Sexual Politics: Witch Hunts & Blacklists

What is currently going on in the US media is nothing less than a witch hunt against male celebrities. Today, a celebrity is broadly defined as anyone on TV: athlete, actor, musician, politician, etc. The first question that must be asked is: Who is directing this? This has clearly been a planned-out & coordinated campaign, with political orders being carried out by media interests & their minions.

It began with Harvey Weinstein, a despicable Hollywood figure, which is significant. Witch hunts are roving moral blacklists, that descend upon their prey in an ordered & calculating manner. Since no one cares for Harvey Weinstein, he’s an easy first target. Everyone who personally hates him, or is with the current political agenda, gets their cut. Once established as legitimate, witch hunts takes on a life of their own. There are very few who defend fundamental democratic principles such as: presumptive innocence before definitive proof, the accuser facing the accused with their claims, or the right to privacy.

Instead we get yellow journalism, muck-raking and lies; 24/7/365 from CNN & the New York Times. The “Russian interference” campaign has worn too thin for too long, so here’s the change-up.  The analogy in baseball is when the smart hitter ignores this garbage as well, and takes ball four– again.

Barry Bonds was the greatest baseball player of his generation, and most-likely– ever. The video below is proof of this, as well as a quick slide into the sports side of blacklisting; namely Barry Bonds’ MLB Hall-of-Fame candidacy. Why are all these pitchers & pundits so afraid to throw a strike, or face the truth? [1]

Little boys, pretending to be men, to all the guys / Hysterical girls, posing as women, for all the gals    — Ric Size “Unsung”

In the mass media, there is no truth, just a non-stop side-show of distractions. When was the last time you (as a viewer) saw any serious labor coverage in the news? Strikes, work stoppages, deaths on the job; do you ever see, read, or hear about this in any depth from a rank-and-file, real-world perspective?

The answer is “No.” It’s exclusively NYSE-analysis of the labor markets in the corporate media. In a class society driven with inequality, how could it be otherwise?  What passes for “official news” today is nothing more than sports, celebrity gossip, talking head opinions, and Trump tweets.

Do you know what’s going on with the US wars being waged in Africa, Asia & Latin America? Tens-of thousands of troops have been deployed to these faraway battlefields, for reasons unknown to most of the American population. Isn’t the government of a democratic nation supposed to declare a good reason, and prove it to the people, before sending their children off to war?  What is democracy?

Soldiers being killed, maimed, and/or psychologically scarred doesn’t make the news. Neither does an analysis of what they are fighting for. The unspeakable truth is– it’s always economic (power) interests, with China & Russia being the opponents. Do you personally feel any animosity towards the people of these nations? Most Americans don’t, but the media always tells us we should, because they are the enemy. Therefore all their allies are our enemies too, and so North Korea, Syria & Iran are “existential threats” to our way of life, and must be annihilated. That is the logic of US imperialism, refracted through a corporate/intelligence media lens.

It’s still the same set-up as the Cold War, and all the old methods of red-baiting leftists & artists are being brought out again. History proved when this blacklist barrier was smashed in the 1960’s by social forces and artists like Bob Dylan & the Beatles, it became a revolutionary situation. Political figures began to be assassinated (JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, RFK), always under murky circumstances. Most remain unsolved in many ways. This was the deep state in action, snuffing out revolutionary impulses by beheading liberalism & black radicalism in the 1960’s.

Today the political enemy of the deep state are the class-conscious workers armed with socialism. The only political tendency that represents genuine socialism are the Trotskyists of the Fourth International. Every other political tendency on Earth falls within imperialism’s grasp.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is the US branch of the Fourth International. In ruling circles, the SEP is equated with “Russian terrorism.” The political program of the SEP is world socialist revolution, which puts it into the most bitter life-or-death struggle against the US deep state. Hence the propaganda & Internet censorship campaigns from Google, Facebook, and the rest of corporate social media. [2]

The deep state is composed of elite political power brokers who dominate finance, Wall Street, Madison Avenue (PR), and Langley (CIA/ intelligence services). The Bush & Clinton (& now Obama!) families are part of this nexus, which pulls-the-strings on Donald Trump & the rest of the political figures you see & hear in the news.

This is the origin of this ongoing witch hunt against “sexual predators” in Hollywood, NYC & Washington. The hypocrisy of all this is astounding, as everyone knows these places are infamous for being fleshpots for the rich, glamorous & powerful. This can’t even be described as an open secret, it’s just a fact every adult knows today.

Their level of depravity is seemingly infinite, and for many common people (sadly), that’s the allure. Too many ordinary hedonists wish they could join in this depraved orgy. This is how people have been trained to be, as education & civility has been degraded. There aren’t many good jobs anymore either, even if you are a college graduate– deep in debt. So what’s there to hope for, still living with your parents at age 25?  Opioids & other prescription painkillers are readily available to soothe all types of pain…

Most Americans still aren’t ready to face the need for conscious & continuous work in political education, to prepare themselves for the necessary socialist revolution– to come. Most are too busy with day-to-day living (survival), and have been taught to take care of themselves first & always. This isn’t compatible with species survival, but don’t ever try to explain that to a liberal, as their knowledge in arts & science ends where class interests begin. In fact. these attacks are coming specifically from deep state liberal identity-politics ruling circles.

Therefore the impulse to defend celebrities, artists & left-wing politicians will not come from Democratic party supporters; it will come from the working people & youth who have dumped both parties. The truth of the two-party system is that it works together to exploit youth & workers. They appear to act in the interests of the common man/woman, from both sides of the aisle, but in earnest always defend capital– in all its forms. The Democrats use the unions & pseudo-intellectual liberalism, to blind workers and educated youth. The Republicans use religion, racism & nationalism to rally its rural working-class base. The former party is for philistines, the latter is for fascists.

The battle against blacklisting & media sex-scandal pogroms is but one front in the greater war for socialist equality, which can only be achieved by revolution. Those who are enlightened & educated are the ones who care the most about art & human culture. What is happening now is a desecration of human society, as fascists have taken the White House, and the supposed opposition (Democrat) party has done nothing to warn the people, because they are it’s most hostile enemy.

Until this fact is absorbed into the marrow of enough politically conscious workers & students, this witch hunting & Internet censorship will continue, and things will generally continue to get worse for most everybody. Once this reaction is beaten back, a revolutionary window will open, as this witch hunt campaign signals a final ideological arrow. Once you get past sex scandals & censorship, there’s nothing else to titillate & distract. Politics is then exposed for what it is, corrupt & bankrupt.

That’s when all the nonsense lies end, and revolutionary action starts. The battle lines in this upcoming civil war are already being drawn, so it’s important figure out which side is which. and what it means.  It can save a life, and the life you save may be you own, as well as those you love.

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MST3K & Getting a Clu

William Martin “Clu” Gulager was born November 16, 1928 in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He’s the son of a cowboy entertainer who gave him his nickname, for the clu-clu birds (martins) that were nesting at their home when Clu was born [1]. Today he is 89, so happy birthday, Clu!

Clu Gulager is the consummate made-for-TV character actor; from the 1970’s, through the 80’s, & beyond. He began in Hollywood in earnest, as Billy the Kid in The Tall Man, a TV series which ran from 1960–1962. This successful series was suddenly canceled because of his role specifically.

The code Hollywood had acquiesced to under the McCarthyist blacklist, was to not let “bad guy” characters win. This went part & parcel with FBI Director Edgar J. Hoover’s attempts to censor morality, blacklist “communists,” and spy on domestic political dissidents– COINTELPRO.

This directly relates to movies and the deteriorating quality of Hollywood film-making in the !950’s & 1960’s. Many of the enduring classic films from this era, are foreign films from Japan, India & Europe; as McCarthyism had much to say on what Hollywood could produce.

In America, a significant amount of top-talent was blackballed, while mediocre-hack writers, directors & actors were given starring roles in Hollywood productions. No-talent directors such as Ed Wood, Francis Coleman, Roger Corman, Sandy Frank, and any other bizarro with a conformist ideology & a camera, were allowed (encouraged) to make an endless parade of B-movies, which filled the screens of drive-ins across post-war America. This is the “vast wasteland” our parents were raised in, and it filtered through to the MTV generation in no clearer form than Clu Gulager.

With Gulager, there is more to the picture than meets the eye. His fans have a Clu, but it’s not easy to get to. This is a Hollywood character actor, with depth– a rare combination. Clu Gulager is a name that most film fans don’t know, yet probably most have seen him in the movies or TV shows they’ve watched over the decades.

From ~1970 onwards, whenever a made-for-TV series or movie needed a hard-boiled, cowboy bureaucrat– enter Clu Gulager. Plus he’s got great hair. Hollywood needed that a lot in the 1970’s & 80’s, so Clu always found work. Here’s his resume from Wikipedia [2]:

TV and filmography

Playhouse 90 (TV series) (1959)
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV series) (1959)
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (TV series) (1959)
Laramie (TV series) (1959)
The Untouchables (TV series) (1959)
Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV series) episode “Crossroads” (1959)
The Rebel (TV series) as Virgil Taber in “Paint a House with Scarlet” (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV series) (1959–1960)
The Tall Man (TV series) (1960–1962)
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962)
Kraft Suspense Theatre (TV series) (1964)
Dr. Kildare (TV series) (1964)
Wagon Train (TV series) (1959–1964)
The Killers (1964) (director Don Siegel)
The Virginian (1968) 3×20 Lost Yesterday as Emmett Ryker
San Francisco International Airport (1970) as Bob Hatten
The Last Picture Show (1971, director Peter Bogdanovich) as Abilene
The F.B.I. (1971) as Lyle Chernik
Bonanza (1972) as Billy Brenner
Mod Squad (TV series) (1972) as Dustin Ellis
Molly and Lawless John (1972) as Deputy Tom Clements
The Glass House (ABC TV film) (1972)
Kung Fu (1973) as Sheriff Rutledge
Call To Danger (CBS TV film) (1973) as Emmet Jergens
Ironside (1968–1973) as Frank Clinton / D.W. Donnelly / Jack Brody
McQ (1974) as Toms
Shaft (1974) as Richard Quayle
Hit Lady (1974) as Roarke
Gangsterfilmen (1974) as Glenn Mortenson
McCloud (1975) as Johnny Monahan
Cannon (1971–1975) 1×06 Country Blues as B.J. Long, 2×09 Child Of Fear as Burdick, 4×22 Vengeance as Jonathan Quill
The Streets of San Francisco (TV series) (1975) as Inspector George Turner
Police Story (TV series) (1974–1975) as Officer Williams / Tim Keegan
Ellery Queen (TV series) (1976) as Father Terrence Devlin / Captain Thomas G. Horton
Barnaby Jones (TV series) (1973–1976) as Sheriff Mack Hollister / Mark Landy
Hawaii Five-O (TV series) (1972–1976) as Arthur Lambert / Jack Gulley
The Other Side of Midnight (1977) as Bill Fraser
The MacKenzies of Paradise Cove (TV series) (1979) as Cuda Weber
A Force of One (1979) as Dunne
Kenny Rogers as The Gambler (TV film) (1980) as Rufe Bennett
Falcon Crest (TV series) (1981)
Skyward (1980)
Quincy M.E. (TV series) (1982)
CHiPs (TV series) (1982)
Living Proof: The Hank Williams Jr. Story (1983)
The Master (TV series) (1984)
The Initiation (Film) (1984)
Knight Rider (TV series) (1985)
Into the Night (1985)
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) as Mr. Walsh
Bridge Across Time (1985)
Airwolf (TV series) (1986)
Magnum P.I. (TV series) (1986)
The Fall Guy (TV series) (1982–1986)
Simon & Simon (TV series) (1986)
Hunter’s Blood (1986)
From a Whisper to a Scream (originally titled The Offspring, 1987)
Murder She Wrote (TV series) (1985–1987)
The Hidden (1987)
Hunter’s Blood (1987)
Tapeheads (1988)
MacGyver (TV series) (1988)
I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
Eddie Presley (1992)
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (TV Series) (1995)
Beavis and Butt-Head (TV Series) (1995)
Walker Texas Ranger (1995)
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (1996)
Feast (2005) as Bartender
Vic (2006) (short film) as Vic Reeves
Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds (2008) as Bartender
Feast III: The Happy Finish (2009) as Bartender
Piranha 3DD (2012) as Mo
Tangerine (2015) as The Cherokee
Blue Jay (2016) as Waynie

Clu has a dark side, which he plays with well, in this recent video he directed & produced with his son.

The best Clu Gulager entry point for the uninitiated is Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). This highly influential cable series ran from 1989-99, the first seven seasons were on the Comedy Channel.

Best Brains, Inc (BBI) was the corporate-named ownership of MST3K, which included: show creator Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson), Trace Beaulieu (Crow / Dr. F), Kevin Murphy (Servo), Mike Nelson (first a writer, then Joel’s replacement) & Jim Mallon (producer & Gypsy) & Paul Chaplin (writer).

BBI has had a Clu for as long as anyone. Gulager appears in (seemingly) every incarnation of the original 10-season MST3K series, save for season one featuring Josh Weinstein (now J. Elvis Weinstein) as Tom Servo.

Gulager first appears with Joel & the bots in Master Ninja (Episode 322). This “movie” was actually a failed 1984 TV-series, with Lee Van Cleef in the staring role as The Master. Timothy Van Patten is incomprehensible in his dialogue, as the apprentice sidekick, and mercifully this show was canceled after 13 episodes. It was repackaged in 1985 for the home-video market as Master Ninja, and this is what Joel & the bots are riffing in this classic episode.

MST3K writer Paul Chaplin remarks in their authoritative Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, “For the whole show we referred to Clu Gulager as ‘Clu Gallagher.’ We never noticed how wrong we were until show 614…” Chaplin also adds, “I think he [Gulager] is a fine actor, and he provided one of the few bright spots in this show.”

On to MST3K: Episode 614. A note to fans, episodes are numbered by season first, then show in season next; so episode 614 is– season 6, show 14. The number of shows in a season varied– from as many as 24, to as few as 6. Season six had Mike Nelson in Joel Hodgson/Robinson’s jumpsuit, with everyone else from their “classic era” still there. San Francisco International (1970) is the made-for-TV movie they are riffing, and this one is too considered a “Mistie” classic.

Season six was the last with Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), and after that (S7) Trace Beaulieu left. Beaulieu in particular played an essential role in MST3K, as Dr. Forrester & Crow. He was always on-screen, an it’s his genius that drives the show. He foils perfectly with Kevin Murphy as Tom Servo, and works with Joel/Mike just as brilliantly. In a word: irreplaceable.

The MST3K legend is that producer, Jim Mallon (Gypsy) was the one who got greedy over money and ruined it for everybody. Today it’s Rifftraxx (Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy); Cinematic Titanic (Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl); while Joel Hodgson has revived the original MST3K concept with new characters, as season 11 was just produced and released on Netflix. The common denominator is that none of the original BBI, work with Jim Mallon anymore.

Of importance to Misties, it’s rumored that Clu Gulager appeared in Touch of Satan (1971)— which was MST3K 908. Mike Nelson puts Crow (now played by Bill Corbett) on “Clu Gulager alert,” after not seeing his name in the opening credits. Crow looks for him quickly, but can’t find him. Gulager never appears in the MST3K episode, and I refuse to watch the original. Without Mike & the bots wisecracking– it’s unwatchable.

MST3K season’s 8-10 are Sci-Fi channel-era, and not favorites for hardcore Misties. As stated already, it’s impossible to replace Trace Beaulieu. Season 7 was only 6 episodes, as BBI ran into internal conflicts, as well as the Hollywood industry machine, when they made MST3K: the Movie (1996). This movie riffed This Island Earth (1955), and was only made after an endless series of creative compromises were forced upon BBI.

Produced by Gramercy Pictures, an art-house division in action, horror and sci-fi for Universal ; MST3K: the Movie got very little distribution, and had a limited run in select theaters. During that same period, Grammercy was heavily promoting Barb Wire (1996), the Pamela Anderson siliconed jigglefest. According to Wikipedia, Barb Wire cost $9M to make, and grossed $3.8M at the box, making it a stiff [!] which quickly went to video.

MST3K: The Movie is cited to have grossed $1M, with no estimate on it’s cost to make. It surely didn’t lose money for the studio, as BBI didn’t get paid. They make this clear in their season 7 sketch of Crow’s “Earth vs. Soup”– Ep. 704: The Incredible Melting Man. The host segments in Ep. 704 acidly paints a picture of the “negotiations & creative discussions” with Hollywood sleazeballs.

In conclusion, Clu Gulager like MST3K— are talents who have faced immense challenges, and deserve a wider appreciation for their artistry. Take the time to appreciate them on their birthday, and any other day.

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Almirola Introduced as Patrick’s Replacement

This is how it ends for Danica Patrick. Her iconic first name doesn’t even get to make the headline, as the biggest superstar in sports is being pushed out by NASCAR [1].  Fans can’t wait to read about Junior’s “final ride” @ Phoenix this week, which has been a weekly ESPN piece, sanctioned (insisted upon) by NASCAR. It has generated very few (often no) comments– week after week, in celebration of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s last season. For the record, I like Dale Jr. and think he deserves a respectful send-off, but things clearly aren’t being treated equally here.

Danica Patrick is a pioneer in sports, but this goes largely unmentioned in NASCAR reporting, even as she’s being retired. This is as far as she’s allowed to go. Women drivers are now accepted in Indycar, NHRA, and other top-competitive racing series– just not in NASCAR. This had to be reinforced in every way, including her garbage team year-after-year, with no speed in her car– week-after-week. Richard Petty couldn’t do anything with that, so spare her fans the numbers & “statistical analysis,” as everyone who follows understands NASCAR is fixed anyways.

On top of that, Danica was intentionally wrecked, spun-out, and generally treated with unsportsmanlike conduct from her “peers” her entire career in NASCAR [2]. The racing standards in NASCAR can best be described as reckless & unprofessional. That’s how millions & millions of young Danica-fans feel. The fact she won even one race (2008 Indy Japan 300) in her career, is a testament to her driving skill & fierce determination, in the face of obstacles (and media scrutiny) which no other driver has ever had to endure.

Plus– the fact she’s gorgeous, so everyone has an opinion, right?  When Danica talks about having babies, that gets people excited I’ve noticed.  No one else in racing lights up social media faster than Danica. That’s why people use only her first name in reference, because everyone knows. That’s marketing gold, and NASCAR wasted it because they hate her.

Tough to get sponsorship with that kind of industry & team “support,” much less run competitively. NASCAR blew the best chance it ever had to save itself from declining ratings, by modernizing. But seeing how Danica Patrick was treated (almost killed– repeatedly) by such ignorance & hatred, makes it hard to imagine any woman wanting to follow her in her NASCAR tire tracks.

For more see: http://ricsize.com/is-danica-patrick-retiring/

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North Korea Nukes Itself

According to a RAND Corporation senior researcher, Kim Jong-un believed that nuclear weapons were his guarantee of regime survival. In 2016, Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea would “not use nuclear weapons first unless aggressive hostile forces use nuclear weapons to invade on our sovereignty”. The United Nations has since enacted five cumulative rounds of sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear program and missile tests [Wiki].

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, all of them in tunnels burrowed deep under Mount Mantap at a site known as the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility.

Satellite imagery registered an artificial 6.3-magnitude earthquake, so big that it shook houses in northeastern China, on September 3, 2017. Eight minutes later, there was a 4.1-magnitude earthquake that appeared to be a tunnel collapsing at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility.

It is now certain there is a Chernobyl-type disaster ongoing, at Kim Jong-un’s only nuclear facility. All six of North Korea’s underground nuclear tests have taken place in the same region. Apparentlytired mountain syndrome’ has caused North Korea’s only underground nuclear test site to collapse, leading to a nuclear meltdown. As many as 200 people have been said to have died already due to this catastrophe [1].

North Korea is notorious for it’s strict censorship, so on-site reporting is scant, but what’s even more remarkable is the lack of discussion in the Western press & media outlets. This is a BIG story, with political & environment repercussions globally, yet nary a word from the “free press” in over two months!

All this has surely been known in US intelligence & military circles since it happened, detected by the most-sophisticated “Five Eyes” satellite imagery, but yet kept secret from its populations in the US, UK & Australia. In the meantime, the Trump administration and the deep state have been raging their tactical differences (privately & publicly) on how to best attack North Korea. This conspiracy against the working people of the world, threatens to start a third world war. The people of the US and everywhere else have been told virtually nothing of this nuclear catastrophe in the mountains of North Korea.

This ongoing nuclear meltdown shreds every US pretext for war on North Korea. Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions have obliterated into a radioactive waste site. That is why this is being kept secret in the US media. All-the-while aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, bombers & jet fighters of every sort deploy en mass in the China Sea.

Kim Jong-un’s nuclear program has just melted itself down to its radioactive core. It poses a massive environmental threat to the entire region, and will spread radioactive dust & debris throughout the hemisphere if another test is conducted, but otherwise there is no offensive threat to the US or any other nation. And yet we are told by Trump & the rest, that North Korea is an existential threat which must be eliminated. We keep hearing this over & over, yet none of it is ever true. This pageant has a strict script, and no revisions are allowed. This is where the working masses need to intervene, with a demand of cessation of hostilities with North Korea and all other nations that haven’t attacked the US.

Kim Jong-un is the crude & stupid dictator of North Korea, who rightly fears becoming the next on a long list of dead US bogeyman, including: Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Afghanistan’s Osama bin Laden. Kim Jong-un & Syria’s Bashar al-Assad are now in the cross-hairs. The US-imperialist campaigns directed at removing both of them from power, in the US media & political circles, rage back & forth over priority of target (Russia or China) & tactics. None of this is ever discussed in depth, or with any intelligence in the mainstream media.

A pretext has been carefully scripted in Washington to justify a devastating preemptive war on North Korea. Trump’s ‘Asian tour’ will be followed by a reactionary campaign to demonize the Chinese government for being incapable of reining in the ‘rogue state’ in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un being on the verge of acquiring the capacity to launch nuclear attacks at the continental United States, was a central tenet to this pretext for aggression on North Korea. This has now fizzled in fact, with this nuclear meltdown. Any further US saber rattling & aggressive-posturing is blatant militarism– a war crime by definition. That should be noted & discussed before that fact.

The crisis of the Trump administration in it’s struggle-to-the-death with the US deep state is bringing all this to a head. The working masses must intervene in their own interests, against more wars-of-aggression from the criminal ruling elite in Washington, Wall Street & Langley, which attempts to assert itself militarily when it no longer has popular political support.

Trump’s conciliatory attitude towards Chinese President Xi Jinping, praising its sanctions on Pyongyang, can turn on a whim, as we have all seen. It is clear that Trump is being led by the nose, as his diplomatic calendar consists mostly of golf outings & other such diversions. With the current set-up & trajectory, any mood swing from the unstable commander-in-chief [!] could start a Dr. Strangelove-doomsday scenario.

The arrival of two additional aircraft carriers follows major US-South Korean naval war games, involving the USS Ronald Reagan, three nuclear submarines, Aegis destroyers and more than 40 other warships, proves who’s really pulling the strings. It’s the generals & top pentagon brass in charge of the US armed forces, with no civilian oversight. Civilians are the enemy, in this war. Yet the army is made of civilians, hence the dialectical rub.

The contradictions of American and global capitalism, is proceeding with an unprecedented degree of recklessness (known as Trumpism), which is used to deliberately inflame flash points everywhere. Donald Trump is under political & media attack night & day from deep state elements that want him deposed. He is facing mounting public hostility to his agenda of racism, austerity and war. Trump is being propelled towards launching this war as a means of diverting acute social tensions outwards against a foreign enemy.

US Congress is complicit is this, as they have surely been aware of this nuclear accident which happen two months ago, yet it just voted to impose sweeping new sanctions on North Korea, targeting any people or companies associated with the North Korean regime and cutting off all financial assistance [2].

This posture of reserving the use of the “nuclear option,” on a regime it knows has just melted its nuclear program into oblivion, is the height of political cynicism & recklessness. These facts need to be known by the people of the world as they happen, because they affect everyone. This information is being kept secret, in order to run a PR campaign for war on North Korea, a country that couldn’t possibly defend itself at this point. That’s why the US hawks want to go to war, easy prey. The problem is China, which the warheads conveniently ignore [3].

Last week CIA director Mike Pompeo said North Korea was only months away from having nuclear-strike capacity. “They are close enough now in their capabilities that from a US policy perspective we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving” that objective, he said.

Trump’s Asian tour is a propaganda campaign meant to round up support for US aggression, in spite of the facts on (and under) the ground. For those studying & comparing the centenary of the Russian Revolution, which culminated on November 7, 1917; this is your “Kornilov Affair.” This militarist conspiracy against the people of North Korea must be ruthlessly exposed, while organized resistance needs to form quickly & concretely.

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World Series, Free Agents & Padres Off-Season

No doubt that 2017 was the Dodgers’ year, the same way 2016 was the Cubs’ year. Both were the best teams in baseball, yet one team didn’t win it all. What makes the difference? In 2016 Theo Epstein & GM Jed Hoyer got the relief ace they needed in Aroldis Chapman, from the Yankees for top prospect SS Gleyber Torres. Recall, the Cubs couldn’t have beaten Cleveland in 7 games without Chapman. It was the same way for Cleveland, in obtaining lefty relief ace Andrew Miller. Both teams couldn’t have gotten as far as they did, without those bullpen stoppers.

This year when it was time to get what you REALLY needed for the post-season (7/31 deadline), the best team (Dodgers) balked at the asking price for the most valuable post-season commodity, a lefty relief ace still under arbitration control– which is really nice in February, and invaluable in October. Much of the resistance from teams-in-need was because it was Padres GM AJ Preller selling. So, why didn’t any team make him a serious offer for Brad Hand at the deadline?

Yes, there is the trend towards organizations hanging onto their prospects, but also I suspect an element of collusion (which I can’t prove), in retaliation for what AJP did in 2016. He simply got the best of too many teams & their GM’s last year, which I’ve discussed extensively here & elsewhere. But that’s still no excuse if you are serious about winning.

Instead, the team-to-beat spent about half of what they needed to get Brad Hand, in order to acquire something they didn’t need– in Hu Darvish. By late July, the Dodgers had already won their division, and had plenty of capable post-season starters. What they desperately needed was a guy who was good enough to get outs in the 7th & 8th innings in October. It’s foolish to waste money on what you don’t need, just because it’s more affordable than what you actually need. This is what Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman did & didn’t do in 2017. This was probably the best team the Dodgers will have in this competitive window, and they blew it. Games 2 & 5 of the World Series were both there for LA to win, but manager Dave Roberts couldn’t find a guy in his bullpen to get the outs he needed, because that guy wasn’t there.

American League line-ups are qualitatively tougher than the National League, so whether it was the Astros or Yankees, Dave Roberts needed another reliable bullpen option to close those World Series games out. Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman knew this in July, when he said they were looking to acquire a “wipe-out lefty reliever.” By that he meant (of course), Brad Hand. There was no one else close to his value that was available, and yet no team would make AJ Preller a substantial offer. In other words, no team was willing to pay the price to win in October. Tell me what a GM’s job is again?

The media chimed in, “Hand’s value will never be greater… if the Padres are smart they’ll sell now…” AJ Preller said, “No!” to all that nonsense (again); and now the Gnats, Yankees and Dodgers REALLY regret not acquiring Brad Hand. He could have helped all of those teams get the outs they so desperately needed (when it counted most), instead of coming up short. This is not to say the Astros didn’t have trouble getting the tough outs too, they were just a little better balanced overall. You need luck too, but really it’s money & brains that wins. Astros were a little better at that game, and that was the difference in the fall classic.

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These are the most-mentioned MLB free agents this winter, with my brief comments:

Yu Darvish: This RHP in his prime was a great #2 starter, but never quite an ace. He’s now a #3 starter on a championship team.

J.D. Martinez: The corner OF to get, as he supplies OBP & SLG. He’s likely looking for his payday (longterm 6-8 yrs), which will be too long for most.

Eric Hosmer: He’s 28 and this is his payday– represented by Scott Boras. Look for ~8 years $200M. He’s very good, but not worth that kind of investment.

Lorenzo Cain: Age-31 speedy CF, will need to move to a corner in a year or two– never a good longterm sign. It will be interesting where he lands, and for how much & long.

Wade Davis: The FA closer this winter. That’s big $$.

Mike Moustakas: 3B career: .251/.305/.425. Had one great season in 2015, when they won it, otherwise he’s overrated.

Jay Bruce: OF/DH career (mostly in a bandbox): .249/.319/.472, which means he’s now useless. Cheap bench depth only, otherwise he’s an overpay. I’m sure someone will…

Todd Frazier: 3B career: .245/.321/.459. A little better than his former teammate Jay Bruce, but not much.

Carlos Santana: 1B/DH/C career: .249/.365/.445. Good OBP, but limited SLG, as well as catching anymore. If he stays healthy, he can be an bargain somewhere, probably AL.

Jake Arrieta: This age-31 RHP has a lot of mileage on his arm. Health & medical evaluation is critical here. If Arrieta is healthy, he can be a strong #2 starter over the course of his contract, which is extremely valuable. If his arm falls off, then some team has a huge sunk cost. This will be the highest-risk FA deal this winter.

Alex Cobb: This age 30 RHP is underrated because the Rays always have pitching. In 2017: 179.1 IP, 3.66 ERA. Yankees are interested for sure, and you know what that means.

Zack Cozart: Career SS: .254/.305/.411. He’s age-32, and 2017 was a career year. The Reds have stunk for a long time, because they invested so heavily in many of the free agents on this list. All are losing players, with inflated power stats, due to extreme ballpark effect. All are average-to-poor defenders. Teams have wised-up somewhat, but I still expect Cosart to get a richer deal than his actual worth, as there still are overspenders aplenty.

CC Sabathia: This age-37 LHP still has some gas in the tank, 2017 with NYY: 148.2 IP, 3.69 ERA. His usage needs to be limited, but those are still mostly quality innings from a 3/4 AL starter.

Ichiro Suzuki: RF 2017 with Miami: .255/.318/.332, probably should retire. Career in MLB: .312/.355/.403, 3080 hits. Best defensive RF ever? Ichiro or Clemente. First-ballot HoFer.

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Padres Notes:

The top off-season trade chips for Padres GM AJ Preller are closer Brad Hand & 3B Yangervis Solarte. Hand will likely be dealt, as teams & their fans saw the value of a shut-down reliever in October. The teams that came up short especially saw this, and should be more in the mood to offer what Brad Hand is actually worth this time around. His value is similar to what closer Craig Kimbrel was worth when he was dealt to the Red Sox in the winter of 2015. Wade Davis is the only free-agent closer available this winter, so options are limited in this premium market.

Yangervis Solarte has a lot of value. He’s an everyday 3B, with legitimate utility value, and a switch-hitter. That wins games when used properly, as Padres manager Andy Green has. From a business standpoint in terms of prospects, AJ Preller won’t get the value he’s seeking, as Solarte is generally underrated which cuts his market value. His contract is team favorable, and that leads to the reasons Solarte signed it. His wife had just passed away from cancer, and he appreciated the organizational & fan support. He stated he wanted to finish his career with the Padres. That’s a loyal soldier (but only in SD), and a valuable asset. I don’t think Padres GM AJ Preller trades that away, because most of Solarte’s value is in San Diego, which means you can’t get a fair return. You know what I mean?

AJ Preller has a logjam of young infield talent, but not a MLB SS. Whatever AJP deals, he’ll look to add depth (top prospect or MLB ready) to that position & corner OF. The Padres desperately need a mashing LF. And pitching. Most Padres fans are optimistic about Carlos Asuaje at 2B, but nothing is certain. Luis Urias is a hit-first 2B prospect, with little power. You need to see Manny Margot-type improvement from Urias, before getting too excited there. 2B/3B Cory Spangenberg, CF Travis Jankowski, and even some other relievers (if there’s interest) are the guys AJ Preller will try to deal this winter.

Preller is now running into roster crunch issues, which will only become more acute for the Padres. That alone is a sign of organizational improvement, as their fans have never seen this! AJP will now have to lean more towards protecting his prospects from the Rule 5 draft, instead of making 3 or 4 picks. Since he’s proven he can evaluate the best Rule 5 talent (5 out of 7 selections have stuck), he’ll likely be the best GM at protecting his elite young talent from hungry predators.

This organization has improved, and the bar has been raised, so these are the roster moves the Padres have been making for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft & beyond. This is how the Astros built what just came to fruition. AJP actually has the Padres on a faster curve. Note, not even one 100-loss season at the depths of their rebuilding, which was 2016-17. Padres fans thank Andy Green & Brad Hand for that. Now it’s player development and managing the 40-man roster, with the goal of building a championship team. In the meantime, more low-level FA pitchers & positional fill-ins this winter, with the possibility of a blockbuster deal or two– as it’s AJ Preller. That’s a management plan a fan can see, and go with. It’s what I expect AJP will do.

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Netflix’s “House of Cards” to be Killed

In an interview with Buzzfeed News published on Sunday night (10/29), gay actor Anthony Rapp claimed that he and Kevin Spacey were both working on Broadway in 1986, when Spacey invited him to his apartment one night for a party. Rapp alleges that Spacey, “Picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.” Rapp was age 14, and Spacey age 26 at the time [1].

Yahoo: Russian trolls watched ‘House of Cards’ to learn about US politics

By Daniella Diaz, CNN Mon October 16, 2017

Washington (CNN)Yahoo correspondent Michael Isikoff [below] said on CNN’s “New Day” Monday that Russians who worked for a St. Petersburg “troll factory” were required to watch Netflix’s “House of Cards” to help them write messages that would influence Americans against their own government [2].

Between this alleged sexual encounter and today, Rapp spoke about what he claimed Spacey did to him in a Q&A with the Advocate in 2001 — “I was bored, so I was in his bedroom watching TV and didn’t know everybody had left, and he came to the bedroom and he picked me up and lay down on top of me.”  Kevin Spacey’s name was redacted from the story. Bruce Steele, then the executive editor of the Advocate, now confirms to BuzzFeed News that Rapp was talking about Spacey [3].

The noose around Kevin Spacey tightened yesterday (10/30), after his above statement on Twitter, claiming he doesn’t recall the incident in question; but said if he did so, it was “inappropriate drunken behavior.”  Spacey then declared that he is gay and is coming out of the closet.

LGBT activist groups have condemned Spacey, who has long-been-assumed to be gay, remarking, “Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault.”  It never occurs to these moralists that past transgressions such as these shouldn’t be withheld & buried, then conveniently used later to blackmail & destroy others for political purposes, but that’s beside the point. These practitioners of identity politics don’t want Kevin Spacey perpetuating a stereotype that associates gay men with pedophiles, so the latest icon-turned-pariah in our collective newsfeed gets kicked to the curb.

In a sane society this would be between Anthony Rapp & Kevin Spacey, since they are both adults, and both know the entertainment industry well enough by now. Unless Rapp is pressing criminal charges against Spacey (which is his right), then whatever happened between them should be settled by them, face-to-face– instead of through a media teardown campaign. As much courage as it takes a victim to admit something like that happened, it’s just as cowardly to not honestly face the accused. I have a hard time giving out merit points here, because I see only selfish interest on all sides.

This can be seen as a broader campaign against artistic freedom, and an attempt by the establishment to denigrate & cancel an embarrassing political television series. “House of Cards” is still the most popular television show as voted upon by viewers at Rotten Tomatoes. The only reason to kill it, is because it’s sending the wrong message to viewers.  In it’s five seasons, “House of Cards” has dramatized and graphically revealed the ruthless & amoral methods used by the US ruling-class to gain influence & power. In a word, it has gone too far in the eyes of the establishment censors.

So why is a minor sexual assault scandal, which was first reported in the media 16 years ago (and kept hush-hush), now being dredged-up? It is to take down an artist in his prime, along with an iconic television series. These allegations from Rapp certainly sound genuine, but why wait until now, to publicly out Kevin Spacey?

This witch-hunt is most likely a deep-state dirty-tricks campaign, with full media cooperation. McCarthyism works by taking out left-wing opposition, one at a time– until there’s no opposition left, and everyone else gets in line. It’s up to youth & thinking adults to recognize & discredit these fascist intimidation tactics, whether they come from the deep state, or Donald Trump & Stephen Bannon.

All this is going on as testimony by lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google begins before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, and the House and Senate intelligence committees tomorrow, on their plans to counter “extremist content and Russian disinformation online.”

“House of Cards” is now in new terrain politically, as liberal feminism, gay rights activists, and the rest of the media establishment will be screaming at Netflix to cancel this series immediately. Currently “House of Cards” is two weeks into its shooting for Season 6, which was to be it’s finale, and reportedly Kevin Spacey is not on the set. It now appears likely the show will be dropped, and the origin of this political attack must be noted by all those who care about art & free expression.

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JFK Assassination-File Release Withheld by CIA

Donald J. Trump:  Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.
5:35 AM – 21 Oct 2017  — via Twitter

This initially appeared to be an attempt by Donald Trump to embarrass & (possibly) blackmail Mexican bourgeoisie, as many of the to-be-released JFK files pertained to Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City in the weeks before the assassination. This fits in more broadly with Trump’s nationalist & racist agenda, but it also cut across too many powerful deep state interests; therefore Trump had to reverse himself (again)– and the JFK files will remain hidden from the public, 54 years after the event. Trump is at war with the intelligence deep state, and this was a maverick attempt to discredit them, while appealing to the public. More than anything, this shows the current relationship of power in Washington.

The Warren Commission (as most Americans believe) was a complete whitewash, as they refused to analyze the trajectory of the bullet that killed Kennedy. The official cause of JFK’s death was a magic bullet. Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter served as assistant counsel for the Warren Commission, and helped devise the “single-bullet” theory. Marxists are materialists who reason dialectally, and therefore give no credence to anything in the Warren Report, or coming from the mass media during the ensuing cover-up, which goes on up to the present.

The amateur film of the Kennedy assassination shows Kennedy’s body being thrown backwards at the moment of the shot. The book depository, from where Lee Harvey Oswald was supposedly firing, was behind the motorcade. A bullet fired from there would push Kennedy’s body forward, not backwards.

Note that this same physics applies to 9/11, as both twin towers collapsed a free-fall speed (taking ~10 seconds), indicating a controlled demolition, instead of the official US government version.

The bullet that went into JFK’s head, is missing in the materials of the case, as is his brain which had been taken for examination. More than 50 people, who eye-witnessed the mysterious assassination, died mysteriously afterwards. The surgeon, who performed the autopsy of Kennedy’s body, was found dead in his apartment.

The taxi driver, who gave Oswald a lift, died in a car accident. One of the eyewitnesses of the assassination who testified about two men shooting from behind the fence lost his life as well [1].

And then there is Jack Ruby. Why did the police let Jack Ruby shoot & kill Oswald at point-blank range, as he was being transported from a police department to a Dallas prison, only two days after JFK’s death?  Answer: Oswald could disclose the names of his handlers from the CIA and the FBI, so special services set-up a mob-type hit on him. A little more than three years after Oswald’s death, Jack Ruby died in prison, under mysterious circumstances [2].

All amateur photos and video materials depicting the moment of Kennedy’s assassination had been confiscated and immediately classified. The main amateur video, which was made as the motorcade was traveling on the street, was edited in a way to exclude footage showing the existence of another shooter, who was taking aim at the president from behind the fence.

The JFK assassination & it’s cover-up, strikingly resembles 9/11 & it’s aftermath. Both were deep-state controlled, false-flag operations, with complete media compliance, which shifted US politics to the right. To figure them out, one only has to start by asking, “Who benefits?”

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Breaking the NFL Blacklist

Donald Trump is the only person who couldn’t be satisfied with destroying just one football league. Every time he tries to use an issue to ignite his fascist base, he pours gasoline on a bigger fire of working class resentment towards inequality. This is the REAL problem the ruling class has with Trump. These are the NFL players who didn’t stand for the National Anthem last Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers now need a starting QB after HoF-er Aaron Rogers went down with a broken collar-bone last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Packers fans are like most of the rest, willfully accepting (and thus supporting) their GM & ownership, in showing no interest in signing blacklisted-QB Colin Kaepernick. Not even a try-out [!]. Why so many fans support billionaires & cheats is revealed by the fact that most of this is NOT about football. It’s about politics, and class interest directs every loyalty.

GM Ted Thompson & the consortium running the Green Bay Packers, are publicly stating their QB situation is stable, and they like what they have going forwards… In Green Bay it’s two unproven rookies for QB. The 4-2 Packers are going with rookie-QB Brett Hundley this Sunday at Lambeau Field against the 3-2 Saints. This is more-or-less what 20+ other teams (that would also improve themselves by signing QB Colin Kaepernick) are doing.

Here’s some necessary background on how Colin Kaepernick became a free agent, and thus blacklisted. The San Francisco 49ers tried to cut him, before his 2016 salary became guaranteed in March of that year, because he hadn’t fully recovered from sustained injuries. Fortunately for Kaepernick, an NFL player with a guaranteed contract (like CK had), can’t be cut if he’s on the injured list.

Kaepernick was always considered the 49ers starting QB in 2016 from the beginning, he was simply unavailable for the first 6 games– due to injury rehabilitation. He finished the season productive & healthy on a bad team, and opted-out of his contract because the 49ers were going to cut him anyways–  over the Anthem protest controversy he had started. Opting-out was his attempt to get himself into the free agent market early, so he would have as many potential suitors as possible. No one ever called. As we can see, there are OSHA, worker compensation & other rights’ issues here. That’s why this topic is so explosive.

In an ESPN article published yesterday, SF 49ers owner Jed York said, “[I]t’s not about collective bargaining issues, it’s not about workplace environment…,”  when those are precisely the issues. Sports fans need to stop believing lying billionaire team-owners, as this sports-addiction has become too costly for all of us. Too much of it funnels into unhealthy & reactionary tendencies. That is at the heart of this conflict for many, many football fans.

Every time Trump tweets on the NFL, everyone in the league office has their blood-pressure go up 100+ points. When the dust settles, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to sit down with Trump privately, so they can appear to be in unison again– and so it goes on.  Donald Trump simply manipulates anyone (or anything) he wants, to meet whatever reactionary agenda is on his docket. Many powerful people, in even-higher places, are getting tired of his act.

This is clearly a blacklist, and it is why Colin Kaepernick is now suing the NFL and its owners for collusion. If there is justice, Kaepernick will win– or better, he will soon be offered a NFL contract. I expect neither from the owners, nor the bourgeois ‘halls of justice.’

One can take either 1) owner’s & management’s words to heart–like a naive fool; or 2) see through the lies of the NFL, which is blacklisting a quality QB for his political dissent, while threatening to do the same to other players– see Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones [1].

On the flag and respect for military veterans. It isn’t a soldiers’ choice in war, he is sent & obeys because it’s his duty– like all the rest. Meanwhile others such as myself get to go to college… That’s a great divider, in class, and feelings towards war.  My friends & classmates from high school (and ALL others) didn’t serve as soldiers to be used as pawns by politicians of ANY stripe. They served so “We the (Working) People” have the right to call these politicians out as liars & criminals– because they are.

This paranoid reaction of censorship & blacklisting must be met with determined & fierce resistance. Those who served in the military must be allowed to speak for themselves, because those are the rights they fought for– (or were told that’s what they fought for). It turns out that many veteran feel lied-to by Uncle Sam, yet you rarely (if ever) hear that sentiment expressed in the media. Only on the fringes, yet in reality it’s a widespread understanding among veterans that the US government is corrupt to the core.

That’s why most veterans still have guns, and exercise them regularly. They fought for that right too, and are serious about that one in particular. Veterans need to realize that EVERY right for EVERY person needs to be defended with that same vigilance, otherwise ALL rights disappear. In other words, it’s time for them to join the socialist revolution, through the World Socialist Web Site at wsws.org.

Back to sports, which is a business. It hurts as a fan when you grow up and realize the truth. Upon reading the ESPN write-ups of the players-and-owners meeting on Tuesday, I knew the players were lost. They spoke to the press afterwards in terms of, “… getting their message through… constructive conversation…, etc…” Remarkably, no mention of the National Anthem. It was expressly stated by both the owners & players that the issue didn’t come up [!].

The players need to smell the rat here, and it’s the union bureaucracy & their lawyers. The players didn’t even bring up the fundamental issue (which everyone has been talking about for weeks now) to the owners, according to every player account of the Tuesday meeting. If that’s what happened (and it appears it is), then this meeting was clearly a waste of time for everybody, as nothing of substance was discussed.

On hand at the October 17th meeting were NFL Commish Roger Goodell and the league’s football operations chief, former player Troy Vincent.

Owners: Michael Bidwill (Arizona), Arthur Blank (Atlanta), Terry Pegula (Buffalo), Robert McNair (Houston), Shad Khan (Jacksonville), Ross, Robert Kraft (New England), John Mara (New York Giants), Art Rooney (Pittsburgh), Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia) and Jed York (San Francisco).

Former player Anquan Boldin, and current players Darius Butler (Colts); Eric Reid (49ers); Russell Okung (Los Angeles Chargers); Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas and Michael Thomas (Miami); Mark Herzlich (New York Giants); Kelvin Beachum and Demario Davis (New York Jets); Malcolm Jenkins [above] and Chris Long (Philadelphia); and Josh Norman (Washington) [1].

Representing the players were NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and president Eric Winston.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn’t even at this Tuesday meeting, basically blowing the players off. The players didn’t even recognize (much less acknowledge) this, in their press comments. Since Jerry Jones is the owner who is driving this issue for all the rest (& NFL commissioner Roger Goodell), the double-cross will come when the players are looking the other way, with assistance from the union. If the chief conspirator can avoid looking his victims in the eye beforehand, so much the better for him and their cause. Who will warn the players by telling them the truth?

The brains of the corruption-ridden NFLPA is black racialist attorney DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA)– elected on March 15, 2009. Prior, DeMaurice Smith was a trial lawyer and litigation partner in a white-collar Washington, D.C. firm. NFL players mostly come from ghettos & poor rural areas, so the hypocrisy in class interests for the rank-and-file in legal representation of the NFL players is clear to Marxists.

The NFL players have basically lost every labor stand-off they’ve ever had with their owners. The NFLPA (union bureaucracy) is staffed with too many ex-players suffering too much CTE brain damage– making these public figures easy prey for ownership manipulation in negotiations. It’s no secret if you actually look at it closely, but not any dummy can figure it out.

The NFL players have no leadership. Note that QB Colin Kaepernick wasn’t invited to this meeting, by any NFL official or authorized union representative of the NFLPA. That explains the rapid movement to the right on this fundamental workers’ rights issue, which every sports fans has a strong opinion on. Many players stated they wanted Kaepernick there, and didn’t know why he wasn’t invited? The NFL players need to elect new leaders for themselves, the same way labor workers need to, on any other job site.

This is fundamentally a labor rights issue. The question becomes: will the NFL players (and eventually the rest of us), be compelled to express political & religious obedience on command? If you don’t have the right to oppose tyranny & lies, then it’s dictatorship with a military-intelligence-police-state apparatus controlling everything, through Wall Street & the banks. This must be opposed with true democracy, which can only be achieved through a socialist revolution in permanence.

 

      1. Working Class

 

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Top-10: Minnesota Vikings Terrible

This list was surprisingly easy to compile, ~ 30 minutes off the top of my head. This organization is a model of dysfunction, remarkable in its inefficiency, even by capitalist standards.

10) PK Rick Danmeier, the last of the toe-punch kickers in the NFL. His XPM % would be <50% with today’s rules. Vikings head coach Bud ‘Stoneface’ Grant stuck with Danmeier’s awfulness season-after-season, saying he didn’t see the need to replace him. Maximum FG range– 43 yards or so, depending on the conditions…

Vikings hypothetical scenario in 1983:  4th & 9 on the opposing 28 yard-line, with the wind slightly gusting…. Bud Grant has a decision to make?  The field-goal attempt is spotted 7 yards back in that day, making it highly questionable…. Punter Greg Coleman (brother of Vince with the MLB St. Louis Cardinals), is an option here…

Frequent Result: “Vikings called for delay of game penalty– five yards… That definitely takes them out of Danmeier’s range… Coleman boots it high & deep…. and it’s a touch-back. Opposition’s ball on their 20-yard line– 1st & 10.”

9) 1998, when they were by far the best team in the NFL, and still lost in the NFC championship game– to a mediocre Atlanta Falcons team, that lost to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. That team is the NFC version of the 18-1 NE Patriots, that lost the Super Bowl to the NY Giants.  Roughly equivalent to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors 73-win season, where they lost the finals the Cleveland Cavilers.

8) Losing 4 Super Bowls— all in the 1970’s. Truth is: Tom Landry & Don Shula were more innovative, with roughly the same level of talent.

7) Never making it to another Super Bowl, since loss #4. With all of Bud Grant’s limitations, he’s still the best head coach in their history. I don’t know how you can be proud of that, but many faithful still are. It’s Brad Childress & Dennis Green competing for next-best Vikings head coach by result.

6) Trading HoF WR Randy Moss to the Raiders, for a 1st-round pick, which was yet another draft bust. Hall-of-Fame playmakers don’t grow on trees. Smart teams hold onto them. The only lasting playmakers the Vikings ever drafted (since 1960) are QB Fran Tarkenton, WR Anthony Carter, WR Randy Moss, and RB Adrian Paterson; with too many busts in between.

5) Scat-back Darren Nelson, instead of RB Marcus Allen;  In 1983, QB Dan Marino was available, but the Vikes took FS Joey Browner, etc… They’ve never replaced QB Fran Tarkenton, hence their SB-appearance drought. The Bills are are 0-4 in their Super Bowl appearances, but at least they got the QB they needed to get there (Jim Kelley) in this once-in-a-lifetime 1983 draft class. The Bills had to wait for Kelley, who signed with the USFL and played there for three seasons before it folded. That was the inaugural USFL draft, and the top player selected in it was Dan Marino. Their original ownership had more brains & innovation than the NFL, but then Donald Trump (& the rest of corporate America) came along [1].

4) Mike Lynn’s Herschel Walker trade, probably the worst trade in sports history. No deal represents such astounding ownership mis-management & short-sightedness more clearly, with a complete inability to identify talent or essential needs correctly.

3) Losing the 2009 conference championship game to the Saints, when they had the better team with QB Brett Favre in his last great season. They probably would have beaten the Colts in the SB, but were robbed by incompetent & inexplicably bad officiating. The NFL even changed its overtime rules because of how the game ended. It’s characteristic for the Vikings to lose in this fashion, it just is.

2) Les Steckel in 1984.  Steckel, a coach with a military background emphasizing discipline, became the 3rd head coach in franchise history, replacing Stoneface. Steckel ran a marine-style training (boot) camp, where his players didn’t learn to play football together, but instead competed for individual endurance & fitness prizes. For the record: All-Pro TE Steve Jordan won the overall team fitness award; and (50-year old) K Jan Stenerud won among the kickers, punters & QB’s [!]. I think they each won a VCR. The Vikes went 3-13 and were the joke of the league that season. Bud Grant briefly came out of retirement to replace Steckel in 1985. For true die-hards, this season hurt like no other in franchise history.

1) The Metrodome & now U.S. Bank Stadium with its a fixed-roof stadium. Metropolitan Stadium was better for the Vikings than either of these boondoggles, but then money rules. Artificial turf is an affront to athletes, as their health and well-being is being disregarded, for the preferences of the bourgeoisie.  The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome extended a trend of artificial turf playing surfaces in the 1980’s, precisely when it should have gone away…

… onward to the present:

One of the NFL teams that should sign QB Colin Kaepernick is the Minnesota Vikings. They won’t because they are too stupid to ever win a Super Bowl. One note on blacklists, they’re “unofficial” by nature– therefore impossible to “prove,” unless you use your head and follow the money. Identifying blacklists is very much like dealing with dog shit. If it looks & smells like dog shit– it probably is.

The converse to that is this dirty parable: Two guys are walking along a road and come upon what appears to be a pile of dog shit.
The head guy say to the other, “Looks like dog shit. Take a closer look…”
So the other guy gets down on his knees and looks closely, then responding, “Looks like dog shit.”
Then the head guy says, “Smell it.”  So the other takes a whiff and replies, “Smells like dog shit.”
Then the head guy says, “Taste it.” So the other guy sticks his tongue on it and winces, “Tastes like dog shit!”

Then head honcho then grins & nods while summarizing, “Good thing we didn’t step in it.”

Colin Kaepernick would be an immediate upgrade for ~20 NFL teams, yet he can’t find a job. No question he’s blacklisted, that’s what his lawsuit against the NFL for collusion is about [2].

It’s a real problem in America when a top-level QB is blackballed for expressing a political opinion, for which he has every right to express; while (for instance) a serial rapist is still the starting QB in Pittsburgh.

This defines the “character” of the NFL and many of it’s fans. It’s getting to be too much nonsense, with these apologists in favor of blacklisting political dissent. If you feel the same, then speak up and act while you still have the right. It’s those who agree, but remain silent, who are the most complicit. Such behavior parallels Germany in the 1930’s…

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Talladega Racin’ & Mass Insanity

I’m listening on MRN online, so I know I’m getting the best coverage.  This one’s gonna hurt, I just know.  Here’s some of what I’m hearing, with me in […]

Grand Marshall: Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey (above)
“Lady & gentlemen… start your engines.”   [Shit]

Dave Moody (above): “…and when necessary,  4 and 5-wide coming out of turn 2 [!] …..” [Critique: I like Dave Moody who calls turns 1 & 2 for most NASCAR Cup events– he knows & loves racing, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind– mostly. He gets a lot of airtime, and he deserves it, as he has lots of fans. He’s a big dude, so he fits right in there…]

Mike Bagley (below): “…drafting three-and-four-wide on the backstretch, if you bail out of the draft– you go to the back..”  [Critique: Mike Bagley calls turns 3 & 4, and is more cerebral (which I like), but still gets worked up as things begin to heat up– which I also like. Moody & Bagley work well together, and they are one of the best parts of the NASCAR race day experience]

The MRN pit reporters do a nice job explaining the essentials: 46 laps max on fuel, tire strategy isn’t in play at Talladega– with 6 sets on the ground, and one on the car to start. Everyone finishes with plenty of tires. [It’s finishing with plenty of car that’s tricky]. Avoiding a speeding penalty on pit road, is stressed; [but that really doesn’t matter either, as Dale, Jr gets his 8th pit-road speeding infraction of the season on lap 52, yet he still finishes 7th, and was in contention for the win at the end, simply because he was one of the few cars still on the track].

Every guys’ MRN-favorite is Kim Coon (below) in the pits, garage & care center– and also monitoring social media, which is very important to NASCAR & its fans. You can understand why?

Talladega is 188 laps, distancing 500 miles. The first two stages end at lap 55, and lap 110. Each lap is 2.66 miles, the longest anywhere. Talladega is notoriously the fastest and most-dangerous racetrack in the world.

Jamie McMurray, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Mark Thompson are involved in an early wreck. McMurray has major damage, as it seems you can’t cut across a faster car coming off turn-4 into pit road, especially at Talladega. [Who knew?]  That ends #1 McMurray’s play-off hopes, unless he wins at Kansas next week, which he won’t.

(Above) in the broadcast booth, Joe Moore stresses this is another of the big challenges at Talladega… [By this he means: any idiot can cause a major wreck at anytime, anywhere, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. That’s Talladega…]

Following online means checking the NASCAR update feed. Here it is [edited for clarity & correction] for Talladega on October 15, 2017:

Lap 29: After the McMurray wreck, and pit-road-closed penalties were issued to 6 drivers: 24, 88, 23, 27, 42, 95.

Lap 30: Drivers who didn’t pit during caution now on pit road: 20, 78, 19, 11, 18, 48, 6, 32, 5, 13.

Lap 38: Top-six cars are single file: 22, 2, 14, 21, 41, 19. Three-wide racing behind them.

Lap 51: Caution is out! Paul Menard #27 gets into the wall in Turn 3. Thinks he cut a left-front tire.

Lap 52: No takers as far as the leaders are concerned on pit road. Others pit: 18, 88, 42, 20, 34, 19, 78 among them.

Lap 52: Penalty for @DaleJr. Too fast on pit road. He’ll start from tail end of the longest line for restart. [8th time this season, most in NASCAR]

Lap 78: Matt Dibenedetto #32 now has a 21-second lead over second-place driver Stenhouse.  [This isn’t supposed to be happening. NASCAR will do something to ‘correct’ this]

Lap 81: Caution is out for debris. Denny Hamlin loose wheel onto pit road, [saved his race…. was running 31st– Suh-prize!]

Lap 81: Caution came out as @dennyhamlin pits for loose wheel. He beats the lead to the pit out line. Stays on lead lap

Lap 156: @keselowski is the only driver to come down pit road under caution. Attempting to fix radio issues. [He took the extra time to do it, and he ended up winning Talladega– racing is a team sport. Being in back helped #2 avoid the wrecks up front. Hard to believe that could be race strategy, but there you are.]

Lap 171: New leader! @Daniel_SuarezG takes the lead from @joeylogano.

Lap 171: Red flag is out. Cars involved in the Big One: 17, 78, 41, 18, 38, 95, 34, 20, 10, 3, 4, 75, 32, 95, 48… Officially, 16 cars involved in the multi-car wreck at @TalladegaSuperS. [SHIT– my driver wrecked again. I hate NASCAR]

Lap 177: Caution is out! Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brendan Gaughan involved.

Lap 179: Lineup for the restart with just 8 laps to go: 19, 24, 88, 42, 2, 11, 31, 5, 13, 42, 83, 27, 38, 37.

Lap 182: Caution is out! @chaseelliott tags @Daniel_SuarezG and they wreck.

Lap 182: Red flag is out at @TalladegaSuperS once again. Cars involved: 19, 24, 42, 37.

Lap 183: Still under a red flag. Leaderboard: 2, 31, 88, 11, 13, 5, 43, 6, 83, 38. [Everyone else is wrecked]

There is no way NASCAR can race 40 of today’s cars at Talladega, and not end up with a wreck-fest. Twenty is probably too many. NASCAR needs to get this track under control, for the safety of it’s drivers. To say this race is a joke, only minimizes how dangerous Talladega is. Luck is primary in avoiding the two or three BIG ONES at Talladega.

Martin Truex, Jr #78 needs to know you can’t bump another car in the draft going into the corner at Talladega. That frequently causes a BIG ONE.  Chase Elliott #24 needs to know that you must stay behind the lane leader (#19– Daniel Suarez) and stay in the draft, instead of trying for 3-wide in the corner at Talladega– as that will cause a BIG ONE. Fans know this. Why don’t these “professionals” understand this?

These are supposedly the top drivers. F1 and Indycar must look at NASCAR as a joke, which it is. That spectacle on Sunday was possibly the worst race ever held at a major venue– a complete disgrace to sports. The Talladega infield faithful  & the rest who cheered at every crash are reactionary idiots. Why do NASCAR and its sponsors continue to cater to them? Answer: To dumb fans down to their level.

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