Thursday, December 29, 2016


Ava and C.I. praised THE GREAT INDOORS.  Ann praised it too.

So I watched tonight.

It is funny.

It's so much funnier than any of ABC's new sitcoms this year.

I tried to watch that awful Minnie Driver show twice.

It's wretched and unwatchable.

It's also rather racist in its treatment of the only African-American character.

I also don't care for Martha Plimpton's show.  It's interesting how big 'lefty' Martha keeps starring in these all-White sitcoms.

I don't need preaching from a White woman who repeatedly refuses to acknowledge the real world in her art.

She's also playing the same character she did in RAISING HOPE and in THE GOOD WIFE.

Apparently, she can only play one character so that's what she does over and over.

The dad on the show is likeable, at least.

But someone thinks Martha is interesting on the show when she just comes off like a stuck up idiot -- or maybe that's Martha again -- unable to create a character.

THE GREAT INDOORS airs on CBS on Thursday nights.

Joel McHale's the only one I know by name.

The actor who was the kid in ROLE MODELS that Paul Rudd has to mentor is in the show.  He's very funny.  The whole cast is.

And Joel McHale's so much better on this show than COMMUNITY -- so if you liked him on that previous sitcom, you'll love him on this one.

It's basically Joel having friction with young people.

They need to know about journalism.

He needs to know about the world today.

THE GREAT INDOORS is really funny and next week it (and THE BIG BANG THEORY on right before it) will both be new episodes.

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, has CNN been caught faking the news again, Afrah is the name that should be on the global press' lips but her kidnapping continues to be ignored by so many, more bombs dropped on day 73 of the Mosul slog, and much more.

Elaine's already noted this Tweet:

amazing how
3 Different Men in
3 Different Refugee Crisis - GAZA , IRAQ & in
3 different Time period

End up saving the same Girl

Is CNN back to its old tricks?

In April 2000, Tom Bishop (WSWS) reported:

Cable News Network (CNN) and National Public Radio (NPR) have acknowledged that eight members of the US Army 4th Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) Group served as interns in their news divisions and other areas during the Kosovo war. PSYOPS is a highly specialized unit of the military whose personnel are trained in the production and dissemination of US government propaganda, including on television and radio programs.

According to CNN executives and military officials, the intern program began last June and ended in March. A total of five PSYOPS sergeants were assigned to the network's Atlanta headquarters. These included two at the Southeast bureau, two at CNN Radio and one at the satellite department.

Three PSYOPS personnel also worked at the Washington DC headquarters of NPR, a publicly-funded radio network. They worked for periods ranging from six weeks to four months from September 1998 through May 1999 on such programs as All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

On March 29 top CNN officials acknowledged the presence of the military personnel in a written reply to the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), which had issued a media alert two days before, entitled “Why were government propaganda experts working on news at CNN?”

And, of course, there's this:

TV NEWS LIES, INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE and assorted others used to note that footage back in 2003 and 2004.  This month ZERO HEDGE noted it:

The first part of this video shows the stage set he was on while he clowns around with fellow CNN staff. The Saudi Arabian “hotel” in the background is adorned by fake palm trees and a blue wall in a studio. This clip was leaked by CNN staff.

The second part of this video is a live CNN satellite feed recorded onto VHS showing the final cut. Charles Jaco is wearing a different jacket, but he had the same act. Even though the acting is terrible as Charles Jaco wore a gas mask, and his fellow correspondent Carl Rochelle wore a helmet—the American public were manipulated and duped en masse. The sirens and missile sound effects are part of the stage set. The camera never pans out or shows the sky as they appear terrified of chemical weapons being dropped from above.

And, of course, Eason Jordan's infamous NEW YORK TIMES column where he confessed that CNN had repeatedly censored themselves on Iraq to maintain their ability to 'report' on Iraq.

If the three photos were used by CNN, are we to believe that this young girl has needed to be rescued in all three places?

If so, CNN needs to break journalism rules and immediately release the name of the child. 

Refugees need to know if she moves into their camp, there's a good chance they will be attacked and in need of being rescued.

If CNN turns out to be innocent?  They've got such a low image due to their past that it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.

We'll note Mohammed Tawfeeq who is a CNN reporter --and is actually one who can wear the title "reporter" without causing laughter and eye rolls.

's PM says could be defeated 'within 3 months'

Mosul battle: Iraqi forces launch 'second phase' of attack

Trails left by coalition planes circling over Mosul as -i forces begin second phase of operation against Islamic State

So it's day 73 of the Mosul operation.

The slog.

It was supposed to be such a quick operation.

With Iraq's government announcing this week that there were only 6,000 members of the Islamic State left in Iraq, you'd think the 100,000+ Iraqi forces could handle them.

And maybe they could if (a) the number for the Islamic State was accurate and (b) if the Iraqi forces didn't continue to have such a high (and unreported) desertion rate.

That, by the way, is the real reason that the Prime Minister of Iraq Hayder al-Abadi objected to the United Nations tracking and publishing the death rates of the troops.

UNAMI's always done that.

But now Hayder thinks the high death count is contributing to the desertion rate.

It's a slog.

And it has no clear aims.

It has no clear goals.

And it has no real accomplishments.

Iraq: Nearly 115,000 people displaced, 50,000 children affected by military operations. update is here:

That's the hallmark of 'liberating'  Mosul -- just as it was the hallmark of 'liberating' Ramadi and 'liberating' Falluja before.

There is no great moment in the operation.

Why is that?

Because nothing is being addressed.

June 19, 2014, over two years ago, US President Barack Obama declared the only solution to the political crises (plural) in Iraq was a political solution.

Well over two years later and there's still no political solution.

Nor is it even being worked on.

The US State Dept never worked on it because John Kerry was too busy playing dress up -- still nursing those wounds over the Swift Boat campaign against him. 

And so all the US does is drop bombs on Iraq.

This morning the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft, as well as rocket artillery, conducted three strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Mosul, three strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, destroying seven front-end loaders, four command-and-control nodes, two land bridges, a vehicle-bomb factory, a vehicle and a steamroller. Twenty-four supply routes were damaged.

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.

Every day since August 2014, 28 months straight, the US has bombed Iraq.

It's not helped address any of the issues.

Let's drop back to November 15, 2013:

FALLUJA demonstration

That's an Iraqi Spring MC photo of today's demonstration in Falluja.  Since December 21st,  ongoing protests have been taking place in Iraq.  Layla Anwar (An Arab Woman Blues) explained the reasons back in February:

Protests are raging throughout Iraq...thousands upon thousands are demanding the following :

- End of Sectarian Shia rule
- the re-writing of the Iraqi constitution (drafted by the Americans and Iranians)
- the end to arbitrary killings and detention, rape and torture of all detainees on basis of sect alone and their release
- the end of discriminatory policies in employment, education, etc based on sect
- the provision of government services to all
- the end of corruption
- no division between Shias and Sunnis, a one Islam for all Iraqi Muslims and a one Iraq for all Iraqis.

The protests in Anbar, Fallujah, Sammara, Baquba,  Tikrit, Kirkuk, Mosul...and in different parts of Baghdad stress over and over 1) the spontaneous nature of the "popular revolution against oppression and injustice" 2) its peaceful nature  i.e unarmed  3) the welcoming of ALL to join the protests regardless of sect or ethnicity as ONE Iraqi people and 4) and the March to Baghdad.

Layla Anwar and Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi are among the few who can publicly note what led to the protests.  The western press likes to reduce it to one event.

Those protests lasted over a year.  And where was the world's attention?

All this time later, there's no real understanding for many in the west on what took place in Iraq and why there were protests and how these issues allowed the Islamic State to take root to begin with.

Barack knows, that's why he was calling for a political solution.

He's also back pedaling on the Islamic State.

He was right -- they are j.v.

The reason they are j.v. is they are not the root issue.

The problems identified above are the root issue.

And they aren't being dealt with so if they do manage to wipe out ISIS in Iraq, something else will arise shortly.

The problems aren't being dealt with.

Doubt it?

 Last week, Mustafa Habib (NIQASH) reported:

Official Iraqi statistics tell a worrying tale. They indicate that thousands of civilians are being arrested and detained every month by a wide variety of security organisations, for no good reason.

One can come by these numbers by following the statistics published between January 2015 and October 2016 in the digital archive of the country’s Federal Judiciary Authority – the body that oversees Iraq’s courts. The press releases issued by the Judicial Authority are meant to be a record of how much work the courts have done but when the numbers are added up, the statistics also tell a different, more controversial story.

The press releases indicate that the majority of detainees were released because the case against them was investigated and found insubstantial. For most the cases were thrown out before a trial. For a minority they were found not guilty during their trial. While the numbers of those released are published, the press releases don’t always detail what the detainees were charged with, whether those charges were criminal or related to terrorism. Nor do they tell how long the released Iraqis spent awaiting that decision, whether they were detained for years or just days.
Meanwhile the various security forces involved – including the army, the police and Iraqi intelligence – don’t publish the number of arrests they have made.

In 2016, 67,749 detainees were released from prisons between January and October, having been released after they were found innocent or wrongfully detained. Among these were 8,810 accused of terrorist acts. That averages out at 6,775 wrongfully imprisoned locals per month or 223 per day.

In 2015, there were 88,297 detainees released, making slightly more wrongful arrests per month and per day:7358 and 243 respectively.

The arrests?

Number three on Layla's list:

- the end to arbitrary killings and detention, rape and torture of all detainees on basis of sect alone and their release

And let's note the rape and torture.

I can think of no other country in the world where girls and women were being tortured and raped in Iraqi prison (Sunni girls and women) and the Parliament confirms that with an investigation yet the world press collectively yawns and turns their head.

But, hey, everyone's pretty much turning their heads over the kidnapping of an Iraqi journalist, right?

Third snapshot in a row we'll note this because it is important, Afrah is important.

Armed group with government vehicles kidnapped Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi from her home in Baghdad

Gunmen, posing as security forces, kidnapped female journalist in last night via

May she be found safe soon | Afrah Shawqi kidnapped by gunmen from her home in

Afrah Shawqi  Iraqi Sunni  journalist
Today kidnapped by Shia militias in  Baghdad
After her  report against shia militia crimes
Journalist Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi has been kidnapped from her Baghdad home. She was taken by armed men posing as security forces. Iraq

Afrah Shawqi kidnapped by Shia Militias backed by Iraqi Gov.
After writing about the Shiite militias crimes
Iraqi journalist , Afrah Shaoki , abducted  by unknown people , yesterday .
for Afrah .

It's amazing how little attention the western media -- and the west itself -- is giving Afrah.

Actually, it's not amazing, it's disgusting.

Every now and then, a media friend will object to my dubbing Jane Arraf The Whore of Baghdad.  They'll agree that she's sucked up to every prime minister in Iraq and lied on their behalf but they'll try to make a plea for her.  "She tires."  They like that one a lot.

Well this morning, I thought, let's see.  Let's see if Jane tries.

She hasn't reported on Afrah's kidnapping but maybe she found time to Tweet?

If so we'll just include her in the snapshot and make no comment about her.

But true to form, The Whore of Baghdad avoids any topic that might embarrass a sitting p.m.

She's as full of it as Alyssa Aleppo Milano.

Remember Alyssa's deep prayer/Tweet that we noted yesterday: how please celebrities just stay safe through the end of the year.

Yeah, she's an embarrassment.

Not everyone is.

For example, thank you, Michael Tracey:

Pundits: "Because of celebrity deaths and Trump, 2016 was the worst year ever!"
1944: tens of millions killed in civilization-destroying war

It's called perspective.  A number of people need to work hard in 2017 to obtain some.

The following community sites updated:

  • Iraq