Monday, January 30, 2023

Truest statement of the week

It isn’t my intent to criticize religiosity, though Dungy has used his to pan non-Christian religions and people whom his version of Christianity rejects. He is an evangelical Christian who has been an outspoken opponent not just of abortion but same-sex marriage, which he campaigned against in Indiana when he was coach of the Colts, and against gay people in general, including those who may toil as professional athletes. He infamously said he wouldn’t have Michael Sam, the would-be first openly gay player in the NFL, in his locker room.

This is all yet another reminder that sports can be, has been and often continues to be an agent for the opposite of which it is celebrated: regression, not progress. Dungy isn’t in the sports world’s ballyhooed vanguard of social change no matter his historical achievement as the first Black head coach to lead a team to a Super Bowl championship.

In fact, in March he is scheduled to stay on brand as a speaker at an all-men’s conference called Men’s Advance 2023. It’s headed by evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Wommack, who argued two years ago that “homosexuality is three times worse than smoking. We ought to put a label across their forehead: ‘This can be hazardous to your health.’ ”

Dungy should know going through with that appearance could be hazardous to his career.


--  Kevin B Blackistone, "Tony Dungy shows the regressive and intolerant worst in sports" (WASHINGTON POST).



Truest statement of the week II

+ Get me rewrite: Top Gun Maverick is a nominee for best adapted screenplay, said screenplay “adapted” from the original Top Gun. Do Boeing and the Pentagon get credit here? The main adaption being that the original Top Gun featured an F-14 TomCat built by Grumman, while Maverick features an F/A-18E/F  Super Hornet built by Boeing.

+ The “adapted” screenplay for Top Gun Maverick is up against Living (adapted from Kurosawa, who adapted his film Ikiru from Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich) and All Quiet on the Western Front (adapted from Erich Maria Remarque’s novel). What a horse race!


-- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: The Ugliest Thing in America" (COUNTERPUNCH). 



Editorial: Full speed to no where




 Year after year, the US military remains in Iraq.  No one wants to put the brakes on, no one wants to throw the car into reverse.  Worse yet, no one seems to think it's worth pointing out.


Over in Canada,  Scott Taylor (SALT WIRE) writes:

Which brings us to Operation Impact, Canada’s ongoing military commitment to Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

This is the one theatre which Auchterlonie feels Canada can safely reduce the number of troops deployed.

Perhaps a better question would be: What the hell are Canadian troops still doing in Iraq?

When Operation Impact was first established in 2014, the fanatical Islamic faction known as [. . .] aka ISIS or ISIL) had poured across the Syrian border into Iraq.

The U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces simply melted away, leaving their U.S. purchased weapons, ammunition and combat vehicles to the [ISIS] extremists.

[. . .]

As witnessed after the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq is rife with factional divisions.

Canada never had a dog in that fight and we would have been better off withdrawing from that region in 2017.

Auchterlonie should press his political masters to reduce his task load and put an immediate end to Operation Impact.

So the issue can be raised in North America, just not in the US?


We forgot the note to the readers so I (Jim) am tacking it on here.  We managed to get this posted on Sunday -- first time in years.


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.


Here's what we came up with:



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


TV: The last thing anyone needs is more of the same

Wanda Sykes hosted COMEDY CENTRAL's THE DAILY SHOW last week and the main thing is demonstrated is that she should never host again.

Was she that bad?  She was that so-much-like-everyone-else, that's what she was.

Leslie Jones owns the spot after her hosting gig two weeks ago.  The reason for that?  She made it her own.  She stamped it with her persona and personality -- the way  Jon Stewart did when he took the job after Craig Kilborn.  And that is why the ratings soared under Jon's leadership.  Craig didn't do a bad show and he was frequently funny.  But there was no real reason to watch.

No real reason to watch sums up Trevor Noah's tenure.  He never had a point of view.  He never had a voice.  He told jokes a little and minced a lot.  Stephen Colbert could have taken his own character that he'd played for years and done THE DAILY SHOW with that voice and probably Jon's audience would have stuck with him.

But Trevor Noah was a nightmare -- a different person from night to night, always the same delivery (mincing) and viewers ran away in hoards.  A hit show that all the other networks -- cable and broadcast -- envied became the show no one wanted.

The next host needs to be able to rebuild and that's going to take a vision.  

At best, Wanda showed she could copy.  At best. 

That's not what anyone needs.

except all the radios agree with all the tvs
and all the magazines agree with all the radios
and i keep hearing that same damn song everywhere i go
maybe i should put a bucket over my head
and a marshmallow in each ear
and stumble around for
another dumb-numb week for another hum drum hit song to appear
-- "Fuel," written by Ani DiFranco, first appears on her LITTLE PLASTIC CASTLES 

Repeating, that's not what anyone needs.

And Wanda can certainly carry on that tradition.  She offered tired and dull 'jokes' as though it were 2017 and not 2023.  Since she was attempting topical humor, that was a problem.

As feminists, we were also bothered by one of her guests: Katha Pollitt. 

Wanda brought Katha on so they could chat about abortion.  Katha writes bad columns for THE NATION.  One of those bad columns, please understand, was about the lack of African-Americans on television.

"Good for Katha!"  Back that up.

Not good for Katha.

Katha wasn't decrying the lack of representation.  She was using her single page in THE NATION to call out the NAACP for objecting to the very few African-Americans on television.  Katha huffed that this wasn't a real issue and that there were more important point things to focus on.

For those who don't know, Katha is Anglo White and Wanda is African-American.

Did Wanda feel feminists need to be represented on TV?  If so, way to go, Wanda; however, if you're trying to address representation maybe don't do it with a woman who only cares that her own fat ass is represented and who has attacked the NAACP or is Kimberle Crenshaw's concept of intersectionality too much for you to process and comprehend?

We comprehended, we got that, last week, Wanda was Crickett, Barb, Ruby, Daphne and all the other names she used while playing the same character in one TV show and/or film after another.  It's not bad but it's not fresh.  

Nor is Wanda fresh to TV hosting. THE WANDA SYKES SHOW was her late night entry back in 2009 and it ran for 21 episodes before being cancelled.  She did not turn the world on -- with her smile or anything else -- back then and doing the same thing over again while expecting different results may be a definition of programming, but it's not good programming.

"I could do that."  Viewers like a host that makes the job look so easy they're left thinking they could do it as well.  But the trick there is that a good host makes it look easy when it's really not easy.  A bad host?  A bad host did what Wanda did last week (and back in 2009) which is what you see in any elementary school on a Monday after SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE aired: A lot of kids trying to get laughs from the same material that got laughs the previous Saturday night when handled by professionals.

She wasn't bad -- she's a professional stand up comic -- she was, however, boring.

She did THE DAILY SHOW the same way anyone else could have done it.

There was no real energy -- and she's not a physical comedian -- as a comic she doesn't exist below the neckline.  She aped the men of late night.

Jon Stewart had a passion and an energy and a need to prove himself.  We say that as two people who love Jon (and know him) but we say it because it's true.  Leslie has that drive.  And she made each episode about her vision and her voice.  She was a full bodied comedian, working with everything she had, throwing herself into the role.  Chelsea Handler is another one who wants the spot but she has the same problem that Wanda has -- she's stale and dated and both seem to believe that people tune in for those real interviews -- and not the mock segments.  Yes, Chelsea can interview -- so could Dinah Shore but Dinah would have had the brains to grasp THE DAILY SHOW requires a lot more than an ability to interview.  THE DAILY SHOW stood out because it was not a Sunday chat & chew a la MEET THE PRESS.  COMEDY CENTRAL is going to go through other try-outs over the next week.   If someone tops Leslie, we'll gladly note it here.  But right now, she's the only real hope for the future of the show, she brought energy, drive and a unique point of view that made the show come alive. 







Jim:  I'd hoped this would be a roundtable.  It's not.  I'll explain why in a second but for a set up, Stevie Nicks' "Hard Advice" from her 24 KARAT GOLD album.




He gives such hard adviceHe says don't think twiceTurn off the radioIt was finished long agoGo write some real songsThis is all wrong



Jim (Con't): So what I wanted to do was to have a roundtable -- this one where I was moderating what might be a difficult discussion.  My ground rule was "no deletions."  We do roundtables all the time.  They are edited in that people often pull a statement that they made.  They don't think it sound right or that they mispoke or whatever.  C.I. and I are the only ones who've never pulled anything we've said prior to it going up at the website -- as far as I know.  So that rule had a number leery and unwilling to participate. Then the topic came up -- the conflict between THE VANGUARD and REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT NETWORK. At which point, Rebecca shocked me by saying, "Oh, hell no."  The others left agreed with her.  Why?  What's in it for us, Rebecca asked?  She noted that we would piss off one side or the other and why are we getting into this?  I thought the feature was dead and said I understood -- and I did understand the feelings.  I was surprised because C.I. asked about a half hour later what time we were doing this?  I hadn't realized that she hadn't walked with everyone else.  So this is a discussion piece with the two of us.  Ava's taking notes for this transcript piece, thank you, Ava.  So both shows are YOUTUBE programs.  Two people host THE VANGUARD and multiple people participate in segments for REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT NETWORK.  I should disclose that I follow THE VANGUARD more and that's because, first off, there's less content.  I can do about five episodes a week.  Three a day, as RBN tends to do, is going to take up too much time.  I work, I've got a wife, we've got a kid.  So I'm better equipped about THE VANGUARD since I pretty much see all their segments.  I do watch RBN but it's usually three times a week, if that.  

C.I.: I watch both.  Usually, if I watch it -- usually -- I will give it a thumbs up.  Usually because I do have issues with my blood sugar and if my vision's bad at the moment I end up -- as did on a Katie Halper video a year ago, hitting the wrong thumb and then trying to fix it. At THE COMMON ILLS, I post many videos -- some because of e-mails -- and that does not mean I am agreeing with everything they say or that I've even watched.  It just means the topic sounds interesting.  If I've given it a thumbs up, I've streamed at least five minutes of it.

Jim: So the two programs are in conflict with one another and that can be distressing for some.  There were e-mails last week about this, readers saying that they couldn't take the fighting.  

C.I.: How many e-mails and were they all of that opinion?

Jim: I read seven and Ty read three on this -- it wasn't a big topic.  Of those ten, eight were bothered by the fighting or "bickering' to use the term that popped up the most in the e-mails.

C.I.: Were you bothered?

Jim: No.  I enjoyed the hashing out on both sides.  That shouldn't be a surprise to readers of this site.  I'm always comfortable with people disagreeing with each other and debating.  

C.I.: So some feel a line was crossed?

Jim: Yeah.  They've been going back and forth, the two programs for some time.  I think THE VANGUARD probably pissed RBN off with their take on Jimmy Dore.

C.I.: Which is a take that's accurate.  It's a point Ann's made, Betty's made, I've made, I think all of us have made it which is that this "Black" news outlet focuses way too much on White Jimmy Dore.  It's valid.  Now that's not the critique that THE VANGUARD's making.

Jim: Right.  Their critique is that RBN is in the tank for Jimmy Dore and echoes anything he says.

C.I.: Which appears to be true.  But my point in my critiques on this: There are real issues that aren't being covered so why are you instead doing another segment on how someone said something that hurt Jimmy Dore's feelings?  The endless hype machine that RBN provides for Jimmy Dore is disgusting and it would be disgusting if it was for Chris Hedges.  I'm not calling out Jimmy Dore for RBN's worship of him but I am calling out RBN for it.  And I am specifically calling them out for their need to collectively use their people of color voice to prop up the White man.  There are many African-American thought leaders that they could shine a light on.  Instead, they too often turn their show into a fan club for White Jimmy.

Jim: You don't like Jimmy Dore.

C.I.: No, I don't but that's not part of my critique.  My critique is that there have been weeks where RBN offered multiple segments defending Jimmy Dore but they couldn't address the war on reproductive rights or the war on the LGBTQ+ community.  A few weeks ago, one RBN host did a segment on trans persons and he stumbled but he was sincere and I shared that video because he was sincere and he was trying to address the topic.  Right after, Sabby and another RBN did a segment with him which was much better.  


Jim: I remember that, you defended ______ in the newsletter, the gina & krista round-robin, because some people thought ______ was being transphobic.


C.I.: This may violate your rules but if that name is left in, I'm out right now.  I kept that in the community newsletter because I don't want "transphobe" applied to his name.  I understand why some took it that way -- his comments on his solo segment.  But he was trying to deal honestly with the topic and he was speaking out of love, not out of hate.  Things that needed clarified were done in the second segment.  If someone's transphobic, I'm not covering for them.  But I'm not going to apply the term to anyone who's attempting to address the issue and not doing so in the exact wording that I would provide.  


Jim: No, we can pull the name.  Sorry.  That was my bad.  If I'd paid attention, I would've known you were not naming him for a reason.  By the way, if you have HBO MAX, consider streaming a documentary, HAXAN: WITCHCRAFT THROUGHOUT THE AGES.  It's a silent film.  Made in 1922, it's a Swedish documentary.  It's interesting to see, over the ages, how opinions evolved.  And we're all evolving works in progress.  So the conflicts between RBN and THE VANGUARD have been simmering for awhile now.  And last week, RBN insulted TV with a comment regarding ambulances that TV actually liked and said they might make it a ring tone.  But there were two issues -- two segments or clips -- that RBN did that TV took issue with.  One was a segment on Briahna Joy Gray where they called her a "bold face" liar.  TV felt that wasn't made, the critique, in good faith.  And I see their point.

C.I.: I see their point but I also see RBN's point.  Bring up the second segment because they're actually the same conflict.  I don't want to repeat myself on it, I think they can be dealt with in, to be Nate Bargatze -- who's new AMAZON comedy special debuts January 31st, in "one fell swoop."

Jim: Okay.  They had Marianne Williamson on -- RBN did -- and the whole thing went to crap with two hosts yelling at her and being rude.  TV called them out on that and it's led to more back and forth.  

C.I.: It's always going to lead to back and forth.  RBN is not about a candidate.  It is not trying to tell you who to vote for.  RBN is about raising issues.  At its best, that's what its about.  That is not what THE VANGUARD is about.  Zac said last week, before the RBN segment was aired, that he was trying to get votes for Marianne Williamson.  He's entitled to do whatever he wants, and good for him for not keeping it a secret.  

Jim: We agreed not to post any videos here -- just to give a link to both sites  -- so it didn't look like one group was being favored over the other.  However, I missed what you're talking about so I think we're going to have to provide that video here because if I didn't catch it, I'm sure others missed it as well.

[. . .]

Jim (Con't): And we are editing.  We're pulling a long section of back-and-forth.  I was on THE VANGUARD's YOUTUBE page looking for what C.I. was talking about and not finding it.  Wrongly, I told her she must be mistaken.  She responded.  And back and forth ensued.  She was right.  So I'll just note that we're pulling that because she was right and I should have called a time out while we were looking for it.  This is the video below and as C.I. told me, it's at 48 minutes in when Zac insists, "That's why we are making this suggestion to you that we get behind Marianne Williamson now" -- and I'm ending the quote there because Marianne does not have balls.  Let me quote one of my favorite writers on this topic, "There's enough macho b.s. in the world (largely coming out of the White House), I won't add to it by pushing some myth that strength is determined by what hangs out below the belt." You know who that was?




C.I.: No idea.  Good point, though.


Jim:  It's you -- from 2007.

C.I.: Anyway, there's nothing wrong with saying you're supporting Marianne or whomever. But it's a different view.  He's focused on electoral politics.  RBN is not.  RBN was wrong for the interview they did with Marianne Williamson.  The reason that they were wrong was because Sabby's relationship with Marianne got them the interview.  They created a huge problem for Sabby Sabs -- as THE VANGUARD rightly noted.  Other than that?  Was there a problem?  I can't comment on Jay.  I have no idea what he said.  He started yelling and screaming and I'm not going to take that.  I've called out many other men for the same thing -- including Farron Cousins of RING OF FIRE.  If you start yelling like that, I'm tuning you out -- a lot of women are.  You need to realize how you sound when you do that and that it is frightening.  If that's him expressing himself, so be it.  But understand that a lot of people -- especially women -- are going to tune you out.  A man so angry that he is spitting as he yells is not someone I'm going to listen to.  So I can't comment on what he said, I have no idea.  I didn't pay that close attention to it because of the yelling and I've blocked it from my mind.  

Jim: The other guy was yelling too -- in the aftermath once Marianne had left the segment.

C.I.: No.  You're talking about Rome.  THE VANGUARD said that Rome didn't make any sense.  He made perfect sense to me.  He was upset and he was struggling but I followed every word he said.  He was loud but he was not out of control.  He was emotional but he was not out of control.  And he made perfect sense to me.  I don't know why anyone else had trouble following him.  He was noting that interconnected aspects of various imperial projects and tying it into Marianne Williamson's positions and her comments.  I don't expect someone who's already planning to vote for Marianne to embrace what Rome said, but it wasn't obscure or difficult to comprehend.

Jim: You know Marianne, by the way.

C.I.: I do.  I've known her for years.  I like her.  That doesn't mean she's above criticism.  I've called her out, for example, for her YOUTUBE segment about Afghanistan.  The US would be pulling out and Marianne had to do a video, just had to do it.  Okay, good.  But it was bad.  Because she doesn't get an Afghan to speak or an Afghan-American.  She goes to a US soldier who fought in Afghanistan.  I'm sorry, Marianne, what revelations were you expecting?  Do you really believe that combat in Afghanistan is teaching anyone about a country?  If so, you're as lunatic about the military as was Mad Maddie Albright.  Second off, why would you invite an armed invader of a foreign country on to give the first and last word on that foreign country?  That's appalling and it goes to some troubling comprehension on Marianne's part.  Now I like Marianne.  But that's reality.  

Jim: And you think that's how RBN sees it?

C.I.: I can't speak for RBN.  But I can say that I understood Rome's critique and I even understand Jay's rage.  

Jim: But you don't get THE VANGUARD's take on it?

C.I.: I didn't say that.  I believe I made clear that I understood where they were coming from.  The whole thing's Tim Burton's BATMAN RETURNS.  THE VANGUARD is Batman, upholding the system, trying to work within it.  RBN is Catwoman, looking around at a corrupt system and saying, "You make it so easy, don't you?  Always waiting for some Batman to save you."

Jim: So who's Penguin?

C.I.: Jimmy Dore, they even look alike.  Seriously though, it's two different visions of the country of politics.  And you can choose which ever one speaks to you if you feel you can only respond to one.  THE VANGUARD is willing to pin hopes on Marianne.  I have no idea why and I like Marianne.  But, no, I don't for one moment believe she'll run independently if the Democratic Party screws her over.  I think people were wrong to believe Bernie Sanders had a spine.  Now they're investing into someone they know even less and know even less about.  RBN's attitude is understandable.  Bernie screwed everyone over.  TV wants to argue that now we pour all that same energy into Marianne and RBN is arguing that we're not willing to be screwed over again.  TV thinks they can reform the Democratic Party, RBN scoffs at that.  And, historically, the facts there are on RBN's side.  Over and over, people have insisted that they'd take it over -- the Democratic Party -- and they never did.  They were compromised by it.  Tom Hayden's a perfect example but it's over and over and over.  Gloria Steinem would go off in tears in 1972 . . . to avoid calling out the Democratic Party.  These people do nothing and do nothing over and over.


C.I.: I don't believe I have to either/or it.  I believe that this is a conversation that needs to be had.  And, on this issue of we-will-change-the-party-from-within, sorry, it's nonsense.  It's been attempted over and over -- before THE VANGUARD guys were even born.  

Jim: Okay, she was asked about whether or not she would run independent if she ran for the 2024 Democratic Party's presidential nomination and the DNC did not treat her fairly. But was it a bold face lie?

C.I.: Third party, not independent.  But actually it is Actually, it was.  I know Marianne and I know how she hems and she's hemming there.  It's like the episode of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW where Mary, to cheer Ted and Murray up, says something like, 'What if I told you that Walter Cronkite caught yesterday's broadcast and --'  After Ted and Murray leave practically skipping, Lou confronts her on the lie and she responds, "I said what if."  And Marianne hemmed and hawed that maybe something might happen.  Now you can argue that she can't go concrete because doing so would mean the DNC would keep her off the stage -- if she didn't agree to support the eventual nominee.  She implied she would, she suggested, but she didn't say it.  And to be really clear on this whole issue, I do not support Zac on THE VANGUARD video above at 40 minutes when he starts rambling about 'what she really means.'  When you have to do that for a candidate, it's your first clue that they weren't concrete in their answers.  When you do that for a candidate, you're making clear that you're in the tank for the candidate.  Why are you speaking for them?  I loathed those who worshiped The Christ Child Barack Obama and their lies about what he means and their lies about "three dimensional chess" and all their attempts to cover for him, that whole Cult of St. Barack nonsense.  He ended up being an empty suit who did nothing to help We The People and I blame him for that but I also blame all the people who would excuse him and insist, "What he's really doing is . . ."  

Jim: No, you're right.  I didn't get that when I watched.  You're right.  If we're going to deal in facts -- and that's what THE VANGUARD was saying they were doing -- you don't then offer predictions of what Marianne's going to do in 2024.  You don't know what she's going to do and you really shouldn't whore yourself out on the limb like that.  You had to remind of 2008 for me to get the point, sorry.  But I do get your point.

C.I.: Marianne Williamson is an ink blot and both TV and RBN are interpreting the ink blot.  They're doing so based on their beliefs and their lived lives.  THE VANGUARD believes in the system, they are Batman.  RBN is Catwoman, they know the system's screwed and they know they can be disposed of and killed at any moment -- pushed out an open window like Selena was or shot in the park for being a kid playing with a toy gun.  Of the two groups, I'd say THE VANGUARD is being gullible. But, again, as Ava and I always say, "We don't fall in love with politicians -- we're not that pathetic."

Jim: To offer some negative on THE VANGUARD, they do -- or Zac does -- fall in love with politicians.  In the video above, he credits Bernie Sanders with Medicare For All.  That's insane.  Nurses have been at the forefront of that battle.  We started here in 2005 and I had to be educated about the topic.  I was a kid in a college.  This was long before Bernie ran in 2016 or in 2020.  He grabbed a popular idea and ran on it.  Don't pretend that he did anything else.  I do not get why a movement built by millions -- mainly nurses -- is being credited to Bernie Sanders by Zac.  So that's my negative criticism. Again, a huge fan of the show.

C.I.: And there's no reason you have to apologize for that.  As I noted, Zac was upfront with his audience that he's supporting Marianne.  This isn't Melissa Harris Lieface Lacewell Perry working on Barack's campaign for over a year and then going on NPR, PBS and PACIFICA pretending she's got no dog in the hunt and is just making independent analysis -- that always insults and finds lacking everyone but Barack.   What she did was unethical -- and Princeton agreed which is why they didn't keep her on -- what Zac's doing is above board.  He can support whomever he wants and he's got enough honesty and character to not try to hide it.  And, again, there isn't one view.  Or even one view we should consumer.  More voices, not less.  And there's certainly room for both REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT and THE VANGUARD.  It doesn't have to be either/or.  If one or both speaks to you, great, stream 'em.

Jim: Okay, let me be -- 


C.I.: Hold on, before you wind down.  We have to put in a video for REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT NETWORK since we did one for THE VANGUARD.


Jim: They are  in the video of THE VANGUARD.


C.I.: That's not their video.  Clips are shown while THE VANGUARD interprets them.  They deserve to have their own voice recognized and not be interpreted through an outlet that doesn't like them.


Jim: Okay, solid point.  Let's put in the one where they're talking about David Sirota.



 Jim: Again, let me be appreciative -- a recent e-mail insisted that I wrap things up too quickly and dismiss who makes the last comment.  So let me say thank you, C.I., for doing this.  I believed in this feature and was sad when I thought it was killed due to lack of participation.  It'll probably irritate some people but I'm fine with that. And let me say thank you to Ava for taking down a transcript of this discussion. Reminder, the best e-mail address to reach at us is and this is a rush transcript.


David Swanson finds his Maddie Albright moment


With 935 words, you'd think David Swanson could make a point.  You'd think.  

"How Dare I Oppose War with Libertarians" is how you find the column but, grasp, even if you find the column, you'll never find the point.

He's getting complaints, he writes, for announcing he'll be speaking at an anti-war rally with Libertarians.

Which Libertarians is the obvious question.

This isn't just about the government's war, a fact that escapes David.

A lot changed on June 24, 2022.  Prior to that, we could easily speak with non-leftists against the war.  There were rights and legal protections.

Then DOBBS was handed down and ROE V WADE was struck down while Justico Clarry Thomas made clear in his concurring opinion that he now wanted to take on birth control rights (do away with them), to take on marriage equality (do away with it) and to take on what two adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom.  Justico Thomas -- a huge consumer of porn -- suddenly sees himself monitoring every bed room.  

No, we're not going to stand next to anti-abortion crazies, homophobes or people who want to terrorize trans persons.

Is that who David is going to be standing with?  We have no idea because, despite using 935 words, he never names any speaker he'll be appearing with on stage.

That does make us wonder: Is he doing that intentionally?  Does he grasp that he has to cover these people up or he won't get support?

We have no idea but without knowing who he is standing with, in the climate we now live in, he's on his own and he made it that way.  

Books (Ann, Ava and C.I.)




Last week, Ann's "Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview" went up and we're talking to her about the book.  The author is Almanzo Wilder Jr.  You didn't recommend the book.


 Ann: No, I don't.  It's a glorified WIKIPEDIA entry that's been teased out and called a 'book.' 


Explain Phyllis and the book, as it is, to us.

Ann: Sure.  Phyllis Diller was a stand up comic.  One of the first female ones to have a media career.  She wasn't the first. Lawanda Page, for example, may have started at the same time -- when Lawanda began her stand up career is not exactly clear, by the 60s, however, she was recording comedy albums.  She became famous as Aunt Esther on the sitcom SANFORD & SON.  Moms Mabley certainly pre-dates her and Moms wasn't only a female comedian in the 1920s, she was also an African-American one and an openly lesbian one.  Phyllis didn't have to do the so-called "Chitlin circuit."  She was able to progress rather quickly from cabaret to TV.  Phyllis was funny and stood out from the other -- mainly male -- comedians because of her voice.  She'd do voice work in some animated films later on but that voice was made for animation because it stands out and you never forget it.   Phyllis crafted a persona that really took off.  Most of that is not addressed or acknowledged in the so-called book.

 The title implies that there are three parts.

Ann: There are five.  There's the so-called biography part.  Which I guess is news.  Then there's a chapter that produces celebrity Tweets noting Phyllis Diller's passing. Then we get quotes -- which are jokes Phyllis told.  Then we get an interview -- not a great one -- that someone conducted with Phyllis (someone, not the author of the 'book') and then we get a filmography chapter which the author at last credits to WIKIPEDIA.  Phyllis deserved a better book.

So that's a hard no on recommending it to others.

Ann: They can save time and skip the book and just go to Phyllis' WIKIPEDIA page.

Good to know.  Thank you for discussing the book with us.




Ever wonder if . . .

Kris Jenner came along soley to make Kathy Lee Gifford look better?

Want to rethink that?

Here's a cover of MS. magazine that didn't age well.

Ms. Pathetic

"This is what a feminist looks like"?  Really.

He didn't keep his promise, remember that?  He promised his first action, if elected president, would be to codify ROE V WADE.  He didn't do it.  Not as his first act, not as any act.

Now, thanks to the hideous DOBB decision, ROE is no more.

Want to rethink that cover, MS. magazine?

Ann reviews PHYLISS DILLER 1917-2012: News, Quotes, Interview

Repost of Ann's book review.

Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview


 I always liked Phyllis Diller.  She was funny on talk shows and game shows and on Scooby Doo.  I also liked her in movies like 8 On The Lam -- where she's partnered with Jonathan Winters and played Bob Hope's house cleaner Golda.  She's hilarious in that and also in another movie she made with Bob Hope, Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number.  

She was an inspiration for many comics -- male and female -- and she was a ground breaker.

So I saw, in Amazon's Kindle Books, Phyllis Diller 1917-2012: News, Quotes, Interviews by Almanzo Wilder Jr.  

So what to think?

The positive: A book on Phyllis, no matter good or bad, is a sign that she is remembered.  

The negative?  This is a glorified Wikipedia entry.  A great deal of the book can, in fact, be found at Wikipedia.  

It skims along adding up to very little.  What I told you about Golda, Phyliss' character in 8 On The Lam?  More detail than you get in the 'book.'  In fact, in Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number, Phyllis plays Lily, the housekeeper of Marjorie Lord and Bob Hope.  She's good in the film but I like her better in 8 On The Lamb because the kids love her.  In both films, she and Hope bicker and get their insults in but in 8 On The Lamb, Hope's kids like her and that tilts the balance in her favor.  Otherwise, Hope's just verbally beating up on an employee.

The book offers a filmography (from Wikipedia -- of course).


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"






This edition's playlist

Ashford & Simpson Street Opera



1) Ashford & Simpson's STREET OPERA


2)  Diana Ross' THANK YOU

3) Robbie Williams' XXV.




10) Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo's BLACKBIRD: LENNON - MCCARTNEY ICONS.




a park painting 11
This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.  


"I'm not addicted to either/or" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.


"Kat's Korner: Carly Simon and Diana Ross send thei..." -- Kat's latest music review.

"Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "THE PEW stinks...," "Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Take That Mome..." and "Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Hate Seaso..." -- Isaiah's comics.

"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Turkey continues to attack Iraq," "The pandemic continues," "Manuel Esteban Paez Teran," "Biden and his non-answers," "How LBJ Killed JFK: A Shocking Exposé of the Secret, High-Level Conspiracy - Blood, Money & Power," "Joe Biden's problem just keeps increasing," "Whoopi Goldberg is the president of Disinformation," "Biden's never-ending scandal,"  "Katie Porter,"  "The world we live in," "Graham Elwood, Chris Hedges, Julia Conley, Andre Damon," "Graham Elwood, another job lost for Justin Roiland, refusing committee assignments,"  "Graham Elwood, RICK AND MORTY, Ted Galen Carpenter," "People lose their jobs but Alphabet makes money," "Non-diabetics using Ozempic should be ashamed," "They murdered Tyre Nichols,"  "The doomsday clock," "Leslie Jones," "Too much hatred in the world," "Don Lemon continues to fail at CNN,"  "The Crazy," "BROS was the best film of 2022," "Joe and his crooked fam," "Celebration put on hold for more whining?," "David A. Love's important column," "Was Ruben Gallego on The CW's Supernatural?," "Oscars and cry babies," "Nancy Pelosi refuses to leave the spotlight," "lance kerwin" and "the palestinians" == news coverage in the community.



"War Criminal John Bolton Wants To Share" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.


"Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview," "Stephen Dorff," "Judy Blume and other great topics,"  "Oscars," "I vote Leslie Jones for the new host of The Daily ...,"  "Some more time together (Carol Burnett and PARTY DOWN)," "Bigots Alison Foreman and Samantha Bergeson show their true colors," "More cancellations," "Oscar nominations," "Weekend box office," "boo, bruce springsteen, boo," "'the hand that rocks the cradle'," "j.k.," "Sam Smith," "New releases this Friday," "Leslie's the answer," "Graham Elwood, MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD, LOIS AND SUPERMAN, Pelosi, Idiot of the Week," "George Ezra" -- entertainment coverage in the community.


"Calamari on Pasta in the Kitchen,." "Huevos Rancheros in the Kitchen" and "Air Fryer Tuna Steak Tostadas with Jicama Slaw in the Kitchen" -- Trina serves up some recipes.




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