Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The universe is a lightbulb

Well this is depressing.  Charmagne Nojas (TECH TIMES) reports:
Two weeks before the renowned physicist died at the age of 76, Stephen Hawking has developed a theory detailing how the Universe would cease to exist.
In a mathematical paper titled A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation? that he co-authored with Thomas Hertog of KU Leuven University, he proposes the existence of many other universes, as well as ways on how they can be discovered.
Hawking's final work likewise disproves that the universe is infinite. He predicts that it will ultimately fade into darkness as the stars burn off all of their hydrogens and die out.

It’s depressing, of course, that Stephen Hawking has passed.  He was an important thinker who motivated and encouraged scientific interest.  More than anyone else, I listened to him.  He is missed.  It’s also depressing because if his proposal is correct, and it most likely is, our whole universe is nothing but a light bulb which will eventually go out – burn out.  

Like Joni Mitchell sings in "Hejira:"

Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tribute to finality to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality
In the church they light the candles
And the wax rolls down like tears
There's the hope and the hopelessness
I've witnessed thirty years
We're only particles of change I know I know
Orbiting around the sun
But how can I have that point of view
When I'm always bound and tied to someone

Chicken scratching for my immortality -- exactly.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, March 20, 2018.  As the Iraq War hits 15, note the silence that continues.

15 years on and still the Iraq War continues.  The war continues, the occupation continues, Iraq remains a colonial outpost for the US and UK governments.

Took this photo 15 years ago today, waiting to invade Iraq—all unaware we were about to be part of the greatest lie and greatest crime of our generation

When does the Iraq War end?  We should be demanding the answer to that question.

My name is Penny Evans and I've just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Vietnam
And I have two infant daughters, I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over but I think it's just begun

Now they say the war is over .. . but I think it's just begun.

The war and the occupation of Iraq continues all this

Yesterday's LETTERS & POLITICS (KPFA) explored Iraq.

Mitch Jeserich: Now the conventional war itself only took about a month and would end with the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.  But Iraq would remain to this day incredibly unstable as much of the Middle East and it could be argued that the instability around the Middle East was also due in part to the invasion of Iraq.  The total number of people who died in the war -- and it's hard to get an exact estimate, but they range, on the very low side, to far more than 100,000 people to,  the high side, of over a million people.  And for people in the United States this war who had popular support at the beginning though, of course, not from all quarters that support waned as the war dragged on.  US soldiers and contractors deaths added it up it became clear Iraq did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction and reports also made it clear that the United States committed systemic torture.  Today, the  Iraq invasion of 2003 is considered the biggest foreign policy mistake in US history -- argued by many -- and right there with the Vietnam War. 

Many got it wrong.  Many walked away.  At THIRD, Betty, Elaine, Trina, Ava and I had discussed a piece that time ran out for.  But here are ten that deserve mention for not just making the hard calls when everyone talked about the Iraq War but who have continued to make those hard calls and refused to provide cover for political favorites.

1) Glen FordMargaret Kimberley and Bruce A. Dixon (BLACK AGENDA REPORT)
2) Arundhati Roy (novelist and activist)
3) Sarah Abdallah (activist)
4) Harry Belafonte (singer, activist, author, leader)
5) Justin Raimondo, Jason Ditz, Margaret Griffis, Scott Horton (ANTIWAR.COM)
6) Cindy Sheehan (activist, author)
7) Patrick Martin and Bill van Auken (WSWS)
8)William Rivers Pitt (TRUTHOUT)
10) John Stauber (critic, author)

These are the ones we had agreed on -- Betty, Elaine, Trina, Ava and I -- and the plan was to include them on a list -- a much larger list -- with other choices for people who had not walked away from the topic.  A lot of people would not make the list because, for example, like United For Peace and Justice, they closed shop after Barack was elected in November of 2008.  Fakers.  But it's important to note the people who did make a difference.

Yesterday, we noted the latest poll which found more people still believe the Iraq War was a mistake but that the numbers for that position had dropped.  That's because people walked away from Iraq, so called leaders in the US.  It's also because hypocrites have to deny Iraq.  They voted, for example, for Hillary Clinton and they have to disappear Iraq.  Or they are members of The Cult of St. Barack, so they have to disappear Iraq.

And it's very hard for We The People to know what goes on Iraq today.

Community members surveyed the 'independent' media landscape yesterday and found disappointing results.  Trina noted US Socialist Worker had nothing on Iraq, Ruth noted that THE PROGRESSIVE had no interest in Iraq, Marcia noted the same with IN THESE TIMES and Betty noted THE NATION's useless Katha Pollitt.  And, for the record, THE NATION did have one article on Iraq -- sadly, it's the Phyllis Bennis article.

It's that awful piece that we covered in the February 22nd snapshot.  25 days ago!  How timely.  As we observed then:

It's a curious editorial -- one that leaves the impression that the Iraq War is over.

If it's over, Phyllis, why are US troops still on the ground in Iraq.

The editorial hits new lows of whorishness as it names various people -- all Republicans.  I'm sorry, Phyllis, but it was the Democratically controlled Senate, in 2002, that voted for the Iraq War.  Not only does she ignore that, she also ignores certain key others.

The Iraq War is not over.  For example, over the weekend, the DOD issued this about those killed in the US helicopter crash in Iraq:

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of seven airmen who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. They died March 15 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Killed was:
Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. For more information, media may contact the 23rd Wing public affairs office at 229-257-4146.
Also killed were:
Captain Andreas B. O'Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.
All four were assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York. For more information, media may contact the New York National Guard public affairs office at 518-786-4581.
Also killed were:
Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida.
Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. For more information, media may contact the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office at 321-615-0329.

The war is not over.  And it now includes the ongoing occupation.  From US Major Danny Sjursen, "Unmitigated Failure: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 15 Years Later" (ANTIWAR.COM):

America, the guileless behemoth, brimming with hubris, somehow cannot see it. The sheer irrationality of the whole endeavor borders – 15 years later – on the absurd. The only real winners in Iraq have been a chauvinist brand Iranian Shi’ism, and the trademark Wahhabi Sunni Islamism of Saudi Arabia. Neither is a true friend to US interests or values. Neither cares whether US soldiers live or die. Each has its own agenda and plays US policymakers and generals like so many fiddles. The rational move for America is to opt out; do less; and walk away before sinking farther into the next quagmire. Unfortunately, compressed so narrowly between adversarial forces, and obtuse as ever, American "statesman" can’t see the way out.
These wars won’t end well for the United States, just as matters didn’t end well for my platoon, wedged, as it was, between micro-factions of these same adversaries: Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Sunni precursors of ISIS shot Sergeant Ty Dejane through the spine – he’s still in a wheel chair. The Shia militiamen aligned with Iran exploded a massive bomb which unleashed shrapnel that tore apart three other young men. Sergeant "Ducks" Duzinskas lost most of an arm. Sergeant Alex Fuller and Specialist Mike Balsley lay dead. They never knew what hit them, just as our platoon never knew who, or what, exactly, we were fighting.

My boys were sacrificed on the altar of American hubris. That’s the war I remember, and the one the US still fights – futilely – in the Fertile Crescent. Perhaps the citizenry should ponder that…before the next escalation in Iraq.

The next escalation because the war's never ended.

But grasp that even on the so-called left, the American people are left in the dark about Iraq.    THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE, IN THESE TIMES, et al.  They fail to cover Iraq.  They fail to note it.  How are people supposed to be aware that the war continues when their own media doesn't tell them that truth?

Even on the 15th anniversary, these whorish, money grubbing outlets can't cover Iraq.

New content at THIRD:

The following community sites updated:

  • Monday, March 19, 2018

    Fatty Katha Pollitt always does her part to keep the Iraq War going

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hillary's Tainted Get Out The Vote Effort"


    Save us from fat White gals who think they know it all.  The den mother Katha Pollitt is justifying Russia gate and playing the idiot she’s always been.  Do you remember Katha’s big – ‘big’ – Iraq War contributions?  Fatty attacked Cindy Sheehan while insisting how much she admired Cindy.
    Fatty had a column that she could write anything she wanted in.  But she ignored Cindy until she needed to attack her.
    Fatty claims to be a feminist but ugly is just a right wing stereotype of feminism.
    Fatty’s other big contribution was to ignore Abeer.  An Iraqi girl is gang-raped and murdered and Fatty ignores her.  Only after she’s shamed into it does she mention Abeer and that’s it – a single sentence mention.
    And Fatty’s our feminist voice?
    What a worthless piece of trash.
    Do you remember when Fatty  felt the need to weigh in on how the NAACP should use its resources?

    Me too.  Fatty’s also racist.

    She's got a column because she does nothing with it.  She's paid to be a waste of time and that's exactly what she is.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Monday, March 19, 2018.  The Iraq War hits the 15 year mark.

    Earlier this month, VARIETY profiled Barbra Streisand . . . for some reason.  I loved the notion that the star had used her power to get the stories made that she wanted.

    What stories?

    That awful STAR IS BORN remake?  It wasn't NUTS, she stepped over Debra Winger to steal that role so the film would have been made regardless (and much more believable with another actress).  WHAT'S UP DOC? -- she hates that film to this day.  In the feature, she talked about the hideous HELLO DOLLY.  Are we really supposed to believe that musical wouldn't have been made without Barbra?  It would have been made with Doris Day or any other musical comedy performer (Debbie Reynolds, for example).  FOR PETE'S SAKE -- the film that captured Barbra's homophobia on camera?  (Later, she'd visit the set of one of the RAIDERS and hurl -- joking! -- homophobic comments at Harrison Ford -- you can probably find that online.)  THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT?  That would have (and should have) been made with Elizabeth Taylor but at least it proved Barbra could have two homophobic movies in her filmography -- what an accomplishment for a woman who would be nothing without her gay fans.  I won't begrudge her YENTL.  But that's over a decade into her box office power.  After that, she's got nothing to brag about or even anything that qualifies as a noble failure.

    That got overlooked in all the rightful outrage over her demonstrating that she was someone with too much money and too little common sense: She's cloned her dogs.  She should be ashamed.  Not only because there are rescue dogs in need of homes but also because it shows where her priorities are -- bringing to life dead dogs.  She's is the dead.  The Living Dead.

    And the rightful shock over the cloning of dogs led many to miss the most outrageous part of the feature.

    This is what the nut case said:

    And now, in retrospect, Bush looks quite good compared to Trump. At least he’s not mean-spirited.

    Useless nut said what?

    Bully Boy Bush looks quite good compared to Trump.

    Let's quote someone more gifted and more knowledgeable -- certainly more ethical -- than Barbra.  This is Harry Belafonte from his best selling MY SONG:

    I really did think -- still do -- that George W. Bush was a terrorist.  My only mistake was in calling him the greatest terrorist in the world, since I had not met them all.  His launching a war against Iraq without cause, and with treacherous intent, resulting in the needless deaths of thousands of American servicemen and -women and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens, the majority of them civilians, qualified him for the title, as far as I was concerned.  Those thousands of innocent lives lost were, to the Bush Administration, just "collateral damage," a phrase that I find infuriating.  To me, collateral damage is just a brazen attempt to find moral grounds for crimes against humanity.

    That reality never occurs to Barbra.  She's apparently stuffed her face so full of fillers that there's no chance for an independent or honest thought to penetrate that skull.

    Recently, still needing applause but too lazy to do anything, Barbra's taken to praising herself for not being harassed.  She leaves out the part about how her then live-in Jon Peters harassed plenty of women and Barbra didn't hold him accountable but instead blamed the women.

    Today is the 15th anniversary of the start of the ongoing Iraq War and an airhead like Barbra is so out of touch she actually declared this month, "And now, in retrospect, Bush looks quite good compared to Trump. At least he’s not mean-spirited."

    Think of all the millions dead and wounded in this illegal war and you start to grasp how a society can arrive at a point where they exclaim, "Off with her head!"

    In Iraq, babies are born with birth defects because of the weapons the US used there.  But Barbra's cloning her damn dogs.  She should fear people storming Malibu.  Maybe that would force her to do something wiser with the money too many have foolishly forked over to her.

    Let's note crazy Barbra's hero Robert Mueller.

    Amid the hysteria in Britain & as the 15th anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq nears, here's a video of Robert Mueller lying to the world about WMD's This vile criminal, responsible for countless deaths, has been fully rehabilitated by liberals

    Robert Mueller in 2003 ahead of the start of the Iraq War: As Director [George] Tenat has pointed out, Secretary [Colin] Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its Weapons of Mass Destruction willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international  community.  Our particular concern is that Saddam Hussein may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material.

    Harry Belafonte one more time:

    To which I say, nine years later: Who was right and who was wrong about Iraq?  About the satellite images showing supposed mobile factories for chemical weapons?  About the supposed bunkers of munition workers?  About the stockpiled weapons of mass destruction?  And is it too much to suggest that Powell and [Condi] Rice, in their eagerness to please their president, did indeed make the moral compromises that house Negroes made in the days of slavery?  That had they followed a higher moral calling, they might have helped prevent that war?

    Some stand tall,  Some cowards (Barbra, we mean you) slither on their bellies like the snakes they are.

    Pay attention, Barbra:

    Here’s my problem with many, though not all, of . Many of the GOP leaders they now eviscerate for enabling Trump also enabled phony WMD evidence & torture before and during Iraq war. As did they.

    Oh.  Believe he burned you, Barbra, worse than in any of his  film reviews attacking you.

    What trash like Barbra and Rachel Maddow have done is muddy the waters.

    Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, 48% of Americans say the decision to use military force was wrong, while slightly fewer (43%) say it was the right decision.

    That number should be much higher but when liars go around spinning for the War Merchants like Robert Mueller and Hillary Clinton and Bully Boy Bush, it's no surprise that the number isn't higher.

    It's cute to watch the whores line up to redeem the death merchants who sold the Iraq War.  But, hey, they also feel that Hillary Clinton was presidential and she voted for the Iraq War, she supported it and only finally called it a mistake after Barack Obama used it to bury her in the Democratic Party primaries of 2008.  And, only much later, would she explain the "mistake" she made was not to vote for and support the illegal war but to believe that Bully Boy Bush would have sent more US troops into Iraq in March of 2003 than he ended up doing.

    That's her "mistake."  And, for the record, though the press has repeatedly insisted in the last four years that she has apologized, she never apologized for the Iraq War.  Nor did she use her time as Secretary of State attempting to help Iraqi women.  She even rejected the pleas of one of her few actual female friends who begged her to do something for Iraqi women.

    Cindy Sheehan has an essay about this 15th anniversary of the ongoing tragedy and we'll note this section:

    o call the 2003 US invasion and subsequent (and ongoing) occupation of Iraq a "mistake" would also be highly inappropriate. The US war machine and its "coalition" knew exactly what they were doing---the destruction of Iraq to seize the oil fields and enrich the war profiteers has been highly successful for them. The destructive US foreign policy is policy, not “oops, we just fell into a war and made a mess.”

    The consequences for today are a horrid legacy of poverty and disease for the people of Iraq. Depleted uranium and poisoned water and land are still killing the people there and the US is still occupying the country despite the fraud of Commander in Grief Obama ending the war in 2009; as agent orange and unexploded land mines are still haunting the people of Vietnam, who "won" the war, but have lost the peace. 

    The ongoing war has destroyed the country of Iraq and reduced it to a nation of widows and orphans where the median age isn't even 20.  Are they thrilled?  They must be!  We keep hearing that things have never been better in Iraq.  Campbell MacDiarmid (ALJAZEERA) explains that the sentiment of the few rulers and not the feelings of the masses:

    "My older brother grew up a few years ahead of me and had friends in different governorates across Iraq but for me, I have only friends in Anbar, I don't have friends in Basra or in other governorates," said Mahmoud Zaki, 34. "Because of what happened with the invasion and the sectarianism that came afterwards divided the Iraqi fabric, it kept us apart."
    With dead relatives, lost opportunities and a feeling of insecurity, many Iraqis remain less interested in elections and democracy than taking care of their loved ones. "I don't want to be wealthy; I want to have a decent life, I want to be safe, I want my family to be safe," said Zaki, who spent two years in American-run prisons on spurious accusations of supporting the rebellion.
    The ongoing violence even makes many Iraqis nostalgic for the relative stability under the former strongman.

    "Under Saddam, you could do whatever you wanted to do, so long as you stayed away from politics and didn't say anything against the government," said Sami Josef, a 32-year-old Christian from Baghdad whose uncle died fighting the Americans. "Until this day, I say God rest the soul of Saddam."

    We need honesty.

    Instead we get lies from idiots like Amanda Terkel (HUFFINGTON POST).  Idot?

    She did write:

    In 2012, Obama won re-election against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was one of the biggest hawks in Congress.

    In 2012, Barack ran against Mitt Romney.  They're called facts, Terkel.

    Need some more?  Ben Rhodes is a hack and a hawk.  You shouldn't promote him if you're talking about a future of wise decisions.

    Nor should you promote War Hawk Tammy Duckworth.  She is not a progressive.  And her being in Congress didn't stop Libya from being attacked, did it?

    It's interesting that Terkel pretends to be against the Iraq War -- such a poser -- but I'm seeing tons of pro-War Hawks in her article and only  two -- Russ Feingold and Katrina vanden Heuvel -- who actually opposed the war.

    The Iraq War started on March 19th (US) and March 20th (Iraq).  That's the time difference.  We'll note the anniversary tomorrow as well.

    But for those that don't grasp the Iraq War has continued, note this:

    This week in 2017, the US dropped a 500 lbs bomb on a crowded residential area of West Mosul, Iraq, unleashing a massive explosion, which killed nearly 300 civilians, many of them children. The strike was the US’s most deadly air strike for civilians in 25 years.

    Also don't forget that seven US service members were killed in the helicopter crash last week in Iraq.  From the US Defense Dept:

    Killed was:
    Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. For more information, media may contact the 23rd Wing public affairs office at 229-257-4146.
    Also killed were:
    Captain Andreas B. O'Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
    Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
    Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
    Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.
    All four were assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York. For more information, media may contact the New York National Guard public affairs office at 518-786-4581.
    Also killed were:
    Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida.
    Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.
    Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. For more information, media may contact the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office at 321-615-0329.

    Saturday, March 17, 2018

    Glad McCabe got fired

    BBC NEWS reports:

    Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe has been sacked days before he could retire with pension rights.
    He was fired by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said an internal review found he leaked information and misled investigators.

    NBC NEWS adds:

    Unlike Trump's removal of Comey last year, which produced widespread resentment inside the FBI, McCabe's termination was recommended by the agency he served for 21 years.
    Sunday is McCabe's 50th birthday, which would have made him eligible for certain substantial retirement benefits.
    The FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility proposed the termination, based on the findings of the Justice Department's inspector general. That office has been examining the bureau's handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation.

    Good.  I'm glad he's fired.

    I said earlier this week that he should be.

    And I'm tired of their little scams.

    No public servant should be getting a million dollar pension.

    He'll probably still get his.

    But this has to stop.

    The middle class is being destroyed in this country, pensions are under attack and those at the top are seeing to it that they get million dollars pensions?  Oh, hell no.  Fire him and pull his damn pension.

    He violated the rules, he deserved to get fired.  We need accountability -- a lot more of it.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Friday, March 16, 2018.  Seven more US service members dead in Iraq.

    The Iraq War hits the 15th year anniversary in a matter of days and the ongoing war was brought to the world by so many -- most of whom have never faced any real accountability.  Take US Senator Dianne Feinstein.  From the state of California, she voted to support the war.  Opposing the war was no problem in California.  Barbara Boxer, for instance, was also in the Senate at the time and she voted against the Iraq War.

    California US House Reps who voted against it?  Susan Davis, Loretta Sanchez, Hilda Solis, Bob Filner, Joe Baca, Lois Caps, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Maxine Waters, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Diane Watson, Xavier Becerra, Gary Condit, Sam Farr, Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, Anna Eschoo, Pete Stark, Barbar Lee, Nancy Pelosi, George Miller, Lynn Woolsey, Robert Matsui and Mike Thompson.

    Her vote is not forgotten.  For example, in October 2017 this letter was published by THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:

    To the editor: Feinstein has made a highlight-free Senate career out of the feckless "third way" triangulation that treats bipartisanship as though it were an end in and of itself.
    She lost my vote in 2002 when she voted for the Iraq War. Now, she says we should give the race-baiter-in-chief a chance. What brave, bipartisan sentiment.
    California has now wasted 25 years of precious Senate representation on someone who thinks the best outcome is the precise midpoint between right and wrong. Feinstein needs to retire, but since she refuses to do what's best for her constituents, I'll be casting a vote to send her packing.
    Branden Frankel, Encino

    Feinstein has remained in office all this time because she's never had a serious challenger.  Now she does: Democrat Kevin de Leon who is currently the leader in the California state senate.  The primary is in June and Dianne will likely be on the general ballot in November.  But this is California and our state doesn't operate like every other state.  The June primary?  The top two vote getters -- regardless of party i.d. -- will be on the November ballot.  If the primary were held today, the top two would probably be Kevin de Leon and Dianne Feinstein.

    Last month, Alexei Koseff (SACRAMENTO BEE) reported:

    Then de León launched into a list of policies he would never vote for, obliquely highlighting some of the most controversial moments of Feinstein’s tenure in the Senate: supporting school vouchers in Washington D.C., authorizing the Iraq War, and voting for a law that allows intelligence agencies to sweep up Americans’ communications without a warrant as they are spying on foreign nationals. De León also criticized Feinstein for using young undocumented immigrants as “bargaining chips” with Trump.
    “I’m running because California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority,” he said. “Who do you trust to have the courage of your convictions?”

    Kevin was on CSPAN's WASHINGTON JOURNAL yesterday.

    While he was talking about how we move forward, the state was reminded last night of how Dianne Feinstein is our past and not a pleasant past at all.

    Dianne stood for -- and continues to stand for -- the Iraq War.

    That would be the ongoing war, that would be the war that cost another 7 US lives yesterday.

    Thanks, Dianne.

    . mourns the loss of personnel in yesterday's helicopter crash in western Iraq. Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and fellow service members of our fallen troopers.

    All 7 troops onboard a U.S. military helicopter died when their helicopter crashed near the Iraq-Syria border on Thursday evening
    JUST IN: All 7 US military members on board a helicopter that crashed Thursday in western Iraq near the Syrian border were killed, a US military official says

    Again, thanks Dianne Feinstein.  You made your choices.  Your choices came with consequences.  Others have paid for their choices, it's time Dianne did as well.

    Tomorrow, THE DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL will run their count of the US service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It's one of the few US outlets that regularly notes the US dead in these wars.  Their count should be 4542.  The seven who've died from the helicopter crash will bring the total number of US service members who've died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion to 4542.

    Let's do some more figures because the US media ignores those killed in Iraq -- the Iraqi civilians and the US service members.

    We are in the third month of 2018.  And?  Already more US service members have died in Iraq in 2018 than died in 2012 in Iraq, than died in 2013 in Iraq, than died in 2014, than died in 2015, than died in 2017.  Of recent years?  Only 2016 has had more deaths.  That number is 17.  We're only in the third month of the year and the number of US service members who have died in Iraq for the year is 9.

    Along with the seven from last night's crash, two had already passed in Iraq: Sgt Christina Marie Schoenecker and Spc Javion S. Sullivan.

    Melanie's "Till They All Get Home" (first appears on her album CRAZY LOVE):

    Pray that the souls of the 7 U.S. servicemen who passed away in western Iraq RIP and their families and units have the strength to cope.

    7 US service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash

    Senator Dianne Feinstein turns 85 this year (June 22nd).  She's gotten to live a long life.  How sad that her actions have ensured that so many others did not have that same opportunity.  She's supported this war -- this ongoing war -- since 2002.

    Time should be up for Dianne when it comes to serving in the Senate.  She should be sent packing.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: