Friday, December 31, 2021

Dwayne and Vin

So we're all on the same page, this is from DEADLINE:


Dwayne Johnson says there’s “no chance” of him rejoining the Fast & Furious family, shutting down all talk of his return to the franchise despite recent overtures from co-star Vin Diesel for the pair to bury their well-publicized feud and collaborate on Fast 10.

In an interview with CNN published Wednesday, the Red Notice star was asked directly about Diesel’s public offer of an olive branch and gave a forthright and unambiguous answer. “This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly — and privately — that I would not be returning to the franchise,” Johnson said.

He continued: “I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return. I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem.”


 Vin Diesel has nothing but FAST & FURIOUS.  He has been in way too many bombs.  His career is an embarrassment.  He was given a ton of breaks and wasn't able to make anything of them.  By the time he made the awful film THE PACIFIER in 2005, it was obvious that he had nothing but F&F.  

Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson's TOOTH FAIRY (2010) remains one of the best children's live action films of the 21st century.  He achieved everything Vin failed to.

So Vin's been a bit of a blowhard due to jealousy.  

Equally true, Dwayne is a sexy guy, very charismatic.  

And people like him.  How many times have we heard the media run with Dwayne might run for president?  And we pay attention.  But honestly no one would care if the rumors were floated by Vin.  

With HOBBS & SHAW, Dwayne and Jason Statham could make F&F money at the box office without Vin along for the ride.  

Vin Diesel is desperate and its showing. 

Team Dwayne, here, all the way.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, December 30, 2021.  The Iraq War claims another American life, what was the rush to count the votes in the Iraq election when there's no rush for Parliament to hold its first session, the persecution of Julian Assange continues, and much more.

The death toll from the ongoing Iraq War is not really known.  THE LANCET did a study that used democragic measures -- accepted democgraphic measures -- to estimae the number of Iraqis killed and that ended up being trashed by jerks with Eichman level membership plans in the Bully Boy Bush fan club.  But I'm not even referring to counting Iraqi deaths.

The US death toll.  We've noted this before time and again that some US service members injured in the war make it home but still die of their wounds.  And the Pentagon doesn't include them in their count.  The laughable Iraq Casualty Count doesn't include them.  The numbers of Americans killed from the Iraq War isn't even counted correctly.

Remember that because there's another death. 

A West Michigan Marine who was paralyzed in Iraq died Monday at the age of 39 due to complications from his injury.

“He was an inspiration to all of us,” said Bill White, friend of Marine Cpl. Joshua Hoffman.

The Hastings resident was paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet while fighting in Iraq in 2007. 

“Shots rang out and they all hit the ground and so did Josh,” White said. “But Josh got shot through the back of his neck.”

Hoffman grew up in the Wayland area and joined the Marine Reserves in 2002, hoping to earn money for college. He planned to be a pilot.

He was part of the Grand Rapids-based Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment. He was sent to Iraq’s Anbar province in October 2006, where he was attached to the battalion’s Weapons Company in Fallujah.

Cpl. Hoffman was hit in the early morning of Jan. 6, 2007, as he pursued an insurgent. The bullet entered his neck and exited his shoulder blade, shattering his upper spine.

Jake Tapper Tweets:

Cpl Hoffman was wounded in 2007 while serving in Fallujah, Iraq. He is survived by his parents and brothers. His biography and a video about him are at:
Quote Tweet
Homes For Our Troops
Homes For Our Troops extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Marine Cpl Joshua Hoffman, who passed away on Dec. 27, 2021. He was a valued member of the HFOT Family, and was an engaging friend who was focused on serving others. We will miss him greatly.

And Stephen Webber Tweets:

The Iraq War destroyed so much and continues to destroy so much.  There's no 'good' from that war.  uppet governments get installed and they don't serve the Iraqi people.  The government has access to billions each year due to oil revnues and yet poverty has increased in Iraq.  Graft and corruption make off with the money that should benefit the people.  And not only are they crooks, they're crooks who can't even stop being lazy.  January 9th.  That's when the Iraqi Parliament plans to hold its first session.  Elections were held October 10th.  The results were certified by the court this week.  

But, hey, sit on your lazy asses and keep doing nothing.  They have no Parliament.  It dissolved itself ahead of the October 10th elections.  It's disgusting to watch crooks who aren't just greedy but also incredibly lazy.

You got money?  You can do whatever you want as long as you fork it over to the corrupt government.  Destroy the country?  Oh, that doesn't matter as long as every official gets his or her bribe.

It’s 6 p.m. and the pink-tinged skies turn black above Agolan, a village on the outskirts of Erbil in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. Thick plumes of smoke have begun to billow out of dozens of flaring towers, part of an oil refinery owned by an Iraqi energy company called the KAR Group. The towers are just about 150 feet from where 60-year-old Kamila Rashid stands on the front porch of her house. She looks squarely at the oil plant, which sits on what she says used to be her family’s land.

Rashid was born here, like her parents before her and her children after her. She says when KAR moved into the area, residents traded their land for KAR’s promise of jobs and reliable, less expensive electricity for the village. The land was handed over, Rashid says, but she maintains that KAR never provided the promised electricity or long-term jobs.

The towers, also called flare stacks, are used by oil refineries across the globe to burn the byproducts of oil extraction. Such flaring releases a menagerie of hazardous pollutants into the air, including soot, also known as black carbon. “The smoke coats our skin and homes with black soot,” says Rashid. Many villagers keep their windows shut and try to remain indoors whenever possible. 

Climate change is going to effect every country but projections note that Iraq will be one of the worst effected.  But, hey, sit on your lazy ass doing nothing.  

Why did you run for office to beging with?  Just wanted to be part of the corruption?

The election was October 10th, you've had plenty of time to rest after the election.  Instead of moving immediatlely to provide the Iraqi people with some form of funtioning government, they need two more weeks of vacation?  The campaigning was so difficult that they need three months after the election before their lazy asses can get to work?

Iraq’s sky now rains dust and pollutants. The land between the Tigris and the Euphrates no longer gets enough rain to save the country from droughts, which have devastated local communities and agricultural supply chains, spurring a tide of migration.

The situation has deteriorated rapidly over the past two decades, with Turkey and Iran restricting the flow of water via dams and other infrastructure. Water has effectively been transformed into a political tool, while sand and dust storms are becoming more frequent across Iraq; it has been estimated that the country could experience 300 such storms a year by 2023.

Today, as Iraq celebrates the centenary of its founding as a modern state, its ecosystem is on the verge of collapse. As water flows in rivers decline dramatically, Iraq is expected to become one of the world’s most water-stressed countries by 2040, with a forecasted rating of 4.6 out of 5, indicating extremely high stress. At the same time, Iraq is contributing to global warming, with the International Energy Agency reporting that the country accounts for around eight percent of world methane emissions.

Iraq’s environment ministry has acknowledged the ongoing climate crisis, which threatens to make Iraq unliveable over the next two decades due to excessive heat, drought, scarcity of water reserves, desertification and loss of biodiversity - all of which are wreaking havoc on food security chains.

 Oh well, the really corrupt already have homes outside of Iraq, so they'll just leave the country when things get too bad.  It's not like they ever cared about the Iraqi people, after all.  Tehir actions while in power made that perfectly clear.  If they're not going to work to improve the present lives of the Iraqi people, why should the corrupt worry about the future of the Iraqi people?

WHich brings us to the zaftig Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shi'ite cleric who never a mumu or caftan he didn't decide to buy on eof in each color.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Iraqi populist cleric Moqtada Al Sadr said on Wednesday his country will form a national government free of external influences after the ratification of election results that confirmed gains for the Shiite leader.

Mr Al Sadr's coalition secured 73 of the Parliament's 329 seats in the national elections, gaining more than any other party and up from 54 in 2018 polls.

“In the name of God ... a government of national unity, neither eastern nor western,” Mr Al Sadr said on Twitter after meeting with leaders of the Iraqi Co-ordination Framework, the umbrella group of Shiite parties contesting the election’s results.

The meeting with Shiite leaders included paramilitary leader Hadi Al Amiri, who leads the Fatah party, and Qais Al Khazali who is secretary general of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl Al Haq, and Falih Al Fayyadh, head of the government's Popular Mobilisation Commission.

We'll just note that Moqtada's name is used for a slum -- Sadr City.  In all of Moqtada's years of 'power,' he's never done a thing to improve conditions in Sadr City -- a subsection of Baghdad.  But why should he?  He doesn't live there.  He lives far away, in Najaf.  (That;s a roughly three hour drive from one to the other.)

Meanwhile, Julian Assange remains persecuted by the US government.

Despite global outrage, US President Joe Biden continues the persecution.  Helen Hernandez (OICANADIAN) notes:

Civil and governmental organizations, as well as personalities around the world, have rejected the ruling of the British Appeals Chamber in favor of the extradition to the United States of journalist Julian Assange.
The NGO Reporters Without Borders condemned the court’s decision, according to his secretary general, Christophe Deloire. “We defend this case because of its dangerous implications for the future of press freedom around the world. The time has come to end more than a decade of persecution, once and for all. It is time to release Assange, “added Deloire, who noted that the Wikileaks founder is being persecuted for his journalism.
[. . .]


The human rights organization International Amnesty (AI) called a “parody of justice” the decision of the High Court of London to authorize the extradition to the US of Assange. “It is a parody of justice … The court decided to accept the incorrect assurances of the United States that Assange would not be subjected to solitary confinement in a prison with harsh prison regime,” declared AI director for Europe, Nils Muiznieks.

The eventual extradition of Julian Assange to the United States jeopardizes the principles of media freedom, said a spokesman for the International Federation of Journalists. Assange’s extradition to the United States would endanger not only his life, but also the fundamental principles of freedom of the press. The association will support any effort by Assange’s legal team to challenge this court ruling, “the spokesperson said.

Julian exposed reality at a time when the US government and the US press had long been lying.  Vijay Prashad (CONSORTIUM NEWS) explains:

Two years later, Washington Post reporter David Finkel published The Good Soldiers, a book based on his time embedded in the 2-16 battalion.

Finkel was with the soldiers in the al-Amin al-Thaniyah neighbourhood when they heard the Apache helicopters in action. He defended the U.S. military, writing that “the Apache crew had followed the rules of engagement” and that “everyone had acted appropriately.” The soldiers, Finkel wrote, were “good soldiers, and the time had come for dinner.”

In his recounting, Finkel made it clear that he had watched a video of the incident, even as the U.S.  government denied its existence to Reuters and to human rights organizations.

On Jan. 5, 2010, Chelsea Manning, a U.S. soldier in Iraq, downloaded a tranche of documents and videos pertaining to the war onto compact discs and took them back with her to the United States.

On Feb. 21, 2010, Manning passed on the material related to Iraq to the WikiLeaks organization, which had been set up in 2006 by a group of engaged people led by an Australian national by the name of Julian Assange.

WikiLeaks and Assange went through the footage and published the full video from the Apache helicopters on their website under the title “Collateral Murder” on April 5, 2010.

In 2010, McCord told Wired’s Kim Zetter what he had witnessed:

“I have never seen anybody being shot by a 30-millimetre round before. It didn’t seem real, in the sense that it didn’t look like human beings. They were destroyed.”

In the van, McCord and the other soldiers found Sajad Mutashar (age 10) and Doaha Mutashar (age 5) badly injured; their father, Saleh was dead on the ground.

In the video, the pilot saw that there were children in the van; “Well,” he said callously,  “it’s their fault for bringing kids into a battle.” When WikiLeaks released the video, then 12-year-old Sajad Mutashar said, “I want to get our rights from the Americans who harmed us.”

His mother, Ahlam Abdelhussein Tuman, said, “I would like the American people and the whole world to understand what happened here in Iraq. We lost our country and our lives were destroyed.” They were met with silence. Sajad, who recovered partly from his injuries, was killed by a car bomb in Baghdad in March of 2021.

Robert Gibbs, press secretary for former U.S.  President Barack Obama, said in April 2010 that the events depicted in the video were “extremely tragic.”

But the cat was out of the bag. This video showed the world the actual character of the U.S. war on Iraq, which United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called illegal. 

The US government needs to be put on trial, not Julian Assange.

The following sites updated:

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Put your woke self back to sleep already

SHE (THINKS) SHE KNOWS offers some garbage that opens: 

It’s no secret that after a woman welcomes a new baby, there’s a lot of pressure in her to try and return to her pre-baby body. From diets and exercise plans to “transformation” photos, there are so many mixed messages women get about the joy of having a child and the immediate scrutiny over how they look post-delivery. And while celebrity social media accounts can be a refreshing, unfiltered look at how even famous people endure the same day-to-day struggles we do, those same posts can also influence how some women compare themselves to others — for the worse. In the case of David Foster’s latest Instagram photo of wife Katharine McPhee’s bikini body less than a year after welcoming their first child together, this celebrity couple’s foray into an already charged topic has really rubbed us the wrong way.

If you want to gossip, gossip.  We all do. 

But people took to David Foster's page to tell him that he was wrong about what the praise he gave his wife.  Grasp that. 

Grasp also that we can talk all the smack we want to each other -- and should -- but people thought they had a right to get offended and 'correct' him about how to talk to the woman he loves.

His crime?  "What baby" posted beneath the photos.  And people who don't know him at all posting comments like 'I get what you're saying but that's really not what you should say.'

Excuse me?

Are you in bed with them?  

For all you know, Katharine McPhee stands in front of the mirror, looking at herself and announcing, "What baby!"  It could be a private joke between them.

Again, talk about it to your friends, write online, "I can't believe that he said that!"  But that's completely different from telling him that he's wrong and that's not how you talk to a woman.  He's married to her, I'd assume he knows somewhat how to talk to her.  I mean, he knew how to propose to her, right?

I just don't get this nonsense.  A lot of 'woke' is not about being woke, it's about using something else to be a buttinsky.  

It reminds me of Michelle Wolf's routine on otters.

And here it is in text in case streaming doesn't work for you.

It seems like… It seems like over the past couple of years, we’ve developed this amazing ability to get mad at anyone for any reason. Like, I saw otters in real life, which was very exciting for me. I love otters, big fan. So, I post about it on Instagram, ’cause that’s how you prove that life happens. And then this woman responds to me. She was like, “You know, I used to love otters too…” “…but then my husband told me that otters rape baby seals. I just thought you should know. Be better.” Okay. Uh, couple things. What’s going on with your marriage? How is that where you’re at conversationally? He wanted to ruin otters for you. He had to look up that fact. It’s true, by the way. But he had to look that up. That’s not something they’re just giving away on Planet Earth. He had to do a deep dive. Much like that otter did into the seal. No, don’t you start groaning already! But, also, she told me this ’cause she thought she knew me. She’s like, “I’m a fan of yours, and you’re a comedian, which must mean you’re a good person.” “So I know once you hear this fact about otters, you will change your tune. You’ll be on the right side of history. You definitely won’t use this in a bit.” “Otters rape baby seals. I thought you should know.” You don’t know me! Maybe that’s why I like otters. Maybe I think seals have been getting away with too much for too long.

Also, whatever you do, you gotta stop saying “rape.” These are animals. No animals are asking for consent. What kind of weird, fairy tale animal sex happens in your head? How do you think your Labradoodle was made? Aww! Did you think a Lab just fell in love with a poodle? That they saw each other from across a field and thought, “Let’s make hypoallergenic puppies”? Some breeder was like, “A happy accident, love wins.” There are two ways you’re getting a Labradoodle. Either some dog breeder jerked off a Lab, and then shoved that jizz into a poodle, or it was puppy rape. You can choose whichever one makes you feel better about life, but it was definitely one of those two. This wasn’t Lady and the Tramp, this was two dogs, one cup. And for the otters, if you want to say rape, all right, how do you know? Did you talk to the seal? Did you get a statement? For all you know, the seal could have been up on a rock and been like, “Hey, otter, want to make a new animal?” And, yeah, an otter-seal hybrid? The cutest animal in the world? I will hold the seal down. And you only care ’cause seals are cute. If I was up here being like, “Otters rape rats,” you’d be like, “Good, ’bout time.”

You don’t have to have a stance on everything. You can just like some things. It’s okay. You can find bad information about everything out there. You can look it up on your phone that was made by a child. And you can find bad information about every single thing out there, but you’ll make yourself miserable. You’re too woke, go back to sleep a little. It’s not like I was posting pictures of Kim Jong-un, being like, “He seems like a fun guy.” Which, if you only look at pictures of Kim Jong-un, he does seem like a fun guy.

We can’t wait to hate people. We can’t wait to have them canceled, and because of that, we get mad before we get logical. Like, me liking otters could have very easily turned into, “Michelle Wolf loves rape.” And, sure, I have a fantasy, but I don’t love that I have it.

Michelle Wolf is very funny.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Tuesday, December 28, 2021.  Reults are certified in IRaq even if the western press can't get the results right or cover the Baghdad protest.

Desmond Tutu has passed away.

The world leader lived his life making a difference.  

He fought against apartheid, he stood for Palestinian rights, he advocated for LGBTQ rights, he advocated for the environment.  Time and again, he was a voice who spoke out when many were silent.

In February 2004, 11 months after the Iraq War started, CNN reported:

Saying the United States and Britain must regain international credibility, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged George Bush and Tony Blair to admit they made a mistake in launching an "immoral war" in Iraq.

The world is a less safe place than before, the church leader said.

"How wonderful if politicians could bring themselves to admit they are only fallible human creatures, and not God, and thus by definition can make mistakes," Tutu said in a speech in London on Monday.

"Weak and insecure people hardly ever say, 'Sorry.' It is large-hearted and courageous people who are not diminished by saying, 'I made a mistake.'

President Bush and Mr Blair would recover considerable credibility and respect if they were able to say, 'Yes, we made a mistake,'" he said.

The nobel laureate criticized the leaders for justifying the war by saying it was necessary to oust Saddam Hussein, rhetoric that has intensified since no weapons of mass destruction had been found. 


Eight years later, CNN reported:

  South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Sunday that Tony Blair and George W. Bush should be “made to answer” at the International Criminal Court for their actions around the Iraq war.

Writing in an op-ed published by The Observer newspaper, the Nobel laureate accused the former leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States of fabricating a motive to invade Iraq, namely that it possessed weapons of mass destruction, and said that they had acted like “playground bullies.”

“The immorality of the United States and Great Britain’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history,” wrote Tutu. “In a consistent world, those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague.”   

I met Desmond Tutu many times over the years.  Once, in Los Angeles, I remember U2 being present.  

Lead singer and celebrity Bono, of course, died years ago.  The soulless husk that wanders around now is an embarrassment and a poser.  Why did their last album, SONGS OF EXPERIENCE, flopped so badly.  Of THE BILLBOARD 200 album chart in ten weeks, music listners appalled that, without asking, they'd been 'gifted' with digital copies of the album.  The band's never recovered all these years later.

Desmond lived his life in truth, Bono lived one lie after another.  By ACHTUNG BABY, he was openly cheating on his wife and yet people looked the other way for Saint Bono.  (The gal for the night was selected among the women who crashed that days sound check.)  This looking away only encouraged him and he'd refuse to speak out against the Iraq War.  The poser who pretended to be about people and against war wouldn't speak out against the Iraq War and, to this day, has not.

That's becuase he was cock-knocking buddies with Bully Boy Bush.

That's his buddy, that's his roll dog, a War Criminal.

And no one had any use for Bono anymore.  His santimonous stances were not only prickly, they were exposed as hollow.

By the time he left his 'beloved' Ireland to live in the US -- to avoid paying taxes in his own country, the world knew the real Bono.

To this day, Bono plants open mouthed kisses on Bully Boy Bush.  May he end up Buly's Eva Braun when the two both end up in hell together.

Desmond Tutu lived a life that mattered.  A lot of people used him as a prop and for photo ops to improve their own images but time will out and hucksters like Bono always get exposed.

raq's Supreme Court has ratified the results of October's parliamentary election, dealing a blow to Iran-backed factions who have staged protests against the outcome of the vote.

The results pave the way for Moqtada al-Sadr -- a firebrand cleric opposed to both Iranian and US influence in Iraq -- to decide the fate of the current prime minister, Mostafa al-Kadhimi, who is backed by the United States.
Sadr's party, the Sadrist Movement, was the election's biggest victor, winning 73 of the country's 329 seats. Iraq's Tehran-backed parliamentary bloc lost more than half of their seats -- winning just 17, down from 48. 

LIE!  Stupid idots or lying whores?  We'll assume they're ignorant but feel free to drop a rwenty ont he dresser for each of them.

The KDP, the party of the Barzani family in Kurdistan is a political party.  Moqtada's bloc or alliance is not a party.  

Moqtada al-Sadr's party did not get the most.  His political alliance did.  If you're too stupid to grasp the difference, maybe you shouldn't be reporting on Iraq -- or anything else.

Moqtada's party got   

CNN needs to correct the lying.  But, even more important, stop the 'kingmaker' nonsense.  The election was months ago.  And in all that time, Moqtada's not been able to build a coalition -- in fact, former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki has done a much better job than Moqtada of trying to reach out to other blocs and parties.  

Sinar Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) words it correctly:

The Sadrist bloc, a political group sponsored by populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, emerged as the clear winner with 73 seats in the 329-seat parliament. The Taqadum party, one of two main Sunni political groups, and led by former parliament speaker Mohammed Al Halbousi, followed with 37 seats. Former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki’s State of Law bloc came third with 33 seats.

Mr Al Sadr’s main rival, the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance, won only 17 seats, compared with 45 in 2018.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won 31 seats, while the Kurdistan Alliance led by the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party won only 17 seats.

Last week, Ruwayda Tweeted:

Nuri al-Maliki is in Erbil and given a warm reception, despite accusing Kurdish leaders of harbouring extremists in the past, cutting off the region’s budget when he was a PM, and to add a bit of cream to this pie, he said Erbil is a base for Baathists and terrorists. #Kurdistan

And Mustafa Saadoon Tweeted:

A delegation from the "Coordination Shiite framework" arrives to Erbil. The delegation headed by Nuri al-Maliki. There is now a meeting between Maliki and Masoud Barzani.

We could offer many more photos of Nouri reaching out but we can't of Moqtada.  Fat boy apparently is too busy eating to maintain his plush figure.  Even those in his bloc are ticked off by Moqtada and his lazy ass.

But, hey, US tax dollars went to Moqtada in August (to get him to proclaim he would be particiapting in the elections) so NYT and other US outlets are comfortable lying.

Many on Arabic social media are outraged.  And protests took place in Baghdad, protests the western media largely ignored.  PRENSA LATINA did report on the protests:

The demonstrations coincided with appeals filed by the head of the Al-Fatah (Conquest) alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, one of the coalitions that lost more than 30 seats for the next legislature.

Most of the streets in Baghdad were blocked by burning tires and other objects, while troops were deployed to keep the flow of vehicles.

Those opposed to the electoral results sought a correction to the decisions of the Electoral Commission, whom they accuse of manipulating the votes. 

The following sites updated;