Sunday, September 23, 2012

Truest statement of the week

It's in times when people are swept up in a frenzy of war that it's most important to listen to the quiet voices speaking the truth. Isn't it time we begin to redress the atrocity of this war by honouring those such as Ms. Rivera who had the courage to stand against it at such cost to themselves?
-- Desmond Tutu, "Don't deport war resister Kimberly Rivera" (Globe and Mail) (and Kim was deported on Thursday).

Truest statement of the week II


It is not true that Barack Obama single-handedly destroyed the rule of law in the United States. The savaging of the Bill of Rights was, in effect, a tag team effort between Obama and his predecessor, George Bush, two presidents united in a single-minded quest to remove all barriers to the imprisonment, without trial or charge, of persons anywhere in the world, including U.S. citizens. George Bush did the initial groundwork, interpreting the 2001 congressional mandate to strike militarily against al-Qaida as giving the president the power to hold foreign prisoners without charge in Guantanamo, and, in theory, to treat American citizens the same way. But that was a stretch, and only a presidential opinion.

George Bush knew that it would be very difficult to get a preventive detention bill through Congress; Democrats would raise holy hell, and protesters would call for his head. But Barack Obama accomplished what Bush could not: On New Year's Eve, Obama signed a preventive detention law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Under a Black Democrat, the rule of law ceased to exist within U.S. borders. Obama had already declared the rest of the planet a killing ground.


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?
When we can get into Blogger/Blogspot, we'll note it.
As we explain in one article, Blogger/Blogspot has had a problem for nearly three days now.  We can't get into our account to post.  We can log in.  From the log in screen, we're supposed to click "Post" and that's supposed to take us to a screen where we can write.  That's not happening. 
So we've e-mailed our articles to the site and it's going to look a little different.  Dona and Kat are working on illustrations in terms of whether we can use them in e-mails or not.
If you're reading an article in this edition and there is an illustration, it may be smaller than it should be, it may be huge.  When Blogger/Blogspot fixes their problem, we'll try to come in and fix the images.  But we can only do what we can do.
There was talk of all of us working on the illustration issue and trying to collectively fix it.  Since it may not work, even after intense research and playing, we didn't want to sideline the entire crew on this issue.
I (Jim) was fully on board with a 'stripped down' and 'unplugged' edition but I've always felt it was more about text content and Dona's always seen the important of the visual -- both to provide visuals and to break up text.  This is not a new difference but one that pre-dates our marriage and this website. 
 Quickly, here's what we came up with.  We can now get into a post.  Hopefully the problem's fixed but who knows for how long.  I know Isaiah did a comic for The Common Ills -- because we're going to use it for a feature here.  But C.I. didn't upload it.  I've got a call in to Isaiah.  We will add his latest comic when it goes up.  C.I. and a date and Ava and Jess are at the Emmys.  I could text her but I'm sure she's texting about who's winning what and who's wearing what.  So after the Emmys are over, you can check back and hopefully, I'll have gotten ahold of her by then.
See you next week.

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

Editorial: Nouri's Iraq: Not falling apart is 'success'

Nouri al-Maliki is prime minister and thug of Iraq.  And his thuggery was asked of last week, repeatedly, in a Senate hearing.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee met to question US President Barack Obama's nominee for Ambassador to Iraq (Robert S. Beecroft, who was confirmed on Saturday).  In his opening remarks, Committee Chair John Kerry noted, "Questions remain about whether Iraqi leaders -- including the prime minister -- aspire to represent a unified Iraq in all of its diversity or rather they seek to govern narrowly according to ethnic and sectarian tendencies."  It only got worse for Thug Nouri.
Chair Kerry was noting in questioning, "Increasingly, we are hearing more anecdotal and other reports about the increased authoritarianism of the Maliki government and of the political system itself perhaps becoming less diplomatic and so forth."   Others repeatedly echoed those statements including Senator Bob Casey, "And, in particular, there's a concern -- or maybe an allegation, that might be too strong of a word -- that Prime Minister Maliki is becoming more and more authoritarian."
Yet search in vain for the reports in the US press that noted this concern or that it was repeatedly raised.
In fact, search in vain for the biggest news on Iraq of the week.
How does the US measure 'progress' and 'success' in Iraq now?
Robert Beecroft was confirmed on Saturday so clearly the Senate approved of his call on Wednesday when he told the Committee, "But, again, I'd like to reiterate that the encouraging thing is that Iraq has not fallen apart, that it has held together."
How the hopes and promises have fallen.  The American people are now supposed to be happy with an illegal war that's big accomplishment has been: Iraq has not fallen apart.
The "yet" was, as always, left unstated.
What the US press couldn't or wouldn't cover above was noted and reported on in the Iraq snapshots last week:
Iraq snapshot Iraq snapshot Iraq snapshot Iraq snapshot Iraq snapshot

Media: The Lies of David Corn

Didn't he know? Didn't anyone ever tell him?

The lies that you tell
Will leave you alone
They'll keep you down
They'll catch you and trip you up
Keep you hangin' around
-- "Love You By Heart," written by Carly Simon, Jacob Brackman and Libby Titus, first appears on Carly's Spy

Apparently not and it made for a very uncomfortable listening experience when David Corn appeared Friday on the first hour of The Diane Rehm Show (NPR).

David Corn, for those who don't know of him, is a writer. He used to be a journalist. For a long, long time, he was seen by many on the left as far too close to the CIA which led to speculation that he was with the CIA -- at the very least in a Pamela Des Barres' I'm With The Band kind of way. This speculation only grew as Corn did a superficial (and fact-free) takedown of journalist Gary Webb's investigative series for the San Jose Mercury News exposing the links between the CIA and the drug trade.

Corn always hopes to live down the Webb attack but never will. "Who Killed Gary Webb?" (Press Action) asked Jordy Cummings only to conclude, "David Corn and the Democratic establishment killed Gary Webb." Andres Kargar (From The Wilderness) wrote of David Corn while wondering about "A Mole in the Progressive Movement?" He's attacked A.N.S.W.E.R., he's attacked 9-11 Truth, he's even attacked KPFA and other Pacifica stations for the premium gifts they've offered. You sort of picture him on the phone with customer service at Snuggie insisting his Snuggie alone doesn't keep him warm in winter and he thinks he deserves at least a partial refund even though the item was purchased over three years ago.

He's been called "nonprofessional on these issues" (terrorism) by French author Jean-Charles Brisard. And he was smacked down publicly, while he still wrote for The Nation, by its editor, publisher and co-owner Katrina vanden Heuvel. That public correction is why he's not at The Nation but at Mother Jones which, as we all know, prefers not to correct their mistakes.

This was addressed in April 21, 2008 "Iraq snapshot." A TV news producer read the snapshot and put us on three-way as he called Mother Jones -- he couldn't believe  Mother Jones was refusing to correct a basic mistake (by Corn) or that they would be rude to people who pointed it out. He quickly found out that they did refuse and that the woman answering the phone was "a nasty piece of work." He never even got to identify himself, which was the whole point of his call -- that and to prove us wrong. We were right. He'd planned to use the recording to get a few laughs at our expense. Instead, it's been used to get laughs at Corn and Mother Jones' expense and one of the main reasons so few in the news industry take Mother Jones seriously.

That mistake? Barack Obama, in an April 16th debate falsely claimed Bill Clinton pardoned two members of the Weather Underground (Linda S. Evans and Susan Rosenberg). The press ran with the lie. The morning of April 17th, when it was clear the press was not self-correcting on its own, we wrote "There was no pardon, Barack." We wrote that before David Corn got his sad sack ass out of bed. But there he was, later that day, on the Hillary Clinton press conference call, screaming like a banshee about the pardon. He then took to Mother Jones to blog about the pardon. In fact, he would blog multiple times about the pardon. Yet, as we'd noted early on, there was no pardon. David Corn repeated the lies for days and days. This despite the fact that it only took one time writing "Jake Tapper, correct your error" to get a correction from Tapper and ABC News. But then Tapper and ABC News are journalists who care about integrity. Mother Jones is seen by the real press as just a vanity make-work project for two bored women.

When it became a huge issue -- shortly after the news producer began playing the taped phone call with Mother Jones refusing to correct their error -- the 'magazine' and Corn were finally forced to sort-of self-correct. Some of his posts about the pardon (that wasn't) got a little note attached, some didn't. The note never admitted he was wrong (though he was really wrong):

Clarification: Clinton did not issue pardons to Rosenberg and Evans; he commuted their prison sentences. Media accounts often conflate the two different actions. These two commutations were announced by the White House on January 20, 2001, as part of a long list of almost 140 pardons and commutations, which included the infamous pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich--which was a pardon.

Clarification? No, it required a correction. It wasn't one time Corn wrote about it. He wrote about it repeatedly. In the words of an NBC reporter, he acted like "a psycho" on the Hillary conference call as he kept demanding answers (comments) on the pardon (that wasn't). Only after there was a new topic in the news did Corn and Mother Jones issue there 'correction' and, even then, they refused to own their mistake, refused to even call it a mistake.

That's David Corn for you, a man who used to call out lies by others but now spends more time lying himself and raving like a lunatic whose family desperately needs to stage an intervention.

A journalist who can't correct themselves isn't much of a journalist. And we were reminded of just how far from journalism David Corn has strayed as we caught his stunts on The Diane Rehm Show.  He'd foamed at the mouth and bored us all long before Susan Page (guest hosting) took a needed call. Most of the hour was spent with David plugging the latest story someone else had found and handed him. This time it was a grandson of former president Jimmy Carter who found a video online of Mitt Romney speaking to donors and the grandson then shopped it around before Mother Jones bit and grabbed the story. Consider it Journalism Helper and David just added water (or milk if he wanted a creamier sauce) to it.

From Friday's show:

Nancy Jean of Florida: I have a comment. David Corn is bordering on gleeful, maybe even a little pejoratively mean-spirited, and repetatively describing Romney as condescending, dismissive, even sneering towards half of the American populace. I don't interpret the comments that way. They weren't well stated but I am concerned about the growing entitlement issue. And I'm wondering why it's kosher to simply go on and on and on ranting about a candidate? I think it's disrespectful and it helps me decide for Romney.

Susan Page: Alright, Nancy Jean, thank you very much for your call. We've gotten also an e-mail from Virginia who makes a similar point. She says, "I've always depended -- I've always defended NPR against those who've bemoaned your extreme media bias and blatant salavation for Obama. Listening to the show today with all three media people speaking disdainfully of Romney and fawningly of Obama, I am concerned."

David Corn: Well, uh --

Susan Page: What do you think?

David Corn: I haven't heard Matt beforning about Obama throughout the show. He called him --

Matt: Nor will you, David.

David Corn: He called both candidates weak. I don't think I've fawned either. All I can say about the tape is, the great thing about this tape, I said it earlier, is everybody can look at it for themselves, go to Mother, I can't help but plug it, and, uh, and you can see -- I think the overall reaction is-is different than the caller from Orlando. He said without doubt that he believed that half of America did not take personal responsibility for their own lives. Now I th -- I equate that with disdain. But Bill Kristol, of The Weekly Standard, David Brooks, uh, The New York Times, uhm, conservatives who have all sat in this studio and argued with me in the past, all took that same interpretation of the remarks. I think Bill called him "arrogant and stupid." So, uh, the caller can watch for herself and come up with her own conclusion. But I do think on this one, she's in the minority.

First off, "beforming"? Who knows what word he thought he was speaking? What he said was "beforming."

A listener calls in and that's his response? Can you believe the arrogance from David Corn?
Let's go through his statements slowly.

David Corn: All I can say about the tape is, the great thing about this tape, I said it earlier, is everybody can look at it for themselves, go to Mother, I can't help but plug it, and, uh, and you can see -- I think the overall reaction is-is different than the caller from Orlando.

Caller from Orlando? Again, is he so self-involved that he can't listen. The caller is from Florida. She gave where she lives on air and, no, it wasn't Orlando.

And whose overall reaction is David Corn speaking of? There were no polls on the tape at that point or Corn Nuts would have cited them.

David Corn: But Bill Kristol, of The Weekly Standard, David Brooks, uh, The New York Times, uhm, conservatives who have all sat in this studio and argued with me in the past, all took that same interpretation of the remarks.

Oh, okay. He's Cokie Roberts now. Because the pundit class has ruled, that's all that matters?

David Corn: I think Bill called him "arrogant and stupid."

No, William Kristol did not call Mitt Romney "arrogant and stupid." He called the remarks that. There is a difference between saying someone said something stupid (or arrogant) and calling them that. David Corn is supposed to be educated enough to grasp the difference.

David Corn: So, uh, the caller can watch for herself and come up with her own conclusion.

Did he listen to Nancy Jean when she spoke? Or is he one of those asses that can't hear criticism? Nancy already formed her opinion, already knew what was said. She doesn't need to visit Mother Jones' crappy website.

David Corn: But I do think on this one, she's in the minority.

And that's where we wanted to scream. Nancy was bothered by the fact that all the guests were attacking one candidate while praising the other. (Matthew Continettie and Jeanne Cummings did praise Barack  -- Jeanne more than Matthew with her gush of, "Well he would defy the odds, but, let's face it, he already has.") Corn's response is "she's in the minority." That crap'll work at the one-note Mother Jones but Corn Nuts was on public radio. Public radio is supposed to provide a diversity of opinion and it is supposed to allow for minority viewpoints to be heard.

Corn Nuts' nasty little response didn't belong on NPR.

Equally true, she's not in the minority. If she were in the minority, the hour David was on The Diane Rehm Show would not have been about what a tight race it was between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

He can't stop lying to save his own lying ass.

Meanwhile, in the comments, listeners were complaining about him. It wasn't just Nancy Jean and that's because -- pay close attention -- David Corn isn't Diane Rehm folk. Diane tries to make him that, she has him on the show all the time, but he's rude and nasty and when called on it by listeners -- or called on  his factual errors -- he just gets nastier.

Again, from Friday's show:

Susan Page: You know David, we've gotten a couple of e-mailers complaining that you have said several times that Romney called Americans "moochers." And they point out that that is your word, not --

David Corn: That is my characterization. I would say that's my characterization of his words. He says that they don't pay taxes, they don't take personal responsibility for themselves, they expect the government to give them everything including housing, uh, food, health care, you name it. So put that all together and I think it's pretty close to being a "moocher." He also said they see themselves as victims.

Susan Page: Yes, but --

David Corn: "Victim" was his word.

Susan Page: "moochers" was --

David Corn: "Moochers" was my word, was my characterization. On the air, you don't get to see the quotation marks or the lack of quotation marks.

Again, he was lying and he got called on it and instead wants to whimper about quotation marks on air. He lied about Mitt Romney repeatedly and wasn't mature enough to say, "You know what, the listeners are correct. My bad." Instead it was try to distract by bringing up "victims" and refuse to take accountability. This is now a David Corn trait.

That's really sad. A lot of people were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt or a fresh start when he broke the Valerie Plame story. But he couldn't even stay honest there and, as many started to point out, he was writing about a CIA agent being outed -- how was that any different than his other bag work for the CIA?

The Valerie Plame story was handled by other reporters so much better (including, but not limited to, Joe Strupp). And that's all David has to point to for the last ten years.

How sad.

Sad also describes the fact that the video he posted was incomplete. Sad was the fact that it took William A. Jacobson (Legal Insurrection) calling him out online to force yet another non-correction from Corn. Instead of getting honest, Corn Nuts calls what he offers an "Update."

There is a missing section to the recording. Corn Nuts himself admitted that.

Susan Page: Do you know what that was?

David Corn: Oh yeah [. . .] and I asked the source what had happened and the source said during the recording the device shut off [ . . .]

Can someone explain journalism to Corn Nuts? He doesn't "know" if someone told him. If someone told him, his response is, "Well, what I was told was . . ."

That's before you get to the possibility that a server who's going to record an event isn't exactly someone we'd trust. If it was a server, as an early investigation appears to indicate, then Corn Nuts and Jimmy Carter IV have deliberately lied in their characterization of the source for the recording.

Corn claims at Mother Jones currently to provide "full audio" and "the entire transcript." But when your video recording has minutes missing in the middle, then nothing "full" or "entire" has been offered -- no matter how much a "fool" insists otherwise.

Again, sad.

So was Corn's other 'report' entitled "Romney '47 percent' Fundraiser Host: Hedge Fund Manager Who Likes Sex Parties."

To be clear, David Corn doesn't enjoy sex.

Or maybe that's just the opinion of those who've slept with him?

Regardless, David Corn lied yet again.

We had to descend into his smut level and read that bad 'report' so let's point out that David Corn doesn't get invited to too many parties -- are we really surprised?

The "sex parties"? It's one party, reported by The New York Post, and you've got one couple. A man strips down to his briefs and jumps in a pool. His partner strips nude and goes in the pool. They were "making out" and "continued their show outside the pool and performed sex acts on a chair in front of astonished guests."

Notice how David Corn works, one party becomes "parties," one couple becomes a "sex party." He's a regular one-man National Enquirer.

To David Corn, that's a sex party. He's so screwed up sexually, he probably brags he's participated in an orgy just because, alone in bed, he switched from the right to the left hand mid-stroke.

For a large, weekend summer party in the Hamptons, one couple making out is not that unusual. And skinny dipping is even less unusual.

Poor David Corn. Nobody ever told him.


Credit to Marcia who asked us to write about this topic.  See her "David Corn's an ass" for more.

Kim Rivera was just trying to raise her four kids

Friday night, Kimberly Rivera ended up at Fort Drum in New York. How did she get there?

She got to New York from Texas via Canada with a stop over in Iraq.

Kim and Mario Rivera were, like many Americans, suffering in a bad economy. They had two children. Kim decided to sign up and, like many, was scammed by her recruiter which explains how she ended up in Iraq.  Yves Engler ( reported:

While Rivera expected to spend her time unloading equipment at a Colorado base she soon found herself guarding a foreign operating base in Iraq. It was from this vantage point that she became disillusioned with the war. Riviera was troubled by a two-year-old Iraqi girl who came to the base with her family to claim compensation after a bombing by U.S. forces.
"She was just petrified," Rivera explained. "She was crying, but there was no sound, just tears flowing out of her eyes. She was shaking. I have no idea what had happened in her little life. All I know is I wasn't seeing her: I was seeing my own little girl. I could imagine my daughter being one of those kids throwing rocks at soldiers, because maybe someone she loved had been killed. That Iraqi girl haunts my soul."

Back in the US in January 2007, Kim decided she couldn't return to Iraq and she and her husband and their two kids went to Canada.

Canada, of course, was the land of freedom and peace and the country that welcomed those seeking to avoid the draft and those seeking to quit the war during Vietnam.  More than anything in recent years, that helped cement Canada's reputation as an enlightened and peaceful people.

Feel sorry for them now.  Pierre Trudeau's glowing legacy that allowed the country to shine so bright has been replaced with Stephen Harper's petty nature. 

the hollow man 1

Last month, Kim Rivera was informed that she would have to leave Canada by September 20th or face deportation.  August 31st, Kim declared at a Toronto press conference:

Kim Rivera: If you want to know my biggest fear is being separated from my children and having to -- having to sit in a prison for politically being against the war in Iraq which I had experience in.  Without that experience, I know that I would not have come to the decision I had made to leave and also be here in Canada for people to know that experience which I had spoken many of.  So the only thing that I guess I can really ask is that all of my legal applications that I applied be considered and my agency application also get a decision.   That's pretty much all I have. 

Her children.  After moving to Canada, she and Mario had two more children. 

The Stephen Harper government had no concern about Kim or Mario or their children 10-year-old Christian, 8-year-old Rebecca, 4-year-old Katie Marie and 18-month-old Gabriel.  The prime minister gave no thought to what uprooting the children would mean.

The War Resisters Support Campaign had warned that Kim would be arrested.  The Harper government did not want to listen.  That's a point WRSC's Jesse McLaren stressed again when he spoke to Sarika Sehgal (CTV) the day after Kim was arrested.

Jesse McLaren: The government claims to not be involved but in fact Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has a strong record. Firstly, he labeled war resisters bogus refugee claimants and the Canadian Council of Refugees clearly was dismissive of that and claimed that that provided evidence of the strong appearance political interference. Second of all, he's actually institutionalized his own personal ideological beliefs with what's called Operational Bulletin 202. And this is basically an instructive where he's told immigration officials to flag all US Iraq War resisters as "criminally inadmissiable" even though they refused to be criminally involved in the war in Iraq. And Amnesty International and the former chair of the Refugee Board have spoken out against Operational Bulletin 202, saying that it mistates the law and seeks to intrude on the independence of immigration. And finally, just this week, his lawyers claimed that the risk of Kimberly being arrested was merely speculative where in fact we have proof today that she was arrested just as we'd feared.

Thursday, September 20th, Kim crossed the border.  Her family did as well.  But not with Kim.  The War Resisters Support Campaign notes, "Her family, included four minor children, crossed separately. Kimberly did not want her children to have to see her detained by the US military, as this would be traumatic for them."

Diana Mehta (Canadian Press) reports, "Kimberly Rivera complied with a deportation order and presented herself at the border at Gananoque, Ont., on Thursday.  The War Resisters Support Campaign -- which issued multiple warnings that Ms. Rivera would likely face a court martial and jail time on her return -- said the mother of four was immediately arrested, detained and transferred to U.S. military custody." 

Kim was forced out of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his henchman Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.  Four children are currently without a mother because of Stephen Harper.  It didn't have to be this way.

Canadians held rallies and demonstrations to show their support for Kim throughout September.  They phoned the Immigration Minister to ask him to let Kim and her family stay.   In less than 12 days, 20,348 people signed on the War Resisters Support Campaign's petition to let Kim and her family stay in Canada.  Prominent Canadians released a joint-statement:

We the undersigned support conscientious objector Kimerly Rivera and her family who are threatened with imminent deportation from Canada on September 20.  Kim deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in 2007.  She faces a court martial and up to 5 years in military prison for refusing to participate any longer in the Iraq War -- a war which had no legal sanction.  Kim would be separated from her four young children, two of whom were born in Canada.  A felony conviction would mean a lifetime of difficulty finding employment.  We call on the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kennedy to do the right thing and allow Kimberly Rivera and her family to stay in Canada.

Andy Barrie, broadcaster and Vietnam War resister
Dan Bar-El, award-winning children's author
Maude Barlow, author and activist
Maev Beaty, actor
Shirley Douglas, O.C., actor
Dennis Foon, award-winning writer
Richard Greenblatt, playwright/actor
Ron Hawkins, musician
Naomi Klein, author [child of a Vietnam War resister Michael who went from New Jersey to Montreal in 1967 with his wife Bonnie]
Ron Kovic, author, Born on the Fourth of July
Avi Lewis, filmmaker
Peter Showler, Director, the Refugee Forum, University of Ottawa; former chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board
Jack Todd, journalist and Vietnam War resister
Alexandre Trudeau, filmmaker

Others calling for Kim to be allowed to remain in Canada included Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  the United Steelworkers of CanadaCanada's National Union of Public and General Employees and the United Church of Canada.

To all of those people, Stephen Harper flipped the bird.  He ignored public opinion just as he ignored the consequences Kim would face.

In doing so, in deporting a mother of four young children, in helping remove children from their mother, he decided to demonstrate that Stephen Harper's Canada has none of the glory that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau amplified and allowed to shine around the world.  Stephen Harper's Canada is a petty country, constricting a loving and caring people.  When he's finally run out of office, few will miss him.


Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Hollow Man." 

Transphobic Ira

Listening to a special episode of This American Life (NPR) that is for fundraising and that several people swore would shock us did.  But not for the reasons they thought.

Apparently the cult for NPR's lisping, pan sexual is so enamored that they accept anything.

That would explain the use of "retarded" as a punch line and it would explain the same 'comedy' routine featuring an Anglo White man doing a stereotypical and offensive Latino imitation.  And it's so great and so okay, apparently, that Ira Glass Vanity Plates Studio has backed a film of the routine.

It just flew by the Cult of Ira.  It stood out like a sore thumb to our ears.

But what really stood out was the story on transgendered children.  Specifically, Ira's reaction to them.


Ira expressed, after the segment on two families with a transgendered child, that he didn't know what to think about a family that would allow their child to dress as another gender.

Our shock was on many levels.

Firstly, and most obviously, we wondered, "Does Ira not get how effecte and flaming he comes off on the radio?  It really sounds like Ira sees himself as something other than the wisp of a boy he comes across as."

Is he trying to tell us that Mr. and Mrs. Glass butched him up as a child?

If so, great.

Let Ira Glass be Exhibit One in the evidence that 'butching up' does not turn a boy into a man.

Our second shock was over the fact that Ira Glass thought, in 2012, on NPR, he could get away with the pose of "I just don't know what to think of these people."

Please note, if you haven't heard the story, this is after a heart ripping segment aired, after two young girls talked about how badly they wanted to be normal, after one of the mother's explained her child told her she was angry at God because she was born in a boy's body and begged her to admit that she knew her child was a girl.

All of that got left by the wayside so Ira Glass could pose as 'manly.'

Our third shock was that out of the five people who'd been telling us about this special edition of American Life, not one had expressed disgust -- or even dismay -- over Ira's little commentary which clearly demonstrate transphobia.

As a father in the segment stated, if your child is gay, these days, even people who may not 'approve' can figure out what that means and what box to put it in; however, with a transchild, there's an attitude of you're indulging your spoiled child.

Let's further add that the report originally aired three years ago.  Ira Glass has had more than enough time to find his 'comfort level' with the story.

The most important e-mail address in the world?

It's not the address to riches or nuclear codes, but it is an e-mail address that is still active and no longer widely published anymore:
Understand that just as it was five years ago when the e-mail address was easily found at the Blogger/Blogspot web pages, you won't get an individual response.  You'll get an automated response just like in the old days.
And just like in the old days, someone will eventually read it.
Why is this issue?
Starting on Friday, many users of Blogger/Blogspot began logging into their accounts to write a post only to get a message: "You have logged out from another location.  Do you want to log in again?"
From there, you would click "yes" or "close."  If you clicked "close," it would loop to the same screen or log you out.  If you clicked "yes," the same thing unless you were very quick and managed to click on an icon that might take you to a new page . . . where you would get the same message.
In this community, Rebecca saw it first Friday evening.  She was going to post in Google Chrome, her preferred browser, but got that message.  She'd never seen it before and tried clicking "yes" several times before giving up on things getting better.  At which point, she opened the browser Wyzo and was able to log into her account, click on "Post" and write an entry ("cancel 'up all night' already").  Cedric and Wally post on Saturdays as does C.I.  Cedric called Wally as soon as he landed (Wally, Kat, Ava and C.I.) were flying back to California Saturday.  Cedric explained what was happening to him and how, unlike with Rebecca, switching to a different browser didn't do any good.
Wally tried on his iPhone and got the same problem.  So they broke out the laptops.  By multi-tabbing (at an extremely fast right) and responding "Yes" to that annoying question near instantly, C.I. was able to get several post screens up for Wally.  (Should this happen to you, check to see first if you can type in the title space?  If you can't, don't bother typing in the space for the post.  Yes, you can type there but you won't be able to save or to publish what you type.  It will be lost.  However, if you can type in the title space, you can type a post -- just hit "Close" and not "Yes" over and over as the question pops up -- and it will let you either save or publish it.) 
C.I. e-mailed her Saturday entries to The Common Ills and did so because of this problem Blogger/Blogspot was having.   To our surprise, the problem continues today. 
Researching the issue on Saturday, we discovered that although Blogger has refused to list it as a "known issue," it has been happening to many since Friday (a few before that). 
At one Google Groups discussion (there are many) started by desi L entitled "Why is this happening? You have logged out from another location. Do you want to log in again? Yes, I want to log in again," there are over 100 comments.  desi L started that discussion Friday.  That same day, Dark UFO ("Google Top Contributor") posted, "Thanks, I'll escalate this to Google Engineering."  If that did any good, it hasn't shown up for most users. 
Let's clarify a few things for the know-it-alls. 
1) Don't suggest: Use another browser.  That no longer works.
2) Don't suggest: Restart your computer.  Doesn't change anything.
3) Don't suggest: Restart your modem.  Doesn't change anything.
4) Don't suggest: Clear your history.  Doesn't change anything.
5) Don't suggest: Change the password on your Google account.  Doesn't change anything.
6) Don't suggest a combination of any of the above or doing all of the above.  Doesn't change anything.
If that's not clear, maybe rissmeek put it best, "I've restarted, cleared cache, tried different browsers, and changed password."  All without success.  Also don't ask, "Do you have a custom domain address?"  People who do and people who don't are having the same problem.   Or as Mickey Garrotte put it Saturday, "Have tried everything suggested here.  Problem persists."
Don't expect a lot of patience either.  In fact, patience seemed to be in short supply yesterday when the problem was over 24 hours old.   As Tara Lain explained, "Frustration!  It's been going on for two days."  pamaris wondered, "For goodness sakes what are we supposed to do about this?"  From above, Google did not deign to answer.  imappet wrote, "Google should respond to this rather than just leave people hanging." DrGizmore wondered, "Where are the Google tech? Why are they not listening to us?" jfreeman3 noted, "I will just add my voice to the frustration of this exact same problem and that there is no google tech helping."
Some voice that they'll move over to WordPress or Tumblr.  Some feel that Google's spread itself to thing (RobinArt, "And see nothing from Google/Blogger about it. It's beyond frustrating that Google keeps buying up products and then offering no tech support."). 
For those of us who've been with Blogger/Blogspot for a number of years, it's a little hard to think of suddenly going elsewhere.  But maybe it's time?  We can remember a period in 2005 when Blogger/Blogspot was down for 36 hours.  We can remember in 2005 when 8 hour outages were common place and seemed to occur several times a month.  Those were eventually fixed -- even before Blogger moved to Beta mode. 
And there's an effort to hold onto that hope but, to quote Kate Cordero's comment in the discussion group today, "For Flippin sake it's been 3 DAYS!!!! WHEN IS THE PROBLEM GOING TO GET FIXED?" 
Agreed.  And we would suggest everyone having this problem -- or who had it but no longer does -- feel free to use the Blogger e-mail address we supplied.  Yes, you will only get an automated message, but someone working for Google will have to spend time reading the message at some point.

NPR's Snitch Program

"And it was so popular, so many people wanted to turn in their friends and family."
So explains our modern day Joseph McCarthy, little Mr./Ms. Ira Glass. As Glass makes snitching and squealing the norm at NPR, we have to wonder what the effects of that will be on society as a whole?
We are aware that all the 'snitches' are necessarily endorsing snitching. For example, five of us have turned in each other just because we want Ira Glass to call us, pull this crap with us so we can say, "F**k you, Ira Glass. If you're so concerned about NPR's budget, why don't you cut your over-priced salary in half." Or, "If you'd sign over your profits from the DVD of American Life, maybe NPR wouldn't have to beg so often on air for money?"
Oh, how much fun that would be. We'll keep trying and maybe someday.
"Don't make me come after you. Don't make your loved ones turn you in," declares our 21st century Charles Nelson Rielly in all his lip smacking glory.

The presidential campaign unafraid to talk about poverty


Voices from our community: A veteran of the Afghanistan War speaks out on poverty

Sep 21, 2012
Today we share the story of Mason Bliss, an Afghan vet and Green Party supporter, as our latest feature in a new series highlighting voices from our community.
A vote for Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala is a vote for the people and the Green New Deal that will create 25 million jobs, end foreclosures, and create a just economic system. It's immoral that children are starving in one of the wealthiest nations in the world.
If you'd like to see an end to hunger and poverty, please donate today to support this campaign for the just, secure, sustainable future we all deserve!

The unsaved auto industry (Martha Grevatt)


'Saving the auto industry': Behind the political spin

By Martha Grevatt on September 22, 2012
Detroit — The 2009 bailout of Chrysler and General Motors has become a major campaign issue in the contest to see which presidential candidate will capture the state of Michigan. The Democrats are taking credit for "saving" the two companies. The Republicans argue that the bailout was a big payoff to the United Auto Workers for supporting President Barack Obama. They say that "secured creditors" — the poor little bankers and hedge funds — got second-class treatment.
Neither party's version is supported by the facts.
The loan terms drawn up by the U.S. Treasury and approved by the White House Auto Task Force — whose members were culled from Wall Street and from corporate think tanks — were for the most part identical to those presented to Congress by the Bush administration's Treasury Department in 2008 and approved by the House and Senate.
The bailout gave nothing new to the union — only more take-backs. Second-tier wages were frozen for the life of the contract, at half the pay of workers hired before September 2007. Language whereby lower-paid workers might at some time move into higher-paying, "traditional" positions was eliminated.
At my former Chrysler plant in Ohio, we were told to vote "yes" to keep our plant open. Two days later — in violation of the contract — the company announced in court that our plant and seven others would be closed.
The Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association was set up to fund retiree health benefits and relieve the company of any future retiree health care costs. The Bush Treasury had demanded that Chrysler's and GM's cash obligation to the VEBA be reduced by 50 percent and the other half given in company stock. This is how the VEBA became part owner of Chrysler. It's not like President Obama gave us something for nothing.
The VEBA was already a gamble, with its investments subject to fluctuations on Wall Street. In 2009, Chrysler stock was valued at zero. By having the lump sum payment to the VEBA cut in half, the Treasury increased the risk that the health fund would go bankrupt, leaving retirees without coverage. Moreover, the loan terms now gave the new company 20 years to pay its cash obligation, putting the fund further in jeopardy.
The VEBA's 56.5 percent stake in Chrysler was entirely in nonvoting common stock, and the fund was allowed to name only one member for the Chrysler board of directors. In contrast, the Italian auto company Fiat, which was granted a 20 percent share of Chrysler at no cost, was allowed to name three.
How Fiat made out like a bandit
Now Fiat is the majority owner. How? First, by getting another free 15 percent share for reaching certain "benchmarks." This 15 percent of Chrysler's stock was transferred to Fiat from the VEBA, but the VEBA was paid nothing for it. Then — with VEBA income generated by us, the workers — Fiat bought the stake held by the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments.
The agreement also gave Fiat first rights to buy the remaining VEBA stake for $5 billion, should the VEBA desire to sell. But right now, Fiat is buying a small portion of VEBA-held shares for an even cheaper price.
This is the supposed political payoff to the workers and retirees who built the company?
And what about that "second-class" treatment of the bondholders? Almost all of Chrysler's debt was held by four entities: JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. A much smaller amount of the original $10 billion debt — borrowed by the investment fund Cerberus in 2007 after it bought the company from Daimler — was shared by a few dozen hedge funds. About $3.1 billion of the principal had already been paid, along with hundreds of millions, if not billions, in servicing fees and interest.
All four banks and all but three funds agreed to loan terms which give them around 30 cents on each dollar of the remaining $6.9 billion in debt. At the time, Chrysler debt was selling for only 15 cents on the dollar on the bond market. So these financiers got twice the value of their investment — hardly unfair treatment!
Bipartisan attack on labor movement
What really happened was a bipartisan attack on the UAW and, by extension, the whole labor movement. The celebrated "rebound" of Chrysler is based on fewer workers making more vehicles at substantially lower pay. That was our precondition for "saving the auto industry."
If there is any difference between the two political parties, it is that the Republicans think the attack should have gone further — that the transfer of wealth from labor to capital wasn't big enough.
Autoworkers need to be independent of both capitalist parties and part of a movement committed to advancing the common interest of workers and oppressed people worldwide.
Based on a talk given by Grevatt at the Sept. 9 Autoworker Speakout in Detroit.
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Stein: Liberty rests on resistance to Obama NDAA

Jill Stein is the Green Party's presidential candidate.  Her campaign notes:
Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced plans to challenge Monday's federal court ruling protecting American liberty from the NDAA. In response, Dr. Jill Stein issued the following statement today:

It is important for everyone concerned with the preservation of liberty in America to stand up now against the Obama administration's attempt to defend the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Thanks to a lawsuit brought by journalist Chris Hedges and others, a federal judge ruled that indefinite detention is unconstitutional.  The judge said that it could allow a president to indefinitely imprison journalists - or anyone else they considered to be in some way assisting the enemy in the War on Terror - without charging them with a specific crime or giving them a chance to defend themselves in court.  The judge noted that this would have a chilling effect upon journalists reporting stories that displeased the government.

The judge told the Obama administration that they could not use the law.  The response of the Administration was to file for an emergency measure to keep the law in effect while they appeal the ruling.

Indefinite detention without trial is used to suppress dissent by dictators around the world.  It is the type of oppressive executive power that our Constitution was written to forbid.   It's time to tell President Obama that it doesn't belong in America.

Please don't let this pass without raising your voice.  Once your rights are taken away, it will be too late to protest.

This isn't just a matter for the lawyers to decide.  This threat to our constitutional rights is arising from a "look tough" political strategy adopted by the Obama administration.  The Administration needs to understand that continuing down this path will exact a political price.  They must be told that Americans resent their attempts to defend a law that undermines the constitution.

I and my running mate, Cheri Honkala, have opposed the indefinite detention provision from the time President Obama signed it.  We also urge people to join us in signing the "First Amendment Pledge" against the use of military-style police tactics to intimidate people demonstrating against government policies (See ).  We will continue to speak up against the ongoing attempts to militarize our justice system and undermine our rights of free speech.


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.
"I Hate The War" -- most requested highlight of the week by readers of this site.
"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Nuland tries to smackdown Kerry" and "Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. reports on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing on the nomination of Robert S. Beecroft to be US Ambassador to Iraq (he was confirmed Saturday) and C.I. reports on the House Armed Services Committee hearing.
Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "No, I can't!" -- Isaiah offers a look at the failed promiser.
"Bitter Caesar Sald in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers a new recipe and calls out someone who could have helped US war resister Kim Rivera but didn't.

"Misleading the American people," "White House forced to admit it was terrorism," "Shame on The NewsHour," "White House spin dissolves: It was terrorism," "We deserve answers on Benghazi," "White House forced to admit it was terrorism," "The White House refused to be honest with the American people,"  "THIS JUST IN! THEY DON'T WANT TO GROW UP!" and "For a brief moment, they were grown ups" -- One of the most important stories of the week was the fact that the September 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Libya was terrorism but most -- including PBS' The NewsHour -- ignored it.  We didn't ignore it in the community and here are the posts by Trina, Betty, Ruth, Marcia, Stan, Mike, Wally and Cedric covered it. 

"Deporter In Chief" and "Barack told "You didn't keep that promise."" -- another important story was Barack being confronted on Univision about his broken promises regarding immigration, Ann and Kat covered that.
"Telstar," "Gambit," "Remake and pig", "A bad movie" and "Channing" -- Stan, Kat and Elaine went to the movies.
"cancel 'up all night' already," "revenge," "Afghanistan and more on Revenge," "Revolution," and "Revenge" -- Rebecca, Mike and Marcia covered TV. 
"why my vote actually matters" and "Tired of the whole damned machine" -- two important posts by Rebecca and Ruth on voting and the theatrics.

"Brotherly Embarrassment" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Harry Reid is so disgracing his office" -- Elaine notes the awful Harry Reid.
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