Sunday, July 01, 2012

Truest statement of the week

Thursday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court upholding key provisions of the law met with a similar response from the president, Democratic supporters of the bill and what passes for the liberal media in the US. The basic premise of their celebration of the high court decision was that the health care law is a genuine reform that will expand coverage for ordinary Americans and implement safeguards to guarantee quality care. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
 The law constitutes a sweeping attack on health care for tens of millions of working people. Its principal aim is not to provide universal health coverage—millions will remain uninsured under its provisions—but rather to reduce costs for corporations and the government, in large part by rationing care for all but the wealthy. The Supreme Court ruling upholding the law, moreover, is itself a deeply reactionary decision with far-reaching implications for the social and democratic rights of the American people.

Kate Randall -- "The Supreme Court ruling on Obama's health care overhaul" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Quoting how "good" it will be for "the poor," well meaning liberaloids tell us from on high what is in our best interests... with their PHD's, their BMW's and their Gym memberships, they "know" whats best for us. I mean, for gosh sakes, these people get their hands dirty work with us every day, and Obamacare is a blessing! 
Except for the part, where for those of us feeding our kids ramen noodles at the end of the month? Its not. But they won't hear of it. "It will be CHEAPER!" they cry. Cheaper being relative to the cc's of O-negative you can pump out of pumice. Which, by the way is none.

-- Diane Gee, "Corporate-care: Looking for Loss in all the Wrong Places" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox).

A note to our readers

Hey --
Another Sunday.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

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),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
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 what did we come up with?

Kate Randall on ObamaCare.
Diane Gee on ObamaCare.
472 people dead.  And the wire services won't even report it.  
Last week, as Ava and C.I. point out, was a non-stop media-fest of women hatred.  From women musicians to a woman director to a woman anchor, they skills were belittled and degraded for public consumption.  This is one of those great articles that only they could write.
Dona roundtables with Ava, C.I., Kat and Wally about a Congressional hearing.

Matthew, congratulations.
Gossip should have the radio hit of the summer.
Monday in Seattle.
Join the Feminist Majority Foundation in saying no to gender segregation.

Under Barack Obama, activists are treated like criminals.'s Tim King to deliver a major speech.

Mike and the gang wrote this.  We thank them for it.


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

Editorial: 472 killed in June from violence in Iraq


Iraq Body Count tabulates 472 deaths from violence in Iraq last month.  The war has not ended.

The reporting has.

Reuters claims 237 deaths.  AFP goes a wee bit higher with 282.

They're both about 200 off but hey what's 200 or so dead people, right?

It's just Iraqis and the press has made so very damn clear that Iraqis don't matter.

Fred Kaplan and other assholes made it clear when they pimped Brett McGurk to be the US Ambassador to Iraq based on what their buddy Brett The Sex Addict wanted.  What was best for Iraqi people -- especially Iraqi women -- never entered their White-Anglo minds.

Reuters and AFP worked from "official figures" -- government figures.  And they padded it out with the few days they managed to cover violence in iraq.

No one does a daily count of violence any more.  That stopped long, long ago. Reuters' "Factbox" of security developments in Iraq no longer exists.  And they don't even bother to report on violence every day.  Or all the violence when they do manage to mention it.  They especially mention any death that doesn't fall into their binary, simplistic Shi'ite - Sunni equation.  So the Yazdi male corpse that was dumped last week never made it onto their radar.

200 deaths missing from their count.  Do we need to send them some Sesame Street videos so they can work on their basic math skills?

There may be some improvement in the Iraq coverage int he coming weeks.  The good news is Serena Chaudhry, the 'reporter' for Reuters, is leaving Iraq.  Her conflicts of interest should have prevented her from ever being assigned to Iraq in the first place.  She did more 'working of' other journalists than she did actual journalism but then that was to be expected considering her conflicts of interest.

472 deaths and not only do the wire services fail to count correctly, they also refuse to note the IBC count.

TV: A week of hating women

"Oh, damn you girl, you went and messed up the world we had."  And didn't that seem to be the message from the media last week?

sonny & cher

"So welcome back everybody," Ann Curry declared Thursday morning on NBC.  "It's eight-fifty.  And this is not easy to say but today is going to be my last morning as a regular co-host of Today.  I will still be a part of The Today Show family but I'm going to have a new title and a new role. And this is not as I expected -- to ever leave this couch after 15 years but I am so grateful.  Especially to all of you who watch."

Ann Curry's not the first person to be fired from a job, she's one of the few who has had to make nice about it and announce and explain it on TV.

Think about it.  NBC took the axe to Harry's Law last May but they didn't make Kathy Bates stand before the camera and deliver the news of the cancellation.

The public shaming of Ann Curry, for those who missed it, started June 20th with the network using the whisper campaign to roll out the news that Curry would be leaving the morning program.  As the whispers grew louder, Curry had to go before the cameras without fail.  Live TV, no re-takes.

Rita Sherrow (Tulsa World) reported on Iraq War veteran Sgt. Stephen Crowley's attempts to convince NBC to keep Curry because of her reporting on veterans issues and because he felt a connection with her because of her reporting style.  He started a petition which 29,469 people signed on to.  It could have had a 100 times that many signatures and it, sadly, wouldn't have made any difference.

The reason Ann was fired as co-host was because ABC's Good Morning America has had several weeks where it has beat Today in the ratings.  The minute rumors that Curry would be ditched got press coverage, ABC suits felt they had the top spot for the rest of the year.


In 1989, Today co-anchor Jane Pauley stepped down for a number of reasons.  This followed the addition of third 'host' Deborah Norville to the show.  Audiences were bothered by Pauley's departure but they were especially bothered  by the 28-year-old Norville who did not appear to have any news skills.  The feeling was that Pauley -- who had wanted to leave -- was shoved aside for a younger woman.  The Kathleen Turner hosted episode of Saturday Night Live that year  (October 21, 1989) served up "All About Deborah Norville"  --  putting the players in All About Eve territory with Turner playing a conniving Norville.

As Pauley freely admitted then and many times since, she wanted out, expressed that to Dick Ebersol and that began his attempts to find the person to replace Pauley.  The Today Show was slipping as the handover from Pauley to Norville took place and the ratings quickly fell to an all time low where they'd more or less remain until Katie Couric replaced Norville several years later.

ABC expects a similar viewer loss for Today this go round.

Maybe that will happen.

And certainly an anti-women dynamic took place all week -- not just at NBC.

Nora Ephron died at the age of 71.  As Betty noted, despite having directed 8 films and despite being the second woman to direct a film that grossed over $100 million domestically at the box office (Penny Marshall was the first), "director" didn't make the headlines of The Los Angeles Times, Reuters or The Wall Street Journal.  "Writer."  Eight films to her credit as director and they bill her as writer?  Makes you wonder how they'll be with Oliver Stone's death.  Raconteur?

Ruth pointed out that when The Los Angeles Times went looking for great quotes from her films, they went crazy over the remarks made by males while ignoring the women.  One of the things that made her a shoe-in for the Crystal Award was her taking her hilarious and on the money critique of Oliver Stone's 'women' public when promoting her Sleepless in Seattle, noting of his JFK that maybe women never did anything in Oliver Stone's films because that's the way he grew up but, in her life, women were always active participants.

When Nora made those comments -- and did so with relish and humor -- Oliver was approaching god-like status in many circles due to JFK. (Specifically due to the press attacks on the film.)  He'd go on to  f**k up his career with Nixon and spend every film since trying to regain the magic.

Sadly, it wasn't just men who ignored the smart and funny female characters in Nora's films.   Women did as well -- AP writers and certain columnists.  And they loved making up and repeating outright lies.

For example?

Meryl Streep was neither Nora's surrogate nor alter ego onscreen.  Meg Ryan was.  Meryl?  Great actress, no question.  But Meryl's also got the man cred down, doesn't she?


Meg, also a great actress, gets trashed by men.

All you little back-stabbing girls who slighted and ignored Meg last week, here's the reality: Nora's two blockbusters both starred Meg.  Meryl starred in a bomb (Mike Nichols' Heartburn -- based on Nora's book with screenplay by Nora) and in a hit (Julie & Julia -- directed by Nora, written by Nora).  By contrast, Meg starred in Sleepless In Seattle and You've Got Mail which were both directed by Nora (and co-written by her) as well as in Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally . . . which Nora wrote the screenplay to and in Diane Keaton's Hanging Up which Nora co-wrote the screenplay to.

Again, we get it.  It's safe to lie and claim that Meryl was the one.  It's acceptable to men to repeat that.

The same way it's safe to lie and claim -- as an Eastern columnist did -- that Heartburn failed because the divorce was too "fresh" for Nora to find the humor.  That's not only chronologically false, it doesn't even make sense as a good lie.

Heartburn is a 1986 film.  Nora and Carl Bernstein divorce in 1980.  In 1983, the novel Heartburn came out where Nora finds . . . yes, humor in the divorce.

Heartburn flopped for  a number of reasons.  Considering how off Meryl's performance is, it's probably smart to point out that the thing hampering the film was Carl Bernstein.  Not Nora's  love for Carl, but his threat of lawsuit.  He didn't give a damn about the novel.  He doubted she'd be able to finish it and then he doubted it would sell.  He was wrong on both counts.  But when it was being turned into a film, that's when he got worried.  And that's when new pages began arriving on the set the day of filming as everyone -- especially the studio head -- was freaking out over the prospect that Carl might sue.

Details like that got ignored as the age-ed girls posing as women tailored their copy to the whims of the male gaze.

Even more shocking was the failure of Ms. to write one damn word about Nora's passing at Ms. blog. As Elaine asked, "Hey, Ms. blog, WTF?" One of the few women directors the studio would greenlight dies and the feminist blog has not one word to say about her?  It's not like they weren't familiar with her.  Though she gets many details wrong (do they have no fact checkers at The Los Angeles Times?), we'll assume Mary McNamara knows somewhat what she was writing about when it pertained to her own direct observations such as this one: "When I worked at Ms. magazine, all the young second-wavers had well-thumbed copies of Crazy Salad Plus Nine, in which Ephron fondly, but ruthlessly, dissected Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal and all those jostling vaunted mothers of the revolution, not so much cutting them down to size as making sure everyone understood that the women's movement was about actual women."


Eleanor Smeal might like to be in "Miami" -- Nora's essay on George McGovern's betrayal of women at the 1972 Democratic National Convention -- but she isn't.  Gloria is.  Marlo Thomas, Shirley MacLaine, Bella Abzug, The One Who Shall Not Be Named (self-proclaimed "mother of us all"), Jane Fonda, Germaine Greer, Shirley Chisholm, Martha Griffiths, Jane Galvin Lewis, Dorothy Height, Sissy Farenthold, Debbie Leff, Jean Westwood and Martha McKay are all in the essay.  No Eleanor Smeal.

And at Ms. blog, no mention of Nora's death.

You think you're just a fox and that's all that you got to be
Oh, well you might be a fox but lady that ain't enough for me

Last week saw the supremely tired Rolling Stone magazine generate talk with their list of "50 Women Who Rock" or something.  See, they have a product tie-in with Garnier Fructis so they had to do something featuring women.  They decided they'd list the fifty best albums by women.

Or something.

We've often heard Lindsay Buckingham, for example, dissed with the p-word by men who see it and anything female-related as the ultimate insult.  Maybe including a man on this  Rolling Stone list -- at number four, in fact -- was just another example of that?   Number four on the list is where Rumours resides.  Rumours was put out by Fleetwood Mac -- a five person band back then: Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Lindsey.  And while Stevie and Christine were the gifted songwriters in the band and while Stevie is a rock superstar, it is a band album and it is a band of women and men.

In other words, it doesn't belong on that list.

In fact, putting it there -- and putting Blondie's Parallel Lines at number 8 or The Pretenders self-titled debut at number 14  -- isn't a compliment to women.  The placement suggests that women only 'rock' if men are in the studio.  And maybe from the longterm women hater Jann Wenner, that was the point?

As Kat's "More crap from Rolling Stone" and Elaine's "F**k Rolling Stone and Jann" observed, Tina Turner didn't even make the damn list.

How do you do a list of women and rock and not include Tina?

Because you hate women.  Having hidden in a closet your entire life, you especially hate women who leave a husband as Tina did.  If you're a gay man dependent upon a woman to pretend you're straight, you tend to take high-profile divorce very seriously as Jann did and does.

Now some objections to the list are stupid.  For every solid complaint, there's some idiot offering that Celine Dion or one of her sisters on the Vocal Gymnastics Squad didn't make the list.  And they want to throw out album sales as if that would make a Queen of Muzak suddenly blossom into  a rocker.

But there was also solid criticism.  One of the best was noting that you can't do a best of on a list of albums.  (A) It's not fair and (B) it's not an album.  An album is a cohesive statement.

And the most cohesive statement anyone can make about Rolling Stone these days is: Cease publication.

Truly, there is nothing left for the magazine to offer.  Unable any longer to break news, they rely on these "list" issues that say nothing but try to find a group of popular entertainers that will get people talking in some way about the tired magazine.

Here's our suggestion: "Top 50 male rockers who gave Jann Wenner a hand job or let him blow them in the 70s to get coverage in the magazine."  That list would include a lot of names and, let's be honest, Jann may have moved to NYC early on but he never got over the So-Cal sound.

You're super fine and you blow people's minds I know
But will ya pardon me please if I don't stick around for your show?

A director dies and is billed as a "writer."  Not even a "screenwriter," mind you.   Rolling Stone can't find 50 albums that "rock" by women so they include albums by women and men in a band together.  And Ann Curry has to announce her own firing on live TV.

"And for all of you who saw me as a ground breaker," Curry declared,, "I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line.  But, man, I did try."

Ann Curry is a ground breaker.  She is to be applauded.

NBC?  Not really at all.

What followed was the most awkward hug in television history.   If Phyllis George had had her way May 15, 1985, TV's most awkward hug would have taken place on The CBS Morning News.  (That's the broadcast where Gary Dotson faced Cathleen Webb who had falsely accused him of rape resulting in Dotson serving six years in prison.  George asked the two to hug at the end of the segment -- a request that was refused.)  Instead TV's most awkward huge took place Thursday between Ann and Matt Lauer.

If ratings are down for The Today Show, why would that be Ann Curry's fault?

Matt Lauer is 54 and looks 64.  The only reason the non-news personality Lauer worked on the show to begin with was that he was generic eye candy.  Women liked seeing him in the morning.  They're not so keen on that now that he's gone from balding to just bald.

The now four hour program also had problems in that fourth hour which repeatedly hurt the show by turning it into a point of ridicule -- most recently, Kathie Lee Gifford spoke to Martin Short about his marriage and his wife and apparently had no idea that his wife passed away in 2010.  That sort of thing hurts the brand.  So does editing a tape in a way that makes someone look racist which is what Today got caught doing this year as well

Yet when NBC wanted to find someone to blame, it was Ann Curry?

Oh, damn you girl, you went and messed up the world we had
And what I'm trying to say in my own sweet way is I'm mad

The song we've been quoting throughout this piece is Sonny & Cher's "Mama Was A Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used To Write All Her Songs."  When Sonny Bono wrote the song, his future was in doubt.  He'd failed as a solo TV star and The Sonny & Cher Show was ending.  Music hits only seemed to come when paired with Cher  -- a fact that he seemed to acknowledge in the chorus of the song, "I can only sing in two part harmony."  Which is a great deal more self-awareness and honesty than NBC, Rolling Stone and various other outlets served up last week.

Congress and veterans


Dona:  Last week, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing about proposed legislation.  C.I. reported on the hearing in "Iraq snapshot" and  "Iraq snapshot," Ava reported on it in "Scott Brown backs two veterans bills," Wally reported on it in "Veterans' cemeteries," and  Kat reported on it in "Justice for Camp Lejeune families?"   What we do in this feature is discuss the hearing.  Basics out of the way first, Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Committee and Senator Richard Burr is the Ranking Member.  Reading over the reporting you did, it seems Burr was a big part of the hearing.  Kat, let me start with you.  What you wrote about, Camp Lejeune.

Kat: Camp Lejeune housed service members and their families and was a toxic dump which destroyed lives and harmed many people.  Ranking Member Burr has long worked on a bill to provide the victims with some sort of relief.  We're talking years of attempting to get this passed.  The big news in the hearing that he announced in his opening remarks and that Chair Patty Murray noted at the end of the hearing is that they expect to get his bill passed and on the desk of the President for a signature by summer's end.

Dona: And that would be good news.  The other big issue with Burr was about guns.  C.I., you covered that.  Veterans who are judged to be unable to handle their finances go on a list which means they can't have a firearm.

C.I.: In terms of the veteran, that is it.  But that's not all.  If they go on that list, then no one in the house can have one.  So, Dona, your grandfather is a veteran, so let's use him.  He moves in with you and Jim and your daughter.  Your daughter can't have a gun, you can't, Jim can't.  And the thing is, as Ranking Member Burr pointed out, there are many reasons why someone might be judged unable to handle their finances -- it could be a mental issue or a physical issue.  And they have no training, the people in the VA, to determine anything other than the money aspect.

Dona: Meaning?

C.I.: Meaning someone might have a problem with numbers.  There might be some injury that, for example, made simple math difficult.  Let me get specific with an example.

Dona: From the hearing?

C.I.: No.  There's a disorder called dyscalculia.  Now if I have that, I'm not going to have a problem with shooting a gun.  I'm not going to have a problem handling a gun.  I'm not a threat to anyone because I have a gun.  But I may not be able to reconcile my checking account. And I had this all along.  It wasn't an issue until I became a veteran receiving a check and someone decided I needed someone appointed to handle my finances.  Now there's a similar acalculia which results from an injury.  

Dona: Wally, Burr seemed really bothered by this.  Is that what you got from it?

Wally: Yeah.  C.I. covered this.  I almost did but it was a lot to cover and I wasn't up to it.  That's why I grabbed the burial issue.  But, yeah, Burr was bothered.  This is a Second Amendment issue and he was bothered that people were being denied their Constitutional rights.  

Dona: And that many didn't seem to care.

Wally: Right, that many in Congress didn't seem to care, in fact.  

Dona: And are you bothered by it?

Wally: I am.  My grandfather's a veteran.  He has a gun collection.  If the VA tried to make it so he couldn't have that, I'd damn well want to know why and that he couldn't do long division or something else just wouldn't cut it to me as a valid excuse.  

Dona: The VA tried to argue it's not them.

Ava: They don't  -- the VA doesn't -- compile the list.  But they know that anyone they decide can't handle their own finances and needs a fiduciary is going to end up on the list.  So it is them.  And that was one of Burr's points.  The VA people making the decision are strictly looking at the financial issue and that's all they're trained in.

Dona: Okay, Ava, you covered Senator Scott Brown.  What issues was he raising?

Ava: He was talking about  S. 3324 Housing for Families of Ill and Injured Veterans and S. 3308 The Women's Homeless Veterans Act.  He was only in the hearing briefly because there was another hearing going on.  I'd rather talk about Senator Barbara Boxer's remarks.

Dona: Okay, let's move to that.  C.I. reported on that.  Boxer wants the tax payers to voluntarily fork over money.  Ava?

Ava: This would be a veterans fund.  Each year, when you fill out your taxes, you could contribute a dollar or three to a veterans fund.  Boxer thinks this is very important.  I was outraged by it, actually.

Dona: Because?

Ava: I'm like Kat, Kat's discussed this before, I'm all for veterans getting what they've been promised and I will argue and advocate for that.  But this is America, supposed land of the free.  If you're homeless, that's a real issue and I don't give a damn whether or not you've been in the military.  As someone who is from California, I do not feel represented by Barbara Boxer.  I was grossly offended by her proposal.  I'll let Kat grab it now because we talked about this the day of the hearing.

Kat: Right. I can't do it.  I can't say, "Yea!"  I hate the idea Boxer's proposing.  I lived in California my entire life.  We have a serious homeless problem.  And now Boxer wants to solve it -- but just for one segment of the population.  Listening to her bluster about how no veteran should ever go homeless and she's going to fix it, my first thought was, "What the hell about the children, Barbara?"  There are many homeless children in California.  What the hell did they do that made it okay for them to be homeless in Boxer's eyes.  I'm all for a serious solution that addresses the ongoing homeless crisis.  I am not for pandering.

Dona: You felt she was pandering?

Kat: I didn't feel like she was proposing anything to help.

Dona: C.I., are you against it?

C.I.: I am actually and most of the time I'd bow out.  But I am.  I think Kat and Ava stated their case very well.  What I oppose is different though.  Barack Obama, in 2008, destroyed the point of checking off the box on your IRS tax return to donate a buck to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.  Barack destroyed that by becoming the first presidential candidate since the Watergate reform was introduced to opt out of public financing.  Barbara Boxer wants to basically grab that square on the IRS form.  I don't support that at all.  I can't imagine any cause I would support that for.

Dona: Seriously?

C.I.: Seriously.  There was a point to the campaigns.  The point was, the general election of a presidential campaign would be funded by the people, it would keep big money out.  Barack killed that.  I'm not in the mood for the equivalent of setting up jars for your or my favorite pet cause on the IRS tax forms. Not interested one damn bit.  Nor do I believe we should be when it comes to veterans.  They are one of the few groups the US government makes promises to which it can be compelled to keep.  Not every promise and not always but they've faired better than any other group.  If there's some federal veteran's kitty, the government will use that as their excuse for cutting or cutting that.

Dona: Boxer said the funds would go soley to veterans.

Wally: Read her bill, I have, there's nothing in that guarantees that.  She said it.  If she really meant it, she would have written it in.  The fact that she didn't speaks volumes.  Furthermore, we've all heard these promises.  If you're reading this right now, my question is: Does your state have a lottery?  If the answer is 'yes,' go back and read how they passed that.  In most states, they passed it with the lie that the money would go to education, it would help schools.  But I don't know any state in which that promise was actually kept.  I agree with Kat and Ava's reasoning and I agree with C.I.'s.  Let me build on what they've offered.  Al Gore, in election 2000, was known for "the lock box."  What he meant by that was that Social Security would be protected.  Social Security is not going 'bankrupt.'  People lie and say that.  Social Security has markers and those markers are from the federal government which saw all the money in the fund and long ago began borrowing.  The whines that you hear are meant to scare you because the marker's are basically coming up due.  It's going to be the same thing with a veterans' fund.  Boxer has created no "lock box" or any other way to protect it.

Dona: And to those who would argue give her time -- and we're almost out of time, Wally, you would say what?

Wally: I would say, she wrote a bill.  She presented it.  Presumably, anything she wanted in the bill, she could have put in it.  The fact that she didn't protect the money indicates to me that she wasn't worried about protecting it.

Dona: Okay, C.I., last word on this.

C.I.: There were wonderful points there by Wally and Kat and Ava.  If people want to give to help veterans, there are many programs they can give their time or their money too.  What this reminds me of is the office boss that tries to scare everyone in the office into donating to the March of Dimes or whatever so that the company can be mentioned on TV for having donated the most.  That's a commercial for the company.  And it's one that the workers paid for because they're the ones donating.  A similar thing would happen with this proposed fund.  The US government would praised itself and it didn't do a damn thing.  But they'd cite and, again, citing it over and they'd use it as an excuse not to fund this for veterans or that, instead arguing that the veterans' kitty could go towards that.

Dona: Alright that's going to be the last word.

Biggest lie of the week


"In practical terms, the upholding of health care reform is a huge relief for millions of Americans."  So wrote Matthew Rothschild (pictured above in Isaiah's "Wheel of Greed,"  a man so cowardly, he refused to come out of the political closet (he's a Socialist) until 2009 -- he had to reach the age of 50 before the man who opines on politics for a living would disclose his political affiliation.  How sad.

So it's no real shock that when truth was needed last week, Rothschild served up sop.

Someday soon, we may be doing a look at all the times Rothschild's blinked.  If something else grabs our interest, we'll cover that instead.  Otherwise, we may list all the times Rothschild's avoided covering something -- a long list of back stabs on his part.  We're talking about issues raised to him that he would swear he'd cover.  And then not a peep.

Pray, Matthew, pray that events sweep us along another avenue.

Video of the week

 Indie band Gossip released their fifth album A Joyful Noise back in May and "Move In The Right Direction" has summer 2012 written all over it.

Senator Murray's Mental Health ACCESS Act

senator patty murray

Senator Patty Murray (above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Monday, in Seattle, she'll be announcing new legislation.

MONDAY: VETERANS: Murray in Seattle to Unveil New Mental Health Legislation
Iraq and Afghanistan veteran will share his story of having his PTSD diagnosis overturned

(Washington, D.C.) -- On Monday, July 2, 2012, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the 
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, will hold a press conference at the Seattle Nisei 
Veterans Center to discuss her new service members and veterans mental health 
legislation, the Mental Health ACCESS Act of 2012.  This legislation comes as the Pentagon begins a comprehensive military-wide review, which Senator Murray urged [Defense] 
Secretary [Leon] Panetta to conduct on diagnoses for the invisible wounds of war dating
back to 2001.  

The misdiagnosis of behavioral health conditions has been a constant 
problem for soldiers at Madigan Army Medical Center, where to date over 100 soldiers
 and counting have had their correct PTSD diagnosis restored following reevaluation.  
Stephen Davis, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who had his initial diagnosis of PTSD overturned, will speak at the press conference with his his wife to share his experience.
The legislation seeks to address problems with DOD and VA mental health care identified during multiple hearings of Senator Murray's Veterans Affairs Committee.  Specifically, 
Senator Murray's Mental Health ACCESS Act of 2012 would require DOD to create a comprehensive, standardized suicide prevention program, expand eligibility for a 
variety of VA mental health services to family members, improve training and 
education for our health care providers, create more peer to peer counseling 
opportunities, and require VA to establish accurate and reliable measures for mental 
health services.  More about Senator Murray's bill HERE.

WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
           Sergeant David Leavitt
           Sergeant First Class Stephen Davis and his wife Kim Davis
            Michele Smith, wife of Sergeant Shannon Smith
WHAT: Press conference to unveil the Mental Health ACCESS Act of 2012
WHEN: Monday, July 2, 2012
            1:30 PM PT
WHERE:  Seattle Nisei Veterans Center
                1212 South King Street
                 Seattle, WA 98144
Kathryn Robertson
Specialty Media Coordinator
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

Say no to gender segregation

This is from  the Feminist Majority Foundation:

June 26, 2012
Contact: Hannah Gordon, 703-522-2214,

Feminist Majority Foundation Releases Report on State of Public School Sex Segregation

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) announces the release of a multi-year study (2007-10) of single-sex education in U.S. K-12 public schools. This study reveals that after the Bush Department of Education weakened previous Title IX restrictions on sex segregated education in K-12 public schools in 2006, over 1,000 public schools sex segregated at least some of their classes. 

FMF found that during 2007-10, over 1,000 public K-12 schools instituted deliberate single-sex education in all but four states (HI, NH, ND, WY). Most were single-sex classes in coed public middle and elementary schools. This total of over 1,000 schools with sex segregation is even higher than the 500 plus schools listed by the National Association of Single Sex Public Education, an organization formed to advocate for and support this sex segregation. 

FMF Education Director Sue Klein said, "While this increased deliberate sex segregation in some 1,000 schools is numerically insignificant considering there are about 98,000 K-12 U.S. public schools, it represents backsliding on Title IX protections against sex discrimination. As Title IX celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, efforts should be focused on creating more gender equitable coeducation which counteracts, rather than reinforces, sex stereotypes."

This FMF report and a chapter on "Single-Sex Education: Fertile Ground for Discrimination" in Title IX at 40: Working to Ensure Gender Equity in Education also just released by the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE) document why sex segregation generally increases sex discrimination and sex stereotyping -- violating numerous federal and state laws. These reports recommend that the Department of Education rescind the 2006 Title IX regulation and provide guidance on what is and is not permissible to help end this increased sex discrimination. The three part FMF report also provides insights and recommendations on what gender equity advocates and states can do to identify and end unlawful sex segregation in U.S. public schools.

This FMF research and legal actions by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) confirm non-compliance with Title IX and the U.S. Constitution, including many requirements specified in the 2006 Title IX regulation. FMF and ACLU have not found evidence of full legal compliance with non-discrimination provisions in any of the sex-segregated schools studied.

FMF found: 

1.Justifications and specific plans for single-sex education were not based on scientific evidence that sex separation was needed to achieve desired educational outcomes for girls and/or boys. 

2.Single sex classes were not equal. Often there were different student/teacher ratios and purposeful use of sex stereotypes to teach girls and boys differently based on false assumptions that they as a group learn differently.

3.Participation in the single-sex classes was not voluntary despite this requirement in the 2006 Title IX regulation. Schools often assigned students to these single-sex classes and some neighborhoods lost their access to coed schools when segregated schools or dual academies were created. 

4.Schools with sex segregation did not have rigorous evaluations to determine whether or not single-sex treatment was more effective in increasing achievement than comparable coed classes, even though periodic evaluations are required by the ED 2006 Title IX regulation. (Occasional anecdotal information or reporting of achievement scores was provided, but not comprehensive quality evaluations to document effectiveness of sex segregation).

Similarly, FMF found no credible evidence that sex segregation (or the exclusion of girls or boys from any class) resulted in improved achievement or a decrease in sex discriminatory outcomes that is any better than comparable coeducation. Distinguished academic researchers from the American Council for Coeducational Schooling (ACCES) are not only documenting the false claims of advocates of single-gender education, but are also finding that sex segregated education is likely to be harmful. 

In examining the role of the states in stopping unjustified and unlawful sex segregation, FMF emphasizes these important findings and recommendations:

-Many state Title IX coordinators were not aware of the sex segregation in their public schools and had no procedures in place to learn about it or to educate others about necessary safeguards against sex discrimination.

-State Title IX coordinators should be supported as gender equity experts and leaders of networks of school district Title IX coordinators and others interested in advancing gender equality. In addition to keeping track of any single-sex public education, the Title IX coordinators should actively prevent and end unlawful public school sex segregation.

The following three parts of the "The State of Public School Sex Segregation in the United States" are available from
Part I: Patterns of K-12 Single-sex Public Education in the U.S. (2007-10)
Part II: Role of the States in Addressing Single-sex Public Education (2007-10)
Part III: Summary and Recommendations


FMF obtained nationwide information on schools with single-sex classes by using web searches, media reports, assistance from state Title IX coordinators, verification telephone calls, and information from the U.S. Department of Education's 2006 and 2010 mandatory large scale Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) surveys which asked public schools if they had single-sex academic classes. Part II of the FMF study looked in detail at the role of the states in implementing Title IX and their own civil rights laws that prohibited sex discrimination. Additionally, Part II was designed to encourage the state Title IX coordinators to be proactive in stopping this sex discrimination.
The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which was founded in 1987, is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. FMF utilizes research and action to empower women. The Feminist Majority Foundation's Education Equity Department seeks to eliminate sex discrimination in public education for the betterment of both girls and boys and to strengthen Title IX.

Trumped Up Charges (Workers World)

Repost from Workers World:

Anti-NATO activists face trumped-up charges

Published Jun 28, 2012 6:34 PM
Three young activists who came to Chicago to protest against the NATO Summit in May were singled out by the police and now face trumped-up charges of terrorism. Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly face 11 counts. If convicted under previously unused Illinois anti-terrorism laws, they could face up to 85 years in prison.

Before they were arrested, these political activists were stopped by the Chicago Police Department. The police illegally searched the trunk of their car. The young men say that as police searched the car, they made comments threatening the young activists.
The officers joked about the famous acts of brutality in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The officers laughed as they said, among other things, “Do you guys know ’68? ... Billy club to the f—king skull.” The officers joked about racism and brutality: “Take race out of it … we’ll beat your white ass.” They also said that at the upcoming anti-NATO protests, “We’ll be looking for each and every one of you.” (, June 18)
This exchange, in which CPD members revealed their twisted and sadistic nature, was recorded by one of the youth. A video of the incident was soon up on the internet.
Six days after the video was posted, cops raided the apartment where these activists were staying. Eleven of the people staying there were arrested and held for 68 hours before the authorities brought any charges. At the time of the raid, two police infiltrators, going by the monikers of “Mo” and “Gloves,” were staying at the apartment.
Prosecutor Anita Alvarez made clear the political nature of her prosecution by numerous times pointing out that the men were “anarchists” and linking them to the “Black bloc.” In the apartment raid, the police discovered equipment for making beer. Alvarez now claims this equipment was intended for making Molotov cocktails.
Terrorism charges used to spread fear and anger
Kris Hermes, spokesperson for the National Lawyers Guild, pointed out how unbelievable this claim is: “No Molotov cocktails or other incendiary devices have been used at any political demonstration in the U.S. in recent memory.”
Hermes observed that the charges were “the unfortunate consequence of the city’s desire to create a hysteria around so-called terrorism charges.” She noted that the arrests were intended to “discredit the NATO demonstrators and perhaps diminish the number of people on the streets protesting.”
Michael Deutsch, the lawyer representing Brian Church, described how the three men are being held in isolation. Not allowed any reading or writing material, they are being held in “hospital white cells” for 24 hours a day. They are not allowed to see any other prisoners or each other.
While NATO often bombs and destroys countries using the excuse of “human rights,” three young men who dared protest NATO’s crimes are now being held in conditions described as “inhumane” and “torturous.”
Hypocrisy is nothing new for NATO and its armed servants. The organization Doctors Without Borders has refused to work with the new NATO-installed government in Libya, as it also is engaging in acts of torture and inhumanity against those who oppose it.
The activists have pleaded not guilty. A team of expert and experienced attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild has mobilized to defend them.
There is a great deal of hope that these charges can be defeated. The recent victory in the Carlos Montes’ case and the state of Pennsylvania’s ultimate failure to execute Mumia Abu-Jamal after decades of trying show that mass mobilizations of the people can be key in halting repression. Such mobilizations can also force the state to drop the charges against these young people.
The facts of this case and others like it are revealing many truths to the thousands of youth who are now becoming politicized. They show that the police and the state cannot be trusted or won over as “friends” of the 99% movement.
According to an article in the June 25 Occupied Chicago Tribune, “Occupy groups around the country are calling for an international day of solidarity with the detained NATO protesters for July 2, the day of the arraignment.”
The youthful movement is showing that its struggle against the 1% also includes a struggle against their government and ­police apparatus.

Tim King to deliver key note address



For immediate release

Contact: Tim King 503 302-2861
Sri Lanka War Crimes Against Tamils: Oregon Journalist Will Give Key Note Address at FeTNA in Baltimore

2,000–3,000 Tamil Americans and Canadians are expected to attend the 25th year celebration.
(BALTIMORE) - A key note address will be delivered at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) conference in Baltimore, Md. on July 6th and 7th. (, by's Executive News Editor, Tim King.

On behalf of USTPAC (US Tamil Political Action Council), Tim was invited to speak about his coverage of war crimes in Sri Lanka, by Elias Jeyarajah, PhD, President of USTPAC, which holds a parallel session during FeTNA. ( Tim has written nearly 50 articles that explore and reveal the events that culminated in the ethnic cleansing of Tamils in north Sri Lanka in May 2009. He says part of what drives him is the large number of missing and murdered journalists who are believed to have been eliminated for writing about the war crimes against Tamils.

Elias Jeyarajah with USTAPC explains there are over 2 dozen Tamil Sangams (Associations of Tamil Americans) in North America.

"Once a year they hold an annual get together coordinated by an organization called FeTNA, or Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America. This year's convention happens to be FeTNA's 25th yr (Silver Jubilee) celebration, to be held in Baltimore."
He explains that the Sri Lanka problem is specifically being addressed at this special event:

"While FeTNA is mainly a cultural organization, the 3-yr old USTPAC is the major political organization of Tamil Americans and friends of Tamils in the USA. In addition, we (USTPAC) also put together a one-hour prime time program at FeTNA for the entire attendees on the issues affecting Tamils in Sri Lanka."
Bonnie King,'s Publisher, has also been involved in supporting the news group's mission to expose Sri Lanka's war crimes. She will attend the event in Baltimore, and both of these U.S. journos will be exposed to, as Elias says, "plenty of Tamil food, music, classical dance and more".
When inviting Mr. King to the event, USTPAC's President said their group is grateful to the efforts of the Kings' Oregon based
"Tim, Tamil Americans are eternally grateful for the phenomenal support of Salem-News in highlighting the Tamil genocide, and we will be honored if you can accept our invitation and address us. There will be about 2,500 Tamil Americans and a few Tamil Canadians at the event."
Tim King says being invited to FeTNA as a distinguished guest to deliver a key note address is an extreme honor and he believes hope for the Tamil Diaspora is on the horizon.

"We have followed the Tamil tragedy since December, 2010. I had no idea what I was getting into at first, yet I quickly saw that I was on a one-way road -- and that a large number of human beings were suffering for justice and overwhelmed with death, to a point that I just could not believe it; yet I had to, because the evidence was overpowering from the offset. Since then I've invested a great deal of time researching the real facts of the case and bringing them forward."

More on FeTNA

FeTNA, Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America, is an umbrella organization of Tamil Sangams (organizations) that represents the half a million strong Tamil community scattered throughout America. FeTNA is a registered, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization in the USA. It is an organization that fosters Tamil language and culture, and functions to educate the Americans of Tamil origin to the greatness of Tamil language, literature and the virtues of 2000 year-old ethical poetry of Thiru-Valluvar. It also serves to raise its voice whenever and wherever any harm is done to Tamils anywhere in the world.
FeTNA commemorates its Silver Jubilee from July 5- 8, 2012 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, MD, USA. This historic event of 25th year jubilee convention brings the Tamil community, originally from India and Sri Lanka, together in Washington D.C. Several artists, poets and academics have been invited from Tamil Nadu, India for the event. Invitations have also been extended to several government officials in the US including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Assistant Secretary Robert Blake, congresspersons, senators and Governor for Maryland.

About 2,000 – 3,000 Tamil Americans and a number of Tamil Canadians are expected to attend the 25th year celebrations. Past programs of FeTNA can be viewed at the organization’s website:

"FeTNA is grateful that Mr. Tim King will attend along with Mrs. Bonnie King, and address the gathering on July 6th at 4:30 p.m.," said Elias Jeyarajah.
Tim King of humbly accepts the invitation, and we look forward to sharing the special event with our worldwide readership. 


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Parades, memorials, a 2-year-old Iraqi girl dies" -- most requested highlight of the week and also see Elaine's "Hey, Ms. blog, WTF?" and Mike's "Idiot of the Week: Nan Levinson."

"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot," "Scott Brown backs two veterans bills," "Veterans' cemeteries," and "Justice for Camp Lejeune families?" -- C.I., Ava, Wally and Kat report on Congressional hearings they attended last week.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Yes, Us Worry"  -- Isaiah on the finger nail biter of the week.

"Anthony Lane" -- The Thursday night theme post.

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