What’s a “false flag” operation? The World may soon find out in Ukraine

Lee Heidhues 1.14.2022

It’s difficult to get a balanced perspective on what is happening in Ukraine.

What’s available to American audiences is a decidedly anti-Russia spin.  The main diet being American networks and newspapers along with the BBC and Deutsche Welle.

It’s fair to remind oneself that since the collapse of the Soviet dominated regimes in Eastern Europe many countries have joined NATO and are pressing up against Russia. In fact four former Soviet satellite nations; Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania all border on Ukraine. The Russians have always maintained that Ukraine is a part of Russia. This slow encroachment of NATO near what it feels to be its territory is one reason this tinderbox is smoldering.

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Excerpted from Wikipedia

A false flag operation is an act committed with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on another party.

The term “false flag” originated in the 16th century as a purely figurative expression to mean “a deliberate misrepresentation of someone’s affiliation or motives”.[1] 

The term today extends to include countries that organize attacks on themselves and make the attacks appear to be by enemy nations or terrorists, thus giving the nation that was supposedly attacked a pretext for domestic repression and foreign military aggression.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag

Excerpted from Moscow Times 1.14.2022

Russia has put in place operatives trained in explosives to carry out a “false-flag” operation to create a pretext to invade Ukraine, U.S. officials alleged Friday.

The United States released intelligence findings the day after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Russia, which has amassed tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border, was “laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for an invasion.”

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NATO members in shades of  green. Several former Soviet bloc nations are now members of NATO and border on Ukraine

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said U.S. intelligence believed Russia could begin the operations “several weeks” before a military invasion, which could start between mid-January and mid-February.

“We have information that indicates Russia has already prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” Psaki told reporters.

“The operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces.”

Russia quickly denied the account, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling the U.S. statements “unfounded.”

But Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the intelligence was “very credible” and that the classification had been downgraded to allow its release to the public.

He said that Russian operatives could include intelligence agents, military elements and other security services.

“They often hybridize their personnel to such a degree that the lines are not necessarily really clear,” Kirby told reporters.

Russia false flag operation IV 1.14.2022

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/01/14/us-says-russia-readying-false-flag-operation-to-invade-ukraine-a76051

Yellowstone doesn’t court the critical attention or media scrutiny

At first glance Yellowstone may appear to be another “conservative” modern day western drama. 

To sit through the four seasons of this riveting violent family drama will leave the discerning viewer with a different take on the Yellowstone story.

Excerpted from The Guardian 1.13.2022

Yellowstone, a violent drama about familial legacy and the tides of changes in the mountains of Montana, is the most-watched show on cable in the US, though depending on where you live, you might not know it.

The Paramount Network drama starring Kevin Costner as the stony, scheming owner of the largest contiguous ranch in the US drew over 11 million people for its fourth season finale earlier this month without streaming, ratings not seen since the heyday of such 2010s staples as Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, which were both broadly popular and critically feted.

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(The HBO fantasy epic’s sixth season, for example, averaged 10.61 million first-week viewers including streaming; AMC’s zombie apocalypse staple peaked in its fifth season from 2014-2015 with an average of 14.4 million viewers per episode).

Yet despite batting in the same league as Thrones and The Walking Dead without a clear streaming outlet (full seasons were licensed to NBC’s Peacock, while new episodes land on CBS’s nascent streaming network Paramount+), Yellowstone doesn’t court the critical attention or media scrutiny as its ratings predecessors. Co-creator Taylor Sheridan (who also serves as head writer and occasional director) has drawn accolades for gritty neo-westerns such as Sicario, Hell or High Water and Wind River, but Yellowstone, which premiered in 2018, has been ignored by awards shows. (It received its first major nomination, a 2022 Screen Actors Guild nod for best ensemble in a drama, on Wednesday.)

Culture websites such as Vulture and the Ringer publish episode-by-episode recaps, but there’s not nearly the essays, media Twitter chatter or substantive analyses of, say, HBO’s Succession, the buzzy and bruising portrait of a media conglomerate family which parallels Yellowstone’s thematic frame – mega-wealth, squabbling siblings, a family guarding its assets – and offers a stark contrast to its lack of critical attention.

Streaming was supposed to be the great equalizer, for either access to content (see: global megahits like Netflix’s Squid Game, the South Korean dystopian drama which reached a whopping 111m households worldwide in late 2021) or its segmentation into competitive platforms warring for their niche and slice of IP.

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Yellowstone presents a fascinating rebuke to these trends: a word-of-mouth hit in the heartland, for lack of a better term for the loose but distinct geographical segmentation in the US, and a phenomenon of cultural silos between urban-skewing consumers of premium cable and ex-urban (smaller cities surrounded by agricultural land, suburbs, small towns, rural communities) consumers of basic cable.

Paramount is building a popular universe around the success of Yellowstone – the prequel 1883, starring the country super couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as well as Sam Elliott, scored the biggest debut for a cable show since 2015 in December – and a good portion of the country hasn’t noticed.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/jan/12/yellowstone-the-smash-hit-tv-show-that-exposed-a-cultural-divide

 

Spy vs. Spy. Israel charges four women with spying for Iran

The intrigue in the Middle East is ongoing and never ending. In the latest chapter in the ongoing docudrama Israel intelligence agents have hauled in a catch of four women and one man charged with “serious crimes.”

What is one of the alleged “serious crimes”? One of the accused installed a secret camera in a “massage room” in her home. Wow!!! I Hope the tapes are interesting.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 1.12.2022

Israel’s domestic intelligence service, the Shin Bet, charged four women and one man accused of spying for Iran with “serious crimes,” a statement released Wednesday said.Israeli media described them as Jewish immigrants from Iran.

An Iranian operative going by “Rambod Nambar” contacted the women via Facebook posing as an Iranian Jew, the security agency said, adding that in some cases, the contact endured for several years on WhatsApp.

Iranian spys I 1.12.2022

The statement said the women were indicted by a Jerusalem court this month.

While some of the women suspected the man was an agent working on behalf of the Iranian government, the Shin Bet said they accepted payment in return for intelligence work.

“I congratulate the Shin Bet and the Israeli police on a successful operation to foil hostile terrorist activity,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

He warned Israelis to be on the lookout for suspicious content online, adding that Tehran could be behind “information you consume or share on social media.”

What were the women asked to do?

One of the women, a 40-year-old from Cholon, was alleged to have made a trip with her husband to photograph the former US Embassy in Tel Aviv. The same woman also photographed a local shopping center and provided details on the security measures in place.

The same woman allegedly tried to pressure her son to do his military service in the intelligence department. The son’s Farsi language skills were evaluated over the phone by the Iranian recruiter, the Shin Bet charged.

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In another case, a 57-year-old woman from Beit Shemesh did various tasks for a $5,000 (€4,375) payment. She similarly pushed her son to join a secret service unit and sent pictures of his military ID and dog tags to the Iranian agent.

Additionally, the Shin Bet said she also photographed the US Embassy after it was relocated to Jerusalem during the Trump administration.

The Shin Bet said the woman was further instructed to establish a club for the Iranian diaspora in Israel and provide information on its members. The Iranian agent also told her to get close to a legislator, who is not named.

She was instructed to install a secret camera in a “massage room” in her home.

One of the alleged recruits also photographed a polling station. Some were instructed to try and get close to certain politicians.

The Iranian handler was also interested in various security protocols at different locations in Israel, the Shin Bet said.

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https://www.dw.com/en/israel-charges-four-women-with-spying-for-iran/a-60403606

First woman Director for SF Ballet. “Passionate about pushing boundaries”

Lee Heidhues 1.11.2022

Another male bastion has fallen in San Francisco. The world reknown San Francisco Ballet has hired only its sixth and first female director in its 89 year history.

Growing up in San Francisco and Marin County my parents were intimately involved with the SF Ballet. They took ballet classes. It seems they were always going to the San Francisco Opera House to watch a performance. My mom worked in the administration at the ballet school. Their social friends were dancers in the SF Ballet.

While I never danced, due this early immersion, the ballet unwittingly became a part of my life.  It definitely influenced my life long mania to stay in good physical condition through running and cycling.

Excerpted from The San Francisco Chronicle 1.11.2022

Tamara Rojo, the dynamic and inventive Spanish ballerina who has served since 2012 as artistic director and lead principal of the English National Ballet in London, will be the next artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet, beginning at the end of 2022.

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Tamara Rojo new Director San Francisco Ballet

“It may not sound that revolutionary, but my focus will be to enable creativity through a diverse variety of voices, including both American and international creators, and particularly to empower female voices in the ballet world. That is something I’m very passionate about.”

Rojo’s career as a performer began in earnest with her 1994 victory at the Paris International Dance Competition and has included acclaimed stints with the Scottish Ballet and the Royal Ballet. Her repertoire includes principal roles in wide array of full-length ballets — “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “La Sylphide” and others — as well as works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Kenneth MacMillan.

Danielle St. Germain-Gordon, the San Francisco Ballet’s interim executive director, said that Rojo’s commitment to expanding access for audiences was one of the factors that made her appealing for the post.

“She’s dedicated and passionate about pushing boundaries,” St. Germain-Gordon said. “She’s a wildly engaging figure who is dedicated to making ballet more accessible to everyone.”

Rojo, 47, is set to succeed Helgi Tomasson, who will step down in June after 37 years at the helm of the company. The appointment, announced on Tuesday, Jan. 11, makes Rojo just the sixth person — and the first woman — to lead the company in its 89-year history.

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London, UNITED KINGDOM: Spanish ballerina Tamara Rojo, of the Royal Ballet, plays Princess Aurora alongside Carlos Acosta of Cuba as Prince Florimund during a dress rehearsal of The Sleeping Beauty at The Royal Opera House in London, 25 October 2006.  AFP PHOTO / JOHN D MCHUGH (Photo credit  JOHN D MCHUGH/AFP/Getty Images)

“I’m a longtime admirer of the San Francisco Ballet,” Rojo told The Chronicle in a Zoom interview from her London home. “Even when I was a young dancer, it was one of my dreams to dance with the company.

“Helgi, in my opinion, has been an absolutely groundbreaking director and made San Francisco into the most exciting company in North America. I’m very happy that the board chose me to be the next director of the company.”

Rojo was selected after a nearly yearlong search process that began as soon as Tomasson announced his decision to retire, said board member Fran Streets, who led the search committee along with Sunnie Evers.

“We came to the process with determination we would do an extensive outreach globally, to ensure that everyone was included, and that the search would be conducted in a fair and equitable manner,” Streets said.

“Tamara stood out from the very beginning. Everything about her impressed us.”

S.F. Ballet names Tamara Rojo as artistic director, succeeding Helgi Tomasson

 

 

Sidney Poitier. A Black man holding off a white mob with a pistol?

Sidney Poitier’s passing last week continues to generate discussion about perhaps his finest cinematic role.  The homicide detective who by happenstance assists in the investigation of a murder in a small Mississippi town.

Amazingly, even though In the Heat of the Night received several Academy Awards including best pictre in 1968, Poitier wasn’t even nominated for Best Actor.

Excerpted from The Nation – Gene Seymour 1.10.2022

“Sidney Poitier by James Baldwin.” A cover story in the now-defunct Look magazine in June 1968 announcing itself with these five words.

Poitier was a year removed from a trifecta of major hits—To Sir with LoveIn the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner—that affirmed his unprecedented stature as a Black movie star big enough to draw millions of dollars and viewers on his name alone.

At the same time, Poitier was also drawing increasing criticism that his movie image was too accommodating to whites to reflect the increasing militancy in the Black community—especially in the wake of Martin Luther King’s assassination three months earlier. I wanted to hear more from Poitier on this and other matters, and who better to get it out of him than the Black writer who was himself under increasing scrutiny from militant writers and yet remained an influential and respected voice and, as with Poitier, achieved a level of fame that transcended racial barriers?

But the article wasn’t an interview with Poitier so much as an essay about how well Baldwin knew Poitier and how he generally felt about Poitier’s work. 

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In the Heat of the Night, the 1967 murder mystery set in the Deep South that won Oscars for almost everybody involved except director Norman Jewison and Poitier—who wasn’t even nominated for what I still believe to be his finest purely cinematic performance, as Virgil Tibbs, the cool, circumspect Black police detective dragooned into helping the bullying, belligerent small-town police chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) solve the murder of a prominent Northern businessman.

When the movie came up for discussion in the wake of Poitier’s passing, most people remembered the galvanic moment when an imperious white plantation owner (Larry Gates) slaps Tibbs’s face for interrogating him, whereupon Tibbs slaps back with equal force, creating a moment of tension that froze everybody who witnessed it, on-screen and off.

Thirty years later, I’d seen the film at an film festival’s anniversary screening and found myself frozen in place by a moment I didn’t remember from the first time I’d seen the movie, but which created within me a similar frisson: It came when Poitier’s Tibbs has determined the identity of the murderer and, for the second time in the movie, is confronted by a surly mob of redneck thugs prepared to thrash the uppity Negro detective with chains and lead pipes. A shoot-out ensues between the murderer and one of the thugs; the latter falls dead after wounding the former. At which point, with police sirens wailing, Tibbs picks up one of the two pistols and points it at the remaining, perplexed pack of would-be attackers.

He had a gun? I said to myself. How did I miss that the first time? A Black man holding off a white mob with a pistol? That seemed almost as unprecedented and unexpected as Tibbs’s refusal to turn the other cheek. I was so uncertain of this that I called the archivist responsible for restoring the original print for its reshowing. He never called back, but a DVD released not long afterward confirmed what I’d seen, or, more to the point, missed the first time.

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Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger – In the Heat of the Night

From then on, I saw both the movie, and Poitier, with even greater appreciation. What did it take, I wondered, for Poitier’s Tibbs to be allowed to do all the things in this movie that his white counterparts did as a matter of course? What alloy of patience and poise had Poitier managed to fashion over what was already a celebrated career to bring off moments like these that couldn’t have been imagined or allowed in a Hollywood movie not long before? And, once again: How did I not see it first time around?

https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/sidney-poitier-james-baldwin/

 

Kimberly Guilfoyle was intimately involved with the January 6 Coup d’etat

When I read  about Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. I have to shake my head in amazement.  The same Kimberly Guilfoyle was at one time married to Gavin Newsom, former Mayor of San Francisco and currently Democrat Governor of California.

Kimberly, along with her trophy mate role with Gavin Newsom, was an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco.

Her rise into the stratosphere of the MAGA Fox News Trump World orbit is mind boggling. Now Kimberly’s bright star in the House of Trump may be in line for some serious legal housekeeping.

Excerpted from Vanity Fair – Bess Levin – 1.5.2022

It’s been an eventful few days for right-wing royalty Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr.

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Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald, Jr. share a moment together as the MAGA crowd looks on

On Friday, the couple seemingly revealed that they were engaged—then days later, it was reported that, actually, the spawn of satan had gotten down on one knee a year ago but for some reason the duo had decided to keep it a secret.

On Monday, we learned that Don Jr. (along with his sister Ivanka) had been subpoenaed by the New York attorney general, and were apparently refusing to comply with the order. And as the anniversary of the violent attack on the Capitol approached, we’re reminded of the ProPublica report from last fall wherein text messages sent by Guilfoyle about the January 6 rally that preceded the deadly Capitol attack suggested Team Trump was even more intimately involved with the planning of “Stop the Steal” than previously thought. Best wishes to the happy couple?

Kimberly Guilfoyle I! 1.8.2022
The happy couple. Thumbs up. For what?

Here’s ProPublica:

Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for former president Donald Trump and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., boasted to a GOP operative that she had raised $3 million for the rally that helped fuel the January 6 Capitol riot. In a series of text messages sent on January 4 to Katrina Pierson, the White House liaison to the event, Guilfoyle detailed her fundraising efforts and supported a push to get far-right speakers on the stage alongside Trump for the rally, which sought to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.

Guilfoyle’s texts, reviewed by ProPublica, represent the strongest indication yet that members of the Trump family circle were directly involved in the financing and organization of the rally. The attack on the Capitol that followed it left five dead and scores injured. A House select committee investigating the events of January 6 has subpoenaed more than 30 Trump allies for testimony and documents, including Pierson and Caroline Wren, a former deputy to Guilfoyle. But Guilfoyle herself has so far not received any official scrutiny from Congress.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/01/kimberley-guilfoyle-donald-trump-jr-january-6-rally#intcid=_vanity-fair-verso-hp-trending_cca869b4-2551-4d0d-b724-cb564e3ba852_popular4-1

“The slap heard ’round the world.” Sidney Poitier ‘In the Heat of the Night’

It is sad to read that Sidney Poitier passed away on January 6 at the age of 94. Of all the films he starred in the 1967 classic ‘In the Heat of the Night’ remains my favorite. Poitier portrayed a Philadelphia homicide inspector who goes to a southern town to solve a homicide. The film won several Academy Awards, including best picture.

It seems fitting that at the same time his death is announced the three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery in cold blood February 2020 are sentenced to life in prison. 

Justice has a way of sometimes prevailing.

Excerpted from Vanity Fair 1.7.2022

As I see myself, I’m just the average Joe Blow Negro,” Sidney Poitier told The New York Times in 1959. “But as the cats say in my area, I’m out there wailing for us all.”

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President Obama awards Sidney Poitier Presidential Medal of Freedom – 2009

That tension, between trying to be an ordinary man and having to serve as a racial exemplar, defined the life of Poitier, who died Thursday at the age of 94. News of his death was announced by Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas, where Poitier’s family hailed from, and reported first by Bahamian news sources.

Sidney Poitier was big-city detective Virgil Tibbs, who helps Rod Steiger’s racist Mississippi sheriff solve a small-town murder in In the Heat of the Night. Poitier had literally risked his life to make the film—sleeping with a gun under his pillow during the film’s Tennessee shoot while white thugs raged outside his motel—and the result was more than just a box-office smash and the Oscar-winning best picture of 1968; the scene where a racist plantation owner strikes Tibbs across the face—and Tibbs strikes him right back—became known as “the slap heard ’round the world.” There was no questioning Tibbs’s masculinity or lack of deference. With a single thwack, Poitier smacked open the door that led to a decade of macho blaxploitation heroes and, eventually, to more fully rounded and recognizably human roles for black actors.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/01/sidney-poitier-dies-94

 

 

 

Dick Cheney the Dark Prince. “My daughter can take care of herself.”

Lee Heidhues 1.6.2022

It’s an undisputed fact that American politics have been turned upside down.

Former Republican stalwart vice president Dick Cheney is one of the most unrepentant conservatives in the last 50 years. Today he was showered with love by the Democrats when he appeared in Congress to commemorate the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s attempted coup d’etat on January 6, 2021.

Most Democrats have unceasingly and with good reason scorned Cheney when he worked in the Ford White House, served as a member of Congress, a member of George H.W. Bush’s cabinet and later as VP in the George W. Bush administration.

It was Cheney who advocated the most draconian civil rights abuses in the so called War on Terror after 9/11.It was Cheney who cheer led for the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003.

The Democrats have a short memory or are willing to forget his hard line policy positions. It’s also true that the Republican party has gone so far off the rails that someone like Dick Cheney is considered a moderate influence.

Excerpted from BuzzFeed News 1.6.2022

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Dick Cheney takes a bite

WASHINGTON — Democrats lined up to greet former vice president Dick Cheney in the House chamber Thursday, a rare moment of outreach to a onetime party villain who is now one of the few high-profile Republicans to fully acknowledge what happened before and during last year’s fatal Capitol riots.

His daughter Rep. Liz Cheney is under attack by her own party as she continues to speak out against former president Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

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Congresswoman Liz Cheney as her dad looks on

“My daughter can take care of herself,” the former vice president told reporters.

Cheney was not the only Democratic villain of the early 2000s to make an unusual reappearance for the insurrection anniversary. Karl Rove, for years Bush’s top political adviser, wrote Wall Street Journal op-ed condemning the riot “apologists” in the Republican Party for not being honest about what happened on Jan. 6. “If Democrats had done what some Trump supporters did on that violent Jan. 6, Republicans would have criticized them mercilessly and been right to do so,” he wrote.

The former vice president, member of Congress, cabinet secretary, and White House official has not exactly been beloved by Democrats over the last half-century. Throughout the presidency of George W. Bush, Cheney was portrayed by Democrats in and out of Congress as the dark force driving the president and the functional Republican power center, from the Iraq War to any number of domestic political fights.

But Cheney, and his now out-of-style brand of neoconservatism, is not aligned with where the party is today.

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A young Dick Cheney with Donald Rumsfeld during the Gerald Ford administration

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/kadiagoba/dick-cheney-january-6-capitol-republicans

You can’t dance around the Pandemic. S.F. Ballet postpones “Swan Lake” gala

San Francisco institutions continue to be impacted by the 2-year-old Pandemic as the Omicron variaton wreaks havoc around the globe.

The historic and world reknown San Francisco Ballet has taken a prudent step, realizing you can’t dance around the Pandemic. The White Swan pas de deux from Helgi Tomasson’s “Swan Lake” must wait in the wings off stage for the time being.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/san-francisco/article/San-Francisco-Ballet-Celebrates-Artistic-Director-and-Principal-Choreographer-Helgi-Tomassons-37th-and-Final-Season-in-2022-20210506

San Francisco Chronicle 1.4.2022

The San Francisco Ballet’s season-opening gala, scheduled for Jan. 27, has been postponed to March 24 because of safety concerns over the surge of COVID-19 and the omicron variant, the company announced Tuesday, Jan. 4.

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The 90-minute program, titled “La Grand Fête,” is expected to feature the same programming as originally scheduled, including world premieres of ballets by Alexei Ratmansky, Yuri Possokhov and Myles Thatcher, as well as the stage debut of a pas de deux from Danielle Rowe’s “Wooden Dimes” and the White Swan pas de deux from Helgi Tomasson’s “Swan Lake.” But instead of opening the company’s season, which marks the last one for Tomasson as the Ballet’s artistic director, the event — now dubbed the 2022 season gala — is slated to come in between the fourth and fifth programs of the seven-program schedule.

The evening’s timeline begins with a 5 p.m. red carpet, followed by a 6 p.m. performance, and dinner and a reception at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket holders may exchange for a different performance or request a refund from the box office by Feb. 1.

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Helgi Tomasson- SF Ballet Director works his dancers in rehearsal

A company spokesperson said that Program 1, which includes the world premiere of Cathy Marston’s “Mrs. Robinson” alongside Balanchine’s “Symphony in C” and Tomasson’s “Trio,” is expected to open Feb. 1 as planned, but that the company would continue to monitor the progress of the pandemic.

 

“American Fascism is Still Rising. What are You Going to do About It?”

The mainstream media has been making editorial noises about America’s descent into a Fascist state. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday January 2 lead editorial spoke to this issue with the headline “American Fascism is Still Rising. What are You Going to do About It California?”  Good question.

Regrettably the Democrats are fighting amongst themselves, the great mass of Americans don’t care  while the Republicans andtheir fellow extremists are laying the ground work for a Trump resurrection.

Excerpted from The Nation 1.2.2022

If 1920s Germany could punish Hitler for leading a coup attempt, why can’t America go after Trump?

A year out from the January 6 insurrection, Donald Trump has yet to pay a serious political or personal price for leading the first known coup attempt in nearly 250 years of American history. Whereas Hitler at this point was in prison, with his Nazi Party in shambles, Trump is roaming the country giving speeches and raising vast amounts of money; his Republican Party is well positioned to gain a majority in Congress next year.

Pulling off a successful coup d’état in a dictatorship is a risky affair. It invariably involves the military, and failure usually results in long prison terms or executions.

But coup attempts in democratic countries, while much less common, are less perilous. They rarely involve the military, and it’s complicated to punish coup plotters who have a following and can represent themselves as protesters rather than traitors.

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That is why an important point of comparison for America’s January 6 insurrection is the attempted coup led by Adolf Hitler in 1923, the so-called Beer Hall Putsch, and how it affected his march toward absolute power.

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BERLIN – December 20, 1924
Adolph Hitler, once the demi-god of the reactionary extremists, was released on parole from imprisonment at Fortress Landsberg, Bavaria today and immediately left in an auto for Munich.  He looked a much sadder and wiser man today than last Spring when he, with Ludendorff and other radical extremists, appeared before a Munich court charged with conspiracy to overthrow the Government.
His behavior during imprisonment convinced the authorities that, like his political organization, known as the Vőlkischer, was no longer to be feared. It is believed he will retire to private life and return to Austria, the country of his birth.

 

Conventional wisdom has it that the blossoming democratic German government of the early 1920s botched its efforts to rein in Hitler after his failed coup, and thereby helped propel him to greater popularity. In this view, the Biden administration understands the tragic German history, and is now avoiding legal action against Trump, letting the US House of Representatives investigate the coup plot and limit its punishment to some kind of public shaming.

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Yet if you review the events following the failed Beer Hall Putsch, it becomes clear that German institutions successfully sidelined Hitler for nearly 10 years, and might have kept him out of the mainstream longer except for a worldwide economic depression that amplified popular disaffection.

Moreover, Trump has raced ahead of Hitler’s timetable for recovering from an attempted coup, bringing the United States much closer to a fascist takeover than most Americans likely realize.

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/trump-hitler-coup/

For those who think it can’t happen here  watch this Academy Award nominated documantary “A Night at the Garden”.