Sunday, October 10, 2010

Truest statement of the week

There's no doubt that this originates from the top. This comes from the Oval Office. This now is a hallmark of the Obama administration. One of the interesting developments is that at the same time as the same time these raids took place, the Obama administration announced it was supporting new regulations to compell popular internet messaging services like Facebook, Blackberry, to open up their systems to FBI surveilance. So it was reported right after the raids and one may wonder if the raids are also a distraction from pushing through this kind of legislation that more deeply erodes our fundmental rights to privacy.

-- Heidi Boghosian, WBAI's Law and Disorder Radio, last Monday, replying to whether the
Friday, September 24th FBI raids on peace activists went all the way to the top? The day of the raid, Heidi Boghosian's [PDF format warning] "The Policing of Political Speech: Constraints on Mass Dissent in the US" was released/

Truest statement of the week II

"I just came back from Baghdad. And it's a mess. And I would really like to see us talk about why the f--- we're in there. We have 50,000 kids there. What are they doing?"

-- former US Ambassador Joe Wilson quoted by The New York Daily News while attending a special screening of Fair Game.

A note to our readers

Hey --
Not so early for us.

Thank you to all who worked 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.

Heidi Boghosian managed to get this which is surprising only because there were three other nominations that were her remarks on last week's Law and Disorder Radio (there were five other nominations that weren't Heidi).

This came down to Joe Wilson or Roger D. Hodge and we went with Wilson.

The last feature we did for this edition and I think it shows. ("I" being Jim.) Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, we're just ready to go to sleep.

Dona wanted me to title Ava and C.I.'s wonderful TV commentary something with "dreams" in the title. I couldn't think of anything like that, so I used reboot headline instead. Even if you hate the title, you'll love what Ava and C.I. wrote.

A short feature and, Barack, we'll offer you further fashion tips in coming weeks now that -- visting the White House website this morning -- we see that you're listening.

You can stand for homophobia or you can stand against it. We stand against it. The big disagreement on this article was whether or not to put Rebecca's name out there. Rebecca's attitude was it was her line that was objected to by one reader so put it out there. She even wanted the piece linked to but we couldn't remember when it ran. I backed Rebecca up after she said to put her name to it. Others felt Rebecca's name being used was hiding behind her. I can see that point as well. For me, it comes back to Rebecca wrote the line and she wanted her name next to it (not for credit, obviously). (Longterm readers who want to find the article, search for Ron and his friend we do not name. I'm sure you know who I mean.)
A survey piece. This was almost another piece. Or rather, almost two. The Faludi remarks are largely Ava and C.I. and were a lot stronger in the original version. They watered it down and refused our suggestion that they write a feature just on Faludi's article. They argued they were too tired. If there's no response piece from them next week, I would argue that proves my point, they just didn't want to call out Faludi.


Mike, Elaine, Cedric, Ann, Rebecca, Betty, Kat, Wally, Stan, Marcia and Ruth wrote this and we thank them for it.

So that's what we managed. Our e-mail address is


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

Editorial: The same old song

Show confessions are back in Iraq. And their (predictable) return may be about the only thing different in Iraq today. The political stalemate continues, the violence continues, the deaths continue, the corruption continues.

One new thing did take place, the political stalemate turned 7 months old. Nouri al-Maliki and his spokesperson insist that it will soon be over but they were saying that two Fridays ago. In fact, they've been saying that repeatedly since the March 7th elections. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. Progress would have been this year's elections leading to the formation of a government in less than four months. Tuesday, Steve Inskeep addressed the issue with analyst Michael Wahid Hanna on NPR's Morning Edition (link has audio and text):

Steve Inskeep: The news headlines suggest that Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, is going to keep his job. Is that certain at this point?
Michael Wahid Hanna: It's not absolutely certain. But it's always been the odds-on most likely result, and that's a function of demography and politics. Iraq is a Shiite-majority country and so although his party was the runner-up in the March elections, it was always likely that he was going up as the premier one more time.
Steve Inskeep: Well, because nobody had a majority so it was a matter of assembling enough building blocks among these parties to have a majority.
Michael Wahid Hanna: That's right. He lost by two seats, his party did, but obviously the next step is to form a government. And it was always going to be difficult for Iyad Allawi, the leader of the rival Iraqiya list(ph), which is seen as a sort of secular list, although he is a Shiite. Most of his votes came from Sunnis and so it was always going to be difficult to construct a parliamentary block where they were the majority.

It was an opinion echoed when the International Crisis Groups' Joost Hiltermann spoke with the Council on Foreign Relations' Bernard Gwertzman about the stalemate:
Bernard Gwertzman: So, despite these latest stories over the long weekend, you're not necessarily enthusiastic that a deal has been struck?
Joost Hiltermann: No deal has been struck. The only thing that has happened is that Maliki was chosen to be the designated prime ministerial candidate for the Iraqi National Alliance, which is the reconstituted Shiite alliance minus the Islamic Supreme Council [headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi] and some other independents and smaller groups. So that's the only thing that has happened, but Maliki, even with that kind of blessing, simply doesn't have the number of seats that he needs in order to form a government.

Former US Ambassador Joe Wilson explained to The New York Daily News last week, "I just came back from Baghdad. And it's a mess. And I would really like to see us talk about why the f--- we're in there. We have 50,000 kids there. What are they doing?" Roger D. Hodge offered:

He has declared an end to the war in Iraq by redefining the mission of the 50,000 troops who remain there. Yet the war continues, our soldiers fight and die, and Iraq still lacks a functioning government.
We've seen much the same thing with ObamaCare. As with the Iraq War, Obama has merely redefined the mission. Far from being the universal health-care system that the country needs, Obama's health program is best understood as a bailout of the private health industry that seeks to guarantee some 30 million additional customers for insurance companies and continued obscene profits for large drug manufacturers. The paradox here is that in a system aiming at universal coverage, the actuarial role of insurance companies, which is to determine the precise odds of paying unprofitable claims on a given class of customers, has become obsolete.

The Iraq War goes on. It has not ended. But the MSM repeatedly tries to tell you it has and either due to ignorance or whoring or some mixture of the two, so many left and left outlets back that crap up.

As Ambassador Wilson said, we need to be asking why those soldiers are still in Iraq? There were no WMDs, Saddam Hussein was not a threat but he's now dead, so why are US soldiers still in Iraq?

TV: Can we get a reboot on the reboot?

If TV were like dreams, it would certainly be more imaginative. And watching the fall crop of new shows, what has stood out the most is just how flat and non-visual so many of the shows are. Take Hawaii Five-O which somehow manages to make the great and beautiful fiftieth state look about as exotic as Vermont.


As flat as the visual is Alex O'Loughlin's Steve McGarrett. O'Loughlin most recently crashed and burned on TV in Three Rivers. As we noted of the heavy push by CBS to portray O'Loughlin as sexy:

We wondered at the time: (a) Why is CBS telling us there's a sexy man on a new show, (b) why is the voice telling us this male, (c) why does this O'Loughlin look like Noah Wylie in a shower cap and (d) who the hell is supposed to find that sexy?

In answer to the last question: Gay men into body fur.

We repeatedly asked straight women we knew if they thought Alex was really that sexy looking? No, especially not with that hair cut. Then we brought the issue up with some gay male friends who told us there was an entire cottage industry devoted to O'Laughlin who is, apparently, bringing furry back. (If so, he's several chests too late. We already noted that trend this fall.)

Since we wrote that, not only was Three Rivers given the axe but O'Loughlin also crashed and burned in The Back-up Plan on the big screen. For those who missed it (a large number of people), The Back-up Plan was Jennifer Lopez' return to films. To be the beefcake in a Lopez film, all you have to do is smile a lot, remove your shirt and convincingly act as if you're in love with Lopez. As Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes and Michael Vartan have demonstrated, it is not a difficult task. It was, however, beyond the meager talents of O'Loughlin.

Hawaii Five-O is already shaping up as O'Laughlin's third TV strike. Along with Three Rivers, he also crashed and burned in Moonlight. Like H50, those two also aired on CBS. It's a rare thing for a network to give an actor three chances -- in four years -- to carry the lead in an hour long program so the big question in the industry is exactly who adopted O'Loughlin as their boy toy?

Why exactly he was cast as Steve McGarrett is even more puzzling. In the original Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980), Steve McGarrett was played by Jack Lord. That Steve was fond of many ladies. So what ethno-centric xenophobia resulted in the remake Steve being Anglo? Steve spent his life on the islands and it makes a lot more sense for Daniel Dae Kim to play the new Steve McGarett instead of Chin Ho Kelly. This is especially driven home when you note that Kim has a full head of hair -- as did Lord -- while O'Loughlin is battling with a receding hairline and losing.

Apparently speaking for the viewers, Scott Caan tells O'Louglin, "There's something wrong with you, You know that, right?" We think everyone knows that -- except for maybe one CBS executive. Scott Caan's playing Steve's roll dog Danny and probably doing everything wrong. How else to explain that he's the only consistent life in the show? He dominates every scene he's in, giving it his all and burning down repeatedly like a forgotten cigarette. Why such a strong actor is playing second banana to anyone -- let alone Mr. Limpid Alex O'Laughlin -- has to be the great puzzler of fall 2010. It's as if someone decided to remake Smokey & the Bandit but this time wanted Dom DeLouise in the lead and Burt Reynolds as the sidekick.

It's also a puzzler why Daniel Dae Kim decided to follow Lost with this? He's third banana, behind Caan, and desperate to do something but always on the edges of the action until the very last minute. Shoot out during a football game! Steve and Danny are on it! After the guns stop firing, send in Chin Ho to chase down a guy that he lets escape. Shoot out at a party! Steve and Danny are on it! After the bulk of the bullets are fired, Chin Ho shows up to shoot one.

If anyone's got it worse than him, it's Grace Park who plays police detective Kona Kalakaua. Remember the football game shoot out? You've got at least three suspects with guns and Kona's doing what? Playing glorified flight attendant as she waives the crowd through the gates and does everything but place a lei around the neck of each departing spectator. Remember the party shoot out? She and Danny barge in on a violent interrogation posing as a couple making out. Then Steve starts firing, Danny starts firing and, somehow, Chin Ho makes it all the way across the estate to join in on the shooting but Kona spent the whole time hiding behind a fake palm tree. If Danny can fit in a gun in his tuxedo, then she should have been able to have carried one in her skimpy get-up. If not, police woman Kona shouldn't have worn that sheer dress on an undercover mission.

But it's all about the T&A for Kona. And that's a new element that wasn't in the original. For the bulk of the original show's run, women were guest stars or secretaries -- like the always groovy Susan Dey whose H5-0 guest spot we were noting in 2005. By making a woman part of the core team, an ugly dynamic becomes more apparent -- even if no one seems to want to acknowledge it.

As in the original, Steve and his sidekick are played by Anglo Whites. And they're running things -- even the governor of the state is played by an Anglo White. They're running the missions, they're running everything -- even the native people of Hawaii. And if it were just Chin Ho, you might not catch on to that. But when you have Chin Ho sidelined time and again and you've also got Kona so far removed she's not even sidelined, she's stuck in the stadium, you start to wonder why the remake wasn't called Hawaii Five-O: White Man's Burden?

And that's part of the Big Ugly the reboot brings to the small screen each *Monday* as it closes out CBS' prime time line up. The state hoped the show would boost tourism and maybe it will? Despite the fact that it makes everything look flat and uninteresting, despite the fact that the season's main plot is that gangs have infiltrated the islands, despite the fact that Hawaii is portrayed as a lawless -- including the lawless police as Greg Felton (Dissident Voice) has pointed out. But we keep coming back to the fact that Anglo Whites make up only 24.3 percent of Hawaii's population and yet they dominate this show.

It's like a bad dream. And those two words really do describe the reboot as you watch the new Steve McGarrett push suspects off roofs, hold their legs and threaten to let go, as you watch one washed out backdrop after another and realize that even postcard 'art' is beyond this show. Thus far, only David Lynch's Twin Peaks has ever really utilized imagery, space and time in any way resembling dreams or the work of Jean Cocteau. And while no one expected that from Hawaii Five-O, they had every right to expect something visually attractive.

Ava and C.I. note, "*" indicates date correction. Monday nights is when the program airs, not Sunday as we wrongly wrote. Our apologies.

No, Barack, you can't make this stuff up


When not reading The Third Estate Sunday Review, Barack Obama (pictured above) likes to give speeches. All last week, he kept talking about the Republican Party's "Pledge To America." At Bowie State University, for example, he declared, "Now, I want everybody to take a look at this 'Pledge to America.' It's interesting -- they put it out with great fanfare, but now nobody is really talking about it."

Great fanfare?

Like a March 9, 2009 speech given at a signing ceremony?

One where Barack declared:

This Order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America. But let's be clear: promoting science isn't just about providing resources -- it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient -- especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda -- and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology. By doing this, we will ensure America's continued global leadership in scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. That is essential not only for our economic prosperity, but for the progress of all humanity. That is why today, I am also signing a Presidential Memorandum directing the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making. To ensure that in this new Administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology; and that we are open and honest with the American people about the science behind our decisions. That is how we will harness the power of science to achieve our goals -- to preserve our environment and protect our national security; to create the jobs of the future, and live longer, healthier lives. As Scott Horsley (NPR's All Things Considered -- link has audio and text) pointed out Friday, "The president's pledge has turned out to be inconvenient for the White House, which is now 15 months overdue in publishing its scientific integrity guidelines."

Last week, Barack repeatedly found humor in the GOP's "Pledge To America" and repeatedly insisted -- in speech after speech -- that they had introduced it with great fanfare and then dropped it. Don't get much greater on the fanfare scale than a White House ceremony and when you promise new scientific guidelines in six months and it drags on to over 15 months? Maybe you're really not the person to finger point?

Especially when the independent commission looking into the government's response to the Gulf Disaster finds that the White House was less than transparent. Scott Horsley reported:

This week's draft report from staffers of the presidential commission raise questions about just how open and honest the administration was in talking about the oil spill. The report notes that scientists outside of government, including some contacted by NPR, were able to provide much more accurate information, while for weeks the administration publicly low-balled the amount of oil flowing from the well and later provided unduly rosy estimates of how much of that oil had disappeared. [. . .] One of the most damning charges in the draft report is that the Office of Management and Budget prevented government scientists from releasing some of their forecasts about how much damage the oil spill might cause.

As Barack said repeatedly, laughing each time last week, "You can't make this stuff up."

Rebecca's "barack's war on science" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BARRY O THE HYPOCRITE!" and Cedric's "Barack holds others to standards (not himself)" covered this top last week.

The Best News Of All

"I was sitting ... in a movie theater over the weekend, and there was a preview of a movie, and in it the actor said, 'That's so gay.' And I was shocked ... not only that they put that in the movie, but that they put that in the preview, they thought that was okay to put it in the preview to the movie to get people to go and see it," [Anderson] Cooper said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday. "We gotta do something to make those words ... unacceptable, 'cause those words are hurting kids."

The above is from Mawuse Ziegbe's MTV report. With Anderson Cooper speaking out, people took notice. GLAAD announced, "Universal Pictures decided to open the trailer for their new Ron Howard-directed feature The Dilemma with the phrase 'Electric cars are gay' in an attempt at humor, but it's hardly a joke for LGBT audiences growing increasingly frustrated by use of the word 'gay' as a pejorative. GLAAD expressed these concerns directly to Universal Pictures prior to the trailer's release, who have now assured us that the offensive joke will be removed from TV and Media campaigns promoting the film from this point forward, including the trailer currently playing in movie theaters." However, Mallika Rao (Entertainment Weekly) reveals that Universal originally tried to hide behind GLAAD and claimed they'd screened the trailer for GLAAD and that GLAAD didn't object (GLAAD states they saw the trailer and they objected). It's all so sad for Universal which, in May 1990, became the first studio to offer health benefits to same-sex partners.

And it's all so sad for the country. Vince Vaughn's not a homophobe. In fairness to him, he was playing a character. But was the line ever really needed?

The phrase "so ____" appears here for the first time. The Saturday Nigh Live season opener featured a Weekend Update that we ignored despite it calling out Don't Ask, Don't Tell because the lines included "so ___." We don't use gay as an insult. We don't use gay as abnormal or weird.

In 2005, a remark appeared here that resulted in an online crazy saying we were homophobic. Rebecca made a crack about "Don't drop the soap." We spent four days discussing it before responding. We threw it around, we debated whether or not it was homophobic, could it be construed as homophobic, etc. We didn't find the line homophobic. We did see how some might be offended and we've never used it again.

By contrast, last week Dave Lindorff showed just what an ass he could be. This e-mail was sent to him:

FYI, I don't support homophobia. When writers like Betsy Ross pen an otherwise outstanding essay but use "tea b**ger," they not only lose me, they make me less likely to visit a site. Bob Somerby (Daily Howler) and C.I. (Common Ills) among others on the left have stood strong in opposing the use of homophobia popularized by MSNBC. I wish This Can't Be Happening would stop embracing homophobia (intentionally or not embracing it).

We edtied the t-word. We do not allow that word to appear here, nor does any community site. Dave Lindorff's reply was a rant full of foul words (including the n-word) and, curiously for a lefty, referrred to gay men as "homosexuals." He also wrongly insisted that the Tea Party movement had dubbed themselves the t-word because, well, Dave Lindorff isn't very well informed. To Dave Lindorff, homophobia's not a real issue and he can say whatever he wants. While he can say whatever he wants, that doesn't make his statements wise or informed.

In 2008, for example, Dave began his whoring for Barack Obama and vicious attacks on others -- lie based attacks -- and, when called on it, explained his support for Barry O with the following:

I think it is ridiculous not to acknowledge that a black candidate at this level is fundamentally different from all white candidates who have come before or who are now competing. the more so a black candidate who has risked jail by doing drugs, and who has relatives TODAY living in the Third World (Kenya).

We noted that ridiculous statement in February 2008 ("The Sad Rot of the Left") and were kind enough not to identify Lindorff but most guessed it was Lindorff within the week.

That's Dave Lindorff. When not issuing e-mails with the n-word, he's telling you that Barack's the best candidate for president because he "risked jail by doing drugs." When not allowing his site to overlow with homophobia, he's spewing curses as people who object to the homophobia.

The point of the e-mail a reader sent him was that the use of the t-word made him (the reader) reject an article he otherwise supported. To David Lindorff that didn't matter because he's not writing to inform or to reach, he's writing to wallow in his own hatred.

He'd rather promote homophobia, it's too much of a lark for the hate-filled Lindorff to give up his 'joke' that paints Tea Party members as gay or engaging in gay behavior because, to David Lindorff, that's the real joke. (To the rest of us, Dave Lindorff is the joke.)

Lindorff is far from alone. As Marcia pointed out Friday, Chicago Dyke (Corrente) wanted to celebrate coming out day in one post . . . after using the t-term to insult.

Lindorff, in his raging e-mails, is very adament that he will use whatever term he wants.

In the real world, Michael Wilson and Al Baker (New York Times) report the Latin King Goonies are accused of targeting gay men and boys, beating them, sodomizing them and more:

The attackers forced the man to strip to his underwear and tied him to a chair, the police said. One of the teenage victims was still there, and the "Goonies" ordered him to attack the man. The teenager hit him in the face and burned him with a cigarette on his nipple and penis as the others jeered and shouted gay slurs, the police said. Then the attackers whipped the man with a chain and sodomized him with a small baseball bat.

Yesterday, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference in which he stated, "Like many New Yorkers, I was sickened by the brutal nature of these crimes and saddened by the anti-gay bias that contributed to them. No one in this city should ever, ever have to feel afraid because of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Hate crimes such as these strike fear in all of us. And they chip away at the tolerance and equality that have always been the pillars of our great City." Bob Kappstatter, Ryan Strong and Jonathan Lemire (New York Daily News) report that some of the suspects are stating they did the crimes under duress, "The threats were allegedly made by ringleader Ildefonso (Cheto) Mendez, who orchestrated the homophobic assaults after learning that a 17-year-old gang recruit was gay." Would the threats have been as effective if the targeted victims were not gay? If the threats had asked them to target a different segment of the population, would there have been any resistance?

The New York crimes follow the suicide of Tyler Clementi who took his own life after his two peers (one of which was his college roommate) streamed his sexual ecnounters online.

And you hear of those stories and so many more and the big question is why would you want to use the t-word, why would you want to use gay as a pejorative? Why would you want to do anything that would add to the pain and suffering of a group of people who are already discriminated against and targeted?

Is Dave Lindorff's cheap little laugh really worth so much that he can't police himself? He can't let go of a word that promotes homophobia? Apparently so.


The good news is Dave Lindorff is a coughing, wheezing relic of that past and the future will be made by others. In fact, that's probably the best news of all. He's helped build the (to be generous) imperfect world we live in now, others can build a much better world.

Those political rags

Fall is here and vibrant colors are the order of the day . . . If the covers of the left and 'left' political magazines are to be believed. The Progressive makes gorgeous use of color for their cover done by Zina Saunders. It's only inside that everything goes monochrome. And really ugly.


Take Matthew Rothschild's "Rampant Xenophobia" which, no, isn't a confessional piece. As per usual, he points the finger at everyone else. As per usual, the whole world is screwed up except for the Divine Matthew. His only problem? That he doesn't recognize the country. Really? Who taught him geography?

Matthew likes to zoom in on xenophobia because it allows him to ignore his own sexism. In 2008, did any publication on the left or 'left' enjoy the sexism aimed at Hillary as much The Progressive? Remember, he made an article on the c-word one of his "editorial picks." And, he enjoyed her being called that c-word so much, he was more than happy to link to a right-wing outlet that he usually calls out.

Terry Tempest Williams shows tremendous skill with her three page essay ("Landscapes of War") and also, a rarity for a left or 'left' writer these days, an awareness that the Iraq War drags on. But no sooner does she set the high-water mark for the issue than this leftist magazine, which started as a Socialist (Socialist-leaning, when they get nervous) magazine, run by a Socialist (Matthew Rothschild) is all about the Democratic Party's elections needs.

Writing blond, Kari Lyndersen thinks American gives a damn about the Senate seat most recently held by Roland Burris. She does an assassination -- Blond Ambition style -- on the Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones. Apparently to make him appear 'odd,' she bill shim with his middle name -- a trick she forgoes when writing of the Democratic and Republican candidate. She then opens a paragraph insisting that his "views are not necessarily in line with many environmentalists and progressives on some key issues." Okay, such as? Skeptical on global warming. Alright, does he think that means more research -- which many would be more than okay with, global warming needs to be studied -- or does she mean that he doesn't believe it's happening or that human kind's not effecting it or what? She never says. Then she checks off a laundry list and -- sorry, Kari -- insists that his belief that Barack Obama isn't doing enough on youth violence. St. Barack hasn't done a damn thing to curb youth violence. Green's opinions aren't so 'controversial.' (She notes he opposes gun control. His stated belief captured in the article isn't controversial and would be in keeping with most voters.) The Democrat gets the most space -- a crook is a nice way to describe him but Kari manages to find strong defenders for him, then the Republican gets the second most. Green? He gets as much space as Barack. Yes, Barack. Kari has to end her bad writing with musings on Barack. She ought to save it for Dear Penthouse Forum.

Abby Scher shows up next to take down Republican Sharron Angle. Scher's article reads like a parody of the stereotype of catty women -- sadly, she's being herself. So we get ha-ha! an Iranian-American woman thinks Barack hails from Communists. She's careful not to quote that, of course. Just as she's careful not to discuss Barack's parents. Not content to attack one woman, she then attacks a good portion of Nevada. You have to wonder when our side's going to stop losing by doing our superiority dance? It goes on and on to the point that we bailed before Roseanne Cash's interview.

Feeling things couldn't get any crazier we grabbed The New Republic which features loony David Axelrod on the cover. That may be the most grabbing aspect of the issue. After that, it's time for party politics (though coming from the center-right TNR, that's hardly surprising). In Noam Scheiber's cover story, we learn that, "Axlerod rents a spare, two-bedroom apartment in the Logan Circle neighborhood and sees his family in Chicago once a month." Which makes them very, very lucky. And file that sentence away for another reason that may puzzle you today but will be one of those "DUH!" moments soon enough.

Harper's Magazine mitigates is usual heaping serving of sexism in the October issue by featuring Susan Faludi who contributes the essay "AMERICAN ELECTRA: Feminism's ritual matricide." Sadly Faludi pulls punches as if she's still reporting for The Wall Street Journal. She notes Linda Hirshman calling out two women ('young' ones) with Jezebel for an online interview in which they were "bragging . . . about having unprotected sex with men they'd picked up in bars. The young women had dismissed date rape ('You live through that') as not worth reporting, because, as one of them put it, 'I had better things to do, like drinking more'."
Wait in vain for a call from Faludi on that and grasp that some readers -- this is Harper's, not a feminist publication -- will draw the conclusion that Faludi disapproves of Hirshman's criticism.

To be clear, date rape is real and two little girls who can't grasp that might have careers as stand up comics or party girls, but they aren't feminists. And unprotected sex? Even online erotica which portrays unsafe sex comes with a "this is fantasy, in the real world use protection" disclaimer. Faludi may think she's playing objective. If so, we'd direct her to her own writing -- in Backlash -- on Sherry Lansing and ask Faludi when coming out against rape became 'controversial'?

Mother Jones continues the colorful illustration cover trend of the month. The cover's much better than Mark Peterson's photograph on page 13 -- and if that photo isn't staged, we would suggest an apology be published before a lawsuit comes in. (As a general rule, you're not allowed to photograph in a bathroom -- not even a public bathroom. Photographing people actually using the bathroom opens them up to ridicule. But ridiculing people is the point. Yes, folks, it's time for another superiority dance." Because BP cover be damned, all Mother Jones wants to do is turn out the vote for the Democrats. Stephanie Mencimer (and the editors) are so quick to trash they make a huge mistake. They know how Google used to work. They're just not aware of how it works today. In other words, Steph, your search results? They were such because of your past search results. You're so very 2007.

We were trying to save International Socialist Review for last as a reward. But we needed some reality and needed it badly after three magazines singing How Great Thou Democrats Are. Frantically reading through Phil Gasper's "The Democrat's broken promises" (pages 4 and 5) restored our sanity. Especially pay attention to his critique of a linguist. It is the issue's highpoint, sadly, there are many low points. But we'll keep moving right along.

We grabbed The Nation and noted it was about as attractive as a brown paper sack. The cover actually looks like one. The issue's a crap-fest not worth printing. The sole bright light is Norman Solomon's letter to the editors where he calls them out on their moral cowardice in a recent theme -- 7 writers weighing in with 7 articles on Barack -- which failed to ever mention the Afghanistan War.
In mid-August, the entire leadership of the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus -- by most measures the largest caucus in the state party -- mustered a directness in addressing the president that eluded the seven writers in the Nation forum. "We worked very hard for your election as we do for all candidates who seem able and willing to work for progressive social change, and to make a better life for our citizens and for the world," the caucus's executive board wrote in a letter to President Obama. "Your rhetoric often suggest that you share this goal, but your actions frequently prove otherwise. We do not simply disagree with you on a single small issue. Unfortunately our unhappiness and disappointment has a broad scope." declared that presidential The letter said, "You campaigned against the Bus imperial presidency, and then you expanded it. . . . In our opinion you have failed, in whole or in part, to deliver on many of your commitments. Instead, you have continued and supported some of the Bush policies that many hoped and believed, based on your utterances, you would quickly terminate." And the letterspokesman Robert Gibbs, like chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, "is not the real problem, Mr. President. We fear you are."

Good for Norman Solomon. If he'd only stop trying to scare people into voting as he wanted them to do, we'd be able to applaud him more often.

Global demonstrations today

From ETAN:

Global Work Party: Most Widespread Day of Environmental Action in History
Over 7,000 events planned in 188 Countries

Stunning images and video of climate change rallies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe

Washington, DC – Over 7,000 events are expected to take place in 185 countries for the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, making the 10th of October the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. “Politicians may still be debating climate change, but citizens are getting to work solving it,” said Bill McKibben, renowned environmental author and founder of Global Work Party highlights include:
  • In Timor-Leste, the President of the Parliament, Fernando Lasama Araujo, will join hundreds of Dili residents in a mangrove planting.
  • In the Maldives, President Nasheed installed a set of solar panels on his roof on October 7 to kick off the weekend of action.
  • In the United States, over 2,000 events are planned, from parishioners weatherizing their church in Atlanta to a hip-hop show at a community garden in Oakland, California.
  • In China and India, over 300 universities will join 10/10/10 as part of the Great Power Race, a student clean energy competition.
  • In Afghanistan, students will be planting hundreds of trees in a valley outside of Kabul.
  • In Congo, refugees will be planting a “Forest of Hope” outside of Goma, home to thousands of refugees from regional conflicts.
  • In Mexico City, the Mayor will sign a commitment to cut carbon emissions 10% over the next year and join thousands for a solar-powered festival in Chapultepec park.
  • In Russia and Croatia, organizers have signed up nearly 10,000 schools to plant trees on 10/10/10.
Just in time to give the Global Work Party a White House-sized boost, the Obama administration announced this morning that they are going to put solar panels on the First Family's living quarters, returning to a tradition begun by president Jimmy Carter and abandoned by Ronald Reagan. founder Bill McKibben urged President Obama to install his new set of solar panels back on September 10 as part of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, a day when millions of people across the planet will be getting to work on climate solutions. “The White House did the right thing, and for the right reasons: they listened to the Americans who asked for solar on their roof, and they listened to the scientists and engineers who told them this is the path to the future,” said McKibben. “If it has anything like the effect of the White House garden, it could be a trigger for a wave of solar installations across the country and around the world. Obama's not the only world leader taking the challenge. On Thursday, Maldivian president Mohammed Nasheed installed panels on his official residence, and on Sunday 7000 communities around the world will engage in similar projects.” estimates that nearly 100 solar panels will be installed around the world as part of the Global Work Party. In the Namib Desert in Namibia, a rural education center is installing six panels to try and go carbon neutral; on Robbin Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, the museum complex is launching a process on October 10 to go solar; Iraqi students are working to put solar panels up at the University of Babylon; a group of friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico is putting up panels on a local homeless shelter; and much more. The work parties, which range from solar installations to tree plantings, are designed to send a clear message: citizens are getting to work on climate solutions and so should their politicians. “People will be doing very practical things for the Global Work Party,” said McKibben. “But they also will be sending a pointed political message. When they put down their shovels, many will pick up their cell-phones to call their leaders and say: ‘We’re getting to work, what about you?’” will be collecting hi-res photos and video of work parties around the world and can connect media to event organizers on every continent. Interviews are available with spokespeople from around the world, including founder and acclaimed environmental author Bill McKibben and event organizers on every continent. ### etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan Support ETAN make a contribution here Thank you for your support. John M. Miller, National Coordinator East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391 Email Skype: john.m.miller



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"

"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "What Senator Scott Brown has learned (Ava)," "The economics of today's hearing" and "MUMPS?" -- C.I., Ava, Wally and Kat report on a Congressional hearing.

"Roquerfort Dressing in the Kitchen" -- Trina covers the economy and cooking.

"single white female" and "Two Much" -- Rebecca and Stan go to the movies.

"No longer the Red Scare, it's the Terror Scare" -- Ruth covers radio as does Ann:

"Confidential magazine lives!" and "The Dumbing Down of America" -- Elaine's two posts that address the same problems.

"Fringe and Dumb Ass of the Week," "TV and politics," "Chuck and those crazies at Campus Progess," "Desperate Housewives" and "Third, Fringe" -- Mike, Stan and Betty weigh in on TV.

"Elections, CCR," "Barack Carter," "Place your bets," "is viacom playing fair?," "Kiss my Black ass, Ed Rendell," "Murphy's in trouble," "Ed Rendell is the new Clayton Williams," "The empty sacks," "Not surprising at all," "Howard Dean straight," "Goolsbee's moral vacuum," "Message received" & "THIS JUST IN! HE LIKES 1 OF YOU!" and "Wait until he got backstage" & "THIS JUST IN! CELEBRITY SLIP!" -- some election coverage from the community.

"THIS JUST IN! BARRY O THE HYPOCRITE!" & "Barack holds others to standards (not himself)" and "barack's war on science" -- key points from Wally, Cedric and Rebecca which we'd like to use as the basis for a short piece this edition.
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