Sunday, December 12, 2010

Truest statement of the week

If Wolf wants to get a little full of herself, that's one thing. If she wants to make a point about how easily, how frighteningly the Espionage Act can be exploited, fair enough. But a woman who knows all too well the bitter mudslinging one can endure for accusing a man of sexual misconduct (as Wolf herself did) might want to give another woman the benefit of the damn doubt. She might want to consider -- just consider -- that while Interpol's response to Julian Assange may have been politically motivated, the accusers' might not have been.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Two years ago, when Wolf was criticizing the Bush administration for sex crimes committed at Abu Ghraib, she explained that "having worked at a rape crisis center and been trained in the basics of sex crime, I have learned that all sex predators go about things in certain recognizable ways." That must have been a hell of a crisis center. Because I did not know that all predators are exactly alike. I did not know that gray areas regarding consent do not exist! Thank you, Naomi! And now, in 2010, I did not know that she has the magical ability to determine whether a man is a sexual assailant or just the victim of two angry chicks.

Nobody ever said feminism means the person with the vagina is always right and the one with the penis is always wrong -- unless I just didn't get that version of the Manifesto. And, indeed, throughout her career, Naomi Wolf has been wrong plenty of times. Like, say, this week, when she condescendingly dismissed a rape allegation by comparing it to a guy who "did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut -- even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER." Yes, sex crime and not giving sufficient props for your girlfriend's hairdo are exactly the same, Naomi Wolf. Also, can I just say, on behalf of every person, male or female, who has ever been sexually coerced, victimized or assaulted, one thing? Blow me.

-- Mary Elizabeth Williams, "This week in crazy: Naomi Wolf" (Salon).

Truest statement of the week II

But I think that defenders of Julian Assanger do the most damage when they construct a way that rape victims behave and imply that the woman involved isn't acting like a rape victim: she tweeted about him, or she seemed happy, or she saw him again. I lose it at this point. There is no way that rape victims act - there is no way that rape victims don't act. Seriously. If you don't know this then you have no right to say a word about rape. It does so much harm to so many women, the idea that there's a way that rape victims act. It's not just some idea that you're spinning off into cyber-space. It's something that women who are going through trauma have to struggle through - their own, and other people's expectations of how they should be behaving. And it doesn't stop - the idea of the acceptable behaviour of a rape victim gets used as a weapon again and again.

-- Maia, "Rape myths and Julian Assange" (The Hand Mirror).

Truest statment of the week III

The speed with which this latest episode in the WikiLeaks saga has been reduced to weary tropes about honeytraps, castrating feminists and undeserving victims is depressing. In an apparent plea to haul the debate back from the soup of smear and counter-smear, Naomi Klein argued that "defending WikiLeaks is not the same as defending rape". But the fact that the defence of Assange has spawned such naked and vitriolic misogyny should be of concern to all women and men who find it as distasteful and counter to the pursuit of truth as the attacks on WikiLeaks itself.

-- Libby Brooks, "No one gains from this 'rape-rape' defence of Julian Assange" (Guardian).

A note to our readers

Hey --
Another Sunday. Later than we'd like so this will be again be a short note.

First, thanks for all who helped this edition which includes Dallas and:

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 now what we came up with:

When there are so many strong statements worth noting, we have to go with three Truests. We had 15 'final' nominees. A record. And it was decided we'd do three for the week -- we've done that only once before. We easily could have offered nine 'truests of the weeks.'

We have an illustration. We just don't have the strength to upload it to Flickr.

Ava and C.I.'s masterpiece. This is amazing. I (Jim) can't sing the praises enough for this one. "Leave us alone," Ava warned me repeatedly Saturday when they got back from the East Coast and I kept trying to offer suggestions for this week's piece. I left them alone. They came up with a great one. And before any of you Brian Edwards-Teacup types e-mail, "Wilful" is how it is spelled in the Hitchock film. When they're quoting that definition onscreen, Ava and C.I. spell it that way. When they're using the term themselves, they use "willful." Don't e-mail to say, "They've mispelled 'willful.' They haven't. They're quoting from the film."

Another book discussion and what we anticipate will be our final one for the year. We'll scan in the cover and upload it to Flickr and then here by midnight our time tonight (PST).

Betty, Ty, Cedric, Ann, Stan, Isaiah and Marcia do another Black roundtable. Ty says to again thank Ava and C.I for typing this up from the recording.

Ty did a Ty's Corner. Ava and C.I. were talking about fear -- they worked that topic into their TV article -- and riffing on it throughout Saturday giving Ty the push to write about this event.

I know I'll be slaughtered for this but we really didn't have any more time and I had to call off the roundtable when I did. Yes, that does mean that any issue you raised for Ava and C.I. got shelved. Sorry. We had no more time.

We spent about 45 minutes trying to write a piece about this topic. It did not work. Ann finally said we should just grab each day's snapshot. That was a wonderful idea. Thank you, Ann, for seeing the obvious when we couldn't.

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

And that is what we ended up with.


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

Editorial: Look who's back

Why did the Iraq War start? Not the reasons for it, but the start? Because people thought they could get away with it. People thought they could lie and they could fool and they could trick and that they were more important than Iraqis and that anyone damaged or harmed was a mere sacrifice to a higher truth and purpose.

That should disgust you. It disgusts as well.

And it reminds us of . . . some people on the left.

The 2008 crowd is out and about, those liars who whored for Barack and attacked Hillary with sexism. They're back.

Not with an apology.

a barack

True, even they have to admit Barack's a disappointment (try War Criminal).

But they don't know how to apologize, they don't even how to admit they were wrong.

Mainly because they don't think they were wrong. The lies that told about Hillary? Their attitude, to this day, is "too bad" and a shrug. They think their lies are justified -- pay attention -- due to a higher truth and purpose.

They're no different from the neocons. They're just liars in a different shade of fabric.

The Reality Based Community was never going to exist on the left once a Democrat was in the White House.

What you've seen in the last two years should make you question a good number of alleged leaders and thinkers.

They have done serious damage to the peace movement, they now ignore Iraq completely and they demonstrated last week that they still expected people to believe their lies.

Their deceit remains the biggest threat to the left.

TV: Saboteurs

In the opening shot of Alfred Hitchock's Sabotage, a definition of the term appears: "Wilful destruction of buildings or machinery with the object of alarming a group of person or inspiring public uneasiness." By that definition, there are a number of saboteurs out there.


One that airs on NBC each Monday night during the last hour of prime time is Chase. This garbage comes from Jerry Bruckheimer and Jennifer Johnson -- demonstrating that hatred of women is a pursuit that is not confined to only one gender.

Disclosure, we first encountered the show when a friend called us to tell us about a bad, bad series she'd just turned down the lead in. It was appalling, she explained, worse than 24 in so many ways. She spoke of the cartoon nature, the gender issues, the hostility towards everyone "including the public" and much more but, honestly, she had us at "worse than 24 in so many ways."

She wasn't mistaken. What's aired fails as entertainment and 'works' only if the whole point is to further debase a society that's already seen enough attacks on the Constitution. The first episode that really stood out was when Daisy (Rose Rollins) and one of her colleagues encounter a psycho who thinks he's a federal marshal and is holding a man over the railing of a high-rise. They quickly take out the psycho but the man is left hanging over the railing, fearful and Daisy and her partner find it all so amusing and funny. Problem: Daisy and her friend are federal marshals.

Each episode apparently exists to shred the Constitution and to allow people to go to town with their hatred of women. What our friend realized that Kelli Giddish apparently didn't (Giddish was something like seventh choice for the lead role of Annie) was that the show was porn. Instead of seeing Annie's breasts, you see her being beat up repeatedly, so it's a form of snuff-porn.

Now a woman taking a punch and handing one out can be a good thing on TV. It can demonstrate women's strengths. But what you quickly notice with this show is that (a) it's always fists and (b) Annie's forever being beat up -- despite the fact that she never has any bruises.

Jesse Metcalfe and his shapely man boobs show up as newbie marshal Luke Watson, desperate to fit in. If you don't know who Metcalfe is, you can still pick him out as the new kid on the block. He's the one who, on one episode, ended up with a cracked rib and possibly a broken jaw from a fight with a prison escapee on a killing spree.

That episode's big climax -- word used intentionally -- was when Luke and Annie finally track the killer down to a hospital and then to the morgue's hospital. Annie tells Luke she'll take "the meat locker" and, right away, you're thinking, "That's where the killer is and he's going to be behind the door and attack Annie as soon as she steps in!"

And, in fact, you are correct. They begin exchanging blows until he gets the better of her and begins choking her. Then they're throwing things at each other. At one point, Luke's at the door but can't get in and is screaming for Annie to open it (earlier in the episode, Luke shoots out a tire on a moving vehicle but apparently didn't realize he could shoot the door open or just shoot through the door's glass window). For the already battered Annie to get to the door, she has to fight with the killer and be hurled to the floor, then stagger towards the door and be thrown around by the killer and then finally get it open but be attacked by him until Luke knocks the killer off her and then he's going after Luke and Annie's taking on the killer. Despite all of this and nearly choking her to death, Annie has no injuries. She's got no marks on her. That's how you know Luke's the newbie, he still bruises.

In another episode, they're on top of a building, Annie and marshal Jimmy (Cole Hasuer) confronting a criminal. He's punching Annie and then Jimmy shows up. He's still resisting so Jimmy hits him and Annie kicks him, knocking him down. Why didn't either marshal pull their gun and order him to freeze? (The same move was avoided when Luke entered the morgue.) Because that wouldn't allow them to beat up people?

After Annie's kick knocks the suspect out, she snarls, "Son of a bitch. Tore up my heel on your damn face."

It's always someone else's fault. And wasn't that the lesson last week as the crazies came out of the woodwork to attack two women who may have been raped?

On Tuesday, Julian Assange, the face of WikiLeaks, appeared in a London court where it was decided he would be handed over to Sweden so the government could investigate whether or not rape took place. Assange doesn't deny having met the women. His defenders insist that he had consensual sex with both women. Sweden says differently and states that one woman was asleep (which would be rape) while the other was forcibly held down (which would also be rape).

Last week, we defended Julian Assange and WikiLeaks from the trash Saturday Night Live smeared on them. We stand by that defense. We have no reason to attack WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. We also have no reason to lie for them or to try to destroy two women to 'save' Julian.

See we're not in need of the Super Daddy that so many on the left are. When you grasp their need for a Big Daddy to embrace them, you start to realize why feminism never took hold among so many on the left. There is a feminist-left, but it's a much, much smaller grouping of the left.

As critics of the patriarchy, the last thing we need, feminists on the left, is to start engaging in phallic worship. Which is why we avoid it.

Crazy Naomi Wolf isn't a feminist. Germaine Greer has rightly called out Naomi's Daddy worship. bell hooks has rightly called out Naomi's racism. Naomi's indicted herself with her own bad books. She showed up Tuesday to mock the women and to mock rape. It was disgusting. As Mary Elizabeth Williams (Salon) pointed out:

Nobody ever said feminism means the person with the vagina is always right and the one with the penis is always wrong -- unless I just didn't get that version of the Manifesto. And, indeed, throughout her career, Naomi Wolf has been wrong plenty of times. Like, say, this week, when she condescendingly dismissed a rape allegation by comparing it to a guy who "did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut -- even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER." Yes, sex crime and not giving sufficient props for your girlfriend's hairdo are exactly the same, Naomi Wolf. Also, can I just say, on behalf of every person, male or female, who has ever been sexually coerced, victimized or assaulted, one thing? Blow me.

Naomi Klein joined in attacking the women but -- such is the sorry state of Naomi's 'writing' these days -- she could only manage a Tweet. Poor pathetic Naomi Klein, how we did laugh at you when we saw you in the halls of Congress last week. How we did laugh.

The two women were not the only ones attacking the two women who may have been raped. Other notable attackers included Dennis Bernstein and gadfly and apparent Honeypot Ray McGovern.

On Pacifica show after Pacifica show last week, we experienced the non-joy of Ray McGovern who honestly seems to have some early form of dementia. We're not joking. He should get that checked out. When you mean "so far" but are saying "so for," for example, you're either dumb as dirt or you're experiencing some sort of a decay in your capabilities. We're not joking. And we're done "not joking," when it comes to Ray-Ray.

Listening to him babble away on WBAI, KPFA and KPFT about the "honeypot" and how the two women were CIA agents or assets who were honeypots, we suddenly realized why Ray-Ray couldn't shut up about honeypots. As The Progressive Forum, Flashpoints and Robert Knight informed you, Ray was CIA for many years -- presumably he's now retired and retirement isn't just a cover, but who knows?

What did he do all those years besides dabbling in the president's briefs? Of course, he must have been a honeypot. That's why he's so obsessed with the term.

And obsessed is the only word. He trashed the women repeatedly. He mocked them. He made fun of them.

Where have we done the same to Julian Assange?

We haven't.

Go back to the definition that appears at the top of Hitchock's Sabotage: "Wilful destruction of buildings or machinery with the object of alarming a group of person or inspiring public uneasiness."

Willful destruction. That's what these attackers did in 2008, you may remember. They savaged Hillary Clinton with lies, they ignored realities about Barack and they didn't care about truth. Their only concern was with destruction. They wanted to destroy Hillary and it didn't matter to them how they did it.

Around the time lefty crackpot Dave Lindorff surfaced last week attacking the women, it was a case of The Gang's All Here.

We do self-checks. We don't think we're absolutely correct 100% of the time. And one thing we were self-checking on was the issue of these 2008 whores. Were we, we wondered, wrong to demand that they come clean before they be allowed back in?

If last week demonstrated anything, it's that the Naomis can't be trusted, the Lindorffs can't be trusted, the Ray-Rays can't be trusted, etc. They learned nothing from 2008. Their unethical behavior installed a War Criminal, Barack, into the White House. They make noises today about grasping he is a War Criminal. They don't take accountability for their part in the selling of the Christ-child. And their refusal to take accountability goes to the fact, as demonstrated last week, that they don't regret what they did. They don't care that they won by cheating, they just want to win.

That's why they can't be trusted. More than their sexism and their hatred of women, more than the fact that they are so very, very wrong, is the fact that they have no standards. You can't trust them and you surely don't want to be seen in public with them.

On WBAI, Ray-Ray was riffing on his favorite theme (or maybe that dementia was setting in) and calling it a "honey trap" and declaring, "It's a travesty on justice." If we're wrong and he's not in the early stages, then someone explain to us how this sub-literate moron was ever given the task of the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) because talk about scary . . .

Scary is what they're after. Pill popping Naomi Wolf wants to scare you so you agree with her and Ray-Ray is playing the same fear card. Here's Ray-Ray playing a full house of crazy on KPFA's Flashpoints last week:

Ray McGovern: The idea, of course, is to get him to Stockholm where the Swedes have already acted as poodles on behalf of the United States government and he would automatically be shipped to -- if not Guantanamo at least back to the States where he would be subjected to the likes of of [Mick] Huckabee and [Newt] Gingrich and the others who want to put a bullet in his head.

Really? The US would hold Julian Assange in Guantanamo?

Unlike Ray-Ray (who was minimizing Barack's crimes on both WBAI and KPFT and offering that Barack was a victim), we don't like Barack. We don't care for the man at all. But we do not for one minute believe that there's even a chance that Julian Assange would be put in Guantanamo. Here's how Guantanamo has 'worked,' you take people that few know and that no one will know is in there and you destroy their lives by imprisoning them indefinitely. You know you can get away with it (whether your last name is Bush or Obama) because you scare people by referring to the imprisoned as "terrorists" and, since their real names and stories aren't known, it's real hard for a global defense to be mounted calling for their release. Putting Julian Assange in Guantanamo would most likely be the thing that finally closed Guantanamo.

Ray-Ray then paints a world where Newt and Mick strap on their six-shooters and mosey on down to whatever holding cell Assange is in before saying, "Eat lead, sucker."

We're not fans of either Mick or Newt. We can't stand either man. But do we, for a minute, believe that either would take a gun and shoot Assange?


And no sane person does. But Ray-Ray wasn't discussing facts, he was trying to scare people, he was playing the fear card and trying to alarm people because, when you're in the midst of a panic, it's hard to think straight and liars only win when they throw you off balance.

The fear card is why Robert Knight solemnly declares, "Today, December 7th, was indeed Pearl Harbor Day for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange." Not since NBC's The Today Show referred to the press over a celebrity break up as a tsunami (while relief efforts were still underway to help actual victims of an actual tsunami) has someone so self-embarrassed.

Ray-Ray was all over and forcing us to yet again wonder exactly how a CIA agent got so far into the left? Seriously. The left is notoriously wary of the CIA -- its longterm ties to The Nation magazine, not withstanding. David Corn (who is not part of the CIA in any capacity) regularly has had to issue denials of CIA ties. So exactly how did this unapologetic member of the CIA get so tight with the left -- and in so short a time?

Ray-Ray's work, for those who don't know, does include Iran-Contra. That's apparently not a problem to Robert Parry who is, or pretends to be, obsessed with that story to this day but still manages to publish Ray-Ray. Ray's work, his entire body of work, provided you with the slaughter of a lot of people and he's never recanted or shared those stories.

Philip Agee was a hero to many on the left for whistle blowing on the CIA. That's understandable. That makes sense. What refuses to make sense is this notion that Ray-Ray is the left's 'trusted friend' and we're so lucky to have him. As he sneered at the two woman and expressed horror that they (supposedly) worked for/with the CIA, the obvious point is: "Well, you did work with the CIA and you've never recanted."

Not only has he never recanted publicly, he's proud of his CIA work and is proud of the foreigners that have been killed. You really need to listen to KPFT's Progressive Forum. Listen to him bemoan the Tet Offensive. Listen to him prattle on about how there were more Communists in Vietnam -- armed ones! -- than the military brass was willing to admit and 'brave' Sam Adams was trying to tell the truth and blah, blah, blah. Where in his glory telling is the fact -- the basic fact -- that Vietnam was under attack, that it was an illegal war and that Vietnamese were slaughtered throughout the illegal war? It's not. But the Tet Offensive is something that could have been stopped (which would mean the deaths of far more innocent Vietnamese in their own country) if only -- if only -- Sam Adams been listened to. (The Tet Offensive is, for many historians, the turning point in Vietnam. More Vietnamese died in the battle but it was the beginning of the end for the easy press and easy assumptions that came before. It was also a huge rallying point for the Vietnamese. Ray-Ray appears to be arguing that Vietnam could have been 'won' by the US if Sam Adams had been listened to.)

Do the freak squads on the left who want to assume leadership ever pay attention to what actually comes out of Ray McGovern's mouth? And, if they do, how do they reconcile holding hands with the man?

There isn't enough sanitary gel in the world for us to join hands, even for a second, with Ray McGovern.

And if it were just Ray-Ray, Danny Schechter, Dave Lindorff and assorted other male crazies attacking all rape victims in their efforts to save Daddy Julian, it wouldn't matter much. They'd be exposed as the liars and sexist they are. That was true in 2008 as well which is why they needed Queen Bees to hide behind. Without women willing to attack Hillary in sexist terms, the men would risk facing some strong critiques.

As it was then, so it is now with the Naomis providing cover for the men.

One male blogger felt the need to point to the Naomis and Nicole Colson and state that "feminists" were all for the questioning (inquisition) of the two women in Sweden. None of those women are feminists. Naomi Klein has a vagina. Doesn't make her a feminist. She's got nothing in her body of work that indicates she's a feminist and she harbors strong Kill Mommy desires towards her feminist mother. Naomi Wolf's feminism has always been rather loose as she's noted her distaste for lesbians and as she's revealed (see her third book) how she did her part to help her 'friends' (male) cover up a gang-rape which took place in the frat house she'd stayed the night in. In the last ten years, Naomi's had nothing feminist to write about. She's endorsed the veil and burqa -- which puts her on par with Pinochet (women in Chile were forced into a dress code immediately after the junta took over) -- and she's whined a lot about how having the perfect marriage (it collapsed) and more money then you knew what to do with (that's gone too) didn't make it any easier to find a good nanny to raise your child. Nicole Colson's a 'feminist' in that she writes about women from time to time . . . when she wants to attack them. You go, Girlie Bee.

But the men need these women to waive through their own sexism. These women make it okay, grant the men permission. If you ever doubted that, check out Naomi Wolf's Facebook page. There you'll find one man after another explaining how great and freeing it is to use sexism to take down a woman. One example will suffice:

Dean Scarpinato Again Naomi I applaud the stand you are taking! A true feminist recognizes that a woman should be accountable for her own actions, not get a case of buyer's remorse and yell rape. Legal rights require legal responsibilities.

Buyer's remorse! Head butt at the kegger!

At her Facebook page, Vince Pac explains the names of the victims and he also offers that Glenn Beck provides a great time line on the little 'bitches.' Yes, boys and girls, if you missed it, sexists on the right and left made common cause last week as they ripped apart two women. (In fairness to Naomi Wolf, we should note that she doesn't feel rape victims deserve to be anonymous to the public.)

Two little 'bitches.' Which brings us back to Chase. Jimmy and Daisy are angry about a psycho lesbian (who, evil woman, went and stole a straight gal away from her husband -- all to, you understand, get back at Daddy).

Jimmy: Son of a bitch.

Daisy: No, just bitch.

Jimmy couldn't have said it. But Daisy waives it through.

This psycho lesbian killer? She kills the straight woman's husband. The husband who's been beating her. Let's let Annie summarize it after she picks up a picture of the couple: "If I didn't know any better, I'd say little Mr. Camaro was a little rough with his lady. Gave her a good whack every now and then."

"A little rough with his lady" and "good whack"? This is how law enforcement speaks about domestic abuse? This is how a woman speaks about domestic abuse?

Hell no.

This is how a woman who hates women,and a man who's never seen them as anything other than whores team up to provide NBC with the sort of garbage that even CBS had the good taste to sneer at.

One way or another, it's all about sabotaging women. It's certainly not about facts. Julian Assange's attorney starts claims of a broken condemn, it's written up and the same piece is linked to over and over and, even after Tuesday's reading of the accusations, liars continue to pimp "it's about a broken condom!" It's why Ray McGovern's declaring, "Forty-one years ago -- forty years ago -- In 1971, you do the math, Daniel Ellsberg . . ." Ray-Ray, it's 2010. Ends in a zero. You really can't do the math on that? Really?

It's not about facts, it's about attacks. Attacks on women, attacks on our way of life. It's about savaging women to save Daddy. Mainly, it's the reason why the left is such a sorry state today: The lack of maturity, the need for a Daddy. Which, for the record, is the driving force behind Chase's Annie.

Books: The Obama Syndrome

Jim: It's like old times, we're doing a book discussion and we used to do these about once a month and now we tend to do them about once a year. Last week, we covered Roger Hodge's new book The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism. and this week we cover Tariq Ali's The Obama Syndrome: Surrender At Home, War Abroad. Our e-mail address is Participating in this discussion are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Wally of The Daily Jot; and Trina of Trina's Kitchen. Overview, Ruth?

Ruth: Tariq Ali is a longtime writer, historian and activst on the left. This site previously covered one of his books in the book discussion "One Book, Ten Minutes" -- I did not participate in that. It was September 15, 2005 and that was before I was participating all the time. Those discussions were supposed to be quick, hence the title, but they quickly expanded. The one I have referenced obviously took more than ten minutes. Elaine and C.I. have both know Tariq Ali for decades. His latest book is The Obama Syndrome: Surrender At Home, War Abroad and it has a list price of $16.95 in the US. It is 145 pages of text and published by Verso Books.

Tariq Ali's new book

Jim: I wish that Kat was participating. Due to her photography work and what she might think of the cover.

Dona: I'll grab it. The cover is an image by Alex Ostroy. It's actually the rare instance of where a cover does give you a strong indication of the book itself. The image is Barack with about a fourth of his face peeling or cracking off and George W. Bush being revealed beneath.

Jim: Thank you. Trina, you loved this book.

Trina: I did. It's a slim volume so I made a point to read it slowly because I wanted to really enjoy it. Is it okay to note this -- if it's not, pull it, I'm not trying to influence any votes -- but in the book poll that Martha and Shirley do each year for their year-in-books piece, I voted this book as my favorite of the year.

Jim: So you loved it and you think it is the year's best book?

Trina: I really do. I love this book. True story, check with my husband, I fell asleep one night while I was reading it and, he loves to tell this story, I was hugging the book in my sleep.

Jim: You do love the book.

Trina: I do. And there's so much to love. I'll let others go into the politics and all of that and I'll stop hogging the discussion by noting that he's someone who not just has something important to say but also has a wonderful way of saying it. We have a lot of writers on the left that we read for the information who would never be read for style. Tariq Ali truly is a writer. He has tremendous talent and style and is such a pleasure to read.

Jim: Alright. Wally, I'm jumping to you. What did you learn from the book?

Wally: That's a good question. Looking at the book's cover, there are probably a lot of us who might be tempted to think, "I know this book already." Because if you weren't a Cult of St. Barack member, you know he's a War Criminal. But I bet there are parts in here that you didn't know about or didn't know as much about. I didn't really know about Yemen. That's the last chapter and so that was a real revelation to me.

Jim: Okay. Elaine?

Elaine: Hmm. Wally's right about that temptation. One thing we need to point out, Tariq Ali wasn't a Cult Member. This isn't a I-Have-Sinned memoir. Tariq deserves real credit for standing up to the push in 2008 to annoint Barack the new Christ-child. I think that is one of the reasons his book carries more weight than, for example, Roger Hodge's book. Tariq doesn't have to excuse anything, doesn't have to set straw men or women in order to justify his past crush on Barack because he's never had a crush. There's a -- C.I., would you agree? -- there's a freedom there.

C.I.: I would. As Ruth noted, Elaine and I both know Tariq so that's disclosure's out there. But I do agree with Elaine, Tariq's able to write with freedom because he's not carrying the burden of having been a cheerleader for Barack. He's not Tom Hayden, for example, who repeatedly claimed he'd hold Barack's feet to the fire but never did. He's not Barbara Ehrenreich who offered one excuse for another or just ignored reality in 2008. Tariq has been out there talking the truth, writing the truth. And when you've done that, as we all know, you've taken the attacks for it. They can't do anymore to you. In 2010, there are no more threats they can make that will even surprise. You've walked through the fire. Tariq's done that and that's why, I feel, there's a gravity to this book that is missing in so many other volumes being written by one time Barack Wet Dreamers.

Jim: Okay, so both of Tariq Ali's friends participating in this roundtable strongly endorse this book. Ruth, what section did you love best?

Ruth: That is such a difficult question, to pin down just one favorite point. But I think I will go with his section from 101 to 107 where he's discussing the Gulf Disaster and BP and Barack Obama. I really think he did the kind of job that we should have seen in real time but instead the left in this country pretty much tried to soft ball it. They would express frustration and or outrage with the ongoing nature of the Gulf Disaster --

Rebecca: A disaster which continues.

Ruth: Correct. But they would either ignore the economic ties between the players or attack those who brought the ties up. Some journalist, we are supposed to hate him, just got some longterm contract from Fox News following his firing or departure from a DC station as a result of the station manager freaking out because the man noted on air the BP donations to Barack Obama.

Jim: Alright. Mike, what was your favorite part.

Mike: My favorite part was killed from Friday's "Iraq snapshot." C.I. had to cut and gut that snapshot because it was too long. Before she did that, there were a few paragraphs on the Iraq War and Barack's continuation of it that she'd included in the snapshot. I think what Tariq Ali writes about the ongoing Iraq War is some of the most important writing of this or any other year. He did a great job with the Afghanistan War, with covering that in the book as well. But the Iraq War section was the part I was most grateful for.

Jim: Okay. I need to make a few notes here. Last week, Trina -- avid bookreader -- didn't participate because she hadn't read the book under discussion. Jess and Kat didn't participate because they were tired and Cedric, Isaiah, Stan, Betty, Marcia and Ann were taking part in the Black roundtable. Trina's read this book but, otherwise, everything remains the same as last week. Betty requested and pitched a Black roundtable the week before and it's a great idea. She pitched it again this week. With that taking place, it allowed us to do something else and since we had a smaller number, we went -- this week and last -- with a book discussion because readers miss those. It's really impossible to do a book discussion with everyone. That's too many people. For awhile, we were doing two books a discussion and making people sign up for which book they wanted to weigh in on. Tariq Ali's book is one we strongly enjoyed. Rebecca, you'd agree with that, correct?

Rebecca: Absolutely. And I love that he explodes the myth of the 'small donors' and Barack. He also brings up the issue of Barack breaking his promise about public financing in the general election. Hodge did a whole chapter on public financing as cleaning up our election system, chapter ten, but he seemed unaware that Barack broke a promise to accept public financing and became the first Democratic presidential nominee to do so in the post-Watergate era. That was not a minor issue. Who flirted with it before? C.I.?

C.I.: Many have. John Kerry flirted with it in 2004. There was a big push for him to reject public financing in the general. The press reported on this push. He considered it and decided not to. Time and again, Barack is the one to reject the proud moments -- there are a few -- of the Democratic Party and it's history.

Rebecca: And Tariq Ali's book, Hodge should have held off writing long enough to read Tariq Ali's. Tariq's not begging you to believe him, not attacking others so you'll say, "Well he's fair!" He's writing reality and it's a strong book.

Jim: Thank you, Rebecca. Ava, you get to close.

Ava: Okay. Let me note that this is a transcript piece and, as with all of them, consider it a rush transcript which means you will find typos. It's a strong book, it's an important book. I'm going to go with Mike's choice for the strongest section: The Iraq War. I agree with Mike on that 100%. I'm thinking about -- Kat, Wally, C.I. and I are on the road speaking out against the wars every week -- this notion that the Iraq War is over which so many useless idiots on the left keep repeating. Elaine just called out one of them on Friday in "Steve Burns is an idiot." There's this lie that the Iraq War is over. It's not. Last week, saw -- C.I., name?

C.I.: Pfc David Dustin Finch.

Ava: Thank you. Last week, we saw Pfc David Dustin Finch killed in combat in Iraq. Erlier this morning, the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse was reporting that 11 people were dead in a Ramadi bombing with twenty or so wounded. We don't have the TV or radio on now and those numbers have increased. But the Iraq War is not over. And what may be the saddest part about my comments on this book, it was such a revelation to read someone who had the guts to say that.

Jim: Saddest, why? For those who will miss the point unless we underline it.

Ava: Because no one talks about it anymore. Tom Hayden rode that war back to semi-celebrity and now he can't even be bothered with mentioning it. Danny Schechter made a movie on the Iraq War and can't even cover it today. They promoted themselves and their wares to make a quick buck off the Iraq War. It continues, but the whores can't be bothered with even commenting on it these days. And that's why it continues. It continues under the blanket of silence. So I loved Tariq's section on Iraq -- especially on Nouri al-Maliki, the US-installed thug -- but it was sad at the same time because no one else is really writing about it the way Tariq does.

Jim: Except C.I.?

Ava: Well that goes without saying. She's covering Iraq several times every day. Those who say it can't be done are lying.

Jim: Alright. And on that note, we'll go ahead and close down. Thank you to Ava and C.I. for taking notes for this transcript piece. We have no plans for another book discussion next week before anyone gets their hopes up.

The Black Roundtable

Ty: Last week, we did "The Black Roundtable" and readers enjoyed it and we enjoyed doing it. We had not, however, thought we would be doing another one this week. The need for one resulted from a White Anglo male who thinks he speaks for us when he doesn't. . The e-mail address is Participating in this roundtable are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Ty, that would be me; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; 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.


Ty (Con't): Betty and Marcia addressed the idiotic move by a White Anglo in "Kiss my Black ass, Matthew Rothschild" and "Matthew Rothschild patronizes Black people." Let me quote from White boy on why no one must challenge St. Barack, the Big Sissy, in a Democratic Party primary in 2012, "First of all, it would be extremely divisive within the Democratic Party, and it would drive a wedge between the largely white left and the overwhelming majority of African-Americans at the grassroots, who constitute the party's most loyal constituency. The last thing we need is to incite racial animosity on the left." Isaiah, in another roundtable we're doing this edition, it's noted that you don't speak much in roundtables so let me start with you. Your reaction?

Isaiah: Betty and Marcia made great points. I'd prefer to add on after they summarize.

Ty: Okay. Marcia, you start.

Marcia: Okay. As I wrote, I love it how we -- Black people -- are reduced to the non-left. We aren't the left, we're around the grassroots. We're the servants, the slaves, in Matthew Rothschild's world view. But we're not smart enough to be part of the left. In his view. I guess we just aren't smart enough? I doubt The Progessive has many Black readers -- it's really an old people's magazine and nothing but opinion pieces that, by the time it's on the magazine racks, have all gone stale -- but if there are any who actually pay for that magazine, I hope they will consider using their money more effectively. I'm glad to see that Jim Hightower was hired by The Progressive so that I know that Matthew doesn't hire just Jews -- Dave Zirin, for example -- but they don't have Black writers at The Progressive. A woman dies -- Molly Ivins -- and The Progressive adds three writers -- all male, not one was African-American. Betty?

Betty: Thank you, Marcia. She raised the issue of women at the end of her response and that's what I focused on. Rothschild is concerned with a split? But he wasn't concerned in 2008. In 2008, Hillary received more votes than Barack did. That's the reality and Matthew Rothschild's never told that. The party was split in half and Matthew wasn't concerned. But now he's concerned? Half the party was f**ked over in 2008 and he didn't give a damn because he'd already sided with Barack Obama -- and also because he's a not a Democrat, he's a Socialist. But now he's concerned that a minor segment might be upset. And that's what we are, Black people, we are a minor segment of the party. Women are over half of it, well over half. But Matthew wasn't concerned about women in 2008. Or men who supported Hillary. Now he wants to show up with his insulting garbage and we're supposed to go along with it. The notion that we're just too stupid to understand the need for a challenge to Barack? It boggles the mind.

Stan: It does. And it's insulting and he needs to issue an apology. Now there are some in the Black community who are just idiots. There are some in the White community, in every community. But the bulk of Black America is not unable to absorb reality. This notion that we're bonded with Barack has a lot to do with the fact that the media gave Barack a free ride. Marcia and my grandmother regularly gets called in a news outlet's survey. And she made the 'mistake' recently of telling the White woman doing the call, "No, I don't support Barack Obama." The pollster -- and this isn't the first time it's happened -- immediately went to, "But you're Black." What? That's what's supposed to be said in a poll? I don't think so. But we're being told we have to love-love Barry. Well we don't. And what you're slowly seeing is some cheerleaders getting the guts -- finally -- to do what we've done all along. So now Cornell West finally feels he can criticize Barack. And he's only one example. As more and more come forward, you're going to see the Black community hear these critiques. But they've absorbed the same media everyone else has and it has been cheerleading Barack forever.

Cedric: Yes. I'm jumping in, Isaiah, I don't mean to step on your toes. But the press has given Barack a free ride forever. And they have stressed and created the myth that all of Black American is behind him. He's not Black. Let's get really honest here, "zebra" is still used in the Black community. There are still people within our community who do not believe races intermingle. The idea that all of Black America -- which does include separatists -- would get on board with a bi-racial or mixed man is beyond insane. It's a media myth. Now with few exceptions, the MSM has dictated that Barack is Black. But that's a myth. His mother was a White woman. I don't buy those polls. Long, long ago, Marcia spoke of her grandmother and how she just gave the answer she thought the White pollsters wanted. I think a lot are and I'd point out that none of us have ever been surveyed -- which is that case for most of Black America. It's ridiculous. And if you are Black, you know what we're speaking of. You know that the polls are not reflective, you know that Black men have been harder hit by this recession than anyone and, no, we're not cheering Barry on. That's reality.

Ann: I. I'm going to stop. I'm sorry. Isaiah was waiting. Go ahead.

Isaiah: Well, thank you, okay. My point here is that I'm so insulted by what Matthew Rothschild wrote. I want you to think about Marcia's point that it's really saying we're all stupid if we're Black, we're too dumb to care about anything other than skin color. And I want you to think about Betty's point which was Matthew didn't give a damn about women in 2008. Now put it together, what Matthew Rothschild is saying: "Black people are stupid, they don't care about any women -- even Black women don't care -- we just care about Black men." When you provide the context, that's what it's saying.

Ann: Good points, Isaiah. Yeah, no reason to worry in 2008 about how the attacks on women -- supporters of Hillary and Hillary herself -- and how that might divide the party but now we all need to worry. And that does transfer Matthew's own sexism onto us as a people. I refuse to receive that, Matthew Rothschild.

Ty: And going back to the point you were going to make, Ann? You just commented on Isaiah's observations which are strong but you had wanted to say something before that.

Ann: Thank you, I forgot. Ty, set me up here. Tell me what Matthew Rothschild is writing in his column.

Ty: Okay. Well he's writing that, in 2012, when the presidential election season starts, there should be no Democratic Party challenge to Barack Obama.

Ann: Who's saying that?

Ty: Matthew Rothschild is saying that there should be no Democratic Party challenge to Barack Obama.

Ann: Why the hell is that bastard -- that lying bastard -- saying a damn thing?

Ty: Okay, you're mad. And why?

Ann: Betty inserted it earlier.

Betty: Good Lord, it just sailed right over me. Ann, thank you. I can't believe I missed that.

Ty: Anybody want to share with the rest of us.

Betty: What Ann's saying -- Ann, do you want to go?

Ann: You take it. I didn't even think about it until you spoke earlier.

Betty: Okay, thank you. Matthew Rothschild is trying to dictate what the Democratic Party should do. C.I. publicly called that in 2008 and I can't believe I've forgotten. Matthew's a Socialist. He's not a Democrat. And even with C.I. explaining that over and over and even with Matthew finally coming in 2009 and publicly admitting he was a Socialist, here we are in 2010 and he's 'advising' the Democratic Party and the real question to ask is: "Who the hell cares what you think the Democratic Party should do?"

Cedric: Amen. Amen to that. Democrats should be deciding what the Party does. Not Republicans, not Socialists, not Communists, not anyone who's not a Democrat. It's our party. It is not his party. He needs to shut the hell up. Who the hell is this man -- this priss who won't join the Democratic Party -- to insist what we should or should not do as a party -- a party he doesn't even belong to? Talk about a rat f**ker.

Ty: Did anyone hear the audio of Rothschild? It was even more insulting hearing it than just reading it. But let's move to the other part where Matty's whining that too much focus is on the presidential elections. Matthew's in charge of The Progressive. Is he unaware of his own behavior -- as well the magazine's -- during the Democratic Party primaries and during the general election.

Marcia: What I found most humorous about that section was the praise for Howard Zinn. 'Howard Zinn told us' -- B.s. What Howard Zinn told people, his last 'big message,' was to vote for Barack. His final message is a disgrace and, for many of us, that's all Zinn will be remembered for, pissing on his own legacy.

Betty: I didn't listen to it. I was screaming just from reading it. I couldn't take listening to him spout this nonsense.

Ty: Isaiah, I'm going to give you the last word.

Isaiah: Okay. I just want to back up what everyone has said before and that Stan and Cedric covered here: There is not 100% support for Barack in the Black community. He's not one of us. His mother was a White woman. His Black side does not include slaves. His Black side is a father who raised in Kenya, not the United States. He did not grow up under the legacy of slavery. He does not identify with us -- as obvious by his repeated attacks on Black fathers -- and he is not of us. The idea that Matthew Rothschild's pushing where we're too stupid to take criticism of Barack is insulting and false.

Ty: Good points. And I'll share my own view which is Barack is a War Criminal and how dare anyone at a magazine call The Progressive work -- for whatever reasons -- to clear the path to the re-election of a War Hawk with the blood of Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians and so many others on his hands. Shame on you, Matthew Rothschild. Also I need to say thank you to Ava and C.I. who typed up last week's Black roundtable from our recording and who will be doing so this week as well.

Ty's Corner



It can motivate.

It's a tool that's used by partisans on both sides. (If you doubt that some on the left use the fear card as well, just check out any election year cover of The Nation.) We've decried the use of fear as a political weapon. We see it as self-defeating in the long run and only more so since we've noticed how often those on our side (the left) use the fear card.

But people play the fear card because it can be (temporarily) very effective.

I found that out Saturday morning.

I see myself as someone with your average amount of net and computer savy. And yet there I was acting like a complete fool. Worse than a complete fool. I was in total panic and forking over personal information.

My boyfriend was back east with his family. Everyone here was asleep (Betty, her kids, Jim and Dona). I know because I was very noisy moving through the house to the kitchen, hoping someone would stick their head out and say, "Hey, Ty, want to watch a movie?" But everyone was asleep. It had been a long work week because there's a lot of work that goes into creating buzz ahead of Academy Award nominations. Or trying to create buzz. So after making a bunch of noise and failing to wake anyone, I went back to my room and booted up the laptop.

I was streaming Old Dogs at Netflix and going through our e-mails here when I suddenly had a huge problem.

I had a ton of infections on my computer. Nothing but infections. I got a message and then another and then another and, in fact, on the bottom right-hand side of the screen, it was one balloon after another.

I was freaking out. I didn't know what to do. It was infecting my system and there were trojans and there was this and there was that.

I had semi-installed an AVG upgrade the day before. Semi-installed? AVG wants to shut you down without warning in the upgrade. It did it once. When it tried to the second time, I was in the middle of working on a press release for my real job, I just stopped the installation. So I was wondering if that had left me vulnerable or if I'd gone to some site I shouldn't have or what?

Now the messages were telling me that things were going to stop working because it was infecting my system and my registry. And it kept asking me if I wanted to install a security upgrade. For fifty-something dollars. I'd said no repeatedly because I didn't know the program but as all these warnings kept popping up, I was freaking out.

I grabbed my credit card and started entering my information. My name. My credit card. It's expiration date. I'd just entered the three digit security code and was about to start on my mailing address when my desk top filled the whole screen and was suddenly blue bricks with a message of how I needed to buy this security upgrade now or I was risking myself, my job, my wife, my . . .

Wife? I'm not married and I'm a gay man.

It did make me laugh.

And then it reminded me of Single White Female, how Bridget Fonda's character installs this billing software on her client's computers and how, if they don't pay on time, it automatically erases all the data.

Laughing and thinking of that was the only reason that, when I pulled the screen back up with my info on it, I closed it out without proceeding.

I was that close to giving a perfect stranger that information.

I was still getting all these messages about infections and I didn't know what to do. Ava, C.I., Kat, Wally and Jess were at Trina's which meant a three hour time difference. Meaning that although it was 2:30 here, it was 5:30 there. I knew not to call Kat. She sleeps in. That left Jess, Wally, Ava and C.I. I tried Jess but no answer. I tried C.I. and Wally but no answer. Then I got Ava. She explained Jess was in the shower but C.I., Wally and Mike were out running.

I told her how infected my laptop was and she kept saying, "Don't panic, don't panic." Which led us to laugh about the car crash in Nine to Five. (Jane Fonda: What happened?" Dolly Parton: "She panicked.") She told me to shut it down and she'd get C.I. to call me back in a few minutes. I said sure and hung up and tried to shut it down but couldn't.

I had several screens open so let me plug Mozilla Firefox here. During all of this, I was attempting to find out about this security package that was being sold and I couldn't pull anything up on Explorer. Mozilla was able to pull up things. It took forever, but it was still working which may have to do with the extra security that browser has.

But I couldn't shut the thing down. If I tried to go to "shutdown," it didn't work. I couldn't access the start menu. I also couldn't access task manager despite repeated attempts.

I was still in a panic when C.I. called and said, "Unplug the laptop and remove the battery. That will shut it down."

Which I did do. Then C.I. got me to reboot and launch windows in safe mode. From there, she had me do a system restore to an earlier date and that knocked it out. I then ran a security program and that walled off or removed the problem which was Security Tool.

Security Tool is actually a virus and it attaches yourself to your computer, informs you of mythical infections and problems, freezes your ability to do most things and gets you to fork over your credit card information. It's a scam.

And it's a probably a successful one because I consider myself pretty average and I'm sure many others are as freaked out by the performance Security Tool virus puts on when it's attacking your machine.

I do not give out my information easily. For example, this week at Borders I bought a couple of hundred dollars in books (this was for work and I was reimbursed) and I was asked if I wanted to sign up -- just 20 bucks a year! -- for a new Borders' rewards program. This one would allow me to not just have to bring in coupons for discounts. I was all for it and handing him $20. He (the clerk) says, "No, I have to put it on your card. And then we'll bill you $20 each year or you can check this space and we'll only do it one time . . ." Now I like Borders but I was not comfortable with that and called for a manager who agreed to take $20 in cash because I did not want to give away my credit card number to something that could potentially charge me each year without my permission.

That's one example but I get teased because I'm always doing things like that and I think most of us do, I don't think I'm anything special when it comes to taking precautions.

But there I was, Saturday morning, ready to fork over everything. Ready to give up anything just so my laptop could be 'safe.' (Thereby allowing me to feel safe.) And Ava was telling me, on the phone, "Ty, there are two laptops in C.I.'s bedroom. Go grab one of those. She's not going to mind." That should have called me down. At that point, I should have been calm. But even so, I wasn't. And I was thinking, "I don't want another laptop, I want mine!"

Maybe you've seen that episode of Sex In The City where Carrie's boyfriend of the moment is remodeling their apartment and her laptop goes on the fritz? She's told it's dead and she'll have to get a new one. She doesn't want a new one because she has all of her writing on it and this on it and that on it and . . .

I didn't care about any of that. Why I didn't want to switch to a new laptop is I didn't want to have to go through all the crap of installing (and logging into) my wireless program and the same with the DSL hook up. I'm just too damn lazy. And also, I write that stuff down -- passwords and log ons -- and then forget where I put it because I hide it and I've hidden it from myself. So a new computer would just be a pain in the ass.

And around the time I started thinking about that was around the time I actually stopped stressing. Which just goes to show you that humanity invented bitching for a reason: It helps us cope.


Jim: This is a grab bag e-mail roundtable working in some e-mail topics. Our e-mail address is Participating in this roundtable 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): Last week, we offered "The Black Roundtable" and "Book discussion." Both were very popular and we're glad. Due to some events last week, Ty and Betty would like to do another Black Roundtable and we're also hoping to do a book piece -- especially since Trina didn't participate last week because she'd been reading another book. We actually have a question on that but I'll let Trina go into that in a bit. Right now, we're starting with Cecil's e-mail, "I've noticed that if anyone speaks less than C.I. in any roundtable, it's Isaiah. I can get that he's probably more of a visual person since he does the comics and probably more comfortable with visual illustrations and that sort of thing as opposed to words but I thought I would point that out and also ask him how he makes time for all the comics he does. Oh, and tell him I love them all and my favorite of all time is Irma La Duce. And also please tell him to keep on with the Obama comics because not only do I love them and not only do I think fair is fair but I also think they do a real service and that he, Wally and Cedric and Ava and C.I. are the ones who have really carved out the space on the left to criticize Obama." Isaiah? And, FYI, we're inserting the "Irma La Dunce" comic of Bully Boy holding his dog Barney as he prostitutes national security.

Isaiah: Well thank you to Cecil for the kind words. I have done Sunday comics for Polly's Brew and El Spirito but I did those Saturday. I still don't have my Sunday comic for The Common Ills tonight. In addition, I need to do two in advance for TCI. One is actually several. I really wanted to do one of those this weekend but that's not going to happen. It was actually going to be two -- one for either possible outcome. But there was news yesterday that indicates I have at least another week before any outcome so that's good. But if I think about all of this and that I don't have a Sunday comic, I tend to freak out. So I just ignore it and try not to think about needing X number of comics. Sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn't. And Cecil's favorite comic is also one of Elaine's.

Elaine: I was just going to point that out. I actually have the original that Isaiah drew and colored in hanging, framed, in my office.

Dona: And, FYI, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Hiding Behind The Leg Of Her Pantsuit is the biggest comic he's done in terms of e-mail responses. Jim and I did nothing but work the e-mail accounts for The Common Ills last week -- Ty had to grab everything here. The public account was all this hatred in the form of drive-bys that C.I. 'dared' to call out the attacks on two women who stated they were raped. And as we went through all of that -- along with Eli, Martha, Shirley, Heather, Morgan and Brady -- one of the constants was how loved Isaiah's comic was. I've never seen that many e-mails -- his comics are always popular -- on one of his comics. Martha estimated there were around 4,000 e-mails just on that comic.

Jim: Okay. Last week we did a book discussion and Trina loves books and book discussions but sat out because she hadn't read the book. She was reading Tariq Ali's The Obama Syndrome. Trina?

Trina: The way each edition goes is that Saturday night various ideas are pitched. Last edition, going in, we had no idea that there would be a book discussion. If I'd known that Roger Hodge's book was going to be discussed, I'd have read it. But I got it with Tariq Ali's book and I started with Tariq's book because I like his writing and I was reading it at my own leisurely pace because I was enjoying it so much. So when that book discussion was a go, I said it was my hope that we would do Tariq's book next week. And we may. If there's not time, Ava and C.I. have already told me it will take place on the Christmas edition that they steer. But we are hoping to do that. Some e-mailed asking if I was refusing to participate out of protest to Hodge's book. I hadn't read his book and I still haven't. After last week's discussion, I probably won't read it. As somone who didn't participate in that discussion, I found it very interesting to read and even listened to the portion in the audio version of Hilda's Mix. I wonder if anyone else had the same reaction?

Marcia: I did. I was really proud of the roundtable we did but I was also, "Hey, how did I miss out on that!" That was something and the message is consistent -- in that roundtable -- with the point we've been making which is, "You can't just pretend now that you're someone who told the truth. You need to own up to your lies, your claims, your attacks and your falsehoods or we don't have the time for you. And we certainly don't have the time for you to attack Hillary or Bill to justify your rather mild critiques of Barack."

Jim: Okay, Ty's officially with us. He was roughing out a piece he's going to write for this edition, another Ty's Corner. Ty, did any e-mail really stand out the most to you last week?

Ty: There were a number and I understand, let me just let off some steam here, I understand the need for you and Dona to help out exclusively with the e-mails at The Common Ills. For those who don't understand that, C.I. was one of the strongest defenders of the women the so-called left was attacking last week. And I know the public account of TCI was going crazy with attacks from those who don't believe rape ever really happens. But last week was pretty busy here as well. Everything got e-mail. Every article. And the book discussion and the roundtable both got more e-mails than any article we've ever done except for Ava and C.I.'s pieces. And then, this point needs to be made -- you'll love this, Jim -- Ava and C.I.'s "TV: SNL as a TGIF staple" got more e-mails in one week than anything they've ever written here before.

Jim: I haven't spoken to Ty about the e-mails, this is the first I'm hearing of that. And he's right I do love it. Ava and C.I. actually reviewed a TV show for last week and it was strong writing. But I begged them to set that aside -- it ended up running in a community newsletter -- and instead tackle SNL. It just felt to me like the topic was one they should run with. A natural for the readers and for them. Glad I was right.

Dona: Jim, should we continue to explore how great you are or does this hymn to self have a closing chorus?

Jim: Okay, okay. Ruth and Betty, Cougar Town [see "Cougar Town" and "Tom Hayden's dead chickens come home to rest"] -- why? That's a question from Jean who says she loves the show and from Allen who says he can't stand the show.

Ruth: Betty?

Betty: Go ahead.

Ruth: Okay. Why are we noting Cougar Town at our sites? Because we have gotten over our funk of The New Adventures of Old Christine being killed by CBS last spring. We loved that show and we blogged about it each week. It was the funniest show on TV. Because it had a female lead, Terry Gross and all of her little male TV critics were not going to praise it. One finally did -- after Betty especially called him out -- but he did so the week before it got the axe. This was a great show and did not get any buzz from the Water Cooler Set. And that is generally how it goes for shows starring women. So Courtney Cox leads the cast of Cougar Town, a show we love and we noted last year we loved it. We are doing our part to get some talk going on about the show.

Betty: Ruth said it perfectly. I can't believe we lost Julia's show. But we did. And we're still mad about that -- Ruth and I -- but we are aware that women are always the first attacked and we looked around and -- especially after CBS has decided to kill Medium -- we decided we needed to do something to show our support for a TV show and Cougar Town is our favorite on the air. We may grab Parks & Recreation when it comes back on the air. We'd told ourselves we would over the summer but it's taken forever for that show to come back on.

Jim: Betty also now covers Desperate Housewives, due a to a cast addition, right?

Betty: I never watched the show once until this season and they have me watching because they have Vanessa Williams in the cast. And Ugly Betty was a great show that I wish I had championed but it was a hit -- until they screwed around with it on the schedule -- and I never thought it would be axed like it was.

Jim: And we also have coverage -- in the community -- of sci fi or adventure shows. Mike covers the comedy-action-drama-romance Chuck, and he also covers Fringe and Marcia covers The Event and Stan and Mike will again be covering V when it comes back on. Stan, are you going to be covering anything else? That's a question from Hannah.

Stan: If readers of my site want it, I'll go back to covering The Good Wife. I do love the show but I'm one the people left behind when the digital switch took place. For economics, I let go of cable and my TV is old. I've got one of those boxes but it doesn't pick up my CBS station. So to watch The Good Wife, I'd have to watch online. And that's not the problem, remembering to watch CBS online is the problem. If they were up at Hulu like everyone else, I'd remember. But it's a great show and I loved covering it last season.

Jim: Okay now to Mike --

C.I.: Wait.

Ava: Yeah. Did Hannah not know that Stan's covering No Ordinary Family?

Jim: I don't know she didn't mention it.

Stan: Hey, even I forgot! Yeah. A lot of people think I threw The Good Wife away to cover No Ordinary Family. No. I just can't get CBS. At my blog I'm a little more straight forward about that show. My hopes lessen for it each week. They had a great episode, their best of the season, when Cybill Shepherd guest starred as Stephanie's mother. That allowed the core family to work together as a group and everyone to be equal which rarely happens in that show that spends far too much time on Jim and his 'manly' adventures.

Jim: Okay, Mike, you've covered Chuck forever now. You're "like the Chuck web expert at this point." And I'm quoting Bernie who e-mailed to ask why you started covering it in the first place and what you're thinking of this season?

Mike: Yeah. I have been covering it forever. That's due to the fact that Ava and C.I. tipped me off to it before it started airing. You can go back through my archives and see all of that. And I really did love it from the start. Bernie's question. Hmm. Season one was excellent. Season two was stronger. Season three was a huge disappointment. I consider it the season Ralph and Potsie took over Happy Days. Too much Jeff and Lester, too much Devin. Season four's gotten back on track in part because the cost cutting prevents Jeff and Lester from being on every episode. Thank goodness. The heart of the show is Chuck and Sarah. They are the spinning off points. You want to spend 30 minutes with Sarah's father? We're interested. You want to spend 30 minutes with Chuck's sister? We're interested. When we're getting back story on Jeff and Lester, we're just bored. There was an episode this season that made no sense at all: Devin's parents come for a visit. And we see them arrive, Morgan Fairchild and Bruce Boxleitner. I honestly thought they were going to end up being spies and part of the story. Because it made no sense to just bring them on all the sudden. But they did and they were in like one scene and then they were gone. Or maybe they've moved in and we just haven't seen it?

Jim: Marcia, you had nothing but praise from Donald who self-describes "a total geek" for your coverage of The Event. He feels it's the best show of the season and wishes it had more attention.

Marcia: Well thank you, Donald. I'm a sci fi fan, as I've noted at my site many times. When we've done theme posts on Wednesdays about poetry or short stories or books, I've generally gone with sci fi in every case. And I am loving The Event. I think it's actually a better show now then when it started. It picks up steam each week, although I believe it's now on hiatus until next year. One of the reasons I started watching it was our pitch sessions here. The ones Trina was talking about earlier. I missed the first two episodes of the show. I didn't know about it. Had missed all the hype. But in pitch sessions, Jim usually asks Ava and C.I. what they're thinking of writing about for their TV article and they generally have several ideas. They have repeatedly pitched The Event and something's gone in the real world and they haven't been able to cover it. So that's why I started watching, just the buzz from them on the show. Thanks to Hulu, when I started watching, I was able to catch up on the two I had missed. It's really a great show. If you caught the first episode and wished it were better and never watched again, you need to catch it now because it's everything you could have hoped.

Jim: Trina, Elaine and Kat, you don't cover TV. Kat, it was noted that you didn't by an angry e-mailer who didn't sign his or her name. And the e-mails were working from for this roundtable were all selected by Ty. I thought that was evident by Ty's remarks earlier but Dona slid me a note informing me that I should mention that and she's right. So, Kat, the e-mail was about you but it's also true of Trina and Elaine as well.

Kat: And true of Rebecca.

Jim: No. She covered Brothers & Sisters last week and is planning on covering it every week now. Am I correct, Rebecca?

Rebecca: Yes, you're a very careful reader. I had covered Heroes -- and Wally covered it for me at my site when I was in London for the work I did with the Labour Party. It got cancelled and it should have been cancelled. It was so bad at the end. In fact, when Nathan died, that was it, that should have been it. But I wasn't interested in anything until I caught Brothers & Sisters last Sunday. Sally Field was so funny in that episode and I thought, "Come on, two-time Oscar winner on each Sunday night? You can cover the show." So I will. People like it when you do that, by the way. It's a connection you can form with your readers. Take Mike, for example, there are people who don't agree with any of his politics, people on the right, who read his site just to get his thoughts on Chuck or Fringe or both.

Jim: And certainly, at our site, Ava and C.I.'s TV articles have been the calling card. But, Kat, back to you and Trina and Elaine.

Kat: I'm on the road. If I catch something on TV, I usually blog about it. I don't have time to watch something each week, sorry. Since C.I. got the new house, we're spending more time in the DC area but even that isn't always possible to plan as in, "I'll be in DC Tuesday! I can watch . . ." We're on the road speaking and I never know where we'll be too far in advance. And then every area has their own system for what's on what channel so it's just crazy.

Trina: I don't have time. I really don't. I watch the news -- usually The NewsHour and the CBS Evening News -- and that's about it for me. I'm helping my oldest son raise his daughter and I've got a lot of other things going on so I really don't watch.

Mike: And we've got a big TV in the living room that we -- the kids -- controlled for years and years. My oldest brother lives at home now and he's not controlling the TV. The rest of us don't live at home. But my folks raised eight of us and Mom had to put up with all these fights over the TV. It's not like she ever got to say, "It's Monday, I'm watching . . ."

Trina: That is true. If I was in there, in the living room, it was usually to settle an argument over who got to pick what was being watched and if I stayed it was just to make sure the argument didn't surface again. We had a small TV in our room that my husband watched games on. But we didn't have TVs in all the rooms until our oldest kids got older and they'd start some job and it seemed like their first purchase was either a TV or a stereo.

Jim: Elaine?

Elaine: I watch Chuck some because Mike loves it. We sometimes watch Fringe together. If he waits until Friday night to watch Fringe, I'll usually plug in ear phones and watch with him. But a lot of times he watches before that. I do group on Thursday nights, I can't catch it then. I can't catch it in the middle of sessions on Fridays. With Chuck, I usually catch it if he's watching it on TV Monday nights. I'm more of a movie person than a TV series person.

Jim: Ann, of course, follows Fresh Air, which is radio. In an e-mail, Ann, reader Joni wonders what happens in January of 2011?

Ann: Predictions? I see -- No, I'm joking. I know she's asking regarding Fresh Air. I'm so ready to move on from that awful show. January 2nd, we do our article here on Fresh Air. That may be it for me and that awful program. I'm considering other NPR programs. But I can't see doing Fresh Air much longer. That show drives me nuts.

Jim: I can understand why. Wally and Cedric were the subject of Marsha's e-mail. That's M-A-R-S-H-A and it's not our own Marcia. Marsha has written repeatedly over the year sure that Cedric or Wally was angry with Trina or Betty or Ann or whomever they accidentally left off "Recommended." Cedric and Wally do joint-posts. That means they write their posts together and they go up at both of their sites. They do humor writing, they then quote from the most recent "Iraq snapshot" by C.I. and then they provide community links under "Recommended." When they forget someone, all of the sudden, some people get suspicious. It's not just Marsha. But she wrote in yesterday to note that she was sorry for repeatedly assuming that Wally and Cedric were mad at someone or at what they'd written and that's why they'd refused to highlight whatever in "Recommended." Marsha came to that conclusion because Wally and Cedric always include their previous post under "Recommended" and they forgot to yesterday in "THIS JUST IN! BROKEN PROMISES!" and "He makes promises he doesn't keep."

Cedric: People really do assume that we do that on purpose, forget someone. I usually tolerate those e-mails when they come in. By "tolerate," I mean that I understand that someone's a big Rebecca fan or whomever and when we forget to link to them in "Recommended" someone's who's a big fan is upset by the oversight. So I don't take it too personally. But I use "tolerate" intentionally because we've forgotten Ann and I've gotten e-mails accusing me of "hating" her -- put that in quotes, they say I am "hating on her" and that I "hate" her. And I don't tolerate that. I'm just -- I know that C.I. once made a joke about how incestous it was all becoming -- a Fleetwood Mac reference, but if you're going to accuse me of hating someone, I think you should at least do your basic homework. Visiting Ann's site, on her profile, you'll see that we're married. So why are you accusing me of hating my wife? I mean, that makes no sense. Other than that, I understand when those e-mails come in. Someone's a big fan. I get it. I'm not bothered by it. But if you're a big fan of Ann's, you should have glance at her home page long enough to have grasped that we're married.

Wally: And you'd be surprised how often that happens, how often Cedric's accused of hating Ann by people who don't know they're married. What happens is that we're on the phone, Cedric and I. One of us, we rotate it, takes charge of writing up what we're doing. Now we don't know what we're doing at the start of the call. We're talking about what's in the news. One of us is flipping around online for news we might not have heard about while the other is assigned the job of preparing the post. Which means, on Saturday, I was in charge of the post and Cedric was searching the news. So, while we're riffing on news stories, I'm typing up "Recommended" and adding links and then I'm typing in "FROM THE TCI WIRE" and grabbing a section from the Iraq snapshot. And then, the last thing we do, we're writing our humor post. Now on Saturday, and Cedric I think this happens when you're doing the actual typing of the post too, what happenes is I'm doing "Recommended" -- which can be a pain in the ass, by the way -- and I'm stopping from time to time when Cedric's got an idea or when I just want to say something smart ass about the news. And then I go back to doing the Recommended. I left ours off at one of the times I stopped and didn't even notice. When I had it done, I sent it to Cedric and I'm figuring out my title and hitting post just as Cedric is copying and pasting it to his site and notices, "Hey, you forgot us."

Cedric: And I published it knowing that. But what Wally described, that's how it is. To do those links in Recommended, we're basically relying on C.I.'s site because she's noting all of the posts community wide. And we're copying and pasting, link by link. It's a time consuming process. When I'm the one that's pulled that duty, it's just like Wally was describing, you're starting and stopping on the links because you're also participating in the discussion of the possible news we can use in the post.

Ty: I'm jumping in. Jim, reader Marcel wonders about your last "Jim's World" and questions the wisdom of that post -- "writing about candy" -- and what he sees at the "increased commercialization of your online magazine." He goes on to note the Netflix feature as an example of that.

Jim: Really? Well, first off, I operate under the assumption that our readers are adults and can decide for themselves what to watch, eat or drink. I wrote about candy and it's a crime. Boo-hoo. I eat candy. I eat other things as well. But I'm not going to apologize because I wrote about eating candy. As for commericalization, I find that hysterical. But I will take a look at it, thanks Marcel.

Jess: If I could add something --

Jim: Please.

Jess: I do understand what Marcel's objecting to. I don't happen to agree with his take on it. I don't think Jim has any apology to make for writing about candy. If Dona still smoked and wanted to write a piece in favor of smoking, I wouldn't have a problem with that either. As Jim stated, we're supposed to be grown ups. On the Netflix issue ["Netflix plan that works for you"], Stan covers Netflix at his site. When we covered Netflix, we were doing it as reporting and trying to advise you on what deal would actually provide you something if you signed up. The MSM press on Netflix was, "Pay $7.99 and you can stream movies!" Our article was, "Actually, you can only stream a few movies and most of them aren't new releases." I follow Marcel's points, I just don't agree with them. I'll further add that, look at the shows being discussed at community websites. Stan's let go of cable. But Rebecca's not hurting for money, she's very wealthy. Marcia's not wealthy but she's got satellite TV, Mike and Elaine have premium whatever -- Elaine is wealthy and Betty's living here at C.I.'s with us so there's not a channel she can't get. Point? They're writing about broadcast TV. I know for a fact that one of Marcia and Rebecca's favorite shows is Damages. But it airs on FX, so they don't cover it. But ask them about Briar Rose and stand back because they'll be talking for hours. The same is true of other TV shows that are not on broadcast channels. That's because they're trying to follow Ava and C.I.'s pattern here which was to be accessible. So the idea that this site or any other has been 'commercialized' is really insulting.

Jim: Well said. Thank you, Jess. Ava and C.I. don't get to speak, we're out of time. We'll be sure to include them in more of the next roundtable. And we thank them for taking notes for this piece. Rush transcript.

The week where two women were repeatedly attacked

We're not done with the issues involved in attacking two women to save Julian Assange. We have less time than we need, however. So, to make sure everything is covered on that topic and done quickly, Ann suggested we pull from C.I.'s snapshots.


CNN reports that "Julian Assange was sent to jail Tuesday while a London court decides whether to order his exradition to Sweden." Paul Owen, Caroline Davies and Sam Jones (Guardian) add, "He was asked by the court whether he understood that he could consent to be extradited to Sweden, where he faces allegations of rape, molestation and unlawful coercion, involving two women." Click here for a video report from CBS' The Early Show. Assange is the public face of WikiLeaks -- he is not WikiLeaks. He hasn't been convicted of anything. He may or may not be. Hopefully, he won't be. However, the desire to attack the two women accusing him is beyond unseemly.

Case in point, feminist or 'feminist' Naomi Wolf who knows neither woman, has done no independent investigation of her own but mocks both women at The Huffington Post. I hope the charges proof false but I'll be damned if I mock two women asserting they were raped to score a few political points for 'my side.' Watching her play bitchy and mock two women she doesn't know, about a rape that may or may not have taken place, is seeing just how estranged from feminism Naomi Wolf has become. This is the woman who, let's remember, waited years to accuse _____ of sexual harassment. Then again, as Ava and I pointed out sometime ago:

This is the woman who wanted sympathy and compassion for making public accusations -- but not bringing charges -- against a historian. Naomi wanted the world's sympathy. She just didn't appear to want justice.
What she really did was smear someone's name by publicly branding the criminal but refusing to take the matter to court. Of course, in a court of law, Naomi Wolf might not come off so sympathetic or, for that matter, at all believable.
This is the woman who stood by while another woman was gang-raped, after all.
'Feminist' Naomi was oh so very happy to garner attention and sympathy at the start of this decade as she accused the historian of having made a pass. The horror. How ever did Big Hair survive?
Strangely -- or maybe not so -- while painting herself as the ultimate victim, she never felt the need to talk about her days of gang rape.
Here's how Naomi writes it in her tawdry book Promiscuities (page 178):

["] When the woman came to, she fled. The joke, as I recall (and my memory of this episode fades in and out of focus), was that she had escaped so fast that her shoes remained. Someone had put her red high-heeled pumps on the wood mantel of the fireplace, next to the collection of beer cans from around the world.
The guys and I were friends. Over breakfast, they did not hide the story from me or from the other girlfriends who stayed the night. ["]

You can read on in vain for the moment where Naomi Wolf turns her prince charmings into the police, where she alerts the authorities or, for that matter, where she shows a damn bit of sympathy for the victim.
The incident took place in 1979 and, no surprise with Big Hair, the incident's all about Naomi. To have spoken out (then) would have been to be called a, as she so scholarly puts it, "lesbo."
That's the biggest insult in the world to Naomi Wolf and why she is known as the most anti-lesbian feminist poser in the US. Search in vain for any supportive statements Wolf has ever made for feminists who are lesbians. You'll never find sympathy for the gang-rape victim and you'll never find any show of solidarity with lesbians.
Big Hair is still, and will always be, the little girl laughing with the boys at the young woman who passed out and was gang-raped. That's Naomi Wolf. Not a feminist, not even pro-woman. Just a cheap, little girl striving for Daddy's love and approval (she didn't get it as child, she'll never get it as an adult).

And if that judgment ever struck anyone as harsh, she proves it accurate yet again by attacking two women she's never met, two women whose stories she's never heard and she does so in an attempt (a) to score political points and (b) to stand with the fellas. Attacking defendants -- especially ones asserting they were raped -- is disgusting and something feminists -- real ones -- regularly call prosecutors out for. The case will (presumably) unfold in public and people will form their own opinions as it does. To attack the defendants at this point is indefensible and Naomi Wolf is no feminist because all that I've gone over is Intro to Feminism 101. I do not claim to be the voice of feminism. I am one voice. At Third, Ava and I present a feminist take. We don't do "the take" and I'm not "the voice" of feminism. But Naomi Wolf has a real issue with victims of rape (as well as with lesbians which is why this woman so concerned with people's legal rights has failed to write one word on Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the last two years) and she has not and is not conducting herself in a manner that is either feminist or even just pro-woman. Somewhere around the time she was referring to a Black pioneer as homely (there was no reason to make a judgment of the woman's looks; however, if you're going to make such a call, the woman was pretty) while glorifying a White woman (Naomi's second book) and her passing off lesbians as 'stunted' females who haven't fully evolved (her third book), a public rebuke should have been in order. Naomi, I rebuke thee.

By the way, Naomi, should the two women turn out to be the pawns you insist they are, who are they the pawns of? You leave that out of your article, don't you? But you're still not able to call out Barack Obama . . . except on dust jacket blurbs. Anti-woman and cowardly, that's Naomi Wolf.


Julian Assange remains in the news. He is part of WikiLeaks, he is not WikiLeaks. He is currently facing charges. Hopefully, he's innocent. If not, that will come out as well. As noted in yesterday's snapshot, non-feminist Naomi Wolf launched an attack on the two women who have filed charges. I really didn't plan to go into the Naomi Wolf -- and others -- garbage of attacking women who charge rape and sexual assault. Then a friend at KPFA called to inform that Dennis Bernstein -- who's repeatedly faced sexual harassment charges (KPFA news department's Aileen Alfandary: "Bernstein has an unfortunate history of abusive behavior toward his co-workers that has cost KPFA six-figure sums in court proceedings and union grievance arbitrations. One sexual harassment settlement alone cost KPFA $250,000.") -- and Ray McGovern were not just implying the women liars and CIA assets, they were laughing at the women yesterday on KPFA's Flashpoints. Click here for the archived broadcast which disappears quicker than whatever brain Ray McGovern once had. Before we get to the distortions offered on air, let's note that Dennis has a history of sexual harassment and blaming victims. And let's quote this from Caroline Davies and Sam Jones (Guardian) report on yesterday's courtroom appearance by Julian Assange:

The first complainant, a Miss A, said she was the victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of 14 August in Stockholm. The court heard Assange was alleged to have "forcefully" held her arms and used his bodyweight to hold her down. The second charge alleged he "sexually molested" her by having sex without using a condom, when it was her "express wish" that one should be used.
A third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on 18 August.
A fourth charge, relating to a Miss W, alleged that on 17 August, he "improperly exploited" the fact she was asleep to have sex with her without a condom.

That fourth charge? That would be rape -- unless you were Tina Fey (who apparently finds that funny). Rape would also be holding someone down for forceable sex. These are serious charges. Hopefully Assange is innocent. He may or may not be. Kate Harding (Salon) observes, "With no specific target for their suspicions and no easy way to find one, folks all over the blogosphere have been settling for the next best thing: making light of the sexual assault charges and smearing one of the alleged victims." That was certainly what took place on Flashpoints yesterday. And, for those who don't know, Ray was a rat at the CIA for years and presumably or allegedly left and is now a peace activist. It's rather strange that Ray -- who made the CIA his life and has published no expose since leaving, -- would find "CIA asset" to be a damnable charge. Presumably he worked with many in the past -- possibly, he still does today. Flashpoints begins airing at 5:00 pm PST each week night. So Ray was on -- live -- after 8:00 pm EST yesterday. Remember that as he lies about what took place in court yesterday morning.

Ray McGovern: There have been no charges filed. There've actually been no complaints. All they want to do is interview Assange obstensibly at least from Sweden. And yet they're unwilling to do that while he hung around there back last summer for several weeks. And now they're unwilling to do it by Skype or any other technical means. The idea, of course, is to get him to Stockholm where the Swedes have already acted as poodles on behalf of the United States government and he would automatically be shipped to -- if not Guantanamo at least back to the States where he would be subjected to the likes of of [Mick] Huckabee and [Newt] Gingrich and the others who want to put a bullet in his head.

Dennis Bernstein: We're hearing the word rape a lot, we're hearing molestation a lot. But you're saying there's no information. So -- But the BBC, all the big news, the word is at the tip of the lip.

Ray McGovern: Well that's, you know, that's a successful covert operation. What you do is you accuse these people of that and then if your lucky, three quarters of the time Julian Assange is mentioned in the world press, the word "rape" or "rapist" is in the same sentence. Now [laughing] no one that I know was there. But both of these women, uh, have said that this was consensual, they both gloated over having this conclest [C.I. note: He means "conquest."] after the fact. The one who's charging him invited him to a big party the day after and then for some reason unbeknownst to us of course, now they're charging him with some sort of infraction where he didn't wear a condom or something like that. [. . .] One of the ladies -- if that's the right word -- who is charging Assange is tied together with some pro-Free Cuba people, some of which are -- have been tied to the CIA back in the States and there's all very, very -- It smells to high heaven and what -- The only thing -- I can't say shocks anymore, but surprises me -- uh, is the willingness of the formerly independent and neutral Swedes, the British and everybody else to sort of cowtow to the United States even when there's no law that's been broken in this country. [. . .]

Dennis Bernstein: You were just making the point that there doesn't appear to be a major crime, I'm not saying it's not a serious thing not to use a condom but I'm trying to imagine how many men would be in jail this morning [Ray begins chorteling] if they didn't use a condom last night.

Ray McGovern: I'm not going to make a comment on that Dennis. [Both pigs now guffaw and chortle.]

We used ellipses because Ray McGovern's an idiot. He really needs to stop speaking about what he doesn't know. He's such a stupid ass moron. One of the ellipses indicates when he's talking about laws against "publishing" things and includes "divulging the names of the clandestine operatives." There's no law on that. He's a stupid idiot. People who don't know the law shouldn't be able to speak. Former CIA agent Philip Agee (now deceased) published the names of CIA agents. George H.W. Bush tried to claim that someone was killed as a result. He wanted to outlaw what Agee and the publisher had done. He couldn't. The press wouldn't stand for it. What did happen was Congress passed the Intelligence Identities Protection Act in 1982 which made it illegal for someone working for the government to expose an undercover agent's identity. That's why Robert Novak was never prosecuted in Plamegate. Novak's article broke Valerie Plame's cover. He committed no crime when he did that. Ray McGovern doesn't know what the hell he's talking about but how he does blather on.

Now before we go further, let's note that the attacks are not just on those two women. We've already quoted Kate Harding. Failed reporter (and Lizz Winstead friend) David Ehrenstein is calling Kate a "bitch" at his website and insisting women aren't worthy of respect, "they have to earn it." We're not linking to his garbage. Maybe he'll collect it in another clip-job he passes off as a 'book'? We wouldn't link to that either. For obvious reasons. We will link to and quote Jessica Valenti on this topic: "I'm fairly certain that Wolf would agree that 'having sex' with someone while they're asleep isn't sex at all, but rape. And even if you're iffy on the consent/condom question, Jill at Feministe breaks it down for you. Basically, if someone agrees to have sex with you with the condition that you use a condom, and then you remove said condom and continue the sex or if you continue the sex despite your partner's protestations -- that is straight up assault. And I'm betting Wolf would agree with that as well." Anglofile notes a pattern, "I don't have time to do an in-depth post on this, given all my deadlines, but what I want to say is this: With this Julian Assange rape charge, many on the left-wing are showing their true colors once again re: women. It's like Clinton vs. Obama all over again. Some feminists are showing that their feminism doesn't extend to women who stand up to left-wing men like Assange (or Obama). And some men who are supposedly feminist friendly are shrugging off these charges against Assange as being no big deal, even if they're true. Because, you know, rape is only rape if a guy in a ski mask hides in a dark alley and attacks a woman walking by at knifepoint. You can't actually rape a woman you know or a woman who has consented to have sex with you previously, as is the case with Assange. That doesn't count!" And it is true. We're seeing the same forces that attacked Hillary now attack the alleged victims. And we know what these attacks on Hillary did, what they unleashed in this society. But they want to play with fire again, these pigs who use sexism, and it's women who will suffer from it. Which is why it was appalling to hear Naomi and others attack Hillary with sexism in 2008. Long after Chris Matthews knew not to refer to Hillary's laugh as a cackle, Laura Flanders could be heard on KPFA doing that as an 'independent' debate 'analyst' (who 'forgot' to explain to listeners that she wasn't 'independent' and had endorsed Barack). At The Nation, Laura's huffing about those that ignore rape and, no, it's not her confession piece for ignoring the gang-rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer -- a true conspiracy with convictions on the count of conspiracy, something that landed several US service members in prison including Steven D. Green. But Laura couldn't cover it. She cares about rape . . . when she can use it for some other topic. At least she doesn't trash the victims. But she does huff, "But since when is Interpol [the investigative arm of the International Criminal Court at The Hague] so vigilant about violence against women? If women's security is suddenly Interpol's priority -- that's big news!" Since when? Let's go to Mark Leon Goldberg (UN Dispatch):

One of Interpol's key responsibilities is coordinating a global police effort to combat transnational organized crime. And after drugs and arms smuggling, human trafficking is organized crime's most profitable outfit. Accordingly, Interpol is the only international law enforcement organization with a large operation dedicated exclusively to busting human trafficking rings. Their operation to that end is pretty sophisticated. It involves criminal intelligence sharing among Interpol's member states and coordinating police action. Relatedly, some of Interpol's
highest profile cases are related to busting international purveyors of child pornography.
Seems to me this is the kind of work that a prominant feminist ought to support, not mockingly dismiss.

Does that clear it up for you, Laura Flanders? Who will clear it up for Juan O. Tamayo (Miami Herald) and since when does the Herald cite the works of people associated with claims that a race of super-lizards (which can mask as people -- such as George H.W. Bush -- and feed on the blood of young children -- hence all the missing children) controls the earth? Tamayo is working from the product of at least one The-Lizards-Are-Among-Us! writers: "___'s Cuba connections were first reported Sept. 14 by CounterPunch, a liberal newsletter co-edited by Alexander Cockburn [C.I. note: Laura Flander's uncle who, by the way, would find "liberal" an insult], a steadfast critic of U.S. foreign policy." The Miami Herald is okay with that? Sandra Cuffe (Vancouver Media Coop) does a lively -- and there are swear words so it's not work safe -- takedown of the crazies including the CounterPunch article:

To start off, how about taking a look at Counterpunch, since it is relatively well-known by progressive folks, and in particular, the article
Assange Beseiged: Making a Mockery of the Real Crime of Rape by Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett. Calling the allegations "farcical rape charges," Shamir and Bennett write: "Julian Assange now stands accused of: (1) not calling a young woman the day after he had enjoyed a night with her, (2) asking her to pay for his bus ticket, (3) having unsafe sex, and (4) participating in two brief affairs in the course of one week."
Those are clearly not the accusations. Repeating irrelevant details, except perhaps for "having unsafe sex," comes across as dismissive and mocking. The inclusion of irrelevant information and the exclusion of relevant information is misleading and serves to discredit the woman alledging sexual assault.
Shamir and Bennett go on to elaborate on "her anti-Castro, pro-CIA streak" and that she "apparently indulges in her favorite sport of male-bashing," something they learned from a "Swedish forum" and then continued to discuss in detail. Wait, a forum as in a chat forum, right? So if I find some random chat forum online that talks about how Shamir and Bennett are evil warlocks and discusses how they apparently indulge in their favourite sport of infant-bashing, can I report it as fact and publish my piece on Counterpunch too?
Or what if I actually shared the source? Let's say that I checked out the May 2004 issue of Searchlight, a UK-based monthly print magazine against racism and fascism that has been around for 35 years. Let's say that I specifically read the article "Israeli Writer is Swedish Anti-Semite" by Tor Bach, Sven Johansen and Lise Apfelblum.
I know, the title kind of sounds like a conspiracy theory, but the well-researched article is actually about Counterpunch author Israel Shamir aka Joran Jermas. He changed his name to Jermas in 2001, roughly around the time he started publishing online under the name Israel Shamir. The Searchlight article breaks down Shamir/Jermas' own virulent anti-Semitism, but also his close connections to fascists and conspiracy theorists. Now, there's nothing wrong with having friends who are into shape-shifting lizards, but the article also details a series of lies told and written by Shamir/Jermas regarding his identity, residence, and former employment.

Kate Harding (Salon) also demolishes the CounterPunch article that the Miami Herald found so credible:

Actually, as far as I can tell, the only source for that claim is an
August Counterpunch article by Assange fanboys (seriously, they recast him as Neo of "The Matrix") Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett. Here's the most damning evidence Shamir and Bennett have compiled against Assange's accuser:
1) She's published "anti-Castro diatribes" in a Swedish-language publication that, according to an Oslo professor, Michael Seltzer (who?), is "connected with Union Liberal Cubana led by Carlos Alberto Montaner," who reportedly has CIA ties. Let me repeat that: She has been published in a journal that is connected with a group that is led by a guy with CIA ties. Says this one guy.
2) "In Cuba she interacted with the feminist anti-Castro group Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White). This group receives US government funds and the convicted anti-communist terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a friend and supporter." That link goes to an English translation of a Spanish article noting that at a march last spring, Posada "wander[ed] unleashed and un-vaccinated along Calle Ocho in Miami, marching alongside" -- wait for it -- "Gloria Estefan in support of the so-called Ladies in White." Apparently, it's "an established fact" that Posada and the Ladies also share a shady benefactor, which means he should clearly be called a "friend" of the organization, and this is totally relevant to the rape charges against Julian Assange, because the accuser once interacted with them in some manner.
3) The accuser is a known feminist who once wrote a blog post about getting revenge on men, and "was involved in Gender Studies in Uppsala University, in charge of gender equality in the Students' Union, a junior inquisitor of sorts."
Are you kidding me? That's what we're basing the "CIA ties" meme on? An article that reads like a screenplay treatment by a college freshman who's terrified of women? Actual quote: "[T]he Matrix plays dirty and lets loose a sex bomb upon our intrepid Neo. When you can't contest the message, you smear the messenger. Sweden is tailor-made for sending a young man into a honey trap."

The ends do not justify the means. You'd think Alexander, Laura, et al would grasp that after their efforts to get Barack into the White House via sexism not only encouraged sexism but gave the left a left-hating president. The ends do not justify the means. The two women could very well be lying, they could very well be telling the truth. Hopefully, he's innocent. If not, that will come out as well. Amy Siskind (The New Agenda) offers a takedown of Naomi Wolf's assault. Siskind writes a 'thank you' on behalf of rapists to Naomi and makes her point. Though she doesn't bring this up, I will. She also makes her point that she is a feminist. For those who've forgotten, in January 2009, Naomi and Amy were both on CNN with Naomi insisting Barack was a feminist and a 'gift' and we'd have a post-everything world. Pop another pill, Naomi. Naomi began whispering about conspiracies and offering slurs against Amy Siksind. Events tend to demonstrate what speechifying doesn't. In other words, Amy gets to hold her head high while Naomi's brought shame on herself and her supporters. Refer to Ann's "This rape survivor says: Naomi Wolf, go f**k yourself" from last night and we'll note this from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

Rights Group Alarmed By Legal Overreach

Assault Allegations Must Be Taken Seriously While Ensuring Process Not Manipulated for Political Reasons

December 7, 2010, New York – In response to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
As a human rights organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights is alarmed by multiple examples of legal overreach and irregularities in the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, especially given concerns that they are meant to clear the way for Mr. Assange to be extradited to the U.S. via Sweden.
Standard procedure in these cases is to call in a suspect for interrogation, and he has offered on numerous occasions to cooperate with the authorities. Similarly, a suspect who has surrendered, having never gone into hiding or attempted to flee, would normally be allowed to post bail. Yet Mr. Assange has been arrested and denied bail.
Allegations like these should be taken seriously, and in this regard Assange has made every effort to cooperate in this matter. He should be afforded all due process, and steps should be taken to ensure that the investigation process is not manipulated for political reasons.
We are concerned that the United States may seek to punish Mr. Assange for his journalistic efforts at uncovering and exposing the truth underlying key world events exactly as other news media, including The New York Times, have done. The documents published by WikiLeaks are providing important information about significant government wrongdoing and serious human rights violations that must be addressed, rather than focusing entirely on punishing the messenger.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

You can support Julian Assange without attacking women you haven't even heard from yet. And if portions of the left continue to waive this through -- these attacks -- they better not whine when the man accused is some right winger and what they're doing to these two women is done to the woman accusing a right winger. But, most importantly, the ends do not justify the means. We all know right from wrong -- even Dennis Bernstein -- and those who ignore the boundaries and instead continue these cheap attacks are harming everyone but most of themselves. Look at all the Barack groupies in Panhandle Media, for example, who have still not gotten their reputations or following back after whoring for Barack throughout 2008.


Julian Assange is the face of WikiLeaks, he is not all of WikiLeaks, just one part of the organization. He has been accused of rape and sexual assault. He is innocent at this point and may remain so (and if there is no trial, then the matter ends with him innocent). But the women making accusations are innocent at this point as well. And smear jobs -- there's basically one which all the losers refashion and repeat -- on the women are smear jobs on all victims of rape because these attacks encourage and lead to other attacks. The attackers?

As Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner in Romancing The Stone, screenplay by Diane Thomas) observed, "But if there was one law of the west, it's that bastards have brothers who seemed to ride forever." And they seem to thrive on sexism. Yes, as with Tuesday's snapshot and Wednesday's snapshot, we have to deal with the attacks on two women over rape charges. Faux feminist Nicole Colson (US Socialist Worker) declares, "Rape and sexual assault are very serious charges that deserve investigation. But it's impossible to take the charges against [Julian] Assange at face value given the nature of the attack on him by the world's superpowers." What is about Colson that forever finds her attacking women? Throughout 2008, she used sexism to trash Hillary but then women only pop in Nicole's writing to be trashed. She might want to take a look at that. She might also want to take a look at "impossible to take the charges . . . at face value." Marina S. (It's Not A Zero Sum Game) observes:

No, what this is about, as
Cath Elliott wrote on Lib Con a few days back, is how quickly all pretensions to feminist sympathies give way to a "bros before hos" attitude among men on the left once one of their own is in the dock (though in fairness she expressed it with more class). It's easy enough to march at the back, mumbling feminist slogans out of time because you don't quite know the words, when it's some sleazy capitalist or smarmy Republican in the firing line; statistically, it's more likely to be one of those guys in some jacuzzi showgirl snorting scenario, anyway.
But one of ours? Julian Assange, fearless defier of the Keystone Cops wannabes that are US officials trying to wipe the egg of their faces? Courageous snook cocker at misspeaking power-drunk bank functionaries? Heroic exposer of all that is ignoble and slightly ridiculous about contemporary diplomatic statecraft? Impossible! It's a conspiracy! A politically motivated witch hunt! A miscarriage of justice! A honey trap! Fame seeking! Misuse of Interpol resources!

And let's move over to Cath Elliott (Liberal Conspiracy):

When an article suggesting that a man accused of sex crimes is himself an innocent victim, it feeds into the prevailing misogynistic anti-woman narrative that says that all women who accuse men of rape are lying, and that there's no such thing as rape, there is instead just bad sex, or as John Band put it "poor bedroom etiquette".
And we join in with that 'lying women/bad laws' shtick, we're just adding our name to a whole host of sites and other media organisations keen to deny women's experiences, and that basically tell women that the men are sticking together again therefore this is a site where we really don't belong.
That's why I felt it important to speak out about this issue. Not because I believe Assange to be guilty, but because as a feminist I think it discredits us to just blithely assume that he's not.

Both of the women above reside in the UK. On US shores, it's so very telling that all the same sexists (and liars) from 2008 can be found trashing the women. Take Dave Lindorff -- no link to trash but you can find his garbage at David Swanson's site (and maybe David can explain why he's posting attacks on two women?) -- who puts the term rape in quotes as he reidicules the women. This is Dave Lindorff, please remember, who was a Barack supporter who used sexism to trash Hillary and whose 'reasoning' for supporting Barack was suspect at best: "a black candidate who has risked jail by doing drugs". As those paying attention throughout 2008 quickly grasped, the sexism is coming from men and women on the left, not just men on the left. (I'm not interested in the right-wing for this conversation, let them police themselves. But on our side we're supposed to care about equality.) Naomi Klein's also weighed in with as much as she can manage -- a Tweet. Leading to this response Tweet from Clare Cochrane:

@NaomiAKlein true, but defending #Wikileaks does not necessitate mysogyny & being a defender of freedom does not mean u escape a #rape trial

This, right here, is what makes rape an insidious crime. Those we admire, those we respect, we tend to minimize, deflect, or outright deny such a charge against them. What we as a society have got to come to realize is that a rapist can do good in other areas and still have raped someone. A rapist can be someone who does works we admire. A rapist can be someone whom we have previously respected, and whose political and ideological beliefs mirror our own. Which is why an organization or political thought should stand alone, divorced from its most vociferous defenders and/or creators. Wikileaks needs to stand or fall on its own merits, and we need to defend or decry Wikileaks on its own merits (or lack thereof). What we cannot do is excuse Julian Assange from even having to defend himself against a charge because such a charge may hurt his organization. Which is where Klein is wrong again. Yes, women's freedom was used as a battle cry in Afghanistan. Yes, it was the wrong cry, not in the least because we have done a piss poor job of securing the safety and freedom of women since entering Afghanistan. But Julian Assange may have actually committed rape. And there are laws against rape. And he can and should be charged with the crime. This isn't some nebulous "protect teh women" battle cry.
I don't know if Julian Assange is or is not a rapist. I know he is being held in connection to a crime. I know that the support he is receiving from Klein is, to be frank, beneath her. As Jessica Valenti highlighted, one of the charges facing Assange is not merely that he had sex with a woman without the condom she required but that he engaged in sexual intercourse with a sleeping woman. That last one? That's describing rape, pure and simple. It's rape, because a sleeping woman does not have the ability to consent to sex. These two women deserve their day in court. If their accusations are true, they deserve every measure of justice that can be awarded to them.

As we noted last week, Naomi Klein is not a feminist. Her entire life has been about rejecting her mother (a feminist). She's still an angry little child (hilarious photos taken by Wally in DC today of Naomi which will run in Friday's gina & krista roundrobin, FYI). She's done nothing for feminism. Just because she's left and a woman don't wrongly assume she's done a damn thing for feminism. It's amazing what an issue the attacks are in England while in America . . . So much silence. And we find that the same women who were silent on the sexist attacks on Hillary are again 'taking one for the team' and sitting this out. Laurie Penny (New Statesman) observes:

I have no idea whether Assange, who firmly denies the accusations, did or did not commit sex attacks in Sweden last August. But just as we would condemn anyone who pronounced him guilty at this early stage, should we also not be concerned that many liberals, some of whom would count themselves feminists, have leapt to the conclusion that Assange must be the innocent victim of a smear campaign? Some have gone further, actively attacking the women in question and accusing them of colluding in a conspiracy to destroy Assange. This plays easily into the narrative that most women who accuse men of rape are liars, and most men who attract such accusations are just saucy scamps with, as the commentator John Band put it, "poor bedroom etiquette".


Beat down in the market, stoned to death in the plaza
Raped on the hillside under the gun from LA to Gaza
A house made of cardboard living close to the rail
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail
And I feel the witch in my veins
I feel the mother in my shoe
I feel the scream in my soul
The blood as I sing the ancient blue
They burned in the millions
I still smell the fire in my grandma's hair
The war against women rages on
Beware of the fairytale
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail
-- "Somebody's Jail," written by Holly Near, first appears on her Show Up

As with Tuesday's snapshot and Wednesday's snapshot, and Thursday's snapshot we have to deal with the attacks on two women over rape charges. Maia (The Hand Mirror) explains, "The charges are actually really clear cut: he had sex with one woman while she was asleep, and he didn't stop when another woman said stop. It doesn't require a very in depth and complex understanding of consent to understand that that is rape. But there is a constant narrative that anything other than stranger rape where force is used is somehow a lesser form of rape. That narrative is really damaging to rape survivors." wiki leaks observes, "But Assange's status as embattled warrior for free speech is taken as giving permission -- by those on the left as well as right – to indulge in the basest slut-shaming and misogyny. It's terrifying to witness how swiftly rape orthodoxies reassert themselves: that impugning a man's sexual propriety is a political act, that sexual assault complainants are prone to a level of mendacity others are not (and, in this case, deserving of the same crowd-sourced scrutiny afforded leaked diplomatic cables), that not all forms of non-consensual sex count as 'rape-rape'." Amelia Gentleman (Guardian) speaks with the attorney of the two women, Claes Borgstrom, and reports:

In an interview at his fifth-floor office in central Stockholm, he continued: "What is going on now is very, very unfair to them because they are being pointed at as if they have started a conspiracy against Assange and
WikiLeaks, and that is not true. There is nothing wrong with their reputation and they have done nothing wrong in going to the police. What they are going through is unfair and absurd."
He questioned whether the women would have pressed charges had they known in advance how their reputations would be attacked. "If they had known what was going to happen, maybe they would not have gone to the police at all … I would not have done it," he said.

Esther Addley (Guardian) observes, "Rarely can there have been a rape case where the personal details of the alleged victims have been so eagerly sought out by so many. "Is [Miss A] a lesbian?" asks one blog, accompanying its text with photographs of Miss A alongside another woman. 'If [she] is gay, and she sleeps with Assange, that's a contradiction. So, I'm inviting the blogosphere to look for the evidence. Be a WikiSleuth! There must be a lot of people who know about [Miss A] and her behavior. Speak up!" And the tarring and feathering has come from all over including Coward Matthew Rothschild. Matty who wants Russ Feingold to run for president . . . except when he doesn't. (We'll be ripping apart his latest 'reasoning' at Third.) Matty who wants to hurl the c-word at women in 2008 but was too cowardly to be upfront about his sexism so he hid behind The Weekly Standard. Matty who questioned the women and declares himself a Socialist and is CEO of The Progressive. Our 'friend,' women's 'great friend,' Matty Rothschild who wanted to insist this week "I take all allegations of rape and sexual misconduct seriously" seconds before adding that the alleged behavior of the women just struck him as fishy. Maia (The Hand Mirror) explains the harm that's being done:

But I think that defenders of Julian Assanger do the most damage when they construct a way that rape victims behave and imply that the woman involved isn't acting like a rape victim: she tweeted about him, or she seemed happy, or she saw him again.
I lose it at this point. There is no way that rape victims act - there is no way that rape victims don't act. Seriously. If you don't know this then you have no right to say a word about rape.
It does so much harm to so many women, the idea that there's a way that rape victims act. It's not just some idea that you're spinning off into cyber-space. It's something that women who are going through trauma have to struggle through - their own, and other people's expectations of how they should be behaving. And it doesn't stop - the idea of the acceptable behaviour of a rape victim gets used as a weapon again and again.
Most rape myths are about women, about attacking suvivors of rape, discrediting them trashing them - and there's been a lot of that. But some are about men
John Pilger said that he had a very high regard for Julian Assange. And? The rhetorical rapist - the scary man, who no-one holds in high regard - is a weapon that is used against actual victims of rape all the time.
And what is most ridiculous about this spreading of rape myths by left-wing supporters of wikileaks is that these myths are completely unnecessary to stand in solidarity with the wikileaks project.
It is states and companies that are attacking Wikileaks and Julian Assange, not two women. It is perfectly possible to criticise the actions of prosecuters, interpol, judges and government's without invoking rape myths.

We've seen the sexism of the left yet again. You get the usual women who operate as instruments of patriarchy, women who either have done nothing for women's rights (Naomi Klein would fit in here) or who lost interest in feminism long, long ago (Naomi Wolf). They need these women to hide behind. They've rewarded these _____ _____ types for years because those women only fawn over them and never 'make trouble' by noting, for example, their sexual harassment practices. And the men form a circle whenever they fear one of them might be held accountable for something that, let's be honest, is fairly common behavior for the males at the top of the power pyramid. Cute phone call this week from the friend of a media 'god' who wanted to know if I was planning on outing him for his attempted rape some years and years ago? (Newsflash, Rebecca outed him at her site back in 2005.) I bet there are a lot of conversations like that, a lot of men on the left sweating it out, and I bet that has a lot to do with the attacks on these two women. Attack them and, hopefully, scare off all women. The attacks send a message and it's damn hard to believe that the message is unintended.

It's similar to their attacks on Hillary Clinton and it's the same gang. People like Danny Schechter, for example, who repeated sexist attacks on Hillary at his website and then, when Ruth was calling him out -- RIGHTLY her website because he bills himself as a media critic but managed to go the whole year and after without ever noticing the sexism, Danny suddenly cared and rushed forward with e-mails. (Ruth never told me and I never asked. It was obvious that Ruth was doing a hard hitting series and that only one person -- Ruth didn't name the man at her website -- had a vested interest in attempting to derail Ruth's series.) So Ruth calls him out and the best he can offer is that if Hillary didn't call it out (she did call it out) then why should he? If you're going to call yourself a media critic, it's incumbent upon you to call it out. Not that we expected it, we've certainly gotten a ton of e-mails filled with allegations of sexual harassment and sexism in hiring, retaining and pay at Media Channel. [Sidebar: Ava and I were not paid when Media Channel reposted our article. I've never discussed that here and I'm not sure I've discussed it at Third. We have no business relationship -- and have never had any business relationship -- with Media Channel. Had we been asked about our article being reposted, we would have said no. We would have said no because (a) Media Channel is notoriously sexist and (b) they have received Soros money and we didn't want to be tainted with blood money. Repeating, "Friendly faces aren't who we meet" was written -- by Ava and myself -- for Third and published there. We were never asked about it being reposted. The first we knew of it was when e-mails arrived at Third. And it did nothing but cause us problem -- with women who've suffered from Media Channel's work practices and with those who rightly decry the blood money Soros amassed. And in this sidebar, you've got a pretty telling comment on the sexism of Media Channel. Without ever contacting us, Ava and my work -- the work of two women -- was reposted in full at a site that seeks donations and we were never thanked or notified. Is that really how they would have treated two men? No, it's not. And that's not a whine for money. Ava and I both will never, ever hurt for money. It is noting that our work product was used without our permission, without notification to us and distributed on a site that seeks money for the work 'they' (the 'mens') do. It's very telling and jibes completely with the stories Danny's ex-girlfriends been informing many women of.]

While we have tried to avoid that topic, Ava and I called out Danny's bulls**t that Tina Turner owed Ike something. Tina (whom I know and love) owes Ike nothing. He was a terrorist. It's cute the way these Danny Schechter types whine about abuse except when it's done to women. And what's he done all week? Passed on false information. When Judith Miller did that, he was outraged. But he thinks as long as he quotes false information from others (presumably from others, his new layout makes it impossible to tell when he's writing or when he's quoting) it's okay and his hands aren't dirty. He's quoted disgusting trash and linked to false trash attacking the women. As late as yesterday, a whine that no one would even say what the charges were. Uh, charges were reported Tuesday by many outlets including the Guardian which live blogged the court appearance. That's a fact that and facts aren't as easy to bend so liars ignore them. And December 8th, Danny pimped: "Roman Polanski, who during his Hollywood time recongizably raped a minor who later forgave him."

What the hell is that? Is murder dependent upon what the victim may have thought of the attacker? Then why would rape be?

I know Roman. I have no respect for him, but I know him. And he damn well knew what he was doing. But it's cute the way murder is 'real crime' and rape is just a 'so-so crime' that can be dimissed for any number of reasons. Torture's the same way. If we're talking about it under the Pinochet regime, it's torture and unspeakable. If it's a man torturing his girlfriend,lover, wife, it's fine and dandy and understandable and a personal matter. As Marlo Thomas has so often noted, before the second wave of feminism, domestic abuse didn't even have a name. That's the world that the attackers on the women promote: When victims didn't speak out.

And I just mentioned Pinochet. Augusto Pinochet is a War Criminal. And a US-backed one. The US-backed and funded coup that brought him into power -- and assasinated Salvado Allende and Chile's hopes of a free society -- launched non-stop torture. It's funny that so many lefties overlook the way women were targeted specifically. The easiest starting point? Women being attacked by the junta's military for wearing pants. They were forced back into dresses. It's not that different from what's taken place in Afghanistan or what they've pretty much succeeded in doing in Iraq -- instute clothing 'purity' for women. But don't look for Danny Schechter or burqa loving Naomi Wolf to tell you about that. After all 'real problems' are the ones that effect men only. What was done to the women of Chile was far more brutal than our 'brave' left ever wants to talk about.

But women are always under attack, even from our 'friends.' And women are always expendable. That's the history in the US. Wait for the vote, wait for ERA, take a hit for the team, again and again and again. Rape is a real crime. Julian Assange may or may not be guilty. I have no idea. I've expressed my hope that he's not. I've not attacked him. It's a shame that so many feel attacking is the way to go when it comes to women. It's not cute, it's not funny and it hurts women. Again, read Ann's "This rape survivor says: Naomi Wolf, go f**k yourself." And if this is still an issue come Monday, we'll note what the attackers don't want noted but the past can be a portent.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }