flashpoints, jeremy scahill on john f. burns, and more

did i note ava and c.i's review of las vegas? i think i did but it's worth noting twice.

i was reminded of that when i was reading seth's latest. if you haven't checked it out yet, please make a point to read "Some Highlights."

on kpfa this week, there was a lot coming out of flashpoints.

sherry e-mailed me a heads up to thursday's episode. i wasn't on when it was broadcast so i'm listening to it now. jeremy scahill gives an incredible speech about the way journalists are targeted in iraq and especially arab journalists. of course, the 1s targeted are the unembed journalists. not the dexy filkins who reportedly cancel interviews if the military gives him a cross look. but the 1s who are trying to get the story and report it.

'that's what's most threatening' to bully boy and the democrats who go along, witnesses.

what wasn't threatening were the people like john f. burns. 'he was a terrible propagandist for the war,' jeremy scahill said.

he spoke of how in october of 2002, he was at a museum in iraq and seeing gold spurs that ronald reagan had given saddam, seeing photos of saddam hussein and chirac drinking milk. and all the sudden they were told that saddam would be making a big announcement. since this was october 2002, and war was on the horizon, they were curious what the announcement was?

it was that all prisoners would be released except those thought to be spying for israel. jeremy was at a prison, i believe abu ghraib, and it was a big moment as families lined up to greet the people who had been imprisoned.

there was a lot of happiness and a lot of tears. but when john f. burns writes it up in the new york time, 'he wrote for the new york times that many of the prisoners thanked george w. bush' for releasing them from prison. many? approximately 30-40,000 people were released. jeremy didn't hear any of them thanking bully boy.

so he goes up to john f. burns and pulls out his pad and pen and asks '"many"? are we talking like 1,000s that said that.'

burns made it up. but instead of answering jeremy, he has a snit fit and starts screaming 'are you saying that pulitzer committee twice erred' when they gave him prizes.

yes, john f. burns, they did make a mistake. jeremy doesn't say that but i will. they made a mistake because they thought you were a journalist. you aren't. a journalist doesn't go bad overnight. you didn't just get it wrong, you penned propaganda. so yes, john, the pulitizer board made a mistake. as shameful as roxanne's later escpades?

no, more shameful because this had to do with integrity.

i loved hearing that speech, so let's thank sherry because due to volunteer work, i usually am not able to hear thursday's flashpoints.

i'll also say 'way to go c.i.' because c.i.'s been all over the new york times' nonsense from iraq and didn't let up. even when people would write and say 'how can you say that!' when people were averting their eyes online and acting like dexy filkins was a real journalist, c.i. was noting reality.
last week, i quoted c.i. writing about dexy's 'award winning reporting' and i want to note that this was in real time. c.i. wrote about the problems with that 'reporting' the morning it ran in the paper. the site wasn't even a week old, the common ills, but c.i. didn't shirk responsibility or look the other way. if other people had done the same, we'd be out of iraq now.

c.i. got some really rude e-mails, especially when dexy won his award (a polk i think) for his propaganda on the slaughter of falluja in november of 2004. terry gross kissed dexy's ass on fresh air. so she's just as bad as dexy. she brought him on and let him issue his propaganda.
when npr's willing to put an end to terry gross' stale gas and provide listeners with something of actual value, we'll know npr has changed. but the thing is that they will never change.

online, a lot of people wanted to dog pile judy miller but they kept their mouths shut about dexy. and they really kept their mouth shut about judy's coverage of the u.n. c.i. didn't. in the infamous rudith miller post (which i.d.ed scoots libby as the source months before the investigation, in case you missed that) c.i. dubbed it her 'grudge f--k against the u.n.'

c.i. got ripped off weeks later when a print writer basically cribbed those parts of the entry. i bet he feels bad now that he didn't pick up on the clue as to who leaked to judy. if he had, he could have stolen that from c.i. as well. he might look really informed today - to those who didn't realize that he was a thief stealing from c.i. c.i.'s attitude then was 'oh who cares' and c.i. even highlighted the rip-off without saying 'hey doesn't this look familiar?' that's why a number of us were so furious when c.i. got ripped off on the miller story last summer because it's become a pattern. yesterday, today and tomorrow, if you want to know about the times, you're better off reading c.i. the common ills could be all about the new york times. c.i. has friends there and knows all the gossip. (i'm always saying 'write about that!' when c.i. passes on a tidbit. but c.i. tries to avoid the office gossip.)

but that's why c.i. never suffered from the mistaken belief that judith miller was the problem at the paper. she wasn't. she was 1 problem. she wasn't the only 1 and she wasn't the only 1 who was 'reporting' with regards to iraq. judith miller wrote bad reporting. did she do it intentionally? i don't know.

she may have just been a poor journalist who wrote what she was fed without having the brains to question. i doubt it, but that's possible.

it's not possible that john f. burns was just fed information. or dexy filkins. they wrote up fantasies in the paper, fantasies that bore no reality to what they saw.

it really amazes me that, to this day, the strongest critique of filkins comes from c.i. and that most other sites continue to refuse to cover what filkins did. c.i.'s said repeatedly 'if judith miller was one who got us over there, dexter filkins is one who keeps us over there.'

maybe it's just easier or more fun to beat up on a woman?

or maybe some suffer clinton-on-the-brain (like our latter day dylan) and they think it's more productive to turn their sites over to 'they distorted bill!' or 'they distorted hillary!' on a daily basis. maybe some can't look at the calendars and see that the years is 2006, not 1996?

it's past time that the net jumped in on dexy. but it will probably take 6 more months before any 1 will question the 'award winning' dexy. anyone but c.i. that is. (i'm talking online. dahr jamail, christian parenti and jeremy scahill have questioned dexy's 'reporting.')

too bad because if they'd jumped on it while judy was under the gun, we might be more informed. at least we're informed in this community. outside? well the daily bulletins from the clinton fan club must serve some value. i can't imagine what, but some 1 must be pleased.

i searched my links and i see that rudith's been ripped off even more than i knew. it must be 'brave' 10 months later to rip off a well known entry without giving credit - even using the name c.i. dubbed her 'rudith.' i also found it cute how 'reading press releases live from the green zone' was ripped off by some 1 elaine and c.i. loathe. i'll call elaine later tonight to tell her i added the links to her post and that the creep, as elaine calls him, ripped off 'reading press releases live from the green zone.' and it only took the creep a month or so to rip it off.

robert parry will be on a kpfa show called the living room tomorrow night. i don't know that show but c.i. just phoned to tell me (i love robert parry). if you want to listen live, it airs at 3:00 pm my time - eastern, so that's 2 in central time zone and noon in pacific. if you can't listen live, remember that kpfa has archives of their broadcasts. i'm so excited. seriously, robert parry is like my idea of a rock star.

back to flashpoints so i can finish this up. wednesday there was a great interview with father gerad jean jerad juste. monday there was a great interview with ray mcgovern about the bully boy's war crimes and tuesday a report from the occupied territories.

if you're not checking out flashpoints, you're missing a lot. and the hour long program moves really quick. i never knew of this program until i called ruth and asked her to give me a show that she always wants to write about but never gets the time to. ruth has so much to cover and it's asking a lot to expect her to cover all the radio programs so, if you missed it last week, i'm covering flashpoints and i'll probably continue to do that on tuesdays.

begging forgiveness to ruth. elaine had her to be linked to and when i added links to elaine's post earlier, i don't think i did that.


mini essay

great response to yesterday's post. a few of you wanted me to stay on the same topic a bit more so i will.

i don't think the pragmatic realist in the democratic party, armed with polling, accomplishes much. i think they dumb down the public and they avoid dealing with real issues because that might take political capitol. they're always saving it. they're never using it.

that's why i have no desire to vote for hillary clinton. bill clinton, as a president, was largely npr. npr wants us to fight for it. npr wants us to do their battles. but after we've saved their ass, pulled it from the fire yet again, they turn around and veer right. bill clinton did the same thing.

save me from the mean republicans. and we would. we'd defend him and we'd be rewarded with attacks on the poor (welfare reform) and other goodies - many of which the right wing couldn't get when reagan was president but under a democratic president, they did get it. under a democratic president, they did get it. i repeated that because it bears repeating.

i'm not interested in 4 more years of dem-lite and that's all hillary has to offer. she has nothing to say on the war other than to play more-hawk-than-thou. she's retreated from abortion so quickly that she probably performed a few evacutations in the rush to create a vaccum.

if all we're going to see from a hillary presidency is that she does what it's easy, the country doesn't need it. i love how the 'tough talkers' have no spine. they fall into the law & order trap and start talking tough but they're not tough enough to seriously discuss the issue of execution. the most we can hope for from them on that is 'well i think research needs to be done'. research?

or polling?

they won't fight but they will compromise with the right wing. it's as though robbers break in and bill clinton is saying, 'you can take whatever you want, just leave me my tv!' i'm sorry but there are a number of things in my home that i would like to keep. in fact, things handed down to me are far more important than some flashy tv.

but that's what it was for 8 years. 'take abortion, take poverty, take gays,' bill clinton cried, 'but leave me my nafta.'

nafta was 1 of the worst economic programs. it shouldn't have passed and it did nothing to help people. it did help corporations. helping corporations bill clinton could do. helping the people?

he gave some wonderful speeches. i was at the 1992 inauguration. (i got to see barbra streisand rehearsing which was more amazing than anything that followed him for 8 years.) he was likeable.

he just didn't do anything.

having destroyed the chance of universal health care (and hillary did that with her secrecy - the sort of secrecy we object with dick cheney now), hillary now makes health care noises as she gets ready for her 2008 run.

are we supposed to trust her?

what we were given the impression of getting during the 1992 campaign was not what she offered. (though the insurance companies were very pleased with her proposal.)

i don't want to make a hero out of russ feingold (who i like) but i'd rather have some 1 like him who fights. who fights for something other than himself.

i think it was 1993, early 1993, when c.i. said 'bill clinton was raised in chaos and he can't do anything without chaos.' by the end of the 90s, c.i. was comparing bill clinton to jalen rose of the indiana pacers and saying that bill clinton, like rose, had to go out on the court and bury himself because the only role he was comfortable in was 'the comeback kid.'

so we got 8 years of bill clinton's personal struggels, 8 years of bill clinton's america when, in fact, it was the people's country.

there were attacks from the right and from the press. i'm not ignoring that. but unlike the online dylan, i don't feel the need to whore myself out and play like bill clinton was god, jesus christ and buddah rolled into 1.

the press (and the right wing) tried to take him out. he helped them along the way. that's part of the story even if someone still sending his yearly dues into the bill clinton fan club can't grasp that.

i'm also sick of the myth that we were so much better off ecnomically under bill clinton. every 1 wasn't. was it better than under the bully boy? yes.

but that's it choice wise? we can either have nation completely screwed over or nation treading water?

i'm not willing to accept that.

i want some 1 who will fight for the people. some 1 who wants to represent them. that may be a pipe dream. but don't tell me bill clinton is the best we could get. i'll take jimmy carter over bill clinton and i had huge problems with carter's foreign policies.

to hear the right scream their fantasies of how liberal bill clinton was could have only induced gails of laughter from actual liberals. he wasn't liberal.

and if we're going to act as though he was, if we're going to make him the baseline, then get ready for evan blah.

dukakis wasn't a liberal. we get dukakis and others thrown in our faces and are told 'see, a liberal can't win.' how long has it been since a liberal got the democractic nomination?

but these centrists/realists want to move the party to the center. they want to do that because it's easy. i don't think some 1 who's battle plan is 'do what's easy' belongs in the white house.

after bully boy leaves (impeach, impeach, impeach), our country's going to be in a huge mess and some 1 who's just going to do a little light dusting and maybe move the couch around isn't going to fix the problems.

hillary can't even address the problems so the idea that she's the candidate we should all drool over is hard to stomach.

we're seeing the problems with this choose evil or just bad right now as our elected officials talk immigration. undocumented workers aren't being helped by what's going on. corporations are being helped. i'd like to see an issue approached from the perspective of how it will help people - not from how it will help corporations while doing the least damage to people.

we're given these false choices and encouraged to believe that it's this or it's that. life is generally quite a bit more complex as are the issues.

joan baez has a great version of steve earle's 'christmas in washington' on her live album (kat reviewed it here) where she sings about how democrats means '4 more years of things not getting worse.' that's a perfect description by steve earle. i don't think we have to settle for hideous or not worse. i think there are other options.

and the press desire to sell us on candidates is insane. we're not getting any news. we're getting handicapping of the horse race. mark warner 'dark horse' screams the new york times. if 2 years before the primaries the times is going to jerk off over handicapping, exactly when will we get to know what issues people stand for? i am so sick of the corporate press treating it all as a horse race. i want to see more substance in the reporting and in the candidates.

and it would be really great if the new york times, ted koppel and others could avoid trying to shame people over endorsements or encouraging them to drop out of a race and instead start tackling some real issues. i don't expect that to happen.

kat wrote a really wonderful post last night, so please check that out. sherry noted the columns c.i. wrote for the gina & krista round-robin and for polly's brew last weekend and wondered why c.i. wasn't writing about the issue at the common ills?

because c.i.'s sick of crap. and the big question this morning when c.i. called was, 'rebecca, i didn't have a swear word in there, did i?' no. but there are some issues that c.i. knows won't be calm discussions or funny 1s. that's why there's been nothing other than news on jose padilla's case at the common ills. c.i. hasn't made a comment on that due to the level of anger at the supreme court's decision to turn down the case.

c.i. did tackle the new york times continual ignoring of realities in ireland. i know dominick wrote c.i. to ask for that because i got an e-mail from dominick praising the post. i'm not sure people get that (i know sherry does). i've discussed here before but i'll repeat, if c.i.'s writing about something, it's because the members want it covered.
so c.i. does a post that speaks for the community. this morning's was wonderful.

c.i. tackled the times on that and on the realities of uganda. if you missed it, go read it.
it's why jim always knows that if every 1 else is falling asleep, he and c.i. can go on. you just sit there and say 'give a speech on this' and, no matter how tired, c.i. will. that's really what the common ills is, c.i. speaking for members. i was really glad that c.i. announced that next year on water rights day, the common ills was going to be covering that topic. that's a huge topic to c.i. and if it was about 'i'll write what i want to,' that topic would have been covered over and over. instead, the community is like jim saying 'come on talk about this.'

and when it's a time like right now, where c.i.'s pouring hours into activism, i really do worry because there's little to no sleep, there's no down time and the only down time there might be is spent getting things written for the site.

i wouldn't want that responsibility. i'm perfectly fine with writing about what i want.

but in terms of something like the immigration issue or abortion or jose padilla, c.i.'s not going to put it up at the common ills. there's no time. it's a huge headache to write about something like that. and with calls of 'write about this' or 'write about that' or 'please address this' there's no time for it. that's why it goes into columns.

the columns are c.i. speaking about what c.i. wants to. and on issues that are too close to the bone, too important, it's too difficult to try to dash off a paragraph or 2 in the midst of covering what the community wants covered.

by the way, ava and jess are being active on the immigration issue as well.

elaine just called. she's upset because she can't log in to fix her post. those who tried to post early tonight found out they couldn't or had to do so quickly because blogger was going down. it's back up, obviously, but elaine can't log in. she keeps getting an error message of 'down for maintenance' even though that's over. i told her betty wasn't able to log in before going to church. i told her the same thing i told betty, when this happens, it's not your fault and it's not your problem. don't worry about it. and i mean that. betty and elaine need to not guilt over the fact that blogger had problems. i told elaine i would go in tomorrow night and add in the links for her. it's the least i can do after she filled in for weeks and weeks for me. (she doesn't blog thursday nights because she's got group.)


what c.i. said

give it up for c.i. if you missed it, read this entry.

jim called and told me i had to read it. he said there were probably 8 ideas for sunday's the third estate sunday review alone.

he's not kidding.

if i didn't know c.i. was beyond busy, beyond overbooked today, i would call and say 'f-ing great post.' i'll pass that on tomorrow over the phone, but i'll note it here tonight.

'the obgyn jesus' made me laugh. and the 'ohio?' line as well. jim said, 'i could just hear c.i. giving that as a speech' to which i replied, 'you've been reading mike!'

but seriously, it is like 1 of c.i.'s 'okay, let's all get real people' speeches.

and it's correct. a) don't talk about jill carroll this week and go into what the son of 'midget' said. midget's son didn't write articles floating that jill carroll might be the new patti hearst in the new york times or for the associated press.

sorry, elaine and c.i. covered that last week. pick up the pace, people.

b) abc forced a producer to apologize for a private e-mail where he criticized fearful leader bully boy's repeated use of the same phrase. that's all over the web. but less noted is that the network also apologized to maddy albright. maybe people don't read the washington post? i saw that story on monday.

as c.i. pointed out this isn't 'suck up to bully' it's suck up to the powerful. haven't people read amy good and david goodman's exception to the rulers: exposing oily politicians, war profiteers, and the media that love them? if they have and they're focusing only on bully boy, that's like reading a college text and then returning to see spot run books. let's move the criticism forward, let's build on our knowledge base.

c) a woman wrote that sensible advice was suggesting that waiting periods be imposed upon women wanting abortions, they they view ultrasounds and that parental notification be used. this was supposed to be a pro-choice column. i didn't know that anne archer's character from fatal attraction wrote columns.

c.i. said that if you wanted to see some 1 pissed, forward the column to me or elaine. sherry copied and pasted it and sent it to me.

i am pissed.

and i'm a little sick of women selling out our rights. i'm a little sick of women who do not need the medical procedure offering concessions that aren't their concessions to give.

the woman pissed off t with a column awhile back. t was furious. the woman wrote about two female neighbors in a way that t felt was 'look we have 2 sparrows in our neighborhood' or, more likely, a more exotic bird.

look, if you've got your little family nest, your children and are of a certain age, you probably don't need the procedure. and you probably don't understand why some women do. so do all women a favor and shut the hell up.

i'm serious. i am so pissed when i think about that column. i was pissed at the 1 that used 'exotic' neighbors to make a point when the only point appeared to be 'look how wonderful i am, i grow lesbians and roses in my garden!' but t didn't want me to 'blow a gasket' so she asked me not to write about it.

i'll note it now. and i'll say to donna stone, shut the hell up.

i'm real glad that jeff and mary do so well in school and i know that alex is on his way and you have to go check on the roast in the oven, but before you do that and slip on your hostess dress, take a moment to realize that your life isn't the life of every 1 and that it bears little resemblance to the lives of most women who are currently considering abortions.

maybe she's being hanging out with the weak dems in the senate so long she felt the need to channel them for her column? i don't know, i just know that this pro-choice woman, who has had an abortion, found her column offensive to the extreme.

you know what, she's not donna stone. she's the insufferable hope from 30-something.
that's what she is. she's happily nesting and she wants to lecture ellen and melissa about how to live their lives 'morally.' that's the attitude that comes to me from the column.

if she thought bravery was sticking up for choice while selling it out by agreeing to all the right wing demands, then she's not only not brave, she's crazy.

abortion rights advocates have been 'reasonable' enough. in fact, had they not been reasonable for so long, the current attack wouldn't have gotten so far.

but there's this need to look and see the other side.

guess what, there aren't 2 sides to this issue. there's not my side and then that idiot ralph reed's side. why? because ralph reed can't have an abortion or give birth.

the new york times couldn't have editorialized more weakly on abortion than the way that woman wrote about it. it's disgusting.

i guess we're left with just katha to count on. (and as c.i. has noted, she's finishing her book right now.) that's it in our liberal press (print edition)? (i should say in the liberal press that doesn't have a feminist perspective for the entire magazine.)

so there's katha pollitt to fight for abortion rights and that's it from the non-feminist publications. (in terms of columnists.)

the column couldn't have been weaker or more offensive if she'd written it from an anti-choice perspective.

i might have respected that more, in fact. i can handle the crazies, but god save us from the 'helpers' preaching their compromises.

the 'reasonables' who always skip down easy path and abandon the fight.

they truly disgust me.

they're the sort, that if elected, say 'well i know we need ___ but we're going to focus on this because it's easiest.'

they'll never attempt a political battle, they'll never take a stand.

they will chip away at abortion. they'll say 'well there's more support on this aspect so i'll conceed on the other aspects.'

i don't think that's true (about the support) but what they do damages abortion rights.

think of abortion rights as a square. hope steadman sees a bully coming over saying i want to take '1/4 of that square.' hope steadman hands it over (and is left with a rectangle) and argues, 'but i saved this much.' you didn't save anything, you handed over what they wanted. you surrendered instead of fighting.

and by surrending, you gave them the idea that you'd back down every time so now they're back to grab more from the rectangle, formerly a square. maybe in 3 years we'll be left with a triangle. 3 more years and it may be a tiny dot (circle).

and you'll say 'i fought.' you didn't fight. you handed over. and that's disgusting.


tv, movies, jose padilla, hottie jake and more

elaine and i are on the phone, watching the new adventures of old christine together. trina really likes the show and ava and c.i. reviewed it a few weeks back :"TV Review: Don't call her Elaine." so elaine and i figured we'd catch it tonight.

julia louis-dreyfus is funny. the show works best when the kid's not around.

brokeback mountain comes out tomorrow on dvd. i didn't know that. there was a commercial for it just now and elaine hasn't seen it. she's not really a movie person. if you can get a crowd together, she'll go see 1. or if it's a foreign film or a documentary. or that's how she 'presents' to use her jargon. however, i once did find a dvd of miss congeniality at her place. she swore some 1 had brought it over and left it but i still tease her about it.

she'll watch anything if she's got some 1 to watch it with, however. if you show up with a dvd, she'll watch it.

i told her she has to see brokeback. if you haven't seen it, you should too. it's a great movie and jake gyllenhaal is hot.

i had an e-mail about flashpoints - or about what i wrote last week. i was asked why i was trying to be part of the 9-11 coverup? i didn't know i was but the angry e-mail made me wonder, 'rebecca, did you sit on the 9-11 commission and forget?' see on thursday's flashpoints david ray griffin was the guest and i didn't write about that when i wrote about flashpoints on thursday.

the reason i didn't mention is that i didn't hear it. thursdays i do some volunteer/organization work. i have my morning coffee during democracy now and then i'm gone for the day. c.i.'s talk about how we all needed to be increasing our efforts to stop the war made me decided to do more work there. and that's thursday. i've been doing that for some time. i also didn't hear
flashpoints friday because i was traveling then.

but i wasn't trying to be part of a coverup. if i'd heard the interview, i would have noted it. i'm not ruth. she does really detailed reports but i'm not going to note every thing each week. (and i'll never note a thursday show because i won't be able to hear it.) but the interview, as described in the e-mail, is about something you don't hear much about, so i would've noted it if i had heard it.

i wish mike was gay. elaine just got off the phone. college basketball's on and the only 1 i know who is home right now is mike and i know he's watching. but i also know he doesn't want to hear me say/scream, 'check out the bounce on that boy!' and there's a hottie on ucla. i have 2 friends who would watch and enjoy with me (making their own comments) but i didn't know this was on and i doubt they did (so they're probably out still).

if you didn't hear already, the surpreme court refused to hear jose padilla's appeal. adam cohen had a thing in the new york times this morning and i thought at the time 'well that's a pretty way to see the court.' he's calling it 'the kennedy court' and has high hopes for kennedy being a moderate who takes his responsibility serious. if so, we didn't see that today.

and when you get held for no reason, for years and years, by the bully boy and you have no legal recourse, remember that you can think the supreme court for that. souter, ginsburg and breyer were the only 3 justices willing to hear the case.

that really pissed me off. we know the congress won't do anything because republicans control it and so many democrats are happy not to fight, just to roll over. but there's always the hope that the court will represent you. probably because we hear that all the time in films and tv shows, 'well i'll take this all the way to the supreme court if i have to!' you can try but the surpreme court has to want to hear your case.


that's the cover of ben haper's both sides of the gun which i do endorse and you can consider a tonic to the mark warner image that preceeded this. Posted by Picasa

that's mark warner a 'centrist' and he's on my blog not as endorsement but because we need it for a thing at the third estate sunday review. the scan is a ny times sunday mag cover that we've photoshopped only to add a border to, to add a shadow to and to slighlty defocus ("old photo" is the process on the last) Posted by Picasa