Sunday, December 07, 2014


Jim: It's roundtable time. In fact, we're overdue for one. There's no theme and we're working the e-mails, remember our e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): First off, Ava and C.I., what  is on your faces?

Ava: We're on the road constantly speaking out against the wars and the spying, we were in DC, Virginia, Boston and Florida this past week and now back in California.  The winter weather -- and the difference in winter weathers is wrecking havoc on our skin.  We've already done an oatmeal scrub and are now doing a facial with wheat germ, avocado, honey and egg yolk.

Jim: Okay, thank you for explaining.  Now it's your turn, Ann.  You wrote a popular post that was also seen as 'controversial' by some people e-mailing this site.  It was entitled "Black Agenda Report is going all niche programming."  Ty, how many e-mails?

Ty: 16 e-mails came in saying Ann shouldn't challenge, confront or question Black Agenda Report.

Jim: And the tone?

Ty: Some were out right vicious.

Ann: That doesn't bother me.  Nor another reaction we can discuss in a minute.  My point was that the Black community -- and this is a point former US House Rep. Cynthia McKinney and others have made in the last decade or so -- has not been isolated in the US.  We have taken great interest in the world around us.  I would argue we were the community that killed the White imperialism that George Clooney and Mia Farrow and others were calling for with regards to Sudan.  We were overwhelmingly opposed to the Iraq War.  There are many other issues. But last week, we learned that an Iraqi woman, the media says her name is Saja Al Dulaimi.  She and a child -- or three of her children -- were nabbed by the Lebanese army based on 'intel' provided to them by the CIA.

Jim: C.I. repeatedly covered this story last week.  But for those who've missed it, let's go to Jess for background.

Jess: Sure.  As Ann said, the woman is an Iraqi woman.  When the Lebanon government announced the woman's 'capture' -- it's kidnapping -- at the start of last week, they insisted she was the wife of the leader of the Islamic State and the the child, a boy, with her was the son of the leader.  They insisted they had proved this with DNA.

Rebecca: At the most ridiculous moment of the initial coverage, they were insisting they'd proven she was the wife with a DNA test.  The whole 'reporting' was ridiculous.  Sorry to jump in.

Jess: No problem. And we all agree on that point.  The reporting then revealed she might not be the wife of the leader.  Then it was said she was the sister of some Iraqi terrorist arrested in Iraq.  There have been reports that she and three of her children were abducted.

Jim: Thank you, Jess.  Okay, Ann, that's in the news cycle and you're blogging.

Ann: Right.  This comes into the Tuesday news cycle.  I blogged late at night Wednesday.  24 hours after.  And yet C.I. was the only one defending the woman.  C.I. was the only one saying, 'We don't kidnap.  We don't use humans as bargaining chips.'  And Black Agenda Report publishes the bulk of their pieces on Wednesday.  So I was so hopeful that someone would be speaking out.  But no one was.  It's okay -- even at Black Agenda Report -- to ignore the US government teaming up with the Lebanese government to kidnap a woman who's not guilty of any crimes other than a relation -- by marriage or birth -- to someone the US calls a terrorist.

Dona: I've got to speak up.  I didn't realize this was a topic.  But it is, and I need to put my voice out there.  Complete agreement with what Ann just said.  That the US government is not being called out for this is appalling.  Last week, as C.I. repeatedly touched on this subject and called out the kidnapping of this woman and her child or children, I was reminded yet again of why The Common Ills matters and how C.I. never blinks when something needs to be said.  This is appalling and disgusting and I was going to propose we address this in an editorial or report this edition.

Ann: And I mean, bless C.I., really bless her, but why the hell is always left to her?  Why can't these 'brave' men online -- and most of them addressing serious issues of politics are men -- why can't they call out kidnapping?

Wally: Well they do.  They do and so does the White House -- when it's the Islamic State kidnapping women and children, they're appalled.  But when it's the White House directing it, everyone seems to fall silent in the United States.  And, by the way, I'm fine -- just for the record -- with this entire roundtable being about this topic.  It's an important topic and I think we all need to get that across.  Cedric and I tried to do a post on this last week and just couldn't pull it off.

Cedric: Right.  Between C.I.'s writing and Ann -- Ann and I are married -- talking about it, I wanted us -- Wally and I -- to cover it and we tried and tried with no luck at all.  So we just ended up doing a post on another topic -- we do humor posts -- and then including C.I.'s commentary on this below our post.  But it's appalling and it's disgusting.  I'm sure Cynthia McKinney would say so if anyone gave enough of a damn about the soul of America to put her on the radio or TV.  And Ann's my wife but I would agree with her on this regardless.  When the White House is helping Lebanon kidnap a woman, Black Agenda Report needs to be calling it out.  It was very disappointing and, on top of that, last Wednesday's edition was one-note for the bulk of the BAR contributors and the outside contributors were phoning it in with pieces that were generic, my opinion.

Jim: As Wally indicated, this is a topic we all take seriously and I think we're going to stay on it.  But, Mike, let's take a twist real quick.  Ann alluded to something earlier.

Mike: Yeah.  Funny thing, Ann's post is "null"ed.

Jim: Isaiah, explain what Mike's talking about.

Isaiah: In this community, a number of websites -- Ann's, Betty's, Trina's, Stan's, C.I.'s and mine -- don't just have links on the side, we have links that show the latest posts on the sites.  That didn't work for Ann.  An hour after her post went up, she had reposted -- only she hadn't.  Someone had gone in and posted a 'null' post.  That means her website shows up but the post she had published no longer does in the RSS feed.

Jim: And this isn't an accident or a glitch.  This is done intentionally by someone or someones.  It's happened to most of us at one point or another.  Here, when it happens, we get an e-mail bragging about doing it -- an e-mail from an unnamed person.  It's happened to most of us.  It's always when you're taking on a left outlet or personality.

C.I.: I need to note something quickly because I get e-mails from community members who are worried all the time.  When Kat, for example, publishes a post.  It should show up on the websites that Isaiah listed -- the post itself as a link.  Sometimes there are a Google issues.  Kat had a post last week that never showed up on the links.  That's a Google issue.  At some point, Kat's post will show up -- in a week or two.  When it does, you won't be able to access it by clicking on the title -- the title won't be linkable even though it's on the sites Isaiah mentioned.  That's a Google glitch.  We're not talking about that.  That just happens and it's something with Google Blogger/Blogspot.  But a "null" post is an actual post.  Ann's post was being read for one hour.  An hour later, someone went into her site and posted a "null" post.  That immediately knocks out her post and makes it so that her site shows up on the sites Isaiah spoke of and on RSS Feeds as having not published.  That's different than, for example, Kat's post last week that RSS has never published and has it's not 'reading' as having been published.

Jim: Thank you for that.  Now Mike, the null posts.

Mike: We've been nice about it, we've ignored it.  But it's always a critique of a leftist outlet or personality that results in it.  This is coming from the left and it's not coming from the right.  We can, and have, said everything under the sun about the right and it's resulted in none of this nonsense. I think we were all outraged when it happened to Ann.  Her post was not that critical.  It was accurate, it spoke to disappointment.  Marcia and I, by contrast, are never as tactful.

Marcia: Right.  And Ann can be hard hitting, we're not saying she can't.  But this wasn't one of those type of posts and it really bothered us -- Mike and I and Betty -- because usually we can say, "Oh, well."  And shrug it off but, damn, this was just flat out censorship of anything that wasn't unqualified praise.

Jim: Okay, Donna's handed me a note where she explains that Ruth, Trina, Betty, Kat and Stan haven't spoken so to be sure to include them.  Ruth?

Ruth: It is disturbing to go to, for example, CounterPunch and Information Clearing House last week and find nothing on the topic.  This is a kidnapping.  And one is guilty for the crimes of a spouse or sibling.  If the woman has done something wrong, charge her.  If she has not, she needs to be released.  I have no idea why this is 'controversial.'

Betty: Because the US government is involved -- that's why some are staying silent. Another reason is because the White House was involved in this and the little babies can't call out Barack.  He's a lame duck who has repeatedly betrayed the left but the Cult of St. Barack will whore to their dying day.  C.I. had a great point last week about how these idiots worked themselves into a rage over a Republican calling out the sullen attitudes -- at a photo op -- of Barack's daughters.  But a woman was kidnapped to be used as a bargaining chip and they said not one damn word?  It's disgusting.

Jim: Trina?

Trina: To contribute something different, I'll note that the story broke and the US press asked the State Dept and John Kerry about it.  And then, after both offered vague words, it emerged that the CIA was involved and the press backed off and had no more questions of the US government.  When the White House, et al was assumed innocent, the mainstream press wanted their reactions and yet when the US government's involvement is known everyone clams up..

Stan: And some clammed up without any prompting.  Jeremy Scahill pretends to be a voice of truth and justice -- even though he's the trash that got punk'd by Samantha Power in 2008.  He Tweeted non-stop last week but he never found time to Tweet about Saja Al Dulaimi.  He really needs to admit he lives in the gutter now.  He's a Cracker playing like he cares about the lives of African-Americans when all he cares about is acting high and mighty.  He's as laughable as Nicholas Kristof -- or that's how this African-American male sees it.  He pretends to care about 'dirty wars' -- or did while he was pimping a book and documentary.  The same way he once pretended to care about Iraq.  But if he really cared about dirty wars, he'd be decrying the kidnapping of this woman.

Jim: We're going to need to wind down, I'm sorry.  So, Kat, you're going to get the last thoughts.

Kat: Good. I deserve them on this, I've prepared.  It was appalling last week to read the Associated Press normalizing what was being done to this woman treating it as normal that she would be used as a "bargaining chip," that this woman was kidnapped for that reason with the AP treating that as acceptable.  But there was worse.  C.I. was not the only woman noting the kidnapping last week.  'Human rights activist' and attorney Jerlyn wrote about it twice last week [here and here].  Unlike C.I., she never called out what happened.  She just wanted you to know the story was propaganda.  Now Jerilyn loves to ride her high horse and pretend to care about legal issues and human rights issues but she never once said it was wrong to kidnap this woman, she never once clammed the White House or the government of Lebanon.  She just wanted you to know that the woman, in her opinion, was not the wife of the leader of the Islamic State.  She couldn't call out what was done to the woman though.

Rebecca: Sorry but Jerilyn gets more stupid every day.

Jim: And on that note, that's the end of this roundtable.  This is a rush transcript.

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