Sunday, July 11, 2010

Truest statement of the week

During the campaign, many colleagues and friends of mine, assured me that Obama was just saying this hostile crap to "get elected" and once he was elected that he would "do the right thing." Well, first of all, why support such a pandering Jackwagon, and secondly, how has that ever worked? Three days after Obama swore to uphold and defend the Constitution, he drone-bombed a "target" in Pakistan killing 3 dozen civilians -- and since that day he has elevated the art of drone bombings to new heights, while the so-called antiwar movement looks on in silent complacency and while Democratic operatives disguised as antiwar groups are hoping against hope that Obama comes out strong with a new antiwar marketing campaign to assure his "re-election." Even though not one progressive issue has been propagated during his term, these war supporters are looking forward to another four years of the dance of death. Right foot kill -- left foot torture -- spin around for environmental devastation -- allemande left for health care fascism -- and shimmy right for bankster bailouts. Wasn't eight years of this crap during the Bush stain enough for y'all?

-- Cindy Sheehan's "Requiem for the Antiwar Movement by Cindy Sheehan" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox). Cindy Sheehan and Peace of the Action have already kicked off "Sizzlin Summer: Independence from oil, Free Palestine, Anti-drone & Counter Recruitment Protests, July 4th through July 17th" in DC. For a breakdown of the activities, click here.

Truest statement of the week II

Many antiwar groups and people who claim they are for peace lose their minds during election season thinking that the razor-thin difference between the Democrat and Republican is enough to go ape-s**t crazy in working for the Democrat. Just take the last two Democratic candidates, for example. Kerry and Obama both supported more war. An "antiwar" movement de-legitimizes itself when it works hard for a candidate who does not promise total and rapid withdrawal of troops from wherever they happen to be at the time AND does not promise to end war as an imperial tool of corporate conquest.

Cindy Sheehan's "Requiem for .he Antiwar Movement by Cindy Sheehan" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox). Cindy Sheehan and Peace of the Action have already kicked off "Sizzlin Summer: Independence from oil, Free Palestine, Anti-drone & Counter Recruitment Protests, July 4th through July 17th" in DC. For a breakdown of the activities, click here.

A note to our readers

Hey --
Sunday, Sunday.

Another week. 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),
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

and Betty's kids who did the illustration of Cindy Sheehan. We thank all of them.

What did we come up with?

Cindy Sheehan had this week's truest.
And Cindy Sheehan had this week's truest. Seriously, we almost had a third truest from Cindy but decided two in one week was enough to get her the record. (She's the only person to ever get both truests in the same week.)

I (Jim) really wanted this to be more. (C.I. just started singing Joni Mitchell, "It could have been more, than the name on the door . . .") But we did the editorial last and we were exhausted. Although, honestly, most of us didn't work that hard except for Ava and C.I. They worked like crazy, as you'll see. But we are all together and that's rare so we snacked, we joked, we had fun.

My only real accomplishment this edition is coming up with the title to Ava and C.I.'s TV article. "Lucky Town," by the way, is the name of a Bruce Springsteen song that popped into my head when I was trying to think of a title.

This was a fun roundtable and we pulled the funny part. At the request of the funsters. It's still a strong roundtable covering a number of topics.

Ava and C.I. Covering Cindy's protests and much more. This really is a strong piece and they weren't really finished but Dona called time on the edition after the editorial so they said "It is what it is" and forwarded it on to me.

We all worked on this piece. I think it's needed.

Again, Ava and C.I. They didn't want Jane addressed in the above and promised to address her solo. Thanks to Isaiah for letting us use his drawing of Jane Fonda.

A repost.

We thank the usual suspects for doing this.

And that's what we've got. Hope you found something to make you laugh, think or piss you off. That's it. Dona says it's time to eat and go to bed.


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

Editorial: End Operation Happy Talk

Doug Henwood: Meanwhile we had Joe Biden visiting -- in a fly-by visit to Iraq the other day. And he's saying, 'You'd be surprised by how well things are going there' -- or something to that effect. What in God's name is he talking about?

Bill Hartung: Well, you know, I don't think -- There's still religious and ethnic divides, there's still suicide bombings, there's difficulty in forming a, you know, consensus government. I think this is kind of under the category "Maybe We Can Get Out And Nobody Will Notice Because Of All The Build Up In Afghanistan." So after all the money and all the lives that have been lost, you know, they certainly haven't built the, you know, new, democratic, accountable government in Afghanistan that the Bush administration kept promising.

That's from last week's Doug Henwood's Behind The News program.

What the hell was Joe Biden doing?


Above he's shaking hands with a new US citizen. That we can understand. But the rest of that trip?

From Saturday through last Monday, the vice president of the United States was in Iraq.

Ever since Beau Biden got back from Iraq, Joe's been trying to sell it as a success. Originally, he tried selling it as Barack's success and that pissed off a number of right-wingers. So now he tries to pimp it as a success for Barack and Bush.

It's War Crimes. It's no success.

But there was Biden trying so hard to sell it to reporters.

And they were happy to swallow.

He talked about the 'little violence.' And got away with it through Wednesday. That's the day the attack on the pilgrims resulted in at least 68 of them dead.

In the Bush administration, they never learned. They'd spin and spin and be surprised when reality struck them in the face. It appears this is one more thing Barack's carried over to the new administration.

Not only did the violence last week reject Biden's assertion, so did the United Nations Assistance Mission's [PDF format warning] "Human Rights Report."

But we're supposed to buy another wave of Operation Happy Talk. It was stupid enough when the Bush administration thought they could get away with it. It's downright insulting when Barak and Biden continue it.

TV: They didn't name it Lucky Town

"Don't let the name fool you," ABC bored in their tease last April for Happy Town. Happy Town, like Eastwick and assorted other ABC shows of the last ten or so months, existed mainly to allow a few ABC execs to delude themselves into thinking they were all-powerful and all-knowing. While canceling shows made them feel all-powerful, an actual all-knowing exec would have realized they had way too many holes in their schedule.


Happy Town could have filled one of those holes this fall. The show had a lot going for it, chiefly its two stars: Lauren German and Geoff Stults. Both gave amazing, full-bodied performances that could hook you in and, given the chance, created a loyal following. It never got that chance. It was canceled and, despite ABC promising to run all eight episodes, they dumped the last two episodes online.

Which is not to say there were no problems with the show. It suffered, for example, from similar problems that the creative team's last show suffered from. That show was October Road. Set aside Stults and there was no man who was involving and sexually appealing. Possibly had a woman been a part of the team (Scott Rosenberg, Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum), Dean Winters would never have been dropped from the show to be replaced with the hideous Steven Weber.

Steven Weber, to put it into lingo the producers can understand, is an erection shriveler.

There are no moist moments when Weber is on air. First of all, he's never been that attractive to begin with but, when he almost passed for attractive, his hair was blond (Wings). Twenty years after he started playing that role, his hair is dark and worn as if it were colonial times. The hair, like the body, is revolting. Add in that he comes across onscreen as a lightweight and there was never any reason to cast him of John Haplin. Unattractive, unappealing and unable to deliver any line without a whine reading, Steven Weber may have been the very thing that ran viewers off.

Certainly, his post Wings career demonstrates that he is both an audience and show killer. But he was supposed to be the most important man in the twon of Haplin and, in fact, the most important man in the Haplin family. While Peggy Haplin (his mother, played by Frances Conroy) ran things, her power would have appeared all the more frightening if her son hadn't been such a simpering fool.

Haplin was a "Happy Town" largely because the series of kidnappings had ceased. Henley (really Chloe to those outside Haplin, played by German) came into the mysterious town just as things began to shift -- including the sheriff's freak out which puts Deputy Tommy Conroy (Stults) into the sherrif's seat.

Henley moves into a local boarding house with a bizarre landlady who thinks she can steer all conversations and keep people off of the house's third floor. The boarding house has one male resident, Merrit Grieves (Sam Neil). He runs a film curio shop in town and has all the older ladies enraptured. He and Henley bond over their natures (both are highly secretive). Henley is not 'new' to Haplin as everyone thinks and, through numerous phone calls, she's guided by another Haplin native.

As the episodes progress, Henley makes it to the third floor, grabs what she knew was hidden there (a hammer) and is almost caught but a distraction by Merrit allows her to continue her own secretive plot. Driving out of town with Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" playing on the stereo, her car is basically attacked by a bird causing her to run off the road and into several trees. At which point a tall, dark stranger appears. He 'rescues' her and they end up bedding down in a motel. When he's gone, she quickly learns, so is the hammer.

TDS is just out of prison, Tommy's old high school buddy/nemises and part of the town's low-life Stiviletto family. When she turns her hammer over to Peggy Haplin, Henley is paid off with millions; however, there is a catch. She can't leave town. Henley takes Peggy's words to mean that she must stay, as in order. She doesn't really believe Peggy can prevent her from leaving. She soon finds out otherwise as the roads close down, the train stops running and much more. After several cat and mouse games, a confrontation takes place in which Peggy pretends to know what Henley must be thinking: Did Greggy Stiviletto really love her or just seduce her because Peggy paid him to? Peggy went on and on and on. Then ordered her henchman to take Henley to a guest house and keep her there. On the way, Merritt knocked him out. The same Merritt who was aiding Henley by pretending to . . . be in love with . . . Peggy Haplin.

Frances Conroy's finest moments on the show came when she was forced to relive the taunts she hurled at Henley and realize that they applied to her own life.

Henley's was the plot that move steadily forward. There were many other plots and the bulk of them circled around each other.

But it was a show that could involve you and, provided Weber wasn't onscreen, could keep you longing for more.

It had a teen love story, it had a class (economic class) storyline, it had a little bit of everything.

The kidnapper was known as the Magic Man (and Heart's "Magic Man" was often played on the show). At one point, the end of episode three, the Magic Man has kidnapped Tommy's wife Rachel (Amy Aker). Which made the revelation of who the Magic Man was in episode eight all the more shocking.

The hammer. Henley stole it back from Peggy. She took it to Tommy and explained that his mother did not die of natural causes, as he was told, but was instead killed with this hammer by Peggy Haplin. Tommy confronted his father. As Henley (and whomever was guiding her from outside the town) expected, his father then rushed off to see the Magic Man.

Who was . . . Alice Conroy (Dee Wallace). Obviously not dead. And that she was the Magic Man and that she was alive (and that she'd kidnapped her own daughter-in-law Rachel) raised a series of questions. Ones that Henley would have, no doubt, pursued.

But ABC, as we noted at the start, instead has way too many holes in their schedule.

"They'll just fill them up with new shows," you say.

Well, yes, they will; however, will anyone watch.

FlashForward wasn't our favorite show of the year by any means; however, it did have some dedicated fans. It was far from alone and ABC canceled a lot of shows from fall 2009 through spring 2010. That's really not how you encourage viewing. Especially when it comes to new shows. If, for example, you enjoyed Eastwick or FlashForward, you might intentionally avoid ABC's new shows this fall feeling that anything you enjoy will end up canceled by the network anyway.

In the end, thanks to ABC, all that Happy Town really accomplished was demonstrating that Geoff Stults and Lauren German are two of the most interesting talents to emerge. Stults was known for playing the boy (we use that term intentionally) on 7th Heaven. Here he played a very complex man and gave an always surprising performance. German had to both make her character come alive and act as the show's tour guide. She carried both tasks off with plenty of talent and charm to spare. The suits may have canceled the show before it could find an audience, but not before Stults and German had a chance to strut their stuff.


Jim: Roundtable time and we've got some news topics and hopefully some time for some fun topics. This is one of the rare roundtables we do where we are all actually face to face. Our e-mail address is Participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, 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; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; 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. Betty's kids did the illustration.


Jim (Con't): First up, Iraq. What's the timeline, C.I.? How long without a government now and what's the 'standard.'

C.I.: Today makes it four months and four days and, the 'standard' would be the only previous Parliamentary election Iraq has had since the start of the illegal war, that's 2005, and Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister.

Jim: So we're three away from the same timeline. Anyone think they'll meet it?

C.I.: Just before anyone answers, the Parliament has held one meeting so far. Last week, Hoshyar Zebari announced to the press that they would hold their next meeting on July 13th and pick a presidency council -- the president and the two vice presidents. He's the Foreign Minister and, using the 13th, they could have shaved off one day from the 2005 record. They may not have a prime minister announcement on the 13th. But I wanted to put that out there before anyone guessed so they wouldn't feel like they'd been set up.

Stan: Well let's say that on the 13th they announce all of that, including the prime minister. I still wouldn't call that a success. You're telling me that the US continued the occupation, the death and dying, the money and lives wasted and all we did with five more years was shave one day off the record? That's appalling. The government in Iraq, the puppet government, is clearly dysfunctional.

Jim: Which really is the conclusion of UNAMI's "Human Rights Report," if you pay attention. Okay, we did the fiction edition last week and Dona and I helped Ty with the e-mails. We opened gingerly, expecting blistering e-mails. We were surprised that so many of you enjoyed reading it. We think it's the strongest positive response any of the fiction editions have received. So thank you for your kind words. We're sure, if we're around this time next year, that we'll screw up again. Dina did wonder in her e-mail why we didn't plan ahead of time?

Ty: Oh, how we try. We had an idea pad, for example, just for short stories that we kept all year. But you write down an idea when you can see it in your head and it's alive, then you pull out that pad the night you're going to work on it and it's cold. And that's true of the non-fiction as well. Saturday night, we were doing the pitching and thought we had a pretty good slate of topics to try writing articles on. Then we ended up with another slate. You just can't etch it in stone. Or we can't.

Jim: Anne e-mailed wondering why we don't tackle Afghanistan? At any of the community sites?

Cedric: We've addressed this before. A few months after I started my site -- and probably before I moved it over to Blogspot -- I did try. It was too much of a topic for me. Too much to deal with. If I'd stuck with it, it might have been different. But that's what it was for me personally. Now that's years ago. Today, we have a different reason. Our focus has been Iraq and any slippage there on our part would be interpreted a certain way.

Elaine: Right. We've long noted we're against the Afghanistan War. We've noted that long, long ago. But if we tackle Afghanistan now, it (a) justifies the media retreat from Iraq and (b) allows us to be as bad as the media.

Jim: And if the Iraq War really ends in a year?

Elaine: Then I can close down my site, C.I. can close down her site and Ava and C.I. walk from this one. Readers know that. Readers know that the three of us are so tired of the online world. That's not tired of readers who are wonderful and interesting. But it is being tired of all the time and effort that gets poured into the online presence.

Jim: Like tonight and this morning. Trevor and Lili e-mailed, by the way, to remind that Ann, Ava and C.I. needed to do another Terry Gross piece. That was one of the pieces planned for this edition but, as Ty was explaining, things change quickly. That may be written next week. On radio, Cameron wants to know what it would take for Pacifica to be noted community wide these days? He points out that it looks like NPR gets worked regularly.

Trina: NPR doesn't usually present a non-stop Barack-a-thon -- to steal Ava and C.I.'s phrase. There's little of value on Pacifica Radio these days. NPR, for example, has been a leader on the Gulf Disaster. Pacifica has done damn little. They've had no real reporting on it, just a bunch of gas baggery, and they've avoided anything that might reflect poorly on Barack. They're too busy covering for Barack to be a real radio network.

Ruth: In addition, we are not interested in Pacifica. Is it news? Okay, maybe it will get noticed then. But if it is just a conversation, why the heck would we highlight it? It will be gone in 14 to 90 days. KPFA was supposed to be setting the gold standard for archiving online. For a while, it did. Then they whined about money and how they could not afford to pay the publishing royalties required to play music and so they would have to delete their archives after 14 days. I think they are full of s**t for reasons Trina outlined and for the way they have destroyed the public's access to their airwaves. I am also tired of getting an e-mail two months later that says, "I went to" insert Pacifica Radio station "and they did not have the broadcast you were writing about." No, because they have deleted it.

Ann: And, to be clear, I'm the one who blackballed Aimee Allison. I was covering KPFA's The Morning Show until that evil video she posted, Aimee Allison. The one where she refused to condemn the attacks on Pakistanians with drones but did make plenty of time to talk about her wet dreams Michelle and Barack Obama. And I'm so, so sick of their White hosts wanting to show their 'solidarity' with Blacks. Want to help Black people be heard? Get your White ass off the air. Kris Welch is an embarrassment and especially so when she tries to pass for soulful. Kris, you can praise all the soul music you want, it won't make you Black. And of course, let's never forget that KPFA and Pacifica's racial 'expert' is White man Tim Wise. Dear Lord, help us all.

Betty: Amen. Tim Wise is like fingernails on a chalk board. I'm sure he pleases many of Pacifica's White listeners but as a Black woman, I find him so insulting and, yes, so very, very racist. And it is telling that the overly White Pacifica would make a White man their expert on racial issues.

Jim: Betty, you wrote about the Oscar Grant verdict in "Fairness" and Kavitha e-mailed to ask if you were as offended as she was by Dennis Bernstein's coverage on KPFA's Flashpoints? This is from her e-mail, "It was as if he was trying to stir it up. He wasn't reporting. He wasn't commenting. He was s**t stirring. And we all know it's not going to be Bernstein's ass on the line. This was one of those times when I felt like we were being used as pawns for the White man's game or gain."

Betty: I actually didn't listen to Flashpoints. I rarely do anymore. Once upon a time, they covered Iraq. I bowed out on that show as a regular listener when they couldn't shut up about Haiti. Every broadcast, week after week. It was way, way too much. But I don't doubt Kavitha's reaction and am sure I would have had the same response. And, for those who don't know, Kat's covered this many times at her site, Oscar Grant is a man who had no weapon and wasn't a criminal but was forced to lie on the ground by the police and then he was shot dead while lying down. The verdict came in last week and the police officer walked.

Dona: Kat, an e-mail for you, from reader Jordan, asks what's the most interesting thing you heard last week?

Kat: Yea! I'm so glad that question came in. Thank you, Jordan. In Africa, there's a beetle, I think it's a stenocara. And Australia is studying this beetle because parts of Australia have been suffering an apparently never-ending drought. What can this beetle do? It can take water out of the air. It's designed to do that. That's how it manages to thrive in dry areas of Africa. From the morning fog or dew, it can extract water. I found that story very interesting and heard it on BBC Radio.

Dona: Cedric and Ann, Allison e-mails that the two of you are "a blogging couple. And does that create problems with what one of you might talk or joke about or even with something like when you're going to work on your blog?"

Cedric: Ann's pointing to me to go first. I've never told Ann what to write or what not to write at her site. She's never done that to me either. I make a point to read her site. She doesn't make a point to read mine. That's because she hears Wally and me on the phone when we're working on our joint posts. And she's one of the people we run our final drafts by. Wally'll usually put down the phone and go ask C.I. and I'll usually be doing the same with Ann. In terms of working on the blog, Ann does more of that at her site than I do at mine. She's even changed her template. Her blog has a really nice look to it and that also is due to the fact that she's posted the painting of her that Betty's kids did. I'm not aware of any problems.

Ann: Wally and Cedric pitch things. "Hold my baby" was something they were doing last week. It was a joke involving Mel Gibson. And they never used it at the site. But they have to go through a lot of jokes -- some of the funny, some of them not -- to get to what they post. They work really hard on their posts. I don't work like that on mine. They also can't censor themselves during that stage. If one of them starts passing judgments in the middle of pitching, the whole process falls apart. I noticed that long before I started blogging. It's why I never say, as I'm listening to them pitch, "Uh, that's kind of gross." I never give any input until they're almost finished and then only because Cedric's reading it to me. But to do what he and Wally do, you have to go through a whole process. It goes beyond being co-writers. I've written pieces with Ava and C.I. and that was fun to do. But Cedric and Wally are writing humor pieces and that requires that they really not be afraid to say the stupid thing or whatever. They have to get silly, they have to work openly and, somewhere in all of that, an idea comes out.

Dona: Okay. Now Allison had a second question. This one for Wally. She wants to know if it's more difficult for you "and Cedric to write now that he's married and did it get even more difficult after Ann started blogging?"

Wally: She asked "even more difficult"?

Dona: Yes.

Wally: Because that appears to indicate that she thinks it was difficult. I don't. I think I knew Ann better than anyone before a number of us went to the wedding. That's because I'd be calling Cedric so we could work on our post and there were many times when she'd answer the phone and explain Cedric had just taken the trash out or run somewhere for something. So we had a telephone relationship for, easily, a year before they married. And, of course, I knew about her in depth from Cedric. I was thrilled for both of them when they got married. It's never been a problem with our blogging. There are times when she's made a major contribution to our joint-post and we try to get her to take credit but she won't. She feels that's Cedric's thing and she wants to maintain a line, a clear line.

Jim: And define major contribution.

Wally: With Ann, that's saying, "I think your main joke is interesting, but this thing over here, this is the real humor." And sometimes she may expand on that "this thing over here," craft a line or two that we end up using.

Dona: Lorraine wants to know why Cedric and Ann are married, Jim and I are engaged but Jess and Ava and Mike and Elaine are only dating.

Elaine: I'm jumping over everyone on this one. First, Mike and I live together. That's known. Our relationship is known. That would be all I care to say about it. My personal relationship is not lived online. Thank you.

Mike: And you know I've got nothing to add after that.

Ava: Well, I think Jess and I have a strong commitment and I really, like Elaine, prefer not to talk about my lovelife online. It's not an off-limits topic in my own life and I can bore anyone and everyone I know with it. But in terms of what I want to put out there for the whole world? I agree with Elaine. What did she say, "My personal relationship is not lived online." I mean you've got hold something back, you've got to have some levels of privacy even in this FaceBook age.

Jess: Jim is of the let it all out there school of thought. That's how he is and it's not a surprise. Ty and I knew that shortly after we all started living together in college. Readers of this site should well remember that what the rest of us might try to smooth over or not discuss is usually the very thing Jim's going to be writing about here. It's just a difference in personalities. I don't mind people knowing about my relationship with Ava. But I don't feel the need to provide details beyond the fact that we're in a relationship.

Dona: Trina, Bob e-mailed wanting your "best hunch" on the US economy.

Trina: Okay. Well this is gas baggery and just my opinion, so remember that. But, since you asked, as Judy Collins once sang, I've never bought into the idea that we've passed the hard part.

Mike: I'm cutting in for just a second. Mom just won $150 this summer. She needs to talk about that or I will.

Trina: As my son Mike pointed out just now, I won a bet. I was at a picnic for my husband's work last year, last June. And a group of people were talking and sharing what they thought of the economy. Including that the hard part was over. I said -- very strongly -- that the hard part hadn't even begun. And a man challenged me on that and wanted us to bet. I'd honestly forgetten about the bet but the company picnic came up last month and he came over and paid me on the bet. To me, there are indicators that are being ignored. I've been harping forever on several sets of them at my site and I'm beginning to suspect that Dean Baker finally got a clue or at least thought he should crib what I was pointing to. Either way he didn't understand it. The government jobs are the telling detail. They are still being cut back. October 1st, a new fiscal year starts. I expect to see October 1st find a large number of workers off the rolls. I'm basing that on my family members who work for various government agencies and on my readers who work for the government. I also, Dean Baker feel free to steal this, think people don't realize how bad it is for the government workers who have already been hit with fulough days and many are about to face, starting October 1st, a reduction in their pay rate. I'm not talking something temporary until a new budget is passed -- the way the California governor is attempting to do. I'm talking about a permanent reduction in their wages. Many municipal employees, for example, are writing me about the fact that come October 1st, they will have a 5% reduction in their rate of pay. And for many of those, that's on top of the furlough days. So, my best guess, we're not out of The Great Recession yet.

Jim: One question. Could you have stood to lose $150?

Trina: Yeah. I mean, I've blogged on this before, we're better off than we've ever been. That's not because we have a huge amount coming in. It's because I'm used to having all eight of our children living at home. That's cooking for them and that's electric and water bills that reflect that number of people. Where we are now is that one of our sons lives at home with his daughter and he's got his own job. And we're better off now than ever before. We're not raising eight kids now, if that makes sense. So the same money can go a lot further. It's reduced our overhead, let me put it that way.

Jim: Steve McBeth e-mailed to say he's a new reader of Isaiah's comics and is having fun seeing the older ones at Isaiah's site as well. His question for Isaiah is, "Of all the events in the '00s, what do you think was the most important one?"

Isaiah: I'll go with the Iraq War. I'm sure some would say 9-11 but I'd go with the Iraq War. I think something seriously changed in our national make up with the start of this war and I think our eagerness to be blind to the fact that the war continues demonstrates further unpleasant truths about our character. If you were eleven-years-old when the illegal war started, you're now 18. That's a hell of a long war. And whenever it finally does end, there will be so much still going on. Whether it's the continued treatment of veterans or the continued needs of the Iraqi victims. The destruction doesn't end just because the US finally pulls out. And, radio note, as C.I. pointed out Friday, To The Point covers many changes in the VA on PTSD this Monday.

Dona: A reader wants to know from Marcia and Rebecca if they're through with their book writing at their sites?

Marcia: No. We just haven't had time. For reading, to be honest. We would like to continue but time's prevented it so far.

Rebecca: In fact, we've considered doing the Pat Benetar book just to be able to have a book posts -- the one we've already discussed here. Then again, there's a large, oversize book that we've been looking at here. Marcia?

Marcia: Right. I think we could do that. Friday, check our sites. Friday night. I think we're going to do that. It's an oversize book. I think it's like thirty dollars though. But we'll discuss it at our sites.

Jim: And still with Marcia and Rebecca, Kitty wonders when you two think the Gulf Disaster's going to end?

Rebecca: Not this month. I don't see it. I would guess it might slow down by the end of August. Slow down. I don't know when it will end.

Marcia: I'm in agreement with Rebecca. But one of the things we talk about on the phone is why does Barack think it ends in August? I mean, Rebecca and I are assuming he knows something we don't know. Or else he threw that date out to try to silence everyone. I don't know.

Jim: Okay and, on that note, we'll wrap up. This is a rush transcript.

Cindy's in DC, Where are we? (Ava and C.I.)

"Not enough of us are being impacted directly," Nicole Sandler declared last week, "like you were with your son."

She was speaking to Cindy Sheehan which is the only reason we were listening to The Randi Rhodes Show (Sandler was filling in for Rhodes).

We listened before Cindy came on (click here for that lead up and Cindy's appearance) with an uneasy feeling. Nicole is one of the many who should introduce herself into the microphone as, "Just another whore for Barack."

cindy sheehan

Cindy Sheehan illustration by Betty's kids.

We wanted to say something nice. We tried really hard but then the whore brought up that the draft should be brought back. That, she maintained, would change everything and bring back opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's when she then went on to make that appalling statement we started the piece with: "Not enough of us are being impacted directly like you were with your son."

Cindy's son, Casey Sheehan, was killed serving in Iraq (April 4, 2004). Cindy Sheehan is, of course, Peace Mom. She's put her whole life on hold in order to make sure that no mother has to go through what she did. (See Ann's "Thoughts on Cindy Sheehan, courage and other things.")

Red water in the bathroom sink

Fever and the scum brown bowl

Blue steel still begging

But it's indistinct

Someone's hi-fi drumming Jelly Roll

Concrete concentration camp

Bashing in veins for peace

Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire

Fall into Lady Release

-- "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire," music and lyrics by Joni Mitchell, from her For The Roses.

So with Cindy's history, we think that's especially appalling for Nicole to have said to Cindy. But setting aside who she was talking to, zoom in on what she said: Not enough us are being impacted directly like some are as a result of US service members dying.

Not enough of us are losing family members to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Does that not appall you?

It should.

And what's amazing is that "Just another whore for Barack" Nicole Sandler wants to bring back the draft because she wants more people to die in these wars. Now she can whine that she's been misinterpreted but her words were clear: Not enough of us are suffering deaths in the family.

"Just another whore for Barack" can propose killing thousands if not millions (of Americans -- she had no concern for Iraqis or Afghanistan and her 'concern' expressed on air were finanical costs of the wars) but she can't call out Barack.

That's how pathetic things have become.

Standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona

And I'm quite sure I'm in the wrong song

2 girls 65 got a piece tied up in the

Back seat

"Honey we're recovering Christians"

-- "In The Springtime Of His Voodoo," written by Tori Amos, first appears on her Boys For Pele.

We started this writing edition with a number of pitches. A number of different topics we'd hoped to cover. And not one of them was something like this. But the phone started ringing and people started making suggestions to us (the Cindy radio interview was suggested by a producer for ABC News). One of the things we did last week was work on children's charities and that made our own perspectives different. But, as Al Paciono says in Godfather III, "Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in."

Being able to focus on real issues last week (children's medical needs) allowed us to skip the never ending Obama Drama forever coming out of the White House. We were able to ignore his gaffes, his crimes, his spin, his enablers and his justifiers. We were able to focus on real issues with out hearing them distorted by Barry O's army of whores.

And, yes, another world is possible.

But no one's there yet. So we're back in the sewer with Barack.

And as we grappled with that and the various friends phoning to suggest topics, Ty presented us with an e-mail on, symmetry, Cindy Sheehan.

A very angry supporter of Cindy Sheehan felt she had lost all support. The e-mail (a) took us to task for not being in DC, (b) took us to task for not promoting her events in DC and noted that (c) David Swanson hadn't promoted her events at all and is just as bad as we are.

We're all dreamers

We're all whores

Discarded stars

Like worn out cars

Litter the streets of this town

-- "This Town," written by Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin, first appears on the Go-Gos' Beauty & the Beat

We'll grab the last one first. We're asses, we're bitches, and every other term you wish to apply to the irritant that refuses to be silent and just go-along-to-get-along. Our purpose online is to be the voice saying what others refuse to or what others attempt to pretty up. Which is why we're nothing like David Swanson.

David Swanson thinks Barack belongs in prison but fails to say so publicly. David Swanson passed around Rebecca's e-mails -- apparently for sport -- and when confronted with that fact by Rebecca, he attempted to lie and insist she was "crazy." No, she wasn't crazy. One of his forwards came back to Rebecca. We're nothing like David Swanson. We don't try to offer false cheer and hope and trick you into believing us.

And we certainly didn't see our role in 2008 as clearing out the Democratic Party's nominee field for Barack Obama. We certainly didn't whore and pretend Sarah Sewer and the other counter-insurgency gurus (those inlcude Samantha Power) weren't Barack's inner circle.

We don't follow David Swanson. So we typed in After Downing Street and learned he'd changed his site to War Is A Crime. We then went through, page by page, last week.

No, he didn't promote Cindy's events. Not at all.

Did this site?

Last week, "Truest statment of the week II" was Cindy Sheehan (her "Where Have all the Peaceniks Gone? by Cindy Sheehan" ) and noted "Cindy Sheehan and Peace Action have already kicked off "Sizzlin Summer: Independence from oil, Free Palestine, Anti-drone & Counter Recruitment Protests, July 4th through July 17th" in DC. For a breakdown of the activities, click here." Last week (this site only publishes on Sundays) was the fiction edition and, as Jim made clear in his "A note to our readers," it wasn't an easy writing week.

In addition, we're responsible for The Common Ills. Videos of Cindy's actions in DC were noted in "Did the Justice Dept cut the wrong deal?," the attempts to silence her were covered in "A bomb threat outside the White House should be news" her schedule for last week was included in "Iraqi women and women in Iraq" and her column was quoted and DC actions noted in "Violence, like Operation Happy Talk, never ends." Is that enough? If you ask us, it's not. But it's all that was managed. And sometimes that's all you can do. (It's also true that Peace of the Action announced a cancellation due to the heat and it wasn't clear to those of us not in DC whether that was going to be one cancellation or more. As a result, the events themselves were not promoted after that cancellation due to the lack of clarity. During the interview Saturday, Cindy made clear that events continued next week.)

As for DC, we have lives we put on hold to go all over the country speaking out against the illegal war. We're tired of it but we continue to do it. And, when possible, we spend more time in the DC area by attending Congressional hearings and speaking in that area with the excuse that we have to be at whatever hearing. But we've been doing this forever and a day and we've agreed to six more months (taking us through this year) but we're not going to think beyond that.

In the river I know I will find the key

And your voice will rise like spray

In the moment of knowing

The tide will wash away my doubts

'Cause you're already home

Making it nice for when I come

Like the way I find my bed turned down

Coming in from a late night out

Please keep reminding me

Of what in my soul I know is true

Come in my boat, there is a seat beside me

And two or three stars we can gaze into

-- "Like A River," written by Carly Simon, first appears on her Letters Never Sent.

July is an important month for us personally due to a number of family events and, each July, at this time, we are home for these two weeks. We're not on the road. We're focusing on our charity work and on our families. This isn't scheduled in June, this is a standing schedule. (And on schedules, Dona does our schedule and schedules events months ahead. If it weren't for Dona and her scheduling, we'd never know where we were headed next so thank you, Dona.) And having given a minimum of 46 weeks each year to speaking out against the wars all over the country, no, we're not going to feel guilty that we're not in DC this week. For one of us (Ava), that's been basically the last four years, for the other (C.I.) that's been since the month before the Iraq War started (Feb. 2003) and we're tired. Doing our board work last week felt so productive, felt so wonderful and provided us with a grounding we rarely feel. Most weeks, we're stumbling around trying to play catch up.

she said, 'what?'
he said, 'you.'
she said, 'what are you talking about?'

he said 'you.'

right birds can fly so high

or they can s**t on your head

they can almost fly into your eye and make you feel so scared,

but when you look at them and you see that there beautiful

that's how i feel about you.

right birds can fly so high

or they can s**t on your head

they can almost fly into your eye and make you feel so scared,

but when you look at them and you see that there beautiful

that's how i feel about you.

yeah that's how i feel about you.

she said, 'thanks'

'i like you too'

he said, 'cool'

-- "Birds," written by Kate Nash, from her Made of Bricks.

So that's our reply to the e-mail and we're not offended by it. We hope the woman writing e-mailed many people about these events. Particularly because Cindy's efforts have gotten so little attention so some people (maybe even David Swanson) may honestly not be aware of them.

Cindy Sheehan: [. . .] but this is the first time in literally years that I've been on Randi's show.

Nicole Sander: Well.

Cindy Sheehan: So I'm glad. I want to say hi to all the people who are listening that got used to hearing me on the show. But I think that we have to realize that it doesn't really matter if we're Democrats or Republicans or our leadership is Democratic or Republican, there's a really corrupt, ingrained system that we have to struggle against. And if we all -- in every two to four years -- break in opposite camps and, you know, even within the left there's so many different layers of what it means to be on the left If we don't start working together and figuring out ways that we can, you know, be very effective against the system, you know, not to have this-this left and right, but right and wrong. And to coalesce around that as Americans and as members of humanity then it doesn't matter who's president, we're not really going to get the change that we need.

We will give Sandler credit for having Cindy on and we'll even note that, as a guest host, she has to stick to the rules of the program and might have been more vocal on her own program. (She plans to have Cindy on her own program this week. We believe Monday.)

But it's really something -- and it's really sad -- that someone would go so far as to suggest bringing back the draft in the hopes of ending the wars but still couldn't call out Barack Obama who is the one continuing the wars. It's really something and it's really sad.

The draft did not stop wars. That's something that everyone wants to pin their hopes on because then they can stay home and do nothing (other than cheer Charlie Rangel on with his plan -- we love Charlie but he's wrong on this issue). As Cindy pointed out, the draft didn't end the Korean War. And as we've pointed out before, these claims that fear of being drafted accounted for the peace activists during Vietnam overlooks the fact that women were a huge number of the activists and women were not subject to the draft.

It's also nonsense because 'everyone' -- even if "everyone" is used just to define men -- was not drafted or at risk of being drafted.

And who are these men? Who are these men? Let’s talk for a minute about these masters of war, these same men that are sending our sons and our daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers to fight an undeclared and unconstitutional and unwinnable war for them. Let’s talk about their service records. Karl Rove did not serve. Paul Wolfowitz did not serve. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Newt Gingrich did not serve. Jeb Bush did not serve. The list goes on and on. And we know George W. did not really serve.
-- Jessica Lange, DC peace rally, September 2005 (link has video, audio and text, Democracy Now!)

The return of a draft isn't the answer. Criticizing the wars while acting as if George W. Bush is still guiding and continuing them isn't the answer. Making excuses for a War Hawk isn't the answer.

Cindy knows the answer, Cindy's showing the answer. The only way the wars end is when those responsible for continuing them are held accountable.

It's really amazing how hard so many work to avoid that very simple answer.

One small voice

Speaking out in honesty

Silenced, but not for long

One small voice

Speaking with the values we were taught as children

Tell the truth

You can change the world

But you better be strong.

-- "One Small Voice," written by Carole King from her Speeding Time.

See, the solution isn't just a Carole King song, it's a lesson that was instilled in long of us long, long ago in the form of the children's story "The Emperor Has No Clothes On." No one wants to state the obvious, everyone looks the other way. It takes a brave child to state what everyone should have already been pointing out.

Cindy Sheehan's doing the brave thing. It's a real shame so many are so scared of calling out Barack. It's a real shame that so many Democrats have proven to be as craven as so many Republicans were during Bush's era. Because wrong is wrong. Wrong doesn't change and become "right" because a different person does it. "Bad" doesn't transform into "good" just because a new leader oversees it.

These are fixed points on the scale of humanity -- illegal detention, murder, occupations -- and these are wrong. They are wrong no matter who does them. They are wrong no matter how many justifications are served up or how many turn off the porch lights and pretend they're already asleep. These actions are always wrong.

And everyone knows it.

Cindy just happens to be the person brave enough to say it.

Love is a Rush of Wild Wind;
The Scent of a Summer Rose
A whistle blowing on a distant track

and when it goes, it goes

I know that tale I've heard it told
How bruises reach down to the soul

A love once warm, turns icy cold

And I know that

Love is a Rush of Wild Wind;

The Scent of a Summer Rose

A whistle blowing on a distant track

and when it goes, it goes

-- "And So It Goes," written by Barry Miles, Maya Angelou and Roberta Flack, first appears on Flack's Oasis.

And, from Peace of the Action, here's this week's DC schedule:


For this week, we will be targeting recruiting centers and defense contractors and lobbyists—and we will do some special “lobbying” of our own on Capitol Hill. (The POTA DC Trial has been inserted into this week because of the recent scheduling by the court.)

July 12th (Monday):
– Peace of the Action DC Trial
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 13th (Tuesday):
– Peace of the Action DC Trial
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

or (trial may be one day or two. so we have two options this day.)

– meet in Lafayette Park at 9am
– group to move together to Military Recruiting Station (TBA) and protest until 3pm
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 14th (Wednesday):
– meet in Lafayette Park (North Side of White House) at 9am
– group to move together to Military Recruiting Station (TBA) and protest until 3pm
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 15th (Thursday):
– meet in Lafayette Park (North Side of White House) at 9am
– group to move together to War Profiteer (TBA) and protest until 3pm
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet

July 16th (Friday):
– meet in Lafayette Park (North Side of White House) at 9am
– group to flyer, bullhorn in LaFayette Park and in front of the White House
– evening to post protest pics, videos and articles to Internet


July 17th (Saturday):
– POTA Retreat (location TBA 2pm to 5pm)

This will be an intense think tank session on the future of Peace of the Action and the future of anti-war protests in the U.S. With small numbers, where should our limited resources be focused? We have to dream up an entire movement based on very low numbers and very limited funds—bring your creative solutions and a positive attitude that a better world is possible!

– POTA Dinner/Rally (possible picnic Lafayette Park)

Barry's Geriatric 'Progs'


Progressives for Barack
couldn't, of course, have called themselves "Democrats for Obama" -- not with Carl Davidson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher and other whores signing on. More recently, they changed thier names to Progressive America Rising and they're now leaving Blogspot and moving to a new address. As they try to rewrite history, we thought we'd take a moment to comment on the Original Barack Whores.

These Socialists and Communists garbed themselves in "progressive" and then wanted to whine that people were noting their affiliations. As if it was at all strange to note the actual politics of people making political endorsements?

Bill Fletcher, of course, while whining "McCarthyism" (no, he's not really that stupid, he is that crafty and that much of a liar), went on CounterSpin in the summer of 2008 to mock Democrats. So you might wonder why the hell he was making an endorsement to begin with?

But if you ever start to think these ineffectual losers make any sense, you'll be lost in analysis that never pays off.

There is no foundation. There is no logic. As with their earlier cohorts, they take marching orders and spin on a dime from position to position. They have no fixed principles, let alone ethics. And, before they move, it's worth noting just what hypocrites they were and remain.

Like Tom Hayden (Tom, Bill, Barbara and Carl are the endorsers -- think of them as a geriatric Mod Squad plus one because having an equal number of women or people of color frightens this crowd), they all grandstanded on the Iraq War during the Bush years. And these days?

They last addressed it in February of this year with the laughable "Obama Pressed by US 'Long Warriors'." In fact, that b.s. article defines their purpose these days. Sixty years earlier, they would have been on board with the pressures "Uncle Joe" (Stalin) was under. These days, they hurry and worry to excuse the actions of Barack. Same whoring, different pimp.

In fairness to the whores, there are a lot of issues and you can't cover them all . . . especially when you don't 'write' very often. For example, these 'committed' activists posted 6 articles in January, nearly broke their necks managing to post seven articles in February, caught their breath in March and April with three articles each month, dropped to two for May and June and are currently at one for the month of July.

'Write'? The latest piece they've 'written' is Katrina Vanden Heuvel's "A Defining Vote on Afghanistan." From The Nation magazine. Which they post in full. Remember that, kids, if you have a website, repost articles from The Nation in full -- it's a-okay with the mag!

Their links are largely out of date -- in one they promote Tom Hayden's 'new' book on Iraq (2006) -- and we traveled through some of them and arrived at their MySpace page which revealed a number of things.


Starting with, Carl Davidson should not be allowed to dress himself. (Doesn't he look like Rip Torn in Happy Tears?). Then we noticed that this prime 'mover & shaker' only had 18 MySpace friends. Then we noticed that they all appeared to be White Anglo. Guess the reach out Carl's always insisting will (someday) come hasn't come yet.

In search of other laughs, we headed over to Progressivesforobama Forum. First thing we noticed was that Carl Davidson's the moderator here as well. Not surprising. It's not as if Carl has a real job. The topic list included "Iraq and The Antiwar Movement," so that's where we started.

And couldn't stop laughing.


"2 years, 3 months" ago Carl posted "Obama's Latest Stump Against Iraq War" and "2 years, 3 months" ago Carl posted "Obama's October 2202 Speech vs Iraq War - Full Text" and . . .

We can't say, that's it.

There is, you see, one more post. And it's actually from this year! "6 months, 3 weeks" ago "nikedde" posted this "Cheap Sell Lacoste ED Hardy Polo LV D&G Puma Gucci Max Shoes." Clearly that is the "Iraq and The Antiwar Movement" topic Carl can actually grasp.

Pathetic, useless and filled with posers (many of whom hide in political closets), there's no reason to ever again make the mistake of listening to any of these losers when it comes to who you should vote for. They've done their damage, they need to own it.

Dear Jane - an open letter (Ava and C.I.)

Dear Jane --

This edition, we all take to task the laughable Progressives For Obama. You were, of course, a part of that group. When working on that piece, it was asked if the article should mention that? We (Ava and C.I.) decided we'd address it via an open letter to you.

First, caught you and loved you in 33 Variations. Congratulations on the well deserved Tony nomination. Looking forward to seeing you Et si on vivait tous ensemble -- your first French film since Godard's Tout va bien.

And while you've been busy, we do believe -- as you often noted after so many speeches -- in holding you to what you promise.

Jane, do you remember these words?

I haven't spoken at an antiwar rally in 34 years, because I've been afraid that because of the lies that have been and continue to be spread about me and that war, that they would be used to hurt this new antiwar movement, but silence is no longer an option. My daughter, who is here with me today -- come here -- she was a little girl when she would come with me to the anti-Vietnam War protests. She's here today with her two little children, my grandchildren. I'm very proud that they're here, but I'm so sad that we still have to do this; that we did not learn the lessons from the Vietnam War; that we've made the same mistakes, blindness to the realities on the ground, hubris and arrogance in dealing with a people and culture far older than we are; and that we understand so little, carelessness and thoughtlessness in our approach to rebuilding a country we've destroyed, allowing billions of dollars to be stolen, squandered at the hands of private contractors, just as this administration has done in our own gulf in the post-Katrina era. So, thank you. Thank you for being here, and we'll continue to be here for as long as necessary. God bless.

Do you remember those words?

That's you speaking at the DC rally January 27, 2007.

"We'll continue to be here for as long as necessary."

Jane, the Iraq War has not ended. And you, of all people, know far better than anyone that once a US war officially 'ends,' the suffering for the occupied country does not. (An Introduction To The Enemy is sadly not available on DVD.)

"We'll continue to be here for as long as necessary."

Did it stop being necessary?

We're not begrudging you an acting career, we're not begrudging you a fine romance. We're just aware that the Iraq War continues under Barack Obama and we haven't heard one word from you calling that out?

Did the Iraq War become better because the Sandy Dennis-like speaking style of Barack Obama replaced the faux southern drawl of George the Bully Boy Bush?

Was it really all just a dialectical opposition?

The Status Of Forces Agreement is, first of all and most importantly, unconstitutional. That's not just our opinion or just the opinions of US House Reps Bill Delahunt, Barbara Lee, etc. It's also the opinion of Joe Biden and Barack Obama. Or was.

When campaigning for the White House.

Mere weeks after the election, they backed off from that stance.

It's unconstitutional and to allow it to stand is to set the framework for future presidents to ram through treaties without the advice and consent of the Congress.

The Status Of Forces Agreement is also a document Bush pushed through. Little Kool-Aid sniffer Raed Jarar cheers the document but then he doesn't know the first damn thing about the Constitution.

Those cheering the SOFA on better be willing to praise Bush because that's his document.

We've never praised Bush and certainly won't start doing so now.

We're also aware that the SOFA can be extended or replaced with another agreement. The UN mandate for the occupation, for example, was replaced with the SOFA.

Even if it stands and we don't consider all the US service members that will be stationed at "Little DC" (as the US State Department's Baghdad compound/embassy is beginning to be known), the Iraq War damage continues and continues for years. Vietnam has still not fully recovered all these decades now. The same will be true of Iraq.

"We'll continue to be here for as long as necessary."

We'd argue that not only is it necessary to "continue to be here" but it will be for many, many years to come.


Ava and C.I.

P.S. Illustration by Isaiah.

Bomb threat outside the White House?

We're reprinting this about an event last week.

A bomb threat outside the White House should be news

The bomb threat came next; you did not hear about it through mainstream
media because it was a fraud, perpetuated by your United States

First we were told we could not assemble -- our bodies had to stay in
motion. Mere minutes later a young man with a backpack and a guitar
strolled through and as he spoke with rank authorities the message from
the bull horn became righteous and powerful. The young man then
moved to the edge of the walk, mumbled something, and immediately
we were told to shut it down and get out of the park.

Amazing how that works, is it not? Read that last paragraph again.
The aggression from the agents in charge was directed towards us, not
in dealing with a supposed bomb threat. As I moved slowly through the
park I asked a relatively relaxed agent if, indeed, there was a bomb threat.
He casually replied, "mmhmm."

This was not an evacuation of any sort; it was a trampling of rights to
assemble and to speak freely. You see, we were disturbing the BBQ and
birthday celebration with the truth.

Just outside of the park, opposite the festivities at the Big House, we
continued speaking and flyering and expressing other rights as provided
in the Constitution; yet, again, we ruffled too many feathers and were
forced to cross the street, and our "free speech zone" was officially a
quarter mile away from the one man who needed to listen to us.

The above is from Cindy Sheehan's "On Protesting, and Fighting the Power" (Peace
of Action) and she's correct, it's rather strange that a bomb threat took place in DC
-- outside the White House, no less -- and no one in the media reported it. Except
of course, it wasn't a legitimate threat. A legitimate threat -- real or prank -- outside
the White House on Fourth of July would lead the news broadcasts and be splashed
over the front of the next day's papers. The fact that this didn't happen indicates the
whole thing was staged and the police were in on it. Who else was in on it? The
White House? Cute little trick they have to clear out protests? Send someone out
to holler "bomb threat" and give the police an excuse to clear the area?

If the person hollering "bomb threat" was not an employee of the police/government
on an official mission, there would be (a) a police incident report (even if the one
yelling claimed "prank") and (b) an arrest record (again, even if the one yelling
claimed "prank"). So where are those documents?

A peaceful protest was shut down on Sunday due to a 'bomb threat.' This took place
outside the White House. The media that's created and inflated threats against Barack
to up the drama count has a real one or a real prank and they're not reporting it?
They're not asking questions? What's the deal.

These would be public records. Where are they?


This piece is 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. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"I Hate The War" -- C.I, noting it's gas bagging, grants a wish to gas bag. Most popular post of the week.

"A Bully Thanksgiving" -- Isaiah dips into the archives for this one.

"Damn shame" & "The economy and other uglies (Paul and Sammy)" -- Trina's book end posts that say it all.

"Thoughts on Cindy Sheehan, courage and other things" & "Oh, no, he didn't!" -- Ann covers Cindy Sheehan and also why Barack's new slogan is already a problem.

"Fairness" & "The spies" -- Betty on the Oscar Grant verdict and on the spying in the US.

"dnc screws us over again" -- Rebecca on the primaries.

"The long, hot nightmare" -- Kat describing a bad day.

"Jewel" -- Kat weighs in on Jewel.

"Melissa and Tammy Lynn" -- Marcia weighs in on the celebrity break-up.

"My Little Chickadee" -- Stan's Friday movie post.

"Interesting idea" -- Elaine on a senator's proposal.

"Just go home" & "THIS JUST IN! CANADA PRESS CORP BIG LIARS!" -- Cedric and Wally offer media criticism.

"gloria steinem needs to retire already" -- Rebecca shares some thoughts.

"Education" -- Ruth knows Barack spells the death of public education.

"The dull live album" -- a music review from Kat.

"And yet again for New Orleans" -- Marcia on the Gulf Disaster.

"Sexism & Dave Lindorff" & "Nutty Naomi Wolf" -- Elaine and Mike offer book end posts.

"The Gulf Disaster as Gold Dust" -- Ruth.

"The Gulf, the pouty baby" & "Gulf and Clarence" -- Marcia and Stan on the Gulf Disaster.

"Talk about the need for campaign finance reform" & "THIS JUST IN! WHO FOOTS THE BILL!" -- Cedric and Wally.

"Raise the eyebrow" -- puzzlers from Mike.
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