Friday, November 19, 2021

The live album Carole King should have done

 Carole King's "Chalice Borealis."



The question was: "What's your favorite non-TAPESTY song by Carole King?"  It might not be Chalice but it would be that or something like it.


After TAPESTRY, Carole -- very often -- lacked the goods for a full album.  But each of those albums did contain strong songs.  Instead of constantly re-recording TAPESTRY as a live album -- her repeated m.o. in the years since -- she should have gathered some of the great songs like Chalice from the various albums and made something out of them.


Like the following:


1) "One To One"

2) "Time Gone By"


3) "Chalice Borealis"


4) "Bitter With The Sweet"


5) "Only Love Is Real"


6) "Jazzman"


7) "Sweet Seasons"


8) "Just One Thing" 


9) "No Easy Way Down"


10) "I Can't Stop Thinking About You"


11) "You Still Want Her"


12) "Changes"


13) "So Far Away"


I think that would be a great album.  Instead, she's now re-recorded TAPTESTRY, as a live album, about seven or eight times now.  That might help promote TAPESTRY but it's also left the impression that she has nothing to offer but that one album.


Here's Jonathan Turley:

The Aspen Institute has issued the results of its much heralded 16-person Commission on Information Disorder on how to protect the public from misinformation. The commission on disinformation and “building trust” was partially headed by Katie Couric who is still struggling with her own admission that she edited an interview to remove controversial statements by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Aspen recommendations however are a full-throated endorsement of systems of censorship.

The findings and recommendations are found in an 80-page report on how to combat “disinformation” and “misinformation,” which are remarkably ill-defined but treated as a matter of “we know when we see it.”  From the outset, however, the Commission dismissed the long-standing free speech principle that the solution to bad speech is better speech, not censorship. The problem is that many today object to allowing those with opposing views to continue to speak or others continue to listen to them.  The Commission quickly tosses the free speech norm to the side:

“The biggest lie of all, which this crisis thrives on, and which the beneficiaries of mis- and disinformation feed on, is that the crisis itself is uncontainable. One of the corollaries of that mythology is that, in order to fight bad information, all we need is more (and better distributed) good information. In reality, merely elevating truthful content is not nearly enough to change our current course.”

In addition to Couric, the Commission was headed by Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and Chris Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Robinson was also a notable choice since he has been one of the most outspoken advocates of censorship. While some of us have been denouncing the expanding system of censorship by companies like Facebook, Robinson was threatening boycotts if the companies do not “rein in” those considered racists or spreaders of misinformation.

The Commission also includes Prince Harry who has referred to free speech protections under the First Amendment as “bonkers.


I really think Harry needs to take his hairy ass back to his own country.  We don't need him in America.  We don't want him in America.  His beliefs go against democracy.  That's not a surprise when you grasp that he exists in opposition to democracy.  He needs to find somewhere else to live.


We don't have princes or princesses in the US.  If he can't give up his title, do us all a favor and find another country to live in.  If he wants to live here?  Then follow the rules of the land and stop trying to alter our landscape.  You're not a citizen, Harry.  If you were, you'd have to give up your title.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, November 18, 2021.  Virtue signaling replaces real action.


Starting with a do-nothing administration in the US.  Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) documents the pretense on addressing climate change:

The 26th Conference of the Parties, COP26, climate summit ended with its president fighting back tears. Alok Sharma came to Glasgow, Scotland hoping for an agreement to end the extraction of coal. Instead he said this, “I apologize for the way this process has unfolded. I am deeply sorry.”

The international climate conferences are a perennial disappointment to anyone who understands the depth of the world wide catastrophe. Every year the rich capitalist nations find a way to undermine the process and consign millions of people to misery and devastation. Activists from all over the world gather in an effort to have an impact on the process, but they are literally outnumbered by fossil fuel lobbyists who always get what they want.

This conference ended with an agreement to “phase down” the use of coal instead of phasing it out altogether. Phasing down is deliberately ambiguous and makes a mockery of the 2015 Paris meeting which ended with an agreement to allow a temperature increase of no more than 1.5˚C. The fact that climate agreements allow world temperatures to rise is but one indication that the process falls far short from what the world needs.

Yet the seemingly small 1.5˚C will have devastating consequences, with droughts and storms bringing catastrophe to millions of people. The can is always kicked down the road and the final agreement is a sham.

The political duopoly in the United States behaves as it always does with phony heroes and phony villains as in professional wrestling. Republicans refuse to participate in climate agreements, democrats show up for the cameras, but only to fool the rubes into thinking that something important is being accomplished.

It doesn’t matter if democrats show up at COP26 if they refuse to respond to elephants in the room. The United States military is the world’s biggest polluter but its carbon production, and that of other nations’ forces, are exempt from climate goals. When a journalist asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders about military spending and its role in climate change, it was clear they had never considered the issue at all. They were shocked to be asked a question which showed a direct relationship between their actions and global warming and then responded with nonsense. They said the military, which contributes to climate change, needs money to respond to the climate change it causes by its very existence. Why does it matter that George W. Bush and Donald Trump withdrew from previous climate agreements if democrats follow in their footsteps and ignore even the flimsy goals it asked the U.S. to meet?

Joe Biden appeared in Glasgow but no one should be impressed. Like his predecessors he has opened public lands to oil drilling. Keeping temperature rise to 1.5˚C requires that carbon emissions be cut in half. If the United States were serious there would be no fossil fuel extraction on public lands. It would have to end altogether.


Political fake assery isn't just annoying, it's life threatening.  


Maybe next time, if you want to save the planet, don't elect someone with one foot -- and four toes on the other foot -- in the grave.  At 78, it doesn't matter to Joe Biden what happens to the earth.  He knows he'll be gone shortly, after all.


Ajamu Baraka Tweets:


Since election of Joe Biden representing most militaristic factions of the ruling class, the world is more dangerous. Threats of war in Europe & Asia, actual wars in Africa, & stepped up destabilization campaigns throughout Latin America. It is clear democrats are party of war.


Happiness, Cher insisted, is a thing called joe.  We now understand why the film career went no where.  It all makes sense now, an Academy Award winning performance at the end of the 80s and then nothing.  I've never minded a celebrity using their power to advocate for an issue.  I've forever had a problem with celebrities whoring their names for politicians.  It rarely ends well and, honestly, it shouldn't.  


Joe's a threat to the planet at this point.  As his fortunes sink, so should the fortunes of those who whored for him.  


We all knew his legislative history.  We all knew he hid behind Beau Biden, trotting out dead son forever and a day.  Why's he dead, Joe?  Why did he go to Iraq?


There are many days when I pull something from the snapshot before it posts.  I'll dictate it and move on but then say before it posts, "Take out the paragraph on Joe Biden and the abortion" or some other detail.  Beau is key to understanding the family and I don't like Hunter but I do know that certain things would look differently if Joe were ever honest about Beau.  Or about Nancy.  Huh -- who said that?  Will it go in the snapshot?  Will I pull it?  No, it'll stay and let them sweat it.  


Point being, unlike Cher, I actually know Joe.  And I didn't support him.  I believe Tara Reade, absolutely.  I do know Joe's history with women.  Many in the press do as well.  But even before Tara emerged to shine a much needed spotlight there, I had already made clear that if Joe couldn't be honest about Iraq, I wouldn't support him.


Joe can't be honest about Iraq.  He, sadly, can't be honest about much.  

And, he really needs to get honest about Beau.  That crying is not a natural response and it is not grief.  It is guilt.  Understanding Beau and the way he was used would actually create some sympathy for Hunter.


I don't like Hunter.  I never have.  But because I knew the family and knew reality, I did understand that Hunter didn't just emerge from the womb -- or the childhood car accident -- fully formed.  Hunter was actively shaped into what he has become and that falls on Joe as much as it does on Hunter.


Joe's actions regarding Iraq in 2019 and 2020 made it clear that he would never be able to confront reality and that he wasn't fit for the presidency.  It's a real shame so many celebrities flocked to him and whored for him.  May history hold them accountable.


And that's especially true if they also pimped Russia-gate.  


Let's join Elaine in noting that Jonathan Turley covers Russia-gate in an easy to follow manner.  Here's an excerpt of his most recent coverage:

The famous philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal once declared that “the only shame is to have none.” The problem with shame is that it requires a sense of guilt over one’s actions. In the age of rage, there appear fewer and fewer actions that are beyond the pale for politics. Take Adam Schiff and the Steele dossier. While even the Washington Post has admitted that it got the Russian collusion story wrong in light of the findings of Special Counsel John Durham, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is still insisting that he was absolutely right to promote the discredited Steele dossier. Schiff’s interview on NBC’s Meet the Press may be the final proof of the death of shame in American politics.

Schiff was one of the greatest promoters of the Steele dossier despite access to briefings casting doubt about Steele and the underlying claims. However, Schiff recently has attempted to defend himself by claiming that Steele was a respected former spy and that he was lied to by a Russian source.

Schiff told host Chuck Todd:

“I don’t regret saying that we should investigate claims of someone who, frankly, was a well-respected British intelligence officer. And we couldn’t have known, of course, years ago that we would learn years later that someone who is a primary source lied to him. [Igor] Danchenko lied to Christopher Steele and then lied to the FBI. He should be prosecuted. He is being prosecuted. And I’ll tell you this, if he’s convicted, he should not be pardoned the way Donald Trump pardoned people who lied to FBI agents, like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn. There ought to be the same standard in terms of prosecuting the liars. But I don’t think there ought to be any pardon, no matter which way the lies cut.”

Schiff’s spin is enough to cause permanent vertigo.

Some of us have spent years being pummeled for questioning the obvious problems with the Steele dossier, including the long-denied connection to the Clinton campaign. Schiff was the main voice swatting down such criticism and his endorsements were treated as dispositive for media from MSNBC to the Washington Post. After all, he was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and assured the public that our criticisms were meritless and the dossier was corroborated.

Schiff’s spin, however, continues to deny the obvious about the Russian collusion scandal.

First, many would guffaw at the claim that Steele was and remains a “well-respected British intelligence officer.”  Soon after the dossier was shopped to the FBI, British intelligence flagged credibility problems with Steele. The FBI severed Steele as an asset. Even his own sources told the FBI that Steele wildly exaggerated information and distorted intelligence. Most recently, Steele went public with a laughable claim that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former counsel, was lying to protect Trump despite spending years trying to get Trump charged criminally.

Second, Schiff ignored repeated contradictions in Steele’s dossier as well as evidence that the dossier was paid for and promoted by the Clinton campaign. In 2017, even fired FBI agent Peter Strzok admitted that “we are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials” and “Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his subsource network.” Schiff would have had access to some of this intelligence. Indeed, while the Clinton campaign was denying that it funded the dossier, American intelligence knew that that was a lie.  Indeed, until the Durham indictments, Schiff continued to defend the Russian collusion investigation and the Steele dossier.

Third, Schiff attempts to portray the sole problem with the Steele dossier as Russian analyst Igor Danchenko. That is simply not true. Schiff was long aware that there were allegations of misleading or false information given by the FBI to the secret court. Indeed, the first Durham conviction was of Kevin Clinesmith, the former FBI agent who pleaded guilty. Schiff was aware that President Barack Obama was briefed in 2017 that Hillary Clinton was allegedly planning to manufacture a Russian collusion scandal — just days before the start of the Russian investigation. The dossier was riddled with disproven allegations.


Don't worry, we're tying two threads together -- the deeply stupid celebrities and Russia-gate.  From Ava and my "MEDIA: Male norms, Russia hate and lots of excuses -- it's the 90th Academy Awards" in March 2018:


What an awful and awkward event it was.  Male driven, women seeking male approval, females pretending that tokenism and boobs on display qualified as progress.

Oh, it was horrible.

As Isaiah noted, "Oscars So Full Of It."


 


As Isaiah's comic explains, generic film maker Bryan Fogel -- of JEWTOPIA non-fame -- won for BEST DOCUMENTARY -- a newbie with no style or art defeating Agnes Varda, a true artist who's been directing since 1955 and who influenced the French New Wave -- it was robbery.


Of this hideous moment, WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD's Melissa Silverstein gushed . . .

Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern walking out holding hands is everything.







Oh, keep it in your pants, Melissa.

Greta was sporting breasts, not displaying, sporting.

Way to be taken seriously as a director, dear.

Were you at the Academy Awards or a photo shoot for the cover of SPORT'S ILLUSTRATED swimsuit issue?

[. . .]

Learn a little self-respect and grasp that for every Melissa Silverstein drooling over your tits, there are plenty of us wishing that, as you posed as a role model, you'd conducted yourself as one.

Also, probably not the moment to talk about the need to be real, Greta, while sporting a necklace on loan worth more than most viewers will make in ten years of hard work.

Not every woman was an embarrassment.

Notice that Sandra Bullock, presenting Best Cinematography, did not sport boobs or embarrass herself with loaned out 'bling.'  She just looked classy and also managed to garner a few laughs.


Take a lesson, Greta, take a hard lesson.

As a nominee whispered to us while Greta was on stage, "Bitch be frontin'" -- and she wasn't the only one.


Apparently, Greta has no real ethics -- that was kind of clear when she was talking about being real while dripping in diamonds.

Keep it whore, Greta, keep it whore.

And trust that the media will be right there with you, Greta.



   Retweeted
Even though "Faces Places" didn't win in the Documentary (Feature) category, Agn├Ęs Varda was awarded an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards:








Late in the game, Melissa got called on her sexual longing for Greta and how it allowed her to miss that one of the few living women veteran directors got overlooked for a Let's-all-hate-Russia victory.

So Melissa did that Tweet and we're all supposed to pretend like an honorary Academy Award is the same as a competitive one.

It's not.

Even Melissa knows that.

Hate Russia?

You were in the right place for it.

Hate those damn Commies -- that could have been a theme of the night.

Bryan Fogel won for his stupid and facile documentary attacking Russia.

Doping in sports!

Damn, Russians!

Uhm, golly, we remember Lance Armstrong.

We remember that Lance was doping and threatening people and destroying the lives of people who called him out.

But let's express our outrage at Russia, right?

And that wasn't the worst of it.

Oh, Rita.

How could you?

That's what we puzzled over as Rita Moreno used the night to salute "the great" Frank Capra.

What was so great about him?

That from at least 1947 forward, he was an FBI informant?  Ratting out people he suspected of being or having once been members of the Communist Party?

Was that what was so great about Capra?

Or that he pushed for the loyalty oath in the Directors Guild?

These awards are about the arts.

Writers and directors lost work because of Frank Capra.  (Ironically, he'd be grey-listed which is somehow fitting after all the people he ratted on lost work.)

Seriously, Rita Moreno, what the hell were you thinking?

Or did you just want to celebrate hate of Russia by taking it all the way back to the witch hunts of the HUAC?


This was the entertainment industry at its most revealing.  Claiming things had changed, time's up, that women were valued.  And yet ignoring the chance to give a ground breaking female director, Agnes Varda, a competitive Academy Award.  So hollow, so unfair.  


Agnes had a body of work and she was on up there age wise -- and is now dead.  Everyone knew this was her last chance at the award.  Everyone knew at the time that she would not make another film, that her health was too poor.  


If women were truly valued, this groundbreaking auteur of the French New Wave would have walked off with the statue.


However, it was more important to 'strike back' at Russia.


So a piece of garbage documentary attacking Russia over sports -- a documentary no one remembers today -- wins instead.


It wasn't about art and it rarely is.


What we see today that is so damn annoying in our society was promoted by people like -- well, by Cher.  It's virtue signaling.  It replaces any real efforts at actual work.


Why try to end a war?  Why try to fight for the rights of workers?  Why do anything when, in fact, you can virtue signal instead.  It's so much easier.


And it's why crap like CHARIOTS OF FIRE or THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES or FOREST GUMP wins Best Picture.  The last was never a better film than PULP FICTION.  But it was virtue signaling.  Pick a film that says this is how we, the Academy, see ourselves.  And shove that down the throats of the American people.  


The bulk of the names in the industry are a bunch of idiots -- uneducated (either lacking in a formal education or lacking in the ability to be self-taught).  And all that hate and all idiots who 'indicate' in their acting and in their supposed activism.  Their minds are as 'styled' by others as their wardrobe and hair.  

Russia-gate didn't just happen.  It was the culmination of years of work on Barack Obama's part.  If, by the time Ed Snowden landed in Russia, you hadn't noticed that Barack had been trying to turn the American people against Russia, you weren't paying attention.  All that hate culminated.


Russia-gate couldn't have existed without it.


And in 2018, we saw one member of the Academy after another use the international broadcast and whatever was left of their image to whore.  


A dumb and poorly made documentary versus Agnes' film and, yes, her entire body of work and it was  Let's embrace hate-Russia and do our part!


The virtue signaling isn't free speech or a discussion.  It's often used as a ploy to attack others.  And it is rooted in the entertainment industry and in the public relations industry.  It's a way to 'freshen' up your own image without having to actually do something.


The US government has perfected that feat.  Which is why you get a climate change summit that offers no real change.


And this as the world is under attack.


That's especially true of Iraq.

















MEMO notes:

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
reddit sharing button
whatsapp sharing button
email sharing button
sharethis sharing button

The Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources yesterday warned Turkey that its plan to build a new dam on the Tigris River would affect Iraq's share of the river's waters.

Ministry spokesperson, Ali Radi, said Turkish authorities had been contacted via the Foreign Affairs Ministry to warn them of the new project's impact on Baghdad's share of the river's water in terms of quantity and quality.

"Negotiations with the Turkish or Syrian sides are very important to reach understandings for the supreme goal of ensuring Iraq's water rights," he added.

The Tigris is a 1,750-kilometre-long river with its source in Turkey, it travels through Syria before finally reaching the Shatt Al-Arab River and the Gulf.



The following sites updated:



  • Thursday, November 18, 2021

    Turley, Ava and C.I.

    Jonathan Turley:


    Some of us have spent years being pummeled for questioning the obvious problems with the Steele dossier, including the long-denied connection to the Clinton campaign. Schiff was the main voice swatting down such criticism and his endorsements were treated as dispositive for media from MSNBC to the Washington Post. After all, he was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and assured the public that our criticisms were meritless and the dossier was corroborated.

    Schiff’s spin, however, continues to deny the obvious about the Russian collusion scandal.

    First, many would guffaw at the claim that Steele was and remains a “well-respected British intelligence officer.”  Soon after the dossier was shopped to the FBI, British intelligence flagged credibility problems with Steele. The FBI severed Steele as an asset. Even his own sources told the FBI that Steele wildly exaggerated information and distorted intelligence. Most recently, Steele went public with a laughable claim that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former counsel, was lying to protect Trump despite spending years trying to get Trump charged criminally. 

    Second, Schiff ignored repeated contradictions in Steele’s dossier as well as evidence that the dossier was paid for and promoted by the Clinton campaign. In 2017, even fired FBI agent Peter Strzok admitted that “we are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials” and “Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his subsource network.” Schiff would have had access to some of this intelligence. Indeed, while the Clinton campaign was denying that it funded the dossier, American intelligence knew that that was a lie.  Indeed, until the Durham indictments, Schiff continued to defend the Russian collusion investigation and the Steele dossier.

    Third, Schiff attempts to portray the sole problem with the Steele dossier as Russian analyst Igor Danchenko. That is simply not true. Schiff was long aware that there were allegations of misleading or false information given by the FBI to the secret court. Indeed, the first Durham conviction was of Kevin Clinesmith, the former FBI agent who pleaded guilty. Schiff was aware that President Barack Obama was briefed in 2017 that Hillary Clinton was allegedly planning to manufacture a Russian collusion scandal — just days before the start of the Russian investigation. The dossier was riddled with disproven allegations.


    Golly, Jonathan Turley can cover the story and do it in a way that you can follow.  But Aaron Mate can't?  C.I. was dictating the snapshot (in full in a bit) while we were on the treadmills   Aaron does a lousy job.  Does he need to take more time with his work?  Does he need to work from an outline?  I have no idea but Aaron needs to do something to improve his output.  Also, C.I. really does want to praise Aaron.  But Aaron keeps failing over and over. 


    Jonathan Turley's a smart person, no question.  I don't expect Aaron to be up to that level.  I do expect him to be able to communicate a story.


    Now, still on the snapshot, I almost didn't post because I was laughing at myself.


    I've written about when Katty-van-van-den Heuvel kicked me in my shin.  I've written about it several times.  I've shared it with friends many times.  I told C.I. to put it into the snapshot and she did.


    After she was done dictating it, I said, "Hey, we never asked Katrina's father for money."  C.I. said, "When did I say we did?"  In the snapshot, I thought that's what she was saying.  No, she reminded me, he told us he had some strategy suggestions for fundraising so we spoke with him.


    I forgot that and forgot he was even there.  I thought we were visitng with Katrina's grandfather -- a great man.  C.I. reminded me that we were having lunch with Katriana's grandfather.  We'd been invited a week prior.  Katrina's father knew that and said to speak to him before the lunch.  That's the only reason we spoke to him -- we didn't care for her father (nor did her grandfather care for her father and her mother would see marrying Katrina's father as one of the biggest mistakes of her life)  But over the years I have completely stripped her father out of the story and out of my memory and he was there -- when bratty Katty-van-van kicked me in the shin (for the 'crime' of noting she'd wet her panties), her father was there.  That's so weird what we remember and what we forget.


    Anyway


    "Media: Passing (race and sexuality)" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):

    If he'd only made BUYING THE COW (he wakes up drunk convinced he had sex with a man -- ha ha! apparently -- and he decides to come out of the closet -- ha ha even more!), Ryan Reynolds would owe movie goers a real gay romance film.


    He's basically become Robin Williams -- who was problematic for the LGBTQ community -- and no one has bothered to notice.


    He needs to lay off the jokes and the one-liners unless/until he can play a gay character with an active love life.  (Meaning none of that b.s. where Cam and Mitch have a quick peck but Phil and Claire are forever being shown in bed together about to have sex.)


    It's insulting.  It may have passed for progressive 23 years ago.  It doesn't today.  Not in the same year that Macaulay Culkin can turn up in AMERICAN HORROR STORY as a gay male prostitute offering Harry (Finn Wittrock) frottage and then explaining that it's "French for rubbing our dicks together."


    The LGBTQ community needs tired people like Ryan Reynolds to get off their ass and start doing things.  That community needs it and the American people need it.  We still need to move towards equality.


    And that's what so upsetting about MAYOR PETE.  Pete wants to pass for straight.  That's not fair.  When he was running for the presidential nomination, he wanted to pass for straight.  He was reluctant for Chasten to really be a part of the campaign (Chasten even asks in the film if Pete's really going to let him be the only spouse of a candidate in the primary not to be allowed onstage when a debate concludes).  


    Pete came out relatively late.  And he almost immediately hooked up with Chasten.  We'll assume it was love at first sight.  We'll also assume that Pete has traditional ideas about relationship (that's not an insult).  All of that's fine.  In 2020, he could step out onstage being an openly gay man but he struggled with being a gay man in a relationship.


    Ryan Reynolds needs to look at his role in that.  He and actors like him need to grasp that things aren't so easy.  Thanks to Ellen and others who followed her (as well as those who preceded her), American can conceptualize a gay person even if they don't know anyone who is openly gay.  If we could move from cute little one-liners about same-sex relationships to actual film portrayals of relationships, people like Pete would feel they could be not just themselves in public but who they are with their partner in public.


    Read the whole column, they are covering a lot.



    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

     Wednesday, November 17, 2021.  Seems like we cover a bit of everything today.


    Starting with a video.



    Complaints came in to both the public e-mail account and the two private ones (the private ones are for community members, the public one is common_ills@yahoo.com).  Community members at least knew I probably hadn't watched the video.  I didn't.  As I've noted in community news letters and here at this site, I go through what is sent into the public e-mails (or something that I get a phone call to note) and that goes up as is possible.  Most of it I never look at.  David Swanson goes up without reading because I know he's not going to drop the f-word unless he censors it like "f**k" -- we have to be work safe.  So if I am putting stuff up and see David, he goes up if I've got space that day.  I do stream Richard Medhurst and CONVO COUCH -- but sometimes it's after they're posted here.  The bulk, I don't.


    This was Aaron Mate and I didn't look at it, I just posted it.  Then the avalanche of e-mails came in.  

    Elaine and I looked at a few as we were stretching and warming up before getting on the treadmills and Shirley was actually already up and called to ask if I'd looked at the e-mails in the public account?  (No, I was only looking at the community members e-mails at that point.) 

    In "Media: Save us from the know-it-alls," Ava and I noted that Aaron had an article on how the media amplified Russia-gate and that we read it with the intent to praise him.  But we read it.  It wasn't worthy of praise.  It was promoted as a rebuke to Rachel Maddow and the piece had a photo of Rachel at the top.  As we noted:



    "Russia-gate has no rock bottom" is the title and right below the title there's a photo of Rachel Maddow.

    Good, he's going to get to the point and document and explain her various deceptions, right?

    Wrong. Not counting pull quotes (even his own from previous articles) or Tweets, just the new words he typed for this article, he's at 1387 words before he gets to a sentence with Rachel Maddow's name in it.

    1387.

    By way of comparison, we're not even at 1000 words yet and we've already established Rachel's shady character -- something we've been doing for years

    1387. Does Aaron have a point to make about Rachel because we really don't have that kind of time. More to the point, we don't need to make that kind of time.


    The video is Aaron on the topic of Russia-gate and it's another epic fail on his part.  I don't get that, by the way.


    I think Amy Goodman is a sell out and much worse.  She's truly a gate keeper.  She rose to national attention posing as anti-war but as we all saw repeatedly once Barack Obama was president, she promoted pro-war lies and for the war on Libya alone, she should have been rebuked.  She's also, I firmly believe, the biggest reason PACIFICA RADIO has the financial problems that it has.  


    No one at PACIFICA should be making a million or more dollars a year.  The fact that she and cronies used lies and blackmail -- I'm referring to the chin whisker queen Leslie Cagen among others -- to steal ownership of DEMOCRACY NOW from PACIFICA is bad enough.  That they then rammed through a contract that provides Amy with millions and also the ownership of every episode of DEMOCRACY NOW is appalling.  That type of money should never have been given to a public affairs program.  Never.  Having done so, however, the least PACIFICA should have gotten from it is ownership of the episodes.  She and her crew of liars used real problems and created new ones as they conspired to steal the program from PACIFICA -- Amy didn't even create the program and it's funny how in her telling of the show, over and over, she leaves out people like Salim Muwakkil who were there at the beginning and created the show but are not profit participants in any of the riches the shows managed to scarf up.


    Then there's her insistence that all PACIFICA stations -- actual ones and satellites -- carry her program which morphed into them airing it twice a day, which then morphed into the program being given the best slots on the schedule, etc, etc.


    As an activist and as a 'journalist,' I can't stand her.  What's gone on with Rittenhouse -- the media pimping lies -- is something I've seen Amy do repeatedly and life is too short to continue with that nonsense so I don't watch the show anymore or listen to it.  BIG NOISE or some group like that?  We walked away from those 'documentary' film makers as well because they lied to.  I'm referring to how an African-American woman, a mother of a child involved in the story both Amy and that awful documentary outlet were covering, they interviewed her, shared her comments briefly and then dropped her and her eye witness statements because they didn't fit into the White Faux Left narrative that they were trying to promote.  The mother felt abandoned and betrayed.  I know because I've spoken to her.  It was huge, how they removed her eye witness statements and changed the story into something else completely.  I hit on it here repeatedly in real time because I knew the woman was very upset about it.  And she had every right to be.  Three White people distorting what was going on in her community and disappearing what she had offered because it didn't fit the changing narrative that was so important to Amy and boyz.


    After that?  It was probably full on war.  On my part, I know it was.  And I ensured that those clip jobs passed off as books wouldn't have the publishers' interest anymore.  When you do something like that to a person, what she did to that African-American mother, you prove how hideous the press is.  And that woman was really destroyed by that.  She was fighting for her son's life and the way she was betrayed was disgusting.


    So, no fan of Amy Goodman here.  


    But Aaron worked at DEMOCRACY NOW! for years and I marvel over that in his writing and in videos like the one above.  Not a fan of Amy's, but she does know how to communicate.  She will tell a guest during a break -- and has -- that they're going into the weeds and losing the audience.  She will also re-direct them in the middle of an interview.


    Aaron loses everyone in that video above beyond his own small core of devotees.  


    And they could be a large group of devotees if only he'd learn to communicate.


    As Brandon e-mailed, "I can't keep my head up while streaming this.  I'll be yawning, I'll almost fall asleep, then I'll hear 'piss tape' and think they're actually going to talk about something but they're back to boring in ten seconds."  


    Agreed.  Whether foreign or not, the names of the players they invoke are foreign.  The bulk of America doesn't know the people being spoken of.  The 'resistance' does.  They were obsessed with glorifying these liars.  


    Aaron's 'expert' guest at one point talks about Aaron's ''listeners."  He's an idiot who doesn't grasp that this is on video.  What's Aaron's excuse.  


    Bobble Head TV?


    Is that what we have?  I did a comic in high school and people rightly noted that I really just drew heads in panels and had them talking.  I didn't do bodies, I was trying to tell a point with words.  It was wrong and I laugh about my stupidity even now.  But what's Aaron's excuse?  He's not a kid in school.


    He's got a video program and he could be emphasizing these unknown people by playing clips and showing who they are and doing any number of things.  Now maybe he suffers from Streisand Syndrome and can't give up his many close ups?


    I have no idea.


    But this is a complex story -- Russia-gate.  Making it more complex and more difficult to follow is not going to inform or educate.  The people e-mailing me are not e-mailing because they hate Aaron Mate.  They took the time to try to get through that video.


    Aaron worked with Amy Goodman all those years and he never learned how to communicate?  How to simplify complex events?  

    Some people are e-mailing asking if Aaron is trying to bury the exposures about Russia-gate?  They're asking that because they can't believe anyone would take this issue and make it so damn boring and hard to follow.

    He needs to simplify.  He also needs to choose guests better.  The subject needed an expert.  Hint to Aaron, THE NEW YORK TIMES rarely employees experts.  Bringing on a former writer for that paper was always going to be a mistake.  Bringing on one who published a book on Russia-gate months before the recent revelations was also going to be a mistake. 


    That 'expert' did the typical TIMES move -- argue brief points in the book while accepting the overall lie.  That's why some of you were shocked by the efforts the man made to blame Russia over and over in Aaron's interview and your disbelief that Aaron didn't correct the guest.

    It was a mind numbing segment.  


    Presumably, Aaron cares about the topic and about setting the record straight.  If that is indeed the case, he needs to do a better job.


    And for any of his devotees who want to e-mail, it's not my job to do his job for him.  I've offered a media critique above.  We do that here and Ava and I do it at THIRD.  We also cover Iraq and veterans issues and music.  And things that come up in the e-mails.


    I don't have to disprove Russia-gate.


    First, it's not my scope.  Second, I have nothing to make amends for.  Even before I knew how to properly pronounce Aaron's last name (muh-tay was how it was pronounced on every episode of DEMOCRACY NOW when he was with that show -- Amy does the credits at the end of the show) somewhere in 2018, we already called out Russia-gate.


    Aaron thinks he's the last word on that topic (and corporate journalists are noting to me the smirk he's developed when he's a guest on programs, FYI).  He's not that important.  The work I've seen him do is so unimpressive.  Apparently, he did good work at one point and maybe will again.


    But he was not a leading voice on Russia-gate and he was not a needed voice.  We never needed him.


    We only needed common sense.  We never pimped the lies of Russia-gate and that was even before I'd spoken to Stephen F. Cohen about it the first time.  I knew Stephen.  As did Elaine.  Elaine called out Katrina for not standing up firmly for her husband -- on a DEMCORACY NOW appearance, among other things.  (Elaine says to add that she has a scar on her shin from when Katrina, as a young girl, kicked her.  I was there, I love that story.  We were fundraising for a cause and meeting with her father and Katrina reeked of urine so Elaine asked her if she'd had an accident and needed to change and she hauled off and kicked Elaine in the shin.)  Stephen was a hero on refuting Russia-gate and he did so in a way that people could follow.


    But even before we'd talked to Stephen the first of many times about Russia-gate, I was refuting it and calling it out.  We were on campuses Monday through Friday every week and people were raising this.  All it required was common sense.  


    All this time later if Aaron wants to hold people accountable, he needs to do so in a way that people can follow.  His coverage is in the weeds and it's all too foreign.  He needs to focus on key actors and connect them (he does briefly in the video above try to note a Clinton chain of connection but he blows even that).

    He's failing.  If that's the best he can do, then I am appalled by him.  I hope it's not.  I hope I'll still e able to praise him before this site goes dark.  (And I wish that could happen tomorrow -- the praise and this site going dark.)

    Before we move away from this topic, let's note two Tweets by a real expert -- and excellent communicator -- Jonathan Turley:


    While even the Washington Post admitted that it got the Russian collusion story wrong, Schiff insists that he was absolutely right to promote the debunked Steele dossier. Schiff’s interview may be the final proof of the death of shame in American politics.


    ...We now live in a post-shame era where the only shame is yielding to the impulses of decency or decorum. The Russian collusion scandal served its purpose and Adam Schiff would be the first say that there is no shame in that.


    (Disclosure, I've known Jonathan for many, many years.)


    Common sense can do so much for you.  It can let you grasp early on that a story is just too good to be true.  It allows me to ignore a whore in Arabic media who is praising Mustafa al-Kahdimi and failing to note his long friendship with Mustafa.  Without hsi friends in the press, Mustafa's real image would be known.  Mustafa worked as a journalist and is able to round up his usual press posse to cover for him whenever he's in trouble.  There are apparetnly no standards or ethics at many Arabic outlets which refuse to disclose in their flattering coverage of the inept Mustafa that Mustafa used to write for their rags and that he is friends with the 'reporter' offering 'objective' praise of Mustafa.


    Common sense will carry you far.  It seems, for example, that the fact checker at THE WASHINGTON POST is now being seen as a whore.  Glenn Kessler is one, yes.  And that's been obvious for years and he was infamous in 2019 and 2020 for going after any serious rival to Joe Biden for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He twisted their words, he cut off the sentences he was 'fact checking' and much worse -- he flat out lied to go after Beto.  But with Joe Biden?  Where were you, Aaron Mate?  With Joe it wasn't fact check his statement.  It was fact check his intent which Glenn magically knew.  So Joe made very few mistakes according to Glenn.  


    Glenns aren't uncommon.  But who knew Arabic media was filled with them?


    Mustafa remains determined to be prime minister for a second term.  None of those attempting to build coalitions presently share that desire and the Iraqi people are fed up with him.


    If he was almost assassinated -- if he was -- it really hasn't registered as a major issue to the Iraqi people.  They sort of shrugged and went on with their lives. The other reaction was that it was all a p.r. move by the US government to try to sway sympathy to Mustafa.  That group is growing.  And this week's move on Arabic social media regarding this is to argue that when the story was first being told, to make it seem real, the public was told that certain bodyguards were injured in the 'attack.'  And then thse bodyguards were disappeared and never heard from again in order to sell 'brave' Mustafa.


    The whole story has appeared managed (because it was) and that's only increased the belief of some that it was not a real attack.


    If indeed it was a US move, it was a dumb one.  


    Husam Gazalee Tweets:


    I'm afraid the chief owes the Iraqi people an explanation. Instead of the losers in the elections asking to meet her to explain their “worries”, she meets them in their places. There must be something missing here? #Iraq #MustafaAlKadhimi
    Image


    For those who don't recognize him, that's Iraq's disgraced former prime minister.  He's the one who helped make some Iraqis fond of thug Nouri al-Maliki.  We documented that here and we were apparently the only ones to register Nouri's rise -- which is reflected in the initial ballot count.  One 'expert' felt the need to e-mail the public account his 'observations' which were that Nouri was old and forgotten.  Hmm.  Ballot count didn't bear that out and maybe if you actually paid attention you would have seen Nouri's popularity grow as Adel Abdul Mahdi (the man in the photo above) stumbled, fumbled and failed repeatedly up until he was forced to resign.  In fact, he even failed at his resignation.  He announced he was resigning, after all, and then took forever to actually leave office. 


    Forced out of office for rank incompetence and, yes, that did make people fond of thug Nouri.  Not all people.  But enough to allow him and his State of Law to do very well in the October 10th election.


    I'm about to be nice -- or what passes for nice from me -- and not name someone.  But I will note that they are on Iraq's electoral commission -- I verified that with a friend at CNN who I forwarded the e-mail to.  He insists that I'm wrong about the vote counting continuing and maintains it was finished around November 9th.


    My response?  Fine.  If I was wrong, I was wrong.  I'm wrong all the time.  But, help me out ___, if the count has been completed for over a week now, why hasn't it been released?


    And to me, the fact that it hasn't been released is far more appalling than if the count were still ongoing.


     

    The following sites updated: