Saturday, June 07, 2008

Snapshot of the snapshot

It's the weekend and most of the gang is here at my place so that's been fun.

I'm probably just going to write about the snapshot. Originally, I thought I'd mix it up with other stuff but it's late so I'll probably just stick with that. Ava and C.I. wrote the snapshot together today.

Last night, I was explaining about how Ava and C.I. found out about the breach of the VA's computer system. I didn't realize e-mails had come into the public account of The Common Ills on it. I knew Ava and C.I. planned to toss it out, hope the press would show some resolve and pursue it and then just critique whatever story emerged in print or on a broadcast.

Along comes Jim. As they noted when they first wrote about it (all links are in the snapshot), Jim would have wanted that for Third. He didn't know they were including it. And he was peeved (not pissed) when they did include it (that's when he found out about the breach). As they suspected, his attitude was, "That's a Third story."

That's because (a) C.I. does not 'break the news.' The Common Ills, C.I. always says, is a resource. (B) Ava and C.I. are part of the group that does Third (Ava, C.I., Jess, Ty, Dona and Jim). The rest of us help out but it's their site. So with two members of Third breaking news and doing so somewhere other than Third, Jim thought he had a right to object.

Ava and C.I. didn't think it would cause the stir it has. (A ton of reporters have e-mailed the public account site as well as a VA official demanding a correction and insisting no such breach occurred -- it did occur, they're not issuing a correction.) Their point in including it was that the gas bags were gas bagging about Hillary again and getting it all wrong and they (Ava and C.I.) were saying, "Look, they don't know what they're talking about. They never do. Here's an example of how if they were the press and not gas bags, they'd be covering something."

The whole point of including it was to send a message to the community that Hillary was still deciding what to do. That you shouldn't believe the gas bags because they play all knowing but if they knew everything wouldn't they be telling you about the breach of the VA system?

Well today, it hit the fan. Jim saw an e-mail in the public account. C.I. and I were doing the morning run. We get back and Jim's all Fox "News" is saying you're another Larry Johnson and have made up this story. (Someone from Fox "News" had e-mailed.) C.I. laughed (and pointed out Fox "News" has said plenty worse about C.I.'s offline life.) . But Jim was mad and Jim was saying that it had to be written about, that he would be writing about it at Third and that C.I. needed to cover it in some form that morning.

C.I. was ticked. C.I. explained to Jim, "No one tells me what I write or when. I realize you don't understand how I am receiving your words but let me put you on notice that when someone tries to boss me around, they learn very quickly that they made a huge mistake. You may want to rephrase your request."

Jim, to his credit, laughed and apologized. Then Jim began making the case for it and C.I. was saying no, and no, and no. And trying to do the entries for Friday morning at The Common Ills. But Jim wouldn't let it go and finally it was time to leave (to go speak) and nothing was ready to go up.

C.I. dictated what made it up and did so after a long spell that I felt (my opinion) was to demonstrate to Jim, "Don't tell me about my own site."

That was only confirmed via the snapshot. Ava and C.I. dictated it all by 3:30 p.m. EST. All but Reuters that they included later and the big story Jim wanted them to cover (the VA breach). When they finished, they were back at my place. Jim was pacing nervously, waiting to hear their dictation of the VA story (he's pieced together some of it but still doesn't know the whole story). C.I. noticed. Ava noticed. They exchanged looks. C.I. said into the phone, "Save to draft. We'll finish it later." C.I. then walked over to Rebecca, picked up Rebecca's baby and said, "It's nap time."

Ava is about to die laughing, Jim's head's about to pop off. C.I.'s walking out of the room with the baby and Jim's going, "Where are you going?" C.I. goes, "Didn't you hear? It's nap time."

"But the snapshot," Jim insists. "People are going to be waiting. You mentioned it would be in the snapshot today!"

"Let 'em wait," C.I. responds, "I work neither on command or demand."

Jim couldn't believe it. And C.I. took the baby into my room, hopped on the bed and they took a two-hour nap. (Which was needed. C.I. has had no sleep and Rebecca's baby was tired.)

Jim was saying, "Okay, Ava, you can do the snapshot yourself."

Ava was saying, "No way." She told him, "If John Lennon leaves the stage, you don't ask George Harrison not to go but instead finish the set!" :D

Ava told me it was the smartest thing C.I. could have done because Jim wouldn't dare risk waking up Rebecca's baby. That's a boundary he won't cross.

So Jim stewed for about 10 minutes, then laughed and found something else to focus on. (Jim's my buddy, I'm not saying anything mean about him here and when he reads this he will laugh and probably tell me I should have included more details.)

But Ava told me that C.I. was drained (as is Ava) from the last six weeks and that they never planned to write about it. When they were doing their joint-piece Wednesday morning, they were asking each other, "How do we underscore that the press doesn't know what they're talking about?" They thought of several stories the press wasn't reporting. Then they though about how someone might pick up on whatever they included and decided to go with the VA because it gets so little attention and they had been chasing down that story since Tuesday.

But that was it. They served it on a platter and included info that if any reporter wanted to follow up on it, he or she should be able to. Then they were done with it. But Jim wanted something on it for Third. Their attitude was, whatever.

Then Jim started insisting that C.I. write about it on Friday. And that was not the right thing to do or even a good time to do it. Ava says that C.I. dreams of being done with the online world these days. They'll talk -- sometimes with Kat -- about getting away for a few weeks and going off to the beaches in France. (C.I. does have a place there.) Ava's never met Bridget Bardot (see, there's at least one person Ava doesn't know! :D ) and she'll say, "Great, I'll finally get to meet Bardot." You gotta realize, as Ava put it, C.I.'s been on the road speaking out against the illegal war since Feb. 2003. The slowest month has found C.I. only on the road for two weeks. Since 2005, it's been every week. November 2004, C.I. starts The Common Ills and that's been writing for it every day. C.I.'s not taken one day off from that. Then there's Third every weekend. C.I. is tired and has given more than one person could or should.

That's Ava but I agree with every word. So these days, when they're especially tired on the road, they talk about what they'll do when they stop. And France has been their decision. They'll relax on the beaches of France (winter or summer or spring or fall) for a few weeks. Kat's planning on going too. I asked her and told her what Ava had said. She says she's all for it.

Kat said, "You think you know how hard it is and then you do it." She says, it's rushing from one location to another to speak. It's being on the phone (Ava and C.I.) with various friends in the media asking/demanding that something be covered. It's yelling in the phone at friends sometimes to get coverage, laying on guilt trips, you name it. It's doing all of that and then still C.I. has to turn around and do three entries every week day at The Common Ills, at least two on Saturday and two on Sunday "and there's never a break. It never ends. And there are always the endless e-mails." In November, C.I. will have put in four years online, every single day, holidays or non-holidays, never missing a day. It really is asking a lot and it really is time for a break.

Everyone except Ava and C.I. have had at least one weekend off from Third since it started in January 2005. Ava and C.I. have never had a weekend off. Christmas 2006, Ava planned to take the week off but the week was planned badly and she found out C.I. was the only one with Third that was going to be working that weekend. So she gave up her weekend because "C.I. has The Common Ills and, yes, C.I. is part of the core six at Third but we shouldn't expect C.I. to cover The Common Ills while we take days off and also do that at Third." So they're both tired.

And they're tired of all the 'anti-war' liars that don't call out Barack who is a War Hawk, and that don't use their time to cover Iraq and that will not cover war resisters. And they're seeing that you build excitement via speaking and that if anyone in any media was following up on the illegal war, people would be out in the streets right now. The frustration is there. The motivation is there. The media isn't.

And I don't want to read another crap-ass article about "I don't know why anyone isn't in the streets already over Iraq." Talk to Amy Goodman about why, she's one of the ones refusing to cover war resisters and her only recent Iraq coverage appears to be "Jeremey's Blackwater book just came out in soft cover!"

Think about whatever celeb is hot this week or next. Realize that everyone's talking about it on the streets because that's all the media's reporting on. When the media is ignoring Iraq, you can't expect protests in the street. As C.I. pointed out earlier this week, 3 US soldiers get shot dead on the same day and the next day, the New York Times' story is something like A12. It's not front page news to them. Or look at McClatchy which went from Sunday to Thursday without filing from Iraq other than their daily violence report.

Instead of whining, "Where is the action," start asking where the damn coverage is?

So Ava went off and took a nap as well. Wally, Jim and I ended up going out to get something to eat and just run around.

We get back and Jim goes, "They're still asleep!"

Yep. They were. They even slept through the start of the Iraq study group. They joined that and listened and then did a presentation. Then they sat back down to listen some more and Jim was like, "Did you forget the snapshot?" They were like, "No. Why?"

But it was a strong message of: We are under enough stress and pressure. Do not put any more on us.

After the study group broke up, they booted up the laptop and played around with writing the VA section, then checked Retuers for some more of Friday's violence and then e-mailed it to The Common Ills website. At which point, Jim finally got to read it. :D

So that's the story and that's really all I feel like writing this morning. Sorry. I think I mentioned the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Wally of The Daily Jot

Here's Ava and C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, June 6, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, Barack isn't 'pledging' to do anything on Iraq, the VA computer systems lack all security, Nader qualifies for Arizona ballot, and more.

Starting with war resistance. Teviah Moro (The Orillia Packet & Times) reports that the Quakers in Orillia will demonstrate tomorrow in an attempt to register their support for war resisters in Canada. Ottawa, Nelson, B.C., Victoria, B.C., Port Dover, Sarnia and Strathory will also hold demonstrations. Moro notes: "Organizers of the Orillia rally, to be held outside the Opera House from 12:30 to 1:30 p. m., aim to explain the underlying issues of the pending deportations and will have petitions on hand."The rallies will be taking place to underscore the recent action in Canada's Parliament. Tuesday Canada's House of Commons passed a motion granting war resisters safe harbor. The motion is non-binding but it is hoped that the country's prime minister, Stephen Harper, will honor it. It is especially important with regards to US war resister Corey Glass. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. That is six days from now. Will the non-binding motion prevent the conservative Harper from ordering Glass' deportation? Rick Salutin (Toronto Globe & Mail) doesn't seem optimistic noting that from an AIDS conference (global conference) to any other issue, Harper loves to say no to the people: "Lately, it's been no to a safe-injection site in Vancouver; provincial climate plans; Ontario's budget; an inquiry into the Bernier case; letting U.S. war resisters stay. For a government, the Conservatives are uniquely, bizarrely litigious, the sign of a mentality that loves to fight."With more on that, this is from Michael Werbowski (OhmyNews International) reports that the vote on the motion "comes just in time for US army recruit Corey Glass, 25, a war resister who came to Canada in 2006 and was recently told to leave Canada by June 12 or face removal to the United States, welcomed the vote. Upon hearing the news of the motion passed by the lower house, Glass expressed his appreciation for the parliamentarians, "I'm thankful that the MPs voted to let me and the other war resisters stay in Canada. I'm also thankful to all the Canadians who urged their MPs to support us."

Meanwhile, It was two years ago today, as Austin Jenkins (OPB News) notes, that Ehren Watada became the first officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq in June 2006. In August 2006, he faced and Article 32 hearing. In February, he faced a kanagroo court-martial. Judge Toilet (aka John Head) declared a mistrial over defense objection as Watada was about to take the stand (after which the defense would have rested and the military jury would have reached a decision). Judge Toilet forgot a lot that day. He announced that a new court-martial would take place in March but that was really beyond his call (and why no court-martial took place then). He also forgot about the US Constitution, popularly known as "the law of the land," and it's provision against double-jeopardy. In November of last year, as Judge Toilet repeatedly tried to force another court-martial, US District Judge Benjamin Settle ruled that no action could take place until the double-jeopardy was resolved. Watada has been in limbo since. William Cole (Honolulu Advertiser) speaks to Ehren's father, Bob Watada who has "suggested to his son's attorneys that they somehow force a conclusion to the issue" and whom Cole quotes stating, "The attorneys are talking to the Army. They aren't telling me what they are saying, but they are talking to them." Austin Jenkins (OPB News) quotes one of Watada's two civilian attorneys, Ken Kagan, declaring, "It's conceivable that the appeals process in the 9th Circuit could consume anywhere from 18 months to three years. So that is a limbo that is very hard for Lt. Watada to imagine but he's prepared to do what he needs to do."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Shhhh. Listen? It's the sound of hundreds of computers in Panhandle Media booting up over their sobs as they force determination to yet again sell their political crush as someone who will end the illegal war. Media anointed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is not 'anti-war' and is not seriously opposed to the illegal war. But if you didn't have Tommy Hayden, Laura Flanders and the gang lying for him non-stop, people wouldn't think otherwise, now would they? (Those two named because they have both -- in February -- talked about how Barack's feet need to be held to the fire and yet they've never done so. Someday I suppose, as the Mighty Bosstones once sang.)

The Press Trust of India reports that Barack told CNN he would "not tule out the possibility that conditions on the ground could alter his policy of immediately beginning a troop withdrawal and that Barack insisted of his 'pledge' to end the illegal war, "Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind."
Confronted with his statements on withdrawal policy, Obama replied, "Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind". He spoke of "broader perspective"s and offered praise for Gen David Petraeus. It's shocking only if you've trusted the liars of Panhandle Media. Barack has changed his position on the Iraq War repeatedly. While running for the US Senate, he told Elaine and I at a big money, private fundraiser that he didn't favor withdrawal. His attitude was that the US was in Iraq now and had to win. (Neither Elaine nor I contributed to his run. We both immediately walked out of the fundraiser.) At that point he was a myth of the radical left, an "anti-war" candidate. The press picked up on that and he became the "anti-war" Senator which required ignoring not only his public statements (his many public statements) but his continued voting for the illegal war once he got into the US Senate. Throughout the campaign, he has signaled (and sometimes stated) to the mainstream press that his stance is far from it's portrayed. "Hopelessly Devoted To Barack" Tom Hayden made a real ass out of himself doing a quickie write up of an NYT article co-written by Michael Gordon. The reality of what was what was in the transcript of the interview which the paper posted online. In February, after his advertsiments where he robotically declared that his mother died of cancer, the campaign went into overtime with an advertisement that played like the Pepsi Generation (truly, it was the late 60s and early seventies Pepsi generation commercials). To a bad 'rock' guitar, the commercial opened and featured quick shots of Barack barking out sentences while groupies swooned. "We want . . ." he barked over and over, a laundry list of demands. The Iraq War was on it. But Barack wasn't running to be "we," he was running to become the nominee of the Democratic Party and then the president. There were no "I will end the Iraq War." All he did was offer what "we" wanted. It got the psychos in Panhandle Media excited. Of course, were he serious about ending the illegal war, his campaign would have stolen not the Pepsi commercials of that period, but the Coke commericals: I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony . . .

There was no "pledge" or "promise" made to end the illegal war, despite the groupies like Tom Hayden going bug-eyed crazy in their efforts to pretend otherwise (a fleeting sentence delivered in Houston, TX, as ginned up by Hayden into a new plan for Iraq). Then came the crash and burn of his advisor (a counter-insurgency supporter and War Hawk) Samantha Power. The pathetics in Panhandle Media made themselves laughable -- and include John Nichols, Davey D and BuzzFlash at the top of that list. Poor Samantha "fired" (Power resigned) for calling Hillary Clinton a "monster." Poor sweet Sammy. No, she resigned because of the damage she did with the press in England. The "monster" insult was the trivia the MSM pumped out. On that same trip, she insulted Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the UK and presumed ally of the next US administration regardless of who becomes president, and she gave an interview (that Panhandle Media refused to cover) to the BBC where she explained that Barack would be not be held accountable, if elected president, to any 'pledges' about Iraq he's making on the campaign trail. She explained, as an advisor to Barack and a campaign insider, that any plans about what to do in Iraq would be decided only after he entered the White House. Had that interview gotten the attention it should have, Barack would have faced tough questions. That didn't happen. It wasn't of interest to the corporate media (which still wants the illegal war) to give it much traction and the rejects of Panhandle Media are in love with Barack because of his 'connections' (his using of) Saul, Bernardine and Bill. They deluded themselves into believing he was a Socialist when he is just a user who will use anyone regardless of political ideology in his efforts to climb to the top.

The Queen of the Beggars, Amy Goodman, wanted credit for a few minutes (two?) she aired of her speaking with Barack. In it, he basically repeated what Samantha Power had said. Goody never pursued that in panel discussions (all panel discussions accepted the lie that he was against the illegal war and would immediately end it). Goody never connected it with the Samantha Power BBC interview (though Barack was making the same points Power had months prior) and she never wrote one of her bad columns, where she recycles some segment of her show, on the topic. It was lie, lie, lie, denial, denial. They worked overtime not to include Eli Lake (New York Sun) report in the narrative. Lake reported that the "day-to-day coordinator" of Barack's campaign had just written a paper which argued for 60,000 to 80,000 US troops to remain in Iraq "as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office."

Among the very few who have tried to maintain perspective and stick to reality about War Hawk Barack are Phyllis Bennis, John Pilger, Doug Henwood and Juan Gonzalez. It's a very small list. By contrast, most have offered 'reasons' of support for Barack like the insane Dave Lindorff who believes Barack should be supported because Barak is "a black candiate who has risked jail by doing drugs."

The violence continues every day in Iraq and Barack, not even having the nomination, already signals it's a-okay with him. In some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a home bombing in Sulaiman Beck, a Jalwla roadside bombing that wounded one person. Reuters notes a woman blew herself in at a Ramadi police station claiming the life of 1 police officer and injuring four more and, dropping back to Thursday, that 4 people were killed in Sadr City from a US air strike.

Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 suspects shot dead in Al Anbar Province, 1 police officer shot twice in Al Anbar Province and wounded and 1 civilian shot in Kirkuk. Reuters notes 3 police officers were shot dead in Dour.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 person kidnapped in Kirkuk.

Yesterday CNN's Jamie McIntyre broke the latest Department of Defense news on CNN Newsroom:

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Asked to resign, which is code for firing, is the top civilian in charge of the Air Force, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and the top military general in charge of the Air Force, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mike Moseley. The two top leaders of the Air Force are being replaced because Secretary Gates has received a highly critical report of how the Air Force has reacted to an embarrassing incident last year which a B-52 bomber flew across country with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles that nobody knew were live nuclear weapons until the plane landed in Barksdale , Louisiana .There were supposed to be big changes made from that. But a recent inspection of the base was less than satisfactory, and Secretary Gates just got a report on his desk from an independent investigator, a Navy admiral who has been in charge of reviewing what the Air Force has done to take care of this. It's not just this issue though. There have been a number of leadership issues in the Air Force including questions about a conflict of interest around a high-profile public relations contract that was left from the Air Force. And all of that together led Secretary Gates to decide that he was going to take decisive action.It's not unlike what he did when he heard about the shortcomings at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital . In that case, he fired the Army secretary and head of the hospital there, as well -- Brianna.

There have been a number of issues with the Veterans Administration Dept as well but no heads are rolling. At the start of the week, Mary Mosquera (FCW) reported, "Sensitive data on about 1,000 patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other military hospitals might have been compromised, Walter Reed spokesman Chuck Dasey said. The names of the patients, who are enrolled in the Military Health System, their Social Security numbers and birth dates were among the personally identifiable information in a computer file that was shared without authorization, officials said June 2." AP broke this news about the May 2006 breach at Walter Reed. The key point of the reports is how the Office of Management and Budget issued orders, in 2006, for increased securit on the part of the VA. But they broke it with the government explaining this week about the 2006 computer breach. We (Ava and C.I.) revealed earlier this week that there's a VA breach that took place after the breach the government is now admitting to. This breach has nothing to do with Walter Reed. The basics are that an over-forty-years-old male (who name rhymes with "Los Lobos" and who is a veteran) used a civilian computer to access veterans records. The government is not only aware of the breach, they investigated it. They didn't do a very good job. The government does not know what the person viewed or changed. They know that, from the basement of a non-federal government building, he used a PC to enter the VA's computer database without permission or authorization. Present when he did this was a woman (also a civilian and one who has never served in the military) whom the government never questioned. What the government did do was call together the suspect's superiors at his place of employment -- a four story building whose fourth floor is not used for anything (the basement counted as a floor makes for five floors) -- on the second floor in what passed for an investigation. Those civlians 'assisting' in the investigation of the breach that happened at their place of business were known as "administration." (E.g., they spoke with "administration.") The investigation could not figure out whether the supsect was telling the truth about why he entered the VA system without permission and, certainly, to know about that they should have spoken with the woman present when the breach occurred. The suspect offered two versions of his story and that may be what confused the investigators (though it was very simple for us to track down the particulars). They do know, due to the suspect admitting to it, that the records of someone who served during Vietnam (and only during Vietnam) were accessed. (Hint to reporters, that leads to your human interest angle). The suspect briefly told government investigators a story regarding that Vietnam era veteran that the investigators did not buy; however, it was easily checked out had they bothered to speak to the Vietnam veteran (which they never did). There is fear that the suspect altered the Vietnam veteran's record (we are told by civilian sources that no alteration of that record took place). Why does the government think that? It goes to the human interest angle. In terms of hard news, the angle is the "how." The "how" of it goes to a huge flaw that was supposed to have been addressed and was never addressed. It goes to lack of oversight at the VA.

We're not here to spoonfeed news outlets, get off your lazy asses and don't expect two media critics to do all your work. (It's as if today's Woodward & Bernsteins expect you not only to spill the beans, but also type up their reports and then wipe their asses.) The federal goverment made a big deal this week about honesty and 'fessed up to problems in May of 2006. The 2007 breach is more serious not because of the suspect or what he may or may not have done but how he got into the system without authorization. The breach should never happened and were basic guidelines followed (guidelines that any civilian computer system would follow), it never would have happened. The big story is the "how" of the breach, not the "who." And it goes to the OMB's orders not being followed. The first three digits of the civilian location where the breach took place are "312." The street has "East" in it. And the street's name was also the name of a long running TV show but in singular not plural. We're done spoonfeeding the press except to advise NYT that Ralph should have had this story.

This is our third (here's the second) and last spoonfeeding. After the "how," the "who" still isn't the next big story. The big story then is how the federal government attempted to bury the breach. That wasn't just by still not telling the public about it. It also included a rush to wrap up the investigation before it was complete (the orders for the wrap up came from high up). That's why the woman who witnessed the breach was never interviewed. It was that woman's computer that was used to breach the VA system. There's no reason not to interview her. All this time later, she's still not been interviewed by the government. When the investigation was ongoing, a family emergy meant she was "unaccessible" (to her place of employment but nothing prevented the investigators from seeking her out away from her place of her work) and the rush to wrap up the investigation and keep the entire matter on the down low meant she was never interviewed. The big story is the "how" and goes to the lack of security. The next angle is the rush to keep the story as quiet as possible which includes rushing through an investigation. The suspect himself is really not a huge part of the hard news story. (And the suspect, for the record, is the only person we have not spoken to.) (There are feature articles to be found throughout.)

In other news, the UN Rights of the Child Committee is calling out the US government for (a) the imprisonment of juvelines in Iraq, Afghanstan and Guantamo and for (b) military recruitment of under-18-year-olds in the US.

Turning to US political news, Team Nader reports that US presidential candidate Ralph Nader needed nearly 22,000 signatures to get on the ballot in Arizona and that over 65,000 were collected. Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez should now be on the ballot in Arizona -- barring any dirty tricks on the part of the DNC. Despite Nader's strong polling when his name included in the polling, there is an effort on the part of the MSM and Panhandle Media to ignore his campaign. Today, Team Nader points to another example of how the independent candidate is shut out of the discussions and argues the case for Nader-Gonzalez as the only agents of change:

"How do you get people to vote against their own self interest? That's the trick.
One way is to make people believe in a dream. That's what all of the mainstream politicians are doing - feeding that dream. Obama is feeding a dream - a dream of change and renewal. He's feeding a dream that the conditions that surround us - Iraq, the economy, the racial divide, the class divide in this country - that they are magically going to go away by voting for this centrist Democrat. That is nonsense, of course. Obama is not proposing any structural changes. McCain is feeding us the dream, the fantasy of power and control. That somehow the military might of the U.S. will prevail across the globe. These are fantasies that are being fed by the politicians. They are not so much lies, as delusions. But we will have brought it on ourselves by supporting these politicians.
By ignoring any candidate or any ideas that might conflict with those dreams. The Obama moment is a feel good moment. It makes us feel good. But the programs Obama is proposing - up and down and all around - are the same centrist Democratic positions.
The same people are going to be running the show. All of the corporations are rapidly switching their contributions to the Democrats."
These are the words of the American novelist Russell Banks.
We heard Banks the other day interviewed by Chris Lydon on Radio Open Source. (Listen to the interview here.) What wasn't mentioned was Nader/Gonzalez. So, let us say it loud and clear. Nader/Gonzalez. Shift the power from the few to the many. Free our government of corporate domination. Restore the sovereignty of an engaged people. Don't fall for the trick. Help us put Nader/Gonzalez on the ballot. We're on our way to give the American people a choice in November. But we need your help. And we need it now.
You can give up to $4,600. But please, give whatever you can. Shift the power.
Feed the living, breathing people-powered alternative. Support Nader/Gonzalez.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ethics and standards

Thursday! We just finished the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin and everyone's probably rushing to post. I'm sure it will all be great but please make a point to read Rebecca tonight (always, but especially tonight). If you haven't read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Grime & Grit TV" as well. The latter was an issue raised in the roundtable. Some members are bothered and in part it was over what they saw as a lack of links this week. Everyone was just tired. (I did link to Ava and C.I. Monday.) But it turned out that it was a non-stop robbery from C.I.'s work this week online. I didn't know. I was working on getting out the vote for Hillary. We all were. We weren't going to various sites and reading up. You know me, I have no problem calling out people who steal C.I.'s work and pass it off as their own. That's why I ended up starting my site, remember? I was furious and griping about it in the gina & krista round-robin and e-mailing members, including C.I., about it. And finally decided to do my own site. So you can always e-mail me when you see C.I. ripped off. I won't stand for it and I am not afraid to call the rip-off artists out. When it came up in the roundtable, those of us doing sites were all kind of shocked, when the anger over the lack of highlights, and C.I. explained like I just did that everyone was tired and basically just trying to get something written and posted.

Immediately the reaction was, "I'm not talking about you" C.I. "you've highlighted Marcia, Wally, Cedric, Mike and Elaine in the snapshots alone." C.I. wasn't taken back (or didn't show it) and said something like "I do three entries a day so I've got more chances to highlight. But what's underneath the hurt because you're sounding hurt?" And that's when we heard about the rip-offs this week. I didn't know. No one e-mailed me about it and all week it's pretty much been boot up the laptop, type as quick as I can (slowly!) and get something posted.

But no one knew except Gina and Krista because they'd heard an earful all week in e-mails. I do understand people being upset. I know when I see C.I. ripped-off, it makes me crazy. There are a lot of thieves and ungrateful people online. That's just like it is in life too, you know?

So Rebecca's writing about that tonight and I told her I'd mention it too because this is obviously an issue we knew nothing about.

I told her I'd grab the 'controversial' aspect of it.

C.I. used to do "in fairness" all the time. If you've been a member of the community long enough, you remember that and you remember that Yazz especially used to get pissed off by that. C.I. does that less often now because it's become really clear that a lot of people don't deserve an "in fairness." But C.I.'s never been afraid to say "Hold it a minute."

When Alternet went after a kid and started threatening him in e-mails, C.I. called it out and didn't hesitate. There was no "Oh, they link to me! I better not say a word! I don't know the kid so what's in it for me!" C.I. called it out immediately. And did so knowing they would stop linking to The Common Ills. C.I. didn't care because some things are more important.

But when you're not afraid to say, "That's wrong" you're going to be 'controversial' to some. If you won't pick up the drum and bang out the same tune while marching the same march as everyone else, you're 'controversial.'

C.I. will call out anyone basically. And if you can't handle that, then C.I.'s 'controversial.'

When C.I. called out AlterNet, chicken s**t BuzzFlash stopped linking to The Common Ills (but tried to have it both ways by linking to the mirror site of The Common Ills). The hit was put out on The Common Ills and we all saw who our friends were. I was pissed. C.I. could care less and for over six months, C.I. continued to link to BuzzFlash regularly. Then C.I. still kept the permalink on the blogroll at The Common Ills. But then we wrote a piece last summer and 14 members e-mailed to get it highlighted.

C.I. had told everyone, "Don't do that for The Common Ills." And members' logic was, this was done by everybody with a website, this isn't a C.I. piece, it's a community piece. So 14 members e-mailed to get it highlighted. And it went up July 4th when there is no news. And BuzzFlash could have linked to it. But they chose not to. It was a six-month study on the low number of women published by The Nation. Buzz refused (and lost some of their strongest supporters). When C.I. found out about it and it was explained, "This wasn't a link for you, it was for the community," C.I.'s response was to delink from BuzzFlash and never look back. If they spit on the community, if they spit on us, who needs them?

And C.I.'s always called out the journalist who ripped off my first blog post. (Which I have always appreciated.) So the fact that C.I. can't be bought or bullied may translate as 'controversial.' In the first year and a half of The Common Ills, C.I. took a lot of grief from friends in the MSM about how 'independent' media was getting a pass. Then journalists C.I. wasn't friends with started pointing that out as well. At which point, C.I. started calling out Panhandle Media as well as Real Media.

And the attitude could be (but isn't), "None of you did s**t to build this community, f**k off." Instead the attitude is, "I have to be honest." C.I. told everyone, "If Danny Schechter's upsetting you, stop reading him." He's done a lot of sexists posts. (Including this week about "Man Sees Sex In The City movie" or whatever that nonsense was.) And C.I. would say in the newsletters, "Just ignore him. I'm not reading him right now. I'm not linking to him in writing right now." C.I. even moved him down the list of links (which isn't always an insult, being last is something to go for, C.I. always like the "and" credit :D). But then a friend sent Ava and C.I. copies of Laura Flanders new TV show and Danny was a guest. They were nice to Danny (Groucho Marx is a huge compliment coming from C.I. who can quote any Marx brothers movie by memory) but they also held him accountable for what he said on the program and for the way his writing is seen by the community.

That really did surprise the rest of us Sunday when we heard the piece read out loud. We didn't know Danny was on the program and would have assumed Ava and C.I. would just overlook it. But it's one thing to say, "Don't read." It's another when he shows up on a program they are reviewing. So when that happened they did what they always do which is apply a standard to all.

And that may be 'controversial.' Oh well. At the end of the day can they look at themselves in the mirror?

That's their standard.

There is too much ass kissing going on in Panhandle Media. (And Danny was kissing ass on that broadcast.) No one is held accountable. It's why CounterSpin gets away with fingerpointing at PBS's Newshour for not featuring a fair number of women and yet CounterSpin features an even lower percentage of female guests than the PBS program. It's why The Nation gets away with publishing 149 women in 2007 and 491 men.

The Nation publishes and republishes Katha Pollitt's column about how few women are on the op-ed pages of The New York Times. And each time they do, they get a lot of attention for it and people say, "That's right!" But The Nation's not applying the same standard to themselves.
C.I.'s not afraid to call out crap.

There's no, "I won't be linked to!" There's no fear of "I won't be liked!"

At the end of the day (as C.I. has told me over and over when I've been worried about writing something here), can you look at yourself?

If you can, great. If you can't, then you had two set of standards and didn't play fair.

The piece on The Nation was huge with the MSM but Panhandle Media tried to act like it didn't exist.

491 men, 149 women. And the so-called 'progressive' community played dumb.

That tells you a lot and tells you how all the sexism could be heaped on Hillary by the so-called 'progressive' community.

When Matthew Rothschild linked to that Weekly Standard article calling Hillary the c-word, C.I. called it out immediately. Who else did you see doing that? Outside of this community, who else called it out. That was featured as a "Recommended By The Editors" link. The supposedly left magazine The Progressive was linking to the right-wing The Weekly Standard. That was appalling enough before you got to the point that they were linking to an article to provide chuckles via sexism.

When Panhandle Media played dumb on the gang-rape and murder of Abeer, who called them out for their silence?

And you do stuff like that, you have ethics and standards, and you're 'controversial.'

So C.I.'s always told the community, "Don't worry about links."

C.I.'s always argued that it may be due to the fact that some websites are scared to be controversial.

But that doesn't play now. As you see websites rush to link to Larry Johnson's claims of a video tape that may or may not exist but he says it does and everyone rushes to link to that, they can't get away with "Oh, well, The Common Ills, it's controversial."

C.I. can back things up. (Beau asked about the story Ava and C.I. broke at The Common Ills this week. He saw a thing on a veterans administration computer break in in 2006. He wondered if they had the dates wrong and that's what they were reporting on? No, they're talking about the last half of 2007. They know the name of the suspect. They know the suspect's background. They know where he broke in from. They know how he broke in. They know when the federal investigation of that took place and where -- including that it was the second floor of the building that the cross-examination took place, the second floor of the building where the break-in took place and the break-in took place via a computer in the basement of that building. They were actually -- I was present -- speaking to a ____ and they brought up the 2006 break-in. He said something like, "Yeah that was bad and . . ." The and didn't match up. They both looked at each other and said, "You're saying there's another break-in." The guy clammed up and Ava and C.I. immediately went to work on every friend in the government they had at all agencies. They tracked down that story over several hours. The 2006 break-in has been reported. The 2007 break-in has not been reported except by Ava and C.I. And as they point out, the suspect's name rhymes with "Los Lobos." Originally they said which name but they took that out because they didn't want to be Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times.) C.I. knows far more secrets than are ever told. There's a reason C.I. knew Scooter was Judy's source and was explaining that in January of 2005 -- long before anyone writing about the outing of Valerie Plame knew who the source was. In a very limited amount of phone calls, C.I. can generally track down any story because C.I. knows so many people and the ones C.I. doesn't know, a friend can match them up.

There's also the fact that C.I. will not run from the topic of war resisters. These days, that's all anyone does. When C.I. started highlighting them, that wasn't the case. It was just a few who fretted about highlighting war resisters. Now you have a Panhandle Media that ignores war resisters. And C.I. will call that out.

When Larry Johnson was writing about the tape, we were all eager to jump on that last week. C.I. said don't. C.I. has heard many of the rumors Johnson has. But C.I.'s heard other rumors as well and got the feeling either Johnson was being lied to or Johnson was adding details. So none of us linked to it. And now none of us have egg on our faces over it.

That happens a great deal at Third. We'll bring something in and either C.I. already knows about it and says, "No, that's not how it is." Or else C.I. doesn't know and will start calling around.

One week, there was a story we wanted to write about ___ entering the presidential race. There was a website that had posted it and we all like ___ and we were wanting to highlight that post and do some more stuff on that. C.I. said, "No." When we overrode that, C.I. said, "Well wait until seven a.m. [EST]" to work on it. So we agreed to that. At 6:45 Sunday morning, C.I. calls ___ and, while we all listen, explains, "____ is reporting you're going to declare your running for the presidency. Is that true?" And ___ laughed so hard and he said, "No. That's a complete lie." And that's when we really backed off from not listening to C.I.'s warnings.

But C.I. isn't part of the circle jerk and isn't writing to impress or be known. C.I. built this community and C.I. would have dropped The Common Ills already long ago if it weren't for the community. That's the only reason it still exists. There's really no time for it anymore. But C.I. makes the time and does so for the members.

Our community is so large now (Brad says "too large!") and it's great because it was organic. There was no link prostituting or ass kissing to get attention. And I think the people who knows us (members or visitors) will remember when we're gone that we always had standards. C.I. has called out very good friends at The Common Ills. There's been no, "I'll pull punches." If it's something that can be avoided (by not reading one story for example), C.I. will do that. But if it's something in the news, C.I. won't shy from it.

I always say we're the Mamas and the Papas online. And I always mean that we've got a body of work that stands up and stands for something. I see a lot of Monkees online. They may have a diversion but they don't have very much quality. (I'm not bragging on myself. I'm the weakest of the crew.) And it's okay to be 'controversial.' It sets us apart by people who don't have the stomach to have real standards and it sets us apart because we won't play. There are a lot of sites all geared up to lie about McCain. We'll call out McCain for what he does wrong but we're not taking marching orders from MoveOn or anyone else to inflate a false claim and work up psuedo outrage. And if Hillary doesn't get the nomination, the community's voting for Nader. We're all getting the heavy handed e-mails promising traffic and links if we'll walk back from that. But we won't so you can stop e-mailing.

We are the Mamas and the Papas online and we stand for something. We're not a propaganda outlet. At the end of the day, we accomplish real things. Like C.I. pointing out the truth about war resisters in Canada during Vietnam. Which C.I. used as an example in the roundtable and gave me all the credit for! I wrote about that once and only because C.I. hit on it all last week. C.I. was writing about since 2006. How war resisters were not welcomed by Canada during Vietnam because of the draft and how "deserters" were welcomed as easily as "draft dodgers." The lie that you heard in Panhandle Media and all media was that it was just "draft dodgers." And that was hurting today's war resisters. People could say (and did), "There's no draft. They don't have the same excuse." C.I. called it out over and over for the last two years and then, last week, made a point to call it out every day. (I followed that lead last Friday.) And boom, it finally started getting made outside of the community. That's using and owning your power. And that's something I'm really proud of. (Though I get no credit for it, despite C.I.'s kind words, that was all C.I.)

Or when Adam Kokesh was on trial for participating in street theater. It was C.I. and Elaine who called that out. They were the ones who knew a Supreme Court case had already settled that issue. Those are the things I'm proud of. Speaking of Elaine, read her "Who's standing up for Iraqi women?" because it's an important topic and she's right that C.I. pointed it out and broke the story and that it needs attention. (Of course, when it gets attention outside this community, no one will ever credit C.I. We know the drill.)

So that's it for me tonight. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, June 5, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces a death, the Senate releases a report and more.

Starting with war resistance.
On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion to grant safe harbor status to US war resisters in Canada. Aaron Wherry ( observes, "Liberal Jim Karygiannis and New Democrat Olivia Chow put together a motion and got it to a vote." Ontario Now notes that the Tory party was against the motiong but they "were outvoted by the other three opposition parties, 1137-110 in the vote" and quotes MP Olivia Chow explaining, "There is a lot of support by ordinary citizens to allow U.S. war deserters the right to stay in Canada." Travis Lupik (The Straight) speaks with US war resister Brad McCall: "Reacting to the news, McCall told the Straight that he planned to celebrate, and then field interviews and prepare for the next battle. McCall said that he was hopeful that the Conservative government will abide by the House's recommendation, but cautioned that the war resisters had not won yet. 'I think they [the Conservatives] will probably just ignore it and see if anybody notices,' he said." [For previous coverage of McCall from The Straight click here and here.] Elliot Robins (Kootenay Western Star) speaks with US war resister Ryan Johnson who states, "We're pretty excited. It's a big step for war resisters here in Canada. We have a direct show of support from Parliament and it could be a very important thing to help end this [Iraq] war. . . . It's pretty hard to start your life based on the hope that a country that you've never been to before will suddenly decide to change its entire law around something to allow me to stay here. My life has been dramatically changed by our [Johnson and his wife, Jenna] decision to come to Canada, but even if I was deported, I wouldn't take back my decision to have come here."

Chris Cook (Pacific Free Press) takes a look at media in Canada (such as the CBC) and finds it lacking as it works hard to ignore the news about Tuesday's vote. What of so-called 'independent' media in the US? What's Panhandle Media in the US doing? As usual, not a damn thing. The Nation hasn't done a story on it or even a blog post (they have at least nine blogs supposedly updated regularly). It's not news to our 'friends' at The Nation. (Ask Katrina what happened on Wife Swap last night and she'll write you an essay.) The Progressive? Matty Rothschild and company are far too busy. CounterPunch -- the allegedly non-electoral hokum Counterpunch? At least 20 articles published today and yesterday. Number on war resisters? Zero. Cost of publicly pretending to give a damn about ending the illegal war? Priceless. Amy Goodman, apparently putting down her copy of Hu**ler magazine for a moment or two, surfaced yesterday morning with four sentences on the ruling. And still managed to do severe damages. "As many as 200 U.S. war resisters are currently living in Canada," she gushed. As many as? 200 was surpassed in 2006. But Goody hasn't sat down with one since November of 2006 so we can't expect up to date info from her. Mike addressed trashy Amy Goodman last night (including linking to the piece on Hu**ler that we can't here due to being 'work safe' for all readers). 14 days and she still hasn't found it worth informing her listeners that US war resister Corey Glass was ordered to leave Canada. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. Apparently that's not news and not important to Panhandle Media.

Laughably, a Panhandle Media 'conference' takes place this weekend to talk up the importance of a . . . useless echo chamber? We're supposed to strengthen something that already refuses to deliver the news we need? We're supposed to give a damn about Panhandle Media? It's really past time to stop rewarding bad behavior. Now if we didn't have so many in Panhandle Media who were stupid, uncaring or damaged from intensive drug use, we might be able to end the illegal war. We might have ended it some time ago. But to do that, we'd need to be informed of two things (1) what is actually happening and (2) our own history.

Panhandle Media will never save one person, let alone the world. So let's save ourselves while they stay useless. In 1969, a member of the US Congress went to Canada to speak with war resisters. His name? Ed Koch. Better known today as the former mayor of NYC. Between then and the end of 1974, Kokch introduced how many amnesty bills in the US House of Representatives? Four. Now if we know that, we can ask why none of our 'friends' in Congress have yet to make that trip? Dennis Kucinich, Canada is calling. Where are our bills in Congress calling for amnesty for war resisters? Forget "laws" -- which are bills that have been passed -- where are our bills arguing for amnesty. By the end of 1974, because of the work by people like Koch, a Republican would step forward in the Senate with a bill for war resisters (only one group of them). Who was that Republican? Ask Panhandle Media. Remember they care sooo much and they are soooo informed and they have all the information to give you . . . right after the never ending pledge drive cycles.

In the real world,
Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at "").

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb,
Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

In today's New York Times,
Andrew E. Kramer reports, "American airstrikes in Hilla, the city once known as Babylon, wounded five people on Wednesday, according to the local police, who said the Americans were responding to a mortar attack on the American Consulate." So five people wounded in another 'precision' air strike. File it under 'helping' along with the topic Elaine examined last night (Iraqi women). Also in today's papers is Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) stating that the White House and the puppet of the occupation (Nouri al-Maliki) are putting together "[a] secret deal" which would allow permanent US bases, the US to "conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for the unending conflict in their country." Cockburn was off the mark when attempting to predict US reaction (he thought it would be explosive, Amy Goodman buried the news in a fleeting headline today). What else was he right or wrong about? Sue Pleming (Reuters) quotes Ryan Crocker, the US Amabassador to Iraq, declaring that the White House doesn't want permanent bases and were not putting together anything that would extend in the "long-term." So Cockburn was way off the mark?

No. These statements were repeated in April as well and, to any watching, weren't at all believable. Dropping back to the
April 9th snapshot, US House Rep Susan Davis was asking about and echoing US Senator Hillary Clinton's April 8th questions (to Crocker and Petraeus) as to why the US Congress was being cut out of the process. Davis: "That strikes people in our districts as strange. I wonder if you could talk on that" and how such an agreement might or might not "be used as leverage?"

From the statement Senator Hillary Clinton released April 9th:

"I also asked Ambassador Crocker if the United States Congress would have the same opportunity as the Iraqi Parliament will have to review any agreement or long-term security pact that President Bush is negotiating with the Iraqis. Ambassador Crocker said that the Congress, your representatives, would not have that chance. I have two requests of President Bush for his speech on Thursday. First, I call on the President to answer the question that General Petraeus did not. What is our end game in Iraq given the failure of surge to achieve the objective that the president outlined for it? Second, I call on President Bush to pledge to the American people, who have sacrificed greatly for this effort that the United States Congress will have the chance to review and vote on any long-term security agreement he has negotiated with the Iraqis."

It was also an issue in Congress
April 10th when the US Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations heard testimony from the State Dept's David Satterfield and the Defense Dept's Mary Beth Long. The chair of the committee outlined the topics of interest in his opening statements.

Senator Joe Biden: We will hear today about the two agreements that the Administration is negotiating with Iraq which were anticipated in the November Declaration. On Tuesday, Ambassador Crocker told us that these agreements would set forth the "vision" -- his phrase -- of our bilateral relationship with Iraq. One agreement is a "strategic framework agreement" that will include the economic, political and security issues outlined in the Declaration of Principles. The document might be better titled "What the United States will do for Iraq," because it consists mostly of a series of promises that flow in one direction -- promises by the United States to a sectarian government that has thus far failed to reach the political compromises necessary to have a stable country. We're told that the reason why we're not continuing under the UN umbrella is because the Iraqis say they have a sovereign country. But they don't want a Status of Forces Agreement because that flows two ways. The Administration tells us it's not binding, but the Iraqi parliament is going to think it is. The second agreement is what Administration officials call a "standard" Status of Forces Agreement, which will govern the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, including their entry into the country and the immunities to be granted to them under Iraqi law. Unlike most SOFAs, however, it would permit U.S. forces -- for the purposes of Iraqi law -- to engage in combat operations and detain insurgents. In other words, to detain people that we think are bad guys. I don't know any of the other nearly 90 Status of Forces Agreements that would allow a U.S. commander to arrest anyone he believes is a bad guy.

Meanwhile in the White House today, spokesperson Dana Perino faced some semi-tough questioning and se danced away from every one of them with statements such as "I would say that the issue of pre-war intelligence on Iraq has been thoroughly reviewed over the years by the Congress, as well as by the independent WMD Commission." What was Perino avoiding? The latest report on Iraq from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The chair, Senator Jay Rockefeller, stated today, "Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by intelligence. In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe the threat from Iraq was much greater than actuall existed."

Key points from the report summarized by Rockefeller include:

* Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa'ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa'ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
* Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
* Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
* Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq's chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community's uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
* The Secretary of Defense's statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
* The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.

In a press conference today (
here for audio or video), Rockefeller declared, "It has often been said that truth is the first casualty of war and today the Senate Intelligence Committee reports in detail that this was the case in the Bush administration's march to war in Iraq. You don't get to tell the truth just some of the time when going to war. The American people expect their government to tell the truth all the time, that being 100% of the time. Let's be clear as far too many of our own country men and their families know this is a very deadly serious matter Making the case for war is categorically different than any other approach to public policy. There is nothing more serious in public life than the decision to go to war. There is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberatly painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully supported by intelligence. The bottom line is this, we owed it to the troops and the American people to tell the truth about how we got there. These reports are about holding our government accountable and making sure that these mistakes never happen again." PDF format warning, the first report is on public statements (and runs 171 pages), also PDF, the second report focuses on the Counterrorism Evaluation Group and Office of Special Plans within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (and is 56 pages).

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing killed 1 Iraqi soldier and a Kirkuk roadside bombing wounded seven people.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad today.

Today the
US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier was killed by small arms fire June 4 during a patrol south of Baghdad."

John Stauber (PR Watch) observes, "Eight thousand pages of documents related to the Pentagon's illegal propaganda campaign, known as the Pentagon military analyst program, are now online for the world to see, although in a format that makes it impossible to easily search them and therefore difficult to read and dissect. This trove includes the documents pried out of the Pentagon by David Barstow and used as the basis for his stunning investigation that appeared in the New York Times on April 20, 2008." Stauber explains that "every major commercial TV network has failed to report this story, covering up their complicity and keeping the existence of this scandal from their audience."

May 22nd we noted Lavena Johnson who died while serving Iraq and whose parents do not buy the official 'explanation' of Lavena's death. As KMOV reported (link has text and video) last year, "Lavena was apparently abused" and it was impossible for her to have used the gun she's said to have killed herself with. Veterans For Peace notes "After viewing the black and white copies of crime scene photos, viewing multiple bruises on her body, and speaking to different military personnel as they prepared for her burial, her father and uncles realized that LeVena had been murdered. Eight days before her twenthieth birthday, LaVena was beaten, raped, set on fire, shot, and left in a contractor's tent in Iraq. Her family has been fighting for justice for LaVena for over two years now." They are asking you to help Dr. John Johnson (LaVena's father) find out what really happened to his daughter in Iraq by calling 202.225.2876 which is Ike Skelton's number, Skelton is the chair of the House Armed Service Committee. This will be picked up tomorrow and be a regular part of the snapshots.

Turning to the US political race,
Allison Stevens (Women's eNews) reports on Hillary Clinton's primary campaign: "And Clinton's candidacy shined a high beam on stubborn strains of sexism, said Clare Giesen, executive director of the National Women's Political Caucus, a group in Washington, D.C., that works to elect pro-choice women to office. 'This campaign has unveiled sexism as none of us thought existed," she said. "It's like some feral object; it's just out of control.' The depth of sexist attitudes became apparent in national news media coverage of Clinton, Giesen said. A Feb. 1 media study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., showed that from Dec. 16 through Jan. 27, five out of six on-air evaluations of Obama were favorable but only half of Clinton were.
Giesen said sexist comments in the media serve as a rallying cry for women's rights advocates. 'There is a definite second act that comes after this election. Even if she got the nomination, what we have looked at is a real resistance to women in power, and a fear. And we've got to do a lot to educate people'."
Froma Harrop (Rasmussen Reports) observes, "What's dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal. They are now in their own orbit, having abandoned popular Democratic Websites that reveled in crude anti-Hillary outpourings -- and established new ones on which they trade stories of the Obama people's nastiness. But worse than the online malice has been the affronts to their faces." Rev. Renita J. Weems (Something Within) compiles a list of what the campaign season taught her: "Fourth, now I know what I always suspected, namely that while racism is a sin, sexism is perfectly acceptable and tolerated in this country. Women are the worst culprits. The outright woman-hating jibes, the prejudice against Clinton as a middle-age woman, the physical mockery, and the anti-white woman rage have not been easy to witness. Clinton has not run a faultless campaign-- far from it. (Her surrogates need to be fired!) But Hillary Clinton the woman and the politician did not deserve the venom, the acrimony, the hatred, and the name-calling commentators and the public heaped on her throughout this race."

aaron wherrytravis lupickbrad mccallchris cookryan johnsonelliot robins
patrick cockburnandrew e. kramerthe new york times
john stauber

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Day 13 Goodman still won't say 'Corey Glass'

Hump day, hump day. Elaine and I came back today from South Dakota. What's Hillary going to do? I don't know but I hope she takes it to the convention. If you missed it, Barack's best buddy who financed all of Barack's campaigns, just got convicted in a federal court. The laughs never stop coming with Barack, do they?

And the laughs never stop coming with Amy Goodman.

First, Tony brought up a problem. Amy Goodman published in the misogynist, violent skin-magazine H--tler magazine. C.I. (and Ava and C.I.) usually link to Auro Bogada's article. Tony pointed out that the article talks about Goody's fondness for Larry F--ntt but doesn't note that she published in it. So let me provide that here and do a language warning: Do not use the link if you are at work, there is language and images that will get you in trouble. That's probably why Ava and C.I. go with Bogada's article. You have been warned. The link is "AMY GOODMAN ALLOWED HUSTLER TO RUN HER INTERVIEW WITH JOHN PERKINS" and this is the introduction on that page that Ann Simonion wrote:

This page contains images from the July 2005 issue of Hustler where Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now, ran the interview she did with Economic Hit Man: John Perkins. A Mickey Z interview was also in this issue. Hustler uses the work and intellect of the Left to legitimize the hate speech found inside.
We believe Democracy Now needs to explain its actions and offer time on its program that includes hard hitting analysis dedicated to exposing the harms done to women in the growing global sex industry. Democracy Now covers stories on racism, social justice and worker's rights but have ignored this prominent form of human rights abuse and have now stooped to legitimize the hate.
According to Denis Moynihan of Democracy Now they will no longer contribute stories to Hustler. Moynihan defended their article with, "Who are we to pass judgement on the readers of Hustler as potential supporters of Democracy Now?" When asked what donation was offered, he claimed Democracy Now took no money for the article even though it was offered. According to Hustler editor, Bruce David, when Democracy Now refused payment he personally donated one thousand dollars to Democracy Now. Moynihan complained about the time he was spending with me on the phone.
Moynihan was upset about the many calls they received about Goodman's lengthy interview with Larry Flynt in August 2004 because it took time away from their "important" work. Moynihan cited a New York magazine article on Andrea Dworkin and said --quoting from the article that --"it was the feminist's attack on pornography that brought down the feminist movement." Earth to Moynihan: the barrage of mainstream media slander and disinformation brought down the feminist movement and the feminist anti-pornography movement--so much for his expertise on corporate media control.
We ask for an analysis of the sex industry woven into reportage on the anti-globalism, anti-corporate media movement. Democracy Now's byline is "The War and Peace Report." Please take the time to view the image of "Home Wrecker" (below) depicting a woman of color handcuffed to the wall, as a man in camouflage destroys her home with a jack hammer held like an uzi. The war in Iraq is foremost on the collective minds of Americans. The handcuffed woman becomes the sexual aggressor, begging for sex in the pages that follow. Also in this issue are photos of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan holding the free Hustler magazines they are given regularly. In the parody ad "We See" depicting a college gang rape complete with condoms and cigarette buts strewn on her body, the copy reads; "You inspire us to create a medium that helps you launch your potential." While Goodman claims her main goal is to "give voice to the voiceless"--the human rights abuses going on! inside the sex industry are being SILENCED by the most popular, independent, unembedded, alternative media news hour currently available in the United States. ---Ann Simonton

The site is Hustling The Left. No one doing a site in this community knew Amy Goodman had elected to publish in the magazine. We found out when an e-mail came in over the summer and we addressed it then at a roundtable in Third. As Elaine told me at the time, "This isn't going away for C.I." (Or for Elaine.) She wasn't joking. C.I. was very fair to Goody in that roundtable and, honestly, was shocked (as we all were). But no one's in the mood to be nice now. We know Amy Goodman's trash. She engaged in non-stop abuse of Hillary and tried to call that 'news.' She brought on people who supported Barack and people who donated to his campaign and people who were part of his campaign and never told the audience that. She let them attack Hillary non-stop and they were doing so as 'disinterested' 'experts'. If she was part of NPR (which carried her program on some stations), she would have been fired for doing that because that is a severe ethical no-no.

She is self-promoting trash and had no problem with publishing in H--tler magazine. She doesn't give a damn about women because most 'movement babies' do not. They don't think sexism is a "real issue." Which is why Goodman was happy to traffic in sexism and attack Hillary to begin with.

I was trying to think of how to word the next part and had a call in to C.I. who just returned it and suggested I pull down a Nirvana CD.

This is Kurt Cobain from the notes to Instecticide: "At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us -- leave us the f-ck alone! Don't come to our shows and don't buy our records." Consider that the way it is community wide here.

But the Barack crowd in Panhandle Media doesn't follow that. They hate gays and lesbians and your evidence of that is how little time they give to that issue. Look at Amy Goodman, so willing to reach out to 'sexual crowds' by publishing in a skin-magazine but only filing one report a year on her program that broadcasts every week, for one hour, Monday through Friday, on anything to do with the LGBT community. And, of course, refusing to call out Barack Obama for using homophobia in South Carolina, for putting homophobia on stage at a campaign rally, for letting homophobes preach their bigotry. That's your 'hope' campaign for you.

She gladly threw everyone under the bus to jump on Panhandle Media's radical/closet Communist cause, get Barack into the White House!

To do that, she had to stab a lot of people in the back.

Today, she offered what happened in Canada yesterday as a brief headline. Four sentences.

If you read yesterday's snapshot (or if you read today's), you know what happened and you know it was historic. Not to Goody. It was time for more garbage from the sewer from Amy Goodman.

13 days after Corey Glass was informed he had to leave Canada or be deported on June 12th, the trashy Amy Goodman still hasn't mentioned that news on her lousy program.

Even today, she avoided mentioning Corey Glass in her brief headline.

It's past time that the real left stopped accepting the crap Goody's been dishing out. She's not focused on Iraq. She's not covering war resisters (and hasn't since November of 2006). She's nothing but a fake and a fraud and it's past time she was held accountable for all her lies, all her attacks on others and her failure to uphold any journalistic standards.

Before some whack-job e-mails, "What about East Timor!" I know Goody likes to go to that. I assume she just wanted attention. That's probably why she was sobbing in her 'report.' The reality is that the man responsible for allowing that to go on is a Barack supporter and Goody knows it and never called it out. In fact, a number of people responsible for the years of slaughter in East Timor are advising Barack. But Goody doesn't care. So don't bring up East Timor to defend the trash. If she really cared about East Timor, she would have been calling out the advisors.

She didn't. Just like she refused to explore how many supporters of counter-insurgency in Iraq are advisors to Barack.

Amy Goodman is a self-promoter. She's a carny huckster. She is not about truth and justice, she's not a reporter and she's revealed this campaign season just how much like Judith Miller and all the other frauds she's finger-pointed at that she really is.

You either hold her (and the others like her) accountable or you accept that the United States not only will never have a real independent media but that they can't have one.

I've mentioned the community, and that's:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, a Baghdad bombing results in mass deaths, the war resisters in Canada score a historic victory but work remains, and more.

Starting with war resistance. As noted in
yesterday's snapshot, Canada's House of Commons voted on the motion to grant safe harbor to war resisters and it passed (137 in favor, 110 against). The motion was first proposed in December of 2007. It took Corey Glass and other war resisters to make it happen as much as it took any political party. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. Maggie Farley (Los Angeles Times) notes of Glass, "he became the first deserter to receive orders to leave the country -- and ended up a symbol of Canada's conflicted sentiments about the war. On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion urging the government to allow deserters to stay. The measure, though nonbinding, could lead to a last-minute reprieve for Glass and nearly 40 others who have asked for refugee statues." UPI files a brief and quotes NDP's Olivia Chow stating, "Ordinary people want the Iraq war resisters to stay. The Harper Conservatives must respect this and immediately implement this motion." Joanna Smith (Toronto Star) explains how US war resisters Megan and Chris Bean (husband and wife) went to Ottawa to observe the House of Commons Vote. Megan Bean explains of their decision to come to Canada, "We were over there to maintain the peace and we were trying to hand it over to the Iraqis. This is what we always heard. You don't sign up for (the U.S. Navy) to see a bunch of people kill for no reason." Paige Aarhus (London Free Press) quotes war resister Rich Droste on the vote, "I almost wanted to cry when I heard, it was amazing. This just shows that support is growing and Canada can still be a refuge against militarism." He wasn't the only one excited by the verdict. "We are very happy that we won. We're hopeful that the government wll respect the democratic process," Phil McDowell tells John Ward (Canadian Press via Nova Scotia News) who also quotes Joshua Key: "We've had one hand tied behind our back because we can't argue the illegality of the Iraq war, which we all know is illegal. But, with that we just take it one step at a time. I just hope it continues going forward." Janice Tibbetts (CanWest News Service) offers an overview of the resistance today explaining how Canada's Federal Court of Appeals refused to grant the first two public war resisters in Canada, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, who went on to appeal that decision to Canada's Supreme Court and were denied on November 15, 2007. Vietnam era war resister Gerry Condon (writing at Courage to Resist) notes the "historic vote" and how "all the opposition parties -- the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party" came together to vote in favor the motion. Condon outlines a number of steps to take here. In addition, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at "").


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a truck bombing that claimed 5 lives (add in another for the driver of the truck) and left ten wounded, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed the lives of 3 police officers and left three police officers and "three civilians" wounded and an Al Anbar Province roadside bombing claimed the lives of 3 police officers with four more wounded. Deborah Haynes (Times of London) reports "Up to 18 people were killed and many more wounded today when a truck exploded near the house of a police commander in Baghdad" while CBS and AP note over 50 individuals are injured from the blast "near the northeast Baghdad home of a top Inetrior Ministry official".


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "Col. Dhafir Al-Ani of the general inspector office in the interior ministry" was shot dead in Baghdad (his brother was wounded in the assassination) and a jewelry shop owner and his son were shot dead in Zubair.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad. CBS and AP report 13 corpses discovered in Latifiyah (and that 10 were discovered Tuesday in Baghdad).

Kadhim also notes the continued attacks on journalists which includes a TV crew filming a special entitled "The Death Road" in Al Anbar Province and were targeted in a roadside bombing that may have been aimed at the Iraqi military (the military was with the TV crew) while a camer operator for an Iraqi TV station was wounding in a Basra roadside bombing.

Today the
US military announced: "Three Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers were killed as a result of a small-arms fire attack in Al Hawijah near Kirkuk June 4." As Haynes (Times of London) notes, this brings the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4090.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb,
Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Turning to US political news. Two primaries were held last night, the last two in the contest: South Dakota and Montana. The press told the country Barack Obama was a winner. While he did win Montana, he lost South Dakota. The Christ-child lost South Dakota to Hillary by over 10% --
55.35% for Hillary, 44.65% for Barack. The same media that told you all day yesterday that Hillary would conceed (see Bob Somerby's piece today) spends today asking when she will drop out of the race? Hillary Is 44 observes, "Obama is unelectable and not qualified to be president. On the night Obama lost South Dakota (Obama's own projections had him winning South Dakota by 15 percent) he spoke in the same hall in which Mondale conceded to the Reagan landslide. Obama will either concede now or in November. Obama won't win Democrats he needs to win (like the Democrats on this very website). In state after state many Democrats clearly state they will either NOT vote, vote for the unacceptable John McCain, or write in Hillary's name. That Democrats, many who have never voted for a Republican or nightmared about voting for a Republican, to say they will vote for a Republican is shocking and foreshadows doom for the Democratic? Party in November - if Superdelegates actually vote for Rezko/Ayres/Pfleger/Wright/Farrakhan's friend - Obama." Actually, some will vote for Ralph Nader if Barack's the nominee. Yesterday, CBS Evening News offered a roundtable (link has transcript and video) featuring some Hillary supporters in Penn.

Sandra Miller, former county commissioner: I think from the very beginning she's been mistreated. I know -- I watched a lot of interviews and so forth where Sen. Clinton was referred to as "Mrs. Clinton" whereas Sen. Obama was "Sen. Obama." Meredith Ciambrello, teacher: It bothers me to think with the kind of coverage that we've had, that we're speaking of, that it's influencing the voters. And when I talk to young men or other young women and they say, "I hate Hillary" and just the venom that comes out of them. And I wonder where is that coming from. Kathleen O'Dell, sales manager: I think we have a little different standard with sexism than we do with, say, racism. I mean there have been people who go to their rallies and stand up - the guy who stood up and said, "hey, iron my shirt." Now consider that if somebody had showed up at an Obama campaign and had a banner saying something about his race or about somebody's religion, we'd be up in arms. Everybody would be like, "how disgusting."

An idiot ("fuzkida") posting at CBS states, "Any so-called Hillary supporter who votes for McCain is not a true progressive. NO progressive wuould [sic] be that spiteful as to screw up the country for another 4 years just bc. they are sore losers." No true "progressive" (unless that's The Idiot Lakoff's 'framing' for "closted Communist") could support a candidate who used homophobia in South Carolina to scare up votes, who demonized gays and lesbians because it could help him recover momentum after losing New Hampshire. So spare us the lectures "fuzkida."

No feminist could support Barack in the primaries. Any who said she was a feminist and did was either uninformed (and didn't know about the use of homophobia) or she's not a feminist because she elected to ignore it. There's no middle ground on this. Some may come around to Barack. But the reality is a number of 'feminists' exposed themselves as not by refusing to call out the use of homophobia as a campaign strategy. "fuzkida" is not a feminist, obviously. And women don't need to hear you lecture. I believe the idiot Mark Karlin of BuzzFlash tried that after Hillary won New Hampshire. It certainly was cute to see those pieces throughout the campaign, where men lectured women telling them over and over that they shouldn't vote based on gender (naturally, they assumed that only by voting based on gender could a woman support Hillary -- working from the sexist premise that no woman could be worthy of the nomination). But, thing is, did they ever lecture any group supporting Barack? Nope. It was only women they thought they felt comfortable trying to boss around. Why was that?

Ellen Willis ("Up from Radicalism: A Feminist Journal") explaining it in 1969:

A genuine alliance with male radicals will not be possible until sexism sickens them as much as racism. This will not be accomplished through persuasion, conciliation, or love, but through independence and solidarity; radical men will stop oppressing us and make our fight their own when they can't get us to join them on any other terms.

True then, true today. But no one was supposed to notice and it was easy not to as
Panhandle Media worked overtime not just to smear Hillary Clinton with lies but also to ignore the sexism in the MSM (while contributing their own sexism). Take CounterSpin, the weekly radio program by 'media watchdog' FAIR, which ignored the sexism non-stop and finally, when called out loudly and, repeating, I never asked for that, those were unsolicited e-mails from FAIR) and repeatedly, managed to include Hillary being called a bitch in their May 24th broadcast. Here is CounterSpin's criticism of sexism in the 2008 race in full: "CNN viewers were treated to one pundit explanation that people might call Hillary Clinton a bitch because well isn't that just what some women are." You'll note they don't identify the program or the gas bag speaking. That's a funny sort of 'media criticism,' isn't it? And sadly, that's all the weekly radio program CounterSpin can point to. How very proud they must be. Then there's Free Speech TV's laughable Grit TV ("with Laura Flanders!") which not only brought on sexists who had slammed Hillary to say there was no problem but also got off a joke that Latinos and Latinas in California can't speak English. I guess that was supposed to pass for 'progressive' as well? It was especially hilarious to see Laura Flanders and Betsy Reed move away from Hillary to actually fret over sexism and homophobia (!) as 'applied' to John Edwards who is neither a woman nor gay.

"Now there were days when I had the strength enough to fight for all of us,"
declared Hillary last night, "and on the days that I didn't, I leaned on you, the soldier on his third tour of duty in Iraq who told his wife, an Iraqi veteran herself, to take his spending money and donate it to our campaign instead. The 11-year-old boy in Kentucky who sold his bike and video games to raise money for our campaign. The woman who came to a rally hours early, waited and waited to give me a rosary. And all those who whispered to me, simply to say I am praying for you."

Peggy Simpson (Womens Media Center) reports:

Hillary Clinton preempted the morning-after critics. She asked the question herslef in a Tuesday night speech after the delegate count from South Dakota and Montana pushed Barack Obama over the top as the Democrats' probably nominee for president.
"I understand that a lot of people are asking: 'What does Hillarywant? What does she WANT?"
Ignoring mounting speculation that she had told the New York congressional delegation that she'd be open to the vice presidential position, which some cynics said was the start of overt lobbying for that post, she said instead:
"Well, what I want is what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential."
And then she added significantly: "And I want the nearly eighteen million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, and no longer to be invisible."
The Hillary skeptics who bemoaned her ambition should read that and absorb the message. It means far more than being on a national ticket.

Hillary's a fighter and as long as she wants to be in the race, she will be. She won the popular vote. (My own personal feelings -- and those of the community -- are that she should carry this to the convention.) It's cute how the goons and loons want to lecture. They pull that nonsense every four years and whine between about how a message should be sent. The difference for all Hillary supporters is that we saw the pass Barack was given over and over and we found him vapid and lacking. The difference for women especially is that we're not Spastic Keith Olbermann spewing his 'thoughts' instantly. As with Anita Hill earlier, the treatment of Hillary was about all women and it's not about 'sore losers.' The 'unity' talk ignores that (a) there's nothing in the Obama campaign for voters and (b) why would women want to 'unify' with their attackers. Now when the vile Ike Turner died, many of the male gas bags online didn't get it. They thought Tina Turner should forgive her torturer of many, many decades. But that's not how it works.

And I'm down to
Your last cigarette and
this "We are one" crap
as you're invading . . .
-- "Taxi Ride," written and recorded by
Tori Amos

'Unity' says the press today just as they said it when Bully Boy stole Florida from Al Gore. The bit players are all the same, they just had facial reconstruction. And I think you'll see a number of women who refuse to play cheerleaders for
Princess Tiny Meat Barack. Not all, as Susan (Random Notes) point out, someone will gladly sell out. For the record, whomever the Democratic nominee is, Gloria Steinem will campaign for them. She does that every four years. I am not talking about Gloria. I have not and will not ever insult Gloria. But Gloria's always been the sweetest. Which isn't denying that's she's also very strong. It is pointing out that if Barack's given the nomination, don't expect to see a crowd of feminists skipping happily along -- several paces behind him. Women have witnessed non-stop sexism and grasped that feminism is needed now more than ever. This is the rebirth, not a time to be afraid. (True regardless of whom the Democratic nominee is in August.) And some can be cast aside like Christine and her beau Bernie who launched an attack on our own Kat -- demanding that she change a written opinion and demanding that she do so in his words and act like it was her opinion and her words -- that should have clued us into just how sick and vapid so many passing for 'contemporary' and 'popcult' 'feminists' actually were. So it's a good time for feminism and one in which faux feminists can hit the road and take their (at best) half-assed 'principles' with them.

John Bentley (CBS News) reports John McCain, presumed GOP presidential nominee, stated, "There are many of Sen. Clinton's supporters who believe that I am by far the best qualified to secure this nation's future, who don't want us to sit down with Ahmadinejad and other tyrants. I think there's a lot of Sen. Clinton's supporters who will support me because of their belief that Sen. Obama does not have the experience or the knowledge or the judgement to address this nation's national security challenges when we're in two wars."

Ralph Nader has selected Matt Gonzalez as his running mate and Team Nader's "
The Uprising" notes yesterday's Democracy Now where the hosts and guest David Sirota talked a good game about an "uprising against Wall Street and Washington" but somehow avoided ever mentioning the Nader-Gonzalez ticket:

On Democracy Now, Sirota said that there is great anger and disaffection in America directed at not just the government, but also at corporate America, at big business, at banks and the financial system.
And for twenty minutes, he talked and talked and talked about the uprising in this momentous Presidential election year.
But not once did Sirota mention Ralph Nader's candidacy -- which polls indicate millions of people support.
And not once did Amy Goodman or Juan Gonzalez ask him about the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy.
Anger at corporations, big business and banks.
Presidential election year.
And no mention of Ralph Nader?
What we are to make of this?
That David Sirota doesn't really give a damn about the uprising.
If he did, he would happily welcome Nader/Gonzalez into the political arena as the most meaningful political expression of the uprising in 2008.
Sirota has spent hundreds of hours surveying the uprising, but refuses to even acknowledge the work of hundreds of young people working non-stop around the country to put Nader/Gonzalez on the ballot for what is shaping up to be a four way Presidential race -- McCain, Obama, Nader, Barr.
And Nader/Gonzalez will be the Presidential campaign for the uprising against corporate power in this Presidential election year.
And Sirota doesn't say a peep about it.
Why not?
Because he's concerned but not serious about change.

Meanwhile presumed Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney has bigger problems now than defining 'victory' as getting 5% of the votes (revealing her campaign as not a real run for the office), she now has to deal with her online supporters running voters off. (Yeah, I heard about the e-mails. We'll probably address "Miss Prissy for Cynthia" at Third this weekend.)

So what do we know?
Hillary's still in the race. Supporters want her to go to Denver (but that will be her decision -- and after the way she and her family have been smeared and slimed, even her strongest supporters would understand her deciding the victory was in staying in the race when everyone said drop out, staying in the race and winning the popular vote, staying in the race and showing the world just how strong women are). Nader's running a real campaign.

the common illsthe third estate sunday reviewlike maria said pazkats kornersex and politics and screeds and attitudetrinas kitchenthe daily jotcedrics big mixmikey likes itthomas friedman is a great manruths reportsickofitradlz