flashpoints and indymedia

'black heritage' is what the stamps are called. it's 'black history' month. i'll fix that after i get this entry up but with almost every 1 in the air now and elaine counseling her therapy group tonight, i'm all you got, community. so let me get something posted.

it's thursday and i want to note flashpoints each thursday as part of the effort to get the word out on pacifica radio. flashpoints airs monday through fridays and is an hour long. dennis bernstein is the anchor. i say 'anchor' not host because it is a news program. you can listen to it over the airwaves on many stations or you can listen to it online at the flashpoints website or at kpfa and kpft online. other stations as well and if you listen on a station i didn't mention, drop me a line at sexandpoliticsandscreeds@yahoo.com and I'll include it.

'he has lied on issues both big and small. he's lied sometimes when he didn't have to. other times i think he's lied because he wants to make his actions, his behaviors, more reasonable than they were. . . . he's gone out of his way to say things that we now know are false.'

who said that? robert parry on tonight's flashpoints. he's talking about the bully boy. such as bully boy's lie that saddam wouldn't let un inspectors in when we all know they went in and remember them rushing out, on tv, in march 2003 as bully boy geared up for the invasion. to this day 'he has made these claims about saddam hussein choosing war, saddam hussein wouldn't let the inspectors in... another quick example is his claim in 2004 which he brought up unpressured to a crowd in buffalo... where he said any wiretap required getting permission from a court, nothing had changed, when 2 years earlier he had authorized a change.'

'here's a guy who on very significant issues, when he knew he could get away with it, has lied.'

only the great robert parry could have me ape ruth and include direct quotes. i love robert parry, he's 1 of the few brave reporters left. and like the other braves 1s, he's part of the alternative scene. consortium news is the website he created, after too many hassles in the mainstream, and you will find great reporting there so check it out. and check out his books. he's my favorite book author.

maria told me that flashpoints, on friday, has news in spanish so that's another feature to check out. friday's are usually 'date night' and the show airs, in my area, starting at 8:00 pm so that's date time. i always hope to catch up on the weekend, but let's be honest, i never do. saturday nights and sunday mornings are marathon sessions with everyone to work on the third estate sunday review and when that's done most of us are wiped out. i usually miss thursdays live (but listen via archives) due to volunteer work but with everyone delayed in posting due to flying back from california, i cut short my volunteer hours this evening.

tuesday, dennis interviewed greg palast (i wrote about some of that here) and the parents of rachel corrie, young woman killed by israelies, in the occupied terrorties, while attempting to protect a palestinian family. isreal and palestine are regular topics on flashpoints.

yesterday larry johnson was interviewed about the leaking of valerie plame and that was a topic tonight as well. robert parry said that patrick fitzgerald's case against scooter libby is not due to go to trial until 2007 and that the american people deserve answers before the october elections.

fly boy and i were going wild trying to find his stamp collection among the boxes that he's just piled in a closet so i missed the name of a guest on tonight's program but he did an excellent job critiquing the administration and noting how what we're hearing with iran is an echo of what we heard prior to the 2002 elections on iraq and served to distract us on administration scandals including enron.

on that, c.i. asked this weekend while we were working on the third estate sunday review edition if any 1 was hearing much on that trial? it's finally going forward in houston. the defense is presenting their testimony now. there's so much going on that it's hard to keep track of every story but it is amazing how enron has left the front pages. (i'm going by three daily papers i read - the new york times did front page at least 1 article last week.)

matt e-mailed me to say he was listening to flashpoints now (and that he didn't know he had a pacifica in his area until ruth started covering it) and wondered what i was hoping for with this emphasis?

a number of things. 1st, i want to give ruth a damn break. that woman works her butt off trying to listen to as many programs as she can and then trying to pull together her report on saturday mornings. there is way too much worth covering for her to do it all by herself. i told her i'd cover a program and asked her which 1 did she always wants to cover but never had time? it's flashpoints because it airs when she's eating dinner and she'll be listening but think, 'oh, i'll write that in a second' and then something else comes up. the thought that she was about to start eating with a fork in one hand and a pen in another made this my program. ruth really needs a break. i worry that she's always jotting down notes and not able to enjoy listening to shows. it's like every hour is a lecture and saturdays are the finals, week after week.

[correction made friday - day after this posted. 'her' butt off. thanks to sherry for catching that, apologies to ruth. i was rushing through this post when i wrote it to get something up.]

so i'm grabbing flashpoints for that personal reason.

2nd, i want to be sure people are aware of it. if, like matt (who listens to kpft by the way), you are some 1 who reads about it here and checks it out, that's great. but like c.i. always says, you should know it's out there. maybe it's for you, maybe it's not. but you need to know what is out there because it's past time to stop relying on the mainstream media.

maybe you'll listen once and maybe you won't. maybe you'll become a dedicated listener the way matt is. maybe you'll just know it's out there. and maybe you'll hear of a story in the mainstream, say something on israel, and think, 'i want another view. i know, i'll listen to flashpoints!'

3rd, pacifica radio is doing what we supposedly want our mainstream media to do. you hear a lot of whining about 'this didn't get covered' or 'that didn't get covered.' after awhile, the question has to be, 'why are you still trusting those news sources?' we're wanting a strong media that tells the truth or tries its damndest, we'll we got it. we already have it. it's called pacifica. so instead of whining that this didn't make cnn or that didn't make abc, are you doing anything? are you using alternative media? are you supporting it?

i think you should give to pacifica. c.i. always makes the point that just getting the word out is enough. that is a huge step, yes. and c.i.'s very sensitive to the fact that many people do not have money to donate. if that's you, this doesn't apply. if putting food on your table is enough of a task, this doesn't apply. but if you're some 1 who has the money to waste on a subscription to newsweek, people magazine or whatever, you have the money to put into real media, independent media. i'll probably piss some 1 off with that but if you are pissed off, think about it, and i think you'll get my point.

but getting the word out is huge. i've got a little platform here with a nice number of readers and i could jerk off over whatever mainstream press or i can use the space to note something that can really help inform you. for those reasons and more, i'll be noting flashpoints on thursdays.

there are people who can't listen online. i seriously didn't grasp that. c.i. had to point that out to me. that includes people on public computers at libraries and people who are on older computers or have slower connections. the internet highway is leaving many off on the service roads. so another reason is to let people who won't be able to listen to flashpoints know the sort of things it covers.

when i'm at t's salon, i talk up pacifica and there are huge numbers of people who don't know about it. many of those are people who surf the net and know a great deal. when c.i. said, over a year ago, that members could endorse candidates but 'i won't' i thought, 'come on.' but in the months since, i've gotten the point. besides the fact that c.i. isn't try to be a leader or gasbag pundit, there's the fact that a lot of people are fretting over 2006's elections. they matter. but they will be over and we still have the world around us. the common ills, as c.i. has defined it, is a resource/review. it's not an elections update. there are very real issues. if the common ills is doing the job c.i.'s set for it (i think it is) then people will have the information they need to vote and, if they don't, they will know where to go (trusted voices) for help in finding out about candidates.

informing people of pacifica radio would be doing a wonderful service. but pacifica is not a democratic party organ and possibly that's why it's not covered the way it should be online? maybe there's fear that pacifica wouldn't just provide a dem candidate with coverage but also a third party candidate (which is correct)?

i don't know. i do know that there's a lot going on that the democratic party refuses to address. i do know that on key issues like reproductive rights, the dems are failing. while some of them may garner my votes, i'm not running a site that acts as a democratic party organ. if i think ralph nader says something stupid, i'll say so. i won't join in an attack on him just because he decides to run for an office that some people feel the democratics are entitled to.

you hear a lot of people whine 'we need to build an independent media!' i say 'whine' because that's all it is. we have an independent media. we have pacifica and robert parry's site and a lot more. but are we noting them? are we telling people they're out there? i don't think we are.

i'll give an example and i'll use a site i like. buzzflash is a great site. you look at their links and there's pbs, there's this, there's that. yes, democracy now is linked to but where's pacifica? i see air america radio - huge disappointment. when janeane stopped being on the majority report night after night, i stopped listening. i'll listen to laura flanders and i'll listen to randi rhodes and mike malloy but otherwise, i have no need for it. i have no need for baby cries a lot and his aei friends and rush limbaugh loving friends. he really is disgusting and the failure of his last book is fitting. i once asked c.i., who's always great with a phrase, why he's dubbed baby cries a lot instead of 'bob hope'? reason? bob hope could actually be funny.

baby cries a lot has cast himself as the new bob hope (without the early movies that were funny). and he would insist, through tears, that we have to stay in iraq. bring up leaving, on his blog or via a guest, and it was time for him to turn on the tears and talk about how he has kids (none of whom serve in iraq but whatever). congress doesn't want to talk about leaving iraq? how about baby cries a lot?

as the overly promoted host of an air america radio show, he had a platform. he didn't use it. his show is like the dlc with training wheels. they could have promoted randi heavily or laura but they went with baby cries a lot and who on the left needs that? it's a platform for the party leaders in the democratic party and that's all it is. hour after hour of putting forth democratic talking points - from the center of the party. which is why he'll trash palestinians with such delight and why he'll avoid any other real issue. god save us all from centrist, white, overweight, middle aged males who can only relate to their own kind. his playing a 'lech' whenever a woman was a guest (i think he thought it passed for flirting and probably it does - in the playboy mansion) had me ditching that show early on. but i do remember things like jeremy glick not being able to speak. he didn't scream 'shut up!' like bill o'lielly, he just kept changing the topic. we can't talk about what glick never got to say because that makes baby cries a lot uncomfortable. so why bring him on the show? because baby cries a lot wanted to beat up on bill o'lielly. thanks for that, it's a real public service and we're surely all now hugely informed.

so i don't do shout outs or links for the useless. that's why i'm covering a show that matters: flashpoints. i'm only 1 voice. but if you do your part and get the word out as well, we'll quit asking why we don't have a broadcast media we can count on and realize that pacifica is already out there just waiting for you to seek it out. (many wise people already do seek it out.)

last thing, sherry wrote that ava and c.i.'s draft of their latest commentary is 'perfect.' i love it too but it's going to be changed. they wouldn't have circulated it throughout the community if it wasn't - they'd be scooping themselves. consider this the research paper. what will go up sunday will be quite different, less footnotes for 1, and a more humorous look at what's been going on. i do love the title and will lobby both of them to please keep it but i know they're going to rip that thing apart and start from scratch. be sure to check out the third estate sunday review sunday for the final version.

adding this. fly boy reminded me that there were a number of e-mails about the june pointer post. i'm glad so many of you wrote to say you enjoyed it. and i'm glad that so many of us have fond memories of the music of the pointer sisters.