Thursday, March 16, 2023

Native Americans and the bog buck moth

Ripping off the Native Americans -- that's the real story of America.  Doubt it?  Michael Macagnone (ROLL CALL) reports:

The Navajo Nation will argue Monday at the Supreme Court that the United States must meet the water needs of their reservation in Arizona, amid long-standing tensions about how to apportion the dwindling flow of the Colorado River.

In the first oral arguments of a two-week sitting of the high court, the Navajo will defend a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that kept alive their long-running legal effort to force the government to come up with a plan to provide enough water.

In court filings, the tribe contends that an 1868 treaty promised both land and water sufficient for the Navajos to return to a permanent home in their ancestral territory.

Many Navajo households live on a small fraction of the water most Americans use per day, the tribe states. More than 30 percent of the reservation lacks running water. And water hauled from miles away costs multiple times more.

“How did we get here, in this country, in the twenty-first century? Broken promises,” the tribe’s brief said. “The basic human rights of hundreds of thousands of Navajos, fellow U.S. citizens, hang in the balance.”

Reality is that no one's had it good in the US unless they owned property and, of course, Native Americans weren't about private ownership.  

Are we any better today?  I'd like to hope so.  I'd like to believe that, as we learn, we become more caring.  

The Endangered Species Act, for example, didn't exist in the 1800s.  That act is now 50 years old and The US Fish and Wildlife Services issued the following Tuesday:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today a final decision to list the bog buck moth, a large black-and-white moth found in central New York and Ontario, Canada, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. A review of the best available science indicates the species is at risk of extinction throughout its narrow range. The bog buck moth is also protected in Canada and by the State of New York. 

Down from five known historical populations, the three existing populations of bog buck moth — one in the U.S. and two in Canada — face growing threats from habitat loss, invasive species , and increased flooding associated with climate change . The populations in the U.S. and Canada are isolated from each other and are more vulnerable to threats during natural population fluctuations, or “boom-and-bust" cycles. In years when conditions are favorable, bog buck moth populations can grow, or “boom,” but during years when conditions are unfavorable, the populations can crash, or “bust,” in response to disease, predation, or parasites. Federal protection will raise awareness about the threats this species faces and strengthen existing partnerships to support its recovery.  

Habitat loss or alteration resulting from land-use change has made it harder for the species to recover from these periodic steep declines in part because they cannot disperse to sites where conditions are better. To persist into the future, populations of bog buck moth need to be large enough, and have access to enough suitable habitat, to withstand natural fluctuations. Maintaining healthy populations at different climate gradients is also important to ensure this species retains the ability to adapt to changing conditions. 

With black-and-gray wings that span nearly 2.5 inches — the length of your index finger — bog buck moths are large and bold. They have fuzzy black bodies and translucent black-and-gray wings with wide, white bands and eyespots: circular markings meant to mimic eyes to scare away predators. Males have feathery antennae, which have receptors to detect the pheromones of females, and red tipped abdomens. 

The final rule and supporting information are available online in the Federal Register reading room

Today’s announcement comes as the ESA turns 50 years old in 2023. Throughout the year, the Department of the Interior will celebrate the ESA's importance in preventing imperiled species' extinction, promoting the recovery of wildlife and conserving the habitats upon which they depend.  

The ESA has been highly effective and credited with saving 99% of listed species from extinction. Thus far, more than 100 species of plants and animals have been delisted based on recovery or reclassified from endangered to threatened based on improved conservation status, and hundreds more species are stable or improving thanks to the collaborative actions of Tribes, federal agencies, state and local governments, conservation organizations and private citizens. 

Here's a video I found on YOUTUBE about bog buck moths.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, March 15, 2023.  The 20th anniversary of the Iraq War looms -- we're told maybe US troops can leave in . . . five years, John Stauber continues his lurch to the right and his embrace of hate, and much more.

The U.S. and its allies invaded Iraq 20 years ago in Operation Iraqi Freedom. President George W. Bush’s press secretary Ari Fleischer twice accidentally referred to it as Operation Iraqi Liberation, which was definitely not its official name and would have generated an unfortunate acronym.

The men and women who launched this catastrophic, criminal war have paid no price over the past two decades. On the contrary, they’ve been showered with promotions and cash. There are two ways to look at this.

One is that their job was to make the right decisions for America (politicians) and to tell the truth (journalists). This would mean that since then, the system has malfunctioned over and over again, accidentally promoting people who are blatantly incompetent failures.

Another way to look at it is that their job was to start a war that would extend the U.S. empire and be extremely profitable for the U.S. defense establishment and oil industry, with no regard for what’s best for America or telling the truth. This would mean that they were extremely competent, and the system has not been making hundreds of terrible mistakes, but rather has done exactly the right thing by promoting them.

As we get closer to the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, more publications note (remember) Iraq.  Julian Borger (GUARDIAN) writes:

There are still US soldiers on counter-terrorist missions in Iraq and Syria. The Authorisation to Use Military Force that Congress first granted to the Bush administration in the run-up to the 2003 invasion has yet to be repealed by the Senate, and has been cited by the Obama and Trump administrations in justifying operations in the region.

Coleen Rowley, an FBI whistleblower who exposed security lapses leading to the 9/11 attacks, wrote an open letter to the FBI director in March 2003, warning of a “flood of terrorism” resulting from the Iraq invasion. She says now that two decades on, nobody has been held accountable for the fatal mistakes.

“I think the real danger is that their propaganda was very successful, and people like Bush and Cheney have now been rehabilitated,” Rowley said. “Even the liberals have embraced Bush and Cheney.”

The terrible mistakes made leading to and during the Iraq war forced no resignations and neither George W Bush nor his vice-president, Dick Cheney – nor any other senior official who made the case the war and then oversaw a disastrous occupation – have ever been held to account by any form of commission or tribunal.

Terrible mistakes?  Try outright lies.  Peter Van Buren exposed some of the lies in his book WE MEANT WELL.  At RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT, he writes:

The Iraq reconstruction failed to account for the lessons of Vietnam (the CORDS program in particular.) The Afghan reconstruction failed to account for the lessons of Iraq. We now sit and wait to see the coming Ukraine reconstruction fail to remember any of it at all.

“It is obvious that American business can become the locomotive that will once again push forward global economic growth,” President Zelensky said, boasting that BlackRock, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs “have already become part of our Ukrainian way.” The New York Times calls Ukraine “the world’s largest construction site,” and predicts projects there in the multi-billions, as high in some estimates as $750 billion. 

It will be, says the Times, a “gold rush: the reconstruction of Ukraine once the war is over. Already the staggering rebuilding task is evident. Hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, hospitals and factories have been obliterated along with critical energy facilities and miles of roads, rail tracks and seaports. The profound human tragedy is unavoidably also a huge economic opportunity.”

We did worse than nothing. Iraq before our invasion(s) was a more or less stable place, good enough that Saddam was even an ally of sorts during the Iraq-Iran War. By the time we were finished, Iraq was looking closer to a corrupt client state of Iran. Where once most literate Americans knew the name of the Iraqi prime minister — a regular White House guest — now, unless he’s changed his name to Zelensky, nobody cares anymore. And that’s what the sign on the door leading out of Iraq (and perhaps into Ukraine) reads: tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars later, no one cares, if they even remember.

Unlike the bulk of people weighing in, Peter's tying in then and now and his knowledge of Iraq doesn't stop in 2008.  The November 2008 election of Barack Obama lead 'activists' like United for Peace and Justice to close shop  -- their very own "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" moment -- and media outlets to withdraw -- ABC announced at the end of 2008, for example, that they would be using BBC NEWS reports to cover Iraq instead of their own correspondents.  

The media withdrew from Iraq.  All this time later, US troops remain in Iraq. 

At COUNTERPUNCH, Kathy Kelly notes:

Twenty years ago, in Baghdad, I shared quarters with Iraqis and internationals in a small hotel, the Al-Fanar, which had been home base for numerous Voices in the Wilderness delegations acting in open defiance of the economic sanctions against Iraq. U.S. government officials charged us as criminals for delivering medicines to Iraqi hospitals. In response, we told them we understood the penalties they threatened us with (twelve years in prison and a $1 million fine), but we couldn’t be governed by unjust laws primarily punishing children. And we invited government officials to join us. Instead, we were steadily joined by other peace groups longing to prevent a looming war.

In late January 2003, I still hoped war could be averted. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s report was imminent. If it declared that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction (WMD), U.S. allies might drop out of the attack plans, in spite of the massive military buildup we were witnessing on nightly television. Then came Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 5, 2003, United Nations briefing, when he insisted that Iraq did indeed possess WMD. His presentation was eventually proven to be fraudulent on every count, but it tragically gave the United States enough credibility to proceed at full throttle with its “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign.

Beginning in mid-March 2003, the ghastly aerial attacks pounded Iraq day and night. In our hotel, parents and grandparents prayed to survive ear-splitting blasts and sickening thuds. A lively, engaging nine-year-old girl completely lost control over her bladder. Toddlers devised games to mimic the sounds of bombs and pretended to use small flashlights as guns.

Our team visited hospital wards where maimed children moaned as they recovered from surgeries. I remember sitting on a bench outside of an emergency room. Next to me, a woman convulsed in sobs asking, “How will I tell him? What will I say?” She needed to tell her nephew, who was undergoing emergency surgery, that he had not only lost both his arms but also that she was now his only surviving relative. A U.S. bomb had hit Ali Abbas’s family as they shared a lunch outside their home. A surgeon later reported that he had already told Ali that they had amputated both of his arms. “But,” Ali had asked him, “will I always be this way?

I returned to the Al-Fanar Hotel that evening feeling overwhelmed by anger and shame. Alone in my room, I pounded my pillow, tearfully murmuring, “Will we always be this way?”

Throughout the Forever Wars of the past two decades, U.S. elites in the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex have manifested an insatiable appetite for war. They seldom heed the wreckage they have left behind after “ending” a war of choice.

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is a fairly new think-tank (2019).  It was started by Andrew Bacevich and has recieved funding from the Koch brothers and George Soros.  Where we're concerned is the proposal on Iraq that they've published -- written by Steven Simon and Adam Weinstein:

 Withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq within five years (except Marine Security Guards for the protection of the Embassy and OSC–I personnel under the U.S. Mission), recognizing that temporary combined training exercises, military delegations, and combined planning efforts using TDY personnel would be useful and should continue if both countries wish.

Five years.  

It's 2023 and we're talking five years.

"We want troops out of Iraq!  And we want it now!"

Was that Jane Fonda at the big January 2007 rally in DC against the Iraq War?


It wasn't an activist.

It was Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 at his rallies and that was also used in the 2008 campaign ads.  

Did we want that, Barack?  

If you're part of the 'we' then clearly not.

He used the Iraq War to get into the White House.

He did a drawdown in 2011.  Then he began increasing US forces in Iraq secretly the following year -- at the end of September 2012, Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) reported:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

That was buried in a report on Syria, Jill Abramson would not allow the important news in a report of its own -- with a proper headline.  

You'll read lies this week by idiots who'll tell you US troops left Iraq at the end of 2011 and didn't return until 2014.  A lie.  Most of them are just ignorant of reality but some are aware that they're lying.  

US troops remain in Iraq all these years later -- most recent death was in December -- and what a 'statecraft' institute is proposing is that we can get US troops out (minus those guarding the embassy) in five years.

Fie years. 

Twenty-five years after the illegal war started.  

When Barack was lying on the campaign trail -- and he was lying, as Samantha Power infamously told BBC -- he knew no one would accept five years but that's where we are now.

Cher's political takes?  Not a fan.  I know Cher and I like her but she -- like too many other celebrities -- think they know something when they do not.  They don't understand that the media that lies about them also lies about other things.  It always amazes me when someone can't grasp something so obvious.

The media is not our friend.  It will destroy us given the chance.  The most honest -- in color film -- about the media ever made was probably 1986's ROCKABYE starring Valerie Bertinelli who ends up being used by a reporter after her child is kidnapped.  (In the days of black & white films, they tended to be more honest about the ruthless nature of the press.  Since then, ROCKABYE is the rare exception.)  Their goal is not to be your friend, their goal is to get a story.  And that story will be pumped and massaged at the expense of the truth.  

Homophobia exists to this day because of the media.  'Educated' people, 'well' informed by the media in previous decades were taught homophobia.  That is the reality.  

And that's what the media does: teaches people what to think.  You're the consumer trying to get facts but what you're given is rarely factual and more often it's got a long range plan behind it.

The war on Russia was obvious when Barack was president.  You can find, at this site, especially after Ed Snowden was in Russia, the point that The Cold War was being restarted.  By the same token, throughout the ongoing Iraq War, there have been attempts to sell war on Iran.  More recently, there's been a strong push to sell war on China.  I do believe WSWS has painted themselves into a corner on the origins of the COVID 19 virus.  I understand how that happened, their desire to avert US war with China.  But they've left themselves no wiggle room and should it be linked to that infamous lab, they're going to be publicly embarrassed.  (I'm not saying the lab and COVID are linked -- I don't know.  And I'm never afraid to say I don't know.)

The government feeds the media -- sometimes the truth, sometimes a lie -- editors and producers want their reporters 'well connected' and are more worried about angering a powerful government official than informing the public.  

News consumers need to stop being so willing to be fed. 

So I'm bringing this up because I have called Cher out before -- and will again, I'm sure -- but I'm factual when I do. 

John Stauber left the world of factual long, long ago.

Is the failed writer projecting?

He can't stop promoting his (co-written) book from two decades ago which I'll assume is because he's done nothing of value since.  

Cher doesn't do drugs, ''sweetie.'' Drugs clearly damaged your brain, John, but Cher doesn't do drugs.

I know that because I know her, yes.  

But it's equally true that that's never been a secret.  Sonny & Cher fell out of popularity in part because their anti-drug stance in the late sixties put them out of step with the youth who had celebrated them.  While starring in her own variety series in the 70s, she went to a party and was able to help save the lives of a few people because, unlike them, she didn't take the drugs being offered. This was a big story covered even by her own network CBS.  In addition, there's the whole Gregg Allman coupling and her statements there.  

Cher loves to tell the story about Mike Nichols coming backstage during the Broadway run of COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN and offering her the tole in SILKWOOD and stating he was wrong (he'd turned her down for the female lead in THE FORTUNE years before.  She likes to say that it was like being on acid and then adding that she's never dropped acid.

I get it, John, I do.  Your pathetic life got you run off from the body you created.  You became such pariah that even Ruth Conniff was able to get laughs at your expense.  Your career ended long ago and, honestly, even when it was active, it didn't amount to anything.

Of course, you'd want to trash Cher, a singer who's had hit singles in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s.  Of course you'd want to trash Cher whose career includes starring in TV variety shows.  Cher who is a successful actress who's been on Broadway and who's won an Academy Award. 

What have you done in your professional life, John?

That's right, nothing much.  Nothing much at all.

And the reason for that is clear in your Tweet.  You don't care about facts, you just Tweet whatever you think will get you attention.  You're a smug little bitch whose Tweet doesn't hide the fact that you've accomplished nothing with your pathetic life and that you have to resort to lying to even attempt wit -- attempt but, of course, fail.

So sad -- sad and pathetic with your transphobia and, as Ruth pointed out last night, your efforts to elect Ron DeSantis president of the United States.   Five Tweets praising him, why don't you just come out as the right-winger you are?  And we need to note that "Don't say gay" Ron is your guy.  You have no foundation.  Your beliefs change from one moment to the next.  

Cher's Tweet's embarrassing.  And it's embarrassing because she doesn't have the background to Tweet about what she's Tweeting.  It's also embarrassing because she's worked herself up so much because there are so many idiots in our industry.  They're misled because they don't have the education background behind them.

But you do, John, so what's your excuse for promoting a hate merchant like Ron?

You know Keith Olbermann was a star on MSNBC and often said things that I agreed with.  But I didn't write him about him here, I didn't advance him because he's disgusting.  He was always disgusting.  He was always a sexist and abusive.

You are so far from where you once were.  I'll take Cher who cares a great deal but make mistakes based upon the propaganda from the 'news' media over someone like you any day.

You've chosen your side and you need to remain there now.  It's sad for you because I was one of the few people defending you over the last years.  You know you're a joke in independent media and you know how people in that media hate you -- it's why you're not invited on any programs.  I'm done defending you.  DOBBS changed everything.  We know who are friends are and we know who the trash is.  You've decided to stand with trash: Registered sex offender and convicted pedophile Scott Ritter, transphobe con artist Glenn Greenwald, etc, etc.  

Those are your people now.

And here's QUEER NEWS TONIGHT reporting on the crowd John Stauber hangs with now.

A new report published last week by the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism found that an “all-time high” number of “white supremacist propaganda” incidents occurred in the United States in 2022, eclipsing the previous year’s record total of 4,876 by nearly 2,000.

“Our data shows,” the ADL wrote, “a 38 percent increase in incidents from the previous year, with a total of 6,751 … the highest number of white supremacist propaganda incidents ADL has ever recorded.”

In addition to an increase in white supremacist incidents, the ADL recorded a more than doubling of “antisemitic propaganda” incidents, rising from 352 in 2021 to 852 in 2022. These included banner drops on roadways, in-person demonstrations, leafleting neighborhoods and projecting images on buildings and stadiums.

The ADL found that propaganda efforts were undertaken in every US state except Hawaii, with the most active states being Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Utah, Florida, Connecticut and Georgia. These propaganda efforts were organized by “at least 50 different white supremacist groups” according to the ADL, however, “three of them—Patriot Front, Goyim Defense League (GDL) and White Lives Matter (WLM)—were responsible for 93 percent of the activity.”

White supremacist “events” such as demonstrations at state capitols, parades and local businesses, organized by WLM, GDL, Patriot Front, the Proud Boys and others increased by 55 percent last year, from 108 in 2021 to 167 in 2022.

The only area where ADL recorded a decrease in fascist activity was on school campuses, where the ADL found 219 incidents of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, a slight 6 percent decrease from 2021. Fascist propaganda, overwhelmingly distributed by Patriot Front (74 percent of all incidents), was discovered on campuses in 39 different states, led by Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

This is the second report released by the ADL in the last month that has documented an historic rise in far-right agitation and violence in the US.

Last month, the ADL reported that every single “extremist” mass killing in 2022 was linked to far-right ideology. Notably, the ADL did not mention that every mass killing linked to in their report was directly inspired by Republican Party politicians and their sycophants in right-wing media. This is also the case in the March report, which likewise does not mention Trump or the role of the Republican Party in cultivating these right-wing and openly fascist elements.

While the Republicans, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, have advanced some 420 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation so far in 2023, violent Republican rhetoric is translating into threats of real-world fascist terrorist violence.

This is the world of hate that John Stauber, Glenneth Greenwald and so many others have decided to help create.  

Two days from now, there's an action in DC.

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

James Hong

I'm really glad that EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE got so many awards (would've given best supporting to Angela Bassett, though).  And I started reading a piece on James Hong thinking I would highlight it here.


The actor seems like a wonderful person and I know he's talented because I've seen him give so many great performances in so many films.  What's my problem?  YAHOO NEWS' Kevin Polowy.  Someone tell Kevie-pooh that his sexism does not play in 2023.  

I'm not in the mood.

One of James' biggest films?  BLACK WIDOW.

In fact, the first time he popped up in EVERYTHING, I immediately thought of BLACK WIDOW.  That's a film noir classic from the eighties.  Dianne Ladd and Dennis Hopper are among the actors in it.  But it stars Debra Winger and Theresa Russell.  Apparently, we can't discuss a film with two women starring -- at least not if we're Kevin Polowy.  We'd rather discuss the box office dud that was WAYNE'S WORLD II.  (Where Hong's voice is dubbed.) 

BLACK WIDOW?  FBI agent Debra Winger is in pursuit of Theresa Russell who is marrying wealthy men and then killing them.  She tracks her down to Hawaii where she's now pursuing Sami Frey.  Debra hires James Wong -- a private detective -- to track Theresa.  Theresa catches on that her new friend Debra has given her a fake name and is investigating her.  She plays the victim and hires Hong to follow Debra, "Mr. Shinn, I'll tell you two things about me.  I'm very rich and I'm very wealthy."  He gets photos of her with Theresa's new fiancee (Theresa has told him to ask Debra out and Debra to go out with him).  This is part of her setting up Debra for the fiancee's death.  To do that, she can't have Hong around.  He plays an unethical investigator who also has a drug habit.  Theresa gives him the choice of on the drug of his choice or her murdering him.  He chooses the  

It is a really great film noir that only gets better with each viewing.  

And it's got some great lines.  Everyone thinks Debra is chasing a phantom that doesn't exist.  Leading her to ask her boss at the FBI, "Which part do you think a woman's not up to?  The seduction or the murder?"   Debra also has a great scene with her boss when he wants to know how the woman could end up like that and Debra makes up the story on the spot about her father and then starts laughing because her boss into it.  

He's been great in so many films (THE TWO JAKES and CHINATOWN, to cite two more) and he's been on every TV show.  Remember when there was a petition to get Betty White on SNL?  We need something like that to get him on HBO's PERRY MASON reboot.  Why?  He did two episodes on the original show and then two episodes on the 70s reboot.  This new version should bring him on for two episodes as well.  He leaves an impression even in a small role.  I was surprised, looking at his TV credits by how much he stood out.  A guest spot on DYNASTY or FALCON'S CREST or MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD or CHUCK and I can picture his character in my head all this time later.  I can't place him on CHARMED, though.  That may be due to Alyssa Milano becoming so ridiculous in real life that I've blocked out my memories of the show.  But everything else, if he acted on it and I watched it, I can remember him in it. 

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Wednesday, March 15, 2023.  The antiwar movement?  If you can't be honest about what happened to it, you're never going to revive it.

They're trying to protect children, right?  That's the lie the bigots keep repeating as they go after the LGBTQ+ community and drag artists, that they're trying to protect children.


Hundreds of protesters, including armed white supremacists, and LGBT-community supporters descended on Wadsworth's Memorial Park on Saturday as a humanist group tried to put on a drag queen storytelling event for children.

[. . .]

White supremacist and white nationalist groups, including at least one participant wearing a Proud Boys hoodie, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at onlookers and others, including "Heil Hitler" and a man on a loudspeaker who chanted "Sieg" as protesters responded: "Heil!"

Neo-Nazis waved swastika flags while chanting "there will be blood" on Saturday during a protest against a drag queen story hour held in Wadsworth, Ohio, just west of Akron.

[. . .]

Drag events have been targeted by right-wing activists across the United States in recent months, with a particular focus on those accessible to children. In Tennessee, Republican lawmakers have voted to ban "adult cabaret performance" from public property, or any location which could be viewed by a child, with similar legislation being proposed in a number of other states like Kentucky and Oklahoma.

Footage from Saturday's event taken by documentary filmmaker Ford Fischer shows several different right-wing factions protesting against the drag show.

[. . .]

Speaking to the local website, Aaron Reed, one of the drag show's organizers, said: "This is where the civil rights struggle of our generation is. Drag queens are not necessarily LGBTQ, but the Nazis don't know that. They see them as a symbol of queer folk and whether we like it or not, that's where the hate is focused right now."

These are the supporters of Mother Tucker Carlson.  People like the great Glenneth Greenwald can't be saved, they're in their own hell.  (At least until Tucker stops booking Glenneth as a guest, then Glenneth will tell us all just how much he hates Tucker -- the way he recently did with Amy Goodman.)  But you have to scratch your head over the John Stauber going down that same hate highway.

John Stauber used to present as a defender of people.  Today, he's one hopping the hatred caravan.  I get it, John, a lot of fake asses are on the left.  And they worked to ostracize you.  Doesn't defend your minimizing the attacks on LGBTQ+ people or your pathetic and disgusting embrace of racists.  And I'm sorry, but I won't fall for your nuclear screaming.

I don't play fear factor.  And I'm also old enough to remember various causes -- including protesting apartheid -- that needed to wait because we could have a nuclear war!!!!!

That's always nonsense.  The fact that we might have a nuclear war is never a reason to put off action on other issues.  Tacking action on other issues encourages actions on all issues -- Newton's First Law Of Motion: A body in motion tends to stay in motion.  

I've heard it before and it didn't intimidate me into silence back then nor does it today.  


We have got to use our voices.   

John Tweeted recently, "I am so old I can remember when lefties and progressives opposed the US establishment, its wars, propaganda and corporate globalism."

And I can remember when the turn happened and who led it.  And thing is, John, I called it out in real time while you never, ever did.  You do a few bitchy Tweets over a decade later but you'd never really address it.  To this day.

Yes, John, and you're such a coward that you can't talk about why that is.  In fact, you were among the cowards fleeing the stage when this happened.  That's what cowards do, after all.

I didn't flee and I didn't lie.  I stood in front of college audiences who sometimes boo-ed but I still told them Barack Obama -- excuse me, St. Barack -- was not the answer to any prayer and that they were being lied to, hustled and fooled.

Would have really helped if you could have done that.  But like Glenn Greenwald, you had no voice when it mattered.  

The anti-war effort is dead!!!! That's what you scream, right?  It's not dead, first off.  It was weakened.  

And it was weakened by whores you know very well, John .  Matthew Rothschild, for example.  

Does the left support wars and the US establishment?

I'm shocked.  Simply shocked.  It's not like all of you whores didn't encourage them to do that.  That's what the selling of St. Barack was all about.  

The corporate media needs to answer for selling the Iraq War.  We made that point yesterday.

Equally true, Panhandle Media (Beggar Media, if you prefer) needs to answer for selling a generation on the lie that Barack was anti-war, that Barack was brave, that Barack cared about the American people.  He didn't even care enough to end veterans' homelessness -- after promising to do so.  He knew the media -- big and small -- would give him a pass as they always did. 

And he knew that you who screams about George Sorors would take Soros money.  Are we not talking about 2011?  Is that off limits, John.

Sorry, I don't play well with others when others are whores.

George Soros is someone I called out long ago.  He made his money in an unseemly manner and he thinks he can buy democracy and reshape it.

I was calling him out when you weren't.  In fact, I was calling him out when you were taking his money.


John Stauber and people like him are why the wars drag on to this day.

Let's deal with the Afghanistan War in two paragraphs counting this one.  I don't give Joe Biden much credit for anything.  I will applaud him for ending the Afghanistan War.  I know that some whine that life is awful in Afghanistan now and blah blah blah.  It was awful before US troops pulled out.  Afghanistan was never 'liberated.'  A city or two -- US controlled -- had some pretense.  But US forces were on the ground and it never got better for the Afghanistan people.

How long were US forces supposed to stay on the ground?  Forever.  For a hundred years.  What's the answer there?  After two decades, there was nothing that they could accomplish.  It was foolish to keep them there.  It was financially unsound to continue the misadventure.  Joe became the first grown up in the room by ending that.

The Iraq War continues.  US forces continue to occupy Iraq.  Western media tries to pretend that only Iraqis linked to Iran oppose the US military presence.  

The resistance to the US presence has never crumbled in Iraq.

It did crumble in the US.  If John has to lie about it today, that's your sign that he's not a truth teller.

In the immediate aftermath of Barack Obama's election as president, the most prominent peace group announced they were taking their toys and going home: United for Peace and Justice.  Fake ass Leslie Cagan and the others didn't have time for Iraq.  They'd used it to elect Democrats -- first allowing the party to take over Congress in the 2006 mid-terms and now, in 2008, retain control of Congress and add the White House.

Barack's victory, UFPJ insisted, meant all US troops would be coming home from Iraq.

They really were charlatans.  

Their lie did more to destroy the peace movement than anything else. 

And we called it out in real time.  We called it when it happened and we continued to call it out over the years.  Doing so in November of 2008 through most of 2012 was difficult because so many wanted to believe in St. Barack.  They'd been sold him by FAIR and UFPJ and THE NATION and Amy Goodman and all the rest.  

It took years before a few others finally began to tell the truth.  And when it did come, the truth was delivered by smaller outlets.  May 2011, RUSSIA TODAY's CROSSTALK explored the death of the antiwar movement in the United States in a story "ANTIWAR.RIP: AFTER 2 YEARS IN THE WHITE HOUSE BARACK OBAMA MADE BOTH OF BUSH WARS HIS OWN:"

Peter Lavelle: Alright, I usually like to reward the person who had to get up earliest for this program but we have two people from Los Angeles today.  But I'm going to go to Angela anyway.  Uhm, I read every single day, many times a day, and you do a wonderful service.  But you know,, that was something that really brought people together when Bush was going to war, an illegal war that he was pushing and mainstream followed along.  And now, and I think you're a wonderful success, but where is the antiwar movement today?  We have a lot more war.  If you read, the United States is contemplating military action in even more places right now beyond Libya.  So Angela, what happened?
Angela Keaton: Well -- and I owe one of these anwers to one of these guests here today -- but the sobering, unfortunate answer is that neoconservatives and nationalists were right, it was an anti-Bush movement more than it was an antiwar movement. And that's where it went.  Barack Ob -- Partisanship is so strong in the US and Democrats are so wedded to Barack Obama and so afraid of weakening him, they will put up with any number of moral indecency to allow him to keep his vaunted position, including the situation and also because Barack Obama -- there's no leadup,  public leadup to Libya, so there's no chance for organization.  The fact that Democrats are afraid to criticize Obama and the fact that there was so little public debate on Libya says really terrible things about the future of democracy in the US. So this is a very -- it's actually, the whole situation is a bit of a microcosm, a reflection of what I think is actually going on in the US right now.
Peter Lavelle:  Thaddeus, if I can go to you, too, also in Los Angeles. The empire -- it's appetite for war is insatiable.  So was the antiwar movement really all about George W. Bush -- as Angela pointed out and as I'm sure Michael's going to tell us in a few minutes? Go ahead.
Thaddeus Russell: I agree with everything that Angela said. I think that, in a large part, the antiwar movement during Bush was really about, unfortunately, personality in a sense.  He was seen as sort of this disreputable, low brow Texan who was very crude in his ways but what we've gotten is an imperialist who is actually very refined and very articulate.  And I would just say, liberals now are basically the more effective -- and always have been -- the more effective imperialists than conservatives who usually tend to use brute force and very crude rhetoric.  So that, I think, is one reason but we can talk about many others for why there is no antiwar movement and why there are actually more wars now than before.

Liberal antiwar figures and organizations have consistently failed to grasp the nature of U.S. imperialism and the central role within it played by the Democratic Party.

The most important liberal antiwar coalition in the era of the "war on terror," United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), effectively closed up shop in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama--because its leaders believed that Obama and the Democrats would bring an end to Bush's wars.

Based on these illusions, it stopped organizing even before Obama withdrew from Iraq, failed to revive in opposition to his dramatic escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and did nothing to oppose his ever-expanding drone war. Today, support for Obama continues to paralyze many liberals from effectively opposing his imperialist policies. 

When these 'brave' voices want to say the peace movement is destroyed, they want to pretend like left activists just lost interest.

No, they were told to go home.  They were told everything was taken care of.


Prior to that, United for Peace and Justice was engaging in battles with ANSWER.  UFPJ wasn't a real group.  They were a collective dedicated to electing Democrats -- that's why NOW was part of it.  The National Organization of Women never again pretended to care about war after Barack got into the White House.

And let's remember as well that people didn't want to call out Barack.  They might get booed.  Oh, the horror.  I can take a crowd booing -- and I can usually turn them around and get them on my side.  But these cowards were too afraid to take on Barack.  That sent a message as well.

When Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, we spoke in a loud voice and made demands.  When Barack became president, these cowards offered the most tentative criticism of him, they minimized and excused his actions over and over.

In 2011, Dahlia Wasfi spoke with Press TV (link has video that is not working currently) about the so-called withdrawal and stated, "We've heard time and again that when we reach a certain benchmark, US forces will withdraw from Iraq, but as most things that have come out of the mouth of the United States' government, it's dishonest. [. . .] We [US] intend to stay there as basically the vice-royalty in Iraq, as a colonial presence."  Dahlia was a strong voice and a rare voice.

Our biggest 'independent' media outlets elected to ignore Iraq after Barack was elected.  After Barack left the White House, liars couldn't tell you reality.  They'd been lying too long.  Which is how THE NATION ended up with a garbage editorial by Phyllis Bennis that we call out in  the February 22, 2018 snapshot:


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

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

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

We were supposed to applaud the garbage as these 'anti-war' voices re-emerged and wanted to talk Iraq but their knowledge base ended in 2008.  They're the ones who destroyed the peace movement.  

CODESTINK?  They ran cover for Barack.  They didn't confront him.  Not even Susan I-Need-Attention Davis went for attention until May 2013 -- a year after Barack re-elected to a second term.  She finally showed up to challenge him as he spoke (about Guantanamo which he never closed).  From the May 23, 2018 snapshot:

Instead of recognizing that fact, Barack, in his speech today, once again pretended that Congress was preventing anyone from leaving Guantanamo.  

US President Barack Obama: I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries.

Medea Benjamin:  86 are cleared already! Release them today!

US President Barack Obama:  Where appropriate we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and our military justice system.  And we will insist that judicial review be available to every detainee -

Medea Benjamin:  It's --

US President Barack Obama:  Now, ma'am, let me finish.  Let me finish.  Let me finish, ma'am. This is part of free speech.  You being able to speak.  But also you listening and me being able to speak.

Flaunting their great ignorance, his howler monkeys applauded.  No, free speech does not include that Barack gets to "finish."  He wasn't interested in the woman finishing -- and doesn't that say it all?  Or, as Gilda Radner once put it on Saturday Night Live, "You selfish porkface, now I'll never be satisfied."  But the Constitution does not have a clause allowing anyone the right to finish.  Barack is such an idiot and the encouragement of this stupidity by the Cult of St. Barack goes a long way towards explaining why the administration is currently up to the neck in scandals.

El Paso Inc notes Barack also referred to the 68-year-old Medea Benjamin as "young lady."  I guess we should be grateful he didn't call her "sweetie" or  "best looking" or suggest that "periodically when she's feeling down . . ."

It's a historic moment for Medea Benjamin and CODEPINK -- it only took them five years to confront President Barack Obama.  In 2008, as Medea's co-founder Jodie Evans was bundling billions for Barack's campaign (and forgetting to reveal it to the rank and file in CODEPINK), she and Medea ordered 'bird dogging' of Barack's chief rival in the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination Hillary Clinton.  They attacked Hillary repeatedly, busting up one event after another.  They never did the same to Barack, not even after he was elected.  Some argued that CODEPINK was afraid to confront a bi-racial man.  That argument holds no water because they never worried how racist it might look for the various White women attacking African-American Condi Rice repeatedly in public.  No, they didn't attack him or hold him to any standard because they elected him, they used their organization to destroy his rivals and to put him into office.   

There was a thriving peace movement and then it was steered into elect Barack Obama.  It never recovered from that whoring.  It never recovered from a bunch of whores who repeatedly spent years covering for Barack, excusing Barack, etc, etc.

Liars like Norman Solomon who used their platforms in 'independent media' to whore for Barack.  Norman was smarter than most.  When appearing in corporate media in 2008, he would disclose that he was a delegate -- a pledged delegate for Barack Obama -- but when showing up on the PACIFICA RADIO programs and its ilk, he'd never disclose that.  In fact, PACIFICA RADIO did a whole debate 'analysis' for two hours and every guest on it was a Barack supporter but the listeners weren't allowed to know that and Larry Bensky didn't feel that was information that needed to be disclosed

Let's note SHADOW PROOF's video on the peace movement that streamed this week.

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