Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My interview with Tracey

Good evening. First the cartoon at the top is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts and Tracey picked it. I interviewed Ruth's granddaughter tonight and we'll get to that in a moment but Rebecca asked me to note one of Isaiah's cartoons. Isaiah's a great cartoonist and the community is very lucky to have him. I also see that Elaine's noted one too. Now let me note two important items from Democracy Now!

Iraqis Agree to Last-Minute Constitution Change
In Iraq, negotiators have agreed to a last-minute change that will effectively allow for the constitution to be redrafted after elections are held in December. The deal was aimed to encourage Sunni support for the draft constitution, which will be voted on in a nation-wide referendum Saturday. The agreement would create a panel in the next parliament with the power to propose broad new revisions to the constitution. U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad took part in negotiating the deal, which the New York Times called "a major victory for American officials."

Report: 'Scooter' Libby Misled Prosecutors In CIA Leak Case
Speculation is growing in Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby a

This post got lost. I am so sick of Blogger and all it's problems right now. I go to publish and get a message "Blog Not Found." I hit recover post and that's the most that comes back. I'll put up the second item.

Report: 'Scooter' Libby Misled Prosecutors In CIA Leak Case
Speculation is growing in Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby and President Bush's top advisor Karl Rove could soon be indicted by a federal prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Investigative Journalist Murray Waas is reporting in the National Journal that Libby failed to tell the grand jury about a discussion he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 - weeks before Plame's name first appeared in the press. Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald only learned of the discussion after Miller announced last week that she had discovered a set of notes on the conversation. Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the case for nearly two years, has now asked Miller to testify again today before the grand jury. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy. The Journal reports at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group which was set up to sell the Iraq war to the American public. Libby and Rove were instrumental in the group. Plame's name was leaked only after her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly revealed that the Bush administration had lied when it claimed Iraq was trying to purchase enriched uranium from the country of Niger in order to build nuclear weapons. Wilson has long accused the White House of outing his wife as an agent in an effort to smear him. We'll speak to Murray Waas in a few minutes.

Remember to go to Elaine's site because she's doing the commentary tonight because she knows I hate typing and it takes me forever.

Tonight I'm interviewing Tracey who is the granddaughter of Ruth of Ruth's Morning Edition Report. We met in D.C. during the protests. Tracey, what did you think of the protests?

Tracey: I couldn't believe how many people were there. It was just awe inspiring at times. You'd look around and think, "Wow." As you know, the media didn't give the impression that there would be a huge turnout ahead of time and after they acted like it was no big deal.

I know. Makes you wonder if they were there. Who gave the speech you enjoyed most?

Cindy. After Cindy Sheehan probably Cynthia McKinney or Jessica Lange but everyone was great.

I didn't know Jessica Lange's movies then. I've seen them since because my Dad loves her but I was wondering if you knew her movies when she was speaking?

I knew some. I know some. I knew Tootsie and she got an Oscar for that. I knew Hush which was with her and Gwenyth Paltrow. I knew Losing Isaiah with Halle Berry and there was one other one that I'm forgetting right now. She's on a farm.


Yeah. So I knew those movies and I actually knew another one. Her husband decides that he's a woman. My cousin Jayson and I watched that one on one of the cable channels. Normal is the name. I'm pretty sure that's the name. She was really great in that one.

You actually know a lot of her films.

Oh there's this one where she's defending her father against charges that he helped the Nazis and then she finds out he was a Nazi. That's another great one. It's kind of like Apt Pupil in a way. I don't remember the name though.

That's okay. I'll call C.I. later and see what the name is. [C.I. says the movie is called Music Box.] Was it fun in D.C.?

For me it was. It was a trip for me and Grandma and that made it special because it was something for us to do together and I always like it when we do something together.

Without your cousins?

Or siblings. Grandma's too great to share! This may be a funny story. You know this already but I'll go ahead and tell it. It was the rally Saturday and we were all doing interviews, remember? And people are cheering and I was sticking with C.I. and my grandmother because I was kind of nervous at first around all those people. And
Jim comes running over and says something to C.I. and then C.I.'s asking where my grandmother is? At first I was thinking, "Has something happened to her? Or has something gone wrong?" And I can already tell I've blown the story because I left out about four things leading up to it and I can't tell a joke but I guess I can't tell a funny story either. The thing was Jim was interviewing one woman and she says she's there to protest the war and to meet up with her best friend Ruth.
And we were all wondering when Treva would show up but Jim's the one who got to her first. So that was something. I blew the story. Forgive me?

You didn't blow it. Don't worry about trying to be funny. Everyone's heard so much about you and I'm sure they're all going to be glad just to read this.

Then it was just C.I. and me and I was nervous about
interviewing people and wondering how we did that when, no more wonders, two girls come runing up.

Rhonda and Tami.

Rhonda and Tami. They were so excited. When they were standing in front of us they just squealed and I squealed back. It was a great way to let go of being nervous. I really liked them. I wish all the interviews were like that because sometimes we'd get someone and they didn't have much to say. Rhonda and Tami had a lot to say. We could have done a full story with just them. I thought they were cool.

I wish I had met them.

Next protest. They say they're going to everyone of them. They also said that they will bring Rhonda's mother around. She's the only one of their parents that still won't say the war is wrong.

Where do your parents stand on the war?

My parents? Please, we're Jewish. We're Democrats. My grandma raised her family right! We're all against the war. Everyone. My parents, my uncles, my aunts, my cousins, my siblings. Our family is a united front.

What was the biggest surprise for you meeting everyone?

Well, I didn't know you were so tall. You gave your height but I don't know that many people that are really tall. One of my uncles is five feet ten and we all think he's tall but you're taller than that. Everyone was so nice. I'll say
Kat's hair because she really does have amazing hair and I'll say you were hard on your sister yesterday making fun of her grooming time!

She laughed.

Good for her. Hair can be a big deal.

You don't spend a lot of time on your hair?

Well it's wavy and, when it's dry, it's right on my collar so there's not a lot of work to do. I just wash it and go most of the time. I'll run a comb through it to keep it from getting rats and tangles. I do not brush it. That either flattens it or makes it fly all over the place. But your parents showed me pictures of your family and your sister has really long hair. Just drying it probably takes a long time so cut her some slack. I wish my hair was curly too. She has great hair.

She puts in the time for it. How proud is everyone of Ruth?

We are so proud of her. She was really sad after my grandfather died and that was hard to see because I don't think I'd seen her sad before. Not like that. They were married a long time and they really loved each other so it was really hard on her to lose him. It was hard on all of us but after a few weeks, I think everyone was just concerned about her. She's a great cook and we all go over on Sundays but we all go over during the week. You can't step through the door without her asking if you're hungry and whipping you up something. But she wasn't eating that much and she lost a lot of weight. It was really hard on her. She took it real hard.

She talks about Jayson being gay.

That was one of the things that brought her back around. This is my belief and she may disagree but I think when Jayson said he was gay it was like, "Okay, my grandson is going to face some tough times over this and he needs his grandmother." She was starting to come around already. And like I showed her The Common Ills a little while after Treva took her on a trip to try to cheer her up and Treva helped and the family helped and The Common Ills got her thinking and talking. They had a computer but she wouldn't touch it. My grandfather had tried to teach her how to play around on it but she was nervous around them. So one day we were talking about different stuff and at first that was me talking and she'd nod. Then after awhile she'd start talking with you about a current event and that was a good sign because she always follows the news. But I was talking about Iraq and she said something about how smart I was and how did I get so smart. So I told her about The Common Ills, I think it was the thing about
the marriage, where the US and Iraq are married, and she liked that. Then a day or two later, she asks me about that again and I tell her about it but also tell her she can get online and look it up. She kept stalling and then I started making a point when I went over to boot up the computer and pull up stuff and call her over. Then one day she says, "Okay, show me how to use the computer." And that was great because she really only had NPR and the paper for news and they weren't telling her anything about reality. So before I know it, she's telling me about this site or that site. And she loves Rebecca's site. Rebecca reminds her of Treva. She may have found out about The Third Estate Sunday Review before I did. I'm not sure. But she knew all the sites pretty soon. I kept telling her to write C.I. and she did a few times and C.I. always made a point to write back. Probably because her e-mails were personal like her Ruth's Morning Edition Reports. But then C.I. mentioned NPR and that was it. She wrote C.I. and I see her the next morning after her thing goes up, not the first Ruth's Morning Edition Report but the thing where she sounded off about NPR in her e-mail. I hadn't been to The Common Ills since it went up and I didn't know about it. She pulls me to the computer and asks if she made sense. I was shocked. Of course she made sense but I was really proud of her. And I think it was really great of C.I. to put her whole e-mail up there. It really meant a lot to her. Then she started with the Ruth's Morning Edition Report and I'm just so proud of her and we all are.

She really is great. I bet it was hard to see her depressed because she just seems like the most up and alive person.

Well she's a celebrity now. All her friends read her. We all read her, in the family. I don't think she realized how much she meant to everyone.

The thing that surprised me the most about her is that she's not that old.

She thinks she's old.
Amy Goodman's grandmother passed away last week and Grandma goes, "Okay, so maybe I'm not that old?" She's not that old. And she has more energy than most of my friends. She'll be saying, "You just sit around all summer? That's all you do?"
That's to one of my friends who isn't that energetic. She'd tell her, "You got to live. We've got to find you something you're interested in."

Did she find her something?

Oh yeah. That's why we're all quilting right now.

Last question, what do you think is next for the peace movement?

Well . . . based on what I see at school and the reaction to my going and the young people I saw there, I think you're going to see it grow a lot more. There's this one guy at my school who still defends Bully Boy Bush. Everyone else has pretty much had it with him and his war of choice that's killing so many people. I hear a lot of outrage. I hear a lot of what we heard in D.C. actually. And people my age are tired of the papers and TV and radio with their weak coverage and their inability to state the obvious: we need to bring them home now. You write about recruitment and if my school is any indication, 2005 is not going to be the bad year for recruiting totals. 2006 will be worse and 2007 even worse than that. The war is a lie and we don't want to die for a lie. If he starts another war or tries to, I think you're going to see this huge movement appear overnight. There were a lot of kids and teachers who told me when I got back that they wish they could have gone. I think he's boxed in and if he tries for another war the growth is going to come overnight in the anti-war movement. It's already out there, the feeling of support for it, and it will grow on its own. But if he wants to jump start it, all he needs to do is try to start one more war.

Okay, that was my last question but I also like to ask if there's anything you wish I had asked?

Music. I love the White Stripes too. I'm getting into Jack Johnson because
Elaine was playing him in D.C. I love, love, love Ani DiFranco. My aunt just turned me on to Poe and I'm really into that CD too. I have no use for Sheryl Crow and think she looks like an idiot everytime she talks about Lance Armstrong. I also think she needs to fix her hair or cut it because it's a mess. Ask your sister, I bet she'll back me up. I am now into Joan Baez because of Kat's review and Kat better steer me to some more good music. That's it.

Thank you, Tracey.

My apologies to Seth of Seth in the City. I had an excerpt from him I was posting but I've had to retype the interview with Tracey twice now and I hate typing.

I had a nice conclusion here. I had my links to Ruth's Morning Edition Reports and all this other stuff and my tags and now it's all gone and I'm tired and just want to go to bed. I'm not C.I. who can get by on two hours of sleep or none. There are times when I'll doze off when we're all working on The Third Estate Sunday Review. So I'll do a few tags and pull a Kat and say it is what it frigging is.