Sunday, May 7, 2023


Elizabeth Thompson has written a book entitled JOAN BAEZ: THE LAST LEAF.

Joan Baez came up on the folk scene while I was in college.  A number of us put a lot of faith in her right away when she was singing folk songs, before she discovered Bob Dylan.

The book does a semi-good job of capturing that time period.  Semi because it is over in the blink of the eye.  Ms. Thompson is eager to get Ms. Baez with Mr. Dylan.

You might even say that Ms. Thompson has a homosexual panic.  I would say that because there is no acknowledgement of Joan Baez's affairs with women.  This despite the fact that Ms. Baez has written about it herself (AND A VOICE TO SING WITH) and came out as bisexual in 1973.  

As I read through the book, I was repeatedly disappointed because there was no real person there, just some fixation that Ms. Thompson labeled "Joan Baez."

Ms. Baez, like myself, is an elderly woman, a grandma, and at some point -- sooner than later -- we will both be gone.

Ms. Baez deserved a better book.  So did readers.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, May 5, 2023.  Who do you trust, how do you characterize and categorize -- a lot of topics inspired by USEFUL IDIOTS' latest video.

Running late this morning, sorry.  Let's start with a video that went up a little while ago.

1)  "CODEPINK, you can't say enough about them."  Worthless?  Aaron, you can say that they're worthless.

Susan "Medea" Benjamin accomplishes nothing.  

CODESTINK is not helping.  They can't focus.  They fundraise on aims and plans that they don't follow through on -- they took a lot of our money in 2006 for that interaction with Iraqis that they dropped days before it was to start because the press was paying attention to Palestine.  They angered many Iraqis who risked a lot to build that event and get the word out.  So let's stop pretending there.

Then let's note that Julian needs attention.  Julian Assange is being persecuted.  I know it.  If you're here reading this, you know it.  But what if you're new to this?

What if you're catching that clip on the news.  You're going to think, "Who is that crazy lady."  

Her actions are not helping anyone but herself.

Foolish people like Aaron Mate will rush to praise her for her nonsense.

At some point, when you've been doing the same thing over and over, you have to ask yourself, "Is this working?"  Susan will never do that.  It's much more important to her to get publicity for herself. 

Aaron and Katie decided to cover this.  And they don't know the name of the woman who was also part of the protest.

Susan needs to step down from leadership because she's not accomplishing anything.  And she needs to step down because the only real life in that organization is the young members.  But Susan was the female figurehead in 2003 and she still is.  Apparently, like Dianne Feinstein, she's going to die in office.

Are we really that pathetic?

If CODESTINK isn't just for Susan's vanity, then they should have long ago replaced her so that the organization could grow.

That said, were I a young woman in my 20s or 30s, I don't know that I'd want to be in charge because there are so many lies.

A feminist organization?  Created by women?

They've web papered over reality in many ways but anyone who wants to do a real deep dive -- even online -- can find that they're not really what they pretend they are today.

And these early lies are why Susan Benjamin can feel comfortable sharing the stage with convicted pedophile and registered sex offender Scott Ritter.  It took the rank and file of CODEPINK calling her out for that to keep her off the stage.  She is that out of touch with young women.  She needs to step aside and let the young lead. 

I am sick to death of the Dianne Feinsteins, Susan Benjamins and Gloria Steinems who refuse to leave the stage.  And I'm sick of the lies involved in all three.  DiFi is a reactionary politician and always has been throughout her too long career.   We've already talked about Susan.  Been awhile since we talked about Gloria.

She can have her snit fits with THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE NEW YORKER and -- Well, everybody.

She is no longer useful and people don't feel like lying for her anymore.

She was CIA and outlets -- news outlets -- are no longer going to play.  

I didn't speak to Susan Faludi about Gloria for BACKLASH.

But if I had, I would've given a variation of what Susan wrote.  It's what we were told in real time.  And we didn't have the internet back then.  

I would've said, Gloria, in college, helped on an international project and didn't realize that there was CIA funding.  That was a mistake on her part.  Most universities were taking funding from the CIA for various projects and activities -- often filed under "student life."

That's what she told me.  That's what she told Marlo Thomas.  

I didn't live in NYC and was not plugged into that community.  I did get a heads up from Ellen Willis that Gloria's version was "creative writing."  I filed that away and didn't make public comments for that reason.  Ellen was plugged into the NYC scene and she did know a lot, lot more than I did.

Kathie Sarachild and Gloria came into conflict because of this.

The women's movement had been a powerful force.  Along comes Gloria.

She and her friends elbow out Betty Friedan for being 'too old' -- yet Gloria would hang onto leadership (self-appointed leadership) many decades older than Betty -- and the women's movement peters out.

Go to THIRD and look there I'm not in the mood to spoonfeed on this.  I'm tired and struggling to breathe.  

Kathie and others in The Redstockings did research and asked questions and did so publicly.  And Gloria used professional connections -- including to other CIA spooks (Clay, that's all you were).  She silenced it.  The media walked away from it.

Early on, when I started online, we would get e-mails from people saying this or that about Gloria.  I would spit back out what I thought was accurate.  What the media had told us.  But I can be wrong.  I'm wrong all the time.  I don't remember Bob's last name -- starts with an F and then too many letters for a dyslexic like me -- but he wrote several e-mails to us at THIRD and I always dictated a response through Ty and I told Bob he might be right, that there were other things I had to focus on but I wouldn't let it drop and I would continue to look into it.  

Ruth Rosen told me she stood by what she wrote in THE WORLD SPLIT OPEN.  It was not the airbrushed portrait that Gloria always shopped around.  Marilyn French was far more specific.  

I asked Marilyn how Gloria got away with it?  "People wanted a leader and wanted to believe we had an honest one."

We did not have an honest one.

Bob was right and if he wants to e-mail, I'll give him credit for forcing me to look for the truth.  

The kindest explanation for Gloria's incompetence is that she is stupid and caught up in victim mentality.  That would explain how feminism under Gloria in the US peters out.  We're no longer challenging, we're begging.  We're no longer strong, we're pathetic.

But Gloria was CIA.  And it went beyond her time in college.  But that time in college was not what she claimed.  She was actively spying on and compiling lists of dissidents and those lists were handed over by the US government to the countries the dissidents lived in.  People were harmed and, yes, people died because of Gloria's actions.

That's reality.

It's also reality that she continued to work for the CIA as late as 1968 she was working for a cut-out.

This was not a mis-step in her youth.  And, thanks to the internet, we now can see clips that were long buried.  Gloria was a high profile journalist -- but not yet a feminist -- proclaiming her work for the CIA, her love for the CIA, how she and the CIA shared the same goals.

That stuff wasn't available when Kathie Sarachild and others were demanding answers.

Gloria misled the movement.

We would not have accepted her in any position had we known she was CIA.  I should clarify that.  Those of us who were not CIA would not have accpeted her.  I word it that way because there are a lot of women who propped Gloria up and, as Marilyn French detailed to me, these women had a lot to hide as well.  Gloria brought them in.

And maybe they did care about women's issues.  But they were part of Gloria's watering down feminism.

Earlier this week, a snapshot almost included a mocking of Max Blumenthal.  But I pulled it at the last minute.  In it, I was mocking him for just discovering what a 'left hero' really was like.  As I noted in that dictated spot, Max, that man broke my heart in college when I discovered what he was.  Why did it take you so long?

There are a lot of people who act like leaders but are not, in fact, leaders.  They are misleaders.

And to those who can't face the truth about Gloria, let's just note that -- CIA or not -- she was ineffective and she should have stepped down a long time ago.

The same is true of Susan with regards to stepping down.  (There have always been rumors about Susan and the CIA.  I have no idea on that.  I spent many years vouching for Gloria only to find out I was an idiot.  I'm not about to make that mistake with regards to Susan.)  Why is one woman the focus of a group?  And why is one woman the 'leader' for a third decade?

That's not a political group, stop kidding yourself.  It may be a cult, it is not a political group.

She needs to step aside and let young women take the stage.  If she can't do that, then everything I've said about her ego is true.

Back to the video.  For "Republicans suck" Katie Halper offers Republicans on abortion.  And they are awful.  The American Taliban.

And if it doesn't apply to you and you're a Republican, let it roll off your back.  I don't have time or energy to do "*" to statements right now. I'm just trying to power through each day.

But here's my issue.  Katie, you're promoting Marianne Williamson.

Kat's entry from last night -- and I'll note the end with "------"

Marianne Williamson kind of supports abortion



That's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Matt Gaetz Wet" from up last night.

Abortion.  Have you read Marianne Williamson's mealy-mouth words?  C.I. refers to it in today's snapshot.  I know she's under the weather (she's had a bad cold) so I called Elaine (they work out together in the morning while C.I.'s dictating the snapshot) and asked her about it.  She said C.I. was asked to link to the student's report and did so gladly (she always supports colleges, especially the ones she speaks at and with - with meaning on zoom conferences).  But she thought she'd be able to praise Marianne and instead found this:

Williamson said that while she is pro-choice, she is not in favor of late-term abortions, calling them “misnomers,” or false cases used by those who are pro-life to ban abortion. 

Appalling and shameful.  Marianne, you're too weak ass to get my vote. 

And this is an issue we have the support on.  So much so that Republicans with sanity are pumping the brakes on the abortion issue. Poppy Noor (GUARDIAN) reports:

In one state, Republican women filibustered to block a near total abortion ban introduced by their own party. In another, the Republican co-sponsor of a six-week abortion ban subsequently tanked his own bill. On the federal levela Republican congresswoman warns that the GOP’s abortion stance could meaning “losing huge” in 2024.

As states continue to bring in tighter restrictions on abortion following the fall of Roe v Wade, internal divisions within the Republican party on the issue are starting to show.

Divisions most clearly started to show last week in the deep red states of South Carolina and Nebraska, where Republicans roundly rejected further attempts to curtail abortion rights last week.

In South Carolina on Thursday, all five female senators – three of them Republican – led a filibuster that ultimately blocked a bill which would have banned abortion from conception with very few exceptions.

That was the third time a near-total ban on abortion has failed in the Republican-dominated senate in South Carolina since Roe was overturned last summer.

So is there a reason that Marianne can't show leadership on this issue?  What's the female equivalent of a cuck?  Seriously, I am appalled by her and she's damn lucky the statements she made caught C.I. unaware and on a morning when she was so congested, she could barely speak.  I can't believe it.

I think Marianne's spent too much time hanging with toy radicals and has forgotten what basic voting issues are.  She better get on her game and she better stop this 'abortions are icky' nonsense or she's going to polling worse than she already is.


End of Kat's entry.  So USEFUL IDIOTS wants to call out Republicans but we're supposed to be embracing Marianne for her nonsense?  For her use of right-wing talking points?  How is her stance on late-term abortions any different from forcing women to carry to term -- the thing Katie was pointing out?

It's not. 

Buy a clue.

By the way, Kat could have called me.  I get a cold and everyone worries I'm dying.  Which is why I'm late this morning.  I have a new bed arriving today.  I'm not dying but I'm not going to go out never having had a bed I actually wanted.  After college, I'd given everything away to charity and lived in a crash pad and we threw mattresses on the floor.  After that, I always let the man I was sleeping with pick because sleep has never been that important to me.  (Lifelong insomniac going back to early childhood.  My parents didn't believe in TV but got me one when I was three to keep me in my room at night because otherwise I would pop the screen off the window, hop out and walk down a few streets to my grandfather's house.)  When a friend moved from the house she loved in the 70s to a nicer home, she drove the UHaul herself and I understood why.  Point being, I wanted to get the bed springs, mattress, etc downstairs.  Great staircase for parties and big entrances but it's not fun hauling furniture up.  The new bed, mattress, et al will be hauled up by the people delivering it in a few hours.  They're also going to haul off the old stuff.  I wanted to get that all downstairs.  So I woke up early this morning and was going to do it myself.  Mike heard me and helped -- and I knew he would have if I'd asked -- but that's why the snapshot's late.  And with my congestion, it probably didn't help.

Okay, back to the video above.  "Great job, Hollywood."

What is your point, Aaron Mate?

Do you honestly think that the Met gala was in Los Angeles?

What the honest f**k?

I'm not in the damn mood.  I generally never use the term "Hollywood."  I think it's a misnomer and I think people using it don't know what they're talking about it.  The friend I mentioned earlier -- with the U-Haul -- gave a great definition of "Hollywood" to PREMIERE years ago.  She's an award winning actress and had to use a ton of words to describe it.

People like Aaron seem to think they saw Ginger on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND so they know all about "Hollywood."

We don't do the Met gala.  Those of us in the entertainment industry in California.  

I don't like the NCY crowd to begin with.  And I would never go to a Met gala.  

Do we have big events in California?  We do.  Usually for UCLA or a medical issue or what have you.  

A friend, in fact, called me whatever night the gala was to laugh at E! which was providing live coverage and claiming it was part of their "Hollywood" coverage.

A few actresses who need to work on their craft instead of selecting princess gowns that push up their breasts attended. 

You'll find bimbos and fashionistas in every grouping.  But don't pin that on "Hollywood," Aaron.  I've had a nice career and I've been very political.  My friends don't go to events like that and are appalled at the amount of wealth flaunted -- borrowed wealth in most cases.

It's cos play for a lot of starlets as they wear jewelry that they don't own.

Any pretense that this is about celebrating art was long ago ripped to shreds.  This is a NYC event for the shallow and the stupid who don't have the brains to grasp how much poverty is in this country.

Those of us in the entertainment industry in California take enough flack.  Don't pin your greedy NYC events on us.

Honestly, what the actual f**k?

In the video above, Katie makes the point that The Twitter Files revelations do not require that you be a fan boi of Elon Musk.  She is correct.  So Aaron, stop dragging my industry into your problem with the glitterati in NYC.  Take it up with them, don't drop it on my doorstep.

And certainly don't drop it on my doorstep when you're so pathetic that you're calling Tucker Carlson 'anti-war.'  He's not and he's never been.  He was for the Iraq War.  His insults of the Iraqi people are offensive.  How dare you tell the world that this man is anti-war?

Doing that erases their suffering.  

It's not happening and you can't make it happen.  You can destroy your own image by continuing down this road.

Glenneth Greenwald, your buddy, and Jimmy Dore, your buddy, have both limited their own reach and you're going to go down that road to, Aaron, if you don't wake the f**k up.

Tucker is a racist  Tucker is a sexist.  Tucker is not to be applauded.  Are you going to applaud Bill O'Reilly next?  He had on Janeane Garofalo to speak out against the Iraq War.

That doesn't mean we praise Bill and we shouldn't be praising Tucker.

"He did bring on people who disagreed with him," Aaron rushes to insist.

How stupid are you?

That's what the outlets are supposed to do. Your critique of MSNBC not doing that?  Bob Somerby's being making that critique for over 15 years -- maybe even 20.  You clearly do not know what you're talking about.

I don't suffer fools and I especially don't suffer fools who justify a racist, transphobic, sexist pig.

You're inability to know the critiques that came before you got pubes?  Do the work.

Here's the man whose balls you're tongue bathing.

That's how he spoke of Iraqis.  Do not pretend that he is anti-war.  Do not praise him unless you agree with what he said about the Iraqi people.  And if you do agree with what he said, state so openly so we can all know how bigoted you are.  

There is no defense for the comments he made about the Iraqi people.

You know, back in college when ______ set me up for what I thought was a lunch date, I wondered about it but went on it only to discover he had set me up with the CIA.  A remarkable college professor admired then and now -- Aaron, your buddy questioned that admiration this week -- and I didn't know how to process that.  He had done -- and has since -- many wonderful things.  But he was recruiting for the CIA.  And while I might have stayed through dessert for his lonely friend if it were a date, when I found out what it actually was, I made the biggest scene.  I was offended.  I don't support the CIA's work.  They have killed millions around the world.  They work in secret, they lie, they destroy.  

But what did that mean about the professor?

It's a question I could struggle with.  Or I can just accept the fact that he is not actually on my side.  

When you endorse Tucker, you appear to be making it clear that you are not on the side of the Iraqi people.  If that is the case, how about you say it plainly?

I don't admire you.  You're not a hero to me.  But I'm sure you are to some people.  So get honest and don't cause the pain that the CIA recruiting college professor did to me.

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