Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Truest statement of the week

Kennedy’s ravings shed light as well on the bankrupt and reactionary character of the campaign for a “left-right alliance” launched by various figures aligned with the pseudo-left, including author Chris Hedges and journalist Glenn Greenwald. They might personally abhor Kennedy’s remarks about Jews and Chinese, but Greenwald conducted a sympathetic interview with Kennedy after he launched his presidential campaign, which gave considerable attention to his opposition to vaccine mandates and other COVID mitigation measures.

-- Patrick Martin, "Antisemitism and anti-Chinese racism: The case of Robert F. Kennedy Jr." (WSWS).




Truest statement of the week II

RFK, Jr.: “Climate change is being used to control us through fear. Freedom and free markets are a much better way to stop pollution. Polluters make themselves rich by making the public pay for the damage they do. You show me a polluter, I’ll show you a fat cat using political clout to escape the discipline of the free market.” Take away the conspiratorial spin and you pretty much have the position of his old group, NRDC, back in the 1990s when they hawked NAFTA (see “The Shameless Seven” in our new book An Orgy of Thieves), pushed energy deregulation (disastrously in California), and backed Enron’s takeover of Portland’s electric utility. One of NRDC’s founders, John Bryson, later became head of Southern California Edison.

-- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: Clusterf**k in Vilnius" (COUNTERPUNCH).





A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday night.

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?


Patrick Martin gets another truest.

As does Jeffrey St. Clair.

Our Iraq feature.

Ava and C.I. take a look at the increasingly disgusting Katie Halper.  And we all love the quote from Sandy Dennis!  :D

We assembled this from scraps.  Hopefully, it works as a whole.  This actually took longer than it should have.  For the illustration, I wanted a fender bender photo we took back in 2006.  So I googled it with google image.  And I find a painting we did the same year that's all over the net now with various people claiming to have done it.  I knew it was us because of the paints.  Remember those spin-art things?  We got the paint from one of those and used it sparingly -- usually when we were doing a painting of a war resister for a story here.  And it was that paint and I could tell what Kat did on the painting and I cold tell what Ava and C.I. did and I remember drawing an X myself on one side of the painting because Betty's kids -- who helped with it as well -- said, "No!"  I x-ed over their favorite part.  But anyway, I was just kind of surprised to see it all over the internet especially since various people were claiming that they had created it.  It's no work of art.  I don't know why anyone would want to pretend that they did it themselves.

Ava and C.I. discuss a book with Mike.

Our tally of deaths of note so far this year.

Books reviewed in the community so far this year.

Paul Rudnick.



Jen Psaki's Sunday MSNBC show.


Jacquie Luqman.

What we listened to while writing.

 Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.




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



 That's the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI),  Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in Baghdad on June 20th insisting that social media must counter hate speech.  


We'd take the remarks a little more seriously if we hadn't just read Alyssa J. Rubin (NEW YORK TIMES):

In one social media clip, a young Iraqi woman dances at a national soccer tournament. In another, she dances at her son’s birthday party.

A different post shows a Baghdad fashionista modeling clothes, including an outfit based on the Iraqi Army uniform.

A fourth features a young man in a black sweatshirt and pants interviewing a young woman, also clad in black, about her private life. It is one of several clips he has made of young people dressed in close-fitting clothes that strike conservative Iraqis as provocative.

A few months ago, the people featured in these clips were stars of Iraq’s booming social media scene. No longer.

They have been largely silenced by being tried, convicted and sentenced to time in Iraq’s overcrowded prison system because of new Interior Ministry rules against “indecent” or “immoral” content on social media.

This crackdown on social media is relatively new, but is of a piece with a broader campaign to silence, sideline or co-opt those who publicly question or criticize the government.

That wider effort traces its roots to the months of demonstrations in 2019 and 2020, when young Iraqis poured into the streets demanding an end to corruption, a reduction in Iranian influence in Iraq and a new era of openness. ​Those demonstrations eventually forced the resignation of the prime minister, who was supported by Iranian-linked parties in the government.



TV: The fork is stuck in her ass and, yes, she's done

BLIND ITEM: YOUTUBER on the grift tries so hard to amass a following.  But what would his followers think -- or would they even be able to watch him speak -- with his mouth moving -- if they knew that, since college, he's eaten s**t?  We don't mean that metaphorically.  We mean feces is his fetish, specifically eating feces.  From the tap, so to speak, or the sphincter, if you're struggling to follow.  


We don't want anyone to struggle, not with the basics.  The YOUTUBE grift is quite the con.  





You know he lives in fear, don't you?  That he gets outed for his fetish?  That streamers drift away because they can't stand watching his lips flap since it makes them think of his eating feces.  A lot of people hide.  Katie Halper doesn't hide.  

No, she's letting it all hang out and it's a lot, so you know we're not talking about her chest.  We're talking about how she sports all of her bitterness and hate.

Isn't it strange and telling that Katie and Ana Kasparian were once friends and buds.  They'd had problems before -- they lost it on one another   over Syria, for example.  But then they both hug it out until the next time they came out swinging.  Such as when a guest made remarks against Ana on THE KATIE HALPER SHOW and then, on JACOBIN's show that Ana hosted, Ana ripped Katie Halper apart.  And did so with the help of Nando Vila -- Katie Halper's longterm cohost.  The two women burned each other's playhouses down.

But now that both are massive transphobes and grifters,  can they once again find common ground?

Katie needs to find something.  And soon.  

We made queries to friends at THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, COUNTERPUNCH and IN THESE TIMES.  Would any of them be interested in publishing Katie's writing or bringing her on as a columnist?

Sadly, the most common reply was, "Who?"

When we would try to jog their memories, they would point out that she's prone to conspiracy theories (that Sy Hersh attachment did not help Katie) and that they already had several men writing what what she offered in commentary.  It was a fair point.  She doesn't speak with an authentic voice and never has.  She speaks like a woman who has been browbeaten by men -- Spencer Ackerman, Matt Taibbi and Aaron Mate, among others.  

We're reminded of Mona's response to Sissy in Robert Altman's COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN, "Yes, uh, yes, but I chose to rise above the attitudes of this small town, while you chose to lay spread over a gravestone and take them inside you!"  Indeed.

Don't cry for her over being called out like this.  "You write like a man" is the ultimate compliment to Queen Bees like Katie. 

She has no distinctive voice except drippy.  She exhibits and sports drippy on her own show and on USEFUL IDIOTS (which she hosts with the matted Aaron) -- this is especially true whenever some technical problem pops up but she drips incessantly regardless.  It's hard to imagine any broadcast outlet touching her.  That includes WBAI.  When we called friends there, they knew her.  "We get so many complaints."  Of course, they do.  

She came on like a feminist to land that spot.  We even sang her praises.  But she's no feminist and she can't keep an audience.  

We keep thinking back to the response we got from a friend at COUNTERPUNCH,  "You mean post her and-and like pay her?  Oh, no.  No one would pay for her drivel."

Her drivel does appear to have passed its sell-by-date.  Even on YOUTUBE, she struggles for views.  She brought on Glenneth Greenwald in that last two weeks.  And that attracted 76,000 views.  Almost like old times.  However, that was one of 13 videos.  She got 10,000 for con artist Bri-Bri Joy Gray coming on and saying she fell to her knees (we can see it) and cried (no, not really). Joe Biden betrayed her, Bri=Bri raged with all the conviction of Elizabeth Berkley in SHOWGIRLS.  It was about the student loan debt relief.  He put forward a program, the Supreme Court overruled him.  At no point was Bri-Bri -- a non Democrat -- betrayed by Joe.  

Reminds us of how grifter Katie brought  Eugene Puryear onto USEFUL IDIOTS ahead of the 2020 presidential election allowing him to trash Joe Biden and state that he'd never, ever vote for Joe Biden.

Of course, he wouldn't.  And Katie knew that.  Eugene's a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.  They don't vote Democrat.  More to the point, in 2008, Joe Biden was Barack Obama's running mate.  What was Eugene in 2008?  Katie knew, she just didn't want her audience to know.  Eugene was Gloria LaRiva's 2008 running mate.  He was on her presidential ticket.  So not only did he not belong to the Democratic Party -- kind of an important point to disclose -- but he also was a political rival who lost to Joe Biden.

At any rate, Drama Queen Bri-Bri brought her 10,000 streams.  Not good for Katie Halper of 2020 but incredible for Katie on her downward spiral.  Such as other days in the last two weeks.  1.1 thousand streams, 2.8 thousand streams, 3.2 thousand streams . . .  It's not good for a grifter.  

A year ago, she could count on thousands of streams for each segment -- 20,000 up to 70,000.  In the last month, she's done so much damage to her reputation.  Scott Ritter?  A convicted pedophile and now someone she regularly chats up and giggles with because what says "Welcome women!" more than a female host making nice with a registered sex offender?  She loves him on USEFUL IDIOTS because his appearances get them up to 90,000 streams.  Otherwise, they're usually less than 10,000.  Say what you will about transphobe Matt Taibbi but he delivered an audience when he was on USEFUL IDIOTS -- the matted Aaron continues to bore. Asked about her relationship with Ritter, two different publications pointed out that his third arrest found them dropping him and dropping any mention of him.  
Katie, as Annie Lennox sings, "This boat is sinking . . ."  Why, Katie, why-y-y-y-y-y-y?  

Katie's also known for bringing on  serial plagiarist Chris Hedges which is a problem when it comes to others hiring her.  "We wouldn't carry his byline, not with that reputation," said one.  Another, "Do I want to publish someone whose ever other word is plagiarized?  No.  I don't need to create more headaches." 

It didn't have to be this way.  Katie didn't have to wind down her career -- or what passes for one -- with a fork stuck in her ass.

But the grift means so much to so many.  Especially to those who don't have ethics -- remember, Katie traffics in opinions, as she explained to Bri-Bri when they dished on Krystal Ball's recent wedding.  That means, Katie explained, she's not required to do disclosures.

Oh, we laughed at that.  We laughed harder at that than anything Katie ever offered during her brief and sad stand up career.  

And as we laughed, we thought about that and how low journalism has fallen.  We know Jon Stewart and we like him.  But in 2008, when reporters and columnists like Dana Milbank thought they could do comedy (most infamously with his 'comedy' that Hillary Clinton should drink Mad Bitch Beer), we grasped that Jon Stewart -- through no fault of his own -- was ruining journalism.  As much damage as Milbank and others did in 2008, it only got worse in the years after as failed stand ups thought they could do journalism. 

We see the tragedy there daily.

Graham Norton is a comedian who tries to do journalism on his YOUTUBE program.  He was amassing an audience and then it came to an end.  How?  He hectored his audience, he told them what to do.  YOUTUBERs, you're clowns, you make us laugh.  But we don't take life lessons from you and we certainly don't take orders.  Graham got onboard Train Cornel West and didn't have a single fact at his disposal.  He was getting views -- over a thousand a segment, sometimes even 2,000.  And then he told people to vote for Cornel.  He no longer cracks 1000.  He generally comes in at 500 views. And the one he posted, six days ago, has only 175 views.  

Graham, we should note, is a successful comedian.  Which may be why he doesn't grift.  But it's also why certain basic facts escape him.  Ballot access, for example.  A party convention names a nominee, for another.  We don't care what Chris Hedges told everyone, Cornel was not and is not the Green Party's presidential nominee.  The nominee will be decided in July of 2024.  Cornel really doesn't even have papers filed to be a candidate at this point.  

Graham made a mistake.  Others are just grifters.  Take Jimmy Dore, Graham's former friend.

The host of THE JIMMY DORE SHOW has been grifting for some time.

And he's the ultimate grifter.  He grifts by lying over and over.  Sam Seder regularly fact checks him on THE MAJORITY REPORT.  It was THE MAJORITY REPORT, in fact, where we learned that -- as is the case with most of these 'left' grifters -- Jimmy was attacking transgender people.  With really bad jokes.  But that's what the grifters do, promote transphobia.  Jimmy does it, Glenneth does it, Tulsi does it, Megyn Kelly does it (did she spend her way through that settlement?), THE GRAY ZONErs do it.  You're appealing to a right wing audience.  And it's the easiest way to get on board with them.

Though some still repeat the idiotic "God didn't create Adam and Steve" it's gotten tired -- even for Jimmy.  And, in fact, God did create an Adam and a Steve.  And unless Adam and Eve's children screwed each other, God created many more.  You mythology folks do grasp that, right?  That if it's just Adam and Eve and they only have Cain and Able, nobody's getting pregnant.  Unless . . . Cain or Able had sex with Mommy!  That book is so perverted.

So Jimmy did jokes almost as tired as Adam and Steve and kept making pop-eyes and mincing it up -- as only a very short man with a very big ego can.

He and Glenneth play the same con:  Democrats be awful.  

You know what, we call out Democrats all the time.  We also call out Republicans.  And, honestly, these days the House Republicans are beyond disgusting.  

Glenneth is a garbage dump who reTweets things like this:

AOC & Bernie have "become the most important weapon of the Democratic party establishment," pulling young progressives & radicals back toward establishment candidates. @GGreenwald & @SocialistMMA slam AOC & Bernie for abandoning the working class they ran to serve . . .

I'm sorry, Libertarian and a man who screamed and screeched at Marianne Williamson say what?

We're not AOC stans.  And we called out fake ass Bernie before most of you were old enough to vote for him in 2016.  But on AOC, is this because she endorsed Joe Biden for 2024?

If so, how stupid are people?  

Joe needs endorsements right now.  He's the president of the United States.  We seriously doubt AOC just gave an endorsement.  We're told that it was discussed at length ahead of time and we're told AOC secured multiple concessions on issues that matter to her.

And that makes much more sense to us because why else would AOC weigh in right now?  

To be Glenneth Greenwald is to always strive to see the worst in people.  That's what happens when your head's so f**ked up.

Glenneth praises Tucker Carlson constantly.  Like this week for supposedly holding Mike Pence's feet to the fire.  No, he really didn't.  Yes, he did go after Pence . . . who is polling at 7.3%.  In their world, that passes for strength.

"It's impossible even to imagine an MSNBC or CNN host questioning a leading Dem politician this adversarially," Glenneth insisted on Twitter.

Is it?  If so it's because you're a liar or an idiot.  Dennis Kucinich was doing very well in Iowa when Tim Russert brought the hammer down in a debate as he went after Dennis on the subject of UFOs.  The straw poll in Iowa -- the first state to register a preference every four years -- found, "Edwards garnered 29 percent of the vote, and Kucinich won 24 percent. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama came in third with 171 votes, and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., took fourth place with 128 votes."

Get it, idiot, Kucinich was ahead.  

If Glenneth had to nail down facts or tell the truth, his head would spin faster than Linda Blair's in THE EXORCIST. 

Would he then lap up the split-pea colored vomit, that's the question?

And Katie brings him on her show because it's her way of supporting transphobia and her way of being part of the grift.  People are noticing and that's why when her revenues dry up, she better hope the right-wing needs an Ann Coulter Jr.  She's not young anymore and she has a bad track record.  Equally true, women don't get second chances.  We've noted that for years and years here. 

Chelsea Manning famously broke with Glenneth over the transphobia.  Last summer, Eoin Higgins wrote a piece for SALON on how Glenneth abandoned the trans community to become a transphobe:

Last fall, Manning directly addressed the person Greenwald has become, telling her onetime champion that she was "terrified" of him. "You're greedy, unprincipled, and I'm embarrassed for ever considering you a friend," Manning said. In response, Greenwald released private chat records showing Manning's messages to him when she was feeling depressed.
How did this happen? One might date Greenwald's coming out as transphobic — or at least trans-skeptical — to a video interview he did with anti-trans media figure Katie Herzog in March 2021. During the conversation, the pair talked about how trans people, in their view, were taking up more than their share of a presumably limited amount of civil rights. "The minute you declare yourself nonbinary or trans," Greenwald declared, "you catapult up the ladder of oppression that absolutely confers concrete benefits."
A zero-sum view of civil rights doesn't easily allow for solidarity between marginalized groups. But Greenwald's shift on trans rights has also coincided with his tilt toward the far right in recent years. While Greenwald has long had a friendly relationship with extremist Fox News host Tucker Carlson, he's gone further and further down a conservative media rabbit hole since leaving The Intercept in late 2020. It would have once been nearly unthinkable to imagine Greenwald chumming it up onstage with the likes of social conservative Erick Erickson or giving a softball interview to notoriously homophobic conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — but both of those things have happened. Perhaps cultivating a new audience of right-wing media consumers has pushed Greenwald to embrace social conservatism and bigotry against trans people.
Greenwald recently laid out his view of the trans rights movement on June 23 during an appearance on the Vanguard YouTube show. In response to a question about his engagement in multiple culture-war issues, almost invariably on the side of the political right, Greenwald claimed that he was just asking questions about "what has become of the trans agenda."
"I know you get accused, if you say they're legitimate questions, of, like, empowering hatred against trans people," Greenwald continued, "which I think is incredibly an intellectually dishonest way to coerce and bully people, to accept your views that 'if you don't immediately accept all of my newfound promises about this new ideology I'm trying to get society to embrace that radically changes so many things about how we think about gender and sex and how we organize society.'"
A week later on an edition of his video streaming show on June 30 — during which he interviewed Christopher Rufo, the hard-right intellectual force behind the panic over "critical race theory," who has now set his sights on LGBTQ rights — Greenwald questioned "this new agenda of trans issues like, you know, demanding everybody say trans women are women." Rufo has made little secret of his intentions to propagandize against the LGBTQ community, laying out part of the strategy in a June 17 tweet in which he suggested that "Conservatives should start using the phrase 'trans stripper' in lieu of 'drag queen'" because "it has a more lurid set of connotations and shifts the debate to sexualization."
During his congenial, unchallenging discussion with Rufo, Greenwald pegged the beginning of the trans rights movement to the end of the same-sex marriage fight, saying that the push for trans civil rights was a byproduct of winning that battle. Faced with either going home victorious but unemployed or pivoting to a new fight, according to Greenwald's version of events, equality activists chose to keep the spigot of cash flowing. "Instead, they immediately switched to the trans movement, which they barely had talked about before, because there was nothing else for them to do," Greenwald said — connecting to the zero-sum civil rights argument he made with Herzog over a year earlier.
The mean-spirited comments were notable, perhaps, but they're no longer particularly novel. Greenwald has been lobbing insults and attacks at trans people and trans advocates for well over a year.
His defense of the "Libs of TikTok" account — after Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz dug into who was behind the social-media screen and using their platform to go after teachers and others for adopting accepting language toward LGBTQ people — was that LoTT was targeted as a "real enemy" of corporate journalism and a group of "citizens with the wrong politics." Greenwald made championing the LoTT account a point of pride, boasting at one point that he was its "godfather," despite the fact that it has helped drive the recent spate of street violence and legislative restrictions against queer people.

Before that, in October of 2021, Bill Scher wrote a piece for WASHINGTON MONTHLY:

Should transgender children have the right to go to school without suffering discrimination? Or should teachers have the right to discriminate against them? The most prominent organization advocating for civil liberties, the American Civil Liberties Union, has sided with transgender children. The most famous civil libertarian professional commentator, Glenn Greenwald, has sided with the teachers who are asking for the power to discriminate.
Following a new statewide law directing school boards to meet or exceed state education department standards regarding the treatment of transgender students, Virginia’s Loudoun County school board enacted a policy requiring teachers to use students’ preferred pronouns. One teacher quit in protest during an August school board meeting because the school “promotes political ideologies that do not square with who I am as a believer in Christ.” Three other teachers have filed a lawsuit in state court demanding that the school policy be rescinded.
After the ACLU’s Virginia chapter defended the school policy in a legal brief, Greenwald, who rose to fame as a strong critic of government surveillance and as a recipient of the Edward Snowden leaks, wrote on Twitter, “This is the first time, at least to my knowledge, that [the] ACLU is explicitly arguing in court that the First Amendment’s free speech clause has been interpreted *too broadly* by courts, and are advocating *a more restrictive view* of what free speech means. The ACLU was a crucial influence on my political and legal outlook in childhood and early adulthood. There have been many valid criticisms of them as they changed—including from its former leaders—but to see them explicitly urging more free speech restrictions is shocking.”
Greenwald’s tolerance for shock is much higher whenever he appears with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. But what’s shocking to me is his baseless maligning of the ACLU.
The ACLU of Virginia’s brief does not argue that the courts have interpreted free speech too broadly, despite Greenwald’s histrionic insinuation. What the brief argues is that when it comes to minors in school, the courts have long determined that free speech is not absolute.

If you missed all this in real time, we did too.  We don't like Glenn Greenwald, we don't follow him.  Our lives would be better if we didn't have to know he existed.  In October 2020, he was screwed over by THE INTERCEPT and, because he doesn't know the law, as we've long pointed out, he was too stupid to sue THE INTERCEPT for breach of contract.  He was also the target of an organized attack -- organized by Betsy Reed, still with THE INTERCEPT at that point -- and we felt sorry for him.  We said that in real time and, go check at THE COMMON ILLS, it was repeatedly stated that we were biting our tongues because he'd been attacked but we wouldn't hold our tongues forever.  We don't like Glenneth, we never did.  He was always a liar and a whore.  He pretended to be a liberal -- he wasn't, we always noted he was a Libertarian -- to butt into the 2008 Democratic Party primary.  He went around lying and whoring as cheap tramp will because Barack Obama made his Princess Tiny Meat salute.  He hated Hillary and people let him go around trashing her.

Kind of like Katie let the Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate trash Joe Biden without informing her viewers  Viewers had a right to know because Joe Biden is never going to please a Communist and no sane person (that leaves out MTG) would ever think he could.  That doesn't mean Eugene's criticism wasn't valid or that it was.  But it absolutely means that audiences have every right to know that this critic is not going to be pleased with any Democrat.  By the same token, Amy Goodman and others in 2008, should not have allowed Glenneth to pretend he was a Democrat.  Just because he whored with hideous Jane didn't make him a Democrat.  He's a Libertarian.  He's never going to agree with Hillary Clinton who believes in big government when he believes that you starve off the government.

When Chelsea made her remarks about Glenneth, we wondered, "Where is this coming from?"  And that's because we didn't follow him.  We may have thought -- wrongly -- that he was gay so he couldn't be anti-trans.  We don't think that was the case because we've known his self-hatred and efforts throughout college to deny he was gay and to fit in with the oppressors.  
Sidebar, we were sent what is supposedly Glenneth's browser history.  If it is accurate, he's even more disgusting than we thought.  If it hadn't been sent this morning, we'd be working on that as a story.  Not on the Glenneth aspect -- we don't know whether it's really his browser history or not -- but on the issue that Twitter is platforming hate speech.  This is much worse than what people usually complain about with regards to Twitter.  This is "White power" accounts promoting Donald Trump while ripping African-Americans, gays, trans, Jewish and pretty much everyone.  And to be clear, they're not using terms like African-American or gay.  
It is disgusting and it is appalling and there's no way in the world that Elon Musk is doing his job yet is unaware of these accounts. 
There is a movement to target any group that's a minority.  
Whether it's Glenneth's browser history or not, he is part of that movement.  His statements and his actions make him part of that movement and it's only surprising to you if you haven't been paying attention (we weren't paying attention).
So when Katie Halper wants to bring him on and make nice?  
She's choosing sides and she's not choosing the left.    

As a war has been carried out against LGBTQ+ people, she's remained silent.  She's acted as though it's not a real issue.  As though state legislatures working overtime to rob people of their rights is normal and no big deal.  Again, she's chosen her side, the same as Glenneth.

You've descended into the sewer, Katie.  And you're never going to rise.  Any time you try to, that's our stiletto you're going to feel on the back of you neck.  Because we don't play and we don't forgive hate merchants.


On the pandemic . . .

bell peppers
On the pandemic, we talked about this in real time but we're going to do a paragraph or two right now. 

The pandemic was not a happy time.  There were many things done wrong.  We need to learn from it.  If illegal actions took place, we need to know that and people should be punished.  That includes if people used the pandemic to get rich.  

At present?

At present, we've got a lot of accusations and a lot of crazy.  If you want to present what you think happened as your opinion, by all means do so.  But a number of people need to stop with their claims of this happened or that happened.  We're not talking about some average person on the street.  We're talking about con artists and grifters in the media.
We did not worship, praise or celebrate Anthony Fauci.
We thought he was inept and said that he'd lost the public's trust and so he should go.  We said that when Donald Trump was president.  We said that when Joe Biden became president.  We especially said when Joe became president that he needed to ditch Fauci, he didn't need a carry over from the previous administration.

In terms of his experiments on dogs, for example, we think Fauci's garbage.  If hell exists, we hope dogs are in charge of a lab there and experiment on him.

Is he evil, is he mean, is he this, is he that? 
We don't know.  We don't know the man and we wouldn't want to. 

But he said one thing and then he said another.  The public lost trust in him.  He was no longer effective in his role.  Joe should have asked for his resignation immediately.  

Could mistakes be made with no intent to harm and no intent to deceive?

Yes, absolutely.  

It was a scramble and everyone was learning as they went along.  So, yes, Fauci was learning to.  Guess what?  The position he was in?  That's not a gift.  That's a public role and if you cannot be effective in that role, you need to step down.  Fauci is clearly an idiot because he refused to step down -- which also makes him a very poor doctor.  

Masks?  If your biggest whine after the pandemic has -- what? leveled off in the US? -- is masks?  Stop your damn whining.  

People died.  We'll never forget early on learning of the poor woman in Louisiana who was a nurse and they found her with her baby who, fortunately, lived.  People died.  Some were left with longterm symptoms.  
C.I. notes, "I'm one of those.  My lungs are scarred from COVID.  It's apparently not going to heal.  Among people who know me, I'm famous for my memory.  There are days when I have to really stop and go through a mental rewind to get a name that I know.  It's frustrating.  And guess what?  I know -- with no rewind -- I'm damn lucky because some people have worse symptoms and, of course, some people died from COVID.  So I'm very lucky." 

A public event like the pandemic is going to be managed by government officials.  So sorry if that's news to you.  ARMAGEDDON wasn't a reflective movie.  DEEP IMPACT was. We're not talking about the special effects.  We are talking about the government controlling the information, controlling when and how it is revealed, trying to manage the public.

We don't believe in that.  We don't support that approach.  No, we say people have a right to know and let them know.  Give them all the information.  

But we're often alone in saying that.  C.I. and Ava argued and argued with ______ over a piece Ava and C.I. wrote about _____'s show because the episode revolved around some unknown historic letters being discovered and the message was?  Ignore them.  Burn them.  Burn history.  No one needs to know what a president in the 19th century did.  That's garbage and _____ and  Ava and C.I. went round and round about that.  We stand by what Ava and I wrote and we stand by the opinion that you do not hide history -- especially when everyone's dead and gone.

So if you saw the way information was managed and you didn't like it?  Stop complaining about what took place and start demanding changes.  This is not the last pandemic the world will see -- unless climate change deniers kill us with their stupidity.  So make your thoughts known and demand change.  

Unless you do, stop whining.  They always do messaging and try to control the flow of information.  

The masks were irritating.  If you had a real condition, most people worked with you.  If you struggled to breathe, for example, most people worked with you.  If you struggled because wearing the mask gave you stress, most people worked with you.   Someone will no doubt bring up some petty person who had taken too much control somewhere -- a grocery store -- and tried to bully people.  We know that existed as well.  We have caring people on this planet and we have stupid people on this planet.

At the end of the day, however, you having to wear a mask was not the end of the world.  Were the masks really necessary?  We have no idea.  We do not have a problem with someone saying, "No, they weren't!"  If they weren't necessary, they were part of public management in a crisis: Find something everyone can do for a placebo effect.  Give them something to believe they are being helped and it will relieve stress.  We're not saying that's masks were there or were not that.  We are saying mass hysteria is the first concern during a pandemic and you want to calm everyone.  

The idiot Casey DeSantis put out an ad about her hateful husband and their hateful hopes for the country.  That advertisement launched this week.  In it?  People were forced to wear masks!  The horror.  Grow the hell up, you stupid woman.  It was a pandemic and that mask really did not infringe on anyone's rights.  Not that Casey tries to avoid infringing on people's rights -- she's a book burning bigot.  

But the whole world went through a lot during the pandemic.  

It's really not over but we're told by the media it is.  And, over or not, thus far most people survived it.

That's a good thing.  

Quit being such butt hurt babies spewing conspiracy theories or acting like wearing a mask was the equivalent of being placed in interment camps during WWII.  


Ask as many as you need to.  We'll support you.  But stop with the crazy where you take your opinions -- often dubious ones -- and insist that they are facts.  They are not facts.  They don't even qualify as informed hunches.

Books (Mike, Ava and C.I.)



As we did in 2021, we're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community. Since the last installment of this feature, we're speaking with Mike about his "SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND"  a review of Yuval Noah Haraj's  SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND.  You really seem to have enjoyed the book.


 Mike: I really did. I would encourage everyone to read it.  If you've got KINDLE UNLIMITED with AMAZON you can read it for free.  I need to note something there, though.  Back in 2021, when we did this as a community, read books and covered them at our sites, we noted books you could read for free with KINDLE UNLIMITED.  I got an e-mail today from someone who was complaining that we said they could read a book for free and they couldn't now.  So let me state that on 7/18/23, this book was available for free on KINDLE UNLIMITED.  If you read this six months from now or 20 years from now, I'm saying it was free when I read it.  I believe AMAZON rotates the books that are available for free via KINDLE UNLIMITED.

Good point.  Thanks for bringing that in.  Are you a big science reader?

Mike: I'm absolutely not.  I would feel lost with the topic.  But this book, like Elizabeth Kolbert's "THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY," was both interesting and easy to follow.  Haraj's book looks at the Earth and the progression to people on it.  It's very interesting and, you know, there's a part in there about how one group moves towards humans and the other stays towards chimpanzees.  And it's moments like that where you really appreciate how it could have gone anyway at all but instead it went our way.  


Mike: Yes, and Haraj talks about how quickly humans then moved up the chain and that we did it so fast that we didn't have outside controls to stop us from damaging the planet.  And we are the species that could destroy this planet.  Lions didn't do it, for example, but we could.  It'll make you think about climate change and about our responsibilities and how we've ignored those responsibilities.


Is it a book you moved slowly through to savor it?


Mike: I'd say yes.  It was a book that you really wanted to reflect upon.  And let me quote one passage:


One of the most common uses of early stone tools was to crack open bones in order to get to the marrow.  Some researchers believe this was our original niche.  Just as woodpeckers specialise in extracting insects from the trunks of trees, the first humans specialised in extracting marrow from bones.  Why marrow?  Well, suppose you observe a pride of lions take down and devour a giraffe.  You wait patiently until they're done.  But it's still not your turn because first the hyenas and jackals -- and you don't dare interfere with them -- scavenge the leftovers.  Only then would you and your band dare approach the carcass, look cautiously left and right -- and dig into the edible tissue that remained.  This is a key to understanding our history and psychology.  Genus Homo's position in the food chain was, until quite recently, solidly in the middle.  For millions of years, humans hunted smaller creatures and gathered what they could, all the while being hunted by larger predators.  It was only 400,000 years ago that several species of man began to hunt large game on a regular basis and only in the last 100,000 years -- with the rise of Homo sapiens -- that man jumped to the top of the food chain.

That spectacular leap from the middle to the top had enormous consequences.


Mike (Con't): That just adds so much perspective -- both to how we got here and to how much luck and happenstance has allowed to survive so far. 




Previous book discussions this year.

"Books (Ann, Elaine, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Stan, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ann and C.I.)," "Books (Ruth, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Mike, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Stan, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Ann, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)" and "Books (Ava and C.I.)."

2023 Passings

Lisa Presley -- Elaine noted her passing.

Christine McVie -- Kat covered her passing.


Adam Rich -- Marcia noted his passing.


Jeff Beck -- Kat noted his passing.


Lance Kerwin -- Rebecca noted his passing.

Barrett Strong -- Ruth noted his passing.


Lisa Loring -- Rebecca noted her passing.


Burt Bacharach -- Rebecca noted his passing.


Raquel Welch -- Elaine noted her passing.


Stella Stevens  -- Rebecca noted her passing.


Richard Belzer -- Ruth noted his passing.  


Kevin Alexander Gray -- C.I. notes his passing.


Pat Schroeder -- Kat noted her passing.


Lance Reddick -- Mike notes his passing.  


Darcelle XV -- Elaine notes his passing.


"Mark Russell" -- Ruth notes his passing 


"Elizabeth Hubbard" -- Trina notes her passing.


"Mary Quant and more Peabody nominations" -- Elaine notes a passing.


"Harry Belafonte" -- Kat notes a passing.

Gordon Lightfoot" -- Kat notes a passing.


"jacklyn zeman, rose schlossberg, john travolta and..." -- Rebecca notes the passing of Jacklyn Zeman.


"Iraq snapshot," "Tina Turner (1939 to 2023)," "The groundbreaker Tina Turner," "Tina Turner," "Lauren Boebert gets burned by AOC," "MAX and NETFLIX, Eva Longoria," "Tina Turner, Eric Swalwell, John Roberts," "They've ruined their reputation," "Hate merchant Tulsi Gabbard," "tina turner passed but the hideous gop lingers," "Tina " and "The wrong people are dying" -- The community notes the passing of Tina Turner.


 "Gay actor George Maharis has died" -- Stan notes the passing. 

"10 great songs that Cynthia Weil co-wrote" and "Cynthia Weil" -- Marcia and Kat note Cynthia Weil's passing.

"Hate merchant Pat Robertson has passed away" -- Kat notes the end of Pat Robertson.

"Glenda Jackson" -- Ruth notes the actress's passing.



"Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. notes the passing of Daniel Ellsberg.


"Andrea Evans" -- Kat notes the passing of a soap opera icon. 










"Mafia Wives (Susan Williams' WHITE MALICE)" -- C.I. reviews this book.


 "The Sewing Circle" -- Marcia reads Axel Madsen's THE SEWING CIRCLE.


 "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" -- Trina reviews this book.

"Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview" -- Ann reviews this book.

"Call Her Heroic (Ava and C.I.)" -- Ava and C.I. review this book.

"Boze Hadleigh's Hollywood Gays" -- Marcia reviews this book.


"Robert Sellers wrote a book of garbage" -- Kat reviews HOLLYWOOD HELLRAISERS.   



"SCREAM VI and THE BOYS" -- Stan reviews Ron and Clint Howard's THE BOYS.



"the world according to joan" -- Rebecca reviews this book.


 "Elton John and Whitney Houston" -- Kat reviews Elton John's autobiography and a biography on Whitney Houston.

"DON RICKLES: THE MERCHANT OF VENOM" -- Isaiah reviews this book.




 "Vincent Price and Universal" -- Marcia reviews John L. Flynn's 75 YEARS OF UNIVERSAL MONSTERS and Vincent Price's I LIKE WHAT I KNOW: A VISUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY.







"JOAN BAEZ: THE LAST LEAF" -- Ruth reviews  this book by Elizabeth Thomas.


 "A JOYOUS TRANSFORMATION: THE UNEXPURZGATED DIARY OF ANAIS NIN, 1966 -1977" -- Ruth reviews a book by Anais Nin.


"An aging queen writes a bitter book about The Way We Were" -- Marcia reviews a bad book about THE WAY WE WERE.



"Travis Stewart's bad book supposedly on Stevie Nicks" -- Kat reviews a bad book supposedly about Stevie Nicks.


"Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day"-- Trina strongly recommends this cookbook.

"GET LOST" -- Isaiah looks at this comic magazine

"Lucille Ball and HERE'S LUCY" -- Stan reads up on the second half of Lucille Ball's life.

"Melody Thomas Scott's Always Young and Restless: M..." -- Ann reviews this autobiography.

"ROCK AND ROLL NIGHTMARES" -- Elaine reviews this book about crime in the music world. 

"ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN" -- Kat reviews this book about the Mamas & the Papas.

"SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND" -- Mike reviews a science book





Political Tweet of the Week (Comedy)


Tennessee’s War on Trans People: Court OKs Ban on Gender-Affirming Care, AG Demands Medical Records

The Political Theory of Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Jen Psaki reveals what 'Moms for Liberty' is all about 

RFK Jr is insane


Tweet memoriam


This edition's playlist

diana cover 2


1)  Diana Ross' THANK YOU.  







4) Diana Ross' SURRENDER.


5) Sam Smith's GLORIA.


6) Sam Smith's IN THE LONELY HOUR.






9) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.









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. 


"Iraq -- climate change, pollution" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.


"Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq's oil industry harms their economy and their ...,"  "TOP 10 New Comic Books July 19th 2023 🔥 REVIEWS, COVERS, SPOILERS & GIVEAWAY," "Show pony Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis," "Doo-Doo Ron Ron is a number two," "Laverne Cox, Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis, Paul Rudnick," "Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis is going for the gold," "The embarrassments that are Jizzy Pants Maxwell an...," "The fake and fraud that is Glenneth Greenwald," "One thing Joe Biden deserves serious praise for," "Barbra Streisand acceptance speech for "The Justic...," "The truth about Casey DeSantis is evident to the n...,"  "Kennedy Democrats and AOC," "Marjorie Taylor Greene gets ghosted," "Why are tax dollars going to a church?," "Crazy Lauren Boebert," "things that made me laugh and don't miss 'moving on'," "a convicted killer is now threatening to beat up dylan mulvaney,"  "mike pence wants to the 1st trans president of the u.s.," "crazy 'dr' naomi wolf," "psychic nikki haley?," "Some good news via the Emmy nominations," "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is no enivornmentalist," "Time for accountability," "Tara, how's your horse?," "Crazy Tara Reade and her buddy Gal Luft," "Crazy Tara Reade gets worse," "Crazy Junior needs to sit his conspiracy ass down, we can't afford him,"  "I agree with Robert Reich,"  "The Crooked Court and Crooked Clarence just get worse and worse," "The stupid will kill the planet and takes us all down," "Why? Because they were trying to be kind," "Times have changed," "Martina in the arms of OJ -- a story of two hate merchants falling into hate," "Now more businesses think they refuse to serve LGBTQ+ members," "Lorie Smith did her online-check-in to hell," and "Ron DeSantis and other sociopaths" -- news coverage in the community.


"Easy Shrimp Po' Boy in the Kitchen," "Mexican Street Corn Cowboy Butter Sauce in the Kitchen," "Matteo Lane serves up a pasta recipe" and "5-Ingredient Spaghetti with Zucchini & Parmesan in the Kitchen" -- Trina serves up four recipes.


"Aretha Franklin," "Big boy Travis Tritt pretends he's a man," "CNN, nail down your facts before you broadcast,"  "Chase Rice"  and  "AMAZON beef (and some Laura Nyro talk)" -- music coverage in the community.


"Andrea Evans," "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE -- Spoilers," "Bob Iger talks DISNEY and MARVEL," "Less and less diversity" and "Weekend box office" -- TV and film coverage in the community.


 "ROCK AND ROLL NIGHTMARES" -- Elaine reviews a book.

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