Thursday, February 23, 2023

To protect Don Lemon, they are killing CNN

Allison Butler (USA TODAY) notes that Don Lemon's 3 'apologies' so far have not included an apology:

Don, buddy, let me womansplain something to you: Apologies are not about intention. Apologies are not about what you did or did not mean to do. Apologies are about acknowledging and owning an action that was wrong, and, ideally, taking steps to not repeat said action. No one who actually wants to hurt or offend feels the need to apologize.

Furthermore, listing off the women with whom you are closest to avoid scrutiny is immaterial for at least two reasons: First, the determination of "closest" is your estimation alone; closest does not actually mean "close." Closest can be pretty far away – but if there is nothing or no one in between, and you have not moved further apart, then yes, I suppose you are closest (based on your co-hosts’ visceral responses to your statement, I’m guessing that you have, in fact, moved further apart).

Second, claiming that you are close to women – and therefore, are not sexist – borrows from the same tropes as white people claiming they are not racist because they have Black friends.

As a queer man of color, I presume you’ve been on the receiving end of both that cloudy racist statement as well as a volatile mixture of anti-Black homophobia. As a heterosexual white person, I do not know what those specific microaggressions feel like, but as a woman – a woman who is this close to being past her prime – I am all too familiar with how it feels to be trotted out as an example of anti-sexism. I’m here to tell you: It’s still sexist. It’s still a form of censorship. It’s definitely not an apology.

The bottom line is: You did hurt and you did offend. It was clear from your co-hosts’ immediate reaction, to which you responded as only a misogynist would, by talking over them, and decrying, “Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just saying what the facts are! Google it!”

Allison did "Google it" and found out that his claim was not accurate.  

I don't think CNN should keep him on air.  He is a 56-year-old college graduate who believed that a woman in her 50s attempting a run for a presidential nomination was not "in her prime."  This, please note, at a time when we've got an 80-year-old in the White House.  

This is not a one day or one week remedial.  This is how he sees women and it certainly explains why he talks over his two female co-hosts.  I noted that he has not done any form of an on air apology or 'apology.'  Justin Baragone (DAILY BEAST) also touches on that:

Lemon, however, did not immediately address the controversy when CNN This Morning kicked off its three-hour broadcast on Wednesday. With co-host Kaitlan Collins reporting from Poland, Lemon sat across from fellow anchor Poppy Harlow, who looked him straight in the eye as the show started.

CNN anchor Don Lemon returned to the airwaves on Wednesday morning, six days after sparking a full-blown political scandal over sexist comments he made about GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley not being in her “prime” because she’s no longer in her “20s and 30s.”

“What a day,” she said after running down the day’s big headlines at the top of the show.

Throughout the remainder of the program, neither Lemon nor his colleagues would make any reference to the misogynistic comments that had kept him off the air this week, leaving his Wednesday morning tweet as the final word on the situation.

[, , ,]

“No one is happy to work here right now,” one CNN producer said. “What formal training could he possibly get that would make him feel actual regret for having said the anachronistic and misogynistic thing he said, repeatedly, on national television?”

She continued: “No one thinks that training is enough of a punishment. If you wanna make a point about your values as a network, you suspend someone without pay.”

Another female on-air personality claimed “people at CNN are fuming” and that “no one’s buying” the suggestion that “training” would fix Lemon’s “repeated pattern” of sexist remarks.

“It feels like a betrayal, like Chris is protecting Don at the expense of the women who have to work with him,” she added. “Not to mention the larger reputation of the network and everyone who works for CNN.”

Chris is destroying CNN to protect Don Lemon.  This isn't leadership. 

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, February 23, 2023.  Iraq activists are under assault, Anya Panya and the faux activists from the weekend continue to be called out for their racism and transphobia, look who took a plea deal, and much more.

We get busy and things get dropped all the time as a result.  I was planning, months ago, to announce news in a criminal proceeding.  It's several months old, the Justice Dept's press release, but I was talking to a veteran with a VSO yesterday and he brought up when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House and shoved an unqualified and corrupt member of Congress down a committee's throat.  To give a little background, the VA was having one scandal after another.  The most recent one ahead of this shoving was the VA's failure to deliver the checks for veterans going to college.  Veterans had to pay it themselves or take out loans.  They knew it -- the VA knew it was going to happen ahead of the fall schedule.  And, as Christmas approached, some veterans still hadn't received their checks.  Their family holiday was on hold.  It was disgusting and it was disgusting the way the media walked away from the story long before it was over.

The work of so many on that Committee -- Democrats and Republicans -- was important in fixing this issue for the veterans.  I especially would cite Stephanie Herseth Sandlin whose work on a House VA Subcommittee really helped get answers -- especially after the media had Baby-cried-the-day-the-circus-came-to-town and moved on.  

The Committee worked as a team to help the veterans on this issue . . . with one exception.

Wig woman.

Bad wig woman.

Corrine Brown.

The Snuffleupgus of K-Street herself, "Can you tell me how to be crooked, how to be crooked on K-Street."

From November 27, 2014, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Corrine Brown:"


There was Corrine explaining how she stayed up late nights eating and watching cable 'news' and FOX told her that this was the veterans fault and if those dumb veterans had done their paperwork right, there never would have been a delay and blah blah blah.

She couldn't fix her wig, did we really not notice that over and over and over.  Con artist was blaming veterans to let the VA off the hook, even after testimony in Stephanie's subcommittee hearing revealed that the VA knew this was going to happen, was warned over four months before the start of the fall semester that it would happen.  But facts don't matter to a con artist.

Over the uproar of many veterans, Speaker Pelosi decided her friend was just the crook to head the Democratic Party side of the  House Veterans Affairs Committee.  VSOs were begging for Tim Walz.  Walz was a member of the Committee, he was also a veteran.  Unlike Corrine, Tim spoke English.  

But Pelosi installed her friend Corrine the Crook.

Where's Tim today?  

Serving his second term as governor of Minnesota.  Congratulations to him.

And where's Corrine?

From July 30, 2017, this is Isaiah's "Little White Devil." 

She was serving too.

Hard time in prison.  It was supposed to be five years but COVID panic allowed her to get an early release on April 22, 2020.  She then thought Florida voters were insane and would vote for her so she ran in the Democratic Party primary for a seat . . . and came in fourth.  But Corrine isn't just a convicted felon.  She's also a convict who doesn't want to go back to the big house.  A technicality from a lower court meant she was facing a second trial set for May of last year.    Which is why she entered into a plea deal right before then:

Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown Pleads Guilty To Corrupt Obstruction Of The Administration Of The Internal Revenue Laws

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Corrine Brown (75, Jacksonville) today pleaded guilty to engaging in a corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws. After accepting her guilty plea, Chief Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Brown to the time that she had already served in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, specifically two years, eight months, and nine days. Brown was also ordered to pay $62,650.99 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the plea agreement, between October 15, 2009, and October 15, 2015, Brown caused her certified public accountant to file individual income tax returns for tax years 2008 through 2014 that did not include income associated with cash deposits into her bank accounts. During the same period, Brown also over-reported her charitable giving by inflating total gifts to charitable organizations and non-profit entities. Brown signed each referenced tax return under penalty of perjury, knowing that each one contained false information. In addition, Brown caused two Jacksonville non-profit entities to create letters that did not accurately reflect her donations so that Brown could use those letters during an IRS audit.  

Brown was previously convicted by a federal jury for various offenses; after Brown’s appeal, her earlier conviction was vacated.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. Tysen Duva and Michael J. Coolican of the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorney Michelle Parikh and former Deputy Chief Eric G. Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section prosecuted the case.

Crooked Corrine.  The felon.  

That's who Nancy Pelosi put in charge for the Democrats on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  Not Tim Walz, crooked Corrine, who suffers from both mush mouth and a nasty addiction to bad wigs.  Nancy 'knew' that was the right decision and she rejected the leaders of every VSO to put Corrine in charge.  

From November 23, 2014, Isaiah's  "Let's Be Whats!"

When they write about her legacy, Crooked Corrine should be a large chapter in THE BOOK OF NANCY.  And we should all wonder why Nancy refused to employ a veteran to be the head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee?  She chose a crook over a veteran.  That's her legacy -- that and being Speaker when ROE V WADE was overturned -- and failing to push for it to be codified in 2009 when she was also Speaker (running for president, Barack Obama lied that codifying ROE would be the first thing he would do as president).  

I need to correct the idiot Anya Parampil.  When not expressing her transphobia or cozying up to the right wing, she likes to insist that she's smart.  Pretense.  She gave a bad speech on Sunday insisting that four presidential candidates were present.  Uh, no.  

Anya The Transphobe apparently never learned to count.


Not four.


Use your fingers if you have to, Anya, but I'm pretty sure even you can count to one.

Jill Stein was the Green's presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016.  The rest weren't presidential candidates.

Tulsi Gabbard was not a presidential candidate.  She did not run for president.  You run for president, you're a presidential candidate.  Tulsi is a failed candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Similarly, Ron Paul has run twice for a party's presidential nomination (Republican) and he has not won it.  Dennis Kucinich  also twice pursued a political party's presidential nomination and twice failed.  He's not really a presidential candidate.  A presidential candidate is on the ballot in the general election -- or running as a write-in nominee in the general election.  It's kind of like saying Tulsi or Ron or Dennis graduated top of their class in medical school when, in fact, they applied but were not accepted.

While we're dealing with the transphobe Anya Parampil, let's note a few more things about her and her racist action.  She has a Tweet, by the way, where people have again called her out and she's whining that's she's tired of being called a racist and a transphobe.

She's tired of it.

I think the country's tired too -- of her racism and transphobia.  Let's note some of the responses.

We could go on and on.  And I'm sure the truth hurts for Anya Panya.  

And here's a truth, they could have had two past presidential candidates participating in their fake action over the weekend.  Cynthia McKinney taped a video for them -- just like Roger Waters.  Now maybe Anya used too much time truing to strut on the stage?  Who knows?  But they refused to show it at the rally.  They did briefly post it to their website before pulling it down.  

She's not a racist and it wasn't a racist event, they insist.  But the only African-American woman who was to speak was censored.   Cynthia was the 2008 presidential nominee for the Green Party.  

Tell us again, Anya Panya, how you're not a racist and it wasn't a racist rally but Cynthia was removed from the program?  Former member of Congress, former US presidential candidate. 

And everyone grasp that they decided to remove her after they were already under fire for the racist nature of their rally.  Grasp that.  Anya Panya better get used to being called a racist because she is one.  If she doesn't like being called that, she needs to do the work required to end her own internal racism.  She can start by publicly apologizing to Cynthia McKinney.  If she can't do that?  She's just a liar. 

Anya works on the plantation -- see Ann's "Anya, do they give you bathroom breaks on the plantation?" and "Anya Parampil can't leave the plantation" -- because she's sleeping with the overseer Max Blumethal.  And she and Max have been lying about a lot of things.  

BLACK POWER MEDIA calls them out for their lies and their racism.  

Turning to Iraq,  Human Rights Watch notes the targeting of activists:

 Iraq’s environmental activists are facing threats, harassment, and arbitrary detention by government officials and armed groups, Human Rights Watch said today. 

On February 16, 2023, leading Iraqi environmentalist Jassim al-Asadi was released after being abducted on February 1 by an unidentified armed group and held for more than two weeks. Al-Asadi said in a TV interview that he was subjected to “most severe forms of torture” using “electricity and sticks” during his captivity, and was moved from place to place. Human Rights Watch confirmed with his family that the voice in the interview is his. It appears he was released after intervention by the Iraqi government. Al-Asadi’s kidnapping is the latest in a string of acts of retaliation against environmental activists apparently intended to halt their advocacy.

“Rather than taking decisive steps to solve Iraq’s critical environmental issues, Iraqi authorities are instead attacking the messenger,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Decimating the country’s environmental movement will only worsen Iraq’s capacity to address environmental crises that affect a range of critical rights.”

Government agencies have detained and prosecuted other activists for speaking out about environmental problems. Salman Khairalla, another environmentalist and co-Founder of Humat Dijlah (Tigris River Protectors Association), told Human Rights Watch that he believes armed groups and Iraqi officials are targeting key members of the environmental movement to silence them and send a threatening message to others.

In November 2022, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting that Iraqi authorities have failed to ensure any accountability for state security personnel and state-backed armed groups responsible for killing, maiming, and disappearing hundreds of demonstrators and activists since 2019.

Iraqi authorities should immediately hold accountable those responsible for extrajudicial punishments such as kidnapping, stop using the justice system to harass and retaliate against environmental activists, and drop all abusive legal cases against them, Human Rights Watch said.

Al-Asadi’s brother told Human Rights Watch that al-Asadi was driving on the highway with his cousin on the morning of February 1 when two cars stopped him six kilometers south of the capital. Armed men in civilian clothes handcuffed him and forced him into one of the vehicles, taking him to an unrevealed location and leaving his cousin in the car on the side of the road. His brother said he did not know the motivation behind his brother’s kidnapping but that many government backers were not happy about his environmental activities.

Al-Asadi is the founder of the local nongovernmental organization, Nature Iraq, which aims, “to protect, restore, and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and the rich cultural heritage that it nourishes.” Al-Asadi has appeared regularly in local and foreign media outlets to raise awareness of the threats facing the country's southern wetlands, including drought and loss of vegetation coverage.

His brother said that the family reported the kidnapping to a National Security office in Baghdad and Iraqi security forces began investigating the case. The case reached the attention of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who assured the family “that there’s no armed force above the law and that everyone is subject to the authority and law of the state.” A few days later, Al-Asadi was released, but the reason for his detention and identity of the kidnappers have not emerged.

Although the Iraqi government appears to have taken steps to intervene and secure al-Asadi’s release, in other cases Iraqi authorities themselves have been responsible for retaliation against environmental activists in response to their efforts to draw attention to human rights breaches linked to the country’s environment and climate.

In late 2019, Iraqi authorities arbitrarily detained Salman Khairalla, another environmentalist, prompting the then-UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders to intervene to demand his release. After Khairalla was released on bail, he left Baghdad.

Another activist, Raad Habib al-Assadi, head of Chabbayish Organization, an environmental organization, told Human Rights Watch that during the 2019 and 2020 droughts that struck Iraq, he criticized the Water Resources Ministry for its poor policies and responses to the worsening water situation. He said that he published basic information about the droughts in the marshes in Nasiriyah, such as how much the water levels were dropping. The ministry retaliated by taking him to court.

On October 5, 2020, Dhi Qar Federal Court of Appeals ordered Habib to appear in court under Article 434 of Penal Code, which criminalizes insulting any person or imputing the reputation of another, and carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and/or a fine.

A court acquitted him in February 2021, but ministry representatives subsequently filed a second case against him, under Article 229 of Iraq’s Penal Code, which criminalizes insults or threats to, “an official or other public employee or council or official body in the execution of their duties or as a consequence of those duties.” This “crime” is punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine.

Habib told Human Rights Watch that the court also acquitted him of the new charges, with the final acquittal coming on December 10, 2022. But ministry officials continue to appeal the acquittal.

Habib said he is forced to attend the appeal hearings to avoid prison and believes that ministry officials are drawing out the case to punish him. “Every Monday and Thursday I have to go to the court [to deal with the appeals],” he said. “But nothing happens when I go to court. I attend and then the appeal is delayed – one week or 10 days or 14 days. But if I don’t attend, the authorities can issue an arrest warrant.”

He said ministry officials have offered to drop the case against him if he pledges to stop criticizing the ministry, but he has refused.

“I did nothing wrong, I only shared information about the droughts in marshes and they treated me as a criminal,” Habib said. “I can’t travel or do anything because I have to go to the court every Monday and Thursday. The ministry officials told me, ‘We want to quiet you.’”

“The Iraqi government’s muzzling of environmentalists who are trying to raise awareness around the country’s grave challenges is part of a broader attitude that sees civil society groups as threats rather than partners,” Coogle said.

It seems clear that now is the moment of truth as it is time for Iraq to comply with American conditions as set out by US Ambassador Alina Romanowski and as discussed in Turkey and finalised in Washington.

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani has not hesitated to inform the leaders of the Coordination Framework that the honeymoon with the country’s Iranian neighbour is over. He warned that the time had come to jump from Tehran’s sinking ship, otherwise they would all drown because prevarication no longer works and everyone is under the microscope of Federal Reserve monitoring.

The political system in Iraq has come under the supervision of the US Treasury, whose decisions are more consequential than those of the State Department and the Pentagon.

Iran can no longer receive a single dollar from Iraq, while Iraqi banks that used to funnel dollars to Teheran are now threatened with closure and loss of assets.

Sudani told his audience that any attempt to circumvent US restrictions would amount to playing with fire.

Let's wind down with this from Defending Rights & Dissent:



Australian publisher Julian Assange is a political prisoner. After being abducted out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he has languished in Belmarsh prison for nearly four years. In the intervening time, press freedom groups, major newspapers, and civil libertarians have all condemned the US’s unprecedented charges against Assange. After years of grassroots advocacy, now members of Congress are starting to speak out. But they need to hear your voice. 

Take action!

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is currently circulating a sign-on letter calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange. Other members of Congress can join the letter, but this is an issue that demands courage. They need to hear from you, their constituents.

Will you write your members of Congress right now and ask them to join Rep. Tlaib’s effort? The future of the First Amendment is at stake!

Take action!

In solidarity,

Chip Gibbons, Policy Director


Our Work

Defending Rights & Dissent
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Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Return of Diva Don" went up last night.  The following sites updated:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Don Lemon's back on the air

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Return of Diva Don."

diva don

I wrote about Don Lemon last night in "Don Lemon continues to tarnish CNN" at Ann's site. Picking up from there, Chelsea Ritschel (INDEPENDENT) reports:

The announcement Lemon would be undergoing formal training has divided viewers, with some suggesting the anchor should not need training to know his comments were inappropriate.

“So he did not receive any training prior to accepting this role or any training during the course of his career on television…okay,” one person tweeted.

Another said: “Funny how CNN refuses to fire on-air talent for obvious transgressions. Does anyone really think Lemon will change his thinking about women after his brief training session?”

Someone else sarcastically suggested that Lemon should “Google” how to behave, after he encouraged viewers to “Google” a woman’s prime while discussing Haley’s age. “Hope he Googled how to behave next time,” they wrote.

Others claimed that CNN’s decision to return Lemon to air was “disrespectful” to his co-anchors, Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.

“How disrespectful to Poppy and Kaitlan. It was obvious that they were upset by his lack of respect towards women,” one person wrote.

Yeah, he'[s back on air.  No, he hasn't learned anything.  Nor has CNN, by the way, which is why they allow him to stay on air.  How much more damage will they let him inflict upon the network?  

Can someone explain why he is not apologizing on air?  His people are trying to make a big deal that this morning he 'apologized' for a third time.  On Twitter.  He insulted women on air.  His apology should come on air.

"TV: Roseanne Barr's TV return to stand-up" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
Both THE MARY SUE and LGBTQ NATION took her to task for asking "What's a woman" and answering she was.
Excuse us, she roared that she was.

We're confused.  

How was that anti-trans?

Let's remember that ROSEANNE came back with a child questioning gender roles.  Let's also remember that the center of Roseanne's comedy has always been that she is in control.  What's a woman?  Picture her roaring "I am!" as easily as you can picture responding the same with "What's your worst nightmare?"  

Roseanne brought out her persona.  
Was this there first time seeing the character of Roseanne?
"People say I'm not very feminine," she'd declare on stage before roaring, "Suck my dick."
THE MARY SUE, seeing themselves about a decade younger than they actually are, were bothered because Roseanne made fun of young people.
Really, she made fun of young people?  Well that's just . . . Typical of every joke she's ever told.
She created the persona -- the domestic goddess who made fun of her husband and her children.  Did they never grasp that?
It doesn't sound like they've ever watched a single episode of ROSEANNE -- or even single scene of Roseanne and Becky or Roseanne and Darlene or Roseanne and DJ slinging it back and forth.

They were bothered that the persona was a crotchety older person.  We all get that Roseanne is now 70 -- and not telling people to stay limber so they can have sex.  She is -- and has been for several years now -- embracing old age.  It's only natural that she would use this persona to critique the world.

LGBTQ NATION was offended that she screamed, "Get a job!"  They found her so mean to the youth.

We watched the actual special, not some clips.  So we're aware that Roseanne, who loves all of her kids, was making jokes about them -- the one who got his college degree and now occupies her office playing video games and leaving soda cans and dirty socks all over.  

And that persona?  Not really all that different from the character of Roseanne in the 80s and 90s.  

She was so mean to liberals!!!!

That was another complaint from LGBTQ NATION which made clear that there is no direct link between thought and the act of writing.

Roseanne has never liked liberals.  She was a radical back then,  She's one now.  She has always felt liberals stifle the working class and rip off the working class.  That's exactly why Barbara Ehrenreich became a fan in the first place.  

She was doing a comedy performance.  She was making points about humanity -- including that the country needed to learn to listen to one another and stop being so divided.  Including that gay men and lesbian woman can marry, have a family and be happy and productive.  

FOX NATION is very dumb.  They had Roseanne's comedy special and it's a calling card.  But when you get to the destination, you really don't find anything else to make you want to return.  They should have had other programming lined up.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Wednesday, February 22, 2023.  Hate merchants in the US continue to sport their stupidity, Human Rights Watch notes the attacks on the LGBTQ community in the Middle East and North Africa and much more.

Starting in Iraq where Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) reports:

 An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale hit Nineveh governorate in northern Iraq on Wednesday morning, according to a statement issued by the Iraqi Meteorological Organization and Seismology.

The Seismology Department of the Ministry of Transport mentioned in the statement that the seismic observatories recorded an earthquake on Wednesday morning, February 22, 2023, at 10:09 local time, 39 kilometers southwest of Al-Hadar district in Nineveh governorate, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

The statement confirmed that the earthquake was felt by the citizens in the area, and emphasized that no losses were reported.

No losses will hopefully continue to be the reality.  Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has issued a new report on the targeting of LGBT people in the Middle East and North Africa:

Government officials across the Middle East and North Africa region are targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people based on their online activity on social media, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces have entrapped LGBT people on social media and dating applications, subjected them to online extortion, online harassment, and outing, and relied on illegitimately obtained digital photos, chats, and similar information in prosecutions, in violation of the right to privacy and other human rights.

The 135-page report, “‘All This Terror Because of a Photo’: Digital Targeting and Its Offline Consequences for LGBT People in the Middle East and North Africa,” examines the use of digital targeting by security forces and its far-reaching offline consequences – including arbitrary detention and torture – in five countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. The findings show how security forces employ digital targeting to gather and create evidence to support prosecutions.

“The authorities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia have integrated technology into their policing of LGBT people,” said Rasha Younes, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “While digital platforms have enabled LGBT people to express themselves and amplify their voices, they have also become tools for state-sponsored repression.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed 90 LGBT people affected by digital targeting and 30 experts, including lawyers and digital rights professionals. Human Rights Watch also reviewed online evidence of targeting against LGBT people, including videos, images, and digital threats. The research had support from members of the Coalition for Digital and LGBT Rights: in Egypt, Masaar and an LGBT rights organization in Cairo whose name is withheld for security reasons; in Iraq, IraQueer and the Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM); in Jordan, Rainbow Street and the Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA); in Lebanon, Helem and Social Media Exchange (SMEX); and in Tunisia, Damj Association.

Human Rights Watch documented 45 cases of arbitrary arrest involving 40 LGBT people targeted online in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. In every instance of arrest, security forces searched people’s phones, by force or under threat of violence, to collect – or even create – personal digital information to enable their prosecution, Human Rights Watch found.

In reviewing judicial files for 23 cases of LGBT people prosecuted based on digital evidence under laws criminalizing same-sex conduct, “inciting debauchery,” “debauchery,” “prostitution,” and cybercrime laws in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia, Human Rights Watch found that most of those prosecuted were acquitted upon appeal. In five cases, people were convicted and sentenced to one to three years in prison. Twenty-two people were never charged but were held in pretrial detention, in one case for 52 days at a police station in Lebanon.

LGBT people who were detained reported facing numerous due process violations, including officials confiscating their phones, denying them access to a lawyer, and forcing them to sign coerced confessions. LGBT detainees reported being denied food and water, family and legal representation, and medical services as well as verbal, physical, and sexual assault. Some were placed in solitary confinement. Transgender women detainees were routinely held in men’s cells, where they faced sexual assault and other ill-treatment. In one case, a transgender woman held in a police station in Egypt said she experienced repeated sexual assault for 13 months.

Human Rights Watch documented 20 cases of online entrapment on Grindr and Facebook by security forces, who created fake profiles to impersonate LGBT people, in Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan; and 17 cases of online extortion by private individuals on Grindr, Instagram, and Facebook in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, including by organized gangs in Egypt and armed groups in Iraq. The six people who reported the extortion to the authorities were themselves arrested.

Human Rights Watch documented 26 cases of online harassment, including doxxing and outing, on Facebook and Instagram in Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. As a result, LGBT people reported losing their jobs, suffering family violence, being forced to change their residence and phone numbers, and deleting their social media accounts, fleeing the country, and suffering severe mental health consequences. Most reported the abuse to the relevant digital platform, but none removed the content.

The targeting of LGBT people online is enabled by their precarious legal status, Human Rights Watch said. In the absence of protection by laws or sufficient digital platform regulations, both security forces and private individuals have been able to target them with impunity.

Under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, social media companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, including the rights to nondiscrimination, privacy, and freedom of expression. Digital platforms, such as Meta (Facebook, Instagram), and Grindr, are not doing enough to protect users vulnerable to digital targeting, Human Rights Watch said.

Digital platforms should invest in content moderation, particularly in Arabic, by quickly removing abusive content as well as content that could put users at risk. Platforms should conduct human rights due diligence that includes identifying, preventing, ceasing, mitigating, remediating, and accounting for potential and actual adverse impacts of digital targeting on human rights.

Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia each have obligations under international and regional human rights law to address violations against LGBT people. The five governments should respect and protect the rights of LGBT people instead of criminalizing their expression and targeting them online, Human Rights Watch said. They should introduce and enforce laws protecting people against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, including online.

“Online abuses against LGBT people have offline consequences that reverberate throughout their lives and can be detrimental to their livelihood, mental health, and safety,” Younes said. “Authorities across the MENA region should stop targeting LGBT people, online and offline, and social media companies should mitigate the adverse impacts of digital targeting by better protecting LGBT people online.”

Hate spreads around the world.  No doubt helped along by US hate merchants.  Which one of our Christian illiterates to start with today?  How about the high school drop out who struggled with her GED repeatedly after disappointing her church and her family by getting pregnant out of wedlock and underage?  Sorry, Boh-Boh, those are supposed to be your values.  Maybe a little more repenting for violating your own church teachings and a little less hate -- and stupidity -- would help you out?  Alex  Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports Lauren's latest stupidity:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) took to Twitter to denounce an international group of scientists that is working to make language in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology more precise and inclusive… and it seems she didn’t really understand what they are doing.

“The ‘party of women’ really wants to erase women,” she tweeted in reply to a screenshot from a headline from the U.K.’s Telegraph.

There is a lot wrong with that statement that could be found in just a few minutes of searching online. 

First, she is referring to the Democratic Party in the U.S. with the expression “party of women,” but the article she is sharing is about the EEB (ecology and evolutionary biology) Language Project, which is being led by an international group of ecology and evolutionary biology researchers. The British newspaper article she was referring to even presented quotes from English and Canadian scientists. None were from the U.S. or associated with the Democratic Party.

Second, the article isn’t about an attempt to erase any language in common speech, but instead about a discussion of language used in scientific articles. That is, literature that Boebert herself is not likely to ever encounter.

Third, the specific complaint about “egg-producing” and “sperm-producing” replacing “female” and “male” isn’t about women, which is a word used for humans. Since they’re biologists, they are often talking about other species that express sexual dimorphism.

How humiliating.  She's just reminding everyone what an uneducated moron she is.   Poor Boh-Boh, such a stupid idiot.  Humiliated by her own mouth and her own ignorance yet again.  If stupidity were a felony, Lauren would be serving a life sentence.

Daniel Villarreal (LGBTQ NATION) reports on one of Lauren's supposedly smarter peers:

Former Trump administration official and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) kicked off the first rally for her new presidential campaign on Wednesday in South Carolina with an invocation by John Hagee, an evangelical pastor who opposes same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination ordinances. Hagee has also said that the Antichrist is gay, that God sent Hitler to push Jews into Israel, and that God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for holding a Pride parade.

The following day, while speaking at an Exeter, New Hampshire town hall, Haley said of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law “I don’t think [it] goes far enough.” While the law bans Kindergarten through third-grade teachers from discussing subjects related to sexual orientation and gender identity, which some say includes even mentioning LGBTQ+ people, a teacher’s same-sex partner, or a student’s LGBTQ+ parents, she compared such acknowledgment to sexual education.

At her South Carolina kickoff rally, Haley said “Pastor Hagee, I still say I want to be you when I grow up,” after he finished his invocation. The line was met with scant applause from the audience. When she served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, she spoke to Hagee’s group, Christians United for Israel, at its annual summit. Hagee also presented her with an award for her support of Israel.

Wait.  Nikki wants to be Pastor Hagee?  She wants to be a man?  Did she just come out as transgender?  

Regardless, at 51, you should have already grown up long ago, Nikki.  But thank you for explaining that you hadn't and thereby giving the American voters another reason to reject you.

Where there is hate there is always Marjorie Taylor Greene.  Alex Bollinger notes Marjorie's fallen for another conspiracy:

While Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been under fire during Presidents’ Day weekend for calling for secession, she also promoted an unlikely and unverified story about a transgender teenager who regrets taking testosterone as part of hormone replacement therapy.

The eccentric Canadian anti-transgender activist Chris Elston posted a screenshot to Twitter of a story an anonymous person wrote on Reddit. Greene decided to share that with her nearly two million followers and wrote: “This is incredibly heartbreaking. We must pass my bill Protect Children’s Innocence Act.”

Let's note THE DAILY SHOW again for Chelsea Handler's look at MTG.

Marjorie Taylor Greene: I have people come up to me and say crazy things to me out of the blue in public places that they believe because they read it on the internet.

Chelsea Handler:  Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle QAnon.  This woman thought 9/11 was a hoax, that the Clintons killed JFK Jr. and that Jews are in charge of space lasers.  But please, don't come at her with some crazy ideas -- she might believe them. 

Some are surprised that the great Glenneth Greenwald would make Marjorie his gal pal.  Why?  It's just his way, as the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War approaches, of Glenneth returning to his roots.  He pretended to be left but he never was.  He was always a Libertarian and he was always the pathetic ass that was cheerleader for the Iraq War.  Naturally he'd want MTG for his hag.  

CODESTINK quickly.  Yesterday's snapshot resulted in questions.  I'm going to try to zip through this.

Medea Benjamin and her ilk have betrayed many and that includes a number of veterans who turned against the war.  We could go into details on that but the leadership is good at getting headlines and press coverage, but they're not helping anyone -- and, in fact, they've left a number of people hurt.

Grass roots activists have also been hurt.

And as DiFi finally goes packing -- finally -- let's call out Medea for her nonsense.

You need to step aside, old woman.

This was supposed to be a thriving and young organization.  You and your old age are killing it.

Gloria Steinem worked to kick Betty Friedan out of leadership on the feminist movement when Betty was in her 50s.  Gloria became everything she accused Betty of as she refused to step aside and make room for young blood.  Now, in the early seventies, when some feminists (including Gloria) were under fire for being unaware and unsympathetic to the plight of feminists of color, Gloria went around (briefly) with one of two African-American women.  So she did know how to share the stage -- when she was afraid of being called a racist -- not so afraid that she'd stay away from a millionaire racist later on and expose Alice Walker's daughter Rebecca to the racist.  

But the point is, when it was good for her, she happily spoke with another woman.  Yet in the 80s, 90s on up to today, she never felt the need to partner with a younger feminist and ease a transition in leadership.  

Medea's become the new Gloria Steinem.  

Too desperate for the spotlight to step aside.  

CODESTINK doesn't need to die with Medea.  The young women have always been the most interesting and most vibrant thing about CODEPINK. 

And, in fact, these are the women who opposed sharing a stage with convicted pedophile Scott Ritter and forced Medea to step down from the stage for that fake-ass event.  

Medea whined about it on Twitter.

If she were serious about a movement, Susan Benjamin would have said some time ago that she was stepping down, that at 70, she's really too old for this and that it's time for her to let other women, younger women, lead the way.  

But I Need Attention Benjamin would rather have her close up for eternity than end any wars.

The following sites updated: