Saturday, August 12, 2006

2600 US troops have died in Bully Boy's illegal war

From The Common Ills, we're noting the following. Trina just phoned and said, "I don't see anything on it and you'd think it would be all over." You would think that. Mike checked "Lotta Links" and we honestly expected that it would be the top headline but it's not. We'll be noting Iraq in the edition but in case anyone's checking early, we want to be sure everyone is aware of the fact that the American troops fatality count in Iraq reached 2600.

AP count says 2600 American troops have died in Iraq since the (illegal) war began
Two U.S soldiers were killed Saturday when their foot patrol was hit by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, the military said. The deaths brought to 23 the number of Americans killed inIraq this month.
At least 2,600 members of the U.S. military have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The above is from the Associated Press' "Bomb kills 2 U.S. soldiers in Baghdad." Iraq Coalition Casulities places the current fatality number for US troops in Iraq at 2601.

As we noted in Thursday's snapshot, "no one appears to be watching the American fatality count":

As all things media big and small go breathless and stupid over the fact that 4 captors or "captors" of Jill Carroll may or may not have been arrested (three of which would have been arrested back in May) reality's out there and two families in America probably won't be joining the blather. Yesterday the American military announced that on Tuesday a "60 Blackhawk helicopter from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing" crashed. The crew numbered six. Four were found (injured). Two were missing.As some blather on over (at best) a three month old bust, the US military sneaks out the whisper that the two missing are dead. As well as those two dead, KUNA reports US army publicist Barry Johnson announced "three soldiers died in attacks in Al-Anabar." Of the three, Reuters reports they "were assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Armoured Division".
We're going to drop back to June 15, 2006 for a moment when the Pentagon announced that 2500 American troops had died in Iraq.
For over six weeks, as big media and indy media have provided their wall-to-wall, non-stop coverage of Israel's armed aggression, would you guess that the body count is up to 2597.
Let's repeat that. On June 15, 2006 the Pentagon announced 2500.97 American troops have died since then -- and where is the coverage?
Big media, little media, do American news consumers grasp that since June 15, the number of US troops killed has risen by 97?

On June 15th, the Pentagon announced 2500. On August 12, the Associated Press reports the 2600 mark has been reached. Where has the coverage been? (I'm not referring to AP.) Where has the attention been?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Truest Statement of the Week

The question I keep asking is when is it going to be enough? What do they need to do next? Does George Bush need to start knocking down our doors and start telling people individually they will then be next? I mean what needs to happen for us to wake up?
-- Daliah Hashad, Law and Disorder, July 31st

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
Sunday, Sunday. Sun's coming up. We're almost winding down.

Highlights? Got 'em!

Ruth's Report
Humor Spotlight: Wally on Bully Boy's Plans for Cuba
Blog Spotlight: Cedric discussing Iraq, Law and Disorder and Three Cool Old Guys Blog Spotlight: Elaine on Iraq
Blog Spotlight: Mike on Law and Disorder, tasers and Iraq
NYT Critique (C.I.)
Humor Spotlight: "Thomas Friedman focuses on foundation" (Betty)
Blog Spotlight: Betty addresses music, motherhood and Iraq
Kitchen Spotlight: Jess' Summer Vegetable Blend in the Kitchen
Blog Spotlight: Cedric on our responsibilites re: global warming

New content? We thank Dallas for his input, link locating and more. New content written by the following (and we thank those of us who are not us):

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and, me, Jim;
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ils);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally of The Daily Jot
and Ruth of Ruth's Report

Beltway Babies -- we planned to put that with another feature but time ran out on us.

Recognizing Resistance -- Truth Out's keeping Iraq on one of the front burners, you should be too.

Fogged In -- meant to run last week. Jess and C.I. worked out a whole melody for this (and counter melody). It started when we ended up trapped in a meeting going nowhere -- random associations written on note pads ended up evolving into that.

Summer Tour Not To Miss -- Susan wrote an e-mail saying that we had not endorse something important . . . a concert tour. We hear you, Susan. So this is our plug for a summer tour. The six of us have already seen one performance on the tour and will be seeing another shortly. But everyone participating in this edition does have tickets (Ruth has tickets for herself and her grandchildren Tracey and Jayson who love Ben Harper's music -- but don't we all love his music.)

10 Tracks That Got Us Through Last Week -- Dona said, "I'm not doing this. When the sun's up, my butt is in bed. Short pieces." She demanded, we agreed. (That was a joke.) Here are ten songs that got us through the week.

Bully on the Run -- already up at Kat's site but since Jess and C.I. are 3rd Estaters we feel we can call it original content that's going into a wider release by appearing at two sites now. (Ava says Elaine noted it at her's Saturday. Okay, it's on a platform release.) (Don't ask me. I just type what's said some mornings.)

Editorial: Don't let Lynne Stewart be isolated -- one of our two big pieces. We worked four and a half hours just on the writing then cut like crazy in the editing stage. Ruth participated in this and we thank her for that (and encourage her to jump in anytime she wants -- we don't feel comfortable asking her because she's busy during the week watching her grandkid and has her Friday Iraq discussion group, and . . . so just jump in, you're never going to be turned away, Ruth, we're always glad you to have your input).

Thoughts on liberalism and realism -- inspired by an article in The Nation. Points that might have been addressed with more space but points that need to be made. If you count the series of phone calls, this was the longest piece by far. The actual writing of it was five hours. We edited very little and are sure that shows.

Truest Statement of the Week -- Dalia Hashad, who we started this semi-weekly feature with awhile back, had another statement of truth, common sense, frustration (we hear you), you name it that was worth noting.

And that's it, hope to see you next week . . .

What's that? No, no Ava and C.I. TV commentary. They blew off this weekend. We tried to talk them out of it, but they wouldn't listen to us.

Seriously, TV: Grey Enemy (C.I. and Ava just said, "Seriously?" -- it's used as a question on that show all the time). Ava and C.I. take a look at Grey's Anatomy and don't care for what they see. Read it and see why.

See you next Sunday. Hope you found . . . You know the drill, Dona says "Post it! I'm tired!" Next week, we'll pull from what we couldn't do this week. The Lynne Stewart sentencing is important and we'd pushed back that editorial over and over. Having done that, we really wanted to devote time to it.

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

Editorial: Don't let Lynne Stewart be isolated

Lynne Stewart. Do you know the name?

Lynne Stewart was born October 8, 1939 which means she'll be celebrating her sixty-seventh birthday this fall. Where? That's really up to you.

This grandmother, who is recovering from breast cancer, could be celebrating the day with friends or family or she could be celebrating it behind bars. Stewart, an activist and attorney who has dedicated her life to public service, is accused of what?

Here she is, in her own words, discussing the February 10, 2005 conviction with Laura Flanders on The Laura Flanders Show (February 12, 2005; later to become RadioNation with Laura Flanders):

Lynne Stewart: In May of 2000, I visited my client, the government listened in on this entire visit. . . . however, they never moved to prevent anything. I took out a press release . . .
Laura Flanders: . . . you took one from your client and brought it to the press?
Lynne Stewart: Exactly. . . . he asked me to make a press release. It was a call placed to
Reuters -- hardly clandestine, hardly secret, hardly secret taking it out since they were videotaping and listening to the entire thing. And this indicated that his personal opinion had changed from being in favor of a cease fire to withdrawing his support. But he also went on to say that he was not asking for a stop to it, he was not calling for an end to it.

What law did Lynne Stewart break? None. There's no law. Congress passed no law. Lynne Stewart's looking at prison for failure to comply with a (vague) guideline (one the courts should seriously examine for legality and vagueness).

Lynne Stewart is a felony convict for . . . breaking a guideline. One forced on her if she wanted to continue representing her client. What was her greater duty? To her client or to a guideline and, again, the legality of that guideline needs to be examined.

There are other aspects to the case as well. In a February 18th, 2005 op-ed, Andrew P. Napolitano ("No Defense") noted:

But if the federal government had followed the law, Ms. Stewart would never have been required to agree to these rules to begin with. Just after 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft gave himself the power to bypass the lawyer-client privilege, which every court in the United States has upheld, and eavesdrop on conversations between prisoners and their lawyers if he had reason to believe they were being used to "further facilitate acts of violence or terrorism." The regulation became effective immediately.
In the good old days, only Congress could write federal criminal laws. After 9/11, however, the attorney general was allowed to do so. Where in the Constitution does it allow that?

Janeane Garofalo (The Majority Report, February 16, 2005) and Gerald Lefcour discussed the implications:

Janeane Garofalo: I would say that the Lynne Stewart case is largely symbolic, in that the government would prefer that you are frightened, as an attorney, from defending unpopular clients.
Gerald Lefcour: No question about it. And, not withstanding the fact that I would be the first on the soap box to urge my brothers and sisters to continue representing unpopular clients, I know in my heart of hearts that anybody who has a family and something to protect . . . You know freedom is nothing left to lose, but if you have something to lose, you're a little nervous about being aggressive and zealous in representing unpopular clients and that is the message. You're absolutely right, Janeane.
[. . . ]
It is a scary time and I, as an attorney, am worried about people getting the representation that they need if they oppose government activity. It's a . . . You're either on their side by saying things that they like, or you're an enemy and it's just, as you both know, I haven't said anything that we haven't witnessed depending upon who's speaking.

Among other issues involved in the conviction are the facts that (August 2005) a juror witheld information during the selection process and a second juror publicly spoke out about pressure she felt from other jurors to vote "guilty" and that she was identified, during the trial, as someone who was not yet on board with the guilty verdict.

Elaine Cassel addressed issues with the jury pool prior in Ocober, 2002:

Without warning, Stewart was taken out of her home and arrested. Attorney General Ashcroft then staged a press conference within hours of her arrest. The same night, he appeared on David Letterman's show, to assure viewers (and potential jurors, it seems) that the "terrorist" lawyer was guilty as charged.
The basis for the prosecution? Communications Stewart made with and about her client, a convicted terrorist for whom she was court-appointed counsel for his trial and whom she continued to represent in post-conviction matters.

Law and Disorder (which airs Mondays on WBAI at ten a.m. EST, as well on other stations) hasn't 'covered' Lynne Stewart's case. 'Covered' is too weak a word. They have discussed developments and they have weaved this case into discussions whenever similar issues arose while discussing other topics. (One example of many would be the March 13, 2006 discussion with Paul Craig Roberts.) Most recently they featured a two part interview with Lynne Stewart (airing originally July 24th and July 31st). As Michael Smith noted, it was a show trial. One in which, as Heidi Boghosian observed, Osama bin Laden's photo was displayed. (Lynne Stewart:
". . .on a screen that was probably twenty feet high and then saying but that doesn't apply to Ms. Stewart"). This was a show trial where the government, while insisting no connection existed between Lynne Stewart and Osama bin Laden, repeatedly inserted bin Laden. Does it remind you of the 'suggestions' they used to sell the war on Iraq? It should.

They played their fear card. The only card in their deck. You can be scared. You can be scared and silent. But there are times when something happens and it's never forgotten. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's convictions aren't forgetton (nor their executions). A miscarriage of justice, one that gets attention (even if that attention is fawning) in real time, doesn't go away.
This case of Lynne Stewart matters today and it will matter in ten years and in twenty and in
. . . You'll be asked about this. Maybe by your children, maybe by young people who didn't live through it. You'll be asked, "What did you think? What did you do?"

Save yourself the embarrassment of having to respond, "I didn't know what to think. So I did nothing." Form an opinion. Stopping sitting on the fence. This case has implications beyond Lynne Stewart, implications for our justice system, implications for the legal profession. It will not be going away. Several very vile things took place: legal conversations between lawyer and client were listened in on by the government, a guideline (Special Administrative Measures or "SAM") was created by the executive branch (which can't pass laws) that attempted to interfere with and interpret a lawyer's duty (a duty, defined by them, at odds with the ABA's own definition), Lynne Stewart was convicted of breaking a guideline . . . by sending a press release to Reuters.

Reading that right now, you may laugh because it's so absurd. That's why the government couldn't try the case in a traditional sense. They couldn't say, "Lynne Stewart did this and as a result these actions followed." They certainly couldn't accuse her of acts of terrorism. So instead, they tried to tie in 9-11 and Osama with visual aids and statements while, as an aside, always noting that Lynne Stewart's case had nothing to do with either.

Apparently Lynne Stewart needed to be convicted because we couldn't "afford to wait for a mushroom cloud"? There's about as much reality in the case against her as there was in the case for war on Iraq. The government's case against Lynne Stewart was/is a joke on almost every level. But the conviction and the fact that the government's advocating a possible sentence of thirty-years (for this sixty-six-year-old woman) should be very sobering.

Judge John G Koeltl has discretion. He can sentence thirty years (as the government wants), he can sentence probation, house arrest, probation with community service. We don't think Lynne Stewart needs to spend one day behind bars. We think the conviction is a travesty. The judge has the power to mitigate the tragedy. He has that power. He should use that power because if he doesn't, he's just a rubber stamp for the executive branch, he's not a member of a co-equal branch of the government, he's just one more lackey. He knows the case. He knows the many questionable aspects of prosecution's presentation, he grasps the difference between a law and a guideline. He's an intelligent man who can step up and earn his place in history or he can take the path of infamy and be a rubber stamp. We wouldn't be at all surprised if there were outside pressures being brought to bear on him by the government, it happened in the Rosenbergs' case. But he has discretion and he has power. He should use them.

You have power too. On the July 31st broadcast of Law and Disorder, they addressed the need to show that Lynne Stewart was not isolated. She has support. You can demonstrate that. You can sit around in silence, or you can demonstrate your beliefs and use your power. You can send the message that you support and stand with Lynne Stewart.

You can do this in any number of ways. You can write Judge Koeltl. Never written a judge? You can find an example (PDF format) online. You can then send the letter to:

The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
350 Broadway
Suite 700
New York, NY 10013

When Lynne Stewart stands before him for sentencing, they'll present the letters.

Stand before him for sentencing? At the United States Courthouse on Pearl Street in New York, New York on September 25th at 10:00 a.m. If you're able to be there, you can send another message that she's not alone, that she has support.

The day before the sentencing (Sunday, September 24th), you can go to a rally for Lynne Stewart held at the Riverside Church (490 Riverside DriveNew York, New York -- times and events not yet announced).

The executive branch is pushing for a thirty-year sentence. If there's silence, it wouldn't be at all surprising if the executive branch gets what it wants. That certainly happened with the shoving through of the Patriot Act. Will Bully Boy notch up another 'victory'? That's up to you at this point.

From the July 31st broadcast of Law and Disorder:

Dalia Hashad: There's no sense of fairness here, it's about who you can get most easily to send out a strong "watch what you say watch what you do, you better be on our side or we're going to squish you."
Lynne Stewart: This administration that wants to know everything about all of us and yet has put up such a wall for us knowing anything about what they're doing or what's going on.

That's pretty clear and has been for sometime. Lynne Stewart is someone the Bully Boy needs to step on to demonstrate that he is all powerful and that allegations (not evidence) is all that matters in his non-reality based world. You can stand against the travesty and the tyrany now or you can wonder, many years on down the line, why you didn't do something?

It's your power and you shouldn't abdicate it. In the words of Dalia Hashad (linking the Stewart case to the illegal, warrantless NSA spying on American citizens and much more):

The question I keep asking is when is it going to be enough? What do they need to do next? Does George Bush need to start knocking down our doors and start telling people individually they will then be next? I mean what needs to happen for us to wake up?

The wake up call is sounding. You can hit the snooze button, roll over and go back to sleep or you can use your power. Once more citing Andrew P. Napolitano "No Defense:"

Ms. Stewart's constitutional right to speak to the news media about a matter of public interest is absolute and should prevent the government from prosecuting her. And since when does announcing someone else's opinion about a cease-fire -- as Ms. Stewart did, saying the sheik no longer supported one that had been observed in Egypt -- amount to advocating an act of terrorism?
In truth, the federal government prosecuted Lynne Stewart because it wants to intimidate defense lawyers into either refusing to represent accused terrorists or into providing less than zealous representation. After she was convicted, Ms. Stewart said, "You can't lock up the lawyers, you can't tell the lawyers how to do their jobs."

[This editorial was written by the following: The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ils);Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz; Wally of The Daily Jot and Ruth of Ruth's Report. We also would like to note that WBAI's Wakeup Call regularly features Lynne Stewart as a guest -- a weekly guest.]

TV: Grey Enemy

The enemy of my enemy is my friend? That's the Arab proverb, right? So we (Ava and C.I.) should be thrilled with Grey's Anatomy. It's a successful show that, in the fall, will go head to head with all things Bruckheimer (CSI) as ABC and CBS duke it out (and NBC sits it out though no one at that network appears to have grasped that -- they didn't grasp that Joey was a dog that needed to be put down immediately either).

A genuine scripted show (no Deal or No Deal) going up against the Ikea-self-assembly-required that spawned a franchise, how could we not root for it? Add in that we know a number of people with this show (those who've been bugging us to take a look were warned ahead of time about this review), how could we not like it?

Life is strange.

Sometimes the egg you think is boiled isn't.

And sometimes the yolk gets all over you.

Putting all your eggs in one basket isn't a good thing.

Unless it's Easter.

Life, like bad narration, can sap you of all your energy.

If the above excited you we'd suggest that a) you really need to put down those Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul "books" and b) you watch Grey's Anatomy until life slaps you hard enough that you grasp the difference between babble and insight.

If bad narration does it for you, ABC has a show for you.

In her best little-Dana-Plato-stoned-but-hoping-no-one-notices voice, Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) offers up wit-free non-observations such as this:

At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing.

It's like one day you realize the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed.

Only slightly different? Honey, get a life. Deep thoughts for the ones writing "too true" in the margins of Who Moved My Cheese?

Call that strike one. Fortunately the voice overs tend to book-end the show so, unlike How I Met Your Mother, they don't constantly butt into the storyline. They're annoying as hell. They're the scripted equivalent of the news crawl. The people behind them either don't trust the audiences' ability to grasp the point or their own abilities to make a point so they layer on more and more dialogue. (Hard to believe, with all the excess chatter on TV today, that the "moving pictures" were once so successful without any spoken word at all.)

Strike two? Try strikes two and three. The show's setting is a teaching hospital and we follow young interns (in, you know this is coming, love) learning about medicine. You need to grasp that because there's no evidence that the characters (or writers) have. Oh, they've grasped it enough to have the characters shown learning medical techniques; however, that's about all they seem to have grasped.

If that confuses you, congratulations, because you can probably write for this show. If that confuses you and you already write for this show, you owe some apologies.

Question: Who goes to a teaching hospital?

Who is willing to have a gaggle of interns parade past their bedside shooting out questions that they frequently don't seem too involved with or interested in the answers to?

It's usually lower income people. A lot of them may be uninsured. We get that point. There's no evidence that the writers do. Their ignornace is brought home loudest in a first year episode where a woman with a fifty-pound tumor is treated like crap.

Oh, they put on their fake faces when they know she can hear but only then. Intern Alex (played by Justin Chambers) gets into trouble for commenting on her girth, wondering how she can live with herself and much more. Now no one corrects his attitude, he's just in trouble because the patient heard. If you don't grasp that, you need wait only minutes before others are making similar statements (as Alex himself points out).

The woman will explain, later in the episode, that she is scared of hospitals, that everyone she knows who goes into one dies (she will die as well). Now why do you supposed that is?

Why do you suppose that an obviously lower-income woman would know a hospital only as a place of death? Could it be because the people she knows, the people in the same financial circumstances, don't have the money to go to the doctor for every ache and pain -- so they wait and wait, maybe try to self-medicate with something over the counter?

For a medical drama (even one trying to blend in comedy and romance while piling on the soap) not to grasp the care situation in this country calls into question every element of the show. This really offended us so let's be clear on this and walk through slowly.

This woman had a tumor. You may be used to the 'realistic' portrayals of doctors who think she brought it on herself by smoking. You might be prepared for that kind of lecture and mouth foaming. This woman didn't smoke.

This woman ended up with a tumor, a fifty-pound tumor. There's no concern for her, there's no concern over how she ended up with it. There is blame. Blame that she didn't immediately go to a doctor. She didn't know it was a tumor, she thought it was weight gain. She clearly couldn't afford regular medical care (like so many in this country who have to use the ER as their primary care). There's no indication of awareness on the part of the characters. That's the interns, that's the teaching residents.

That's strike two and three. ER blazed a trail by being aware of the world around it. Grey's Anatomy prefers to be, like Meredith in the midst of surgery repeatedly staring up into the observation area at her lover, oblivious to medical realities.

So it's not that surprising that the show's come under fire from the medical community for a variety of reasons. Insulting nurses was one. Lack of professional conduct was another -- which might refer to when resident Derek (played by Patrick Dempsey) loudly discussed glow-in-the dark condoms with his intern lover Meredith in the midst of a busy hospital hall or possibly it had to do with the screaming Derek got, in front of others at the hospital, from his wife (yes, his wife) Addison (played by Kate Walsh) about his apathy. There are hundreds to choose from, pick your own. There's also objection to what some see as a Ripley's Believe It Or Not approach to case histories (which may include the removal of a pole that's gone through two bodies or may include the fact that Meredith had been drinking shots prior to reporting for that surgical procedure).

On the latter, fortunately what passes for "news" on ABC can be readily enlisted to vouch for ABC product. For instance, on March 20, 2006, Nightline provided infomercial time for Grey's Anatomy. Clearly, product was the most important story in the world. It's not like it was the anniversary of the illegal war in Iraq, or that 45 people had died the day before (Sunday) in Iraq, or there weren't two press reports breaking over the weekend leading up to the Monday show about US troops allegedly killing Iraqis (Haditha and a village near Balad), or that former Iraqi prime minister (and puppet) Allawi had told the BBC the day before "If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is." Oh wait, all of that did happen. And Nightline was focusing on a TV drama/comedy/soap.

Instead of addressing those issues, Nightline attempted to Happy Talk it through the racial diversity Grey's Anatomy supposedly offers. Ourseleves, we see a lot of White. We see it in the patients, we see it in the extras, we see it in the cast. We see their "efforts" with regards to race representation only slightly better than their Texas casting. You have three African-Americans (one of whom has a love life that's portrayed on the show) and you have a Korean-Canadian. That's four people of color. Two more people of color than they have cast members from Texas. (Water Cooler Critics, we've told you for almost two years now that this is a trend!) (You also have a Latina that strikes us as a minor character.)

The remaining characters (with active love lives)? White. The big love triangle, White. This is a soap, a weak one, but if you didn't catch on that this was daytime drama airing in prime time by the first episode, you should have caught on, first season, when a "dramatic" ending featured the line, "And you must be the woman screwing my husband."

If you somehow overlooked that and you actually watch the show, exactly what did you think the "I will save the man I love and steal him a heart!" storyline involving Izzy (played by Katherine Heigl) and Denny was?

We'll give them credit for casting people of color, we just wouldn't devote a Nightline episode to it (even on a slow news day). This is your basic mid-eighties type show -- cast wise. It's not an advancement. Or, to put it in medical terms, it may stop the bleeding but shouldn't it be doing that without any pats on the shoulders? Broadcast television recognizing and responding to the fact that America is not 100% White strikes us as basic -- first aid, not heart surgery.

What does the show have going for it? It's fast paced. The actors are all performing on different pages, but they do a a good job within their characters. (And the confusion in the 'raw drama' versus 'melodrama' performance from actor to actor may have something to do with the confusion over what the show is supposed to be -- we'd order up a psych consult for the writers.)

Sandra Oh (who plays Christina Yang) and Katherine Heigl repeatedly surprise and thrill with their choices. Chandra Wilson's delivery and body language pour life into the one note character of Miranda Bailey.

But we're back to the question of whether or not the enemy of my enemy is my friend?


But we don't accept, as a rule, that the enemy of our enemy is our friend.

Sometimes, it's just another enemy.

Maybe Grey's Anatomy will help put the CBS franchise to rest? Maybe not. We don't have a dog in this fight. If we haven't spelled it out for you, one viewing of Grey's Anatomy should drive the point home.

Thoughts on liberalism and realism

In the current issue of The Nation (August 14/21), Eyal Press attempts to explore realism and liberalism with "The Left Gets Real." Spanning five pages in the magazine (not counting ad space), it attempts to cover a great deal.

Press rightly notes the way some on the left have gotten all moist in their delicates (be they boxers, panties, thongs, BVDs, what have you) over Brent Scowcroft and others. Scowcroft and Henry Kissinger as poster boys for the left is shocking -- the sort of behavior that should require mailed warnings to alert the neighbors. But the topics he's attempting to address need further space than the magazine's issue provides. Reality of realism and liberalism require further column inches.

Realism doesn't just shrug at human rights or just ignore them, it allows administrations to get in bed with countries taking actions that are an affront to notions of humanity and citizenry. "Hardcore realists," Press writes, "consider human rights a peripheral concern, at best." The realism practiced by Kissinger and Scowcroft isn't summed up in that sentence. (Press may be attempting to be kind as well as attempting to fit the exploration into the alloted space.)

That realism doesn't, for example, look at South Africa under apartheid and say, "This is wrong, we shouldn't be partners with them." Nor does it look at it say, "This is wrong but by being partners we can influence the outcome and eliminate apartheid." (We're referring to the practice, not the sop tossed out to attempt to mitigate public disgust. And we're basing this on both our own observation and studies as well as speaking to three people who served in the Reagan administration and two who served under Bush I -- one of which served under both.) "That is not our concern," would be the argument. The concern would not be with the country's domestic situation but with what it can do for or provide to the United States.

That is the behavior that many pundits (you can probably think of a few names) refer to as "grown up" such as in sentences like, "Back when the grown ups were in charge . . ." They're considered "grown ups" by gas bags because they are bottom-liners (where the bottom line is always the US economy). "Grown up" was the term used to batter the Clinton White House long before Paula Jones found her ride to fame. It had nothing to do with sex scandals, the revulsion announced as the first inauguration approached and gas bags rushed in to offer "advice." Coming into power promising programs the voters had endorsed left much of the Beltway reeling. (Advice? Boiled down as to forget the voters.)

The gas bags appeared to feel "order" had been restored when the Supreme Court installed the Bully Boy. Press argues that Bully Boy does not present as a "realist." We'd agree with that. We'd also note that his late-life conversion appears to have resulted in some messianic zeal.

Press feels human rights language has been co-opted by the Bully Boy. We'd agree with that. Laura Bush's radio address to cheer on the war on Afghanistan was a prime example. Laura Bush presented an administration determined to improve the rights of women. That was the tail end of 2001 and, in 2006, there is no improvement for women in Afghanistan.

Co-opting the language to sell the action (usually war in this administration's case) they want devalues human rights. It empties the power of the language not only of meaning but, when the effects of the action are clearly seen not to have improved human rights and not to have been concerned with them, also leaves human rights as one more grandstanding pose that can be used to trick and fool resulting in real efforts to improve human rights being lumped in with the psuedo-ones.

One issue we have with Press' article is the presentation (implied through title and text) that the left is undergoing some new transition when, in fact, this transition has been occurring for the last forty years. Somewhere around the time Mission Impossible first started airing in the sixties and when the show was cancelled, America really began to wake up. The idea that the US was not "Cops of the World"* was not an uncommon belief. (Though Press might dismiss the awakening of being that of "radicals.") This awakening is similar to what's happening for many with regards to Israel's current aggressions (for many, not for enough, sadly). Presently, America has been a bit more interested in occupation because of the illegal one in Iraq. Connections are being made.

In the sixties (we loosely define that as from the death of JFK through the resignation of Tricky Dick), connections were being made as well as a result of a host of movements going on in this country. The women's movement and the Black Power movement are two examples where people grasped that leaving it to the 'well meaning' White boys wasn't going to result in much. As those two movements questioned and exploded, the issue of who decides became a big one.
History, sociology, anthropology, and other fields addressed (and were addressing already) issues of self-decision that began to find an audience eager for more than "We decide, you abide." The country was led to by two presidents who felt they knew better than people (LBJ and Tricky Dick), better than the facts, better than anyone. "Who decides?" became a serious issue.

Tariq Ali is labeled a "radical" by Press and we're led to believe through context, intentionally or not, that Ali's view (expressed in an e-mail for Press' article as: "There can be no such thing as a 'positive U.S. foreign policy agenda'.") is a view he's recently arrived at which isn't the case. This isn't a post-9-11 view. This view is a common thread throughout Ali's speeches and writings from the sixties through today. It's reflective of an awakening going on in that period both domestically and internationally as the results of US foreign policy were strongly critiqued.

Connections were being made, awareness was being raised. Some movements (such as the Chicano movement and the gay and lesbian rights movement) realized that to count on the day when the White-boy-led movements might devote needed attention to their issues was to continuing waiting in vain. The awareness of imperialism and oppression wasn't just an awareness of what went on outside the United States.

We live in the wake of that awareness. (We're not sure readers of Press' article will grasp that.)
It's why many (though not The Nation) question the absurdity of "framing" when the "frame" is, as is almost always the case, defined for, of and by White boys. The "framers" early on pushed Bill Cosby as the "father figure" we should be going for. Apparently forgetting that people were aware of the real life scandals, that a backlash began against Cosby among some African-Americans when Lisa Bonet found out that job and motherhood did not go hand in hand in the land of Cosby and that the 'humorous' bumbling nature of Cliff Huxtable wasn't exactly demonstrating a fully functional adult. But that's how it is when "frames" are created by a select group intending to appeal to many (ask Karen Hughes). There's no need to get the input from, for instance African-American mothers outraged over the firing of Lisa Bonet (from A Different World) and what that firing implied about the almighty Cosby's attitudes towards their own lives?

Framing's the new hula hoop and, as Elaine noted last week, "I'm guessing only Frances Moore Lappe and C.I. will ever question the wisdom of this decade's hula hoop ("framing") and what happens to women's issue when a "frame" is created by men, for men and of men? I guess that's not something that will be addressed? We'll just have to live through the damage much as we live now through the damage of Reinventing Government (the previous hula hoop)."

"Framing" is pushed as the "new" answer. It's really not that different than schooling on sound bytes or, for that matter, a journalistic "angle" to hang a piece on, but it's being pushed as "salvation" and "new." It will end up shutting out the same groups that always get shut out (in terms of their issues and in terms of the audience included in the message). Is it idealistic or just plain stupid?

On that note, the realist view could be summed up as: "America's bottom line is the financial health of the United States and that trumps issues of human rights. For the United States to have any impact on the world scale it must place the needs of its business institutions ahead of all else."**

The two previous sentences reflect the views of the five who served in the administrations of Regean and Bush I. (As one stated, "We were businessmen.") Realist? Idealist? It's promoting an interest that they feel is most pressing. Those advocating various options in response to violations of human rights could argue that the US has the most global power when it is seen as a beacon of freedom and concerned with human rights.

But even setting aside that argument, the truth is that conservatives have often acted out of an interest in human rights. There were conservatives who truly believed that human rights would be improved by preventing what they saw as the Soviet menace/encroachment. Conservatives have always had their lofty goals and those efforts weren't confined to religious goals.

The difference, according to the five, is that realists kept idealists in check in the two previous Republican administrations. Human rights were bottom of the list, when on the list, and, said one, "If the landscape changed mid-mission, that issue [human rights] could and would be dropped. It wasn't a driving force." Or, as another put it, "It was 'Sure, sure, we can stop at the toy store on the way home.' But when we hopped in the car, we just wanted to get home. The babies who squawled before and were told 'Dry it up' are now the ones charting the course."

Another issue we think needs further exploration is with what Press terms "humanitarian intervention." Though never defined exactly, it appears to include 'spreading democracy' (in very vague terms) and, due to examples, military intervention. That's it? Those are the options for those who believe in human rights?

'Spreading democracy' could be the idealistic reason of those (right and left) who foolishly supported the Reagan administration's efforts in Latin America. Those efforts included death squads, torture and much more. We see nothing democratic about it.

Whether it's military intervention, funding overthrows or what have you, the principle we support is self-determination. We think one tremendous achievement (only one) of the sixties was the realization that "My wants" may not be "Your wants."

We see the revulsion that greets those of advocating for others such as in the case of the recent Mexico election where gas bags took to the airwaves and print immediately after the election, gas bags not voting in that election. We were promised proof of fraud, tremendous proof of election fraud and, as Elizbeth DiNovella pointed out, the proof finally offered was, at best, underwhelming. (DiNovella and Matthew Rothschild explore the issue in greater detail in an interview for Progressive Radio.) We've seen a shout out over a recent article on a 2004 election in Oaxaca promoted as protests against the most recent election. We've seen outside forces attempt to drive and control the debate. We've seen precious little coverage of what the average Mexican thinks. As protests go in the seat of Obadore's power (and only there), we aren't surprised that the same gas bags telling us we should be outraged are still up to the same tactics. Tactics, it should be noted, that included Naderizing the Zapatistas who, for the record, neither ran a presidential candidate nor are a presidential party. As DiNovella pointed out, there actions of sitting out this election were not new actions on the part of the Zapatistas.

When a gas bag wants to denounce the Zapatistas for conducting themselves the same way they always have conducted themselves and furiously blame the turnout on them, we think the gas bag's not able to clearly report or even "report" on the situation. If the election is to be challenged, it will need to come from the people of Mexico, not from gas bag outsiders, whatever their personal motives.

We're thinking of one gas bag in particular who took to print and the airwaves to argue the importance of this election as if it were the most pressing one in Mexico. (We'd argue the continued acts of violence against women in and near Juarez, which has gotten much less attention, is much more pressing.) He seemed to be attempting to fan flames of outrage (while providing nothing resembling reporting) and that's actually at the heart of the "intervention" we see so many calls for.

We don't see that as idealism for human rights or anything, really, other than what we'll term "buttinsky thought." It's aided domestically by the need for 'swift action.' You can see it in the cries of "Do Something" and "Act Now." Such cries to action usually come with very little details and, what little is offered, gives the most recent description of an issue with a long history. We're no more fond of the buttinsky strand of thought than we are of the realist school.

We're certainly not fond of the ones who would reduce options for the crisis in the Sudan down to military intervention (while compressing the long history of events even further). We've offered our position on that: if you feel it's a crisis, you should be working to get those in jeporady out. [See "Darfur" and "Head on Home (a musical in four scenes)."] Intervention into the genocide that took the lives of six millions Jews, the lives of gypsies, dissidents, gays and lesbians and more was long in coming. A lot of people turned a blind eye to the genocide. More lives would have been spared if asylum efforts had been made. We find it appalling that attempts of asylum by those currently suffering were rebuffed by Israel. The nation-state created after WWII should understand the importance of asylum more than any other.

But instead of cries for that, we got (in the US) snappy, peppy placards, at peace rallies no less, saying: "Bring the troops home [from Iraq] and send them to Darfur." In light of Mad Maddie giving sanctions a bad name and Bully Boy setting a tone of nonstop, continual violence, it often appears that the only solution certain groups (right or left) can advocate is military intervention.

Though we doubt Press intended it as such, the article comes at a time when the left already has cause to feel distorted. Peter Beinart*** is making the argument that the left needs to get in touch with, stroke and finger it's inner Oppressor in his new book that provides soft lighting and a porono soundtrack to US actions in Nicarauga. Beinart wants to play Tough Boy and imply that those who won't are "soft." He's far from alone. (Evan Blah, Hillary Clinton and assorted other War Hawks also play the Tough Boy card.)

To focus on another issue, we'll turn to Iraq. The six of us responsible for this site as well as all participating in the editions have advocated for a withdrawl of US troops from Iraq and allowing Iraqis to determine their course. Site wise, that goes back to our first edition, community wise that goes back to the creation of The Common Ills, thought wise, it's in keeping with the principles we were raised to believe in and act upon: self-determination.

We don't believe the US has the right to go in and impose their ideas of democracy (or their claims of democracy) onto another country. That means we're opposed to the Bully Boy's current plans for Cuba (and appalled that some on the left have endorsed those aims). We look at Haiti and see a case for how each changing (US) administration has attempted to impose its will upon the country. In some cases, that meant the democratically elected Aristide could rule but always with a strong (US) hand on his shoulder.

We're also aware that it's not just Pat Robertson calling for action against the democratically elected Hugo Chavez, it also includes purported lefties (such as slimey Simon Rosenberg).

We think the greatest threats to democracy in the world come from those like Mad Maddie who fail to grasp how they've disgraced themselves and still sit on "think tanks" and committees devising ways to "help" and "aid." The biggest threat to democracy, our opinion, comes from "thinkers" who see the world as an experimental lab for the United States to test out their pet theories. (Naomi Klein laid out the harm done by "thinkers" run amuck, in a country that mistook for their own playground, brilliantly in her "Baghdad Year Zero" article for Harper's magazine.) Speaking of Mad Maddie, it should be noted her own profit motive gave cover to James Baker's actions (as outlined by Naomi Klein in "Bush special envoy embroiled in controversy over Iraq debt" and "The Manchurian cover-up" -- yes, we're suffering Klein withdrawal while she finishes her upcoming book for others suffering withdrawals as well, we'd urge that you read Antonia Juhasz' The BU$H AGENDA: Invading The World One Economy at a Time).

We see idealism in realism, despite their denials. The idealism that places the interests of US businesses (really multi-nationals) as the determining force in US interactions. ("Interactions" is putting it mildly.) We're sure our own thoughts/beliefs are equally idealistic. We don't argue that they're not.

Nor have we argued that war is never an option. If and when war is needed, by all means utilize the military (and note, that this piece isn't about when or if it is needed -- if our readership**** needs clarification on that, we'll do a future piece on that topic). But the military is too often the first resort and too often utilized for activities that it's not suited for (either in inherent character or training). In addition, the aims/goals of whichever administration are too often garbed in lofty rhetoric that denies reality more so than the absence of reality in the plans that Americans learn of much too late.

We think Press raises some important issues and, given more space (we're eager for a book), could address all the above. We're not sure that we'd agree with him but we think compressing schools of thought down to two schools (loosely defined on both of the two sides) and forty years of global awareness down to five pages (with ads) does his argument a disservice and that, provided more space, he might raise many of the issues we are raising.

*"Cops of the World" is a scathing critique ("Lyndon Johnson plays God") of US foreign policy written by Phil Ochs and appears on his 1966 album Phil Ochs in Concert.
**Before setting up the five calls, C.I. stated that we needed to have something the five could agree to without reservation so that they felt their opinion was noted (and so C.I. didn't have to hear about them being wronged in phone calls). After the first series of calls, we came up with two paragraphs. The two paragraphs were whittled down to two lines based upon their input. After they'd verbally signed off on the two sentences, they were e-mailed the the two sentences and responded they were still in agreement that the sentences conveyed their belief. One added, in an e-mail, that this was one core of their beliefs and we're noting that here. The other four signed off without reservation.
***C.I. knows Peter Beinart (and will defend the person if not his ideas or ideals) and Rebecca's met Beinart through her in-laws.
****Our readership. Not the drive-bys, not the cranks. We saw a lot of e-mails from them, didn't read any, and laughed that they were so touched by "A Sense of Purpose" that they were moved to write in. We saw the site Mike has dubbed "Lotta Links" provide shout outs to
writing that seemed to pick up (very obviously) on points made here by Ava and C.I. and on the importance of whack-a-mole that C.I. outlined. Picked up on, though not credited. We love Ava and C.I. too and realize they're usually far ahead of the curve. They're also usually far in front of the lazies who seem to have difficulties figuring out what to post about until after reading Ava and C.I. (This article was actually built around the opening paragraph of the TV commentary Ava and C.I. started last weekend but put on hold to address Primetime.) Though the pickers are obviously "fans," we don't consider them our readership either. For any wondering, it's been repeatedly noted that all involved read The Nation (most subscribe). For any wondering why there's no link to the article -- it's not an oversight. We're aware of something else that's not an oversight and so are community members (who drew it to our attention). Naomi Klein's writings on Baker & Albright appeared in The Guardian before The Nation and when we were attempting to figure out how to link to them, C.I. remembered that fact -- so community members who missed Klein's reports in real time should feel free to utilize the links.

Beltway Babies

Beltway babies sing this song
Beltway babies all day long

Go on and on all night
Go on and on all day
It doesn't matter
What they say
Even they must
Know it's that way

They blather on recklessly
Spit it out fecklessly

Beltway babies sing their song
Beltway babies always wrong

Pooh-pah all the day long
Pooh-pah all the night long
Always the same old song
Never admit they're wrong
Who bet on these nags?
Who bet on these nags?

[Loosely to the tune of Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races."]

Recognizing Resistance

We'll give credit to Truth Out for posting Ana Radelat "Thousands of Troops Say They Won't Fight ."

Swept up by a wave of patriotism after the US invasion of Iraq, Chris Magaoay joined the Marine Corps in November 2004.
The newly married Magaoay thought a military career would allow him to continue his college education, help his country and set his life on the right path.
Less than two years later, Magaoay became one of thousands of military deserters who have chosen a lifetime of exile or possible court-martial rather than fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"It wasn't something I did on the spur of the moment," said Magaoay, a native of Maui, Hawaii. "It took me a long time to realize what was going on. The war is illegal."
Magaoay said his disillusionment with the military began in boot camp in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where a superior officer joked about killing and mistreating Iraqis. When his unit was deployed to Iraq in March, Magaoay and his wife drove to Canada, joining a small group of deserters who are trying to win permission from the Canadian government to stay.
"We're like a tight-knit family," Magaoay said.
The Pentagon says deserters like Magaoay represent a tiny fraction of the nation’s fighting forces.
"The vast majority of soldiers who desert do so for personal, family or financial problems, not for political or conscientious objector purposes," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the Army.
Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. But the Army says numbers have decreased each year since the United States began its war on terror in Afghanistan.

We were extremely excited when one of us saw it.

"This can be the Iraq topic for this issue!" we said excitedly discussing the story. " This can be . . ."

And then C.I. said, "That's not a new story."

Yeah, yeah, C.I. usually knows all about the resister's but this new article has information that everyone may not . . .

"No, that Gannett story itself, it's not new. It's from the middle of last month."

Us against C.I.'s memory? A losing battle usually but we were prepared for the fight!

"It's in the snapshot in the middle of July. 18th or 19th."

It's the 18th:

Another Hawai[i]an, Maui's Chris Magaoay, is interviewed by Ana Radelat (Gannett News Service) who takes a look at war resistors who leave the armed service. Magaoay enlisted in 2004 and "[l]ess than two years later, Magaoay became on of thousands of military deserters who have chosen a lifetime of exile or possible court-martial rather than fight in Iraq or Afghanistan." Magaoay, who went to Candad this year, tells Radelat, "It wasn't something I did on the spur of the moment. It took me a long time to realize what was going on. The war is illegal."

Way to blow our Sunday, C.I.!

But seriously ("Seriously!" insist Ava and C.I. noting they're reviewing Grey's Anatomy this edition and "Seriously?" is a constant on that show), we'll applaud Truth Out for obviously attempting to keep the story of war resisters (and the war) on one of the front burners. (That's not a backhanded compliment. We all read the snapshot and we had forgotten the story so it obviously bears highlighting again. And we're very serious about Truth Out keeping the war in Iraq on one of the front burners -- one of the few to do so.)

So what then?

How about this:

Desmond Doss died in Alabama on March 23,2006 at age 87. He was the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. As a Seventh Day Adventist, he was ridiculed, teased, and harassed for being a CO, for refusing to train on Saturday (the Sabbath) and for praying. He was a medic who refused not only to carry weapons but also to train with them.
In May, 1945 on Okinawa, after his unit encountered a barrage of Japanese mortar and rifle fire, Desmond Doss was stranded on an escarpment with about 75 wounded GIs. Working slowly and doggedly under continuous enemy fire, Doss dragged each man to the edge of the cliff, tied him in a rope sling and lowered him to safety. One by one, he rescued them all. Two weeks later, in another bitter fight, Doss rescued his badly wounded company commander, Jack Glover, who stated, "He saved my life. The man I tried to have kicked out of the Army ended up being the most courageous person I've ever known. How's that for irony?"

That's from The Objector's July issue (PDF format).


We're thinking of Ehren Watada who has an Article 32 hearing scheduled to begin on August
17, 2006. Watada is the first (known) commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. He thinks the war is illegal (as do we) and he can outline why. (Reasons similar to the ones Pablo Paredes offered in his own hearing, with backing from expert witness, attorney Marjorie Cohn.)

Watada has offered, for the third time, to take punishments other than court martial (including
"reprimand, fine and reduction of rank"). The military has had no response (the offer's been made twice before and turned down).

Courage to Resist and have called for a "National Day of Education" on August 16th, the day before Ehren Watada would be due to "face a pre-trial hearing for refusing to deploy to Iraq." ThankYouLt.Org notes: "On August 16, the day prior to the hearing, The Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada are calling for a 'National Day of Education' to pose the question, 'Is the war illegal?' This day can also serve to anchor a 'week of outreach' leading up to the pre-trial hearing."

At this stage in the war, it shouldn't be hard to mobolize on this. Or for the protests of the September 21st weekend. Provided they get attention. That doesn't happen when Iraq's not noted.

On the Truth Out link, C.I. notes that a friend from grad school, now at Gannett News Service, was the tip off for that story and it was running in very few papers ("I'm almost positive it was less than ten and it may have only been one"). And notes that Truth Out's exposing an audience to it that never saw it. "At least initally, it wasn't widely linked" based on information the week of the article.

Hopefully, people new to the article will see it and pay attention. Again, the people have turned against the war, War Hawks have turned against the war (Thomas Friedman in Friday's New York Times). But the headway made by the peace movement and reality doesn't matter if no one's paying attention.

Fogged In

Out in the sun where your skin sticks like gum
And the sweat bleeds
Fogged in.

Pesos and dimes, cervezas with limes, try some
And the air beads
Fogged in.

The mist rolls in like waves over the harbor
Memories float back from the time robber
From the time robber
From the time

Plenty to see, you're waiting for me
And the space melts
And the cards dealt
Fogged in.

Summer Tour Not To Miss

Susan e-mailed to ask what tour we recommended this summer?

The one that has us most excited? Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are touring the US through the end of September. We've all got our tour tickets and (six of us already saw one performance and we have tickets to another date on the tour).

In October and November, they go to Europe.

Some of the dates are already sold out, so get your tickets early if you're planning on attending. And check out Both Sides of the Gun which hasn't left our CD players since it came out.

Throw your hands up to the sky
And scream I'm not alone
Is it irony or fate
Don't become what you hate
We've all got stardust in our bones
Get it like you like it . . .
-- "Get It Like You Like It," written by Ben Harper, off Both Sides of the Gun.

10 Tracks That Got Us Through Last Week

In no particular order:

1) Ani DiFranco, "Both Sides" (Like I Said)

2) Neil Young, "After the Garden" (Living With War)

3) Dar Williams (Ani DiFranco on additional vocals), "Comfortably Numb" (My Better Self)

4) Ben Harper, "Happily Everafter In Your Eyes" (Both Sides of the Gun)

5) Jefferson Airplane, "Crown of Creation" (Crown of Creation)

6) Jack Johnson, "Better Together" (In Between Dreams)

7) Nina Simone, "O-H-H Child" (Here Comes The Sun)

8) The Actors Fund of America, "The Flesh Failures/ Let The Sun Shine In" (Hair)

9) Diana Ross, "Young Mothers" (Anthology)

10) Michael Franti and Spearhead, "Time To Go Home" (Yell Fire)

Bully on the Run

Cindy Sheehan's turned the Bully Boy into a Bully on the Run as he avoids his usual lengthy stay in Crawford now that she's a neighbor. To the tune of Wings' "Band on the Run." [Available on the CD Wingspan (Hits & History) and elsewhere.]

Safe inside these four walls
Safe inside my bubble
Don't want to see no one nice again
Like you, Cindy, you, Cindy, you.

If I ever get to Crawford
Gonna' sleep it all away
Like a bad hangover
Won't you protect me, Secret Service, if I get to Crawford?
(If I ever get to Crawford).

Well, the movement exploded like a thunder clap
In the summer of 2005
From the first Camp Casey to the second one
She was ruining all my fun.

Bully on the run, bully on the run
And the Secret Service and FBI
They're searching ev'ryone
I'm the bully on the run, bully on the run
Bully on the run, bully on the run.

Well Condi clutched her head and sighed
At what the Mid East had become
And Dick Cheney took to the chat & chews
Snarling "cut & run!" ("cut & run!")

Bully on the run, bully on the run
And the Secret Service and FBI
They're searching ev'ryone
I'm the bully on the run, bully on the run
Bully on the run, bully on the run.

Once I could clear the brush and tell a joke or two
It was a quiet town.
Then the camp set up and they were ev'rywhere
Now no peace can be found.

Bully on the run, bully on the run
And to tell the truth, I hold a grudge
And what's more, I'm pissed and sore
I'm a bully on the run, bully on the run
Bully on the run, bully on the run.

This first appeared, last week, at Kat's Korner (of the Common Ills). Since Kat, Jess and C.I. wrote it (two of which are Third Estate Sunday Reviewers), we're posting it here.

Under Reported: "Terrorist Cell That Attacked Medical Facilities Sentenced!"

From the Feminist Wire's "Woman Sentenced to Six Years for Attempted Clinic Bombing:"

A Louisiana woman was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for leaving an incendiary device outside of a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana last December. Patricia Hughes, 25, pleaded guilty last month to leaving an ignited Molotov cocktail bomb near the entrance of the Hope Medical Group for Women. The bomb consisted of a bottle filled with gasoline, a rag, and a candle. It caused minimal damage to the clinic and did not interrupt the clinic's services.

"Terrorist Cell That Attacked Medical Facilities Sentenced!" scream the headlines. Oh wait, they don't. In fact, few have reported this at all. (Hughes' boyfriend just turned 19-year-old boyfriend was found guilty for his role in the attack -- driving the car -- hence the use of "cell.") Christa-terrorists? No. No nonsense labels (the way the government provides for so-called "eco-terrorists.")

Girl meets (younger) Boy. Girl likes Boy. Boy likes Girl. They hate the world. He drives, she tosses the lit cocktail bomb. And for those two wacky kids in love? "The prosecution prosecutors agreed to disregard a prior burglary conviction that would have increased her sentence."

Hear about it? No? Medical clinics (and caregivers) have long been targeted with attacks. Bully Boy didn't have much to say on this. (Maybe because Sam Donaldson wouldn't shut up about Mel Goodman?) Maybe you heard of it, but we think it was one of the most under reported stories of last week.

Humor Spotlight: Wally on Bully Boy's Plans for Cuba

Wally tackles Bully Boy's plans for Cuba.










Recommended: "Iraq Snapshot"
"And the war drags on"
"NYT: 'U.S. General Says Iraq Could Slide Into a Civil War' (Thom Shanker)"
"Not much tonight from me"
"Iraq and global warming"
"Thursday finally"
"Bully on the Run"

Ruth's Report

This is Ruth's Report from last Sunday.  If you're looking for her report this week, stop.  We brought her in for our editorial this week.  (Thank you, Ruth.)

Ruth's Report

Ruth: Friday, the news our group focused on primarily from Iraq was that the 172nd Stryker Brigade was not coming home, that the Bully Boy's vague noises about a few troops coming home were revealed as more weasel words hoping to persuade a nation that, despite the news from Iraq, things were a-o-k.

We took those events and compared them to the war we lived through many, many years ago: Vietnam.

We made comparisons. Such as Dick Cheney's laughable attempts to silence criticism of today's illegal war by saying those who criticize are aiding terrorists, soft on terrorism and the many other smears. We wondered whether the Democratic Party is uninformed, historically ignorant or just bound and determined not to make waves?

Vice President Cheney's attacks, and the attacks of others in the administration, are not surprising, nor are they new. February 1972, H.R. Haldeman says critics of Tricky Dick's so-called "peace plan" are aiding the enemy. We talked of all the nonsense about that so-called peace plan, such as the fact that as early as 1969 it was being accepted at face value as was Nixon's claim, 1969, that the North Vietnemese were the obstacle.

Year after the year, Nixon made noises of a peace plan and, year after year, the war dragged on.
He used terms like "Vietnamization." Bully Boy does not use that term but he uses the same plan. Nixon swore peace was just around the corner and, via Vietnamization, US troops would be able to come home, just as soon as they had trained the South Vietnemese and just as soon as the South Vietnemese were up to the task.

For instance, Nixon spoke of that in January, 1972. Dot remembers it well, it was the day of her son's second birthday. She spoke of how, even though she was against Nixon, as she found herself trying to ice the cake, too soon so sections of the top were coming off, hearing his "six months" bandied about, and thinking, "Okay, the war is going to end." January 25, 1972.

There was the eight-point "peace plan" of May 1969. There was always talk of a "peace plan" and the war went on, day after day, American and Vietnemese losing their lives, but always the talk of "peace" coming out of the White House, always the false promises.

We spoke of how "Vietnamization" was actually started by LBJ. We wondered how many people hearing Bully Boy's empty words that the troops would come home as soon as the Iraqi forces were trained and security was, bit by bit, turned over to them, flash backed to Nixon or LBJ? Remembered those days and the encouragment some found in those words that never did pan out.

They were never meant to produce results of that kind. Their intended result was to lull the American people into thinking the White House had a plan, the White House was interested in ending the war, and that this would happen shortly but be patient.

When people look back on Vietnam today and wondered how the war managed to last so long, those empty words, intended to lull a nation into complacency, were part of it.

So all these years later, when most of us thought that our country had learned some lessons and we would be spending these "golden years" in peace, we instead find our country once again caught in a war of its own making, once again being counseled to be "patient" and to realize it is a slow process. Yes, illegal wars often are a slow process.

So the question we wanted to take from our Friday meeting was, "Do you know about Vietnamization?" We wanted to take that question back to our families and see how many remembered those earlier days of false promises meant to lull the people into accepting the continued killing and dying, the continuation of an illegal war?

Grabbing at a window of time, I called C.I. Saturday afternoon and said the report could be posted as I had e-mailed but I thought I might have something to add. I do. Most of our childen and the majority of our grandchildren really do not grasp this. A few times, some have heard "Vietnamization" with regards to Iraq but they have not heard it explained. So this is what I have to add: If you lived through that time and you remember it, do not make a sentence comparing the two and think the people you are speaking with grasp what you are talking about.
What we have found is that most of the people who nod think you are just talking about the fact that Nixon claimed we would be out when the South Vietnemese could secure the country. That is it only in the broadest sense. They are not aware that this 'promise' began shortly after Nixon took office, that it was regularly presented to the people as a 'peace plan' and for two terms, granted he did not complete his second term, Nixon tried to use it to lull a weary people into a sense of false hope.

There was no plan. Nixon had no plan. Vietnamization was not a plan. He did not even come up with it, LBJ gets blame for that. But that "plan" was no doubt the "plan" when the US first went into Iraq. It is not a plan for ending a war. It is a plan for continuing one. As long as Bully Boy promotes this "plan" today, there is no real plan. The "plan" is the same one he invaded Iraq with. It is over three years later, countless lives later, and the "plan" that will allow US troops to come home is the same "plan" that would have allowed it when the illegal invasion began.

Three years later, as Iraq has spiraled into chaos and violence, he has no new plan. He has no way to adapt. He may not want to. He is being stubborn and sticking with the original "plan" not looking at changes on the ground and rethinking.

The troops do not come home under this "plan." During Vietnam, this "plan" never brought the troops home. The only thing that ends the war, is the American people demanding that it end.
Accepting that a non-changing plan is somehow reason to trust a leader is being foolish.

Again, if you lived through that earlier era and remember it, please share it with the people you know. Please make sure they grasp that it is not just that it is a similar "plan" that Nixon and Bully Boy offered, but that Nixon offered it over and over throughout his time in the White House. It did not bring the troops home in 1969 and the troops did not come home under Nixon at all. Nixon resigned in 1974. The troops were still in Vietnam.

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Blog Spotlight: Cedric discussing Iraq, Law and Disorder and Three Cool Old Guys

We've got time so we're noting two posts from Cedric this week. 

Law and Disorder, Three Cool Old Guys, Iraq

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills)
Chaos and violence continue in Iraq today, August 4, 2006 and one of the locations is only a surprise to those not paying attention to yesterday's (US) Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. There was a key section that was
apparently missed by several. Mosul's one of today's hot spots so let's draw back to this exchange from yesterday's hearing:
Senator John McCain: So, General Abizaid, we're moving 7,500 troops into Baghdad, is that correct?
General John Abizaid: The number is closer to 3,500.
[. . .]
McCain: And where are these troops coming from?
Abizaid: Uh, the troops, the Styker Brigade, is coming down from Mosul.
McCain: From Mosul? Is the situation under control in Ramadi?
Abizaid: Uh, the situation in Ramadi, is better than it was two months ago.
McCain: Is the situation under control in Ramadi?
Abizaid: I think the situation in Ramadi is workable.
McCain: And the troops from Ramadi came from Falluja, isn't that correct?
Abizaid: I can't say senator, I know that --
McCain: Well that's my information. What I' worry about is we're playing a game of
whack-a-mole here. We move troops from -- It flares up, we move troops there. Everybody knows we've got big problems in Ramadi and I said, "Where you gonna get the troops?" 'Well we're going to have to move them from Falluja.' Now we're going to have to move troops into Baghdad from someplace else. It's very disturbing.
transcript of this (Congressional Quarterly) can be found at the Washington Post. For audio of the above (most), check out Leigh Ann Caldwell's report which aired on Thursday's The KPFA Evening News and Free Speech Radio News.
Mosul? That's where the 172nd Stryker Brigade (scheduled to be back home before their year deployment got four additional months added to is) was pulled from, Abizaid testified.
Reuters is reporting: "Heavily armed insurgents battled U.S. and Iraqi troops in the restive northern city of Mosul on Friday where at least four policemen, including a top officer and four militants were reported killed."
That is the "strategy" (being generous) and it's the very point McCain was making yesterday. (McCain generally uses that type of observation to support adding more troops to the slaughter, I believe the troops themselves add to the conflict.) The exchange was not heavily stressed in most reporting but McCain was outlining what currently passes for "strategy" in Iraq -- a "strategy" that once again (always) blew up in the military geniuses' (and the administration's) faces.
BBC notes that the US announced last week the withdrawal of 5,000 troops "to re-deploy them in the capital, Baghdad". AP places the figure at 3,500. China's Xinhua notes that "Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, has been a bastion of insurgency against U.S. and Iraqi forces since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003." Reuters reports that, in Mosul, "authorities have ordered everyone off the streets until Saturday and closed the city's bridges across the Tigris river."
AFP notes that, today, "Mosul woke to a dawn blitz of six bombs and a hail of mortars which killed at least nine police officers and triggered a six-hour gunbattle in which an unknown number of insurgents were killed." One bomb, Reuters notes, resulted in the deaths of "police Colonel Jassim Muhammad Bilal and two bodyguards". The Times of London estimates that, in Mosul alone, 24 people died today from car bombs of various kind.
AFP reports a man was shot dead in Amara. The Associated Press reports that two police officers were shot dead in Falluja and describes one of the incidents: "armed men attacked several government buildings and police patrols in central Fallujah at about 8:30 s.m. (0430 GMT), leaving a policeman dead and two others wounded".
AFP notes that a couple enroute to a hospital in Baquba for the impending birth of their child were killed by a roadside bomb (cab driver and mother-to-be's sister were wounded) and that, in Baghdad, a civilian was killed by a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol. Reuters reports that a bombing in Hadhar, during a football game, resulted in 10 dead and 12 wounded. A police officer described the attack ("suicide car bomber") to the AFP: "He drove into the police guarding the pitch, and blew up." KUNA notes of the attack on the football game: "the football field was for the use of Hadhar policemen and police department staff only."
CBS and AP notes one corpse was discovered (in the country). AFP notes the interior ministry declared twelve corpses were discovered in Baghdad. The AP notes that six corpses were found in Kut with "four of them decapitated".
In court news,
prosecutor/Captain Joseph Mackey delivered his closing argument in the Article 32 hearing of Corey Clagett, William Hunsaker, Raymond Girouard and Juston Graber, who stand accused in the May 9th deaths of three Iraqis. Mackey argued that the three Iraqis were not killed while trying to escape but had, instead, been released by the four US troops and then killed by them, "For this they are not war heroes, they are war criminals. And justice states that they face trial." As Reuters notes, all four accused elected not to provide testimony to hearing (the military equivalent of a grand jury).
In Australia, the inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco continues.
Eleanor Hall and Conor Duffy discussed the latest development's on The World Today (Australia's ABC) noting that "military standing orders" were not followed with the transportation of Jake Kovco's body (contractors with Kenyon International were used instead) and that, while the Australian government alleges this was for speed, Jake Kovco's roommates say it was due "to cost and they told the inquiry that they thought that if it had been a foreign dignitary or even a more senior officer, that military aircraft and US military morgue would have been used throughout the whole procedure."
For anyone arriving late to this story and wondering why Kovco's destination back to Australia matters, Kovco's body was somehow switched and the body of Bosnian Juso Sinanovic was sent to Australia while Kovco's body remained at the motuary.
AAP notes that Alastar Adams ("first secretary at the Australian Embassy in Kuwait") testified that "he had not checked the photo against the corpse of a Bosnian carpenter . . . he had taken a quick look . . . told the mortuary staff they could close the coffin and stamp it with the embassy's official seal."
AAP also notes the following which appears to back up Kovco's roommates' judgement: ". . . air force warrant officer Chris Hunter told the inquiry he believed the body mix-up could have been prevented if the civilian morgue had not been used. He said Pte Kovco's body was transferred from a professional and clean mortuary facility in Baghdad run by US troops to a rund-down morgue remsembling 'a third world country hospital'. WO Hunter stopped eight of PTE Kovco's soldier mates, who had accompanied the boday as a bearer party, from entering the morgue, fearing they might start a riot upon noticing its condition."
In court news in the United States, the
Justice Department is announcing that Faheem Mousa Salam "has pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by offering to bribe an Iraqi police official" at the start of this year by offering "approximately $60,000 in exchange for . . . [help] facilitating the sale of approximately 1,000 armored vests and a sophisticated map printer for approximately $1 million." Though the Justice Department fails to note it, he was then employed by Titan Corporation.
In peace news, Phil Runkel is in "a federal courtroom in Alexandria" today facing "a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of $5,000 for his war protest last March"
reports Dennis Shook for Runkel and other peace activists (51 in total) were arrested March 20th in front of the Pentagon. Brian Huber (GM Today) notes that the activists were wanting to meet with Donald Rumsfeld and that some climbed or went "under a temporary fence that Runkel said was erected to stop them, resulting in their arrests."
Activists on the
CODEPINK and Global Exchange sponsored trip to Amman, Jordan --including Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Medea Benjamin, Tom Hayden and Diane Wilson -- have arrived in Amman. Cindy Sheehan (Truth Out) reports: "The most horrifying testimony of the day was when we met with "Dr. Nada," an Iraqi doctor who stayed in Baghdad to help her people during the sanctions and the invasion. She didn't abandon her country, or sell it out like many privileged people who exited during the Baathist regime (like Iyad Allawi or Ahmed Chalabi) or the sanctions ... which she, as a supervisory physician at a major Baghdad hospital, said killed two million children. The children died of pollution and sicknesses from depleted uranium during the first gulf mistake of George the First. The babies died because of the war, but also because there is no medicine and very limited medical facilities to treat them. Dr. Nada brought the daughter of a friend, three-year-old Farrah, who had short brown hair and big brown eyes. There were so many young children playing in Queen airport yesterday when I got here and dozens running around the hotel. My heart almost bursts with sorrow when I think of all of the children in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan who have had such horrible lives and had many of their lives cut short by the evil war machine that seems to be running our world."
Troops Home Fast continues ("We will keep the fast going until September 21, International Peace Day, when there will be a week of mass actions against the war")
with at least
4,350 people participating from around the world on the 32nd day since the action began. Some are fasting long-term, some are grabbing a one-day, one-time fast, some are grabbing a one-day fast each week. More information can be found at Troops Home Fast.
Michelle Tan (Army Times) reports that Ehren Watada will likely face an Article 32 hearing August 17th because Eric Seitz's pretrial offer of a "reprimand, fine and reduction of rank" has not yet been accepted. As noted before, this offer was twice refused. Courage to Resist and are calling for a "National Day of Education" on August 16th, the day before Ehren Watada would be due to "face a pre-trial hearing for refusing to deploy to Iraq." ThankYouLt.Org notes: "On August 16, the day prior to the hearing, The Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada are calling for a 'National Day of Education' to pose the question, 'Is the war illegal?' This day can also serve to anchor a 'week of outreach' leading up to the pre-trial hearing."

Okay, check your morning paper and see what made it in and what didn't. That's pretty much what you need to know minus some items that might have broken later. Dona woke me up this morning and apologized for that saying she figured I was already up or wouldn't have called. I usually am up early but I'd forgotten to set the alarm clock so no harm, no foul. But one thing she pointed out was that it took an hour and a half for the snapshot to hit The Common Ills site yesterday. (It's e-mailed in.) They were all meeting with different groups yesterday so it was an "on the fly" entry for C.I. grabbing a few minutes here, a few minutes there, and then hoping there was enough (there was) and sending it in. They were done and went back to C.I.'s and the first thing Jim's doing is checking to see if it hit. It didn't but a few minutes later it had. Point? If you read it when it hit or in the first half-hour after, "C.I. scooped Associated Press." That's how long it took AP to get a story together (or maybe notice) that the guy with Titan had pled guilty. So see, you get breaking news in those snapshots. I told Dona I'd mention that.

The main reason she was calling was to see how my discussion group on Iraq went last night and if we'd watched the film Sir! No! Sir! Not having the film, it would be difficult to watch it, I told her. She said it must have came late. I go to the front door, open it, and there's a package. I've written before about how C.I. has friends bring packages to me because anything that's shipped never seems to make it (or, if it does, looks like it's been stomped on, opened, stomped on again).
I'm glad Dona called because while I have good neighbors for the most part, this woman down the hall has her nephew visiting and he's always grabbing papers and flyers off doors.

Sir! No! Sir! is a great movie. When we were all out in California, we got to see it at a movie theater. It's out on DVD now and if you can watch it by yourself, I think you'll enjoy it but I think you'll enjoy it even more if you watch it with a group of friends. We're going to watch it next Friday in my discussion group (I've made a unilateral decision -- don't call me the Bully Boy). After that, I'll start loaning it out to friends at work and in church. I think I'll take it over to the nursing home before Friday because Three Cool Old Guys are really interested in seeing it. They can remember those days (during Vietnam) and they asked about it before I saw it (C.I. mentions the documentary all the time -- all the time -- at The Common Ills) and after I got back from California, they wanted to hear about. In fact, I may try to drop it off with them tonight. If I do that, I probably won't be able to watch it with them (or watch all of it) because we've got the latest edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review to start tonight but besides watching things on their own time, they do have a Saturday night "movie night" at the nursing home and, thanks to Three Cool Old Guys, everyone there has heard of the film. Okay, I've decided, I'm dropping it off. I have to run to the hardware store later to get some things (my grandmother's sink's leaking) and I'll run by the nursing home and drop it off with them before I get started on my Saturday project. They're going to be so excited and, I'm guessing, they'll probably do a shout out to it or maybe a review in next Friday's gina & krista round-robin.

By the way, they're big celebrities now. This week, I took two co-workers with me to visit them because their columns in the round-robin get everyone at work talking. So Micis and Kendall wanted to meet them. I knew Three Cool Old Guys would love that. They get a lot of visitors now.

If you know my old site on blogdrive, you probably remember that it was Four Cool Old Guys and when my friend died I had some really strong words for his family. I don't regret what I wrote. It made some of them mad but, oh well. On the plus side, it's made the families of the three remaining a lot more aware and they visit now. They also visit because Gina and Krista added some of them to the round-robin mailing list. So they read that and it probably reminds them, "I haven't visited" but it also probably reminds them that Three Cool Old Guys aren't just sitting around going, "Remember when . . ." They're a part of this world today and they have thoughts on what's going on. One of their sons was visiting when I took Micia and Kendall by and made a point to say that what I wrote when it dropped from Four to Three really woke him up.

That's good because you shouldn't do that to your family, just dump them somewhere and forget them. Yes, they've got other people around but you're supposed to be there family. Thinking thirty minutes at Christmas and maybe a birthday card is keeping in touch is just crap.

Now that they're online, they're able to keep in touch with grandkids via e-mail and I know that meant a lot to them but I was also worried it might become "Well, I e-mailed! I don't need to go visit!" but that hasn't ended up the case. They've each got at least one grandchild that visits every week. They're so popular now that most Sundays, at least one of the three isn't there because he's having Sunday dinner (that's lunch after church) with his family.

You can see the difference too. They look younger now. They've got more energy.

I knew them because they go to my church and I started visiting because our pastor was talking about how we really had members who came to church and that might be it for them in terms of going out or being around people. My pastor and his wife paired some of us up with some people and I think I was lucky and blessed to have gotten paired up with them. I don't just consider those men friends, I consider them good friends. I feel really lucky to call them my friends.

I've got a lot to do today but I want to note Law and Disorder. Mike's noting it too. It airs on various stations but you can catch it online Mondays on WBAI at ten EST or after via the WBAI archives or you can listen at the show's website if it doesn't air in your area. The segment I'm writing about is from the Amnesty International meeting in Portland. There was a lot on the show but this was probably my favorite (after the segment we're going to talk about at The Third Estate Sunday Review). Dalia Hashad was interviewing various people who attended. You got to hear the thoughts of people like you and me.

There was a woman who has a brother serving in Iraq and she spoke of how if she wasn't doing something and he died over there she'd never be able to live with herself. That was pretty powerful. There was a man who spoke about how we needed to get the Republicans out of office and how, once the Democrats were in control of Congress, we needed to stay on their backs to make sure they did their job.

I think that was the thing I indentified most with. Listen, if you haven't, because you might identify with something else. But for me, that was the biggest. A year and a half ago -- I can tell you when, it was before I found The Common Ills, I would've had the idea, "Elect them and then we've done our part."

That's not the reality. You elect them and, even if it's someone who wants to the right thing, you then go to sleep, they're hearing from everyone else but you. How do they know what matters to you? The right-wing's very organized and if you're staying silent on something, but they're hearing the opposite view from the right-wing, they may think, "Oh well, I won't take a stand here because it's not what my constituents want."

Now that's with the good ones and I'd guess that there might be about 30 good ones in both houses combined. The rest of them? Bums. But they're our bums so we have to stay on them and make them remember that they're not there for big money, they're in office to represent "we the people."

They've done a really poor job of that, I think. The next few years, whether they get control of Congress or not, it's going to be put up or shut up for the Democratic Party. So listen and see if you don't hear some voices talking about how you feel. Also listen to the voices saying things you're not thinking about yet. I really love that show.

Carl does to and he e-mailed with a question and a comment. His question was why I didn't note it the week before last (or Mike or Ruth)? Ruth's Report is really focused on Iraq now. She loves the show and usually listens every week. But the show that aired the last Monday in July (week before last), I missed it. So did Ruth, so did Mike. We were all in Mexico because we'd gone there for a few days for Rebecca's wedding.

I got a heads up Friday morning before hand. Rebecca's someone I'm close to (I'm close to everyone but Rebecca and I probably keep in the most contact -- that's true even with her on her honeymoon). But the reason she gave me a heads up (and swore me to secrecy) was because I would have to ask for time off from work to go. She gave the same heads up to Betty. I thought everyone got it and we were all just putting together the edition and not talking about it. That wasn't the case. When we were down there, Betty let it slip but didn't know she was letting something slip. Rebecca ended up explaining that with so many staying with C.I. and knowing Elaine and C.I. would, and could, drop everything to be down there, she didn't worry about them. She did check with Wally's mother to make sure he didn't have anything big going on but didn't say why she was checking. Mike works part-time, and goes to college, but Rebecca knew his boss wouldn't have a problem with him leaving. (She also worried that too much heads up time for Elaine would mean Elaine would barely be there. She'd start looking at her patient schedule and trying to arrange it so she could do both -- see her patients and dart down to Mexico for the wedding.) So we were all down there. (Ruth had her grandchildren Eli, Tracy and Jayson with her.)

When everybody got back, we were all worn out. (What day did Rebecca get married? A few have asked that. It's in the round-robin. If you have to ask, you don't need to know. C.I. and Rebecca's mother-in-law both felt that wasn't anyone's business outside the community. We have enough lurkers and stalkers -- especially Rebecca.) I never did catch that episode. C.I. has caught it and we got a heads up to it. If I have time today (ha ha), I'll listen to it. But we missed it in real time.

Carl's comment was that Heidi Boghosian had done a great job the last few weeks as "anchor."
I agree with that. They've had recorded segments of talks, discussions, people on the street, etc. All four of the hosts, Hashad, Boghosian, Michael Smith and Michael Ratner, are attorneys and activists. It's summer and I bet some probably need some vacations as well. So instead of them four being together for the full hour, they've had segments and Boghosian has been the person introducing the segments. Carl wanted to be sure she got credit for that and I agree with him she deserves it. Law and Disorder is the show and if you haven't listened to it, try it out.

Last thing. Goeff Brady is the producer so while we're doing a shout out to Boghosian, we should probably give a shout out to him as well. (And they had Phil Ochs' song again. I love that song.)

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