flashpoints and indymedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

so i'm grabbing flashpoints for that personal reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

marian anderson

i am blogging tonight. c.i. called because cedric needed a copy of a stamp released last year and c.i. knows fly boy collects stamps. he did have his collection here in some of the boxes he's brought over in our whatever it is phase we're in now but it took us time to locate it. i've scanned it and i know cedric's still in the air. i don't know if he's planning to blog tonight but i'm putting this up for when he does blog next. the stamps are of marian anderson and they were the stamps released last year as part of the united states postal services salute to black heritage for last year's black history month. Posted by Picasa

democracy now today takes a hard hitting look at the village voice

dona just called. she asked me for a favor and i said, 'dona, anything for you.' which i mean because she's become a great friend and because she's not 1 to ask for favors. she asked if i'd watched democracy now and i had because that's how start my day (that and coffee and cigarettes and save the speeches on smoking). it's a great episode and she asked if i could post something about it.

my brain doesn't work until noon. truly. when i was doing p.r. i would never take a meeting earlier than 10 and i would do everything i could to avoid 1 that early. i need to ease into the day. so i'll just say it's a great broadcast with some debate (and some sparks flying at 1 point) on what the changes at the village voice mean in terms of alternative media.

if you watch it on dish tv like i do, it airs next at 7 and that's on the east coast, don't make me try to do the time zones, i haven't had a whole pot of coffee yet. you can also check it out online at democracy now or at a radio station you listen to the program on or a local tv channel you watch it on or direct tv but i have dish so i have no idea when direct tv airs it. and i can do something else, i can note c.i.'s entry - yes, guys and gals, this episode is so important that c.i. has already done a thing to note it. so make a point to watch. unless you listen, in which case listen. and if you can't listen or watch, you can go to the web site and read transcripts (you can also watch or listen online). and happy birthday to amy goodman, today's her birthday.

'Democary Now!: The Death of the Village Voice?'
We're at
Kat's and were planning to pick her up and head out but as we listened to headlines in the car (on Democracy Now!) we made the decision to start later today. Why Democracy Now! is covering the Village Voice. The decay of the Voice. I logged on (to Kat's computer) to do this and give a heads up to Micah (he, regrettably, called the death for this community a few weeks back) but he'd already written to note the topic and to ask that we note today is Amy Goodman's birthday.
If alternative weekly means something other than free paper and "lifestyle" reporting (and it does to this community), you need to make a point to check out today's Democracy Now! James Ridgeway is a guest and this is an indepth look at what's going on at what, for many, was the alternative weekly.
Sydney H. Schanberg states the new owner told him, "If he wanted to read daily critiques of the Bush administration, he'd read the New York Times."Ridgeway notes that the new 'direction' doesn't appear to have a place for stories on abortion or the Minute Men. Ridgeway notes, "It seems to me that the paper is kind of . . . shutting down the national coverage."
Speaking on why what's happening is a national issue, Tim Redmond (editor of San Francisco Bay Guardian) stated, "The alternative press has always been about, independent media, about independent media voices." Noting New Times consolidation efforts Redomond also stated, "if we go that way in the alternative media, that's going to be bad."
Jim just pointed out that it's Thursday, when we note indymedia in our nightly roundup, so we'll go into this more this evening. This isn't the DN! entry for the day. We'll note it again later today. But this is an important issue to the community, especially to members who suffer from New Times' weeklies -- with their teens on drugs! teens on steroids! and other lifestyle "scoops" that pass for investigative journalism, feature writing that they then congratulate themselves over as though they broke hard news.Mark Jacobson is also a guest as is Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy.
James Ridgeway notes that he can't imagine anyone covering NYC and not noting politics. Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman are taking an indepth look at this. Redmond notes the big chain New Times doesn't believe in diversity or in competition. Media does matter and Jim asks that I add, "This is a much more worthy topic than beat-up-on-Katie." And Mike and Wally say to put in, "Happy birthday to Amy Goodman!" (New Times Media is now known as Village Voice Media.)


june pointer 1953-2006

june pointer died. you probably have to be a certain age or else you say 'who?'

june pointer was the youngest member of the pointer sisters. they started out as four sisters (bonnie, ruth, anita and june) then 1 left (bonnie). the three sang together, they were a vocal group.

the 1st song i knew was their hit 'fire' which was written by bruce springsteen.

romeo and juliet
sampson and delilah

if you don't know it by those 2 lines, you don't know it.

they were good for songs and that was really it for most of their career.

'american music' was a hit they had and 'he's so shy' was a mega hit for them.

he's so shy
that's why i love my baby
he's so shy
it's driving me crazy
that sweet little boy who caught my eye

they had a hit with 'slow hand' and maybe some will know that:

i want a lover with a slow hand
i want a lover with an easy touch
i want a man who can spend some time
not come and go in a heated rush

then came 'i'm so excited' which was a hit twice.

it was a hit in the early 80s and then, when they were on a hot streak with break out, it was a hit again.

break out?

their best album. the 1 time they made a real album. richard perry was their producer on almost everything. he produced carly simon (hotcakes, no secrets, playing possum) and barbra streisand (stoney end) among others.

break out was a favorite cassette for me (back then, we bought albums on cassette). i always bought every 1 of their cassettes and was usually disappointed because they had 1/2 an album or less. a lot of filler. break out was great.

and it was a huge hit. so somebody decided, 'hey, they had a hit with "i'm so excited" awhile back, let's put it on the album!' and they reissued the album. on cd you can only get that version.

break out was when they moved away from the pop sound and went after more of a dance feel.

'telgraph your love' was 1 of my favorites on the cd but i also loved 'i need you' and 'easy persuasion.' guess what? those weren't hit singles.

this was a great album. i can't remember but i think 'automatic' was the 1st single. this 1 had ruth on lead and there was a big controversy over whether or not it was ruth's voice natural or manipulated because her voice was so deep. it's a great song and was a huge hit. if that wasn't the 1st single, it was 'jump (for my love)' which was also a huge hit. i loved that song. jump - jump - for my love. so they had 2 hits and 'i'm so excited' got added on for 3. it was re-released and a hit again. 'neturon dance' waas a huge hit from the album and it was also in the movie beverly hills cop. for that video, they were usherettes with flashlights while clips from the movie played. but that wasn't it. 'baby come and get it' was also a hit on dance and urban charts. i believe it also crossed over to pop. five hits off 1 album. it was really big. it came out in 1983 and was still on the charts in 1984.

in the summer of 1985, they came out with contact and the 1st single was 'dare me.' that was a hit as well and had a video with a young model as a boxer. he was hot. i believe he had red boxing shorts but that was so long ago. i just remember thinking 'hot!'

as always, i rushed out and got the album as soon as it came out. the 2nd single was a mistake. they went with a ballad. 'freedom.' it was a hit but i think it killed the enthusiasm for the album.
i liked the song but they really needed to go with something more up tempo. i remember people complaining about 'freedom.' i would defend it and say 'wait for the next 1.'

but that really was it. 'pound pound' was great and should have been the follow up to 'dare me.'
they did another album with richard perry producing and it didn't do very well. they had a hit on the urban charts with the lead single, i don't even remember it.

and that was really it.

they could really sing. they sang with bruce springsteen on the first merry christmas album in 1985 or 1986 (charity album for special olympics). they also performed on 'we are the world.'

of the non singles, i think my favorite song was 'i need you.'

something's wrong (something's wrong)
things ain't right (things ain't right)
and it turns into a silly fight
i walk out (i walk out)
you get mad (you get mad)
and we both just seem to feeling bad

the way their voices mixed on that song just gave me chills.

if you're wondering about song writing credit, they worked with outside song writers. the only hit they had that they wrote was 'i'm so exicted' (with trevor lawrence).

that's a song that always pops up in movies. (the fabulous baker boys, working girl, etc.)

as a 4-some (with bonnie) they had a hit with 'the fairytale' but i never knew that song. when i was buying cassettes, they never had that at any store i went to. i always wanted to hear that song during the 80s but by the time the 90s rolled around, there had been too many bad albums.

break out was their best 1. and they are a part of 80s popular music.

i was really sad to see the news online this evening that june pointer died.

they had at least 14 hits, that i know of, from the 70s to the 80s ('yes we can' was a hit before 'the fairytale') and that may not seem like a huge number today when you put out an album and get the 1st hit, then the 2nd, then the 3rd, then the 4th ... but back then it wasn't uncommon (sad but true) for acts trying to have hits to end up with only 1 or 2 hits per album.

to put break out into perspective it came out after thriller and before tina turner's private dancer and bruce springsteen's born in the u.s.a. music had been a slump, sales were down - so of course the labels were whining 'piracy!'

reality was a recession, rising prices and really bad vinyl. every time i bought a vinyl album, it was like placing a bet. when i got it home, maybe it would play without skips, maybe it wouldn't.
i returned linda ronstadt's living in the u.s.a 4 times before i got 1 that would play correctly.

then came the walkman in the 80s and cassettes became the rage. michael jackson and others revived interest in music (stevie nicks' belladonna was 1 of the huge albums of the early 80s). donna summer had re-discovered god and lost her talent.

along came the pointer sisters.

break out stayed on the charts forever. if you're looking for some where to start with their music, get that on cd.


greg palast on flashpoints

each week, i listen to kpfa to catch flashpoints and i blog on it on thursdays.

i'm jumping in to say you really have to hear tonight's (i don't think it was 'tonight' there) broadcast. there's an interview that dennis does with greg palast that i think most people will enjoy for a number of reasons.

npr hater that i am, i enjoyed it for that reason as greg and dennis discussed 'national petroleum radio.' i think greg's correct, if you're public radio (or television), you're public. you're not taking corporate sponsorship.

he talked about how he was going to be on a media program (it airs saturdays on some npr stations and i believe it's called media matters). he was going to discuss the issue of cynthia mckinney and how the new york times and others had made up a quote for her. (this is covered by greg in his book the best democracy money can buy - i think the chapter is called 'the lynching of cynthia mckinney.') so they bring him on to discuss it and how the times lied. then as he's being miked, they learn that npr also created the quote and they say, 'oh, you've criticized npr, we can't have you on the show. how would that look?' (that's a paraphrase.) and he responds that it will look great and enlarge the discussion and show that npr can critique and welcome other voices but they take off his mike.

that's npr. you can go public radio npr to slam the new york times for lying but if you've also criticized npr for doing the same thing, it's 'you're outta here.'

they also discussed venezuela and issues of class (as well as the fact that greg has a new book coming out). so if it sounds interesting, give it a listen.

i hope you're giving flashpoints a chance because i really do think it's a great show. but if you're not. i know some people don't have the option of listening because they have older systems or they are online at libraries (often with severe time limits like 15 minutes). so if you're not able to listen, i hope i'm giving you enough of a taste that you can get an idea of the show. probably won't happen in 1 entry but over time.

i'll make this the show i follow but if i've got tickets to the theater, i'm using them.

and if i'm wiped out, i'm not forcing myself to blog. god bless c.i. but i will not try to be all things to every 1 offline and on. this weekend, cedric was just shocked by how much is going on in c.i.'s life and i said, 'cedric, think about it - this is the weekend.'

want to know about strong radio you should be aware of? read cedric's 'Law and Disorder addressed covert racism' and mike's 'Leaky Bully Boy, Immigration and Law and Disorder.'
and if you need a laugh - who doesn't - go check out betty's latest chapter "My 'caring' husband Thomas Friedman worries I don't have time to appreciate his 'genius'."


waiting for godot on wbai right now

A Special Presentation [on WBAI]
Monday, April 10, from 9:00-11:00 pm: Commemorate Beckett's centenary and the 50th anniversary of the American premiere of his masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, by listening to a special broadcast of the play featuring the original Broadway cast: Burt Lahr, E.G. Marshall, Alvin Epstein and Kurt Kasner. Hosted and with an introduction by Simon Loekle.Heads up to the above.
On WBAI which you can listen to for free online.

i'm posting in parts but elaine just called to ask me if i was listening to the broadcast. i'd forgotten. i'm swiping the announcement above from her and there will be more below this. but i want to remind every 1 of it. the introduction has just started and the play hasn't. so you can turn on the radio and listen right now if you're not already without missing anything.

i'm listening now. of non comedy and non musical plays, waiting for godot is 1 of my favorites. i also enjoy, of the 'classics', edward albee's tiny alice and bernard shaw's saint joan. i also like ibsen and hat tip to c.i. for that. i knew of ibsen in college but wasn't too keen on it because they were set so far in the past - come on, cut me some slack, i was a college freshwoman, and then c.i. demanded that i go see ghosts. we ended up seeing a wonderful production of it and i was hooked.

whenever some 1 says, 'i don't want to rent that, it's a period film' i can understand where they're coming from; however, there are films worth seeing that are 'period films' and if you're lucky enough to see a revival of a great play, regardless of when it was written or what time period it's set in, you should do so.

i want to note that wbai also broadcast a reading of war and peace this year. now you're getting waiting for godot. do you really get that from npr? i don't think so. so if you're not familiar with wbai or the other pacifica radio stations, make a point to be. kpfa does theatre performances each sunday night.

i really want to enjoy this and my typing continues to cease as i attempt to listen. so i'm going to recommend c.i.'s "NYT: Mel's Diner is back in business" (hilarious!) and i'm going to note this from democracy now:

Mass Protests Continue Around the US For Immigrant Rights
Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in cities across the country Sunday urging Congress to pass legislation that would legalize the estimated 12 million undocumented workers in the US. An estimated 500,000 people took to the streets in Dallas. The marchers filled the downtown streets with chants of "Si Se Puede!" -- Spanish for "Yes, we can!". In St. Paul, Minnesota, 30,000 people rallied at the state capitol. In Birmingham, Alabama, demonstrators marched along the same streets where activists clashed with police in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. Other protests were held in New Mexico, Michigan, Iowa, Alabama, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California. Michael Martinez, who attended a rally in San Diego, said: "It's not about flags, it's not really about race. It's about just equal opportunities for everybody and nobody being above or below the law and nobody being exploited by the law. It's that simple." More protests are planned for today in nearly 100 cities across the country.

good for every 1 making a difference and great for dallas. i will blog tomorrow night. if you miss the broadcast and want to catch it, remember that programs are briefly archived so check out the wbai archive.