laura flanders & music

so we all went out to eat tonight. elaine and mike got here early and i think that was in case i changed my mind thinking about it too long. it was really nice to get out of the house for something other than a doctor's visit. i'm not scared about it anymore. it was really nice to eat out and i'm sure flyboy thought 'i don't have to cook and i don't have to clean!' i wouldn't blame him if he did.

by the way, i've gone over this before, but a stephan k. e-mailed asking 'does your husband ever work?' when we were 1st married, we both worked full time. we didn't need to then. when we got remarried, he was still working full time but agreed, when we were planning to adopt, to drop down to part-time. when we found out i was pregnant, i was on bed rest and he agreed then to be here for the whole pregnancy. he has more money than i do and doesn't need to work. he intends to work part-time after the baby's born.

but my pregnancy history, just with him, was non-stop miscarriages (that was true of all my pregnancies) and when we got back together, right before we got married, i ended up miscarrying again. so this is a big deal to both of us, stephan k., and he's been here for all of it and plans to continue being here up through the birth and the coming home. (i would honestly - i hate hospitals - prefer a home birth but i know it's amazing that i've been able to get pregnant and stay pregnant so i'll do a hospital birth. i'm not going to risk anything at this point. and if any mid-wives are reading this and thinking, 'home births aren't risky' - i'm sure they're not and that's how i always thought i would have a child. but my past pregnancies have been so bad that i really think i need to be at a hospital in case there are any complications. that's me being nervous and not insulting mid-waves or home births.)

so we're back and just chilling with music on the stereo. elaine and i picked all the cds. which was like being in college. elaine pointed that out. how c.i. rarely would ever pick anything. elaine was the rocker, i was the blonde convinced soul captured my inner nature. so we'd stack our vinyl on the turntable and it would be a side she picked, a side i picked, and back and forth. i liked rock, just to be clear. i went to concerts all the time. but in terms of what i played, i was always going for soul. my pick that's played already tonight was etta james: the definitive collection. etta james, otis, nina simone and aretha were among my favorites when i went to college. c.i. always had the largest music collection (then and now) and i would be like, 'can i play this?' and it was always okay. i really think that's why c.i. doesn't usually pick out something because there's so much to choose from.

and unless you're listening to crap, c.i. doesn't object. we always had the tv going in college but with the sound off. that was c.i.'s doing. windows, mirrors and tv screens. now after my divorce from flyboy (and the abortion), i had to have the tv on with sound just because i couldn't take the silence. that was a really rough period. (and for stephan k. or any 1 else late to the party, i don't regret that abortion, it was what had to be done. there were problems and the baby wouldn't have been healthy and wasn't expected to live long. we don't have that problem with this pregnancy.)

this is from laura flanders' 'Getting Conyers His Conscience Back' (common dreams):

Ouch. It hurts to listen to. This was Representative John Conyers, speaking to a troops-out demonstration this past January in Washington DC:
"George Bush has a habit of firing military leaders who tell him the Iraq war is failing. But let me tell you something. He can't fire you. He can't fire us. But we can fire him!"
Many took those words to mean that Conyers, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, was serious about firing this president, meaning, impeaching the man, along with the vice president he rode in on.
But this was Conyers, progressive Democrat of Michigan, speaking recently on Pacifica's Democracy Now, explaining why, although he has the authority, he's not going to initiate impeachment proceedings.
"Impeachments come to the Judiciary Commitee. And, believe me, to tie up this government just as we're trying to stop the war and the clock is running on both the President and the Vice President, I think would be a mistaken strategy. We've got to win the next election which is next year."
Winning the election, he told Democracy Now, is what he meant by "firing" the president. Yeah right. Like firing a senior on the day he graduates. It hurts to listen to because what you're hearing is the sound of consciousness – razing -- as in razor, as in destroy or level or scrape. What you're hearing is the leveling, scraping away of a man's conscience. Probably no one's done more than Representative Conyers and his staff have done to investigate Bush White House crimes, from wiretapping and torture to misleading the country into an illegal war.
Luckily for Rep. Conyers, grassroots activists may save his conscience yet.

she covered that on last saturday's show and we'll be writing about it at the third estate sunday review this weekend. if you get the print version or if you get the gina & krista round-robin, you already saw what we wrote but dropped because it was decided - after the whole edition was done - to go with a super hero theme. so we'll be writing something a bit different about it this weekend. but this will be covered online.

woah! rickie lee jones is on the stereo. flyboy said, 'we need to listen to that.' and we do. i've just been focused on norah jones in terms of new cds for the last week and 1/2. (otherwise it's otis blue with me.) (i did play some vinyl, including michelle phillips' victim of romance, this week.) the cd is called the sermon on exposition boulevard. i have no idea what the lyrics of the 1st song are about. but it's incredibly musically. mike just said the song is 'nobody knows my name.' (c.i. got him the cd too.) he also says the whole cd is great.

i should have listened to it last week. but when we load cds, it's usually easier just to spend the week with the remote control turning on the stereo. so whatever we've listened to last on the weekend is what i end up listening to all week unless ruth puts in something different. but ruth and i were digging through the vinyl this week.

by the way, thank you to ruth. my mother, my mother-in-law and my grandmother all visited today. they praised my knitting. ruth's been teaching me to knit and i thought she was just being kind about it. (and i generally tell flyboy 'don't blow smoke up my ass' when he tries to compliment the knitting.) but they were really impressed with what ruth and i had been knitting, little caps and booties and we're doing a blanket together right now.

i am not a puzzle person and, with giving up cigarettes and coffee, i needed something for my hands so ruth taught me knitting. and taught me it again and again because i really have to do something repeatedly until i get it even slightly. we started out with a sweater for her grandson because i said we could hold it up to him as we went along (that way i'd know if i was being encouraged falsely). it turned out pretty good but he kept wanting us to finish it once he caught on that it was for him.

ruth is just the best. if i knew how to make a heart symbol, i'd do it for ruth.

i just asked mike what this song was? 'falling up.' it's only the 3rd song but it's my favorite so far on rickie lee jones' new cd.

okay, i've just been sitting here and listening. 'circle in the sand' is now my favorite on the album. i really love this cd. rickie lee jones' the sermon on exposition boulevard - give it a lesson. i'm sure that they have it at borders books and if you go there they have those headphones you can sample the cd on so you won't just have to go by my word. you can put on the headphones and get a taste of this yourself.

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

Friday, February 23, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the military demonstrates that "justice" is still a joke to them despite one sex scandal after another, the press is all over the crying rapist, Turkey voices its opposition to partitioning Iraq, and Antonia Juhasz and Kris Welch address the topic of the push to privatize Iraq's oil.

Starting with war resisters.
Yesterday, Mark Wilkerson was court-martialed at Fort Lewis in Texas and sentenced to seven months in a military prison and given a bad conduct discharge. Jim Bergamo (KVUE) reports that Wilkerson's mother, wife and brother were sitting behind him during the hearing and that "it was his good behavior in that first tour of duty and after he returned to his unit in August of last year that helped sway the judge to sentence him to only seven months in jail and give him a bad conduct discharge" while his attorney Michael Duncan told Bergamo that "in a general court-martial, no confinement is very rare". Angela K. Brown (AP) reports that Rebecca Barker, his mother, testified about the home life: "Barker said that in 1996 her estranged husband -- who had adopted Mark as a child -- broke into their house, fatally beat her friend with a baseball bat and then beat her before Mark, then 12, intervened and ran for help. Her husband committed suicide before his murder trial."

In other war resister news,
El Universal reports that Agustin Aguayo's mother, Susana Aguayo, appeal to the Mexican government has been heard -- "The Foreign Relations Secretariat said it would seek information on the health and legal situation of Agustin Aguayo, who faces charges of desertion and missing troop movement. . . . given Aguayo's 'nationality of origin and the fact that his relatives are Mexican, the department has ordered the Mexican Embassy in Germany to offer consular assistance, which consists of using its good offices to gather information on the health and legal situation' of Aguayo." Agustin Aguayo is scheduled to be court-martialed March 6th in Germany.

Ehren Watada, we're going to repeat two points because they are important ones.
Friday's snapshot, while noting Ehren Watada, the following appeared: "John Catalinotto (Socialist Worker) observes: 'Watada's military defense lawyer -- appointed by the Army -- Capt. Mark Kim, said that he agreed with Seitz's interpretation of military law'." That was incorrect. John Catalinotto's article appeared in Workers' World, not Socialist Worker, my apologies. This was noted Tuesday, but it is important to again stress that the military attorney, Mark Kim, is in agreement with Seitz re: double-jeopardy. Let's also repeat from yesterday: " Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that Eric Seitz, Watada's civilian attorney, doesn't expect a court-martial to even be possible before summer due to scheduling issues and that the military hasn't even refiled the charges for the March 19th date that Judge Toilet (John Head) was tossing around when he declared a mistrial."

Wilkerson, Aguayo and Watada are a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as
Kyle Snyder, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Remember how
Mark Wilkerson was sentenced to seven months in military prison? Let's turn to the reality of the joke that is military justice. Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Edwards Franklin is now a "private" and somehow that's "justice" in the snicker-snicker, dirty joke world of the US military. In a press release, the US military tells you he was busted down to private as punishment determined in his court-martial today. Punishment for? "[I]ndecent acts upon a female Private 2nd Class in the junior Soldier's room and then lying about his involvment to CID personnel. On 20 Ocotber 2006 Sgt. 1st Class Franklin followed a female Private 2nd Class into her room on LSA Anaconda. He attempted to force intimate contact upon the solider." Let's be clear because the US military tends to gloss over rape -- as does the press. What Franklin was trying to do, "force intimate contact," is what's known as attempted rape. Back to the press release: "During a CID interview and on the witness stand at trial" denied touching the woman or being in her room for more than five minutes.
And here's where the US military proves what a sad joke is: "A panel of officers and enlisted personnel, sentenced Sgt. 1st Class Franklin to reduction in grade to E-1." Wow. Aren't we all just blown away. Wilkerson's spending seven-months in a military prison and Franklin gets no jail time for attempted rape. As noted in The Third Estate Sunday Review's "
Women and the military" one in every seven US service members serving in Iraq is a woman but there's no real safety guarantees for women. Crimes aren't punished and for any who doubt it, a superior attempts to rape a woman and his "punishment" doesn't include jail time. It's all a joke or a game to the military but not even a game that includes the instruction "Go immediately to jail, do not collect 200 dollars." From The Third Estate Sunday Review feature:

Do you know the name Michael Sydney? As Cheryl Seelhoff reported in Off Our Backs (vol 35, no 2, p. 22), Sgt. Sydney was found guilty, July 2006, "of pandering, mistreating, subordinates, and obstruction of justice, smong other things, for what amounts to his having pimped women under his command. Sydney threatened to extend the tour of duty of female erservists called to active duty if they did not have sex with his superior officers." The brave US military 'justice' system did not court-martial him but they did give him a slap on the wrist: "sentence to six months in jail." Where does someone like Syndey get the idea that women in the military can be used as whores? The same attitude that Antonia expressed which renders service members as males (with wives to kiss) and women invisible.In the same edition of Off Our Backs, Allison Tobey (p. 16) noted Col Janis Karpinski's testimony that General Ricardo Sanchez issued an order barring "dehydration" being noted as cause of death on the death certificates of female service members. Why? Because, according to Karpinski, women were dying from that "because they did not drink liquids in the afternoons in an effort to avoid going to the latrines at night, where they were afrid male soldiers would rape them." Sanchez' 'solution' didn't address the problem, it hid it -- as too many 'solutions' to the abuse and mistreatment of women in the military repeatedly does.In the January 2007 edition of The Progressive,
Traci Hukill examined sexual harassment and sexual assualt in the military and cited a VA report from 2003 (lead to Congress in 2005) which found "60 percent of women and 27 percent of men had experience Military Sexual Trauma" and that it "found the prevalence of actual sexual assualt -- 'unwanted sexual conduct of a physical nature' -- to be 23 percent among female reservists."

Much is being made about Paul Cortez crying at his hearing yesterday and being sentenced to 100 years of prison time for his part in the gang rape and murder of
Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi as well as the murder of her parents and her five-year-old sister. Reality check -- BBC points out he "will be eligible to seek parole in 10 years." AFP has Cortez as his most tearful when he says: "I'm sorry I let you guys down; you guys treat me better than this." How about a few tears for the 14-year-old girl who was gang raped and murdered? The one Cortez tesified "kept screaming and tried to keep her legs closed. At no point did I think that I had consent to have sex with Abeer." CBS News notes that Cortez couldn't explain to the court "why he did it" -- well, how about he repeat the jokes and ha-has he and the others shared over beer and grilled chicken after the gang rapes and murders?

Rose French (AP) reports that Jesse Speilman's attorneys are saying that he didn't take part in the planning of the rapes and murders. They're also saying that he was under stress. More laughs should ensue April 2nd when his court-martial begins. Steven D. Green is the only one who will be tried in a civilian court. (Green has maintained his innocence. James Barker and Cortez both confessed to their own actions and named Green as the ringleader who planned it all and the one who shot all four family members dead.)

Turning to news of Bully Boy's eye on the prize,
Antonia Juhasz spoke with Kris Welch on KPFA's Living Room today about the oil law that would privatize Iraq's oil and that had Condi storming through Baghdad last weekend to apply pressure.

Welch started the discussion by citing
Juan Gonzalez (New York Daily News) article on the oil law: "Under the proposed law, Iraq's immense oil reserves would not simply be opened to foreign oil exploration, as many had expected. Amazingly, executives from those companies would actually be given seats on a new Federal Oil and Gas Council that would control all of Iraq's reserves. In other words, Chevron, ExxonMobil, British Petroleum and the other Western oil giants could end up on the board of directors of the Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas Council, while Iraq's own national oil company would become just another competitor."

"Basically it says that executives of oil companies can be on the council and it doesn't say whether or not that is foreign and/or domestic. What I find most depressing about this law is frankly the speed with which it is moving now through the Iraqi government. We, those of us who have been working globally against this push for this essentially privatization of Iraq's oil thought that we had more time and it's really been fast-tracked in Iraq and what is so depressing is that the way this law is written in my mind if it is completed and if it implemented, which we can talk about more later, US oil companies will have at least on paper won the war in Iraq

Kris Welch pointed out that the Iraq oil law is sold as being "very key to settling the increasing violence and chaos in Iraq, that who is in control of the oil is vital and it's in everyone's interest".

Juhasz: It's really American, and let me clarify that as Bush administration, propaganda that this law is the path towards stability in Iraq. It is absolutely propaganda. This law is being sold as the mechanism for helping the Iraqis determine how they will distribute their oil revenue. That is not what this law is about. That is the bottom end of an enormous hammer that is this oil law. This oil law is about foreign access to Iraq's oil and the terms by which that access will be determined. It is also about the distribution of decision making power between the central government and the region as to who has ultimate decision making power and the types of contracts that will be signed. There are powers that be within Iraq that would very much like to see that power divvied up into the regions, between the Kurds and the Shia in particular, and then there are powers that would like to see Iraq retained as a central authority. The Bush administration would like the central government of Iraq to have ultimate control over contracting decisions because it believes it has more allies in the central government than it would if it was split up into regions. The Bush administration is most concerned with getting an oil law passed now and passed quickly to take advantage of the weakness of the Iraqi government. The Iraqi government couldn't be in a weaker negotiating position and the law locks the government in to twenty to thirty-five year committments to granting the most extreme versions of exploration and production contracts to US companies or foreign companies. Meaning that foreign companies would have access to the vast majorities of Iraq's oil fields and they would own the oil under the ground --
they would control the production and they would in contracts yet to be determined get a percentage of that profit but they'd be negotiating essentially when Iraq is at its weakest when Iraq is hardly a country. And that's what this oil law is all about. What Iraqis are saying very clearly and have said to
Raed [Jarrar] and, in particular, to the loudest voices being the Iraqi oil unions is that the only people who want to see this law passed now are the Americans. There's no other reason to push that law through."

Welch and Juhasz then discussed how the government's creation (and election) influences the chances that the law could be passed which put the US administration in the position to call shots. Juhasz: "Now that influence isn't complete and that's why the law hasn't passed yet but it's been slowly and progressively making it's way through and now as you said it's passed through the cabinet or is on the verge of passing in the cabinet it would then go to the parliatment and there's great concern . . .
Raed [Jarrar] has done a monumental job of trying to inform the Iraqi parliamentarians just about the law. Until he had helped unearth the draft and help retreive it from the internet that most parliamentarians, or almost all Iraq parliamentarians haven't even seen the law."

Juhasz cited
Hands off Iraqi Oil and Oil Change International as resources for activism geared for the fourth anniversary of the start of the illegal war next month. [Thank you to Megan, Zach and Ty for noting & transcribing the above.]

Picking up on the issue of Iraq being split into regions,
KUNA reports that Abdullah Gul, Turkey's foreign minister, declared yesterday that splitting Iraq into regions or partitions would lead "bloody wars": "Why we refuse the establishment of a Kurdish state in the North of Iraq, the reason is clear, we are against the partition of Iraq because this will trigger engless wars in the region."

Meanwhile Tony Blair's claims of 'success' in Iraq are about as 'truthful' as his claims of a pullout.
Stephen Farrell, Ned Parker and Richard Beeston (Times of London) report: "Tony Blair says Iraq has made 'remarkable' progress. Clusters of red on the British Army's own maps of Basra suggest otherwise. . . . Although the initial perception of British forces in Basra was of experienced troops putting the population at ease by patrolling in berets, instead of the more aggressive posture adopted by US forces further north, the reality has varied widely from town to town."

In WOOPSIE! news,
Kim Gamel (AP) reported the US military arrested "Amar al-Hakim, son of political leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim" -- who had face time with Bully Boy in DC last December. CNN reports that the Zalmay Khalilzad (still US ambassador to Iraq for now) "issued an apology" for the arrest and the son has been released.

In other political news,
BBC reports that "Democrats in the US are planning a challenge to President George W Bush's handling of the war in Iraq" with the premise that the authority granted by the resolution was for set things and new things need to be set. CBS and AP report that the new resolution is still unclear but would "leave U.S. troops with a limited mission as they prepare to withdraw."

In Iraq? It's Friday. Did anyone work besides McClatchy Newspapers?


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a child was killed in a mortar attack in the Amil neighborhood of Baghdad and five other people were injured in the attack while, in the Abu Disheer neighborhood of Baghdad, a mortar attack injured three people.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "a U.S. military convoy killed one civilian and injured other two in Zafaraniya, Iraqi police said. The source said the patrol didn't stop after the shooting and the man who was killed was walking on the side road."


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports five corpses were discovered in Baghdad.

Today, the
US military announced: "Three Soldiers assigned to Multi-National Force-West were killed Feb. 22 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province."


dumb ass danny

i've been busy all day today. courtney e-mailed asking about my grandmother? she was fine when my uncle checked on her and today we were on the phone and she said she had called because she was worried about me. which is kind of funny, if you think about it, she freaks out about me and calls to check, i freak out that she called so late and start worrying about her. so everything's great and my mother's bringing her by for a visit tomorrow.

now let's talk about a real tool. danny goldberg. i hate idiots. i think goldberg did a lousy job with air america radio. i think he talks a big game but falls when it's time to do something. for instance, he was doing these book collections about how important it was to stand up and blah blah blah and then he gets to air america (with a lot of people, including c.i., thinking he was going to make a difference) and he does, he makes a difference for the worse. women start vanishing, jerry springer comes on, go down the list. so i think he's a dumb ass. at truth dig, they do a roundtable (they're very popular, roundtables - they take forever to do at the third estate sunday review but ask ty and he'll tell you they are loved by readers) and robert scheer is making the valid point that the dixie chicks did a brave thing and danny goldberg is pooh-pahhing it and scheer says he thinks it took more courage than john lennon and golberg has a fan attack. 1st he says lennon had more courage and then he backs down a bit on that.

but let's clear up for the little sexist fucker danny goldberg, john lennon came out against vietnam when a large number of people already had. the dixie chicks got slammed for statements before the illegal war began. they'd be like john lennon if they were just now coming out. 2nd of all, they had death threats and they lost radio play. the sexist fucker's real problem is admitting that women can be strong. here he is being his usual dumb prick self:

Danny Goldberg: I think that there's different - it's not a monolithic environment. The country radio stations stopped playing them overnight. And to this day they don't get hardly any exposure on country radio stations. Country radio clearly looks at cultural conservatives and political conservatives as a key part of their audience. We're affected by the right-wing talk show type of attacks. And that hurt them with a big part of their audience. Their manager, Simon Renshaw, certainly stood by them 100 percent of the time. And their record company didn't drop them. The record company got a new producer, Rick Rubin, who made this record that sold a couple of million albums. You know, I think it's important to take note that there was a number of people in the business that in fact were not intimidated. It wasn't only the Dixie Chicks who I think deserved 100 percent of the praise you've giving them. But there were also a number of people in the business who didn't walk away from them. And in previous years, in the blacklisting period, for example, corporations were much easier to intimidate. There are good and bad things about capitalism, but the current era does present an environment where the desire for profits and everything often trumps these things.
So they did get enough support to make the record, to get it distributed, to get it very well produced, to get it marketed, to sell a couple of million records, and to win the Grammy. So it was not only them, it was a subculture within the entertainment business that was not chicken. And that's an improvement over previous eras of things. It was particularly risky for the Dixie Chicks, because they were coming from country music. There were a number of artists that criticized Bush: Pearl Jam did, and a number of hip-hop artists and other rock artists. But it was more gutsy for country artists because of the influence of country radio on access to part of their audience. And they paid a price for it. And they still don't have the level of audiences - even after the Grammys - as they did during their peak five years ago. But they've kept two-thirds of it as a result of the support of the rest of the media, and mainly because a lot of people like their music. But there is a system that allows them to get their music to people that there was not ... in the '50s and '60s.

their label didn't dump them, dumb ass, because they had just signed a huge contract with the band and would have to pay it off and because they sold about a million copies of home after the boycott started so the label knew there was a good chance there was still money to be made. as for his foolish claim about 'a system that allows them to get their music to people that there was not . . . in the '50s and '60s' that's just a load of crap. no wonder he and warner's parted ways. what a dumb ass. they're famous and they made their post-boycott cd. it was 'news.' that helpd sales. but go talk to stephan smith or any other artist that wasn't an established big name and ask them about how easy it is to get their music to people.
what a dumb ass.

dumb ass sexist fucker. he doesn't know shit about anything that flows from his mouth such as when he says willie nelson hasn't been played on country radio in 15 or 20 years.

that just didn't sound right so i called c.i. (who says 'i haven't read the interview and maybe he was just having a bad day'). 1987 to 1992 is when goldberg's talking about and c.i. says 'that's nonsense. willie topped the country singles chart in 2003 with that toby keith duet. that's not been his only hit in recent years. for a man who is over 70 years old, he's more than getting his share of charting hits.' as for goldberg? 'he's a nice guy. he's to the left of your center dem but he's not that left.' who is he supporting? 'i have no idea. i'd guess obama because that's the sort of "i'm so progressive" move he'd have.' for the record, he tells truthdig al gore's his 1st choice but of those declared he just loves obama. i asked c.i. about the al gore thing.

'the music industry will not forget tipper and that prmc nonsense. it was nonsense, it was censorship and it led to all the other attacks the joe liebermans launched on the entertainment industry. white males over 40 want to pretend like it doesn't matter. more so the closer to a centrist they are. but al gore as a candidate doesn't stand much chance in terms of musical backing. people who've agreed to his environmental tour are already getting ragged on for that.'

c.i. also corrected me that danny goldberg didn't run warner's for that long. he came over from atlantic and that's always been the dog of warner's labels. he was 'in charge at warner's briefly and then moved over to mercury which had john mellencamp and not much else to be proud of.'
furthermore, 'he pushed gangsta rap off on america and that resulted in the stereotypes that these white, middle-aged men continue to push off to this day and, frankly, that's been damaging to both rap as well as to african-americans. this wasn't a free speech issue though he tried to play it that way. it was selling racist stereotypes to a white audience and betraying the roots of rap music. i like him but there's no excuse for that. and the damage today can be traced to the actions he and a few others took. it's shameful. and he alienated a number of important warner's acts in the process. but i'll stop.'

oh, no! go on! that's c.i. always biting the tongue just when it's getting interesting. so why does every 1 promote him as the had of warner's when he held that position so briefly and was outed from the position? i think they believe his own hype.

this is from amy goodman's 'Freedom of Press Needs Shield Law' (common dreams):

Josh Wolf, videographer and blogger, is now the journalist imprisoned longest in U.S. history for refusing to comply with a subpoena. He has been locked up in federal prison for close to six months. In July 2005, Wolf was covering a San Francisco protest against the G-8 Summit in Scotland (G-8 stands for the Group of Eight industrialized nations: Britain, France, Russia, Germany, the U.S., Japan, Italy and Canada). He posted video to the Web and sold some video to a local broadcast-news outlet. The authorities wanted him to turn over the original tapes and to testify. He refused.
In a recent court filing, U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan says it's only in Wolf's "imagination that he is a journalist."
The Society of Professional Journalists must be equally imaginative. Their Northern California chapter named Josh Wolf Journalist of the Year for 2006, and in March will give him the James Madison Freedom of Information Award. "Josh's commitment to a free and unfettered press deserves profound respect," SPJ National President Christine Tatum said.
The SPJ is also honoring San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, who had faced prison for refusing to reveal who leaked grand-jury testimony about steroid use in baseball. On Thursday a lawyer pleaded guilty to leaking them secret grand jury documents from the BALCO steroids investigation, sparing the two reporters from jail time.
The problem for Wolf? Independence. He lacks the backing of a large media organization that could agitate to protect his rights. Wolf says there is "a divergence between how the government's handled my situation as an independent journalist and how they've dealt with the corporate media, which have also been found in civil contempt."
The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom ... of the press." By forcing journalists to hand over tapes, notes and other material, and to testify, the government is making just such a law. Whistle-blowers and others in dangerous situations will no longer come forward to provide information to reporters if they think their names will be divulged. Journalists must be free to protect their sources and to report the truth if democracy is to function.

i meant to highlight that last week. so let me note it today. i've noted josh before but that's a really good column on him and the press.

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

Thursday, February 22, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the media obsesses over royalty (Harry in Iraq in May! Or June! OMG), the puppet learns rape doesn't just go away, the military still hasn't refiled charges against Ehren Watada, Mark Wilkerson faces his court-martial at Fort Hood, and activism and calls for it abound.

Starting with the issue of rape.
Riverbend (Baghdad Burning) offers a breakdown for those who still can't get it:

No Iraqi woman under the circumstances -- under any circumstances -- would publicly, falsely claim she was raped. There are just too many risks. There is the risk of being shunned socially. There is the risk of beginning an endless chain of retaliations and revenge killings between tribes. There is the shame of coming out publicly and talking about a subject so taboo, she and her husband are not only risking their reputations by telling this story, they are risking their lives.
No one would lie about something like this simply to undermine the Baghdad security operation. That can be done simply by calculating the dozens of dead this last week. Or by writing about the mass detentions of innocents, or how people are once again burying their valuables so that Iraqi and American troops don't steal them.
It was less than 14 hours between Sabrine's claims and Maliki's rewarding the people she accused. In 14 hours, Maliki not only established their innocence, but turned them into his own personal heroes. I wonder if Maliki would entrust the safety his own wife and daughter to these men.

Riverbend is writing of the 20-year-old woman who came forward Monday stating she had been raped. al-Maliki promised an investigation and . . . didn't follow through. What he did do was release something -- a second page of a three page report on someone -- that he said was proof that the woman wasn't raped.

It wasn't proof of anything. And it doesn't even prove that whatever woman the report is on wasn't raped.
Richard Mauer (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that rape experts who have looked at the page say it "didn't disprove the woman's allegations, . . . and it indicated that the woman suffered extensive injuries, including at least eight bruises on the front of her thighs consistent with a sexual assualt." Christian Berthelsen (Los Angeles Times) offers a timeline of many of the generally known details; however, he leaves out the fact that the woman was taken to a US medical facility by US forces. That detail was left out of the official version by the Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, Willie Caldwell -- despite being previously reported. Among the experts Mauer cites are Dr. Karen Simmons of the Rape Treatment Center in Miami ("They did a CT scan of the head, the pelvis, and the neck. These tests would not have shown if someone was sexually assaulted, so there had to have been some kind of other trauma that they found.") and Josuah Weintraub ("It shows that she was brought into a trauma unit in bad shape.").

Marc Santora (New York Times) notes that news conferences were called by Sunni and Shi'ites "to condemn one aonther" with Abdul Nasir al-Janabi stating that "the government was covering up many rapes of Iraqi women by the security forces" and al-Maliki issuing a statement proclaiming: "We expected this fabricated propaganda. The purpose of this is to obstruct and distort the law enforcing plan."

Oren Dorell (USA Today) reported: "The U.S. military said Wednesday that it will launch its own investigation into an alleged rape that has created a furor among Iraq's Sunnis and bitterly split the country's government." However, Hamza Hendawi (AP) corrected that, "But [Willie] Caldwell clarified his remarks Thursday, saying the U.S. military was not conducting an independent probe. He said Petraeus has ordered that any evidence pertinent to the case be secured and preserved 'so that it may be provided to the appropriate Iraqi judicial official in accordance with U.S. policy'."

While the US military refuses to live up to its obligations as an occupying power, the reports have already had some impact. One response to the public charges "and the Iraqi government's dismissive response" was,
CNN reports, to lead another rape victim to come forward -- a 45-year-old Sunni woman was raped and her daughters were almost raped in Tal Afar by four Iraqi soldiers. A fifth Iraqi soldier arrived in the midst of the crimes and ordered the four to leave but that was apparently to be 'justice' because nothing else was done until the woman came forward. AP is going with fifty-years-old for the woman but CNN notes where their confirmation for the details come from (mayor of Tal Afar). (BBC pins her age at 40.) The BBC quotes the woman stating: "They threatened me that if I did not co-operate they would . . . cause me a scandal. . . . Who do I complian to? No one allows us to complain."

In other rape news, the New York Times manages to run
Andrea Hopkins (Reuters) report on Paul Cortez' confession to taking part in the gang rape of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi. Yet it's a selectively edited version of Hopkins report, one that somehow manages to leave out Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi thereby continuing the not-so-proud tradition of the New York Times of rendering Abeer invisible. While this scrubbed version of a Reuters appears on A8 and never manages to mention the victim's name, flip to A14 and a story on a death sentence and you'll see both murder victims named. Some victims matter more to the paper than other victims and, as Carolyn Marshall and Robert F. Worth demonstrated early on, the paper's goal was to sell 'no crimes took place but, if anything did happen, it was just due to stress.' Credit to Kristin M. Hall of AP who reported it for what it was "gang rape."

You say it's so women in Iraq can vote
from the privacy of their graves.
-- Connie Wanek, "You Say," Poets Against The War, p. 245

Turning to the United States, war resister
Mark Wilkerson's court-martial took place todayat Fort Hood in Texas. Shelton Green (Austin's KVUE) reports that Wilkerson spent his last night with his wife and family. Thursday, August 31st, Wilkerson spoke at Camp Casey III -- a press conference -- where he announced his intent to turn himself in after having self-checked out a year and a half ago. Angela K. Brown (AP) reported, "Wilkerson said his views of the war changed and he realized he could no longer stay in the military, so he applied for conscientious objector status. But his request was denied a month before his unit was to return to Iraq. He said he was told his appeal would not be considered until after he came back. So Wilkerson then decided not to return from the two weeks of approved leave before the January 2005 deployment."

Also on August 31st, As Mark Wilkerson was interviewed by Dennis Bernstein for
KPFA's Flashpoints, discussing the expected charge of desertion, a charge that, if found guilty of, people have been executed for. Wilkerson discussed serving in Iraq and how his views changed from those he'd held at 17-years-old. He attempted to receive c.o. status but his was denied. He attempted to prepare for the rebuttal process but was informed he'd be redeploying to Iraq and any rebuttal would have to wait until his second deployment ended.
Wilkerson, in that interview, emphasized how difficult it could be to have access to news becuase not everyone has internet access and, for many, Stars & Stripes is basically it. Bernstein asked him if he regretted his decision to self-check out? Wilkerson responded, "I completely stand by my decision. For me, this was a time in my life when I decided I had to make a stand regardless of whether [it meant] prison or death".

Wilkerson wrote (last October): "Before I deployed to Iraq during OIF1, I was full of optimism for what we could do to help the people of Iraq. One of our missions, after all, was to 'win the hearts and the minds of the Iraqi people.' And in this reagard, we have failed miserably. In the year I was in Iraq, I saw kids waving American flags in the first month. Then they threw rocks. Then they planeted IEDs. Then they blew themselves and others up in city squares full of people. The only conclusion I can come up with as to why this has happened is the way the American troops have treated the Iraqi people as a whole. From random raids of whole city blocks, to checkpoints that interrupted the daily lives of the Iraqis, to incidents of torture and even massacres, a majority of Iraqis now feel as that the American soliders, once hailed as heroes and saviors, are now seen as conquerors. Civil was has erupted in the streets, and Americans are caught in the crossfire."

Earlier this month,
Dick Foster (Rocky Mountain News) reported on the plea agreement that had been reached which would guarantee no "more than 10 months in prison. But he also faces a possible dishorable or bad conduct discharge and a felony conviction on his record."

Today, Wilkerson had to enter his plea and later face sentencing.
Jim Bergramo (KVUE) reports: "The military judge, who is hearing the case, accepted Wilkerson's guilty plea. Wiklerson told the judge he quit the Army and made his decision with a clear mind. He also said he planned to leave his unit, and changed his address, phone number and email address so no one in his unit could find him." Angela K. Brown (AP) reports that the prosecution called no witnesses but Wilkerson's relatives "testified on his behalf . . . and more witnesses were expected later in the afternoon at the sentecing." Jim Bergamo (KVUE) quotes Iraq Veterans Against the War Kelly Dougherty stating: "For those in the military who see the war in Iraq as immoral and wrong, I think it takes a lot of courage . . . because this is not what they signed up for. The military stresses that when you're given an illegal order, it's your duty to refuse it, so I think they see it as their duty to refuse it." [Sentenced to 7 months. See last sentence in snapshot.]

War resister
Agustin Aguayo faces a court-martail on March 6th in Germany. Ehren Watada is someone the US military would love to court-martial again; however, the double-jeopardy clause may prevent that. Iraq Veterans Against the War's Ryan Elsey writes (Foreign Policy in Focus) that "Lt. Watada's lawyer is hoping to invoke the principle of double jeopardy to argue that a second trial cannot lawfully take place. Just as many members of Iraq Veterans Against the War stood by Lt. Watada as he spoke before the Veterans for Peace convention, the organization stands by him now. Even though everyone in uniform is a volunteer, it is absurd to think that a contract can relinquish a human being
of the responsibility to act in a just way. It is equally abominable to claim that service members should lack the right to free speech. Those who give up so much--time, energy, blood, sweat, and even their lives--to serve deserve the right to free speech more than anyone; service members have clearly given the most to earn free speech. Service members of all ranks have the right to contribute to the public debate on any war and to provide a tempering voice when issues of war are discussed. They have perspectives that are vastly more valuable than armchair punditry. And when they are ordered to carry out unjust acts and fight in immoral wars, if they choose to resist, they at the very least have
the right to a fair defense. Yet, the Army is still attempting to prosecute Lt. Watada for speaking out about the Iraq War and for refusing orders. The silent majority of Americans opposed to the Iraq War must stand up and support Lt. Watada. Now is the time to praise the war's objectors as equally as we have praised the heroes who have fought and died. If we all had Lt. Watada's courage, we could finally facilitate an end to this war and steer our country toward a foreign policy based on cooperation, diplomacy, and a respect for international law."

Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that Eric Seitz, Watada's civilian attorney, doesn't expect a court-martial to even be possible before summer due to scheduling issues and that the military hasn't even refiled the charges for the March 19th date that Judge Toilet (John Head) was tossing around when he declared a mistrial.

Wilkerson, Aguayo and Watada are a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as
Kyle Snyder, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Turning to US politics,
Kevin Zeese (CounterPunch) reports on Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel who didn't cower while serving in the Senate during the days of Tricky Dick and who has said "that anyone who voted for the use of force resolution that allowed President Bush to invade Iraq has shown they do not have the judgment to serve as prsident of the United States. Gravel, during the build-up to the war, publicly opposed the invasion. In an interview on MSNBC he insisted that intelligence showed there were indeed no weapons of mass destruction, Iraq posed no threat to the United States and that invading Iraq was against America's national interests."

the Green Party (US), this week, reissued their call for Congress to "address the war as a criminal act of military aggression. Greens called on Democrats and Republicans in Congress who claim to oppose the war to interrupt President Bush's agenda in Iraq by cutting off funding for the U.S. occupation."

This as
NOW asks that you "Surge for Peace": "It's time for Congress to excercise their oversight authority and pass BINDING legislation to deal with the costly and deadly situation in Iraq. After last week's pros-and-cons marathon in the House, they finally passed the "non-binding" resolution opposing the troops surge by a vote of 246 to 182. Now it's time to get serious. We must urge, no demand, that our Representatives cosponsor H.R. 508, introduced by Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif), a comprehensive plan to disengage from Iraq within 6 months after enactment and make reparations for the damages that our invasion and occupation have caused to Iraq's people and infrastructure. Take Action NOW"

The Illinois Students Against The War protested Democratic presidential candidate (and US senator) Barack Obama's speech two Sundays ago and
explain why at CounterPunch: "Many have felt that we interrupted the rally one to many times. Our plan was to drop the banner and chant once during a pause to make our presence noticed -- which we did. But because we were being roughed up and 'escorted' out of the pavilion by security we felt it necessary to again make our point. It was then that we started a second chant; 'No justice, no peace -- U.S. out of the Middle East.' Later in his speech, Obama acknowledged our concerns. 'I'm glad they were there,' he told the crowd. 'They feel a sense of urgency about a war that should have never been authorized and a war that should have never been fought.' But Obama added that he doesn't want to cut funding for the war. 'We need to bring this war to an end,' he said, 'but we need to do it in a way that makes our troops safe.' In reality, the longer the troops stay in Iraq -- the more unsafe they are." In addition, it needs to be noted that evicting protestors is something Democrats act appalled by when Republicans do it. The whole thing has a shade of 'protest pens' that so disgraced the 2004 DNC convention in Boston.

Also taking action were
four activists who staged a sit-in at US Rep Marcy Kaptur's office in Toledo, Ohio. AP reports 17 participated and 4 were arrested.

Meanwhile, while everyone obsessed over Mr. Tony's announcement,
Free Speech Radio News reported yesterday that Denmark "will completely withdraw its troops from Iraq by August." On Mr. Tony's announcement, Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) reports: "It is an admission of defeat. Iraq is turning into one of the world's bloodiest battlefields in which nobody is safe. Blind to this reality, Tony Blair said yesterday that Britain could safely cut its forces in Iraq because the apparatus of the Iraqi government is growing stronger. In fact the civil war is getting worse by the day. Food is short in parts of the country. A quarter of the population would starve without government rations. Many Iraqis are ill because their only drinking water comes from the highly polluted Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Nowhere in Mr Blair's statement was any admission of regret for reducing Iraq to a wasteland from which 2 million people have fled and 1.5 million are displaced internally."

Spiegel, high on something, offers: "The allies have had very different Iraq Wars since the invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. While the British control the Shiite-dominated southern part of the country, which has been relatively calm, the United States has become bogged down in Sunni-dominated central Iraq, and in the capital Baghdad -- home to both Sunnis and Shiites. Blair acknowledged this difference during his speech, saying 'the situation in Basra is very different from Baghdad -- there is no Sunni insurgency, no al-Qaida base, little Sunni on Shia violence,' adding that it was nothing like the 'challenge of Baghdad'." Apparently, we're all supposed to pretend that sourthern Iraq is patrolled? We're supposed to pretend that the British didn't abandon one base in August -- with no notice -- that was stripped down by the resistance in a matter of hours? We're supposed to pretend that the Basra base wasn't under daily attack? In fact, let's pretend that Al Jazeera didn't just report: "The two British bases, located in central Basra and in the city's Shat al-Arab hotel, were bombed on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning".

In other violence in Iraq . . .


CBS and AP report a mortar attack in Baghdad that left 4 wounded. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a woman was wounded by an IED in Baghdad, two other civilians were wounded by an IED earlier today (10:00 am), a mortar attack left one person dead and three wounded (this was two hours after the mortar attack CBS and AP note) and, in Slah ad Din, "A source in the Iraqi police said that two policemen were killed and other 9 were wounded in an attack launched by insurgents on Hay Al Tamim police station in Biji city north of Baghdad. The source added that Iraqi security forces imposed a curfew in the city after the incident. It's to be mentioned that the insurgents blew up a communication tower belonging to Asia Cell phone company which stopped the communication inside the city."


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two Iraqi police officers were wounded in Baghdad.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports ten corpses were discovered in Baghdad.

AP is reporting that Mark Wilkerson was "sentenced to seven months in military prison . . . also given a bad conduct discharge".

healthcare-now! presents in honor of black history month

this is an event that's happening today. c.i. asked me to note it.

ON FEBRUARY 22, 2007



Harriet Washington, a medical historian, will present
her groundbreaking work that uncovers the sordid
history of medical experimentation on African
descendants from colonial times to the present,
including the current use of unethical methods to
provide health “care” to Black people. She will sign
her new book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of
Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from
Colonial Times to the Present.

Frederick Newsome, M.D., an attending physician at
Harlem Hospital, will present his paradigm-shifting
analysis and examination of unique and profound issues
regarding the meaning of clinical practice for the
African- descendant professional health provider. He
will sign his new book An African American Philosophy
of Medicine.

Ajamu Sankofa, a national organizer for
Healthcare-Now! will offer brief remarks of why a
national single-payer health system (H.R. 676) in the
United States is urgently relevant to the quality of
life of all people of African descent residing in the
United States.

Torian Easterling, a fourth-year medical student at
the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey, will moderate the event.

Books will be available for sale. Information is

DATE: Thursday, February 22, 2007
PLACE: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street New York, NY 10027
TIME: 7 PM-9:30 PM

Co-sponsors: New York City Chapter of Healthcare-NOW!;
Latinos for National Health Insurance; Million Worker
March; Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and
Development; Brenda Stokely of the NYC Katrina
Solidarity Committee; National Coalition of Blacks for
Reparations in America (N’COBRA); NYC Chapter of
National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL); Student
National Medical Association-Region IX; The Institute
of the Black World, 21st Century, and Physicians for a
National Health Program--NY Chapter.

339 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10012-2725



flashpoints, robert parry, etc.

BuzzFlash: You've worked for the Associated Press and as a mainstream journalist, before you began consortiumnews. Why did you feel the need to go to the Web and alternative journalism?
Robert Parry: I had been with the Associated Press for a number of years, and I spent a few years at Newsweek and worked at Public Broadcasting's "Frontline" program. By the mid-1990s, I just felt like the space for doing serious, investigative-style journalism had closed.
In that period, there was the sense that investigative stories amounted to prying into people's sex lives or following the O.J. Simpson trial endlessly. When you try to deal with serious crimes of state, that maybe went back a few years into the 1980s, it was a very hard sell. People weren't interested. Plus, by that point, there also was a very aggressive right-wing media in affiliated attack groups that would go after journalists who pried too deeply into some of the crimes of the Reagan-Bush era.
Because I had kept collecting hard evidence, documents, and interviews with principals, the best choice, it seemed to me by the mid-1990s, was to look for a different route. My oldest son had just finished college at the time, and he said, "Dad, there's this thing called the Internet. Why don't you just try that?"
We started
consortiumnews in 1995 as a way to do the old-fashioned kind of stories, the stories that looked into things and investigated areas that were important. That's why we started consortiumnews.
And we have kept it going. In early 2000, I put it on a part-time basis and took a job as an editor for Bloomberg News, handling their securities regulation coverage. But at the end of 2004, I left Bloomberg. I wanted to finish a book I had started (which became
Secrecy and Privilege) so that it would come out prior to the 2004 election. At that point, the Internet had matured enough to play a more significant role in American journalism.
I must say, back in the mid- or the late 1990s, it was a harder row to hoe. There were fewer Internet sites, but a lot of people just weren't using the Internet. We also did some print versions, because a lot of folks just weren't at all familiar with or interested in the Internet yet. The big problem with the Internet, in a business sense, is that it's hard to sustain operations that are at all costly. Even though we try to be very frugal in our approach, it's still difficult to raise the money needed to do a quality product.

that's from buzzflash's interview with robert parry. i want to talk about pass ons for a 2nd and then hopefully come back to parry. c.i. passed the interview on. that wasn't a 'you must use this!' that was because c.i. knows i love parry. but here's how pass ons work, if it's c.i., elaine, betty or any 1 like that, it goes up. if it's sherry, goldie, courtney or any of my longterm readers it goes up. if it's a visitor it may or may not go up.

i got something asking me to promote a piece of crap film called amazing grace. i know walden books is really trying to sell jesus to america and that this is nothing new. i laughed my ass off at the press release trying to pass itself off as personal correspondence. silly kids, i know p.r. you need to get a little better at it.

the funniest thing may have been michael apted's credits. he's the lousy director who directs lousy films. in spite of him, sissy spacek won an oscar for coal miner's daughter. spacek and others are amazing but that film is unwatchable. jodie foster was amazing as nell but apted made nell a cartoon film that was hollow and mechanical. it's all he's capable of.

he didn't just ruin thunderheart, he made that shoot a nightmare. the same was true of the shoot of enough (another bomb he directed - he's never had a hit film, let alone a blockbuster).

a friend actually passed on promoting this film and we were talking about that just last month. about how walden books now realizes they've got a dull, unwatchable, hollow film that tries to 'teach history' and will be lucky to get 40 million if they can round up all the pompous asses who will convince themselves that bad films are good for you.

more likely, they'll lose a fortune. there are no stars. (albert finney is not a star who pulls people into the theaters.)

so don't try to use my site to promote your crappy movies.

i read that e-mail to c.i. and we were both laughing so hard. in fact, i only laughed harder after because c.i. told me about action news - a sitcom where kelsey grammer will once again play a gay man who is straight and patricia heaton will once again play a shrew. when you've got 2 untalented republicans, where do you pitch the crap-com? when you've got a bad sitcom period where do you pitch it? fox.

to clear something up, ava and c.i. are not mean to patricia heaton online, they are mean to her whore face when they see it in person. heaton was whining on tv the other night about how people are so mean to her online. i hate that woman. i don't know anyone who doesn't. supposedly she's about to lose her current representation because they've had it with her as well.

she's a really ugly person, just a screaming nightmare. a little no talent who lucked onto a hit show and suddenly thought she was a star. that's when she started attacking other actresses and that's why she has no friends in the entertainment industry.

she can play it off like it's due to her looney politics but it has to do with the lies she repeated about other actresses - on tv, at parties - and that's why she's a little nothing.

i 1st heard of her because of those lies. she'd told them at a party and they'd gotten back to c.i. i didn't even know that crappy show. c.i. was furious and she can whine that it's her politics but long before she started telling lies about michael shiavo, long before she started slamming michael j. fox (she claims she didn't mean to, others doubt that), long before she started endorsing her bully boy, she had made a big enemy with c.i. and it had nothing to do with politics but everything to do with heaton's lying mouth.

she's a little piece of trash who had work done and even that didn't make her pretty.

who does that? who has plastic surgery to look plain?

seems to me she could make quite a bundle by suing her surgeon.

but it was obvious that she had surgery - i believe her weak chin suddenly became a bird bill - and instead of owning up she had to spread lies about other women that had surgery. she did that everywhere and that is why she's is consider trash. and she is trash. think about it. she wanted to have some major work done and she did but instead of owning that she had done that she tried to drag other people in on it. that's probably what her politics are all about, if you think about it. she can't take a brave stand, just issue g.o.p. talking points and hate.

but, for the record and to wrap this up, c.i. and ava have both bit their tongues about that piece of trash. if she's bothered by what they've written (and she is), she better drop to her knees and thank her lucky stars that she hasn't pissed them off enough to have them really blow her trashy ass out of the water.

now let's talk Flashpoints. tonight nora barrows-friedman interviewed cynthia mckinney. they addressed a number of topics including iran. her feelings (i agree) are that when you've taken impeachment off the table (nancy pelosi's term), you've got no way to stop the bully boy from going to war with iran. she spoke of the cowardice and refusal to stand up in congress. she's currently going around the country discussing impeachment and if there's a push on that, it's going to have to come from us. we're going to have bring pressure to bear on congress.

she made some amazing remarks that can be boiled down as 'when it is finally enough?' and i agree. forget retribution or revenge, bully boy, cheney, et al need to be impeached because if it doesn't happen, a historical lesson has been created that says you can lie to the american people, you can lie the country into war, you can be responsible for the deaths of 100s of 1000s and never be held accountable.

congress needs to do their job. but they can't even speak frankly on the campaign trail.

this is from ivan eland's 'Blaming the Iraqis for the Iraq Disaster' (consortium news):

Hillary Clinton, however, would prefer to blame President Bush entirely for the war and take no responsibility for her own vote in favor of going to war.
Her position to date has been a cop-out: knowing what she knows now about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, etc., she wouldn't have voted for the war. Instead of saying that her vote was a mistake--a colossal one given that the invasion would not have been justified even if Saddam Hussein had had such weapons--and apologizing, she is now saying that if voters want to hear an apology, they can just go vote for someone else for president.
She doesn't know it, but this stance is the kiss of death for her presidential bid. She is trying to not be dragged too far to the left during the Democratic primaries in an attempt to win the general election by retaining moderate votes.
But even after the utter repudiation of the war in the election of November 2006, Republicans and Democrats have been slow to realize that Bush's post-election escalation will cause opposition to the conflict to be a "tsunami" in 2008. After digging in her heels about the apology, Hillary will not even be able to get the Democratic nomination.
Anti-war Barack Obama, or more likely, John Edwards--who has apologized for his war vote--will be the Democratic nominee and the next President.
Because Bush's escalation flies in the face of public opinion--in both the United States and Iraq--he has sunk the chances of the Republican Party in the 2008 election. All the major Republican candidates--John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney--have been forced to endorse the escalation.
Only the courageous Chuck Hagel has criticized the President's policy, but regrettably he will not survive the Republican primaries because of that stance.

consortium news features the work of robert parry, his sons nat & sam, and many other people. so make a point to check it out. and i had more to say, but after the heaton comments, my grandmother called ('just to chat') and i've spent the time since, calling my family and trying to figure out what's going on. she does call to 'chat' from time to time but rarely so late and i tend to worry about her. so if you got lost after heaton and wondered, 'what the hell is rebecca writing about?' i was only 1/2 paying attention as i kept calling my family until my uncle, just now, agreed to drive out and check on her.

time for c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Mr. Tony soaks up headlines with his non-statements, Abeer was gang raped but the same press that couldn't mention her name appears too delicate to use the word "gang rape" (one wire report even uses "assault" to avoid the term "rape" -- such shy maidens), the Black Hawk was shot down and it takes the US military the better part of a daily news cycle to come forward with that information, and rape may be the thing that finally gets the puppet pulled from Baghdad as he continues to botch things up.

Starting with Mr. Tony. Tony Blair, Bully Boy's lapdog and personal poodle, was hailed during a mini-news cycle for his talk of bringing British troops home. Now the bloom is off the rose as reality sets in.
AFP and Reuters report that 5,500 British troops will remain in Iraq, as Mr. Tony puts it, "for as long as we are needed." Mr. Tony had hoped to use the slight withdrawal as the staging for a series of victory laps as he prepares to step down as prime minister but, as with his earlier plans of how to get slavish praise from the press, it didn't turn out quite the way he wanted. Mark Rice-Oxley and Dan Murphy (Christian Science Monitor) note that it's only a 25% withdrawal of British forces from Iraq.

Interviewed by Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) today, Tony Benn cut through Mr. Tony's nonsense noting that "there wasn't really any change. But Blair is due to retire in a matter of weeks. And I'm afraid, I suspect, that this is a gimmick at this stage, so that he can claim that the mission is being accomplished and, therefore, the troops can be withdrawn. And on the question of Iran, he repeated ominous warnings. So I don't think too much will be read into this." Amy Goodman noted: "Here you have Tony Blair just moments ago making this announcement in the House of Commons. Then you have Cheney speaking on an aircraft carrier near Tokyo, saying the American people will not support a policy of retreat."

Goodman was referring to Cheney's attempt to shore up the support of the Japanese government in a little trip that
Brendan Murray (Bloomberg News) reports didn't turn into a love-fest what with the embassy 'greeting' of "Yankee Go Home" blared over a speaker as he arrived and the lies and fear he has to resort to in order to get even a sliver of copy. Pulling from his bag of tricks, Dick -- who avoided Vietnam -- is using the same if-we-leave-they-will-come-after-us. Now that didn't frighten Dickie enough to enlist during Vietnam but he obviously thinks the American people are stupider than he is (prolonged exposure to the Bully Boy will make one feel smarter). As for the retreat, perhaps it's time polls started asking "Should Cheney and Bully Boy announce a retreat from their war" because that is how many Americans see this illegal war. Murray notes 63% of Americans now favor US forces pulling out of Iraq.

Though Cheney attempts to scare up support for the war and put the blame for inept leadership on the backs of the American people,
Sharon Smith (CounterPunch) voices the reality that more Americans are coming around to: "The Iraq war marks the first major war in the last century fought in the interests of America's ruling elite without even the pretense of 'shared sacrifice.' During the First World War, the tax rate for top income earners stood at 77 percent; during the Second World War, at 94 percent. Even during Vietnam, the wealthiest taxpayers faced a rate of 70 percent on personal income. Yet, as the bloodletting in Iraq has been proven a war for nothing more than U.S. control over Middle Eastern oil, the corporate class continues to enjoy an income tax rate that has been capped at only 35 percent since 2003 -- the year the U.S. invaded Iraq. Bush's plan to permanently extend these tax cuts, which are set to expire in 2010 would cost an estimated $211 billion in 2012 and $1.6 trillion over the next decade. Added to their profit windfalls and soaring executive salaries, the corporate class has every reason to celebrate. Bush's budget makes clear that the growing numbers of economically disadvantaged Americans -- already supplying the cannon fodder to kill and die in Iraq and Afghanistan -- must also continue to shoulder the suffocating financial burden for U.S. imperialism's twenty-first centruy follies.Bush's budget proposal brazenly takes aim at veterans themselves, nearly doubling their out-of-pocket fees from $8 to $15 for prescription medications when they return home from a war zone battered and traumatized, and often looking for work. In this war, only the working class is expected to sacrifice."

Smith's statements are echoed in the AP data
Kimberly Hefling (AP) reported on yesterday which found that those Americans paying the costs with their own lives tend to come from small, rural communities "where the per capita income was below the national average. More than half came from towns where the percentage of people living in poverty topped the national average."

Meanwhile, speaking with Jason Farbman and Darrin Hoop (Socialist Worker), US war resister
Darrell Anderson explains why he decided to return to the US and turn himself in,
"I felt that I had to go to jail and stand with these other resisters. There's nothing more powerful than soldiers who have been to Iraq saying that it's wrong, and we're not going to do it again. That's where I believe the heart of the movement is -- in these 20 or 30 or 40 of us who resisted now. . . . When I turned myself in, they gave me a piece of paper that asked why I'd gone AWOL. I said because I'm a combat veteran, I have post-traumatic stress, and the war is wrong. Basically, I said that I dare you to put my uniform on me, put my Purple Heart on me and send me to prison so people can see that we're going to jail." On the topic of
Ehren Watada and court-martials, Anderson declares: "These court-martials are the front line of where we're fighting the war. This needs to be the focus for the antiwar movement -- Watada and all the war resisters. We need more soldiers like Watada, and more soldiers who come back from Iraq and say, 'I'm a veteran, I watched my buddies die in Iraq, and now I'm going to jail because I won't do it anymore."

Agustin Aguayo is set for a March 6th court-martial in Germany. Eric Ruder (Socialist Worker) speaks to Helga Aguayo, Agustin's wife, who tells him: "One of the care packages sent to the soldiers was a book on the history of Iraq. He said that it really changed what he believed, I mean he was a conscientious objector, he believed that killing was wrong, but after reading that book he realized that the war in Iraq has essentially been created for the personal gain of a few people. What he told me was that for a few corporations, it's in their best interests to keep the chaos going in Iraq. And he just came to believe that killing is wrong, but this war is wrong, too, because it's all motivated by money."

Anderson, Aguayo and Watada are a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as
Kyle Snyder, Patrick Hart, Ivan Brobeck, Mark Wilkerson, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports the following bombings in Baghdad, a roadside bomb on Al Jadiria Bridge that killed one police officer and left three more wounded, a parked car bomb that killed two civilians left seven wounded and 25 poisoned from bottles of Chlroine gas that were in the car, a parked car bomb in Sadr city that took 3 lives and left five more wounded, a mortar attack that wounded 2 police officers near a bus station, a mortar attack the killed three people and left ten wounded. Reuters notes a mortar attack that "wounded four children in Adil district in western Baghdad." Outside of Baghdad, Reuters notes 11 people dead 38 wounded in Najaf from a car bomb. Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports: "Diyala - Mortar shelling targeted Al Abara town north of Baqouba. The shelling claimed the life of one resident and injured other three. - A security source in Baladrouz city (45 Km east of Baqouba) said that men in Iraqi military uniforms raided the houses of Al Shah town (6 km from Baladrouz) and executed 17 men." And AFP reports: "In the flashpoint northern city of Kirkuk, a hub of Iraq's oil industry that is disputed by Kurds and Arabs, a car bomb and two booby-traps exploded in Kurdish areas, wounding 19 people, police Captain Imad Jassim told AFP


Reuters reports seven corpses discovered in western Baghdad today and, on Tuesday, 25 discovered in Baghdad, 8 in Mosul.

Today, the
US military announced: " A Marine assigned to Multi-National Force-West was killed Feb. 20 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." And they announced: "On Feb. 20, an MND-B unit was conducting a clearing operation in order to search a residential area and reduce the levels of violence in a northern urban district of the Iraqi capital when they received small arms fire, killing one Soldier."

In other US military news do the paid flacks enjoy spinning? Do they ever get tired of egg on their face? The day began with news of a Black Hawk having a "hard landing" north of Baghdad. It's a crash. It's not a "hard landing." Later in the day, the
US military released this statement: "A U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter went down today north of Baghdad while conducting operations." Still later, CBS and AP reported: "A U.S. helicopter that crashed Wednesday north of Baghdad was shot down, the military said, reversing its initial statement that the chopper made a 'hard landing.' Military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said all the occupants were safely evacuated by a second helicopter." Nine people on board and the military didn't know from the start what happened?

Turning to the topic of rape, we'll start with
Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi. Andrea Hopkins (Reuters) reports on Paul Cortez confession ("broke down in tears as he described how he and others planned the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, murdered along with her family") that those paying attention in November already knew of when James P. Barker confessed -- gang rape of Abeer, she's then shot dead, kerosene is poured on her body as they try to burn her body and hide the evidence of their crimes, etc. Hopkins "While we were playing cards Barker and Green started talking about having sex with an Iraq female" -- only rape isn't "sex," is it? -- "Barker and Green had already known" where Abeer, 14-years-old, lived "what house they wanted to go to . . . knew only one male was in the house, and knew it would be an easy target."

Now let's remember that
Carolyn Marshall and Robert F. Worth of the New York Times worked overtime to cover up what happened -- the paper even refused to print Abeer's name or a photo of her, USA Today was able to locate photos of her and her family -- but the Times was far from alone. Those brave voices sat the summer out. Scolds online tried to intimidate people into even discussing the case with b.s. about "Don't you dare call them baby killers!" We never called the gang rapists of Abeer 'baby killers' -- apparently someone had slapped their bumper stickers across their brains. What they did do was murder two parents, a 14-year-old and a 5-year-old. Cortez, confronted with evidence and the confession of Barker wants to blubber in court -- he should and it doesn't change the fact that they stalked Abeer, they planned to rape her and he can kid that it was "sex" all he wants but it was gang rape.

Let's repeat that because the press seems to have a really hard time doing so: GANG RAPE. Three men taking turns raping a female is GANG RAPE. It's not just rape -- as bad as rape is -- it's GANG RAPE. Abeer was gang raped and while she was being gang raped she could hear the gun going off as her parents and her sister were shot dead. Barker and Cortez both say that Steven D. Green killed the three, then he joined them in the living room where he raped Abeer and then shot her dead. Green will get to offer his version in a civilian court.

But a 14-year-old girl was gang raped and murdered, while she was being gang raped she heard her own parents and her five-year-old sister being murdered. And all the little enablers from May to now, the ones who helped shut this story down, need to step into the real world and own up to the fact that despite their denials and their silences, Abeer was gang raped and murdered by US soldiers. In retaliation, US soldiers who had nothing to do with the gang rapes were killed. But for some of the big babies (and this includes the Big Babies of the left) it was more important to live in denial than to acknowledge what happened to Abeer.

Cortez states of his part in the gang rape, "She kept squirming and trying to keep her legs closed and saying stuff in Arabic. During the time me and Barker were raping Abeer, I heard five or six gunshots that came from the bedroom. After Barker was done, Green came out of the bedroom and said that he had killed them all, that all of them were dead. Green then placed himself between Abeer's legs to rape her". Somehow the report leaves out the drinking before and after, the changing of clothes after, the grilling of chicken breasts and the party atmosphere that followed these crimes. Hopkins tells you he was tearful. So was Abeer back when she could still cry.

As CNN reported during the August Article 32 hearing, Captain Alex Pickands' closing remarks included: "
They gathered over cards and booze to come up with a plan to rape and murder that little girl. She was young and attractive. They knew where she was because they had seen her on a previous patrol. She was close. She was vulnerable." It's really amazing that these war crimes received a stronger rebuke from the military than they did from much of the so-called left press.

Meanwhile the Iraqi government is much more involved in the allegations of another rape. As noted yesterday, a 20-year-old woman told Al Jazeera that she was detained by a Shia militia and gang raped. Recapping, Nouri al-Maliki voiced some of the same strong statements he made when Abeer was in the news last year. However, he backed off even quicker. After promising a full investigation, he then issued a statement calling the woman a liar, saying she would be charged criminally, and denying that anything had happened. The US press still can't report what the European press reported yesterday -- that Omar Jaburi maintains an "initial hospital report confirmed what she has said." However,
Marc Santora (New York Times) reports: "A nurse who said she treated the woman after the attack said that she saw signs of sexual and physical assault. The woman, according to the nurse, could identify one of her attackers because he was not wearing a mask, as were the others, and could identify a second attacker by a mark on his genitals."

This as
Hamza Hendawi (AP) reports that Nouri al-Mailiki has fired the head of the Sunni Endowments, Abdul-Ghafour al-Samaraie, for calling "for an international investigation into the rape allegations leveled by a Sunni Arab woman against three members of the Shiite- dominated security forces." CBS and AP report that Willie Caldwell, Giddiest Gabor in the Green Zone, has confirmed that the US military took the woman to a hospital but says that patient privacy prevents him from adding much more. They also note a 'report' al-Maliki faxed to the media which is one page of a three page report that has no name on it and appears to prove nothing. al-Maliki has been teetering for months with many of his US handlers eager to dump him. The way he's botched this incident makes that very easy to do so now.