Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Oh look, it's 'free speech' warrior Elon Musk

Matt Taibbi is  embarrassing himself.  His devotion to Elon Musk has already been problematic because he entered into some secret agreement with Musk in order to publish internal Twitter e-mails.  So he's got to be secret while pretending he's about being open.  Now Elon's got his employees signing NDAs:

Some Twitter employees lost access to work systems after they failed to sign Elon Musk's anti-leaking pledge on Saturday because they didn't check their emails over the weekend, Platformer reported on Monday.

Musk on Friday sent an email to Twitter staff, saying the company could sue workers who leak confidential information, a source told Insider.

Employees had until 5 p.m. PT on Saturday to sign a pledge agreeing not to leak and to abide by non-disclosure agreements they signed when they joined the company, according to the email which Platformer's Zoë Schiffer obtained and cited in a Twitter thread on Saturday morning.

And we're supposed to applaud this jerk?

He's exposing everyone at the company before him and yet imposing NDAs.

And on NDAs, is anyone ever going to ask Hillary Clinton why she will not let her campaign staff member out of the NDA Hillary made her sign after the woman was harassed on the job?

I don't believe in NDAs.

Former MLB pitcher T.J. House has come out as gay and announced his engagement in a heartfelt post on social media. 

House, who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Guardians from 2014 to 2017, wrote in a Facebook post about struggling to be "comfortable" in his own skin and eventually, coming to terms with his sexuality. 

"It has taken me years to wake up every morning and tell myself that you are loved for you, the one that's deep down inside that you've never truly let out," House wrote.

"Shame has kept me quiet all these years, but Love has finally set me free," he added.

Good for TJ House.  I hope he's getting love and support and that every day is a better one now that he can be himself.

Now this is from Will Lehman's campaign:

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2022.  Not in the mood for those trying to bridge build with homophobes and racists.

On a good day, I'm not in the mood for your crap ass bulls**t.  On a good day.

Shut up, Krystal and Saagar, honestly just shut the f**k up.

It's not that you're trying to allude to what I had the guts to state last week.  I get it your chicken s**t.  But I don't care about that.  I'd rather you allude then ignore.  The only issue that the Twitter dumps have offered of value is that the FBI which had possession of Hunter Biden's laptop since December 2019, went to social media companies and lied in the fall of 2020 that there was talk of disinformation from Russia, maybe in the form of a hard drive and blah blah blah.

It would be great Saagar if you were strong enough to make the case I did and not just allude to it.

It is what will piss America off and what will force answers.

But you and your candy ass can't do that.

And, Krystal, honestly, stop your nonsense.

I just can't.

No one gives a damn that Donald Trump was banned from Twitter and they don't care why.

Elon Musk is controlloing the narrative and a bunch of 'reporters' are letting him.

He doesn't know what the hell he's doing.  Nor do they.

Donald Trump should not have been banned from Twitter.  NYT should not have apologized for running a column by a US senator.  We took those stands here.  I didn't back off.  I do believe in free speech.

I also know those were unpopular stands and they're not going to rally anyone at this point but a bunch of kooks -- a small bunch that's already rioted in DC, to be honest.

You and the losers doing the dumping seem to think that you can cobble here and cobble there and you'll have an outraged coalition.

No, you won't.

And, Saagar, if you really think that the next dump needs to be about Fauci, you're much more stupid than I've ever thought you were.

I think Fauci's a liar.  And I've said it here before.  And that's how I know this is a losing story currently.  People bought into, they made arguments about those, they chose to persecute people for it.  You're not going to sway them in 2022.  It's going to take a long time.  Not because they can't be honest about Fauci but because they can't be honest about their own actions.  They need time and distance so they can rewrite what they themselves did to their neighbors, to their family members and to their friends.

Russia-gate was a lie, a huge lie.

We were decrying it the moment it started -- and doing so on campuses.  

It was January of 2017 when my mouth dropped open over Russia-gate.  I had been hearing that nonsense from college students being misled by the media.  I was not prepared for someone my own age, someone that we all think is so smart and has tons of fan boys, to tell me to my face that it was true.  With college students, I can talk through the issue and debate it.

With a 'voice of the left,' I shouldn't have to.  And after 30 minutes of debunking his nonsense, I was done and I was done with him.

We didn't talk again until the 2019 Democratic Party debates.  

He was now publicly decrying Russia-gate and acting like he always had because that is the narrative that fits his reputation -- 'brave truth teller.'  He came up to me and I brushed him off.  I wasn't in the mood. Then, in a roomful of people, he whispered that he had been wrong and that he was sorry.


I don't think anyone was listening to our conversation.  But his ego was such that he feared they might.  And now that Russia-gate was exposed as crap, he didn't want to be caught holding the bag.

I don't know what they teach communications majors -- if anything.  But it's not just about getting information.  It's also about egos.

And the Twitter dumps were always going to be a hard sell.  The middle and the left are not on your side and haven't been since the dumping began.  You're putting together nothing but a wall that's keeping out the people you need to effect change.

Did you not read Jeffrey St. Clair's opinions at COUNTERPUNCH?

The left is not running with the dumps.  You are losing the left.  Legacy media has turned the story -- and its 'reporters' -- into a joke.  Your only way to shape public opinion is to go after the FBI because its actions are appalling and your amplification of what they did could move public opinion.

This garbage of 'poor Donald.'  It's not going to play.  You turn off more people with that garbage.  Krystal saying, "Pretend it's someone you hate . . ."  A) It's not going to work.  And (B) this isn't a personal story.  This is not about personalities.  This is about government abuse.  This is about the FBI trying to influence an election and trying to control what the American people have access to from the media.  Both of those things are illegal for the FBI to do.

If you think you can grow up and address the FBI, by all means do.  But cut the crap and stop trying to spit polish those dumps.  No one gives a damn about Donald Trump being off Twitter.  And as Jeffrey rightly pointed out at COUNTERPUNCH,  the left was 'shadow banned' and worse.  WSWS could also write about that because it happened to them as well.

Krystal, get it through your head that you aren't coming off impartial.  You're coming off a hand maiden to the right-wing.  That's Saagar's job on BREAKING POINTS.  He doesn't need your help.  You need to be shining the light on how COUNTERPUNCH and WSWS and BLACK AGENDA REPORT and so many others were harmed on social media and you need to be asking where are the Tweets on that?

It's a niche story at present for the right wing.  It caters to them, it seeks them out and there have been what, four -- five -- six -- dumps already.  

Everyone's yawning and going home on this story.  

Because you know the 'reporter' who took the first dump, you keep pimping each one.  But no one gives a s**t beyond Donald's most radical fans -- an increasingly small base.

And the left likes it that way -- I like Donald being over and done.  So when you stop focusing on the FBI and start talking about what was done to Donald, boo-hoo, you're losing people.

Now I don't think the 'reporters' taking the dumps are smart at all.  But they are hampered by some unknown agreement that they have with Musk.  BREAKING POINTS isn't.  It should be decrying what the FBI did every day and making that the focus.  That's the only way you're going to reach the number of people you need to reach to make this matter.

Stop trying to promote the latest dump from your friend and start zooming in and repeatedly hitting what the FBI did.  We don't need to hear Donald Trump.  The world has heard enough about him, thank you very much.

I may soon walk from this story because I see how it's playing and we don't need Krystal and Saagar feeding that crowd.  One of the idiots we rightly ripped apart for her stupidity and homophobia at THIRD is a big fan of Glenn Greenwalds and all over these dumps . . . when she's not trashing Brittney Griner for being African-American and gay.

You're not going to build a coalition with the left.  We're not going to be paired with racists and homophobes.  And that's not 'identity politics.'  That's self-respect and a belief in equality.

Get out of your damn bubble where you talk to those 'reporters' and plan what you're going to say.  You need to take a real look at who these dumps currently appeal to.  It's not anyone I'd care to associate with.  One minute they're Tweeting "Great job, Bari" or whomever, the next they're Tweeting that "homosexuality is Satanic behavior."  

No, I will not coalition build with those people and shame on you if you're rejecting the left, if you're not trying to appeal to the left, but you're catering your coverage to appeal to the homophobes and racists.


Amid a spate of recent attacks targeting LGBTQ communities in the United States, advocates say the government must do more to protect vulnerable citizens.

Late last month, a man opened fire at a gay and lesbian nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and injuring at least 17 others. The suspect has been charged with hate crimes, murder and assault.

Right-wing demonstrators have also increasingly targeted drag shows during a year in which President Joe Biden has warned of rising violence against LGBTQ communities.

Days after the Colorado shooting, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin highlighting the risk of terrorism against LGBTQ citizens and other marginalised groups, noting that “lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat”.

But while this acknowledgement is a step in the right direction, rights groups say, it is not enough.

“We are living in a time where there is this rising threat of violence from extreme far-right groups across the spectrum of marginalised communities. It’s frightening, but it’s not surprising, unfortunately,” Laurel Powell, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group, told Al Jazeera.

Charles R. Davis (INSIDER):

Across the country, right-wing extremists with guns have been showing up at libraries and churches to intimidate parents and children attending drag queen story hours. Groups such as the Proud Boys conflate the reading of books by members of the LGBTQ community with the predatory "grooming" of kids. 

Hospitals that provide gender-affirming care have received death threats after being targeted by social media influencers like Chaya Raichik, the former real estate agent who runs the "Libs of TikTok" account on Twitter, and featured in prime-time diatribes by Fox News's Tucker Carlson.

Other soft targets for the hard right have included gay pride parades. Over the summer, 31 members of the neo-Nazi Patriot Front were arrested in Idaho after a concerned citizen reported seeing them loading up a U-Haul with what looked to be a "little army" of men in riot gear.

By the end of November, far-right activists took part in at least 55 public actions targeting members of the LGBT+ community — up from 16 the year before, an increase of some 340% — with a corresponding rise in violent attacks on people perceived to be gay or transgender, according to a report released this week by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED.

Brooke Migdon (THE HILL) reports:

A House committee this week in a first of its kind hearing will hear testimony from LGBTQ people and policy experts to examine how a surge in anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric has fueled increasing violence against the community.

“Make no mistake, the rise in anti-LGBTQI+ extremism and the despicable policies that Republicans at every level of government are advancing to attack the health and safety of LGBTQI+ people are harming the LGBTQI+ community and contributing to tragedies like what we saw at Club Q,” House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Monday in a statement announcing Wednesday’s hearing.

The panel will hear firsthand testimony from individuals impacted by anti-LGBTQ attacks, including survivors of last month’s Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs that claimed the lives of five people and a survivor of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando – the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in U.S. history.

If BREAKING POINTS wants to stand with homophobes, it'll be a lonely group.  But, hey, what is silence but standing with homophobes, right?  Unless Saagar's felt the need to attack gay men, BREAKING POINTS has ignored LGBTQ issues.  That's reality.  Saager and Krystal may think they come off caring, but to a lot of people, the reality has been that they're bigots.  They'll cover any topic in the world -- especially about the 'poor' right-wingers -- as long as they don't have to talk about 'the gays.'  

We'll close with this from ARAB WEEKLY:

Sanctions-hit Iran is consolidating its hold over neighbouring Iraq, an economic lifeline where pro-Tehran parties dominate politics, all to the chagrin of the United States, experts say.

For years, Iraq has been caught in a delicate balancing act between its two main allies Tehran and Washington.

After a 2003 US-led invasion toppled Iraqi long-time ruler Saddam Hussein, Iran's influence has grown through political proxies.

Pro-Iran parties now dominate Iraq's parliament and in October they named a new prime minister following a year-long tussle with their Shia rivals, the followers of populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Iraq has become an "economic lifeline" for Iran, said Ihsan al-Shammari, a political scientist at the University of Baghdad.

This is "even more so with sharpening Western economic sanctions and nuclear negotiations that do not seem to be leading to a favourable deal for Iran", Shammari said.

"Iran's role will be even more important than during previous (Iraqi) governments"

During a visit to Tehran late last month, Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani and Iranian officials urged greater bilateral cooperation in all fields.

He thanked Iran which provides gas and electricity,around one-third of Iraq's needs, adding this would continue until Iraq was self-sufficient.

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