Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Americans have to live with this propaganda and hysteria for three more months. But the real damage begins on January 20, 2017 when Barack Obama hands over his office to Hillary Clinton, a violent and lying criminal and her equally corrupt compatriots. They are the people we ought to fear.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Trump, Russia and Democratic Lies" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act in 2001. The Act gave US intelligence agencies the resources and powers to spy on the communications of every American with impunity. President Obama renewed the unpopular bill in 2011. In 2012, President Obama signed a five year extension of the FISA Amendments Act which continues to give US intelligence agencies such as the NSA the right to wiretap telephone calls and emails of private citizens. In Obama's first two years in office, wiretaps increased by 34 percent.
Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and the courageous individuals who released the WikiLeaks documents have played a large role in uncovering Obama's support for Washington's enormous spy dragnet. However, Obama's assault on civil liberties has not been limited to mere spying. In 2010, the homes of 20 anti-war activists around the country were raided by the FBI. The investigations of the activists were all directed by the Obama Administration's Joint Terrorist Task Force. None of the activists have been charged with any formal crime to this date. By 2012, Obama had prosecuted more whistle blowers such as Manning under the Espionage Act than any other President in US history combined
These attacks are part and parcel of Obama's total war on civil liberties. The first "Black President" is also the first President to possess a personal "Kill List" of potential drone targets to be assassinated by Presidential decree. Obama also signed the National Defense Authorization Act in 2012. This Act expanded Presidential powers to include the indefinite military detention of citizens without trial or cause. It also included a provision that birthed the Conflicts Records Research Center. The newly created think tank signed off by Obama gave the Department of Defense an additional arena to collect intelligence on each and every person the US deemed to be a threat to its "national security."

Obama has stabilized and expanded the National Security State to a size and scope not seen in history. The National Security State, as explained by former Black Panther Party leader Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, has labeled every person in the US a potential terrorist. From this framework, Obama has transformed the executive branch into a heavily militarized arm of US imperial repression. Whatever democratic rights existed for “citizens” in the US prior to the War on Terror have been nearly extinguished in the Obama era.  

-- Danny Haiphong, "The Obama Legacy Part V: Waging War on Civil Liberties" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --


A new record for being slow.

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?

Margaret Kimberley gets another Truest.
Danny Haiphong gets his first.
Jess gets the editorial.  That was C.I.'s idea.  It's a good way to go out.
Ava and C.I. weigh in on the new MAD TV.
And they continue their series on Hillary Clinton.
We look at one of the great rock groups Heart.
And we roll our eyes over Barack.
10 shows we wish were still in production.

I explain that Jess is leaving this edition.  And I love you too, Jess.
Jill Stein.
Gary Johnson.


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

P.S.  And "Hastings goes under" which Ava and C.I. realized didn't get posted with the other stuff.

Editorial: I'm Out of the Game (Jess)

I'm out of the game.


In 2005, the country seemed much different than it really was.

I was a college student in New York.

We were a country disgusted by the illegal war.

There was an internet that believed.

But the reality was it was an internet that hated Republicans.

MY LEFT WING, DAILY KOS, CORRENTE, all the crap asses pretended to care about the Iraq War, pretended they wanted it over.

Then they lost their voices when Barack Obama became president.

Which is why the illegal war continues.

They're all fake asses and liars.

I am proud to have been a part of this site for the last 11 years.

I just did the math and can't believe it's been 11 years.

We thought we'd be online for two or three at best.

I remember in the summer of 2005 or 2006, C.I. saying that the war would be going on still when we went dark.


I was shocked by that thought.

But it's eleven years later and the Iraq War continues.

I honestly thought it would end and then we could devote to the Afghanistan War and calling for its end.

But both wars drag on.

And it's okay apparently.

People with convictions are shocked (rightly) by efforts at the DNC convention to drown out chants against wars with "USA! USA! USA!"

I'm not.

In Feburary 2009, I got to see Ava booed.

Ava and C.I. and Wally and Kat speak out against the wars.

They go to campuses, they go everywhere, women's groups, labor groups, you name it.

And in February 2009, Ava got booed for the first time.

And C.I. walked up and said something -- I don't remember what -- and the whole room burst out laughing.

The mood had turned sour.

C.I. saved it because she knows how to work a crowd.

The crowd booed because they were The Cult of St. Barack and they didn't want to know the truth.

If Bully Boy Bush had still been occupying the White House that the Supreme Court installed him in, these same people would have ate up what Ava and the others were saying.

Afterwards, I talked them all and C.I. said it was just like when she started speaking out against the Iraq War a month before it started in February 2003, people wanted to worship Bully Boy Bush.

And now they wanted to worship Barack.

And that went on forever.

Ava, C.I., Kat and Wally deserve real credit for speaking out during the last eight years.

I'm glad I was a part of the resistance here at this site.

But I honestly believe that the speaking to and with groups does more good than online.

I think this site has done great things.

I know Ava and C.I. have reached a ton of readers.  I know they presented a feminist view point and did so at a site that wasn't necessarily a 'feminist site.'

This was a political site.

I'm a Green, I'm a feminist male, I'm a peace advocate, etc.

But this wasn't one of those sites that is geared solely to women.

And I think that makes what they've done here even more revolutionary.

They spoke to a much more diverse audience.  And if you read the e-mails, you know they've made a lot of readers -- especially male ones -- rethink their views.

The internet is better off because of the work they did.

And the fearlessness they demonstrated and their refusal to play footsie offline.

You'd be surprised how many people tried to do backdoor deals with those two ladies.

I'm not talking TV people, by the way.  I am talking journalists, I am talking bloggers, I am talking politicians.

But they stayed true to themselves and that's why they have a body of work they can be proud of -- a body work that is cited in so many places today -- not just online but in books.

And I hope that maybe somehow we managed to make a difference in the way people saw war.

We didn't end the Iraq War but maybe I can clutch at the hope that we made a difference in the way people saw war.

The reality is I'm no longer in college, Ava and I live together and we have a daughter.

Most weeks, our daughter's on the road with Ava.

Which is fine.  I'm at work all day, it's better that she be with her mom.

But on the weekends, Ava's back home and that means I get to see my daughter.

And I'm just not into sharing that time that I could be with my daughter playing, reading, going to the park, etc., instead on these never ending bull sessions.

I love Jim and will forever.  He and Ty are my two closest friends in the world.

And I love our bull sessions when we speak.

But I just can't take anymore 'writing sessions' that turn into bull sessions.

Ava and C.I. get to escape it, they go off to write their pieces.

Meanwhile, we're supposed to be working on something else and instead it turns into this wonderful and long winded conversation.

That's time I could spend with my daughter.  I see Jim and Ty and Dona all week.

I'm also tired of the way we depend on Ava and C.I. and don't want to be a part of that anymore.

Their TV pieces are always the most read.

That's great.

That's the site's calling card.

But it's also a lot of pressure because either Jim's asking for an amazing TV piece to prop up a weak edition or he's asking them to write multiple pieces for an edition to make it better.

And I hope everyone realizes that Ava and C.I. have never had a week off.

The rest of us have.

We've taken a holiday or two or three off.

Ava and C.I. have carried this site in so many ways.  I'm very thankful to them for that.  I just don't want to be using them and more and more I feel that's where this site's headed.

I've had fun, I won't deny it.

But when I look at my favorite edition, from May of 2006, I look at the contents:

And I remember the hope I had that the Iraq War was going to be over any day.

We'd go on to do everything we were told.  Later that year, for example, in November of 2006, Americans would give the Democrats control of both houses of Congress -- yea, the end of the war!!!!!


But back then I believed.

I wish I still could.

But in the year that Hillary Queen of the Neocons is the Democratic Party's presidential nominee?

The same party that rejected her in 2008 due to her support of the Iraq War?

I feel bad that I wasn't able to stick it out here until the end of the Iraq War.

But I did give 11 years to this site.

I may return for a roundtable from time to time and I am more than willing to help anyone in the community with their own personal site if they need a break or vacation.


I'm out of the game.

I'll miss reading the e-mails and communicating with readers.  To those I've been fortunate enough to have shared thoughts with, thank you.

-- Jess

TV: Don't get MAD, get funny

"You are watching MAD TV" -- to which we used to respond: Why?

But then it went off the air.

Along came a 20th anniversary special last January (on THE CW instead of FOX) . . .


and now it's a summer show.

And the biggest surprise?

It's funny.

It's actually funny.

As the show went on and on, it became less and less funny.

It's back with a new cast -- past regulars frequently guest star -- and it's hilarious.

Not hilarious in a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE way.

No, this isn't two laughs in a full episode.

This is one funny sketch after another.

Maybe SNL should ditch their entire cast and start over?

It's shocking to watch either of the first two episodes of the MAD TV reboot and compare either to any episode of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE this past season.

It's also something of a revelation to watch a political skit that skews everyone.

SNL's spent so much time slamming Republicans with a hammer while swatting Democrats with a Kleenex, it's made the point of any sketch electing a candidate.

That's not comedy.

Too often, SNL -- a supposed national show -- plays like a bad comedy set intended for a get out the vote rally in Flushing Queens.


A hilarious sketch about a college student show from New Hampshire University entitled Safe Space hosted by Wolfgang and Pandora.  They attempt to discuss topics in the news.

Jahri explains, "Stop.  Okay.  Hillary Clinton is a trigger for me.  Her microagressions leave me in a total state of unempowerfication."

Other triggers included Donald Trump, oceans, washing machines and depression.

The entire cast is wonderful but special applause has to go to Lyric Lewis and Adam Ray who've created memorable characters in a number of skits already.

If you're not watching, you're missing a great cast and solid laughs.

In fact, the only one who should be irritated is Lorne Michaels -- MAD TV's proved a sketch show can offer more than two laughs a broadcast.

Hastings goes under


And another one bites the dust.

Borders Books went under.

Tower Records crashed and burned.

Music Warehouse closed its doors.

And now, as reader Carlos points out, Hastings Entertainment has gone bankrupt and all stores will be closed by the end of October.


Once upon a time, you could rent games, movies, buy games, books, movies, music, collectibles, magazines at Hastings.

Now the doors are yet again closing on another chain of stores that provided entertainment and acted as a social gathering spot.

Yes, you can shop online.

But it's not the same as going to a store, bumping into friends, finding something on a shelf you didn't even know was available.

Dave Diaz of Farmington, New Mexico tells Noel Lyn Smith (FARMINGTON DAILY NEWS), "We're one of the last media entertainment stores in most communities -- Hollywood Video, Blockbuster are gone. Most music stores are gone. What I'm hearing a lot from customers is that there's going to be a noticeable hole in that kind of product in town."

Diaz is one of approximately 2,000 people across the country who will be losing a job due to the store closings.

Bonnie Vculek (ENID NEWS& EAGLE) notes:

The Wall Street Journal reported Hastings’ debts included $80 million in loans, $59 million in trade bills, and in 2015, the company’s losses were $16.6 million on $401 million in revenue.
Hastings was founded in 1968 and operates 126 stores throughout the United States. In addition to Enid, Hastings has stores in Ada, Altus, Ardmore, Bartlesville, Lawton, Muskogee, Norman, Ponca City, Stillwater and Yukon.

Another one bites the dust.

What Hillary owes women (Ava and C.I.)

That should have been the title of a piece in THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. Instead, they titled Emily Baelon's piece "What Women Owe Hillary Clinton."

That is how it works, public servants owe the people.

Not the other way around.

It's a mistake that THE NEW YORK TIMES forever makes.


Did Hillary invent a cure for cancer?

Did she colonize Mars?

Did she paint some work of art?

Did she even write a song we're all humming?

No and no and no and no.

And since we never hit her up for a loan, we don't owe her a damn thing.

She owes women a great deal.

So what did she do?

Oh, that's right, she picked a running mate who supports the Hyde Amendment.

And we thought Hillary's attacks on women in poverty ended in the 90s.

Hillary's attacks on women continue, by the way.

What's been the most harmful 'excuse' to women in the last 100 years?

"Boys will be boys."

It's been used to excuse away abuse.

It's been used to excuse away rape.

It's been used to excuse away everything including household messes left uncleaned.

But it's Hillary Clinton's motto.

"Boys will be boys."

Sure, stay with your cheating husband because "boys will be boys."

The women in Iraq are suffering so suggest a married man who cheated on his wife while in Iraq and left her to marry another woman, suggest this man become an ambassador to Iraq -- as Hillary did with Brett McGurk -- completely ignoring that Iraqi women visiting this ambassador would be suspect and face rumors and far worse.

"Boys will be boys" let's her pick a running mate who praises the Hyde Amendment -- after he's on her ticket.

And "boys will be boys" means she goes out of her way to make sure Bill Clinton, if she's elected, won't have to do the traditional First Spouse duties.

It's okay with Hillary for women to do these duties, but, you understand, a man to do what Hillary sexistly labels "women's work."

So instead of planning the formal dinners, etc, what will Bill do?

He'll be over the economy, that's what she's repeatedly stated and suggested.


The economy?

Why is that, Hillary?

Because of the sexist notion that "math is hard" for females?

She's running a backwards and sexist campaign and THE NEW YORK TIMES has the nerve to ask what women owe Hillary?

10 Underrated Heart Tracks

kicking and dreaming

Heart is a seminal rock band that's racked up a huge string of hits.  Their 70s work has enough distance to it that so much of it is easily seen as classic.  But their work from the 80s through today also includes a lot of classics.

Ignoring the songs during that period that made the top forty since they've already been recognized, here's ten tracks we think we'll be seen as classic Heart in decades to come.

1) "Dear Old America"

2) "Up On Cherry Blossom Road"

3) "Walkin' Good"

4) "Rage"

5) "Nobody Home"

6) "The Perfect Goodbye"

7) "Easy Target"

8) "Red Velvet Car"

9) "Move On"

10) "Wheels"

Barack needs to learn to be above the fray

Barack Obama is the sitting US president.  He's decided to campaign for Hillary Clinton.

That's not unique, they belong to the same party.

What is different is he doesn't seem to grasp the line.

He can sing her praises, he can urge people to vote for her.

But as a sitting president not running for re-election, he's not supposed to engage in attacks.

He's coming dangerously close to abuse of office with his remarks about the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

barack the starlet

Maybe he thinks all bets are off after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg interjected herself into the election?

(She has since rightly noted she should have kept those thoughts to herself.)

But he's on the line if he hasn't already crossed it.

He may not be aware of what he's doing.

It might be part of his long standing habit of making everything about him.

That annoying feature's been noted repeatedly during his two terms as president.  For example, from 2012, Emily Yoffe's "Today We Are Gathered … To Hear More About Me" (SLATE).

Someone needs to tell Barack Obama -- it must get particularly confusing this time of year -- that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display Friday when the president gave his eulogy for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who served in Congress for half a century representing Obama’s birth state of Hawaii.

Inouye was a Japanese-American war hero (he lost an arm in World War II, destroying his dream of becoming a surgeon), and as a senator he served on the Watergate committee, helped rewrite our intelligence charter after scandals, and was chairman of the Senate committee that investigated the Iran-Contra affair. It’s the kind of material any eulogist could use to give a moving sense of the man and his accomplishment. But President Barack Obama’s remarks at Inouye’s funeral service were a bizarre twirl around his own personal Kodak carousel.

He needs to realize he is a sitting president and start conducting himself in that manner.

His thoughts on the Republican candidate are not needed.

This is an election and he can fully support Hillary Clinton without slamming or even referring to Donald Trump.

10 TV shows we wish hadn't ended




3) STAR TREK (original series)








Goodbye Jess (Jim)

In January 2005, we started this site.  Never planned for it to go on so long.

Dona, Ava, Ty, Jess and myself were in college, were friends and wanted to do a website and got lucky when C.I. came to our campus and I was covering that for the campus paper.  I asked her to help with our first week's edition.

She got roped in.

But we sort of all got roped in.

And I've loved it and continue to love it.

Others haven't always been as thrilled.

Recently, Ava and C.I. have made a point to express that the editions are taking too long, that they meander and are not focused and that they themselves have other things to do.

"Take a hint, Jim," they should have said.

I didn't.

This week we meandered and got together Tuesday night at which point, after many hours, Jess loudly expressed his frustration with the writing sessions and said he was out.

I'd love for him to change his mind -- and he can at any time -- but I'm taking him at his word.

Over the years, the core six (Jess, Ty, Dona, Ava, C.I. and myself) have written many pieces.

Ava and C.I., of course, cover TV every week.

And I've done the occasional "Jim's World," Dona's covered everything (including fitness) and also started moderating our Congress & Veterans features, Ty does "Ty's Corner," etc.

Jess has done the occasional legal feature.

He's also been instrumental in highlighting issues and news that we might have otherwise missed.

He's also been instrumental in keeping us from the idiotic Ralph Nader cost Gore nonsense.

As a Green, Jess ensured that we were never a partisan organ for the Democratic Party.

As an all around good person, he ensured that temperatures were lowered when things got tense.

I fully understand his bowing out.

Looking at it now, it makes complete sense.

But until today I never would have thought he'd be the first to go.

He is welcome back anytime he wants to come back -- guesting or full time.

But I understand his decision.

This ends nothing between us.

We remain best friends.

(And he remains with Ava and their child.)

He's just not willing (and I don't blame him) to waste hours in "bull sessions" (his words) that rarely produce content.

I personally thank him for all the work he's done.

Jill Stein Tweets

At this month's Green Party national convention (in Houston), Jill Stein is expected to be named the party's presidential candidate.

  1.  Pinned Tweet
    Honored to announce human rights champion Ajamu Baraka as my VP running mate!
  2. Excited to head to Houston for the national convention!
  3. We heard that the U.S. is bombing Libya. More of the same from Obama's admin: war, and then more war to clean up the war they initiated.
  4. Awesome energy for & the Green Party tonight in Minnesota! Let's crush the 2 party system.
  5. Thank you to my 200k Twitter followers 🙌 Share with your friends, sign up to volunteer, & donate. 🌎
  6. This election has been the biggest circus of corruption I ever seen. Ive switched to the Green Party & will be voting for 100%.
  7. No more disastrous Dem-GOP militarism! Green foreign policy is based on int'l law & human rights. Peace is possible!

  8. Mass incarceration is just a new way of perpetuating the horrible Jim Crow. Let's help end it by releasing all non-violent drug "offenders".
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }