Tue, Dec

Mehmet Oz, Inept Grocery-Shopping Man of the People: Let Them Eat Crudités


SAY WHAT? - So....Given his hapless, tone-deaf, kamikaze campaign ads, maybe millionaire carpetbagger, quack huckster of magic-cure-everything pills, and "ridiculous performance artist that is Mehmet Oz" doesn't want to beat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to become a GOP senator for Pennsylvania after all. Like several other famous but otherwise woefully unqualified GOP candidates, the guy who once ate a $2,000, gold-encrusted steak while playing a tacky doctor on TV carries as much ill-fitting baggage into a key battleground race as the traveling professor transformed, in a terrific MeidasTouch ad, into a slippery Wizard of Lies. Dorothy to the Wizard: "You're a very bad man." A well-known, Trump-endorsed snake-oil salesman - sex-bots! - Oz and his business got hit this summer with the largest ever class-action lawsuit settlement, over $5 million, for lying about a "magic weight loss cure" that wasn't; he later managed to whittle down the payment to $625,000, a pittance compared to an estimated net worth of over $100 million that would make him one of the fattest cats in the Senate. Not only is he a rich crook; he's also a famously longtime New Jersey resident who might actually still live there, despite running for the Senate seat in a hyper-localized Pennsylvania  where residents proudly identify by county, city, even neighborhood.

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This Is the Hill To Die On, Despite Evidence So Pulverizing It Eviscerates Any Notion of Innocence


SAY WHAT? - Hoo boy. In the wake of an FBI search (not raid) that apoplectic MAGA-ites are hysterically, simultaneously likening to the KGB, Gestapo, Stasi, unsavory antics of Third-World thugs and "the worst attack on this republic in modern history," the guy who's repeatedly said "only the mob takes the 5th" just took the 5th over 440 times for six hours when asked by prosecutors reportedly armed with "pulverizing" evidence about his (pretty sordid-sounding) business practices. Still, furious if ignorant fans are shrieking that "if they can do that to a former president" - search his trashy McMansion - "imagine what they can do to you," and besides the IRS is coming for you and the FBI will probably plant something so now it's finally - finally! - time to bring out your guns for a shiny new civil war. One typical response among a gazillion came from gonzo Trumpy Arizona nominee for governor Kari Lake who feverishly charged "this illegitimate, corrupt Regime hates America," which is why, that "darkest day," "our Government, originally created by the people, turned against us." "Our Government is rotten to the core," she railed about a law enforcement agency doing its job. "These tyrants will stop at nothing. If we accept it, America is dead." Note to self: If clueless zealots like her gain power, she may have a point.

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The War Criminal and the Carnival Barker

SAY WHAT? - Improbably, things just keep getting weirder. Even as the FBI raids "my beautiful home Mar-A-Lago," we have the mind-bending spectacle of venal, mendacious, murderous warmonger Dick 'Dr. Doom' Cheney - who lied us into war using junk intelligence, championed torture from "rectal re-hydrating" to waterboarding, and "would do it again" - emerging from the dark side to claim the moral high ground in a campaign ad for his daughter that eviscerates Orange Guy as a liar, loser, coward and greatest threat to the republic ever, except maybe for himself. So: Darth Vader trashing Gollum, Lord Voldemort ripping Elmer Gantry, Hannibal Lector torching The Joker. Yeah, no cognitive dissonance here. "In our nation's 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump," says Dick at the start of a spot for Liz, who's trailing in her Wyoming primary against Harriet 'Big-Lie' Hageman for calling out Trump for the tin-pot, sociopathic buffoon he is. "He tried to steal the last election using lies and violence to keep himself in power after the voters rejected him. He is a coward. A real man wouldn't lie...He lost his election and he lost big." Oof. Harsh.

To cheesy musak we think is meant to sound patriotic, Cheney adds, “Liz is fearless...There is nothing more important she will ever do than lead the effort to make sure Donald Trump is never again near the Oval Office.” Now, the conundrum. God love anyone, even named Cheney, working to make sure Donald Trump is never again near the Oval Office. 'Cause, hey, c'mon. This is the guy who, just in this week's disclosures, griped he wished his generals were more like Hitler's; had flunkies giving campaign data to Russian agents; evidently really did flush documents down his toilets; is still out here idiotically babbling; and when the FBI executed a search warrant Monday night, ranted hysterically on his low-rent Truth Social that "these are dark times for our Nation" because Mar-A-Lago is "under siege, raided and occupied" by the FBI in "a weaponization of the Justice System (by) radical left Democrats (that) could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries," also Russia Russia Russia scam, impeachment hoax, and her emails, also antique furniture. So absolutely, take him down by any means necessary and before it's too late, though it may already be.

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The Voters Have Spoken


SAY WHAT? - In our first glimpse at a post-Dobbs political landscape, the reverberations are still flowing from the "thunderclap" of deep-red Kansas voting by a "staggering" margin to protect women's access to abortion as "every woman's choice, and not the government's." The explosive backfire on a key front of the right's culture wars came in a GOP-majority state long pivotal in the abortion fight - see the Summer of Mercy - and one so conservative it once banned Charlotte's Webfor "blasphemous" talking animals; its school libraries continue to ban books The Handmaid's TaleThe Bluest Eye, The Hate U Give that looks at racist police, a Cats vs. Robots comicbook that mentions the word "nonbinary" - at a ferocious rate. Still, abruptly questioning a longtime, anti-choice narrative in their statehouse, Kansans came out in droves to tell those in power, "Get your hands off our bodies." Dobbs, said one, "woke up a giant."

Thank Alito. In the wake of a SCOTUS decision that "rolled a political grenade into every statehouse across the nation," residents of a heartland state Trump won by 15 points showed up in the biggest turnout for a midterm election, ever. Right-wingers had deliberately timed the vote during an August primary with typically very low, mostly Republican turnout; instead, more than 900,000 Kansans - double the number expected, four times the last primary, and almost what a presidential election draws - turned out for a landslide of 58.8% to 41.2% result. Contributing to the stunning numbers: 70% of newly registered Kansas voters were women. Twitter: "Lmao, GOP," "Thing I never thought I would say: Thank God for Kansas," and in nods to the Wizard of Oz, "Dorothy can go home now" and "We're not in Kansas anymore. Abortion rights: Yes, we are." 

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Say My Name: Breaking Bad Goes Bronze


SAY WHAT? - Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science! And now yeah, art! Encompassing every conceivable queasy contradiction, Albuquerque this weekend unveiled two larger-than-life, suitably menacing bronze statues to honor the city's fictional, iconic, enthralling and much beloved... umm...meth dealers from the masterful Breaking Bad. If you're still (understandably) under that rock: In the singular AMC show that ran from 2008 to 2013 - and is still zealously watched, debated and re-watched - Bryan Cranston plays Walter White, a schlubby, dispirited high school chemistry teacher who, after he's diagnosed with lung cancer, turns to cooking meth as a way to provide for his family once he's gone. In his gonzo new role, he recruits Jesse Pinkman, a hapless drop out, lost boy and two-bit drug dealer played by Aaron Paul, to help him navigate the city's criminal underworld. From this bleak premise sprouts Vince Gilligan's darkly hilarious, improbably moving, ever-blindsiding marvel of consummate writing, acting, directing, cinematography and music that set a twisted, artful, staggeringly high new bar - and begat two of the most epochal characters ever - in American drama. Thus do fans feverishly deem, say, BB's majestic Ozymandias episode, "The greatest achievement of mankind." Full disclosure: Yes, we love it.

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Honestly? Our Actual Government Is A Barking Mad Supreme Court That Gives Zero Fucks About Democracy


SAY WHAT? - A mere month after the medieval anti-abortion ruling by a cabal of right-wing "fanatics and vandals" we still call SCOTUS, its effects are already cataclysmic. At least seven states have passed near-total bans and many more are working on them, some with monstrous features like Indiana's call for abortion-providers to serve up to six years in prison; experts predict a devastating impact on women's education, employment and income; a new study says it could lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths. The ruling is viewed as so extreme that even Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly tried to reverse at least parts of it; with his failure, suggests Charlie Pierce, he should just resign: "Your work here is done...You've lost control of your majority (and) it's gone barking mad." With the help, one more time, of unconscionable, ever-complicit Susan Collins.

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The Best People, Also Some Bigots, Cowards, Morons, Liars, Misogynists and Hos


SAY WHAT? - With apologies to Charles Dickens, last week was the worst of weeks, offering grisly evidence of the cataclysmic injury to the quality of our political life and leaders these past few bleak years, from the shredding of women's rights reflected in gonzo contraception hearings to revelations of the "historic ignominy" of Trump's war on democracy. The ravaged result: Increasingly, rule by brownshirts, nitwits, charlatans and malignant clowns - ie: today's GOP - hungry for power at any cost. The dystopian spectacle of the House debating whether or not women should have access to an IUD was, of course, necessitated by the dystopian spectacle of a hard-right SCOTUS overturning Roe v Wade; it, in turn led to the realization that Clarence Thomas' medieval definition of sinful - possibly including birth control, same-sex romance and marriage equality - is, in the words of Rep. Andy Kim, "not just an opinion of one man - this is their plan." In our new, post-Dobbs world, that means libraries in Oklahoma have been warned not to say the word "abortion" or help anyone find any information on "abortion," and abortion providers in Idaho, with a six-week abortion ban, face the "uniquely evil" risk of being sued by family members of a fetus, including those of a rapist.

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Longer Tables: When Food Becomes Hope


SAY WHAT? - Because the world is too much with us, today we choose to celebrate humanitarian, hero, mensch and chef José Andrés, who with his extraordinary World Central Kitchen has now served over 100 million meals to besieged Ukrainians - in bunkers, at the border, in their often remote, rubble-strewn homes. With its mindless, pointed destruction of ports, borders and food supply chains, Andrés charges, Putin's war of hubris has also quickly become "a war on food." In response, WCKhas created the largest humanitarian effort in Ukraine, with an "army of goodness" - thousands of volunteer food-fighters both local and international - producing over 300,000 meals a day at 350 kitchens across Ukraine. The Chefs for Ukraine run a three-pronged operation: feeding refugees in the neighboring countries to which many Ukrainian women and children have fled - Poland,  Hungary, Slovakia - activating hundreds of kitchens in towns inside the war-torn country to feed those who remain, and stockpiling and transporting food so communities can cook for themselves.

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The Sound of Children Screaming Has Been Removed


SAY WHAT? - Horror. As a madman in Uvalde, Texas fired over 100 shots execution-style, murdering 19 fourth-graders and their two teachers, newly released security video shows a swarm of police armed with rifles, handguns, helmets, armor, bulletproof vests, shields, tear gas, gas masks and a sledgehammer standing in the hallway of Robb Elementary School for 77 minutes doing....nothing - though one did take time outLady-Macbeth-like, to wash his hands, and some of their colleagues outside were busy harrassing and handcuffing frantic parents. After some debate, and in conjunction with their news partners KVUE television station, the Austin American-Statesman just released the gut-churning video from school security cameras documenting the May 24 massacre. The paper published two versions of the video: one edited to just over four minutes highlighting critical moments; one covering in real time the entire, grisly, hour-and-22 minutes as the shooter crashed his truck outside, entered the school, shot his way into the classroom, and kept periodically, repeatedly shooting as police dawdled in the hallway for an hour and 14 minutes until a couple of them breached the classroom and killed the shooter. We see, the Statesman concludes, "dozens of sworn officers, local, state and federal - heavily armed - walking back and forth in the hallway, some leaving the camera frame and then reappearing, others training their weapons toward the classroom, talking, making cellphone calls, sending texts and looking at floor plans, but (not) attempting to enter the classrooms."

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Void of Decency, But With Lotsa Beer: Honorable (Sic) Frat Boy Bullied By People Insisting On Their Rights


SAY WHAT? - In a stunning escalation of the barbarism pervading our national discourse, Honorable (sic) Justice 'Beer Boy' Brett Kavanaugh was "unduly harassed" at a swanky D.C. steakhouse last week by some "unruly protestors" who had the audacity to claim they have the freedom to decide what to do with their own bodies; thus did they ruthlessly "trample" the lying, deeply illegitimate justice's "freedom (to) eat dinner," which according to the court's deranged legal luminaries is almost equivalent to the freedom not to have to bear your rapist's baby or otherwise submit to forced child-bearing, but maybe not quite. The appalling  act of incivility by mouthy rabble took place at the baroque, Good-Fellas-like Morton's Steakhouse - "We answer the question: What if Outback was expensive as fuck?" - which boasts it caters to "DC's "power elite" and "decision-makers" even if they're really, really terrible decisions. And they have a dress code to prove it. Its pale customers must wear "business attire or smart casual" - no hoodies, ball caps, baggy pants - to enjoy the $25 Lump Crab Cake and $35 Margarita Millonaria before tucking into their $129 Tomahawk Rib-Eye and $12.50 loaded (1430 calories) baked potato and finishing off with a $16 espresso and $14 let-them-eat-Legendary-Hot-Chocolate Cake.

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Hard Truths. Hell Yes.


SAY WHAT? - Sadly, maddeningly, many of us find the vapid, doleful, allegedly-more-united-than-divided Biden, with his "serene platitudinous" rhetoric on our multiple cataclysms - gun carnage, Roe v. Wade, imperilled voting rights, failing institutions, flailing economy and oh yeah burning planet - not up to meeting the apocalyptic moment; hence the aggrieved plaint,  "FIGHT FOR US GODDAMNIT." In fiery contrast to his muted civility, we offer as a role model defiantly unmuted, fire-and-brimstone, no-fucks-left-to-give community activist and Louisiana Senate candidate Gary Chambers, who compellingly wields truth, fact, history, fury and "buck-wild" political messaging to call bullshit at every dark turn. A progressive 36-year-old native son of Baton Rouge - pro-choice, health care, reparations, equity - Chambers is running to unseat ghastly GOP Sen. John Kennedy under the righteous edict of Isaiah 1:17: "Do good. Seek justice." As both advocate and candidate, Chambers knows and repeatedly reels off the hard truths about his state, which ranks in the country's bottom 5% in every facet of life: 46th in health care, 48th in education, 49th in economy and environment, 50th in crime. "I live in the 2nd blackest state in the country," he declares, "and there's an immense amount of suffering here."

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Because Citizens Were Armed


SAY WHAT? - In an unholy juxtaposition - cue panicked people running for their lives past a Klezmer band cheerily playing on unawares - Highland Park, Illinois celebrated "America's day (with) what has become a sickeningly American story" when a disturbed white kid armed with an AR-15 (shocker) exercised his less-than-well-regulated Second  Amendment rights by opening fire on a July 4 parade, killing seven innocents and wounding over two dozen. Police say Robert 'Bobby' Crimo, 21 - in another shocker, a gun-and-death-obsessed misfit whose past is "littered with red flags, including threatening to kill his whole family" - used an "unsecured" ladder to climb unseen to a rooftop in a "very random, very intentional" crime he'd planned for weeks. Police said he fired up to 70 shots; the victims ranged from eight to 88 years old. Crimo escaped but was soon taken into custody "without incident" - in contrast to, say, Jayland Walker, who Akron police shot 60 times during a chase after a traffic stop, not a mass killing, before they brought his body, handcuffed behind his back, to the morgue. Maybe Walker being black made a difference here? Naaah. Though white, Crimo's still been charged with seven murders; more charges are expected.

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Was He Not Worthy of Humanity


SAY WHAT? - A mournful reminder that as America's macro atrocities go on apace - against women, schoolchildren, immigrants and now the planet - so do its personal, everyday, often unseen acts of barbarity. Seven years after Freddie Gray (black) died of a broken neck in a Baltimore police van "rough ride" - and all six officers went free - Richard 'Randy' Cox (black) is paralyzed from a broken neck in a New Haven police van "rough ride." Cox, 36, was arrested on June 19 after someone at a party reported he had an apparently unlicensed gun tucked into his pants; handcuffed behind his back, he was loaded into a metal transport van with no seatbelts. At one point the driver, officer Oscar Diaz, stopped abruptly; body cam footage shows him lurch to a stop, followed by a sickening thud. Diaz said he was trying to avoid hitting another car, but footage shows he was speeding - 36 mph in a 25 mph zone - and residents say they often see police "careening around" in the vans to terrorize helpless prisoners inside. "Horrific" video released this week from inside the van shows Cox sitting uneasily in back as the van hurtles toward the station, trying to find a grip somewhere. When Diaz slams on the brakes, Cox' body suddenly, swiftly hurls along the smooth metal floor and cannonballs headfirst into the back of the van. He lies still. A few seconds later, you hear him softly whimper, "Help....help...help."

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Direct Action Works: Elbit Have Left the Building


SAY WHAT? - Offering a glimmer of hope "the merchants of death are not invincible," Palestine Action has successfully, permanently shut down the London headquarters of Israel's largest arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, with multiple sites in the U.K., after pummeling them with six actions in six weeks. Elbit makes 85% of Israel's drone fleet along with bullets, tear gas, surveillance equipment et al; the company likes to boast its weapons systems are "battle-tested on Palestinians." The London closure marks Palestine Action's second rout of a British Elbit site in less than two years, prompting the group's defiant new slogan"2 Down, 8 To Go." London's office was also the site of the group's  inaugural action in an 18-month campaign that used fiery direct action and civil disobedience - occupations, blockades, defacement, smoke flares, throwing fake blood, locking themselves together - to demand the U.K. end its complicity with Israel's apartheid regime and #ShutElbitDown.

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Genuine Quackery, Frightful In Its Scope

SAY WHAT?- Note: We were writing this when the news of Roe broke; it's hard to keep up with the deluge of atrocities by the cabal of extremists formerly known as SCOTUS. We hope to get to the abysmal criminalizing and corralling of women and their bodies soon, but we may need to take a break from the awful before we do.

In a ruling most sentient beings deemed a lethal "revolution in Second Amendment law," the right-wing "court that dark money built" cited dubious 300-year "history" to strike down New York's rigorous limits on concealed carry - and by extension gun restrictions now protecting 83 million people - dismissing the notion of "proper cause" to be packing in public or the bloody real-world implications of that dismissal and likely unleashing a flood of challenges to any and all gun-control measures. The "maximalist opinion" by Justice (sic) Clarence Thomas, a self-righteous standard-bearer for a party that inexplicably claims the right to regulate a uterus but not an AR-15, renders most of the nation's gun-control laws "presumptively unconstitutional." For advocates of common-sense gun laws, it is "the worst-case scenario," brought to us by the party that used to rail against legislating from the bench before they began a decades-long crusade to strip us of any rights except that of bearing arms, also babies. We're all the Wild West now - or maybe just Texas - and, as of Friday, Gilead.

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Trading Gold For Food:  What Is Peace Worth?

SAY WHAT? - In a surreal spectacle that managed to juxtapose the best and worst of abstruse humanity - its big beating heart alongside its enduring inequities and tendency to wage brutal pointless wars - an international audience of 1%ers amiably haggled Monday for a while before one of them bought the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize won by independent Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov at auction for a record-shattering $103.5 million, which will now go to help Ukrainian children displaced by the war; Muratov had earlier also pledged to donate his $500,000 prize money to give child refugees "a chance for a future." Muratov is the co-founder and longtime editor of Novaya Gazeta, established in 1993 after the break-up of the Soviet Union with - irony alert - money from former President Mikhail Gorbachev's Nobel Peace Prize, and one of Russia's last major media outlets critical of the Kremlin. For years Muratov had defied tightening restrictions - and occasional paint attacks - to produce Novaya Gazeta pieces on corruption in Russia, the wars in Chechnya and Crimea, and growing abuses by Putin. It survived long after most other outlets had closed or been blocked following Putin's invasion of Ukraine, but in March finally suspended both print and online operations after it became a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison to report anything on the war that veered from the government line. In today's Russia, says Muratov, "independent journalism is impossible."

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I Like To See It and Everything and Stuff: Herschel Walker Is A Garbled, Lying Piece of Work


SAY WHAT? - Woefully amplifying our relentless, dismal descent into stupid, Georgia Republicans have chosen for their GOP Senate candidate, in John Lewis' state yet - the staggeringly unseemly Herschel Walker, an ignorant, incoherent, homophobic, MAGA-tainted, gun-toting, black former NFL running back - Run, Forrest, run! - with a history of violence against women who's "dumb as paint," likely ill with CTE or multiple personality disorder diagnosed by a therapist who believes in "Satanic demons," and, "even by recent GOP standards, an absolute fire hose of lies" about....everything, from his (imaginary) work in law enforcement to his (inflated then deleted) college education to his (borderline scam) chicken and fabric businesses, to, now, his (ever-evolving) family history with this week's revelations that the guy who's long and loudly reviled fathers who leave a child has (first) one and (then) three more kids than he'd previously acknowledged and who, yes, he left. Whew. The latest deception of many offers dubious testament to his mentor, another famous know-nothing bigot who leveraged his celebrity and the amorphous fears of a populace facing massive change to reach a pinnacle of power they're extravagantly unfit for: Walker, says one pundit, "may literally be the only person who lies more than Trump," who reportedly lied over 30,000 times without "the Lie Cops" busting him. In that and other sordid ways, "His candidacy is ultimately a test of how much Trump broke our politics" - though, to get real, it's not like it was in such great shape before. Still, let us count the sorrowful ways.

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Governance By Deranged Drunken Whack-A-Mole


SAY WHAT? - Whoa. Things are getting pretty wild at the Jan. 6 hearings as former aides and perps of our own "American monster" crawl out from their caves to disclose just how crazed the circus got near the end of its apocalyptic run. Monday's testimony showed that Trump knew he lost but, increasingly "detached from reality," he chose to ignore his (relatively) sane minions, listen to a "definitely inebriated" Rudy Giuliani, keep up the "Big Lie" that keeps getting bigger, and, 'cause grifters gonna grift, "the big rip-off" with it. As at the first hearing, the Committee mostly and effectively used eye-popping video of the violence along with testimony by Trump's own low-lifes - Trump said Pence "deserves" to hang, the lies and delusions were "completely nuts," Kushner called warnings of violence "whining" - to drive home what was clearly a #TrumpCoupAttempt. In the wake of that realization, furious hashtags have sprung up like so many overdue subpoenas: 



Just as vitally, those forced to testify under oath have exposed the active support or covert complicity of scores of Republicans in the Administration and, inevitably, in Congress. Thus do the powerful opening words of Liz Cheney, one of the century's most improbable heroes, echo through the proceedings: "I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”

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This Shit Must Stop


SAY WHAT? - Unarguably declaring, "We have the right not to be shot" in the only country where it's necessary to declare that, hundreds of thousands of Americans marched Saturday against the insane gun carnage that every day kills roughly 106 people and wounds another 200. In D.C., where 50,000 gathered in the rain, our collective trauma was made real when someone may or may not have yelled "gun" and a crowd fled in panic even as a speaker from the stage bellowed, "DO NOT RUN!" This is what our lives have now become. In Texas, where 19 kids and two teachers were just gunned down in Uvalde, 10-year-old Alexandria "Lexi" Rubio was buried amidst tears as, elsewhere in the state, crowds chanted, "Fuck Ted Cruz."

Responding to a request from Parkland survivor and March For Our Lives organizer David Hogg, many people posted pictures of their bountiful, furious signs, which spoke for us all: "Active shooter drills should not be a thing...Fuck the NRA...Save Lives or Step Aside...This shit doesn't happen in Australia...How many gun deaths are enough GOP?... Stop making it easier to buy an AR-15 than it is to adopt a dog...We march for those who can't... As a woman, I hope that one day I will have as many rights as a gun...Am I Next?...Vote For Our Lives...Our government is bold enough to force you to have a kid but too weak to ensure they make it to recess alive...Jesus don't like killing/No matter what the reason's for....Enough is enough." From one Texas pol, "The only kind of evil (is) not doing anything." And from Eleven Films, a searing, gut-punching video reminding us, "This is not a movie. This is real life." Don't look away. 

(Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email: [email protected])

Battle Tested on Palestinians


SAYWHAT?  - In a world beset by bloodshed, Israeli violence against Palestinians is little-reported but still ongoing, and grievous. Both settler attacks and home demolitions are soaring. At last weekend's annual Flag Day "celebration" marking Israel's capture of Jerusalem in the 1967 war, tens of thousands of flag-waving Israeli nationalists marched through the city's Muslim quarter harassing international media, attacking Arab business owners and chanting "Death to Arabs" and "May Your Village Burn" - this, as police who routinely assault Palestinian protesters for chants deemed “incitement” ignored them to arrest anyone flying a Palestinian flag. Meanwhile, Israeli forces last week shot and killed four Palestinians in the West Bank, at least three for no discernible reason. Journalist Ghufran Warasneh, 31, was headed to her first day of work at a local radio station when she was killed by soldiers; they claimed "an assailant armed with a knife" tried to stab a soldier, which is how journalists always start new jobs, and "our soldiers thwarted the attack with live fire to neutralize the assailant.” Video shows Warasneh on the ground as feverish Israeli soldiers fire in the air and shove away concerned bystanders. Soldiers also killed a 29-year-old standing outside his home, a Palestinian who reportedly fired at soldiers demolishing a home, and a 16-year-old walking with two friends; shot in the back, he was the 14th Palestinian child killed this year.

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Memorial For Dead Children Goes the Swift Way of Thoughts and Prayers


SAY WHAT? - In an excruciating, infuriating metaphor for heartless GOP inaction in the face of America's soaring gun carnage, stony-faced state  employees working at the behest of NRA-fanboy and Tennessee GOP Gov. Bill Lee unceremoniously hauled off a tribute to the Uvalde victims - cards, flowers, 19 stuffed animals - minutes after  local clergy and gun-reform advocates tearfully left it at Lee's office. The group also presented Lee with a letter signed by 49 faith leaders asking for common-sense changes to gun laws; Lee  refused to accept it, and said they should mail it to him. The action came days after Lee wrote he was "heartbroken by the horrific tragedy in Uvalde (and) the loss of innocent lives," adding, "We lift up their families in prayer and thank all the first responders who acted quickly" (sic), even though in truth they just stood around for over an hour to save their own panicked, racist asses. Last year, with great fanfare, Lee proudly signed into law a bill allowing pretty much any adult to carry a gun without a permit/ license or any training; at the time, he thanked the NRA, which applauded the bill as "a great step forward in the advancement of self-defense rights...without government red tape or delays," for "helping get this done." Note to the GOP: If you don't like being called monsters, stop acting like monsters.

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