Sunday, January 03, 2010
-- Ralph Nader on the slow awakening in the Cult of St. Barack, from "Breaking With Obama?" (Information Clearing House).
They were the biggest complainers that after the reasons to attack Iraq were shown to be lies, those who said they were lies BEFORE the invasion were STILL banned from the "serious" media.
Similarly, they were the biggest complainers that after the financial meltdown, those who saw it coming are STILL banned from the "serious" media.
So how hypocritical is it that they STILL ban those of us who saw Obama early on for the fake that he is?
-- Caro, "Whole Lotta' Rationalization Goin' On" (MakeThemAccountable).
The first Sunday of the year. That must be why we had the endurance to finish this edition.
Along with Dallas, the following helped on this edition:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
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),
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.
We thank them all. What did we come up with?
Truest statement of the week -- Ralph Nader on the Cult of St. Barack.
Truest statement of the week II -- Caro on the Cult of St. Barack.
Editorial: Iraq -- The Iraq War didn't end. Barack didn't keep his promises. People are still dying. At what point do the Whores for Barry plan to get honest?
TV: Scrub up -- Ava and C.I.'s latest. This wasn't planned. A friend with Scrubs asked, at the last minute, if they could review it. They hadn't seen it. 'All five episodes so far this year are up at Hulu' was the response. I (Jim) don't know how the begging went but the person got their way. They had no idea how to review it because they hadn't planned to. Finally they said, "Oh, hell, let's just pretend we're on the set." They've done that before. They also note that they don't have to worry about health care. That's in there to give an excuse for them doing the show and to provide some 'weight' to what they see as a light show.
Buried story of the year -- What should have been the BIG STORY of the year? Judging by polling, it should be what Congress is trying to force onto the American people.
Idiot of the Year -- We had a list of five people and were going to award it to one of them when, last Sunday, Janet Napolitano managed to break from the pack and pull into the lead.
'Religious' joke of the year -- If you're a "Baptist organization," you're Baptists. Ditto Methodist. Ditto Catholic. Etc, etc, etc. It's not a difficult concept. We had five more of these short features, by the way, but went with what we thought were the three best.
I don't get it (Dona) -- Concept? Long features were not working. I assigned Ava and C.I. a topic "The Public Account." And Ty said, "Well why don't we each do an individual article." Which is what we did. Consider this our Abby Road edition. Dona wants it noted that she begged Ava and C.I. to put their names to this "after they provided three different jokes for this that were funnier than my original lines. But they turned me down. So I'll just say thank you."
Ty's Corner -- Ty had no topic and I said, "E-mails!" Ty zoomed in on the movie aspect.
The Penis Monologue (Jim) -- And as we talked about e-mails, there was talk of doing strangest e-mail or weirdest or whatever at which point my e-mail exchange was brought up and that's the topic I wrote on here.
Clarification (Jess) -- This is the e-mail topic that ticks Jess off. Really ticks him off. I'm not joking. You can't tell it in this though. Because Jess keeps it light hearted. But if you read closely, I think you do get the tension. Illustration is by Betty's kids.
The Public Account (Ava and C.I.) -- That's all you got? That's what I asked them when they thought they were done. Originally this ended after eight paragraphs -- the first seven plus a concluding paragraph no longer in the piece. It was cut and dry. They went back and added an example of an e-mail because I said, "Add an e-mail." And after they did, I kept saying, "We should split this into two pieces." They said no and pointed out that I thought it was a weak piece until they added more. I painted myself into that corner.
DVDs -- Ann and Stan's joint-post that I mentioned we would repost here (mentioned last week). We used to do this all the time. But it's too time consuming. Since Ann and Stan are the newest bloggers and due to the topic, we decided last weekend we'd post their DVD piece here. (Repost here.)
Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Kat, Wally, Betty, Rebecca, Ruth, Marcia, Stan, Ann and Cedric wrote this and we thank them for it.
2009 archives -- this will be a link on our blog roll before next Sunday. Not today. We're too dam tired.
And that's what we got. See you next Sunday.
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
It is 2010 and we have to congratulate President Barack Obama. Campaigning for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, he swore that, if he was elected, he'd pull one brigade a month out of Iraq starting in January 2009. We doubted him. We questioned him on it. And he's kept that promise and, boy, do we feel stupid for ever doubting St. Barack.
Oh, wait. S**t f**k didn't keep his promise, now did he?
But at least the Cult of St. Barack immediately began to scream and yell about that, right?
Oh, wait, they didn't.
Ever wonder why Tom Hayden and all the other Panhandle Media Whores act like the Iraq War has ended?
Because they whored it for Barack. They swore he'd end the Iraq War. They swore he'd keep his promise.
Now, like a battered spouse too afraid to leave, they ignore the abuse and never admit to the bruises.
Saturday the USF announced the following: "BAGHDAD -- A United States Division - Baghdad Soldier died, Jan. 1, of non-combat related injuries. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/. The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." The announcement brought the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4372.
Violence claimed Iraqi lives last week. Sunday 7 were reported dead, 36 reported injured. Monday 1 person was reported dead. Tuesday 8 were reported dead and 9 reported injured. Wednesday 9 were reported dead and 34 wounded. Thursday no deaths reported in the day but Thursday night 1 death was reported. Friday 1 person was reported injured. Saturday 8 were reported dead and 27 were reported wounded. Totals: 34 reported dead 107 reported wounded.
In the midst of another wave of Operation Happy Talk, the Los Angeles Times breaks from the pack with "Toward a less deadly Iraq:"
Whenever we see a report on the declining violence in Iraq, we're reminded of the old book title, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me." Take, for instance, the report that the civilian death toll fell in November to the lowest level since the 2003 U.S. invasion: 88 fatalities. That was after October bombings in Baghdad killed 155 people, and just ahead of December's two rounds of multiple car bombings in the capital that left at least 136 dead and hundreds wounded.
It's amazing how many deaths pile up as everyone rushes to assure us that things are 'better.' By whose measurement?
Wednesday on KPFA's Flashpoints Radio, Nora Barrows-Friedman addressed the Iraq War with Ahmed Habib.
Ahmed Habib: There is no doubt that the Iraqi people have a great tradition and history of revolution. And the people of Iraq hold an immense ability to be resisting in the face of this violence and brutality that has gone hand-in-hand with the American occupation -- an extension, of course, of the kind of genocide Iraqis experienced under the sanctions and of course an extension of the genocide that they experienced under the American-sponsored dictorship of Saddam Huseein as well. So there is no doubt that the Iraqi people will be able to overcome these conditions and will talk later about some of the tremendous things that are happening in Iraqi communities and the diaspora. But I think it's important for our listeners to sort of dispell many of the myths that had been promoted by the Obama adminstration with regards to their attempts to "end the war in Iraq." The Obama administration has not only inherited many of the same policies that were adopted by the Bush administration and we saw early on in the year the Obama administration's refusal to publish images of people that had been tortured and de-humanized and bases that had become prisons throughout Iraq and of course in Afghanistan as well. But we also saw the emergence and sort of the truth unveiled about the Status Of Force Agreement -- known as SOFA in the American media. And this agreement was, of course, was supposed to be the agreement that would embody the withdraw of American troops from Iraq and subsequently lead to the end the occupation. What many people didn't know is that within this agreement there are clauses that will not only keep permanent military bases in Iraq but will give the America the ability to conduct military operations without the permission of the Iraqi government, that America will control air space above a certain altitude in Iraq, and, of course, America's political strangle-hold on the Iraqi government through, as you were mentioning, the ascent of thousands of military contractors in Iraq, through the privatization of the most fundamental sectors of Iraqi economy are the real elements of the American occupation here. We see, for example in Iraq, fundamental sectors such as agriculture and education -- ironically in a country that invented both agriculture and education -- now being sold off to American corporations under the guise of of American occupation. We also heard early on in 2003, Colin Powell speak about how NGOs are part of the American occupation and, in fact, on the front line. And this has become very true in Iraq as well. And the American occupation of Iraq is perhaps no longer constituted by American soldiers on the ground raping, killing and maiming Iraqi civilians but now has really taken on a much scarier and more longterm identity in terms of the strangle-hold it has on many of Iraq in terms of all the things I have mentioned but also in terms of how Iraqi politics and the day to day running of the government also unfolds.
Somewhere, non-Quakers in Quaker organizations are yammering and desperate to refute. But you can't refute it. Barack hasn't ended the illegal war and Barack hasn't kept his campaign promises. Corporatist War Hawks rarely do.
"No, darlings," he insisted. "'Fined' like penalized. Don't you know what Barack Obama is proposing to do to people who don't have health care? Look, I've got parts for you both that'll keep your health insurance going for another year."
As if that wasn't enough to make us sick, he told us the gig: Scrubs.
"I thought they canceled it," said one of us.
"I hoped they had," said the other.
We just didn't know.
Scrubs started airing on NBC in the fall of 2001 and stopped airing on NBC in the spring of 2008. However, the mildly amusing show wasn't done yet. It moved over to ABC for another season and, last month, began airing another season. Though some think it may be back for a third season on ABC next year, the suits we know say there's no chance.
Why is that?
Then we reviewed our scripts.
"They want me to say," began one of us trying not to shudder, "they want me to say, 'Hey, Dr. T.! I heard one time they opened up a dude's stomach and there was a finger in it! I mean, think about it! You're in a lab, you're a little buzzed, everything's cool and then all the sudden your dead guy's flipping you the bird! With another dude's finger!!! I mean "What!!!"'"
"You think that's bad?" replied the other. "I'm supposed to open with, 'Hey crazy swimsuit girl, what are you doing?'"
Taking comfort in the knowledge that the cast generally disregarded huge chunks of the script and ad-libbed their way through each episode, we tossed the scripts aside.
Only to grab them back up when a friend advised, "Just make sure you don't have a kissing scene with Zach Braff."
Oh, yeah, we'd heard complaints about that for years.
Speed reading while we held our breath, we were relieved to discover that not only did neither of us have a kissing scene with Braff, he wasn't even in the episode.
He's too good for the part of J.D.
Or thinks he is. 35 this April, it's really too late for Braff to become a film star. You really have to do it much sooner (see John Travolta's career trajectory) or you are TV Dad. For example, even being declared "Sexiest Man of the Year" didn't do a damn thing to get Mark Harmon a film career and he was only 34. 37 is another number Braff should be familiar with. That's how old Jon Cryer was when, film career over, he finally had a TV hit. Three failed films (and no hit) this decade should have told Braff there was no future for his face on the big screen. His agent should have told him to sit his ass down and watch Will & Grace's "No Sex 'N' the City."
Instead, he's skipping down Donnie Most Trail. Nice knowing you, Zach.
"Who's got food? Mama needs a refill! I'm dying here!"
Sarah Chalke looked around at no one in particular -- maybe because everyone was avoiding making eye contact.
She was back for this episode as Elliot. The role she'd played since the show started.
"I'm dying here!" she exclaimed. "I'm really dying."
Zach's J.D.'s done with the season which means Chalke shows up as the pregnant Elliot with these new characters she really doesn't know or, for that matter, really interact with.
We were about to write the show off. All the characters you cared about were gone (Judy Reyes wasn't even toying with the idea of bring Carla back for season nine). What was the point?
But then we started noticing Kerry Bishe who's basically playing the new J.D. (named Lucy) and were really impressed with some of the delivery and acting choices she was making. And we liked what Eliza Coupe was doing as new character Denise Mahoney. Best of all, Donald Faison was finding a new level for his long running character Turk.
With just the three of them, there was reason enough to root for the show.
And that's before we noticed Her Royal Highness.
It was easy to miss David Franco. Despite claims of being 5 foot 7 inches, he could actually pass for a Furby. And while his physical size may not impress, when he opens that mouth and starts gesticulating, stand back.
Or, as he might say: Snap, girl!
He's joined the cast as Cole, a med student sleeping with Lucy.
And why not?
We've missed Jack McFarland. So what if Franco's version of Jack is straight?
There's nothing more delightful than Franco swishing his hand through the air and declaring, in what sounds like a drag queen voice (he thinks he sounds butch), "Girl, once you wake up the troops, you got to storm the beach!" Believe it or not, that line actually gets Lucy on top of him.
"You want people to notice," he ad-libbed in another scene trying to beef up his character. "How much you think I bench? I don't bench. I do high intensity reps. I'm toned as balls."
Something about the way he said "balls" and the come-hither look he was giving to Michael Mosley (new to the cast as Drew) made us wonder if Franco was lost in the character's backstory? Or maybe it was some form of prepping for the "manual rectal disimpactation" that Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley ) had assigned to Franco's character?
We didn't know. We only knew that puzzling that allowed us to ignore two things. First, learning our lines. Second, admitting how badly our characters were written.
Actually, we knew one more thing: Franco was flaming like no one had on ABC since Brian Austin Greene played Freddie Prinze's romantic partner on the short lived Freddie.
an actual hit show to give Scrubs the attention that it needed?
Fortunately we were there. And really not into the badly written roles. And tired of watching Chalke in her funk between scenes. So one of us gave Chalke all her lines and the other gave Franco all her lines and it worked. Chalke took "Hey, crazy swimsuit girl" and almost made it funny. And Franco tore into the new lines with the kind of gusto that would make Cristal Connors proud or at least have Cristal handing Franco a black cowboy hat.
If they gave it time, ABC could actually have a hit. The elements are there in a way that they haven't been before. Some stronger scripts and the retool of Scrubs would be a huge hit. Ourselves, we'd make Franco's Cole at least bi-sexual,if not gay.
As for our health care, oh, well, we'd just be screwed like most Americans if Obama's BigBusinessGiveAway was turned into law.
Last week, [PDF format warning] the latest Associated Press-GfK poll was released and, as Rebecca found when she dug through the numbers, Americans do not support the ObamaBigBusinessGive-Away.
The poll asked, "In general, do you support, oppose or neither support nor oppose the health care reform plans being discussed in Congress?"
36% of respondents supported it in any form ("strongly" or "somewhat"). For a measure that's passed the House and the Senate, that's an appalling low number.
44% of respondents declared they were opposed to ObamaCare.
How did something that more Americans oppose than support pass Congress?
It has to do with who benefits.
For Congress, insurance companies will contribute big to political races as part of the trade-off (in forcing every American to purchase insurance). And our 'brave' press has always been corporate controlled which is why objections are rarely reported on and, when they do get coverage, it's outlandish examples.
The opposition to ObamaCare was the big story of 2009 and it's amazing how the media -- Big and Small -- managed to ensure it went unnoted or else objections were marginalized.
Illustration is Isaiah's "Telemarketer in Chief" from August.
I really don't get it.
I'm referring to the current top ten items under Yahoo's "WEB PULSE." (See below.)
Presumably those are the top ten search topics on Yahoo. Presumably because no one's blogged about "WEB PULSE." I did find a lot of people blogging about what was ranked what on "WEB PULSE" and the two most excited groups were fans of Muse and Barry Manilow -- which I'm sure says something highly disturbing if I had the time to wrap my mind around it.
But I don't and mainly because my first response to "WEB PULSE" is likely no different than your own: Who the hell uses Yahoo as a search engine these days?
Judging by the top ten, very out of touch people.
The New Orleans Saints? Okay, I can understand that. I grew up in the MidWest, I know the importance of football to us heartlanders. Especially with the Superbowl approaching. I can understand "Movie Trailers" as well because it's the weekend and you might want to catch a trailer or two before spending actual money to see another bad movie. "Pakistan" I can also understand because it's in the news.
But "Blackwater"? First off, it's Xe now. I know the Xe website is "under construction." Maybe that sent everyone to searching Blackwater? I really have to wonder why, in 2009, you suddenly have a need to know about Blackwater? I would have thought we all knew about the mercenaries years ago.
"Up In The Air"? Didn't ring a bell. I guessed a Disney movie about a group of Canadians and Jamaicans who team up with their mascot -- a shaggy pooch -- to take on the corporate funded teams of some sport. Probably basketball. Maybe sledding. And it ends with a lot of cheering and the dog leaping into the air as the frame freezes. Turns out it is a movie, it does star a shaggy pooch (George Clooney) but everything else I got wrong.
Chris Robinson is with the rock group Black Crowes but there's also a college football player with that name. [Correction 1-3-10 the football player Chris Robinson is NFL and he had an incredible day on the field today.] Does that mean that searches for both of them add up to the eighth most popular search? Or did the rocker's new baby do enough all by itself to make him a 'hot gossip item'?
2009 in review? The year ended. That one makes some sense.
But "Pancake Recipes"?
How does that even happen?
It's not from cooking. Most people who cook already have a recipe they've been using for years and those who haven't been cooking pancakes from scratch are either buying pre-cooked pancakes you pop in the toaster or the mix in the carton that you pour into the skillet. And that's before you get into how many people even eat pancakes. It's not a significant portion of the population.
Then there's Robert Pattinson. He's the Twilight star (the one who doesn't look like the cover of a gay porn video). He's the star of the sequel that came out last summer and the original which came out some time ago. He's not a new face. And looking at photos, I can tell you he hasn't cut his hair -- or apparently taken a shower -- anytime recently. So girls, boys, go back to your Teen Bop and stop frantically searching him.
I was puzzled that Michelle Obama was number two. She's not all that popular (both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin outranked her in polls last week). But then I remembered she was on vacation and that usually means she forgets to wear a bra (while wearing a very sheer blouse) or has some other fashion disaster. So I put her high ranking down to "Hope." Not "Change." From the photos I scanned, the big news was that somehow her left breast ended up significantly higher than the right one in numerous photos. And that she mistakenly continues to think she can pull off turquoise.
"WEB PULSE" it declares but it doesn't read like a top ten ranking. For one thing, in case you missed it, we're a celebrity obsessed nation (led by a celebrity president). So there's no way in the world that numerous names wouldn't pop up -- Johnny Depp, Megan Fox, etc. And let's be really honest -- if "WEB PULSE" measured actual popular searches that would be "Johnny Depp nude," "Megan Fox nude," etc.
I don't get it.
The bulk of the e-mails wanted to share their favorite Bette Davis film and the top five (in this order) were:
1) All About Eve
2) Now Voyager
3) Dark Victory
5) Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
X e-mailed asking what it was like to have a penis and, seeing it, I thought it was an e-mail about the privileges men have in this society that women don't due to discrimination. But, no, the reply informed me that I'd missed the point.
Physically, the woman wondered, what was it like to have a penis?
We exchanged 14 e-mails on this topic and, when discussing story ideas for this edition, it was floated that this woman might have had the 'something' (adjective of choice) e-mail of the year. At which point, Dona pointed out, "Well if it's weird or interesting, include Jim in there as well because he kept replying to her."
And I did. So this is more or a less a Cliff Notes version of the responses to her basic questions.
Let's deal with the hang down aspect first. Apparently breasts cause strain on the back if they're very large. Do cocks? I have never heard a guy say, "Oh, my cock's just too heavy for my back! I'm going to need to get a reduction!" Though I'm sure, quickly adding two and two, some guys will now immediately begin making such comments.
The hangdown aspect of the cock really isn't an issue. The balls are a different story. Going "commando" refers to wearing pants but no underwear (boxers, briefs or jock). That can cause a problem, especially in sweats, as you have to constantly adjust your package. It's not really a penis issue -- adjustments -- unless you're getting an erection at the time. Most adjustments have to do with the balls.
Is there pain involved in the penis?
The tip of my penis burns when I've waited about a half-hour after I should have taken a leak. (How does that ever happen? We're doing a writing edition and I don't want to break away because we're finally getting something good written.) So when I finally do go to the bathroom, I'm running off to it. The pain's a burning and it feels like there's a pinch about a quarter-inch down the head of penis that's preventing the urine from blasting out.
I'm circumcised so the head is sensitive.
That means, for me, extra lubricant during masturbation. Yes, I have masturbated. Failure to use lubricant once left me so red and raw I had to fake a cold to avoid going off to school because just the pain of having clothing on top of my penis was too much.
In terms of sex, it's a tingle and not pain.
Those moments right before you blast, at least for me, are intense and are felt in the head of the penis. If I'm smart (and Dona's not in a rush), I'll back off and enjoy those moments because you can really prolong that.
The most painful thing that ever happened to my penis was in Boy Scouts (yes, I was in Boy Scouts) on a camping trip when a scorpion got in my sleeping bag and crawled up my shorts and stung me, yes, right on the penis.
That was also a big problem.
The staff with me would not look at . . . well, my staff.
I'm not joking.
There had already been too many scandals of counselors molesting Boy Scouts.
So I'm hopping around screaming, having dropped my shorts to my ankles, that, "It hurts! It hurts!" And I have no idea why. And no adult will look.
Finally, a guy from another troop came over to see what the yelling was about and he looked and told me I'd been stung by something. They then found the scorpion in my sleeping bed.
It was very, very painful and not 'for a few moments and then it faded away.'
And being stung on the 'underside,' it was impossible for me to see for myself.
After that e-mail, there wasn't a reply for a few weeks before the last question finally arrived: Are erections embarrassing in public?
Maybe for guys that pack light!
Seriously, erections are embarrassing in middle school. And then, it's embarrassing around girls. In gym class, there was one guy (Raymond) who used to flex his around in his shorts, he was so proud of it. I don't mean off in a corner privately. I mean out on the field with everyone around and hollering, "Watch this!"
But you learn how to handle it which mainly involves covering it. So you wear your shirt untucked, for example.
After middle school, I've never really gotten embarrassed by an erection in public. (While clothed.) But whether or not that's the norm, I have no idea.
Around August a theme in some e-mails was: 'You lazy bums! You used to work hard and now you barely do anything!' Sometimes it was worded a little nicer. Sometimes we weren't called bums.
But these were either readers I didn't recognize or new readers who were e-mailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they were convinced that, once upon a time, we were the hardest working website around and now we barely did a damn thing.
I never got it until, December 18th, someone finally e-mailed back to dispute my assertion that we actually write more articles each week than we did when we first started this site.
Not true! Blasted a reader back at me. In 2006, we did 957 articles! And we'd never done that many before or since!
"Wow," I thought. "Someone cared enough to count up all the articles for each year."
Maybe the e-mailers should have been calling us "stupid bums"? Or at least me.
There was no counting. The reader was looking at the links to the right and seeing tallies for each year:
▼ 2005 (448)
► 2006 (957)
► 2007 (610)
► 2008 (630)
▼ 2009 (679)
To look at those numbers, the reader is correct.
Except the reader is wrong.
In 2005, we did far less writing each week. In 2006, we also did far less writing.
"How can that be!" cries new reader who wasn't reading in real time.
Are you familiar with our weekly feature "Highlights"?
That is now written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. and Wally of The Daily Jot.
"Highlights" provides links to various community pieces that readers or the group writing "Highlights" thinks were worth noting.
"So?" asks skeptical reader.
In 2005 and 2006, we didn't do "Highlights." But we did do Highlights.
Am I splitting hairs?
Not at all.
Back then, each week's edition featured strong writing we wanted to highlight. We would grab a post by Rebecca, an entry by C.I., etc. and republish is in full. In 2005, there weren't that many community websites. By 2006, that had changed significantly. And approximately 5 of each week's articles (at least five) were full reposts.
Because it was just too much work, we stopped reposting to highlight.
And we moved to "Highlights" to take its place.
Use the archives and go through the weeks. You'll see that we are, in fact, writing more than we used to.
We (Ava and C.I.) have been working the public account all last week. Just us. Everyone was told to take time off on December 23rd and it's just been us since then. Now the way it works on replies (true, we believe of everyone in the community with a website) is they go into a "Draft" folder and are then sent out by various members. Why? Ron Brynaert, now of Raw Story, long ago (2004) warned against sending out anything directly.
This is why many people outside the community are confused to read an e-mail sent out one morning obviously written at night or one written in the early morning that is sent out late at night. The e-mails are in the "Draft" folder and stay there until they're sent out. (Those waiting in the folder, currently 2406, go out no sooner than Monday morning, for anyone waiting on a reply.) Normally, if it's an e-mail for Ruth, Kat, Isaiah or Beth, it automatically gets moved into their folder (see "My Folders" at the bottom of the screen snap). In fact, it gets moved as soon as whomever is reading it realizes who it is written to. (Starting next week, those reading the public account will include: Martha, Shirley, Eli, Braeden, Heather, Jim, Dona, Jess, and the two of us.) If the heading mentions Ruth, Kat, Isaiah or Beth, it's moved to their folder without being opened.
Now we took off New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and didn't expect much to be in the public account. We figured we'd spend about an hour there and two or more in each of the private e-mail accounts that members e-mail.
We were wrong. Not the first time.
We went through them as quickly as we could. Things needing some sort of response (by our judgments) got one. Those are quick responses, we don't spell check, we dash it off quickly so we can delete the original e-mail and move on. And we dashed off 2406 replies in about four hours (where possible, those were one word replies) and that still leave 31,238 that we haven't yet read.
What needs a reply? Very few things need a reply.
If someone's asking about a resource and we know the answer, we'll provide them with it. That's pretty much the only "need a reply" that we can think of.
In a normal week, we'll work the public account for about two hours each day, Monday through Friday. That's one early in the morning and one later in the day usually late at night. Everyone else will be working throughout the day. If it's something that's important, it'll go into the "C.I. MUST READ" folder. "C.I. FYI" is stuff of interest but not pressing. Martha and Shirley prepare a summary of the e-mails to the public account (and to the private ones) each Monday through Friday. Eli does something similar.
All e-mails are read by someone.
And we read one this evening from a real piece of work that really pissed us off.
The piece of trash is a Marcy Winograd follower. She wasn't writing us, she was writing Ruth. Ruth'll never see it because we're not passing it on to her. We printed up a copy and then deleted it.
We thought we'd share a little of Jane H.'s e-mail (we don't know if that's her real name) because we found her to be a real piece of s**t.
Now let's explain how she e-mailed. She didn't e-mail email@example.com. She went to the TCI mirror site and used the contact form there. We mention because Jane's a liar and we'll deal with that at the end.
"Ruth, I don't know if my last email was" received, she begins pleasantly enough. Three words later, she's calling Ruth "pathetic."
She's also confused that The Common Ills is a "blog." It's not a blog. It's a website or a resource. It's not a blog. Who's pathetic, Jane?
She then whines that Ruth's "commentaries, and only" those appear at The Common Ills. Uh, Jane, Ruth's website is Ruth's Report. The Common Ills features entries by Isaiah, Ruth, Kat, Beth, Keesha, Kayla, Martha and Shirley and us. We're sure there are others during any given year but Idiot Jane is e-mailing The Common Ills to complain that only Ruth appears and Jane doesn't know the first damn thing she's talking about.
Does it matter?
She calls Ruth "pathetic" based on her belief that Ruth doesn't "have the facts correct". Jane, you're ass is showing -- and it's ugly as your face.
She goes on to accuse Ruth of a number of 'crimes' including that Ruth believes that the "equal time" doctrine still exists.
When did Ruth write about equal time?
Oh, in her year-in-review Friday. The one where she wrote, "What I do know is that there used to be a thing called 'equal time'."
Ruth writes that there used to be something called equal time and Jane wants to 'correct' Ruth (in a rude manner) that "there is no longer" equal time? Uh, Idiot, Ruth knew that. Why do you think she said "used to be"?
The sentence where she 'corrects' Ruth is next to one that's especially funny when you grasp that Jane's an idiot accusing Ruth of things she never did: "There is no accountability." Certainly not on your end, Jane.
She then wants to lecture Ruth about equal time and sound off: "Glad you're paying attention." Well Ruth was paying attention, Jane, you're the idiot who can't read.
Jane's all upset that Ruth was harsh with Professional Trash Marcy Winograd. Let's stop here for just one moment. Thus far, we've just toyed with Marcy. We're not "pajama bloggers." We're two wealthy women. Though we don't care for Jane Harman, piss us off and we'll throw all of our support behind her. Is that clear? We could sell her to a number of voters in her district (especially women) right now. We know how to do it and we have the money to throw around to do so. Marcy Winograd's Brigade of Whores better back the hell off or we'll show you the ugly that has you running from the mirrors each morning. We are not joking.
Jane wants the world to know that Marcy "ran, quite successfully in many ways, in 2006" -- uh, Jane, who won?
See, Jane, here's reality for you. In a political race, there is a winner. The winner is the one who ran a successful campaign. Jane, you say Marcy ran in 2006. (Jane disputes that Marcy ran for the Democratic Congressional nomination other than 2006 -- she apparently spent 2008 in her crib and missed that run by Marcy -- so we'll use 2006.) Well did Marcy get elected to Congress in 2006?
No, she didn't.
She ran a losing campaign.
She wasn't an 'independent,' she wasn't a third party. She ran in a Democratic Party primary trying to get the nomination and she, pay attention, lost.
Jane insists, "If you were paying attention to her campaign positions as the facts and politics develop, you would realize that she will not be a rubber stamp for President Obama." She's the one who keeps saying it, Jane. She's the one who refuses to say, "If you send me to DC, you'll be sending a fighter. I will fight for what's right and take on anyone, regardless of whether it's a Republican or Barack Obama. I will stand up for the people."
If Marcy said something like that, we'd leave her alone.
But Marcy keeps going on Lila Garrett's show and saying something quite differently. It's not Ruth's job, or Elaine's job or our job to go to Marcy's campaign website. Lila gives her at least 20 minutes of radio airtime a month to talk up her own campaign. That means we've heard speak about her positions and campaign for nearly six hours this year alone. If in six hours, she can't state what she stands for clearly, she not much of a candidate.
Marcy Winograd does not call out the Afghanistan escalation when she's on with Lila. She makes excuses for Barack. We don't give a damn what her campaign site says, we've heard her on the radio. She's just another toe-the-line apologist.
If that's not what she is, she needs to make that damn clear.
Jane closes by insisting that she hopes Ruth will "take more time to get your facts straight." Ruth didn't make any mistakes, Ruth had her facts. It's Jane H. that doesn't know what the hell she's writing about.
Now remember how Jane wasn't sure if Ruth had gotten the earlier e-mail?
She's talking about when Ruth wrote about Marcy Winograd before.
But, pay attention, Ruth never wrote about Marcy before at The Common Ills. Ruth does write about Marcy at her own website. Though Ruth is more than welcome to cross-post to the mirror site for The Common Ills, she doesn't. The only thing of Ruth's that goes to the mirror site currently and so far is Ruth's entries that she writes for The Common Ills.
Jane H. is pissed at all of the comments Ruth has made about Marcy at Ruth's website. Why is she using the contact form at the mirror site?
Jane can't figure out where she read something. Who's the idiot?
Too many more of those Whores show up and Jane Harman's going to have a war chest because we'll donate to the max and we'll call in favors and get others to donate as well. We'll camp out at the Hilton in LA and work those voters in the district and explain to them why Jane Harman needs to be re-elected.
Again, we're not Jane Harman fans. Anyone who's read The Common Ills for any length of time should know one of our positions (C.I.'s) very clearly.
But if Marcy Winograd's Brigade of Whores doesn't learn real quick how to curb themselves on their leash, we'll show you how a campaign is won and how a campaign is lost.
And if Marcy doesn't want to be called out, she can stop act like such a simpering coward. Her first step should be to stop praising Barack Obama. He's not done a damn thing worthy of praise and if she wants to win the primary, she better grasp she needs to energize as many discontented voters as she can. The contented? If they're contented right now, they're are already going to vote for Jane Harman.
The discontented? Those are the ones Marcy needs to energize. She needs to give those voters a reason to turn out and vote in a primary for an off-year election.
Does she not get that? Is she as stupid as her Brigade of Whores?
Possibly. That would explain why she's a loser.
But here's your tip, Jane H., the only way that Marcy can beat Jane Harman is to energize the discontented voters. Why are they discontented? Because they thought they were electing 'change' and they weren't. Barack has disappointed them.
Jane Harman's already standing with Barack. Marcy wants to defeat her? By being the new Jane Harman? It won't work.
Jane Harman's already standing by Barack. Jane Harman's also already in office. Which means she has the seniority to steer many things (pork) back home that newcomer Marcy wouldn't be able to.
Jane H. thinks Marcy Winograd's biggest problem is Ruth.
Marcy Winograd's biggest problem is Marcy Winograd.
After that, it's idiots like Jane H.
Jim note added 1-6-10: Jane H. wrote an abusive e-mail. At The Common Ills's main page, this is noted:
Threats and abusive e-mail are not covered by any privacy rule. This isn't to the reporters at a certain paper (keep 'em coming, they are funny). This is for the likes of failed comics who think they can threaten via e-mails and then whine, "E-mails are supposed to be private." E-mail threats will be turned over to the FBI and they will be noted here with the names and anything I feel like quoting. This also applies to anyone writing to complain about a friend of mine. That's not why the public account exists.
Jane H.'s e-mail was not quoted in full but for the two who e-mail repeatedly saying, "I thought . . ." At Third, you write us, it's a letter to the editor and we'll quote it unless you say otherwise. C.I. and Ava brought that e-mail over to Third to write about and it was an abusive and offensive e-mail but even if it hadn't been, the pull quotes are more than fine. And Jane H. got a heads up because Ava and C.I. wrote her a reply which Dallas sent out Saturday night (before or after he took the screen snap used for this article). Jane H.'s response to the e-mail was go ahead and that she'd said she wanted to be quoted at The Common Ills in her original e-mail (she had said that). C.I.'s not going to allow Jane H.'s trash to go up at The Common Ills. The two e-mailing are clogging up Third's account. I will now begin deleting your e-mails without reading them.
Ava and C.I. added 1-7-10. We have changed the illustration. It is the same one but it is cropped more. Dallas did the screen snap. We didn't study it and he had no reason to. It's no secret that he lives in Dallas; however, he wasn't and we weren't aware that his zip code was included in the larger image. Our apologies to Dallas for not checking the illustration (he says it's not our fault, we say it is, we wrote this piece and we put in the illustration) and we regret that his personal info was up here.
Ann and Stan: Movies. In a sucking economy. That means for most people, you 'go to the movies' on the couch with a DVD rental or purchase. We use Redbox, Netflix, various independent rental stores and, in a pinch, Blockbuster -- though, on the last one, mainly to buy used DVDs cheap.
The two best DVD releases of 2009 are an action-adventure and a romantic comedy. We'll start with the action-adventure.
Terminator Salvation is a great film once you get past Christian Bale. His well reported tantrums on the set apparently left him too drained to work up emotions when the cameras were rolling. We actually can't think of a worse actor than Bale but McG's film is a pleasure ride.
Sam Worthington is amazing as a machine with human tissues who doesn't know he's a machine. In fact, he's got more emotions than the mechanical Bale and you might wish they'd flipped the roles. It could have used more of Moon Bloodgood who plays Blair and is amazing throughout but probably owns the scene at the end involving the big sacrifice.
To really appreciate it, you should watch it a few times so you can grasp just how much Worthington delivers in every scene. McG delivers as well but could have used a Drew Barrymore in the lead role because Bale really misfires as John Connor. (McG directed Drew in the Charlie's Angeles films.)
Like the action-adventure film, the romantic comedy manages to rip at your heart.
That's Sandra Bullock and 2009 was her year. She gave amazing performances but don't think that The Proposal was a lesser performance than her big football drama just because it was comedy. The Proposal was an amazing comedy with an amazing performance from Bullock.
And we think Ryan Reynolds may be the first co-star she's had chemistry with since Keanu Reeves. (Hugh Grant is entertaining but always self-amused. If she had chemistry with Benjamin Bratt, who could tell? The shock from that body scarring, self-mutliation the actor apparently does in real life -- revealed when he's in a shirtless scene -- pretty much nullifies any chemistry.)
This is a movie that has you laughing, that has you rooting and that really touches you. It's the biggest film so far of Sandra's career and if you don't understand why, it's only because you haven't seen it. And credit to Anne Fletcher who directed this wonderful comedy.
Meanwhile Nine just opened and is already being pulled. We didn't even know Nicole Kidman was in Nine until after we heard it was being pulled. We might have seen it just for Nicole. We'll see it on DVD but that goes to the biggest problem of 2009, bad advertising. They don't seem to know how to hook you with trailers. We had no idea, until we saw it on DVD, that we'd like Terminator Salvation. The trailer was a bunch of nonsense.
But, like most, we see movies in the bad economy via DVD rentals and one of the best things about Netflix (we're plugging but we're not getting anything for it -- not even a free rental!!!!) is that if it's on DVD, Netflix tends to have it. So you're not limited to this month's releases. You're not limited at all. So you can delve into film past and see the classics and also see the audience pleasers because, sometimes, the films that are 'good for you' aren't the most entertaining.
To round out our ten, here are eight films we enjoyed seeing on DVD this year.
1) Mildred Pierce. Joan Crawford won the Oscar for this one and deserved it. Amazing performance and amazing film.
2) Boy Did I Get A Wrong Number. A Bob Hope caper film with strong support from a hilarious Phyllis Diller whose best scene may be her washing or 'washing' the dishes.
3) A Place In The Sun. Elizabeth Taylor is still a beautiful woman and we honestly assumed she was always the best looking person in any of her films. Then we saw this. She's still beautiful but Montgomery Clift manages to outshine her. (In looks. In acting, she holds her own and remains one of the most underrated actresses.)
4) These Old Broads. We love Elizabeth Taylor. And we go through Netflix to find films featuring her. Ann: "I called Stan and asked, 'What's These Old Broads? Cedric and I are thinking of renting it." Stan: "And I had no idea either." It's a TV movie co-written by Carrie Fisher that we both missed in 2001. Jonathan Silverman delivers his best performance we've ever seen. He plays Shirley MacLaine's son and she's just magnificent. She's an actress teaming up with two former co-stars: Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins. Joan frequently steals the show. Debbie's given the thankless role of straight woman for most of the film (she and Joan do a great job singing "Get Happy" in a club) but she gets one really strong scene with a woman who stole her husband. Playing that part is Elizabeth Taylor. Carrie Fisher is the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. And Eddie Fisher left Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor (who left Eddie Fisher for Richard Burton). So that scene has a huge subtext. As wonderful as all the women are (Debbie's best moment other than her scene with Elizabeth is the sequence where Joan Collins' lover dies and they have to deal with the corpse), Elizabeth Taylor is just delightful as the three actresses' long time agent. She's got this hilarious voice and she's just wonderful and you wonder why more character roles aren't given to her. This is a woman who won not one but two Oscars.
5) Thoroughly Modern Millie. This film stars Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing. We love it. We love Millie (Andrews) and we love Miss Dorothy (Mary). We love the daring and the comedy and the way Judith pops up early in the film but we're not sure everyone catches that. It's a funny film. Is it a great one? If you measure great by pleasure provided, we'd say yes.
6) Ocean's 11. The original. Proving how much stronger the earlier version was. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson and Shirley MacLaine are among the stars in this film. And it's got a ton more tension than the remake. If you enjoyed Clooney's film, see the original. It's like watching a high school production of Grease (Clooney) and then seeing the actual film (the original).
7) Dark Victory. Betty recommended this Bette Davis film to us early in the year. We'd seen many Bette Davis films and always enjoyed them but we'd never seen this one. Bette plays a wealthy socialite who has everything you could ever want and learns she's dying. It's a tear jerker and they really don't make those anymore. This is an amazing film.
8) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Amazing comedic film starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as two best friends. Famous for Marilyn's performance of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" (which Russell also performs when she pretends to be Marilyn). If there's anything more wonderful than watching the film, it's picturing a remake. We like to picture Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the roles of the gold digger and her best friend and would love to see Ben sing "Ain't There Anyone Here For Love?"
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts 'The 2010 Plan,'" "2009: The Year of Living Sickly," "Kat's Korner: 2009 in music," "Ruth's Report," "The Blackwater decision," "We CNN, we f**k ass stupid," "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts 'Brownie Approved,'" "I Hate The War," "dems give republicans a 2010 election gift?" and "And it's the new year"-- we went back and forth over how to note this and then decided the headlines would make clear which are year-in-review posts. Why are we noting the above? Some went up Friday and we wanted to especially note the people who offered things to read Friday (when most of us took the day off). We also wanted to note, as Mike does in the last link, that C.I. busted her ass during the 'holiday.' So we've included the Thursday entries from The Comon Ills and the Friday ones that were not year-in-review entries.
"2009 in books (Martha & Shirley)," "Reflecting on 2009 (Beth)," "2009 in DVDs," "DVDs of 2009," "The economy," "What I learned this year" and "the 2009 take-away" -- Year in review pieces from Martha & Shirley, Beth, Ann, Stan, Trina, Marcia and Rebecca.
"Bad Moments of Bully Boy Bluster" -- Isaiah dips into the archives for this flashback.
"Did you hear the one about the Barack . . ." & "THIS JUST IN! HE'S THE NEW BLONDE!" -- This just in! Barack Obama is the new blonde joke!
"John Pilger and other realities""1 British hostage still not accounted for""The moon and the loon"
"how can you follow hedy epstein?" -- media criticism from Rebecca.
"Jeff Cohen: Stand up comic""Iraq"
"The US negotiates with terrorists" -- Marcia calling out the nonsense.
"Graffiti" -- Ann weighs in the Graffiti films.
"Who's responsbile?" -- Betty wants accountability.
"Marriage equality and KPFK political donations," "Robert Knight's KPFA farewell," "A killer and a rumor," "Tracy Morgan needs help," "Hillary Is 44 continues to be hard hitting," "Women's Media Center (radio program)," "KPFA fires Robert Knight," "Lila Garrett and KPFK need to stop the infomercials" -- media criticism from Ruth, Kat, Marica, Stan, Betty and Elaine.
"Idiot of the week," "THIS JUST IN! HECK OF A JOB!" and "And still he plays golf " -- Fire her already! (Name the movie.)
"Professor . . ." -- Elaine speaks to a whiny ass Panhandle Media type who couldn't stand that she was called a "whore" for whoring on air.
"Politico's Arena" -- Mike details why he likes a section of Politico.
"You kill Jason at the end or you get the sequel" & "THIS JUST IN! TALES FROM THE CRYPT!" -- Cedric and Wally explain the White House has no business whining about Dick Cheney after they refused to pursue punishment for the many crimes of the Bush era.
▼ 2009 (679)
▼ 12/27 - 01/03 (13)
Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: 'Universal' health care
TV: That fall season
Barack and Bush: Separated at Birth
Must see film for 2010
Iraq: The War Continues
The Best Actress of the 20th Century
Idiot of the Week
► 12/20 - 12/27 (13)
Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: Women's rights thrown under the bus
TV: No way
Thank you, Bernie Sanders
Biggest Lie of the Week
Come And Get These Memories
The Attack of the Drones
The murder of Kelly Kwalik
► 12/13 - 12/20 (13)
Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
A note to our readers
Editorial: He's the world's War Hawk now
TV: When the guests call the shots
Those Wacky Ethics of Greg Mitchell
Every picture tells a story
NPR keeps selling the wars (Ava and C.I.)
Not So Fast Jeff Cohen (Ava and C.I.)
► 12/06 - 12/13 (13)
Truest statement of the week
Truest statement of the week II
Truest statement of week III
A note to our readers
Editorial: War Paint and Soft Feathers
TV: Oh what a difference a name change makes
Book: The Battle of Seattle
Wanted by the FBI: Diane Rehm and Barbara Slavin
Liar Supreme: Greg Mitchell
► 11/29 - 12/06 (12)
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► 09/13 - 09/20 (10)
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