Thursday, December 22, 2022

2 things

 How stupid is Yahoo's Liz Kiernan?

PDS -- Pretty Damn Stupid.  Yahoo gets various of their writers to pick a top ten of albums for the year and Crazy Liz can't find one woman to note.  Wait, it gets worse.  Wheezy Bruce Springsteen and his poor cover album is Crazy Liz's pick for album of the year.  She has heard music before, right?  It gets still worse.  She types the following:

The Boss leaves E Street behind and travels back in time to Motown and beyond with this stellar collection of soul covers. He peppers this labor of love with chestnuts like the Four Tops’ “Seven Rooms of Gloom,” the Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain,” and the Supremes’ “Someday We’ll Be Together,” while also including lesser-known gems like Tyrone Davis’s “Turn Back the Hands of Time” and the Walker Brothers’ blue-eyed classic “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.” 

Do you see the problem?  "Someday We'll Be Together" is not a hit for the Supremes.  It's a hit for Diana Ross & the Supremes -- as the group had been known for three years by that point.  And it does matter because, you know, facts.  It also matters because Cindy Birdsong and Mary Wilson do not sing on the song.

Now let's move to a bigger problem: Nike.  The New York Post reports:

The female underlings alleged in the complaint that Nike’s Oregon headquarters was a “boys club” in which male executives subjected them to sexual advances, suggestive comments about their appearance, and hints and innuendos alluding to sex.

One woman reported finding an executive receiving oral sex from a female subordinate in the campus gym, according to the civil complaint filed in US District Court in Oregon.

Another who worked at the company recalled being told by male co-workers to “dress sexier” and “show some skin,” the lawsuit alleged.

The documents unsealed last month include deposition testimony, executive emails, speech crafts and correspondence between lawyers in the suit filed in 2018. The judge denied class-action status for the lawsuit, shrinking the pool of plaintiffs from 5,200 to the original 14 who filed the complaint.

How in 2022 did that happen?  This is a major corporation with a global reputation.  That seems like something out of the 90s Tailhook Scandal.

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2022.  Hate merchants peddle hate with little consequences, Iraq's last prime minister was a sadist sicko, Will Lehman calls out voter suppression, and much more.

We're going to start with this exchange from last week's  House Oversight Committee hearing: 

US House Rep David Cicilline: Republicans are happy to discuss our community when they're attacking our rights, when they're crying on the House floor because they oppose marriage equality or when they releasing statements attacking our community in press releases and when they release new bills targeting our community.  But when it comes to actually discussing the violence against our community and its causes?  Just a quick condemnation of what happened at Club Q and violence broadly and nothing more.  In my view, this is shameful.  And so I want to begin, Ms. Robinson, to thank all of the witnesses for being here today.  Ms. Robinson, as we near the end of this hearing, is there anything that we've not covered yet relating to anti-LGBTQ+ extremism and violence that you would like to share for the record? 

Kelley Robinson:  We can do something about this.  We can assure that social media companies uphold their community standards.  We can pass the equality act to ensure that LGBTQ+ people actually don't have legalized discrimination happening to them in more than half of the states.  We can, as a community, step up and say whole heartedly, no matter what our party affiliation is, repudiate and rebuke these horrendous attacks on our people.  There is work to be done and, especially on this ten year mark of Sandy Hook, we can do something to end this epidemic of gun violence.  We have to and we must.

US House Rep David Cicilline:  Thank you so much.  And Mr. Wolf, thank you so much for being here and for sharing your story.  What message do you have for politicians who are championing bills to limit the rights of the LGBTQI+ community?

Brandon Wolf:  Thank you, I'm grateful to be here.  And my message is simple: Words have consequences.  Somebody has to pay the price for unmitigated, unbridled hatred -- the kind of hatred that we've seen on the rise across this country.  We've heard a lot about accountability in this hearing and I'm glad we're talking about accountability.  No one is asking for anyone but the shooter at Club Q to be on trial in Colorado Springs.  But what we are saying is that people should be accountable for the things that come out of their mouths.  And when you're willing to traffic in cheap shots and biogtry against a marginalized community that's already seeing hate against it that's on the rise, already seeing violence rising across the country, when you're willing to traffic in those things to score political points, you have to be accountable for what happens next. You have to hold yourself accountable for the impacts of your words.  Words really do have consequences.  Unfortunately, communities like mine have felt them.  We have to do better than we are today.

Last Wednesday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by US House Rep Carolyn Maloney, held a hearing entitled "The Rise of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism and Violence in the United States."  The hearing was held due to the rise in violence aimed at the LGBTQ+ community which includes last month's Club Q shooting.  The shooting left five people dead:

  • Daniel Davis Aston, 28
  • Kelly Loving, 40
  • Ashley Paugh, 35
  • Derrick Rump, 38
  • Raymond Green Vance, 22

The shooting also left twenty-five people injured.

Michael Anderson, James Slaugh and Matthew Haynes survived the shooting and they made up the first panel before the Committee. The second panel made up of Human Rights Campaign's Kelley Robinson, Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor Brandon Wolf, National Center for Transgender Equality's Oliva Hunt, Inside Out Youth Services' Jessie Pocock and The Williams Institute's Ilan Meyer.

Hate merchants continue to attack the LGBTQ+ community and they largely get away with it.  You can -- and a body does -- call for gay people to be killed -- and get away with it.  At least with regards to government officials.  Sometimes, a community comes together to make clear that this hate speech is neither wanted nor desired.  Such as in Fort Worth, Texas, where Stedfast Baptist Church's hate merchant Jonathan Shelley is in a tizzy that his church will have to move yet again:

“The reality is nobody really wants to lease to us, so it makes it very difficult,” Shelley said. “I am still working a few options, as far as lease options, or maybe even getting a building.”

In May, Shelley spoke to the Arlington City Council and said that gay people deserved to be killed. He advocated for enforcing an old Texas law outlawing “sodomy” that has since been ruled unconstitutional.

Residents in Watauga have said they want Stedfast out of their community because it promotes hate-filled, violent rhetoric that causes them to be concerned about their safety. Church officials said they have been harassed by the protesters.

You're calling for murder.  And you're surprised people don't want to lease to you?  You're calling for murder and you're pretending that this is due to your religious teachings.  See "Those fake ass 'religious' litigants (Ava and C.I.)" for how to many idiots are getting away with too much by citing ''religious freedom" when they're not even practicing the teachings of Jesus.

Your a hate merchant spewing hate but don't worry, Jonathan Turley will always protect your speech.  He won't protect the rights of other speech.  He won't protect the speech of drag performers or of libraries but he'll rush to defend the hate merchants and only the hate merchants.


Protesters trying to shut down a reading event geared toward neurodiverse children at a branch of the New York City Public Library were met by a wall of counterprotesters.

The standoff over the Drag Story Hour event — a popular national storytelling program where drag performers read children's books at libraries, schools and bookstores — took place outside the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on Saturday. The event was billed as “storytime with local drag performers adapted to be more accessible to kids with autism and other disabilities.”

Saturday's protest was just the latest in a string of standoffs across the country from a fringe movement targeting drag events over unsubstantiated allegations of grooming.

The group demonstrating on Saturday brought handmade signs covering a spectrum of issues, with messages protesting everything from fascism to grooming to gender identity.

New York City Council member Erik Bottcher shared images and videos online of the protesters, some of whom he tried speaking with before entering the children’s reading event.

“I want to show you the face of hate, right here in Chelsea,” Bottcher said in a video shared on Twitter, before showing the counterprotesters clad in rainbows.

A representative for the New York Public Library said the event went on as planned and added that the library would continue to offer programs supporting diverse voices.

“This is particularly important at this moment when we are seeing a rise of hate and violence targeting LGBTQ+ communities," the representative said.

A right winger gets booed at a campus events and Jonathan Turley's sobbing tears and insisting booing is wrong.  (Another example of how stupid he is and how he shouldn't be commenting on supposed art -- cake baking and computer templates aren't art.)  But a mob goes after a library event and, in fact, targets a local government official and Jonathan says nothing.  Well, after all, FOX NEWS is now paying him.  

Outrageous.  Unless you're banking a check from FOX NEWS apparently.

Turning to Iraq . . . 

Mustafa al-Kadhimi was Iraq's most inept prime minister since the US-led invasion of Iraq.  It turns out that he might have also been one of the most corrupt and sick -- and remember, Iraq has already suffered through two terms of Nouri al-Maliki being prime minister. So to be more corrupt and sick than Nouri is really saying something.  Remember, Nouri's actions lead to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.   Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim (WASHINGTON POST) report:

A flagship anti-corruption drive under the tenure of U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi used incommunicado detention, torture and sexual violence to extract confessions from senior Iraqi officials and businessmen, according to a nine-month investigation by The Washington Post.

Kadhimi, who left office in October, came to power in 2020 after mass anti-corruption demonstrations felled his predecessor. His government’s high-profile campaign to tackle graft in one of the world’s most corrupt countries drew widespread international encouragement.

Central to the effort was a series of highly publicized night raids in late 2020 on the homes of public figures accused of corruption, conducted under the authority of the Permanent Committee to Investigate Corruption and Significant Crimes, better known as Committee 29. The architect of the raids was Lt. Gen. Ahmed Taha Hashim, or Abu Ragheef, who became known in Iraq as the “night visitor.”

But what happened to the men behind closed doors was far darker: a return to the ugly old tactics of a security establishment whose abuses Kadhimi had vowed to address. In more than two dozen interviews — including five men detained by the committee, nine family members who had relatives imprisoned, and 11 Iraqi and Western officials who tracked the committee’s work — a picture emerges of a process marked by abuse and humiliation, more focused on obtaining signatures for pre-written confessions than on accountability for corrupt acts.

Those interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters or, in the case of detainees and their families, to protect their safety.

“It was every kind of torture,” one former detainee recalled. “Electricity, choking me with plastic bags, hanging me from the ceiling by my hands. They stripped us naked and grabbed at the parts of our body underneath.”

In at least one case, a former senior official, Qassim Hamoud Mansour, died in the hospital after being arrested by the committee. Photographs provided to The Post by his family appear to show that a number of teeth had been knocked out, and there were signs of blunt trauma on his forehead.

Right now, my thoughts go to Robert Pehter, whose been held forever and who looks like he's been tortured.  The Australian government has done nothing to secure his release.

We'll wind down with this from Will Lehman's campaign:

The following sites updated: