill the stadium.  That is a lie that Ron DeSantis promoted.  It has already been proven to be a lie.  

Conservatives appear gleeful that they may have just scored another culture war win — this time, through Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers.

But their claim to have successfully boycotted a Dodgers game for its LGBTQ Pride participation and guests — notably echoed by presidential candidate Ron DeSantis — appears to be false. 

Leading up to the team's 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night, the Dodgers disinvited and then re-invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a nonprofit "order of queer and trans nuns," which some religious conservatives found to be offensive to Christianity and Catholicism. 

"We have asked the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to take their place on the field at our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16th," the team said in its re-invitation statement shared on Twitter. "We are pleased to share that they have agreed to receive the gratitude of our collective communities for the lifesaving work that they have done tirelessly for decades."

While the satirical group was given a community activism award at Dodgers stadium on Friday, religious groups protested outside the stadium and briefly shut down the main entrance, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who recently launched his 2024 presidential bidtweeted in support of the protesters and claimed the stadium was "virtually empty." Some conservatives circulated photos and videos, which were reportedly taken before the opening pitch, of a near-empty stadium.

"The virtually empty stadium for the game itself was a powerful image," DeSantis said in his tweet. "Americans are fed up with the nonsense and are fighting back."

In reality, Friday's game surpassed the team's average attendance of 47,800 people, according to Forbes

FORBES can get it right but NEWSWEEK cannot?  How sad.  Shannon Power needs to do a better job with facts or NEWSWEEK needs to let Shannon Power go.

Now let me take a moment to applaud CM Punk.  He is a 44-year-old professional wrestler and at a time when hate merchants thrive, he stands out for caring about people:

Following the match, Punk invited a fan into the ring who was carrying a sign that read “Support LGBTQ+ Kids” and launched into a speech that went viral on social media:

The reason I support trans kids, trans grown-ups, gay, straight, lesbian, whoever, is because I know when I was growing up, I didn’t fit in anywhere. That it was because of the clothes I wore, what my hair looked like, the music I listened to. Those are all things I can rectify. I can cut my hair, I can listen to jazz, I don’t know what. But to be somebody who’s gay, lesbian, and especially trans, I don’t know what it feels like to be trapped in a body that I don’t feel I belong in.

That is why I support that. Because I know I didn’t fit in anywhere until I found pro-wrestling and all the freaks and geeks in the locker room who are just like me. Maybe because they’re a little psychotic and they couldn’t hold down a real job, but that’s another story. Support trans kids, support gay and lesbian rights. I want everybody to be themselves. Just do no harm to everybody else.

He prefaced the speech with a brief story about a “faceless” commenter who disagreed with his support of the LGBTQ+ community, saying he wanted to respond, but decided against it: “You can’t argue with stupid, okay?”

That's so wonderful, it makes me want to cry.  Wish more people could be like him.


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


Monday, June 19, 2023.  They persecute whistle-blowers, don't they?  Daniel Ellsberg survived Richard Nixon's persecution to pass away at the age of 92 while Julian Assange remains in danger of being locked away forever by the US.

Late Friday morning, Daniel Ellsberg's family announced he had passed away.  The whistle-blower was 92-years-old.  CBS SUNDAY MORNING notes his passing.

A Letter from Daniel Ellsberg’s Family, 6/16/23:

Early this morning, Daniel Ellsberg died peacefully in his home in Kensington, CA. His cause of death was pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed February 17th. He was not in pain, and was surrounded by loving family. In the months since his diagnosis, he continued to speak out urgently to the media about nuclear dangers, especially the danger of nuclear war posed by the Ukraine war and Taiwan. (Links to the interviews are here.)

Daniel also shared many moments of love and joy in these months, including celebrating his 92nd birthday (April 7) and Patricia’s 85th birthday (April 26), and many visits and calls with friends and loved ones. He was thrilled to be able to give up the salt-free diet his doctor had him on for five years; hot chocolate, croissants, cake, poppyseed bagels, and lox gave him extra pleasure in these final months. He also enjoyed re-watching his favorite movies, including several viewings of his all-time favorite, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Thank you, everyone, for your outpouring of love, appreciation, and well-wishes to Dan in the previous months. It all warmed his heart at the end of his life.

In his final days, surrounded by so much love from so many people, Daniel joked, “If I had known dying would be like this, I would have done it sooner.” (Patricia replied, “Then I’m glad you didn’t.”)

Daniel was a seeker of truth and a patriotic truth-teller, an antiwar activist, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, a dear friend to many, and an inspiration to countless more. He will be dearly missed by all of us.

Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your wisdom, your heart, and your conscience with the world. We will keep your flame alive.

—Patricia, Mary, Robert, and Michael Ellsberg
Kensington, CA, 6/16/23

In Friady's snapshot (posted before the announcement, we noted:

Daniel Ellsberg was censored.  Like Julian Assange, Daniel tried to bring the truth to the people.  Richard Nixon persecuted Daniel Ellsberg.  Tricky Dick is a dirty joke and a criminal and he's forever remembered for Watergate, for his enemies list and for what he did to his enemies like Daniel Ellsberg.

Daniel is, sadly, dying.  He's lived a life to be proud of.  Joe Biden should realize that he can end up the next Richard Nixon in history or he can do something heroic and stop the persecution of Julian Assange.

Daniel Ellsberg was on Nixon's enemies list.  Plural.

Another person on that list was Barbra Streisand.  In May of 1973, Barbra did a fundraiser for Daniel.  It was held at the home of film producer Jennings Lang and those present could hear Barbra sing whatever requested song they pledged money for and she also sang over the phone at the benefit as well (also for donations).  She did a lot of standards like "You're The Top" and "Someone To Watch Over Me."  She even sang a duet with Carl Reiner.  Barbra was signed to  COLUMBIA RECORDS.  

COLUMBIA needed Streisand product always.  They were constantly churning it out.  In 1971, for example, she released two best selling albums -- one platinum, one gold -- studio albums STONEY END and BARBRA JOAN STREISAND.  That's 1971.  1972, it was LIVE CONCERT AT THE FORUM -- the concert she did for the George McGovern presidential campaign.  It was now May 1973 and no product.  Not even a greatest hits or compilation.  COLUMBIA needed product.  

Barbra had her performance at the benefit for Daniel recorded.  COLUMBIA wanted product.  Barbra singing torch songs live?  They loved the idea.  But Barbra also wanted the money the album raised to go to Daniel's defense fund.  


COLUMBIA was part of CBS.  CBS was already facing 'issues' with the Nixon White House over their coverage of Watergate and over Walter Cronkite's THE SELLING OF THE PRESIDENT documentary that they had done.  The corporate order came down that they didn't need any more pressure and the album was killed.   It's still in the vaults by the way, it could be released now as a way to honor Daniel Ellsberg while he's still with us.

Barbra Tweeted:

Nixon's enemy list was lengthy and seemed to grow larger with each year that he was president.  WIKIPEDIA offers a list there that is very lengthy and includes 12 US senators -- sitting senators at the time they made the list (13 if you want to include Eugene McCarthy who was not in the Senate when the list was originally published) -- 19 members of the House of Representatives (including 12 African-American members such as Shirley Chisolm, John Conyers and Charlie Rangel), organizations like the Black Caucus in Congress (see the clause right before this one), the Black Panthers, Brookings Institution and the Farmers Union, labor leaders, journalists (such as Mary McGrory as well as journalistic outlets),  business leaders, academics . . . 


According to the book Richard Nixon, Watergate, and the Press: A Historical Retrospective, the White House staff compiled a list of people who were either critical of the president or simply not committed to his policies. To be on the list, someone had to be famous or powerful. Some of the entertainers on the list were Bill Cosby, Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck, and Streisand. Streisand landed on the list for some very specific reasons.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Streisand said why she was on the list. “I was on Nixon’s Enemies List because I supported [Eugene] McCarthy in 1968 and raised funds for Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers trial. Then I did a concert for George McGovern…” For context, McCarthy was A Democratic presidential candidate in 1968, the first year Nixon successfully campaigned for president. Ellsberg was a whistleblower who released the Pentagon Papers, documents which dealt with American involvement in Vietnam. Finally, McGovern was Nixon’s opponent in the 1972 presidential election — fans can hear Streisand’s pro-McGovern performance on the album Live Concert at the Forum. The album reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200 — which is relatively unimpressive given Streisand released 11 No. 1 albums, the most recent of which hit No. 1 in 2016.
So did Streisand take issue with her inclusion on the list? According to Deadline, Streisand told Bill Maher in 2018 she was “proud” to be on Nixon’s enemies list at the time and she remains proud to have been on the list. To date, the inclusion of so many celebrities on the list remains one of the most odd and amusing elements of the Nixon administration. 

June 23, 1973 John Dean, convicted felon, would reveal the list to Congress.  Many in the country knew several years before.  November 3, 1970, Jane Fonda returned to the US from Canada and was arrested for 'drugs' (vitamins and prescribed drugs).  Due to an off duty police officer being greedy and seeing a goldmine in suing Jane, it came out that they were following orders from the White House, than Jane was on a list of people to be harrassed when entering and exiting the country.  (Greedy people often forget the process of discovery kicks in when you file a lawsuit against someone.)  Jane and attorney Mark Lane were very vocal about this so those paying attention knew of the list before convicted felon John Dean handed it over.  Convicted felon Dean had the list because he helped implement it.  Not because he opposed it, but because he helped implement it.  And, no, all that Dean did is not forgotten and should not be forgotten.  

This is what Daniel Ellsberg stood up to -- a very vindictive administration that used US tax dollars to plot against US citizens and to carry out retribution -- hundreds of US citizens.

Ellsberg never ran for office and only occasionally appeared on TV. But he altered the course of U.S. history in a way few private citizens ever have.

As a military analyst working on a Pentagon project in 1971, Ellsberg chose to release to the public an extensive, documentary record of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Known as the "Pentagon Papers," Ellsberg's mammoth disclosure would help to end the longest U.S. war of the 20th century. It would also prompt a landmark Supreme Court decision on freedom of the press. And it would provoke a response from President Richard Nixon that led directly to the scandals that ended his presidency.

By the time he got to the Pentagon, Ellsberg, then 40, was a Marine Corps veteran with a Harvard doctorate who had worked for the Defense and State departments and the Rand Corporation. A "hawk" before going to Vietnam in 1965, Ellsberg had since turned against the war and the official justifications given for it.

Since 1969 he had been one of dozens of analysts studying and writing about the decisions behind the escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The study covered the years from 1945 to 1968, and had first been commissioned by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara toward the end of that period.

Ellsberg and a Rand colleague, Anthony Russo, had access to a copy of the 7,000-pages of classified documents and historical narrative kept at Rand. The pair photocopied them at night, one page at a time over a period of months.

Ellsberg showed the material to a few senators who had been critics of the war. He said he hoped they would hold hearings, or enter the report in the Congressional Record. But they were not willing to do so, and one encouraged him to go to the New York Times.

Ellsberg did just that, contacting a legendary reporter at the New York Times whom he had known in Vietnam, Neal Sheehan. Supported by the top editors at the Times, Sheehan led a team of writers and editors in distilling the immense document for newspaper use. On June 13, 1971, the first story ran atop the front page.

Sheehan wrote that the United States had gone to war not to save the Vietnamese from Communism but to maintain "the power, influence and prestige of the United States ... irrespective of conditions in Vietnam."

The report that came to be known as the Pentagon papers said the U.S. had first been involved in Vietnam during World War II, when Americans helped Vietnamese resist Japanese occupation. After the war, the U.S. supported France's attempt to reclaim its colonies in Southeast Asia, largely to keep France in the alliance against the Soviet Union.

As the French forces faltered in Vietnam, the U.S. shouldered more and more of the cost of the war. And when the French gave up and left in 1954, the U.S. remained to protect Western investments and bolster an anti-communist government in Saigon (South Vietnam) while a Communist regime in Hanoi held sway in the country's northern half.

But almost none of this was known to the American public at the time, and when John F. Kennedy became president in 1961 he extended the commitments made by previous presidents. His successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, greatly expanded these commitments, escalating the war with hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and relentless bombing campaigns in the mid-1960s.

Richard Nixon came to office in 1969 promising to end the war, but even as he reduced the U.S. troop presence he also widened the war into Cambodia and stepped up the bombing.

The most shocking revelation in Ellsberg's report was the willingness of one president and one administration after another to continue the commitment — and the upbeat assessments of the situation — even as they each came to believe the mission would ultimately fail, that no amount of conventional military force would subdue the Vietnamese resistance. 

The leak itself did not end the war, and Ellsberg regretted not having come forward years earlier. He spent the rest of his life as a peace activist, encouraging others on the inside to reveal government malfeasance, and supporting those who did, including the 2003 GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun. But his leaks did result in a landmark decision in favour of freedom of the press, and, ironically, led to the downfall of the US president Richard Nixon. It is not unreasonable to set Ellsberg’s leak alongside President John F Kennedy’s assassination as the ground zero of today’s distrust of politics.

Before working on the Pentagon Papers, officially a study titled A History of Decision-Making in Vietnam 1945-68 commissioned from the Rand Corporation research organisation by the secretary of defense Robert McNamara, Ellsberg had spent two years at the US embassy in Saigon, advising on General Edward Lansdale’s “pacification” programme. As he sifted through the material gathered for the report, including evaluations which deemed the war unwinnable, he realised the enormity of the political fraud.

He began copying the documents, with the help of a former Rand colleague Anthony Russo, and in 1971, as the US extended the war with bombings of Laos and Cambodia, resolved to make them public. The chair of the senate foreign relations committee, William Fulbright, turned him down, as did the Washington Post’s editor Ben Bradlee and owner Katharine Graham; Graham was close to the secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who had known Ellsberg at Harvard; he advised her Ellsberg was “unbalanced and emotionally unstable”. Matthew Rhys played Ellsberg in the 2017 film The Post which loosely covers those events.

Neil Sheehan of the New York Times was a reporter Ellsberg admired in Vietnam; Sheehan convinced the Times to take the papers, the first instalment of which revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the casus belli which launched full-scale US participation in the conflict, had been bogus.

The Nixon administration obtained an injunction prohibiting further publication; the supreme court’s overturning of that injunction, dismissing the idea of “prior restraint”, remains a cornerstone of US journalistic freedom. But leakers themselves were not protected. Ellsberg was hidden by anti-war activists while Mike Gravel, the US senator from Alaska, entered most of the leaked papers into the congressional record, and the Post played catch-up.

Meanwhile Nixon, furious at the leaks, created the so-called “plumbers” covert special investigation unit, to discover if Ellsberg had further material that might affect him directly, and to discredit him. When the plumbers’ bungled break-in at the Watergate offices revealed an earlier burglary of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, the ensuing chain of scandal and cover-up eventually forced Nixon’s resignation to avoid impeachment.

RESPECTS paid to Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg are worthless if they do not translate into action to defend today’s foremost exposer of US war crimes — Julian Assange.

Nor can we ignore either the lesson from his leak of the Pentagon Papers — that our governments lie systematically about war — or the concerns he raised in the last months of his life, that Nato powers are hurtling towards nuclear conflict with Russia and China.

Ellsberg was turned against the Vietnam war by direct experience of it — of the brutality and dishonesty of US commanders and strategists, who hid their real reasons for prosecuting the war and their private understanding that it was practically unwinnable but would continue to swallow resources and human lives indefinitely.

Vietnam saw the US kill more than two million people in a doomed attempt to crush communist revolution. But it was also a proxy war, a battleground seen in Washington as part of the global struggle for supremacy with the Soviet Union.

Today’s proxy war rages in Ukraine, where the US and Britain have worked to scupper peace talks — according to testimony from even US allies like Israel — while flooding in weapons in a bid to weaken a strategic rival, Russia.

Again we are being lied to, as leaked documents revealed earlier this year. We learned that the US had no faith whatsoever in the success of Ukraine’s counter-offensive. We learned that Nato states had put boots on the ground — Britain the highest number of all — bringing us dangerously close to direct war with a nuclear-armed adversary.

Such dishonesty is par for the course for the British government; it took the wounding of five special forces troops in Yemen in 2019 to reveal we were fighting that war, too.

Ellsberg played a prominent role in the defense of Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and particularly Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks. He wrote of Assange, “I was the first whistleblower prosecuted under the Espionage Act, and now he is the first prosecution [under the Espionage Act] for publishing.”

While the New York Times and other corporate media had published material leaked by Manning and Snowden, or published by WikiLeaks, they made no effort to defend them against prosecution by the Obama administration, which made more frequent use of the Espionage Act to persecute leakers and journalists than all previous governments in US history, combined.

Ellsberg gave testimony in one of the innumerable court hearings in the protracted legal process in the course of which the British government kept Assange locked up in the high-security Belmarsh prison, Britain’s Guantanamo, even though the WikiLeaks publisher faced no criminal charges in Britain, only an extradition request from the United States.

Assange and his family deeply appreciated this support, and Assange put Ellsberg on the restricted list of people allowed to call and speak with him in Belmarsh. For that reason, Assange was allowed to call Ellsberg and say goodbye to him after he announced publicly that he was dying of pancreatic cancer.

The US government continues to persecute Julian Assange for the 'crime' of journalism.  US President Joe Biden could stop it at any moment but choose not to and, as a result, mars his own historical legacy.  For reporting the truth, Julian is wanted by the US government and he has lost his most recent appeal in the UK.  Ian Burrell (I NEWS) explains:

Assange is on the brink of extradition to the United States. He faces an unprecedented prosecution under the Espionage Act that could have him sentenced to 175 years – and open the way for Washington to pursue investigative journalists around the world who are deemed to have revealed US secrets.

Even at this 11th hour, the media is muted in condemnation of this obviously political case, in spite of the dire implications for freedom of information. And even though Assange has been held without charge for four years at Belmarsh high-security prison in London, at a cost to the UK taxpayer of hundreds of thousands of pounds, public sympathy for him is diluted because he has been cast as a reprobate.

The following sites updated: