Monday, November 2, 2020


 When's the new James Bond film coming out?  

We don't know.  And WONDER WOMAN 1984?  We don't know.  It appears WW is about to be kicked back for the sixth time.

When do these films come out?

My opinion is that if it's after the first release, release it on-demand.  

So let's say March becomes the new release date for WW, okay?  And let's say we get a vaccine the same week.  So everyone's thrilled and a huge number of people go see it that weekend and?  Three days later the cases are spiking?  

My point here is that there is no safe day.  Until the pandemic is gone, there is no safe day.  

They should just be releasing these films on-demand at this point.  You're really hoping for a lot if you think a 12 month old film, made before the pandemic, is going to excite post-pandemic.  

A lot of people are going to take the attitude of: "Oh, I am so over that."  

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

 Monday, November 2, 2020.  This morning, we talk voting and Glenn Greenwald, among other things.

We're going to start with Glenn Greenwald but first we're going to start with why I'm starting with him.  For THIRD, Ava and I have written our piece.  Nothing else is completed so if anything I'm writing here steps on some planned feature, sorry, not my intent.

Glenn was a blogger and a citizen-journalist.  At that point, he was not someone we noted.  I wasn't really impressed with some of the stunts he pulled in 2008 and, if you're surprised by that, you're late to the party.  When he broke the Ed Snowden story about the spying being carried out by the NSA, we noted the story here -- extensively.  And I repeatedly praised him for what was clearly journalism and clearly superior to what others in the field of journalism were doing at that time.

I did not become a Glenn groupie.  I'm still not a Glenn groupie.  Over the weekend, a number of drive-by e-mailers to the public account ( insisted (a) this story isn't important and (b) I'm part of an organized effort to protect Glenn.  Organized with whom?

Seriously.  I don't believe the other community sites have been covering this story.  I'm not slamming them for that.  Mike would have on Saturday had Sean Connery not died.  Mike's probably written about James Bond 100 times -- at least at his site.  Of course, he would cover Sean's deathRebecca didn't post this weekend and I know that's because she was upset by all of these attacks on Glenn.  Rebecca's probably the closest, in this community, to a Glenn groupie.  

Glenn's never done a damn thing for me or this site.  I have no expectation that he ever will.  So I'm missing the organized effort I'm a part of.  Equally true, I do not do press for THE COMMON ILLS.  I do press in my own life but not for this website (and, in fact, long ago asked/begged NPR friends to stop mentioning it on air).  So it's not as though Aaron Matte is going to invite me on THE GRAYZONE or Krystal Ball is going to invite me on RISING or Katie Halper or . . .  I'm so not a part of that that I have never typed or dictated Katie's partner's name.  We all grasp that, right?

His name has only appeared here recently and that's my copy and pasting it from ROLLING STONE videos.  It appeared once at THIRD because of an interview we did where the person praised that man.  I don't hate that man but, as I long ago noted here (and repeated several times over the years), I was asked by one of his parents not to note him.  This was during his wilder period.  I'm sure, if we spoke today, I would be told differently but I don't have the time to do all of that.  We'll get back to the time issue.

I'm not a Glenn groupie.  I don't run in his circle and I never want to run his circle.  (That could change, if I'm honest, in that the way he's been burned may send him over to some people who already are my friends.)  I get nothing out of defending Glenn.

Except for the fact that it's the right thing to do.  

You knew we were going to have to insert Carly Simon, right?

So, no, there's nothing personally in it for me in defending Glenn.  We aren't friends.  We aren't acquaintances.  I will not benefit in any way from this and, if history holds, I'll actually be harmed for it.  

Now for the story isn't important claim.  Yes, it is.  We're on the eve of a presidential election and he's being censored for covering a political scandal about the candidate his editor ditzy bitsy Betsy Reed is supporting.  As when she was part of the move to kill the story (at THE NATION) on Dianne Feinstein's corruption -- including her husband's corruption, Bitsy Betsy won't allow Glenn's story in print.  Bitsy Betsy was a nightmare of censorship at THE NATION.  She was also a hideous person to work under or around -- her tantrums and explosions are legendary.  (And not just for the fool we 'outed' politically -- it was a story -- during the 2008 election.  Found out and fearing I intended to reveal more -- I didn't, I had made my point -- he served up one story after another about Bitsy Betsy -- stories I'd already heard from friends at THE NATION -- and he forwarded e-mail documentation to back his claims up).  

Betsy's a nightmare and always has been.  She has a very difficult and estranged relationship with free speech and what can only be termed an abusive relationship with journalism.

Since February 2003, I've spoken publicly about the Iraq War.  And I've noted many times how that enriches me and increases my knowledge and provides me with the equivalent of focus groups.  I have another set that provides me with focus groups: My friends.

Some, maybe many, are idiots when it comes to politics.  That's fine.  I'm not someone who has to talk politics in my real life.  Many of my friends are artists and they don't have a clue about politics and that's fine.  But there are some, one we'll call Blue, who, when an election comes along, feel the need to scramble to get informed and, sadly, they tend to run to MSNBC.  Green showed up yesterday.

She's an artist -- painting and sculpting.  And she's a good friend.  But I've avoided her for months now because I didn't want to hear about Joe Biden.  Our last conversation was in March, when Tulsi dropped out.  She was never going to support Joe Biden, she insisted, and she had all these bad jokes that she got from somewhere about Joe.  And as she yammered on, I thought, "Oh s**t, she's going to be supporting Joe and rewriting history."

So I've avoided her.

She dropped by yesterday.  I didn't know she was there or I wouldn't have come downstairs.  But I was looking for something and going to the music room when she saw me from the entry way and rushed over.  (She was being sent away prior to seeing me.)  "I'm masked and gloved!" she called out as she approached. She was worried about me, she said (I'm sure she was sincere), and knew that between Covid, the chemo I'm on and assorted other things, I was just "sequestering."  No sooner did she sit down in the music room (I was looking for some specific sheet music), then she began trashing Glenn.

The Joe Biden nonsense?  I'd expected that.  But the only news issue she's followed in the last ten years was Ed Snowden (she calls him "Eddie") who she thinks is a national hero and who she talks about constantly.  You can not speak to her for more than five minutes on any given day without her bringing up Ed.  I'm not joking.  And so, naturally, the love for Ed resulted in love for the person who broke the story, Glenn Greenwald.

As she trashed Glenn, it became obvious that her need to be part of the herd around Joe Biden meant that she was abandoning everything she believed in.  It was disgusting.

"Oh, C.I., what will you say when she reads this?"  She never does.  But, for some reason, she's forever apologizing to me, year-after-year, for it having 'slipped' who I was -- in terms of her constantly telling people that I'm online as THE COMMON ILLS.  It's always an accident and always  a slip and I'm really thinking it may be time to cut her out for that reason alone.  (She's also a gamer and, this visit, revealed she'd revealed it in a chat room.  Why?  It slipped.)

But I'm listening to her garbage about how, this close to an election, ''the most important election of our lives,'' how dare Glenn write anything against Joe Biden and how dare he make a scene and blah blah blah.

She hadn't read a word Glenn had written about the situation.  She had read Betsy's garbage.  I left the music room and returned with my filed on Bisty Betsy.  Yes, I do keep files on certain journalists, files containing what their peers pass on (including e-mails).  I handed her the file and told her, "This is the ____ you're defending."  She flipped through it and was shocked.  Basically, two-thirds of THE NATION writers are in that folder talking about the awful things Betsy did when she was at THE NATION.  

I think got to the heart of the matter, which no one seems to have a desire to.  

Forget Joe Biden.  Set him aside.  

If you're going to gripe at Glenn and take Betsy's line that he's having a tantrum?  Then you better have done the work.

Betsy didn't.  She wrote an attack on Glenn that didn't deal with anything.

And her supporters try to insist that was a good move because then you're repeating what Glenn said about Joe.

No, only an idiot would say that and I'm sorry but I really don't have time for the stupid these days.  I'm on chemo.  Still.  I. Do. Not. Have. Time. For. The. Stupid.

I'm fully aware that I could be dead tomorrow.  I don't have time for the stupid.

Glenn had a legal contract with THE INTERCEPT.  I know that not only because he wrote about it but also because I've seen the contract.  I've also seen Naomi Klein's contract and she should be ashamed of herself.  But Glenn's contract promised him certain things.  And Betsy violated that contract.

She can't.  Legally, she can't violate it.  Glenn should sue and I marvel over how a judge would respond to Betsy's published 'response' that was nothing but a character attack and that never responded to the legal violations of his contract.

Whores gotta whore, right, Naomi?

I don't need Naomi's opinions on the US political scene.  As far as I'm concerned, White Privilege Klein lost the right to talk about US politics when she invented a conversation.  It was the night of the 2008 election and, across the street, she could see two African-Americans talking and she just knew what they were saying, about Barack Obama, about themselves, about life.  Now she wasn't close enough to hear them and she knew no African-Americans in her own life that she could talk to, but, as a White person, she felt totally justified in inventing a conversation -- one that she shared for publication with Matthew Rothschild -- that she imposed upon them because, hey, isn't that the basis of White privilege?

Naomi, some would also argue, shouldn't talk about US politics -- certainly not advocate for whom to vote for -- since she's Canadian.

She would respond (in a whisper) that she's got dual citizenship.

And she does.  Her father is an American.  Her father is an Ameenrican who fled this country to avoid serving in Vietnam, moved to Canada and started a family there.  Years after that, Naomi was born.  I don't really see her as a US citizen.  I do see her as a coward who refused to talk about her father publicly when the War Resisters of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq needed her -- needed her in her own country.  That's why we outed her on this over 15 years ago.  She benefitted from the actions of people like me and Elaine who risked a lot to help her father and others.  And here she was, big columnist for THE NATION and THE GUARDIAN, best selling author, laughing uncomfortably on air when Al Franken made disparaging remarks about War Resisters.  What she should have done, on air, is said, "Excuse me, Al, you do know I am the child of a War Resister, right?"

But the living embodiment of Robin Sparkles showed no courage.  

She benefitted from a movement that supported her father but she wasn't going to pay it forward.

She's a greedy self-promoter and I thought that before I saw her contract over the weekend.  Looking at her contract and thinking of all the begging THE INTERCEPT does for money?  It's appalling.  She does not deserve that kind of money and THE GUARDIAN sure didn't give it to her.  She's a well paid whore and that's why she attacked Glenn.

She's a busy-body bitch who sticks her nose in the US political scene even though she's Canadian.  Her country has enough problems but you won't see her addressing those.  She's a shallow idiot who worships at the feet of empire and that's why she hangs with fellow whores like Bill McKibben. 

She attacks Glenn's character when you damn well better believe that if her contract was violated, she'd be having a public fit.

Glenn's been calm.  He's not thrown a fit.  But even my friend Blue got the point when I brought up the contract issue.  What if, on one of her art installations, they violated her contract?  Oh, suddenly, it hit home.

Glenn was done wrong.  And it is a story of censorship and it is a story of pack mentality and much more.  It's also a legal story.  His contract was violated and Bitsy Betsy can issue all the lies and attacks she wants but, please note, the ____ won't address the legal issue, she won't explain how it was okay to violate what he had been legally promised in a contract.

Bitsy Betsy is circling the drain currently.  

Only an idiot would defend her or THE INTERCEPT right now.  Defending it is saying, "I will sign any contract but no one has to honor it."  If that's your position, that's great and I hope your employers grasp that position because there's no need to pay you what they've promised and there's no need to honor any items in your contracts.

My friend Blue had been fed a diet of lies and even she got the point when we talked about the legal aspects.  Betsy Reed won't deal with those aspects, the most important ones -- did the employer honor the contract -- because she knows she loses on those grounds -- on the only grounds that matter in a court of law.  Glenn should be suing THE INTERCEPT.  He should get every one of them on the witness stand to address what they did and what they've said.

Joe Biden?  He's a piece of trash.  I say that sadly.  I knew Joe for years.  Tara Reade is telling the truth.  But setting Tara aside -- as so many were willing to do -- there's Iraq.  I stated before Tara came forward and before Lucy Florez came forward that Joe needed to get honest about Iraq.

He never did.  He never took accountability for his role in the rise of ISIS, for his spitting on the Iraqi people by overturning their 2010 votes with The Erbil Agreement, he never . . .

Go down the list.  And what he would talk about, the only thing the press would ever raise, was his 2002 vote.  When he did talk about that, he lied non-stop.  And they let him.  "Joe said his vote was a mistake.'  No.  Joe said his mistake was to trust Bully Boy Bush.  There's a world of difference.

I can't vote for Joe Biden.  If you can, that's fine.  I'm not here to take you to the polls and hold your hand while you vote.  Blue voted for Joe and as she realized that Glenn was in the right legally, she began to see some of the other lies she bought into begin to shatter.  "I shouldn't have voted for Joe!" she exclaimed.  I told her what I tell everyone:  We make the decision how to vote or not to vote based upon the information we have at the time.  If we did our best at that minute, then that's all we can do.  (Joe's vote for Iraq?  Not his best and he didn't try to do any better.)  That's all you can do, find out what feels right to you and vote accordingly.  

I'm not voting for Joe.  He didn't get honest about Iraq and over a million Iraqis are dead.  He didn't get honest and Iraqi children are born with birth defects.  I won't turn my back on the Iraqi people, sorry.  They matter more to me than Joe Biden or any politician.  I stated over and over here, for over a year before Joe declared, that he had to get honest about Iraq.  If he had, if he'd owned his mistakes and provided ways to make good on them, I might be voting for him.

Might?  I believe Tara Reade.  I couldn't vote for him after she came forward.  Her story rings true and Joe was a 'player' in the 80s and 90s.  He cheated on his wife over and over.  And he thought he was catnip to women.  I wasn't aware he was pressuring women he worked with but Tara's story rings true.  And, no, I can't vote for him.

Those are "I" statements.  If you can vote for him, do so.  If you're going to vote for Donald Trump because he speaks to you, that's your right and more power to you.  The same if you're voting for Howie Hawkins or Gloria La Riva or Jo Jorgensen or Joseph Kishore or anyone else.  The same if you look at the people running who made your ballot and decide not one of them spoke to you so you're not voting.  That's your right.  No one needs to tell you how to vote or even to vote.  This is the United States.  In some countries, the turnout is close to 100% and that's because you are forced to vote.  That's not the case in the US.  

Candidates campaign.  They have to win your vote.  If someone has done so, I'm happy for you.


The antigovernment protests in Iraq were resumed on Monday with new force in this capital, other cities and the port of Basra, after an appeasement of people's anger contained for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Riot forces dispersed some 500 demonstrators in Basra, as well as in the capital, where activists occupied Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising that started in October 2019.

The square is near Baghdad's Green Zone, where all Government offices and foreign embassies are located.

For a brief period, authorities opened the al-Jamhuriya bridge, which connects Tahrir with the Green Zone, which had been closed since the demonstrations started a year ago.

Another mass protest took place in the city of Nasiriyah, where people condemned unemployment and deficient public services, burned tires and blocked roads.

In the city of Kut, scores of people demanded justice for those assassinated during last year's popular uprising, as a result of which more than 600 people were killed, according to unofficial statistics.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: The art of Joni Mitchell" went up Sunday.

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