aaron mate, richard day, cher

cher doing 'heart of stone.'  i was talking to c.i. last night on the phone and she was in a cher mood so i heard 'love is the groove,' 'when the money's gone,' 'baby don't go' (a song with sonny), and others.  ever since i've been i a cher mood.  i love 'heart of stone' and, sorry, but the album it's from (also called 'heart of stone') remains my favorite cher album.  i love 'love on the rooftop,' for example, which wasn't even a single.


It is for the record possible to hate on Bryan Singer without resorting to anti-gay tropes

that's a good point.  1 i missed when calling out silverstein's nonsense in ''melissa silverstein is a sexist pig '

good catch, richard day.  aaron mate also makes a good catch:

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018.  A march this weekend in DC will call out the continuing and never-ending wars.

XINHAU reports two bodyguards of the Salahudin Province governor were injured in a roadside bombing today, "The roadside blast took place near the convoy of Ammar Jabur Khalil, governor of Salahudin, during his visit to al-Seniyah town in the north of the oil refinery town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, said Mohammed Khalil al-Bazi from Salahudin Operations Command."  In addition, ALSUMARIA notes a grenade attack on a Baghdad home shared by lawyers.  IRAQI SPRING MC notes a citizen was attacked in their Basra home by armed militia.  The citizen may have been an activist in the Basra protests that had been on hold during the recent religious pilgrimage.  There have been efforts to target these activists throughout the protests but the targeting is said to have increased while the protests were on hold and media attention was elsewhere (on the pilgrimage, on the new Cabinet, etc).

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

Search results
Iraq: Basra activists are preparing for a new protest

In Iraq, activist says Basra protests will begin after Arba'een visits. Conditions have not improved in terms of water pollution, jobs & corruption. Not concerned about no Basra ministers in new government since last government had 3 w/o any results.

The targeting of protesters is not unique to Iraq.  As the Green Party's 2016 candidate for US vice president, Ajamu Baraka, observed last night in NYC, "The imperialism we see globally is the flip side of the repression we deal with domestically."

BAP’s 👉🏿 “The imperialism we see globally is the flip side of the repression we deal with domestically.” WATCH 📺

He was speaking at the End the Wars At Home and Abroad conference -- speakers also included UNAC's Joe Lombardo, Black is Back Coalition and People's Orgnization for Progress, Bayan USA's Bernadette Ellorin and Friends of the Congo's Maurice Carney.

The conference is part of a series of actions that kicked off with the Women's March on the Pentagon last month and continues this weekend in DC with the March on the White House:

Hundreds of black people from throughout the U.S. and from every town, city and state, will descend on Washington, D.C.—capital of imperialist white power—on November 3 and 4.
This is a Call for you to take your place in the rally, march and conference with the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations under the banner: “There is no Peace: Africa and Africans are at War!”
For nine years in a row, the Black is Back Coalition has been leading the charge to unite our people against the growing, desperate white nationalist attacks by the U.S. and other imperialist countries against our people and the colonized peoples and countries of the U.S. and the world.
The Coalition is calling on everyone to join with our brothers and sisters at Malcolm X Park on Saturday, November 3 at 12 noon. Numerous speakers that represent our community’s demand for self-determination and our historical opposition to imperialist white power will expose the relentless war being waged against Africa, African people and the peoples of the world.
At 2 P.M. there will be a black people’s march on the White House. Then there will be another rally at Lafayette Park across the street from the White House.
On Sunday at 12 noon the people will gather for a conference at the Stuart Center, 821 Varnum Street NE for a full discussion of all these issues and resolutions of how we should move to defend ourselves against the war on our people in a process that will build a new world without black oppression and human exploitation.
Every day the blood-stained list of African people within the U.S. who are shot or killed by U.S. white citizens or police grows grotesquely long. In 47 of the cities with the largest police departments, police shot at least 3,649 African people from 2010 through 2016.
These same domestic military occupation forces are the primary instruments leading to the prisons within the U.S. bursting at the seams with African people who are now organizing within the prison concentration camps for an end to this colonial slavery that is justified by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. constitution.
Regular white citizens are also assaulting our people with sometimes deadly consequences—in churches, on college campuses, at public transportation stations and in fast food restaurants, to name just a few places.
In St. Louis-Ferguson, Missouri, with one of the highest incidences of police shootings in the U.S., the U.S. government, through the weapon of eminent domain, has confiscated nearly 100 acres of land previously owned by African people, to build a massive, $2 billion super-secret international spy station known as the National Geo-spatial Intelligence Station (NGA).
This spy agency, to have its own police force in our community, is also part of an ever-expanding gentrification process in St. Louis that is daily driving our people into deeper poverty and despair.
The Black is Back Coalition is also calling on you to join your brothers and sisters protesting the growing U.S. military secret wars in Africa.
Hundreds of U.S. Special Operation forces are violently destroying villages and supporting thuggish African governments to prevent African workers from coming to power and gaining control of our own resources for Africa’s benefit instead of the benefit of white power.
U.S. Special Operations forces are also in Africa to contend with China for economic influence. In addition, they are there to protect the interests of its junior imperialist partners on the Continent that contains at least a third of the world’s known mineral assets.
The U.S. has created a vast war project called the Africa Command or AFRICOM, a command center solely dedicated to keeping Africa under white power control and our people in a permanent state of violently impoverished exploitation and indirect colonial domination.
The Black is Back Coalition is calling on African people to join in our protest of U.S. initiated or actual armed and economic warfare against and political destabilization of other countries like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, China and Russia—countries that have refused to comply with U.S. imperialist demands.
The Coalition’s 19-point National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination calls for an end to AFRICOM. It also demands that the U.S. get out of Africa, Asia and Latin America and pay reparations to Africa and Africans everywhere.
We demand the upliftment of African women and the African family as well as black community control of police and the immediate withdrawal of U.S. domestic military forces from the African community.
Come out to join with your brothers and sisters in the demand for the release of all our political prisoners and the end to the mass incarceration of our people and the release of African people from the colonial concentration camps called prison.
The escalated attack by the U.S. on Africa and African people worldwide is evidence of the growing crisis of imperialist white power. The Black is Back Coalition is calling on all African people and friends of peace to join with us in a great celebration of resistance.
We can win!
We will win!
We are winning!
Featured Speakers:
Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Glen Ford, Kamm Howard, Ajamu Baraka and Lisa Davis

Why march in DC this weekend?  To call for an end to the wars, to call for the US out of Africa, to call for an end to the insanity that is normalizing destruction and death.  As Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) points out in her latest column on the recent violence of last week:

If Trump can be connected to all of these incidents it should be with the knowledge that the entire country is suffering from a terrible sickness that few want to confront. Americans prefer to think well of themselves and their nation and treat any information contradicting that belief as an inconvenience to be avoided at all costs. There were hate crimes before Donald Trump ran for president and most of them weren’t carried out by individuals. Most of them are still sanctioned by the state.
The crazed Trump lover may have tried to send bombs to Obama and Clinton but they sent bombs to Libya and destroyed a nation that still suffers from their terrorist acts. They are quite literally guilty of committing hate crimes, along with other NATO leaders and their predecessors in high places. The fact that they know how to express diplomatic niceties is no reason to see them as being on our side as we fight to defeat fascism at home and around the world.
Their enablers cannot be given a pass either. When we fight to make war and peace a political issue we are derided as purists and spoilers who ought to be quiet and allow imperialism to take place without hindrance. The people who join in the chorus of denunciation should not be allowed to wring their hands when dead bodies appear within our borders too.

At ANTIWAR.COM, William J. Astore explains he wrote to his senator (Elizabeth Warren) and received back acceptance of eternal wars:

In this country in 2018, as in 2017, 2016, and so on, the U.S. military and its leaders dictate what is acceptable for us to say and do when it comes to our prodigal pursuit of weapons and wars.
So, while it’s true that the military establishment failed to win those “hearts and minds” in Vietnam or more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, they sure as hell didn’t fail to win them here. In Homeland, U.S.A., in fact, victory has been achieved and, judging by the latest Pentagon budgets, it couldn’t be more overwhelming.
If you ask – and few Americans do these days – why this country’s losing wars persist, the answer should be, at least in part: because there’s no accountability. The losers in those wars have seized control of our national narrative. They now define how the military is seen (as an investment, a boon, a good and great thing); they now shape how we view our wars abroad (as regrettable perhaps, but necessary and also a sign of national toughness); they now assign all serious criticism of the Pentagon to what they might term the defeatist fringe.

In their hearts, America’s self-professed warriors know they’re right. But the wrongs they’ve committed, and continue to commit, in our name will not be truly righted until Americans begin to reject the madness of rampant militarism, bloated militaries, and endless wars.

That's another reason to march.  If you can't make DC this weekend, at least check out the Black Alliance for Peace website which notes further actions.

Looking back at last month in Iraq, Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) notes:

At least 295 people were killed across Iraq, and 342 bodies were found in mass graves during October. Another 254 people were wounded. Were it not for the discovery of more victims in mass graves, the figures would be lower than in September when 401 people were killed or found in graves, and  491 were wounded. A number of mass graves were found in the Mosul area, presenting a higher number than last month. Further north, the Turkish military conducted repeated strikes on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.) targets. 

Oxfam's Amy Christian spent two years in Iraq.

An interview I did for The Mirror after leaving my post in Iraq

From that interview (which also contains many photos of Iraqi people):

During the offensive, Amy and her Oxfam colleagues followed the operation.
This meant they were never far from the sounds and horrors of warfare.
"I remember a day in a clinic in Hamam Alil where people were being pulled in on stretchers, moaning, covered in bullet holes," Amy recalled.
"As I stood there and watched, the sound of mortars being fired just 30 metres away made the ground shake and rattled me from deep within."
"Those men lying there, having bullets pulled out of them with barely any pain relief. Blood everywhere. The sound of crying and the boom of those bombs landing – those are memories that will remain vivid whenever I think back to my time in Iraq."

That is normal in Iraq.  Not because Iraqis want this to be normal but because they had war declared upon them by the US.  It's a war that continues.  It's a war that occupies their country.  Did you miss Donald Trump's 'approval' of the oil move this week?  Yes, Iraq's 'government' doesn't do much without approval from the US.  It certainly doesn't protect the people of Iraq.

A number of women have been targeted in Iraq in the last weeks.  Lily Fletcher (INDEPENDENT) writes an obituary for Tara Fares:

The significance of the former beauty queen’s brief life can only be seen against the backdrop of a society where high-profile women are punished for daring not to conform to stringent expectations for female behaviour as defined by zealots.
By Iraqi standards, Fares was candid and outspoken, using her social media platform to reflect on personal freedoms. Her aesthetic and fashion sense were daring – many considered her scandalous and lacking in modesty for a public figure.

On a September afternoon, a gunman on a motorcycle leaned inside her white Porsche convertible, in the Kam Sara neighbourhood of Baghdad, shot her three times and then sped away.
Hers was the fourth in a spate of fatal attacks on women which many fear is set to continue.

Fares was born in the United Arab Emirates to an Iraqi Christian father and Lebanese Shiite mother. She was born a Christian, however in a television interview earlier this year she said that in 2002 her family had converted to Islam.
She rose to prominence in 2013 when she was voted Baghdad’s beauty queen and first runner-up as Miss Iraq. She later became a social media sensation with frequent selfies attracting nearly 3 million Instagram followers, as well as popular vlogs sharing make-up tips to a YouTube channel with more than 120,000 subscribers. She also has various active fan clubs reposting her photos on Instagram.
Fares was briefly married at the age of 16 to a man with whom she had a son, but they then divorced.

She broadcast to her large online following about the violence of her abusive ex-husband, who had posted intimate images of her on social media. He also took away their now three-year-old son – an impossible trauma, but Fares was forced to put a brave face on it, saying it helped make her stronger.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated: