Thursday, June 18, 2020

Music and the selfish Nancy Pelosi

Be sure to read Kat's "Carly Simon roundup" which features some good videos and a lot of news about Carly.  I also strongly recommend Marcia's "Queen Closet Case Latifah." Also on Marcia, over the weekend, she offered "Dionne Warwick's Hidden Gems" which is a great review of a Dionne Warwick collection. 

WSWS spoke to young people in the country about a variety of issues.  I'm going to note this section:

Maria, 21, whose name we have changed for her security, is a DACA-recipient living in New York City and the first in her family to graduate college. Both of her parents are undocumented and have become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My mom, she cleans offices, apartments and for her situation, as soon as COVID-19 started, a couple of her bosses for apartments and buildings started calling her and telling her that they didn’t need her services right now because it was dangerous for their family as well.” Maria also explained that her dad, who is a cook, lost his job during the pandemic: “The restaurant closed down right away, they just let him go as well.”
Speaking on the particular difficulties facing her undocumented parents, Maria stated, “We don’t know when my mother will get those jobs back. She didn’t get paid. She couldn’t fight it or ask for anything because as an immigrant she doesn’t have any rights.”
Because undocumented immigrants in the US are deprived of basic unemployment rights, her parents are not eligible to receive any financial assistance. As of the time of this interview, Maria’s unemployment benefits are the sole source of financial support for the five people in her family. “The little that I get, I’m supposed to be helping out my family and it’s a lot of stress. We have rent, we have to keep up with the food. Being 21-years-old and maintaining both my parents and my siblings is hard on me.”
Maria’s younger siblings have suffered from not having access to the technological resources needed for continuing their schooling during the pandemic. “My sister’s in middle school, and my brother’s in high school. We only have one computer to go around in our family. We asked for my sister to get a tablet from her school, and she’s working on it.” Maria has taken charge in helping her siblings work through the difficulties of completing online schoolwork: “The school extended the deadline for her assignments, but a tablet is different from a computer. It’s harder, so I have to sit down and take the time to try to teach her the material. For my brother, he’s taking AP classes. I have to take the time to go through the material myself so I could teach him. We have good teachers, but online learning is definitely difficult.”
The added stress has weighed heavily on Maria. Asked about taking charge of the household, she responded, “It’s been on my mind constantly. I do have my unemployment, but I keep thinking, ‘What if I don’t get my next payment?’ or, ‘What if I don’t qualify for it anymore?’ I’m planning on going back to work. … I know I’m 21, but I feel a lot of pressure because I didn’t think I would have to take charge so soon. It takes up a lot on my mind. What if my parents get sick? What then? Will I be able to support all of this? I have fear, I guess I would say. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t really know how to explain it.”

That is a heartbreaking story. That is why employment benefits should not be tied to citizenship. I know that they aren't if you are documented. But we all know there is a large number of undocumented immigrants in this country so we need to stop pretending. We should have seen everyone receiving a minimum of $1,200 every month during this pandemic. Instead, our disgusting Congress decided a one time payment would do. They give themselves raises all the time but they won't do a thing for the people. Barbra Streisand just gave the child of George Floyd DISNEY stock. That was a wonderful thing to do and I'm not slamming her for it. But people do realize, right, that Nancy Pelosi is wealthier than Barbra Streisand. What does Nancy give from her own pocket?

More to the point, Barbra made every dollar she has. Yes, luck was involved but so was talent and drive. Nancy (like me) was born into money.  Nancy does nothing.  She does nothing as Speaker of the House.  She does nothing as a wealthy woman.  She stuffs her pockets and she find nepotism roles for her adult children who apparently aren't able to find work for themselves.

She will be remembered as one of the worst Speakers of the House ever -- her only 'accomplishment' being fund raising.  The corporations love Nancy.  More and more, the people don't.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, June 17, 2020.  Turkey has invaded Iraq yet again with ground troops.  Yet again, western media searches for alternative words for "invasion."

Isn't it cute the way the play and pretend -- video or text report?  That's FRANCE 24.  Below is ARAB NEWS.

Is reporting that hard?  Or is lying just that easy?


That's the accurate term.  As in: Turkey invades Iraq.

If Mexico sent troops into California or Texas today, the US press would be saying, "Mexico Invades US."

Its ten paragraphs into the DW report before you come across this:

The government of Iraq summoned the Turkish ambassador on Tuesday to protest the initial aerial offensive. Baghdad called the airstrikes a violation of its sovereignty and said it broke international law.

AP waits until its tenth paragraph to note Iraqi objection:
Iraq's government however, summoned the Turkish ambassador on Tuesday to protest against the aerial offensive.
AP can't be bothered with noting issues like sovereignty or international law.

The Turkish government calls it Operation Claw-Eagle, the world should be calling it what it is: terrorism.  And it continues daily including today.  This morning, THE JERUSALEM POST notes:

Turkish aircraft and Iranian artillery targeted the town of Haji Omeran in the Erbil Governorate of Iraq on Tuesday, according to Sky News Arabia.
Haji Omeran is located along the Iran-Iraq border in northeastern Iraq.
The district mayor of Haji Omeran, Farzang Ahmed, told Rudaw that Iranian artillery has targeted Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in the area before, but that Turkish strikes on the area were unheard of.
"We suspect that the two sides are in coordination, because this is the first time that Turkey has bombed this region," said Ahmed to Rudaw. "This region is frequently and every year under Iran's shelling, on the grounds that they are targeting Kurdish opposition parties."

This is terrorism.  The US government remains silent.  The world remains silent.  Day after day, year after year, Turkey violates Iraq's sovereignty and terrorizes people who live in northern Iraq.  Hiwa Shilani (KURDISTAN 24) reports:

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday announced that it had summoned the ambassador of Turkey in Iraq and handed him a complaint memo condemning the violation of Iraqi sovereignty and its airspace after recent Turkish airstrikes in the Kurdistan Region.
A statement from the foreign ministry announced that Iraq had “summoned” Turkish Ambassador Fatih Yildiz “against the backdrop of the Turkish bombing that affected a number of regions in northern Iraq, causing terror to the population, and spreading panic among them.”
“Ambassador Abdul Karim Hashim met the Turkish ambassador and delivered him a protest note, which included the Iraqi government’s condemnation of violations of the sanctity, sovereignty, and Iraqi airspace.”

The Arab Parliament -- the legislative arm of the Arab League -- on Tuesday denounced Turkey’s recent raids in Iraq, calling on Ankara to respect the sovereignty of its neighbor and put an end to its unilateral military operations there. 

Arab Parliament Speaker Meshaal bin Fahim al-Salami said in a statement that “these actions are an infringement on the sovereignty of Iraq, a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and international norms, and in violation of Security Council resolutions.”
The statement also voiced support for Iraq’s stance against Turkey’s moves.
Iraqi lawmakers also reacted to the latest developments, condemning Ankara’s operations in a statement and calling on the Baghdad government to take action to protect civilians and stop Turkish violations of the country’s sovereignty.

I'm confused here, is the Arab League a non-entity to AP, DW and other outlets? 

Here's how AP could have written their story:

Today, Turkey invaded Iraq with foot soldiers on the ground.  This is part of the 'new' attack labeled Operation Claw-Eagle which is also reported by some as Operation Claw-Tiger.  The operation is said to target the PKK but the reality is that it targets Iraqi civilians and has left thousands of Iraqis wounded and many dead.  The PKK has headquarters in the mountains of northern Iraq.   Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."

Dropping bombs from the sky earlier this week resulted in an attack on a refugee camp which left dozens of children injured.  Time and again, civilians are the targets though the Turkish government always insists otherwise. Everyone the Turkish government harms, they label a "terrorist" or a "PKK fighter."  Even when it's children and the press takes a moment to note this reality, the Turkish government never apologizes and never acknowledges that they've killed civilians.

These attacks, these acts of terrorism, have been carried out for over and over  since the start of the Iraq War.   On Tuesday, the Iraqi government lodged an objection with Turkey over the violation of international law and of Iraq's sovereignty.  In addition, the Arab League, an international organization created in 1945, weighed in on Tuesday with a rebuke to Turkey over its actions.

XINHUA notes today:
The residents of ten Iraqi villages near the border with Turkey were displaced due to a military offensive by the Turkish forces on Wednesday on suspected positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the Iraqi official television reported.
The Turkish artillery and aircraft bombardment on border areas of Zakho, Haftanin and nearby villages forced the residents of ten villages to leave their homes to safer areas, the state-run Iraqiya channel said.
This is terrorism.  Families in ten different villages have had to flee their homes because Turkey is attacking.  Terrorism.  Call it what it is.

On May 21, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), in the last five months, 77 percent of armed clashes and military operations involving Turkey and the PKK have taken place inside the Kurdistan Region, in northern Iraq, while only 23 percent of such incidents have occurred inside Turkey.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has repeatedly told Ankara to cease airstrikes within the Kurdistan Region and has been critical of the PKK for using its territory as a base from which to conduct operations within Turkey.

Terrorism.  And terrorist is what Recep Tayyip Erdogan is.  He's the thug who's dictator of Turkey -- apparently for life.  He was titled prime minister from 2003 to 2014.  In 2014, he began using the title president.  Terrorist is the only title he's ever won the right to.

Some might argue he's also won the title "garbage" due to his proposal that rapists marry their victims and then they would be set free (that would set free 3000 rapists at the time he proposed it in 2016) but that's actually just another example of how he's a terrorist.
Let's remember that in May 2017, Andrea Mitchell and Erik Ortiz (NBC NEWS) reported:
Bodyguards belonging to the Turkish president's security detail were involved in Tuesday's mass brawl outside the Turkish ambassador's residence here, senior U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News.
The well-dressed guards in suits and ties were captured on social media purportedly showing protesters being kicked and bloodied as uniformed authorities tried to contain the flaring violence. Nine people were hurt and two others were arrested, police said Wednesday, although none of those detained were guards — raising questions about their impunity under the law.
That's just how he rolls.  And he gets away with it.  The US lets him get away with it over and over again.  He attacks the people in Turkey as well and the US looks the other way.  You hear Medea Benjamin and others scream and yell about Saudi Arabia but they never say a word about Turkey.  Not even when Recep is proposing pardoning rapists.  Not when he's using his goon squad to attack peaceful protesters in Turkey.

I know what the US gets out of their silence -- that mountain operation base near the Kurdish border that Turkey gave to the CIA.  I'm not sure what Medea and others get out of their silence.

At THE INDEPENDENT, Ahmed Aboudouh offers:
Shrapnel of the troubled relationship between the civilian-turned-general Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his military have shattered many countries in the Middle East. The failed military coup of July 2016 re-energised the most dangerous of Erdogan’s obsessions – the fear that he will be pushed out of power by the military.
The massive purge in the army’s ranks following the failed putsch was aimed at repositioning the army’s role in Turkish political life, and in doing so, neutering it as a threat to the presidency. Having cleaned up the forces from all followers of Fethullah Gulen and his other opponents, Erdogan is now on a mission to reshape the military in his own image.

In recent years, the Turkish president has allowed Islamist allies of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to tighten their grip on critical military posts. The purge was not only a process of sidelining officers with different political leanings but an attempt to Islamise the army too.
The intensity of this military-civil mutual fear has helped to form Turkey’s expansionism abroad based on its military might. This is very obvious in the ongoing Libyan civil war, where Turkey’s military support of the Tripoli government, against general Khalifa Haftar, has altered the war balance.
Early on Wednesday, Ankara launched land operation Claw-Tiger against the strongholds of the insurgent Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in Northern Iraq – seen by many as an invasion of Turkey’s neighbouring country.

The following sites updated: