Monday, October 29, 2018



Above is Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Rachel Toilets."

No EMPIRE update from last week, FOX was airing baseball.  HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER was great.  The way they started the episode, we thought the case was lost but mid-way or so we found out that they’d just had a really bad day in court.  In the end, Nate’s father did get declared mentally incompetent so he gets to leave the prison.  Which is what we wanted.  And it gives Annalise (no, that’s not how you spell it, consider me like my grandmother who still call Oprah “Ofrah.”) the opportunity to pursue this further.  Which is why the governor, watching Annalise on the court house steps, turned to her assistant and said, “Bring her in and let’s see if she has the guts to say that to my face.”  

aaaa Laura Innes (aka Dr. Kerry Weaver) in How To Get Away With Murder! 😍

Laura Innes, by the way, is playing the governor.  She did a great job on ER and THE EVENT.

Viola Davis really is the finest actress on television today. 

Viola Davis photographed by Dylan Coulter for The Guardian Weekend, 2018.

And Makalah and Asher are talking and planning Connor and Ollie’s bachelor parties.  Which will have both mothers present because Ollie’s invited them both.  

Meet Connor's mom this Thursday.

I wish Asher and Makala would get back together.

HTGAWM is also one of the best dramas.  May be the only great one on TV. 

How To Get Away With Murder” is the best damn show on network television. πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

It's a shame Channing Dungey isn't going to give it the promotional push it needs but she's all about destroying ABC, not about helping anyone. 

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

Monday, October 29, 2018.  On this ship on which we sail, everything is possible (Cher, "Love Is The Groove").

Day 29 of veterans who have taken their lives this year is Andrew Mark Hollinshead who lost his battle with his demons. Ex REME 22yr and had served in Bosnia and Iraq.

Reminder, Post-Traumatic Stress is not limited to Americans who served in Iraq.

Veterans flex creative muscles to cope with PTSD

There are a lot of stigmas associated with Post-Traumatic Stress.  There shouldn't be.  We call it Post-Traumatic Stress here.  We agree with retired General Peter W. Chiarelli that "disorder" added to that term prevents some from seeking assistance.  PTS is hyper vigilance, it's the body's response to being placed in live or die situations.  While it can cause problems in civilian life, in combat it is the body's way of trying to protect you.  Re-adapting to civilian life can results in many issues and this is one of those issues.  Seeking treatment to address this coping mechanism is not a sign of weakness.

Soldiers with symptoms of PTSD often faced rejection by their military peers and were feared by society in general.

Nor is this coping mechanism a reason to reject anyone.

It would be really great if those who are self-proclaimed "healers" would stop referring to PTS as "mental illness."  It is not mental illness.  Calling it that attaches a stigma that helps no one.

The Iraqi people have been trapped in a war made by foreigners for some time.  The effects on them are unknown.  But the war continues and so does the violence.

A body of a man dumped in a far off water well has been found in Al-Jazira area west of Mosul.

A civilian was wounded when an IED exploded in the industrial area of Taji district north of Baghdad.

And here's some of the violence that Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) reported last night:

At least five people were killed in recent violence, and five more were wounded:
An attack on a police patrol in Tarfawi left a police officer dead. A number of bodyguards were also reported killed.

In Sinjar, a bomb wounded three civilians.

Amid the ongoing violence, Iraq still lacks a full Cabinet.  There are 22 spots and Prime Minister Adel Abdul al-Mahdi only filled 14 of them last week.  The 14 approved?  They included not a single woman.  They also did not include a Minister of the Interior or a Minister of Defense -- the two agencies tasked with providing security to Iraq.

Bobby Ghosh (BLOOMBERG NEWS) weighs in on Adel Abdul al-Mahdi's inability to form a full Cabinet last week:

 The political groups he warned about — a half-dozen factions whose backing he needed for his confirmation — jockeyed ferociously for control of key ministries, leaving Abdul Mahdi unable to deliver on his promise of a cabinet of “technocrats.” His picks to run the oil and electricity ministries may fit that description, but in other positions it seems clear that Abdul Mahdi’s choices were forced on him. None of the nominations came from an online application process he announced earlier this month, designed to attract fresh talent to government. Worryingly, his nominee for the powerful interior ministry is Falih al-Fayadh, who ran the Iran-backed militias known as Popular Mobilization Forces militias. (The vote on his nomination, and at least some of the others, is expected on Nov. 6.)

The difficulty Abdul Mahdi has already had with the cabinet-formation process bodes ill for the other challenges that lie ahead. Among those he prophesied in the May essay: resistance by political parties to the institutionalization of government departments, to ending rentierism in the economy, to the separation of powers between the legislative and the executive, to the dismantling of politically affiliated militias, and to transparency in security agreements with other nations, including Iran.

For months, Basra has been the site of protests -- over government corruption, over the lack of jobs, over the lack of electricity, over the lack of drinking water that didn't make you sick.  Despite giving lip service to the issues raised in Basra ahead of becoming prime minister, in the days since moving from prime minister-designate to prime minister, al-Mahdi has done to little to even acknowledge what has taken place in Basra.  Protests may resume shortly.  They have been put on hold for Arbaeen.

The deputy governor of ’s province said more than 10 million pilgrims have arrived in the province for the mourning ceremony

In the meantime, THE BAGHDAD POST reports:

Basra's MP Thawra Kadhim announced the intention of the 25 Basra Parliamentarians to suspend their own memberships in the Parliament, as a means to force Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to choose candidates from Basra in the new government. 
 Nasr Alliance's Kadhim said in a press statement that the Basra MPs are waiting to sign on a statement that was already written, and subsequently announce the suspension of their memberships.

al-Mahdi needs to get serious about the issues facing Iraqis.  That includes being targeted by their own government.

Since major protests erupted in Basra last July against corruption and a lack of services, demonstrators have claimed that shadowy sub-state elements within the security forces have carried out targeted killings,...

Alex MacDonald (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:

Since major protests erupted in Basra last July against corruption and a lack of services, demonstrators have claimed that shadowy sub-state elements within the security forces have carried out targeted killings, kidnappings, threats and torture.
Reports of these elements, apparently affiliated to powerful political parties and militias, have struck fear into Basra's populace as it demands a better basic quality of life.
Now, a report by Iraq's Joint Operations Command released this week would appear to vindicate some of the claims made by the protesters. According to the report, actors with "partisan influences" had succeeded in infiltrating the security forces.
The report, which focuses on two days of violence in Basra that began on 2 September and saw the destruction of the Iranian consulate and political parties' buildings, said that the nine protesters confirmed as killed during the unrest were targeted for "political reasons" by "saboteurs" loyal to political parties.
The news appears to confirm allegations made by activists, who have said they now exist in a state of fear over possible repression by Iran-backed groups in Basra.
One demonstrator, speaking to Middle East Eye, detailed his experience of being arrested, beaten and subjected to sectarian questioning under the direction of a man he believed to be an operative of a political party.
Mahdi Salah, a student at the Basra Technical College, explained how after being arrested with around 32 other people in August he was taken to a building belonging to the South Oil Company. During the journey to the building, around a kilometre away from the protest location, he was continuously beaten by police.

This echoes earlier periods in Iraq where authorities attacked protesters.

War is not the natural state.

In the alleys of Marseilles
In the streets of Kathmandu
On the high roads of Peru
People meet and touch and go
But the wind of change will blow
And another dance will start
And I'll finally get the point
Like an arrow to my heart
Love is the groove in which we move
Love is the groove in which we move
Love is the groove in which we move
Look back where's the sea
Who brought this mystery?
Deep in another world
Someone is listening
And they as with night
And we keep asking why
Look back there's the key

Deep in another life

Love is the groove in which we move
Love is the groove in which we move
Love is the groove in which we move
Love is the groove in which we move

On this ship in which we sail
Everything is possible
Keep on turning like a star
'Til you get to where you are

If I promise not to laugh
Will you promise not to cry?
Will you promise not to let this life
Slip by?

Cher's "Love Is The Groove" written by Betsy Cook and Bruce Woolley.

Meanwhile, Christian Christensen addresses the elements that led to last week's headlines in the US:

(1) About those bombs sent to Soros, Cinton, Obama, CNN and others: cultures of violence don’t emerge overnight, and the US media need to do some serious soul-searching about decades of coverage before Trump became President.

(2) First, media outlets (like CNN) turned the killing of innocent civilians in Iraq into pornographic prime-time entertainment, legitimating killing as tool of power to the US people...yet are now aghast at the use of violence. And, Iraq is just one case of many.

(3) For decades US media watched in near silence as the death penalty was used - usually in wildly disproportionate numbers against African-Americans. That the US was one of the only wealthy nations in the world to use this barbaric tool wasn’t an issue. Cultures of violence.

  • (4) US news media also chose to ignore, until made it impossible to do so, the use of lethal state violence against poor, African-American men. The message with this silence was/is that certain lives are disposable, and that violence of this kind is acceptable.

  • (5) A critical analysis of the existence of a shameful number of US citizens living and dying in abject poverty - in a country that proudly brags about being the richest in the world - without recourse to decent healthcare, was never addressed by US news to the extent required.

  • (6) As news media routinely knelt in awe front of the US military (a machine of violence), rarely was it asked by that media how many lives could be saved by cutting 5% of US defense spending & putting that into healthcare, food programs, poverty reduction. Cultures of violence.

  • (7) A failure (or unwillingness) to address the need for serious and effective gun control was also a hallmark of US news. 12,000 gun homicides a year didn’t seem to be serious enough, yet the relatively small threat of Islamic terror in the US was hyped. Priorities.

  • (8) Of course, all of this violence was enbraced (or ignored) by a US media owned and funded by corporations with a vested interest in a culture of violence, or worried that opposing military violence or fighting poverty would alienate advetisers, thus impacting the bottom line.

  • (9) This corporate US news media also had/has a vested interest in undermining forms of collective solidarity: from unions to fights for a living minimum wage. Individualism was pitched as the de facto US way of life, with "socialist" politics portrayed as weak and un-American.

  • (10) Then we have coverage of candidate Trump. When bragging about sexual assault, or encouraging supporters to assault protesters, the US news media remained "objective" and normalized his candidacy, calling him "different" or "provocative." US news media loved the theater. $$$.

  • (11) None of this absolves Trump. This is about how we got here. The US news media (like CNN) now pitch themselves as the wall of resistance against Trumpism, when the fact is that decades of their coverage of US society & politics helped set the table for what we see before us.

  • (12) Threats of violence are abhorrent, and any real analysis of Trumpism, and the mind-set that leads to bombs being sent, needs to re-connect with a culture of alienation and violence promoted for many years by news organizations. That analysis won't come from media themselves.

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Rachel Toilets" went up last night.  New content at THIRD:

    No comments: