Michael Cooper, here is the link you have requested I post here:
He states that this is an online safety guide for LGBTQ+ people.
Thank you for e-mailing that, Mr. Cooper.
Thank you to many who e-mail.
Many but not all.
A number of e-mails are really beginning to grate. So, let me review this one time only.
First up, do I know you?
I am serious. I ask because of e-mails.
If you are bothered by something I write here, by all means drop a line -- email@example.com is the best e-mail for all the community sites. If you like something I write, please, do the same.
Where I am having a problem is I was raised with manners. And those of you e-mailing to ask me to note this and that site?
I am not talking about "Here is a video about the assassination that I would like you to highlight."
I am talking about strangers who have not read a word I wrote but have written something themselves and want me to put a link to their website.
Their website that I have never visited and that they do not even include something for me to read from it.
I do not know you. Why would I link to your page? You tell me nothing about it and give me a web address that does not appear to be anything I would be interested in visiting.
Maybe that means something to young people, to me it just looks like you are some paid farm of writers going to a junk site. That is not "junk site" means bad writing. That is "junk site" means the equivalent of spam mail -- you know, the garbage you would throw out if it came to your physical mailbox?
I am done worrying about this. These people e-mail over and over, "Did you miss my previous e-mail" -- if you read this site and you have serious thing you want to share, I am happy to help you. But this nonsense that I am referring to? I do not need the guilt.
I was raised to reply to people who took the time to write you. Clearly, I need to stop that now because I cannot tell who is for real and who is not. This will probably only get worse with AI, right?
So if you have tried to -- or are trying to -- send me something and are being ignored by me, this is why.
I have gone back and forth over this and if you cannot write an e-mail conveying what is going on and what you are trying to get me to link to, I am just going to ignore it in the future.
For anyone reading this and thinking, "Ruth, the biggest news of the day is Hunter Biden! Why are you ignoring it?"
I am not. I told Marcia that I would fill in for her tonight so I will be blogging about Mr. Biden over at her site tonight.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
The Australian embassy in Iraq issued a statement condemning the desecration of the Quran in Copenhagen and the attack on the Swedish embassy in Baghdad.
The statement mentioned that Australia unequivocally opposes the desecration of the Quran and other religious texts.
The statement elaborated that such acts are provocative and entirely inconsistent with Australia’s firmly held belief in the freedom of religion and the equality of all people.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani on Tuesday received Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad Ali Reza Gunay, according to the PM’s Media Office.
Both sides discussed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's expected visit to Baghdad next week.
The Turkish President is scheduled to meet with the Iraqi Presidency, parliament, council of ministers and various political leaders.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.
We end today’s show with peace activist Kani Xulam, who’s the director of the American Kurdish Information Network. He has just arrived in New York City after his solo 300-mile, 24-day walk from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to United Nations headquarters here.
Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the partitioning of Kurdistan into four parts: British Iraq and French Syria, Turkey and Iran. All of this was done without the consent of the Kurdish people. They were left without a recognized sovereign state. What’s happened since has been called a cultural genocide.
This comes as the Kurds of Syria face threats from all sides after devastating earthquakes and relentless attacks by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Kani Xulam is joining us here in New York for more.
Kani, welcome back to Democracy Now! The latest news of, globally, around Kurds was Sweden, in order to get into NATO, making a deal with the Turkish president, Erdoğan, around what should happen to the Kurds there, who he so often calls terrorists, those who fled Turkey and now live in Sweden. Your response?
KANI XULAM: When NATO was conceived, it was supposed to be an alliance for freedom. And Kurds don’t have freedom. On top of it, their language is banned. They’re subjected to cultural genocide. If NATO wants to reassess its aims, its future aspirations, it needs to address this issue. It cannot cave in to Erdoğan and his racist policies that are trying to eradicate the name of the Kurds from the geography of the Middle East.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And could you talk a little about the history, especially of this treaty a hundred years ago that partitioned the Kurdish people into four different states?
KANI XULAM: You know, when the war started, an imperialist war, when America entered it, at least President Wilson said he wants to make the world safe for democracy. What happened afterwards was anything but to make the world safe for democracy. British, French, France, they joined Turkey and Iran in basically partitioning the land of the Kurds through fraud, through force, without the consent of any of the Kurds on the ground. It was a deal done in Lausanne, in the heart of Europe.
And we have been living with its effects. In Iraq, we have been gassed. In Syria, we have had three different laws applying to our citizenship rights. In Turkey, our very name has been eradicated from the land, if you will. Our mountains have acquired Turkish names. Our rivers have acquired Turkish names. Our villages have acquired Turkish names. And we have been struggling ever since to have a say.
And I walked from Washington, D.C., to the United Nations to say that we exist, we have a voice, we have a history, we have a culture, we are no different than our neighbors, and we need to solve this issue through peaceful means, through civil discourse. In the heart of the Middle East, we have the presence of the Kurds. It’s like, you know, the presence of Alps in Europe or the presence of Zagros Mountains in the Middle East, and it’s an objective fact. And yet our neighbors are saying that there are no Kurds, and they’re trying to pretend that the Kurds don’t exist, and they’re trying to assimilate every single Kurd on the ground as we speak.
AMY GOODMAN: Kani Xulam, in 1997, you were one of two Americans and four Kurds who fasted for peace in Kurdistan and for the freedom of Kurdish parliamentarians who had been arrested by Turkey and imprisoned. This is you speaking while fasting on the steps of Capitol Hill. Again, this is Washington, D.C., 1997.
KANI XULAM: Today, with some guarded optimism, we can report to you that our fast did have its intended effect on the policymakers in Washington. We also wanted to reach out to the mainstream media. Although The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune did pay some homage to our fast, much of the rest of the mainstream media kept their distance from us. They failed to validate our nonviolent message for peace and freedom. They did a disservice to our people’s longing for peace and to their people’s longing for the truth. It is unfortunate that Saddam and war sell better than Ferda and peace. Frankly, we are not disappointed. We are committed to our cause more than ever before.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Kani Xulam in 1997. Kani, has there been progress made? And what do you think needs to happen now?
KANI XULAM: The progress has been slow. We are trying to make America Kurdish-friendly, D.C. Kurdish-fairly. I’m reminded of a quote by Dr. King, who said the whites need the Blacks to come clean, to get rid of their guilt; the Blacks need the whites to heal, to lose their fear. The British, the French, the Turks, the Persians partitioned our homeland. They need to come clean, and they need to — they need to reach out to us, so that they could live in conscience, in good faith with their children. And we need them to help us lose our fear and lose our hurt, the pain and the suffering that has been inflicted on us for the last 100 years since the treaty.
And the future is really, we have to respect the Kurds and accept the Kurds. They deserve a seat at the United Nations, too. To pretend that the Kurds don’t exist is to pretend that the world is flat.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Kani Xulam, could you talk about the role of the United States, for instance, during the invasion of Iraq and the Iraq War? The U.S. backed autonomy for the Kurds as a means of achieving its own — the White House’s own goals in the Middle East, but, of course, has said nothing about the Kurds in Turkey or in the other Middle East states.
KANI XULAM: You know, in the course of my walk, long walk for freedom across the founding heartland of America, I came across a sign saying “Americans who had died for the cause of Iraqi freedom.” Many died, that’s true, but the Kurds really didn’t want to have anything to do with the Arab majority in Iraq. They desperately wanted to be on their own. In 2017, they voted to be on their own, and yet neither the United Nations nor the U.S. honored them, in spite of their support of the allied effort to topple Saddam.
In Syria, 11,000 Kurds have died, together with their Arab comrades, to get rid of ISIS threat, not just in the Middle East but also from Europe and the world. The relationship between the United States and the Kurds in Syria is still a military one. The Kurds desperately want that relationship to be a political one. We need political status. We cannot depend on our neighbors, who are bent on our destruction. This is a crime against humanity, and it needs to be stated. And I appreciate Democracy Now! for allowing me to say this on the air.
AMY GOODMAN: Kani Xulam, we want to thank you for being with us, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, has just completed a solo walk from Washington, D.C., to the United Nations.
On July 20, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. testified before the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The hearing took place two days after former president Donald Trump announced that he had received a “target letter” from special counsel Jack Smith. Trump said he expected to be indicted on criminal charges related to the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election, which culminated in the attack on Congress by a fascist mob summoned by Trump on January 6, 2021.
In the face of an unprecedented and rapidly escalating political crisis of the entire US political system in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election, the bulk of the Republican Party and the entire leadership of the House Republican conference have lined up behind Trump, portraying the fascist would-be dictator as the victim of a Democratic-led government witch-hunt.
Two days before Trump revealed the special counsel’s target letter, the New York Post published on its website a two-minute video showing RFK Jr. telling associates at an upscale Manhattan restaurant that Jews and Chinese people are less susceptible to the virus that is the cause of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and that this may be the result of deliberate genetic engineering. This version of the infamous “blood libel” against the Jews was the latest iteration of RFK Jr.’s combination of anti-vaccination propaganda, anti-China anti-communism and anti-Semitism that has characterized his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination from the outset.
Following the exposure of this fascistic outburst, which was roundly condemned by other members of the Kennedy family and led to a further drop in RFK Jr.’s poll numbers, the House Republican leadership openly embraced him. In return, he eagerly and no less openly placed himself at their disposal in seeking to deflect attention from Trump’s crimes and portray both the ex-president and himself as victims of a “deep state” conspiracy.
The Judiciary Committee is headed by top Trump attack dog Jim Jordan of
Ohio, who was one of 147 House Republicans who voted to overturn the
2020 election. Under the leadership of Jordan, the Select Subcommittee
on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which he set up, has
held hearings advancing the false narrative that conservatives and Trump
supporters are being unfairly targeted by the various federal police
and intelligence agencies.
At the outset of the last week’s hearing, Jordan took time to introduce “a good friend of mine,” former Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, who is currently serving as Kennedy’s campaign manager. Over the last year, Kucinich has worked with right-wing elements, including the increasingly fascistic Libertarian Party, to forge “left-right” unity against the “corporate duopoly.” Speaking to a smiling Kucinich, Jordan said, “We appreciate your service to the 1st Amendment.”
In his nearly three hours of testimony, Kennedy Jr. never refuted claims
by Republican politicians that Trump or his allies were unfairly
“censored” or “targeted” by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS), or social media companies, including after Trump’s failed coup.
Instead, Kennedy claimed that he, more so than Trump, was the target of a
censorship campaign, aimed at destroying his credibility and hampering
his bid to become president.
That Kennedy Jr. was even allowed to testify on Capitol Hill to a worldwide audience less than a week after being exposed for advancing a fascistic and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about COVID-19 demonstrates the absurdity of the claim that he is being censored. The fact that the Republicans courted him and used the hearing to provide him with a platform expresses the degree to which anti-Semitism and anti-Asian racism are increasingly accepted and promoted within the ruling class.
Asked about it, DeSantis offered that the curriculum — which he insisted wasn’t something he produced — would probably “show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life.” Needless to say, this is not generally how historians view the institution of slavery.
But DeSantis’s argument isn’t offered solely as a governor of a large state. It is also offered as a guy who is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 and, in that context, his efforts to downplay the extent to which Black Americans suffered from slavery make much more sense.
Last week, YouGov published polling data showing a divide in how Americans view the effects of racism. Poll respondents were asked whether racism against various racial groups was a problem now and the extent to which it had been in the past.
Republican respondents were more likely to say that racism against Black people was lower in the past than were White respondents or respondents overall. (Perceptions of racism in the past are shown with triangles on the graph below.) They were also less likely to say that racism against Black Americans is currently a problem (shown with a dot) — and were about half as likely as respondents overall to say that racism is currently a big problem (indicated with a dashed line) for Black Americans.
Will Hurd said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his rival for the Republican presidential nomination, should take responsibility for a new state curriculum that calls for teaching that slavery gave enslaved people valuable skills.
“Implying that there is an upside to slavery is absolutely wrong,” said Hurd, a former US representative running a long-shot bid for the GOP nomination, in an interview Monday with Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power.”
DeSantis criticized Vice President Kamala Harris last week for going to Florida to condemn the recently adopted social studies curriculum. The Florida governor said he wasn’t involved in drafting the document but defended the standards.
“They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life,” DeSantis said Friday.
“He shouldn’t have doubled down on this,” said Hurd, who has a Black father and White mother, and for a time was the only Black Republican in the US House.
“This could have been handled very, very easily by saying we’re going to tweak that language to make clear that slavery was a bad thing for our society, it was our original sin,” he said. “That’s what Ron DeSantis should do, and not pass the buck and say it wasn’t his responsibility.”
Last week, the Florida State Board of Education approved new academic standards that will require middle schools to teach students that enslaved people "developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit."
Vice President Kamala Harris was the first to speak out about the guidelines in a speech at Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.'s 56th national convention in Indianapolis Thursday, stating that they pushed "revisionist history."
"Just yesterday in the state of Florida, they decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery," Harris, 58, said. "They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, and we will not stand for it."
On an episode of "The Five" talk show Monday, Gutfeld referenced a book written by Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl and said "you had to survive in a concentration camp by having skills. You had to be useful… Utility kept you alive.”
The comments were part of a segment on Florida's new history standards that imply slaves benefited from their servitude by learning skills that could "be applied for their personal benefit."
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement to The Hill Tuesday that Gutfield's comments were "an obscenity" and criticized Fox News for failing to condemn the host.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland has also criticized the comments for failing to add the context that "the Holocaust was a systematic genocide with the ultimate aim of exterminating the entire Jewish population... We should avoid such oversimplifications in talking about this complex tragic story."
Specifically, SB 266 forbids professors to teach that systemic racism is “inherent in the institutions of the United States.” Similarly, they cannot teach that it was designed “to maintain social, political and economic inequities.”
We are professors who teach the modern history of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and we know that even democratically elected governments suppress histories of their own nations that don’t fit their ideology. The goal is often to smother a shameful past by casting those who speak of it as unpatriotic. Another goal is to stoke so much fear and anger that citizens welcome state censorship.
We see this playing out in Florida, with SB 266 being the most extreme example in a series of recent U.S. state bills that critics call “educational gag orders.” The tactics that Gov. Ron DeSantis is using to censor the teaching of American history in Florida look a lot like those seen in the illiberal democracies of Israel, Turkey, Russia and Poland.
"The guidelines do violence to American history. Misleading is too kind a term," she told Newsweek.
"The guidelines update for 21st-century political purposes the myths of slaveholders: the specious notion of Black uplift through relations of personal domination and ownership under chattel slavery. The falsehoods that slaves learned valuable skills from dehumanizing, brutal labor for their masters; that outdoor work was healthful.
"The guidelines resurrect the pro-slavery defense that slavery was 'a good--a positive good,' as argued by Sen. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina in Congress, in 1837.
Sophie White, a professor of American studies at the University of Notre Dame, was also fiercely critical.
"I certainly think it also worth turning the question around, which is why Florida's state Board of Education (presumably under the direction of the governor) is so eager to erase the history of slavery," she told Newsweek.
"What are they so afraid of? That students in Florida get to confront the past, or that they understand the continuing legacies of hereditary, race-based chattel slavery?"