Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Truest statement of the week

With the conclusion of the first year of the Biden Administration, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain sought to end on a high, or at least higher, note by retweeting a column saying that 2021 was not “all bad.” It was like bragging that a first date told you that the evening could have been worse. However, what really stood out in the column by Albert Hunt was the key rationale: the first year was “scandal free.” Calling 2021 “scandal free” is not merely an example of blinkered commentary, it is an  exercise of willful blindness. This is why magicians often make audience members part of the illusion. Houdini did not actually make his 10,000 pound elephant Jennie disappear. It was there the whole time but the audience did not want to see it. That’s the trick.

At his inauguration, President Biden promised the return of good government and newspapers like the Washington Post heralded the end to Trump’s “­scandal-plagued single term.” Now, at the end of the first year, readers are being asked to “think back four years ago: The Trump administration looked more like ‘The Godfather’ — without the skill.”

There is ample reason for the White House and many in the media to celebrate the lack of scandals in the Biden Administration because it was a collective effort.

Of course, four years ago, the media was all-in on the Russian collusion allegations. The media was doing non-stop coverage of the Steele dossier with little scrutiny or effort to uncover those who funded it. The dossier was later discredited and American intelligence warned that Russian intelligence may have used it to plant disinformation. While the Clinton campaign repeatedly denied funding the dossier, it was revealed (after the election) that not only did the Clinton campaign fund and push the dossier but also allegedly lied to Congress, the media, and the FBI. Clinton campaign chair John Podesta allegedly denied such funding to congressional staff. According to reports, sitting next to him was Clinton attorney Marc Elias (who was later found to have funded the dossier through the Clinton campaign’s legal account).

The only thing more impressive than the relentless coverage of Trump scandals in 2017 was the relentless avoidance of Biden scandals in 2020.  The media did give passing coverage to the host of Biden false claims and stories that range from saying that he was “arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela” to his evolving Amtrak claims to reinventing his positions on foreign wars like Afghanistan. There were also federal violations by Biden officials and allegations of improper presidential influence on pending investigations. However, when it came to scandals that could implicate the President in more serious misconduct (or contradict his past denials), the media was thoroughly uninterested.


-- Jonathan Turley, "'A Scandal Free Biden Administration': The Media Celebrates a Year of Free From Political Scandal and Press Scrutiny" (JONATHANTURLEY.ORG).  

A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday 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, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?






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



Media: How much does Lucie Arnaz hate her late mother?

 2021 ended with us saying, "Aaron Sorkin has done it again."  For some TV critics (the lunatics) that might sound like a good thing.  We're not lunatics which means we're not fans of Aaron.  So our "Aaron Sorkin has done it again?"  It's a warning.

Everything about the film is a fraud.  Aaron wasn't forced to do history.  To focus on one week in the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, he wasn't forced to do history.   But he chose to do history and he chose to to it wrong.


Aaron wouldn't know the truth if it dick-slapped him in the face.  





But our big question, as we watched the film BEING THE RICARDOS (available on AMAZON PRIME) was what the hell did Lucille Ball ever do to her daughter Lucie Arnaz? 


If you knew Lucy at all, you''ve really got to hate Lucy to executive produce this movie -- which, for the record, Lucie Arnaz did.

What did Mommy ever do to Lucie to make her hate her so?

Advanced publicity on the film had Lucie saying people might not like it because it portrayed Lucy a little harder than they might want to see her.

Oh, if only.  Oh, if only.  This is a Sorkin written and directed film which means two things (a) it's  piece of garbage and it's sexist as hell.

Let's deal with some of the garbage.  Some?  We don't have time to write the 200-plus page book neededed to refute all of Aaron's lies.

In some form of present day, the producer and the writers of I LOVE LUCY speak to the camera.

"It was a scary week" Jess Oppenheimer (played by John Rubinstein)  "I remember that week, it was a very scary week,."   Bob Carroll (Ronny Cox).  Then Madelyn Pugh (Linda Lavin) agrees as well.  What week are we talking about?  

First though, what week are we supposed to be in when these three actors play the "older" (check the credits) versions of those characters -- post-I LOVE LUCY -- and younger actors play the characters during the actual week of events the film focuses on?


We ask that because it can't be this year or even last.  Oppenhimer died in 1988, Carroll died in 2007  and Pugh died in 2011.  So when are these recollections supposed to be filmed?  All in 1988?  They don't look like 1988.




What year is any of this taking place?

The week in question -- that starts with Walter Winchell  doing a blind item.  He did not say, as the film has a character insist at the beginning of the film, that Lucille Ball was a Communist.  It was a blind item about  the most popular of all TV stars being a Communist?  That broadcast would be September 6, 1953.  


Aaron has the revelations taking place as the program prepares to tape the "Fred and Ethel Fight" episode and already the problems begin.  That episode aired March 10, 1952.  We're in the fall of 1953 and yet that episode being recorded in the film actually  aired March 10, 1952?  In the film, that episode is directed by Don Glass.  In fact, there is no Don Glass and the episode in question was directed by Marc Daniels.  Is Don Glass supposed to be Marc Daniels?

Who the hell knows what goes on in Aaron Sorkin's drugged out mind?  

In the film BEING THE RICARDOS, Lucy is appalled that Don Glass is there to direct.  They'd done an episode with him before and he didn't get funny, he couldn't comprehend it and he couldn't help stage it.  First off, Lucy was the star of a TV show that she and her husband owned.  If she didn't like a director, he wasn't coming back to the show.  Second, Marc Daniels directed 38 of the first 127 episodes of I LOVE LUCY.  And those early episodes he didn't direct?  William Asher did -- the two men are responsible for the entire first 127 episodes.  Get it?  Because Aaron didn't. James V. Kearn shows up to direct episodes 128 through 167.  At that point, William Asher returns  and directs everything through episode 180 (the series finale).  In its six seasons, the show only had three different directors.

Aaron seems to have confused the modern day sitcom  (which often has a different director every week) with the way one was shot in the 1950s.  

Now the actual episode that was being taped the week that Lucille was accused of being a Communist was "The Girls Go Into Business" and William Asher directed that episode.

Why does it matter?

Facts tend to matter.  When you're making a movie about a real event, facts tend to matter.

Aaron's got this entire focus of the film, in multiple scenes,  on Lucille being obsessed in the lead up to recording the episode  with a vase on the table in a scene from "Ethel and Fred Fight."  It's so huge, that drunken William Frawley pulls Lucy aside to tell her how to act appropriate in front of her husband -- yeah, it's more sexist crap from Aaron Sorkin.

It's nothing but garbage, made up garbage.

During this week when Lucy is accused of being a Communist, Aaron wants you to know that CONFIDENTIAL also ran a story on Desi having an affair.  That also didn't happen and the mock up cover they use is incorrect.  Next to the 25 cents on the cover, right next to it, there should be a monthly abbreviation but there's not.  They can't even do a mock cover correctly.  Maybe they refused to include that detail because they were afraid people would then go looking for that issue only to discover it didn't exist and it's another lie from Aaron.

So many lies from Sorkin.  He tells you that the press ignored Winchell's statement.

Not true.  The next morning, Lucy and Desi awoke to find that reporters were staked outside their home and, when they went to work, outside the studio.  That was real life so, of course, it's not in the film. The first to publish was THE LOS ANGELES HERALD-EXPRESS and they published it Monday evening (papers had evening editions then) followed by THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, THE NEW YORK HERALD, etc.  Again, not in the film.  Aaron's film has the press just ignoring the story day after day until it's time to tape the I LOVE LUCY episode.  (For the record, I LOVE LUCY was recorded on film but if we use "film," this critique will end up more confusing than Aaron's awful film.)

Aaron  is a pig of a man and he loves other pigs. So he uses this film to make J. Edgar Hoover a hero.  

That's how awful this film is -- Lucie Arnaz should be ashamed of herself for executive producing this garbage.  In the film, Aaron has Desi do a warm up act before the taping (Desi did the warm up act every week) but Desi instead talks about how Lucy isn't a Communist -- and that did happen.  What didn't happen was Desi getting a call during this from J. Edgar Hoover and holding it up so that the studio audience knew J. Edgar Hoover was clearing Lucy of the charges.  

That never happened.



US House Rep Donald Jackson did hold a press conference clearing Lucy of charges that she was a Communist the week of the taping.  But J Edgar Hoover had nothing to do with Lucy.

Why do you make crooked Hoover a hero?  Because you're a pig boy who, when you get your snout out of the lines of cocaine, go right for the ass of a fellow pig boy.  How did it smell, Aaron, all these years later, how did Hoover's ass smell?

If he can't answer that, maybe Aaron can explain why his film telling the 'truth' about that September week in 1953 also has Desi fighting with others about Lucy being pregnant in real life and how they're going to have the character Lucy be pregnant on the show.

Its not going to be done!  That's what many tell Desi in the film.


And they are right.  It's not going to be done.  The reason why is that "Lucy Is Enceinte" is an episode that was broadcast in season two on November 24, 1952. It can't be done because it was already done almost a year before.

The week that Lucy was accused of being a Communist?  That's September 1953 and that's when they're filming "The Girls Get Jobs" which is the second episode of season three.

So, no, that wasn't going to happen in season three.

Can Aaron ever stop lying?

He lies about everything.  He lies about Frawley being drunk at a table read.  Frawley's contract forbade him from being drunk on the set because he was already known to be an alcoholic before he was hired for the show.  (CBS didn't want him for that reason but he had personally asked Lucy for a job and he reminded her of her uncle so she backed him for the part.)  The table read takes place on the set.  There is no way in the world that Frawley -- who knew his contract -- would be on the set and openly admit that he was drunk.  He knew it was fireable offense.  (He was drunk frequently on the set and he would always deny it.  He'd say he was feeling under the weather, that he had a cold, etc.  He would not say he was drunk because he did not want to be fired.)

Aaron lies about Lucy's career.  RKO drops her and that happens in the film as well.  But this being an Aaron Sorkin written film, it's used as a lesson for the lady.  Little Lucy is informed, as she's being fired from RKO, that she should consider doing radio because of her voice.  So, according to the film, the man firing her is the one who set I LOVE LUCY in motion because without that suggestion, Lucy would never have done radio and she never would have been offered a TV show as a result (audience at the broadcasts of the radio show loved Lucy because -- unlike some voice actors on radio -- Lucy acted out the part she was playing before their eyes.)

But the problem with Aaron's lie besides it being false?  In real life, Lucy was already doing radio long before RKO fired her.  In 1940, for example, she'd done DINNER AT EIGHT (a radio production of the well known film) and THE ORSON WELLES' show -- both on CBS RADIO.  In addition, Charles Koerner (played by Brian Howe) did not steer Lucy to radio.  No, in real life, he told her RKO couldn't keep her but that both METRO and PARAMOUNT wanted her and he'd let either have her.  Lucy said she'd prefer to go to MGM -- which is where she went.  Oh, and not only did she move right from RKO to MGM, she got a bump of $2,000 more a week in salary -- another fact Aaron's 'true' story film can't find.

Yes, in real life, Lucy made films at MGM (including WITHOUT LOVE with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy).  In BEING THE RICARDOS, it's implied that her film career ended with RKO and wasn't it nice of a man to suggest she go into radio because that led to I LOVE LUCY on TV?

Poor dumb Lucy, poor dumb woman, if a man hadn't told her to go into radio, whatever would she have done?  That's the kind of sexism that always wafts off Aaron Sorkin projects.


And now we are on the sexism.  By the time season three rolled around, Vivian Vance (who played Ethel) knew full well that there would be no glamour gowns and that she was expected to wear padding and to not lose weight.  So the back and forth Vivian has with Madelyn and Lucy over Vivian's weight did not happen then.  But it's what Aaron chooses to serve up.  Why?  

It gives Vivian a story.  And it's a plus that it's a retrograde story at that.  Catty women and how they can't work together!!!!!  He's such an ass.  He also has Madelyn insult Lucy in the first table read of the week.  Which is not something Madelyn would have done.  Unlike Aaron, Madelyn never had a need to put a woman in 'her place.' 

To watch BEING THE RICARDOS is to be told that Lucy was just a dumb bitch.

Now Lucy was tough.  Lucy knew all about the casting couch, for instance.  That's not in the movie but, yes, early in her career, she put out for parts.    That was long before she met Desi but she did it and many actresses did.  You were often expected to do so.  Her peers? She thought the world of Katharine Hepburn but other actors and actresses didn't have it so easy.  One example, Joan Crawford appeared on one of Lucy's later sitcoms (THE LUCY SHOW in 1968, "Lucy and the Lost Star").  It was the worst experience of Joan's career and she was furious with Lucy and let her know how furious she was.  (Lucy was all over Joan's drinking -- grabbing Joan's purse and digging through it to find Joan's flask which she then waived around to others.)  Joan was not the only performer who detested working with Lucy.  Tallulah Bankhead couldn't stand her.  Vivian Vance only agreed to appear in later sitcoms with Lucy after issues like wardrobe had been addressed.

Lucy could be kind and supportive as well and was to many actresses who ended up divorced and trying to make it post-divorce.  She told Cher, for example, after Cher had left Sonny and was about to go for a solo career including a solo TV show, to go for it and that she could do it.    Lucy didn't like the label feminist but Lucy was a woman with tremendous power (ignored by the film Aaron made) and she did pay it back.  Though she was a victim of the casting couch, she did not let that take place at RKO when she ran it -- yes, Lucy would end up running the studio that fired her, owning it.  That's also not in the film.  You can argue, "It wasn't in the week they focused on."  In the week they focused on, Aaron lied about everything else and they also could have had "older" Madelyn, Bob and Jess note that fact.

It's an important fact . . . unless your whole point it to portray Lucille Ball as a dumb bitch.

The issue of the vase?  In the taping, it goes badly (with the staging) and Lucy lets it go and they film it as planned in the script -- even though people watching the film should grasp it was funnier the way Lucy blocked it out.  But she's just a dumb bitch who wastes everyone's time on blocking and character motivation and then forgets it all.

Dumb bitch Lucy is also responsible for her bad marriage to Desi.

J.K. Simmons does his usual performance but this time he's called William Frawley in the movie.  That's the only thing that separates this J.K. Simmons performance from anything else he's ever done -- from everything else he's ever done..  He sounds nothing like Frawley and hes nothing like him.  For all the time devoted to Vivian Vance's weight in the film, is there a reason that chubby, stocky Frawley is played by a reed of a man, a slip of a boy?

We'll get back to casting in a moment, but let's stay with the way drunk Frawley makes out on film.  He hid out in his dressing room in real life, getting drunk, if he wasn't on the set.  But in the film, he's a regular philosopher king imparting wisdom, such as when he explains to Lucy that she's hurting her marriage and Hurting Desi by demanding  that others working on I LOVE LUCY do their job and that funny bits be inserted into a sitcom.  It's destroying her marriage and it's why Desi sleeps around.


That never happened.  If it had, Lucy would have told him to mind his own damn business and stormed off.  Her personal life was not sport to be discussed or addressed on the set.

For that reason, she probably would have stopped there.  

We won't.

Desi was cheating on Lucy long before I LOVE LUCY.  His cheating is why she wanted to do a series with him.  She hoped it would help him stop sleeping around.  She'd hoped for that earlier in his career as well and has asked her friend Bob Hope for a favor: Hire Desi for his orchestra on his radio show.  Bob did so.  It did not stop Desi from sleeping around.

Nothing did.  That's why Lucy and Desi eventually split up.  


But sexist Aaron doesn't care that it didn't happen or that it wasn't true.  He just wants to put Lucille Ball in "her place."  

Lucille is a legend.  Aaron Sorkin's a drug addict active in his disease.  And he's a sexist pig.

For some reason, it took us to point out his sexism.  No one but us noticed, for example, that he did a show called  THE WEST WING about a US President but didn't have a First Lady when the show started.  We started telling the truth about Sorkin in "TV: White Man Talking (and talking and talking . ..." back in 2006 and The Water Cooler Set did not like that at all.  They had propped up the 'boy genius' and praised all of his bad work.  Then we came along and spoiled the party.

Which is why a national radio program that insisted upon highlighting us repeatedly prior to that Sorkin review then  e-mailed to say, after the piece in the previous paragraph went up, that they would never highlight us again. To which Ty replied on our behalf that we never asked them to highlight us to begin with but how sad that a woman hosting a radio program was objecting to the fact that we called out Sorkin's sexism.   

It's not so controversial today to note the sexism in his work.  Even adult cartoons talk about it.  But it was forbidden to do so when we first did it apparently.  

Aaron's a sexist pig and that's what really sinks this movie.

It's not Nicole Kidman.  No, she delivers a first-rate performance.  Most of the others deliver as well but it's a case of their overcoming their casting.

Then there is Javier Bardem.  He plays Desi.



Desi Arnaz Jr. is 61 right now and he doesn't look as craggy as Bardem does.

This was so offensive and goes to Aaron and his sexism..

Desi Arnaz (Sr. not Jr.) was not an unattractive man.  In fact, to call him handsome is to do him an injustice.  Desi Arnaz was beautiful in the 1950s.  He was the most beautiful man on TV.  He was not craggy and he was not swarthy.  Bardem has many things going for him and can be very sexy.  But he is not handsome and he is certainly not beautiful.  

CBS got it.  When they made their 2003 TV movie LUCY, they cast Danny Pino as Desi.  That was an excellent choice.  Danny is a beautiful man like Desi was.  

We don't think that America would have accepted Lucy and Desi as a TV couple so easily if Desi hadn't been so gorgeous.  He was so gorgeous that even people who hadn't evolved to the point of live-and-let-live couldn't object to this (for it's time) 'mixed marriage.

Nicole does things in the role physically that are shocking because they call to mind Lucille Ball.  She has her physicality down and then some.  It's amazing.

What is Bardem doing?  He's not playing Desi and he never gets a grip on the character.  We get it, there's no real character in the script.  It's a bad script. But Nicole overcomes it and most of the cast does as well.  

Bardem was probably never going to grasp the role.  Desi was a dreamboat. It's why Lucille fell in love with him.  It's why so many women were eager to go to bed with him.  He was gorgeous.  A Danny Pino can covey that and overcome script problems as a result.  Bardem looks nothing like Desi and cant overcome that fact.  

It would be like casting Kristen Wiig in a film as Bella Hadid.  Kristen''s pretty and she's immensely gifted as an actor; however, she can't convincingly play Bella and Bardem cannot convincingly play Desi.

Is it rude to point out that Desi was 34 when I LOVE LUCY started and 37 when Winchell's radio announcement took place but that Bardem is 52-years old?  He looks it.  He's way too old to be playing Desi in the 1950s. Too old, too ugly.  Let's be honest and not pretty up Aaron's mess.

And let's be honest regarding Lucie Arnaz.  You really have to hate your mother to make this film that turns into a dumb bitch who was lucky men were around to rescue her.

That is not who Lucille Ball was.  If a man could help her, great.  She was all for it.  But if a man couldn't help her, she'd go around him to get what she needed.  Nothing could stop her, she was a strong person and she had a lot of drive and a lot of intelligence.  She knew the business and she knew it better than anyone.


Is that why Lucie Arnaz is trying to destroy her mother?  She doesn't have her mother's drive?  She was supposed to star in her own sitcom.  Season four of her mother's HERE'S LUCY ended with the episode , "Kim Finally Cuts You-Know-Whose Apron Strings" which was a backdoor pilot for Lucie's Kim to go off on her own.  Only viewers didn't like the episode so when season five of HERE'S LUCY started back up in the fall of 1972, you still had Lucie in the cast playing Kim.  When she finally did get her own sitcom (THE LUCIE ARNAZ SHOW) in 1985, she looked uncomfortable and it appeared her neck made the network nervous since they were constantly trying to hide it.  Lucie's timing was off and the series didn't have the writing needed so the show got the axe after four episodes aired and the last two of the show were burnt off in June of 1985.


It's not fair but as Lucille Ball always said, "Life's not fair."


If you watch BEING THE RICARDOS, you'll quickly realize truer words were never spoken because there's nothing fair -- or honest -- about that film.  Please, please, if you like your mother or any woman do not work with Aaron Sorkin to develop a film or TV series about her because Aaron isn't interested in movies which is why the camera so frequently fails to find Nicole Kidman as the plays the title character in a film but Aaron can't keep her in focus.


Ty's Corner



Rebecca picked the hottest men of 2021 in her "sexiest men of 2021 ."  Now I'm going to tell you who the least sexy man of the year was.. . . Miles Striker -- former Iraq War veteran as well as professional grifter and overweight star of fetish porn.

Miles, as Ava and C.I. noted in "Media: Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs," is fond of passing hate speech (and a hate crime) as sexy and insists that he has a huge following.


Miles, where do you have that following?

CLIPS 4 SALE is a site where you can buy video clips of Miles' fetish porn; however, he's not popular there.

He also posts videos on his ONLY FANS account -- a fee-based account ($9.99 a month).  This is where he talks with his fans.  There are apparently 15 willing to pay for access because no more than 15 ever commented on anything he posted.

For $9.99 how much content should you be getting?

Good question and it goes to why I call him a con artist.   He's always got an excuse for not posting much -- the dog ate his homework sort of excuses.  He's moving.  He's this, he's that.  Does any of it justify his inability to post content for paying fans?

In September, he posted three times.  He insisted in the second post that he would be posting but then he didn't post.  Three for all of September.  Two text posts  -- each about as long as a Tweet -- and one a repost of an old video where he and Toby Springs pick up a younger brother who they insist is gay even though they know he's not.  Thankfully, there is no sex in the video since the three males are brothers to one another.

In October?

He posted once and only once.  A photo of him shirtless -- with engorged nipples that I'll assume he used the suction cups in a first aid kit (the ones for a poison bite) on each nipple to make them stick out like that. He's flabby and fat but did manage to get two comments on this photo.

November?  Two text posts.  One asked for people to participate in an online live session -- only two people bothered to comment.  The other asked what his fans would love to see him do in a video.  This resulted in 14 comments -- from 12 fans.

December kicked off with him  offering this on December 7th:

I know you all have been waiting patiently and been so good for staying here and supporting my onlyfans the best way you can with your money and subscriptions boys, faggots, and girls. I have tons of never before seen content that I just haven't had time to edit and I think I'm going to be doing a content dump on here instead of sitting on all this unedited footage. I'm just gonna start releasing it raw for all of you to see in the coming weeks.

He then posted a photo of his fat belly and his boyish armpit hair. 

Then he offered a video of a woman blowing him.  I know.  He tries to pretend he's straight, if you ask me.  He actually posted eight times. Most were old videos already posted on his site.  

It's just a con job.

Contrast that sparse turnout with Teddy Bear (@gogoteddybear).  In December, Teddy Bear posted at least 46 times -- and this was videos and photos -- there were no text only posts.


Teddy Bear's working his ass off, his sexy ass.  Flabby Miles Striker just cons people each month to steal $9.95 from them while doing nothing to earn it.  Considering that his most infamous video is where he shows up to torment a man he beat up in high school -- beat up so badly the guy ended up in the hospital -- maybe that's a good thing?  He's a sicko.  And he's a fat, pudgy sicko at that.  No wonder so few subscribe to his Fans Only account.


KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, 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 trying to do a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, we're speaking with Rebecca about her"do not read joan collin's book 'second act'."


So as the year wound down to a close, you showed up with one more book review and it was not a rave.


Rebecca:  I hated it.  It was a memoir by Joan Collins.  SECOND ACT.  I like the book.  I own it in hardcover and it's probably in a box in the attack -- a box I've never gotten around to unpacking because, you know, I'm me.  If it doesn't get unpacked the day I move in, it never does.  So I saw it on KINDLE UNLIMITED and thought I'd read it.  It is so bad.  There are so many pages missing.  You'll start reading about her making, for example, RALLY ROUND THE FLAG with Paul Newman and she's about to talk about her friend Paul and the pages are missing.  There are about fifty pages throughout the book -- at least -- that are just not there.  No one proofs anything at AMAZON apparently.


Do you think you could have followed without having already read it?


Rebecca: No.  Not at all.  The first time a page went missing, the page before had a period so I didn't notice.  I was like, "Well that's an interesting way to end a story and then just to jump cut to another one."  I was thinking, "Wow, I don't remember this from Joan."  But then the pages started disappearing when she was in the middle of a story.  You can't follow it at all.  


How did it effect your thoughts of KINDLE UNLIMITED?


Rebecca: I hate it now.  That they would do that to a book goes to a complete failure on their part.  If they can't get the boo posted in full, they shouldn't have it posted but they apparently care so little that they'll just throw anything up.







"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)"


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



"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)"


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"Remembering Mort Sahl (Ava and C.I.)"


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"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Ann, Ava and C.I.)"


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"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)

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"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Ruth, Ava and C.I.)"


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"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Elaine, Dona, Ava and C.I.)"

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Twitter feed must read of 2021

 If Trump had been reelected & this country was still in this state related to testing it would be the lead story on every liberal propaganda network. Do they not think people see the double standards & that it might be one of the basis for not believing media?

 10:59 AM · Dec 31, 2021


 That's Ajamu Baraka who ran the most astute Twitter feed of the year.  The activist and 2016 vice presidential candidate from the Green Party told hard truths over and over.  Make a point to watch him this year.



2021: The Madness of the Partisan Left (The Year of Silencing Speech)

C.I.'s year-in-review

2021: The Madness of the Partisan Left (The Year of Silencing Speech)

As the year drew to a close last night, I thought of three important stories on Iraq and how two got covered to a degree and one got completely ignored and they swirled around my head along with the image of a faded movie star.  I also thought of fake asses -- which, honestly, does include the press.  But I was thinking beyond that and thinking of celebrities who, frankly, do not know when to shut up.  You aren't required to have an opinion on everything and you should grasp that you probably don't have an opinion to share on everything.

We cover Iraq here.  We will include other topics.  I feel comfortable with politics having majored in it for a b.s. (how appropriate) and for a masters.  (International relations and campaign politics were the two areas that I emphasized.)  And we comment on entertainment, which I'm more than qualfied for.  However, sometimes Ava and I are pushed out of our comfort zone.  We weren't, for example, experts on gay porn until an issue came up (an Iraq War veteran passing off hate crimes as sexy) and we were asked to address it (see "Media: Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs").  Which we did but only after hours of conversations with friends in the adult entertainment industry and with friends who consumed a lot (a really lot) of gay porn. They brought us up to speed and recommended what to look for and what titles to watch in order to be able to comment.  They basically spent several days giving us a crash course, a Berlitz, if you will, in gay porn.

By contrast, if you read Debra Messing's sad Twitter feed, do you really think she's an expert on any of the things she Tweets about?  No.  She's an idiot who repeats talking points which is why she didn't realize that the FBI doesn't work like the TV show AMERICAN IDOL (remember when she thought you could 'vote' on which cases the FBI would pursue?) and why she tried to present herself as an expert on what was going on in Colombia but was so uninformed she didn't even know how to spell the name of the country.

I have no problem with issues.  I have no problem with, for example, Jessica Lange taking up the plight of American farmers and testifying before Congress -- something she did very elequently.  I have no problem with a performer taking a stand on an issue.

I have a huge problem with people who confuse partisanship with politics.  I loathe idiots who can't speak for themselves.  I have a very good friend who I get very frustrated with because she can't use her brain.  Does it not function?  As Cass Elliot might have said during her Mamas and Papas days, "_____ can't speak tonight, I forgot to program her.'' She used to say that of Michelle Phillips because Michelle loathed speaking during a concert.  I know Michelle, she's not the person I'm referring to.  And Michelle is an issues person.  The homeless is not abstract to Michelle.  She chooses products she uses based upon what they do for others.  She makes a point to use her time to deliver meals. But back to that unnamed friend, she used to call her husband constanlty before that divorce (one of many).  You'd go to visit her on the set and say, "Hey, what do you think about what's going on in Iran?"  She'd say, hold on, and rush -- in those pre-cell phone days -- off to a pay phone to dial the husband (a nightmare himself, but that's another story) and immediately greet him with, "What's our position on  ____?"  These days, she tends to call a woman who fancies herself a playwright (she does the equivalent of collages, verbal collages, where she grabs other people's words and assembles them).  The friend had a good education that included some college but she never really learned to think.  You probably know someone like her in your own life, someone who has always just now, at this moment, figured out everything and will prattle on about that until she next just then, at that moment, figures out everything and prattles on until . . . You get the idea?

Oh well, at least she has some human interaction.  Unlike Patty Arquette who thinks listening (to the dreadful) KPFK educates her.  I can't stand her anymore. I began the walk away from that 'friendship' in 1994 when I saw how judgmental she was -- and of a dead person -- and how black and white everything had to be for her.  She has no education to speak of and she can't read (she refuses to read) so she's dependent upon the loons at KFPK to tell her reality.  I don't expect reality from people who can't face reality themselves and see 'news' as, "How can I make the Republican Party look bad so I can steer attention away from the bad things the Democratic Party is doing?"  

Most have neither the sense or the class to be on Twitter with partisan nonsense.  Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the few with grace -- if she makes a mistake, she will own it and she will apologize.  Most double down and block the person who points out their mistake.  For instance, I believe Alyssa Milano has now blocked more people on Twitter than she has followers.

And why does she have a platform to begin with?  She thinks she's wonderful when the reality is that she was and remains part of the problem.  I'm not talking about political parties here or how she's a schill for the Democratic Party.  I'm talking about her own actions, she needs to be responsible for those.  If she's going to be on Twitter, she needs to take accountability for all the hate she fostered and all the discrimination she endorsed.

AND JUST LIKE THAT . . . is a nightmare.  In part, that's due to Sarah Jessica Parker realizing that all those lovey-dovey talks with David Remnick that she thought made her look so cosmopolitan and informed really just made her a stooge who embraced a Whites-only world.  That's the reality that she's trying desperately to make up for with in AND JUST LIKE THAT . . .  aka AFTER THE GALS CLIMB OUT BED AND FINALLY REALIZE PEOPLE OF COLOR ALSO POPULATE NEW YORK CITY.  

Sarah was a producer of the original show.  Just like Alyssa was a producer of CHARMED.  And CHARMED was just as guilty of ignoring people of color.  Debbi Morgan and Dorian Gregory were the only actors of color portraying recurring characters on the show.  Both of those characters were created by Constance Burge before she left the show.  She left due to conflict with Brad Kern -- he was a pig on the set and he was harassing people.  Alyssa, as an actress, didn't side with Constance who created the show.  She sided with Brad and she was happy to work with Brad who got away with a lot because of her support.  A lot of women suffered because people like Alyssa repeatedly supported Brad Kern.  It took 2018 before CBS fired him -- after their third invesitgation -- third -- into his sexual harassment of women.

So the next time hypocrite Alyssa wants to talk #MeToo, it needs to be pointed out that she has refused to take accountability for the support she gave Brad Kern and how that support allowed him to harass women on the set repeatedly.

She won't do it. 

She Tweets compulsively but doesn't have time to Tweet about how women were harmed because of her actions.  She Tweets constantly but can't Tweet about how she refused to cast people of color once she became a producer of CHARMED.  (San Francisco is a majority-minority city which means Anglo Whites make up less than 50% of the population.  In the census taken last year, Anglo Whites made up 39% of the population.)

And as appalling as it is that she couldn't cast people of color, it's equally astounding that she couldn't find any gay characters.  We do grasp that, right?  The original series CHARMED that she starred in for eight seasons and that she produced for the last four was set in San Francisco.  But no gay people were in the city?  We have the highest percentage of out LGBTQ people of any city in the country.  Of the top ten largest cities -- by population -- NYC has the lowest percent of out LGBTQ people.  But gay San Francisco didn't exist on CHARMED.  And, in fairness to NYC, the percentage is of out people -- so closet cases like Barry Diller don't figure into the count.  NYC might actually have more LGBTQ people than we do in San Francisco if you included those people who are hiding in shame in their closets. 


For someone who wants to play more-woke-than-thou daily on Twitter, Alyssa has a lot of skeltons visible in her very open closet.

And these people who will not admit to their own failings, are projecting on others.  Right now, Joe Biden, President of the United States, has the FBI all up in arms over his daughter's sex diary (we scooped THE GLOBE a few weeks back -- a friend sent me their current issue and it's got the sex diary on the cover).  In the diary (which I haven't read but have heard the contents of for about three months now) Ashley reflects on abuse by Joe.  He walks in on her in the shower, for example.

Now I do remember people trying to make photos of Donald with his daughter into something disgusting.  I don't know her name and I don't want to look it up.  It's the oldest daughter, if that helps.  And Donald was a perv and he was this and he was that based upon how he acted in some photo.

Really?  You don't think you might have been projecting some?  Because I hate Donald Trump and I have hated him for years.  I have accused him of many things, some to his face, but I have never accused him of untoward interest in or actions to his daughter.

These same celebrities are silent as Ashley Biden's diary details how she feels Joe abused her.

If they were truly outraged about alleged incestous feelings or actions, why are they silent now?

Is it just partisanship or is it also that they can't see the bad in their own and they refuse to see any good in their designated enemies?

It's a question we really should be asking -- as a country. 

Because this issue of finger pointing has gotten so out of hand and is dividing the country.

And I'd love to see people stop celebrating journalistic dilettante Spencer Ackerman and instead asking him how he feels about his part in formulating a way to silence criticism of Jeremiah Wright?  Back in 2008, he participated in a journalsim forum and insisted that what was needed was to respond to any criticism of Wright by screaming "racist!"  He wrote, "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists."  He wrote, "I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to.  It's not necessary to jump to Wright's defense.  What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of ghoing after the left.  In other words, find a right winger's and smash it through a plate-glass window.  Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear."  

If you missed it, that 2008 hidden conversation formulation is now used daily on everything.  Also, in case you missed it, grasp that Spencer's position inherently is an acknowledgement that there is actually no defense for some of Wright's statements (Barack Obama would later disassociate himself publicly from Wright and Wright would then publicly rebuke Barack.)  Since the statement's could not be defended -- meaning the critiques were not off mark in Spencer's mind -- the answer was to attack the ones offering these critiques and try to smear them as racists so that no one would listen to them and so that others would be afraid to speak out.

Our public discourse has degraded.  I'm not a clutch-the-pearls type and could care less about foul language or words that whiners don't like.  (The press is the biggest whiner in the world -- a fact I knew before this website started but one that has been repeatedly confirmed each year as various journalists e-mail to say I was too hard on them and didn't I know that their editor or their producer insisted that this or that be cut or soft peddled?)  I do care when false accusations are made intentionally.

When you know what you are saying is false, you shouldn't be saying it.

But people wanted to insist, for example, that Donald Trump was a racist.  I know Donald and he's not.  Now he's a hater of the poor.  And African-Americans make up a greater percentage of the poor than they do of the general population in the US.  But if you're a person of color with money, Donald loves you.  He loved Michael Jackson, I'm not joking, for awhile the two were best friends -- it was around the time Michael was obsessed with the TV show DYNASTY and visiting the set of that show.  When we would bump into each other during that time period, all he wanted to talk about was DYNASTY, Donald Trump and did Prince think he was a better artist than Michael?

I watched throughout his four years as president as his words were repeatedly distorted to try to score political points.  He's not a learned person and he is not a great speaker.  I once had to sit next to him at a large dinner party.  It's when I learned to understand how he spoke because it is fragmented and all over the place.  Over the years, we probably attended 12 to 20 other parties and dinners (and I made clear to every host and hostess that I would not be seated next to him again because I did not like him).  And people would come up to me and say, "He said ____.  What does he mean?"  And I'd have to do a Trump to English translation for them.

I don't like Donald.  (I'd say he doesn't like me but I honestly don't think he cares enough about me -- or most people -- to have an opinion.  His focus is always on himself.)  But it was appalling to watch people distort what he said.  He said enough that was outrageous that you didn't have to go off inventing or distorting to call him out.

Call it THE MADNESS OF THE PARTISAN LEFT.  As opposed to the real left.

The real left, of which I'd be a part, cares about issues.  We care that the Iraq War is still going on.  We care that the American people are still being spied upon.  We care that immigrants are still being kept in cages.  We care that whistle-blowers are under attack and that includes the fact that we want the persecution of Julian Assange ended.  We want Guantanamo shut down -- you know, the prison/gulag that Barack promised he would close if elected president -- the travesty that remains open despite Barack serving two terms as president.

Jeanne Crain.


If you missed it, Bruce Springsteen, alleged voice for the poor and working poor, has done worse than take his 'rock' music to Broadway.  He's now written a book with Barack.  The Drone War was Barack's war and killed many civilians.  Guess 'voice of the people' Brucie isn't the voice of all the people, just the voice for the people who sail on David Geffen's yacht.  

Bruce is a lot like Jeanne Crain.  He had a few good years of popularity.  He's not been popular in his chosen field (recording) for some time now but the media pretends otherwise.  His recording career has been in the sewer for years now.  

Jeanne Crain.  Some people probably don't even know who she is. For awhile, she was FOX's number one female star.  In 1949, she was one of the country's biggest box office attractions.  That's the year she appeared in A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, THE FAN and PINKY -- and was nominated as Best Actress for an Academy Award.  It should have been a glorious career.

She had talent.*  She had the looks.  Audiences loved her.  

Most people don't even know who she was today and haven't seen a film she was in.  She's forgotten and she did it to herself.

First off, she accused her husband of beating her and having affairs.  The country was, "Oh, poor Jeanne."  Because they loved her.  They thought they knew her -- the way many thought they knew Bruce once upon a time.  But after making those accusations in court what did Jeanne do?  Get back with him (and stay married to him for decades).  She forced the public to take sides and when they supported her, she basically betrayed them by returning to her alleged abuser.  That's not girl-next-door behavior the country wants to embrace.  So that was a big blow to her career.

But she made it worse.  She had to share that she hated Communists.  Did anyone really need that factoid?  Shouldn't she have just kept her mouth shut?  No one ever accused her of being a Communist.  Actually, no one ever thought she was smart enough to be anything politically.   Again, we're dealing with an uneducated mind.  There was no reason for her to weigh in upon anything other than dresses because that's about all she knew.  (*Let me address that before I forget.  "She had talent."  Joseph L. Mankiewicz worked with Jeanne and disliked her because he thought her talent was minimal.  His dislike turned to hatred -- and his comments grew more intensely against her -- as the years passed.  That was because of what we're about to get into, her rush to partisanship.) (Patricia is a conservative, for those who don't know.)

Why did she make it worse?  Because she just knew America needed to know her every thought and, in fact, needed to know what do from her because, hey, she was a half-literate performer who didn't have the brains to even study her own craft to improve in her field.  (Her idea of 'studying' to become a better actress was to dye her hair a bright red and cut it short.  Wow, Jeanne, that's got to be much easier than attending a workshop at The Actors Studio.)

I was thinking abotu Jeanne and about how most people don't know her and how there's no push for a revial or renewed interst in her.  And why would there be?  We, in the entertainment industry, are mostly leftists.  Equally true, the Patricia Heatons don't seem to know a damn bit of history with regards to their peers who preceeded them.  Patricia's on Twitter, you'd think she'd be promoting Jeanne like crazy.

Barbara Stanwyck is one of the few great stars that was a conservative.  (She was also a lesbian -- does that balance it out some way?)  She was known to be nice to every member of the crew, she was known to get along with all of her co-stars (do we talk about the affair with Marilyn Monroe?  no, let's stay on topic).  She was a much praised actress who had earned the praise and who had endured for decades so she's in the canon of great female stars -- Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.  All Democrats, please note, except Barbara.  Republican Ginger Rogers really isn't in the canon and really won't be because too many of us found her politically disgusting.  But Barbara knew how to speak to what she knew about.  She had tremendous knowledge (education can come outside of school to people who actually read and Barbara was a big time reader).  

Jeanne didn't know anything.  Her foolishness included thinking America needed her to tell them how to vote.  She was there for Eisenhower.  She was there for Nixon -- when he lost to Kennedy.  I wondered, "Does CRAPAPEDIA note any of this in their entry on her?"  Nope.

But that is what killed her career.  She'd destroyed her innocent image with her accusations against her husband that she then retracted them by going back to him.  If a man lied on me and accused me of a false affair and if he beat me and beat me in front of our children, I wouldn't go back to him when I had the money and means to raise them on my own.  But Jeanne went back which, to most Americans, was saying, "I'm a liar who lied about this man."

But that could have worked in her favor for phase two of her career.  FOX had dumped her but that was fine with her.  She wanted to play seductresses and bad girls and that's why she dyed the hair brighter and cut it shorter and started sporting her breasts at every party she attended -- and all she did after FOX fired her was attend parties.  

So, one good role (and UNIVERSAL had one in mind -- though it didn't pan out in the end) and she could restart her career, phase two as one of the wicked women of the screen.

But that's around the time she got the idea that she was smart and she knew the world and that what her audience wanted from her was instructions in who to vote for.

Partianship killed her.  

She sided with a loser (Nixon) and she sided with him in every run for president.  Tricky Dick was a crook who left the Oval Office in disgrace and left because he was about to be impeached and he would have been removed from office.

She tied herself to a crook and it sank her ship for good.

And that's why I don't get these idiot celebrities who think the world needs partisanship from them.  Who are the great politicians of this age?  I can't think of many.

The only one that springs immediately to my mind on a national level is Senator Patty Murray who does good work by keeping her nose down and focusing on issues.  I remember in 2002 when Ms. was gearing up an issue on women that would include politicians and a friend slid a draft over to me and was appalled when I suggested that they include Patty.  They didn't think she did enough for women.  I'm confused by how Patty hasn't done enough but Nancy was considered our champion.  Nancy was then (and still is) my representative in the House.  I know her record.  I know she talks big but I also know she fails to deliver.  

That's the average politician.  That's the baseline average. Why would anyone want to tie themselves to a politician?  They're crooks or they're ineffective.  There are a few workhorses, like Patty, who keep their noses down and do the work.  And I like Patty and I like the work she does.  But I'm not going to go on a yacht with her or co-write a book with her.  

Bruce is happy to do that with Barack.  He's tied to Barack and Barack's drone war is an issue that's only going to get bigger and be a bigger problem for him each year.  Now it's going to be a problem for Bruce too since he got in bed with Barack.

I'm not going to whore my image on some politician.  I'm not that stupid.  My family had its first political scandal, during my lifetime, while I was in primary school (a sex scandal, naturally, the politician caught sleeping with some beauty who was not his wife).  Gore Vidal and I used to mock most of the politicians we knew, we'd laugh about them and what fakes they were.  Yes, that included Al Gore.  No, I am not sorry that I wrote of Al's affair from 1992 in Ava and my "TV: Global Boring" and I'm not sorry that this confirmed what Tipper already knew and was part of what led to their separation.  I do care about the other piece we wrote that destroyed a friend's marriage. I think she's much better off without that jerk but I'm sorry that our highlighting the way he trashed -- repeatedly -- her former boyfriend and the way he berated her sons allowed her to realize she wasn't wrong to doubt him and think she needed to leave. I probably should have pulled her aside and talked to her about that.  I did call her before Ava and my piece went up to let her know about it and what it was going to say.

But I never though about it, that relationship, before Ava and I wrote about it.  That's the reality.  Most things I don't think about.  I go about my life and some of it never registers.  I did not like that ego maniac.  But he was married to my friend so I didn't make a point to question the dislike -- what was the point, I'd have to see him regularly since he was married to her.  But when we had to watch the reality show -- and we watched several episodes on one day -- and I had to look at it from other angles, it was obvious how horrible he was.  

I don't know everything.  I'm not stupid enough to think I do.  I cannot speak to everything.  I like Alec Baldwin.  I consider him a friend -- it's been awhile since we've spoken but I do consider him a friend.  (And I don't need an intermediary to e-mail this site trying to set us up.  I have his number, he has mine. So don't e-mail this site again trying to set us up for a conversation.)  People want me to weigh in on that set tragedy.  Why?  I don't believe Alec was trying to kill or harm anyone.  That's not his style.  I stand by that and have no problem doing so.  The facts will come out.  They don't need me for that because I wasn't on that set.  Nor was George Clooney. Didn't stop George from weighing in.  Hey, George, as long as your talking about anything, how about you address the long standing rumors that you're bisexual and that you at least don't beat the men you are alleged to have slept with -- a big difference from claims made by women you've slept with.  Want to talk about those rumors since you want to circulate rumors about Alec?  I'm down with that conversation, Buster Brown, I'm down with it and I've got the names.  We didn't note Katie Halper when she did her Alec show.  I didn't stream it nd I didn't want to and it didn't go up here.  I didn't believe that her guest knew what happened and I wasn't in the mood for it.  Equally true, there were many other topics -- worthy ones -- that could have been covered.  I don't use this site to block criticism of my friends.  I consider Dave Chappelle to be a wonderful friend.  I did not launch an attack on him with regards to his anti-trans comments.  First off, it was in keeping with the persona he uses onstage.  Second off, for him it was a bit of progress.  Meaning the past criticism of him had resulted in a slight change on his part.  I stated that the critiques needed to continue.  I didn't attack him but I didn't shut down the conversation -- and I reposted some criticism of him here.  

It's a conversation that we all need to be having.  And stop pretending it's just no big deal.  This is a huge deal.  This has been huge progress for the transgender community.  I am very happy about that.  But we have to grasp that it was a big shift and that others need to be encouraged to shift with the rest of the country.  And that this requires a real dialogue.  Ann was right when she wrote:

Dahlia McCamon offers some important words that we all need to hear. I also think we all need to see. What I mean by that is, we aren't a censorship community in THE COMMON ILLS. We believe in more voices, not less voices. Netflix needs to give Dahlia McCamon a special. Not only that, they should actually do a conversation special -- roundtable would be great -- about Dave Chappelle's show.

I think the conversation is needed for all of us but especially for Dave who does not appear to grasp why people are responding to his comments the way they are.   

We only know what we can discuss.  And we can't have a real discussion if some are making false accusations -- a la Spencer Ackerman -- just to stop a discussion from taking place.

We can't have a real discussion if we're not informed. 

The Iraq War has not ended. The Iraqi people continue to suffer because of the US-led war.  And most people in America have no idea about that reality because so many outlets either ignore Iraq or lie about it.

2020 saw three big events that were Iraq related.

Let's start with the good news.  The Turkish government's continued violation of Iraq's national sovereignty as it terrorizes Kurdistan has finally gotten serious western press attention.  This has been ongoing for years.  The term ecocide has been attached to Turkey's actions with regards to chopping down (and burning down) forests in Kurdistan.  

In December, AP reported:

Dozens of flag-waving demonstrators from a Kurdish organization broke into the Dutch grounds of the global chemical weapons watchdog Friday to protest what they alleged was the use of chemical weapons by Turkish forces.

Police said they arrested about 50 protesters who managed to get past security, including a high fence that surrounds The Hague headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, spokesperson Dick Goijert said.

A Kurdish group called DEM NED organized the protest against the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Turkish armed forces, Goijert said. He did not have further details.

And THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) offered this report two days ago.

Turkey's actions have killed and wounded a large number of civilians and its actions, in another country, do qualify as a declaration of war.

For years, the world looked the other way as the Palestinians were targeted and their rights violated.  At the start of the last century, the world looked the other way while Turkey carried out a genocide in Armenia.  Turkey's actions against the Kurds -- in Kurdistan, in Syria and within Turkey -- look a lot like gencoide.  At what point do people plan to speak up?  At what point does the world call it out?

We can't have that conversation unless we're aware of what's going on. 

And it doesn't benefit the Democratic Party or the Republican Party to address Turkey's illegal actions.  Therefore, you're not going to hear about it on MSNBC or on FOX NEWS.  Partisan media has no skin in the game and they're not interested.

Partisan media apparently has no interest in the innocents killed in THE DRONE WAR either.  Barack Obama lied about it so that's got Dem partisans silent and Donald continued it so that's got Rep partisans silent.

But Azmat Khan's "Hidden Petnagon Records Reveal Patterns Of Failure In Deadly Airstrikes" was major news -- even if most outlets ignored it.  From the article:

  Shortly before 3 a.m. on July 19, 2016, American Special Operations forces bombed what they believed were three ISIS “staging areas” on the outskirts of Tokhar, a riverside hamlet in northern Syria. They reported 85 fighters killed. In fact, they hit houses far from the front line, where farmers, their families and other local people sought nighttime sanctuary from bombing and gunfire. More than 120 villagers were killed.
In early 2017 in Iraq, an American war plane struck a dark-colored vehicle, believed to be a car bomb, stopped at an intersection in the Wadi Hajar neighborhood of West Mosul. Actually, the car had been bearing not a bomb but a man named Majid Mahmoud Ahmed, his wife and their two children, who were fleeing the fighting nearby. They and three other civilians were killed.
In November 2015, after observing a man dragging an “unknown heavy object” into an ISIS “defensive fighting position,” American forces struck a building in Ramadi, Iraq. A military review found that the object was actually “a person of small stature” — a child — who died in the strike.
None of these deadly failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing.
These cases are drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014.
The trove of documents — the military’s own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times — lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.
The documents show, too, that despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for examining civilian casualties, pledges of transparency and accountability have given way to opacity and impunity. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. Fewer than a dozen condolence payments were made, even though many survivors were left with disabilities requiring expensive medical care. Documented efforts to identify root causes or lessons learned are rare.
The air campaign represents a fundamental transformation of warfare that took shape in the final years of the Obama administration, amid the deepening unpopularity of the forever wars that had claimed more than 6,000 American service members. The United States traded many of its boots on the ground for an arsenal of aircraft directed by controllers sitting at computers, often thousands of miles away. President Barack Obama called it “the most precise air campaign in history.”
This was the promise: America’s “extraordinary technology” would allow the military to kill the right people while taking the greatest possible care not to harm the wrong ones.     

This was a major issue and Azmat wrote a major report.  It's one she worked years on researching.  You saw partisans like Norman Solomn not amplify the report, no, they attempted to attack it. You know what, if like Norman, I had been a pledged delegate to the DNC Convention for Barack Obama, I might want to attack the report too because it doesn't just tell on Barack it tells on those who supported him, those who claimed to be aware and supported him and continue to support him. Like Alyssa Milano, if Norman wants to make public statements, there's a lot of his actions that he could take accountability for.  Like Alyssa, Norman thinks he can just get away with pretending he has nothing to apologize for.

Do I regret once praising Norman here?  I praised a lot of idiots here and what I hope I've learned is that you take from them what you can.  Take what you can work with.  Mike loves Jimmy Dore, for example.  I do too.  Like me, Mike's been let down by a lot of 'informed voices.'  So he repeatedly notes at his site that Jimmy is brave despite being under attack and maybe some day that bravery will vanish but for right now Jimmy deserves praise.  That's a good attitude to have and I think I'll steal it from Mike and apply to my own life.

The attacks on Jimmy -- or on Glenn Greewnald or on Naomi Wolf or on RFK Jr. -- are attacks meant to silence.  They don't want him to be part of the conversation.  They don't want him to be heard.  That may be great partisanship but it's not what the left is supposed to believe in.  (I actually don't believe the right favors censoring speech either.)  We don't grow as a society or as a person by only hearing what we want to hear.  We don't show conviction and sharpen our own opinions by refusing to interact with one another in the public square.

That's how we get weaker and, goodness, have we gotten weaker.  Jonathan Turley is someone who has charted our wayward course, how those of us on the left (I would say Democratic partisans) are straying further and further from our convictions as we embrace, for example, censorship and he's also charted the very real damage of bumper-stickerism (my term for virtue signaling -- an indicator passed off as action).  We need a more robust conversation in the public square -- if that means more swearing, oh well.  The only thing we don't need is people making statements that they know are false.  

We can't have honest discussions, discussions that will allow us to enlarge our understanding, if our media doesn't cover important events.  

Which brings us to the third big story of Iraq.

No, not the October 10th election.  That's been misreported by the US media to a large degree, yes, but it is there go-to subject when they feel they have to cover Iraq.

Far more important?  The protests.  They have been woefully under-reported in the media.  Most Americans don't know that Iraq's current prime minister (hopefully, outgoing prime minister) only holds that spot because protesters drove the previous one of out office.  

These protests throughout Iraq in 2021 have been under-reported and ignored.  

December saw two resignations.  Most Americans have no idea.  The governor of Dhi Qar, Ahmed al-Khafaji resigned right before Christmas due to protest.  And, at the same time, the governor of Najaf, Louai al-Yasseri, resigned -- also due to protests.

When these protests aren't covered, I guess it's easier for the media to pretend that the ongoing Iraq War is a success.  After all, if the US truly 'liberated' the Iraqi people, all would be fine and dandy and Iraqis would have no reason to take to the streets.

But all is not well and that's why Iraqis are making their voices heard -- heard on the streets, heard via social media and heard via the  Arabic press.  Sadly, the US press really doesn't pay attention to what's actually going on in Iraq.  It's so much easier to just write 500 words or so of nothing while tossing around the term "king-maker."

We can't have an honest discourse if we don't have information.  We can't have a robust democracy without real information.  And that's why what Julian Assange did is so very important and why the persecution against him needs to end.  The persecution goes beyond punishment of Julian, Joe Biden and others in the US government are attempting to scare the s**t out of anyone else who might want to air some truths.

This week, Ajamu Baraka (activist and the Green Party's vice presidential candidate in the 2020 elections) Tweeted:

Barack Obama was the worst thing to every happen to Black people in the U.S. Trump? Not even close. Obama finished off the counterrevolutionary project of making Black people "Americans" & driving Black public opinion to the right.

It's amazing that 'man of the people' Bruce Springsteen would rather be friends with a killer like Barack Obama then to speak out and defend Julian Assange.

You will know them by the company they keep and by the people they whore for.

Julian deserves support.  As Margaret Kimberley noted December 14th (at BLACK AGENDA REPORT):

Assange ran afoul of four different U.S. presidents, republicans and democrats alike. Wikileaks revealed war crimes committed during the George W. Bush administration in their Iraq War Logs and Afghanistan War Logs. Private Chelsea Manning leaked the Collateral Murder video, which shows the deaths of civilians, including two Reuters reporters, as they were gunned down by a U.S. army helicopter crew in 2007.

Collateral Murder was released in 2010 when Barack Obama was president. All of the purported differences between democrats and republicans disappear when U.S. hegemony is in need of protection. Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, confirmed that Assange was under investigation. While the Justice Department ultimately chose not to indict, they laid the groundwork for Donald Trump to make Assange a political prisoner. Obama’s unprecedented use of the Espionage Act sent other whistleblowers to jail and gave Trump license to get his hands on Assange. As always, Joe Biden follows Trump policy and he continues the Assange persecution.

The Trump administration built on the work of the Obama DOJ and secured a 17-count indictment in 2018, with charges that could result in a 175-year sentence. Of course they didn’t stop with criminal charges, which were useless as long as the Ecuadorian government gave Assange sanctuary in its London embassy. The Trump administration secured a $4 billion IMF loan for Ecuador, just one month before Assange’s protections were lifted. The timing of the transaction and the arrest were clearly not coincidental.

It isn’t surprising that presidents wage war against the truth tellers of the world. What is especially disheartening is the way that journalists have abandoned Assange and turned into U.S. government spokespeople if they discuss his case at all.

A vibrant democracy depends upon a robust conversation in the public sqaure which depends upon an informed citizenry.  2021 made clear that too many partisans are killing democracy with their attacks on free speech and their efforts at censoring anyone they disagree with.  We're living in a world currently where just noting that the pandemic continues is seen as ''questionable'' speech that might require it come with a warning label.  

1lady liberty

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Lady Liberty" of 2020 remained just as true throughout 2021 but, hey, that doesn't mean (if you're Barack) that you shouldn't hold super-spreader events so that hundreds can celebrate your birthday with you.   As Trina has rightly observered over and over throughout this ongoing pandemic: We were not all in this together -- some profited and some were able to live as though the pandemic never even started.


Past year-in-reviews

2020: The Year Long Walk of Shame

2019: The Year For Dummies
2018: The Year of Media Self-Exposure
2017: The Year of Chicken Little
2016: The Year of WTF
2015: The Year of the Ass

2014: The Year of Self-Exposure
2013: The Year of Exposure
2012: The Year of Avoidance
2011: The Year of the Slow Reveal

  • 2010: The Year of Enough
  • 2009: The Year of Living Sickly
  • 2008: The Year of Living Hormonally

  • 2007: The Year of Living Useless

  • 2006: The Year of Living Dumbly

  • The Common Ills Year in Review 2005

    The Common Ills Year in Review



    Earlier today, Kat's "2021 in music" went up here, Ruth's "Ruth's YOUTUBE Report" went up here, Martha and Shirley's "2021 in Books (Martha & Shirley)" went up here and we reposted Rebecca's "sexiest men of 2021" (as "Rebecca eyes the hottest guys of 2021") and  Stan's "2021 in films (Ann and Stan)" and Ann's "2021 in films (Ann and Stan)(as "Ann and Stan on 2021 in film")

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