Sunday, June 02, 2013

Truest statement of the week

Is punishment of so-called leakers surprising given this framework?  Does assassination conduce to respect for the law on other occasions?  Does “hit-lists,” an established fact of Terror Tuesdays as the National-Security gang sits around, at the Chief’s feet, planning summary executions from the skies, where habeas corpus, right to counsel, evidentiary preparation, are as remote as the 8,000-mile in distance from “pilot” of the drones to the victims, executed, vaporized, in plain sight.  The Obama Team is one set of tough cookies, not to be restrained by reporters, whistle blowers, soon perhaps, even demonstrators, as we saw when one CP writer, Medea Benjamin, was ejected from Brennan’s hearings for DCIA.  But now finally we are seeing some action in response to (a) abuses of the law, (b) the utter lack of government transparency, and (c) the chilling effect (a natural outcome of Obama’s own coldness with respect to civil liberties, as much else) on press freedom and the right to know in general, action, be it noted, taken by Republicans—not Democrats—and therefore easily dismissible by liberals, even when, as here, there is abundant merit in the criticism directed against government tactics in seeking to silence dissent and opposition.

--  Norman Pollack, "A Jurisprudential Cesspool" (CounterPunch).

Truest statement of the week II

Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the administration's sweeping surveillance of journalists with the Associated Press. In the greatest attack on the free press in decades, the Justice Department seized phone records for reporters and editors in at least three AP offices as well as its office in the House of Representatives. Holder, however, proceeded to claim absolute and blissful ignorance of the investigation, even failing to recall when or how he recused himself.
Yet, this was only the latest attack on the news media under Holder's leadership. Despite his record, he expressed surprise at the hearing that the head of the Republican National Committee had called for his resignation. After all, Holder pointed out, he did nothing. That is, of course, precisely the point. Unlike the head of the RNC, I am neither a Republican nor conservative, and I believe Holder should be fired.

-- Jonathan Turley, "Fire Eric Holder" (USA Today).

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?

Norman Pollack gets a truest.  It's a first for him here.
Jonathan Turley's had a truest before but not this year.
Do we love to pick on Prashant?  We actually hadn't even thought of him but then a professor at Stanford called to ask C.I. and me (Jim) what the hell we were going to do about Prashant?  What did he mean?  Did we miss Prashant trashing The Lancet study?  Yes, we had.  Prashant, stick to what you know -- surely you know something.  Maybe postage stamps or coin collecting, there's got to be something.

Ava and C.I. tackle The Water Cooler Set -- the failures of the set, the errors of the set and so much more.
Short feature.  We all agreed they were needed this edition.  Dona had loved Wally and Cedric's joint-post about the boardwalk from earlier in the week and went looking through The White House photos to find the perfect shot of the lovers.

We hadn't done one in a while.  We also wanted to be sure that Ann and Cedric -- new parents -- had a chance to participate.  Cedric participated in the editorial and Ann partipated in this feature.  
Dona wanted another short feature and Betty had pushed for Curisoity this edition so that seemed like the best choice.
Ava and C.I. made a crack that I thought was funny and said they should turn into a full feature.  They said they'd do it but only if they could bring in others.  So they brought in Betty, Stan, Isaiah and Elaine.  (They offered it to Marcia but she said she loved Revolution now and if she joined in on this, she'd pick a really bad moment from Revolution.)

We should have done this last edition.  We even talked about it.  We knew the collage would get some questions.  And it did.  This is really just identifying what's in the collage.
From Senator Patty Murray's office.
Repost from Workers World.

Repost from England's Socialist Worker.

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

So that's what we got.  See you next week.


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

Editorial: Piss Ant Rao's Propaganda

The United Nations revealed 1,045 Iraqis died in violence and another 2,397 were injured during the month of May.

The laughable AFP became a dirty joke last week or a dirtier one as they went around with their 'count' insisting that 500 was the total and then 600.  They radically undercount.

That's bad enough as they distribute their disinformation.

What's worse is what they do behind the scenes, specifically what Prashant Rao does behind the scenes.

AFP's Twitter king Prashant Rao is a one-man propaganda team.  Rao is responsible for AFP's death toll so when he 'forgets' to include deaths, that's on him.  He also 'forgets' to note rape or issues around rape in Iraq.

One of the worst things he's done recently involves CNN.

CNN hired Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security and CounterTerrorism advisor to Bully Boy Bush.  Townsend questioned Prashant's Syria propaganda -- in 2.5 years -- the alarmist Prashant shouts -- almost as many people have died in Syria as have died in Iraq since 2003.

Let's look at the conversation:

    1. Incredible that despite how violent Iraq has been for a decade, Syria has nearly caught up, in terms of death toll, in less than 2.5 years.
    2. Are you sure? 2.5 yrs into the Iraq war the British Lancet was claiming over 600K Iraqis dead
    Yes, but Lancet figures have been called into question repeatedly. Widely accepted figures are closer to 110-120k.
    1. I know but Lancet has not retracted its initial report that I know of.

  • Please grasp, a former Bush official is noting the validity of The Lancet figures and AFP Whore Prashant Rao, little weasel and liar that he is, is insisting The Lancet is not correct.

    The Lancet is a medical journal and it used sampling the same way the United Nations does.  It is the accepted method.  Not that a weasel who never took social sciences would know a damn thing about sampling.

    But Piss Ant Rao always knows so damn litte.

    Watch him prove where he gets his 'wisdom.'

  • Nope, it has not. has summarised problems with it, though: +
  • TV: The return of summer schedules on broadcast TV

    The broadcast commercial networks are attempting to make the summer break competitive once again.  As we've noted before, summer used to be where shows got try-outs.  The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour started out as a summer replacement show and went on to be a huge hit for CBS.


    This summer NBC is airing the variety show America's Got Talent  (Tuesdays starting July 10th), the  reality show America Ninja Warrior on Mondays (starting July 9th) paired with the reality show Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls on Monday nights (starting July 8th), the scripted show Camp starring Rachel Griffiths on Wednesdays (starting July 10th) and it's already airing a great show we'll get to in a moment.

    ABC's popular summer drama Rookie Blue returned to Thursday nights May 23rd, the awful show Wipe Out returned, The Bachelorette returned last week on Monday nights, Motive is the new detective drama leading into Rookie Blue on Thursday nights.  Returning last week were Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (Tuesdays) and What Would You Do? (Wednesdays).  The end of the month sees a reality mystery show Whodunnit? (Sundays starting June 23rd) and the return of Celebrity Wife Swap (same night, same channel) while  June 3rd (tomorrow) sees the premiere of the drama Mistress starring Alyssa Milano, Rochelle Aytes, Yunjin Kim and Jes Macallan.  Through the end of the month, Wednesday nights finds ABC airing new episodes of the sitcom How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life) paired with new episodes of the sitcom Family Tools (which finishes July 10th -- and Stan wrote about Family Tools last week at his site praising the show).  Friday, June 22nd ABC also begins airing the last four episodes of 666 Park Avenue.

    The CW has nothing scripted but their improv game show Whose Line Is It Anyway? returns Tuesday, July 16th and the dating game Perfect Score debuts the same night.  Reality show Breaking Pointe debuts July 29th and reality show The Hunt on July 31st.

    Fox's scripted show The Goodwin Games (sitcom starring Scott Foley) is already airing Monday nights. Reality shows Hell's Kitchen returned last month and is paired with reality show Does Someone Have to Go? on Thursdays.  Supposedly, July 27th will see the late night Saturday debut of Animation Domination High-Def; however, that show was supposed to have debuted back in January so don't be surprised if the start date gets pushed back again.

    CBS started airing the Wednesday night cooking competition show The Great British Bake Off last month.  It's their only new episodes until the end of this month.  First, Monday, June 24th, Under The Dome debuts.  It's from the Stephens -- Spielberg and King.  Then the reality show Big Brother returns June 26 (and begins taking up three nights on CBS' weekly schedule).  Sunday, July 28th is when Poppy Montgomery's Unforgettable returns.

    The summer return of this show is the only reason at least two execs at CBS still have jobs.  CBS did not have a good season.  This past season saw CSI:NY crater and saw new hour long dramas Vegas, Made in Jersey and Golden Boy bomb.  May 2012, CBS was so cocky.  They had Poppy's show bringing in an average of ten million viewers weekly.  A huge hit.  And they cancelled the show.  Only after protests -- and some wise words about how bad things could be next May if their new shows didn't pan out and the president of the network started asking why they thought they could do better than Unforgettable -- was it quickly announced that the show would have a second season as a summer replacement show.  If that hadn't happened, at least two CBS execs would be out on their asses.

    The show should never have been cancelled.  It was a hit and you cannot have too many hits.  Execs at CBS thought otherwise in May 2012 but learned reality in May 2013.  It will be one of the bright spots of the summer.

    One.  The brightest spot right now is NBC's Save Me, the Anne Heche sitcom airing on Thursdays.  Anne plays drunk Beth Harper who chokes on a sandwich one night and survives the next morning.  She now hears God speaking to her.  Is she crazy or is God speaking to her?  Something has her straightening out her life.  She stops drinking, she tries to establish a relationship with her teenage daughter Emily (Madison Davenport) and she lets her husband Tom (Michael Landes) know that God's saying he's not really happy about Tom's affair.  With his mistress (and employee), Tom's joking about how he's going to be smited by God.  It's not so funny when the mistress shows up on Beth's front lawn and, after refusing to leave, gets hit by a thunderbolt of lightning.

    The fact that she could be crazy should help stop some criticism of the show that would be in place if the premise was God is speaking to her.  This is a funny show about redemption.  Anne's perfect in it and Michael Landes is perfect as her husband.  You believe them as a couple and you believe that, whatever's happening to Beth Harper, it's helping others.  It's helped her daughter, it's helped an angry old neighbor, it's helped the friend who she betrayed when, while drunk, she came on to the friend's husband and stole the friend's espresso machine.  Neither the stories nor the humor is obvious.  It's a real adventure and it's a shame NBC couldn't have paired it up with Community or another out of the norm show.  When Thursdays this November are bombing in the ratings, someone at NBC should be asked why Save Me wasn't on the fall schedule?

    We're the ones who made the argument last year that CBS better turn Unforgettable into a summer show.  We made that here and we made it in person.  When we made it here we became the only critics to champion the show.  The Water Cooler Set couldn't be bothered.  Can they ever?

    They certainly haven't rushed to note Save Me.

    Last week, they did rush to weigh in on Arrested Development returning with new episodes on Netflix.  With Hemlock Grove last April, The Water Cooler Set 'discovered' something: Netflix tossing out a full season of shows on one day wasn't a working model.  It didn't allow people to absorb the show or discuss it the way that would have happened with a one-episode-a-week manner of unveiling.

    We'd call them astute but we were making that observation in February about Netflix's House of Cards . . . and we were repeating because we'd already made that observation January 20th about Crackle's Chosen.  Poor Water Cooler Set, incapable of original insight.  They're forever the seat fillers at the Academy Awards who briefly rush in while the real people get up to go to the bathroom or stretch their legs.

    All week long last week, The Water Cooler Set proved just how stupid they were as they tried to explain why Arrested Development was disappointing some people.  The first 'genius' to get it wrong was Jace Lacob (The Daily Beast) but once he typed it, everyone rushed to repeat it:

    Due to necessity, the format is different for Arrested’s fourth season; each episode focuses on a specific Bluth (Michael, Lucille, Tobias, etc.) as locking down the schedules for all of the actors for the entire production was impossible. Instead, an episode doesn’t have a B- or C-storyline, but just a single arc, shuttling backwards and forwards in time, to bring the audience up to date on the efforts of George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) to build (or not build) a wall on the U.S./Mexican border or whatever new depravity GOB (Will Arnett) has embraced. (Bees, limos, and Christian magic are all on the table.)

    This new format relies on all of its characters being able to carry an episode on their own (though a few other characters often do turn up throughout), and I’ll be honest here: they’re not always able to. 

    Let's be honest here, he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.  But that didn't stop everyone from repeating that lie.  By the end of the week, it was even being repeated by the Marxist analysts of World Socialist Web Site.  From Joanne Laurier's piece:

    Reportedly, the series’ creators had difficulties coordinating the schedules of the leading actors who play the Bluths. This meant a format change in which each main character had to carry an episode (or more) essentially on his or her own—in some cases, doubles shot from behind stood in for other lead performers. Whether the problems were strictly logistical-budgetary, or the show’s own creators did not really understand why the original series worked so well, the results are not effective. Ripped out of the dynamic of the core ensemble, individual cast members are not able conjure up their former magic—or energy. While some scenes are funnier than others, no episode is entirely successful and most are plodding and rudderless.

    Do those two and all the ones repeating in between them feel smart?  Do they feel like they did a job?

    We think they failed as critics and should find a new line of work.

    If Arrested Development were live  -- or maybe even taped before a live audience, they might have a point.  It's not.  It's filmed.

    We're not fans of filmed comedies.  Most of them suck.  Most of the time with comedy, as Lucille Ball damn well knew, you need a live audience in front of you to feed off that energy and to see what's working.

    But these idiots of The Water Cooler Set, they championed this return to 60s TV.  That is what it is.  It's all those bad comedies that, for the most part, are avoided and not big in syndication today.  The shows weren't funny.  At best, they provided whimsy.  Sort of like My Name Is Earl -- a sitcom The Water Cooler Set drooled over and a sitcom that helped destroy NBC Thursday nights.

    My Name Is Earl was never a huge hit outside of the pilot.  By 2009, it was cratering.  It had always damaged Thursday nights but you had to know how to read ratings -- not a difficult task we thought until we encountered The Water Cooler Set -- to grasp that.  By the final season, there was no way to deny how bad it was doing.

    But The Water Cooler Set had misled for so long that wanna be Water Cooler Setter Orrin Konheim had an online hissy fit that ratings led to the show being cancelled:

    My first complaint is why are TV networks so oblivious to everything but Nielsen ratings? Just look up TV guide or Entertainment Weekly and see how often people are writing praises for My Name is Earl as opposed to a show like Yes, Dear or Two and a Half Men. Go to and and see how many people have posted votes or reviews on a series like My Name is Earl. See how active the message boards are. Talk to people. See how many fans of these shows exist on facebook. Look at Q ratings. Look at the volume of My Name is Earl-related twitter messages. Look at traffic on your site. Look at itunes sales and hulu sales.

    To Orrin, success was social media -- Facebook, Twitter.  It was The Water Cooler Set that also invoked that shallow criteria.  It was "itunes sales and hulu sales."  My Name Is Earl didn't sell well on iTunes.  It didn't sell at all on Hulu because Hulu doesn't sell episodes.

    Hulu is factored in from time to time.  As we noted in September of 2009, Hulu stats were what kept Cougar Town on the air for a second episode.  The ratings were there but ABC was iffy because there was a campaign launched against the show.  Was it a one-time thing?  Nope.  Because Hulu stats showed that people  were watching the next day -- despite all the e-mails claiming the show was "disgusting" and that, having seen the first episode, they'd never watch it again.  We explained that in our piece -- it's called reporting, and heaven help us, it's a chore that's been too often left to us.

    Apparently, it's left to us to note the obvious as well.

    One of the few 60s (and beyond) sitcoms that found a life in syndication was My Three Sons.  We do have a point.  When Barbara Stanwyck was getting ready to do The Big Valley, her friend and frequent co-star Fred MacMurray told her how he survived doing the TV show My Three Sons -- he only worked three months a year.  He did all of his scenes first for the entire season.  In three months, he was done and they were left to film the other scenes -- the non-Fred MacMurray scenes -- throughout the rest of the weeks each season.

    When you're doing a TV show that's not live, you can do that.  (The not live but filmed before a studio audience Three's Company filmed Suzanne Somers scenes separately at the end of her run on that show.)

    You get what that means, right?  There was no production troubles that prevented them from filming subplots to add in to other episodes.  If Portia de Rossi could only work two weeks, for example, that would mean they had ten days to film scenes with Portia and that was honestly more than enough to fit her into any episode.  They didn't have to be filmed in order.

    Only a stupid and uninformed idiot would argue that 'production schedules' meant that each episode had to center on one character and you couldn't have subplots in the episodes.

    The stupid and the uninformed Water Cooler Set goes a long way towards explaining the decay of commercial broadcast television.  They never really cared for it, a little 'too common' for them.  But they never championed it either.

    Repeatedly, they got behind 'buzz' shows that had no audiences and usually had no audiences for good reason.  They refused to champion entertaining shows that needed the good word of mouth.  See, once upon a time, critics helped build word of mouth about TV shows.  But in the '00s, The Water Cooler Set chased trends and buss to try to pretend that they were meaningful or at least 'cool.'

    They have failed at their jobs repeatedly.

    Everyone of us has power.  We can choose to use it and how we use it.  How very sad that The Water Cooler Set has nothing to show for a full decade.  We, on the other hand, have spent years here making the argument for why commercial television needed to return to summer seasons.

    It's not as if they even have a choice anymore.  If they're going to remain competitive in the ratings, broadcast television is going to have start doing summer programming.  We explained that, made that argument for years, and The Water Cooler Set was off raving over some man in a cable TV show.

    Everyone of us has power.  In the past, TV critics used their power to champion and to lead.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.  Today, what's 'trending' passes for a discussion of quality.   The '00s produced no great show that changed the face of television.  That's largely the fault of The Water Cooler Set who failed to promote, failed to push, failed to prod.  They are responsible for the lack of quality in the decade.  Hopefully, they -- like the decade they represent -- are now a thing of the past.  TV viewers deserve better.

    On a blanket with Chris Christie . . .

    As Cedric and Wally noted last week in "The big make out under the boardwalk" and "THIS JUST IN! BARRY O GOES NECKING!," Barack got caught with lipstick on the collar -- and on the same day he was visiting the Jersey boardwalk in Asbury Park and New Jersey Govenor Chris Christie was winning him a stuffed bear.


    Under the boardwalk, down by the sea . . .
    On a blanket with Chris Christie . . .
    That's where he'll be.



    Ty: We may or may not have a roundtable this edition but we are doing a mailbag of sorts.  First off, one reason to do this is to remind people that our new e-mail address is Please note that change.  I'm Ty with The Third Estate Sunday Review and I've got 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;  Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report;  and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. participating in this feature.  For a change, we're going to talk about the receiving end of e-mails.  We may have time for a few of your e-mails as well.  Elaine, I want to start with you.  Saturday, you posted  "Mike posts and people whine to me" which was about how Mike wrote "The long day (and veterans issues are much more complicated than I ever knew)" Friday night and you ended up getting all these e-mails about it.  For those who don't know, Mike and Elaine are a couple, they have a daughter.  They also each have their own websites.  Elaine?

    Elaine: Well the post said it all but basically, I didn't appreciate the fact that if people had a problem with Mike's post they felt the need to gripe at me.  These aren't my readers, I'd never heard from them before.  Usually Sunny goes through my e-mails and she tells me who wrote about what.  I'd never heard of or from these people before who felt the need to (a) gripe to me about what Mike wrote and (b) blame me for violating doctor-patient confidentiality. I shouldn't have had to have pointed out that Mike's friend was not and had never been a patient of mine.  Mike made that point in his own post.  In addition, Mike writing about a patient that one of my ex-lovers forced C.I. to deal with is not me breaking doctor-patient confidentiality.  I wasn't treating that person, I never treated that person, I didn't write about the story until Mike did and then I only wrote about to explain to people what doctor patient confidentiality is.  Everyone -- unless they're Christian Scientist or something -- is a patient.  Because you got a flu shot last winter does not make you my patient and make me unable to share an observation I have of you.  Just because I'm a doctor and you're someone's patient does not mean you and I share doctor-patient confidentiality.

    Ty: Mike, did you get any of those e-mails, any of the people griping to Elaine gripe to you?

    Mike: Not one.  I checked right before we started this discussion because Ty asked me when I told him I hadn't to check again and be sure -- even check the spam folder.  As Ty advised, I did.  Nothing.  I didn't have one complaint.  I did have mail about the post but none of the people writing were griping and none of them were the ones who wrote Elaine.

    Ty: C.I., this has happened over and over to you.  Mike wrote about that this past week in "Norman Pollack, Ian Murphy."  Where something goes up somewhere and you're the one people run to.  I mean, not just 'people.'  When we did our series of articles calling out The Nation magazine for having less than 1/3 of their bylines by females -- in the magazine -- The Nation finally responds by e-mailing you.  That's so offensive, let me make clear before we go further.  Now this was Ava and C.I.'s baby, they were asked to do this feature -- tracking the bylines based on gender -- by some feminist friends -- and I'll say it that includes feminist friends with their own outlets and I don't mean blogs on Blogger/Blogspot or Wordpress.  These feminists wanted The Nation to be held accountable but didn't want to get their own hands dirty.  Ava and C.I. were happy to run with it.  So we had a regular feature, usually every week -- The Nation is a weekly magazine -- where we would count the bylines and then at the six month period, we all wrote a piece and at the 1 year mark, Ava and C.I. wrote the piece.  Well to try to stop that feature while it was ongoing, The Nation writes C.I.  The features running here at this site.  And The Nation writes C.I. instead of contacting us.  It is offensive.  But that's not the only time it's happened.  Okay, C.I., comment?

    C.I.: Rebecca was the first person I got a complaint on.  That's not surprising, her site started after mine.  But, yes, I do get complaints on things written at other sites as I'm sure other community sites hear about how angry someone is about what I wrote.  But what I usually do when this happens -- if there are several e-mails -- is put up a note that I'm not the Mommy, don't come complaining to me, no one likes a tattle tale and I'm going to stand with the community.

    Ty: And Rebecca, you wanted to make a point.

    Rebecca: Right.  Elaine, C.I. and I went to college together. Ty, Jim, Ava, Dona and Jess went to college together.  Ann and Cedric are married.  Betty, her kids, Ty and his boyfriend live with C.I.  Dona, Jim and their child live with Jess and Ava and their child.  Elaine and Mike live together with their child.  There are all these years of bonds that, if you're complaining about one of us in an e-mail, you just don't know anything about.  Cedric and Wally spent over a month together in Texas in 2008 campaigning for Hillary.  Wally and Marcia spent weeks in Indiana and other states campaigning for Hillary.  Marcia and Stan are cousins.  Ruth's young grandson and my daughter are friends and the reason they're friends is because Ruth and I used each other as primary babysitters when we needed to do an errand or a doctor's appointment.  It was nothing for one of us to pick up the phone and say, "Hey, can you cover for me?"  Mike's mother is Trina.  Wally lives at C.I.'s if he's in California -- as opposed to Wally's home in Florida.  Actually, he, Ava, Kat and C.I. now spend more time in the DC area at C.I.'s home there.  Trina and Wally's mother are very good friend.  Mike and Wally are very good friends.  If I had time to go on and on, I'd be doing a diagram that went on forever.  But the point is, that everyone's connected.  This is a community.  You're not going to have much like trying to split us up with an e-mail.

    Ty: Okay, before we go further, let me just do something real quick.    The Third Estate Sunday Review's is Dona, Jess, Ava, Jim and me; Rebecca does Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty does Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. is  The Common Ills and part of The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat writes at Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric at Cedric's Big Mix; Mike at Mikey Likes It!; Elaine at Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth at Ruth's Report; Trina at Trina's Kitchen; Wally at The Daily Jot; Marcia at SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan at Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah at The World Today Just Nuts and Ann at Ann's Mega Dub. That covers everyone that Rebecca just mentioned.  Ruth, two weeks ago, you did "Why did I write about Little Missy?" and the problem with the e-mail you were responding to was?

    Ruth: There is a writer named Missy -- I do not want to publicize her.  We used to highlight her, those of us with websites, back during the Bush era.  These days we are not interested because she showed her true nature in 2008.  Until the post in question, I last wrote about her in 2009, June, when she showed up to say 'some of us knew Barack Obama wasn't for real' or whatever she wrote.  But in real time, she lied for him.  She was not admitting to lying.  She just showed up in June 2009 wanting to pretend like she had been a critic of then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 when she had not been.  So 2009, that is four years ago.  It had been four years since I had written of her.  And this guy shows up in an e-mail wanting to know why I wrote what I wrote about Missy.  He does not tell the name of the post, does not give me a link to the post, does not tell me what date the post was published, nothing.  And he expects me to sit here and, from memory, know a post I wrote in 2009 or 2008 criticizing Missy.  I wrote many.  I do not remember most of them.  If you have a question or a problem with something that has been written, you really need to grasp that what you just read may not be anything we have thought about in years.  What is fresh and new to you may already be forgotten to us.

    Ty: Ann, are you able to come into the conversation now?

    Ann: Sure.  I actually can add to it.  I know the type of e-mails Ruth's talking about.  What I have done at my site is just ignore those e-mails.  What happens is one of two things: I never hear about it again or the person writes back.  If they write back, the smarter and nicer ones now state the title of whatever post they had a question about or issue with.  The nastier ones write me an insulting e-mail about how rude and stupid I am for not replying.  Then I get to reply, "I'm the stupid one?  There are over 1,000 posts at my site and you're complaining about one of them but don't include the title, don't include the date and don't include a link.  Who's the stupid one?"  Right now, Sunny's handling my e-mails, Elaine's assistant and friend and thank you, Sunny, for that.  I do not get a lot of hateful e-mails overall.  It's weird because Betty can tell you being a woman makes you a natural target online.  The only thing I can figure is I'm married to Cedric, when I started online we were married.  Maybe that accounts for some of it.

    Ty: When you get a hateful e-mail what is about?

    Ann: I take a lot of stands at my site that others might not.  Because I don't have a fixed topic.  Ruth has to cover Benghazi updates, Betty's covering NASA -- especially the land rover Curiosity, Trina covers the economy, C.I. covers Iraq.  So I can grab anything, any topic. And a lot of the times I make political calls and that tends to anger people.  I get a lot of e-mails about how I'm the reason Bully Boy Bush got into the White House because I have voted for Ralph Nader in every election until 2012 when he didn't run.  I am a Green.  And I'm not a play-Green.  I'm not one of those White people who slobbers over corporatist Barack Obama while swearing I'm a Green.

    Ty: Betty, you get a lot of hateful e-mail.

    Betty: I used to.  I used to get it so bad that I wouldn't read my e-mails for a month at a time.  They were making physical threats and anyway. What changed?  My site changed.  It used to be an online novel, comedic novel.  I dropped that in 2008 when the sexism was too great in this country.  Once I dropped it, people were no longer identifying me with Bettina, the character in the novel.  I would blog about my kids or whatever.  And I'm thinking, based on what Ann was talking about, I'm thinking that may have humanized me to some people who before didn't see me as a person.  I also think it died down because by 2012 it was realized that I wasn't going to be an echo chamber.  The hatred of 2008 should have made that clear.  That was probably the most difficult year in terms of hate mail.  I'm Black, I'm a woman, I've always voted Democrat and yet I wasn't going to whore for Barack -- or even vote for him. SO I got a lot of harassing e-mails then.  What I get now or more concerned e-mails.  Ann and I talk on the phone a few times a week.  And sometimes I'll note something Ann said at my site.  Something she said over the phone.  And someone will misunderstand and write in concerned that Ann and I are having trouble.  In fact, Ann gets e-mails like that too.

    Ann: Betty has never been anything but kind to me.  Betty is a friend.  I have no idea why there's this concern that Betty and I don't get along.  Betty wasn't at my wedding.  That's pointed out.  My wedding was falling apart.  It was planned quickly and it fell apart immediately.  I had just met Ruth when I asked her to be my maid of honor because my friend wasn't able to make it on short notice.  Now everyone there pitched in -- Elaine, C.I., Wally, Ava, Rebecca -- but Ruth's pitching in was helping me directly, one-on-one, holding my hand and saying, "It's going to be okay."  Because everything was falling apart.  We even had to find a new venue due to a fire.  It was a nightmare.  But in terms of Betty, she didn't 'miss' my wedding because she hated me.  She'd never met me.  She was friends with Cedric and I certainly would have loved for her to have been there but it was very spur of the moment and she couldn't just say, "Hey, flying out of town so I'm going to miss work for the next days."  I think maybe, Betty, tell me what you think, people assume that we knew each other before I married Cedric and they think you were boycotting the wedding?

    Betty: That's probably it because those concerned e-mails usually do mention the wedding and how I didn't attend.  I also wonder if it's a Black woman thing -- in that they want to be sure that we, Black women, are sending out a strong message of we-get-along.  I used to get similar e-mails regarding Marcia.

    Marcia: Right.  That lasted for about three or four months and then people stopped wondering mainly because I'll write about anything at my site and that includes if I'm mad at someone.  So people tended to get that they didn't need to wonder if I was mad at Betty since I wasn't writing, "I'm mad at Betty."  The other thing going on here is that I am a lesbian and was never going to end up with Cedric.  But I think for a lot of readers, there was hope that Cedric and Betty would end up together. They're great -- even now -- in roundtables together.  Cedric and Betty can usually riff off one another, they have similar humor and a similar knowledge base.  I started out a reader in the community and I did think, as did others, "Cedric and Betty are perfect for each other."  And that's part of it.  I believe.  That's part of, "Betty and Ann don't fight!"  Ann's so sweet, it comes across online, that no one can hate her -- even if they wanted Cedric and Betty together. And I think that's what's at the root of the constant panic that the two of you don't get along.  Because there's never been a moment when the two of you have disagreed that I know of.  And anytime Ann's walked out on a limb -- we pitch stories here every week and every one comes in with ideas and sometimes the only person supporting your idea is you -- so anytime Ann's had an idea that had zero support or felt like it might, Betty has rushed in and said, "Great idea."  I don't know if anyone else notices that.  And I also know that Ann's always praising Betty.

    Ann: Thank you for saying that, Marcia.  It's true.  It's the elephant in the closet.  Betty once tried to write about it and wrote about it very nicely but some readers still freaked out.  Betty is a great person, she and my husband were never a couple.  She is not a threat to me.  I am not a threat to her.  Betty's a gorgeous woman who can have her pick of men.

    Betty: Ann's a very sweet liar.  I'm far from gorgeous.  But, yeah, I mean -- Yeah.  Marcia and Ty are gay and can't be fixed up with each other.  I think it was around the time of everybody hooking up that was going to. It was Mike and Elaine and Jim and Dona and Jess and Ava and Rebecca got married.  But love was in the air and I think some people just felt that Cedric and I would end up together.  I have no idea why.  I've lived in Georgia and now California.  Neither of those are Cedric's states.  I don't know why people wanted that.  Cedric's a great guy and Ann is perfect for him.  I've stated before that I am single mother with three kids.  I have three great kids.  I had to work to support them.  Their father has never provided child support, has had nothing to do with them since we broke up after I had my youngest.  I'm not a super hero and I can't do everything.  I was smart enough to realize that and smart enough to realize that I couldn't do a love relationship with a man and raise my children and work all at the same time.  So I've put my love life on hold.  And my kids are doing great in school, they're happy and life is good.  It's not perfect, but it's good and that's great.

    Ty: Rebecca, you had a point you wanted to make.

    Rebecca: Right, you said we were going to talk about the e-mails we received and I went to my blog and started looking for e-mails.  I did a post called "tear down the gates, don't appoint new gatekeepers" in April  of 2005 and there are so many smart community members and smart readers who e-mail.  There are a lot of great people mentioned in that e-mail and that includes Wally.

    Mike: That's a really good point.  Wally and I are about the same age.  I knew of him and he knew of me via Rebecca's post and C.I.'s writing. And Wally and I talked the first time after I'd been blogging for about a month. I was really pissed about something and we ended up talking.  And Wally really influenced what this community is. And did so for a long time without a website.

    Ty: That's true.  And maybe a good way to go out is quoting from Wally's first post.  This is from October 15, 2005:

    Thank you mucho to C.I. of The Common Ills. Mucho grande.
    I'm Common Ills community member Wally and I toss out things every now and then to that site. This is just a brief background or bio.
    I think my older cousin Will turned me on to The Common Ills. A lot of people were talking about it but Will's the one I listen to. There was a thing on a story in The New York Times about Florida and football and that's how Will got me to check it out. I discovered the other community sites and I have to do a shout out to Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. I've got C.I. on the phone so I'm trying not to do too many links. C.I.'s talking me through the mechanics but I have to give a shout out to Rebecca. We'd read her and C.I. for class my last year in high school. And I have to do a shout out to my buddy Mike because if he hadn't stayed on my case, this site wouldn't be starting. Mike blogs at Mikey Likes It!

    Mars once had a flowing water stream

    Curiosity should have been Time magazine's choice for Person of the Year last December.  Instead, they went with Barack Obama who is currently mired in many scandals.  As Barack does nothing, the Land Rover on Mars continues to be a ground breaker.

    Last week, Curiosity took photos that show the ancient stream that was once on Mars.


    NASA explained:

    NASA's Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named "Hottah" after Hottah Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. It may look like a broken sidewalk, but this geological feature on Mars is actually exposed bedrock made up of smaller fragments cemented together, or what geologists call a sedimentary conglomerate. Scientists theorize that the bedrock was disrupted in the past, giving it the titled angle, most likely via impacts from meteorites.

    NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover found evidence for ancient, water-transported sediment on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, named "Hottah". Rounded pebbles within this sedimentary conglomerate indicate sustained abrasion of rock fragments within water flows that crossed Gale Crater.

    The key evidence for the ancient stream comes from the size and rounded shape of the gravel in and around the bedrock. Hottah has pieces of gravel embedded in it, called clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimeters) in size and located within a matrix of sand-sized material. Some of the clasts are round in shape, leading the science team to conclude they were transported by a vigorous flow of water. The grains are too large to have been moved by wind. Erosion of the outcrop results in gravel clasts that protrude from the outcrop and ultimately fall onto the ground, creating the gravel pile in the left foreground. The scale bar at lower right is 5 centimeters (2 inches). 

    Curiosity continues to get results.

    Curiosity continues to work.

    No one dares to call Curiosity a "lame duck."

    TV's 10 most embarrassing moments this season

    Ava, C.I., Elaine, Stan, Isaiah,  Rebecca and Betty look back at some of the worst TV moments since last September when the fall season kicked off.   They could have easily done 20 but here are ten in no particular order.

    new tv

    1) When Megan Hunt (Dana Delany, ABC's Body of Proof) was 13-years-old, her father died.  A suicide, she was told.  In the final episode of the series, aired last week, it turned out then-police rookie Angela Martin had killed him.  Martin (Lorraine Toussaint) was now the police chief.   Delany's 57-years-old, Toussaint's 53-years-old which makes Angela Martin the youngest police recruit in the world at the age of nine.  It also allowed the show to continue to work out it's third season racism -- third and thankfully last season.

    2) Colton Haynes in the cast of Arrow.  Haynes plays Roy Harper who is Speedy -- Green Arrow's sidekick -- in the comic books.  On the TV show, he mainly takes his shirt off and brings to mind The Wonder Twins and Scrappy Doo and any other insipid character who dragged a show down.  Already top heavy in action males, the show actually needs to show some action females and with David Ramsey -- the show's lone African-American -- already fighting for screen time as Arrow's sidekick, nobody needs another slice of White bread.

    3) Struggling photographer Whitney (played by Whitney Cummings in the sitcom Whitney) apparently gives up her job at a magazine in season two to put out sex for her boyfriend in exchange for his paying the bills and his giving her spending money.  This is also known as prostitution.  By season's end (not surprisingly, it was also the end of the series), Whitney is still not a part of the legitimate workforce.

    4) Justin Bieber's performance of "Take You" on the Billboard Awards. Styled as if he were Corey Haim getting ready to shoot Lucas and wearing what appeared to be a leather skort with leggings, Bieber was a disaster before he even attempted to sing.  And then he attempted to sing.

    5) In the spirit of 'sisterhood,' Tina Fey and Amy Poehler decide the best use of their combined skills and combined 84 years is to rip apart a 23-year-old (Taylor Swift)  for her dating.  Fey was especially surprised and liked to point out that critics loved it.  Yes, sexism sells quite well.  But what does it say about two middle aged women who feel the need to stand up on TV and slam a young woman for her dating habits?  What it said was when two older women need laughs, they go cheap with "slut shaming" and that's why the critics cheered (they always cheer sexism).  They did grasp that they were on show promoting the arts, right?  And not one of their sitcoms that America refuses to watch?

    6) Season one of Up All Night found Ava (Maya Rudolph) hosting her long running talk show which was crushing the ratings of a competitor and former protege (played by Megan Mullally).  Yet season two started with Ava's talk show -- syndicated daytime -- being axed.  That doesn't happen in August and September.  Syndication doesn't work that way.  But even more embarrassing was watching the show offer one bad episode after another about Ava unable to find work and about Reagan (Christina Applegate)  deciding she wanted to be a stay-at-home Mommy.  Season two's story lines would never have gotten Stevie Nicks to agree to appear on the show -- as she did in season one.  Everyone connected with season two should be ashamed of themselves for how they undercut and destroyed two strong female characters.

    7) The Not So Entertaining Mr. Sloane.  Barry Sloane joined the cast of Revenge in the second season and quickly his Aiden became the main storyline.  Emily VanCamp's Emily Thorne had been the lead and now she was lost in the episodes. If Emily's storylines were lost, Madeleine Stowe's Victoria pretty much just disappeared.  As Sloane moved further and further into the forefront and as the former hit show watched its ratings slip week after week,  ABC decided they'd had enough of the ratings wreckage and dismissed show runner Mike Kelley from his own show.

    8) Season two of Smash found the creative and fascinating but occasionally maddening musical drama losing a talented show runner to replace her with a CW reject -- indicating only that no one kept the phone numbers of UPN show runners.  What was the thinking there?  "No one watches Gossip Girl on The CW anymore so let's hire from their 'creative' pool"?  Suddenly the show was dipped in youth with actors who really weren't ready for their close up -- Ana Vargas, for example, would be perfect for MTV's Undressed.   As the "young 'uns" threw tantrums that were embarrassing to watch (Karen's many tantrums with Jimmy, Ana's tantrums with Jimmy and Karen, Karen egging Kyle on to end his friendship and partnership with Jimmy, etc.), the talent of season one was forgotten as was demonstrated by the writers repeated attempts to start a relationship for Julia (Debra Messing) -- none went anywhere -- and by their failure to figure out what to do with Eileen (Anjelica Huston).

    9) Parks and Recreation.  For a show that claims to have a feminist in charge, Amy Poehler, they sure have enjoyed trashing strong women.  Ann (Rashida Jones) was frequently the only reason to watch.  When she ended it with Andy, it appeared that the character was getting some strength and, indeed, she became the rock everyone leaned on.  Then a stupid decision to add Rob Lowe to the cast pushed her and everyone else (including Retta's Donna) to the side but worse was the relationship between Chris and Ann leaving her unsure of herself to the point that she even dates Tom.  If you thought the downward spiral was over for Ann, you were no doubt surprised by her Baby Fever this season which found her looking for sperm donors but apparently not grasping that the best sperm donor might be the unknown one and not the personal acquaintance you ask for sperm.

    10) The theme of fall 2012 and spring 2013 was cowing female characters.  Only in such a season was it ever possible that someone would argue the best storyline for The Good Wife's strong and capable Kalinda was to be trapped in a sado-masochistic relationship.  Watch as Nick and Kalinda beat the s**t out of each other and then hop into bed -- destroying not only Kalinda's integrity but sending the wrong message about spousal abuse.

    Movies, we love 'em

    movie montage

    Like you, we love what  Betty wrote about movies:

    Film is visceral.
    It's hollering for Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett in "Set It Off" or for Angelina Jolie in "Wanted."  It's screaming when someone steps out from the shadows, it's knowing that Tony and Maria belong together ("West Side Story") and that Angie Dickinson should not get on that elevator ("Dressed To Kill"), it's rooting for Gale Sondergaard to kill Bette Davis ("The Letter"), it's the moment in "Terminator 2" when Linda Hamilton fixes the doctor with the look.

    You also love the collage we debuted last week for "Film Classics of the 20th Century" and a number of you tried to identify everyone.  Film experts Vernon and Bonita were the only two who managed the trick on Sunday before 10:00 pm Pacific Time.  After that time?

    C.I., answering e-mails at The Common Ills, identified the pieces of the collage.  So if you e-mailed after that, you may have done it on your own or you may have cribbed from her answers.

    Top row, Bogart and Lauren Bacall in Key Largo, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in Barefoot in the Park, Danny De Vito and Billy Crystal in Throw Mama From The Train, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn from Desk Set, Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway (Chinatown), Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot (Les Diaboliques),  Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn (House Sitter) and Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, (sort of second row follows), Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn (Death Becomes Her), The Graduate (Anne Bancroft's leg), Cher (Moonstruck), Walter Matthau and Elaine May (A New Leaf), Jeff Bridges and Barbra Streisand (The Mirror Has Two Faces), Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally . . .), (sort of third row) Woody Allen (Love and Death), Bette Davis (Now Voyager), Apocalypse Now, Johnny Depp (Ed Wood),  (sort of fourth row) Diane Ross (Mahogany), Dressed to Kill, Goodfellas, Jon Voight and Jane Fonda (Coming Home), Judy Garland (Summer Stock), Goldie Hawn (Wildcats), Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort (Harold and Maude), Keanu Reeves (and Patrick Swayze which you can't see at Third, from Point Break),  (sort of fifth row), Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepburn (Philadelphia Story), Tatum O'Neal and Ryan O'Neal (Paper Moon), Michelle Pfieffer (Fabulous Baker Boys), Terminator 2,  Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton (First Wives Club), Marlon Brando (Streetcar Named Desire), Tim Robbins (The Player), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas (Ninotchka), (next row) Diane Keaton and Woody Allen (Annie Hall), Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall (How To Marry A Millionaire), Fred MacMurray, Hattie McDaniel and Katharine Hepburn (Alice Adams), (and just above that) Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were), Drew Barrymore (Firestarter), Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci, Cher and Bob Hoskins (Mermaids), Carole Lombard (My Man Godfrey), Jimmy Stewart (Vertigo), Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle -- click on image if she's cut off above and you'll see it and Patrick Swayze), and (final row) Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner (Romancing The Stone), Jane Fonda and Jeff Bridges (The Morning After), Bette Davis (Dangerous -- her first Academy Award), Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell and Cher (Silkwood), (drop down a bit) Rosie Perez, Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei (Untamed Heart) and Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore (Ghost).

    As C.I. explained, all the images came from the cardboard cases of videos.  For those worried about the environment, we only used empty video cardboard.  (A friend of C.I.'s is doing a visual exhibit and needed videotapes for it.  He took the videos, the empty cases were then used by us.)

    From that limitation, our second limitation was how many we could fit on the green poster board.

    The feature this will be used for is a look back at great films from the 20th century.  As a result, all displayed in the collage need to be from the 20th century.  (That's in reply to a few of you who listed films from the last 13 years that should have been in it.)  For those who felt your favorite film wasn't represented, C.I.'s favorite is Some Like It Hot, Jim's favorite is Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cedric's is the original Psycho, Marcia's is Grace of My Heart, Elaine's is The Apartment . . . Point being, those films didn't make the collage either.  As Joe E. Brown tells Jack Lemmon at the end of Some Like It Hot, "Well, nobody's perfect."

    Combating Military Sexual Assault

    Senator Patty Murray

    Senator Patty Murray (above), the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Senator Kelly Ayotte are sponsoring a bill "Combating Military Sexual Assault (MSA) Act of 2013." Senator Murray's spoke on the Senate floor about the bill (you can stream that here).  Friday, her office noted:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           CONTACT: Murray Press Office
    Friday, May 31, 2013                                                                           (202) 224-2834

    More Information on Military Sexual Assault


    Sen. Murray meets with military sexual assault survivors & advocates in Seattle today. (Photo: Murray Press Office)

    Senator Murray’s legislation to reduce sexual assaults within the military and provide greater resources to the victims of this crime, the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013: Legislation, Summary, Cosponsors

    Follow the conversation on Twitter with @PattyMurray & #CombatMSA


    “The services have struggled for decades with pervasive sexual assault in the ranks. SWAN has been at the forefront of demanding institutional changes that would help improve this crisis and transform military culture. The Combating Military Sexual Assault Act introduced today by Senator Patty Murray and Senator Kelly Ayotte contains many provisions that will give the military the tools it needs to combat this widespread problem. Common-sense solutions like providing victims with their own designated lawyers, criminalizing sexual relationships between basic training instructors and students, and making sure that our National Guard troops have access to the same resources that active duty service members have are critical in making sure that survivors are supported and that offenders will be better prosecuted."
    -Anu Bhagwati, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) Executive Director 

    “The 380,000 member Military Officers Association of America strongly endorses the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013. Preventing sexual assault is a duty of everyone in the chain of command.  This legislation will increase support for sexual assault victims and strengthen policies and procedures for such cases in our nation’s Armed Forces.”
    -MOAA national President, VADM Norb Ryan, USN-ret. 

    “The Association of the United States Navy strongly support the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act. The number of sexual assault cases is unacceptable and reflects the need for immediate action as the Department of Defense has reported.  This bill will help set in place the right oversight and stronger processes needed to protect our Sailors, men and women.”
    -AUSN Executive Director, RADM Casey Coane, USN-ret.

    "In light of the Pentagon's announcement that an estimated 26,000 cases of sexual assault occurred in the military in 2012 alone, the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013 is a necessary step to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. The effects in our culture of victim-blaming, cover-up and misogyny goes far beyond individual cases of criminal justice to be pervasive throughout the military. Survivors of military rape should have all the means they need to recover from their trauma, and the CMSA's provisions will help ensure these resources are available. NOW is glad to support Sens. Murray & Ayotte's legislation in the hope that it will improve the lives of the millions of female (and male) members of the military.”
     -Terry O’Neill, National Organization for Women President
    “The special victims counsels have helped...typically it's 30 percent, as I mentioned, of our victims who won't -- continue through prosecution, even after making an unrestricted report. So far, the 265 assigned special victims counsels, two have done that. That's a great trend. We must now continue it. One of the other problems we have is that we have never had people who make restricted reports initially change from a restricted to unrestricted at a very high rate so that we can investigate and potentially prosecute those cases. About 17 percent of our reportees in the past have changed from a restricted mode to an unrestricted. Of the victims who have special victims counsel assigned, that number is tracking at 55 percent right now. And it's rising slowly as confidence grows. We have to continue that trend.”
    -General Mark Welsh, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, 5/8/13

    A strategy to combat military sexual assaults
    By: Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Kelly Ayotte
    May 22, 2013 09:33 PM EDT
    When our best and brightest don a U.S. military uniform, they do so with the understanding that they will sacrifice much to defend our country from dangerous threats. But they shouldn’t have to face a threat from within their own ranks.
    Twice in two weeks, the very people in the military who are responsible for protecting victims of sexual assault have been accused of committing these crimes. These incidents are disturbing — and the secretary of defense must act swiftly to re-examine sexual assault services across the department. It is also time for Congress to enact legislation that gives victims the protections they deserve to seek justice and provides the Pentagon with the necessary tools to deal with this growing crisis. When a service member fails to live up to our values and commits sexual assault, we must ensure he or she is held accountable and that victims can come forward without fear of retribution.
    [. . .]


    Meghan Roh
    Press Secretary | New Media Director
    Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
    Mobile: (202) 365-1235
    Office: (202) 224-2834


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