Monday, March 27, 2017

Truest statement of the week

Electoral politics in the United States has become more removed from reality than at any time in living memory. The two corporate parties have nothing to offer the people, because their corporate masters are determined to strip mine the public sector of everything that can be turned into profit, and to concentrate all effective decision making in the hands of the Lords of Capital. In the corporate game plan, those public functions that are not directly privatized will be placed under the control of quasi-public boards and agencies led by business executives whose mission is to tailor the infrastructures of cities and whole regions in the service of capital. That means moving resources and populations across the landscape -- or out of the region, entirely -- at the whim of the moneyed classes.
You should recognize important aspects of this scenario, since, to a very large degree, it already exists. Blacks have been expelled from U.S. cities in huge numbers since the dawn of the 21st century.

To the extent that the Rulers feel compelled to justify their capital-centric engineering of society, they will describe the dictatorship of the One Percent as “rational governance” – when, in fact, this period represents the final triumph of the irrationality of late stage, casino capitalism, with the fate of whole nations and peoples riding on the roll of the dice on Wall Street. Inevitably, Wall Street will crap out, but at every stage of the game, through speculative highs and lows, the impoverishment of the masses will increase in more or less direct proportion to the concentration of power and wealth among the ruling circles.

-- Glen Ford, "Don't Give the Black Misleaders Your Vote (They'll Just Cash It In)" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Feeling the need to outbid warmongering Democrats for the allegiance of military contractors and the military itself, the new Republican president proposes an unprecedented 10% increase in a Pentagon budget which already equaled the amount spent on arms by the next eight or nine countries combined.
So when can we expect to hear our black preachers, our black sororities, business and professional associations, and our black politicians, our shining black political class to decry and denounce this criminal misuse of the nation’s wealth? Sadly the answer we will not hear a peep from the black political class about the runaway war budget because they don’t have the permission of their masters, their bosses in the Democratic party. You see the Democratic party leadership are just as enthusiastic warmongers as Donald Trump. The main difference is that Democratic party leaders do not have Congress or the White House, but they DO own the minds, careers and what’s left of the souls of our black elite.

50 years ago, when Dr. King denounced the endless wars of American empire his support among white and black elites and corporate media vanished overnight, and he became one of the most denounced and despised men in America, profoundly unwelcome in most black churches, which nowadays claim to have been the cradle of the movement. If Dr. King repeated those denunciations today he might have many supporters among ordinary people, but he would be just as unpopular today as he was 50 years ago among much of our striving, career-minded, contract and grant seeking black elite.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Why Won’t the Black Political Class Won’t Denounce Trump’s Militarism? Because They Can’t." (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another week, another 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?


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

Editorial: All those responsible

Possibly 200 or more Iraqi civilians killed in a US airstrike.

You know what that means, right?


And the first to sling their ass under the street lamp?

THE DAILY BEAST's Florian Nuehof who shows up, in tattered fishnet stockings, to purr, with one hand down the front of your pants, "Such are the risks."

Oh, Florian, you are The Cheap Easy.

And you are so far, far from alone.

Liars like you help prolong wars.

Liars like you distort the truth.


We've long called out the role of the press in prolonging the illegal war.

Equally true, the Leslie Cagens, Medea Benjamins, Norman Solomons, Gloria Steinems, Kim Gandys, and all the other whores who fell silent in the last 8 years helped to prolong the Iraq War.


The peace movement's had a plague of losers.

They've lied and misled.

And the people of the world should never forgive them.

Their dishonesty and their silence made the latest massacre possible.

TV: Spin-offs

Spin-offs are never easy.  But they've been around forever -- case in point, ABC's THE RIFLEMAN had a 1959 spin-off entitled LAW OF THE PLAINSMAN.

There were many other spin-offs -- ABC's SURFSIDE 6 in 1960 (from BOURBON STREET BEAT), for example.  Another early interesting one was CBS' OUR PRIVATE WORLD which featured Geraldine Fitzgerald and Nicolas Coster and starred Eileen Fulton playing her AS THE WORLD TURNS character Lisa Hughes.  The spin-off aired 38 episodes during CBS prime time during 1965.

A year later, NBC attempted a spin-off of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E. (starring Stefanie Powers) lasted 28 episodes.


The 70s would see ABC's HAPPY DAYS emerge as an episode of LOVE AMERICAN STYLE and, later, its own series which would lead to multiple spin-offs including LAVERNE & SHIRLEY, MORK & MINDY and JOANIE LOVES CHACHI (among others) while CBS would score spin-offs from two successful shows.  THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW would lead to the spin-offs RHODA, PHYLLIS and LOU GRANT while ALL IN THE FAMILY would lead to MAUDE (which would spin-off GOOD TIMES), THE JEFFERSONS, GLORIA and ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE.

Other notable spin-offs include THE BIONIC WOMAN (Lindsay Wagner spinning-off her character from THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN), BENSON (Robert Buillaume spinning-off his character from SOAP) and THE FACTS OF LIFE (Charlotte Rae spinning-off her character from DIFF'RENT STROKES).

One of the most notorious spin-offs would be NBC's JOEY.

That spin-off of the hugely popular FRIENDS was everything that can go wrong: bad scripts, ill thought out supporting cast and a complete lack of point of view.

NBC didn't grasp that and kept the series -- one that never should have aired -- on the schedule for two years.

It hurt Thursday nights.

NBC couldn't get the message.

It appears to be an ingrained problem for the network.

Currently, NBC  has farmed out the bulk of its prime time on weeknights to Dick Wolf and his Chicago shows: CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO P.D., CHICAGO MED and CHICAGO JUSTICE.  The ratings are awful.  Friday nights, on CBS, BLUE BLOODS often gets four million more viewers an episode than any of the Chicago shows -- Friday nights -- wrap your mind around that.

NBC has allowed this Chicago stink to destroy their prime time.

Which is why THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON is suffering in the ratings.

Why would you want the same show on four times a week?

Americans soured quickly on WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? once ABC started airing the show five nights a week.

Or think of FOX and when thought, because FAMILY GUY was semi-popular, audiences would watch a block of FAMILY GUY and two similar shows: AMERICAN DAD and THE CLEVELAND SHOW.

NBC's also attempted to spin-off THE BLACKLIST.

THE BLACKLIST REDEMPTION has its flaws but it also has its strengths.

Chief among the assets?

The cast -- led by Famke Janssen (Scottie), Ryan Eggold (Tom) and Edi Gathegi (Matias).

Each of the five episodes so far have been fast paced and interesting.

The liabilities?

Scottie is Tom's mother.

Stop treating it as something to postpone.

It's what's going to help the show stand out.

That constant tease is probably the show's main flaw.

A plus is what they're doing with Scottie.

Her 'dead' husband is alive.

But Scottie's seeing prostitute Trevor (Dan Amboyer).

Part of her attraction to Trevor is that he does "filthy things" (Scottie's words) but she also enjoys using him as a sounding board and she has her assistant Kat (Theodora Miranne) have him sign a non-disclosure agreement.

It's been an interesting angle that allows us to get to know Scottie and the chemistry between Janssen and Amboyer is convincing.

But while the male writers and directors have been willing to explore that, we were bothered by episode five's directing.

This s the only episode directed by a woman, Elodie Keene, and what was the problem?

First off, one of the terrorists -- thank goodness, the attractive one -- is stripped down to his black boxer briefs and laid out on a parachute on top of the snow.

Why didn't we see his body?

Two scenes involve this.

And we get a tiny glance of his body.


Most shots were close ups of his face.

Why was his body ignored?

If this had been a woman in her underwear, we doubt her body would have been ignored.

In addition to those two scenes, Scottie had a post-sex scene with Trevor.

We get a brief glance of Trevor in a chair with a towel over him.

A very brief glance -- in a very long scene.

Is Elodie Keene uncomfortable with the male form?

Did she think she was making some sort of statement?

The only statement she made was: Prude.

TV relies far too much on close ups and the episode too frequently played out like a really bad 70s episode of THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS with its over reliance on close ups.

To distinguish itself from THE BLACKLIST and to make its own mark, the show needs to find ways to stand out.

That's true of any spin-off.

THE BLACKLIST REDEMPTION could have been better thought out before it started filming but it's not a bad show and if it would strive to highlight its differences it could be something unique.

Which is the problem with any spin-off.

For it to catch on with viewers, it has to be of interest as its own self-contained show.  But for the network to really get behind it, it has to come off like a carbon copy of the show it's been spun off from.

What's happening out there

Last Friday, NASA's Shane Kimbrough (Expedition 50 Commander) and European Space Agency's Thomas Pesquet (Flight Engineer) stepped outside the International Space Station to do some work.

This was the first of three planned spacewalks.  NASA notes, "A second spacewalk has been rescheduled to Thursday, March 30, and a third spacewalk now is scheduled for Thursday, April 6."

View of our spectacular planet (and my boots) during the yesterday with .

NASA is so much more interesting and valuable than 'reality TV,' to name only one item.

So maybe a little more attention could be paid to it?

A rainbow of colors highlights varying mineral compositions on this Martian hill, located in the Juventae Chasma:

Zooming in on the A ring, our spacecraft revealed narrow, detailed structures. Learn more:

NASA's work has implications for the future and for right now.

Using the same age-old steps of weaving, this small business is now weaving material that will be sent to Mars!

Via space, we see beyond earth as well as seeing our own world in a different way.

  1. La barrière de corail brise les vagues et protège le lagon de cette île inhabitée, dans l’archipel de Los Roques, Venezuela 🇻🇪
  2. The coral barrier breaks the waves and protects the lagoon of this uninhabited island in the archipelago of Los Roques, Venezuela 🇻🇪

Again, it's all so much more interesting than any Kardashian ever could be.

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