bye bye harrie

so harri miers is no longer a nominee? celibacy in the city ends it's run and you have to wonder, with the little resistance you saw to harri, if democrats are going to fight next time?

or will they again stand on the sidelines while harry reid vouches for harri miers? he was vouching for her again today. does he not get that america, right & left, felt she was unfit?

the only 1 who did anything was now and kim gandy. i saw a lot of sitting on the sidelines otherwise.

so i'm not real impressed with supposed brave voices.

sherry's not only unimpressed, she's flat out furious and thinks that if this is how the 'opposition party' is going to work we might as well just call off the 2006 elections because it's just a waste of money.

stacy e-mails to say she did talk about amy goodman's interview with janis kaprinski in all of her classes today. she said history and english class were the 1s where she found the most interest from teachers and the class.

stacy requested that i quote from the interview again.

AMY GOODMAN: So, 90% of the people at Abu Ghraib, though, not charged, brought in, just being held indefinitely.
COL. JANIS KARPINSKI: And I think it's important to separate the category of detainees that we're talking about. 90% of the security detainees, these so-called terrorists, associates of terrorists or individuals who may have information about terrorism, they are tagged as security detainees, and they're the ones who are being subjected to interrogation.
The other part of the population is the Iraqi criminal population, small – small crimes, non-violent crimes, looting, missing curfew. We had an effective release policy in place with my signature to release these prisoners after they had served an appropriate amount of time. And even in those cases, probably 75% or 80% of those individuals didn't have a piece of evidence in their file that would hold them or convict them in a U.S. court, but the security detainees, there was no release process -- effective release process in place for them.
AMY GOODMAN: The Geneva -- the ghost detainees, is this the only time you believe you broke the Geneva Conventions?
COL. JANIS KARPINSKI: Well, I will tell you that all of the prison facilities were right on the line, not in terms of how the prisoners were being treated, but the conditions were very austere. We were keeping prisoners in the outside camps only for as long as we needed to because the temperatures were 120 degrees, 140 degrees by noontime, so I would say that we were very close to being in violation of fair treatment and humane treatment of detainees.
AMY GOODMAN: Did you ever speak directly to Donald Rumsfeld?
COL. JANIS KARPINSKI: No, I -- Yes, he came to visit, and I expressed my concerns about the conditions in the prisons. I spoke directly to Ambassador Bremer nearly every week. I spoke to General Sanchez at least once every week, reported it in the updates and the night time briefings to General Wojdakowski, who was the deputy at CJTF-7, about the lack of funding, even the basic supplies: a basin for washing, a change of clothing, and the funding that was supposed to come from the prisons department at Ambassador Bremer's headquarters. We never saw one-tenth of the funds that we were supposed to receive. So, we were close to violating, but not for abuse or torture.

over at the daily jerk off he's still trashing joe wilson. does any 1 wonder where the daily jerk off gets its take on the news? i don't.

by the way, has any 1 else noticed that the daily jerk off hasn't mentioned the 2,000 milestone? hasn't discussed the way the press has covered, or not covered, it? besides sliming joe wilson yet again, he's, once again, back on election 2000. does the daily jerk off not grasp that wars are waging? or does he enjoy sitting in his rocker, afghan under the chin, saying, 'gather round, kiddos, and i'll tell you about 5 years ago 1 more time'?

while the daily jerk off self-pleasured yet again, c.i. had a really strong commentary that i wanted to note:

As has been noted on Law & Disorder and Democracy Now!, you're talking about prisoners who've been held for years, with no trial and little hope of getting out. This is their way of protesting and taking action when no other action is left to them. We could do something about it (other than force feeding) but that would mean living by the prinicples our nation's supposed to stand for.
Instead, we lock people away without a trial and no hope of release. Then when they take one of the only stands left for them to take, we further the indignity by force feeding them. (After denying for months that a hunger strike was even going on.) What will future generations think when they look back on this?America, the supposed nation of rule of law, detained, imprisoned people with no trials (including children under the age of eighteen) and left them there. Kept them there with no end in sight.
Threw out the Constitution because, the administration argues, it doesn't apply to Guantanamo.
Nothing applies to Guantanamo, it's not part of the United States. If you buy that argument (I don't), what of the people working at Guantanamo? Are they not part of the United States? Are they not bound by the laws and principles of this country?
[. . .]
Let's note Amy Goodman's interview with Janis Kaprinski from yesterday's Democracy Now!:
JANIS KARPINSKI: The only person that I spoke to individually after General Miller's visit – briefing, his in-brief, that initial briefing, I went to find the JAG officer, the legal officer, lawyer, who was with General Miller, and she was -- I believe she was a major and she had been working down at Guantanamo Bay. So, I asked her, I said, "What are you doing about releasing the prisoners down at Guantanamo Bay?" And she said, "Ma'am, we're not releasing prisoners. Most of those prisoners are going to spend every last day of their lives at Guantanamo Bay. They're terrorists. We're not releasing them." And I said, "Well, what are you going to do? Fly their family members over to visit them?" She said "No, these are terrorists, ma'am. They don't get visits from home." And that was -- that was absolutely shocking, thinking about the fate of these, what we believed was, several hundred prisoners down there, 680 prisoners spending every last day of their lives at Guantanamo Bay, and particularly important because that meant that military police would be guarding them for the foreseeable future.There's a little truth that doesn't make the news, mainstream. "We're not releasing prisoners."
Are we really surprised that after several years with nothing, no trial, no end in sight, that people would decide that a hunger strike that could result in death was the last act open to them?

while the daily jerk off lectures you 1 more time about election 2000 and ignores the actual events of life today, it becomes more and more useless. i'll probably pull the daily jerk off from my links in the next few days. c.i. is always the optimist and keeps thinking that the daily jerker will get honest. i've lost faith in that.

i was just about to post when betty called. she just posted and was wondering if i'd read it and let her know what i thought? never a problem. it's hilarious as always. i want to pull the last paragraphs and quote those but i don't want to spoil something by risking that someone seeing the excerpt might not have already read it. but go read it.


few bad apples get punished while the tree that bore the fruit still stands

AMY GOODMAN: As we come to the end of this conversation, very much the tone of your book, of One Woman's Army," is that your were scapegoated. You feel, especially because you’re a woman, the only woman put in charge of a combat operation from the United States, and now you have been demoted. Do you feel that if others were demoted, if others were punished, who do you feel should be punished? What would be your list of names?
JANIS KARPINSKI: Well, we have to start at the very top, and the original memorandum directing interrogation -- harsher interrogation techniques and the departure from the Geneva Conventions starts at -- Alberto Gonzales was one of the people who made the recommendations to the President. I don't know if he talked about each detail of that departure or what that may imply, but I do know that the Secretary of Defense signed a very lengthy memorandum authorizing harsher techniques to be used in Afghanistan and specifically at Guantanamo Bay. This was the global war on terrorism. This was a prisoner of a different kind. You needed to get down at the same level as they were to be effective.
And those techniques migrated from Guantanamo Bay, with General Miller, to Iraq and were implemented at Abu Ghraib. So clearly, the Secretary of Defense; Secretary Cambone, his assistant who sent General Miller to Iraq with very specific instructions on how to work with the military intelligence people; General Fast, who was directing interrogation operations and giving instructions to Colonel Pappas on how to proceed and how to be more effective; General Sanchez, because this was his command, and he knew what General Fast was doing, and he knew what Colonel Pappas was doing, to the point that Colonel Pappas made a comment one time that he thought maybe he had a bruise on his chest because Colonel -- General Sanchez had repeatedly poked him in the chest telling him to “Get Saddam! Get Saddam!” and use whatever he needed to use to get the information.
AMY GOODMAN: If all of these people were punished, do you think it's fair that you are punished?
JANIS KARPINSKI: I would say that these soldiers, they were certainly assigned to a subordinate unit, and they are my responsibility, ultimately, yes. I think that they have been fair -- unfairly and unjustly held accountable for all of this, as if they designed these techniques, as if Lynndie England deployed with a dog collar and a dog leash. And that's unfair, and that's a tragedy in all of this. Should they be punished for doing what they did, for agreeing to do what they did? Absolutely, but singled out? No.

this is the interview i blogged about earlier today. the one that stunned my ex-husband, c.i. and myself. they did a partial translation earlier today but i'm too lazy to transcribe (c.i. did transcribe the section at democracy now. janis kaprinski is the guest for the hour and the topics include abu ghraib, guantanamo bay, torture, rumsfeld and much more.

this is an interview that should be required viewing, listening or reading for anyone concerned about what's going on in iraq. in fact, i'd go further, i'd argue that it should be required reading especially for those who don't bother to think about what's going on there.

who got blamed? lynddie england a few other enlisted. where did the orders come from? the top.

when is torture czar alberto gonazles going to be charged?

this is news and you won't hear about it from the online dylan who daily jerk off went up so late today that c.i. made a joke about it. the daily jerk off has ignored torture and prisoner abuse except to lecture katrina vanden heuvel, excuse me, to scold and ridicule her. because our online latter day dylan knows everything about ... nothing.

the daily jerk off has squirted substance from 1999 throughout the last few years when not trying to slime joe wilson. our big brave dylan wanna be couldn't inform you about anything that matters because he was so busy performing his greatest hits over and over. he stopped getting hits somewhere around feb. 2001 so in the years since, the daily jerk off has issued best ofs and remixes.

maybe before the daily scold attacks another person who's trying to speak out about something that truly matters today, he might want to ask himself if he shouldn't have shut down shop after all? it certainly would have saved him the embarrassment of selling out his integrity in the joe wilson case.

in the real world, things have been happening for the last four years, hideous things and he hasn't been there to tell the people. he's jerked off to 'al gore was slimed' over and over. and when a real issue came up, prison abuse or any thing else, he's trashed the people who dared leave his favorite narrative.

a list of those unfairly trashed would include: katrina vanden heuvuel, amy goodman, janeane garofalo and basically any woman.

today, while real news is all around, he's jerking off again to answer an e-mail and grab another chance at sliming joe wilson.

c.i.'s been holding the tongue waiting for the long promised change (and hoping it included a self-confession by the daily scold) but i'll tell you right now, reading the daily scold trash wilson yet again (with republican talking points, does any 1 else notice that?), i can't promise i'll hold my tongue.

but tonight's let's talk about the fact that justice is applied differently. those ordered to do the dirty business go to prison, those who give the orders are given a pass. that's very different from nuremberg where those handing out the orders were held accountable.

and maybe america's okay with it? maybe we're just wanting to rush home and watch lost and tune out to all news except for who got stabbed somewhere or shot somewhere and cluck our tongues over the violence?

while we can't afford to fund our schools or to help those in need, we can spend billions fighting this immoral war.

i was reading an interviews with studs terkel & howard zinn the other day (c.i. passed on the print version because they are not available online) and at 1 point (this is clamor magazine, by the way) the point is made that with the military buildup after wwii we turned away from
a chance to fund the people and increase our knowledge and opportunities. we continue to do that.

we always have money for the weapons and the military (though not for the the troops on the ground or their families) but give a tiny sliver to head start or another program that actually helps people and you get republicans screaming 'communism' or some other nonsense.

but our tax dollars can go towards killing and destruction and we're apparently all okay with that.

i'm on the phone with elaine and mike (and be sure to check their sites tonight) and elaine brought up tal afar and how there was a tendency to focus on hurricane katrina while people, innocent civilians, were being bombed in tal afar. we covered that in the third estate sunday review news reviews. that was an editorial decision. elaine, c.i., ava, dona and jess wouldn't have stood for it not being covered (and the rest of us agreed whole heartedly) but tal afar didn't get a lot of play in a lot of places. so is it that we're not concerned that we can fund slaughter?

we're all hitting in a different way tonight. elaine's focusing on those who make themselves useless. mike's focusing on how granting a pass to some reporters rewards the system of lies and deceit. i'm focusing on the fact that killing is going on.

i know my readers agree with me and are outraged. but what would really help is when you discuss this in your classes tomorrow, if you're in high school (or junior high, stacy is in 8th grade), or at work, or on campus at a college, or where ever, if you would hit hard on the interview amy goodman did with janis karpinski.

there is so much truth in that interview. and sadly it's truth that a lot of people have been able to avoid.

so please share that interview. talk it up. if someone's interested, show it to them. don't say, 'oh i'll send you the link' if they're next to you, pull it up on the computer right then and show it to them.

the only way this war ends is if we all get honest, all of us who care. a lot of people don't care. they're saying 'send more troops.' we need to counter those voices by getting the truth out there.

last thing (elaine got off the phone some time ago but mike and i could talk all night!), please read cedric's post from yesterday. i think he did a wonderful job. i know c.i.'s going to touch on that tonight and may have already. (it was in the long version of the mid-day post that would not post, c.i. and i both had trouble with our sites today.) inclusion means inclusion. there's no way around it. i know cedric wishes he had found another thing to say and isn't pleased with the post but i think it's great and it's from the heart - you can't ask for more.

do not miss democracy now today

just a heads up and you know i don't usually blog during the day.

but c.i. called and asked, 'rebecca, did you see democracy now?' i did. i'll watch it again on link tv later today. my ex and i were watching while we drank our coffee. i saw who the guest was on the common ills this morning (thanks rod), janice karpinski and we were both curious about this interview.

'did you hear that?' and 'oh my god' were the two most repeated comments during the broadcast.

c.i. called about the interview (and to make sure that i knew i had gotten the name of robert parry's lost history wrong so i could correct it) and you have to watch this interview.

it's not up yet at democracy now but it will be later.

if you can't watch it, you can listen to it or read it online. you can also check to see if there's a station in your are that broadcasts democracy now either on radio or tv or you can watch it on dish network or direct tv.

you get the doors 'unknown soldier' and sara thomsen during the breaks. i'm putting that in so that people are curious hopefully but also because i always mean to get the cd for sara thomsen when they play the 'and prove to me america that you care' but i never write down the artist's name when amy goodman gives it out. it's sara thomsen (and sherry, if you can remember, e-mail in a few days and ask me if i got it). we're taking the ferry in later today but if i can't find it, i'll order it online.

so here's the point, it's an important democracy now and you need to watch it or listen to it or read it. if there's no station in your area broadcasting democracy now, radio or tv, and you don't have a satellite, you can go to the website online

this was actually a long, long post.

why isn't it?

the whole damn thing got lost.

i click on 'publish post' and it looks like it's publishing but instead i'm taken to a screen to sign in.
my ex husband points out i worked an hour on a post and now it's lost and asks why i'm not screaming?

because the blogger program sucks and every 1 who uses it is getting pretty sick of it.

he asked why i still used it and says to pay for a site. i could do that. c.i.'s considered it, especially with the third estate sunday review problems when publishing, but dyi, do it yourself, is the attitude here.

the common ills has resulted in 9 official spin offs (there are also unofficials 1s, usually focused solely on the visual arts) and that's because it inspires people. moving to a for pay site might make some people think 'i can't do it.' the whole point is that you can do it.

so for now, we all grit our teeth when the blogger program destroys our work.

a lost entry is a pain in the ass but the chance that it might inspire some 1 makes it worth it.

as c.i. always says 'we need more voices, not less.'

back to democracy now, the interview is explosive.

you have to watch.

corporate media doesn't serve you.

so if you're not sure if democracy now is broadcast in your area click here. that's a list of tv stations and radio stations broadcasting the program. in addition, you can watch or listen or read transcripts online.

community member charlie has his own computer now. however, before that happened, as he shared at the common ills, i'm not telling secrets, he was dependent upon his library and there was a time limit (15 or 20 minutes i think) for how long you could be on. he couldn't watch or listen. but he could read the transcripts. so if you're in a situation like charlie was, go to the site and read the transcripts.

democracy now makes it's headlines each day available in spanish and english, in audio and text so get the word out on that. maria, miguel and franciso make a point to run down those headlines each weekend, choosing ten or eleven, to help get the word out.

spanish speaking corporate media is still corporate media. we need to get the word out.

if you've ever wondered about democracy now but never checked it out, today is the day to check it out.

this was a longer post before but i don't have another hour to spend on it.

i will be blogging later today. check out democracy now.


rosa parks and thoughts on death

i hate noting deaths. but this one is important and needs to be noted. i've seen a lot online and on tv, i'll go with this from democracy now:

Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks 1913-2005
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has died at the age of 92. It was 50 years ago this December that she refused to relinquish her seat to a white man aboard a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested and convicted of violating the state's segregation laws. Her act of resistance led to a 13-month boycott of the Montgomery bus system that would spark the civil rights movement. The boycott would also help transform a 26-year-old preacher named Martin Luther King Junior to national prominence. In 1958 King wrote "no one can understand the action of Mrs. Parks unless he realizes that eventually the cup of endurance runs over, and the human personality cries out, 'I can take it no longer.''' Parks had been involved in the fight for freedom since the 1940s. She was active in the NAACP, helped raise money to defend the Scottsboro rape case and attended trainings at the Highlander Folk School of Tennessee. The Rev. Jesse Jackson said yesterday ''She sat down in order that we might stand up. Paradoxically, her imprisonment opened the doors for our long journey to freedom.'' Henry Louis Gates Jr called her "the Harriet Tubman of our time." After he was freed from jail Nelson Mandela recalled how Parks had inspired him and others in the South African struggle against apartheid. We'll have more on Rosa Parks in a few minutes.

why do i hate noting deaths? why should this 1 be noted?

let's deal with the second question 1st. this is a big deal. rosa parks is historically important and signficant. and i think we say who we are by what we choose to note at our sites. i can't imagine that any site on the left would not note this death but i've gotten e-mails on it and spoken with cedric who also got e-mails about this.

i can't fathom why a so-called left site would feel this wasn't news.

did the death have to happen in february (black history month) to get noticed? that's what t asked me when she called today. she also asked if i was going to note rosa park's passing? of course. it was never a question.

she's a symbol of so much: civil rights, activism, the struggle for equality, the power of taking a stand, just go down the list.

t told me that she was surfing the net this morning and was shocked by how many were taking a pass on rosa parks' death. i asked her what time she went into the salon and she didn't have to be in until noon. she said she spent hours searching and 'largely in vain.'

was it news at the salon? yeah. t said all the women were talking about it, regardless of race.

i asked t what 1 thing she would want to say about rosa parks was?

'that she held up a light that showed a problem and let us follow her out of the darkness.'

i told t i thought that was beautiful but t said it was nothing any 1 who thought about it wouldn't say.

so what's the next rosa parks going to be illuminating?

t said she hopes it's the issue of sexuality because it's still 'something hidden. you guys got will & grace but we really don't have anything like that. there are plenty of gay and lesbian african-americans but it's like we don't exist in ads and tv. maybe every 1 thinks the guy on spin city should tide us over for the next decade?'

t feels that the slice of time given to african-americans is already tiny and when it comes to sexuality 'or disabilities' there's even less time.

we shared stories about learning about rosa parks in school and t said she thought 1 reason kids liked rosa parks before they even knew much about her was due to her name. 'rosa parks.' 'every 1 likes parks and roses are beautiful flowers. the name captured the peaceful nature of parks we learned about and the beauty.'

t said 1 woman's whose hair she did had been crying. it was a white woman. she shared with t that she was in high school when rosa parks took her stand and that it made her think a lot about whether or not the american dream was really a dream for all.

t and i talked about how the awakening effect rosa parks had on the country crossed racial lines and t offered that if bill clinton were in office there wouldn't have been hesitation or delay in clinton making a statement the way bully boy drug his feet most of the day. she also thinks the media would have taken their cue from clinton and done the kind of coverage that democracy now did today. this wasn't just a headline on democracy now, amy goodman & co dug into the archives to find an interview from 1956 to let you hear rosa parks talk about her experiences in something more than a brief sound byte. and then john conyers jr. was a guest and he spoke of rosa parks who helped with his 1st campaign for congress and then went on to work on his congressional staff.

t said she saw the news at the common ills last night because she doesn't own a tv. her tv blew out in 2002 and the fact that the big networks seemed stuck in the sitcom mode when it came to african-americans made her decide there were other ways to spend her money. she listens to democracy now on the radio and otherwise surfs the web and listens to music.

i asked her what she listened to today? she said the soundtrack to lady sings the blues because the news brought her down and the soundtrack seemed to reflect her mood. she said when she saw the thing at the common ills, she started hitting the links sure that c.i. had to have the facts wrong. when she read the 2nd link, she put on lady sings the blues and except for the hour she listened to democracy now, that's all she played nonstop. she even took it to the salon and popped it in there.

i could relate because i've been in an otis blue mood myself. but i pointed out that there were upbeat songs on lady sings the blues too. like 't'ain't nobody's bizness if i do' and 'what a little moonlight can do.' t said those were the songs that kept her from nonstop tears.

of the sites, by white bloggers, that didn't feel rosa parks' deaths was important, t asked me if i thought the people even had african-american friends? i don't know those people so i said i didn't know. she said that it's bad enough that they couldn't relate to the accomplishments of rosa parks but it was really shocking that, if they had any nonwhite friends, they wouldn't even toss out something, a line even, just to note it for them.

cedric is furious. i urge every 1 to check his site for a post he's going to work on as soon as he's 'calm.'

here's the reason i don't like to note deaths, or reasons. i'm never sure what to say. i always feel awkward and worry i'll say the wrong thing. that's 1 reason.

then there's the fact that with each rosa parks or susan sontag, we lose another brave voice. rosa parks last few years weren't 1s of good health but she was alive and she stood for something even if her health limited her. i start thinking about how people like howard zinn, gloria steinem, studs terkel, julian bond, and other brave voices are getting on up in the years. these days, these bully boy days, we really need all the inspiration and all the leadership we can get. we don't get it from congress.

c.i. will point to people like naomi klein, dahr jamail, susan faludi, nancy chang, rebecca walker and a host of others. (truly, it's a long list.) and those people do exist. but each voice lost is all the more painful to me because these are days when we need every 1.

i'll talk about robert parry for a 2nd because e-mails have come in on him since c.i. noted that i had met robert parry.

i did. i was married at the time so don't expect to hear 'and then we hit the sack and he was amazing!' (though i'm sure he's amazing.) robert parry was some 1 i heard much of and when some 1 said he was at the hotel and offered to point him out and introduce my then husband and i, my husband was all for it. i was already nervous.

now i can meet an actor or singer or anyone and rarely get tongue tied. (i would get very tongue tied if i met gloria steinem.) i can tell you stories about u2 that i'm purposely tying my tongue on (though i've shared them with kat). (personally, i can take adam clayton. the rest of them? like i said, i can take adam clayton.)

so we were walking over and i was already nervous. then, as we got closer, i realized he looks exactly like my father in some older photographs. i couldn't go through with it. i just stood at a distance and watched. my ex-husband got to say hello and he reported that robert parry seemed really nice. i'm sure he was really nice.

but even then, and this was a few years back, i was aware that robert parry wasn't 28 and aware that no 1 had come along in the mainstream media with his kind of fire for the truth. my father, and i'm not saying robert parry is old enough to be my father, had just had surgery and i was already intimidated because it was robert parry, seeing his resemblence to my father only freaked me out more.

robert parry's probably got many, many decades left (he's not old) but the fact that you can look around and see no 1 in the mainstream doing what he did at newsweek or associated press makes him even more important to me. (1 summer, i lived on his lost history book. that summer alone, i read it too many times to count.) (when ava told me she had written him, i was in awe of her. i'm not joking.) (my ex-husband still says that if i hadn't been married and hadn't been with him, i could have talked to robert parry and more - figure that out on your own - but with my 'sexual powers' on hold, his words, i was at a loss.)

when you start following events in the world, you start realizing how few people even try to tell the truth. that's why robert parry ranks so highly in my book. in the independent media world, which he is in now, amy goodman ranks highly as well.

i don't know if the corporate media got so strong and entrenched that no new robert parry can come out of it or if people just don't feel the need to battle for the truth now? but robert parry battled a time when people were taking huge passes. i have a lot of respect and admiration for him. (and if i met him today, i'm sure i would still be tongue tied.)

fyi, i'll be posting later for a period of time. i don't know how long. but i'm having sex with my ex currently and we're spending a great deal of time together. don't read that as announcement that we're getting back together. as i see it, we fell back into an old pattern, if there's something new that can be built there, great but i'm not going to act 15, no offense to my teenage readers, and act like 'oh we're in love again!' (we never stopped caring for each other but the marriage broke up for a reason, i've noted that here, if we're able to deal with 1 another honestly, great. if not, he was always a great lover and a great guy so it's worth my time for those reasons alone.)

he knows he'll pop up here and says his parents can get over it and i can write anything, good or bad, about him. but for those who've wondered why the sex talk has been less of late it's because i didn't want to post on that for fear that some would say 'oh happy ending!' or some such thing.

so here's another reason and i really don't want to type it, on why i don't like noting deaths, when c.i. had the cancer scare it really screwed up my world. i can't imagine a day when i don't call c.i. at least once to gripe or laugh about something. i feel the same way about elaine, we've all been friends for years. but, knock wood, elaine hasn't had any health problems thus far other than a root canal which she put off forever so if you ever e-mail her about that tell her that i told her that was what she needed when she kept making excuses not to go see a dentist.

there are people who are your touchstones and you know that just checking in with them is going to make the world a little better. c.i. loathes talking on the phone in long conversations but it's a testament to our friendship that i can tie c.i. up on the phone for an hour before getting the 'this conversation has been a long 1' hint.

i couldn't stand to lose c.i. or elaine. we go back so far. there are times, confession here, when i meet some 1 and, if i get along with them, after i think how wonderful they are, and this is true of when jim and i first started becoming friends, i'll start preparing myself for the possibility that death could come. elaine tells me i'm goldie hawn in best friends because goldie's always picturing her parents death in that film to deal with what will come.

i just don't handle death well. and we'll leave the analysis of that to elaine (who's given me plenty of psycho-analyzing on this subject over the years).

so let's find something bright to go out on. did you know elaine and i hate each other?

i didn't. elaine didn't either. but she had an e-mail where some guy claimed that he had figured us out and we hated each other.


because we're not always plugging each other on our sites.

i actually asked elaine, and every 1 else, not to note my site if they could note some 1 else in the community instead. i do pretty good with my readership and there are so many members who've just started up sites.

as for elaine, i probably haven't mentioned her that much. when i got back from my vacation, john roberts got confirmed and i went into a depression over that. so elaine didn't get the kind of build up that i honestly would have liked to have given her.

but readers here had 6 weeks to see how wonderful she was and i think they all know how close elaine and i are. i'm less prone to reveal her secrets than i am c.i.'s but that's because elaine's shy. c.i.'s just private. with elaine, i will stop to think, 'is this something she would want discussed?' with c.i. i just throw it up here and know if it pisses c.i. off, i'll hear about it and then it will be over.

that really is the key with c.i. and i think i've noted that before. c.i. is 1 of those people who will get out and then let it go. (which is why each day there can be hope for the new york times even though the previous day the new york times proved itself worthless yet again.) ge it out and it's over.

2 weeks ago, c.i. asked me to note something here and i did and noted that c.i. asked for it to be noted. but the conversation started with, 'can i ask you something' and i thought 'oh crap what did i write this time?'

with elaine, she lost both her parents not long after we became friends and that's part of the reason she's shy, my opinion and i'm not the psychologist so take that for what it's worth, but she is shy and i probably register those months after her parents die to this day when i think of her. with c.i. it's another story.

i've known c.i. to be depressed, really deeply depressed, only twice. 1 time was a death and elaine and i have both noted that, the other time was a party. it was this wonderful party or would have been but warring factions put an end to that and c.i. called it off. the night of the party that wasn't was the most depressed i've ever known c.i. 'took the bed' comes to mind. and the party was actually symbolic of more than 'let's all have fun' but i won't say more because i don't need the call that begins, 'can i ask you something?'

but otherwise, c.i. never gets down. c.i. gets tired but even then, c.i.'s the 1 talking you up or finding the silver lining. there's a mutual friend that we have, who doesn't blog, and we were both at the hospital five years ago when her daughter needed surgery. i'll call her x. it wasn't a good time for x. her daughter was having surgery and the cat died the day before. c.i. can take on anyone's problems and did. empathy to the extreme but even so we were all laughing after 20 minutes and c.i. made that transition happen.

which is another reason i'm always on the phone with c.i. unlike x, i'm not asking, 'what's our position on this?' (x really does call whenever she hears something on the news to find out what 'the position' is.) but if things get a little too tough to handle, i always know i can get a quick fix from a quick call to c.i.

thinking about all of this, i never think before i start writing as i'm sure most of my readers can tell, i really think elaine and her brother's reaction to their parents death registered strongly. as it should. but i think seeing the pain they were in, and elaine was still in high school, made me even more wary of death. or scared of it. let's call it what it is, scared of it.

i'm glad wally's safe and i'll note that i need to add corrente to my blogroll. i'm sorry but until sherry pointed it out an e-mail today i didn't know that they linked to me. i'll put them on the blogroll tomorrow. i would do it tonight but i have ... plans.

thanks to c.i. for catching the title of parry's book. i had it wrong. it was lost history. let me do a disclaimer because i don't think c.i. knew i'd be mentioning: c.i.'s pointing out a flaw in a book title does not in any shape or form mean that c.i. feels my recollections are correct in other areas. you should laugh now.


watchdog daily and behind the scenes on it

sherry e-mails asking me why i haven't made a comment on 'our latter day, online dylan.' sherry, what makes you think i haven't?

elaine has made a public comment as has wally and wally and mike were very public in their interview. however, if you think this is just about what went up at that site, you're mistaken. c.i. is biting the tongue on this as am i, for now. if you're in the dark, look to elaine. she knows from conversations with c.i. and i. that's not to put down mike or wally and they raise valid issues about the content dylan posts; however, there's a backstory. it goes back a bit. and that's all i'll say for now because we really did think that, as c.i. has put up at the common ills, dylan would get honest. that hasn't happened.

so what i'll do instead is repost the watchdog and talk to you about that. this is from the third estate sunday review. in the note to the readers, jim noted this:

A piece we did get up that we worked many hours on (seriously, we debated and argued over each and every word, pretty much) is another humorous look at the watchdog you all know. We think Watchdog Daily stands with our earlier parody and that you'll laugh when you read it.

i say jim because although they all toss out things, and usually ava and c.i. are the parentheticals, jim's chiefly responsible for the note. he decides what goes in and what doesn't.

and we did fight over every word. which chiefly means running to ava and c.i. and betty to ask, 'is this funny?' they can write funny. i make no claim to be able to. sometimes i'll have something funny up here but that's the exception and not the rule.

so say, this didn't happen, ty says 'make suzy q. choke on a vegetable!' then everyone's tossing around ideas and if we get a funny 1 on our own, we then shoot it over to the laugh trio and they'll work it.

c.i. can punch up lines and make them hysterical and has had that gift forever and a day. so, and this is a real example, jim came up with a line about little debbie snack cakes but the snack cakes were at the front of the line. and they were funnier at the end of the line. jim wasn't convinced and read both versions aloud before he agreed with the little debbie snack cakes coming at the end.

i remember a stand up comic, this is many years back, trying to work in a joke about ireland and c.i. kept telling him that 'dublin' was a laugh getter but 'belfast' wasn't due to the way 'dublin' sounds. the advice was asked for but not used in the first performance and the line fell flat. he was up there grinning at the audience that was just sitting there in silence. they had been laughing along until that line. for the 2nd performance, he took c.i.'s advice and changed it to dublin and this time the laughs didn't stop.

i don't pretend to understand why some words are funny and why they aren't.

when we were working on it ava and c.i. both said '4 items.' there was a desire to do many items and at an earlier time, that was done. but they felt we should commit to 4 items and work on them. we did. we worked on that longer than we've ever worked on anything before. wally and mike had the idea to do a blog report on cat blogs (read their interview and you'll understand why) because they thought that was indicative how useless the blog report by the watchdog often is.

so that required a bit of research and it was ava or c.i. who came up with wheaton. i think c.i. came up with the 'aren't we all, will, aren't we all?' line.

but you would not believe how much time went into that. of the things we've worked on lately, that's probably the best. s.l. gets an exemption because c.i. knows s.l. and wanted that in there or no participating.

so that's part of the back story. here's another part, the thing that will explain why we decided on the parody in the first place:

"Other Items"
Eli suggests that Eddie check out Stephen Labaton's "
A Bill Advancing Digital TV Is Approved by Senate Panel." Here's the most important sentence in the article:

More than half of homes now have no digital signal and no intention to get one, according to Stewart Wolpin, an analyst at Points North Group, a research and consulting firm.

Why do I say it's the most important? Because no one wants to comment on it, let alone mention it. That includes a "brave" watchdog that's pissed Eddie off -- we don't link to it -- because they did a rah-rah, "New World Coming" report that forgot to mention that for a significant portion of Americans, the new world isn't coming.
The article is a typical Times' article meaning it sucks up to big business (and doesn't discuss the Times' own interest in the legislation -- maybe Labaton is unaware of the Times' TV division?). But buried deep in the article is a fact that "brave" watchdog took a pass on.
This is going to be a big issue to people in some areas, to the poor and the working poor in all areas. Right now you want to watch Desperate Housewives (I wouldn't recommend it, but to each their own), you turn on the TV. You don't need cable, you don't need satellite. You turn on the TV and watch for free.
As the industry abandons analog and moves to digital, it will be a huge issue for a significant portion of Americans. But no one wants to talk about that. No one wants to acknowledge that even if we had a good economy (we don't, we have a Bully Boy economy) a lot of people would be left out of "the revolution."
(Again, we do not link to them. Members know whom I'm referring to. It's been addressed in the round-robin and in an editorial two or three Sundays ago at
The Third Estate Sunday Review. But for any visitor that gets easily lost, on our permalinks, you'll find the watchdog groups FAIR -- including the radio program CounterSpin -- and Media Matters. I'm not referring to either.)

hopefully that brings everyone up to speed. now here's the piece:

Watchdog Daily"

We felt it was time for another parody of the watchdog.

Stroking ourselves, so you don't have to

Joys of the Digital Age!
by Village Idiot

Well there's a revolution 'a coming people!!! Coming for to carry you home (got to pick up those 'vangical voters!!!!), coming for to carry you home!

As digital replaces analog, the most important question of the day is: How big a flat screen TV should I buy?

I was at the JVC trade show (cool people, they set you up "pretty") this weekend and the guy with the clip-on tie, Roy, who steered me to a flat screen he sold me at 40% off told me that the digital revolution will be "totally cool." Well he's the expert, right?

It will be totally cool. I can watch Basic Instinct for the fortieth time but it will be like brand new since I'll be able to really check out Sharon Stone's boobs and Michael Douglas' butt!

Well not Douglas' butt. I never look at a guy's butt. Sharon Stone's boobs. Yeah, that's what I'm into. I'm a boob. A boob man, I mean.

And Roy told me that the flat screen he sold me is a "total sex magnet." He said I'll have to beat them with off a stick which is what I have. But I'm not sure how everyone will know I have the flat screen TV?

I'm thinking of taking a photo of it and then making the photo a transfer and then ironing it on t-shirt and then wearing the t-shirt to the clubs so that everyone can see it and appreciate the kind of manly man I am. But just writing the previous sentence was a lot of work! To actually do what I wrote about might strain my gentle sensibilities or at least prevent me from catching and enjoying the Alf marathon.

I'll close by noting what a wonderful country we live in when everyone will soon have digital TVs, everyone who matters. As for the rest of you, piss off.

The Ice Cream Truck
by Suzy Q

PBS's Generically Bland Spokesperson spoke with me today about the pressing issues of today and you know it is current because I've already used "today" twice in this sentence! Woops!Three times!
Suze: There is a feeling that PBS has tilted rightward. How do you respond to that?

GBS: We need money, lots and lots of money. For a pledge of $300, on our easy checks plan, we can get you a mug with PBS on it.

Suze: Oh I love mugs! I'm dieting so I've started putting my ice cream in mugs instead of bowls or just eating it straight out of the carton. Isn't $300 a lot for one mug.

GBS: Not when you consider the quality program we provide you with year in and year out. You have seen our Suze Ormis specials, right?

Suze: No. I got burned by informericals back in the days of Susan Powder. Everytime she'd scream, "Stop the madness!" I'd drop my Ho-Hos and burst into tears because I thought she was speaking to me. Mommy would say, "Suze, she is on the TV, she can't get you." But I was a big girl with buck teeth, bad breath and acne that frequently sprouted strands of hair so my active imaginary life was all that I had.

GBS: For $500 we can get you a mug and a paper napking featuring Maya & Miguel.

Suze: About that. My Spanish isn't too good but I've learned a few things from my years of ordering off the Taco Bell menu. Shouldn't the title be: Maya y Miguel?

GBS: For $600 Gwen Ifill will call you on the phone to wish you happy birthday. For $700, you can block all calls from Gwen Ifill.

Suze: I think I prefer the $700 option. So what's with all the cooking shows? I watch those sometimes but they make me so hungry. Not everyone cooks. You should have eating shows.Everyone eats!

GBS: Did you want to pay the $700 in one lump sum or sign up for our easy-checks plan?

Suze: You know what else I wonder? Why doesn't PBS have any programs I care about? Like there's the Dancing Baby. He was real popular on Ally McBeal and now the show's gone so why can't PBS give him a special? I'd watch.

GBS: This is a dancing baby?

Suze: Damn skippy. Best dancing baby in the world.

GSB: Could we make it a dancing fetus? If we could make it a dancing fetus we could probably get money from James Dobson to underwrite the program.

Suze: Could it still wear a diaper?

GSB: Provided it had an umbilical cord attaching it to the mother, yes.

Suze: That is so cool! I'm like a PBS programmer or something. Hey dig me, everybody! And the Manny thought he was so damn all that for leaving. I'm a part of the PBS family --

GSB: When you honor your pledge of $700 dollars.

Suze: And that's the home of The Sopranos! I'm big time!

GSB: HBO has The Sopranos.

Suze: Oh. Well I'm still big time!

GSB: Yes, for $700, you are. Would you like to put your pledge on a credit card? We accept Visa and Master Card.
Blog Report
by New Guy

Blog Reports are hard. Everyone told me that. They said, "Everyone's going to pissed at you so just accept it. Your job is to find the most pressing issues of the day that people are blogging about."

Inspired, I went searching and damned if things aren't 'a heating up like a raw egg on a Texas sidewalk in July, siz-ZLE! The hot topic in the blogsphere this week?

That Wil Wheaton is a "cat man!" Aren't we all, Wil, aren't we all? Wheaton writes passionately of the joy of cleaning 5/8ths of his garage in "
not quite five by five, but getting there." Beats the Viper Club, I guess. But this post, from September, still hasn't generated any comments! Come on people, Wil's a star. Sure Jerry was the fat one in Stand By Me, but Wil was the geek. Show some love, show some love! He even alluded to Faith from Buffy in the title of his post and you just know she could so kick his geeky ass, so show some love and leave a comment for Wil.

Forget whether or not Karl Rove outed Valerie Plame, Miss Maddle has
serious problems at I Crap in a Box (me too, just FYI):

I don't know who's dumber -- Kadi for throwing all her toys off the balcony this morning or
Mommy for actually thinking she'd KEEP them from going flying onto our downstairs neighbor's porch!

I wonder if Miss Maddle can help me get one of those "I Love 2 Poop" license plates displayed at her site? I'd love to hang it right over the john in my bathroom!

biljounc of My Growing Cat Family
assures us all that, "The adventures of cat ownership never end." However, I'm less than convinced.

Over at Abbie The Cat Has A Posse, they're taking donations like the pledge drive Suzy got caught in at The Ice Cream Truck. Apparently Abbie is as shameless as Jerry Lewis when trying to drum up money, which would explain

first off she was sick and dshe didnt tell anybody she was sick
not even me
i said why are you so skinny and she said i dunno let me sleep
i said why do you sleep so much and she said because i am tired okay let me sleep
and when I said you are not eating my food anymore why are you not eating my food anymore she just licked her paw and went to sleep

Reading it, I also felt sleepy. I wondered if I was dying too?

Fortunaly, Avram (New Cat City) put my fears to rest by explaining: "
Cats: Better Than a Sleeping Pill." I know reading it put me to sleep!
Magazine Report
by Suzy Q

S.L. is breathing down all our necks about how he's doing serious work and we're just slacking off and bringing not just Watchdog Daily down but the whole Watchdog enterprise including the college program! Well excuse the hell out of me. It's not like my life's going all that great these days. I thought my new boyfriend was only gay but it turns out he's also a drug addict and a cross dresser who recently took all my American Girl dolls to a swap meet to score some cash to buy more stash. Not only that, he put a runner in my good hose!

And I'd already made the mistake this summer of taking Dell home to meet the family. Now that's all I hear, "How's Dell?" and "Are you and Dell still together?" and "Suze, honey, honest, Mommy needs to know if Dell swiped her bra." It gets real old, people, real old!

One day you're thirteen, lying on the carpet in front of the TV, watching a Molly Ringwald movie, dreaming about when your teeth will be perfect and they'll take the head gear off, the next you're marching towards middle age and so desperate not to be alone that you're perfectly willing to settle for a man who looks more girlish in your Prada panties than you do.
It's just not fair!

Here's another thing that's not fair: is
Highlights trying to be like The New York Times? I figured I'd scan Highlights for Children for some insight into the hot topics like Harriet Miers' nomination and try to solve one of the Hidden Pictures (don't scoff, they are hard!) but all the content is apparently unavailable to the average computer user like me. Well if The Times would put up a firewall between the readers and Thomas Friedman & David Brooks, I guess it's not all that surprising that Highlights would mirror that move by refusing to make either Goofus or Gallant available online to nonsubscribers.

Now what am I supposed to write about?

God. S.L. is staring at me with that cross look he gets when he thinks I'm online looking for the Dancing Baby. Things used to be way, way cooler around here. I'm hitting the head. Back in 10.

Good news! In the men's room (I just prefer the men's room), I found the new oversize TV Guide. That's a magazine. See, you start thinking it's not going to work out, that you're going to get fired which means losing your boyfriend because if you're not buying the Revlon make up, then he's not staying, and losing your apartment, which means moving back with your parents (again!) and having to hear every other day, "What ever happened to that nice Dell? He seemed so nice?" while also having to hear about your younger sister who is married, with three kids, a lovely home with a pool and three car garage and it's all just enough to make you go running in search of Zingers or Little Debbie Snack Cakes, when boom! you spot the TV Guide on the floor.

I'm glad that they made TV Guide bigger because, like the ad's used to say, TV is more complicated now. Ian Birch looks a lot like my boyfriend Dell. He's the editor and he promises "Big, colorful photos." Praise Jesus! I am so not into reading these days.

That Mary Murphy is smart and lucky! Lucky because she gets to interview Julian McMahon's whose wealth of chest hair makes up for the hairline that continues to recede up top. She asks all the important questions. Like this one: "Because the show gets heavy, huh?"

Man, to be a real journalist like Mary Murphy and to ask deep, penetrating questions. A girl can dream. I really enjoy the Movie Guide. Looking through the 42 films reviewed, I'm thrilled to know that all get three or four stars. Must not be a dog among them. I guess TV has finally learned that people don't like to watch bad movies, huh? We can thank the deep, probing film criticism of TV Guide for that, I tell you.

And in Cheers & Jeers, I love how they applaud Kitchen Confidential for a show that hasn't aired. Even though it was known weeks ago that Fox was taking Kitchen Confidential off the air. I think it's important to applaud things you haven't seen and may never see, not just the things you've seen, but the things you haven't seen too. Like take this Magazine Report, okay? I think S.L. should come over here and applaud me for it without reading it. I think I deserve that. Don't you? Cheers to me! Jeers to S.L.

And I love how they call Prison Break a hit! Mr. Negativity, S.L., might get all hung up in something (he would call them "facts") like ratings and ask dopey questions like, "Is it even in the top 20?" No, and why does that matter? Why all the sudden do you need to be high rated to be called a "hit"? Seems to me like you should be able to call something a "hit" just because you want to and obviously the retooled TV Guide agrees with me. So there to all that dopey stuff like "facts."

Not everything has to be Judy Miller, Judy Miller, Judy Miler, okay? And it doesn't all have to be this nasty little attitude either. I enjoyed reading the hard hitting "George Clooney: 'Good Luck' follows the ex-ER doc" by Mike Flaherty. What's wrong with feel-good reporting, huh?I call it, and the new oversize look of TV Guide, a "hit!"