Monday, November 20, 2017

Truest statment of the week

"This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad Al came out and apologized, but that doesn't reverse what he's done or end the matter. I support an ethics committee investigation into these accusations, and I hope this latest example of the deep problems on this front spurs continued action to address it. "

-- Senator Patty Murray speaking of Senator Al Franken's harassment of Leeann Tweedem (CNN).

Truest statement of the week II

The Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) was established in 1938 as a means of fighting Nazi influence in the United States. The Russian funded cable network RT was recently forced to register under FARA in order to continue operating in the United States. The wave of ginned up anti-Russian hysteria has created a new and terrible precedent.
RT’s audience is small, so small that it doesn’t appear on the Nielsen rating service. It is estimated to be viewed by no more than 50,000 people per day. But facts don’t count when the Democrats need to excuse their failures and neocons in both parties want to wage war by any and all means.

The political attack on a news outlet is striking for another reason and that is the near complete absence of support for RT among American journalists. The acquiescence of the usual cohort of civil libertarians and others who think themselves progressive and enlightened is striking. The 21st century McCarthyite campaign has succeeded in convincing otherwise intelligent people that Russia is an enemy. Those who are unconvinced are generally too afraid to speak up. Their fear is legitimate.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Defending RT" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday morning.  Isn't that a retail store?

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?

Senator Patty Murray gets a truest.
As does Margaret Kimberley. 
Exactly when do we object to these years of bombing Iraq?  It's now three years of bombings.
Ava and C.I. tackle a great deal in this one.
A great artist wins a well deserved award.
We trot back to the kitchen.

Ava and C.I. take on MOTHER JONES.
Disease of the week.
What we listened to.
A press release from Senator Johnny Isakson's office.

The heads up we posted on Sunday before the AMAs began airing.

See you next week.


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

Editorial: Bombs don't bring peace

An investigation of 150 US airstrike sites in found civilian death rates 31 times higher than official US government claims & that civilians are repeatedly being classified as ISIS ht :

She's referring to Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal "The Uncounted" (THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE) which explained that the bombings of the US-led coalitions, the ones killing all those terrorists, were, in fact, killing a lot of civilians:

Around midnight, Basim heard a thump from the second floor. He peeked out of his office and saw a sliver of light under the door to the bedroom of his daughter, Tuqa. He called out for her to go to bed. At 21, Tuqa would often stay up late, and though Basim knew that he wasn’t a good example himself and that the current conditions afforded little reason to be up early, he believed in the calming power of an early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine. He waited at the foot of the stairs, called out again, and the sliver went dark.
It was 1 a.m. when Basim finally shut down the computer and headed upstairs to bed. He settled in next to Mayada, who was fast asleep.
Some time later, he snapped awake. His shirt was drenched, and there was a strange taste — blood? — on his tongue. The air was thick and acrid. He looked up. He was in the bedroom, but the roof was nearly gone. He could see the night sky, the stars over Mosul. Basim reached out and found his legs pressed just inches from his face by what remained of his bed. He began to panic. He turned to his left, and there was a heap of rubble. “Mayada!” he screamed. “Mayada!” It was then that he noticed the silence. “Mayada!” he shouted. “Tuqa!” The bedroom walls were missing, leaving only the bare supports. He could see the dark outlines of treetops. He began to hear the faraway, unmistakable sound of a woman’s voice. He cried out, and the voice shouted back, “Where are you?” It was Azza, his sister-in-law, somewhere outside.
“Mayada’s gone!” he shouted.
“No, no, I’ll find her!”

“No, no, no, she’s gone,” he cried back. “They’re all gone!” 

That's just one example of what the reporters found.  Overall?

Our own reporting, conducted over 18 months, shows that the air war has been significantly less precise than the coalition claims. Between April 2016 and June 2017, we visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, not long after ISIS was evicted from them. We toured the wreckage; we interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors, family members, intelligence informants and local officials; we photographed bomb fragments, scoured local news sources, identified ISIS targets in the vicinity and mapped the destruction through satellite imagery. We also visited the American air base in Qatar where the coalition directs the air campaign. There, we were given access to the main operations floor and interviewed senior commanders, intelligence officials, legal advisers and civilian-casualty assessment experts. We provided their analysts with the coordinates and date ranges of every airstrike — 103 in all — in three ISIS-controlled areas and examined their responses. The result is the first systematic, ground-based sample of airstrikes in Iraq since this latest military action began in 2014.

We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all.

On Friday's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (NPR), Kelly McEvers discussed the report with its co-author Azmat Khan:

MCEVERS: How many other people are there like Basim that you documented, people who had lost relatives, who are not classified as civilians?

KHAN: So in the 103 airstrikes that we found, there were 75 civilian deaths and none of them that - by any accounts we could tell matched with numbers that had been acknowledged by the coalition.

MCEVERS: Of those 75, how many had been reported as civilian deaths by the coalition?

KHAN: Zero.

In August of 2014, these bombings began under President Barack Obama.

No real objection was lodged by most.

These bombings have continued under President Donald Trump.

Maybe now we can get upset?

Maybe now we can object?

Because bombs don't bring peace.

TV: Men aren't the only ones harming women

If women were in charge, would it be different?

Watching NETFLIX's latest series from MARVEL COMICS we had to think, "Not really."

a new illst

NETFLIXY -- as it's known among certain professional women for it's blatant sexism in what gets greenlit and what doesn't -- just premiered THE PUNISHER and it is a punishment -- for the audience.

The show stars Jon Berthnal -- a Jew famous for passing for Latinos.  Exactly why is that?  Is there a shortage of Latinos seeking acting parts?  Or is it just part of Steven Spielberg's networking?

Regardless, he's one of the ugliest men you'll ever see.  The nose.

Oh, the nose.

Barbra Streisand has a big nose.

It's not an ugly nose.

It's just bigger than the nose many women have.

Berthnal's problem isn't the size of his nose -- it's the near non-existent bridge and the nostril flare that makes for an ugly profile, an ugly full shot, ugly all around.

We'd like to tell you Berthanl can act.

If he could act, you might forget how ugly he is, right?

But he can't act.

He tries to brood and he's as convincing at brooding as Charlie Sheen would be at playing a virgin.

He's ugly.

He can't act.

And he's the star of a TV series.

As John Mellencamp once said, "Ain't that America."

At least it is, if you're a man.

And you can't just blame the men because this series has 12 people credited as executive producers -- three of them are women.

This is a NETFLIX MARVEL series.

So Rosario Dawson shows up as Claire Temple -- the character she's played in DAREDEVIL (THE PUNISHER is a spin-off of DAREDEVIL), JESSICA JONES, LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST and THE DEFENDERS . . .

Oh, wait, she doesn't.

She wanted to.

It just wasn't important enough to the producers for her to be there.

It wasn't very important to the producers that women be cast in roles that matter.

Hell, it was even important that women be cast as extras.

The Punisher goes to a veterans support group -- well, he listens from the hall.

As he listens, 12 veterans are circled up.

We never hear from the woman in the group -- the only woman in the group.

One women, eleven men.

This counts as reality?

This doesn't even make for a good Jean Claude Van Damme film.

How did this happen?

Because it's NETFLIXY and because some women don't help other women at all.

Lena Dunham.

The self-proclaimed feminist has yet again stepped in it.

A woman, Aurora Perrineau, dared to accuse a friend of Lena's (Murray Miller) of rape and Lena called the woman a liar.  She knows things, Lena insists, that the world doesn't.

Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner. Good old-fashioned elitist slut shaming. Way to go.

  1. Aurora Perrineau I stand with you

Lena Dunham trending; Aurora Perrineau not trending. Can we start believing and centering black women's stories? Cool.

This is a special kind of trash. It’s also part of her playbook, this mealy mouth pseudo-apology that never specifically addresses the one she harmed the most.

After the backlash began, Lena rushed out to offer an 'apology.'

The "timing" wasn't proper for her statement, she explained.

The "timing"?

She doesn't know a damn thing about what happened.

In the future, maybe she can grasp that?

Here's how one of us (C.I.)  handled it when someone we knew was accused of harassment:

Starting with Bob Filner.  The former US House Representative didn't seek re-election in 2012, choosing instead to run in San Diego's mayoral race.  He won.  He is currently Mayor Bob Filner.  How likely that is to last is probably best left to a betting pool.

I know Bob Filner.  I like Bob Filner.  Bob did many great things in Congress.  He has done many strong things as Mayor.  He may or may not be able to continue in that role.  He stands accused of sexual harassment and misconduct for actions since he has been mayor.

Is he guilty of what he's currently accused?  I have no idea.  He's never been anything but friendly to me and I've never seen him harass anyone.  That doesn't mean he's innocent, that does mean that's all I can speak to personally on the allegations. 

[. . .]
I like Bob.  I will always praise his work on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  He deserves praise for that.  I have never seen him exhibit the behavior he is currently accused of.  I would hope that means it is not true, however, I am aware it may very well be true.  As much as I like -- no, as much as I love Bob, it is not my job to run interference for him or to insist that he's innocent.  I hope he is.  I do not know he is.  These are serious charges.  Women who are making them have a right to be heard.   I am certainly not interested in attacking these women or in smearing them.

Again, I hope Bob Filner is innocent and that this is an awful misunderstanding. But neither my hopes for Bob nor my love for him trump any suffering of someone he caused.  If the accusations are true, he must suffer the consequences.  If the accusations are true, it will be a horrible mark on his public record; however, it will not be his [only]  legacy.  His work for veterans will remain outstanding.  That work will not make it 'okay' that he harassed women (if the charges are true).  But they go to the fact that people can do very great things and also do very unethical and/or very criminal things.  Heroes largely exist in children's comic books and on IMAX screens in the summer.  Sometimes those that we make larger than life have the worst feet of clay.  That's not to justify harassment, abuse or rape.  It is to note that -- thinking of the sliming of two women that so many on the left (men and Naomi Wolf) took part in -- someone who has done something good can also be someone who's done something wrong or criminal. 

Lena would do well to realize 'timing' was not her error -- it was attacking a woman stepping forward to say she'd been raped.

It reminded us yet again that Lena is not a thinker, a smart person or even remotely creative.

She is good at drawing attention to herself.

And she does.

All the wrong kind.

My statement on why I will no longer write for , and the behavior I witnessed firsthand from 's friends. It is time for women of color--black women in particular--to divest from Lena Dunham.

Jane Curtin had her Lena moment last week.

Greg Evans (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) explains Jane felt the need to weigh in on Senator Al Franken being called out last week for his harassment of Leeann Tweeden:

Now, at least two of Franken’s former SNL cohorts are wading in, both supporting their old colleague. Jane Curtin tells The New York Times today that she’s “upset about this atmosphere and good people being dragged into it.”
Curtin, one of the original Not Ready For Prime-Time Players, said the longtime SNL writer and featured player was a powerful ally of the show’s female writers and performers.

“If he did that,” Curtin said of Leeann Tweeden’s allegations, “that’s really stupid, but I have never seen him in a situation where he has been sexually aggressive with anybody.”

Everything she said was wrong.


If he did that?

Did she miss the picture posted?

I haven't seen a situation, she explains, so it's never happened.

No, it happened all the time and happened in front of Jane.

But Jane's of a generation that was so desperate to be included that harassment was tolerated.

She's still of that generation.

She's still begging for crumbs and not expecting to be treated equally or with respect.

So, apparently in her mind, why the hell should Leeann expect either equality or respect?

What Jane and the media have forgotten or ignored is this happened on a USO Tour.

It's not the 1940s and what Bob Hope got away with wouldn't fly today -- due to societal change, yes, but also due to the make up of today's US military which includes women in large numbers.

But there was Al, on a USO Tour, insisting on a skit where he kissed/mauled a woman -- even though Leeann didn't want to be part of it.  And there he was after, on the USO plane, ridiculing, demeaning and harassing her as she slept, putting a little show that mocked her.

There's no excuse for what he did.

There's no forgiveness for it either.

The best he can hope for is trying to make up for it.

And let's be clear that he needs to make it up to women and he needs to make it up to the USO.  He disgraced and shamed the latter and somehow no one in the press wants to talk about how he besmirched the USO's reputation and spat on their mission.

Jane's of a mind set that has not progressed.  Women like her still just won't be let in and will endure any humiliation that requires.  That's why she waited until 2011 -- 35 years after she started on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- to talk about the sexism on the set.

Maybe in 35 more years she'll be useful again?

That mind set is the Gloria Steinem mind set.

Bruce Haring (DEADLINE) reported last week:

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem was among the women appointed today to a new Vice committee on conduct and inclusivity in the workplace. The committee was formed in the wake of a male Vice executive’s suspension for alleged inappropriate conduct and the start of an investigation into other allegations raised by a female former associate producer.


We can't think of many people less qualified than Gloria Steinem for that position.

Days before the VICE appointment, Caitlin Flanagan (THE ATLANTIC) observed:

The notorious 1998 New York Times op-ed by Gloria Steinem must surely stand as one of the most regretted public actions of her life. It slut-shamed, victim-blamed, and age-shamed; it urged compassion for and gratitude to the man the women accused. Moreover (never write an op-ed in a hurry; you’ll accidentally say what you really believe), it characterized contemporary feminism as a weaponized auxiliary of the Democratic Party.
Called “Feminists and the Clinton Question,” it was written in March of 1998, when Paula Jones’s harassment claim was working its way through court. It was printed seven days after Kathleen Willey’s blockbuster 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley. If all the various allegations were true, wrote Steinem, Bill Clinton was “a candidate for sex addiction therapy.” To her mind, the most “credible” accusations were those of Willey, who she noted was “old enough to be Monica Lewinsky’s mother.” And then she wrote the fatal sentences that invalidated the new understanding of workplace sexual harassment as a moral and legal wrong: “Even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb, and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took ‘no’ for an answer.”
Steinem said the same was true of Paula Jones. These were not crimes; they were “passes.” Steinem revealed herself as a combination John and Bobby Kennedy of the feminist movement: the fair-haired girl and the bare-knuckle fixer. The widespread liberal response to the sex-crime accusations against Bill Clinton found their natural consequence 20 years later in the behavior of Harvey Weinstein: Stay loudly and publicly and extravagantly on the side of signal leftist causes and you can do what you want in the privacy of your offices and hotel rooms. But the mood of the country has changed. We are in a time when old monuments are coming down and men are losing their careers over things they did to women a long time ago.

On Friday, as Kat noted, Gloria's spokesperson was insisting Gloria was unavailable. But what most of the media missed was that two days earlier, Gloria had been speaking (to NY1) and stating that she stood by what she wrote.

She stands by that column?

She's not fit to serve on VICE's committee.

For Gloria, a man exposing his penis to an employee is a "clumsy pass."  He took the rejection so he's a good guy.

Not that's harassment and exposure is a crime.

Or has Gloria never heard of indecent exposure?

Clinton was governor of Arkansas when he exposed his penis to Paula Jones.

For Gloria, even today, it's just a clumsy pass.

It's work place harassment.

It's indecent exposure.

It's many things but "a clumsy pass" isn't one of them.

She's not fit to serve on anything.

She's degraded the women's movement since she shoved Betty Friedan aside in the seventies -- using Betty's age against her despite the fact that she's so much older now than Betty was then but Gloria refuses to step aside.

She'd rather battle THE NEW YORK TIMES because they (rightly) noted her work for the CIA.

She'd rather lie and lie again.

Before she assumed leadership, the feminist movement made waves.  Then came Gloria and she was another beggar waiting by the table for scraps.  Fold and fold again was her motto.  Since 2008, we've repeatedly steered readers to Veronica Geng's "Requiem for the women's movement," the November 1976 cover story of HARPER'S and to Germaine Greer's "McGovern, the big tease" from the October 1972 issue of HARPER'S.

In both those pieces, you see a woman advancing herself and selling out women.  You see a woman concerned not with women's issues but with making nice with the Democratic Party.

She is a sell out.

She is also an apologist for the CIA.

We used to defend Gloria to some who e-mailed here.

Gloria was many things but her CIA past was a lie.

Only it turned out, it wasn't.  And since we've been corrected on that (we can be wrong and often are), we've called her out on that.

She's called working for the CIA something's she proud of.  This was during Operation Mockingbird, this was when people were being killed and tortured.  And part of Gloria's work was identifying foreigners whom the CIA might need to 'meet' with privately.

She's proud of that?

Gloria's a fake ass and that's all she'll ever be.  She lied to the American people -- about her CIA past, about her true politics, about everything.

She didn't create feminism but she sure as hell did water it down.

And she misled as well as others.

Juanita Broaddrick.

It wasn't until the 2016 campaign that we learned of Juanita.

One of us (Ava) was too young in 1998, the other (C.I.) was out of the country.

Bill settled with Paula Jones -- that makes it true in our mind.

But we didn't know Juanita's story.

So we looked and you'll find four stories at this site that covered her charges.  In addition, we took up the subject in our campus and women's groups talks around the country.

And, at THE COMMON ILLS, we wrote "So, uh, we weren't with her? (Ava and C.I.):"

After Bill Clinton's impeachment and Senate censure, the American people were exhausted.

And Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill of rape, didn't get the public hearing she should have, as a result.

But now Hillary was running to be president of the United States.  She was now the Democratic Party nominee.  Her husband is Bill Clinton.

And she thinks they don't have to answer the charge?

She and Bill have never publicly addressed the charge.

In 1992, whispers that Bill was sleeping with Gennifer Flowers led the two to sit down with 60 MINUTES.

But a charge of rape is left to stand for decades with neither of them ever addressing it?

If NBC had aired the interview before the censure, it's very likely Bill would have been impeached.  It's very hard to watch Juanita Broaddrick recount what she says happened and not believe her.

And it's very hard to watch so many women work to defeat other women so that they can munch on a few crumbs tossed from the table all the men sit at.


We use "harassment" and not "sexual harassment" because it's not about sex.  In the 2013 excerpt from THE COMMON ILLS we've left it as published "sexual harassment."  Were we not using "harassment" instead by then?  Possibly.  Or the person the snapshot was dictated to may have thought that "sexual" was accidentally left out.  We don't know, we're leaving that as it appeared online.

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