friday post, nothing big

mike calls. 'can you blog!!!' with panic in his voice.

elaine had to attend a formal dinner tonight and nina asked mike if they could get an early start on friday for a change. so elaine and mike's plan was to post later tonight.

'but i don't think elaine put it up at her site and i know i didn't at mine.'

elaine wouldn't put it up at her site. she's a very sensitive person but if she did assume that people were repeatedly checking at 7 on the dot, her attitude would be 'i have enough pressure on me! back off!'

i wasn't even sure if i was going to blog tonight.

but since mike's fearing a mutiny, i'll go ahead and do so.

c.i. asked us, mike and me, not to promote the year anniversary of the common ills.

we agreed to back off.

c.i. doesn't see the point in that and feels the focus should be elsewhere.

however, i have nothing else to write about tonight because i wasn't planning on writing.

and the anniversary was actually yesterday.

we talked on the phone last night while c.i. was pulling together the indymedia roundup entries so we were on the phone for about 2 hours. (you got to read through a ton of e-mails to make sure the most important things are covered.)

i'm not going to quote c.i. and let me add the cautionary note of these are my reflections of the conversations and c.i. might feel differently about it so just because i offer my 'testimony' does not mean c.i. would agree that that's how it went down.

so i wondered, what does it feel like a year later?

tired. hard to believe a year has passed. thrilled that so many people have come together to share but also a little overwhelmed.

for those who are late to the party, when the common ills started, c.i. could respond to every e-mail. then along came barbara boxer supporting stephanie tubbs jones in protesting the 2004 count and that day, 500 e-mails arrived. the e-mails only continue to grow. ('3504' was the e-mail count of unread e-mails while we were on the phone.)

c.i. continued to attempt to read e-mails. every e-mail. and to reply. finally an automated reply had to be created. you e-mail, you get it. that cut down and allowed c.i. more time to read. but it wasn't working because the community continued to grow.

jim and i came up with the idea of two addresses. 1, the public 1, would be for visitors, the 2nd would be private and only for members.

that allowed c.i., when pressed for time, to focus on the members and let the public pile up a bit.
but that still wasn't solving the problem. currently ava and jess assist by going through the e-mails and noting which 1s they think c.i. needs to read asap in the private e-mail account. in the public e-mail account, if they read it and don't think it's important, they don't even bother to pass it on to c.i.

when c.i. started the common ills, the thought was, it would be read by about 50 people - c.i., i said - i can quote myself - if your 'closest, most personal friends' alone read it, you'd have over 10 times that amount.

naive much?

but the common ills was going to do what c.i.'s done for 3 years in february only in net form. c.i. goes around speaking about the war, speaking about the bully boy, to college groups and high school groups. a friend was supposed to do that in february 2003 but got asked to do it in another location. the engagements were planned and as a favor c.i. filled in. and it just took off from there.

c.i. may give hours to 1 of those but c.i. isn't speaking the whole time and is usually asking other people to share. so last night i pointed out that in fact the common ills had reflected the speaking events. because what the common ills quickly became was, not a blog, but a resource/review for the left.

not the only 1. not the most left, not the best left, just the left. c.i. would disapprove of qualifiers.

it's 1 place for voices of the left.

and it's a place that people visit, a community, because there's no fiddle-faddle.

it's easy to forget this now, post-cindy sheehan, but a year ago, with bully boy 'winning' the election, you saw a lot of the left and 'left' back off from the war.

when i raised that issue, c.i. wondered if that's why falluja is still so unknown to so many americans?

it could be. but what is true is that moveon moved on. and a lot of others did as well.

it was like every 1 was channeling hillary clinton for many months there.

if they even brought up the war.

and the voices dominating on the 'left' were the 1s wrapping themselves in the flag (we know who i mean) and generally making themselves useless.

early on there was a feeling within the community that they didn't want posted comments and i dealt with that in an earlier post. c.i. told me i missed 1 thing, since c.i. was on campuses, finding out the feelings on comments was quite easy. people aren't really into them.

that was a big thing a few years ago. and relics from that era still want to leave comments at any site they visit. but most reflect the opinions that were in mike's interview with wally - that they are useless. a lot of shout outs, a lot of 'you are so smart!' sucking up and a lot of troll wars.

for the people who listen to the likes of rush limbaugh, that probably is reassuring; however, for people who wouldn't listen to that nonsense just because they're not into the call in format, it's not reassuring.

so where is the common ills a year later?

still talking about falluja and thankfully the mainstream media is as well, a tiny bit.

bring the troops home now is not a fringe view.

and you can think the voices like c.i. for that, all the voices online that stuck to their guns and didn't say 'well the polls say' or distort cindy sheehan or any of the other nonsense are war hawks dem voices pushed.

and they did push lies on cindy sheehan. now that they're candidates of choice are being forced to take some sort of tiny stand on the war, they're all over themselves, covered in urine from their excitement no doubt, trying to figure out their new position.

i talked to t and she said, 'do you get discouraged because you put in time and do you feel like there aren't enough changes coming down the pike?'

not really. because i think change comes slowly and that we've seen a lot of change that if we dropped back a year ago we wouldn't have believed was possible.

in the old days, what passed for bravey was really timid. these days, people are angry and if you try to dixie chick some 1 you better be ready for the backlash - towards you.

we saw the summer of activism and there were questions about that when c.i. 1st threw that phrase out to the 3rd estate sunday review. but sure enough it was a summer of activism.

the roots that were planted continue.

in october, i had e-mails complaining not that there wasn't any way to be heard but that there were so many ways to be heard and so little time.

let that always be our country's problem.

the gutless la times drops robert scheer because the publisher can't stand the voices of freedom and the voices of americans. and? the san francisco chronicle picks him up.

this isn't 2002. this isn't 2003. this isn't 2004.

we are stronger and we are tired of it. we are ready and willing to fight.

that didn't come about by cautious voices saying 'well let's find middle ground' - it came about from people digging in and getting ready to fight. the common ills community has demonstrated that they can and will fight. gina and krista's action alerts and activism lists, in the gina & krista round-robin, are key to that.

and the voices we need aren't the 1s saying 'send in your money so i can show how popular i am and set my ass up as the next cokie roberts.' we need the voices that speak about your own power, your own world and your own actions.

there are enough people telling you that ___ will save you, we don't need anymore.

it's time for us to save ourselves.

and that's what's been obvious, i think, at all the sites that have sprung up from the common ills community.

this congress member let you down? that senator sold out to corporate interests?

big surprise.

quit making heroes out of your employees because that's what they are. they work for you.

as long as you're in a position of begging, they have the power.

they shouldn't. they work for you.

make 'em work.

hold them accountable.

now you can't do that if in 2005 you're already declaring that ___ is the democratic candidate for 2008.

it's not the person, it's the issues.

but it becomes all about the personality too often. the mainstream media does that by focusing on the horse race nature of campaigns at the expense of the actual issues.

now if you're goal is to be able to say 'i voted with __ milions of others for the winner!' then, hey, the current system is perfect for you. if you're goal is to vote for issues, the personality basis isn't going to work.

we need to be more informed. we need to arm ourselves with knowledge.

that's not going to come from playing patty-cakes with politicians. or running fan clubs for them.

so that's my lecture for the night. mike and elaine will post late tonight. but they will post.

army national guard spc. katherine jashinski

so not in the mood for woody tonight.

thanks for all the kind e-mails but 5 felt the need to point out that i mispelled 'amuck.' check your webster's 'amuck' is a perfectly acceptable variation of 'amok.'

now i'm going to steal from c.i.:

Fort Benning, GA Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski, on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, will make a public statement against war as a conscientious objector in the face of orders to participate in weapons training and deploy to the Middle East. She will be joined by several members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Jashinski applied for a discharge as a Conscientious Objector in 2004. The Army recently denied her claim and ordered her to weapons training and deployment this week.Speakers at the press conference include Aidan Delgado, an Army Conscientious Objector and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Iraq Veterans Against the War supports the right of every soldier to follow their conscience. Today's revelation that chemical weapons were used against citizens in Falluja is evidence that the war is illegal and immoral.
Jashinski's counselor, Persian Gulf War Army Conscientious Objector Aimee Allison, will speak at tomorrow's press conference. Speaking today, Allison stated, "As the first woman GI to publicly take a stand against this war and to declare herself a Conscientious Objector, Katherine's actions are very significant. She is showing remarkable courage."
Jashinski's lawyer, J.E. McNeil with the Center for Conscience and War, will also discuss her legal status and the case. She comments, "Denying Katherine CO status is yet another in a long line of actions by the military to defy its own rules in order to get the numbers of soldiers they need to continue this war."
Katherine is actively supported by Code Pink, a women-initiated grassroots peace group. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink adds, "I applaud Katherine's courageous stand against the continued U.S. role in bringing violence to the Middle East."
Father Roy Bourgeois, a Vietnam War veteran and founder of School of the Americas Watch will also speak. Jashinki's statement comes on the eve of a national demonstration at the gates of Fort Benning calling for the closure the U.S. Army School of the Americas. "U.S. foreign policy as it exists today is fundamentally out of alignment with Americans values of peace and justice."

i think that's great and applaud jashinki.

let's see who covers this in the mainstream. it's from milwaukee indymedia's 'TODAY! Army Natinal Guard Spc. Katherine Jashinski refuses to deploy' and it is news.

the military doesn't like these stories because they fear if they get much publicity, others will become aware and take a similar stand.

with a war built on lies, perception becomes even more important.

perception management is something karl rove's supposed to be so good at.

makes you wonder what would happen if every web site spotlighted spc. katherine jashinski's brave stand?

would that force the mainstream media to cover it?

if not, would it matter?

as mike noted tonight, they ignored or mocked the downing street memos. but the word got out to the public.

people don't buy the bully boy's 'reasons' anymore. they know he's a liar.

the mainstream media can't really seem to explain why he's so despised.

they can note polls and they can pretend surprise.

but to note why the people have turned against the bully boy would require listing the reasons and doing that would require seriously covering topics that they have never covered.

there's a whole world outside the mainstream media.

to do for friday for my readers: talk about katherine jashinski's brave stand. get the word out.


little miss run amuck bob woodward

in case you missed it, there is a big journalism story today - bob woodward has known of the adminstration's talking about valerie plame since june of 2003. he testified on monday. the world only found today. he's sat on this during a criminal investigation. while he's been sitting on what he was told, he's taken to the tv and radio to explain to every 1 that this isn't a story, that it's just gossip and that america should pay attention to something else.

gee bobbo, why might you feel that way?

once upon a time he was played by robert redford. if they made a film of his life today, he'd be played by david spade. which might be insulting david spade.

he's totally useless.

gossip, which is what bobbo calls the outing of valerie plame, is what bobbo's made his business for years now.

he grabs his pad and pen, heads down to the white house and waits for crumbs to be tossed to him. then he pulls it all together in a badly transcript (which reportedly then gets improved slightly but is still a writing mess) and calls it a book.

there is an author in the woodward & bernstein team and his name is carl.

carl can write.

carl can also do investigative journalism.

bobbo can take dictation.

he took it from felt and he took it every day since. he laid on his reporter's back and took it gladly some might say (if you want to extend the whore motif).

he made his name on access, some even say he got his job on access.

in the years since watergate, he's had no explosive story and a lot of people scratch their heads and wonder why that is?

how could he uncover watergate, they wonder, and not be breaking stories since?

because he was fed a story then and he was paired with a report who was an actual reporter, someone who went after a story with the belief that the press mattered and that the role of the press was to inform the people.

without carl bernstein at hi side, woody was happy to suck up to power and mitigate the truth.

he is the ziegiest journalist. writing chatty little gossip that will at most embarrass slightly but never get to the core of what's going on, bobbo has made quite a career for himself.

you see him on tv introduced as the breakthrough journalist. watergate was 30 years ago. he's stayed in the field of 'journalism' so where are the brave stories?

let's take a look at his peer group, ok?

there's carl bernstein who broke additional stories but had to break them outside of the washington post which tells you a great deal about the culture of that paper.

now carl became an actual writer and not just a reporter. he graduated and grew up.

and bobbo kept spitting out what he was fed.

but let's look at a reporter who remained a reporter. sy hersh. he was at the new york times when bobbo was covering watergate.

what has sy done just in the last 4 years? he's broken story after story.

he's broken the story about abu ghraib, he's broken the story about the truth of the iraq elections, he's broken stories about what the u.s. is doing re: iran. he's broken the news that we let osama escape in afghanistan because we didn't have enough people on the ground.

that's just in the last four years.

and bobbo?

bush at war? any 1 need to read that piece of crap?

his books read like transcripts of a barbara walters tv special.

so who can pretend to be surprised that it turns out while he was saying 'nothing to see her, move along' the whole time he's being less than honest?

hasn't his post-career since watergate been built upon being less than honest?

there are 2 set of rules at the washington post, there are the rules for bobbo and then there are the rules for every 1 else.

'little miss run amuck' could have been and should have been bob woodward's name. while judy miller was still a reporter - yeah kiddies, once upon a time, she was a real reporter - bobbo was already a practicing stenographer.

you get rewarded for stenography and bobbo certainly has been rewarded.

year after year he's trotted out as the 'brave' reporter who once helped break the watergate story. smarter voices ask the janet question: 'i know you used to do nice stuff for me, but what have you done for me lately?'


forget barney, he is the white house pooch. belly scratched, head petted and fed, he was neutered and white house broken long ago.

need more info?

check out c.i.'s 'Editorial: Someone explain to Bob Woodward that a reporter reports.'


jimmy & billy

i want to note something by jimmy carter called 'This Isn't The Real America:'

In recent years, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.
These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.
Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.
At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.
Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.
Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

reading that, i wondered a number of things.

for instance, where's gerald ford? does he want his most remembered public statement to be the pardon he gave nixon?

i thought about how al gore been's outspoken. and thinking of al gore's bravery reminded me of our suddenly shy bill clinton.

where have you gone bill clinton?

is hillary's presidential campaign for 2008 calling all the shots?

or do you just not care?

it's really sickening to see you in photo ops with poppy bush. a criminal who should have been tossed in jail and there's bill clinton smiling with him.

the biggest mistake bill clinton made was in letting all of poppy's crimes be swept under the carpet. there was no thanks for that. instead there's now this illusion that poppy wasn't involved in iran-contra. and there was no 'oh high road, well we'll do the same' instead it was 'we will bury bill clinton with smears and lies!' that's exactly what they tried to do.

now there's bill clinton adding luster to poppy.

and as bad as that is, it's his silence on the torture and on the war that trouble me the most.

he's married to a war hawk. we get it.

he's also a former president of the united states, our last one elected with no clouds of questions over him.

as someone who pledged to uphold the constitution he should have a few op-eds in him on what's going on in our country and what our country is doing to others.

jimmy carter's not afraid to use his voice.

carter was a lot stronger than most people gave him credit for being.


la times sends a message

Lynda e-mails to ask why I haven't noted Robert Scheer's firing by the LA Times? Because the community hasn't noted it. I know Scheer and don't want to be accused of using this space to promote writers I know. So, since no one brought it up, I haven't brought it up here.
Since Lynda's now brought it up, what Scheer says on today's Democracy Now! is what's being said (loudly). It's also being said that the paper's leadership is willing to crawl (through glass?) on it's knees to prove their bonafides (right wing bonafides) to a group still smarting over the pre-election Gropinator coverage.
In terms of Scheer's remarks on Democracy Now!, I'll add one point. The LA Times isn't a national paper (as they damn well know -- they attempted to kill distribution to D.C. but that didn't go over well). So I'm confused as to why California based Scheer will be replaced with, among others, DC based Jonah Goldberg (or will he be sleeping on Judith Regan's couch?).Was not one of the problems (one of the many problems) with Michael Kinsley's reign the fact that Kinsley wasn't based in California? Now Goldberg, who already has a syndicated column, will be getting space in the LA Times. Why? He's on CNN already. How much of Goldberg do Californians need?
Myself? I don't think they need any. I rank this as the worst thing the LA Times has done since an editor passed on a smear about Jean Seberg and vouched for the source to get it into print. Then he attempted to claim a faulty memory when, years later, it was discovered that Seberg had been targeted by the FBI and that the smear that popped up in the LA Times was in fact one devised by FBI agents. (Sure was lucky for the editor involved that he had a Reagan-like memory, no?)
If anyone wants to express themselves, the phone number for the LA Times is (213) 237-5000. Letters to the editor can be sent via letters@latimes.com

the above is from c.i.'s entry this morning at the common ills. if you need more on this topic, check out:

LA Times Fires Longtime Progressive Columnist Robert Scheer
The Los Angeles Times newspaper last week announced that it was firing longtime columnist Robert Scheer. Scheer has been at the Times for 30 years and was one of the most progressive voices at the paper. In recent years, his columns took on the Bush Administration and its justifications for the invasion of Iraq.

the dixie chicking of america has not stopped and robert scheer's firing is proof of that.

at a time when his columns carry sentiments echoed by the majority of americans, what's the point of firing him?

well for 1 it sends a message to others in the press and for 2 it removes a strong voice.

c.i. makes a strong point about how jonah golberg lives in d.c. so what the hell is he doing writing for a paper called the los angeles times in place of an actual resident of the area?

the la times didn't just fire robert scheer, it sent a message to americans that if you feel like he does, the majority of americans, you're opinions aren't needed and will not be noted.

this is a big deal. tuesday there's a protest:

Bob Scheer was one of my editors at Ramparts. He is one of America’s top reporters and commentators. He’s been with the LA Times for thirty years and he’s been fired for what appears to be political reasons. Activists in Los Angeles are protesting tomorrow at the LA Times:
"Last Friday, LA Times Publisher Jeff Johnson firedRobert Scheer who had worked there for 30 years,the last 12 years as a weekly columnist.
"Robert Scheer's Anti-War Voiceis Critical. Los Angeles Times readerswill not Tolerate the Paper's Op-ed Pages Tilting Further to the Right with the firing of Scheer and theHiring of Far-right Columnists Max Boot and Jonah Goldberg with No One Holding Scheer's Spot As the Voice of Peace.
"A delegation will also demand a meeting with publisher Jeff Johnson, who reportedly has privately told people that he hated every word that Scheer wrote. We want to read full-spectrum of voices in the LA Times and know that our daily newspaper will fully cover the anti-war movement in Los Angeles."
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Noon
WHERE: Outside, LA Times BuildingFirst Street Entrance202 W. 1st St. (at Spring St.)Los Angeles, CA 90012
LAObserved.com for latest developments.

that's from danny schechter's news dissector. and if you're reading this other than on monday the 14th of november, the link will take you to the latest news dissector. which i think is a good thing. people should make a habit to check out danny schechter.