Monday, May 29, 2023


Tina Turner?  I was a fan of her music.  Not old enough to be a fan of the music before the 80s.  But I can remember hearing "Let's Stay Together" and being seriously impressed.  It's not like Al Greene's version was so-so.  But Tina took the song he made famous and turned it into something else entirely.

And it was hit after hit.  She was the Queen of Rock and Roll.  She sold tickets to live performances, she sold albums.  Everyone knew who she was. 

1989's "The Best" or  1993's "I Don't Want To Fight" would be my favorite music video she did.

10 favorite tracks off the top of my head?  I think I need to do 20 (in addition to the two above).

1) "I Might Have Been Queen"
2) "What's Love Got To Do With It"
3) "Steamy Windows"
4) "Private Dancer"
5) "One of the Living"
6) "It's Only Love" (duet with Bryan Adams)
7) "Golden Eye"
8) "Better Be Good To Me"
9) "Steel Claw"
10) "Help"
11) "Johnny & Mary"
12) "A Change Is Going To Come" (live with Robert Cray)
13) "What You See Is What You Get"
14) "On Silent Wings" (duet with Sting)
15) "Break Every Rule"
16) "When The Heartache Is Over"
17) "Tonight" (duet with David Bowie)
18) "In Your Wildest Dreams" (duet with Barry White)
19) "I'll Be Thunder"
20) "Total Control" (off the WE ARE THE WORLD album)

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, May 26, 2023.  The American Taliban continues their war on democracy and on the United States, a royal visits Iraq, and much more.

The American Taliban is out to destroy democracy and freedom.  They lie and pretend they're "doing it for the kids" but they're no Robbie and Kylie.

And their not "doing it for the kids."  Their actions and their remarks make clear that's not the case.  

What they are doing is damaging children.  Beth Hawkins (THE 74) reports:

In the opening weeks of the 2023 legislative season alone, more than 400 pieces of legislation aimed at LGBTQ people— most of them targeting schools — were introduced throughout the country. 
It’s no surprise that queer students in Republican-dominated states where these laws have passed are profoundly impacted. But less visible is the dramatic effect the steady drumbeat of headlines has had on youth in places with even strong anti-discrimination laws. Newly released data from the advocacy groups GLSEN and The Trevor Project show increases in hostility, victimization and discrimination experienced by students in blue states as well as red.

The effects are devastating. Nearly half of LGBTQ 13- to 17-year-olds considered suicide last year, as opposed to some 19% of high school students overall, according to The Trevor Project. Eighteen percent actually attempted it. Seventy percent report anxiety, and 57% experienced depression.

Strong in-school relationships are a well-known protective factor. LGBTQ students who say their teachers care a lot about them are 37% less likely to consider suicide and 43% less likely to be depressed than those who don’t feel cared for, according to The Trevor Project. 

Rates of self-harm are much lower among students who feel affirmed in school, and acceptance of LGBTQ students had risen steadily — if unevenly — following legal recognition of same-sex marriage. But the number of youth who see their schools as affirming has fallen dramatically over the last four years. 

In California — where the first gay couples married in 2008 and schools began teaching LGBTQ history a decade ago — a statewide survey of students found that the number who reported hearing homophobic remarks from adults in school rose from 12% in 2019 to 49% in 2021. That’s an increase of 408%.

In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been recognized for almost 20 years, the number of youth exposed to anti-LGBT remarks is up 686% over the same time frame.

Yeah, but, hate merchants, keep pretending that your concern is for the kids.  Scarface Tulsi Gabbard might try having kids -- before it's too late, she's 42 -- since she's so obsessed with other people's children.  Or is Tulsi too manly for pregnancy?    The report notes:

A new data analysis by The 74 shows how this political wedge issue, aimed at a relatively small population of students, is having an outsize effect. The number of youth who identify as something other than cisgender is growing, but it’s still a tiny number of children. 

Of the approximately 16 million high school students in the United States, an estimated 1.8 million, or 11.6%, identify as LGBTQ. Just 300,000 are gender-nonconforming. 

Ten years after same-sex marriage became widely recognized, a sizeable majority of Americans are comfortable with gay, lesbian and bisexual co-workers and neighbors. Experts say it’s harder to attempt to undo LGBT rights overall than to capitalize on confusion about the experiences of a very small subset of people.     

And unlike past campaigns to vilify LGBTQ people, this time, the rhetoric targets kids, not adults. Even though some of the new policies take aim at bathrooms and gymnasiums, the impact spills over to classrooms, hallways and libraries, affecting a much larger number of children.

They are bullied and assaulted; subjected to increasingly negative remarks even from teachers who are supposed to protect them; silenced from raising LGBTQ topics — even talking about their families during class discussions; discouraged from participating in sports or other activities; forbidden from wearing clothing with supportive messages or forming gay-straight alliances or other affirming student clubs; disciplined for identifying as LGBTQ and for wearing clothes deemed “inappropriate” for their gender.

It's like the 70s all over again. As I've noted before, not long ago, a group of gay adult malea at one group we were speaking to in the last 12 months, brought up what life was really like for them in high school and middle school.  Teachers and principals mocked them and made fun of them, publicly ridiculed them.  My response was sue.  I don't care if it gets kicked out for whatever reason.  Get on the record so that these failures do not get to enjoy their retirement but instead everyone grasps that these failures weren't just intolerant, they were actively betraying their legal obligations.  

I would recommend the same to the families of any children currently in school and experiencing this.  File immediately.  Let's identify these people who think they can abuse their jobs and harass students.  

That's the only way this will stop.  

The American Taliban is brave when egged on by a bunch of hate merchants but when they find out it's not Tulsi Gabbard that's having to pay for the actions, but themselves, they'll learn to conduct themselves as educators are supposed to.     

Rowan Johnson learned what it meant to be transgender not from a parent or a teacher, but from Jerry Springer.

Home from school one day when they were about 8 years old, Johnson caught Springer’s often-raucous daytime talk show. “There are girls here to tell their parents they want to be boys,” Johnson recalls hearing at the top of the hour.

That’s something a person can do? Johnson thought. They had sensed already that something was different about their own gender identity but didn’t know what. “I didn’t have the words for ‘transgender’ or ‘nonbinary’ or any of this.”

Most trans adults went to school at a time when there was little or no discussion of gender identity. If the subject came up, it was on tabloid television or in schoolyard taunts rather than in conversation with caring adults. Now, as Americans debate policies that affect trans Americans, there’s disagreement over how — or whether — to broach these issues in schools.

For transgender children, this question can be urgent. A Washington Post-KFF poll conducted in late 2022 found that about 1 in 3 transgender adults was 10 years old or younger when they began to understand that their gender was different from their sex assigned at birth. Forty-five percent of them said they felt unsafe at school, the place where they spent most of their time and where acceptance or rejection can make a deep impression. The isolation and discrimination that many trans people experience can lead to depressionsubstance abuse, self harm and suicide, experts say.

[. . .]

In other words, what trans Americans say is needed appears at odds with what many Americans appear comfortable providing. That’s unsettling to the trans community at a time when gender identity has taken center stage in the culture wars and Republican lawmakers have attacked the very existence of trans people.

“If I had had the opportunity," said Johnson, "to learn that it’s normal and common to question your gender identity and to want to experiment and explore your gender identity, I think it would have saved a lot of emotional pain.”

The poll found support for teaching these issues in high school, with more than 6 in 10 saying it was appropriate. Americans were divided when asked about middle school. But at the same time, nearly 7 in 10 Americans supported laws that would bar discrimination against trans people in K-12 schools.

The American Taliban is in the minority -- just as they are on abortion.  But what the people want doesn't matter to these authoritarians.  They want to destroy the country and destroy democracy.  The right to privacy got shredded in DOBBS and they planned and conspired for years to get to that point.  They're coming after every right and you're insane -- or married to Max Blumenthal (which may be the same thing) -- if you can't see that.

Target on Wednesday said it was removing some products that celebrate Pride Month after the company and its employes became the focus of a “volatile” anti-LGBTQ campaign.

The company said threats against employees impacted their sense of safety and well-being, but Target did not specify which products it was removing, the nature of the threats, or where they occurred. Target said it removed from shelves “items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

For a decade, Target has celebrated Pride Month in and around June. The company runs advertisements to appeal to LGBTQ customers and employees, and it sells t-shirts, coffee mugs and merchandise with rainbow flags and other symbols of gay rights.

“Pride Month at Target is a time of affirmation and solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community,” the company says on its website.

A few things.  Openly homophobic people?  They can't afford Target and don't shop there regularly.  Threats against employees?  Those need to be reported to legal authorities and done so immediately.  Isn't it interesting that Jonathan Turley is no where to be found yet again.

He's like FOX "NEWS" -- emphasizing everything that will scare the elderly but nothing that will enlighten or educate.  He's an old whore slinging it for FOX "NEWS." 

The backward and inbred homophobes who study online with Professor Turley pretend to care about democracy.  But it's not really a democracy, is it, if you're threatening violence because you don't want people to have the option of buying clothing?  That's reality and it's not an angle Turley is going to share with his cult or, for that matter, that FOX "NEWS" plans to share.  Target clearly noted threats of violence to the staff.  But here's FOX BUSINESS "NEWS" 'covering' the topic and leaving that threat out.  CNN could -- and did -- note the threats.  USA TODAY did as wellAP did as wellBLOOMBERG NEWS did it.    But not FOX "NEWS."  This is how FOX "NEWS" lies -- they don't present most stories and when they do present a story they lie and they leave out significant details.  A half-wit could park themselves in front of the TV, watch six hours straight of FOX "NEWS" and still be a half-wit when they turned the TV off.

A right-wing outlet (tiny and we're not promoting it) wants you to know that conservatives are "successfully" boycotting Target.  Homophobic conservatives don't shop there.  Try the Dollar General.  This is the same crowd -- small and vocal -- that Nancy Reagan sneered at (they were focused on ending abortion when she was First Lady) and this crowd buys beers and Fritos but, as demographics make very clear, they don't have the income to spend at Target.  Walmart is a big treat for them.  So, no, they're not "successfully" boycotting a store that they don't actually shop at.  If they did shop there, they would have noticed, years ago, that Target celebrates Pride every June.  Bad news for them, Walmart did last year too.  May have done so before last year but last year Walmart even offered a Pride ice cream. For this crowd, Dollar General and Dollar Tree and Dollar whatever are their go-tos. Again, that's demographics. This is the group that loved FOX "NEWS" but couldn't find it in their budget to pay for the streamer FOX NEWS NATION.  

This is a war on freedom carried out by the American Taliban.  They are not patriotic and they do not believe in democracy.  They're for tyranny and oppression.  

California Governor Gavin Newsom called out the war on the LBGTQ+ and hate merchant Marjorie Taylor thought her response was called for.

Good for Gavin.  As for Marjorie?  Yes, she is the space laser person.  Let's again note Chelsea Handler on MTG. 


Marjorie Taylor Greene: I have people come up to me and say crazy things to me out of the blue in public places that they believe because they read it on the internet.

Chelsea Handler:  Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle QAnon.  This woman thought 9/11 was a hoax, that the Clintons killed JFK Jr. and that Jews are in charge of space lasers.  But please, don't come at her with some crazy ideas -- she might believe them. 

Crazy Marjorie will continue attempting to destroy this country.   Paul Rudnick noted Crazy Marjorie this week.

This is not about helping the kids.  It's not helping children, first of all, but that's just their cover story. 

Amid recent, highly publicized conservative backlash to several corporations partnering with LGBTQ+ artists and activists, two far-right commentators are saying the quiet part loud: Their goal is to make support for the LGBTQ+ community “toxic” to brands.

On Wednesday, Matt Walsh, a host for far-right media outlet The Daily Wire and one of the most virulently anti-trans voices in the country, kicked off a tweet storm about recent calls to boycott brands like Bud Light and Target by explicitly outlining what he says has been the goal from the start.

“The goal is to make ‘pride’ toxic for brands,” Walsh tweeted. “If they decide to shove this garbage in our face, they should now that they’ll pay a price. It won’t be worth whatever they think they’ll gain. First Bud Light and now Target. Our campaign is making progress. Let’s keep going.”

On his own Daily Wire show, host Michael Knowles reiterated Walsh’s point. “This has been the point that has been building for months now, which is we need to make that symbol toxic, the Pride flag symbol, we need to make that toxic,” Knowles said. “We need to have companies think twice about it.”

“Everyone was talking about the Dylan Mulvaney incident as being harmful to the Bud Light brand,” he continued. “That’s true. But more importantly, it was harmful to the Dylan Mulvaney brand. Now, other companies are going to think twice before sponsoring Dylan Mulvaney because they don’t want to lose $6 billion in market cap in two days. That’s what we got to do. And then once we make these things culturally toxic or as we’re making these symbols culturally toxic, we’ve got to bring in the cavalry, we’ve got to come back in with more political force to ban some of this stuff and to say no.”

The Bud Light debacle started in early April, when the beer brand partnered with Mulvaney, a trans influencer and popular target for anti-trans trolls, sending her a one-off commemorative beer can with an image of her face on it. Transphobes both online and in the media quickly called for a boycott of parent company Anheuser-Busch’s products. The corporation’s lackluster response to the backlash drew criticism from the LGBTQ+ community and led the Human Rights Campaign to downgrade Anheuser-Busch’s previous 100 percent rating on the organization’s corporate equality index.

On Wednesday, Walsh also tweeted that, “The Bud Light boycott will prove to be one of the most significant conservative victories of this decade. It was never just about Bud Light. It was about sending a message.”

This is a war declared by the American Taliban.  

Acceptance of gays and lesbians has increased and most Americans grasp that.  So these hate merchants seized upon the "T" and worked overtime to lie and scare the easily frightened over transgender persons and pretend that there are all these five-year-olds having gender surgery.  

They lied -- and they were helped by THE NEW YORK TIMES and other outlets -- and they've scared a country.  

And on the left we get idiots like Max Blumenthal's wife offering smears on transgendered person because the left doesn't want to her February event which was putting a convicted pedophile on stage.  Grasp that Mrs. Blumenthal can't defend transgender people (and has a pinned Tweet attacking them at the top of her feed since February) but she will gladly share the stage with a convicted pedophile who was sent to prison.  

And, of course, Marjorie had the pro-pedophile working for her.  These anti-Trans people are the ones hanging around with child molestors.  

This war is doing great harm.  Applause for Gavin and everyone who is standing up right now.  Shame on those -- especially if you claim to be left -- who are silent or, even worse, encouraging this war.  Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

A cisgender mother helping her cis disabled son use the restroom was prevented from entering a Kansas library’s women’s restroom with him, even though they’ve done that for years. The mother thinks that the state’s recently passed anti-transgender bathroom bill is to blame, but the library has called the incident “a mishandled customer service moment.”

On May 20, Karen Wild entered a women’s bathroom in the Wichita Public Library’s central branch with her son, Ellis Dunville. She was assisting her son, who is on the autism spectrum, has a seizure disorder, and is nonverbal, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

A male security guard told her that her son couldn’t enter the restroom. Wild said they had used the women’s restroom together for years without any issues. However, she also noted that another person in the women’s restroom objected to her son’s presence.

Shortly after, a female library employee entered, said the library had policies regulating restroom use, and asked Wild if she and her son could use the building’s gender-neutral family restroom, which Wild never knew existed.

Wild told the aforementioned publication that she suspected the incident might have occurred because the legislature recently passed S.B. 180, a law that bans trans people from using bathrooms and other facilities matching their gender identity.

“There isn’t anything I can think of that has changed except that they heard about that law and decided they needed to be emboldened by it somehow,” she said. “I can’t explain it any other way.”

Let's turn to Iraq.  BBC NEWS notes:

The Duchess of Edinburgh has become the first UK royal to visit Baghdad - as part of her work to support survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

Buckingham Palace said Sophie had spent two days in Iraq's capital to learn of the challenges women and girls face.

She visited a girls' school to hear from pupils about their education.

After meeting Iraq's women young and old, Sophie visited President Abdul Latif Rashid and prime minister Mohammad Shia Al Sudani.

She was praised for being the first member of the Royal Family to visit Baghdad by the UK's ambassador to the country, Mark Bryson-Richardson, whom she spent most of the trip with.

Sophie, who gained the title of Duchess of Edinburgh when her husband Prince Edward took on a new role in March after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, has said in the past that she is passionate about supporting women and gender equality around the world.  

Really not sure what to say here.  First, Sophie's visit brings attention to Iraq and that is a good thing.

But there's more than just that.

Why are we supposed to be enthused?  The current king of England visited Basra in 2009.  

More the point, England destroyed Iraq as much as the United States did.  Are we ignoring that as we rush to celebrate a ruling class figure visiting the country they destroyed?

+ As most readers of Roaming Charges know, I’ve been skeptical of Seymour Hersh’s reporting on the sabotage of the Nordstream pipelines. Some of his initial assertions were easily disproved and others seemed highly speculative and thinly, very thinly, sourced.  Hersh’s narrative was problematic and antiquated. One of the most glaring issues to me was: why use scuba divers, like something out of a 70s Bond movie, which require decompression tanks and conspicuous naval support, when you could deploy the weapon de jour: underwater drones controlled by a joystick and a laptop? Now comes James Bamford, an intelligence reporter whose credentials are at least as accomplished as Hersh’s (and somewhat less tarnished), with a detailed and persuasive account in The Nation that explains how it’s much more likely that Ukrainian intelligence operatives, trained in underwater demolition techniques by the Brits and the US, blew up the pipelines using submersible drones, with the probable assistance of Poland.  Where Hersh is vague, Bamford is specific. Where Hersh relies on a sole anonymous source, Bamford meticulously builds his piece from documents. Bamford explains in compelling detail how it was done, the kind of drones used and why both Ukraine and Poland wanted to take the pipelines out. Bamford also suggests that both Russian and US intelligence knew that a plot in was the works and that the US kept quiet because the sabotage had been committed by its allies. This is deeply informed journalism and also a terrific read.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Monday, May 22, 2023

You've been warned

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, May 22, 2023.  As US dollars fly to the Ukraine, the American Taliban works to destroy democracy while, in Australia, Stella Assange calls for the release of her husband Julian.

The American way?  I think all the dollars that could have supported that have instead been sent to Ukraine.  Barry Grey (WSWS) reports:

At a press conference Sunday following the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, President Joe Biden called on Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to meet face to face to revive talks on a bipartisan plan to slash social spending in return for raising the nation’s debt ceiling and averting a default.

Biden spoke after talks between a team of White House advisers and negotiators named by McCarthy broke off on Saturday. The entire debt limit and budget negotiation process has from the start been heavily stage-managed in an attempt to stampede public opinion.

On Sunday, Biden repeatedly pointed to his proposal to cut more than $1 trillion in discretionary spending as part of a budget deal, making clear that his government is committed to imposing a new wave of austerity measures that will further undermine education, health care, housing, home heating assistance and other vital programs relied upon by millions of working class families.

Biden announced that he would be calling McCarthy from Air Force One while flying back to Washington. Later on Sunday, McCarthy dropped his accusatory tone toward Biden, called the telephone call “productive” and said the two would meet face to face at the White House on Monday. He also said the negotiating teams for each side would resume their talks later on Sunday.

What neither he nor the Republicans nor the corporate media point out is the direct connection between the new austerity drive and the ever-expanding cost of the US-led war against Russia in Ukraine. While Biden was in Japan, the US government announced that it had allotted another $375 million to arm Ukraine, part of a feverish escalation that includes providing the right-wing nationalist government in Kiev with F-16 nuclear-capable jets.

In the barrage of propaganda over the supposed necessity to slash social programs to avert the nation’s first-ever default on its debt obligations—which, according to Treasury Secretary and former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, could come as early as June 1—nothing is said about the role of military spending in driving up the debt.

In fact, social spending as a percentage of GDP has declined sharply since 2011, when the last Democratic administration, headed by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, followed its multitrillion-dollar bailout of the banks after the financial crash of 2008 with the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011. That measure imposed a decade-long cap on discretionary spending, sharply reducing in real terms government outlays for education, health care and other vital social needs.

Military spending, however, has exploded. Last year, the Biden administration allocated $113 billion for the war in Ukraine and enacted a record $1 trillion defense budget.

How far in do you think the Soviet Union was on Afghanistan before the people realized that the sink hole was going to cost them their country?  From Boston University's GUIDED HISTORY:

During the 1970’s, Soviet-American relations underwent a thawing period, known as the Detente. This period witnessed the cooperation of the two nations in space, strategic arms limitation talks (otherwise known as SALT), and multiple summits and discussions. This period was abruptly ended in 1979 when the Soviet Union, under the orders of its leader Leonid Brezhnev, led an invasion of Afghanistan after internal political tensions between the Afghan Communists and the Mujahideen rebels threatened the stability of the region.

The historical significance of this event is mainly embodied in the collapse of the Soviet Union twelve years after the invasion of Afghanistan.  The war put immense stresses on the faulty, centralized economic system of the nation, and along with the radical social reforms set by Mikhail Gorbachev, led to the collapse of the nation. This war would be known as the equivalent to the Vietnam War for the United States, both in economic stresses brought upon by the war, and by the social discontent that it caused.

Meanwhile, the American Taliban works in this country to destroy rights and democracy.  The Dodgers won't allow a drag group, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, to participate at a Pride event.  Why?  A right-wing group -- yes, it is right-wing, look at its board of advisors  --   The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is having a fit that this drag group dresses up as nuns -- and has done that for years,  Grasp that.  We tend to look amazed when, in other countries, people have hissy fits over cartoons or artistic renderings that send their religious idiots into states of violence.  But what's the real difference between that and attempting to disinvite this group to a Pride event?  There is none.  They are the American Taliban and they and their board of advisors -- Brent Bozell, Linda Chavez, Mary Ann Glendon, Alan Keyes, Tom Monaghan, and George Weigel -- pretend to want to protect children.  But they do nothing to protect them from priests.  

The American Taliban is destroying the country.  

Florida is the most obvious spot.  It's where the goon Ron DeSantis just cost the state 2,000 high paying jobs due to his never ending war on DISNEY.  On Saturday, The NAACP issued the following travel alert:


May 20, 2023

Contact: Chyna Fields

WASHINGTON – Today, the NAACP Board of Directors issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida. The travel advisory comes in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis' aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools. 

The formal travel notice states, "Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color." 

"Let me be clear - failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all," said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. "Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We're not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation."

The travel advisory was initially proposed to the Board of Directors by NAACP's Florida State Conference. NAACP's collective consideration of this advisory is a result from unrelenting attacks on fundamental freedoms from the Governor and his legislative body. 

"Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people. Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority," said Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell. "We will not not allow our rights and history to be held hostage for political grandstanding. The NAACP proudly fights against the malicious attacks in Florida, against Black Americans. I encourage my fellow Floridians to join in this fight to protect ourselves and our democracy."

Following Gov. DeSantis' so-called leadership in driving the state to reject students' access to AP African American studies course in March, the NAACP distributed 10,000 books to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers's Reading Opens the World program. The majority of the books donated were titles banned under the state's increasingly restrictive laws. The NAACP continues to encourage local branches and youth councils to start community libraries to ensure access to representative literature.

The NAACP encourages Florida residents to join this effort to defeat the regressive policies of this Governor and this state legislature. Interested residents and supporters can visit for additional information and updates. 


The American Taliban is carrying out a war on democracy.  At THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, attorney Michael F. Roessler writes:

Republicans in North Carolina and across the nation are using drag as the leading edge of their campaign to roll back decades of progress for queer people. As lawmakers file anti-drag legislation — like House Bill 673, which would make drag a crime if performed on public property or in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 — Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson calls queer people “filth” and compares us unfavorably to cow excrement. Meanwhile, the GOP’s state and national platforms continue to characterize us as corrosive to civil society and seek to strip us of our marriage rights.

Read more at:

And now, thanks to Rep. Tricia Cotham’s decision to join the Republicans, the party enjoys super-majorities in both houses of the legislature. Given this political reality, getting too cozy with the LGBTQ community by sponsoring a drag event would mean “our Bar Association-backed legislative agenda will be negatively affected,” Morgan told SOGI members. So he canceled the event: Abandoning queer people and endorsing homophobia were costs the NCBA was willing to pay to preserve its political clout in Raleigh. Its pledge to us was conditional. We were expendable.

Read more at:

Not that selling us out was easy. Morgan said the decision to cancel the drag event pained him. Maybe he felt real pain. Maybe, if it were up to him, he would gladly welcome his queer colleagues into full political, social and cultural equality. Maybe his heart is as good as he says. But his heart doesn’t matter nearly as much as his actions, and the ethical conflict he experienced while contemplating the drag event’s cancellation — along with the choice he made about which side of that moral struggle to endorse — brings to mind Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s letter from Birmingham Jail. As he sat incarcerated for working to dismantle racial segregation, King’s letter targeted not the virulent racists who put him behind bars, but the well-meaning moderates who considered themselves allies of the civil rights movement, even as they expressed disapproval of King’s methods. These purported friends of “lukewarm acceptance” and “shallow understanding,” King wrote, will often leave us “gravely disappointed” because they “prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” And so it is today in the fight for LGBTQ equality.


A trespasser who has since been identified as Charles Jake Messimer is facing the internet’s heat after verbally attacking a Rogue River, Oregon homeowner for their LGBTQ flag. The former walked up to a stranger’s house and questioned them as to why they had the flag hoisted. A video of the same was then uploaded online leading to many hoping to find more information about him. He has since been accused of being against Antifa and Black Lives Matter along with being against the Pride community.

The video in question garnered immense traction online once posted by popular TikTok figure TizzyEnt. In the video, the homeowner can be seen asking Charles Jake Messimer if she can help him. He goes on to say- “what makes you guys think it’s right to fly that flag.” He was referring to the resident’s Pride flag.

The videographer responded by saying:

“I mean my right as a community member. Can you please get off my property before I call the police?”

Messimer responds by saying- “call them all you want. It’s not acceptable anymore.”

The trespasser then accused the homeowner of spreading a “disgusting agenda.” He then shouted at her to “get out of Rogue River.”

At the time of writing this article, the video which was uploaded to TizzyEnt’s Twitter page had amassed over 400K views and counting.

In other news, Stella Assange is Julian's wife. She spoke to The National Press Club of Australia.

Stella Assange: I think we need to recognise that we are in a much worse situation in terms of press freedom, the public’s right to know, citizens right, than we were in 2010 when WikiLeaks published about the Iraqi and Afghan wars and the publications that Julian is now being prosecuted for.  Those publications, that moment in time, represented probably press freedom at its strongest, internet freedom at its strongest.  And since then we have seen a series of legislative moves across the Five Eyes and elsewhere as well to stop that kind of thing in different ways and also to limit citizens freedoms in different areas.  I think the publication – it was right for the time and Julian was not prosecuted, he was not indicted until 2017.  So, we’re in a much worse position now than we used to be and that is why it is so important to reverse course because it is not just Julian, the implications of this case mean that we are diverging from this protection that used to exist and unless we are just going deeper and deeper into a far removed [place] from where we used to be, from press freedom at its strongest, from our citizens freedom at their strongest and at the same time, it is not just our freedoms that are being limited – it is that the state has become enormously more powerful through surveillance tools and so on.  Our rights as citizens, our rights as the public, we need to defend those because that’s all we have and then of course the ability to speak the truth, to publish the truth is central to that.

THE GUARDIAN quotes her stating:

Australia is the United States most important ally, that is clear. Maybe this was not the case 10 years ago.

It is important to recognise that Australia plays an important role and can secure Julian’s release.

Julian’s life is in the hands of the Australian government. It is not my place to tell this government how to do it, but it must be done.

Julian has to be released.

I place hope in Anthony Albanese’s will to make it happen. I have to. This is the closest we have ever been to securing Julian’s release. I want to encourage and do everything in my power to help that happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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