Monday, November 07, 2022

Truest statement of the week

Inflation is skyrocketing and working class living standards are being slashed. The Federal Reserve is pursuing a deliberate policy of increasing unemployment through the raising of interest rates in an effort to use social misery as a bludgeon against demands for wage increases.

In two years in office, the Democrats have done nothing to improve the conditions of the vast majority of the population. The White House dropped any push for voting rights legislation. It did nothing to protect the rights of immigrants, instead stepping up the deportation and exclusion of asylum seekers to record levels, beyond even the level of the Trump administration. It regards women’s right to abortion as a means of motivating people to vote, while refusing to defend it in practice.

-- Patrick Martin, "US midterm elections: American democracy in shambles" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey -- 


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: Iraq comes up with a bad proposal

The Shi'ite youth of Iraq took to the streets to demand an end to corruption, to demand a better life.  This was The October Revolution.

And what did they get?

Well Parliament is considering forcing the males to serve in the military.  Chenar Chalak (RUDAW) notes:

The Iraqi parliament is set to conduct the first reading for a draft proposing the restoration of compulsory military service during Sunday’s parliamentary session, amidst mixed reactions from the Iraqi people on social media.

The new bill, titled Serving the Flag, has been drafted by the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee and proposes assigning all Iraqi men between the ages of 18 to 35, with limited exceptions, to mandatory military duty, according to the deputy-chairman of the parliamentary committee Sagvan Sindi.

The length of the service differs based on the academic level of the recruited, Sindi added. The draft compels secondary school graduates to 18 months of military service, preparatory school graduates to 12 months, university and institute graduates to 9 months, master’s graduates to 6 months, and doctorate graduates to 3 months.

That's not what they were protesting for.

Fortunately, the Parliament rejected the proposal

But at what point does the government plan to serve the people?

TV: A romanceless romance -- who's policeman is it anyway?

MY POLICEMAN arrived on AMAZON at the end of last week and, after months of hype, turned out to be a crushing disappointment.  Michael Grandage's second film directorial effort makes a strong case for him to remain in the theatre.  Oh, he does what has long been done to plays turned into films -- he 'opens' it up by including exteriors.  He does everything, in fact, that you're supposed to do -- thereby explaining the film's paint-by-number quality.  He just has no inspiration or vision to make the project come alive.

The film is based on  Bethan Roberts' novel MY POLICEMAN which someone forgot to inform Grandage is a romantic novel.  There's nothing romantic about the film which opens not with the developing romance but with a man (we'll later learn who and his connection to the man and the woman in the opening scenes) who is sick.  It's as though Grandage is telegraphing that he's always felt DR ZHIVAGO would be a more romantic film had it opened with Julie Christie enduring a case of whooping cough. 

It doesn't help that the two performers, Gina McKee and Linus Roache, playing the adults in the romance -- playing them much later in life -- come across charisma challenged.  

Is that Grandage's fault?  Possibly.  He seems to think he's directing PRICK UP YOUR EARS. Again, this is supposed to be a romantic film.  Tom marries Marion in the 1950s and has feelings for her but he also loves Patrick.  Like Mary Macgregor back in 1976, Tom is "Torn Between Two Lovers." 

And that does imply tension so it's rather surprising that MY POLICEMAN has none.  

Does Grandage care about the characters?

Better question, does he understand the story?

MY POLICEMAN is instantly forgettable and that includes the only reason the film got made: Harry Styles.

Back in May, British singer-songwriter Harry Styles released one of the best albums of the year: HARRY'S HOUSE.  The lead single, "As It Was," went number one in ten countries -- including the UK and the US. Follow ups "Late Night Talking," went number two in the UK and number 3 in the US while "Music For A Sushi Restaurant" also went top ten in both countries.  At a time when few artists are moving albums, HARRY'S HOUSE is Harry's third platinum album since he started his solo career in 2017.  Prior to that, from 2011 to 2015, he was part of the boy band One Direction which notched up five platinum albums in the US.  

So he's what they call "a big deal."

Maybe it's the 'he' causing the problem?

Few musicians can act.  Even fewer can act well enough and project enough charisma to become a film star.

Elvis became a film star.  Prince became a film star.  

That's really it for the boys during the rock era.  A lot of them tried and tried and tried some more: Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, David Bowie, Sting, Michael Jackson . . . The list of failures is endless.  

Many women failed as well -- including Connie Francis.  

Two women proved it was possible: Cher and Diana Ross.  Both women were nominated for Academy Awards -- and Cher won.  They had talent and charisma that gripped you on the big screen.


He comes across small.  Tiny.  Micro.

Let's deal with the acting.  Where is it?

He recites dialogue.  We recently saw a pretty boy actor who's aged out of his audience go up against a young comedian in a reading for a film role.  Pretty boy was heartbreakingly sensitive -- all too sensitive for this world.  He interpreted the role that way.  The young comedian got the part.  His audition was all over the place -- including some of the worst choices ever made -- but you couldn't take your eyes off him.  He was magnetic.  As the director said after the readings, he was going with the comic because "I'm not making a TV movie" and because "he brought things I can work with."

Harry brings nothing.

He recites the words.  And indicates that he's very sensitive and very caring.

Someone thought it was a performance.

We feel for Harry.  He was betrayed by the director of DON'T WORRY DARLING who did not work with him at all.  Matthew Broderick came off more threatening in the remake of THE STEFORD WIVES than Harry manages to in Olivia Wilde's bad rip-off of the Ira Levin novel.  You'd think that if you were putting out for the director, they'd take a little more care to protect you with coverage and editing.  Wilde provided Harry with no protection.

Now comes a second soulless performance and, sorry, you don't get many shots.  That's two times a movie has depended upon Harry and two times he has failed to deliver.

That's failed to deliver as an actor and, more importantly, failed to deliver as a star.  Gary Cooper, as Pauline Kael, liked to note, wasn't a great actor but he did have tremendous star power.  Harry doesn't have either.  Maybe, like Justin Guarini, he might find success in the theatre but barring a real effort (intensive work with an acting teacher and an acting coach), he's probably 'achieved' as much as he's ever going to in film.

If that seems harsh, too bad.  Diana Ross and Cher had to fight for film careers.  And they worked their rear ends off when they finally got parts.  Like far too many male musicians before him, Harry appeared to think that all he had to do was show up (also sleep with a director) and film stardom was his.  As both DON'T WORRY DARLING and MY POLICEMAN have proven, Harry is no star.


Jim: It's roundtable time. Remember our e-mail address is but you can also use and, in fact, should this week 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): Okay, the endless election as C.I. called it.  Thoughts?

Trina: She's right and I'm tired of it.  Once upon a time, we could get honest between elections.  Those days are gone.  And I'm sick of it and I'm sick of men who think they can trash women online.  "TrustNoPolitician" is the jerk's handle.  I encountered him on YAHOO and he was the worst.  It reminded me of how much I hated DAILY KOS and the other sites.  He was going through -- and please note, he presents as a Democrat -- and just trashing women.  It was a thread that I'll call "How Great Art Thou Obama."  And a few women were pointing out that Barack promised Planned Parenthood in 2007 that if elected the first thing he would do was codify ROE.  And he never did that.  And women were bringing up things like that and he was attacking them and calling them Republicans and all this other garbage.  I thought, "Wow, they don't follow the YAHOO guidelines, do they?"  Because everything he said to me was an insult, and a vile one at that.

Dona: I remember those days well, back in the '00s, and how Democratic men would attack women over and over and be surprised when a woman called them out -- which I'm sure you did, Trina?

Trina: Indeed.  But it was so hateful.  You sort of picture him living in a psych ward.  My question is how did TrustNoPolitician think he was helping the mid-terms by going through and trashing every woman as stupid and as a Republican and so much more?

Isaiah: They live in their own little world, their own delusional world.  They're hateful and rude.  It's hilarious that someone going by "Trust No Politiican" is attacking people who just note Barack's failures.  What a fake and a fraud.  But that's obvious by the handle he chose, right?

Betty: I know very well what Trina's talking about.  I've spoken about it, I've written about it.  The toxic men of the blogosphere on the left who would trash you the moment you didn't act like Harry Reid was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  You'd think they'd work harder to be nice online but they don't think they need votes -- which is why they struggle.

Cedric: And they're racist.  I remember being at a Dean rally -- Howard Dean -- and being so excited because there was a guy with a Bartcop t-shirt.  I loved that site.  I walk over to say hi and he looks at me like I'm something he scraped off his shoe.  Then his friend comes over and they walk off talking about how "stupid" Black people are.  That was it for me and Bartcop.  If a racist is your norm, I don't need you.  The same with Kos and I love how they trashed us and then expected us to applaud them for endorsing Barack Obama.

Betty: Exactly.

Jim: I wonder if these people ever get off their lazy rears.  I'm referring to actually doing something?  Like a petition that requires you to interact with people or block walking where you go door to door for a candidate.  Or anything like that.  Because they never seem to grasp that the image they send out is not helping their party get votes.

Elaine: Can I talk about something election related?  I wish I knew the name of the group but they're buying up advertising spots trying to guilt and shame people into voting.

Marcia: I've seen those!  They show them on PLUTO during JUDGE JUDY!

Elaine: They say that it's your civic duty to vote and that if you don't vote your neighbors can look it up and find out that you didn't vote.

Wally: They're trying to shame you into voting.

Elaine:  Look it, if you haven't been paying attention, I honestly don't want you voting.  I'm not trying to insult you or be rude.  I just mean, don't go into a voting booth and eenie-meenie-minie-moe your way through a ballot.  

Kat: Agreed.  And they can't tell if you voted or not.  That's a lie.  They can tell that you didn't vote from a certain address.  All you have to do is say, "I get my  mail at Aunt Susie's house.  I do that when I go visit her because she's home with assisted healthcare and I need to check on her.  I voted absent ballot and it was sent to her address."  They won't be able to check.  And if they dare to ask you for the address, shame them.  You want my aunt's address?  What are you trying to do, harass her?  How dare you.  

Rebecca: And it's really no one's business if you vote or not.  This isn't the Soviet Union.  We're not expected to have a 100% voting rate.  If you choose not to vote, (a) that is a vote and (b) it's really not anyone else's business.  We live in a nanny state more and more each day.

Stan: Back to Trina's original point, we used to have to put up with this vote nonsense for two months or so.  Now it's constant.  And when it's active, no one is allowed to self-reflect or criticize their own.  Everyone's supposed to lie and be okay with lying.  We can't get any reality, we can't get any truth.  That needs to stop.

Betty: I remember 2008 and I think that's when it really changed.  Laura Flanders and others refused to hold Barack accountable.  That was in the primaries.  He was bringing up 'ex-gays' to preach their conversion garbage and despite being a lesbian herself, Laura refused to call him out.  She swore that when he got the nomination they would 'hold his feet to the fire.'  He got the nomination and they didn't hold his feet to the fire.  He won the election and they didn't hold his feet to the fire.  They were the worst clowns in the world.  I have no respect for Laura Flanders or anyone in her lousy family.  What a bunch of fakes and frauds.

Mike: Agreed.

Ty: As the election gets closer, Joe Biden's lies get more and more extreme.  I've noticed that even CNN and THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST have started calling him out.  A long time coming, if you ask me.

Jess: There's a theory, Ty, that after the election, legacy media's going to push for Joe not to run for re-election.  Most voters don't want him to run, he's too old.  What does anyone think of that?

Marcia: This could be part of a rollout for that.  I don't know though.  But I do know that he's way too old.  He's 80 this month.  That's too old to be president.  He was never at the top of his game and it has only gotten worse since he was sworn in.  He needs to announce immediately that he will not be seeking re-election.  

Rebecca: I think this would be a bigger issue if it weren't for the baby boom.  Idiots like Jane Fonda know that Joe needs to step down but saying so is saying that they themselves are old.

Ava: Jane is old, but she's not baby boom.  She's older than the baby boom since she was born in 1937.

Ruth: She is older than my generation, yes.  But Rebecca is correct.  People like Ms. Fonda know that Joe Biden is too old but they're not going to say so for fear that their own children might take their keys away -- and, honestly, should take their keys away.  

Mike: We need younger politicians.  That's just a given.  These people who hold on and refuse to leave are embarrassments.

Isaiah: Like Dianne Feinstein who is now the oldest serving member of the Senate.  That's not an accomplishment, that's an embarrassment. When you're old enough that your nickname is "puddles,'' it's time to start staying home.  

Kat: Someone like Nancy Pelosi has no life and no one who wants to be around her.  That is why she continues in Congress.  Why wasn't she home the night of the attack?  Why wasn't her husband with her?  I'm sorry, if I'm married in my eighties, I'm going to expect my partner to be with me.  If he's not, then I shouldn't be married to him.  But I guess that's what happens when your marriage isn't about love.  

Jim: Mike, you wrote "" so Hakeem?

Mike: I know he's in his 50s but when we've got 80 year olds, he's practically a teenager.  I would very gladly get behind him to be the next Speaker of the House.  We are desperate for young blood.  

Ann: Throughout this community, the point has been repeatedly made that Joe doesn't care about climate change and he doesn't care about starting a nuclear war.  It's hard not to believe that if he were younger he wouldn't care so less about whether we all live or die.

Jess: You could say he's aged out of being concerned.

Ann: Exactly.

Jim: Biggest fear regarding the mid-terms?

Marcia: That we wake up Wednesday and a number of races are still undecided.  And that it drags on and on and on.

Cedric: And all that does is delay the discussions we need to have.  AOC is the biggest fake in the world.  You hold her accountable and she whines she's being picked on.  She's a member of Congress and she needs to be working for the people.  She's not.  She's posing for Tik-Tok and Twitter and VOUGE and she's doing nothing she was elected to do.  She is the epitome of a useless politician.

Isaiah: Agreed.

Jim: I'm laughing because of Isaiah.  I told him before the roundtable that a reader wrote in saying he didn't speak enough.  So Isaiah's adding "Agreed."  That's making me laugh.

Isaiah: But I speak as much as I want to.  It's not like you guys are trying to silence me.

Jim: I know, I'm just laughing.  Tuesday is the last day to vote.  

Kat: Unless you're doing a mail in ballot and then who knows because maybe you're state plans on ignoring the postmark.

Jim: Okay, well voting is supposed to end Tuesday.  This is a rush transcript. Thank you to Ava and C.I. for taking notes.




Just sad

With each passing year, Kathy Griffin looks more and more like Carrot Top's ugly brother.  She's back in the news.  No, not for work.  When does Kathy ever work?

The nineties.  Back when NBC gave pretty much anyone a sitcom.  Kathy got stuck as fourth banana on Brooke Shield's SUDDENLY SUSAN.  She was irritating and that was it for her acting career. Since then?  Game shows.  Bit parts.  Extra.  Such is the fate of a celebrity who, sadly, isn't even D-List anymore.

In an attempt to garner headlines, she impersonated Elon Musk on Twitter and got herself suspended.

She's hoping we'll all be part of her drama again because this is the only way she knows how to get noticed anymore.  It's been a sad 62 years and even sadder life. 




2022 Deaths

Each year, people are born and people die.  Reader Troy Montgomery e-mailed noting that many community sites note passings and thought we could keep a running link page on that.  That's a good idea.  We'll try to include this in future editions this year as sites cover additional deaths.  You'll note a lot of links go to Ruth because she tends to cover passings more than anyone else in the community.  The list may not be complete and the only order for the first twelve is the order of what we remembered while we were doing this -- the order we remembered the deaths in. 



1) Sally Kellerman -- see Ruth's "Sally Kellerman"


 2) Ronnie Spector -- see Betty's "Ronnie Specter," Ruth's "Ronnie Spector" and C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot"

2) Naomi Judd -- see Kat's "Grace Slick, Naomi Judd," "One more time honoring Naomi Judd" and "Naomi Judd"


3) Sidney Poitier -- see Betty's "A great actor passed -- not a great person, not a great lover, not a great activist"

4) Ray Liotta -- see Ruth's "Ray Liotta"

 5) Peter Bogdanovich -- see Stan's "Peter Bogdonavich"

6) Andy Fletcher -- see Kat's "Andy Fletcher"


7)  Bo Hopkins -- see Ruth's "Bo Hopkins"


8) William Hurt -- see Ann's "Not sure if I believe Marlee Matlin now"


9) Meat Loaf -- see Kat's "Meat Loaf"


10) Howard Hessman -- see Ruth's "Howard Hessman"


11) Rosa Lee Hawkins -- see Ruth's "Rosa Lee Hawkins"


12) Dwayne Hickman -- see Ruth's "Dwayne Hickman"


13) William Hart -- see Ruth's "William Hart of The Deflonics has passed away

14) Mark Shields -- see Ruth's "Mark Shields"


15) Nichelle Nichols -- see Ruth's "Nichelle Nichols

16)  Bob Rafelson -- see Ruth's "Bob Rafelson has passed away"


17) Olivia Newton John -- see Kat's "Olivia Newton-John," "Have You Never Been Mellow and a buried treasure," "More on Olivia" and "Olivia Newton-John,"  Marcia's "ONJ" and "Olivia Newton-John"


18)  Lamont Dozier -- see Ruth's "Lamont Dozier grabbed our hearts through our ears"


19) Anne Heche -- see Marcia's "Yes, you belabored the issue long enough (and Anne Heche will be missed)," Rebecca's "anne heche and robin griggs - 2 another world cast members pass away ," and C.I.'s "Walking and Talking (12/12) Movie CLIP - I Love Yo."


 20) Jean-Luc Godard -- see Stan's "Jean-Luc Godard"



 21) Coolio -- see Kat's "Coolio"

22) Loretta Lynn -- see Ruth's "Loretta Lynn"

23) Angela Lansbury -- see Ruth's "Angela Lansbury"


24) Michael Callan -- see Elaine's ''Michael Callan''


25) Lucy and Joanna Simon -- see Kat's "Lucy Simon and her sister Joanna Simon have passed..."


26) Jerry Lee Lewis -- see Kat's "Jerry Lee Lewis dead at 87"


27)  Leslie Jordan -- see Rebecca's "we'll miss you big time, leslie jordan"







The More You Know

As NBC used to say, "The More You Know."

The first time the word “homosexual” appeared in the Bible was in 1946. That year, a committee gathered to translate an updated English version of the book from the Greek. Religious scholars, priests, theologists, linguists, anthropologists, and activists have done decades of research and investigation into the instances where the word appears in the book. Their conclusion is that it was a mistranslation.

In other words, the Biblical assertion that homosexuality is a sin—the catalyst for an entire shift in culture, with political repercussionsreligious implicationsconsequences for LGBT rights and acceptance, and, frankly, deadly results—was, they allege, a mistake.

As a new film asserts, it was “the misuse of a single word that changed the course of history.”

1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted Culture is a new documentary directed by Sharon “Rocky” Roggio. Ahead of its premiere this week at the DOC NYC festival, it has, as one might expect, gone viral within the conservative and Christian communities.







Election prediction from Ajamu Baraka


Joe Biden jokes?

Rebecca found them and here they are from her post last week:

joe biden jokes

did you know there were joe biden jokes?  i did not. i remember a paperback of jimmy carter jokes and then 1 of ronald reagan jokes.  they'd sell them in grocery stores, gas stations and book stores.  i did not know there were joe biden jokes.

i guess that really indicts our late night comedians and 'saturday night live.'  but here are some joe biden jokes from the comment section of a report at 'the new york post' about joe:

Jill and Joe Biden go to a steakhouse for dinner. Jill says, I will have filet medium rare with a baked potato with sour cream and butter. The waiter asks, “What about your vegetable?” Jill replies, “Oh, he will have the same.”

NPR Fact check: Biden says he ‘spoke to’ doctor who ‘invented’ insulin. Results: half True...Biden is possibly half way into afterlife, so he may actually be talkin to Sir Frederick G Banting.

When Biden heard that Trump had set tariffs on China and Aluminum - “I have heard of China, but what continents is Aluminum on ?”

“It was invented by a man who did not patent it because he wanted it available for everyone. I spoke to him, OK?” Biden claimed. "Yesterday in fact. I spoke to Dr. Frederick Banting yesterday, OK." "He was in the audience, I called out to him, Fred, Fred, where are you Fred. "Fred, are you here? Where's Fred? I didn’t think he was – he wasn’t going to be here," Biden said. The White House has confirmed that Dr Frederick Banting was "top of mind".

“My name is Joe Biden and I forgot this message”

A man in front of the White House yelling repeatedly “The President is an IDIOT “ Capitol Police surround him and handcuff him. They say “it is illegal to insult President Biden” He says “You don’t understand I mean Trump. He is the one I was insulting “ The police captain says “You can’t fool us. Everyone knows who the idiot is”

Biden loses yet another battle in the dementia war.

Joe Biden is very proud of Hunter. . All these women confessing to having sex and smoking crack with Hunter, and none of them are his sister Ashley.


Joe Biden wobbles into a Catholic Church, sits down in the confessional booth, but doesn't utter a word. The Priest coughs, hoping to get a response. But Biden just sits and says nothing. Finally the Priest raps his knuckles three times on the screen. Biden says “Don’t bother knocking man. There’s no TP over here either.”

Joe Biden was endorsed by the Wu-Tang Clan for 2020. When he heard that, Joe bowed in appreciation and said he looks forward to working with China.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Saddest Tweet of the Week

Big money never leaves politics and that's one of the reason the country is screwed, each election, the country is screwed.

Will Lehman

Will Lehman is running to become the next president of the United Auto Workers.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) notes:

In the midst of the reactionary spectacle of the midterm elections, the campaign of socialist candidate Will Lehman for the presidency of the United Auto Workers (UAW) is charting the way forward for workers in the US and around the world. The Lehman campaign has won enormous support on the basis of a program of abolishing the UAW apparatus and transferring power to the rank and file. It is the most conscious expression of a growing class movement that will develop explosively in the aftermath of the midterm elections.

The critical issue is that workers recognize that the defense of their social and economic interests is bound up with a political struggle against the government and both parties of the capitalist ruling elite.











This edition's playlist

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

1) The Pretenders' HATE FOR SALE.



3) Ashford & Simpson's STREET OPERA.


4)  Diana Ross' THANK YOU.


5) Harry Styles' HARRY'S HOUSE.


7) Adele's 30


8) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.




10)  Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.






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