Monday, February 08, 2016

Truest statement of the week

The Obama Administration will hold the dubious distinction as the most hostile presidency towards whistleblowers in the history of the US. The administration’s unprecedented enmity towards individuals, such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, who were courageous enough to expose US war crimes, fraud and corruption was met with aggressive retaliation, imprisonment, exile and ham-fisted punishment.

-- Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, "Clinton, Petraeus, Snowden and Manning: The Tail of the Two Americas" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

The Hillary Clinton email issue is developing into a real whodunit, complete with Clintonesque legal semantics. “I never sent or received any material marked classified,” she said with respect to the discovery of classified information on her private, unclassified email server. That surface denial nearly rivals Bill Clinton’s classic: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” But this is no laughing matter. . . 

-- Colbert I. King, "Clinton email scandal: Why it might be time for Democrats to draft Joe Biden" (WASHINGTON POST).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.

First, we 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?

Dr. Coleman-Adebayo gets a truest.
As does Colbert King.

Hillary's Iraq War vote is no small thing.  There should be consequences.

Ava and C.I. take on a number of issues -- including Gloria Steinem's tired 'leadership' -- in this report that covers Sarah Michelle Geller, Carly Simon, Tina Turner and a host of others.
Janet's landmark album gets noted by some -- though not all.
A genre went missing.  Ticket buyers noticed.  Did anyone else.
A parody piece of Hillary trying to be 'hip' and 'edgy.'
Cynthia McKinney Tweets some truth.

Gloria Steinem wins Dunce of the Week.
What we listened to while writing.
Look at who's supporting Bernie.
Repost from IAVA.
Repost from the UK SOCIALIST WORKER.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: It should be a big deal

Cranky Clinton is still surprised that her 2002 vote to authorize a war on Iraq is an issue.

Jamie Novogrod (MSNBC) reports:

Appearing Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dealt gingerly with her Iraq War vote as she responded to a question about whether the American invasion thirteen years ago set the stage for the rise of ISIS.
“Well, I think that’s a hard conclusion to draw, because remember we had al Qaeda before we had ISIS,” Clinton said. Clinton added that al Qaeda had, by the start of the Iraq War in 2003, already launched 9/11 and before that had attacked U.S. embassies in Africa.
Pressed on whether the violence that followed the American removal of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein could be tied to the conditions that gave rise to ISIS, Clinton held firm.
“I think that’s a lot of jumps in logic that to me doesn’t really add up,” Clinton said. “The Iraq War, there’s no doubt, contributed to instability. I’m not going to in any way deny that. But you cannot draw a direct line.”

The remarks underscore trouble that Clinton continues to have addressing her 2002 vote as the U.S. senator from New York authorizing the Iraq War.

Last week, Hillary trotted out a new spin: Senator Bernie Sanders' 2002 vote against war on Iraq was not a plan to deal with the Islamic State.

The Islamic State did not exist in 2002.

And Bernie's never claimed that his vote was a way to deal with ISIS.

But it was the kind of lies and distraction we've come to expect from Hillary Clinton.

Some idiots fell for it.

C.I. takes down the idiotic VOX in "Cranky Clinton and other war addicts."

But most people saw it for what it was, a desperate measure by Hillary -- another desperate measure.

Other desperate measures quickly followed.

War Criminal Mad Maddie Albright used the weekend to declare that there was a special place in hell for women who don't support other women.

To which, the only logical response would be, "Is this special place in hell for women who don't support other women near or adjacent to the place in hell for women (and men) who are responsible for the deaths of over a million Iraqis?"

And then there was Gloria Steinem's desperate measures (which Ava and C.I. tackle here) as she deployed homophobia, transphobia, sexism and a general hatred for the young to insist that the young women supporting Bernie (and not Hillary) were only doing so to 'meet' boys.

When her supporters are this desperate it's worth noting what Carl Bernstein declared Monday on CNN, that his White House sources are saying everyone (at the White House) is in a panic over what a lousy campaign Hillary's running and what a lousy campaigner she's become.

Hillary just doesn't get that the Iraq War matters.

That her vote matters.

That the dead Iraqis matter.

That the dead troops sent into Iraq from the US, England and elsewhere matter.

As do the wounded -- Iraqi and foreigners.

That the huge increase in birth defects matter.

Someone needs to enlighten elderly fool Gloria Steinem: Birth defects are  a feminist issue.

"Findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases," says a recent scientific report on the incidence of birth defects in Fallujah [Dr Samira Alani]

 That's from Al Jazeera.

 This is from Justice for the Babies of Fallujah:

Another male born in FGH 2 days ago with multiple gross congenital anomalies in addition to CHD , he is the 1st baby to 2 young healthy couples with no previous history of any anomaly

Gloria's tired and sick fantasies appear to overlook reality.

Here's some reality:  Hillary's responsible for the above.

And, yes, it does matter.

TV: Women and Power

What is it that makes some women struggle with power?

We wondered that last week.


First, we wondered it when we read Nellie Andreeva's DEADLINE piece  about a potential NBC series of CRUEL INTENTIONS:

NBC’s Cruel Intentions reboot, which was just greenlighted to pilot, picks up 15 years after the cult 1999 movie, which starred Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar. It follows the beautiful and cunning Kathryn Merteuil — the character played in the film by Gellar — as she vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey, the son of her step-brother, the late Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe), and Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon).
With Gellar’s character featured in the followup series, it is probably not surprising that the Buffy The Vampire Slayer star would be on the producers’ wish list. And now I’ve learned that Gellar has been approached about reprising her role in the pilot. It is unclear yet whether it would happen or not; she is reading the script.

CRUEL INTENTIONS was a film Geller made while starring in the TV series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.  In both performances, she played strong characters and was rightly applauded for both.

Once BUFFY ended, SMG was playing all kinds of roles, none of them strong women.

It wasn't that she was giving bad performance -- she was very good in RINGER -- it's just that she seemed to run from the roles she was best suited for and the roles audiences wanted to see her in.

Was it scary playing a strong woman?

For a number of singers, it clearly has been.

Owning her power brought Alanis Morissette to fame with "You Ought To Know."

It was this same power that she ended up running from and ignoring on the follow up album.

On that album's "Thank You," she sang, "The moment I let go of it, was the moment I got more than I could handle."

Maybe so.

But it also cost her 4/5 of her audience.

Tina Turner lost 4/5 of her audience as well when she disowned her strength.

Strength evident in "Better Be Good To Me," "What's Love Got To Do With It," "Steel Claw," "Show Some Respect," etc resulted in her having the best comeback, as many noted, since Lazarus.  But she followed up PRIVATE DANCER with an album whining about her longing for "a typical male, a typical male" and much worse.  In the process, she lost the bulk of her audience.

Then there's the history of guilt so many women feel with regards to their power, with regards to their success.

In her best selling memoir BOYS IN THE TREES, singer-songwriter Carly Simon shares:

One afternoon, shortly after the New Year, someone from Elektra called with the news that NO SECRETS and its lead single, "You're So Vain," had both humped the charts from number 39 to number 1.  For me, a performer in her mid-twenties still saw herself as the stammering younger sister, the one eternally lagging behind, it was a wholly new experience.  By sheer coincidence, James's album ONE MAN DOG and its lead single, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," had been released at approximately the same time as mine.  Even though James's new album was doing extremely well, it wasn't the monster of a hit that "You're So Vain" was turning out to be.  You would think I might have permitted myself a few hours, if not days, of satisfaction or pride, but I couldn't.  I had a crush on the song "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," similar to the crush I had on James, and the only thing I remember thinking was that I wished it were him, and not me.
It was the first time James and I had ever directly competed, and it confused me, not just because I'd always assumed James would be more commercially successful than I, but because my desire to make him happy was woven so intricately into the submissive side I'd cultivated in my childhood by bringing Uncle Peter milk shakes adorned with four-leaf clovers on top whenever he finished a tennis match.  What is it about men that allows them to be at ease as the successful ones, without feeling any guilt if their wives come up short?  Like many women of my generation, I wasn't remotely at peace with the idea of winning any competition with my man.

It's a strange relationship we have with power.

It's what leads a woman seen as the voice of rock for most of the eighties to turn her career over to her husband and watch it flounder from that moment on.  You never catch a wife changing her husband's successful sound let alone bragging about it the way Neil Giraldo did with Pat Benatar.

For every CherMadonna or Janet Jackson owning their power with aplomb there are so many more of us struggling.

And that brings up the other moment from last week, the shameful and embarrassing moment.

Oh, Gloria Steinem, please go away.


Just go away.

The woman went on hideous Bill Maher's hideous talk show.


Because she was still confused from her heavily applauded moment on Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central show years ago -- the one where she made an embarrassing spectacle of herself.

She did much more damage this go round.

How so?

Gloria attacked transgendered people early on.

She never really apologized for it until recently when the online world (including us) began making a big deal out of her bigotry.

Let's be really clear that before the online world, Gloria got away with anything and was never held accountable.

She and her cadre defended her and attacked critics instead of responding to criticism.

When she finally began addressing her historic bigotry, she tried to say she was misunderstood (she wasn't) before acknowledging (finally) that she was wrong.

She played it as a thing of the past.

So imagine the horror to see Bill Maher make sneers at Caitlin Jenner for who she was and, instead of addressing the bigotry, there was Gloria joining in with a swipe at Martine Rothblatt (born Martin Rothblatt).

In her revisionist 2013 essay for THE ADVOCATE, Gloria at least had the good sense to type, "I believe that transgender people, including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives.  Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned."

Yet there she was joining Bill Maher's mocking of Caitlin Jenner by mocking Martine Rothblatt.

Then there was her ridiculous homophobia and sexism.

Young women, she insisted, were supporting Bernie Sanders instead of  Hillary Clinton because they were trying to hook up with men ("When you're young, you're thinking, 'Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie'.").

Excuse us?

Young women don't include lesbians (or the always overlooked bisexuals)?

Her hetero-normative assumptions and privilege were on full display.

And how insulting to straight women to insist that they are going to make their decision on who to support for president based on hormonal urges.

That insult?

It really goes to the failure that is Gloria Steinem.

Feminism, second wave, was moving forward with strength and purpose when Little Gloria shows up and refuses to stand up, time after time.  You can see Germaine Greer's "McGovern, the big tease" (HARPER'S, October 1972) and Vernoice Geng's "Requiem for the women's movement" (HARPER'S, November 1976) for starters.

Or you can just note that the strong and vocal Redstockings were silenced and attacked for standing up to Gloria (and noting her CIA connections), that 'feminist' Gloria used personal connections to silence the feminist group.

But mainly what you need to note is Gloria never shuts the f**k up.

At the age of 35, she publicly positioned herself as a feminist.

And good for her.

But within three years, she was battling with Betty Friedan to be the leader of the feminist movement -- and, yes, getting others to fight your battles is battling with Betty Friedan.

Betty was sidelined, too old to be the leader anymore, and Gloria filled the vacuum.

At 51, Betty was judged too old and 38-year-old Gloria assumed leadership.

And in the decades since, she has insisted she wanted to see young leaders rise up.

But she's done nothing to help that ever happen.

She's presented herself as the leader of feminism.

She's certainly the leader of the victim faction.

But at 81, she refuses to let go.

She refuses to step aside.

She and her cohorts forced Betty out when Betty was 30 years younger than Gloria is today.

And why won't Gloria step down?

Because she doesn't respect young women.

That's what came across loud and clear in her embarrassing conversation with Bill Maher.

Gloria came to power via character assassination.

She stood by while her cohorts attacked Betty Friedan.

She could have stopped it but she didn't.

And, in fact, she honestly encouraged it.

Prior to her crowning herself a leader, second wave feminism made huge strides on reproductive rights.

Once Gloria's a leader, it's victim, victim, victim.

There's no more standing up and demanding, there's settling for crumbs and watching Democratic members of Congress (and the Supreme Court) chip away at our rights.

Her long tenure of leadership is notable for one thing: The erosion of women's rights.

Gloria never really led any challenge to the system.

She whined.

She begged people to vote for the Democratic Party.

That's really all she's ever done.

She's weak and she's weakened feminism.

Worst of all, she's refused to step aside.

We loved Molly Yard and we love Patricia Ireland but if either woman had attempted to turn their tenure as President of NOW into a lifetime appointment, we would have objected.

The same way we object to Gloria Steinem's refusal to step aside and let other women come to the foreground.

Gloria's victim approach goes to the fact that she refuses to own her power.

She doesn't believe women have real power.

Which is why, in her book REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN, the best she can offer is a dream of a secret and safe room where women can meet to whisper to one another what needs to be done.

She also doesn't trust power.

Which is why she hijacks the media and refuses to share the spotlight or, better yet, surrender it.

At 81-years-old, she's really not fit to be the face of feminism.

And if anyone ever doubted that, they just needed to catch her brief moment with Bill Maher last week where Gloria managed to spout and sport bigotry towards LGBTs and all young women.

Women have had a strange relationship with power.  It's something we all need to work on.  Part of owning our power is demanding accountability from leaders and not looking away when they openly express bigotry.

Celebrating CONTROL (and noting a few who ignored it)

Last week, we offered "Still Ms. Jackson 30 years later" about the 30th anniversary of the release of Janet Jackson's CONTROL album.


Reader Eddie H. notes, "You were first out of the gate!  In the days that followed I saw a lot of ink on this one of a kind, classic album.  Still it wasn't really enough.  This album is as much a classic as The Beatles' SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND or Dusty Springfield's DUSTY IN MEMPHIS."

We agree.

And so do a lot of you who also took the time to e-mail about your love for the album.

Like Eddie, Bernice T. noted that there was other coverage and asked if we could provide a link to some?



That's not a complete listing.

If you're wondering why we ignored NPR's coverage, it's because . . . there was none.

So-so White NPR can wax on -- and this includes the increasingly embarrassing Ann Powers -- about this and that male guitar band but they refuse to note the very real accomplishment and landmark that is CONTROL.

Well ROLLING STONE -- at least ROLLING STONE noted the anniversary, right?


They ignored it despite declaring on their Janet Jackson summary page:

Then John McClain, an A&M executive and family friend, suggested that Jackson work with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis of the Time. Collaborating with these musician/writer/producers, Jackson recorded her breakthrough album, 1986's Control, which topped the pop and R&B album charts and spawned numerous hits: "What Have You Done for Me Lately" (Number Four pop, Number One R&B), "Nasty" (Number Three pop, Number One R&B), "When I Think of You" (Number One pop, Number three R&B), and, in 1987, "Control" (Number Five pop, Number one R&B), "Let's Wait Awhile" (Number Two pop, Number 1 R&B), and "The Pleasure Principle" (Number 14 pop, Number One R&B).

Even sadder, SPIN ignored the anniversary.

Why is that sadder?

SPIN put Janet on the cover first and did so for the best real-time reporting on CONTROL.


The problem with films today

We use that image in our Film Classics of the 20th Century pieces and, looking at it, you may note women.

Among the women featured are Bette Davis, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Cher, Marisa Tomei, Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Ross, Diane Keaton, Lauren Bacall, Meg Ryan, Ruth Gordon, Tatum O'Neal, Whoopi Goldberg, Katharine Hepburn, Kathleen Turner, Bette Midler, Elaine May, Faye Dunaway, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfieffer and Barbra Streisand.


2015 was a lousy year for film.

And we wonder where are the comedies?

And where are the women?

Did Norah Ephron's death also mean the death of romantic comedies?

Where are the romantic comedies?

No, TRAINWRECK is not a romantic comedy.

It's a grossly disappointing film.

Kevin James makes a movie and he's got a hottie.

Amy Schumer makes a film and she pairs herself with a whole lot of ugly (Bill Hader).

Applause for Melissa McCarthy who acts like a star in her films -- she has attractive men around her.

And applause for her for making real comedies.

We need them the way we needed WILDCATS, PRIVATE BENJAMIN and PROTOCOL, to name but three.

But we also need romantic comedies.

The rush to female-led gross-out comedies?

We applaud those films.

There aren't that many of them even after the success of BRIDESMAIDS.


2015 was a summer without love.

Pretty much true of the entire year.

And it's part of the reason that 2015 was a lousy year for film.

Cranky Clinton's desperation moves


With young voters glomming on Senator Bernie Sanders and avoiding War Hawk Hillary Clinton, the Clinton campaign is concerned.

In a bold move, they're trying out ways to make the brown noser seem 'edgy.'

One suggested slogan?

"I've always believed -- whether it be a democracy or an orgy -- the more people the better."

[This is a parody piece before anyone takes it seriously.]

Tweet of the Week

From the one and only Cynthia McKinney:

  • I don't care what Hillary says, She lost in her first outing. 6 coin tosses do not a victory make!

  • Dunce of the Week


    The one and only Gloria Steinem.

    If you missed it, she 'apologized' for her remark (not remarks -- remarks required an apology) on her Facebook page:

    In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what's been misinterpreted as implying young women aren't serious in their politics. What I had just said on the same show was the opposite: young women are active, mad as hell about what's happening to them, graduating in debt, but averaging a million dollars less over their lifetimes to pay it back. Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.

    Oh, it's not that easy.

    If that's her apology, she's a bigger idiot than we thought.

    As Ava and C.I. point out this edition, her remarks included attacks on transgender persons, a homophobic assumption that "young women" are all straight, and a general sneering at anyone young -- basically anyone under 72, we'd guess.

    The 81-year-old really needs to ease herself out of the spotlight.

    She seized it in 1969 and it's time to surrender it.

    Doesn't mean she stops speaking or stops writing.

    Does mean she acknowledges she's not the leader of the feminist movement and uses any media time to highlight younger women (meaning women at least three to four decades younger -- at least).

    This edition's playlist


    1) Janet Jackson's CONTROL.

    2) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.

    3) Carly Simon's  HAVE YOU SEEN ME LATELY?




    6) Chrissie Hynde's STOCKHOLM.

    7) Ben Harper's BOTH SIDES OF THE GUN.

    8) Cass Elliot's THE COMPLETE CASS ELLIOT SOLO COLLECTION 1968 - 1971.

    9) Ben Harper and Ellen Harper's CHILDHOOD HOME.

    4)  Stevie Nicks' 24 KARAT GOLD SONGS FROM THE VAULT.

    9) Diana Ross' diana.

    10) SupergrassLife On Other Planets.

    Artist and Cultural Leaders for Bernie Sanders

    Damn Susan Sarandon, Margaret Cho, Bonnie Raitt, Belinda Carlisle, Sarah Silverman, Jill Sobule, Meshell Ndegeocello, Juliette Lewis, Zoe Kravitz, Lucinda Williams, etc.  Those women, as Gloria Steinem insists, must be supporting Bernie Sanders (and not Hillary Clinton) because they want to 'meet' boys.

    Or maybe Gloria Steinem's just off her damn rocker.

    To dispel the lie she attempted to put out, we're noting this list from the Bernie Sanders campaign of "Artist and Cultural Leaders for Bernie Sanders:"

    We — the undersigned artists, musicians, and cultural leaders of America — are excited to endorse a new vision for our country.
    It’s a vision that pushes for a progressive economic agenda.
    It’s a vision that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment, and gets big money out of politics.
    We endorse Bernie Sanders to become the 2016 Democratic Nominee for President of the United States of America.
    The Artists and Cultural Leaders for Bernie Sanders

    Physician | Activist Patch Adams
    Musician Brian Baker Minor Threat, Bad Religion
    Musician Chris Ballew Presidents of the United States of America
    Musician Lou Barlow Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh
    Actor Justin Bartha
    DJ Adrian Bartos Stretch Armstrong
    Musician Bhi Bhiman
    Musician Jello Biafra Dead Kennedys
    Actor Stephen Bishop
    Musician Elvin Bishop
    Musician CJ Boyd
    Composer | Musician Nicholas Britell
    Actor Mehcad Brooks
    Musician Jackson Browne
    Musician Dan Campbell The Wonder Years
    Musician Belinda Carlisle The Go-Go’s
    Musician Tommy Castro
    Musician Matthew Caws Nada Surf
    Comedian | Author | Artist Margaret Cho
    Activist | Entrepreneur Ben Cohen
    Writer | Editor | Director Hank Corwin
    Musician Marshall Crenshaw
    Musician David Crosby
    Musician Bob D’Amico The Fiery Furnaces, Sebadoh
    Musician | Author John Densmore The Doors, Riders on the Storm
    Actor | Producer Danny DeVito
    Designer Aaron Draplin
    Musician Greg Dulli Afghan Whigs
    Musician | Actor Steve Earle
    Musician Alex Ebert Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeroes
    Artist Ron English
    Musician Alejandro Escovedo
    Artist Shepard Fairey
    Actor | Comedian Will Ferrell
    Musician Jonathan Fishman Phish
    Musician Flea Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Musician Andy Fleming Brother Trucker
    Actor Ben Foster
    Actor | Musician Jon Foster KaneHoller
    Musician | Composer Bill Frisell
    Actor Nicholas Gonzalez
    Musician Mike Gordon Phish
    Musician Billy Gould Faith No More
    Radio Host Michael Halloran
    Musician | Videographer Adam Harding Dumb Numbers
    Musician | Writer Maureen Herman Babes in Toyland
    Actor | Musician Brendan Hines
    Musician | Producer Karl Hofstetter Joyful Noise Recordings
    Writer | Producer David Holden
    DJ | Musician Chris Holmes
    Musician Cadien Lake James Twin Peaks “Band”
    Musician | Music Producer | Author Brad Terrence "Scarface" Jordan Geto Boys
    Producer | Manager | Consultant Mike Kappus
    Writer | Producer Daniel Kellison
    Musician Anthony Kiedis Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Musician | Author Tim Kinsella Joan of Arc
    Musician Nate Kinsella Joan of Arc, Birthmark
    Musician Josh Klinghoffer Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Actor | Comedian David Koechner
    Music Publisher | Music Supervisor Margaret Saadi Kramer
    Musician | Composer Wayne Kramer MC5
    Actress | Musician Zoƫ Kravitz
    Actor | Musician Donovan Leitch
    Actress | Musician Juliette Lewis
    Musician Jason Loewenstein The Fiery Furnaces, Sebadoh
    Actor Justin Long
    Musician Jesse Malin
    Sports Commentator | Musician | Actor Sal Masekela
    Actor Holt McCallany
    Rapper | Producer | Speaker Brandon Christopher “Lil B" McCartney
    DJ Trevor McFedries Skeet Skeet
    Writer | Director Adam McKay
    Author | Historian Dennis McNally
    Musician | Producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen
    Actor Breckin Meyer
    Actor Ezra Miller
    Photographer | Author Susana Millman
    Actor Donald Warren “DW” Moffett
    Musician Thurston Moore Sonic Youth
    Musician Charlie Musselwhite
    Musician Graham Nash
    Musician Meshell Ndegeocello
    Musician Will Noon Fun.
    Comedian | Writer | Actor Patton Oswalt
    Musician Raul Pacheco Ozomatli
    Musician Holly Palmer
    Screenwriter | Producer | Director Oren Peli
    Actor | Producer Jeremy Piven
    Director Shira Piven
    Musician Joel Rafael
    Musician | Activist Bonnie Raitt
    Actress | Musician Nikki Reed
    Comedian | Actor | Musician John C. Reilly
    Musician | Actor Michael “Killer Mike” Render
    Blues Legend Duke Robillard
    Actor | Director | Producer Mark Ruffalo
    Actor Jonathan Sadowski
    Investor | Writer Guy Saperstein
    Educator Jeanine Saperstein
    Musician Gabe Saporta Cobra Starship
    Actress Susan Sarandon
    Musician | Composer Chris Schlarb
    Musician | Producer Walter Schreifels
    DJ Zach Sciacca Z-Trip
    Actor Reid Scott
    Author | Critic Joel Selvin
    Musician Chris Shiflett Foo Fighters
    Musician Eve Sicular Isle Of Klezbos
    Musician | Composer Corky Siegel
    Comedian | Actress | Writer Sarah Silverman
    Writer | Historian Sylvie Simmons
    Musician Chad Smith Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Musician Jill Sobule
    Musician | Producer Sam Sparro
    Screenwriter | Comedian Andrew Steele
    Musician Serj Tankian System of a Down
    Musician Jeff Tweedy Wilco
    Musician Loudon Wainwright III
    Musician Mike Watt The Stooges, Minutemen
    Musician Chelsea Tyler KaneHoller
    Musician Dusty Watson The Sonics
    Actor George Wendt
    Philosopher | Academic Dr. Cornel West
    Actor Wil Wheaton
    Musician Lucinda Williams
    Comedian | Writer Lizz Winstead
    Musician Yoni Wolf Why?
    Inventor Steve Wozniak
    Musician | Composer Hans Zimmer

    Paid for by Bernie 2016
    (not the billionaires) © Bernie 2016 Artists & Cultural Leaders for Bernie
    Co-Creators Luis Calderin & Scott Goodstein

    Leading Post-9/11 Veterans Group Holds Record 670 Community Events in 2015

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following last week:

    Tel: 212-982-9699

    IAVA’s signature VetTogethers engaged 11,000 veterans in 2015

    NEW YORK (February 5, 2016) – As veterans get together around the country to celebrate Super Bowl 50, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to supporting post-9/11 veterans and their families, announced today that a record 670 VetTogethers were held in 2015 — up from 306 in 2014. VetTogethers are community-driven events that focus on (re)building camaraderie among veterans in local communities across the nation.

    “The significant increase in VetTogethers speaks to the need for IAVA to continue our mission to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans,” said IAVA Chief Program Officer Anthony Pike. “IAVA’s members want to be involved with IAVA in their community. VetTogethers are a perfect opportunity for members to do so. Last year, more than 11,000 members joined IAVA at one of our 670 VetTogethers across the country. This increased engagement and leadership clearly illustrates how our community of veterans are rising to become leaders.”

    VetTogethers were created to ensure that connections are forged whether a veteran transitioning home is in need of assistance or is simply looking for the same support they had in the military. With only one percent of the population having served in the military, VetTogethers provide a critical resource for veterans to connect, unite and empower.

    In 2015, VetTogethers took place in every state and involved a range of activities to include: film screenings, sporting events, fundraisers, rock climbing, fishing trips and many more. VetTogethers are lead by one or more of IAVA’s 425,000-plus members who are also IAVA’s web-based community. During Veterans Week 2015, IAVA members hosted a record 145 VetTogethers.

    VetTogethers are supported in part by the generous contributions of the Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050 initiative, the New York State Health Foundation, the Resnick Foundation, and The Schultz Family Foundation.

    Upcoming VetTogethers include events in Clarksville, Tenn. (Feb. 6), Anchorage, Alaska (Feb. 6), Denver (Feb. 7), Arlington, Va. (Feb. 7), Phoenix (Feb. 10), Chicago (Feb. 11) and many other cities across the country. For a full list of VetTogethers visit

    Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 11th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 5,800 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.

    'Bob Marley inspired a generation—to stand up for our rights'

    This is a repost from Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKER:

    ‘Bob Marley inspired a generation—to stand up for our rights’

    Brian Richardson, author of the new book Bob Marley—Roots, Reggae and Revolution, spoke to Socialist Worker about Marley’s music, politics and legacy

    There are plenty of books about Bob Marley’s life and music—what makes yours different?
    There are good works that talk about Marley and how reggae developed as a specific Jamaican form of music.
    But they write about Marley being a “lyrical genius”, as if he was just struck by the muse.
    I wanted to show how he was the product of a particularly turbulent time in Jamaican history.
    Other artists were doing similar things, but he just did it better and was able to project reggae across the world.

    You write a lot about Marley’s relationship with the Rastafarian religion. How did that impact on his music?
    It’s important to talk about Rastafarianism, because it came out of the struggle against British colonialism and the disillusion that followed independence. Thousands were looking for an explanation.
    But it was contradictory. On the one hand it was about retreat from society with its promise of “Exodus” back to Ethiopia. One of Marley’s albums is named after that.
    But it also emphasised resistance to colonialism, and Marley’s take involved a militant demand for equality.

    One of the most interesting parts of the book details how Jamaican music developed. How does that fit into the social context you describe?
    I try to show how Reggae was linked to political as well as musical changes.
    Sound system culture and dance halls were always a big part of Jamaica’s music scene, but most music was imported from the US.
    This meant DJs had to find the most obscure tracks to make their dances the liveliest and most exciting. They eventually realised they had to develop their own music.
    At this time instruments, such as the electric bass, became more accessible and allowed musicians to experiment.
    They developed a form of “off-beat” strumming that first developed into Ska. It was a particularly fast form of music, meaning it was hard to keep going all night.
    Rocksteady partly came as a reaction to that—because you could “rock-steady” to it.
    But it also reflected the turbulence following Jamaican independence as people began turning in on themselves.
    This is when young men labelled “Rudeboys” began taking their frustration out on others in the ghettos.
    Reggae finally emerged out of that as the final form of the music.

    Marley often talked about “politrix” —does that mean he wasn’t a political musician?
    Marley did talk about “politrix” to describe con men who rule over people. But he was interested in political issues, if not “politics”, from the beginning. His first number one Simmer Down was addressed directly to the Rudeboys and expressed young people’s frustration at the time.
    Marley was shot in 1976 because he was seen to be aligning himself with prime minister Michael Manley. Was he right to do so?
    He always said he wanted to play a concert for Jamaican people, not Manley’s People’s National Party. He was forced to flee to Britain and only returned a couple of years later to a situation of escalating political violence.
    Marley played a “peace concert” to bring the rival factions together. While it failed, only he could have attempted that.

    What was Marley’s impact on music and politics in Britain?
    Marley really captured the imagination of our parents who’d come to Britain and those of us who grew up with racism.
    But it wasn’t limited to black people. Punk bands such as The Clash identified with black youths’ experiences and music. And The Specials’ Ghost Town is a classic example—based around Ska it talks about black and white youths’ misery in Coventry.
    That’s because Marley wasn’t just a Rastafarian. He encouraged people to stand up for their rights. So as well as enjoying his music we should take that message.
    Bob Marley: Roots, Reggae and Revolution
    Brian Richardson
    Redwords, £7.99


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

    "NYT can't stop covering (gushing over) Hillary, bu..." -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Iowa Cozy" -- Isaiah weighs in on Hillary's new best friend.

    "Steve Grand 'Stay',"phoebe snow,"Carly Simon 'Make Me Feel Something'," "PJ Olsson and "Visine","  "Aretha's 'Sweet Bitter Love',"  "Driving All Night with Joss Stone," "Donna Summer "There Will Always Be A You","  "Stevie Nicks 'Lady'," "Ashford & Simpson's "High Rise"" and "When We Two Parted." -- community theme post from last week.

    "The Originals -- where's Freya," "X-Files -- good and goofy,"SHADES OF BLUE (Harley's daughter),"Best TV news of the week" and "The Angry Wife" -- Marcia, Mike, Elaine and Stan cover TV.

    "Aretha Franklin, Prince and Melanie," "Only one choice left (plus a look at Aretha's discography),""Mama Was A Rock And Roll Singer And Papa Used To Write All Her Songs" and "Maurice White" -- Elaine, Betty and Kat cover music.

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" -- Stan goes to the movies.

    "Predator of the United States" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

    "Idiot of the week: Hillary Clinton," "Hillary is not fit to represent the people," "Hillary's continued e-mail scandal," "Idiot of the week: Hillary Clinton," "On music and Cranky Clinton," "THIS JUST IN! SHE'S GETTING A MAKE OVER!," and "Is it desperation?," "what glenn said," "She is not a strong candidate,"Her greed will be her downfall,"Who won?,"We can hope,"THIS JUST IN! WHAT'S THAT WHITE STAIN ON THE CLOTHING, HILLARY!" and "The secret relationships between Hillary and Donald revealed," "Time to appoint an independent prosecutor,"What Cynthia McKinney said," "brief" and "Hillary's 'win'"-- Cranky Clinton coverage in the community.

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