Rihanna stands with Colin Kaepernick

Being invited to do the Super Bowl halftime show is considered a big coup for any pop star, given the huge audience it has. Some viewers even skip the game and tune in just for this show. So it was significant that pop star Rihanna turned down the invitation to do the 2019 show because she supports Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest and dislikes the NFL’s stance on it.

I hope other celebrities will also follow suit.

The complicated Turkey-Saudi Arabia relationship

I mentioned in an earlier post my puzzlement as to why Turkey and its president were taking such an aggressive role in revealing information about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he entered a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. There has been a steady release of information from Turkish authorities saying that they had information that Khashoggi was murdered and his body dismembered by a hit squad that came from Saudi Arabia, and this had led to worldwide outrage.
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Samantha Bee tells it like it is

The Democratic party and many in the media could learn a lot from her in the way she frames the Brett Kavanaugh accusations.

But Bee is not the only on delivering some needed truths. Stephen Colbert reminds us of something that should not need to be said and that is that not every man, indeed almost no one, goes through a sexual assault phase, so the ‘boys will be boys’ excuse has to be seen as the disgusting evasion it is.

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Who would you be shocked to see accused by the #MeToo movement?

The recent spate of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse has netted many prominent people. While this has of course caused considerable consternation, it struck me that once the names were revealed, there was no one for whom I was utterly shocked. I want to distinguish being shocked from deeply disappointed, which is what you feel when people whom you admired for their skills (such as Kevin Spacey’s acting) or thought were on the right side of issues you care about turn out to have done such things. I mean being shocked because what you could glean about the person from their public persona seems utterly at odds with such actions.
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The effort to undermine and remove Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader

Over in the UK, there have been a series of vicious attacks on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, charging that he is either an outright anti-Semite or that he coddles them, and that to allow him to continue as party leader would be to encourage a dangerous strain of anti-Semitism that is permeating British society. Norman G. Finkelstein takes a close look at these charges and the whole underlying issue of generalizations and stereotyping.
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“This is America, remember. Bullshit always has a chance.”

Matt Taibbi has an interesting piece about Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee for the senate seat in Virginia where he is challenging Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Taibbi says that Stewart has distilled the essence of Trumpism and given us a glimpse of what that would look like without Trump.
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Ending the menace of money bail

The American ‘justice system’ is a scandal, laying a heavy hand on the poor and otherwise marginalized communities while allowing the big criminals who create misery on a massive scale to walk free. I have written many times about one of the abuses and that is the bail system that is used punitively, setting bail amounts that defendants clearly cannot afford. This harshly and adversely affects poor people who often languish in jail for long times for even minor offenses even before their trials, simply because they cannot come up with the money to make bail. Spending time in jail, apart from being a traumatic experience for most people, often leads to a whole sequence of other adverse effects such as losing jobs, being evicted from one’s home, and losing custody of their children. All because they do not have a few hundred dollars in cash readily available.
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