Wednesday, March 7, 2018


DEADLINE reports:

The Vampire Diaries and The Originals showrunner Julie Plecthe CW and Warner Bros. TV are firming up their plans for a potential new series in The Vampire Diaries/The Originals universe centered around the character of Hope Mikaelson, the tribrid daughter of Niklaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall-Kenner. TVD/The Originals‘ Matt Davis and Danielle Rose Russell, who plays Hope on The Originals, are set to star in the potential new spinoff series — confirmed as being in development at the CW last summer — along with Aria Shahghasemi, who plays a friend of Hope’s in the upcoming fifth and final season of The Originals, and Quincy FouseJenny Boyd and Kaylee Bryant, who will play new characters.

I guess that's good but, honestly, stupidest move in the world was making this the last season for THE ORIGINALS.  That is the best show THE CW has.  It's the only reason to be excited about the network.  I'm not saying they don't have good shows but THE ORIGINALS is a great show.  A lot of my friends didn't feel that way until it showed up on NETFLIX.

Of course, my cousin Marcia loves this show and blogs about it.

Most people who give the show a try end up loving it.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES was a good show but it wasn't a great show.  It was watchable and fun but THE ORIGINALS moved so far beyond that.

On movies, please check out Margaret Kimberley's piece on BLACK PANTHER.

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

Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

The item below, that's not really why the military exists or why someone is made a "high ranking member of the US military."

Your Military at Work.... Colin Kaepernick: U.S. Military Official Cautioned Ravens On Signing QB via

That is outrageous.

It's as though the official is Alyssa Milano and never learned the phrase "butt the hell out."  Colin should sue.  This is outrageous and against both (a) democracy and (b) the free market the US government supposedly is so enthralled with.

Staying with the government, Kevin de Leon is running for the US Senate from my state of California.  He has stood firm with regards to Donald Trump while others have held hands and, in Dianne Feinstein's case, played footsie.

Yesterday, Kevin addressed the issue of children being torn from their parents on his Twitter feed.

Bottom line: California will NOT help President Trump, Jeff Sessions or Thomas Homan rip children from the arms of their mothers and fathers. Here in CA, we embrace our historic diversity, and we will do everything in our legal power to protect it.
  • Based on Jeff Session's track record in court so far - I like our odds of beating back his racist and xenophobic attack on the CA Values Act.
  • If Sessions is serious about cracking down on crime, he should stop fretting about CA and look in his own backyard. 2016 FBI stats show crime is far higher in his home state of Alabama than in California.
  • Our nation’s Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is suing CA because we refuse to help the Trump administration tear apart honest, hardworking immigrant families. To that, I say BRING IT ON! CA will not be intimidiated.

    He was not the only one to address the topic.

    Separating young children from their parents as a form of punishment flies in the face of American values. I've repeatedly told the Department of Homeland Security this policy is completely unacceptable.

    Dianne's against the practice as well.

    "I've repeatedly told the Department of Homeland Security this policy is completely unacceptable."


    If only Dianne were in the US Senate and able to do something -- to actually take a stand and introduce legislation -- then maybe . . .



    She is in the Senate.

    Do-nothing Dianne.

    And that's all she's ever been.

    Doubt it?  In 2006, during the confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito,  Rebecca captured Dianne perfectly:

    it started with a whimper, then it picked up a little, then it whimpered to an end.

    no climax. if the alito hearings had been a lover, you'd have been smart to kick it out of bed.

    this is the oppostion party? this is how they do the brave stands?

    i'm not talking about a filbuster. 1 of the nelsons brothers (that's how i see the 2 senators named nelson, they're like the really bad pop band of the 80s) has already given indications that he's willing to vote for alito.

    so i'm not talking about that. i'm talking about asking tough questions and then asking follow ups. too often i felt like i was watching toy poodles who'd been housebroken long ago.

    they'd bark a little at you while you were sitting on the couch but if you stood, they'd whimper and run out of the room.

    that's not an opposition party.

    it's sad that the democrats think that makes 1.

    when alito kept fudging and refusing to answer, they should have treated him like a hostile witness. by the last day, every 1 of them should have used their time to hit on the same issues.
    over and over.

    dianne feinstein, to name 1 of the worst offenders, could shoot scattershot (although she acted as though she were tossing out lillies throughout the hearings) in the other days but on the final day, she didn't need to be bringing up new issues. this is where you make the case to the people.
    not where you suddenly introduce a new topic.

    and for some 1 who interrupted ted kennedy repeatedly the day prior as he asked about caps, wasn't it strange that she didn't have a question on that? when kennedy was speaking yesterday, she couldn't stop interrupting. today? she's moved on.

    miss dianne gets my vote for most useless and i'm not fan of kohl. but miss dianne was supposed to be fighting for women and instead we got a timid school marm trying to get the rowdy class to like her.

    it's not just her. that's a point c.i. made tonight in the roundtable. c.i. pointed out that arlen specter couldn't stop treating her like she was a 'special' and not a real senator. he referred to her 'dramatic entrance.' there was another specific example c.i. brought up but i'm forgetting it now. but the point is, she is treated that way by others on the committee.

    as an adult, she should ask them to cut it out. instead she seems tickled by the patronizing attitude.

    i'm looking for the non-action figure miss dianne. she comes non-fully poseable. she's in a seated postion. you can extend her legs or bend them depending upon whether you want her to sit in a chair or to sit on the floor. she wears a lovely dress with several layers. she comes with white gloves and the cutest little purse that matches her hat, her belt and her shoes. the non-action figure has a silly grin pasted on its face and is called 'miss dianne, girl senator.'

    the tea set is purchased separately.

    No one's ever captured Dianne better.

    California needs a fighter.

    Not a faker.

    There are enough fakes in the world.

    Speaking of . . .

    British agents caught dressed as Arabs & shooting civilians in Iraq to inflame sectarianism

    Remember that?

    We covered that fakery in real time.  So did others.  From DEMOCRACY NOW! (September 20, 2005):

    New questions about Iraq's sovereignty are being raised after British forces attacked an Iraqi jail on Monday because they believed two detained British commandos were inside. British troops opened fire on the jail in Basra and used six armored vehicles to smash down the jail's walls as helicopter gunships flew overhead. The provincial governor of Basra described the British assault as "barbaric, savage and irresponsible." The Associated Press reported 150 prisoners escaped during the siege. As the British raided the prison, Iraqis started attacking the British vehicles with firebombs and rockets. One of the British armored fighting vehicles was set ablaze. Photos showed a British soldier on fire climbing out of the hatch and jumping to the ground, as a crowd pelted him. An Iraqi official said that the British soldiers were arrested after they had fired at an Iraqi police officer. At the time the British soldiers were undercover and dressed as Iraqis. After the prison was breached in Basra, the two soldiers were found not to be in the jail but in a nearby house. The British Army attempted to downplay the incident claiming that the men were released after negotiations. The government said it feared for the lives of the British commandos after discovering they had been handed to "militia elements". The British attack on the Iraqi jail came one day after British forces arrested three members of the Shiite Mahdi Army.

    While they said that -- the British government -- and Amy Goodman repeated it, that wasn't reality.

    From 9/22/17:

    Waving pistols and assault rifles, Iraqi police officers led an angry anti-British demonstration in the southern city of Basra on Wednesday, and the provincial council voted unanimously to stop cooperating with British forces in the area until Britain apologized for storming a police station to free two of its soldiers.
    At least 200 people, mostly officers who work in the police station that was damaged in the raid, rallied outside Basra's police headquarters, demanding an official apology from Britain and the resignation of Basra's police chief, Hassan Sawadi, Iraqi officials said.
    Later, Basra's 41-member provincial council voted unanimously to "stop dealing with the British forces working in Basra" until it received an apology for the raid on Monday, The Associated Press reported. In the raid, British tanks crashed through the police station's outer wall and freed two officers who had been detained by the Iraqi police.

    The above is from Robert F. Worth's "Anger Grows in Basra After British Raid" in this morning's New York Times. Look, I'd love to take a pass on the Iraq coverage. I don't have a great deal of faith in the paper's coverage.

    But note these paragraphs:

    The details of the raid and its origins remain murky, with British and Iraqi officials offering different accounts. British commanders and government officials have said the Iraqi police handed the men over to Shiite militia members, who largely control the Iraqi police and military in Basra. After breaking into the police station, British officials said, British soldiers found the two men in a nearby house. Initially, some Iraqi officials confirmed that account.
    But on Wednesday, Iraq's interior minister, Bayan Jabr, disputed the British account, telling the BBC that the soldiers had not been handed over to anyone else and that the British had acted on a rumor. A spokesman for Muhammad al-Waili, the governor of Basra Province, said the same thing in an interview, adding that the British were "claiming that to justify their illegal behavior." The arrest and detention of the British officers, who were in Arab dress, was handled appropriately, said the spokesman, who agreed to discuss the episode on the condition of anonymity. A judge issued an arrest warrant and informed both the Basra governor and the city council about the case, he said.

    Polly provides these two BBC stories that address the differences in where the two soldiers were obtained from: "Basra soldiers tell of fire drama" and "Leaders firm after Basra unrest."

    Why would they do that?

    Because that was the point -- to sew unrest in the country, to encourage tensions.

    This was to allow for the occupation of Iraq -- which continues to this day -- to take hold.

    Naomi Klein wrote one of the most important articles about Iraq -- to this day, it remains one of the most important.  From her "Baghdad: Year Zero" (2004, HARPER'S -- but link goes to ICH):

    The honey theory of Iraqi reconstruction stems from the most cherished belief of the war's ideological architects: that greed is good. Not good just for them and their friends but good for humanity, and certainly good for Iraqis. Greed creates profit, which creates growth, which creates jobs and products and services and everything else anyone could possibly need or want. The role of good government, then, is to create the optimal conditions for corporations to pursue their bottomless greed, so that they in turn can meet the needs of the society. The problem is that governments, even neoconservative governments, rarely get the chance to prove their sacred theory right: despite their enormous ideological advances, even George Bush's Republicans are, in their own minds, perennially sabotaged by meddling Democrats, intractable unions, and alarmist environmentalists.

    Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.

    The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.

    Torturers believe that when electrical shocks are applied to various parts of the body simultaneously subjects are rendered so confused about where the pain is coming from that they become incapable of resistance. A declassified CIA "Counterintelligence Interrogation" manual from 1963 describes how a trauma inflicted on prisoners opens up "an interval – which may be extremely brief - of suspended animation, a kind of psychological shock or paralysis ... At this moment the source is far more open to suggestion, far likelier to comply." A similar theory applies to economic shock therapy, or "shock treatment," the ugly term used to describe the rapid implementation of free-market reforms imposed on Chile in the wake of General Augusto Pinochet's coup. The theory is that if painful economic "adjustments" are brought in rapidly and in the aftermath of a seismic social disruption like a war, a coup, or a government collapse, the population will be so stunned, and so preoccupied with the daily pressures of survival, that it too will go into suspended animation, unable to resist. As Pinochet's finance minister, Admiral Lorenzo Gotuzzo, declared, "The dog's tail must be cut off in one chop."

    That, in essence, was the working thesis in Iraq, and in keeping with the belief that private companies are more suited than governments for virtually every task, the White House decided to privatize the task of privatizing Iraq's state-dominated economy. Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq's "transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system." The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Pint) will take "appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances." Which is precisely what happened. L. Paul Bremer, who led the U.S. occupation of Iraq from May 2, 2003, until he caught an early flight out of Baghdad on June 28, admits that when he arrived, "Baghdad was on fire, literally, as I drove in from the airport." But before the fires from the "shock and awe" military onslaught were even extinguished, Bremer unleashed his shock therapy, pushing through more wrenching changes in one sweltering summer than the International Monetary Fund has managed to enact over three decades in Latin America. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate and former chief economist at the World Bank, describes Bremer's reforms as "an even more radical form of shock therapy than pursued in the former Soviet world."

    The tone of Bremer's tenure was set with his first major act on the job: he fired 500,000 state workers, most of them soldiers, but also doctors, nurses, teachers, publishers, and printers. Next, he flung open the country's borders to absolutely unrestricted imports: no tariffs, no duties, no inspections, no taxes. Iraq, Bremer declared two weeks after he arrived, was "open for business."

    One month later, Bremer unveiled the centerpiece of his reforms. Before the invasion, Iraq's non-oil-related economy had been dominated by 200 state-owned companies, which produced everything from cement to paper to washing machines. In June, Bremer flew to an economic summit in Jordan and announced that these firms would be privatized immediately. "Getting inefficient state enterprises into private hands," he said, "is essential for Iraq's economic recovery." It would be the largest state liquidation sale since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    But Bremer's economic engineering had only just begun. In September, to entice foreign investors to come to Iraq, he enacted a radical set of laws unprecedented in their generosity to multinational corporations. There was Order 37, which lowered Iraq's corporate tax rate from roughly 40 percent to a flat 15 percent. There was Order 39, which allowed foreign companies to own 100 percent of Iraqi assets outside of the natural-resource sector. Even better, investors could take 100 percent of the profits they made in Iraq out of the country; they would not be required to reinvest and they would not be taxed. Under Order 39, they could sign leases and contracts that would last for forty years. Order 40 welcomed foreign banks to Iraq under the same favorable terms. All that remained of Saddam Hussein's economic policies was a law restricting trade unions and collective bargaining.

    If these policies sound familiar, it's because they are the same ones multinationals around the world lobby for from national governments and in international trade agreements. But while these reforms are only ever enacted in part, or in fits and starts, Bremer delivered them all, all at once. Overnight, Iraq went from being the most isolated country in the world to being, on paper, its widest-open market.

    At first, the shock-therapy theory seemed to hold: Iraqis, reeling from violence both military and economic, were far too busy staying alive to mount a political response to Bremer's campaign. Worrying about the privatization of the sewage system was an unimaginable luxury with half the population lacking access to clean drinking water; the debate over the flat tax would have to wait until the lights were back on. Even in the international press, Bremer's new laws, though radical, were easily upstaged by more dramatic news of political chaos and rising crime. 

    That was the plan and it remains the plan to this day.

    The government of Iraq was toppled and the military sent packing.  And the violence that resulted -- often encouraged or started by foreign governments such as the British earlier -- was meant to terrorize the people into submission.

    That's still the plan.

    US forces remain in Iraq to protect the installed leaders of Iraq -- leaders who are not of the Iraqi people, leaders who only found their way back to Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion.

    These cowards have been elevated above the Iraqi people by the US and UK governments.  This happened not because these were popular people who could inspire but because they were willing to be puppets to foreign governments -- or at least promise to be.

    In 2006, a new effort was made out of frustration on the part of the foreign governments.  The US installed Nouri al-Maliki not because he was competent but because he was paranoid -- as his CIA profile had noted -- and the hope was that the paranoia would allow the US to use him more fully than they had others before him.

    His paranoia, once fully unleashed, led an already battered country to the brink of collapse.  He was aided by the US which elected to look the other way and to thwart democracy.  Despite Nouri losing the election in 2010, he refused to step down as prime minister.  (Something US Gen Ray Odierno had warned about ahead of the election but then-US Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill dismissed.) Instead of calling for him to step down, Barack Obama's administration worked to deliver him the second term the Iraqi people didn't want him to have.  They did this via The Erbil Agreement -- an agreement -- legal contract -- so important that Patrick Cockburn never bothered to report on it and ignores it to this day.  This contract gave Nouri a second term provided he agreed to make concessions to the other major political parties.  He never did honor the contract but he used it to get his second term.

    In the lying world of Patrick Cockburn, Nouri got a second term because of the Iranian government.  In October, they backed Nouri, Patrick repeats always, and this is how he got his second term.

    While the Iranian government did back him, that's not how he got his second term.

    Nouri's refusal to step down lasted for eight months and brought the country to a political stalemate.

    Patrick's lies did not back then stand up to reality and the timeline everyone should be able to see today makes it clear that Patrick was lying (and continues to lie).

    March 7, 2010, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted in August 2010, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 

    Patty says come October the matter was decided.


    November 10, 2010, The Erbil Agreement is signed.  November 11, 2010, the Iraqi Parliament has their first real session in over eight months and finally declares a president, a Speaker of Parliament and Nouri as prime minister-designate -- all the things that were supposed to happen in April of 2010 but didn't.

    The event that allowed the Parliament to finally do what they were supposed to do immediately after the elections was not some approval in October from Iran.  It was the legal contract, The Erbil Agreement -- as we've said all along.  And the proof is that the Parliament finally holds the first real session 24 hours after The Erbil Agreement is signed.

    I have no idea why Patrick Cockburn lied and continues to do so.  It wasn't his first Iraq 'problematic' reporting -- remember when he reported on the stoning victim that wasn't stoned?

    But the timeline has always made it clear -- to anyone who wanted to pay attention -- what happened.

    Laura Flanders, his niece, was taken in by the con of Barack Obama -- maybe Patrick was too.

    Barack's out of office, can we finally get honest about the destruction Iraq faced as a result?

    After Nouri was installed for a second term, he only got worse, terrorizing the Sunnis and basically everyone in Iraq that wasn't of his sect, party and political slate.

    The people tried to address these abuses by appealing to their lawmakers and their lawmakers tried to stand up to Nouri but Barack had pressure put on fat ass Jalal Talabani, then president of Iraq.  Presented with a petition for a no confidence vote, all Jalal was supposed to do was present it to the Parliament.  Instead?  Instead, he created the task for himself of verifying the signatures and pressing people who signed to say they wouldn't sign today -- how novel.  He then refused to introduce it and quickly high tailed it to Germany claiming a medical emergency.  It was elective knee surgery.  Karma's a bitch, which is how Jalal Talabani ended up with a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  Fat boy would remain there for over a year and a half.

    Fitting for Jalal.

    And Iraq would fall apart.

    The people had used the ballot box, they had resorted to their elected officials.  Now they took to the streets.

    Nouri's response?

    To have them kidnapped, to have them attacked, to attack the press who covered the protests, etc.

    It was this climate that gave rise to ISIS.

    Nouri birthed it.

    Only when ISIS took over Mosul and other areas did Barack finally tell Nouri it was time to go and then Barack installed the eager to please Hayder al-Abadi.

    Iraq is not a place where freedom exists or where the people have a voice.

    It is a foreign occupation.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

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