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.)

The following sites updated:

Friday, February 23, 2024

Marjorie Taylor Greene is addicted to hate

 I saw headlines about this story yesterday:

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia faced significant criticism after making disparaging remarks about Admiral Rachel Levine, a transgender federal official.

Levine, the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the U.S. Senate, was targeted by Greene’s comments, sparking backlash online.

Admiral Rachel Levine, serving as the United States assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been a prominent advocate for gender-affirming care.

Confirmed in 2021, Levine’s appointment marked a significant milestone in transgender representation in federal leadership.

In response to a video featuring Admiral Levine discussing climate change’s impact on the Black community, Greene criticized Levine’s gender identity, misgendering her and dismissing her expertise.

Greene’s remarks on social media drew swift condemnation from various quarters.

I didn't blog about it yesterday because I thought this was from Marjorie Taylor Greene did this before.  Back in November 2023.  I didn't realize this was new.  Rachel is a woman who served her country.  At the end of the day, Marjorie's the woman who supported insurrectionists and called them 'patriots.'  I'll stand with Rachel, thank you very much.

As for Marjorie, since noticing those hairy upper arms, I just can't not see them.  Do you think that's why she's so hateful to other women?  That she hates on, for example, Rachel because she feels she has to prove something to the world since she clearly has a lot of testosterone in her system?  Is that why she refuses to recognize how fluid gender is and how it's not -- in the world of science -- the dual construct she insists upon pimping?

If we look at people with mental illness, a lot of them are prone to projection.  

In better news, Melissa Manchester and Dolly Parton have teamed up on a cover of Melissa's hit "Midnight Blue."

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, February 22, 2024.  Gaza death toll nears 30,000, Israel military lawyers warns of possible criminal prosecution for IDF forces, the Israeli government destroys a mosque, hate merchants in the US continue their attacks, and much more.

Starting with this: 18-year-old Jack Johnson of Louisiana arrested for murder.  Police were called to the Benton, LA home of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson's earlier this morning when a screaming woman phoned to report a homicide.  When they arrived on the premises, the screaming woman turned out to be a very high strung Speaker Johnson who had discovered his son in an exhausted state of bliss, the younger Johnson having just jerked off.   "All of those children! Dead!" wailed the Speaker as he waved his son's still damp cum rag in the faces of the responding officers.  

That is where Alabama's latest nonsense leads, right?  Hannah Irvine (FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION) reports:

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that embryos outside of the womb qualify as human beings in a ruling that further thwarts reproductive freedom in the state. In the 131 page opinion Alabama judges quoted the Bible and listened to complicated theoretical legal arguments before ultimately coming to the 7-2 decision. 

The case comes after two Alabama couples pursuing IVF sued the Alabama Mobile Infirmary Medical Centre after a patient was able to break into the hospital’s cryogenic facility and subsequently dropped two embryos. The embryos at this stage have been chosen as suitable for possible transfer into the uterus. Even though they have passed this hurdle, they are still 50% likely to fail when transferred. 

The two plaintiffs filed their complaints under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The judges used this act as the legal basis for their decision, citing that the “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies on its face to all unborn children, without limitation.” This landmark ruling not only is a clear product of a pro-life agenda strengthened by religious propaganda but also serves as a reminder of the strict grip that Alabama lawmakers want to have over reproductive health in the state. 

This ruling further tightens abortion regulations and it will also serve as a barrier to the people of Alabama who wish to go through the IVF process. Hospitals view the ruling as a huge risk, making it almost impossible to run an IVF clinic without the constant fear of causing a “death.” One thing is clear – the state of Alabama has offered women yet another haunting warning, they can and will take control of their reproductive rights as they see fit.

The idiots of the Alabama court are trying to destroy reproductive rights.  It never ends for them.  These nut jobs live on the slippery slope.  

In fact, here's footage of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito trying to use that slope to further erode equal rights.

I wasn't the only one rooting for the crocodile to catch Alito, was I?

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito attempted an “I told you so” on Tuesday when he criticized a judge’s dismissal of potential jurors in a workplace discrimination case because they believed homosexuality is a sin.

Alito said that’s exactly the type of outcome he warned against when, against his objections, the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

Alito said he’d anticipated that Americans would be labeled as bigots unless they hid their traditional religious beliefs about “homosexual conduct.”

Was that his inner voice warning him or just the ravings from a syphilis plagued mind?

All Alito wants is to live in a world where he can be a bigot but not get called one.  Is that so wrong?

Yeah, it is.  You're lying, hypocritical ass is so wrong and so disgusting.

Alito, please note, voted for Lori Davis.  He said that 'religious' people -- homophobes -- could refuse to do work for gay people.  Now he says that homophobes should be allowed to sit on a jury to rule as to whether or not LGBTQ+ rights have been broken.  Does no one else the blatant hypocrisy?

It's about time -- damn time -- that someone explained to Alito that freedom of religion in the US included freedom FROM religion.  

He's an evil man and hopefully he will die soon.  Maybe he'll break his neck rushing down one of those slippery slopes. The world will be a better place with one less bigot.

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old Oklahoma high school sophomore, was beaten by three girl classmates in the bathroom of Owasso High School on Feb. 7. On Feb. 8, Nex – who identified within the Two Spirit, transgender, and gender nonconforming (2STGNC) umbrella – was declared dead at the hospital.

Now LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are mourning the loss of a straight-A student, a Minecraft fan, and animal lover – a teenager – in a school district previously targeted by Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik; Raichik now sits on the statewide library advisory board. In 2023, Oklahoma censured the state’s only nonbinary representative — not to mention signing into law a bill forcing public school students to use the bathroom associated with their gender assigned at birth; advocates are currently closely watching several anti-trans pieces of legislation.

Before Benedict’s name was made public, a source who claimed to be the mother of Benedict’s best friend told a local outlet the cause of death was “complications from brain trauma,” and that “three older girls were beating the victim and her daughter in the girl’s bathroom.” (We are not linking because the story uses Benedict’s deadname. According to Freedom Oklahoma, it’s not presently clear which pronouns Benedict used, so this story will refrain from using pronouns for Nex.) The anonymous source also alleged that Benedict couldn’t “walk to the nurses’ station” without assistance and that the school did not call an ambulance, while the school claims they were unaware of the fight until informed by a parent; on Feb. 20, the school backtracked, acknowledging that students saw the school nurse after the fight.

Texts allegedly sent by Nex after the fight to a family member, published by an Owasso Fox affiliate on the 20th, began, “I got jumped at school 3 on 1 had to go to the ER… They had been bullying me and my friends and I got tired of it so I poured some water on them and all 3 came after me. School did not report to the police and is probably getting sued [redacted].”

Benedict’s grandmother Sue, who also adopted Nex, brought Nex to the hospital after the fight, then home again; the next day, Nex was brought back to the hospital and was pronounced dead. Sue told The Independent that Nex was suspended for two weeks from school on the day of the fight; Sue also mentioned that Nex had been bullied throughout this school year.

“Nex did not see themselves as male or female. Nex saw themselves right down the middle. I was still learning about it, Nex was teaching me that,” Benedict told The Independent. “I was so proud of Nex. They were going some place, they were so free.”

Multiple outlets and individuals, including Oklahoma newscaster Wendy Suarez, as well as Freedom Oklahoma, the state’s LGBTQ+ advocacy org, connected Benedict’s death to the appointment of Raichik, who’s been accused of “stochastic terrorism," to the state’s “Library Media Advisory Committee” in January by the state’s Secretary of Public Instruction, Ryan Walters. According to the Independent, a “teacher who Nex had greatly admired” resigned in 2022 after Raichik targeted them on social media. Raichik has denied any responsibility in Benedict’s death, and has instead misgendered Nex repeatedly in social posts. As for Walters, in a 2023 video released by the Oklahoma Department of Education, he utilized transphobic rhetoric. He has also banned students from changing their gender on school records.

Last week, in Iraq, a blogger was murdered:

A trans blogger, known as “Simsim”, has been killed in the Al-Qadisiyah governorate of Iraq, a security source has said. 
The blogger was killed by unknown assailants, the source told Iraqi publication Shafaq News. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed several times, near the mural roundabout in the centre of the city of Diwaniyah.

So these lunatics think what?  That when they die, they'll meet their maker and their savior is going to high five them for killing an LGBTQ+ person?  They're as sick as the people who flew the planes into the Twin Towers.  

And sick minds are the reason for the continued assault on Gaza.  This morning ALJAZEERA reports:

The Israeli military’s top lawyer has issued an unprecedented warning to troops against “improper conduct” in Gaza which includes the unjustified use of force and looting among other “criminal” actions.

Major-General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, the military advocate general, issued the warning in a letter on Wednesday, as reported by the Haaretz newspaper, saying it was “difficult to exaggerate” the “severity” of the soldiers’ actions over nearly five months of the war.

They should be very worried about facing charges.  War Crimes are being carried out. Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

  Israeli airstrikes on the severely overcrowded Gaza city of Rafah on Thursday destroyed a mosque and several houses as the leaders of aid groups and key United Nations agencies issued their latest warning over deteriorating humanitarian conditions across the Palestinian territory.

Reutersreported that Rafah residents described the latest flurry of Israeli attacks as "one of their worst nights yet."

"Mourners wailed over at least seven corpses in body bags, laid out on cobbles outside a morgue in the city," the outlet reported. "Gaza health authorities said 97 people were confirmed killed and 130 wounded in the last 24 hours of Israeli assaults, but most victims were still under rubble or in areas rescuers could not reach. The al-Farouk mosque in the center of Rafah was flattened into slabs of concrete, the facades of adjacent buildings blasted away."

Rafah is currently home to around 1.5 million people, most of whom fled to the small city from elsewhere in the Gaza Strip to escape Israeli bombs and ground forces—only to face airstrikes and the threat of a ground assault not long after arriving. Starvation and disease are spreading rapidly in the city, which rests near Gaza's border with Egypt. 

Last night, Mike noted US President Joe Biden's refusal to demand a cease-fire, "A cease-fire now is the only answer -- right now.  If Joe's too senile to grasp that, he doesn't deserve a second term.  If he just doesn't care about Palestinians, he doesn't deserve a second term."

Joe's inability to find a spine was debated on yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

The United States on Tuesday vetoed a widely supported Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The vote was 13 to 1 in favor of the resolution, with the United Kingdom abstaining. It marked the third time the U.S. has vetoed a Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. The vote came a day after the U.S. circulated a rival resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all Israeli hostages.

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza over the past four-and-a-half months, with thousands more missing and presumed dead under the rubble. Nearly 70,000 people have been wounded. Eighty percent of Gaza’s population has been displaced, while a humanitarian crisis continues to worsen, with a quarter of Palestinians in Gaza facing starvation.

The Biden administration’s support for Israel in its assault on Gaza has come under fierce criticism both around the world and here at home. In Michigan, which is a key battleground state, home to one of the largest Arab American populations in the country, a campaign is growing to vote “uncommitted” in next week’s Democratic primary in protest of President’s Biden’s policies backing Israel.

For more, we’re joined by two guests. Michigan state Representative Abraham Aiyash is the Michigan House majority floor leader, the second-ranking Democrat in the Michigan House. Representative Aiyash was among several Arab and Muslim leaders who met with Biden officials in Dearborn last week, after refusing to meet with Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez. He’s also joined more than 40 other Michigan elected officials in pledging to cast a vote for “uncommitted” in Michigan’s February 27th primary. He’s joining us from Detroit. Joining us from Washington, D.C., on his way to Michigan, is Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna. He’s the deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is going to Michigan tomorrow to meet with Muslim and Arab American leaders in the state.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Abraham Aiyash, let’s begin with you. What are you demanding — as the Michigan House majority floor leader, what are you demanding of the Biden administration? You don’t usually take such stands against your own party, but right now the Democratic Party is really dealing with enormous pressure at this point. Can you talk about what you want to see happen?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: Look, I think our demands are simple. We just don’t want our government, our country to support, to aid, to abet any operation that kills innocent men, women and children. It is not a radical idea for us to suggest that the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world should not be funding what we see as a genocide, that we have seen nearly 30,000 dead Palestinians at the hands of the U.S.-funded Israeli missiles and bombs, and we want our leadership to not engage in that type of moral failure and that degenerative act that does not dignify the humanity of the Palestinian people. So, you know, more than anything, we’re not standing against anyone, but we’re simply reaffirming our stance for humanity and for the basic tenets of human rights, which says it is not a crazy concept that we should not be supporting any effort that is killing any innocent person in the world, especially to the magnitude that we’ve seen in Gaza, where more people have died in this conflict than any war since World War II, which is just a devastating toll.

And we’re hoping to exercise our right. We’re going to use the ballot box on February 27th to show that we are going to not support any effort that is supporting a genocide and that we’re going to stand firm and, hopefully, allow this administration to change course before the November election.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, I wanted to ask Congressman Ro Khanna, who’s with us, as well — you’ve said that, for example, that President Trump is too dangerous to not support President — I mean, former President Trump is too dangerous to not support President Biden. Your response to those Democrats who cannot in good conscience vote for President Biden, at least in this primary?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, first of all, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Representative Aiyash, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in Michigan. I do believe the administration needs to change course in foreign policy in the Middle East in order to gain the trust of people who we have lost. You can’t just meet with the Muslim American or Arab American community and then veto in the United Nations a resolution calling for a ceasefire and, by the way, an unconditional release of the hostages. This is the third time we have vetoed that. It is hurting our moral standing. It is hurting our commitment to human rights. And it is not giving confidence to people that you’re hearing them and changing course.

So, my hope is, in my meetings with Representative Aiyash and others, that we can come up with a strategy that helps change course in the Middle East so we get a permanent ceasefire, so we have a release of the hostages, so we get aid into Gaza, and we have more peace and justice in the region.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Representative Aiyash, I wanted to ask you about the meeting you had with Biden officials earlier this month in Dearborn. What did you get out of those talks?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: We were firm in reiterating our points. We want to see an immediate, permanent ceasefire. We want to see humanitarian aid delivered to the people of Gaza through entities like UNRWA. And we want to see restrictions and conditions on the aid that is sent to Israel. You know, it is unfathomable that we just send a blank check with no conditions to a country that has violated human rights, that has violated international law over and over and over again.

And we reminded the administration that, one, they showed up 124 days into this conflict. They visited a state that happens to be the swing state. So, we are not seeing the level of support. We’re not seeing the level of concern that our communities have demonstrated for months. And we reiterated those messages once again.

And unfortunately, just four days after that meeting, we saw the Netanyahu regime did one of the worst attacks on the Rafah region, and the United States still did not put the type of pressure on that regime to stop these heinous acts.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask Congressmember Khanna: Do you think the Biden administration made a mistake in vetoing yet another ceasefire resolution? And I want to go a little further. Right after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations issued that veto, President Biden was in Los Angeles at a fundraiser. He was attending a high-dollar fundraiser with the media mogul Haim Saban, well-known Democratic, pro-Israel billionaire. The dinner — the meeting was at, what, $3,300, to cost as much as $250,000. I’m looking at a piece now in Common Dreams. Your thoughts on this and on President Biden continually saying he’s putting enormous pressure privately on Netanyahu, yet their private acts continue to be against the kind of ceasefire that was put forward and vetoed at the United Nations?

REP. RO KHANNA: It was a mistake to veto the United Nations resolution. At the very least, we could have abstained. I mean, you have 15 countries on that Security Council. Thirteen of them are voting for a resolution for a permanent ceasefire and the release of all hostages, which is the sentiment not just in the world, it’s the sentiment about the majority of American people. And we are the lone “no” vote in the global community. It is hurting America’s standing in the world, especially an administration that is committed to multilateralism and rebuilding international institutions. What does this say about the credibility of the U.N. if we aren’t going to participate in those institutions?

The other issue is that I appreciate that there has been some movement in the administration because of many of us in Congress who have called for a permanent ceasefire, who have called for the humanitarian aid to Gaza. There has been movement in recognizing the value and dignity of Palestinian lives and the humanitarian concerns. But now we need action. There needs to be clear consequences to Netanyahu and his very far right-wing government. I mean, people in his government are way to the right of Donald Trump, and that is important to understand, people like Ben-Gvir. It needs to be clear to Bibi: He can’t go into Rafah. Our secretary of defense doesn’t want it. Our president doesn’t want it. Who is he to defy the United States of America and then expect us to continue to provide military aid to do that? So we need to be very, very clear of the consequences, and that is not what has happened so far.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Representative Aiyash, I wanted to ask you —— in December, you embarked on a hunger strike and joined a demonstration outside the White House to call for a ceasefire. Why is this issue so deeply personal to you?

REP. ABRAHAM AIYASH: Look, my chief of staff [inaudible] — her two aunts were one of the victims of the Nakba. And I remember her telling me the story where her father and his two sisters walked across the Jordan Valley, only for the two aunts to pass away from dehydration. You know, there is a real pain and a real history behind the dehumanization of the Palestinian people.

And we’ve seen people all across this country stand up and say our country should not be looking by while all these innocent men, women and children are suffering at the hands of a right-wing regime that, Congressman Khanna mentioned, that we are funding. You know, if you look at the facts, a majority of Americans — 80% of Democrats support a ceasefire. Over 60% of Americans support a ceasefire. Yet we see a majority of Congress and this White House just seem to ignore the will of the American people. You know, that is just a uniquely un-American concept, when you have folks for months who have protested, folks for months who have stood up and said, “We demand that our country lead with moral conviction and say that no innocent man, woman and child should be murdered at the hands of U.S. weaponry,” and our leaders just seem to ignore it.

And I’m grateful for leaders like Congressman Khanna, who has stood firmly in supporting human rights, who stood firmly in saying that Palestinians deserve just as much dignity as the Ukrainians, as the Israelis, as anyone in this world. But to see our leaders continue to ignore the will of the American people is extremely disheartening. And, you know, that is why this issue is so important for so many people across this country, because it is a reminder that we are going to continue to fight for our democracy and continue to fight for democratic values and ideals, and it is through things like voting “uncommitted” and continuing to organize and protest for peace all across the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Khanna, you said there needs to be consequences to affect Israeli policy. Do you think that the U.S. should cut off military aid to Israel, to Prime Minister Netanyahu, for what they’re doing in Gaza right now? And if you can talk about the big meeting you’re going to have tomorrow evening with Rashida Tlaib, the “Take Back Our Power” campaign, Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of the U.S. Congress?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, I voted “no” on the blank check, $17 million of unrestricted money to Israel, just a week or two ago. And I certainly don’t think we should be giving them more of the precision missiles, which would go to attack people in Rafah. I don’t see how we can bypass Congress, which has been happening, to provide offensive military weapons to undertake strikes that our own government is saying should not happen.

Let me just say this: I’m really looking forward, first, to meeting people like Representative Aiyash and other Arab American, Muslim American leaders. He is not just a representative. He is the leader in the Michigan House. He’s going to be a future governor, a future senator, a future member of Congress. And this is the point. The coalition of the modern Democratic Party is not the coalition of 1972. It is a coalition that includes young people, progressives, Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, young folks. The AME Black church has come out for a ceasefire. And we better wake up to that fact, because the future of the Democratic Party is going to demand justice for two states, a Palestinian state living side by side with the Israeli state, and is going to demand concrete actions for a ceasefire and recognizing the humanity of both Palestinians and Israelis. The conversation with Rashida Tlaib is one about electricity and power and justice on that, though I’m sure other topics will come up at that town hall.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you both for being with us, California Congressmember Ro Khanna, headed to Michigan tomorrow, and Abraham Aiyash, speaking to us from Detroit, the Michigan House majority floor leader. The Michigan primary is February 27 — that’s next week — in Michigan.

When we come back, leaders at this years’s African Union Summit condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza. We’ll get the latest and also hear decisions they made around Sudan, around the Democratic Republic of Congo and more. Stay with us.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 139 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 29,400 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."   

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Jim Jordan Has More Free Time" went up last night.  The following sites updated: