Thursday, January 28, 2021

Truest statement of the week

The U.S. corporate ruling class finally has its “Reichstag fire” to justify suspension of constitutional liberties under cover of “national emergency.” There is, of course, no imminent threat to the U.S. state and its structures. The rightwing mob that broke through the U.S. Capitol’s remarkably thin blue line of defense on January 6th was visibly amazed at the ease of their penetration of the building, and clearly had no plan for what to do once they found themselves inside. However, the same corporate news media that spent four years convincing Americans that “the Russians” were bringing down “our democracy” through brilliant deployment of $100,000 in Facebook ads, now shrieks that free speech is poisoning the body politic.  The great threat to the “stability” of American institutions is the proliferation of speech that does not conform to the corporate version of reality. Free speech must be brought “to heel” – as Hillary Clinton would put it. 

The Reichstag fire that consumed the German national parliament in February of 1933 -- supposedly set by a Jewish communist -- allowed Adolph Hitler to turn his November 1932 electoral victory into a mandate to smash all opposition to Nazification of the country.  From that point on, no worldview was permissible in Germany except Hitler’s own. The U.S. ruling class, beset by real crises of its own making at home and abroad, is desperate to regain control of the national and global narrative. As Barack Obama blurted out  on stage with German chancellor Angela Merkel, barely two weeks after Hillary Clinton’s surprise 2016 loss to Donald Trump, he was fearful of “an age where there’s so much active misinformation and its packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television. If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect.”

What Obama and his corporate Democratic colleagues were determined to “protect” is the continuity of U.S. never-ending war policies abroad and the “Race to the Bottom” austerity regime at home. As real crises multiply, the first line of capitalist defense is the corporate narrative that deflects blame from the system, itself. But counternarratives of the Right and Left have found deep traction in social and online media whose audiences often dwarf CNN viewership. Thus, the oligarchs, whose obscene wealth multiplies by the day, are unable to halt by normal means the public’s consumption of narratives that question the corporate order.  The ruling class’s crisis of legitimacy must be made to appear as a patriotic defense of American institutions and “values” – of truth, itself -- requiring restraint of critical speech and deep surveillance of suspected dissidents. The proof of the threat is displayed on the streets of Washington, DC, where 25,000 troops remain on guard against invisible enemies

Although corporate media claim that Donald Trump’s antics in the White House have necessitated curtailment of free speech rights, it was clear to us at Black Agenda Report four years ago that the corporate Democrats were preparing to muzzle dissent. On November 30, 2016, after the Washington Post published a list of 200 web sites slandered as “Russian propaganda outlets and sympathizers,” including Black Agenda Report, I wrote: “Had Clinton won the election, she would have begun a campaign of repression against the Left along the same national security lines as the Washington Post article, with that paper probably leading the propaganda charge.” The BAR article was titled, “Fascism with a Democratic Party Face” – a fascism that grows out of the neoliberal corporate order in crisis. As we wrote:

“Donald Trump’s fascism is largely the residue of the fascism of apartheid America, under Jim Crow, which had many of the characteristics of – and in some ways presaged – the ‘classic’ fascism of pre-World War Two Europe. The establishment corporate Democratic and Republican brand of fascism is far more racially, sexually and culturally inclusive, but just as ruthless. And, at this moment in history, the corporate Democratic fascists are the more aggressively warlike brand.”

-- Glen Ford, "Democratic Fascists Prepare to Drop the Hammer" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).




Truest statement of the week II

Anyone who dared bring a skunk to the party and point out that the promised $2,000 stimulus was reduced to $1,400 and that no one will see this tiny amount until April, was deemed a sneering killjoy who wanted to rain on others’ parades. The lament ran along the lines of, “Can’t we be happy for one day?” Of course, individuals can be as happy as they would like but that is no reason for anyone else to censor themselves. 

Joe Biden is in a position to be a very dangerous president precisely because he follows Trump. The sighs of relief give him an opportunity to get away with just about anything he wants. We have already seen the rehabilitation of George W. Bush, election thief and killer of up to 1 million Iraqis, all because he seemed nicer than Trump. Barack Obama could destroy Libya, bail out banks and claim a right to kill anyone he wanted but he had a formidable marketing team, solid support from corporate media, and the gift of knowing how to play to the crowd.

The Democratic Party and its corporate media have already white-washed Biden, a right wing senator, mediocre vice presidential sidekick, and architect of mass incarceration. They protected him as soon as it was clear the Democratic Party establishment had chosen him to be their nominee. They covered up when it was clear he was not in good health and invented a story of a stutter that no one had ever heard in his 48 years in public life. Twitter banned anyone from sharing the story of his son Hunter Biden’s lost laptop and evidence that he met with Ukrainians who were paying $50,000 a month for a no-show position at an energy company. Joe Biden has more than the secret service giving him protection.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Pro-Biden Propaganda" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).







A note to our readers

Hey -- 

Early Thursday morning.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,

Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, 
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? 



On the KINDLE UNLIMITED interviews, we've been asked why Ava and C.I. are doing them?  Because they do them.  We didn't plan on them -- the interviews.  Ava and C.I. did the first one with Rebecca and did that to have one more piece ready with the hopes that we'd publish on Sunday.  Didn't work that week or the week after with Kat or this week with Marcia.  But that was their idea and they ran with it so that's how it started. 


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


Editorial: When Independent Media Is Useless

Remember when THE NATION pretended to care about the Iraq War? Cover stories,editorials,columns . . . These days? They did run Laura Gottesdiener's "The Children of Fallujah: The Medical Mystery at the Heart of the Iraq War" last November. That was pretty much the only original reporting on Iraq that they ran in all of 2020 (as opposed to rerunning things printed at other outlets). We're not going to give credit for bad coverage -- in other words, grasp what took place in Parliament last January (a large number of MPs boycotted that session and did not vote -- though THE NATION missed that). We will give Katrina vanden Heuvel for "It's Time To Leave Iraq Once And For All" last February. But we'd give her even more credit if, since she is editor and publisher, she'd regularly task someone with covering Iraq. 

We loved to be so radical 

But like a rugged love affair 

Some became disenchanted 

And some of us just got scared 

-- "Playing Possum," written by Carly Simon


So what was it for THE NATION? Disenchanted or scared?


18. The Iraq War turns 18 in March. If it were a US citizen, it could vote, drive a car, get married and, in some states, even drink (might require parental consent). It would have a lot of rights. Sadly, we apparently do not have the right, as American citizens, to end the war. Our Congress has that power. A sitting president has that power. But neither are inclined to end the forever wars.


Somehow, this isn't a story or a pressing issue to THE NATION.

They have the following columnists: Jeet Heer, John Nichols, Joan Walsh, Elie Mystal, David Bromwich, Alexis Grenell, Kali Holloway and Katha Pollitt.


Strangely, despite the nation being involved in several forever wars, THE NATION has no columnist assigned to cover wars. Even stranger, they have national affairs correspondents but no foreign affairs correspondents. In other words, they are myopic navel-gazers. 



TV: AMAZON wins the race to the bottom

 All streaming services are not created equal.  That became even more clear last week as NETFLIX offered FATE: THE WINX SAGA while AMAZON offered FLACK.


A story about fairies or a story about public relations nightmares in the UK -- which do you think would be more mature?

Sadly, it was the teen drama FATE which gives notice, at long last, that we've all grown bored with zombies and that they just don't have the staying power of, for example, vampires or witches.  NETFLIX went looking for a new horror genre and came up with the fairies.  Outside of DISNEY's Tinkerbell, there hasn't been a lot of focus in films and TV on fairies though they were a subplot from time to time on HBO's TRUE BLOOD.  FATE is based on a NICKELODEON cartoon series WINX CLUB.  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES' Bryan Young fleshed out the cartoon for live action and the six-episode season one is pretty much perfection.


Pretty much?  An amazing female cast, strong writing, some solid special effects and some solid heart tugging scenes make this series a winner.  Even a snapped neck near the end of the final episode makes sense despite how missed that character will be in season two.  The fairies have various powers and lead character Bloom is both a fairy and a changeling so her powers are tremendous and Abigal Cowen does a fine job portraying her.  Also worthy of praise?  Precious Mustapha, Eliot Salt, Eve Best, Sadie Soverall and Hannah van der Weshuysen.  

Among the men?  Robert James-Collier has made Saul a fully realized character which is no easy feat when the teacher is basically the older male in any Tom Cruise learning-a-lesson film. The show's biggest failing is the male cast.  Worst of the bunch?  Danny Griffin.  


He plays Sky.  Though he's supposed to be a great warrior -- and the son of one -- it appears his fairy powers are blow out, bangs and especially layers.  Sometimes the front mop of hair is a brushed out, curled mess but, even when that happens, there is often this solo strip of golden hair running down the right forehead that's perfectly straight, not a curl, not a wave.  If only as much thought was put into his character. Griffin may not be the worst actor on the show but his face is always in full close up when poorly reciting one line after another.  By contrast, everyone seems to realize Josh Cowdery's inadequacies as an actor and they spend a lot of time shooting him from the back so that his pert little bottom does most of his acting for him.  (Barbra Streisand in THE MAIN EVENT served up fewer butt shots.)


Griffin's also stuck with the least interesting role.  Maybe season two will find some purpose for him (Daddy issues seem ready to implode by the end of the sixth episode)?  Season two also needs to seriously address Riven and Dane.  Freddie Thorp plays Riven and Theo Graham plays Dane.  Riven's convinced from the outset that Dane is gay and interested in him.  It appears Riven is right.  While Riven takes up with Beatrix, it still appears that Riven is interested in Dane.  The three have a vaping interplay -- shotgunning weed off one another.  In that scene, and pretty much all the others, every move Riven makes is made with one eye on Dane.

At one point, near the end of the season, Riven tells Dane he thinks he's gay and that he wanted his dick but now he's not sure what Dane feels for Beatrix so, tell him, when Dane's beating off, who's he thinking of.  Dane basically says shut up and changes the subject.  We would have preferred Dane to have replied, "Your butt, I drool over and dream of your ass."  They've already made a great couple -- much more believable than Sky and Bloom or Sky and Stella.  But the show doesn't seem to want to go with it.  

But they don't, not in season one.  And we're getting really tired of it.  As Ann noted, CHARMED has yet again sidelined the gay sister.  She can be a sister there for her siblings but she doesn't get the romances that her two sisters get.  She's a lesbian and we're supposed to applaud them for the 'courage' of including a gay character in the cast.  Why?

Before WILL & GRACE -- the revival or the original run -- and before Ellen De Generes character came out on ELLEN, Bill Brochtrup was already playing John Irvin on NYPD BLUE -- as far back as 1994.  Having a gay character on your show is really nothing new or daring.  Having a gay character on your show whose romances are off screen or non-existent is shameful.  

The people behind FATE need to grasp that there is real chemistry between Riven and Dane and they don't need a woman to hide behind.  CHARMED needs to get its act together.  

AMAZON PRIME apparently will never get its act together.  We recently noted that the networks could have used foreign content last fall to offer new shows for people to watch.  The streamers have always been happy to do that.  AMAZON's a little too happy, in fact, which is how they ended up with FLACK. 


FLACK is a bad show.  We would say that to it's credit, it opens with a gay couple but it's not a gay couple.  It's an in the closet entertainer who is paying a guy to have sex with him -- a guy who then wants to blackmail him and who insists he's straight.  Nothing can save this bad show but somehow AMAZON wanted to rescue it.

They're airing season one.  You might have caught it already on POP or SHOWTIME -- it's bounced around a lot, this British show, in the US.  Now it's landed on AMAZON (which will shortly begin airing season two).  It's more bad news for AMAZON.  Hard to believe that they've been doing streaming as long as they have and yet there is so little to show for it.


FLACK is about number 50 when you count the drama and comedy shows AMAZON's passed off as one of their ''original" programming offerings.  50.  And so little has stood out -- even less would qualify as good.


Worth watching?  A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL, THE BOYS, HOMECOMING, THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, CRISIS IN SIX SCENES and that's really it.  In almost eight year, in almost fifty programs, that's it, those five shows worth watching.  

No, all streaming services are not created equal.

The most underrated album of the 80s

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is one of the all time greats.  Her classic songs include "Help Me," "Big Yellow Taxi," "River," "Both Sides Now," "Hejira," "You Turn Me On I'm A Radio," "Raised On Robbery," "A Case of You" and many more.  Her classic albums -- recognized classics -- include LADIES OF THE CANYON, BLUE, FOR THE ROSES, COURT & SPARK, THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS, HEJIRA and TURBULENT INDIGO.  For years, we've argued repeatedly that her 1985 album DOG EAT DOG belongs on that list.

In the US, DOG EAT DOG only made it to 63 on BILLBOARD's TOP 200 albums list.  And the critical reaction was intensely against the album.  Joni has often spoken of how THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS was her child that got beat up in the playground.  Prior to 1985, that was true.  However, once October of that year rolled around and DOG EAT DOG was released, it became the most beat up of her children.  

ROLLING STONE"s Rob Tannenbaum, in a typical review, used a lot of words to convey the simple take that DOG EAT DOG was "an unpleasant listen" while Liam Lacey (TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL) whined that "nothing really works very well."  While many slammed the lyrics on the album as "pedestrian," David Hugh Smith (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR) felt, "The lyrics mitigate the banality of the music."


The lyrics aren't pedestrian, the music isn't banal.  Joni was experimenting.  Thomas Dolby basically provided click tracks -- though he wanted to do so much more and seemed to think it was going to be a Joni Mitchell and Thomas Dolby album.  No, it's a Joni album and, as always, it's an album about what's on her mind, what's in her heart.


Surveying the landscape in 1985, she found much to be appalled by and concerned over and compared herself, while promoting the album, to Paul Revere in a a land of ostriches.  


In the title track, she notes:


Land of snap decisions
Land of short attention spans
Nothing is savored
Long enough to really understand
In every culture in decline
The watchful ones among the slaves
Know all that is genuine will be
Scorned and conned and cast away


It was true then, it's sadly still true today.  The empire is in decline, the Congress is out of touch and We The People suffer.  It's a time where Glenn Greenwald writes:


The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting “terrorism” that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This trend shows no sign of receding as we move farther from the January 6 Capitol riot. The opposite is true: it is intensifying.

We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens. This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance.

Underlying all of this are immediate insinuations that anyone questioning any of this must, by virtue of these doubts, harbor sympathy for the Terrorists and their neo-Nazi, white supremacist ideology. Liberals have spent so many years now in a tight alliance with neocons and the CIA that they are making the 2002 version of John Ashcroft look like the President of the (old-school) ACLU.


 And Jonathan Turley observes:

I am an unabashed Internet originalist. I have long opposed the calls for censorship under the pretense of creating “an honest Internet.”  We have have been discussing how writerseditorscommentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. The erosion of free speech has been radically accelerated by the Big Tech and social media companies. The level of censorship and viewpoint regulation has raised questions of a new type of state media where companies advance an ideological agenda with political allies.

As I have previously written, we are witnessing the death of free speech on the Internet.  What is particularly concerning is the common evasion used by academics and reporters that this is not really a free speech issue because these are private companies. The First Amendment is designed to address government restrictions on free speech. As a private entity, Twitter is not the subject of that amendment. However, private companies can still destroy free speech through private censorship. I have previously discussed this aspect of speech controls as the “Little Brother problem.” President Trump can be chastised for converting a “Little Brother” into a “Big Brother” problem. However, that does alter the fundamental threat to free speech.  This is the denial of free speech, a principle that goes beyond the First Amendment. Indeed, some of us view free speech as a human right.

Consider racial or gender discrimination. It would be wrong regardless if federal law only banned such discrimination by the government. The same is true for free speech. The First Amendment is limited to government censorship, but free speech is not limited in the same way. Those of us who believe in free speech as a human right believe that it is morally wrong to deny it as either a private or governmental entity.  That does not mean that there are not differences between governmental and private actions. For example, companies may control free speech in the workplaces. They have a recognized right of free speech. However, the social media companies were created as forums for speech.  Indeed, they sought immunity on the false claim that they were not making editorial decisions or engaging viewpoint regulation.  No one is saying that these companies are breaking the law in denying free speech. We are saying that they are denying free speech as companies offering speech platforms.

That is why these seemingly harmless Birdwatchers are a concern for some of us. They are being added as a community component to an expanding system of Internet censorship. As they watch their neighbors and Twitter watches them, free speech will further decline on the Internet.


What does Joni sing in "The Three Great Stimulants?"  She sings:

While madmen sit up building bombs
And making laws and bars
They're gonna slam free choice behind us

Last night I dreamed I saw the planet flicker
Great forests fell like buffalo
Everything got sicker
And to the bitter end
Big business bickered
And they call for the three great stimulants
Of the exhausted ones
Artifice brutality and innocence
Artifice and innocence


It's a sad song, a beautiful song and a song that's still true today.




Nine solid songs -- yes, even "Smoking (Empty Try Another)" which is built around the sounds from a cigarette machine -- with Joni singing in fine voice and exploring the state and the heart of the country.

Her vocals are inventive ("Shiny Toys") and her use of plosives throughout the album is spot on and adds to the layers and meanings.  As a snapshot of 1985, the album worked.  Sadly, things have only gotten worse and the album still works.

Joni told Iain Blair (LOS ANGELES HERALD), 'It's definitely different from anything I've ever done before.  It was also the hardest record I've ever made for a number of reasons.  There's a lot of blood on those tracks.  These are dangerous times, and I suddenly felt a sense of responsibility to speak up now or forever hold my peace."  We're glad she didn't hold her tongue.  DOG EAT DOG is a classic.



KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)



In 2018, community sites took turns covering a book every week.  You can see "In 2018, we read books" to review that coverage.  We didn't want to repeat ourselves in 2019 or 2020.  So when Marcia came up with a way to cover books but with a twist, we were all for it.  Marcia's idea was for us to digital books -- we're largely a printed text crowd -- and to use AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  So for 2021, we'll be doing a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, we're talking with Marcia about her "Paul Jay's bad Gore Vidal 'book'."


So, for starters, you're a Gore Vidal reader.


Marcia: Yes.  I'm a big fan of his essays.  It started in 2002, for me, with his two collections PERPETUAL WAR FOR PERPETUAL PEACE OR HOW WE CAME TO BE SO HATED and DREAMING WAR: BLOOD FOR OIL AND THE CHENEY-BUSH JUNTA.  That was my starting point and I've read his nonfiction ever since.  I've also read some of his fiction.  I prefer the non-fiction but MYRA BRECKENRIDGE is funny and I should note, as a lesbian, that THE CITY AND THE PILLAR is a gay classic early 20th century novel.

Were you hoping to enjoy this book from THE REAL NEWS NETWORK?

Marcia: I was.  It's nothing but transcripts of Paul Jay's various interviews with Gore Vidal presented as one conversation.  But it's poorly edited -- including spelling.

You make the point that a 2014 book has no excuse for spelling Jon Stewart's name "John Stewart."

Marcia: Yes and that's the only spelling error.  The editing is also poor and too many times Paul has selected a topic that was just addressed four to ten pages earlier and it makes it seem like Gore is either addled brained or only can talk about a few topics.  

Of course, Iraq is completely edited out of the book and the conversations.

Marcia: Despite the fact that Gore freely brings up the topic in every interview he's doing during that time period.  Even non-REAL NEWS NETWORK interviews.  He goes to a college campus, check YOUTUBE, during this period and he's discussing the Iraq War without prompting from anyone.  But apparently Paul Jay was too bored with an ongoing war to include Gore's comments.

The book is entitled GORE VIDAL: HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE AND VIDAL ON AMERICA so we agree with you that the Iraq War belongs there.  Gore always tied it into so many themes in US history.  Did you feel you learned anything from this book -- any thoughts you hadn't heard Gore express elsewhere?

Marcia: None at all.  The book was worthless.  Go purchase the two I already noted or Gore's IMPERIAL AMERICA: REFLECTIONS ON THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.  If you're looking for an interview book, I highly recommend Jon Wiener's I TOLD YOU SO: GORE VIDAL TALKS POLITICS: INTERVIEWS WITH JON WIENER.  The only reason to recommend Paul Jay's bad book is if you're using KINDLE UNLIMITED.  It's the only Gore book that they offer.  So if that's your only access to books, that would be the only way you could read Gore's thoughts and opinions and arguments.  

Did that surprise you?  That it was the only Gore Vidal book offered by KINDLE UNLIMITED?


Marcia: I'm really surprised by how little they do offer.  You pay a monthly fee of about ten bucks and for that fee you can read as many books as they offer for KINDLE UNLIMITED subscribers.  But they don't offer a lot that I'm interested in.  Most left authors, in fact, are not part of it.  To give another example, since Michael Parenti's videos have been popping up at THE COMMON ILLS, I've been interested in him.  And Ruth and I talk about him a lot.  But my biggest disappointment is that KINDLE UNLIMITED offers no book by or about Michael Parenti. He's published at least 24 books but there's not one on KINDLE UNLIMITED.  Try searching him and the 'closest' result is a gay romance book entitled MICHAEL: A SINGLE PARENT ROMANCE.  I think they need to work harder at their books offered.  I'm not expecting new releases to be part of this so I don't expect anything more recent than 2018.  But I do expect a wide selection.  

That's really interesting and telling about Michael Parenti.  We just searched Howard Zinn for KINDLE UNLIMITED and they have his 1959 book LAGUARDI IN CONGRESS and an anthology entitled THE INDISPENSIBLE ZINN.  That's it.  Over 45 books -- where he's sole author -- and that's all they offer.

Marcia: I found one and only one book by Angela Y. Davis.  This happened over and over whenever I was looking for any left or radical writer.  I'm hoping they'll offer more as the year goes on but right now I'm not at all inspired or encouraged by their political theory offerings.

Earlier conversations in this series include "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)" and "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)."






In 2021, we'll be covering digital books.  So far this year, the coverage includes:

Rebecca's "the mommie dearest diary: carol ann tells all"

Kat's "How Mabel Normand's many scandals (at least five) destroyed her career"


Marcia's "Paul Jay's bad Gore Vidal 'book'"




Tweet of the week


From Joshua Frank:

Biden will receive a pile of accolades for his climate policies today, but they are window dressing. Thousands of miles of pipelines are still in the works. Fracking's not banned and 25% of all carbon emissions come from oil/gas drilling on public lands. NONE of this is stopping.

DoorDash's latest rip off

Food delivery service DoorDash always finds a way to make money -- even when it has to rip you off.  This week, KTNV reports on new fees DoorDash is impsoing, "Turns out, the fees were happening in cities where local governments placed limits on how much delivery platforms can charge restaurants. To try to recoup those losses, DoorDash added new customer fees in those cities, which include Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver and Seattle." CNN explains that, without the municipal limits, "Those platforms can charge commission fees as high as 30% per order, which can leave restaurants in the red."


In addition to charging extra fees, DoorDash has a new trick that news organizations aren't noting but our readers are.  Check out, for example, Taco Bell on DoorDash. Then pull up the same Taco Bell on Waitr and you'll note that DoorDash is charging 20 cents more on each item than Waitr.  If you don't have a Waitr in your area that delivers Taco Bell, just pay attention to Taco Bell's dollar menu and note that all items on the dollar menu now cost $1.00 and twenty cents on DoorDash.

They'll rip you off every chance they get.



This edition's playlist

 Pretenders - Pretenders are pleased to announce brand new...

1) The Pretenders' HATE FOR SALE.







4)  Peggy Lee's 2 SHOWS NIGHTLY.



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


6) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.





8) Harry Style's FINE LINE


10) The Mamas and the Papas' THE PAPAS & THE MAMAS.  

As Black Women and Girls Go Missing, and the Media and the Police Do Little, a National Task Force is Required to Address the Issue

 From the Green Party:

The Green Party of the United States National Women’s Caucus released a statement today calling for a national task force to focus on solving the disappearances of black women and girls.

National Green Party Women's Caucus

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Monica James,, National Green Party Women’s Caucus Spokesperson

Caucus spokesperson Monica James said, “As Black women and girls go missing, and the media hardly gives coverage and the police do very little to solve their cases, the GPUS Women’s Caucus believes a national task force is required to address this issue. As the Caucus spokesperson, this topic of the invisible, unknown numbers of missing Black women and girls has touched me personally and many of us the hardest. Some have never heard these stories, but in the Black communities, it’s the silent wishes of family and friends, exhausted, crying for help, that these women be acknowledged and found.” 

The task force would accurately collect and share data on missing Black women and girls and provide financial and logistical support to local government agencies in solving the disappearances, among other goals.

Green Party 2020 vice-presidential nominee Angela Walker said, “The epidemic of missing Black girls and women (both cisgender and transgender) in the United States has been underreported for far too long. It is unacceptable that these disappearances are not prioritized, and this disregard only highlights the fact that this country does not protect or respect Black girls and women. It is past time for a task force that focuses on this national tragedy and brings aid to the families affected. As a Black woman, parent and grandparent, this is personal to me.” 

The statement highlights research demonstrating that Black people make up a disproportionate number of missing persons. However, when Black women and girls are reported missing, they are frequently inappropriately classified as runaways, which removes the sense of urgency in the response. Public knowledge of the missing is limited because many of the stories never make it to the media, and few are prioritized or solved by the police, but the numbers are estimated to be in the tens of thousands. Except for primarily Black journalists and publications that have covered the issue, few of the stories are reported or ever resolved. 


As Black Women and Girls Go Missing, and the Media and the Police Do Little, a National Task Force is Required to Address the Issue 

The Green Party of the United States National Women’s Caucus calls for a national task force to focus on solving the disappearances of Black women and girls that includes the following: 

  • Accurately collect and share data on missing Black women and girls
  • Provide financial and logistical support to local government agencies in solving disappearances of Black women and girls
  • Review cold cases involving missing Black women and girls
  • Provide education to local government agencies on stereotypes that prevent officials from taking disappearances of Black women and girls seriously
  • Seek input from the families of the missing Black women and girls to better understand the issue

Black people make up a disproportionate number of missing persons, both adults and children. Yet their cases get less attention from the media and the police. Black women and girls in particular get few resources. The National Women's Caucus of the Green Party would like to shine a spotlight on this disparity and we call for a national task force to focus on solving the disappearances of Black women and girls. 

Nearly all people reported missing are found. Per the NCIC, of 609,275 reports made in 2019, only 2171 remained active at the end of the year. But active cases stay in the system indefinitely. According to the FBI, “As of December 31, 2019, the NCIC had nearly 87,500 active missing person records. Youth under the age of 18 account for 35 percent of the records, and 44 percent of the missing person records are people under 21.” The records have accrued since 1983. 

Blacks make up 13.4% of the American population (per Census estimates for 2019) yet the NCIC statistics show that 33.8% of reports in 2019 were for missing Black people. The percentage of Blacks in the 37 years of active cases is even higher.

PLOS ONE study by van de Rijt, et. al., of New York State 2017 data, found that Black children were twice as likely as non-Black children to be still missing at the end of their observation period. This disparity persisted even after controlling for things like age at disappearance.

Min & Feaster, in their landmark 2010 study, found that missing Black children got 19.5% of news coverage about missing children despite accounting for 33.2% of cases. Other studies report the same results: white missing persons of all ages proportionately get far more media coverage than do Black missing persons.

Surprisingly, Min & Feaster found that missing boys got more news coverage than missing girls. While more recent studies by other authors have found no gender difference or a small one in favor of girls, Min & Feaster state that missing girls got 37.8% of news coverage despite accounting for 57.4% of the cases in the same time period. 

Black people go missing about three times more often than might be expected based on population. Higher rates of poverty, homelessness, and incarceration all stem from systemic racism, decades of imposed housing and job segregation, and inequity in education and health services and these all contribute to a variety of factors that make someone more likely to disappear. But once a Black child or adult is missing, they are also a lot less likely to be found.

A 2019 study by Jada L. Moss showed that “in 2016, African-American missing persons cases appeared amongst the remaining older and open cases four times as often as the cases of White and Hispanic missing persons.”

When Black people go missing, their disappearance is often framed in a way you don’t see when white people go missing. Black children are usually classified as runaways, even when they are young or it’s out of character. While running away is in fact the most common reason why an older child goes missing, it’s used as a way to dismiss cases for Black children. Police may not bother investigating and the media rarely profiles the case. Amber Alerts only go out for suspected abductions.

The task force would provide education to local government agencies on stereotypes that prevent officials from taking disappearances of Black women and girls seriously and seek input from the families of the missing Black women to better understand the issue.


Why the Crisis of Missing Black Girls Needs More Attention Than It’s Getting
La’Tasha D. Mayes
Ebony, March 24, 2017

Missing Children in National News Coverage: Racial and Gender Representations of Missing Children Cases
Seong-Jae Min & John C. Feaster
Communication Research Reports, Vol. 27, No. 3, July–September 2010, pp. 207–216

Black kids go missing at a higher rate than white kids. Here's why we don't hear about them
Harmeet Kaur
CNN, November 3, 2019

The Forgotten Victims of Missing White Woman Syndrome: An Examination of Legal Measures That Contribute to the Lack of Search and Recovery of Missing Black Girls and Women
Jada L. Moss
William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice. Volume 25 (2018-2019) Issue 3
Article 9 April 2019

The urgent crisis of missing Black women and girls
Treva Lindsey
Women’s Media Center (WMC), February 20, 2020

There Are 64,000 Missing Black Women in The USA. So Why Aren’t We Seeing Their Cases Reported in The Media?
Samantha Clarke
Medium, Nov 23, 2019

There Are 64,000 Missing Black Women and Girls in the United States and No One Seems to Care, February 15, 2019

Missing black women's cases are often unsolved, underreported. Here are 7 from Montgomery
Safiya Charles
Montgomery Advertiser, November 15, 2019

2019 NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Statistics

FBI Releases 2019 Missing Person Statistics

Racial and gender differences in missing children’s recovery chances
Arnout van de Rijt, Hyang-Gi Song, Eran Shor, Rebekah Burroway
PLOS ONE, December 31, 2018

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