Monday, December 17, 2018

Truest statement of the week

It is most of all notable that the Time cover story on courageous journalists risking violence and repression to uncover the truth makes no mention of the most famous persecuted journalist on the planet, Julian Assange. The former editor of WikiLeaks has been effectively jailed in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past six years, seeking to avoid extradition to the United States.
It was revealed last month that a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia—the judicial district that handles cases involving the CIA and Pentagon—has returned a secret indictment of Assange, likely related to his role in WikiLeaks’ publication of US military and diplomatic secrets, mainly relating to war crimes by US personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as State Department efforts to destabilize and browbeat governments around the world.
The editors of Time magazine are well aware of Assange’s courageous role carrying out the basic work of genuine journalism—uncovering the truths that powerful interests want to conceal. In 2010, the year that WikiLeaks became a household word for its publication of US military reports leaked by Chelsea Manning on atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan, Assange was the runner-up for Time’s “Person of the Year” to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. WikiLeaks was described admiringly as a “revolutionary force, wresting secrets into the public domain on a scale without precedent.”

In 2016, when WikiLeaks published leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, exposing the DNC’s effort to rig the Democratic presidential primary campaign against Bernie Sanders and Clinton’s groveling addresses to audiences of Wall Street bankers, Time’s own readers chose Assange as “Person of the Year” in an online poll. The magazine chose president-elect Donald Trump instead.

-- Patrick Martin, "Time magazine honors journalists facing repression—but snubs Julian Assange" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Black revolutionary Malcolm X famously said that Black America didn’t experience an “American Dream,” only an American nightmare. The so-called American Dream continues to be a nightmare. US imperialism has successfully held Black America in political captivity in the Democratic Party despite the self-proclaimed “lesser evil” party having played a vital role in every ill that befalls Black people. Democratic Administrations have been the architects of the mass incarceration regime in the United States, partners in the world incineration regime known as the U.S. military state, and active participants in the theft of nearly every dollar of Black wealth that existed prior to 1983. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party’s top sponsor of the American nightmare for Black Americans and she is once again making headlines in an apparent attempt to assert herself in the upcoming Presidential election of 2020.
It may only be 2018, but the divided and increasingly unpopular Democratic Party has been testing the Presidential waters since Clinton lost in 2016. For Black America and all of humanity’s exploited and downtrodden, Clinton’s reemergence is a dangerous reminder of who she really is: a “too big to fail” parasite of finance capital and the war machine. In an interview with The Guardian, Clinton remarked that Europe must “get a handle”  on its immigration problem to stop the march of the far right. What Clinton meant was that Europe should further militarize its immigration policy to appease racist Europeans. She of course didn’t mention that European imperialism, under the leadership of the United States, is the real culprit in the refugee crisis. To do so would be an admission of guilt, as few others are more responsible for the massive displacement of peoples that has occurred worldwide since 2011 than Hillary Clinton.
It is no secret to most people around the world that the U.S.-NATO invasion of Libya engineered the largest refugee crisis in human history. However, few in the United States remember Clinton cackling to the corporate press “we came, we saw, he died”  after U.S.-backed jihadists ruthlessly assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. What came after the destruction of Libya was anything but laughable. The Obama and Clinton-led U.S.-NATO-Zionist and Gulf state alliance quickly moved on to Syria and, as the Black Alliance for Peace explains , expanded their reign of terror in Africa by way of the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM). Millions of Syrians and Northern Africans from nations such as Mali have been displaced by jihadists armed with imperial military gear and a mission to sow political and economic chaos. As Black Agenda Report Editor Glen Ford stated in 2016,Turkey and Europe have been trafficking humans on a scale not seen since the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Despite this, Clinton stated that she wanted to gift the planet with more refugees in the 2016 election. Clinton called for a no-fly zone in Syria,  a code word for a massive bombing campaign that would surely have led to a military confrontation with Russia if carried out.

-- Danny Haiphong, "Hillary Clinton 2020 is Malcom X's American Nightmare on Steroids" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Still Sunday here 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?

Patrick Martin gets another truest.
As does Danny Haiphong.
When protesters risk their lives, the last thing they need is some oblivious idiot tsk-tsking them.
Ava and C.I. look at next year's bomg.
Margaret Kimberley.
Sorry, Susan Davis, we strongly disagree.
Ava and C.I. did two pieces this week.
Don't miss this discussion on empire.
Book coverage in the community.
Really, Debra, really?
Iraq stands up for itself.
Blum passed away.
What we listened to while writing.
Press release from Tammy Baldwin's office.
From WSWS.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: The deeply stupid

People don't decide to protest for no reason.  Protesting -- real protesting, not just clicking a link online -- requires actual work.  You have to give actual time.

So it's always appalling to us when someone decides to rag on protesters.  Last week, that included GirlBye at DINAR DAILY who whined and whined about the ongoing protests in Basra:

The country finally has – after elections that were held way back in May – a new parliament, president and prime minister. The full Monty. One might have thought that now might be the time to let government get to work for the people.

But no, Basra residents want their many problems solved immediately. While no one can underestimate the urgency of their demands, they also cannot but notice Basra residents’ troubled understanding of government, of democracy and of their role as citizens. Indeed, the problems in Basra is a microcosm of the tenuous state of democracy and good governance in Iraq and in the region.

This deeply stupid woman is whining that Basra doesn't have patience.  They've been protesting since July and they've been protesting against, among other things, the lack of potable water.  Over 100,000 people have been hospitalized in Basra for drinking the water -- just since July.  And those are the official figures from the Iraqi government -- meaning the actual total might be even higher.

Safe drinking water?  That's a basic when it comes to what a government is supposed to provide the people.  You have to be pretty stupid not to grasp that.

GirlBye is really stupid.

She was called out in this "Iraq snapshot" but, sadly, that seems to be it.

Apparently, you can attack protesters and get away with it.  No one's going to stand up for the innocent.

And the protests are the ones we need to support.  They've been wounded, they've been killed.  Friday, the 'security' forces fired on them.

  1. Earlier Today: This is how Iraqi Security Forces protect a corrupt government from the people. Apparently, the state only exists for politicians. The people are mere obedient servants — from the government’s perspective that is. ,


You can stand with the people, like Duaa Malik does, or you can spit on them, like GirlBye has.

TV: YOUNG SHELDON old and stale

CBS' THE BIG BANG THEORY wraps up this season but THE LITTLE DRIBBLE continues, begging the question why?

Yes, we're referring to YOUNG SHELDON.


CBS has had a lot of problems of late -- most revolving around Leslie Moonves -- but would someone -- anyone? -- like to explain how they got to this point?  They're about to lose their long running, hit sitcom and they've got nothing on deck to replace it with.   How did this happen?

Worse, instead of using the post-BBT spot to groom a new hit, they've allowed YOUNG SHELDON to keep the spot for a second year -- despite the fact that the show can't keep the audience.

Does no one else notice that YOUNG SHELDON is not funny, is not cute, is snooty when it's got nothing to sneer down its nose at anyone and, worst of all, is boring?

YOUNG SHELDON revolves around the character of Sheldon Cooper.  On THE BIG BANG THEORY, Sheldon is played by Jim Parsons.  On YS, he's seen as a child.  The 10-year-old child actor is doing the same thing he did in BIG LITTLE LIES even though it's a different character and BIG LITTLE LIES was a drama.  We'll assume some adult is telling him that's wonderful and amazing.  We'll assume the writers think they've written something amusing but, for four years, so did the writers of SMALL WONDER and little Sheldon is nothing but Vicky, Voice Input Child Identicant, in male drag.

It is not funny.  Even in the earliest episodes of THE BIG BANG THEORY, Sheldon had a personality.

Worse yet, they've surrounded the child actor with . . . the cast from MAMA'S FAMILY.  That's really what it feels like and you have to wonder if the actors are the same big yokels as the ones they play on TV?  The have to be, right?  There's no other way that they could be comfortable in these stereotypical and insulting roles.  Laure Metcalf has played Sheldon's mother Mary on the original show and she's made her a funny and believable character.  Zoe Perry trashes all of that to play a younger Mary Cooper who comes off like she's trying to copy Beverly Archer's performance of Iola Boylen.  Lance Barber is a combination of every false note an actor ever delivered on MAMA'S FAMILY while he lolly gags his way through scene after scene in slack jawed wonder. And then there's Annie Potts.

Long, long ago, she co-starred in a film entitled HEARTACHES and, snagging all she could from Sandy Dennis, she just knew she was going to be a big star.  She couldn't even steal the picture.  While Annie was all tics and externals, Margot Kidder melted into her own role and delivered a real performance.

Annie Potts continues to indicate, as opposed to becoming, she layers on tics and quirks and pretends like each performance is different when the only real difference is that here her character is Connie and there it's Mary Jo or Mary Elizabeth or Dana or Gigi.  The only thing that ever saves this bad actress is dialogue and there's no Linda Bloodworth-Thomason around to rescue her this go round.

Wallace Shawn shows up playing a recurring character and, considering that this series has all the action of MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, that's really not surprising.   Nor is it surprising -- considering the limited minds of those behind the camera -- that he's basically playing the same character he did in CLUELESS only now Mr. Hall teaches college students and not high school ones.

It's worth remembering that THE BIG BANG THEORY wasn't great at the start.  It took time for the elements to come together and season three was the turning point for the show.  It's true that YOUNG SHELDON is only on season two currently; however, it does not have the elements to improve.  The cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY wasn't the problem.  The actors were fine in their roles.  The problem was the creep factor -- the stalkerish nature of a show of all men plus Penny and the desperate efforts -- by all but Sheldon -- to pursue Penny.  With the addition of Bernadette (the hilarious Melissa Rauch) and Amy (the equally amazing Farrah Fowler), the show found its stride.  YOUNG SHELDON?  We'd recommend they fire everyone except Wallace Shawn and start over.

The actors are awful, the characters are awful.  The writing may not even rise to the level of MAMA'S FAMILY -- a better comparison might be a sketch from HEE-HAW.  And CBS needs to really worry because the show that has brought them a young audience is about to come to a close at the end of this season and, without THE BIG BANG THEORY as a lead-in, YOUNG SHELDON is going to crash and burn.  Maybe that's fitting since the show stars child actor Iain Armitage -- a boy whose grandfather is said to have been involved in the CIA Phoenix Program as well as bombings in Nicaragua and who lost his security clearance for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Tweet of the Week

  1. Russiagate is the Bigfoot of the 21st century.

ObamaCare -- the s**t burger Congress expects you to keep eating

GOP lost the midterms due to its radical opposition to the . This outrageous ruling shows that what Republicans can't get through Congress, they'll try to get through the courts. The Supreme Court must reverse this baseless lawsuit.

We like US House Rep. Susan Davis and frequently agree with her.

Not on this.

First, ObamaCare did not effect the 2018 mid-terms in any meaningful way and it's text book grasping-for-straws to pretend that it did.

As for what the federal court did, Joshua Cohen (FORBES) explains:

A judicial attempt to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was given a major boost on Friday, December 14th, when a federal judge in Texas ruled that the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional.
As part of the tax overhaul passed last year, the ACA penalty for not having health insurance was abolished. This went into effect in January, 2018. In a Federal District Court case, Texas v. Azar, in which oral arguments were heard in September of this year, the plaintiffs - Republican officials in 20 states led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton - argued that with elimination of the health insurance requirement there is no longer a tax, and therefore the law loses its constitutionality. In brief, “once the heart of the ACA — the individual mandate — is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of the ACA must also fall,” the lawsuit stated.
In a 55-page opinion, federal judge Reed O’Connor writes regarding the lawsuit: “The court finds the individual mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s tax power and is still impermissible under the interstate commerce clause ― meaning the individual mandate is unconstitutional…. [T]he court finds the individual mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA."

Susan Davis would do well to remember that Medicare is law of the land and if Democrats in Congress hadn't been such pissy little liars and had done their job for once in the last two decades, they could have gone with Medicare For All.

Instead, they're all sh**y little whores.  That sadly includes Susan.  It's all of them.  They get their wonderful health care that We The People pay for and then they try to spit shine the turd that is ObamaCare?

F**k that s**t and, sorry, Susan, f**k you.

How dare you treat We The People as less than people.  Fact of the matter is, Congress repeatedly acts like PLANET OF THE APES and enslaves the American people.  Fact of the matter is, if you're healthcare plan is good enough for you as a member of Congress, it's what the American people should have.

You are supposed to serve the American people.  Instead, you serve and whore for corporations.  Shame on you all.

John Stauber can tell the truth about ObamaCare.  It's a damn shame that Susan Davis can't.

Medicare For All is the only answer.

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