Sunday, December 02, 2018

Tina Turner's love story

Some men are pigs.  Not all, thankfully.  Thankfully, a lot of men are good and upstanding.

But there are the pigs.

Ike Turner was a pig.  And a terrorist.

Yet when he died in 2007, there was another pig -- Danny Schechter -- defending Ike.  Not only praising him for his songwriting (most of Ike's 'songs' were written by others and he stole credit for them) but insisting that Tina had to forgive Ike.

Tina Turner had to forgive Ike?

The man who beat her for a decade and a half until she walked out -- and then threatened her life?  This woman had to forgive Ike?

Oh, hell no.

And who is he -- who is anyone -- to tell someone who has been repeatedly beaten and attacked that they have to forgive the one who terrorized them?

The one and only Tina Turner has a new book out: MY LOVE STORY.

It has a lot going for it but hopefully it will also serve to remind people that Ike was a terrorist.

It was not love -- pay attention Beyonce and your crusty-lipped husband.  I will never forget or forgive Beyonce for her b.s. of "Drunk In Love" wherein her unfaithful husband raps "Eat the cake,  Anna Mae" -- a reference to the last beating Tina had to endure.  There was nothing about love in that beating -- drunk or otherwise -- and those lines did more to advance the belief that Beyonce and Jay Z beard for each other in their asexual marriage than anything else.  We in the Black community didn't need Wendy Williams to ponder whether Beyonce was really pregnant or how, we only needed to know the down-low rumors that have swirled around those two forever and a day.

Tina's stepped away from touring and recording.  (Other than her work with Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Regula Curti -- where Tina's singing religious chants -- she finished studio recording in 2008 more or less.)

She wanted retirement and she had every right to want it and to have it.  She'd been touring for decades.  Like Sonny Bono, Ike was always booking clubs.  Tina was singing over and over and over and over as part of Ike and Tina Turner.  Then she had to continue performing live for years because no label wanted to release an album and she had bills to pay.  Finally, she recorded her classic album (PRIVATE DANCER) and now it was time to tour because so many wanted to see her and she had music she wanted to share.  The sixties, the seventies, the eighties, the nineties, the aughts -- tour, tour, tour, tour and tour.

By the time she met Erwin Bach, she was a superstar on the world stage.  They fell in love and she wanted to enjoy that.  In 2009, she wound down her 50th Anniversary Tour and pretty much walked away.

And if you loved Tina, I did and do, you knew she deserved all the happiness in the world.

Well, she got the love from Erwin.  She also got a kidney from him.

The retirement years were not Tina enjoying decorating and gardening and puttering around the house the way she had hoped.  Instead, she had a stroke.  She had cancer.  She was on dialysis -- that's why husband Erwin donated a kidney.

She also lost a son.

There's a lot to cover but, though the sorrow washed into her life, it didn't drown her.  And the soul survivor continues to survive which is a great take away for the book.

Along the way, she shares fears.  For example, she loves her wigs, they gave her a signature look, they allowed her to go all out in performing in a way that her natural hair wouldn't have been able to by itself and she loves the visual motion they added.

But she always wondered -- including when she first met Erwin -- what happens when she and a new man wake up after -- and she's not the red lipsticked and wig hatted Tina?

Reminds me of Rita Hayworth who was famous for saying men fell in love with Gilda (her character in the film of the same name) but woke up with her.

Erwin's fine with Tina onstage and with the reality of the person as opposed to the performer.  But I did think, when reading the book, Tina (Rita as well) is wondering something tied to stardom but it's actually something many of us wonder.  I bet there are some men who wonder it as well.  Will we be loved and accepted for who we really are?

It's universal.

And the book is as well.

There are a lot of anecdotes -- Cher pops up a few times, Sophia Loren drops by, Mick Jagger's scattered throughout, David Bowie, Bryan Adams, Jack Nicholson --

In fact, let me stop there.  Tina's first movie role was TOMMY.  She'd appeared in film before, performing music.  But her first acting role was TOMMY.   Also appearing in the film was Jack Nicholson.  They didn't meet.  It was years before they finally met.  Maybe it's different these days with the saturation promotion of films but the two of them never met on TOMMY -- they had no scenes together -- and didn't meet during the promotion of the film.  

They met when the time was right.  And that's the lesson of this book.  Have faith and keep going.  Things will get better.  Things will be different.  Or, as Tina writes, "Your life is changing now."

She's covering a lot of terrain and if I had any negative criticism of MY LOVE STORY, it would be that I wish it were longer.  (The book concludes with an afterword that ends on page 245.)  However, I'm fully aware that an alternative might be making it two books -- as is the trend these days -- and if that is the only alternative, I'd rather have MY LOVE STORY as one book.

I really enjoyed this book.  It's not a retread of I, TINA.  Even when covering the same ground that the earlier book did, Tina keeps it fresh.  I started reading it the week of Thanksgiving.  We (my kids and I) were flying back to Atlanta to spend time with my parents.  I took the book with me on the flight and read a lot of it but I wanted to savor it and not rush through it so I only just finished it as the weekend approached.

Besides stressing that this a book worth reading, I want to note what's on the last page with text:

Remember when I said you'll never get out of this life alive?  You won't.  Whatever your expectation of what happens after death, or wherever you think you're going, you will not need your organs.  But someone else does, and that person is anxiously awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant.  Please go to in the US or in Canada to give someone the miraculous gift of life that Erwin gave me.

I love Tina and I love this book that she and Deborah Davis and Dominik Wichmann have written. 

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, November 20, 2018.  As the Iraq War continues, more stupidity surfaces to waste our time and divert our attention as idiots start insisting Nancy Pelosi can or will become president -- via impeachments -- before the 2020 elections.

US House Rep Nancy Pelosi is a war monger.  On Twitter, her ahistorical idiots come to her defense insisting she didn't vote for the Iraq War.  In 2002, Nancy did vote against the war.  She also voted against the impeachment of Bully Boy Bush -- including voting against it before it started when a number of House Reps -- including John Conyers -- were considering it and seeking input from legal experts including Francis A. Boyle.  She publicly shamed Lewis which was no different than what she did to US House Rep Cynthia McKinney.  Nancy has a race problem for those who haven't noticed.  After the war started, she voted for funding of it over and over -- even after the 'benchmarks' she cried for were established.  Those 'benchmarks' were supposed to be the measure for success in Iraq -- and, if the result was failure, the funding would be pulled.  The benchmarks were never met -- even to this day.  But despite promising that there would be success or they'd be pull funding, Nancy ignored the benchmarks in 2006 and in 2007 (and 'forgot' them completely in 2008 -- Lloyd Doggett was the last US House Rep to demand accountability for the failure to meet the benchmarks -- he apparently missed Nancy's memo -- and that was in 2008).  That broken promise was just like her broken promise to the American people.  In 2006, she campaigned on: Give us just one house of Congress and we will end the Iraq War and bring US troops home.  The American people gave her both houses of Congress in the 2006 mid-terms and Nancy thanked them by refusing to end the Iraq War and, yes, it continues and, yes, US troops remain on the ground in Iraq.

Fail to deliver Nancy is no in line to return as Speaker of the House despite her failure on every level when she was Speaker (January 2007 through January 2011).

Danny Haiphong (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) notes:

Democrats like Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez are two different strands of the same diversity disease. Pelosi is an entrenched corporate Democrat with a net worth of 196 million dollars . She is a staunch advocate of capitalism and most of her campaign contributions come from large donors or corporate Political Action Committees (PAC). Pelosi has been a major supporter of the drive to war with Russia, a policy that has its roots in her support of U.S. funding for the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush Jr. Administration. In a word, Pelosi is beloved by the ruling class for her decade’s worth of service to finance capital and the war machine even as she promotes herself as a progressive politician for the “99 percent.”
“The opposition to Pelosi is a public relations stunt on the part of the Democratic Party.”
Pelosi’s office was recently occupied by activists from the PAC “Justice Democrats.” Activists demanded support from Pelosi for a Green New Deal. The policy has been a feature of the Green Party’s list of demands on the U.S. government for years, but no Greens were consulted prior to the protest. New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezpaid a visit to the protest as a show of faux-opposition to Pelosi. Despite the sexy optics of the protest, Ocasio-Cortez demonstrated the full extent of the danger that the diversity con game poses to the oppressed and exploited masses. Ocasio-Cortez said this about Pelosi when speaking to the corporate media at the protest, “One of the things that I admire so much about Leader Pelosi, is that she comes from a place of activism and organizing and she really appreciates civic engagement.”
Nancy Pelosi does indeed come from a place of activism and civic engagement in service of imperialism. In a townhall last year, Pelosi told a young socialist activist that the Democratic Party was capitalist through and through . Pelosi opposes Medicare for All even though nearly ninety percent of Democrat voters support single-payer healthcare. Pelosi has fought for the militarization of immigration policy and has drawn staunch criticism from immigrant rights groups. And most recently, Pelosi has used her “activist” spirit to call for bipartisanship in the form of tax policy that would effectively strangle in their crib any hopes for Medicare for All or any other progressive demand. Her proposal for a three-fifths majority requirement in the House to raise the tax rates of the bottom 80 percent of earners is a right-wing dog whistle that masquerades as an attempt to “increase” the income of a mythical “middle class.” And as a loyal servant of Israel and war, Pelosi was perfectly fine with giving the U.S. military 57.4 billion dollars more than what Trump proposedfor the defense spending in 2017.
“Pelosiopposes Medicare for Alleven though nearly ninety percent of Democrat voters support single-payer healthcare.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s faux-activism in urging Pelosi to support a Green New Deal is a dangerous distraction. The Democratic Party hopes that its pro-war, pro-corporate policies go unchallenged so long as it allows an array of white women and women of color to distribute the pain that the policies cause. Now that the midterm elections are over, there has been not a word about a recent study by Credit Suisse which found that one out every seven of the poorest people in the world lives in the United States. The study concluded that the accumulation of debt has triggered several “deaths of despair” for U.S. workers that go beyond wages. Workers and poor people in the United States cannot afford healthcare, childcare, housing, and other essential needs and are thus forced to indebt themselves to creditors to survive.

Poor people, especially poor Black Americans, cannot eat from or survive off “diversity.” Yet the imperialist system has essentially given poor Blacks and other workers two choices. They can support the White Man’s Party led by Donald Trump or support the Rainbow Coalition of Death and Plunder led by the Democrats. This is no choice at all. U.S. imperialism is a class system in crisis. Both corporate parties are scrambling to resolve the crisis but neither has any solutions to the inherent contradictions of imperialism. Thus, all choices made within the duopoly electoral system only reinforce the suffering of the people.

Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

It is not possible within the framework of this commentary to describe Pelosi’s right-wing political record in detail. Suffice it to say she specializes in a handwringing verbal condemnation of the worst atrocities of Republican administrations, while doing nothing to stop them. Under Barack Obama, she was a full-throated supporter of the most reactionary measures taken by the Democratic administration: drone-missile assassinations, the wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, the bailout of Wall Street, the arrest and deportation of more immigrants than all previous US administrations combined.
Pelosi has a noxious record on national security issues, particularly domestic spying, as befits a longtime member of the House Intelligence Committee who was regularly briefed, both as Minority Leader and as House Speaker, on the most sensitive and antidemocratic actions taken by the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations. She voted to establish the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, devised and voted for a resolution supporting US troops after Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, repeatedly backed military appropriations for the war in Iraq, even after the Democrats won control of the House in 2006 based on a limited appeal to antiwar sentiment.
She opposed calls for immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, and for the impeachment of George W. Bush for launching a war based on lies. In December 2005, when widespread NSA domestic spying was made public, she admitted having known about it for years, while she was the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
In 2007, she devised a legislative maneuver to allow a minority of Democrats to join with most Republicans to renew funding for the Bush military offensive in Iraq (the “surge”), which ignited all-out slaughter between rival Sunni and Shi’ite militias in the war-torn country. Pelosi was so identified with the Democratic Party’s betrayal of popular antiwar sentiment that Cindy Sheehan, who became a prominent antiwar activist after the death of her son in Iraq, chose to run against her in the 2008 congressional election.
Under Obama, Pelosi was “credited” with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, an effort to shift the burden of healthcare spending from the government and corporations to individual working people, packaged falsely as a progressive “reform.” She also ensured passage of the Dodd-Frank legislation, billed as punishment of Wall Street for the 2008 financial crash. But no bankers went to jail and the supposed regulations proved a dead letter. Today, the biggest banks and hedge funds are bigger than ever, and gambling even more recklessly than in 2008, setting the stage for an even bigger collapse.

But the political stupid on Twitter remain out in full force.

Just having a fantasy that Trump went down and then Pence went down and Nancy Pelosi became president. The right would implode and the left would get their new speaker.

Just realized that if Trump goes down and takes Pence with him, NANCY PELOSI WOULD BE PRESIDENT!!! Woohoo: President Pelosi!

Poor Lizz, 57 and nothing to show for it.  She co-created THE DAILY SHOW, she likes to insist.  But it wasn't the Jon Stewart version that everyone loved, was it?  No.  For some reason (shame?), she's less likely to note her work on THE MAN SHOW -- one of the most vile and anti-women programs to air on TV.  There was AIR AMERICA RADIO whcih she allowed to publicly humiliate her.  Her message with both AIR AMERICA RADIO and THE DAILY SHOW appeared to be: Women, be door mats!  In the last years, she's struggled for money, jobs and relevancy.

But Lizz and Jennifer Bremer want you to know that Nancy could be president!

No, she can't.

Yes, if Donald Trump was impeached and Mike Pence was impeached, she would be next in line.

And for the stupid, that is possible between now and January 2021.

For anyone with a brain?  No.

Trump could be impeached.  There's no reason for it currently, but he could be.  And that would take the House to impeach and the Senate to remove.  Pretend for a moment that in 2019 it was possible to happen and it moved smoothly.  That would still take us to 2020.

Then it would be time to impeach Pence.  In an election year.  The Republicans hold a majority in the Senate.  While some Republicans in the Senate hate Trump, they don't hate Pence. They certainly wouldn't want to be, in an election year, responsible for turning the White House over to the other party.

Time wise, it's just not happening.

More to the point, the minute Trump was removed from office?  Pence would become president and what would he do?  He would pick a vice president.  And that vice president -- not Nancy Pelosi -- would then become president if, by some miracle, Pence was removed in 2020.  Or does no one remember how Gerald Ford became president?

Ford wasn't elected.  We do get that, right?  I know Lizz and the other Twitter idiots don't get it but Ford was never elected to the executive branch.  He was picked by Tricky Dick to be his vice president.

Nixon won the 1972 election with Spiro Agnew on the ticket as his running mate. Their term kicked off January 1973 (their second term).  Near the end of 1973, Spiro resigned (corruption and criminal activities).  Ford selected Ford and the Senate approved him.  He was Vice President as 1973 was winding down.  In 1974, the fall of 1974, Nixon resigned rather than risk impeachment and Ford became president.

Ford was never elected to the White House -- he was never on a winning presidential ticket.  (And when he did face the American voters in the 1976 election, they chose Jimmy Carter and Carter's running mate Walter Mondale.)

Trump might be impeached.  But there would not be time to then impeach Pence.

To install Nancy as president, Pence would have to be repeatedly denied his pick of VP and that couldn't happen so close to a presidential election.  There would be too much fallout.

The US remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan (among others) and the Democrats opposing a President Pence his choice of vice president would look like obstructionists and that would not play well.  If Trump were impeached, the country would be in a reflective mood that would not allow for the Dems to quickly move to impeach Pence.

Arguing that it's possible for Nancy to become president via impeachment is arguing nonsense and I can't believe we have to waste our time explaining this.  But there are so many stupid and, yes, lying people like Lizz Winstead, tricksters who mislead everyone, that we do have to stop and explain, no, it's not likely at all.  And the notion of a double impeachment?  That nonsense would require us to waste even more space on this topic.  Not happening.

I strongly favored Ronald Reagan being impeached and removed from office (those are two separate actions).  But the 'mood' at the time was that the country couldn't survive it.  I think the country could have.  But there is a reactionary nature among the ruling class and the gas bag class and that would kick in the moment Trump was removed from office.  Mike Pence, as president for a year or maybe and a few months, would benefit from that.

In Iraq, where the illegal war continues . . .

Ayatollah Sistani receives UN Iraq envoy Kubis, stresses the importance of respecting Iraqi sovereignty and for all states to not interfere in Iraqi affairs.

There are people who are dead set against Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.  They hate him, they loathe him.  He has his supporters as well but he does have very vocal detractors.  I am not arguing -- nor have I ever -- that he is a saint.  But I do think that in his position as Grand Ayatollah he has been a force for good against the war and occupation and a voice against corruption.  And?  He's 88-years-old.  Sometimes it feels as though the US government's entire position -- regardless of who has occupied the White House -- has been to continue to occupy Iraq and wait for al-Sistani to die.  There is no other person in Iraq that commands the respect al-Sistani does.  Not even Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

An Iraq without al-Sistani that is still occupied by the US is the only thing that could be worse than Iraq today.

Meanwhile, protests continue in Basra:

Iraq[UPDATE]: At least 5 killed and 7 wounded in clashes in between police forces and protesters demanding jobs in Basra Oil Company

Basra Protests Flare up; Five Killed in Iraq

Basra Protests Flare up; Five Killed in Iraq

Basra Protests Flare up; Five Killed in Iraq

Protests continued in Basra Province, today. Residents complained about poor infrastructural conditions such as flooding sewage and dirt roads. Floods are making it difficult for students to get to school and the sick elderly are unable to leave their ho…

Protests continued in Province, today. Residents complained about poor infrastructural conditions such as flooding sewage and dirt roads. Floods are making it difficult for students to get to school and the sick elderly are unable to leave their homes.


That's what's happening in Basra.  Seems pretty clear.  Somehow one person is confused.

Protest organizers in Basra say demonstrations will start again in December because their demands not met One example the thousands of jobs ex-PM Abadi promised never materialized

December is Saturday.  But, Joel, protests have already started -- and they didn't start today or yesterday.  Joel is right, however, about the thousands of jobs not emerging.  Hayder al-Abadi made promises back when he was prime minister and the protests kicked off in July.  It's not one day from December and Adel Abdul al-Mahdi is prime minister.  Still no jobs.

Iraq, the country the US keeps installing leaders in and the leaders keep failing to accomplish anything.  They can't even follow their own Constitution.

leader Masoud said that in his talks with Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi he has stressed that the situation in Kirkuk must be resolved through Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution.

Article 140 was supposed to be implemented during Nouri al-Maliki's first term as prime minister per the Iraq Constitution.  To get his second term (after the Iraqi people said no but Barack Obama said US), Nouri promised to implement it . . . but didn't.  All this time later, Article 140 has still not been implemented.

Among the never ending nonsense, let's note this:

Iraq’s national de-Baathification commission on Thursday said it was still vetting candidates for each of the defense and information ministries, Faisal Al Jarba and Naim Al Rabiei, fraying attempts for forming a government under new Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Other than the probe, Mahdi’s government has failed to gain parliamentary confidence vote after lawmakers failed to convene for the second week in a row.

The Supreme National Commission of Accountability and Justice is tasked with upholding the policy undertaken by subsequent Iraqi governments to remove the Ba'ath Party's influence in any new Iraqi political system.

How do you unpack all of that crap?  Let's move quickly and hit the main points.

1) The Justice and Accountability Commission is supposed to be over elections -- looking at people who want to run for office.

2) When they began banning candidates in 2010, people started pointing out that the Commission was supposed to have expired but Nouri had used behind the scenes actions to keep it alive.

3) In 2007, in order to continue to receive US government funding, benchmarks were established.  These benchmarks were supposed to be met, not inched towards.  Among the benchmarks?  The ending of the de-Ba'athification process.  Reconciliation was supposed to be the new focus.  It never happened but, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the US tax payer continues to fund violence and schisms in Iraq.

And, yes, the Cabinet is currently supposed to have 22 members but still only has 14.  Remember, the promise is that the additional 8 will be voted on next week.  It should be easy to remember that because, since October 24th, the cry has repeatedly been "next week" on filling the Cabinet posts.

Let's wind down with this from US Senator Patty Murray's office:

Nov 28 2018

Senator Murray, standing with advocates and sexual assault survivors, urged Secretary DeVos to withdraw her rule, listen to students and survivors, and aggressively implement student protections
Secretary DeVos’ proposal would weaken protections for survivors and make it easier for schools to shirk their responsibility to keep students safe 
Senator Murray: “I’m calling on anyone who cares about students’ safety to join me in urging Secretary DeVos to withdraw this rule, start over, build on the progress we’ve made instead of moving us backward, and work with us and women and survivors across the country to draft a rule that truly addresses the scourge of sexual assault…”  
ICYMI: Senator Murray Calls On Education Secretary DeVos to Stop Plan That Would Weaken Sexual Assault Protections, Start Listening to Students’ Concerns – MORE HERE 
Senator Patty Murray (center), flanked by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH, far right) and advocates and sexual assault survivors, urges Secretary DeVos to reverse course on her proposed Title IX rule that would weaken protections for campus sexual assault survivors at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 28th.
(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined sexual assault survivors and advocates to call on Secretary DeVos to rescind her proposed Title IX regulation that would once again sweep sexual assault under the rug. Senator Murray, a longtime champion of efforts to strengthen protections for students and sexual assault survivors, has vocally opposed Secretary DeVos’ efforts to weaken student protections against campus sexual assault and previously pressed the Secretary to postpone her draft regulation and instead take time to engage with students to hear their concerns about the proposal.
“Secretary DeVos’ proposed Title IX rule makes it clear she did not listen to students and survivors who bravely asked her to listen to their stories, hold schools accountable, and give students the resources and support they need when they are attacked, assaulted, or harassed,” said Senator Murray. “I’m calling on anyone who cares about students’ safety to join me in urging Secretary DeVos to withdraw this rule, start over, build on the progress we’ve made instead of moving us backward, and work with us and women and survivors across the country to draft a rule that truly addresses the scourge of sexual assault in our classrooms, our campuses, and wherever our students live and learn.” 
Earlier this month, Secretary DeVos released a proposed Title IX regulation that would significantly weaken existing protections for students and make it easier for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to shirk their responsibility to keep students safe. These new regulations come despite numerous calls from Senators and student advocates to work with students and survivors to address the serious concerns raised following reports of the disturbing direction Secretary DeVos was planning to move in—the vast majority of which were ignored in the proposal.
In addition to Senator Murray, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and advocates and sexual assault survivors from End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX also joined the news conference. For video of the full news conference, including Senator Murray’s remarks, visit HERE (Senator Murray’s remarks begin at approximately mark 21:45).

The following community sites -- plus DISSIDENT VOICE, Cindy Sheehan, GUNS & BUTTER and THE PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: