Monday, February 05, 2018

Truest statement of the week

Melissa Harris-Perry was lauded as a leading intersectionlist at the same time she aggressively defended the government’s right to intercept and record every email, text message, phone call and electronic brain fart on the planet and store them for future inspection. Democracy Now, which has given more air time to intersectionality than perhaps anybody refused to cover the lynching and ethnic cleansing of black Libyans during Obama’s 2012 war on that unhappy country even though they had a correspondent on the ground. To this day DemocracyNow dependably spouts US propaganda justifying Obama’s and Trump’s war on Syria. Angela Davis gets credit for being a leading proponent of intersectionality too, even though like hordes of other intersectionalists, she lost her mind over Barack Obama. All these people are examples of intersectionalists, with bigger audiences and far more visibility than left feminists are likely to achieve any time soon. When bona fide left feminists defend the word intersectionality and call themselves intersectional they confuse the lazy, the naive or unwary, they surrender their own credibility to the anti-socialist intersectionalists, and they provide protective cover to the eggs of these brood parasites. It doesn’t have to work that way.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Looking Down That Deep Hole: Parasitic Intersectionality and Toxic Afro-Pessimism, Part 2" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

The New York Times and Washington Post have each tried to downplay the significance of the memo’s contents.
In an article titled “The Nunes memo won’t stop Robert Mueller,” Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson begins by implying that the memo is all smoke and no fire: “Cough, cough, cough. The smoke around here is so thick I can hardly breath.”
The New York Times’ Bret Stephens wrote an op-ed titled “Devin Nunes’s Nothingburger” in which he writes: “There is no there there…in modern parlance we’d call it a nothingburger, but the bun is missing, too.”

This contradicts the fact that before the memo was released, leading Democrats and intelligence agents were screaming that the memo’s publication would have a devastating impact on “national security.” But the memo does not reveal troop movements, base locations, or secret codes. Instead, the information in the Nunes memo does show that the Obama administration used fraudulent pretenses to unconstitutionally wiretap political opponents of the Democratic Party.

-- Eric London, "Democrats defend FBI as Republican memo shows anti-Russia campaign built on illegal spying" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Sunday!!!!

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, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
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?

See you next week.


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

Editorial: YaYa's full of crap

Doubt us?

thank you obama for signing the affordable care act, for lowering unemployment rates, for ending the war in iraq, for supporting the lgbt, and for inspiring namjoon to write mic drop. nothing but respect for MY president

What an idiot.

Barack didn't support marriage equality until after Joe Biden came out for it.

And he didn't end the Iraq War.

BREAKING: Western contractors at coalition base: American troops start drawdown in Iraq following defeat of Islamic State group.


That's what Donald Trump's doing.

That's what Barack Obama did at the end of 2011.

It's not a withdrawal, it's a drawdown.

It's not an end, it's a lessening.

Maybe the YaYas of the world would be better off focusing on their sex work -- like at YaYa's website where YaYa reveals an interest in sucking all the members of BTS.

That's about the level of 'activism' these types are capable of.

And their 'activism' is why the government gets away with never-ending wars.

TV: Look who's naked and look who isn't

It was Katy Perry who sang, "Word on the street, you got somethin' to show me, me/ Magical, colorful, Mr. Mystery, ee I'm intrigued, for a peek/ heard it's fascinating/ Come on baby let me see/ What you're hiding underneath."

And it was us who kept thinking of Perry's "Peacock" while watching ALTERED CARBON.

Seems like everyone was disrobing and women were showing everything.

But then there's Joel Kinnaman in the lead role of Takeshi Kovacs and he shows off his butt, his rear, his tail bone, his tush, his behind, his ass, his culo, his glutes, his can -- repeatedly, in fact, make it a drinking game -- but his manroot never shows.

a new illst

It's not a minor issue -- regardless of the size of Joel's pleasure pump -- because Martha Higareda, as the female lead police detective Ortega, has to do full frontal and women's bodies are repeatedly used as ornament and as props for violence.

As Sophie Gilbert (THE ATLANTIC) observes, "Scene after scene features gory shootouts, and there are recurring interludes of stabbings, butchered bodies, and graphic torture. All too often these scenes involve women, which feels provocative at best and exploitative at worst. In one particularly gratuitous moment, a sex worker’s body is seen butterflied on an autopsy table, while another fight scene features a woman’s various clones littered naked around a room like sexually explicit Barbie dolls."

In addition, there's something deeply homophobic about the world ALTERED CARBON is set in.

2384 and where are the gay characters?

Better yet, why is gender even an issue?

All the couples are male-female despite the fact that most aren't in bodies they were born in.

In this distant future, your body is a sleeve and, if you die, you can be brought back in another sleeve.

So why is everyone paired off in boy-girl couples like they're on Noah's Arc or trapped in a Ron Howard film?

Ortega punches out a criminal in custody early on.  He's knocked out cold.  She expects the ones who brought him in to take to holding but they leave him on the ground and tell her he's her problem.

It's Day of the Dead and she decides it's the perfect time to let her dead grandmother drop by for a visit.

The grandma is excited to be back and excited to be in a man's body ("I'm peeing standing up!" she cries out at one point).

So why are we stuck in a binary construct?

Is this a Philip Dick novel people have spent decades attempting to turn into a film or TV series?


Richard K. Morgan's book that the NETFLIX series is based upon came out in 2002.  Six years later, he began a fantasy trilogy (kicking off with THE STEEL REMAINS) where the main character was gay -- and his family ostracized him for it.

The worlds we create.

Alice Walker tries to create the world she can see, a better one just around the corner, others appear to have no vision at all.

We see that as a detriment to creating science fiction.

But time and again, we're sold so-called science fiction shows -- REVOLUTION comes to mind, as does JERICHO -- where the world these characters inhabit possess greater gender constructs than the United States in the 1950s.

Why would you do that?

Why would you go to the trouble of creating a new world that's not new at all?

That's the question ALTERED CARBON really needs to answer.

It's big on scenic atmosphere --Lawrence G. Paul, David Snyder, Linda DeScenna, Leslie Frankenheimer, Thomas L. Roysden and Peg Cummings should have all received film credit since their work on BLADE RUNNER is tossed all over the screen in what polite company would call a homage.

How state of the art that -- stealing from a 1982 film for the look of your 2018 ten-episode series.

It also packs in a lot of cliches from film noir and neo noir while somehow leaving out the femme fatale.

Were NETFLIX to remake GILDA next year, you sort of get the feeling  they'd title it GLEN  that Kyle Chandler would play Johnny and want to steal away Glen, Ballin Mundson's accountant, because of book keeping skills.  And, because Mo'Nique nailed it, Glen would be played by Oliver Platt.

That actually might be more interesting than ALTERED CARBON which spins a lot of wheels while going nowhere.

Yes, around episode six, the action and story picks up, but six episodes into a ten episode series?  That's not praise.  That's an indication that more work should have gone into the script.

A lot of work went into make up -- if only in covering up all of Joel Kinnaman's real life tattoos.


There's no role here.

He can act, he proved that in THE KILLING.

Here he proves he has enough star power to hold your attention when nothing happens in scene after scene.


They prove that what really bothered them about fan favorite SENSE8 was that it wasn't run-of-the-mill and actually created a world we recognized as today and not sixty or so years ago.

The memo makes clear why we don't trust corporate media

Well . . . we trust RT.

Are we the only ones, by the way, who've noticed that ROKU has removed the RT channel?

You can still watch RT via PLUTO -- a channel ROKU currently allows.

MSNBC is conjecture, hype and monologues.

CNN is Chis Cuomo attacking guests and refusing to allow them to complete their sentences.  Who knew that a Cuomo would exhibit such bad manners?

TV news has decided it knows best and there's no effort at balance.

This was very obvious on Friday when the memo was finally released.

Ajamu Baraka (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) explained ahead of the release:

The day before Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, the Russia-gate drama took an unexpected and dangerous turn with the vote by the House Intelligence Committee to release a now classified memo that alleges that senior members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) may have misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) in order to secure a warrant to engage in what Republicans assert is a politically motivated effort that spied on the Trump campaign before he won the 2016 election and attempted to undermine his presidency.
Right-wing neoliberal Democrats who have engaged in a vigorous defense of the intelligence agencies of the U.S. state are concerned about the possible fallout with the public. They argue Republicans are deliberately undermining confidence in U.S. institutions by irresponsibly hurling allegations that support a growing public perception that the government and the individuals who populate governmental institutions are inherently corrupt.

Republicans now refer to this as “FBI-gate” and Democrats counter by appealing to the dubious belief that the FBI is some kind of neutral political force populated by people of unreproachable character—those who would never engage in the kind of crass partisanship being alleged by Republicans in Congress.

Then the memo was released.

And CNN and THE INTERCEPT -- two military-intelliengence combines/outlets -- rushed to distort the reality of it.

THE INTERCEPT's really good at distorting reality.  Via a counter-insurgency nut from Australia, they've taken to saying that ISIS never would have come about in Iraq if Bully Boy Bush hadn't invaded.  That's true, in the same way that it's true JFK would never have been assassinated if Joseph Kennedy and Rose Kennedy hadn't had sex.

The second claim, while true, ignores the reality of the plot to kill JFK just as the first claim ignores that Barack Obama gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term as prime minister and looked away during all of Nouri's crimes against the Iraqi people.

THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) allowed clowns Brooks and Shields to provide their usual skim the surface patter.

We read the memo -- more importantly, we forced friends to read the memo.  Yes, they were mainly on the left side of the spectrum (as are we) but they were shocked.  That shock was also registered by a non-political person who didn't even know what the FISA court was.  And she's almost forty so maybe the TV reporting could do a better job?

The memo portrays an agency (FBI) out of control and withholding important information from the FISA court in order to obtain warrants that would be denied if the information was honestly conveyed to the court. Eric London (WSWS) pointed out, "The memo details illegal conduct by a ruling class that governs by conspiracy. In an escalation of infighting between two equally reactionary sections of the ruling class, one section is letting the public in on a dirty secret."

Caitlin Johnstone (CONSORTIUM NEWS) added:

The part of the memo that has everyone talking today reads as follows: “Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
This refers to a surveillance warrant requested by the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking permission to spy on the communications of Carter Page, a member of the 2016 Trump campaign. The controversy revolves around the claim that this surveillance warrant would never have even been requested if not for the clearly biased, Clinton-funded, and error-riddled Christopher Steele dossier which is acknowledged even by its former MI6 author to be 10 to 30 percent inaccurate.

Combine that with the fact that this has never been made clear to the public, and baby you’ve got yourself a scandal. The FBI knowingly using extremely tainted evidence from one presidential campaign to get permission to spy on another would indeed be a very big deal.

It really is outrageous how, during an election, the FBI attempted to interfere in it repeatedly and lied to do so.  This is a subversion of democracy.

Andre Damon (WSWS) observed:

The memo has undermined the aura of professional impartiality that the Democrats and their allied news outlets, the New York Times and the Washington Post, have sought to cultivate around the so-called “intelligence community.”
The real fear of the Democrats is that the exposure of the anti-Russia campaign will undermine the credibility of the FBI. “The selective release and politicization of classified information sets a terrible precedent and will do long-term damage to the intelligence community and our law enforcement agencies,” declared Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Friday.
Schiff added, “If potential intelligence sources know that their identities might be compromised when political winds arise, those sources of vital information will simply dry up, at great cost to our national security.”

But all such arguments about “national security” have been rendered absurd by the release of the document, which contains no sensitive information besides the wrongdoing of the FBI and the Democrats—including Schiff himself.

Justin Raimondo (ANTIWAR.COM) should have been a guest utilized by TV last week.  He got what the memo said, what it meant, and he conveyed it perfectly:

Page was never a “Russian agent,” and the FBI never proved that he was or is. Instead, they submitted that phony BuzzFeed “dossier” to the FISA court as “evidence” justifying their hot pursuit of him on more than one occasion. They did so without telling the judge who paid for the dossier (it was the Clinton campaign, as Trump claimed when this first came out) and they withheld other important details about its provenance – including that it was written by Christopher Steele, a “former” British intelligence agent who openly expressed a passionate desire to see Trump defeated. Nor had they verified the information in the dossier related to Page, because they “didn’t have time,” as former DNI chief James Clapper has said on numerous occasions.
Page was targeted and the information gleaned from listening in on his phone conversations, reading his email, and god knows what other sneaky intrusions, was leaked to the media in a concerted campaign to influence the outcome of the election. So, yes, there was “collusion” – except it wasn’t a pact between Putin and Trump but rather an alliance between Hillary’s campaign and the national security bureaucracy to get her elected. In effect, the top leadership of the FBI became an adjunct of the Clinton campaign – and, after Trump won, they executed a plan to frame him for “collusion” and oust him.

It all looks so cooked up and so outrageous.  Ray McGovern (CONSORTIUM NEWS) appears to suggest we microwave some popcorn and kick back:

As for Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, it is now abundantly clear why he went to ridiculous lengths, as did the entire Democratic congressional leadership, to block or impugn the House Intelligence Committee report.
Until the mid-December revelations of the text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page turned Russia-gate into FBI/DOJ-gate, Schiff had been riding high, often hiding behind what he said “he could not tell” the rest of us.

With the media, including what used to be the progressive media, fully supporting the likes of Adam Schiff, and the FBI/CIA/NSA deep state likely to pull out all the stops, the die is now cast. We are in for a highly interesting time over the next months.

Ty's Corner: Justin, you're White


Justin Timberlake does know he's White, right?

The boy -- and, yes, at 37, he still comes off like a boy, a heavily wrinkled boy -- has done more to copy Michael Jackson than anyone else in music history.

At a certain point, shouldn't he develop his own style?

He hasn't yet.  There was hope that his MAN OF THE WOODS project would find him developing a new style but then it was released and it was just more of the same only a little more tired which accounts for two poor selling singles in a row.

Sunday night saw him hosting the half-time show at the Super Bowl?


It was a stilted performance that couldn't even rally those present -- camera pans beyond the immediate stage showed just how lukewarm Justin's show was.

And what was up with the costume changes?

Diana Ross is a legend and a diva and all she did at her awesome half-time show (1996) was take off her coat.

Justy seemed to think he was Mr. Rodgers and had to put on a new coat for "Suit and Tie."

Maybe he just got tired of sporting the ugliest pantsuit Hillary Clinton never wore?

The act was tired as that Stella McCartney pantsuit (nepotism career) and that's before he tried to find salvation and closure off Prince.

"I Would Die For You" is Prince's song.

I get it.

Justin has no ballad he can perform because he lacks depth.

There's no emotion behind his songs which bop along on a Bobby McFerrin DISNEY beat.

So he rips off Prince and uses Prince's vocals and projects Prince on a sheet.

White boy brought a white sheet to the Super Bowl?

How very DW Griffith of him.

Justin's discography is hugely disappointing.

A lot of fluff and no real substance.

Typical of a boy singer but, again, the boy's now 37.

Eddie Fisher couldn't read the writing on the wall and apparently Justin can't either.

He did "Rock Your Body."  The song's always seemed like a rip off of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You."

Of course, in 2004, he did it at the Super Bowl with Janet Jackson.

Janet could deliver a half-time show.

But she's not invited back because of 2004.

Remember that?

When Justin ripped her top off exposing a breast.

Janet's blamed for that by the NFL, not Justin.

How telling that the African-American woman takes the fall and not the White boy.

Justin wishes he were Black but if he really were Black, he wouldn't be invited back after 2004.

In fact, if he really were Black, he wouldn't have been invited to perform on Sunday.

Whether it's Diana Ross, Prince, Janet Jackson, Bruno Mars, Beyonce or Stevie Wonder, you've got to have had a lot more big hits than Justin's had to perform the halftime show if you're Black.



Again into the mailbag.  We can be contacted at and at

Barry notes Trina's "He Ran All The Way: The Life of John Garfield" about the John Garfield book.  Is it really that bad?

Ava and C.I.: Trina got it right, it's a really bad book.  An obvious example?  Page 162 notes John Garfield does the film BETWEEN TWO WORLDS with, among others Eleanor Parker.  Page 168 notes the film PRIDE OF THE MARINES and, of the cast, "Eleanor Parker, a vivacious and talented new find" with no apparent realization that he's mentioned her six pages prior, that this is Parker's second film with Garfield or that he might need to note who Parker is beyond "a vivacious and talented new find."  She was a three time Academy Award nominee.  Her most famous film is CAGED, the women in prison film co-starring Agnes Moorhead, among others.  Her other films include THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, A HOLE IN THE HEAD and THE SOUND OF MUSIC -- the first two with Frank Sinatra.  So it's a bad book.  But is it bad for John Garfield?  Not at all.  Carly Simon has her own memoir, the book GIRLS LIKE US and then another book written by a friend of her brother's as well as a book about her by her ex-husband.  That's great.  That's four books on the stacks about Carly.  Marilyn Monroe probably has more books about her than any other woman in the 20th century.  Some are good, some are bad, but they have helped her become a legend that lives on.  Books have done the same for Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and others.  Loretta Young and Myrna Loy haven't had as many books and are more likely to be forgotten.  In music, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra have had the most books.  For women?  Joni Mitchell and Diana Ross -- but it's not a big competition.  Even Aretha Franklin has only about six books -- she certainly deserves more.  But the point is, good or bad, factual or false, every book is another chance to reach someone and turn them on to the subject of the book.

Renee writes, "Hate to harp on something forever gone but I really do miss the collages."

Jim: Won't believe it, but so do I.  They took forever to do.  But I do miss them and I was actually suggesting we try one in the coming weeks.  I really miss them.  Maybe we will try it again.

XXY22 e-mails: "Are you done with comics?"

Jess: I would hope not.  I enjoyed it when we did our comic features and I also enjoyed our survey pieces on magazines.  That said, we have done it and we do need to move forward sometimes.  It can get old just repeating yourself so we might want to try to do something new.  Any suggestions?

Brandon wants to know what we are watching right now or what we last watched?

Dona: Jim and I are watching THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX on NETFLIX right now.  It just came available after the Super Bowl.

Ty: For me, it was the half-time show at the Super Bowl, I hope to have a piece on that this edition.

Jess: I was watching THE SIMPSONS on FX or FXX whatever it is on HULU LIVE.  I was doing season six, I think.  It's the one that starts with the new pool which makes Lisa popular and leaves Bart with a cast so he sees what he thinks is Flanders committing murder -- a la REAR WINDOW -- and the season ends with Mr. Burns being shot.

Ava and C.I.: We're reading scripts to three shows we may review shortly.  The last thing we watched was the ALTERED CARBON show we review this edition and the last film we watched was THE GREATEST SHOWMAN which we saw tonight.

Can their be more book coverage in the community wonders Peter B?

Ty:  That would be up to everyone at their own site.  That said, we know Marcia's planning to write about a book either this week or next at her site.  In terms of here, we probably should do another book roundtable -- it's been forever.

Liz Louvish says, "It's been way too long since you did a mailbag."

Jim: We agree and we're trying to take care of that now.

Jenny F feels, "There are a lot of political issues I feel are being ignored by you."

Dona: Really?  Issues or talking points?  We're not here to be MSNBC -- most of their talking points are neither interesting nor news.  I wish we did more, to be honest.  I hope we'll do a piece on the memo this edition -- even if it's only two or three lines.  But that might not be possible.

Alex writes, "I'm a veteran and I served and I can't believe that the war is still going on in Iraq or that no one seems to care online.  When I was in Iraq, if I could get online, I could see various blogs that covered Iraq.  Now days, it's like they only mention it to score a political point."

Ava: I'm not going to disagree with you, Alex.  If it helps, there is a thirst for discussions of the Iraq War.  We see that when we're traveling around the country speaking to groups about it.  Part of the reason for the 2016 turnout was that the Democratic Party refused to acknowledge the ongoing war and even ran a candidate who voted for it.  This was a major event and they don't want to deal with it.  They try to run from it.  Voters aren't rushing to embrace that.  They've exposed themselves -- politicians -- as liars and hypocrites.

Danny wants to know what we'd be doing right now if we weren't on this edition?

C.I.: I would be asleep and dreaming.  They've got 15 minutes before I say "that's it for me" for this edition.  I'm tired, yes.  But I want to go to sleep and get some dreaming in during the 3 and 1/2 hours of sleep I'll get .

 jlkjafkh lkjafhd

10 worst films of the last 12 months











This edition's playlist


1) Sam Smith's THE THRILL OF IT ALL.


3) Alicia Keys' HERE.


5) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.


7) Taylor Swift's REPUTATION.


9) Ben Harper's BOTH SIDES OF THE GUN.

10) Janet Jackon's THE VELVET ROPE.

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