Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MECHANIC RESURRECTION

I did not realize that MECHANIC RESURRECTION was a sequel.

It's the only movie I'm really looking forward to seeing this month.

Jessica Alba is in it.

I haven't seen her in anything since LITTLE FOCKERS.

And she was a good Sue Storm in those two bad Fantastic Four movies of the '00s.

Jason Statham is also a good reason to see it.

He rarely disappoints.

And the commercial features a few moments of what is probably the best scene in the movie: Jason killing a guy by scaling a building, crawling out under his glass bottom pool and putting a crack in it.




Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 
Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, turns out the widow Lankford accuses Donald Trump in commercials of bilking her out of $35,000 but promotes him online as a qualification for choosing her as your real estate agent -- WOOPS!,  Shi'ite militias carry out War Crimes and the White House is aware, this week's Iraq executions don't meet scrutiny standards, and more.



Yesterday's snapshot opened with this Tweet.


Cheryl lost her husband in Iraq. Then Trump's company targeted her and scammed her out of $35,000.



A number of e-mails poured in.
They fall in to two groups mainly.
The first are veterans and veterans families.
They objected to Hillary Clinton not naming the fallen in her Tweet.
The second group objected to the widow herself -- that she is a partisan.
Let's deal with the second objection first.  
The woman, Cheryl Lankford, spoke at the Democratic Party National Convention.
I did not watch either the GOP or the Democratic convention.  I did not attend either.  (Ava and I did go to the Green Party convention to report on it in "Media: The ignored political party convention.")
Being a war widow does not give the woman immunity from criticism.
Since she's been telling the same story since that convention and has also taped a commercial for Hillary Clinton's campaign, let's examine her story.
It's her own fault.
That's the short version.
If what she says is true, it's her own fault.
Greed got the better of her.
Because Donald Trump was rich -- she apparently missed all his set backs and bankruptcies over the years -- she wanted to trust him with what was a huge amount of money for her -- $35,000.
And this despite the fact that Donald was not present.
Or that she was informed of the $35,000 one time only deal that had to be sealed immediately.
A fool and their money are soon parted.
And that's the reality on why she didn't talk about this until years later.
She felt stupid because she was stupid.
(If her story is true, she was conned out of her money -- her stupidity does not make Donald Trump and his business partners innocent.)
Texas, like any state, has a number of reputable and existing avenues for anyone to pursue if they want a career in real estate.
She didn't want that.
She had already started her own firm and been in business.
That wasn't good enough for her.
She wanted Trump money.
Greed.
That's on her.
If her story is true, I have no reason to believe it is not, then the courts should side in her favor.
If she's shaded or left anything out, the decision could go in favor of Trump.
But she was foolish and stupid (neither of which are a crime) with a sum of money which was apparently huge for her.  
That's on her.
Now for the second charge.
I agreed reading the e-mails that Hillary should have mentioned the fallen's name.
But is it the fallen?
He didn't die in combat.
Iraq is a combat zone throughout.
Former US House Rep John Hall can be proud of many things in his time in the House but one of the things he should be most proud of was establishing for the record that if you're shot at it in Iraq, you're in combat.  
Many veterans were being told they were not in combat -- especially women -- and that was nonsense.
Cheryl's late husband Command Sgt Major Johnathan Miles Lankford died in Iraq not due to a shooting or a bombing but due to a heart attack.
He would not be listed as a military fatality on DoD's tally of those who were killed while serving.
When he died, his mother did question whether the responsibilities he had in Iraq led to the heart attack.  It's surely possible.
The $35,000 she wasted on greed probably should have gone into a college  fund for John Lankford Jr. -- two-years-old when his father had the fatal heart attack.
Again, greed got the better of her.
Greed allowed her to put her child's future on hold.
If Hillary's going to cite a "war widow" (her term) in a Tweet, she does need to cite the name of whomever died in Iraq.
Especially since she's the one who voted for the Iraq War and supported it and championed it.
Cheryl Lankford is upset that Donald Trump apparently took $35,000 away from her but has no problem with Hillary Clinton helping start a war that Jonathan Miles Lankford's mother believes may have brought on her son's fatal heart attack.
Maybe Cheryl Lankford bonded with Hillary over greed?
I don't know.
For those who feel that may be too harsh, let me offer Cheryl a little free legal advice:
Change your professional online resume/promotion immediately.
Let's hope you do it before Donald Trump's lawyers get a hold of it.
Here's how it currently reads -- pay attention to the last paragraph:
Cheryl D. Lankford Biography
San Antonio, TX | December 4, 2012
Ms. Lankford’s husband served in the military as a command sergeant major, eventually sacrificing his life for his country. Inspired by the contributions he made to a cause he believed in, Ms. Lankford developed a business in his honor, Lankford Land Development, LLC. For the last four years, this business has offered commercial and residential land development services within the San Antonia region.
At the helm of this burgeoning venture, Ms. Lankford manages land for the construction of houses, apartments and shopping malls, dealing with both residential and commercial properties. She scouts for new properties with potential for development as well, scouring the Internet, auctions, newspapers and courthouse listings. Her marketing and public relations fortes enforce the progress of Lankford Land Development, but Ms. Lankford is especially grateful to those who have supported her in her professional undertakings. She feels her success, as well as that of her company, has been perpetuated by her mentors and the other wonderful people whom she has been surrounded by.
Ms. Lankford’s work as a CEO is influenced by her academic background – she holds an Associate of Arts in governmental studies from Prince George's Community College. She has also been enrolled in Trump University. Eventually, as she hones her expertise, she plans to take on many different projects and hire more employees, gradually expanding the scope of her business.
I didn't include the contact option for her.
But do you see the problem?
She's advertised her experience, her qualifications.
And she's included "She has also been enrolled in Trump University."
She's calling it a plus in her online promotion.
She's using it to attract business.
Trump's lawyers could easily argue it was worth the $35,000 alone for her to be able to use the 'university' as a professional credit.
More likely, they'll stick with this argument instead: "If she was so displeased, why did she promote the university herself online?"
Hillary's campaign is really stupid.
It took me 30 minutes to search Cheryl Lankford this morning.
I came across many things Donald Trump could use against her.
It's a surprise the Clinton machine wasn't already on this and getting her to remove certain things online.
I also question GLAMOUR for their idiotic article that could have been written in July -- and was by THE NEW YORK TIMES and assorted others -- and is served up this week not to report but in an attempt to sway an electorate.
I condemn GLAMOUR, in fact, for their failure to delve into the Iraq War.  
What an embarrassing rag.  
And here's the thing, I'm all over the country (except Alaska).  
I will be ragging on GLAMOUR at every speaking event.  
I will make sure they do not walk away from this.
So good for throwing objectivity and professionalism out the window, GLAMOUR.
You and others will learn -- as many have in the last 8 years -- that whoring comes with risks.
Not as many risks as the people of Iraq face in the never ending war on their country, but risks all the same.
 Human Rights Watch Ken Roth Tweets:
Sectarian abuse by Iraq Shia militia was even worse than believed (meaning downright awful).




Human Rights Watch has long noted the ongoing persecution of the Sunnis in Iraq.
Roth's referring to a new blockbuster report from Ned Parker of REUTERS news agency.
This time, Ned's teamed with Jonathan S. Landay for a report which opens:

Shi’ite militias in Iraq detained, tortured and abused far more Sunni civilians during the American-backed capture of the town of Falluja in June than U.S. officials have publicly acknowledged, Reuters has found.More than 700 Sunni men and boys are still missing more than two months after the Islamic State stronghold fell. The abuses occurred despite U.S. efforts to restrict the militias' role in the operation, including threatening to withdraw American air support, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.
The U.S. efforts had little effect. Shi’ite militias did not pull back from Falluja, participated in looting there and now vow to defy any American effort to limit their role in coming operations against Islamic State.
All told, militia fighters killed at least 66 Sunni males and abused at least 1,500 others fleeing the Falluja area, according to interviews with more than 20 survivors, tribal leaders, Iraqi politicians and Western diplomats.
They said men were shot, beaten with rubber hoses and in several cases beheaded. Their accounts were supported by a Reuters review of an investigation by local Iraqi authorities and video testimony and photographs of survivors taken immediately after their release. 
Prior to the start of the war, Jonathan S. Landay filed strong reports for KNIGHT RIDDER.  Ned first shined on the Iraq War with powerful pieces for THE LOS ANGELES TIMES including ones exposing secret prisons.  At REUTERS, he's continued for file reporting that matters. 
In fact, he's filed reporting that matters so much, he had to leave Iraq after being threatened on state television for his reporting.
As for  the US government?
They're not legally allowed to support Haider al-Abadi's government or 'government' in Iraq with these actions being carried out.
There are laws, there are legal treaties and there is the Leahy Amendment.
It'll be interesting to see how the State Dept and White House spin this.
New media was going to fix all the problems.
Are you old enough to remember that?
That talked ended in early 2006.  
Or that boast.
For good reason.
In the last days, maybe you caught the rah-rah over the hangings in Iraq?
Presented as just.
Even setting aside one's objection to the death penalty, they were not just.
But new media has a real problem with accuracy -- the same problem big media has.
They don't want to examine, they don't want to face reality.
They want pretty.
All they got was pretty lies.
Executions in Iraq not real justice for Speicher Massacre- fair trials needed to restore faith in justice system



REUTERS adds:

The hangings were carried out on Sunday at a prison in southern Iraq, state TV said. Those executed were suspected Sunni Muslim militants convicted in the killings of as many as 1700 soldiers, mostly Shi'ite Muslims, after they were taken captive by Islamic State insurgents two years ago.
"The individuals who have been executed were convicted only on the basis of information provided by secret informants or by confessions allegedly extracted under duress," UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.
She said the defendants' court-appointed lawyer did not intervene during the proceedings apart from a three-minute statement just before the verdicts were delivered.


 Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Clinton Piggy Bank" went up last night.  The following community sites -- plus KPFK and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS RADIO -- updated:






  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    My thoughts on FORBES list of highest paid actresses

    clintonpiggybank

    Earlier tonight, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Clinton Piggy Bank" went up.

    Also today?

    FORBES put out the list of the ten biggest female movie stars in terms of raking in money for the year.

    To save you from having to flip through the slide show, here's their top ten:

    Jennifer Lawrence
    Melissa McCarthy
    Scarlett Johansson
    Jennifer Aniston
     Fan Bingbing
    Charlize TheronAmy Adams
    Julia Roberts
    Mila Kunis
    Deepika Padukone


    What do I think?

    Top of the list better get ready for her come down.

    Jennifer Lawrence is not attractive to me and I know few men who do find her attractive.

    She rode a craze (HUNGER GAMES) and that's all she did.  She couldn't even hack it as Mystique in the X-Men movies.  She's the most overrated actress and, as JOY proved, she can't act and she can't pull in audiences.

    Melissa McCarthy -- better scripts please!!!  More importantly, stop working with hacks like Kristen Bell.

    Or whatever Moronic Mars' name is.

    Scarlett?

    I love Scarlett.  She's talented.  She choose roles wisely.

    Jennifer Aniston?

    Talk about choosing roles wisely.

    She went from stardom on TV (FRIENDS) to movie stardom.  (She did movies while on the TV show but they weren't usually big hits.)

    Whether it's WE'RE THE MILLERS or HORRIBLE BOSSES, she chooses roles that aren't necessarily 'sweet' and that may be part of the reason she's lasted and fascinated us for so long.

    I like her.

    I do not know Fan Bingbing.

    I love Charlize Theron.  She's one of the few Oscar winners who didn't up an Oscar curse who disappeared.  (Hillary Swank is talented.  But where is she now?) (I know she stepped away from films to take care of her sick father.)

    Charlize is the real deal and has starred in some incredible films including MAD MAX, MONSTER, THE ITALIAN JOB, BATTLE IN SEATTLE, NORTH COUNTRY, etc.

    Amy Adams?

    Overrated.

    Should be ashamed she showed her nipple in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN.

    Should be even more ashamed that her topless scene created no big news -- if you're going to go topless maybe you need something worth showing?

    She's tried to turn plain looking into an art form.

    But it's not acting. 

    Julia Roberts?

    I would be dancing on her movie grave right now but she's not dead.

    As I pointed out in my review of MONEY MONSTER, Julia's star power was back.  She was the only thing that saved that formulaic and reactionary film.

    I'd written her off. 

    But she hasn't lost her gift, she's just chosen some bad roles in other films.

    Mila Kunis?

    I like her.

    I think she's done good work in BLACK SWAN, TED and even the film with Channing Tatum that flopped.

    Deepika Padukone.

    I've never seen her in a film, sorry.

     
    Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

     
    Tuesday, August 23, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, a robot will be sent into Mosul to fight the Islamic State, the Shi'ite militias plan for a post-Islamic State Iraq, Hillary Clinton Tweets about Iraq (no, she's not getting honest), and much more.



    Cheryl lost her husband in Iraq. Then Trump's company targeted her and scammed her out of $35,000.





    She lost $35,000?


    How awful.

    That has to be one of the worst things ever . . .

    Wait a second.

    War widow?

    Iraq War widow?

    So Hillary has the woman's husband killed and then wants to act as though the $35,000 is the larger crime?

    There is no 'moral' ground for Hillary to stand on.

    She's a War Hawk and a liar.

    She and her cult of liars have tried to water down her vote (and ignore her support) for the Iraq War.

    Some, comfortable in the knowledge that Elizabeth Edwards is dead, try to trot out the lie that Hillary was only voting for what she hoped was a UN resolution that would follow.

    That's a lie.

    Elizabeth called it a lie when she was alive noting that her husband John Edwards did that but that Hillary was supporting war regardless.

    As Eric Draitser (COUNTERPUNCH) pointed out yesterday:

    Clinton explained to the Council on Foreign Relations in December 2003, “I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote….I stand by the vote.” Of course this was in the immediate aftermath of the invasion of Iraq and subsequent capture of Saddam Hussein, a time when one could still justify support for a war that, just a few years later, proved to be politically unpalatable, to say nothing of it being an egregious war crime, as we all knew from the beginning.
    And Hillary was not perturbed in the slightest at the hundreds of thousands of women and children whose lives were irrevocably destroyed by the war and its aftermath, one which is still being reckoned with today.



    Or as Cindy Sheehan puts it:

    The bottom-line is that the Democrat nominee is already a devoted war criminal and the Republican nominee attracts scary support but No Lives will Matter (except the lives of the 1%) to whichever one of these two scoundrels "wins" in November. 


    Hillary's war killed a woman's husband and Hillary wants to whine that the widow then lost money?

    Maybe she did.  I don't know and I have no reason to doubt the widow.

    But I also have no reason to listen to Hillary Clinton on 'loss.'

    She's a War Hawk.

    And I gave her a chance.

    Check the archives.  In 2008, I was able to say, "Okay, maybe the Iraq War vote was a mistake like she (weakly) says."  But then she went on to become Secretary of State and her war streak isn't a streak, it's her full body.

    She's a War Hawk.

    And she's got no higher ground to stand on from which to point at others.

    Frank Erickson wonders to the editors of the DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE, "How do those who are going to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton excuse away her support for the Iraq War? "


    They rewrite history.

    They ignore the reality that she did nothing to help Iraqi women -- even when a friend and colleague was asking her to do something very minor.

    They minimize or ignore her innate secrecy, her disregard for public consent and act as though it's just e-mails.

    If Democrats are actually worried about foreign hackers, why aren't they concerned that were on an insecure private server?
     
     
     



    Jill Stein is the Green Party's presidential candidate.


    And e-mails?

    14,900 more discovered by the FBI.


    And there's the whole smarmy nature (and illegal nature) of how Hillary used her post as Secretary of State to enrich The Clinton Foundation.  Rosalind S. Helderman, Spencer S. Hsu and Tom Hamburger (WASHINGTON POST) report:



    A sports executive who was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and whose firm paid Bill Clinton millions of dollars in consulting fees wanted help getting a visa for a British soccer player with a criminal past.
    The crown prince of Bahrain, whose government gave more than $50,000 to the Clintons’ charity and who participated in its glitzy annual conference, wanted a last-minute meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
    U2 rocker and philanthropist Bono, also a regular at foundation events, wanted high-level help broadcasting a live link to the International Space Station during concerts.
    In each case, according to emails released Monday from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, the requests were directed to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and confidante, Huma Abedin, who engaged with other top aides and sometimes Clinton herself about how to respond.


    No wonder she hasn't held a press conference in over 260 days -- she thinks she can ride it out.

    She doesn't want to be shown answering questions she has no answers for.


    She's more evasive than Tricky Dick Nixon.

    It's not just e-mails.

    Barack Obama turned the Iraq mission over to the State Dept in October of 2011.  It collapsed less than a year later because Hillary refused to answer basic questions from Congress.  Gerry Connolly and Gary Ackerman -- both Democrats -- were among those demanding how the money was going to be spent, why money was being wasted on a program the Iraqi government said they didn't want and would not participate in, etc.

    The State Dept refused to answer the questions.

    She is an enemy of transparency and that's there in her hidden e-mails, it's there in her refusal to release transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street fat cats and it's there in her time as Secretary of State -- four years in which she refused to have an Inspector General -- didn't want the oversight.

    And this attitude doomed whatever Barack's plans for a State Dept mission in Iraq would be.


    If you believe in Barack, I guess you have to blame Hillary for his refusal to end the Iraq War because if she'd done the mission she was tasked with, maybe the Iraq War would be over.

    But she screwed it up like she screws up everything.

    Her secrecy and lies always doom her.

    And they may have doomed Barack's plan to end the Iraq War.

    Instead, the Iraq War continues.

    Yesterday, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, bomber, fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Bashir, a strike destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.

    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three vehicles and a mortar position.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a mortar system, a vehicle, five assembly areas, a supply cache and a front-end loader and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, a vehicle and a boat and damaged a fighting position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL security headquarters.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.



    And these bombs fall on populated land -- meaning civilians are at risk.


    Coalition killed highest # of civilians in 2yrs of war in July; Russia-Syria strikes killed more than 500 civilians
     
     
     



    AIRWARS notes "a total of 9,458 airstrikes had cumulatively been carried out in Iraq and 4,751 in Syria to the end of July 2016."

    Meanwhile, the Shi'ite militias that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi brought into the government are planning for a post-ISIS Iraq which they intend to rule.  Adnan Abu Zeed (AL-MONITOR) reports:


    On July 26, the Iraqi government announced that the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) will be converted into “an independent military formation affiliated with the armed forces’ commander-in-chief.” The Shiite force was formed in June 2014 in response to religious calls to take up arms against the Islamic State (IS).
    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s decision sparked an uproar among Iraq’s Kurds and Sunnis. On Aug. 14, the Kurdish news site Rudaw collected the opinions of analysts and ordinary citizens, all of whom criticized the move as a step toward forming a parallel military force.
    Other reports claimed that the government’s decision to take control of the PMU, which participated in the liberation of Salahuddin, Ramadi and Fallujah and are planning to join the battle for Mosul, reflects “a plan to establish a guard similar to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

     

    The Islamic State has now occupied Mosul for over two years.

    And still occupies it.

    And the answer?


    Clara Strunck (DAILY STAR) reports that they will be using a robot to combat ISIS in Mosul:

    The car-sized tank can be directed from up to a kilometre away and has four cameras on board that feed information back to the laptop operator.
    It is designed to conduct highly specific attacks while the "driver" sits in safety further away.
    According to reports in the Baghdad Post, the tank will be used to liberate an ISIS-held town and has been named Alrobot – Arabic for robot.



    The Islamic State has controlled your city for over two years and your 'brave' answer is to fight it with a robot?


    No wonder Mosul's been occupied for two years and counting.