appreciating ruth

first off, i am writing saturday. i didn't say i'd write early and c.i. didn't say i would when it was noted that i was blogging on saturday.

fly boy and i went to see play last night. (i didn't care for it and it was obvious the cast was trying very hard so i'll avoid knocking it. plays get so little attention that if it just doesn't work, i have no need to weigh in. if it's offensive, that's another story.)

no, ruth, thank you.

ruth thanks me for listening to her report. (i heard three versions of it.) it was a pleasure. i asked her the 1st time, 'did c.i. ask you to cut it for length?' she said no but she felt like her reports were getting too long. i don't think that's true. no 1's ever said that to me in person or in an e-mail. but she feels like she goes on too long.

i think that has to do with the fact that she's trying to cover so much. i teased her by saying that i'd grab Law and Disorder for her. teased her because that's 1 of her favorite programs. she said, 'oh you should cover it too. we can both cover it. mike's been mentioning it.'

i won't grab Law and Disorder because i know she loves that program but i will try to listen to and cover something. i think kat's going to start grabbing Guns and Butter. ruth's got a lot to cover and i can grab at least 1 show. i may try to grab something that she never gets to but always means to cover.

this report, she has a wonderful feminist critique of the attitude of a guest on CounterSpin which is a program i listen to now thanks to ruth. i'm sure i'd heard about it before from c.i. but it was ruth's highlighting it each week that made me say, 'okay, i'm going to listen.' i heard the woman being interviewed by janine jackson so when ruth wanted to read her take on it to me, i did know what she was getting at and she didn't have to explain the interview to me.

ruth's kinder than i am. i heard it and didn't think, 'oh she doesn't know about all the work women have done before.' i heard it and thought, 'oh she doesn't care about the battles women have fought and that's partly because of where she writes.' i don't mind an opinion journal, i don't mind a news magazine, but i have no use for a party organ and let's not kid.

i hunted down the article online, the 1 the woman had written, because ruth said she was going to write about it. when i found it, i read it and was prepared when ruth called back with the next section of her report. she is correct, the woman does suggest that women, who are elected and pro-life, should be given space. i'm sorry that's crap.

the issue the writer has tried to focus on is the fact that the new york times shuts out pro-choice voices and instead runs anti-choice male voices. adding anti-choice female voices helps no 1. i really don't buy into the 'i'm a feminist but i'm pro-life' if you're a woman working to defeat other women's rights. you don't want to have 1, for whatever reason, don't. but you're not a feminist if you're working to take away the legal choice from other women.

i don't see that as a gray area.

and to offer that lame 'well .... uh, the new york times depends on officials .... on the academy ... on government officials' nonsense is not feminism. (and that's not a quote from the woman, that's my impression of her statements on the broadcast.) feminism is about valuing women's right to speak and write about their own experience. the new york times is not about feminism.

that's why they have their 'i was a happy working woman but decided i'd be happier at home' stories every 6 months or so. trophy wives are all over that paper, women of achievement barely.

gatekeepers set up the rules so as not to include women unless they were queen bees working to hold other women back. women have had to storm the gates to get the little bit of public space they have. to turn around and accept the premise of gatekeeping goes against feminism.

so read ruth's latest public radio report. she's not playing 'cautious' and she's not going to go 'uh ... uh ...' women of ruth's generation don't play. they don't mess around with abortion, they don't bother with nonsense. they fought this battle.

women who came after, and that includes me, owe them a huge debt and we need to quit playing nonsense games with our times. nonsense includes acting like we have to preface a defense of a medical right with some sort of 'oh abortion is wrong, i know' nonsense.

never heard a man say of a kidney stone operation: 'oh i know it's wrong but i had the procedure. i know it's not in the bible. i know god put the kidney stones in me and i am disowning his will by taking them out, but i did it.'

i don't have time for nonsense and roe v. wade doesn't either. it's under attack.

as ruth pointed out, great number crunching by the woman, lousy commentary. (ruth was kinder.)

on ruth's report, max blumenthal is the writer at the nation who slammed joan mellen. i have no idea why he felt the need for his rebuttal. in the same issue, people objecting to katha pollitt had their say and katha didn't have the need to reply. but blumenthal's got to have the last word.

mellen wrote a great book and you should all read it. A Farewell to Justice is the name of the book. if you're 1 of my younger readers, read it especially. you'll be alive when papers start coming out about the jfk assassination. you'll be able to look at all the blumenthals who have covered up and denied for years. when those papers start coming out, do me a favor and write the nation. write them and tell them that max blumenthal was a lousy man who attacked people trying to find out the truth. tell them that he was a judith miller. he was being fed info by the cia.

this actually wasn't what i planned to write about. i'll do what i planned on monday. but i am just so blown away by ruth every week. if you're a community member of the common ills and you think 'i should share more' i want you to take a look at ruth. she was a member who didn't think any 1 would care what she had to say. when c.i. wrote about how npr gets a pass for all their distortions, despite having a larger audience than fox, msnbc and cnn combined, ruth thought, 'okay, i know this topic, i can write about this.' and that's how she carved out her space.
members love her. (i love her. she blows me away!) i think it was around this time last year that she started contributing to the common ills. her voice is a valued 1 and it is also 1 that we all love. i want more yiddish from ruth! that's my only gripe. i loved reading her using a yiddish phrase and trying to figure it out and then, later, calling her up and asking her how to say it.

she's 1 of a kind. she really should have her own site. c.i.'s told her that too. but she thinks the report is really all she can handle right now. (during work hours, she's the primary caretaker for her youngest grandson monday through friday.) we're lucky to have her voice.

by the way, there was a playwright on RadioNation with Laura Flanders tonight. see, she appreciates the arts in all their forms. tomorrow esther kaplan's going to be on so make a point to listen.


news roundup and grace (will & grace) socks it to the repubes

first off, ava's written a post called 'Ava's entry' at the common ills mirror site so don't miss that. she's running down the history of the third estate sunday review and she's also sharing her own opinions about the process that goes into each marathon session that turns out an edition. jim phoned me to give me a heads up to it. (he loves it.)

now funniest and most true lines of dialogue on tv this week? will & grace had them. (c.i. phoned me to remind me to watch for it.) grace hired a middle eastern woman. the woman was worse than karen when it came to working and grace didn't feel like she could fire her because the woman was middle eastern. however, grace found out that the woman was jewish and was thrilled because that meant that she, grace - who is jewish, could fire her. which she did.

with karen after, grace pinned her reluctance (before learning that the woman was jewish) on 'liberal guilt.' that's all the set up to grace's lines.

here it is:

sometimes i wish i were a republican. then i wouldn't have to worry about anyone's feelings; i'd just have to worry about being indicted.

by the way, i was asked what i thought about monday's peace concert that's gotten some raves and some crappy reviews. i think it was a good cause and have to wonder about the people crapping on the concert. (yes, new york times, i mean you.)

okay, let's do the news. rumsfeld won't make predictions regarding iraq according to the associated press. a policy that he should have implemented prior to the invasion when he was so gosh-it's-going-to-be-a-cakewalk-with-roses-strewn-in-our-path.

who spreads the rumors of 'liberal media'? it's not just the right wing. this was noted repeatedly at the third estate sunday review - how cjr daily (it has a new name now) would go over newsweek, time, and then drop in the national review as though that was balance (in their magazine reports). maybe they thought it was - they thought the new republican was 'left.'

kylie asked me what i thought of aol's 'rate the media' on iraq. i hadn't seen it (so thanks for the link.) through a series of 6 questions, you're asked to weigh in on the media and bully boy. which do you believe? nonsense like that.

if you're a conservative, you've got plenty of room to sound off in their six close-ended questions.
if you're liberal?

How would you rate the media's pre-war coverage?
Total Votes: 160,271

How do you rate the media's coverage of the war?
Total Votes: 162,173

now if i think the media does a poor job because they cover it and minimize (as many on the left believe), i'm giving props to bully boy's latest talking point that the media just won't report the good news. the whole poll's like that, see for yourself.

so, in the poll, you're either with the bully boy or the corporate press.

next 2 questions.

How would you rate the information you got from Bush before the war?
Total Votes: 105,855

How do you rate the information you get from Bush during the war?
Total Votes: 106,952

shocking that 35% are such dedicated kool-aid drinkers that they believe bully boy gave them good info in the lead up. note also that at least a thousand people who voted in question 4 chose to skip evaluating bully boy's info before the war.

last 2 questions:

How much does the media influence your opinion of the war?
Not at all
A little
A lot
Total Votes: 104,261

How much does the Bush administration influence your opinion of the war?
Not at all
A lot
A little
Total Votes: 105,206

see, it's set up as a battle between bully boy and the press. if you're a right winger, vote for bully boy. where is the left supposed to go? this is the sort of implied message the corporate media sends out all the time.

i don't think it's by accident. just like i don't think it's an accident that bean counters like james carville are presented on tv like they're lefties. (when they aren't.)

henry kissinger is back in the news. he's like the whore they've all slept with. but he's in the news over his time in the nixon white house. he was for building ties with iraq. the ambassador to iran wasn't for it: richard helms, later in charge of the cia and a liar to congress.

chalmers johnson on richard helms:

Richard Helms, the director of the CIA back in 1977, was convicted of a felony for lying to Congress. He said, no, we had nothing to do with the overthrow of [Chilean President] Salvador Allende when we had everything to do with it. He gets a suspended sentence, pays a small fine, walks into the CIA building at Langley, Virginia, and is met by a cheering crowd. Our hero! He's proudly maintained the principles of the secret intelligence service, which is the private army of the president and we have no idea what he's doing with it. Everything they do is secret. Every item in their budget is secret.

note this from the ap:

Faced with hundreds of claims by detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a federal appeals court pressed the Bush administration on Wednesday to say how much power judges will have to determine the legality of the detentions.
The three-judge panel is being asked to decide whether the Detainee Treatment Act, signed by
President Bush on Dec. 30, retroactively voids hundreds of lawsuits by abolishing a right to challenge detentions that has been part of U.S. legal principles since the nation's founding.
Judges David B. Sentelle and A. Raymond Randolph seemed willing to accept the administration's view that the act forces dismissal of more than 200 lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court here on behalf of over 300 detainees.

of course the hideous sentelle was willing to accept the administration's view - as long as it's republican, he'll walk around with a daisy up his crack if they ask him to. if you're not familiar with the hideous sentelle, read this by robert parry.

and note this by the center for constitutional rights:

On March 22 in New York a three-judge panel heard arguments from attorneys representing Guantánamo detainees in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals (Al Odah v. United States of America and Boumediene v. Bush). They asked the panel to reject the Government's effort to have the cases dismissed. CCR won the Supreme Court case establishing the detainees' right to challenge their detention in U.S. court (Rasul v. Bush), and currently oversees more than 500 pro-bono attorneys representing the detainees.
Barbara Olshansky, CCR Deputy Legal Director who attended oral arguments today stated:
"Despite the government's effort to the contrary, I feel that the Court understood the great importance of preserving the writ of habeas corpus. Their questions about ensuring the Court's ability to consider factual evidence of innocence made clear that justice is their true concern."
Olshansky expects a ruling from the Court in the next few weeks. According to recent estimates, the government is currently detaining about 490 prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp. CCR is working around the clock to achieve their release to freedom or a fair trial.

now go check out cedric's 'Will Interview With The Vampire become the new Catcher in the Rye?'


alan sandals endorsed by feminist majority pac for us senate seat in penn

"Feminist Majority PAC Endorses Alan Sandals for US Senate Race in PA, Statement of Eleanor Smeal"
3/21/2006 - The Feminist Majority PAC is very proud to announce its endorsement of Alan Sandals to be Pennsylvania's next United States Senator.

Alan Sandals' candidacy is in keeping with Pennsylvania's long history of progressive thought and action.
Pennsylvania has long been the heart of the feminist movement, as so many of the movement's leaders got their start in that state, including myself. I grew up in Pennsylvania and raised my own children during their formative years in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. I've traveled all over the state organizing for women's rights and social justice, and I served as president of the Pennsylvania National Organization for Women.
I feel strongly that Pennsylvania needs the kind of progressive leadership that Alan Sandals would bring.
The Feminist Majority PAC has thoroughly examined Sandals' record, and we believe he represents the best of the Pennsylvania tradition of women's equality and social justice. Pennsylvania needs a strong voice in the U.S. Senate for women's rights, reproductive rights, pension rights, economic justice, and the rights of older Americans, especially women. Alan Sandals would be that voice.
This is a critical time for reproductive rights in the United States. South Dakota has just passed a ban on virtually all abortions in the state, and some eleven other states are considering similar bans. The Senate has confirmed two anti-choice Supreme Court Justices in the past six months. And the Supreme Court will soon decide whether the federal abortion procedure ban is constitutional.
There is no question -- Pennsylvania voters are in favor of keeping abortion and family planning legal. Alan Sandals represents these strongly held views. As a pension rights lawyer, he also is a fighter for economic justice for women. Alan Sandals is the best choice to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate.

that's from the feminist wire daily and, if you live in pennsylvania, get on it. or send him money even if you don't. penn needs a senator, a real one. arlen's holding hands with the administration right now but not sure what base he's going to let them get to (nsa spying). he's not up for re-election. rick santorum is and the sooner he's out of office the quicker he can star in those solo j/o porn films he seems destined for. but casey junior is a creep and not worth voting for. casey junior is daddy's boy and there's something really sad about a grown man being daddy's little boy. so support alan sandals.

bully boy's working hard to try to build public support for his illegal and unpopular war. you just know he's going to need 6 weeks at the crawford ranchette any day now. i love how jennifer loven of ap calls it his 'iraq strategy.' there's a strategy? maybe she means when he infamously taunted 'bring it on'? it won't wash. just another daddy's boy trying to act like a man.

c.i. wrote about that and iraq this morning:

Bully Boy's efforts at the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk (not surprisingly) didn't charm/fool this community. This as CBS announces that Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein will be tried April 5th. The CBS cameraman will stand trial (no charges announced) exactly one year after he was taken into military custody. This news comes as Samir Mohammed Noor is released (Reuters cameran) after being held for eight months without charges. And in Baghdad, a car bomb has taken the life of at least one person and injured at least three others. Also in Baghdad, at least two people have been killed and forty-two wounded as Iraqi Shi'ites were targeted on their return from a pilgrimage. Away from Iraq, Dr. Malcolm Kendall-Smith is now facing a court martial for refusing to deploy to Basra. The prosecution/persecution, sounding a lot like Bully Boy, said that the issue of the legality of the war was "irrelevant." This as "US Faces Charges of Two Massacres of Iraqi Civilians." That's a small snap-shot of where we are as year four of the illegal war of choice begins.

in 1946, the united nations created the human rights commission. with bully boy's favorite reach around john bolton as our ambassador to the un it sees the death of the commission. in its place, a human rights council will be created. the us voted 'no' on this, by the way. from the article:

Many developing nations were critical of the plan for a new rights council, saying Western powers merely wanted to target poor countries and would protect their friends.

to find out what daryl hannah did for world water day click here.

i spent most of the night on the phone including over an hour with kat after i read her post. and i was on the phone with elaine as well and recommend her 'Musings' - highly recommend.

i spent so much time on the phone that was my whole night. so i'll leave it at this for the post tonight.


year 4 of the illegal war begins

it's the war queen hillary from isaiah's 'got war?' for the world today just nuts. look, she's got her blood mustache and drops of blood drip from it.

kylie e-mailed to say it's the bully boy's illegal war but a lot of others got us over there and keep us over there. i agree completely and hillary clinton is 1 of the 1s who has the blood lust just like the bully boy.

it's people like hillary that keep us over there and that's worth remembering as year four of the illegal war begins and reality seems to fade. (check out c.i. for how the new york times invents false 'trends' to avoid covering reality in iraq.)

cedric thinks he just lost his whole post. he goes to post it and gets a message just as it is posting 'blogger is down.' they're down an awful lot considering that most of the bugs never get worked out.

wally's already noted that bully boy is now saying that the troops will remain in iraq long after the bully boy is gone. another case of him starting something he can't finish.

the associated press has this:

America risks convicting the innocent and letting the guilty evade justice in how it handles detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the military attorney defending an Australian terror suspect held at the U.S. prison camp said Monday.
Maj. Michael Mori, a Marine Corps lawyer, told an audience at George Washington University that no civilized justice system would accept "information being acquired potentially under torture or questionable methods."

are we finally in a place where we can listen and hear? i don't know. i hope the warning won't go unheeded but i know we've had so much fear instilled in us and so many lies that this could just fly right over a lot of heads.

but what's happening in guantanamo goes against democracy, against the consitution and stains every american.

here's something from the jerusalem post:

On Saturday, Feingold said that for him the censure was not just an important moral decision but a smart political move. He disdained other Democrats who have been afraid to take a stronger stance against the administration and who warned last week that Feingold's motion would play into the hands of Republican strategists, who would use it as a way to rally their own base around an embattled president.

and from the bbc:

US military investigators have flown to Iraq to study reports that marines shot dead at least 15 civilians, including seven women and three children.
The incident is said to have happened in Haditha on 19 November 2005.
The military's initial claim that the civilians died in a roadside blast was disproved by an earlier investigation.
Investigators will now ask if the civilians died in crossfire or were targeted deliberately in a potential war crime.

and here's this from the independent:

The US military is investigating two incidents in which American soldiers killed at least 26 Iraqi civilians and then claimed that they were either guerrillas or had died in cross fire.
The growing evidence of retaliatory killings of unarmed Iraqi families, often including children, by US soldiers seemingly bent on punishing Iraqis after an attack, will spark comparisons with the massacre of Vietnamese villagers at My Lai in 1968.
US troops have been notorious among Iraqis for their willingness to shoot any Iraqi they see in the aftermath of an insurgent attack. But it is only now that convincing and detailed information is becoming available about the killings.

good thing bully boy's so full of optimism, right? it would be awful if reality confronted him and he had to see the ugliness of the illegal war he forced on the world.

jesse jackson is attempting to get the election in new orleans postponed because there have not been adequate provisions to ensure that displaced people will be able to vote.

cedric lost 1/2 his post. i've just stayed in this window waiting for word that blogger is back up so i didn't lose anything by attempting to post.

i told him to forget it and i'd grab the section he lost.

okay, this is what he wanted to note from democracy now:

Historic Black Church Faces Closure in New Orleans
And in New Orleans, ten people barricaded themselves inside one of the country's oldest black Roman Catholic Churches Monday to protest its planned closure. Freed slaves founded the St. Augustine Church in 1841. The New Orleans Archdiocese plans to close it down as a cost-saving measure. We reached Cynthia Dolliole, who is among the ten people inside the church. She said: "We are just trying to get answers as to why they would close the oldest black church in the US when everyone in New Orleans has lost everything else and now we are trying to make us lose our church; we're very disappointed and hoping someone will hear us and we'll get better answers than what we've gotten before."

with all the scandals the catholic church has been through it shocks me that they're inviting a new 1. why does a chuch exist? i never counted the collection plate so i always assumed it was to provide a community with spiritual support.

can you think of a community that needs support now more than new orleans? but the church wants to pull out. (we can't pull out of iraq but the catholic church can pull a church out of an area where it's needed - logic 2006.)

with everything that has been lost what is the catholic church thinking when they decide that the community can also lose a church? it seems like a slap in the face to me.

they need to rethink that decision and they need to stay. a church should always be where it is needed and if they don't think they're needed in new orleans, they'd kidding themselves.

seth's posted again so check him out. he's weighing in on when soaps go cowardly.


bully boy thinks war is funny, do you?

that's isaiah's the world today just nuts.

it's the 3rd anniversary of the illegal invasion. 3 years of an illegal war.

if you don't get the joke bully boy's making about wmd - he made it to the d.c. press corps.

yucked it up about not being able to find wmd.

want to know something even sicker?

the press laughed.

they thought it was all a joke.

we're entering the 4th year of the occupation. over 200,000 iraqis have died.

2317 american military deaths in iraq; 17004 troops wounded.

and bully boy and the press suck up to 1 another in the illegal war he launched, the illegal war they helped 'market.'

you should be disgusted. he can't be. he can't even say 'war.'

the press can't be. they can't even take accountability for their actions.

'and the war drags on' is worth reading every sunday & thursday but especially on the 3rd anniversary.

bully boy won't end the illegal war.

only we can.

so don't let this topic fall by the wayside tomorrow. talk about the war. bring it up with your friends, with your teachers, in classes, anywhere you can, anyway you can.

it's all grins & giggles to the bully boy. there's been no sacrifice for him.

don't let him get away with his illegal war of choice that never should have been launched and that's taking lives each day.

bring the troops home. we can make it happen.

if you're not sure you can do it, read this.