Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Truest statement of the week


We are moving fast down that slippery slope to an authoritarian society in which the only opinions, ideas and speech expressed are the ones permitted by the government and its corporate cohorts.

In the wake of the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, “domestic terrorism” has become the new poster child for expanding the government’s powers at the expense of civil liberties.

Of course, “domestic terrorist” is just the latest bull’s eye phrase, to be used interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist,” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.”

Watch and see: we are all about to become enemies of the state.

In a déjà vu mirroring of the legislative fall-out from 9/11, and the ensuing build-up of the security state, there is a growing demand in certain sectors for the government to be given expanded powers to root out “domestic” terrorism, the Constitution be damned.

If this is a test of Joe Biden’s worthiness to head up the American police state, he seems ready.

As part of his inaugural address, President Biden pledged to confront and defeat “a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism.” Biden has also asked the Director of National Intelligence to work with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out a “comprehensive threat assessment” of domestic terrorism. And then to keep the parallels going, there is the proposed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021, introduced after the Jan. 6 riots, which aims to equip the government with “the tools to identify, monitor and thwart” those who could become radicalized to violence.

Don’t blink or you’ll miss the sleight of hand.


-- John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead, "The Government’s War on Domestic Terrorism Is a Trap" (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE).

Truest statement of the week II

As many on this blog are aware, I tend to be predictable on free speech issues.  My natural default is to protect speech, particularly when exercised off campus or on social media. These are difficult cases when statements reflect prejudice and sexism as in the case of Professor Younger.  However, there is a fear of a slippery slope once universities begin to punish those with unacceptable views expressed in their private capacity.  We have been discussing efforts to fire professors who voice dissenting views of the basis or demands of recent protests including an effort to oust a leading economist from the University of Chicago as well as a leading linguistics professor at Harvard and a literature professor at Penn. The silence of many faculty in the face of crackdowns on free speech has been chilling in the last few years.

There is a palpable sense of fear among many conservative and libertarian faculty and students that they cannot express themselves on campus or in classes without be ostracized or even subjected to retaliatory measures, including attacks by the student government. While faculty member like Professor Younger might not show the same tolerance for opposing views, we have a greater responsibility to regain the trust of our communities in the tolerance for opposing views and expression on our campuses. She is the cost of free speech.

 --  Jonathan Turley, "'Republicans Need To Suffer': Drake Professor Triggers Free Speech Debate With Hateful Tweets Against Men and Conservatives" (JONATHANTURLEY.ORG).

A note to our readers

Hey -- 

Early Tuesday.

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 SCOTT HORTON SHOW devotes an entire episode to Iraq

 Scott talks to Kelley Vlahos about America’s 30-year nonstop bombing campaign of Iraq, and the prospects for ending it. The destruction of Iraq, says Vlahos, has followed a familiar trend: American politicians sell the public on the need to get involved in some country with what looks to be a brutal dictator in charge, then the military intervenes, usually by bombing indiscriminately, and finally the country is left far worse than it was before. In recent memory, America has done this to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, though Iraq is perhaps the most egregious example. And while Scott and Vlahos hold out some hope for Joe Biden’s willingness to make peace in Yemen and Afghanistan, they are skeptical that he will do anything to disentangle America from its role in Iraq. Check out the interview page here: https://libertarianinstitute.org/scot... For more on Scott's work: Check out The Libertarian Institute: https://www.libertarianinstitute.org Read Scott's book, Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan: https://foolserrand.us Follow Scott on Twitter using the handle @scotthortonshow: https://twitter.com/scotthortonshow Like Scott's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/scotthortons... And check out Scott's full interview archives: https://scotthorton.org/all-interview... You can also support Scott's work by making a one-time or recurring donation at https://scotthorton.org/donate/ Or you can donate per interview at Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scotthortonshow



Wow.  When's the last time you saw any program devote an entire episode to Iraq?


Why are we accepting that?

TV: The lack of self-awareness

We watch and so often wonder, "Do they not get what they're actually doing?"





That's especially true of RISING, the public affairs program THE HILL offers.  Go back to May and watch the episode where hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti pretend to respect citizens and how they vote including those who choose not to vote.  Watch them pretend that for about 30 seconds before informing you of their moral superiority and how that means that they would never do that -- the same moral superiority that they're calling someone else out for in the same segment.  You watch and you get their intent -- or at least their stated intent -- while you marvel over their inability to see their own actions.  

We were reminded of that last week when, on Monday, Krystal wanted to insist that, as President Joe Biden was breaking one promise already ($2,000 stimulus checks), she was going to wait to render judgement.  

Makes sense, right, he's a neophyte who's just joined the world of politics and needs some time --

Oh, wait.  It's Joe Biden.  He was elected to the US Senate in 1972 and he didn't leave the Senate until January 15, 2009.  Equally true, he only left to become Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2009 -- a post he held until January 20, 2017.

Joe Biden began officially campaigning for the presidency in 2019.  And he was portrayed by the press as most electable not because he was a great thinker, not because he was a great communicator, not because he was running on a great platform and not because he was a great beauty.  They said he was most electable because of all of his years in public office.

He ran for president during a pandemic and an economic collapse.  These were not new conditions that sprung up after the election or after he was sworn in.  So Krystal's ridiculous attempts to rescue him and claim that she was going to hold off on judgment spoke to her own hypocrisy and stupidity.

Somehow, even she grasped that which is why, the very next day, she did a twelve minute segment entitled "How I Will Judge The Biden Administration."  Twelve minutes.  And not a one of them made sense.  She was eager to castigate the press for not holding Joe accountable -- forgetting both that she was part of the press and that she had cut Joe plenty of slack for Joe on Monday.  As she went on and on, serving up a tasteless soup of words that rivaled Rachel Maddow for the use of so many words to say so little,


"We are way beyond the point where incremental is remotely good enough," she huffed at one point, apparently forgetting her remarks on Monday.  24 hours took the country "way beyond the point where incremental is remotely good enough?"

Krystal's happy with his executive orders.  But it's not enough, she says while insisting she doesn't want to be a "hater."

How about just being an "honest broker."  The executive orders that she waffled over are useless.  Take the one on abortion.  It's useless.  As long as he's in the White House, it's in effect.  That's all.  As BBC NEWS pointed out, "The Mexico City Policy was first enacted by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has been repeatedly renewed by Republicans and cancelled by Democrats. For decades, the US has barred money from being spent on overseas abortions but the Mexico City policy takes that a step further. It prevents federal funds from going to organisations that provide abortions, abortion counselling or advocate for the legal right to abortion."  

What's needed, if you really care about the issue, is a law.  And guess what?  He has a Democratic Congress -- House and Senate.  A law is possible, easily possible.  But instead, he's doing an executive order that will be overturned when a Republican comes into the White House, the overturning will be overturned when a Democratic comes into the White House, and on and on and on.

That's not helping women.  A law on this would help women.  


Again, worry less about being a "hater," Krystal, and more about being an honest broker.


"Butt boy."  Do they realize how they sound?  John Lee Hancock is a mediocre director of pedestrian films -- SAVING MR. BANKS, THE HIGHWAY MAN, THE BLIND SIDE (wonderful performance by Sandra Bullock but it's a dull and plodding film).  The only thing more pathetic than Hancock is what his agency has done to his WIKIPEDIA page -- injecting howlers like this one:


Next up for Hancock is another highly anticipated Netflix release that will be a film written and directed by Hancock and based on a short story by Stephen King: Mr. Harrigan's Phone. The story, which appears in the collection If It Bleeds, which hit bookshelves earlier this year, follows a young boy who befriends an older billionaire who lives in his small-town neighborhood. They bond over the man’s first iPhone. But when the man dies, the boy discovers that not everything dead is gone and finds himself able to communicate with his friend from the grave by leaving voicemails on the iPhone that was buried with him.[10]

Another highly anticipated NETFLIX release?  We're laughing too.  We'll also note that there is no source for that claim -- because no source exists.  

THE LITTLE THINGS.  That's why we bring it up.  He wrote that screenplay.  Back in 1993.  And various people were attached over the years but they all walked away -- Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Danny De Vito and Clint Eastwood among them.  "It's pretty much the same," Hancock told DEADLINE when asked how much the script filmed was like the 1993 version.

And it shows.  It shows because it's lifeless and dead on arrival and that's why so many walked away.  Beatty wanted extensive rewrites, for example, he wanted to see the parts eventually played by Denzel Washington and Rami Malek beefed up to something other than the happenstance with which they encounter one another.  If they're going to work together -- especially if Rami's playing a glory hog -- there has to be a reason other than the script tosses them together in scenes.  Danny De Vito's big problem was he felt the tone was flat.  He wanted the script to be reworked with some point of view.  He felt it was on the sidelines throughout.  He could take an ambiguous ending.  He just couldn't take the detached characterization and plot line.

But Hancock got to take the helm and why work on anything.  That shows, by the way, that nothing was worked on.  

"Butt boy."  Jared Leto says it to Rami about Denzel.  


What was the point?  Homophobia?  Was it supposed to be humor?




Nice Guy Eddie: Did you see that daddy? Guy got me on the ground and he tried to f**k me.

Vic Vega : You wish.

Nice Guy Eddie: Listen Vic, I don't mind what you do, but don't try to f**k me in my father's office, I don't think of you that way. I like you a lot man, but I don't think of you that way.

Vic Vega: Eddie, if I was a butt cowboy, I wouldn't even throw you to the posse.

Nice Guy Eddie: Of course not, you'd keep me for yourself, you sick bastard. Four years of  f**kin' punks up the ass you'd appreciate a piece of prime rib when you see one.



That's Chris Penn and Michael Madsen in Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS.  That film was released in 1992, a year before Hanock wrote THE LITTLE THINGS.


He's that out of touch -- then and now -- to think spewing "butt boy" was daring and inventive.  


It wasn't and he's never been daring -- nor inventive.


Natalie Morales is sadly in the film.  What will she be remembered for out of this?  Playing a female subordinate of Rami's who he slaps on the back of the head when he's angry with her -- and does this in front of a police witness.  


The film never makes sense and, no, the performances do not solve the film, fix the film or save the film.


Denzel looks awful in the uniform they put him in.  Not just overweight, he looks awful.  Rami belongs on TV.  He can't fill a screen.  On TV, an actor doesn't.  We're not just talking about the size, we're talking the cinematography.  TV camera work doesn't tell a story, it merely records.  And Rami can handle that.  When he's supposed to fill a screen, when a look is really needed, he can't do it.  


Rami doesn't give a bad performance because it's not a performance.  He recites his lines.  He tries not to be so weird and lurching -- the way he is on TV -- but he just seems constrained, straight-jacketed.  


Jared Leto?  He falls back on past moves which is fine for this role -- there's no point in investing in a role that has no levels.  Jared floods it with his personality and past performances and comes out better than anyone else in the film as a result.


THE LITTLE THINGS seems to think it's a celebration of the brotherhood of officers.  We're sure Hancock thinks that's what he's written.  You can think that too and stop reading here before the spoiler -- there's never any proof that Jared Leto is the killer.  Rami kills him -- with a shovel -- but he may have killed an innocent man -- a creepy man, yes, but a possibly innocent man.


This is a piece of garbage.  It started out a piece of garbage and anytime someone wanted to work on improving it, Hancock accused them of not understanding what he was doing.  


In the end, it appears that he's the only one who didn't understand.


We also question  Rightor Doyle's comprehension ability after NETFLIX served up the second season of BONDING.  It's not that there aren't some grace notes in the eight episodes.  Theo Stockman is great as Josh and Micah Stock finds new levels in Doug.  But the show's like a diet cola, it leaves a sour after taste.

Near the end of the season, Tiffany decides to comfort a woman who has miscarried.  She tells her that she and Pete had sex in high school, once, and in a car.  She laughs about it and about the fact that she got pregnant.  She never told him, she had an abortion.  The whole thing was just too ridiculous.  

Guess what?  Pete overhears the conversation and is naturally hurt.

Pete then shatters and it's right before he's got to go onstage and deliver his comedy act because word has been building on Pete and now an agent is present.  Pete does what comics do, what columnists do, what everyone does, he uses his own life.  As Phoebe Ephron used to tell her daughter Nora, everything is copy.  

And he's funny as he riffs on what a child of his and Tiffany's might have been like.  But Tiffany shows up and she is hurt and she savages him afterward in his dressing room.  The crowd roared.  But Tiff wants him to know it wasn't his story.  Oh, but it was.  Especially when she was getting laughs out of the story when she shared it.  He's a comic.  By her own words, she's more offended that he mocked the dom lifestyle that she makes her money at.  He doesn't have a right.  But he does.  She brought him into that life.  And, in addition, there's this little thing called free speech.

Tiffany comes off very unappealing which would apparently shock Rightor Doyle.  He's unable to see how the characters he's writing and directing actually come off.  He also falls into the usual gay Hollywood garbage.  For Tiffany, the season ends with her friendship with Pete damaged but her career solid (she's dropping out of college to be a full time dom) and finally able to tell Doug that she loves him.  Pete?  He's lost his friendship with Tiff.  The agent is a bit of a jerk but maybe he'll really try to represent Pete -- maybe he won't.  Worst of all?

He's gay and by the rules of Outdated Hollywood, he can't have happiness in a relationship.  Which is why the only real relationship on display breaks up.  Josh and Pete had chemistry.  You like Doug but there's no chemistry between him and Tiff -- the character and the actress are too closed off.  Josh dumps Pete in a clumsy plot point.  Pete reveals that Josh is gay to Josh's father -- a rich client you knew had to be Josh's father when he popped up, neither foreshadowing or originality are strong points for Rightor Doyle.  Would Josh really dump Pete for that?  The past doesn't indicate that.

But Pete is rendered the stereotypical homosexual in TV -- the stereotypical 1990s homosexual.  He's so regressive, he's not even gay.  He's homosexual and just as all the quacks told you for years and years, they can never find love.  That a gay man, Rightor Doyle, is responsible for this nonsense is appalling.

Where is the self-awareness?  Again, we have to ask, do they not get what they're actually doing?



Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com.  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; 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); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): So a lot of news to cover. First, AP reported Friday that Kevin Clinesmith, an attorney for the FBI, was given a year's probation. His action, he falsified an e-mail. The e-mail was from the CIA responding that Carter Page was a CIA informant/asset. Clinesmith altered it so that it said he was not one. He altered it intentionally and did so in order for illegal spying to take place or continue. Thoughts?

C.I.: He needs to be disbarred immediately. That's not open to interpretation. Had he pulled that garbage in a federal court, he'd be disbarred. He knows the law and he knows was he did was wrong -- knew it when he did it. His whining that he's "deeply ashamed"? Who gives a damn. He broke the law. Disbarment's the least he should be facing -- the very least.

Jess: I'm with C.I. I cannot believe that piece of crap got off with just probation. Think about it. He works for the FBI. This was a huge crime. He intentionally altered evidence to get his way. That's disbarment. But he did this as a worker for the FBI. How can anyone ever trust him? They can't. And his getting away with it -- and probation is getting away with it -- sends the message that the FBI is lawless and can do whatever they want and they will not be held accountable.

Mike: I agree with Jess and C.I. I saw the news on Friday and spoke with C.I. then. I thought, "Was he even fired" and C.I. explained he no longer works for the FBI. That's good. But it's not enough. And that probation is a joke. He must be disbarred. His actions? He can't be an officer of the court after that. He needs to be disbarred.

C.I.: Before someone e-mails, Clinesmith also got 400 hours of community service. And that's a joke as well.

Jess: I didn't know about the community service, but, yeah, it's a joke.

Betty: They killed Fred Hampton, the FBI, and they got away with that. I'm sure Marcia could talk about other things they got away with --

Jim: Because?

Marcia: Because I'm a big fan of Gore Vidal's essays and he wrote frequently of abuses of power including the FBI.

Betty: So there's just completely out of control and they don't have to be held accountable for anything. Clinesmith should be in prison for what he did. He should be doing hard time. That was a crime, it was a crime that had national implications. He should be in a prison for a minimum of seven to ten years. I'm not joking. He betrayed public trust and he was caught. But he wasn't punished.

Donna: Okay, I agree but let me put in the nonsense that DC District Judge James Boasberg said at sentencing, okay Clinesmith "lost his job and his government service is what has given his life much of its meaning. He was also earning $150,000 a year and who knows where the earnings go now. He may be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, you may never be able to work in the national security field again. These are substantial penalties. What is more, he went from being an obscure career government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane. He has been threatened, vilified and abused on a nationwide scale."

Marcia: No one deserves to be threatened. In terms of the rest? He should be vilified. What he did was criminal. Grasp that. He altered evidence because he knew if he presented it accurately that the spying would be stopped. He altered evidence intentionally. The spying was wrong and illegal. Do we get that? He betrayed the justice system and he betrayed his country and he betrayed the Constitution and he betrayed the people who serve in the FBI that don't break the law. Since when do we feel sorry for criminals? If Harry Brandt kills 2 kids with a gun, we don't go, "He's been vilified!'' We know it comes with the territory. This is really outrageous and shame on that judge.

C.I.: If we're talking about the judge now, I want to put something out there. I don't care that Barack Obama nominated him to his current position. I really don't. I do care that, since May of 2014, he has served on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. I care about that and think the judge should have recused himself due to that conflict. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Boasberg was actually ruling on a friend of his but let's say that somehow they don't know each other, it was still a conflict of interest and should have gone to a judge who was not serving on that court.

Jim: You believe they knew each other.

C.I.: Hell yeah. Jess, Mike, what's the first thing you would have done if he'd been your client and you learned he was going to go before a DC judge who was also a judge on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? You would have filed a motion objecting to that judge hearing the case. Why? Because that's the body that was lied to. And you wouldn't think your client would receive a fair hearing, you'd assume that a judge like that would be more likely to issue a harsh ruling. The fact that Clinesmith's attorney didn't demand a different judge argues that Clinesmith knew he'd be fine in that court. Why would you believe that? Because you have an undisclosed relationship with the judge or one with someone close to the judge who's telling you not to worry. Otherwise, you demand a different hearing, a different venue.

Jess: That is a very good point. That judge should not have been allowed to rule on that case. It was a conflict of interest.

Betty: The whole thing's disgusting and goes to the corruption in the US government -- executive branch with the FBI, judicial branch with that judge. Our republic is in serious trouble.

Jim: Okay, Jen Psaki was a joke during Obama's two terms and she's a joke today. Among other things, she was a State Dept. spokesperson back then. Today, she's the White House spokesperson. Last week, a reporter noted that Janet Yellen, the new Secretary of the Treasury, made at least $810,000 from a hedge fund involved in the Gamestop controversy -- $810,000 for speaking to them -- speeches. Jen was asked whether or not Yellin should be overseeing the investigation into this controversy.

Ty: This is Psaki's response that many are bothered by, "It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone she was paid to give her perspective and advice before she came into office -- before she became the Treasury Secretary, I should say."

Rebecca: There are really no standards anymore, no ethics, nothing. She should not be overseeing anything to do with this matter. It's just lunacy and it goes to corruption. Is this how Joe Biden plans to start his administration? One moment of corruption after another.

Trina: Good questions but I want to jump in to offer this from WIKIPEDIA:

In January 2021, a short squeeze of GameStop stock and other securities took place on various stock exchanges, causing major financial consequences for certain hedge funds. The short squeeze increased the stock price of American video game retailer GameStop by almost 190 times from its record low to nearly $500 per share on January 28, 2021, causing large losses for short sellers. Approximately 140% of GameStop shares had been sold short, and the rush to buy shares to cover those positions as the price rose caused the price to rise further. The short squeeze was initially triggered by users of the forum r/wallstreetbets on Reddit through commission-free trading apps such as Robinhood and Webull.
On January 28, Robinhood halted the buying of GameStop and other securities, attracting criticism and accusations of market manipulation from prominent politicians and businesspeople from across the political spectrum, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Class-action lawsuits were also filed against Robinhood in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois.

Trina (Con't): I don't know that everyone reading this will be on the same page so I just want to get that in there as to what took place, a brief overview, so everyone's on the same page.

Jim: Good point, thank you, Trina. So Janet Yellen should not be overseeing this and Jen Psaki's remarks were foolish.

Elaine: And what is it with this obsession with money? Jen saying Janet was worth the $800,000, the judge in the Clinesmith case lamenting that poor Clinesmith won't be earning $150,000 a year anymore? Where is the concern or the compassion for the working class in America -- not at the White House, not in a district court. It is shameful.

Cedric: Amen. This is a pandemic and yet you've basically got a judge and the White House spokesperson celebrating greed and gluttony. People are out of work. A huge number of people. Then there are the people who are barely surviving on the meager paychecks that they do have. This is appalling. A do-nothing Congress. Who does care about We The People?

Ann: Obviously none of the members of Congress or of the new administration a statement I can easily make as a Green Party member.

Jim: Democrats can't tell that truth?

Ann: Some can, some Republicans can. But Greens and Libertarians have less need to lie for a system that they're not a part of and not represented in.

Isaiah: And there are so many liars. Senator Dianne Feinstein has one of the worst ethical records and now she's failed to report finances correctly, been caught and wants to say "I'm willing to pay a fine." Her 'woopsie' moment. And US House Rep. Rashid Tlab calls her out, rightly, and you get these idiot partisans saying that's not needed. Like Rashid's the problem -- not Dianne for yet again skirting the rules.

Kat: She really is disgusting. But, hey, we backed Kevin de Leon in 2018 -- those of us who live in California. We said she was too old. We noted she was already having cognitive issues. But people wanted to look the other way. End result? We've got a Supreme Court Justice we might not have had if we hadn't put Senator Senior back in the Senate and seniority rules hadn't made her the head of the Judiciary Committee. She was always worthless. To Ann's larger point, yeah, a lot of people are idiots and won't tell the truth even when they know it's true because it's ugly truth about a politician in their same party. That's shameful and it's hypocrisy.

Ava: There are real issues. Dianne's ethics are a real issue -- and a pattern at this point. Senator Tom Cotton, who I don't care for, was not a real issue last week when various idiots tried to go after him. C.I. and Jonathan Turley both called that nonsense out. And that nonsense was fueled by partisans who saw some way to attack. It distracts from real issues and it's just b.s. Deliver us all from that garbage,non-thought machine.

Jim: We've covered a lot of topics. We haven't heard from Stan and Ruth. Anyone can jump in that wants to on this last topic but I do want to hear from Stan and Ruth especially since they haven't spoken so far. So the final topic impeachment.

Stan: Nonsense.

Ruth: Agreed.

Stan: The goal of impeachment? Removal from office if you're supporting impeachment. In this case, the voters already removed Donald Trump from office. So this is nonsense. We're in the middle of a pandemic. We need Medicare For All. This is a waste of time and money.

Ruth: It truly is. We have a do-nothing Congress. There are real issues to address. Instead of providing for what We The People need, a group of politicians are grand standing and trying to use this nonsense as evidence that they do something. This truly proves how do-nothing they are though -- what they're trying to do has already been done -- Mr. Trump is no longer president. Can we please address real issues?

Stan: Yep. This is a distraction. "Oh, we can do more than one thing at a time." Really? You couldn't in 2020. You don't seem to be able to do more than one thing at a time in 2021.

Jim: Okay. Well this has been a rush transcript. Our e-mail address? We can be reached at thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com and common_ills@yahoo.com.












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 Stan about his "Adrienne Barbeau's bad book THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO."


Okay, first off, were you a fan of Adrienne Barbeau's, is that why you grabbed the book?


Stan: Yeah.  In terms of watching it when it was new, I really only saw her in ABC's REVENGE when she played Victoria Grayson's mother.  She was good in that.  But, in the 90s, in college, I really saw all of her horror and adventure movies -- THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, CREEPSHOW, SWAMP THING and TWO EVIL EYES.  I caught Maude on TV LAND and NICK AT NIGHT.  I liked her work.  And having been married for five years to director John Carpenter, I thought that the book would be really interesting.


And then . . .  you read it.  She actually worked with John Carpenter on the films THE FOG and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.  Were they covered much in the book?


Stan: THE FOG was a little.  It was covered as a one-woman show starring Adrienne Barbeau.  

You note that Jamie Lee Curtis' name appears twice in the book and, one time, it's mispelled.  Jamie Lee Curtis and John Houseman were stars of THE FOG. They weren't important to that chapter?

Stan: No.  And John really wasn't either.  There was a thing about how they were going to -- they were married at the time -- avoid each other in a personal manner on the set but they quickly gave that up.  That's the extent that John's in the chapter really.  Adrienne apparently directed herself in the lighthouse scenes of THE FOG.  Time and again, you wonder if she ever met anyone she worked with and actually spoke to them or was just so self-centered that she never had time to notice anyone but herself.

A large part of the book deals with before she was on Broadway.

Stan: Right.  And that's not just her years being cast in plays or her modeling or whatever.  It's also her entire childhood and someone needs to tell her that it's not that interesting -- not in how she writes it, not in what she shares.  Chapters and chapters and it could have all been reduced to one chapter.  As she gets closer to adulthood she falls for a gay guy.  And we're supposed to feel sorry for her, later in NYC, when they live together and he leaves her for a man.  Grow up.  She can't stop talking about her big breasts and apparently they are so magical that they were supposed to make a gay man straight.  Why else would she obsess, for years, over a man she knew was gay?  Every man in her life is a failure, to hear her tell it.  That includes Burt Reynolds who was awful to her and wouldn't leave Dinah Shore for her.  She's always a drama queen getting her heart broken because a man she knows is gay doesn't end up committing to her and because Burt Reynolds, who the whole world knew was involved with Dinah Shore, wouldn't leave Dinah for her.  The only man she really liked in the book was her husband at that time.  In an update to the book, she notes that she and Mr. Perfect had divorced.  

And John Carpenter?

Stan: She felt he was a homebody or something.  She never really writes about a dazzling offscreen life before or after her marriage to him so I'm missing what was so hard for her about being married to him.  She appears to be a homebody -- as she tells her story -- whether she's living in NYC or LA so I don't know why it was all so hard on her.  Whatever.  You get the feeling with every chapter that she's leaving a lot out.  That doesn't make for a good autobiography.

And on MAUDE?

Stan: I could share more MAUDE stories than she did.  Anyone who watched the show could.  She takes it for granted that we know the backstory and that we know Bea Arthur's credits and who and what Maude was.  She's not interested in explaining who Conrad Bain and Rhue McClanahan are -- not what they went onto or what they did on the show.  Her 'big' MAUDE story is that she was walking down a set staircase and her big boobs preceded her.  I'm serious.  If you watched the show, you know that Phillip was her character's son and that two different actors played Phillip -- if you watched the show.  Not if you read the book.  

The character Phillip was on for all six seasons of the show.   She didn't write about him?  Interesting.  What about the show's groundbreaking storylines like Maude having an abortion, season six had "The Gay Bar" episode where Arthur -- Conrad Bain's character -- was outraged that a gay bar had opened in the town -- actually on the outskirts of the town -- and Maude is for it.  Did Barbeau write about the topical nature of the show and how that impacted TV or even her own life?

Stan: Not at all.  She wasn't interested in the show and had little to say about it.  It ran for six seasons and made her a household name but she doesn't appear to have been 'present' at that point in her life.  Six years on a show and it's basically just about her big boobs.  

She played Rizzo in GREASE on Broadway and was Tony nominated for supporting actress.

Stan: I don't think she was great but I didn't see it.  She shares no understanding of the role in the book and I included her version of "There Are Worse Things I Can Do" and Stockard Channings.  She has a pretty voice and a bigger range than Stockard does but she has no understanding of the song.  Stockard acts the song and brings it to life.  Barbeau just chirps it -- like a kid with a good voice singing in front a mirror.  It matters because she refused to see the film GREASE -- made about six years after she had played the role.  She's mad that she wasn't Rizzo and she says Stockard got it because her manager was the producer of the film.  First off, she wasn't the original Rizzo.  The show debuted in Chicago and she wasn't part of that cast.  Second, the original Broadway cast had 16 characters played by 15 actors -- Alan Paul doubled as Teen Angel and Johnny Casino.  Not one of the 15 actors in the original Broadway cast was in the film.  

This was your first KINDLE UNLIMITED book.  What do you think of the service?

Stan: Not really impressed.  The selection offering is largely nonsense when it comes to entertainment.  Charles River Edition books are pure garbage and they aren't books.  The only thing worse is the "Hour By Hour" books of celebrities which are a complete waste of time.  Seems like those two make up a third of what's offered in entertainment.  They need to up their selection.  If you're reading to learn about TV and movies, you're going to be disappointed and you're going to be done in about two months of subscribing to KINDLE UNLIMITED.

The WSWS embraces censorship and derangement (Ava and C.I.)

The theme song to THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW got it wrong, censorship, not love, is what's all around these days.  Case in point, the following comment.


Ann Wilson

What a load of nonsense. After the 'presidential campaign' SEP just ran, don't even pretend you're trying to build anything. That was an embarrassment and shameful as the nominee did everything but scream "Vote for Joe Biden!" A segment on Jimmy Dore or anywhere else is needed to build the SEP. Jerry was treated differently by Dore and that was because Jerry didn't want to talk about SEP, he wanted to attack the previous guest. Way to waste time and attention by talking about others instead of advancing SEP goals. Jerry looked like an ass, an angry ass. You can cover for him all you want but that's what he looked like. This is the sort of nonsense we get when the SEP is White, White, White. As an African-American woman it wasn't Jimmy Dore that made me cringe. It's time the SEP looked in the mirror.



That's our community's Ann and she was commenting on an article at WSWS entitled "YouTube personality Jimmy Dore promotes fascist Boogaloo Boy."  She was commenting on Eric London's article . . . until her comment was -- as noted below her name above the comment -- "Removed."

WSWS, for those who missed it, has been whining repeatedly about it being censored.  But it's more than happy to censor others.

What's objectionable about Ann's comment?  What 'community standard' did it violate?

Nothing and none are the answers.

Before we get to Jimmy Dore, let's get to what Ann's talking about because it's important.

The SEP published WSWS.  Many do not know that.  We didn't know that for years and when Sharon Smith would e-mail this site or THE COMMON ILLS about how we had taken a position because we were pro-SEP, we were honestly confused.  The now defunct SOCIALIST WORKER was Sharon's main outlet and they were at war with WSWS -- WORLD SOCIALISM WEB SITE.  We didn't know there were sides and our opinions didn't change after we knew there were sides.  [For some of this, see this site's "The Sharon Smith Roundtable" and Elaine's "Sharon Smith is such a s**t" -- both from 2010.]  

We're not interested in their squabbles -- or weren't.  Due to sexism, and apparently harassment and rape, the US SOCIALIST WORKER imploded.  

But while it was around, if it had a strong point, we were willing to note that.  The same with WSWS.  They didn't get along?  That was an issue for them, not us.  We were never pitting WSWS' politics against US SOCIALIST WORKER's politics -- we did find WSWS to be less naive and considered them both to be Socialist publications -- they, however, considered each other to be fraudulent.

WSWS is still around and that's good for WSWS but it's bad for SEP.

SEP is a political party.  It's not much of a political party, it's small and embarrassing.

Ann's comments go to that.  

Joseph Kishore.  If you know the name, you may know it from here or one of this community's websites.  He ran for president, on the SEP ticket, in 2020.  Wait.  That's not worded correctly.  He was given the SEP's presidential nomination.  He didn't do anything with it.  To claim he ran a campaign is to insult others -- Howie Hawkins, Jo Jorgensen and Gloria La Riva, for example -- who weren't part of the duopoly and worked their butts off.  While Howie, Jo and Gloria worked hard to reach out to potential voters, Joseph didn't really do a damn thing -- except maybe violated FEC rules?

His campaign site repeatedly posted 'campaign statements.'  They weren't statements.  They were WSWS articles -- most written by someone other than Joseph.  Where is the wall between SEP campaigns and the WSWS -- someone needs to define that wall and it may end up being the Federal Election Commission.  

Despite raiding WSWS for content to post at Kishore's campaign website, they still couldn't deliver regular content.  WSWS publishes at least five days a week, multiple article.  But Joseph couldn't post content regularly.  He also apparently felt the best way to turn out the vote was basically to go on vacation from September to the November election day.  Jo was barnstorming the country, Howie and Gloria were doing online events and Joseph was . . . sitting on his lazy ass.

This isn't how you run a presidential campaign and it isn't how you build a national party.  Following the 2020 election, WSWS published a ton of articles but, to this day, not one has bothered to turn a critical eye towards their own failures and argue how they can improve things for the inevitable 2024 campaign.  On the left, many of us have rightly noted that the Democratic Party had a critical failure when they refused to seriously address what had gone wrong in the 2016 presidential race.  Instead of looking at how to improve their next campaign, they focused on nutty conspiracy talk of Russia.  We'd argue a serious examination needs to take place of the 2020 primary race and the 2020 general election race -- despite the Democratic Party win in the general election.  But we especially believe that a losing run needs to be examined and learned from.


Is the SEP incapable of learning?

Here's one thing that might help them: Pick a candidate -- a real one -- before the election year.  

SEP doesn't primary.  They just decide who they're going to run.  January 27, 2020, they announced who their candidate would be (Kishore).  It's a bunch of a closed door decisions where they reward each other but pretend like they're all about representation and building a party.

If they're not going to be a real party -- i.e. one that at least pretends to listen to their party members -- then they at least need to pick someone capable of running a campaign.  Someone who can write an actual campaign statement -- not just repost WSWS articles.  Someone who can get off their lazy ass and do videos every week to get the word out on the party and on the candidate.  Someone who can offer a very clear and concise explanation of what the SEP is and how being elected president would improve the lives of others.

Which brings us to Jimmy Dore.  We like Jimmy, we like THE JIMMY DORE SHOW.  That doesn't mean the show can't be better.  We could all be better -- including us.  But, December 30th, one of us was noting that Jimmy, Katie, Krystal and others needed to expand their guest lists.  Jimmy invited WSWS' Jerry White on last week and it all went to hell.  Our first thought, "We didn't push that, did we?"  No, thankfully, we were arguing just for Margaret Kimberley and Glen Ford to be featured as guests.  So this can't be pinned on us.

Jimmy did try to expand the range of his guests and invited Jerry White of WSWS on which would provide Jerry with an audience he might not usually reach.  It could be good for the SEP, good for WSWS and good for Jerry.  It could be good for viewers to hear a Socialist explain what the people need from the current administration.  There was a chance for a real dialogue that could really have an impact.

Jerry blew that chance and blew his appearance on THE JIMMY DORE SHOW.  Jimmy hosts a talk show.  He interviews many people.  Jerry was ticked over the guest before.  He didn't like the guest before.  That's his right.  He can be as queeny as he wants.  Bette Davis used to pitch a fit over some of the women on talk shows -- once she was over fifty, she could be a real bitch about a 20-something female being featured on the same episode she was guesting on.  

But while Bette kept her anger off camera, Jerry decided to play queen bitch on camera and have a freak fit.  That's how he used his time.  

It wasn't, as Ann pointed out, time used wisely.  He attacked the guest from the previous segment, he demanded the guest be censored, he yelled and hollered and ensured that he wouldn't be invited back on -- probably that no one from WSWS would be brought on.  His antics didn't paint WSWS or the SEP in a kind light.  

Again, most people don't know the SEP and aren't aware of the connection it has to WSWS -- even people who read WSWS.  This was a major interview opportunity.  This was a chance to create interest in the SEP and its positions.  Instead, Jerry was a flamer carrying out a flame war.  

WSWS comes off a little unhinged from time to time.  They spent months, for example, telling readers that Donald Trump would refuse to leave the White House and use the military to keep him in place.  This deranged 'coverage' wasn't unlike the coverage they offered in 2013 where they were offering lies about Boston and what was taking place there . . . based on coverage by people who weren't even in Boston.  As Trina noted in real time, despite WSWS' 'reporting,' Boston was not under martial law.

At times like that, we wonder what they've been smoking?  And why the hell they don't share it with us?

Mainly, we wonder about their hypocrisy.


As Jimmy Dore observed:

Last week, on my show, an editor from the WSWS cheered on Censoring his political opponents from social media. I pointed out censorship would soon be used against him. Facebook banned WSWS over the weekend. That’s why U don’t use fascism to fight fascism


It's whining.  When you call for the censorship of others -- or when you censor them yourself -- and then you get censored?  If you're objecting to that, you're whining.

There's an easy way to not whine -- stand against censorship.  But that was too much for Jerry White and it was too much for WSWS.  

So they wrote an article calling Jimmy a racist.  As Ann pointed out, they're a little too White, White, White to get away with that.  That's their staff, that's their outlook.  

This isn't a WAR ON WSWS! piece.  We'll continue to note them when they have a valid point.  And we'll call them out when needed.  Trina, for example, called out Joseph Kishore for lying in 2012.  They do that a lot and it always seems to be for the Democratic Party.  Yet, please remember, they always accused the US SOCIALIST WORKER of doing that and they now accuse JACOBIN of the same thing.  They really seem to struggle with hypocrisy at WSWS. 


Jimmy Dore is not perfect and he would never argue that he was.  But what he was doing with his talk show was worthy of applause.  He tries to have a conversation with people -- not one group of people -- he wants to further understanding -- of ourselves and others.  That's something to applaud.  We're still scratching our heads over why Jerry White and WSWS are so threatened by that?






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'"


Stan's "Adrienne Barbeau's bad book THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO"





This edition's playlist


1) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.






3)  Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.

4)  Cat PowersWANDERER.



6) Alicia Keys' HERE.


7) Ben Harper's CALL IT WHAT IT IS.


9) Peggy Lee's 2 SHOWS NIGHTLY.





Racism Is Over With Justin Jackson & Margaret Kimberley


 LA Charger and activist Justin Jackson (https://twitter.com/J_ManPrime21) and @blkagendareport Editor and Senior Columnist and Author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents (http://bit.ly/359cvPH) Margaret Kimberley (https://twitter.com/freedomrideblog) explain how Biden ended racism and saved The Republic and we can all go back to brunching. ***Please support The Katie Halper Show *** On Patreon https://www.patreon.com/thekatiehalpe... Follow Katie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kthalps




Black Agenda Radio - 01.25.21




Source: https://www.podbean.com/eau/pb-a9mmt-... Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: The people of Haiti have not been allowed to govern themselves since the United States overthrew their elected president, 15 years ago.  We’ll get an update on the Haitian people’s struggle to take back control of their island nation. And, Not since the McCarthy era has the threat of censorship loomed so large in the United States. The Democrats seem intent on making it impossible to even discuss ending the rule of the rich.   But first -- The last time Joe Biden was part of the administration in power, the U.S. got involved in seven new wars. Black Agenda Report contributing editor Danny Haiphong has some predictions on how long it will take President Biden to start his own armed conflict. Haitians continue to mount street protests demanding the resignation of president Jovenal Moise, accusing the U.S.-backed politician of massive corruption and brutality. We spoke with Daoud Andre, the Brooklyn, New York-based organizer of the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti. The young political organizing group called the Dissenters last week held an online discussion of the prospects for war and political oppression under the new U.S. administration. One of the speakers was Ajamu Baraka, national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and a former Green Party vice presidential. Baraka said corporate politicians are anxious to impose a regime of censorship, so that Americans won’t be able to even discuss how to end the rule of the rich. Also on that program was Robin D.G. Kelley, the activist, author and UCLA professor of history. He elaborated on Ajamu Baraka’s analysis.



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