Sunday, November 06, 2005

A note to our readers. No news review this week. We attempted it and had the problems of people falling off the call repeatedly. The fourth time, we just scrapped it for this week. The feature is popular and it's not being cancelled, we just weren't in the mood for the hassle this Sunday.

We have some things we think you'll enjoy. Benji e-mailed with a question and in preperation of a feature on e-mails next edition, we thought we'd seriously answer Benji's question. We also have an essay on Guantanamo Bay, a "Five Books, Five Minutes," an editorial and a humorous look at the wacky web. All of those features were written by the following:

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.

Keep your panties and briefs dry, we also have the latest TV review from Ava and C.I. On that, Ava and C.I. want to say a special hello/shout out to Randy and Angie who are too of their biggest fans. They both wrote at least twice in the last week to let Ava and C.I. know the impression their TV reviews left. We think Randy's got a crush on Ava and C.I. because he's twice written asking where they live. Ava and C.I. really don't have the time to read the e-mails to this site so we pass on your enthusiastic responses. Angie was so thrilled to get a reply (we fear she may be a shut in) that she had to immediately write back to note her gratitude. Angie, we'd try to fix you up with Randy if it weren't the fact that he has an unhealthy focus on Wentworth Miller which makes us fear that you may not be able to offer what he's looking for.

Hopefully, you found something in here that you were looking for, something in this edition to make you laugh or piss you off.

-- Jim, Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: GOP controlled Congress needs to stop playing footsie with Bully Boy

Last week, Harry Reid, of all people, managed to force the issue of the way the Bully Boy and his administration manipulated intelligence. With Ted Koppel and others in the media dismissing the importance of the indictment of Scooter Libby, it fell to the least likely to underscore the connection between the outing of Valerie Plame and the invasion of Iraq. Fortunately, Harry Reid proved up to the task.

The Republican response? Kitty killer Bill Frist, currently under investigation for possible insider trader, just can't trust Harry Reid anymore! Rick Santorum is shocked that politics would be played in the halls of Congress. (What? He was hoping for a round of slap and tickle instead?) And the Republicans screamed "Partisan!" while the media followed suit.

Who's playing partisan? We doubt Harry Reid's motives are selfless but is asking for a needed investigation partisan or is the refusal to conduct one against the oval office holder from your same party?

While the GOP plays footsie with Bully Boy and nudges and winks, Michael Smith reports in The Sunday Times of London that "MPs unite for inquiry into Blair’s conduct over Iraq." Considering that the supposed "clean" charter election narrative is already coming undone, see Gareth Porter's "Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh" (IPS), that October saw the deaths of 96 American troops in Iraq and that on this sixth day of November the fatality toll is already 17, the GOP's continued reluctance to ask any serious questions about the continued occupation grows more and more pathetic.

Bully Boy had what Time described as "a week from hell" two weeks ago. Seems like he's still having it. His poll numbers continue to drop, support for the war continues to decline and he got punked in Mar del Plata with Hugo Chavez standing in for Ashton Kutchner.

It's not been good times for the Bully Boy. And how has the press reacted to this? With serious investigations and hard questions? No, they offer advice on how Bully Boy can turn it around. The tide has turned, as Mick Jagger once sang, but the mainstream press can't figure that out.
David Gregory makes excuses for Scotty McClellan and vouches for his character on national TV. Does the working press not get that it's not their role their vouch for the "goodness" but to explore stories?

The people have caught on and at a time when even Harry Reid can sense the change, it's rather shocking to see that the mainstream press still hasn't as they continue to pimp their "everyone thought Iraq had WMD" lies and their false claim that "we were all wrong."

As disgusting as it is to watch the GOP play footsie with the Bully Boy and try to clamp down on any truths regarding how we ended up in Iraq, it's more distressing that the mainstream media does the same. We weren't surprised to see the GOP responding to Reid in a partisan manner; however, we were bothered to see the supposedly "objective" press follow the Republicans lead.

TV Review: Bones

Cybill Shephard and Bruce Willis made it look so easy. Ditto Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner. The investigative team that bantered with sparks going off repeatedly, so much so that you honestly didn't care what the case was about, you just sat back and enjoyed the sparks. The energy crisis has expanded to the point that even sexual heat is being effected.

"There's a reason I get all the guys and you don't," slurs a busty blond in the middle of Fox's Bones. It's a moment of truth directed at "Bones" (Emily Deschanel), the foresenic anthropoligist who also writes novels when not working at a Smithsonian type institute or solving crimes with the FBI. She's a busy gal.

Maybe that explains Deschanel's flat affect? It's as though she's suffering from a personal energy crisis. While all the problems with this show can't be pinned solely on Deschanel, the fact that she's supposed to be creating and receiving sparks from co-star David Boreanaz but never seems to get her fuse lit is a signifcant issue.

Looking at her moon face and stringy hair while she moves slow and speaks slow, you realize it's as though you're watching Shelly Long on Lithium. When she goes into profile, you notice that her gut sticks out almost as far as her breasts. It must be someone's idea of a no-nonsense career woman. And who has time for nonsense when they're holding down three careers (author, anthropo, and FBI crime solver)? She's like Wonder Woman suffering from multiple personalites and iron poor blood.

So who has time for the sexual banter?

Or maybe it's just that she's supposed to batner with David Boreanaz? At one point, he's shown outside, walking down the street while the camera takes great to spotlight and frame his butt. There's wiggle and there's jiggle. Has such a flat ass ever had so much loose flab on it? It was like he stuck a plate of jello down the back of his pants.

Or maybe his ass, like his hands, nostrils and eyebrows, just doesn't know how to stay still? Even parking it on a bar stool, he's gesturing so wildly and wiggling those eyebrows so crazed, it's as though he's up for the Anthony Quinn role in a remake of Zorba the Greek.

Boreanaz shot to fame as Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer where he spent most of his time in brooding silence. Then he got his own spin-off and Angel became a huge chatterbox (largely due to Boreanaz's fondness for adlibbing and a lack of restraint from anyone behind the camera). Boreanaz's character is called "Booth" but it's Angel's bad-side (Angelus) that he's playing. You get the same smirk, the same teasing of words.

Author and anthropologist Kathy Reichs assures her readers that this show will honor law enforcement. She obviously hasn't watched an episode. While Bones stakes her life on science, Booth doesn't trust forsenics. Which is a bit like teaming Jack Webb on Dragnet with a partner who doesn't believe in finger prints. But it's conflict, people, con-flict.

She thinks he's an airhead and spends far too much time obsessing over "the gun" he's packing.
He thinks she's full of it and can't stop trying to deflate her. (Note to Booth, she arrived deflated.)

Maybe Booth's apparent ADD was an acting choice after Boreanaz noted what no one casting or producing had: working opposite Deschanel, is working opposite a wall, a very plain wall. So Boreanaz ups the ampage at the risk of, if not a personal blackout, grave personal embarrassment. He risks looking like a hormonal adolescent humping a pillow.

Give him a passing grade for at least trying. The writers appear to be trying as well. They have Deschanel talking about her ass, talking about men's hips and legs and even using the term "scat" (did you ever think you'd hear that in the "family hour"?) so Bones should come off equal parts Mae West and Suzie Bright. Instead, she's a black hole sucking up all the energy around her.

We're not big on David Boreanaz but everything that works onscreen usually can be traced to his performance. Take the overly long dialogue, when it's all technical jargon that no one's going to follow, Boreanaz plows through it at a clipped pace only to slow down when a sexual taunt comes up.

He realizes what everyone else fails to, the writers don't care about the cases being investigated. If they did, when Bones and Booth catch the cannibal (yes, the episode revolves around a cannibal), they'd let the cannibal speak. Instead, as he's about to explain his motives, Bones hit him over the head with a bed pan and knocks him out. As he collapses, she explains that no one needs to hear another wack job explaining their motives.

A show that's not interested in the why's of a crime, that rushes through the hows, isn't interested in crime. Foresnics is used to dress up a romantic comedy. To update it. Hart to Hart revolved around a jet set couple with millions and was embraced in the go-go greed decade of the eighties. Moonlighting revolved around two people wounded by economics and cultural upheaval and was embraced in the lead up to the nineties.

Bones? Well maybe Deschanel's character is some commentary on the empty economy and Bones' multiple jobs are meant to suggest the struggle to stay afloat in our current climate? We think that's stretching it but we'll give them that back story. The trouble is there's no front story. There are no sparks between Bones and Booth and there's nothing to hold your interest. We feel they misnamed the lead character.

Bones? They should have called her "Thread Bare."

The wacky web

The Online Magazine Googs Is Good For Ya!

name: Googs
location: Sieas, Posterdam
age: 31
likes: John Edwards, John Edwards,
John Edwards!!!!
Question, you find out you're going
to spend your entire life with one
person, who is it?
With my luck, my cat, Mr. Tittles!
on blogger since July, 2002
profile views: 15

I spent most of the day teaching my cat, Mr. Tittles, to lick pictures of John Edwards. Then around noon, I got kind of angry and jealous and threw Mr. Tittles down the stairs so I could do all the licking myself. My tongues has turned black! It's so digusting!
Also today that awful George Bush was denying knowing anything about the outing of Valerie Plame. Meanwhile Alan Greenspan is stepping down as Fed Chairman. And they just announced they weren't going to be making anymore Vanilla Coke!
10:28pm 10-24-05

Googs, in Posterdam, aren't they cracking down on civil liberties?

Moz you know Googs never writes about her own country.

I was thinking about John Edwards last night. Two Americas. So true. So very, very true. So this October 25, 2005, I want to note an important passing. Probably you've already talked about it because it was big news. She is missed.
Of coure I'm speaking of Ann Forrest who passed away two decades ago. I often find myself reflecting on how much like her character (Zoe Barbille) in The Wise Fool I am. She filmed Dangerous Days and she really lived them because, like, in those days they didn't even have sound. Can you imagine how weird was that? Everytime someone moved their lips, you had to look at the title cards to figure out what was being said. I bet only the really rich could afford to have title cards carried around for them. Everyone else was mute in those days. That must have been hard but sometimes I get to thinking, "Googs, you could write title cards!" I could too. Watch: "Unhand me, you fiend, or face the wrath of John Edwards!" Sigh.
But there really are Two Americas and I want to make sure we all understand that and, honestly, to be more inclusive. So on this monumental day, I want to note the passing, two decades ago, of the silent film actress Ann Foster. She remained silent so that we could all speak. Two Americas, the living and the dead.
12:01pm 10-25-05
Who the hell is Ann Foster?

Didn't Rosa Parks just die? Why the hell is Googs writing about some actress who died two decades ago?

I bet if you asked Googs, "What's your favorite chocolate?" she'd answer, "White."

Lylonzo, you are so banned! Posting privs revoked! Troll!

On Cindy & Counting
Today Cindy Sheehan is taking part in The World Can't Wait protests. I like her spunk. I like especially how she just wants us to know that people are dying. A lot of people try to use Cindy Sheehan to call for an end to the war. That's not what she's about at all! She just wants to be sure we count accurately.
10:09am 11-02-05

Googs, did you hear? The prime minister of Posterdam got caught in bed with 2 teenage hookers, one male, one female. They were all high on crack! I can't wait to read your commentary on that hint, hint.

Why is Googs writing about the American Cindy Sheehan?

Better question, why is she so ill informed? Cindy Sheehan is calling for an end to the war and for the troops to be brought home.

Kazzie, Cindy Sheehan just wants accurate counting. Mathematics is important. And it's really not important what she wants or doesn't want. Or what you want or I want. That's why we have elected officials, to make these decisions for us. I'm voting for John Edwards in 2008.

Wack job, you live in Posterdam, you can't vote in the American elections! Considering that Posterdamn has a parliment, you've got a funny idea of democracy if you think a citizen can't speak out on foreign policy.

Kazzie, you are so uninformed. That's why we should leave the decisions to our elected leaders. Brave men who serve on the Council of Foreign Releations, for instance. Those boys are dreamy!

Come out of the authoritarian closet, Googs, you have no respect for democracy.

Kazzie, you are so banned from this site! That is abusive langauge!

Today George W. Bush was in Playa de something and got booed. There were massive protests against him. I don't like that idiot Hugo Chavez and agree with Simon Rosenberg that he needs to be taken care of and removed from office but I draw the line at the called for execution by Pat Robertson. Did anyone see Threshold last night? It was so awesome!
5:30 pm 11-05-05

Googs, who is Simon Rosenberg? Is he in Ah-Choo, that group that's big in Posterdam? I live in Denmark and have never heard of him.

M, Simon Rosenberg is the man who should be the chair of the Democratic Party. He's so cool even if some wags say he suffers from crackatoa. He just needs a good woman at his side to cheer him on in wiping. I've never heard of Ah-Choo, sorry.

What!?!?!?!?!? Ah-Choo just got their seventh number one hit in Posterdam this year! That brings their total of number ones to 757! They also have the number one movie in the country for the fourteenth straight week! How could you not hear of Ah-Choo, Googs. I'm beginning to think you always write about America because you really live in America!

Banned! Troll.

Uh, Googs, Threshold doesn't air in Posterdam. And our prime minister just stepped down over being caught with the two hookers. Are you going to write anything about that?

Banned! Troll.

Having left Playa del whatever, George W. Bush is now on his way to another country no one's ever heard of. He really should be back in D.C. getting down to business. They're cutting food stamps and the people suffering from the hurricanes continue to suffer. They are going to drill in Alaska! And George W. Bush is off on a sight seeing tour.
11:41pm 11-05-05

Googs, I don't think you saw the paper today. George W. Bush is here visiting Posterdam.

Tukie, what is your point?

I'm just saying it seems like you should know about that. If you are from ... Posterdam.

Banned! Troll!

I have read every page of The Washington Post, The Los Angelse Times, The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times and not one mention of John Edwards! So I'll tell you all about the seven different dreams I had of him last night.
Dream #1: He was in front of the mirror combing his hair when he turned around, looked at me, did a thumbs up and said "Aaaay!" Just like Fonzie! It was so cool!
Dream #2: Me and John Edwards were eating at Carl Junior's. He had a hamburger plain. I had four cheeseburgers. And fries! I always eat a lot when I think of being around him!
Dream #3: John Edwards took me to the mall to pick out a new look for him. I went with "New Romantic" because I really feel the Village People gave up on the look too quickly. If they'd stuck with it a little longer, I really think it would have caught on. When there's a dying trend that needs to be revived, I think John Edwards is just the man!
Dream #4: It was raining. Me and John were walking in the rain. Then it started coming down really hard and I remembered I'd just gotten my spiral perm! I lost all my curls. :( John Edwards' coif still looked gorgeous!
Dream #5: Me and John Edwards made a list of war crimes! Top of our list - anyone who showed Yentl! Oh I love a joke that makes fun of Barbra Streisand! If I were to use my keen sense of framing on Barbra Streisand, I'd rename her Barbra Streidirt! Streidirt! I hate Barbra Streidirt!
Dream #6: Me and John Edwards got married by TD Jakes! He is so groovy. I don't write enough about the non-whites. :( I'm going to try to mention TD Jakes at least once in a blue moon and twice in Black History Month! I'm a progressive!
Dream #7: John Edwards and me on our honeymoon night! He's such a wit. Such a card. He wore tighty whities with "Kiss It" written across the fly. Sigh. Only John Edwards can save the country.
I'm looking forward to reading your comments. Especially if you appreciate the keen mind of John Edwards the way I do.
11:52pm 11-05-05

I guess everyone's still too busy dreaming of John Edwards in tighty whities to post a comment. I'll check tomorrow.
12:01 am 11-06-05

Good morning! I had twelve and a half dreams about John Edwards. One was only a half dream because my cat, Mr. Tittles, insisted upon parking his rear on my face. If you ever woken up to the smell of cat ass, you know how foul that can be!
Gotta go for a morning doughnut run right now but if you want, you can try to guess what my twelve and half dreams were. I need to pick up some baby wipes for Mr. Tittles as well because his tongue must not be doing too good of a job lately. Yuck!
6:50 am 11-06-05

Well I guess everyone's a little shy this morning. I was really hoping that some of my fellow progressives would leave me some feedback. Maybe you're all thinking about John Edwards in tighty whities and can't type with just one free hand HA HA HA HA!
I did use the baby wipes on Mr. Tittles but, honestly, it's like he has something lodged up there. Yuck!
I'm going to go finish off the box of powered doughnuts. The man at Krispy Creme tried to sneak in a chocolate doughnut and I said, "Oh no you don't! Plessy v. Ferguson, buster, Plessy v. Ferguson!"
11:31am 11-06-05

Where is everyone?????????
2:40pm 11-06-05

The Only Thing We Have to Hide Is the Ugly Truth

Move along now and don't ask any questions.

That man over there, we're shipping him in Poland. Shut up or you'll be joining him and, trust us, you don't want to join him. Ten fingers aren't essential but they complete a set and you don't want to risk losing any of yours.

Okay, a little urine got on your Holy book but trust us, it must have come through the air ducts. Urinals can fill up quickly and when you're bladder's 'bout to bust, you improvise.

Some call them stress positions, we prefer to see them as isometric excercises.

Your family and friends? Think of all the time you've been spared hearing them recount their daily activities. Trust us, you're better off here.

You miss them? Well you can thank three years of being locked away in Gitmo for making you appreciate your loved ones. Think of all the people who don't have the luxury to appreciate their loved ones.

We've done you a favor. We are America, home of the brave, land of the free. We walk it like it we talk it, buddy!

Or do we?

Congress members set to visit Guantanmo Bay will not visit unless they can speak to prisoners. The answer, right now, is no. Does the Bully Boy think Congress can't be trusted? Does he think they'll smuggle in box cutters to the prisoners?

Now the UN has delcared it's December 6th visit is off unless they can speak to guards and, this is always the deal breaker for the administration, prisoner.

What exactly is the administration hiding?

The hunger strikes are known. The force feedings are becoming known.

If you were held for three years with no charges brought and no right to a court trial, what lengths would you go to?

What is the government hiding?

Is it something far worse than the photos of Abu Ghraib?

Could it have anything to do with being in a similar position to the one they're in with Jose Padilla? Having staked their reputation on the guilt of those held, they're now trying to save face by refusing to allow anyone contact with the people being held? Has the administration that never knows how to admit they're wrong decided to bury yet another mistake?

For three years now the American public has largely given the administration the benefit of the doubt with regards to those held in Guantanamo Bay. Bully Boy and others called them terrorists, the media (and a large portion of the public) ran with that. Assurances were also made that they were being dealt with fairly and that we were taking measures to ensure that hearings would be held (military tribunals).

It's been three years.

What's the plan now?

We don't appear too concerned about how we look to other nations, are we at all concerned about how we'll look to future generations?

Who wants to explain what gave us the right to detain indefinately to future generations? Who wants to answer the "Well how did you know they were guilty of anything?" question?

When Japanese Americans were interned during WWII it was a stain on the country. It went against everything we are supposed to stand for.

What American principals are being upheld with regards to the Guantanamo detainees?

It's not American soil!" the administration argues -- as if Americans are only bound to the laws and rules of this country when they're on American soul. Jennea Bush goes into a hash bar in Amesterdam next week and twenty years later runs for office do you really think the "I didn't break a law because it's not illegal in Amsterdam!" defense will cut it?

We're supposed to treasure the Constitution and uphold it but the Bully Boy wants to argue that our beliefs only apply when we're on American soil. Patriotism confined to the shorelines apparently.

All that the administration is doing, they're doing in our names. After 9/11, the American public seemed willing to bury their heads in the sand and, like Congress, give the administration a blank check.

Are we all still wetting our beds at night and sucking our thumbs twenty-four seven or have we started to grow up a little? Enough to ask, "What the hell is going on?"

We need to be asking that. It's easy for the Bully Boy to dismiss questions of historical judgements with the reply that he'll be dead by then but historical judgements don't always take centuries. And if indeed he believes in a "higher authority," is he not concerned what will happen should he have to account for his behavior?

How will you account for yours if you continue to remain silent?

Five Books, Five Minutes

Five Books, Five Minutes. A number of you have asked -- Where the hell is it? Here it is. Participating in this discussion are 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.

Jim: We planned to do this for the last edition but ran out of time. Cedric mentioned it in the news review when he noted a poem by Langston Hughes.

Rebecca: "Mother to Son" which Cicely Tyson read at Rosa Parks' memorial. So good choice and props to Cedric.

Cedric: Thanks. I don't remember the poem from The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman. It was new to me when I came across it in the book which Ava had suggested.

Ava: The Dream Keeper and Other Poems with illustrations by Brian Pinkney.

Betty: I enjoy it when we read poetry and one thing I noted with this and the other book was how much more having illustrations make a book of poetry to children. My kids would grab the book and ask me about the pictures. "What's he doing?" They were interested. I enjoyed Hughes' collection but I really enjoyed the book suggested by Billie in an e-mail which was Ruldolfo Anaya's Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez. The illustrations were by Gaspar Enriquez. It was a long wait to get that on loan but it was worth it.

Dona: Billie suggested it at the end of August.

Betty: My kids loved this because the illustrations were in color and in the Hughes book, the drawings are in black ink. The illustration where the young woman is crying was one they, my kids, would always ask for. "Why's she crying?" They knew why because we'd read it and read it but they liked that illustration. There other favorite one was where Cesar is seen smiling as a group of mournings warm their hands over a campfire.

Jess: We should note that Hughes' book is a collection of various poems and Anaya's is one poem illustrated.

Ty: Ceasar is dead,
And we have wept for him until our eyes are dry,
Dry as the fields of California that
He loved so well and now lie fallow.
Dry as the orchards of Yakima, where dark buds
Hang on trees and do not blossom.
Dry as el Valle de Tejas where people cross
Their foreheads and pray for rain.

This earth he loved so well is dry and mourning
For Cesar has fallen, our morning star has fallen.

Elaine: Which is the opening of Elegy for Ceasar Chavez and I will note my favorite poem from Hughes' collection, "Passing Love:"

Because you are to me a song
I must not sing you over-long.

Because you are to me a prayer
I cannot say you everywhere.

Because you are to me a rose --
You will not stay when summer goes.

Mike: Which was really a powerful poem and I was struck by how much Langston Hughes achieved with so few words. Each one, each phrase seemed carefully thought out and converyed so much. "Autom Thought" and "Snail" are perfect examples of that.

Jim: And Dona wants us sticking to time limits tonight so we'll move on to the next book, Janis Karpinkski's One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story written with Steven Strasser. Comments?

Mike: It read like it was told to. Like the other guy took down notes from her or from tapes of her. That made it easy to read but it was a little flat.

Elaine: Which may be her style and I'm not trying to be insulting. She notes that she spent a lifetime trying to ensure that no one could write her off as an "emotional woman." But I know what Mike means, it was kind of cut and dry. That, again, may be a reflection of her personality.
For a field report, it's probably quite lively but it left a lot to be desired for me. I know we're all of muted opinions on this book.

C.I.: I'll note that she had a difficult career in terms of being a "break through" as a woman. I'll note that she takes responsibility and feels that the blame is a shared responsibility. She does stick up for the soldiers who were under her command and that was, is, admirable. If she needed a co-writer, she should have gone with someone who was more like Amy Goodman. I say "more like" because I doubt, I could be wrong, that Goodman has the time or the inclination to serve as a co-writer on someone's autobiography. But in the hour with Karpinski on Democracy Now!, Goodman got to a lot of issues that this book skirts. I'll also nit pick that there seems to be confusion on the part of the writers of this book on a number of reports. Seymour Hersh was working with 60 Minutes II, for instance.

Mike: What about The Times report on the prison she talks about?

C.I.: I'm not remembering a report in The Times, a follow up visit in the spring of 2005. I largely ignore the paper's Iraq "reporting," but I wondered if she was referring to Jane Mayer's article in The New Yorker? There was another instance, beside the Hersh and 60 Minutes II collaboration where I felt the credits were wrong. I wondered where the fact checker was and I stated to Jim and Dona that I was hesitant to say that because it will lead to a dismissal of her own story. Her own story may be correct but the press identifications and the claim that Jessica Lynch was abused by Iraqis should not have made it into print. Karpinski was serving in Iraq and perhaps she didn't get the story we got here or maybe she knows something we don't but I did wonder about the inclusion, in one sentence, that Jessica Lynch was abused by Iraqis.

Jim: Did anyone feel that they were better informed after reading the book?

Wally: I did but I may be the only one.

Jess: If you've got common sense and a basic understanding of the facts, most of the book won't be too surprising. She was the fall guy for abuses at Abu Ghraib and others who were higher up and actually directing the abuses didn't.

Wally: Where I found clarity was in her stuff about people on her same level trapped in the same bind she was where this gets grabbed or taken by agreement and not by anything formalized in writing which really looks like people were looking for fall guys from the start. I also found it news that the cash was just kept around by Americans instead of in a bank and there was no formal procedure for following up on where the money went, how much was spent, etc.

Rebecca: We should make clear that Karpinski asserts she didn't know of the abuses in case anyone's missed the Democracy Now! interview. But, and C.I. was talking about this, that's not really the heart of the book. That's an opening and an ending but, largely, this is her story of her life in the military and the hurdles she had to overcome. In the end, she only bumps up against them again. I feel sympathy for her and agree that the abuse was not the result of a "few bad apples" acting on their own but I also feel like the abuse isn't seriously addressed.

Elaine: I grappled with that and finally, my own feelings, decided that her style is the problem there. She's very to the point, very terse. So saying it was a horror or horrific is a big statement for someone like that. But to write about Abu Ghraib requires more than that and that's one of the areas where Amy Goodman was able to draw her out a bit more in the interview. Another reason to have a co-writer who doesn't mesh, personality wise, easily with Karpinski who identifies so strongly with orders from above must be right.

Wally: Which is actually the downfall, trusting her superior and not using the chain of command to make a stink.

Kat: And I'll say it, I read the book and didn't think we needed to take part in promoting it. I don't care if she has a flat personality or not, I didn't care for the book. Humiliation is okay, torture is not. This is fine, this is not. A lot of black and white in her world and I frankly didn't need to read it. Is it the torture that's so awful to her or the fact that photos were taken? That may be harsh but she doesn't seem overly concerned that the CIA delivers a man to Abu Ghraib who's dead, for instance. It may all fit into her chain of command world but I found it disgusting.
I almost bought the book when we decided to include it just because I was feeling lazy and not wanting to deal with checking out and returning a book. I'm the same way with videos lately and am using pay per view like crazy. But I am so glad I got off my lazy butt and went to the library because I would feel collective guilt if I'd purchased the book and supported the "MI does what MI does" approach that didn't seem to deal with the serious implications of what was going on that didn't emerge, thus far, in photos. I wasn't impressed.

Jim: There was, in discussions while reading the book, serious conflicts expressed and reservations about it. We're including it in the discussion and, hopefully, have provided you with enough to know whether you want to read it or not. Our next book is The Onion Presents Embedded In America: America's Finest News Source Complete News Archives Volume 16.

Wally: I loved this one.

Mike: I laughed my ass off.

Ava: We should note that this collection pulls from The Onion which is a humor magazine.

Jim: Does anyone read The Onion? Anyone? C.I.?

C.I.: Me? No, I don't. I have one friend who thinks it hilarious and sends me stuff from it via e-mail but if you don't put in a personal message, I delete that stuff without reading it or watching it when someone sends a funny video. I have too many e-mails, I'm talking about personal e-mails here not Common Ills stuff, if you don't have something to say, don't waste my time with group forwards.

Mike: So you hated the book?

C.I.: I enjoyed the parodies of feature writing. I felt there was strong inspiration there and a point was being made. With regards to the real news parodies, especially when dealing with the Bully Boy, a lot of it seemed obvious to me. It was silly joke time and it didn't always have a point.

Elaine: Sophomoric humor.

C.I.: I think, from this book, there's tremendous talent involved in the magazine and I think they show it best in their parodies of feature writing but in terms of anything approaching political humor, I wasn't impressed, sorry.

Wally: I liked the book a lot but I don't always get the point, to be honest. I'm just laughing to laugh. I laughed hard at your and Ava's review of Freddie but my mom's the one who pointed out that the point was that Hollywood portrays gay as hyper-feminity and a few other things. So I'll admit that I'm reading to chuckle and not looking at whether or not a point's being made. I wish I'd thought of that before I read the book so I could give some input on it now but I didn't.

C.I.: And I want to be clear that I'm just saying their attempts at political humor were funny at times but overall I felt it was more humor based on a word or phrase and not based on a larger issue. I enjoy political humor, and I'm not speaking of some guy sitting at a piano dashing off ditties, but I didn't find a lot of political criticism in the hmor. With the feature article parodies, I did find a lot of criticism. That's just my own personal taste. Mike loved the book too, Wally, so don't doubt your own reaction. Humor's a personal thing.

Mike: I did love the book and I still do. I'll admit it's like a Pauly Shore movie a lot of the times or Ernest but I like those kinds of movies sometimes. Betty?

Betty: I didn't laugh that much. But I'm the last one to talk. I've reworked and reworked my latest chapter and now I think it's not funny and that it sucks and I'm planning on spending several hours Sunday afternoon trying to fix it but have decided no matter how awful it is, I think it sucks, it's going up just to get something up. They do a weekly magaine and I'm sure they have even more difficult time constraints than I do so I'll give them credit for getting stuff done. But I didn't laugh that much.

Mike: Cedric?

Cedric: I really didn't laugh and stopped a little less than halfway through the book. I can see how a lot of people would enjoy it but it wasn't making me laugh and I felt like, "Okay, I got that joke the first time it popped up.

Mike: So just Wally and me loved it?

Dona: No. Jim loved it. He was reading it in bed and laughing out loud. I told him to put the book down, turn off the light and go to sleep because I had a presentation the next morning in class.

Jim: So instead, I took the book out to the living room and stayed up all night reading it and laughing.

Mike: Okay then. C.I., what was the funniest thing to you?

C.I.: Jackie Harvey's Hollywood pieces were funny in their Larry King meets the mythical Walter Scott of Parade. Like both, the mythical Harvey was hugely out of touch. You could picture him saying, on the eve of the release of Gladiator, Russell Crowe will not become a star.
"Walter Scott" wrote something similar. It's the most slanted, most pro-Bully Boy, pro-Republican gossip column and I felt "Jackie Harvey" captured that perfectly. "Ask A Guy Who Just Ran Nine Blocks" played to me like a Kids in the Hall skit that wasn't cutting it but kept going on and on. The "Community Voices" pieces made me laugh as well. There was a J-Ass piece that wasn't political but it worked because it was mocking the "older cop-younger partner" nonsense that you see on too many Steven Bochco TV series. I didn't hate it and if I subscribed to The Onion, at least half of each weekly issue would make me laugh but I thought the political attempts weren't that funny.

Jim: Our last book was picked by Betty, Nancy Milford's Zelda. Betty, why don't you explain why you picked that?

Betty: Zelda is about Zelda Fitzgerald and I hear of he in school when we read Francis Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night, but I didn't know anything about her really other than "nuts." I wanted to know more about her and saw the book in my library so I selfishly suggested it so I could read about something I wanted and, at the same time, get "credit" for my personal reading. I was really relieved when C.I. and Elaine both e-mailed me, "Great choice."

Elaine: I didn't have to go to the library or a book store for this one. We both, right --

C.I.: Have copies of it on our book shelves? Yeah.

Dona: And I'm going to note that I pitched this book, Saturday evening, as a roundtable discussion on creativity and authorship but Jim shot it down as not "weighty enough" for its own feature, the topic so I insisted that we reserve a large section of time to discuss this book.

Mike: I'll go first because Wally and I were talking about this Saturday morning and we both felt like F. Scott Fitzgerald comes off like a real dick.

Jim: Talk about why you feel that way.

Wally: Well he's using whole sections of his wife's writings in his own work. He may rework it, use it as a blue print, but there's the house and he's saying he built it from his own plans.

Dona: And a hypothesis is that Zelda has her mental problems because she's there to aid her husband's writing and what would life have been like if she's been encouraged in her own pursuit of writing? She's too old, by the time he's establishing himself as a writer, to be a dancer, the ship has sailed. But she's encouraged in terms of lessons by her husband on that impossible dream and is that because he'll do anything to have her scraps of writing to use on his books.

Ava: And some of the short stories were joint pieces.

Jess: And I was saying to Dona earlier this week that authorship is rarely clear. I don't mean to justify F. Scott Fitzgerald's actions or to condemn them but, not having read Save the Last Waltz, I don't know what she was capable of. She might have written a good paragraph or a bad paragraph but reading it may have sparked an idea in F. Scott so authorship isn't always clear.
Rebecca could say, "I hate that it rained last week" and I could grab the guitar later and have a song about rain. Did Rebecca's comment help? Yes. How much? Enough to justify crediting her with the song? Maybe if I'm using her "I hate that it rained last week" in the song but if it just sparked me to write on the same topic, then no.

Ty: I understand where Jess is coming from on that and I've heard it from him all week but, forgetting that Fitzgerald's job is to write, I'm left with the fact that he was her husband and I don't think that the marriage is served.

Ava: And certainly we don't think in terms of "good person" or "bad person" when we're reading a novel unless they did something evil and usually on a large scale but how much did a marriage suffer, with knowledge of it suffering and Zelda suffering, to result in the classic novels that Fitzgerald wrote?

Jim: And --

Dona: No, you can be silent. I wanted this as a feature and you didn't think there was enough in it so don't take up the time right now. "She said sweetly."

Cedric: Because this isn't just a case of a marriage where two people fight or someone's cheating on someone. This is a marriage where one of the two is sick, very sick, and the other is aware of that illness. And it's easy to build up the firewall between the work produced and the ways in which it was produced but we're talking about a biography of Zelda so you do have to evaluate the events and not just say, "Tender Is The Night is a great book!"

Jess: But to produce something, most people have to have a high sense of themselves. You can't plug away, successful or not, if you don't think there's a chance that you might produce soemthing of value. Did he cross that line, F. Scott, becomes the question and, from Zelda, I think most people would say yes. But how much are we removing the artist from the equation is my question?

Ava: And there's the fact that Zelda is destroyed. We don't know whether she would have hit that road any way or not. It certainly is obvious that F. Scott's actions didn't help her. But in another life with another partner would conflicts still have emerged that led her to where she ends up? Jess, I can seperate the artist and the art. Reading it, Zelda, didn't make me think, "Gatsby is trash!" or make me want to toss his books in the trash. But I did feel that there's a credit owed that's not granted. A dedication of thanks does not cover, my opinion, the contributions Zelda was making to his work. That said, a book on him might argue that the strain on him, due to his wife's condition, was unbearable. Does that justify not crediting? To me, it doesn't. I feel the same way about The New York Times' use of stringers to report on Iraq. Everyone of those writers, unless they refuse it, should have co-credit in the byline at the very least. Not reduced to a credit at the bottom of the article.

Rebecca: Ava's comments are making me think of the play Lily Tomlin did . . .

C.I.: The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life In The Universe.

Rebecca: Yes, thank you.

C.I.: Written by Jane Wagner.

Rebecca: The two hookers are being interviewed in the limo --

C.I.: Brandy and Tina.

Rebecca: Right. And after they're done and get out of the limo, one of them makes the point that the article will come out and some guy's going to have his name on it.

C.I.: And Tina says they should have gotten co-credit or that "It should at least say, 'Lived by Brandy and Tina.'" And in The Pelican Brief, the film, Darby Shaw gets co-credit on the article. In the book, she doesn't. The article exposing everything.

Rebecca: But what is 'authorship?' Should Chalabi have shared a byline with Judith Miller on all of her "WMD In Iraq!" stories? Since she was just doing stenography, should Chalabi, Scooter and the rest have all shared bylines?

Wally: What I keep coming back to is that he's using her work. She might be drawing an ope patio and then he takes her blue print and makes it an enclosed one, but its her blue print and she should get credit because if she didn't draft it, he never would have come up with the enclosed patio.

Cedric: And I can get behind that but for me it keeps coming back to forget what his job is, his actions were personally disgusting to me because he's picking the bones of a mentally unbalanced woman and this same woman is the one he chose to marry. He may be a great artist but he's not coming off like even a half-decent person.

Dona: I'm about to call time so I want Kat to jump in here because I'm sure she has something to say on this and I want to be sure she gets the chance to.

Kat: Okay, to me, it's a writing partnership. That's how I see the relationship. But a partnership means shared credit. I laugh whenever Paul McCartney whines "I wrote 'Yesterday' all by myself but John Lennon's name is on it and Yoko gets royalties from it!" Yeah and McCartney gets royalties off of songs Lennon wrote by himself. This is about greed because "Yesterday" is one of the most played songs the Beatles have. Well too bad greedy Paul, you were in a partnership and the terms were you shared credit. The fact that Lennon's dead doesn't mean you can try to steal money from his widow and it doesn't mean that you can go back on the agreement. But with Zelda, she's clearly doing the work of a partner and she's uncredited. How much of that has to do with the times they lived in? A lot of men did what Fitzgerald did on lesser levels. They seem to think throwing out a "Thank you to my wife who read every draft of this" covers it and it doesn't. But Zelda also deserves blame for accepting it. It's like Pat Benetar turning over her career to her husband. Yes, it was socially acceptable in some circles and Benetar probably had pressures. But in the end, Benetar has to take responsibility -- especially for the fact that she gets progressively watered down once he's in charge of the act. The difference is that Zelda was mentally unstable and, as far as we know, Pat Benetar isn't. So how much she could have agreed to or expressed early on is called into question by her later period when the illness is full blown. Another thing to consider is that mental illness was seen differently in that time. There are a lot of variables here but, as outlined by Nancy Mitford, Zelda deserves co-writing credit on the works she helped with either directly or ones that F. Scott took her written ideas and utilized them, reworked or not, in his own writing.

Dona: And that's going to be the last word. If you feel like the discussion on this topic could have and should have continued, direct your angry e-mails to Jim.

Benji's question

Benji e-mails asking to know what one album each of us listened to the most this week.

Cedric: Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business.

Kat: Stevie Wonder's A Time To Love because I was trying to finish the review on it.

Jess: Jackson Browne's Solo Acoustic vol. 1. My complaint about the CD is that there are only twelve tracks. It's Jackson singing while he plays piano or guitar on some of his finest work like Lives In The Balance," "The Pretender" and "These Days."

Rebecca: Michelle Phillips Victim of Romance and blame it on C.I.

Ava: Anais Mitchell's Hymns for the Exiled. Anais Mitchell has a concert coming up in NYC in December. I'm hoping to go to that and very excited about it.

Ty: Sade's Lover's Rock.

Wally: Cowboy Junkies' Early 21st Century Blues. I'm at my grandfather's and headed down there because of the hurricane. I didn't pack any CDs but I had Early 21st Century Blues in the car stereo. I really love the CD and my grandfather will listen to it without rolling his eyes which isn't always a given with music I like.

Jim: The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang.

Betty: I've been in a Diana Ross mood all week so I've listened to several but probably The Anthology by Diana Ross & the Supremes is the one that's played the most. The kids love it and will dance around. Anything that gets them tired and ready for bed is a good thing.

C.I.: Ricke Lee Jones' Live and Acoustic.

Mike: The White Stripes Get Behind Me, Satan is something I can't stop listening to.

Elaine: Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams.

Dona: Joan Baez's Bowery Songs.

La iglesia de Bush exhorta a los soldados estadounidenses a retirarse

La iglesia de Bush exhorta a los soldados estadounidenses a retirarse

Maria: Hola. De parte de "Democracy Now!" once cosas que vale hacer notar este fin de semana. Paz.

La iglesia de Bush exhorta a los soldados estadounidenses a retirarse
El Presidente Bush y Dick Cheney afrontan más oposición a la guerra de Irak, esta vez de su propia iglesia. La semana pasada la Iglesia Metodista Unida aprobó una resolución que pedía el retiro de los soldados de Irak. Una parte de la resolución decía: "Como personas de fe, alzamos nuestras voces para protestar contra la tragedia de la injusta guerra en Irak. Se perdieron miles de vidas y cientos de miles de millones de dólares se desperdiciaron en una guerra que Estados Unidos inició y nunca debió comenzar". La junta de la iglesia también le pidió al Congreso que creara una comisión independiente y bipartidista para investigar el trato de Estados Unidos a los detenidos en el extranjero.

Octubre es el cuarto mes con más bajas estadounidenses en Irak
Las bajas estadounidenses en Irak siguen en aumento. Siete soldados estadounidenses murieron el lunes, elevando a 92 el número de muertes de este mes. Esto provocó que octubre fuera el cuarto mes con más bajas de soldados estadounidenses en la guerra.

Senadores demócratas impusieron una sesión cerrada sobre información previa a la Guerra
El martes en Capitol Hill, los demócratas obligaron a los senadores republicanos a realizar una sesión a puertas cerradas para cuestionar la información utilizada por el gobierno de Bush para justificar la invasión a Irak. En un procedimiento inusual, se pidió al público que se retirara, se cerraron las puertas y se atenuó la iluminación de la cámara del Senado. La información detrás de la invasión estadounidense a Irak sigue siendo un asunto clave tras la acusación la semana pasada de Lewis Libby, jefe de personal del Vicepresidente Cheney, con relación al caso de filtración de que Valerie Plame era una agente encubierta de la CIA. Poco antes de imponer la sesión a puertas cerradas, el líder demócrata de la minoría del Senado, Harry Reid, dijo: "La acusación de Libby permite ver de qué se trata esto realmente, como este gobierno fabricó y manipuló información para "vender" la guerra de Irak e intentó destruir a aquellos que se atrevieran a cuestionar sus acciones". Los republicanos desestimaron la sesión cerrada alegando que era una maniobra política. Sin embargo, acordaron realizar una revisión bipartidista de la investigación de la Comisión de Inteligencia del Senado sobre la información previa a la guerra. Los demócratas dijeron que esta investigación era inadecuada.

Libby renunció luego que se presentaran cinco acusaciones en su contra por el caso de filtración de la CIA
Por primera vez en 130 años, un funcionario de la Casa Blanca ha sido acusado de crímenes cometidos en el desempeño de su cargo. El viernes, Lewis "Scooter" Libby fue acusado de cinco cargos de obstrucción de la justicia, perjurio a un gran jurado y de realizar falsas declaraciones a agentes del FBI durante la investigación de la filtración de la CIA. Si es declarado culpable, Libby afronta hasta 30 años en prisión y 1,25 millones de dólares en multas. Hasta el viernes, Libby era una figura central en la Casa Blanca donde desempeñaba tres altos cargos: jefe de personal del Vicepresidente Cheney, asesor de seguridad nacional del Vicepresidente y colaborador del presidente. El fiscal especial Patrick Fitzgerald anunció que daría curso a la acusación el viernes. El asesor principal del Presidente Bush, Karl Rove, hasta el momento no ha sido acusado por su participación en la filtración de que Valerie Plame, esposa del embajador Joseph Wilson, era una agente encubierta de la CIA. Pero Rove sigue siendo investigado. El domingo, líder de la minoría del Senado, Harry Reid, exhortó a Bush a disculparse y a Rove a renunciar. Bush y Cheney elogiaron a Libby por su desempeño. El principal candidato para reemplazar a Libby es David Addington, quien actualmente es el asesor jurídico del Vicepresidente. Hace tres años Addington escribió un documento que afirmaba que la guerra contra el terrorismo dejaba sin efecto las limitaciones de interrogar a los detenidos de la Convención de Ginebra. El embajador Wilson acusó a Libby y a la Casa Blanca de revelar que su esposa, Valerie Plame, era una agente encubierta. Wilson dijo: "Funcionarios de alto rango del gobierno utilizaron el poder de la Casa Blanca para convertir nuestras vidas en un infierno en los últimos 27 meses. Pero lo que es aún más importante, lo hicieron en un intento por cubrir las mentiras y desinformación utilizadas para justificar la invasión a Irak. Ese es el principal crimen".

Índice de aprobación de Bush sigue cayendo
Nuevas encuestas indican que la confianza de la población en el gobierno de Bush sigue en descenso. Una nueva encuesta de ABC News/Washington Post indica que el índice de aprobación de Bush es de 39 por ciento, el más bajo en toda su presidencia. Mientras tanto, el 46 por ciento de la población encuestada asegura que el nivel de honestidad y ética del gobierno ha decaído bajo el mandato de Bush. Sólo el 15 por ciento considera que Bush ha reestablecido la honestidad y ética al gobierno. Esta noticia surge tras lo que la revista Time describió como la peor semana de la presidencia de Bush. En un período de cuatro días, el número de estadounidenses muertos en Irak superó los 2.000, Harriet Miers renunció a su candidatura a la Corte Suprema y se presentaron cargos contra Lewis "Scooter" Libby, quien renunció. Time lo describió como "la semana infernal" de Bush.

Italia advirtió a Estados Unidos sobre documentos de la vinculación entre Irak y Níger
Mientras tanto, el gobierno italiano dice que advirtió al gobierno de Bush que los documentos que indicaban que Irak intentaba comprar uranio a Níger eran falsos. El Senador italiano Massimo Brutti dijo que la advertencia fue realizada en el mismo período en que Bush afirmó que Irak intentaba comprar uranio a Níger en su discurso de Estado de la Unión en enero de 2003. Más adelante Brutti exhortó a Associated Press que retirara su afirmación. La afirmación acerca de Níger jugó un papel clave en el intento del gobierno de Bush de justificar la guerra de Irak. La información de que Valerie Plame era una agente encubierta de la CIA fue revelada luego de que su esposo, el ex embajador estadounidense Joseph Wilson, cuestionara la vinculación de Irak con Níger.

Human Rights Watch identifica a Polonia o Rumania como ubicación de las prisiones secretas de la CIA
El gobierno de Bush se niega a confirmar o desmentir el informe del Washington Post de que la CIA está utilizando una prisión secreta de la era soviética en Europa del Este para mantener cautivos a prisioneros. La cárcel es aparentemente parte de una red mundial de prisiones administradas por la CIA en varios países. A pedido de funcionarios estadounidenses, el Post no reveló la ubicación de las instalaciones. Human Rights Watch identificó a Polonia y Rumania como posibles ubicaciones, tomando en cuenta los registros de vuelos de aviones de la CIA que transportaban detenidos desde Afganistán. Un portavoz del Ministerio de Defensa de Polonia negó las acusaciones al Financial Times. Un portavoz rumano se negó a hacer comentarios. La agencia de noticias France Presse informa que el Ministro del Interior de la República Checa, Frantisek Bublan, dice que recientemente rechazó un pedido de Estados Unidos para establecer un centro de detención en su territorio.

La Cruz Roja pide tener acceso a detenidos en prisiones secretas
El Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja solicitó tener acceso a los prisioneros detenidos en las prisiones secretas de la CIA en Europa del Este. La existencia de los establecimientos no identificados fueron reveladas en la edición del miércoles del Washington Post. Mientras tanto, la Unión Europea anunció que investigará las denuncias realizadas por Human Rights Watch de que en Polonia y Rumania posiblemente haya prisiones secretas. Ambos países negaron las acusaciones.

Historiador: Agencia de Seguridad Nacional falsificó pruebas del incidente del Golfo de Tonkin
El New York Times informa que surgieron nuevas pruebas acerca del incidente del Golfo de Tonkin en 1964 que precipitó el inicio de la Guerra de Vietnam. Un historiador de la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional (NSA, por sus siglas en inglés) determinó que funcionarios de la agencia falsificaron documentos intencionalmente para que pareciera que Vietnam del Norte había atacado buques destructores estadounidenses en el Golfo de Tonkin. Tras el supuesto ataque, el entonces presidente Johnson ordenó responder con ataques aéreos en blancos de Vietnam del Norte, y utilizó el incidente para persuadir al Congreso de que aprobara la resolución del Golfo de Tonkin, que provocó el inicio de la guerra. El historiador de la NSA determinó que la información puede haber sido falsificada por funcionarios de inteligencia, no por motivos políticos sino para cubrir errores anteriores cometidos por funcionarios de inteligencia. Sin embargo, el Times informa que también se encubrió la explicación del historiador, que fue publicada por primera vez en una revista interna confidencial de la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional en 2001. El artículo del historiador permanece en confidencialidad. Según el Times, quienes hacen las políticas en la NSA temieron que la publicación del estudio histórico podría provocar comparaciones incómodas con la información falsa utilizada para justificar la guerra en Irak.

Se intensifican disturbios en los suburbios de Paris
En Francia, se cumple el octavo día de disturbios en varios suburbios de Paris. La violencia comenzó el 27 de octubre tras la muerte de dos adolescentes en la región pobre de Clichy-sous-Bois. Los dos adolescentes se electrocutaron en una reja eléctrica mientras huían de la policía. Los padres de uno de los jóvenes presentaron una queja ante las autoridades locales. Los suburbios albergan una gran comunidad de inmigrantes del norte de África, donde predomina el desempleo crónico y la pobreza. Los disturbios se extendieron a al menos 20 localidades. La policía dice que ya efectuó más de 140 arrestos. El Ministro del Interior de Francia, Nicolas Sarkozy, es blanco de criticas por llamar a los jóvenes de los suburbios "escoria", y jurar una "guerra sin piedad" contra ellos.

Funeral de Rosa Parks en Detroit
El miércoles en Detroit más de 4.000 personas asistieron al funeral de la pionera de los derechos civiles Rosa Parks. El funeral duró más de siete horas, tres horas más de lo que estaba previsto. Entre los invitados se encontraba el Reverendo Jesse Jackson, el ex Presidente Bill Clinton, y la cantante Aretha Franklin. Parks falleció el 24 de octubre, a los 92 años de edad.

Maria: In English, here are eleven stories fom Democracy Now! Remember that the headlines are provided daily in English and Spanish and please pass on to your friends. Peace.

Bush's Church Calls for U.S. Troop Withdrawal
President Bush and Dick Cheney are facing more opposition about the war in Iraq - this time from their own church. Last week the United Methodist Church passed a resolution calling for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq. The resolution read in part "As people of faith, we raise our voice in protest against the tragedy of the unjust war in Iraq. Thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in a war the United States initiated and should never have fought." The church board also called on Congress to create and independent, bipartisan commission to investigate U.S. treatment of detainees overseas.

October Marks Fourth Deadliest Month for U.S. In Iraq
And U.S. losses in Iraq continue to rise. Seven U.S. soldiers were killed on Monday bringing the monthly death toll to 92. This made October the fourth deadliest month of the war for U.S. troops.

Senate Democrats Force Closed Session on Pre-War Intelligence
On Capital Hill Tuesday, Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into closed session to question intelligence used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq. In the rare move, public spectators were cleared out, the doors were closed and the lights were dimmed in the Senate chamber. The intelligence behind the US invasion of Iraq remains a key issue with last week’s indictment of Vice President Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby over the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Shortly before forcing the closed session, Democratic Senate Minority leader Harry Reid said: "The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions." Republican leaders dismissed the closed session as a political stunt. However, they agreed to a bi-partisan review of a Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into pre-war intelligence. Democrats have called the investigation inadequate.

Libby Resigns After Five Count Indictment in CIA Leak Case
For the first time in 130 years, a White House staff member has been indicted for crimes committed in the office. On Friday, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents during the CIA leak investigation. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines. Until Friday Libby was a central figure in the Bush White House holding three top positions: chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, national security adviser to the vice president and assistant to the president. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the indictment on Friday. President Bush's chief advisor Karl Rove has so far escaped indictment for his role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson. But Rove remains under investigation. On Sunday Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called on Bush to apologize and for Rove to resign. Bush and Cheney have both praised Libby for his service. The top candidate to replace Libby is David Addington who currently works as the vice president's legal counsel. Three years ago he wrote a memo that asserted the war on terrorism renders obsolete the Geneva Convention's limitations of questioning detainees. Ambassador Wilson accused Libby and the White House of outing his wife, Valerie Plame. He said, "Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months. But more important, they did it as part of a clear effort to cover up the lies and disinformation used to justify the invasion of Iraq. That is the ultimate crime."

After "Week From Hell" Bush's Approval Rating Drops
New polls show that the public trust in the Bush administration has reached a new low. A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll has found Bush's approval rating to be just 39 percent - the lowest of his presidency. Meanwhile 46 percent of the country says the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined under Bush. Only 15 percent of the country feel Bush has restored honesty and ethics to the government. This comes after what Time Magazine described as the worst week of Bush's presidency. Within a span of four days the U.S. death toll in Iraq topped 2,000, Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court and Lewis Scooter Libby was indicted and resigned. Time described it as Bush's QUOTE "Week from Hell."

Italy Warned US On Iraq-Niger Documents
Meanwhile, the Italian government says it warned the Bush administration documents purporting to show an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger were fakes. Italian Senator Massimo Brutti said the warning was issued around the same time President Bush made the claim in his State of the Union speech of January 2003. Brutti later called the Associated Press to retract the statement. The claim played a key part in the Bush administration’s attempts to justify the war on Iraq. CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity was leaked after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, questioned the Iraq-Niger connection.

HRW Identifies Poland or Romania as Location of Secret CIA Prison
The Bush administration is refusing to confirm or a deny a Washington Post account that the CIA is using a secret, Soviet-era prison run in Eastern Europe to hold prisoners. The prison is apparently a part of global network of CIA-run prisons in several countries. At the request of US officials. the Post did not reveal the location of the facilities. Human Rights Watch has identified Poland and Romania as likely locations, citing flight records of CIA aircraft transporting detainees from Afghanistan. A spokesperson for the Polish defense ministry denied the allegations to the Financial Times. A Romanian spokesperson declined comment. Agence France Presse is reporting Czech Republic Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan says his country recently turned down a US request to set up a detention center on its territory.

Red Cross Calls for Access to Detainees in Secret Prisons
The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for access to detainees held in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. The unidentified facilities were revealed in Wednesday's Washington Post. Meanwhile, the European Union announced it would be looking into allegations made by Human Rights Watch that Poland and Romania are the likely sites of the prisons. Both countries have denied the allegations.

Historian: NSA Falsified Gulf of Tonkin Evidence
The New York Times is reporting new evidence has emerged about the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 that precipitated the escalation of the Vietnam War. A National Security Agency historian has determined officers at the agency knowingly falsified intelligence in order to make it look as if North Vietnam had attacked U.S. destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf. Following the alleged attack, Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnamese targets and used the event to persuade Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which led to the escalation of the war. The NSA’s historian determined the intelligence may have been falsified not for political reasons but to cover up earlier mistakes made by intelligence officers. However, the Times reports there has also been a cover up of the historian’s account, which was first published in a classified in-house journal of the National Security Agency in 2001. The historian’s article remains classified. According to the Times, policymakers at the NSA feared the release of the historical study might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq.

Riots Intensify in Paris Suburbs
In France, clashes intensified as rioting in several Paris suburbs entered its eight day. The violence started October 27 following the deaths of two teenagers in the poor area of Clichy-sous-Bois. The two teens were electrocuted in a power grid while fleeing from police. One of the child’s parents has filed a complaint with local authorities. The suburbs are home to a large North African community and plagued by chronic unemployment and poverty. Unrest has now spread to at least 20 towns. Police say they’ve made over 140 arrests. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has drawn criticism for calling the suburban youths "scum," and pledging a "war without mercy" on them.

Funeral Service Held For Rosa Parks in Detroit
In Detroit Wednesday, over 4,000 mourners attended a funeral service for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. The service lasted over seven hours, three hours past its scheduled time. Guests included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former President Bill Clinton, and singer Aretha Franklin. Parks died on October 24th at the age of 92.

Blog spotlight: Are we getting serious?

Are we getting serious? That's the question Elaine asked this week at Like Maria Said Paz.

"War would end if the dead could return"
Mike and I are noting the same two things from Democracy Now!

October Marks Fourth Deadliest Month for U.S. In Iraq
And U.S. losses in Iraq continue to rise. Seven U.S. soldiers were killed on Monday bringing the monthly death toll to 92. This made October the fourth deadliest month of the war for U.S. troops.

Report: 40 Iraqis Die in U.S. Bombings Near Syria
In Iraq, hospital officials in the town of Qaim say up to 40 people were killed Monday in U.S. bombings near the Syrian border. An Iraqi doctor said many of the killed were women and children. Local residents said U.S. aircraft carried out a series of bombing raids beginning shortly after midnight and continuing until dawn. Military officials said they were targeting safehouses used by a local Al Qaeda leader.

The dying continues. The deaths keep mounting. Today the Senate went into a closed door session on Iraq called by Harry Reid. Reid reportedly confronted Pat Roberts on his broken promise. Prior to the election, Roberts promised to hold an investigation into the "intelligence" that got us into war. That investigation hasn't been held.
Are we getting ready to ask the serious questions, the ones that the country needs asked and answered?
On the radio yesterday, I heard this from Harry Waxman (consider it a paraphrase because these are from my own notes), "We've never had a day of hearings in the Congress of the United States, neither the Senate, nor the House. If you could hold that in contrast with what the Republicans did when Clinton was president, they had 10 days of hearings on whether Clinton used his White House Christmas card list for political purposes. But here, something as important as the manipulation of intelligence and other information by this administration to convince the American people to go to war under false pretenses, I think we ought to investigate it."
So how serious is Harry Reid? Is this a moment of truth or just some raw meat tossed out to the base? This is serious and Harry Reid better be. Americans are turning against the war. The trend is holding. We're looking for leadership and the Democrats can't just stand on the sidelines, they have to offer some hope to the people. Getting us out of an illegal war would give hope. They need to stake out the ground now because as the 2006 elections get closer, Bully Boy will probably pull a Nixon.
C.I. and I were talking about this. The war is too unpopular for him to let his party campaign on it. So he may offer some "secret plan" like Nixon did. If he does that, he and his party will have a position, a phoney one, but a position none the less. No matter how phoney their positions have been in the past, when Democrats have refused to speak up, a lot of people fall for the nonsense, especially with a compliant media perfectly willing to repeat what ever the administration puts out without ever questioning it.We need leadership and the Democrats better be serious about providing it.
A year ago, cowardliness was bad enough but now with the trend holding in the polls of people feeling the war was a mistake, it's time for leadership.
Otherwise, this war will go on and on and the casualities will continue to mount.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center):
War would end if the dead could return.
Stanley Baldwin

posted by Elaine @ 7:10 PM

Blog Spotlight: Rebecca comes not to praise Nightline but to bury it

While others fretted that a really lame, right-wing tiltin', adminstration ass kissin' program was drawing to a close and being replaced with three anchors, one of whom is most famous for interviewing Michael Jackson, Rebecca cut to the heart of the matter at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.

ted koppel go away already

The indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the CIA leak investigation was major news. Libby--who promptly resigned from his position as Dick Cheney's chief of staff--is portrayed in the indictment as repeatedly, and deceptively, claiming he learned about Valerie Plame Wilson's classified status at the CIA from reporters. This explains why special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was so adamant about getting reporters to testify.
After Friday's announcement of the indictments(10/28/05), however, some journalists seemed to think that the story was not so newsworthy. On ABC's Nightline, Ted Koppel devoted only a few minutes to the indictment before beginning a scheduled town hall meeting on disaster preparedness. Koppel offered the following explanation:
"Scooter Libby's indictment today is indisputably a major story. It was the lead on all the television network news programs earlier this evening. It will be the object of banner headlines in all of your morning newspapers tomorrow. As for its real impact on the lives of most American, though, not much. Not really. That's the strange thing about our business, the news business. Often, what seems so important to us, reporters that is, is of little or no consequence to many of you."
Why Libby's indictment is "of little consequence" is worth some explanation. Valerie Wilson's job at the CIA was preventing the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction; if blowing her cover jeopardized that work, then this story certainly does affect all Americans.

the above is from an e-mail fair sent out. (you can sign up to get their alerts. i recommend you do.)

ted koppel's so annoying. henry kissinger's best friend has never been a 'brave journalist.' but since he doesn't do live remotes from aruba, people have mistaken his dullness for 'integrity.'

integrity doesn't lead to be embarrassed this year when your mash notes to henry kissinger are made public.

integrity doesn't allow for bullshit claims of 'we were all wrong.' we weren't all wrong. and if ted koppel had any 'integrity' he'd apologize to the american people.

when he leaves his crappy show we'll see tributes (c.i. and were laughing about this today - i hope that cheered up c.i.) and we'll all be called on to applaud him for his service. but he's been a schill for his friends for years.

1 of the guests who's been on nightline the most is henry kissinger, which tells you a great deal.

if he was a real news person, he would have featured anti-war voices and he would have seriously examined the case for war. he didn't and he didn't.

he was 1 more cheerleader and he can't take responsibilty for his actions.retired? he should be fired. for journalistic malpractice.

instead, he's headed over to hbo where hopefully no 1 will watch him.a friend said to me today, 'but becky, when we get the crap that replaces him, you'll feel different.'

no, i won't.i'd prefer crap to disinformation given an air of dignity.

crap is crap. some people like it, some people don't. but most people know it's crap.with ted koppel's bullshit, people bought into it.

you can hear them whining 'oh ted's leaving' when they should be applauding.

it's been big business, war machinery and other nonsense at nightline. nightline has not served the people or featured them.

and let's be really clear here, this is a program that devoted not just an episode to the anniversary of the crappy film animal house (a favorite of matt cooper which gives you an idea of what a piece of crap it is), ted also 'probed' madonna over 'justify my love.' this was a hiar above a barbara walters special so let's not kid.

republicans wanted to cripple jimmy carter and ted koppel was there. republicans wanted to smear bill clinton and ted koppel was there. scooter libby is indicted and ted koppel is where?he's bullshit, he's always been bullshit just like he's always looked like a freak with big ears.

pull his ass of the air already.

Blog spotlight: What doesn't get covered

Last weekend, Ty noted the Paris riots in our news review. The media took a couple of days to show interest. What gets attention and what doesn't is always interesting in this country. One thing that's gotten little attention is the conditions on the ground in south Florida. We're highlighting this post from Wally's The Daily Jot. Judge for yourself if the national media (TV and print) is covering it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

World Can't Wait (but national media can on Bully Boy and Florida and probably everything else)
Just got off the phone with C.I. and hope everyone who can will participate in the World Can't Wait events. It's important to be counted if you're able to.
The photo above is a peace sign from the cover of The Cowboy Junkies' Early 21st Century Blues CD. That's a really good CD, so check it out. The first thing I ever did with The Third Estate Sunday Review was help with their review of that and Dolly Parton's Those Were The Days. Mike had called me earlier that Saturday saying, "You got to get The Cowboy Junkies!" over and over, so I did. Good CD. It'll soothe you. Unless, like me, you're in Florida wondering where the hell the national media is?
While we were on the phone, I got C.I. to read the New York Times' coverage of Florida from today and yesterday.
Florida: Fishing ban is overturned
A two-month ban on recreational grouper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico was overturned Monday, a day before it was scheduled to go into effect. Judge John E. Steele of Federal District Court ruled that federal officials went too far when they outlawed all grouper fishing to protect one species, red grouper. The restrictions were to have established a closed season for grouper in November and December in federal waters and reduced the daily bag limit of the fish to one from two. The decision means that many species of grouper can be caught in federal waters, beyond nine miles offshore in the Gulf. Red grouper remains off limits in those waters through December.
That's an Associated Press thing (in full) from "National Briefing."
Florida: Trick-or-Treaters told to proceed with caution
Government officials in South Florida urged parents not to let their children go trick-or-treating after dark because of power failures and fallen power lines affecting much of the area a week after Hurricane Wilma. "If your kids don't need to go door to door trick-or-treating this year, they probably shouldn't," Lt. Bill Schwartz of the Miami police said. "If you can find an alternative like a mall, we highly recommend it." Public schools in Boward Country were closed through at least tomorrow and in Miami-Dade through today. Florida Power and Light said it had restored power to about 25 percent of the 3.3 million people who lost power after the hurricane. But it said some areas might not get power back until Nov. 22.
Also Associated Press also "National Briefing."It sure is nice to be a "briefing." I asked C.I., when NYC had their day of blackout, how did that play in the paper of record? Front paged. No surprise there.
On the trick-or-treating, it was also because of "debris" from the hurricane and it was much stronger here than the Associated Press paragraph lets on. Then we're reading that 25% of the people who lost power have had it restored. But in some radio reports they say 77%. I don't think anyone's gotten an honest accounting and I don't think they'll get one because the national press isn't interested in this story.
Let me tell you what else you're not being told by the national paper of record. Jeb Bush called off city elections that were to have taken place yesterday in Miami-Dade (including the election of Miami's mayor). Students are missing classes because of the damage done by the hurricane and the lack of a quick response. Jeb's offering waivers because the school's won't meet the compliance demands. Depeche Mode has cancelled their concert, the one that was to kick start their tour, scheduled in Fort Lauderdale. You hearing much about the way it's effecting migrant farm workers?
Maybe if we talk about the effect it's had on college football, some might pay attention?
Did you hear about Tuesday's rainfall? In Broward, you had an apartment complex's roof cave in due to the damage from the hurricane combined with yesterday's rain. They're saying 500 people are now homeless. This story didn't end when the hurricane swept through Florida but the national media acts like it has. You've got complexes and condos that are unsafe and people wondering where they're supposed to go.
And guess what one answer was in Miami? You could stay overnight at a motel. The motel didn't have electricity, but you could stay there. And this "solution" came from the city government.
Where's the national media?
Tomorrow I'll try to be my usual smart ass self. This isn't supposed to be The Daily Florida. But one day without power in NYC is a massive, national news story. What happens in Florida isn't apparently cause for concern. But when a fishing ban is overturned, count on the New York Times to give you that news.
If I was on campus and classes were going on (some campuses are suffering from power shortages as well), I'd walk out at noon to honor World Can't Wait. If you're able to, I hope you will. Peace.

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