Friday, June 10, 2022

George Ezra's GOLD RUSH KID

Having a great day.  I woke up this morning and was going to work out when I saw C.I. left a note outside Mike and my door.  She'd stayed up all night -- read her Friday "" -- and said she was going to sleep and would work out later.  She said if I'd look downstairs on the kitchen table, she'd left something for me.

Okay.  I was reading the snapshot as I walked down the stairs, curious what made her stay up and its a wonderful snapshot but I put it on hold because, there on the kitchen table was a wrapped package.  I knew what it was, or thought I did.  I unwrapped it and it was George Ezra's new album GOLD RUSH KID on vinyl.  It came out today.  (She always gets advanced copies.)  

I got a cup of coffee and then took a shower.  As soon as I was out of the shower, I started playing the album.  I think "Green Green Grass is my favorite right now but I love the whole album.  I've listened to it about three times so far.  

If you're a George fan, make a point to check it out.  I'll write more about it next time. But nobody posted last night as Trina told me in phone tag a little bit ago.  There are three community posts so far:

  • Also let me say congratulations to Jonathan Turley whose website has now hit the 59,000,000 mark.  I hope you visit his site regularly.  There's a great deal of wisdom there for any time frame but especially now when free speech is assaulted daily -- often by members of the US Congress.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):


    Thursday, June 9, 2022.   We look at a local election in the US and a consensus appears to be building in Iraq on how to end the political stalemate that hits the 8 month mark tomorrow.

    Patrick Martin (WSWS) writes:

    The most significant results Tuesday were in two municipal contests in California. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled in a special election, by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. In Los Angeles, real estate mogul Rick Caruso and Congresswoman Karen Bass finished as the top two candidates in the mayoral primary and will face each other in the November runoff.

    Boudin, a left liberal backed by the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party along with its pseudo-left supporters, was first elected in 2019 campaigning against police brutality and excessively long jail terms. He clashed repeatedly with the police unions and real estate and other business groups and became a focal point for a right-wing law-and-order campaign, aimed particularly at whipping up fears in the Asian community over a sharp rise in anti-Asian violence.

    Once enough signatures had been gathered to force a recall, with support from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party establishment, business interests, including hedge funds and venture capitalists poured in more than $4 million to promote the vote to remove Boudin.

    Like the recall of three members of the San Francisco school board earlier this year, right-wing forces took advantage of the political bankruptcy of identity politics with its incessant emphasis on racial divisions. Boudin and his supporters presented police violence as the product solely of racism, concealing the class role of the police as the defenders of capitalist property against the working class.

    The complete failure of the Biden administration to improve the conditions of life for working people, to say nothing of the Democratic Party-run state government in Sacramento and the administration of Democratic Mayor London Breed, created widespread popular anger and disgust and indifference to the fate of Boudin. 

    The result was an election in which there was a sizeable turnout only in the wealthiest areas of the city. Overall voter turnout plunged: from the huge 449,866 anti-Trump vote in 2020, to only 123,926 votes in the recall. Tuesday’s vote was only half as large as the 251,032 votes cast in the special election for mayor in 2018 which put London Breed in office.

    The vote will be seized on by Democratic politicians to use as a shield against Republican attacks seeking to link the Democrats to the calls to “defund the police” that arose after the 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which led to massive worldwide protests against police violence.

    I agree with Patrik that the establishment Dems will use this to justify further sell outs.  But on the race . . . The race could have been closer and could have gone Chesa's way -- see Elaine's "Chesa defeated Chesa" for her thoughts.  

    I love Roseanne Barr.  That doesn't mean I agree with her on everything.  We disagree regarding Palestinians, obviously.  But Roseanne described San Francisco a few years back.  Two?  Maybe three?  It was an ugly description of a place I've made my home.  

    But it was also a valid description.  It predated Chesa.  Chesa was supposed to bring in a new approach.  That's why he was elected.

    But he refused to sell his approach.  He should have been on all the public affairs programs talking about what was happening, what he was doing to address things and assured people that things were changing.


    It's also true that crimes against Asian-Americans have increased in the city -- hugely.  Some would argue this is a result of communities competing -- or feeling they are -- aginst one another for limited resources.  Chesa's programs were supported by a greater percentage of African-Americans than by Asian-Americans.  And a lot of high profile cases that the media covered were African-American attacks on Asian-Americans.  Chesa needed to communicate with the Asian-American communities and he failed at that.  Let's not pretend that the opposition invented a division and used that successfully.

    They took a very real division and they amplified it.  

    Chesa should have long ago addressed that division.  His faltering support in the Asian-American community was clear as far back as 2020 and he failed to seriously address that issue.  You were left with a community that felt targeted (and statistics would bear out that they were) and felt the district attorney was blowing this off and ignoring them.  They may not have supported his policies if he'd done any real outreach but they would have known he was at least aware of them.  I don't think Chesa ever got the make up of this city.  I think he came in with some interesting ideas about ways to make things better but I don't think he knew this city.

    There are serious issues and a new approach was needed.  But Chesa didn't sell the approach.  He didn't explain how we might take a temporary hit due to X program but there is a long range benefit.  He believed in his programs but he wouldn't sell them.   A friend said he acted as though we were a collective and would just support him.  No, because a collective works together and everyone is informed of what's taking place.

    Was he afraid he'd be giving people ammo to use against him?

    I don't know.  But he didn't make a case for what he was doing.

    Before he assumed office, we already had huge problems and his new tactics did not stop those problems -- they might have if given more time and we might have been willing to stand with him (I voted to keep him) but we needed to be on the same page.  

    Like every other major city, we need to be addressing the homeless problem.  Like every other major city, we need to be addressing crime.  And it's not right to dismiss some store owners' concern.  Those owners include Asian-Americans, they include everyone.  And people were struggling before the pandemic and it only got worse after the pandemic started.  

    Chesa can speak very movingly but he didn't find his voice once elected.  He refused to use it.  

    So we were left with the results of life post-Chesa winning office and it wasn't what people wanted.  The results.  If Chesa believed in his program  and had spoken of how they were and would be addressing these issues, he would have done better and possibly might have held on to his offic

    And he should have been speaking all along.  He should have people sharing their own stories of how this or that change did help them personally.  He didn't want to sell his policies.  Hopefully, he'll learn from this.  40% of the vote was amazing.  San Francisco needs massive improvement and that does include people feeling safe.  When Rosanne made her statements in an interview some years back, they weren't kind.  But they also weren't false.  And they weren't of one class the way some are trying to portray it.  The shoplifting is not just a business owner's issue.  The shop lifting effected a lot of people including those struggling who would say they felt like idiots because they were paying for things in a city that some didn't have to.  They wanted a level playing field.  This is a transitional time for San Francisco and we did need someone like Chesa who cared about more than Big Business.  

    The opposition to Chesa were on message.  And they also had reality on their side as well because this is not the San Francisco that the city needs to be.  But if Chesa had sold his programs, had spoken out about where we were headed with these programs, I do think the vote would have been closer.

    I don't know where our city goes now, but I hope that Chesa learns from this because he still has a lot to offer.  And I would argue against simplistic readings of thie results -- especially, if you haven't been in San Francisco and you don't know our issues.


    Elections.  Iraq held elections October 10th.  Still no prime minister.  Still no president.  The llatest development?

    Iraqi influential Shia cleric and the leader of Sadrist Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, has asked the members of the Iraqi parliament from his bloc to “write their resignations” and wait for his instruction. #Iraq | #Baghdad

    So if he carries this out, he's attempting to dissolve the Parliament and trigger new elections?

    If so, that's not that far from what Ayad Allawi proposed over the weekend.  Shafaq News explains,  "The National Iraqiya coalition led by Iyad Allawi called on Sunday to form an interim government to run the country’s affairs and rerun the parliamentary elections."  INA reported:

    Allawi said in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA), "After the political process has reached a state of stagnation and halt, which portends dire consequences, and after numerous appeals from national political and social figures, our national and moral duty prompts us to put forward an initiative and develop an appropriate solution for the country's current crisis."

    He indicated that "in order to preserve the unified homeland, achieve the people's hopes and aspirations for growth and prosperity and ensure a decent life for their them, and in order to restore part of the confidence in the political process after the great upheavals, getting out of the crisis requires taking a number of steps and in a period to be determined during an unconditional patriotic meeting for national political leaders, the date of which will be determined at a later time.

    He explained, "The steps will contribute to stopping violations of constitutional timings, and is represented in choosing an interim government that works to achieve security and stability in Iraq, that takes upon itself the holding of fair elections, and the selection of a new commission to organize the upcoming elections that enjoys the confidence of the Iraqi people and works with transparency and high integrity, as well as achieving  a new electoral law that fulfills the requirements of the decisions of the Federal Supreme Court in a manner that guarantees a fair representation of the Iraqi people.

    He noted, "The position of the Prime Minister is the actual conflict, and therefore the Prime Minister-designate in the interim government must be given the freedom to choose his ministerial (cabinet) provided that its standard is efficiency and integrity, and he manages the affairs of the country and implements a government program that works to meet the needs of the people and provide what is needed. ,” noting that the initiative also included “strengthening the state, the government, and the three presidencies and supporting them in facing external and internal challenges and pressures, in addition to discussing during the meeting (the conference) other important issues that are included in the conference’s agenda, and that the forces, national political figures and parties that  It has seats in the parliament , as well as representatives of federations and trade unions, and an open meeting to approve the proposal’s formula and choose the figures for the three presidencies in the interim government.

    DRAW MEDIA Tweeted:

    Allawi calls for forming a temporary government and holding a new election Former Iraqi PM Ayad Allawi during a meeting with the Iraqi Nationalism bloc, called for forming a temporary government to run the country and hold a new election

    If a consensus is emerging, it appears to be that new elections are required.

    In other news, AFP reports:

    Three people were wounded Wednesday evening after an armed drone struck a road in the suburbs of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Irbil, security services said.
    “Several vehicles were damaged” in the attack, the Kurdistan Autonomous Counter-Terrorism Agency said in a statement, which took place on the road that connects Irbil to Pirmam to its northeast.
    The attack, which was not immediately claimed, took place three kilometers from the construction site of the new US consulate on the outskirts of central Irbil.

    Julian Bechocha (RUDAW) adds:                                                                             

    Iraqi President Barham Salih also voiced his condemnation of the attack, calling it "criminal" and saying it is a violation of the country's safety.

    "The attack on the city of Erbil is a condemned and reprehensible criminal act targeting national efforts....We must stand firmly against attempts to plunge the country into chaos and undermine security and stability," the president tweeted, urging for a strengthening of security services against "outlaws."

    Reber Ahmed, the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) interior minister, told reporters at the hospital that one of the three injured civilians is in critical condition due to the explosion.

    The UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) described the attack as "reckless" and said "Iraq does not need self-proclaimed armed arbiters," calling on the state to solidify its stance and hold those responsible accountable.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but such attacks are often attributed to Iran-backed militias who have launched a spate of attacks against Kurdish land in recent months.

    Hossein Dalirian, affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was one of the first individuals who described the attack as a drone strike, at a time when the Kurdistan Region's authorities had not specified the means of the attack.

    The following sites updated:

    Thursday, June 09, 2022

    Chesa defeated Chesa

    Jonathan Turley:

    San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has been lionized by the press for years. He had the ultra-liberal resume for an ultra-liberal city. Boudin is the son of Weather Underground terrorists and  a former translator in Hugo Chávez’s presidential palace in Venezuela. Now, in a rare move, the voters of San Francisco have ousted Boudin in a rebuke not only to him but the failure of other leaders who have been downplaying or deflecting increasing crime in our major cities.

    The San Francisco Chronicle, is reporting that 60 percent of the voters tossed out Boudin. The city has been plagued by violent crimes, daytime smash-and-grab crimes, shoplifting and property damage.

    Boudin blamed “right-wing billionaires” for his defeat. It was an ironic criticism given his support from billionaire George Soros.

    Chesa lost because of Chesa.  I've been staying at C.I.'s for over a year now.  I've known Chesa for years.

    He's got many fine qualities.

    In his public role, he may have had some strong ideas that people could support.  If so he never managed to build support fo them which is Chesa's main problem -- he's unable to communicate with everyone.  He can speak to his bubble and that's really it.  He should have long ago mastered the way to convey his aims and goals to those not already on board with him.

    The results of his actions did not look good.  If he could have explained to those bothered by what he was doing what the long-range plan was, he might have found more support.  He only needed to get rid of a small bit of opposition.  

    Whining about billionaires is not helping him.

    He needs to take a look at how he failed to convey what he was attempting. 

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

    Wednesday, June 8, 2022.  Make a plan and watch the universe laugh as your plan is quickly destroyed.

    So in a few hours I'll be having surgery -- again -- on my eyes -- again.  I had different plans for what I'd do here.  But then I see nonsense.

    Let's start first with what I was going to do.

    Last week, Sabby Sabs took on David Sirota in a weak ass and embarrassing manner.  I wrongly too the blame.  I'm so very good at taking the blame.  If only, I lamented in a snapshot, I'd gone over what happened back in the '00s . . .

    Back in the 'oos, Tina Richards, mother of Iraq War veteran Cloy Richards, confronted US House Rep David Obey about his weak ass efforts to end the Iraq War.  This was public, very public.  A lot of news coverage.

    David Siorta, a humorless sort that Al Franken used to tease/mock on his AIR AMERICA RADIO program, was out of sorts and deterimed to attack Tina and what she stood for.  He wrote a piece of garbage that went a lot of places.  

    I saw it at INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE and I called it out.  Not only because David was wrong to attack Tina but also because David lied.  Yes, it is lying to write a column attacking Tina for her confrontation with Obey if you don't reveal in the column that you worked for Obey.

    Disclosure is very important.  David would learn the hard way a fews years later when he tried to syndicate a column.  Again, he forgot to disclose in the column his connection with David Obey.  This time, I noted it here, I went to where it hurt: his wallet.  I called friends at outlets that carried that garbage column and explained the lack of disclosure.  That hurt David because it hurt the syndicate and the two parted.

    He was furious about that in an e-mail but unlike the one years earlier, at least he didn't say he was going to sue me.

    Was he ever going to sue?

    My honest opinion was that he thought he could frighten me or he got off bullying women or both.

    You can sue someone for anything.  But had he done so, he would have been launching a frivolous lawsuit and the courts don't look kindly on those.

    David came up with the story for that bad NETFLIX TV movie DON'T LOOK UP.  It was pure garbage.  That might not have been his fault, he didn't write the screenplay.  But he did get nominated in the screenplay category for an Academy Award.

    I thought about how undeserving that whole film was and I thought about what he did to Tina and I thought about his bullying e-mails to me over the years.  David needed to stay in his lane.  But he'd veered off into mine.  Which is why print outs of those e-mails made the party circuit in the lead up to the voting.  I used every thing I had to derail his chances of winning.

    Now other than that, I think I've been kind to him.

    I've noted him over the years if he got something right -- even though it meant I'd hear about it in e-mails from community members who felt he should be banished forever.

    I've got more important things to do and, had he not tried to 'branch out' into my industry, I would have left him alone.  

    Now we did discuss it here -- many times -- even included it in the 2007 year in review.  

    The plan was to publish those outrageous e-mails and have an easy snapshot that I could work on ahead of this morning so that I wouldn't have to work hard this morning when I had more important issues on my mind (surgery).

    What changed it?

    HARD LENS MEDIA, SABBY SABS and countless others.

    There's a public stoning of Ryan Grim taking place.

    I don't like Ryan Grim.  I'm on record here stating that.  I think he's a bad journalist and point to his Tara Reade coverage as a good example of that -- he failed her, he failed that story, he failed to connect dots, when Alyssa Milano was yammering about how she knew the truth about Tara she was referring -- as we noted in real time -- to what Time's Up was spreading.  Ryan could have had that story, he was even tipped off about it by a friend of mine.  He ignored it.  The truth about Time's Up didn't emerge until the New York governor had his scandal.

    I think he's a lousy reporter.

    He's a better TV host.  I love that they all want to talk about what Ryan said as they rush to defend Jimmy Dore but none of them want to discuss Jimmy Dore (and others) bringing on a convicted pedophile as an expert on Ukraine and not inform their audiences that Scott Ritter was arrested three times for this, was convicted of it, was sent to prison for it, and after he got out was forced to register as a sex offender.

    This is not a minor issue.

    Rachel Maddow landed on my bad side when she brought on an Iraq War veteran that she glorified and praised -- even after she found out that he beat his wife.  I still have all the UNFILTERED message boards.  She was informed of that on the board during the show.  Not only did she not change tactics but she invited him back for the Friday show.  

    I don't tolerate that.

    I don't tolerate hosts who lie to cover up the crimes of their guests.

    I would love to see Sabby Sabs explain how that was appropriate, how him bringing the pedophile on was appropriate.

    Ryan Grim made a stupid statement where he thought Jimmy was misunderstanding what David Sirota Tweeted.

    Let me stay with Ryan for a moment.

    I'd rather watch his program because he's not bringing on convicted child molesters.  He, Kim and Bri have that standard at least.  His show at THE HILL also covered some important topics that the other ones weren't covering.  They seem awful brave now but the reality is that Ryan and his co-hosts led on a number of issues a few months ago.

    Krystal Ball is left-lite.  She will never be a radical.  She will always cave to the Democratic Party in the end.  But RISING will address serious issues.  And we will highlight them as a result and as a result of the fact that they're not bringing on convicted pedophiles.

    I think all the programs would do better to stop telling people who to vote for and to instead just cover issues.  

    So David Sirota and Jimmy Dore are in conflict -- again.  And Ryan Grim's trashed.  

    Ryan's really not that important.  I certainly don't think he or this non-issue deserved 13 minutes from HARD LENS MEDIA, and  from Sabby Sabs, and from . . .

    Do you not see what everyone else sees?

    You keep claiming you're creating an independent media.

    You're not and I'm not going to play along.

    I was kind in the '00s even though I warned as far back as 2005 that all that was happening was they were cutting off Cokie Roberts' head only to have a million new ones sprout.  

    David Weigel we're now supposed to gather around.  That's the ass who was part of JOURNOLIST, please remember.

    Oh, that's right, most YOUTUBER hosts are too stupid to remember.

    It's not that I didn't talk about David Sirota in real time, turns out I did, it's that idiots don't want to do the work required.

    People need to learn to research. 

    Reading will be your friend.  It will take you to other notions and concepts, it will expand your knowledge base.  

    I am so sick of the non-readers who weigh in on events and think they've made some great discovery.  As Stevie Nicks sings, "Who in the world do you think that you are fooling?  Well I've already done everything that you are doing."

    I am so sick of this refusal to be aware of and acknowledge those who came before.  You haven't read Gore Vidal, you haven't read Michael Parenti, you haven't read Cedric Robinson, Nancy Fraser, Judith N. Shklar, Asad Haider, Manning Marable . . .  And what about the writers publishing in political journals currently?  I've been very intrigued by the recent work of Tanika Raychaudhuri, for example.  

    You have no knowledge and yet you pontificate on and on.  You've never done the required reading and you want to talk about historical topics when you just aren't up for them.

    You bring on a John Nichols but ignore a John Stauber and then you wonder why the country is so screwed up on the left?  Because you're bringing on whores, lying whores.  

    I'm really tired of your stupidity.

    You're not going to create anything by being stupid.  

    You need to inform yourselves.

    You are not doing the work required yet you think you're in a position to lead.

    Ryan Grim is not the problem.  But you certainly circle-jerked him, didn't you?

    Do you really think you look like independent media as you all rush to devote lengthy segments calling him out and defending Jimmy Dore?

    Is Jimmy so damn weak that he needs all of you defending him to begin with?  (I don't think so.)

    Why can't you focus on real issues?

    Iraq's not on your radar at all.  You're not doing a daily piece on Ukraine in which you track the over $50 billion the US government has already committed to giving it.  

    What do you think you are accomplishing?

    Because I'm not seeing it.  You've got platforms and you use them for something so trivial.

    The ongoing wars do not exist on most of your programs but you, these days, weekly make time to defend Jimmy Dore on air at length.

    Betty's "Sabby Sabs, leave the plantation already" went up last night and her "Black YOUTUBERS please stop promoting Jimmy Dore" went up weeks ago.  She is exactly right.

    Jimmy's show isn't welcoming to people of color.  Outside of one professional athlete, I can't think of an African-American he's had on his show.  So why do Sabby Sabs and REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT have to do so much work for him.  Is he their boss?

    It's pathetic.  

    And this circle jerk is not building independent media.  Nor is it building trust.

    So I guess we can expect a year or two more out of you YOUTUBERS pretending to care and then you'll sell out like the ones before you did.

    Who didn't sell out?

    Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon, Margaret Kimberley and John Stauber are four who didn't.

    Now Glen and Bruce have passed.  

    Margaret and John?  If you're truly wanting to build independence and get people to think for themselves, they should be on your programs weekly but the reality is that only REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT brings Margaret on.  No one brings John Stauber on.

    You're whining about what happened to David Weigel (I don't care if that last name is spelled correctly or not).  David not only lied to his interview subjects, he lied to his readers.  That's why he was fired from THE WASHINGTON POST pre-Jeff  Bezos.  

    But you who can't cover Iraq are now going to waste time on defending DW?

    That's who you prefer to stand with -- not Margaret, not John.

    A lot of us have worked for years on issues of representation.  We wrongly hoped that the internet would provide a different world.  That didn't happen.  Instead a number of White men -- with the help of CJR -- policed who was included and who wasn't.  We're now past bloggers and into YOUTUBERS and enough complaining and protesting has resulted in a tiny bit of difference.  A small sliver.  So I am with Betty on this, REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT and Sabby Sabs, if you don't have enough self-respect to stop whoring for White man Jimmy Dore, have the respect for your audience.

    It's disgusting to watch you ignore real issues and rush to constantly praise Jimmy Dore.  He's not doing s**t for you and he never has.  He might if you stopped acting like his servants.  Instead you want to kneel before him.

    It's disgusting to watch.  

    He may be a big politics ally but he is not an ally to any community of color and let's stop pretending he is.  He's perfectly fine with doing his all White show for his all White audience.  

    Considering how many years -- decades -- the MSM has shut out voices of color, if you've got a platform in 2022, it is your responsibility to diversify your guests and your topics.  

    Jimmy Dore's made no effort to do that.

    Yet every week -- as SPAR AND BRAWL has taken to noting -- it's another drama from Jimmy Dore.  

    I really do think that, for example, Black America has more important issues to address than who hurt Jimmy's feelings this week.

    And when you're all filing the same segment, stop pretending that you're creating independent media.  

    You're doing exactly what David Brock did.  And that led us nowhere -- at least not anywhere worth going.  

    David Sirota's politics are a problem.  He's fakery is a problem.  

    Whether he got Jimmy Dore's joke or Jimmy got his or knock-knock who's there are not issues and they don't require lengthy segments.

    When are US troops going to leave Iraq?

    And when are YOUTUBES going to find the time to be concerned about that?

    The following sites updated:

    Tuesday, June 07, 2022

    Jonathan Turley, George Ezra


    Renee, who states she was Team Johnny, e-mailed to note that video of Jonathan Turley analyzing the verdict in the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard court case.  You can click here to read his writing on the trial.

    George Ezra has a new song out "I Went Hunting."

    So where's the album?

    Per his website, the new album, named GOLD RUSH KID, will be released June 10th.  Can't wait.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

    Tuesday, June 7, 2022.   Joe Biden thinks he can market the pandemic while a British subject finds out that the British Empire can't keep him out of an Iraqi prison and that White entitlement may get him good coverage in the western media but didn't sway an Iraqi judge.

    At WSWS, Benjamin Mateus reports:

    A report in Politico Monday sheds light on the ruthless and cynical effort by the Biden White House to convince Americans that the COVID pandemic has officially ended. Citing three sources, the website reports internal conversations among Biden aides as to what would be a “general metric” for daily COVID death figures that would be acceptable to the public and provide the basis to declare the pandemic over.

    This would come from the president who declared last summer that America had entered a period of “freedom” from COVID, to be followed by a deluge of infections and deaths that stunned the population and pushed the health care system once more to the brink of collapse. COVID vaccines were being hailed as decisive in lifting the country out of the pandemic, but while effective, they provided only limited relief.

    Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, the three individuals who spoke to Politico did so on conditions of anonymity, knowing the explosive nature of making these calculations public. Politico reported that “the discussions, which took place across the administration, and have not been previously disclosed, involved a scenario in which 200 or fewer Americans die per day, a target kicked around before officials ultimately decided not to incorporate it into pandemic planning.”

    Politico remarked, “the discussions represented at least a nascent effort to create a framework for a post-COVID world. One of the three people involved in the conversations last year said it was an effort to gauge what the American public would ‘tolerate.’ ‘Five hundred a day is a lot. You still have 9/11 numbers in a week,’ the person said. ‘People generally felt like 100 [a day] or less, or maybe 200, would be ok.’”

    What is such talk?

    These cold-blooded calculations show representatives of the White House, supposedly sworn to protect and defend the population, speaking like insurance executives who are determining the cost of their payouts versus income from premiums. It is clear from the casual character of these discussions that such barbaric mathematics are part of everyday life in the top circles of the Biden administration.

    And while the death toll from COVID is calculated in the tens and hundreds of thousands, the death toll from an all-out war with nuclear-armed Russia or China will be tallied in the millions, if not billions.

    The White House conversation sounds like something out of Stanley Kubrick’s macabre Dr. Strangelove. When General “Buck” Turgidson, played by George C. Scott, advocates a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, he tells the president, “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.” 

    Turning to Iraq. as we noted yesterday, Jim Fitton was convicted for attempting to steal antiquities from Iraq.  The British citizen's family has boo-hooed since the beginning -- when not insisting Jim was a modern day Indiana Jones.  It's so unfair!!!!! Whine, whine, whine.

    But the verdict was out for two hours yesterday when, five minutes before the snapshot posted, a man claiming to be Jim's son or son-in-law posted to Twitter that Fitton might be executed.

    Remember that was an option.  But the Iraqi court decided to just put the man behind bars.

    Now some would see that as a good thing.  The family no longer has to worry that Jim Fitton is going to be executed.  Instead, it's more whining.  THE DAILY MAIL notes:

    The daughter of a retired British geologist condemned to 15 years in an Iraqi jail after he was convicted of trying to smuggle shards of antique pottery broke down on national television this morning as she spoke of her father's fate.

    Jim Fitton, 66, was yesterday found guilty of intending to take the 200-year-old artefacts he picked up at an archaeology site in Eridu, southern Iraq, out of Baghdad in March.  

    [. . .]

    Fitton's daughter Leila this morning appeared on Good Morning Britain to give an interview regarding her father's detention, but only managed to utter two sentences before breaking down in tears.

    'We feel helpless... we're so so broken,' she sobbed, before her husband Sam Tasker told hosts Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid: 'We only just found out yesterday, it's a very emotional time. This whole thing has been unbelievable.'

    A 15-year jail sentence would see Fitton languish behind bars into his eighties. 

    The rotten family was teamed up with at least one rotten host.  Never having seen what Fitton was caught with, the morning host Madely went on to tell everyone that what Fitton had tried to steal was "completely worthless, like stuff you'd pick up on a beach."  

    Listen to the press whore.  He's never seen the evidence but, by all means, lie like a whore does.

    The worthless son-in-law "claimed the retiree had been made an example of by the Iraqi judge who was appealing to an anti-Western crowd."  They really know how to sweet talk for their loved one, don't they?  Can someone tell them to shut up before they make things even worse for Fitton?

    As they all minimized the actions of the convicted, the world was left again with spoiled, rotten British citizens who still refuse to apologize.

    They minimize the theft.

    Here's a thought for Fitton's daughter and the rest to contemplate:  If at any time, any of you had made even one public statement noting the continued theft of Iraqi artifacts and offered any sort of apology, that might have registered with the judge.

    Instead, despite all evidence to the contrary, you have insisted that Iraq is in the wrong and your family member's 100% innocent.

    Your father's responsible for his actions.  And you all made it worse for him.

    He's convicted now.  Stop making it worse.

    Quit your lying and quit your bulls**t.  He's in the custody of the Iraqi government.  If you're wanting an early release, both you and he will have to show remorse.  Otherwise, expect that 15 year sentence to last at least ten if not all 15.  I can't believe how stupid the Fittons have come off in all of this.  But that's what happens when you go around believing your entitled.

    Your father went into a foreign country.  He then picked up things that did not belong to him.  He then got caught trying to leave the country with this things.

    Stop pretending he is the innocent in this.

    The whole family should have publicly apologized before the matter went to court.

    But, hey, we're from the west and we do what we want and we don't care how it looks in your country -- where the trial will take place -- we're just going to insult you by refusing to apologize and by making rude remarks.  

    The ego and the lack of humility is amazing.  

    And now they want to cry on TV?

    And they want to offer insults to the judge?

    They're White Entitlement personified.

    NBC NEWS Headlines "British man sentenced to 15 years in Iraq for smuggling artifacts,"  BBC NEWS goes with "British geologist jailed in Iraqq after taking artefacts," but then you get the worthless NEW YORK TIMES insisting ''shards'' in their headline.  I thought they were 'woke' but I guess it's a funny kind of woke that doesn't take into account the feelings of non-Whites outside US borders.  Then again, we shouldn't forget, that NYT stole from Iraq as well, remember?

    We called it out here.  We weren't like some idiots -- oohing and ahhing over a podcast.  We saw it for what it was: Theft.

    And we were not alone.  For example, The Society for American Archivists issued the following statement in real time:

    Statement on Removal of ISIS Records from Iraq by New York Times Reporter

    June 13, 2018—The Society of American Archivists (SAA) is deeply concerned about recent reports related to archival records in Iraq, specifically the April 4, 2018, New York Times article by Rukmini Callimachi in which Ms. Callimachi admits to removing more than 15,000 pages of Islamic State (ISIS) documents from Iraq.[1] Although we welcome the Times’s recent commitment to returning these records to the Iraqi government, this case still raises several important issues.

    The New York Times code of ethics states that journalists “may not purloin data, documents or other property, including such electronic property as databases and email or voice mail messages.”[2] The plundering of the ISIS archives is a direct contravention of this important principle.

    SAA objects to the Times’s plan to digitize and disseminate the ISIS records. The Times must give consideration to the human and privacy rights of the individuals whose lives are captured in the material. Public accessibility of this information could have harmful repercussions on private citizens. If the Times proceeds with this project, we urge it to partner with archivists and the Iraqi government to ensure that all due consideration is given to the citizens who may be harmed by the dissemination of these documents.

    The 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property during armed conflict covers “manuscripts, books…of…historical…interest; as well as…important collections of books or archives” and requires parties to protect and safeguard such materials. Although the New York Times and its staff are not parties to this convention, we nevertheless believe that journalists in war zones must adhere to these internationally accepted standards. Indeed, the 1983 International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism, under Principle VIII: Respect for universal values and diversity of cultures, states that journalists should “be aware of relevant provisions contained in international conventions, declarations and resolutions.”[3]

    Further, the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics enjoins journalists to “be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.”[4] Although this is a commendable sentiment that the archives profession supports, we believe that respecting the integrity and documentary heritage represented by the ISIS archives should be paramount.

    In 2008 the Society of American Archivists and the Association of Canadian Archivists released a statement calling for the U.S. government "to return to the lawfully established government of Iraq – with all deliberate speed – Iraqi records now in its possession. Moreover, the United States government has the responsibility to intercede, to the greatest extent possible, in ensuring the return of Iraqi records removed by private parties" due to its obligation under commonly shared international agreements and its own past practices.[5] Nothing in the intervening period has given SAA any reason to change this stance or to relieve private individuals from their responsibility to repatriate records to legal authorities once they have been removed from circumstances that would have resulted in their loss or destruction. As noted in recent reports, the issue of displaced archives from Iraq, and other conflict zones, continues to raise ethical issues and denies communities access to their documentary heritage.[6]

    Archives preserve and provide access to the essential evidence of government, protect individuals’ rights, improve cultural knowledge and understanding, and ensure transparency and accountability of officials. Archives are the foundation by which a society can assess the past, think critically about the present, and consider directions for the future – and they should not be dispersed arbitrarily, no matter how noble one’s motives, by a single individual.

    He stole.  He got convicted.  He's going to prison.

    It's time for him and his family to grasp that they gambled that no one needed to show remorse and they lost.

    Now that he's going to be behind bars, they better grasp that remorse -- public remorse -- is required.

    And they should have grasped earlier that westerns going into a foreign country that is sick and tired of people stealing from it are not going to go easy on a westerner stealing from them.  

    How stupid and uninformed are the Fittons that they thought this was something minor?

    Your stupidity helped get your family into this situation.

    Back in August, for example, Hadani Ditmars (TRT) reported:

    The US-led invasion created the destruction that paved the way for Iraq’s looting. Without political stability, the future of Iraq — and the artefacts — remain endangered.

    When Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi returned home from his visit to Washington last week with more than 17,000 antiquities over 4,000 years old, the unprecedented return of looted artefacts seemed a good first step. But it underscores an issue that has plagued Iraq for decades: you can’t separate the suffering of a nation from damage to its patrimony; they are inexorably linked.

    While the pilfering of antiquities in Iraq is not a new phenomenon, the illegal smuggling of artefacts began in earnest under UN sanctions. The salaries of civil servants plummeted to a few dollars a month as the dinar devalued by over 1,000 percent and desperate Iraqis sold whatever they could to survive.

    I remember visiting the ancient city of Babylon in 1997 and being offered a few choice artefacts by a guide. We toured the grandiose 1987 reconstruction spearheaded by Saddam Hussein, who saw himself as a neo-Nebuchadnezzar and had bricks inscribed with his name. It was completed at the height of the Iran-Iraq War that bankrupted the country as the US funded both sides and a million young men perished on the battlefield. 

    The guide, who had a PhD in archaeology, complained that his children were going hungry. He told me that, like so many Iraqis who suffered under the draconian 12-year UN embargo, he had to sell his furniture for basics like food and medicine.

    NPR from the year before:

    Seventeen years after it was stolen, archaeologist McGuire Gibson still checks eBay for a 4,000-year-old stone cylinder seal that he excavated in Iraq in the 1970s.

    Gibson was the field director at a University of Chicago-led excavation in Nippur, the ancient Mesopotamian religious capital, when he discovered the seal — used by a governor who became a king. When rolled over a clay tablet, the seal certified the governor's documents.

    "I was cleaning around a drain and I put the pick in and the thing jumped out," Gibson says. "I hit the seal on the end and it jumped out. It was a magnificent agate seal with a really wonderful depiction of a human being led to a god."

    The inscription indicated it had belonged to Shar-Kali-Sharri, who later became king of the Sumerian and Akkadian empires.

    "It's a exceptional seal and a very important one," says Gibson, the coauthor of Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums. "I'm still looking for that one particular seal ... I'm pretty certain that it's out there."

    The piece was among thousands looted from the National Museum in Baghdad in 2003, he says. Without instructions from the U.S. military to protect the museum, American soldiers who helped topple Saddam Hussein stood by while Iraqi looters rampaged through the museum.

    It's laughable that a citizen of the British empire was unaware that non-westerners might take offense to his helping himself to historic artifacts.  Adela Quested showed more awareness in E.M. Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA back in 1924.

    The following sites updated: