jess & joan the two diamonds in the rust

thank yous to everyone who wrote about yesterday's post. telling it like it is, that's why i'm here. i'm going to note something from the common ills right off the bat:

I understand you're angry. Rebecca's angry as well and should have a post up about this. I haven't read it yet (and honestly don't have time -- I'm tired, it's late, we've got entries to do here) so go read her. She wasn't able to reach Cedric (and he's e-mailed a highlight for tonight's roundup and notes that he's not even going to read "the nonsense" that's going up at that site). Betty spent the day taking one of her kids to the doctor. I returned her call while I was reading through the e-mails. Her attitude is that no matter how he intends it, it's hurtful. She has no time for it. (A point echoed in the e-mails.)

a number of you had e-mailed last night asking where cedric and betty stood. i wasn't able to reach betty. she was in the waiting room for most of the day. cedric did e-mail that he hadn't read it and that he'd write later. by the time he had, i had already posted. they want to do some kind of editorial comment during the third estate sunday review news review this weekend. they feel since they are community members and since they are african-american, they need to have a statement of some kind. they're still attempting to figure out what they want to say and how they want to say it but look for that in the next edition of the third estate sunday review. betty wants to invite ty to help as well but they haven't been able to get ahold of him yet.

betty told me that if you look at our community, the common ills community, we're very inclusive and if you then look at the people who blog from the community, it shows. she traces that to c.i. who won't back down from an issue just because 'oh only the irish catholics care about that' or some such nonsense. i think she's right. from the start of this community, women have been just as much a part of it as any 1 else. it's not catered to a white audience. betty thinks that's part of the reason it's grown so much and continues to grow.

and i want to thank cedric for the support he gave me in his 1st post (and the support he gives me whenever we're talking). no, it's not always easy but you do what you think you have to or you become a centrist.

3 people wrote to ask if i was serious/sincere about mike getting to break the news about elaine?
yes, i was. mike earned the scoop due to his work on getting people to weigh in to elaine. there's also the fact that everyone loves mike. he can be a big goof or the most sensitive guy in the world. which is always weird because he's a manly dude. but there's just something about him that draws you to him. he's like a puppy.

i was serious about letting secrets slip. i let 1 slip this week here. i didn't know it was a secret about the cd of his own music that jess burned for me. his mother called today and asked if it was okay to come visit after she finished up in the city. i told her of course but was wondering if some thing was wrong because when i offered to take the ferry in and meet her, she made it clear that she wanted to come here.

turns out, she wanted to hear jess's music. i didn't realize it was a secret that he'd put some down. or that he hadn't made a copy for a lot of people. she was blown away, just like i was. he has this amazing baritone and he sings so cool. he also plays the hell out of a guitar. this was really a treat and something i'll treasure.

and his mom wanted a copy and i didn't have the heart to say 'ask your son' so i burned her off a copy of my copy. i was dreading jess's reaction because he's a peaceful kind of feeling guy but i knew he wouldn't be pleased. turns out it all worked out for the best. she told him as long as he'd do that at least once a year, she'd stop pestering him about dropping journalism and making music.

jess said her concern was that he would become a reporter after college and never pick up the guitar again. that's a valid concern because he is incredible.

i'm glad it worked out but that's the sort of secret i end up letting slip. and sometimes i'm not even aware of it until after the fact.

i want to note kat's review of joan baez's bowery songs cd which is really just amazing. i've had a wealth of great music to listen to this week with jess and joan both. here's kat's review:

"Kat's Korner: Joan Baez Bringing It All Back Home on Bowery Songs"
So there we were at The Fillmore. Sumner, Maggie, Dak-Ho and me. Toni couldn't go because she'd just started a new job and had to be on call. We'd driven to San Francisco so it was just as well because Toni swears the city is out to get her and every other smoker in the country.

It was 2004. March. That much we can agree on.
After that, it gets messy. Maggie's convinced it was the 21st of March. Sumner says it was the 12th. Dak-Ho can't remember. My ticket stub says March 13th. You might think my ticket stub would settle it. If so, you don't know my crowd. All the ticket stub led to was debates of "What if the stub had the wrong date on it?"
All four of us agree that we were at The Fillmore in 2004. Except for Dak-Ho, we can agree it was in March. Maggie can remember her exact outfit. You might be thinking, "But Kat, she's got the date wrong!" (Because, Maggie, you do have the date wrong. And I'm still waiting for you to return that Judy Collins CD.) Maggie can remember her exact outfit on any day, any event."Maggie, remember that time we saw Dylan?"
"We never saw Dylan."
"Maggie, remember that time we saw Dylan and you wore the black mini-skirt?"
"Oh, the leather one!" she'll squeal. "I remember I had on the cameo and when he performed 'Just Like A Woman' . . ."
Point is, there's never a great deal of agreement. But on one thing we do agree. Joan Baez was phenomenal. We're disputing the opening act. (I'm sure it was a female with an acoustic guitar and I'll put money on that.) We're disputing where we ate after the show. We were too nervous to eat before because when you're seeing the Queen, you don't want to show up stuffed -- the music will feed you.
Dark Chords On A Big Guitar was the album she was touring behind and we were all agreed that it was one of her finest. We tried to remember that Baez had been hitting the road for four decades now and that what could be accomplished in the studio might not be replicated live.
Point is, we were concerned about the voice. Forget Mel Gibson, Joan Baez is the road warrior. What, you thought it was Dylan? You obviously missed his periodic retirements.
After four decades plus of touring, what was the voice going to sound like? Sumner said it didn't matter what she sounded like, that it was important to support real music in an age of plastique. He's French so he can travel down the high minded road. Dak-Ho said as long as she sang "Amazing Grace," he didn't care about anything else. Maggie was swearing she'd cry and worse if Joan Baez's voice was anything "less than better than okay."Maggie cried. She ended up crying nonstop. I think I first noticed it when Baez was singing "Rosemary Moore." But here's the thing, she wasn't crying because Baez had lost it, she was crying because Baez seemed to have gained so much more than any of us expected.
That voice was more powerful than any of us remembered or realized. She could still hit those high notes she first gained fame for. Still take you back. But there was this force and body behind the voice that we weren't used to.
We've pretty much seen everyone. Stones? Check. McCartney? Check. Dave Matthews Band? Check. Tori Amos? Check, check, check. Nirvana? Check. Aretha Franklin? Check. Ryan Adams? Check. We even saw the Return to Love tour that teamed Diana Ross with two Supremes she'd never seemed to have met before they took the stage. But this was our first time seeing Joan Baez.We're used to a ragged voice and an off night. We're used to a lot of things.
We weren't prepared for that concert.
Now comes Bowery Songs which captures Joan Baez on that tour, eight months later.
I was nervous when I finally got the plastic nightmare wrapping and the mocking sticker off-off the case. I was nervous when I put the CD in the stereo. Sumner called and I used that as an excuse not to listen. Told myself I wanted to give it my full attention.
Truth is, I was afraid I'd be disappointed.
After twenty minutes of chatting with Sumner about the nightmare that is John Roberts Jr., I hung up and felt like the stereo and I were headed for a huge confrontation.
Too early in the day for conflict, so I made myself some toast and intended to read the paper.
But since I'd be in the kitchen, what harm could it do to have the stereo in the living room playing in the background?
Sort of ease myself into it.
Seemed like a good idea.
I turn on the stereo and arrive back in the kitchen just as the toast bounces up from the slots.
I'm buttering and realizing Baez's starting off sans instruments.
Forget the toast, I'm back in the living room. Song's called "Finlandia."
I am, not by nature, a worry wart. I'm pretty laid back. Except when it comes to musical expectations. By the time Baez was holding the "I" in "holy shrine," my worries were gone.
It was a brave choice to open the concert (and the album) with. It instantly answers everyone's worries about the voice (which should actually be "The Voice"). Having laid the doubts to rest, we're all ready for the gentle sway and jangle that is "Rexroth's Daughter."
Here's the thing about the CD that was true of the concert as well, Baez is so vested in the songs, all of them, that you're not sitting there thinking, "Where's 'Diamonds & Rust?' Hey, we want 'Diamonds & Rust!'" That's the power of a singer, a real one. You don't feel cheated if they don't immediately launch into the catalogue.
I have From Every Stage and love the album. But I really think Baez has found the best band she's ever recorded with. The music accents the voice instead of competing with it. (For an example of that, listen to Baez's Blowing Away.) The voice has always had warmth.
That instrument was so stunning from the start. Maybe because the songs were mournful ballads the warmth of Baez's voice didn't get the attention it should have? That's part of what moves you when you listen to those Vanguard CDs now. The sadness is all the more tragic because it's coming from a voice that like. What's been added now is wisdom and experience. You notice it in her phrasing, in the way she accents a line or goes soft where you don't expect it but where it perfectly serves the song.
"Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" is the perfect example. Listen to it on Blessed Are from the end of her tenure with Vanguard and listen to the live version. How many singers can sing a song over thirty year later that improves on their original recording? I count one.
Baez was The Voice and I don't mean to take away anything from those recordings that she made her name with. But when you listen to her sing "Deportee" on Bowery Songs, you wonder, "Where did she learn to caress the lyric like that?" That's wisdom and experience.
It's not melodrama.
It could be. It could very easily be. Put her in a long wig, hand her the acoustic guitar and let her turn in some gross caricature of her 60s self. Nancy Sinatra does that and a lot of people are pleased by it. "It's like she hasn't changed a bit!" you can hear people say.Forty years passed and the artist is exactly the same? That may comfort on some level but on another level, it's frightening. Makes you wonder what they've done with the last forty years?
Baez's life is as famous as her music, sometimes more famous.
Bowery Songs should go a long away in evening the balance on that score because she's working a winning streak these days. This is the perfect follow up to 2003 Dark Chords On A Big Guitar. In fact, "follow up" doesn't really capture it because that strikes me as implying she's "coasting." This is a further progression. So much so, that I'll need a pot of green tea and a handful of something stronger when the next album comes out. Joan Baez will give me hyper tension at this rate.
Take "Christmas In Washington," Steve Earle's meditation on the state of humanity. Baez nailed that song, for the first time, in 2003. How does she find new layers -- trust me, she finds them -- in a song she only been performing on the road for a year?
"Okay, Kat, she's on a hot streak. She does a great job with the new and newer material and maybe with that Woody Guthrie song, but come on, the album can't be that amazing. Can it?"
It can. It is.
If you grew up listening to her, or if you saw the Lili Taylor & River Phoenix film Dogfight, you're probably familiar with "Silver Daggers." It's a hallmark. Listen to the line "She says that I can't be your bride" and contrast it with the original. Baez nailed it the first time and if she went for the same notes, same tone, same phrasing, we'd all applaud the jukebox quality of the performance. But she's living that song, living that line. You're hearing the song anew and noting moments that weren't there before. Note the band here as well. They're giving the song room to breathe and adding additional textures. The band, by the way, is George Javori, Erik Della Penna, Graham Maby and Duke McVinnie. Note how their accents are like gentle drops of rain and how much that brings to the mood of "Silver Daggers."
That may be part of the reason this live CD works so well. There's a tendency for a lot of acts to rush the songs, especially the well known ones. "Okay, they all want to hear '____' so let's just toss that one out and get it over with." The tempo on Dylan's last tour, for instance, seemed to have been thought up while he was snorting crushed Ritalin.
Joan Baez was never a studio rat. She was a live performer before she stepped into a studio. Bowery Songs will remind you just how much of a live performer she is.
Back in March of 2004, at The Fillmore, the song that gave me goosebumps was "Rosemary Moore." As her voice echoed, rose and fell, climbed the highs and bottomed out so perfectly, I looked over and there was Maggie crying. Baez performed the song that beautifully. It's a sign of how perfectly this album captures Baez that I haven't lamented the fact that "Rosemary Moore" doesn't appear on the album.
This is a new classic for Baez. There are three months left in 2005 and there's not been a great deal of new material that you had to have or you were missing out on something great, but this album is something you need to hear. I can tell you we saw Joan Baez on March 13th. I can tell you Maggie wore a suede dress. (On the dress, Maggie agrees.) But with Bowery Songs, there's not a whole lot more I can tell you. I can tell you to check it out. I can tell you it will delight you, amaze you. But I can't bring home how wonderful it is. You have to hear it for yourself.



25,000 Body Bags Ready In Louisiana
In Louisiana 25,000 body bags are now on hold for victims of Hurricane Katrina and last week's devastating flood. The actual death toll remains unknown but officials saying they are preparing for the worst. A temporary warehouse morgue in rural St. Gabriel that had been prepared to take 1,000 bodies is being readied to handle 5,000. Earlier this week New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin predicted up to 10,000 people died in New Orleans alone. A website set up by the Red Cross lists more than 117,000 names of people who have not been located. The majority of the people on the list are presumed to be alive and displaced to other cities.

the above is from democracy now! while elaine was filling in here, she and mike were both hitting hard on making sure people knew about democracy now.

i'm really not sure what to say tonight. that's party due to a huge disappointment. i spoke with c.i. on the phone about it and c.i. said 'when it's that kind of trash i don't even feel bad for not spotlighting it.'

see there's a blogger who seems pissed off at the world that he has had to leave his repeated 'it all began 7 years ago.' it's become his only point of reference.

he can't be bothered with anything beyond the borders of the united states, even when the united states is at war. and now he's pissed that he has to deal with hurricane katrina. pissed because he had to cancel a topic he wanted to do but he didn't feel it was getting enough attention.

so now he's spent two days at war with atrios. using words like 'fucker.'

and he's waving the white panther flag today.

it's like the 1st time bob dylan went jewish.

you just scratch your head and wonder what the hell is going on.

he's gone from pooh-pahing ap photos last week because, as elaine said to me, he lacks the insight to leave his own tiny frame of reference. now he's on a 1 man anti-affirmative-action program.

he wastes everyone's time. more so than when he goes off yacking about sports. i spoke to everyone at the third estate sunday review today. dona says he needs to get over the fact that he didn't invent the fucking wheel. i agree.

jim says that anything beyond al gore and bill clinton is beyond him and he's embarrassing himself on his self-destruct tangent. 'a great short stop doesn't make a great pitcher,' jim said.

jess said, 'where has he been on the war? he's not done a damn thing. he's wasted all of our time tsk-tsking over a statement here or a statement there about al or bill. he's like that character in sunset blvd.'

norma desmond?

jess: right. times moved on but he didn't. he's useless and he's made himself useless. he comes off like a sexist and i noticed that he finally noted african-americans wednesday as he worked his way through slamming them. maybe he can suck up to norah o'donnell again? i mean talk about no balls. only an idiot wouldn't have grasped the compromising position she put herself in with that party. and only a hypocrite would have refused to tackle it and ignored her sloppy reporting year after year just because she once defended al gore. he plays favorites and pretends he's this 'call it like it is' guy. he's never addressed what matt cooper did. he never will.
he plays favorites.

i asked ava her opinion and she said she was speaking for herself but obviously influenced by c.i. since they had spoken at length about the problems with that person for some time. ava's opinion is that he now spends too much time trying to get attention. 'he surfs the web looking at other posts before he can write his own these days. and he does those annoying butt pats to his buddies. it's disgusting. he was a leader now he just reacts each day and today was the last straw for me, i need a break after the vile bile he hurled. he has no grasp of anything these days and just sits around screaming 'not true' over and over.'

if you're wondering who i am talking about i could name him. i won't because i know that as disappointed as i am, c.i.'s even more so.

the blogger is trashing his reputation now, disgracing himself, with each entry.

i asked c.i. if any of this would pop up at the common ills but c.i. said it's too disappointing and also that the blogger in question loves a pissing match. c.i.: 'rebecca, i know his work. i've read it all. if he started something up, i wouldn't high road it because the community wouldn't stand for it. and it would be the most hurtful in the world for him right now because is ego is so damaged that if anyone who knew the work addressed it on a critical level, he'd be destroyed. i'm just going to ignore him and pray he gets through this phase.'

all quotes in this are with permission.

so i asked ty what he thought and ty said he thought the guy didn't know enough black people if he knew any. he said the guy's insensitivity is disgusting. ty said the site was good for a white centered site that never passed a chance to slam women.

he never has praise for women. he's started to offer some. after a roundtable. i'm not saying the roundtable caused it. i'm saying that it didn't happen until the after the roundtable.

when he did his thing and made his name he was the only game in town that mattered. now there are some new gun slingers and he feels the need to waste everyone's time taking them on.
he's a in a dick size contest and he's proving himself to be the supreme dick lately.

i feel like i'm watching cat ballou in real time. c.i.'s jane fonda just sure that somehow lee marvin will pull himself out of the drunken haze and swoop into the save the day. i don't have that kind of faith.

but here are some tips for him if he's going to continue down the ill advised road he's on. start linking to these people you give shout outs too. if you're going to whore yourself like that, go all the way. make a blog roll. maybe that way they'll praise you even more.

here's another tip. richard pryor knew how to denoate a curse word for emphasis and humor. you, sir, are no richard pryor.

he's gone from a supernova to a cranky william safire. it's depressing.

i called gina and she was enraged. she said he's disgusting. before she just felt the site wasn't for her because she's an african-american woman. the attacks on wednesday, the same ones that jess noted, convinced her that not only is the site not for her, it is actively against her.

gina: i can take a contrarian voice. i like alexander cockburn and i often disagree with him. but i can't take this white man posing as the last voice of truth who has set himself on a mission to minimize a very real tragedy.

she and krista have an editorial on this in tomorrow's round-robin.

c.i.'s attitude is that there's always a place at the table for this blogger, provided he shows up sober. when he's acting like he is, the dinner party will go on without him.

the thing is, he's going to find a lot of people aren't going to be like c.i. most people are in the process of writing him off for good.

he was already coming off a very weak patch before he started the latest embarrassments.

now if he was like me and just thought 'fuck it i don't give a shit' that would be fine. but he's so clearly trying to impress the new gun slingers (notice he only notes men, just like in his commentary on meet the press and other useless nonesense).

was that harsh? well his old game was to write about a certain segment to be noticed by them. now he applies that to the web.

in the meantime, as ruth has noted, he's ignored npr. morning edition has 12 million listeners. how many viewers does fox news have? how many viewers does meet the press have?

the whole purpose was supposed to be exposing the lies of the press. but he's had no interest in taking on npr until he did that ridiculous, sexist, agist slam on diane rehm.

he says he takes on the clowns. but he lets james carville and mary matalin get away with their crap year after year. want to choose 2 pundits who've dumbed down the discourse - go with those two. they've made it all about their own marital woes as they play, to steal from c.i., the sonny & cher of this decade. it's disgusting, it's stupid. and james never fights back. but blogger doesn't call him on that because blogger plays favorites.

yesterday he built on argument on something he knew nothing about. c.i. knew the e-mails would come in and when the entry was read to c.i. over the phone, there was an attempt to write a response. it didn't work out. (i'm guessing because c.i. tried to high road it.) so the evening was c.i., ava and jess going through over 1400 e-mails and jess says over 1/2 mentioned that shitty 'logic.'

so let me speak to all community members. are you listening? if c.i.'s not spotlighing this blogger, there's a reason. if you read the blogger on your own and are angry, take it up with the blogger. don't ask c.i. or complain to c.i.

i'd asked c.i. to call me last night. so as soon as c.i. got out of a strategy meeting, my phone was ringing. we talked, i'll get to that in a moment, and c.i. was so excited because there was a plan to get in bed before 10. (c.i.'s been going to sleep after 1 in the morning every night this week and then rising a few hours later.)

the community was in an uproar over this blogger.

c.i. didn't get to bed by ten. c.i. ended up with less than 3 hours of sleep again. so either take the problem up with the blogger or just ignore him. but don't push it off on c.i.

it's not fair if you think about it. c.i.'s not spotlighting him. the posts that made you angry did not get linked to at the common ills.

you have every right to be angry but this is the sort of thing that will lead to the end of the common ills. a) no 1 can devote the time that's being asked. b) c.i. still has hope that kid sheleen can get on the wagon and shoot straight again. c.i. is as disappointed as you are, more.

when i wrote about this blogger last time, i told you all that c.i. felt he was under attack and c.i. wouldn't join in that. you got your statement last night. let it go now.

last night, c.i. spoke for the community as you wanted.

let's all let c.i. have a life now.

jim and dona and i have been especially vocal on this but i'll note it again, if you're unhappy, write your own thing. it will go up. quit asking c.i. to speak for you.

this morning, when i spoke to a very tired c.i., i asked if there were any hopes for future posts at the common ills? c.i. wants to write 1. there's a funny comment in there. i laughed when i heard it. that needs to be said, the joke and the rest of it. but when you're writing and saying, 'c.i. he can't get away with this!' and beseeching c.i. to speak for the community, you're cheating yourself out of something.

i believe c.i.'s already noted the trip to d.c. at the end of the month. i'll be going to participate in the protests as well. but c.i. hoped to have some entries saved to draft this week and that's not happened. last time when c.i. went to d.c. to protest the inaugurartion, there were drafts in advance. there was kat pitching in on those days with new posts and c.i. just did the 1st post of the mornig on the new york times.

kat's going to the protests as well. she's not going to be able to fill in. no 1 is because quite frankly, we're all going.

i've suggested folding star. fs would probably do it and fs would do a great job. but folding star shut down a winding road and c.i. doesn't think it's fair to ask for that reason.

but here's my point. you may end up with the site going dead. you'll get your morning entry. that may be all you get during that weekend. so it's really time to stop complainging about things that are not even highlighted at the site.

before anyone starts wondering, the plan is for a third estate sunday review to still go up. and everyone's tossing out ideas for that right now. ideally, we'll all be able to participate since we'll be in d.c. and a number of us will have laptops. but there are going to be a lot of activities and we're all trying to figure out how we can pull of the edition for that weekend.

now at the same time, c.i. is determined to keep the common ills up and active. that will only happen if c.i.'s not dealing with nonsense. and to write c.i. about what blogger is saying is nonsense.

they are the ramblings of a drunken, aged gun fighter who has lost his glory.

write that blogger if you want to discuss your problem. or write something to go up at the common ills.

but quit pushing it off on c.i. there's too much already going on.

this was supposed to be the week of the confirmation hearings. one way or another, by now it would all be over. ava, elaine and c.i. have given so much time to mobilizing and getting the word out on that. this was supposed to be a return to a quieter phase. that didn't happen. the hearings start next week. and there's not time to deal with a blogger who's determined to destroy himself on top of every other issue c.i.'s addressing.

about the call last night. i kept thinking about a mention c.i. had made about a new site and thought, why the suspense? i thought elaine was mentioned, is she starting a blog? when i spoke to c.i. (whose entire meal that day consisted of a bag of funyons eaten on the run), i asked and was told elaine had started a blog already.

that's why her site was on my blogroll last night.

i'm very happy she started. i'm not mad that i was in the dark. when elaine's brother came back, he's in banking and had been out of the country for 18 months at that point, i let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party elaine had planned. i'm not real good with secrets.

mike deserved the exclusive. everyone seems to have stayed with this site while i was on vacation (smart move) so you obviously enjoyed elaine's writing. (smart people) make sure you check out her site.



starting later than I planned tonight because i had to catch up with some friends. i did see them at the party labor day but i had about eighty people over. after a month & a 1/2 away, i really needed to reconnect. i'm reconnecting with the readers too. i'm working my way backwards through the e-mails. bear with me on that because there are a lot of e-mails.

i'm also not going to be c.i. bless c.i. but i will not put everything on hold to go through the e-mails, nor will i reduce my nightly sleep to 90 minutes or less to read them. like jim, i believe that what goes up here comes 1st.

i have a wonderful gift from jess. he burned me off a cd of some music he's been working on. he will say 'playing with.' and worry that his mother will get her hopes up. i'm in agreement with his mother. the country has too many reporters (most of whom ...) and jess is so talented. i would pay money for this cd he burned off. he's like jack johnson but a lot deeper.

my plan for tomorrow is just to hang around here, eat some clam chowder, catch democracy now! but otherwise just listen to jess's cd and otis blue while trying to grasp how much this situation, i mean the victims of the hurricane who became victims of the bully boy, is harming our nation.

when we allow one group to be spit on because of race, we're denying our humanity.

i was on the phone with c.i. early this morning and we were talking about how the media portrayals made the victims the others, portraying them as savages that needed a strong hand.
people need a helping hand but this administration doesn't know how to help. they know how to aim guns. they know how to treat people as less than human.

i was out of the country on my vacation and the more violent the nature of the story, such as looting, the more it got play in the media. i'm assuming it was the same here.

i'm also disgusted by the lack of accountability on bully boy's part and the notion that he can't investigate himself. his administration failed. we need an independent investigation.

this is just like 9/11 all over again. he won't take accountability. they keep trotting out that they had no idea. they keep trying to turn our nation into a police state. and their only answer to anything is military.

i'm also really concerned about the rebuilding because, and democracy now! has done a great job covering this, the rebuilding will most likely focus on the wealth and on bringing in money. it won't focus on the people who lost the apartment or the house that they didn't have insurance on. it's as though bloomberg was able to recreate new york city into an all white city.

and now fema's saying no photos of the dead bodies. it's just like hiding the coffins coming here from iraq. there is no accountability, there are only illusions under the bully boy. it's disgusting.
not only do we need to see the bodies, bully boy should have to be on camera, live, watching the bodies be carried off.

make sure you check out kat's review of joan baez's bowery songs. it's a great review and buy the cd because it's a great cd. i've been listening to 'silver daggers' over and over on repeat while i've been writing this. i'll be listening to this tomorrow as well. you would too if you purchased it because it's a great cd.


what kind of country do you want to live in?

did you see this at the common ills?

Ruth asked that a special broadcast of KPFK's Sojourner Truth be noted. Sojourner Truth, hosted my Margaret Prescod, regularly airs Monday through Friday from seven to eight in the morning, Pacific Time. There will be a special broadcast from four to five (Pacific time) this afternoon. Ruth listened this morning and thinks the reporting on New Orleans was "skilled and important and exploring the role of race in the aftermath" and advises members who are interested and able to tune in that they should catch this broadcast. (6-7 p.m. central time, 7-8 pm eastern) If you're in the Los Angeles area, 90.7 on the FM radio dial, and everyone can listen over the web by going to the KPFK home page.

i'm having no luck hearing this. the stream keeps stopping. they have a lot of options for listening and when it's dropped off, i've gone to another choice.

i think it's an amazing discussion but i'm going to bail because now i can't even get a stream to start. hopefully that means that a lot of people are trying to listen.

here's what i was able to hear so far. prescod has people on who saw it first hand. there's no point to pretty it up, they're just telling what they saw. of course, it's not part of the 'official record' because it's not printed in the new york times and it's not on cnn so i'm sure a lot of people won't hear it. i really wanted to note it for that reason because this is reality. and people can be blind to it and pretend like the program's not addressing what it is or like it's not a record of what has happened. they can pretend all they want but that won't change reality.

a man named curtis spoke of what he saw and this is a record. what prescod's doing is a record. it may not be the 1 that makes every 1 comfortable or feel good but that only makes it all the more important. the bits i heard (and sorry for not knowing curtis's last name) were very powerful as curtis spoke of how the boats would pass by with african-americans waiting for help, the boats would just pass by and head to another part of town, a white part of town.

i hope a number of people were listening because this is a dialogue we all need to be taking part in. if you're african-american, you probably grasp that more than i ever could. but for white's to put this off as a 'black thing' is for them to assume that the country is by them, for them and about them. we are a multi-cultured, multi-racial, multi-ethnic nation. we need to address issues of racism and not run from them. in the case of new orleans and other areas effected by hurricane katrina, when minorities (african-american in this case) are receiving substandard treatment it effects everyone because it effects the country.

the 'let's all pull together' spirit needs to be about us, all of us. not about supporting some bully boy. bully boy will be gone in 3 years (count the days with me) and he will have continued to do his best to rip our nation apart and to have turned us against 1 another.

instead of mocking the very real crisis that a group of people have found themselves (1 that seems planned or aided), we need to open our eyes and look at what's going on in our country.
is this okay with you? it's not okay with me. this doesn't represent what i want to stand for.

pull together, by all means, to understand and help each other. don't pull together in ignorance. don't pull together to dismiss tough questions or issues you don't want to acknowledge. ask yourself what kind of country you want to live in?

if, like me, you want this nation to be better, to be more, you're going to have start listening to others when they raise issues. and you need to be raising them yourself.


i'm back, did you miss me?

this is the part in the book not returned
where i'm going to come and save the day
did you miss me?
did you miss me?

yes, i'm back!

and kenny, an old friend, 'double dog' dared me to start with courtney love's 'hero' (off her america's sweetheart cd -- put in so kat and c.i. don't rag my ass over leaving that out).

well what's what guys and gals?

is elaine not the total bomb? did she not blow you away? i knew she would.

she did an amazing job so give it up for my girl Lanie!

i'm doing my best to get her off her lazy ass and doing her own site.

when i got back yesterday, i read some of the e-mails and 1 of the funniest was from a guy who felt that elaine and i couldn't be friends because we're so damn different.

well mr. know it all, you're right, we aren't friends. we're best friends.

and we're not all that different but whatever.

elaine's the coolest and she has a standing invite to blog here whenever she feels the need. (but mike, i am really pushing her to do her own site.)

let me blow mike's upcoming exclusive interview by explaining that elaine doesn't think she has the time to blog every day. that's her big concern guys. she's not talking 7 days a week, she means monday through friday.

so let her know that's not a problem. and that it's no big deal if she does a long entry or just a paragraph when she writes.

i'm back and you can write her care of sexandpoliticsandscreeds@yahoo.com or you can write her care of common_ills@yahoo.com and she'll get it. (or if you wrote while i was on vacation, you do have her personal e-mail address because she wrote everyone back so use that.) i told her we need more voices (yeah, i stole from c.i.).

at the party today, i followed a suggestion mike made on the phone last night and made sure the tv was on when democracy now! was on. there was a lot of discussion about the show so hopefully we made some converts today.

what did i do on my break? i lay by the beach, i drank fruit drinks (with and without alcohol), i got a great tan, i did some deep thinking, i followed the news through this incredible community that we are all apart of by checking the common ills, mikey likes it!, thomas friedman is a great man, kat's korner and the third estate sunday review. (i also checked cedric's site but i have news on that at the end so hold on there.)

sometimes, if i saw something that i needed more on from democracy now! on one of the sites, i'd go there and listen. i couldn't watch because there was a streaming problem that was probably my laptop.

and knuckle heads, it wasn't like i was gone the whole time. elaine posted a message from me and passed on things, i participated in a roundtable at the common ills, and i helped out the third estate sunday review. so to tommy who feels i just blew off the 'entire summer,' i wish!

did you catch 'nyt: what can the times do about todd s. purdum's smelly jock strap?'? elaine saw that 1st. i was checking the crab cakes and making sure everything was ready when she hollers for me to come over to the computer. we howled until our eyes were running. it's hilarious.

i'm working my way through all the e-mails so give me time. i will note what i already had here thanks to elaine posting it: the wrong men are wearing speedos. if you got a jelly belly that hangs over, speedos are not the look, guys. if you look as though your testicles have not yet descended, speedos are not the look.

don't they have mirrors in the changing rooms? in the women's stores you can't avoid those mirrors. maybe they make you were your underwear underneath while you're trying them on and some how boxer legs flying out of the speedo leg holes confuses you?

here's my advice, if you don't have a 6 pack or a might impressive package 1, then you're better off choosing another swim suit. here's my other beef: bicycle shorts, though sexy, are not swim wear. but i prefer them to the thing 1 guy was wearing that resmembled the head to foot nonsense so many guys at the summer olympics wore.

i'm really not into rubber. some people are. if you're dressing for your partner or mate and she or he likes your outfit (even a speedo you can't carry off) continue to do so. but if you're unattached, you might want to put a little more thought into your outfit.

i was hit on repeatedly and the first guys i eliminated were the 1s who didn't know how to dress on the beach. it's 1 piece of clothing. if you can't figure what 1 piece of clothing you should wear, how are we ever going to go out to eat?

i'm not 1 of those women who has time to take on a man as a project. i don't play mommy and pick your clothes for you. if you're that lost, and don't have the magnetism to pull it off as your own personal style, i don't have the time. so think about that the next time you rush into target or whever on your way to the beach to grab a swim suit.

i'm not saying you can't find something that suits you at target. you probably can. but it's not going to be the 1st thing you pull off the racks. put a little thought into it.

here's another tip. the ocean, though water based, is not a bath tub. it does not take the place of a morning shower. more importantly, since you're not carrying a bar of soap into the ocean with you, it only dampens your smell, it does not remove it. there was 1 guy who was about four years younger than me who hit on me every day for a week. and every day you could tell he showed up at the beach after tumbling out of bed after a hard night of partying. you could tell that by looking at him, you could tell that by the smell wafting from him. he was a good looking guy. (he was from england, not france before someone goes stereotypical and assumes it was a french guy.) booze, b.o. and cigarette smoke wafted from him.

not only did he mistake the ocean for a bath tub, he also twice asked me to put suntan lotion on him. suntan lotion on top of his stink. (i passed.)

so that's my next tip. before you go to a pool or the ocean, take a shower.

i have tips a plenty actually. when a woman tells you she's reading a book, she's reading a book. you've not interested her enough for her to put the book down. but these two men (americans) both thought that asking me 'what's the book about?' was some how the magic line. (i told them for 50 bucks i'd type them up a report and hand it to them tomorrow.)

here's a tip for the women. don't accept drinks from guys you aren't interested in. there was this woman from ohio who was so angry that a guy would not go away and she'd accepted 3 drinks from him 1 afternoon.

i don't buy into the nonsense of you buy me dinner, i put out. but i do think if you're accepting drinks, you are saying you are open to conversation. if you're not, send the drink back.

here's another tip for women. asking another women you've never met if 'those are real?' doesn't begin a beautiful friendship. 4 different women asked me 4 different times were 'they' real? yes, they are. but just as i expect a guy to look me in the eyes when he's talking to me, i expect a woman to open with hello, possibly throw in some chit-chat, before asking if 'they' are real.

here's another tip for women, that might help them avoid asking that question, if i'm flat on my back and my boobs are still in the same position, they would be fake. that's the thing about implants.

i think i'm out of tips so i'll just note the incredible editorial that the third estate sunday review did. i would've loved to have helped them this weekend but i was in the air during at least part of their session.

"Editorial: Let's play politics"
Like a really bad road company Rizzo, forgetting her blocking and stumbling around stage, Bully Boy spent most of last week singing "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" repeatedly and hitting the same three sour notes constantly.

As Lucy Bannerman notes in The Scotland Herald, "Bush pleads 'don't play politics' as blame lands at Washington." Bully Boy pleads it and a whiner calling into C-Span's Washington Journal all but spat at The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel of "being 90% negative." Ironically, vanden Heuvel had taken the high road (and remained on it).
We won't high road it here. It is playing politics? Is the truth political?
The truth is very political in any period but especially in a time when "up" is called "down," when fiction is passed off as reality.
How do you play the truth game in these distorted times? We'll do it by spitting out the obvious, Bully Boy is no leader. He can marshall the usual subjects to chant "we have to pull together!!!"
Those who see him as King George are more than happy to be loyal subjects.
Us, we've never forgotten that he's supposed to be working for us. And we'll pull together -- behind the truth. We won't, however, (to paraphrase Susan Sontag) all be stupid together.
What we saw last week was a national disaster hit New Orleans. And, just like on 9/11, the nation was left to await the Bully Boy's actions. And wait and wait. No one expected that he'd grab a shovel and dig in, please that family doesn't work (well, dirty work . . .) But we did expect that the former cheerleader would grab the pom-poms in some attempt to comfort the nation.
Didn't happen. We waited. We waited. And saw the dull witted Bully Boy respond in slow mo yet again. Which, by the way, is why we were never surprised to learn about the years of planning that went into the invasion of Iraq.
So truth telling involves stating the obvious, while the nation was in shock, while Americans were in disbelief that their own citizens could be referred to as "refugees." The nation's jaw dropped further as footage from New Orleans dominated the news cycles.
Truth telling involves faulting him for his lack of response to the nation and to the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Unlike Bill Clinton, he does not feel your pain, nor is he concerned with it.
Also slow in response was our national agencies. FEMA was rightly noted for its disgraceful behavior by Terry Ebbert, head of emergency operations in New Orleans, and for its late to dinner appearance in Mississippi. FEMA's response was a disgrace. Homeland Security, the much ballyhooed agency created under the Bully Boy's watch wasn't any better. So who's responsible?
We realize that basic question is a "political" one. It always is. But especially when you're dealing with an administration that's refused accountability regardless of the situation. Lies that took us into war? "Didn't happen." Smears against those who told the truth (and in the case of Valerie Plame, the spouse of someone who told the truth)? "It wasn't us." And when it turns out that, yes, indeed it was them? "We can't comment due to the ongoing investigation." 9/11?"No one could have guessed . . ." Condi's statement is the fallback for everything apparently."No one could have guessed."
And here's where it gets especially ugly, this truth telling, because in the case of the devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina, it could have been guessed, in fact it was predicted.
Bully Boy's not responsible for the hurricane hitting the United States. He is responsible for the lack of preperation, for the slow response and for ignoring the needs of the areas hit throughout his previous term.
Playing "politics?" Isn't that what got us into our current crisis?
Politics, not the hurricane is at the root of the current crisis. Politics determined who headed the agencies that should have been responding immediately. Politics determined which monies went where and which priorities were recognized and which weren't. Politics determined that the Bully Boy yet again pushing his privatization of Social Security in a state not hit by the hurricane was more important than his demonstrating to the public that he was actually on the job.
A natural disaster (the hurricane) hit the United States. That's about the only issue in this tragedy that's nonpolitical. The ignoring of preparation, the misguided budget policies, the lack of leadership and the lack of response are all political issues.
The Bully Boy's not beyond playing politics (he excells especially in dirty politics) but watch the goon squad come out and try to hush the questions and try to distort the truth. Why? Because the emperor has no clothes. After 9/11, they were able to silence important questions. They can't do it this time. The nation has grown weary of the politics coming out of the White House and we're not in the mood to play follow the faltering leader.
It's time for some accountability and that's the ugly truth.

[This editorial was written by the following: The Third Estate Sunday Review's Ty, Jess, Dona, Jim and Ava, C.I. of The Common Ills, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Kat of Kat's Korner, Elaine substituting for Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude and Mike of Mikey Likes It!]

great job! i love it. i laughed (rizzo! i love grease!) and i nodded in agreement.

let me note this from the common ills:

Roberts has yet to be confirmed (hearings start tomorrow -- and as Ruth noted Saturday, they will be carried live on Pacifica radio). Only a Bully Boy would think that Roberts is entitled to be elevated to Supreme Court Justice when he's yet to serve on the Court. It's the sort of thinking that allows a weak governor of a state where the governor's of little importance to think he's got the know how to run the nation -- and haven't we all seen how that's turned out?

tomorrow begins the slow crawl of the senate spineless. what? you thought i'd say march? to march, you need to be upright and, for that, you need a spine.

now for the cedric news. for those who wonder why i didn't note his site above it's because he's moved cedric's big mix as of today. i'll put it in the blog roll. check it out.