Thursday, August 23, 2018

Martin Lawrence

One of my biggest disappointments?  That SKANK ROBBERS never became a movie.  That was a skit that had Sheneneh and Wanda teaming up to rob a bank.  And then there was talk that it would become a movie because it was so popular.  But it never did.

Sheneneh is one of the classic characters of sitcoms.

Martin Lawrence played multiple characters on MARTIN but he really went to town with Sheneneh.

THE BEACH BUM is his next film -- Matthew McConaughey stars -- and after that he's supposed to begin another BAD BOYS sequel.

Not a Will Smith fan but I've seen the other two BAD BOYS films because of Martin Lawrence.  He's someone who will make me buy a ticket.

The only film Will Smith's done, by contrast, that I can stand is ENEMY OF THE STATE.  In my opinion, his other work is pure crap.  It's not like he can finally act in that film.  He's still his usual phone-it-in performance.  But he's surrounded by actors at the top of their game including Regina King, Gene Hackman, Lisa Bonet, Jon Voight and Scott Caan.

I wish Regina, especially, worked more.  She never disappoints, she always delivers.

She was on NPR's MARKETPLACE this week:

Actor-director Regina King is no stranger to the Emmy Awards. And she's up for best lead actress in a limited series at the Emmys on Sept. 17, her fourth consecutive Emmy nomination (she's won two). Known for her roles in "Southland" and the ABC anthology "American Crime," King's most recent nomination comes not from network television, but from Netflix, where she stars in Veena Sud's drama "Seven Seconds" as Latrice Butler, a woman whose son is struck by a white police officer in a hit-and-run.
Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke to King about her role and about her work behind the camera. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Kai Ryssdal: I want to start, obviously, with the Emmy nomination you got for "Seven Seconds," and the role, and our times, I guess. What did it mean to you to play this woman?
Regina King: Oh, well, first of all, Kai, I have to tell you I was, I've realized in hindsight that I was scared to play the role, and I felt like, you know, I've played a mother before several times. But Veena [Sud] was very adamant on me playing Latrice, she felt like I was the one for it.

Use the link to listen to (or read) the full interview.

Okay, back to Martin Lawrence, let's note his top three box office hits:




Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, August 23, 2018.

In an age of never-ending wars, many look away.  US Army Maj Danny Sjursen (ICH) argues that we have a responsibility not to turn away:

Why scream about the questionable value of training the army of Niger; about shattering all sense of security through regime change in Libya; about why air strikes and SOF raids never seem to stabilize Somalia; about the tinderbox of catastrophe that is Syria; about the way an Anti-American warlord was just swept to power in Iraq; or about the way hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan have soured an entire people against Americans for at least a generation? The uncomfortable fact is that: We. Don’t. Care.
Yet there’s really no excuse. Thing is, we’ve got an obligation to care, we being citizens in an ostensibly free country and all. Everything the US government does overseas, every special forces raid, every bomb sold, every refueling mission completed and every drone strike executed, is done in our name.
Make no mistake: the people under all those U.S.-dropped, sold, or supported bombs know full well that America is involved, complicit even. From West Africa to South Asia, the ongoing (is it time to admit it’s never-ending?) US war-on-terror or whatever we’re calling it now, kills, maims, and traumatizes others and occasionally still sacrifices our own men and women. That most of this occurs in towns and villages that the dead soldiers’ families can’t pronounce or locate on a map is instructive. Fact: perpetual war is a disease to democracy that generates the apathy and numbness we should all be ashamed of.

Shame on us all. On me for trudging through the villages and neighborhoods of Iraq and Afghanistan without measurably improving security; on our congressional leaders for turning a blind eye while one president after another expands the scope of several undeclared wars; on, most importantly, all of us for the mixture of apathy and numbness infecting our entire public space.

If the truth is too much for you, you can clutch C.J. Chivers latest dump to your chest.  We warned you the book was war pornography.  If you're still doubting, note this rave from THE ECONOMIST:

He captures the idealism of volunteers, the exhilaration of killing for the first time and the disorientation of returning home

"He captures the idealism of volunteers, the exhilaration of killing for the first time and the disorientation of returning home"

War porn.

If C.J. Chivers didn't manufacture war porn, THE NEW YORK TIMES wouldn't pay him.

War porn is what the paper churned out after the war started to keep it going.  War porn is what distracts from the reality that the US has been doing the same thing, over and over, in Iraq and that the occupation -- short of huge protests -- will continue as the US desperately tries to prop up one puppet government after another.  These puppet governments refuse to take root so far and the US military has to remain on Iraqi soil not for 'freedom' but to continue US control.

Iraq has been destroyed by the war, not improved.  The people's lives are destroyed year after year.  That's why protests are yet again taking place in Iraq.

MEM notes:

Some 22.6 per cent of 15-29-year-olds in Iraq are unemployed, the majority are women, the Ministry of Planning revealed today.
“The rate of unemployment among young people between the ages of 15 and 29 is 22.6 per cent, 56.3 per cent of whom are women,” the ministry’s central statistics agency said in a statement seen by the Anadolu Agency.
“The rate of youth participation in the labour force is 36.1 per cent,” the agency added.

In May the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Iraq’s youth unemployment rate had reached more than 40 per cent.

There are no jobs.  There is corruption in the government -- the US installed government.  Politicians and officials get rich and the Iraqi people suffer.  Jobs, basic services, they do without.

If anyone is wondering why there are anti-corruption protests in Iraq, especially when Iraq appeared to be on a successful road to recovery, this video shows one of the reasons. This is the water that the gov delivers to the oil-rich province of .



An emergency room doctor in Basra stated, “hospitals are receiving an unprecedented number of poison cases caused by polluted water delivered to residents.” She described the situation as unjust, adding “a popular revolution is the only solution.”

CIVICUS notes:

In July 2018, protesters in Iraq were met with lethal force by the authorities during a series of protests, according to the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and other sources.
Protesters had gathered in a number of Iraqi cities to demand improved access to clean drinking water, reduced unemployment rate and increased access to electricity. The protests were reported in the Governorates of Basra, Karbala, Najaf, Muthanna, Maysan, Qadisiyyah, Thi Qar, and Babil.
At least 13 deaths, 269 injuries and 757 detentions resulted from the violent crackdown on protesters by the authorities. According to reports, the authorities used water cannons, tear gas and on several occasions live ammunition to disperse peaceful demonstrations. Some detainees were released only on condition that they sign a pledge not to demonstrate again.

Hayder al-Abadi is the one who turned the forces lose on the protesters.  He is the prime minister.  Or he claims to be.  His term should have ended in May.

May 12th, Iraq held elections.


He came in third.

It will soon be September 12th (20 days) and Iraq has still not formed a new government.  May 12th they held elections?  Some day, they may have a government.

And TV reported that Qassem Suleimani has been trying to drive a wedge between the various political factions and prevent agreement over who will be PM.

Suleimani is closest to the militias and they came in second in the elections.  Kosar Nawzad (KURDISTAN 24) reports:

A leader in the Fatih Alliance called for a change in Iraq’s system of government, from a parliamentary one to a presidential system, claiming this step would “save the country” from arbitrary allocations of posts and corruption.
Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq faction in the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, known in English as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), shared his observations on Wednesday. His militia group is among the most powerful ones in Iraq.

“There are no real solutions with a parliamentary system that governs the country by quota, and the situation will continue to lead to corruption and misconduct because the regime operates on a quota system,” Khazali wrote on his Twitter account.

First place in the elections?  It went to Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc.  He is the Shi'ite cleric and movement leader.

Amid US Embassy announcement of maximum travel warning to Iraq, the Sa'eeroon alliance, backed by the leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr, on Sunday, formed alliance of the largest bloc with Hikma, Wataniya and Nasir, to form the next government.

The alliance includes Moqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition, Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Bloc, Ammar al-Hakim’s National Wisdom Movement and Iyad Allawi’s National Coalition.

"The delegations consist of Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law and Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon. Both coalitions are vying to enter a deal with the two leading parties in the Kurdistan Region,

Iraq's Sairoon and Nasr coalitions in talks to form largest bloc
Iraq's Sairoon Alliance led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr is in talks to form a coalition with the Nasr alliance led by outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, along with two other parliamentary groups.

Iraq's largest parliamentary bloc - Muqtada al-Sadr' Sairoon alliance - is in talks with other political movements to try to form a governing coalition.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and the ACLU -- updated:

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