In yesterday’s massive defamation award to actor Johnny Depp, his ex-wife Amber Heard was left holding a bill for $15,000,000. Even after a reduction for her own award and a statutory reduction of the punitive damage portion, Heard is still looking at $8,350,000 in damages. Many view that amount (which is $1.35 million more than her divorce settlement) to be justified in light of the damage caused to Depp’s reputation and career. However, the stain of this verdict should be shared with others, even if they avoided the sting of actual damages. That includes many in the media (including the Washington Post staff) who rushed to paint Heard as a victim and Depp as an abuser. Yet, the greatest condemnation should be reserved for the organization that not only pushed that narrative but actually helped draft the defamatory column: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU’s role in this scandal emerged during the trial. While Heard was accused of reneging on her public pledge to give the divorce settlement to charity, she did give a large donation to the ACLU. The organization then made her “Ambassador for women’s rights, with a focus on gender-based violence.”
During the trial, evidence was introduced on how the ACLU staff helped Heard crafted the defamatory column. ACLU staffer Robin Shulman said in an email to Heard that she tried to capture Heard’s “fire and rage” in a draft. It was also reported that the ACLU’s executive director, Anthony Romero, and legal director, David Cole, also made contributions.
ACLU staffer Jessica Weitz acknowledged in an email that she was aware that there was the chance of litigation and told Heard “I want to make sure nothing was said in here that puts you in jeopardy with your [non-disclosure agreement].”
It is not uncommon for celebrities to use ghost writers and editors. However, many of us questioned what Romero and the ACLU were doing in the middle of this celebrity scandal. The answer is that the ACLU long ago abandoned its celebrated legacy as a fearless organization fighting for civil liberties and individual rights.
Under Romero, the ACLU has become openly political and increasingly scandal-prone. The political agenda has corrupted the organization in the sense of cutting it adrift from the strong principles that once held it firmly to its original mission.
Please read his column in full. He then ties in a number of troubling developments that have taken place. The ACLU was supposed to stand for soemthing.
It doesn't anymore.
Do any of them?
I respected the Center for Constitutional Rights for years. Then Vince Warren is put in charge and the organization that railed against government secrecy? Vinnie's meeting with Barack for off the record discussions that we still aren't supposed to note about. That's not the role of the president of CCR.
It stood for something once upon a time. There's an ad Mike loved about that organization.
I couldn't find it on Google Image search. I really try not to bother C.I. -- I'll come back to that -- but I really wanted to put it in here so I asked her and she closed her eyes, "Try around June 15th, 2006." That was the exact date that she posted this:
We counted on strong ethics. But we look around and where are the organizations that have ethics and standards. A real question at a time when certain YOUTUBE personalities claim to want to be 'female friendly' while at that same time bringing on a three time arrested pedophile who was convicted while Barack was president and sent to prison and is now a registered sex offender.They bring this pedophile on and praise him through the roof -- Jimmy Dore, Jackson Hinkle, Richard Medhurst, THE CONVO COUCH, etc -- and never tell their audience, "Oh, by the way, this 'author' and "UN expert' is actually a convicted pedophile." Now those of us who remember him before his third arrest remember him lying and saying he was innocent and this was all a plot by Bully Boy Bush to silence him. Then he got his third arrest but Bush was out of the White House. Then he went to trial and got convicted.
So, no, I don't really see a lot of ethics on the left right now. The ACLU was supposed to be about free speech and I have no idea what it thinks it is standing for today.
Okay, I'm done with the big topic.
Now, asking C.I. She has a wonderful and incredible memory. But when I ask something like that, I always feel like she's the father in FIRESTARTER and each time she does this, she's going to end up bleeding from her eyes. That's a fear, that's not me making a joke. (She's about to have eye surgery again, so I want to be clear there.) But I really enjoyed the original FIRESTARTER with David Keith and Heather Locklear as Drew Barrymore's parents.
They remade FIRESTARTER. My daughter wanted to watch. She hadn't seen the original. She asked if it was okay and I told her only if Mike or I watched with her because it is a scary movie and, if we watched, we would discuss it after.
So we watched it on PARAMOUNT+. It's gotten very bad reviews. I actually liked it and I especially liked the way they expanded the relationship between the father and daughter. I also thought Zac Efron did a great job as the dad. I think part of the negative reaction was about people wanting the same movie as the original. As I understood it, this was about trying to set up a series of films.
As the opener of a potential new franchise, I thought it was a very strong film. (My daughter did get scared during the movie. We did discuss that and laugh about it after the movie.)
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
The Iraqi Ministry of Oil revealed on Wednesday the initial statistics of its exports of crude oil and the revenues of May 2022.
In a statement issued by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, the State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) which is the Iraqi national company responsible for marketing Iraq’s oil, exported more than 102.3 million barrels of crude oil with revenues exceeded 11.43 billion US dollars.
The statistics indicated that the exported quantities of crude oil for May from oil fields in central and southern Iraq exceeded 98.9 million barrels. Moreover, the quantities produced from Kirkuk oil fields and exported through Ceyhan Port exceeded three million barrels.
Payment of the debt was a vital requirement to ensure energy supplies were available for Iraq's power plants during the intense heat of the summer months, when electricity demand surges as people seek to keep cool.
The failure to pay comes as Iraq’s oil revenue imports reached another record high. Iraq's revenue reached $11.436 billion in May and has surpassed $10bn every month since March.
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of America’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, has warned that an economic “hurricane” is about to hit the US because of the war in Ukraine and the tightening of monetary policy by the US Federal Reserve.
Two weeks ago, Dimon warned of “storm clouds” gathering over the US economy. He escalated that assessment at a financial services conference yesterday.
“I said they’re storm clouds, they’re big storm clouds here. It’s a hurricane. That hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way,” he said.
“We just don’t know if it’s a minor one or Superstorm Sandy [the devastating hurricane of 2012] … And you better brace yourself,” he told investors at the conference.
He warned the Ukraine war would continue to put upward pressure on oil prices, which could go to as high as $150 or $175 per barrel. At present oil is over $120 after a spike following the decision by the European Union to ban seaborne oil imports from Russia as part of its tightening sanctions regime.
Dimon warned that oil prices would continue to rise over the longer term.
“We’re not taking the proper actions to protect Europe from what’s going to happen to oil in the short run. And we’re not taking the proper actions to protect you all from what’s going to happen to oil in the next five years, which means it almost has to go up in price.”
Joe sent all our money to Ukraine and now we suffer. You know what, Joe, you pay your own bills first before you dig into the family funds for charity.
What an idiot.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says we are now paying 7.6% more food than this time last year. Thanks, Joe.
Attributed to Pentagon Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Media) Todd Breasseale:
Today, June 1, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $700 million, tailored to meet critical Ukrainian needs for today’s fight. This authorization is the eleventh drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.
Capabilities in this package include:
- High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition;
- Five counter-artillery radars;
- Two air surveillance radars;
- 1,000 Javelins and 50 Command Launch Units;
- 6,000 anti-armor weapons;
- 15,000 155mm artillery rounds;
- Four Mi-17 helicopters;
- 15 tactical vehicles;
- Spare parts and equipment.
The United States has now committed approximately $5.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including approximately $4.6 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion on February 24. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $7.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
The United States also continues to work with its Allies and partners to identify and provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its evolving battlefield requirements.
As the United States undergoes a national mourning process over a spate of mass shootings, American white nationalists with documented histories of violence are attaining combat experience with advanced US-made weapons in a foreign proxy war.
That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security, which has been gathering intelligence on Americans who have joined the ranks of the more than 20,000 foreign volunteers in Ukraine.
The FBI has indicted several American white nationalists associated with the Rise Above Movement after they trained with the neo-Nazi Azov Battaliion and its civilian wing, the National Corps, in Kiev. But that was almost four years ago. Today, federal law enforcement has no idea how many US neo-Nazis are participating in the war in Ukraine, or what they are doing there.
But one thing is for certain: the Biden administration is allowing the Ukrainian government to recruit Americans – including violent extremists – at its embassy in Washington DC and at consulates across the country. As this report will show, at least one notorious extremist fighting in Ukraine has received extensive promotion from mainstream media, while another who is currently wanted for violent crimes committed in the US was mysteriously able to evade FBI investigators looking into war crimes he previously committed in Eastern Ukraine.
According to a Customs and Border Patrol document released thanks to a May 2022 Freedom of Information Act request by a nonprofit called Property of the People, federal authorities are concerned about RMVE-WS’s, or “racially-motivated violent extremists – white supremacy” returning to the US armed with new tactics learned on the Ukrainian battlefield.
“Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azov Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia,” the document states. “RMVE-WS individuals in the United States and Europe announced intentions to join the conflict and are organizing entry to Ukraine via the Polish border.”
The document, which was drafted by Customs and Border Protections, the Office of Intelligence, and other Homeland Security sub-agencies, contains write-ups of interviews conducted by law enforcement with Americans en route to Ukraine to fight Russia.
On May 24, 2022 a gunman entered a school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 children and 2 teachers. The cycle of thoughts, prayers and pretend action continued but was even worse because of the short span of time between the two events and revelations about police action, or rather inaction, in Uvalde.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut won kudos for his particular act of pretense on the senate floor. Murphy’s performance was a bit over the top but that is probably why it garnered so much attention. The senator seemed to be on the verge of tears as he made an impassioned plea to his colleagues. “What are we doing? … Why are we here? …This only happens in this country and nowhere else. … Nowhere else do kids go to school thinking they might be shot that day. … I’m here on this floor to beg - to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues. Find a path forward here.”
Those are fine words from Murphy until one considers that on a regular basis he advocates U.S. violence all over the world. In December 2013 he joined his colleague John McCain in Ukraine. They attended a rally hosted by the neo-Nazi Svoboda party which was dedicated to overthrowing the elected president. The ensuing violence after the coup killed 14,000 people in the region that opposed the U.S. backed government.
Murphy has been particularly vicious in his efforts to undermine the elected government of Venezuela . “Maduro is evil, and the U.S. should pursue a strategy to undermine him and prompt new elections. No one can defend what he has done to Venezuela. But it’s quite a different thing for the U.S. to incite a civil war with no real plan for how it ends.” Sound(Ssound familiar?).” Murphy supports the sanctions that have killed thousands of Venezuelans and very publicly defended overthrowing that government too, just as he did in Ukraine. The overly dramatic senator should be asked hard questions about the violence he espouses.