Sunday, July 09, 2006

Blog Spotlight: Kat subbing for the substitute

Kat calls this her "subbing for the substitute post."  We enjoyed it and think you will as well.
Kat here. Betty didn't realize that her first day of blogging for Rebecca would be on a Wednesday. That's a church note for her. I told her this afternoon not to worry, that I'd grab it for her. Rebecca and I have done joint posts so I don't think she'll mind and I'm sure she'll change the password as soon as she gets back (not because she doesn't trust Betty but because Rebecca is always on all of backs to change our passwords -- "Did you change your password this week?").

So she and Elaine are off on an island getting tanned, getting tipsy (dare I say, "Drunk!"?), with their boyfriends (though we're all suppose to put "current" in front of Elaine's boyfriend). (To indicate that things are not permanent.)

Dennis Bernstein is talking about Iraq right now on Flashpoints and interviewing a woman about the March event where it appears a woman was raped, then murdered along with three members of her family. The kidnappings, the killings, and America won't wake up to reality. Idiots like Hillary Clinton think it's "responsible" to stay over there. Would you stay in a bad marriage? (We already know she would.) Is that responsibility?

In December of 2004, C.I. wrote "Should This Marriage Be Saved?" and that's still the question. The one our 'brave' politicians avoid. Instead it's "Oh, we can't pull out!" What is this, sex?
I mean really, there was an article I was reading yesterday where a soldier was talking about how going into Falluja was like "birth," like leaving the womb. Is that what they think? Really?
Well if that's the fucked up way they're thinking, then no surprise.

Is it like some guys who seem to think that sex is like a battering ram? I'm serious (and Rebecca will love it that I'm talking about sex), there have been some guys who seemed to think their pelvises need to smash through mine. A few times, I was like, "Hey, you're in already. Calm down."

Here's what I think Iraq is going to be like, Bully Boy's limp dick is going to be slammed up against Iraq over and over, repeatedly, because he thinks he'll get lift off at some point? He won't. He's asexual.

As much as he delights in the fear and the blood, even that can't excite him. It's like the old joke about, "Is that what it takes for LBJ to get off?" during Vietnam.

C.I. really let Dexy have it this morning. If you haven't read it, go read "NYT: Falluja Dexy starts whitewashing Ramadi." It's incredible. C.I. may be the only one staying on Dexy's "reporting" but C.I. may be all we need. If you'll think back, you'll remember that the majority of the Judith Miller whiners showed up late. They stayed silent. Cowardice or ignorance, I don't know. But C.I.'s bird-dogged Dexy since November of 2004.

For anyone who noticed the opening line, Dexy "was born trash, he'll die trash" -- yes, C.I. was the person I quoted in a review with that line. C.I. said, after it went up, "Kat, you could have put my name to it." I knew I could have, but I felt like I'd have to explain the quote -- how this isn't "trailer trash" this is "human trash." C.I. didn't care. The line means this person is human waste and will never be anything but human waste. I think with Dexy it's obvious but if I had i.d.ed C.I. in the review, I think a lot of people would wonder, "Is this because the person started out poor and is a hick?" That's not what it's about.

It's about human trash. Liars like Dexy.

And to be honest, I'm sick of the fact that he hasn't gotten called out. He lied his way through Falluja and now he's doing the same with Ramadi. I blame our media critics (I'm not talking about bloggers) who have given Dexy a huge pass. They didn't with Judith Miller. They couldn't shut up about her. But that was only after it was safe.

I'm appalled by how many have given Dexy a pass. Even after he's outed as the military propagandist by the Washington Post. And I agree with something Rebecca put up here a few weeks back, about how CounterSpin (a good program) includes that and drops it. They do a few lines and then they're off talking about Bill O'Lielly. What?

What's the bigger story? I say it's that Dexy is the one the military goes to to push propaganda.
I think there's been way too much granting of passes to Dexy. FAIR has done better but that doesn't excuse CounterSpin (CounterSpin is FAIR's radio program). K-k-k-k-kat! Where are the links?

Kiss my ass. I'm not linking to people who could've called Dexter Filkins out repeatedly between then and now. If they had, if they'd done their job, he wouldn't be in Ramadi now providing more whitewashes. I'm sorry but a lot of media critics, brave or pretend to be brave, have blood on their hands.

It's not just the liars like Dexy, it's also the ones who refused to seriously address his 'reporting.'
They should have glommed on him. There is no reason in the world that C.I.'s the only one pointing out the problems with Dexy's 'reporting.'

When I listen to CounterSpin today, I know there's a good chance on any weekly episode that Judith Miller's name will come up. Miller got us over there, as C.I. points out, it's the liars like Dexy that keep us there. So I'm not impressed. I think it's been either cowardly or a case of fiddeling while Rome burned.

If Filkins had been outed for all his crimes, propaganda, turning Falluja into a video game, not reporting on white phosophorus, relying on Rita Katz and SITE for both translations and opinions, not noting Katz's questionable history or the fact that SITE gets money from the government, go down the list.

40 years from now, people will slam Dexy's Falluja (and Ramadi) 'reporting.' The only one who won't have to hang their head in shame is C.I. What's CounterSpin going to do? Point out that they did one item where 1/2 of it was about Dexy?

I don't love CounterSpin as much as Ruth, but I do love the program. It's been so disappointing that we're at WAR and they've done so very little. They aren't the only ones. For instance, they're not the ones who did two segments today, one on Mexico's elections (that didn't even air the Zapatista's opinion but allowed a guest to slam them) and then one on Iraq. The Iraq segment wasn't even fifteen minutes. In that segement, supposedly on the fast (which I took part in), they tried to cover the rape, murder story, an arrest of one veteran, and a hundred things else. BUT THEY STILL DIDN'T NOTE THAT THE US GOVERNMENT HAS ADMITTED TO KEEPING BODY COUNTS!

That's how we treat the war?

It's not good enough. None of the independent coverage is.

This is really getting ridiculous.

The Mexico segment, blaming the Zapatistas in the brief comments on it, reminded me of what Greg Palast always says: "I don't care which rich guy wins." But the segment did. There wasn't a lot of concern for the voters being expressed. It was all how nice the 'liberal' was and how he was being denied what should be his right and blah, blah, blah. The Zapatistas were the "Ralph Naders" being blamed for the fact that the so-called liberal didn't do better. Well maybe he should have tried harder? Maybe it's his campaign's fault that the election is so close? The way it was Al Gore and John Kerry's fault that the elections were so close in 2000 and 2004.

So the Zapatistas were the scapegoat today. Bad Zapatistas for not engaging in the voting process to pick a lesser of two evils. I disagree. And I'm getting real tired of our independent media being obsessed with the two party system.

Was the election crooked? As Maria said to me, "What election in Mexico isn't?" She just got back from Mexico, by the way, this morning. She took her kids to see their relatives. And though she didn't have a problem getting back across the border, her parents did. (They are all citizens of this country.) That's a story. "Boo-hoo, the 'liberal' didn't get enough votes that he should have because the Zapatistas sat out" isn't a story. Not for independent media.

Maria said most of her relatives didn't even bother to vote because it was obvious that the 'left' choice was another Vincent Fox (whom they see as a triangulator like Bill Clinton). I asked her, "Are they Zapatistas?" They aren't. They're upper-lower class and they just didn't see any program helping them from the 'left' candidate. They thought it was shameful the way his campaign tried to run from certain things (like an association with Hugo Chavez). They felt he offered them nothing and that he revealed himself in the campaign, repeatedly, to be weak.

I asked her what she thought of the segment (the l-o-o-o-o-n-g segment) this morning? She said she thought they should bring on people who weren't 'vested' in the results.

"If they had," she said, "there might have been a serious conversation about the vote. Instead you had a bunch of people saying 'Oh, he's so wonderful.' Kat, I didn't see anyone in the lower class or upper lower class that was outraged by the vote. They didn't think it was going to matter either way. There wasn't any unrest. Maybe some will be stirred up. But I was there and I know what I saw. Maybe the White people ask the questions they want and get the answers they want? No one felt the need to front to me."

Dennis is talking about the issue of immigration. Somehow that seems more important to me.
I'm really getting tired of people wasting time.

And we are at war. C.I. wondered this week or last if the right-wing cares more about the war (continuing it) then the left does (stopping it) because the coverage indicates that the left has eighty million topics they'd rather explore than the war. And I'm taking note and when pledge drive comes around I'll be reducing my pledge amount. I'm sorry that's how I feel. The war needs to be front and center not something you pick up every now and then, not something that gets shorted in coverage because you want to rehash an election that there's no final count on.

Rebecca noted her grandmother's scrapbook and how, when she leafted through it, there were stories and stories from each day. This was during WWII.

People need to get serious. This is nonsense. The war will keep going on until people start putting it front and center. Should it be the only topic? No. But it should be the big topic if we're serious about ending the war. If we're not, well keep on giving Dexy a pass, keep on whining about how unfair the Mexican elections were (when the count's not even complete).
I'm getting real tired of it. And I'm getting real tired of giving money to independent media that could go elsewhere. It's a waste if the war is a sidenote. And that's what the war's been for the last two weeks. If things haven't changed when the next pledge month rolls around, don't be surprised to see me post "Why I Won't Be Giving Money."

I didn't expect to go on so long. Hopefully, there was something of value. Betty blogs here tomorrow night. You'll love here. Rebecca's not sure how long her vacation will be. She knows it will be at least two weeks but may go longer. (Elaine's only on a one week break.) Here's
C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Iraq snapshot.
Violence and chaos continue. Monday on
KPFA's Flashpoints, Dahr Jamail told Nora Barrows-Friedman, "It really is horrible to try to keep in context the level of violence . . . Here we are doing it again with no end in sight and I wonder just how long we'll continue doing it? . . . Things are not just staying the same in Iraq, it's getting exponentially worse."
How long before the mainstream press admits that?
In kidnapping news, Raad al-Harith and his body guards have been released. al-Harith is the deputy electricity minister in Iraq who
was kidnapped Tuesday. The AFP reports that, "after being held for 10 hour," the bodyguards and al-Hareth were released but that is not the case with regards to Taiseer Najeh Awad al-Mashhadni who was kidnapped Saturday. al-Mashhadani's kidnappers, the AFP reports, "issued demands including special protection for Shiite places" and "called for the release of detainees in US custody and a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops".
Both al-Harith and al-Mashhadni were kidnapped in Baghdad. Remember Baghdad? The "crackdown"? The press seems to have largely forgotten it. As the
AFP notes regarding the continued bombings in Baghdad: "The series of blasts come despite an ongoing security plan that has put some 50,000 Iraqi soldiers and police, backed by US forces on the streets."
Basra, which was also placed under a state of emergency also appears largely forgotten.
Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reports: "The state of emergency ended Saturday, but residents said that little had changed: Shiite militias and tribes still control the city's streets, political factions still fight for control of the city, and Shiite Muslim militias still threaten Sunni Muslims with death. Morgue officials report that the number of people killed in sectarian violence remains unchanged."
Baghdad? The
BBC reports that a car bomb near a mosque resulted in at least six dead and at least 17 wounded. AFP notes a bomb "outside a restaurant . . . noteworthy for the massive banners praising Shiite martyrs it displayed" that killed at least one and wounded at least seven as well as another bomb that went off in a market and wounded at least ten peopole. Reuters notes a car bomb in Kirkuk that left three wounded and a roadside bomb that left two wounded. In Mosul, AFP reports, a police officer and a civilian lost their lives when a car bomb exploded (at least four other people were wounded).
Near Kirkuk,
AFP reports, "a headless male corpse" was discovered. Reuters reports the discovery of two corpses in Kerbala. AP notes the discovery of a corpse ("shot in the head) in Baghdad.
Shooting deaths?
AFP reports a Kurd was killed while driving his car in Kirkuk. In Mosul, Reuters counts four dead from gun shots. In Baghdad, AP reports that a drive by targeted a Shi-ite family, "killing a 12-year-old boy and wounding his brother and two other relatives."
Reuters reports that the central morgue in Baghdad places the body count for June at 1,595. Abdul Razzaq al-Obaidi states: "June is the highest month in terms of receiving cases of violence since" the Februrary 22nd bombing of the Golden Mosque.
To underscore, the waves of Operation Happy Talk that the peace plan/scam was a 'turning point,' that the death of Zarqawi/"Zarqawi" was a 'turning point,' go down the list -- there has been no 'turning point.'
On Tuesday, Iraq's justice minister Hashim Abdul-Rahman al-Shebli made a call for an independent investigation into the alleged rape of an under-age Iraqi female as well as her alleged murder and that of three of her family members. Today, the Associated Press reports, Nouri al-Maliki (Iraq prime minister and puppet of the illegal occupation) is following al-Shebi's call for an independent investigation. Canada's CBC notes that today was the first time he spoke publicly on the matter . This despite the fact that Green was arrested Friday (news broke on Monday) and the US announced the investigation on Friday. Though various reports mention the alleged involvement of others, thus far only Steven D. Green has been charged. Today on KPFA's The Morning Show, Sandra Lupien noted that the military has gone from referring to Green having an alleged "personality disorder" to his having an "anti-social personality disorder." Lebanon's The Daily Star reports that Safiyya al-Suhail and Ayda al-Sharif (both serve in Iraq's parliament, both are women) are asserting that al-Maliki needs to appear before parliament "to give assurances the US troops would be punished."

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