Monday, May 29, 2017

Truest statement of the week

The Democrats, eager members of the war party, are constantly ratcheting up propaganda of their own. Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus have eagerly played their part. Representative Al Green of Texas was the first to make a call for impeachment from the floor of the House of Representatives. If Green can call for Trump’s impeachment he ought to lead the fight against Republican voter suppression. That tactic has deprived thousands of black Americans of the franchise and probably led to Hillary Clinton’s loss in key states. Green and his CBC colleagues don’t think that particular aspect of the Trump victory is worthy of discussion. They have been reduced to party hacks who take direction from their corrupt superiors. They are equally complicit in the Democratic Party’s subterfuge and make a mockery of black voters’ near unanimous support.
In any case, the cry for impeachment is a bait and switch for the Democrats. They would prefer to have Trump to kick around and run against in 2018 and 2020. A hamstrung president is far more useful to them than an establishment figure like Mike Pence. Pence would deflate the shallow so-called resistance movement largely because he isn’t Donald Trump. Democratic wannabe revolutionaries would then go back to sleep without a bogeyman to keep them frightened. Using Trump as a punching bag is the only option that allows them to end their string of electoral failures.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Endless Propaganda" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Hillary Clinton may never win the presidency, but she has won the battle over U.S. imperial policy in Syria. The U.S. will soon begin laying political-military trip-wires at strategic “no-go” points around Syria, to create space for Washington’s Islamic jihadist foot soldiers. Hillary’s style of warring diplomacy requires that targeted nations react to U.S. aggressions in prescribed ways: the Russians are supposed to blink in the presence of a real superpower; the Syrians must accept the loss of their territorial integrity and sovereignty; and the Iranians are required to surrender or become the next inferno. Otherwise, “We came, we saw – everybody died.”

-- Glen Ford, "Hillary Clinton’s Syria Revenge" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --


Yes, we are shocked too.

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.
As does Glen Ford.
Or do they only matter if they happen in the west?
Ava and C.I. take on ABC's TV movie remake of DIRTY DANCING.
Bono is no friend of peace.
We open up the kitchen to try a new ice cream flavor.
Repost from 1970.
Again, which deaths matter?
What we listened to while writing.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: Do the deaths matter?

Repeatedly, we see deaths treated as shocking and then some appearance of global mourning.

Or, at least we do, when the attacks take place in the west.

When it's Iraq?

Iraq, just like Syria, has endured the most death & ruin at ISIS's hands. But sadly, the global outrage and MSM coverage is slim to none. 💔


Monday saw an ice cream shop targeted in Baghdad.

Will the world stop for a moment to notice the dead and wounded?

Replying to 
How many monuments around the world will be lit up in Iraq's colours to show solidarity with tonight's victims? How many minutes airtime?


At the top, let's get one thing out of the way: We did not have hungry eyes.

Any interest or desire in seeing ABC's remake of DIRTY DANCING vanished early on.



The two networks did those remakes as live TV events.

For reasons only they know, ABC decided to remake a beloved film as a TV movie.

It's not the first time they did this.

In 1977, they served up Marlo Thomas in IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS -- a remake of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

It's a TV film that they've since buried.

The same fate probably awaits DIRTY DANCING.

And should.

The remake is an unmitigated disaster.

Abigail Breslin replaces Jennifer Grey in the role of Baby and the big question is why?

At best, Breslin was a child actress who peaked a decade ago and the only remake she should be near today is GEORGY GIRL.

Yet there she was, plus-sized and talent-lacking, moving around with all the grace of Shelley Winters' underwater ballet in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE.

They tried to cover up for Breslin's inability to dance by avoiding showing her feet whenever possible.

They'd been better off hiding her co-star from the camera.

Someone decided Cole Prattes was the one to take over the role of Johnny.

It's not that he wasn't Patrick Swayze, it's that he wasn't anybody.

Calling him "dull" would be too generous -- dull only bores.

Prattes did real damage as he attempted to steal the show.

A trained dancer, Prattes could have made Breslin come off better in the choreography by being generous but every bone in his body is clearly jealous.

Which would also explain why he showed up for filming having just lost 20 more pounds.

Was he trying to make her look fatter?

If so, he undid all the camera and wardrobe tricks -- including, at one point, the turtle neck sheet Breslin was cloaked in for the love scene.

The script appeared to be yet another attempt to aid Breslin.

Long stretches were spent on minor characters like Debra Messing as Baby's mother who not only prattled on but also sang a number which was when we realized we weren't watching DIRTY DANCING so much as we were watching a remake of MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR.

That explains the book ending scenes the remake adds.

The film kicks off and ends in the 'present' (the seventies).

See Baby's at a Broadway theater where a musical is being rehearsed: DIRTY DANCING.  Baby's written the book for the musical.

MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR (the film) has Natalie Wood's Marjorie grasping that we're all responsible for our own choices.

Baby's choices after that dancing summer were to move on from Johnny, get married and have kids.

Her life is empty.

And, as we watch these new bits, about to get emptier as she attempts to turn her summer into a successful musical in 1975 -- that's the year that, among others, A CHORUS LINE and CHICAGO took Broadway by storm.

The remake tells us Baby lost the love of her life.

It also informs us what happens when someone's artistic vision  crashes.

They go to work for ABC.

Bono Loves Bully Boy Bush

Back in 2005, we warned against Bono.

The pompous blowhard -- a serial cheater in real life -- presented himself as the man of peace.

He was no such thing.

From 2005:

C.I.: Thank you, Rebecca, for that editorial report. For those who missed it, "It means no wood" is a play on Blanche DuBois's lines in A Streetcar Named Desire. We now go to Mike of Mikey Likes It! who will give us what The New York Times doesn't.

Mike: Thank you, C.I. as an Irish-American and a Catholic, I've gone beyond amazement, beyond anger, to acceptance of the fact that The New York Times is interested in violence when it pertains to Catholics but not when it pertains to the "loyalists" who are pro-British. Case in point, the lack of reporting on the events of last week when Loyalists erupted in violence during their parade. What was characterized as "some of the worst rioting in years" was not something Times correspondent Brian Lavery was overly interested in sussing out.

C.I.: In fairness Mike, we should point out that Lavery has publicly stated the various "alphabets" to the various groups are confusing to him. ["Editorial: NYT's Lavery, is he joking or unfit for the assignment?"]

Mike: That is correct. Following what has called "the worst rioting in a decade," Australia's ABC reports that the loyalists have pulled out of talks with the police that were intended to foster a better relationship between the two groups. Meanwhile The New York Times has found an Irish man they like, Bono. And while they trumpet his "power" today, the sad reality is that the UN is not meeting its obligations so much so that Bono's cheerleading buddy, as reported by The Irish Examiner, Bob Geldof has stated, or understated, "I am not thrilled" by the UN's non-reaction to the issues of poverty, debt relief and aid. On a personal note, since I never signed up for Bono's organization, can someone explain to me why I continue to get almost daily e-mail updates from it? "Together we are all ONE" proclaims the latest e-mail. I am not "one" with the tools for the Bully Boy who need to do some work on rebuilding their credibility quickly after fawning over the Bully Boy and giving him cover only to now whine that "I am not thrilled." Telling you what The New York Times won't, this is Mike.

C.I.: Thank you, Mike. For more on the relationships of Bully Boy, Bono, Blair and Geldoff, you can refer to Bianca Jagger's article at openDemocracy. Now with an update on Iraq, we have Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz.

We continued to document Bono's close relationship with War Criminal Bully Boy Bush.

And we noted Bono's repeated silence on Iraq.

For those who didn't grasp it, the two hooked up over the weekend.

  1. Bono visits George W. Bush at his Texas ranch; "He has a huge heart ... not to mention a decent voice," Bush said.
  2. George W. Bush and Bono take to Instagram to document the U2 lead singer's visit to the former president's TX ranch
  3. IMAGE: Former President Bush with Bono

From another 2005 piece:

C.I.: Thank you for that, Wally. We now go to Kat who's devoting her music news segment to one issue which she'll provide commentary on. Kat of Kat's Corner (of The Common Ills).

Kat: I asked ahead of time for three minutes to sound off on Rolling Stone's latest cover story. Cover boy Bono, of U2. Bono has seen Bully Boy's heart and it is pure. How else to explain the denial in which Bono lives in even when confronted throughout the interview by Rolling Stone publisher Jann S. Wenner? Wenner points out that Bully Boy's $5 billion in AIDS funding was reduced by Bully Boy to $3 billion and then by Congress to $1.75 billion but Bono can't question his Bully Boy. As Bono plays Eva Braun, Wenner brings the topic back to the promised $5 billion Bono, drones like a Stepford Wife, "The money is still promised. . ." and Wenner cuts him off with, "He makes a lot of promises he doesn't keep." Bono's response? "The money is still promised . . . That money will come through." Bono justifies the funds going to ABC programs, abstinence, be faithful and conodms, saying that it "is pretty much accepted by most religious groups" in this country as if that has anything to do with scientific effectiveness. We're talking about some countries that were already deeply hostile to what they see as a disease that the west has lied about. Various theories abound. After years of stressing condoms, we're now going to go back and say, "Hey, let's also practice abstinence and be faithful"? It's crazy and it's a diversion of funds to what does work. Bono's so far up Bully Boy's ass, he can't see any light. Wenner challenges Bono on why he publicly shamed the Prime Minister of Canada for not living up to his pledge but has failed to do the same with Bully Boy. Bono's defense? "We're not shrinking violets here." On the war, Bono offers that "everyone knows" how he feels about the war. "Do I campaign against the war in Iraq? No. . . . That's the compromise." It's too bad that when choosing subjects to stay silent on, praise for Jesse Helms isn't one of them. Yes, Bono again praises Jesse Helms. Bono has left the planet earth many times. When he was "The Fly" he was living in a land that common sense could not gain entry to. But he's never embarrassed himself, or sold himself out, as much as he does in this interview where he continually presents himself as being slightly to the right of Hillary Clinton. As the displeasure the band has with him continues to become more and more well known, it's obvious why. His talk of "half-a-loaf" is ignorant and uninformed. An illness demands a scientific response, not a feel good lecture. When a saner president is in office in the United States and we revert back to treat a medical illness from a scientific point of view, we'll have to spend months undoing the damage that ABC has already caused. As the deaths continue to mount, one wonders if Bono will look at them and say "Well that's half a loaf! Let's talk about me again! Let's talk about how I won over right wingers and evangicals by meeting with them! It's all about me!" The compromised, self-stifiling, self-deluded Bono.

Bono chose his side, the world should chose their own.

From The TESR Test Kitchen

HOSTESS and BREYERS has teamed up to offer a new ice cream flavor: CUP CAKES.

Pieces of HOSTESS CUP CAKES are put into BRYERS chocolate ice cream.


The result?

It's a thick kind of ice cream, almost fudge like.

There's a white swirl throughout the ice cream.

It doesn't really taste like the white frosting inside the HOSTESS CUP CAKES.

And the pieces of cup cakes?

Sometimes they have a unique taste but sometimes the chocolate ice cream knocks out any other taste it might have.

Would it have been better if they'd tried to merge chocolate ice cream with HOSTESS DING DONGS?

We think so.

In the meantime, check it out and see what you think.

Stop selling war

From Veterans For Peace, East Bay Chapter #162

Dear Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

We are a group of military veterans who are hoping NOT to be blown off the face of this planet in a nuclear exchange precipitated by events in Syria.

The U.S. is close to confronting nuclear-armed Russia over Syria.  This situation was triggered by the recent Assad-Did-It-Again story,  "gassing his own people," that we first heard in 2013.  Once again evidence was lacking, and worse, there was a total lack of interest in finding evidence, or in asking the obvious questions of motive, cui bono?

As former military persons, we see no military advantage or rationale for the Assad regime to have used poison gas in those situations.  On the other hand, there are people who would be glad to use the incident to pull the U.S. into the war.  This should be clear to even the most casual observer, and yet it is being ignored by the mainstream media.

Why is there no need for evidence?  This looks to us like yet another replay of "Gulf of Tonkin," "WMDs in Iraq,” and numerous other false provocations going back to 1898 and "Remember the Maine!"  Once again the mainstream media is pushing for war.  Rush to judgment with no penetrating questions asked.

Unfortunately, with only rare exceptions, DEMOCRACY NOW has NOT been raising such questions either in regards to Syria.  On your Friday, April 7th show, you featured numerous guests discussing Syria, some openly accusing Assad, but nobody asking about evidence.  Listeners of your show were left to take for granted that the Assad regime is guilty as assumed.  This is particularly disappointing to us as we are long-time listeners of your show; we have over the years trusted you as a reliable source of information.

We are asking you to take another and closer look at Syria.  Consider the credible investigations by Seymour Hersh and others, including the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), on the chemical weapons incident of August 21, 2013.  Their reports indicate those chemical weapons were launched by armed opposition NOT the Syrian government.  This seems very relevant to the current situation.

And please start including guests who know about Syria and have a different perspective from your usual guests.  For example, the vice president of Veterans for Peace was in Syria last year. There are many others and we would be happy to provide contact information.

This is important because, as President Donald Trump's recent actions in Syria seem to be leading to a face-off with nuclear-armed Russia, we are wondering whether Vladimir Putin can afford to back down.  And if he can't, what then?  Will we be alive on this earth at this time a year from now?

Hoping to stay alive,

VETERANS FOR PEACE, East Bay Chapter #162

The Military Spies on Citizens Too

When people talk spying in the US, they rarely note the military.

In the interest of enlarging understanding, we're reposting this September 2, 1970 COMPUTER WORLD article, Joseph Hanlon's "Army Transfers Data Bank Control to Ciad."

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Movie actress Jane Fonda has been added to the Army's computerized datea bank of civilian political activity.  Meanwhile, control of the data bank has been shifted to a new Army group.

The data bank is maintained because the Army "must be in a position to analyze information in order to prepare necessary civil disturbance plans" in case troops are needed to quell disturbances, according to Under Secretary of the Army Thaddeus R. Beal.

But other sources within the Army report that many of the 3,000 to 5,000 civilians in the computer files have no conceivable relation to potential riots.  Typical listing are folk-singers Judy Collins and Pete Seeger, two ex-military officers who have spoken out against the war in Indochina, and a Baptist minister who writes anti-Semitic letters.

Jane Fonda, star of "Barbarella" and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", was added to the file early this summer.  The Army declined comment, but apparently she was added because she joined a group of 100 Indians who attempted to enter Fort Lawton, Wash., March 9, to set up an Indian Cultural Center.

The data bank is maintained by the Counterespionage/Countersubversion Section (CE/CSS) of the Army Counterintelligence Analysis Detachment (Ciad).  Until recently, however, the CE/CSS worked directly under the Directorate of Civil Disturbance Planning and Operation in the Pentagon parking lot.

Now, the Army has transferred control of CE/CSS back to the Ciad and its staff no longer works in the Domestic War Room.

The data bank itself is in the Hoffman Building, 3601 Eisenhower Dr., Alexandria, Va., not in the Domestic War Room as was reported in CW Aug. 12.  But the staff of the Domestic War Room has access to the data bank, even though CE/CSS is no longer working there.

Earlier this year, the Army collected data on civilian political activity in at least four computerized data banks.  When this became public, the ensuing uproar forced the Army to discontinue two of the data banks. Recently, the Army "found" another data bank, and discontinued it [CW, Aug. 12]/  The Ciad-CE/CSS data bank is the only one remaining and the change in authority may have been an attempt to reduce objections.

The Ciad-CE/CSS data bank consists of microfilmed newspaper clippings and FBI and military intelligence reports, indexed by computer.


.: "Number of children killed in Iraq, post invasion equates to a Manchester attack, every day, for 8 years."

The violence in Iraq and its victims never gets the attention it should.

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