Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Truest statement of the week

The current ongoing capitalist crisis has created the most serious crisis of legitimacy since the collapse of the capitalist economy during the years referred to as the Great Depression. The economic collapse comes on the heels of a deep crisis of the economy that occurred in 2007, 2008. With economic instability and the increasing competition between capitalist states, divisions have emerged among the nations that those of us in the Black Alliance for Peace refer to as the US/EU/NATO axis of domination.
The US has responded by moving toward a more confrontational posture, not only with its allies in Europe, but it has also elevated China and Russia as national security risks. Domestically, the black working class has never recovered from the collapse of 2007, 2008. The continual restructuring of the US economy to a low wage economy has resulted in the black working class being relegated to the lower rungs of the labor force, joining undocumented migrants, immigrants and other colonized workers. 
We are now seeing, within the economy, the genocidal implications of economic conditions in which young black workers have more value as human generators of profit locked up in prisons than as participants in the economy as low wage workers.
This reality is one of the factors driving the obscene phenomenon of black and brown incarceration in the largest prison system on the planet. Astronomical youth employment. Millions of African-Americans and white people without health care. Poisoned environments and crumbling schools make for conditions that, with Covid-19, are ravaging the black communities. This is the reality of the colonial, capitalist system in its neoliberal stage. The Corona pandemic has pulled the ideological curtain away from the system and has exposed the brutal realities of a rapacious system of greed, human exploitation and degradation, social insecurity, corruption, and the normalization of coercive state violence.

-- Ajamu Baraka, "Ajamju Baraka on Race, Class and Protest in the United States" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

AG: What was it that Michael Pollen said about fossil fuel-based agriculture? 

TW: Looking at US corn, he said we are basically “eating oil,” because our corn grows with such heavy applications of fertilizers made from natural gas. They are a fossil-fuel input, as are many pesticides and other agro-chemicals. With climate change increasingly impacting farmers in Africa, it is crazy that donors are actively campaigning to increase farmers’ dependence on fossil-fuel inputs. AGRA may call it “climate-smart agriculture,” but dissident African farmers call it “climate-stupid agriculture.”

AG: I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Bill Gates imagines big technology monopolies will solve the world’s problems.
TW: He made his money as a technology monopolist, from Microsoft, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that his solutions to the world’s problems put big technology corporations at the center. The Gates Foundation claims to be very scientific and data-driven, very results-oriented, so AGRA’s failures, after $660 million in Gates funding, should really prompt a reconsideration of such policies.
AG: Africans in the organizations you’ve worked with call this neocolonial agriculture, don’t they?
TW: They do, because again developed country “experts” are coming to Africa with their solutions to Africa’s problems, pushing theirindustrial technologies, and promoting crops like corn that the United States and other rich countries know how to grow, at least as industrial commodities.

-- Ann Garrison speaking with Timothy A. Wise (Senior Advisor at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy), "The Gates Foundation’s “Green Revolution” in Africa: Agribusiness Wins, Small Scale Farmers Lose" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday morning here on the west coast.  Are you shocked?  Us too.

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, 
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?


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

Editorial: The Iraqi people are about to get screwed over yet again


Iraq’s finance minister has warned of “severe security consequences” if its economy is not “restructured radically”, as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on business and an oil price crash hits state revenues. “Issues which were buried because of large and growing oil revenues are now crystallising,” said Ali Allawi, the country’s new Harvard and MIT-educated finance minister, referring to bloated spending and a monthly wage bill of $5bn for its vast public payroll. This includes payments for what he estimated are 300,000 “ghost” or fictional employees. While austerity is a “hard message” to sell to politicians, Mr Allawi [. . .]

More garbage from the junk outlet that tries to pretend it's a news outlet.

Read the full garbage and note that they never again mention the ''ghost'' employees.  Nor do they ever mention the ongoing corruption.  They also ignore the theft of resources by Nouri al-Maliki and other high profile politicians.

All little whore Chloe can do is preach IMF.

Remember, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called out deals with the IMF. 

Well, we remember.  Chloe was probably busy spraying Sun-In on her hair.

The IMF plans to make demands on Iraq -- austerity.  Iraq has been pleading for more time, for delayed payments, citing the coronavirus pandemic and its negative impact on the economy.

Now traitor Ali Allawi -- a member of a temporary government that is only supposed to be in place to set dates for the next election and then step aside -- plans to impose austerity on Iraq.

Chloe's garbage.  Maybe that's why she's chatting with Ali Allawi?  He's garbage too. How do you know that?

Paddy Cock-burn has praised him -- the Arab hating Paddy Cock-burn of THE INDEPENDENT.  That's clue one.  Clue two?   He's another coward who fled Iraq and only returned after the US invaded.  Clue three?  His uncle was the disgusting Ahmed Chalabi. 

If you're new to Chalabi, see our "Go down, Dexy" and C.I.'s "Ahmed Chalabi is dead, let the rejoicing begin," but, most of all, grasp that the Iraqi people are about to get screwed.  People should have listened to al-Sistani.

TV: A Dull Dead World

TV is not a particularly artistic medium and never really has aspired towards art.  Camera work tends to be simplistic and storylines go for more of the escapist, summer movie fare.  What saves many a show is the performances.


Take HART TO HART -- one of the most idiotic television shows ever thought up.  It survives today on COZY -- survives, not thrives.  The only thing that show had going for it was the onscreen chemistry between Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers.

It almost starred Robert Wagner and Linsay Wagner -- ABC suits salivated over Wagner and Wager in HART TO HART.  But Lindsay was thin (Stephnie was as well but she was also curvy) and Robert realized he'd photograph fat next to her.  That's a Hollywood actor for you -- lose weight or get another co-star?  Get another co-star will always be the easy solution.

And he just got fatter and fatter as weekly episodes were filmed.

When the series ended in 1984, he was too fat to be a leading man.  Instead of facing that reality, he tried to star in another series.  LIME STREET lasted five episodes and no one wanted to admit that Wagner's girth sunk the show.

RJ was never much of an actor.  He needed a strongly written character -- usually a dark character -- to come across in a role.  What he had, in the fifties and sixites, was killer looks, he was drop dead gorgeous.  By the 80s, while women like Anita Ekberg, Ann Wilson and Stevie Nicks were being mocked for their weight gain, there was no effort to even note that a man had lost his looks.  Stevie and Ann had (and have) tremendous musical talents but they were reduced solely to the way they looked by the press while a man whose only real claim to fame had been his looks skated by on a pass.

PEACOCK is up and running -- and that's probably the bad news.  BRAVE NEW WORLD is a dirty show.  Let's be clear, we will always prefer nudity -- and sex scenes -- to violence on the screen (or in life, for that matter).  We aren't prudes.

But BRAVE NEW WORLD is a leering, filthy show that uses sex and nudity in disgusting ways.

It's not sensual, it's not sexy, it's just blatant exploitation.  And it doesn't have the guts to run with that.

If you're going to be dirty, embrace dirty.

Instead, they try to shore up the female prude of the show and hide behind her.  Wink-wink, nudge-nudge really isn't a way to get streams.

BRAVE NEW WORLD is based upon the novel of the same name and whether, like many who worship the books of White males but ignore the works of others, you think it's a great novel or whether you realize it's a clinical and plodding tract that owes a great deal to novels that came before (plagiarism isn't too strong of a term), Huxley at least, in his own clinical way, embraced sexuality.

The series does not.  It's dull and plodding -- so they did a careful adaptation.  There's only one performance in the whole series: Demi Moore as John's mother Linda.  Demi's Linda is drunk, messy, spilling out and spilling over.  She nails the character, really brings her to life and Demi is the only high point of the series.

Demi treats the text as only one part of the performance and she's smart to take that approach.  Not only is it a smart move from an acting standpoint -- if you don't do that as an actor, all you're doing is on-the-nose performing, you're not getting deep, it's also smart in terms of the writing is awful.

Demi brings the Linda of the novel to life by ignoring the Linda of the script.

It's a sham that the actor playing John didn't do the same.

We're not fans of Alden Ehrenreich.  He's fat, he's ugly and he's a bad actor.  He sunk SOLO and he sunk RULES DON'T APPLY.  That said, we thought, before we watched, that BRAVE NEW WORLD might be the project that saved Alden's career.  Watching, however, we realized that being named Alden wasn't the biggest hurdle to success for the actor, his obvious lack of talent was.

You don't have to be good looking to play a sensualist.  Jack Nicholson brought Daryl to life in THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK and, though years away from CHINATOWN, he came across incredibly sexy in the process.  John is raised outside the BRAVE NEW WORLD and, when he enters this artificial world, he nearly destroys it with his 'savage' ways.

So why is Alden playing John as though he's the most sensitive, little boy in the whole wide world who suffers just for you and me?

Bad writing, yes, we'll agree, but also bad acting.

He could've played the same pathetic scenes with the model with a lust, a glee and not come off as such as sad sack.  He could have played the scene where John's challenged and has a prop gun thrown at him as a scene where he delights in the violence.

Instead, he's just a scared little puppy in both scenes.  This is the John who will take on the BRAVE NEW WORLD?  You don't buy it for a moment.

Again, Alden is not attractive -- his agent should have told him to lose 30 pounds for this project because this really is a make-or-break for the actor after he's notched up a series of bombs.  It's not for nothing that he's failed to land a film role since SOLO bombed at the box office.  This was it, the last roll of the dice, and if he couldn't act (and he can't) then at least he could have looked his best -- maybe THE CW would hire him to play a 'hip' parents on one of their new shows.

But he showed up, as usual, not having spent a moment working out his performance and not a second, ditto, working out his body.

Even so, he could have used that, he could have used his soft, doughy body in the role if he'd come off lascivious but this is a man who confuses the term "carnal" with "carmel."  He's lost in life and he's lost onscreen.

We know why Alden took the role, he had no other offers.  We're just confused as to why he was offered the role?  Maybe next time, hire some producers who know producing -- know producing in the US -- instead of a Scottish comic book guy, a Brit and an American who has known nothing but failure.  And here's one more tip for NBC and it's big, splintered family -- next time you have four producers on one show, take a moment to ask yourself where the diversity is?  Four White guys doesn't cut it.


Why are they making this garbage to begin with?  The late Octavia E. Butler left a body of work that's screaming for TV and film adaptation.  What is about an African-American lesbian that the men at PEACOCK and elsewhere find so scary?

Why are they making this garbage to begin with?  Why are they turning it into a series?  We love Charlotte Perkins Gilman, for instance, but we're not clamoring for her 1915 novel HERLAND (a utopian -- not dystopian -- work) to be turned into a series.  Some books -- especially ones set years ahead of their publication dates -- have aged out.

Did no one get that time has passed Huxley's world by?  The only way to make it work was to re-envision it.  And grasp that Huxley was not great visionary to begin with.  As Anais Nin observed of him in volume six of THE DIARY OF ANAINS NIN,  "He is too much the scientist and not a poet. [. . .] I find him too scientific, too literal, too precise."  You really need to be a visionary when you write science fiction and Huxley was no visionary -- would he have even been able to write what he did if he hadn't ripped off Yevgeny Zamyatin's WE?

Anais Nin was not a fan of Huxley's but someone who did like his work and did consider him a friend was Anita Loos.  The playwright and screenwriter is most famous for creating GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (originally in HARPER'S BAZAAR) and for writing the screenplays to Jean Harlow's RED HEADED WOMAN, HOLD YOUR MAN, SARATOGA and THE GIRL FROM MISSOURI, as well as the screenplays to Joan Crawford's WHEN LADIES MEET, THE WOMEN, STRANGE CARGO and SUSAN AND GOD, and also ANOTHER THIN MAN and SAN FRANCISCO.

In her memoir CAST OF THOUSANDS, she recounts suggesting Huxley to the producer Hunt Stromberg who then made Huxley an offer to write the dialogue to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.  Loos picks up the story below:

Very soon after the interview, my phone rang; Aldous was calling, with Maria on the extension and their mood was that of gloomy resignation.
"I'm sorry," Aldous said, "but I can't take that movie job."
I wanted to know why not.

"Because it pays twenty-five hundred dollars a week," he answered in deep distress.  "I simply can't accept all that money to work in a pleasant studio while my family and friends are starving and being bombed in England."
"But Aldous," I asked, "why can't you accept that salary and send it to England?"
There was a long silence at the other end of the line, and then Maria spoke up.
"Anita," she said, "what would we ever do without you?"
"The trouble with Aldous," I told her, "is that once in a while a genius isn't very smart."

Or very much of a visionary.  Which is why his flat novel became an even worse TV series.

Great TV doesn't require brava acting or cutting edge scripts.  It just requires some actors that grip you.  Back to Robert Wagner.  HART TO HART would be his last big hurrah.  And you can see this piece we're writing as a note of caution but Wagner's weight gain isn't the only note of caution.  HART TO HART got by on chemistry and only chemistry.  There was never a quality script for the show.  There was never a performance in an episode that blew the world away -- not by a star, not by a guest star.  It was corn -- candy corn, sweet and gooey.  And, to continue to be successful, it needed to go down smoothly.

When Wagner began trashing Powers publicly, he ruined the chance that the show would garner many new fans.  Who wants to watch a pedestrian show when you know the leading man hated the leading woman?  We're not saying that Robert Wagner wants to drown Stephanie Powers, we're just saying that anyone who read his hideous 2008 PIECES OF MY HEART: A LIFE would have no reason to ever want to check out HART TO HART.  And far from sharing his distaste for Stephanie, most readers probably understood why she decided to stop working with him.  TV magic is feather-light and can be destroyed by many things, just ask Robert Wagner.

We were never all in this together

"Tens of millions of Americans who lost their jobs because of the pandemic are now in danger of having their incomes slashed for a second time. The supplemental unemployment benefits of $600 per week that Congress approved four months ago are set to expire at the end of this week in most states — threatening to hurt strapped households and the U.S. economy, as billions of dollars' worth in spending suddenly comes to a halt," NPR's MORNING EDITION reports today.
 Aren't we lucky to have a Congress that's on top of it and taking care of the American people -- Oh. Wait. We don't.

They take care of themselves very well. They just don't serve the American people.

Back in June of last year, they were going to give themselves yet another raise but then noticed the public was watching. From POLITICO:

House Democratic leaders are postponing consideration of a bill that would include a pay raise for members of Congress after facing a major backlash from the party's most vulnerable members.
Top Democrats agreed in a closed-door meeting Monday night to pull a key section of this week’s massive funding bill to avoid escalating a clash within their caucus over whether to hike salaries for lawmakers and staff for the first time in a decade, multiple lawmakers confirmed.
At least 15 Democrats — mostly freshmen in competitive districts — had pushed to freeze pay after some Democratic and Republican leaders quietly agreed to the slight pay increase earlier this month.

US House Rep. Betty McCollum Tweeted today, "Millions of Americans are still unemployed & unable to return to work, through no fault of their own – but it's the last week for Minnesotans to receive the federal $600/week unemployment benefit (ending July 25). https://uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/fpuc-ending.jsp"

Is anyone else in Congress paying attention? Because it really doesn't feel that way.

It doesn't feel like the government gives a damn at all. Last week, Andre Damon (WSWS) delivered disturbing news:

Wednesday was a disaster in the United States. There were 71,670 new cases of COVID-19 recorded, the second-worst day on record. Nearly 1,000 people lost their lives to the disease, according to official figures.
With Texas hospitals at 90 percent capacity, dozens of mobile morgues are being dispatched to the state. In Florida, 54 hospitals now have zero available beds in their intensive care units. And, amid a full-on drive to reopen schools, officials said that one third of children who were tested in Florida were positive, adding to the body of evidence that children can play a major role spreading the disease.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington reported that it estimates 224,089 people will die from COVID-19 by November 1, an upward revision of 20,000 from just one week ago.
Meanwhile, the most basic medical supplies, such as masks, gowns, gloves and disinfectants, “simply are not readily available from the usual sources our physicians use,” the American Medical Association reported.
The economic situation is equally disastrous. American Airlines said it would likely furlough 25 , 000 workers later this year, adding to the 36,000 furloughs announced at United Airlines last week. These layoffs are scheduled to take place despite the $25 billion bailout of the airline industry by the federal government.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) now predicts two possible scenarios by the end of 2020. Its “pessimistic” scenario is one in which the unemployment rate remains at 11.3 percent and economic output falls by 7.3 percent, both worse than any other recession since World War II. Its “more pessimistic” scenario is one in which the unemployment rate is 12.9 percent and economic output falls by 8.5 percent.
Amid all of this death and economic devastation, the stock markets surged, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up for the fourth trading day in a row, with an increase totaling over a thousand points. The S&P 500 is now significantly higher than it was one year ago today.

It's all about the money, not about helping Americans. And Americans need help. A lot of people need to be seeing their doctors right now. Many can't afford it but it's also true that many are afraid that they will catch something if they go to a clinic. Sharon Bernstein (REUTERS) reports:

A Texas man who waited until his brain tumor was softball-sized; a baby who suffered an ear infection for six days; a heart patient who died: The resurgence of COVID-19 is creating another health crisis as hospitals fill and patients are fearful or unable to get non-emergency care.
With U.S. coronavirus infections reaching new heights, doctors and hospitals say they are also seeing sharp declines in patients seeking routine medical care and screenings - and a rise in those who have delayed care for so long they are far sicker than they otherwise would be.
“I had one lady who had delayed for five days coming in with abdominal pain that was getting worse and worse,” said Dr. Diana Fite, who practices emergency medicine in Houston. “When she finally came in, she had a ruptured appendix.”

Where is the government? Are they all at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's purging on expensive chocolate ice cream? Is anyone trying to work for the people? Anyone at all?

If so, that $1,200 a month Senator Bernie Sanders said every American adult needs? It's still needed even if he didn't want to fight for it.

Trina's noted all along that we are not all in this together.   It's a point others are starting to see as well.  Hamilton Nolan (IN THESE TIMES) concludes:

This was a choice. None of this had to happen. There is one, and only one, entity that has the capability of preventing this horrific chain reaction of social collapse: the federal government. With the stroke of a pen, the federal government can appropriate money to everyone to tide them through their unemployment. It can stop evictions everywhere. It can expand health insurance, stop businesses from going bankrupt, bail out city and state governments so they are not forced to cut services, and take the public health steps necessary to push infection rates low enough to make it possible to reopen schools, and free parents to work for a living. 
All of these things are possible for the federal government. They have chosen not to do any of them. (Democrats passed the HEROES Act through the House in May which would provide some meaningful relief, but Senate Republicans have refused to take it up.) Therefore, millions of people are about to experience the falling dominoes of economic disaster that will engulf their lives, destroy their wealth, and leave them with nothing. It is impossible to avoid that outcome now. The only question is how bad it will get. And it is important to understand that this outcome has been chosen for us by the people who are running the country. 
Hope is an important emotion, and one that’s necessary to carry us through hard times. But it can stand in the way of our ability to analyze situations truthfully. 
Let’s be honest about our prospects right now. Does anyone really believe that restaurants, bars, sports, all forms of live entertainment, many retail establishments, airlines, hotels, travel, tourism, or commercial real estate—to name a few—are going to resume their baseline level of business operations at any time in the next 6-12 months? They will not. The states that tried that a month ago are now facing the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the entire world. A portion of the jobs in these industries, and in the associated industries that depend on them, are going to evaporate. Fifty million unemployment claims have been filed. Forty percent of people earning less than $40,000 lost their jobs in March. Some millions of people are, as we speak, seeing their jobs disappear for good. 
Despite the fact that this was entirely predictable months ago, there has not been any serious attempt to prevent it from happening. (A serious attempt, as many intelligent people pointed out in March, would mean the federal government giving citizens enough money not to work and businesses enough money not to go bankrupt for the amount of time that it took to take the public health steps necessary to resume a careful version of normal life. Many other developed countries did this, but we did not.) 
Not only have we failed to prevent this first-order economic crisis, but we are also failing to even enable the existence of a social safety net to catch the people who are going to fall into the pit of economic despair. Our leaders just do not care. They know that people have lost jobs, and will not be able to find new ones, and will not be able to pay their rent. But the people occupying positions of power in the federal government do not care enough to take the steps to save those citizens from the abyss. These facts do not move them.

Ty's Corner


Betty called me at noon.  Keesha and Charlie both sent e-mails around that time.  I was thinking, just as Betty called, I need to do a Ty's Corner.

"You're going to do a Ty's Corner," is how Betty greeted me on the phone.  I immediately knew what she was talking about because I'd read today's snapshot, specifically this:


Starting in the United States where a presidential election is set to take place in November.  Rapper, designer and influencer Kanye West held his first rally from South Carolina.

REUTERS seems unable/unwilling to let Kanye speak.  Why is that?  They offer a sentence here and a sentence there.  Is there a reason for that?  Does REUTERS think this passes for 'reporting'?

By contrast, THE GUARDIAN lets him speak.

THE WASHINGTON POST slams him as "woefully ignorant."  We don't link to garbage.  In his remarks, he said,  "Harriet Tubman never actually freed slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other White people."  Do I agree with his opinion?  No.  But he's entitled to his opinion and an argument can be made that he's right.  These are not new positions from Kanye.  I think it's really amazing -- and entitled -- of the White institution that is THE WASHINGTON POST to trash an African-American as uninformed when, in fact, they are informed but they express a different opinion.  We're looking at the same facts -- Kanye and the rest of us -- we're not disagreeing over facts.  We're disagreeing over outcomes and, in Kanye's opinion, Tubman's outcomes weren't as wonderful as some people feel they were.  It's amazing that the same press that attacked Malcolm X and others back in the day hasn't learned a damn thing about how their view of society is not the only view there is.

He's entitled to his view and, more to the point, his view should be heard and discussed.  Not slammed, not shut down.  Discussed.  Addressed.  CELEBRITY LIFE has already tried to shut him down.  Maybe CELEBRITY LIFE should stick to gossip -- it seems what they're best suited for.  

I see Harriet Tubman as heroic, someone who risked so much to see that others could escape slavery.  But if Kanye wants to argue that she just led them into another form of slavery, let's have that debate.  And, certainly, facts would be more on his side than mine.  Look at house ownership figures, look at poverty, look at prison figures, exactly where did the freedom land exist because I do get Kanye's point.  I don't agree with him -- that doesn't mean he's wrong -- but I do get his point. 

I would further add that Harriet couldn't change a landscape.  She worked in the reality she lived and she did what she could.  Her actions were heroic.  But, yes, I do get the point Kanye's making.

It must be so nice to be a so-called 'reporter' for an outlet that lets you sneer at someone and lie about them.  It must be so nice to say what you really think -- as ugly as it is.  I'm guessing that many people who read these attacks on Kanye will be able to do the math and grasp that if the same 'reporters' could write about them, they'd be attacking them too.  They don't just sneer at Kanye, they sneer at everyone. 

And, for the record, his crying really isn't a 'bad' thing -- no matter how hard the media tries to pimp it as such.  Nor is he crying that he was almost aborted.  He is crying about his mother.  He cries about his mother, that's nothing new.  He misses her and he still loves her.  You can try to spin that into bad if you're a cheap whore whose outlet allows you to lie but most people aren't going to be bothered that he gets sad because he misses his mother.  Why does he miss his mother?  Because she was always in his corner, she was always there for him.  That's why he's crying when he discusses her and maybe liars in the press should just stop talking and stop typing.

And from C.I.'s "Krystal and Saagar REACT: Kanye 2020 Rally Goes OFF THE RAILS:"

Where's the video?

Not here.

If Krystal and Saagar think that laughing at someone is cute or funny?  Well that's mighty racist of them. 

And we don't need Krystal to say that Kanye's wrong about Tubman.  

I've already covered this in the snapshot earlier.

If Krystal wants to address Harriet Tubman, we're going to need someone who's an expert and, no, Krystal's not.  On liberation theology, not on Harriet Tubman.

I find Kanye much more relatable than War Hawk Joe Biden.  How sad that Krystal and Saagar elect to 'cover' the press conference but offer nothing of value.  The snark's getting a little old, Krystal.  

And you come off racist.  We expect a lot more from you.

[As noted before, I know Kanye and I consider him a friend.  I would stick up for him for that reason alone; however, I'm getting a little tired of the media -- and some African-American activists encouraging this -- going to town on Kanye.  There seems to be less reporting and a lot more racism in the coverage.]

These days, you have BLACK AGENDA REPORT, THE ROOT, and a lot of websites.  Back in the days of 2004?

You had THE DAILY KOS where you were welcomed if you were African-American . . . as long as you never noted racism from a Democratic Party candidate.

If you made that mistake, it was a dog pile on you, it was an attempt to destroy you, to rip you apart, to shame you into agreeing or, if that wasn't possible, to shame you out of the website.

It's in that context that THE COMMON ILLS emerged.  C.I. didn't get the memo but she would have ignored it if she had.

Racism didn't play at THE COMMON ILLS.

Early on, Keesha expressed her concerns in an e-mail to C.I.  She explained how the online world was.  She expressed that she was hesitant to leave comments and why.  C.I. replied back and explained that if anything like that ever happened at THE COMMON ILLS, not only would C.I. delete any such attacks, she would also immediately close all commenting from that point forward.

As Keesha feared, it happened.

Much to her relief, C.I. stood by what she'd told Keesha.  "She didn't wait for me to e-mail her," Keesha remembered when I called her on the phone this evening, "she e-mailed me.  She said, 'You were right. I have deleted several comments that attacked you and I have now closed comments.  I am so sorry this happened and it will not happen again.'  I thought about that today and that's why I e-mailed you."

I would love to tell you that I looked online and I found web famous African-Americans defending Kanye but I didn't.  I found, as C.I. did, a lot of them making fun of Kanye.

It is racism.  What Krystal Ball did was racist.  That's not open to debate.

Ha-ha, let's laugh at the crazy Black guy, ha ha ha ha.

Kanye didn't do anything that was as crazy as Donald Trump or Joe Biden.  As for the crying, Joe Biden weeps in public and gets away with it.  In 2008, as Ava and C.I. pointed out repeatedly, Hillary Clinton was attacked because her eyes watered.  "The moisty moment," fat ass Bill Moyers laughed as he then ripped her apart.  But months later, Joe Biden is weeping in the middle of a campaign event, he's losing it in the middle of a campaign event.  And the press looked the other way.

That's the same press that wants to mock Kanye for crying.

Kanye's mother is dead, you assholes.  She's dead.  It's not funny.  And you mocking him is pathetic and disgusting.

When I called Charlie, he told me, "I was appalled by the way Kanye was treated.  And that was before C.I. posted [about the video by Krystal Ball].  What was Ball thinking?  She came off racist.  I get it, a lot of Black voices should be ashamed because they waived this through with their own trashing of Kanye.  As for Kanye's comments about Harriet Tubman, he's making a point.  I don't agree with him but he's entitled to his opinion and, as C.I. explained, we are looking at the same facts and just coming to different conclusions.  Ball made herself the ultimate Karen by explaining to us what Harriet did.  Like we didn't all know that already?  Like we need White Ball to inform us?  We knew that.  Here's something else those of us who are Black knew: We didn't get freed.  That's why we needed Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement and why, right before that, we needed the anti-lynching movement."

Keesha, in her phone call, explained, "I don't agree with him but I do get his point.  Harriet Tubman's actions removed certain people from plantations but it did not result in freedom because there wasn't freedom for freed slaves at that time.  They weren't see as equals.  They weren't seen as full citizens.  I get his point.  It's like Malcolm X saying, 'We are a people who formerly were Africans who were kidnaped and brought to America. Our forefathers weren't the Pilgrims. We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, the rock was landed on us. We were brought here against our will; we were not brought here to be made citizens.'  I didn't need Krystal Ball trying to lecture me, an African-American viewer, on who Harriet Tubman was.  I do think she needs to hear from Black America because she's not willing to let Kanye speak without mocking him.  I'm tired of her snark and tired of her eye rolls."

"What people like Ball don't get," Charlie shared, "is that we're watching -- non-Whites.  And Kanye is a talented and smart man.  If someone like him is going to be turned into Black Fool, they'd do that to everyone of us."

Betty pointed out, "He's running for president.  Instead of exploring what he said or where he stands on the issue, they went to town with their 'Oh, look at the old Tom Foolery coming from the Negro.  Gather round, fellow White people, it's time to take on another uppity Negro.'  That's what Krystal Ball was doing and it was disgusting." 



That's a REUTERS video report that notes the Hope Probe is the United Arab Emirates first mission to Mars; however, it's more than that. Natasha Turak (NBC NEWS) reports the Hope Probe is "making history as the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission."  Turak also notes:

The UAE’s government has launched various campaigns to expand the country’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) sector, and it views its growing space program as an important part of that. It’s also the first country in the world to have a minister of A.I., and is investing heavily in its own indigenous defense industry.
Some 200 Emirati engineers and scientists spent six years working on the Arab world’s first spacecraft.
The first Mars mission was launched on October 10, 1960 by the Soviet Union and it was unsuccessful. Sixty years later, the UAE launches its first Mars mission.

NASA's land rover Curiosity is an ongoing mission that launched November 26, 2011. Curiosity Tweeted today:

A New Hope: One more robot is on the way to Mars! Best wishes the @HopeMarsMission on the successful launch today. Enjoy the cruise, and I'll see you soon.


Curiosity is a car-sized rover designed to explore the crater Gale on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL).[3] Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26th, 2011, at 15:02 UTC and landed on Aeolis Palus inside Gale on Mars on August 6th, 2012, 05:17 UTC.[7][8][13] The Bradbury Landing site was less than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) from the center of the rover's touchdown target after a 56 million km (35 million mi) journey.[9][14] The rover's goals include an investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for human exploration.[15][16] In December 2012, Curiosity's two-year mission was extended indefinitely,[17] and on August 5th, 2017, NASA celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing.[18][19] The rover is still operational, and as of July 20, 2020, Curiosity has been on the planet Mars for 2828 sols (2905 total days) since landing on August 6th, 2012. (See current status.) Curiosity's design serves as the basis for the planned Perseverance rover, which will carry different scientific instruments.

Perseverance is scheduled to launch July 30th. NASA notes:

NASA is targeting 7:50 a.m. EDT Thursday, July 30, for the launch of its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is approximately two hours, with a launch opportunity every five minutes.
Live launch coverage will begin at 7 a.m., on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The mission – designed to better understand the geology and climate of Mars and seek signs of ancient life on the Red Planet – will use the robotic scientist, which weighs just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms) and is the size of a small car, to collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by future Mars sample return missions. It also will test new technologies to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, managed by Caltech in Southern California, built the Perseverance rover and will manage mission operations for NASA. The agency's Launch Services Program, based at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.
Mars 2020 Perseverance is part of America’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis program.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, media participation in news conferences will be remote. Only a limited number of media, who already have been accredited, will be accommodated at Kennedy. For the protection of media and Kennedy employees, the Kennedy Press Site News Center facilities will remain closed to all media throughout these events.
The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed, but more information about media accreditation is available by contacting ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov.
To participate in the Kennedy briefings by phone, reporters must e-mail ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov no later than one hour prior to each event.
Questions also may be asked via social media with the hashtag #CountdownToMars.
Full mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):
Monday, July 27
1 p.m. – Mars 2020 Prelaunch News Conference. Participants include:
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Omar Baez, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
Matt Wallace, deputy project manager, JPL
Tory Bruno, CEO, United Launch Alliance
Jessica Williams, launch weather officer, 45th Space Force
3 p.m. – Mars 2020 Mission Engineering/Science Briefing. Participants include:
Lori Glaze, NASA Planetary Science Division director
Jennifer Trosper, deputy project manager, JPL
Farah Alibay, mobility engineer, JPL
Ken Farley, project scientist, Caltech
Tanja Bosak, science team member, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tuesday, July 28
2 p.m. – Mars 2020 Mars Sample Return Briefing. Participants include:
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration, ESA (European Space Agency)
Jeff Gramling, NASA Mars Sample Return Program director
Julie Townsend, sampling and caching operations lead, JPL
Chris Herd, returned sample science participating scientist, University of Alberta
Lisa Pratt, NASA planetary protection officer
4 p.m. – Mars 2020 Mission Tech and Humans to Mars Briefing. Participants include:
Jeff Sheehy, chief engineer, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate
Jim Watzin, NASA Mars Exploration Program director
Michael Hecht, MOXIE principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mimi Aung, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager, JPL
Amy Ross, lead spacesuit engineer NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Michelle Rucker, Mars Integration Group lead, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Wednesday, July 29
Noon – Administrator Briefing. Participants include:
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard
Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana
NASA astronaut Zena Cardman
No phone bridge will be available for this event. In-person media at Kennedy’s Press Site countdown clock may ask questions.
Thursday, July 30
7 a.m. – NASA TV live launch coverage begins
11:30 a.m. – Postlaunch News Conference
Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.
On launch day, a “clean feed” of the launch without NASA TV commentary will be carried on the NASA TV media channel. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz and UHF radio frequency 444.925 MHz, heard within Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast.
For more information, visit:
NASA’s Mars 2020 press kit:
Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington
Mary MacLaughlin / Kenna Pell
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-289-7960 / 321-501-0625
mary.maclaughlin@nasa.gov / kenna.m.pell@nasa.gov

Curiosity launched November 26, 2011 and landed on Mars August 6, 2012 -- nearly a year later. So it will be some time before the Hope Probe reaches Mars.

Due to the coronavirus, the people who operate Curiosity on earth now work from home. Of the mission, NASA notes:

By studying the chemical elements on Mars today — including carbon and oxygen — scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life.
Weaving this story, element by element, from roughly 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) away is a painstaking process. But scientists aren’t the type to be easily deterred. Orbiters and rovers at Mars have confirmed that the planet once had liquid water, thanks to clues that include dry riverbeds, ancient shorelines, and salty surface chemistry. Using NASA’s Curiosity Rover, scientists have found evidence for long-lived lakes. They’ve also dug up organic compounds, or life’s chemical building blocks. The combination of liquid water and organic compounds compels scientists to keep searching Mars for signs of past — or present — life.
Despite the tantalizing evidence found so far, scientists’ understanding of Martian history is still unfolding, with several major questions open for debate. For one, was the ancient Martian atmosphere thick enough to keep the planet warm, and thus wet, for the amount of time necessary to sprout and nurture life? And the organic compounds: are they signs of life — or of chemistry that happens when Martian rocks interact with water and sunlight? 

 When the Hope Probe reaches Mars, it may provide a wealth of information. 

Top Ten Singer-Actors of All Time

Once upon a time, Hollywood loved actors that could sing and singers that could act.  Back then, they made musicals and made them all the time.  Here is our list of the top-ten singer-actors of all time.


1) Judy Garland

2) Frank Sinatra


3) Marilyn Monroe

4) Doris Day


5) Gene Kelly

6) Diana Ross


7) Julie Andrews

8) Liza Minnelli


9) John Travolta

10) Barbra Streisand

Amnesty International

We noted Amnesty International a great deal at this site.  We like the idea of Amnesty but we grasp that the idea is not always what is practiced.

We'll never forget the embarrassment when they tried to be groupies for Barack Obama, for example.

But ARAB WEEKLY's Saad Guerraoui reports something even worse:

Morocco is still waiting for Amnesty International to provide evidence of its accusations to authorities that they hacked the phone of a reporter.
But Amnesty International is beating around the bush. The Moroccan government has made a single request to AI: provide proof of your accusations. In the meantime, the human rights group is lost in semantic considerations and biased reminders of the kingdom’s human rights matters “balance sheet,” instead of providing the long-awaited material evidence.
Morocco’s unique request is both rational and logical while Amnesty shows, day after day, that it clearly does not have any evidence for the accusation it has levelled at Rabat. Its charges have nonetheless provided the basis for stories in no less than 17 international media outlets.

Is Guerraoui correct?

We think the objections he raises are worth noting.

This edition's playlist

Open uri20200414 24264 1uas2k0?1586883757


 2) Ellie Goulding's BRIGHTEST BLUE.



5) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.

8) Ricky Martin's PAUSA.

9) Hamilton Leithauser's THE LOVES OF YOUR LIFE .

10)  Ronnie Spector's ENGLISH HEART.

Music video of the week

Kygo x Tina Turner - “What’s Love Got To Do With It” now available everywhere https://smarturl.it/xWLGTDWI Watch the original HD version of "What's Love Got To Do With It" here https://lnk.to/TinaTurnerWLGTDWIMusic... Crew: Writer/ Director - Sarah Bahbah - @sarahbahbah Production Co - Virgin Soil - @virginsoilpictures Executive Producer - Malcolm Duncan - @malcolmduncanyolo Executive Producer - Fabien Colas - @fabiencolas Producer - Leah Younesi - @leahyounesi Producer - Christina Jobe - @see_frances DP - Isiah Donte Lee - @isiahdontelee Production Designer - Ester Kim - @estersongkim Stylist - Ib Abdel Nasser - @mostlysadboy Editor - Aaron Bencid - @aaronbencid Color - Quinn Alvarez - @quinnnnnstagram Casting - Harlowe Casting - @kasia 1st AD - Clyde Gains - @clydeegoins Hair - Joshua Liu - @thejoshliu Make Up - Sean Harris - @seanharrismakeup HMU - Leibi Carias 2nd AD - Lonnie Cayetano 1st AC - Michelle Clementine 2nd AC - Allison Waite Gaffer - Arjun Prakash Best Electric - Ryan Hueter Key Grip - Joanna Nguyen Best Grip - Josh Bell Art Assistant - Aaron Kee Art Assistant - Kevin Reyes Styling Assistant - Charlie Burke PA - Christine Algere PA - Luca Liberall PA - Bill Colino PA - Nailah Robinson Medic - Lyle Weiser Sound Design Flame Artist - Nico Pacheco Flame Artist - Tim Hendrix VFX Assistance - NOA Graphic Studio Cast: Laura Harrier Charles Michael David George Todd McLachlan Ayanna Flemmings Michael London Jenny Rieu Derick Bell Enjoy more videos by Kygo: Lose Somebody with OneRepublic: https://smarturl.it/LoseSomebodyOV Broken Glass with Kim Petras: https://smarturl.it/xBrokenGlass Freedom with Zak Abel: https://smarturl.it/xFreedom I’ll Wait with Sasha Sloan (Lyric): https://smarturl.it/IllWait/youtube Like It Is ft. Zara Larsson & Tyga: https://smarturl.it/LikeItIs/youtube Higher Love ft. Whitney Houston: https://smarturl.it/xHigherLove/youtube SUBSCRIBE to Kygo’s Youtube Channel: http://smarturl.it/KygoYTSubscribe Follow Kygo: http://www.soundcloud.com/kygo https://www.facebook.com/kygoofficial/ http://www.instagram.com/kygomusic https://twitter.com/kygomusic https://kygomusic.com Follow Tina Turner: https://www.tinaturnerofficial.com/ https://www.facebook.com/TinaTurner/ https://www.instagram.com/tinaturner/ https://twitter.com/LoveTinaTurner #Kygo #TinaTurner #WhatsLoveGotToDoWit

#TheJimmyDoreShow Nancy Pelosi's CORRUPT Bailout For Her Husband's Business!

Become a Premium Member: https://jimmydorecomedy.com/join Go to a Live Show: https://jimmydorecomedy.com/tour Subscribe to Our Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/jimmydorecomedy/yt... LIVESTREAM & LIVE SHOW ANNOUNCEMENTS: Email: https://mailchi.mp/jimmydorecomedy/yt... Twitter: https://twitter.com/jimmy_dore Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JimmyDoreShow Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejimmydor... WATCH / LISTEN FREE: Videos: https://jimmydorecomedy.com/watch Podcasts: https://jimmydorecomedy.com/podcasts (Also available on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player.) ACCESS TO FULL REPLAYABLE LIVESTREAMS: Become a Premium Member: https://jimmydorecomedy.com/join SUPPORT THE JIMMY DORE SHOW: Make a Donation: https://jimmydorecomedy.com/donate Buy Official Merch (Tees, Sweatshirts, Hats, Bags): https://jimmydorecomedy.com/store DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APP: App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jimmy-d... Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de... Jimmy Dore on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jimmy_Dore Stef Zamorano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/miserablelib Edited by Arno Bolbolian: https://twitter.com/Arneasy Edited by Koki Miyazaki About The Jimmy Dore Show: #TheJimmyDoreShow is a hilarious and irreverent take on news, politics and culture featuring Jimmy Dore, a professional stand up comedian, author and podcaster. With over 5 million downloads on iTunes, the show is also broadcast on KPFK stations throughout the country.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Calls for Transparency and Accountability in Tragic Case of Spc. Guillen


Underscores Urgent Need for Improved Recourse for those Suffering Harassment and Attacks
July 2, 2020
CONTACT: press@IAVA.org

New York, NY – Today Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) called on the Department of Defense to exercise improved transparency in the case of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, a soldier missing from Fort Hood in Texas for more than two months.  The organization also calls on its allies in Congress to exercise aggressive oversight of the investigation as to what happened to Spc. Guillen and how the military failed to protect her and others like her.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Spc. Guillen,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “I can not imagine how difficult and heart rending this situation is for them.”

The developments in this ongoing case strongly underscore the importance of improving processes at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to ensure that survivors of sexual harassment and assault have access to confidential and safe reporting and legal processes that acheive results.

“The system is clearly flawed. Spc. Guillen made it clear to her family that she had seen the failed response when fellow soldiers made similar reports and she feared the threat of retaliation if she made her own reports of sexual harassment,” Butler added. “Because of the many shortcomings in the justice process for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, we have long-supported the passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act to combat the scourge of military sexual violence by moving the decision over whether to prosecute serious crimes to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors. The House-passed, IAVA-led Deborah Sampson Act requires the VA to establish a comprehensive policy to end harassment and sexual assault at all of its facilities. The time is now to enact these and other aggressive measures to keep our servicemembers and veterans safe.”

IAVA encourages anyone who has been impacted by sexual harassment or assault to reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force who will assist service members, veterans, and their families with a variety of needs including 24/7 peer support and connections to resources.

Founded by an Iraq veteran in 2004, IAVA is the non-partisan leader in advocacy, public awareness and 1-on-1 care management and peer support. We organize locally, drive historic impacts nationally and fight for over 400,000 veterans and their allies nationwide. If a veteran or their family is in need of assistance now, please reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at quickreactionforce.org or 1-855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist you.

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