Saturday, August 5, 2023


We saw MEG 2: THE TRENCH Friday night.  We liked THE MEG and it was between that and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.  So we went with MEG 2.

Is it worth seeing?  It's getting really bad reviews.  But it was actually a pretty solid film.  And it's the sort of film that pre-pandemic used to be made for summer.  It's a popcorn flick and we enjoyed it.

Haiki is the new Meg for this film. There are some really great underwater scenes with Haiki and two other Megs as well as these new underwater beings called "snappers."  

I really liked the underwater scenes the best but it was all pretty cool and Jason Statham delivered as usual.

What's your favorite Jason Statham film?  Here's my top ten with number one being my favorite:









2) SPY


This morning, Ruth's "Elizabeth Taylor -- two books" went up -- she's reviewing two books about Elizabeth Taylor.  And, via THIRD, here's a list of the other book reviews that have gone up at community sites this year so far:


"Mafia Wives (Susan Williams' WHITE MALICE)" -- C.I. reviews this book.


 "The Sewing Circle" -- Marcia reads Axel Madsen's THE SEWING CIRCLE.


 "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" -- Trina reviews this book.

"Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview" -- Ann reviews this book.

"Call Her Heroic (Ava and C.I.)" -- Ava and C.I. review this book.

"Boze Hadleigh's Hollywood Gays" -- Marcia reviews this book.


"Robert Sellers wrote a book of garbage" -- Kat reviews HOLLYWOOD HELLRAISERS.   



"SCREAM VI and THE BOYS" -- Stan reviews Ron and Clint Howard's THE BOYS.



"the world according to joan" -- Rebecca reviews this book.


 "Elton John and Whitney Houston" -- Kat reviews Elton John's autobiography and a biography on Whitney Houston.

"DON RICKLES: THE MERCHANT OF VENOM" -- Isaiah reviews this book.




 "Vincent Price and Universal" -- Marcia reviews John L. Flynn's 75 YEARS OF UNIVERSAL MONSTERS and Vincent Price's I LIKE WHAT I KNOW: A VISUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY.







"JOAN BAEZ: THE LAST LEAF" -- Ruth reviews  this book by Elizabeth Thomas.


 "A JOYOUS TRANSFORMATION: THE UNEXPURZGATED DIARY OF ANAIS NIN, 1966 -1977" -- Ruth reviews a book by Anais Nin.


"An aging queen writes a bitter book about The Way We Were" -- Marcia reviews a bad book about THE WAY WE WERE.



"Travis Stewart's bad book supposedly on Stevie Nicks" -- Kat reviews a bad book supposedly about Stevie Nicks.


"Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day"-- Trina strongly recommends this cookbook.

"GET LOST" -- Isaiah looks at this comic magazine

"Lucille Ball and HERE'S LUCY" -- Stan reads up on the second half of Lucille Ball's life.

"Melody Thomas Scott's Always Young and Restless: M..." -- Ann reviews this autobiography.

"ROCK AND ROLL NIGHTMARES" -- Elaine reviews this book about crime in the music world. 

"ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN" -- Kat reviews this book about the Mamas & the Papas.

"SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND" -- Mike reviews a science book.



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


Friday, August 4, 2023.  Approximately 300 US service members have returned from Iraq (and many more remain in Iraq), Hunter Biden investigations still lacking any damning information for Joe, Marjorie and the other nutjobs are what's produced when crazy grudge f**ks hate, and much more.

Despite boredom on the part of so much of the US press, all US troops never left Iraq.  Even the drawdown left US troops in Iraq and their number were then increased in 2014.  And they still remain in Iraq.  One group is finally coming home (they've already been replaced in Iraq) and that's a good thing -- but all need to be leaving Iraq and coming home.  Thomas B Langhorne (EVANSVILLE COURIER & PRESS) reports:

It would have been asking the impossible for Lindsey Keene's kids to wait stoically for her to walk into an airport terminal after a year in Iraq. And they didn't.

Oblivious to the hundreds of other people who were at Evansville Regional Airport Thursday to greet returning members of the Indiana Army National Guard, Lindsey and David Keene's three children tapped anxiously on their welcome home signs. Their faces lit up when they thought the 163rd Field Artillery's nearly 100 returnees were about to walk in — and sagged when bemused passengers of an American Airlines flight from Charlotte appeared instead.

Then it happened. Sgt. Lindsey Keene, a combat medic finishing her second deployment, swept in with other soldiers. Son Gerald Oshsner, 11, clapped his hands to his ears and cried out: "Mom!" In an instant the boy and sisters Marley Ochsner, 12 and Kiera Keene, 9, swarmed Keene, pressing their heads into her chest in an embrace charged with a year's worth of longing.

MaCabe Brown has a photo essay for the paper of the returnAdam Knight (WEVV) notes, "Approximately 300 soldiers with the 163rd Field Artillery Regiment were welcomed home from their deployment on Thursday."  14 NEWS has a video report here.

Again, all should be home.  At some point we also need to be asking why the National Guard is being sent overseas -- to Iraq, to Kosovo, everywhere.  We need to ask when the Guard is allowed to return to their role?  

Questions?  Let's grab a few from the e-mails.

Let's start with Joe Biden.  US President Joe Biden has had his share of stumbles and scandals.  I have an e-mail regarding the recognition of Navy Joan.  Why, I'm asked, have I not called this out?

Called out the Bidens recognizing their granddaughter? 

Uh, because it's good news.  I know this is confusing to some people.  Hate Merchant Jonathan Turley, for example, can't seem to stop Tweeting about this.  

It's over.  The issue has been resolved.  Yes, she was not immediately welcomed.  Yes, that was wrong.  We actually called it out here -- more than once.  We stopped because it was being addressed.  I don't feel the need to do an update on this.  The e-mailer says, "You are just trying to protect Biden!"

Really?  Because I will offer a statement right now if it's that all important to you:  Good for Joe and Jill for welcoming their granddaughter Navy Joan into the family.

Disappointed?  Maybe you are.  Maybe you expect me to obsess over it like Jonathan Turley who has turned himself into an even bigger joke.

Families are messy.  Life is hard.  I thought Navy Joan needed to be recognized.  I said so.  She is.  That's a good thing.  Again, Turley's an idiot who comes across as bitter and obsessed.  It actually appears he wishes Navy Joan were being ignored.  I'm happy for her and happy for the family.

On, Joe, I'm also told that I am looking the other way on the Hunter Biden scandal.  Again, I'm told, this is because I'm protecting Joe.  Protecting him from what?

Ruth covers Hunter at her site.  I did cover it originally -- that would be going back to 2019, not waiting until the moment THE NEW YORK POST published their first story on Hunter Biden's laptop in October of 2020.  I've covered it.  I've done that.  I'm not interested in the plea deal -- the deal that is no more.  Nor is it a story that gets no attention.  

When I covered it, it was being ignored but that's no longer the case. 

I defended NY POST's story, defended the publishing of it, called out NYT's attack article -- I believe we're the only ones who remember that article -- where NYT attacked the POST and insisted that the POST staff was ashamed and embarrassed and opposed to the publication of the laptop story.  It was filled with lies.  If you want to go after the media, that's where you start.  But no one wants to go there.  I don't have to, I know what happened with that article.  

So I haven't run from that.

The e-mailer on this says that I'm ignoring the story and ignoring it because I'm voting for Joe Biden in 2024.

I'm voting Democrat in 2024 -- regardless of who the nominee is.  I made that public here and did so in order that people could factor in what goes up here with that.

If you think it's effecting coverage, there's the answer for you.  

No, I don't think that.  We've covered this and we covered it at length.

The e-mailer notes Tara Reade's reTweets.

I'm so very happy she's found something to do in Russia.  I guess she doesn't have any friends still so she needs to obsess over the country she defected from.  Or maybe she and convicted pedophile Scott Ritter aren't talking these days?  You do realize her online embrace of registered sex offender Ritter is what destroyed her.  Most of us, actual survivors, no longer give a s**t about her.  Even her online We Believe Tara group vanished over that.  And should have.  This was not Donald Duck has been accused of assault/rape by Daisy Duck and we used our own common sense to figure out who we believed.  This was Scott Ritter got arrested three times, had to plea agreements, third time went to court and got convicted in a court of law, sent to prison and had to register as a sex offender.  This is not, Do I believe Donald or Daisy?  No, the court verdict ended it.  (And read the testimony from the police -- especially about him peeling out of the parking lot -- if you really want to know what a liar Ritter is.)  

So I don't care about Tara.  I didn't care about the recent court victory either because the woman said -- on CNN -- that rape was "sexy."  

Don't care.  Can't help the entire world.  Can't cover everything.

Due to the e-mail, I've looked at Tara's reTweets.  They are garbage.  "Devon Archer confirmed Joe Biden was THE BRAND, and he brought the most value to THE BRAND."


That was confirmed by Devon Archer?  

Maybe to the brain dead.

Of course Joe was "the brand."  The deals with Hunter were due to the fact that Joe Biden was vice president.  That's not news.  Nor is it even new gossip.  Hunter had no cachet on his own and no value if his father was Generic Smith.  

Hunter traded on dad's name.

We covered all of this at length.  Back when it mattered.  We noted -- and applauded -- back when Sarah Chayes wrote "Hunter Biden’s Perfectly Legal, Socially Acceptable Corruption" (THE ATLANTIC).  

Many people were not having the conversation before the election.  We were and we did.  

I don't do greatest hits.  I've sung that song.  Is there a new reason to sing it?

Tara Reade and Jonathan Turley believe so.  They also believe in supporting homophobes and transphobes and racists.  

At this point, there's nothing there.  Could change, so far hasn't. 

I had no reason to comment because there's nothing there.  This is the same issue that so many of us raised in real time.

Where's Joe's criminal activity?

None has been established -- and as many pointed out in real time, it would be hard to establish criminal activity.

We don't know anymore than we knew in real time.  

And what's especially interesting here is that Jonathan Turley was cautioning that back in 2020 -- of course, he was still posing as a leftist back then.  But today?  Today, he's a screeching reactionary who needs no evidence or proof.  It really has been something watching his madness unspool.

Unethical?  Yes.  Illegal?  No proof of that.  

Grounds for impeachment?  Why would Congress impeach Hunter Biden?  Oh, you mean, Joe.  Again, there's no proof of any crime he's committed -- let alone a high crime or misdemeanor.  I also believe we're speaking of his time as vice president.  I'm not hearing of deals from 2021 forward.  Meaning?

If the GOP wants to re-elect Joe, that's the way to do it.  Impeach him.  They control the House so they could get all their ducks in a row and impeach him.  It's not going to result in any action in the US Senate.  Not because Democrats are in control but due to the fact that they are less crazed in the Senate. The idiots in the House don't get the way they are seen around the country.  Impeaching Joe for something that took place before he was president?  


We have that kind of time?  

I liked John Conyers a great deal.  But when he started talking about impeaching Bully Boy Bush after BBB was out of the White House?  I didn't promote that here, I called it out here.  That's nonsense and it's stupid and idiotic.  (I also think it was stupid to impeach Donald Trump repeatedly when Dems controlled the House, and I'm on record here stating that.)

The American people will not stand for that sort of overreach.  So let Marjorie and her other crazies do that.  It will please their rabid base while turning off many others -- that's Dems, moderates and, yes, some Republicans.  

Crazy grudge-f**ked hate and left us in the 21st century with a lot of insanity.  Take the fired postal worker who's showing up to scream her hate while wearing Blackface. Jovonne Ledet (BLACK INFORMATION NETWORK) reports:

A woman wearing blackface went on anti-LGBTQ and pro-Trump rants at a Target store and Starbucks in Colorado.

In one video posted on social media, the woman in blackface, identified as Ersilia Campbell, approached employees at a Target in Aurora, Colorado, demanding they direct her to the Pride section of the store, per TMZ.

When an employee informed her that Pride month was over, the woman suggested the LGBTQ community hijacked the American flag with the Pride flag. A worker also called her out for wearing blackface in the middle of the store, but the woman claimed her actions were no different than Lester Holt dressing up as a white woman.

This insane hate has been encouraged by the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Ron DeSantis, John Stauber, Matt Taibbi, and many, many more.  Ronald's built an entire campaign around it.

Florida is one of the top states with the most new leprosy cases in the country, according to a new research letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There definitely is leprosy in the United States,” said Dr. Nicole Iovine, chief hospital epidemiologist and an infectious disease physician at the University of Florida.

For many, leprosy may seem like a problem from biblical times. But Iovine said the disease is very much still around. In fact, the CDC letter said leprosy could now be endemic in Central Florida.

“Endemic means something that is circulating and is present at all times. And it can be at a low level,” said Iovine.

The ancient disease leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, named for the Norwegian physician Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, who first identified the causative agent in 1873, may be endemic in Florida. A report published in the current (August) edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), draws this alarming conclusion.

Although many news outlets have stated that the CDC is warning people regarding travel to Southeastern US states, the public health agency released a statement on August 2 saying it had “not issued a travel advisory for Florida, or any other state, due to Hansen’s disease.”

In an email, the CDC wrote, “[We] do not believe there is a great concern to the American public,” noting that the number of cases remain very small.

However, the endemic nature of a disease that usually affects “persons who had immigrated from leprosy-endemic areas” raises significant concerns about the general state of public health in the United States, and the outright dismissal on the part of the CDC is extremely problematic. Moreover, the concerns about leprosy come on the heels of recent reports by the CDC of endemic malaria in Florida and Texas.

[. . .]

Specifically, leprosy cases in Florida account for 20 percent of all national cases, and 81 percent of these have been reported in central Florida. One-third of new cases between 2015 and 2020 were acquired locally. The report notes: “Several cases in central Florida demonstrate no clear evidence of zoonotic exposure or traditionally known risk factors.”

In its report, the CDC highlights the case of a 54-year-old man, landscaper by trade, who sought medical attention at a dermatology clinic with a complaint of a painful and progressive red rash involving his hands, trunk and face.

The patient reported no significant travel history, having resided in Florida his whole life. He was eventually diagnosed with leprosy, though he reported no contact with immigrants from endemic regions nor anyone with leprosy. He had never had exposure to armadillos, which are known as zoonotic sources.

He was referred to an infectious disease clinic, where he began prolonged therapy with a triple regimen of dapsone, rifampin and clofazimine, which has been the mainstay of treatment for more than four decades.

The authors of the article observed: “Our case adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that central Florida represents an endemic location for leprosy... travel to this area, even in the absence of other risk factors, should prompt consideration of leprosy in the appropriate clinical context.”

So instead of dealing with that, Ronald's trotting around the country?  Guess it's no worry for the COVID sneering DeSantis couple but, unlike Casey, not everyone in the country is so 'tough' that they use Naugahyde tampons. 

Tacky Onassis and her husband wanted to lead Florida.  So get your ass back to the state and do so.  And it shows real gall on Ronald's part that he criticizes Vice President Kamala Harris for visiting Florida when he can't seem to find his own way back to the state he's supposed to be governing. 

On the topic of crazy grudge f**king hate, their offspring Marjorie Taylor Green just gets more and more demented.  Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

Drawing many conspiracy theories and rightwing myths together into a grand, unified rant, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) claimed that Donald Trump’s third criminal indictment for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election is something that “they” are using to distract the American people from how kids are being brainwashed into being transgender.

Trump was indicted on four counts related to an alleged plot to overturn the 2020 elections and install himself as president for another term. His actions culminated in the January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection, where five people died as a result of a mob of Trump supporters breaking into the Capitol and trying to kill Mike Pence for presiding over the Senate as it ceremonially accepted each state’s electoral votes.

Greene, a loyal Trump Republican, couldn’t handle her golden calf being held accountable for his alleged actions, and she blamed, well, everyone and everything. She ranted on Twitter about a variety of topics that she suspected “they” – used in the way conspiracy theorists use that word – are trying to distract the American people from, claiming that there are “record numbers” of homeless people now (homelessness is down since the mid-2000s, according to the 2022 Annual Homeless Assessment Report), that 63 million abortions occur in the U.S. (an outlandish rightwing myth), that the U.S. is “number one for child pornography and sex trafficking,” and several other topics.

“They tell women abortion is healthcare & birth control – killing over 63 million, that men can get pregnant, they brainwash children they can change their gender and amputate their growing body parts,” she said. It’s not clear who “they” is in this context and most transgender people’s experience is the opposite – they had to either hide their trans identity from intolerant adults as children or they came out and had to fight for even basic recognition as their gender. No one is brainwashing kids into being transgender and no one can be brainwashed into changing their gender identity. Moreover, trans men can get pregnant.

This week, REBEL HQ noted some of Marjorie's many incoherent ravings.

Let's note Paul Rudnick.  

+ There’s some comfort in seeing how badly DeSantis is getting crushed by Trump (54% to 17%). But it’s pretty cold: “Mr. Trump still received 22% among voters who believe he has committed serious federal crimes — a greater share than the 17% that Mr. DeSantis earned from the entire G.O.P. electorate.”

+ In Iowa, a 15-year-old interested in military service told DeSantis, “I can’t vote, but I struggle with major depressive disorder.” DeSantis interrupted the teenager with a bizarre joke: “It’s never stopped the other party from not letting you vote.”

+ Some New Hampshire residents were stunned to hear DeSantis vow “we are going to start slitting throats [of federal bureaucrats] on Day One.” Throat-slitting seems to be a favorite metaphor (assuming it is a metaphor) for the man who as a JAG at Gitmo mocked detainees as they were being tortured. The Florida governor also claimed that he wanted a Defense Secretary with “a sharp blade” and a “killer instinct” who would have to be willing to “slit some throats.” DeSantis also said that under his administration the Mexican drug cartels would be “shot stone cold dead.”

+ DeSantis reminds me of Phil Gramm, the TX politician who amassed millions from banks and oil companies and seemed to be the prohibitive favorite in ’96 GOP primaries, but was soon exposed as just a mean SOB with no real political skills at all other than shaking down corps for PAC $$$.

+ When DeSantis’ campaign ran low on money and he began firing staffers, he hired them to fill government-funded positions in Florida instead.

+ More than half ($5 million, in fact) of the funds in RFK, Jr’s SuperPAC came from Timothy Mellon, scion of the Mellon banking fortune, who has denounced social spending as “slavery redux,” donated $53 million to state of Texas border wall construction fund, and gifted $1.5 million toward the legal defense of Arizona’s vicious anti-immigration law.

[. . .]

+ DeSantis claims the new history standards for Florida schools, the one’s that proclaim the benefits of slavery, were needed to prevent the indoctrination of school kids. Yet, some of the materials which will now be inflicted on Florida students are produced by Prager U., whose founder, Dennis Prager, openly brags about indoctrinating children:

+ Florida has now effectively banned AP psychology in the state. A lot of students hoping they’ll ban Trigonometry next!

Let's wind down with this from THE BLACK COMMENTATOR:

The Black Commentator is now in our annual August Hiatus

We will return Thursday, Sept 7th

Meanwhile, please drop by our archives:

Past Issues



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Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Trump Charges Result In A GOP Slap Fight" went up last night.   The following sites updated:

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