NJ Supreme Court Rules: Equal Rights for Same-Sex Couples
The New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a 4-3 decision that same-sex couples should have the same benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples. The court gave the state legislature six months to pass a law granting civil unions or amend the marriage laws to allow same sex marriage, the Chicago Tribune reports. Justice Barry Albin wrote in the majority decision, "Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution," the Associated Press reports.

Many gay rights advocates are happy with the decision, yet will continue fighting for the right to same-sex marriage.
"We now turn to the Legislature to say there's really no reason to try to set up some other scheme to exclude same-sex couples from marriage," said Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, a gay rights legal organization, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

the above is from the feminist daily wire. that's good news but, waringing, i'm tired and have a killer headache. i wouldn't be writing at all tonight if i had blogged last night but blogger/blogspot was screwed up and i couldn't even log in.

log in?

i couldn't even see my site or any other on blogger/blogspot. they wouldn't pull up, you'd get an error message. so i'm posting tonight but follow what you can and if you can't, it's me.

i was hoping to make this post about women. i'm a feminist, i care about issues that effect every 1 and i care about issues that target my gender, targeting usually means to discriminate against women because there's not much targeting to give us a leg up. so i checked out another women's site and found an article i thought i could link to but there was the usual hold mainstream media accountable but look the other way when it comes to independent media b.s.

meaning? they cite fair's study and the woman writes that 'PBS's "NewsHour" is largely a stag event, with fewer than 2 out of 10 guests being female, says an analysis from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting released this month.' that's the 1 female for every 3 males. written by some 1 who obviously hasn't read 'Are You On CounterSpin's Guest List?' or she'd make the obvious point that not only is that true of the newshour but counterspin isn't much better offering 3 men for every 1 woman.

you know what i miss? feminists that weren't afraid to call sexism 'sexism.' i miss feminists that didn't pull punches. instead, too many women look the other way. and i think it's partly why we're where we are today: begging for crumbs.

let's focus on 1 outlet. i'm looking at the october 30th issue of the nation. jonathan schell, the disarmament correspondent, usually writes fairly well about 'big topics' (i don't call him 'the peace' correspondent because he's not covering the peace movement - no 1 at the nation has that beat). this is page 4 of the issue, from his 'shock waves from kilju:' 'But President Bush, who seems to despise any work of man with Clinton's fingerprints on it . . .' 'any work of man.'

thanks to the nation. thanks to that 'turn of phrase.' i just love being excluded in non-inclusive language. and the use of 'man' is a battle we supposedly won long ago but notice how 'chairman' is ued by the media these days.

now let's go to page 10, to the cindy brady of the faux left - eric alterman.

his column is called 'no "comment"' and besides humping bob dylan's leg (well, it's nice to know he has a back up to bruce springsteen), he just flaunts what an idiot he is. truly, this space needs to be turned over to a real writer.

here's the basics. moveon.org got slimed for what some posters posted at the site.

eric alterman thinks it's ludicrous for reporters to report what gets posted. as c.i. would say, remember that.

eric alterman feels that anonymous comments are just awful and blah blah blah and why does the press quote them and blah blah blah.

contrary to what he thinks, overheard comments have always been published.

but here's the thing that demonstrates why eric alterman is so useless. he brags about himself (always) and notes "When I took the apparently unthinkable journalistic step of contacting the organization itself to discover what it knew of the incident" - he's praising that he called moveon.org. big woop.

he missed the whole fucking story. his theme is that comments (anonymous) are damaging. (i kind of think his tirades where he swears and makes an idiot of himself are amusing but others might find them damaging. probably depends upon whether they're laughing at the e-mail or receiving it.) the lisper tells us that when the new york times printed posted comments about dylan's 'borrowing' (academic standards might call it 'theft') '. . . the primary casualty was the Times's repuation for veracity.'

oh, eric, quit fondling dylan's crotch. i hate the little boys who try so hard to run with the big boys to prove they're men.

i disagree that it's damaging to note comments from a website.

but if i'm going to tackle that subject, i think i'd do it in a way that mattered.

for instance?

as c.i. can tell you, the times didn't just print comments in an article, they altered them - get it, alter man. that was a lot more damaging to the 'veracity.' the 'journalist' got a little slap on the wrist but is now turning in articles again.

now that happened not to man but to a woman. and the matter was brought to the entire chain of command of the times. there was no correction, there was no apology. just a slap on the wrist for the 'journalist.'

let's be real clear, i'm okay with comments at websites being quoted, i'm not okay with them being 'improved upon' when you're doing a hit job on an artist and feel the quotes are just too bland but if you 'rework' them, they really add spice and flavor to the story.

now that incident is not an unknown. it's rather well known at the paper and outside.

if it had been about dylan or another man, alterpunk would write about it.

but he's out of the loop.

more importantly, the nation doesn't need his crap. i'm sick of reading his attempts to sneak into the locker room. i'm sick of all his columns and the fact that women rarely even get mentioned in them. this isn't a 1 time thing, and i've commented on it here before.

for alterpunk, the world is made up of men and women sometimes come in for a moment or two if at all - mainly we're diane keaton, after al pacino closes the door on us.

'veracity' at the times died in 2004. alterpunk doesn't know about it because the target was a woman.

if he knew about it, he might wonder, as i do, whether the comments quoted were indeed word for word. since 2004, i've known never to take the times at their word when they 'quote' a comment on a website. he might have sobbed a little less over his bobby dylan this year if he'd known about 2004. but i guess he's not quite the journalist he thinks he is.

no surprise there.

in the 1970s, i can't imagine a columnist like eric alterman (who, if you remember, couldn't even think of 1 woman who knew ahead of time that the illegal war would turn out bad) would get by with a pass.

but this column, the new 1, is such crap and it's so degrading for readers of the nation.

supposedly, he's writing about moveon. but what he wants to do is give his 'props' to bob dylan so he starts out there but that's not the starting for the times and 'quotes' from comments at websites. he doesn't know what he's writing about, he never does. the reason is he starts in the middle and he only focuses on men. 1/2 the population are left out of his equation and it happens over and over.

(and don't bother me with a drippy little e-mail where you snarl & hiss eric alterpunk. i won't be as nice as elaine, c.i. and i were in our response where we pointed out that 'good friend to susan sontag' that you claim to be, you stabbed her in the back in your stupid ass, overrated book - a book, which like all of his work, shoved women to the side.)

i'm just sick of it. or sick of, like last week, being addressed, as a reader, in male groupings. i'm sick of all the nonsense and the left letting little pischers like alterpunk off the hook.

his garbage is always useless. it's useless in book form, it's useless online.

it's useless in the nation because it's october and he's boring us with something that could have been (and knowing him already was) a post online. why am i paying for this crap? why is the nation printing it?

i have no problem with media criticism, but do media criticism. don't toss off you half-assed, under thought comments and send them to the printers because no tree should die for this nonsense.

he can't carry through a theme. he can't write anything worthy of being printed in a weekly magazine.

goldie and lisa both e-mailed wondering what i hope the world is like 10 years from now? i hope women aren't afraid to call out their 'friends,' i hope we've gotten beyond that. i'm sick of women who are afraid to say 'that's wrong' when something is wrong because it comes from the left. there's no excuse for it.

if you've been reading online latter day dylan, you know he's been tackling a book. it's a book c.i. dismissed as nonsense (rightly) but alterpunk was pushing it. so online latter day dylan found nice words for it. as each day passes, he trashes the book more and more. so it's not just women. it's men too. that book was crap when it came off the printers, it was crap when it was being written. but online latter day dylan is (again!) afraid of going against alterman so he writes drippy praise for the book weeks ago and then spends the last few weeks telling us how awful it is.

it is awful, no question. and online latter day dylan has written some of his best work since he's started ripping that book apart. but it's a real shame that because alterpunk gave it a thumbs up, online latter day dylan felt the need to toss out a little praise for the book before he could really address it.

it would be a great world if people could say what they meant and not couch it out of fear of going against the evaluations of others or fretting that ___ is classified as a 'friend.' hopefully, the next wave of feminism will speak their minds and not fluff or look the other way.

my sarcastic response for what's wrong with so much of it today? too many push up bras mushed their brains.

we're not post-feminism and you don't have to look at what's going on in iraq or afghanistan with women to get that point. you only have to look at this so-called 'democracy' and 'open society' where our 'brave voices' (male almost all) get passes when they ignore women. or their outlets get passes for ignoring women.

you only have to look at the fact that reproductive rights are not only still under attack but that so many 'brave voices' find the topic 'weary.' those poor boys. they've had to stand up for reproductive freedom. now they're tired.

you wonder if that attitude would pass for race but the sad reality is that many of them write in a such a manner that they might as well declare themselves against affirmative action since their writing demonstrates that they're all white boys in an all white boy world.

i'm happy about the new jersey decision. so, for goldie and lisa, 1 hope i have is that the homophobia of today will be seen as shameful 10 years from now. i hope we will have moved beyond 'tolerance' into acceptance.

love is love, sex is sex. if you've got it, good for you. the gender shouldn't matter. what 2 adults do shouldn't be 'tolerated,' it should be 'accepted.' the same way it has been for years for straight people.

fly boy and i were out with t and her girlfriend last week. fly boy and i are touchy and we were kissing (not tongue, just pecks from time to time) and that wasn't a problem with any 1 around our table. but when t and her girlfriend did the same, you could have heard a pin drop.

i couldn't believe it. this was an upscale club and no 1 should have turned a head or been bothered - the way they weren't when it was fly boy and me or the young men and women grinding into each other on the dance floor.

maybe it was also race because t is african-american and her girlfriend is white?

or maybe it was just a double whammy of discrimination?

but that shouldn't happen. later, t, her girlfriend and i were in the ladies' room and i saw this tacky bleached blonde who'd glared when t and her girlfriend were kissing. i was applying my lipstick and had no desire to speak to the woman but she felt the need to whisper to me, 'i get uncomfortable when 2 women kiss.'

what was she expecting me to say? did she not notice that i was at the table with t? that i walked in with her? maybe she didn't know t was my best friend, no reason she should, but she should have known we were at the same table.

i was just glaring/staring at her and she felt the need to say, 'i think they deserve rights, i just don't want to look at it.'

well stay home.

seriously, stay the fuck home. if you can't take 2 people kissing then you shouldn't be at a club. and if it's that you can't take 2 people of the same gender kissing, then don't kid that you're 'open' or 'progressive' or whatever. because you aren't. you're homophobic.

now there are people who don't want to see any 1 kissing. i call those people 'grumps.' but fine, apply it across the line. but if you're getting grossed out because you see 2 people kiss in a club and they're of the same gender, you're the 1 with the problem, not the people kissing.

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, October 26, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the puppet's bark continues to resonate, the American troops toll continues to rise as October becomes the month with the highest number of US military fatalities for 2006, and John Howard, prime minister of Australia tries to spin a new excuse for Australia's continued involvement in the Iraq war.

"There are two options. One is everybody out by midnight tonight, and the second option is everybody out by midnight tomorrow. I don't think it's cutting and running, I think it's getting out," Seymour Hersh stated to Matthew Hays (Montreal Mirror) summarizing the realities of Iraq today.

From reality to joke, John Howard. As Peter Hartcher (Sydney Morning Herald) observers of the coming parliament elections in Australia: "The war in Iraq, also unpopular, is another live risk for Howard. . . . beccause it is such an unpopular policy, Howard cannot win on Iraq." No, he cannot. So apparently he's going for the jokes. AAP reports: "Australian troops must stay in Iraq to maintain the country's friendship with the United States". Can someone get John Howard to a self-esteem class quickly? Somewhere a mother asks, "John Howard if everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?"

From Australian joke to American joke, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. AP reports that Rummy wants people to "just back off" on this talk of benchmarks or timelines or, probably, even stopping the violence. "Just back off!" hollers Rummy who actually did promise you a cakewalk if not rose garden. Meanwhile, Peter Pace (US Joint Chiefs of Staff chair) was reported by AFP to have stated yesterday that 'another war' would require "brute force" due to other options being "tied down in Iraq".
"Just back off!" hollers Rummy, "just back off!"

Writing of the reality on the ground in Iraq, Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) observes: "The greatest American mistake was to turn what could have been presented as liberation into an occupation. The US effectively dissolved the Iraqi state. It has since been said by US generals -- many of whom now claim to have been opponents of the invasion all along -- that given a larger US army and a more competent occupation regime, all might still have been well. This is doubtful."

Cockburn also notes that "the Iraqi government has always been weak. For this, the US and Britain were largely responsible." Which brings us to the shock still greeting Wednesday's bark from the occupation puppet. James Hider and Tom Baldwin (Times of London) note: "Nouri al-Maliki anxious to prove he is not a US puppet, criticised a heavy-handed American raid on the Shia militia stronghold in Sadr City, made without his knowledge. He also repudiated the US assertion 24 hours earlier that his Government has 12 months to quell Iraq's nascent civil war. 'This government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it,'
he said." As Nancy A. Yousseff (McClatchy Newspapers) noted: "U.S. officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are increasingly at odds over strategy and goals". As the AFP noted yesterday, "The joint force did not say whether they had captured their main target." Today Paul Holmes and Mariam Karouny (Reuters) report that the target "escaped" according to al-Maliki. The barking puppet has gotten a lot of press in the last two days. He may need to save the clippings for his scrapbook because,
as Raed Jarrar and Robert Dreyfuss discussed with Amy Goodman on Monday's Democracy Now!, the puppet may be about to be replaced by the US government.

Meanwhile, Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) notes that the US military death toll in Iraq has "reached the highest level in nearly two years on Thursday following the deaths of four U.S. Marines and one Navy sailor in volatile Anbar province." The US military announced: "One Sailor assigned to 3rd Naval Construction Regiment, two Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 and two Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Wednesday from injuries sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province." The BBC notes that Bully Boy "on Wednesday admitted being seriously concerned about the scale of American casualties." Not 'seriously concerned' enough to get the number of American fatalities correct. Some people are seriously concerned such as Diana Unger who spoke to CBS' Byron Pitts about her son David Unger: "My son died in a country that I have no idea, really, why we're even there" and, of the Bully Boy, "Unless he puts his daughters over there and he has that real fear everyday of not wanting to turn on the television, that fear that gets into your heart and your head, he can't fathom what that means."


In Tal Afar a man with an "explosive-laden belt" killed himself and left two Iraqi soldiers wounded, Reuters reports.


The BBC reports at least eight police officers were killed by "gunmen" in one attack in Baquba with 25 more wounded and 20 missing while another "attack on a checkpoint" left an additional six police officers dead and ten wounded. Reuters puts the number of missing police officers from the first attack in the previous sentence at fifty and notes that "an Arab local official" was shot dead in Mosul. Update: Reuters raised the number killed in the attack listed first in the first sentence to 28 with the wounded staying the same (25) -- no mention of any change in the figures for the missing. The fighting in Baquba is ongoing and AP notes 30 killed and 42 wounded in their most recent update. KUNA reports that Saad Shalash, a journalist and professor, and his wife (name not supplied) were shot dead in Amiriyah.


Reuters reports seven corpses ("shot and bound") were discovered in Mosul yesterday. CNN reports that ten corpses ("bullet-riddled") were discovered in Baghdad Wednesday.

On Iraqi fatalities, CBS and AP note "more than 961 Iraqis have been killed in war-related violence this month, the highest level since The Associated Press began tracking civilian deaths in April 2005. That amounts to an average of more than 41 each day, compared with a daily average of about 27 since April 2005, as more Iraqis fall prey to sectarian death squads affiliated with militias. The AP count includes civilians, government officials and police and security forces, and is considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual number is likely higher, as many killings go unreported. The United Nations has said 100 Iraqis are being killed each day."

In legal news, AP reports that John J. Jodka has entered a plea of guilty "to charges of assault and obstruction of justice in the [April] death of . . . Hashim Ibrahim Awad in the Iraq town of Hamdaniya." As CBS and AP note, Jodka's plea follows that of Melson J. Baco who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy: "The group approached a house where the insurgent was believed to be hiding, but when someone inside woke up, the Marines instead went to another home and grabbed 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad, Bacos said. The squad took Awad to a roadside hole and shot him before planting a shovel and AK-47 to make it appear he was an insurgent placing a bomb, Bacos said. He was sentenced to a year's confinement; murder and other charges were dropped."

In other legal news, CNN reports: "Five companies, including a subsidiary of military contract giant Halliburton, billed the U.S. government a total of $62.1 million for administrative operations, which is more than twice the amount those companise spent directly on the projects in Iraq that they had been contracted for, according to a report released Monday by the Office of the Special Inspecter General for Iraq Reconstruction." Earlier, James Glanz (New York Times) reported on the same government estimate noting: "Overhead costs have consumed more than half the budget of some reconstruction projects in Iraq . . . leaving far less money than expected to provide the oil, water and electricity needed to improve the lives of Iraqis."

In peace news, Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin are among those who continue speaking out. Denny Boyles (Fresno Bee) reports that Sheehan spoke at Fresno State, Satellite Student Union, yesterday to a "near-capacity and supportive crowd for more than an hour, talking about not only the loss of her son, but what she said was the loss of rights suffered by everyone in America." Boyles quotes Sheehan: "Last summer I felt my role was to convince people that the war is a lie, based on lies. Now, I've seen polls that show most Americans believe that to be true. My job is to activiate those who disagree with Bush and get them to act for peace." Video of her speaking to press before her speech can be found here (KFSN). The day before Cindy Sheehan was speaking truth in Iowa City and O.Kay Henderson, of Radio Iowa, has an audio report here.

Meanwhile, Medea Benjamin spoke at Ohil University yesterday. In a Q&A with The Post, Benjamin was asked about her thoughts on the importance of protesting with the interviewing noting that Benjamin was "removed from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 2004, Pres. George W. Bush's second inauguration and a Congressional speech by Iraq's Prime Minister (Nouri al-Maliki) this past July, all for anti-war protesting." Benjamin's response: When governments realize they don't have the backing of their people, they start to find a way out . . . It's both the (continued violence) on the ground in Iraq coupled with loss of support for this war that is forcing even George Bush to start looking for alternatives. Many times, for activists, it feels like we're not effective. It feels like we're being ignored or ridiculed or marginalized, which we often are by the mainstream media, but in the end it's often times the protestors who end up convincing the general public of their opinions and changing history, and I think that's what we're saying now."

". . . truth is often denied at first, then grudgingly accepted until it becomes comventional wisdom," Danny Schechter News Dissector notes writing about the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq (at BuzzFlash): "There is a word missing in most of the coverage of Iraq. It's a ghost-laden word that conjures up distressing memories that Washington and most of our media prefer to keep in that proverbial 'lock box,' hidden away in dusty archives and footage libraries. The word is Vietnam. Its absence was never more noticeable than in the coverage this past weekend of the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, marked in Vietnam with celebrations, but largely ignored in America where CNN led with the story of a bride who went missing when she had second thoughts. Is this denial or is it deliberate?"

In sweat shop labor news, David Phinney (IPS) takes a look at the construction of the US Embassy in Baghdad and quotes John Owen stating, "Every U.S. labour law was broken." And in other human rights news, Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post) looks at what effect the illegal war in Iraq has had on Syria: "silence public demands for democratic reformers here."

Bob Watada beging his latest speaking tour today. He is the father of Ehren Watada who is the first commissioned US officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Below are dates through Sunday:

Oct 26, 7PM
Phoenix, AZ Location: TBA
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 75
Contact: John Henry, 602-400-9179, 408-704-0192, ekjh7470@cox.net

Oct 27, 7PM
Albuquerque, NM
Location: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
202 Harvard Dr SE
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 63
Contact: Sally-Alice Thompson, 505-268-5073, 512-463-2014, sally-aliceanddon@juno.com

Oct 28, 1 -- 4:30PM
Houston, TX.
Sponsor: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War , Cy-Fair Democratic Club
Location: Live Oak Friends House, 1318 West 26th Street
Entertainment by Bill Passalacqua and Hank Woji, "Sir, No Sir"

Oct 28, 6:15PM
Houston, TX
Location: Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 East 24th Street. "Celebration of Resistance"
Sponsors: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Sherry Glover, sglover001@houston.rr.com,(H) 832-363-1741, (C) 713-929-1132-Bob Watada, ---- David Rovics
Oct 29, 1PM
Austin, TXPM
Sponsor: Code Pink/Austin, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66
Contact: Fran Hanlon, 512-454-6572, mfhanlon@swbell.net
Peter Ravella, 512-220-1740Heidi Turpin, (C)512-565-2242, heiditurpin@yahoo.com

Oct 29, 5:30PM
Austin, TX
Café Caffeine -- 206 West Mary
Sponsors: Code Pink, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Doug Zachary, dbzvfp@gmail.com, (C) 512-791-9824
Heidi Turpin, (C) 512-565-2242, heiditurpin@yahoo.comFran Hanlon (H) 512-454-6572, , mfhanlon@swbell.net

A full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.
More information on Watada and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.

Two notes: Those in need of the press brieifing in Baghdad on October 24th can click here for the US military's transcript. [The briefing was quoted in yesterday's snapshot.]
Second note, community one. Blogger/Blogspot went down yesterday. Elaine's "Daniel Ellsberg, the Mamas and the Papas, Iraq" went up (though she did not know that until she got up this morning -- she assumed when she got the error message that the post was lost). Mike's "Iraq and Tony picks 12 of his favorite Ava & C.I. TV reviews" went up this morning -- he left the computer on all night because he couldn't save or publish and didn't want to lost his post. Rebecca wasn't able to get in (she posts later) but plans to post tonight. Ruth wasn't able to log on (and guest blog at Kat's site). She hopes to do that tonight but it's iffy. Wally's "THIS JUST IN! IRAQ RESPONDS!" and Cedric's "Iraq hollers back to the Bully Boy (humor)" also went up yesterday to round that topic out.