Saturday, November 26, 2022

Probation is too good for them

Four pieces of trash beat up two men because the men are gay and all they got was probation. Alex Bolliner (LGBTQ NEWS) reports

Four men in Florida were sentenced to probation and community service for the vicious 2018 beating of a gay couple at a Pride event because the couple was holding hands.

The attack on Rene Chalarca and Dimitri Logonov made national headlines at the time, taking place as the two were leaving a restroom in Lumus Park after Miami Beach’s Pride parade. The brutal attack was caught on security video.

“They start to hit us, like beating us, hard,” said Chalarca.

“It was, like, instant. I got hit, and they knocked me out,” said Logunov, who said that the attackers called him a “fa***t” in Spanish. “We probably provoked them because we were walking together, holding hands. It was gay pride, South Beach was full of gay people.”

Chalarca and Logonov were hospitalized.

Police searched for the attackers, releasing images from surrounding security cameras. Juan Carlos Lopez, Luis Alonso, Adonis Diaz, and Pablo Figueroa later surrendered to police and were charged with aggravated battery with hate crimes enhancements and could have faced up to 30 years in jail.

But under a plea deal last month, the charges were reduced to two counts of battery with prejudice. All four of the assailants got five years probation and 200 hours of community service, and they have to go to an anger management class.

They should have served hard time.  They made a decision to attack two men, they beat the men so badly that they were hospitalized.  Yet they walk with probation?

They belong behind bars and anyone pretending otherwise is a damn liar.

"Iraq snapshot' (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, November 25, 2022.  Ask yourself what kind of a left we are when we will set a place at the table for right-wing men but won't for people of color, women and LGBTQ+s?

Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

Barely three days after a shooter at an LGBTQ club killed five people and injured dozens, right-wing media figures have been blaming LGBTQ people for causing the violence. Others are also attacking the military veteran who stopped the shooter.

Their claims continue a years-long campaign of stochastic terrorism in which they’ve accused queer people and their allies of grooming children for sexual abuse through LGBTQ school content and drag shows, and also of mutilating children’s genitals through gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth.

While genital surgeries aren’t conducted on minors and no kids have ever been molested during a drag show, none of these figures have spoken as passionately against forced genital surgeries for intersex kids or the literal thousands of child rape cases that have occurred in U.S. churches, nor have they promoted organizations that actually work against child sex abuse and trafficking.

[. . .]

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, —host of the network’s most-watched program and a man who celebrated the murder of gay politician Harvey Milk and once bragged about beating up a gay man — mocked those who said the shooting was caused by people complaining about “the sexualizing of kids… people mutilating the genitals of children, [and] … ads on Instagram promoting kiddie porn.”

But then he said the connection between LGBTQ activism and the above things is “a very specific religious ideology that’s true, is happening and is “absolutely real.”

He then said the shooting has become “a pretext for yet more censorship of [conservative public] speech.”

“You are responsible for this, they told you, because you said the wrong things,” Carlson told his viewers. “You are guilty of stochastic terrorism, inspiring violence by your beliefs. Anderson Lee Aldrich [the Club Q shooter] committed mass murder because you complained about the sexualizing of children. Every time you object to drag time story hour for fifth graders or point out that genital mutilation is being committed on minors — which it is — every time you say that, you are putting people’s lives at risk.”

He added, “The truth is that some adults in this country, apparently a growing number, have a deeply unhealthy fixation on the sexuality of children — when you say that out loud, you get people killed.”

In response, Twitter user Kat Abu published a thread that included the numerous broadcasts in which Carlson has talked at length about children’s sexuality and their genitals.

Giulia Carbonaro (NEWSWEEK) observes:

Florida political operative Jaimee Michell, founder of the controversial anti-trans group "Gays Against Groomers," told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs "was expected and predictable" and to be blamed on the LGBTQ "evil agenda" of gender-affirming care.

Talking to Carlson about the mass shooting, Michell claimed that what's really hurting the LGBTQ community is labelling "groomers"—a term that falsely equates non-heterosexual sexualities and non-cisgender identities with pedophilia—an anti-LGBTQ slur, and said that tragedies like the one at Club Q will keep happening "until we end this evil agenda."

Anderson Lee Aldrich is accused of opening fire at Club Q just before midnight on Saturday, killing five people and injuring 18 others.

Activists have denounced "Gays Against Groomers" as an anti-trans hate group that stokes anti-LGBTQ hate by regularly calling gay people "groomers" and accusing the LGBTQ community of sexualizing children. A couple of months ago, "Gays Against Groomers'" Twitter account was banned from Google, Venmo and Paypal after the group was accused of anti-trans hate.

Michell, the group's cisgender gay founder, frequently appears on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News, repeating and amplifying conservatives' moral panic over the alleged "grooming" of children blamed on liberals and queer people.

I don't know how your Thanksgiving worked out -- hopefully it was pleasant and fun -- but 'Aunty GiGi' was denounced loudly by several gay activists at my home.  'Aunty GiGi' is how some are now deriding Glenn Greenwald for his idiotic support of Tucker Carlson and others who spread this crap.  Yeah, people who had to stand up against this s**t in the 70s when Anita Bryant was spewing it aren't in the mood for precious GiGi to give his tacit support for it.  

As he rightly loses influence and his 'brand' weakens, maybe Lauren Boebert can become his hag?  Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) notes:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) defended her anti-LGBTQ rhetoric after she was widely denounced online in the wake of the Club Q shooting for stoking violence against LGBTQ people.

“That is completely false,” she told Ross Kaminsky on KOA, an AM radio station. “I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preference as an adult.”

Sexual orientation is not a “personal preference” and minors can have sexual orientations. In fact, Boebert herself got pregnant for the first time when she was in high school.

This past Saturday, a shooter entered the LGBTQ bar Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killed five people, and injured 18 with an AR-15-style weapon before being subdued.

Boebert released a statement saying that “the victims & their families are in my prayers” and was immediately slammed online after spreading hateful rhetoric against LGBTQ people for years, something people said may have contributed to anti-LGBTQ violence.

“You encourage this type of hatred,” Chasten Buttigieg – the husband of out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – responded. “Get off Twitter and start looking inward.”

It didn’t take long in the radio interview for Boebert to go back to bashing LGBTQ people.

“What I’ve criticized is the sexualization of our children,” she said, an expression conservatives use to refer to a wide range of actions, including teaching kids that some families have two mothers or two fathers and allowing LGBTQ clubs to form in high schools. It’s unclear exactly what she was referring to.

“And I’ve criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women,” she continued. Drag is an art form with deep roots in LGBTQ culture, and the idea is to play with gender, often to express one’s own femininity, masculinity, or androgyny.

Lauren is disgusting but, sadly, so much is and that includes on our side -- the left.

Have you noticed the silence?  I'm looking at e-mails.  Garcia notes that Margaret Kimberley has Tweeted repeatedly over the last days but never managed to note the tragedy in Colorado Springs -- nor did BLACK AGENDA REPORT.  Good catch, Garcia.  

Equally true, I counted over 200 Tweets from Tara Reade this week and she never bothered to Tweet about it.

Tara.  I believe her ex explained it best when he said she only cares about what happens to her.  That is why, in the Tweets this week, she can reTweet convicted pedophile, registered sex offender Scott Ritter.  Tara loves her some Scotty.  Any man who harms others is Tara's buddy.

That's the truth.  Tara thinks she deserves sympathy but -- as her ex explained in a roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin -- she doesn't have sympathy for others.

We've now seen that with all of her actions long before she started using her Twitter feed to pimp registered sex offender Scott Ritter -- who went to prison.

She won't do anything to help others because she's never cared about others her whole life.  That's why she bailed on her bills and her loans from friends.  She's a self-centered bitch.  

And she won't help other women but she'll constantly demand attention.  

A deadly attack took place in Colorado Springs and Tara couldn't be bothered with it because it's a gay thing and, please grasp this reality, gay things don't matter to the ultra left.

You'd think they would.  But you'd be wrong.  You'd be wrong today and you'd be wrong historically.

Tara Reade is the poster girl for obesity and for hatred.  

Thanks, Tara, for showing your true self.  I should disclose that for pointing out here what a whore she is to promote a registered sex offender, Tara banned me.  I laughed then and I laugh now.

Reality, Tara was assaulted by Joe Biden.  Didn't make her a nice person.  Didn't make her a saint.  Didn't make her anyone who could be considered an ally.  Six days where she has Tweeted and reTWeeted and she couldn't once be bothered with an attack on the LGBTQ+ community.

That's who Tara is.

She'll never, ever help another person.  Her narcissistic nature is what it is.  She's also a deeply stupid person.  Someone should have told her long ago to sue Joe Biden for her employment records.  Someone should have pointed out to her that when Joe declared the pandemic over, there was no excuse to hide behind it regarding access to his records at the university.  

But she's a deeply stupid person so let's not be surprised that she's so incompetent she can't even help herself.

I'd love to say she gives the left a bad name.  She's part of the reason we have a bad name though.

The left is huge.  It includes the group that votes blindly for the Democratic Party and think partisanship is being political.  It's not.  Parroting is not political.  Then you have Democrats who can self-criticize but can't see too much beyond domestic issues.  You've then got Socialists, Communists, Socialist-Democrats and then you're moving into the hard left which probably takes you all the way to anarchist which wraps around to the right wing because politics is circular and not linear.

Historically, on the left, we have not supported gay rights.  The Communists in certain eras especially did not want to support gay rights.  Occasionally, an individual would get support but that support was always tentative.  Look at Walter Jenkins, embraced by the partisans and seen as a genius in certain ways.  So they all pretended he wasn't gay.  But then he gets arrested in 1964 and they're afraid that it could harm LBJ's re-election chances so they turn on him and sacrifice him while LBJ lies and pretends like he never knew Walter was gay (he knew, the FBI knew, the 1959 previous arrest was not a secret) and starts trying to save his own ass by lying and suggesting that mean Republicans must have drugged Walter's drink and that, as a result of being drugged, Walter found his mouth watering for dick and, due to the drugs, ended up at a YMCA bathroom where he was busted with his mouth around a cock.

Now back then, and this is an important point to grasp, oral sex wasn't thought to be as common as it is today.   Marlon Brando infamously posed with Wally Cox's penis in his mouth and people act like it didn't happen even when writing Brando's obituaries.  Marlon was one of our finest actors.  His affairs with men didn't make him any less great.  And that Wally Cox photo is a striking image. 

But in the 50s and 60s, for many, anything beyond missionary-position male-female sex was time to clutch the pearls.  (Though, traditionally, look at the studies, anal sex has always been popular among Catholics in the US as a way to prevent pregnancy.)  

These days, straight couples peg.  These days oral sex is common and noted as such.  Tossing someone's salad, etc, etc.

So when an idiot starts talking about orifices and their 'true' intentions  -- as many did on message boards this week in light of the shooting -- they look like idiots and defeat themselves.  We've come far enough to be honest about sex and how sex can take place and those trying to police what they pretend is morality lose any argument right at the get go because this isn't the 1950s.  We know what our bodies are capable of and we know about enjoying our bodies.  

Nancy Friday, Dr. Ruth, Audre Lorde, Dan Savage and many others have done their part to allow us to be grown ups.

And this has impacted politics -- as it should.  Awareness and education in any area has impact on other areas.  You can go into a whole spheres of justice argument off that -- though I wouldn't because Michael Walzer ripped off the Torah for his argument and didn't even grasp the importance of the sphere of din -- telling -- and proof of the points we're making because din, of course, can be associated with the feminine and the feminine and LGBTQ+ issues have traditionally been dismissed in this country -- especially in this country's political maneuvering.  

If you know the left's history, you know that Sly's "Everyday People" wasn't just a popular song, it was a portrait of our history:

There is a blue one who can't accept the green one

For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny oneAnd different strokes for different folksAnd so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
I am no better and neither are youWe are the same whatever we doYou love me you hate me you know me and thenYou can't figure out the bag I'm in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There is a long hair that doesn't like the short hairFor bein' such a rich one that will not help the poor oneAnd different strokes for different folksAnd so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

-- "Everyday People," written by Sly Stone, first appears on Sly & The Family Stone's STAND!

We hear the Jimmy Dore's insist that identity politics are destroying the left.

No, identity politics are what made the left.  It's what forced the Communist Party to move beyond their limited White world and to give support to efforts to end lynchings in the US.  It's what brings us together when we can get over our own pig headedness.  When we can embrace the blue one and the long hair and the poor one and everyone.  It's how we build a society and it's how we've always built a movement.

The Jimmy Dores don't understand that because they're unintelligent.  They don't understand how things work, they haven't studied anything and they're victims of the atomistic age -- an age where we, as a people, were taught how to tear apart but not how to put back together.  The synthesis is the missing step and people like Jimmy (who is not a bad person and who I would note still were it not for his promoting Scott Ritter -- a sex offender; I'm sorry, Jimmy, I can't big tent convicted offenders) don't even grasp it because they can regurgitate but they can't think.

If you want a powerful left, you're going to have to stand up for rights and that's not just your own rights.  Don't be a Tara Reade offended by your own assault but caring so little of others that you'll promote a registered sex offender.

You've got to look beyond your own interests.  You've got to support others.  If you don't do that, the left goes no where.  And that's been the case throughout history though those who short cut it -- due to ignorance or personal interest -- never pass that lesson on.

Here's Dove Cameron on Sunday saying what a lot of others need to be saying.

Instead?  Instead our left outlets on YOUTUBE gave us silence.  Our left voices on Twitter gave us silence.  

As Keesha noted last night in the roundtable, Betty was right when she wrote "Hard truths."

Everybody wants sympathy and attention when it is them or their primary group but they don't seem to want to build bridges for other communities.  

You can't even get women on half the YOUTUBE programs for the left so it's not a surprise that the LGBTQ+ is rendered invisible on so many of these same programs or that African-Americans are largely ignored by White hosts on these same YOUTUBE programs.  For the left, understand, made for the left and by the left.

We need to do a much better job.  Lives are at stake.  If we can't offer inclusion and we can't share the spotlight, we might as well be Republicans.

Oh, excuse me.  The Jimmy Dores and Glenn Greenwalds will feature Republicans -- it's women, LGBTQ+ and people of color that have to fight to be on left YOUTUBE shows and get left Twitter attention.

It's really telling that they will set a place for neocons and others at a left table but not for women, LGBTQ+ and people of color.

Stephen F. Eisenmen (COUNTERPUNCH) explains:

The shooting this week at Club Q in Colorado Springs was as horrendous as it was unsurprising. Though the city has changed a lot since 1992, when local, anti-queer activists championed the passage of a statewide, constitutional amendment prohibiting municipal anti-discrimination ordinances, the area retains pockets of deep reaction. Colorado Springs representative Doug Lamborn, like fellow Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert, this year supported federal anti-trans legislation in Congress. Since at least 2016, Lamborn has attacked what he calls the “madness,” and “politically correct absurdity” of federal protection for transgender students. Boebert has described trans people as “depraved” and their defenders as “groomers” bent on turning innocent children into trans people themselves.

Their statements condemning the recent violence were strictly pro forma, condemning “senseless violence,” praising first responders for “their rapid response,” and calling for prayers for “the victims and their families.” Neither mentioned that the victims were at a queer nightclub or that fatal attacks upon LGBTQ folks have reached a record high. And first responders failed both to prevent the attack and had no role in stopping it. Police handcuffed and detained the good Samaritan who stopped the shooting spree, retired U.S. Army major Richard Fierro, and kept him confined for an hour in a police car while his family and friends were left to struggle with injuries and death.

Some Americans were probably surprised to read that Fierro went to Club Q with his family to celebrate a birthday. In the United States, it’s still rare for families to visit gay bars together or watch live drag performances. (On TV, RuPaul’s Drag Race has been a fixture for more than a decade.) The night of the shooting, the club featured a drag show titled “Delusions” hosted by a local drag queen with the stage name Del Lusional. The audience for that event was limited to guests 18 y.o. and older, but a drag-brunch open to all ages was scheduled for the following day.

Fierro was having a great time when the shooting began, he told a NYTimes reporter: “These kids want to live that way, want to have a good time, have at it….that is what I fought for, so they can do whatever the hell they want.” It’s not yet clear what were the precise motivations of the shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, but he faces murder and hate crimes charges. His lawyers claim that he is non-binary himself and prefers to be addressed using they/them pronouns and the honorific Mx. in front of his name. The assertion may be a subterfuge to undercut the hate crimes charges and establish mitigation.

Family attendance at drag shows has risen in recent years, so much so that it has attracted literally delusional reactions from the Republican-right. In June, Florida governor Ron DeSantis threatened to order the state’s department of protective services to investigate parents who take their kids to drag shows: “We have child protective statutes on the books,” he said. “We have laws against child endangerment.” State legislators in Florida, Arizona, and Texas have proposed laws to criminalize drag entertainment, and armed militia groups have threatened the lives of drag performers across the country. It remains to be seen if the recent massacre will cause any retreat in the legal and vigilante onslaught.

The proposed laws against drag are patently unconstitutional infringements of free speech and would likely be struck down in court – even by conservative justices. Apart from first amendment considerations, such laws would be largely unenforceable because of the multitude of liminal cases. Drag performances have long been a staple of theatre, film, and television, from Twelfth Night to Some Like it Hot to Kinky Boots. Would they all be banned? And the fashion industry is predicated upon playful subversion and compliance with gender norms – men in skirts and heels, women in trousers and work boots. Corporate America profits from trans.

Gender itself is a form of performance, the philosopher Judith Butler long ago noted, though one that by its repetition, shapes our identity. On that basis, almost any theatrical entertainment could be described as a “drag show” and its sponsors and performers trundled into court. But the point of the proposed laws is not to legislate costume, comportment, or performance, much less identity – it is to supercharge hatred and promote violence, thereby creating an atmosphere of crisis that can be exploited for reactionary (fascist) ends.

In other news, ARAB NEWS reports:

Online propaganda campaigns that targeted Middle Eastern countries including Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria were linked to US military, technology firm Meta has claimed.

In its latest adversarial threat report, the company said the network that coordinated the campaigns used fake social media accounts to promote pro-Western narratives and was taken down in August after an independent research group flagged the profiles to Facebook’s parent company.

The findings of the report said: “The US network — linked to individuals associated with the US military — operated across many internet services and focused on Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.”

The social media giant said 39 Facebook accounts, 16 Facebook pages, two groups, and 26 Instagram accounts had been removed for violating its policy on “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” a term used to describe the coordination of accounts and adoption of techniques to publish, promote, and spread false content.

The campaigns, believed to be the first of their kind, were designed to discredit Russia, China, Iran, and other countries, while promoting American views and values.

The tactics adopted by the US network were similar to those used in anti-Western campaigns, such as the use of fake people and the dissemination of artificially generated photos across multiple platforms.

“The people behind this activity posted primarily in Arabic, Farsi, and Russian about news and current events, including terrorism concerns and praise of the US military, as well as content about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic — some of which we removed for violating our misinformation policy,” the report added.

Although experts believe the campaigns were largely ineffective and their reach was very limited, Meta argued that the operations ran across many internet services, including Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, VKontakte, and Odnoklassniki.

“Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the US military,” Meta said in the report, adding that, “the majority of this operation’s posts had little to no engagement from authentic communities.”

Hillary Essein (PEOPLE'S GAZETTE) also covers the story.   

And that's going to have to be it.  I am very sick this morning.  This has been dictated in pieces and I'm sure it's very disjointed, my apologies.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, November 24, 2022

F**ck Homophobe Jonathan Turley

All week, Jonathan Turley had the opportunity to write of the attack in Colorado Spring last Saturday to prove to all of us that he wasn't a homophobe.  It was sad to realize that he was anti-LBGTQ+ -- but as one tragedy after another took place, as Clarence Thomas' idiotic opinion in DOBBS went uncalled out by Jonathan, it became clear he was just a homophobe.

That's very sad but not surprising.  Men on the left of his age (61) spent their lifetimes refusing to speak up for the gay rights movement.  

The homophobe wrote:

Boebert and Carlson are outspoken in their opposition to gender transitioning for children, transgender athletes competing in girl’s sporting event, and other current controversies. Defending their right to hold such positions is not an endorsement of those positions. I would take the same view if conservatives called for Figliuzzi to be criminally or civilly liable for criticizing evangelicals or Republicans before violent attacks.

No link to his garbage.  Also, let's be clear about Turley's LIES  because he's a F**KING LIAR.

Boebert and Carlson are airing views that are lies and that are echoes of Anita Bryant's garbage.  They are saying that LGBTQs are 'grooming' (we heard this garbage in the 70s out of Anita's whore mouth -- gays have to 'groom' because they can't reproduce).  

Find me the equivalent where the left -- elected members of Congress and TV hosts -- are saying evangelicals or Republicans are grooming children.  Find it for me, please.

It's a false equivalency.  

Equally true, he's yet to 'take the same view' in any case to defend the rights of LGBTQs -- free speech or otherwise.  F**king homophobe.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Wednesday, November 23, 2022.  The continued US war against the LGBTQ+ and climate change in Iraq.

Starting with last weekend's attack on the gay club in Colorado Springs.  Abby Zimet (COMMON DREAMS) notes:

At a Monday press conference the victims were identified: Kelly Loving, who just turned 40 and was "like a trans mom" to friends; Ashley Paugh, a straight 35-year-old mother who worked to find homes for foster children; Raymond Green Vance, 22, who was at the club for the first time to celebrate a birthday with his girlfriend and her family; Derrick Rump, 38, a "lively, loving" bartender and performer at the club who "made it what it was"; and Daniel Davis Aston, 28, a trans bartender and performer who'd just completed his medical transition and was, said his mother Sabrina, "the happiest he had ever been." Growing up, she recalled, Daniel told her at age four he was a boy and wouldn't wear girls' clothes: "Those are our children - we don't care how they dress or what they identify as. It doesn't harm anybody." After he began living as a trans man in such hateful political times, she "always worried" about him. "It's just unbelievable. He had so much more life to give," she said. "I didn't want to be part of this, the losing a child club." In a dark twist, he and the others were murdered minutes before Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of trans people killed in anti-transgender violence." Club Q had planned to mark it; instead, people gathered at inter-faith events to denounce "theologies of hate" and ensure "our arms could be as wide as possible to embrace a community that's hurting."

Eerily echoing other massacres, from Columbine to Pulse to Uvalde, a makeshift memorial went up Sunday outside Club Q - flowers, candles, a plaintive sign for "Love Over Hate." (Maybe.) Police who'd arrived the night before praised the "incredible act of heroism" that ended a shooting that could have been even worse. For that, they can thank Richard Fierro, a 45-year-old brewery owner and veteran of four Army deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan who was there celebrating a birthday with his wife and daughter; when he saw the flash of gunfire, he instinctively "went into combat mode." Charging through the panicked crowd, he tackled the gunman, who he said weighed over 300 pounds, yanked a handgun away from him, and started beating him with his own gun while yelling for other patrons to help. A man shoved the shooter's AR-15 - another one! - away, a drag performer stomped on the gunman with her high heels, and Fierro kept pummeling as he and the gunman screamed curses at each other; he was so bloody police at first arrested him. Fierro was a major with two Bronze Stars when he left the Army in 2013: "I was done with war." He "never thought I'd have to deal with that kind of violence at home, (but) everybody in that building experienced combat that night...they were forced to." His wife's two best friends were shot; his daughter, who broke her knee running for cover, lost her longtime boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance.

The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, remains hospitalized; he has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime. He is the grandson of former mayor and outgoing California GOP state assembly Randy Voepel, who was almost expelled by colleagues after he praised the Jan. 6 attack with, "This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny." Aldrich's mother Laura Voepel praised her father online: "You work hard to improve our lives." In 2021, she also called police to report her son was threatening her with a homemade bomb and multiple weapons; after he refused to surrender, a tactical support unit evacuated nearby homes, a crisis negotiator was called in, and a standoff ensued. Aldrich was eventually arrested and charged with five felonies, including felony menacing and kidnapping, but charges were inexplicably never filed, thus allowing him to evade Colorado's Red Flag law and buy a shiny new AR-15, because America. Aldrich was living with his grandparents at the time, said a former landlady who recalled his "aggressive side," but he'd visit his mother to watch movies with her when not threatening to bomb her. She in turn often went online asking church members for help for her son: Does anyone have a fan to donate to him? Can anyone recommend a trauma/PTSD therapist? And in May, saying "he's made huge life changes," did anyone know a private boxing coach? "He's 6'6" tall," she wrote, "and hits like a freight train."

Nervously careful law enforcement officials have said the mass shooting at a gay nighclub is being investigated "through the lens of a hate crime." Ya think? You mean it might be connected to a right wing that deems every queer person and half the country's Democrats "groomers," or to a rise in rabid anti-gay, trans and drag show rhetoric, or to hundreds of state bills curbing the rights of "others," or to emboldened fascists proclaiming who should or should not exist? Or to bellicose Proud Boys disrupting peaceful Drag Story Hours in t-shirts that say, "Kill Your Local Pedophile"? Or to a Florida GOPer proposing to charge with a felony and terminate the parental rights of any adult who "brings a child to these perverted sex shows"? Or to the hate-mongering and bomb threats against hospitals offering health care - aka "castration" - to trans kids? Or to Herschel Walker, a day or so after the shooting, still running a trans-phobic ad with a young Aryan college swimmer whining "a man won a title that belonged to a woman, and Sen. Warnock voted to let it happen." Or to, let's not forget, Tucker Carlson, who accuses trans-supportive schools of "sex crimes," declares "no parent should put up with this for one second," and tells viewers their "moral duty" is to dole out "instant matter what the law says. "This is an attack on your children," he intones, "and you should fight back." On Twitter: "This language will get people killed." And so it has.

Finally, there's Colorado's gun-toting, queer-bashing, deeply hateful Lauren Boebert, who had "the f**king audacity" to fake-grieve the "absolutely awful" shooting and declare, "The victims & their families are in my prayers." Wait. Is this the same Boebert who's ceaselessly trafficked in anti-LGBTQ hysteria? Who's attacked the left as pedophiles and "sick, demented groomers," warned drag queens to "stay away from our children," equated LGBTQ-inclusive flash cards with "indoctrination," charged a kid-friendly drag show was guarded by masked Antifa guards with AR-15s - "Remember, they only want YOUR guns. They want to use theirs to protect their depravity" - and urged, "Take your children to  CHURCH not drag bars," though God knows how many children have been molested in church; in drag bars, evidently zero. The furious response:"This is on you...You are to blame...LGBTQ people like me are less safe in this country because (of) people like you...Conservative identiy politics puts homicidal jerkoffs into motion...You are the hate that leads to violence." And from one woman, when Boebert tried to make it about generic crime - "This lawless violence needs to end" - "Good gosh she's an awful thing." Ditto, said AOC, who called out the hypocrisy: "You don’t get to 'thoughts and prayers' your way out of this. Look inward and change." And change your grotesque Christmas cards - same to the other MAGA freaks - with your four spawn clutching AR-15s. Fred Guttenberg: "This is what grooming looks like."

When Lauren Boebert starts using the term "grooming,'' press outlets need to note in every story that her husband Jayson is a groomer who was arrested for exposing himself to young females and who entered a plea of guilty.

These are facts.

Her lunatic assessment that drag queens, transgender persons or gay people are grooming anyone need to be confronted because the only known groomer in Colorado Springs is her husband Jayson Boebert.  So if she wants to talk about groomers, the media should help her out by pointing to Jayson.  

She lives with a groomer.  That's why it's always on her mind.  

And when she lies that he's innocent, the press needs to note that he entered a plea of guilty, that he was convicted and that he had to serve two years probation.  Again, these are facts.

She married a groomer.

Stop letting her smear innocent people while she lies to cover up her groomer husband and insists that his arrest never happened and he was innocent and blah blah.  Shove the truth down her hypocritical throat.

Alastair and Zachary Patton-Garcia broadcast on their YOUTUBE channel and cover a variety of topics.

At the end of the video above, Alastair and Zachary touch on the Colorado Springs attack.  They make many solid points.  Alastair notes that this grooming nonsense is an attempt to other the community.  And he is correct and I want to make two points here.

Whether you choose to recognize it or not, there is a war in this country against the LGBTQ+ community.  It is an ongoing war that's lasted decades.  In the 70s, the freak show was Anita Bryant.  Lauren apparently wants to be the 21st century Anita Bryant.  

Not only is silence not an option in this war, inaction isn't an option either.

There are members of the LGBTQ+ community who wanted to see BROS and didn't go to the theater because they were frightened of what might happen.  They waited for digital (BLURAY in stores now).  That's why straight allies needed to step up.

Comedy isn't for everyone.  And no one has to see a movie.  But if you had the money to go to the movies when BROS was in theaters and you saw something else, you weren't a good straight ally.  If when Billy Eichner was getting attacked, you didn't defend him, you weren't a good straight ally.

A group of homophobes hated the film before it came out because of a statement one character made in the trailer (and they didn't even get her line right).  Oh, it's making fun of straight people!!!!

If it had, after the years and years of jokes and 'jokes' about the LGBTQ+ community, fine.  Handle one movie and pretend that gives you an idea of all the TV episodes and all the films over the years that the community had to deal with.

But that's not the film Billy co-wrote.

The film he co-wrote made fun of everyone.  It made fun of straight people, it made fun of gay people, it made fun of trans people, it made fun of bi-people, it made fun of ageists and this and that and it made fun of celebrity (Debra Messing deserves so much praise for her scenes in the movie).  There was no sacred cow.

And all the people whining about ''woke'' -- many of whom trashed BROS -- missed the whole point that Billy's character Bobby has to live with that, has to work with that, and it's one of the things he learns (tolerance) and it's something all the ones griping about ''woke'' should have been able to relate to.

The film is pro- humanity.  It's not anti-straight.  It is the straight couple, two of Bobby's friends, who are most supportive and encouraging that he date and then get back together with Aaron.

We've covered it here -- and I'll get to that point in a moment -- and Ava and I've covered it repeatedly at THIRD -- most recently with "BROS: An American Film Classic (Ava and C.I.)" -- and it seems like people are being willfully blind to what took place.

We let up a little last week on BROS coverage because other things came up (and I'm also recovering from another eye surgery) but we've covered since the beginning and that means see what people are saying.  

The homophobia has been off the charts.  

I'm bothered by it and it's not directed at me.  It's directed at Billy mainly and I have no criticism of him over how he's handled himself.  I don't think I could have been as reserved as he was.  

It's disgusting when you read these homophobic rants on Twitter.  

It's even more hurtful when you see a certain group of uneducated Twinks on Twitter who feel the need to trash BROS in order to praise the very sad and very bad rip-off of Jane Austen that is FIRE ISLAND.  Underfed of body and of mind, these Twinks keep insisting that FIRE ISLAND is better because it's more diverse.  I'm not remembering an African-American character.  I know there's only one women in the cast.  I think some people look in the mirror, see only themselves and make that their measure of diversity.

Equally hurtful is the attacks on the film and Billy coming from gay conservatives -- but when you're let in on a pass, you know you have to attack the designated targets.


Drive-by e-mails say, "The shooter's gay!"  I've not seen that in anything but e-mails since the snapshot went up.  What I saw before the snapshot went up?   The shooter allegedly uses non-binary pronouns.  If the shooter does use those -- are they used for real?  I have no idea.

But as I noted about the gay conservatives on Twitter attacking BROS above, buy a clue, in a climate of hate others will tag along.

That's what's so frustrating about Glenn Greenwald -- have you never seen my critique of him?  I know his type.  I am not shocked but I am offended frequently when he mouths garbage like Clarence Thomas is a good person.  No, he's not.  Good people do not try to destroy others.  Good people don't harass Anita Hill.

Glenn is the gay conservative who hit the campuses at a time when he could slowly ease out about being gay and his right-wing friends would sort of accept him.  Sort of -- ask David Brock what sort of acceptance is.  That's why David turned to the left.  

So Glenn learned to make all the meek comments that he makes and learned to take any insult or hit because it proves (in his mind) he's tough and sneers at everything.  That's b.s.  And he needs to lose that attitude because it's not helping his husband or their children.  He feels no need to help the LGBTQ+ community -- which is how he ends up on TV, after DOBBS, blathering on about how good Clarry Thomas allegedly is.

Good people do not work to overturn progress.  Good people are not bigots.  

So the shooter may be non-binary.  May not be.  Shooter lives in a society where bullies -- Marjorie Greene who can't keep a husband, Lauren Bo-bo who married a groomer -- scapegoat others.  Shooter most likely internalizes that hatred.

Like the gay conservatives on Twitter who make a point to attack Billy Eichner and BROS.  They think it makes them look tough and that by attacking the 'soft,' they (like Glenn thinks) will be accepted.

Ask David Brock how that worked out because it never works out.

You can try your best but you're never going to be who they want.  You can parrot every one of their talking points but you can't change who you are and they don't accept who you are.  

Clarry's concurring opinion in DOBBS should have made that clear to everyone.  

Clarry's as disgusting as Candace Cameron Bure.  They act like they accept you -- Candace even lies that she loves you -- but they don't.  All along Thomas has been waiting to gut due process.  All along Candace has been waiting for a homophobic outlet to open up.

Saager and Krystal had a segment this week.  And it grated on me when Saager was presenting it.

I don't think we let the homophobes grab religion.

There are many religious people in this country.  There are many who are LGBTQ+ and that can be hard on them because of historic discrimination and historic violence.  I don't think we make it harder on them by identifying these homophobes as the religious -- which is how Saagar set it up -- the religious against the gays.

He did that because he was tying in some other issues and I grasped that.  But it just grated on me because this isn't abstract for me.  It's not like I'm watching WILL & GRACE (a great show) and saying, "There are some gay people, that's what they look like!"  I have many friends and, again, when it comes to religion, the most common gay couple I know is one where one is deeply religious and the other isn't (like many straight couples).

People like Clarry are not good people.

Glenn can pretend all he wants but he's never going to fit in with the crowd because at the end of the day they are laughing about what he does in bed behind his back.

Again, The Three Hags of Apocalypse were happy to pretend to be David's friend but they weren't.  I have many negative critiques of David Brock but, to his credit, he didn't play a fool for life, he was able to learn. 

Whatever Shooter is, the targets were marked by the bullies and the shooter played along with what was declared acceptable.  

The right attacked BROS and ran with the attack.

Before the film came out, I stated it was not going to make the  box office prediction and I explained why -- it wasn't playing enough.  Opening weekend, some theaters were only showing it once or twice a day.  It was the same length as SMILE but, around the country, you had SMILE being shown in a theater six times a day and BROS twice.  It was never going to be able to make the same amount of money.  

And when it didn't make that same amount of money, the right wing started using it as proof that the country was sick of LGBTQ+.  

That's part of the attack that took place, the physical attack in Colorado Springs.  

That idiot Josiah and others on YOUTUBE and their preaching that BROS had gone too far and that it was time for the straight people to rise up.

I'm sorry, I'm not here to make you feel better.  

These attacks on the film are part of larger attacks and that's why it was important for straight allies to turn out for BROS.  

We largely didn't.

And Billy was right in his initial comment that was treated like a herasy.

We need to support one another.  As I've noted over and over, the LGBTQ+ community has decried the overturning of ROE, they have spoken against it, they have shown support.  

We need to start showing more support for them.  It can't just be our wiping away a few tears at the next tragedy.  We need to be true allies.

Second point, this a private conversation in a public square.  We already built this online community.  So it's surprising when outsiders think they can dictate or intimate.

A number of drive-bys have been bothered by the coverage of BROS here.  One of the e-mails that made Shirley laugh (Martha and Shirley read the bulk of the e-mails to the public e-mail account) was the one that insisted we'd gone "gay, gay, gay!"  A three-gay rating in fact.  And the e-mailer wanted it known that there were other issues.

There are other issues.  And there are over 100 posts that go up here each week.  If all you're seeing is gay that might go to your own bias and discomfort.

This site is pro-choice.  And we came into it that way and shortly after we started the Democratic Party tried to sell about abortion -- and we got attacked by various bloggers for not going along -- bloggers supposedly on the left.

That didn't make me change our stance.

Your discomfort with the LGBTQ+  won't make me change our stance.  

I do get it though.

As I see what REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT and BREAKING POINTS and THE HILL and Jimmy Dore and others cover, I get it.

You could watch six months of those programs and never once know a gay person existed in the US.  I get it.  It must, by contrast, be very in your face to come to this site.  Good.  That's why we're still here.  

We posted Matteo Lane's new comedy special yesterday but I also want to include it in a snapshot.

We can't go back in time.  But if you like comedy, you can stream the above comedy special Matteo's done and you can show some support and it's not even going to cost you the way a ticket would.  We need to be better allies.

Turning to Iraq . . . 

Abbas Hashem fixed his worried gaze on the horizon — the day was almost gone and still, there was no sign of the last of his water buffaloes. He knows that when his animals don’t come back from roaming the marshes of this part of Iraq, they must be dead.

The dry earth is cracked beneath his feet and thick layers of salt coat shriveled reeds in the Chibayish wetlands amid this year’s dire shortages in fresh water flows from the Tigris River.

Hashem already lost five buffaloes from his herd of 20 since May, weakened with hunger and poisoned by the salty water seeping into the low-lying marshes. Other buffalo herders in the area say their animals have died too, or produce milk that’s unfit to sell.

“This place used to be full of life,” he said. “Now it’s a desert, a graveyard.”

Iraq is battling several years of drought, the governments of both Iran and Turkey are blocking the flow of the two big rivers running through Iraq (the Tigris and the Eurphates), everyone is expected to be effected by climate change; however, Iraq has been named the fifth most vulnerable country in the world.  Dust storms are increasing in frequency and in force.  Speaking to the United Nations at the start of October, the US Deputy Rep to the UN, Ambassador Richard Mills, noted that climate change was one of the challenges Iraq is facing, "Complicated challenges face the next government – including passing a budget, developing oil and gas legislation that is acceptable to the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, improving the provision of electricity, combatting climate change, promoting private sector development and job growth, and increasing women’s participation in the workforce."  Last month, the International Organization for Migration pointed out, "Displaced families are likely to be among the most vulnerable to climatic and environmental changes that can impact livelihoods, food security and social cohesion. Sustainable return and rein-tegration can be determined by many factors but the role of climatic change and environmental degradation in return dynamics is insufficiently understood."

Earlier this month, Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reported:

Iraq must take quick action to combat climate change as its affects would make it one of the most water scarce countries in the world, the UK’s ambassador to the country told The National.

Iraq is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate breakdown, impacted by high temperatures, droughts and frequent dust storms, presenting a serious threat to the public’s livelihood, according to the UN.

“There are a range of challenges for Iraq, reduced rainfall, desertification and increased droughts. There’s a wider list of things that needs to happen for Iraq to curb climate change,” Mark Bryson-Richardson told The National.

He said the new government in Baghdad must focus on water management as a “real priority” to improve its usage and prepare for and manage droughts.

“It’s going to be a challenging journey, Iraq will be one of the most water scarce countries in the world in the coming years,” Mr Richardson said during a visit to the UAE this week,

The diplomat’s comments come as world leaders gather for the UN climate summit in Egypt this week.

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