Saturday, February 24, 2024

Stevie Nicks

I'm not sure about the legalities involved in posting a concert to YOUTUBE but this is a great Stevie Nicks concert from earlier this month in Atlantic City that someone's posted.


She opens with "Dreams," goes into "If Anyone Falls In Love" and countless others.  When you can open with "Dreams," you've got a solid concert.  "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Fall From Grace," Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" (I wish she'd performed her song "For What It's Worth"), "Gypsy," the amazing -- and the very underrated -- "Wild Heart," "Bella Donna," "Stand Back," "A Soldier's Angel," "Gold Dust Woman," "Leather & Lace" (which she sings with her vocal coach Steve), "Edge of Seventeen," "Free Fallin'," "Rhiannon" and "Landslide."

I know, no "Sara."  That's a musical crime.  It's one of her most beautiful songs of all time.

You get some stories too, including Stevie explaining that she never voted in an election until she was 70, how she got info Fleetwood Mac because Christine McVie liked her, how her mother advised her to get a business manager (which is why she has money today), visiting Walter Reed repeatedly, about how she ended up recording "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and much more.

Again, no "Sara."

So here she is performing it with Fleetwood Mac on the TUSK tour.

She is on tour right now.  From her website:

           Feb 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA
Mar 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
Mar 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR
Mar 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel
May 3, 2024 - May 5, 2024
Lovin' Life Fest
Charlotte, NC
May 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St. Louis, MO
May 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
May 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
May 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
May 21, 2024
Yaamava' Resort & Casino
Highland, CA
May 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
May 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
May 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
Jun 4, 2024
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
Jun 9, 2024
Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, CT
Jun 12, 2024
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
Jun 15, 2024
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
Jun 18, 2024
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

Jun 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

"Sara" one more time, this time her doing it live in Chicago in the '00s.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, February 23, 2024. Julian Assange remains persecuted, Gaza under assault, the sexism involved in attacking one group of transgendered people, the UN hears about the assault in Gaza and much more.

This week, Julian Assange's attorneys made an appeal to the British government to stop them from handing Julian over to the US government.  Yes, all these years later,  Julian Assange remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

Yet Julian remains persecuted. 

Why has the British government imprisoned him since 2019?  Five years.  He must have been found guilty in a British court of some grave crime, right?  Nope.  From Thursday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re going outside the British High Court, where we’re joined by Matt Kennard, who’s been closely following the hearings. He’s head of investigations at the journalism website Declassified UK. His new book, The Racket: A Rogue Reporter vs the American Empire, is out in June.

Matt, welcome back to Democracy Now! Thanks so much for joining us. This is the lunch break of the High Court. Yesterday, the lawyers for Julian Assange made their case. Today, the lawyers for the U.S. government argued he should be extradited to the United States. Can you talk about what the judges who are hearing this case have been most interested in, and your assessment of the presentations so far?

MATT KENNARD: Well, firstly, I should just say that this case, this hearing today and yesterday, is merely about whether Julian Assange has a right to appeal the extradition to the United States. That decision was made a couple years ago, and he wants to appeal it on the substantive issues.

And yesterday, his lawyers went through the main issue, which is that this is a political prosecution, which is prohibited in the U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty of 2003. You can’t send someone to the United States for political offenses. They argued they’ve even taken at its highest — the U.S. indictment is indicting him under the Espionage Act, effectively as a spy, and that is a political offense. So that was how it started. They also argued that it contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 7 is about foreseeability. In 2010, when he began releasing the U.S. cables, he had no way of knowing that what he was doing was a criminal offense, because it’s never been prosecuted by the U.S. government before, even revealing the names of human informants. And then they went on to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is about freedom of speech and free expression and press freedom — again, a huge violation of that, of course, if Assange goes to the United States.

And today, the U.S. lawyer, effectively, her case was about trying to differentiate Assange from journalists. They were saying he’s not a journalist, he’s a hacker, he’s a computer scientist — when, of course, it’s clear to everyone that Assange is a journalist. He revealed more criminality by the world’s most powerful country than anyone’s ever done in history.

So, for me, watching the case, the arguments being given by both lawyers today, it’s clear that Assange should be allowed an appeal on the substantive issues, because the original ruling in 2021, January 2021, by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, but on very narrow grounds. She agreed with every dot and comma, effectively, of the U.S. indictment, but said that he was a suicide risk, and the extradition should be blocked on those grounds. The U.S. then appealed, won that appeal and said that “We won’t treat him in the ways that the district judge assumed. We won’t put him under SAMs,” which is extremely onerous prison conditions. But that was then against — and that judge favored the U.S. But Assange was never allowed to appeal that original ruling on the substantive issues.

So, we must, for British justice, for global justice, because, of course, this case is about global journalism, because Assange is an Australian citizen who committed these so-called crimes that the U.S. is indicting him for outside of the U.S. So, if Britain does extradite Assange to the United States, that gives the U.S. extraterritorial reach to go anywhere around the world, pluck any journalist who’s publishing information they don’t like, and bring them to the United States. It’s hugely worrying for — not just for journalists in this jurisdiction, but any jurisdiction around the world.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Matt, you mentioned that Assange is an Australian citizen. On Wednesday, Australia’s Parliament overwhelmingly approved a motion calling for his release. Is this significant at all in terms of the course of these hearings or what might follow?

MATT KENNARD: Well, I mean, I don’t think it is, unfortunately, because we know the political pressure that has been brought on the United States government. There’s been presidents all over the world, from Lula to Petro in Colombia, and they’ve all been calling for the United States to drop this case and saying it’s a huge violation of freedom of the press, but it’s not happened. And then you’ve got civil society organizations, NGOs all around the world interested in press freedom saying that this is a huge violation of press freedom, and it’s had no impact on either party, because, of course, this indictment was first brought by the Trump administration and then carried on by the Biden administration, so this is a bipartisan consensus in Washington that they want to get Assange.

But what should protect Assange in this case, when he’s being persecuted by the political system in the United States, is an independent judiciary in Britain. Of course, that’s how we’re told it works. But, unfortunately, I believe that the U.K. judiciary has been captured by the state in this case, which is one of the surest signs of authoritarianism, and not only captured by the U.K. state, but captured by the U.S. state.

That also goes for the penal system. Why is Julian Assange in Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London? This is called “Britain’s Guantánamo.” It’s full of rapists, pedophiles, terrorists. He’s never been charged and convicted of anything other than a bail violation in the U.K. And that conviction was spent in under two years. He’s still there on remand. And it’s nearly five years he’s been there.

So, the whole thing has been irregular from the start, so I don’t hold up too much hope for the British justice system. I think that what we — where there is hope is global public opinion. And as you can hear behind me, the people on the ground are really coming out to support Julian Assange in Britain. We don’t have the support in the same way from the mainstream media or even civil society as much as it should here, but that could change the game. So, hopefully, that pressure will tell. I do believe that it may look so bad for the British justice system to not allow an appeal, that they will allow this to go forward. But we don’t know. This case has been irregular from the start.

Peter Greste -- the journalist who spent more than a year locked up in an Egyptian prison — has said the Australian government took too long to finally call for the release and return of Julian Assange.

Assange took his final appeal against extradition to the United States to the UK’s highest court this week -- a last bid to stop him from being sent across the Atlantic to face espionage charges.

[. . .]

Now, Mr Greste is a professor of journalism and executive director of the Alliance for Journalist’s Freedom.

On this week’s episode of ‘Court in the Act’, he explained why Assange should be released from prison and allowed back to Australia – while also saying he still does not believe some of the 52-year-old’s actions were journalism.

“Even if I disagree with the way that he handled information, even if I think it’s not journalism — the way that the US government is using the Espionage Act to come after Julian for publishing the information that he did has serious implications for journalists,” Mr Greste said.

“It sets a very, very dangerous precedent that can be used against legitimate news organisations and legitimate journalists.

“It’s very difficult to have a sensible conversation about Julian Assange because everybody wants to push him into either of those camps. A hero or villain.

“It’s not just possible but important to hold those two contradictory truths together and recognise that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.”

Moving over to Jeffrey St. Clair's weekly column for COUNTERPUNCH where he notes one of the most embarrassing figures of the US government -- blood thirsty Nancy Pelosi:

+ Tim Sebastian: “You go on supplying them [Israel] with hardware to do these things, you own this operation every bit as much as they do, don’t you?”

Nancy Pelosi: “No, we don’t. We don’t…there’s nothing that we have sent since Oct. 7 that has contributed to this brutality.”

+ Pelosi comes off as ancient under Tim Sebastian’s questioning: she’s confused, arrogant and ignorant of basic history. But consider this: by the time Pelosi entered Congress in 1987, Joe Biden had been serving in the Senate for 15 years!

+ The compulsion to lie when literally everyone knows you are lying is the defining political pathology of our time…

+ As Pelosi continues to write her own dubious political obituary, consider that for nearly two years of increasing tensions, the Pentagon didn’t have direct communications with the Chinese military, after Pelosi’s provocative trip to Taiwan in 2022. The hotline was only recently restored.

+ As I wrote in my Gaza Diary last week, Israel is committing war crimes so brazen & outrageous that no one had even thought of legislating against them. What’s more, almost every act of this war can be independently documented, often in real time. The entire war is a crime.

Yesterday, the United Nations Security Council was briefed on conditions in Gaza.  The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland delivered testimony that included:

 As we approach 140 days of devastating war, there is still no end in sight.

No end to the trauma of those impacted by the horrors unleashed on 7 October.

No end to the suffering and desperation of the people in Gaza.

No end to the regional turmoil.

I was in Gaza this week to see first-hand the unfolding tragedy and to meet with our tireless and brave teams on the ground who face impossible challenges to deliver life-saving assistance to Palestinian civilians in the Strip. What I saw was shocking and unsustainable.

I am deeply concerned about a possible full-scale Israeli military operation in the densely populated Rafah area, where some 1.4 million Palestinians are sheltering and where we have the only points of entry of humanitarian goods.

I cannot stress enough how urgently we need a deal that will bring about a humanitarian ceasefire and the release of hostages. I reiterate my call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and for a humanitarian ceasefire.

In the meantime, I will continue to urge all concerned – including Israeli authorities - to address the key impediments to our humanitarian response on the ground. We need more safety measures, greater security and the tools and access points to scale up aid, particularly in the north of the Strip.

I am also continuing my extensive engagements in the region and internationally, to both support all efforts toward a ceasefire and bring about a more common understanding and coordinated approach to addressing the complex humanitarian, security and political crises affecting not only Gaza, but the whole of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel and the region.

I am convinced that there is no time to lose in laying the framework for Gaza’s recovery and for a long-term political resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including by advancing meaningful, irreversible steps towards a two-State solution.  

Madam President,

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, from 18 January through 16 February, 4,327 Palestinians were killed and over 7,000 injured in fighting and Israeli operations in the Strip, bringing the total Palestinian fatalities in the war to more than 28,000, many women and children.

The IDF has said that over 10,000 Palestinian fatalities are militants.

In addition to the approximately 1,200 fatalities on 7 October in Israel, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported 235 security forces personnel killed in Gaza since ground operations began. Of the 253 hostages kidnapped on 7 October, some 134 are believed to be still held hostage by Hamas, 112 have been freed, and 11 bodies recovered.

160 UN staff have been killed in Gaza – the largest single loss of life in the history of the Organization.

Madam President,

Battles have continued across Gaza, including a campaign in Khan Younis that began in late January and, more recently, intensified airstrikes in the densely populated Rafah area.

Hospitals, schools and other protected sites continue to be severely impacted by military operations. l, albeit at reduced frequency and range. 

On their news page, the UN notes:

Also briefing the Council was Christopher Lockyear, Secretary General, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders.

Fearful of further deadly Israeli attacks, he said he was “appalled” by the United States’ repeated use of its veto power to obstruct efforts to adopt the most evident of resolutions: one demanding an immediate ceasefire.

“We live in fear of a ground invasion” in Rafah, he said.

Calling Washington’s new proposed draft resolution “misleading at best”, he said the Council should reject any resolution “that further hampers humanitarian efforts on the ground and leads this Council to tacitly endorse the continued violence and mass atrocities in Gaza”.

“Attacks on healthcare is an attack against humanity,” he said, noting that while Israel claims Hamas is operating in hospitals, “we have seen no independently verified evidence of this.”

Not 48 hours ago, Israeli shelling and gunfire killed and injured MSF staff and their families in Khan Younis, despite notification to the warring parties of the location, which was marked with an MSF flag, he said, recalling that some were trapped in the burning building, which active shooting delayed ambulances from reaching them in what has become an “all too familiar” pattern of Israeli forces raiding hospitals, bulldozing MSF vehicles and attacking its convoys.

“This pattern of attacks is either intentional or indicative of reckless incompetence,” he said, adding that his colleagues in Gaza are fearful that as he speaks to the Council today, they will be punished tomorrow.

“The laws and the principles we collectively depend on to enable humanitarian assistance are now eroded to the point of becoming meaningless,” he said.

In the face of killings and maiming of aid workers, “the humanitarian response in Gaza today is an illusion,” he said, adding that efforts to provide aid are “haphazard, opportunistic, and entirely inadequate”.

“How can we deliver lifesaving aid in an environment where the distinction between civilians and combatants is disregarded?” he asked, adding that his teams are exhausted. “Calls for more humanitarian assistance have echoed across this Chamber, yet in Gaza we have less and less each day – less space, less medicine, less food, less water, less safety.”

Since 7 October, MSF has been forced to evacuate nine health facilities, and medical teams have added a new acronym to their vocabulary – “W.C.N.S.F., Wounded Child, No Surviving Family”, he said.

Citing a new draft resolution being negotiated by the US he said that Gazans "need a ceasefire not when ‘practicable’, but now". “They need a sustained ceasefire, not a ‘temporary period of calm’. Anything short of this is gross negligence.”

And yet Gaza remains under assault. Day 140  of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse." NBC NEWS notes, "More than 29,500 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 69,400 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead." Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."   

On Thursday, at least 40 people were killed and scores wounded by Israeli attacks in Gaza’s Deir al-Balah that flattened houses.

One attack on a tent by an Apache warplane killed two and injured many members of the al-Ramlawi family who were seeking shelter in the west of Deir al-Balah.

“My cousin, who lost his daughter, [woke up to the] horrors, with the sound of the Apache warplane getting louder and louder,” said Hassan Al-Ramlawi, 33, one of the family members.

“It’s just a tent. They are displaced and evacuated from the north here to seek refuge. They were sleeping. Why were they attacked? Even in tents, we are not safe.”

Also on Thursday, the G-20 held the first of a two-day meeting.  During the meeting Gaza -- and the US veto this week of a cease-fire (their third on the Security Council) -- was raised.  John Hudson (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, the host of this year’s annual Group of 20 gathering, began the meeting by decrying the “paralysis” at the U.N. Security Council, where Washington vetoed a third resolution for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza this week.

“This state of inaction results in the loss of innocent lives,” Vieira said.

The top diplomats at the gathering, which included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, offered their views on various geopolitical issues in a session that was closed to the media so officials could express themselves more candidly.

But by mistake, a small group of journalists, including from The Washington Post, were able to listen in on the session because the audio headsets continued broadcasting the remarks, unbeknownst to the Brazilian hosts.

Australia, a close ally of the United States, supported an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and strongly warned about the “further devastation” that could result from Israel’s announced military campaign in the southern city of Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter.

“We say again to Israel — do not go down this path,” said Australia’s representative, Katy Gallagher. “This would be unjustifiable.”

South Africa, which has accused Israel of carrying out a genocide in Gaza, a charge Israel strenuously denies, said world leaders have “allowed impunity to hold sway.”

“We have failed the people of Palestine,” said Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s minister of international relations and cooperation.

This is an excerpt from a full story.

We've got another topic before we wind down this morning.

In a world of stupidity, the US can't afford to be any more fact-free or any more hateful.

Which is one of the main reasons we can't afford Robert F. Kennedy Jr as a president.  He persists in his vanity campaign.  Two states and . . . counting?  He's got what, about eight months before the election.  And he does realize that the states have cut offs, right?  They're not waiting until November to determine whether or not you're on their state ballot.  Time's ticking for Junior.

Does he not grasp time?  David Bowie sang, "Time may change me but I can't change time."  Junior thinks he can.  How else to explain his current and ongoing (through February 29th) "Presidents' Day Auction."  It's a limited edition auction.  He must be saving the sweat-soaked t-shirts and briefs that he's worn for his OnlyFans account and instead if offering such 'winners' as $750 for a photo -- a photo! -- of Kelly Slater and Junior getting ready to surf!  You know Kelly Slater, right? The surfer big in the 90s who's bald now and 52 years old.  Yeah, 75 cents would be too much to bid for that photo.  But, quick before Presidents Day ends on last Monday that already passed, bid! Bid! For Presidents Day -- every day must be Presidents Day! -- bid.

Junior's in the news and let's expose his sexism yet again:

During an event, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was asked about the issue of transgender athletes competing in sports.

Kennedy stated he does not think biological males should be allowed to compete against women in consequential sports where scholarships or careers are at stake, as it would not be fair.


Am I the only one aware that trans men (women who have or are transitioning to men) are competing in boxing and football and other sports.   And yet Junior and the other hate merchants aren't up in arms over that.  What is this obsession with male to female transition?

Hmm.  What could it be?

The patriarchy's fear of -- and hatred for -- the feminine?

It's protected tom boys for years.  Society says they're cute -- to a point and to a certain age -- but the same society says that boys who are feminine should get the s**t kicked out of them.  That's the school Junior's from so don't think he's about helping women.  He's not.  He sees males who transition to female as gender traitors who are doing the most horrific thing in the world -- celebrating womanhood.  

I think Junior made more since when he was shooting up heroin. Maybe he's back on it?  That would be a better excuse than sexism to hide behind when trying to explain why male to female trans shouldn't be allowed to compete but he has nothing to say about female to male trans persons competing.  It's not really about 'safety' or 'fairness,' it's about his hatred of feminine males that was ingrained decades ago and which he wrongly now aims at women -- transgender women are women, Junior.

The death of a non-binary 16-year-old in Oklahoma has left LGBTQ+ Americans overwhelmed by anger and grief this week.

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old non-binary student, died on 8 February after a “physical altercation” with classmates in their high school bathroom, according to a statement by local law enforcement on 21 February.
In a statement on the school’s website, school officials said: “Students were in the restroom for less than two minutes and the physical altercation was broken up by other students who were present in the restroom at the time, along with a staff member who was supervising outside of the restroom.”

Hmm.  What happened to the students who beat Nex up?  We know what happened to Nex.  The school punished Nex.  What happened to the students who beat Nex up?

B-b-b-but Nex might not have died from the attack.  Nex might not.  Nex might have.  As Marcia notes in "," doesn't matter, there is no bullying allowed.  Best case scenario for the bullies, the attack didn't kill Nex.  But they still attacked and assaulted.  And, sorry, but "We didn't kill Nex, we just made Nex's second to last day on earth miserable with our bullying"?  That's really not the get-out-of-jail card that they hope it is.  As Marcia noted last night:

What was done to Nex was outrageous.  And before someone says "[Nex] didn't die from the bullying!" We don't know.  But we do know the bullying was wrong and we do know everyone took part in it should be punished.  NBC NEWS reports:

Authorities in Oklahoma will release video from inside the school where the family of an LGBTQ student said the teen was attacked and assaulted in a bathroom one day before their death, police said Wednesday.

Hallway cameras inside Owasso High School West Campus show the student, Nex Benedict, before and after the Feb. 7 fight, Owasso Police Department spokesman Nick Boatman told NBC News.

Boatman said investigators have reviewed the video and will release it “at some point.” He did not provide additional details about what the video shows.

And it doesn't require someone being killed to insist that the children are protected from bullying.  And if you're an adult now but were bullied in school by a teacher, principal, coach, whatever, I think you should consider suing.  That is awful that it happened during the 70s (I saw it some).  And if, even for 30 seconds, it frightens that adult to learn you've filed a lawsuit against them, I say that's a win.  Even if it doesn't go to court.  Just striking some fear into that abuser is something. 

Back to the article:

Notably, Sue Benedict said in an interview with the Independent that her child had started to be bullied by other students last fall. The bullying began shortly after the Oklahoma governor, Kevin Stitt, signed a bill that prohibits transgender public school students from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

“I said ‘you’ve got to be strong and look the other way, because these people don’t know who you are’,” she told the publication. “I didn’t know how bad it had gotten.”

Stitt offered his condolences to Nex’s family in a statement on Wednesday, calling it “a tragedy” and said that “bullies must be held accountable”. The statement seemed hollow to LGBTQ+ people across Oklahoma – several of whom told the Guardian this week that their state has become increasingly hostile towards transgender and non-binary people.

“This is a direct result of hateful rhetoric about two-spirit and LGBTQ people,” said Sarah Adams, a two-spirit member of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. Two-spirit is a contemporary term used by many Indigenous cultures to describe a person who lives outside the gender binary of male and female.

[. . .]

Oklahoma lawmakers have proposed more than 50 anti-LGBTQ+ laws in 2024 alone, more than any other state this year, according to the ACLU. In 2022, Oklahoma became the first state to enact an explicit ban on non-binary gender markers on birth certificates.

Just two weeks before Nex’s death, the Oklahoma’s schools superintendent, Ryan Walters, appointed the far-right social media influencer Chaya Raichik to the state committee that reviews the appropriateness of school library content. Raichik runs Libs of TikTok, an anti-LGBTQ+ social media account.

In a video released by the Oklahoma department of education last year, Walters described trans children as a danger to their classmates who put “our girls in jeopardy”.

Oh, look at that, male to female trans persons put -- according to Walters -- "our girls in jeopardy."  But, again, female to male trans persons aren't noted.  There's a word that I don't use but that needs to be noted here because it will clarify what I'm talking about if anyone isn't getting it.  Prissy.  The term rhymes with prissy.  Again, tom boy is not demonized in our patriarchal culture; however, that word that rhymes with prissy is about demonizing.  And, again, it exists because the male 'gender traitor' is to be demonized in our climate and it's been that way forever and a day.  Feminism is -- and has always been -- about debunking and burying these sexist gender constructs.  Nex claimed both -- that's what two spirits is about and I'm curious as to whether Nex is someone who studied Native American culture as an outsider or as someone who was Native American.  (Curious, it doesn't change what Nex embraced.)  There are more than two genders.  I get that if you're 

The basics of the story are ugly, but we cannot look away, because this is what we have become: a country that wages a one-sided legislative war against trans kids. We are a country where Benedict was bullied for being nonbinary. We are a country where on February 7, Benedict was beaten with a trans friend in a bathroom, and the adult on bathroom duty did nothing for two minutes before stepping in. We are a country where the school administrators, instead of calling an ambulance or the police as Sue Benedict wanted, was sent home with a two-week suspension for “fighting.” Sue took Nex Benedict to the hospital with a badly bruised and scratched face, the back of their head hurt from hitting the bathroom floor, but the hospital quickly discharged them. The next morning, they collapsed and died.

But school officials aren’t the only people who failed Benedict. Libs of TikTok fascist and far-right social media influencer Chaya Raichik hounded a beloved teacher who supported Benedict at Owasso High School out of his job through her heavily edited viral videos. The superintendent of public schools Ryan Walters appointed Raichik, a former New York real estate agent, to the state of Oklahoma’s library advisory committee. Walters has refused to comment on the beating death of one of his students, as if Benedict did not exist. (Since Benedict’s death, he has found time to post worshipful thoughts about Donald Trump.)

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