Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Truest statement of the week

The bitter experience of the Obama administration, brought to power on a wave of popular hatred for Bush and revulsion over his wars and attacks on working class living standards, has further convinced tens of millions of people that neither their needs and concerns, nor their votes, have any impact on the policies pursued by the government. The candidate of “hope” and “change,” mistakenly believed to be an agent of progressive change because of his ethnicity, continued and deepened the policies of war and corporate plunder of his predecessor.

-- Barry Grey, "Is The US Election Rigged?" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

On Saturday, WikiLeaks published the transcripts of three lavishly paid speeches given by Clinton at gatherings held by Goldman Sachs, dating from June 4, October 24 and October 29, 2013. All three feature a mix of groveling before the financial malefactors who hired her to speak and gloating over her own wealth.
In one of her secret Wall Street speeches, Clinton frankly admitted that she has a “public position” and a “private position.” The private position is expressed in “backroom discussions,” while the “public position” consists of the lies she tells to the rest of the population.

-- Tom Carter, "In secret Goldman Sachs speeches, Clinton explains why the rich should rule" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Very early for us!!!!

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?


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

Editorial: Over and over

In Iraq today, attempts to liberate Mosul.


This is 3rd time in 13 years US & allies trying to "liberate" Mosul 2003: from Saddam 2004: from Sunni insurgents 2016: from ISIS

We often ask when the never-ending Iraq War ends.

Here's another question, when does the 'liberation' of Mosul ever cease?

James Cogan (WSWS) observes, "What has begun in Mosul is a war crime of even greater dimensions. The US-directed Iraqi government assaults on the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi left them in ruins by the time they were recaptured from ISIS. Mosul, a far larger city, whose history goes back over 3,500 years to the Assyrian Empire, now faces the same fate. The United Nations and aid agencies are continuing to make alarmed warnings about the plight of civilians trapped in the city and for greater action to prepare for the predicted exodus of hundreds of thousands of starving and sick people."

But let's all say 'liberation' and clap our hands three times and maybe it will turn out differently?

Even though we all know the AA saying: Nothing changes . . . if nothing changes.

Media: It was a dark, rainy night . . .

Horror stories can stigmatize the other.  They can also offer redemption, rebirth.


We were reminded of the latter watching FOX's new Friday drama THE EXORCIST starring Geena Davis.  Like Bette Davis much earlier, Geena's found a form and format that's freed her up.

Gone is the constrictive performance -- and all the false notes that came with it -- of COMMANDER IN CHIEF and she's offering a performance as rich as she provided, for example, in LONG KISS GOODNIGHT.

Here, she's playing the mother of a child who's been possessed by the devil.

Fighting the devil are two Catholic priests: Father Tomas (Aflonso Herrera) and Father Marcus (Ben Daniels).  Daniels is giving a first rate performance.  Herrera?

He's a break out star in a season that doesn't appear to be offering many joys (even QUANTICO's become routine and paint by number).

Already a star in Mexico (TV and recording star), Herrera's one of the rare things worth singing about on US TV this fall. Sexy, charismatic, one wonders why FOX didn't ditch the boy playing Riggs on their LETHAL WEAPON reboot and cast Herrera instead?

As wonderful as Herrera is, you can't talk about this series without hailing Alex Disenhof for the cinematography -- this is not run of the mill TV -- or without praising the look -- the color palette -- of the show.  Along with netting Emmy acting nominations for Davis, Herrera and Daniels, this show should clean up on the technical side as well.

In fact, this is the sort of show that were it on HBO, it would be taking up all the oxygen in the room.  Because it's on FOX, people appear to be taking a wait-and-see attitude.

Before Geena Davis got the chance to explore and shine in a horror role, fellow Academy Award winner Jessica Lange had already knocked the country out with her roles on AMERICAN HORROR STORY.

And we bring that up for two reasons.

The first is, some reviewers have dismissed the show saying that, after the first movie, there's no story so the producers will have to stretch the film -- starring Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn -- out for several seasons.

Geena Davis is not playing Ellen's role.

The story is similar but it's not the same -- different names, different locals, different marital situations, different . . .

Equally true, nothing has to be 'stretched out' because, like FX's AMERICAN HORROR STORY, this  is an anthology.  If Davis' storyline is up in one season, it can return next season with a different set of characters.

The other reason we bring it up is the nature of horror queens.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's careers weren't doing well when they decided to star together in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?  The film turned out to be a huge hit and Bette Davis' performance was honored with an Academy Award nomination.

The film remains popular as well as its two stars and talk of what happened on the set also has kept the film alive -- so much so that FX will be offering FEUD with Jessica Lange playing Joan Crawford and Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon playing Bette Davis.

The film was so popular it spawned a genre -- one most stars did not survive.

For example, Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland made LADY IN A CAGE and so hated it she had to be persuaded repeatedly to make HUSH . . . HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE with Bette Davis after Joan Crawford dropped out of the film.  (Note: Jessica Lange has won two Academy Awards, as did Bette Davis, as has Olivia de Havilland.  Joan Crawford won an Academy Award as well.)  Tallulah Bankhead also took a spin in what was dubbed TRASH YOURSELF CINEMA.  (Myrna Loy openly wondered about her peers who were making these films and whether it was worth it to do so just so you could say you were still "starring" in films?).   Tallulah's was the ridiculous DIE! DIE! MY DARLING which many modern audiences have unknowingly come across and found it to be a hilarious comedy only to later discover that it was never intended to be comedic.

Debbie Reynolds and two-time Academy Award winner Shelley Winters teamed up for WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?  while Bette Davis and Joan Crawford made many more in this mold throughout the sixties (and early seventies).

Crawford would finish out her feature film career with TROG which is considered one of the worst films of all time (and a movie so bad many people love it).

Trog's the phase another scream queen has now entered: Yes, we're referring to the ultimate drama queen Paul Krugman.

The media has not played fair during this election cycle and frightmare Paul has been among the worst.

His cry that reporters should take sides and bury Donald Trump should be enough to end his career as a columnist for THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Should be.

But his fellow pscyho-biddy Gail Collins wrote how many 2011 and 2012 columns referencing Mitt Romney's dog?

The reality isn't just that she should be fired as well but that they all should be.

The only exception is Maureen Dowd.

Why keep Dowd?

Not because she's won the Pulitzer (though she has) but because she's a wild card.

You don't know what she's going to write.  She's not doctrinaire.

Paul Krugman, Gail Collins, Thomas Friedman, et al have written the same column over and over.

They are read only by the people who already agree with their opinions.

They have nothing new to offer.

They've also, reality, aged out.


She's 70-years-old.

The anti-woman and racist Gail is 70.

When she was editor of the opinion pages, Maureen Dowd was on vacation and in a widely since circulated e-mail, Gail attacked a reader who complained that the only female columnist was on vacation and Gail was filling Maureen's spot with guest columns by men.

Gail, in the e-mail, explained that she didn't judge writing based on gender and there was no reason that Maureen's absence meant another woman had to be brought in.

No reason?



Other outlooks?

Gail's infamous e-mail created such a backlash that the following year when Maureen took a vacation, Barbara Ehrenreich would be invited to guest.

(Those of us who circulated that e-mail say, "You're welcome.")

That's the anti-woman Gail.

The racist and anti-woman aspect?

Coretta Scott King died when Gail was over the opinion pages.

She wrote a lengthy piece on her friend who died at the same time.  She just didn't write about Coretta.

Nor did she offer the open space to anyone who did.

It got so embarrassing for the columnists that finally, well over a week after the fact, Bob Herbert stuck a paragraph into one of his columns -- that was the only place the opinion pages noted the passing of Coretta Scott King.

Contrast that with what they did for Jackie O when she died.

The hacks offering opinions on the pages of today's NYT need to be let go.

You know what Krugman's going to say before you read the column.

He's predictable and, yes, boring.

Yes, boring, even in all his high drama, the queen is boring.

He deserves his own special Razzie.

Grasp that he is supposed to be about thought -- that's what opinions are.

And yet he insisted that the press take down Donald Trump because he didn't trust the thinking or the opinion of voters.

That's a drama queen that needs to see a permanent fade out real damn quick.

Paul is Joan Crawford in TROG.

Unlike Paul Krugman, Crawford had other moments, finer moments in her career.

And, yes, that includes some of her horror films -- WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? and BESERK! to offer only two examples.

Jessica Lange first got a toe into the genre with HUSH and went on to excel with her many portrayals on AMERICAN HORROR STORY.  Janet Leigh, a big film star in her day, is chiefly remembered now for her role in PSYCHO, her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis became a star in the genre and parlayed that into roles in other types of films (and now rejoins the genre with FOX's comedy-horror series SCREAM QUEENS).

There's a lot to praise in the genre.

It can illuminate, like in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, at the end, when Bette Davis learns some truth and says to the dying Joan Crawford, "You mean all this time we could have been friends?"

It can also  inflame.

Think of any film where the villagers are chasing down some monster or 'monster' with torches.

Think of that moment and grasp that Paul Krugman and others have become that mob with torches and invite others to join them.

No, thanks, Paul, we'll stick with rebirth and redemption.

War reporting (Reality Division)

James Cogan offers it at WSWS.

The indifference toward the lives and well-being of the city’s population is revealed in the leaflets that were dropped, in the tens of thousands, over the city on Saturday night. According to a Reuters report, one leaflet advised: “Keep calm and tell your children that it [the bombardment] is only a game or thunder before the rain… Women should not scream or shout, to preserve the children’s spirit.” Another ominously warned: “If you see an army unit, stay at least 25 metres away and avoid any sudden movements.”

The Trump Allegations

Donald Trump has been accused this month of harassment by several women.

We have waited for the corporate media to explore the charges -- instead of merely repeating them.

They have failed.

We are offering our take on some of the charges below.

We are not attempting to attack women who step forward.

Nor are we claiming that we have provided the final word.

We are offering our take based on what is in the public record.

More details may emerge and our initial opinions expressed below would change.

If you disagree, great.  Make that case.

E-mail us and we'll print your reaction next edition -- thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com and common_ills@yahoo.com (the latter has several people reading it so you'd probably be better sending there).

Jessica Leeds.

States she was moved from coach to first class on a flight (1979 or 1980) and seated next to Donald Trump who, after the in flight meal, lifted up an arm rest separating their seats and began to grope her.

This INFOWARS article by Kit Daniels contains something we won't comment on (a relative of Ms. Leeds is not Jessica Leeds, she's responsible for her behavior not that of everyone in her family).  However, the article by Daniels calls into question details of Leeds account -- most importantly, whether or not the arm rests could even be lifted.

Daniel Harper (NEW YORK POST) reports Anthony Gilberthorpe (a British citizen whom THE POST was directed to by Donald Trump's campaign) states that he was present and no touching occurred by Trump.  He states that Leeds was flirting with Trump, made that clear to Gilberthorpe when Trump left to go to the restroom and that the story she recounts is untrue.

Leeds states she said nothing to anyone on the aircraft or with the airline because these things happened in the 70s and 80s.

She also states she never discussed it until this year with anyone -- the alleged incident.

Personal story, a friend of Ava and C.I.'s at one of the networks -- not a close friend -- is a bit of a drama queen and is forever whining about how, years and years ago, Trump put the friend's father out of business (it was actually Trump's brother, but facts don't appear to matter).

They have heard that story over and over.

Non stop.

Anytime Trump is in the news, the story is repeated:  when Trump started hosting the reality show, when Ivana was in the news, blah, blah, blah.

Trump is forever in the news -- long before the decision to run for president.

It's hard for us to believe a claim that someone forever in the news -- therefore a topic of casual conversations repeatedly -- gropes you on a plane and for over thirty years you never say a word to anyone.

Her story is problematic.  It doesn't mean that she's not telling the truth.

It does mean that based on what is currently known we can't say that anything happened.

And if this happened to Leeds all the time in the 70s and 80s,  we would think she would have other tales to share.

We further question her comment of her allegations: "His behavior is deep seated in his character."

If the incident took place, even if it did, how would she know about his character?  She says this happened to her repeatedly "She did not complain to the airline staff at the time, Ms. Leeds said, because such unwanted advances from men occurred throughout her time in business in the 18792 and early 1980s."

Does she also know the character of all the others?

Let's move over to Natasha Stoynoff.

We don't believe her at all.  That's because of the image she earned long before she made her accusation this week that she was once kissed by Trump who allegedly stuck his tongue down her throat when they were alone in a room after he pushed her against a wall.

Her story includes a later event where she's approached by Melania Trump which Melania says never happened and is suing PEOPLE magazine for publishing.

Natasha Stoynoff might be telling the truth.

But her image -- well earned long ago -- is such that  we would never believe a word she said.

(Her image is based on her struggles with the truth.  We are not referring to any of her dating or romantic episodes.  We are just making this call based on her repeated struggles with the truth in her professional life.)

Rachel Crooks states that in 2005, while she was working for a company that did business with Donald Trump, he unnerved her by kissing her on each cheek and then on her lips.

She then avoided him.

No where does she say she told him not to kiss her.

If, in 2005, she was uncomfortable with any man she interacted with in business, she should have gone to her human resources department.

Her failure to do so doesn't mean she's not telling the truth.

Her failure to do so does mean that everyone covering this should be using it as a teachable moment so that any woman -- or man -- who is uncomfortable with what they perceive to be advances or harassment has the right to report them.

Is Rachel Crooks telling the truth?

Donald Trump says no.

We're offering our opinions here.

We say yes.

Did he mean the kissing to make her uncomfortable?

Possibly not.

But she says it did and we believe her.

Temple Taggart McDowell says that when she was Miss Utah in 1997, Trump kissed and embraced her and that she was made uncomfortable.  She notes that she's come forward because now, as a mother, she wants to make clear that everyone that you have a right to tell someone no.

Good for Temple Taggart McDowell (that's not sarcasm).  She's attempting to use her time in the spotlight to educate the public.

We believe her.

Ava and C.I. have seen Donald kiss women before.

C.I.: Donald, my opinion, thinks he's Warren Beatty at his prime and catnip for women.

Ava: He also thinks he's giving them a story (and he is).  He also seems to think it is continental. It's not.

C.I.: But another reason I believe Rachel's story is that's how I've seen Donald Trump kiss numerous women. And to be clear, this is not done in private.  I've never been in private with Donald nor would I be (not because I fear an advance but because I don't like him -- and, to be clear, he doesn't like me, our dislike is mutual).  My point here is that these kisses -- however they are interpreted by those being kissed -- are meant to be friendly on his part. That doesn't make them that.  Nor does his intent have any bearing on how they are received.

Ava: A friend who's a singer complained five minutes after we'd walked off from Trump and I said, "Then why did you kiss his ass?  Why didn't you tell not to do that?"  She wasn't in any danger. And if she, a name, would stand up to him and tell him she doesn't want to be kissed, maybe young women like Rachel wouldn't experience what they do.

We think Rachel is telling the truth.

But guess what?

She might not be.

We don't believe Natasha Stoynoff but she might be telling the truth 100%.

We can be wrong.

Anyone can be on this topic.

There hasn't been attempts by the press to vet the charges.

This was our attempt to tackle a topic that is serious and that the press should be tackling -- evaluating the claims -- but they are not tackling it.

If you had a different take than ours, please e-mail and we'll gladly share it here next time -- seriously e-mail common_ills@yahoo.com -- it'll be seen more quickly there.

We don't intend to edit other than for swear words so feel free to express your opinion whether you agree with us or not.

And, repeating, every one of the women above may have told the truth, all of them may have lied, it could be a mixture.  We do not know anything about what happened.  We are using the public record to determine in the few weeks before the election what makes sense to us.  These are serious charges and we would encourage everyone to form their own opinions.

Young voters

In 2008, the press loved young voters.

They ran with them.

They agreed with them.

Some might even say they catered to them.

That was then.

This is now.

In 2008, they were encouraged to be idealistic.

They were held up as a model with their idealism.

Today, they're trashed for idealism.

The difference?

In 2008, they were supporting the press' poster child Barack Obama.

This go round?

They refuse to support the press poster child that is Hillary Clinton.

They're being trashed for considering voting for Jill Stein (Green Party) or other candidates whose initials are not HDRC.


Again, eight years ago, idealism was a good thing.

This year, the press says not.

Here's some reality.

Why would you expect young voters to vote for a sell out?

Why would you want them to start their voting career like that?

Most of you whores -- like Paul Krugman -- took years to become so corrupt and heartless.

Why would you wish it on the young people of today?

It's amazing what we applaud one election cycle only to slam the next.

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