Monday, April 01, 2024

Truest statement of the week

+ I’ll never forget the irate call we got from an Obama senate staffer when we reported that Lieberman was Obama’s mentor in the Senate during his first year in office. “He didn’t have a f**king choice about it, man!!!!!!!” Sure.

+ When Joe Lieberman arrived in the US Senate in 1989, Strom Thurmond greeted him by saying, “I understand we think a lot alike in the way we do things.” “Yes, sir, I think we do,” admitted Lieberman. Strom probably learned about this reassuring profile of Lieberman’s center-right political beliefs from his weekly lunch date in the Senate cafeteria with Joe Biden who, like Lieberman, was one of the founding nowhere men of the Democratic Leadership Council, whose mission was to keep the Democratic Party from ever again straying to the Left of Michael Dukakis…

+ Al Gore’s Harvard mentor (and later political promoter at the New Republic) Martin Peretz convinced Gore to put Lieberman–the most obnoxious senator in a chamber full of them–on the ticket in 2000 for the express purpose of winning Florida by courting the Jewish and the Cuban exile vote in Miami-Dade, even they didn’t like him.

+ Political piety was Lieberman’s calling card and, like McCain, this pretense of recoiling from the dirty work of politics won him many friends in the mainstream press. In reality, Lieberman was a censor and a prude. He supported labeling hip-hop and heavy rock records and restricting the sale of video games to minors. He censured Bubba for having consensual sex and publicly denounced him for it. Gore’s pick of Lieberman meant that Bill Clinton, still enormously popular, couldn’t campaign for this ticket featuring two of the stiffest politicians in American history, likely costing the pair the election.

+ After the 2000 elections, Lieberman played an entirely malicious role in American politics. He spread lies about WMDs in Iraq, championed the wars on terror, condoned torture and campaigned against universal health care, successfully severing the public option from ObamaCare and gutting the planned extension of Medicare to people 55 or older.

+ Lieberman: “Every day Saddam Hussein remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” September 4, 2002.

+ Petulant and vainglorious, Lieberman couldn’t handle being defeated by the progressive Ned Lamont in the CT primary, largely over his support for the Iraq War, and waged a nasty independent campaign backed by many in the GOP to narrowly win in the general elections. Then he endorsed McCain over Obama in 2008. He served as a model for figures such as Manchin and Sinema, who practiced a kind of political extortion against their own party. 

+ Lieberman was one of the chief architects of the post-911 police state in the US, working side-by-side with the Bush administration to construct the new Department of Homeland Security, lending it vast new powers not only to harass immigrants, especially those from Muslim countries, but to invade nearly every aspect of the lives of American citizens in the name of “security.”

+ No defender of civil liberties, Lieberman was no defender of civil liberties, Lieberman was a supporter of the Patriot Act and backed nearly every variety of government surveillance.  He authored the so-called Kill-Switch Bill, which would have given the President to assume complete control of the Net.

+ Lieberman was one of the first, if not the first, prominent politicians to advocate prosecuting Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, and introduced a bill in Congress to expand the law with that explicit purpose. Lieberman’s vendetta against Wikileaks included convincing (extorting?) Amazon, Visa, MasterCard and Pay Pal to stop servicing payments to the independent media organization.

+ Long an advocate of privatizing education, Lieberman testified before the Senate Education Committee in 2017 in favor of Betsy DeVos’ nomination to become Trump’s Education Secretary, telling the committee: “I know that some people are questioning her qualifications to be secretary of education, and too many of those questions seem to me to be based on the fact that she doesn’t come from within the education establishment. But honestly, I believe that today, that’s one of the most important qualifications you could have for this job. She has many others. She’s a mother and a grandmother. She cares about children more generally, and she has been involved in education, like so many parents and local citizen school board members across America for almost 30 years.”

+ Lieberman’s one benign contribution to the Republic was in helping to defang the federal government’s toxic posture toward homosexuals…but then so did Lynne and Dick Cheney.


 -- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: Nowhere Men" (COUNTERPUNCH).

Truest statement of the week II

An important solution for meeting the needs of Black LGBTQ+ youth is creating safe spaces that are fully welcoming, while also being free of racism and queerphobia.

An important thing to emphasize is removing barriers from these safe spaces to make them as easy to access as possible. The director of services for the Chicago-based LGBTQ+ nonprofit Youth Empowerment Performance Project, Ka’Riel Gaiter, told The 19th that things like forced IDs for entry to these spaces often work to exclude marginalized youth, such as those who are homeless or those who have a mismatch between their ID and gender presentation.

He detailed, “I see them experience discrimination on a systemic level. There are not specific spaces anymore that are implementing harm reduction methods and trauma-informed methods of care that will actually meet these people where they are when they walk through their doors to receive services.”


--  Mira Lazine, "Black LGBTQ+ youth face rejection from multiple sources. They need safe spaces." (LGBTQ NATION).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Sunday.  Yes, here on the west coast but also when we started posting.

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. 

Mira Lazine gets a truest.

Repost from THE COMMON ILLS.

Ava and C.I. cover Gaza, STUPID PET TRICKS, Dyan Cannon and so much more.

Ty talks to Ava and C.I. about books.

Ty's book review.

Ava and C.I. make the case for awarding Diana Ross with an honorary Academy Award.

Where's SCHITT'S CREEK?  It's a Canadian sitcom.  We focused solely on US sitcoms for this list.

Passings we are noting in the community. 

What the community's reading.  

A video you need to stream.

And another video you need to stream.

What we listened to while writing this edition.

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



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









 Repost from THE COMMON ILLS:

Gaza day 176


As ALJAZEERA notes in the video above, lawyers for the United Kingdom's government have found that the government of Israel is breaking international law.   Toby Helm (THE OBSERVER) explains:

The British government has received advice from its own lawyers stating that Israel has breached international humanitarian law in Gaza but has failed to make it public, according to a leaked recording obtained by the Observer.

The comments, made by the Conservative chair of the House of Commons select committee on foreign affairs, Alicia Kearns, at a Tory fundraising event on 13 March are at odds with repeated ministerial denials and evasion on the issue.

On Saturday night, Kearns, a former Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence official, who has repeatedly pressed ministers, including foreign secretary David Cameron, on the legal advice they have received, stood by her comments and called for the government to come clean.

“I remain convinced the government has completed its updated assessment on whether Israel is demonstrating a commitment to international humanitarian law, and that it has concluded that Israel is not demonstrating this commitment, which is the legal determination it has to make,” she said. “Transparency at this point is paramount, not least to uphold the international rules-based order.”

The revelation will place Lord Cameron and prime minister Rishi Sunak under intense pressure because any such legal advice would mean the UK had to cease all arms sales to Israel without delay.

While this finding should prevent the UK from furnishing more weapons to Israel, the US government will, no doubt, continue to supply the death machine.  Yolande Knell  (BBC News) explains:

Despite a week of tensions with Israel over its conduct of the Gaza War, Washington is reported to have authorised arms transfers to its ally worth billions of dollars.

These include more than 1,800 MK84 2,000lb (900kg) bombs and 500 MK82 500lb bombs, as well as 25 F35A fighter jets, The Washington Post and Reuters news agency have said.

The larger bombs have previously been linked to air strikes in Gaza causing mass casualties.

Washington gives $3.8bn (£3bn) in annual military assistance to Israel.

But the latest package comes as the Biden administration has been raising concerns about rising civilian deaths in Gaza and humanitarian access to the territory, which the UN says is on the verge of famine.


Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi called on the international community to stop supplying Israel with weapons.

“UN agencies are telling horror stories of suffering in Gaza. Over 30,000 killed. Over two million people starved. These facts shame the world,” he posted on X.

“Weapons must stop flowing to Israel. Israel must be forced to end this catastrophe. This is what international law, what human values, demand,” he added.

If you think the US government can't look more insane on the world stage, you don't know the GOP.  Todd Spangler (USA TODAY) reports:

A video surfaced Friday night that appears to show U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Michigan, suggesting that nuclear weapons be dropped on Gaza. In the video, Walberg, while being asked about the Israeli-Hamas conflict suggested nuclear weapons be used in an attempt to "Get it over quick."

Walberg wasn't pictured in the video. But a voice that clearly sounded like his responded to a constituent's question asking why the U.S. − as President Joe Biden proposed in his State of the Union address this month − would "be spending our money" to build a temporary port off the Gaza coast to move humanitarian aid into that region. Walberg said he disagreed with doing so and that Israel was perhaps America's greatest ally in the world.

"We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid," Walberg said. "It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick." The 47-second video ended immediately after that, so no other comments were captured.

Melissa Nann Burke (DETROIT NEWS) adds:

One of Walberg’s House colleagues, Democratic U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens of Birmingham, criticized Walberg’s remarks without using his name Saturday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Threatening to use, suggesting the use of, or, God forbid actually using nuclear weapons, are unacceptable tactics of war in the 21st Century,” wrote Stevens, a staunch supporter of Israel. “As W.J. Hennigan recently & accurately described for the NYT, the use of nuclear weapons creates hell on earth.”

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, also condemned the remarks from Walberg, a former pastor.

“This is a reprehensible thing for anyone to suggest, especially an elected official and someone who considers himself a man of faith,” Slotkin said in a statement. “Rep. Walberg should take back his comments, and try to put himself in the shoes of the many Michiganders who see themselves in the casualties in Gaza.”

In response to the shocking and inhumane comments by Tim Walberg, CAIR issued the following statement:

The Michigan chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a local chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned a recent call by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) to end humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in Gaza facing Israeli-imposed starvation, ethnic cleansing and genocide, and instead drop nuclear weapons on the civilian population.

In a video of a talk Walberg reportedly gave March 25, he allegedly said: “We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick.”

In a statement CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said:

“This clear call to genocide by a member of Congress should be condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law. To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value. It is this dehumanization of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the ongoing slaughter and suffering we see every day in Gaza and the West Bank.”

He noted that yesterday, CAIR strongly condemned a new American military aid package including 2,000-pound bombs and aircraft to Israel, saying that support for Israel’s genocide makes President Biden a “war criminal.” CAIR Deputy Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said: “Arming a war criminal makes you a war criminal.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.                

La misiĆ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiĆ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.                

Become a Fan of CAIR-Michigan on Facebook

Subscribe to CAIR-Michigan’s  Twitter Feed    

At COMMON DREAMS, Julia Conley notes that these calls for murder have been made by other Republicans in Congress:

Earlier this month, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) told a group of Palestinian rights advocates, "Goodbye to Palestine"—leading Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vt.) to say he had called "for the genocide of the Palestinian people."

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) in February told an activist, "I think we should kill 'em all," when asked about Palestinian children who have been killed by Israel with U.S. military support, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called for Israel to "level the place" soon after the war started. 

Death merchant Tim is due to his 73 next month.  When not in Congress, the dottering idiot worked for Moody Bible Institute out of Chicago as both a desk jockey and a pastor -- remember that when you see Moody Bible Institute on a resume.

The crazed fanatic belongs in a mental institution and should have been stripped of his Congressional office long ago.  From WIKIPEDIA:

On October 8, 2023, Walberg gave a keynote speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Uganda, at the invitation of Ugandan legislator David Bahati. Walberg's trip to Uganda was paid for by The Fellowship, which sponsored the breakfast. During his speech, Walberg urged Uganda to "stand firm" against international pressure to "change you", apparently referencing sanctions by the United States government against Uganda over the recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, which prescribes lengthy prison sentences and in certain instances the death penalty for homosexual activities. “Worthless is the thought of the world, worthless, for instance, is the thought of the World Bank, or the World Health Organization, or the United Nations, or, sadly, some in our administration in America who say, ‘You are wrong for standing for values that God created,’ for saying there are male and female and God created them," said Walberg. Bahati, the original sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, stated that Walberg had told him “Uganda is on the right side of God,” when he asked Walberg if he were comfortable associating with Bahati. Walberg additionally praised Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, who also spoke at the breakfast, and who signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law. [37][38][39][40]

He's a death merchant and so is anyone who votes for him.

Let's note this from Friday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

In Gaza, the death toll has now topped 32,600, including 14,000 children, with over 75,000 people wounded. At least 31 people, including 27 children, have already died of malnutrition and dehydration.

For more, we go to Rafah in Gaza, where we’re joined by James Elder, spokesperson for UNICEF, which stands for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, James Elder. Thank you so much for joining us as you stand outside a hospital in Rafah. Talk about where you’ve been in Gaza and what’ve you found.

JAMES ELDER: Amy, hi there.

Look, I’ve been south to north, north to south. If we start here in the south, in Rafah, this is a city that’s normally 300,000 people, and it’s now about 1.5 million, so you can imagine the congestion. I’m looking now at a field hospital. The number of times, Amy, well, I’ll walk around and just think this place feels like a war zone. Now, of course, it is a war zone. So, if I’m in a hospital, you’re talking about being in a hospital, and it is absolutely heaving with people. So, the corridors are now no longer corridors. They are tented up, people using blankets, whatever they can, thousands and thousands of people trying to take refuge in hospitals, and, of course, thousands and thousands of people with the wounds of war in hospitals. So, here, Rafah, this is a city of children, Amy. This is where most people from Gaza have now fled, with a very real fear of an offensive here.

When you go further north, to the very north, as I’ve been to Jabaliya and Gaza City, well, first you see the devastation. I’m seeing, Amy, entire cities turned to rubble, more or less, things I’ve never seen before, every street. When I go with people from that city, drivers who — drivers who grew up in that city, and who simply don’t know how to get around anymore, Amy, because they’ve lost those landmarks to direct them. And then you see the nutritional status, those children you spoke about. More children died overnight in the last couple of days, dehydration, malnutrition. I see those families, Amy. I see mothers in tears, crouched over cots with children and babies who are paper thin, thousands of people on the street doing that universal sign: food now.

That’s some sense, north to south. Whatever it is, it’s desperation, and it’s exhaustion. People have done everything. They break their last piece of bread to share if they have four or five families stay with them. But I’ve sat with families this morning that I can speak to. They’re exhausted. And yeah, they’re confused as to why they don’t have the world’s attention.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get your response to the latest news, James Elder.

JAMES ELDER: I’ve got no hearing, guys.

AMY GOODMAN: The International Court of Justice has ordered Israel to ensure unhindered aid could get into Gaza. The legally binding order was issued after a request by South Africa, which brought the genocide case to Israel in January. The court noted in its latest order, “Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine, but … famine is setting in.” The judges also cited U.N. data which finds at least 31 people, including 27 children, having already died of malnutrition and dehydration. The court is ordering Israel to submit a report within a month showing how it’s implemented the order. The significance of this, as the U.N. warns famine is imminent in northern Gaza? And the number of children who have been affected, James?

JAMES ELDER: Yes. I mean, we saw a report, Amy, almost two weeks ago by the most respected nutrition body in terms of crises on the planet, and it is talking about more people now being in that, what we call catastrophic food insecurity than in their 20 years of reporting. If we look at the north of Gaza, where before this war, less than 1% of children under the age of 5, less than 1%, suffered acute malnutrition. Now if we look at those north, to 2-year-olds, the most vulnerable, Amy, it’s one in three. One in three. This is the speed at which we’ve seen this catastrophic decline.

So, yes, at the United Nations, from my own executive director to the secretary-general, have been calling for months and months for unhindered, safe — sort of very difficult place to work — safe access for aid. Now, that’s road access. The most efficient and effective way to get supplies, lifesaving supplies, food — food, water, medicines, to people is on the road network, not just from the south, because that can be difficult. It’s 30 or 40 — 30 miles, doesn’t sound like a long way. It is a long way when you’ve got tens of thousands of people on the street. Amy, there are crossings that are 10 minutes away from those people who are hand to mouth, from those mothers who are cradling children who are severely malnourished. Ten minutes away.

So, in the same way that this crisis, this nutritional crisis affecting children and civilians in Gaza, is man-made and preventable, it can be turned around. Now, if you want to be a glass half-full, that’s good news. This can be reversed. But we do need those decisions to be made. We need all hindrances gone, all obstructions gone. We need safety. You know, we know that more my United Nations colleagues have been killed in this war than in any war since the creation of the United Nations. We’ve seen those horrendous videos of desperate people, desperate because they see a truck of food once a week — there is no consistency — desperate people being killed accessing food. There are crossings in the north. If those are opened, we can flood the Gaza Strip with aid, and this is solved within a matter of weeks, magic pace that UNICEF has, changes their lives dramatically.

But we’re not seeing that. Instead, UNRWA, the biggest U.N. agency here, the backbone of humanitarian aid on the Gaza Strip, that was sending 50% — Amy, 50% of the food to the north, they’ve been blocked. So we have to be very clear and very, very honest in terms of what the restrictions are. The restrictions currently are why we are seeing this level of malnutrition, particularly among children.

AMY GOODMAN: So, why — what is Israel saying to you, to the international body, the United Nations, to you particularly at UNICEF, why they’re not letting this aid go, and particularly saying they will not work with UNRWA at all in northern Gaza?

JAMES ELDER: Yes. Look, obviously, you know, we function here based on our impartiality, and we talk to anyone. So you’re right to ask. I’m not privy to the exact conversations. Like anyone else, you hear the statements made that there is, you know, limitless access here. The reality on the ground says differently. In the first three weeks of March, one-quarter of aid convoys were denied. As I say, the restrictions on UNRWA are immense.

I can speak to my own experience of the complexities of even getting that food aid to the north, which is why if you come in from the north in those crossings, that’s a game changer. In the same way that the world has focused a little bit on airdrops and ships, obviously, right now the desperation is so great that those people who have been forcibly put into this position will take food aid wherever it comes from. It shouldn’t be the case, when, I mean, in the north, you’re talking about an area that was famed for strawberries — not for malnutrition, for strawberries. But we have to be clear that when a ship comes in, it has the equivalent tonnage of around 12 trucks. There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of trucks, you know, five miles from where I am now. You could get hundreds and hundreds of trucks within 10 minutes, if that border crossing was open in the north, to those people who are cut off. That’s an important thing to remember.

When I was in the north, Amy, those people are cut off. You’re past the last checkpoint when we access those people. When I’m on the street, every person, the first thing they want to tell me, in English or Arabic, is “We need food. We need food.” Now, I know this, of course. This is my work. But of course I listen to them. What was revealing is why they’re saying that. They are saying that because their assumption is the world doesn’t know, because how would this be allowed to happen if the world knew?

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the effects on children of malnutrition? If they don’t die of hunger, the effects of the dehydration and malnutrition that they’re experiencing now?

JAMES ELDER: Yeah, look, in one sense, it’s one of the saddest things you’ll see, because a malnourished child, literally, their body starts to feed on itself in its last desperate acts. As my executive director said when she was — she’s been in malnutrition centers around the world. Remember, in UNICEF, we are serving children around the world, and critical, critical scenarios for children particularly on nutrition, from places from Sudan to Ethiopia. And she spoke of just the silence in a malnutrition ward, because babies do not have the energy to cry.

But what usually kills children with this most severe form of malnutrition is a disease, a simple thing, pneumonia, a simple childhood disease. Children with severe acute malnutrition are 10 times more likely to be killed by that. And that is something that UNICEF has been warning about here for months. Because now Rafah has become a city of children, because the water system and the sanitation system have been devastated, it’s impossible to have the services here that children need. I mean healthcare. Never before in Gaza have so many children needed healthcare. Only one-third, one in three, hospitals are partially functioning. Toilets — toilets, both in terms of dignity but in terms of sanitation, Amy — the global standard in an emergency is one toilet for 20 people. Here we’re looking at about one toilet for 800. For a shower, multiply that by four, one shower for three-and-a-half thousand people. Imagine for a teenage girl, much less, yes, a pregnant woman or a child. So, our great fear, which we are starting to see, is when you have severe malnutrition and you add in disease, this is the perfect storm. This is when this horror show for children becomes just as lethal on the ground as it currently is from the skies.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, of course, this is aside from the — I think the number has topped 14,000 of children who have died, uncounted number of them still in the rubble. If you can talk about this death toll, and also compare Gaza to other conflict zones you’ve been in, James Elder? You’ve been all over the world, to say the least.

JAMES ELDER: Yeah, look, for me, Amy, in a way, I’m loath to make the comparison, simply because, for UNICEF and myself, of course, a child is a child wherever they are. And when you see what’s happened to children, you know, from Ukraine to Afghanistan, it’s horrendous, and that’s why my colleagues are frontline workers in all of these places.

Yes, though, there is something particular here, the intensity of devastation. Obviously, it’s such a big child population in a compact space with, let’s be clear, indiscriminate attacks. The numbers you’re sharing there, it’s unprecedented. And when you see in a hospital those wounds of war to children, Amy, remembering that when there is a missile or a bomb on a family home, it’s not just one injury to a child. It’s the broken bones. It’s the burns. It’s very hard to look, but we must keep looking, the burns on a child. And it’s the shrapnel. These are the images that I turn, every time I turn around in a hospital, and I don’t think I’ve seen that, that consistency.

You have these rare moments, Amy, of clutching onto some hope. And once was a moment in a hospital, a little boy Mohamed, now, he had bad burns, but as I walked in to Mohamed, he made this little effort — it hurt him — to put a little thumbs-up, an unsolicited movement. And I just thought, “Wow! What a character!” And then the adult with him explained that Mohamed was also the best student in his school, showed me photographs of this beautiful little boy receiving awards. And I thought, “This little guy’s going to be OK.” And you hold onto these moments. Then that adult explained to me that when the missile hit Mohamed’s home, it killed everyone. And because families are hunkering down, I mean everyone — mother, father, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Mohamed didn’t know this yet, but Mohamed is now the last surviving member of his entire family.

These horror stories, Amy, are being normalized here. I didn’t think I’d ever hear such a thing in Gaza, but I’m hearing it time and again, time and again. So, yes, and these wounds of war, I should add, you know, in the last two days, I made a point to go to hospitals since the ceasefire decision, which was a cause of great hope here. Great hope. Well, that hope has been well and truly drowned out right now by bombs. And I saw many children who doctors did not think would still be alive today based on the bombings that have occurred since Monday’s decision.

AMY GOODMAN: You’re standing, James Elder, in Rafah. If you can talk about what’s happening right now in Rafah? You have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, absolutely, an invasion, ground invasion, will happen. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.” You have talked about a possible ground invasion in Rafah. What would this mean?

JAMES ELDER: The horrors in Gaza do start to outstrip our ability to describe them. And it would be a catastrophe. But, of course, that word has been rightly used many times. But this is a city of children, as I say. This city, Rafah, now has twice the population density of New York City, but — I don’t know what you can see, OK, but that’s as tall as they get. This is ground level. And most people — most people are in tents. They’re in street corners. They’re on beaches. They’re in what was agriculture, what was agriculture. They’re ground level, 600,000 children here.

And what they’ve endured, I mean, we’re in uncharted territory when it comes to the mental health of these children. Amy. Night after night, even for me — and I get to leave this place — for me, I lie in bed, and you hear the bombardments that wake you, and your building shakes, and you lie there feeling like lying in a coffin. Like, what are the chances of waking tomorrow morning? Children here go through that with their families every night. Every night with a mother and child, there’s no lullaby you sing to a child to drown that out.

And so, for those people here, not only are they just holding on, their coping mechanisms at a wit’s end, they have nowhere to go. We have to understand that. It’s not — the social services are devastated. Khan Younis, the city next door, as I say, I’ve never seen that level of annihilation. Gaza City, further north, the same. There’s talk of an area near here, al-Mawasi. It’s a beach. You know, literally, you’d be doubling the population density again. So, it’s a terrifying thought, Amy. I didn’t imagine it would come to this, but, yes, as you rightly say, the conversation is very commonplace now. I just wish people could see the density of people here, could see the exhaustion, could listen to a doctor as I speak to him in a hospital as he’s treating a child with massive head wounds, and the doctor’s in tears, saying, “What did this child do?” Well, we will see that on a scale I don’t think any of us, certainly not me, can imagine.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, what would an immediate ceasefire mean for the children of Gaza, for the whole population there?

JAMES ELDER: You know, I’m glad you end like that, because that gives me a chill. Everyone asks still: Do we have hope? Is there hope? And most people hold on to this idea, Amy, of like, as a mother said, “I’ve lost my — I’ve lost two children. I’ve lost my home. I’ve lost my ability to earn income. I’ve lost my ability to feed my remaining child. All I have is hope.”

Now, a ceasefire is a game changer. Ceasefire. Firstly, let’s get the hostages home. There are children somewhere, after five-and-a-half months. End the torment. End the torment for they and their families. A ceasefire enables us finally to flood the Gaza Strip with aid and bring this nutritional crisis, imminent famine — make no doubt about it, imminent famine. And a ceasefire, Amy, means that those families that I spoke of, who tonight again will endure what I mentioned there, they will go to bed, if there’s a ceasefire, a mother and her child, and they will know, for the first time in months, that they will wake up tomorrow.

AMY GOODMAN: James Elder, UNICEF spokesperson — UNICEF stands for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund — joining us today from Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Thank you so much, and be safe.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 176 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  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 grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "Gaza's Health Ministry said that at least 32,705 Palestinians have been killed and 75,190 injured in Israel's military offensive since October 7."  Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:

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." 

In Israel today, DW reports:

Anti-government protests sprung up in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Saturday as the war in Gaza approaches the six-month mark and more than 100 hostages remain in captivity.

Protesters in Tel Aviv blocked the city's ring road while demanding early elections as well as calling for the release of hostages by Hamas.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters picketed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's private residence, blaming his far-right government for failing to secure the release of the around 130 hostages believed to still be in Gaza — 33 of whom are presumed dead.

CNN notes, "The IDF admitted to killing two Palestinian men and burying their bodies with a bulldozer after Al Jazeera published a video purportedly showing the incident Wednesday. The IDF claimed in a statement to CNN that the men approached its 'operational area' in central Gaza 'in a suspicious manner' and didn’t respond to a warning shot. The Israelis killed them and bulldozed their bodies, fearing they carried explosives, the IDF said."  That's a cute way to describe it.  Not accurate, but cute.  CNN leaves out so much -- including the white flag being waived.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reported earlier this week:

  Video footage broadcast Wednesday by Al Jazeera shows Israeli soldiers gunning down two Palestinians on the coast of northern Gaza, even as one of them waves what appears to be a piece of white fabric.

The footage shows one of the men walking in the direction of an Israeli military vehicle with both hands raised. Despite the absence of any clear evidence that the man posed a threat, Israeli forces shot him from a short distance away. Another man is seen on the ground not far behind.

Al Jazeera's Tareq Abu Azzoum said the killings took place near where World Central Kitchen recently dropped off food aid.

The video then shows Israeli soldiers burying the bodies with a bulldozer.

"Probably certain words should be invented for this sort of thing," Marwan Bishara, AI Jazeera's chief political analyst, said in response to the footage. "I am not sure we have the sufficient vocabulary to describe this sort of twilight zone of Israel's fantasy of being the world's most moral army."

"It's a fantasy that meets the reality of a genocide," Bishara added. "An attempt to kill or destroy much of Palestine and Palestinians and hide the evidence and lie about it. When the Israeli army can do these things and get away with it, it can only then do more of it knowing that it will not meet any punishment." 

Lastly, THE NATIONAL notes:

The French, Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers have called for an "immediate and permanent ceasefire" in Gaza and the release of all hostages held by militants groups in the enclave.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Cairo, France's senior diplomat Stephane Sejourne said his government would put forward a draft resolution at the UN Security Council setting out a "political" settlement of the war.

The three ministers also renewed their governments' support for the UNRWA.

 The following sites updated:

TV: Lies are all around

Sometimes it seems Mary Tyler Moore led us astray -- Liars, not love, are all around.

We were reminded of that in the last month or so as one of the cheapest pieces of trash began airing on TBS.  At one point, TBS aired original programming like THE LAST OG, THE DETOUR, CHAD and CONAN.  Now it serves up STUPID PET TRICKS.

What?  No one grabbed the pitch for BAD ADS?

David Letterman started out in late night on NBC and thought he would become the host of THE TONIGHT SHOW when Johnny Carson retired.  Then NBC decided differently and went with Jay Leno and Letterman ran to CBS taking everything that wasn't nailed down.  That included recurring skits like bad ads and stupid pet tricks.  

David is not without talent but he was not the show.  Along with guests not afraid to be outrageous (for the time) like Sandra Bernhard and Cher, the show counted on a lot of assist from Paul Shaffer and sometimes Chris Elliott.      TBS' STUPID PET TRICKS has none of these things.

It does have Sarah Silverman.


The 53-year-old failure.  

Maybe you remember her from her bit part in HEARTBREAKERS where she was 11th billed for playing a waitress?  Or maybe from -- Wait, no one saw that film.  TV?  She lasted a season on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- one season -- before taking her tired act to other shows: GREG THE BUNNY (one season), THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROJECT (cancelled after 32 episodes), I LOVE YOU AMERICA WITH SARAH SILVERMAN (cancelled after 21 episodes) . . . 

She's mainly famous for pissing her own bed and that's not a calling card for any but the most extreme fetish connoisseurs.  

She's actually infamous for one more thing but don't expect CRAPAPEDIA to get it right:

In October 2023, Silverman posted several social media posts and stories in support of Israel during the 2023 Israel–Hamas war.[119] She also left the Democratic Socialists of America after being a member for several years, citing their published response to the initial Hamas attacks and lack of support for Israel.[120][121]

Oh, is that what the middle-aged bed wetter did?

Seems very different from what actually happened.  Sophie Lloyd (NEWSWEEK) reported reality in real time:

In an Instagram Story shared with her 2 million followers on October 18, the Jewish comedian reposted a statement by user @elianaeatz.

"Many are saying that it's inhumane that Israel is cutting off water/electricity to Gaza," the post reads. Israel made it pretty simple—'release the hostages and we will turn it back on.' Instead of pleading with Hamas to release civilian hostages which include babies and toddlers there are politicians (cough cough AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez]) calling Israel inhumane.

"If that isn't enough for you: Israel does not need to supply Gaza with these resources (which they do, for free). If Hamas didn't spend billions of dollars on terrorism they would be able to build the infrastructure to support themselves."

The post caused uproar online, with X user Polly Tickal calling the 52-year-old "a genocidal maniac supporting starving Palestinian civilians by depriving them of water and electricity."

"We've officially reached the 'they actually don't deserve water and electricity' moment in mainstream discourse," commented Keyvan.

"Amazing for Sarah Silverman to sit in her mansion built on incompetent third-rate joke-telling and tell 2 million people that they don't deserve food and water," said Heidi N. Moore.


It was shocking when she did it months ago and it's only more shocking now.  March 19th, The World Bank issued the following:


With more than half the population of Gaza on the brink of famine -- including children and the elderly -- the World Bank Group calls for urgent action to save lives. We join the international community in calling for immediate, free, and unimpeded access of medical supplies, food and life-essential services through all available means at speed and scale to the people of Gaza.


Does that matter at all to the aged, bed wetting whore?

From the United Nations a few weeks back:


The catastrophic food insecurity situation in Gaza received renewed attention at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, where UN Special Rapporteur for food Michael Fakhri said that nearly 75 per cent of the enclave’s fishing sector had been devastated by Israeli bombardment.

“Israel has mounted a starvation campaign against the Palestinian people in Gaza, and one way it is doing this is by targeting small-scale fishers,” he told the forum’s 47 Member States. 

Since 7 October, the independent rights expert maintained that Israel had denied all access to the sea, impoverishing previously comfortable fishers. 

“Israeli forces decimated the Port of Gaza, destroying every single fishing boat and shack,” he said. “In Rafah, only two out of 40 boats are left. In Khan Younis, Israel destroyed approximately 75 small-scale fishing vessels.”

The destruction of fishing livelihoods in the enclave had undermined the right to food for everyone in Gaza and pushed them “into hunger and starvation”, the Special Rapporteur insisted. 

“In fact, Israel has been strangling Gaza for 17 years through a blockade, which included denying and restricting small-scale fishers access to their territorial waters.”


 As Sarah promotes her bad TV show, why is she not confronted with this reality -- a reality she called for months ago?

Maybe it's because her awful show is one that no one watches.  It's big debut brought in less than a million viewers (.89) while her most recent episode had fallen to .51.  It's not making money and no one's watching.

A functioning system would let people know that.  Instead, what you'll find online is people wondering what the ratings are for the show and every one averting their eyes and pretending not to have heard the question.

The media lies non-stop.

Dyan Cannon's been on a tour of lying of late.  She used to lie all the time.  Non-stop.  Then she claimed that EST freed her.  But she kept lying about her age -- an area she loved to lie about.  For example, in the much syndicated January 1970 article by Peer J. Oppenheimer entitled "Don't Call Me The Ex-Mrs. Grant" you can find this gem, "In her late 20s, she lives quietly with Jennifer and the child's nurse in a rather small house in Beverly Hills [. . .]"  In her late 20s?

She was born January 4, 1937.  By January of 1970, she was 33.  "In her late 20s"?

We bring it up -- and there are so many other lies we could bring up. Don't get us started on her pretense to be dating Dick Kallman.  

Dyan is infamous for screaming about that "f*g" Cary Grant after the divorce.  She did not find peace when she left the man or even when she finally got the big-money settlement she wanted.   Cary Grant was bisexual and this isn't news or shocking.  But Dyan, for some reason, now feels the need to lie.  

Lies are all around . . . 

Jennifer Grant has made herself a pathetic joke.  Cary Grant's daughter is 58-years-old and continues to insist her father is straight, straight, straight.  No.  No.  No.  It's not just Scotty Bowers that's written of Cary's many affairs with men, it's the reality that it was known at the end of his life as he was very desperate and came onto any man -- a delivery guy, a reporter, you name it.  


Let's note this from Amy Fine Collins' 2001 VANITY FAIR piece on Richard Gully:

"There were a few others besides Elsa who were just out-and-out,” Gully said. “And then there were some who were bisexual. Spencer Tracy was. Homosexuality for many stars was an opportunistic thing, a passing phase to get their careers off the launching pad. Errol Flynn, for example, wasn’t homosexual. Mitch Leisen, an important director, was always ‘adopting’ young boys at the start of their careers. Marlene Dietrich was not much of a lesbian. She had a real passion for Jean Gabin. When Jean Howard didn’t have Jock Whitney courting her, then she might have a woman. Glamorous women never could hold on to their men.”

Cary Grant had a fleeting “crush on me. Soon after my arrival, he and Randolph Scott invited me up to their beach house,” Gully said. “When Cary realized I wasn’t interested, he never made any moves, and he and Scott simply didn’t invite me back. They took pains not to embarrass me. They were gentlemen.

“Cary was bisexual,” he explained. “Dorothy di Frasso set up the match between Cary and Barbara Hutton. That one was doomed to fail. They were thrilled with each other at first because each saw in the other something that didn’t exist. He thought she was a great society type, and she thought he was this fabulous, sophisticated dream—not a boy from the backstreets of Bristol.

“Spencer Tracy was never sober. I don’t think he functioned as a man. He and Katharine Hepburn had chemistry only on-screen.

“Danny Kaye was mean, a horror. He mistreated his wife, Sylvia Fine, who wrote his material. His love affair with Olivier, the coldest man I ever met, was so tacky.”

Dyan and Jennifer promoted the very bad -- and dishonest -- ITV mini-series ARCHIE supposedly about Cary Grant.  Wake up call to both of them -- Cary hid a lot more than his sexuality and if you keep lying to the world about his sexuality, there are people who will feed the other details to the press and that will be the end of admiration for Cary.

We don't get the need to lie.


And we don't get who they think they're fooling.  But we do know we're stopping this piece here before we move on to a certain actress who calls her bi-sexual step-father daddy and pretends she doesn't wonder if he killed her mother.




Book Talk (Ty, Ava and C.I.)



As we did in 2021 and 2023, we're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community. After a review posts, we try to do a discussion with the reviewer.  This go round, we're talking to Ty about his "SILENT SISTERS: PROFILES OF THE SHORT LIVES OF KAREN CARPENTER, PATSY CLINE, CASS ELLIOT, RUBY ELZY, JANIS JOPLIN AND SELENA ."  Ty?


Ty: Ellen Hunter Ulken does a series of sketches -- six female singers who have passed away.  So the big reveal for me -- and the author doesn't seem to realize what she's typed -- is that Selena wasn't a big seller.  Is that right, by the way?

Because of the film starring Jennifer Lopez, there's this misconception that Selena was a popular female singer selling millions like various other popular singers and, no, that is not true.  She has no album that made it to three million sales, for example, in the US -- only three sold more than a million and that's counting the soundtrack to SELENA.  DREAMING OF YOU is her best selling album worldwide and that's five million copies sold worldwide -- almost three million of those -- almost -- are sold in the US.  By comparison, Jennifer Lopez's J-LO and ON THE 6 outsold anything by Selena -- that's in the US and that's worldwide.  Jennifer's an artist from the '00s and Selena's from the 90s so it might be better to compare her to a different singer.

Ty: Linda Ronstadt.

Okay, Lina's LIVING IN THE USA, SIMPLE DREAMS, WHAT'S NEW and CRY LIKE A RAINSTORM, HOWL LIKE THE WIND?  Each one of those four albums sold more than any Selena album.   And her 1976's GREATEST HITS probably sold more copies in the US than everything Selena put out.

Ty: True crime interest benefited Selena, I'm sure.  I don't want to talk about Cass to much because -- let me start with this.  Kat's "Thom Donovan and AMERICAN SONGWRITER need to learn what facts are." went up this month.  Kat's right -- and the book gets this right -- Cass auditioned for I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE.  The role went to Barbra Streisand.  For some stupid reason, AMERICAN SONGWRITER reported this month that Cass auditioned for FUNNY GIRL.  It's nice reading about Cass but I'm looking forward to May when Owen Elliot-Kugell's MY MAMA, CASS: A MEMOIR comes out.  So that's one reason I don't want to talk about the Cass section.  The other is "Harold" and a feature that you want to write about.  Every week, we get together and ideas are pitched.  Ava and C.I. long ago dubbed WIKIPEDIA "Crapapedia" because it can't get facts right.  At The Mamas and the Papas entry, as Ava and C.I. have long pointed out, the original group has an album that's not noted even in the discography.  In the sketch on Cass, the author notes "Harvey."  That's what Denny dubbed the sound of the four of them singing together, saying it took on a fifth voice.  I think it's time to do the Mamas and the Papas piece and Harvey fits into that.  I enjoyed the Cass sketch, the Patsy Cline sketch and the Janis Joplin sketch and would recommend the book based on those.  Otherwise?  I'd say take a pass.



Previous book discussions:


 "Book Talk (Mike, Ava and C.I.)"


"Book Talk (Stan, Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)"

"Book Talk (Mike, Ava and C.I.)"

"Book Talk (Ann, Marcia, Trina, Ava and C.I.)"



Ty here with a book review.  I was raised by my grandmother and she had a spill two months back and is still on the mend.  I told her I needed to do a book review this month and she suggested we both read the book and discuss it before I write about it.

Sounded great to me.  


Do we recommend it?  Half-halfheartedly, yes.  

It's a quick read serving up six sketches of six different singers.  

The worst sketch is the one on Ruby Elzy and that should actually be the strongest sketch because of the life Elzy had.  However, as the author reveals, her sketch on Elzy comes from David E. Weaver's 2004 book BLACK DIVA OF THE THIRTIES: THE LIFE OF RUBY ELZY.  Other sketches have multiple sources -- with Patsy Cline's widow having apparently spoken with the author.  But for Elzy, she has only one source and it makes those pages come off dull.  She could have enlivened them by writing about what she thought of Elzys performances in the films THE EMPEROR JONES and BIRTH OF THE BLUES but apparently that would have required more work than the author wanted to put in.

The Selena sketch is a disappointment as well.  I always thought Selena was this huge star with millions of records sold due to her certifications of platinum on various albums.  Turns out that she was a regional artist making in roads in the world market when she died.  And that her four-times-platinum album only sold 400,000 copies because this was a different measurement than US mainstream where a four-times-platinum album -- quadruple platinum -- would have meant four million copies sold.  

Selena died young and comes off stunted.  Janis Joplin died young too -- and was also from Texas -- but Janis lived a life. 

Other problems with the book?  

What is this pretense about Karen Carpenter?  That was my grandmother's biggest problem with the book.  She noted that Karen and her brother Richard met with -- and applauded -- Richard Nixon.  "Being anorexic did not make that White women a better singer or a better soul." 

I wasn't aware of what an embarrassment Karen Carpenter was.  I knew she was a so-so singer with a nice range.  She wasn't soulful or really moving with her vocals.  She sang like a virgin.  But I did some work and apparently the overly praised pre-grunge group Sonic Youth was instrumental to the revisionary view of the Carpenters as important artists.

They weren't.

They were a bubble gum act for conservatives and they were conservative themselves.  If Selena had a sheltered life, Karen Carpenter was a girl in a bubble.  Neither woman had a life to brag about.  They were both scared of their shadows and doing what Mommy and Daddy told them to do.

It's why their 'art' is so stunted. 

Pasty Cline is the strongest sketch.  Again, the author appears to have spoken to people who knew Patsy.  I've seen the Jessica Lange film SWEET DREAMS about Patsy Cline's life.  So I had that background and, of course, like many I've heard "Crazy" and "Walkin' After Midnight."  A true and soulful singer, Patsy's known throughout America, regardless of race.  (I am African-American, for those who don't know.)  My grandmother enjoyed this sketch the most due to the coverage of Patsy's childhood and the various places she lived growing up.  (We were both surprised to learn that Patsy's father molested her.  Is that a detail discussed outside of SILENT SISTERS?) 

After that, the sections on Cass and Janis were our favorites.  

Cass Elliot, of course, shot to fame as a member of the Mamas and the Papas.  The author does a really good job of presenting Cass early efforts to break through in the music world and on Broadway.  Meeting Michelle Phillips and John Phillips -- she already knew Denny Doherty.  The Mamas and the Papas changed American music and it's nice to read about Cass.  Janis got her start thanks to Michelle, John and Lou Adler who put on the Monterey Pop Festival that Janis rode to fame as part of Big Brother & The Holding Company.  Janis lived a life and then some.  The author captures that very well.

And maybe the stunted nature of the Karen and Selena sketches is due to those women's stunted lives?  Possibly but the author is the one who decided the women she'd write about and somewhere in her research and writing, she should have grasped how dull and dead those two sketches were.


The next honorary Academy Award needs to go this woman (Ava and C.I.)

Where is Diana Ross' honorary Oscar?

The Academy Awards have a serious race issue that they are attempting to address, after way too many years of ignoring it, in the competitive categories.  Sorry to break it to them and the #OscarSoWhite activists, they're both ignoring the issue of the Honorary Award.  The Academy Awards note:

The Academy’s Honorary Award is given at the discretion of the Board of Governors and not necessarily awarded every year. The Honorary Award may or may not be an Oscar statuette; when it is, the Award is presented as part of the Academy Awards ceremony. This is the Honorary Award most familiar to the public. It is sometimes given to honor a filmmaker for whom there is no annual Academy Award category: choreographer Michael Kidd in 1996, for instance, or animator Chuck Jones in 1995. It can be also given to an organization, such as the National Film Board of Canada in 1988, or even a company, such as Eastman Kodak, which received it that same year.

That award has been given out thirty one times.  How many African-Americans have received it?


None received the award in the 20th century -- at a time when Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win a Best Actor Academy Award -- the first and the only African-American to win Best Actor and the only one to win it in the entire 20th century, when Dorothy Dandridge became the first African-American woman to be nominated for Best Actress and when nearly 30 years later Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson became the next African-American females nominated (and, in 1972, the first time an acting category had more than one African-American nominated).

In 2018, the Academy finally gave the honorary award to Cicely Tyson (she was the first African-American woman to receive that honor).  Since then, they've only given it to one other woman -- the highly deserving Angela Bassett.

Guess what?

Diana Ross is highly deserving as well.  In the 70s, she managed to star in three studio films and not one of them was Blaxploitation (despite what  some idiot White male critics say -- MOTOWN did not do Blaxploitation, that would have gone against everything Berry Gordy stood for and believed in).   Two were big hits (LADY SINGS THE BLUES and MAHOGANY).  The third is passed off as a bomb and they achieve that lie by suppressing -- to this day -- the foreign box office.  Three films at a time when African-American actresses were not in high demand -- certainly not for studio films.  And Diana made the top twenty box office stars.

That's a film achievement.  

There's more.

Diana was the first African-American woman to co-host the Academy Awards presentation -- back in April of 1974.  She again co-hosted in 1985.  Please note that Bob Hope, who hosted the Academy Awards many times, actually got the honorary award we're talking about twice.  Twice.  

A singer as well as an actress, she recorded "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" -- Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser's Academy Award nominated "Best Original Song." Another song she recorded, with Lionel Richie, was also nominated for "Best Original Song" -- "Endless Love." As a singer, she performed at the 1976, 1982, 1985 and 1990 Academy Award presentations.  And she presented an award at the 1973, 1979 and 1981 ceremonies.

With fifteen Grammy nominations (two wins), three Golden Globe nominations (one win), a BAFTA Best Actress film nomination and a Tony award, Diana Ross has received much critical applause in her lifetime. 

But she's overdue for an honorary Academy Award.  She's acted in films, she's sang on numerous soundtracks ("If We Hold On Together" from THE LAND BEFORE TIME, "The Happening" from the film of the same name, "Dr. Goldfoot & The Bikini Machine" to name three more).  She's performed and presented repeatedly at the Academy Award ceremonies.  

Give the artist her flowers already. 



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