saturday post

a lot of grumbles about "nothing's up on the weekends" have resulted in me attempting, this week and next, to blog on the weekend. i'm not really into it. i like my downtime. and i'm already working with the third estate sunday review for a lot of hours on the weekend so i'm not really into coming up with more thoughts for my own site.

i also don't buy the 'there's nothing up on the weekends' argument. the third estate sunday review posts on sunday and there are always entries there. ruth has postponed her ruth's morning edition report until saturdays both due to her own schedule and also due to the fact that it does result in 1 more saturday entry for the community. maria's thing usually goes up on saturday. and sometimes francisco or miguel do that instead of maria but it is usually maria. c.i. usually does a post on laura flanders and two on the new york times. today there are three on the new york times. kat always blogs on saturday. on sunday you have at least one entry in the morning at the common ills and also two sunday evening.

so i really don't see that the community is silent on the weekends.

but i'll try to pull something together today and next weekend, probably sunday next weekend, just to sample how that day feels. that's not 6 days a week. i'll still do just 5.

so i go to buzzflash and scan their headlines for a feel of what's going on because honestly i'm not in the mood today for the newspaper and c.i's already covered the new york times with 3 entries this morning. 1 headline reads 'hillary clinton accuses bush of mismanaging the war' or something like that. i clicked on the link.

i yawned.

am i supposed to say 'go hillary!'

i don't think so.

hillary's so brave to use something john kerry hammered bully boy on a year ago.

i'm so sick of her and her nonsense and her inability to state reality.

she wants more troops over and she wants the war fought her way.

the thought of her in the white house is truly frightening.

i don't know if she had a late life transformation or if she just has the war lust or if she just wants to prove her national security bonafides but it's disgusting.

it was disgusting to me when ms. profiled madeline albright, another war hawk, and it's disgusting to me when hillary starts trying to prove her cock is as big as any boy's by singing her war songs.

i don't think she's getting the nomination if she runs. i think she'll crash and burn in the primaries in a way that resembles what happened to joe lieberman. in fact, she seems like joe lieberman in female drag more and more.

as now proclaims on their site 'peace is a feminist value.'

i keep waiting for ms. to do something similar. i've been waiting for some time.

i don't know what's going on these days but i'll tell you this, i love ms. though i do, i don't need another celebrity cover of charlize theron or desperate houswives at a time when 2 wars are waging. i need some strong stances.

there's a pbs show 'about women, by women and for women' as sctv would say. last week they had a conservative prig from the chamber of commerce (where she probably has a lot of fellow prigs as friends). prig was saying 'oh feminists don't really support women they only support women who agree with them.'

prig's right. i don't support ann coulter. i don't support the war hawks with vaginas.

i support a woman's right to determine their own lives but that doesn't mean i endorse their choices.

and prig doesn't endorse mine as she made abundantly clear.

if you don't support equality, you're not helping the movement and we shouldn't shed any tears over the fact that we can't get behind you.

i think we're too focused on getting someone through whatever glass ceiling that we're at risk, feminists, of losing what we stand for.

which is why when i visit now's website, it always cheers me up. whether it's an action alert or kim gandy's biweekly column, or just the 'peace is a feminist value' i see now fighting and standing up.

i'm not trying to slag on ms. i'm glad it's around. i read every issue. but i'm not hearing from ms. what i need to lately. i'm getting rah-rah articles on a queen or a madeline albright or some celebrity. when they did the bullshit cover, and sorry that is what it was, on desperate housewives, i almost blogged on that but c.i. said that there was a shake up about to happen and that things were changing.

i love ms. and a month later there was a shake up.

but ms. needs to be more than it is today.

and the website needs to provide new content regularly.

christine provided new content daily or almost daily. eleanor smeal is a personal hero but this blog once in november (it may have been twice) ain't cutting it.

and reproductive rights are huge issues to me but they aren't the only feminist issues. it's past time that ms. started weighing in loudly on this war.

they've had time for a cover story on first ladies. that might have been strong writing. i don't know. i threw that issue into the trash to be honest. without reading it.

i don't know if it was the move to california and away from nyc but ms. seems a lot more laid back these days.

i get e-mails about seth's site, seth in the city, asking why he only posted twice in november? i have no idea. i've never spoken to him. anytime the third estate has tried to bring him in on anything, he's been busy. people have e-mailed asking 'do you guys hate seth?' because in the past every new site has resulted in a blog spotlight and an interview or article on the new blogger. are we supposed to spotlight his entry last week where he said he was back to blogging and apologized for not blogging? that was the whole entry. it wasn't about anything else. and it never had a follow up. it's over a week later and there's still not another entry up.

i'm not calling seth stupid but that's no way to run a site.

i'm not calling ms. stupid but not having new content up regularly is no way to run a web site.

(i will hear from c.i. for my comments on ms. and for my comments on seth. that's cool and i understand c.i.'s point of view on both. i can even hear c.i.'s comments in my head right now. but i'm not going to play nice here or pretty it up.)

the nation and the progressive have both increased circulation by strong commentary. people are hungry for it. cover stories on tv shows and movie stars isn't going to convince anyone that ms. is serious.

we went through this before in the 80s and it nearly killed ms.

c.i. was convinced that the shake up was going to change things. i waited for it to happen. it's happened. i'm not seeing that big of a difference.

it's coming off like a polite magazine the way good housekeeping was decades ago.

that's not ms. and if i'm the only 1 who will say it, then i'm the only 1 who will say it.

i love ms. but it needs to be more. in print and online. it needs to stop the celebrity profiles immediately and return to the issues that matter. 1st among them is the war.

it's glossier these days. the print doesn't get on your hands. but it's also about as hard hitting as a pbs talk show. that's not feminism. people respond to strong voices and ms. needs to find it's strong voice.

i say that out of respect for what it has been in the past.

i also say it because if you no longer need christine at your website then you need someone else regularly putting up new content.

sherry's e-mailed me complaining about the lack of new content.

sherry, i hope you're visiting pop politics because christine (and bernie, and jaclyn and others) are posting there.

eleanor smeal's got a new post (december 1st) and c.i. hasn't noted it. which means no 1's passed it on to c.i. because c.i. will note anything from ms. but once a month isn't going to bring to traffic to ms.'s site.

mike's motto: The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.


thoughts on racism

c.i. noted this: "Help Make Thursday, December 1st 'Blog Against Racism Day.'" which is a thing by leah at corrente. which just sent me into a panic because i couldn't remember if i'd added them to my blog roll or not. (i had.)

so the thing is to talk about race or racism today.

so here are my thoughts on the matter and you can nod along or spit nails or whatever gets you going. i'm going to focus on an issue where white people who aren't racist enable racism.

'we are we and they are they' is the biggest narrative going. it's how we end up demonizing others. and it depends upon ignorance.

and it depends on our ignoring our commonalities and and not respecting our differences.

instead a difference becomes a reason to demonize.

race is 1 of the easiest ways to play the other (gender is another) because it requires only our eyes to scan quickly and fall for whatever stereotype is being promoted in which ever generation.

we have a bully boy in the white house who loves to play the country against one another and loves to create divisions.

this is also world aids day and that's another example of demonizing. 25 years later the stigma's not as great as it once was. provided you're a child or contracted the disease through blood transfusions.

you saw it with those crappy e-mails from bono's organization always about 'the children' as though that's the only focus for empathy.

ruth in her ruth's morning edition report talks about how 1 of the things she enjoys most is learning about things and i honestly believe that a lot of people feel that way.

but sometimes we act like we don't feel that way because 'what would some 1 say?' i've been amazed at, for instance, the number of people who will say something as stupid as 'i hate that will & grace. they say things like "who's homo?"' but if some 1, usually me, says 'i like that show' the same person fronting 2 minutes ago will suddenly say, 'isn't it funny?'

we're all so worried about what some 1 might think.

that's why bully boy managed to pull off 4 years with so little criticism. we were scared to state the obvious.

so we fear other's reactions. when we find out their reaction, we're usually okay with being open.

and that goes to racism because we fear what we don't know.

and ignorance is encouraged in our culture.

c.i. taught me long ago to say fuck it.

if you're not black and you're around white people fairly often, you've probably been in a group or 1 on 1 with someone that you thought was wonderful only to hear them utter a racist saying.
years ago, it would make me uncomfortable and i'd excuse myself and avoid the person from then on. but c.i. would always say 'that is racist' and not care what their reaction was.

when i was younger, believe it or not, i was not always quick to share my opinion and i was loathe to disagree.

i would see c.i., who really doesn't care - i mean really doesn't care, tell some 1 off for being racist or being sexist or being homophobic or go down the list. it could be any 1 and it never bothered c.i.

it took me awhile to get to that point.

and my silence perpetuated racism. i could tell myself 'well i just won't be around ___ anymore' but that didn't change anything. the person might wonder why i avoided them after the shocked look but they didn't get that their remarks were offensive and wrong.

we need to let people know when they are wrong. if we don't we are perpetuating racism with our silence.

it's easy to say 'well i'm not racist' and go on about your life and i did that with race, gender, you name it.

there was a couple that is friends with my ex-in-laws. they would make the most racist jokes and i would walk away from them. then i would whine to c.i. on the phone. c.i. would always say 'they need to be called on it. it won't change what they are probably, but it will make them twice about assuming that just because every 1 present is white, they can get away with that shit.'

so when we announced our engagement, i was telling myself, i can't be silent tonight.

it was hard for me because back then i really did want every 1 to like me. but that night, when the husband came over to make another 1 of his 'jokes' i let him have it.

the couple avoided me, and our wedding, which is fine. in fact it's better because i didn't have to work to avoid them since they were avoiding me.

and after that, it was honestly easier for me to say to any 1, 'that's wrong.'

for me it was a road to finding my voice and to being able to speak up for what i believe in.

there was a friend that t and i had who we used to do stuff with, us and a group of women. she pulled that nonsense 1 day after we'd all been hanging out for some time.

when i called her on it, she told me i had no sense of humor (they always go there, racists, sexists and homophobes) and started saying stuff like 'you know me, you know i'm not racist.'

i thought i knew you. i thought you weren't racist. then you tell that 'joke.'

and of course she doesn't do it around t.

which is how you know it's not just a 'joke.' if it's just a joke, why say it only when no african-americans are present? this woman was all 'you go, girl!' and 'girlfriend' this and 'girlfriend' that when t was around. (which t always found strange.)

so that's my point for the night.

it's easy for you to tell yourself that since you're not racist, you don't need to worry about it. that turns it into a problem for 'others.' that kind of thinking, for instance, would really push it off on t.

it would be my way of saying, 't, you're african-american, so this is your problem.'

but racism is a problem for every 1 that every 1 needs to address. so if you've grimaced at a 'joke' and said nothing, i want you to think about speaking your mind and calling people out.

maybe it will open some 1's eyes. maybe it will only make them avoid you.

regardless, you'll feel better about yourself. you'll probably also be doing your friends a favor.
i don't mean the ones telling 'jokes.' i mean your own c.i., the person you whine to on the phone about this or that. you'll free up your time to talk about things that really matter instead of constantly needing pep talks. and if you have enough respect to say 'no' you'll be a stronger person.

i'm not sure if this is the sort of thing they were hoping for today but, to quote kat, it is what it is.
and what it is is this: if you're biting your tongue around 'jokes' or worse, you're perpetuating racism.


breaking news on breaking 9th circuit

i'm reposting the following (from the common ills) in full because it's that important.

"Target: the 9th Circuit (The Republican war on the judiciary continues)"
From the December issue of
The Progressive, Ruth Conniff's "The Progressive Interview: Bernie Sanders:"[Bernie Sanders]:
In my view this happens to be one of the most dangerous moments in American history. These guys are not just reactionaires. They are changing the rules of the game so they will stay in power for the indefinite futere. We see this abuse of power on the floor of the House. They kept the voting rolls open for three hours to pass the Medicare prescription drug bill. I had an amendment, which won, on the Patriot Act. They kept the voting open twenty minutes longer to defeat it. They break the rules. It's like having a football game go into the fifth quareter because you don't like the results at the end of the fourth quarter. We know what DeLay did in Texas. They have taken chairmen -- yanked them out -- because they defy the leadership of the House. They are now attempting to destroy the judiciary system, which will have profound implications for the future of this country.
Note Sander's last sentence, "They are now attempting to destroy the judiciary system, which will have profound implications for the future of this country." (The article's from the latest issue of the magazine and it's not available online at present.) Why note the last sentence? Zachary Coile's "A quiet move in House to split the 9th Circuit" (San Francisco Chronicle):
A little-noticed provision in the massive House budget bill would fulfill the longtime goal of conservatives to split the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, creating a new 12th circuit appellate court and allowing President Bush to name a slate of new federal judges.
Conservatives long have claimed that the Ninth Circuit is too liberal, and that reputation was reinforced by the court's 2002 ruling that reciting the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
But legal observers say the outcome of such a split is likely to be a more liberal court making decisions for California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands and a more conservative court serving seven other Western states now part of the Ninth Circuit -- Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona.
In the article, Reagan appointee Judge Alex Kozinski is noted as testifying before the Senate last month:
Dividing a circuit should only take place when: one, there is demonstrated proof that a circuit is not operating effectively, and two, there is a consensus among the bench and bar and public that it serves that division is the appropriate remedy. Neither of those conditions exists today.
The article also notes that: "Of the 28 active judges on Ninth Circuit, only three have expressed support for splitting the court."
Though Diane Feinstein opposes the plan, Bully Boy has signed on to it.And who would pack the newly created circuit? (You know the answer.) It's thought that one of the states effected would be Oregon. (We have several members in Oregon.) Oregon hasbeen very active with measures that Bully Boy's Justice Department has opposed. For instance, Oregon's physician-assisted suicide. From CNN's "Federal judge upholds Oregon assisted-suicide law" (April 17, 2002):
In his ruling, Judge Robert E. Jones criticized U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft for seeking to nullify the state law, saying he "fired the first shot in the battle" and had sought to "stifle" a debate on the matter through a Nov. 6 directive.
Jones ordered the federal government to halt any efforts to prosecute Oregon physicians, pharmacists and other health-care providers who participate in assisted suicide of terminally ill patients under Oregon's law.
How bothered is the Bully Boy's Justice Department over this law? When the Ninth Circuit upheld Oregon's law, the Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court. The case that began as Ashcroft v. Oregon became Gonzales v. Oregon and the Court heard testimony on it in October. (Oral arguments before the Court can be found here.)
The article in the Chronicle focuses on the effects to California. This would impact much more than California. Bully Boy's Justice Department has often proved successful is circuit shopping their cases.

that may be 1 of the most important things you need to be aware for the day.

last night i wrote about barbara walters and her boring special. i wrote it before the final 10 minutes or i would have had much more to say. (thanks to wally and c.i. for getting the word out on my post.)

in the last 10 minutes, we worked our ways down to the even less important.

1st we had tom cruise who always, my opinion, comes off gay when he's trying so desperately to convince you that he's in love with some new woman. maybe he's not gay, maybe he is. but when he starts talking 'love' he sounds like some 1 trying real hard to present a front.

though time was limited, each segment lasted about as long as a music video, barbara did have time to go over all the times she'd interviewed tom cruise before; however, she did not have time to ask about the very obvious age difference.

you can be sure she would've asked cher or demi moore about the age issue.

but she's hardly a feminist so it's not too surprising to see her enforcing the sexist status quo.

from there we got the not so great camilla.

barbara walters all but stomped over the late princess diana's grave to run over and ass kiss camilla. it was insulting and it was shocking.

it was nice the way camilla was innocently inserted into charles life. always in the wings but in a platonic measure, of course. what a load of crap.

but it gets stinkier.

the most fascinating person of the year?

to barbara walters it was condi rice. apparently war criminals make barbara's panties moist.

ladies & gentlemen, barbara walters. she's not just a whore for the republican party, she's an old whore.

on that topic, did any 1 watching really think that was her own hair? if you're going to do fake hair, why do it blonde if you're not naturally a blonde?

i couldn't figure out if she picked out the fake, horse hair because it looked so bad and dry that she assumed people would think, 'it looks bad, it must be real' or if it's just further evidence of how she has no taste?

condi has a soft spot, barbara tells us. which means when not lying the american people into war, condi likes to play football.

watching barbara gush over condi, i had to wonder if barbara was hoping to tackle condie on the field?

since colin powell's apparently not running for president ever, barbara walters is all wet and frothy over condi rice.

how that woman can show her face is beyond me.

i meant walters but it applies to both. maybe that's what they bonded over: lack of shame.

mike's new motto:
The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.


ba-ba-ba ba-ba-boring

'rebecca, why are the posts late these days?'

when john roberts was confirmed, i spiraled into a depression.


i'm sure his ass will be put on the bench because i don't see any strength in the dems on this. (maybe they're saving up their energy?)

but it won't be because i didn't do what i could.

ava, c.i. and elaine organized on roberts. if you asked them, they'll tell you they weren't surprised that roberts got confirmed. but they knew they had done everything they could to stop it.

if/when alito's confirmed, i want to be sure that i did everything i could to make my voice heard.

i hope you're doing the same.

the editorial i put up here yesterday got a some favorable e-mails.

but it also got questions. 1 was, why isn't anyone talking about this?

i have no idea. maybe everyone was too wrapped up in barbara walter's idea of the ten most whatever people.


kayne west is the only 1 who's interesting.


have you seen some of the people on the special?

i can't think of anything worse than the special.

there's useless babara walters on aruba.

the world really needed that.

am i missing something?

on this 'fascinating' people, where's cindy sheehan.

oh that's right barbara walters carries water for the republicans. hell she probably carried nancy regan's toilet kit.

i'm amazed that this useless piece of fluff has managed to live down iran-contra. but it helps to have a press that doesn't want to question.

she's got all the useless 1s on board.

lance armstrong. peddling fast to escape the french accusations of doping and with his 'pretend i'm a teenager!' girlfriend sheryl crow in tow. did any 1 notice, by the way, that her album tanked?

guess in music you can't be infantile forever. a little spark can get your career going but if you have nothing else to offer and never grow or stretch, you're just boring.

too bad sheryl crow didn't think to go into tv instead. as barbara walters demonstrates, you can be as boring and as infantile as you want and have a long career in tv.

kanye west was the only reason to watch 'instant walters' tonight.

maybe she's as bored with her interviews as every 1 else?

what else could account for this special?

or 'special.'

it's even more superficial than her long winded work.

each 'fascinating' person gets about the time needed for a music video.

probing journalism barbara!

where do old press whores go?

i don't care, i just wish she would get there already.



i've got friends over so i'm just going to cross post tonight.

this is from an editorial we worked on at the third estate sunday review and i'm not hearing much media coverage on this court case but maybe i'm just missing it:

'Editorial: Looks Who's Screaming "Special Rights"'
The Gray Lady plays Miss Manners and clucks "Parents are more involved than ever before. So why do children today seem so rude?" in the pull quote to their Week in Review front page story "Kids Gone Wild." Recycling a trend story that's been around longer than The New York Times, the paper's on hot the trail of . . . nothing.
Which is too bad because inside they actually have something worth noting. Page five's "Here's the Problem With Emily Dickinson." The problem with Dickinson, for some, is that she exhibited "a veiled disrespect for authroity in general." Kids today, what you gonna' do?
Apprarently take it to court.
"On Dec. 12, the Federal District Court in Los Angeles will hear a lawsuit filed by a consortium of Christian high schools against the University of California system for refusing to credit some of their courses when their students apply to admission."
Well boo hoo. They want, to use a term 'vangicals are so fond of, "SPECIAL RIGHTS."
Now maybe we're dealing with parents who never made it through a college system that didn't have a televangist attached, but this editorial is written by enrolled college students and college graduates. Rebecca switched universities. When she did, her short story English course? She didn't get credit for it at her new university. We can list stories like that for a month and a half. Colleges have the right to determine what they will recognize as an accredited course (from high school or another college or a junior college). If someone's planning to attend a univeristy, it's incumbent upon them to know which courses are accepted and which aren't.
Five of us have heard a recent transfer whine for an entire semester, in every class, that some of his courses wouldn't "transfer." No one forced him to transfer. He always intended to transfer. It was his choice to fly blind.
Academic admission standards are decided based on what core knowledge all incoming students should have. There's nothing that prevents the Calvary Chapel Christian School of Murrieta, CA from offering whatever electives they want. However, if the core courses don't receive credit, that's something the private high schools need to address within their own systems.
The article in the paper (by Thomas Vinciguerra) offers excerpts from texts for these non-credited courses. The information imparted in those texts may be useful to someone's spirituality or not. They're not helping to educating the students on the basics that one needs to enter college.
No one's forcing the schools to drop those courses. They can offer them. They just shouldn't whine when colleges refuse to accredit them. We're sure the parents are outraged. They've spent good money sending their children to private schools. That's a problem between the parents and the schools they selected for their children.
Nothing prevents the schools from offering the same information in elective courses. But the courses aren't covering the core information that a student entering college needs.
That's not the fault of university standards.
Text books containing (as fact) statements such as "Second, physics as taught in the schools of the world contradicts the processes that shaped the world we see today" aren't teaching core academic requirements. They're teaching opinion and they can continue to do that. No one's stopping them.
They just shouldn't demand that academic standards be lowered to give them "Special Rights."
Want to attend secular universities? Learn the basics. You can learn anything else you want, but cover the basics.
Elaine and C.I. saw a ridiculous "film" about the "haters" this week. "Haters" try to deny rights, the film argued, they want everyone to believe as they do. Do you know who the haters were? Everyone living in a secular world. (Regardless of their own personal beliefs.) The whole world, according to the film, was out to get evangicals.
Talk about a persecution complex.
No one's insisting that private, religious schools teach anything. If their students wish to attend secular universities, they need to be prepared at the same level as other students. There's no Special-Ed U that we're aware of (jokes aside). Classes don't need to come to a repeated halt because someone's not up to the same level as their peers.
The texts excerted by the paper do not cover one course. They are the science texts, the literature texts, the historical texts.
The students have been taught a lot of faith, they haven't been taught a lot of facts. Maybe they've managed to pick that up on their own, maybe they haven't. But colleges determine whether or not a course receives credit based upon the content taught in the class.
Though those with persecution complexes may want to scream that this is a religious issue, it's not. There's nothing preventing the religious schools from teaching these non-credited courses.
They can teach only those courses and continue enrolling any student whose parents are willing to spend money on an education that won't transfer. Or they can teach those courses as electives and offer core classes that meet the academic requirements.
They shouldn't, however, think they can teach substandard courses and then scream "religious bigotry" when a university refuses to credit those courses.
As electives, the courses could help shape a new generation of op-ed writers and thinkers. We wouldn't care to read their writing but their opinions could be shaped by elective courses. However, these aren't core classes. They do not meet the basic requirements.
The only "haters" are the people who want to reject accepted academic standards for high schools and then receive a waiver allowing them to enter a secular university. There's a variety of religions to be found in the authors of this editorial. This includes people who attended parochial schools. They learned their basics there, not just faith.
That 'vangical schools want to pop up and play by their own academic guidelines is fine. They just can't ignore core comptency and then whine about the fact that the substandard academic education they've provided won't transfer. The only "haters" ares the ones insisting upon "Special Rights." When gays and lesbians ask for equal protection under the law, 'vangicals scream (falsely) special rights. This legal challenge is another example of their refusal to recognize the need for equality, in this case equal standards for admission.
[This editorial was written by The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review, Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz and Wally of The Daily Jot.]
posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, November 27, 2005


again, anais mitchell. she's a singer-songwriter and she'll be performing in nyc december 7th. Posted by Picasa

that's anais mitchell. 3rd estate sunday review is using the photo for a thing they're doing. she'll be performing in nyc december 7th. Posted by Picasa