Monday, October 04, 2021

Kiss our Black asses, FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS

Betty: Okay, we're doing a roundtable. We is  The Third Estate Sunday Review's  Ty,  me, Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;  Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;  Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. . I'm moderating and we're using the illustration that my kids did for THIRD back when they were little kids. Ty, you wrote a really good column and it's one that should already be up. You're addressing the nonsense at FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS.

Ty: Right. Briefly. They fired an African-American man, CJ. They is everyone. Then they decided it was a mistake and they got rid of a White woman. She's now the scapegoat for CJ being fired and, no, I'm not buying it or tolerating it. I'm this close to put a ban on FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS.

Stan: And to be clear, you would put a ban on them at THIRD?

Ty: Right. Though I believe if I banned them there, I know this in fact, C.I. would ban them at THE COMMON ILLS.

Marcia: You know this because you spoke with her about it, correct?

Ty: Correct.

Ann: I'm really pissed at Sabby Sabs. She's one of the FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS. I'm not all that impressed. Oh, Betty, I guess I should point out this is the African-American or Black roundtable.

Betty Right. I use the term Black.. Others present use African-American. Except Isaiah who tends to self-identify with both. FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS are named after a famous Black activist, hero and martyr who was assassinated by the US government.

Ann: Thank you. I'm not all that impressed with FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS. They tend to focus on a lot of frivolity.

Cedric: As Ty pointed out, they haven't addressed the ongoing iraq War.

Ann: Correct. And the embarrassing broadcast late Friday night/early Saturday morning was bad enough; however, Sabby's felt the need to take this embarrassing and hypocritical moments to her Twitter feed. And let me also point out that a football game, Sabby Sabs, doesn't mean f**k s**t to me. Kiss my Black ass, Sabby. But you Tweeted that garbage over and over. Use your outlets better.

Cedric: Agreed. So we are offended that every member went after CJ but only the White woman got kicked to the curb. Sabby's excuse for voting CJ out? Oh, uh, it, uh, looked, uh, like, uh, everyone, uh, else, uh, wanted him, uh, out.

Betty: I love that garbage. Sabby and her bad weave are the Mary Wilson of the 21st century.

Marcia: True that! True that!

Betty: Seriously. Florence Ballard was one of the original Supremes -- along with Diana Ross and Mary Wilson. Flo started showing up drunk on stage jeopardizing the act and MOTWON. The Supremes were breaking into the night club curicuit and Las Vegas. This was a huge deal. They were glamorous and they were role models. Florence didn't just pack on the weight, she also started showing up drunk and, in a few cases, too drunk to go on. Florence had her personal demons and I won't go into all of that. But from a business perspective, Flo had to go. Berry Gordy called a meeting. Mary, Diana, Flo and her mother showed up. Florence's mother told Berry that Mary wanted Florence to stay in the group and Mary then piped up that Flo didn't want to be in the group. I'm sure Diana would have voted her out but it didn't even get that far. Yet somehow, Mary turned it into, "Diana kicked Flo out of the group." No, Mary, you voted her out. Take ownership of your actions.

Stan: Horse face died and apparently Sabby Sabs wants to be the new Mary Wilson now. She voted CJ out. So did RJ. So did all of them. Take responsibility. If one needs to go, you all need to go.

Ty: It's just so offensive and I think it's offensive to us because we're watching someone get scapegoated based on race. And I think we've all been there ourselves.

Stan: Absolutely. And just because now it's happening to a White person doesn't make it right. If it was wrong to fire CJ, then everyone gets kicked out or no one. Don't pull this nonsense.

Isaiah: And we've all had to make our way, all of us here, online. And if you're Black, you know how you will get hung out to dry. I mean, we've all got tales about that happening at DAILY KOS or somewhere else. Where they act like they want to be inclusive -- as long as you don't bring up how some beloved Dem politician failed the Black community. Do that and their racism emerges.

Cedric: Which is why we are members of THE COMMON ILLS community. Keesha talked about that early on and how painful it was for her. C.I. said it would not be allowed at THE COMMON ILLS and that if it started there, she would shut down comments and it did happen and she did immediately shut down the comments. That simple tale should be the story of the left online; however, it's not and Atrios, DAILY KOS and so many other outlets were downright rude and unwelcoming to people of color.

Marcia: Which is probably why it pains me that, in the photo negative situation, someone else is being persecuted. I don't know Kerri -- Barber? -- but I don't appreciate how she's been attacked. And CJ's a damn fool if he feels he was wronged and now wants to pretend that what's taking place right now is any different than what took place before.

Stan: Exactly. They're claiming that they've learned but they just did the same exact thing again.

Isaiah: And it is embarrassing.

Betty: It's a huge embarrassment. Get your act together. Earlier, Ann was going to say something and I think we got sidetracked.

Ann: Thanks. I got sidetracked. I don't care for FRED HAMPTON LEFTIST. I don't take them seriously. I take Jared Ball seriously and stream BLACK POWER MEDIA. But frequently FRED HAMPTON LFFTISTS seems a little too 'lifestyle' for me. They could do a lot more on real issues. Is empire not a problem that we need to pay attention to? I don't get that it's a pressing concern to FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS.

Cedric: And, of course, there's room for both BLACK POWER MEDIA and FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS -- which is Ann's point --

Ann: Thanks, honey.

Cedric (Con't): -- but not if one is just not trying. I'm really disappointed in Sabby Sabs. I thought she had the potential to be one of the most important African-American voices and now I'm just not seeing it or feeling it.

Marcia: A big fall and flat on her face.

Isaiah: I want to move to another topic real quick. Betty noted that Ty's piece at THIRD should have gone up Sunday. We all agree. I want to explain what's going on. THIRD takes forever to do. And it doesn't matter what is done to hurry it. Yesterday, Ty had a Ty's Corner, Ava and C.I. wrote about WSWS and IMPEACHMENT for their media column and Ava and C.I. spoke with Kat about a book Kat reviewed. That was enough is the opinion of some. But others felt it wasn't and so everything got held.

Ty: Just so everyone knows, I'm going to crosspost this at THIRD.

Isaiah: Good. One more piece done means maybe the latest edition can go up.

Ty: And see, we can talk about that here or anywhere and have. And it's not the end of the world. In my piece, I noted that C.I. tried to high road it, high road what was going on with FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS. I wish they had tried as well. Instead, they looked petty and hypocritical.

Marcia: And it's not like they've done any amazing work of late. I'm -- I was -- was -- more likely to stream Sabby's program than to stream FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS. Now I'm pretty much disgusted with the whole thing.

Betty: I think that's where a lot of us stand. And I also think a lot of us had high hopes for Sabby and are really disappointed. We're going to wind down. This is a rush transcript. Thanks to Ava and C.I. who agreed to sit in on this to take notes and, yes, type it up for us.

C.I.: Hold on. Everyone listen, they're doing another stream on this topic again.

Betty: Okay, we just wasted more time with FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS listening to their Monday evening stream. What a load of crap. CJ wants you to know that people are being treated poorly. People he likes. Not people he doesn't like. He's full of crap, flush him down the toilet.

Marcia: I agree. And, bitch, I don't do s**t on your behalf. F**k you, CJ. You don't lead me anywhere. F**k you, bitch.

Cedric: I loved Nick saying "let's have grace" and we have nothing but love. Your a damn liar. You showed no grace to that White woman, no love to her. Quit fronting you damn bitches. You're embarrassments to the African-American community.

Isaiah: Exactly. They need to shut the f**k up and stop with the damn drama. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of their garbage.

Ann: Nick says, "CJ forgave these people so why wouldn't you forgive them?" When? He was Tweeting about Kerri on Saturday and Sabby was reTweeting. F**k you. Don't tell us what to do. F**k you. You don't control s**t in other people's lives. Quit telling your viewers what to do. Why don't you go f**k off. Talk about entitlement. You need to stop telling people what to do.

Betty: And if you don't want people talking about it, then shut up. Quit going to the well on it. You're an embarrassment to us all.





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


Monday, October 4, 2021.  As poverty and slums increase in Iraq, an election looms.

Jon Stewart is back with a series on APPLE+.

In the video above, they're discussing a number of topics including burn pits.  Burn Pit 360 is a good resource for burn pit issues.

We talk about all the money spent on today's wars and it is a great deal but it's not been paid.  The Cost of War's Stephanie Savell notes it's been a "credit card" war and that at some point the balance comes due.  In the meantime?  She notes, "We will owe $6.5 trillion in interest alone by 2050."  

And no one's lives have been improved.  Certainly not in Iraq where United Nations' estimates have approximately 30% of the population living in poverty.  In the video below, ALJAZEERA reports on the increase in slums and poverty in Iraq.

This is why protests broke out in the first place.  More realities come via Renad Mansour (Chatham House) analysis:

Early elections do not address the roots of the problem, which is that the political system does not represent a growing part of the population. Iraq’s leaders struggle to maintain public authority. They do not share the country’s wealth with most of the population and are less able to gain popular support with ideological arguments than before.

More critically, since the last election in 2018, instead of systemic reform and improvement to address the decline in public trust evident in that year’s low turnout, the political system has become more violent.

Beyond the killings in protest squares, the system has developed mechanisms to thwart activists and civil society mobilizers before they mount demonstrations, with targeted assassinations, detention, torture, and intimidation of civil society and activists. The armed groups and militias kill in broad daylight, caught on CCTV cameras enjoying impunity for their work in protecting the political system.

Western diplomacy and aid during this time have sought to support efforts to rebuild trust between the elite and citizens. However, these Western initiatives have not engaged with the root of the problem, namely unaccountable governance.

Iraq’s entrenched political system has proven resilient to the challenge posed by protesters. In addition to the violence that defends the system, the elite have been unwilling to fundamentally reform. Despite the officials in this government who sympathize with the grievances of protesters, the ruling parties continue to compete and cooperate for the proceeds of state coffers, with little going back to society.

Corruption is politically sanctioned. It is part of the system. After this election, like the past ones, they will come together to divide not only ministerial positions but also senior civil servant positions in ministries. These positions will serve as channels to procure contracts and wealth from the Iraqi state.

And the people of Iraq will be screwed over again.  This is why so many are apathetic about the upcoming election, this is why some are calling for a boycott and it's why people turned out in the capital of Iraq as last week was winding down.

As noted in Friday's snapshot, protesters came together in Baghdad.  This is The October Revolution and it is still ongoing. So are the attempts by Iraq's security forces to harm them.  There are reports of the protesters being beaten on Friday.  Some are noting a 'lower' turnout on this anniversary than last year but they're failing to note that security forces were posted to prevent the gathering from becoming as large or larger.  

Let's note some videos.

Ibn Ninewa Tweeted:

Two years ago today, protests erupted in Baghdad, leading to an unprecedented movement in Iraq. Masses of people from a multitude of religions, social classes, and political standings aimed to take back their nation devastated by wars, foreign intervention, and corruption. (1/2)

These peaceful protesters were met with tear gas, live ammunition, and other deadly weapons by their so-called government. Up to 1,100 people were killed for demanding the most basic of rights. Two years later, we still want our homeland back. (2/2) #سنتين_وبعدنا_نريد_وطن


Hundreds of #Iraqis have taken to the streets in #Baghdad to mark two years since fierce protests roiled the #Iraqi capital, fuelled by anger over corruption and unemployment.

IG NEWS reports:

In the midst of a heavy security presence, the demonstrators, who began marching towards Tahrir Square, the center of the 2019 protests, raised Iraqi flags and pictures of young men killed during the bloody repression of the demonstrations at the time, killing about 600 people and wounding more than 30,000.

The banners also included pictures of activists who were later killed, such as Ihab al-Wazni, head of the protests coordination in Karbala, who was shot dead in May by armed men in front of his house with silencer pistols.

Others held banners reading “When will we see the killers behind bars” and “We want a homeland, we want change”, while the demonstrators are still calling on the government to hold those responsible for the assassinations of activists accountable.

Friday’s demonstrators also raised banners reading “Electing the same faces is a massacre for the homeland,” “No, no to corrupt parties, no to corrupt politicians,” and “Do not elect the one who killed me.”

AFP notes:

Brandishing Iraqi flags and portraits of “martyrs”, they marched to Tahrir Square, an epicenter of the 2019 revolt, surrounded by a large number of riot police, AFP correspondents said.

“When will we see the killers behind bars?” and “No to corrupt parties, no to corrupt politicians,” said placards carried by the demonstrators who included women dressed in black.

On October 1, 2019, widespread rallies erupted across Baghdad and the south of the country against a government seen as corrupt, inept and beholden to Iran.

Protest-related violence killed nearly 600 people, including some shot dead while walking home from demonstrations.

THE WASHINGTON POST's Louisa Loveluck Tweets:

The most striking thing about these small protests are the parents who come to commemorate the children they lost. For every slain protester there are relatives left behind in grief and, often, deepening economic misery. “We live with the pain everyday,” a mother, Fatima, said.


With heavy security presence in roads running up to Baghdad’s Tahrir Square tonight, we witnessed riot police grabbing several young men and appearing to beat them in the dark.

Layal Shakir (RUDAW) reports:

Hundreds of Iraqis demanded justice for demonstrators killed during the 2019 October (Tishreen) protests at a rally in Baghdad on Friday, the second anniversary of the protest movement and just over a week ahead of parliamentary elections. 

“This is my son. He went after his rights, his country … he was killed,” Muhamad al-Zubaidi, carrying a photo of his son, told Rudaw’s Dildar Harki.

The Tishreen protests condemned state corruption, failing public services, and high unemployment. They lasted several months and were met with violence and repression from state forces and militias backed by Iran that left at least 600 dead and thousands wounded. 

And the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports:

Hundreds of riot police and federal policemen fanned out in Baghdad ahead of the planned march.

“We don’t want a paradise, we want a nation,” read one of the banners carried by protesters who gathered Friday at Fardous Square and marched toward Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the October 2019 protests.

Another banner read: “You will not silence the voice of Tishreen,” Arabic for October, as Iraqis refer to the protests after the month they broke out.  

The early elections have only been scheduled because of the brave protesters. The October Revolution  kicked off protests in the fall of 2019 and forced the prime minister to step down and early elections to be announced.  As ARAB WEEKLY notes, "Tens of thousands of Iraqi youths took to the streets to decry rampant corruption, poor services and unemployment. Hundreds died as security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse crowds."  This is what forced the resignation of one prime minister and has led to national elections which are supposed to take place October 10th.  (Members of the Iraqi military will vote October 8thTwo election simulations have been carried out by the IEC and the third and final one will take place September 22nd.)    that the candidates for Parliament include 951 women ("close to 30% of the total number of candidates") who are running for the 329 seats.  Halgurd Sherwani (KURDISTAN 24) has reported Jeanine Hannis-Plasschaert, the Special Representiative in Iraq to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, declared that Iraq's "Female candidates face increasing levels of hate speech, violence, and blackmail intended to force them to withdraw their candidacy." 

Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) counts 3,249 people in all seeking seats in Parliament  BROOKINGS notes this is a huge drop from 2018 when 7,178 candidates ran for office.   RUDAW is among those noting perceived voter apathy, "Turnout for Iraq’s October 10 parliamentary election is expected to be a record low, with a recent poll predicting just 29 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots." Human Rights Watch has identified another factor which may impact voter turnout, "People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Without urgent changes, hundreds of thousands of people may not be able to vote.  The 36-page report, “‘No One Represents Us’: Lack of Access to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Iraq,” documents that Iraqi authorities have failed to secure electoral rights for Iraqis with disabilities. People with disabilities are often effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places and significant legislative and political obstacles to running for office."  And Human Rights Watch Tweets:

“Every election day is the most depressing day for me,” said Suha Khalil, 44, who uses a wheelchair said she has never participated in an election. “Everyone goes to vote and I am stuck at home waiting for the day to end.” #IraqElection Take action:

The Assyrian Policy Institute Tweets, "Electoral reforms in Iraq instituted following the Iraqi protests did not involve minority stakeholders and failed to address the exploitation of the minority quota system.  Assyrians will largely be deterred from voting on Oct. 10 as a result."

 Another obstacle is getting the word out on a campaign.  Political posters are being torn down throughout Iraq.  Halgurd Sherwani  (KURDiSTAN 24) observes, "Under Article 35 of the election law, anyone caught ripping apart or vandalizing an electoral candidate's billboard could be punished with imprisonment for at least a month but no longer than a year, Joumana Ghalad, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), told a press conference on Wednesday."  And there's also the battles in getting out word of your campaign online.  THE NEW ARAB reported weeks ago, "Facebook is restricting advertisements for Iraqi political parties and candidates in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections, an official has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site."

THE WASHINGTON POST's Louisa Loveluck Tweeted: of how "chromic mistrust in [the] country's political class" might also lower voter turnout.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) also notes, "Experts are predicting low turnout in October due to distrust of the country’s electoral system and believe that it will not deliver the much needed changes they were promised since 2003."  Mistrust would describe the feelings of some members of The October Revolution.  Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) notes some of their leaders, at the recent  Opposition Forces Gathering conference announced their intent to boycott the elections because they "lack integrity, fairness and equal opportunities."  Distrust is all around. The President of Iraq has identified corruption as one of the biggest issues in Iraq.  Halkawt Aziz  (RUDAW) reported on how, " In Sadr City, people are disheartened after nearly two decades of empty promises from politicians."   Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) explains, "People in Basra are not hopeful that the parliamentary election will bring about meaningful change and reform. The southern Iraqi province has seen several large anti-government protests in recent years."  AFP notes, "But the ballot has generated little enthusiasm among Iraq’s 25 million voters, while the activists and parties behind the uprising have largely decided to boycott the ballot."

How to address apathy?  Ignore it and redo how you'll count voter turnout.  RUDAW reports, "raq’s election commission announced on Sunday that turnout for the election will be calculated based on the number of people who have biometric voter cards, not the number of eligible voters. The move will likely inflate turnout figures that are predicted to hit a record low."  As for the apathy, John Davison and Ahmed Rasheed (REUTERS) convey this image

Iraq’s tortured politics are graphically illustrated in a town square in the south, where weathered portraits displayed on large hoardings honor those killed fighting for causes they hoped would help their country.

The images of thousands of militiamen whose paramilitary factions battled ISIS hang beside those of hundreds of young men killed two years later protesting against the same paramilitaries.

KURDISTAN 24 quotes political leader Ayad Allawi stating, "Corruption, illegal weapons in the hands of militias, armed groups, political money, and regional interference are the reasons for having no suitable election environment in Iraq."  While Chatham House's Renad Masnour notes Iraq's current system is "unable to . . . provide sufficient jobs or services."  ANEWS Tweets:

#Iraq's President #BarhamSalih says he expects difficulties in carrying out the country's coming elections.


After the election, there will be a scramble for who has dibs on the post of prime minister.  Murat Sofuoglu (TRT) observes, "The walls of Baghdad are covered with posters of Iraq’s former leaders, especially Nouri al Maliki and Haidar al Abadi, as the country moves toward its early elections on October 10. Both men however were forced out of power for their incompetence, and yet they are leading in the country’s two powerful Shia blocks."  Outside of Baghdad?  THE NEW ARAB explains, "However, in the provinces of Anbar, Saladin, Diyala, Nineveh, Kirkuk, Babel and the Baghdad belt, candidates have focussed on the issue of the disappeared and promised to attempt to find out what happened to them."

Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has 90 candidates in his bloc running for seats in the Parliament and one of those, Hassan Faleh, has insisted to RUDAW, "The position of the next prime minister is the least that the Sadrist movement deserves, and we are certain that we will be the largest and strongest coalition in the next stage."  Others are also claiming the post should go to their bloc such as the al-Fatah Alliance -- the political wing of the Badr Organization (sometimes considered a militia, sometimes considered a terrorist group).  ARAB WEEKLY reported, "Al-Fateh Alliance parliament member Naim Al-Aboudi said that Hadi al-Amiri is a frontrunner to head the next government, a position that can only be held by a Shia, according to Iraq’s power-sharing agreement."  Some also insist the prime minister should be the head of the State of Law bloc, two-time prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.  Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters do not agree and have the feeling/consensus that,  "Nouri al-Maliki has reached the age of political menopause and we do not consider him to be our rival because he has lost the luster that he once had so it is time for him to retire."

In one surprising development, Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) has reported: "Iraq’s electoral commission aims to announce the results of the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10 within 24 hours, they announced on Thursday following a voting simulation."

The following sites updated: