Meanwhile, Behind The Scenes….

Every day, a “Presidential” tweet or administrative outrage occupies the attention of the media and citizens who follow current affairs.

We are mesmerized by the slow train-wreck that Trump and his Keystone Kops are engineering, and for good reason. We rarely have a chance to catch our breath, or to wonder–as my husband often darkly does–what the truly vile people we don’t hear about are doing while our attention is  diverted by the ongoing public clown show.

Recently, my cousin the cardiologist (to whom I sometimes refer) sent me an example.

I have just been made aware that WomensHealth.gov has deleted much of its breast cancer web pages. But why?

It seems there has been a great reduction of breast cancer content on the website of the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), leaving just a single page with rudimentary information on mammograms and breast cancer. Most of the previous, seven-page content is gone.

The removal appears to reflect what my cousin calls “a broader agenda from the current administration.”

For example, under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act, breast cancer screening is offered free of charge for women meeting certain financial criteria, but that information has been deleted from WomensHealth.gov. Now, the information must be accessed on the site via a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which, in turn, requires a click through to yet another link.

Also, the “Government in Action” section of WomensHealth.gov previously contained information on federal programs that provide free or low-cost cancer screening, including clinical breast exams and mammograms. Known as the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the entity offers screening to all “low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women.” That entire section of the site is now removed.​This information cannot be found elsewhere on the OWH website, or anywhere on the HHS site, despite the agency’s contention that it has been integrated into other parts of the HHS website.

Apparently, most of the breast cancer content on WomensHealth.gov has been deleted.

“Because breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in the US, affecting 250,000 annually resulting in 40,000 deaths a year, it is astonishing that important information about risks, prevention and treatment of breast cancer has been eliminated from the Office on Women’s Health site,” said Joyce Bichler, deputy director of Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco, California.

According to a report from the Sunlight Foundation, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog, the government’s justification for this removal was  “lack of use.” This is transparent bullshit; WomensHealth.gov was visited nearly three quarters of a million times in one recent month. An HHS spokesperson told ThinkProgress that the “pages were removed… because content was not mobile-friendly and very rarely used. Before we update any of the information…we engage in a comprehensive audit and use analysis process that includes reviewing other federal consumer health websites to ensure we are not duplicating efforts or presenting redundant information.”

More bullshit.

The spokesperson directed users to WomensHealth.gov/cancer, which presumably contained the “duplicated” material, but doesn’t even have a dedicated section for breast cancer. The same spokesperson said “sister HHS agencies…have the same information in a much more user-friendly format on their websites.”

This isn’t the first time that important health information has vanished without notice or explanation. The removal of breast cancer information is part of what the Sunlight Foundation calls “wider changes to the OWH website that include the removal of resources related to lesbian and bisexual health, minority women’s health, and other topics.”

“The specificity of these removals adds more evidence to a growing concern: that public information for vulnerable populations is being targeted for removal or simply hidden,” says Sunlight.

Bottom line: Important information intended to assist low-income individuals and people of color access healthcare has been removed from the website–even though the most common cancer in women is breast cancer–and at the same time, the administration is ramping up its assault on Planned Parenthood, an important provider of breast cancer screenings.

Don’t tell me that “war on women” is hyperbole.

42 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Behind The Scenes….

  1. Well, I work with ‘low-income’ people of color and guess what? They don’t have access to the internet. That is not a luxury item they can afford.

    But I agree that most of the PR people’s excuses for removing the information are, “Bullshit”.

    The Godfather of Public Relations, Edward Bernays, would be very proud of what he helped create in this country following WW2. He used the analysis of his Uncle Sigmund Freud to create the field now known as Public Relations.

    It’s also known as propaganda and it’s so pervasive in our society that truth-seekers are called conspiracy theorists and radicals.

    By the way, Edward’s theory, supported by both the government and industry, was the general populace couldn’t be trusted to make good decisions due to their irrational minds. Yet, they used our irrational minds to convert us from educated civic participants to consumers. They began to manipulate us.

    The comments from yesterday were superb. Monotonous nailed our Democratic Tribe pretty well. We need Bernie Sanders/Tulsi Gabbard/Elizabeth Warren more than ever but we get Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi – corporate owned puppets.

    And I believe it was Nancy who stated, “In my opinion, conversations containing hatred and bigotry should never have been acceptable within the walls of a church.”

    It’s called courageous moral and ethical leadership. The Pastors should be condemning hate and bigotry, but they FEAR losing members. FEAR. FEAR. FEAR.

    Fear is the opposite of love. It also resides in the irrational mind. (hint)

    And you have to love the laws of physics…Trump’s assault on women (literally and figuratively) has been met with more women running for political office than any other election cycle in this country. The patriarchy is being challenged–more silver lining from Trump’s flawed leadership.

  2. Remember, this is war against anybody ‘different’, and women are definitely different in that they get diseases that men don’t get and don’t have penises. That’s enough right there, and when you add to it the fact that some of them have sex by a different method than others, well, maybe the government has opened an offensive on “God’s enemies”?

  3. Unfortunately, this is not the only “behind the sceness” bullshit that is going on. Besides the war on women, people of color, low-income families, the disabled, and LGBTQ folks, there are a multitude of other atrocities going on that we can’t or won’t see.

    The war on the environment. Check the .gov pages. Data has disappeared. Information is gone… I remember the prior admin’s whispering about backing up everything. Their urgency was real.

    Then, which to me, personally, is the most vicious, undermining, god awful disgrace is the appointment of federal judges. I’ve written about this on Twitter. Some men, but primarily women of my generation worked and marched and protested and fought for the right to have contraceptives, Roe, Planned Parenthood, the ERA….. not just for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren. For. Years.
    The evangelical wing of the “party” are willing to let this travesty go on as long as they continue to appoint conservative federal judges. Lifetime appointments. our children and grandchildren will be the people who will be in front of these judges, and that scares the hell out of me.

    Government pages about almost anything that helps people, offers assistance, provides information are gone. Book burning? No, they are just eliminating the information. For patients, activists, medical personnel, college students….. This is outrageous.
    None of these things have the steamy flair of Stormy Daniels, or the intrique of the “spys” or the energy of the Congress. It’s very easy to put these things behind the scenes, because the scenes are long, compelling, and important as well.

    #ICallBullshit

    Our knees get dusty from time to time, but when they touch the ground, we must never allow the dust to convince us that our submission in that moment is the acceptance of our defeat for an entire lifetime.”
    ― A.J. Darkholme, Rise of the Morningstar

  4. Was this information originally put on during the Obama years? Perhaps it is not only a result of the “war on women” but also the “war on Obama”.

  5. I got out my 2018 Medicare and You book – which arrived late 2017 so things could have been changed since January 20, 2018. Medicare does still cover annual mammograms for women over 40 years of age but… “Medicare covers one baseline mammogram for women between 35-39. You pay nothing for the test if the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.” This puts the financial responsibility on your supplemental Medicare provider which would affect those disabled at a young age who have been receiving Social Security Disability long enough to qualify for Medicare. My friend diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31 – at a Planned Parenthood Clinic – received excellent diagnoses, referral and treatment which saved her life. She now has health care coverage (NOT part of ACA but with escalating premiums and costs attributed to ACA by the current administration) which would fall under the new deleted coverage.

    If HHS authorities are not aware of the fact that men are also diagnosed with breast cancer; undergo the same treatments and surgeries as women, with the same possibility of death, someone should let them know. Or; as the Medicare and You states; only women are mentioned regarding breast cancer. My neighbor James is one of those men. If HHS is not aware that breast cancer frequently spreads to other areas of the body and leads to death; someone should inform them of this fact and that early breast cancer diagnosis and treatment can and does prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of the body they are required to treat.

    “…The removal of breast cancer information is part of what the Sunlight Foundation calls “wider changes to the OWH website that include the removal of resources related to lesbian and bisexual health, minority women’s health, and other topics.”

    The above copied and pasted statement is too discriminating and disgusting to attempt to address other than being translated to – they are unworthy of health care so just let them die.

    While looking for the breast cancer screening section, this headline caught my eye; “Religious non-medical health care institution (inpatient care): In these facilities, religious beliefs prohibit conventional and unconventional medical care. If you qualify for hospital or skilled nursing facility care, Medicare will only cover the inpatient, non-religious, non-medical items and services. Examples are room and board, or any items and services that don’t require a doctor’s order or prescription, like unmedicated wound dressings or use of a simple walker.”

    We are well aware of Trump’s and Devos’ plan for turning our education system into “God’s Kingdom”; do Trump. Pence and their HHS administration have plans to canonize all hospitals and medical clinics, turning them into religious facilities, to remove medical care coverage. Laugh if you must but; this makes as much sense as Trump’s latest rants regarding “Russiagate”.

  6. Sheila,

    Don’t tell me that “war on women” is hyperbole.

    What’s happening ,for most of us on this blog, is our worst nightmare. But it is not a nightmare, it is the real thing and is called, for the lack of a better name, a continued mobilization toward FASCISM. It’s more than a “war on women; it’s a WAR AGAINST DEMOCRACY.

    It makes sense. If you’re not going to continue with DEMOCRACY, then some sort of FASCISM is the only possible way that the Trump forces can ultimately maintain any semblance of control with the masses.

    Look what just happened to the FREEDOM of the African-Americans in the National Football League. Now, they can’t demonstrate against injustice, anymore than the Jews could in the ghettos established by the Nazis.

    We keep still looking for swastikas, crosses in the right environment, can be just as effective.

  7. Information is critical. Facts are critical. Treatment is critical. As Todd, mentioned the internet is luxury that is unaffordable to some. Come to think of it Heath Care in the USA for many is unaffordable, once you add in the premiums, co-pays and deductibles. You have to wonder – How many people make health care decisions based upon affordability??

    If we had Universal Health Care, as proposed in H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act- You could have one stop, for information, facts and treatments. H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, now has 122 Co-Sponsors, all Democrats. There are currently 193 Democrats in the House. Conspicuously, missing from the list is Nancy Pelosi.

    Given the Right Wing Reactionary Republicans goal to repeal ACA (Obama Care), H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, should be the Democratic Party’s counter proposal.

    Universal Heath Care for all, should be a human right. The Democratic Party should have Expanded & Improved Medicare For All as key part of their platform.

    So I ask myself, whenever I hear or read lamenting about the latest scheme from the Rabid Reactionary Right and The Trumpet (aka Agent Orange) – Where is the Democratic Party’s Counter Attack??? It seems the Counter Attack is limited to Robert Mueller.

  8. Monotonous,

    “Where is the Democratic Party’s Counter Attack??? It seems the Counter Attack is limited to Robert Mueller.”

    I’m surprised by your statement. Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

  9. All detours lead to the man with the fake orange hair. This is the man who introduces a new conspiracy every day. A few days ago, he belligerently announced that our nation has been overwhelmed by a movement called Spy Gate. That should have been Lie Gate, a movement created and engineered by the President of the United States

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Fake President has been attracted to women’s breasts. His history reveals this isn’t the first time this subject matter has monopolized his attention.

    A lot of very bright people respond to Sheila Kennedy’s daily blog. They supply logic to what seem to be problems that are curable. Meanwhile, “logic” is not something the President knows anything about.

    Perhaps the headline for each day’s blog might read as follows: “Today’s Lie Gate Activity.”

  10. Marv, Santa Claus died in 1968 when per Wiki ->>In the end, the Democratic Party nominated Humphrey. Even though 80 percent of the primary voters had been for anti-war candidates, the delegates had defeated the peace plank by 1,567¾ to 1,041¼. Humphrey, who had not entered any of 13 state primary elections, won the Democratic nomination, and went on to lose the election to the Republican Richard Nixon. <<<

    Eugene McCarthy won 6 of 13 primaries, RFK won 4. The anti war sentiment was not just blowing in a wind, it was hurricane. The establishment made sure the anti-war faction was derailed.

    A year later, 1969, I was drafted and in March 1970 sent to Vietnam as a Combat Infantryman.

  11. While Donald Trump continues to be the center of every conversation concerning the upheaval in our government, we are missing the real culprits who behind the scenes are doing the heavy lifting in turning our Democracy into some kind of religious, fascist state. Those fools are the Freedom Caucus of Congress.

    You cannot find out who all makes up that caucus… only a few have openly aligned themselves. This secret group formed out of the Tea Party and have the insane belief that they can return the country to the days of the 1940s/50s. They are nearly a majority of the Republicans in the House, and are currently trying to kick Ryan out as Speaker of the House in order to fully control Congress. They are the Republicans who are supporting Trump and they reflect their constituents views on race, poverty, women, welfare, war and white dominance.

    If you are not well informed on how the Nazi took over Germany, you need to get to the library and begin a crash course on the subject. From my own studies on the matter over the years what is happening in this country now is so close to what happened to Germany that I shutter to think what is ahead.

  12. Paul,

    “A lot of very bright people respond to Sheila Kennedy’s daily blog. They supply logic to what seem to be problems that are curable. Meanwhile, “logic” is not something the President knows anything about.”

    Absolutely right. Logic needs to be applied to the POTENTIALLY REDEEMABLE FOOLS that are following this Presidential “nut case.” Let’s not wait for the Democratic Party to do it. Their leadership will never do it. Chuck Schumer will never do it.

    If Chuck Schumer doesn’t watch out what he says, the anti-Semite Donald Trump might attempt to remove our embassy not only from Jerusalem, but also from Israel.

  13. While it is beyond disgusting that the “underlings” are dismantling human and social services, Trump’s attack on the media, Obama initiatives and the DOJ is sinister and terrifying for democracy everywhere. The orange bastard said to Judy Woodruff in an interview that he attacked the media so much because he didn’t want anyone to believe the negative things they say about him. He’s doing the same thing with the DOJ.

    My Constitutional lawyer wife and I had a “discussion” about impeachment. She lectured me about that concept – the fine article in this week’s New Yorker by Jeffery Toobin was the stimulus for me to ask. She informed me that “high crimes and misdemeanors” are what Congress decides they are. She also lectured me about the emoluments clause being extremely difficult to prove as one of those crimes. We then both agreed that if Congress DID impeach and convict the hairball, who would remove him from office. The DOJ, being so fundamentally impotent and in the pocket of the president, might not lift a finger to physically remove him from the White House should the president refuse to leave.

    We concluded this horrifying scenario by suggesting that it might take some real hero in the military to lead a coup and do the ultimate banana republic thing by removing a dictator until another election could be held. Now the good old USA would have a military junta running things until the people regained their senses and voted in someone who actually believed in the constitution.

    My wife, for the first time in her life, said she is beginning to be fearful that the Constitution is in real trouble and that Trump may suspend it and declare himself president for life. This from a woman who bashes my liberalism for being too extreme….

    Does anyone else see the reason for our fears of being reduced to a despotic dictatorship?

  14. Vernon,

    “Does anyone else see the reason for our fears of being reduced to a despotic dictatorship?”

    Give the JERK a break, he has no other alternative.

  15. This is all good news because it signals the end days of the Republican Party. The death throes. We can whine about Ryan and McConnell leaving as wealthy men but they will be the last to leave we the people so poor in democratic idealism.

    November will come and go, the hated year 2018 will end and we will begin the siege of Agent Orange’s castle with our Congress and the capabilities of Robert Mueller in control of exterminating the vermin in the Executive Branch.

    2019 will be filled with hope and change and action. Democracy in action. We the people insisting on progress and empowered to insist. That’s when we can begin to rebuild on the GOP wreckage a new nation, a new Declaration of Independence, a new beginning finally free of the human dregs represented by corporatism and the anger, hate, fear, negativity and cowardice built from entertainment media propaganda funded by oligarchs trying to top off their tanks with the wealth we built.

    A revolution as profound as our previous wars but based on enlightenment, not military conquest.

  16. Vernon,

    As time goes fleeting by, I’m more and more convinced that the team of TRUMP & BANNON have much in common with the murderers LEOPOLD & LOEB, who at the time, were labeled with committing “The Crime of the Century.” It’s simply called the BIG MISTAKE.

  17. Has anyone else seen Trump on the lawn ranting about spies, etc?
    I’m not a psychiatrist but surely a licensed psychiatrist would be alarmed by Trump’s disturbing mantras of assaults on our institutions. Why doesn’t someone with credentials come forward and attest to Trump’s insanity so that he can be taken away in a straight jacket before he does more irreparable harm.
    He doesn’t appear to me to be as stupid as he sounds but he certainly sounds like he’s sick in the head.
    No matter what, the Republican Party as you knew it is KAPUT thanks to Trump. Maybe it can make a comeback with a new moniker. How about the TORIES?

  18. Theresa hit it head on with her referral to one group, the Freedom Caucus, whose power “Meanwhile, Behind The Scenes…” is part of a number of smaller groups making up the whole body of destructive power. Those totally partisan Republican committees, with no Democratic voice to be heard – other than Joe Donnelly’s – en masse, are allowing Trump free reign. Trump could not accomplish even his first act on his first day without their full support. Alone; he is a big mouth fool whose mental imbalance wouldn’t have gotten him elected dog catcher in his own Trump Tower.

    The Legislature and, sadly enough, the Electoral College, were put in place by the founding fathers to protect us from such as Trump EVER being put in his current leadership position. IF, and only IF, history is written as it is actually happening to us; future generations will have someone to blame for the downfall of democracy and the destruction of the United States of America. That will only happen if they maintain intact, all of those bills and Executive Orders signed with his name in huge, easy to read letters, written with his Sharpie and displayed to his audiences. Let’s make another comparison to Germany; IF we can get him out of office before he starts a nuclear war, will his name then be removed, at times with explosives, from all forms of construction in this country and other parts of the world where he has proudly displayed it? The invading allies accomplished this destruction of all swastikas soon after invading Berlin and other German cities where it was displayed.

    Trump announced moments ago that HE cancelled the scheduled meeting with Kim Jong Un; HE said he was the one to cancel this meeting after proudly displaying his bully tactics as diplomatic prowess. HE said; but HE says much each day which cannot be believed by thinking people.

  19. I couldn’t care less about the party (Republican)of racism and bigotry,let it die,kaput.

    It would be interesting to know what the cardiologist (hopefully the cardiologist is one that accepts Medicare patients)and the veterans among us think about the following;
    An excerpt..

    Democrats join Koch group to revamp veterans programs.

    It’s a big win for the once-obscure advocacy group backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch of Wichita. The group helped write the bill, which sailed through the Senate by a 92-5 vote after also passing the House overwhelmingly. It got broad support from politicians and veterans groups across the political spectrum, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article211745894.html#emlnl=Afternoon_Newsletter

    It seems as if this is the first move to privatize the VA.

  20. JoAnn,

    “Let’s make another comparison to Germany; IF we can get him out of office before he starts a nuclear war, will his name then be removed, at times with explosives, from all forms of construction in this country and other parts of the world where he has proudly displayed it?”

    German military INTELLIGENCE, led by their two top officers, Canaris and Oster, attempted to have Hitler removed as early as 1938. They both could foresee the looming catastrophe, if they failed in their effort. Unfortunately, for Germany and the world, THEY FAILED.

    loom vi. [<?] to come into sight indistinctly, esp. threateningly
    ~Webster's New World Dictionary

  21. Vernon has it right. Welcome to the incipient birth of the Fourth Reich! Who would have thought, having defeated the Third Reich, that its ideas and methods would be so embraced by our own people? Hitler would be proud! Yesterday’s blog explained why. A sizable percentage of our citizens have deliberately chosen this path because they think just like Trump and his sycophants. The majority seems incapable of anything but thoughts and prayers. Politicians, both Republican and Democrat, should be calling out these criminals in no uncertain terms, every single day of the week. Unfortunately, both lack the testosterone/estrogen to do it. Like the Germans of the 1930s and 40s, we will get what we deserve, and our grandchildren will suffer for it.

  22. One good thing about 2019, beside just the assurance that the triumvirate of Agent Orange, Ryan and McConnell has been fully contained, is that we can ignore tweetdledee and concentrate on the important work of his replacement (assuming Mueller cannot obtain sufficient evidence to put him where he really belongs).

    2020 will be interesting because those with enough of their brains intact from the thorough washing sponsored by oligarchs can now compare actual experience with what oligarchy is selling vs liberal democracy without the effects of 30 years of HRC political assassination interfering.

    I’m looking forward to an energizing and cathartic conversation about new direction.

  23. William, Veterans for Peace had this to say:

    Named the VA Mission Act, the legislation passed this week and pushed by the Trump administration is aimed at creating a commission made up of private healthcare executives focused on shutting down local VA hospitals. It encourages and expands the use of private vouchers for veterans to a healthcare system that isn’t ready to deal with this influx of vets and isn’t familiar with their needs. Worst of all, the $60 billion associated price tag spent is being siphoned off from other existing veterans programs.
    =========================================================
    Vouchers and health care executives – What could go wrong??? Perhaps in 10 years like after NAFTA, pundits will wonder why the VA is in ruins.

  24. Marv; I really wish you would watch the movie “Downfall”, with your knowledge of German history, the Holocaust and Hitler’s now resurrected leadership foundation by Trump, you will appreciate the message. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” Being a German/Austrian production, not Hollywood’s version, you will see history come to life in that Bunker on those final 10 days. You will probably, as I found myself doing, overlaying Trump’s face, mannerisms and madness on Hitler. It is not an old movie; 2011 I believe, and written from information from books and documents found in the Bunker by the Russians who invaded Berlin, as well as some of the remaining generals and Hitler’s staff in a documentary. I keep hoping for a rerun.

  25. JoAnn,

    Many thanks. I believe I can find “Downfall” on Netflix. Maybe we all need to see it. Willie Brandt, the anti-Nazi fighter and former Mayor of Berlin, after the war, pointed out in his biography that DESCRIPTION would have been much more effective than the RHETORIC he had used in his WARNINGS about the Hitler regime, when he escaped in the 30’s to Sweden.

    A few days after Trump announced his run for the presidency, I purchased the URL: TrumpCard. video. I’ve renewed it a few times and still have it. There’s much truth, to the old saying, that …… A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.

  26. Marv; you read my mind…A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. “Downfall” is also a study of those who surrounded Hitler and stayed to the bitter end; even joining him in suicide. I wondered if it was true loyalty or being trapped by their own actions and recognizing no way out and nowhere to go if they could have gotten out. Where have Trump’s supporters gone who left on their own or were dumped by him? Trump’s threats of war, “why can’t we just nuke ’em” came to mind watching Hitler repeatedly tell his generals to attack the Russians who had already invaded and overtaken Berlin; they told him he had no troops remaining and the few left had no weapons but he persisted in ordering the attacks. Surely to God, someone in that White House administration has tried to get Trump to understand reality; they can’t all be so stupid they cannot see there will be no winner in a nuclear war.

  27. JoAnn,

    What we urgently need is a “COUNTER-OFFENSIVE FILM FESTIVAL” of movies like “Downfall.” I would include three that I have been, personally, involved with, in some way, as either an attorney, a partner, or a coded major character: “The Killer Shrews,” “Fail Safe,” and “The Chamber.”

    There is nothing creative about the partnership of Trump/Bannon. It’s all about “cherry picking” propaganda from the past, especially, racism and anti-Semitism. Bannon was out in Hollywood making movies. I’m sure his propaganda abilities were honed from his experiences in the movie industry.

    There’s nothing original in the Trump/Bannon overall GAME PLAN. As you have so well pointed out: just watch “Downfall.”

  28. Nobody mentioned Jeff Flake’s takedown of Trump at the Harvard graduation. He sounded like those of us on this blog. Too bad his voting record doesn’t coincide with his comments about the illegal and sickening behaviors emanating from the Republicans and the White House.

    Dangerous doesn’t begin to describe what’s in store. With a maniac like John Bolton pouring war-like shit into Trump’s already tortured and pathological brain, it won’t be long before….

    Meanwhile, I’m looking into asylum possibilities.

  29. JoAnn,

    Coincidentally, a few nights ago, I re-discovered a book in my modest library: “Cultural and Artistic Upheavals in Modern Europe 1848 to 1945” it was published by The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens here in Jacksonville. It was a transcript of a one day symposium, that I attended, sponsored by the museum back in 1996. One of the lectures was entitled: “Politics and Culture in the Weimar Republic: The Political Theater of Erwin Piscator” by Evie T. Joselow.

    Two excerpts from the lecture:

    “Evie Joselow examines Piscator’s directorial career between 1924 and 1928. Working with avant-garde dramatists such as Ernst Toller, Alfons Paquet and Alexi Tolstoy, Piscator sought, through the use of FILM and multi-leveled sets, to push theater into a greater self-awareness. Self-distancing techniques and increased spectator involvement contributed to the rejection of theatrical illusion and realist drama. Piscator satirized the clich’ed speeches, the false patriotism, the mindless obedience and corruption of the German authorities and citizenry.” p. 10-11.

    “In summarizing Piscator’s contributions to German theater in the Weimar Republic, one can credit him for having redefined its communicative nature by incorporating documentary evidence culled from events of contemporary life. His efforts to transform the stage and theatrical experience were accomplished by effectively involving the audience into the productions. Through the use of FILM Piscator successfully broke the barriers of the stage set by creating a more recognizable global perspective. Through the complex and artistic stage sets specifically designed to suit the needs of his vast productions he brought a new awareness to the physical resources of the stage and its relationship to the audience.” p. 116

  30. Vernon,

    “Meanwhile, I’m looking into asylum possibilities.”

    If you’re looking for asylum, I’ve handled a few cases. I would suggest that you speak out a little more forceful. Your life has to be in danger, but you’re getting there.

  31. This describes only one leg of the Godzilla-like octopus that is the Trump administration. What else is going on behind the scenes?

  32. Marv; when “Jesus Christ, Superstar” first became popular the religious factions in this country were up in arms. Then some religious denominations noticed and commented on the fact that more young people had become interested in, if not church, at least learning about religious beliefs due to the music. I thought that wasn’t a bad idea at that time even though I was losing faith in organized religion myself. Those years followed the turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s when too many of our young had no direction in their lives. But; did the young people from those years spawn what is called Christianity that we are trying to survive today? Did Republican spawn today’s religion or did that earlier religion spawn today’s Republicans? Just this morning I was wondering if I can research just who, why and how the Bible was created as one collection of laws for all? Or am I just seeking somewhere to lie the blame for today and doubting tomorrow will be any better or any safer? Did Shakespeare speak a truer picture of life and is that why his writing and his theater are still popular today; although fading from our stages?

    His view of women was little better than today’s Republicans.

  33. JoAnn,

    “But; did the young people from those years spawn what is called Christianity that we are trying to survive today? Did Republican spawn today’s religion or did that earlier religion spawn today’s Republicans?”

    I would call it a SYMBIOSIS, with many of the same similarities that exist between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Anti-Defamation League….. Mutual gratification AT THE EXPENSE OF SOMEONE ELSE. It’s very difficult to sort how who is to blame in both of the situations. Because of that difficulty, I take the position that both sides are equally to blame, since I’m not willing to let any of the parties “wiggle off the hook.”

    sym-bi-o-sis (sim’bi o’sis, -be-) n. [< Gr symbioun, to live together] the living together of two kinds of organisms to their mutual advantage—sym'bi-ot'ic (-at'ik) adj.

  34. Continuing on the subject of Zero leadership:

    The former presidential candidate is endorsing the New York governor for re-election, choosing a centrist over a progressive woman
    @jamie_elizabeth from The Guardian

    Thu 24 May 2018 07.57 EDT

    ‘Andrew Cuomo is a machine politician who talks like a progressive Democrat but acts like a moderate Republican.

    It’s long been a cornerstone of Hillary Clinton’s branding that she’s a woman seeking power in a man’s world. From Madeleine Albright’s “special place in hell” speech to the pages of Cosmopolitan to the 2016 primary debates, Clinton and her associates have often presented female identity as inherently progressive in an elected official.

    “There are plenty of reasons why we need more women in office. That’s true whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent,” she wrote in Cosmo. The most recent version of candidate Clinton took great pains to present herself as a progressive as well, at least when speaking to the general public. Imagine my shock, then, when she emerged from a period of relative dormancy to endorse a conservative man over a liberal woman: Clinton has backed the incumbent Andrew M Cuomo over his challenger Cynthia Nixon in New York’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

    While progressives and leftists alike have long known Clinton – and the political establishment she represents – to deploy the “representation” card in only the most cynical and selective of ways, this case is particularly galling. In addition to being a man, Cuomo is a machine politician who talks like a progressive Democrat but acts like a moderate Republican.

    His crimes include underfunding the MTA, attacking public education via charter schools, and protecting his friends in the real estate business from subpoenas. After creating an “independent” commission to investigate corruption, he blocked it from investigating his own office and subsequently disbanded it.

    His former top aide, Joseph Percoco, was convicted on three corruption charges in March. Up until Nixon’s challenger pressured him into ending their deal, he allowed the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) to swing control of the state senate to the Republicans, stymying efforts to pass single-payer healthcare, fully fund education, and cement New York as a sanctuary state. (It recently dissolved, but this is probably just a hiatus; Cuomo convinced the IDC to temporarily disband in 2014 when he faced a primary challenge from Zephyr Teachout, too.) Cuomo is drowning in corporate money; Nixon has vowed to accept none. Is this what Clinton’s Pac, Onward Together, was talking about when it promised to “advance progressive values”?

    Clinton’s endorsement of Cuomo might make sense if Nixon’s politics were way out of line with her own currently professed views, but they’re not. With an emphasis on racial justice, education, and raising taxes on the wealthy to fund basic services (not the least of which is our crumbling subway system), Nixon’s program sits firmly within the realm of left-liberal reform and has much in common with the platform Clinton ran on in 2016. Nixon even supported Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary. If elected, she would be the first female governor of New York, as well as the first openly LGBT governor. If we are to take Clinton at her word, it’s hard to think of a better candidate for her to throw her support behind.

    The picture gets clearer when you look at Clinton’s history with Cuomo, who served as housing secretary in her husband’s administration and campaigned for her in the 2016 primary and general elections. Politico ran a whole five-part series on the relationship between the Clinton and Cuomo dynasties. It’s almost like taking care of your friends is more important than getting more women into office.

    Of course, it’s possible Clinton’s name has become so toxic her opposition will actually help Nixon, in which case, progressives should thank her. Intentionally or not, opposition from such unpopular establishment figures as Clinton and Christine Quinn will only help the activist and Sex and the City actor make a case for herself as the reformer Albany needs.

  35. Trump’s craziness and legal entanglements off the chart today; it is only Thursday. And he and Pence added fuel to the NFL/National Anthem/”take a knee” problem with their remarks. We who keep asking “What next?” need to cease asking; he always has an answer. Any bets he is taking tomorrow off to have a 4-day weekend. Usually this crazy only on Fridays.

    Enjoy your Memorial Day Holiday Weekend; the chaos will be waiting for us Tuesday morning!

  36. Cindy, I couldn’t agree with you more about the courts. The big failing of Democrats, and progressives, is not understanding the importance of the courts. Democratic presidents never made it a priority and progressive voters didn’t either.

    Monotonous Languor, I agree with your statement about 1968 and Humphrey’s nomination. The sad thing is that the anti-war movement never understood “lesser evilism”. Humphrey was a champion of civil rights before it was chic and tarnished his reputation by being loyal to the man who chose him to be VP. I believe he would have ended the war much sooner than Nixon ever did and who knows how many lives would have been saved.

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