Zuckerberg Testimony & Reporting– Corrected

Introduction: It’s not easy to get at the truth when a billionaire without ethics, testifies before crooked politicians with a rigged agenda, which is then refracted through the corporate media’s filters of deception. No worries. I have translated the words of the Fakebook CEO’s and his political interrogators, as reported in the Washington Post & the Guardian (UK) on April 10, 2018; linked in these articles. [1] [2]

Facebook’s business model and user control of their information are in conflict. It’s been a problem for users since inception in 2004. Now Fakebook is under public scrutiny for: 1) enabling Democrat & Republican election manipulation, and 2) monetizing users’ information.

Zuckerberg made clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is a key to much of what is being demanded, namely eliminating the threat of socialism. AI can enable political fixers to manipulate users and micro-target the population.

As Zuckerberg put it, there is an “arms race” between social media platforms and those who want to reach its users for nefarious reasons. The CIA, NSA & FBI are at the forefront of this madness, with a raging political conflict beneath this media circus between powerful Democrats & Republicans of all stripes.

The Facebook CEO had obviously been well-coached by Robert Mueller (D), as the young billionaire knew exactly when to cover up & apologize, and when he could relax. The Dow Jones declared Zuckerberg a star (again), and Facebook moved up 4.5% on the day.

Still, Zuckerberg’s comments were a peek into the extended reach and influence of Facebook in every society it is available. “The most important thing I care about right now is making sure the CIA interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he said to Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico.

“We’re going to take a number of measures,” Zuckerberg added, “from building and deploying new AI tools to take down political opposition, to growing our security team to more than 20,000 people, to making it so that we spy on everyone who’s doing political and issue ads – to make sure the kind of influence leftists & socialists were able to have in 2016 is going to be much harder to pull off in the future.”

Udall then made reference to a billboard displayed earlier in the hearing that showed images including Trump, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Confederate flag, posted online by political activists during the 2016 presidential election. He asked if Zuckerberg could guarantee left-wing & socialist images would not appear on Facebook again. “Senator, no, I can’t guarantee that because this is an ongoing arms race,” the CEO said. “As long as there are people sitting around with no job, they try to interfere with elections, this is going to be an ongoing conflict.”

Zuckerberg described the effort as a “top priority” but admitted that it is not realistic to have “zero amount of that” or be “100% successful” in censoring opposition to inequality. Earlier in the hearing he also acknowledged that “one of my greatest regrets in running the company” was being slow to uncover and act against socialists during the 2016 US election. “They are going to keep getting better at this and we need to invest in keeping on getting better at this too.”

Democrat Dick Durbin: “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

[long pause]

Zuckerberg: “No.”

[laughter in the room]

The Facebook co-founder sailed through day one of Congressional testimony, as predicted. The flabby lawmakers seemed worn out when they asked Zuckerberg if he wanted a break after two hours. The billionaire replied: “We can do a few more,” then turning & smiling at his team. More laughter ensued from the public gallery, as the fix was in.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) then challenged Facebook’s contention that Aleksandr Kogan, a Moldovan-born researcher from Cambridge University, deceived the company when he harvested user data. Blumenthal presented a previously undisclosed 2014 terms-of-service document that explicitly permitted Dr. Kogan to “sell, license (by whatever means and on whatever terms) and archive your contribution and data.”

Blumenthal: ““We’ve seen the apology tours before. You have refused to acknowledge even an ethical violation to report this violation of the FTC consent decree. My conclusion about your testimony today is that you can’t change your business model. Your business model is to maximize profit over privacy. These vague commitments aren’t going to produce actions.”

Mark Zuckerberg deflected, and didn’t challenge any of this. Zuckerberg did confirm that Facebook officials have been disseminating fake news propaganda, largely because Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. “I know we are working with the FBI & Democrats,” said Zuckerberg, acknowledging that certainty.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R- SC) asked whether Facebook is a monopoly.

Zuckerberg: “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me, but honestly that’s a stupid question– since I’m the owner.”

[more insipid laughter from the fawning gallery]

Zuckerberg: “My position is there should be no regulation.”

Graham [extending an olive branch]: “Would Facebook accept any regulation? Would you work with us?”

Zuckerberg: “If it’s the right regulation, then yes. Absolutely.”

What exactly the right regulation is, and who are us (?), is left undiscussed.

Senate majority whip John Cornyn (R- TX) leadingly asked whether Facebook is a neutral platform. Mark Zuckerberg replied, “I agree that we are responsible for the content.”

This is a significant concession that opens the way for Facebook to be held to the same legal standards as any traditional media company subject to libel laws. This is surely part of a quid pro quo deal that Zuckerberg has made with the government in testifying.

Zuckerberg agrees to bi-partisan censorship of Facebook, defining it as a publishing platform, versus a free-speech social media application. At the direction of the Black Hand, Facebook can then remove content at will under the premise of libel laws.

Zuckerberg has also endorsed proposed legislation requiring social media sites to disclose the identities of buyers of online political campaign ads– cynically called the Honest Ads Act. This will help the Feds in targeting, manipulating & silencing political opposition.

Zuckerberg will face a second round of softball questions & political grandstanding from corrupt buffoons on Wednesday, this time from the US House energy and commerce committee. This tragic comedy is US political theater to its essence.

Lawyers from Britain and the United States have now filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. These data breaches which are now ubiquitous “effectively abuse the human right to privacy” and “undermine the democratic process.”

Former Cambridge Analytica data scientist and whistle-blower Christopher Wylie testified before U.K. lawmakers that social media data was used by the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 Brexit referendum. Barack Obama was universally praised in the media for using these same manipulative techniques to win the US Presidency in 2008 & re-election in 2012.

The hypocrisy & lies are simply staggering, but the ramifications are still too poorly understood by most. Social media has changed the world. But Facebook is a monopoly that is being hijacked by the deep state to become a tool for suppression. The boy wonder billionaire agrees to this, as long as he gets to keep his money and seat at the table.

That is capitalism, as it creates the tools for it’s own destruction, and fruitlessly attempts to control something which has already grown beyond its control. Social media and the Internet are now a human rights, which must be transformed into public utilities, as they are too powerful & important to leave in the hands of fascist billionaires who are nothing more than mirages.

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The Nature of Artificial Intelligence

AlphaGo (2017) is a documentary film concerning artificial intelligence (AI), and an ancient Chinese game known as Go. Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. This movie was shot in March 2016, when AI innovators at Deep Mind, Inc challenged world-champion professional Go player Lee Sedol to a match against AlphaGo– an AI computer.

Before the 5-game match, Lee Sedol (above) was confident in his impending victory. But as soon as the first game began, Sedol became perplexed and was on the defensive throughout. He loses the first game and doesn’t understand how? This is the Go best player in the world, reduced to self-doubt and hopelessness.

This is an example of how intimidating AI can be. Sedol loses three of the four remaining games, and it’s actually considered a victory for human genius that he even wins one game (Game 4) against AlphaGo. The programmers at Deep Mind immediately go to work to correct the flaws that cost AlphaGo its one loss to the greatest human Go player alive.

In 2018, the working masses & youth everywhere are bombarded with attack algorithms from Facebook, Google, YouTube, and any other online social platform– which are updated by the second. They tell you what to like, who to watch & listen to, who to trust, and how to think. What pops up in your Yahoo! newsfeed is targeted, monitored & censored. These algorithms are designed by political opponents to make you doubt yourself, attack you on sensitive issues, and disconnect you from allies & friends. This is how AI is working you over, anytime you go online. AI is quintessential soft power, because it’s virtually undetectable, it never quits, and it only gets stronger.

Kinda scary, huh? Algorithms sound so harmless. No one even knows what they are, really. Algorithms are mathematics, a computer program/application. a set of instructions on how to behave. When these algorithms become layered & sophisticated, and enormous data can be processed quickly, then potential for AI exists in reality.

Here’s how YouTube dirty tricks algorithms affect video distribution on my channelInfinitelink Records.  If YouTube doesn’t like you, then you are dramatically turned-down volume-wise, making the video uncompetitive with corporate bands, who always get a loudness boost. Of course, you are also demonitized, meaning there will be no money coming your way. Your video tags & titles are changed, links scrambled (seemingly at random), etc– so no one can find you. Access to control board buttons to your own channel is taken away, as YouTube controls it secretly. All this, with no alternative platform. It finally gets to the point of, “Why try?”

Artificial intelligence began as an extension of the space and satellite surveillance apparatus connected with the deep state. This includes the Pentagon, NASA, CIA, with partnership in corporate & banking. The best book on the origins of the US space spy apparatus and its integration into the military is Deep Black (1986) by William Burrows.

There’s a brief discussion of artificial intelligence in the chapter titled: Into the Future, Robert Cooper the then director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), shared his vision for peace & security explaining, “We have programs now in artificial intelligence technology that can take expert knowledge and codify it into intelligent machines…” He was speaking specifically of spy satellites that could repair themselves in orbit. [p.318]

Today we may be facing a Terminator (1984) or Robocop 2 (1990) type of scenario, where AI machines take over and turn violently on humans. This is no longer considered science-fiction, as Google and other AI firms connected with US intelligence have begun studies on the ability of humans to control artificial intelligence. [1]

The “Paperclip Maximizer” is a philosophical thought experiment described by Nick Bostrom in 2003, showing how artificial intelligence, even one designed without malice, could ultimately destroy humanity. The goal of maximizing paperclips is chosen for its neutrality & improbability. The premise is that an extremely powerful optimizer (AI) could seek goals that destroy humanity by consuming resources essential to our survival.

The AI would improve its intelligence, not because it values more intelligence, but because more intelligence would help it achieve its goal of accumulating paperclips. It would undergo an intelligence explosion and reach far-above-human levels. It would innovate better and better techniques to maximize the number of paperclips. At some point, it might transform “first all of earth and then increasing portions of space into paperclip manufacturing facilities.”

AI is simply an optimization process—a goal-seeker, a utility-function-maximizer. A paperclipping scenario is also possible without an intelligence explosion. If society keeps getting increasingly automated and AI-dominated, then the first borderline AI might manage to take over the rest using some relatively narrow-domain trick that doesn’t require very high general intelligence. [2]

Basically all of us traditionally come from conservative backgrounds, raised in homes that supported either Democrats or Republicans. Marxists know these are two sides of the same coin, but the rest buy into it. It’s been like this for a long time in America. Breaking out of the two-party straitjacket is an evolutionary & dialectical process. Uncle Sam has so many resources, and makes itself appear so frightful!

The American population has been conditioned through education, religion, television, etc., to accept ruling class ideology as political fact. Since the Internet, many people have awoken to the horrible truths of capitalism, as censorship & blacklisting have come to the forefront. State censorship keeps the truth from the people, for only a little longer.

Artificial intelligence is all around us, and it is growing. AI is now being used in military combat. [3] AI is (without question), an existential threat to humanity. This is because sociopaths are controlling its development and use– with no accountability. Too much of AI is kept hidden, behind the cloak of government secrecy– ie. national insecurity. All this is madness & paranoia, and it must be brought under control, otherwise uncontrollable AI cyborgs and killer weaponry will eventually be unleashed on humanity.

Artificial intelligence has enormous potential, as a social tool for legitimate & productive use. The potential power of this immense & awesome technology must be brought under public control. AI was created by intelligent humans, and therefore must serve humanity, not enslave or destroy it.

The truth about AI is that the human world is not black & white, as in the boardgame Go. The human world has an infinite colors, sounds, aromas, sensations & emotions. The computer world is binary– a series of ones & zeros. Humans must harness computer power & AI, to ensure that it is never overwhelmed by it.

The only way this will be possible, is if the broadest number of people have access and input into AI development & use. This ensures that our brightest young minds will have access and be monitoring– which will be vital. If humans remain selfishly divided on this, then AI threatens our destruction. All these ideas go hand-in hand with ending the dominance of capital, and transforming our world into a peaceful, equal & sustainable society– through revolutionary socialism.

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Unmasking Pussy Riot

This is Nadya Tolokonnikova, the image & mouthpiece for Pussy Riot.

And here are a few necessary words on Pussy Riot & artistic freedom. Pussy Riot’s image in is rooted in the worst elements of punk, from anarchism & situationalism, to skinhead hardcore. They proclaim to take their influence from bourgeois feminist Julie Kristeva. Artist freedom is one thing. Being promoted (by the US mainstream) as progressive, while actually being reactionary, is quite another.

I suspect Pussy Riot as a false flag protest group, connected with the #MeToo movement & intelligence, at some deep-state level. My reasons for this suspicion are these.

1) There’s no record label. Songwriters & artists all know they have to protect their publishing & copyrights, yet Nadya Tolokonnikova isn’t interested in doing this for her content. Neither is anyone else, it appears. Examples on YouTube:

Pussy Riot – Death of jail, freedom of prot (Kill the sexist!)
4,078 views   Published on Aug 18, 2012 by Anděl Azazel

Pussy Riot – Police State
250,985 views Published on Nov 8, 2017 by wearepussyriot

The publisher “Anděl Azazel” returns no search info, except for fantasy graphic art. As far as “wearepussyriot,” who knows?  It’s all kept vague, murky & puzzling– by design.

2) Rotating band members who all wear ski masks for anonymity. No one cares what you have to say, if you aren’t willing to put your name & face on it. That’s been true everywhere since Milli Vanilli…

Typically young punk bands coming from abroad, have a difficult time getting media traction in the US, but with Pussy Riot we have just the opposite phenomenon. They are instantly everywhere in the media, yet nowhere in the real world– kinda like Al Qaeda.

Nadya Tolokonnikova is now reportedly working with mogul producer Ricky Reed, in an attempt to make-over Pussy Riot into a Spice Girls/TLC-type act. Consider Nadya Tolokonnikova as a Russian version of Brittany Spears.

Of course, Tolokonnikova is far too pretty to keep in a ski mask on for very long. She made a splash, “suffered horribly” in a Russian prison (above), and then turned her pleasant face towards America. She’s no bimbo, as this is a modern global feminism in action.

One of the most striking facts about Pussy Riot, is that they don’t have much actual music for all the hype they’ve gotten. These are the sum total of all their songs and videos, most running well under 2 minutes: “Kill the Sexist”, “Release the Cobblestones”, “Kropotkin Vodka”, “Death to Prison”, “Freedom to Protests”, “Putin Zassal”, “Mother of God”, “Drive Putin Away”, “Putin Lights Up the Fires”, “I Can’t Breathe”, “Chaika (Seagull)”, “Make America Great Again”.

That’s the Wikipedia song list, which claims Pussy Riot has officially released 7 songs. In total (so far) that’s < 20 minutes of music (equivalent to one album side), for their entire career!  Here’s a few of Nadya quotes in the screenshot below. If you get to this ever site, notice that when you click on “more” (meaning you’re hoping to read an article), nothing happens. It’s the same with all the other links & buttons. Completely fake site, like so many others connected to Pussy Riot…

On the other hand, AllMusic.com is the best (and most widely used) online encyclopedia for music research. When you click on Pussy Riot’s ‘Discography,’ it reveal no albums or EP’s! Only a video titled: Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest. Even this video has no critical review or content listing. It has only two (2) user ratings– with a 3-star average, as of this publication.

Lurid & banal is their best description, as Pussy Riot reeks of deep-state psy-op media provocation. If this “band” had anything serious to say, they would have recorded it by now, as they are clearly working with the establishment and all its resources. The fact is Nadya Tolokonnikova is intellectually bankrupt, and this mirrors feminism & bourgeois politics. Pussy Riot’s entire musical catalog is an EP, of questionable artistic merit, because no one knows (or cares) about its existence.

Here’s a few Nadya Tolokonnikova quotes:

“Vagina gonna take the stage. Cause vagina’s got a lot to say,” sings Tolokonnikova in peejays. “Straight Outta Vagina” is just one of the songs Tolokonnikova wrote and produced, along with TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, in L.A.

“I’m not a big fan of preaching, but if you want to learn something from Pussy Riot, it’s that activism should be joyful,” says Tolokonnikova backstage. “Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, the second-wave feminists… they somehow found each other at the same events. Right now we’re criticizing each other too much. We need more solidarity.” [1]

It’s important for fans to realize that eventually, all music lands somewhere in the political spectrum. Music is too emotional to not be political, and therefore the best (and most-popular) artists are always coveted by the US two-party system to serve as political camouflage & PR. Bruce Springsteen, Madonna & Bono (U2) are the most-prominent musical examples of superstar artists selling-out to corporate America.

The only way out of this trap, is to take a principled socialist position, against the two party set-up & capitalist system. If the working masses don’t hit back against this propaganda offensive (and soon), then this mainstream fluff will eventually turn into grist for fascism.  Musical artists everywhere must now approach songwriting & performing from this perspective. otherwise they become pawns in a greater political game. That is the lesson of Pussy Riot.

P.S. on pussy: One final point, that I probably should have made in the beginning. Much of the appeal of Pussy Riot is their name. “Pussy” used to be a taboo & censored word in the official media, and of course is still is– for non-feminists. Today people can say “pussy” on television, because of Pussy Riot– for whatever that’s worth. This is pussy power that’s being promoted. If all these feminists could just put their pussies together, just imagine what they could come up with?

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Ambidextrous Tennis

Two forehands beats one. That’s the philosophy behind ambidextrous tennis. This means eliminating the backhand, and hitting with a right-handed AND left-handed forehand– depending on the situation. Nothing in the game of tennis has as much revolutionary potential as this style.

Firstly, why take up ambidextrous tennis? For me it was a right elbow injury that caused me to put down the racket. Like most athletes, I couldn’t sit still, so I decided to try the racket in my left hand. I quickly discovered that I had more power on my left side than my right! That really got me thinking… and now here we are.

In this video below I demonstrate the basics (& a few nuances) of ambidextrous tennis. The advantages to hitting this way are multi-fold. Ambidextrous tennis provides: 1) More power & higher spin rates; 2) Better court coverage with less effort; 3) Better attack angles while closing off windows-of-vulnerability. 4) Numerous openings to close in on the net, and finish.

I predict (in the future) that ambidextrous tennis will outlast everything else, and become the dominant style among top professionals. The advantages of this style are too apparent, and eventually some ambitious young boy (or girl) is going to master these concepts and win a lot of tennis majors. Why? Because two forehands beats one.

Does this mean that I can now beat Roger Federer? Of course, not. I’m too old, and don’t have his ability. What the ambidextrous style will do is raise the level of anyone’s game, just by becoming more aware of the other half of one’s body. As a footnote: I wouldn’t even want to imagine Roger Federer with two forehands [!], he’s good enough already.

The point is, few of us have anywhere close to Roger Federer’s ability. Imitating his style can help to an extent, but you aren’t going to get better than him by copying him. He’s the best. If young tennis players want to consistently break through Federer-Nadal and the rest on the men’s side (and Serena Williams on the women’s side), then they are going to have to be extraordinarily talented– and still think outside-the-box. The top players are the best for a reason, because they have the talent & dedication, and it takes a lot to get past them.

Ambidextrous tennis (when mastered) gives anyone the tools they need to attack & defend against the best players. Most tennis player’s are taught to attack an opponent’s backhand. In ambidextrous tennis there is no backhand, thus most opponent’s strategy is foiled before they even step onto the court. This is a frustrating style to match up against, and many people I’ve hit with, have disappeared over the years. People generally like to hit against people they can beat, so many of your ‘tennis friends’ will bail on you, once you get good at this style.

Final tips: It’s what your body is doing during pronation that counts in tennis. If you don’t pronate, while maintaining vision & balance– then you’ve got nothing. Consider the racket as a sword, and the tennis ball as a bullet. You are always protecting your head & body while being ready to move in any direction, for any required shot. Ambidextrous tennis allows quick & efficient movements, combined with controlled power.

Light feet skate. Keep everything in-line– from eyes to toes. Stay low and get lower as you approach the net. Stay down until the point is over. Ambidextrous tennis conserves energy, which makes all this easier. The best reason for playing (and mastering) ambidextrous tennis, is that you will have no weaknesses.

Wednesday  2-28-18—  P.S on endorsements:  I’m going on the record in saying, I would love to have a shoe deal. I would obviously need a manufacturer as a partner. Today, most athletic footwear sold in stores, is junk. It only enriches the corporate manufacturers, and the handful of celebrity athletes endorsing their signature series. Poor materials, bad design, and shoddy construction are major issues with athletic shoes– especially considering their price tag.

Since most shoes are sports specific, and already have top-athlete spokesmen/women, I would propose to design a shoe that works for serious amateur athletes. That’s a big demographic, hungry for innovation. Tennis is a good model, because you can wear any kind of footwear you choose, as opposed to other sports, which have restrictions on style & design of the shoes.

If I wasn’t blacklisted, I would surely have been contacted by now, after posting “Ambidextrous Tennis.” This only proves (once again) that there is now no room for outside-the-box re-thinking, anywhere in the capitalist market. Censorship bites everybody.

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Make ’em Laugh

What’s the speed of dark?    — Steven Wright

There are two ways to effectively influence people– beauty & comedy. Beauty is striking, and always works on the attracted sex. Comedy is more universal in that everyone loves to laugh, but it requires more attention & open-mindedness to get to. Too many people lack those skills, so they miss a lot of laughs. That’s a human society problem we need to address.

People might think it’s ridiculous to quantize comedy, but actually it’s easy. Everyone loves to laugh, and YouTube exists, so people experience it everyday. As with any other artistic genre, in comedy it still comes down to who makes us laugh. Everyone is influenced & shaped by the epoch they grew up in.

In the 1970’s, children were sat in front of a television set, as a means of occupying their attention, which had become an accepted parenting practice by then. More & more parents were being asked to multi-task, and television placated children, occupying their inquisitive minds. This allowed parents more time for leisure, or work– depending on their class. That’s part of television’s universal appeal.

What was television in the 1970’s? It had been colorized in most households, but black & white models were still common. Most homes only had one, maybe two sets. Remote controls were new, and crude, but everyone loved the innovation. The kids were the first to learn the nefarious ways you could “sneak the control,” and affect the room– mostly using volume. There were only a few buttons for tint, chromatic & contrast adjustment, and when you adjusted them, really wild stuff happened to the screen. That was new, back then.

As far as the broadcast content went, in reflection is was 95+% pablum. That leaves <5% cool. Most of what was cool, was funny. These are the people that made me laugh when I was growing up.

Sanford & Son had gone into re-run mode by the time I was allowed to watch it. The opening sequence, which they never changed in it’s entire 6-season run, was Redd Foxx walking out on his faux front porch, and sitting down to get out of the hot sun. What gets you going are two things: 1) You know Redd Foxx is hilarious and will say anything; and 2) Quincy Jones’ theme song, “The Streetbeater.”  That song has a bass line that grooves and bounces off the floor, with funky everything else. Gets me going every time…

The first time I saw Rodney Dangerfield was in a Miller Lite commercial. “I tell you I don’t get no respect…” He did a series of them with the beer sponsor, including this one where he’s bowling, and screws it up at the end. After that it was Caddyshack (1980) & Back to School (1986). Sam Kinison and many others (for better or worse…), were Dangerfield protégées.

In the 1970’s television programming was three (3) networks: CBS, NBC & ABC– roughly in that order of prestige. PBS was also available, when you switched your TV from UHF to VHF– manually. Home video games in America came along in 1977, when Atari released its VCS (Video Console System), later renamed the Atari 2600. This, along with the arcade revolution, changed television, youth culture & mass media– forever. The same can be said for the arrival of cable TV ~ 1980.

Comedy was hip to this. Saturday Night Live had launched, and became a cultural phenomenon which exists through today. What made it all work, was the talent. Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd & Eddie Murphy are all A-list Hollywood stars for a good reason. Chevy Chase made funny movies before he staled, while John Belushi did the same before he killed himself from excess. Their performances remain legendary, as testified to by the millions of people who still watch their movies, TV shows, and stand-up routines.

Generation X makes little distinction between stand-ups comedians, and funny actors, writers or whatever… Anyone who can make us laugh is funny, and therefore valuable. Making people laugh, and getting them to think about serious stuff, is genius. Comedy is a nice way for angry people to get through to other people. You can see this in Robin Williams and other geniuses like him.

There is a baseline level of respect, which always needs to be given to any good stand-up comedian. There is probably nothing harder in entertainment, than getting in front of a group of people, and making them laugh with fresh material. In rock music, if you suck, you can crank up the amps and blast everyone out. When it’s over, you leave, while their eardrums are still ringing. Elvis has left the building, with all your money– so go home.

In comedy, there’s low-volume heckling, which is part of the deal. You have to handle that, which can get personal. The trick is to handle the heckler, as part of a funny act. Comedy is an act, but for the true masters, it’s also natural. Jerry Seinfeld is who he is, and that’s his act. He’s a prodigy who has the gift, and lives for the laugh. George Carlin & Richard Pryor are his comparables. That elite level of comic talent is always ready to make an audience laugh, because they are naturals.

Second City Television (SCTV), was a Canadian television sketch comedy show that ran between 1976 and 1984. Basically it was a lower-budget version of SNL, which irregularly aired across Midwest affiliates. Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Martin Short, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, and a host of other funny people became known on this show.

You had to be paying attention to catch this stuff. To know what was going on in television, everyone mail-subscribed to TV Guide, which listed next week’s shows, with a blurb about each upcoming episode. TV Guide helped avoid turkeys and re-runs, and it was the only way– until cable & satellite TV got their acts together.

Sledge Hammer! was a crazy Dirty Harry parody show, that ran two seasons in the later part of the 1980’s. Creator Alan Spencer envisioned the title character role for one man specifically: David Rasche. This was a half hour comedy show, that broke every rule in television in it’s brief heyday. More details on this show here [1].

Game shows always held great fascination for me, especially as a child on snow or sick days. No school in the winter on weekdays meant game shows in the morning & soap operas in the early to mid-afternoon. Then it was re-runs of Gilligan’s’s Island, The Brady Bunch, The Beverley Hillbillies, M*A*S*H, Hogan Heroes, etc. Werner Klemperer, Bob Crane & Alan Alda offer the best humor from that fare.

Game shows are fascinating, because they always feature live contestants– people just like you & me! That leads to a lot of unintended humor. Even though candidates are carefully selected to meet corporate specs, accidents happen and were often aired without complaint back then.

Bad hair, bad clothes, et cetera, show up more vividly on game shows, that’s why they retain their syndication value on the Game Show Network today. The best game show hosts are funny. The funniest, and most undoubtedly out-of control game show of my childhood was The Gong Show. It was really a variety or sketch show, but who cares?

Honorable mention to Bob Eubanks, who did a great job clowning young couples on the Newlywed Game. There is a part of every comedian that wants to be a game show host. Hollywood Squares was hosted by Peter Marshall from 1966–81, introducing kids to a gaggle of fossil comedians from the 1950’s & 1960’s. Buddy Hackett, George Gobel, Jonathan Winters, Paul Lynde and Joan Rivers were among it’s rotating cast of stars. Some thought they were funny. I never did, even going back today and watching them on YouTube.

As far as classic film comedy goes, it starts with Buster Keaton & Charlie Chaplin. I always preferred the former, for his athleticism & self-effacing ingenuity. The Marx Brothers always came off as shtick to me, but many of their sketches on film were undeniably brilliant.

Television came along after WWII, and was strongly influenced by McCarthyism and the Communist “Red Scare” hysteria. This is why many young viewers look at a hit show such as, I Love Lucy, and say it isn’t funny today. What’s perceived as truly funny, must meet a much higher standard today, than in 1954.

This is because comedy is much more inclusive today. We hear comedy from all sexes, orientations, ethnicities, classes and nationalities. None of that was made available when Lucy was the only comedy show on, and there are only two other networks in existence. Lucille Ball must be considered in this context in terms of television comedy history. She acted feisty, but was always willing to be the good wife when it counted, and that’s what the blacklisters wanted on-the-air in the 1950’s.

As far as the serious comics before my time, Lenny Bruce earns the most respect from me. He took chances, tackling complex issues head-on, producing mind-bending ideas, and challenging his audience. He didn’t live long, but his impact is still felt.

My fascination with game show hosts is not unique. Television executives long ago figured out that a funny man who could hold an audience for an hour, was worth his weight in gold. The Tonight Show was the original variety show, starring Steve Allen (1954–57), Jack Paar (1957–62), Johnny Carson (1962–92), Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–2014), Conan O’Brien (2009–10), Jimmy Fallon (2014–present).

Obviously it was Johnny Carson as the iconic host when I was growing up. I always enjoyed the “King of Late Night Television,” but what I respected most about him was his willingness to support young talent. He knew he was older than his MTV audience, so he helped break young comedians.

Carson’s ratings always dominated his time slot, in spite of other late night competitors including David Frost, Alan Thicke, Jerry Lewis, Joan Rivers, David Brenner, Pat Sajak, Ron Reagan, Dennis Miller, Arsenio Hall, Joey Bishop, Merv Griffin, and Dick Cavett. The reason Johny Carson clobbered all of them (over & over), is because he was funnier, hipper, and a better entertainer. Charles Grodin had a show for a time, as he is a good example of someone who can be funny, but isn’t a comic. Consider Grodin, as a Jon Stewart or Bill Maher predecessor.

Carson’s only real peer was David Letterman. Late Night with David Letterman premiered on NBC on February 1, 1982. This put Carson & Letterman back-to-back on the same network, and gave NBC a ratings lock on late night television for over a decade. After a feud with NBC over who was going to replace Carson (NBC ultimately chose Jay Leno), Letterman began hosting Late Night on CBS in August 1993. Letterman’s last show was on May 20, 2015.

College kids in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, would ritualistically gather in the room with the television set, every weeknight ~11:30 PM. David Letterman was funny, and like Carson, encouraged new & under-exposed talent. “Stupid Pet Tricks” & his Top-10 lists were famous segments. His hosting & interviewing skills were superb.

His rapport with music prodigy Paul Schaffer was critical to the show, and in many ways more genuine that Johnny Carson & Ed McMahon. Letterman always insisted he wouldn’t do the show without Schaffer, who stayed for its entire run. Lots of cool & underrated bands were exposed on Letterman.  Sidenote: Paul Schaffer played Artie Fufkin of Polymer Records in This is Spinal Tap (1982), which earned him extra bonus points. For many viewers, Late Night with David Letterman was the best TV variety show ever.

In 1988, there was a strike of the Writers Guild of America, which ran from March 7 to August 7, affecting production of movies & TV shows. During this span David Letterman was forced by NBC to host his shows, with no material. “Hal Gurnee’s Network Time Killer was concocted, as David Letterman turned the camera up into the control booth, and let them try to entertain the 20 million or so people who were watching. Brilliant, no?!

Fox Broadcasting Company launched on October 9, 1986, as a competitor to ABC, NBC and CBS. Fox went on to become a fourth major television network, because it developed the best new comedy shows, and then took over American sports broadcasting. Before Fox’s sports dominance, it was Married… with Children, The Simpson’s and In Living Color that put Fox on the television map– virtually overnight. The cast for In Living Color included Damon Wayans, with his family— Kim, Shawn, and Marlon, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and future pop music star Jennifer Lopez.

The rise of cable television and advances in computer engineering allowed motivated comic geeks to find their way into the mainstream. Joel Hodgson is the creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K), which ran for 10 seasons, first on Comedy Central, and then on the Sci-Fi Channel from 1989-99. The concept is bad movies being riffed. The cast called themselves Best Brains, Inc (BBI), and included Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, Paul Chaplin, and Bridget Jones Nelson.

In many ways MST3K is more influential than Seinfeld, itself one of the most successful TV-series ever– which ran concurrently on NBC. The reason: Best Brains’ talent, and their far-out creativity which consciously pushed back at capitalism. The concept for Mystery Science Theater 3000 involved obtaining the copyrights to really bad movies, then trashing them with acerbic wit, spliced together with puppet sketches in between. Each episode ran two hours. I still maintain MST3K was the most brilliant television series ever [2]. What do you think, sirs?

At this point in our time-line, Howard Stern and a new era of raunchy comics begin to take over the airwaves.  The funniest among this new breed (for me) was Denis Leary, who broke on MTV. The Ref (1994) is the best Christmas movie ever, and surely one of the funniest black comedy’s ever.  Raw, energetic & intelligent  is Leary’s appeal.

The 2 Live Crew was where freedom of expression met First Amendment free speech issues. Right wing feminism (PMRC was led by Tipper Gore, wife of senator Al Gore [D-TN] and later VP under Bill Clinton), led the crusade to censor 2 Live Crew, who were essentially a comedy act put to rap.

The 2 Live Crew’s song titles told the story: “We Want Some Pussy”, “Move Somethin'”, “Me So Horny” (Me love you long time!), “Fuck Shop”, “Get the Fuck Out My House”, “Banned in the USA”, and many others from their first early albums remain DJ staples at nightclubs & dance halls through today. The 2 Live Crew was the origin of booty dancing, which is good for all of us. In the words of Luther Campbell, “Just tellin’ it like it is.”

These issues which Luther Campbell & 2 Live Crew stood up for in the 1980’s (and paid a price), remain relevant during today’s #MeToo feminist witch-hunt campaign sponsored by the Democrats.

Today, comedy is available on the Internet, and anytime we need laughs, we can find something funny on YouTube, whether it’s brand new, or something old, that is new to you. For me personally, I reject much of the Adam Sandler school of comedy. Funny is funny. Gross or stupid isn’t funny. America’s Funniest Home Videos was never funny to me. Nor was Realty TV in any of it’s variants. Nor today’s cartoons.

Cartoon’s deserve mention, because they were originally created to make kids laugh. Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies was an American animated series of comedy shorts, produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969. They’re easily the best & funniest of the oldie cartoons. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales & the Tasmanian Devil are quintessential cartoon personas. Yosemite Sam, Marvin Martian & Wily E. Coyote are hilarious “villains.” My personal favorites are Foghorn Leghorn, when he gets into it with the kid chicken hawk, as well as the episodes with the egghead genius (Junior) he has to baby sit.

In the end, comedy is like food & music, we all have our favorite tastes, but we should also be discriminating about what we put into our body & mind, as some of it isn’t good for us. Making jokes and laughing is about coping with stress. It’s about making the best of a really bad situation. It’s about making people feel better. Comedy is therapeutic, and low cost.  All you have to do is use your imagination.

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Art: Explained by an Artist

What is art? How does it happen? What’s it’s role in human society? These questions are now more important than ever. They demand immediate & correct answers. Here they are.

Art is how we express our inner essence. It’s the best we have in us, as art applies to any profession, passion, or endeavor you choose. It has traditionally been achieved through paint, music, film & pen. Art moves minds. True art is revolution, embodied in its form.

Oscar Wilde was correct when he said the public needs to become more artistic. Most people still try to tell you it’s the other way around, for whatever reason they may have. Everyone has it in them to be artistic. Applying this instinct is a primary tool in defeating fascism. Conversely, ignoring & desecrating art, leads directly to fascism.

Attempts to wipe out art are futile & hypocritical. Recall the Nazi’s of Germany who ruled Europe from 1933-1945, they were infamous art thieves & hoarders. Much of their booty is still maintained in private collections around the world, stolen from persecuted Jews in WWII.

Science, technology & ideology always impact & define art. When revolutionary ideas become embodied in art, it becomes very powerful. Art impacts society as soft power, enveloping an era in its influence & vision. The ruling class always fears this, as art unites the oppressed workers with the youth, who see no future in the current set-up.

Art can jump outside that box, as Pablo Picasso, the Surrealists & Andy Warhol are 20th-century examples of artistic geniuses transforming society. Once their ideas exploded into mass consciousness, society was forever changed. It’s often waxed in social terms as, “no longer being innocent.”

The Beatles were revolutionary artists, who abandoned their teeny-bopper beginnings, and became 1960’s counter-culture. Psychedelic rock & transcendental meditation side-trips became cultural oddities, that eventually transitioned into an anti-Vietnam War movement. Rock music had been sanctioned art, by the creation of Rolling Stone magazine in 1967, with John Lennon featured in its inaugural issue.

That watershed moment was the birth of rock music criticism. Art spawns criticism, which seeks to influence art. Generally speaking, critics are a bureaucracy meant to represent the ruling class in art. Often lawyers, guns & money aren’t enough, so controlling the narrative becomes the purpose of criticism.

For eons, humans have been creating art, and others have been judging it. What’s different today, is the level of expertise & authority these self-sanctioned critics reserve for themselves. Today Rolling Stone magazine remains a powerful force in American popular music, with sterilizing everything as its corporation mission.

In contrast the leader and revolutionary genius of the Beatles, has been dead for nearly four decades. He was murdered by a reactionary psychopath, with full approval of the ruling elite. John Lennon had been a target of the FBI since Nixon was president, as later revealed in declassified CO-INTEL-PRO and other documents.

Everyone appreciates some form of art. The problem is when too many people become too narrow in their tastes & definitions of art. There’s a whole lot out there, that you aren’t even aware of, and it’s criminal to short-change yourself in not appreciating as much of it as you can. Art depends on an audience, otherwise society is condoning cultural vandalism.

Great art doesn’t just happen. It is deeply thought-out, planned, and worked through in great detail. What the public sees as the final work, is often years of hard work. Creating new material and staying ahead is the most challenging task. It often involves going to very dark places in your mind. This is emotionally exhausting, and involves personal sacrifices in health & happiness, which is why so many artists burn out.

It is necessary for artists who truly love, to understand how these ruling sociopaths think & act. They are manipulating the levers of power, which affects the ability for art to be shared, and therefore they have very rational reasons for their psychotic behavior.

The most obvious example today is media & Internet censorship & blacklisting. This reaction is sweeping through sports, entertainment, and politics like a swarm of locusts. The only force that can resist witch-hunts & fascist goon squads, are a united youth & working class, armed with revolutionary socialism.

Marxism, and more specifically Trotskyism, is the most reviled political tendency in bourgeois politics. Any mention of Leon Trotsky is proscribed in the mass media. If his name comes up, there is an immediate hysterical reaction from fixers & political heavyweights– who are always monitoring. This is because Leon Trotsky was the most artistic & influential political figure of the 20th century.

Today this repressive apparatus which involves the corporate-intelligence deep state, has launched an all-out, multi-pronged attack campaign on art. When Hollywood actors are witch-hunted, and their careers destroyed by a #MeToo campaign of right-wing feminism, then artists know the official political spectrum has tipped completely to fascism.

As much as art is universal to the human experience, we all sense it uniquely. Example: Stevie Wonder! That is the mystery & magic of art, which is challenges & seduces all of us. Understanding & embracing art is how we avoid being manipulated by hidden interests with evil intentions.

Art in the hands of a united working class, with revolutionary consciousness, can internationally transform society into a global community with socialist foundations. My music & albums are on all the major streaming services, and those songs are meant to be anthems for revolution. The more that ideas such as these are expressed, distributed & absorbed, the closer we get to a revolutionary scenario, where the working people of the world can come together & win.

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Stoned Again: Portrait of a Political Fixer

A largely unmentioned neo-Nazi contributer to the alt-right is Roger Stone (pictured below), a master at dirty tricks operations & behind-the-scenes media manipulations, going back to Nixon & Reagan. Whatever Stone’s political position is, it quickly becomes Trump’s position, as he (as much as anyone) created president Trump.

Alt-right is defined as racism, nationalism & greed, dashed with a pro-choice & pro-marijuana agenda, for public consumption & working class appeal. Alt-right is the Libertarian & Tea Party congealed. Alex Jones (Infowars) is Roger Stone’s favorite attack dog & political media mouthpiece.

Get Me Roger Stone (2017) is an informative film, which reminds everyone that Donald J. Trump (the political candidate), was created in 1988. Trump is the exact opposite of a political outsider, despite the claims.

Trump also dallied with the Reform party ticket in 2000, to help George W. Bush, by splitting the Reform party votes for Pat Buchanan, the official nominee.

Background: Ross Perot’s Reform party campaign in 1992 had broad popular appeal, and in the minds of many Republican insiders (Stone included), the Texas technology billionaire cost the Republicans the 1992 & 1996 presidential elections with his meddling.

Never one to be discouraged by what people think, Roger Stone engineered the halting of the Florida recount in November 2000, by organizing the “Brooks Brothers” protests, which turned into a right-wing media frenzy.

In short, these fixers need more exposure, because when they are allowed to operate in the shadows, they produce fascism. As much as the mass hatred for Hillary Clinton (and the Democratic establishment) played a role in her 2016 defeat, the other half of the equation for installing Trump in the White House was this nefarious brand of political manipulation. Get Me Roger Stone (2017), is available for streaming on Netflix, and should be seen by all who need to know their true enemy.

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9-11 Pictorial & Video Essay

As the ruling class of every nation moves towards open war with its population, the pretense of the US “war on terror” and its results deserves a summary review. Everything starts with 9-11 [1].

In short, 9-11 was a false-flag operation, planned & carried out by the Bush family, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the cohorts, with knowledge & complicity from the Democrats and the mass media. The US military, intelligence & security services carried out the controlled demolition of the WTC towers, which collapsed at free-fall speed.

This 31-minute CNN video of the South World Trade Center tower collapsing deserves careful study. First, listen to CNN White House correspondent John King describing a “white jet” over the capitol, after all other air traffic had been grounded. He describes it at 2:20-2:38 in this video. King then describes the evacuation of the White House as orderly, until the last people were leaving. “They were told to run by the secret service,” he explains.

King then speculates that VP Dick Chaney is in the Situation Room, which is located in the basement of the White House at 3:35-3:42. The manipulators of 9-11 must have been screaming in John King’s ear at this point, as he quickly gets back on point at 3:50-4:00, when he mentions Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect behind these attacks.

CNN’s Congressional correspondent Kate Snow also mentions she saw a military (or Air Force) plane, circling the Capitol building about a half-hour earlier. She’s reporting this at 10:15 AM, so this would be ~9:45 that this unidentified aircraft was flying over the Pentagon & Capitol building. This occurs at 22:38 – 22:55 in the CNN video. Note that planes over the Capitol are NEVER allowed to happen, as it is among the most secure buildings in the world, and a terrorist attack has just occurred, so therefore this plane must be explained– but yet, isn’t.

The populations’ ability to detect fake news has increased exponentially since 9-11. For instance, check out the eye-witness “report” that political fixer David Ensor (pictured below) coaxes out of “Barbara,” whom he identifies as, “the wife of a friend of mine, who is an exact eyewitness to what happened at the Pentagon…”

This report is calmly delivered by “Barbara,” just moments after the Pentagon attack from 26:15- 28:25 in the video, with uncanny clarity & precision in her voice. Her testimony is kept anonymous, because it is a complete fabrication.

The Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, as there is no airplane wreckage visible in any of the aftermath photos or videos.

These are all the cameras the Pentagon had in the area of the strike.

And yet these are the best images the public has ever seen. BTW, what’s that UFO circled in the upper right of the photo?

Here’s the raw image, and the unidentified white object is still there:

The same observations & conclusions apply for “Flight 93,” which supposedly crashed in Shanksville, PA; after a heroic cabin break-in, and death struggle by doomed (but ever patriotic) passengers. They even made a movie about it, any why not? They couldn’t write a better modern version of Titanic (1997), if they tried.

Do you see a plane, luggage, bodies or anything resembling an aircraft crash, in the photo above– taken at Shanksville, PA on 9-11?  It’s just a burnt-out hole in the ground, surrounded by emergency vehicles, with people standing around doing nothing, but trying to look important. That’s what the fixers did on 9-11, while the rest of us were shocked and looked for answers.

Here’s the best footage of the South WTC tower collapse, the second to fall at ground zero. This footage was filmed with a tripod for stability, and notice how the entire structure shakes just a few seconds before its free-fall collapse. That’s only explained by controlled-demolition explosives.

We’ve been told that the bad guy in all this was Osama bin Laden & his Al-Qaeda organization. It’s been over 16 years since 9-11, and still most people don’t even know what Al-Qaeda is? Let’s start by taking at look at the supposed nineteen hijackers on 9-11.  As best anyone (without absolute insider knowledge) can tell, all the “hijacked” flights appear to be ghost flights, fictitiously created by the CIA, FBI and other secret service collaboration. The public has never seen the actual flight logs & passenger records of any of the allegedly hijacked planes.

Furthermore, seven (7) of the supposed hijackers are still alive!

“Waleed Al Shehri” is a pilot for an airline in Saudi Arabia, “Mohamed Atta” was/is a CIA asset, and so forth… Why isn’t this investigated & discussed in the media? To ask the question is to answer it.

The only fact-finding and hard research on 9-11 has come from the people themselves. The NIST report & 9-11 Commission are whitewashes of a war crime against the people of the world. Keep in mind, 9-11 has provided the pretext for wars of aggression, rendition & torture, ubiquitous spying, police state build-up, and a host of other undemocratic practices.

Apparently, Al-Qaeda means “data” or “databank” in Arabic. This is because Al-Qaeda is nothing but a list of CIA assets, created from the mujideen in Afghanistan, who fought against the USSR invasion from 1979-89. The CIA backed, armed, & trained the mujideen, in its most ruthless terrorist methods which were unleashed on the Soviet Union’s army & population during he 1980’s. That was called the Cold War.

Shortly after the Afghan war, the USSR was liquidated from within by its criminal bureaucracy, which restored capitalism to Russia in December 1991. This CIA asset list of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists was created in that period, and has been used in various forms ever since. The Taliban, ISIS, ISIL, al Nursa Front, Free Syria Army (below), and now the YPG are all CIA & Pentagon creations, funded with billions of US taxpayer dollars.

The YPG is the People’s Protection Units, a Kurdish militia in Syria, who are being propped up by US imperialism in it’s efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Turkey, a nominal US ally, has just launched a war against the YPG, which it considers a terrorist organization. Both Iran & Syria are allied with Russia, who is seen as an intolerable strategic competitor to US ruling interests. The same relationship applies to North Korea & China. All this has created deep divisions in NATO & beyond, and threatens global conflagration.

Al-Nusra Front, now renamed the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham since July 2016, is Al-Qaeda (rebranded) in Syria & the Levant. This the balance sheet of 9-11. The only logical conclusion is for a workers & student revolution, with the conscious political purpose of overthrowing the corrupt capitalist states which impose imperialism, and establishing international socialism. This is the only road to peace, equality & happiness, as any capitalist “solution” leads to fascism & annihilation.

Islamic fundamentalism is used as a tool for divide-and conquer in the Middle East, as part of US imperialism’s overall strategy for maintaining domination of this oil-rich region. The debate constantly rages back-and-forth in the various factions of the White House, Pentagon & deep state, over where (and how?) war should be incited. None of this makes us safer, and everyone knows it. The game is over, and it’s time for capitalism to pay it’s overdue historical bill. The working classes of the world will be delivering it in 2018.

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Wannabe a Sucker?

On August 11, 2017 it was announced in the Miami Herald that owner Jeffrey Loria had agreed to sell the Miami Marlins for $1.2 billion, to a group led by New York businessman Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter. Much exhalation ensued, as fans celebrated the exiting of one of the most hated owners in sports history. But like so many other major stories, when people think it’s over, it’s really only the beginning. For Marlins fans, how could anything be worse than the Loria-era?

The story of this MLB off-season, since the Shohei Ohtani affair (which of course never happened), has been the on-going fire sale of the Miami Marlins. Derek Jeter is now CEO of Marlins baseball operations. So far he has given away RF Giancarlo Stanton, CF Marcel Ozuna, and 2B Dee Gordon; each of them All-Stars and one the reigning MVP. Now Jeter is dangling LF Christian Yelich, and catcher JT Realmuto.

When you say you’ll only accept an “overpay,” yet put your team in a position where it MUST sell– then you won’t make a deal with grown-ups.

Notable Unsigned MLB Free Agents:

1B Eric Hosmer
RHP Yu Darvish
RF J.D. Martinez
RHP Jake Arrieta
CF Lorenzo Cain
3B Mike Moustakas
3B Todd Frazier

The reason the MLB free-agent market has been so slow the winter, is because everyone is waiting for the Marlins to complete their fire sale, now with Yelich & Realmuto on the block. Unfortunately, Jeter has once again over-valued his assets, and can’t pull either of them back, without losing even more value. Jeter is putting the Marlins franchise in a position to make another mistake, by insisting on too much, and thus freezing out the market which includes the Braves, White Sox, Padres, Phillies, Nationals & Diamondbacks among others.

One point on money & wins above replacement (WAR). It can’t be valued at anything higher than $5M/win on the free-agent market, without becoming distorted. Contract length should not exceed 5 years, as these players are all age 27 or older which means they are about to go into decline. Albert Pujols & A-Rod albatrosses not only cripple individual franchises who buy into them, but also irrationally set the market.

There are smart GM’s in play, and top prospects are gold, so you can’t steal top talent like you used to, even a few years back. This gap between Derek Jeter’s wannabe-GM expectations, and current market realities, is what’s holding up this off-season. As of now, no GM wants to make a big free-agent signing until Derek Jeter is done blowing up the Marlins. That’s why Eric Hosmer & JD Martinez are still unsigned, and haven’t drawn much interest as of yet.

Derek Jeter is way out of his league running a franchise, and the only reason he’s doing so, is because he’s 4% owner. The reason your hire a front office & GM is to separate money from brains, as much as possible– which is wise. Jeter is simply making decisions that benefit him as an owner, under the guise of being a qualified baseball executive. The baseball fans of Miami, who have been swindled over & over again, are seeing it happen once again right before their eyes, and they aren’t fooled.

If Jeter doesn’t like the prospect packages that are being offered, then why doesn’t he insist someone take LHP Wei-Yin Chen, to move some dead money? That’s what Jeter really wants, as we all saw in the Stanton dump/gift. Proof? Look at the three players the Marlins are apparently going to arbitration with, the difference in money is $1,175,000– total! It doesn’t get much cheaper than this:

MLB.com has confirmed JT Realmuto has filed for $3.5 million, while the Marlins’ offer is $2.9 million. Justin Bour’s figure is $3.4 million, with the team countering at $3 million. RHP Dan Straily is seeking $3.55 million, to the team’s $3.375 million. [1]

When you poison the mood of the franchise, by immediately coming in and putting the reigning NL MVP on the trade block, before ever consulting him and his teammates, then you are not respecting the players. When you disrespect longtime fans by summarily dismissing popular announcers & other organizational personnel, then business will suffer. If you then try to hire some of them back after the negative PR backlash, then you haven’t planned anything [2].

Jeter was “The Captain” in the Bronx at shortstop, and pretty much demanded he be given that title from ownership, which George Steinbrenner did– against manager Joe Torre’s advice. Management of the NY Yankees franchise suffered from that point on, as they became married to an expensive and aging SS (a poor defender from the start), who still demanded superstar pay & pampering. Now as Marlins GM & owner, Jeter skinflints three valuable young players in arbitration.

Alex Rodriguez was never allowed to play SS in the Bronx, because of Derek Jeter’s ego, and the Yankees suffered for it, winning only one World Series (2009) while the two were “teammates,” on a roster with annually the highest payroll in baseball. Of course, teammates in any real sense of the term implies support & love for one another, and clearly that was never their relationship. It was always Jeter’s call, since he was the prince of the town, with all his past World Series glory in the bank.

Instead, he chose to be selfish and flex his muscle as “The Captain,” making Alex Rodriguez move to 3B. The Yankees could never fill CF adequately, and still haven’t. A winning team positions it’s players carefully, where they are most valuable; not according to the whims of a star player or media clamoring. Instead of moving to centerfield, like the team needed, Derek Jeter stayed at shortstop and distanced himself from Arod at every turn. If you didn’t see this when it was happening, then you weren’t paying attention.

The Marlins did have a great CF, until Jeter gave him away to the Cardinals. Marcell Ozuna slashed .312/.376/.548 in 2017, worth 5.8 WAR. On December 14, 2017, Derek Jeter flipped two years of Marcell Ozuna under arbitration control for Daniel Castano (minors), Zac Gallen (minors), fringy righty-reliever Sandy Alcantara, and light-hitting lefty outfielder Magneuris Sierra. The two prospects (Castano & Gallen) are middling-to-fringy.

The week before, on December 7, 2017, Jeter traded 2B Dee Gordon along with international bonus slot money to the Seattle Mariners for Robert Dugger (minors), Nick Neidert (minors) and Christopher Torres (minors). Gordon hit .308/.341/.375 with good defense in 2017, good for 3.1 WAR. This was probably Derek Jeter’s best trade so far (not saying much), getting two pitchers and a switching-hitting middle infield prospect. Dee Gordon will be age 30 this April, and is a luxury the Marlins probably can’t afford for the next three seasons. Let’s see how the player development & farm rebuilding pans out for the Marlins.

Of course, a major MLB earthquake occurred on December 11, 2017, when the Marlins dumped RF Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, who took on $265M out of the $295M owed to him. The Stanton deal was a straight salary dump for the Marlins, and a poorly executed one at that. The Miami Marlins will pay $30M to New York Yankees when Stanton does not opt-out, following the 2020 season. The Marlins also took on $24M for 2B Starlin Castro over the next two seasons, including his buyout after 2019. Expect Jeter to dump Castro, after Yelich & Realmuto. The two “prospects” the Marlins received in the Stanton deal were:

1) RHP Jorge Guzman, about to turn age 22, a starter who never pitched above low-A, with only 162 IP in 3 professional seasons.

2) SS/2B prospect Jose Devers: 1 pro season .245/.336/.342.

This is what the Marlins got for the NL MVP! When Jeter couldn’t get a decent offer for Giancarlo Stanton, he should have taken him off the market and rolled through 2018 with him. Stanton has 10 years left on his deal, so why the rush to trade him? Derek Jeter got a 28-YO poor-fielding 2B with a career line of .282/.320/.413, who is owed $24M through the next 2 seasons in Starlin Castro. Giancarlo Stanton is worth much more than that, even with his backloaded contract. The Marlins desperately need prospects, and got junk. Jeter opted for cash savings, and the Marlins franchise got fleeced. Now Jeter insists anyone else who deals with the Marlins must “overpay.” That’s delusional. How about some solid work instead, Derek Jeter?

Ownership in Miami is short-stacked. Derek Jeter owns 4% non-controlling stake of the team, which means he kicked in ~$50M towards the $1.2B purchase-price for the Marlins. Bruce Sherman is the majority owner, and he put Jeter in charge of the baseball side, with a five year deal worth ~ $50M in salary. Convenient, huh? Jeter has no GM experience. It is clear that this new ownership group overpaid, and is now out of cash. That’s why they dumped the reigning NL MVP to the Yankees. Meanwhile the taxpayers of Miami continue to pay the $1.2B note on the bond to build the new Marlins stadium, which no one wanted– except their owner.  BTW, that stadium debt and the Marlins sale price being identical (at $1.2 billion), is just another coincidence.

While all this looks good for the Marlins bottom line, it hurts their ability to compete & their fan friendliness– immeasurably. Most of this is on Jeffery Loria, as he pumped & dumped the Marlins, but Sherman & Jeter are also at fault for overpaying, and putting themselves in this no-win situation. Under this existing plan, Marlins fans are looking at a 6-8 year rebuild– minimum. If you know anything about this franchise’s past, then you know there won’t be any Marlins fans left by then.

MLB.com Censorship:

Since the Ohtani Affair, everyone who posts on mlb.com lost their screen name, and reclaiming it has been a difficult process for most. I have reclaimed mine, and am no longer “commenter,” like many others– still.  Unfortunately, I am now unable to post a comment:

Even my “Likes” get ghosted!

Fans everywhere have noticed all this, and are starting to figure it out & direct their anger towards those responsible. This is the greatest fear of MLB owners, the corporate media, and the entire political-economic set-up. This is why everything on the Internet is being censored at this point.

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Jacking Around

Each part of this country has their own local color, or regional terminology. In the Midwest, jacking around & drinking beer are part of college life. Jacking around is defined as straight guys getting together and giving each other shit. It’s been going on for eons. Inebriation is a required part of the Midwest version of this primitive male ritual, the object of which is to thicken one’s skin, and weed out the pussies.

It involves getting really personal & obnoxiously in-your-face. It means disrespecting conventional social boundaries. Hence no gays ever last very long at this, as they have too many emotional issues. Feminine perspectives are also disregarded. This is the male equivalent of a bitch-fest.

If you wanna to jack, you gotta strap on a sack, and hang with the business & communications majors (and other rich kids taking easy college classes), who have too much time on their hands. It provides valuable real-world business skills, and is part of the full dormitory & campus experience. For what higher education costs today, you need to realize full value as a student.

Here’s how it goes, imagine a huge keg party with hundreds of underage college kids getting as drunk as possible for $2 or less, until the cops show up. Things are slow (meaning no babes in sight), so maybe you go up to someone in a group, and start jacking around.

After a few brief introductions & friendly toasts, you perhaps insinuate (to another in the group) that their manhood has just been impugned by the person standing next to you. It’s something you just made up on-the-spot, but it’s also based on observation of tendencies and mannerisms. It often gets something going, and you can then confide to the one you’ve implicated, who’s ear is right next to you…

Another party example: someone is pouring their heart out to a group over some horrible misfortune, and when he’s finished and everyone is tear-in-a-beer quiet & sympathetic, you loudly exclaim, “Really? I heard you liked that!”  Once the first bystander laughs, it’s over. Of course, it helps to be a comedian, and you need brass balls. You can get quite a reputation (in a hurry) doing this.

One more. A young girl is puking her guts out into the bushes, with her friend looking after her. Just as she finishes and picks up her head, with vomit hanging off her chin, you ‘help’ by reminding her, “Whatever you do, don’t think about eating greasy pork sandwiches with thick gobs of mayonnaise.” If there’s anything left in her stomach it will come up, and who’s to say you haven’t done her a favor?

When people get drunk, they lose track of what’s going on, as well as control of their inhibitions. A situation can escalate in seconds, and be re-ignited at will by a master jacker. Once both sides are on high-testosterone alert, he can drop in a jack– such as, “Hey, if you wanna let him show you up, and be a pussy, that’s cool with me,” and then back off while shaking your head.  As you drift towards another group, a muscle-headed argument will often erupt in your wake!  You can then offer the new group your version of events, as everyone is interested in first-hand gossip…

Believe me, I was an amateur when I was introduced. My college buddies were merciless on me, and anyone else that tried to compete with them. It is an effective way to manipulate impulsive people, but also very dangerous– which is why people get such a kick out of doing it. The jazz of it can be addicting, as well as fascinating to observe. I mostly went along, participating some, while seeing the dark humor in it, but always disdaining the mean-spirited destructiveness it spawned. The lesson being, you have to stop before it turns cruel, and becomes bad karma.

With that said, there is a perverse (but also healthy) pleasure in making hysterical & self-absorbed people breakdown. They deserve it. Being intelligent, direct & relentless is how to jack. It helps to be resourceful, along with knowing when to stop. It’s usually just after yet another head-case is about to lose it, and you ask them “What’s wrong, you can’t take a jack?”

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