Sunday, September 30, 2012

Truest statement of the week

Washington has little political and no military influence over these developments. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of Iraq’s first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."

--  John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast).

Truest statement of the week II

Mainstream "Progressives," the most vocal opponents of the Imperial Presidency during Republican administrations, become a captive clientele -- no matter how egregious the executive power grab -- when a Democrat’s in power. Because, you see, now matter how disappointing they may privately concede Obama’s performance on civil liberties has been, Romney would be even worse! And believe me, his frustrated supporters’ sense of nowhere else to go isn’t lost on hacks like Obama. So in practice, the lesser of evils seems to get a little more evil with each election cycle. And the repressive apparatus of the state ratchets ever upward. 

-- Kevin Carson,  "The Joke of Democratic Accountability" (CounterPunch).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday.

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

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

And what did we come up with?

" Sometimes," wrote Adam Barksdale in an e-mail, "it feels like the truests are always the same sources.  For example, Cindy Sheehan, Glen Ford, Cindy Sheehan, Glen Ford, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Ratner, Glen Ford, Michael Ratner . . . I know it's not quite that bad but I was wondering if you ever thought about varying it up a little more?"  We mainly go for the truest we hear that week.  When we get together, there are usually a minimum of seven suggestions for the truest.  We vote on them and that's how we pick them.   But there are two never-before-cited voices getting truests this week so maybe that will help.  This one is John Barry.

And this one is Kevin Carson.

Iraq was our editorial.  There was some debate about doing a feature on Iraq that we didn't.  Depending on how the week goes, we may end up doing it next week.  This is a reminder to myself (Jim) as much as sharing.
Ava and C.I. wanted to cover Jami Gertz' new sitcom and Partners on CBS and . . .  But the broadcast news -- especially PBS -- refuse to do their job.

How do we choose the order for each edition?  Editorial always goes under the note, then Ava and C.I.'s media article.  After that, we try to figure out what works where.  Sometimes an article is short so it ends up higher on the list.  Sometimes the topic is deemed important so that bumps it up the list.  This is a piece on Afghanistan.  We don't do many of those so that meant it was going high up.  In addition, it's the 2000 mark which also argued for a high placement.  Ty moderated this roundtable.
This was not what we planned.  What we planned was a book discussion roundtable.  And we did that.  For over an hour.  After we were done, no one was happy.  Kat put it best noting, "This [the roundtable] is so f**ked up, not only do I not want to read it but it would scare me away from the book."  What was the problem.  Again, truth teller Kat pointed out that there were about 8 different points of view and various asides and no focus at all.  Kat said, "We should all just let Ava and C.I. write it.  They'll be able to do a coherent review that will make people eager to read the book."  Ava's reply?  "Let us, wow, how lucky are we."  She was being sarcastic.  Nothing against Heart, she just didn't understand why they were being assigned two pieces this edition?  As Kat suspected, Ava and C.I. were able to cover the book and raise your interest in the book.  They deliberately left out everything cited in the roundtable.  I didn't notice that at first.  Dona caught it right away and rightly guessed that they did that by choice.  The reason?  They didn't want anyone to feel their contribution in the roundtable was what made it fall apart.  Because that roundtable fell apart.  Big time.  Remember that Heart's new album comes out Tuesday.  Great album.

Having failed at the book discussion, we were pressed for time and desperate for ideas.  We had a piece on the Mars land rover Curiosity but that didn't work out.  Nor did a piece on Medicare and we were half-way into a Fast & Furious piece when Ava told us Univision was doing a big broadcast on the topic tonight.  So we scrambled.  There were three topics we cared about at this point: Iraq, Afghanistan and the campaigns.  So the decision was made to do mini-roundtables.  I moderated this one.  And C.I. wanted Ava and Jess' remarks pulled -- their remarks at the end but we outvoted her on that and the praise stayed in.

 Dona moderated this one.  Ty and Dona did great jobs moderating.  Dona isn't pleased with her job.  We had a time limit.  Why?  To make sure we didn't have another meandering roundtable like the book discussion.  Sticking to the time limit meant Jill Stein was noted in terms of the debates but only in terms of that.  Dona had wanted to end on Jill's campaign but time ran out.  Next time there's a roundtable dealing with campaigns, she says she's bringing Jill up first.   This one really features more about Gary Johnson's campaign which is fine since we've only noted him once this campaign season.  And good job Marcia on preparing for the background about his vice president.

Jill might not have been discussed in depth but we do repost this from her campaign.  (Those who plan to vote in the election, those participating in this edition, plan to vote for Dr. Stein.)

This is a Bonnie King article from  Be sure to use the links to check out more great content at Salem-News.

And this is a press release from Senator Patty Murray's office.

Lastly, Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

So that's what we came up with.

See you next week.

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

Editorial: Iraq covered by the media?

What NPR's 'news' and public affairs programs no longer cover, you can sometimes catch on NPR's hourly news summary.  Case in point, this morning:

Louise Giovanni:  A series of bombings across Iraq targeting mainly Shi'ite areas has left at least 16 dead and scores injured.  NPR's Ghassan Adnan tells us, Iranian pilgrims are among the wounded.

Ghassan Adnan:  Insurgents have detonated many car bombs and roadside bombs targeting security checkpoints and local markets.  The bloodiest attack took place in the city of Taji, 20 miles north of Baghdad where three explosions have killed and injured many people.  No one has claimed responsibility for attacks yet but security officials say the bombings are similar to previous al Qaeda attacks.  Ghassan Adnan, NPR News, Baghdad

That's how it is for Iraq today.  Despite the fact that billions continue to be poured into the country and despite the fact that Barack's preparing to send more US troops into Iraq (US troops never completely left Iraq).

"Huh?" you ask.

That's right, Barack's preparing to send more US troops into Iraq.  Even as he campaigns on the falsehood that he brought US troops home.

Last week, Tim Arango (New York Times) reported, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions."

That was reported.  Not amplified, mind you, but reported.

Blink an eye and you'll miss it.

This despite the fact that Barack's campaigning on Iraq.  This despite the fact that if you go to the "National Security" page of his campaign site, the first thing that pops up is Iraq.


He's got a video proclaiming his greatness in bringing troops home.  Where in there do you see the admission that he's in negotiations to send more US troops back into Iraq?

You don't.

And you really don't see the media covering that fact either.

The US media lied to sell the Iraq War.  They lied to continue it.  They continue to lie because media owners aren't ready for it to be over and 'reporters' are little more than slaves for whomever owns their outlet.

TV: Media continued fail

"I wouldn't worry, buddy, it's looking less and less like it will be your job," smacked middle-aged Seth Meyers on what they're calling Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday two weeks ago.  "Buddy" was, of course, Mitt Romney   Last Thursday turned Barack (Jay Pharoah) saying you had no choice but to vote for him into an applause line and found Seth mocking Paul Ryan's looks and Seth mocking Dr. Cornell West (played by Kenan Thompson) in a skit with the 'point' that there was no one to vote for except Barack.

This was Saturday Night Live's way of playing 'fair' and it just demonstrates how unfair the show is and how typical of the media landscape the tired program is.


Take PBS which somehow manages to receive public funding for one-sided presentations.

The NewsHour has made itself a joke this month.  News is defined (Merriam-Webster) as "a report of recent events" and newsworthy as "interesting enough to the general public to warrant reporting."  September 11, 2012, the US Consulate in Libya was attacked and four Americans were killed.    As we noted two weeks ago, this was "Media Fail."

Information that Americans needed to know was shoved to the side so that the so-called news industry could savage and attack Mitt Romney for daring to criticize US President Barack Obama.  When a terrorist attack on Americans take place, it needs to be reported.  In part, that's due to the fact that these things don't generally happen in isolation but are usually part of a chain of attacks or attempted attacks so Americans need to know what to place to be prepared.  It's also true that Barack uses linkage as Bully Boy Bush did.  While Bush falsely linked 9-11 to Iraq, Barack falsely links the death of Osama bin Laden to the death of al Qaeda.

Thursday night, September 27, 16 days after the Libya attack, The NewsHour finally described it with the term "terrorism."  For 16 days, the program left America in the dark.  It's hard to believe they did that by accident and it's difficult to believe that they weren't trying to carry water for Barack.  It's especially difficult to believe that when the next segment is all about how -- whatever happened -- it wasn't Barack's fault and he's so great and wonderful and let's not discuss the fact that the White House lied in the aftermath repeatedly, for days and days.

That segment was supposed to offer 'analysis' but it didn't.  You had supposed objective reporter Steven Lee Myers from The New York Times blaming the FBI and Hillary Clinton and never once the supposed buck-stops-here guy in the Oval Office.  The 'reporter' offered that Barack was "a president who has a strong record to run on when dealing with al Qaeda specifically and terrorism in general or foreign policy."  Jeffrey Brown didn't ask Myers to back up that ridiculous claim.  But then Brown wouldn't, he works for The NewsHour.

"Let me join my voice to those praising David Brooks' v. good column on Romney. Thurston Howell Romney [link]."

Why are we including that?  We're quoting.  In fact, we're demonstrating the problems with The NewsHour.  See, PBS decided they finally had to discuss what happened in Libya as what it was -- terrorism -- and so they needed to make sure Barack didn't get blamed because that, not providing news, is their goal.  So they book a New York Times reporter and they pair him up with a think-tanker from a centrist think tank which is false balance but it's supposed to give you the idea that they're tilting rightward.  The reality is they stacked the deck for Barack.

Because the guest who couldn't stop praising Barack -- from an impartial standpoint, we're sure -- sure does love to Tweet insults about Mitt Romney.  That would be Dan Byman and that quote above is what he Tweeted.

In what world does that Tweet allow him to be booked as an impartial observer?  It doesn't.  In fact, that Tweet should have meant that he wasn't booked in this election cycle unless he was balanced with a Romney supporter.

But the easiest way to be booked on The NewsHour these days is to savage Romney.  Tuesday, The NewsHour decided they wanted to pretend to explore Barack's foreign policy record.  They booked former diplomat Nicholas Burns and Barack supporter Richard Haass.  If you're surprised that the four years as president resulted in no mis-steps or mistakes on the part of Barack, you weren't paying attention.  Not only is Haas a cheerleader for Barack, so is Burns.

Although actually, Burns is more famous recently for making the media circuit as he went around trashing Mitt Romney -- such as on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on September 12th -- for Romney's remarks about the attack on the Libyan consulate (Romney felt the administration's first response was to apologize -- Romeny was wrong, their first response was to lie).

Time and again, what happens is you trash Mitt Romney, you get booked on PBS or NPR or both.  That's the pattern this election cycle.   And you see a lot of Republicans who are the equivalent of Alan Colmes, present because they'll play along with the media narrative.  (The better to enrich their own pockets, you understand.)

Equally curious is who you don't see.  Gwen Ifill doesn't know a damn thing about foreign policy so asking her to moderate the segment was laughable.  Equally laughable was not going with a NewsHour foreign policy guest for the segment.

In fact, we're thinking of one in particular: Michael R. Gordon of The New York Times.

Gordon's appeared multiple times on The NewsHour.  Strangely, he wasn't booked for the segment on foreign policy last week.

Why would that be?

If you're wondering, he's not suddenly press shy.  To the contrary, he has a new book to sell, one he co-wrote with Bernard E. Trainor, The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. The book came out Tuesday.

Generally, that means you can expect to see and hear Gordon all over PBS and NPR. Strangely, that has not been the case.  No NPR coverage last week of the book.  No come on The NewsHour for a discussion.  Frontline loved to have him on in the past but now now.  Charlie Rose?  He has appeared 12 times in the last ten years on Rose's PBS and Coca Cola program.  But he was no where to be found last week.

Did Gordon show up at the PBS office party loaded on booze with little Gordon hanging out of his fly?

No, he did something far worse than that.

He dared to criticize Barack -- the ultimate media faux pas.  From  John Barry's "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast):

Washington has little political and no military influence over these developments. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of Iraq’s first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."

And that, boys and girls, is how you get vanished by PBS and NPR.

These days when PBS wants to 'explore' Barack's foreign policy record, they really mean that they want people to praise Barack.  And they want your money too, this is PBS, they want your money in direct donations to PBS and via whatever extra tax dollars Congress can funnel their way.

Once upon a time, Saturday Night Live would be in real trouble for the way they played it in 2008 and the way they play it now.   But, as The NewsHour demonstrated all last week, tired humor programs are the least of democracy's problems these days.

The 2,000 Mark

Ty: Today the US military death toll in the Afghanistan War reached the 2,00 mark.  We're roundtabling on this. Our e-mail address is I'm Ty with   The Third Estate Sunday Review; also participating are 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);  and Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts. You are reading a rush transcript.   Let's start with Isaiah's latest comic that went up this morning, "The 2,000 Mark."

2000 mark

Ty (Con't): The comic paints Barack Obama, US president, as using the war to look manly.  Isaiah, some might say, "Oh, that comic is offensive!"

Isaiah: Good.  Let's hope a lot of people do.  Let's hope a whole lot of people do.  The 2,000 mark has been reached.  I don't care how it's hammered home as long as people get the message.  The death toll's at 2,000.  How much higher does it have to go?

Ty: Do you feel that people pay attention to the Afghanistan War?

Isaiah: Not at all.  And, thing is, the US media quit covering Iraq long ago.  So you'd think people could make an effort -- media and public -- to follow the Afghanistan War.  But that's not happening.

Ty: Anyone feel differently?  Elaine?

Elaine: I, in my practice, I speak to a lot of veterans.  I can tell you veterans -- of the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War -- are both aware of events in Afghanistan.  Do I see that outside of those two groups?  No, not really.

Ty: Anyone care to argue that point?

Kat: I don't think anyone can.  The war's gone on for so long that it's basically exhausted the country's already short attention span.

Ty: Today on NBC's Meet The Press, David Gregory repeated the title the war has earned "The Forgotten War."  Is it forgotten, do you think, just because it's gone on so long?  Did everyone just get tired of it?

Mike: I don't think it's just people being weary.  I think it's also that there's a feeling of what can you do?  Not just because the war has gone on so long but because Barack's in the White House.  You know these wimp asses, they won't protest Princess Barack.  They're just a bunch of cowards who dream of sucking off the president, being their own little Monica Lewinsky.  So they refuse to address what's going wrong and instead attack people who do address the crimes.  And the Afghanistan War is an ongoing crime.

Cedric:  Let's not forget also that Afghanistan turned into a mill for Guantanamo.  People would turn over anyone to US authorities to get a reward.  They weren't even terrorists.  And yet Guantanamo remains open.

Kat: Right.  If you asked the average person, "Why are US troops in Afghanistan?," most people couldn't give you an answer.

Elaine: They might try to toss out Osama bin Laden.  First of all, Osama's dead.  Second of all, the US attacked Afghanistan.  The real record is that the US asked Afghanistan to turn over Osama and Afghanistan asked for some evidence that he was connected to 9-11.  The US position, as expressed by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was, 'Turn him over and then we'll provide you with our evidence.'  Now if evidence had been turned over, the Taliban would have turned over Osama bin Laden.  Instead of that happening, the US declared war on Afghanistan.  12 years later and there's nothing to show for it.

Cedric: And this after Barack did his own 'surge' and added 33,000 US troops on the ground in Afghanistan.  And not a damn thing to show for it.

Ty: Except for the 2,000 death toll today.  Isaiah?

Isaiah: I think it's worth pointing out that the death toll stood at 500 in December 2008. Barack is sworn in January 2009.  In that time, 1500 US troops have died.  Barack's got no plan for a win and should have had the guts to pull the troops out.  But instead, he wanted to use them to shore up his weak ass image.

Kat: Agreed.

Cedric: It's also worth noting that a number of the dead are dead because they were killed by the US-trained Afghan cops or US-trained Afghan military.  That says a great deal about how the United States is seen there.

Elaine: Equally worth pointing out is the puppet.  In Iraq, the US puppet is Nouri al-Maliki.  In Afghanistan, it's Hamid Karzai.  Not only has he never controlled anything but the capital, Kabul, he was selected solely for what Big Oil and Gas thought he could provide them with.

Kat: That's an interesting point.  I'm not sure how many people are aware of this but Afghanistan will hold presidential elections in 2014 -- or that's when they're scheduled to.  That's the same year that Iraq is supposed to hold parliamentary elections -- and the results of Iraq's elections are supposed to determine who gets named prime minister-designate.  So you've got two puppets who could be out of power in the same year.

Ty: Provided elections are held.

Kat: Yes, provided elections are held.  Another thing Iraq and Afghanistan share is rampant corruption.  In July, Karzai got some attention for his 'reform' proposals.  But nothing's really come of it. 

Cedric: The US government really does seem to favor corruption when selecting puppets.

Mike: True and probably because if you're corrupt it's easier to sway you and control you.

Ty: Elaine, we need to wrap up, I'll let you have the last word.

Elaine: It's amazing because we didn't even touch on the drug trade.  You really need to talk drugs when you talk Afghanistan.  CNN reported at the start of this month on Karzai selecting a new Intelligence Chief for the country and, wouldn't you know it, he's accused of not just trafficking in drugs but also torture.  I think that tells us everything we need to know about the ruler the United States has propped up.

Ty: Well said.  And on that note, we'll conclude.  This is a rush transcript.

Ann and Nancy Wilson share the true story (Ava and C.I.)

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson  have written a book with Charles R. Gross entitled Kicking &  Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock &  Roll.  This is a topic the two women are experts on having rocked it out in their group Heart since the seventies making them both trail blazers and pioneers.  The Wilson sisters survived to tell the tales.

kicking and dreaming

Whether explaining how boys in the band may have claimed fear of flying to have post-concert hook ups or how sex and gender and appearance was what the rock press wanted to focus on -- at times all they wanted -- in the 70s, the Wilson sisters share their stories.  This includes the rampant sexism on display in the male dominated world of 70s rock.

This includes noting that it wasn't just men in power trying to sexualize and take advantage of them.  Ann explains:

The topless pictures were not enough for Annie Leibovitz.  In the middle of the night, there was a knock on our hotel room door.  It was Annie with a bottle of vodka, a tray of cocaine, and her camera gear. I should have just gone back to bed, but I let her in, and we had another photo session.  She was obsessed with getting us naked, but the best she got that night was us looking tired in rumpled clothes.
The next day, I had second thoughts. I had allowed myself to be sexualized, and it was exactly the opposite of what Heart represented.  I think part of it was that because Annie was female, I trusted her not to objectify us, which had been a mistake.
We asked Annie to destroy the film.  She refused.  A behind-the-scenes brouhaha ensued, and the matter ended up in court.  Though a judge wouldn't order the photos destroyed, he decreed they be stored in a safety deposit box that could only be opened with two keys, one in Annie's possession, and one in ours.  She couldn't get to the photographs, and neither could we.
My topless photos are still there today in that safety deposit box. I've long ago lost the key.

That famous photographer wasn't the only woman to disappoint.  Manager Trudy Green was hired by the sisters because they hoped that a woman would be different, that she would fight for them to be seen as artists.  Instead, Green ended up just another person obsessed with photos of the Wilson's breasts.

A lot of people and events flow in and out of the book.  The group goes over big for the first time as the opening act on Elton John's tour.  And they're thrilled by the reaction and thrilled to be on tour with a rock legend.  Less than ten years later, they're the headliner having to deal with the self-proclaim Little Bastard.  John Mellencamp's having his biggest commercial moment and he's their opening act that wishes he was headlining.  He belittles them, he insults them throughout The Private Audition tour.  

That tour and album would lead to the press reporting Heart was over.  The attacks began in earnest. Music critic Patrick MacDonald savaged Ann for her weight on the Private Audition tour (Seattle Times) -- gleefully savaged.  Ann notes how interesting it was that this man who led the savage attacks on her weight was, in fact, overweight.

Private Audition was the first commercial stumble and a lot of people appeared to have been waiting to pounce on the group that had already hit with "Dog and Butterfly," "Straight On," "Crazy On You," "Even It Up," "Magic Man," "Barracuda" and more.  Were the attacks harsher because the critics were targeting women or was it part of the standard process where the critics love you, get tired of you, go after you . . .  Joni Mitchell's described it as a four-year presidency term, arguing you get four years and then the critics grab the knives more and more with each passing year.  Carly Simon's argued that, as you become familiar, the critics distance themselves in pursuit of something new but, if you hang in, the nastiness will fade and "it will be coming around again."

Neither Nancy nor Ann shares any strong answer as to why it went down the way it did.  The book would benefit from one because while it's true it's going to be read by fans, it's also true a lot of Heart's fans are picking up instruments and microphones and ready to follow in their footsteps.  A career is peaks and valleys and an exploration of the whys of that would have benefited many.

They don't shy from noting the low times sales wise such as with the Private Audition follow up, Passionworks, which led to even fewer sales (thought "How Can I Refuse" did get strong airplay on rock radio).  Two albums in a row that didn't meet commercial expectations and CBS dropped the band.  Capitol was part of EMI/Capitol and scoring some hits during this time.  They had Tina Turner's extraordinary return ("What's Love Got To Do With It," "Better Be Good To Me," etc.), Corey Hart's string of singles ("Never Surrender," "Sunglasses At Night," etc.), John Waite ("Missing You") and Heart could be a huge crowning glory for the company -- especially for the US division which had been lagging and had no bragging rights to Tina Turner's comeback (she came to EMI/Capitol via the London arm of the company).

Capitol wanted and needed them . . . provided they would record songs written by outside writers.  This attitude, Aerosmith would experience it as well, was one of, 'Their songs don't chart anymore.  They need a song doctor at the least, they need outside writers at most.'

This would lead to their most commercial period -- and their first number one singles, "These Dreams" and "Alone."  Nancy Wilson shares:

Bernie Taupin told me later "These Dreams" had originally been presented to Stevie Nicks, but Stevie wasn't considering new material then.  Ron Nevison didn't have to work hard to convince me to do it.  I knew it was a great song, and being an Elton John fanatic, I loved anything Bernie did.

She also shares how Sharon Hess, a 22-year-old dying of leukemia was able to come to studio as one of her last wishes while Nancy was recording the song:

On the album notes, I decided to dedicate "These Dreams" to Sharon. Every time I sing it, I think about her.  She died only a few days after we finished the final mixes. She was buried wearing a Heart T-shirt and cap, and with her favorite guitar in her arms.  It's just the way I'd want to go out.

Recording songs by outside writers (including Taupin, Holly Knight, Diane Warren and others), the eighties also meant MTV which meant video directors who wanted them to look like "porn starlets" or wanted to put Nancy on a horse (Ann: "better to bounce her big breasts").

In a demoralizing period, things only got worse as the success of 1985's Heart was followed by critics really going to town on Ann's weight in the following years.  While that was difficult earlier in the decade, it became more so with so much emphasis (via videos) put on looks and with so many of the songs recorded being written by others.

Touring meant even more press comments about Ann's appearance, "Critics began to constantly review my weight rather than my singing in our performances."  Touring also meant drugs, as Nancy explained about the Bad Animals tour:

When the tour got to Arizona, Stevie invited us to a party at her house.  Her home was filled with all these pictures of her, like it was a shrine to Stevie Nicks. We spent most of the night digging through her closets trying on clothes with her. It was fun to be girls together, and her closets were full of millions of shawls and colored tights wedged into teeny drawers. We spent hours there.
When it came to drugs, though, we couldn't keep up with Stevie.  She had a system where she could do various substances, and then do other substances to help her sleep.  We never knew how to do that, and, at some point, we had to leave to sleep.

What emerges from the book is that, if you were going to put Ann and Nancy into rock archetypes, Nancy's more Lillian Roxon.  She shares the anecdote here and there, an interesting story about Stevie Nicks or about  meeting Joni Mitchell for dinner at the Four Oaks in Bel-Air ("She was drinking a cappuccino and she was a stellar storyteller.") or how she and her then-husband ended up being taken on a Scientology tour by Tom Cruise.  Ann's more Ellen Willis wanting to explore larger issues:

I am a feminist, and a proud one, but this country's obsession with weight is the biggest problem women have ever had. It's bigger than sexism because it spills over into what women think of other women, and what they think of themselves.Nancy and I have often been cited as women who broke through gender barriers in music in an era when few others did.  We never took up that cause on purpose, it was accidental, or at best the fate we were born to.  We were naive, young, and unwilling to believe that we couldn't do something just because we were females. I know rock is better for women being it, but it is a hard life for the female pioneers.

And in their different approaches, the two women bring different perspectives to enlarge the story they're sharing, a story that ultimately is about truth and honor and the hard fought wisdom that shapes us into not just who we are but what we have become.

Kicking and Dreaming is a pleasure to read and if there's any reason to hesitate before picking the volume up, it's only to decide what format: hardcover, digital or audio.


Note that Heart's latest album, Fanatic, is released this Tuesday.  Kat reviews it in "Heart Walkin' Good."

The Iraq Roundtable

Jim: The Iraq War is over.  The Iraq War continues.  The US is out.  The US wants back in.  To deal with these contradictory claims, we're roundtabling on Iraq.  Our e-mail address is Participating our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jess, Ava, and me, Jim;  C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. We are doing three roundtables this week.  There's one on the presidential campaign.  There's one on Afghanistan and there's this one on Iraq.  Thank you to Dallas who will be hunting down any links in these roundtables.  Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't):  An e-mail from a Jose Villedo asked why we "continue to cover Iraq?  The war is over and there are a lot more important issues."  Ann?

Ann: Well the Iraq War isn't over but let's pretend that it is for the sake of argument.  Did the children born with birth defects due to the exposure to the various illegal weapons used in and on Iraq, did they vanish?  Are they not worthy of attention?  Are they not worthy of focus?  If the war really were over -- and it's not -- don't you think the story of a people trying to rebuild their country would be a story worth telling?

Jim: You're upset.

Ann: I'm angry.  And I'm angry with the guy writing such nonsense and e-mailing it.  Look, I get it. You're tired of Iraq. In our gaming age, we're used to clear starts and clear ends and it's just too much for you and your X-Box to comprehend, Jose, I grasp that.  But the war continues.

Jim: Trina?

Trina: If the war's over, why was Kim Rivera arrested when she left Canada this month?  If the war's over, the "dumb war" as Barack called it, why is Kim Rivera going to be court-martialed for resisting the illegal war?  And Kim Rivera is a story that was barely told by the US media.  I really would love to believe that Iraq was preventing poor Jose from getting other important news.  He seems to feel that way.  But the reality is Iraq is barely covered by the US media.

Jess: And we're not going to walk away from the Iraq War here.  If we're publishing, Iraq will be in the edition.  Iraq impacted us more than anything else.  Jim, Ava, Dona, Ty and I were all in college together.  Our generation grew up with the Iraq War.  It had a huge impact including the lesson that we could not trust the media.  The five of us were journalism majors and our story's the same for many across the country.  We looked at the profession we wanted to go into with shock and then with disgust as they lied the country into war and then, after they accomplished that deception, lied about what was going on in Iraq to keep the US military there.  I'm of the generation that does a media critique as they watch the news, as they read the news, as they hear the news because we've learned that you can't trust them.

Jim: And five of us were journalism majors as undergrads.  Ty now works in the film industry, Jess, you're a lawyer, Ava's got no interest in professional journalism at present.  I do wonder how much the whoring the press did to start and continue the Iraq War impacted our generation and impacted the five of us?

Ava: Well the whoring never ends.  Last week, Tim Arango of The New York Times reported, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions."  Now if that were the lede, we'd all be saying, "Scoop!  Way to go!" We'd be giving props to the paper of misrecord.  But that sentence appears in paragraph 15 and is never touched on again.  This is news.  How is this not news?  And, no, Jose, the Iraq War is not over.

C.I.: How could it be over?  AP's reported 26 dead in Iraq from violent attacks today.  How does that qualify as war is over?  What am I missing here?

Jess: Exactly.  And  we called out Tom Hayden for that xenophobic nonsense when Hayden was claiming this year that the Iraq War was over.  We noted how it reeked of xenophobia to declare a war over just because a Western country pulled most of its troops out.

Trina: And Tom Hayden was back last week blogging about Tim Arango's article, noting that Barack had sent Special-Ops into Iraq.  That should be "more Special-Ops" but Tom Hayden is apparently unaware that Special-Ops remained in Iraq even after what Barack called a "withdrawal."  Six paragraphs and he never got around to noting the negotiations.

Ann: It shocks me how little attention there is to that story of the negotiations.  Isn't Barack running on "I brought all the troops home"?  Shouldn't negotiating with Iraq to send more troops into Iraq be seen as news and something to cover and fact check?

Ava: Yes, you're right, Ann.  You're 100% correct.  But this is what we saw over and over, when we journalism undergrads, the media lied for the Oval Office occupant, the media lied to start and continue the Iraq War, the media repeatedly ensured that the American people were uninformed and misinformed.  Nothing has changed after all this time.

Trina: It really is as though the pathetic left media got the head of Judith Miller and then decided to call that victory, you know?  They have abandoned their press critique and are too busy tongue bathing Barack to cover Iraq.  Every day for The Nation magazine is about trying to get people to vote for Barack, the same with The Progressive, the same with Democracy Now, the same with the whole f**king Panhandle Media.

Jess: I think Trina's got a point.  The scalp of Judith Miller is waived around by the likes of Amy Goodman and Miller was just a bad reporter.  There were people who knowingly lied.  There were columnists and reporters.  And instead of holding them accountable, it's all about, "Well we've got Judith Miller's scalp.  Press critique complete."

Jim: I really do think the lesson for our generation was that the media lies and then tries to pretend like it didn't.  They don't take accountability.  They don't own their mistakes.  Hell, they really don't even correct them.  The media fail was a turning point and I don't think it's forgotten, I think it goes to why the public repeatedly gives the press low marks when it comes to the trust issue.

Ann: If I were picking the top ten stories of the '00s, at the top of the list would be the way the media sold the Iraq War.  And today there are so many stories from the ongoing war that are not being told.  I thought C.I. did a wonderful job in Thursday's "Iraq snapshot" addressing the issues of death row, the lack of an amnesty law and how that creates sympathy for the prisoners who escaped when the Tikrit prison was assaulted Thursday.

Jess: Absolutely.  And her point later about how today people hear about the struggle between the PKK and the Turkish government and they wonder how did this happen?  If the press did a better job talking about potential causes maybe that confusion wouldn't exist.  And right now the press could be explaining what's taking place in Iraq re: death row and they're not.

C.I.:  Well the Iraqi press wasn't afraid to draw the connection and Ali A. Nabhan and Sam Dagher, writing for The Wall Street Journal, also made the connection.

Ava: Yeah, but your snapshot was Thursday, the Wall St. Journal article was Friday afternoon.  And I don't say that to slam Dagher and Nabban, I'm grateful that they covered the very important issue.  But the point is, there are people who lead on the issue of Iraq and, in the US, it's pretty much down to you online.

Jess: I'm jumping in because C.I.'s getting ready to respond and I'm cutting her off.  Ava's exactly right.  Yes, there are others who write about Iraq.  They write garbage.  We know who they are.  They're the ones who, for example, write valentines to Nouri al-Maliki.  C.I., you're the only one with real independence and the only one with the knowledge base and analytical skill to write about Iraq in a way that matters.  Every day of the week.

Jim: And if you're listening to the audio of this on the Hilda's Mix newsletter, you hear the beep-beep.  That's my cell phone.  I set the alarm to make sure we stuck to the time limit already agreed upon.  So this is a rush transcript and we thank Dallas for hunting down any links in this piece.

Campaign roundtable

Dona: We're doing a series of roundtables this edition..  This roundtable focuses on campaigning.    Our e-mail address is Participating in this roundtable are?  Me representing  The Third Estate Sunday Review; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; Ruth of Ruth's Report; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ;  and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends.  Because the other moderators may dive in without explaining, we're doing three roundtables this edition.  We've broken up into groups and the three are going on all at once.  We're all supposed to stick to our general topic and stick to the allotted time.  For the most part, everybody got to sign up for what they wanted.  Clearly, for the Iraq roundtable, C.I. and Ava were needed there.  So those two were assigned without being asked.  We are a group of seven and we could have more.  This was the topic everyone wanted.  It's an easy topic.  You know a few facts, you add a lot of gas baggery, boom, you're ready for Meet The Press.  The other topics require a little more knowledge, to be sure. Equally true, you can't escape the topic of campaign politics.  There are days when that's all the story is.  Okay, so this is a rush transcript.  Marcia, give us an overview of who we're covering in this roundtable please.


Marcia: Sure thing.  There are many people who will be on a ballot in one state or a few states.  We're focusing on four presidential campaigns.  There is Barack Obama who is the incumbent.  He won the office in the 2008 election and wants to hold onto it.  Joe Biden, the current vice president, is his running mate.  There's Mitt Romney who is the Republican Party's presidential candidate.  His running mate is US House Rep. Paul Ryan.  There's the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. His running mate is Judge James P. Gray.  Dr. Jill Stein is the only woman with a serious shot this year.  She is the Green Party presidential candidate.  Her running mate is Cheri Honkala.

Rebecca: Marcia, when you say "Judge" James -- He's a real judge?  "Judge" isn't his first name, right?

Marica: Correct. He's from California and, in 2004, he ran for the US Senate as the Libertarian candidate.  He was in the Peace Corps, he was part of the Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps.  He was a judge from 1989 through 2009.  He is a father of three.  See, I did a little homework.

Dona: You did.  And I honestly knew nothing about Johnson's running mate, I didn't even know his name.  Who's got some Gary Johnson news?


Ruth: Joel Rose did a report on him last week on NPR's Morning Edition. Rose noted that Johnson supports "same-sex marriage and abortion, rights and even talks about ending the war on drugs."  And Johnson is against the war on drugs and stated in the report, "Nobody seems to be wanting to talk about the truth.  And for those that believe that we continue to sustain the spending levels that we have by printing money, I'm going to argue that it's not sustainable."

Dona: Okay, that's interesting.  I don't remember Morning Edition doing a report on Jill Stein.  Am I wrong on that?

Betty: No.  But Jill Stein isn't seen as stealing votes away from Romney whereas that report Ruth was talking about did talk about how Gary Johnson could persuade some Romney voters to vote for him.  This was a point that was also made two weeks ago on The Diane Rehm Show when Susan Page was guest hosting.  Jeanne Cummings thought she was so 'cute' talking about the pot vote and how Johnson could pull those voters away as David Corn and the other guy snickered.

Dona: So you're saying?

Betty: That this is part of -- Covering Gary Johnson is part of NPR's effort to get Barack re-elected.  Again, no Jill Stein coverage.  In fact, Susan Page was a joke.  She let them go on about Johnson and others for about two or three minutes and then she quickly said Dr. Stein was the Green Party candidate.  She even said "in fairness."  As though that announcement made up for not discussing Jill.

Ruth: And you had that ass David Corn snickering when she said it, like Jill Stein's a joke.

Betty: Exactly.

Dona: While we're on Jill Stein, she and Gary Johnson are both calling for the October debates to be opened to all candidates and not just the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans. David King (Akron Beacon Journal) observed, "The kicker is, after the media blackout on Stein and Johnson effectively prevents them from becoming known to the public, the people running the presidential debates say Stein and Johnson can't participate in the debates BECAUSE THEY DON'T POLL HIGH ENOUGH. What remains unexplained is exactly how someone the public is unaware of is supposed to poll favorably.  This closes the presidential candidate circle, and it's why we have so few third party candidates with a snowball's chance in hell.  Unless the candidate is a billionaire like Ross Perot who can self-finance to become known, they have no chance."

Stan: I would agree with that.  And it's not a topic, I feel, that Democratic pundits are comfortable discussing this election cycle.  The reality is that Barack did something disgusting in 2008 when he walked away from public financing in the general election.  That was a Watergate era reform, public financing.  The funds come from that little box you check on your IRS return to toss a few dollars towards the presidential elections.  And it meant everyone that qualified was on an even scale.  But Barack and greed meant that in 2008, Democrats broke with it.  This was huge.

Rebecca: Agreed.  In 2004, the Democratic Party presidential candidate was John Kerry and he explored that, though they try to pretend otherwise.  When word got out that they were exploring forgoing public financing, the reaction was such that the Kerry campaign had to issue an immediate denial.

Stan: But they'll let Princess Barack get away with anything.  And the result is that the public finance system is really dead and when we should be pushing for public financing of all elections, we no longer have anything to point to.

Dona; Barack bypassed it but public financing still exists, to be clear.

Stan: Right.  But if Ruth's running for Congress and we want to make the argument that she should receive public financing, if we want to argue that Big Money doesn't belong in politics, the response is something along the lines of, "Well Barack took money.  Barack avoided public finance."  It was our only example -- the presidential election -- of public financing of elections and Barack destroyed it.

Dona: Well said, I see your point.   Mitt Romney.  The press has written his obit, haven't they? Ava and C.I. were talking about this yesterday and noted that it was the same sort of entitlement attitude on the part of the press.  They compared it to how the press insisted Hillary drop out and that's really how the press is acting with Mitt Romney, as though he needs to drop out of the race.

Rebecca: That's a really strong insight.  That is how they're acting.  Is it over for Romney?  I don't see how.  I hear talk about early voting.  Early voting's meaningless, honestly.  I understand the argument against it but the people voting right now, for the most part, are people who made up their minds already.  You don't have swing voters rushing to early vote. But there are still a lot of swing voters and they will swing back and forth based upon the debates.  I don't think it's over yet.  Sorry.

Dona: What about concerns over oversampling in polls?

Rebecca: That's why C.I. should have been in this one.  She's studied methodology.  I haven't even studied the polling.  Does it feel accurate?  Nope.  Are they accurate?  I don't know.

Stan: Betty and I highlight Hillary Is 44 and the polling data has been questioned there.  Is it possible?  I think it's very possible that the polling is off.

Betty: And that Barack can take a big hit in the coming weeks.

Dona: Okay, Wally pick up there because you haven't spoken yet and we need to wrap up.

Wally: Sure.  You've got the scandal of the attack on the US Consulate in Libya and how the White House tried to bury it. Tried to cover it up.  Six days after the terrorist attack kills 4 Americans, Barack's stooge Susan Rice takes to the Sunday TV talk shows to proclaim that it wasn't terrorism, that it was protesters gone wild.  This is not going away -- even if the press continues to try to protect Barack.  Add in Univision's big story -- or supposed to be big -- on Barack's Fast and Furious program.  You're getting an impression that's going to be hard to shake.  And we don't need the explanation when it comes to Libya.  We all saw the White House lies in real time.

Dona: So to be clear, you think that's going to hurt Barack's numbers?

Wally: I think he's going to be on the defensive and have to address it.  I don't think the election is over.

Dona: Okay, on that note, we'll close.  Again rush transcript.

The only wasted vote is one that goes unused

Jill Stein is the Green Party presidential candidate.  Her campaign notes:

The only wasted vote is one that goes unused

wasted_vote.jpgThough, if you prefer to see America continue on its current path, a vote for Green Party Candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, would be a wasted vote.
Holding both parties accountable for 30 years of this country's largest transfer of wealth to the rich means coming to terms with the fact that neither are in a position to solve the challenges we face. While some partisan Democrats are once again claiming that a vote for the Greens is a vote for the Republicans, that argument falls flat with millions of disenfranchised voters who believe we can do better.

These are Americans who believe we must stop our descent into economic disparity, the erosion of our civil liberties, and the corruption of our political system by corporate power and massive wealth. They are Americans who understand the Democratic Party has been complacent, if not complicit, in this process and is now, as evidenced by an administration that has kept the policies of George W. Bush largely in place, institutionally incapable of any real reform.
The fact is, political parties change over time, so why shouldn't our votes change as well?

This is not the Democracy the revolutionaries of 1776 envisioned. They had just lived through a long, bloody war to throw off the shackles of an oppressive regime that had denied them rights and representation while pillaging their resources and their labor. It was not their intention that we live under a duopoly political system where a tiny handful of people control the pursestrings and allegiances of both parties.
Votes aren't being stolen, they are being bought.
Hundreds of millions of dollars from a small group of individuals are being spent by the two establishment parties to control the national conversation and convince Americans they have a clear choice. That sum of money and their record provide clarity enough. It is not a choice, it is maintenance of the status quo. It is a further grab for power by those who are threatened by recent cracks in the national conversation opening to issues of money and politics, the polarization of wealth, ecological responsibility, and the preservation of civil liberties.
The choice to be made is: Do we wish to be truly represented? Do we need to set a new course as a country? Do we need a real opposition party immediately capable of new ideas and energy, that isn't subject to the approval of the most rich and powerful?
lesser_evils.jpgEvil vs. Eviler.
Choosing the lesser of two evils keeps things exactly as they are. Fear tactics have worked well in the past to keep party stragglers and independent voters in check. But today's America is not the the America of 2000. We've seen first hand that the lesser of two evils isn't lesser at all. Arguably, it is worse because we are encouraged to hope against history, yet the outcome is the same.
If Democratic operatives were only concerned with the 2012 election results, they would not be aggressively fighting to keep people from voting Green in states like New York, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts, and many more, that have absolutely no chance of going GOP due to the Electoral College system. These tired tactics and failed arguments of the two dominating parties are beginning to be seen for what they are: the last remnants of a fear-based political landscape that is changing.

The election IS spoiled, but not by the Greens.
Even though the Republican and Democratic Parties were once third parties themselves, they have shored up the political system to keep third parties out. This battle continues over the issue of the presidential debates. Neither of the establishment candidates wishes to share to stage with a candidate like Dr. Stein who freely speaks truth to power - a candidate who stands on a platform of building a sustainable economy and creating a future that puts the dignity of Americans ahead of corporate interests.
Including Dr. Stein in the debates would do something unthinkable to the Democrats and Republican candidates: show them as two peas from the same, spoiled, pod. An alternative voice is urgently needed and Dr. Stein's deserves to be heard.

courage.jpgVote what you believe.
A simple enough statement. If we all found the courage to do so, we would begin to rebuild the country we deserve instead of settling for what gets left behind.

The Green Party and our 2004 presidential nominee made the Ohio Recount possible. If not for the continued determination of elected Greens, we would not have municipal sick leave or minimum wage and living wage policies in cities across the country. There would be no movement to amend the Constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling and end the toxic influence of money in our political system. The cause of equal marriage rights would not be as far along as it is (because of Green mayors and mayoral candidates defying anti-marriage laws in CA and NY). And the 100s of cities that passed anti-war and anti-PATRIOT Act resolutions would likely have been many fewer, since those efforts were also led by Green elected officials.
Meanwhile the establishment parties try to avoid our discontent by changing the subject from the real problems we face, and making elections all about preventing the other party from winning. In a way, the Democrats and Republicans are each correct. Either one of them winning would mean more of the same for America: maintaining a status quo that continues to ruin what is best about the United States.
The Green Party and the Green New Deal will shatter the status quo by addressing the real economic, social, and political challenges we face at their root causes with specific and already proven solutions. Vote for Jill Stein for President. Give a mandate for the Green New Deal.
Join us and come be part of the solution. We are all in this together.

Doctor pleads guilty to rape and abuse

This is a repost of  a Salem-New article (by Bonnie King) and a video also made by Salem-News.

Oregon Doctor Sentenced to 23 Years After Pleading Guilty to Rape and Sex Abuse

Bonnie King

Dr. Frederick Field is off to prison for the ultimate breach of trust~ what's next for his victims?
Dr Fred Field
Dr Fred Field pleaded guilty to rape and sex abuse in Wasco County court on Sept 18.
Still Photography by Willie Hayward,
(THE DALLES, Ore) - Dr. Frederick Field now will be known as one of Oregon’s most notorious serial sex offenders. The bad doctor pleaded guilty to 11 counts of first-degree sex abuse and one count of first-degree rape in the Wasco County court last Tuesday.
This was a change in plea which came after lengthy negotiations between the district attorney and Field's lawyer. 47-year old Frederick George Field was sentenced to 276 months in prison (23 years), based on Measure 11 guidelines.
For five years, Field, an anesthesiologist, worked at the main hospital in The Dalles, the Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC).
Frederick George Field obtained his license to practice in Oregon in 2005. He earned his medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine in 1998 and completed residency training in internal medicine and anesthesiology at Brown University in Providence, R.I.; he is currently married, and has two young children.
He was first indicted by a Wasco County grand jury and accused of abusing two patients. He was arrested July 28, 2011, and charged in August with rape and felony sexual abuse. He was held on more than $1 million bond.

Field's mugshot taken within hours of court.
The allegations began with two victims but quickly became more. Soon he was charged with sexually abusing seven women; six patients and one hospital employee, revealing that they were incapacitated by drugs when they were assaulted.
Then, the Oregon Medical Board suspended his license while the investigation was underway. The OMB had no record of disciplinary actions or malpractice claims against Dr Field prior to these sexual assault charges.

Whistleblower Victims Speak Out

A 66-year-old woman filed suit against Mid-Columbia Medical Center in August 2011 shedding more light on the sordid situation. She had undergone surgery in February 2011, conducted by Field.
"As soon as she was able to speak, she told her surgeon that Dr. Field had forced her to touch him sexually during the surgery. Dr. Field denied the allegations, and said that [she] had been hallucinating under the effect of the anesthetic," stated Kafoury & McDougal, the Portland law firm that represented the woman, on their website.
The woman said she took her concerns to hospital management but they did not take her seriously. Hospital officials disagree. They say when the patient first told them about the sexual abuse in May, they immediately notified The Dalles Police Department.
Richard Baltus, spokesman for Mid-Columbia Medical Center, said the hospital "took every precaution to ensure Dr. Field was not in a position to compromise patient safety and was never in a room alone with a patient."
The last known case of sexual abuse took place on July 24, over two months later. It wasn’t against a patient this time; instead he abused a female employee.
And what of the Oregon Health Authority? Were they apprised of the imminent risk to patients? The OHA is "the organization at the forefront of lowering and containing costs, improving quality and increasing access to health care in order to improve the lifelong health of Oregonians". This case is an example of when their guidance would have been especially helpful to patients in Oregon.
MCMC reportedly reaps $100 million a year from their vast healthcare empire; that is a lot to protect, but at what cost?
By sentencing last Tuesday, twelve victims had come forward, including co-workers, who said they were abused by Field between 2007 – 2011, and joined the cause to find justice.
According to reports, some of the victims said they awoke as Field touched them, and some had convinced themselves that their memories were dreams until the doctor was arrested.
Wasco County Chief Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf said the victims who were sedated by Field for surgery or other medical problems and then touched inappropriately. Six of Field's accusers say he touched their genitals or breasts, or forced them to touch his genitals, and one woman said Field forced her to have sexual intercourse in 2008.
In the cases involving co-workers, Field “asked if they wanted medication to ease a headache or some other ailment. He then took them into a room and administered medication that incapacitated them before they were abused,” Prosecutors said.
There are several drugs that would have been accessible to Field. Versed, a common drug by Anesthesiologists, is well known to induce amnesia, especially retrograde amnesia. It's very useful especially for painful procedures as the patient might be conscious at the time of the pain but not remember anything later.
As an Anesthesiologist, Fred Field had not only access to this drug and others, but also the expertise to use it to his advantage.

Who Knew and When? Adding Insult to Injury.

All of the crimes did not take place at the hospital itself. The admitted rapist allegedly took at least one of his victims to a house owned by the hospital foundation, used by visiting doctors and those on call. In Afghanistan, the Taliban and Russian soldiers were well known to use “rape rooms” as part of their torture of the locals. Being drugged and trapped with a rapist behind closed doors in The Dalles, Oregon, is no less torture.
809 Union Street in The Dalles is leased to MCMC for use as a "call house", and may be an integral piece of the puzzle as the investigation into the possible cover up of Dr Field's crimes continues.
The one rape victim in this case so far was a nurse working at Mid-Columbia Medical Center and lived about an hour away. She thought their anesthesiologist and her co-worker, Dr Field, was a trusted friend when she asked him for something to relieve her of a bad headache. When she "came to", Fred Field was on top of her - raping her on a couch in that MCMC leased call house on Union Street. Oregon State police DNA tested semen found on the MCMC "rape house" couch and it was identified as that of Dr. Field, likely contributing to his change in plea to guilty.
Field did not speak in court except to admit guilt to the charges against him at the hearing presided over by Judge Paul Crowley, but several of his victims did. Field stared forward, not reacting to their pleas for his remorse, not showing any sign that he even cared what they had to say.
"How could this happen?” One victim asked. “How could this man damage other women's lives ... how is it possible that this was allowed to happen?"
“You will be as powerless as I was once,” another victim said. “Your crimes can only have come from an unimaginable void within the moral fabric that exists within the rest of us; you have none. I hope I can someday find a way to forgive you; not because you deserve it but because I do.”
“What was really disappointing is that the doctor made no statement, and he made no effort to acknowledge what he had done to the women that had not been the subject of indictments and it shows what an unregenerate man he is,” said attorney Greg Kafoury.
“I think they were all offended at the fact that the man wouldn’t speak, they wanted to hear something.
“He is a coward. He wouldn’t stand up and say it, he talked through his lawyer. If there was ever a time for someone to stand up and say they were sorry, and to acknowledge what they had done, this would be the time to do it,” Kafoury said.
Whether or not there are additional victims remains to be seen. Kafoury is convinced there are more.
“I think there are women out there who have a story to tell, who are reluctant to step forward. If there are women who believe he should serve even longer, and they know what he did to them, they need to search their consciences and find the courage to do what these other women have done."
The civil trial is expected to begin in about a year, and Kafoury’s law team is seeking $14 million or more in damages from the hospital for pain and suffering on behalf of his clients.
Hospital administrators were allegedly advised of Field’s criminal behavior in 2008, but failed to act. The next three years put many other women in the position of being victimized by Dr Field. The Oregon Medical Board waited until after his arrest to take action. Why?
Dr Field had access to unconscious female patients every single day. It is possible that in the years he was at MCMC he committed far more sex abuse crimes than the 20 or so times described in this case.
In this rural Oregon town of 16,000 on the banks of the Columbia River famous for its fruits, wheat and wines, people in the know have been afraid to speak up, even when their wives, mothers or even grandmothers are being raped and sexually assaulted. Intimidation comes in many forms, and it must be removed as a factor once and for all in Wasco County.

Motherly Love

Joan Field, the convicted doctor’s mother, told that her son “didn’t rape anyone”, and that the charges have more to do with money than truth.
“It was a consensual affair, it occurred twice in two different places; once in her apartment and once in the hospital. It was a consensual affair, it was not rape. She is a very good actress.”
When asked if she had anything to say to the many women victimized by her son, Ms Field shook her head and said, “I don’t think there were many. I think there was only one, I think it was Allen. I think all the rest were...otherwise.”
“There is a lot of money involved here, and I think a lot of people are in it for the money. I’m sorry.”
She also does not believe it was possible for him to get a fair trial in Wasco County. According to Joan Field, a survey was conducted to determine what percentage of citizens in the county were aware of the proceedings against Frederick Field. Of the 1000 people polled, 80% were aware of the case, and 65% believed him to be guilty before the trial.
Frederick Field did not receive a change of venue to another county based on that information.

Complicity Can Be Criminal

By most accounts, The Dalles is an unpretentious, unsuspecting, “salt of the earth” rural community. The people that call The Dalles “home” have a good quality of life. They trust their friends, neighbors, and especially their doctors. In many cases, for generations.
This case is a serious affront to all area citizens that work to keep their city an honorable place to live. That may be the reason that this story has been kept strangely quiet.
A Letter to the Editor signed by several The Dalles community members expressed outrage at the lack of public outcry. “Our community has its own Penn State scandal going on,” they wrote.
“Why is the Hospital Board sitting on its hands? This scandal is a blight on our whole community. It makes us all look bad. Let’s put our support behind the victims, not those who allegedly let it happen.
“It seems to us that having the CEO of the hospital being a member of the board is an exercise in futility if the board’s true purpose is to police the hospital. How can they possibly be objective?” The letter asked.
Greg Kafoury said, “The hospital is in a bunker. All of its administrators are in a bunker, they talk through counsel and we’re going to pry the lid off the bunker and we’re going to make them all talk under oath and produce every document. We promised today, to this community, that they would have a trial and those who knew about what this man was doing, all those who concealed it will have to face the community under oath in a courtroom.”
Duane Francis, chief executive officer for the medical center, did not attend the court proceedings and he opted to have a spokesperson answer our questions. Richard Baltus, Director of Public Relations and Marketing spoke to via telephone exclusively after the sentencing.
He said, “In general we are pleased that the criminal proceedings against Dr Field have come to an end with the result appropriate for the despicable nature of his crimes, but also spares his victims from having to relive them in court.”
When asked if he expected more victims to come forward, he said, “We certainly have not heard of any. It appears to be the end of it, from the criminal standpoint.”
I asked him what he would say to the women of Wasco County to give them the confidence that the Medical Center is a safe place to be, and is watching out for their best interests?
“We have reviewed every single one of our policies in regard to patient safety to ensure that we are continuing to provide the safest possible environment for our patients and I’m confident that we are.
“This was a single individual determined to do harm, and certainly our hearts go out to his victims but his despicable actions don’t define our organization or what we’re all about. We are confident we’ve always had the right safety measures in place; he was just determined to do harm. (taps table) Sometimes there’s not anything you can do about that.”
“Have all the cases that Dr Field has worked on been reviewed?” I asked.
“No. I can’t answer that,” Baltus said.
Regarding the timeliness of the hospital’s report to the police when they knew of the accusations, Baltus said, “As soon as we had the information we could to go to the police, we immediately went to the police with that. I really can’t elaborate on that, but it’s certainly not a case of us ignoring accusations, ever.
“We have been providing care at the main hospital since 1959, and this is the first incident of anything like this ever happening.
“MCMC is not some giant, faceless corporation. It’s the largest employer in town, and as such it’s a microcosm of this community so we’re confident when people put a face on MCMC it’s the face of their neighbor or friend or family member, it’s not going to be the face of Fred Field.”

Oregon State Prison for Twenty-Three Years

Field will not be eligible for early parole, and when he leaves prison in over twenty years, he will have to register as a sex offender according to Wasco County Chief Deputy District Attorney Leslie Wolf.
She said that Field will also pay fines and assessments, and restitution of $5,308.02 for counseling expenses for five of his victims. A request to give Field's posted bail money to victims was denied by the judge.

Field is led away in cuffs.
"He's on Measure 11 time, so he's not eligible for any early release programs. He will have to register as a sex offender, and will have no contact with any of the victims and their families."
“I think the guilty plea was important to the victims to hear that he was accepting accountability and responsibility for the acts that he did to them.
“This is the time this community needs to start healing. Fred Field is the one that did these actions to these women, these women were completely vulnerable, they did nothing wrong. We ask the community to remember that, and to start respecting and having compassion for them and their families at this time,” Wolf said.
There are many more victims who may be suffering in silence and some whose memory of the abuse may have been wiped out by the sexual predator, using his knowledge, expertise and socioeconomic status to prey on his victims.
The victims of these crimes are not limited to those who physically had hands put upon them, as these events have changed the lives of everyone involved forever, including the families, friends and coworkers of every victim. The impact is like a pebble in a pond, the ripples go on and on.
When all was said and done, Stephen Houze, the Portland attorney representing Field made a plea to the victims, community members, the judge and prosecutor.
“He’s a human being; he’s not a monster,” said Houze, in court. “He’s a man who has contributed significantly in his life to the welfare of others. He is a husband and the loving father of two children with elderly parents who will live out their lives before he is free. I think it’s important to bear in mind that criminal cases, criminal justice, involves a number of victims.”
Dr Frederick Field put his hands behind his back and the Wasco County Deputies placed him in handcuffs and led him from the courtroom. He was then transported to the regional jail and then he was readied to go to prison for the next two decades.
Stay tuned to as this investigation continues. The Dr Fred Field story is not nearly finished.

Video produced by Bonnie King,
Photography by Sean King
Field Producer Austin King
Still Photographer Willie Hayward

Bonnie King has been with since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.

Online Global News Service

Mystery Republican Blocks

In the US, Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Her office notes:
Contact: Matt McAlvanah
(202) 224-2834
Mystery Republican Blocks Cost Of Living Adjustment for Disabled Veterans
Secret Republican hold on bill could prevent more money in disability benefits from going to millions of veterans
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee, announced that an as yet unnamed Senate Republican has blocked a traditionally non-controversial bill that would provide over 3.9 million veterans and their survivors with a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for the benefits they receive. The COLA increase, which is designed to offset inflation and other factors that lead to the rising cost of living, was brought to the Senate floor by Senator Murray last Thursday. The bill was cleared by all Senate Democrats but was blocked by at least one Senate Republican that has not come forward to claim responsibility.
"This is stunning" said Senator Murray. "Particularly because we still don't have any indication why someone would block a cost-of-living adjustment for veterans and their surviving spouses, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. This adjustment for our disabled veterans is hard earned and well deserved. My hope is that whichever Senator has decided to hold up this bill will at least come forward to own up to it. That way we can move forward to overcome their oppositions and get our veterans the support they need."
The Veterans COLA will affect several important benefits, including veterans' disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. The COLA rate will match the annual increase provided to Social Security recipients and is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.
Matt McAlvanah
Communications Director
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
202-224-2834 - press office
202--224-0228 - direct
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