Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Crooked Clarnece

Crooked Clarence cant keep his name out of the news.  Sally Reed PUBLINATION reports:


Faithful America expressed concern over text messages between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife, Ginni, and President Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, regarding overturning the 2020 election results.



Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, Justice Thomas's wife, is an outspoken conservative activist who supported efforts to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss. According to reports, Ginni Thomas emailed and texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, urging him to work to overturn the election results. She regretted these messages but denied influencing her husband's decisions on the Court.

However, Ginni Thomas's political activism and connections to Trump's allies have fueled calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from Trump-related cases. In particular, critics point to Ginni Thomas's relationships with Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow, influential conservative donors who have supported causes Ginni Thomas champions. They argue these connections could compromise Justice Thomas's impartiality in cases involving Trump.

The calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself come as public trust in the Supreme Court has dropped to a record low. Only 40 percent of Americans approve of the Court's performance, and 42 percent say the Court is too conservative. Allowing Justice Thomas to rule on cases where his impartiality has been reasonably questioned threatens to further erode public confidence in the Court.

Supporters counter that Supreme Court justices have discretion over recusal and that there is no evidence Justice Thomas cannot rule impartially in Trump-related cases. However, others argue that given the high stakes and controversy surrounding these cases, the appearance of impartiality is equally essential to consider.


 Clarence just wipes his with the Constitution, doesn't he?  He doesn't give a damn about the reputation of the Court.  He's prepared to sully it to take bribes and much worse.  He needs to to drop out of the case; however, it's Crooked Clarence so he'll try to avoid doing that.  He wants to avoid accountability but it will come for him. One way or another, it will come for him.  And his legacy will be one of corruption.  He'll be known forever more as the most corrupt justice the Supreme Court ever had.



More problems for Crooked Clarence as  Candace McDuffie (THE ROOT) notes:


Crystal Clanton, the white woman who went viral for sending racist text messages, including “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE,” has been hired as a law clerk by U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas. The announcement was made last week by George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, which is Clanton’s alma mater.

Clanton previously worked as a law clerk by two federal judges: U.S. District Judge Corey Maze in Birmingham, Alabama and Chief U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“After Judge Maze recounted to me how well Crystal performed in her clerkship on the district court, I had high expectations for her on the Eleventh Circuit,” Pryor said in a statement according to the Antonin Scalia Law School. “And she exceeded those expectations. Crystal is an outstanding law clerk.”

Clanton also worked for Thomas’ wife Ginni and even once lived with the couple. A misconduct investigation was executed by Democratic lawmakers to evaluate Clanton’s past racist behavior following her stint as national field director for the right-wing group Turning Point USA.

In 2017, a damning story about the group in the New Yorker revealed that Clanton had sent a text message to an associate exclaiming, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE ... I hate blacks. End of story.” That same year, Clanton’s excuse for the alleged behavior is that she did not remember sending the messages.

That's Crooked Clarence for you.  A disgrace to his race.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024.  Starvation in Gaza as the assault continues.


ALJAZEERA notes, "Famine is stalking Gaza as aid agencies struggle to deliver food to the north of the enclave, the head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has warned. Humanitarian aid has not reached people in northern Gaza for more than a month, Philippe Lazzarini said on Sunday."  Need examples?  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!  



AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

We begin today’s show with Israel’s war on Gaza, where a famine is unfolding. The United Nations said today the great majority of some 400,000 Gazans who are at risk of starving are, quote, “actually in famine,” not just at risk of famine. The U.N. World Food Programme says the flow of aid into Gaza from Egypt and the distribution of food that does get through has slowed in the past two weeks.

This comes as the Shehab news agency reports a 2-month-old Palestinian boy named Mahmoud Fattouh died from starvation Friday in northern Gaza, just days after the United Nations warned of an explosion in child deaths due to the lack of food and water.

This is a displaced Palestinian mother sheltering at a school in the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza.

PALESTINIAN MOTHER: [translated] My son is 1 year old. He’s asking for bread, for baby bottle milk. He’s going after me everywhere, asking for a bottle. What would I feed him? There is no milk. There is no bread. There is nothing. There is no food. What will I feed him?

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, in central Gaza, there are two young siblings from Gaza City who are now living in a tent camp near Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah. They describe being forced to eat animal feed.

SERAJ SHEHADA: [translated] When we were in Gaza City, we used to eat nothing. We would eat every two days.

SAAD SHEHADA: [translated] My mother, brother and aunts were martyred. We are the only ones left, my father and my two brothers. Due to hunger and poverty, we secretly came to Deir al-Balah. We did not tell our father. After we came here, our grandmother called and started shouting at us. … We used to eat bird food. It was bitter. We did not want to eat it. We used to do so forcibly. We used to have a small loaf every two days. We did not like it, as it was bitter. … We did not have clean water. We used to drink saltwater, and we got sick. We did not have water to wash nor clothes to wear. Where could we have gotten those? We came here.

AMY GOODMAN: The boys are 11 and 9 years old.

This comes as U.N. chief António Guterres warned Monday against a full-scale Israeli military operation in Rafah, where well over a million displaced Palestinians have sought refuge, saying it would deliver, quote, “the final nail in the coffin,” unquote, for aid programs in Gaza, where humanitarian assistance remains, quote, “completely insufficient.”

For more, we go to Cairo, Egypt, where we’re joined by Mosab Abu Toha, a Palestinian poet, teacher, author and founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza. His new piece for The New Yorker magazine is headlined, “My Family’s Daily Struggle to Find Food in Gaza.” In it, he writes about a message that his brother Hamza posted on social media earlier this month, which included a picture of what he was eating that day: in his words, quote, “a ragged brown morsel, seared black on one side and flecked with grainy bits.” He translates his brother’s Arabic caption, quote, “This is the wondrous thing we call 'bread' — a mixture of rabbit, donkey, and pigeon feed. There is nothing good about it except that it fills our bellies. It is impossible to stuff it with other foods, or even break it except by biting down hard with one’s teeth.”

Mosab Abu Toha, welcome back to Democracy Now! If you can start by responding to what you heard — you got out of Gaza with your children — when you heard that a 2-month-old boy starved to death on Friday in Gaza?

MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, in fact, this is very scary, because most of the population in Gaza are children. And all my cousins and most of my nephews and nieces are younger than 10. So, none of them would survive if they didn’t have any good food or clean water for days.

Yesterday, I got a video from my brother Hamza showing that my mother and my in-law were digging through the rubble looking for some food, but all they could find were some books that were in my home. So, people are returning to their bombed houses, which is not a safe place to search for food, looking for some food that they used to have in their houses. And the news about the death of some children is really scary, because, as I mentioned, most of the people in Gaza are children.

AMY GOODMAN: So, talk more about your brother’s family and what he’s facing right now, and how you’re dealing with this, with your boys and your wife in Cairo.

MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, one startling thing is that my 8-year-old boy, whenever we sit to eat or whenever we get a phone call or whenever we try to call our family in Gaza, the first thing my son asks is, “Does my family in Gaza have food? Are they eating?” So, he doesn’t think about anything that has to do with the war itself. He doesn’t say that, “Are they in a safe place? Is there no bombing anymore, God willing?” No, he asks about food, because he knows what it means to have little food when we were living in Gaza, before we left in December. So, every time he hears us talking to our family in Gaza, he would ask, “Does my grandfather have food? Does my grandmother?” Then he starts to mention his cousins’ names. “Is Mustafa, is he eating? Is Nahida eating?” So he starts to mention them by name.

And for me, I feel really, really depressed whenever I go out in the street and find food. So, two days ago, I went and I bought two loaves of bread for about less than a dollar. If I’m taking this, these two loaves of bread, to Gaza right now, I would make a fortune. I would sell them for about maybe $50 — I’m serious — because one — so, yeah, this is very recent news. One sack of bread, which weighs 25 kilograms, is sold for $1,500, because there is no wheat flour. This is yesterday. And now I think the government in Gaza — though there is no government, but some people who worked with the government — are threatening people who are selling these things for very, very staggering prices.

AMY GOODMAN: Has your sister-in-law given birth yet?

MOSAB ABU TOHA: Yes, she gave birth to a boy. His name is Ali. And now the boy is 10 days old. And my brother could find something like a gift for his wife. He could find a few pieces of beef and a few grains of rice for $100. So, this wouldn’t even be enough for his wife, who gave birth just 10 days ago. So, although it’s a very expensive thing, he could find these things after a week of search.

AMY GOODMAN: The last time UNRWA was able to deliver food aid to northern Gaza was January 23rd. Since then, together with other U.N. agencies — this is a tweet from Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA. He said, “The last time we have warned against” — it says, “Since then, together with other UN agencies, we have warned against looming famine, appealed for regular humanitarian access, stated that famine can be averted if more food convoys are allowed into northern Gaza on a regular basis. Our calls to send food aid have been denied & have fallen on deaf ears. This is a man made disaster. The world committed to never let famine happen again. Famine can still be avoided, through genuine political will to grant access & protection to meaningful assistance. The days to come will once again test our common humanity and values.” Again, a post on social media by Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA, coming as the World Food Programme has also paused its aid delivery to northern Gaza, and, of course, UNRWA under siege. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long tried to get rid of the U.N. agency. And now nearly 20 countries have defunded it, including the country that gave UNRWA the most money, the United States. Mosab Abu Toha, your response?

MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, I would like the whole world to listen to this. Now Israel is not allowing food into the northern part of Gaza so people would regret not having left it, as Israel was encouraging people to — or, ordering people to leave. And now people are thinking, “OK, if we leave the northern part of Gaza, would it be safe to be in the south?” So, because the first few days and few weeks Israel was telling people and ordering people, “OK, you are safe now. You can take the Salah al-Din Street or the C Street and go to the south, because this would be a safe place for you,” and many, many people left, including me. And I was kidnapped on the way. But many people left, and now they are crowded in Rafah in tents. I have one brother who’s a bodybuilder and weightlifter. He’s a champion. He was a champion in Gaza. And he wrote me yesterday. He said, “Brother, I haven’t left my tent for a week. I’m depressed. I’m about to die.” So, he’s in Rafah, and he’s depressed. And he thinks that he’s going to die very soon. This is one thing.

And the other thing: How many food trucks have been halted from getting into Israel? How many weapons trucks, how many weapon, arms shipments were halted from getting into Israel? Why could Israel stop food trucks from getting in to civilians, when we know that most of these civilians are children, while all the people in the world could not stop the shipping of weapons, destructive weapons, into Israel? I’m not talking here about stopping food trucks from going into Israel, but I’m talking here about weapons. I mean, where is the mind of the people in the world? How could you allow this to happen? You are funding Israel with more weapons and more food, of course. But you are not — we are not asking people to allow weapon trucks into Gaza. I mean, we are not asking for this, because we don’t want this to continue. What we are asking for is that people in Gaza have food and have medicine. And we need to lift the siege on Gaza, because this siege, which has now intensified, did not start today. Gaza has been under siege since 2007. And now we are in the bleakest stages of this siege. Gaza is not only now under siege, but it’s under genocide. So, this is very scary. And I hope the world will not continue to watch and just show us that they are helpless in the face of Israel. And if you can’t get food into Gaza, can you please stop the shipping of weapons into Israel? Because they are killing us every day.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about the International Court of Justice, which has just concluded its six-day hearing on Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. This is Ralph Wilde, a representative of the League of Arab States.

RALPH WILDE: The occupation must end. Israel must renounce its claim to sovereignty over the Palestinian territory. All settlers must be removed immediately. This is required to end the illegality, to discharge the positive obligation to enable immediate Palestinian self-administration, and because Israel lacks any legal entitlement to exercise authority.

Second, in the absence of the occupation ending, necessarily, everything Israel does in the Palestinian territory lacks a valid international legal basis and is, therefore, subject to the Namibia exception, invalid, not only those things violating the law regulating the conduct of the occupation. Those norms entitle and require Israel to do certain things. But this doesn’t alter the more fundamental position from the law on the use of force and self-determination that Israel lacks any valid authority to do anything. And whatever it does is illegal, even if complying with or pursuant to the conduct regulatory rules.

I will close by quoting Palestinian academic and poet Refaat Alareer from his final poem, posted 36 days before he was killed by Israel in Gaza on the 6th of December, 2023. “If I must die, you must live to tell my story.”

AMY GOODMAN: That was Ralph Wilde, a representative of the League of Arab States, quoting the late Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer. Mosab Abu Toha, you were a close friend of Refaat. Can you respond to what he said?

MOSAB ABU TOHA: Well, I’m still wondering how Israel could be still a member of the United Nations when we know that it is occupying Palestinian land. I mean, this is, I think, one condition through which Israel joined the United Nations, I think, in the early 1950s, was to stand by, you know, the borders that were set after the partition plan. But now Israel occupies more than 90% of the Palestinian land.

I think what Refaat is asking is how the world is — you know, is unable to control a state that they continue to fund. I mean, they can’t control it, but they continue to fund it. And they continue to cut the funds to the United Nations organization that is trying to support the Palestinian people, not during this genocide, but UNRWA has been supporting people, and I was educated in their schools, and I went to their clinics and got medications for free. And now they are cutting their funding during the most critical time of our lives in Gaza, and also in other parts of the world. So, this really drives me insane, because the world is pretending to be unable to do anything, but they do the opposite: They continue to fund Israel. They send it weapons. They send Israel more fruit and more vegetables and more wheat flour and more gas, but they say, “OK, we can’t stop Israel from killing the children.” And, I mean, I hope that someone — someone — someone would come to explain this to me one time.

And also, one last point before I end with my answer, is that: How many officials from the world came to Gaza to meet with the real people there? If they are saying that Gaza is all Hamas, can you please come to Gaza and meet my mother, my brother, my sibling, Ali, who is now 10 days old? Can you come and meet them and listen to them, what they’re asking for? But it was easy for them to go to Israel and meet with the monsters there who are waging the war and who are inciting to kill more and more people. But they never came to Gaza. I think there is one reason for that: because Gaza does not have an airport. So it was easy for them to fly and land in the land of Israel, because they have an airport. But maybe one reason they couldn’t come to Gaza is that Gaza does not have an airport. I mean, I could try to understand that.

AMY GOODMAN: Mosab Abu Toha, we want to thank you for being with us, Palestinian poet, author, teacher, founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza. We will link to your new piece in The New Yorker magazine, headlined “My Family’s Daily Struggle to Find Food in Gaza.” His award-winning book is titled Things You Mays Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza.


The risk of “genocide” in northern Gaza is increasing amid rising fears of famine in the region, Oxfam warned in a statement yesterday.

Israel “is ignoring one of the key provisions of the International Court of Justice,” which is to provide “urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa director.

The two-month-long golden time of agriculture in the enclave has been “destroyed” under Israeli operations, and the country has restricted lifesaving aid from entering the city, the statement said.

It added that the worst results might come for some 300,000 people in northern Gaza if no proper management and supplementation have been addressed immediately.







US President Joe Biden said that he hopes there’ll be a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict by “next Monday,” as the death toll in Gaza approaches 30,000, according to health officials.

“Well I hope by the beginning of the weekend, I mean, the end of the weekend,” Biden said after being asked when a ceasefire might start during an appearance on Monday at an ice cream shop in New York City with comedian Seth Meyers. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close, it’s not done yet. And my hope is that by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire,” Biden added.     



Do you hope so, Joe?  Do you hope so?  It's a pity you're not in a position to make it happen, right?  Oh.  Wait.  You are.

And while he may be to addeled brained to grasp that, Americans are not.  Brett Wilkins (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

The historic wave of Jewish-led protests against U.S. complicity in Isreal's genocidal war on Gaza continued Monday as members of the group Jewish Voice for Peace were arrested for occupying NBC headquarters in New York City in a bid to disrupt the taping of President Joe Biden's appearance on a popular late-night TV show.

JVP activists wearing shirts reading "Not In Our Name" unfurled banners and chanted slogans inside 30 Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, where Biden was taping an interview with the eponymous host of the "Late Night Show With Seth Meyers."

"Biden, Biden, you can't hide, you are funding genocide," the protesters chanted. Banners implored the president to "Stop Arming Genocide" and push for a "Lasting Cease-Fire" in Gaza, where more than 100,000 Palestinians have been killed or wounded and around 90% of the population has been forcibly displaced since the October 7 attacks on Israel. 

  "President Biden's deadly foreign policy has expedited weapons sales to Israel," said Jewish Voice for Peace New York, which also criticized the administration for ignoring the International Court of Justice's provisional ruling last month that Israel is "plausibly" perpetrating genocide, suspending funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and vetoing three U.N. cease-fire resolutions.

"The president needs to start answering to the American people—not the far-right Israeli government indiscriminately bombing the people of Gaza, destroying 70% of infrastructure, including hospitals, universities, and the electricity and water grids," the group added.

Jay Saper of JVP said Monday that "our Jewish tradition teaches us that life is precious."

"As Jewish New Yorkers, we are absolutely outraged that President Biden is actively supporting a genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza," he added.

In addition to taping Tuesday's "Late Night" episode, Biden and Meyers visited the on-site Van Leeuwen ice cream parlor, where the president ordered mint chip in a sugar cone. While there, a reporter asked when there would be a cease-fire in Gaza.

"My national security adviser tells me that we're close, we're close; it's not done yet," Biden replied. "My hope is by next Monday we'll have a cease-fire."

Early in the war, Biden proclaimed his "rock-solid and unwavering" commitment to Israel while refusing to call for a cease-fire. As Israeli bombs and bullets killed and maimed tens of thousands of Palestinians—mostly women and children—the president asked for over $14 billion in additional U.S. military aid to Israel, which already receives nearly $4 billion from Washington annually. Biden also repeatedly circumvented Congress to expedite emergency military assistance to the key Middle East ally.

Even after calling Israel's bombardment of Gaza "indiscriminate" and "over the top," Biden has continued to provide the country with military and diplomatic support.

Demonstrations led by JVP and other Jewish-led groups, chiefly IfNotNow, have filled the streets of cities from coast to coast, shut down major transit hubs, occupied landmarks, disrupted Biden's campaign events, and much more in the name of demanding an immediate cease-fire and an end to U.S. complicity in the Gaza genocide.

"The president needs to start answering to the American people. Not the genocidal Israeli government," JVP activist Eve Feldberg said on Monday. "And the people have made it clear: We want a cease-fire now and weapons embargo on Israel." 


As noted yesterday, Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire to protest the treatment of Palestinians.  At POLITICO, Matt Berg and Alexander Ward write:

There is no more visceral symbol of the growing displeasure with America’s Israel policy than an active-duty airman’s self-immolation outside Israel’s embassy in D.C.

The Air Force member doused himself with a flammable substance and screamed “Free Palestine!” adding that he no longer wanted to be “complicit in genocide.” The airman died Sunday from his injuries.

This, of course, was one person’s action, and the airman’s views don’t necessarily reflect those others criticizing the Biden administration over its handling of the Israel-Hamas war. But the self-immolation is an escalation of the anger from within the government, which until now manifested itself in resignations and hastily called group meetings.

The dramatic moment comes at a precarious time for President JOE BIDEN. While he’s making increasingly strong statements against Israel’s approach in Gaza, those aren’t necessarily keeping up with anger being felt by some of his key constituencies.

There’s a protest campaign going in Michigan, home to many Muslim-Americans, to write in “uncommitted” instead of ticking the box next to Biden’s name. Michigan Gov. GRETCHEN WHITMER said she’s “not sure” what will happen during Tuesday’s primary.

The airman’s very public act could lead those who work in the administration or are members of the services to become more outspoken.

“You’re trying to shock the consciousness” with self-immolation, said DAVID CORTRIGHT, a longtime expert in nonviolent social change who was an active duty soldier when he protested the Vietnam War, told NatSec Daily. “The desire to inspire is absolute there”


NDTV offers this summary of Aaron:

Who was Aaron Bushnell?

  • Mr Bushnell,  originally from San Antonio, Texas, was raised in Massachusetts and went to public schools on the Cape Cod peninsula.  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-68405119
  • Aaron Bushnell studied Computer Software Engineering at Southern New Hampshire University and took Computer Science courses at the University of Maryland Global Campus. https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-bushnell-875897280/ 
  • Aaron Bushnell worked as a cyber defense operations specialist in the Air Force's 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing. He served with the 531st Intelligence Support Squadron and had been on active duty since May 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/us-air-force-member-set-fire-israeli-embassy-dc-died-rcna140455
  • Mr Bushnell was also an "aspiring software engineer" according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been employed at a San Antonio-based company called DevOps from March 2023 until the current month. 
  • In his LinkedIn profile, Mr Bushnell mentioned graduating "top of class" from Air Force basic training in November 2020.  He had a “talent and a passion for solving complex problems with code.” 


 Gaza remains under assault. Day 144 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  NBC NEWS notes, "More than 29,780 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 70,000 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead. ." Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:







And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."   


New content at THIRD:



The following sites updated:


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Black History Month and Black Current Events

I had an e-mail about how it was Black History Month and I'm not noting it.  I'm not?  I'm not in school anymore so I don't do reports daily.  I do try to note Black issues as often as I can.  Being Black, seems to me I'm noting Black issues regularly.   Before I read Cecile's e-mail, I was thinking about noting a destruction that took place.  Then I saw a hair story.  And, after I read Cecile's e-mail, I saw an e-mail from Bobby about Darian Aaron's LGBTQ NATION report.  Let's note that report:


But for decades,  gay strategist and King advisor Bayard Rustin has remained a footnote in the retelling of this historic day. Rustin was the lead organizer behind the march, yet his legacy has long remained trapped within the privileged halls of academia and has come dangerously close to complete erasure. 

The undermining of Rustin’s legacy and the blatant disregard for the influential principles of nonviolence he introduced to King was by design. For decades, activists agreed to cast Rustin as an extra instead of a leading player due to his sexuality amidst internal fears of damage to the Civil Rights movement. 

Unsurprisingly, many people only became aware of Rustin as a civil rights icon after the 2023 release of the Netflix biopic bearing his last name.


“On the day that I was born Black, I was also born a homosexual. They either believe in freedom and justice for all, or they do not.”- Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in “Rustin” 

While vastly different than when Rustin lived, the Black LGBTQ+ experience in America today remains hindered by a rigid white Judeo-Christian patriarchal standard that excludes deviations and those who represent that perceived “deviance.” 




I am so hoping that Domingo wins an Oscar for his performance.  RUSTIN is a great film.  And yet I didn't see a lot of people rally around it.  Infamously, I saw BLACK POWER MEDIA -- three men on BPM -- denounce the film.  And it was a really strange clip about how we needed more stories told for Black history -- not just the same one told over and over (was that a jab at Whoopi Goldberg?).  So they say that and then, minutes later, you've got Jared Ball saying RUSTIN is too gay.  Bayard Rustin was a gay man.  If you're going to tell his story, you can't hide who he was (nor should you).  They did another segment, BPM, on Sunday.  C.I. and I streamed it.  It was supposedly defending gay men.  But they came in late in their clip so you had no idea what they were speaking of -- again 3 men -- but they appeared to have some college course and wanted you to know that, in Africa, it wasn't so structured -- gender roles.  Thanks for the poor argument and the lack of examples.  But C.I. and I did a book discussion ten years ago on BOY-WIVES AND FEMALE HUSBANDS: STUDIES IN AFRICAN HOMOSEXUALITIES.  That was actually the second time she and I had covered that book.  We also did something for either THIRD or HILDA'S MIX.  So, yeah, you're not honoring the homeland of Africa if you're pimping strict gender roles nor if you're pimping homophobia and this sentence that you're reading right here is more coherent than anything BPM offered in their ten minute clip supposedly on this topic.

I'm really not impressed.  Sorry.  I have a gay brother. I'm not playing on this topic.  I also have two eyes and I see the homophobia increasing and efforts to make it acceptable.  I'm not here to play. 

Domingo gave a great performance in a great movie.  And it's a shame that a resource calling itself "BLACK POWER MEDIA" is not uplifting our own.  Jeffrey Wright has a praised film -- I haven't seen it yet -- in AMERICAN FICTION.  He and Colman are both nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category which I believe is a first -- two Black men nominated for it in the same year.  Let me ask C.I.  Nope, Will Smith and Denzel Washington  two years back were both nominated for Best Actor, and about 18 years ago she says Forest Whittaker and Will Smith were both nominated,  2005 saw Jamie Foxx and  Don Cheadle both nominated and  2002 saw Denzel and Will nominated.  So that's five times that two Black actors have both been nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards in the same year. Women?

For years, it was just Dorothy Dandridge.  Then, in 1973, Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson were both nominated.  They made history.  The first Black women nominated since Dorothy in the fifties and the first time two Black women were nominated in the same year for Best Actress.  Only once since have two Black actresses been nominated for Best Actress in the same year, in 2021 when Viola Davis and Andra Day were both nominated. And let's note that only one woman has resulted in two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress:  Billie Holiday.  Diana Ross was nominated when she portrayed Billie and Andra Day was nominated when she portrayed Billie.  So there's some Black history.  





Texas judge struck a blow to the state’s newly adopted CROWN Act on Thursday, ruling that a public school district can continue to punish a Black teen who wears his hair in locs.


In a trial that lasted just a few hours, Judge Chap Cain III ruled that Barbers Hill Independent School District did not violate the CROWN Act when it subjected Darryl George, 18, to in-school suspensions and off-site instruction for nearly six months.

George has been isolated from his peers for most of the school year since he was first disciplined by Barbers Hill High School in August for violating the school’s dress code.

George wears his hair in long, thick locs, which the school says is against its policy governing boys’ hair. Its dress code says boys may not wear their hair longer than their eyebrows, below their ears or past a T-shirt collar—a policy critics say stems from anti-Black stereotypes.



You know, first off, the co-author of the bill said it was a violation of the bill for George to be punished.  From the article:

Although the judge sided with the school district in its interpretation of the CROWN Act, Texas Rep. Ron Reynolds, one of the law’s co-authors, said that George’s locs should be protected under it. Reynolds testified that although length wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the text, the CROWN Act should cover locs because “length was inferred with the very nature of the style.”

This isn’t the first time Barbers Hill has come under scrutiny for unfairly punishing Black students over its dress code. In 2020, another Black student filed suit against the district when he was told he couldn’t walk at graduation because of his hair. In the district, Black students make up only 4 percent of the student body.




Second, what the heck?  This is beyond stupid.  A boy's hair can't go below the eyebrow?  What?  

You know what, people make fun of the hippies and flower power and all that.  Not me.  I would have loved to have lived in that era.  The Mamas and the Papas, Sly and the Family Stone, Arthur Lee fronting the band Love, Diana Ross fronting the Supremes, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis, Aretha, Jefferson Airplane.  And music lovers who didn't take crap.  They dressed the way they wanted and wore their hair the way that they wanted.  And the battled school districts that tried to say otherwise.  Those were pretty strong people.  God bless the hippies.  We could use some of that spirit today.

Third, what happened to parental rights?  If they had told me how my kids could wear their hair or not in Georgia or California, you would have seen me on the news as the woman acting the fool at school because I wouldn't have accepted that.


Now for the last part of this grab bag, leave it to Black History Month for the racists to go so rabid that they do this:

A monument honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., created by the nation's first African American NASA astronaut candidate, was vandalized in a Denver park this week by perpetrators who pried off a large bronze plaque and other pieces from the statue's pedestal, authorities said.

The damage to the "I Have a Dream" monument in City Park occurred in the middle of Black History Month and was discovered Wednesday morning by a concerned citizen, according to Vern Howard, chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission.

Howard, who was the project manager on the monument, told ABC News Thursday he suspects the vandalism and theft was a "coordinated effort," saying the largest piece taken from the monument was too heavy to have been carried off by a single individual.






"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, February 22, 2024.  Gaza death toll nears 30,000, Israel military lawyers warns of possible criminal prosecution for IDF forces, the Israeli government destroys a mosque, hate merchants in the US continue their attacks, and much more.

Starting with this: 18-year-old Jack Johnson of Louisiana arrested for murder.  Police were called to the Benton, LA home of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson's earlier this morning when a screaming woman phoned to report a homicide.  When they arrived on the premises, the screaming woman turned out to be a very high strung Speaker Johnson who had discovered his son in an exhausted state of bliss, the younger Johnson having just jerked off.   "All of those children! Dead!" wailed the Speaker as he waved his son's still damp cum rag in the faces of the responding officers.  


That is where Alabama's latest nonsense leads, right?  Hannah Irvine (FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION) reports:

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that embryos outside of the womb qualify as human beings in a ruling that further thwarts reproductive freedom in the state. In the 131 page opinion Alabama judges quoted the Bible and listened to complicated theoretical legal arguments before ultimately coming to the 7-2 decision. 

The case comes after two Alabama couples pursuing IVF sued the Alabama Mobile Infirmary Medical Centre after a patient was able to break into the hospital’s cryogenic facility and subsequently dropped two embryos. The embryos at this stage have been chosen as suitable for possible transfer into the uterus. Even though they have passed this hurdle, they are still 50% likely to fail when transferred. 

The two plaintiffs filed their complaints under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The judges used this act as the legal basis for their decision, citing that the “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies on its face to all unborn children, without limitation.” This landmark ruling not only is a clear product of a pro-life agenda strengthened by religious propaganda but also serves as a reminder of the strict grip that Alabama lawmakers want to have over reproductive health in the state. 

This ruling further tightens abortion regulations and it will also serve as a barrier to the people of Alabama who wish to go through the IVF process. Hospitals view the ruling as a huge risk, making it almost impossible to run an IVF clinic without the constant fear of causing a “death.” One thing is clear – the state of Alabama has offered women yet another haunting warning, they can and will take control of their reproductive rights as they see fit.

The idiots of the Alabama court are trying to destroy reproductive rights.  It never ends for them.  These nut jobs live on the slippery slope.  

In fact, here's footage of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito trying to use that slope to further erode equal rights.



I wasn't the only one rooting for the crocodile to catch Alito, was I?

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito attempted an “I told you so” on Tuesday when he criticized a judge’s dismissal of potential jurors in a workplace discrimination case because they believed homosexuality is a sin.

Alito said that’s exactly the type of outcome he warned against when, against his objections, the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

Alito said he’d anticipated that Americans would be labeled as bigots unless they hid their traditional religious beliefs about “homosexual conduct.”


Was that his inner voice warning him or just the ravings from a syphilis plagued mind?

All Alito wants is to live in a world where he can be a bigot but not get called one.  Is that so wrong?

Yeah, it is.  You're lying, hypocritical ass is so wrong and so disgusting.

Alito, please note, voted for Lori Davis.  He said that 'religious' people -- homophobes -- could refuse to do work for gay people.  Now he says that homophobes should be allowed to sit on a jury to rule as to whether or not LGBTQ+ rights have been broken.  Does no one else the blatant hypocrisy?

It's about time -- damn time -- that someone explained to Alito that freedom of religion in the US included freedom FROM religion.  

He's an evil man and hopefully he will die soon.  Maybe he'll break his neck rushing down one of those slippery slopes. The world will be a better place with one less bigot.



Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old Oklahoma high school sophomore, was beaten by three girl classmates in the bathroom of Owasso High School on Feb. 7. On Feb. 8, Nex – who identified within the Two Spirit, transgender, and gender nonconforming (2STGNC) umbrella – was declared dead at the hospital.

Now LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are mourning the loss of a straight-A student, a Minecraft fan, and animal lover – a teenager – in a school district previously targeted by Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik; Raichik now sits on the statewide library advisory board. In 2023, Oklahoma censured the state’s only nonbinary representative — not to mention signing into law a bill forcing public school students to use the bathroom associated with their gender assigned at birth; advocates are currently closely watching several anti-trans pieces of legislation.

Before Benedict’s name was made public, a source who claimed to be the mother of Benedict’s best friend told a local outlet the cause of death was “complications from brain trauma,” and that “three older girls were beating the victim and her daughter in the girl’s bathroom.” (We are not linking because the story uses Benedict’s deadname. According to Freedom Oklahoma, it’s not presently clear which pronouns Benedict used, so this story will refrain from using pronouns for Nex.) The anonymous source also alleged that Benedict couldn’t “walk to the nurses’ station” without assistance and that the school did not call an ambulance, while the school claims they were unaware of the fight until informed by a parent; on Feb. 20, the school backtracked, acknowledging that students saw the school nurse after the fight.

Texts allegedly sent by Nex after the fight to a family member, published by an Owasso Fox affiliate on the 20th, began, “I got jumped at school 3 on 1 had to go to the ER… They had been bullying me and my friends and I got tired of it so I poured some water on them and all 3 came after me. School did not report to the police and is probably getting sued [redacted].”

Benedict’s grandmother Sue, who also adopted Nex, brought Nex to the hospital after the fight, then home again; the next day, Nex was brought back to the hospital and was pronounced dead. Sue told The Independent that Nex was suspended for two weeks from school on the day of the fight; Sue also mentioned that Nex had been bullied throughout this school year.

“Nex did not see themselves as male or female. Nex saw themselves right down the middle. I was still learning about it, Nex was teaching me that,” Benedict told The Independent. “I was so proud of Nex. They were going some place, they were so free.”

Multiple outlets and individuals, including Oklahoma newscaster Wendy Suarez, as well as Freedom Oklahoma, the state’s LGBTQ+ advocacy org, connected Benedict’s death to the appointment of Raichik, who’s been accused of “stochastic terrorism," to the state’s “Library Media Advisory Committee” in January by the state’s Secretary of Public Instruction, Ryan Walters. According to the Independent, a “teacher who Nex had greatly admired” resigned in 2022 after Raichik targeted them on social media. Raichik has denied any responsibility in Benedict’s death, and has instead misgendered Nex repeatedly in social posts. As for Walters, in a 2023 video released by the Oklahoma Department of Education, he utilized transphobic rhetoric. He has also banned students from changing their gender on school records.

Last week, in Iraq, a blogger was murdered:


A trans blogger, known as “Simsim”, has been killed in the Al-Qadisiyah governorate of Iraq, a security source has said. 
The blogger was killed by unknown assailants, the source told Iraqi publication Shafaq News. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed several times, near the mural roundabout in the centre of the city of Diwaniyah.



So these lunatics think what?  That when they die, they'll meet their maker and their savior is going to high five them for killing an LGBTQ+ person?  They're as sick as the people who flew the planes into the Twin Towers.  

And sick minds are the reason for the continued assault on Gaza.  This morning ALJAZEERA reports:


The Israeli military’s top lawyer has issued an unprecedented warning to troops against “improper conduct” in Gaza which includes the unjustified use of force and looting among other “criminal” actions.

Major-General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, the military advocate general, issued the warning in a letter on Wednesday, as reported by the Haaretz newspaper, saying it was “difficult to exaggerate” the “severity” of the soldiers’ actions over nearly five months of the war.


They should be very worried about facing charges.  War Crimes are being carried out. Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

  Israeli airstrikes on the severely overcrowded Gaza city of Rafah on Thursday destroyed a mosque and several houses as the leaders of aid groups and key United Nations agencies issued their latest warning over deteriorating humanitarian conditions across the Palestinian territory.

Reutersreported that Rafah residents described the latest flurry of Israeli attacks as "one of their worst nights yet."

"Mourners wailed over at least seven corpses in body bags, laid out on cobbles outside a morgue in the city," the outlet reported. "Gaza health authorities said 97 people were confirmed killed and 130 wounded in the last 24 hours of Israeli assaults, but most victims were still under rubble or in areas rescuers could not reach. The al-Farouk mosque in the center of Rafah was flattened into slabs of concrete, the facades of adjacent buildings blasted away."

Rafah is currently home to around 1.5 million people, most of whom fled to the small city from elsewhere in the Gaza Strip to escape Israeli bombs and ground forces—only to face airstrikes and the threat of a ground assault not long after arriving. Starvation and disease are spreading rapidly in the city, which rests near Gaza's border with Egypt. 

Last night, Mike noted US President Joe Biden's refusal to demand a cease-fire, "A cease-fire now is the only answer -- right now.  If Joe's too senile to grasp that, he doesn't deserve a second term.  If he just doesn't care about Palestinians, he doesn't deserve a second term."


Joe's inability to find a spine was debated on yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

The United States on Tuesday vetoed a widely supported Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The vote was 13 to 1 in favor of the resolution, with the United Kingdom abstaining. It marked the third time the U.S. has vetoed a Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. The vote came a day after the U.S. circulated a rival resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all Israeli hostages.

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza over the past four-and-a-half months, with thousands more missing and presumed dead under the rubble. Nearly 70,000 people have been wounded. Eighty percent of Gaza’s population has been displaced, while a humanitarian crisis continues to worsen, with a quarter of Palestinians in Gaza facing starvation.

The Biden administration’s support for Israel in its assault on Gaza has come under fierce criticism both around the world and here at home. In Michigan, which is a key battleground state, home to one of the largest Arab American populations in the country, a campaign is growing to vote “uncommitted” in next week’s Democratic primary in protest of President’s Biden’s policies backing Israel.

For more, we’re joined by two guests. Michigan state Representative Abraham Aiyash is the Michigan House majority floor leader, the second-ranking Democrat in the Michigan House. Representative Aiyash was among several Arab and Muslim leaders who met with Biden officials in Dearborn last week, after refusing to meet with Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez. He’s also joined more than 40 other Michigan elected officials in pledging to cast a vote for “uncommitted” in Michigan’s February 27th primary. He’s joining us from Detroit. Joining us from Washington, D.C., on his way to Michigan, is Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna. He’s the deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is going to Michigan tomorrow to meet with Muslim and Arab American leaders in the state.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Abraham Aiyash, let’s begin with you. What are you demanding — as the Michigan House majority floor leader, what are you demanding of the Biden administration? You don’t usually take such stands against your own party, but right now the Democratic Party is really dealing with enormous pressure at this point. Can you talk about what you want to see happen?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: Look, I think our demands are simple. We just don’t want our government, our country to support, to aid, to abet any operation that kills innocent men, women and children. It is not a radical idea for us to suggest that the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world should not be funding what we see as a genocide, that we have seen nearly 30,000 dead Palestinians at the hands of the U.S.-funded Israeli missiles and bombs, and we want our leadership to not engage in that type of moral failure and that degenerative act that does not dignify the humanity of the Palestinian people. So, you know, more than anything, we’re not standing against anyone, but we’re simply reaffirming our stance for humanity and for the basic tenets of human rights, which says it is not a crazy concept that we should not be supporting any effort that is killing any innocent person in the world, especially to the magnitude that we’ve seen in Gaza, where more people have died in this conflict than any war since World War II, which is just a devastating toll.

And we’re hoping to exercise our right. We’re going to use the ballot box on February 27th to show that we are going to not support any effort that is supporting a genocide and that we’re going to stand firm and, hopefully, allow this administration to change course before the November election.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, I wanted to ask Congressman Ro Khanna, who’s with us, as well — you’ve said that, for example, that President Trump is too dangerous to not support President — I mean, former President Trump is too dangerous to not support President Biden. Your response to those Democrats who cannot in good conscience vote for President Biden, at least in this primary?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, first of all, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Representative Aiyash, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in Michigan. I do believe the administration needs to change course in foreign policy in the Middle East in order to gain the trust of people who we have lost. You can’t just meet with the Muslim American or Arab American community and then veto in the United Nations a resolution calling for a ceasefire and, by the way, an unconditional release of the hostages. This is the third time we have vetoed that. It is hurting our moral standing. It is hurting our commitment to human rights. And it is not giving confidence to people that you’re hearing them and changing course.

So, my hope is, in my meetings with Representative Aiyash and others, that we can come up with a strategy that helps change course in the Middle East so we get a permanent ceasefire, so we have a release of the hostages, so we get aid into Gaza, and we have more peace and justice in the region.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Representative Aiyash, I wanted to ask you about the meeting you had with Biden officials earlier this month in Dearborn. What did you get out of those talks?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: We were firm in reiterating our points. We want to see an immediate, permanent ceasefire. We want to see humanitarian aid delivered to the people of Gaza through entities like UNRWA. And we want to see restrictions and conditions on the aid that is sent to Israel. You know, it is unfathomable that we just send a blank check with no conditions to a country that has violated human rights, that has violated international law over and over and over again.

And we reminded the administration that, one, they showed up 124 days into this conflict. They visited a state that happens to be the swing state. So, we are not seeing the level of support. We’re not seeing the level of concern that our communities have demonstrated for months. And we reiterated those messages once again.

And unfortunately, just four days after that meeting, we saw the Netanyahu regime did one of the worst attacks on the Rafah region, and the United States still did not put the type of pressure on that regime to stop these heinous acts.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask Congressmember Khanna: Do you think the Biden administration made a mistake in vetoing yet another ceasefire resolution? And I want to go a little further. Right after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations issued that veto, President Biden was in Los Angeles at a fundraiser. He was attending a high-dollar fundraiser with the media mogul Haim Saban, well-known Democratic, pro-Israel billionaire. The dinner — the meeting was at, what, $3,300, to cost as much as $250,000. I’m looking at a piece now in Common Dreams. Your thoughts on this and on President Biden continually saying he’s putting enormous pressure privately on Netanyahu, yet their private acts continue to be against the kind of ceasefire that was put forward and vetoed at the United Nations?

REP. RO KHANNA: It was a mistake to veto the United Nations resolution. At the very least, we could have abstained. I mean, you have 15 countries on that Security Council. Thirteen of them are voting for a resolution for a permanent ceasefire and the release of all hostages, which is the sentiment not just in the world, it’s the sentiment about the majority of American people. And we are the lone “no” vote in the global community. It is hurting America’s standing in the world, especially an administration that is committed to multilateralism and rebuilding international institutions. What does this say about the credibility of the U.N. if we aren’t going to participate in those institutions?

The other issue is that I appreciate that there has been some movement in the administration because of many of us in Congress who have called for a permanent ceasefire, who have called for the humanitarian aid to Gaza. There has been movement in recognizing the value and dignity of Palestinian lives and the humanitarian concerns. But now we need action. There needs to be clear consequences to Netanyahu and his very far right-wing government. I mean, people in his government are way to the right of Donald Trump, and that is important to understand, people like Ben-Gvir. It needs to be clear to Bibi: He can’t go into Rafah. Our secretary of defense doesn’t want it. Our president doesn’t want it. Who is he to defy the United States of America and then expect us to continue to provide military aid to do that? So we need to be very, very clear of the consequences, and that is not what has happened so far.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Representative Aiyash, I wanted to ask you —— in December, you embarked on a hunger strike and joined a demonstration outside the White House to call for a ceasefire. Why is this issue so deeply personal to you?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: Look, my chief of staff [inaudible] — her two aunts were one of the victims of the Nakba. And I remember her telling me the story where her father and his two sisters walked across the Jordan Valley, only for the two aunts to pass away from dehydration. You know, there is a real pain and a real history behind the dehumanization of the Palestinian people.

And we’ve seen people all across this country stand up and say our country should not be looking by while all these innocent men, women and children are suffering at the hands of a right-wing regime that, Congressman Khanna mentioned, that we are funding. You know, if you look at the facts, a majority of Americans — 80% of Democrats support a ceasefire. Over 60% of Americans support a ceasefire. Yet we see a majority of Congress and this White House just seem to ignore the will of the American people. You know, that is just a uniquely un-American concept, when you have folks for months who have protested, folks for months who have stood up and said, “We demand that our country lead with moral conviction and say that no innocent man, woman and child should be murdered at the hands of U.S. weaponry,” and our leaders just seem to ignore it.

And I’m grateful for leaders like Congressman Khanna, who has stood firmly in supporting human rights, who stood firmly in saying that Palestinians deserve just as much dignity as the Ukrainians, as the Israelis, as anyone in this world. But to see our leaders continue to ignore the will of the American people is extremely disheartening. And, you know, that is why this issue is so important for so many people across this country, because it is a reminder that we are going to continue to fight for our democracy and continue to fight for democratic values and ideals, and it is through things like voting “uncommitted” and continuing to organize and protest for peace all across the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Khanna, you said there needs to be consequences to affect Israeli policy. Do you think that the U.S. should cut off military aid to Israel, to Prime Minister Netanyahu, for what they’re doing in Gaza right now? And if you can talk about the big meeting you’re going to have tomorrow evening with Rashida Tlaib, the “Take Back Our Power” campaign, Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of the U.S. Congress?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, I voted “no” on the blank check, $17 million of unrestricted money to Israel, just a week or two ago. And I certainly don’t think we should be giving them more of the precision missiles, which would go to attack people in Rafah. I don’t see how we can bypass Congress, which has been happening, to provide offensive military weapons to undertake strikes that our own government is saying should not happen.

Let me just say this: I’m really looking forward, first, to meeting people like Representative Aiyash and other Arab American, Muslim American leaders. He is not just a representative. He is the leader in the Michigan House. He’s going to be a future governor, a future senator, a future member of Congress. And this is the point. The coalition of the modern Democratic Party is not the coalition of 1972. It is a coalition that includes young people, progressives, Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, young folks. The AME Black church has come out for a ceasefire. And we better wake up to that fact, because the future of the Democratic Party is going to demand justice for two states, a Palestinian state living side by side with the Israeli state, and is going to demand concrete actions for a ceasefire and recognizing the humanity of both Palestinians and Israelis. The conversation with Rashida Tlaib is one about electricity and power and justice on that, though I’m sure other topics will come up at that town hall.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you both for being with us, California Congressmember Ro Khanna, headed to Michigan tomorrow, and Abraham Aiyash, speaking to us from Detroit, the Michigan House majority floor leader. The Michigan primary is February 27 — that’s next week — in Michigan.

When we come back, leaders at this years’s African Union Summit condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza. We’ll get the latest and also hear decisions they made around Sudan, around the Democratic Republic of Congo and more. Stay with us.



Gaza remains under assault. Day 139 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse." NBC NEWS notes, "More than 29,400 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 69,400 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead." Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:







And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."   

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Jim Jordan Has More Free Time" went up last night.  The following sites updated: