Wednesday, May 22, 2019

No, not Blair Brown, please

Blair Brown is an actress. She came to prominence with a bad sitcom called THE NIGHTS AND DAYS OF MOLLY DODD or some such nonsense.  The whole point was to trash Mary Richards -- the character Mary Tyler Moore played on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW.  The creators of the show shared that with ROLLING STONE because they thought it was cute and funny and during a backlash they could get away with it.

What they couldn't do was pull in viewers with that crap.

Now I don't fault Blair for that.  And I actually loved her as Nina on FRINGE.

But I went to PBS to stream something to watch.  AMERICAN EXPERIENCE had a program on Emma Goldman who I know about but have never seen a documentary on.  The only film I'd ever seen on her was Warren Beatty's REDS where Maureen Stapelton played her (and won the Academy Award for supporting actress).

She had an interesting life.  But it was hard to get through it.  Why?  Blair Brown was the narrator.  She's far too prim for a narrator.  She puts you to sleep and makes you fear have the worst teacher in the world in your living room.  I would never choose her for a narrator.

And if that's her doing Emma's voice?  She should be ashamed and so should PBS.  If Emma had been an African-American woman?  That would have been Blackface.  As it is, the attempt to 'recreate' Emma's voice left me disgusted.

I wasn't impressed with the 'experts' on display either.  There was one woman and countless men and all were boring save one: Oz Frankel.  He spoke without the smirk so many of them utilized on camera and he provided real details.

I looked him up online and he teaches at the New School for Research.

From his NEW SCHOOL page, I'm going to paste this:

"Your Part in the Phantom: American Technology, National Identity, and the War of Attrition,” Israel Studies Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring 2019), 174-199.
"The 9/11 Commission Report: History Under the Sign of Memory,” in The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945, eds. Berber Bevernage and Nico Wouters (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 653-668.
“Instructing the Liberal Subject: Facts and Voice in Victorian Blue Books,” History of Universities (2013).
The Politics of the Radical Analogy: the Case of the Israeli Black Panthers,” in Nico Slate, ed. Black Power Beyond Borders (Palgrave, 2012).
“The State Between Orality and Textuality: Government Reports as ‘Orature’” in Cultural Narratives: Textuality and Performance in the United States before 1900, ed. Sandra M. Gustafson and Caroline Sloat (Notre Dame University Press, 2009).
What’s in a Name? The Black Panthers in Israel,” The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture (2008).
Blue Books and the Victorian Reader,” Victorian Studies (2004).

That's some of his writing.  Again, there was a parade of so-called experts.  Most smirked throughout all were dull.  Only Oz Frankel brought Emma Goldman to life.

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2019.  War on Iran looms larger, the press has a funny way of covering veterans (who they pretend isn't a veteran), Beto O'Rourke holds a town hall, and more.

In the US there is a race taking place for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Among those seeking the nomination?  Senator Elizabeth Warren.

It’s been over 24 hours. No more spoiler alerts. Here’s why and I are officially on now.

As war with Iran looms larger, Elziabeth takes time out from her GAME OF THRONES Tweeting to remember more pressing issues.

  • Not on my watch. I’m cosponsoring legislation to stop us from going to war with Iran. Congress must use its constitutional authority to stop from dragging us into another forever war.

  • Americans are tired of reckless and endless wars. We saw what the disastrous Iraq War did. Thousands of servicemembers dead and wounded. America's reputation damaged abroad. Now ’s advisors are pushing Shock and Awe 2.0 – this time against Iran.

  • Barring her Tweeting about the May 29th return of ANIMAL KINGDOM on TNT, the senator may yet again Tweet against war on Iran.  Seven days after her last Tweet on the subject, Elizabeth remembers Iran.

    Senator Bernie Sanders is also seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Unlike Elizabeth, he didn't take a week off to prep for the GAME OF THRONES finale.  No, he's been calling out the notion of war on Iran repeatedly.

    This afternoon, I attended a Senate intelligence briefing where the Trump administration presented its policy on Iran. Without going into specifics, let me just say: If you think the war in Iraq was a disaster, in all likelihood a war with Iran would be far worse.



    Someone else who has also been speaking out against war on Iran consistently is US House Rep Seth Moulton who is also seeking the nomination.  Joe Garafoli (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) reports:

    Rep. Seth Moulton sees a replay of the Iraq War when he hears President Trump promising to strike Iran with "great force” in response to reported threats from Tehran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East.
    “It’s frighteningly similar,” the Democratic presidential candidate told The Chronicle’s “It’s All Political” podcast. “You have some of the same people — (National Security Adviser) John Bolton — in the White House, agitating for war. And agitating with a president who doesn’t have a lot of credibility to stop it because he got out of serving himself, much like George W. Bush avoided going to Vietnam.”

    Bolton helped Bush build the public case for the 2003 Iraq invasion and has long advocated for regime change in Iran, too.

    Seth is an Iraq War veteran as is US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard who is also running for the presidential nomination.  More than any other candidate, she's been out front calling out a war on Iran.

    War with Iran will be far more costly than the Iraq war. It will undermine our national security, and waste countless of lives and trillions of dollars. As president, I'll restore the Iran nuclear deal and de-escalate tensions. Join me and say !

    Intel officials & politicians led us into Iraq war. Now Trump’s using the same playbook to lead our country into war with Iran. The cost in lives & treasure will be infinitely greater than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, & Syria, and will undermine our ntnl security.

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says Trump is leading us down a dangerous path towards war with Iran: "They are setting the stage for a war with Iran that would prove to be far more costly, far more devastating and dangerous than anything that we saw in the Iraq War"

    PRI's Bobby Bascomb (LIVING ON EARTH) reported on Tulsi yesterday:

    Representative Gabbard spoke for about 45 minutes, mainly about the need to scale back military intervention abroad. She said there is a peace dividend to be had when we stop spending trillions of dollars on regime change. We should instead invest that money domestically, on health care, infrastructure and the environment.
    “Every single one of us is paying the price for these wars,” Gabbard said. “And we see this every time we are told by politicians that there is just not enough money. There’s just not enough money to make sure that mothers and fathers and sons and daughters in places like Merrimack, New Hampshire, have clean water to drink. There’s just not enough money to make sure that we have safe roads and bridges to drive on.”
    Gabbard grew up surfing and "having a deep appreciation for our environment." It wasn't something she had to be taught, she says. Environmental issues, especially water quality, inspired her to run for the State House of Hawaii at age 21 and still spur her to action. “Water is life. It is essential to everything else,” Gabbard says. “If we don't have clean water to drink, then we have nothing.”

    Let's repeat something here: Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran.

    I'm about to not be kind.  I've been biting my tongue.  A number of people keep sending what they believe are must-reads to the public e-mail account hoping I'll highlight their work.

    Tulsi is an Iraq War veteran.

    So, for example, Aamer Madhani, when you write an article about veterans running for the presidential nomination who are calling out war on Iran?  If you include Pete Buttigieg and Seth Moulton but don't even mention Tulsi?

    You and your USA TODAY outlet look like extreme sexists and pigs.

    Does the fact that Tulsi is a woman mean you don't think of her when you look at veterans?

    What is your personal hang up?  Whatever it is, you better address it and do so quickly, it's 2019 and there has been a huge increase in female veterans since the start of these never-ending wars.  You erase all of them when you work to erase one of them.  You should be ashamed of yourself.

    As the threat of war on Iran looms, a new effort towards peace is undertaken.  PRESS TV reports:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi says his country is set to send delegations to the US and Iran to help “halt tension” between the two sides amid growing concerns over a military conflict as Washington ratchets up its belligerent rhetoric against Tehran and builds up its military presence in the region.

    “Iraq has high-level contacts (with both parties), and its vision is very close to that of the European Union, which seeks to settle the crisis in the region,” Abdul Mahdi said at a weekly press briefing in the capital Baghdad on Tuesday.

    So the country ripped apart by ongoing war is going to try to help make peace between the US and Iran?

    Former US House Rep Beto O'Rourke is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination as well.

    Beto says the U.S. has been in Iraq for "28 years and counting..."



      1. End of conversation
    Replying to 

    We have had Troops there since 1991 under Bush Sr. The gulf war.  Were we at war? No.  But troops were there including my Friend Jeremy.  Then we invaded the rest after 9/11 under Bush Jr.  Unfortunately Jeremy along with my ex fiance died across the street from tower 1

    Beto is correct about the 28 years and, as we've noted repeatedly, his math is the same that US generals appearing before Congress have used in their testimony.  Some in the press are dishonest and try to attack him for that math though they looked the other way, year after year, when generals and even Secretaries of Defense used the same math when testifying to Congress.

    Beto had a CNN town hall yesterday:

    BASH: Thank you. Let's get back to the audience. Olivia Welter is a pharmacy student right here at Drake University and a supporter of Elizabeth Warren. Olivia? O'ROURKE: Hey, Olivia.

    QUESTION: Yes, good evening. Welcome to Drake.

    O'ROURKE: Thank you for having me.

    QUESTION: My question for you is that recently several states have introduced and passed bills that legally prohibit those with uteruses from exercising their reproductive rights. What specific actions will you take to allow us to gain back our right to our own bodies?


    O'ROURKE: Thank you. For so long, women have been leading this fight, shouldering the burden of making sure that their reproductive rights protected. It's time that all of us join them in this fight. As president, I will make sure that every nominee...


    ... to every federal bench, including the Supreme Court, understands and believes that the 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, is the settled law of the land.


    As president, I'll make sure that we do away with the gag rule which prevents providers from referring women to get the best reproductive healthcare that they can. We'll do away with the Hyde amendment, so that ensures that regardless of your income or your ZIP Code you are able to access a safe, legal abortion, and also the other services that are provided in family planning clinics, a cervical cancer screening, family planning help, in a state like mine, in Texas, where we have not expanded Medicaid or one like yours where you've privatized Medicaid to disastrous results, being able to get the health care that will keep women alive in the midst of a maternal mortality crisis that is three times as deadly for women of color.

    And then I will work with our partners in Congress to make sure that by statute we prevent states from taking away the right that every woman should enjoy -- making her own decisions about her own body and having access to the healthcare that makes that possible. Thank you for asking.


    BASH: You probably know there are efforts underway right now to boycott these states, to try to stop people from spending any money in states like Alabama that have passed restrictive measures on abortion. Do you support those boycotts? And how far should they go?

    O'ROURKE: Here's an alternative solution that I'd like to pursue. There's an extraordinary organization in Texas called Annie's List, and it helps women run for political office, city council, state rep, state senator, U.S. Congress, senator, and president. More women in positions of power and public trust means better

    results, not just on these policies, but just about any other policy that I can think of right now. So let's change the composition of these state legislatures so that we have people who better reflect the genius of those states and of this country and of our great democracy. That's the path that I want to take.

    The following sites updated:

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