some days life is a carly simon song

how's every 1 doing tonight? i'm posting later because we've been up in the air regarding this weekend's third estate sunday review. jess wanted us to a theme along the lines of the humor them a few years back and while we love the idea we all needed to think about it.

that's not think about how we would write about it but think about if we want to do the theme.
we do. the last hold outs have said yes.

and now we're facing down a massive effort to pull this thing together.

so my point here is don't expect much right now because my mind is reeling from what we'll be doing there. it's very creative and i'm excited about it but it's going to be intense.

c.i. said 'if we fail, we fail but it's good to stretch and try.' i don't want to spoil the theme but i think it will work and i think people will enjoy it.

ruth's going to provide some input for us and kat is on board as well. so it will be ava, dona, jim, ty and of course jess, betty, c.i. and me.

it's going to be a fun creative excercise.

and i agree that whether it works or not, it will be worth trying. jess is so clever to think it up.

it's been an interesting day for all of us. but that's another story. i will note that jim got his wallet stolen early this morning and then later in the afternoon a similar incident happened to c.i. and that ava and i were both harrassed by crazies to our face at different times today. kat says the bad vibes are upon us and that we need to do this excercise this weekend to cleanse ourselves.

hopefully, people will read it and laugh. but if they don't, we'll still have learned something from the excercise. and hopefully, we'll be able to score some points we wouldn't be able to otherwise.

do i sound excited? i really am. my mind is racing just thinking about it.

i'll give a heads up to folding star's comments on deep throat, that isaiah has a hilarious (if you've seen irma la duce) comic at the common ills, and note that betty posted wednesday at her site in a must read chapter on the latest on betinna. i was on the phone with her and she's excited about this weekend as well but wondering whether she'll have the 'creative juices' for it. i'm sure she will. i'm more worried about ava and c.i. because it will probably be harder to carve out 2 new personalities for their tv review which has always been their voices and now they'll have to create a new voice.

if something bigs happens, the editorial will be straight. like jim and c.i. said, if the sunday times of london has a new expose, that'll be the editorial but otherwise we'll stay in character for the editorial as well.

anyway, look for it. dona said she was thinking of the carly simon song 'touched by the sun' all day. i think that sums up my own feelings pretty well.

But deep down inside I know
I've got to learn from the greats
Earn my right to be living
Let my wings of desire
Soar over the night
I need to let them say
"She must have been mad"
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun
One who is touched by the sun
I've got to learn from the greats
Earn my right to be living
With every breath that I take
Every heartbeat
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun
One who is touched by the sun

that captures my mood right now. some days life is a carly simon song.


the one about the common ills

wally and kara both e-mailed to ask if i could mention the proposal that's going on at the common ills and nothing would make me happier. i'll just make this post about the common ills in fact. if you watch friends, you know they title episodes 'the one . . .' so i'll call this 1 'the one about the common ills.'

for those who don't know, blog links come via a members panel at the common ills. c.i. will be the first to note 'no blog expert here' and in the early days there would be someone e-mailing in 'i hate that blog you just added.'

it's a community, so what to do?

if c.i. says, 'john pool has a blog, a number of members like it, let me know if you think we should link' it's the ultimate in democracy. but what if john pool isn't liked by the members. then people know john pool almost got linked but in the end didn't. that may play on american idol but that's neither the common ills nor c.i.'s style.

so a panel was created and members serve on it. while they serve on it, they look at blogs that have gotten attention from the members and determine whether they are link worthy or not.

you don't want to end up with some 'bull moose' or other such shit - dlc masquerading as left.
the panel, being made up of members, are representative of the members themselves. and since they are reviewing suggestions for a month's time, they are able to get a better feel and to discuss what they've seen.

it's representative democracy.

and the panel is an independent 1. c.i.'s really been proud of that and members who write me have been as well.

every e-mail about eli's statements and delinking from the hideous dopey (who's kiss off is apparently the only thing any 1's ever read at load of crap) have been overjoyed by the action and so proud of eli for the way he wrote it up.

he was so nice about it but so clear. and the community was sick of load of crap because he'd a) trashed them for not helping him 'clean these panties!' b) he'd called c.i. a liar because c.i. didn't quote him (i read them, dopey never asked to be quoted and, as shirley has pointed out, the automated e-mail explains the policy on quoting so there are no excuses not even for that ____
- who knew sweet shirley knew such strong words?), c) he'd spread rumors that i'd been to his dopey site load of crap - he wishes; he's like an exhibitionist exposing himself and being mad that no woman wants to look, d) he mocked someone's illness, e) he then went on to insult women and feminine men while calling others catty.

that meow in the room, it's coming from you dopey.

so as the panel took responsibility for their decisions and actions, they decided to write a proposal consisting of various planks. this is to be voted on by membership. disclosure, i've already mailed in my vote. it's instant run off voting which i say bravo to the panel for.

there are 13 voting days left. you must be a member to vote. you request your ballot by e-mailing c.i. at common_ills@yahoo.com. c.i. will note the ballot 1 more time tomorrow because the panel had requested three days of notice.

you do 1 e-mail for your vote and you send it to keesha, eli and c.i. (which common ills community members the uk computer gurus have made an easy function for any 1 confused by that). also listed on the ballot is shirley's e-mail and you can contact her with any questions you have about instant run off voting.

i talked to shirley by phone today and asked her what the most asked question so far was?

she's got an interview in common ills community members gina and krista's gina & krista round-robin tomorrow. they did the interview wednesday and she answers that in her 1st question so i'll just steer you to the round-robin.

sometimes a visitor will stumble onto my site (gee, wonder what they're looking for) and they'll e-mail something along the lines of 'what is so damn special about the common ills?'

well if you have to ask ...

it's a resource/review and it's a community of people who share common beliefs. that's the easy answer.

but it's so much more. it offers so much interaction. a member will note that they like something and c.i. will see if they're comfortable with e-mailing another member. if they are, they share that interest and other things. which is how most of us have gotten to know each other.

gina and krista's round-robin grew out of that. c.i. paired gina and krista together as e-mail buddies when krista was feeling very low. not only did it lift krista's spirits, it also allowed krista and gine to start their own round-robin which is a weekly thing they do where they exchange ideas and debate issues. they do this in private away from the eyes of the likes of dopey. (but they sure do have funny talks about dopey, don't they?) and isaiah does an illustration for them each week that's evolved into a continuing comic opera with regular characters. in addition, they'll offer an interview with a member that lets you really get to know who makes up the community.

in addition, every other week community members the uk computer gurus send out their e-mail which is full of tips for online safety and examples of violations of privacy.

but are we done yet? no, we are not.

at the common ills, besides the day to day learning of what members are noticing, members like cedric, keesha, gina, keshawn and dallas will write entries (and don't forget the year-in-review). and of course ruth does ruth's morning edition report which is a must read. kat covers music for the common ills. and isaiah is the common ills illustrator. that's quite a community.

but are we done yet? no, we are not.

the common ills has spawned blogs and continues to do so. folding star started a winding road, i started sex and politics and screeds and attitude, ty, jess, ava, jim and dona started the third estate sunday review, betty started thomas friedman is a great man, and kat's started kat's korner.

the common ills just celebrated their 6th month anniversary. if you ask me, that's an amazing record for 6 months. all that and a dedication to social justice and the left.


kat's korner

so last night i added to the blog roll. i added katrina vanden heuvel of course. but late last night, i learned that kat of kat's korner was doing a site.

we love kat.

her music reviews make me laugh and make me think.

she's posted them at the common ills for some time now.

her blog will contain reposts of those reviews and it will also contain the occassional 'note' which is the word she uses. i think it's great and i know a lot of common ills members will just be glad to know they can go somewhere to easily read her reviews. but i'm pretty sure she'll be noting things there from time to time that will be the sort of things that only kat could do.

i'm really excited by her blog.

i really wish every member of the common ills would start a blog. as c.i. says, 'we need more voices, not less.' and kat is an important voice.

she told me that when she has time she'll add some information in her 'about me' section but that she just wanted to get it up and started. i hope you'll check out her site. it's title is 'kat's korner (of the common ills).'

she's developed quite a following and if you go there and check it out, you'll see why.

while i'm talking about community members, did i note that betty had a new entry on sunday?

she took part in what i have dubbed 'operation circle jerk' in honor of bill keller.

but she does a humorous site that's really the unfolding and self-discovery of betinna, the lead character in what i see as her online novel. her entries are like chapters and the latest is entitled
'thomas friedman's days of rage and whine.'

read it, it's funny. you'll laugh.

and while we're talking funny, let me note the hilarious review that ava and c.i. did of the nick lachey and jessica simpon tv special, it's called 'tv: jessica simpson and nick lachey reporting for two hours of self-love.'

here's the opening of their review:

Haven't the troops suffered enough? Sent into an illegal war by the Bully Boy, often victims of a back-door draft, reserves stationed full time in Iraq paid less because they are "part-time reserves" (aka "weekend warriors" -- that's been some long weekend), the wounded largely ignored when they return home, military familes losing benefits, the coffins hidden away while Bully Boy says they died for "liberty" . . . When will it end?
Not last Monday night when ABC decided to promote the upcoming release of Warner Bros.' Dukes of Hazzard by turning over two hours of prime time television to the dubious talents of Jessica Simpson and, famous for being married to her, Nick Lachey. The "event" was titled Nick & Jessica's Tour of Duty so right away you knew it was going to be horrible and lacking in any sensitivity or perspective. In case you're missing it, let's underscore it. Nick & Jessica's Tour of Duty. Two overly pampered airheads wanted to compare their miniscule contribution as a "tour of duty." Let's be really clear here, Bob Hope did multiple salutes to the military. He did countless version of The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show (1965, 1966, 1971), he did Bob Hope's Overseas Christmas Tours: Around the World with the Troops -- 1941-1972. But he lacked either the vanity or the stupidy (or both) to pass his own efforts off as a "Tour of Duty."
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey apparently lack shame, as well as talent.

it's funny. you'll laugh. what are you waiting for? i gave you three links. why aren't you clicking? lol.


open democracy and deep throat

okay, what is open democracy?

i'm joking.

i'm semi-familiar with it but i must have missed the mailing on 'talk about this' lol.

sunday c.i.'s citing three stories from it and saying to check it out and monday katrina vanden heuvel (whom i've finally gotten off my lazy butt and added to the blog roll) is talking it up.

people, share the memos! i'll be happy to be on the same page.

so katrina's talking about open democracy in terms of their article on the impact bloggers are having in iran. c.i. was talking open democracy in terms of nepal for two articles and in terms of a third item which i'll highlight below.

Third, we'll note Brian Cathcart's "Polio: a war not yet won:"
One day it could rank among the greatest collaborative achievements of humankind, the fruit of decades of work by millions of people across the globe, at a cost of billions of dollars - but today, with triumph almost in sight, it may be in jeopardy. The campaign to rid the world of polio is suddenly on the defensive, with the virus popping up in countries previously thought clean and the flow of money to fund immunisations running dry.
Only a few years ago there were hopes that this year, 2005, would see the final case, the very last of all the many millions of children to be crippled or killed by this virus down the centuries. But instead the number of countries where people are catching polio has doubled to twelve and just this month a fresh pocket of infection turned up in Indonesia, where no one had caught the disease for a decade. Proving that sickness, too, is globalised in the modern world, a strain of the virus from northern Nigeria travelled first to Sudan, on to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and then across the ocean to Java - perhaps carried by migrant workers, perhaps by Muslim pilgrims going to and from Mecca; no one knows.
And just as it becomes clear that the huge effort to immunise millions of young children must be redoubled, the coalition of organisations leading the drive - the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unicef, Rotary International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States – announce that they are $50 million short of the funding they need to carry on the effort past July.
This is an issue that Rebecca's noted and noted at her site Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.

see i highlighted it because the spread of polio is something that concerns me and i'm a whore for a shout out.

a number of e-mails are coming in regarding w. mark felt who is said to be deep throat of the nixon era. (that would be the source for carl bernstein and woody's washington post expose series that changed journalism for about 10 minutes before journalism decided it was more interested in public relations.) vanity fair has the story. but the washington post is confirming it, or ben bradlee of the washington post.

and now carl bernstein and bob woodward have apparently joined in the confirmation.

i don't know. it seems like a parlor game.

and a nice way out considering rumors flying about who deep throat was in august of 2004.

reminds me of the man who claimed to be marilyn monroe's father and be the last call to her.
he got some headlines. but today no 1 remembers him and the reason is he wasn't the last call.

felt was probably a source.

but i'll wait a bit to see what happens before i start hollering 'deep throat! deep throat!' like kirsten dunst and michelle williams in dick (a very funny movie). i called a friend who'd the heard the rumor (to explosive to repeat) in august 2004 and asked, 'what do you think?' my friend said, 'i think things were getting a little hot and that's why bernstein and woody are breaking their word.'

and cnn this afternoon was reporting that bernstein and woodward were still maintaining that they would stick to their policy of not naming until deep throat was dead.

so it strikes me as strange that they suddenly decided to go along with ben bradlee.

i think in a bit, we'll be told 'oh by the way, ____ was also deep throat.'

maybe felt is deep throat but it's awfully strange that the day started with bernstein and woodward both being quoted as saying they'd only reveal deep throat when deep throat was dead and then they ended up coming around to say 'oh yeah, he's deep throat.'

i believe the rumor i heard in august. it was from a good source (some 1 at the washington post during the watergate period). so i won't do cart wheels over this.

again, felt may have been a source but i don't think he was the explosive source. it has to do with the information that deep throat supposedly passed on. (and no i'm not thinking it's john dean or any 1 that's usually mentioned.)

but, as c.i. would say, i could be wrong.

so make up your own minds.


editorial: sunday times says we attempted to goad iraq into war in 2002, is bush a liar or just willing to risk the safety of american citizens?

this ran at the third estate sunday review. it's an important editorial.

you may have read it already. perhaps at the third estate sunday review sunday. or at the common ills this morning. or at thomas friedman is a great man. or at a winding road. and now it's here.

why? because we think the questions that should be raised are that important. we think the press in this country needs to deal with this seriously and soon. not 20 days after, buried inside the main section the way the new york times did with the downing street memo.

bill keller, the executive editor of the new york times, likes to toss around terms like 'arm chair critics' and 'circle jerks.' consider this operation circle jerk. i'll christen it in honor of bill keller.

Editorial: Sunday Times says we attempted to goad Iraq into war in 2002, is Bush a liar or just willing to risk the safety of American citizens?

The Sunday Times has an article by Michael Smith entitled "RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war." It opens with the following:

THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.
The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.
The details follow the leak to The Sunday Times of minutes of a key meeting in July 2002 at which Blair and his war cabinet discussed how to make "regime change" in Iraq legal.Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, told the meeting that "the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime".

We realize that our readers are far more intelligent than the mainstream press corp but indulge us as we address the above. The Bully Boy and his cohorts went around screaming that we didn't want a "mushroom cloud," that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. To accept those lies today, in the face of The Sunday Times of London's story, you have to accept that the Bully Boy was perfectly okay with the United States being attacked with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. If that were true, then the only response would be to call for an immediate impeachment. The leader of the country is not supposed to actively court the destruction of our nation.

But to believe the lies we were told, that truly is the most obvious conclusion.

Of course, the fact of the matter is that we were lied to. Everything we were told leading up to the invasion and everything that's followed can be characterized as lies and more lies.

Lying a nation into war is a pretty serious offense.

Now there are some who feel that the recent defense of Newsweek has awakened our press corps. We'd love for that to be the case. However, it can also be argued that the press is just closing ranks, protecting their own and still willing to swallow every lie the administration feeds them and duly spit it back out in a report.

Look, this is a serious matter. We'd even be willing to hold our tongues regarding Judith Miller and other stenographers if The New York Times or any other institution wanted to do now what they should have been doing in the lead up to the invasion, investigating the administration's claims and telling the people the truth.

Scott Shane, Douglas Jehl or Monica Davey (or anyone else) could be front paged with stories about the difference between what we were told and actual reality and we'd be willing to hold our tongues about Miller and the others. (Miller's the most infamous, she was far from the only one. And to date, no television program has issued any mea culpa that we're aware of.)

Why could a group of smart asses like The Third Estate Sunday Review do that? Because the bigger picture demands that Americans start getting some truth with their journalism. It's past time for some truth. We spent thirty minutes discussing this (Ava, Jim, Jess, Ty, Dona, Rebecca, Betty and C.I.) and we all agree that the truth coming out now (strongly and on the front page -- not tucked safely inside the paper where it can be ignored) is a great deal more important than Miller's head on a platter at this moment in time.

What we're saying is that we could take The Times running truth-telling stories without requiring them to note "by the way Judith Miller reported this differently." (Or any newspaper or TV program doing the same without making a point to name their reporters who got it wrong.) And here's a thought, who knows the lies that were told better than Miller? Get her committed to exposing reality and team her up with someone more trust worthy and let it rip. We're willing to bet that the sympathy she's been unable to garner for her current court issues, despite repeated attempts to garner sympathy, would suddenly emerge.

We're not going to spin here and say that all is forgiven and forgotten regarding Miller (to focus on The New York Times). That's not the case. It never will be. But if The New York Times wants to get back into the news business, we're perfectly willing to table our criticism of Miller for several months. Because we feel, and we can only speak for us, that the truth on the invasion/occupation is far more important than any individual reporter.

The latest from London's Sunday Times is explosive (as was the Downing St. memo). The press seems to have awakened a bit after the attacks on Newsweek. Our guess is that the way the domestic press handles the very serious issues emerging from across the Atlantic will tell us whether recent press coverage was about truth telling or protecting one of their own.

Lastly, we'll give credit to BuzzFlash for making The Sunday Times article their main headline.
As always, the editorial is the last feature (other than our "note") that we work on. As soon as we finish everything else, we rush around online (BuzzFlash is always one of the stops) to come up with potential topics for our editorial. There was no debate this week. All eight of us agreed that the only topic was The Sunday Times revelations. Congratulations and thanks to BuzzFlash for catching the story and prominently running it at their website.

posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, May 29, 2005

think about this editorial. pass it on. share it with friends and families. if the downling street memo is any indication, our press will take a pass on this on this. so broadcast the news yourself to people you know.


notes on and thanks to the third estate sunday review, thomas friedman is a great man and the common ills

so how is every 1's memorial day weekend going?

i hope you've had some time for friends and families.

betty said the best thing during the third estate sunday review marathon sessions yesterday.

a friend of her's had phone and asked her if she could do something saturday night and she said only if she could bring the kids and she'd have to be back at a certain hour to work on something.
betty's friend said 'i don't think you see your friends as much as you used to' and betty told us that story last night and said 'i really think of you guys as being my friends as well.

and of course we are all but here it was a holiday weekend and we were attempting to get something together. and it's fun but it's easy to forget as we were debating this or that how much fun we have and how much we really do count on these saturday sessions.

it's a lot of fun to be involved in the third estate sunday review and i know i cite them often here but i'm not sure i've told them thank you. that goes to betty and c.i. too. and kat and folding star when they're able to join us. (also thanks to common ills community members shirley and dallas.)

every 1 brings in a view point and there are stories that get started but don't get done or get done and no 1's happy with them so they don't post. but even there we end with this really strong engaged debate that i know helps me and i hope it helps every 1 else involved.

from betty i learn to laugh at even the most tense times. she's not just funny at her site thomas friedman is a great man, she's funny all the time. every 1 involved loves to laugh but betty can tell a joke like no 1. c.i. said that too and betty was modest and started trying to say 'well you are funny too' and c.i. is but like c.i. said 'i can tell a funny story but i can't tell a joke.' c.i. truly cannot tell a joke, the line will get messed up and that's actually funnier than the joke itself coud be.

but betty really could do stand up. people would pay to see her and she'd have an incredible career because she is so funny.

from jess i learn peace this ability to know that we are working on important things but that when frustration sets in, which it can, i learn that the process is a slow 1. nothing happens over night and you plug away today and do your best and pick back up tomorrow.

and to throw in some sex since sherry asks 'where is the sex lately,' i've never had sex with jess but he is very sexy. especially his voice. he started singing a woody guthrie song at some point last night and i like woody guthrie's songs but i never think of them as really sexy. jess has this really warm baritone.

from dona and jim i learn that among friends you can say anything. that's because they will fight for their point of view with each other. they both hold very strong positions and they generally agree but when they disagree they will both just hunker down on their position and they will let it fly. not personal attacks, but very serious disagreements over policies or issues. and as readers of the third estate sunday review know, dona and jim are a couple. have been for some time. they make a really good couple.

from ty i learn that it's okay to play editor. ty will say no to some issue some 1 raises. for instance, if we're doing an issue and some guy writes in saying, and a guy did, 'i want you to address the kennedy assasination' ty's the 1 who said no. we were all trying to think about what would we say about that. ty's position was 'what can we say?' we weren't there. there are books with assorted positions out there. we try to do 1 article on that in any form and we're suddenly stuck in a quagmire that we can't pull ourselves out of.

ty will say no to any thing that he doesn't feel he has any perspective on that offers something.
otherwise, he says, call yourself tim russert and just start wearing a t-shirt that says 'i am a big old gas bag and i think i know everything.'

which brings us to ava. and i really don't feel like i knew ava for the longest. i thought she was sweet - and she is - but that's really the only opinion i had of her. she was often the quietest in the discussions of what the issue should be. at 1 point, i thought she was jim's girlfriend and figured 'okay, that's why she's here.'

she and c.i. are credited with the tv reviews now, but they really have always done them and jim made that clear in a note to the readers awhile back. but in the early days, jim, dona, ty, jess or i would change a line to 'make it better' and if any 1 does that with something that some 1's written, the writer will say 'okay' if they're fine with it or 'wait the point i'm making is ...' and ava never did that in the early days.

and looking back i can see that she was feeling her way around. the time she spent on the tv reviews before she and c.i. got credited were really good for her because she is funny and she is smart and a lot of times we could be in a hurry and miss that. c.i. stuck up for her on 1 line in the elimidate review, i think that was the 1, a line that we were going to change. and c.i. argued it and argued it and then ava jumped in and argued it too.

and after that, they really were the voice of the tv review even before they were credited. they connect so well, they can finish the other's line or know where the other's heading with something. and it's really been great to see ava, this incredible young woman, find her footing and just emerge. she will argue her point on any thing now. i know a lot of it was probably about getting comfortable and i'm sure a lot of it was being around a bunch of loud mouths (especially myself, jim and dona) but it's also true that she's learned 'hey, i am talented.' i think, more than any 1 else, ava had doubts and was reluctant to weigh in during the earliest days because she felt like jim or dona or ty were beyond her.

i also think the e-mails on the tv reviews helped because readers love what she and c.i. do. they get their share of nasty e-mail and i mean some really threatening, in specific details, e-mails. but they also get a ton of praise. and i think that's been a huge validation to ava.

we should probably praise one another more while we're in a marathon session. but it's usually such a rush that 'good' or 'great' may be the most that comes out of our mouths. jim, dona and me are explosive and very strong personalities. ty can stand up to any of us and dig in when he has to. jess will exhibit the patience of job. and i think ava probably needed a little more than she was getting from us. she'd do her part and she would answer every e-mail that came in but she was kind of wary of the circle, i guess. and now she's become this strong voice and she's a real leader so it's been incredible to watch that transformation.

so that leaves c.i. and i don't know what to say there. c.i. obviously saw the need to pull ava away for the tv reviews which is why that became their turf. they go off and do their feminist crititques of television that are hilarious and right on the money. and obviously i wouldn't be blogging if it weren't for c.i. i didn't even like to share with the community before i started blogging. i'd write c.i. but never want to be quoted. and i'd get back these e-mails about how i did have something to offer and i really should consider not just sharing it with the community but starting my own blog. so maybe the reason ava's transformation touches me so much is because in a smaller way i saw it happen to me.

if i'm having a problem with an entry or with research, i'll e-mail or phone c.i. and it's never 'hey i'm busy my plate is pretty full!' there's always time to address whatever my question is. and we have disagree strongly about entries over at the common ills or here. the 1st time i put up something that i knew c.i. would disagree with i thought 'i'm going to hear about it.' but i never did. if i bring something up we'll talk about it. but otherwise it's only something that's thought of these days when some 1 e-mails one of us and says 'you two don't get along, do you?'

we do. we've known each other for a very long time. and when c.i. would answer 1 of those over at the common ills and i'd read it, i'd wonder if there was something wrong even though it didn't say that. then ava and c.i. wrote their thing on candy perfume boy over at the common ills and all these e-mails came in here asking if i was upset about that?

i wasn't. why should i be? that was their opinion. i see it differently than ava and c.i. but i really didn't have a problem with what they wrote and in fact enjoyed reading it. when that happened i realized that there was no problem on c.i.'s end because i knew there was no problem on my end. but sometimes until the shoe's reversed, you're not sure.

bryce e-mailed last monday about the last roundtable at the third estate sunday review and offered that he could tell we were really about to go at each other's throats over the e-mail issue.
we weren't. ava and c.i. have their opinion and most people are in the middle on it except for jim and me who feel that there's no need to go through every e-mail and respond to each and every 1.

we see no reason for that.

no 1's paying to read the third estate sunday review or sex and politics and screeds and attitude or the common ills or thomas friedman is a great man or a winding road. and none of us pretend that we're giving you the mainstream approach which is 'balanced.' we're people on the left writing about what we see is important. jim talks about the long e-mail he read when it was his day to read them at the third estate estate sunday review. some 1 had written in that 'fairness dictates' that we present bully boy's position on the war. forget that bully boy's position has changed repeatedly - and his justifcations - why would we?

1st off, your mainstream opinion sources can give you that as can your right wing 1s. and you can certainly hear every word bully boy utters, with no questioning of them, on the news.

but we're writing about the left from the left.

i do think that c.i. spends too much time on the e-mails. that's my opinion. i don't spend enough time on the e-mails and that's reality. but i brought up an issue and we've all talked about and ava and c.i. see my point even when they don't agree fully. but c.i. will tell you that since i brought it up the issue has been given more thought.

but no, we were never going to go at each other's throats. i mean i love orange juice and c.i. loathes it. we're not going to go at each other's throats over that. it's just differences in opinions and taste. but, a word to the wise, never offer c.i. a screwdriver. offer a margarita or a bloody mary or a martini or whatever you have straight but c.i. won't drink any beverage made with orange juice and it has nothing to do with an allergy, c.i. just doesn't care for orange juice.

i know c.i. through our mutual friend elaine. and while i'm offering drinking advice to you, i'll also add never get in a drinking contest with c.i. i can remember a party in the early or mid 90s where there was a drinking contest for shots of tequila and i made it to 30. and i can hold my liquor but i had to drop out then. elaine dropped out at 12 or 13. c.i. was still in the contest and my have won. but it's a bit of blur to me now for obvious reasons.

but you'll have a hard time winning because c.i. doesn't get hangovers. it may be due to the fact a huge amount of water is consumed throughout the day. c.i. was the 1st person i ever knew who made it a point to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day. these days you can get bottled water in vending machines but back then i thought it was a bit strange and never drank water unless there was nothing in the fridge. i've also never seen c.i. drunk no matter how much was consumed so word to the wise, avoid a drinking contest unless you like losing.

'becky, why are you talking about drinking?' because i'm offering you a little insight, a tid bit you wouldn't get elsewhere.

c.i. really doesn't do the personal at the common ills. that's not a great deal different from in person. partly that's because c.i. is a private person and very guarded. and partly that's because if i was sharing a story and we were talking when it was c.i.'s turn it would be about something in the news or something the news wasn't covering or some issue.

i'll share also that c.i. would love to have jess's cool nature. i bring this up because krista had asked a question and c.i. did an entry responding to it. but c.i. did the entry on wednesday night and rewrote and rewrote it until it finally posted on friday.

it was about the new york times' coverage of ireland. c.i. sent me the wednesday draft and i read it and thought it was perfect. but it was an issue about social justice and c.i. felt it was too angry. what went up on friday was more detached and from a 'wide angle' as c.i. said when we talked about it. (the earlier was a 'tracking shot' according to c.i.)

my attitude is just let it out, blow your stack if you want. (i could learn a lot from jess.)

the friday entry was actually more in keeping with c.i. the approach in life is to think about something and examine it, then weigh in. i remember when the soviet union fell, we were all a party, me, elaine and c.i., and there were people giving instant analysis about what this meant for history. they were basically repeating whatever cnn was saying - the tv was on and we were all watching as we moved around the room. c.i. was saying there were historical issues involved and avoiding it otherwise or trying to when this pushy guy comes over and starts up this discussion and c.i. finally says that all the chatter neglects the history of a people and basic issues of who is going to benefit, etc. it was this brief thing that lasted like 3 minutes top.

and what we've seen in russia these days makes me think a lot about those remarks. there was this glee in the room from some because the soviet union had been portrayed as our greatest enemy for ever and ever. so there were some at the party who were basically dancing and singing and treating the collapse as though it was a happy ending with a happily ever after and no more questions or issues. a lot of people were reaching for easy answers and it was a little more complex than that. but it was treated as though it were a football game and most people didn't want to ask difficult questions like 'what does this mean for the people there.' instead, they just wanted to do some end zone dance.

and i think that's at the heart of c.i. and the common ills. tonight i listened to the laura flanders show and it was a repeat but i had missed almost all of it before. there were people talking about what the recruiters do in high school. and 1 thing a military recruiter did was when some 1 asked about the innocent iraqis that were dying was to respond that they were cock roaches.
that sentiment is so shocking to me but i am aware that a lot of people believe that.

it's the whole issue of 'the other.' and it goes into the need to demonize in order to propagandize and glorify war. randi rhodes, on her show, has talked about how before we go to war, the media should spend 2 weeks educating us on the people there, their country, etc. and we really do need to know those things. but instead we focus on american idiol or some other nonsense and maybe give 2 minutes a day tops for news. after we've paid attention to the runaway bride or the latest little blonde girl that's been kidnapped, we really don't seem interested in anything else. which is due in part to what passes for news in this country.

it's also due to cutbacks in international coverage. but i think we have to bear responsibility for the state of the news as well as the mainstream providers. are we going to democracy now for instance? we can do that. we can get news there. and we have the progressive (which c.i.'s summarized) and the nation and in these times and other news sources. we have pacifica programs and some really strong programs on air america like laura flanders and janeane garofalo's the majority report and randi rhodes and ring of fire and the rachel maddow show and mike malloy. and we have web sites. we can go all over the world to find news now.

that doesn't excuse the mainstream's reluctance to cover real news. but it does mean that while complaining we can do more than just complain. and a lot of us are doing that so you'd think some mainstream organizations would realize what a profit was to be made in reporting real news.

so those are my free association thoughts for the night. i'd also suggest that if you're needing some humor, you go to the common ills and check out community member isaiah's latest comic.