Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Open Post to Holly Marie Combs

You were the best on CHARMED.  I loved Pru and Paige.  But Piper, was my favorite.  She was smart and strong but always had a heart.  She wasn’t just concerned with black and white, she was concerned with people.
I didn’t care for Phoebe.  It was okay when Shannen was Pru.  Then she could be little sister.  But she never grew up.  And the show focused on her way too much.  I checked out for a season because I couldn’t take the whole Phoebe mermaid, Phoebe a genie, Phoebe a . . .
Alyssa’s a so-so actress to begin with.  The character never grew.  Shanne, Rose and you deepened your portrayals with the passage of time.  I think the three of you gave Emmy award winning performances.  And I think THE CW was stupid to cancel the show and that it would still be running today if they’d had a brain.
That said, age isn’t the reason THE CW isn’t bringing the cast back.
You are all too expensive.  Now that might be gender related – they might be willing to fork over the money for men.  So that could be discrimination.
But the reboot is no different than bringing on a new James Bond or a new Spider-Man or . . .
Best example would probably be THE CARRIE DIARIES.  Remember THE CW doing that?  It was going to be SEX IN THE CITY before hand – a prequel.  They didn’t try to get the original actress in a show.  They were too expensive.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be paid what you are worth.  But what you are worth is more than THE CW wants to pay up.  Did you not notice that with their 90210 reboot they really just did guest spots?
They can cast new performers way cheaper than you or Rose or Shannen.
That’s before we get into the fact that the cast became producers – which was more money.
I’m excited about the new CHARMED.  I like shows like this.  I loved CHARMED and I liked SECRET GARDEN.
Alyssa Milano is making her own problems with her Twitter behavior.  I’m far to the left of her and I can’t stand her Twitter personality or her so-called activism.  Real activism would be protesting the ongoing wars.  Real activism would be grasping that the bombs we’re dropping in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc are killing children.  And Alyssa lost me forever when she started talking about the White Helmets.  She really needs to shut up when she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  Unless she in fact supports empire and destroying people.  The White Helmets are evil.  And, Holly Marie Combs, before you go reading WIKIPEDIA, grasp that I am an African-American man and left-wing.  Despite WIKIPEDIA’s lies, this is not alt-right criticizing them.  It is THE BLACK AGENDA REPORT, for example, and I won’t have any nonsense about Glen Ford, Margaret Kimberley and Bruce A. Dixon.
Here are some examples from BLACK AGENDA REPORT:
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Nov 2, 2016 - by Danny Haiphong Syria is “the target of one of the greatest ... Black Agenda Report ... Imperialism's war on Syria may be the most important question on ... Eva Bartlett recently visited Aleppo and witnessed many White Helmet workers sporting ... The media decided to ignore this and report instead that the ...
1.    Cached
What began as a U.S. scheme for regime-change in Syria now threatens to ignite global war. Turkey is poised to come to blows with Russia, as the U.S. revs up ...
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2.    Similar
President Obama has gotten a pass for almost eight years from self-styled anti-war elements that back his proxy war against Syria. Phony anti-warriors blame the ...
1.    Cached
Apr 19, 2017 - “Rather than defend Syria's self-determination, many in the West have ... produced by over two centuries of white supremacist war on Black and ...
1.    Cached
Feb 14, 2018 - The seven year-old war waged against Syria ought to be over by now. The jihadist forces backed by the United States, Israel, Turkey and Saudi ...
1.    Cached
2.    Similar
Jan 19, 2017 - It was no longer a question of what “they” -- white people -- were up to ... Obama threatened to launch a direct air attack on Syria, supposedly in ...
1.    Cached
Apr 25, 2018 - The US-led alliance of imperial nations has waged war on Syria for eight years with the hopes of overthrowing the independent Arab nationalist ...
I’ve been more lenient towards Alyssa than many.  And THE CW knows they cannot star her in a series.  She’s pissed off to many with her namby pamby ‘actions.’  The right’s ticked at her for her gun control actions, the left’s sick of her excuses for war and her delusions.  That’s before you get into the fact that African-Americans never liked her due to Phoebe (airhead, the stupid one on the show and we aren’t big on stupid) to begin with and now we see her as a White racist due to her cultural appropriations and her egging on attacks of countries inhabited by people of color).
So THE CW’s not going to do you three or four as CHARMED.  But you might try pitching to NETFLIX which has solid numbers demonstrating how loyal CHARMED fans are and might be interested in doing a reboot that could bring in a lot of viewers.
Regardless, thank you for all your outstanding work on CHARMED (and on PICKET FENCES too).

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018.  Iraq . . . where democracy goes to die via assisted suicide.

AP can't get it right this morning.  It's Wednesday, Hayder al-Abadi has done his weekly speech as prime minister of Iraq.  In the speech, he announces that a body no one's heard of before, one he appointed from his own Cabinet has found 'irregularities' -- no details on what they are -- that will require calling off the votes of the displaced outside of Iraq and the displaced inside Iraq.

This would be the same Hayder, remember, who may be the outgoing prime minister because he did not win the elections last month.  Hayder did not come in first, that was the Moqtada al-Sadr's alliance.  Moqtada is the Shi'ite cleric and movement leader who was vastly underestimated by gas bags.  Hayder did not come in second, that was the party of the militias.  Hayder came in third.  Distant third.

And now he's saying the election results are being tabled -- for the displaced.

Oh, and it gets worse.

Hayder's announced there will be recounts.

Why is that worse?

Because it's not allowed.

Ibrahim Saleh (ANADOLU AGENCY) reports:

Iraqi law does not allow election results to be annulled or manual vote recounts to be conducted, Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said Tuesday.
“Article 8 of the Electoral Commission Law No. 11 of 2007 gives voters the right to challenge [poll] results before the Independent High Electoral Commission’s board of commissioners,” the judicial council said in a statement.
“If the plaintiff is not satisfied by the board’s decision, they can bring the issue before an electoral tribunal, which must rule on the appeal within 10 days of referral,” the statement read.
It added: “There is no provision within the law giving the judiciary the authority to partially annul election results.”
“Nor is there any provision within the law giving the judiciary the authority to request a partial recount of poll results,” the judicial council asserted.

So the loser, Hayder, who thought he'd win campaigning on his alleged defeat of ISIS doesn't like the results and thinks that's all it takes.

He doesn't have to follow the Constitution, he doesn't have to listen to the courts, he can just do whatever he wants, create his own commission and what he decides goes?

That's how it works now?

Let's drop back to note the hysterical reaction to Moqtada's win.

For example, Danny Sjursen (NATIONAL INTEREST) insists:

Sadr has since re-branded himself as an enemy of corruption and a cross-sectarian proponent of governance reform. Nonetheless, to my men and most U.S. troopers, he’ll always be the fiercely anti-American thug who sent his impoverished, hopeless fighters out into the streets to kill soldiers and marines.

So sorry, Danny, but you don't get to vote in the Iraqi elections.  Yes, you invaded their country, yes, US weapons were used on the Iraqi people, but that doesn't mean you get to decide for them. 

And, Danny, I'll take your hysterics a little more seriously after you call out the 2009 deal that released the leader of the League of Righteousness from US custody -- despite the fact that he did have US blood on his hands.  You've never called that out.  You've never even acknowledged it. 

For any late to the party on that reality,  let's drop back  to the June 9, 2009 snapshot:

This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."

Still waiting for honest discussions on that reality.

In the meantime, US troops don't get to decide who runs Iraq -- whether the US government sent them there or not.  Guess that wasn't covered in basic training?

Didn't turn out quite the way you wanted
How were you to know
Boom town broke down
What a let down
Where did the mountain go?
-- "Chalice Borealis," written by Carole King and Rick Sorensen, first appears on Carole's SPEEDING TIME

The turn out for the latest election was low -- historically low.

Why might that be?

Maybe because Barack Obama nixed Nouri al-Maliki's plans for a third term and installed Hayder al-Abadi as prime minister.  And -- or -- maybe because Nouri lost the election in 2010 and Ayad Allawi should have been named prime minister-designate.  Instead, Nouri refused to allow the process to move forward.  He dug his heels in.  For eight months, Iraq was at a standstill.  The political stalemate ended because Barack okayed The Erbil Agreement, a legal contract brokered by the US government which was signed off on by all party leaders -- but not by the Iraqi voters.  This contract gave Nouri a second term in exchange for concessions to various parties.  Nouri used the contract to get a second term, then stalled on honoring his side of the contract until his attorney announced that the contract wasn't valid.

Nouri, of course, was installed by the US in 2006.  A nobody, a nothing.  But he did have a CIA profile which found him to be highly paranoid and the US government felt that this could be worked, they could use it to control him.

Golly gee, after 2006's result, 2010's result and 2014's result, why do you suppose Iraqis might not feel the need to turn out and vote?

But Moqtada's supporters did.

Why was that a surprise?

He's demonstrated repeatedly over the years that he can get his followers to turn out.  And to turn out in public, mind you, where they might be attacked.  Getting them to turn out at the polls was so much easier.

The US government has been sputtering over Moqtada's win for weeks now.

And it's not even like Moqtada's going to be prime minister.  He can't be.  He didn't run for Parliament and the prime minister has to be an elected Member of Parliament.

But it's been non-stop hand wringing over Moqtada.

So now Hayder al-Nobody thinks he can disregard Iraq's Constitution and Iraq's judiciary.  And you don't think that further destroys the average Iraqi's faith in democratic institutions?

Hayder's whining about the new electronic voting machines.  We might manage to care if we weren't raising issues about that in March, long before the elections.  If he's only concerned after he loses, then he's really not concerned about the machines, he's just got sour grapes over losing.

It's almost a month since elections.  And yet again Iraqis have to wait because the process is not honored, the rules are not respected.

This is not how you grow democracy.

And at a time when the Islamic State is still active in Iraq, you need a peaceful and reasonable transfer of power.  The longer this draws out, the more questions there will be for leadership.  The more attacks by the Islamic State, the more this inability to follow the process becomes an issue.

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