Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Truest statement of the week

Shaun King is a relatively well-known media personality whose career benefitted from the Black Lives Matter movement’s emergence in 2014 and 2015. King has become a journalistic face of the nascent movement against police brutality even though he himself has no formal organizational relationships with activists on the ground. His recent work for The Intercepthas fit snugly into the Russia-gate choirthat regularly sings fictional songs about so-called Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential elections. In 2018, King wrote an article in defense of the U.S. intelligence agenciesleading the so-called investigation into Russian interference in the political affairs of the U.S. empire. The article pronounced his loyalty to U.S. intelligence and revealed that the author had no allegiance to the independent media outlets that are constantly being censored in the name of the U.S. crusade against Russian “bots” and “dupes.”
Shaun King is not to be trusted. When Corey Booker announced his presidential candidacy on the first day of Black History Month, King tweeted that he agreed “with 95 out of 100” of Booker’s political stances.Booker tweeted back his thanks for King’s gracious support. King didn’t mention that Booker is not only deep in the pockets of Big Pharma, Wall Street, and the military industrial complex through his Israeli connections, but also that the New Jersey Senator has proudly parroted the U.S.’ anti-Russia narrative ever since Trump was elected. This narrative has served the U.S. censorship and military state well, allowing intelligence agencies to collaborate with multinational social media firms like Facebook and Twitter to purge the media landscape of all independent voices, especially Black voices.

-- Danny Haiphong, "Will Shaun King speak out for independent media?  Probably not" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

“There is a way out that I can see which requires a certain exercise of courage and decency on the part of an Australian government, whether this one or the next one, which is, I hope, coming very soon. And that is for the Australian government to, first of all, make aggressive representations in London to have Assange’s jumping-bail charge set aside because it’s really a very minor charge now, because the Swedish government has withdrawn all prosecution. He’s simply up on a technical charge of jumping bail in Britain.
Now it wouldn't be beyond the capacity of the Australian High Commissioner in London, our embassy there, to prevail on the British government to waive that or set it aside. The next step would be—and I don’t want to sound like a John Le CarrĂ© novel, but things happen—would be for the Australian High Commissioner to drive in his car to the Ecuador Embassy to pick up Assange, to drive him under the High Commissioner’s protection, possibly with a British police escort, straight to Heathrow, to the tarmac, and onto a waiting Australian Qantas plane, because we actually have a direct flight on Qantas, our national airline, from London to Perth without stops. And once Assange is on that plane, there is no way he could be touched by the Americans until he gets to Perth. It would then become an issue for the Australian government and the American government what to do with Assange. And I believe that no Australian government would dare to extradite Assange to the United States without a proper legal process, without a proper charge tested in an Australian court.”

-- Tony Kevin, quoted by Ann Garrison in "In the Crosshairs of the Washington Mafia: Venezuela and Julian Assange" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Early Wednesday morning.

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.

This is our delayed by the Grammys edition -- Ava, C.I., Jess, Ty and Betty went to the Grammys and we had a difficult time getting together after to finish this up.

And what did we come up with?

A truest for Danny Haiphong.
Another truest for Ann Garrison.
Dennis is a kook but not John?  Hmm.
Ava and C.I. wrote their piece Sunday morning.  It was pretty much the only thing completed on Sunday.
Ava, C.I., Betty, Ty, Rebecca, Cedric and Wally worked on this.
Elaine was going to post about this topic at her site Tuesday night but gave it to us.  She, Mike, Dona and I (Jim) worked on it.
But only some.
From Burn Pits 360.
Margaret Kimberley.
What we listened to.
Mike and the gang wrote this -- and did it Sunday.  That was the only other piece finished Sunday.


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

Editorial: How the media responds to peace

WTVD reports, "One hundred forty soldiers returned home Sunday morning after being away in Iraq for nine months for Operation Inherent Resolve."  We are happy those 140 are home.  We're not happy that more were sent over to replace them.

We're not happy that nearly 16 years later, the Iraq War continues or that the US continues to occupy Iraq or that the so-called peace leaders are in a tizzy over a possible new war on Venezuela but can't object to the ongoing Iraq War.

Right now, there's only one candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination who is consistently raising the issue of endless war.

is committed to stop these costly wars like no one else. She is a Major in the Hawaiian National Guard and has done two tours in Iraq heading up a medic unit. She will put an end to interventionist and regime change wars. Tulsi knows the real cost of endless wars.

Only one candidate is raising the issue consistently and she's the one that the media can't stop attacking.  Is that just a coincidence?  Or is it that the media-defense industry is not about to let peace become a topic without a fight.

Think back a moment on Dennis Kucinich.  He was a peace candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.  Do you remember how the media attacked him?  Mocked him?  Did he believe, they wanted to know, in UFOs?  And then played him as crazy.

Now think about 2016.  Think about how respectful the media was to Hillary's campaign flunky John Podesta who, by the way, publicly believes in UFOs.  He was the chair of Hillary's campaign.  But no one tried to ridicule him in the press.  No one mocked him for believing in UFOs.  If you're a War Hawk you can believe and it's okay.  If you're a War Hawk, you can get away with a great deal.

TV: It shouldn't be that hard to be entertaining

It shouldn't be that hard to create an action show with heroes.  Yes, anti-trust laws be damned, MARVEL and DC are both now under DISNEY which means optioning a number of properties is more difficult than it once was. 


But there are may comics out that which are neither MARVEL nor DC.  Terry Moore's ECHO is a strong comic that have been noted at this site.  This site's comic surveys have noted Rashida Jones' FRENEMY OF THE STATE several times including noting the cinematic feel to the comic and that it was due to be turned into a film.  That was 2012.  Seven years later no film.  Maybe it's time to think in terms of a TV series?

IMAGINE COMICS has many titles that could make strong TV shows including ALPHA GIRL, BLACKLIGHT, BOMB QUEEN (who could be the next Catwoman), THE TENTH MUSE, ELEPHANT MEN, SUPREME, KID SUPREME, FREEDOM FORCE (which is also a successful game), MADMAN, CYBERNARY, INVINCIBLE, BESERKER, DART and YOUNGBLOOD.  Or what about AC COMIC's FEMFORCE? Or Jazmin Truesdale's THE KEEPERS? Or Jack Kirby's SILVER STAR?

Believe it or not, there's a whole world of comics outside of DC or MARVEL.

And you don't need comic books for action shows with heroes.  Why isn't UNIVERSAL rebooting THE BIONIC WOMAN and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN?  It's not hard to reboot them -- though NBC screwed it up with BIONIC WOMAN.  Jamie is intelligent, don't make her a dummy or a little girl.  THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN tried to make another series with Vince Van Patten but don't make him a little boy -- also done in JAKE 2.0.  Lee Majors wasn't a little boy.  His Steve Austin was not as smart as Lindsay Wagner's Jamie.  But that was part of the reason he was memorable.  He was a good hearted man who stumbled a lot and, when he was in danger, the juxtaposition of someone manly in a position of weakness grabbed the audience.  Think of his kidnapping in "Run, Steve, Run" or his longing for Jamie in "The Return of the Bionic Woman Part 1."  Or, for the ultimate visual of this aspect of the show, think of the defining image of "The Secret of Big Foot" (a two-parter) where Stefanie Power's Shalon stand over his body laid out on an examining table with a weakened Steve Austin wearing nothing but body hair and a strategically placed small washcloth.

AQUAMAN's success in movie theaters should have probably led someone to try to revive 1977's MAN FROM ATLANTIS.  No comic book was required to create it or THE BIONIC WOMAN or THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN or THE GREAT AMERICAN SUPERHERO.  And, of course, the most complex and biggest cast belonged to Tim Kring's HEROES -- and no comic book was required to create that show.

If LIFETIME can offer up VICTORIA GOTTI: MY FATHER'S DAUGHTER, it shouldn't be that hard to create an action series featuring heroes.

It shouldn't be.

But then you discover NETFLIX's THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY and realize no one knows what they're doing.  The basic premise -- babies are born after mysterious creations apparently not involving sex.  A mad scientist buys up as many as he can -- seven.  He raises them to be superheroes -- not, as Vanya will note later in her adult life in a best selling tell-all, via love and encouragement but via what can only be termed abuse.  That may account for their stunted growth but what accounts for the stunted scripts where every thought and every plot point is spoken aloud.

The acting's nothing to brag about but how much it results from the script, who knows?

Ellen Page is the worst.  Not just in this role, but in any role.  She was wrongly nominated for an Academy Award for JUNO.  She didn't create a performance but people thought she did because they were unfamiliar with her work.  They thought she was being ironic and that the detached pose was a character she created.  It wasn't.  And she's no longer a child actor -- where does she get off not learning her craft?  Every 'performance' is the same.  She lives in her head, not in her body which makes for one dimensional, stick figures, not actual characters.  Like Alyssa Milano, she seems to think that learning lines and reciting them with some semblance of emotion counts as good acting.  She never creates a character, she never inhabits one.  She had the role of a lifetime in Kitty Pride -- one of the most celebrated female characters in comics -- but she did nothing with it.  She never does.  She's unable to work up a character.  She can't even provide different externals.  She's wooden and she's a hideous actress.

Movie goers woke up to that reality long ago which is why, since 2009, she hasn't had a lead role in a big budget film and has instead been moved over to supporting roles.  And even those dried up from the big studios.  She's not a draw.  Audiences don't like her.  She may be big on YOUTUBE when she's trashing someone (and she's always trashing someone) but she's not big in film.  And her whiny and difficult manner on sets has made her studio poison -- no one wants to work with her and all her drama and bitchery.  Life is just too damn short.

Which is how Ellen ends up on TV.  But the big networks know not to touch her so that just leaves the streaming services and basic cable.  Hence her arrival to NETFLIX.

She supposedly mopes.  Her character Vanaya doesn't have superhero powers.  SPOILER: Of course, she does.  She'll remind you of HEROES' Emma Coolidge in terms of her powers.  With or withouut powers, there's not much difference in Ellen's performance.  She hits her marks, she recites her lines in that little, detached voice that screams for a vocal coach.  If she had any sense, she'd have an onset acting coach and be enrolled with a serious acting teacher.

But she thinks she's acting.  That's what's really, really sad.  Because, around the age of 20, she was wrongly nominated for an Academy Award (twelve years later and it never happened again, nor will it), she thinks she's an 'actress.'  Now Lily Tomlin, an actual, gifted actress works constantly on her characters and will work with acting coaches.  But Ellen Page thinks she's achieved greatness and has nothing left to learn because, again, she's got the basic mechanics down (hit your marks, recite your lines).  She's not an actress and that's something THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY makes very clear.

No one in the main cast really is.  Mary J. Blige, in a small role that's little more than a Greek chorus, registers as does Ashley Madekwe also in a small role.  A series built around Blige and Madekwe would be worth watching.  THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY?  Not so much.  In fact, this is the most disappointing action series NETFLIX has offered.  They should have kept the amazing SENSE8 instead of filming this crap.

Over on SYFY, they're trying their own new action series based on a comic book -- DEADLY CLASS.  The series doesn't seem well thought out, to be honest.  Moments that should have been built to just suddenly appear as though no one's working from a bible.  Foreshadowing is a dramatic concept that the writers should learn.  Take a page from Alfred Hitchcock and learn that you can create tension by letting the audience in on some secrets.

What the show lacks in episode writing, it makes up for in movement, direction and acting -- not to mention unique visuals that don't often pop up on TV programs.

Boasting one of the  most winnable casts on TV, DEADLY CLASS zips along at a fast pace with characters you enjoy.  Master Lin is expertly created by Benedict Wong as so much more than an adult leader.  Henry Rollins in a small part delivers as well as do leads Benjamin Wadsworth, Lana Condor, Luke Tennie, Maria Gabriela de Faria, Michael Duval, Taylor Hickson and Liam James.  And let's not forget Tom Stevens who plays the creepy Chester to perfection.

After the high-profile that was season one of KRYPTON, it's good to see that SYFY can still create a series worth watching.  Sadly, the same cannot be said about THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY.

Jill Abramson to release 10 more books

Jill Abramson has been busy promoting her new book MERCHANTS OF TRUTH and even busier defending it as a result of her plagiarism.

  1. I've long admired Jill Abramson, but the definition of plagiarism she gives here is a...looser one than has been true at the publications I've worked at, and I think it shows less generosity in citation than is appropriate.

Never one to pass up an opportunity or an easy buck, the failed executive-editor of THE NEW YORK TIMES has decided to use this media moment to promote ten new books.  Yes, ten!  Jill explains she's been very, very busy and has diversified.  "All these great ideas just came to me," Jill exclaimed.  "It's been a very fertile time for me."

All ten books will be released this Friday.

1)  Jill Abramson's A TALE OF TWO CITIES.  Explains Jill, "I was doing adderall and wine coolers when this line just came to me: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.'  Heavy, right?  So I just dashed this one off on a drug induced high."

2) Jill Abramson's 50 SHADES OF GREY.  "I like a little kink as much as the next freak -- and twice on Saturdays," boasted Jill.  "Honestly, the Abu Ghraib coverage left me damp, if you know what I mean.  Here I picture myself the sexual plaything of a wealthy man.  This is not a book you show to your mother!"

3) Jill Abramson's THE FIRM.  Insisting that she's always had a strong interest in the law, Jill says this thriller came to her "during a particularly long and frustrating dump on the toilet.  I was just about to flush when the image of this young lawyer Mitch came to me and I thought how he could be corrupted by working for a crooked law firm.  This is a page turner!"

4) Jill Abramson's FIRST YOU CRY.  "I've never had breast cancer," confesses Jill, "but I think this is what it would be like.  My main character is a newswoman named Betty Rollins."

5) Jill Abramson's DREAMS FROM MY FATHER.  "This one was a writing exercise.  You know, like Carole King's FANTASY album.  What if, I wondered, my father was from Kenya?  That's what led me to write this book.  It left me exhausted but wanting to run for president."

6) Jill Abramson's VALLEY OF THE DOLLS.  "Adderall's my drug of choice most days but I'll drop anything and that's what led me to write this book.  I see a lot of myself in Anne whereas I based the character Neely on Judith Miller and the character Jennifer on Maureen Dowd.  I really think I found a new voice on this book and I'm rather shocked that I finished it in less than 30 minutes.  One minute, I was popping another adderall and the next I was standing at a copy machine at Kinkos with all these pages of my new book."

7) Jill Abramson's SILENT SPRING.  "This book is going to shock people," Jill whispered to us, "especially when people realize just how ecological I am.  And ethical!"

8) Jill Abramson's THE COLOR PURPLE.  "I really like colors and purple.  It's a good color.  I write about it in this book.  I write about other things too.  My character Cecily -- I mean, Celie!  My character Celie is married to this guy and he's real mean to her.  I can't remember all of the story, I mean, come on, I wrote it three days ago. But it's really good.  Really, really."

9) Jill Abramson's ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.  "People do not realize how deep I am," maintains Jill.  "But I have a feeling that, with this book, I've written something which will truly stand the test of time.  This is a book that will change the world."

10)  Jill Abramson's THE BIBLE -- A TESTAMENT TO NEW AND OLD.  Says Jill, "I've always been a spiritual person and I just really let myself go with this one.  I jokingly called it 'The Queen Jill Version'."

All ten books come with a disclaimer from SIMON & SCHUSTER which reads: "We just published this crap, we didn't check anything.  Direct any and all complaints to Ms. Abramson."


It's been years since Chaka Khan released a new studio album so we're really excited that her album HELLO HAPPINESS comes out this Friday.

We'd be more excited if we could order it.

Well . . . you can order it on AMAZON.

But why would you?

The album comes out Friday, February 15th but if you order it right now, even with a PRIME subscription (next day delivery!) you find out that it will arrive on . . . February 27th.  If the CD is released February 15th, why in the world would you want to wait 12 days to get it in the mail?  Have they dropped back to the pony express?

We'll be buying the digital album.  We'd hoped to buy CDs as well.  But twelve days is a hell of a long time to wait for a CD to be delivered.  Even Wal-Mart promises if you order the CD now you'll have it by February 19th.

Kamala worries about some children


Burn Pits 360 to brief Congress


Dear friend,

As we mentioned previously, 2019 is the year that we are going to fight hard for our veterans and pass meaningful legislation that improves the lives for them and their families. Doing that begins with properly informing those making the decisions on proposed legislation being passed. We are excited to announce our 2019 Congressional Briefing being held in Washington D.C. where various Members of Congress will be attending to learn more about burn pits, hear testimony from healthcare experts and veterans, and understand how they can play a role in ensuring that those that are suffering from the toxic wounds of war are taken care of. 
We are sending you this SAVE THE DATE, because we want to let you know that this is open to the public and hope that you are able to attend. The following day, we will be having our Burn Pits Lobby Day where we will be sitting down with various Members of Congress and having one-on-one conversations and ensuring their support on this pressing issue.

If you are interested in attending, send us an email to EVENTS@BURNPITS360.ORG. We hope to see you in DC in April!

Eric Holguin
Government & Public Affairs
Our mailing address is:
Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization
 201 N. 4th Street
 Robstown, Texas 78380

Tweet of the week

One of the worst things about Russiagate is the veneration of prosecutorial misconduct by people who should know better.

This edition's playlist

diamond diana


2) Diana Ross' diana.

3) Diana Ross' EATEN ALIVE.

4) Diana Ross' SWEPT AWAY.

5) Diana Ross' THE BOSS.

6) Diana Ross' SURRENDER.


8) Diana Ross' TAKE ME HIGHER.

9) Diana Ross' DIANA ROSS.



This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Apparently Jeanne Shaheen doesn't know women are in Iraq" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

"dynasty deja vu," "HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER," "AMERICAN DAD," "RUSSIAN DOLL," "TV, movies and Broadway," "Bad news for NETFLIX," "Done with EMPIRE but stuck on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER," and "who should play dominique on dynasty?" -- Rebecca, Stan, Elaine and Ruth cover TV.

"WHAT MEN WANT" and "Annette Benning is the best American actress" -- Stan and Marcia talk movies.

"Who's Debate Is It Anyway?" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Another land rover soon to be on Mars" and "Curiosity" -- Betty covers science.

"Easy Pasta e Faigoli in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers a recipe.

"Diana Ross performs on Sunday's Grammys," "5 favorite Janis Joplin songs"Cynthia Weil," 
"Women in music," "How bad was Maroon 5?" and "streisand screwed the pooch this time." -- Ruth, Elaine, Kat and Rebecca cover music.

"Jill Abramson 'truth' talker,"THIS JUST IN! COPY CAT JILL TALKS!,"Jill's latest excuse," "THIS JUST IN! THE CITATION ERROR DEFENSE!," "Karma bites Jill Abramson on her fat ass" and "The miserables" -- community coverage of Jill the copycat.

"Marianne Williamson," "Will Hillary make herself a joke?," "My back is tired of carrying politicians""Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can disappoint," "Thanks fake ass Nancy Pelosi," 
"u.s. senators vote to overturn the u.s. constitution," "Madeira Beach City . . . or an episode of DYNASTY?," "Look who is skipping work but not the paycheck," "Is this true?,"  "Abby Martin, Thomas Knapp, Tulsi Gabbard," "Tulsi," "What we should be paying attention to," "Dave Lindorff explains how Medicare For All actually is more than affordable," "We The People built this push for Medicare For All," "We want Medicare For All," "Nancy gets a little bitchy" and "That wild and crazy government in Virginia" -- community coverage of politics and politicians.

"Jack in the Box is a rip-off" -- Ann calls it.


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