The House Republican made the remark on Tuesday during a question and answer session held at Gordon County Town Hall, in her Georgia constituency.
Greene has emerged as one of the most outspoken Donald Trump supporters within the Republican party since her election in 2020, though she was recently expelled from the conservative House Freedom Caucus after clashing with a number of its members.
During the congresswoman's Gordon County event, one audience member said: "Treason has been released and nobody is prepared to answer for it. Something has got to be done. It's treason. Our country, our Constitution has been stomped on repeatedly... People have got to be tried for treason."
Kennedy’s comments were widely criticized as racist and antisemitic in the U.S., including by his fellow Democrats. Scientists dismissed his claims about bioweapons, saying that human genetic variations exist along a continuum and no hard line can be drawn to distinguish one ethnic or population group from another based on DNA.
His comments about bioweapons found a big audience in China, where they were fanned by media outlets backed by the Communist Party.
The Communist Youth League jumped on the remarks, posting video of Kennedy speaking on the popular Weibo social-media platform. It was quickly amplified by the accounts of several party-linked media outlets, using the hashtag “#U.S. Presidential Candidate Says U.S. Is Collecting Chinese DNA.”
In the weeks since Kennedy made the remarks, the hashtag has attracted 230 million views. On the WeChat microblogging platform, a video of Kennedy’s remarks posted on an account affiliated with China’s National Defense News was shared more than 100,000 times. The same day Kennedy testified before Congress last month, he rose to the No. 2 trending topic on Weibo.
""Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, August 10, 2023. Climate change in Iraq has not been "a wake up call," a gay activist (man, of course) joins the right-wing in attacking marriage equality and doesn't get called out, Iraq bans the term "homosexual" and insists instead upon "sexual deviance" -- how far away is that from the US when you've got idiot activist attacking marriage equality? That and more.
AFP insists "Iraq's rising temperatures a 'wake-up call' for world." Really? Because it's not been a wake up call for Iraq. Their government officials -- corrupt and apparently stupid -- have done nothing of value to address it or to prepare for it and, in fact, plan to continue in the next few years with more actions that will only make things for the Iraqi people and, yes, for the world.
From the article:
Iraq's rising temperatures and protracted drought are a "wake-up call" for the world, United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk has said in Baghdad.
Turk spoke to AFP news agency during a visit to Iraq on Wednesday, which the UN says is one of the five countries in the world most touched by some effects of the climate crisis.
Iraq has been experiencing its fourth consecutive summer of drought, and temperatures in parts of the country, including the capital Baghdad, and in the far south, have been around 50 degrees Celsius.
"Rising temperatures plus the drought, and the fact that the loss of diversity is a reality, is a wake-up call for Iraq and for the world," Turk said.
Again, it's a wake up call that's being ignored. When it's all too late, what happens? Do the Iraqi people confront a fraud like Moqtada al-Sadr in the public square and rip him limb from limb for all the garbage he's pulled, for all the times he's refused to use his power to improve their lives, for the way he's condemned Iraq to be a living hell? A lot of people are going to have to answer because they are refusing to address reality and, every day, it's a little bit more too late.
, "The United Nations' human rights chief on Wednesday warned that Iraq's water crisis could affect other countries in the region. Severe water shortages in Iraq because of climate change and government mismanagement have destroyed wheat and fruit harvests, and (AP) noteskilled off fish and livestock. Humanitarian organizations have warned for years that drought and mismanagement could deprive millions of people of water from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, which also run through neighboring war-torn Syria."
Before leaving Iraq, the UN notes, Volker Turk delivered the following speech:
Thank you all for coming. I have just concluded the first-ever visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Iraq. I thank the Government of Iraq very much for its invitation, and for the extensive discussions we have had at the highest levels during my time here. I feel a deep personal connection with the people of this country, and I come here as a friend.
I spent the past four days in Baghdad, Erbil and Basra, meeting the Prime Minister of Iraq, the President and Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and other high-level officials, including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice, as well as the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Judge of the High Judicial Council, and the Chief Judge of the Appeals Court in Basra.
I also had several meetings with civil society, including women human rights defenders, environmental activists, journalists, lawyers, artists, members of the Marsh Arab (Ma’dan) community, as well as representatives from the diverse and rich cultural and religious fabric of Iraq.
And I experienced first-hand the reality of climate change in the Al-Salhiyah area of Basra’s Shatt Al-Arab district, in southern Iraq.
In 50-degree-Celsius heat, in the midst of drought-ridden and barren fields, local community leaders and representatives showed me pictures of the lush date palm trees that – just 30 years ago – lined parts of the now dried-up Shatt-al-Arab waterway.
Standing in searing heat in that scarred landscape, breathing air polluted by the many gas flares dotting the region, it was clear to me that the era of global boiling has indeed begun.
This is a climate emergency. And it is high time it is treated like one. Not just for Iraq but for the world. What is happening here is a window into a future that is now coming for other parts of the world – if we continue to fail in our responsibility to take preventive and mitigating action against climate change.
Iraq is among the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. The serious environmental degradation here is the result of a toxic mix of violence, oil industry excesses, global warming, reduced rainfall, and lack of effective water management and regulation.
Just yesterday the Minister of Water Resources announced that water levels in Iraq are the lowest they have ever been. The water issue has wider regional implications, and all countries have to work to manage this precious resource as a public good. Water is a global public good.
Civil society actors spoke to me about the chronic pollution in Basra and the resulting health problems in the community, including high rates of cancer and other serious ailments. They also stressed the need for increased transparency. “People have the right to know what is going on, about the dangers to their health and environment, and to help with strategies to work together to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change,” as one rights defender said to me.
I welcome the Government’s public commitment to address, as a priority, the challenges of climate change and water scarcity. Much work lies ahead – in awareness raising, legislative and policy reform and capacity building of institutions. It is essential that this is done with the meaningful involvement of those most affected.
But I am concerned that a series of actions taken by people in positions of power – for example, bringing criminal defamation suits against journalists and civil society actors – have created a chilling effect on freedom of expression. There have also been reports of violence, intimidation and death threats against environmental activists, including by armed elements, stifling the open space for discussion that is so crucial to addressing these issues.
One activist pleaded for the protection of rights defenders, saying: “It should not be dangerous to share data and raise awareness of the problem. We need to work together to mitigate the impact – lives are at risk.”
This is an issue we have been working closely on, and we are planning a report on freedom of expression in Iraq.
Iraq has historically contributed so much – cultural, literary, intellectual, civilizational – to shaping our world today. It is a mesmerizing history, breathtaking in its beauty and diversity.
But as we know all too well, Iraq also has a more recent history of repression, injustice, conflict, trauma and some of the worst violations of human rights and dignity to which the world has borne witness. I can only but admire the incredible resilience of the people of Iraq who have lived such realities within their lifetimes.
Estimates suggest that up to a million people disappeared under the regime of Saddam Hussein and hundreds of thousands more since then, including between 2014 and 2017 when Da’esh took control of vast swathes of Iraqi territory, and in subsequent security operations. Such staggering figures are difficult to fathom. Behind each of these individuals is a family – a spouse, a child, a parent, loved ones who deserve recognition, and whose rights to truth, justice and accountability are violated.
I welcome the Government’s invitation to the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, which visited Iraq last year. I urge implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. I understand that a law on enforced disappearances is due to come before the Council of Representatives – a welcome step in the right direction. It is high time a law is passed, in line with international human rights standards. My Office will follow closely the consideration and passage of this law and is ready to advise and support, based on our experience in other countries grappling with this issue.
There is also a painful history of the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment – under Saddam Hussein, during the US-led occupation of Iraq, during the conflict with Da’esh, and continuing into present-day Iraq. I’m encouraged by what I heard both from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice on tackling the issue of torture in the country, and to take preventive measures to ensure that torture has no place in the future of Iraq. I welcome their commitment to consider ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture. The Optional Protocol mandates the creation of a national preventive mechanism, which conducts regular visits to places of detention and can play an important role in eradicating torture. I have offered our support in this regard.
Key to stopping such serious human rights violations is putting an end to the impunity that past perpetrators of human rights violations have enjoyed. This was a matter I discussed extensively with the Government and civil society, including in relation to the Tishreen protests of October 2019.
We have documented that at least 487 protesters were killed and 7,715 injured during demonstrations between 1 October 2019 and 30 April 2020, due to the use of force by Iraqi Security Forces and armed elements against protesters. The Government established a fact-finding committee and provided welcome support to victims through compensation programmes. Given the passage of time and lack of accountability, I have urged swift, transparent action to stem the impunity that has taken hold in relation to the Tishreen protests.
Equally important is the strengthening of judicial and national human rights institutions so that they can work independently and effectively – which I raised in my conversations with senior officials. I welcome all efforts of ongoing law reform in line with international human rights standards.
I have also called on the authorities to declare an official moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Iraq – where more than 11,000 people remain on death row.
Issues of concern that arose in almost every interaction I had were access to basic services, the need for good governance and transparency – and corruption. It is crucial that robust anti-corruption measures are taking hold, and that a culture of transparency, open to public scrutiny, is fostered. I also offered our Office’s expertise on human rights in national budgeting, to ensure that national budgets can deliver on basic services and are inclusive, building upon the Government’s important social safety net for the most vulnerable.
I am also in Iraq at a time when the terms “gender” and “women’s empowerment” are – astonishingly – under attack, distorted and confused. This makes no sense in the face of the massive challenges that the country has. The use of these terms is not in contradiction with any culture, religion or tradition.
All evidence tells us that we need more women in decision-making positions, and more protections in law, policy and society against violence against women. The 25 per cent quota for women in the Council of Representatives, Iraq’s legislature, is commendable – and needs to be increased. Attempts to ban the use of universally accepted terms that are crucial for achieving equality and non-discrimination are harmful, as are threats and intimidation against women working on these issues.
I urge leaders across society to cease the politics of distraction. Human rights must not be instrumentalized to divide us – human rights are what unites us, what brings us together as humanity, in dignity. Do not allow populist rhetoric to create more fractures in a society that has already experienced fragmentation. Disinformation campaigns, hate speech and incitement to violence must not be given free rein.
As we mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, its principles are powerfully relevant for a State as richly diverse as Iraq, particularly its guarantee of human rights without distinction of nationality, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, sexual orientation or any other status.
Twenty years ago this month, 22 of my UN colleagues, including my predecessor Sergio Vieira de Mello, were killed in a suicide bombing at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, and 150 others were injured. These were colleagues who were in Iraq with a sincere desire to support and assist the Iraqi people in their aspirations for a better, more just future. I witnessed how these aspirations live on today.
There is a yearning for a common vision for a future that is grounded in human rights to be able to deal with the many difficult, long-standing issues it faces, so that the wounds can heal, and the gains that have been so painstakingly achieved can be preserved.
I leave Iraq with a clear appreciation of the progress, efforts and achievements of the people of this beautiful, diverse country – but also with the concern that the gains remain fragile.
I call on all those in positions of authority and influence to be guided by the interests and the human rights of the Iraqi people above all else and to tackle the corruption, discrimination, impunity, climate change and the remaining obstacles to lasting stability and peace.
To be able to address the big challenges of our times, we need to draw on the creativity and innovation that thrives when people are able to discuss the issues and propose solutions together. This means enlarging these freedoms as much as possible.
Our UN human rights team in Iraq is ready, as always, to assist, advise and support the promotion and protection of human rights for all Iraqis.
To make it clear to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights just how little the government about anything he had to say -- whether it was about human rights or climate change - the Iraqi government declared on the day his visit was on luding that therm "homosexual" was being outlawed in Iraqi media and the term "sexual deviancy" will instead now be used.
Amnesty International issued the following in response to that nonsense:
Responding to the directive issued by the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC) that media outlets must replace the term “homosexuality” with “sexual deviance” in their published and broadcast language, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Aya Majzoub said:
“The directive from Iraq’s official media regulator is the latest in a series of attacks on freedom of expression under the guise of respect for “public morals”. The CMC’s ban of the word “homosexuality” and insistence that media use “sexual deviance” instead is a dangerous move that can fuel discrimination and violent attacks against members of the LGBTI community.”
“Furthermore, its ban and demonization of the word “gender” demonstrates a callous disregard for combatting gender-based violence at a time when civil society has been reporting an increase in crimes against women and girls, amid widespread impunity.”
“The Iraqi authorities must immediately overturn this decision and ensure that they respect the right to freedom of expression and non-discrimination for all individuals in the country, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.”
Political parties in Iraq have increasingly criticized LGBTI rights, frequently burning rainbow flags and making outlandish claims blaming homosexuality for the spread of disease.
Between January and June of this year, the Ministry of Interior led a campaign to crack down on “indecent content” online, prosecuting at least 20 individuals over the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression using vague public morality laws. On 18 July Amnesty International raised concerns regarding the government’s re-introduction of two draft laws to Parliament which, if passed, would severely curtail the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Iraq.
Volker Türk, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, has s
Sunday, Olayemi Olurin's Olurinatti The Show streamed live.
We posted it Sunday. 19 years online and we've never received as many complaints about anything.
Some complaining were people who consider themselves allies to the LGBTQ+ community. To those, I either replied or had Shirley and Martha send out replies pointing out that the LGBTQ+ community is under attack. When ROE was gutted, we posted a number of videos that led to complaints. How could ___ say that? ___ said that (there was more than woman they were complaining about) because she was destroyed, her rights, her very being had just been destroyed. When people are going through that and speaking through their pain, it's not always going to be pretty. If you're a friend, an ally or someone who just wants to learn, you'd do well to not take it personally as someone works out and processes what they're going through. We have to be honest before we can come together -- if we're truly going to come together and work together on any issue.
I was talking to Marcia about the reaction to the video and she reminded me about 2008 when sexism was used to destroy Hillary Clinton and how outraged that left her and how she felt she had to keep it pretty. She reminded me that I told her to speak what she was going through and to get it out and that she wouldn't lose my support. That's what she did and that's how she processed.
Grasp also that when a speaker is saying "you," it doesn't always mean you personally. Try to hear what's being said. And don't feel you are personally being slammed because most times you personally or not. Did any of the guests on the show know you personally?
So don't take it personal.
The LGBTQ+ community is under attack. If we want to stand with them -- as we should -- that requires listening.
No, I'm not telling you that you can't disagree. But listen to what's being said.
And you can disagree with that and many of you did.
Many of you disagreed with what you saw as an attack on religion and many of you disagreed with the loud mouth who kept attacking marriage equality.
"Typical man," Marcia said of one of the guests, "he just wants to stick his dick everywhere."
You can personally feel that marriage equality is not for you. But you come off a little bitter when you start insulting it and insisting it doesn't matter.
You are an ahistorical idiot. Marriage equality does matter. 'Well if the work place laws had been focused on instead . . .'
Wake up, just wake the f**k up. Any laws to protect workers are a longterm struggle. Do you know how long it took to get any sort of serious laws on the books regarding workplace harassment and assault?
Workers have had to fight in this country for rights since the beginning of this country. And these are long labor struggles. You will always be able to achieve in the 'personal' sphere before you do in the 'work' sphere because business is power and our government has always protected power. That's reality.
So you're an idiot for that reason.
You're an idiot because you don't grasp what marriage rights entail or the decades of partners being kept out of hospital rooms because they weren't married. "Are you the spouse?" "B**ch, we can't get married!" "Well, you're not the spouse and you're not family so you can't see the dying person."
You don't get the historical struggle. As Marcia said, you only care about plugging dick in whenever you can.
Hey, fine. Go for it. Find as many willing partners as you want.
But grasp that you are not the only person in the world. And grasp that many same-sex couples wanted to get married and were denied that legal right. If you want anyone to help you -- and this speaker wanted accomplices not allies -- then stop making it all about your wants. Selfish doesn't make for a movement.
You need to be willing to help others when you're in need of help yourself. That's how it works. It's not a one way street, it's everyone working together for everyone.
The fat ass is an idiot for those reasons.
But the fat ass is also an idiot because he's insulting same-sex marriage and has no idea what's he's talking about. Maybe all that dick sticking's left him tired? Or stopped the blood flow to the brain?
Lorie Smith's life should be a living hell. Whenever she's seen in public, people should either boo her or point to her and laugh. No one should do business with her. She lied to the Court in order to secure her 'right' to discriminate against gay men and lesbians -- it was too traumatic for her to design the equivalent of a digital wedding invitation for same sex couples. No one should befriend her. She stripped gay men and lesbians of their rights. She should rot in hell when she dies for what she did.
And so should the people who helped her -- that's Jonathan Turley and all of them -- rot in hell.
But fat ass doesn't understand that Court decision.
We noted here immediately that this turned a group of citizens into second class-citizens. They don't have full citizenship. When you're saying X has all of these rights but Y only has rights as long as it doesn't offend religious crazies, then Y does not have full citizenship. I grasped that immediately and we repeatedly addressed it here.
That was weeks ago.
If I were writing it today, I'd write the exact same thing. However . . .
I would add to it.
The verdict was about stripping gay men and lesbians of their rights.
But what I didn't grasp was that the marriage equality decision was so 'offensive' to homophobes not because it granted marriage equality but because it granted citizenship.
That's why the most extreme are opposed to it.
I didn't know that. I didn't find that out until someone dropped a flash drive off at my agent's. Supposedly, it was Glenn Greenwald's browser history. I have no idea if that was his or not. But it's filled with hatred of LGBTQ+ people. And the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality is ripped apart over and over -- in Tweets and in articles -- because, they insist, for the first time gay men and lesbians have actual citizenship in the eyes of the Court. They argue that marriage equality must be overturned because that is how you destroy gay men and lesbians and legally get away with it.
So fat ass might need to shut his damn mouth next time.
He doesn't care about marriage? That's his right. But others do care -- gay men and lesbians. And the right wing is determined to overturn marriage equality. So he really needs to shut up because he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.
We get it. You're a fat man -- maybe you can't keep partner, maybe you don't want to keep one. Live your life the way you want but stop lying -- and COUNTERPUNCH is really bad about running crap like this too -- and insisting that same-sex marriage does not matter and is not important.
You don't know the law, you don't know the pushback, you don't know the history, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
And that is the only flaw in Olay's video. No one pushed back. Everyone acted like that was the 100% universal opinion on same-sex marriage.
That's not a discussion and fat man should have been called out for the reasons I outlined above.
According to PEW, the US Census Bureau estimates there are 711.129 same-sex married couples in the US. That would be 1.4 million people. Their lives matter, their rights matter. The Human Rights Campaign has estimated that there are 20 million LGBTQ+ persons in the United States. Some of those probably never want to marry which is fine. That's no different than straight or cis gender people. But you have no right to spit on what marriage equality means for those who did marry and for those who want to marry. You should not want to join the hate merchants on the right-wing who spit on marriage equality. That fat man got to spew his ignorance -- and that his attacks are the same as those voiced by homophobes -- without anyone calling him out or noting that his view was not universal for LGBTQ+ people or even universal for gay men -- or even universal for gay fat men who struggle with getting laid due to anger issues and girth. I think the panel absolutely failed on that one.
When that garbage goes up at COUNTERPUNCH? Oh, you're so radical, you've impressed us all -- is that what we're supposed to think? All I think is, "You're a f**king idiot, a hateful f**king idiot and you're like the idiot that wrote at COUNTERPUNCH attacking Angelina Jolie for her mastectomy." Angelina, who I know, lost her mother to cancer. How she decides to protect herself to be there for her kids is her damn business. She didn't need to be attacked by a bunch of liars and haters. But the more-radical-than-though trash attacked Angelina. (And killed her own career. She whined later that she had to take on part time work because she couldn't find jobs anymore in the entertainment industry. Yes, dear, we made sure of that.) And that's how the fat man looks. Like he's trying to play more-radical-than-though.
Even with him as part of the discourse, I would post the video again (and have above in this snapshot). And I would recommend the video for other aspects of the discussion. I think he serves a purpose in the video -- he shows how gay men try to create their own hierarchy -- by which I mean, note how he cuts off women repeatedly. Note how he bellows and raises his voice and is unable to engage in a laid back conversation. Again, LGBTQ+ people are under attack. There's no reason for him to basically manspread across the dialogue silencing others.
Meanwhile, Tuesday the Broward County School Board spent hours on an agenda item that took about five minutes last year and generated zero controversy. The board was considering the approval of 98 resolutions, such as marking Hispanic Heritage Month, autism awareness, breast cancer awareness, and many more. It was the three resolutions supporting the LGBTQ community, which drew a crowd of supporters and opponents to comment.
“Many parents are concerned with an overexposure to this agenda,” said Marta Mesa of Weston.
“No one is trying to force your child to be LGBTQ+,” said board member Sarah Leonardi, who pointed out that the resolutions are not curriculum and they do not violate the law.
The board voted 6-2 to approve the long list of resolutions after hearing from dozens of speakers.
“I know firsthand how it feels to be seen and accepted for who you are and to not be, and that’s the feeling we want our students to have, so by standing up for pride and LGBT history, we’re saying hey, you, no matter what, we’ve got your back,” said Elijah Manley of Fort Lauderdale.
“I oppose the resolutions for pride month, LGBTQ history month and a day of silence, how can anyone guarantee that the discussions about sexuality or gender ideology are not gonna happen in the classroom? You can’t,” said Sabrina Artilles, who was wearing a Moms For Liberty shirt.
The following sites updated: