Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Truest statement of the week

Shortly after learning that a Seattle police officer had run over and killed a woman at a crosswalk, Daniel Auderer, a Seattle cop and the vice-president of the police guild, called the union’s president and downplayed the accident. “There is initially—he said she was in a crosswalk, there is a witness that said, ‘No she wasn’t,’ but that could be different,” Auderer says, “because I don’t think she was thrown 40 feet, either. ”

On Auderer’s body camera audio they can be heard joking about the woman’s death and laughing at the crash. “She is dead,” Auderer says. Then he laughs. “No, it’s a regular person. Yeah, yeah, just write a check, just, yeah.” Auderer laughs again. “$11,000. She was 26 anyway, she had limited value.”

The police cruiser was traveling at 75 MPH in a 25 MPH zone when it hit and killed Jaahnavi Kandula, who was only 23 when she was killed. Kandula, who was in the middle of the crosswalk and had the right-of-way when she was fatally struck, was a Master’s student at Northeastern University and financially supporting her mother back in India.  The police car did not have its siren on at the time it ran her down.

As for the cop who laughed at her death and called her a person of “limited value,” Daniel Auderer has been the subject of eighteen Office of Police Accountability investigations since 2014 costing the city more than $2,000,000 in lawsuits.

-- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: Just Write a Check" (COUNTERPUNCH). 

Truest statement of the week II

In November 2020, Noel Espinoza was pulled over by two sheriff’s deputies near the town of Trinidad, Colorado, about 200 miles south of Denver. Espinoza’s 70-year-old father, Kenneth, was following Noel in his truck and pulled over behind the police cruiser. When Kenneth got out of his truck to see why his son had been stopped, one of the deputies ordered him to move his truck. Then as the older Espinoza was walking back to his vehicle, the deputies told him to stop. They put him in handcuffs, sat him in the back of the cop car, where without any apparent provocation began tasering the restrained and unarmed man repeatedly in front of his son. The two Las Animas County sheriff’s deputies, Deputy Mikhail Noel and Lt. Henry Trujillo, didn’t just taser the old man once or twice. They tasered him 35 times and, from the evidence of the body camera footage, made it look like as if were engaged in a kind of deranged sport. “To watch my father almost lose his life to these men — time stopped,” Nate Espinoza said. “I can still see them pointing the gun at my father and watching time stop, just feeling everything leave my body.”

Deputy Trujillo shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. In 1998 he was convicted of harassment conviction and he served a year of probation and paid $179.50 in fines. Then in 2006 he was hit with three restraining orders, all for domestic violence. In 2009 Trujillo had been forced to resign the sheriff’s office, but was later re-hired and promoted. After the brutal tasing of Espinoza, Trujillo had been placed administrative leave. A few weeks later he was involved in a road rage incident, after being passed on a road outside Trinidad by a teenage boy riding motorcycle. Trujillo chased down the teen in his car and initiated a fight with the boy on the side of the road. The whole affair was caught on a surveillance camera.


-- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: Just Write a Check" (COUNTERPUNCH).  



A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday 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?


Jeffrey St. Clair gets another truest.

And another.

Things get worse in Iraq -- who thought that was possible?

Ava and C.I. take on media distortions and the distortions that mar Barbra Streisand's LIVE AT THE BON SOIR.

We could have posted this Saturday morning but chose to wait until we were posting this week's edition.

Ava and C.I. discuss Naomi Klein's new book.

Renee Johnston gets it this week.

How sad of Josh to turn his back on his fans.  Without the LGBTQ+ community, Josh is just Antonio Sabato Jr.  In other words: Unemployable.

Repost of C.I.'s book review.

A list of the books covered by the community so far this year.

A press release from Will Lehman.

What we listened to while working on this edition.

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



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





Around the world, hate merchants target communities. Tracey Shelton (Australia's ABC) reports:


Ammar and his partner are ecstatic about the prospect of adopting their first child.

The same-sex couple have just begun the adoption process in Melbourne, where 36-year-old Ammar works as a dentist.

Back in Iraq, he hadn't even dared to dream about the possibility of a real relationship, let alone a family.

From the age of 12, Ammar grew up with confusion and fear of his own feelings, as he saw the LGBT community around him face harassment, assault and even murder.

Soon, Iraqi LGBT people could officially face the death penalty under a law that was proposed last month and is currently before parliament.

As August was winding down, Human Rights Watch noted:


The Iraqi government should immediately withdraw a proposed law currently before parliament that would impose the death penalty for same-sex conduct and imprisonment for transgender expression, Human Rights Watch said today. If adopted, the bill would violate fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, privacy, equality, and nondiscrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT) in Iraq.

On August 15, 2023, Raad Al-Maliki, an independent member of parliament, introduced a bill that would amend the “Law on Combatting Prostitution,” No. 8 of 1988, to explicitly make same-sex relations and transgender expression a criminal offense. If passed, the bill would punish same-sex relations with the death penalty or life in prison, punish “promoting homosexuality” with a minimum seven years in prison and a fine, and criminalize “imitating women” with up to a three-year sentence. In introducing the bill, Al-Maliki said its purpose was to “preserve the entity of the Iraqi society from deviation and calls for ‘paraphilia’ [abnormal sexual impulses] that have invaded the world.”

“Iraq’s proposed anti-LGBT law would threaten the lives of Iraqis already facing a hostile environment for LGBT people,” said Rasha Younes, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Iraqi lawmakers are sending an appalling message to LGBT people that their speech is criminal and their lives are expendable.”

Though consensual same-sex conduct is not explicitly criminalized in Iraq, the authorities have used vague “morality” laws to prosecute LGBT people. The introduction of the anti-LGBT bill follows months of hostile rhetoric against sexual and gender minorities by Iraqi officials, as well as government crackdowns on human rights groups.

The bill reviewed by Human Rights Watch equates same-sex relations with “sexual perversion,” which it defines as “repeated sexual relations between members of the same sex … if occurring more than three times.” The law also provides for seven years in prison and a fine between 10 million Iraqi dinars (US$7,700) and 15 million dinars ($11,500) for “promoting homosexuality,” which is undefined.

The bill specifically targets transgender women, with a prison term between one and three years or with a fine between 5 million dinars ($3,800) and 10 million dinars ($7,700) for anyone who “imitates women.” The law defines “imitating women” as “wearing makeup and women’s clothing” or “appearing as women” in public spaces.

The bill prohibits hormone replacement therapy and what it calls “sex change” based on personal desire, as well as any attempt to change one’s gender identity, punishable by prison terms between one and three years. The same penalty applies to any surgeon or other doctor who performs gender-affirming surgery. The law makes an intersex exception for cases that require a surgical intervention to confirm biological sex, based on the binary categories of male and female.

Violence and discrimination against LGBT people is already rampant in Iraq. The targeting of LGBT people online and lethal violence against LGBT people by armed groups in Iraq has routinely been met with impunity, Human Rights Watch said.

On August 8, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission issued a directive ordering all media outlets to replace the term “homosexuality” with “sexual deviance” in their published and broadcast language and banning use of the term “gender.”

On May 31, a court in the Kurdistan region of Iraq ordered the closure of Rasan Organization, a human rights organization in the Kurdistan Region, over “its activities in the field of homosexuality.”

In September 2022, members of the Kurdistan regional parliament introduced the “Bill on the Prohibition of Promoting Homosexuality,” which would punish any individual or group that advocates for the rights of LGBT people.

The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting the rights of all Iraqis, Human Rights Watch said. The proposed law contravenes Iraq’s Constitution, which protects the rights to nondiscrimination (article 14) and privacy (article 17), as well as its obligations under international human rights law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Iraq ratified in 1971, affirms the rights to life, liberty, privacy, free expression, and security of the person. Similarly, the Arab Charter on Human Rights, of which Iraq is a member, affirms these rights.

Unequal protection against violence and unequal access to justice are prohibited under international law. The ICCPR, in its articles 2 and 26, guarantees fundamental human rights and equal protection of the law without discrimination. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, the international expert body that provides authoritative interpretations of the covenant, has made clear that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination under these provisions.

“The Iraqi government has failed to tackle discriminatory practices that underpin violence against LGBT people,” Younes said. “Instead it has promoted anti-LGBT ‘morality’-based legislation that fuels violence and discrimination against already marginalized sexual and gender minorities. The Iraqi government should immediately abandon the proposed anti-LGBT law and end the cycle of violence and impunity against LGBT people.”

Media: Distortions

 As Allison Anders' classic film GRACE OF MY HEART winds down, singer-songwriter Denise Waverly (played by Illeana Douglas -- think Carole King) is in the studio producing her own album -- with "a song for everyone" and, as she mixes "Boat On The Sea" at the controls,  asking her late husband Jay (Matt Dillon) It's not going to distort. I want it in the red.  Jay, help me out now."  She's trying to run the full range of what can be recorded on the high end and the bass without distorting.  But what is life without distortions?




Barbra Streisand turned 81 in April and some see her future music career is nothing but archival releases.  Could be.  But she's more than the notes and she might surprise a few people.  Equally true, she's already survived a huge change of voice and did so with little attention or remarks from most.

She was at her finest voice on THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM.  She had the same notes that she'd had on the previous release, THE BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM, but she had a new mastery of her voice that put THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM ahead of anything else and it was her first gold  album.  The previous album also went gold -- but only after THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM had managed that feat.


When COLUMBIA released LIVE AT THE BON SOIR November 4th of last year* on digital and CD, we thought people might use that moment to comment on this.  But they didn't.  Then, more recently (June 17th of this year per AMAZON), the album was released on vinyl and that still didn't prompt the discussion. 

A lot of things didn't get noticed last week.  CBS NEWS allowed Ronald DeSantis to make false claims that, if he were president, he'd treat everyone the same when failing to point out that -- as governor currently --  he refuses to treat everyone the same (see the targeted attacks on LGBTQ+ persons, on African-Americans, on education, on immigrants and -- for that matter, on DISNEY) and they allowed him to bring up his "Don't Say Gay" law and lie about it (it doesn't apply only to elementary school, as he lied, since he now has enforced K through 12).  Why let him lie?  You're doing the interview and doing it on a program entitled CBS EVENING NEWS and you're letting him lie?  Forget CBS EVENING NEWS, though, because last month, the entire media landscape let Ronald lie and get away with it

It's a popular lie that hate merchants can't stop using.  In their war on trans people, they repeatedly try to come off as moderate and caring and they do that by lying.  They aren't doing anything wrong, the hate merchants insist of themselves, by refusing care -- such as hormone blockers -- for children.  It's not wrong to do this, they insist and then they'll cite tattoos.  Why you can't get a tattoo under 18 in my state, why should you be able to get puberty blockers!  In August, Ronald DeSantis used that lie to try to sell his bigotry,  "As a parent right now, I can't take my six-year-old daughter and get her a tattoo, even if I want to do that."  That's what he said and the press all reprinted it and rebroadcast it and none of them practiced journalism while doing so.  

Journalism is not simply repeating a claim someone made.  Journalism is checking that claim.  Florida law? Parental permission gets you a tattoo.  Not only that, you can get one for medical reasons.  The full text on that, Florida statute 381.00787,  just the first clause: "(1) A person may not tattoo the body of a minor child younger than 16 years unless the tattooing is performed for medical or dental purposes by a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 466."  So, yes, a child in Florida can get a tattoo under the age of 16 -- no, not 18, 16 -- if they meet those conditions. 

Enter Mike Pence last week.  And grasp that hate's not selling.  Grasp that the hate merchants are facing pushback.  In recent elections, hate merchants are losing.  The anti 'woke' are discovering that standing against 'woke' is not energizing any voters beyond the corrupt and crazed minority.  And it is, in fact, turning off the majority of voters.  Moms For Bigotry -- a non-organic organization that's fueled by big money -- is learning what actual organic organization is as, around the country, real parent groups are springing up to fight for the rights of their children and against hate merchants like Moms For Bigotry. But hate merchants like Mike Pence want to have their prejudice and spread it too so they resort to lies. 


Last week, Melissa McCollister showed up at a Mike Pence townhall and rained some reality on his bigoted ass:


Melissa McCollister: Good evening, vice president. I am an LGBTQ member and I have trans individuals in my family. Recent anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law all around this United States, including here in Iowa. So far, in 2023, 15 transgender individuals and gender-nonconforming people have been murdered. The vast majority of those people have been Black and Latinx transgender women. It is very hard for me to ask these questions after just hearing what I heard. What is your policy plan to protect the transgender community, specifically Black and brown trans women from historically high levels of violence?

A few outlets noted her remarks, many more noted just Pence's response to them which included this:

For me, what adults do in their lives, decisions that they make, including transgender adults, is one thing, but for kids under the age of 18— there’s a reason why we don’t let you drive ’til you’re 16. In the state of Indiana, you can’t get a tattoo until after you’re 18, you can’t drink until after you’re 21, that’s because we understand that kids don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions.

Before being Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence was governor of Indiana.  Is that why no one thought to check out his claims?  Did so-called journalists believe that he had to know Indiana law since he'd been the governor?

He lied.  

The press amplified his lie instead of fact checking him.


If you're a child in Indiana, you can get a tattoo.  You need parental permission to do so but you can get one and that's the law.

So why does the press continue to aid hate merchants in their war on the transgender community by repeating these claims without fact checking them?


That's the law in most states, by the way.  And, to aid lazy journalists in the future when the next hate merchant lies about how-you-can't-even-get-a-tattoo before the age of 18?  Click here and go to the WIKIPEDIA pages entitled "Legal status of tattooing in the United States" -- yes, they have a page for that. You'll be able to do a fact check in an instant.  And you'll find that most states operate under parental/guardian permission required.  Oh, sure, there are a few backward states like Arkansas, the Carolinas and New York, that don't allow it but they are in the minority.  Could it be that the heavy concentration -- way too heavy -- of media in New York has led too many failed journalists to conclude that New York dictates everything?  Is that why they so quickly repeat the lie and fail to fact check?

We have no idea.  But we know we're damn sick of it.

So if they say that their state doesn't let you get a tattoo under 18, fact check it.  If they say "Many states don't let you get a tattoo under the age of 18"?  That's still a lie.  The majority of states in the United States allow someone under 18 to get a tattoo with the permission of a parent.  

Or guardian!  We should include that.  Especially for the backward and in-bread states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Why there?  Your spouse can be your guardian and both states allow 14-year-olds to get married.


So much didn't get addressed last week.  Take Project 2025.  Various extreme right think tanks got together and came up with this 'project' (planned assassination of checks and balances and of rights and liberties).  Few outlets have bothered to discuss it.  Kyle Kulinski didn't avoid the topic.

Project 2025 is the action plan for the hate merchants of the fright-wing to put into play immediately upon election of a Republican president.  It would decimate the federal government by turning jobs over to patronage and making them exist -- or not exist -- on the whim of the president.  It would launch attacks on the rights of immigrants, people of color, all women and the LGBTQ+ community. 

The illegitimate Supreme Court would most likely back everyone of the items on this agenda.  They're an illegitimate Court with filled with corrupt justices (most infamously Crooked Clarence Thomas) and they're not just bought off by the wealthy, they also have no respect for precdent -- for the very thing our laws are built upon.  The demonstrated that with DOBBS and Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion on DOBBS included a wish list of other laws he'd like to see overturned.  Guess what?  Project 2024 checks off Clarence's wish list.


This should be huge but people don't want to discuss it.  In the few times that it is discussed, it's just the elimination of federal jobs that gets discussed.  

Project 2025 should scare everyone -- even mentally competent Republicans should be scared by it -- if there are any left.

Democrats should be bringing up Project 2025 on every media appearance they make because we doubt nothing would turn out more voters in the fall of 2024 than the knowledge of what an extreme group of Republicans are planning. 

But knowledge is always in such short supply.  Even among whom you'd think were the devoted.

Take Barbra fans.  No, they've never been as passionate as Judy Garland fans -- or, for that matter, fans of Diana Ross or Madonna -- but they are many and they are devoted.

But apparently, they only know what they're told.  


So let's tell some hard facts to the Church of Barbra.  LIVE AT THE BON SOIR is not a great album.

If you're going to call it one, you better mean for historic purposes.  LIVE AT THE BON SOIR, though the latest Barbra album to be released, was the first album she ever recorded.  She had signed with COLUMBIA and they thought a live album would be the way to go.

Stop a moment and grasp that.


Barbra's fabled judgement is not as infallible as many fans want it to be.  She had complete artistic control written into her contract from day one.  They couldn't make her record songs she didn't like -- per her written contract -- and they couldn't pair for duets without permission and they had to release not one but two albums in her first year and she had approval on cover photographs and on this and on that. 

Barbra was part of the "they" that decided to do a live album.


It was a huge mistake.  And COLUMBIA shelved it.  For the 2022 release (on digital and CD), they did tremendous work enhancing the recordings and it still doesn't save the album. As a historic document, it's an important release.  For those who need to have a complete collection of all recordings, it's an important release.


But for anyone who cares about sound quality, it's not a good release.  And it never would have been.


Barbra's voice at that point was known for its range, clarity and power.  To exhibit those in 1962, you needed a studio recording.  The Bon Soir was a club.  It's acoustics were okay for a performance because we accept flaws in performances.   They were not up to recording standards, however.  Peggy Lee wouldn't have done a live album at The Bon Soir so it was a huge mistake on Barbra's part to do one there.


And it was just one mistake after another.


Barbra's first two studio albums?  They have her working with Peter Matz who must consider -- with cause -- to be the Nelson Riddle to her Frank Sinatra.  Peter Matz was not part of The Bon Soir recording.  He'd come into Barbra's life only after the record label deemed the live recordings unreleasable.  


She did have a Peter in her life, Peter Daniels.  He'd become her accompanist, playing piano when she performed live. He didn't play on her first studio album and had very limited contribution to her second.  That's a good thing because he didn't know what the hell he was doing.


Listen to any track on LIVE AT THE BON SOIR and groan at what he's doing on the piano.  Sometimes it's just two notes he goes back and forth over and over and over throughout a verse.  He's always striking some note, though, isn't he?  Even when it's not needed.  He's competing with her voice and that's not good.  It wouldn't be good on a studio album -- Peter Matz, who did the arrangements on the first two studio albums, knew when to float Barbra's voice, when to bring in the musicians and how many.  His arrangements really do have no equal except for the work Nelson Riddle did with Sinatra.  


Peter Daniels' piano playing is too damn busy and that's annoying.  But it's too damn busy during a 1962 live recording (three nights of recording, November 5, 6 and 7th).  Daniels might have been perfect on piano in a small club with people coming to see an unknown or an emerging talent.  But for a live album he's far too busy.  And not just because he's distracting and stealing attention but because he's part of the distortion on the album -- even after it's been cleaned up for this release.


Not noted in the promotional material for the album, there were mike problems.  In 1962, there would have been microphone problems and there were including, on the first night, a microphone loudly going out.  And Barbra wasn't an expert at microphones.  She used them in club performances and on some of her limited TV work (THE TONIGHT SHOW was the only national program that had her on as a guest prior to the release of any album or single).  In terms of using a microphone for recording, her only professional experience was with the cast album for I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE from the musical for which she got her first Tony nomination and then for PINS AND NEEDLES: 25TH ANNIVERSARY RECORDING -- an album celebrating the 25th anniversary of that musical -- not an original cast recording released 25 years later -- on which Barbra sang six songs (at the insistence of composer Harold Rome).  

She knew very little about recording with microphones.  Years later, she still knew very little about recording.  She couldn't have been, for example, Denise Waverly at the mixing board until the 70s.  In fact, she only really learned about mixing while recording 1969's WHAT ABOUT TODAY?  She was listening to recording from the sessions and she couldn't understand something basic.  She'd gone from soft vocal to loud vocal but the recording didn't show that big of a shift.  Wally Gold, producer of the album, had to explain to her about how the sound could distort and the safe range that you mixed in and about compressors and limiters and so much more.

Had she known that in 1963, she wouldn't have tried for a live record.  

She's got microphones shorting out and she's got Peter Daniels making sure his friends and family hear him on every note of each song.  It's too much for the limited technology of 1962 to capture in the non-conducive to recording acoustics that The Bon Soir had.  It was considered a "sh**ty recording" in real time and all the work they did cleaning it up all these years later for release didn't do a whole lot.

And LIVE AT THE BON SOIR has depressed a number of Barbra fans. We understand.  It's part of a downward trajectory she's been on for some time now.  Substandard recordings as she lost some of her range.  Bad duet albums that exist to meet contractual demands and rake in dough but that don't belong in her discography (2014's PARTNERS, 2016's ENCORE: MOVIE PARTNERS SING BROADWAY), 2017's THE MUSIC...THE MEM'RIES...THE MAGIC! which works as a NETFLIX special but really not as an album especially not with the substandard releases that preceded it (the duet albums allowed her to hide the lost range -- or try to -- with the excuse that her partners required different keys to sing in; the live 2017 special was just her being lazy and sitting around and talking when not singing in that now limited voice).  2018's WALLS which quickly became her worst selling album of all time (and why the hell an artist of her talent would want to make an album 'responding' to a jerk like Donald Trump to begin with is beyond belief), and now LIVE AT THE BON SOIR which is her worst charting album ever (even the soundtrack to ON A CLEAR DAY did better and COLUMBIA released that a month after the film was released; do not point to THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT soundtrack because she does not sing on that soundtrack, her credit on that is earned from the album featuring dialogue from her and George Segal). 


That's where she is now in her career.  Awful duet albums that served no purpose but to rake in cash (which they did, both went to number one and the first was certified platinum -- her last certification -- gold or platinum -- for a studio album), the sit-down and relax while I tell stories to take away from my vocal loss live album, the hideous LIVE AT THE BON SOIR and the very hideous WALLS.  In fact, let's quote the opening of Kat's review of WALLS:

Barbra's got a new love and his name is Mister Man.  That's what's so obvious at first listen to WALLS.  The second thing that's obvious is how unimportant and uninspired Streisand truly is.  Years ago, Joe Queenan wrote a devastating overview of Streisand -- one she seems determined to sign off on.  "On the great Highway of Life, this is one gal who never wanders too far away from the median strip," for example, could practically be a pull quote to promote this album.

For those who've missed it, Babs is peeved off -- and eating a great deal.  It's all the fault of Donald Trump, she wants you to know.  But her eating bricks of coffee ice cream?  She was doing that back in the sixties, in fact, she had a freezer built into an early bed for just that ice cream.  And her weight?  Again, back in the days of FUNNY GIRL, she was having to repeatedly insist that she was not pregnant due to her weight gain.

So to note that she's yet again full of it is to note the obvious.

Barbra's WALLS is not art or even mildly artistic. It's nothing but a rich woman making MUZAK.  For example, the queen mother Barbra keeps insisting how hard it is for her to sleep these days to interviewers who show up for who-knows-what-reason to speak to one of the laziest minds of our times.

She kicks off the album with a song entitled "What's On My Mind."  It matters little that it's a hodge-podge of bad tune and lyrics.  What matters is that -- in interview after interview -- Babs issues simple platitudes yet, for this bit of pop schlock, she requires three additional writers to flesh out what's on her mind.  For those who feel 'deeply,' you see, you need co-writers.  Or, more to the point, if you can't really feel it, pay someone who can.

Think of this as Babs most extreme version of checkbook recording.

She writes many checks.  Several are written to Jonas Myrin -- her apparent soul twin, responsible for four songs on the album.  And why not?  When an elderly Jewess (76) wants to speak her mind, who better than a 36-year-old, born again Christian, Swedish man to convey her thoughts?

If the songs sound less than heart felt, never forget she was incapable of writing them herself.

So, yes, we can understand fans being upset that WALLS might be her final studio album -- what a waste to go out on.  And LIVE AT THE BON SOIR said fans were really just fed up at this point -- it only charted in the US and it only made it to 150 on the sales chart -- again, her lowest charting album** (singing -- THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT doesn't count, she doesn't sing a song on that soundtrack).


It's got to be very depressing that this might be how the career ends.  Her only real success in the last years has been 2021's RELEASE ME 2 -- and that was an archive collection of songs she'd recorded from the sixties up until 2014 -- songs she'd recorded but didn't want released in real time.  

"So this is how it all ends?"

That would be a very depressing ending.


But it doesn't have to be that way.  Is Barbra an actress who sings or a singer who acts?  That's been a question asked since she first started recording.  And one reason that's asked is because Barbra acts out her songs.  She did that originally, she's stated, because she wanted to be an actress and she couldn't get cast in roles so she could go onstage and turn every song into an act.

She can still do that and she can do it regardless of range. She is a powerful singer and, yes, her range and her ability to hold notes forever added to her glory and legend.  But she is a powerful singer even with a limited range.  Remember, Judy Garland had a limited range -- she sang like a child and that's not intended as an insult.  Most people grow out of that range but she never did and still did amazing work as a singer.


Barbra was probably the greatest singer there was in popular music in 1963 and it's a shame that LIVE AT BON SOIR can't testify to that. Don't count on any HUNGRY I recording testifying to that later on. Barbra at The Hungry I was not her at her best.  She was good and the crowd loved her but things had already changed vocally.

Barbra as she moved towards San Francisco (and The Hungry I) was experiencing a new problem that hadn't plauged  her when she started singing at cabarets and clubs in NYC in 1960 or later when she went on the road or even later when she was performing nightly in I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE on Broadway.  She was losing her voice.

In San Francisco, she sought the help of Judy Davis who has saved many artists (including The Mamas and the Papas) with various lessons and techniques she created after listening to how they produced music.  Barbra continued singing because of Judy Davis and, rare for Barbra, she actually has repeatedly given Judy credit publicly over the years.  (She is notorious for grabbing credit unearned and also for disappearing people who have helped her along the way.)  


What Judy did was give Barbra a voice.  It wasn't the voice she had before.  


"Keening."  That's how some dismissed that early singing voice.  Others thought it was overly dramatic.  When Bob Dylan spent some time studying singing late in his career and decided to try out what he'd learned (listen to NASHVILLE SKYLINE) he lied that the change was due to the fact that he stopped smoking. Barbra likes to put out that she decided to stop being so dramatic in her singing.  No, her voice stopped and then she stopped.  

Judy couldn't give her back the voice she had.  The closest you hear that voice in her recordings after 1963 is when she sings softly -- such as on "As Time Goes By" in both her recording for THE THIRD ALBUM and for the film WHAT'S UP DOC? -- she could no longer hits those notes except when singing softly.

Judy brought her voice down -- made it darker.  We're not talking notes, we're talking placement.  It became more and more centered in the chest.   1965's TV soundtrack special MY NAME IS BARBRA shows you what Barbra sounds like without the keening (with the keening, she distorts on LIVE AT THE BON SOIR -- again that's recorded in 1963).  Without the keening and without substituting what Judy taught her to rely on instead.  


She's using her chest as the main resonator.  For the keening, she was especially hitting the resonators in her nos and the skull area above her eyebrows.  (If you're new to resonators, your face has many -- including the cheekbone area under the eyes.  The higher resonators you use, the more bright your voice sounds.)  She also used the top of the mouth as a resonator in keening.  

Though most people never bought Dylan's lie about his voice changing when he stopped smoking (because, among other things, lifelong smoker Bob Dylan has never really quit or stopped), they have bought the notion that Barbra matured as an artist and wanted to be less dramatic so that's what changed her voice.  No.  After The Hungry Eye and studying with Judy, Barbra returned to the recording studio in June of 1963 to finish THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM (she'd started recording it in February) and there were problems.  She couldn't do the "keening" in the studio the way she had been.  It would make her voice go rough.  She'd try to do it repeatedly and nail it for a few tracks.  But, more often than not, she'd have to resort to the new techniques Judy taught her.  That's why June was multiple dates and February was only one day in the studio.  That's also why engineer Frank Laico had so many problems with her.  He even told her they did fine on the previous album together so stop worrying -- but what had her worried were her vocals because she knew she wanted to do and she couldn't do it with her voice anymore -- at least not for long periods.  The songs that made the album were the ones she could do the keening on.  She tried "It Had To Be You" in keening and couldn't pull it off.  She then tried it using Judy's techniques but she didn't like the way her voice sounded on that.  She would work on her signing -- the things Judy taught her and the things she taught herself so that six months later she was comfortable enough to try "It Had To Be You" in the studio again and to do it with her new skills and produce a recording she was proud of (it's on THE THIRD ALBUM).

The point to that?  Barbra's reshaped her voice before.  She can do it again.  Any losses created by the aging process that effects everyone, does not rob her of her ability to bring a song to life.  Or as Joni Mitchell wrote and sang, "Well something's lost but something's gained in living every day."  And that's true of Joni's voice.  It's not what it was in the 1960s or the 1970s.  But she can deliver a song and still move you.  That's probably the case with Barbra as well.  At least we hope so because what's been released in the last eight or so years has been an embarrassment and her legacy needs something far better to go out on.




* Yes, CRAPAPEDIA says the album was released on CD and digital on September 22, 2022.  That's why we've gone to the trouble of linking -- because CRAPAPAEDIA is wrong.  September 22, 2022, use the link we provided above, is when COLUMBIA RECORDS announced the November 4th release of LIVE AT THE BON SOIR.  The link will take you to Barbra's official website and to the archived press release she posted back in September of last year.  Stop believing CRAPAPEDIA -- especially when it revolves around anything to do with a woman.


** Do not e-mail us about Barbra's CD and DVD albums.  ONE NIGHT ONLY: BARBRA STREISAND AND QUARTET AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD went platinum and did chart as a DVD -- the DVD included the CD and the DVD in one set.  BACK TO BROOKLYN also charted as a DVD release.  That's not surprising.  When you can buy the CD alone or, for a little extra, buy the DVD and get the CD included, most fans will just buy the DVD due to it being the better bargain.


LGBTQ+ Roundtable

 [Community roundtable that went up at most sites Saturday]

Trina: Let me start with this from LGBTQ NATION:

Bans on gender-affirming care are just the tip of the iceberg that is a “coordinated effort to eliminate LGBTQ+ people of all ages from public life,” according to a new report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an organization that tracks policies on LGBTQ+ issues and voting.

The MAP’s five-part report on the national trend, entitled Under Fire, notes that states are restricting access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth and adults; passing religious exemptions to deny medical care for LGBTQ+ people; increasing the difficulty of obtaining accurate identity documents listing trans people’s correct gender identity; censoring coverage of LGBTQ+ issues in schools; and increasing the targeted harassment and violence of queer people, all while eroding voting rights.

“The number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in just the first two months of 2023 is more than the anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in all of 2012, 2013, and 2014 combined,” the MAP wrote. “At the same time, concerted efforts are underway to reshape access to the ballot and undermine democracy; in 2023, at least 380 bills have been introduced in state legislators that would restrict voting and undermine democracy,” the group added.

Bans against gender-affirming care don’t only target minors. Some state laws are trying to redefine “minors” to include adults up to age 26 or to exclude transition-related care from Medicare and state health insurance plans.

Concurrently, four states have banned trans and nonbinary people from updating the gender marker on their birth certificates — something that makes it difficult to obtain other forms of ID that are more commonly used on a day-to-day basis. Nine states ban trans people from using bathrooms and other facilities matching their gender identity. Ten states have passed policies that effectively make it illegal for schools to use a transgender student’s name and pronouns, and 23 states ban trans student-athletes from playing on sports teams matching their gender identity.

Numerous states have passed “Don’t Say Gay” laws censoring discussions of LGBTQ+ people, and multiple states have passed laws forbidding schools to accommodate trans students. These laws often allow people to sue or fire LGBTQ+-supportive teachers or to purge LGBTQ+-inclusive books from schools and public libraries.

Even worse, “Too many people face barriers to voting or live in gerrymandered states where they effectively aren’t able to elect lawmakers who reflect their values on LGBTQ equality and other issues,” said Brian Hinkle, Senior Voting Policy Researcher at MAP. “Our opponents know this and have spent years creating these systemic barriers on purpose for political gain.” 

Trina (Con't): This week, Ava and C.I. wrote "Media: Hypocrisy, thy name is THE VANGUARD" and this is from that:

If someone wants to vote Green, fine.  If they want to vote however fine.  But we need to know what our vote means.  We're not voting Green because there is a plan by the Republican Party to strip people of their rights.  That's dreamers -- and that's even the children of immigrants -- children born in this country -- that the Republican Party thinks they can strip of citizenship.  'B-b-b-but the Constitution!'  Doesn't matter.  Nothing does with an illegal and corrupt Supreme Court.  We saw it with ROE.  We saw it when it rewarded the hate merchant Lorie Smith out of Colorado.  'It would deny her religion if she had to design a website for a same-sex marriage but this Court opinion is not to be expanded upon, honest, pinky promise.'  It's already being used to deny the rights of gays and lesbians. And the GOP extremist goal is to overturn marriage equality.  Why?  Because they believe it is the first time the government has recognized legal rights for gays and lesbians. They think if they overturn this, they can overturn anything.  They have also defined same-sex relationships -- living together, marriage, dating, what have you -- as pornography.  They don't do that for straight relationships.  But they do it for same-sex relationships and their plan is to further attack LGBTQ+ rights by doing that and arguing that free speech does not apply to pornography.  They want to now move on to outlawing birth control.  They think they have the perfect Court to do this with.  They think they can achieve all their dreams and rebuke every advance this country has made in the last 70 or so years on race, gender and equality.  


Trina (Con't): Ava, talk about that a for moment.

Ava:  This isn't happening by accident, these attacks on the LBGTQ+ community.  They are part of a plan.  C.I.'s covered at THE COMMON ILLS more than once but a lot of people are still unaware of what's going on.  It's planned and it's part of a Republican plan to destroy the country.  It's called Project 2025 and it's a blueprint for what they want to do if they, the Republican Party, wins back the White House in the 2024 elections.  Fright-wing hate mongers came together and made up their wish list.  Some of it gets more attention -- the part that lays out firing federal workers to replace them with loyalists to a president -- not to a Constitution.  This is a very real threat.  And these hucksters pimping Cornel West are a huge problem.  We are not attacking the Green Party and many of us -- including C.I. and myself -- are on record saying if you're voting for the Green Party in 2024 to build the party, that's great, that's wonderful.  But Cornel is not the Green Party's presidential nominee.  I don't care how many times some liar on YOUTUBE tells you otherwise.  The Green Party will determine their nominee at their 2024 summer political convention.  Not until then.  

Trina: Thank you.  Now C.I.'s picked a few videos on the topic of Project 2025 that we're including in this roundtable.

C.I.: While text outlets including THE GUARDIAN and SALON have covered the Project 2025 seriously, it's largely been ignored among the big YOUTUBERS.  You can refer to this video that Kyle Kulinski did on it.

C.I. (Con't):  And to this video report from THE HUMANIST.

C.I. (Con't): POLITICS BY TABITHA did the video below which is a very useful primer.

C.I. (Con't): And that's only one of many videos Tabitha has done on the topic so refer to her YOUTUBE page for even more.  And I'll note WALDORF NATION.

C.I. (Con't): There are more videos by right-wingers thrilled by destroying the rights of LGBTQ+ people, of women, of people of color, of immigrants.  The 'name' YOUTUBERs are ignoring it.  And if you feel you did a great video and I ignored you, ask yourself if you talked about people?  If you did it -- like two lefties I saw -- and only talked about the federal employees, we don't need you.  Attacks on reproductive rights need to be called out, attacks on immigrants need to be called out, attacks on people of color need to be called out and attacks on LGBTQ+ people need to be called out.  Don't have time for your nonsense if you can't address it.

Trina: Thank you.  And thank you to Ava and C.I. because they're the ones taking notes and typing this up.  I do not put publications  or outlets in all caps.  Some in the community do.  Because Ava and C.I. are the ones doing the notes and typing it up, it's going to utilize the all caps.  This is a roundtable and participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and  Jim;  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!;  Wally of The Daily Jot;  Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and me, Trina of Trina's Kitchen None of us are surprised by Project 2025 -- this is in keeping with the plans on a thumb-drive purported to possess Glenn Greenwald's browser history.  The drive was dropped off at C.I.'s agent. Since she's had the drive, C.I.'s worked through it slowly and shared it with the community and also with journalists and advocates she trusts.  She saw the article from LGBTQ NATION that we started at the top with and she texted me about the article wondering if I could cover it because she would if I wouldn't?  I said no problem.  And said that without looking.  Once I looked, I thought, "Oh, this is bigger than me."  So I sent out a text asking who hadn't posted for Friday already?  I didn't want to double dip on anyone who'd already posted and worked a full week.  So when those participating texted back that they hadn't posted yet, I asked if they wanted to do a roundtable?   And they all did.  So thank you to everyone participating.  If you wish to comment on this roundtable, e-mail common_ills@yahoo.com because there are several people who work the public e-mail account for THE COMMON ILLS.  That said, C.I.'s usually the only one who goes into it on the weekends so it may be Monday before your e-mail is read.  I will start.  As the mother of a gay son, I am outraged by what the hate merchants are doing.  And I'm further outraged that they've gotten away with so much.

Jim: Agreed.  I want to start by noting C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" today which addressed how the media repeatedly fails on the LGBTQ+ issue.  Mike Pence, as C.I. points out, was asked this week by the mother of a transgendered person why he was attacking trans rights.  He claimed -- as Ron DeSantis did before -- that in his state, you can't even get a tattoo at 16 so you shouldn't be able to have this blocker or that medicine or whatever.  Ronald made that claim about Florida.  C.I. called the nonsense out when Ron made it.  This morning, C.I. had to call out the nonsense with regards to Indiana -- Pence's home state.  Both men lied or are stupid.  Neither state says no tattoos until you're 18.  Both allow for tattoos with parental consent.  So two points here.  First, why is it that paid 'journalists' are letting these lies sail by and not be called out when C.I. can and does catch them.  Second, this isn't an accident.  As C.I. points out, these politicians are lying to get support for their policies.  They're the ones making the false argument that in their state you can't get a tattoo before the age of 18.  The reality is that you can with parental consent.  By the same token that has been the policy -- in all but the state of Oregon -- in the US and that should be the policy.  But if they tell the truth, they don't get to advance their hate as the push to chip away at actual parental rights.

Kat: And that's why I was glad Jim was participating.  I knew he'd bring up the snapshot and I knew he'd credit C.I.  I want to do the same, credit C.I.  She's got enough on her plate and she does this with no charge to anyone and yet she's the one doing the work, not the so-called journalistic outlets.  And she's right that they lie about the tattoos so that people at home will say, "Oh, you can't even get a tattoo?  Well we shouldn't allow blockers then!"  No, you can get a tattoo with parental consent and it should be the same with regards to your medical treatment.  That's between your parents and your doctor.  And for a bunch of right-wingers, I find it very telling that they're ready to rip parental rights to shreds. 

Betty: Agreed with everything you've both said.  And, as C.I. points out, letting this lie go unchecked means the media is promoting this hatred.  Whether they intend to or not, they're promoting it.  And, to toss this out there, my brother -- who I love with all my heart -- is gay.  And I'm not taking kindly to these hate merchants coming after him.  I am way younger than him.  I leaned him constantly growing up.  He was there for me anytime I had a problem, he was there for me in times of joy.  I love music and he's the one who taught me about music.  It makes me want to cry to see these hate merchants trying to turn back the clock on equality.  I am outraged.  Sorry, I lost my point.  Okay, so the media refusing to fact check results in hate being advanced.  But it goes beyond that.  There are the people on the 'left' -- they claim -- who are part of this as well.  That's the ones who join in and that's the ones who stay silent and I'd like for us to spend some time on those types.

Trina: Certainly.  Okay, let's do the ones who claim to be left -- or until recently did -- who amplify the hate.

Mike: I'll start.  And, Trina's my mom so, obviously, I have a brother who's gay.  And, like Betty, I love my brother and you come for him, you're coming for me.  I'll toss out Jimmy Dore.  In his exchange with Cornel West, he kept tossing in trans -- if they were trans, Cornel would care, if they were trans -- Can he just shut up a moment and grasp that he has lost us and we're not coming back.  His hatred of trans people -- which included that stupid joke in his so-called stand up routine -- make it clear that he's a grifter and he's a hate merchant.  I feel sorry for anyone that I ever steered towards his program back when I thought he was someone decent because he was fighting for Medicare For All.  He and his grifting squad are disgusting.

Ty: Agree and I'm jumping in because 'Black' -- please put that in air quotes -- Sabby Sabs is in his grifting squad.  She recently brought on some White boy transphobe, Link Lauren, that you usually have to go to FOX "NEWS" for.  He's gay and a transphobe so he's basically Glenn Greenwald.  And they had their little talk and I thought Sabby is just disgusting and a grifter and a creep.I'm sick of these people.  They are not left wing, they are grifters and the door needs to be closed in their faces -- we all need to be Michael Corleone at the end of THE GODFATHER closing the door on Diane Keaton's Kay.  

C.I.: I need to jump in, I'm sorry.  I didn't know Ty was bringing up Link Lauren.  THE COMMON ILLS community is a very vocal community and it's all over.  Thanks to them, when Bully Boy Bush pretended to buy a home in Highland Park, Texas, we knew not only that he didn't -- he was too cheap -- but we also knew that he bought a house that wasn't up to code or completed and we had the floor plan and posted it. Thanks to those same DFW members, we knew the rumors about Harriet Miers and were able to post those rumors and it killed her nomination and sent her southern Republican supporters scampering away as quickly as they could.  I don't know Link Lauren, don't know of him.  But, like Ty, some were offended by Sabby's interview with him, some DFW community members, and they want it know that he wrote a column that they see is "100% lies" and "completely false" -- I found those two e-mails just now, there are others but they repeat that line of thought.  Here's a third e-mail, "He completely lied in a column where he attacked LGBTQ+ people as 'groomers' and worse while claiming that he had been at a 2017 pride event and it didn't have this and it didn't have that.  To which I say, 'Bitch, you're a lying drama queen.'  I was at that same pride event.  And I was a foot and a half away from him in Oak Lawn aka 'Gay Town' in Dallas.  It was on Cedar Springs and the little drunk cry baby was crying between Hunky's and the Kroger parking lot -- not having fun as he tries to pretend in his column.  He was convinced someone shouted 'Queer!' at him when five guys joined the parade walking up from Reagan Street onto Cedar Springs.  We laughed at him -- this was a gay Pride parade, the five guys were taking part in the parade, and though there were tons of gays present someone supposedly yelled 'Queer' and, due to his self-obsession, it had to be yelled at him.  I will further add that his claims in the column attacking the NYC parade compared to the more 'sedate' one he had been at in Dallas?  That's a complete distortion.  All lies.  We were the same as the one he attended in NYC, the one that he's spitting on.  He was a self-loathing closet case in Dallas and rumored to need to be degraded by any partner he was lucky enough to get on those rare instances when he could interest a man.  He's a liar, he's a fake and he left Dallas in part because we, the LGBTQ+ community, couldn't stand him."  This is one of the things I've tried to work into a snapshot since Sabby's interview aired and the e-mails started coming in; however, I really haven't been able to.  But Ty referencing this hideous person means I have to make a point to include it now.  So that's what DFW community members have said.  I don't know, I wasn't there.  They've never been dishonest before on anything that they've e-mailed in.

Dona: I'm glad you brought that up.  He sounds disgusting.  And Max and Ugly Blumenthal, they're disgusting with their transphobia as well.  Although his ugly wife is disgusting regardless.  These are not left people.  They dismiss these attacks.  Either they are too stupid to grasp just how large this issue is or they just don't care.  

Betty: I'd guess the latter.  They don't care.  Remember Max's ugly wife has made remarks making it clear what she really thinks about trans people.  

Dona: Right.  And this is big.  It was big if it were just the attacks on trans persons.  But it's not.  It's much bigger than that.  They are the first ones being targeted.  

Ty: DATA LOUNGE is a gay themed site and you get these elderly gay men like Glenn Greenwald on there who'll start carping that trans rights don't matter and that they're LGB only, no T, and blah blah blah.  Others, younger gays and lesbians, will try to point out that we either all stand together or we'll be defeated.  The Glenn Greenwalds don't appear to care.

Isaiah: They seem to think they can token their way along, be the club mascot for MAGA and they'll be unharmed.  They're idiots.

Jess: I think you're right, Isaiah, but I also think that some are into something different.  That browser history that's supposedly Glenneth's is all about gay subs and MAGA alphas and how each wants to dominate the other.  Meaning, I think Glenneth may be the kind who gets off on being dominated and reduced to sexual slave.  Jim's laughing but it could happen -- there are chubby chasers so someone could be interested in Glenneth again some day.  But, yeah, he'd sell everyone out, I can see that completely.

Cedric: Like Jim, I want to note the snapshot for Friday.  I want to echo what C.I. said about the press repeating the lies of Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence.  This is not minor.  They are being confronted with how they are harming transgendered people and their response is to lie and the press response, sadly, is to repeat the lie and not fact check it.  It shouldn't be up to the woman running THE COMMON ILLS website to have to say over and over, "That's not your state's law.  Someone under 18 can get a tattoo if they have parental permission."  This is not a minor point.  DeSantis and Pence are making their argument for what they're doing with lies and these lies need to be called out.  Their arguments are so weak that they have to resort to lying.  And when the press doesn't call them on the lying and doesn't point out that what they say the law says is not what the law says, then the press is promoting transphobia.  And I find that very disappointing.  Very, very disappointing. 

Stan: It's like what world are we living in?  How did we end up here?  Three years ago, would anyone have guessed that these hate merchants would be tolerated?  That's what the press is doing, that's what the so-called left on YOUTUBE is doing.  They're tolerating it at best.  At worst? They are actively participating in spreading and fostering hate and this hate doesn't result in someone throwing a Kleenex tissue at you, it resorts in people being killed.  Lauri Carleton, an apparently selfless and great person to know was shot dead by a Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporter because she displayed Pride flags.  Shot dead.  The woman's children now don't have a mother.  Her husband is now a widower.  She gave to her community and helped out anyone she came across in need.  And because she displayed Pride flags some lunatic -- who supported RFK Jr. and who loved Matt Walsh -- murdered her.  

Wally: That murder truly should have started a national dialogue about how the hate merchants had poisoned everything and how we needed to take a serious look at where the county was headed. 

Betty: Exactly.  Lauri was the woman we all know who checks in on those in need, who offers to help when you need help, she's the person we all knew no matter what city or town we lived in.  And that's who gets shot dead.  We should have recoiled in horror and this is should have been a CNN townhall.  We can't afford to lose the Lauris, they're the ones who keeps our neighborhoods functioning, they're the ones who you count on in your area.  And for someone like that to be shot dead, that should ahve been a national dialogue -- both in terms of guns and especially in terms of this out of control hate speech and effort to destroy LGBTQ+ people. 

Trina: Alight, good points.  Anyone else disappointing us?

Ava: Naomi Wolf going over to the dark side.  That's disappointing.  And since at least 2008, C.I. and I have documented all the things wrong with that woman.  But to see her get in bed with anti-LGBTQ+ hate merchants and misogynist men?  That's more disappointing than her being a Trump supporter.  And what C.I. has said is true: She doesn't get back in.  Left-lite wants to let her back in a decade from now?  Well then they're pathetic.  But no feminist should sign off on it.  And I mean real feminist.  You're on the left and you're a woman?  Doesn't make you a feminist.  There are a lot of women who are not feminists and I want to be clear on this, no feminist should support forgiving her.  First off, she's done real damage.  Second off, this is a pattern with her -- as C.I. has pointed out over and over and may point out in a book review shortly. There is no forgiveness.  She is not to be let back in.  

Isaiah: Before we close this down, let me note Matt Taibbi.  He's just human filth.  He knew better but didn't care.  And how he attacks trans rights and trans people.  F**king Uncle Fester look alike.  He grifts to the right and it should call into question everything he's ever done or written.  It should all be suspect now.  

Betty: Me! Me! Trina! Me!

Trina: Okay, Betty.

Betty: Moving to the silent.  The disgusting Katie Halper.  Matt's roll dog.  Now she rolls it with Aaron Matte.  She and Matte are disgusting.  They bring on convicted pedophile Scott Ritter and yet they can't cover LGBTQ+ issues.  That ugly woman's gotten away with enough already.  Her 'streams' are in the tank and her career has faded. She's a fake and she always has been.  There's no excuse.  She used to play, on WBAI, that she was a feminist -- as though Spencer Ackerman's 2008 roll dog would be a feminist.  She used to pretend like she cared about gay people.  She stopped that long ago.  She's a grifter.  And a huge disappointment.  

Trina: Thank you.  Who else do we notice remains silent?

Mike: I'd say Graham Elwood.  Maybe he thinks gay is just too 'icky' to discuss?  It's amazing that, in Florida, Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis had to pass don't-say-gay when all these supposedly left YOUTUBERs are more than willing to go along with it without any arm twisting from Doo-Doo. 

Kat: This is an organized effort on the part of the right to destroy the LGBTQ+ community and after that they'll come after the rest of us on the left.  That's what Project 2025 makes clear, in writing.  And it's what's been noted for over a year at THE COMMON ILLS.  This doesn't end with trans people, this doesn't just expand to then go after LGBTQ+.  It's going go after reproductive rights, it's going go after single-mothers, it's going go after everyone who's not a White, straight male, Christian married to a stay-at-home, docile Christian woman.   I don't know why you wouldn't want to stand up for LGBTQ+ people all by themselves but if that doesn't do it for you, you'd think some sort of self-preservation would kick in.

Isaiah: You'd think.

Ty: I wonder what these 'left' people who are silent and the grifters think happens next?  

Trina: In terms of?

Ty: Well for one thing, where is their future audience.  Gen X on up to today's teens?  Not confused or troubled.  They are pro LGBTQ+.  Where do these grifters think they're going to go when their aging audience dies?  

Jess: I think they don't think that far ahead and also they're not grifting from the common person.  C.I., what show?


Jess: THE VANGUARD had a piece about how the rich man that funded Jimmy Dore funded them briefly.  He was a $5,000 a month patreon.  And they talked about how weird it was not to have to worry about rent for the first time ever --

Ava: I think he was $5,000 to Jimmy or someone else.  I think he was $1,000 or $2,000 to THE VANGUARD.

Jess: Probably right.  So the minute they dispute something Jimmy's grifting on, the money disappears.  But Jimmy continued to get his $5,000 a month from that one person just for spreading lies about COVID and probably for attacking transgender people.  There's always going to be some disgusting rich person eager to buy a grifer like Jimmy Dore.

Mike: I don't get the hatred.  Why do you have to hate?  Or why do you choose to?

C.I.: For some, the issue is change.  Most people are resistant to change by nature.  Some that are, they realize that and force themselves to grow.  Others don't want to.  They plant their feet and don't want to know.  A cure for cancer would be shot down by these type of people.  So when, for example, SNOW WHITE is being remade and she's going to be played by a Latina, it's time for them to lose their lunch as they struggle.  

Trina: Struggle with?

C.I.: Well not reality.  Reality isn't a fairy tale.  

Betty: That's so true.  Her name is "White!"  I see that online about the new SNOW WHITE Rachel Zegler.  I don't get it.  And I wonder about the people who don't grasp that a Latina or Latino can also be White when it comes to race.  That's apparently too much for today's right wing racists to grasp.  But again, she's a completely fictional character.  They don't seem to grasp that.

Isaiah: It's just hate, hate, hate.  And I don't get it.  

Stan: I'm with you, Isaiah.  I went to college in the 90s, we believed in equality.  We believed in fairness.  These hideous grifters who walk around with a chip on their shoulder and it's like the worst thing in the world to them is that a few movies now have leads of color.  That's got them up in arms and ready to revolt.  Do you know how many times, as a kid, I would tune into the fall TV season and see no kid with skin color the same as me?  I'm so sorry racist bigots that only 97% of the lead roles are going to White men.  That must be a tragedy for you all.  A huge unending tragedy. 

Dona: They loathe the word "diversity."  If you don't look like them, you don't matter.  That's the reality.  

Ava: Sad but true.

Cedric: And to these Glenneth Greenwalds who want to go along with the hate against the transgendered and think the haters won't come after him next?  It's a war on diversity and I just have to hear that for my skin to crawl -- my Black skin.  And maybe not being White like Glenneth allows me to grasp how it's just a skip and a stone's throw for them to come after me next. 

Wally: But someone like Glenneth won't make that connection because he never has.  He's never been part of any struggle.  He hid out most of his life with regards to being gay, passing among staight right-wingers often by attacking openly gay men.  He's never been part of a struggle.  He doesn't care about diversity for that reason.  He's always been in the room when decisions were made so he doesn't care.  And it shows just as surely as that awful red dye he puts on his hair shows that he's too cheap to go get done professionally.  

Stan: You know, we used to be challenged.  When I was in school and college, I was challenged.  It wasn't enough to know what you knew when you walked into the classroom.  You were supposed to learn more.  You were supposed to try to learn about people different than you.  That's why the attack on our education system by these hate merchants like Ron DeSantis doesn't surprise me at all.  Attacking LGBTQ+ people, attacking Black history or women's studies?  It's about attacking knowledge, it's about attacking education and willing into being a population that doesn't know anything and never learned anything.

Mike: And, that's such a good point, Stan, the thing is though, they don't get that.  Florida students right now are going to suffer in the near futrue because of Doo-Doo DeSantis' actions with regards to education in Florida.  They will learn far less and they will be seen as less educated.  And that's just the right now impact.  If Doo-Doo and his ilk get their way, we are destroyed as a country.  We can't compete on the world stage if we're destroying our education system.  And, as Elaine points out often, Doo-Doo doesn't grasp education.  What you can look up online or do with a calculator, that's not education.  Education is not repeating memorized factoids.  An educated mind is a mind that hears something and can process it, that can hear something and know further information is needed.  An educated mind is one that can analyze.  Doo-Doo just wants rote and rote will rot us.  It's not 1817.  We're in the 21st century and if we want to compete we need for our children to be highly educated.

Betty: I'm sorry but I marvel over DeSantis' delusion that he's the one we need to look to for education or ethics, he the man who oversaw torture at Guantanamo

Kat: Since we're on the topic of Ronald, I want to note this from THE GUARDIAN about what's happening in Florida:

A central Florida city is moving forward with plans to join the popular national Safe Place initiative protecting LGBTQ+ people and others, despite opposition from Republicans who consider it a “deceptive and coercive” political mandate.

Councilors in Mount Dora, a historic and eclectic small city famous for its antiques stores, art galleries and festivals, voted last month to affiliate with Safe Place, which seeks to give victims of hate crimes or bias a temporary shelter if they feel threatened.

The program began in Seattle in 2015 as a voluntary partnership between the police department and local businesses, which displayed rainbow stickers in the shape of a police badge to denote their participation. The effort has since been adopted in more than 350 cities nationwide, including dozens in Florida.

But four Republican state politicians from Lake county, in which Mount Dora sits, took exception to the city’s declaration, accusing the city in a letter last month of “virtue signaling”, and insisting they would explore “all legislative, legal and executive options available” to oppose a move they say contravenes “Biblical principles”.

Jess: What a bunch of sad, hateful and ignorant people.

Kat: It just makes me want to pray that God delivers to them the punishment that they so deserve for the hatred they heap on others.  They are disgusting.  And I'm tired of your so-called Biblical principles.  I was raised Catholic, not a word you say fits into my Biblical principles. 

Trina: Well, Kat, don't forget that we have additional books in our Bible.

Kat: True.  I doubt a lot of non-Catholics even know about that.  But they really need to stop trying to speak for people of faith.

Isaiah: I liked C.I.'s suggestion last year about a church.

Mike: Yeah.

C.I.: I argued that the LGBTQ+ community, which includes many people of many faiths, needs to move towards an official church so that the LGBTQ+ community can also demand religious rights. 

Trina: Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten that.  That was right after DOBBS was handed down.  

Ty: I'm all for it.  Come up with our own church -- I'm gay -- and are own worship services and then let's get the same freedom of religion that the right wing screams for.

Jim: But it's really sad that in the 21st century, people are having to plan sanctuary cities because there's so much hate and backwardness out there.  It's really, really sad.  

Kat: And, back to the safe cities, is that what we're looking at in the future if these creeps destroy our country further?  We'll need safe cities to keep our rights?  I mean this is A HANDMAID'S TALE.  That's what this is.  And that's what they want.  And Sarah Palin and the other freaks?  They're not warning about 'civil war.'  They are actively calling for it. And I wish Elaine were here because there was a point she made regarding Marjorie Taylor Green, "How is a member of Congress repeatedly calling for secession not a violation of her oath?"  I would really like some news outlet to put that question to Marjorie.  


Trina: I'd like to hear Marjorie answer that question as well, Kat.  I'd also like to hear the US Army Reserve explain why Tulsi Gabbard, active in the Army Reserves, can Tweet of her commander-in-chief:

Biden Admin’s “accomplishment” is that America has gone to hell in a handbasket since he took office: - Successfully gotten our country into a new cold war and hot proxy war with Russia. - Succeeded in driving Russia and North Korea into each other’s arms. - Handed over control of our border to the cartels and human traffickers - Handed over our cities to criminals. - Undermined our democracy. - Divided our country. - And the list goes on… The Democrat elite don’t want to lose their power. If they need to replace Joe Biden, they will.

Trina (Con't): C.I. and I could say more on that topic but let me leave it there.  Uhm, I do want to go back to something that you were saying, C.I., about change?  How much time are we supposed to give people to catch up with life.

C.I.:  I hear you and I agree.  Some people just need to hate others.  That's reality.  But some people are scared.  A lot of the garbage on that flash drive, for example, is scared people trying to sound like they're not -- that's especially the case when they're bitching about the masks, for example.  COVID -- which is still present -- was a pandemic and it scared a lot of people.  When Ava and I wrote "TV: The future is out there" back in March 2020 we began looking at the pandemic in 1918 and, in later pieces, looking at the way that impacted the emotional response at that time.  And, for some people, the entire world is moving too fast and they will need time to adjust.  I've also covered how the attacks on LGBTQ+ today echo the earlier attacks in the 70s and how those hate merchants overreached.  A few months ago, I wrote that I thought we'd reached the tipping point and that Americans had reached the point where they weren't fond of Moms For Bigotry or the lies being pushed.  History can inform.  And so my point here is, some people just needed time to adjust -- and may need further time -- and that group, okay, that's how it is.  And how it would be on numerous topics.  But this homophobia from professional hate merchants?  That's not changing and they need to be called out.  That group is hateful at the core and will do anything and everything to destroy this country.  We need to realize that group is a danger to democracy and to the whatever this country is supposed to aspire to.  So how much time do you give someone?  I guess it depends upon which grouping you put them under.  I don't have time for racists or homophobes or sexists.  I don't.  My time is limited and needs to be focused on things that actually matter.  Transgender persons, for example, are more likely to go through a period of being homeless -- 30% of the transgendered population reports that they've been homeless, 29% live in poverty, they experience discrimination at work, they experience discrimination when trying to utilize public accommodations.  These and other issues go to why you have such a high rate of attempted suicide in that population.  I get that Billy may have a problem with change but at the end of the day I'm more concerned with the realities that Pam, a trans woman, has to live with than with Billy's comfort zone.

Dona: I have a relative who has recently come out.  And it's been interesting.  We've talked about it and one of the benefits of this awful time we're living with these hate merchants?  My family member feels more accepted among the family because of it.  Our grandmother, for example, was the big fear.  But she just hugged and said, "Honey, there are enough crazy people harming others right now.  It's going to take me a minute to wrap my head around all of this but, of course, I love you and I'm so glad that you trust me enough to share this with me."  And when I think about that, I have to go back to the YOUTUBERs on the left who are silent through all of this.  People I know personally are actually being awakened to discrimination and the need to push back by what the hate merchants have done.  Where as the YOUTUBERs just seem to want to act like it's not happening.  What would do the Katie Halpers live in?  It's not my world.  It's not most of our worlds.  And one thing I want, one outcome, is that in 20 or so years, when this is behind us so we can all agree how awful and hateful some people acted?  I want it remembered that Katie Halper and others did nothing.  The same way people call out Ronald Reagan today for his silence during the AIDS crisis, I want it remembered that disgusting trash like Katie Halper refused to stand up and be counted.  That she actively worked with multiple transphobes and that she remained silent as people were targeted.  I want their legacy to be reality.

Jim: I'd agree with that and I find it hilarious that she's spent so many years calling out Chuck Todd for all that she found lacking in him when the reality is that she's probably even worse than Chuck Todd.  Her silence in the face of all these attacks on LGBTQ+ people and her continued support of her transphobe buddies like Matt Taibbi and Aaron Matte -- that's her legacy.  That's how she should be remembered.

Wally: And speaking of hilarious, someone we long ago put on the list of "Hate Merchants" at THIRD is in the news.  LGBTQ+ hater Kristi Noem is in the news.  Did she talk again about how wrong and sinful gay people are?  No, she's in the news for having sex with a man who is not her husband.  Kenzie Bryant (VANITY FAIR) reports:

The Daily Mail has published an explosive report that South Dakota governor Kristi Noem and Corey Lewandowski, a former Donald Trump aide, have been having a secret affair “for years”—at least since 2019. Noem’s spokesperson told the tabloid, “This is so predictable that you would attack Governor Noem less than a week after she endorsed Donald J. Trump as the 47th President of the United States.” Neither have denied the Daily Mail’s reporting, and Vanity Fair has reached out to both of them for further comment.

A “family values” Republican, Noem has three children with her husband, Bryon. They’ve been married for over 30 years. Lewandowski married his wife, Alison, in 2005, and they have four children.

Lewandowski has a reputation of being just one of the many characters that Trump can’t quit. Trump’s original campaign manager, Lewandowski was fired in June 2016 after “a series of incidents that the Trump family worried had cast the candidate in a negative light.” These may have included, but were not limited to, aggressively handling a reporter and protester, reportedly calling a coworker a “fucking bitch,” and reportedly calling a staffer to yell at him as the staffer’s grandmother was having her Last Rites read. Soon, though, Trump brought Lewandowski back in the fold. 

Noem stoked speculation that she’s angling to be Trump’s running mate for 2024 with an early endorsement of the indicted man for president. Trump received her endorsement onstage in North Dakota last week, where a Trump-Noem 2024 graphic reportedly appeared on a screen behind them. “I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country,” Noem said when introducing the former president.

The Daily Mail claimed it has a long list of receipts including “stays at luxury resorts where their intimacy was observed and noted.” They allegedly took private planes on donors’ dimes, and would disappear frequently. Rumors of their alleged affair surfaced briefly in 2021, via far-right conservative website American Greatness, but Noem issued a strong rebuke of the story. She said it was “total garbage and a disgusting lie,” and she was “proud of the God-fearing family” that she raised with her husband. Lawyers for Lewandowski dismissed the allegations as “rumors.”


Cedric: Glass houses, right?

Dona: And while we're talking about hypocrites, Lauren Boebert.  LGBTQ NATION reports, "The man who was with anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) when they were kicked out of a performance of the musical Beetlejuice reportedly co-owns a Colorado bar that has hosted LGBTQ+ events, including a drag show."

Jim: And this is the sort of thing that leads Americans to think, "Yeah, these aren't the people to listen to."

Trina: And they are most definitely not people to listen to.  This is a rush transcript and I thank everyone who was able to participate.  And I thank Ava and C.I. for taking notes and for typing this up.

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