crazy john stauber blocked me

 i don't think i ever got around to noting ava and c.i.'s 'Media: The Stupid, The Fake Asses and The Cowards' from last week.  if you haven't read it, please do.  they're about to post their latest, fyi.

in other news, crazy john stauber blocked me.  he blocked me for the following tweet:

he really is a transphobe, isn't he.  it's something to see him retweet tucker carlson - tucker's latest video retweeted 4 times in less than 24 hours, for example - and to see him retweet every right wing freak show he can find.  it's like elaine said, he has no friends on the left anymore - see her 'Sick and disgusting John Stauber.'

his pinned tweet since may 16th is his praising marjorie taylor greene.

talk about the new judith miller.  remember, before she sold the war for 'the new york times,' she was writing for 'the progressive.'  

john stauber is crazy.  and at his age, there's really no comeback.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Tuesday, June 6, 2023. A new group of losers announce they'd like to be President of the United States, one gets booed on THE VIEW, another doesn't grasp that his own party can't stand him, a third doesn't realize that the made up party that's given him a nomination does not have ballot access in a single state, but for all their stupidity, Lauren Boebert still manages to top them as a public disgrace. 

Senator Ted Cruz was basically button holing any reporter he could yesterday to repeat (over and over), of the debt ceiling vote last week, "It gave Joe Biden and the Democrats four-trillion-dollars."  We note that not because I think Cruz is correct but because this is a very popular take among the right-wing.

So what to do if you had made comments like Ted Cruz ahead of the vote but then didn't vote?  What would you do then?

Daniel Dale and Morgan Rimmer (CNN) report:

 On Saturday, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado posted a video on Twitter in which she claimed that she had intentionally skipped Wednesday’s key House vote on a bill to suspend the nation’s debt ceiling.

“No excuses: I was ticked off they wouldn’t let me do my job, so I didn’t take the vote,” Boebert said, going on to allege that the voices of individual House members had been stifled during the legislative process. “Call it a no-show protest, but I certainly let every one of my colleagues and the country know I was against this garbage of a bill.”

But Boebert’s claim of a deliberate “protest” absence is contradicted by her own words in the congressional record. After the vote ended on Wednesday, Boebert submitted an official statement in which she said she had been “unavoidably detained” for the vote and would have voted against the bill had she been present.    

 And Boebert’s claim is further called into question by CNN footage from the House steps in the moments after the vote concluded.

Less than a minute after the vote was finalized, CNN photojournalist Jake Scheuer captured video of Boebert running up the steps as a CNN associate producer [Morgan Rimmer] mentioned that the vote had just been closed. Boebert stopped running for a moment to turn back and ask, “They closed it?” After the associate producer confirmed, Boebert continued her dash toward the building entrance.   

Yes, we're back to it again.  We noted it yesterday but it just can't be a one day thing.  At THE DAILY BEAST, Ursula Perano writes:

When Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was caught on video missing a critical vote last week to prevent a default on the debt—and then tried to spin her absence as an act of conscience -- she didn’t only earn widespread derision and gawking on social media.

The archconservative congresswoman also gifted her leading Democratic rival, Adam Frisch, a moment that crystallized his case against her for the 2024 election: that she simply isn’t showing up for the job she was elected to perform.

“Besides excused absences for sick family members and other family emergencies, I'm not sure why anyone would be late, let alone practically skip a vote,” Frisch told The Daily Beast in an interview on Monday.

“I don't know what was taking her away from voting on one of the most important bills that the Congress is going to probably have this year,” he added.

For his part, Frisch said he would have voted for the legislation that paired an extension of the federal government’s borrowing authority -- which averted a default -- with spending cuts and other concessions to Republicans, though characterized it as “not perfect.” 

And that's certainly a solid take.  

But there's so much more there.  

It goes to character.  You grandstand about how important this vote is and then you miss it.  Instead of owning up to that, you wait a little bit, you tape a video where you lie and say you skipped the vote to protest the bill and you release that video.  Think about that.  Grasp that you are a member of the US Congress and you and your team invent a lie to cover for missing the vote, strategize to come up with the lie, go to the trouble of not just being George Santos and lying to the press about it as you speak to them, but actually tape your own video that you release to the public yourself with this lie.

It goes to stupidity, absolutely.  She knew at least a few members of the press were present.  She surely didn't realize that they had video and thought it would be her (lying) word against the press present.  

But it goes to character, immaturity and dishonesty.

This is eighth grade s**t.  This is so immature.  What adult does this?  

And it shows such disrespect for every one of her constituents.  

Since yesterday morning's snapshot, KRDO has filed another report.

Boebert has done nothing since being first elected but agitate and self-promote. She is only interested in — and maybe only capable of — engaging in high-pitched diatribes that draw cameras and MAGA supplicants. If it does not benefit her directly, she has no time for it.

The debt ceiling debate was the perfect example.

Before the vote, Boebert showed up on time and eager to every press gaggle with a microphone. She spent weeks calling for fellow House Freedom Caucus crazies to oppose the deal hammered out by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy. She pulled out all the top hits, from lambasting “the swamp” to proclaiming “fake news.”

Rep. Ken Buck’s opposition at least had the benefit of consistent principle. He has never supported a debt ceiling hike and opposed similar measures under former President Donald Trump. Rightly or wrongly, Buck believes the government spends too much and should be held to account when it bumps up against its budget limits.

Boebert is not nearly as nuanced. Apparently she just felt a lack of attention since she had the national spotlight on her during the contentious election of McCarthy to Speaker of the House. In January, she gleefully preened for the lights and flashbulbs as she confounded even the most conservative pundits with her unintelligible rationale.

Eclipsed in the interim by her best frenemy, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has taken on the role of MAGA Translator in Chief for McCarthy, Boebert seemed spoiling for an opportunity to throw herself in front of cameras again. Consequently, when the hint of opposition to the debt plan deal surfaced, Boebert straightened her skirt, flipped her hair and went running to the closest reporters. It is the political equivalent of a Pavlovian bell.

Boebert could not help but undermine her own leadership and party. The opportunity to promote her own brand and social media following pulled more strongly than any political loyalty, much less the best interests of her constituents thousands of miles away. 

Boebert did stop short of calling for McCarthy to be removed from office. A part of the Succession-esque “meal fit for a king” Boebert and company forced McCarthy to swallow in exchange for their support in his Speaker bid, she demurred when asked about whether a snap vote should be called to oust McCarthy. Instead, Boebert replied that she was “focused on taking down this bill.” 

Apparently, she was so focused that she forgot when the vote was scheduled.

But again, I just can't stop marveling over her lack of character.  She plotted her lie.  She thought if the press members who saw her running to make the vote and knew she missed it came forward, she could just deny it and lie and be believed because it was her against the media.  She taped the lie and she released the video with her lie.  

I just can't stop marveling over this.  If she'd run over a person by accident, is this how she'd have handled it?

We talk to our children about reality and responsibility.  Well, most of us do.  Most of us.  Not Lauren.  Which is how she ended up dropping out of high school because she got pregnant and raised a son who, at 17, got a younger girl pregnant and now Lauren's about to be a grandmother.  

She takes no responsibility for her actions and that's apparently torn apart her family and she still can't learn from it.   As Elaine noted:

Boe-Boe.  Next year is an election year and all she has to show for it is hate.  She's not serving anyone.  Hell she couldn't even make the debt ceiling vote after running around getting press on it over and over.  Boe-Boe's a lazy hack.

This is how she acts when she almost lost her seat last November?  A handful of votes (found during the recount) allowed her to retain her seat.  Instead of rolling up her sleeves and getting serious, she's continued to be one of the biggest jokes in the land.

She has some developmental issue that is preventing her from learning.  It's really sad. 

It is sad.  Everything about Lauren's trashy life is sad.

And, as Elaine noted, next year is an election year.  Lauren has so much to live down.

She's not the only one running for election.  Senator Tim Scott wants to be president of the United States -- not president of The Down Low Club, president of the United States.  And what better way to show your maturity then losing it repeatedly on THE VIEW.   To the point, please note, that the studio audience boos you.

That should be quite the campaign.  Meanwhile, former US Vice President Mike Pence made the announcement yesterday that everyone's long expected.  Let's get Karen to a support group for women whose husbands, late in life, come out of the closet.  Oh wait, that wasn't the announcement.  Yet.  No, Mike announced he's running for the GOP's presidential nomination.  

There's so much crazy in the world of presidential campaigns these days.  THE VANGUARD noted one example.

As Ruth observed:

That is THE VANGUARD and they are taking on the nonsense of the People's Party.  That has been the biggest con job in the world.  No candidates came up from it.  Now they are desperate for attention so they go with a celebrity: Cornel West.  The professor must not have many ethics or possibilities if he has taken their nomination.


Be clear about that.  It is a supposed political party.  But they did not have a primary, they just handed out their nomination.  That is democracy?

They are a very sad and very mixed up group.

And, as THE VANGUARD pointed out, they don't even have ballot access. Talk about a vanity campaign.

In other news, Chenar Chalak (RUDAW) reports:

The Iraqi parliament will convene on Thursday to vote on the country’s highly-awaited budget bill, after almost three months of studying the draft.

The Iraqi council of ministers approved the federal budget bill for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025 in March, and sent the draft to the legislature. The parliament was set to vote on the budget on May 27, but disagreements within the finance committee, concerning amendments relating to the Kurdistan Region, prevented the legislature from carrying out of the process.

The finance committee is yet to reach an agreement on the divisive amendments, but is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest updates, according to Jamal Kochar, a Kurdish member of the committee.

The following sites updated:


does sharon stone ever stop lying?

sharon stone just can't seem to tell the truth.  this is not a new development.  back when she was briefly a star, she claimed she had cancer but cured herself by giving up coffee.  things only get worse as the 90s end.

you should read 'professional liar sharon stone strikes again' where i dealt with another of her big lies. and you should read it because of her lie that she worked to end aids for 25 years and it led to the destruction of her career - she insisted /lied - because she couldn't get work for 8 years.

that time period? it's the same as what she's now claiming she couldn't get work only now she's saying it's because she had a stroke and people wouldn't hire her for 8 years.

she never stopped getting hired.  but she did get lesser roles and that's on her because she was a box office failure - year after year.  her last hit film (live action) was 1994's 'the specialist' - co-starring with sly tone.  look at the box office grosses below:

May 7, 2021Here Today $2,807,494$39,613$2,847,107
Mar 9, 2021That Click Herself $601$601
Sep 27, 2019The Laundromat Hannah
Mar 18, 2018A Little Something for… Senna Berges $160,849$160,849
Dec 1, 2017The Disaster Artist Iris Burton $21,120,616$7,597,051$28,717,667
Feb 10, 2017Running Wild $472$472
Nov 18, 2016Life on the Line Duncan’s Mother
May 6, 2016Mothers & Daughters Nina
Apr 18, 2014Fading Gigolo Dr. Parker $3,747,833$22,022,226$25,770,059
Aug 9, 2013Lovelace Dorothy Boreman $352,755$85,015$437,770
UnknownBorder Run Sofie Talbert
Jan 26, 2010Five Dollars a Day
Jul 28, 2009Streets of Blood
Jan 12, 2007Alpha Dog Olivia Mazursky $15,309,602$17,204,717$32,514,319
Nov 17, 2006Bobby Miriam $11,242,801$9,355,005$20,597,806
Mar 31, 2006Basic Instinct 2 Catherine Tramell $5,946,136$29,471,026$35,417,162
Aug 5, 2005Broken Flowers Laura $13,744,960$27,000,000$40,744,960
Jul 23, 2004Catwoman Laurel Hedare $40,202,379$41,875,667$82,078,046
Sep 19, 2003Cold Creek Manor Leah Tilson $21,384,035$21,384,035
Dec 17, 1999Simpatico Rosie $902,144$902,144
Aug 27, 1999The Muse Sarah $11,614,954$11,614,954
Jan 22, 1999Gloria Gloria $4,167,493$800,000$4,967,493
Oct 9, 1998The Mighty Gwen Dillon $2,652,246$3,469,336$6,121,582
Oct 2, 1998Antz Bala $90,757,863$61,700,000$152,457,863
Feb 13, 1998Sphere Beth $37,068,294$13,100,000$50,168,294
May 3, 1996Last Dance Cindy Liggett $5,857,534$5,857,534
Mar 22, 1996Diabolique Nicole $17,100,266$17,100,266
Nov 22, 1995Casino Ginger McKenna $42,438,300$67,961,700$110,400,000
Feb 10, 1995The Quick and the Dead Ellen $18,552,460$18,552,460
Oct 7, 1994The Specialist May Munro $57,362,581$113,000,000$170,362,581

how many flops is 1 person allowed? 

she's lucky she was getting hired in the '00s.  especially after her leaden performance helped tank 'catwoman.'  she's shown us, apparently, everything she could in 'basic instinct.'  and she whines and whines.

it's all on her.  and to have played the only card she had left - a sequel to 'basic instinct' - and to have f**ked that up so badly?

hey, michael douglas has never been my idea of sexy.  but at least he wasn't ugly.  if 'sliver' should have taught her anything, it was that she needed a hot co-star.  but she was in charge of the sequel and refused to cast a hot man opposite her.

she needs to stop lying.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Monday, June 5, 2023.  A judge overturns Tennessee's drag show ban, a legal body gets caught trying to hide evidence from Julian Assange's attorneys, drought stricken Iraq sees more water wasted, Lauren Boebert caught lying on tape with video of her lying and video proving she was lying, and much more.

The appearance of this new evidence has been a surprise in the case against Morales in Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional. None of these computer records previously appeared in the initial copy made by the police, when officers categorized the material seized from the security contractor when he was arrested in September 2019. All of this material was uploaded to a cloud storage system within the judicial systems, so that all parties involved in the case could review it. The arrest and indictment of Morales took place weeks after an investigation by EL PAÍS revealed the videos and audios that UC Global employees had recorded while the Australian was preparing his defense with his lawyers.

The discovery of these new clues about the CIA’s spying on the cyberactivist — who remains imprisoned in a London jail — is no accident. Assange’s lawyers found problems when downloading the records uploaded to the cloud. They managed to get Judge Santiago Pedraz — who is overseeing the case — to authorize a second copy of the material seized by the agents. A new digital document dump offered a clear picture that the police had not pieced together. Now, a report by the experts called by Assange’s lawyers credits the appearance of “a very relevant volume of material, which was not included in the original [police] copy.” Forensic analysis describes the copy of the hard drive as containing “multiple pieces of evidence.” In this second dump, the mentioned folders have appeared, including the one that UC Global labelled as “CIA.”

Julian Assange 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.

On Thursday, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, prominent Australian publications, reported new information indicating that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is continuing a probe of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

The article reported that the previous week Andrew O’Hagan, a British journalist, had been contacted by the FBI, who asked to interview him about Assange. In 2011, O’Hagan had been contracted to ghost write Assange’s autobiography.

Like many representatives of the affluent and complacent British upper middle-class, he subsequently became an embittered opponent of WikiLeaks, writing a tedious and mean-spirited account of his relationship with Assange for the London Review of Books.

O’Hagan has indicated that he refused to speak to the FBI. He said he would rather go to prison than cooperate with an FBI operation targeting journalists. That is a principled stand.

The apparent probe, however, is disturbing and highly unusual. It has been years since the US government issued an indictment against Assange for exposing American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The WikiLeaks founder has been detained in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison for more than four years on the basis of the successive indictments and an extradition request.

The probe could point to an attempt by the US government to concoct new charges against Assange or even other WikiLeaks representatives. Far more likely, it indicates that after all these years, the American state has no conceivable case against Assange and is continuing to fish for more lies and falsifications to attack him in the current extradition process.

This morning, WikiLeaks issued a statement, taking issue with the manner in which the FBI probe had been reported by the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. Both publications had stated that the O’Hagan request indicated that the FBI had “reopened” an investigation into the WikiLeaks founder.

WikiLeaks, however, noted: “Since the current process was initiated in 2017 under the Trump Administration after pressure from CIA head Michael Pompeo, the investigation has never been closed. It is therefore nonsensical to suggest it has been re-opened.”

Never has the wrath and petulance of the American government been focused so relentlessly on a breach of official secrecy. The pursuit of Julian Assange is in its 14th year, as the U.S. continues trying to extradite him from London to stand trial for helping the world’s most powerful news organizations publish U.S. diplomatic and military intelligence in sweeping defiance of secrecy protocols. Assange, convicted of nothing, has been behind bars in Britain since 2019, when he was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy where he had sheltered for seven years.

The data leaks for which three presidential administrations have now pursued Assange took place in 2010, and while his treatment has been routinely denounced by press advocates worldwide, the media have yet to address a fundamental question, one that they are uniquely qualified to answer: What did the leaks actually do? Did the material that Assange’s anti-secrecy organization, WikiLeaks, made public do damage to U.S. national interests commensurate with the fury they provoked?

Or did the leaks, as his supporters claim, expose military wrongdoing that deserved exposure and, thanks to the release of reports from U.S. diplomats posted abroad, offer people worldwide valuable insight into what their own governments were doing that they might never have learned otherwise?

Isn’t it time for the press, which benefited mightily from what it got from WikiLeaks, to do the reporting that would enable the public to judge whether Assange is a traitor or a benefactor?

Those questions weren’t raised — in or outside the courtroom — when Assange’s principal source Chelsea Manning, the Army clerk who leaked the 2010 files, was treated with withering brutality. Arrested within weeks, Manning was held in a Marine brig in solitary confinement for 10 months then convicted and sentenced to 35 years. By the time President Barack Obama ordered her freed in 2017, she had spent nearly seven years behind bars. She was again jailed in 2019, when she refused to turn against Assange, and was held for another 12 months. At no point was Manning allowed to testify about what motivated her, and the possibility that the disclosures were, on the whole, beneficial was never raised.

At what point does it end?  At what point do we all see at once that there's no excuse for this persecution, there's no logic to it and it's a waste of taxpayer money?

Speaking of wastes of taxpayers money, Lauren Boebert.  She was against the debt ceiling bill and she wanted her constituents to know it and that she wasn't going to vote for it!  Then she missed the vote.  So what do you do?  KRDO reports she recorded a video insisting it was a "no show protest."  

There the clown is lying again.  Lying as usual.  She can't stop lying.  Here's another KRDO report but with the video of Lauren showing up too late to vote.

Poor Lauren.  She's denying rumors that she was a prostitute and that she had abortions (plural) and, of course, Stan Lee has apparently taken a second DNA test to prove he's not her father as she and her mother maintain.  On top of all this, it looks like she made a terrified child who was threatened by his father lie to the police.  Don't worry though, she'll find a way to put it all behind her and return to trashing LGBTQ+ people in no time because that's the kind of hate merchant she is.

Now Lauren's stupid and hateful and lied after the fact about missing the vote.  Exactly how much are her constituents willing to put up with?

The rest of the country is pretty damn tired of her stupidity and her lies. . It's not our fault that she and Marjorie Taylor Greene and so many others never got an actual education.  Rosalyn R. Lapier (COUNTERPUNCH) attempts to educate those in need:

Montana’s Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte became the latest to sign several new anti-transgender laws, including one that will prevent gender-affirming medical care for minors.

One thing these new laws do not take into account is that the 12 federally recognized tribes in Montana have historically recognized multiple gender identities, including transgender identities. Most Indigenous peoples recognize multiple gender identities that are believed to be the result of supernatural intervention.

In this regard, Montana state Rep. Donavon Hawk, a Democrat from Butte who is Crow and Lakota, said, “It surprises me that this country is only a couple hundred years old, and we are not able to function with LGBTQ people in our communities.” Indigenous communities have incorporated LGBTQ+ peoples within their societies for centuries.

As an Indigenous scholar who studies the history and religion of Indigenous peoples, I am troubled by how these new anti-transgender laws might affect religious expression and the rights of Indigenous communities, not just in Montana but across the nation.

Indigenous ideas about gender

Indigenous peoples have been in North America for at least 30,000 years. As their societies developed over time, hundreds of different ethnicities, languages, religious practices, gender expressions and identities emerged.

Transgender individuals, an umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity is not linked to the sex they were assigned at birth, have existed throughout history, including within Indigenous communities.

I learned from my maternal grandparents about Blackfeet religion and history. The Blackfeet acknowledged and accepted individual gender expression and identity because it was granted by the divine. Personal gender identity was rarely questioned, because it was tantamount to questioning the divine.

I first learned about Blackfeet ideas about transgender individuals as a young person from hearing oral history stories about famous Blackfeet religious leaders, warriors and adventurers who were transgender. They were viewed as having a direct connection to the divine. People often sought out these individuals for blessings, prayer or spiritual guidance.

Indeed, anthropologists and historians have studied Blackfeet gender expression and learned that the Blackfeet recognized multiple gender identities, including what is defined today in Western societies as transgender.

Two-Spirit and the divine

The modern-day term that many Indigenous peoples in North America have begun to use as an umbrella term to describe the multiple gender identities within Indigenous communities is Two-Spirit. That includes transgender people.

In many Indigenous communities, as the Indian Health Service notes, Two-Spirit identity is believed to come from the divine in visions or dreams and Two-Spirit people often “filled special religious roles as healers, shamans and ceremonial leaders.”

It's funny, isn't it, how transphobe Jonathan Turley wants to blog religious freedom to give a hate merchant an excuse for not designing a website (to be clear, she's never been asked to so her case should have been refused for lack of standing) but he is so stupid and ignorant of religion and he will continue to ignore the realities that he can't use to preach transphobia while insisting he believe in freedom of religion.  Guess he's just another White European colonizer who took over Native American land and refuses to show respect to the religions that were established on this land.

The Tennessee law aimed at placing strict limitations on drag performances is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled.

The first-in-the-nation law is both "unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad" and encouraged "discriminatory enforcement," according to the ruling late Friday by U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

"There is no question that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. But there is a difference between material that is 'obscene' in the vernacular, and material that is 'obscene' under the law," Parker said.

"The Tennessee General Assembly can certainly use its mandate to pass laws that their communities demand," Judge Thomas L. Parker wrote in his ruling. "But that mandate as to speech is limited by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which commands that laws infringing on the Freedom of Speech must be narrow and well-defined. The AEA is neither."

The law was supposed to take effect July 1. It's not clear if the Tennessee Attorney General will appeal the case to a higher court. 

These laws have been passed around the country and 'legal expert' and 'Constitutional scholar' and noted transphobe Jonathan Turley has been silent.  Now that the victory came for free speech, he rushes to blog about it and attempts to tie it into the need to let business discriminate against consumers if the consumers are gay.  Business don't have religious rights.  They aren't people, you idiot.  A business doesn't go to church and doesn't have a faith to practice.  Oops, you're revealed as an idiot who makes any lie in the world to discriminate against people.  (P.S. I see you think you can trick the university about what they recently talked to you about.  Sad news for you, I caught your lack of compliance and will be pointing it out to officials later today.)

Western oil companies are exacerbating water shortages and causing pollution in Iraq as they race to profit from rising oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Water scarcity has already displaced thousands and increased instability, according to international experts, while Iraq is now considered the fifth most vulnerable country to the climate crisis by the UN. In the oil-rich but extremely dry south, wetlands that used to feed entire communities are now muddy canals.

Mahdi Mutir, 57, worked as a fisher his entire life. For years, Mutir and his wife woke at dusk, sailing along a thick network of canals in Al Khora, a few kilometres north of Basra. The harvest was meagre but enough to provide food for the family of seven.

That changed last year. Now, at the height of the rainy season, Mutir’s boat lies stranded in the mud.

“It is the water station the Italian company built: they need water for their oilfields,” Mutir said, pointing at the black smoke rising from the Zubayr oilfield on the horizon.

To help extract oil, companies pump large quantities of water into the ground. For each barrel of oil, many of which are later exported to Europe, up to three barrels of water are pumped into the ground. And as Iraq’s oil exports rise, its water has dramatically fallen.

The whole world is facing drastic climate change but climate models suggest that Iraq will be among the worst effected.  Back in March, Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) reported:

The United Nations stressed that Iraq is suffering from a real water crisis, calling for collective action to find solutions to this crisis, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.
The statement was made on Sunday by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, during her participation in Iraq Climate Conference held in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
“There is an urgent need to find solutions to the water crisis in Iraq,” Plasschaert stated.

Urgent and it only gets more urgent each day.  Already problems are evident.  January 10th, Yale's School of Environment published Wil Crisp's article which opened:

Three years ago, the vast marshlands of southern Iraq’s Dhi Qar province were flourishing. Fishermen glided in punts across swathes of still water between vast reed beds, while buffalo bathed amid green vegetation. But today those wetlands, part of the vast Mesopotamian Marshes, have shriveled to narrow channels of polluted water bordered by cracked and salty earth. Hundreds of desiccated fish dot stream banks, along with the carcasses of water buffalo poisoned by saline water. Drought has parched tens of thousands of hectares of fields and orchards, and villages are emptying as farmers abandon their land.

For their biodiversity and cultural significance, the United Nations in 2016 named the Mesopotamian Marshes — which historically stretched between 15,000 and 20,000 square kilometers in the floodplain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The marshes comprised one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, a startling oasis in an extremely hot and arid environment, home to 22 species of globally endangered species and 66 at-risk bird species.

But now this ecosystem — which includes alluvial salt marshes, swamps, and freshwater lakes — is collapsing due to a combination of factors meteorological, hydrological, and political. Rivers are rapidly shrinking, and agricultural soil that once grew bounties of barley and wheat, pomegranates, and dates is blowing away. The environmental disaster is harming wildlife and driving tens of thousands of Marsh Arabs, who have occupied this area for 5,000 years, to seek livelihoods elsewhere.

Experts warn that unless radical action is taken to ensure the region receives adequate water — and better manages what remains — southern Iraq’s marshlands will disappear, with sweeping consequences for the entire nation as farmers and pastoralists abandon their land for already crowded urban areas and loss of production leads to rising food prices.

The Mesopotamian marshlands are often referred to as the cradle of civilization, as anthropologists believe that this is where humankind, some 12,000 years ago, started its wide-scale transition from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement. Encompassing four separate marshes, the region has historically been home to a unique range of fish and birdlife, serving as winter habitat for migratory birds and sustaining a productive shrimp and finfish fishery. 

AP has observed, "Climate change for years has compounded the woes of the troubled country. Droughts and increased water salinity have destroyed crops, animals and farms and dried up entire bodies of water. Hospitals have faced waves of patients with respiratory illnesses caused by rampant sandstorms. Climate change has also played a role in Iraq’s ongoing struggle to combat cholera."  And now action? Or what might pass for it.   Khalid Al Ansary (BLOOMBERG NEWS) reported:

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani on Sunday kicked off an initiative to plant 5 million trees and palms across the country in an attempt to alleviate some of the deleterious impacts of climate change, a statement from his office said.

Iraq has suffered years of drought, and more than 7 million people have been effected or lost their incomes from agriculture and fishing, Al-Sudani’s office said. The war-torn, oil rich country has experienced higher temperatures, persistent drought, an increase in dust storms and a crop area cut by half, all impacts of extreme weather caused by climate change.

Real action would be addressing the use of water by the oil industry -- water that's not going to the people.  

 Kat's "Kat's Korner: Simply Red's just marking TIME" and "Kat's Korner: Summer means Miley and The Jonas Brothers" went up Saturday.  

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