Sunday, June 08, 2008

A note to our readers

Hey --
As promised, here's the note.

There's a lot to cover and I (Jim) will try to be quick because we just spend two hours putting in illustrations and that's put C.I. two hours behind on The Common Ills. ("There'll be only one entry, blame Jim," says C.I.)

So let's start with who worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of 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,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

And of course Dallas. Thanks to Isaiah for his comic we reposted. Illustrations not done by him are either credited (or will be here) or were done for this site. Betty's eldest son worked on the bulk if not all of them and some he may have done by himself. (We're rushed and don't have time for specifics. If you got to school with him and he says he worked on it or did all by himself, that's the way it was.) Here's what we've got.

Truest statement of the week -- This went up tonight. We didn't have a truest and the e-mails today asked, "Where's the truest!" So there's your truest, Ellen Willis.

Editorial: Know Your History! You Have The Right! -- A Courage To Resist and a Sir! No Sir! ad are used as illustrations in this. A war resister contacted C.I. last week and another early Sunday morning. Both are in Canada and know C.I.'s cell number. C.I.'s pretty much had it (to put it mildly) with the fact that all this time later people are still not being told the real history of war resistance during Vietnam. You saw C.I., three weeks ago, go over the basics on the 'draft' in every snapshot that week because people kept saying Canada only welcomed "draft dodgers" then so, since there's no draft today, there's no reason for Canada to give them asylum. C.I. linked to Ford's speech and many other things doing remedial snapshots for an entire week and Mike picked up on it as well to amplify that. Though they still play dumb in the US, a few real journalists in Canada started telling it like it was. That entire history is unknown. Even the brilliant Sir! No Sir! doesn't give you the entire history -- largely because it is focused on the war resisters itself as it should be. But their actions had impact. So last week, C.I. started hitting on the point that no one in Congress today is calling for asylum for war resisters; however, back then, you had Democrats and Republicans in Congress calling for it. It made an impact with two war resisters in Canada that called C.I. and so we bumped the planned topic (also on war resistance) to raid C.I. and Elaine's minds (and C.I.'s journals) for a few incidents from back then that are not known today.

TV: The Ugly People's Orgy -- Your e-mails said you were fine, when Ava and C.I. honored the writers' strike by shelving reviews of entertainment televsion and focusing on non-scripted. When the strike was over and they began blending to the two for one commentary, you said that was cool. But you obviously missed the entertainment TV commentaries. A record number of longterm readers e-mailed today to sing their praises. There was a chance, going into this edition, that Ava and C.I. would blend. They tossed that out the window due to the nature of the rest of the edition. They figured (rightly) with the hard hitting nature of every piece, a strictly entertainment TV commentary would add something to the mix. A few of you are e-mailing to ask, "So they're done with public affairs for awhile?" They don't know. They have no idea what they'll tackle next Sunday. Maybe it will be another like this one, maybe it will be a blend, maybe it will just be public affairs programming. Ava says, "Accept for what it is today because we don't even want to think about next Sunday, we just want to get some sleep."

The VA Computer Breach You Don't Know About (Jim) -- I didn't argue for this to be so high in the listings. I felt it should come after the four-part series. Ava and C.I. pointed out that, "Forget the topic's important, when someone does a byline piece, we try to put up near the top."
The editorial always comes before the note then the most popular feature article (Ava and C.I.'s piece) and then the next slot goes to what we think is the strongest. I don't think this is the strongest but that's fine. I wrote this and have a note at the end where I give credit to Ava and C.I. for their help and I hope I express my gratitude enough. They found the story, they wrote about it three times. I followed their leads. They answered 10 questions before I wrote it (after saying they'd have no involvement with the writing of it) because we'd all forgotten about it. Kat, Mike, Elaine, Rebecca, Marcia, Cedric, Ruth, Betty and Wally remembered the article hadn't been written when they wrote "Highlights." The orginal ending was "southern state." Ava and C.I., when I was reading it out loud, said hold on, talked amonst themselves, and then said, "Jim, the state is Texas." I couldn't find that out. (They know the city, they know the street address of the building, they know the office number where the breach took place, the office number where the investigators questioned people in the building. They found out all of that, after catching an off hand remark, and working the phones.) I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to those in the government who, when I identified myself as a friend of Ava and C.I.'s, spoke with me. (And some hung up. But thank you to the ones who spoke to me.)

Piggies on parade -- This begins the four-part series. Mike, C.I. and I thought this up (a four-part series) while on a morning run last week. It was (a) the male sexism, (b) the Queen Bees, (c) the silent and (d) the lectures to women. This one focuses on the male sexists and, judging by the e-mails that came in since this posted this morning, it's the most noted. We figured that would be the case and that's why it's higher up in the listings. (Again, I would have been fine with my solo piece appearing in the listings after this four-part series.)

What Did You Do In The War, Mommy? -- Mike may remember this differently, but we were talking about all the crap thrown at Hillary and by who on our run and Mike made a joke that I forget and C.I. responded, "What did you do in the war, Mommy?" (A Blake Edwards film, What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?, was just released on DVD. We all recommend it.) That led to a lengthy discussion, during our run, of exactly how these Queen Bees intend to explain, five or ten years from now, their attacks on Hillary?

Norman Solomon remembers 'the ladies' -- Mike, on the run, was specifically talking about Mark Karlin's insulting b.s. editorial where he lectured "the little ladies." We include that in piggies. However, Norman Solomon showed up last week with his own "talk" (talk down to) "the little ladies." So this become a response to that.

Ms.went from playing dumb to outright insulting -- The silence. The lies from Ms. about the silence. It's disgusting. C.I. and Ava hit the roof when it got back to them (from friends at Ms. and the Feminist Majority Foundation) that our criticism (linked to in this article) resulted in Michelle Kort stating a falsehood, that Ms. was barred from covering the political race because they couldn't do endorsements. They called it out in a snapshot (the day Kort made the remarks which resulted in six phone calls to Ava and C.I. of, "You won't believe what she said!") . Kort would be advised that she's already on C.I.'s s**t list and she better watch her words. Anything gets back to Ava or C.I. this time and they'll be writing a story about a non-journalist who begged for help and promised credit and never gave it. They'll talk about appropriation and misrepresentation and it will not be pretty. So choose your words carefully, Kort. If they get back to Ava and C.I., you'll have a lot of explaining to do.

Watch your back, Ralph -- Because we had the four-part series planned, we thought it would be a simple edition. Ava and C.I. were bringing in the sexism in last week's NYT (that's on hold until next week) and we'd have the editorial and Ava and C.I.'s commentary, the "Highlights" and we pretty much had an edition. Dona was wanting some short pieces because she knew the four-part series would be lengthy. Thanks to a longterm reader, we found out about this. We knew about the disruptive liar showing up at John Edwards' campaign site in real time, knew that he was an Obamabot, and when he tried to do the same at Hillary's site, we knew then. But we didn't know much else about him. A longterm reader stumbled upon him a gay chat room and copied and pasted the exchange and his bragging about how he was now targeting Ralph Nader. This is a bit longer than a short piece but we thank ___ for e-mailing us the copy and paste transcript. We also got online Sunday morning and posed as a young man interested in S&M role play in that chat room to get some more information out of "Richard," "Joe," et al.

Nader, McCain & Barr, pay attention -- This is a short piece. Dona said, "I'm not kidding we need some short pieces." C.I. said, "What about Obama's trashing of all the Democrats running? He started out saying those who admitted their vote was wrong weren't electable because they were 'flip-floppers' and, after he knocked them out, he went after Hillary saying the fact that she would only say she regretted her vote made her unelectable. Apologize for the vote and Barack attacks you, don't apologize and he attacks you. That's the way the little thug works."

Name that racist! -- Dona wanted another short piece. During the writing of the Ms. feature, C.I. said, "Dona, do you think this is racist?" C.I. then quoted a passage from memory. Dona said it certainly was racist and assumed it was some White man speaking about this campaign season. C.I. explained it was Donna Brazile in 1988. Thank you to Dallas for hunting down the link in about three seconds.

Typical Obama supporter -- While hunting down links, Dallas said, "I think I've got something for a short piece." He did. We offered him a byline credit but he's too modest so we'll credit him here. He found it and it really does reveal the ugly side of the 'unity' campaign.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Betty, Ruth, Cedric, Rebecca, Marcia, Wally and Kat wrote this and selected highlights unless noted otherwise. Ty has been responding to e-mails. He wasn't supposed to even be reading. His boyfriend has now finished college and moved out here (California) with the rest of us. Ty should be off e-mails this week, he may break that. We're trying to be sure to create time since they were a couple when we (Dona, Jess, Ava, Ty and I) were in NY and they maintained a long distance relationship all this time since. Now we're all at C.I.'s. One big happy family. In the "Note to be done later today" that went up this morning (which this replaces), I noted that Ava and C.I. did the TV commentary and I did the solo piece. Ruth Ann wrote to say, I didn't give credit in that brief note to the gang writing "Highlights". I didn't, I was rushing. Credit for that is given at the top of the piece each week. I was rushing and did not mean to offend anyone nor was I trying to imply anything. I was rushing and I forgot.

Where's mailbag? You didn't do a roundtable, Jonas writes, so where's mailbag. When Highlights was written, they realized I hadn't done the VA piece. We had the editorial to write and we also needed to go back to the Piggies piece. I had planned that we'd do mailbag but there was no time. Hopefully next week.

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