Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Truest statement of the week

Apparently there is nothing worse in America than the act of shooting white people. Ever since the latest attack at a Florida high school there has been talk of little else. The school shooting enveloped every other issue and was used to vilify Russia, the FBI, Bernie Sanders and the National Rifle Association all at once. One cannot watch a Youtube video without being subjected to the NRA’s public relations juggernaut meant to quiet a population which had forgotten about shootings for a while.
America has a unique history with firearms. The settler colonial state enshrined gun ownership into the constitution because of a determination to maintain chattel slavery and the violent enforcement which had to go with it.

More than two hundred years later that imperative remains. All the sound and fury about gun control is useless because this society demands that the slave patrol never disband. There are even arguments made to expand it. Not only must we live with armed police officers but there are new proposals to arm teachers in the classroom. These same teachers target black students for punishments and “zero tolerance” policies made necessary by the deeds of violent white people. Everyone from the buffoonish president to members of Congress weigh in with ridiculous proposals because the obvious solution will not be permitted in this country.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Why the Shooting Will Continue" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Hoover’s memo offers us a troubling glimpse of a forgotten dimension of COINTELPRO, one that has escaped notice for decades: the FBI’s war on black-bookstores. In addition to Hoover’s memo, I uncovered documents detailing Bureau surveillance of black bookstores in a least half a dozen cities across the U.S. in conducting research for my book, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs. At the height of the Black Power movement, the FBI conducted investigations of such black booksellers as Lewis Michaux and Una Mulzac in New York City, Paul Coates in Baltimore (the father of The Atlantic national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates), Dawud Hakim and Bill Crawford in Philadelphia, Alfred and Bernice Ligon in Los Angeles, and the owners of the Sundiata bookstore in Denver. And this list is almost certainly far from complete, because most FBI documents pertaining to currently living booksellers aren’t available to researchers through the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The FBI’s reports on black booksellers were highly invasive but often mundane. The FBI reports note phone calls from Coates’s number to his former comrades in the Black Panther Party—but also to Viking Press and the American Booksellers Association. Agents in New York reported an undercover source’s questionable claim that the Lewis Michaux “was responsible for about 75 percent of the antiwhite material” distributed in Harlem, but another report conceded that he was “no longer very active in Black Nationalist activity as he is getting old.” In Philadelphia, agents traced a car’s license plate at a Republic of New Africa convention to Dawud Hakim, but not long afterwards they quoted sources stating that the RNA was “now defunct in the Philadelphia area” and that Hakim “has not shown interest in any Black Nationalist Activity.”

While perhaps not surprising, it is deeply disturbing that Hoover and the FBI would carry out sustained investigations of black-owned independent bookstore across the country as part of COINTELPRO’s larger attacks on the Black Power movement. But Hoover’s order that agents track these stores’ customers represented not just an attack on black activists, but also an absolute contempt for America’s stated values of freedom of speech and expression. Any citizen who stepped into a black-owned bookstore, it seemed, risked being investigated by federal law enforcement.

-- Joshua Clark Davis, "The FBI's War on Black-Owned Bookstores" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

It's early almost early Wednesday morning on the west coast.

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?

Another truest for Margaret Kimberley.
Joshua Clark Davis gets a truest.
Still no one wants to ask when does it end?
Ava and C.I. take a look at the USA channel.
Those of us who are able to vote in the California election endorse Kevin de Leon.
The cloning of the dogs is bad -- it's awful.  But for us, it's her attempt to normalize Bully Boy Bush that really shocked.
When you lie and get slapped across the face repeatedly?  Ask Sami Sharbek how that feels?
Did they not teach Freedom of Speech when the tutors on WHO'S THE BOSS spent 15 minutes a day with Alyssa?
New Dashboard Confessional.
Book coverage.
What we listened to while writing.
A press release from Senator Johnny Isakson's office.


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

Editorial: Who will ask the question?

Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kan., died in a noncombat incident Monday in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Just the latest to die in the ongoing Iraq War.

It hasn't ended.

US troops are still on the ground.

When does it end?

Why is that question not asked daily?

The Iraq War hits the 15 year mark next month.

When does it end?

which raises a whole new question & one liberal imperialist should take seriously: At what point in the US perma-occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, NE Syria should these countries participate in our Presidential elections and get some representation in Congress. Year 20? Year 100?

TV: USA tries rebuilding

TNT isn't USA and, for some, that alone might be enough.

But the cable network wants more.

a new illst

For example, being USA-like no longer interests it which is bad news for the likes of MAJOR CRIMES.

The Mary McDonnell sleep inducer was a spin-off from THE CLOSER -- as standard and derivative as THE CLOSER was groundbreaking and innovative.  Kyra Sedgwick was a pioneer while McDonnell was a washed out photo copy.

As misguided as MAJOR CRIMES was WILL -- no one was waiting for a CW version of the life of young William Shakespeare.

But slowly, TNT has been building a solid block of entertaining shows.

ANIMAL KINGDOM essays toxic masculinity (and Ellen Barkin's lead performance makes it clear that toxic masculinity can be fostered and exhibited by a woman), CLAWS is delicious and alive and GOOD BEHAVIOR continues to demonstrate that a series can serve up sexy and suspense on a weekly basis.

Now comes THE ALIENIST, their ten-episode limited series set in 1896 New York City where young teenage male prostitutes are being murdered by a serial killer  leaving police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) desperate to figure out how to catch the killer.

What's left to do but CALL THE MIDWIFE?

Wait, wrong century, wrong network.

So instead future president of the United States Teddy decides to hire an alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) which necessitates also teaming him with NEW YORK TIMES illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans) and police commissioner secretary Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning).

The twists and turns and plot devices are less interesting than the characters.

Luke Evans delivers a first rate performance and is never caught by the camera out of character.  There are times when Daniel Bruhl is seen in wide shots and not the character of Laszlo Kreizler but, for the most part, he delivers a strong performance as well.  Dakota Fanning doesn't attempt to charm you but goes full out with her performance, committing 100% to Sara.

The three have an interesting dynamic but the chemistry between John and Sara is especially strong.

So strong is the chemistry that you wish more of the book was discarded.

A great deal, especially to do with the tone, has to be discarded from the book because the latent homophobia is more obvious today than it was when the book was published in 1994.

Along with the issue of a different era for the novel's publication, there is also the author's inability to consider that his father, Lucien Carr, did in fact have a longstanding sexual relationship -- not abuse, as Caleb Carr claims -- with David Kammerer and that this affair -- and all the drama it involved -- might be why Lucien Carr killed David Kammerer.

Following the murder, Lucien Carr would portray Kammerer as a predator and himself as an untouched innocent.  He was one of the first to use the gay panic defense (a defense no longer available in either California or Illinois).

Caleb Carr clings to the notion that if there was any relationship between the two men, it was one of abuse carried out by David Kammerer.

It's an interesting blindness on the part of Carr, one you can argue he's built his entire life around: the pay it forward of abuse.

It's what he's built his analysis of terrorism around: Violence carried out by nation-states or tribes results in violence carried out against them.

While that can explain terrorism or any violent response -- a response is never a precipitating event, after all -- it's not necessarily accurate in human relations because the response to violence is not always violence.

And sometimes violence itself -- even as terrorism -- can be the initiating event.

Lucien Carr may have initiated the violence, not David Kammerer.

Considering that possibility could be highly liberating to Caleb Carr whose relationships are forever tentative as a result of his beliefs -- his father abused him, therefore he fears abusing others.

This isolationist view comes across in his fiction and is still present in THE ALIENIST limited series via Dr. Laszlo Kreizler.  But the writing for the mini-series has been fleshed out and, combined with the acting, has allowed John Moore and Sara Howard to appear as real and interconnected human beings and allowed USA to have one more series worth bragging about.

It's time for Kevin de Leon

WTF, Dianne?
Seriously, how senile is Dianne Feinstein?
She’s almost 90 and it’s really showing.
Saturday, she got booed at California’s Democratic Party convention.
Because we are tired of having her as our senator.  We are tired of her compromises.  We are tired of her embracing war.

We are tired of all the sweetheart deals she has on the side for her husband.
We are tired of her.

The top-two primary system in heavily Democratic California allows the two highest vote-getters to advance to the general election regardless of party identification.
It's the first time Feinstein, 84, failed to win the party's backing since her first successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1994, though she's lacked a credible Democratic challenger in previous races.
Delegates who withheld their support said they think Feinstein has been in Washington too long and hasn't stood strong enough for immigrants.
When she spoke longer than her allotted time, some in the crowd chanted "Time's up!" -- referring to her lengthy tenure in Congress. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats backed Feinstein, while 54 percent supported de Leon.
The vote took place Saturday evening and was counted overnight. On Sunday morning, de Leon hailed the vote as "an astounding rejection of politics as usual."



Did you read that first sentence?
If you’re not from California, it might not make sense to you.

Kevin de Leon is a clear alternative to Dianne Feinstein.  They'll face off in about four months in the state primary -- they're competing for the state's US Senate seat.  The top two in the primary -- it's an open primary, not a party primary -- will be on the ballot in November 2018.
Pretty basic to us, but we live in California.
Martha and Shirley stopped counting at 300 e-mails – e-mails coming in insisting that could not be the case.
Yes, it is the case.
That’s how things work in California.
And we vote in California. 
And we’re going to vote for Kevin Leon this June.  And if he’s on the ballot in November for the general election, we’ll be voting for him then.
We live in California, this is our race.  If it’s not your race, stay the hell out of it.  It’s not your job – Audrey Regan – to get involved so butt the hell out.

-- THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW’s Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I. and Kat of Kat’s Korner and Betty of THOMAS FRIEDMAN IS A GREAT MAN


Oh, grow up, Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is not infallible.

And, as the video for "Emotion" demonstrates, sometimes she's flat out -- and embarrassingly -- wrong.

Truly one of the worst videos ever -- and she's clearly never used a vacuum before -- which is why she pushes it around like a mop -- though no one can explain why she takes the stage to sing with such awkward posture.

Well Babs is having another Emotion moment.

She tells VARIETY:

And [Al Gore] lost by 537 votes out of 104 million. And now, in retrospect, Bush looks quite good compared to Trump. At least he’s not mean-spirited. He’s not a guy who is retaliating for what Obama did at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

He makes Bully Boy Bush look good?

Really, Babs?

That may be the worst note you've ever hit.

Has Donald Trump rounded up Muslims?

Has he promoted new legislation as hideous as The PATRIOT Act?

Has he launched a never-ending war like the Iraq War?

We get it, your feelings are hurt that War Monger Hillary didn't win.

Well get over it, like you got over all of Jon Peter's actions that could lead to #METOO moments -- do you really think we don't know -- because Donald Trump has yet to be as bad as Bully Boy Bush -- let alone worse.

A bad day to be Sami Sharbek

Short story: Sami Sharbek lies, Sami Sharbek gets caught

Replying to 
More blatant lies from the Syria regime change crew. Neither of these photos is Syria. The first is Gaza; the second is Iraq. This fake propaganda has more than 100,000 retweets. Shameless lying to push the Syrian opposition's agenda — what's new?

Situation in Syria could be much worse, the photos makes one cry and these two photos although are genuine though but not from Syria, recent attacks. The left one, Blast is from Gaza, Year 2015 or before and the Right one, Man running with kid in arms is from Mosul, Iraq.

Replying to 

no this is gaza in 2014 and iraq in 2011, both photos result from white supremacy and imperialism funded by the US. stop doing the work of the CIA

  1. This image widely portrayed as a man fleeing with his daughter in Syria is actually from Mosul when he was fleeing an Islamic State-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq on

This is not a movie. This is NOT This is NOT On the left is bombed by Israel. On the right is And he is a lier 👇 👇

Reminder that 100,000 people will retweet a bare-faced lie if it's "humanitarian" enough. The first picture is from Gaza, and the second is from Iraq.

100 thousand people retweeted this post claiming images of US-backed israeli bombing of Gaza, and aftermath of US bombing in Iraq are images from Syria.

: When you take photos from Gaza and Iraq and try to pass them off as scenes out of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta.

Pictures from Iraq and Gaza are being portrayed as as part of a Propaganda campaign. Liars such as claim "this is Syria" gets 90K RTs mostly bots.

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