Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Truest statement of the week

Black Americans are historically the most peace-minded major U.S. political constituency, yet this is seldom reflected in the voting behavior of Black Democratic legislators, who apparently answer to a Higher Power (White Capital). Of the 48 full voting House members of the Congressional Black Caucus,  20 last week voted Nay  on a bill that would have cut Pentagon spending by ten percent across the board – a modest and symbolic reduction. Listed below are the Twenty Black Legislative Minions of (White) Corporate Warlords:  

*Alma Adams (FL) 
Colin Allred (TX)
Sanford Bishop (GA)
* Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE) 
Anthony Brown (MD)
G.K. Butterfield (NC)
*Andre Carson (IN) 
James E. Clyburn (SC)
Antonio Delgado (NY)
Val Butler Demings (FL)
* Steven Horsford (NV) 
* Brenda Lawrence (MI) 
Al Lawson (FL)
Lucy McBath (GA)
Cedric Richmond (LA)
Bobby Scott (VA)
David Scott (GA)
Terri Sewell (AL)
Lauren Underwood (IL)
Marc Veasey (TX)

Usually, the Black Caucus vote closely follows that of House Democrats as a whole, under Nancy Pelosi’s whip. But this time the Black members lined up 58 percent for military cuts versus only 40 percent among all House Democrats. Could it be that the “Defund the Police!” demands of street “non-politics” had some small influence on Black Democrats? If so, it was far too weak a response to overwhelming Black public sentiment historically favoring domestic spending over the military. 

Please note the asterisks in front of Alma Adams (FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Andre Carson (IN), Steven Horsford (NV), and Brenda Lawrence (MI). These Black Reps. are also members of the Progressive Caucus , but they voted to please the Pentagon and to preserve domestic spending austerity -- the policy pillars of the Dictatorship of (White) Capital. 

Eighty percent of the Black Caucus voted to continue the Pentagon’s program to militarize local police, in 2014, and 75 percent of Black House members supported making police a “protected class,” in 2018. The cops have never been popular in Black America: 89 percent  of African Americans told pollsters that the criminal justice system is unfair to Blacks in 2014, when most of the Black Caucus supported militarized cops, and a phenomenal 97 percent of Blacks  feel victimized by the “protected class” of cops, today. Clearly, the Democratic Party is the mechanism that spawns and nurtures Black politicians answerable to the Dictatorship of (White) Capital. 

The Black liberation movement ended half a century ago with the capture of Black “politics” by the Democratic Party, and can only be revived when the Party is exposed and opposed as an enemy institution in our midst. 

-- Glen Ford, "The Black Caucus and the Dictatorship of (White) Capital" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Unfortunately, there are black people who do not appreciate the significance of this and other actions. Decades of movement stagnation and lack of political education has made black people less likely to push the envelope and to even point fingers at the people labeled “outside agitators” by craven black misleaders. It is a sign of the weakness of our movement that some of us do not see the importance of cultivating solidarity and dispensing with establishment approval as we seek to make change.

The misleaders do know their people however, and they are well aware that claims of white people undoing the movement would resonate. E.D. Mondainé is president of the Portland branch of the NAACP. As such he has access to the Washington Post  editorial page and used his opportunity to do some classic misleading. He opined that demonstrations had become “spectacle” which drew attention away from police violence. “What are antifa and other leftist agitators achieving for the cause of black equality?” was one of his questions. One might ask what the Portland NAACP had ever achieved in this regard, but that didn’t stop him from condemning white people who are not limiting their actions to the realm of respectability politics.

If Mr. Mondainé and others were less compromised they would make common cause with the white radicals they disregard. This is no time to listen to people whose dependence on the donor class of the Democratic Party has helped no one but themselves. Mondainé makes clear why the emphasis cannot be on a well intentioned notion of equality. It is too easily manipulated while the allies who have come forward are left undefended by the people who should be working with them.  

Hopefully the misleaders can muster the energy to support the media  in Seattle where a judge ruled that unpublished photos and video footage of protests must be turned over to the police. Perhaps they will say something about the police unions welcoming Trump’s troops against the wishes of local elected officials. Whoever set a fire  in the Portland police union office is the best kind of ally.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Let the Movement Be Radical" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Wednesday.  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?

Glen Ford gets another truest.
As does Margaret Kimberley.
Kidnapped and tortured.
Ava and C.I. wrote this and rewrote it and . . . They were ready Sunday.  They had this as a much longer piece yesterday.  But Wednesday evening, they talked to Dallas and he went online to ask HULU some questions.  He was going to have that in Ava and C.I.'s piece but they said it should be a stand alone and that we should do another HULU piece on what subscribers were saying about the changes HULU has imposed.
We do not have food safety in the US.
He wants your vote, he's just not willing to give you anything you want in exchange.
Dallas talks to HULU.
HULU's changes infuriate their own subscribers.
Hillary knows she'll look awful when history is written.
What we listened to.
Jess wanted to highlight this.
Dona said we were including two Howie items.  He's a Green and, she pointed out, we long ago made a commitment to highlight the Green Party.
We were concerned because we didn't have time to hunt down other third party candidates but, when Dona pointed it out, we agreed our commitment was to the Green Party because we told ourselves we would do more to highlight them.


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

Editorial: Do you know Hamid Saeed?

You should.  In the US, someone has a violent experience with the police, it's news and it should be.  

رئيس مجلس الوزراء : أن ما حدث من اعتداء على هذا المواطن يجب أن لا يعامل وكأنه يمثل السلوك العام للأجهزة الأمنية،فقواتنا البطلة سبق أن ضحّت ومازالت تضحّي وتقاتل من أجل العراق،أمّا من يستغل وجوده داخل القوات الأمنية لغرض الاعتداء فلن يواجه سوى العقوبة والملاحقة القانونية.
4:23 AM · Aug 3, 2020


Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi met with a teen protester abused by security officers on Monday and told him the men were in custody and would face trial.

Hamid Saeed, 16, was reportedly assaulted by three members of the Interior Ministry’s Law Preservation Forces and stripped naked, with videos of the abuse shared online.

He and his mother were threatened with sexual assault, he was also beaten and had his hair cut with a blade.

Videos of the incident and of the boy explaining what happened have gone viral in Iraq, sparking a backlash against security forces accused of heavy-handed tactics that have caused over 500 deaths in the months of anti-government street protests.

MEMO explains it this way:

When teenager Hamid Saeed’s family saw videos circulating on social media last week showing him being abused by Iraqi security forces, they hoped he was still alive, having looked for him in vain since he disappeared 10 weeks ago.

On Saturday, the 16-year-old Saeed was released from custody. On Monday, wearing a baseball cap and plaid shirt, he was received by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who said those who had beaten up Saeed had been suspended from duty and referred to trial after an investigation.

Back in May, Saeed was selling water bottles and taking part in an anti-government protest on Baghdad’s Tahrir Square when a bottle fell to the ground. As he bent down to pick it up, interior ministry forces detained him, accusing him of wanting to throw stones at them, he told Reuters from his home.

Saeed said that security forces beat him up while he was briefly held, tore up his clothes, and cut his hair.

He later returned to Tahrir Square but got arrested again when he got into a fight with another man who had accused him of stealing a bicycle.

He said he was then held in a Baghdad police station for about 10 weeks and not allowed to contact his family.

Do most Americans know that the Iraqi people know George Floyd's name?  That they've demonstrated to show solidarity with Americans protesting Floyd's murder?

Saeed is 16-years-old.  He was kidnapped and he was tortured.  His family ahd no idea, for weeks, where he was.  

Yet the US media doesn't give two s**ts about Saeed.  

Every American should know Saeed's name and how the Iraqi forces that US tax dollars support are kidnapping and torturing children.

TV: HULU has a serious problem on its hands

If 15 years online offering a media critique has taught us one thing it's this: Making the needed calls is lonely.


Any nitwit can praise some cable offering about a meth head and feel safe in doing so -- even if the show sucks. The Water Cooler Set exists to circle jerk and pretend that anything on cable (male-based) is wonderful and amazing. When you stray from their narrow circle, you're going to find less and less support. And that's fine, we'll blaze our own trail, thank you.

That means we notice when women are reduced in number and in scope while The Water Cooler Set plays with itself.

If there was a word for the fall 2012 television, it was "conformity." Or maybe 'the new conformity'? And, no...

We have to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

HAPPY HOUR? That's what THE CW called it. It's a summer series where a comic comes on and does stand up. Hmm? We thought this might be interesting so we grabbed an episode at random. You can't grab the episode we grabbed. Which is probably a good thing. It was offensive.

No, not dirty words -- they were all bleeped out. It was offensive to listen to a man talk about his hatred for his wife -- so much so that he hopes the plane he's on crashes -- and for him to tell us that women want it even when they say they don't and that women love to be spanked and tied down and --

Was this 2020 or 1982?

Some women may like restraint and spanking, some men might enjoy being on the receiving end of either or both as well; however, neither all women nor all men like it.

This man had no understanding of women or consent. We watched that at the start of last week. It's since been removed and we wish it was because the largely unfunny routine was found offensive. But that's not what happened. Instead, the comic himself was found offensive. Megh Wright (VULTURE) reports:

A little over a month after comedian Chris D’Elia was accused of sexual misconduct, one of his closest friends is also at the center of allegations. According to a new report from the L.A. Times, four women have gone on the record to accuse comedian and The Goldbergs star Bryan Callen of sexual assault and misconduct. The allegations span back to 1999, when former MADtv cast member Kathryn Fiore Tigerman alleges Callen raped her. Tigerman told the Times that she watched the allegations against D’Elia play out last month, and when Callen’s name began to be mentioned she felt “relief” and thought, “‘Oh, I’m not by myself in this. I finally feel powerful against him.’ And if I can give that feeling to somebody else, that would be great.”
Like Tigerman, three other women shared their allegations against Callen in detail with the Times. A former American Apparel employee named Rachel Green accused Callen of pinning her against a dressing-room wall in 1999 and kissing her, which she immediately reported to her co-workers. Claire Ganshert, who was an aspiring actress when she met Callen in 2012 when she was 23 and working at a New York coffee shop, said she had a four-year affair with Callen while he was married, and that he told her in 2016 that women have a “biological, primal desire to be raped.” A comedian named Tiffany King also alleged that, in 2017, Callen tried to pressure her to give him oral sex in exchange for stage time and money at a time when he knew that she was struggling financially. “It was so humiliating. He was somebody I looked up to as a comedian who had control over something I loved,” King told the Times. “If it had been another woman, she could have done it and killed herself the next day because she felt so horrible.”

He's a menace. Why did THE CW think this was a comedian to drop into their mix? And what about him made them think he would provide "Happy Hour"?

Maybe the same way that they thought giving seven stand up comics each a one hour special was 'inclusive' when only two were women? Five men and two women? When that passes for diversity and equality, you're going to end up with a rape promoter in the mix -- and they did.

What about our mix? That was the question an NBC friend had after our "TV: Navigating the stream shouldn't be this hard" went up. He was appalled that we couldn't find one show to recommend. What about, he wondered, David Schwimmer's show?

INTELLIGENCE is actually funny. Schwimmer is playing the same character he did on FRIENDS and WILL & GRACE so he's apparently a limited actor but he does deliver with Ross-in-a-permanent-snit.

The rest of the cast is fresh and amazing and we enjoyed INTELLIGENCE.

But we enjoyed it when friends slipped us some episodes some time ago. It's a British production. PEACOCK didn't make the series, they're just streaming it in the US (for now).

We don't believe that we implied the PEACOCK didn't have any funny shows available. We think WILL & GRACE, for example, is one of the funniest TV shows ever and PEACOCK has that. They don't have any new episodes of it, though. That was our issue with PEACOCK -- their new content wasn't impressive. Their new content. NBC is a major network -- one of the big three. And all these decades in business and it can't provide new content of its own for the streaming service they have been planning since they pulled HARRY'S LAW off HULU all those years ago?

Really sad.

We ignored THE CAPTURE because it was a BBC program that PEACOCK is streaming. For those who have forgotten, HARRY'S LAW was an NBC series starring Kathy Bates. It was a strong show that did well in the ratings. But NBC suits (among the stupidest of any network) decided the ratings would increase if they pulled it off streaming. So they pulled it from HULU and didn't even allow it to stream at NBC's website. The ratings did not increase -- mainly because 2012 was not 1952. Instead of returning it to a streaming platform, they decided that they would create their own. And they've worked ever since on what has now become PEACOCK. To have had all of that time to plan and to show up offering so little?

If our comments hurt, they can take comfort in the fact that they're not HULU.

We've praised HULU over the years. Not today. They are a paid streamer -- they no longer offer anything free. Many are paying sixty or so dollars a month to HULU (we pay more because we have premium channel ad-ons). Last time, we were explaining a work-around that would let you access "My Channels." They killed the work-around. They have done away with ''My Channels." See Stan's "HULU, WTF?," "I'm not liking the new HULU"  and "Boo HULU, yea YOUTUBE TV" for more on that. They've done away with it and people are mad. On the HULU community board, people talk of leaving HULU. Guess what? That doesn't worry HULU. They know people talk a lot and then, sometimes, do nothing.

What has them worried? The weekend streams were low, really low.

That has them worried.

Where were the streamers?

A number were launching trial memberships for YOUTUBE TV.

See, HULU's change was hideous and paying customers are rejecting it.

No one wants to cover this backlash in the media.  We kept waiting for someone to pick up the story but they didn't.

HULU's new layout?  It's New Coke.  In 1985, COCA COLA introduced New Coke, just knowing it would be a hit.  It was a bomb.  And it took three months for COCA COLA to return the Coke America loved (they called it Classic Coca Cola).  In this age of social media and instant response, HULU should have fixed this problem by last Monday.  That they didn't fix it goes to how unresponsive they truly are to their customers.

At some point, The Water Cooler Set may notice this issue.  Maybe even find the courage to write about it.  But is an issue and it's probably the worst moment in HULU's history -- worst in terms of the reaction from their paying customers and worst in terms of their inability to get off their ass and fix this problem.

We are what we eat?

If so, we're in a lot of trouble.  If you doubt it, visit the Food and Drug Administration's website and learn just how bad it can be.  For example, Raspberry Zingers.

That's right, the Hostess treat.  July 21st, the FDA announced  a recall for the dessert:

Hostess Brands, LLC (“Hostess Brands”) is voluntarily recalling certain Hostess® Raspberry Zingers® because the product may develop mold prior to the best by date.

It's not just the sweet stuff.  Maybe you eat packaged salad?  If so, let's hope it wasn't Signature Farms Garden Salad that you were tossing in your shopping cart.  Earlier in July, the FDA announced:

In cooperation with the Fresh Express recall of bagged salads potentially linked to an outbreak of Cyclospora infections in the Midwest.  Jewel-Osco is voluntarily recalling bagged Signature Farms Garden Salad, net wt. 12 oz., sold in its stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.

The recalled Signature Farms Garden Salad, UPC code of 21130 98135, was sold in 12-ounce bags in the Produce section.  The recalled products have BEST IF USED BY dates of May 16 through July 4 (5-16-20 through 7-04-20). The BEST IF USED BY date and the product code are printed on the top right corner of the front of the package.  The affected product with the product code is subject to recall.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite of humans. This parasite, when it contaminates food or water and is then ingested, can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis. Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times.

Of course, in June it was coleslaw:

Fresh Express, out of an abundance of caution, has issued a voluntary recall of branded and private label salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and/or carrot ingredients due to a possible health risk from Cyclospora. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 200 illnesses have been reported in connection with a current outbreak of Cyclospora occurring in primarily Midwest states.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite. A person may become infected after ingesting contaminated food or water. Common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, body aches and fatigue. The infection is treated with antibiotics and most people respond quickly to treatment.

The Fresh Express recall includes only those salads that are clearly marked with the letter Z at the beginning of the Product Code, which is located in the upper right-hand corner of the front of the package. Products containing the ingredients iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and/or carrots AND displaying the Product Code Z178, or a lower number, are recalled.

Recalled products were distributed to select retail stores between June 6 and June 26 in various states including, for example, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

And iceberg salad:

Fresh Express, out of an abundance of caution, has issued a recall of a limited quantity of Marketside Classic Iceberg Salad from select stores as a precautionary measure due to a possible health risk from Cyclospora.

The recall affects all product codes of Marketside Classic Iceberg Salad sold in 12- and 24-ounce packages with best-if-used-by-dates of May 19 to July 04 and distributed to select stores between June 1 and June 21 in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite. A person may become infected after ingesting contaminated food or water. Common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, body aches and fatigue. The infection is treated with antibiotics and most people respond quickly to treatment.

Walmart retail stores are removing the recalled product from store shelves and inventories. If customers have the recalled Marketside Classic Iceberg Salad, they should discard it immediately and not consume it.

And yogurt pretzels:

Mount Franklin Foods, LLC dba Azar Nut Company of El Paso, TX is voluntarily recalling its 5-ounce packages of "7-Select Yogurt Pretzels" because they may contain undeclared peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life- threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The recalled 5-ounce packages of "7-Select Yogurt Pretzels" were distributed nationwide in retail 7-Eleven stores.

The product comes in a 5 ounce, printed plastic pouch and is marked with lot number YR20140 Best By May/19/2021 and JT20147 Best By May/26/2021 on the bottom front left of the bag.

 And ice cream:

Beyond Better Foods, LLC, is recalling select pints from a single production run of Enlightened brand Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream pints because they may have been packaged in Dairy-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter containers and thus contain undeclared milk ingredients. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The affected product was distributed nationwide in grocery stores. Beyond Better Foods is taking immediate steps to recall all affected products.

This recall is the result of mislabeled product. Specifically, one lot of Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream was mistakenly filled in pint sized Enlightened brand Dairy-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter pint containers. These packages have a base container labeled “Dairy-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter” and a lid labeled “Chocolate Peanut Butter” without a “Dairy-Free” callout. All affected products have a “best by” date of November 5, 2021 which is printed on the bottom of the container.

And . . .

It never ends.  Our food isn't safe and the FDA is both underfunded and limited in the scope and use of their powers.  There is no real food safety in the US at this point.  If you've read Margaret Atwood's ORYX AND CRAKE, you have a pretty good idea of how this story ends.


Joe Biden wants your vote

Do you know Joe Biden?  He spent his life in elected office.  From 1970 to 1972, he served on the New Castle County Council.   From January 1973 to January 2009, he served in the US Senate.  After that? From January 2009 through January 2017, he served as the Vice President of the United States.  Now he's the presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee.

With all that experience trying to win votes, isn't it strange that he and his cult tell you that you have to vote for him?

A central goal of the #EconomicBillOfRights is to end poverty. We will end poverty by guaranteeing every person has an income above the poverty line, through the Negative Income Tax. Read more at

That's what Howie says.

No-no-no, say Biden and his cult. They say you have to vote for Joe.  Have to.  But it's Howie that's talking about ending poverty.

For a nationwide general strike to halt the drive to reopen schools! A growing movement is now under way of teachers, students and parents against the effort to reopen schools amidst the expanding #coronavirus pandemic.

No, no, no!  Biden and his cult say you can't vote for Joseph, he's not going to deliver on issues.

But isn't Joseph Kishore the one talking about serious issues?

Reopening schools before it's safe to do so will cost lives. We stand in solidarity with teachers, students, and families fighting to reopen schools only when there is scientific consensus that covid-19 is contained
Quote Tweet
Party for Socialism and Liberation
"Everyone wants students back in the schools, but not at the risk of losing lives. It’s up to us–educators, schools, workers, students, parents and communities–to organize to make sure our communities survive the pandemic and the depression"

Gloria's the presidential candidate from the Party for Socialism and Liberation.  She's running a real campaign based on the needs of the people.  But Joe Biden and his merry cult say, "NO!!!! You can't vote for Gloria!!!!"

We addressed one of the most pressing issues of our time in our newest ad. It's time to bring our troops home. No excuses. #EndTheWars
War Is Over (Jorgensen / Cohen 2020 Ad)
My latest... told you there was some sauce in the works. ;* War is over, when you say it is. #bringthemhome #warisover

No, no, screams Joe and his cult, you can't vote for Jo Jorgensen!!!!

But Jo's talking about ending the wars -- the wars Joe Biden supported and helped start -- but he never helped end them, did he.

The Jo who is talking seriously about ending the wars is Jo Jorgensen.

Do you get why we're confused?  Joe has spent his entire adult life running for office, trying to get votes.  But right now, he's not trying at all.

He's not offering Medicare For All or anything that we on the left have fought for.  

But he thinks we should vote for him?  He thinks we owe him our votes?  

No, we don't owe him a damn thing.

And as for 'you'll elect Trump!'  No, we're not running for office.  Joe Biden is.  If Joe can't put together a campaign that draw voters, that's on him.  And shame and fear won't work as a campaign strategy.

Joe Biden wants your vote -- he just doesn't want it enough to actually work for it.

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