Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Truest statement of the week

In this case, the emails suggest that Hunter was trying to shake down Libyans for access to the $15 billion in assets during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. The paper quotes the emails as stating “Since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M.Q. [Gaddafi, also spelled Qaddafi] and LIA [Libya Investment Authority] had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there.”

As in past stories, there is no denial from Hunter Biden or the White House. There is no need to do so since few in the media are asking for answers. As with the various influence peddling schemes detailed on the laptop worth millions, this is only a scandal if the media reports it. It is therefore not a scandal by general consensus in Washington.


-- Jonathan Turley, "Report: Hunter Biden Sought Millions To Help Unfreeze Libyan Assets While His Father Was Vice President" (JONATHANTURLEY.ORG).




Truest statement of the week II

Ending sanctions will save millions of lives and move us forward on the path toward a world of cooperation, peace and solidarity. Nations like the United States use sanctions because their deadly impacts are not as visible as dropping bombs. We must expose this brutal economic warfare and demand an end to it.

-- Margaret Flowers, "New Report Exposes the US’ Brutal and Illegal Economic War" (DISSIDENT VOICE).




A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Monday night.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?




We were working on a piece about Hunter Biden's laptop and a pieace on another topic.  We didn't get them.  Maybe we'll rework them next time.  But we had enough to go ahead and get this up -- sadly, we could've have published this yesterday -- it was finished Sunday with the exception of a Sabby Sabs video and a Chris Hedges video.  But here's a full edition, at any rate.



-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.





Editorial: Despite the lies and liars, things are still awful in the ongoing crime scene that is Iraq

This month, Condi Rice and Bully Bush both emerged to declare that Iraq was a success because of their efforts -- their criminal efforts.  Condi's been lying forever and a day and it's no real surprise.  This is the woman who, remember, insisted to the 9/11 Commission that "no one could have guessed" regarding the 9/11 attacks, the one who would be forced to admit to the same Commission that the August 6, 2001 PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing from the CIA) was entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US."  You know what everyone could have guessed?  That Condi Rice would continue to lie about her actions, that she would lie forever and that the press would continue to let her get away with it.

The surprise?

How the pathetic and the craven glorified Bully Boy Bush while Donald Trump was president allowing him the courage to emerge from under the rock he'd hidden for years, from under the rock that he belonged for the rest of his life.

A War Criminal doesn't get public forgiveness.  Lori Loughlin had to go to prison for over her daughter's college admission but Bully Boy Bush gets to be granted an absolution after his illegal war killed millions?  That's not even getting into the PATRIOT Act or his targeting of Muslims or his targeting of the LGBTQ community or his illegal spying on Americans or his gulag at Guantanamo Bay or his . . .

You get the idea.

Bully Boy Bush is a War Criminal and those trying to redeem him are as guilty of his War Crimes as he is.  And his crime scene (Iraq) is not a success.

It's no surprise that the same press that lied and whored to sell the Iraq War was happy to lob softballs at Condi Rice or to act as though Bully Boy Bush was someone whose lies needed to be delivered to audiences.  

The crime scene. 

Barham Salih, Iraq's president, addressed the United Nations last Thursday.




What did he talk about?   

Many things. 

He talked about the lack of safety in Iraq:

President Salih told world leaders the danger terrorism poses cannot be understated.

“If we become lax and distracted by regional conflicts, we will simply see the return of obscurantist forces that will threaten our peoples and our security,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

“Cooperation and solidarity are our only choice in our fight against international terrorism and the groups which support it. We have to fight against its funding, deal with its dangerous effects, and provide reparation to its victims, ensuring that these tragic sufferings are not repeated.”

Equally as worrying to Salih?  The corruption in the country.  AP notes, "Iraqi President Barham Salih on Thursday said his country was facing a 'national battle' against corruption and that it could not move forward until it was won."

Earlier this year, last May, he gave a speech on TV.  Lara Dimhis (OCCRP) reported:

At least US$150 billion has been stolen and smuggled out of Iraq since 2003, the country’s President Barham Salih said on Sunday, declaring that corruption “must stop” and the stolen money must be recovered.

“Of the close to a trillion dollars made from oil since 2003, an estimated 150 billion dollars of stolen money has been smuggled out of Iraq,” Salih said in a TV speech.

President since 2018, Salih said that the amount that disappeared in corrupt deals would have been enough to “put the country in a better condition.”

His remarks came as he presented to the parliament a newly drafted law which seeks to “recover the proceeds of corruption,” hold the corrupt accountable and bring them to justice.

It's so bad that Sunday CNN offered a "web extra" of Fareed Zakaria asking Barham Salih about the ocrruption and how it has harmed Iraq and how it threatens Iraq

Of course, Fareed being Fareed, he first had to lie about Iraq's history.  It's cute the way he pretended that each election was peaceful with a peaceful transfer or power.  In March 2010, for example, Nouri al-Maliki the sitting prime minister was rejected by the voters.  He alleged voter fraud and the United Nations handed him several more votes in an alleged 'recount' but that still didn't make him the winner.  And he refused to step down.  In March, he refused to step down.  In April, he refused to step down.  In May, he refused to step down.  In June, in July, in August . . . Finally, in November, the US government tossed the votes aside via the contract they negotiated (The Erbil Agreement) and they gave Nouri the second term.  Fareed lied by avoiding that reality.  Fareed also lie when he talked about no arrest.  Do we remember what happened after Nouri took his second term as prime minister?  He tried to arrest the vice president (Tareq al-Hashimi) and he would have been able to if Tareq wasn't already out of the country.  

Fareed is one of those members of the press who can't tell the truth.  He cant tell you how bad things are in Iraq.

But corruption is so bad that even a whore like Fareed has to admit to it.


TV: We ain't gettin' no higher

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, John Lennon once noted ("Beautiful Boy"). We realize that every week but never more so than this week. We keep planning to weigh in on an animated series, have been planning to for weeks now, and each week something else pops up.


C'mon baby light my fire
Everything you drop is so tired
Music is supposed to inspire
(Where you at now? Where you at now? Where you at now?)
So, how come we ain't gettin' no higher?
(How come we ain't gettin' no higher?)

-- "Superstar" written by Lauryn Hill, Johari Newton and James Poyser

Is there anything more tired than The Water Cooler Set? Disclosure: We have two friends working on FOX's new series OUR KIND OF PEOPLE. We told them we'd cover the show around the sixth episode or so. They were fine with that. Then we were speaking to one of them on the phone Saturday and were informed that the show might not last that long. Huh?

The ratings aren't the reason. The reviews are. "We've got 22% approval on ROTTEN TOMATOES."

ROTTEN TOMATOES, the bastion of The Water Cooler set. And as Lauryn Hill might say, "Everything you drop is so tired."

a new illst

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE is actually a good show. We know because we watched. We told our friend we'd watch and weigh in and warned we'd offer our true opinion. (We still have an actor who does not speak to us anymore because he maintains our negative review killed his show.)

What's the show about? Angela (Yava DaCosta) returns to Oak Bluff to claim a home her late mother's left her. She brings her daughter Nikki (Alana Kay Bright) and Patricia (Debbi Morgan) along with her. She's determined to make her mark with a hair salon. But the people of the town, led by Olivia Sturgess Dupont (played by L. Scott Caldwell) move to reject her. Olivia uses Leah Franklin Dupont (Nadine Ellis) to humiliate Angela. A Fraklin and a Dupont, Leah is a product of the two most powerful families in Oak Bluffs. She's not content being a product, she wants to be running things -- and not just the lady's social club. In the first episode alone, besides humiliating Nadine in front of everyone at a gala, she also informs her father Teddy Franklin (Joe Morton) that he's retiring and she's taking over the company.

At the gala, she reveals that Angela lied when she said her late mother was a business woman, she was actually a maid (which Angela knew) and a maid who ended up arrested for selling drugs (which Angela did not know). There's a lot Angela doesn't know, a lot that's been kept from her. But she's a smart woman and, once back in Oak Bluffs, she can piece together bits and pieces from her memory. Including figuring out that her father whose name she was never told is . . . Teddy Franklin. She's Leah's sister.

That's a lot for one episode and, believe it or not, there's actually even more that took place. We note that because this is a fast moving show with twists and turns.

It's a soap opera, absolutely. Sad to break it to The Water Cooler Set but pretty much everything on TV these days is. As we noted years and years ago, it was MTM, in the 80s, that grasped continuing elements would help viewers tune in and they added those elements to sitcoms (CHEERS) and dramas (HILL STREET BLUES). As a result, pretty much every series now has continuing elements. But if you don't like the genre, then you don't like the genre. However, not liking the genre doesn't justify your attacking the show. You're supposed to be reviewing the series, after all.

It's strange to us, as the same Water Cooler Set rushes to applaud one male-led, male dominated series after another, that we're the only ones noting that this well made series is female-led and wondering if that's why it's being attacked? Not only is it female led, but this is a series with an African-American cast. Is that the reason for the attacks? One hour long drama with an all Black cast on FOX is apparently one too many. And this is the only all Black cast on TV this fall. Queen Latifah stars in CBS' EQUALIZER, for example, and does a good job but the cast also includes, among others, Adam Goldberg. The CW's ALL AMERICAN is headed by Daniel Ezra but it's not an all Black cast.

So we're talking one show and that's apparently too much for The Water Cooler Set.

C'mon baby light my fire
Everything you drop is so tired
Music is supposed to inspire
(Where you at now? Where you at now? Where you at now?)
So, how come we ain't gettin' no higher?
(How come we ain't gettin' no higher?)

How come we ain't getting' no higher? Because deluded idiots in The Water Cooler Set think they can get away with blatant racism and sexism. Joe Morton is always worth watching and he's doing a great job in OUR KIND OF PEOPLE. You know Emmy winner Debbi Morgan isn't disappointing. Morris Chestnut plays Leah's husband Raymond and he's doing a great job as Yaya Da Costa and Nadine Ellis. So why is The Water Cooler Set sneering at the show like they're Olivia Sturgess Dupont?

They should be applauding this well made, well acted show. They should be noting how refreshing it is to see this show. Instead, they slam it. And pretend it's something other than sexism and racism at play.

Yeah, we're not as stupid as The Water Cooler Set wishes we were. IFC and SUNDANCE are supposed to be 'independent' channels which basically means -- all male sitcoms all the time. We're not supposed to notice that, are we? TWO AND A HALF MEN, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, go down the list. The only female led series the channels have carried in the last years? THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW -- which THE SUNDANCE CHANNEL briefly carried.

Again, that's not sexism, right? It never is, right? It just 'happens.' Kind of the way deed restrictions just happened and just happened to keep out certain communities, right?

Patterns aren't accidents.

C'mon baby light my fire
Everything you drop is so tired
Music is supposed to inspire
(Where you at now? Where you at now? Where you at now?)
So, how come we ain't gettin' no higher?
(How come we ain't gettin' no higher?)

Tired? Aaron Mate's getting pretty damn tired. And then some. He tries to pretend that, since he left, DEMOCRACY NOW! has gotten worse. But this is the program, while he was with it, that sold war on Libya. Does Aaron think he owes Libyans an apology? Or is he proud of the open air slave markets?

We try not to pick on Aaron. We actually try not to pick on anyone that's not a politician, believe it or not. But Aaron makes it so hard. Last week, he showed up on Jimmy Dore. And he really shouldn't have. That's probably on Jimmy. Jimmy bought into the whole nonsense of Aaron being a truth teller. (He wasn't on Libya.) So he got Aaron offering excuses for Ryan Grim. The worst part of the segment was that it was about Hunter Biden and how the laptop e-mails -- now verified by a POLITICO reporter -- document corruption.

Jimmy, Jimmy, oh, Jimmy, Jimmy -- as Madonna once sang.

Aaron Mate is not the guest to bring on to discuss Hunter Biden. In October of last year, he spent his time on THE KATIE HALPER SHOW downplaying the scandal and insisting it wasn't important -- see this Iraq snapshot.


So, no surprise, last week he was insisting it wasn't any big deal -- corruption wasn't any big deal, that this happens all the time. Really? When did you write about it if it happens all the time? Oh, that's right, never. And who the hell are you to waive through corruption. Seriously, Aaron, f**k the hell off.

Corruption is wrong. And we're not going to waive it by. What Hunter Biden did was outrageous, unethical and, yes, criminal.

Aaron's fond of spending time talking about how Hunter's a good guy and he doesn't care if Hunter did this or that. We do care and it does matter.  Yes, Hunter's being a crack head is an issue as well. He was whacked on crack while his father was running for president. That would be the same Joe Biden who is responsible for outrageous laws as part of the 'war' on drugs that have led to mass incarceration. It does matter if the man who has pushed through drug laws that have destroyed lives has a son who does crack. It does matter.

And let's drop back to March 19th of this year, when Nicholas Reimann (FORBES) reported:


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday five White House staffers were "no longer employed" over their use of marijuana as part of a vetting process for security clearance, as the Biden administration comes under fire over reports that numerous young staffers have been penalized for past marijuana use (including in states where it’s legal) even though they were told they wouldn’t be.

The man who's son was doing crack in 2020 got rid of staffers who had done pot in the past.

Only an idiot or a fool would say this doesn't matter

Aaron's been of some value on Russia-gate. Not as much as he pretends, but he's been of some value. We didn't need him to call out Russia-gate. And, unlike Little Aaron, we were calling it out when the war on Russia really began (hint, Aaron, that was when Barack Obama was president -- Aaron was so timid when it came to Barack, remember?). But Aaron did some good work on Russia-gate. We'd like to leave him alone. But when he opens his uninformed mouth and starts wanting to tell the world that corruption doesn't matter, we can't afford him.

We care about We The People. We care about the truth. That puts a fence between Aaron and us, we're on one side and Aaron's on the other.

He's the one causing the problem. All we're doing is calling it out.

C'mon baby light my fire
Everything you drop is so tired
Music is supposed to inspire
(Where you at now? Where you at now? Where you at now?)
So, how come we ain't gettin' no higher?
(How come we ain't gettin' no higher?)

Which brings us to TCM and the awful host Ben Mankiewitcz. When is TCM going to fire him? They need to, they really need to. 

Look, we've done all we can. We got him out of those ugly suits that didn't fit. His neoliberal propaganda that he was squeezing into programming commentary? We got that stopped. But there's only so much that two TV critics can do. Ty passed on an e-mail from TCM viewer Joan who was ticked. We were ticked too. We had seen it as well.

How come we ain't gettin' no higher?

Because of useless nonsense like Ben Mankiewitcz. A film was about to air, GILDA LIVE. Before it aired, Ben took it upon himself to explain that Gilda Radner was an alumni of the TV show SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and went on to note many films that various other alumni had made. We found that interesting. The list was a long one and it noted one film after another by an alumni of SNL -- by a male alumni of SNL and only males.

Now the year GILDA LIVE was released, 1980, saw Jane Curtin star in a film that's become a streaming staple: HOW TO BEAT THE HIGH COST OF LIVING. That comedy caper stars Jane, Susan Saint James (the two would later star in the long-running sitcom KATE AND ALLIE) and Jessica Lange (who went on to become a film star, went on to win one Tony Award, two Academy Awards and three Emmy Awards). But Ben didn't mention it. That year, 1980, Laraine Newman did her third film. Her first was the cult classic AMERICAN HOT WAS (1978), followed by 1980's WHOLLY MOSES and, same year, Woody Allen's STARDUST MEMORIES. Jane and Laraine are original NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME PLAYERS but they're women so Ben ignored them. Equally true, that same year, 1980, saw Gilda star in Buck Henry's FIRST FAMILY with Bob Newhart, Madeline Khan, Richard Benjamin, Harvery Korman and others. That didn't get mentioned -- nor did any of Gilda's other films.

But there was Ben bloviating over the filmographies of various SNL men on and on.

This was Gilda's moment but Ben turned it into an all male salute to SNL. It was disgusting. It was unneeded. And it was offensive.

It's not 1992. Ben's out of date and he needs to go if he can't adapt. Otherwise, we ain't never going to get any higher.

And ditching common sense won't help us any. Meaning, when Liz Cheney goes on 60 MINUTES, as she did last night, and announces she was wrong to oppose marriage equality? Too. Damn. Little. And too. Damn. Late. In 2013, Liz was on record opposing marriage equality. There's no excuse for that. In 2007, she became an aunt when her sister Mary and Mary's spouse Heather had their first child. In 2009, the two women had their second child. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, Mary and Heather legally married. All of that was before Liz decided she could support marriage equality. She was not only being a bitch to the many in the LGBTQ community she didn't know, she was being a bitch to her own sister, to her own niece and nephew.. There's no excuse for it. And Heather Poe was right to publicly call Liz out in real time. Liz does love to jump on popular bandwagons. If her 'change of heart' is sincere, there are plenty of LGBTQ issues she can work on as a member of Congress. We doubt she will do so because she's not a leader and she a retrograde reductionist which means, yes, everything she drops is so tired.


KINDLE UNLIMITED (Trina, Ava and C.I.)



In 2018, community sites took turns covering a book every week.  You can see "In 2018, we read books" to review that coverage.  We didn't want to repeat ourselves in 2019 or 2020.  So when Marcia came up with a way to cover books but with a twist, we were all for it.  Marcia's idea was for us to digital books -- we're largely a printed text crowd -- and to use AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  So for 2021, we'll be trying to do a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, after many weeks with nothing, we're returning to the feature to speak with Trina about her "Remember Hollywood Squares?"



Trina, you read Peter Marshall's book about the long running game show he hosted.  The book is entitled BACKSTAGE WITH THE ORIGINAL HOLLYWOOD SQUARE: RELIVE 16 YEARS OF LAUGHTER WITH PETER MARSHALL, THE MASTER OF THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES. The show was a tic-tac-toe board with nine squares.  So nine celebrity guests each episode?


Trina: No, sometimes more than nine.  Sonny & Cher were on and they were one square.  Peter notes that three of the Monkees were on and they were one square.



Who are some of the celebrities that Peter Marshall notes in the book?


Trina: Lily Tomlin did the show, Phyllis Diller, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Mason who basically walked out on a week's worth of shows, Buddy Hackett, Rose Marie, Eartha Kitt, Dolly Parton, Michael Landon, Rodney Dangerfield, Burt Reynolds, Leslie Uggams, Vincent Price, author Jacqueline Susann, Gloria Swanson, George C. Scott, Gene Hackman, Betty Grable (she had cancer and needed an appearance on something to keep her insurance), Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Kaufman, Ginger Rogers, Teresa Graves, Alice Cooper, Susan St. James, Don Rickles and many more.  They played with theme shows -- a week of soap opera stars, a week of sports stars and a week of music stars.  The soap opera stars did very well in the ratings and the music did well but the sports stars weeks performed very poorly in the ratings.


What's one thing you learned from the book?


Trina: I used to watch that show constantly.  I always enjoyed the shows as the week went on and thought that was just me.  Turns out the ones airing Thursdays and Fridays were the most popular with viewers.  They were funnier.  And I always assumed that was due to the fact that people got more comfortable each day as they taped the show.  That's not what happened.  They taped a weeks worth of shows in one day.  All the shows.  And they broke for dinner after the third taping.  So, according to Peter, they had a meal and drinks and people came back a little 'looser' which is why the Thursday and Friday shows were funnier. 

What about the jokes?

Trina: Peter reveals that Joan Rivers and Mel Brooks always wrote their own jokes; however, others would take the jokes written by the staff.  Paul Lynde would use the staff's jokes unless he thought of one funnier.  

You enjoyed reading the book?

Trina: I really did.


Trina: I hadn't used it in months.  No one else had so I felt guilty and decided to find something quick for my weekend post.  It's an easy book to read, I read it in about an hour.  My post contains details not discussed here so there's a great deal in the book.  But while I was looking for something to read, I did notice that KINDLE UNLIMITED had updated the inventory and there were a lot of new choices.  I wish they'd done it sooner. I doubt so many of us would have stopped using it if they had done some updating during the first six months.

Will you continue to subscribe after this year?

Trina: Yes, I will.  We've got several of our adult children who have moved back in due to the pandemic and we have several grandchildren as a result.  The monthly fee is more than worth it if you've got your family using the service.  If it were just me, no.  But with a family, there are several books a week that are getting read.


 "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)"


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Ruth, Ava and C.I.)"


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Jess, Ava and C.I.)"


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Jim, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Elaine, Dona, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Mike, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)"





The US government persecutes Omar Ameen

Reposting from THE COMMON ILLS:


Omar Ameen is being targeted by the US government

In the US, we're all supposed to be entitled to a day in court and that day is supposed to be a fair day where everyone plays by the rules and where the government is accountable.  In reality, when the government can't win, it tries to get away with lying, with withholding evidence and with replacing justices to get the ruling that they want.  It's outrageous and shame on anyone turning to look the other way right now.

Omar Ameen is an Iraqi refugee.  He came to the US in November of 2014.  From Salt Lake City, he moves to California -- specifically to Sacramento.  In mid-2018, an Iraqi 'court' issues an arrest warrant for him.  Based on a paid informant, he is accused of having killed a police officer, Ihsan Jasi who was shot June 22, 2014 and died of gunshot wounds a day later.  The unnamed, paid informant told police he didn't see the shooting but knew Omar was the shooting.  Then, much later, changed his testimony to include he saw it.  August 15, 2019, Omar is arrested in Sacramento.  His attorney, Rachelle Barbour, declares, "As the extradition packet makes clear, the Iraqi charge is based on the statement of a single purported eyewitness to the alleged murder. That witness's statement, given in April 2018 to the Iraqi court, is both internally inconsistent and extensively contradicted by that witness's earlier statement taken in October 2017 by the FBI." In addition, Omar moved to Turkey in 2012 and various  data -- including pings from cell phone towers -- demonstrate he was in Turkey the day of the shooting in Iraq. 

In the face of this and other problems with the case (the US government claims multiple witnesses to the shooting but can't produce them),  US federal judge Edmund Brennan finds the cell phone evidence "critical" and declares the US government should release Omar immediately.      April 24th, Sam Stanton (SACREMENTO BEE) reports:

In a major blow to federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Sacramento ruled Wednesday that Omar Ameen may not be extradited back to Iraq to face trial in the 2014 murder of an Iraqi police officer.

The decision came in a 30-page order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan, who labeled parts of the government’s arguments “dubious” and said they call for “some degree of skepticism.”

Ameen’s federal defenders had waged a two-year battle to stop their client from being extradited, arguing that he was in Turkey with his family when the officer, Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim, was killed in Iraq.

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article250841694.html#storylink=cpy

Ordered to release him, they do but the US government doesn't follow the law -- certainly not the spirit or a judicial ruling.  Meaning? They release Omar from federal custody only to . . . turn him over to ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) --  willfully disregarding the ruling and continue their efforts to deport Omar back to Iraq.

Whether Donald Trump heads the Executive Branch or Joe Biden does, they do what they want, they rig the game while pretending it's fair.  Another example?  They toss out the immigration judge when he's not predisposed to ignore evidence.  KCRA reported earlier this month:

Sources told KCRA 3 Investigates that immigration Judge Scott Laurent, after weeks of hearings and testimony in the deportation case, is no longer the judge in the case.

The removal comes just two weeks after Laurent issued an order that was, in part, critical of the government’s case against Ameen.

In particular, Laurent was critical of the Department of Justice for wanting FBI agents to testify for the government, but not be cross-examined by Ameen’s attorneys.

Unlike a criminal court, immigration judges work for the Department of Justice, which is the agency looking to deport Ameen.

Not content with destroying a level playing field in just one way, the US government is also claiming that they have 'proof' that Omar lied on his application for refugee status; however, they refuse to share that with the defense attorney.  This is outrageous.  It is an abuse of power.  It is an attack on the  US justice system and it's coming from the US government.

 CAIR Tweets:
Omar Ameen came to this country as a refugee from Iraq. He was unjustly arrested based on dubious and questionable evidence that has never been made public. Yesterday, our Sacramento Valley branch filed a motion to unseal that evidence. #FreeOmarAmeen

Crescenzo Vellucci (DAVIS VANGUARD) reports:

The strange case of Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen and the U.S. government’s insistence of extraditing him – from Trump to Biden – continues. And as the saying goes, is becoming “curiouser and curiouser.”

Ahead of Ameen’s much-delayed federal immigration hearing next Tuesday, the Sacramento / Central California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV/CC) filed a motion Thursday suggesting there is a hidden piece of evidence in the case of the Sacramento area resident the U.S. government is, in fact, hiding.

CAIR notes Ameen was arrested in August of 2018 by ICE based on a “sealed” exhibit. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan, a former prosecutor, relied on the same document to prevent Ameen’s extradition to the Iraq for the alleged murder of an Iraqi police officer earlier this year.

CAIR argues that, according to Judge Brennan, “the government’s case was ‘dubious;’ its witnesses were ‘unreliable;’ and the narrative presented made ‘little sense.’ In other words, Judge Brennan found that there was no plausible way that Omar Ameen could have committed the murder for which he stood accused. Despite that ruling, Ameen was not released and was instead taken into ICE custody.”

Here's CAIR's statement:

[. . .] CAIR-SV/CC filed a motion to unseal an important piece of evidence in the case of Sacramento area resident, father of four, and Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen. 

On August 15, 2018, Ameen was searched and arrested based on that sealed exhibit, and nearly three years later U.S. Magistrate Judge Brennan relied on that same document in his Order denying Ameen’s extradition to the Republic of Iraq for the crime of murder of an Iraqi police officer. 

According to Judge Brennan, the government’s case was “dubious;” its witnesses were “unreliable;” and the narrative presented made “little sense.” In other words, Judge Brennan found that there was no plausible way that Omar Ameen could have committed the murder for which he stood accused. Despite that ruling, Ameen was not released and was instead taken into ICE custody.  

Layli Shirani, Senior Staff Attorney for Civil Rights at CAIR-SV/CC, said in a statement: 

“We have a strong interest in knowing what evidence the government relied upon in disrupting the lives of Omar and his family. Being accepted into the United States as a refugee is hard – the vetting process is extensive and takes a long time. It’s also important to note that this goes beyond Omar Ameen and the considerable harm that has been done – and is still being done – to him and his family.  

“This case, which was specifically cited by the Trump Administration in their effort to gut the Refugee Program, represents just one prong in that Administration’s overtly Islamophobic agenda. The Muslim Ban was another. Given the Biden Administration has chosen to allow deportation proceedings against Omar to continue despite his exoneration, we must remain vigilant.  

“This sealed exhibit was central to the Judge’s order refusing to extradite Omar Ameen. To fully understand that Order, and the actions of the Government in this case, we are asking the Court to unseal that exhibit.”  

CAIR-SV/CC is an office of CAIR, the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 


CONTACT: CAIR-SV/CC Communications Manager Zoha Raza, zraza@cair.com 

Omar has been imprisoned for over 1300 days. His life has been destroyed.  Time and again, the justice system has sided against the Executive Branch in Omar's case.  He should have been freed long ago.  The US government refuses to abide by the rules and continues to persecute Omar.  This is outrageous and it should be loudly and widely rebuked.  If you really care about immigration, then you care about what's being done to Omar by our government.

The following sites updated:

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com



Tweet of the week

Glenn Greenwald Tweets:

It's been 6 days since POLITICO reporter published a new book verifying the key emails from Hunter's laptop, including Joe's role in the China deal. Not one outlet that spread the CIA lie that it was Russian disinformation (except POLITICO) has even mentioned it.

This edition's playlist








3) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.


4) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.


5) Nick Jonas' SPACEMAN.


 6) Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo's BLACKBIRD: LENNON - MCCARTNEY ICONS.




8) Cher's STARS.


9) Harry Style's FINE LINE




10)  Fiona Apple's FETCH THE BOLT CUTTERS.






Chris Hedges: Journalism Has Collapsed





'Democrats Are The More Effective Evil' - Haitian-American Scholar






AOC Votes "Present", $1 Billion Funding For Israel Passes





Kyle Kulinski Called GRIFTER By Paula Jean Swearengin Over AOC Tweet










New Proof Emerges About the Hunter Biden Laptop: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media Fraud.





United States Returns to Iraq Rare Tablet Bearing Portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh

The US Justice Dept. issued the following last week:



Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, September 23, 2021

United States Returns to Iraq Rare Tablet Bearing Portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh

The United States has returned to the Republic of Iraq a rare cuneiform tablet bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian poem considered one of the world’s oldest works of literature.

The repatriation ceremony was held today at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, the artifact originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and entered the United States contrary to federal law. An international auction house (the Auction House) later sold the tablet to Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (Hobby Lobby), an arts-and-crafts retailer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for display at the Museum of the Bible (the Museum). Law enforcement agents seized the tablet from the Museum, pursuant to a judicially-authorized seizure warrant, in September 2019.

Acting Executive Associate Director Steve K. Francis of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States Fareed Yasseen signed a ceremonial certificate transferring ownership of the artifact from the United States to Iraq. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Stacy White of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood; Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Hassan Nadhem; Director-General Audrey Azoulay of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and Ambassador-at-large Richard Kurin for the Smithsonian Institution also participated in the repatriation ceremony.

“We hope that returning the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet to the Republic of Iraq is a message to the people of Iraq, and to the world, that the United States government will take action to seize and repatriate antiquities and other significant items of cultural heritage that have been unlawfully brought into the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“This office is proud to have played a central role in making this rare and ancient cuneiform tablet available for repatriation to its country of origin and the people of Iraq,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis for the Eastern District of New York. “We will continue to use our civil forfeiture laws to combat the illegal sale of cultural treasures so that they may be restored to their rightful place in a country’s history.”  

“Today, Iraq is reclaiming a piece of its cultural history,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh of HSI New York. “We are honored to have played a role in the repatriation of this rare tablet that was pillaged from Iraq, only to be sold without a valid provenance and any regard for his cultural value. HSI New York’s Cultural Property, Arts and Antiquity Investigations program will continue to work tirelessly to interrupt the criminal activities of those who loot antiquities and seek to profit off the theft of a country’s rich history.”

As alleged in the government’s amended complaint, in 2003, a U.S. antiquities dealer (the Antiquities Dealer) purchased the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, encrusted with dirt and unreadable, from a family member of a coin dealer in London. The Antiquities Dealer and a U.S. cuneiform expert shipped the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet to the United States without declaring formal entry. After it was imported and cleaned, experts in cuneiform recognized it as bearing a portion of the Gilgamesh epic in which the protagonist describes his dreams to his mother. The protagonist’s mother interprets the dreams as foretelling the arrival of a new friend. She tells her son, “You will see him and your heart will laugh.” The names of the hero, Gilgamesh, and the character who becomes his friend, Enkidu, are replaced in the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet with the names of deities Sin and Ea. The Gilgamesh Dream Tablet measures approximately 6-inches by 5-inches and is written in the Akkadian language, which was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia.

In 2007, the Antiquities Dealer sold the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet with a false provenance letter that stated that the tablet had been among miscellaneous ancient bronze fragments purchased in a 1981 auction. This false letter traveled with the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet as it was sold several times in different countries, and a later owner provided the letter to the Auction House in London. In 2014, the Auction House sold the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet to Hobby Lobby in a private sale and an Auction House employee carried it on a flight from London to the United States and then transferred it to New York. Hobby Lobby consented to the tablet’s forfeiture based on the tablet’s illegal importation into the United States in 2014.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) worked with HSI to forfeit the tablet in July. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance.  

The government’s case was handled by Senior Trial Attorney Ann Brickley of MLARS and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sylvia Shweder of the Eastern District of New York.

Asset Forfeiture
Press Release Number: 







 a park painting 11

This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.


 "Omar Ameen is being targeted by the US government" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "BBC withdraws claims -- will Alyssa Milano and others?," "The Ripper," "sex strike? wtf," "stop the deportations,"  "WSWS?," "The General Strike Summit," "A better way," "Listen to Turley (not the compromised)," "Journalism is refusing to cover news?," "Was Ted Rall writing while stoned?," "What now?," "A better work experience," "Joy Reid, shut up," "Dan Savage," "Well surprise, surprise, surprise," "Time to go for Chris Cuomo?," "Jelani Day," "Why I'm not a fan of Jacobin," "Leaders?," "That disgusting Justin Trudeau," "The treatment of the Haitians cannot be forgotten," "Haiti," "Melvin Van Peebles," "Again on immigration," "Australia and Chile" and "R Kelly and his lawyer missed the boat on Civil Rights history" and "THIS JUST IN! R KELLY MISHEARD MLK'S FAMOUS SPEECH! " -- news coverage in the community.

"Remember Hollywood Squares?" -- Trina reviews a book.

"The Wooly Mammoth," "Space," "Mars," "Science: Elon Musk, farming" and "Trees and the climate crisis" -- science coverage from Ann and Betty.

"Jimmy Dore, TITANS," "Jimmy Dore, HOME ECONOMICS, Ramzy Baroud," "Jimmy Dore, THE GOLDBERGS and Glenn Greenwald," "2 hours of dynasty?," "who's the sexiest on animal kingdom?," "DOOM PATROL," "The very disappointing WONDER YEARS," "Hard pass on THE WONDER YEARS," and "The decline of STAR WARS" -- TV coverage from Mike, Rebecca and Stan.


"Lil Nas X," "The Fugees and Billy Eichner," -- music coverage from Marcia. 




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