Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Truest statement of the week

However, in the case of Syria, that carefully constructed ideological framing is now imploding as a result of its own internal contradictions. The white supremacist “responsibility to protect,” the 21st century version of the “white man’s burden,” requires an adolescent bad guy-good guy framing. The dictator/authoritarian figure and the suffering people longing for freedom -- Western style freedom that is- provided a familiar cultural framing for this epic struggle between “good” and “evil.”  
In Syria, Assad was the villain and the Kurds the virtuous other who took on the savage forces of ISIS -- that appeared out of nowhere according to this version of the story. While the Kurds were saving Western civilization from ISIS -- and that is how it was framed because it is the only way real support is generated for non-European life (you have to be saving white folks) -- the good guy revolutionaries and moderate opposition in the form of the FSA were fighting Assad to liberate the millions of people who didn’t seem to understand that they were being oppressed by Assad. 
But all of that has now been turned on its head with the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the Kurds and give a greenlight to the illegal invasion of Syria by Turkey, with none other than the FSA acting as the point of the spear operating with the Turkish army to crush the Kurds. 
In the anger toward Trump, the corporate press forgot the memo that the FSA were the good guys who had been supported by U.S. authorities from the very beginning of the manufactured war. The new framing became the “Turkish supported FSA,” especially after gruesome videos began to circulate that demonstrated in graphic images what many of us knew, along with the CIA and most of the honest foreign policy community, that the FSA was always al-Qaeda’s Syria operation in the form of Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadist militias.  
Independent journalist Aaron Mate, who was one of the many journalist smeared as an Assadist simply because he attempted to raise objective questions about what was unfolding in Syria and the impact of U.S. policies in the region, suggests that now that it is no longer viable to pretend that the FSA and the so-called moderate rebels ever existed, all those who smeared independent analysts on this question should apologize.

-- Ajamu Baraka, "Syria: Exposing Western Radical Collaboration with Imperalism" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

The psychological damage done to black people reverberates. So much so that a family would not stand in righteous and uncompromised indignation against the person who killed their loved one. Black elected officials are silent cowards and neither speak nor act on behalf of their people. The rest of us must be watchful and prevent ourselves from falling under the spell of insanity and treachery. Let us begin by remembering Botham Jean, Joshua Brown and Antonio Williams. No one will if we do not. Black lives don’t matter in New York, Dallas or anywhere else.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Botham Jean, Joshua Brown and Antonio Williams" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --


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?

Ajuma Baraka gets another truest.
As does Margaret Kimberley.
Ava and C.I.'s latest explores a developing theme on TV.
A number of topics are addressed.
Margaret Kimberley also got this (in addition to her truest).
We're not crying  You should ask why Caroline Orr is.
It became a favorite last weekend.
You have been warned.
What we listened to while writing.
Senator Patty Murray press release.
Green Party coverage.
Senator Tammy Baldwin press release.
Green Party coverage.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: The protests may return

AFP reported Sunday, "Influential Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr has given his supporters the green light to resume anti-government protests, after the movement was interrupted following a deadly crackdown." Lawk Ghafuri (RUDAW) adds:

Several of Iraq’s central and southern cities, including the capital Baghdad, were rocked by violent protests in early October, which left at least 108 dead and more than 6,000 injured.
In a long statement published on his Facebook page late on Saturday, Sadr called on his supporters and the public to return to the streets on Friday, October 25 to resume the protests. 

Sadr is head of the Sayirun alliance, the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament. He is also head of the Saraya al-Salam militia, which is part of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) umbrella, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic.

“The government leaders and politicians are in a state of fear because of you, they are completely unable to fix anything within this country,” Sadr’s statement read. “Therefore, I ask everyone to start the revolution which will clean Iraq from corrupters and fools.”

Between 1st- 12th of October, hundreds of unarmed protesters in Baghdad and Iraq's southern provinces were targeted by snipers. "We were unarmed. Why was that young man shot with two bullets to the head?"



  1. Many civil activist are still missing (kidnapped or arrested) since the beginning of the protests in Iraq.

TV: The Cock Chronicles

Two weeks ago, on CBS' THE NEIGHBORS, two men (Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greefield) painting a house tried to seduce their wives (Tichina Arnold and Beth Behrs) by bending down lower and shaking their butts.  Though that might have been shocking for some of CBS' more staid viewers, it was nothing compared to last week when The Cock Chronicles began airing with its definitive moment being the running, in loose boxer briefs, by Jeremy Irvine and his penis.


Jiggle TV, for those not familiar with the genre, was a 70s form of programming.  It was also sexist.  We don't mean "Jiggle TV" was sexist, we mean that the term and the way it was applied was -- sexism on the part of the predominantly male critics.  The term first pops up to describe the 60s show HONEY WEST which starred Anne Francis as a private detective -- a first for women.  It was then applied to, most famously, CHARLIE'S ANGELS (three women as private detectives), as well as POLICE WOMAN (Angie Dickenson as a police officer), WONDER WOMAN, THREE'S COMPANY, THE AMERICAN GIRLS (two female reporters played by Debra Clinger and Priscilla Barnes), FLYING HIGH (three flight attendants played by Kathryn Witt, Connie Sellecca and Pat Kous), GET CHRISTY LOVE! (starring Teresa Graves) and even BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS.  It's that last one that provides the indictment of sexism that many long suspected.  The women on that show were said to be taking part in Jiggle TV.

You have men walking and running on TV shows and it's not Jiggle TV.  Put a woman on the same type of show and suddenly it's Jiggle TV.  There's no way that Lynda Carter, no matter what she wears, is not going to "jiggle" when she moves.  The real 'problem' those whining "Jiggle TV" (Tom Shales, we're looking at you, pig face) had was that women were now starring as leads.

BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS, for those who never caught the show, had the then-three networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) competing against one another.   ABC's team might offer Farrah Fawcett, Penny Marshall, Robin Williams, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs or Jaclyn Smith, CBS might offer Telly Savalas, LeVar Burton, Valerie Bertinelli, Kevin Dobbs, or Victoria Principal, NBC might offer Greg Evigan, Robert Conrad, Michelle Phillips, Todd Bridges or William Shatner. But the criticism was always of the women.  In any televised competition, no woman was going to pull a Robert Conrad and strip topless.  Still, to hear the male critics (and male-centric token females) tell it,  it was the women that 'jiggled' -- only the women.

"Jiggle TV" was really a slam at women becoming TV stars -- not co-stars.  No guest stars, certainly.  No one ever had a problem with 'jiggle' from the female guest stars on HAWAII 5-0, HARRY O, VEGAS or whatever other show you want to think of.  But let women star in a TV show and suddenly "Jiggle TV" had arrived.

A woman competing in an athletic competition, for these Tom Shayles pricks, was "jiggle TV."  Now Farrah Fawcett and Penny Marshall, to name only two, were actually very good athletes.   This was never noted by the Tom Shales pig boys.

Looking back, we really need to question these men and what their commentary said and popularized.  Were the women 'asking for it'?  Weren't these men just really attacking the actresses for what they wore?

Again, Lynda Carter's going to jiggle anytime she runs.  That's anatomy.  Why are we condemning her for that?

Ask Tom Shales to answer that question.  We're sure a male-centric panel is eager to award him another Pulitizer for sexism, so let him write his mea culpa. Let him justify the years of damage he's done to women in TV with his sexist notions that THE WASHINGTON POST printed, that NPR amplified.

And let him deal with is own sexual panic as the penis protrudes on TV today.

Last week, on THE CW's DYNASTY, Sam (Rafael de la Fuente) sat down at the breakfast table in a loose fitting robe and Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) had to tell him to "put the judge back in his chambers."  That's a little more on the nose than Juliet (Perdita Weeks) telling Thomas Magnumm (Jay Hernandez) that he needs a "bigger gun" on last week's MAGNUM P.I.  That sort of single-entendre (don't pretend it's double) has been present since the 90s.  And everyone wants in on that.  Even a really bad series like AMAZON's MODERN LOVE (all episodes dropped last Friday) tries to get in on that such as in the Tina Fey episode -- an episode that's neither touching or funny -- where her son gets hit in the crotch with a ball on the tennis court.  "She hit me in my penis," he yells.  And Tina's big concern, "Could we stop saying penis on the public courts, please?" It's all too much for Tina and for this inspide wanna-be Woody Allen series that's all surface and early workshop -- as though everyone involved saw it as a working vacation in New York.  Far better is Paul Rudd's NETFLIX series, LIVING WITH YOURSELF, which also debuted Friday and whose most talked about moment involves Paul's character Miles (original, not cloned) visiting a low rent 'massage' parlor only to see Tom Brady existing with a smile from his own happy ending.

The cock was popping up all over last week and often standing at attention.  In fact, some might argue this trend reached its culmination Saturday night on HBO's THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONE when Kelvin (Adam DeVine) rescued Keefe (Tony Cavalero) at a club where he was "The Baby" floating in a vat of fluid, wearing a rubber suit that covered everything but his much on display erect penis.  Even when Kelvin cradled Keefe, there was Keefe's staff bobbing all around in the shot.

For us, though, TREADSTONE was the big moment in The Cock Chronicles last week.  There was Jeremy Irvine playing a character coming out of the control he was programmed in and realizing he had to get out of the mad laboratory he was in.  He shot a man and thought he could escape but guards were all around.  He ended up running into a room where others placed under control and then killed were housed.  He ended up tossing one of those corpses -- dressed in his own clothes -- out the window, several floors below so those pursuing him would think he had jumped out the window.  Though many fell for it, one woman didn't and they battled before he ran off in his loose fitting boxer briefs.  He ended up on a roof, then, still pursued, jumped to another and another.  Each leap, each step in fact, had Jeremy Junior hopping in the front of those shorts.  As he was pursued, we shouted, "Don't kill off underwear boy!"  

He made an impression.  And then some.

Jiggle TV was "porn'' and worse according to The Water Cooler Set of the 70s.  What these so-called critics were really objecting to was women being placed in starring roles.  All these years later, it may shock them to grasp this but men's bodies?  They jiggle too.  And they jiggled a hell of a lot last week


Jim: Roundtable time again. .  Remember our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com.  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim as well as C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday ReviewBetty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): Most of our topics are coming from e-mails; however, we have on that Ava wants to start with which is her own topic.

Ava: I want to address C.I.'s "I just don't care" from Saturday night.  I actually wanted to add "I co-sign on this" to it.  I am a Latina, I support immigration rights.  I support a path to citizenship -- a real path, not a circus.  It is nonsense, to whine about a man who beat his wife -- among other convictions -- being threatened with deportation when he is not a citizen and had a path to citizenship.  Not the pretend path that currently exists, he had a real path because he was serving in the US military and there are hundreds of pictures of the induction ceremonies for those serving.  He could have become a US citizen at any point while he was in the military.  He even had a go-to-the-front-of-the-line pass afterwards as a veteran.  We are fighting for immigrants to have a real path to citizenship and, one of the few groups that does currently, is the US military service members.  Jose Segovia Benitez chose not to.  And as C.I. says, "That's on him."  All we can do is fight to create that path.  If people are given a path, a real path, like he was, and they don't use it, there's really nothing else that can be done.  There are families being ripped apart and they don't have the path that Jose had.  They would give anything to have had that path.  He had it and he didn't want to use it.  "That's on him."

Jess: I'm really getting sick of this whole "veterans deserve better treatment than other people!"  There should not be two classes.  I don't care if you are serving in the military, you shouldn't be treated better because of it.  You should get your promised healthcare benefits and anything else you're promised.  That's all I'll agree to.  Point being, they simplified the path to citizenship for those serving in the military, they could and should do the same for other immigrants.

Dona: What I want to talk about is something Ava referenced above.  I know she and C.I. have proposed another feature -- and I support that but I think the point also needs to be included in this roundtable -- it's a point strong enough to support inclusion in two pieces this edition.  That point is, Caroline Orr, this little troublemaker and liar, is forever Tweeting garbage because she is garbage and that's fine, some people are just garbage.  But here's my problem with her, this piece of garbage claims she's a feminist.  I am a feminist.  And let me be clear on this, if you beat a woman and you're not a US citizen, I want you out of this country.  I don't want you in this country any longer.  You beat a woman?  You're going to do it again.  I don't care if it's because of PTS or something else.  I just don't care.  You have physically attacked a woman and you are now a threat to all women in the country, so you need to leave.  I'm sick of people claiming to be feminists and then turning around and trying to 'save' men who beat women.

Ty:  NBC notes, "His convictions include corporal injury to a spouse, for which he received an eight-year sentence, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, narcotics possession, conspiracy to commit a crime and driving under the influence, ICE said."

Jim: Remember when Rachel Maddow had that man who beat his wife on her show?  She was so tickled by him that she had him back at the end of the week.  And there were people rightly calling her out for that on the show's own board -- UNFILTERED on AIR AMERICA RADIO.

Dona: I do remember that.  But if you are a feminist, you're not fighting to keep a wife beating non-citizen in this country.  Caroline Orr is more interested in demonizing Donald Trump than in helping women.  She's garbage.

Ty: There's a tendency to Disney-fy those who serve.  To make them into little saints.  I object to that.  There are good people who are teachers and there are bad people who are teachers.  By the same token, there are good people in the military and there are bad people in the military.

Jess: Part of the reason the battle to dismantle the War Machine has to struggle so hard is that so many in the US glorify it without meaning to.  It's their stupidity at play.  They end up doing so uch damage.  There's another example we could use.  The so-called 'resistance' that glorifies the CIA is doing very real damage.  "They're heroes!"  They're not heroes, they're not even a part that helps a democracy.  But in the urge to throw anything and everything at Donald Trump, the 'resistance' embraces the CIA.  It's disgusting and it's harmful and we all suffer as a result.

Jim: In terms of Dona's point, let's be really clear that it was second wave feminists that shined the light on domestic abuse.  And it's Ava and C.I. who have spent years here noting this is actually terrorism and I agree with that point.  So for Caroline Orr to try to keep Jose from being deported?  She's not a feminist.  And she's undoing the work that so many who came before her had to in order for domestic abuse to be seen as a crime and not a personal problem.

Dona: Good point.

Ty: A reader, Gordon, e-mailed to say that he is surprised we haven't waded in on Donald Trump and "his abandoning the Kurds."  He writes that he'd like C.I. to respond to that "in the next 'Mailbag' or 'Roundtable'."

C.I.:  The Kurds were not abandoned.  The Kurds are not just in Syria.  So let's grasp that first and if we're talking about the suffering of the Kurds, let's talk about how they're treated in Turkey.  If the Palestinians ever get equal rights, note that next group that will garner sympathy will be the Kurds because their persecution is immense.  It pales in comparison to the Palestinians, but the Kurds are persecuted.  Even in Iraq, they end up persecuted.  The US has a long history of betraying the Kurds.  I don't see Donald's move as betraying them.  US forces shouldn't be in Syria.  US forces should not be assisting ISIS.  The whole thing has been built on lies.  When truth has entered the picture, it has been attacked.  Look at how the media went after Sarah Abdallah trying to say she didn't exist or was a fake and all because she represented a view that contradicted US foreign policy.

Jess: There are plenty of real things Donald's done to complain about.  Pulling US troops out of Syria really isn't one of them.

Jim: We're being asked in e-mails why we're not doing more book coverage?

Dona: I would argue that was done last year and everyone's earned a break.  At least one book was covered every week by a community site last week.

Jim: Some feel that Edward Snowden's book should be covered.

Ava: Be careful what you ask for.

C.I.: Exactly.  I read it.  Didn't care for it and was being kind by being silent.  It should be a gripping book.  It's not.  The only section with any urgency is when his girlfriend is telling her story of what happened after Ed left Hawaii.  It's not a bad book by any means.  But it's a little too distant and removed to provide urgency.  And there's nothing in there in terms of spying revelations.  It just makes clear that a very rich man bought Ed's secrets -- if not his soul -- and those secrets are forever buried.  You'll never read them at THE INTERCEPT and you won't read them in Ed's book.  He didn't even take on Senator Dianne Feinstein.  She lied about him, to the media in hearings, she flat out lied.  And taking on those lies might have made for an interesting chapter.  Instead, he presents himself as a boy scout, he's far too busy making the case for how normal and average he is to be of any interest.  I read that book awhile back.  I never planned to mention my thoughts on it but if the subject's being raised, there it is.

Jess: For the record, "When women write memoirs (Ava and C.I.)" appeared here in September with a focus on Demi Moore's book.

Dona: That is correct.  And we heard from some fools in e-mails -- fools who think they're Mila's best friend -- that it was so unfair for Demi to write that book, that it was so unfair for her to talk about stuff that happened a few years ago.

Ava: Key word is "her."  No one ever slammed Burt Reynolds or any man -- not even Tony Curtis who lied repeatedly or Eddie Fisher who also lied repeatedly.  But Demi's the bad one.

C.I.: As noted in that piece, if that sort of response had been encouraged by either Mila or Ashton, we -- Ava and I -- are more than happy to provide the details Demi didn't.  She was very kind.  Ashton would have no career right now if Demi hadn't pulled punches. And Ava's right, it's only when a woman writes a book that the pearl clutchers come along.  It's a brave book and it's a truthful book.  It's also her story and she has every right to tell it.

Jim: 15 years.  That's how long this site's been going -- I do have a point.  I picked up the latest TV GUIDE and it's got four different covers -- all for the show SUPERNATURAL which is entering its final -- and fifteenth -- season.  In 2006, you -- Ava and C.I. -- wrote, "We're not sure what to make of this show. On the one hand, it's like really bad gay porn where the leads forget to take their clothes off. On the other, it's as though someone had a secret fondness for The American Girls."  What's the biggest surprise after 15 years?

Ty: That we're still here.

C.I.: And so is the Iraq War.

Jess: Yeah, I'd agree.  I wasn't a Democrat.  I'm a Green.  But I really am surprised that we still have troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan.  I ended high school in one world and was in college when another began -- the world of never-ending wars.

Ty: And the world of no accountability.  Politicians swear ending the war matters one minute and the next pretend they never heard of Iraq.  You can put Barack Obama on that list and Nancy Pelosi and countless others.

Dona: Until Tulsi Gabbard, in the July debate, refused to challenge Joe Biden, I really thought she might be the real deal, a politician who would make a difference.  But she couldn't even stand up to Joe and spent the days after insisting he'd apologized for his vote for the war -- which he really hadn't done -- and that he regretted it.  No, he didn't.

Jess: More to the point, Joe Biden's vote for the war was only one of many, many ways he destroyed Iraq.  And the refusal -- until VOX recently -- of any coverage of Joe Biden's run this year to address how he overturned the 2010 vote of the Iraqi people to give thug Nouri al-Maliki a second term?  I'm just disgusted and can't believe how naive I was 15 years ago.  I really did think the war would be over, American troops would be hone, etc.  I was an idiot.

C.I.: You were young and you were looking at a morphing world becoming something no one ever would have expected.

Jim: And here we are today.  Let's note this is a rush transcript.

Tweet of the week

Trump shouldn’t have said it. But Clarence Thomas used the term “high tech lynching” so he could be seated on SCOTUS and dismantle black peoples rights. Most cynical use of the word ever. Anyone who didn’t complain then shouldn’t complain now.

Feminists cry when a wife beater is to be deported?

We don't think so.

And we don't think Caroline Orr is a feminist -- despite her claims to be one.

A Marine combat veteran who served in Iraq and suffers from PTSD and traumatic brain injury is facing "imminent" deportation to El Salvador -- a country he left at 3 years old.

If there's anything more fake and stupid that Caroline, it's her followers.

Replying to 
We will never out live these horrible abuses.

Oh, Betty, do shut the fuck up.

You claim to be "a domestic violence professional."

So why are you defending a man who went to prison for beating his wife?

Replying to  
You fight for the U.S. protecting freedom for all, Then take away yours, when you march to the call. The status, for any undocumented Immigrant, who joins the military, and fights HONORABLY for this country, should automatically be given their right for citizenship!

Oh, Dr. Mekah, you stupid idiot.  There is a path to citizenship for members of the US military.  You're so stupid and so ugly.

U.S. troops take the citizenship oath during a naturalization ceremony in Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq, July 4, 2010. More than 150 servicemembers became citizens in a ceremony attended by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden.

Dumb ass, that's 2010 in Iraq, a ceremony where over 150 service members serving in the US military became US citizens.

One-hundred eighty-six servicemembers from across Iraq raise their right hands, Nov. 4, 2008, taking the oath of U.S. citizenship during a naturalization ceremony at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq.

Dumb ass, that's 2008, when 186 people serving in the US military (in Iraq) became US citizens.

Dumb ass, here's a photo of a 2004 ceremony.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Jamaica native Marine Cpl. Everton Bryon, 22, Headquarters Company Marine Barracks 8th and I, Washington, D.C., and Dominican Republic native Army Spc. Johanna Abreu, Southern European Task Force, Vicenza, Italy, recite the pledge of allegiance during citizenship ceremonies at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Office in Arlington, Va., Aug. 3. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

More from 2008?  Below.

Twenty-four of the 3rd Infantry Division's newest American citizens pose for a photograph after they were granted American citizenship April 12 at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory in the largest American naturalization ceremony in Iraq to date.
Spc. Simon Nbenye, an Arabic interpreter with Company D, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, admires his American flag and certificate of naturalization April 12 at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory during the largest American naturalization ceremony to date in Iraq. Nbenye, a former citizen of Sudan, entered the United States in 2001 under refugee status.
Two hundred fifty-nine U.S. troops currently serving throughout Iraq became American citizens at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, April 12, in the largest naturalization ceremony to date in Iraq.

Here's a STARS AND STRIPES article on 17 becoming US citizens while stationed in Rome in 2005.

That's a reality and it's one your sainted Jose failed to participate in.  He could have done it at anytime.   He chose not to become a citizen.   His choice.

He decided not to become a US citizen.  He went on to break the law. NBC notes, "His convictions include corporal injury to a spouse, for which he received an eight-year sentence, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, narcotics possession, conspiracy to commit a crime and driving under the influence, ICE said."

So he beat his wife and that doesn't matter?

A non-US citizen convicted of beating his wife?

Cry your crocodile tears, Caroline Orr, just don't pretend you're a feminist.

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