Shaq is Shattered

Good God, almighty!! The tables are everywhere! People are shattered!! — AEW Dynamite

I’m not a pro wresting fan, but this was Nacho Libre-esque! Shaq invited this mess when he took a swipe at Cody Rhodes’ eyes. Obviously Rhodes has fighting experience, because he immediately retaliated with a finger jab to Shaq’s left eye. It was a “playful” poke, which only temporarily blinded Shaq, but I got the sense Cody Rhodes could have taken his eye out if he had wanted to. You have to train military style for such a lethal/crippling response to be that reflexive & accurate. Then Rhodes showed off his wrestling moves with a horizontal flying body tackle that slammed the mighty Shaq to the ground. OUCH!!

When you throw bad ju-ju out there, over & over, it will eventually find its way back. Then Instant Karma gets you, and payback is a bitch. The screenshot above is Jade Cargill, Shaq’s partner, seconds after he got slammed out cold. She later “won” the match. That’s entertainment, you gotta admit!

Shaq is hurt bad, maybe worse than Tiger Woods, but jacked-up for sure. I’ve been checking, and as of this publication there is still no word. He won’t be wrestling again, as Shaq has been shattered, his spine & hips are in tatters. He did this to himself, by talking trash & disrespecting his opponent and pro wresting in general. Yes, it’s (supposed to be) scripted– part wrestling stunts, part acting, etc.

But if some dumbfuck who wants all the headlines for himself gets off script, then anything [!!] goes. Shaq’s fingernails are claws, as you can clearly see at the end of the video, when he’s out cold on the concrete, after being declared part of the winning team. If you swipe at a man’s eyes with all that, one too many times, this is what happens. When they’re setting-up fall barricades behind you (2 folding tables), a Darwinian light bulb should go on.

She said “I’m fine, I’m okay” cover up your trembling hands
There’s indecision when you know you ain’t got nothing left
Well the good times never stay
And the cheap thrills always seem to fade away (when will we fall)
When will we fall (when will we fall down)

Jump back, got to get out of here
Been too, too long this time babe
Jump back, got to get out of here
When will, when will we fall down?

Toad the Wet Sprocket  “Fall Down”

Finally, when you get eye-gouged, go to your corner. Don’t take the charge. Not enough ring experience for such a tough wrestling circuit. Shaquille O’Neal will be remembered in two sports. In hoops he was the ultimate force of his era out of LSU, but too often a disappointment to his professional teams, coaches & fans. He picked fights with Kobe Bryant, because he was jealous of his pure talent & charisma. He threw Penny Hardaway under the bus in Orlando, even as they were 1996 Olympic “teammates.” That’s why most Orlando Magic fans prefer Dwight Howard.

No one is arguing Shaq doesn’t deserve to be a NBA HoF-er, he is. But he is not the best ever (or second best) at center, as he always claims in his bullying manner. Wilt Chamberlain would have owned him, much like Akeem did, only more. Jabbar was better overall. So was Tim Duncan. Russell knew how to win. They all rate better, and that’s the basketball respect Shaq has earned. Top-10 all-time is really good.

Shaq always wants more than he deserves, and more than he’s earned, constantly grumbling about being disrespected, etc. So here’s some professional respect for Shaq. The other sport Shaquille O’Neal will be remembered for is professional wrestling. It was a short career, and Shaq was the ultimate shooting star. WOW!! It was the most glorious ‘unscripted’ moment ever in pro wrestling, although in retrospect, if you look closely after reading all this, you could see it all coming. It wasn’t Earth shattering, but it was Shaq shattering.

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Intelligent movie viewing

Movies and how they are consumed has changed at lightning speed. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down theaters, which were dying anyways, and online streaming is now the predominant direct-to-consumer delivery method. It’s now YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. The Hollywood & NYC studio systems are foundering on the rocks, with expensive overhead & production costs that can no longer be justified, because they don’t pay the bills anymore. Independent films, particularly documentaries, now have the market edge in many ways, as indies can make their movies quicker & cheaper, and are often more compelling in content.

For the longest time, Hollywood stars & the production studios that backed them, ruled the American film industry. That’s certainly been true since talkies came into existence around 1928, and the biggest indie movie stars, Buster Keaton & Charlie Chaplin, were destroyed by the industry. This paved the way for Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, etc, to become huge movie stars, and make lots of money for MGM, Paramount, Columbia, 20th Century Fox, Warner & Universal. Disney came along a few years later, and that’s been it for the American major studios. Until the internet changed everything.

Movies are primarily the creations of scriptwriters & directors. It’s a fact, you need both to have a chance at making a good movie. Most movies, in any era, aren’t good. That’s because it’s hard to make good movies, and even bad movies are something of an achievement, as it’s hard to make any kind of movie. Just sit through the credits of any modern movie, which usually run at least 5 minutes now, and you’ll get an idea of all the work involved in a production.

Knowing what a good movie is (in any era) is important because, 1) it makes watching good movies more enjoyable, and 2) it saves you time from watching too many bad movies. Therefore it is important to be able to distinguish between the good, the mediocre & the bad. We’ve all seen bad movies, so it’s really a question of how we react to them.

Those who tolerate bad movies are difficult to relate to, from the perspective of someone who knows movies. There are still a lot a good movies that I haven’t seen, and the best way for me to find them is to avoid getting derailed by watching too many bad movies. My attitude at this point is that I don’t have time for bad movies (or anything else bad), and I think that’s a healthy mantra at any age.

Since the directors are primarily responsible for a film’s quality, find the best directors from every era & genre. The best pre-WWII talkie directors included Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, John Huston, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, etc. Post-war, look to Japan, Europe, India & Latin America, which more-than-competes with Hollywood’s output. Never fear subtitles, as some of the best movies ever made are subtitled in English.

For actresses, look for the women who have dynamic range & command attention, those are the best. The best leading women must be able to seduce any man, at any time, for any reason. Or, they smoke them out as gay. Joan Crawford, Faye Dunaway & Robin Wright are my all-time top silver-screen divas across the eras. They can play the good girls, or the villains, with equal ease. And they own men. That sizzles every time, and that’s why we watch. Others I always enjoy include Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Raquel Welch, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, etc.

Best actors is a different standard for me, because I’m not sexually attracted to men, so looks don’t matter so much. Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Peter Sellers, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis (also directed), Eddie Murphy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Charles Grodin, Damon Wayans, Kevin Spacey, Johnny Depp, etc. As you can see, I’m looking more for talented dramatic actors, humor, with a dab of action hero.

I believe at this point there are so many talented actors & actresses, that works of art in film could be routinely achieved. The problem today is with screen writing & director vision, along with studio interests. Art is being cancelled by the MeToo, BLM & neo-Nazi campaigns, which are being directed on both sides of the aisle. That’s why independent film making is now exploding, as people are tired of fake movies (Hollywood & NYC), just like they are sick of fake news on Fox, NBC & the New York Times.

New Hollywood was roughly 1965-75 and defined by filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdonavich, Francis Ford Coppola, etc. They were deeply influenced by film artists Orson Welles, Jean Luc Goddard, Luis Bunuel, etc.

Steven Spielberg ‘s Jaws (1975) ushered in the blockbuster era, and George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) consolidated it as the industry model. The mega-smash hit movie is now what every major studio is trying to produce– every summer & Christmas season. James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) pushed the film industry into the realm of CGI, and that’s what all of Disney’s Star Wars movies are today. Pixar evolved from all this.

Hollywood productions are increasingly unwatchable, with superhero & sci-fi propaganda films dominating the blockbuster realm. Virtue signaling SJW messaging is now endemic, and apparently required, in all Hollywood productions. Identity politics has much to answer for, historically, including degrading the film industry.

I Googled “Best Hollywood Directors Today” and these are the names that came up: Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Richard Linklater, Alfonso Cuarón, Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, David Fincher. To be honest, most of these names don’t excite me anymore, if they ever did. There are some good films made by these directors, but too much garbage & outright propaganda. And these are the so-called best.

As an artist & film fan, I know we deserve better. But this will only happen when the audience realizes en masse that a better reality is possible. Viewers must be more critical of what they are watching, and this is only possible by taking a film study approach. The history of movies is a massive field. It’s global, and always has been. For example, much of the best silent-era film making was Germany’s Wiemar cinema (1918-1932). All this has influenced what you see today, and to know this history makes subjective critical judgments of movies much more meaningful & correct.

You need to cover all the genres (short of pornography), to be a legitimate movie buff. Andy Warhol’s films & Midnight Cowboy (1969) are fair starting lines to debate modern pornography. For me, horror is one of my least favorite genres, yet I know & acknowledge the classics such as The Shining (1980), Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), etc. I would categorize Silence of the Lambs (1991) as a horror movie, because it tries to scare you, and does. This just proves genres are mutable & fluid, as film history evolves. Notice there is no black film history, white film history, women’s film history, or gay film history for intelligent movie viewers, just film history.

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Senate Trial Brief & Government Agents

I published a 6,000-word serial on the second Trump impeachment trial here. This is my wrap-up.

When the Senate voted 55-45 to allow witnesses on Saturday (Feb. 13), they didn’t really know what they were voting for, and how explosive that was. That’s why a backroom deal was quickly made to cancel witnesses, and thus, end the impeachment trial.

Trump claims he wasn’t given “due process,” and that his First Amendment rights to free speech were being attacked by the impeachment process, yet he refused to testify, and his defense argued against witnesses. The council for defense are rude & shameless hypocrites, just like their client.

There should have been witnesses called to testify under oath, but neither side had the stomach for it.  Mike Pence’s sworn testimony would have been helpful. Trump’s acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller needed to testify under oath. As I said earlier, Proud Boys leader & “prolific FBI informant” Enrique Tarrio could have connected a lot of dots for the American people, if he told the whole truth.

Outside of all the congressional Republicans that aided-and-abetted Trump’s cause, a few other witnesses that should have been questioned under oath included: Rudy Giuliani, Stephen Miller, Roger Stone, Stephen Bannon, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Jr, etc. You know, the usual suspects.

Let’s be clear, Trump’s defense team was in tatters after just five days. Bruce Castor was basically fired, and pretty much only allowed to make his prepared closing arguments, after Day 1. David Schoen quit, and re-joined in name only, after Donald Trump reportedly made a personal call to him.

On Saturday, it was Mike van der Veen screaming at the Senate to NOT allow witnesses. His cry to call “a hundred witnesses” in return was a desperate bluff. We’re talking about a personal injury attorney, in WAY over-his-head, being the lone voice for the defense.

They would have gotten crushed with witness testimony, because this team wasn’t capable of making a single relevant argument, or able to rationally refute a single fact. It would have been a disaster for the Republicans, and could have quickly gotten out-of-hand from a Democrats’ perspective.

Proud Boys leader & “prolific FBI informant” Enrique Tarrio was the hydrogen bomb bullseye potential witness. That’s why a quick backroom deal was struck, and Joe Biden was the force behind that. He’s extracted a lot from Mitch McConnell already, in return for the Republicans being allowed to acquit Trump and end this embarrassing trial. Expect more of that bipartisanship going forward.

This relates very much to “Sylvia Ageloff and the assassination of Leon Trotsky.” Government agents must be exposed, otherwise they will infiltrate, use, and decapitate any left-wing organization. David North during the Sunday livestream answered the question “What does the SEP/ICFI do to protect itself & its supporters?” The initiator of “Security and the Fourth International” replied, “We learn the lessons of history.”

How do spies get into a left-wing political organization? They often come through auxiliary positions such as secretaries, transcribers, chauffeurs & bodyguards. They are the ones who aren’t really Marxists, but offer to help in some other way, and are good at it.

They can weasel their way into a political party through RELATIONSHIPS with loyal auxiliary personal, who aren’t Marxists, meaning these people aren’t as adept at spotting agents. Or they can be complacent functionaries, as David North mentioned when he described the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) attitude in the 1970’s as, “Agents do good work.” [!!] From this, anyone can see how all these warm bodies shifted to liberalism in the 1980’s.

The historical lesson for revolutionary internationalists is that you have to have DIY security, using history & science– paying particular attention to criminology & psychology. Being socially comfortable in any situation, while controlling your personal domain, allows one to relax and let others reveal themselves. Ramon Mercader was a charmer.

Take everything anybody says in political context, very seriously, even if you don’t initially understand the meaning of what was said. You must be able to spot lies, and come to correct conclusions. That’s how agents are weeded out, and prevented from entering the ranks. It’s how loyal members know they are protected. The particular methods, means & discussions are SEP/ICFI secrets, of course.

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Trump Senate Impeachment Trial

Donald Trump is being tried for impeachment in the Senate for inciting an insurrection on January 6, 2021, as President of the United States. This will be a serial. Stay tuned for daily updates until its conclusion.

Day 1: I’m listening to Trump’s legal defense team’s arguments on the constitutionality of trying the House impeachment of January 13, 2021. Their strategy appears to be to put everyone to sleep with rambling thoughts, falsehoods, red herrings & non-sequiturs. Zzzzzzzzz…..

Bruce Castor (above), Trump defense lawyer, “We expect our US Senators not to react to popular will.” That, and horse trading, is democracy. That’s the thinly-veiled message in their defense argument.

The defense’s visual aids stink compared to the prosecution’s. That’s what happens when you run off your entire legal team a week before the trial. David Schoen’s rambling gibberish makes me delirious with surreal images…. “I’d like to cite yet other case on the unconstitutionality of these proceedings, in the Cookie monster vs. the Muppets*, blah, blah, blah…”

* This was little-known case concerning the Cookie Monster trying to take over Sesame Street, with the rest of the cast responding by threatening to take away his cookies. I think it’s been cited as relevant here. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

This video revealed earlier today by the prosecution hits much harder, and clearly emphasizes the point of this impeachment trial. Anyone can see why the Republicans don’t want this trial.

The final Senate vote taken after 5 PM EST was 56-44 on the constitutionality of trying the impeachment. Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (KY) voted ‘No,’ proving they’re the party of fascism. Not a single Republican can give a clear reason why this trial is unconstitutional, and that’s because the Constitution is clear that it is.

But the media doesn’t press this issue too much, because some of these Republicans were in on the insurrection conspiracy, and reviewing their complicity could get ugly for the two-party system. That’s why President Joe Biden claims he’s “keeping his distance” on impeachment, when actually he’s following this very closely. Trump’s impeachment trial starts in earnest at noon tomorrow.

No comment from Joe Biden’s Press Secretary at all. Here are my questions for him. “Mr. President, how do you feel about the events of January 6, and Donald Trump’s responsibility for it? Should Trump be impeached for inciting an insurrection? Do you see these actions as a criminal attempt to steal your victory? Should Trump be criminally prosecuted?”

As US President, and the person who won the 2020 election over Trump, Joe Biden needs to answer these questions directly to the American people. Otherwise, he’s a fraud, as much as all the rest who are trying to duck this fundamental issue of democracy.

As for Vice President Kamala Harris, she’s been viewed jogging stairs at Lincoln Memorial [a BLM racialist!] over 4 million times as of this evening, but has no comment on the impeachment trial. The narrative was that Kamala Harris would be the democratic voice of the oppressed, through her identity politics credentials, but that was all campaign hype. She’s an entitled elitist, only interested in maintaining her career & privileges. Therefore Kamala Harris won’t answer any serious questions either.

Day 2: Wed 10 Feb 2021 09:00 AM EST

I read this piece from ABC News this morning titled, “Biden laser-focused on pushing his agenda as Senate starts impeachment trial.” I thought to myself, “Biden ducks Trump impeachment” would be a more accurate title. By the way, how does a semi-senile individual like Joe Biden ‘laser focus’ on anything? Pure propaganda from the corporatized fake media.

Let us review the political resumes of the current President & VP. Joe Biden, 47th VP from 2009-2017 under Barack Obama, represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973-2009. Kamala Harris served as a United States senator from California from 2017-2021. The Senate, which is now debating Trump’s impeachment, is where Biden-Harris came from, so their true thoughts on what’s going on is obligatory to the American people.

For White House press secretary Jen Psaki to insist at a briefing on Monday (Feb 8) that the President “will not spend too much time watching the proceedings, if any time, over the course of this week,” is not believable. Anybody with a political brain knows there’s top-secret back-channeling going on. Leaders answers these important questions definitively to their rank-and-file constituency, especially after January 6, 2021. Cowardly frauds, Kamala Harris included, hide from them.

Wed 10 Feb 2021 04:09 PM EST

The impeachment managers’ ‘Big Lie’ argument on Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign has been devastating to the defense. In fact, it was Donald Trump who tried to steal the 2020 election. The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. It’s about time we heard this on MSM.

Some other interesting facts we’ve come to learn today, included Trump spending $50 million in campaign money to fund the Proud Boys for the January 6 mob insurrection. Democratic impeachment managers are carefully avoiding the sordid history of Enrique Tarrio, head of the Proud Boys since 2018, and a “prolific FBI informer.” Enrique Tarrio has snitched on at least three major marijuana grow-houses in south Florida. J. Edgar Hoover would be livid over this public outing of an agent.

Another tidbit, Women for America First secured the permit for January 6, which explicitly forbade them from marching. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani said on January 6 to a mob of angry Trump supporters at the Ellipse, “Let’s have trial by combat.”

Unasked questions: What were the roles of Roger Stone, Dan Scavino, Stephen Miller & Stephen Bannon in planning & organizing the attack on the Capitol? What about the rest of Trump’s inner circle? Were Republican members of Congress in on this conspiracy? What about the stand down of the National Guard? Much more needs to be dug into on these points.

Wed 10 Feb 2021 09:09 PM EST

Two weeks ago, 45 Republican senators voted that the impeachment trial of former President Trump is unconstitutional. Legal scholars & constitutional historians nearly unanimously say it is constitutional. The Republican Party still hasn’t offered a coherent argument as to why this impeachment trial is unconstitutional. It compares to Trump not admitting he lost an election. And that’s the defense the Republicans have rested on. They aren’t even considering the evidence shown, which this nation, and entire world have seen.

When Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says, “This case is over,” most people watching these proceedings could only think, “Yeah, and Trump is guilty.” But for Graham and his filthy (& cowardly) lot, it’s the opposite. This process is “unconstitutional,” so therefore they aren’t swayed by ANY of the evidence. This is how the Republican caucus is ducking the substance of the serious issues being presented. In other words, the Republicans are immune to the truth of January 6. Donald Trump is to be acquitted when it comes to a vote, even though he is clearly guilty of inciting a mob insurrection.

What this means is that the Republican Party is the domain of fascists and all their apologists. The two-party system is breaking apart, live on national television. The biggest cowards are indeed the Republicans, who can’t stand up to their biggest bully. Even when Trump is totally isolated, after his violent insurrection on the Capitol, the Republicans still cower to him. This impeachment trial was their chance to finish him forever, and take back their Party, or whatever is left of it, anyways. But they couldn’t do it. They need the Democrats to rescue them, and they know they will, so understand that there are no heroes on the other side of the aisle.

The Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-vaxxers, right-wing militia gun nuts, Bible freaks, etc, who obeyed Trump are the Republican Party’s base. The Republicans threw in their lot with Trump in 2016, and they will go down in flames with him. That’s what’s happening in this impeachment trial.

At this point, it is the court of public opinion that is trying this case, since it is clear that the Republicans have abstained their responsibility to be fair & impartial. Most Americans believe Donald Trump is guilty, and this creates a host of problems for those who abetted him, because Trump has neither the brains, nor the discipline to plan & carry out this conspiracy to storm the Capitol on January 6 by himself.

Many of the ‘appeals to conscience’ from the prosecution were directed towards Mike Pence, the VP whose life was literally threatened by Trump’s insurrection. Pence is seen as the conservative head of the Republicans, a ‘reasonable man’ that Democrats such as Joe Biden could work with. These appeals to Pence can be seen as an olive branch from the Democrats. Remember that Joe Biden has insisted, “We must have unity with the fascists.” Actually he said, “We must have unity with the Republicans,” but since we’ve seen that Republicans always support fascists, those two terms are synonymous in modern political science.

Tomorrow is to be the final day of evidence presentation. I, along with many others, will be watching & judging. After that, the defense is to have its turn. After Tuesday’s disaster, who knows how that will go, but it isn’t expected to take nearly as long as the prosecution’s presentation. Then there may be some rebuttal, followed by closing arguments. The Republicans sincerely hope that Trump’s lawyers do a better job of defense, because they need the political cover. In any event, the Republicans will vote down impeachment of their führer, and then they will pretend all this never happened. That’s two-party capitalist politics in 2021.

Day 3: Thu 11 Feb 2021 01:52 AM EST

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah tried a grandstand play at the very end of Wednesday’s session, when he passionately claimed the evidence about Trump accidentally calling him while trying to reach Tommy Tuberville on January 6, as the riot was in progress, was not true. Except that Mike Lee is already on record that it did happen.

The Democrats submitted anyways, and upheld his false argument, throwing out that part of the testimony. Octogenarian, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), the master of ceremonies, appeared very confused & taken aback by all this bluster.

“If Senate Republicans fail to convict Donald Trump, it won’t be because the facts were with him or his lawyers mounted a competent defense. It will be because the jury includes his co-conspirators,” Hillary Clinton tweeted Wednesday. This quote is notable, in that it’s the first honest statement I can recall from the former First Lady. That’s another indication of the depth of this political crisis.

For the record, these co-conspirators include US Senators: Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tommy Tuberville, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and many other Trump loyalists. In the House of Representatives it’s even worse, as the conspirators there include: Kevin McCarthy, Mat Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar & Andy Biggs, to name the most prominent reactionaries.

Yesterday, it was announced by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that the “Trump ban is PERMANENT even if he’s re-elected.” Trump has been banned from spreading dangerous lies & misinformation on Twitter, and all other major social media platforms. Fascists cry foul on the grounds of “free speech.” But any first-year law student knows that inciting criminal violence isn’t protected under the 1st Amendment. Yet Trump and his fascist supporters claim they are being unfairly censored & suppressed by the “radical left.” Every political argument these fascists make is a big lie, backed by the threat of violence, and covered-up by bureaucratic complacency & ruthless self-interest.

And then there’s the role of the Capitol Police on January 6. According to this report, “The Capitol Police chief resigned after the attack, two officers have been suspended and at least 10 others are being investigated for behavior during the attack including an incident in which one took a selfie with rioters. Despite this, the Capitol Police have not held a briefing to address reporters or the public since the attack.” This hasn’t been brought up in the impeachment trial either.

Much of the gratitude the prosecutors are professing to the Capitol Police officers who fought to defend them against Trump’s mob is genuine. But deep inside, there is an element of pandering to law enforcement. The uncritical acceptance of police loyalty defies logic after what happened. Too many Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other fascist scum that stormed the Capitol on January 6, came from the ranks of the police, firefighters & military.

To those who were actually loyal and did their jobs, suffering injuries and worse in the melee, the lack of an impeachment conviction is a slap in their faces. It sends the message, “Stand by, we will need you again soon, as we can’t ensure this doesn’t happen again, because we don’t have the political will to stop this.” It gives fascists a free pass, and puts everyone else in harm’s way. It also begs the question, “If this isn’t an impeachable offense, then what is?” This question needs to be put to every Republican that votes to acquit Donald Trump.

Thu 11 Feb 2021 11:00 AM EST

As Sly Stone sang, “It’s a Family Affair,” and that’s what we have here. All impeachments are partisan, but this time it to such an extreme that it is fracturing all rules of logic, human decency, as well as the existing political set-up.

The Bill Clinton impeachment in 1998 was for perjury, in lying about an extra-martial sexual affair. That campaign was spear-headed by arch-reactionary Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and his so-called “moral majority,” which held sway in Congress. This was a filthy partisan effort to remove a two-term President through a dirty-tricks campaign, and it paved the way for the stolen election of 2000, and then 9/11.

The first Trump impeachment, in September 2019, was the culmination of the Democrats reactionary anti-Russia campaign, which began in summer 2016. The accusations were so thin (& convoluted) that most people don’t even understand what it was. They mostly know it was bullshit.

On top of that, Republican operatives came up with more compelling evidence of criminality by Joe Biden [!], which threw a big wrench into everything the Democrats had scripted. Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, received huge payoffs from Ukraine magnates, for no work. Nobody in the fake MSM mentions that Ukraine had a fascist counter-revolution orchestrated by the CIA in 2014, known as the “orange revolution” by propagandists. Here’s an example of that big lie.

The Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court hearing in the summer of 2018 is the other significant modern partisan battle, in relation to Trump’s current impeachment trial. It was the height of the Democrats feminist witch-hunting #MeToo campaign, and they choose to attack Trump’s reactionary nominee not on his public record, but on unfounded (and dubious) sexual assault allegations which went back decades, with no witnesses or evidence to confirm these accusations. It was another gift to Trump from the Clinton-Obama-Biden Democrats, in the name of partisanship.

All that context is necessary to understand this impeachment of Trump for inciting a mob to storm the Capitol. It’s much different than all the other political theater we’re used to, because the issues here are clear. Everybody understands the images, audio & arguments being presented for impeachment. It’s not bullshit, in fact it’s the exact opposite. Nothing is more important for the American people to understand than the fact that Trump is going to be acquitted, despite the massive evidence against him, and the reason is the Democratic Party.

The Dems enabled Republicans when they were echoing Trump’s “Stop the Steal” big lie campaign. There is a “prolific” FBI informer leading the Proud Boys, so why wasn’t this Capitol mob conspiracy snuffed out immediately? Etc, etc… The compromisist language weaved into their arguments makes it clear that Joe Biden is negotiating this Senate impeachment trial behind-the scenes for himself. The US President doesn’t take a pass on something this big, when so much self-interest & political power is at stake.

Thu 11 Feb 2021 04:50 PM EST

The House managers just finished their closing arguments, and it’s a devastating case against Trump. All networks have openly acknowledged that Donald Trump will be acquitted, despite the mountain of evidence and dangerous precedent it will set. The prosecution certainly knew this, so it felt much more like a pitch to the public today, which is a good strategy as the Republicans are hopeless.

House Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO), and team leader Jamie Raskin, (D-MD) have to be considered the stars for the Democrats in this historic impeachment trial. I’ll confess that I also appreciated Ted Lieu (D-CA), and his understated style. The truth is the entire team for the prosecution was at least competent, and often above that standard, in terms of bourgeois parliamentary effectiveness. But in terms of Trotskyist historical materialism, they’re all political children, which is why they blacklist socialists.

Tomorrow, it’s Trump’s lawyers getting a second crack at trying to do something for the defense. I predict it’s going to be ugly, confusing & painful. I’m not a legal expert, but I don’t believe that David Schoen & Bruce Castor are going to be retained as Trump attorneys after this weekend. Anybody wanna bet me on that? I’ll be tuning in tomorrow, and publishing more updates, to help make sense of this madness. I’ll post more later tonight to preview some important thoughts to keep in mind.

Thu 11 Feb 2021 08:16 PM EST

Eric London of the WSWS just published a monumental 4-part series titled, “Sylvia Ageloff and the assassination of Leon Trotsky,” in which he discusses the role of US government agents in the murder conspiracy. In short, a vast network of Stalinist agents in Mexico, Canada & the US were complicit in Trotsky’s murder in August 1940. J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI abetted the crime, by allowing GPU agents Sylvia Ageloff & Ramon Mercader to travel in & out of the US freely, when harsh wartime immigration & travel restrictions were in effect, etc.

Hoover’s overarching interest was in getting the names of GPU spies in the US from Sylvia Ageloff, which he finally did. The FBI covered everything up in the US media, as part of Hoover’s witch-hunting campaign against “communists,” which led to HUAC and then blacklists. Mexican prosecutors & justice officials were silenced and/or killed by agents of Stalin. The assassins lived long & comfortable lives, and were viewed as heroes by their establishments. Killing is a dirty business.

I mention this because Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, is a known government agent, yet he did nothing to stop the attack on the Capitol. Raz Simone of CHAZ /CHOP is another example of an agent provocateur, for his role in the BLM gangland violence in Seattle this past summer. These people are very dangerous because they are unprincipled. Intelligence agencies seek to place spies like these in positions where they can betray others without their knowledge.

This type of treachery has nothing to do with democracy. All government secrets should be revealed to the public. Secret diplomacy kills democracy, and the back-channeling during this impeachment trial is proof. The nods to “national security” & calls to “patriotism,” reeked of Joe Biden’s invisible hand during the prosecution’s presentation on Thursday.

So does the Democrats rhetoric about preserving each American’s “sacred right to vote.” In 2020, the Democratic Party blacklisted any socialist opposition to the left of Bernie Sanders. It was completely centrist-right politicking until election day, under conditions where a coronavirus pandemic had wiped out the global economy and millions of jobs, creating unsustainable inequality.

Trotskyists are internationalists first. We don’t heed the call of patriotism and/or country. Our purpose is to unite the workers of the world for socialist revolution. We don’t bemoan the revealing of government secrets, we advocate for it. We don’t rush in to save a dying “democracy” that systematically disenfranchises the working class.

The greatest government attack on its own democracy, which has defined the politics of the 21st-century to date, is 9/11. There are many crazy right-wing conspiracy theories on every subject, and 9/11 is no exception. But the fact is that the US government explanation is implausible, so alternative explanations must be developed, using the evidence available & the historical materialist method. From all my reviews of 9/11, this is my best approximation of what happened on that day & why?

Whatever hit the Pentagon on 9/11 wasn’t a 757 airliner, as there was no visible wreckage. It most likely was a cruise missile strike by a CIA or military drone, as a false flag operation, to provide a pretext for their phony ‘war on terror.’ The flight manifests, passenger logs, phone calls, black boxes, etc, have been sealed by the deep state. All that stuff can be faked & manipulated by intelligence experts.

No wreckage in Shanksville, PA either, just bulldozed ground, charred with fire & smoke. As for NYC, the twin towers collapsed at free-fall speed, when they were designed to withstand multiple airplane crashes at once. Numerous eyewitness testimonies from survivors described loud explosions going off before & after the planes hit, particularly in the basement levels. Why were bomb sniffing dogs removed from the WTC buildings on Sept 6, 2001, by Marvin Bush’s security team? How did WTC 7 collapse at free-fall speed that evening? Controlled demolition using military grade thermate cutter charges is the only explanation. The 9/11 truthers have a few right-wing nuts, but overall their cause is much bigger than that. They deserve a fair public hearing.

The planes that hit both twin towers were quite possibly US military/intelligence drones. Faked flight logs, background cover stories, etc. A few of the alleged 19 hijackers turned up ALIVE weeks later. They were very surprised to be accused of being dead terrorists. Witnesses on the scene reported the smell of cordite at the Pentagon blast site, instead of kerosene which is jet fuel. Etc, etc… Testimony to all this has been officially sealed into the deep state’s hidden vaults. Recall the deep state didn’t officially exist up to a few years ago, until then it was a “conspiracy theory.”

A few days before this impeachment trial began, Q-Anon adherent (pic above) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) adamantly insisted, “An airliner didn’t hit the Pentagon on 9/11, there was no wreckage.” Then a day later, after intense political pressure from the center-right, her tune changed to, “I also want to tell you, 9/11 absolutely happened.”

What explains this turnabout? To be part of the official ruling establishment, you can’t question the official version of 9/11. Trump did the same thing early in his term, and he was vigorously censured for it. Right-wing Q-Anon-ers advocate for 9/11 truthers, in order to steal the narrative from the left. Q-Anon advocacy for truth holds up until the establishment whips them into line. Their position has nothing to do with truth, principles or ethics, it’s about stealing the narrative for themselves.

Right-wing ideologies often have no response to direct political questions, other than violence. I recently heard the claim that there was “too much political content on Facebook,” from someone who posts pro-Trump memes & links regularly. It occurred to me how similar these interests are to Mark Zuckerberg’s, when he claims he wants to “depoliticize” Facebook. To censor & marginalize left-wing content is a political act. It’s called fascism.

Day 4: Fri 12 Feb 2021 09:20 AM EST

The CARES Act, passed at the end of last March, handed trillions of dollars to Wall Street, and told the rest of us to get back to work/school, despite a raging pandemic with mutating strains, and now a vaccine shortage. That’s a bipartisan policy of saving the rich, while imposing “herd immunity,” which is social murder, on the greater population. We are told by the ruling elites & all its representatives to go back to work, in order to pay for all this.

The class lines couldn’t be clearer. The two-party system’s pandemic response is an impeachable offense for every member of Congress, and all those in the Executive branch. Another example of an impeachable offense would be Illegally detaining immigrants at the border, who are fleeing gangland violence caused by drug cartel wars, all sponsored by Uncle Sam. The CIA is known globally as Murder, Inc., so real Marxists won’t listen to any protestations of America being the world’s “beacon of democracy.”

The two-party system instigates violence on both sides of the aisles. Anyone could make a case for impeachment against all of them. In US politics, there are hundreds of impeachable offenses committed every year, no matter who is president. That’s the Trotskyist political position, and it’s gaining popular support. Those on the right recoil at this, as their arguments become more & more unhinged, and move to attack with violence.

Fri 12 Feb 2021 01:55 PM EST

Michael van der Veen & David Schoen have it so wrong, as their presentation is only reinforcing the House managers case for impeachment to any rational observer. The video of Democrats saying “fight,” is Fox News tripe, as they’ve run it four times so far, as an exhibit. None of that speech from Democrats anywhere, resulted in a coup attempt by a mob of Trump supporters at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. That’s the issue of this impeachment trial.

Free speech & First Amendment protections DO NOT give ANYONE the right to incite a violent & unlawful insurrection. The BLM insurrections from last summer should be investigated & prosecuted by & for the public, as there was surely much Democrat/deep state complicity in that. That’s the Trotskyist position on Trump’s reactionary & pathetic defense arguments.

A good visualization to understand impeachment is that it’s a “quasi-legal & quasi-political trial.” As far as “due process” goes, THIS is the defense’s chance to refute all the evidence, and they aren’t doing it. Their lawyers have 16 hours [!] for defense, and aren’t going to come close to using even a quarter of that time.

So Trump can’t bitch about due process, without being seen as a hypocrite, because he’s refused to testify under oath, and his lawyers aren’t addressing the substance of the issue. Trump was invited to testify, and he declined on advice of all his lawyers– in record time. ALL THIS has been Donald Trump’s due process. I wrote yesterday that the defense arguments would be confusing & ugly, and I’ve already been vindicated in that by the first recess.

Fri 12 Feb 2021 02:55 PM EST

I’m watching, and imagining a text message from Donald Trump to Bruce Castor, it reads, “You’re fired!” For Bruce Castor’s sake, I hope he got paid-in-full up front. This is the painful part, which I also promised.

Trump’s tweets in the afternoon of January 6, asking his supporters to “be peaceful, and respect the police,” (paraphrased here) can be seen as Republican strategist ploys to provide political cover in the aftermath of the failed putsch. Trump, as US President, needed to condemn the insurrectionist mob directly, immediately & emphatically, but he didn’t.

The National Guard was ordered to stand down, and this has been tied to the conduct of Trump’s acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller. At this point, a few tweets (which did nothing to help), can’t exonerate Trump when he planned the entire event, inflamed it, and set it in motion. The body of evidence is overwhelming, and the defense has done nothing to refute it. It’s all lies, red herrings & irrelevant arguments.

Fri 12 Feb 2021 07:09 PM EST

The defense argued for only two-and-a-half hours, before resting. As I predicted, then reported, it was a painful period of time to endure. Here’s an astonishing fact of this trial, which we learned today. Donald Trump has never personally met with any of these attorneys representing him at this impeachment trial. That’s a complete joke for the defense. And they yammer on about due process, etc.

Q & A was also a disaster for the defense. Most of the time went to the House manager side, allowing them to refute all of Trump’s defense arguments which they had just made, but still hadn’t had sufficient time to bake-in as right-wing talking points for Fox. It let the House manager side refute them, and win all four days of the trial, ideologically. It was a rout. The prosecution’s message was allowed to resound for four days, while the defense had to be completely silent for the middle two days, and was ineffective & unconvincing in the two days that bracketed them.

With each side being allowed five minutes to answer, or two-and-a-half minutes if the question was for both sides, the defense’s first question directed only to them yielded a one-word answer. It was “No” from Michael van der Veen, but I forgot the question. And so forth, for the defense. Google fact-check for Michael van der Veen: most often, fire chiefs are elected officials, but a few are appointed directly to the position. He tried to wing it, in attacking a very effective fire chief analogy, concerning free speech and its limitations, made by Jamie Raskin. I’m grading Trump’s defense team as a ‘F’.

Neither side wants to call any witnesses. I don’t see any more arguments to be made. The Senate will vote on this ASAP, and Trump will be acquitted. By any rational legal standard, this judgment is to be considered a kangaroo acquittal, and it will live in infamy. Historically, it will be seen as the death knell of the Republican Party. That’s why conservatives are so upset about this. Fascism has been discredited in front of the world, and despite a partisan acquittal, they’ve lost the ideological battle for the public mind. Almost everyone knows this decision is unjust & wrong, and yet it is what it is. It’s clear that American democracy is a dead letter.

Day 5: Sat 13 Feb 2021 07:42 AM EST

Congress can impeach an official retroactively, as long as the prosecution has a provable case. That’s what the Constitution has said, and how it’s been interpreted, for over 200 years. The Republican arguments concerning precedent are childish. It completely ignores the magnitude of Trump’s crime. Impeachment is about discouraging unlawful activity & abuse of power by a high official. It is part of the checks & balances system that the Founding Fathers built. Partisan replies as rebuttals, are just that– partisan replies.

At 10:00 AM the Senate will reconvene, and after a few closing arguments, a vote will be taken. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, an adamant Trump supporter, has said, “I will vote against impeachment at the first opportunity, as this trial has been bad for the Republican Party.” Nothing more is needed to prove their lack of interest, and their stubborn refusal to understand any of the greater historical implications. It’s all short-term gain calculations from the GOP. Most of these Republican high officials do not want the American people to know the full extent of what happened on January 6, because many of them were complicit.

Michael van der Veen claims that if Trump is impeached, then anyone can. But this was an EXCEPTIONAL breach & dereliction of Trump’s Constitutional duty. Impeachment is reserved as a Constitutional right of Congress, for just such exceptional crimes against the state. It takes political capital to move ahead with an impeachment. If it is misguided, or based on a false (or frivolous) premise, like the Ukraine-gate impeachment or the Bill Clinton impeachment, then the prosecuting Party is disgraced, and loses some of its political power. That’s the double-edged nature of impeachment which Republicans avoid in their unfounded arguments.

The Trump team & Republican Party’s outright contempt for the entire impeachment proceeding has been palpable. Their defense has often sought to label the insurrectionists, summoned by Trump, as “left-wing ANTIFA.” Let’s be clear: Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Boogaloo Bois, etc, are right-wing fascists. They wear Trump clothing, and carry Trump flags, along with swastikas, symbols of the Confederacy, and other badges of ignorance & hate. They are the political opposite of left-wing. This is done intentionally by Republican demagogues, in order to smear left-wing dissent, and call for its political censure, thereby strengthening fascism.

Sat 13 Feb 2021 11:15 AM EST

The Senate just voted 55-45 to allow witnesses. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA) is to be deposed under oath, as requested by the House managers, regarding conversation House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had with Donald Trump on the afternoon of January 6. Trump’s defense objected, but Mitt Romney led defecting Republicans to defeat that motion.

Michael van der Veen (obviously Trump’s preferred litigator at this point, just for his aggressive tone) has been loudly protesting that the House Mangers have presented “zero evidence,” and yet when it is moved to allow witnesses, the defense opposes it in its arguments. The defense will, of course, have equal time to cross-examine any witnesses, but the problem is they don’t know how to do that.

The Senate is now in limbo until it decides amongst themselves how to proceed, and if they are going to call any more witnesses. There’s a LOT of internecine anger among Republican lawmakers right now. This is an overnight bombshell from Democrats strongly in favor of impeachment, call it the anti-Biden faction. Everyone thought this trial would be over today, and now it won’t be.

Sat 13 Feb 2021 11:57 AM EST

It’s important to know when to end a serial for an event that drags on much longer than expected. At this point, the impeachment trial has ground to a halt, and we have to wait for what comes next. The Senate alone has all power to make their own rules on this, per the US Constitution.

I’m directly discussing the process, because it helps people understand the content. It’s more far important in terms of revolutionary impact, to get fresh explosive content online ASAP, verses editing (& re-writing) to get it ‘perfect’ later. Proofread & correct at the end, and then move on.

There will be small mistakes along the way, but that’s part of the excessive energy & excitement which jolts everybody’s senses, and is inherent in all this. It’s all new & uncharted territory, so no one can say they are 100% correct, but this is a best approximation.

In this internet age, mine (& yours) can become a leading narrative on social media due to the power of its truth– if it gets there early & often. That’s why repeated & timely installments are the key to any successful serial. It needs to hit hard when it’s happening, and still be a comprehensive & readable narrative when it’s over– or at least time to end it, like now.

One of the hardest things in writing a serial is to proofread everything, and edit yourself at the end, when you’re tired. You need to be prepared to engage the fake media & right-wing fascists at (& above) their levels. Physical health is mandatory, but preparation really means studying history, becoming a Marxist, and applying dialectical materialism politically.

These aren’t simply events we remember as future trivia answers. Today is February 13, 2021, less than six weeks since Donald Trump’s failed coup attempt. The memories & images of Trump’s insurrection are still fresh, and they raise so many unanswered questions about the state of American democracy. Of course, witnesses should be called, many of them.

Enrique Tarrio is the leader of the Proud Boys, and a prolific FBI informer. Not just any informer, but a “prolific informer.” He should be called as a witness under oath for Trump’s impeachment trial. Enrique Tarrio could connect a lot of dots for the American people, if he told the whole truth.

Since this impeachment trial inevitably leads to acquittal, the only response that moves the working class forward is to prepare themselves for a general strike, with the political goal of organizing a socialist revolution in permanence. That’s the only way forward for the workers & youth of the world. That will be the final historical & political lesson of this impeachment trial. In the end, it will be either lawful socialism, or lawless barbarism sanctioned by capitalism.

Sat 13 Feb 2021 02:15 PM EST

While in recess, behind closed doors, Donald Trump’s lawyers have clinched an agreement that will bypass witness testimony, clearing the way for the former President to be acquitted, later this afternoon. The Black Hand (in this case Joe Biden) has intervened, and that’s it for what the American people get to know about January 6, 2021.

Sat 13 Feb 2021 02:55 PM EST

The Black Hand is the mafia, the hidden power behind the perceived power. It’s the deep state nationally. It’s the Five Families in New York. It’s the FBI, NSA, CIA, etc, who know all about YOU, while you know very little about them. For gamers, I’ve illustrated the influence of the Black Hand in my essay on Taipan, an early 1980’s turn-based Apple computer game.

Some secret deal has been struck, and we will soon see it in bipartisan policy. There are many defecting Republicans, call it the Mitt Romney caucus, who are very upset at having to take a bite out of a giant shitburger created by Donald Trump. He’s in Mar-a-Lago, FL, while his Republican “colleagues” are taking all kinds of flak, and getting no help from his legal defense team.

The closing arguments, curiously, aren’t being broadcast on NBC or CBS. After all these days, without commercial interruption, and now NBC & CBS doesn’t want people to see how this finishes. They’re showing sports. Only ABC is covering this live. I wonder why?

Sat 13 Feb 2021 03:48 PM EST

The closing arguments were more of the same from both sides. It was especially painful to re-listen to Michael van der Veen spew hatred & contempt all over the Senate, with the zeal of Joseph Goebbels. He contradicted himself so many times, that I just gave up, and starting typing this while he droned-on in the background. That’s who he is and what he represents.

I’m no lawyer, but the defense may have delivered the ugliest closing argument in the history of American jurisprudence. But make no mistake, it was a ‘winning’ argument, a Pyrrhic victory in every sense. Senates votes 57 ‘guilty’ to 43 ‘not guilty’, which means it didn’t get the 67 votes to impeach. Trump is acquitted, and that’s it, I quit. Over & Out

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SpaceX Explodes

This capability will enable a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond,” SpaceX said in a statement ahead of Tuesday’s test.

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021  7:20 EST: It was a successful launch. It’s not the fall that kills everybody, it’s the sudden stop. Another data point on the privatization of NASA. My alternate title is “SpaceXplodes.”

Top comments from others: “Eh… ‘at’ll buff right out,” “Needs a giant Bitcoin sticker on it. Then she moons,” “SpaceX is a booming business!”, “Looks like Tesla stock once reality actually takes place,” and “That could be you.”

Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong…

That’s our taxes going up in smoke over some pie-in-the-sky delusion of grandeur.

This must be why Elon Musk insisted on being interviewed on NBC on MONDAY night, when he didn’t take any GameStop questions either.

Not a reusable rocket. FAIL

Under these results, humanity will never get to Mars. Musk is Trump 2.0.

In this modern-day reboot of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954), Elon Musk is Rocky, and Jared Isaacman is Winky.

Bonus Short: Roy Thinnes in General Hospital circa 1964.

In term of physics, trying to land a rocket on it’s thrusters is like trying to land an airplane on its tail– meaning it’s physically impossible. This is because you can’t control an inverted pendulum in free-fall. But despite multiple miserable failures at this, Elon Musk is not deterred. As in Manhunt in Space (Rocky Jones, renamed), our billionaire entrepreneur must go back the the drawing board and re-discuss all this with his top scientists. The answer is probably in “cold light,” which should never be used indiscriminately.

SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk in 2002, and through his political connections, it has become the chief contractor & engineering team for NASA. The space shuttle program formally ended in August, 2011, so that Musk could design his own new vision of the future, which is the privatization of space travel.

Who is SpaceX charging to launch rockets & satellites? In the end, it’s all some form of corporate welfare. This second fireball disaster in less than two months (see video above) is an illustration of the folly, wastefulness & anti-scientific character of NASA under private control.

It used to be when something went wrong with NASA, there would be an explanation. Like on February 1, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia blew apart on re-entry, killing all 7 crew members. We now know that something as small as a piece of foam insulation breaking off from an external tank, can strike a wing, and cause heat tiles to fall off. When Columbia re-entered the atmosphere, that damage allowed hot gases to penetrate the heat shield. Anyone can understand that.

But NOBODY can explain a fix for what’s happening here with Elon Musk. It’s been over a decade, and Musk still hasn’t delivered a Starship prototype that can land safely. It’s not even close. It’s time for the working people to change the leadership at NASA.

After this 2nd spectacular FAIL, there won’t be any customers for a “reusable rocket” that explodes into smithereens due to physical laws upon re-entry. To be truthful, we’d be further along in manned exploration with the space shuttle program, but Elon Musk had it killed to promote his personal vision, which is a boondoggle.

The only way I could think of promoting Elon Musk’s NASA delusion would be as follows: “Experience of a lifetime!! Your Twitter feed will blow up as you live-stream blast-off! Jettison yourself to the stars for your 15 minutes of fame! Re-entry will be a bummer, but you’ll get a helluva rating. A fifty-share, easy.”

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Boogaloo beatdown

We’ve had live Boogaloos in our WSWS forums for a few days, so I’ve encouraged all regular readers to ask them questions & engage them, as I did. Boogaloos scream to EVERYBODY they are so suppressed and have no voice in the media, until they are asked to explain themselves. Then it’s either silence, ad hominem attacks, and/or rage. They use the ‘big lie’ a lot, and libel opponents who use political science. I’m grateful to the WSWS moderators. What follows are my responses to all their attacks since publication.

The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) published, “YouTube personality Jimmy Dore promotes fascist Boogaloo Boy” on Friday, January 29. It starts, “On January 24, Dore invited SEP member and World Socialist Web Site Labor Editor Jerry White onto his program to discuss the WSWS’s coverage of a strike of Hunts Point produce workers in New York City…”

It turns out, this was a sleazy bait & switch interview opportunity offered to Jerry White of the WSWS, by Jimmy Dore. It was a misguided attempt by Dore to “unite the left & right.” The WSWS rejects the Boogaloo Boys as gutter politics, as Eric London explains.

Soon after, Nazi Boogaloo trolls began attacking the WSWS, because Jerry White wouldn’t cozy up to reactionary mouthpiece Jimmy Dore. Here’s a truth we’ve learned from all this. When it comes to mutilated Marxist pseudo-babble, the alt-right is better than the liberal left. Crazy stuff like, “Trotsky should have joined with Zinoviev,” etc… These Nazis actually studied for a day or so. That’s more reading than a lot of ‘leftists’ do.

Reactionaries kept posting WSWS articles they clearly hadn’t read, as ‘evidence’ of something [?] bad. They never have a quote, with a specific political criticism, just bluster and their usual tropes. We understand that Jimmy Dore & his crew actually want to be friends, but the problem is we don’t cozy up to Nazis. That’s rule #1 for us.

I asked Boogaloo supporters, “What’s up with your Hawaiian shirts? That was such a bad movie. Just so everyone remembers, the first Electric Boogaloo had rap/hip-hop influence. The sequel compares to Caddyshack II.” A supporter posted this link to Teen Vogue. My reaction was that they can’t even speak for themselves when asked directly, and obviously have no thought-out political program.

One prominent Dore supporter affirmed, “Jerry [White] was wholly ill-prepared for Jimmy Dore and his audience. It was a painful experience.” To which I immediately replied, “Jimmy Dore and his audience are wholly ill-prepared for the WSWS & its audience. It’s been a painful experience for you.”

No quarter to fascists. Question to them, “How do you feel about Boogaloos storming the Capitol as part of the Trump mob on January 6, 2021?” When these people are ready to disassociate themselves from fascist hooligans forever, then we can have a serious dialogue. Until then, we entirely reject all anarchist-syndicalist pseudo-populist demagogy.

Extreme leftists: Can you enlighten us on how anarchism betrayed the Spanish Revolution to the Nazis? Or how discuss the tragic lessons for the working class concerning the end of Che Guevara’s adventurism? Not a word of substantive response will you get from the right or left, on any of this.

Some Boogaloos defend the MeToo campaign and its reactionary feminism, which has been discredited, largely thanks to the WSWS. Kate Randall, Clara Weiss, JoAnne Laurier & Genevieve Leigh are just a few women who write for the WSWS, and support this perspective. There are many more.

MeToo feminists: Harvey Weinstein is Hollywood scum, but he deserved a fair trial, just like anyone else who is accused. Instead, he was tried by a media witch hunt in a kangaroo court. Many MeToo accusers & proponents are now proven liars, but face no consequences for this. The WSWS exposed the filth on all sides of this sordid affair, instead of taking sides, like reactionaries always do.

As to Boogaloos protesting their innocence: Boogaloos are being arrested across the US for assaulting the Capitol. The farce impeachment trial of Trump (chief Boogaloo) begins next week, with overwhelming public support for his conviction. The Boogaloo movement may be protected by fascist elites (called Democrats), but that’s where they are heading– down the drain.

All the Boogaloos combined don’t get a single fact right. It’s a remarkable record. Boogaloos are anti-science, anti-socialist & violence based. Like Trump, they are enabled bullies, who are actually cowards. They never admit defeat until it’s beaten into them, and only when they have no other choice. They exist to betray all their political allies.

Socialist question to all Boogaloos: Why don’t you just admit political defeat, and take your ass-whipping like adults and go home? It would be so refreshing to hear truth from you, instead of vitriol, red-herrings & evasions.

To Jimmy Dore on censorship: The WSWS/IYSSE appealed to its audience, the working class & youth of the world, and their Facebook ban was lifted after 3 days, cited as an “automation error” by Mark Zuckerberg– which no one believes. We didn’t need Boogaloos in that fight, and don’t in any other. They are both the enemy.

Reactionaries ask, “Are you a communist?” We reply, “Yes, in the sense of Marx & Engel’s ‘Communist Manifesto’. But ‘No’ to Stalinism, which represents a worker’s state hijacked by fascism. Hitler represents capitalist fascism, and is comparable to Stalin’s ‘communism.’ This historical materialist understanding of Marxism is called Trotskyism.”

To all the brainy, yet politically confused people: True art is a revolutionary manifestation, in any human era & genre. Fake art is ornamental propaganda. The greatest artists are revolutionary dialecticians. As far as intellectual fakery goes, Theodor Adorno represents the Frankfurt school of post-modernism, etc, and all its murky idealism. The primary feature of this school of falsification is the rejection of dialectical materialism in philosophy, and Marxism in politics, as an instrument for revolutionizing the working class internationally.

Finally, there are Socialist Equality Party organizations on six continents. We are internationalists, and therefore have more diversity than anyone. So we reject the MeToo, BLM & LGBT campaigns, which are all tools of the US deep state. We reject any coalition with white supremacists, anti-vaxxers, anti-Semites, right-wing libertarian guns nuts, and Jesus freaks. They are a small, yet dangerous minority that speak for themselves, and nobody else.

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Barbarians at the Gates

What happened yesterday, January 6th, in Washington DC was a terrorist attack on the Capitol & US Constitution incited by Donald Trump. This is what happens when fascism is tolerated. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) & Mitt Romney (R-UT) were all shook up when they spoke on the Senate floor in the evening. As were all the Democrats who had tolerated & dismissed Donald Trump’s vitriolic rants for years.

Obviously the Republican rats are abandoning this shipwreck known as the Trump presidency. The political winds are shifting to the left, so there’s a lot of political theater & hand-wringing going on right now, as careerists are looking for cover– literally & figuratively. The masses are restless. The much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine rollout is now officially a catastrophe.

Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg

Donald Trump incites mob violence as a form of reverence. Notice how these right-wing insurrectionists aren’t arrested. Four dead, with less than 100 people arrested by city police on charges related to the unrest from Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.

Experience tells us that none of them will be charged with anything serious. That’s because the cops (and significant sections of the military) are with Trump & this violent mob. We must root out these fascists. That’s the political lesson of January 6, 2021.

Sleepy conservatives & woke liberals had a revelation yesterday: fascist mobs could be unleashed on them by a führer. This frightened them, for good reason. These bureaucratic fools are so out-of-touch with reality. They see & anticipate nothing, and are frightened of their own shadows. They’ll (again) demand more funding for law enforcement, as a solution to this crisis.

But there were police & military personnel who escorted the fascist mob to the Capitol, and let them in with little-to-no-resistance. These are the Nazi traitors that must be exposed & punished. The reality is that there’s no political will, or stomach for this, within the two-party system.

From a revolutionary socialist perspective, no one blames good soldiers for doing their duty. But part of their duty is to not abet criminality. It’s a fine line, and shit position to be in, because whistle-blowers are persecuted as traitors. See: Bradley/Chelsea Manning.

Waking up on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 I thought the Julian Assange bail decision would be the big story of the day. Assange’s bail request was denied by the UK judge, so he awaits an appeal process which unfairly imprisons him for at least another 2-3 months in Belmarsh. The struggle to free him continues.

Let’s recall that the current Iraq war is based on lies about “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD). Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld made up those WMD lies. Colin Powell argued for those lies in front of the UN. Democrats & Republicans validated those lies in authorizing the Iraq war.

The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN & ABC, etc, amplified & spread those lies. Those are the people ultimately responsible for what happened yesterday in Washington DC. One last fact that matters. The Bush & Clinton families, etc, are funding ISIS/Al Qaeda, which is a CIA creation. We know much of this as fact today, due to WikiLeaks, the genius publishing organ created by Julian Assange.

Joe Biden going onto television, asking Donald Trump to go on-the-air and settle everything down was laughable, if it wasn’t so serious & sad. You don’t ask your enemy to give up & admit he was wrong during a life-or-death power struggle. Trump will never concede, until he’s made to.

If you have the power (which Joe Biden does), you have Donald Trump arrested for his criminality. There is NO such action coming from these cowardly Democrats. Just empty words which Biden slurs. How long can the President-elect last with his dementia?

Why no definitive action against Trump’s coup attempts? It’s because Joe Biden & the Democrats fear organized working people more than a fascist mob. The DC police & military aided & abetted this insurrection.

These images are extraordinary, and have been seen globally. Donald Trump has had his social media pages blocked for the next two weeks, until a new President can be inaugurated. So where is the real power? Twitter has been Trump’s primary platform to reach his fascist base. Without official prestige, and access to his social media voice, Trump withers & dies.

But his fascist supporters remain, and they are in dangerous positions of power at all levels. This was a final political provocation from President Trump, and a warning to the working class & youth of America. These are the fanatical enemies which must be defeated, otherwise we have no future.

The answer is to join the Trotskyists at the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), and read the World Socialist Web Site, their daily political organ. Masses politically armed with Marxism need to form worker & neighborhood committees, with rank-and-file leadership to protect their interests, under the leadership umbrella of the SEP. This must be done everywhere. This is how to unite the masses globally and achieve a socialist revolution in permanence.

Fri 08 Jan 2021 12:21 PM EST

Thought & comments since publication:

Right now, all these fascists are in their dark web forums, plotting how to spin a false narrative of what happened so they can evade detection again. Everyone knows violent & out-of-control Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday at the behest of their fuhrer. Fascists always try to blame left-wing protesters & socialists for their own violence. Fascists swarming all over & into the US Capitol, like ants at a picnic, is a frightening revelation for the masses.

One DC police official described this security failure by saying, “We were prepared for First Amendment protesters.” Thus what is unsaid, “There is no defense plan to curtail Second Amendment protesters.” To the police & ruling establishment, some protesters are more equal than others. Anti-police violence protests get much different treatment, all around.

If David Sirota insists “The Insurrection was Predictable,” then why didn’t the DSA predict it & prepare for it?

All this is intimately connected with the mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. This is complete & bipartisan, at all levels of government. The police & military are ridden with Nazis, who condone & abet terrorist insurrections. Meanwhile the stock markets & crypto-currency (which are Ponzi schemes) reach all-time highs.

Those of us in health care need to take back our profession from the corporate bureaucrats who have hijacked it for their own personal gain. This economic model has collapsed, and January 6, 2021 was political proof. Workers & youth must organize under their own banner, otherwise it gets run into the ground by the Democratic Party. That’s how the two-party system enslaves workers & youth. To fight & win against this, join the SEP!!

Sat 09 Jan 2021 10:26 AM EST

To be clear politically, Trump represents capitalist fascism. Stalinist communism (1924-91) is fascism in control of a state-planned economy. Trotskyist socialism is the polar opposite of these reactionary political tendencies.

The European Union was formed in 1993, as a response to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc satellites. Continental economic power West Germany wanted to acquire East Germany as a cheap labor platform, etc. There was a mad scramble for these markets & their resources by Western imperialism, as Stalinism was being liquidated from within.

The Caucuses & beyond, with their rich untapped petroleum & gas reserves, were the grand prize on this revised global chessboard. This is what led to the increase of CIA-sponsored mujideen activity in Afghanistan, with cooperation from Saudi Arabia & Israeli intelligence. These are the origins of Al-Qaeda/ISIS.

Capitalism was restored in Russia in a violent & ruthless manner, as ex-Stalinist bureaucrats & political gangsters maneuvered & eliminated each other throughout the 1990’s, and the standard-of-living for the ever-oppressed masses plummeted. Boris Yeltsin was installed as President of Russia in 1991, and stayed in power through 1999, with a little help from the CIA.

On December 31, 1999, under enormous political pressure, Yeltsin announced his resignation, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a former officer of the KGB. The KGB’s predecessor was the GPU, which is the institution that murdered Trotsky in August, 1940.

Sun 10 Jan 2021 11:21 AM EST

Reading between the lines of what’s being said around Washington, it appears Donald Trump has been stripped of all his power by the deep state. Mike Pence flipped, and I’m sure Mike Pompeo finally turned after the events of January 6th. Pompeo & the rest are staying on, only out of loyalty to country. Is it religion, or patriotism, that is the last refuge of a scoundrel?

Donald Trump is banned for life on Twitter, and at least the next 2 weeks on Fakebook & Instagram. He’s being blocked by the deep state from establishing an audience on other far-right platforms. The deep state is a hidden nexus of intelligence, military, banking, Wall Street & Silicon Valley political players. It’s the real power behind any US Presidency.

Q-Anon is deep state sponsored fascism. Their supporters keep trying to drag Antifa into their violent coup attempts. No one sees any Antifa protesters in the videos or pictures of the Capitol assault. Military & special forces support was entirely right-wing. Q-Anon pretend they are patriots, but really they are fascist scum afraid of being exposed for their ignorance, hatred & treasonous acts.

Antifa isn’t really an organization, it’s a loose collection of left-wing ideologies, which the deep state hates. Antifa protests: police violence, environmental degradation, global warming, etc. Antifa protesters defend free speech, gay rights, a woman’s right to choose, etc.

We know Antifa supporters don’t carry ‘Trump 2020’ flags. Were Antifa infiltrators the ones carrying the Confederate flags or wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ shirts? No, these were ALL Proud Boys, Boogaloos, Oathkeepers & Three Percenters– meaning right-wing fascists. AKA, Nazis.

I hate Nazis.

Mon 11 Jan 2021 09:37 AM EST

Concluding thoughts: Instead of carrying out an investigation & prosecuting those responsible, the Democrats have announced they will initiate impeachment proceedings. There has also been talk of removing Trump through the 25th Amendment. But that’s all it is, just talk. It’s smoke & mirrors to abet a Democratic Party cover-up, to protect the two-party system.

As Joe Biden said on January 8, the Democrats need a strong Republican Party. Therefore top Democrats support the insurrectionists in Congress as colleagues in “unity.” The Biden/Harris administration is extending an olive branch to all fascists. Democrats weaken themselves politically, to prop-up Republicans who are on life-support.

Thus there’s a lot of talk from apologists on both sides of the aisle about, “looking forward, not back” and that “we need to move on.” Imagine the aftermath of the Holocaust being met with such complacency in 1946. “Hitler & the Nazis murdered millions of Jews among other horrific war crimes, but that’s in the past. We need to move on, because it’s too divisive to investigate & discuss publicly.” Truman & Churchill would have characterized such statements as treasonous, but today it’s the mainstream political narrative.

When fascists are arrested, prosecuted & jailed for their violent crimes, they can no longer legally own firearms. That’s a cruel blow to the right-wing, who speak entirely from the Bible & a gun barrel, as their political thoughts are reactionary, lunatic & homicidal. Imprisoning fascist gun nuts takes away their Second Amendment arguments, which no longer allows Nazis to hide behind the US Constitution. This is precisely why FASCISTS ARE NOT PROSECUTED by the establishment.

It’s also precisely why all the people who were genuinely disgusted by what they saw on January 6, need to organize a socialist revolution. The fascists in the US deep state are planning their next moves, with bipartisan approval. The right-wing establishment is protecting their shock troops, so they can be unleashed upon us again. We must prepare ourselves and be ready when it comes. We can only depend upon ourselves through international class solidarity.

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Favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 Experiments

I have said many times before that Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1989-99) was the greatest TV series ever, certainly the greatest comedy, and it ran concurrently with Seinfeld (1989-98). This was two hours of weekly programming which launched the Comedy Channel (CC), and in the early years, MST3K was certainly their signature show.

MST3K was a Best Brains, Inc (BBI) creation of comedian Joel Hodgson with producer Jim Mallon as Gypsy, and it first aired on KTMA in Minneapolis. It was picked by Comedy Central for $35K per episode in 1989, and their deal allowed BBI to retain the show’s rights.

Trace Beaulieu was established as Crow T. Robot & Dr. Clayton Forrester, and a young Josh Weinstein was Tom Servo & Dr. Laurence Erhardt– the other mad scientist. This show really got its act together in Season 2, when Kevin Murphy replaced Josh Weinstein as Tom Servo, and Frank Conniff became Dr. Forrester’s new assistant. This is also when Mike Nelson was brought on as a writer, and the show went to a new level.

This lasted until Joel Hodgson was forced off the show by Jim Mallon at Mitchell (1975), which was Experiment 512. Mike Nelson takes over admirably, but the show lost its soul, and lot of wit. Frank Conniff exited after Season 6, and wasn’t part of the cast for MST3K: The Movie (1996). Season 7 had only six episodes (experiments), due to filming the movie. Crow’s ‘Earth vs Soup’ sketches during the host segments of this era capture what working with Hollywood was like for BBI. Basically they got screwed.

Soon after this it was announced that MST3K was moving to the Sci-Fi Channel for Season 8. Then weeks later it was announced that Trace Beaulieu was leaving the show to work as a writer for America’s Funniest Home Videos, which has been running on ABC since 1989. Bill Corbett was brought in to replace him as Crow, and Mary Jo Pehl was promoted to head evil/mad scientist. I watched one or two episodes of S8 and gave up. With Joel, Trace & Frank gone, the writing gets much thinner, and the laughs a lot fewer.

Therefore, I don’t rate any of the Sci-Fi Channel episodes (S8-S10) among their best. All the best MST3K episodes are within Seasons 2-7. I don’t count the re-booted series, hosted by Jonah Ray. It sucks, and makes the Sci-Fi era stuff look first-rate by comparison. The fact is, you couldn’t get a show like the original MST3K on-the-air today, with all the virtue signalers, social justice warriors & snowflakes screaming into the network’s ear the first time somebody cracks a funny joke.

Here’s a truth about comedy. Jokes are supposed to offend people. It’s called being the butt of a joke. If you can’t handle the truth, then the problem is you. If you don’t understand this, then you are enabling & supporting censorship. The Office (2005-13) is another comedy series that couldn’t be made today for the same reasons. Married with Children & early seasons of The Simpsons too. It would really suck if we didn’t have these timeless comedy classics to enjoy and make us laugh. The reason they hold up so well is because they are so true to life.

Basically MST3K is a puppet show which wisecracks bad movies. It’s called riffing, and what this show teaches you is that there is a point where the ‘riff button’ needs to get pressed. We shouldn’t tolerate bad stories, lame acting, and blatant propaganda. Get to know MST3K, which helps you distinguish good movies from bad ones. After awhile, you’ll learn to riff as needed.

I’ve seen all the episodes from KTMA through Season 7, and The Movie. For me, these are their best experiments and why. They are listed in chronological order. They are all available on YouTube, so I won’t link them.

202 Sidehackers: This one was available through Rhino on VHS, and I bought it. This is their best effort of Season 2 which was 13 episodes. Classic MST3K numbering is read here as Season 2, Episode 02. I love Ross Hagan movies because of Sidehackers, also known as Five the Hard Way (1969). Little known movie fact: screen writer & director Gus Trikonis later married (and was divorced by) Goldie Hawn. Great songs here, including “Sidehacking is a thing to do” & “Love pads the film.” Essential MST3K.

322 & 324 Master Ninja I & II: I put these two together, because you have to see them both. This is riffing The Master (1984), a failed action series starring Lee Van Cleef (below), and his pupil Timothy Van Patten– the famous Dutch ninja. Killer riffing, with a great song to finish the first episode, “Master Ninja Theme Song.” I read somewhere that there is a Master Ninja III, which they produced but never aired. If that’s true, I’d love to see it. Master Ninja I has one of my favorite stingers, which is a quick movie clip BBI inserts after the final credits run. They started this in Season 2, and it keeps you watching until the end, like you are supposed to. There are so many ways MST3K was brilliant and ahead of its time.

401 Space Travelers: This has Gene Hackman, Richard Crenna, & Gregory Peck, in a stale sci-fi action drama, with enough plot holes to launch a rescue rocket through. Trace does a killer Gregory Peck voice. Great host segments, and this is what ties all the best episodes together, the time between the movies where they’re talking about what they’ve just seen. If you’ve ever tried to watch a bad movie and make it funny by writing your own riffs, you know it’s a lot of work. That’s why they’ll sometimes say “This one hurts,” or something to that effect.

405 Being from Another Planet: This is one of my all-time MST3K favorites that I never see listed anywhere else. Also known as Time Walker (1982), it stars a crummy dummy mummy in search of magic crystals, so it can phone home using a diamond encrusted, V-shaped, mummy communicator thing. Frank wants one, and so do I. Watch this experiment, and you will too.

407 The Killer Shrews: The Killer Shrews stars James Best, who was Roscoe in The Dukes of Hazzard, so I (like TV’s Frank) get excited about this one. I had this one recorded on a VHS cassette for a long time, as it wasn’t available through Rhino. Once CC took episodes off-the air, they were gone– until DVD pirating & YouTube came along. Licensing issues were the story of MST3K when it came to making it to VHS, and then to DVD.

BBI doesn’t hold the rights to re-distribute many of their classic episodes, because some movie makers won’t sell to them anymore. Sandy Frank is notoriously one of the biggest haters of MST3K, and won’t re-license his bad movies to BBI. So everyone watches them for free on YouTube. Joe Don Baker (Mitchell-512) was another infamous MST3K hater. Kevin Murphy had a reply for him in their Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, and that’s what Misties always loved about the show, they believed in what they were doing & always stood by it.

424 Manos: The Hands of Fate: You have to include this classic in any top-MST3K episode list. This is the worst movie ever made, by someone who tried to make a movie and got it distributed– Hal P. Warren, fertilizer salesman from El Paso, TX. It’s awful, offensive, bizarre and hilarious. The first time you experience Manos, it stuns you. Mike Nelson has stated that BBI didn’t think they could do Manos when they were test screening it, and they’ve seen the worst movies ever.

As far as MST3K episodes go, I say the Sandy Frank productions are the worst. These include all the Godzilla & Gamera movies, along with Mighty Jack, Time of the Apes, and Star Force: Fugitive Alien I & II. The most unwatchable thing BBI ever tried to riff was experiment 612, The Starfighters. Coleman Francis is the worst filmmaker who was allowed to make multiple movies. That’s what you learn (painfully), when you watch enough classic MST3K.

501 Warrior of the Lost World: The guy who played TJ in Baa Baa Black Sheep (Paper Chase guy) is our lone wolf hero, in this 1983 Italian post-apocalyptic schlock. Mega-weapon is the best character. This experiment is comparable in genre to City Limits (403), Alien from LA (516), and Escape 2000 (705).

502 Hercules: Steve Reeves toasted a few brain cells making this mythical B-movie classic in 1958. Arnold Schwarzenegger always cited Steve Reeves as the Hercster being an influence on him wanting to become a body builder. Steve Reeves is also in Hercules Unchained (408), but it’s a different Herc in Hercules Against the Moon Men (410).

507 I Accuse my Parents: This was also a Rhino release I enjoyed over & over. Truck Farming is one of their best shorts, and the riffing is non-stop funny through the host segments to the end. I love teenage delinquent B-movies, bad biker films, and 1970/80’s cheese. To me those are the easiest ones to riff. There were a lot of totally clueless filmmakers in the 1940’s & 1950’s, largely due to the anti-communist blacklist. Many true artists were run out of the movie industry, and that’s why this type of garbage got made– again & again.

509 Operation Double 007: This one stars Neil Connery, brother of Sean, and was originally released in 1967. So many great James Bond riffs, in this really bad Italian spy movie that has Montepenny, and Largo from Thunderball (1965). Great host segment where the acting careers of Neil & Sean Connery are compared. I love the brutality.

511 The Gunslinger: Beverly Garland is a big favorite of all Misties, and this is one of her two movies Joel & the bots riffed. The other is Swamp Diamonds (503). Roger Corman knew how to make bad movies, and John Ireland is in top form as the drunken hired gun, who exchanges loving thoughts with Beverley Garland as they shoot at each other until he is fatally wounded. Call it a love me tender western, with a bang-up climax. Everyone but Beverly Garland dies, as the new sheriff trots into town on his horse. Roll ’em.

604 Zombie Nightmare: MST3K Season 6 is underrated. This lame 1986 horror flick stars Adam West as a bad cop. This experiment originally aired on Thanksgiving 1994, with Adam West hosting, and we get dry humor as he introduces experiment after experiment leading up to the debut of MST3K’s Zombie Nightmare, about which he has a few words of his own. Find the ‘Turkey Day’ host clips to this one.

608 Codename Diamondhead: One of my favorites. I don’t watch the short, A Day at the Fair, because it reminds me a little too much of the crap they used to show us on film day at school. But I do love 1977 cheese, and nothing personifies that more than Roy Thinnes (or Clu Gulager). As Crow quips, “This is Quinn Martin’s most personal film.” This experiment has so much polyester, with long sequences of non-action from Roy Thinnes, and Mike & the bots kill it. Note that Roy Thinnes (below, with France Nuyen) also appears in the serial shorts, General Hospital, which were featured during Season 4– experiments 413, 415 & 417.

614 San Francisco International: This is another made-for-TV movie, starring Clu Gulager & Pernell Roberts in 1970. David Hartman has a career defining role as a pilot with a mushy nose wheel. This turkey was actually picked-up by NBC, and defined TV movies for the better part of a decade, whether it meant to or not.

622 Angels Revenge: This was a 1979 Charlie’s Angels rip-off film that flopped. It starred Peter Lawford, Jack Palance & Jim Backus among others, in a shameful attempt to titillate. Like I said, Season 6 is overlooked. No Joel Hodgson hurts for sure, but it was maybe their most consistent season, with 24 episodes, most of them MST3K classics.

703 Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell: This is my favorite experiment from Season 7, which is when the series was falling apart behind-the-scenes. Also known as Deathstalker III: The Warriors from Hell, this is a 1988 sword & sorcery fantasy film, the third in the Deathstalker tetralogy. Even as you’re reading this, it’s not too early to hate the lead character. There’s also Thom Christopher as Troxartas (below), who played Hawk in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-81) on NBC.  While I’m in the neighborhood, Cave Dwellers (301) was another popular MST3K Rhino release in this genre, with spoofing of mythical badness, and miles of Miles O’Keeffe as Ator.

I like what I like, based on when & where I grew up. So do you. It’s natural to get nostalgic for stuff that takes you back to childhood, which is why this list weights the way it does. That’s why I think it’s impossible to come up with a ‘Best of MST3K’ list, because peoples’ tastes & backgrounds are so different. A great strength of the original series is that it covered so many genres, styles, and tastes. Horror, action, teenage delinquency, giant bugs & monsters, made-for-TV fare, etc. If you ask 20 different Misties, you will get 20 different lists of favorite experiments. That’s a sign of depth & greatness. Classic MST3K can’t be pigeon-holed or put in a box.

In closing, the KTMA episodes are largely unwatchable, and many were re-done during the early Comedy Channel seasons, especially the Sandy Frank productions. All the CC remakes are better, as the KTMA episodes are only interesting as a study of a great idea in its infancy. The lesson is that great art doesn’t just happen, it takes genius, and years of hard work & refinement. It’s lack of money to go around, which tears apart many great collaborations.

Today Joel Hodgson makes more money at MST3K than he ever did in its 1990’s heyday. But the reboot isn’t nearly as biting or funny. That’s the price an artist pays for fame & money. I don’t blame Joel Hodgson for doing what he’s done. He and his colleagues at BBI were ripped-off, when they were the best at what they did. Artists should get paid for making us laugh, cry & think when they are relevant, and at the height of their power. It’s an industry practice to dismiss & marginalize such artists until they can be brought under the corporate thumb.

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Dodgers-Rays World Series Recap

Summary: This was one of those seasons where there was an unbeatable team, and it was their year. The last time it was this way in MLB was in 2018, when the Red Sox won it. Most of us didn’t know at the time that the Red Sox were using electronic devices to illegally steal signs, so that removes some legitimacy from their title. If they were so great, why did they cheat?

I don’t see any such issues with the Dodgers in 2020. They were clearly the best team, and did it the right way, since after Game 2 against the Padres in the NLDS. They have young pitching & players, so they’ll probably be back. The Rays went as far as they could go on a payroll of $58.3M. You need MUCH more to win it all in this era. Maybe Cash should have stayed with Snell a bit longer, but it felt inevitable that the final outcome would have been the same.

The Tommy Pham-Jake Cronenworth deal to the Padres for Hunter Renfroe was mandated last winter by ownership to stay under $60M in team payroll for 2020. It was a cheap-ass move, and it finally caught up with the Rays in the World Series. They couldn’t score runs, and were always a bat or two short against the Dodgers. Andrew Friedman won this World Series when he acquired Mookie Betts, David Price & Brustar Graterol in the off-season.

Game 4 of the 2020 World Series had the most unbelievable & exciting finish in baseball history. Francisco Cabrera in 1992, pinch-hitting for the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the NLCS is the only thing close, and it wasn’t as amazing as this. Here’s that heart-stopping baseball moment, with the classic call by Sean McDonough.

To be able to quickly & precisely analyze the action, here are a few of my MLB viewing secrets. First, I mute the Fox broadcast because everyone sucks except John Smoltz, and even he was overwhelmed at the end of Game 4. I had the sound on for that, but 95% of the time I’m watching, it’s muted. This takes Joe Buck out-of-play, which always helps, and I’m especially grateful when I see ‘Ken Rosenthal reporting’ on the silent screen.

Secondly, I don’t watch a lot of the game anymore. I have alternate channels for commercial breaks, and often I’ll stick with that instead of going back to the game. I don’t want to watch the Dodgers pile on runs early, I’ve seen enough of that as a Padres fan, so for Game 4 I watched Bullitt (1968), and made the game my alternate channel during commercials. Great movie.

I prefer to have two alternate channels, in case of overlapping commercial breaks. A classic Columbo episode I hadn’t seen before helped during Game 4. If I miss something important in the middle, I can review the highlights & boxscore on the internet. With these tools at my fingertips, the game isn’t such an exhausting & emotional roller coaster. I’m relaxed & in-tune at the end when it’s all the drama, and all the chips are on the table. All this helps a sports blogger comment intelligently on the action. I don’t have the advantage of access, like so many of these flunkies I’ve mentioned, so I have to be A LOT better than them to have an impact.

I thought Dave Roberts managed his bullpen poorly at times, making this series longer that it should have gone. If Brustar Graterol starts the 9th in Game 4, he has to face at least two batters. Having Kenley Jansen ready if Graterol faltered, was the winning manager move for Dave Roberts in Game 4. The Padres had rocked Jansen a few times earlier in the season, and Roberts knew he was shaky. That was a high-leverage situation in which the manager MUST go with his best pitcher. Graterol is the Dodgers’ best reliever, and he had 0.1 IP in Game 4, on 7 pitches.

Rays manager Kevin Cash doesn’t make these types of mistakes because he’s not tied to a high-$$ closer, or sentimental about ‘his guys’ to a point where it clouds his judgment. Cash is perhaps too analytical, and not trusting enough of his guys. Both extremes can get your team beat, and it’s a razor’s edge. Instead of the Dodgers taking a 3-1 lead, and the Series basically over, they put themselves in a dogfight after they gave it away in the 9th.

The final losing nuance was that Kenley Jansen didn’t back-up home plate on the GW play, which makes him fortunate he doesn’t close for the Yankees. West Coast media is far more relaxed & understanding. When you do that for Steinbrenner, he goes directly to the NY media, “If that fat toad can’t get off the mound and back-up home plate, then blah, blah, blah… rant, rant, rant…” In contrast, Dave Roberts quietly never went to Jansen again in the Series, and that was that.

The Rays had a chance after winning that wild & amazing Game 4, but when Manny Margot got nailed trying to steal home in the 4th inning of Game 5, that turned the Series back to the Dodgers. It was a bad play, so don’t believe any of the media hype that excused it as a good attempt. Runners at 1st & 3rd, 2 out, Rays down 4-2, with Kevin Kiermaier at the plate against Kershaw. The upside if Margot makes it is the Rays are still down a run.

It’s the runner on 1st, and potential run at the plate that mattered more in terms of winning the game. Kiermaier is the heart & soul of the Rays, so what Margot is saying is that he doesn’t trust their team leader to do the job. If Margot stays put and Kiermaier homers, it’s 5-4 Rays.

The Rays were REALLY upset with Margot over this, and that’s why he had to say to the media it was 100% his decision. It hurt the team’s chances immeasurably. When it happened, I said to myself, “That’s why AJ Preller traded him. He’s got tools, but comes up short against the Dodgers. Stupid & selfish play.” The Rays committed zero fielding errors in 6 WS games, but that base running error was more than they could afford.

I snoozed on Game 5 shortly after Manny Margot got thrown out trying to steal home. The Dodgers were making the plays & getting all the calls, so I didn’t think the Rays had a chance. The home plate umpire was very generous with Clayton Kershaw’s strike zone as compared to Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow.

I thought Corey Seager was out at second base on his 1st-inning stolen base attempt, even though replay upheld the safe call. That gave the Dodgers what they needed to win easily. East coast bias works against the Rays because Yankees & Red Sox staffers in the league office (& replay booth) despise them much more than the Dodgers.

It’s just as important to know when to give up, as it is to know when to pay attention. This video above at 2:04-05 shows Seager is tagged by Willy Adames just before he reaches second base, which means he’s out. Replay is there is correct that, but instead it upholds an incorrect call– because of human bias.

My alternate channels weren’t so great for Game 5, which was another reason I snoozed. Classic Columbo, ruined by that annoying dopey side-kick jerk Dennis Dugan, who got that part on every great 1970’s TV series– from The Rockford Files to any action show. He married Joyce Van Patten, so I think that explains it. Ghost Whisperer is always muted. I don’t know any of the characters names, I just like to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt.

All this made Game 6 feel like impending doom for Rays fans. Randy Arozarena homered in the 1st to put them up 1-0, and from there they tried to hang on. Trying win 1-0 games against $200M+ payroll teams in the World Series is next-to-impossible. Even when the Rays win, it’s often not an enjoyable experience, more a combination of surprise & relief. They’re amazing to admire & learn about, but painful to root for.

The Rays are locked into their 30-year lease on the Tropicana Dome in St. Petersburg. Tampa won’t build them a new stadium, so that means in 2028 they’ll be the Charlotte Rays. It sucks being a Rays fan for so many reasons.

It was an inexcusable & irresponsible act by Dodgers 3B Justin Turner, after being pulled in the 8th inning for testing coronavirus positive, to rejoin his teammates for celebrations after the game– without a mask [!] on top of that.

Dave Roberts lowering his own mask to spit (over & over) in the Dodgers dugout wasn’t good either. The final lesson is that these athletes (for the most part) haven’t taken this pandemic seriously. They are privileged jocks, so they ignore science because know they won’t have to deal with any of the nasty consequences. I hope there is no more baseball until this pandemic is truly under control.

Ratings Review: The Los Angeles Dodgers-Tampa Bay Rays World Series TV ratings average was 32% below the previous low, which had been the Giants sweep of the Tigers in 2012. The NBA, NHL, and the rest of sports are down too. What explains this?

I watched parts of the NBA Playoffs & Finals, so I can say the basketball was as well-played as I had seen in a long, long time. LeBron James & Jimmy Butler both performed for their respective teams, and it was a good series, more competitive than most had predicted. It was the same with MLB in 2020, all the way through the World Series, the quality of the games were the best I have ever seen.

This means the problem is NOT the athletes. The problem is the COVID pandemic which has wrecked so many lives, to the point where people don’t care about sports the way they used to. The corporate messaging & political virtue-signaling are HUGE turn-offs too. Whenever you read a mainstream article on the internet about the ratings being down for sports, they never tell you why, because they can’t admit they are the problem. One final fact, no one has lower ratings than Trump.

Since it’s so close to the election, I’ll shift towards politics for the conclusion. If you’ve voted, or are planning to vote for Biden because you hate Trump, then you’re wasting your vote. Biden & Trump are the same. They are rich, who represent the rich, and despise all those who work for a living. I’ve read more than a few partisan supporters (on both sides) framing this political position as that of a ‘Russian communist,’ who wants to destroy the American way of life.

That’s nonsense. I’m a baseball fan, as I have proven here, and there is nothing more American than baseball. The truth is capitalism is dead, and we need a revolution. This is a war they started, which revolutionary socialists are going to finish. Read the WSWS, and support them. That my political line.

This Conway/Underwood banner above is what Election 2020 is about to become, a real-life nightmare installment of Netflix’s original series House of Cards. We need a massive intervention of international youth & the working class. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) attacks both Democrats & Republicans as fascists, which is correct. The SEP are the only ones who tell people the truth.

The Socialist Equality Party, which has sections around the world, traces their roots to the founding of the Fourth International in Paris in 1938 by Trotsky, two years before he was murdered by an agent of Stalin in Coyocan, Mexico. Troskyists are historical materialists, and insistent there is objective truth.

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Confessions of a Russian bot

I don’t support either the Democrats or Republicans, therefore I’m a Russian bot. I criticize both parties for social inequality, global warming, their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rise of fascism– but this only means I’m a tool of Putin. It’s so easy when you turn off your brain, and think only in binary terms.

The title and above paragraph are, of course, satire. I’m not a Russian bot, I’m a US citizen. I’ve been across America & back; traveled to Canada, Mexico, and a few Caribbean islands–and that’s the extent of my worldly travels.

I’ve read English translations of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1869) and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1867). I would compare the experiences to taking Organic Chemistry for pre-med/pre-dental students; it’s something you have to understand and get through in order to call yourself educated in the field.

The primary Russian authors I’ve read & studied are VI Lenin & Leon Trotsky. This is what makes me a “Russian bot,” according to official opinion makers at the New York Times. The Russian Revolution is a taboo topic for MSM. Trotsky is forbidden in bourgeois politics, and that’s why socialists are censored & blacklisted.

Reading Marx & Engels used to make you educated, but now it brands you as a Russian bot. When did this change & why? The collapse of the Soviet Union (1989-91) is another cataclysmic event which never gets seriously discussed in MSM. What it meant, and it’s implications going forward, are still relevant today.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was an Earth-changing event, that transformed a 3rd-rate global power, a crumbling czarist regime, into the Soviet Union that defeated Adolph Hitler’s Nazis in WWII. The USSR engaged 80% of Germany’s war resources in WWII, at the cost of 27 million dead. Millions of others were purged by Stalin’s terror before the war. Trotsky himself was murdered by a GPU agent– in Coyocan, Mexico City in August, 1940. It was a Revolution Betrayed.

These issues are relevant today, because political revolution is on the table. The ruling class will never admit to that, and fights against it with all its being. They want COVID-19, wildfires, and economic ruin to continue for the great majority. They encourage you to vote for Biden-Harris.

As an independent contractor dentist in Florida, jobs are hard to come by, and they now pay half-to-one-third what they did. Most contractor dentists are paid on production, and it isn’t there anymore with COVID-19. Furthermore, the risks & expenses of working in patients’ mouths are much greater, with no real protection for the operator and everyone else in the office.

That’s why I’m a hopelessly out-of-work dentist, who is not officially unemployed. As for being a musical artist, Florida is trying to re-open its clubs, with mixed-to-poor results. No socialist artists are allowed a venue. This is the situation in the professional ranks, so it’s surely much worse for blue-collar workers.

So what’s coming? An election that Trump will lose in a landslide, yet he will claim it’s rigged. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. That’s Trump’s strategy to stay in the Oval Office. The question is not who will win the vote on November 3, but who will be President on January 21?

The Trump White House cabal of fascists are organizing right-wing militias to be his shock troops. Their objective is to sow fear & intimidation into the population. They are also meant to eliminate socialist leaders. The Democrats pretend like nothing is happening, because they are fascists too. They are helping Trump get his right-wing Supreme Court nominee rammed through before the election.

All this recalls childhood memories with my mother. I would say something that gets everyone (kids & adults) upset. Mom gets a call, or whatever, and then has to have this discussion with me.

Mom: Eric, you can’t say that.
Me: But it’s true.
Mom: Yes, I know… but you can’t say that.
Me: Why?
Mom: Because people will get mad, and want to hurt you.
Me: [wide-eyed stare]
Mom: Eric, you can’t say that.

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