Friday, February 16, 2018

Chinese Racism In The Spotlight Again

A skit on China's biggest Lunar New Year TV show has sparked widespread criticism and accusations of racism.

In a comedy routine celebrating Chinese-African ties, an Asian actress appeared in blackface and with exaggerated buttocks.  The annual state media variety show is hugely popular, and has up to 800 million viewers.

The controversial sketch was part of the four-hour CCTV New Year Gala - also known as the Spring Festival Gala. By some estimates, the annual show is the most watched entertainment program on earth.

This is not the first time Chinese entertainment shows have caused controversy due to their racist overtones  Last year, Chinese state media released a propaganda video that lambasted India over a border dispute.  The clip, accusing India of committing "sins", featured a Chinese actor in a Sikh turban and cartoonish mustache, who spoke in a mockingly Indian accent..

In 2016, a TV advertisement for a laundry detergent featured a black man with paint stains on his face who gets put into a washing machine by a young Chinese woman and ate re-emerges as a fair-skinned Chinese man.

The skit on state media last night featured a young black woman who asks a Chinese man to pose as her husband when meeting her mother.  While the young woman is played by a black actor, her mother was an Asian actor in blackface make-up, donning a traditional outfit complete with huge fake buttocks.   She walked on stage carrying a fruit plate on her head and was accompanied by a black actor in a monkey suit, carrying a basket on his back.

Chinese users on the country's biggest social media website Weibo condemned the program.  Comments included "it's full of racism," that "it makes me feel like I'm living in the last century," and that "we are going to lose face internationally".

One user asked "if an American white person painted yellow, says I love the USA and recites some Trump quotes while pulling his eyes, how would you feel?"

Unsurprisingly, Chinese articles criticizing the annual gala  were blocked overnight, as have some critical comments on Chinese social media sites.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Trump Starts Blaming Others For Mass Shooting

After yet another mass school shooting (the 18th this year alone), Trump had tweeted his “prayers and condolences” to the families of those murdered, adding: “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

In response, chaddiedabaddie, which purports to belong to a girl attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale, replied: “I don’t want your condolences you fucking [piece] of shit, my friends and teachers were shot."

“Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.”

This morning, Trump immediately tried to shift blame away from the GOP by implying that neighbors and friends should have done more:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Poetic Justice For Victims of Gun Violence

Gun manufacture Remington Outdoor Company is facing serious financial difficulties, as it struggles to find a way out from under a crushing $950 million pile of debt.  Credit funds and banks have balked at coming to Remington’s aid because of the reputation risk associated with such a move.

Remington  was abandoned by  private equity fund investors after one of its Bushmaster rifles was used in the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults.

It is ironic that the gun industry has experience unprecedented sales declines and financial difficulties after its successful campaign to elect a slew of Republican candidates in 2016.

Gun giant Smith & Wesson, which has renamed itself American Outdoor Brands, said that its quarterly net sales had declined nearly 40% in the fiscal quarter ending July 31.   Remington’s sales have also been experiencing the “Trump slump," with a 78% decline in earnings.

The “Trump Slump” in gun sales has had a punishing effect on the stocks of US-based firearms manufacturers. Publicly-traded Sturm Ruger & Co and American Outdoor Brands have shed 27% and 43% in market capitalization, respectively, since mid-June, as consumer urgency to stockpile has receded under the unified Republican-led administration and Congress.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Trump Blocks Democratic Memo Based On Information Already Declassified

Donald Trump showed himself to be a true hypocrite by blocking the release of a memo written by congressional Democrats to rebut a Republican document that he had declassified last week.

That Republican memo seemingly supported the idea that the FBI and Justice Department acted with bias against Trump in the early stages of the federal probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.  But Trump has refused to release the Democratic rebuttal memo, citing national security concerns.

However, the Democratic memo is based on the same information that formed the basis of the Republican memo that Trump deemed to be safe to national security concerns.  House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the White House move is "part of a dangerous and desperate pattern of cover-up on the part of the president."

The GOP-controlled House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the Democratic memo, but they needed Trump to official declassify the document.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and has read the classified information both memos are based on, tweeted that Trump's blocking the memo is 'hypocrisy at its worst.'

Friday, February 9, 2018

Florida Student Kills Emotional Support Animal After Being Denied Boarding

An emotional support dwarf hamster named Pebbles was killed by its owner after she was told it would not be allowed on an airplane to Florida. 

21-year-old college student Belen Aldecosea was scheduled to fly home for Thanksgiving and wanted to take her pet hamster Pebbles with her.  She called Spirit Airlines in advance of the flight and was advised that the hamster would only be allowed on the aircraft as an "emotional support" animal. 

When Aldecosea arrived at the gate, however, her pet was denied passage and she could not figure out any other way to get home.  Aldecosea claimed that an airline employee told her that she could either flush the animal down the toilet or let it loose outside. 

After unsuccessful attempts to rent a car, the 21-year-old student (who supposedly needed emotional support in order to fly) chose to kill the hamster by flushing it down the toilet

"She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea claimed afterwards. “I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall."

Derek Dombrowski, spokesman for Spirit Airlines, acknowledged that the company had mistakenly told Aldocosea that the hamster was permitted to fly, but denied that killing the animal was their idea.  “At no point did any of our agents suggest this guest should flush or otherwise injure an animal,” Dombrowski said in a statement. “It is incredibly disheartening to hear this guest reportedly decided to end her own pet’s life.”

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Richard Pryor's Widow Confirms He Slept With Marlon Brando

Quincy Jones had a wild and wide-ranging interview with Vulture magazine this week--  in which he claimed to have dated Ivanka Trump 12 years ago and that he knew who assassinated JFK.

He also described Michael Jackson as a thief who stole a lot of songs, said Elvis couldn't sing and stated that the Beatles were among the worst musicians in the world.  He also confessed to have bought drugs from Malcolm X and accused Prince of trying to run over Michael Jackson in a limo.

But one of the most outrageous stories shared by the multi-Grammy-winning producer involved legendary actor Marlon Brando, whom Jones said would fuck anything.  "Anything! He’d fuck a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye."

Shockingly, Richard Pryor's widow later confirmed her late husband did indeed have sex with Marlon Brando.

Jennifer Lee Pryor, who was married to Richard twice from 1981 to 1982 and again from 2001 to 2005, corroborated the story saying, "It was the '70s! Drugs were still good, especially quaaludes.  If you did enough cocaine, you'd fuck a radiator and send it flowers in the morning."

Jennifer Pryor said Richard documented his sexual escapades extensively in his diaries, which she plans to publish later this year.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Trump Aide Force To Resign Amid Allegations of Physical Abuse

Senior White House aide Rob Porter has announced his resignation amid reports that he mentally and physically abused two former wives.

Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby have made public allegations of abuse during their prior relationships with the soon-to-be-former White House staff secretary.  Willoughby, who divorced Porter in November 2013, decided to go public about the allegations after facing pressure from Porter to issue a statement that she felt “minimized” her experiences in their marriage.  Holderness, Porter’s first wife, described their relationship as “verbally, emotionally and physically abusive” in an interview with the Daily Mail.

According to sources, these reports of abuse against his previous wives have been holding up his
security clearance for the past year.  Porter is still working in the White House-- with access to sensitive documents in and out of the Oval Office-- based on an "interim" background clearance granted when he came on board early in the Trump Administration.  It is rare and very unusual for a federal employee to continue to work for the government on an interim clearance for such a long period.  As soon as background investigators became aware of the abuse allegations, it would have been standard procedure for Porter's supervisor in the White House to be made aware of the allegations, as it would make him a prime target for blackmail and potential compromise.  What John Kelly and/or Trump knew and when they knew it will become a serious issue as the story develops further.

The White House and Porter deny all allegations, of course.   Porter is rumored to be dating White House communications director Hope Hicks, so her role in the affair is also sure to come  under scrutiny as well. 


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