Friday, July 17, 2020


This week on MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD, the episode focused on May and Yo-Yo.  It was a good episode -- not as good as last week, but good.

Jemma gave data Coulton a body and then legs.  She also communicated with Fitz. 

They were still stuck in the 1980s.  Yo-Yo still doesn't have her powers.  Daisy's recovering still.  So Daisy says to fix Yo-Yo's powers, they need to go Jiaying -- that's Daisy's mother -- her evil mother who went to war with SHIELD in the '00s.  May and Yo-Yo went to see Jiaying.  They eventually discover that Yo-Yo is the problem.  She's blocking her powers out of guilt.

We get a flashback to when her uncle was killed.  She and her brother were with him, he put them in the closet when a bad guy came over.  They watched as the bad guy threatened him.  He said he was giving all the money he had.  The man spotted a gold cross on a necklace and said he was going to take that.  It was a family heirloom and Yo-Yo and her brother didn't want it taken so Yo-Yo snuck out of the closet to grab it.  The bad guy noticed it was gone and knew others were present so the uncle got loud and active to make sure Yo-Yo and her brother weren't discovered.  As a result, he ended up shot dead.

By the end of the program, Yo-Yo had her powers back.

Jiaying was a good character on the show -- she was good on this episode, yes, but she was a great character when she was on season two.

Dichen Lachman plays the character and she's been good in a number of shows -- including DOLLHOUSE where she was Sierra, the Canadian production of BEING HUMAN, the first season of THE HUNDRED, the first season of ALTERED CARBON and on ANIMAL KINGDOM (which needs to return with new episodes!!!).

Dichen Lachman's return reminded me of all the great characters the show has written off.  I miss Ward, Bobbi and Lance, Lincoln, Glenn Talbot, Robbie (Ghostrider) and Raina.  All of those characters were more interesting than Coulson and a better show would have ditched him and kept at least one of them. 

If the show had any respect for the fans, they'd include those characters in this final season.

There is especially no reason for not bringing Bobbie and Lance back.

For those who don't know, Bobbi and Lance left to save SHIELD.  That was the storyline.  They were exposed and they left.  That was so that the two could be in a spin-off that ABC wanted.  Then ABC didn't want the spin-off.  They didn't bring Bobbi and Lance back (well, Lance came back for an episode last season or the one before -- just one episode).  They should have.  Now that they are time hopping, they easily could introduce the characters in an episode that's set in a time before the two left SHIELD.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, July 16, 2020.  The media and the ones who refuse to hold them accountable are the clear danger to democracy.

Starting with US politics, former US House Rep and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney Tweets:

So, let me get this straight: I'm clean as a whistle, do my job, represent my constituents, and get kicked out of Congress; my colleague, Joe Biden, is corrupt as heck, brags about it, and gets promoted to the White House! What's wrong with that picture??

She's linking to Ben Shreckinger's POLITICO report from earlier this year:

n 2005, Joe Biden’s brother bought an acre of land with excellent ocean views on a remote island in the Caribbean for $150,000. He divided it into three parcels, and the next year a lobbyist close to the Delaware senator bought one of the parcels for what had been the cost of the entire property. Later, the lobbyist gave Biden’s brother a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels.
The Virgin Islands land deal, reported here for the first time, furthers a pattern in which members of the Biden family have engaged in financial dealings with people with an interest in influencing the former vice president.
In this case, a Biden staffer left the Senate in the early ’90s to become a lobbyist. Both before and after the land transaction, his clients benefited from Biden’s support and appropriations requests. A firm the lobbyist co-founded — which features a testimonial from Biden praising his “emotional investment” in his work on its website — specializes in federal contracts for niche law enforcement and national security programs for which Biden long advocated. 
After the land deal, Joe Biden vacationed elsewhere on the tiny island, which once protected a nearby submarine base before it became a tropical getaway, on at least three occasions.

Empathy Educates Tweets:

A Biden-Trump Election Is a Loss for Our Democracy Corporations and billionaires dominate our political economy through a system of legalized corruption—They purchase the allegiance of politicians and ensure legislation is supported by pro-corporate judges

The Tweets goes to Kenneth Peres' article:

A Biden-Trump Election is a Win-Win for Wall Street

On the Republican side, the plutocrats are comfortable with Trump. The problem was the Democratic side of the ledger.  The plutocrats did not like Warren, but they hated Sanders. Their goal was to defeat Sanders at any cost and to select a Democratic candidate on which they could depend.  Buttigieg rose and then fell. Bloomberg spent a lot of money, rose and then fell. Biden was really their last chance. A Biden-Trump election was the plutocrats’ dream scenario.
Biden Is A Product and Supporter of the Plutocracy. Biden has been and continues to be a willing participant in the system of legalized corruption. He has always relied on donations from Wall Street and the billionaire donor class and he has returned the favor by supporting policies that aide Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street. (See this article for a detailed analysis of Biden and his relationship to Wall Street and billionaires).
  • Biden Relies on Wall Street and Billionaires. Wall Street has always supported Biden. According to the Center for Responsive Politics the entire finance capital sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has been the largest business sector contributor to Biden’s various senatorial and his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.  Between 1990-2007, this sector invested $6.87 million in Biden. And that support has continued for his 2020 presidential campaign. The finance capital sector’s investment in Biden is just behind its investment in Trump and much greater than its investment in any other Democratic candidate. In terms of small donors, Biden has raised $25.3 million or 37% of total funding from small donors – much less than Sanders.
According to the Center on Responsive Politics, the Financial Sector as a whole (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has invested $47.2 million in the 2020 presidential election so far. Of this total, $10.3 million or 22% has gone to Trump; $10.1 million or 21% has gone to Biden and just $2.8 million or 6% has gone to Sanders. And it is clear that Biden is due for a massive increase in funding following Super Tuesday. These figures are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg and will soon explode; after all, the Financial Sector invested $338 million in the 2016 presidential election.
Biden also relies on billionaires. According to an updated Forbes article as of January 2020, sixty-six billionaires have given to Biden’s campaign. Most of these billionaires are from the financial capital sector. Also, expect Biden to pick up the backing of the 94 billionaires who previously supported Buttigieg and Klobuchar – the two candidates who suspended their campaigns and endorsed Biden immediately before Super Tuesday. In addition, there is a Super Pac that supports Biden called “Unite the Country.” Super PACs can legally spend unlimited amounts of money and can buy ads to support or oppose particular candidates. They are not supposed to be controlled by or tied directly to campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Unite the Country spent $8.9 million as of March 5, 2020. The finance/insurance/real estate sector accounted for $5 million or 56% of the total raised by this PAC. All these figures will increase substantially in the near future
  • While Biden speaks of change – He literally promised Wall Street and billionaire donors that “nothing will fundamentally change… if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.” In his first campaign speech delivered to a largely union crowd in Pittsburgh, Biden stated “Let me say this simply and clearly, and I mean this: The country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers, CEOs and hedge fund managers. It was built by you. It was built by the great American middle class.” In an interview, Biden stated, “It’s high time we helped Main Street.” His website is full of plans to increase taxes on the wealthy, enhance Social Security, expand government social services and get tough on Wall Street.
All these statements and plans sound very progressive.  But based on past policies and current statements, it is apparent that Wall Street does not have to worry much about Biden actually delivering on his anti-Wall Street rhetoric. As detailed in a previous article, Biden has supported and often led the fight for legislation that further consolidated the financial industry, eliminated laws that had curbed Wall Street’s penchant for excessive speculation, and increased protections for banks while eroding protections for consumers. And he supported trade deals that benefitted Wall Street and other big corporations while eliminating 4 million U.S. jobs primarily held by union manufacturing workers. Conversely, he is culpable for the failure to pass legislation that would have helped strengthen unions and protect the rights of consumers.
And Biden even admitted all of this when he gave a wink and a nod to Wall Street and the billionaires at an elite fundraiser in NY City last year. Biden stated “The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins, but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change…I need you very badly. I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.”

You could write that at COMMON DREAMS . . . in March.  Not now.  As Betty noted in "COMMON DREAMS is a joke -- and a dirty one at that:"

I went to their embarrassing website tonight.  It was hate Trump -- story after story.

When you've got nothing to offer, nothing to inspire, all you can sell is 'hate the enemy.'

They don't hold Joe Biden accountable, they don't try to push him to the left.  They just offer story after story attacking Donald Trump -- for what he said, for what he didn't say, for what his daughter did, for what some family member says . . .

They're like an obsessed ex.  It's frightening.

They should be leading us to a better world, focusing on our needs, preparing us for what to fight for should Joe Biden win and giving us the strength to press on should we end up with another term of Donald but instead they just do the work of the Democratic Party -- whore.

They're a joke.

She's exactly right.  And it's true of BUZZFLASH as well.  They don't exist for any real reason except to promote whatever the leaders in the Democratic Party wants.  They're too scared to be independent, they're too scared to leave the echo chamber.  Yet they present themselves as brave new media.

How 'independent' is independent media?

Years ago, Ava and I noted that DEMOCRACY NOW! expanded to two hours a day for a week -- one week to cover the Democratic Party's convention and one week to cover the Republican Party's convention.  Ten hours of coverage a week for one and then ten hours of coverage for another.  And what did DEMOCRACY NOW! do for the Green Party convention that year?

A headline.

A single headline was enough to cover the Green Party national convention.

And we noted then, shame on the members of the Green Party who don't call Amy Goodman out, who don't pressure her to give real coverage, equal coverage to their party.

Well, that was many years ago.  And things have only gotten worse.

Saturday (see "Howie Hawkins declared Green Party presidential nominee as US military convoy attacked in Iraq."), the Green Party's national convention concluded with Howie Hawkins receiving the party's presidential nomination.

This year, not even a headline.  

And Amy Goodman's supposed to be the queen of independent media?  She's more like the matron in the toilet.  

Again, Greens have allowed this to happen.  Shame on you.  You need to be objecting.  We've noted Howie's video this week but let's note it one more time.

Howie's objecting to the corporate media.  Why can't his supporters object to what's supposed to be independent media?

The corporate media has largely ignored the Green Party's convention as well.  We noted that on Saturday night and it's still true.  (POLITICO would be the main exception.)  

When you let so-called independent media get away with this nonsense, then don't complain when corporate media cuts back on their coverage as well.

Shame on you all.  Get off your ass, if you're a Green or anyone who believes in fair journalism, and start calling out the likes of Amy Goodman.  

When Goodman shuts out the Green Party convention, she doesn't just shut out their candidates, she also shuts out their ideas.  This year, some Democrats are promoting the Green New Deal.  Howie was promoting a version of it back in 2010.  

Ten years later, some Democrats in office are supporting it.  

Imagine how much larger that number would be if the media had been addressing the deal when the Green Party was first proposing it.  

Independent media could play a significant role in bettering our world but it instead whores for the Democratic Party.  Instead of addressing what's needed or what we could have, they throw all their resources into demonizing whichever Republican is the target.

Joe Biden is a center-right, War Hawk corporatist.  And that's the challenger to Donald Trump?  That's the difference?

Only in a landscape where the media has abdicated their role.

We need a better world but we also need a better media.  I seriously wonder if there's a chance for this world.  How do we survive climate change and these never-ending wars (which do impact climate change, let's stop pretending all these bombings have no effect on our ecozone) when the most 'radical' action we can imagine is voting for a used up hack like Joe Biden?

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party's 2016 vice presidential candidate, Tweeted the following:

The democrats are doing all they can to prevent agreement that would end the 19 year Afghanistan war. What is the difference on issue of war & peace between Democrats & Trump? Answer: democrats might be worst. Make peace a campaign issue. Support Black Alliance for Peace.
6:52 PM · Jul 14, 2020

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has determined climate change and the interlocking issues of war, militarism, and the now-normalized and still illegal U.S. interventionism pose the greatest threats to humanity.
That is why we have launched a campaign demanding all 2020 candidates for local, state and federal offices in the United States take a position on U.S. interventionism (read our official statement).
BAP’s goal has always been to educate people on the connection between U.S. foreign interventions and the domestic war on African people and other oppressed groups (see No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad).
In 2019, the Trump administration announced “Operation Relentless Pursuit,” a program that claims to support local "crime fighting" efforts by injecting federal funding for a “surge” of new hires and equipment, as well as coordination of federal agents at the local level.
Of the seven targeted U.S. cities, four are predominantly African:
  1. Baltimore (62.8% African)
  2. Cleveland (50.41% African)
  3. Detroit (79.12% African)
  4. Memphis (63.9% African)
The Nixon-era "War on Drugs” actually was a war on Africans, since it was an aspect of the state's counter-insurgency effort against the Black Liberation Movement. Trump's Operation Relentless Pursuit is an initiative in the same vein, being the latest version of the ongoing war against the African working class.
Operation Relentless Pursuit is the logical extension of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which is primarily responsible for transferring more than $4 billion in military-grade equipment to local police forces over a 15-year span. Along with “Deadly Exchange”—whereby Israeli Defense Forces train local U.S. police executives—these three programs represent the core elements of the U.S. national security state's repressive strategy to contain the resistance of oppressed communities and peoples in the United States.

Jimmy Dore addressed the issue of Democrats working with Republicans to destroy peace.

Jimmy Dore: Hey, what did Congressional Democrats do this week?  Well, they prevented Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.  What did Congressional Democrats do last week?  They increased Trump's military spending.  What gets bipartisan support in Washington, DC?  Endless war.

The lack of independence in the media -- All Things Media Big and Small -- is why Robert Draper and THE NEW YORK TIMES believe they can get away this morning with whoring passed off as journalism:

In August 2018, in the course of researching a book on the lead-up to the Iraq war, I went to see Powell at the office in Alexandria, Va., that he has maintained since leaving the Bush administration in early 2005. Powell, who is now 83, is as proud and blunt-speaking as he was during his career in public service. Over the course of our two hourlong conversations, he made clear that he was all too aware of the lonely turf he was destined to occupy in history.
It was not the turf that anyone, least of all Powell himself, would have imagined for him in 2001. He entered the Bush administration as a four-star general of immense popularity and political influence. He left it four years later, discarded by Bush in favor of a more like-minded chief diplomat, Condoleezza Rice. He mournfully predicted to others that his obituary’s first paragraph would include his authorship of the U.N. speech.

Draper, it's hard for me to understand everything you're trying to say when you're speaking at the same time you're juggling Colin's balls in your mouth.

Colin lied.  To the UN, to the world.  It's a little late for you to start pretending otherwise and no one should believe your lies about Colin being misled.  He knew what he was doing.  He exploded at one point that he wasn't going to say that "s**t" because he knew it was a lie.

Ava and I covered this nonsense in 2005, see our "TV Review: Barbara and Colin remake The Way We Were."  Along comes Draper hoping everyone's forgotten reality.

I'm so sick of this garbage and this media environment -- big and small -- that allows the lies not just to be told once but to be retold over and over.

The following sites updated: