welcome back folding star, you were missed!

i want to take a moment to steer you to folding star's a winding road because folding star is a common ills community member and has had a killer week with finals and jury duty.

a winding road and i started up around the same time. i'm not sure which of us was 1st.

but there were times early on when we both would feel a little lost and might go a day without posting and then feel guilty. or think, 'i missed a day! how can i ever blog again?'

we were both feeling our way and finding our voice so i always feels a closeness to folding star as a result.

i think my screeds have found their consistent voice and people know what they're going to get from me. folding star has found a voice too. it's a more calm and reasoned voice than mine and it covers the senate and i love what folding star brings to the table.

it's been said before, but that folding star really is such a smarty.

and when we've all worked together at the third estate sunday review, that comes through even more than it does at the site because you can hear the laughter and i wonder sometimes if people get it when folding star's being humorous?

i know there are times when i'm being humorous about something and people will miss it.
short of saying 'i'm being humorous' or typing a smiley face :) there's no way to let people know.

but i think folding star is a really important voice and with finals and jury duty there wasn't time to post at a winding road for most of the week.

now that folding star's back to posting, i want to take a moment to highlight some 1 i consider a strong voice and a great friend.

As for myself, I was doing plenty of looking around (the jury chairs look very comfortable, I'm glad to say, just in case I do wind up sitting in one for several hours!), and a little worrying (it was Finals week, after all. If I was called for a case that day, I'd either have to ask to be excused or give up a lot of precious studying time. Luckily, I wasn't called).

that's from the return to posting and folding star is talking about jury duty selection. i really enjoyed that entry.

trying to make sense of what the senate filibuster means, read this entry:

The 'compromise' only specifically stated that these three nominees would not be filibustered, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens next. All eyes are of course turning to the Supreme Court and potential retirements as the current court session comes to a close.
I have to say that I, along with many other progressives, held this exact potential occurrence as the top reason for removing Bush from office last November. The idea that this man could (and probably will) be nominating someone to the Supreme Court is chilling, and it's made more so by the current make up of the United States Senate.

and as for reasons for removing bully boy from office, this was 1 of mine as well so i say amen to that.

and folding star also took part in the latest operation circle jerk. for those who don't know, bill keller sneeringly referred to blogs as circle jerks. as i've noted here before, if bill keller says it's a circle jerk, who am i to argue? as a woman i certainly couldn't participate in a circle jerk. but if bill keller wants to reveal his expertise on circle jerks i will not say 'too much information, billy!'
i will applaud him for bravely addressing the very real issue that so many young boys experiment sexually with 1 another. you go, billy!

bill keller was not admitting to circle jerks on his own. see the above should have made you laugh because i was being sarcastic. and most of my readers get my sense my humor by now.
but that's the sort of thing that i mean you almost have to write 'i'm being funny' or else you have to put a smiley face up for people to get it.

but truthfully, why does bill keller feel he can weigh in on circle jerks? :)

so if we're circle jerkers, let's use the term proudly.

when i use operation circle jerk, it's been to refer to an editorial at the third estate sunday review and our efforts to make sure that the issues are as known as we can make them. that means betty, folding star, kat, c.i. and me will post the entry in full. we share common readers. members for the common ills before c.i. says 'we have members, we are not a blog' :) but by all getting behind 1 editorial we can be sure that every visitor (or member, c.i.) that visits our sites had a chance to see the editorial. (both editorials have been on the downing street memo.)


lot to note and i'm going to a play tonight so this will be spotty at best as i hurry.

first from fair which is probably 1 of my favorite resources i've come to enjoy from the common ills.

CBS Sees Iraq Improvement--Again

Despite the widespread violence in Iraq, CBS Evening News offered a different take on its June 2 broadcast: Things are getting better.
Anchor John Roberts acknowledged that while the past month has seen tremendous bloodshed, "Some U.S. and Iraqi officials are hopeful the terror campaign may soon begin to ease." That storyline was advanced by reporter Kimberly Dozier, who managed to claim that despite the dramatic upsurge in suicide bombings (more in May than in the previous year combined), "U.S. commanders tell CBS News they're seeing signs the militant bomb-makers may be running out of willing delivery men."
And what was the evidence? Apparently just their word.

when will the operation happy talk end? wasn't it supposed to be a cakewalk? weren't we supposed to have roses strewn in our path? at what point does the press realize how stupid and creepy they're looking?

swallowing lies and spitting them out? is that what they teach at journalism school?

as i've noted before my background was public relations. this wouldn't fly as a p.r. release.

you know why?

because if this were a p.r. campaign, some 1 in the room would note we had no credibility.

therefore we wouldn't make sweeping claims.

we'd zero in on 1 or 2 details and make that the basis of the ad campaign.

but the bully boy has always over reached and the press has been there to cushion and then deny each fall.

i thought they traded in truth?

maybe that's why they make such bad liars for bully boy?

but if we were working on an oreo campaign and the cookie was known to cause people to sneeze, we wouldn't be saying 'it will improve your health!' we'd know we'd be laughed out of the room. we'd say 'oreo, the tasty classic.' or 'oreo: split the middle.' (trademark slogans by rebecca winters! use of them will require payment.) (i'm joking.)

but bully boy and the compliant press want to launch yet another operation happy talk despite the fact that the product's not selling and no 1 has faith in it.

need proof? let's note this from the common ills.

"Most Americans no longer believe the war in Iraq has made their country safer" (Andrew Gumbel, The Independent)

Most Americans no longer believe the war in Iraq has made their country safer, and more than 60 per cent of the country believes the military is bogged down in a conflict that was not worth fighting in the first place, according to a new opinion poll offering only bad news to the Bush administration.The poll for The Washington Post and ABC News poll, published yesterday, was the first survey in which a majority of Americans rejected the White House's argument that invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein was good for domestic security. The poll also suggested that opinions were almost exactly evenly divided between those with a positive impression of President Bush's "war on terror" and those it viewed it negatively.
The findings were particularly stunning, since security was among the leading issues on which Mr Bush won re-election last November. At that time, his approval ratings on anti-terrorism policy were roughly 60-40.
[. . .]
The Iraq findings were the most striking, because the public has clearly rejected the line put out by President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney that the US is turning the corner and that the insurgency is in its last throes. Almost 900 Iraqis and Americans have been killed in the past six weeks. Iraq's oil pipeline to Turkey was hit by a new sabotage attack yesterday.
Pru e-mailed the above from the UK's Independent. It's from Andrew Gumbel's "Americans turn against Bush and a war on Iraq that is getting nowhere."

see? the plan won't sell.

and i want to note pru who's from the uk. this is how bad our press is, elisabeth bumiller in particular, they laugh at it in england. pru and friends are preparing a reading of elisabeth bumiller's latest mindless ravings and they're calling it, get this, the dementia monologues.
you'd think that would worry bumiller but no doubt she's telling herself 'i'm so popular!'

please go over to buzzflash and read their interview with congressman john conyers. he's brave and they do wonderful interviews so it's more than worth reading.

x and not z was the new york times reporter who chose to go on the record at the common ills.
i'll make my comments on that tomorrow. you can read x's reply in "Felicity Barringer (New York Times) replies to the May 15th article." by the way, who reads dopey? oh right no 1. (for any 1 confused, dopey is a blogger who desperately wants to have an audience and no 1 cares what dopey wants but dopey's managed to get a tiny bit of visibililty with baseless attacks on c.i.)

sorry to rush but i'm on thereze's computer and we and our dates are headed out the door '5 minutes ago, rebecca!' so that will have to be it for tonight.


on beth, the new york times and the common ills

i had a post planned but i'm going to postpone it to instead focus on the common ills.

a number of you caught the interview that beth did with c.i. and before i go further, i don't know if it's x or z but 1 of those two, both reporters for the new york times, is going to have a reply up at the site. i got that confirmed from c.i. it'll go up as soon as c.i. gets home. c.i. wouldn't say which 1.

i'm hoping it's z. if you missed beth's interview (and it's in rough draft form currently), x wrote to dispute the type of sources that were utilized in x's story. x has a difference of opinion. you know that the times isn't big on activists so great if x wants to go on record but i really hope it's z who sounds like a real nut job.

z thought that since gossip was passed to c.i. about love in the green zone (rumors that dexter filkins and john f. burns were having affairs - not with each other) that z would get a pass from criticism. i'd love to read that.

but i'm guessing z would want to say 'hey keller, fire me!' to decided to go public so i'm guessing it will be x. that's still cool.

it's better than cool. c.i.'s doing criticism if some 1 doesn't like it, fine. but if you want to dispute it, why not do it publicly?

c.i. will do 1 of those 'in fairnesses' and say that there are guidelines and that certain remarks might get them in trouble at the times due to those guidelines the paper has.

that's c.i.'s way of looking at it. my way is put up or shut up. you've had your say in print, i get my say here. you want to say something else on the matter say it on the record.

the other big thing in my e-mails was 'beth?'

for those who don't remember, beth had a problem with claiming things were said at the common ills and it was all part of an effort to trip c.i. up and figure out clues about c.i. beth only tried that with me once and i called her on it. she was pissed at me. she was pissed at c.i.

beth e-mailed me at the end of april and we are fine. when i read her interview, i e-mailed her and asked if she wanted to call me and we'd deal with some topics she was tabling for now.

i thought i knew what beth was tabling and when she called i was right.

as most people who come by here know, c.i. and the common ills were trashed by a potty mouth named dopey. he did it not once, not twice, but three times.

he's really tried to ride those posts to fame but no 1 really reads dopey because he makes so little sense on any topic.

c.i. commented on dopey 1 time only. dopey trashed c.i. and while c.i. was working on an entry, c.i. learned of it from dallas. c.i. thought dopey has misunderstood and tried to contact dopey by e-mail repeatedly. when dopey finally responds he offers no response. just 'oh it's late i'll reply tomorrow.' as readers here know i posted that night that i told c.i. post about dopey and do it now, dopey's a chicken shit asshole who will burn you tomorrow.

sure enough dopey did. dopey went on to mock c.i.'s illness, to mock everything about c.i.

if you're new, dopey e-mailed c.i. twice in 1 evening - the only time dopey ever e-mailed until c.i. learned of the trashing and e-mailed dopey to ask what the problem was. dopey did not ask to be quoted. c.i. didn't quote dopey. (i've seen the e-mails and yes, i discussed them at length with gina and krista so they could inform in their round-robin. that's the 1 time c.i. was every seriously mad about me but the common ills and c.i. were being trashed. the community was given the back story on that but i thought they needed to know exactly the type of person dopey was in e-mails - not the big brave screamer at his dopey site.)

dopey then blogs that c.i. is a liar and that he was not quoted at c.i.'s site and blah blah blah.

nut case.

at some point, dopey decides to try to bring me into it and starts spreading rumors that i'm going to his dopey site because some 1 posted in lower case and i, apparently, hold the copyright on lower case.

dopey's just an idiot.

but c.i. dealt with that and was too nice in my opinion (kat's too).

so then dopey feels the need to trash c.i. again and to make these insulting remarks about women and gay men. he's apparently a sexist and a homophobe.

which is probably why his attempt to ride c.i. to fame failed so miserably.

c.i. was nice about it. c.i. tried to take the high road. when dopey's latest slam on c.i. and the community got back to c.i., c.i. was pissed. it was a week after the fact (no 1 reads dopey) and c.i. said, 'you know what, becky, fuck the bastard. i don't care now that you went into those e-mails with gina and krista.'

but dopey's name or site will never be mentioned at the common ills. c.i. outlined that to gina and krista in 1 of their q&a sessions.

dopey will never be mentioned at that site. dopey's a stupid little shit and i don't blame c.i. 1 bit.
that's why i call the idiot 'dopey' because i won't give him further publicity. he's a little p.r. whore trying to make a name for himself and playing 1 way in e-mails and another way at his dopey site.

he tried to push me around in e-mails, big brave dopey. i put a stop to that.

so that's the background for any 1 late to the soap opera of dopey.

here's what happened with beth.

she was preparing her kiss of to the community. and then the trashing of the common ills went up. then the lie that c.i. was a liar for not posting dopey (who didn't ask to be quoted). by the time dopey was mocking c.i.'s cancer - what a big brave man that dopey is, huh? - beth had already decided the community was too important to her.

she wrote c.i. an e-mail and said she was staying with the community. that's all she said except to ask if she needed to apologize to stay with the community. 'i'd said quite a bit already including "asshole" - which was about the nicest word i'd used. i get this e-mail back that c.i. is not the community and that i should feel to free to ignore c.i.'s remarks and just focus on what i want covered and what other members are highlighting. there was a p.s. that said 'by the way, i probably am an asshole and much worse, no apology needed.' i read that 3 times before i wrote back that i was looking at it as fun and a parlor game and i was sorry about that. and then i get back "no apology, just take from the community what you can use and give back with things that you see." i wanted to talk about that because i did treat the community as fun and games to find out about c.i. and it's a community not a parlor game. but c.i. asked me to table it because the interview would be read by outsiders.'

i understand that and support it. so does beth.

while i am a community member of the common ills, sex and politics and screeds and attitude is my site and if any 1 wants to start a war with me, go for it.

mocking some 1 who's just had surgery, someone with cancer is not cool. bring on your little war dopey because i'll happily bury you.

c.i. is very protective of the community and i would be the last to fault that.

but on 1 thinks dopey is 'cool' or 'edgy,' they just think he's sick. they just think he crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed.

hopefully by having her say here, beth got it off her chest. a number of people who e-mailed about the interview said 'i thought beth had left the community.' she's been mentioned a couple of times in the last month when she's sent some link in. but she knows c.i.'s feelings about having had enough of dopey and she respects those feelings.

i respect them too. i wouldn't e-mail something to be posted on the common ills about the idiot.
but at my site we can talk about it because i still find it all so disgusting and vile. dopey lied, bad enough.


on ed and the need for us to tell our truths and beliefs

first off, for yesterday's post, i want to thank elaine, c.i. and kat. they listened to parts of it (c.i. heard it all in parts prior to it being posted).

ed really pissed me off. i asked kat if i let my voice suffer as a result because that's a concern she has in her writing. she said 'it's you' and that she liked the fact that i didn't try to engage him on policy issues that he never raised.

i also want to say thank you to the 19 female bloggers who wrote to say basically 'keep giving them hell.'

i don't think the general blog visitor or blogger realizes what a problem this is.

for me, i won't back down. but i've noted before that female bloggers have stopped discussing politics at her site because of this type of 'help.'

then they get slammed as gilmor girls bloggers or cat bloggers.

but when they try to do politics, a man comes along to scream and rage.

i'm sick of it.

i'm sick of men trying to tell women what to do.

it's the fucking 21st centuries but some men seem to think the clock stopped at the turn of the 19th century.

to those men i say 'kiss my ass.'

you hear me?

kiss my ass.

1 of the 19 had never written before.

she tried to accomodate the man who kept e-mailing. tried to meet him half way in her posts.
her posts. not his. if he doesn't like it, let him do his own damn blog.

but even trying to meet the prick 1/2 way wasn't enough - it never is.

he continued to hector her and bully her and it just gets to be too much.

do men on the left do this? i hope not.

i can say that males on the right who've e-mailed have generally disagreed with me and offered their opinions. they haven't told me 'you will write this way' or 'you will write about this!'

men on the left don't harrass me with unasked for help. now maybe they do that with right wing female bloggers, i don't know. i would guess not.

but these damn middle of the road centers seem to think they boss women around.

they're so used to follow the 'rules' and coloring inside the line that it apparently infuriates them when any woman doesn't do the same. probably infuriates them when a man doesn't do the same. but a left blogger who'd written on ed, e-mailed me to say that ed never even wrote him.

wonder why that is?

maybe because some guys get off on bullying women?

i won't take this shit.

i won't do it because i don't believe in taking it.

but i also won't do it because i know, as 2 female bloggers pointed out, when i stand up it makes it easier for others to.

i'm not as smart as any of my personal heroes, i don't pretend to be.

but they blazed paths for me and and lot of others.

if the only strip i add to clearing the path is refusing to bow and wimper, then that's what i have to offer.

maybe in 10 years, other women won't have to deal with this bullshit.

that's what it is, it's bullshit.

it's a man at a party interrupting you in the middle of a joke because if 'the little lady' tells the joke, people won't get it.

it's the man who covers his crotch at the thought that a woman might speak her mind.

i won't take the shit.

i've read some of the e-mail at the third estate sunday review. usually the funny 1s because those are pulled for their 'dear third estate sunday review' pieces. but jim has also passed on the shit that ava and c.i. get. for tv reviews!

for tv reviews, people feel they can threaten them in the most graphic details.

kat gets that shit too.

do any men?

at third estate sunday review, jim, jess and ty have never been called to the carpet for any opinion they've expressed. but ask dona and she'll tell you about the 'helpful' men who write in to suggest that she should have said what she said in the roundtable or about a book 'this way' or 'that way.'

get it through your middle of the road fucking heads, no 1's your vivian. you're not edward.
this isn't pretty woman, this isn't even my fair lady.

your efforts to rescue us from ourselves is neither requested nor welcomed.

put it back in your pants, boys, we don't want to see it, we don't want to smell it.

maybe this is how you engage with men in locker rooms (or maybe how, in high school as towel boy or equipment manager, you saw other men engage) but that's your way.

quit pushing it off on us.

we're sick of it.

you want to bully and boss.

probably you want to do that in your personal life as well but times have changed if your mind set hasn't. so you don't get to do that in your personal life.

all you get to do is sit around watching the movies by the male joan crawford, michael douglas.
you sit there watching falling down or fatal attraction or any other film where, like michael, you're the great victim.

get over yourselves.

i got 46 e-mails from young women in high school who spoke of things like being interrupted in the middle of class by some boy who felt the need to stop them, say 'i think what she means is' and go on to hijack the conversation.

i did something in college when that happened to me and i'd like to share it with you.

don't say a word. fall silent for a moment.

stare at the idiot, then at the teacher. then look around the room.

then very loudly say, 'excuse me, is my answering the question interrupting you?'

watch the little punk ass bully go red in the face and fall silent.

to wendy, i want to state what i've said before, not all men are like this.

we have progressed. but there's still work to be done.

wendy, you asked me what you could do so i'll tell you to hold those little tyrants accountable.
let every 1 in the class see you do that. you'll find that some of the guys will tell the tyrant to shut up. you'll find that some of the gals will do the same. (some gals are the worst, they grow up to be right wingers and often make a living slamming women who work for a living - which, they in fact do while they slam those women. think of ann coulter.)

wendy, i won't kid you, it's not always fun. it can make you really mad.

but you're serious about wanting to do something to straighten out your own high school class and i think that's what you can do.

if it doesn't sound right to you, blow it off and ask around for other ideas. but if it feels right, go for it.

and to adult women, i want to point out that our mothers blazed a trail for us. they were the 1st group to have careers and not hobbies. they got slammed over and over. 'they want it all!' 'they've turned the children over to daycare centers!' 'they've lost their femininity!'

they had to deal with a lot of shit.

as hard as it can seem sometime, it is easier for us. we have role models we can look to within our own circles - our mothers, or aunts, or a neighbor. our mothers flew blind. they rejected the straight jacket of the stereotype at a time when the alternative was to create their own identities from scratch.

we need to build on what they created.

so if you're squeamish about the word 'feminist' (as 1 reader wrote last week), get over it. it's so much easier to use the term today then it was for our mothers.

in d.c. now it's not just the bully boy that wants to strip us of our rights, it's also a lot of 'center' democrats who think they can distance themselves from our rights and look 'manly.'

we need to be vocal. we need to say, 'speak to me or lose my vote.'

when 2008 rolls around, they better have a democrat on the ticket who can talk about abortion.

not in terms of 'it's awful but ...' we need a woman or a man who will say 'privacy right' over and over.

for my male readers, i say use the term feminist.

it's not just for women. it's about equality. you hear some female in your class being trashed for being a feminist, say 'hey i'm a feminist too.'

let's work to support each other here.

male or female, you want to save reproductive rights? start using the term feminist to self-describe.

it'll let a lot of people know that contrary to the way the media plays things in their current infatuation with all things right-wing-religious that we're still here. we may not be on tv or quoted in print, but we're here.

look around you and i think you'll see a lot of wishy-washy people (sheep) who will sell out anything if they feel it's the new phase. those people need to realize feminists are all around them.

this is your world. you can speak out and make things better or you can go along and let the loud mouths from the center and the right drown us out.

so think about that and i'll also note a story from democracy now that you need to watch, listen or read. it's called 'EXCLUSIVE: Another U.S. War Resister Flees to Canada To Avoid Fighting in Iraq Via The New 'Underground Railroad.''

it's an important story and you need to know about it. but in terms of what we've been talking about for the last few paragraphs, i'll note this and you can relate it to our topic:

AMY GOODMAN: Let me end with Ryan Johnson. What significance do the people who have come before you who have gone to Canada, like Jeremy Hinzman, like Brandon Huey and the people who have resisted in the United States, like Camilo Mejia, like Pablo Paredes, Aidan Delgado, what impact do they have on you?
RYAN JOHNSON: Well, because of them, I found out about the movement. I found -- we found Jeremy Hinzman's site before I went AWOL. And one of our first thoughts was to go to Canada, and we found the G.I. Rights hotline, and we were looking at that. Then we found stuff on Camilo Mejia, Aidan Delgado, and, you know, it kind of inspired me that people were doing this. It let me know that there were other people like me that weren’t wanting to go to the war and that there’s people just trying to get it out there to, you know, soldiers and civilians alike, letting them know that they're not the only ones that don't believe in it.

do you get it? ryan johnson was able to do what he did because of those who came before. that's why it's important to get our voices in the media. thank god for democracy now which has a huge audience. but don't think that because it made democracy now it will make the networks.
it won't. we need to be our own media. we need to make sure that people in our circles know what we believe in and what we stand for.

not every 1 will agree with you. some won't agree with you at the start and some will never agree. but there are some people who will disagree at the start just because you're giving them information they haven't heard before. once they get over their shock and have a bit to think about it, i think you'll be surprised by how many will come back and say, 'okay, now i get it.'


ed lorenzen feels the need to supposedly write me but really just complain about me to c.i. of the common ills

so i get a call from c.i. 'rebecca, have you checked your e-mail?'

not yet today. what's up?

seems a ed lorenzen felt the need to kind of, sort of write me.

i say 'kind of, sort of' because with most people pushing 'centerist' thinking, ed can't quite figure out what it is that he wants to do.

i'm reading over it while c.i.'s on the phone and i say, 'isn't this supposed to be to me?'

i mean right there at the start, big ed's saying could you forward this to rebecca?

but it's not written to me. it's written to c.i.

i'm in 3rd person in the e-mail supposedly sent to me. such are the zany ways of the 'centerists.'

before i get to the e-mail, i want to go over a few things.

1st my e-mail is up on my profile and has been for some time now. c.i. always forwards things meant for me that are sent to the common ills. that's because c.i. helped me set up this site and felt guilty that the e-mail didn't display at the start. but it does now.

so let me deal with that first.

ed, when you e-mail me, write to me. forwarded or not, take your problem up with me, not with c.i.

i'll deal with it or not as i see fit.

you probably don't realize this, ed, but at the common ills, c.i. gets a lot of e-mail. we spoke a little after mid-day and i said, 'c.i., what's the count on the unread e-mails?' 651.

in the course of a day a thousand or more e-mails will come in at the common ills from members or visitors.

now besides the fact that c.i. does have a life, there's also the fact that members of the common ills, of which i am 1, are in the midst of an election.

for that reason, members' e-mails need to take priority right now. while shirley is answering questions about instant run off voting, every question along the lines of 'what does this plank mean?' or 'when is the absolute latest i can send my vote in and have it count?' are going to c.i.'s mail box.

ed, that's on top of the e-mails that members compose where they share something - personal or for the community.

let me repeat, c.i. does have a life.

c.i. also has work and last week alone that mean two flights out of town. twice leaving on a jet plane, twice coming back.

with that and health that is, thank god, improving, c.i. still manages to post several entries a day.

so as a friend of c.i.'s - and i've been a friend since before this blog or the common ills - i'm saying don't plead your case to c.i.

as a community member of the common ills, i'm frankly wondering why you wrote me in the 1st place.

like the common ills, i am of the left, not of the 'center.'

you're bothered by an entry that's old, really old. now look, i love all my fans and readers. even the slow 1s. even the really slow 1s. but ed's upset about an entry from april 3rd and my calender on the wall says it's june 6th. somebody want to explain that to me?

ed, and this is most important, you're clogging up the community pipeline.

i asked c.i. 'did you write him back?'


good for c.i. i hope the plan to stick to writing only those who need a reply stays because otherwise there won't be any posts at the common ills anymore with the rate the e-mail keeps increasing.

but ed, you didn't write me. you wrote c.i. you vented and griped. now if you were a common ills member, i'd say nothing. lots of people e-mail c.i. to vent about something going on in the world. but really now, who are you to write c.i. and gripe about me?

did you think you'd get a papal blessing?

or a presidential pardon?

or maybe you just thought c.i. would clamp down on me.

c.i. saved a reply to you to draft. i said, 'send it my way.' so while we're on the phone i'm reading it and c.i. writes 'rebecca can write whatever she wants.'


here's the reason c.i. called, ed's mother has had some health issues. i won't go into them here because c.i. asked me not to. but ed, if it hurt you that bad that i asked obvious questions (does your mommy cut your hair, do you still sit on the phone book?), i'll say 'i'm sorry.' i hope your mother gets well.

now tell me ed, is your next issue going to be that you had an aversion to fashionable hair cuts? will you next tell me how mean i am (or tell c.i. and ask that it be forwarded to me) because when you were a little boy, while everyone else was playing cops & robbers, you were in the sandbox playing 'let's privatize social secuirty' and therefore my comments on social security touched on an issue with you?

i didn't insult your mother. i did insult your hair cut. now maybe you want to go through life looking like an overgrown d.j. tanner from roseanne. hey, emo phillips has, maybe you could pursue stand up?

i thought your e-mail was pretty sad, ed. it couldn't have been more sad if you'd written 'does rebecca not know that i grew up in an orphanage and never knew my mother!'

to quote a line from sleep with me, i don't know you from the beginning, edsie, i only know you from the middle. that would be when you decided privatize, privatize! tag sale on social security!

you're sometimes bothered by my 'personal attacks' and at other times less so. (but note to his fellow fence sitters at centrist.org, he never takes a moment to defend any of you.)

but what's coming through loud and clear from your e-mail is this: 'i would have been fine if she'd just debated policies with me! i enjoy that! that's what she should do! that's how it is done.'

good for you that you enjoy it. we all need a hobby.

but maybe you missed that it would be hard to debate your half-baked policy recommendations from your presidential commission report since you refuse to allow quotes for it. (as i noted in my april 3rd post.) oh sure, you post it online. but, as i said on april 3rd, you play the riaa coming down on napster saying 'do not quote!' now if i can get your permission, i can quote from it.

you say you read my entry from april 3rd. so if you were taking all the trouble to write me (or write c.i. to bitch about me), you could have taken a moment to say 'tell rebecca i give permission to quote from that report and then we can have a real debate.' you didn't do that, did you ed?

but, and pay attention to this part, i don't have to do what you want me to.

somewhere along the way you decided that every 1 must behave as you do.

you are mistaken. again.

to pull a c.i., 'in fairness.' in fairness to ed, i will note that his photo i commented on was taken at a very stressful time in his life. i'm sorry that it was a stressful time. but ed, let's go over some of what i wrote about you (directly or indirectly):

which brings us to eddie lorenzen who might want to be called 'big ed' but would have to first give up that peter pan, bowl cut hair do. does mommy still cut your hair in the kitchen, eddie? are you a big enough boy now that you don't need to sit on a phone book while mommy cuts your hair? horizontal striped tie, blue shirt with vertical white stripes and what appears to a dark shade of pea green jacket (maybe it just needs dry cleaning?) you're look is all you ... because no one else would have it.
folks, these are the fashion disasters who want to steer our party to the right. they'd be kicked out of applebeas but somehow they think they can be power players in d.c. it's sad. looking at them. real sad.

do you get the point? none of you dresses well. none of you's a fashion plate or has a good haircut. i looked at your photos, which your organization elected to post online, and noted how out of it you all dressed. guess what, ed, women can talk about fashion and haircuts. feminists can. it may not fit your stereotype of feminism (which i'm sure is negative) but we can do that. and some of us do.

ed, i didn't start a blog to be a wonk (or a wonkette).

i started this site to speak my mind.

that's what i do hear.

i don't claim to be 'miss manners.'

ed, what kind of site did you think you were going to when you saw sex and politics and screeds and attitude?

i mean, come on now.

as i've noted, and kat has as well, the common ills is very in on college campuses. they get a variety of readers (some of whom become members). me, i'm popular on the high school campuses. i get a vareity of readers (i have no members). but more and more, that's where my audience comes from.

where does your audience come from? people steered to you from the new york times that presents your group as a democratic 1? (we covered that april 3rd - they are non-partisan.)

maybe you walk on egg shells but i don't.

'screeds,' ed, it's in the title. so is 'attitude.'

here i talk about sex. i do my sexual analysis of men. i talk about politics. i talk about fashion. i talk about hot guys. (no, ed, you didn't come up because you were hot.) and mainly, i talk about who you should trust and who you shouldn't.

blue-dog dem that you are, i would never tell my audience to trust you.

you want your policy debate.

guess what, ed? i don't.

i don't want to waste time going over your 'destroy social security' plans. your ilk has been pushing the unfounded notions that social security is on the verge of disaster for over a decade now. it's a nice myth, ed, but it's not reality. you can check out the daily howler for reality about social security.

i'm guessing you supported the invasion, am i right ed? i didn't.

you're probably still stumbling around on your hands and knees like scooby doo's velma trying to find her glasses. only you're trying to find that center road. keep looking, ed.

i'm guessing you're trying to find that 'common ground' on abortion as well.

now maybe all the ladies in your life (don't write me to tell me that your wife, girlfriend or anyone else is sick) (and don't write c.i.) nod and say 'good for you, big bad ed.' i don't.

i'm your worst nightmare, eddie, i'm the woman you can't control.

i'm the woman you can't shut up.

i'm the woman who doesn't waste her time assuring you that it does happen to every man. that it's not really a problem.

i'm the bad girl you fantasied about but knew was way out of your league in high school.

sure you'd get your rocks off cruising my tits at the pool during summer break, but you knew you couldn't speak to me. maybe that's why you spoke to c.i. about me?

ed, i've done entries here on michael phelps' sexy butt crack.

you think you and I have common ground? not unless you're gay. (if you're gay, please write back. i love talking the male body with gay men or straight women. hell, i love talking sex with any of my readers regardless of the parties involved.)

ed, i am your nightmare.

i will not vote for whatever 'centerist' you push in the primary. i won't donate to them either.

ed, in the words of a carly simon song, 'i'm no virgin' - does that shock you?

i wasn't a virgin when i married. i continue to have sex now that i'm divorced. and i use birth control and don't fret that i'm going to hell.

again, i'm your nightmare.

i'm the woman who won't eat your shame.

i'm the woman who won't back down.

i'm the woman who belives her place isn't in the back room or 2 steps behind a man.

i'm the woman who's front and center and in your face calling you on your shit.

i don't play nicely in the sandbox with those who want to destroy social security or dismantle a woman's right to privacy.

i don't tolerate the right's attacks on america and i won't tolerate the actions of people who want to aid them.

again, i'm sorry about your mother. i hope she's better.

but you lack sincerity with regards to a real debate since you refuse to allow people to quote from your posted online report (without permission!) and you write, supposedly to me, to say that you long for a debate.

you weren't.

but that's cool because i'm not interested in debating you.

i'm only interested in alerting my readers to the fact that your organization isn't for those of us on the left.

i'll offer you a tip as well, if you're having a bad day when it's time to take pictures (apparently every 1 in your group was), you say 'no, just run an old photo.'

as for the way i speak or don't speak, guess what, if i'm the first woman who's ever made fun of your chili-bowl haircut (at your age! no less), then you haven't heard many women's conversations. trust me, your haircut's been discussed by women in your life, whether you've heard them or not.

this is my space. i come on here, i talk about what ever interests me at the moment. and i speak the same way i do when i'm talking to my girl friends. that's why i will talk about sex here. i'm not embarrassed to. women do talk about sex, ed. not just on hbo, but in real life.

and we will talk about hair cuts as well. and clothes.

you can call that gossiping or dishing but it's as valid as a steroetypical male talking sports statistics or how a game went.

and i've talked about sports here, ask sherry. we talk about our mighty cornhusker and the joy of seeing him and the cornhusk move around in those red shorts.

that's what i do here.

we'll talk about issues as well and i said everything i needed to say on social security some time ago. but you weren't mentioned in that entry so it didn't interest you - and they say women are vain!

all you were interested in was letting me know that you had a bad patch and there wasn't time to get a good haircut.

ed, take it from me, you've posted that photo online, it was a mistake. take a new photo. or put up an old 1. you're not helping your 'centerist' cause with those bad photos.

i am sorry you had a bad patch. i do hope it's improved.

but don't write c.i. about what you think i should have written.

i'll write what i damn well please.

to my readers who've had to suffer through this long post, you know this is a topic i've gone over before. some guy discovers the site and feels the need to write in with tips of what i need to talk about or how i should talk about it.

a lot of men have a really inflated sense of self. (ladies, straight ladies, a lot of that is our fault. we've done way too much stroking and i don't just mean egos.) that's why they think they can come along and say 'you can talk about this but do it my way.'

that's not how it works, little ed.

not here.

maybe in your world every woman bows and scrapes. (if that is the case, hopefully - like celie in the color purple - they're planning their own revolt against mister.)

maybe maxi shoulder pads in your group chuckles at every 1 of your 'jokes.' she has a queen bee look to her so i wouldn't be surprised. (please, talk to her about those shoulder pads -- the 80s did not have a come back!)

you can talk however you want. i'll note it here if i want to. but i don't fire off e-mails telling you how you should talk or what you should talk about.

but then i'm not a man who thinks he can push women around.

this is my space. if you don't like it, don't read it.

i started to post ed's e-mail in full because i'm sick of men feeling the need to share how i need to speak or what i need to say. because it went through c.i.'s inbox 1st, i won't. this time.

but ed, you don't like my site, you don't like the way i talk. what are you doing reading me anyway? is it vanity or are you one of those timid types who come here for the sex talk but can't cop to it?

quit thinking it's okay to tell women how to write. it's not. i'm not maureen dowd, i don't need a daddy mentor. i'll say what i want the way i want.

this is only your 2nd mention at this site.

i felt the need to warn my readers that despite what the times said, your middle of the road org. wasn't a democratic 1. it's full of republican and democratic refugees from the cultural wars. the people who are always the 1st to sell out women's rights in my opinion.

i don't support that.

i firmly support a woman's right to choose. i firmly support a woman's right to never have to explain that choice. not to a judge and certainly not to some middle of the roader.

ed, i hope you don't end up road kill. playing in the middle of the road puts you at that risk.
but i hope, even more, that you learn you don't control women. or, at least, you don't control this 1.

again, i'm your worst nightmare. i won't be brow beaten. i won't be shamed. i won't be silent.

next time you want to recommend writing tips, wait to be asked.

i know i'll hear from female bloggers on this. i do every time i write on this topic. ed, a lot of us are sick of this crap. of men coming along trying to tell us what to say and how to say it.

go play with your bull mooses (meeses?) and any 1 else who wants to betray what this country stands for. but i'm not ready to act out margaret atwood's a handmaid's tale, even though you appear ready to direct the production.

chip away at social security, women's reproductive rights and whatever you want to somewhere else but don't expect me to play along.

stick to your wonky circles, on the outside peering in - i'm sure - and i'll stick to speaking my truth here, the way i choose to.

i'll decide what's 'unwise' for me to write about and what isn't.

i didn't ask for your advice.

i'm especially pissed that you involved c.i. in this because that strikes me as cowardly. you can claim you couldn't find the e-mail address. but there's no excuse for an e-mail supposedly to me that says 'ms. winters' did this or 'ms. winters' did that.

you go into your personal problems. c.i.'s recovering for surgery. so maybe it's 'unwise' for you to dump all this crap on c.i.? to present your problems with me to c.i.? maybe instead you could have written to me in this way:

i couldn't find ms. winter's address, so please forward this to her. ms. winters, i am offended by your statements _____ and _____ and ____. i think it is unwise for you to write in that manner. policy debates are what i enjoy so i think in the future you should stick to discussing those.

you didn't write me. you wrote c.i. you ran to c.i. and tried to hide behind c.i.

if you thought you were going to have some 1 on your side, you were wrong.

the fact is that c.i. and i go way back. even when we disagree, and we do disagree from time to time, we do not turn on each other.

maybe you didn't realize how far back c.i. and i go? well then perhaps it was 'unwise' of you to write that e-mail? perhaps you shouldn't whine about me to my friends?

you asked that it be forwarded. it was. because you mentioned your mother (and because c.i.'s mother passed away a few years back), c.i. phoned me to make sure i read the e-mail.

i asked c.i. 'do you think i need to apologize?' c.i. said 'you need to speak in your voice about what you believe.' guess that didn't work out quite the way you wanted, did it?

i have disagreed with c.i. here (and in roundtables at the third estate sunday review) and it's never been a problem between us. it's never resulted in directions of what i need to do or how i can be more effective. see, some people just want people to speak in their own voices. others, such as yourself, want to play gatekeeper and tell me what i can write and how i can write it.

i wonder how many men your centerist organization writes to with advice on how to discuss something? i can't imagine it's very many. but you see 'rebecca winters' and apparently think, 'oh i can offer advice because i'm a man.'

all you'll get from me is that i hope your mother is better. on the issue of what i should say and what i shouldn't, your organization is online. why don't you make up a list for women of what they should and shouldn't say? that ought to get you a lot of traffic from other men who think women just don't know what to say or how to say it until a big, strong man comes along to tell her how it's done.

you don't like what i wrote.

readers, ed didn't like what i wrote. there i've informed them of that. not that i have to.

ed thinks i need to stick policy discussions.

i don't.

and let's point out something else, ed wrote me, i didn't write him.

obviously, my writing got to ed. which means on at least some level it was effective.

but see, that's why, dear readers, centrist.org exists. to try and silence the voices that people respond to on the left so that they, the center, and the right can dominate the discussion.

i won't be dominated.

no 1 will give me orders on what i write or how i write it.

i'd post something in my heading like 'this is conversations from the ladies' room' except that would exclude some of my really great readers like wally who aren't threatened by a woman speaking her mind in her way.

so i guess i'll have to continue to put up with the boys who want to play the big man by telling some woman what to write about and how.

i'm of the left, ed. you're in the sandlot with republicans. when they play rough, don't come crying to me. i won't kiss your wounds or pretend you were working to protect my rights. centerists are the 1st to sell out women.

you sell our our right to choose, you sell out our right to be heard. you reduce our issues to 'special interests.' check the electorate, ed, we are the majority. we aren't a special interest.

and, not that you asked, i do quite well. i have readers. i have people who respond to what i write. you aren't 1. well then you've learned something, you shouldn't read what i write.

although i wasn't able to discuss your presidential report (because 1 needs permission to quote from it), i did provide a link to it. i'd argue that was much more fair than anything the centrists do. but i never promised to play fair.

my only promise here is to speak in a strong voice and defend a woman's right to choose and a woman's right to be heard. i'm a feminist ed, not some adult woman calling herself a 'girl' and giggling each time a man manages to string three or more words together.

my heroes are people like gloria steinem, jane fonda, alice walker, maxine hong kingston, sandra cisneros, janeane garofalo, robin morgan and the margarets (cho and atwood). i doubt you or your oganziation could make a supportive statement about any of those women without a 'qualifier' or 2. that's what comes from being in the middle and obsessing over what some 1 might think about you.

each of those women had to learn what all women should learn, that we have to be true to ourselves. i'm being true to myself. (which isn't to suggest that my writing is on the level of any of the ladies above.) i owe them that because of all i have learned thanks to their examples.

i owe you nothing.

if you'd made your e-mail about how i hurt your feelings, i'd be more receptive. but when you felt the need to weigh in on how i should write and what about, you blew your right to a fair hearing. especially since you were unable to speak to me directly but instead elected to direct your comments to c.i. and ask that your comments to c.i. be forwarded to me.

it's so strange that 'civil' in your world includes attempting to dictate how things will be done.
that's not 'civil' that's controlling.

again, ed, i am your nightmare.

accept it.

editorial: connect the dots

operation circle jerk continues.

i'm posting this editorial in full from the third estate sunday review, so get the word out. share it with people you know. pass it on. betty, kat and c.i. will be posting it at their sites and i think folding star will as well. (betty, kat, c.i. and i helped with this editorial.) you can do your part by making sure you discuss it with at least 1 person you know.

Editorial: Connect the dots

You too can be a well informed American, provided you read the British press. But maybe things are picking up? The Associated Press has a story today entitled "Bolton Said to Orchestrate Unlawful Firing" and we suggest you read it. It's by Charles J. Hanley and here's an excerpt:

John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved. A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.

Bolton fired Bustani, in 2002, because Bustani wanted to put chemical weapons inspectors in Baghdad. Now that might seem strange to you if you rely upon the American mainstream press.

If your news sources are a little more well rounded, you may however remember The Sunday Times of London's Downing St. Memo which reveals, in 2002, that the United States is willing to shape and distort to push forward on the invasion of Iraq. The same invasion that Bully Boy and his minions were saying they had not yet decided to go forward with.

How does Hanley sum up the Downing St. Memo (yes, it's mentioned in the article)? Thusly:

An official British document, disclosed last month, said Prime Minister Tony Blair' agreed in April 2002 to join in an eventual U.S. attack on Iraq. Two weeks later, Bustani was ousted, with British help.

Here's something the memo says that's not in the AP account:

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

The Sunday Times of London published that memo May 1, 2005. What did they publish last Sunday? Michael Smith's "RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war." From the opening of that article:

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.

Is a pattern emerging? A pattern that even the mainstream press must begin to notice?

We think it is. But we wouldn't bet the house on it. We've shared our feelings/concerns on the mainstream press in an essay in this edition. The way we see it, the press has plenty to address. It's just an issue of whether they want to or not.

Hats off to BuzzFlash, once again, for finding the Associated Press article and drawing attention to a very important article.. As always the place we flocked to when finally getting ready to compose this edition's editorial.
posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, June 05, 2005