Saturday, August 13, 2022

Weekend thought

I thought this video was interesting.

If you're a person of faith, regardless of what faith, you're living on interpretation.  It's not like any of us were presents -- whether we're Muslim, Jewish, Christin, Buddhist, Hindi, Catholic, Baha'i . . .


And the above video reminds me that the God I believe in is a loving and charitable God and there is always a more loving and charitable interpretation because we can always be -- and should strive to be -- more loving and charitable.  

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, August 12, 2022.  Iraq, Lisa Kudrow, monkeypox -- as Stefon might say, this snapshot has everything:  "Pugs, geezers, doo-wop groups, a wise old turtle that looks like Quincy Jones — and you’ll have your own WHEN HARRY MET SALLY  moment when you share a special kiss with Gizblow, the coked-up gremlin."

There's a lot to cover today.  

The public e-mail account is worked by a lot of people -- primarily Martha and Shirley -- (it's  I'm told that the biggest issue there is that I'm not commenting on the search or raid of Donald Trump's home.

No, I haven't commented.  I haven't taken a side either way.  I've noted videos (most of which I didn't stream) on the topic. I haven't weighed in.

I get it that it's popular topic.  Crap cable would have been all over in the 90s the same way it is today because it's cheap and doesn't cost anything.  A lot of people talking about things they know nothing about, yammering away.

I doubt Merrick Garland is Satan but I also doubt he's Gandhi returned to us.

Was there cause for the action? I don't know.  None of us do.  I can tell you there's a Clintonista that we're all laughing at because he's insisting that it took place because Donald took documents about UFOs!!!!!!  That's his go to for everything -- and explains why Hillary's campaign tanked in 2016, his obsession on that topic is unnerving.  (That is not me being Tim Russert and attacking a Dennis Kucinich for believing in UFOs -- we defended Dennis here on that.  That is me saying the creepy man I'm not naming is so obsessed with that topic it's hard to believe he ever got any work done in the 90s when working for the administration.)

I have no idea what they were looking for or what if anything they found.  I do not believe that every search the FBI carries out is justified.  I don't think, for example, that they had any business searching and stealing Jennifer Dohrn's panties (that's Bernardine's sister).  There are many others examples, far too many.  

Donald Trump also does get an auto pass from me for the same reason: his past history of remarks.

I have no idea what happened there and I don't believe anyone does.  If anything needs to be done, Garland needs to be calling out the leaks to the press and, the fact that he hasn't, may indicate that he himself is part of the leaking to the media.  Who ratted out Trump!!! I'm not interested in that headline, I'm interested in who is leaking to the media from the FBI and how the media's running with it.  

But at this point, there's is not enough in the public record to determine what happened or why. 

And we have many more topics to cover.  

Let's get to Iraq.

It's Friday.  A day of worship in Iraq.  The equivalent of Sunday in the US.  So after services, Moqtada's cult went to publicly pray outside the Parliament building.  And, as you see those (limited) reports in western media, ask yourself why the non-Moqtada protests this week were so under-reported.  I'm not talking about Nouri al-Maliki's counter-protests.  I'm talking about the Iraqi people taking to the streets over the poor pulic services.  Iraq set a record this week for hottest temperature.  And you've got electricity brownouts in Iraq.  An oil rich country expects its citizens to rely on home generators because it can't stay on the grid without blackouts.  These people had serious demands but so few in the west were interested.  This morning, Moqtada's called for protests across Iraq.  So maybe now, the western media will discover the protests in, for example, Basra and report on them next week pretending that they're in response to Moqtada's call. 

The PACT Act passed -- it will help to some degree veterans who were exposed to burn pits while serving.  What is needed now is for every veteran who is suffering from those effects to have a medical discharge.  A medical discharge should be the push now.  See Sunday's "" if you're not understanding why.  Leila Fadel has done two important reports on burnpits this week for NPR.  From her MORNING EDITION report:


If you've heard American veterans celebrating one thing about the PACT Act, which President Biden will sign into law this week, it probably has to do with burn pits. These were massive piles of uniforms, equipment, computers and other things the U.S. military incinerated to prevent them from falling into the hands of the wrong people. American veterans, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be able to access VA support for a variety of medical problems they likely suffered because of their exposure to burn pits. But soldiers are not the only people still struggling with their damaging effects. Kali Rubaii studies the toxic legacies of the U.S. war in Iraq. She's an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University.

KALI RUBAII: Veterans saw acute short-term exposure, and they were at peak health. Iraqi people were in all stages of their life course when they were exposed to burn pits, and they were exposed for over 10 years. Even those who live at a distance and downwind face a lot of health effects, and they're varied. Farmers who live downwind noticed a lot of birth defects and fertility issues with their crops and their livestock. And then children report symptoms of, you know, dizziness, balance problems. There have been many cases of brain cancer near and around burn pits. The issue that I'm most focused on is intergenerational damage. And the incidence of birth defects in Iraq may be linked to burn pits and other detritus of war.

FADEL: So you've been documenting intergenerational impacts on people in Iraq. What are you finding? Fallujah's a place that's seen several U.S. offensives. I used to speak to families who didn't lose their house once but twice, maybe three times - lost family members. So...

RUBAII: Yeah. So in one way, burn pits are the least of the violence done to Iraqi people. For example, in 2004, 74% of Fallujah was leveled. I mean, what does that actually mean? That means no water, no electricity, no hospital - massive injury and death, lots of pollution released into the air. So in Fallujah today, the long-standing effects of that level of bombardment are there is still only a few hours of electricity. My tap water, living there, is brown. It's undrinkable. The hospitals still lack essential equipment.

So it's in the wake of all of this destruction that doctors like Dr. Samira Alani, who's a pediatrician at Fallujah Hospital, started noticing, around 2004, all of these babies that were born with birth defects. And they started cataloging it because it just was anecdotally noteworthy that there were more and more. And the tragedy here is that it's unclear what the cause is, but it definitely indicates there's an environmental factor. And people notice that the timeline indicates something about U.S. occupation.

Click here for the report that Leila did today.  Both reports are audio and text.  

Robert Pether is in Iraq.  The Australian man went there on business and was arrested.  THE GUARDIAN notes:

Doctors for an Australian engineer jailed in Iraq have privately warned the Australian government of fears that Australia will be repatriating “a corpse” if his condition continues to rapidly deteriorate.

Robert Pether’s family have repeatedly raised fears about the 47-year-old’s health since he was jailed over a business dispute relating to the construction of a new headquarters for Iraq’s central bank, which Pether’s firm was working on.

Pether’s family say he is innocent and a UN working group has expressed concerns Pether’s detention and trial were potentially compromised.

His family also say in the 16 months since he returned to Iraq and was arrested, Pether has lost more than 40 kilograms, shed muscle mass, and suffered from low blood pressure and prolonged dizziness.

Matthew Doran (Australia's ABC NEWS) adds:

United Nations investigators have raised concerns Pether, and his Egyptian colleague, Khalid Zaghloul, have been exposed to torture techniques while imprisoned.

Pether's family spent nine months trying to get him access to medical experts in Iraq, after a photo of lesions on his back was sent to a doctor in Italy.

"His doctor was absolutely appalled at the state of him," Pether's wife Desree told the ABC.

"He's got so many new moles on his back, he's got a new mole on the same ear that he had a melanoma before, and it has changed significantly in the last few months.

"It's displaying the same aggressive behaviour as the melanoma that he had."

He's falsely imprisoned, was imprisoned without a trial, was invited to Iraq just so he could be arrested.  His government does nothing for him.

Remember, if you're Australian, you have no rights because you have a pathetic government that will let you be tortured -- whether your name is Robert Pether or Julian Assange -- by other governments.  You have no rights because your own government will not fight or even advocate for you.

If Robert dies in Iraq, that's on the do-nothing Australian government.  (The British government got their thief out.  They did it by appealing to the Iraqi government and they did it low-key because getting a thief out of Baghdad while they themselves torture Julian looks like the hypocrisy it is.)

Now to monkeypox.  Will Lehman is running to become president of the United Auto Workers.  As we noted earlier this week, he has called attention to monkeypox, specifically at the SHAP factory and has called for it to be shut down.  Tom Hall (WSWS) reports:

Two new cases of monkeypox have been reported at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) north of Detroit, a local independent news outlet has reported.

The new alleged cases follows the disclosure by sources, and reported on the World Socialist Web Site Sunday, of the first case. According to sources, workers were informed of the case, which occurred in the crowded General Assembly area, during team meetings last week, but management and the United Auto Workers have provided no further information and taken no measures to prevent the spread of the deadly, painful disease.

According to Metro Detroit Crime Report Facebook page, sources say that on both Monday and Tuesday workers were taken out of the plant on stretchers in what is believed to be due to cases of monkeypox. “As of now there are no plans to suspend production at SHAP due to the spread of Monkeypox,” the report said.

The apparent spread of the disease at SHAP raises serious concerns of a looming outbreak throughout the Detroit area. Seven thousand workers are crammed into the plant, the largest workforce of all plants in the area. It is almost certain that more cases are in both SHAP and other plants, either undetected or being deliberately concealed by management and the UAW. This is their long-established modus operandi in response to COVID-19, where they have concealed the extent of cases in order to maintain production.

Monkeypox, which is caused by a virus closely related to smallpox, is a serious disease. It has a similar fatality rate to COVID-19 and causes extremely painful symptoms, including skin lesions. Longstanding research has shown that monkeypox can spread through the air via aerosols, just as COVID-19 does. However, this long-established finding is being concealed from the public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health institutions who are claiming falsely, instead, that it spreads mainly through sexual contact.

No, it is not a sexually transmitted disease.  Reporting for OPB, Amelia Templeton notes:

Starting next week, OHA will allow a smaller dose of the vaccine to be injected into the outer layer of the skin, as opposed to the fat underneath. The technique, called intradermal vaccination, uses a smaller dose per person. Experts at the FDA believe it could allow a single dose to be split into up to five doses.

Earlier this week, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization approving the technique.

It’s still unknown if the smaller dose will offer the same degree of protection against monkeypox infection, but experts think it’s a promising strategy. Sidelinger says there’s good reason to believe it will work because of special immune cells present in the skin.

“It’s thought that by injecting them not so deeply into the skin, allows those cells to perform their duty better and provide a similar response,” he said.

Another potential challenge is that administering vaccines this way takes some skill and not all vaccinators may be comfortable doing it.

The demand for vaccines continues to far outstrip the supply, with more than 2,000 people on a waitlist for the vaccine run by Multnomah County.

Sadly, we need to note Lisa Kudrow.  I know her and I like her.  Doesn't mean I'm not going to call her out.  She gave the two creators of FRIENDS a pass for the all White show and she made a really stupid statement.

First, Marcia's "Lisa Kudrow exposes herself as a racist" and Ann's "Grand Dragon Lisa Kudrow" and Betty's "Lisa Kudrow needs to apologize" already covered Lisa's dumb remarks and did so beautifully.  So why am I weighing in?  Because Lisa is full of s**t and you're an idiot if you're defending her right now.  That's not opinion, that's fact and I'm about to show you why.

First, her remarks:

Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college. And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color.

I think that's racist.

If for some reason you don't agree with me, that may be because you believe her.

You believe her?

Or you believe what she said?

Because it's two different things and that's why I'm weighing in.


Do you know that title because Lisa does.  It's a 2019 TV movie.  Guess who produced it?

Lisa Kudrow.  

I'm failing to understand how she can say what she said and then produce a film featuring characters of color when the film's written by . . . a White Irish woman named Laura Donney.  

If Lisa believes the crap she's spewing, she needs to explain why she produced a TV movie starring Kendrick Sampson, LisaGay Hamilton and Jazz Raycole -- among others?  Why did she produce that when she knew it was a White person that wrote the script.  No business she says but then she produces GHOSTING: THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.

Lisa, I love you, but you're full of s**t.  You're trying to defend something that's can't be defended.  You need to own what all of you did -- excluded people of color -- and stop trying to justify it.

Staying on racism . . .

Okay, I'm confused.

Why are they defending Jimmy Dore?

It's beyond stupid.  

Jimmy and others love to say that it's 'identity politics' and that we need to focus on 'class.'

They say that.  And then they create their content and what do we get?

We don't get African-Americans on Jimmy Dore's show or Jackson Hinkle's.  Time and again, over and over, they go to White men.  They'll go to convicted pedophile Scott Ritter before they'll bring on an African-American.

I don't know what happened at REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT a few months ago but it appears that they trusted and welcomed a White person into their show and then that person, they feel, betrayed them and acted in a racist manner.

Maybe they're just a little too trusting of White people?

Nina calls Jimmy out and RB rushes to defend Jimmy?

Are they trying to be on the plantation?

I don't get it.

Jimmy doesn't answer to a network or to sponsors.  He is responsible for his show.  He can bring on any guests he wants.  And time and time again, over and over, it is White people.

He whines about 'identity politics.'  And I'm sorry to break it to you, RB, but most of us have heard that before and we can remember it being used as a cop out to avoid addressing racism and sexism.

Class issues do matter, obviously and absolutely.  And we are all much more connected than we are apart.  

But for those of us who have lived through this nonsense before, we've learned that when someone starts dismissing real issues as 'identity politics' because they are not the straight White male's issues, it's a good idea to take a look at what these people do.

Again, it's Jimmy's table and he only wants to break bread with White people.  That's who gets invited, show after show.

That I can see this and you can't is very disturbing.

I'm not fond of Nina Turner.  But I find it very sad that she makes a charge and it's not even examined -- "I don't know what she's talking about" -- then maybe you shouldn't be doing segments attacking her and defending Jimmy Dore.  

When this site closes down, I will know I did everything I could here to make sure that we were inclusive.  I didn't refuse to seat anyone.  This lunch counter was open to all.  It's amazing that sit-ins were required to open up lunch counters but a show from radical African-Americans today is rushing to defend a man who repeatedly 'refuses service' to African-Americans.

This is not a new topic in this community.  Betty's covered it many times at her website such as in "Let's build our community:"


I am tired of Black YOUTUBE working overtime to chronicle and defend Jimmy Dore.

He doesn't care about us -- the Black community.  That's fine.  He made his choice.  So let's makr our choice to not build our lives around him.

Every week he has drama and a lot of it is self-created.

I'm tired of Sabby Sabs and other Black YOUTUBERS making it their mission to be Jimmy Dore's Secret Service.

It's pathetic and it's insulting and most of all it is waste of time.

Let's build our community.  And it doesn't have to be all Black.  But the people we build it with have to be supportive of us.  We're not here to be second banana.  We've played the best friend in enough movies.  Dave Chappelle gave Tom Hanks cred in YOU'VE GOT MAIL -- Tom's done nothing for us -- except make us crazy pirates that people cheer to watch die.

I don't get this need for the cult of Jimmy.  "I agree with Jimmy on this point," chirps Kit on HARD LENS MEDIA covering the same non-story and pretending that he doesn't blow Jimmy every time.  He's the original fluffer.  I'm sorry Indiana just had a farewell ceremony for yet another US troop rotation in Iraq.  And I'm not seeing any of you -- not one damn YOUTUBE show -- noting the ongoing Iraq War.  Not a one.  But you all have time to jump on an African-American woman in order to defend personality Jimmy Dore?  

I'm not a Nina fan but it's really telling that he can ignore African-Americans until it's time to trash them.  And Kit you're a racist.  

Let me repeat that: You are a racist.

It's not just that you can't find African-Americans for your show, you're insisting Jimmy has "all kinds of Black people" on his show.

I don't know if I've told this story before or not.  It was the 90s.  A friend was dating a good looking -- momentarily (I told her those looks would fade within two years and they did) -- TV actor who was famous for about three minutes.  Never liked him, I could tell just by looking at him that he was a creep.  But she brings him over to my house and he's going through the music I have in my room -- my bedroom, not the music room where everything is.  There are probably about 100 compact discs in the bedroom that day.  And he gripes, of course, because all I do is "listen to Black people."  

Were that true, is that really something to complain about?

The next day when my friend came back over without him, I brought that up because it really did bother me, everything about him did.  So we count.  In the bedroom there were 35 CDs by African-American artists.  And there were 75 or 74 by non-African-American artists.  So about a third.  

He looked at them all and saw a third that were African-Americans and so it was all too much for him.

It's the same way Kit looks at Jimmy Dore's nearly all White guest list and insists that Jimmy has "all kinds of Black people" on his show.

Alice Walker has always said she writes to create the world as it could be.  A great sentiment.

It's a real shame that YOUTUBE on the left wants to just be a White circle jerk.  It's a real shame that Kit does a show out of Chicago that brings on a lot of people but somehow can't find guests of color.  I'm sorry I've been to Chicago many times, the on air of HARD LENS MEDIA is not reflective of the diversity in Chicago.  Or on Jimmy Dore.  And, Kit, when your see four or five African-American guests (if that) in  a year on Jimmy's daily show and claim: "He's had a lot Black commentators, philosophers, politicians, pundits on his show."?  I say, "Racist."  Because apparently a tiny sliver is more than enough for you. 

You're not reaching beyond your initial scope -- actually, you're running people off.

Ava and I made this point many times before Glen Ford passed away.  The White left YOUTUBE world is not inclusive.  After he passed away, we noted that again and pointed out that Margaret Kimberley was still alive and these shows, as we had said before, needed to invite her on.  We didn't see her on RISING, we didn't see her on Jimmy Dore, or HARD LENS MEDIA or Little Jackie Hinkle or . . .  Only one program appeared to realize the problem: THE KATIE HALPER SHOW.  

FAIR and its radio program COUNTERSPIN used to make a big deal out of the lack of diversity in the guests on corporate media programs.  Or they did until Ava and I called them out in a piece where we did the numbers and discovered that COUNTERSPIN had less diversity in their guests than PBS' NEWSHOUR which they had just called out for lack of diversity in their guests.  

That's why you fail to enlarge your audiences.  People watch or listen and they see you supposedly champion, for example, Civil Rights.  But then they start thinking about it and start noticing that you talk one way but you act another.  It is past time that White YOUTUBERS started integrating their programs.  And it is past time that I have to be saying this.

I am damn tired of it.  And I am damn tired of getting feedback on this from people who agree but won't change.  They'll say, "You're so right we need to bring on more African-Americans but . . ."

No "but."

Most of you don't have sponsors and you're responsible for your own content.  You're choosing to self-censor.  You're choosing to be a part of apartheid.  I said the same thing to Jann Werner when they wouldn't give Michael Jackson the cover for ROLLING STONE.  And I heard the excuse back, "Black artists don't sell magazines."  Really?  A few months later, ROLLING STONE was so desperate for a Michael Jackson cover that they ran one with a drawing.  

I'm tired of the excuses.  And I'm really damn tired of REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT e-mailing me from time to time to agree with my sentiments and then devoting a segment (actually they did two yesterday) attacking Nina Turner so that they could defend Jimmy Dore who does nothing regarding diversity and inclusion.  Don't e-mail me again, if you're with REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT because I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of having to lead on this subject, day after day, take the fallout from Jimmy freaks and know that you know exactly what I'm talking about but you're more interested in being a token in a racist circle jerk then in defending equality.  

The following sites updated:

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Lisa Kudrow needs to apologize

When a White person makes racist comments, I don't need another White person rushing in to tell me I'm not hearing what I'm hearing

I didn't know about Lisa Kudrow's remarks until I saw Marcia's "Lisa Kudrow exposes herself as a racist" and then Ann's "Grand Dragon Lisa Kudrow."  I thought they covered it very well.  But then I was looking for some science articles and saw the garbage I linked to where a White man wants you to know that what you heard from Lisa's mouth is okay.

It's not okay.

I don't hate Lisa Kurdrow.  Phoebe was my favorite character on Friends.  

Lisa says that the two White people who created FRIENDS went to Brandeis and so they didn't know no Black people.  Coz you know us Black people never gets to college.  Not us.  I was actually in college, Lisa Kudrow, while FRIENDS was airing -- me and my Black ass.

And, excuse me, Lisa, what do two priviliged White kids know about being homeless.

Remember, Phoebe was homelss.  

They can write about tht but not about Black people. 

I'm sorry Lisa, I thought I was a human being.  I didn't know I was some great mystery.

Apparently, I'm not part of the human experience and FRIENDS gets a pass for ignoring people of color.

We are aware that there were sitcoms before FRIENDS, right?


All of those shows featuring one or more Black characters?  Every script wasn't written by a Black person.  

Lisa comments are insulting and she needs to apologize.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, August 11, 2022.  Joe Biden takes a vacation as troubles mount, Moqtada insists on judicial action or else, and much more.

US President Joe Biden is vacationing and he left without coming up with a real plan to address monkeypox in place.  This despite the fact that this pandemic is a global issue.  

Tamino Dreisam (WSWS) reports on the spread of monkeypox in Germany:

The first monkeypox case in Germany was reported on May 20. Since then, the number has risen steadily, from 28 cases per week in late May to 125 in early June. There are now 300 to 400 cases per week and a total of 2,916 cases have been reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany to date, corresponding to an incidence level of 3.54 cases per hundred thousand inhabitants. This is more than ten percent of the worldwide cases outside Africa. A recent study estimated the reproductive rate (R-value) of monkeypox in Germany to be 1.21, which is higher than the COVID-19 R-value, which is currently 0.86.

Due to widespread ignorance about the symptoms of monkeypox and generally limited testing facilities, it can be assumed that the actual number of infections is much higher.

Worldwide, Germany is among the most affected countries. In absolute numbers, Germany has the third most infections after the United States with 9,461 cases and Spain with 5,162 cases. On a per capita basis, however, the incidence rate in Germany, at 3.54, is already much higher than in the US, with 2.15 cases per hundred thousand inhabitants. This is despite the fact that the US administration has already declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

Joe's 'plan' is to take a vaccine and divide it into fifths and then use the diluted form on Americans.  Supposedly, it may work -- based on a single study done seven years ago.  We noted that yesterday as did TrinaAt THE ATLANTIC, Katherine J. Wu reports:

Once again, the United States is messing up its approach to vaccines. Three months into its monkeypox outbreak, just 620,000 doses of the two-injection Jynneos shot—the nation’s current best immune defense against the virus—have been shipped to states, not nearly enough to immunize the 1.6 million to 1.7 million Americans that the CDC considers at highest risk. The next deliveries from the manufacturer aren’t slated until September at the earliest. For now, we’re stuck with the stocks we’ve got.
Which is why the feds have turned to Inoculation Plan B: splitting Jynneos doses into five, and poking them into the skin, rather than into the layer of fat beneath. The FDA issued an emergency-use authorization for the strategy yesterday afternoon.
This dose-sparing tactic will allow far more people to sign up for doses before summer’s end; if successful, it could help contain the outbreak in the U.S., which currently accounts for nearly a third of the world’s documented monkeypox cases. But this decision is based on scant data, and the degree of protection offered by in-skin shots is no guarantee. The FDA is now playing a high-stakes game with the health and trust of people most vulnerable to monkeypox—an already marginalized population. Call it a bold decision; call it a risky gamble: It may be the best option the country currently has, but one the U.S. could have avoided had it marshaled a stronger response earlier on.
Little is known about how Jynneos performs against monkeypox even in its prescribed dosing regimen, the so-called subcutaneous route; the new method, intradermal injection, is a murkier proposition still. “We are in a very data-thin zone,” says Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious-disease physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The shot was approved for use against smallpox and monkeypox in 2019. But to date, researchers don’t have a strong sense of how well it guards against disease or infection or how long protection lasts. Although scientists know that two doses of Jynneos can elicit similar numbers of antibodies as older poxvirus vaccines, no estimates of the vaccine’s true efficacy, from large-scale clinical trials, exist; a human study in the Congo hasn’t yet reported results. And though firmer data have shown that the vaccine keeps lab monkeys from getting seriously sick, “I don’t necessarily trust making the clinical decisions” based just on that, says Mark Slifka, a vaccinologist at Oregon Health & Science University. It’s not even clear if Jynneos can stop someone from transmitting the virus, especially now that many cases seem to be arising via skin-to-skin contact during sex, an understudied form of spread.

Some real leadership would be nice right about now.  Hope Joe's enjoying that vacation.  A case of monkeypox has been discovered at Detroit's Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.  In response, Will Lehman, a candidate for the presidency of United Auto Workers issued the following statement:

I call for an immediate shutdown of all production until the spread of the infection is isolated and contained, with all workers affected receiving full pay. The companies, which are making record profits based on our exploitation, can afford to take the necessary measures to save our health and lives.

We need to break through the misinformation and disinformation that is being put out by the White House, the UAW and corporate media.

All workers need to be made aware that monkeypox is a potentially deadly virus with a case fatality rate similar to COVID. It can cause disfiguring lesions and excruciating pain that in 10 percent of cases requires hospitalization. The experience of Africa shows that it has a particularly severe impact on children.

The official number of monkeypox cases, 7,500 in the US, is likely an undercount, since testing is a complicated and long process. The vast majority of individuals currently being tested are gay men, based on the false claim that the virus is primarily transmitted through sex. In fact, studies have shown that monkeypox can spread through aerosols that linger in the air like the coronavirus. It can also spread through skin to skin contact as well as contaminated fabric and surfaces. The virus can remain alive for weeks outside the body, meaning all potentially contaminated areas need to be regularly disinfected with appropriate cleaning supplies.

Given this, it is highly probable that there are more cases in the auto plants than the single reported case at SHAP, where 7,000 work. For more than two years, management and the UAW have systematically covered up the spread of COVID-19 in the plants, forcing workers to rely on word of mouth.

Giant auto plants with thousands forced to stand close together for hours on end are primary vectors for the transmission of disease that can infect the entire community. The danger will be multiplied when schools reopen in a few short weeks under conditions where nothing is being done to halt the spread of COVID-19 or monkeypox.

No confidence can be put in the profit hungry Stellantis management or their lackeys in the UAW bureaucracy to deal with this emergency. The last two and a half years of the COVID-19 pandemic show they could not care less about workers’ health or lives.

When COVID was first detected in auto plants, it was workers who halted production, not the highly paid UAW bureaucrats. If it wasn’t for the action of workers on the shop floor at SHAP and other auto plants, who stopped production as the pandemic spread in March 2020, there would have been no temporary lockdowns or other limited safety protocols put in place. The UAW worked to prematurely reopen the auto plants before the virus was contained and then steadily removed all the other protocols while covering up its spread.

Now the UAW simply parrots all the corporate and government lies that we must accept mass infection, that COVID will be here forever, killing hundreds of thousands every year and inflicting millions with debilitating “long COVID.”

This means that we workers must act independently to protect the health of ourselves, our families and our communities.

I call for the formation of rank-and-file committees in every auto plant and workplace to oversee health and safety and other workplace conditions.

We need to build a network of rank-and-file committees to link up autoworkers everywhere, including with our brothers and sisters overseas. We cannot allow COVID and now monkeypox to continue to spread in our workplaces and society as a whole.

Medical science has the tools like vaccines, mass testing, quarantine, isolation, and rigorous contact tracing to contain and eliminate these diseases. Workers must not be allowed to continue to die simply to grow the profits of the auto companies and Wall Street.

If you support what I am saying, I ask you to contact my campaign and learn how you can become more involved. 

AP Tweets:

As Joe enjoys his vacation, Marcus Day (WSWS) notes:

Annual price increases for US consumer goods remain at their highest level in nearly 40 years, according to the latest inflation data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Prices for items in the Consumer Price Index rose 8.5 percent in the 12 months ending in July, down slightly from the 9.1 percent rate reported in June, but still the second-largest yearly increase since December 1981.

Food prices in particular have surged in recent months. The BLS’ overall food index rose 10.9 percent year-over-year in July, while the cost of food at home increased 13.1 percent, the biggest increases since May 1979.

Amid a heat wave which has blanketed much of the US this summer and broken records in a number of regions, electricity costs rose 15.2 percent compared to last year, increasing by 1.9 percent over the last month alone.

The cost of shelter also pushed higher, with rent rising 6.3 percent nationally since 2021, with increases far greater in many major metropolitan areas, forcing large numbers of young people to live with their parents, and threatening others with eviction and homelessness. In California, 1.5 million households are behind on their rent, according to Census Bureau data released in late July.

Although the cost of gasoline, which is more volatile, fell somewhat from June, down 7.7 percent, it remained 44 percent higher than a year ago. The national average price for a gallon of gas is hovering near $4, compared to $3.18 in 2021.

The Biden administration and sections of the corporate media nevertheless seized on the latest data to claim that inflation is easing and that a corner being turned, with Biden misleadingly asserting that the BLS report showed “zero percent inflation in the month of July—zero percent.”

In a two-minute appearance, Biden painted a fantastical picture of a booming economy, but the reality facing masses of workers is one of increasing desperate struggle for daily existence. According to a separate BLS release Wednesday, real average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory employees fell 2.7 percent year-over-year in July.  

Over in Iraq, cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr has failed at forming a government so he now demands new elections.  Amr Mostafa (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Iraqi Shiite cleric and political leader Moqtada Al Sadr on Wednesday called on the country's judiciary to dissolve parliament by the end of next week.

“I address the competent judicial authorities, particularly the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, hopefully so they correct the path, especially after the constitutional deadlines for the parliament to select a president and task a prime minister have passed,” Mr Al Sadr said in a statement.

Mr Al Sadr also called on the judiciary to give the Iraqi president the task of setting a date for early elections that will be held “under a number of conditions we will announce later”.

Called on?  Mild language.  PRESS TV gets to the point in their opening paragraph, "Prominent Iraqi cleric and seasoned politician Muqtada al-Sadr has given the country's apex court a one-week ultimatum to dissolve the parliament amid a deepening post-election political crisis gripping the country."  It's an ultimatum from a man infamous for his tantrums.  TRT reminds who caused the political stalemate in Iraq:

Sadr has called for early elections and unspecified changes to the constitution after withdrawing his lawmakers from parliament in June.

The withdrawal was a protest against his failure to form a government despite holding nearly a quarter of parliament and having enough allies to make up more than half the chamber.

So Moqtada screaming for the judiciary to act and?  AL-MONITOR explains:

Judiciary head Faiq Zaidan said earlier this year in an article that the constitution did not set any punishment for the parliament when it fails to form the government within the constitutional deadlines.

The only way to dissolve the parliament is for two-thirds of its members to vote for the dissolution. 

Zaidan asked to add a new mechanism for dissolving the parliament, specifically for the time it fails to form the government within the constitutional deadlines.

The suggested mechanism is to dissolve the parliament by a request from the prime minister approved by the president, after the deadlines meet. 

The only way to amend the constitution is to return the parliament sessions and votes for this amendment, which it does not seems possible now due to Sadr objections to return the parliament sessions.


The following sites updated: