Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Have you ever seen your son naked online?

Elaine's "Jonathan Turley and a Michael who looks just like my Mike" went up a little while ago.  Before I was on the phone with my son Mike.  I didn't see it.  I saw Rebecca's "the gay (and hot) gaston" -- saw, did not read.  It's a series of photos of a guy -- nice photos, but my son exposing part of his penis is not something I want to find online.  And I told him so.  I said, "What is going on?  Why are you posing like that?"  

He didn't understand what I was talking about.  I said, "Son, I can see your penis."  He asked me if I was high?  I responded do you want me to show your father these photos?

What photos?

The ones Rebecca posted!

He pulls up her site and starts laughing.  He says they aren't him -- and they weren't photos of him.  He tells me to read the post, which I do.  I go to the link -- Twitter link -- Rebecca provided and finally accept that it's not my son.  He's still laughing and taking his phone to Elaine so she can laugh at me too.  Only, surprise for him, she thought it was Mike too and called Rebecca because she couldn't believe Rebecca would post those photos of Mike online and wanted to know where Rebecca got them.

So it's not my son.  They do look alike, my son and the Twitter model.  


Mike doesn't see it -- or won't admit it.  He says his biceps are bigger than this guy and that this guy has broader shoulders but, I'm telling you, if the two were standing next to each other, you'd think they were brothers.  He looks more like Mike than Mike's actual brothers do.

Okay, news.  Niles Niemuth (WSWS) reports:

  • Betty Francois, 91, died on January 11, two days after she was shot in her Victorville, California, home by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy. Police claim that Francois, who was legally blind and deaf, pointed a shotgun at the deputies after they gave commands for her to drop the weapon, giving them no option but to shoot the elderly woman. Francois had called the police to her home in fear that there had been an intruder and was seeking their help.

  • A candlelight vigil and protest were held in Syracuse, New York, on March 11 for 17-year-old Judson Albahm, who had been killed by police a week earlier near his home in the suburb of Dewitt. Four officers from three different departments opened fire on Albahm. According to the police account the teenager repeatedly pointed a black handgun which fired metal BBs at them and refused orders to drop it after an extended foot chase, prompting them to open fire.

    Albahm had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Oppositional Defiant Disorder as a child and was well known to the Dewitt Police Department since his family often called the police for help when he was in distress or suffering a mental health breakdown. He was experiencing such an episode when he was killed by police.

  • Anne Arundel County police officers killed 79-year-old Leonard John Popa at his home in Pasadena, Maryland, on March 18. Police were called to the home for a welfare check by a member of a medical rehabilitation facility after Popa made suicidal statements to the medical worker over the phone. Police entered Popa’s home through an unlocked door and found him sitting in bed with a gun in between the mattresses. The police claim that efforts were made to “deescalate” the situation but that the officer “feared his life was in immediate danger” after Popa raised the gun, prompting him to open fire killing the elderly man in his bed.

In each of these killings, the victims were white. Each of these tragic deaths has gone unreported in the national media, which has not challenged the police account of events. There has been no questioning of the claims by police that they feared for their lives and that it was necessary to kill in self-defense. No attention has been given to why such killings happen with regularity and how the events could have been handled differently.

As of April 14, there have been at least 265 police killings in 2021 across the United States. The police continue to kill at an unrelenting rate of three people per day, a bloody number that has held steady for years, despite popular protests and outrage over one killing after another.

The trial of former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, for the murder of George Floyd, a black man, which is currently in jury deliberation, provides an opportunity to examine the phenomenon of police violence in the United States. The gruesome forensic review of Chauvin’s cold-blooded murder, livestreamed online, has focused the attention of millions in the US and around the world on the issue.

While the mainstream media and the Democratic Party proclaim that the country is experiencing a “national reckoning” with race and policing, they present the unabated reign of terror by police as a solely racial issue, ignoring its impact on people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, during a monologue Friday night, declared that police reform would only happen when “white people’s kids start getting killed.” As the lazy and ignorant news anchor would know if he bothered to do any research, scores of “white people’s kids” are shot by police every year. Google the name of Mykel Dexter Jenkins, a white man shot by police in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on March 19 at the age of 29, and one will read heartbreaking messages posted by family and friends on the legacy page established after his death:

“To my loving Son! Love you and will always keep you in my heart! Love you! From Mom”

“Continue to shine down on us brother”

“Mykel Jenkins brought so many gifts to our life. We will never forget him! He was always so happy and full of life. He could make anyone laugh!”

“You were one true friend Mykel and I’ll never forget you! I love you and R.I.P. till we meet again. This isn’t goodbye only see you later!!!”

“This tree of life is for you sweet brother. May it grow so big for you to climb it to the very top to watch over the ones who loved you dearly.”

Whether the victim is named George Floyd or Mykel Jenkins, whether the skin color of the victim is light or dark, wanton police violence leaves profound grief in its wake.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:

 Monday, April 19,2021.  Bully Boy Bush gets rehabbed by CBS, Robin Wright and THE NEW YORKER insult veterans with injuries, Mustafa al-Kadhimi is such a joke that he doesn't even know the Iraq flag, and much more.

Starting with the International Red Crescent:

Meet Ikhlas from #Mosul She is helping widows in her area, how? Check out the video:

While the Iraqi women continue to suffer one of the criminals responsible gets celebrated on television.

"With an angry society, it's hard to punch through with compassion." Former president George W. Bush tells
that there are "absolutely" still compassionate conservatives today. Tune into
this Tuesday &
this Wednesday for more
George W. Bush on compassionate conservatives

Sarah Abdallah responds:

The man who invaded Iraq on a pack of lies, launching a war that killed over a million human beings, wants to lecture us about compassion.


The Iraq War -- and the Afghanistan War -- has had serious consequences.  I like Robin Wright, who was back at THE WASHINGTON POST when the Iraq War started, but reading her latest article at THE NEW YORKER, I realized I liked the truth more than I like Robin Wright:

In March, General Kenneth (Frank) McKenzie, Jr., an Alabama-born marine who commands U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia, took a whirlwind tour of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Lebanon—America’s most volatile theatre of operations. Some legs of the trip were made on a C-17, a cavernous aircraft that can hold a hundred and thirty-two caskets, arranged in three rows and stacked on pallets four atop one another, the crew told me. Seven thousand American troops have been killed, and another fifty-four thousand have been injured, in the post-9/11 wars. When President Joe Biden took office, the U.S. troop presence in the four countries was down to just two per cent of peak deployments, and, technically, these troops are no longer fighting. Their missions are largely limited to helping equip local allies, map strategy, share (or get) intelligence, occasionally provide airpower, and support local peace processes. Yet this last phase of America’s military engagements may be the most confounding. As things now stand, the U.S. can’t “win” in any country. Its allies are still weak militarily. Its adversaries have adapted or even gained strength. And the political morass in each place is as bad—and often worse—as when the U.S. first got involved.

54,000 have been injured?  54,000?

Don't give that nonsense, I'm not in the damn mood.

PST and TBI (Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury) are the two signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.  54,000?  That doesn't even cover the veterans with TBI.  As for PTS:

Estimates of PTSD prevalence rates among returning service members vary widely across wars and eras. In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of deployed and nondeployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%., As many as 500,000 U.S. troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.

How the hell am I supposed to trust you, Robin, when you're so wrong in your first paragraph?

Wrong and, yes, insulting.  

"And another 55,000 have been injured"?  No.

That's wrong and that's insulting.

Jay Rey (BUFFALO NEWS) reported in 2007:

He can't stop the ringing in his ear.

It started two years ago, as an Army machine gunner, just south of Baghdad.

Now, six months out of the military, Edward Delmonte Jr. still gets the loud ringing in his left ear.

"It sounds like a whine, like WAHHHHHH," said Delmonte, 20, of Hamburg. "It gives you a pretty good headache."

An estimated 50 million Americans suffer, to some degree, from this condition, known as tinnitus, but the disorder gets relatively little attention.

That may be changing.

Like Delmonte, more and more soldiers exposed to bomb blasts and combat noise are returning from Iraq with this ringing in their ears -- an estimated 30 percent, according to one study sample.

Experts believe it has helped raise more awareness -- and hopefully more research funding -- about this sometimes disabling condition that has no standard treatment or cure.

In the meantime, the government is paying out hundreds of millions of dollars a year to veterans for tinnitus claims.

"It's sort of an unforeseen cost of the war," said Richard J. Salvi, director of the Center for Hearing and Deafness at the University at Buffalo.

Atlanta Hearing Associates notes:

An estimated 20 percent of all Americans have experienced some level of hearing loss, but there is one particular portion of the population in which that number is significantly higher – veterans, particularly those who’ve served in war zones. Among troops who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most common service-related disabilities are hearing loss and tinnitus.In 2011, over 800,000 veterans received disability benefits; of those, 18% received these benefits as the result of tinnitus or hearing loss, compared with 5.3% who received similar benefits as the result of suffering PTSD.

In the real world, veterans have enough problems getting their wounds recognized and their disability ratings upgraded. I'm not going to pretend like it's okay that an article for THE NEW YORKER -- long fabled for their fact checking staff -- includes such an insulting and obvious lie in its opening paragraph.  

This is not minor.  Veterans are reduced to haggling with the VA over and over to try to get their disabilities recognized -- disabilities that derive from missions the US government sent them on.

I'm not a fool, I get what Robin Wright means.  She means the obvious injuries like loss of limb.  But she's the fool if she thinks that, in 2020, she can write an article for THE NEW YORKER as if it were 1944 and not be called out for it.

In other news, ARAB WEEKLY notes:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi paved the way for his own political project at a meeting with Shia and Sunni clerics over an iftar dinner, where he hinted that the era of sectarian quotas has ended.

Kadhimi surprised members of the clergy representing sectarian factions who were in attendance by likening sectarianism to Zionism, calling on the clerics to adopt a moderate discourse.

He said, “Sectarianism is just like Zionism. It makes no difference. They all build their values on racism and the sowing of discord.”

Kadhimi’s escalation of his political narrative about the importance of the civil state, in what seems to  reflect likely support received from Arab countries, puts him on a collision course with the religious party forces that have ruled Iraq since 2003.

Among such parties in particular is the Dawa Party, which now seeks new alliances, especially with the Sadrist movement. The Dawa party seems to be acting on the principle, established by its current leader and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, according to which there is no relinquishing of Shia rule in Iraq.

Maliki had indicated on a previous occasion in Iraqi dialect, “We shall not give it”, meaning we will not give up Shia rule.

An Iraqi analyst said, “Kadhimi is responding to the Hashed (Population Mobilisation Forces) and to Iran in their own language. They accuse him of being a lackey of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, and he responds by describing them as Zionists. ”

Kadhimi draws support from moderate forces in Iraq, and has clear support from Iraqi President Barham Salih, but observers say that time is running out for the Iraqi prime minister before Iraqi elections scheduled for next fall.

His entire term has been one of disappointment.  .  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has sparked controversy on social media platforms after he appeared in photos painting the Iraqi flag upside down on kids' faces at an Iftar feast organised for orphans in the Green Zone Palace, Baghdad.

Al-Kadhimi appeared in photos playing with children in the garden of the government palace. Social media users shared photos and videos of the prime minister painting the Iraqi flag upside down, launching a wave of criticism on social media platforms.

Iraqi Twitter activist Hamad Al-Maliki published a picture of Al-Kadhimi and captioned it: "The flag of the country has different colours; red is above and black is below. Thank you for your love for the children of your country whose flag you do not know how to paint. I pray sincerely that this picture is photoshopped, otherwise this is a scandal."

Another Twitter user Ali Al-Kadhimi posted: "A prime minister who does not know the order of colours of the flag of the country he rules."

Heaven King Tweets:

Prime minister of Iraq didn't know how to paint Iraqi flag.... He started from bottom to top! What a prime Iraqi have!?

Mustafa was supposed to be the great hope for Iraq.  Before him it was Hayder al-Abadi that was the great hope.  There's always some US and Iran puppet that's going to be the one to deliver but like the press promoted forever 'turned corner,' nothing ever changes.  

Slowly, people outside of Iraq are catching on to Mustafa's failures.  Heyrsh Abdulrahman (JERUSALEM POST) reports:

Iraq as a democracy has largely failed. The Iraq war was seen as a turning point that would usher in an era of freedom and opportunities. That thesis proved wrong. Iraq has since seen instability and chaos with little peace and calm to offer its citizens. It has suffered huge problems, like the emergence of ISIS, and came to a near-total collapse. 
A major reason for all this is the failure of the political leaders to run the country effectively. Celebrated that it would turn into a functioning democracy, it has fared very poorly. The failure may be attributed to the dominant political factions currently having the political clout to run the country’s affairs. An even bigger quagmire is the support of consecutive US administrations for the Iraqi ruling elites.

[. . .]

The Biden administration now has a choice to make. It has a choice: Work with the leaders who have failed consistently in Iraq and the Kurdish region, KRI, or revise American policy.
For starters, the Biden administration should make clear that the US isn’t going to tolerate the actions of the current political establishments in Iraq, including the KRI. One way of sending this message is the application of the Magnitsky Act. Employing this act, the US can apply sanctions on foreign officials. The Biden administration should use this tool to sanction not only tiny political figures but also top political personalities. The US should strengthen the formal political institutions to the extent that they can bring influential figures to account for their actions, without suffering negative repercussions when doing so. Biden’s administration should work with these formal institutions to lessen and gradually end the influence of proxy militias.
The current Iraqi leaders have failed miserably. The dominant parties in the KRI have taken control of the region and have stifled every other opposition. It is the right time to make these leaders accountable, with American help. New leaders should be appointed who are dedicated to serving their people, not pursuing their interests or serving their patrons. They should be given the platform and whatever support Washington can give them. By showing its teeth to the current political elites, the US could give sincere leaders the space they need to emerge.
But it depends on the current administration’s willingness to act on this call to duty. If the Biden administration is willing to do it, it can do it. Iraq has been absent from Biden’s policy speeches. But it would be a grave mistake to forego the problems of Iraq. It is time that the US prioritized Iraq as a significant foreign policy challenge.

As Mustafa fumbles and tumbles, cleric Moqtada al-Sadr hopes to profit.  The one-time Shia leader continues to command his cult that has settled on living in slums and not making demands on their supposed leader.  But that's all he's had of late.  He was mocked and ridiculed by Shi'ites throughout 2020.  Despite that, he sees an opportunity.  Though the attempted assassination of Moqtada's representative Hazem al-Araji last week in Baghdad as "Armed men in two BMWs opened fire near Araji and hit a member of his personal bodyguard, which led to an exchange of fire between Araji’s bodyguards and the militants" might be seen as a message to Moqtada.  ARAB WEEKLY notes:

An Iraqi source familiar with the movement’s internal discussions said, “The time for propaganda against American occupation is gone after the Sadrist movement had a taste of power. It has benefited from the quota system through the appointment of cabinet members in various positions and subsequently gained a level of influence within Iraqi state institutions that is similar to that wielded by the Dawa Party.”

He added that, “The leader of the movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, realises that the options of the United States are limited. There is no way to deal with the PMF, which is almost completely under the thumb of the Iranian Quds Force, nor with the Dawa Party, whose fortunes are eroding and which stands accused by many of its followers of corruption, nor with the smaller Shia groups that enjoy more popularity in the media than among political activists. The Sadrist movement has become the ‘moderate tendency’ despite all that happened during the past few years.”

On Monday, Iraqi President Barham Salih signed a decree to hold early elections on October 10.

Despite the endeavours of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to co-opt a large segment of the Shia electorate within the civil state, the Sadrist movement is betting on its popularity among the poor in major popular neighbourhoods of Baghdad, in addition to segments of the population in the central Euphrates and southern Iraq regions that are dissatisfied with the government.

Always one desperate to hold on to power, former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki is sniffing around Moqtada once again.  Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has offered reconciliation with influential Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr, hinting about his hopes of returning to power again.

Speaking to al-Shariqyah TV on Thursday, Maliki said that he is ready to reconcile with Sadr.

"My hand is open to everyone who wants to reconcile with me. I do not want rivalries, and I do not want disputes to continue, neither with Muqtada al-Sadr nor with anyone else," said the current leader of the State of Law coalition.

Sadr leads the Sairoon coalition, the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, which has recently began speaking explicitly about its desire to head the next government.

The Shiite cleric is Maliki’s most prominent opponent. Maliki also faces resistance from Iraq’s Shiite religious figures, led by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who supported his removal from power in 2014.

Maliki confirmed that the Will movement, led by former MP Hanan al-Fatlaw, will ally with the State of Law in the upcoming elections, but he is "afraid” of international supervision on the upcoming elections.

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Glenn Greenwald Reaction" went up Saturday night.