US House Rep Mark Takano was among the members of the US Congress visiting Iraq yesterday and meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani. IRAQI NEWS reports:
A delegation from the United States Congress led by Rep. Mark Takano
(D-CA) and several other members of Congress as well as the US
Ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, was met by the Prime Minister of
Iraq, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, today in Baghdad, Iraq.
first delegation from the US Congress to visit Iraq following the
official creation of the Iraqi government, Rep. Takano, the Chairman of
the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, congratulated Al-Sudani on
taking office as Prime Minister and winning the support of the Iraqi
They discussed the strong bilateral relations between
Iraq and the United States, the status of the fight against terrorism,
and the effectiveness of Iraqi troops in driving back ISIS remnants
throughout the high-level meeting.
They also addressed ways to enhance ties and collaborations in line
with the Strategic Framework Agreement in a number of areas, the two
most important of which being cooperation on measures to combat climate
change and water shortages.
Turkish defence ministry on late Friday announced the death of three of
its soldiers by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan
Turkey launched the code-named Operation Claw-Lock against the PKK in Duhok province’s mountainous areas in April.
TRT notes, "Two Turkish soldiers have been killed during an ongoing anti-terror
operation in northern Iraq, the National Defence Ministry said."
And it's noted by many more but all this noting never results in anyone pointing out the obvious: Turkish forces are on Iraqi soil in violation of Iraq's sovereignty. Maybe when reporting can include that actual fact, you can have truth in reporting?
Media outlet might even be able to point out the truth that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee points out:
Turkey’s airstrikes in Iraq & Syria, including against US partner forces in the SDF, have already killed civilians & destroyed critical civilian infrastructure while threatening to undermine the fight against ISIS. These are not the actions of an ally. https://t.co/WujskZdfkr
Meanwhile, AFP reports that 29-year-old Nour al-Janabi runs a successful business in Iraq, Nour Carpentry which she started herself after posting tutorials on FACEBOOK. AFP notes:
In oil-rich Iraq, women make up just 13.3 percent of the labor force,
World Bank data showed, while the World Economic Forum ranked the
country 154 out of 156 in its latest Global Gender Gap Report.
A study published last year by two UN agencies said that while
most Iraqis consider tertiary education equally important for men and
women, “attitudes toward equal rights in employment are discriminatory
Al-Janabi attributes her success largely to do-it-yourself
tutorials that she first posted on Facebook to share her passion for
carpentry and furniture-making.
She uploads videos — about everything from how to re-stuff an old
sofa to using a sander — to TikTok and Instagram, where she has more
than 94,000 followers.
“I am the first Iraqi woman to do this trade and break the
barrier in this field,” she said, in a country still largely dominated
by conservative attitudes about women’s role in society, and where those
perceived as too independent are sometimes even considered immoral.
Their claims continue a years-long campaign of stochastic
terrorism in which they’ve accused queer people and their allies of
grooming children for sexual abuse through LGBTQ school content and drag
shows, and also of mutilating children’s genitals through
gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth.
While genital surgeries aren’t conducted on minors and no kids have ever
been molested during a drag show, none of these figures have spoken as
passionately against forced genital surgeries for intersex kids or the
literal thousands of child rape cases that have occurred in U.S.
churches, nor have they promoted organizations that actually work
against child sex abuse and trafficking.
[. . .]
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, —host of the network’s most-watched program
and a man who celebrated the murder of gay politician Harvey Milk and
once bragged about beating up a gay man — mocked those who said the
shooting was caused by people complaining about “the sexualizing of
kids… people mutilating the genitals of children, [and] … ads on
Instagram promoting kiddie porn.”
But then he said the connection between LGBTQ activism and the above
things is “a very specific religious ideology that’s true, is happening
and is “absolutely real.”
He then said the shooting has become “a pretext for yet more censorship of [conservative public] speech.”
“You are responsible for this, they told you, because you said the
wrong things,” Carlson told his viewers. “You are guilty of stochastic
terrorism, inspiring violence by your beliefs. Anderson Lee Aldrich [the
Club Q shooter] committed mass murder because you complained about the
sexualizing of children. Every time you object to drag time story hour
for fifth graders or point out that genital mutilation is being
committed on minors — which it is — every time you say that, you are
putting people’s lives at risk.”
He added, “The truth is that some adults in this country, apparently a
growing number, have a deeply unhealthy fixation on the sexuality of
children — when you say that out loud, you get people killed.”
In response, Twitter user Kat Abu published a thread that included
the numerous broadcasts in which Carlson has talked at length about
children’s sexuality and their genitals.
Florida political operative Jaimee Michell, founder of the controversial anti-trans group "Gays Against Groomers," told Fox News host Tucker Carlson
that the mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs "was
expected and predictable" and to be blamed on the LGBTQ "evil agenda" of
Talking to Carlson about the mass
shooting, Michell claimed that what's really hurting the LGBTQ community
is labelling "groomers"—a term that falsely equates non-heterosexual
sexualities and non-cisgender identities with pedophilia—an anti-LGBTQ
slur, and said that tragedies like the one at Club Q will keep happening
"until we end this evil agenda."
Anderson Lee Aldrich is accused of opening fire at Club Q just before midnight on Saturday, killing five people and injuring 18 others.
Activists have denounced "Gays Against Groomers" as an anti-trans
hate group that stokes anti-LGBTQ hate by regularly calling gay people
"groomers" and accusing the LGBTQ community of sexualizing children. A
couple of months ago, "Gays Against Groomers'" Twitter account was banned from Google, Venmo and Paypal after the group was accused of anti-trans hate.
the group's cisgender gay founder, frequently appears on Tucker
Carlson's show on Fox News, repeating and amplifying conservatives'
moral panic over the alleged "grooming" of children blamed on liberals
and queer people.
I don't know how your Thanksgiving worked out -- hopefully it was pleasant and fun -- but 'Aunty GiGi' was denounced loudly by several gay activists at my home. 'Aunty GiGi' is how some are now deriding Glenn Greenwald for his idiotic support of Tucker Carlson and others who spread this crap. Yeah, people who had to stand up against this s**t in the 70s when Anita Bryant was spewing it aren't in the mood for precious GiGi to give his tacit support for it.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) defended her anti-LGBTQ rhetoric after she
was widely denounced online in the wake of the Club Q shooting for
stoking violence against LGBTQ people.
“That is completely false,” she told Ross Kaminsky on KOA,
an AM radio station. “I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and
their personal preference as an adult.”
Sexual orientation is not a “personal preference” and minors can have
sexual orientations. In fact, Boebert herself got pregnant for the first
time when she was in high school.
This past Saturday, a shooter entered the LGBTQ bar Club Q in
Colorado Springs, Colorado, killed five people, and injured 18 with an
AR-15-style weapon before being subdued.
Boebert released a statement saying that “the victims & their
families are in my prayers” and was immediately slammed online after
spreading hateful rhetoric against LGBTQ people for years, something
people said may have contributed to anti-LGBTQ violence.
“You encourage this type of hatred,” Chasten Buttigieg – the husband of out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – responded. “Get off Twitter and start looking inward.”
It didn’t take long in the radio interview for Boebert to go back to bashing LGBTQ people.
“What I’ve criticized is the sexualization of our children,” she
said, an expression conservatives use to refer to a wide range of
actions, including teaching kids that some families have two mothers or
two fathers and allowing LGBTQ clubs to form in high schools. It’s
unclear exactly what she was referring to.
“And I’ve criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women,” she
continued. Drag is an art form with deep roots in LGBTQ culture, and the
idea is to play with gender, often to express one’s own femininity,
masculinity, or androgyny.
Lauren is disgusting but, sadly, so much is and that includes on our side -- the left.
Have you noticed the silence? I'm looking at e-mails. Garcia notes that Margaret Kimberley has Tweeted repeatedly over the last days but never managed to note the tragedy in Colorado Springs -- nor did BLACK AGENDA REPORT. Good catch, Garcia.
Equally true, I counted over 200 Tweets from Tara Reade this week and she never bothered to Tweet about it.
Tara. I believe her ex explained it best when he said she only cares about what happens to her. That is why, in the Tweets this week, she can reTweet convicted pedophile, registered sex offender Scott Ritter. Tara loves her some Scotty. Any man who harms others is Tara's buddy.
That's the truth. Tara thinks she deserves sympathy but -- as her ex explained in a roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin -- she doesn't have sympathy for others.
We've now seen that with all of her actions long before she started using her Twitter feed to pimp registered sex offender Scott Ritter -- who went to prison.
She won't do anything to help others because she's never cared about others her whole life. That's why she bailed on her bills and her loans from friends. She's a self-centered bitch.
And she won't help other women but she'll constantly demand attention.
A deadly attack took place in Colorado Springs and Tara couldn't be bothered with it because it's a gay thing and, please grasp this reality, gay things don't matter to the ultra left.
You'd think they would. But you'd be wrong. You'd be wrong today and you'd be wrong historically.
Tara Reade is the poster girl for obesity and for hatred.
Thanks, Tara, for showing your true self. I should disclose that for pointing out here what a whore she is to promote a registered sex offender, Tara banned me. I laughed then and I laugh now.
Reality, Tara was assaulted by Joe Biden. Didn't make her a nice person. Didn't make her a saint. Didn't make her anyone who could be considered an ally. Six days where she has Tweeted and reTWeeted and she couldn't once be bothered with an attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
That's who Tara is.
She'll never, ever help another person. Her narcissistic nature is what it is. She's also a deeply stupid person. Someone should have told her long ago to sue Joe Biden for her employment records. Someone should have pointed out to her that when Joe declared the pandemic over, there was no excuse to hide behind it regarding access to his records at the university.
But she's a deeply stupid person so let's not be surprised that she's so incompetent she can't even help herself.
I'd love to say she gives the left a bad name. She's part of the reason we have a bad name though.
The left is huge. It includes the group that votes blindly for the Democratic Party and think partisanship is being political. It's not. Parroting is not political. Then you have Democrats who can self-criticize but can't see too much beyond domestic issues. You've then got Socialists, Communists, Socialist-Democrats and then you're moving into the hard left which probably takes you all the way to anarchist which wraps around to the right wing because politics is circular and not linear.
Historically, on the left, we have not supported gay rights. The Communists in certain eras especially did not want to support gay rights. Occasionally, an individual would get support but that support was always tentative. Look at Walter Jenkins, embraced by the partisans and seen as a genius in certain ways. So they all pretended he wasn't gay. But then he gets arrested in 1964 and they're afraid that it could harm LBJ's re-election chances so they turn on him and sacrifice him while LBJ lies and pretends like he never knew Walter was gay (he knew, the FBI knew, the 1959 previous arrest was not a secret) and starts trying to save his own ass by lying and suggesting that mean Republicans must have drugged Walter's drink and that, as a result of being drugged, Walter found his mouth watering for dick and, due to the drugs, ended up at a YMCA bathroom where he was busted with his mouth around a cock.
Now back then, and this is an important point to grasp, oral sex wasn't thought to be as common as it is today. Marlon Brando infamously posed with Wally Cox's penis in his mouth and people act like it didn't happen even when writing Brando's obituaries. Marlon was one of our finest actors. His affairs with men didn't make him any less great. And that Wally Cox photo is a striking image.
But in the 50s and 60s, for many, anything beyond missionary-position male-female sex was time to clutch the pearls. (Though, traditionally, look at the studies, anal sex has always been popular among Catholics in the US as a way to prevent pregnancy.)
These days, straight couples peg. These days oral sex is common and noted as such. Tossing someone's salad, etc, etc.
So when an idiot starts talking about orifices and their 'true' intentions -- as many did on message boards this week in light of the shooting -- they look like idiots and defeat themselves. We've come far enough to be honest about sex and how sex can take place and those trying to police what they pretend is morality lose any argument right at the get go because this isn't the 1950s. We know what our bodies are capable of and we know about enjoying our bodies.
Nancy Friday, Dr. Ruth, Audre Lorde, Dan Savage and many others have done their part to allow us to be grown ups.
And this has impacted politics -- as it should. Awareness and education in any area has impact on other areas. You can go into a whole spheres of justice argument off that -- though I wouldn't because Michael Walzer ripped off the Torah for his argument and didn't even grasp the importance of the sphere of din -- telling -- and proof of the points we're making because din, of course, can be associated with the feminine and the feminine and LGBTQ+ issues have traditionally been dismissed in this country -- especially in this country's political maneuvering.
If you know the left's history, you know that Sly's "Everyday People" wasn't just a popular song, it was a portrait of our history:
There is a blue one who can't accept the green one
For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny one And different strokes for different folks And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
I am no better and neither are you We are the same whatever we do You love me you hate me you know me and then You can't figure out the bag I'm in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There is a long hair that doesn't like the short hair For bein' such a rich one that will not help the poor one And different strokes for different folks And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
-- "Everyday People," written by Sly Stone, first appears on Sly & The Family Stone's STAND!
We hear the Jimmy Dore's insist that identity politics are destroying the left.
No, identity politics are what made the left. It's what forced the Communist Party to move beyond their limited White world and to give support to efforts to end lynchings in the US. It's what brings us together when we can get over our own pig headedness. When we can embrace the blue one and the long hair and the poor one and everyone. It's how we build a society and it's how we've always built a movement.
The Jimmy Dores don't understand that because they're unintelligent. They don't understand how things work, they haven't studied anything and they're victims of the atomistic age -- an age where we, as a people, were taught how to tear apart but not how to put back together. The synthesis is the missing step and people like Jimmy (who is not a bad person and who I would note still were it not for his promoting Scott Ritter -- a sex offender; I'm sorry, Jimmy, I can't big tent convicted offenders) don't even grasp it because they can regurgitate but they can't think.
If you want a powerful left, you're going to have to stand up for rights and that's not just your own rights. Don't be a Tara Reade offended by your own assault but caring so little of others that you'll promote a registered sex offender.
You've got to look beyond your own interests. You've got to support others. If you don't do that, the left goes no where. And that's been the case throughout history though those who short cut it -- due to ignorance or personal interest -- never pass that lesson on.
Here's Dove Cameron on Sunday saying what a lot of others need to be saying.
Instead? Instead our left outlets on YOUTUBE gave us silence. Our left voices on Twitter gave us silence.
As Keesha noted last night in the roundtable, Betty was right when she wrote "Hard truths."
Everybody wants sympathy and attention when it is them or their primary group but they don't seem to want to build bridges for other communities.
You can't even get women on half the YOUTUBE programs for the left so it's not a surprise that the LGBTQ+ is rendered invisible on so many of these same programs or that African-Americans are largely ignored by White hosts on these same YOUTUBE programs. For the left, understand, made for the left and by the left.
We need to do a much better job. Lives are at stake. If we can't offer inclusion and we can't share the spotlight, we might as well be Republicans.
Oh, excuse me. The Jimmy Dores and Glenn Greenwalds will feature Republicans -- it's women, LGBTQ+ and people of color that have to fight to be on left YOUTUBE shows and get left Twitter attention.
It's really telling that they will set a place for neocons and others at a left table but not for women, LGBTQ+ and people of color.
The shooting this week at Club Q in Colorado Springs was as
horrendous as it was unsurprising. Though the city has changed a lot
since 1992, when local, anti-queer activists championed the passage of a
statewide, constitutional amendment prohibiting municipal
anti-discrimination ordinances, the area retains pockets
of deep reaction. Colorado Springs representative Doug Lamborn, like
fellow Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert, this year supported federal
anti-trans legislation in Congress. Since at least 2016, Lamborn has attacked what he calls the “madness,” and “politically correct absurdity” of federal protection for transgender students. Boebert
has described trans people as “depraved” and their defenders as
“groomers” bent on turning innocent children into trans people
condemning the recent violence were strictly pro forma, condemning
“senseless violence,” praising first responders for “their rapid
response,” and calling for prayers for “the victims and their families.”
Neither mentioned that the victims were at a queer nightclub or that fatal attacks
upon LGBTQ folks have reached a record high. And first responders
failed both to prevent the attack and had no role in stopping it. Police
handcuffed and detained the good Samaritan who stopped the shooting
spree, retired U.S. Army major Richard Fierro, and kept him confined for an hour in a police car while his family and friends were left to struggle with injuries and death.
Some Americans were probably surprised to read that Fierro went to
Club Q with his family to celebrate a birthday. In the United States,
it’s still rare for families to visit gay bars together or watch live
drag performances. (On TV, RuPaul’s Drag Race
has been a fixture for more than a decade.) The night of the shooting,
the club featured a drag show titled “Delusions” hosted by a local drag
queen with the stage name Del Lusional.
The audience for that event was limited to guests 18 y.o. and older,
but a drag-brunch open to all ages was scheduled for the following day.
Fierro was having a great time when the shooting began, he told a NYTimes
reporter: “These kids want to live that way, want to have a good time,
have at it….that is what I fought for, so they can do whatever the hell
they want.” It’s not yet clear what were the precise motivations of the
shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, but he faces murder and hate crimes
charges. His lawyers claim that he is non-binary himself and prefers to
be addressed using they/them pronouns and the honorific Mx. in front of
his name. The assertion may be a subterfuge to undercut the hate crimes
charges and establish mitigation.
Family attendance at drag shows has risen in recent years, so much so that it has attracted literally delusional reactions from the Republican-right. In June, Florida governor Ron DeSantis
threatened to order the state’s department of protective services to
investigate parents who take their kids to drag shows: “We have child
protective statutes on the books,” he said. “We have laws against child
endangerment.” State legislators in Florida, Arizona, and Texas have proposed laws to criminalize drag entertainment, and armed militia groups
have threatened the lives of drag performers across the country. It
remains to be seen if the recent massacre will cause any retreat in the
legal and vigilante onslaught.
The proposed laws against drag are patently unconstitutional
infringements of free speech and would likely be struck down in court –
even by conservative justices. Apart from first amendment
considerations, such laws would be largely unenforceable because of the
multitude of liminal cases. Drag performances have long been a staple of
theatre, film, and television, from Twelfth Night to Some Like it Hot to Kinky Boots. Would
they all be banned? And the fashion industry is predicated upon playful
subversion and compliance with gender norms – men in skirts and heels,
women in trousers and work boots. Corporate America profits from trans.
Gender itself is a form of performance, the philosopher Judith Butler
long ago noted, though one that by its repetition, shapes our identity.
On that basis, almost any theatrical entertainment could be described
as a “drag show” and its sponsors and performers trundled into court.
But the point of the proposed laws is not to legislate costume,
comportment, or performance, much less identity – it is to supercharge
hatred and promote violence, thereby creating an atmosphere of crisis
that can be exploited for reactionary (fascist) ends.
Online propaganda campaigns that targeted Middle Eastern countries
including Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria were linked to US
military, technology firm Meta has claimed.
In its latest adversarial threat report, the company said the network
that coordinated the campaigns used fake social media accounts to
promote pro-Western narratives and was taken down in August after an
independent research group flagged the profiles to Facebook’s parent
The findings of the report said: “The US network — linked to individuals
associated with the US military — operated across many internet
services and focused on Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.”
The social media giant said 39 Facebook accounts, 16 Facebook pages, two
groups, and 26 Instagram accounts had been removed for violating its
policy on “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” a term used to describe
the coordination of accounts and adoption of techniques to publish,
promote, and spread false content.
The campaigns, believed to be the first of their kind, were designed to
discredit Russia, China, Iran, and other countries, while promoting
American views and values.
The tactics adopted by the US network were similar to those used in
anti-Western campaigns, such as the use of fake people and the
dissemination of artificially generated photos across multiple
“The people behind this activity posted primarily in Arabic, Farsi, and
Russian about news and current events, including terrorism concerns and
praise of the US military, as well as content about the COVID-19
(coronavirus) pandemic — some of which we removed for violating our
misinformation policy,” the report added.
Although experts believe the campaigns were largely ineffective and
their reach was very limited, Meta argued that the operations ran across
many internet services, including Twitter, YouTube, Telegram,
VKontakte, and Odnoklassniki.
“Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their
identities and coordination, our investigation found links to
individuals associated with the US military,” Meta said in the report,
adding that, “the majority of this operation’s posts had little to no
engagement from authentic communities.”