Remember a year or so ago when Obama and John Kerry were telling us that the US HAD to go to war in Syria because their leader had used chemical weapons against rebels? Because Assad's alleged use of sarin on his own people was just too barbaric for us to just sit back and do nothing. The war propaganda machine kicked into high gear and Americans were horrified nightly by news footage of Syrian children being gassed. Most of you scoffed at anyone who suggested that this war plan for Syria made no sense because the US itself has repeatedly used chemical weapons. The article below contains proof that we did. And that it harmed our own soldiers because the military didn't bother to follow it's own protocol to protect them.
We ended up going into Syria anyway, not to protect children from chemical weapons. We went in to combat ISIS, the horrible group created in Iraq--in a large part because the US had destroyed Iraq acting upon Bush's lies. ISIS sprang from the chaos we brought to Iraq and you still believe anything any US president says about the need for war? The goal is perpetual war, because that keeps their campaign donors paid. There isn't even a need for the US to combat ISIS, no matter how many people they've beheaded or burned in cages. Many of ISIS's neighbors are heavily armed and could squash ISIS. But they don't have to step up to that plate, because our corrupt White House would rather jump in to any conflict to create work for defense contractors using our tax dollars. As they've just jumped into Yemen. We're providing weapons for the Saudis to attack Yemen, one month after Obama praised that the "Yemen model" was a model for success in fighting terrorism. This praise came right before we closed the US Embassy in Yemen, their president fled in a boat and the country exploded in violence. Sounds like a real success story, don't it? Why don't we just admit that we understand nothing about our foreign policy? How could we understand something which makes absolutely no sense?
In the article linked below you can see how much the government really "supports the troops"--ignoring their own safeguards to protect soldiers from discarded chemical weapons remnants. Oh well. The soldiers are unfortunate collateral damage. Which is perhaps why Obama switched to drones. Well, at least for a little while.
Now you didn't hear much about this because our corporate media was too busy psychoanalyzing a german pilot. An independent group just determined that 1 million Iraqis were killed. Google "one million dead in Iraq", hit news and see how no news outlet you recognize comes up. In a war we should have never started. A war which Hillary supported. Who's the terrorist now? I'd say it was the country that killed 1 million people for no reason. At least ISIS, however gruesome, has a religious motive--however misguided I feel it is-- and doesn't kill just for greed as the US does.
NY TIMES: Under Secretary Brad R. Carson acknowledged that the military had not followed its own policies for caring for troops exposed to old and abandoned chemical munitions that had been scattered around Iraq, and he vowed improvement.
To me, the scandal is that we had protocols in place and the medical community knew what they were, and yet we failed in some cases to implement this across the theater,” he said. “That was a mistake, and I apologize for that. I apologize for past actions and am going to fix it going forward.
Michael Musto interviewed Anita Sarko, Johnny Dynell, Chi Chi Valenti on the golden years of NYC's club scene dating way back to the Mud Club. Yes, I know. We're all jaded, aging hipsters. But it's fun to remember, especially as clubs (especially gay clubs) close down and downsize nationwide.
BUNNY: I always say that we used to bring something to the party. Now they just bring cell phones.
CHI CHI: At Jackie 60, an artist would just walk into a Bettie Page Night with 10 assemblage statues of Bettie, or photographs of Bettie that were themselves wrapped in bondage. And they would just bring this to the party, in the same way that somebody else would bring a fierce Bettie Page look. We still encourage that at things like Night of a Thousand Stevies—that if you do nothing else, bring a tambourine and a shawl. But there’s something that comes up from a dance floor, the magic of an audience at clubs, and you first need people who are going to make that kind of magic to gather with the coven.
BUNNY: I read an article about how gay men in large cities around the country are living on their smartphones and the clubs sit empty. Listen, I’m a slut and I’m sure I’d be doing it too, if I were in my 20s and wanted to plaster a picture of my asshole on Grindr and say “I’m 5 feet away.” But if I posted it now, the only person who’d come would be a laser hemorrhoid surgeon. But the thing that made me so angry about that article was the assumption that we were only in clubs for sex! There were clubs that were non-sceney, like Rawhide, where with a minimum of conversation you got the job done--you saw the size of the dick hanging down their leg and you left. But we didn’t go to the clubs just for sex! We went for fashion, conversation, dancing, or performance — to get turned on to music that we trusted the DJ to break.
Hillary progressive? DREAM ON! She's remaking herself to seem like a progressive precisely because she isn't one now and is getting flack for it. She represents everything about our political system which needs to change. And I love these people claiming that they want a Clinton/Warren ticket. What would that achieve except the optics that Hillary is less of a slave to corporations than she is? And vice presidents are so powerful that having Liz in the White House could really curb Hillary's urges to act like a Republican? DREAM ON!
"I've argued that Hillary Clinton is at risk of being a weak presidential nominee -- on several counts. She seems like yesterday's news rather than tomorrow's. The excitement of a having a breakthrough woman president is blunted by the fact that her husband got there first. She will raise a ton of money from Wall Street, just like the Republican nominee, blurring differences and depressing turnout. Despite the absence of a formidable primary challenger (assuming Elizabeth Warren doesn't run), Clinton is still likely to under-perform in the primaries.
Still, Clinton is likely to be the Democratic nominee. So what might she do that could improve her own chances -- and our chances of getting a president elected in 2016 who is first of all a Democrat, and maybe is some kind of real progressive as well?"
I had a blast at The Monster last night. I'd promised Princess Diandra that I'd burn some of her faves. (Yes, this tranmama still uses cds.) She's even emailed me some of her favorite songs that would "make an old queen feel c#nt" so I burned a whole stack of them for her. And promptly forgot to bring them! But HRH seemed to enjoy the Diana's exercise jam Work That Body and Patti's Music Is My Way Of Life. I'll bring Diandra's hits next week because Going Back To My Roots and Mainline should have already been in my book. (Although I actually forgot the entire book, too.)
Also seen: Billy Erb, Balazs Kmety,Jay Inkpen, Tim Arnold, Gazelle Paulo, Cameron Nico, Ero Marc Lamb, Craig Ferguson and Petra Mason, who sold a bunch of copies of Beefcake 100% Rare, All Natural. I autographed a few between spinning my compact disks (!) and was so horrified by my post-keyboard penmanship that I had to admit it looked like the handwriting of a spider on drugs. And that's not what I am. Well, I'm on drugs. But I'm no spider. Am I? Nevermind.
Then Linda Tolbert attacked the dance floor in a flawless Farrah wig and jeweled bangles accenting her rapid-fire karate chop moves. I must admit that I hadn't actually seen that karate chop movement since the days when Kung Fu Fighting was on the radio. And I did thrill to the sight of her picking up on that ragtime horn feel that I always get from Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke, with a touch of ye old Charleston. Linda and I are both serial posters on fecesbook. Often preaching politics, but in person, we're very different from our online personas. Linda was such a scene stealer that I think every club needs to hire her as a hostess immediately! Definitely a motivator on the dance floor. She popped over to the booth at one point to ooze "I'm loving the new disco me." As was everyone who saw her!
I also forgot my camera, but Aner Candelario didn't, and he got some stellar "poppers "footage I can't wait to see. Especially since I'd slung that wig way back on my head. Thanks to all who came out. Doing it all again Easter Sunday so hop on by from 6-10. With DJ Scotty Rox on afterward with a show by Bob The Drag Queen and friends. It's free and the night has a very unpretentious boogie in a basement feeling.
Pat Field was kind of us to mention the night in this weekend's NY Times. In additions to my friends and disco lovers who are regulars, one night Sarah Jessica Parker turned up with hubby, Scott Shaiman and Andy Cohen. So you just never know anything exempt that it's casual and vintage fun in a still-open West Village venue that's still rocking.
Monsanto's pesticide Round Up was recently found by the World Health Organization to cause cancer. Monsanto genetically modifies most of our food and is given a helping hand by corrupt politicians like Obama, who appointed former Monsanto official Michael Taylor a a senior position at the FDA--the agency charged with safeguarding our food and drugs. And Michelle Obama has the nerve to espouse a healthier eating campaign while her husband works hand in hand with poison peddlers.
Here's a french interview where a Monsanto rep claims that Round Up is safe to drink a quart of. Watch what happens when the interviewer asks him if he'd enjoy drinking a glass of it....
After being sampled by so many other artists, Chic is biting it's own jam: I've Got To Love Sombody Today by Sister Sledge--which has a similar chord progression. Good! It was a genius song and didn't take off for the Sisters. I spun at Pacha the night Chic performed and I gotta say, this video is a disappointment. So many exciting moments--like the artists themselves and the hyped crowd rocking out--yet they went with a dull model with no clothes. Which was played out 20 years ago in dance videos. But it's great to listen to!
What Patricia Field does on Sundays: "Sometimes we might go to the Monster where one of our favorite D.J.s, Bunny, works. It’s early on a Sunday night, kind of like 7. Sunday hours, tea dance style."
It's actually 6-10, free, and I don't know if Patricia Field will be there but plenty of others will be. So if you like disco classics and cheap drinks, bring it on. I am usually at The Monster the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month but this month it turned into 2nd and 4th. In April, we're back on regular schedule.
Multi-colored candy corn is now being repackaged for Easter by religious freaks as Jesus Promise Seeds. Sounds yummy and I should know--I tasted a guy named Jesus's seed last night. Fundamentalist Christians want to de-stress cute bunnies and pastel-trimmed baskets and hammer Jesus back into the holidays. Speaking of hammer, why not market them as vinegar-flavored, bloody nails and call them Crucifixion Seeds? This same candy company calls candy corn Harvest Seeds around Hallowe'en because that's the devil's holiday--aka gay Christmas.
Interesting article is kind of skewed toward Village types who don't want to see NYC turned into a shopping mall of fast food chains. Yet it also offers the side of landlords, who some aren't predisposed to see as reasonable. A new Small Business Jobs Survival Act threatens to limit astronomical rents for the bodegas, bagelries, pizza joints an Irish pubs which define NYC's character. But that would also limit rents and landlords have hung onto these properties precisely so that one day they could charge higher rents. Who is to say whether they have the right to? The people who reside here, who want to preserve the feel of the country's greatest city? Or the property owners. At least it may now come up for a vote in City Council, after being blocked by former Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Do we value NYC as it is enough to cut into landlord's profits? If so, support the SBJSA at savenycjobs.org.
THE VILLAGER: Following The Villager’s announcement last month that the newspaper would be co-sponsoring a groundbreaking forum on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, there has been a surge of public support to pass the long-stalled bill.
The overall effort is being spearheaded by the Small Business Congress NYC (savenycjobs.org).
Basically, the act offers a way to staunch the city’s hemorrhaging of mom-and-pop shops in the face of skyrocketing rents and amid the influx of chain stores, which are among the few businesses that can afford the astronomical rents.
However, last week, a leading voice for the city’s real estate industry lashed back, saying that the measure, if passed, would amount to an “unconstitutional taking,” by limiting landlords from maximizing profits on their property.
The bill, in one form or another, has been blocked for coming up for a vote in the City Council since the 1980s. It calls for allowing commercial tenants in good standing to be able to renegotiate “fair” 10-year leases: If a tenant and landlord cannot come to terms, there would be nonbinding mediation, followed, if necessary, by binding arbitration.
As recently as five years ago, the S.B.J.S.A. had 32 sponsors in the 51-member City Council, but was — once again — blocked by coming up for a vote, this time by then-Council Speaker Christine Quinn. A bill can pass with a 26-vote simple majority, while 34 votes is veto-proof against mayoral opposition.
Advocates charge that big real estate has always worked quietly behind the scenes to ensure that the game-changing proposal never sees the light of day.
Following The Villager’s publicizing its March 5 forum at Judson Church and the subsequent increased media coverage of the S.B.J.S.A., the number of the legislation’s current sponsors has crept up a bit, from 14 to 16.
But Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, blasted the bill, saying that it’s not even clear if it can be legally implemented.
“Yes, I’m very familiar with it,” Spinola, head of REBNY since 1986, said of the S.B.J.S.A. “We’ve gone through different administrations with it. We are absolutely convinced that the City Council, the mayor do not have the power to impose control on the leasing of properties. We have had discussions with the Corporation Counsel [the city’s Law Department]. At the very least, it would have to go to the state — and we’re not sure that the state would have the power to impose this.”
Even if the bill were somehow to pass, he assured that big real estate would not take it sitting down.
“This is a constitutional taking, and it will be legally challenged,” he stated.
As you can perhaps tell from my latest posting binge, I've gotten my computer back from a week of repairs. I didn't mean to ignore anyone's posts on my page but I don't love fecesbook enough to type essays on my phone. But now I'm back and what a news week! I can't think of anything which sums up my central themes that both political parties are failing us, that our government does whatever corporations want and that our corporate media is not putting 2 and 2 together to actually inform us than in a recent broadcast of Chris Hayes' ALL IN show on MSNBC.
Chris began with a segment on Ted Cruz announcing his White House run. I'm all for discrediting Republicans, which "liberal" news like MSNBC sees as their purpose. Chris spotlighted Ted's recent appearance on some late night talk show where the candidate pretty much denied global warming--claiming the record snowfall in Boston this winter as proof that there's no warming. This is the dumbest argument to avoid science. Global warming is part of climate change so we can expect weather extremes both cold and hot, from drought and tsunami.
Get the message? Bad Republicans! Dumb Republicans! Science-denying Republicans! Hey! Democrats must therefore be better, right?
Chris then interviews the ambassador to Costa Rica, a country which just ran all of it's power from renewables like wind, solar and geo-thermal for 82 days. Roman Macaya then claims: "There's been an assumption that economic growth has to be at the expense of the environment or vice versa." Yes, that assumption is made most by most politicians who take bribes--I mean campaign donations--from fossil fuel vendors. He continues: "And Costa Rica proves the opposite. Between 1986 and 2012, we tripled our GDP per capita. We also almost doubled our population and we went from 21% forest coverage of our territory to 52%. "
Chris finished the piece by quite rightly noting that Costa Rica is doing something pretty incredible to address the harmful effects of emissions. Which begs the question: WHY ISN'T OBAMA DOING ANYTHING INCREDIBLE? But MSNBC doesn't want to criticize Obama much, because just as he's a corporate puppet, they are the corporate media and they must perpetuate the myth that democrats are the answer to republican folly. Republicans like Ted Cruz may deny that climate change exists, but if Democrats like Obama are still doing the bidding of fossil fuel companies and Hillary, more of a corporate puppet than Obama is waiting in the wings--WHO CAN YOU VOTE FOR IN THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FROM EITHER PARTY WHO WILL TAKE MEANINGFUL, RESPONSIBLE STEPS TOWARDS A SAFER PLANET?
No one. There isn't a candidate running in either of our two parties who'd give up campaign donations from oil and coal--despite scientific reports that 80% of fossil fuels must remain in the ground starting now. Not waiting and kicking the can to another climate change summit months away in Paris where world leaders, drunk with corporate cash, again take baby steps to address a monumental crisis which is not something in the distant future. It's here now! Talk of rationing water in CA due to years of drought? How could anyone who is selling themselves as a leader be so soulless as to let their personal greed and quest for power destroy the only planet we've got? Yet this is the new normal. Costa Rica can do it, but our elected official who supposedly represent us can't even try.
So glad I could cheer you first thing in the morning and you all have a wonderful weekend!
It's snowing on the first day of spring in NYC. Not such a big deal. But factor in the drought in California, Colorado and Sao Paolo--the freaky snowfall in Boston and parts of the south this winter. Then remember that one of our two political parties denies that climate change exists. Florida recently banned government employees from saying "climate change." You can ban the word and say it doesn't exist, except that now it's actually here--not in the future. The drought in CA is the worst in 1,200 and with 1 year's worth of water left, the rationing of water is imperative. Ice bucket challenge, anyone?
The island of Vanuatu was just hit by cyclone Pam, as many South Asian countries have been hit over the last decade. Do you not see more drastic weather conditions in your lifetime? Maybe you haven't lived as long as I have, but I can see it. Vanuatu lost 80-90 of it's buildings and about half of the island nation's population is now homeless. Often, the emissions of wealthy nations like the US and China are hurting poor countries the most.
So here's Bill McKibben of 350.org suggesting what you and I can do, since governments are too greedy to shift towards clean, renewable energy. A movement is starting to divest or stop investing in fossil fuel companies. The UN now supports this movement. I guess investors have to take their money away from fossil fuel companies and then the companies won't have as much money to bribe our politicians with. Anyone with a brain knows we have to do something.
Bill McKibben: "I don’t think that Paris in December, the next big negotiations, is the absolute key. I think what happens in Paris will depend on what kind of organizing we do before that, how much we stand up to the real powers that be, which are the Shells and the Exxons and the fossil fuel industry. They’re the guys who are playing the politicians, not the other way around. And so, this fight around divestment, around things like Keystone, putting ourselves in the way of every new fossil fuel expansion—what we’ve been calling a fossil freeze—is absolutely crucial. It’s hopeful, because that fossil freeze comes in a moment when we’re also seeing a solar thaw, Amy. The price of solar panels is dropping so fast that their spread is now—the amount of solar power in the U.S. doubled last year. We could do this. If we can break the power of this industry, if we can throw off its dead weight, then the world actually has a fighting chance not of stopping global warming—it’s, as Vanuatu illustrates, too late for that—but of keeping it from getting entirely out of control. It is the greatest fight we’ve ever been in. And though we don’t know how it’s going to come out, we know that we’re all needed to make a real, real part in that battle."
GUARDIAN: "A hard-hitting EU report on Jerusalem warns that the city has reached a dangerous boiling point of “polarisation and violence” not seen since the end of the second intifada in 2005.
Calling for tougher European sanctions against Israel over its continued settlement construction in the city – which it blames for exacerbating recent conflict – the leaked document paints a devastating picture of a city more divided than at any time since 1967, when Israeli forces occupied the east of the city.
The report has emerged amid strong indications that the Obama administration is also rethinking its approach to Israel and the Middle East peace process following the re-election of Binyamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister."
While Obama is "re-thinking" it's approach to Israel, maybe we should consider not giving Israel $3 billion per year as we cut money for education here and watch our infrastructure crumble here at home?
YOU THINK YOU SUPPORT OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS? YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO THEY ARE UNLESS YOU ACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH OBAMA'S DIRTY TPP DEAL WHICH IS SO UGLY THAT HE'S PUSHING IT IN SECRET.
Obama is turning his back on his own party but finding allies among Republicans. Yes, Republicans who slam everything Obama suggests on principle are behind him on this rotten TPP trade deal. The deal affects over a dozen nations which account for 40% of the world's GDP. But Obama wants the provisions of the deal, written by lobbyists and corporations who would benefit from it, kept secret. If you're an Obama supporter, I dare you to defend the TPP. Just try! And you aren't familiar with the TPP, the your ignorance is boosting someone who is actively seeking to screw working Americans in favor of huge corporations.
For all of you who have forwarded the "Blame The Black Guy" memes when people gripe about problems started by George W. Bush, here's a situation where the black guy deserves all the blame. None of Obama's crap about supporting the middle class makes a lick of sense when he's trying to destroy the middle class, our jobs and drive down wages with this dirty deal. All unions are against it. Environmental groups are against it. The agreement would ban Buy Local movements. Internet neutrality groups are against it. It will allow Big Pharma to drive up drug prices worldwide with monopolies. Here's what Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut had to say about it: "If the TPP would be as good for American jobs as they claim, there should be nothing to hide."
This goes right along with the notion that Democrats as well as Republicans are out to screw the average worker in favor of the mega-rich who bribe them. Democrat Bill Clinton passed NAFTA which destroyed American manufacturing jobs. Now another Democratic president is trying to shaft American workers.
Lori Wallach: "If you go to our website, TradeWatch.org, we’ve literally done a side-by-side of Obama’s policy goals as a president and everything fast-tracking the TPP would do to basically undermine everything that he has fought for, from lower medicine prices to re-regulating Wall Street, to more energy-efficient climate crisis-combating policies, to allegedly this middle-class economics agenda. The TPP and fast track are the antithesis.
But one other thing about fast track folks need to know, which is—and this gets to the weird politics—you’ve got the president basically doing the bidding of all the big corporations and commercial interests that spent millions of dollars to make sure he wasn’t elected the first time and to try and not elect him the second time. Against him are the entire labor movement united."
PS: Corporate whore Hillary Clinton also supports the TPP. Which is why Democrats are dead as a party of the people. Watch this and tell me one good side of the TPP.