short 1 mainly on the media and jill carroll

i'm at the mckinnon's home this weekend because we all went to a play last night. i'm in the kitchen and trina and i are on dueling computers. (i'm on my laptop.) we're going to see who can finish 1st. also, blame me if the recipe sucks, the 1 trina's sharing tonight. it's mine and we'll be eating it shortly - another reason we are having speed drills on our blogging tonight.

be sure to check out cedric's 'Harry Belafonte's Calypso' - calypso is 1 of my favorites. please read elaine's "The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation" as well as this and this by c.i. about the way the right wing echo chamber doesn't act alone.

democracy now noted this on friday:

Carroll Criticized For Saying Captors Treated Her Well
Meanwhile, Jill Carroll is already coming under attack for saying that she was treated well by her captors. Writing for the National Review, John Podhoretz wrote: "It's wonderful that she’s free, but after watching someone who was a hostage for three months say on television she was well-treated because she wasn’t beaten or killed -- while being dressed in the garb of a modest Muslim woman rather than the non-Muslim woman she actually is -- I expect there will be some Stockholm Syndrome talk in the coming days."

that explains how the right got ramped up, it does not explain why mainstream media organizations like the new york times and the associated press put forward the same talking points.

and trina's announcing that she's already posting so let me post as well. soup's almost ready anyway.

posting this for cedric so he can use it as cedric's big mix. if you don't know this cd, you should. it's 1 of the all time bestsellers: harry belafonte's calypso Posted by Picasa


jill carroll freed, iraqis still under bully boy & flashpoints

be sure to check out betty's 'Thomas Friedman's Frostings and Facials' and cedric's 'Afghanistan the forgotten "liberation".' mike and i both delayed blogging tonight to make sure that when we did, we'd be able to note the latest from them. and kat's posted yesterday with 'Etta James and Bonnie Faulkner' and tonight with 'The downward spiral of democracy under the Bully Boy' so check out those as well. and if you're a music lover, be sure to check out 'Kat's Korner: Etta James Takes It All The Way.' i really love etta james' all the way. read kat's review and see if you're not interested in getting the cd too.

since mike and i were on the phone, i told him i'd grab headlines with him the way elaine normally does (she's off thursdays because she has to do group sessions). so these items are from democracy now.

Kidnapped Reporter Jill Carroll Freed in Iraq
After nearly three months in captivity, kidnapped U.S. reporter Jill Carroll has been released. Carroll is a freelance reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor in Iraq. She was seized in January outside the offices of a prominent Sunni politician in Baghdad. In a brief television interview in Baghdad, Carroll said she is in good condition and had been treated well by her captors. Her captors freed her by leaving her in a street near the offices of the Iraqi Islamic Party. She walked inside, and people there called US officials. Although her captors threatened twice in videotapes to kill her, Carroll said they never hit her or threatened to do so. Carroll said she was kept in a room with a window and a shower, but she did not know where she was. She went on to say: "I'm just happy to be free. I want to be with my family." On Wednesday, Jill Carroll’s sister, Katie Carroll, had read a statement on Arab television pleading for her sister's safe release. There had been no word from Carroll's captors in nearly two months. They had demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraqi prisons. Five out of an estimated nine women prisoners were released in January.

i didn't think we'd see her alive. when i was writing last night about the liars who didn't tell you what it was like and didn't do anything but hang around the green zone while others did all the work, i was thinking of what i would write about her when the bad news came? i'm so glad that it didn't come. jill carroll showed more some common sense and more bravery then the entire bylined staff of the new york times stationed in iraq. after she's had time to process what she's been through, i hope she starts talking about what she saw in iraq. i don't think many people over there now could tell you a thing about the iraqis themselves because it's hard to get to know the people waiting on you at the hotel. if she doesn't go on the lecture circuit, i hope she'll give a series of interviews.

Iraqi PM Criticizes US Over Resignation Pressure
In news from Iraq, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has lashed out at growing US pressure to block him from serving a second term as prime minister. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has asked Iraqi Shiite politicians to seek the withdrawal of al-Jaafari's nomination for a second term. In an interview with the New York Times, al-Jaafari said: "[There's] concern among the Iraqi people that the democratic process is being threatened."

we want a "democratic" Iraq - as long as the iraqis don't think they can decide for themselves. don't they know that bully boy is the 'death force' and, like many mythical gods, requires human sacrifices? the iraqis just had the election that the administration tried to sell as 'freedom's on the march.' but when the march doesn't take the route we had scheduled, we want to pull the permit. it's all so very mayor bloomerg.

i was talking to ruth this week to see what show i could grab from pacifica radio that she's not able to cover. one such show is flashpoints which comes on when she's eating dinner and can't catch all the remarks. i'm not going to do flashpoints every day. (i fear committment!) but i will notice it at least once a week. flashpoints airs on kpfa monday through friday and is hosted by
dennis bernstein. it's an hourly broadcast.

what stood out yesterday was the interview with the father of a young teenager who was taking part in the protests against the legislation to turn immigrants into felons and to criminalize any 1 who attempted to provide any to aid to some 1 in need without demanding 'let me see your papers.' (seriously, we've become south africa at the height of apartheid.)he was an intelligent man and very proud of his daughter. (now watch, it will turn out it was a son. if so, write me and i will correct it.) he spoke of how the police, in california, were around the school fences to prevent any 1 from walking out to protest.

he sounded like a caring parent. and that's the main thing that stood out to me on wednesday.

on tuesday, there was a show that you should really listen to. you had patrick cockburn reporting the realities on the ground in iraq and if operation happy talk had any life left in it, it died in the ears of every 1 who heard his report.

you also got to hear jeremy scahill (who i know from democracy now) and dahr jamail giving speeches. what stood out about dahr's speech was his end question about what are you prepared to do to stop the war? jeremy schaill spoke of the illegal invasion in terms of the history of it. for those who wonder why hillary won't speak out against the war, listen to his speech. bill clinton had a hand in setting up this war.

jeremy pointed out that it's easy to protest an illegal war when it's overseen by some 1 as hated as the bully boy but where was the huge protest when bill clinton was playing war monger? hillary, jeremy didn't speak of her that i remember, won't speak out because her husband's so tied up in this. and she probabl is as well. the congressional authorization for regime change came under bill clinton, it set the stage for today.

jeremy also spoke of what c.i. has, the 'protest pens' in boston at the dnc convention. i didn't go to the convention. i heard about them from c.i. who found them disgusting. (c.i.'s noted that at the common ills many times and also disgust over the fact that the democrats had medea benjamin pulled from the floor for unfurling her anti-war banner.) (any 1 else ever wonder if that's not what the leadership would like to do to the grassroots of the party? by the way, i'll be writing about evan blah tomorrow night.)

jeremy was very outspoken about how disgusting that was and how disgusting the use of the military to 'maintain order' was.

it was a very powerful speech.

if this is new to you, the democratic party supported protest at their convention. as long as you were willing to step into a little pen to do it. now you might think, free speech being a constitutional right, that protests could happen anywhere. you would be wrong. if i'm remembering correctly what c.i. told me when the convention was going on, the pen wasn't even near a place where most people would see it. it was off to the side and i want to see near 1 of the back entrances/exits where most people would never pass. (just to clarify, c.i. didn't get into the protest pen.)

jeremy talked about the tone of the speeches and noted john kerry and john edwards. kerry just looked silly, to me, saying 'reporting for duty.' john edwards, and maybe it was because he never served in the military, came off like the bully boy.

now this week, elaine's written about home fries, kat's written about guns and butter and i've written about flashpoints. don't ask ruth to cover those in her report because they've been covered. there are hours and hours and hours of programming each week, each day, and there's only so much 1 person can even try to cover. if it ever looks like i'm going a week without covering flashpoints, drop me an e-mail to remind me. there was a feature with some 1 (i think his name was kyle) that i really enjoyed but i'm learning the regulars' names still so, until i do learn their names, i'll probably just focus on the guests.


iraq in crisis and chaos - the us continuing the occupation will destroy the country

25,000 Iraqis Displaced Since Mosque Bombing
In Iraq, a relief agency says more than 25,000 Iraqis have fled their homes since last month's bombing of a holy Shiite shrine in Sammara. The International Organization for Migration says scores of shelters and tent cities are housing increasing numbers of displaced Sunni and Shiite families. Aid officials say the internal migration is only continuing.

do you think bully boy frets or worries about that. (it's from democracy now, by the way.)

i don't think so. not when he's blaming the chaos, the chaos he created, on saddam hussein.

are people aware of what happened in fallujah? either time but especially in november of 2004 when the second wave of destruction (including white phosophorus) hit the city? where do people think the victims of that massacre live? not the 1s slaughtered but the 1s who managed to get out. what do people think they had to return to? houses were leveled. the city was in ruins. dexy filkins was getting a chubby just watching it all go blow to the heavens but the reality (always in short supply when filkins 'reports') is that what happened was a tragedy and a war crime and dexy filkins is as much a war criminal as the administration because he sold it as entertainment. he should be ashamed of himself.

and so should any 1 else who's still holding on to the idea that we're somehow 'liberating' any 1. we aren't doing any such thing. we are contributing to the violence with our presence.

i want to call attention to c.i.'s post from nov. 21, 2004 (when dexy's 'award winning' war porn ran):

The rah-rah piece carries the dateline "Nov. 18" in this story published in the November 21st edition. Allowing for the time needed to put together a Sunday edition, I'm still questioning that. The story was filed on the 18th (Thursday) and pops up on the 21st (Sunday). And there's the added detail, not provided in Dexter Filkins story, that Lance Cpl. William Miller died November 15th (http://icasualties.org/oif/prdDetails.aspx?hndRef=11-2004).
Perhaps we're all supposed to count the "eight days after the Americans entered the city on foot?"
If so The Guardian places that as November 8th (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1346721,00.html) and eight days later would be the sixteenth -- well Times reporters aren't necessarily noted for their math.The point here is that the story on today's front page (November 21, 2004) begins with a battle from November 15th without ever alerting the reader to this fact. An occurence six days prior is their front page Iraq story. (Which makes one think of Chris Hedges' comments on the nature of war correspondence.)
Was the story "cleared" -- is that the reason for the long delay in the Times reporting on events from the 15th?
Is anyone else bothered by the rah-rah nature of this report that reads like the plot to a video game? After reading the article is anyone else feeling like Filkins is a lot like Bob Dylan's "Mr. Jones" -- "Something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Filkins?"

before the 'award winning' dexy became award winning with his war porn, c.i. was questioning him and his reporting in real time.

i'm still bothered by the poll on aol last week. we're supposed to either believe the media is too liberal or else belive they're doing a great job, based upon the way that poll was set up. there are more choices than that. that's not reality and you and i know that.

i'm also real tired of hearing corporate reporters defend themselves and speak of danger that they've been under. you know what? you should have written about it. instead of pretending like everything was wonderful in iraq, you should have written that you couldn't leave the green zone. and this nonsense about even though you didn't leave the green zone, your articles were strong because a stringer or 2 gave you the information? you didn't do the reporting. they did the reporting. you put your anglo name on it and you took the credit.

did you write 'i am a prisoner of the green zone, unable to leave and this report is me writing information that stringers are giving me because it's not safe for me to leave the green zone'?
no. so you lied.

you lied to the readers. you let them think that you had mobility and could go anywhere. while iraq was falling to pieces, you lied.

now you want our sympathies? oh how awful it is for you. because YOU are the story, right? not the iraqis you are supposed to be reporting on. not the iraqis who live in danger every day the illegal occupation continues.

and you want to snap things like 'you weren't there!' guess what, you weren't there either. you were in a hotel or villa, heavily guarded. don't lecture critics on what you know when you didn't bother to report the very little that you knew.

robert fisk did. robert fisk also spoke about it.

but the american embeds stayed silent on reality and acted like things were hunky dorky in terms of their travel. the inability to travel didn't happen last month or the month before. this has been a long process and only now are they beginning to speak about it publicly.

i have no sympathy. i have sympathy for jill carrol and others who tried to get reality out of ira. dahr jamail, to name 1. patrick cockburn and robert fisk. i have sympathy for them and admiration for them.

but the rest? the 1s who stayed silent about reality the same way they stayed silent on the attacks on al jazeera?

i don't care that maybe it was real hard ordering room service and sitting around the green zone.
you wanted to report from a war zone, you knew the problems. you went there and you refused to report on reality. don't come back to the united states and expect a lot of sympathy when your lies allowed the occupation to continue and the american people who only follow corporate media to think things were much better than they were.

that's my gripe tonight.

a 'jim' wrote in. i'm not really sure why. it appears to be a pick up e-mail (offering relationship or just e-mails). jim, i'm involved with my ex-husband currently. you sound like a wonderful man with your likes and dislikes list. but i'm in a relationship right now, so thank you all the same.

i also got e-mails wondering if c.i. 'ripped you a new 1'? that's in ref to what i wrote last night. 1st, c.i. was yelling on the phone. but that was due to the fact that c.i. was at a rally and using a cell phone. c.i. didn't 'rip' into me. c.i. wanted to know why i hadn't linked to some 1 who was linking to me. after that was addressed, c.i. wanted to talk about what kind of support we're giving to the community.

c.i. had hard questions for me and hard self-questions as well. because we're long term friends, there is no need to pussy foot around the issue. this wasn't griping (and c.i. was far tougher on self than on me). c.i. noted that i do a great job of noting cedric, for instance.

c.i.'s concern was whether we were all doing our part to promote 1 another? due to the way the common ills is set up, c.i.'s not always noting every 1. (also due to time issues.) elaine and i can be noted very easily there because we're always calling c.i. about something. (we have always spoken to 1 another a great deal but once the invasion started we started speaking much more often. it probably went from twice a week most weeks to 5 to 7 times a week or more.) so if 1 of us says something on the phone, it's very easy for c.i., in the middle of an entry, to say 'rebecca pointed out' or whatever. but are we promoting trina enough? (trina's got a great recipe for mexican rice. even i was able to cook it without any problems.) or any of the other sites?

you all are wonderful readers and share great e-mails. i know you're smart and dedicated. and i'm thankful for you and know i'm lucky to be 2nd to the common ills in most read. but as the top 2 most read online (if you count their print edition, the third estate sunday review, they're probably ahead of me), are we doing our part to promote the ocmmunity enough?

that's a valid question. and we discussed it. it wasn't about 'rebecca, i'm going to scream at you.' i'm sorry if my word choice gave that impression. what i meant by mike getting it easier was that c.i. wouldn't address mike in the same way. it wouldn't be, 'mike, are we doing enough?' it would be 'mike, could you spotlight cedric [or whomever] a little more?'

c.i. and i are both older than mike and we've known each other for years. what i was trying to express is that we don't have to be 'if i could, please, just maybe make a point, if that's okay' with each other.

now, does gail collins of the new york times grate on your last nerve? if so go read mike on gail collins the self-amused. want a breakdown on england and to find out what's coming up in the gina & krista round-robin and polly's newsletter? go read elaine's post from this evening.

want to read about the marathon edition that seemed like it would never end sunday? read cedric's comments on it.

that's the sort of thing c.i. was talking about. (i've already linked to wally earlier in this post.) what we were talking about, trying to figure out, was how to be sure we were noting the newer site and being sure that people knew what was going on at them.

i'll close by uring every 1 to check out c.i.'s "NYT: Eric Lichtblau covers the hearing on NSA spying by focusing on Robertson's letter" even though c.i. wasn't talking about highlights for the common ills.


flashback to 1979, 3 mile island and the right wing echo chamber

Three Mile Island: 27th Anniversary of Nuclear Accident
And today is the 27th anniversary of the meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was the most severe nuclear accident in U.S. history. In the pre-dawn hours of March 28, 1979, the cooling system of the plant’s reactor malfunctioned, causing temperatures inside to skyrocket sparking a meltdown that resulted in the release of radioactivity.

that's from democracy now and today is the 27 anniversary. let me round that out by talking about some stuff going on at that time. jimmy carter was president. karen silkwood had been murdered years prior. (others think she died in an accident. i say murder.)

karen silkwood was a whistleblower on the nuclear industry and 1 night, while she was going to expose the industry (with documents), she died in a car accident and no documents were in the car.

jane fonda wanted to make a film about the life of karen silkwood but there were problems with the legal rights at that time. (years later, meryl streep would star as karen silkwood in the film silkwood.) what was going on was a film michael douglas and jack lemmon were involved with and jane fonda (and her film partner then, bruce gilbert) teamed up. they filmed it and it took a lot of pressure to get the studio to go along with the desired title: "china syndrome."

it was thought that the film would be a hard sell with the best title and the studio (columbia) didn't think that was the best title. (the title refers to the effect during a meltdown).

the film comes out and, i know this hard to believe, the right wing slams it. george will stops twirling his bow tie long enough to slam the film as did others. never could happen. if it ever happened, the nuclear industry wouldn't try to deceive the public.

there was a cooridnated effort to bury the film which came out on march 16, 1979. then three miles island happend. the george will's weren't shut up (they never are, kids), but reality did take hold with the public.

trivia note, edward teller who is known as the father of the h-bomb (a title he wrongly took pride in) had a heart attack in 1979 and publicly blamed it on jane fonda.

poor mad scientist. a heart attack? i'm sure only a heart attack would have been seen as mercy to the people the bomb was dropped on in hiroshima.

so that's a bit of flashback history for you.

all the usual right-wing, echo chamber cranks lined up to destroy a film (and fonda, you know they always love to try to destroy her) and, as usual, they were talking out of their ass.

this time the truth was told on them quick.

now an apology. no, not about roberta flack. she wasn't on wbai's home fries last night because something came up, that's how it goes in live radio and it was a great program. elaine and i were on the phone listening to it together. and if she, some 1 who loves roberta flack (i think that may be her favorite female singer) could still enjoy the program than nobody has a right to have a huffy fit. it was a wonderful program and the host was a substitute host, joyce jones, who did a wonderful job.

so here's my apology. i had no idea rory o'connor was linking to me. or that he was linking to mike. c.i. heard about it yesterday and we both heard about it late last night. mike got the easy treatment because c.i. looks at him like a kid. (no offense to mike.) i explained to c.i. that i truly had no idea that i was being linked to.

that was very nice of rory o'connor to link to mike and to link to me. mike and i are both adding him to our links tonight. (we have noted his writing in our posts.) while i was in the template, i also added a link to pacifica radio because it is important that we support indymedia. and for ruth, i linked to her favorite program Law and Disorder.

it's also important to support the community. i usually tell every 1 that they don't have to highlight me. that's because i do pretty well on my own and there are so many new sites since i started. i need to note wally more. he does daily entries monday through friday and he's some 1 i consider a friend. he's a community member, of course, but he was always a big supporter of my writing. "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY PULLS BOLTEN SWITCH!" is his most recent and it's a humorous look at joshua bolton replacing andrew card as the white house chief of staff. wally takes a humorous look at the news and does a great job.

c.i. and i were talking about that on the phone too. with mike and elaine, they've got links to each other because they pick out the 2 items from democracy now that they're both going to spotlight together. so if you go to either site, you're aware of the other. but is wally getting enough support from the community sites?

that was c.i.'s question. c.i. usually only spotlights if a member brings it up. and c.i. also wants to be sure that no 1 ever feels like 'i write a lot and never get noted.'

that's why i always tell every 1 that they don't have to note me. there are a lot of sites that are out there (sites in the community). we all note c.i. (despite being asked not to). and that's because c.i. writes more than any of us. (and because c.i. writes so well and on so many things.)
me, i post 5 times a week. compare that to the common ills which has a minimum of 23 or so entries a week.

so let me say that if you haven't checked out wally, you should. he's a great guy and very funny.


will the helen thomas attackers apologize?

this is from c.i.:

Now Roberta Flack. Micah e-mailed that he wasn't sure of the WBAI program but Ruth says it's Home Fries which airs from nine to ten p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Joyce Jones will be filling in as host and she will be speaking with Roberta Flack, fresh from the Apollo. So that's Roberta Flack on WBAI tonight (and you can listen online, remember) and that's Danny Schechter giving a presentation, a free presentation, in NYC Wednesday night.

elaine asked me to note it because she's a huge fan of roberta flack. i like roberta's vocals as well. 'the first time ever i saw your face' is probably my favorite song or maybe it's the duet of 'the closer i get to you' with donnie hathaway?

but she has many wonderful songs and it should be an interesting interview.

this is from media matters:

After the contentious exchange between Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas, a veteran White House reporter, and President Bush during Bush's March 21 press conference, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and several other conservative commentators rushed to attack Thomas for asking Bush, since "[e]very reason given, publicly at least," to justify invading Iraq, "has turned out not to be true ... why did you really want to go to war?" In the days following the press conference, O'Reilly has repeatedly attacked Thomas for the question on both his nationally syndicated radio program and his Fox News television program, calling Thomas's question "absurd" and "out of bounds," accusing Thomas of "hat[ing] Bush and try[ing] to undermine everything he does," and even suggesting that if he were Bush, he "would have laid her out." Several other conservative media figures -- including Jonah Goldberg, Fred Barnes, Glenn Beck, and Tucker Carlson -- have followed suit, sometimes with highly personal attacks.
Thomas sparked the contentious exchange with the president by asking Bush, "[W]hy did you really want to go to war?"

so they were happy to pile on helen thomas for asking bully boy why he invaded iraq? will they apologize to her now? will they ask bully why he invaded?

if you missed it, read c.i.'s "NYT: Bully Boy did want to go to war (despite lying to Helen Thomas last week)" which is about how bully boy and tony blair were finally the illegal war on iraq on january 31, 2003. we invaded iraq on march 19, 2003. why did we invade? bully boy knew there were no wmd. so every 1 who mocked helen thomas needs to be the 1st to ask bully boy why we invaded iraq.

i'm stopping here because roberta flack comes on in less than a half hour. but all the ones who tried to dog pile on helen thomas, who asked a question none of them would dare, need to apologize to her now. publicly since they attacker her pubicly.

oh! almost forgot. another senate judiciary committee hearing on the illegal spying of americas tomorrow. here's ruth:

Programming notes for next week. First, Larry Bensky and KPFA will be covering Tuesday's **NSA Hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee** I assume that other Pacficia stations will carry this or some coverage of it as well but I have only heard it noted on KPFA. [Dallas note: Houston's KPFT will air the coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m. Central Time.]

make a point to listen.