Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Pink, Sally Field, and, no, you didn't get nominated

Pink's in the news these days with a new album.  But SHOWBIZ CHEAT SHEET has a Pink story about movies:

Pink was once a frontrunner for the role of Janis Joplin in a biopic about the classic rock musician’s life. The pop star recently revealed why she thinks the movie was never made, despite countless attempts by various filmmakers over the last few decades.

For years, filmmakers have been trying to make a biopic about the iconic rock star Janis Joplin. Several entertainers have been rumored to play the coveted lead role, including Zooey Deschanel, Amy Adams, Renée Zellweger, and Melissa Etheridge.

Pop star Pink was the frontrunner to play Joplin in a film called The Gospel According to Janis, but the “So What” singer dropped out of the project when she heard other stars like Lindsay Lohan and Scarlett Johansson were also being considered for the part (per Entertainment Weekly).

Pink saw the script and bailed.  They wanted a happy ending for Janis Joplin.  Janis, of course, o.d.ed.  They didn't want to make a film about Janis Joplin.  That would have been the biggest nonsense since JESUS REVOLUTION.

In other news, VARIETY reports:

Gina Prince-Bythewood addressed the lack of Black representation among this year’s Oscar nominees during the red carpet for the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday evening.

The Woman King” director penned an essay in The Hollywood Reporter after her historical drama found itself completely shut out of the Academy Awards, despite landing several precursor noms across other awards bodies and craft institutions. Prince-Bythewood called the season “an eye-opener” and that “the Academy made a very loud statement, and for me to stay quiet is to accept that statement.”

No, her film was not historical.  Her film glorifies a group -- a tribe -- that sold Africans into slavery.  That's historical.  Your crappy feel-good movie about slavery was a joke and so are you.  You didn't deserve to be nominated.  Nor did TILL which was a really bad TV movie.  And don't whine after the nominations are announced.  Lupita Nyong'o deserved a nomination for 355.  You could have rallied around her.  But you didn't because you thought your dumpster fire of a film deserved nominations when it didn't. Or what about Thandiwe Newton for ALL THE OLD KNIVES. Or Keke Palmer for NOPE.

Stop waiting until after the nominations.  Grasp that Steven Spielberg will get a nomination no matter how crappy his film is.  Because he's White?  Because he's a name and a pet.  By December 2023, if you want to make a difference, Gina, you better have a list and be publicizing it.  Make it and I'll gladly note it here.  But don't whine afterwards.  It's no good and it's pointless.

And maybe not be so self-involved.  It's not all about you.  Maybe if, last year, you'd taken a moment to praise any other movie -- say BROS (which was a great film), you would have created some feeling of good will that could help you get a nomination.

 Now for something classy, Sally Field's acceptance speech.

That's her receiving the well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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


Tuesday, February 28, 2023.  The attacks on the LGBTQ+ community are not about protecting children, Iraqis protest proposed changes to their elections while the country faces severe water issues, and much more.

Librarians in Louisiana are being targeted and facing harassment from conservative activists who want to ban or limit access to LGBTQ books in public libraries.

Ever since Amanda Jones, a middle school librarian, spoke out broadly against censorship over the summer, she has found herself in the crosshairs of an escalating, statewide campaign.

Conservative groups had begun to challenge specific books in her community, and Jones pushed back during a public board meeting in July, saying that everyone in town deserved to have access to information and see themselves reflected in the public library collection.

“Just because you don’t want to read or see [a particular book], it does not give you the right to deny others or demand its relocation,” said Jones at the meeting. She is the president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians and has worked as an educator and librarian in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, for more than two decades.

“Once you start relocating and banning one topic, it becomes a slippery slope, and where does it end?” she added. Since then, Jones said she has faced unrelenting attacks online, like falsely representing that she shares “sexually erotic and pornographic materials” with children as young as six and “advocat[es] teaching anal sex to 11 year olds,” according to a defamation lawsuit filed by Jones in August against the owners of two conservative Facebook groups. In court documents, Jones claimed she was cast “as a deviant and a danger to children.” The lawsuit was dismissed in September but Jones plans to appeal.

Despite nationwide opinion polls showing parents are largely satisfied with their childrens’ education, efforts to ban or challenge books in schools and libraries surged last year, as a conservative political movement in the name of parents’ rights took aim at literature mostly focused on themes of race, gender, and LGBTQ issues.

The American Library Association, which annually tracks the number of book challenges, documented 681 attempts to ban or restrict library resources between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2022. About 1,650 unique titles were targeted during that time. The ALA said the latest figures were set to exceed last year’s totals.

While it's not surprising that religious illiterates would want to ban books  -- this is a group whose 'John Steinbeck,' after all, is Kirk Cameron with those bad picture books -- it is amazing that so many would go along with it and buy into the lie that it's about helping children.

You're never helping children by removing books.  You're never helping children by refusing to admit that the children aren't all straight.  They're not interested in helping anyone but their own selves who can't seem to handle the reality that LGBTQ+ people exist.  

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union noted reality at Saturday's NAACP Awards.

Will we fight for some or will we fight for all of our people?

That's the question Gabrielle rightly asked.

From THIRD's "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)" which went up last night:

A point we make repeatedly -- in writing, in talks -- is that an elected official claiming to help children is not helping them with nonsense like ''don't say gay.''  We point out that these people are ignoring that gay children are in elementary school.

Marcia: And you both are right about that.  We are there.  And some of us know.  We know we're gay.  And your decision to pull books or try to silence conversations are not helpful to us.  It's nonsense.  I remember the kids in my class all looking at TIME magazine because it had a KING KONG story and Jessica Lange was pictured with her top down as Kong fondled her.  You don't know what's already in your libraries, to be honest.  And you can't kid proof them.  Even if you could, you're only hurting someone like me who knows she's a lesbian early on.  You're telling me that I'm not valued.  Stop saying you're helping children because you're not and, let's be honest, it's going to be the LGBTQ+ kids that are more likely to need help and books in school at a young age.  We're navigating and we need the resources.

And students grasp that which is why you're seeing protests around the country.  Samantha Hernandez (DES MOINES REGISTER) reports:

Students at 14 Iowa public school districts and one university are planning to walk out of class Wednesday to protest bills introduced in the Iowa Legislature that they say discriminate against the rights of LGBTQ+ people.

Several controversial bills centered on LGBTQ youth have been introduced this legislative session. Student organizers are particularly concerned about bills that would require educators to notify parents and guardians if a student is transgender, as well as a bill prohibiting the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation to students through sixth-grade.

[. . .]

The statewide protest is being led by student groups IowaWTF and Iowa Queer Student Alliance or IowaQSA. Both groups track legislation at the state level.

Wednesday's protest is being spurred by Iowa youth who say they do not feel legislators are listening to the people most impacted by these bills: students.

As we noted in yesterday's snapshot, Iraqis are protesting proposed changes to their elections.

Iraqis staged a protest in Baghdad on Monday in opposition to changes to the country’s parliamentary and provincial elections law that would bring back a voting system that benefits large parties.

The Demonstrations Committee, a group in Iraq that co-ordinates anti-government protests, attempted to rally demonstrators on Facebook, “calling for major unified Iraqi protests in Baghdad for all the provinces in front of the House of Representatives on Monday to reject the notorious Sainte Lague law”.

The group said the Sainte Lague law, which was replaced in 2021, would ensure “the removal of emerging powers and independents”.

After massive protests that erupted in October 2019 and persisted until the spring of 2020, forcing the administration of former prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to resign, the government agreed to hold early elections, which it did in 2021.

Iraq’s elites were shaken by the protests, the largest demonstrations in Shiite-majority provinces in the country's modern history, while a harsh security clampdown left at least 600 dead.

The 2021 elections were held under a new law to replace the Sainte Lague system, with numerous small electoral districts in each province, a move that gave new independent parties — many of which were supported by protesters — a stronger chance of winning seats.

The Sainte Lague system involved a complicated formula used to apportion seats in favour of established parties.

It was replaced a simple policy to apportion seats to parties with the highest number of votes.

Voters could also vote for individual candidates, rather than party lists, further boosting independent politicians.

Combined, the three changes ensured that about 30 candidates who claimed to be independent won seats in 2021.

The Iran-backed Co-ordination Framework and leading Sunni and Kurdish parties now want to return to a voting system known as Modified Sainte Lague that benefitted larger parties between 2014 and 2021.

Meanwhile, Iraq continues to have water issues.  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT runs a report from AFP:

Iraq's Tigris and Euphrates rivers have witnessed a sharp decrease in their levels in the south of the country, officials said Sunday, pledging to take urgent measures to ease water shortages.

In Nasiriyah, capital of the southern province of Dhi Qar, an AFP photographer saw the river bed of the mighty Euphrates dry in patches.

The water ministry blamed the situation in some southern provinces on "the low quantity of water reaching Iraq from neighboring Türkiye".


At a meeting to discuss the problem, Iraqi President Barham Salih highlighted the need for Iraq to reach an agreement with its neighbours over water sharing. The sources of the two main Iraqi rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, are both located in Turkey, and many Turkish and Iranian dams are located upstream of Iraq. The Iraqi authorities have accused Tehran and Ankara of reducing the flow of the rivers, however, agricultural practices in Iraq have also contributed to the decline in water reserves.

In response to the emergency, the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources has promised to release more water from the dams located in the north of the country. The World Bank has also called for Iraq to modernise its irrigation methods and the Iraqi President has reiterated this call. 

Robert Tollast (THE NATIONAL) explains, "Iraq has long accused Turkey of holding back water in a network of giant dams, built between the 1970s and the present day. Since then, flows from both rivers have declined by about 40 per cent, cutting off a significant percentage of Iraq’s freshwater, although climate change has also been blamed for declines." Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) adds, "The Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources indicated that Iraq lost 70 percent of its water shares because of the policies of neighboring countries."

That's US Ambassador to Iraq Alina L. Romanowski meeting with Iraqi President Abdul-Latif Rashid on Sunday.  Her Tweet above notes that they discussed the recent Iraqi delegation that made a trip to the US and that they reaffirmed the US support for Iraq to be energy independent, to resume a leading role in the region and to foster the country's private sector.  Somehow, Alina left out the discussion KURDISTAN 24 reports on:

The President of the Republic of Iraq, Abdul-Latif Rashid, on Sunday, received United States Ambassador to Iraq, Alina L. Romanowski, according to a readout from the Iraqi Presidency Office.

Strengthening bilateral ties between both countries, Iraq’s participation in the United Nations (UN) 2023 Water Conference, combating corruption, and the importance of cooperation on issues of common interest were addressed in the meeting, the readout added.

The Iraqi President stressed the importance of Iraq’s  participation at the UN Water Conference in 2023, as Iraq is one of the countries most affected by water scarcity and drought, per the readout.

The US ambassador reiterated her country's support for Iraq's efforts to strengthen its security and sovereignty, and hoped that the UN Water Conference in 2023 will adopt solutions for water scarcity in Iraq.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

Monday, February 27, 2023

Weekend box office

From THENUMBERS.COM, here's the weekend box office:

1 (1) Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Walt Disney $31,964,803 -70% 4,345 n/c $7,357 $167,079,387 2
2 N Cocaine Bear Universal $23,260,790   3,534   $6,582 $23,260,790 1
3 N Jesus Revolution Lionsgate $15,802,615   2,475   $6,385 $15,802,615 1
4 (2) Avatar: The Way of Water 20th Century… $4,860,257 -26% 2,495 -180 $1,948 $665,544,119 11
5 (4) Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Universal $4,119,260 -23% 2,840 -172 $1,450 $173,430,325 10
6 (3) Magic Mike’s Last Dance Warner Bros. $2,856,601 -47% 2,918 -116 $979 $23,136,191 3
7 (6) 80 for Brady Paramount Pi… $1,901,409 -49% 2,397 -722 $793 $36,518,690 4
8 (5) Knock at the Cabin Universal $1,870,895 -53% 2,115 -486 $885 $33,904,100 4
9 (9) Missing Sony Pictures $1,018,812 -42% 1,006 -510 $1,013 $31,427,739 6
10 (10) A Man Called Otto Sony Pictures $851,568 -47% 1,118 -607 $762 $62,283,028 9


Despite all the hand wringing, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP QUANTUMANIA remained the number one film over the weekend.  "Only $34 million!" some whined.  Take the win, it's number one.  Domestically, it's at over $170 million, globally it's at $363 million.  And, remember, this isn't the film's last weekend.  It will continue to play in theaters.  This reminds me a lot of how they went after AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.  That film, remember, is now the third biggest moneymaker of all time, having surpassed TITANIC.

I'm not saying the new Ant-Man will do that kind of business but I am saying that it's way to early to call time of death.

Second place COCAINE BEAR?  Bad fiction.  Just like JESUS REVOLUTION.  It's all about everything but reality.  Kelsey Grammar says he's not going to hide his Christianity.  Could he hide his lies?  The film is lies.  Lonnie ends up, in real life, dead from AIDs and he ends up kicked out by the Jesus freaks when they find out he's gay and sleeping with men.  Grammar has hopefully soured everyone on his ridiculous FRAISER reboot. 

Was this a White revolution by the way?  The first ten actors getting billing are all White.  Didn't realize the Jesus of JESUS REVOLUTION had a problem with skin color.


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


Mondday, February 27, 2023.  Is the CIA targeting supporters of Julian Assange, Iraqis take to the streets of Baghdad to register their opinion on proposed changes, attacks on the LGBTQ+ community continues in the US, and much more.

In a feature article published last Thursday, the well-known German daily Der Spiegel pointedly asked whether the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was “hunting” associates and supporters of Julian Assange. 

The persecuted WikiLeaks publisher remains in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison while the UK authorities seek to facilitate his extradition to the US. There, Assange faces 175 years’ imprisonment for exposing the war crimes committed by American imperialism and its allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Over recent years, a wealth of material has been published laying bare the scope of the US campaign against Assange and its gross illegality. In October 2021, Yahoo! News issued an article, based on the statements of 30 former and current US officials. It asserted that the CIA and the Trump administration had plotted to kidnap or assassinate Assange while he was an internationally-recognised political refugee in Ecuador’s London embassy.

There are well-documented allegations that UC Global, the security company contracted by the Ecuadorian authorities to provide security to the embassy, was secretly collaborating with the US authorities. UC Global whistleblowers have attested to this, and the unlawful surveillance material, including videos of Assange’s privileged discussions with his lawyers, has been publicly released.

The Der Spiegel article provides additional information. It paints a picture of a global dragnet established by the US government and its agencies to target not only Assange, but also his collaborators. Much of the material is anecdotal, but the standing of those providing it, together with the context of established US state operations against WikiLeaks, makes for a persuasive case.

Summarising the material it collected, Der Spiegel writes: “At one point, a lawyer in London lost her laptop; at another, a journalist researching Assange’s case had medical data stolen. The office of Assange’s Spanish defence lawyers was broken into in a bizarre way. In Ecuador, a Swedish software developer has been held in the country for nearly four years on flimsy grounds. Elsewhere, Assange supporters who prefer to remain anonymous reported similar spooky incidents.

“That they are connected cannot be proven. Nor has it been possible to determine the authors beyond doubt in any case so far. It could be a matter of coincidences. ‘But who is to believe that?’ asks Assange’s lawyer Aitor Martínez, who is certain that it is a concerted campaign by U.S. authorities, whose often dubious methods WikiLeaks has exposed quite a few times. ‘It’s a vendetta against Julian Assange,’ says the Spaniard. And the focus is not only on companions and family members of Assange, but also on lawyers and journalists, who by law should be particularly protected from wiretapping.”

Julian remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

PRESSENZA notes the following action for Julian:

Hobart 4 Assange and Melbourne for Assange Australia are hosting rallies for Julian Assange and are proposing a Global Day of Action on March 19th , the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

On the 19th March 2003 the USA led an illegal military invasion of Iraq based on its own fabricated secret intelligence that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction and working with terrorists. This invasion proceeded despite at least 6 to 11 million people turning out in at least 650 cities around the world to protest the United States’ push to invade Iraq in the largest anti-war protests the world has ever seen.

No WMDs or evidence of ties between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime were ever found and Iraq is still living with the catastrophic consequences of this invasion, which led to the violent deaths of at least 1 million Iraqi citizens, ongoing destabilisation and the rise of new terrorist organisations armed with US weapons and military training.

Seven years later Wikileaks, with documents provided by Chelsea Manning, exposed the true face of the Iraq war and hard evidence of US war crimes, including the infamous “collateral murder” video.

Instead of prosecuting those responsible for the crimes the USA is politically persecuting and torturing the messenger, Julian Assange.

The great truth teller of the Iraq war must not be let to die in jail! We cannot let this date to be forgotten.

Let us come together again, like many of us did 20 years ago, to denounce the US regime wars and to demand Julian’s freedom now!

Please register your action on https://assangefreedom.network/ or by emailing details of your action to hobart4assange@proton.me to share and add to any other global lists you can find.

It can be something small, like a vigil, or hang some banners off a bridge, or project a message onto a wall and also ad action in Internet.

Many peace groups are planning actions on March 19th. Let us link the anti-war protest to the demand for freedom for Julian Assange!

In October last year, the Iraqi parliament approved a new government with a mandate to jump-start political reforms. Among its priorities is the amendment of Iraq’s problematic constitution.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani made the first step in this process by appointing Hassan al-Yasseri as his constitutional adviser. Meanwhile, the parliament has announced that it will form a constitutional revision committee.

This will not be the first time that Iraq attempts to reform its constitution since it entered into force in 2005. Constitutional revision committees were formed in 2009 and 2019, but both of those efforts petered out, mainly as a result of a failure to build momentum.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Baghdad on Monday to denounce a draft elections law that would increase the size of the country's electoral districts, potentially undermining independent candidates.
The current legislation, under which the 2021 election was held, breaks up each of the country's 18 provinces into several electoral districts. The law, which was a key demand of mass anti-government protests that kicked off in late 2019, was seen as giving independent candidates a better chance at winning.
Last week, Parliament debated the draft, which would return Iraq to having one electoral district per governorate. Independent lawmakers who objected to the proposal, walked out of the session, which ended early due to losing its quorum.

The Parliament is set to discuss the proposed law again on Monday but lawmakers were not expected to vote on the proposal.

The return to a single district per province is backed by the Coordination Framework, a coalition of Iran-backed parties that forms the majority bloc in the current parliament, and which brought Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to power last year.

That action took place today.  More actions are expected.  CRISIS 24 reports:

Activists from the National Consciousness Movement plan to demonstrate near the Green Zone in central Baghdad Feb. 27. The purpose of the action is to denounce a perceived attempt from the Parliament to return to previous election laws. Security forces have reportedly closed Al-Jumhuriya Bridge and Karrada Maryam Street in preparation for the protest.

Increased security and localized transport disruptions are likely near the impacted area Feb. 27. Clashes between police and protesters cannot be ruled out, particularly if demonstrators are overly disruptive or if they ignore police orders to disperse.

Activism takes place in the US as well.  For example, Julia Sandor (WKYT) reports:

Walkouts were held at two Lexington high schools Friday morning.

Hundreds of students walked out of Lafayette, Dunbar and Danville high schools to protest “anti-LGBTQ legislation.”

At Lafayette, the student-organized rally was described as quick but powerful. There were many cheers and flags waving in the air and posters were held high.

One of the main bills discussed at the event was Senate Bill 150, which has been sent to the House by the Senate.

Right now, students say there are nine anti-trans, or LGBTQ, bills filed in the legislature.

Many student speakers say school is their safe space. Students say they want their voices to be heard and their hope is for senators and representatives to make a change.


They deny that any such attacks exist by pretending that LGBTQ youth don’t exist–while simultaneously sexualizing their innocent existence.

Kentucky Senate Bill 150 and House Bills 173, 177, and 470 are four of over 350 anti-trans or anti-LGBTQ bills filed in 2023.

They all target children’s lives, especially HB 470.

One Kentucky bill wouldn’t just ban trans youth from using the safest bathroom–it could ban any shared bathroom, given it defines “community standard of dress” by birth certificate. 

How is it not an attack to segregate children like criminals?

That bill would ban “discussing” orientation or identity tied to gender in K-12. Discussion is “talking about with.” A kid referencing his moms, being a flower girl for her two uncles, or being a boy who likes pink will be silenced. A teenager talking about life–being bullied, left out, having a crush–will be silenced by teachers at the threat of government punishment. 

Last year, three in five trans youth considered and one in five LGBTQ students attempted suicide. 

It’s not because they’re trans. We know why: 94% of LGBTQ youth say recent politics harms their mental health, and just one accepting adult reduces suicide risk by half. 

Re-read that last line.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: The re-release of Diana Ross' SURRENDER" went up yesterday.  The following sites updated:

Thursday, February 23, 2023

More series cancellations

Starting with a question?  Do you have AMAZON PRIME?

I do and I'm having a big problem.  It won't play.  I've uninstalled the channel on my TV and reinstalled it, I've done every trick I can find on the internet.

It will play for about 90 seconds and then the screen will go blank and the TV will come back on at the main menu where I choose what I want to do ("LIVE TV," "YOUTUBE TV," "NETFLIX," "PLUTO," "PEACOCK," "AMAZON MUSIC," etc.) 

I bought the documentary THE CELLULOID CLOSET Saturday because it popped up on my feed.  I liked it when I saw it a few years back.  It will not play on the TV.  I can stream on my laptop but it will not play on the TV.  It will start and then the screen goes blank and (see above).  I bought the new M. Night movie tonight and same thing. 

I have tried everything.  I even unplugged the router for five minutes before plugging it back in.

And I'm an idiot.  I asked C.I. before we did the roundtable tonight if she could call me sometime after.  She just did and she said, "Have you tried restarting the TV?"  Yes.  I turned it off and and unplugged it from the wall and then plugged it back in and still same problem.

No, she said, go to system on TV with the remote and choose "restart."

I did and now the problem's fixed.  I can't believe I've been without PRIME since Saturday and that's all I had to do.

Okay, read Mike's "The end of the road for THE GOLDBERGS" because ABC has cancelled the show.  There are, in fact, a number of cancellations.  HBO MAX is cancelling SUCCESSION and they've axed SOUTH SIDE as well.  Is DISCOVERY WB just a big red tag, going out of business sale for streaming?  On traditional TV, two court room shows are cancelled -- JUDGE MATHIS and THE PEOPLE'S COURT.  Judge Mathis has signed a deal with Byron Allen's production company and will have a new syndicated court room show.  THE PEOPLE'S COURT actually predates JUDGE JUDY.  It's been on for 26 seasons.  PARAMOUNT+ has axed BLOOD & TREASURE.  And DISNEY+ has axed two shows: MIGHTY DUCKS: GAME CHANGERS and BIG SHOT.  The latter was a John Stamos show.  It might have been worth watching, I don't know.  But I'm glad they cancelled MIGHTY DUCKS.  Emilio was the show and he was treated with so much disrespect. 


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


Thursday, February 23, 2023.  Iraq activists are under assault, Anya Panya and the faux activists from the weekend continue to be called out for their racism and transphobia, look who took a plea deal, and much more.

We get busy and things get dropped all the time as a result.  I was planning, months ago, to announce news in a criminal proceeding.  It's several months old, the Justice Dept's press release, but I was talking to a veteran with a VSO yesterday and he brought up when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House and shoved an unqualified and corrupt member of Congress down a committee's throat.  To give a little background, the VA was having one scandal after another.  The most recent one ahead of this shoving was the VA's failure to deliver the checks for veterans going to college.  Veterans had to pay it themselves or take out loans.  They knew it -- the VA knew it was going to happen ahead of the fall schedule.  And, as Christmas approached, some veterans still hadn't received their checks.  Their family holiday was on hold.  It was disgusting and it was disgusting the way the media walked away from the story long before it was over.

The work of so many on that Committee -- Democrats and Republicans -- was important in fixing this issue for the veterans.  I especially would cite Stephanie Herseth Sandlin whose work on a House VA Subcommittee really helped get answers -- especially after the media had Baby-cried-the-day-the-circus-came-to-town and moved on.  

The Committee worked as a team to help the veterans on this issue . . . with one exception.

Wig woman.

Bad wig woman.

Corrine Brown.

The Snuffleupgus of K-Street herself, "Can you tell me how to be crooked, how to be crooked on K-Street."

From November 27, 2014, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Corrine Brown:"


There was Corrine explaining how she stayed up late nights eating and watching cable 'news' and FOX told her that this was the veterans fault and if those dumb veterans had done their paperwork right, there never would have been a delay and blah blah blah.

She couldn't fix her wig, did we really not notice that over and over and over.  Con artist was blaming veterans to let the VA off the hook, even after testimony in Stephanie's subcommittee hearing revealed that the VA knew this was going to happen, was warned over four months before the start of the fall semester that it would happen.  But facts don't matter to a con artist.

Over the uproar of many veterans, Speaker Pelosi decided her friend was just the crook to head the Democratic Party side of the  House Veterans Affairs Committee.  VSOs were begging for Tim Walz.  Walz was a member of the Committee, he was also a veteran.  Unlike Corrine, Tim spoke English.  

But Pelosi installed her friend Corrine the Crook.

Where's Tim today?  

Serving his second term as governor of Minnesota.  Congratulations to him.

And where's Corrine?

From July 30, 2017, this is Isaiah's "Little White Devil." 

She was serving too.

Hard time in prison.  It was supposed to be five years but COVID panic allowed her to get an early release on April 22, 2020.  She then thought Florida voters were insane and would vote for her so she ran in the Democratic Party primary for a seat . . . and came in fourth.  But Corrine isn't just a convicted felon.  She's also a convict who doesn't want to go back to the big house.  A technicality from a lower court meant she was facing a second trial set for May of last year.    Which is why she entered into a plea deal right before then:

Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown Pleads Guilty To Corrupt Obstruction Of The Administration Of The Internal Revenue Laws

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Corrine Brown (75, Jacksonville) today pleaded guilty to engaging in a corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws. After accepting her guilty plea, Chief Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Brown to the time that she had already served in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, specifically two years, eight months, and nine days. Brown was also ordered to pay $62,650.99 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the plea agreement, between October 15, 2009, and October 15, 2015, Brown caused her certified public accountant to file individual income tax returns for tax years 2008 through 2014 that did not include income associated with cash deposits into her bank accounts. During the same period, Brown also over-reported her charitable giving by inflating total gifts to charitable organizations and non-profit entities. Brown signed each referenced tax return under penalty of perjury, knowing that each one contained false information. In addition, Brown caused two Jacksonville non-profit entities to create letters that did not accurately reflect her donations so that Brown could use those letters during an IRS audit.  

Brown was previously convicted by a federal jury for various offenses; after Brown’s appeal, her earlier conviction was vacated.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. Tysen Duva and Michael J. Coolican of the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorney Michelle Parikh and former Deputy Chief Eric G. Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section prosecuted the case.

Crooked Corrine.  The felon.  

That's who Nancy Pelosi put in charge for the Democrats on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  Not Tim Walz, crooked Corrine, who suffers from both mush mouth and a nasty addiction to bad wigs.  Nancy 'knew' that was the right decision and she rejected the leaders of every VSO to put Corrine in charge.  

From November 23, 2014, Isaiah's  "Let's Be Whats!"

When they write about her legacy, Crooked Corrine should be a large chapter in THE BOOK OF NANCY.  And we should all wonder why Nancy refused to employ a veteran to be the head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee?  She chose a crook over a veteran.  That's her legacy -- that and being Speaker when ROE V WADE was overturned -- and failing to push for it to be codified in 2009 when she was also Speaker (running for president, Barack Obama lied that codifying ROE would be the first thing he would do as president).  

I need to correct the idiot Anya Parampil.  When not expressing her transphobia or cozying up to the right wing, she likes to insist that she's smart.  Pretense.  She gave a bad speech on Sunday insisting that four presidential candidates were present.  Uh, no.  

Anya The Transphobe apparently never learned to count.


Not four.


Use your fingers if you have to, Anya, but I'm pretty sure even you can count to one.

Jill Stein was the Green's presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016.  The rest weren't presidential candidates.

Tulsi Gabbard was not a presidential candidate.  She did not run for president.  You run for president, you're a presidential candidate.  Tulsi is a failed candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Similarly, Ron Paul has run twice for a party's presidential nomination (Republican) and he has not won it.  Dennis Kucinich  also twice pursued a political party's presidential nomination and twice failed.  He's not really a presidential candidate.  A presidential candidate is on the ballot in the general election -- or running as a write-in nominee in the general election.  It's kind of like saying Tulsi or Ron or Dennis graduated top of their class in medical school when, in fact, they applied but were not accepted.

While we're dealing with the transphobe Anya Parampil, let's note a few more things about her and her racist action.  She has a Tweet, by the way, where people have again called her out and she's whining that's she's tired of being called a racist and a transphobe.

She's tired of it.

I think the country's tired too -- of her racism and transphobia.  Let's note some of the responses.

We could go on and on.  And I'm sure the truth hurts for Anya Panya.  

And here's a truth, they could have had two past presidential candidates participating in their fake action over the weekend.  Cynthia McKinney taped a video for them -- just like Roger Waters.  Now maybe Anya used too much time truing to strut on the stage?  Who knows?  But they refused to show it at the rally.  They did briefly post it to their website before pulling it down.  

She's not a racist and it wasn't a racist event, they insist.  But the only African-American woman who was to speak was censored.   Cynthia was the 2008 presidential nominee for the Green Party.  

Tell us again, Anya Panya, how you're not a racist and it wasn't a racist rally but Cynthia was removed from the program?  Former member of Congress, former US presidential candidate. 

And everyone grasp that they decided to remove her after they were already under fire for the racist nature of their rally.  Grasp that.  Anya Panya better get used to being called a racist because she is one.  If she doesn't like being called that, she needs to do the work required to end her own internal racism.  She can start by publicly apologizing to Cynthia McKinney.  If she can't do that?  She's just a liar. 

Anya works on the plantation -- see Ann's "Anya, do they give you bathroom breaks on the plantation?" and "Anya Parampil can't leave the plantation" -- because she's sleeping with the overseer Max Blumethal.  And she and Max have been lying about a lot of things.  

BLACK POWER MEDIA calls them out for their lies and their racism.  

Turning to Iraq,  Human Rights Watch notes the targeting of activists:

 Iraq’s environmental activists are facing threats, harassment, and arbitrary detention by government officials and armed groups, Human Rights Watch said today. 

On February 16, 2023, leading Iraqi environmentalist Jassim al-Asadi was released after being abducted on February 1 by an unidentified armed group and held for more than two weeks. Al-Asadi said in a TV interview that he was subjected to “most severe forms of torture” using “electricity and sticks” during his captivity, and was moved from place to place. Human Rights Watch confirmed with his family that the voice in the interview is his. It appears he was released after intervention by the Iraqi government. Al-Asadi’s kidnapping is the latest in a string of acts of retaliation against environmental activists apparently intended to halt their advocacy.

“Rather than taking decisive steps to solve Iraq’s critical environmental issues, Iraqi authorities are instead attacking the messenger,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Decimating the country’s environmental movement will only worsen Iraq’s capacity to address environmental crises that affect a range of critical rights.”

Government agencies have detained and prosecuted other activists for speaking out about environmental problems. Salman Khairalla, another environmentalist and co-Founder of Humat Dijlah (Tigris River Protectors Association), told Human Rights Watch that he believes armed groups and Iraqi officials are targeting key members of the environmental movement to silence them and send a threatening message to others.

In November 2022, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting that Iraqi authorities have failed to ensure any accountability for state security personnel and state-backed armed groups responsible for killing, maiming, and disappearing hundreds of demonstrators and activists since 2019.

Iraqi authorities should immediately hold accountable those responsible for extrajudicial punishments such as kidnapping, stop using the justice system to harass and retaliate against environmental activists, and drop all abusive legal cases against them, Human Rights Watch said.

Al-Asadi’s brother told Human Rights Watch that al-Asadi was driving on the highway with his cousin on the morning of February 1 when two cars stopped him six kilometers south of the capital. Armed men in civilian clothes handcuffed him and forced him into one of the vehicles, taking him to an unrevealed location and leaving his cousin in the car on the side of the road. His brother said he did not know the motivation behind his brother’s kidnapping but that many government backers were not happy about his environmental activities.

Al-Asadi is the founder of the local nongovernmental organization, Nature Iraq, which aims, “to protect, restore, and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and the rich cultural heritage that it nourishes.” Al-Asadi has appeared regularly in local and foreign media outlets to raise awareness of the threats facing the country's southern wetlands, including drought and loss of vegetation coverage.

His brother said that the family reported the kidnapping to a National Security office in Baghdad and Iraqi security forces began investigating the case. The case reached the attention of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who assured the family “that there’s no armed force above the law and that everyone is subject to the authority and law of the state.” A few days later, Al-Asadi was released, but the reason for his detention and identity of the kidnappers have not emerged.

Although the Iraqi government appears to have taken steps to intervene and secure al-Asadi’s release, in other cases Iraqi authorities themselves have been responsible for retaliation against environmental activists in response to their efforts to draw attention to human rights breaches linked to the country’s environment and climate.

In late 2019, Iraqi authorities arbitrarily detained Salman Khairalla, another environmentalist, prompting the then-UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders to intervene to demand his release. After Khairalla was released on bail, he left Baghdad.

Another activist, Raad Habib al-Assadi, head of Chabbayish Organization, an environmental organization, told Human Rights Watch that during the 2019 and 2020 droughts that struck Iraq, he criticized the Water Resources Ministry for its poor policies and responses to the worsening water situation. He said that he published basic information about the droughts in the marshes in Nasiriyah, such as how much the water levels were dropping. The ministry retaliated by taking him to court.

On October 5, 2020, Dhi Qar Federal Court of Appeals ordered Habib to appear in court under Article 434 of Penal Code, which criminalizes insulting any person or imputing the reputation of another, and carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and/or a fine.

A court acquitted him in February 2021, but ministry representatives subsequently filed a second case against him, under Article 229 of Iraq’s Penal Code, which criminalizes insults or threats to, “an official or other public employee or council or official body in the execution of their duties or as a consequence of those duties.” This “crime” is punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine.

Habib told Human Rights Watch that the court also acquitted him of the new charges, with the final acquittal coming on December 10, 2022. But ministry officials continue to appeal the acquittal.

Habib said he is forced to attend the appeal hearings to avoid prison and believes that ministry officials are drawing out the case to punish him. “Every Monday and Thursday I have to go to the court [to deal with the appeals],” he said. “But nothing happens when I go to court. I attend and then the appeal is delayed – one week or 10 days or 14 days. But if I don’t attend, the authorities can issue an arrest warrant.”

He said ministry officials have offered to drop the case against him if he pledges to stop criticizing the ministry, but he has refused.

“I did nothing wrong, I only shared information about the droughts in marshes and they treated me as a criminal,” Habib said. “I can’t travel or do anything because I have to go to the court every Monday and Thursday. The ministry officials told me, ‘We want to quiet you.’”

“The Iraqi government’s muzzling of environmentalists who are trying to raise awareness around the country’s grave challenges is part of a broader attitude that sees civil society groups as threats rather than partners,” Coogle said.

It seems clear that now is the moment of truth as it is time for Iraq to comply with American conditions as set out by US Ambassador Alina Romanowski and as discussed in Turkey and finalised in Washington.

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani has not hesitated to inform the leaders of the Coordination Framework that the honeymoon with the country’s Iranian neighbour is over. He warned that the time had come to jump from Tehran’s sinking ship, otherwise they would all drown because prevarication no longer works and everyone is under the microscope of Federal Reserve monitoring.

The political system in Iraq has come under the supervision of the US Treasury, whose decisions are more consequential than those of the State Department and the Pentagon.

Iran can no longer receive a single dollar from Iraq, while Iraqi banks that used to funnel dollars to Teheran are now threatened with closure and loss of assets.

Sudani told his audience that any attempt to circumvent US restrictions would amount to playing with fire.

Let's wind down with this from Defending Rights & Dissent:



Australian publisher Julian Assange is a political prisoner. After being abducted out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he has languished in Belmarsh prison for nearly four years. In the intervening time, press freedom groups, major newspapers, and civil libertarians have all condemned the US’s unprecedented charges against Assange. After years of grassroots advocacy, now members of Congress are starting to speak out. But they need to hear your voice. 

Take action!

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is currently circulating a sign-on letter calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange. Other members of Congress can join the letter, but this is an issue that demands courage. They need to hear from you, their constituents.

Will you write your members of Congress right now and ask them to join Rep. Tlaib’s effort? The future of the First Amendment is at stake!

Take action!

In solidarity,

Chip Gibbons, Policy Director


Our Work

Defending Rights & Dissent
1325 G St. NW Suite 500  | Washington, District of Columbia 20005
202.552.7408 | info@rightsanddissent.org

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Return of Diva Don" went up last night.  The following sites updated: