Saturday, December 31, 2022

Mike picks The Idiot of 2022

Mike looks back at 2022 to name the idiot of the year.

Idiot of 2022

Joe Biden?  Joe didn't have a great year.  But he does deserve some credit for a few things -- such as The Respect for Marriage Act. And there's also the fact that making errors because you're senile isn't the same as doing it because you're stupid.  Looking back over all the idiots of the week this year, I see that one idiot stood out.

The loser is . . . Scott Ritter.  

For those who don't know Scotty Ritter Jr., he's not just best buddies with Danny Haiphong, Jimmy Dore and others, know Scott Ritter Jr is also a convicted and registered sex offender.  Danny always forgets to include that detail when bringing him on as a guest for LEFT LENS.

Hey, do you think Danny's a child molester as well?  Is that why he loves talking to Scott?  You gotta wonder.  I've got a daughter.  That shouldn't matter.  I wouldn't hang with Scott Ritter if I didn't have a kid.  He's a convicted sex offender.  Arrested multiple times.  Finally, when Barack was president, he got arrested and he got prosecuted.  Prior to that, he had friends pull strings so he got probation and files got locked away.

Scott Ritter Jr. is a 61-year-old obsessed with underage girls.

He was convicted of trying to have sex with an underage girl (who turned out to be a police officer) and put in prison for it.  He is now a registered sex offender.

And this year, he thought he could make it all go away.  Idiot.

On top of that, when people started calling him a pedophile, he started hissing and snarling, "Blood in blood out, bitch."  He made a video of himself screaming that and how he would attack anyone who called him a pedophile.

But you are a pedophile, Scotty, that's what the courts found, that's what you got convicted of.

He wants people to say it to his face.  I'm over six foot tall and I work out six days a week.  I know how to box.  I'm not scared of saying it to Scott's face but, as I've noted before, I don't think I can because I do have a young daughter and Scott's not allowed around children.



 He was found guilty and put in prison -- he cried like a little baby in court, by the way. Below, you can see him handcuffed. How long do you think it'll be before he gets arrested again?  


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

The Most Disgusting Person of 2022 (Marcia)

Marcia picks the most disgusting person of the year.

The Most Disgusting Person of 2022

I was at LGBTQ Nation reading about the disgusting US House Representative and homophobe Marjorie Taylor Greene.  And I thought, "Is she who I'd pick for The Most Disgusting Person of the year?"

Nope.  She's in government.  So the disgusting is largely a built-in feature.  I ruled out various leaders as a result.  I thought of Danny Haiphong who certainly is disgusting -- hugely disgusting -- for so many reasons -- including Black Agenda Report allowing Asian-American Danny to take over the site that the late Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon created to be a forum for Black voices.  His desire to bring on a guest -- repeatedly -- who is a convicted and registered sex offender just goes to the damage this non-Black man has done to Black Agenda Report and it does not speak well for Margaret Kimberley -- who already nudged Nellie Bailey out -- that she presides over this cesspool.

But there's someone even worse.

As I look at the world around me these days and see all the racial and homophobia hate being stirred up, this African-American lesbian realizes that no one can ever harm us as badly as we can harm ourselves.

Which is why I go with Glenn Greenwald for The Most Disgusting Person of 2022.

He has praised and defended the homophobic nut behinds Libs of Tik-Tok who just went on Glenn's best friend's show and there Tucker Carlson let her spew one homophobic remark after another.  

Glenn is not a proud gay man.  He's a masochist who wants his rights stripped away.  Apparently, his husband not being able to top him in the bedroom currently (his husband's been in the hospital for several months now) has left Glenn's hole itchy and twitchy and all he wants to do is cower at the feet of Tucker and be degraded because that's the s**t he gets off on.

Hey, you can get off on degradation and humiliation.  And I'm not even saying 'keep it in the bedroom.'  You can do it a parade or at club.  But don't take your personal kinks and your desire for them as an excuse for you to let the world abuse us.

F**k you, White boy, and the dildo you've got plugged in your uptight ass.

Your lack of self-respect does not make it easier for the LGBTQ+ community.  Not one bit.  And the cover and excuses you provide for homophobes like Tucker?  It hurts the rest of us. 

Shame on you.  Glenn Greenwald, you are The Most Disgusting Person of 2022. 

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

What album am I looking forward to most in 2023? (Elaine)

Elaine looks forward to 2023:

What album am I looking forward to most in 2023?

I don't know everything that's coming out but, on January 27th, Carly Simon's LIVE AT GRAND CENTRAL STATION is coming out.

It'll be available on CD, vinyl and BLU RAY.  I had it years ago (1995) on VHS and that's all they offered then.  Carly's HBO concert became a 1988 album (GREATEST HITS LIVE) but this special (I believe for LIFETIME TV) did not. 

The water and the sea gulls help make the HBO special a great visual treat but I thought she dressed before for the Grand Central Station concert and I also liked the song selection better for that concert ("Jesse," for example). 

The vinyl album will be two discs.  Here are the tracks:

Side A
1. Touched By The Sun
2. Anticipation
3. I’ve Got To Have You
4. We Have No Secrets

Side B
5. Haven’t Got Time For The Pain
6. Jesse
7. That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be
8. Letters Never Sent

Side C
9. Legend In Your Own Time
10. De Bat (Fly In My Face)
11. Davy
12. Halfway Around The World

Side D
13. Like A River
14. Coming Around Again
15. Let The River Run

"Touched By The Sun," "I've Got To Have You," ''We Have No Secrets," "Jesse," "That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be," "Letters Never Sent," "Legend In Your Own Time," "De Bat (Fly In My Face)," "Davy," "Halfway 'Round The World," "Like A River," "Haven't Got Time For The Pain" and "Let The River Run" are songs that she didn't perform for the HBO special (or weren't part of it -- she did two concert recordings for the HBO special).  So that's 13 live tracks of songs you can't get on her other live album (again, GREATEST HITS LIVE).

When the Grand Central concert aired (and was released on VHS), it didn't contain "Like A River," it featured only 14 song performances.  

So you get the hits "Coming Around Again" and "Anticipation" (both also performed on GREATEST HITS LIVE), and you get the hits "I've Got To Have You" (her second biggest hit in Australia -- "You're So Vain" is her biggest hit everywhere), "Jesse," "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," "Legend In Your Own Time," "Haven't Got Time For The Pain" and her Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy winning hit "Let The River Run."

Here's Carly performing "We Have No Secrets" from the Grand Central Station recording.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

17-year-old girl assaulted in Sulaimaniyah suburb

Saturday brings one big news story out of Iraq: a mass arrest following an assault.  Nik Martin (DW) reports:

Sixteen young men were arrested Saturday in Iraq's automonmous Kurdistan region after a viral video showed a teenage girl being attacked by a group of youths.

The incident took place a day earlier at a motorbike rally in the suburbs of Sulaimaniyah, the region's second city.

Footage of the attack was shared on social media, sparking widespread condemnation.

It shows dozens of young men and teenage boys following the girl before some of them assaulted her, kicking her against a car.

AFP notes that the woman attacked was 17 and "The incident took place in the suburbs of Sulaimaniyah, the Kurdistan region´s second city, where footage shared online showed dozens of young men and teenage boys following the girl before some of them assaulted her, kicking her against a car."  Holly Johnstone (THE NATIONAL) adds:'

She was reported to have been attacked after arriving at a motorcycle race where men asked that women be excluded.

While the Kurdistan Region has laws against domestic violence and is often upheld as an example of more progressive attitudes towards women, gender-based violence remains a problem.

At least 24 women were killed in such circumstances in the first half of 2022, according to a local anti-trafficking and women's rights foundation.

The “senseless assault” is the result “of a barbaric narrative used systematically against our women”, said Rewaz Faeq, the speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament, said in a post on Twitter accompanied by video of the attack.

It is New Year's Eve or already New Year 2023 depending upon what time zone you live in.

I'll be doing the year-in-review and posting it here before 6:00 am EST (hopefully and hopefully long before that).  We'll have other year in review content as usual -- both from other community sites and some new pieces to be posted here.  Isaiah has a new comic that will go up as well.

The following sites updated:


Vijay Prashad's Hopes For 2023

Ryan Grim EXPOSED as a Piece of Sh*t Tool of The Ruling Class

Black People Need to Leave The Two Party Duopoly | Stop Cop City | Nick & CJ Weekends

December Q&A - Ask Us Anything!

NY Progressives Vow to Stop Democratic Governor's Nomination of Conservative Judge to Top Court

The Progressive Democrat Award Show | 2022 Was ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE for Progressive Democrats

Lawsuit Says Kroger Management Bullied Worker Into Taking His Own Life | Breaking Points

Best Moments of 2022 | ‘The Jennifer Hudson Show’

Ending HOMELESSNESS: Panel Debates Solutions Including Free Housing, Expanded Shelters

Good news you missed in 2022

The 1975 - Being Funny In A Foreign Language (Official Live Performance)

Top Ten Protest Albums Of 2022


All That Begins Must Also End


Bioneers Newsletter

Bioneers Pulse – updates from the Bioneers Community


From the lifecycle of a human, to the fermentation of organisms, to the passing of seasons, beginnings and endings are a natural part of the world around us. These transitions can be both exciting and challenging as we adapt to new circumstances and let go of what has come before.

As we consider the beginnings and endings that shape our lives and our planet, we can also reflect on how to make the most of each moment, and how we can work toward a future that is sustainable and equitable for all. 

This week, as we all prepare for the end of 2022 and the advent of 2023, we’re sharing stories that highlight transitions and transformations.

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How Human Composting May Help Us Reimagine Death

An Interview with Katrina Spade

Architect Katrina Spade invented human composting after learning about the “mortality composting” practices used on some farms. She has worked tirelessly to bring the process to the world, first getting a human composting bill passed in Washington state, then founding Recompose, a Public Benefit Corporation based in Seattle and the world’s first human composting company. Recompose started accepting bodies for human composting in December 2020.

Read more.

How to Transform the Way You Experience Winter

Learning to Love the End of the Year

"Staying engaged with the flow of nature during winter may require extra discipline and determination.”

Yes! Magazine’s Natasha Deganello Giraudie has helped people go from viewing winter as a difficult season to one that brings delight, appreciation, and a sense of rooted thriving. In this article, she explains how restoring our relationship with nature physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is key to transforming our experience with winter.

Read more.

Bioneers 2023 Registration Opens Soon!

As we roll into our 34th annual conference, the big wheels of massive change are turning. Sign up for alerts here, and you’ll be the first to know when registration opens; plus, we’ll send you a discount code for 15% the price of your ticket.

Finding Joy in the Unknown

An Interview with Dara McAnulty

“I don’t know what the future will be, but I absolutely know that joy and the things that give us joy in this world, especially the natural world, are essential for everything.”

In this interview with Emergence Magazine, Dara McAnulty — a teenage author, naturalist, and conservationist — speaks about his identity as an autistic person, his award-winning book, and the great necessity of staying rooted in joy. Purchase his book, Diary of a Young Naturalist, here.

Listen here.

Entangled Life

An Interview with Merlin Sheldrake

Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer with a background in plant sciences, microbiology, ecology, and the history and philosophy of science. A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms. Bioneers Senior Producer J.P. Harpignies interviewed Merlin about his highly acclaimed book, Entangled Life.

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Show Off Your Work at Our 2023 Conference

For Bioneers’ 34th conference we are excited for art to play a vital, celebratory and transformational role at the conference! Our mission is to program the 2023 conference with captivating, compelling and inspiring art and we invite you to help us make this vision a reality. We are looking to show off your art in these three categories: Outdoor Art Installations & Interactive Installations, Small Indoor Installations & Sculptures, and Community Art Projects.

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6 Kickass Hilltowns for Your Bucket List


OZY    A Modern Media CompanyShare This Sh*t          December 31, 2022
The drop


It takes effort to reach Argentina’s dazzling Andean village of Iruya. But like the other five spectacular hilltowns in this list, the stunning payoff is worth the journey.


Stunning “Dead End” Destination

Nick Dall in Cape Town, South Africa

It’s been almost three hours since we left the village of Humahuaca and we’ve only covered 33 miles. The sky-blue 1970s bus is more carthorse than thoroughbred, and we chug higher and higher through the cactus-strewn quebrada. Once we reach the 13,123-foot Cruz del Condor, tedium gives way to terror as our trusty steed careens down a series of dizzying gravel switchbacks. Luckily there’s very little traffic in this forgotten corner of the Andes and we make it to our destination in one piece, más o menos (more or less).

The tiny village of Iruya in northwest Argentina is one of the best places I've ever been. The backdrop of purple, green and black sedimentary quebradas is spectacular, the hiking is out of this world and it’s also where they filmed this incredible Guinness ad.

A big chunk of Iruya’s charm comes from the fact it’s “far enough off the beaten track to be interesting,” says Stephanie van Hoeijen of Budget Bucket List. As someone who’s visited 75 countries during a decade of almost non-stop hitchhiking, she should know. “Iruya still has a fair amount of tourism,” she clarifies, “but it’s a dead end and requires a fair effort to reach. The people that decide to visit such places are, by definition, more interesting.”

Once we’ve more or less recovered from the bus ride and found a place to stay (don’t bother booking accommodation in advance — you’ll be offered loads of options as soon as you arrive), we obey the first rule of Latin American travel and make a beeline for the main plaza.

It’s a good thing we did because there, on a polished cement quadrangle overlooked by a crenelated cliff of pink and green rocks, a bunch of junior school kids are practicing a synchronized hula hooping demonstration. An abuela who has also stopped to watch tells me they’ll be performing at the town’s annual festival: a jolly commemoration of the church’s founding in 1753. (If nothing else, those missionaries should be lauded for their tenacity.) For half an hour or so we watch as a middle-aged man in a tracksuit patiently puts the children through their paces (the hula hoops spend a lot of time on the ground) before eventually giving up and letting them play soccer instead.

“Only Two Things to Do in Town”


Iruya is not your typical tourist destination. There are “only two things to do in town,” says van Hoeijen, and both involve steep hikes at high altitude. But if you’ve always wanted to travel back in time then it’s pretty hard to beat. While the town has definitely developed since the 18th century, its people still dress, eat and behave as if it were the 1950s. And, as van Hoeijen points out gleefully, it still doesn’t have high-speed internet — a major turnoff for the Instagram crowd. Being at the end of a 9,100-foot-high cul de sac makes it “feel like a bit of a hiding place from the rest of Argentina,” she adds.

After the impromptu hula hoop show and quick lunch of locro, a thick squash stew that dates back to Incan times and comes highly recommended by locals, we follow a near vertical pathway to the Mirador del Condor (Lookout of the Condor). What would be a strenuous but totally doable walk is made considerably tougher by the thinness of the air. Fortunately, the views from the top more than justify the hardship. And that’s before a majestic Andean condor has conveniently soared past the mirador that bears its name. All the David Attenborough documentaries in the world cannot prepare you for the sight of a 30-pound bird with an 11-foot wingspan flying past your nose.

(While we were more than satisfied with the views from the official mirador, for truly spectacular panoramas, van Hoeijen advises “walking straight past the sign that says ‘Forbidden for Tourists’ and going up an hour more!” But don’t say we sent you.)

The second thing to do is a full-day hike, which might be a bit beyond some readers. While the trail to the nearby town of San Isidro de Iruya is relatively flat by Andean standards, it is also fairly long — 4 miles each way — and involves a lot of river crossings (read: soggy boots). For me, this was a small price to pay for the privilege of visiting a town that, even in the 21st century, is only accessible on foot. San Isidro, population 350, was only connected to the electrical grid in 2013 — but it still has a school, a soccer field, a church and a basic eatery that served what felt at the time like the best damned chicken leg I’d ever tasted.

Iruya may only have two things to do. But here’s the thing: You don’t even have to do either of them to have a good time. I could wax philosophical about how a trip to Iruya will change your perspective and soothe your soul. Or you could follow van Hoiejen’s suggestion: “Hike every day and build campfires every night,” she advises. “And bring sufficient wine to share with all the new people you’re going to meet.”


5 Other Kickass Hill Towns


Huamachuco, Peru

Despite being the gateway to one of the “most important archeological sites in Peru,'' this 465-year-old town of 40,000 souls in the country’s far north has managed to fly blessedly under the radar. The sprawling ruins complex of Markahuamachuco is at least 1,000 years older than Machu Picchu — but on the day I visited, I had it all to myself. The nearby site of Wiracochapampa, an imposing square citadel built around A.D. 650, is also well worth checking out and the trekking in the area is top notch. Still not convinced? You might see a kangaroo …


Tam Đảo, Vietnam

The Vietnamese capital of Hanoi is a vibrant and intoxicating place but it can also be pretty full-on. The old French hill station of Tam Đảo is less than 50 miles from the madness of the city center — but its cool, forested embrace makes it feel like another planet. If you’ve got the skills, I’d advise riding out on a scooter (getting there is half the fun) but a four-wheeled automobile will also do the trick. Attractions include a 27-acre bear sanctuary that’s single-handedly taking on the illegal wildlife trade, and hikes to several nearby waterfalls. But splatting out next to the hotel pool is also permitted.


Hogsback, South Africa

While the longstanding rumors that J.R.R. Tolkien (who was born in South Africa) based Middle Earth on Hogsback’s otherworldly landscapes  probably aren’t true, it’s easy to see why they came about. You could spend years exploring the fable-filled Amathole Mountains and not run out of surprises. What’s more, the town itself has charm by the bucketload, as its spectacular location and temperate climate have made it a haven for artists, yogis and other creatives. You can even learn how to make a composting toilet in Hogsback.


Bled, Slovenia

Boasting medieval castles and churches perched on the shores of a mirror-calm alpine lake, the town of Bled seems torn from the pages of a fairytale. In Italy or Switzerland, a spot this charming would be rammed with tourists 24/7, but Bled’s location in sleepy Slovenia means you’ll have many walks and hikes — not to mention its legendary cream cakes — pretty much to yourself.


Nagarkot, Nepal

Kathmandu may be one of the world’s most polluted cities, but you don’t have to head far out of town to trade the smog for some of the purest air on the planet. For a hike with a difference, simply commandeer a taxi to the nearby town of Telkot and walk the rest of the way to Nagarkot. The hike may be short but with a 1,500-foot incline at an altitude of over 7,100 feet, it’s challenging. Once there you’ll be rewarded with views of Mount Everest (on a good day) and a cornucopia of cafés and restaurants to enjoy them from.


What special destination is on your bucket list? We'd love to hear about the place you dream of traveling to one day.

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