Sunday, October 16, 2011

Truest statement of the week

This movement should not allow itself to be co-opted by partisan political hackery. If Obama or Democrats were the answer, then, guess what? We wouldn’t be here today. The wars would be over; the 99% would have single-payer health care, housing, education, a sustainable energy policy, and meaningful jobs with a livable wage as RIGHTS not PRIVILEGES for the 1%. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Republicans in power either—I want US in power. Just like we are today, but I want we the people calling the shots in a meaningful way that changes corrupt and harmful policies, and that will take not only going out of the parks and into the streets like we are today, but staying there and taking breaks to strategize about the society we want to build: One where the resources of our country are used to guarantee basic human rights to EVERYONE, not just the one-percenters.
Speaking of the wars, the Obama (president to the one-percent) regime has continued the Bush crime cabals' wars and has added at least five more military miss-excursions on top of those: in Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and now Uganda -- make no mistake about it, the US is waging World War Three in its global war OF terror around the world and the economic and social justice we seek cannot be achieved without complete and unconditional peace.
Just here in our state of California, our “wonderful” Democrat Governor, Jerry Brown, has forced cuts in essential services and exorbitant and unfair increases to university fees, while California has sent 148 billion dollars to the US government for its war OF terror -- that’s almost 15 billion a year for the past insane 10 years.

-- Cindy Sheehan, "My October 15th Remarks At Occupy Sacremento" (Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox).

Truest statement of the week II

The goal, of course, is to keep the attentions of African Americans and unionists focused on the Republicans and their Tea Party annex, as opposed to Wall Street, with which the administration has been intimately entwined from day-one. Therefore, the Democrats are the most clear and present danger to the Occupation Movement, because their entire purpose is to negate the central message: that Wall Street controls both parties, all three branches of government, and most social discourse in the United States. Republicans growl on the sidelines about “mobs” and “anti-Americanism,” with little effect. But the Democrats aim to divert the movement into nonexistence, to reduce it to (warmed over) Obama groupies and snuff out its potential in the bud.


Truest statment of the week III

So like every other Western reporter, Anjal Kamat never saw any “mercenaries,” just their oversized bullets. She never saw any mass graves of the hundreds or thousands allegedly killed by Khadaffi's “heavy machine gun fire” either, or that would be on Democracy Now too. It's not. Nobody's located the thousands of wounded survivors either, that must have been the result of shooting into crowds killing hundreds of people, and none of this has stopped Democracy Now from carrying the story just like Fox News or CNN or MSNBC.Something is really wrong with this picture. We have to wonder whether, at least as far as the war in Libya goes, whether Democracy Now is simply feeding us the line of corporate media, the Pentagon and the State Department's rather than fulfilling the role of unembedded, independent journalists.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Are Democracy Now!'s Libyan Correspondents Feeding Us the State Department and Pentagon Line on Libya?" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another late Sunday.

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

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

What did we come up with?

Cindy Sheehan explaining the need not to be co-opted.
Glen Ford also explaining the need not to be co-opted.
Bruce Dixon. Our apologies because he should have gone with last Sunday's edition. We had planned to explore Democracy Now in a feature and note Dixon's remarks there. It was one of the features that never even get worked on and then we didn't think of the quote for truest. This was an important article by Dixon and when we realized we'd not noted it in any way, we'd just posted the note so it was too late. We include it this week and urge you to read Dixon's article in full. For those keeping track of truests, with this one, Dixon becomes the first one to ever be included after the week has passed. He will probably be the only one with that achievement.

Susan Faludi pops up all over this edition. That wasn't planned. Dona, Ty, Ruth and Marcia were assigned to pick this week's book out of our list of 67 books from the last ten years that mattered. They worked on that Wednesday through Friday. They made the decision Friday but didn't share it. In the meantime, Mike, C.I., Wally and (via phone) Ann were running (Ann was walking) Saturday morning when Wally and Ann were talking about journalist I.F. Stone having both just finished a collection of his writing. After they finished it, C.I. noted that "all journalists lie" was only half the story, the other half included a lot of people want to be lied to. Mike hollered, "That's an editorial!" And it was. We all got on board with the idea when Mike pitched it. Another note on this editorial. I had a long piece on Danny Schechter that needed a major edit. C.I. asked if we had time for an edit? She also said I might want to condense it to one paragraph and drop it into this editorial. Due to time limits, I did just that. I am aware that a paragraph is not an article and that, intentionally or not, C.I. rescued Danny's fat ass yet again.

Next week, Ava and C.I. would like to take on the program featuring a performer with the worst eye make up on all of prime time. Barring any other developments, they will. They were planning to hold off on Charlie's Angels for a few weeks more but then came the announcement at the end of last week that it was being axed. So they grabbed it instead. Jody e-mailed wondering about other planned pieces? Don't hold them to it because there are things that come up -- they almost chucked Charlie's Angels to take on last night's dreadful Saturday Night Live -- but they have plans for Prime Suspect, The Secret Circle and Pan Am in the next few weeks.
This week's pick for the ten most important books of the last ten years. For those keeping track, this is book four. There are six more picks left. This is the first pick of a book that we'd done a book discussion on previously.

Our only Iraq feature. First off, the questions are from real advice columns and, except for changing "Abby" to "Mooki," we made no changes. The links go to their appearance in real advice columns. We'd planned this feature and two others on Iraq. What happened? AP keeps insisting that all troops are leaving Iraq. Even though the White House and Pentagon are denying it. C.I. shared at The Common Ills what her friends in the White House, State Dept. and Pentagon say, that the deal is not off (deal to keep US troops in Iraq). She also insisted that we not cover that here saying, "I'm happy to go out on limb on this but I don't want to have it here."

As she rushed to call others racist, Canadian Marie Josee Godbout didn't seem to grasp the racsim she was expressing herself. It was deeply, deeply offensive and especially to Betty who hails from Georgia.

Law & Disorder did what everyone should have been doing. As the week continued, you saw other programs copying Heidi Boghosian and Geoff Brady's lead.

US Senator Patty Murray on veterans employment.

A Workers World repost.

Mike and the gang did this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: A lot of people want to be lied to

Muckraker I.F. Stone famously pointed out, "All governments lie." He may have been too kind to point out the obvious, "A lot of people want to be lied to."

During the last ten years in the US, we've seen a lot of governmental lying, probably kicked off with the false assertion that, "They hate us for our freedoms," certainly including the many lies used to sell the Iraq War and the continued embrace of Corporatist War Hawk Barack Obama.

Last week, it was Uganda Barack was sending US troops to. Yet still some cling to the lies that swallowed and that they spat out to help elect Barack.

Take the insufferable Danny Schechter.

"The Hot Topics Dumpster"

Beyond Middle Aged and still thinking he's a Young Turk, his biggest self-deceptions is that he's fooling anyone. Knocking limp dicks with the likes of Todd The Toad Gitlin on his radio show in a pretense of covering the Occupy Wall Street movement (Toad, as WSWS has pointed out, is attempting to hijack the OWS for Barack's electoral prospects -- Danny waives in, always), or knocking limp dicks at the refuge of all the foul sexist pigs, or just continuing to live off the work of women, Danny repeatedly lies not just about what Barack stands for but about what he himself does.

What he mainly does is insist, when Democrats aren't in the White House, that he doesn't care who's in power and, when Democrats make it into the White House, offer non-stop excuses for them (at one point, apparently attempting to rise to the post of cleric in the Cult of St. Barack, Danny had Barack being held hostage and brainwashed and threatened by the Pentagon to excuse away Barack's actions). When that doesn't work out so well, he'll rush to tell you how awful the Republicans are.

That 'logic' is as insane and useless as Schechter himself. It's as if you're saying, "Republicans will rob you at gun point and have bad breath, Democrats will just rob you at gun point." Either way, you're still being robbed.

In The Terror Dream, Susan Faludi addresses a number of cultural lies we, in the United States, have always told ourselves and surely there's never been a great self-lie than the one that we are good but the other is bad. For the last year, Bob Somerby's done strong work on the modern usage of that lie, of that tribalism. In fact, this work has become even more important than his work on the 2000 election or his work noting the conservative bias in the media. This is lasting work on a topic worthy of a book -- a book that could be a building block for future generations.

Because to break free of either/or, of the notion that we must embrace out of fear, of the false belief that we have to Oprah is and say "yes" to get along, we're going to need some serious building blocks.

The media lies. Yes, it does. I.F. Stone and Ida B. Wells and so many others who came before noted that. And twenty or so years after they note it, they're embraced in some form. And the media shake its head with a rueful smile over the way things were back then.

Back then.

Always back then. In the safe and distant past.

The problem was back then.

Things are fine right now.

That's the lie we tell ourselves and that's how we get screwed over repeatedly.

In his work on tribalism, Bob Somerby's been the only one to note what he's dubbed "the math" of the Occupy Wall Street movement. 99% to 1%. 1% benefits, 99% is screwed means that those being screwed over outnumber those benefitting and that alliances and education could take place among the 99%. As Somerby pointed out Friday:

Question: Are you part of the 50 percent? Or could you be part of the 99? The newer math of the Occupy movement is built around some fairly obvious points. For example, everyone is getting looted by the oligarchs -- red and blue voters alike. Everyone pays too much for their health care; everyone's salaries stagnate.
But you can't explain such facts to other people if you're convinced, going in, that they are simply not part of your tribe.
You can't approach the 99 percent with a dogmatic 50 percent mindset.
Tribal tribunes love the idea that the world is red and blue, Us against Them -- that the true math is 50/50. Tribal tribunes have always loved this most ancient pre-human idea. And tribal tribunes have always found ways to undermine any wider perspective.

Tribal tribunes have always found ways to undermine any wider perspective. Again, it's a book. It's an epic theme. It's putting his media criticism skills to work with his training in philosophy.

It's a real education.

And it's needed because while there are always some who will choose to be lied to, there are others who have simply not been shown how the whole thing actually works. As with the 99%, you might not be able to pull all of them together, but if you do work required to communicate, you should be able to get a majority of that 99% willing to work together on some issues.

[Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Hot Topics Dumpster."]

TV: Charlie's Convicts

In Susan Faludi's Backlash, she reports on the failed Angels 88 -- an attempt to relaunch Charlie's Angels in 1988 and explains that the women were changed from "thirty-two-year-old police academy-trained detectives (their original status in Charlie's Angels) [. . .] to unemployed actresses in their early twenties who just fall into police work and bungle the job." She quoted Aaron Spelling defending the change and stating, "That's what makes the show funny -- that they are supposed to be doing it by themselves and they can't! They are incompetent!" That Angels '88 (whose stars would have included Tea Leoni) never made it onto the airwaves was a heavenly blessing, that Charlie's Angels 2011 did was a demonic disappointment.


The reboot got the axe last week from ABC which had been attempting to kick start Thursday nights with the program. The networks were giddy with backlash fever before the fall season started. The Playboy Club was going to be T&A with a healthy does of sexism (it met that promise and became the first new show of the season to get the axe), Pan Am was going to be a soap opera with 'sexy stews' (like the 2008 Boeing-Boeing revival but with pathos filling in for comedy) and Charlie's Angels which eventually took jiggle TV to levels Angie Dickinson could only dream of.

While Playboy Club was outright sexist, Charlie's Angels had a higher goal but never achieved anything and failed in every way a show can fail.

Take the set up which was wrong from the start. While Angels '88 turned the Angels into idiots, this year's reboot turned them into crooks, convicted crooks. One was a cat burglerer and probably supposed to bring to mind Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief. That might have worked. A similar device had been used successfully with the Robert Wagner series It Takes A Thief. Team her up with two former police detectives and you could have some interesting character conflicts. But it was decided they were all crooks.

Victor Garber, providing the voice of Charlie, explained in the debut, "Once upon a time there were three young women who got into very big trouble. The first was a Park Avenue princess turned thief. The second was a Marine decorated for valor court-martialed for a deadly mistake. And the third was a dedicated police detective turned dirty cop. They each made mistakes but I gave them a second chance and now they work for me. My name is Charlie." By the second episode, the introduction had changed to, "Once upon a time, there were three young women who got into very big trouble, now they work for me. My name is Charlie."

That didn't take back the "dirty cop." Sorry no one figured it out, but "dirty cops" aren't usually someone the audience cheers and roots for.

Little girls across the country (and some boys as well, we're sure) played Jill, Kelly and Sabrina in the seventies. They played the smart detectives who had learned their craft via police training. For all but it's fifth season, the show aired in the last or second hour of prime time. Even so, it had a lot of kids in the audience. ABC decided to air the reboot in the first hour of prime time and it breaks our hearts to picture 10-year-old girls fighting over who gets to play the dirty cop, who gets to play the robber and who gets to play the car thief.

"Car thief? You mean Marine, right?"

No, we mean "car thief." The Marine was Gloria, played by Nadine Velazquez. She died in the first fifteen or so minutes of the season opener and was replaced with a car thief. During the five year run of the original show, it went from Charlie declaring, "Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy" (Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jacyln Smith), to "Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy -- two in Los Angeles, the other in San Francisco" (Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, Chery Ladd), "Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy -- one in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco, the other in Boston" (Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack), and, "Once upon a time there were three beautiful girls, two of them graduated from the police academy, the other graduated from a top school for models" (Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Tanya Roberts). While the original branched out geographically, had the reboot lasted we no doubt could have looked forward to the loan shark Angel, the cop killer Angel. The possibilities were endless . . .

Almost. They couldn't offer up the first hooker Angel or first drug dealer Angel because Tanya Roberts had already played that in her role of Julie. That was when the show jumped the shark as if it had both a death wish and a desire to punish the viewers who had stuck with it. Julie was clearly not qualified to be an Angel and, sadly, the reboot seemed to go out of its way to find not one but three Julies to populate the show with.

Going with crooks for Angels might have meant the characters were more complex and the acting was superior. Might have but didn't. Watching the eventual three in the reboot, people should have really appreciated what Farrah, Jaclyn and Kate did. In the reboot, the Charlie segments near the start and at the end were studies of three actresses who didn't know what to do except say the lines as written. Go back to the first season of the original series, to those opening scenes with Charlie on the squawk box and those closing scenes with Charlie, where Farrah, Jaclyn and Kate provided business that wasn't in the scripts. You'd find, yes, an Angel trying to balance her checkbook, you'd find a shared joke between two of them, you'd get some physical movement or contact between them. All three actresses coming up with business that would flesh out the characters and portray a friendship as well as a working partnership. In the reboot, it appeared that latest crop of Angels taxed themselves with close ups and had little energy left for anything else.

They glowered a great deal, the three women, while bullying various men and women. One man who had information they wanted got his head repeatedly held under water in a toilet while they flushed. Maybe when you're not trained detectives, when you're just three convicts, maybe all you know is bully, beating and blackmail?

That would explain their knocking around a photographer, interrogating him about his meds and more while coming off like thugs and bullies. The first three Angels used brains, guns and brawn. All the new three had to offer was brawn, despite the fact that they were forever waiving around guns. (In one ridiculous scene, Bosley and an old flame run to a food van to chase after a car and, as they run, they pull their guns out and waive them around although, as they get into the van seconds later, neither is holding a gun.) The message from the scripts appeared to be: Bulk up, girls, cause you're going to need to be a bad ass.

The scripts failed in every way: by refusing to give the Angels interesting situations and, too often, embracing torture and the worst abuses. "Angel in Chains" was the title of the highest rated episode of the original Charlie's Angels. For some strange reason, the reboot decided to do its own "Angels in Chains" which, fittingly, lost even more viewers and led to the show's cancellation. In the original, Jill, Kelly and Sabrina have to go into a prison to rescue a woman, a US prison. The prison's a prostitute ring. In the reboot, they go to Cuba. And there's one slam at Fidel Castro (and his brother) after another leaving you to wonder if they dusted off a script from the Cold War era? When not attacking the Castros or the people of Cuba, the script concerned itself with gloating over how this or that person could be sent to Guantanamo where they would disappear forever. In the original, Farrah, Jaclyn and Kate have fun in the chase scenes. Chained together, Kelly wants to go one way, Sabrina the other and Jill, in the middle, warns them she's not a yo-yo. Escaping in an old truck that creaks along, they end up having to dump potatoes on the crooked cops pursuing them. There was no humor in the reboot though they seemed to think bad attempts at Dirty Harry one liners qualified as humor.

The set-up was wrong, the acting was flat, the scripts were awful. The only thing left that might have pulled in the audience was the fluff factor.

In the reboot, the three angels, eventually, were Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), Eve (Minka Kelly) and Rachael (Abby Sampson). For it to be fluff, they would have had to have been highly attractive and sexy. Kelley pulled that off all the time, Taylor was more often just highly attractive and Ilonzeh forever looked like she'd just been hired for the fourth hour of The Today Show on NBC.

She wasn't ugly, she was just plain. Not at all heavenly. In a lot of ways, that was the wardrobe. We have no idea why they dressed her in those awful, usually shapeless clothes. But we were even more confused when she'd be wearing a blue-green, shapeless shift without a bra and her erect nipples were clearly visible. Her hair was awful, dry little ringlets that needed to be shorter or longer to qualify as sexy but, as they were, telegraphed, "I want to play Suburban TV Mom." She also tended to carry herself like a man. We're especially referring to the way she sat, the way she spread her legs when sitting. It wasn't Sharon Stone tease, it was all bow-legged John Wayne -- although one friend who's got a hit on CBS liked to refer Ilonzeh as "The new Nancy Walker."

Cotton candy just has to be tasty. If it can't manage that, it's not cotton candy. The reboot failed in every way. If the point was to make a show about powerful women, we'd argue three convicts was never the way to go. But a T&A show that can't even make it as cotton candy is never going to make it as anything; hence the cancellation.

Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream


"In the end, this is not a book about what September 11 did to anyone. It is a book about what September 11 revealed about all of us and, to that degree, about the opportunities that this great tragedy provided to look at ourselves anew," Susan Faludi writes at the start of 2007's The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America.


It's a brave and ambitious book written at a time when the height of 9-11 critiques was to suggest that maybe, possibly, Bush might have, at least slightly, misused the 9-11 tragedy. That's about as deep as most critiques of 9-11 went following the slap-down Susan Sontag received for thinking that adults (or at least readers of The New Yorker) might be able to take a clear-eyed approach to what happened.

Faludi is nothing but brave in the book and that may account for some of the reviews which were negative. (The book received much praise. We praised it here in real time. But it also received some of the nastiest reviews that any of Faludi's books have garnered.) A lot of people don't want the truth and some of the book reviewers didn't appreciate Faludi holding it up to the light.

A tragedy was used to sell a backlash as well as continued violence and war and, as Faludi documents in the second half, that's nothing new to the American landscape.

She goes historical, she goes sociological, she goes all out in this book about a mind-set which gripped the country and did much damage within the country and outside of it. Excerpt:
On the larger stage of national and international politics, as in New York, the need to pursue concrete concerns would be bartered for ceremonial scrip. In Afghanistan, our fantasies of female rescue actually got in the way of female security. Not only did White House vows to safe-guard the rights of Afghan women prove hollow, our woefully inadequate attempts at "reconstruction" only served to make their conditions worse. By 2006, the news was bleak: honor killings were dramatically on the rise (with 185 women and girls killed in the first nine months of the year), about 40 pecent of women reported that they had been forced in marriage, about 50 percent had been beaten by their husbands, three hundred girls' schools had been set on fire in the last year and several teachers killed, as little as 3 percent of girls were enrolled in schools in some regions and many had retreated to secret home classes, no women were appointed to the new Afghan cabinet, and the director of the women's affairs ministry in Kandahar had been gunned down in her own front yard. The pattern would repeat in Iraq, a nation that had made significant progress in advancing women's rights from the sixties to the eighties. Once more, the United States promised heightened security and freedom for Iraqi women, and once more our policies helped accomplish the opposite. By 2005, human rights organizations were reporting a sharp rise in rapes, abductions, and sexual slavery; severe restrictions on women's ability to travel, go to school, and work; and the return of Sharia law in a U.S.-brokered constitution that also restricted women's reproductive, employment, marital and inheritance rights. "Misery gangs" romaed the streets, tormenting and beating women who did not dress or behave "properly." In Basra, it became a capital crime for a woman to wear pants or appear in public. By 2005, several women's rights activists and female political leaders, along with one of the three female members of the Iraqi Governing Council, had been murdered, and even Bush's former female supporters in Iraq were in despair. "I want the American people to know that our dreams are gone, our work was in vain," wrote Raja Kuzai, an obstetrician and former member of the Iraqi assembly's constituition-drafting committee, wh once hailed Bush as "My Liberator." "There will be no future for our children and our grandchildren in the new Iraq," she said. "The future is for the clerics."

At 296 pages of text, The Terror Dream is about half the size of Faludi's two previous books (Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women and Stiffed) but it packs a punch and is one of the ten books of the last ten years that we highly recommend you rush to your library to get a copy of if you haven't already read it. It'll provide you with a layer of understanding that you will not find elsewhere. It's a maverick book from a truly one-of-a-kind writer.

In this series of ten important books of the last ten years, we've, so far, selected "Joyce Murdoch and Deb Price's Courting Justice," "Anthony's Iraq: The Logic Of Withdrawal" and "Tori's Piece by Piece." Due to the Great Recession, your local libraries are both overtaxed (seeing more patrons than ever before) and underfunded. Make a point to check out your local library or local branch of your library and consider letting your local representatives know that you support increasing the budget for the library.

Dear Mooki

In this complex and confusing world, answers aren't always evident. Which is why guru and sage Moqtada al-Sadr has taken to doing an online column. In what follows, typical people write "Dear Mooki" typical questions seeking uncommon advice that only he can offer.

What Passes For Progress

What can I do to keep from looking blotchy in photos and at the ceremony?
About to be married

A thick, heavy veil can conceal many flaws and help steer the attention to where it should be: The groom. It is, after all, his big day and not yours. Blessed Nouri.

I am 13 and in the eighth grade. I have always had trouble sleeping. Every night it takes me an hour to fall asleep, and lately I haven't been able to sleep at all. I have started taking pills that make you drowsy so I can get some sleep. My mom doesn't know about the pills. I'm scared to keep on doing this. I have told my mom about my sleep problem, and she tells me to read. She won't take me to the doctor because she thinks my problem is normal. Mookie, this isn't normal.
What can I do?


What you may be experiencing is a calling. Possibly your body, as it matures, is realizing that your true lot in life is to be a suicide bomber. See the refusal to sleep as the ticking of a bomb. Doesn't that make sense? If you agree with me that it makes sense, immediately come to my headquarters in Sadr City so we can outfit you. Praise be Nouri.

I am an 18-year-old straight male. I have a hodgepodge of birth defects that affect my genitalia: severe hypospadias (my urethra—my piss slit—is at the base of my penis), micropenis (less than two inches), and anorchia (I was born without testes). I have never been naked around anyone else. I don't really like being naked by myself, to be honest.

Lately, my sex drive has skyrocketed. It is driving me up the wall. Couple this with the fact that women see me as attractive, and I'm not doing well. Sexual situations are presenting themselves to me and there's nothing I can do. I've recently started college, and it's endlessly frustrating to see my friends having relationships and being sexually active. I know that casual sex/flings will never be an option for me, but I am dying over here!

Messed-Up Junk

You certainly appear to have a lot of problems. But, after all, sometimes problems are really qualifications. For example, what makes you unhappy in this life could lead to blessings in the after-life. Have you ever, per chance, considered life as a suicide bomber? You will get to (briefly) travel and (briefly) meet people. If you think you might be interested, come to my headquarters in Sadr City and we will outfit you. Nouri is always on mind, Nouri is always on my mind.

I'm a 27-year-old straight guy. This girl I work with is everything I want in a partner. We've been flirting at work and on Facebook, and it's getting to the point where one of us has to make a move. But she's already got a boyfriend. I've been the guy who gets cheated on, and I won't do that to someone else. Also, I've recently been promoted and I'm now her immediate superior. She's a shit employee: lazy, rude to customers, and last week I had to call her on a really basic mistake. Despite these complications, I want to make a real move on her. But how do I get around these issues?

Frustrated In Sydney

What is this? "Shit employee." Why would you want to work with anyone who touches crap all day as part of her job? If you think you might be interested in a new job, we should talk. For now I would advise you that if she's flirting with you and has a boyfriend, she is a libertine, an infidel. So I advise you to stop the yapping. And if I have learned anything from my years of hiding in Tehran it is that, "Words may heal but stones kill." Take that under advisement. Blessed Nouri watch over us.

My guy wants to come in my mouth. I am fine with the act, but he produces a high volume of ejaculate, like three tablespoons' worth. The only thing I can think of is getting him most of the way there and letting him come on my face. Any advice on how I can do this for him?

GGG Sex Partner

Obviously, the first question you need to ask is rather basic: How many calories are in cum? After that you should ask, "Can I afford them?" I try to remember that our blessed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is someone who should be pleased and pampered. So when he makes the request, I tell myself I'll have baked falafels for the rest of the week, not fried, and make up the rest of the difference with some low-impact tap routines. Tasty Nouri.

[Illustration is Isaiah's "What Passes For Progress."]

The Racist Marie Josee Godbout

It always interests us the way some foreigners can't take their nose out of our domestic politics. We'd understand, for example, if their own houses were in order. But, take Canada, where a conservative remains in power, Prime Minister Stephen Harper. So-called lefties in Canada sure have a lot of time to stick their noses where they don't belong.

Buttinskies usually get what's coming to them eventually.

Poli Racist

Take Political Whore Marie Josee Godbout. She just knew that, as a Canadian, she knew all about Republican Herman Cain and why some Republicans (including members of the Tea Party) were backing Cain, "They hate so much Obama that some of them are ready to 'use a brother' to prove their anti-social agenda." "Use a brother"? Does Godbout think she was born in Compton?

And in North America, does it ever get Whiter than Canada?

Marie Josee Godbout wasn't done inserting her ass into her own mouth. No, she continued, "And everybody knows that being born as an Afro-american in the Deep South, you have to adjust . . . to blend in with the majority. Cain is a sell out . . ."

Did you catch that?

Blacks born in the Deep South, have to adjust, blend in, sell out, according to racist Marie.

Betty was born and raised in Georgia and she replies, "Cracker saw all that from Montreal? Did the little Cracker see all that? I can tell her my parents and their parents were born in Georgia, I can tell her all about the Black churches throughout Atlanta. I can also point out that Julian Bond is from Georgia, so were Ralph Abernathy and Nellie Peters Black. W.E.B. Du Bois was as well. As were, pay attention, Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Little Ritz Cracker made a racist comment. Only a Cracker in Canada would think a White person ever think they could insult all Black people in the south and get away with it."

Congratulations to Marie Josee Godbout for demonstrating how deeply racist some Canadians can be. Let's hope she never becomes the face of her country.

There are many African-Americans from the Deep South who've achieved, despite Marie Josee Godbout's crackpot theory, and they include US House Rep. John Lewis, Maya Angelou, Cynthia McKinney, Lena Horne, Ray Charles, Eartha Kitt, Mary McLeod Bethune, James Brown, Lawrence Eugene Doby, Madam CJ Walker, Alonzo F. Herndon, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. Percy Julian, and Rosa Parks.

Radio moment of the week

Attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) are the co-hosts of Law and Disorder Radio (which begins airing Mondays on WBAI and around the country on various radio stations throughout the week). Michael Ratner is also co-author with Margaret Ratner Kunstler of the forthcoming Hell No, Your Right To Dissent.

Law and Disorder Radio

Last week found Heidi and program producer Geoff Brady going to the site of the NYC Occupy Wall Street camp for a ground view report which included activists, watchers, and people who worked in the area as well as songs and speeches. Excerpt.

Heidi Boghosian: We just ran into Michael Leonard, a member of the National Lawyers Guild. He's not wearing a legal observer outfit today rather he's in a suit. Michael, why are you here on your lunchbreak?
Michael Leonard: I have been coming down here for the last week and a half or so, on and off, and I sometimes have the opportunity to work in downtown Brooklyn and there was a mix up on a case so I came here during my lunch break.
Heidi Boghosian: So you're headed off to court after a stop here?
Michael Leonard: That's right. Headed back to the ring.
Heidi Boghosian: And what does the sign you're carrying say?
Michael Leonard: This was a sign that I picked up on the steps and it says: "The crisis is capitalism." And I thought that was-was-did the trick.
Heidi Boghosian: Have you been talking to a lot of people here over the last two weeks?
Michael Leonard: Well I've had the opportunity to talk to some people today standing on the steps -- just getting into some positive dialogue with those people who were asking the protesters why they were here and what is it exactly they-they want.
Heidi Boghosian: What kind of answers are you getting to those questions, Michael?
Michael Leonard: Well those have been questions that have been posed to me. I think that the-the protestors as a group -- and I realize I can't really speak for them -- but have been slow to articulate actual demands. And I think that in part is due to a real respect and reverance for the process and for gaining consensus among the -- among the group. I've been involved with this work for a number of years now and I think that what we are seeing is a lot of grassroots, bottom-up decision making and I think that's really, really wonderful.
[. . .]
Heidi Boghosian: Good morning. What have you seen over the last two weeks?
Man 1: Pandemonium from all these people, just crowding up the block, getting in our way, they aren't really proving a point but we understand that they're mad about maybe not having jobs but I personally think none of these people would work if they had a job opportunity. I just don't think they're here for a purpose, they're here for a party.
Do you agree with that?
Man 2: Yeah, for the most part. I don't see them making any progress about anything. I don't hear about all I hear is they're holding up the crowd. They're holding up signs and nobody's listening.
Heidi Boghosian: Some people are saying their demands aren't clear enough that --
Man 2: Who are they really bothering except pedestrians? Everyday pedestrians? They're not really getting a clear message to Wall Street when Wall Street is down a couple of blocks. They should be over there and blocking doorways and stuff. Not --
Man 1: Not crowding the park.
Heidi Boghosian: Have you seen deliveries coming in in the early morning hours? Food and water?
Man 2: Well they're definitely getting deliveries. I don't know what time though.
Man 1: Yeah. I haven't seen it yet but this place has been growing rapidly daily. And it's in the morning when you see it. I come out here for lunch and we used to sit down at the benches here which was a nice, clean, beautiful park --
Man 2: It should be all construction workers just for the time being --
Man 1: It's just -- it's like a shanty town.
Heidi Boghosian: What do you think should be done though to protest what's happening with the economy?
Man 2: Uhm. Well, for our sake, we're in the union so we do our own rallies and we go -- We make a message across, we're talking and we're getting chants going so it's pretty obvious what we're getting across. These people are playing drums and it's like -- It's just like a hippie convention for the most part. It really doesn't seem like these people are trying to get a clear message across to anyone in Wall Street or
Man 1: I have a feeling if you talk to half of them, they don't even know why they're here.
Heidi Boghosian: But a lot of the unions are supporting this effort, aren't they?
Man 2: There are, don't get me wrong.
Man 1: I support that they're standing for a cause and that cause would be jobs. I just think they're going about it the wrong way. All I see is that they're crowding the park. And go to the powers that be. They're not talking to anybody over here. Go stand on [NYC Mayor Michael] Bloomberg's steps or something. Go set up a tent in front of his house and I guarantee more would get done. All they're doing is crowding the park here.
[. . .]
Woman: I'm from western New York. I have been here on-and-off for about ten days.
Heidi Boghosian: And were you on the Brooklyn Bridge?
Woman: Yes, I was. I was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Heidi Boghosian: Did you feel that the police were literally leading you onto the bridge?
Woman: Yes. There's been like -- There's been questions whether or not they made an actual announcement of you go on the Brooklyn Bridge that you would get arrested. I heard no such announcement; however, I did talk to people who said the announcement was made on a very, very muffled bullhorn so that they could have it on film that they said it but that it was not audible to the people standing right in front of them.
Heidi Boghosian: Have you been in other arrest situations and how did this compare in terms of police treatment of protestors?
Woman: I've been arrested for other protest-related things. Not in New York City. As I said, I'm from western New York. But this -- this was not good but not bad. I feel that being cuffed on an MTA bus for six hours with no food and no water isn't the best treatment but I was in no way physically harmed directly by the cops. I do feel like I have a little bone bruising on my wrists from the flexi-cuffs but, you know, I know it could be a lot worse. There were other arrests in this occupation where people had concussions and were not treated well and left on buses and were not able to get medical treatment. So, in that way, I feel very lucky that I was not treated the way other occupiers were treated but at the same time not being able to eat, not having access to water, except for whatever was in our backpacks is still not very acceptable in my opinion. We're humans too. Whether or not the state or the government agrees with us, we deserve to be treated like humans.
Heidi Boghosian: Are you surprised by how this movement is catching on all around the country?
Woman: Yes and no because I'm -- I am surprised because of the diversity of the people that have been coming out and saying -- I'm very particularly far left personally and was concerned that it would be a group of far leftists that would be construed as another anarchist, militant, violent group of people; however, it has been pleasantly surprising to me the number of people that have come out that are liberal, that are Libetarian and maybe even conservative. But we all share the same view. We are all the 99% and we all have very common goals. What separates the extreme right and the extreme left, I think, is mostly tactics and the dispute comes not from the end goal but how do we get to that goal.
Heidi Boghosian: Process.

Woman: Yeah, process. Definitely.
Heidi Boghosian: Any final words for people who might be thinking of coming here from around the country?
Woman: You know, come out and see what we're all about. Give it a shot. I came out here intending only to spend a week and I am back indefinitely because this is a beautiful movement.

Veterans employment

Patty Murray

US Senator Patty Murray
(above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Last week, her office issued the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Murray Press Office

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 (202) 224-2834

Chairman Murray's Statement on Passage of House Veterans Employment Bill

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, released the following statement on House passage of the VOW Act, a bill to address veterans unemployment sponsored by House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman, Rep. Jeff Miller. Chairman Murray first introduced legislation in this Congress to help put veterans to work with the Hiring Heroes Act, which passed Senator Murray's Committee unanimously on June 29th and is awaiting action on the Senate floor.

"I look forward to working with Chairman Miller to build around both of our efforts to start putting veterans to work. This is an issue that should transcend partisanship and remind us that doing right by our veterans always comes first. We have made tremendous investments in training and supporting those in uniform and simply patting them on the back for their service and sending them into the working world alone isn't good enough. We must improve the opportunities and resources available to our veterans to help them find the dignity and financial security that a job helps provide."


Matt McAlvanah

Communications Director

U.S. Senator Patty Murray

202-224-2834 - press office

202--224-0228 - direct

News Releases | Economic Resource Center | E-Mail Updates

The 'Iran plot' -- Psywar for a new U.S. aggression? (WW)

Repost from Workers World:

The ‘Iran plot’ -- Psywar for a new U.S. aggression?

Published Oct 13, 2011 8:45 PM

Washington’s slanderous campaign against Iran for an alleged assassination plot lacks evidence and fails every test of logic. Many people have raised questions as to its truth. But there’s an even more important question to ask: Why is the U.S. government desperate to use an unbelievable pretext to begin a campaign of sanctions and possible war against Iran?

Remember that U.S. imperialism has been openly hunting and killing its alleged enemies around the world, breaking international laws to do so. It uses drone airplanes to fire rockets at cars and houses. It kills admittedly innocent people along with those it calls “terrorists.”

These, and not any unproven and illogical charges against Tehran, are the real crimes against international law.

The U.S. government, with or without its NATO allies, has also in the past 13 years unleashed four wars against sovereign countries: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Its troops still occupy the first three countries. In each case, for each country, there was a lie. A phony "massacre." In Iraq, the phantom "weapons of mass destruction.” This is accompanied by coordinated demonization of the leaders. And then the brutal bombing campaign begins, and an invasion.

The Pentagon and/or CIA also carry out drone attacks against targets in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. They kill nationals of those countries and, in a recent case, even a U.S. citizen. All this is supposedly justified by nothing but the government’s own statements based on reports from the same CIA and military intelligence organizations.

The charges of an Iranian-inspired assassination plot against a Saudi diplomat -- which Tehran emphatically denies -- come from this same U.S. rogue government, which makes military strikes and invasions all over the globe and regularly lies to justify its aggression.

So we repeat: The real question is why is the U.S. government now raising a campaign against Iran? Why is this happening soon after the Iranian government made a conciliatory move by releasing two U.S. citizens supposed to be just hikers?

Does someone in the U.S. establishment want to keep the confrontation with Iran burning? Is it even possible that the U.S. regime is preparing for yet another aggressive war?

For those in the U.S. who struggle against war, as well as those now fighting for jobs in the occupations from Wall Street to the main plazas of U.S. cities large and small, it is important to see these unfounded charges against Iran for what they are: an attempt by a totally discredited U.S. government to find a new scapegoat. There is no reason that an accusation from this government should be accepted as having any resemblance to the truth.

Stay alert. Be ready to struggle against another aggression. And stay in the streets against Wall Street and Washington.


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

"I Hate The War" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Educational President" -- Isaiah on the administration's education panel.

Wednesday's Iraq snapshot, Thursday's Iraq snapshot, "US House Rep Jason Chaffetz (Wally)," "House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations" and "DoD says it can't talk about Iraq in an open session" -- C.I., Wally, Kat and Ava cover a Congressional hearing.

"Sicilian Spinach in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers a new recipe.

"Ugly Glick (not Jimmy)" -- Betty calls out the faux Green.

"as evil and as destructive" -- Rebecca says it clearly.

"Still Solyndra" -- Ruth continues Solyndra coverage.

"Mean girls" -- Kat notes just how bitchy the White House is.

"911 Fashion Help Call" -- Marcia with a piece we'd like to do a variation on here.

"Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune" -- Stan goes to the movies.

"Desperate Housewives," "Fringe, Isaiah, Third," "2 Broke Girls" and "The Good Wife and Body of Proof" -- Betty, Mike, Marcia and Stan cover TV and Ann covers radio:

"Solyndra" -- Ruth covers Solyndra.

"Turnabout is fair play for Cuba" -- Kat with the headline of the week.

"He wants to inflict his damage on another country" and "THIS JUST IN! HE HAS A PLAN!" -- Cedric and Wally on Barack's post-White House plans.

"Another reason not to vote for him" -- Elaine on the idiot.

"The Toad" -- Elaine weighs in on one of the big sell outs.

"Naomi Klein and other idiots" -- Betty calling out NK.

"THIS JUST IN! ALONE IN FRONT OF HIS MIRROR!" and "Mirror, Mirror" -- Wally and Cedric on the American princess.

"Stumbling for Maturity" -- Isaiah dips into the archives for an early look at Barack.

"Idiot of the week" -- Mike picks Sean Penn.
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