stella stevens

at the age of 84, stella stevens passed away.  it happened today.

stella was a fairly big name for 3 decades.

in the 60s, her films that are most memorable (and more than worth checking out) include elvis' 'girls, girls, girls,' jerry lewis' 'the nutty professor,' dean martin's 'the silencers' (1 of his agent matt helms films) and, again with dean martin, 'how to save a marriage an ruin your life.'  

in the 70s, her big films included  'the ballad of cable hague' (directed by sam peckinpah), 'slaughter' (with jim brown), the disaster film 'the poseidon adventure' (with shelley winters, pamela sue martin, gene hackman, etc), she was the baddie in tamara dobson's 'cleopatra jones and the casino of gold,' peter bogdanovich's 'nickelodeon' (with ryan o'neal, tatum o'neal and burt reynolds) and the minor horror classic 'the manitou.'

during the 70s she also began coasting on t.v.  she did t.v. in the 60s but she was generally delivering a performance.  in the 70s, she was mainly playing stella stevens.  she could have played more, i'm not trying to insult her.  she was hired because she was a name people knew and they wanted that sort of celebrity in 'wonder woman,' 'hart to hart,' etc.  she was a supporting character in the 80s on the prime time soap opera 'flamingo road' - a largely ignored nbc soap until the so-called moral majority went after it pumping up interest in the show. she was in the movie-of-the-week playing lute-mae that served as the pilot and she continued the role on the t.v. series.

the biggest sign of her celebrity - and how she was paid to play that - was her 2-episode role on 'newhart.'  it opened season 2 of bob newhart's 2nd successful sitcom.  the 1st season had been so-so in terms of humor and quality.  they switched how they filmed the show in season 2 and they wanted to be sure audiences gave the show another chance.

the lackluster 1st season featured a character named 'leslie' who just didn't not work with the show.  on episode 14, a character showed up, her cousin stephanie.  julia duffy played the part and it was clear that julia clicked.  

the smartest thing they did for season 2 was bring julia back - but as a regular.  (and they ditched leslie.)  julia was wonderful on the show.

season 2 found dick (bob newhart) going to nyc and his wife joanna (mary frann) stayed at their hotel when stephanie showed up - having bailed on her own wedding and everything else.  joanna hires stephanie to be the maid at the inn.  while this is going on, dick is in nyc to help a movie star with her possible biography.  it was an hour long episode - broken into 2 parts for syndication.  and to play the movie star, they hired stella stevens.

that's how you know she still mattered on t.v. - to command that kind of a role.

she continued to work - in t.v. and in film - after that 1983 'newhart' appearance but that really was her last great moment on t.v.   the episode was heavily advertised before it 1st aired and she got a lot of press for it as well.

stella had 1 child, a son.  andrew stephens may be most famous for being kate jackson's ex-hsuband.  

she had alzheimer's disease and had been in managed care for several years.

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

Friday, February 17, 2023.  A kidnapped activist has been released in Iraq, the DC nonsense continues trying to recruit and use their participants' histories as a tool, and much more.

We'll start with this from Jeffrey St. Clair's latest "Roaming Charges" (COUNTERPUNCH):

At nearly 9’oclock on the night of February 3rd, a Norfolk Southern freight train jumped the tracks as it was passing through the eastern Ohio town of East Palestine. More than 50 of the train’s 141 cars tumbled off the rails into a smoking jumble. Like most freight trains these days, it was hauling a load of toxic cargo. At least 20 of the derailed cars carried hazardous chemicals, five of them harboring highly poisonous vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used in the manufacture of plastics.

The train had left the St. Louis terminal yard earlier that day bound for Norfolk Southern’s Conway Yard in Pennsylvania, passing through cities, towns and fields, crossing creeks and rivers, rumbling by churches, schools and parks. The derailment was the fourteenth of the young year. Not bad by the standards of the US railroad industry, which has averaged 1700 derailments a year since 1977. But plenty bad enough for the 5,000 people of East Palestine and everyone living downstream or downwind from the crash site.

Two days after the wreck, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report saying that the crash was likely caused by a mechanical issue involving the axel on one of the railcars, which had been seen throwing sparks for a least 20 miles before the train entered East Palestine. That may well have been an issue, but it was far from the only one.

For starters, despite carrying at least five toxic chemicals (vinyl chloride, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, and isobutylene) the Norfolk Southern train was not classified as “highly hazardous.” In fact, the first responders to the crash had little idea what kind of chemicals they were dealing with, most of which weren’t included on the train’s manifest.

The train itself was not fitted with electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes, a feature which many railroad safety experts say may have prevented, or at the very least, lessened the severity of the derailment. In the grand scheme of things, these brakes are not that expensive and could surely be written off on the railroad company’s taxes, assuming they pay any. (Norfolk Southern just reported $4.8 billion in profits for 2022, a record year.) But the railroad industry had been griping about regulatory over-reach since the Obama administration made the brakes mandatory on any trains carrying hazardous materials. None of the companies complained more shrilly than Norfolk Southern. The company soon found a sympathetic ear in the Trump administration, which rescinded the regulation less than a year after taking office.

So, why hasn’t the Biden administration reinstated the regulation, as Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has repeatedly urged? It’s been two years. According to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, his hands are tied. “We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation,” Buttigieg tweeted this week. This is ludicrous. All that really constrained him was a 2015 law requiring a “cost-benefit analysis” of new regulations, the costs and benefits of which should be clear to everyone now.

But that was never the Biden administration’s intentions. As the Lever reported this week, Buttigieg’s department is currently working on a new rule that would further weaken train braking requirements. The responsibility for wreck is as much on Biden’s hands as Trump’s. The Department of Transportation’s crash statistics back this up. While derailments declined under Obama’s term, they’ve remained steady under Trump and Biden: 1204 in 2019, 1013 in 2020, 1020 in 2021 and 1044 in 2022. Both administrations weren’t just negligent. They were complicit.  (The Biden Justice Department actually filed a brief siding with Norfolk Southern against a suit brought by a sick railroad worker. The case is now pending before the Supreme Court and could end up shielding the company from future litigation, including any claims brought by the victims of the East Palestine disaster.)

Jeffrey's "Roaming Charges" goes up every Friday at COUNTERPUNCH and covers a wide range of topics -- above is just the opening.

Moving over to Iraq, AFP reports:

A leading campaigner for the preservation of Iraq's famed southern marshlands has been freed, two weeks after being kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, his family said on Thursday.

Jassim Al Asadi, 65, head of environmentalist group Nature Iraq, was seized on February 1 as he drove to the capital Baghdad on the main motorway from the south.

“Jassim Al Asadi has been freed from the clutches of his kidnappers,” his brother Nazem said.

Iraq's new prime minister insisted earlier this week that he would get Jassim released.  Now Jassim's released.  Only one outlet around the world has reported on the release so who knows whether or not government efforts helped free Jassim?  

Yes, the faux test in DC is coing up and it's bringing you 'anti-war' voices like the general.  

And 'anti-war' voices like Tara Reade -- well known for her erotic attraction to Vladimir Putin but not really known for speaking out against any war.  Tara works for Kim Iversen.  Kim's well known for her work on . . .  Well, she previously spoke at a rally against the war on . . . Well, golly, at her age, she's had to do something, right?

She's got to have something to her name, right?

Oh, yeah.  That.  From LGBTQ NATION:

Olayemi Olurin, the anchor of The Hill‘s daily news and opinion web series Rising, brilliantly handled two transphobic guests who repeatedly made excuses about why they should be allowed to deadname transgender actor Elliot Page without it being considered an offensive attack.

The discussion began by mentioning how right-wing commentators Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin had received Twitter suspensions for aggressively deadnaming the actor. Their tweets violated the network’s policy specifically forbidding “misgendering or deadnaming” trans people as a form of hate speech or harassment.

Olurin’s guests, Robby Soave and Kim Iversen, called the policy “crazy” and said, “I don’t understand that,” respectively. In response, Olurin asked, “Why is that any crazier than people changing their names? ‘Call me this. I prefer to be called by this.’ What’s the problem?”

Soave replied, “But to not even be allowed to acknowledge that you used to have a different name?”

Olurin then said, “What do you need to be able to acknowledge that for? What are you suffering? Where’s your harm? Where’s your compassion?”

Iversen said, “That person lived as a different person for a long time, decades. And so to say that suddenly we all have to pretend like those decades didn’t exist and that that person wasn’t that person for decades?”

Olurin asked, “Why are we pretending like that is what’s happening here?”

Iversen replied, “That is what’s happening!”

Olurin then explained, “It’s very simple. There exists a trans man now, Elliott Page. That is their name. That is the name they go by now. Their deadname is their deadname. They don’t go by that anymore. They find it dehumanizing or diminishing to their person to be called that. And that’s what it is. It’s not uncommon. People change their names all the time, and we use the different names that they go by. It happens.”

“Right,” Soave replied. “If somebody goes, ‘Well, who’s that?’ I’ll go, ‘Well, they used to be X.’ I would fill them in. But you can’t do that on social media because of this policy.”

Iversen asked, “Did you get banned from calling [the late musician] Prince ‘Prince’ when he changed his name to ‘Assemble’?”

Olurin answered, “It’s not the same. We are comparing apples and vegetables.”

When Iversen asked why it wasn’t the same, Olurin said, “Because it’s a trans person. The name, the deadname, reflects an identity, a person they do not recognize. They find it psychologically harmful to be seen that way. They have moved on.”

Iversen replied, “Well maybe Prince had moved on too. I mean, maybe he felt like being called ‘Prince’ too was dehumanizing.”

Visibly frustrated, Olurin waved her hands at the camera and said, “Go ahead. Go forth. Go forth smartly.”

And it was even worse to watch.  THE VANGUARD analyzed it back in July.

Kim's promoting the faux test rally and she had Chris Hedges on her program -- we're not linking to that garbage but I did find it interesting that she's using him as the trusted anti-war voice and she's bragging that he was with THE NEW YORK TIMES for over 15 years.

It was THE NEW YORK TIMES, after all, that sold the illegal Iraq War more than any other outlet.  Is Kim that stupid -- maybe she was counting on help from her assistant Tara Reade -- who actually is that stupid. And it was at THE NEW YORK TIMES where Chris penned the November 8, 2001 NEW YORK TIMES front page  story "A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SCHOOL; Defectors Cite Iraqi Training For Terrorism" -- which was exposed as fraudulent by Jack Fairweather's "Heroes in Error" (MOTHER JONES, March/April 2006).  That's the lie story that linked Iraq to 9/11.  It was written by Chris.  It was all lies.

She wants you at the protest and she just knows Chris is the voice to trust.

To excuse his collaboration with the reactionaries, Hedges offers political amnesty for his new allies. “The rally on February 19 is not about eliminating Social Security and Medicare or abolishing the minimum wage, which many libertarians propose,” he writes.

Hedges continues: “It is not a rally to denounce the rights of the LGBTQ community, which have been attacked by at least one of the speakers. It is a rally to end permanent war.”

And then comes Hedges’ melodramatic punchline: “Should these right-wing participants organize around other issues, I will be on the other side of the barricades.”

Using the word “Should” implies that there is some question about the intentions and policies of Hedges’ right-wing allies. In fact, the rally is being used by the political right to advance its reactionary agenda, and Hedges, despite his apologies, is serving their interests.

Moreover, it is entirely unclear when and under what political circumstances Hedges will decide to end the amnesty, break with the fascists and move to “the other side of the barricades.” The amnesty has no apparent expiration date.

Hedges writes: “We will not topple corporate power and the war machine alone. There has to be a left-right coalition, which will include people whose opinions are not only unpalatable but even repugnant, or we will remain marginalized and ineffectual. This is a fact of political life.”

What Hedges is clearly advocating is not a short-term tactic (which would be bad enough) but a long-term strategic alliance with the fascists. He explicitly declares that it is not possible to “topple corporate power and the war machine” without a “left-right coalition.”

There is a history to the promotion of such reactionary alliances with the extreme right. The most notorious example was the German Stalinists’ promotion, in the years prior to Hitler’s accession to power, of a “Red-Brown” coalition against the Weimar regime.

And what does Hedges attempt to achieve by sharing a platform with the right wing? In pursuit of what bold action plan is Hedges justifying collaboration with these reactionary forces?

He quotes from an email he received from another disoriented liberal endorsing the rally: “Because we urgently need as many voices as possible, from a broad variety of perspectives, to speak out so we can be much more effective at pressuring Congress and the White House to move this conflict from the bloody battlefield to the negotiating table.”

As is always the case, the most grotesque opportunism is employed in the service of the most pathetic and cowardly reformism. The “toppling of corporate power” will be achieved by begging the White House to see the error of its ways.

Time and again, they keep insisting that their faux test is for real and they keep insisting that their participants' history speaks for itself and time and again the histories do.

Chris Hedges: Created the false link between Iraq and 9/11 for THE NEW YORK TIMES

Scott Ritter (dropped out but is rumored to be  surprise guest): Three times arrested for pedophilia, sent to prison for it, forced to register as a sex offender for it; before that Ritter backed the sanctions on Iraq 

Fiorella Isabell: American working for RT who goes on the air 'reporting' "Russian intelligence has learned . . ."  Lies that we'd call out if someone on NBC said "American intelligence has learned . . ." ("Claims" -- that's the term unless you're a propagandist.)

We could do this all day.

Including with Tara Reade who has lost her support base as she's rushed to embrace Marjorie Taylor Green and other hate merchants.  She's destroyed her base and her reputation -- what it took Warren Farrell years to do, Tara's done in a mere matter of months.

THE VANGUARD addresses the faux test in their latest video.

The following sites updated:


david swanson has left the left

david swanson?

ava and c.i. serve him a burn in 'Media: The Problem.'

i was asked about it by 3 readers who e-mailed.

the part of david and me is up here from real time and i've noted it a few times since.

i tried to be the bigger person.  i'm really not interested in doing that now that he's taking the stage with racists and homophobes.  

so here's how it goes.  hip hop caucus, or whatever it is, must have said something or did something i objected to.

probably it was davy d playing the idiot and when he was whining about 'samantha powers' - he got her last name wrong - and how it was so unfair that she got fired for calling hillary clinton a 'monster' to the press (wrong as well - she got criticized for that but she was fired for telling the bbc that barack's 'promise' to end the iraq war wasn't a promise and, if elected, he'd decide then) and how wonderful 'samantha powers' was.

samantha power (her true name) is a war hawk and many of us knew that in real time.  c.i., edward herman and so many others called her out for being a war hawk.  but idiot davy d was going on about 'poor samantha.'  what an idiot.

so that apparently butt hurt some people at hip hop caucus.

i stand by that judgment and feel that time has only proven just how correct i was.

but david swanson decides to spy on me.

he shows up with this slavish e-mail about how great my site was - no, it's not.  i have some good moments but i'm under no delusions.  

he just loves it and loves this about it and that about it and, oh, by the way, what i wrote about hip hop caucus, could i expand on that?

so i do and think i'm responding.

i didn't know that he had decided to spy.

i sent the e-mail reply and didn't think anything of it until a few hours later when i got back on my computer.

david had sent me something.

oh, cool.  let me read it.

uh, idiot sent it by mistake.

sent it to me by mistake.

he'd e-mailed rev whomever who's the head of hip hop caucus.

see how stupid she is - he wrote - as he forwarded my e-mail to the rev.  he insulted me and talked trash about me and how dumb i apparently am.


i'm not the idiot who accidentally included me on the e-mail.

i immediately replied - replied all - to state how hurt i was and how dare he.

he replies back that he doesn't know what i'm talking about and how dare i accuse him of forwarding my e-mail and blah blah blah.

to which i reply, 'stupid, you sent it to me by accident.'

then he never replied.

elaine and c.i. were furious. 

and they noted it at their sites.

i tried to high road it.  i tried to be nice about it.  i even begged c.i. to highlight david swanson's stuff because i read the e-mail and he was already calling me a 'bitch' so i could just imagine what he was going to say about me if c.i. went to town on him.  and mainly, i thought he was working for something important so i devalued me and didn't want to do anything that might harm him. 

i stopped caring when it turned out he was a racist and a homophobe.  i don't protect those people.  

he's just another hate merchant.  which is a shame because, despite being simple minded, he seemed to have a soul.  too bad he's fallen in with the jackson hinkles and scott ritters and crazy libertarian candidates.  

he's many things today but he is no longer a member of the left - whether he wants to admit that truth or not.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2023.  Like the US, Iraq has their own crazy Marjorie Taylor Greenes, and the Tara Reade crazies in the US are losing it in front of our very eyes.  

Starting in Iraq, Ammar Karim (AFP) reports:

Dancing to Iraqi pop made TikTok personality Om Fahad a hit among tens of thousands of followers, but now she is in prison, caught up in a state campaign targeting "decadent content".        

The young Iraqi woman using that pseudonym was sentenced early this month to half a year behind bars for the light-hearted video clips that show her in tight-fitting clothes.

A new government campaign aims to cleanse social media platforms of content that breaches Iraqi "mores and traditions", the interior ministry announced in January.

A specialised committee now scours TikTok, YouTube and other popular platforms for clips deemed offensive by many in the largely conservative and patriarchal society.


A few days later, another TikTokeuse – under the pseudonym of Assal Hossam – was sentenced to two years in prison, for videos in which she showed off her forms, sometimes dressed in a military uniform.

A total of ten people have been arrested for decadent content, according to an official from the Ministry of the Interior, who wants to keep the Ministry of Interior. anonymity. Via a platform set up by the authorities, 96,000 reports were sent by the general public, according to the same source.

Six verdicts have already been pronounced in these cases, according to justice.

And in Amarah, southern Iraq, an investigative judge recently heard from four minor social media celebrities, suspected of offending the public morals and indecent assault, says a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council. 

NET reports:

On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, the Karkh Misdemeanor Court issued prison sentences against content creator Hassan Sajma and content creator Ghufran Mahdi Sawadi, known as "Umm Fahd", on charges of "bad content" by "publishing several films and videos containing obscene and indecent statements and displaying them to the public on social networking sites".

Sajma was sentenced to two years in prison, and Umm Fahd to six months' imprisonment based on the provisions of Article 403 of the Penal Code No. 111 of 1969, as amended, which stipulates that "Any person who produces, imports, publishes, possesses, obtains or translates a book, printed or other written material, drawing, picture, film, symbol or other thing that violates the public integrity or decency with intent to exploit or distribute such material is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 2 years plus a fine not exceeding 200 dinars or by one of those penalties. The same penalty applies to any person who advertises such material or displays it in public or sells, hires or offers it for sale or hire even though it is not in public or to any person who distributes or submits it for distribution by any means. If the offense is committed with intent to deprave and corrupt morals, it is considered to be an aggravating circumstances."

At the same time, the head of Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zidan, directed "general deterrence" by taking strict legal measures against anyone who publishes content that "offends public decency and constitutes immoral practices."

Don't they have better things to than try to attack content creators and censor?  Aren't there a ton of corrupt officials who should be standing before judges right now for having ripped off millions each year from the Iraqi people?

Or is this what that's really about?  Create some nonsense like this to distract from just how awful the elected officials are?  Oh, look, it's Tara Reade's little friend Marjorie Taylor Greene.  Little?  Honey, anyone who Tara stands next to is going to look little.  Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

Out Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) are cosponsoring a bill that could restrict students’ access to books that discuss LGBTQ+ themes.

Santos is one of 11 out LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives and the only one advancing an anti-LGBTQ+ equality agenda. The other 10 LGBTQ+ House members are Democrats.

Does Tara not realize that her erotic Putin fan fiction might get banned by her new friend Marjorie -- the woman she can't stop reTweeting?

Tara's too busy snacking between, before and during meals to think about it too much and besides she's about to be on stage shortly at the faux fest that is RAGE AGAINST THE WAR MACHINE.  Joseph Kishore (WSWS) serves up some reality about that nonsense:

The demonstration being held in Washington D.C. on February 19, under the headline “Rage Against the War Machine,” is opposed to a socialist and genuinely anti-war perspective. Based on the most shortsighted, pragmatic and opportunistic calculations, this event promotes an alliance and collaboration with the political right and even openly fascistic forces.

The primary organizers of the rally are the Libertarian Party, led by Angela McArdle, and the “People’s Party,” led by Nick Brana.

The platform of the right-wing Libertarian Party is the demand for the full and unrestrained right of the capitalists to exploit the working class. It is virulently opposed not only to socialism, but to all social reforms. One of the main speakers at the rally is the former Libertarian Party candidate for president, Ron Paul, who has advocated the elimination of income taxes, minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance and Social Security.

Angela McArdle is a member of the “Mises Caucus” of the Libertarian Party. Named after the fanatically anti-socialist economist Ludwig von Mises, this faction virulently upholds the absolute right of private property.

Under the direction of McArdle and the “Mises Caucus”, the Libertarians have made a more direct orientation to the fascist right and the anti-Semitic groups involved in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In early 2021, McArdle defended the invitation of an anti-Semitic provocateur to the Mises Caucus convention in California, writing that a “truth-seeker” who asks “the question about whether or not Jews run Hollywood” is not an anti-Semite.

The “People’s Party” originated in the “Movement for a People’s Party” (MPP), which held its inaugural convention in August 2020. Its purpose, indicated in its name, is to oppose the organization of the working class as an independent political force. The specific social identity and interests of the working class are dissolved into the amorphous category of “the people.” The program of the “People’s Party” is nationalistic and anti-socialist. The WSWS called attention at the time to the MPP’s orientation to the far right, which has in the intervening two-and-a-half years exploded to the surface.

The Libertarians and the People’s Party have, for their own purposes, assembled an assortment of “left” speakers to participate in the rally. They includes comedian Jimmy Dore and the editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, Max Blumenthal. Both Dore and Blumenthal have previously promoted an alliance with the far right forces that oppose all critical health measures to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. The have downplayed the significance of the January 6 coup. Dore’s response to the coup was to promote an alliance with the fascistic Boogaloo Boys militia.

While oriented to the far right, the rally also draws upon many of the conceptions of the Stalinist Popular Front and the subordination of political opposition to the Democratic Party. This is represented by figures such as former Democratic Party presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and Green Party politicians Jill Stein and Cynthia McKinney. Also speaking is former Democratic Party Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is currently an active lieutenant colonel in the US Army.

The most putrid element of the rally is the direct involvement of fascists. Among the featured speakers is Jackson Hinkle, a supporter of Trump and promoter of “MAGA Communism,” who has said it is his aim to “finish the job of Donald Trump” by “uprooting liberalism from America and getting rid of the globalists out of the MAGA movement.” Another participant is Jordan Page, a libertarian who in 2015 wrote the fascist “Oath Keeper” anthem, entitled “Arm Yourselves.”

Given the far-right element at the rally, several groups refused to participate, including Veterans for Peace and Code Pink.

Pacifist columnist and author Chris Hedges, who will also be speaking at the rally, attempts to legitimize and defend his own participation in a statement published on his Substack this week, “There Are No Permanent Allies, Only Permanent Power.”

Hedges is known as a radical critic of American imperialism. Heavily influenced by Noam Chomsky and substituting middle-class moralizing for scientific political analysis, Hedges rejects Marxism and is implacably hostile to the “Trotskyites,” an element of his politics that has become ever more explicit. His writings are characterized by a demoralized, even obsessive, pessimism, and explicit opposition to the organization of the working class as an independent political force. He is not necessarily opposed to working class participation in a popular movement, but only in a subordinate political role. This has now led him to calling for and legitimizing a completely unprincipled and reactionary alliance with the far right.

According to Hedges, “We will not topple corporate power and the war machine alone. There has to be a left-right coalition, which will include people whose opinions are not only unpalatable but even repugnant, or we will remain marginalized and ineffectual.” Not only is it politically permissible to forge an alliance with the extreme right, Hedges insists, it is a necessity, a “fact of political life.”

Hedges argues that it is possible to build a movement against war in alliance with the far right in isolation from any other social or political issue.

“The rally on February 19 is not about eliminating Social Security and Medicare or abolishing the minimum wage, which many libertarians propose,” he writes. “It is not a rally to denounce the rights of the LGBTQ community, which have been attacked by at least one of the speakers. It is a rally to end permanent war. Should these right-wing participants organize around other issues, I will be on the other side of the barricades.”

How does one begin to unpack all this political nonsense?

Hedge’s assertion that legitimizing the claim of these far-right forces to be opposed to war in no way aids their anti-democratic and anti-working class social and political agenda is a political absurdity. Of course it helps the political right. The presence of Hedges and others claiming to be on the left assists the right-wing organizers in disorienting and deceiving workers and young people and provides a false “progressive” cover for their reactionary politics. Whtever his private intentions, Hedges’ public message is that the right wing Libertarians and the fascists are really not so bad, they have their good sides, and one can find common ground with them.

Hedge’s claim that he would be “on the other side of the barricades” should his far-right collaborators “organize around other issues” is theatrical demagogy pure sophistry. When his present right-wing friends combine their criticism of the Ukraine with American nationalism, anti-Semitism, rejection of even marginal social reforms, promotion of anti-vaccination madness, and other utterly reactionary policies, what are they doing if not “organizing around other issues?” 

We took on Chris yesterday and I called him out but also noted he had done many things worth applauding.  The failure to offer blind worship has offended a number of drive-by e-mailers.  Some think I was much too hard on Chris.


Because what I could have done -- and maybe should -- is this.

That's from WILL & GRACE, episode "24" written by Gail Lerner, Kari Lizer, Jhoni Marchinko, Tracy Poust, Jon Kinnally and Bill Wrubel.  Via DURFEE.NET, here's the part to emphasize from the above.


JACK: You must be dying!



JACK: Aren't you dying?! Your husband is going to Guatemala with that! I would die!

KAREN: I know! That bod! She could be in a Whitesnake video! Whoo!

JACK: Just! die!

WILL: That is some lucky flesh-eating virus that gets her.

ROSARIO: What is she a doctor of? Foxology?


JACK: [CLAPPING] Die! Die! Die!

GRACE: Okay! I get it! She's gorgeous and she saves lives, big whoop. I look good sometimes. And I let people cut in front of me in line at the supermarket. Well, I haven't, but I've thought of it.

WILL: Come on, Gracie. You have nothing to worry about.

GRACE: I know that! I'm very secure in my relationship. I love my husband, and I know that he loves me.

JACK: I would die!

So what I could have said regarding Chris Hedges?  

I would die!

If I wrote the November 8, 2001 NEW YORK TIMES cover story "A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SCHOOL; Defectors Cite Iraqi Training For Terrorism" -- later exposed as fraudulent by Jack Fairweather's "Heroes in Error" (MOTHER JONES, March/April 2006) -- an article that was nothing but lies and falsely linked Iraq to 9/11, I would die!

I would die! Realizing that my work helped start the lie, helped start the war, a war that killed millions, I would die!

And, again, over a million did.

And this has nothing to do with Judith Miller.

This is a 'report' that the great Chris Hedges 'wrote' (stenography, that's all he did).  

I would die!

Over a million Iraqis dead and it was my fault?

I would die!

So, no, I don't feel I was too hard on Chris Hedges yesterday.

As Mike noted last night, one idiot just keeps trying to defend her actions and gets hit back with a Tweet full of reality:

 And one more time, if you're throwing the party, it's incumbent upon you to do the invites.  People you haven't invited aren't supposed to be calling you up and saying, "Hear you're having a party is it okay for me to invite myself."  The lack of diversity in your guests is a reflection solely on the choices you made.  You can't turn around now and blame others.  Own your damn actions.  Pathetic.

Be sure to read Ann's "Anya, do they give you bathroom breaks on the plantation?" about how the faux test had to deploy the only person of color they could hide behind.  Then take a moment to notice that it's not just the faux text.  It's also their supporters who are White and hissing and screaming at people of color to fall in line.  Screaming that this is identity politics.

As though what they're doing with the White Power rally isn't?

It's always interesting when someone tries to fight for their own dignity and the majority White response is to scream, "Identity politics!"  I believe this is called self-repsect.  But go to Anya's Tweet and look at all the White bullies attacking people of color in their Tweets.

What they're really expressing is anger that as White people they can't just call the shots and get everyone to fall in line behind them.  The planned 'action' in DC is racist but note that the defense they're mounting online for their 'action' is also highly racist as well.

Let's wind down with this discussion on the topic from BLACK POWER MEDIA.

The following sites updated:


again on j.k. rowling

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, nearly three years after publishing a series of tweets that was widely considered transphobic, is stating in a new podcast that she “never set out to upset anyone.”

whether she meant to or not, she did it.  and, let's be honest, she did mean to.  that's what all the tweets of late from her have been about.

originally, she objected because she was a woman and - she insisted - saying that someone born 1 sex could change was disallowing everything including gay and lesbian. 

no, it never made sense.

in fairness to her, yes, women as traditionally defined have to take a tiny hit on this 1.  guess what?  that always happens to the dominant group when we enlarge our understanding.  the tiny hit - which also alarmed bette midler - was like white people ragging on african-americans when we grasped that not only was slavery wrong but we weren't going to tolerate it anymore or when white people (some in both instances) were whining about how unrestricted lunch counters might mean that they themselves had to wait a few minutes longer to be served.  

realizing that transgendered women are women and that transgendered men are men did not destroy what a woman is.  it expanded it.  

j.k. refused to embrace expansion.  and then she took to making snide remarks.

i did not agree with her when she made her 1st remarks.  i did undestand that change takes time. (i've worked on the palestinian issue since college and all of us around the world have moved a mountain but it's taken years.)  kat and elaine have rightly noted that if sam smith wants to use they/them then smith needs to sing songs with those pronouns.  smith doesn't.  

the only way people get comfortable with something is through exposure.  

i don't believe bette midler has tweeted or said anything anti-trans since that 1 time.  people want to learn and we need to give them a chance to.  j.k. has had several years now to get used to it.  and she's refused to move forward.  she still attacks trans people and she sicks her mob on them.  

she needs to stop whining.  she was never the victim.  and she has had enough time to adapt.  instead of expanding, she remains constricted and that's on her. 

she has written some great books and i won't take that from her.  i also won't take away my hope that she will become an ally and friend.  but i will never pretend that what she is doing is not hurting a lot of people and she shouldn't be doing it.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2023. On the 20th anniversary of a global protest, we're supposed to want to participate in an upcoming DC 'action' that would have us link arms with racists and homophobes and a convicted pedophile (supposedly dropped out) as well as the man who first put the false link between Iraq  and 911 on the cover of THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Starting with some e-mails.  

Chrissy Lynn Hedges.  Goodness me, didn't realize I'd stepped into a ''hornets's nest'' as 15 e-mails all saying the same thing but supposedly from 15 different people insist I have.  Chris Hedges is for the DC action, didn't I know?

Better question: Why would I care?

Honestly, are you that stupid?  

I get it, education is hard.  Since the system clearly failed you, let's do some remedial lessons.

First off, I called out Chrissy Lynn -- Crazy Lynn? -- on that last book where he was horrified and clutching the pearls over the novel 50 SHADES OF GREY.  Oh, the horror.  

Talk about someone unable to big picture it.

More to the point, I have been very kind to Chris over the years but when he's nutso, I've pointed it out.

Like, sorry Maxy Pads Blumenthal, when Chris tied Iraq into the attack on 9/11.

What's that?  You thought that was Judith Miller?

No, kids, it was Chris.  He got that lie on the cover of THE NEW YORK TIMES. 

November 8, 2001 believe that's Chris Hedges' name on "A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SCHOOL; Defectors Cite Iraqi Training For Terrorism."  You might have to search the title to find out, THE TIMES changes that article's URL from time to time -- as we've been noting since 2006.  

The whole article is garbage and Chris typed up what he was fed:

Two defectors from Iraqi intelligence said yesterday that they had worked for several years at a secret Iraqi government camp that had trained Islamic terrorists in rotations of five or six months since 1995.

They said the training in the camp, south of Baghdad, was aimed at carrying out attacks against neighboring countries and possibly Europe and the United States.

The defectors, one of whom was a lieutenant general and once one of the most senior officers in the Iraqi intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, said they did not know if the Islamic militants being trained at the camp, known as Salman Pak, were linked to Osama bin Laden.

They also said they had no knowledge of specific attacks carried out by the militants. But they insisted that those being trained as recently as last year were Islamic radicals from across the Middle East. An interview of the two men was set up by an Iraqi group that seeks the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein.

The defectors said they knew of a highly guarded compound within the camp where Iraqi scientists, led by a German, produced biological agents.

''There is a lot we do not know,'' the former general, who spoke on condition that his name not be printed, admitted. ''We were forbidden to speak about our activities among each other, even off duty. But over the years you see and hear things. These Islamic radicals were a scruffy lot. They needed a lot of training, especially physical training. But from speaking with them it was clear they came from a variety of countries, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco. We were training these people to attack installations important to the United States. The gulf war never ended for Saddam Hussein. He is at war with the United States. We were repeatedly told this.''

Jack Fairweather's "Heroes in Error" (MOTHER JONES, March/April 2006) debunked Chris' article and reminded everyone of how damaging those lies were:

The impact of the article and the concurrent Frontline show, “Gunning for Saddam,” was immediate: Op-eds ran in major papers, and the story was taken to a wider audience through cable-TV talk shows. When Condoleezza Rice, then George W. Bush’s national security adviser, was asked about the story at a press briefing, she said, “I think it surprises no one that Saddam Hussein is engaged in all kinds of activities that are destabilizing.” Vanity Fair and the London Observer elaborated on Ghurairy’s claims; another version of the story appeared in the Washington Post courtesy of defector Khodada. The White House included the story of Salman Pak in its “Decade of Deception and Defiance” background paper prepared for President Bush’s September 12, 2002, speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Along with the tale of Mohammed Atta meeting Iraqi intelligence agents in Prague—another INC-hyped story—Ghurairy’s account helped establish the connection between Saddam and the 9/11 hijackers, making Iraq, like Afghanistan, a legitimate target for Bush’s war on terror.
Unfortunately, the story was an elaborate scam. The purported general had indeed met with American intelligence agents in Turkey, but unbeknownst to Hedges the agents had dismissed his claims out of hand. What the reporters also didn’t know, and what has never before been reported, is that it now appears that the man himself was a fake. According to an ex-INC official, the Ghurairy who met with the Times and PBS was actually a former Iraqi sergeant, then living in Turkey and known by the code name Abu Zainab. The real Lt. General Ghurairy, it seems, had never left Iraq.

Does Chris talk about that?  Have you heard him, a speech maker, give a speech and take accountability?  Nope.  He just tries to sweep under the rug.  And he was given two sources.  They were both fakes and liars.  Jack Fairweather was able to expose one.  Chris has never felt compelled to come forward with the name of the other.

The false link between 9/11 and Iraq did more to move support for that illegal war than anything else.

And Chris is part of that lie.

When does he plan to take accountability?

I have no idea but it's been over 20 years now.  

So if I'm in a hornets nest  -- or as all15 spelled it "hornets's nest" --  because I disagree with Chris Hedges?  Honey, I've been in that hornets' nest for decades and I certainly won't make it a point to take advice on how to end war from someone who spread the lie that the 9/11 hijackers were connected to Iraq -- spread the lie and never apologized for it.

Others e-mailing want to tell me that I'm on the side of Ukraine.

Oh, I'm sorry.  Is that your talking point today?  It's not accurate.  I hit back when Ann Wright -- brave Ann Wright -- was sliming and slamming Russia.  I called it -- and her -- out.  

I'm not a fan of Putin's but the attack on Russia wasn't about that.  It was the US demonizing and I don't take part in demonizing a people.  Or blaming them for their awful governments -- we have a pretty awful one in the US, for example.

You've got a bad action with bad actors due to take place in DC that Chris and others will be participating in and you've got -- as Ann pointed out last night -- idiots like Anaya Parampil huffing the people of color (she means African-Americans, she's chiding Black Alliance for Peace) should have called up WACK JOBS and said, "I want to be part of your rally."  No, that's not accurate.  You're the one supposedly trying to build a movement so it was incumbent upon you, as the organizers, to invite people.

And, here's the thing, Anaya, you did invite who you wanted.  You just didn't invite any African-Americans.  

And now that's supposed to be their problem and a reflection on them and not your problem and a reflection on you.

Trash, tell it to someone who hasn't spent the last years calling out all of your White White White YOUTUBE programs for refusing to bring on African-Americans as guests. 

I don't work on the plantation, guys.  I don't seek the approval of your White-White world.

I survived the original online circle-jerk -- survived and exposed it -- back in the '00s. I'm the one who killed CJR's 'blog report.'  The ultimate circle jerk.  It took one phone call. Then it was explained to the CJR kids that CJR does not exist for them to highlight their personal friends and certainly not to do that while not disclosing that is what they are doing.  That was the end of CJR DAILY doing their circle jerk.

I survived that original circle jerk so, no, the Jimmy Dore circle jerk doesn't worry me.

And, to be clear, again I'm not sure the problem is Jimmy Dore.  The problem is going to YOUTUBE and having to find this program and that program with a YOUTUBE video about poor Jimmy Dore and who picked on him this time.  

Maybe Jimmy's not asking for that?  Maybe people are just sucking up to him?

But it looks like a cult and it harms him more than it could ever help him.

Contrast that with Katie Halper.

Where's her cult of personality?

No where to be found.  And when Ana Kasparian went after her, no one really stood up for Katie.

We did.  We immediately stopped highlighting Ana's JACOBIAN podcast.  We called her out.  And we waited for others to do the same.

To this day, people don't seem to grasp what Ana did to Katie.  She didn't just go off on her on the JACOBIAN podcast, she went off on her with Nando Vila right next to her (Ana).  One day of the week, Nando's (again) on THE KATIE HALPER SHOW and then, days later, he's on with Ana when she goes off on Katie.

That destroyed a working relationship.  

Katie didn't cry.  She didn't send out, "Please defend me" distress signals.  

She dusted herself off and continued her work.

What Ana did was wrong -- and put JACOBIAN in a bad spot.  But including Nando on it was even more wrong.

I have so much respect for Katie over that.  And I also have respect for Chris Hedges because he does a lot of work worth praising.  But I'm not enlisted in anyone's army and I don't take marching orders from anyone.  That is independence.

I wish that you'd make up your mind
I wish that you'd decide
That I should live as freely
As those who live outside
Cause we also are entitled
To the rights to be endowed
And when I've got something to say, sir
I'm gonna say it now
Ooh, you'd like to be my father
You'd like to be my Dad
And give me kisses when I'm good
And spank me when I'm bad
But since I've left my parents
I've forgotten how to bow
So when I've got something to say, sir
I'm gonna say it now
-- "I'm Going To Say It Now," written by Phil Ochs, first appears on his PHIL OCHS IN CONCERT album.

Somewhere, Caleb Maupin is missing the point of the song, just registering the 'spank me' and moaning as he self-pleasures.  Oh, well, whatever gets you through the night, Caleb.

Sorry, I'm independent and I won't be co-opted or silenced.  You picked the wrong person to try to intimidate.  

And I am on record opposing sending all that money to Ukraine.  I am on record opposing the US-installed Nazi regime.  I love the people of Ukraine but I'm no fan of their 'leaders.'  And I'm not fan of Putin.  But we saw from the start that this was not just events mindlessly taking place but a real effort by the US government to force Russia's hand.  We saw and called it out when people like Ann Wright -- now aboard the peace train -- were attacking Russia.  

So find someone else to hang that on.  

I've had my say and now I'm through
I've just got to get myself away from you
You've twisted and you've turned my mind
Because of all the dark I find inside of you
'Side of you, got to let me lie

Burn your hatred out on someone else

I don't need the things you say
You're bringing me down every day
As well as you
We're at the crossroads wet with tears
And I don't want to spend my years hating you
Hating you, got to let me lie

Burn your hatred out on someone else
-- "Burn Your Hatred," written by Graham Nash, first recorded by Cass Elliot for her album DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

I'll never stand with Scott Ritter.  A convicted pedophile. That disgusting people like Tara Reade and Chris Hedges and Max Blumenthal and Medea Benjamin did is a reflection of them. 

"We need a big coalition."  My coalition does not include people who assault others.

If your coalition includes that then you've got a lot to be responsible for.  

And personally,  I was in single-digit years when I was kidnapped and raped.  I'm not Tara Reade.  She's so narcissistic  that her assault is just about her.  Didn't learn a thing about others.  The ME in Me-Too.  I'm not Tara.  I know real hurt and I will never do anything to risk that anyone else go through that.  

And if Jimmy Dore hadn't started promoting Scott Ritter, we'd still be noting him (Jimmy) here -- whether I agreed with him or not in whichever video.  Didn't set out to be in opposition to Jimmy.  And, if you'll remember, my original complaint when they started bringing that convicted sex offender on was only that they weren't disclosing it to their audiences.  That shows an extreme disrespect for your audience, to bring on a registered sex offender and present him as a good and rational voice and not as the threat that the courts see him as.  And for those of us who have suffered an assault, it's very offensive that you think this type of a person and promoting this type of a person is more important than supporting your audience which does include a lot of survivors.  

Male and female. 

Since they were so 'triggered' -- these con artists who'd rather stand with a convicted sex offender -- by what Black Alliance for Peace said, let's note it one more time:

The Final Deathblow to Imperialism Will Only Come Under The Leadership of  The Organized Colonized Masses

Efforts to marginalize, disregard, and erase the presence of radical Black-, Brown-, and Indigenous-led anti-imperialist organizations, as well as our political positions, is proving to be endemic to the politics of too many who consider themselves radical anti-imperialist and anti-war activists. For this reason, the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) reiterates that the peoples who bear the brunt of the brutal and lethal practices of U.S. imperialism are at the forefront of the struggle to dismantle the global system of white supremacist, patriarchal capitalism.

The colonized within the U.S. settler state see more clearly than the privileged the holistic nature of the system as well as the interdependencies between our domestic repression and U.S. wars abroad. Some forces that claim to be anti-war have an unsophisticated understanding of peace.

We understand that peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the achievement, by popular struggle and self-defense, of a world liberated from the interlocking issues of global conflict, nuclear armament, and unjust war. A condition for real peace is the defeat of global systems of oppression that include colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy and white supremacy. Anyone with genuine concern for the well-being of humanity and the planet should be deeply concerned that some supposed “leftist” forces consider it easier to find common cause with right wing libertarian forces than with the Black radical movement, as BAP Coordinating Committee member Jacqueline Luqman writes in this Black Agenda Report piece.

And as Chair of the BAP Coordinating Committee, Ajamu Baraka points out

The white left in the U.S. is deeply delusional. Elements of the left actually believe a radical movement leading to revolutionary change will be led by white activists with Black & colonized people as backdrops. #AntiWarSoWhite

We cannot afford any confusion, complicity, silence, or outright collaboration with some “liberal/left” forces on armed intervention into Haiti, the reactionary role of NATO, the intensification of state repression in the United States, the plight of the working class being subjected to an induced recession, and austerity. For BAP, all of these contradictions reaffirm why it is absolutely necessary for colonized people to be organized or face an inescapable subjugation and eventual annihilation. The comfortable will dismiss this as hyperbole.

We—the colonized, the exploited, the oppressed—are in the midst of a war. It is clear that the colonial-capitalist rulers will continue to deceive, mislead and co-opt to maintain their dominance. Our responsibility in opposition is to keep the focus on the imperialists and not be confused by the machinations of their supporters. That task and responsibility will continue to inform our work in 2023.

Tara Reade, if you missed it, is now so far gone that she's reTweeting US House Rep and professional hate merchant Marjorie Taylor Greene.  Marjie?  Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports on MTG's latest hate spew:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) denounced marriage equality as a sign that Democrats have “turned their backs on God.”

She then made comments about how 9/11 proves that an aircraft crashing isn’t dangerous for people on the ground. 

“The truth is being canceled, it’s being attacked like never before,” Greene told the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, delivering the keynote speech at the group’s Lincoln Day Dinner on February 11. “And if you don’t love the truth, then you don’t love God.”

She said that “these people in Washington” – a group that includes herself – have “turned their back on the truth and they turned their back on God.”

She then said that House Democrats voted twice to pass a bill legalizing murdering babies “up until the date of birth” as a sign of Democrats turning their backs on God.

“They passed a bill to make it a federal law to protect gay marriage,” Greene then complained. “Marriage is between a man and a woman, and that’s between God and a man and a woman.”

That's who Tara Reade is reTweeting and embracing.  She thinks there's a come-back from this?  There isn't.  You've made your selection and you'll continue to the register and begin paying for your purchase.  No one is going to stand with you anymore -- no one who's not a hate merchant.  It's over, fatty, no one cares anymore.  I happen to think Joe Biden did assault you but I just don't care now that you've used the platform and support people gave you to try to normalize a hate merchant like MTG.  

A real action took place 20 years ago today.  Lindsey German (GUARDIAN) explains:

No one can say they weren’t warned. Mass opposition to wars tends to emerge only after they have been waged for some time, yet protests against the Iraq war reached unprecedented heights well before it began. On 15 February 2003, the largest demonstration in British history took place in London, attended by an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million people. It was also part of the largest ever international anti-war protest, with perhaps as many as 30 million people demonstrating across every continent.

The march itself was a carnival of resistance. There were people of every age, race, religion and nationality, from huge numbers of school students to members of the Muslim community and other faith organisations and trade unionists. There were tens of thousands of banners and placards ranging from “make tea not war” to “not in my name”. Part of the reason for the sheer size of the march was that people thought that being there in person, as individuals, really could make a difference and convince the government not to go to war.

This turned out not to be the case. The march and the wider anti-war movement did not stop the war. And we still live with the consequences of both the conflict itself, and the rejection of democratic accountability demonstrated by the government.

That was real action.   And that didn't end the war -- US troops are still there even though most Americans are unaware and couldn't tell you when the last US service member died there (last December) or who it was (Marine Staff Sgt Samuel D. Lecce).  I think protests are important.  I don't believe we throw away our ethics to stand with convicted sex offenders who prey on children.  Three arrests now.  It was patehtic when it was only one known arrest back in the early '00s and you idiots were defending him.  It's now been three arrests.  He's gone to prison.  He's been found guilty in a court of law.  He's lied repeatedly about what happened.  And yet that's who you want to stand with and you want to ignore his hatred and the threat that he actually is.  

You can say you're doing it for peace or 'anti-war,' but you're lying.  And it's really nice of the White White White Straight Straight Nothings to decide that it's more important to stand with a pedophile and more important to promote homophobes and those who attack women's reproductive rights.  You're 'big tent' has forced most of us out.  And that's on you, you planned this party, you invited the guests you wanted.

The following sites updated: