Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Truest statement of the week

True to her political roots, Clinton’s book is essentially a right-wing tirade. Her narrative expresses the worldview of a highly privileged social layer of which she is a member. To America’s financial oligarchy, all social opposition is the result of a conspiracy stirred up by outside agitators, to be crushed by censorship and other police methods.

-- Andre Damon, "Hillary Clinton’s What Happened: A conspiracy theory of the 2016 election" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

A relevant critique of the relationship between the American presidency, white supremacy, antiradicalism, and capitalist exploitation is possible. During the height of McCarranism and McCarthyism, Claudia Jones contended that Harry Truman and his anticommunist regime found her threatening because she was a “Negro woman” that “dared to challenge the civil rights lip-service cry of his reactionary administration which [was] yet to lift a finger to prosecute the lynchers, the Ku Klux Klan, or the anti-Semites.” She also argued that Cold War immigration laws, which restricted immigration from all Caribbean islands to a mere 100 persons per year, were not only racist, but were also antiradical, insofar as they aimed to drive out “progressive ideas.” Moreover, she linked U.S. governmentality to that of Hitler’s Germany, because both repressed labor, trampled upon democratic rights, murdered and jailed communists and other radicals, promoted war and militarization, and of course, oppressed Black and other racialized folk. For Jones , white supremacy was not a matter of attitude or morals, but rather of property rights, access to resources, and the hierarchical organization of American society. In fact, she rejected the idea that racism and discrimination were acts of individual choice, and stressed that they were forms of structural domination that needed to be eradicated if liberation for all people was to be achieved.
While virtually all of Jones’ critiques of the Truman administration are applicable to the current presidency—take for example the immigration ban, the suspension of DACA, threats to invade Venezuela and North Korea, the pardoning of Joe Arpaio, and the failure to condemn white terrorism in Charlottesville—Coates zeros in on what he perceives to be the moralistic failures of voters whose actions represented a commitment to white fantasy. This is not withstanding the social and political economic exigencies that have given rise to right populism not only in the United States, but also in parts of Latin America and Europe.

-- Charisse Burden-Stelly, "Why Claudia Jones Will Always Be More Relevant than Ta-Nehisi Coates" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Wednesday.

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,
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?

Andre Damon gets a truest.
As does Charisse Burden-Stelly.
Ben Rhodes, even by his own 'standards', is flat out wrong as usual.
Ava and C.I. explore the new season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY and see a message and meaning others appear to be missing.
We offer our choice of the 50 best.  See if one of your favorites made the list.
The first time Ty saw this commercial, he called me on the phone telling me to turn the TV on and go to whatever channel.  By the time I (Jim) got there, the commercial was over.  :(  He went ahead and wrote this brief piece and, good news, he includes the commercial in question.

Ty and other African-American and Black contributors (Betty prefers Black) worked on this piece.
We all worked on selecting the 50 best children's programs.
An Iraq piece.
What we listened to.
Repost from Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKER.
Press release.
Press release.

We posted on Wednesday.


Ava and C.I. (and Jess) went to the Emmy Sunday.  Ava and C.I. had written their piece.  But Stan was sick and so was Rebecca.  And we were lazy.  Next thing we knew it was Tuesday morning and Ava was on the phone to me, "You know that we [Ava and C.I.] will have to rewrite our piece if you don't get the new edition done and posted before tonight."  Because another episode of AMERICAN HORROR STORY would air Tuesday night.

We didn't make it, so Ava and C.I. had to redo their piece.


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

Editorial: Uh, Rhodes, US military credited Trump not Obama

Bitch Boi Ben Rhodes had his brother to help cover for him in the last eight years.

Now the little bitch just has his Twitter.

This is just factually wrong. ISIS had lost the vast majority of its territory in Iraq and the Mosul operation began under Obama.

From his Twitter feed, he lies.

We think the Iraq War should have ended.  We see nothing for Barack Obama or Donald Trump to take pride in.

That said, Ben Rhodes pissed off US generals.  He acted as if he were president.  Barack abdicated his own role as commander-in-chief and allowed Ben Rhodes to order the military around.

So if we're talking about progress -- as defined by Bitch Benny and Donald -- Trump is correct.

Do you know who that is?

Bitch Benny Rhodes does.

It's Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend.

He doesn't miss Bitch Benny.

And he gave credit to Donald.

This is from his August press briefing:

MAJ. RANKINE-GALLOWAY:  Tony Capaccio with Bloomberg.

Q:  Hi, sir.

We have heard in Washington that the White House has decentralized decision-making -- tactical decision-making down to your level and below, more than the Obama administration had.  Brett McGurk has laid this out a few times in Washington.

Can you give a couple of practical examples of how this decentralization has helped in your campaign to so-call annihilate ISIS?  And then I have a follow-up on a different subject.

GEN. TOWNSEND:  Okay.  I will say that the current administration has pushed decision-making down into the military chain of command.  And I don't know of a commander in our armed forces that doesn't appreciate that.  I'll -- I'll prefer not to go into specific examples.

I will say that probably a key result of that is that we don't get second-guessed a lot.  Our judgment here on the battlefield in the forward areas is trusted.  And we don't get 20 questions with every action that happens on the battlefield and every action that we take.

And again, I think every commander that I know of appreciates being given the authority and responsibility, and then the trust and backing to implement that.  So, that's what I'll say.

You had a follow-up question?

[. . .]

MAJ. RANKINE-GALLOWAY:  Next, to Jennifer Griffin from Fox News.

Q:  Hi, General Townsend.

Your time in Iraq has overlapped two administrations in the fight against ISIS.  Can you tell us what the biggest difference in the last six months, in terms of being a commanding general and the way the ISIS fight was pursued -- how different it is from the prior administration?  What is the biggest difference for you as a commander?

GEN. TOWNSEND:  Well, I think that some of the differences -- look, both administrations, as would any U.S. administration -- both administrations were, I think, all-in on defeating ISIS in this region.  That's why this CJTF was stood up three years ago.

So I think that is common to both, and -- and macro, I think, the approach has been very similar.  There are some specific instances which I kind of talked about with an earlier -- an answer to an earlier question, that I think the current administration has empowered the chain of command to make more decisions on their own, and has then given top cover to the chain of command, I think, for the decisions that are being made.  And I think that's important.

And that has -- just that alone has effects that reverberate throughout a military organization when they feel like they've been given the -- the authority and the trust to act and act aggressively.  Then commanders now don't -- aren't constantly calling back to higher headquarters asking for permission, but they're free to act.  And I think that's probably very empowering for any commander in our armed forces.

The military is quite clear on the difference before and after Barack.

Ben Rhodes 'forgets' that reality.

Again, we're not applauding the destruction of Iraq.

But we are saying Benny Bitch needs to stop lying.

TV: What we have to lose

AMERICAN HORROR STORY is an FX staple.  Season seven kicked off earlier this month but did so with lower ratings and more negative criticism than ever before.

a new illst

CULT is the name of season seven.

GROUP THINK or even FEAR might make for better titles.

It's true that this season is lacking in some details -- there's no attractive guy like DylanMcDermott wandering around onscreen naked.  Add in Cheyenne Jackson's strange haircut for this season and that any season without Jessica Lange will always feel like a let down.  (Emmy winner Lange left the series after the end of season four.)

That said, season seven is a strong one and potentially the strongest of the series.

It's not using any supernatural threat, nor does it need one.

Sarah Paulson is the lead character Ally and she's run with everything the scripts have provided.  She should be up for an Emmy this time next year -- a well deserved nomination.  The rest of the cast is doing a strong job as well -- especially Billy Eichner, Billie Lourd and Cheyenne Jackson.

The characters, each and every one, are the threat.

More to the point, their fears are the threat.

Ally, for example, shoots Pedro (Jorge-Luis Pallo) dead.

She knows Pedro.  He works at the restaurant she and her wife Ivy (Alison Pill) own and operate.

He's driven by fear -- as evidenced by his responding to rude remarks in the kitchen by grabbing a butcher knife and holding it as a weapon.

But no one's more driven by fear than Ally.

Like some Americans, she's gripped by the 2016 election.

It's all so very personal to her.

As though no American president ever alarmed anyone before?

As though the United States (and other countries) haven't had leaders that reflected something other than the high road.

It's an election.

It's one person.

Get over it.

Instead, Ally wallows in it.

She takes normal fears and turns them into paralyzing moments.

She needs it, she lives off of it.

So when the lights go out and her neighbor tells her it's all over, that rioting is going to take place, that it may be ISIS, she grabs her son and plans to run outside in it (no, that doesn't make sense, but fear rarely does) and, seeing someone outside, she shoots.

She shoots to kill in fact.

She doesn't shoot the male in the leg so she and her son can get away, she shoots him dead.

He turns out to be Pedro.  Ivy sent him from the restaurant to check on Ally, give her a phone charger and other items.

And he's dead.

All he was doing was walking up to the porch to knock on the door.

And he's dead.

Because of fear.

And her neighbors across the street insist it's because she's a racist.  They throw Taco Bell coupons at her.  They tell her that she's not a "progressive."

She's referred to as the "lesbian George Zimmerman" on the news.

It's one piece of hate piled on another as the fear increases and increases.

Early in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, there's a run on the bank when people panic and fear rules.

What's worse is when we're all ruled by fear and that appears to be the story of season seven.

Some, out of fear, will form allegiances they shouldn't.

Ally was right to be repulsed by Kai (Evan Peters) initially.  But now that everyone has turned on her, she appears to be wavering.

Fear can make you do awful things.

Fear is not the emotion to operate from.

Fear was the manipulation used after 9/11, fear is what allowed the Iraq War to start.

FDR, a great person we can still learn so much from, once argued, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

But the last months -- for far too many -- have been about little more than fear with some sour grapes squeezed in.

Hillary Clinton is not president.

She can go on NPR and claim to Terry Gross that she might challenge the results if she wants.

She just like an idiot and a sore loser because she can't challenge it.

The electoral college voted.  The time to challenge would have been before that.  She has no legal standing to challenge anything now.

Grasp that.

The electoral college was not infected by 'Russian influence.'

We don't believe the general electorate was either but we'll set that aside for a moment.

The electors gathered and they voted in Donald Trump.

There is nothing in the court of law or the Constitution that allows a US presidential election to be overturned.


Impeachment delivers Mike Pence (the Vice President) to the presidency.  It doesn't deliver Hillary Clinton to the White House.

Impeach Pence too?

The line of succession would then mean Speaker of the House Paul Ryan becomes President.  After him?  Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch.  Then? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  Then?  Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnchin.   Now you can keep going down the list as long as you want -- you can even pull in the doomsday scenario of DESIGNATED SURVIVOR -- but grasp that on no list will you find Hillary Clinton's name.

Her day is over.

Fantasies are for children.  When it comes to adults, fantasies belong in the bedroom.

Delusions and fear do not oust Donald Trump nor do they make him a one term president.

Delusions and fear lead to violence and panic and everything but change and progress.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY season seven is showing exactly what happens when we operate from fear.  In doing so, it's offering one of their strongest storylines yet.

50 Best Alt-Rock albums of the 90s

Having left off a playlist an edition back, we heard from you about it.

So this issue, we offer up the 50 best alternative-rock albums of the 90s.

We debated, we discussed.  We argued, we screamed.  We howled, we raged.

And this is the fifty we came up with and the ranking we finally agreed to.

1) Nirvana's IN UTERO

2) Tori Amos' UNDER THE PINK

3) Nirvana's NEVERMIND


5) Soundgarden's SUPERUNKNOWN

6) Smashing Pumpkins' SIAMESE DREAM


8) The Afghan Whigs' GENTLEMEN

9) PJ Harvey Trio's DRY

10) Alice in Chain's DIRT


Slanted and Enchanted album cover.jpg


14) The Rollins Band's WEIGHT

15) Garbage's GARBAGE

16) Screaming Tree's DUST

17) Tori Amos' BOYS FOR PELE

18) Skin Yard's 1000 SMILING KNUCKLES

19) Beck's MELLOW GOLD

L7 bricks are heavy.jpg

21) Alice in Chains' ALICE IN CHAINS

22) Temple of the Dog's TEMPLE OF THE DOG


24) Babes in Toyland's FONTANELLE

25) Catherine Wheel's FERMENT

26) Green Day's DOOKIE
Green Day - Dookie cover.jpg

27) My Bloody Valentine's LOVELESS


29) Lucious Jackson's NATURAL INGREDIENTS

30) The Manic Street Preachers' GENERATION TERRORISTS
Generation Terrorists.jpg

31) PJ Harvey Trio's RID OF ME
Rid of Me.jpg

32) Babes in Toyland's FONTANELLE

33) Stone Temple Pilot's CORE


35) Mother Love Bone's APPLE

36) Temple of the Dog's TEMPLE OF THE DOG

37) Cypress Hill's BLACK SUNDAY

38) Soundgarden's BADMOTORFINGER


40) Bikini Kill's PUSSY WHIPPED

41) SINGLES soundtrack

42) Stone Temple Pilot's PURPLE

43) The Breeders' LAST SPLASH

44) Melvins' STONER WITCH

45) Tad's INHALER

46) Screaming Tree's UNCLE ANESTHESIA

47) Nirvana's BLEACH

48) Alice in Chain's FACELIFT


50) 7 Year Bitch's VIVA ZAPATA!


Ty's Corner


Far be it from me to ever object to male-male spankings on TV . . .

But does no one else find that commercial . . . interesting?

Not even at the end where, after swatting the young man's butt repeatedly, Colonel Sanders declares, "It's finger licking good"?

Just asking.

Donald Glover's ego crowds out everyone (Ty, Betty, Ann, Cedric, Isaiah and Marcia)

Donald Glover made a name for himself on the sitcom COMMUNITY.  At Sunday's Emmy broadcast, he won for best actor and best director for his work on ATLANTA.

We are happy for him.

We don't think it changes the world, but we are happy he got recognized.

We're less happy with what he shared in an acceptance speech, that he wanted to thank President Donald Trump "for making Black people number one on the most oppressed list."

As African-Americans, we're bothered by a number of things.

First off, the applause from a mixed race crowd to the notion that Black people are "the most oppressed."

How is that something to applaud?

More to the point, the Black Lives Matter movement came up when Barack Obama was president.  High profile killings of African-Americans and police walking repeatedly.

Maybe Donald owes Barack a thank you?

And even more to the point, how self-obsessed is Donald Glover?

If you ask us, the most oppressed under a Trump administration would either be immigrants or the transgender community.

It takes a lot of gall to make the claim Donald Glover did.

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