Sunday, August 21, 2016

Truest statement of the week

What is scarier than Clinton or Trump, is that Americans seem to have no visceral aversion to genocide (of non-white peoples). But, unless you’re a Green or some shade of Red, genocide isn’t even an election issue.

-- Glen Ford, "Yes, Obama and Clinton Created ISIS – Too Bad Trump Can’t Explain How It Happened" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Liberals are now quite deranged and applaud a woman who will crush their feeble agenda as soon as she says the oath of office. Progressives and big money Republicans are now on the same page and that is why Stein and Baraka face so much scrutiny and so many big lies.
The Green Party’s existence is proof that the Democratic Party emperor has no clothes. The logical progression of success for the Greens is the end of the party which claims to be more inclusive and the champion of working people and human rights. It does none of those things while the party which actually articulates these policies has been designated an enemy.
In this case the enemies of the enemy are most definitely our friends. Far from being wasted votes, support for the Green Party ticket can be the beginning of the end for the Democratic Party.

There is no downside to that. The 2016 election is an opportunity to send scoundrels to the proverbial dustbin of history.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Liberal Hate for Stein and Baraka" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --


Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, 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?

Glen Ford gets another truest.
As does Margaret Kimberley.
Let's put to rest the lie that Ralph Nader caused the Iraq War.
We had no major piece for this edition.  I (Jim) complained and whined about that.  Ava and C.I. were toying with another topic but decided they could do a look at the Olympics and a look at the media landscape.  Lucky for everyone, I complained and whined because this is one of their major pieces.
It's Hillary on Colin action!
The forgotten refugees.
No, Robert Redford does not look like he hasn't aged since the 90s.
Yes, the US government does.
For more music coverage, we repost this by Marica.

Applause to Liza Featherstone.
For more music coverage, we repost this by Trina.
Jill Stein Tweets.
The response to the ransom payment.
Yes, it does.

So that's what we came up with.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty,  Ava and C.I

Editorial: What scare tactic comes next?

The same Democrats who do nothing regarding Iraq -- Barack Obama doesn't even have a Congressional authorization to carry out the strikes he orders daily on Iraq -- want you to know another Iraq War could happen . . .

. . . if you don't vote for Hillary Clinton!

Forget that Hillary herself voted for and supported the Iraq War.

The latest scare tactic is: Vote for anyone but Hillary -- especially a third party candidate -- and things will go awful.

Fortunately, David Barouh showed up at COUNTERPUNCH last week to put a rest to the claims that Al Gore, had he made it to the White House, wouldn't have declared war on Iraq.

Ralph Nader didn't start the Iraq War.

Votes for him did not lead to the Iraq War.

More to the point, shame on them for using the Iraq War yet again as a political football when they do nothing to help the Iraqi people.

Shame on them.

Shame on their inbred supporters who toss out the lie that voting for Ralph Nader led to the Iraq War.

Democrats need to take responsibility for their actions.

So do their enablers.

TV: Poor sports and strip teases

"Check the Academy," Joan Crawford intoned.


We were reminded of the late film actress over and over this month.

For example, when viewing the highly over praised and extremely disappointing Olympics.

Since 2000, NBC has butchered the Olympics.  That was the year they went with Katie Couric 'intimate portraits' of competitors and had serious problems airing a live event "live."

NBC's well earned reputation for disappointing on the Olympics probably impacted the ratings.

From the opening night (which NBC did not broadcast live), the network was setting records -- all the wrong kind -- as the broadcast became the lowest Olympic broadcast opening since 1992.

How bad was it?

Frank Pallotta (CNN) observed, "The network may even have to compensate advertisers for lower-than-expected viewership by giving them free ads later."

The industry bible VARIETY spun madly trying to hide the ratings failure by ignoring the huge ratings drop and instead noting that -- in a summer of repeats and cheap programming -- the Olympics ruled US ratings -- as though being on top of a garbage heap made up for the fact that you were . . . part of a garbage heap to begin with.

False hopes that the ratings would improve as the games processed quickly vanished.

Soon Gerry Smith (BLOOMBERG) was pointing out, "Prime-time broadcast viewership has been down about 17 percent compared to the London games four years ago.  And in the 18-to-49-year-old age group coveted by advertisers, it's been even worse.  That audience has been 25 percent smaller, according to Bloomberg Intelligence."

It was one disappointment after another.

Take the judo match.

The winner, Or Sasson (Israel), attempted to shake hands with his losing opponent Islam El Shehaby (Egypt) who refused.

It recalled another poor sport moment of the month -- when former CIA operative Gloria Steinem sat down with Katie Couric -- now far from the Olympics, in exile on YAHOO NEWS.

The sit down followed the announcement that Kellyanne Conway would be Donald Trump's new campaign manager and, in the process, become the first woman to run a Republican presidential campaign.

Instead of feeling the love, the elderly and balding Gloria whined in that annoyingly nasal way, "It's like seeing an anti-semitic candidate being managed by a Jewish person. It's not heartening at all.  I can't imagine why she's doing it."

As Cher might say, what a ___.

Feminism is about choices.

Kellyanne's choice is her choice.

It's a valid choice.

Congratulations to her.

Gloria would rather tear the woman down.

It's so interesting that Gloria feels she can rip a woman apart.

This would be the same attention-seeking Gloria who raved to WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY in September of 1971, "Henry's the only interesting person in the whole Nixon Administration and he's not afraid of hostile reporters.  I enjoy talking with him.  He's the only person on the Nixon team who can talk."

That's War Criminal Henry Kissinger that Gloria's breathlessly slobbering over.

At the height of his War Crimes.

And Gloria also dated him.

Yeah, she did.

She denies it -- the same way she lies about her part in spying on and exposing 'reds' for the CIA -- but others remember it.  For example, when she turned 80 a few years back, her friend George Mitrovich shared some memories at HUFFINGTON POST including "Dr Kissinger and Gloria were then seeing one another" in the early seventies.

She also dated Stanley Pottinger in her time as a feminist.  When Orlando Letelier was killed by a DC bombing, Pottinger would be accused of helping to cover up the terrorist attack.  (Letelier was the Chilean Ambassador to the US when Salvador Allende was President of Chile.)  Pottinger would also be accused of attempting to thwart investigations in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

There was also Gloria's four year affair with Republican and racist Mortimer B. Zuckerman. The relationship was serious enough for Mort to loan MS. (then headed by Gloria) $700,000 to stay afloat and to give it and the foundation $406,151 (a gift, not a loan, and never repaid because it was a gift).

Despite that and so much more, she's going to slime another woman for her choices?

Neither Gloria Steinem nor Islam El Shehaby know what competition or good sport means.

Rude manners was the least of the Olympics problems this go round.

Russia's Yuliya Efimova won two silver medals in swim competitions but had to endure being "booed by spectators" and having a US swimmer, Lilly King, sniff that Yuliya and her teammates shouldn't have been allowed at the Olympics.

The antidote to the Glorias, Islams and Lillys?  Nikki Hamblin (New Zealand) and Abbey D'Agostino (US) after colliding during a race.

But if there was a theme to the Rio games, it would have to be: Take it off!!!

There were the Mongolian wrestling coaches who took the stage and began stripping in protest when their wrestler Ganzorig Mandakhnaran lost.

There was American gymnist Danell Leyva who, in the middle of his routine, "starts gyrating provocatively," "took the top part of his leotard off"  and goes on "to put on a strip show on the parallel bars."  PEOPLE observed, "It appeared Leyva started a trend too, Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev followed his lead, removing his shirt during his high-flying routine at the gala later."

There was Ukraine's synchronized swimmer Anna Voloshyna doing her own strip tease before competing.

In fact, Susannah Guthrie (Australia's NEW DAILY) observed as the games started:

Olympic athletes are showing off their perfectly honed physiques in an effort to entice people to watch them compete in Rio.
This year’s Games have seen an amped-up fascination with the physiques of the competitors, as fans fawn over rippling abs and athletes share scantily clad selfies.
The trend kicked off after the Opening Ceremony on Saturday (AEST) with Tonga’s oiled-up flag bearer, taekwondo star Pita Nikolas Taufatofua, stealing the show and putting his small island nation in the global spotlight.

But it started even before that.

And not with the US male gymnastic team floating rumors that they'd be competing shirtless or Australia's hurdle champ Michelle Jenneke "revealing photos on Instagram."

It started before the games or even opening ceremonies as England's rugby players Danielle Waterman, Amy Wilson-Hardy, Heather Fisher, Claire Allen and Michaela Staniford stripped down for a photo for WOMEN'S HEALTH to promote body confidence.

There were other baring moments.

Such as when Great Britain's tennis champ Andy Murray bared his knowledge of the sport by correcting BBC reporter John Inverdale who said Andy was the first to win two Olympic gold medals in the sport.  Responded Andy, "I think Venus and Serena [Williams] have won about four each."

The US female soccer team's Hope Solo bared a different side: rude and ugly.  After losing to the Swedish team, Solo declared, ". . . I also think we played a bunch of cowards.  The best team did not win today."

Bad sports were topped by liars.

US swimmer Ryan Lochte detracted more from the Olympics than anyone else with his "over-exaggerated" claims following interaction with security guards.

But should he have been so much the focus?

Lia Timson (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) reported, "Brazilian police have arrested Patrick Hickey, an Irish member of the International Olympic Committee, in connection with a Rio 2016 ticketing scam embroiling an Irish ticketing company and international hospitality conglomerate associated with previous Olympics."  Rebecca R. Ruiz (NEW YORK TIMES) added, "Europe's top Olympic official, arrested at an oceanside hotel here this week for scalping tickets to the Rio Games, has denied bail and sent to Rio's Bangu Penitentiary Complex, a maximum-security jail."

Seems to us that's a bit more important than drama queen Lochte's false claims.

And while you could run from the Olympics, running from Lochte's story was harder due to Lochte actually being a name and discussed at length beyond the sports circles.

Those trying to watch TV beyond the Olympics should have realized what a huge and disappointing wasteland the whole thing had become.


The Independent Film Channel?

Pioneering weak and cowardly programming with a block of such 'independent' films as ROCKY (I) through ROCKY V.


JOE DIRT and other non-laugh films flooded the non-choices.

Robert Redford's SUNDANCE CHANNEL became SUNDANCE TV and, in the process, became one more sad slate of bad programming.


That 50s western taking up so much weekend air time?

Are they unaware that METV turns Saturdays over to westerns (and Monday through Friday during the day)?  That SONY's GET TV turns Saturdays over to westerns?  That NBC's COZY TV turns Saturdays over to westerns?

There's actually a glut of western programming on TV.

How very sad that Redford's dream has metastasized into a network showing THE RIFLEMAN and films like EL DORADO, PALE RIDER and BIG JAKE.

How sad for all the so-called choices we have.


If you want DR. WHO marathons and MATRIX films,  that was the channel for you this summer.


No worries, Gail Anne Hurd's revenge porn of zombies is returning shortly with all new episodes and tons more violence.

You might trying fleeing to TCM.

But there's so little class on TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES.

This August, they've made each day about one film star -- people like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift . . . .

But to get to those good films, you've had to listen to so much inane chatter.

The lead in to KEY LARGO, for example, featured the vapid claim that the best performance in this film -- starring Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore and Edward G. Robinson -- was by Claire Trevor.

The basis for this claim?

Only Claire won an Academy Award for the film.

How this supporting win means best performance in the film went unaddressed (as did the mediocre competition Trevor faced for the award).

Even more irritating was Ben Mankiewicz.

Why wear a suit and tie when you look like a schlub?

Why not get it pressed?

And, more importantly, cleaned?

But best of all, why not know what you're talking about?

Did you know Bette Davis was nominated 11 times for Best Actress by the Academy Awards?


It never happened.

Bette frequently claimed -- as Ben did on TCM over the weekend -- that she was nominated for OF HUMAN BONDAGE.

Joan Crawford told journalist Shaun Considine in 1973, "She was not nominated as Best Actress for OF HUMAN BONDAGE.  Miss Davis keeps perpetuating that myth.  It's incorrect.  Check the Academy."

Crawford was correct.

But if TV couldn't broadcast false claims, what would they be left with?

The Olympics drew viewers.

Not enough, but some.

Not enough to miss being this century's worst showing.

People kept arguing that the numbers would improve as the games progressed.

That never happened.

By the end?

Rick Porter (TV BY THE NUMBERS) pointed out, "The final night of competition in the 2016 Summer Olympics was not a good one in terms of TV ratings.  NBC's coverage posted a 3.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 14.55 million viewers, the lowest of the games by a pretty wide margin."

It was a bust and ended as such.

Like the opening, the closing ceremonies weren't aired live.

They also weren't  worth watching.

Unless you enjoy seeing a graceless group of 'dancers' either sitting on their ass 'rhythmically' or rolling rectangles.

What's worse than that?

Why putting them in skorts.

So, of course, they were put in skorts.

It was a long promotion for the Summer Olympics moving to Tokyo next.

In the end, the whole thing was as creepy as the new McDonald's ad featuring a bad male version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" while a young girl is either courted by her father or a pedophile -- viewers are never sure which.

Creeping and confusing -- that would be the lasting images of 2016's Summer Olympics.

Secretary V. Secretary


In the thirties, it was WIFE VERSUS SECRETARY.

These days.

Former Secretaries of State do battle.

And PEOPLE gets the big scoop.

Yes, that is correct.

PEOPLE is reporting:

"Her people have been trying to pin it on me," Powell, 79, told PEOPLE Saturday night at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 Night of Legends fĂȘte in East Hampton, New York.

"The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did," Powell added. 

What's Colin Powell talking about?

Hillary Clinton.

And apparently her latest lies.

David Wright (CNN) reported Friday:

Hillary Clinton told the FBI that her predecessor Colin Powell recommended that she use a private email account during her tenure as Secretary of State, according to a new report.
The New York Times reported on the revelation Thursday, based on notes from Clinton's interview with the FBI about her server that were delivered to Congress this week, and on a preview of a book about Bill Clinton's post-presidential years. 

Hillary's lie was then presented as fact online, as WORLD TRIBUNE notes in "Facebook feed pushed fake story on Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton's email."

Hillary just can't stop lying.

Colbert I. King (WASHINGTON POST) expressed dismay:

Powell ought not be dragged down into the mud with Hillary Clinton.
If in fact there is someone among Clinton’s Praetorian Guard who has been manufacturing the arguments used to defend her email malpractice, that loyalist ought to voluntarily clean out the desk and quietly steal away into the night.

However, if Clinton herself has been concocting these absurd excuses for her careless behavior with the nation’s secrets, then her protectors have a duty to cease being enablers and set her straight. So she can talk straight with the nation.

Hillary's need to lie always trips her up.

Tweet of the week

4.7m children in need humanitarian assistance - that’s almost 1 in 3 children in the country


Found on the MOZILLA start page:



Redford looks like death warmed over.

And that road kill on top of his head trying to cover his bald spots is even sadder looking.

So is the list of 6 movies MOZILLA comes up with.

The only one where a woman matters at all in the film is, of course, on featuring "sexual violence" as MOZILLA notes.

MOZILLA needs to answer for its sexism and hostility to women.

But most of all it needs to answer for perpetuating a lie that old geezer Redford looks the same as he did in the 90s.

They kill whistle-blowers, don't they?

Yes, the US government does.

And may be doing so right now.

MINT PRESS NEWS reported last week on the efforts to deny whistle-blower Jeffrey Sterling medical treatment.

Barack Obama has used the US presidency to declare war on whistle-blowers.

The MINT PRESS NEWS report opens:

Jeffrey Sterling, one of the most recent victims of the U.S. government’s war on whistleblowers, may be at risk of dying in a Colorado prison.
In an interview published Tuesday in The Colorado Independent, the wife of the CIA whistleblower warned that his health is failing due to inadequate medical care at FCI Englewood, the federal prison where he is serving a sentence of three-and-a-half years.
“I’m concerned my husband may die,” Holly Sterling told the Independent’s Corey Hutchins. “I’m extremely concerned.”


Singer-songwriter Judee Sill

Marcia did a post on Judee Sill which we're reposting

Judee Sill

"Jesus Was A Cross Maker."  I know this song because of Cass Elliot's version.  Cass was one of the great singers of all time.

The song was written by Judee Sill who had a number of problems but also may have been undermined by David Geffen.

Michael Crumsho (Dusted) notes:

Born in Southern California in 1944, and dead in '79, Judee Sill's life was brief, yet filled with enough dark drama to satisfy a lifespan twice that long. It would be easy to relegate her life and musical career as a series of interesting footnotes in the biographies of other more well-known personas: her self-titled debut full-length was the first official release for David Geffen's Asylum imprint; Graham Nash produced her most well known single "Jesus Was a Cross Maker," which was a minor hit for Nash's group the Hollies; she penned a hit single for the Turtles. But doing so would deny the power and majesty of the two albums she released during her lifetime. Critics reacted warmly to her music, commercial success never followed. By the time of her death at the end of the 1970s, she had vanished completely from the music scene, so much so that when word of her death due to a drug overdose trickled down, more than a few people were surprised – they assumed she had already passed.
Now, in what's become an almost common occurrence for earnest, overlooked folkies, a string of reissues over the past couple of years have stirred up attention, and the recent release of her heretofore unknown third album will hopefully allow Sill's story and music to be heard by the wider audience she so richly deserved.
Judee Sill spent much of her adolescence in the Oakland area. Her father, Milford "Bun" Sill owned a bar, which is where Sill spent a lot of her childhood, learning piano in less than idyllic and seedy surroundings. When her father died of pneumonia in 1952, her mother moved Judee and her brother Dennis to Los Angeles, where the former Mrs. Sill took up and married an alcoholic animator named Kenneth Muse. Sill's mother spiraled downward into a haze of drug dependence and alcoholism, and although the two fought and bickered fairly regularly, Judee became more and more of a free spirit, unfettered by any attempts at parental control. She dealt with abuse at the hands of her stepfather and bounced around between family members, staying where she could to avoid the drama at home.

She would end up signed by David Geffen to his new label Asylum.

Geffen made his initial millions off the back of Laura Nyro.

He was her manager and took more than 10%.

She was supposed to be one of his big acts but then decided to stay with Columbia Records.

She was dead to him at that moment.

Barney Hoskyns (Observer) picks up Judee's tale:

'I remember her coming home one night swooning over Geffen and telling me he was the man for her,' says Pons. 'She also thought he was going to help her get to the top, which she had decided was her destiny.' 
Geffen, who'd made the first of his fortunes on the back of another bisexual songstress, Laura Nyro, landed Sill a lucrative publishing deal with a handsome advance. The money enabled her to make a down payment on a house on the Valley side of Stone Canyon.
'There was a lot of hanging out at her house,' says Straw. 'She was surrounded by her adoring female fans. I remember going round there one morning and there were maybe four or five other women, all sunbathing in the nude.' 
According to an old school friend, Sill went through a series of female lovers whom she treated with mild contempt. 'I just have her around to clean my house,' she would say of some poor besotted creature when friends visited the Stone Canyon house. 
'At that point Judee said and did a lot of things for effect,' says Straw. 'She was a typical self-centred artist who treated everybody around her like they were servants.' 
Although Atlantic Records was interested in her, Sill opted to wait until Geffen's Asylum label was up and running. To kill time she went on the road as a support act, sometimes in circumstances that made her seethe. 'Judee couldn't tolerate crowds that weren't appropriately respectful,' Pons recalls. On her one trip to the UK - when she appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test - Judee bitched about having to open for 'snotty rock groups'. 

Of her first album, John Cody (BC Christian News) explains:

Visions of the eternal run throughout.
‘Crayon Angels’ deals with false prophets; “Crayon Angel songs are slightly out of tune/But I’m sure I’m not to blame/Nothin’s happened but I think it will soon/So I sit here waitin’ for God and a train/To the Astral plane.” 
‘Enchanted Sky Machines’ was about end times, and made clear where she stood theologically; “Then when the skeptics are wonderin’/where all the faithful have flown/we’ll be on enchanted sky machines/the gentle are going home.”
Sill rarely minced words. As she explained regarding ‘Ridge Runner;’ “I had another divine inspiration on how noble it is to not fake it. How doubt can be an ally, really in the long run, as far as your spiritual evolution goes…” 
Her most popular song, ‘Jesus Was A Cross Maker’ was a last minute addition produced by Graham Nash. It’s the only song she recorded that actually mentions Jesus by name.’ Ironically, it’s not about theological concerns. It was inspired by a failed relationship with singer-songwriter J.D. Souther. Her explanation was typically forthright; “I knew that even that bastard wasn’t beyond redemption.” Both the Hollies and Mama Cass Elliot covered the song. Years later Souther would remember Sill with great admiration; “there was nobody more important on the L.A. singer-songwriter scene.” 

The album garnered exceptional reviews; Rolling Stone raved, and Newsweek labeled her songs ‘spaced-out spirituals’ and declared her ‘one of the most promising new singers in the business.’ 
For all the positive press, sales were dismal. The album never even placed in the Billboardtop 200 charts. 

She followed up with Heart Food, her second album.

Fiona Sturges (The Independent) adds:

Introducing one track, she explained to the audience how she had been trying to write something that "would somehow musically induce God into giving us all a break... Since that time I've decided that I shouldn't get any more breaks because I already squandered them in weird places. But I'd like to sing this song for you in the hope that you'll get a break."Sill had already had her biggest break but she broke it. David Geffen signed her to his label, Asylum, in the early Seventies and released two albums but, as the fortunes of her label mates The Eagles soared, she felt she wasn't getting the attention she deserved. After Sill announced on stage one night that Geffen was gay, word got back and he fired her. 

What's her place in music?  Stephen M Deusner (Pitchfork) offers:

There are cult artists, and then there are cult artists. Judee Sill is a little of both. In one sense of the word, she remains an obscure singer-songwriter with only a passing familiarity with the mainstream (she wrote "Lady-O", a hit for the Turtles) but with an avid audience devoted to tracking down every note she recorded. In the other sense of the word, Sill's songs have many of the trappings of an upstart California cult: astral planes, heavenly spaceships, apocalypse, and a unique understanding of a certain crossmaker. By today's standards, it can sound a bit loopy, but also much more benevolent than other cults and cult artists. Hers is a distinctly compassionate worldview, which seems natural given that music served as an escape from the harsh burdens of her reality: broken family, heroin addiction, health problems, stalled career, and an early death.

 Tim Page (Washington Post) shares:

Sill's lyrics might be described as high hippie Christian, cries of "Kyrie eleison!" melding with references to angels and astral planes. Her words are very much of their time and place -- and yet, even at their weakest, they more than suffice to decorate her unpredictable and irresistible compositions, which are nowhere near so easy to pigeonhole. According to Michele Kort, the author of Rhino's excellent liner notes, Sill insisted she wrote "country-cult-baroque -- country for the pedal-steel guitar, clip-clop Western beats and the twang in her voice; cult for the esoteric nature of her concerns and her small-but-fervent audience; and baroque for the Bach-like melodies she favored." 
But there is sun-splashed, deliciously over-marinated California pop here, too. Brian Wilson would have been proud to have written "The Lamb Ran Away With the Crown" (and the arrangement is so slick and pitch-perfect that he might have served as its producer). "Ridge Rider" proves a heretofore undreamed-of hybrid of Heitor Villa-Lobos's "Bachianas Brasilieras" and cowboy music. "The Archetypal Man" swerves from straightforward balladry to jazz-baroque scat singing right out of the Swingle Singers. And "Lopin' Along Thru the Cosmos" is an anomaly -- a popular song that actually earns the full orchestra that accompanies it. Yet it never seems overdressed: to the contrary, this is one of the most spare and evocative love songs ever written, addressing aging, rootlessless, exhaustion, need, loss and resignation in a few lines that must have been cut from the heart. 

Annie Nilsson (The Toast) offers:

It was impossible for her to do things by degrees. She immersed herself completely in her songwriting, living meanwhile in rundown studios; in flop houses full of male musicians (until they kicked her out for playing better than them); in “a ‘55 Cadillac with five people, sleeping in shifts.” She worked obsessively: studying the writings of Pythagoras, listening to “Bach and Ray Charles” for inspiration, taking LSD for the mind-broadening benefits. (She called it the White Peace, as opposed to heroin, which was The Dark Peace.) She believed she could reach people’s spiritual and emotional cores through the careful use of four part choral harmony and strings. She believed she could write lyrics pure enough to “entice God to give us all a break.” Sometimes it took the better part of a year for her to consider a song finished, but once she did, that was it, it was perfect.

Her contemporaries (of the so-called Laurel Canyon Scene) were at the time telling straightforward stories with their lyrics, but she employed a complex and shifting system of symbolism and oblique references in hers. To tackle subjects like love and faith and longing, she sang of cowboys, the Cosmos, enchanted sky machines, something called the Cryptosphere. To that end her songs about religion feel like love songs; her love songs feel like lying alone in an echoing cathedral, talking to God; and her only song with Jesus in the actual lyrics is really about her boyfriend leaving her for Linda Ronstadt.

For more on Judee Sill you can listen to the BBC radio program below.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

"If you're writing think pieces saying that it's OK if Bill Clinton is a rapist pls ask yourself where you went wrong in your life."

Liza Featherston (author of FALSE CHOICES: THE FAUX FEMINISM OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON) tracked last week's latest and most disappointing trend.

  1. Yup. I thought they'd just ignore the Bill rape stuff, not create a "woke rapist" trope.

Sometimes I think ppl in One PIerrepont Plaza must read these media apologetics, snicker: CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE NOT EVEN PAYING THESE PPL

I expected Woke Tim Kaine. Nothing HRC does is shocking, it's the creative intellectual gymnastics of her supporters that continue to amaze.

I did not expect that to get behind idea of defeating Trump, we'd be asked to believe in crazy Russian conspiracies, rape apologetics.

These people recoil at "lesser evil" frame. Offended by the very idea Clintons could be "evil" and will not stand for it.

I expected to often agree with Democrats, once primary was over. Hey, Trump sucks amiright? But still with the most ridiculous commentary!

What's the single most reactionary position we can get Hillary supporters to defend before the primaries end?

I predict...male prerogative to rape and still be a feminist. Throwing poor women off welfare. War. OH WAIT...

How to be a male feminist ally: schedule a post-rape phone call to unpack & apologize.

Feminism is a big tent. But I didn't know it had seating section for rapists.

If you're writing think pieces saying that it's OK if Bill Clinton is a rapist pls ask yourself where you went wrong in your life.

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