Monday, October 16, 2017

Truest statement of the week

The attempt to pin Donald Trump’s election on the Russians is collapsing into utter absurdity. One of the most dangerous lies ever told has come totally undone, lost in the endless pages of Facebook. Russiagate is the conspiracy that never was, a tale spun by Democrats and corporate media manipulators who did everything they could to make Trump a viable candidate for president, only to be defeated by him in the Electoral College. Trump’s unpredictability, his occasional questioning of U.S. permanent war policies, unnerved the military and intelligence operatives of the empire. The spooks said they were “confident” that it was the Russians, not Wikileaks, who hacked into the bowels of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The spooks admitted they had no proof, and nearly a year after the election, it is clear that no evidence of Russian culpability in the affair exists. Russiagate is, in the words of the media mercenary Van Jones, a “nothing-burger.” And yet, it is a lie that was endlessly amplified and expanded upon because it serves those with an interest in permanent global conflict. So, to promote war without end we got lies without end, all orbiting around the black, empty hole called Russiagate. Based on no facts and no evidence, a non-existent electronic break-in grew into a massive Russian campaign to disrupt U.S. elections in 2016. But, the Russiagate mob has discovered that it’s hard to feed an infinitely expanding lie. Inevitably, they have had to scale back their inquisition.

-- Glen Ford, "Russiagate: The Lie Implodes" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

There is always a conspiracy afoot to start wars. There is always a lie used as a pretext. Iraq has WMD, Libya plans to massacre its people, North Korea is planning to kill us all and Syria is killing democracy and using WMD to do it. The targets keep changing but the game is the same, a never ending conspiracy meant to get buy in for American aggressions.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: True Conspiracies" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Sunday.  Sound the trumpets!!!  (Monday on the east coast but we've actually got an hour and a half until Monday here on the west.)

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?

Another truest for Glen Ford.
And another truest for Margaret Kimberley.
Civil war in Iraq?  Again?
He is a big part of the problem.
No, he's not.
Our top favorite fast food fries.
Who thought Eminem was a hero?
What we listened to while writing.
From WSWS.
From the American Legion.
A look back at the week's best.

See you next week.


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

Editorial: Things get worse in Iraq -- who thought that was possible?

US policy in Iraq in two pictures;
• Iraqi humvees are moving towards Kirkuk  (left)

•Kurdistan humvees are waiting to defend (right)

And where's the US government?

The Baghdad-based government is on the verge of war with the Erbil-based government -- Iraq is on the verge of war with itself.

Where's the media?

Where's the leadership?

Where's the concern?

PBS' THE NEWSHOUR spoke with Loveday Morris of THE WASHINGTON POST:

HARI SREENIVASAN: What’s the likelihood that this standoff right now turns violent? Into some sort of a civil war?

LOVEDAY MORRIS: I think at this point both sides don’t want violence. Al-Abadi, the prime minister, is really trying to defuse the situation by saying there’s going to be no military attack. But at the same time there is this buildup of forces so that I think they are trying to, in a way, intimidate the Kurds to withdraw from some areas but they don’t want to see a fight per say. But in this really tense situation there can be a small spark and things can turn violent quite easily.

Very easily.

Replying to  
9- If any country wants to mediate, good idea to do it now. One bullet fired here &disaster will take place, a peshmerga commander told me.


TV: ABC should save Kevin

The most curious detail about KEVIN PROBABLY SAVES THE WORLD is how Jason Ritter is approximately 8 years older than his father John Ritter was when THREE'S COMPANY first started filming but Jason looks so much younger.

a new illst

We said "younger," not "better."

But episode two did go for better by getting rid of the same hairstyle Jason's sported nearly all his career to give him a brush cut instead.

It suits him.

And if you're wondering why we're focusing on image from the start, it's because visuals are so important to this show about Kevin (Jason) who is a corporate burnout who attempted suicide and has now moved in with his sister Amy (JoAnna Garcia) and his niece Reese (Chloe East).

A meteor shower follows and, with it, the arrival of Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory).


A being like an angel, a messenger of God, who explains, "In every generation since the dawn of man there are thirty-six righteous souls and the world and they protect humanity by merely existing.  Now?  There's only one -- you.  Kevin, you are the last of the righteous."

And this is how Kevin ends up tasked with saving the world.

It's a gentle show with darker moments and, a second season elevator scene, where Kevin is doused in water, suggests darker moments are going to get stronger -- which makes sense since saving the world isn't a smiley face stamp.

But, as he learns his purpose, his tasks are simpler -- a new carburetor for his sister Amy's truck (to help her ease out of using it to avoid letting go of her dead husband), helping a guy named Jake (Sam Huntington) explain to his father that he doesn't want to be part of the family business, etc.

Learning to listen to the universe, to hear his calling, Yvette explains, will help him grow.

This is a charming show and would probably do better on Sundays than on Tuesdays where it is capping a two hour sitcom block on ABC that's crashing with each half hour.  Last week, KEVIN PROBABLY SAVES THE WORLD was up .2 million over its lead in, THE MAYOR. This appears to indicate that the show is finding an audience and word of mouth is helping.

The cast is certainly helping.  Jason Ritter, a natural talent, has never had a role this good or delivered so well.  JoAnna Garcia's been great in simple roles.  She's never coasted but she's also never had a role this complex -- she's a mother, she's a widow, she's a professor and a scientist, she loves her brother but worries about his suicide attempt and his sanity.  She juggles it perfectly and you really start to believe that BETTER WITH YOU, for example, might have lasted longer if it had better utilized her.

Kimberly Hebert also has a difficult task.  She's got to be grounded enough that audiences can identify with her while being different enough that we can believe she's a messenger of God (or a manifestation of Kevin's mental illness).

In smaller roles, India de Beaufort (Kristin), J. August Richards (Deputy Nathan) and Dustin Ybarra (Tyler) also deserve praise as do Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas for creating a fascinating show that draws you in naturally -- none of the shock tactics that have been so common in Kevin Williamson's recent works -- Williamson's work and those who aspire to be Williamson.  This is a straight forward, grab you by your hopes series that reminds you quality TV doesn't have to revolve around a drug maker in a suburban tract home.

If ABC has any brains left, they'll give this show time to find an audience.  Season one will likely be a struggle but word of mouth could make this one of ABC's strongest performers in a second season.

Jimmy Kimmel is part of the rape culture


Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Weinstein Avoidance" gets to the heart of the issue -- something that CBS' FACE THE NATION was unable to do.

Democratic donor and all around pig Harvey Weinstein assaulted and raped many women in his career -- including Rose McGowan and Lysette Anthony.

Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, got in a Twitter to-do two weekends ago with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel over Kimmel's refusal to do jokes about Weinstein.

Kimmel has responded that he's not the national conscience.

He and Donald Trump Jr. both missed the point -- as usual.

He's not supposed to joke about rape.

Yes, Weinstein donated to The Clinton Foundation and to all of Hillary's campaigns (and hosted a birthday party for her where he threatened Nathan Lane).

But that's not the issue.

Jimmy Kimmel took to his late night talk show and used his opening monologue to denounce a shooting and to denounce President Trump's proposed healthcare changes.

It wasn't that he didn't do jokes about rape.

It was that women were assaulted and raped and he didn't speak out.

And, yes, he did set himself up as the voice of America.

His silence on Weinstein is very telling -- and should be called out.

As should those who enable harassment.

That list would include Joseph A. Wulfsohn (MEDIAITE) who typed:

Twitter user Austen Fletcher shared an old clip of Jimmy Kimmel (from The Man Show) playing a game with women on the street where they had to guess what’s in his pants using their hands.
It’s worth noting that the women in the clip voluntarily played this game for a comedy bit, and is not equatable with Weinstein’s actions (despite what some on social media have insinuated).

It's not equatable?

It treated harassment as a joke.

A gross-out show that catered to pigs, it did a bit where women were encouraged to touch and put their lips to Kimmel's crotch.

What message was Kimmel sending his braying viewers with that bit?

Joseph Jackass Wulfsohn doesn't appear to even consider that -- or that the bit falls into what is regularly decried as rape culture.

With his 'comedic' past and his recent sermonizing during monologues, Kimmel had a duty to call out assault and rape.

He failed.

And a masculinist culture let him get away with it.  Brian Stelter and so many others who've positioned themselves as media critics have failed to call him out.


Havey's not the only predator


Harvey Weinstein's only one predator.

There are so many others out there.

And it's amazing how they are getting off while various women are being slammed.

We don't believe that Mayim Bialik needs to feel bad -- for attempting to participate in the conversation.

Nor do we believe that Jane Fonda needs to feel bad -- she knew a year ago but wasn't sure what she was allowed to disclose (Rosanna Arquette told her about it).

But we do question certain things.

Take, for example, THE CHINA SYNDROME.

Jane produced it.  With Michael Douglas.

So why was she okay with the scene where her character, reporter Kimberly Welles, is doing interviews at a nuclear plant and Michael Douglas condescendingly slaps her on the butt?

Her Kimberly doesn't react, doesn't register.

It's treated as normal.

And for Michael it is.

Unlike his father, rape rumors don't swirl around him.  (Kirk is rumored to have raped Natalie Wood and Dorothy Dandridge -- among others.)

For that slap on the ass -- and the normalizing of it (no, it wasn't acceptable, not even in 1979) -- Jane may need to apologize.

But, speaking of ass, Ben Affleck has serious issues and they need to be addressed -- repeated groping stories are emerging.  It's not funny and it's not cute.

Matt Damon needs to answer for his actions.

He and Ben both need to answer as to why they didn't help Rose McGowan.

They knew she was blacklisted in films by Harvey Weinstein.  They were making big movies and could have easily tossed a role or two her way.  But they refused to do so and so they are as bad as Harvey because what creates the silence is the idea that you will be harmed for speaking out.

By refusing to support the victims, Ben and Matt furthered Harvey's actions and backed them up.

Top ten fries

We devise our top ten of fast food fries.  Coming in first?

curly fries

1)  Jack-In-The-Box's curly fries.

2) Carl Jr.'s sweet potato fries.

3) Carl Jr.'s criss-cut fries.

4) Shake Shack fries.

5) Popeye's french fries.

6) Five Guys' fries.

7) KFC's potato wedges.

8) Del Taco's crinkle cut fries.

9) McDonald's french fries.

10) Arby's curly fries.

Tweet of the week

  1. The fact that some think that Eminem is saying something demostates how politically underdeveloped commercial hip-hop and U.S. culture is.
  2. Eminem's supposed take down of Trump in nothing more than  liberal pro-Democrat party, pro-war BS.

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