Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Truest statement of the week

The American media paid only perfunctory attention to the Iraq War anniversary. What has been said is aimed at covering up for the colossal scale of the crime, and of the media’s own role in it.

The cynicism, as always, found its most perfidious expression in the pages of the New York Times. A news analysis by Max Fisher under the headline, “20 Years On, a Question Lingers About Iraq: Why Did the U.S. Invade?” treats the motives of the Bush administration in launching the war as uncertain and even “fundamentally unknowable,” in the words of one “scholar” interviewed by Fisher. 

The Times article flatly rejects the “once-prevalent theory: that Washington invaded to control Iraq’s vast oil resources,” without referring to the prominence of former oilmen like Vice President Cheney and Bush himself in driving the decisions for war. And it attributes the systematic lying about Saddam Hussein’s possession of “weapons of mass destruction” to a form of groupthink, in which “[a] critical mass of senior officials all came to the table wanting to topple Mr. Hussein for their own reasons, and then talked one another into believing the most readily available justification.”

The Times’ “analysis” carefully avoids any discussion of the role of the Times itself as one of the main promoters of the “weapons of mass destruction” campaign. Reports written by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, most notoriously a September 2002 front-page exclusive under the headline, “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts,” parroted the claims of top Bush administration officials, and were taken up by the corporate media as a whole. White House officials then cited these reports as “evidence” against Iraq, which they themselves had planted.

The motivations for the war are not “unknowable.” Indeed, they were known at the time, with tens of millions throughout the world participating in demonstrations in advance of the invasion, rejecting the lies of the administration and demanding “no blood for oil.” The size and breadth of the demonstrations were so large that it prompted the New York Times to comment that there were “two superpowers”: The United States and “world public opinion.”

 -- Patrick Martin, "Twenty years since the US invasion of Iraq" (WSWS).

 

 

Truest statement of the week II

I was barely a professional writer then. I didn’t even have a blog. So when I saw the media’s blatant, grievous errors in the run-up to war, all I could do was send lots of emails to the fancy publications that were getting it so wrong. They didn’t care, and hundreds of thousands of people died.

They still don’t care. They will continue deceiving their readers about Iraq. There must be something we can do about this, but so far, I haven’t figured out what it is.

-- Jon Schwarz, "The Atlantic Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Iraq War With Lavish Falsehoods About Iraq War" (THE INTERCEPT). 

 

 

A note to our readers

Hey --

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?  

 

Patrick Martin gets another truest.

Jon Schwartz gets a truest.

Video on Iraq.

Ava and C.I. take on the lies of PBS which tries to resell the Iraq War with more of the same lies -- tries to do so 20 years later.

 

Continuing the book coverage in the community.

Short feature, short feature -- Dona always insists.  Here's one.  

Books reviewed in the community so far this year.

A list of notable passings so far this year.

Trina's book review.

It's not often a press release can also be a historic moment.

They sell hate.  Beware of these hate merchants.

What we listened to while working on this edition.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it. 

 

Peace.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Correspondent Says Iraq 'Still Can't Form A Government' Twenty Years After U.S. Invasion

 

TV: How they lied about Iraq and how they still lie about it

The illegal Iraq War is one of the biggest foreign policy disasters thus far in the 21st century.  The invasion was 20 years ago last month.  Younger adults may be confused today as they try to make sense of how the war got as far as it did.  History notes that not only did the United States see the largest protest ever one month ahead of the start of the war but that the protests were worldwide that February.


So what gives?


Show don't tell?

 

3 JESS


We're going to tell but we can certainly show as well.



That's PBS' NEWSHOUR from last week.


And the garbage they served is the type of garbage they and other outlets served in the lead up to the start of the war.  Watching it, you're left to believe that their boast that "PBS NewsHour is one of the most trusted news programs in television and online" is just one more lie on the long list of lies the network has presented over the years.  


Last week, the 'news' program decided it was time for a look back.  How they went about it was vintage '00 'news' coverage.  With no shame at all, Amna Nawaz introduced the segment as follows:


Now we look back at the decision to invade the bloody American occupation and where Iraq stands today with Paul Wolfowitz. He was deputy secretary of defense during the George W. Bush administration. During the 1980s and '90s, he held a number of senior jobs at the Defense and State Department.

Vali Nasr was an adviser at the State Department during the Obama administration. He's now a professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. And Charles Duelfer, who helped run U.N. weapons inspections during the '90s in Iraq. After the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq, he led the CIA's Iraq Survey Group, which also looked for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.


Three hawks.  That's what we heard from.  


Garbage.


That's what we got last week from PBS and what the corporate media served up over and over in the lead up to the Iraq War.  And if you asked CNN, for example, where the peace activists were, we were told that they were 'biased' because they had an objective.  And the government officials and generals did not?


"You must hate America" would be the verbal or facial response.


DEMOCRACY NOW!'s host Amy Goodman was noting back then that there were almost 400 interviews regarding war on Iraq in the months leading up to the start of the war and only three of those interviews were with people who opposed starting the war.

That's how they lied and spun.  That's how they tried to hoodwink the American people.


And they've never apologized for it.  And last week demonstrated, as far as PBS was concerned, that they had not changed one damn bit.


THE NATION's Katrina vanden Heuvel observed last week:


This isn’t surprising, since few of the perpetrators, propagandists, and cheerleaders who drove us into the war suffered any consequence. Their reputations were re-burnished; their stature in America’s foreign policy establishment was retained. Bizarrely, those who led us into the disaster continue to dominate America’s major media platforms, while those who warned against it are largely pushed to the margins.

Putting a blush on the Iraq War is not an easy task. The Bush administration touted its preventive war doctrine, scorned the need for America, at the height of its unipolar moment, to seek authority from the United Nations, approval from NATO allies, or adherence to international law. Iraq was a target for neoconservatives long before 9/11, as the propagandists at the Project for the New American Century made clear. The push for the war began hours after 9/11, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein was an avowed enemy of Al Qaeda. The Bush administration campaigned to sell the threat, making it—as Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote at the beginning of the Cold War—“clearer than the truth.” For message advice, the administration hired professional PR gurus—like Charlotte Beers, the Queen of Madison Avenue, straight from award-winning campaigns hawking Uncle Ben’s Rice and Head & Shoulders Shampoo. From the president on down, they sought to associate Saddam Hussein with 9/11, although they had no evidence of a connection that did not exist. Then they focused on the threat posed by Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. To overcome skeptical CIA analysts, Vice President Dick Cheney formed his own intelligence group, while ├╝ber-lobbyist John Rendon invented an Iraqi National Congress headed by the nefarious financier Ahmed Chalabi, who provided “intelligence” on demand.

 

Kevin Drum cheerleaded the Iraq War.  How was he punished?  MOTHER JONES hired him in 2008 to be the magazine's blogger.  While it must be tough working with Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery it's not akin to water boarding and Drum collects a check.

 

When even our left and 'left' periodicals refuse to hold the cheerleaders accountable, some may wonder how we can ever hold the corporate media accountable?

 

Last Thursday,  a day after PBS' garbage, NPR's ON POINT offered some reality as host Meghna Chakrabarti spoke with journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (GUARDIAN). "What have the last 20 years looked like to Iraqi eyes?" was what Meghna wanted to know.    "It was anxiety, it was fear but mostly it was what's next?"

Ghaith is the author of A STRANGER IN YOUR OWN CITY: TRAVELS IN THE MIDDLE EAST'S LONG WAR.  

 

He noted the Iraqi people were stockpiling in the lead up to the invasion -- rice, beans, olive oil, cans of tuna.   First were the bombings, Ghaith noted, "Turning our cities into urban warfare, that came later." 

That reality did not occur to the three American War Hawks PBS elected to interview.  


No reality did.


Which is how Paul Wolfowitz got to get off this holler, he claimed the Iraq War was a success because, "There has not been a repetition of the 9/11 attacks or anything like it in the 20 years since."

 

How damn stupid is Amna Nawaz?  Anyone with a brain should have stopped him right there and pointed out the reality that Iraq did not attack the US on 9/11.  Instead, 20 years later, the disgusting Wolfowitz was allowed to yet again falsely link 9/11 and Iraq.  

 

That's not journalism, someone needs to inform PBS.  And if, 20 years later, Amna isn't prepared to bring facts to a discussion on the Iraq War, she's not a journalist, she's just a whore.

 

"Of course," Ghaith noted on NPR, "they got rid of Saddam [Hussein] but a horrible Iraq came into existence after that."



Ghaith Abdul-Ahad: And throughout the years, I'm always asked the question, "So what was better?  The Saddam or the Americans?"  As if the Iraqis had no other options than a mad dictator and an illegal occupation.  We as people deserve something more.

 

 That thought never occurred to PBS' three experts -- three War Hawks and War Whores.


Vali Nasr was presented as someone who worked in the Obama administration.  

 

And?  Rahm Emanuel worked in the Obama administration and he was pro-Iraq War.  

 

Meghna Chakrabarti : Do you think the Americans were willfully blind to the other realities that constituted Iraqi civil and social life?

 

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad: Worse than willfully blind.  They were not only blind but they took the one narrative that was given to them -- fed to them -- by the exiled Iraqi politicians like Ahmed Chalabi and others.  These exiled politicians grew up in the claustrophobic circles of exiles.  They lost family members.  They were chased by the regime.  So they grew up in Tehran and Beirut and London within their tiny little communities.  Those are the people who explained what was happening in Iraq to the Americans and those people were not in Iraq -- had never  been in Iraq, some of them -- left Iraq when they were children.  Others grew up -- you know, were born in the west. So when the Americans came, not only were they willfully blind -- because if you are willfully blind and you learn on the ground, that's fine -- no, they came with these misguided policies fed to them by neocons, of course, and the Iraqi exiles.

 

 

The neocons.  Yeah, them.  Vali Nasr is one of them.  School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, PBS noted while failing to note that they mined this group early on in the lead up to the war to put one neocon after another on the air advocating for war. . 20 years later, PBS is still pimping them and refusing to call them what they are: Neocons.  

 

Though given plenty of time on PBS last week (and even "the last word"), Nasr couldn't call out the war itself.  The closest he could come was this:

 

And, finally, I would say that, regardless of what we argue about the sagacity of going into Iraq, at some point, the war lost the American public, the cost of it, the outcome of it.

It created a sense of aversion to war on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats. At the base of these parties, there is an aversion to war. In the region, but I'm sure farther away, in China, in Russia, the conclusion is that the United States will no longer go to war that easily. We rely on sanctions.

But, essentially, we are far less capable of getting our way on the world stage, because many friends or foes don't see credibility in our use of threat — threat of force.

 

That, for Nasr, is the problem with the Iraq War -- it's created a distaste for more war.  

 

And that's the closest, 20 years later, that PBS can come to an anti-war voice.  

 

That's the closest.

 

Don't believe the lie that PBS is there to serve you, it clearly doesn't give to s**ts about you when it airs garbage like that.  


And, by the way, we really wanted someone else to call this garbage out.  We wanted to link to someone else's writing and just focus on a light topic.  But, as usual, we had to put our heels back on and get back up and do it because so many refuse to do the basics -- despite insisting that they're media critics. 


Where was FAIR?  Nowhere to be found.  They last wrote their own Iraq War critique on March 22nd (and that focused on NYT)*.  What of COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW?  They produced a reach around circle jerk by Jon Alsop on March 21st -- one that leaned on the 'expertise' of Iraq War cheerleader Spencer Ackerman and his completely non-biased belief that Iraq needs less focus and if we had cheerleading the illegal war on our resume, we'd probably want the anniversary coverage dropped as well.


As two who exposed CJR's original circle jerk in the 00s, we need to point out that Jon is friends with Spencer and how laughable it is that he prints Spencer's complaints about how the corporate press goes with the sources they already know as opposed to expanding their sources.  Did Jon not grasp what he was typing?


Apparently not.


This year saw some real push back from some in the media on the lies and nonsense about the Iraq War.  Absolutely, NPR's ON POINT deserves credit.  So does Amy Goodman's DEMOCRACY NOW! which filed multiple reports on Iraq.  We'd also applaud  Jon Schwarz of THE INTERCEPT and his efforts at holding both THE ATLANTIC and THE NEW YORK TIMES accountable.  And Patrick Martin (WSWS) was there noting how the lies just kept coming from the media this anniversary.


But then we're still left with THE NEWSHOUR.  2.7 million watch the program each night -- about eight million catch it over a week's run.  NYT?  They have nine million subscribers -- print and digital.  Some only read the arts coverage.  Some, like a singer-songwriter friend of ours, only read the science coverage.  It's a big audience, yes, but that's no reason to let THE NEWSHOUR slide.  

 

Paul Wolfowitz lied on air about Iraq's WMD capabilities.  And then said, of Charles Duelfer, "which Charles can contradict me if I'm wrong, but I believe the ISG said that this would -- could be reconstituted in a matter of weeks or a few months."  But Duelfer didn't contradict him.  Instead, we got this garbage.

 

 

Amna Nawaz: But, Charles Duelfer, I will turn to you here about those weapons of mass destruction, because they were the primary justification to launch the invasion. And you led the Iraq Study Group to find those weapons of mass destruction in 2005.

Your final report said that the hunt for those weapons had — quote — "gone as far as feasible," and all the headlines ran, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But I'd like to get your reaction to what Mr. Wolfowitz raised about the possibility of Saddam Hussein reconstituting those [bioleogical] weapons. Did you find that to be true?

 

Charles Duelfer:  In a word, yes.

 

 

In  a word, no.  

 

Unlike Amna, we've attended Congressional hearings.  When confronted with Duelfer saying one thing on PBS -- where liars run free (not for nothing is "BS" in the network's title) -- and saying something completely different in a Congressional hearing -- where those testifying are supposed to be under oath, we favor the statements made under oath.

 

In 2004, Paul Kerr (ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION) reported on Duelfer's testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee and the ISR report:

 

The report asserts that “Iraq would have faced great difficulty in re-establishing an effective [biological weapons] agent production capability,” but it does say that Iraq possessed “significant dual-use capability” and scientific expertise. Baghdad also conducted research with potential weapons applications and could have “re-established an elementary” weapons program “within a few weeks to a few months.” However, there are “no indications” that it had plans to do so, the report says.

 

But there's the liar Duelfer on PBS insisting that Wolfowitz is right about biological weapons and 'forgetting' that there were "no indications" on the part of the Iraqi government of "re-establish[ing] an elementary" biological weapons program.  And there's his 'curious' history regarding weapons inspectors (his lies) that leaves out the fact that, in September 2002, Iraq agrees to let UN weapons inspectors back in, that UN weapons inspectors are back in Iraq on November 27, 2002, and that they only left on March 18, 2003 because of Bully Boy Bush's ultimatum to begin bombing Iraq (with the US government notifying Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on March 16, 2003 what was coming). 


And remember, Duelfer's lies are made possible by grants from the war industry and by whores and hacks like Amna Nawaz.  She just sat there as they outright lied, as they rewrote history and as they changed the 2003 goal posts 20 years after the fact.



 

Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)

1summerread

 

We're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community.  Trina's "Crispy Calamari in the Kitchen" covers the cookbook AIR FRYER COOKBOOK FOR BEGINNERS: EFFORTLESSLY GRILL, ROAST AND BAKE HOMEMADE MEALS: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS WITH QUICK, TASTY & HEALTHY RECIPES by Joanne Broadhurst.  What interested you about this book?

 

Trina: There are a lot of e-mails about air fyers.  There are people who are using it just because it's a newer kitchen gadget and they want to sample it.  There are people who are using it because it fries with heat and not oil so it's healthier.  There are people e-mailing about it because the hot summer's coming up and they're looking for ways to cook without heating up the place with the oven or standing over the hot stove.  There are people who are trying to use air fryers due to space limitations or money.  Space limitations?  They may have a tiny home as part of the tiny home movement or they must have a small kitchen and space is limited.  Money?  There were two e-mails this past week about ovens going out from people who couldn't afford to buy a new one.  You can do a lot of stuff in the air fryer.  


That's interesting.  Let's stay with that for a moment.  Our oven goes out and we can't afford another, what would we do?


Trina: Sure.  If you could afford an air fryer -- either right away or in a month or two -- you could manage pretty well.  I think you could get by with a microwave, an air fyer and two burners -- you could get two individual burners at WALMART for about $30 bucks, for example.  So you'd be able to cook in the air fryer anything fried -- really any meat you needed to cook, or eggs, you can do boiled eggs in an air fryer, you'd have the two burners to cook whatever -- vegetables, pasta, you name it.  And you'd have the microwave.  Would it be perfect?  No.  But it would give you a range of options while you attempted to save for the cost of a new stove.


How many gadgets does a person to need?


Trina: I've you've got an oven and stove, you're fine.  I'd throw in a microwave.  But you could do everything with an oven and stove and people have for years.  Gadgets just help us out.  I've got tons of gadgets because I cook all the time and I raised a family of eight.  Do I use them all?  No.  It's personal taste.  I got rid of the bread maker about 10 years ago, for example.  I can make bread -- even Boston bread -- without a bread maker -- using any recipe in Frances Moore Lappe's original DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET.  We keep the blender in the pantry and take it out when we need it.  We just use it for drinks.  Same with the mixer.  Even a cake, I'm going to stir by hand.  We gave our toaster oven to a nephew who moved out on his own and we thought we'd replace it but that didn't happen because I realized how little we were using it.  My husband uses the Foreman Grill and we replace that about every five years.  I have an instapot that I need to use more -- and it's good gadget to have -- and a slow cooker and, of course, a coffee pot.  Those are in the kitchen on cabinets.  As it a toaster.  I've got the microwave on top of the fridge.  


Talk about your air fryer.


Trina: Sure.  I do a lot of dough, rolling it out, etc.  And I do a lot of chopping.  I have a nice size kitchen and I'm not giving up counter space to any more appliances.  I need it for cooking and prep.  So when we got the air fyer, I was at a loss with where it would go.  We were going to get a rolling thing to put it on but never could see one I liked.  So I just, for a short term plan, turned over one of stock pots in a corner by an outlet that wasn't used for anything else.  I put a cookie sheet on top of the stock pot and then put the air fryer on top of that.  That was supposed to be for a month while I figured out what to order but it worked out so good that I still haven't ordered a cart.


Do you use your air fryer a lot?


Trina: Personally, probably twice a week at least.  But it's used more than that.  The kids use it, for example.  I'd say it's probably used six or seven times a week. 

 

Let's go over the benefit to the air fryer one more time.

 

Trina:  Sure, when you're frying -- a vegetable or meat -- traditional frying means you're submerging it in hot oil to cook it.  With an air fryer, there's no hot oil -- or oil at all -- which lowers the fat intake from the food.  

  

And you shared a recipe for Crispy Calamari and Five-Spice Broccoli in your post.  You also brought one along for this discussion.

 

Trina: Right.  This is a recipe from the book for roasted Italian Bell Peppers:

 

Ingredients: 

one each of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, sliced

one tbs. olive oil

one t. lemon juice

one t. dried Italian seasoning

1/2 t. sea salt

1/8 t. black pepper, ground

1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leafy parsley

Instructions:

1. Combine all bell peppers in your basket. Toss in oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt, plus pepper.

2. Warm up your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast for 8 mins, shaking once till tender.  Top with parsley and serve. 



Thank you.  And you recommend the book?


Trina: Yes, it's got a lot of strong recipes that even first time air fryer users will be comfortable with.  It's got advice on to clean the air fryer and  lot of tips for using it such as, "After taking the food out of the air fryer, let it sit until it cools down.  This will help to lock in the moisture and ensure that the food is cooked to the desired degree or texture."  Traditional cooking usually notes that with regards to, for example, steak.  It's often suggested that you remove it from a skillet and let it set for a bit before serving -- some people will even put a pat of butter on it during this period.  So, yes, I would recommend the book.




Read The Tea Leaves

In the year 2028 . . . 


David Miranda explains why he divorced Glenn Greenwald, "There just wasn't enough room in a California king for him, his ego and me."

 

 

 

 

Books

 

1summerread

 

"Mafia Wives (Susan Williams' WHITE MALICE)" -- C.I. reviews this book.

 

 "The Sewing Circle" -- Marcia reads Axel Madsen's THE SEWING CIRCLE.

 

 "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" -- Trina reviews this book.


"Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview" -- Ann reviews this book.


"Call Her Heroic (Ava and C.I.)" -- Ava and C.I. review this book.


"Boze Hadleigh's Hollywood Gays" -- Marcia reviews this book.

 

"Robert Sellers wrote a book of garbage" -- Kat reviews HOLLYWOOD HELLRAISERS.   

 

 

"SCREAM VI and THE BOYS" -- Stan reviews Ron and Clint Howard's THE BOYS.

 

 

"the world according to joan" -- Rebecca reviews this book.

 

 "Elton John and Whitney Houston" -- Kat reviews Elton John's autobiography and a biography on Whitney Houston.


"DON RICKLES: THE MERCHANT OF VENOM" -- Isaiah reviews this book.

 

"Crispy Calamari in the Kitchen" -- Trina reviews  AIR FRYER COOKBOOK FOR BEGINNERS: EFFORTLESSLY GRILL, ROAST AND BAKE HOMEMADE MEALS: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS WITH QUICK, TASTY & HEALTHY RECIPES.

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 03, 2023

2023 passings

Lisa Presley -- Elaine noted her passing.


Christine McVie -- Kat covered her passing.

 

Adam Rich -- Marcia noted his passing.

 

Jeff Beck -- Kat noted his passing.

 

Lance Kerwin -- Rebecca noted his passing.


Barrett Strong -- Ruth noted his passing.

 

Lisa Loring -- Rebecca noted her passing.

 

Burt Bacharach -- Rebecca noted his passing.

 

Raquel Welch -- Elaine noted her passing.

 

Stella Stevens  -- Rebecca noted her passing.

 

Richard Belzer -- Ruth noted his passing.  

 

Kevin Alexander Gray -- C.I. notes his passing.

 

Pat Schroeder -- Kat noted her passing.

 

Lance Reddick -- Mike notes his passing.  

 

Darcelle XV -- Elaine notes his passing.

 

"Mark Russell" -- Ruth notes his passing

 

Trina on air fryers

 Trina reviews a  cookbook:

Crispy Calamari in the Kitchen

Okay, an air fryer recipe for calamari.


Ingredients:

Oil spray

1/4 c. flour, all-purpose flour

two t. salt, + more if desired

two t. black pepper ground

one big egg

one pound calamari rings

Instructions:

1. Warm up your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare your basket using parchment and oil spray.

2. Combine flour, salt, plus black pepper in your zip-top plastic bags and set inside.

3. In your medium dish, whisk egg, put calamari, and mix well.  Transfer calamari to your zip-top bag, seal, then shake well until evenly coated.

4. Put calamari in your basket and grease lightly using oil. Cook for five mins, flip, spray with oil, then cook again within three mins, until crispy and cooked through.

5. Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired and serve. 


That is from Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners: Effortlessly Grill, Roast and Bake Homemade Meals: Your Complete Guide For Beginners with Quick, Tasty & Healthy Recipes. 

 

The book has a good introduction -- and notes the first patent on an air fryer was in Europe in 2010.  The book also serves up some basic tips for cooking and cleaning the air fryer.  


There are also some really good recipes.   This one is Five-Spice Broccoli:


Ingredients:

one bunch broccoli, florets 

2 tbs. olive oil

one t. five-spice powder

one-fourth t. sea salt

1/8 t. ground black pepper

Instructions:

1.. Put broccoli into your big dish, then coat with oil.  Sprinkle with the five-spice powder, onion powder, salt, add pepper. Mix well. Put the broccoli into your basket. 

2. Warm up your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the broccoli for 8 mins. Shake basket and roast for another 5 mins. Serve immediately. 


I recommend the book -- especially if you have Kindle Unlimited on Amazon because then you can read it at no extra cost.  I also recommend -- strongly -- that you avoid The Complete Ninja Foodi Cookbook for UK if you're looking for an air fryer cookbook.  Yes, it does pop up with a few air fryer recipes but only a few -- I saw it on Amazon recommended for air fryer recipes.  Maybe for every ten, there's a recipe that's just cooking in the air fryer -- maybe for every fifteen.


This is from Joseph Kishore (WSWS):

Donald Trump is expected to turn himself in on Tuesday for arraignment on indictments handed down by a New York grand jury, reportedly in connection to payouts made on Trump’s behalf to a former porn star. The first charges against a former president of the United States mark a new stage in the degradation of American politics.

There are no issues of democratic import in the indictment. Rather, the Democratic Party has chosen to focus on the flimsiest and most inconsequential matter possible. Trump is being accused of falsifying the nature of payments to the porn star, Stormy Daniels, made in 2016 before he was president, which were channeled through Trump’s longtime “fixer”-turned-government witness, Michael Cohen.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly planning on leveraging this charge, which is a misdemeanor that has exceeded the statute of limitations, into a felony by arguing that the payments were in furtherance of covering up an illegal donation to Trump’s campaign, namely the payments by Cohen to pay off Daniels.

The tenuous and convoluted character of the charges has promoted concern within sections of the Democratic Party itself. The Washington Post in its editorial on Friday worried that “of the long list of alleged violations, the likely charges on which a grand jury in New York state voted to indict [Trump] are perhaps the least compelling.”

The Democrats’ decision to focus on this issue will serve to strengthen the fascistic wing of the Republican Party and even provide Trump with the opportunity to posture as a martyr. Trump is already denouncing the “political witch-hunt,” while Republicans are rallying around the former president. Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, who the Democrats have upheld as the paragon of democracy, denounced the indictment as an “outrage.”



This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:


Friday, March 31, 2023.   One lie about the Iraq War gets pointed out and two more spring up, responsibility is an upsetting term for Jennifer Aniston, there's a reason that voter participation in Iraq dropped significantly, and much more.






That's Mehdi Hasan debating Tom Nichols on the legalities of the illegal Iraq War.  A few realities slipped in on the coverage of Iraq this anniversary.  A few.  


Jon Schwarz (INDEPENDENT) has held THE NEW YORK TIMES accountable on some of its articles in the last weeks, for example, but it's sort of an endless, never-ending effort as he notes:


For the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, the New York Times published an article by Max Fisher headlined “20 Years On, a Question Lingers About Iraq: Why Did the U.S. Invade?”

The article is a fairly cogent summation of the evidence. However, when it was first published, it was undermined by an extremely significant and extremely funny mistake. After inquiries from The Intercept, the paper has changed the original mistake into a fresh, new mistake.

Here’s how the article originally read:

Mr. Hussein had ejected international weapons inspectors, which was seen in Washington as a humiliating policy failure for Mr. Clinton.

When the American leader was weakened by scandal later that year [in 1998], congressional Republicans pounced, passing the Iraq Liberation Act …

One reason this is so funny is because in 1998 the Times accurately reported what happened. The United Nations inspections team, called UNSCOM, was not expelled by Saddam Hussein, but rather was withdrawn by Richard Butler, the head of UNSCOM, after he consulted with the U.S. — about the fact that the U.S. was about to start bombing Iraq, in a campaign called Operation Desert Fox.

Even funnier is that the Times went on to claim erroneously that Iraq had expelled UNSCOM in 1998 at least five times, twice in 1999 and then in 20002002 and 2003. It issued corrections on the three latter articles.

Two decades later, the paper apparently wanted to recapture its youth by being wrong again. The paper has now issued its fourth correction on this subject. Its present-day story currently reads:

Hussein had ejected international weapons inspectors in 1997, which was seen in Washington as a humiliating policy failure for Mr. Clinton.

Then, when Mr. Clinton was weakened by scandal in 1998, congressional Republicans pounced, passing the Iraq Liberation Act …

Wonderfully enough, this is also wrong. Iraq did expel the American members of the U.N. inspections team in 1997. But the rest remained in Iraq until they were withdrawn by the United Nations. All, including the Americans, returned to Iraq eight days later.

You can find this information in a story published when it happened, by a little-known paper called the New York Times.

The corrected text in the 2023 story also leaves out the reason Iraq expelled the (American) inspectors in 1997: Because some of the Americans were conducting espionage against Iraq. Again, you can read about this in the New York Times.


It's like Jon plugs one leak and then two more spring up.  It's endless.

And disappointing.  Did someone just say  Akeel Abbas?  They should have.  He's not an idiot and he's capable of a lot.  So why is so damn disappointing this morning at FOREIGN AFFAIRS?  Partly because he's teamed up with Shayan Talabany.  Why?  Who the hell knows.  She's long been part of the Conservative movement in the UK so it's natural that she'd end up holding hands with War Criminal Tony Blair (she's at his Institute for Global Change aka War Crimes Inc).  

First off, it's one thing to say democracy might be a new concept for Iraqis.  It's another to be insulting and portray the Iraqi people as immature.  It's really insulting.  But what's really awful is the effort to deny reality.  

I'm not in the damn mood this morning.  Year after year, we've pointed out reality.  That's especially true with regard to declining participation in elections.  And there's a reason for the decline as we have repeatedly pointed out.  They ignore reality.

From their awful article:


This new dissatisfaction can be seen in the declining voter turnout despite increasing birthrates. Iraq’s population grew from 25 million in 2005 to approximately 42 million in 2022. Yet while almost 80 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote in the December 2005 parliamentary election, a meager 41 percent at most took part in the October 2021 early elections (although this statistic has been contested by many observers who claim it is inflated because it represents 41 percent of registered Iraqi voters, not eligible voters, millions of whom did not register to vote).

[. . .]

As early as 2011, mounting frustrations were fueling protests across the country, from the Kurdistan region in the north to the south. These frustrations crystallized and erupted in a major 2019-20 protest movement, widely known as Tishreen—the Arabic name for the month of October, when the protests started and won nationwide support. These protests offered the first opportunity for serious bottom-up reform aiming to dismantle the current and failed sect-based politics and bring in merit-based politics, in which the ruling elite is held accountable and judged based on achievements, not identity.


What happened between 2005 and 2011?

What could have made the belief in voting plummet in Iraq?

Violence depressed the turnout in most of the election cycles in the '00s and '10s, absolutely.  But in 2010, it was as high as 62%.

What changed?

If you've paid attention, I just gave you the clue: 2010.

Don't blame the Iraqi people or supposed immaturity for the lower turnout.

Nouri al-Maliki is a thug.  Former prime minister, forever thug.  Then-Senator Hillary Clinton said so in a heavily covered 2008 Senate hearing.  Then-Senator Joe Biden said so in another Senate hearing that I believe we were the only ones to cover.  (I saw no press there and we remain the only ones aware of what Joe said and what then-Senator Russ Feingold said.)  In 2008, the US government knew he was a thug.  Bully Boy Bush installed him as prime minister in 2006.  As we noted before anyone else did, Nouri was paranoid.  The CIA profile on him found him to be so paranoid that he would be easy for the US government to manipulate.  That's why he was installed as prime minister.

In March 2010, Iraq held elections.  He was the sitting prime minister.  He bribed the people -- the ice dispensing was the cheapest and most laughable.  But he was awful.  And the media thought he'd win.   It was seen as a given -- so much so that before a single vote was counted -- let alone tallies released -- NPR declared him the winner.

He didn't win.  

Iraqiya won.  A new coalition created right ahead of the election.

And then what happened?

Nouri refused to step down.  This is the political stalemate.  And at the beginning, the US government insisted that they would stand by the votes -- stand with the Iraqi people. 

Instead, Barack Obama turned on the Iraqi people.  Samantha Power advocated for a second term for Nouri and insisted that Nouri was the best chance to get what they wanted.  

So after eight months of a political stalemate, the US government negotiated The Erbil Agreement, a legal contract between the various political parties.  In exchange for this, they would do that.  They? They had to agree to a second term for Nouri.  In exchange, he would do this or that.  But Nouri used the contract to be named prime minister-designate and then refused to honor it.  Two months later, his then-spokesperson (who'd flee Iraq when Nouri turned on him) declared that the contract wasn't legal or binding.

But the contract put in place Nouri for a second term.  Nouri who was running secret prisons.  And we all knew it by then.

You're an Iraqi and you've got a thug representing you.  You turn out to vote -- despite all the obstacles, including violence.  Your vote and the voters of others means Nouri is gone as prime minister and the next one will come from Iraqiya.  But . . .

Then US President Barack Obama overturns your vote, overturns the votes period and gifts Nouri with a second term.

What is the point of voting?

Why has voting participation in Iraq decreased?

What a stupid question.

Of course, it decreased.  The US government is responsible for that and it is annoying that this is ignored repeatedly but it is especially appalling when it's being ignored in articles supposedly addressing this issue.

ON POINT (NPR) did a great job yesterday bringing Iraqis into the discussion of 20 years later as host Meghna Chakrabarti spoke with journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.  Ideally, we'll note in next week.  Ava and I are going to try to work it into our piece for Third.  This is the best coverage that NPR did this anniversary of the war.  


Yesterday, the White House issued the following:

A Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility

 Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the joy, strength, and absolute courage of some of the bravest people I know — people who have too often had to put their jobs, relationships, and lives on the line just to be their true selves.  Today, we show millions of transgender and nonbinary Americans that we see them, they belong, and they should be treated with dignity and respect.  Their courage has given countless others strength, but no one should have to be brave just to be themselves.  Every American deserves that freedom.

     Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul — proudly serving in the military, curing deadly diseases, holding elected office, running thriving businesses, fighting for justice, raising families, and much more.  As kids, they deserve what every child deserves:  the chance to learn in safe and supportive schools, to develop meaningful friendships, and to live openly and honestly.  As adults, they deserve the same rights enjoyed by every American, including equal access to health care, housing, and jobs and the chance to age with grace as senior citizens.  But today, too many transgender Americans are still denied those rights and freedoms.  A wave of discriminatory State laws is targeting transgender youth, terrifying families and hurting kids who are not hurting anyone.  An epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, in particular women and girls of color, has taken lives far too soon.  Last year’s Club Q shooting in Colorado was another painful example of this kind of violence — a stain on the conscience of our Nation.

     My Administration has fought to end these injustices from day one, working to ensure that transgender people and the entire LGBTQI+ community can live openly and safely.  On my first day as President, I issued an Executive Order directing the Federal Government to root out discrimination against LGBTQI+ people and their families.  We have appointed a record number of openly LGBTQI+ leaders, and I was proud to rescind the ban on openly transgender people serving in the military.  We are also working to make public spaces and travel more accessible, including with more inclusive gender markers on United States passports.  We are improving access to public services and entitlements like Social Security.  We are cracking down on discrimination in housing and education.  And last December, I signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, ensuring that every American can marry the person they love and have that marriage accepted, period.

     Meanwhile, we are also working to ease the tremendous strain that discrimination, bullying, and harassment can put on transgender children — more than half of whom seriously considered suicide in the last year.  The Department of Education is, for example, helping ensure that transgender students have equal opportunities to learn and thrive at school, and the Department of Justice is pushing back against extreme laws that seek to ban evidence-based gender-affirming health care.

     There is much more to do.  I continue to call on the Congress to finally pass the Equality Act and extend long-overdue civil rights protections to all LGBTQI+ Americans to ensure they can live with safety and dignity.  Together, we also have to keep challenging the hundreds of hateful State laws that have been introduced across the country, making sure every child knows that they are made in the image of God, that they are loved, and that we are standing up for them.

     America is founded on the idea that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives.  We have never fully lived up to that, but we have never walked away from it either.  Today, as we celebrate transgender people, we also celebrate every American’s fundamental right to be themselves, bringing us closer to realizing America’s full promise.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2023, as Transgender Day of Visibility.  I call upon all Americans to join us in lifting up the lives and voices of transgender people throughout our Nation and to work toward eliminating violence and discrimination against all transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

                                JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.




The statement comes as Mother Tucker Carlson has declared a holy war on the LGBTQ+ community via FOX NEWS.  Luke Gentile (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) notes Human Rights Campaign's Charlotte Clymer was on MSNBC with Joy Reid and addressed Tucker's hateful jihad:

 

"I'm from the great state of Texas. I served in the military. I go to church every Sunday. My faith is very important to me, but God made me in her image," Clymer said. "God made me transgender, and to see these people so cynically weaponize this and exploit these children's deaths and their teachers' deaths, it breaks my heart."

"I can't see where the biblical principles of loving your neighbor and walking the walk with Christ that they can see. I can't see what they're seeing."





On Tuesday night, much of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show was a deeply disturbing diatribe targeting trans people, painting them as terroristic anti-Christs, afforded special privileges by the elite. “The people in charge despise working-class whites, but they venerate the trans community,” Carlson said. 

“The trans movement is the mirror image of Christianity, and therefore its natural enemy,” he continued, echoing violent and fascistic ideologies, like crypto- and neofascism. “In Christianity, the price of admission is admitting that you’re not God. Christians openly concede that they have no real power over anything, and for that matter, very little personal virtue. … The trans movement takes the opposite view. Trans ideology claims dominion over nature itself. ‘We can change the identity we were born with,’ they will tell you with wild-eyed certainty. Christians can never agree with the statement because these are powers they believe God alone possesses.” He concluded the segment with a warning for Americans about the dangers of the so-called trans movement: “Yesterday’s massacre did not happen because of lax gun laws. Yesterday’s massacre happened because of a deranged and demonic ideology that is infecting this country.”

Here, of course, Carlson is wrong; if there is one measure that would curb rampant gun deaths in this country, it would be making it more difficult to obtain assault-style weapons, of which police said the Nashville attacker had two (plus a handgun). As my colleague Hayes Brown argued, access to guns, not ideology, is fundamentally responsible for the mass shooting crisis.

But, given the tragic reality of rampant access to guns, research shows that there is a commonality among mass shooters, who often experience trauma and deep levels of social rejection and bullying. And ironically, it is precisely this kind of rhetoric Carlson shared, which targets and vilifies entire groups of people, that will increase the likelihood of this type of violence, in lieu of a ban on assault weapons. 

Sociologist James Densley, a criminal justice professor at Metropolitan State University, and Jillian Peterson, associate professor of criminology at Hamline University, conducted a rigorous study on the profiles of every mass shooter, defined as everyone “who shot and killed four or more people in a public place, and every shooting incident at schools, workplaces and places of worship since 1999," to gain better insight into any potential commonalities. The hope was that an evidence-based approach to the psychology of mass shooters would make it easier to detect people prone to committing these acts of violence before tragedy struck. The duo’s research was funded by the Justice Department and ultimately compiled into a book, “The Violence Project: How To Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic.”

“There’s this really consistent pathway,” Peterson said of mass shooters in an interview with Melanie Warner in Politico last May. “Early childhood trauma seems to be the foundation, whether violence in the home, sexual assault, parental suicides, extreme bullying. Then you see the build toward hopelessness, despair, isolation, self-loathing, oftentimes rejection from peers.”

Crucially, this internalized pain at some point becomes externalized, Peterson explained: “What’s different from traditional suicide is that the self-hate turns against a group. They start asking themselves, ‘Whose fault is this?’ Is it a racial group or women or a religious group, or is it my classmates? The hate turns outward.”

The hateful rhetoric of those such as Carlson helps perpetuate these very social dynamics. In fact, Carlson’s rhetoric is so divisive and unhinged that it helps create the social conditions that hurt and isolate both the victimized — “working-class whites” — and the vilified — trans people. Carlson creates a direct and spurious connection between the perceived social injustices of working-class, white Americans and “the rise of transgenderism” (referred to on Fox News earlier this month as a “social contagion”). In so doing, he is terrorizing the trans community, fomenting hate and social isolation.


Into this waddles Jennifer Aniston who is lamenting that FRIENDS is rightly criticized for its lack of diversity.  Today, she's upset.  Really?  I'm not in the mood for a Karen.  I'm really not.  And I try not to use that term.  But I'm damn tired of both her and Lisa Kudrow pretending this is new criticism.  It's  not.  They were called out for this while the shows was on.  They were called out in the first seasons.  In fact, their sitcom set in NYC aired opposite another sitcom set in NYC.  Anyone remember that?  LIVING SINGLE -- with Kim Fields, Queen Latifah, Erika Alexander and Kim Cole.  So stop fronting, Jen.  No one's buying your nonsense.  The show was called out from the beginning for this.  She makes it worse by then blathering away with, "Now it's a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life. [Before] you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh -- that was hysterical.  And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were.  And now we're not allowed to do that."

Jennifer could you be more stupid?

That is not what happened.  CBS polled -- and then buried the study -- and found people laughing with ALL IN THE FAMILY weren't learning racism was bad.  They thought Archie was hilarious.  It's one of the reasons Caroll O'Connor began to hate doing the show.  Nothing was being accomplished except it was promoting racism and, to those opposed to racism, it was turning a bigot into a loveable rascal.  That's what the polling demonstrated and that's why CBS buried the study.  But periodicals reported on it.  And have continued to do so.  From 2021's CINEMA SCHOLARS article by Cassandra Feltus:

In 1974, Neil Vidmar and Milton Rokeach conducted a U.S.-Canadian-based study to examine various viewers’ perception of the sitcom. The purpose of the study stemmed from the results of a CBS opinion survey. CBS reported that most people simply enjoyed All In The Family and did not take offense to its content.

Using the selective perception hypothesis and selective exposure hypothesis, Vidmar and Rokeach discovered that viewer perception is oppositional to the dominant reading of the show, as well as different than the results of the CBS survey. 

The selective perception hypothesis suggests that a person’s values and attitudes will affect their perception and interpretation of content. If a person already subscribes to a racist ideology, they are more likely to enjoy the show for reasons in line with their values.
These high prejudiced viewers would relate to Archie Bunker and view him in a positive light. They would see Archie as the voice of reason, while any liberal-minded characters were the ones causing conflict. 

A person who believes in equal rights and has a more progressive worldview would likely enjoy the show for its intended purpose as a satire on bigotry. Low prejudiced viewers would see Archie as a loud, domineering racist. In contrast, they would admire Mike for his tolerance of Archie’s bigotry and for always standing up for his liberal beliefs.

The selective exposure hypothesis suggests that people tend to expose themselves to content that aligns with their already established attitudes and beliefs. High prejudiced people are more likely to watch All In The Family because they identify with the main character and his worldview.

The study found that the show appealed more to high prejudiced viewers, who agreed with Archie Bunker’s view on race, than lower prejudiced viewers, who found his opinions to be insensitive and offensive. 

The overall result of the study proved that Lear’s dominant reading of All In The Family was not what most of the audience perceived. It was found that most viewers enjoy watching the show because they think Archie speaks the truth about American society. With this data, the study concluded that the program is more likely reinforcing prejudice and racism, rather than combating it.


Do you get it? Because every thing you said, every word, is wrong.  How does it feel to be so monumentally stupid?


 Aniston’s assertion that jokes about bigots educate people and reveal the absurdity of bigotry is also worth noting. Research has indicated that satirizing bigotry rarely changes people’s attitudes, and authors Malcolm Gladwell and Jonathan Coe have argued that laughing at satirical portrayals of political problems like bigotry can actually diffuse the discomfort with them that could lead to actual political action.

Aniston’s comments suggest an anxiety on her part about what can and cannot be said in a comedic context that echoes Chappelle and Gervais’s rage against “cancel culture.” But that anxiety neglects the way comedy functions, and in particular what the undercurrents of homophobia and outright transphobia on Friends implied about queer and trans people. The show’s jokes about Chandler, Ross, and Joey’s casual discomfort with queerness, their frequent panic at being considered gay, may have—as Aniston implied—been intended to reveal how ridiculous homophobia is.

But those jokes also normalized that discomfort, portraying it as harmlessly laughable rather than toxic. The show did little to dismantle the notion that queerness is shameful, instead making its 90s audience comfortable with laughing it off rather than interrogating why grown men would be so fearful of being considered gay.

Friends’ treatment of Chandler’s transgender parent was even worse, consistently portraying her as an oddity, a freak, someone whose experience of herself and the world could never be understood by “normal” cisgender people.


Oh, Jen, go back to pretending that you have a career with bad Adam Sandler films.  Or maybe just go back to pretending that you're desperately seeking a man to fall in love with.  But please, go away from this topic, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.  


A lot of people are attacking drag queens.  Their attacks don't reflect the mood of the country.  David Hudson (QUEERTY) notes:

 [A] new poll reveals most people in the US oppose legislative restrictions on drag shows.

The NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll surveyed people across the political spectrum. It found the biggest issues people are worried about are the economy, “preserving democracy”, immigration, crime and the climate.

On the topic of introducing drag bans, as recently done in Tennessee, 58% opposed such moves. This rose to 73% of Democrats and fell to 37% of Republicans. 57% of those who stated they were Independent opposed such drag restrictions. Overall, just 39% said they supported restrictions on drag performances.

 
The following sites updated:







History before our eyes

Last week, the White House issued the following:

 

A Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility

 

     Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the joy, strength, and absolute courage of some of the bravest people I know — people who have too often had to put their jobs, relationships, and lives on the line just to be their true selves.  Today, we show millions of transgender and nonbinary Americans that we see them, they belong, and they should be treated with dignity and respect.  Their courage has given countless others strength, but no one should have to be brave just to be themselves.  Every American deserves that freedom.

     Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul — proudly serving in the military, curing deadly diseases, holding elected office, running thriving businesses, fighting for justice, raising families, and much more.  As kids, they deserve what every child deserves:  the chance to learn in safe and supportive schools, to develop meaningful friendships, and to live openly and honestly.  As adults, they deserve the same rights enjoyed by every American, including equal access to health care, housing, and jobs and the chance to age with grace as senior citizens.  But today, too many transgender Americans are still denied those rights and freedoms.  A wave of discriminatory State laws is targeting transgender youth, terrifying families and hurting kids who are not hurting anyone.  An epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, in particular women and girls of color, has taken lives far too soon.  Last year’s Club Q shooting in Colorado was another painful example of this kind of violence — a stain on the conscience of our Nation.

     My Administration has fought to end these injustices from day one, working to ensure that transgender people and the entire LGBTQI+ community can live openly and safely.  On my first day as President, I issued an Executive Order directing the Federal Government to root out discrimination against LGBTQI+ people and their families.  We have appointed a record number of openly LGBTQI+ leaders, and I was proud to rescind the ban on openly transgender people serving in the military.  We are also working to make public spaces and travel more accessible, including with more inclusive gender markers on United States passports.  We are improving access to public services and entitlements like Social Security.  We are cracking down on discrimination in housing and education.  And last December, I signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, ensuring that every American can marry the person they love and have that marriage accepted, period.

     Meanwhile, we are also working to ease the tremendous strain that discrimination, bullying, and harassment can put on transgender children — more than half of whom seriously considered suicide in the last year.  The Department of Education is, for example, helping ensure that transgender students have equal opportunities to learn and thrive at school, and the Department of Justice is pushing back against extreme laws that seek to ban evidence-based gender-affirming health care.

     There is much more to do.  I continue to call on the Congress to finally pass the Equality Act and extend long-overdue civil rights protections to all LGBTQI+ Americans to ensure they can live with safety and dignity.  Together, we also have to keep challenging the hundreds of hateful State laws that have been introduced across the country, making sure every child knows that they are made in the image of God, that they are loved, and that we are standing up for them.

     America is founded on the idea that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives.  We have never fully lived up to that, but we have never walked away from it either.  Today, as we celebrate transgender people, we also celebrate every American’s fundamental right to be themselves, bringing us closer to realizing America’s full promise.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2023, as Transgender Day of Visibility.  I call upon all Americans to join us in lifting up the lives and voices of transgender people throughout our Nation and to work toward eliminating violence and discrimination against all transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

                                JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.




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