Monday, March 04, 2019

Truest statement of the week

Democrats, not Republicans stole the election from Bernie in 2016, in Maryland, Illinois, New York, California and in the media and on the DNC among other places. Bernie imagines he can, as Glen Ford put it, steal one of the rich man’s parties out from under the lords of capital. That’s not a new project, it’s pretty old one, a wall actually against which progressive Democrats have been banging their heads ever since the 1930s. In any case, some people are still committed to that, so keeping up that fight inside the Democratic party is their job. Some of us have a different job.
If we can’t hijack the rich man’s party we need to build our own party.

While Bernie imagines he can hijack the rich man’s party, some of us are about the business of building a peoples party from the ground up. The Green Party, to which I belong, is faced with a unique set of challenges for 2020.

Despite expected howls of protest that any vote for, any energy expended on behalf of a non-Democrat only benefits Trump and his minions, and the very certain knowledge that the next president will be a Republican or a Democrat, not our guy or gal – the Green Party will have to credibly explain just what we are doing in the 2020 presidential election, and how we intends to get that stuff done. With the right campaign, and the right – or really the left candidate, we CAN do that. Just like Bernie’s people are hard at work 21 months out from election day, so are some of us.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Facing  2020 and Bernie 2.0: What the Green Party must do" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Number three, the Greens must field a 2020 candidate and campaign focused on obtaining national ballot access and building strong, viable and sustainable state and local parties.

Howie Hawkins, the longtime UPS worker and union activist who was the NY Green Party’s gubernatorial candidate the last two times around is one of the party’s OG, i.e., Original Green founders. He’s been the most persistent and persuasive advocate of re-imagining the Greens as an independent party with a dues paying membership in the thousands and tens of thousands in every state . That’s what the Socialist Party had up until the Wilson administration took away their free mail privileges at the beginning of World War 1. There are proven organizing models out here, cheap but not free. Billionaires and foundations won’t pay to initialize or to sustain them. They have to be organized and funded from the ground up.

Howie Hawkins is the only one of the possible Green presidential candidates to acknowledge the scope of what his party must do to do in order to become a viable national force. And along with Green activists across the country, Hawkins is closely considering an exploratory campaign committee, the first legal step in a 2020 presidential run. Get ready for it.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Facing  2020 and Bernie 2.0: What the Green Party must do" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Sunday night.

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?

Bruce A. Dixon gets another truest.

In fact he gets two.
All these bases say the US isn't leaving anytime soon.

Ava and C.I. take on the lack of truth in AMERICAN MASTERS.

Since when is it a 'funny' commercial to have a multi-millionaire yell at a minimum wage worker?

From Margaret Kimberley's Twitter feed.

Into the mailbag.

Ava and C.I.'s piece made us curious so we listened to Cris Williamson's album and decided to highlight this track.

What we listened to while writing.


Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: When does the US leave Iraq?

This month, the Iraq War hits the 16 year mark.

Exactly when does it end?

And when do US forces leave?

Apparently, not anytime soon.

Search results

  1. new Air Bases in , the first one near Al Rutba (Al Anbar Province) seems to be fully operational, sand bags on the runways have been removed. As for H-3 airbase, works are still in progress, southern runway is still sandbagged.

  3. "U.S. Has 31 Military Bases, 34,000 Soldiers in Iraq."

Bases, bases, endless bases.

When does it end?

TV: PBS' long con

In the latest con that is AMERICAN MASTERS, a bit of truth peeks out.  As they lavish praise on another one non-deserving, they show the cover of a 1990 issue of HOT WIRE: THE JOURNAL OF WOMEN'S MUSIC AND CULTURE.

On the cover, on the left hand side, viewers can see the headline "Michelle Shocked on coming out."


Because she did.


For some reason, the homophobe went back in to the closet.  She showed up in San Francisco in March of 2013 and destroyed her career by insisting "God hates f**s" and by saying that the end of times were upon us and would be accelerated if Prop 8 were overturned.  She's lied a lot in the time since and some press whores have helped her -- see Daniel Kusner's DALLAS MORNING NEWS trash where he presents -- without questioning -- her lies that this whole attack on gay people was Michelle's attempt to take on record piracy and where he also presents a drag performer in a gay bag yelling the f-word at the audience as the same thing as what Michelle did.  No, they're not.

The moment confused many because they thought she was a lesbian.  Being a lesbian had, in fact, made her career.  As late as 2005, Laura Flanders wouldn't have given Michelle an hour of radio time to promote Shocked's three albums (all bombed) if she hadn't thought Michelle was a lesbian.  We're talking about a performer whose career was over in 1990 (two years after her one and only 'hit' -- number 66 -- fell off the charts).  Her label dropped her, she was putting out her own albums and not even Prince could get away with releasing three albums at once.  More to the point, you can be damn sure Laura Flanders wouldn't have made nice to her for 10 seconds if she'd known Shocked was a homophobe.

It was shocking for a lot of people and not just because, as some maintained, Michelle Shocked was "progressive."  It was shocking because of the nature of fame.

Michelle Shocked has briefly been a name.  She appeared on radio for a brief instant.  Her media image was established: Gangly lesbian with close cropped hair.

In her brief moment of fame she came out.  She lied about that over and over in later years after she discovered someone's idea of God and began calling gay people sinners.

But all of this happened after her blip.  Fame can be fleeting.  Long after, her song was forgotten, so was Michelle Shocked.  One hit wonders really aren't that memorable.  For example, is anyone really following what the Pipes brothers are doing these days?  Toby and Todd might have been mildly interesting in 1995 when their group Deep Blue Something had an actual hit ("Breakfast At Tiffany's" which made it to number five on the BILLBOARD charts).  Toby and Todd could have (they didn't) come out in 1999 and who would've known?  Or cared?

Michelle Shocked faded into obscurity and to all who never bothered to wonder what happened to her, she was still a lesbian with a guitar.

She really resented that.  And, after marrying a man (Bart Bull) in the mid-90s, she especially became vocal about not being a lesbian and, in fact, not liking gays.  (In 2011, she boasted, "You're looking at the world's greatest homophobe.")  But, again, who cared or even knew?

To most of the world, she was as dead as her career.

If someone, in 2008, for example, found themselves humming her only hit ("Anchorage"), they probably thought she'd gone on being this really cool lesbian, maybe making music on a smaller scale, maybe living off the land.

AMERICAN MASTERS is on season 33 and imagine our shock to tune into it on KQED and discover that they were profiling Holly Near.

Holly who?


See, she has no real accomplishments.

And she also can't get honest.  That's why we really loved that moment of truth in the broadcast where, panning up the magazine cover featuring Holly's picture, the camera came across "Michelle Shocked on coming out."

Holly, like other 'lesbians' Michelle Shocked and Ani diFranco, used being a lesbian as a marketing strategy.  Without it, she'd have no career at all.  So it's really funny to watch someone (we'll abide by playground honor and not snitch) tells the camera, "I think her career suffered."

What career?

She was a fat and not pretty young woman.  That's why she was hired, on TV, to play the fat girl.  Or, in the case of ALL IN THE FAMILY, the really, really pregnant woman.  She describes herself as a chubby character actress.  She's wrong on both counts.

She's not chubby, she's fat.  She's not a character actress or even an actress.  Everything she does screams fake acting, every scene screams theatrical overreach.  She played characters who were jokes because she made herself one.

There was no acting career.  She had not set the world on fire.

"Well she's a singer!"

Okay, let's go with that one.  She did tour with Jane Fonda's FTA tour.

For some unknown reason, Jim Brown, the 'director' of this 'documentary,' goes to Tom Hayden.  Yes, that is puzzling for a new documentary (which premiered in limited release last fall).  Hayden, after all, died in 2016.  But even more true, Tom had nothing to do with FTA.

He pretends to -- or the 'documentary' makes it look like he's claiming to be part of it.

"Look at this! The way one lie begets another," Barbra Streisand sings on YENTYL's "Tomorrow Night" and AMERICAN MASTERS really proves it.

That broadcast led THE PROGRESSIVE to publish the following garbage online:

In 1971, Near joined Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Peter Boyle, and others in a New Left counterpart to Bob Hope’s pro-Pentagon USO tours. As part of "FTA" --  which alternately stood for "Free The Army" or "F**k The Army" -- she performed antiwar and pro-feminist skits and songs.
Utilizing Hayden’s organizing skills and activist contacts at home and abroad, the agitprop troupe entertained largely G.I. audiences at coffeehouses and other venues near military bases. In one FTA number, Near (at twenty-one the troupe's youngest cast member) joins Fonda and others singing, "I’m tired of the bastards f**king me over."

Hayden had no organizing skills nor was he part of FTA.

Let's start with an earlier lie.  Hayden, who wasn't present at the creation, tells the camera Jane came up with the idea.  No, she didn't.  Howard Levy did.  Now the advance work for the shows?  That was done by Jane's ex-lover Fred Gardner.  Her then-current lover, Donald Sutherland, was also part of the show.  Later, Francine Parker would come along.  Though celebrated today -- mainly by people who never saw the FTA film -- as a put upon woman who endured, the reality was far different and Francine was seen as (a) the person who prevented the filmed Fort Bragg performance from being distributed across Europe (because she didn't direct that filming) and (b) the one who helped tear that portion of the movement apart (the Servicemen's Fund was deeply damaged).  Country Joe McDonald was also a part of FTA -- one who left rather publicly as were Dick Gregory, Peter Boyle, Len Chandler and Rita Martinson.

Tom Hayden was not a part of it.

He was a part of the far less visible Indochina Peace Campaign which was started as FTA (the film) was being released because Tom had to have control and could never control FTA.  That's a reality but let's not get lost in the weeds.

Jim Brown's 'documentary' is one lie built upon another.

Eventually, 'lesbian' Holly settled on/with a man, but, golly, Holly continued to self-present as a lesbian.  In fact, she does so to this day.  She's been with that man for twenty-five years now -- but still describes herself as a lesbian -- oh, and "monogamous" -- call her the Rachel Dozel of lesbians.

She talks about her man -- who sits with her on camera -- but she's really self-obsessed, isn't she?

"I was the most famous lesbian, I guess, in the world," she boasts.  That was when people began to find out she was with a man.  Really?  That relationship started in 1994 and wasn't widely known for a very long time.  But even by 1994, Melissa Etheridge, Martina Navratilova, Janis Ian and Amanda Bearse were only some of the women who were already famous and had come out.

Holly Near?

She wasn't famous outside the Womyn's music circuit.

At THE PROGRESSIVE, Ed Rampell wonders if it was being an open lesbian that prevented Holly from achieving the fame of Judy Collins, Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell?

Joni Mitchell is one of the great songwriters of any era.  Do not cheapen her image by suggesting that Holly's songs live up to Joni's "A Case Of You," "For The Roses," et al.  They don't.

As for Joan and Judy?  How did Stephen Holden put it?

But "Fire in the Rain" also leaves you with the feeling that Ms. Near is a limited musical talent who found celebrity in the only arena available. Vocally, she was never a match for Joan Baez or Judy Collins, two singers who successfully integrated leftist politics into their careers.

We love Stephen.  And that's from a review jolly Holly references but doesn't name.  He was reviewing her hideous play FIRE IN RAIN which, according to Holly, closed because of his review.

Clips of that awful play appear in the 'documentary.'  She really comes across as a bad cabaret performer -- especially clear in the play as she performs -- for drama -- scenes strangely similar to Andrea Martin's Libby Wolfson on SCTV -- but Andrea did it for laughs.  And even the line "but you know tomorrow I'll be back on my feet," as sung by Holly, might be too much for Andrea's Libby Wolfson.

Gloria Steinem is brought on for some strange reason.  To note how poorly she's applying her eye shadow these days?

Gloria, as Ellen Willis noted privately and publicly, never knew s**t about music.

She makes that clear to the cameras.  She wasn't aware music could be "a communal experience" before Holly.  How did Gloria miss news of Woodstock?

She didn't.  She's just a liar who can't stop lying.  She's like a p.r. hack endlessly hyping a client.

Of Ronnie Gilbert and Holly performing, Gloria gushes, "I'd never seen two women performing who were different ages, different experiences -- actually liked each other, weren't rivals."

Hear that?

Gloria says women performers are bitchy and can't get along.  Yes, she is perpetuating the nonsense of cat fights.  When will someone tell this old woman to  sit down.  Her time has passed.  She is not an expert on music and she needs to stop talking.

More to the point, the year that Holly and Gilbert first toured?  The Judds were touring.  Different ages, different experiences.  And they actually liked each other, Gloria, they actually did.

Music historian Gloria also tells us that Holly "was the first person to sing love songs that were obviously to another woman."

Grammarians will note that the use of "person" instead of "woman" harms Gloria's point but it's also true that logic and facts harm Gloria's point as well.

Holly doesn't come out until 1976.  Tret Fure is a singer-songwriter Gloria overlooks.  Cris Williamson would be another. Meg Christian would be yet another.  And those are just from the seventies.  We can drop back to the 1920s and Ma Rainey's "Prove It On Me," Bessie Smith's "The Boy In The Boat" . . .

We're going to say it one more time: Gloria Steinem needs to sit the f**k down.

As a feminist, she knows that women have to constantly reinvent the wheel because our history is stolen from us.  She knows that this is damaging to the movement and to women personally.

So she needs to stop talking about music.  She has no history.  She has no knowledge.  She doesn't even have some crappy articles she can point to.  Music has never been her focus.

Her ahistorical comments are hurtful and damaging.

Cris Williamson?  We mentioned her above.  If you've never heard her classic album THE CHANGER AND THE CHANGED , consider picking it up (or go to YOUTUBE and stream).  It's a classic album and it's also the reason the special of AMERICAN MASTERS should have been about Cris.

Does PBS get how homophobic they look?

They've chosen a woman who has been sexually involved with one man -- and no one else -- for 25 years to represent women's music and lesbians just because the woman self-describes as a "lesbian."

She's never accomplished anything with her life. 

Cris has the best selling album of all time for women's music -- THE CHANGER AND THE CHANGED.  And it's a great album, one that still holds up all these years later (it was released in 1975).  That's not her only solid album but it is a classic.

Holly doesn't even have a classic song.  The 'documentary' tries to pretend she does.  They trot out idiot Gloria to insist that Holly's "It Could Have Been Me" -- one of Holly's many songs that sound like "We Are Crossing Jordan River" -- is a classic and conveyed so much to people about the Kent State shootings.  Considering she never recorded the song until 1974 -- and few ever heard it -- it's hard to agree with Gloria's point that, in 1970, at the time of the shootings, Holly healed the nation with her song -- four years after the fact.

The 'documentary' tells us that "Singing For Our Lives" -- a song we never heard until the film -- is the -- THE! -- anthem of the LGBT movement (the 'documentary' left off the Q, take it up with them).  Someone forgot to inform BILLBOARD -- they've got the top fifty LGBTQ anthems right here and Holly doesn't make the list.

Holly's a nothing who has mistaken herself for a something,  I was the first lesbian profiled by PEOPLE, she exclaims at one point.  No, she wasn't. But we do love to laugh at that article -- the one where Holly explains that when she first fell in love with a woman she didn't think it was "a fair choice."

And choice, that's the real issue here.

Not Holly's choice.

Holly's delusional and says idiotic things about the disappointment some felt when they learned she was now sleeping with a man -- like here, "It was still a time when you could name those famous lesbians on one hand and when that's the case it makes a lot of sense that people would be afraid to lose one."

No, stupid, not because you were famous.

It was because your actions were encouraging a mistaken belief that the LGBTQ community has tried to correct: Your sexuality is not your choice.

But Holly's actions -- especially with her continuing to identify as a lesbian -- say to the world: Being gay is a choice.

Most likely, Holly is bisexual and there's nothing wrong with that.

But claiming you are a lesbian and being in a relationship with a man is saying to those that do not like gay people, "See, it's a choice!"

She's doing a lot of harm.

Shame on PBS for paying to air this bad 'documentary.'  This time period could have been covered with an actual star from it: Cris Williamson. How typical for PBS -- and most of the media -- to run with hetero Holly to tell the story of Womyn's Music -- a real genre that existed and flourished in the seventies.

Holly claims she's a lesbian in the 'documentary' and then makes it even worse by declaring, "We were the generation of women who laid every brick down before anyone could walk on it."


Tell it to Moms Mabley, Lorraine Hansbberry, Ann Bannon, Lilli Vincenz, Djnua Barnes, Mabel Hampton, Alla Nazimova, Patricia Highsmith, Gladys Bentley, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon -- among others.

Holly identifies as a lesbian even though she's having sex with a man.  Why?

Let's go back to Stephen Holden, "But 'Fire in the Rain' also leaves you with the feeling that Ms. Near is a limited musical talent who found celebrity in the only arena available. "

She's not much of a singer.  She's not much of a songwriter.  She has no hits.

Take away her period as a lesbian and she's just a would-be cabaret singer who never made it and now, at her age, never will.  AMERICAN MASTERS proves only one thing: PBS is still the master of the con.

Jim's World


You don't need to follow a Twitter feed to grasp how stupid some celebrities are.

Take Steve Carell.  The TV actor thought he could have a film career.  It hasn't worked out very well for him.  This high priced actor (over priced) hasn't been in a live action hit since 2013's ANCHORMAN II -- and he wasn't the lead in that film.

2010's GET SMART is the last time he had a lead in a live action film and it crossed the $100 million mark.

He doesn't do a great deal to improve his chances.  If you doubt me, check out he hideous commercial below.

There's Steve Carell being 'funny.'

'Funny' by punching down?

He yells and screams at a minimum wage worker who is just trying to do his job.

How brave, Steve, how avant garde.

He should be ashamed of himself.  Talk about the 1% being out of it.  What was going through his head when he filmed that?  Did he think he came off strong?  Did he think people would applaud him?

Some will.  Some will always identify with their oppressors.

Steve Carell is the enemy.  Anyone who films a commercial like that is the enemy of We The People.

Next time Steve wonders why people won't buy tickets to crap like WELCOME TO MARWEN, maybe he should ask himself how endearing it is to ticket buyers for him, the big millionaire, to be bullying some minimum wage worker?

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