Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Truest statement of the week

"I would hope that people would find someone in their lives who's a trans person," she said. "Because then you really do understand that we don't have to judge. We have to love and understand. That's how I feel."


-- Annette Bening in John Russell's "Annette Bening calls on Republicans to stop stoking anti-trans hatred" (LGBTQ NATION).





A note to our readers

Hey --

Late Tuesday.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?






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




For Gaza coverage we're noting this snapshot where C.I. responds to an Israeli woman attempting to attack South Africa for taking Israel to the International Court of Justice over the slaughter of Palestinians.

Iraq snapshot

 Tuesday, January 16, 2024.  The slaughter continues in Gaza, a racist liar attacks South Africa today for what it did when racists were in charge in the forties, the same racist liar ignores the 'encouraging' role the Israeli government provided to apartheid in South African for decades, Iraq's attacked, and much more.

I am at my zero limit when it comes to dumb racists.  Now racism itself is dumb, yes.  We all know that.  Or should.  But sometimes an idiot doesn't realize that they are racist and they say something.  Or worse, write something.  Maybe it's time failed actress Noa Tishby goes home to her own country of Israel.  Or is there another American male she needs to soak first -- two should have been more than enough even for a greedy person.  Instead, she decides to stay in the US and run/ruin her little foundation that tries to guilt American Jews into donating to Israel.  

The non-American takes to USA TODAY because she's a propagandist for the Israeli government and there the racist writes:

South Africa, which prohibited Jewish immigration before and during World War II, the Jewish people’s hour of greatest need. This is part of a ghastly trend of Holocaust misappropriation by anti-Israel extremists who attempt to use the Nazi systematic murder of nearly 40% of the global Jewish population to deny Israel, the country founded by the survivors, of its right to self-defense. 

You  ignorant racist.

South Africa was a disgusting country for most of the 20th century.  Apartheid would be made legal in 1948 but it only codified what already existed in that country.

Yes, how sad that Jews weren't able to go to South Africa (1930 was when the law was passed).


How dare you, Idiot Noa, slam South Africa today for the sins that took place under a previous regime that practiced racism to hold down the majority of their citizens. 

You are so ignorant and you are so self-focused.  The vanity involved in trying to attack South Africa today for what its people (the majority of its people) didn't ask for and didn't want?  You're just a disgusting whore.  

And, in the end, you stupid fool, you really need to go back to your country.  Are you registered as an agent for the Israeli government in the United States?  Did you make that declaration when attempting to enter this country?  Because I don't see how you 'fund raise' here without being registered.  And I think it's time for foreign lobbyist to go home.  Especially when they engage in racists attacks.  

Greatest hour of need?  What the hell, idiot, did you ever do to call out apartheid -- during the Black South Africans greatest hour of need?

Not one damn thing.

Truth bombs for Noa.  Chris McGreal (GUARDIAN) reported in 2006:

Several years ago in Johannesburg I met a Jewish woman whose mother and sister were murdered in Auschwitz. After their deaths, she was forced into a gas chamber, but by some miracle that bout of killing was called off. Vera Reitzer survived the extermination camp, married soon after the war and moved to South Africa.

Reitzer joined the apartheid Nationalist party (NP) in the early 1950s, at about the time that the new prime minister, DF Malan, was introducing legislation reminiscent of Hitler's Nuremberg laws against Jews: the population registration act that classified South Africans according to race, legislation that forbade sex and marriage across the colour line and laws barring black people from many jobs.

Reitzer saw no contradiction in surviving the Holocaust only to sign up for a system that was disturbingly reminiscent in its underpinning philosophy, if not in the scale of its crimes, as the one she had outlived. She vigorously defended apartheid as a necessary bulwark against black domination and the communism that engulfed her native Yugoslavia. Reitzer let slip that she thought Africans inferior to other human beings and not entitled to be treated as equals. I asked if Hitler hadn't said the same thing about her as a Jew. She called a halt to the conversation.

Reitzer was unusual among Jewish South Africans in her open enthusiasm for apartheid and for her membership of the NP. But she was an accepted member of the Jewish community in Johannesburg, working for the Holocaust survivors association, while Jews who fought the system were frequently ostracised by their own community.

Many Israelis recoil at suggestions that their country, risen from the ashes of genocide and built on Jewish ideals, could be compared to a racist regime. Yet for years the bulk of South Africa's Jews not only failed to challenge the apartheid system but benefited and thrived under its protection, even if some of their number figured prominently in the liberation movements. In time, Israeli governments too set aside objections to a regime whose leaders had once been admirers of Adolf Hitler. Within three decades of its birth, Israel's self-proclaimed "purity of arms" - what it describes as the moral superiority of its soldiers - was secretly sacrificed as the fate of the Jewish state became so intertwined with South Africa that the Israeli security establishment came to believe the relationship saved the Jewish state.

Afrikaner anti-semitism
Apartheid sought to segregate every aspect of life from the workplace to the bedroom, even though whites in practice were dependent on black people as a workforce and servants. Segregation evolved into "separate development" and the bantustans - the five nominally "independent" homelands where millions of black people were dumped under the rule of despots beholden to Pretoria.

When the Nationalist party government first gained power in Pretoria in 1948, the Jews of South Africa - the bulk of them descendants of refugees from 19th-century pogroms in Lithuania and Latvia - had reason to be wary. A decade before Malan became the first apartheid-era prime minister, he was leading opposition to Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany entering South Africa. In promoting legislation to block immigration, Malan told parliament in 1937: "I have been reproached that I am now discriminating against the Jews as Jews. Now let me say frankly that I admit that it is so."

South African anti-semitism had grown with the rise of Jews to prominence in the 1860s, during the Kimberly diamond rush. At the turn of the century, the Manchester Guardian's correspondent, JA Hobson, reflected a view that the Boer war was being fought in the interests of a "small group of international financiers, chiefly German in origin and Jewish in race". Fifty years later, Malan's cabinet saw similar conspiracies. Hendrik Verwoerd, editor of the virulently anti-semitic newspaper, Die Transvaler, and future author of "grand apartheid", accused Jews of controlling the economy. Before the second world war, the secret Afrikaner society, the Broederbond - which included Malan and Verwoerd as members - developed ties to the Nazis. Another Broederbond member and future prime minister, John Vorster, was interned in a prison camp by Jan Smuts's government during the war for his Nazi sympathies and ties to the Grey Shirt fascist militia. 

Don Krausz, chairman of Johannesburg's Holocaust survivors association, arrived in South Africa a year after the war, having survived Hitler's camps at Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen when much of his extended family did not. "The Nationalists had a strongly anti-semitic platform before 1948. The Afrikaans press was viciously anti-Jewish, much like Der Stürmer in Germany under Hitler. The Jew felt himself very much threatened by the Afrikaner. The Afrikaner supported Hitler," he says. "My wife comes from Potchefstroom [in what was then the Transvaal]. Every Jewish shop in that town was blown up by the Grey Shirts. In the communities that were predominantly Afrikaans, the Jews were absolutely victimised. Now the same crowd comes to power in 1948. The Jew was a very frightened person. There were cabinet ministers who openly supported the Nazis."

Helen Suzman, a secular Jew, was for many years the only anti-apartheid voice in parliament. "They didn't fear there would be a Holocaust but they did fear there might be Nuremberg-style laws, the kind that prevented people practising their professions. The incoming government had made it clear that race differentiation was going to be intensified, and the Jews didn't know where they were going to fit into that," she says.

Many South African Jews were soon reassured that, while there would be Nuremberg-style laws, they would not be the victims. The apartheid regime had a demographic problem and it could not afford the luxury of isolating a section of the white population, even if it was Jewish. Within a few years many South African Jews not only came to feel secure under the new order but comfortable with it. Some found echoes of Israel's struggle in the revival of Afrikaner nationalism.

Many Afrikaners saw the Nationalist party's election victory as liberation from bitterly hated British rule. British concentration camps in South Africa may not have matched the scale or intent of Hitler's war against the Jews, but the deaths of 25,000 women and children from disease and starvation were deeply rooted in Afrikaner nationalism, in the way the memory of the Holocaust is now central to Israel's perception of itself. The white regime said that the lesson was for Afrikaners to protect their interests or face destruction.

"What the Nats were trying to do was protect the Afrikaner," says Krausz. "Especially after what was done to them in the Boer war, where the Afrikaner was reduced almost to a beggar on returning after the war, whether it was from the battlefield or some sort of concentration camp. They did it to protect the Afrikaner, his predominance after 1948, his culture."

There was also God. The Dutch Reformed Church, prising justifications for apartheid out of the Old Testament and Afrikaner history, seized on the victory over the Zulus at the battle of Blood River as confirming that the Almighty sided with the white man.

"Israelis claim that they are the chosen people, the elect of God, and find a biblical justification for their racism and Zionist exclusivity," says Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa's intelligence minister and Jewish co-author of a petition that was circulated amongst South African Jewry protesting at the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. 

"This is just like the Afrikaners of apartheid South Africa, who also had the biblical notion that the land was their God-given right. Like the Zionists who claimed that Palestine in the 1940s was 'a land without people for a people without land', so the Afrikaner settlers spread the myth that there were no black people in South Africa when they first settled in the 17th century. They conquered by force of arms and terror and the provocation of a series of bloody colonial wars of conquest."

Anti-semitism lingered, but within a few years of the Nationalists assuming power in 1948, many Jewish South Africans found common purpose with the rest of the white community. "We were white and even though the Afrikaner was no friend of ours, he was still white," says Krausz. "The Jew in South Africa sided with the Afrikaners, not so much out of sympathy, but out of fear sided against the blacks. I came to this country in 1946 and all you could hear from Jews was 'the blacks this and the blacks that'. And I said to them, 'You know, I've heard exactly the same from the Nazis about you.' The laws were reminiscent of the Nuremberg laws. Separate entrances; 'Reserved for whites' here; 'Not for Jews' there."

For decades, the Zionist Federation and Jewish Board of Deputies in South Africa honoured men such as Percy Yutar, who prosecuted Nelson Mandela for sabotage and conspiracy against the state in 1963 and sent him to jail for life (in the event, he served 27 years). Yutar went on to become attorney general of the Orange Free State and then of the Transvaal. He was elected president of Johannesburg's largest orthodox synagogue. Some Jewish leaders hailed him as a "credit to the community" and a symbol of the Jews' contribution to South Africa.

[. . .]

Shimon Peres was defence minister at the time of Vorster's visit to Jerusalem and twice served as prime minister during the 1980s when Israel drew closest to the apartheid government. He shies away from questions about the morality of ties to the white regime. "I never think back. Since I cannot change the past, why should I deal with it?" he says.

"I received these awards from international Zionist organisations claiming that it was my Judaic roots that had driven me," says Suzman. "When I said I didn't have a Jewish upbringing and that I went to a convent which didn't influence me either, they said it was not actively but instinctively."

For Kasrils, the embrace was short-lived. "They spent years denouncing me for 'endangering the Jews' and then suddenly they pretend they've been at my side all through the struggle. It didn't last long. As soon as I started criticising what Israel is doing in Palestine they dropped me again," he said.

Liars like Noa can't deal with reality so they bend the truth and bend it so far that it actually breaks.

The Israeli government embraced South Africa's apartheid while it took place, celebrated it, rewarded it.  The last thing the world needs is this idiot being published by USA TODAY with her lies and distortions.

Israel, please come gather your whore, we don't need her in the US and she may be infected and spreading in numerous ways.

Maybe you can send her to another country so she can boast of having failed at acting in three nations and not just two?

Meanwhile, THE GUARDIAN reports more abuse by Israeli soldiers:

A Palestinian shop owner said Israeli troops used him as a human shield to protect themselves during a raid on the town of Dura in the occupied West Bank, Reuters reports.

Mobile phone footage showed Baha Abu Ras being marched up a street by a soldier who guided him from behind with one hand and kept a rifle resting on his shoulder with the other. Two Israeli soldiers advanced carefully behind them, their rifles raised.

Abu Ras said he had been taken from his mobile phone shop on Monday in Dura, near the city of Hebron, after Israeli soldiers searched the premises during a raid in which Palestinian officials said two Palestinians were shot dead.

“He (the first soldier) told me that he will use me as a human shield, that young people shouldn’t hurl stones,” Abu Ras told Reuters. “‘You will walk in front of me.’ That’s what happened and he took me toward the centre of the town.”

Asked about the incident, the Israeli military had no immediate comment. It said in an earlier statement that troops in Dura had used live fire to disperse about 100 people who had thrown stones and fire bombs at them.

What a proud moment for the Israeli military.  Or, at least, what a revealing one.

This morning, Samra Zulfaqar (NBC NEWS) notes:

The head of the World Health Organization has called for "a fundamental step change" in the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in the enclave that's home to more than 2 million people.

In a post on X, Tedros Ghebreyesus called for the opening of new entry routes into Gaza and for more trucks being allowed through border checks every day.

He also said there is a need for fewer restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers and guarantees of safety for people accessing and distributing aid.

Gaza remains under assault.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is now well over  20,000. NBC NEWS notes, "The vast majority of its 2.2 million people are displaced, and an estimated half face starvation amid an unfolding humanitarian crisis."   ALJAZEERA notes, "The number of Palestinians killed since the start of Israel’s attacks on October 7 has risen to 24,285, Gaza’s health ministry says. At least 61,154 others have been wounded."   In addition to the dead and the injured, there are the missing.  AP notes, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."

Matthew Knott (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) reports:

Australia will boost funding to help Palestinian civilians affected by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Penny Wong announced after arriving in the Middle East for her first visit as foreign minister.

Wong, who held meetings in Jordan on Tuesday ahead of visits to Israel, the West Bank and the United Arab Emirates later this week, said the government would provide an extra $22 million in humanitarian assistance to the Middle East.

The government said the latest round of funding would be “directed to conflict-affected populations in the occupied Palestinian territories and to address the ongoing regional refugee crisis, with a focus on women and children”.

The assault on Gaza has war spreading across the region.  Such as in Iraq.  THE GUARDIAN notes:

  • The Israeli military said on Tuesday its troops killed dozens of Palestinian militants around the town of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza and also uncovered about 100 rocket launchers. “During IDF activity in the area of Beit Lahia, the troops located approximately 100 rocket set-installations and 60 ready-to-use rockets. The troops killed dozens of terrorists during the activity,” it said.

  • The Iraqi Kurdish prime minister, Masrour Barzani, has accused Iran of killing innocent civilians in its strikes on the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards earlier said they attacked an Israeli spy centre in the region. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos after the attack, Barzani said the Iranian allegations were baseless and added that now was not the time for US forces to withdraw from the country.

  • Iraq on Tuesday condemned Iran’s “aggression” on Erbil that led to civilian casualties in residential areas, according to a statement by the country’s foreign ministry, after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said they attacked Israel’s “spy headquarters” in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The Iraqi government will take all legal measures against these actions that are considered a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and the security of its people, including filing a complaint at the United Nations security council.

  • Iraq has recalled its ambassador from Tehran to discuss the recent Iranian attack on the city of Erbil, according to a statement by the country’s foreign ministry. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said they attacked the “spy headquarters” of Israel in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region late on Monday.

  • A US state department spokesperson has said that an Iranian attack near Iraq’s northern city of Erbil on Monday “undermine Iraq’s stability.” “We oppose Iran’s reckless missile strikes,” Matthew Miller said, adding that the US supported “the government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s efforts to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.”

  • France has accused Iran of violating Iraq’s sovereignty after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claimed to have struck a purported Israeli “spy headquarters” in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Reuters reported. “Such acts represent blatant, unacceptable and worrying violations of Iraq’s sovereignty and an attack on its stability and security, as well as that of Kurdistan within it,” France’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

  • And yet US President Joe Biden continues to send US troops to Iraq -- 1500 from New Jersey's National Guard will just be the latest -- and it's New Jersey's biggest deployment to Iraq since 2008.  

    The following sites updated;

    TV: No knowledge, no justice

    So many people are not fit to serve -- especially on the bench.  And if corruption on the US courts doesn't concern you, competency should.  America needs serious court reforms.  

    One of the first on the list of reforms?  An end of lifetime appointments.



    This point was made very well last September.  As ABC NEWS reported:


    Judge Pauline Newman, who has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for 39 years, was suspended Wednesday after Chief Circuit Judge Kimberly Moore determined she was no longer able to perform her job, according to court documents.

    "Unfortunately, earlier this year mounting evidence raised increasing doubts about whether Judge [Pauline] Newman is still fit to perform the duties of her office. When such evidence is brought to the attention of the Chief Judge and the Judicial Council, there is an obligation to investigate the matter," the Judicial Council of the Federal Circuit wrote in a court order Wednesday.

    "The evidence establishes reasonable concerns that Judge Newman suffers from a disability preventing her from effectively discharging the duties of her office," the council wrote in a court order.

    Sadly, removing Pauline Newman from the bench did not fix the problem -- that's why judicial reform is needed -- and there are so many others who continue to rule who have also passed their 'best used by' date.

    That's made clear regularly on FREEVEE formerly IMDB TV and who knows what it will be called next?

    Yes, we are speaking of Judith Sheindlin.  A New York attorney since 1965, she became a family court prosecutor in 1972. Ten years later, then-NYC mayor Ed Koch made her a criminal-court judge.  


    Following a best selling book of nonsense (DON'T PEE ON MY LEG AND TELL ME THAT IT'S RAINING) and one of those puff pieces 60 MINUTES had become famous for in the 90s, Judith left the real courts to make her mark on the TV with the syndicated program JUDGE JUDY.

    A crabby, nasty woman yelling at people, she was a pioneer of 'reality' TV.  And the creators of her show  (whom she at one time got along with -- or at least tolerated) scoured the country for village idiots and the inbred that would allow the 'judge' to come off especially superior.


    Which is how you ended with a teenage girl declaring of her abusive mother (season one, episode seven), "She slapped me but she never fisted me."  The audience always enjoyed those kind of moments -- where the person appearing before the court was so stupid that they didn't realize what they were saying.  


    For 25 years, Judith stayed with the show.  Each year, her greed -- like her fame -- increased.


    She was making $47 million a year for taping JUDGE JUDY and her announcement that she'd be leaving the show should have carried the following phrase "to enjoy my retirement."  However, her greed could not be fed, not even with $47 million a year.  So instead the announcement came with information that she would be making a new show.  JUDGE JUDY aired its last new episode in July of 2021.  Months later, November of 2021, JUDY JUSTICE began streaming on AMAZON. 


    JUDY JUSTICE found the maximum amount to be awarded raised to $10,000 from $5,000.  And, like JUDGE JUDY before it, JUDY JUSTICE is also a bit of a game show since that money is 'won' and not 'paid.'  Any money awarded on the show is paid out of the show's budget -- like a game show.  The loser in court does not actually pay any money awarded by Judith.  In addition to that money, the competitors are (and were, in the case of JUDGE JUDY) also paid for appearing on the show and have their travel and lodging costs taken care of as well.

    Other things changed as well.  As noted back in January 2022's "IN THESE TIMES tries TV criticism and fails again (Ty, Ava and C.I.):"

    I was honestly surprised, when we just read over the review, that Nair didn't comment on the most obvious point: JUSTICE JUDY steals from PEOPLE'S COURT.  Marilyn Milian is the judge on that program.  After the case, she is in her chambers with her husband John Schlesinger -- who was also once a judge, federal level like Marilyn -- and they discuss the case.  Judy never did that on JUDGE JUDY.  She does it now on JUSTICE JUDY with her granddaughter Sarah Rose Levy. 


    We'll come back. to Sarah Rose.   Whitney Kumar is often called upon to read while the case is in progress.  JUDGE JUDY did not feature a stenographer but JUDY JUSTICE does.  In addition, there's the bailiff and it's not Byrd as it was on JUDGE JUDY (Petri Hawkins-Byrd), it's Kevin Rasco.


    We didn't rush to weigh in on the show -- the piece with Ty was initiated by Ty -- because Judith was a known quantity.  The only real twist was Sarah Rose who isn't as cranky as her grandmother -- give her time, just give her time and her judgmental attitude will lead straight down the same path -- and sometimes disagrees with Judith -- such as on the issue of attempting to slut shame a woman over a private photo.  Sarah wasn't as shocked by someone doing a nude photo for a romantic partner.  But Sarah did save that for when she and her granddmother spoke after the ruling, in the judge's chamber.  All their disagreements wait for the chambers as Sarah Rose tries to educate the pre-Baby Boomer (born in 1942 -- six years before the start of the Baby Boom) on such things as the 21st century, technology and how the horse and carriage was long phased out (just kidding on that last one).

    246 episodes now compose JUDY JUSTICE and, in May, it was announced that the show was renewed for two more seasons.  It shouldn't have been and that's the hook that led to this piece.


    She has made season two all about how she is not competent to rule on anything anymore.

    This was most obvious in season two's episode 57.

    Judith didn't even understand the case.  Sadly, Sarah Rose was equally stupid.

    What's worse, Judith made fun of the plaintiff and of artists in general who just can't understand legalities.  She and Sarah Rose laughed that one up but they're the idiots who didn't understand the legal issues.


    "Hijacked Harmony" -- the episode title -- revolved around two men.  One wrote lyrics.  He called it a "song."  He went to the man suing to get a transcript of the 'song.'  Judith, the judge, couldn't grasp what was being presented by Charles Kerper.  She said he was paid for transcribing the song.  He explained that he deserved half the credit and profits for the song for his work.  He explained he'd written it.


    Dumb Judy thought he meant in transcribing the song, he wrote down the music that Tennessee Luke (the defendant) wrote.  No, that's not what he was saying.

    He actually wrote the music, came up with the music.  He had been hired to transcribe a song.  But there was no song, there were only lyrics.

    "We Are The World" is the subject of a soon to stream NETFLIX documentary (THE GREATEST NIGHT IN POP debuts January 29th).  The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.  Any song Michael wrote, the music had to be transcribed -- which some would call wrongly "written."  Michael wrote his own music.  He could not transcribe it.  So he would hum it -- usually into his tape recorder -- and he would pay for it to be transcribed.  What Charles Kerper was arguing before so-called Judge Judy was that he was paid to transcribe a song and he would have transcribed it (written it down on paper) but there was no music.  He had to write the music.

    Legally, that did make him entitled to co-writing and to part of the publishing.  Nothing in the contract that Judith recognized as valid was about his co-writing the song -- meaning actually composing the music.  

    "It's always a risk as a lay person is to write a contract yourself,"  a grinning Sarah Rose said in the judge's chambers after yucking it up with grandma.


    "They're music people, they're artists," a holier-than-thou Judith declared snickering at the thought."


    Sarah Rose would agree and offer, "Language and specifics and details is more our forte as lawyers,"

    Except it wasn't, you smug jerks who made a ruling that was a miscarriage of justice.

    The plaintiff wasn't well spoken; however, he was repeatedly interrupted and even with what he did get to say, it was clear that "writing" was being used by him to describe composing music (he even says that at one point and also that had to rewrite some of the lyrics).


    He took payment for transcription.


    The defendant did not, however, give the plaintiff money for his work co-writing the song.


    What happens when there is no contract between two songwriters?  

    No contract means that the law recognizes them both as co-owners of the song.  That was what the case was about.  But that was too much for Judith and her lackey to grasp.

    Not only did Charles Kerper actually own half the song, but the song, as Tennessee Luke admitted, was being performed in a club act and on television.

    Do the smug assholes grasp concepts like "performance royalties"?

    Songwriters earn those royalties from performances of their songs.

    Judith ruled incorrectly.  She cost the man money.  She did legal harm to the plaintiff. She then went on to mock him with her niece.


    Now some might argue this has nothing to do with age.  


    And that may be.


    YOUTUBER Calvin Michaels isn't elderly and he's a misinformed idiot.


    He took to YOUTUBE yesterday to defend Taraji P. Henson and her publicity tour of greed.


    Stan has documented Taraji's Tour of Greed repeatedly at his site ("Tara P. Henson is Box Office Poison," "THE BEEKEEPER, MEAN GIRLS, trashy Taraji, talented Diana Ross," "Taraji destroys THE COLOR PURPLE at the box office," "Ghetto Trash Taraji P. Henson strikes again,"  "Film box office,"  "What's souring THE COLOR PURPLE" and "Taraji competes with Jennifer Love to see who can ...").


    Taraji has been complaining about many things when she should have been making people want to go see THE COLOR PURPLE.  Among her complaints, she doesn't feel she was paid well for THE COLOR PURPLE.  She has not gotten a raise since 2018's PROUD MARY.


    Well, she actually should have seen a huge pay decrease because that film, and every live-action film she did after, flopped at the box office.  In addition, she's now crashed a film with her mouthing.  By all means address the issue of payment if you feel underpaid -- but do it after the film's stopped playing at the theater not when you're contractually bound to promote the film and build up enthusiasm around it.


    This is not a shift at McDonalds, Taraji,  15 years behind the counter might get you an annual raise.  That's not how the film industry works.  


    She is not a box office star.  Studios wrongly thought she could be and then the ticket sales just weren't there.   That means your price should be knocked down for any leading performances.  


    Since she's not whining that she didn't get less than she got in 2018, that means she was vastly overpaid for THE COLOR PURPLE -- if only because it was a supporting role and PROUD MARY had been a lead role.


    But it's also reality, Calvin, that when you star in underperformers and flops, your per picture salary drops.

    In 1979, Ryan O'Neal got one million dollars for co-starring in THE MAIN EVENT.  Four flops in a row and by 1984, he's talking to the press about how he had to take a huge paycut when he agreed to star in IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES. (He did it for no salary, just points.) Taraji P. Henson was cast in THE COLOR PURPLE after five live-action flops in a row.  And, again, it was a supporting role.  She's also now too old to be a lead in most films.  Character roles might await her in the future.  If they do, someone should educate her that character actors and actresses do not generally earn in the millions per picture.


    There is racism in the entertainment industry.  And, yes, people of color can be underpaid and, wrongly, often are.  Women, of all races, can be underpaid, as well.  Meryl Streep nearly lost her career making the observation of how women were underpaid -- and roles weren't written for them -- in a press conference back in the nineties.  And that's in part because of sexism but it's equally true that Meryl was always overpaid.  She never delivered an audience on her own in her long, long career.  37 films that she starred in, in fact, wracked up less than $45 million in domestic ticket sales.  So there was also a lack of gratitude as she whined in public.  At the same time, Goldie Hawn by contrast, didn't whine that Arnold or whichever man was making ten million or more a movie.  As an actual person living in the real world, she was aware that the millions she was paid for films were much more than most Americans were seeing at the time.  And as an actual producer of film -- not just someone who took the title but actually did the work of producer as well -- she was aware that, as she told PEOPLE and many other outlets, that huge pay day comes with the demand that you have to deliver a huge audience and she could work without that huge pressure, thank you. 

    Calvin can't recognize that reality or pretty much any other.  Which is why he goes to TV and only muddles things even more.  He wants to argue that Taraji deserves more money because of the long-ago cancelled EMPIRE.  He wants you to know that the first season set a record with each episode getting more viewers.  All 18 episodes.  Sorry, Calvin, math's not our strong suit either; however, we are able to count twelve which, for the record, is how many episodes were in season one. 


    He says that Taraji was making 150K an episode for EMPIRE.  "If we compare that to FRIENDS, which by the time the show has started to wind down and the ratings have slowed down and people aren't as interested anymore, all of the six main cast mates were making anywhere between $874,000 and upwards of a million dollars per episode. Again, on a show that had ratings that were super high but again an American favorite on the prime night that they were on.  Same story as EMPIRE."

    Uh, no.

    Are you that much of an idiot?  


    The cast of FRIENDS made a lot of money -- and that's because they stuck together and demanded the raises together beginning with season three.  Pay attention, Calvin, that's called collective bargaining.


    And where does he get that $800,000-plus figure?  Season seven and eight saw the six cast members rise to $700,000 an episode while seasons nine and ten saw them jump to one million an episode.


    Besides which, there's no comparison between the two shows.  You're an idiot if you try to make a comparison.


    DALLAS was a ratings hit.  DYNASTY was a ratings hit.  KNOTS LANDING, MELROSE PLACE and many more.


    They were not hits in syndication.  


    Soap opera doesn't work well in syndication.


    Doesn't draw a big audience and never has.  And syndication is where the real money has always been made.  

    Sitcoms do -- at least sitcoms filmed before studio audiences do.


    Then there's the fact that FRIENDS was a top ten hit for all ten seasons -- the number one watched show in season eight and the only time it wasn't top five in the ratings was the first season (when it was the 8th most watched program).  By contrast, EMPIRE was never the number one watched show of any of its six seasons.  Seasons one and two found it the fifth most watched show.  Season three saw the series fall to number 23, season four it fell to number 52, season five it dropped to 68 and season six it was 82.

    No, those aren't the numbers that FRIENDS posted.  EMPIRE was a flash-in-the-pan show that should have been cancelled after season three.  Once a top ten show falls out of the top twenty, it doesn't go back up ever again.  The audience has elected to move on and they're not coming back.  The series finale of EMPIRE was viewed by less than 3 million people, while the season finale of FRIENDS was viewed by over 52 million people. 


    Ratings is the main way the networks make money when broadcasting their programs. X amount of viewers helps determine how much they can charge for advertising.   Some shows with smaller audiences can charge more because they bring in an 'upscale' audience (THIRTY-SOMETHING was never a ratings hit but ABC kept it on the air because it delivered a demographic that advertisers desperately wanted to reach).


    If Taraji actually got $125,000 an episode for EMPIRE, she's not worth it today.  She would have been worth it possibly in 2017 but having stayed with the sinking ship, she's demonstrated that only a few devoted fans will show up to watch her each week.  

    Calvin Michaels is nowhere near eighty.  So it can be argued that Judith  Sheindlin may not be going senile.  But the worst Calvin can do is appall you as you grasp how little he actually knows.  To appear before Judith, you have to sign an agreement that her decision is final and cannot be reviewed by any court.  In other words, a man co-wrote a song and, with there being no contract between the two writers, the man has co-ownership of the song -- or had it, until a senile and  smug idiot named Judith Sheindlin misunderstood the basic facts and took his legal ownership of a song away from him thereby depriving him of his legitimate credit and monies owed and leaving him with no legal recourse. 


    WTF journalism?


    When told that Waybourn and Spaulding had sold the restaurant, Melissa Washer texted back a single word: “Interesting.” She declined to comment further.

    “You and your article have caused mor [sic] than enough turmoil in our life,” she texted. Neither Mike Washer nor the couple’s attorney, Whitson Robinson, responded to an email seeking comment.

    "She declined to comment further"?  Isn't "You and your article have caused mor than enough turmoil in our life," in fact, a comment?

    Time to expell some from The Church (Kat, Mike and Trina)

    As Catholics, we strongly object to the actions of some officials in the Church. 


    Anthony Faiola, Michelle Boorstein, Stefano Pitrelli  (Washington Post) report

    Pope Francis is facing some of the most vociferous objection to papal authority in decades, in language that might have stunned past popes.

    German Cardinal Gerhard Müller derided the pope’s new guidance allowing priests to bless same-sex couples as “blasphemy.” One Italian priest found himself rapidly excommunicated after he referred to Francis in his New Year’s Eve homily as an “anti-Pope usurper” with a “cadaverous gaze, into nothingness.” Still holding on to his title is Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who recently dubbed the pontiff a servant of Satan and announced a seminary to train priests free from the “deviations of Bergoglio” (Francis’s name before becoming pope).

    Some of this resentment is long-simmering. Almost as long as he’s been pope, Francis has been confronted by dissenting church traditionalists. Viganò, for one, has previously called for Francis’s resignation.

    The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had been widely expected to clarify any muddiness about the hierarchy in Vatican City, leaving just one figure wearing papal white within its ancient walls. A year later, the voices questioning Francis’s basic authority have only grown louder, at the same time that bold, legacy-cementing moves by the 87-year-old pope have prompted broader backlash within the church.



    Honestly, they need to leave the religion, leave the Church.  We say that as Catholics.  And we have disagreed with popes before.  Sometimes strongly.  But we have certainly never said one was Satan.  And, as parishioners, we'd argue we have a lot more right to criticize.  We can be wrong in that and we can certainly ask for forgiveness if we are wrong, however, we're n a priests.  The priests are supposed to follow the pope's instructions, the bishops are as well.  This is outrageous.

    We strongly support nuns in any conflict with the Church.  That's a knee-jerk response from us because we know all the nuns endure.  But even with that attitude on our part, we would be shocked to hear a nun, protesting a pope, call him "a servant of Satan."

    There is no excuse for that.  There needs to be serious admonishment from the Vatican over this.



    Ten best Brit-coms

    Brit-coms -- British sitcoms.  In the US, they can be streamed on various channels.  Prior to streaming, PBS was often the introduction many Americans had to the genre and, in the 90s, COMEDY CENTRAL was another outlet delivering Brit-coms.  Popular shows have included THE WORST WEEK OF MY LIFE, BLACK ADDER, GAVIN & STACEY, BAD EDUCATION, MY HERO, 'ALLO 'ALLO, OPEN ALL HOURS,  UP POMPEII!, RISING DAMP, BREEDERS, FRESH MEAT, HI-DE-HI!, PLEBS, THE YOUNG ONES, AS TIME GOES BY and YES, MINISTER. 


    Here are our picks for the top ten best Brit-coms.



















    Tweet of the week


    Video of the week

    This edition's playlist



    1) Joni Mitchell's JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES -- VOL. 3: THE ASYLUM YEARS (1972 - 1975).


    2) Joni Mitchell's FOR THE ROSES.


    3) Joni Mitchell's DOG EAT DOG.


    4) The Rolling Stones' HACKNEY DIAMONDS.

    5) Diana Ross' THANK YOU


    6) Pretenders' RESTLESS.


    7) Tyler Childers' RUSTIN' IN THE RAIN.



    9) Aretha Franklin's SPARKLE.


    10) kd lang's HYMNS OF THE 49TH PARALLEL.

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