Saturday, December 31, 2005

Book of 2005: Dave Zirin's What's My Name Fool?

This is a joint entry by Mike (Mikey Likes It!) and Wally (The Daily Jot). You will see the entry at both sites. We thank C.I. for scanning the cover of Dave Zirin's What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States which, in our opinion, is the best book of 2005.

Martha and Shirley did a summary of books that spoke to The Common Ills community in 2005. We enjoyed reading about them. We were flattered that some members singled us out.If our antics ("For the hour!" "For the hour!" in Larry King bluster mode) made Jon Stewart's Naked Pictures of Famous People stand out for West or anyone else, we're flattered. We're also glad that we helped What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States stand out for a few people. But Zirin's book is our pick for the best of 2005.

Here's why. If you're a sports fan, you'll enjoy it. "But I hate sports!" some may say. We say, "Let us finish." If you like to read about politics and activisim, you'll enjoy it. If you like to read about both, you'll be floating on a cloud smiling. But this really is a book for everyone.

So if you buy books for yourself or as gifts, we'd urge to think about this one. If you check out books at the library, we'd urge you to consider checking this one out. If you do neither, we'd urge you to be aware of the book and of Dave Zirin because the book's an important one and Zirin's an important writer.

In his introduction, Zirin writes:

Sports as a whole do not represent black and white, good or bad, red state or blue state issues. Sports are neighter to be defended nor vilified. Instead we need to look at sports for what they are, so we can take apart the disgusting, the beautiful, the ridiculous, and even the radical.
This book aims to recall moments of resistance past and rescue the underreported shows of struggle and humanity by atheletes of the present, so we can appreciate the beauty of sports, independent of the muck and fight for a future where skill, art, glory, and the joy of play belong to us all.

If you need more information, you can check out the book discussion on this book at The Third Estate Sunday Review. You can also check out an interview that Amy Goodman did with Dave Zirin for Democracy Now!

But this is a book you should be aware of and Zirin is a writer you should check out. That's our recommendation for book of the year.

Since it's early in the morning, we'll note that the following sites plan to have new content later tomorrow:

The Common Ills
Like Maria Said Paz
Mikey Likes It!

Other community sites may also have new content but those are confirmed.

In addition, Sunday, check out The Third Estate Sunday Review for the latest edition. It may post later than usual (that's still up in the air) but it will post.

And, in case you missed it, there was new content Friday at the following sites:

The Common Ills
Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)
Cedric's Big Mix
The Daily Jot
Mikey Likes It!
Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude

Friday, December 30, 2005

Bully Is . . .

Where's The Jot?

Talk to my grandfather.

Last night, he was all set on Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts about Bill Frist. This morning he wakes up and says, "No, you have to go with his 'Celibacy In The City.'" Fine. I'm about to boot up the computer and he's wondering about Bully Boy in his blood box and I tell him I've highlighted that one a number of times so we can go with Celibacy In The City.

Then he says, "Wait, let me think."

So we go out to breakfast. He's set on another one and then as we're leaving, he says, "One of the Bully Is . . ." so I wait to be sure and even pull a Regis and ask, "Is that your final answer?"

He thinks about it and decides that it is because of the fact that when Mom was a little girl, she used to clip the Love Is . . . comic strips from the paper and she'd tape them to her bedroom mirror and on her bedroom door. (Which is news to me who couldn't even put up my sports posters with tacks!) (Serious, I had to use that ticky tacky stuff and it was only after I noticed my teacher using that to hang stuff on the walls at school that I got to put anything up on my bedroom walls.)

I like the Bully Is . . . comics too and it makes me grin to picture my mom as a kid clipping the Love Is . . . comics out of the paper and then taping them up. I started wondering what she based it on? Was it the saying or the drawing that would make her decide to clip one. So I call her at work and go, "Mom, how do you pick those out?"

She plays dumb and says she never did that and if she did, she doesn't remember it. As I'm about to get off the phone my grandfather asks me to ask her about when her cousin Phil ripped one off her bedroom door just to be mean and she punched him (she was nine) and Mom goes, real angry, "He deserved that!"

I was laughing and saying, "I thought you didn't remember!"

She remembered. All along. She said the boy and the girl were cute little drawings and that she did think ("then," she emphasized "then") that the comics were really wise.

So my grandfather and I are going with one of Isaiah's Bully Is . . . comics. And you can find four here because Ava pulled four of them together to make a mini-collection.

My grandfather picked this one because he says it sums up 2005, Bully Boy oblivious to everything around him. I'll put up Celibacy in the City next week. I'm not sure if I've done that before or not. The first time it went up, I wasn't even blogging. But it is funny and a favorite of mine too.

So what do we have left to note about 2005?

Yesterday we noted something Mom picked out (Kim Gandy's latest column) and, over my breakfast, my grandfather had the idea of 10 other people who made a difference in 2005. There are more than ten people but these are the ones we picked out.

1) Amy Goodman because Democracy Now! gives you real news and not spin.
2) Cindy Sheehan because she took a stand and forced America to face reality.
3) Peyton and Eli Manning because we're big sports fans (and I did hear on Democracy Now! this guy talking about how the brothers visited the evacuees).
4) Robert Parry because he writes real strong books and Rebecca pulled my name for Christmas out of the list so I have three of his books. (I've just finished Secrecy & Privilege.)
5) Danny Schechter who is the News Dissector and is also the director of a great documentary called WMD (and you can read a review at The Third Estate Sunday Review).
6, 7, 8) Jon Stewart, Margaret Cho and Janeane Garofalo because laughter is needed and makes us all feel better.
9) Dave Zirin because he writes about sports and politics and makes you realize how important both can be.
10) All of us who are speaking out or starting to and aren't suffering from a bad case of "War Got Your Tongue."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Some bests of 2005

Mom said I should do some sort of best of for the year. So I'll note Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts above as one of his best and one of my favorites. It's The Wiz starring Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Matt Cooper and Judy Miller. (For C.I.'s version of The Jot, check out. C.I. had that idea Tuesday night and offered it to me, which was really nice and sweet, but it was C.I.'s idea so I insisted it be at The Common Ills.)

And Mom picked NOW's Kim Gandy's "Holiday Songs in the Key of 'F:'"

I love this time of year. Although the ice and snow aren't doing my car any favors (or my hair, for that matter!), there is something special about having time to rest and reflect on the year -- take a step back, bask in the warmth of family and friends, and gather strength for the coming battles (which, I promise you, will be numerous).
So before treating you to our holiday songs "in the key of 'F'," I hope you'll join me in looking back over the year at some of the accomplishments that make me so proud to be your NOW President.
- The year started off with a bang with all the furor over Harvard President Larry Summers' ridiculous comments about women's "innate" inferiority in math and science! NOW was the first to
call for his resignation, a call that was later seconded by the Harvard faculty. The end result of the public attention was that Harvard has now made a real financial investment in increasing the presence of women in hard sciences at that institution.
- In February we
launched our Equal Marriage campaign, and the terrific response from activists across the country, and the ways they have put this campaign to work, has been spectacular to see!
- Through March and April we fought the FDA on
risky silicone breast implants and then lobbied furiously on Emergency Contraception (EC) while also mobilizing our activists to save the Senate filibuster from the frightening "nuclear" option that would have threatened our liberties and made it nearly impossible to stop a bad Supreme Court nominee.
- In July came a real turning point. We were all gathered in Nashville for our National Conference when the news of Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation was announced. Never ones to shrink from a fight, we immediately declared a
"State of Emergency for Women's Rights", were the first in the nation to hold a press conference, and organized a march and rally in a matter of hours, right there at the Tennessee State House in Bill Frist's "back yard."
- In September we marched with CodePink and hundreds of other groups to call for an end to the Iraq war and invasion. Hundreds of NOW members joined in to help remind the world that
"peace is a feminist issue!" We also spoke out against Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina, and continue to demand fair treatment for the survivors, who are desperately seeking the aid that was allocated for them, but which hasn't been delivered by the Bush allies who received multi-million-dollar no-bid contracts, like Halliburton.

Erika noted it at The Common Ills yesterday and Mom said to give Erika (and C.I.) credit. Tomorrow, my grandfather gets to pick. Thanks to Mike for yesterday's shout out. ":D" back at you, Mike.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Resisters standing strong and Pyle on FISA

Swiping from C.I., I'll note "Support GI Resister Katherine Jashinski Now!" which is about Jashinski and others standing up. Check out that DC Indymedia article.

And from the news roundup we did Monday night/Tuesday morning, I want to make sure everyone knows about Monday's KPFA Evening News where
Christopher Pyle who helped draft the FISA act said:

So what we have here is the rather extraordinary situation of a president who has admitted to committing a felony. Now he says that Congress excused him by passing the resolution against al Qaeda but that says nothing about electronic surveillance. And then he says that the Constitution excuses him because the Constitution places him above the law. There's actually a secret memo produced by the Justice Department to justify torture that says that a war time president can ignore the criminal law of the United States. There's no basis for this in law, there's no basis for this in the history of Constitutional law and Constitutional interpretation and that's of course why the memo was kept secret because if it had ever seen the light of day it would have been laughed out of court. Well now it's seen the light of day and assertions based on that theory have seen the light of day and we're not laughing because we realize the government is really out of control.

I'm tired this morning. I took part in Gina & Krista's year review roundtable for Friday's round-robin last night. Hope everyon'es got some solid New Year's Eve plans. 2006, let's make it a better year than 2005.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Don't try to give Bully Boy peace for Christmas

Above is Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts that ran on Christmas. It's funny because it's true -- Bully Boy would be enraged to receive peace for Christmas. If he had peace, how could he continue to bully the world?

Now here's something we all worked on. C.I. wanted it to go up here first and I said no. We all said no because it was C.I.'s idea and The Common Ills is the site that most members check first. So if you're seeing this for the first time, wow, I'm impressed! If you've already seen it, give a quick read at least to make sure you didn't miss anything. This is an early Jot but my Jot for Tuesday none the less.

"News roundup including did Bully Boy break the law?"
Did Bully Boy break the law by authorizing spying on American citizens and circumventing the FISA courts? If so, how many years can someone be sentenced to for that crime? We'll highlight a radio discussion on that issue, but first, news on Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, the Phillipines, Russia, Chile, Israel, activism and more.
As reported on
The Daily Iraq Wire, December 25th wasn't a day of peace in Iraq. Two bombs went off in Iraq injuring seven Iraqis. In addition, a reported al Qaeda group in Iraq announced Sunday that they had kidnapped and killed four Arabs who had been "working with the US authorities and the Iraqi government in the fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad."
Monday violence and unrest continued.
Deepa Babington, reporting for the Irish Examiner, notes that Baghdad saw five explosions today killing eight and wounding thirty-eight. Outside of Baghdad, there were attacks in Falluja where a suicide bomber killed himself and two police recruits. In Dhabab, five Iraqi soldiers were killed.
Reporting for IPS,
Gareth Porter reports today a "looming confrontation" between Shi'ites in Iraq and the American officials who are urging the disbanding of Shi'ite paramilitary groups. American officials fear groups may have close ties to Iran. The "looming confrontation" emerged when American officials decided to make an issue of the "torture houses" run by Shi'ites. "Decided?" Major R. John Stukey and others first reported the existance of "torture houses" in June of 2005. From June to November, US officials remained silent.
As of Monday, US military fatalities in Iraq stand at
2169, official count with 56 of those fatalities for the month of December. Iraq Body Count, which gathers totals by following media reports, estimates that as few as 27,592 and as many as 31,115 Iraqis have died thus far since the invasion.
In other war news,
Agence France-Presse reports the American military is claiming that "very soon" the number of troops serving in Iraq will drop from 19,000 to 2, 5000.
In activism news,
NOW is calling for action on Samuel Alito, Jr.'s Supreme Court nomination:
There is work to be done, both in Washington, DC and throughout the country. As a part of Freedom Winter 2006, NOW and Feminist Majority Foundation are working together to bring grassroots activists to DC between January 3 and January 20. We're also encouraging activists to organize in their communities.
More information can be found
online at NOW as well as online at the Feminist Majority Foundation. In related news, Ms. Magazine has compiled "the top ten news stories for women in 2005." Topping the list, Sandra Day O'Connor's announcement that she will step down from the Supreme Court bench. Planned Parenthood has also compiled a look back at the year 2005. Their look back begins with a listing of the five best and five worst places to get birth control prescriptions filled:
Brooks/Eckerd Corporation
Rite Aid
In international news,
Al Jazeera reports that Augusto Pinochet will finally stand trial for the deaths and disappearances carried out under his dictator regime as the head of Chile. Chile's Supreme Court, in a three to two vote, ruled that Pinochet is fit to stand trial. The BBC reports that charges will be filed Tuesday against four US marines for rape. The four are currently at the US embassy in Manila and "it is unclear whether it will hand over the marines." Abdul Rahman Khuzairan reports, for Islam.Online. net, that on Sunday a sit in was staged in Casablanca by Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Forum "to protest the mass grave found recently with the remains of 82 people." Canada's Star Phoenix reports that Monday in St. Petersburg, shoppers in one store were exposed to a mysterious gas: "Boxes containing timers wired to glass vials were discovered at the scene of the attack and three other stores in the same chain in Russia's second-largest city." And in Tut-tut Tuttle news, the Finanical Times reports that car dealer and contributor of $70,000 worth of donations to the GOP in 2004, Robert Tuttle continues to stumble in his post as US ambassador to England. For the second time, Tuttle has been forced to issue a correction to the BBC following an interview. Embassy work, not as easy as moving cars off a lot.
Have we made poverty history?" asks The Independent of London? The debt relief in 2008 will go not to Africa but to Iraq and Nigeria. In addition the United States is backing off from it's earlier committments. Also reporting for The Independent, Maxine Frith notes that charities and aid workers believe that Live 8, and those involved in the concerts, "hijacked" the effort and gave the world a false sense of resolution when the problems of world poverty contine. Meera Selva reports from Africa that the people supposed to benefit from the concerts in London's Hyde Park have seen little difference in their lives. One woman tells Selva, "We have problems in Africa, big problems. What can plastic bracelets and pop concerts do to solve them?"
Reuters reports Israeli helicopters firing three missiles into Gaza. This comes as Al Jazeera reports that the Israeli government has announced intentions to build an additional 200 homes on the West Bank. The BBC reports, in other news from the region, that Ariel Sharon has been urged to "curb his appetite" by doctors as he awaits sugery "to close a small hole which doctors found in his heart after he had a minor stroke."
For The
KPFA Evening News Anthony Fest spoke Monday evening to Christopher Pyle, "a consultant to Congress in the drafting of the surveillance act, today he teaches political science at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusettes." (What follows is a rough transcript, use the link to listen to the archived broadcast.)
Pyle: The Church Committee was set up because during the Watergate era we had discovered extensive domestic surveillance operations by a number of agencies including the FBI, military intelligence, the CIA and, the largest intelligence agency of all, the National Security Agency. It does electronic intercepts worldwide. It has stations around the world. It picks up communications off of statellites. It picks them off of landlines and it searches them with a dictionary of watch words. And during the 1970s, we discovered that the National Security Agency had maintained files on about 75,000 Americans and they particularly targeted political activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, the folk singer Joan Baez, and the anti-war protestor Dr. Benjamin Spock. We sought to end that massive surveillance, which had no judicial authority what so ever, by passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. That law said that if the government, when the government wanted to monitor electronic communications it had to go to a special court to gain a national security authorization, a speciall warrant. And for a number of years, it appears that the government did go to the special court and was able to conduct its monitoring with special warrants. But three years ago, the Bush administration decided that this was inconveinent for some reason that's not fully understood. And they just ignored the court and began collecting, uh, information rather broadly. The law itself says that it's the exclusive method by which monitoring may take place and that anybody who violates the law is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Fast: So there's no leeway for interpretation here, it's uh, it's black and white that if you don't go through the FISA court, you are in violation of the law?
Pyle: Exactly. So what we have here is the rather extraordinary situation of a president who has admitted to committing a felony. Now he says that Congress excused him by passing the resolution against al Qaeda but that says nothing about electronic surveillance. And then he says that the Constitution excuses him because the Constitution places him above the law. There's actually a secret memo produced by the Justice Department to justify torture that says that a war time president can ignore the criminal law of the United States. There's no basis for this in law, there's no basis for this in the history of Constitutional law and Constitutional interpretation and that's of course why the memo was kept secret because if it had ever seen the light of day it would have been laughed out of court. Well now it's seen the light of day and assertions based on that theory have seen the light of day and we're not laughing because we realize the government is really out of control.
Fast: Doubtless the techonology of surveillance is incrompably more powerful today than it was in the 1960s. Is there any indication yet exactly how wide, how wide a net the NSA was casting or how many people had been surveilled?
Pyle: No. The initial reports by the New York Times were that up to 500 people at a time had been targeted but perhaps thousands had been intercepted. And if they were, let's say, monitoring all e-mails and searching all e-mails in the United States for certain code words or phrases then it would be probably hundreds of thousands or millions of people who would have been monitored, not simply 500 people targeted at any given time. But we really don't know. But what we know is that the judges on the FISA court are extremely upset. One of them has already resigned because of this. The others want to know particularly whether this warrant-less spying was being used to then produce probable cause for specific warranted spying. In other words, infecting the very process with illegaly obtained information.
Fast: Since the administration was apparently conducting surveillance that was more in the nature of data mining then watching individuals is there any legal grounds under which they could conduct that kind of operation?
Pyle: No, that is what was known in the common law as a general search. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution forbids general searches. The second clause of the Fourth Amendment says that the warrants must be obtained that specify the place to be searched and and the things to be seized. The FISA warrants specify the persons who are the targets of the intercepts. There has to be specifity. There can't be a great dragnet collecting everything and then sorting it by computer and putting everybody under suspicion.

Did Bully Boy break the law? Better question, after trotting out Vicky Toe-Jam in print and on TV to put forward false claims about the Congessional act passed in the 80s to prevent the outing of CIA agents, why has the mainstream media been so reluctant to pursue people who helped with the drafting of the FISA act?
The above is news you may have missed and was compiled by
Wally, Rebecca, Mike, Kat, Jim, Jess, Ty, Cedric, Elaine, Betty, and C.I.

Friday, December 23, 2005

FISA bill "recognizes no inherent power of the President to conduct electronic surveillance"

JAMES BAMFORD: Well, before I get into that, just one other comment on what we just have been talking about. When the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was created in 1978, one of the things that the Attorney General at the time, Griffin Bell, said -- he testified before the intelligence committee, and he said that the current bill recognizes no inherent power of the President to conduct electronic surveillance. He said, 'This bill specifically states that the procedures in the bill are the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance may be conducted.' In other words, what the President is saying is that he has these inherent powers to conduct electronic surveillance, but the whole reason for creating this act, according to the Attorney General at the time, was to prevent the President from using any inherent powers and to use exclusively this act.

That's from Democracy Now! ("An Impeachable Offense? Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Eavesdrop on Americans Without Court Approval") and C.I.'s emphasized it repeatedly this week because it's important. It's a point that you don't hear too often in the mainstream media coverage which is strange considering the endless jaw boning over "original intent." Strange too considering that the press is supposedly so interested in figuring out whether or not Bully Boy circumvented the law.

But brains and the mainstream media . . .

I'm late again posting this morning. A "wit" asked if I was late yesterday because I need to figure out the day's talking points? No. I was late because my grandfather and I were crowded around the computer reading C.I.'s posts and then discussing them with my mother. We're all really interested in the government spying on citizens.

Here's a question the "wit" also asked, "Since your grandfather's already in Florida, where will he go to retire? New York?"

Well he is retired. And he went to South Florida.

But due to Christmas (and Wilma) he's been back in the area he grew up in. As a result, he knows a lot of people in the area. We went around yesterday distributing cookies Mom had baked for friends in the neighborhood and my grandfather made sure everyone knew about the spying.

That was interesting, hearing their take on it. They were wondering why there was so much back and forth about whether Bully Boy did something wrong? While the press works itself up into a moral quandry, people my grandfather's age seemed to see it pretty clearly: Bully Boy violated the law.

You listen and just hear their voices filled with anger and with shock.

I hope everyone else is trying to make sure people talk about this.

I also hope you'll check out Kat's latest album review. This is one she did at the request of the oldest member in The Common Ills community, Eli. Eli's a friend of mine (and I'm lucky to be able to say that) and I got his permission to write about why he asked Kat to review Carly Simon's No Secrets.

One of his daughters was having some problems when the album came out and his daughter asked if it would be okay for the granddaughter to stay with him and his wife for a bit. A bit turned out to be a year and a half. She arrived with a suitcase of clothes and Carly Simon's record right before No Secrets. That was the only thing she listened to over and over and he and/or his wife (he's not sure which but says it was probably his wife) mentioned that to someone with kids his granddaughter's age. They were told about No Secrets and thought maybe they could get it and bond with their granddaughter?

So they bought it at a store called Gibson's. (I don't know that store but Eli said put it in because a lot of people would ha ha. It's out of business now, he thinks.) They were both looking at the cover because although Carly Simon's got clothes on, her nipples are prominent through her shirt. They weren't sure what they were getting into but their granddaughter was "monosylalbes" all the time so they were willing to take a chance.

They got the biggest hug and she asked them to listen to it with her. She was really excited.
From there, Eli, who can play a song on guitar after hearing it a few times, taught his granddaughter how to play a few of the songs on guitar. And it just ended up being a really big shared thing for all three of them.

The granddaughter has a daughter now and she's in her late 20s. Eli had sent his granddaughter the review that Kat did of Carly Simon's Moonlight Serenade and she ended up passing it on to her daughter. Her daughter, Eli's great-granddaughter, grew up listening to No Secrets because her mother played it all the time. So Eli had a standing offer from Kat that she'd review something older for him and 2005 was winding down so she reminded him of that. Because of his granddaughter and his great-granddaughter, he picked No Secrets.

I think Kat did a great job with that review. So check it out.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

C.I. will warn you bout the Times and Mike will make you chuckle -- check 'em out

Running a little late due to C.I.'s entries this morning. Read the one on the New York Times lack of interest in protests and spying last year. (Not interested until this year.) Then don't miss the next one which deals with Scott Shane's article on the government spying.

Especially don't miss yesterday's report from Democracy Now!:

Newly released documents show counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been monitoring domestic organizations active in causes as diverse as peace, the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief.
This is the third major recent revelation about domestic spying in the last few days. Last week NBC News revealed the Pentagon has been monitoring peaceful anti-war protesters and the New York Times exposed how President Bush ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without court-approved warrants. The latest batch of files totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups including Greenpeace, Catholic Worker, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and PETA, the People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The documents indicate the FBI monitored protests organized by the groups and used confidential informants inside the organizations to gain intelligence. One document indicates that FBI agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers' "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Many of the investigative documents turned over by the bureau are heavily edited, making it difficult or impossible to determine the full context of the references and why the F.B.I. may have been discussing events like a PETA protest.

For laughs and criticism of the government's spying check out Mike's "Bully Boy keeps on spying and lying:"

FBI Spied on Greenpeace, PETA, Catholic Worker
In Washington, newly released documents show counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been monitoring domestic activist groups including Greenpeace, Catholic Worker, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and PETA, the People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The documents indicate the F.B.I. monitored protests organized by the groups and used confidential informants inside the organizations to gain intelligence. In one case, government records show the FBI launched a terrorism investigation of PETA in Norfolk, Virginia. Greenpeace is obviously a dangerous organization.
We must all stop buying dolphin safe tuna because the funds from the purchase go to terrorists who wish to impose their will upon us! As for Catholic Workers, if they really did the Lord's work, wouldn't they have their own tax free university? Wouldn't they be rolling in the dough the way Pat Robertson is?
Documents Show FBI Agents Tracked PETA For Years
According to the Washington Post, the documents offer no proof of PETA's involvement in illegal activity. But more than 100 pages of heavily censored FBI files show the agency used secret informants and tracked the group's events for years. The FBI also monitored political activities on college campuses. One FBI file included a contact list for students and peace activists who attended a 2002 conference at Stanford University aimed at ending sanctions then in place in Iraq.
Better spy on PETA because Pamela Anderson's gone after KFC! "They are crammed by the tens of thousands into pens. . . . They routinely suffer broken bones from being bred to be top heavy. . . . KFC refuses to do even the bare minimum . . . " It's like a communique from the Weather Underground! (Thanks to Jess for help with that.) We must stop Striparella! We must put the mastermind of V.I.P. beyond bars! If we don't, the terrorists have won!
After many hours carefully studying the Pamela Anderson Lee & Tommy Lee tape, J-Ass has detected many things that raised his interest. He passed the tape onto Alberto Gonzales for further study. Gonzales is said to be aroused and passionate by the contents of the tape.Who will save us from Pamela Anderson? Only the Bully Boy!
Reports Expose Growing Domestic SurveillanceThis is the third major recent revelation about domestic spying. Last week NBC News revealed the Pentagon has been monitoring peaceful anti-war protesters and the New York Times exposed how President Bush ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without court-approved warrants. Ann Beeson, of the American Civil Liberties Union said "It's clear that this administration has engaged every possible agency, from the Pentagon to N.S.A. to the F.B.I., to engage in spying on Americans."
Do you get how flimsy the excuses the administration is offering are? They think they can spy on lawful citizens acting on their rights to protest and peaceably assemble. Do you get how insane the country has become under the Bully Boy? We all need to be paying attention to this.
Where do you go for Elaine's take? That's right, Like Maria Said Paz, so check it out.

Mike's using the news (via Democracy Now!) to show how absurd the government is with their illegal spying.

Check out C.I., Rebecca, Mike and Elaine for more on this topic.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Democracy Now! today gives more details on FBI spying

33,000 New York City transit workers go on strike, shutting down the country's largest public transportation system. We'll take a look at the latest.
Newly released documents show counterterrorism agents at the FBI have been monitoring domestic activist groups including Greenpeace, Catholic Worker, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and PETA, the People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Thanks to C.I. for forwarding Rod's e-mail. Those are the topics for today's Democracy Now! so check it out. I'll be watching with my grandfather who is "very alarmed" by Bully Boy's spying and we're really looking forward to the second topic. But you can also listen on the radio or read online or watch or listen online.

If you're trying to make sense of what is going on, you should also check out C.I.'s "Governmental spying/snooping."

And Rebecca, Mike and Elaine are hitting on the topic hard this week too.

This is something that should be on your mind. My grandfather said he couldn't believe more people weren't talking about this. He read Rebecca and thinks she may be right that it's starting to pick up traction but he says the way he remembers it when Nixon's spying was coming out, people were "appalled." He feels like there have been three big developments on this so far but the mainstream media is still playing it like "Oh this happened today" and not making any connections.

We were talking about it over cereal this morning and Mom asked if we'd read C.I.'s thing from last night? We hadn't because it went up so late. We pulled it up and read it. I wasn't alive then and I can tell you that we weren't taught anything about the Church Committee (or any other) in my school. I haven't heard about it in college yet either.

I think if we really got how outraged people were in the 70s, we'd be more likely to say, "This is wrong!" right now. But we've seen so much from the Bully Boy that little surprises us. So I'll keep focusing on this in the Jot for the rest of the week and probably next week too. I hope you're focusing on it. Check out Democracy Now! today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Electronic Peeping Tom Bully Boy

Sen. Leahy: No More Secret Orders, Secret Courts, Secret Torture
Many legal experts have accused the President of breaking the law by ordering the wiretappings without a court warrant as required under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT): "This warrant-less eavesdropping program is not authorized by the patriot act, it's not authorized by any act of congress, and it's not overseen by any court. And according to reports it has been conducted under a secret presidential order, based on secret legal opinions by the same justice department, lawyers who argued secretly, that the president could order the use of torture. Mr. President, it is time to have some checks and balances in this country, we are a democracy. We are a democracy. Let's have checks and balances, not secret orders and secret courts and secret torture, and on and on."

That's from Democracy Now! yesterday.

Mike noted it yesterday:

"I broke the law." That's what he's saying. That and "Piss on all of you, I do what I want." He's been appeased and coddled by the press (and the New York Times sat on this story for a year) and you get idiots saying things like, "The dialogue from the left is just getting so rude tsk, tsk."No, you've been living in the Bully Boy bubble while the rest of us have been speaking truth. You're the joke for sitting there whining about what people are saying or lying about it (like Nicky K did when he was proved he was so quick to slam the left that he didn't even need to read Molly Ivins because calling her a "Bush hater"). You're the joke for thinking a Bully Boy can be coddled.

Mike calls Bush "the Bully Boy electronic peeping tom."

So did Rebecca:

bully boy's spying on us. he thinks that's okay. he's spent today and yesterday and saturday full of himself and how he's protecting the nation ... by destroying what we stand for.
maybe you caught the war lust the bully boy had when he was raving after 9/11 (several days after) and you thought, 'well this is what we have to do.'why did you think that?
to save the country?
so how do you justify what's going on now?
how is the country being saved when everything we stand for is being twisted and perverted?the nsa has been spying on american citizens. bully boy could have tried for a fisa warrent which rarely refuse to grant a warrent. that wasn't the route he wanted to take.

So did Elaine:

King Bully Boy and his court of fools. They aren't working for America. They're working for King Bully Boy. They're loyalties aren't with the public, aren't with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or any belief, written or not, that speaks to the higher nature of what our nation is supposed to aspire to.
[. . .]
What's going on in the oval office needs to be called out by people in their own voices, in their own way of speaking. Not to call it out is far more dangerous and destructive than to use what someone feels are the "wrong words." We need to be discussing this, all of us, because if we don't, if we stay silent, we're saying it's okay and we're turning our backs on what we are supposed to believe in.When you do that, you destroy your own character as well as the nation's character.

At The Third Estate Sunday Review, we did an editorial that opened with this:

"We are all the outlaws in the eyes of America."
That's the opening line to Jefferson Airplane's "We Can Be Together." That's also what the Bully Boy appears to see when he looks out on the nation.

And C.I.'s been all over this topic.

This is serious and so for today's Jot, this is what I want people to focus on. I'll be posting this week but it may not be every day due to the holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2005

NOW says take action and Mike, C.I. & me say do it now before the vote

Swiping from Mike & C.I. and urged on by mom, here's "Oppose Reauthorization: USA PATRIOT Act Violates Our Civil Liberties:"

Vote set for this Friday! Act NOW.
Action Needed:
Please send a message to your Senators urging them to oppose reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Improvement and Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R. 3199), which fails to include important reforms and poses a serious threat to individual privacy and to our precious civil liberties. The reauthorization of this controversial law would enact scores of new surveillance powers for the government, establish a number of new crimes, including new death penalties, and still permit secret eavesdropping and secret search orders. Safeguards that were adopted by the Senate earlier this year have been deleted and, alarmingly, most provisions in this final version would be made permanent, bypassing the critically important periodic Congressional reviews.Senate Democrats are united in opposing this draconian re-write of the PATRIOT Act, and so are a number of Republicans, which makes victory possible. Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) and a number of both Democratic and Republican members are threatening a filibuster. The Senate is set to vote Friday (Dec.16). The more conservative House voted today 251 to 174 to adopt the reauthorization measure. So this makes it all the more critical to contact your Senators immediately. Please use our formatted message or write one of your own and urge your Senators to oppose this dangerous bill.
Take action NOW.

Do something about this now.

Do it today. Use the link.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Check out Kat

The only thing I want to note today is to check out Kat. She's got something up, it's funny and true. You'll nod, you'll laugh. Check out Kat! It'll start your day off right.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Community Jot

Mike talks to new community member "Kansas" (identified as Ryan but it's not the community's Ryan to be clear) here and Rebecca speaks with community members Martha and Maria here.

I'm still working on the correction to my first jot and appreciate the e-mails with suggestions on that. I'll try to have it posted later today.

Kat offers her take here (her take so far).

Elaine tells me on the phone that she's just so disappointed by the whole thing she was too disappointed to write yesterday. She says she'll have something up today.

Betty's working it into a new chapter and says to put in, "These things take days for me to finish. I'm thinking Friday is the soonest I'll be done with it and it can go up."

Cedric says he's writing right after church tonight and had practice last night so wasn't able to get in to pull the link last night. He says it will be pulled tonight.

Ty says he, Jim, Jess and Dona wrote a "mammoth" note to the readers. Dona says it needs to be cut in half and have more focus. Jim wants the points made more clear. Ty advises that it will be up but probably at two or three Thursday morning.

Seth says he never linked to the site because he didn't see any value in their work. He's wiped out from school and work and says the fact that he never endorsed the site to begin with means he's not rushing to note it now.

Jess says to post his e-mail he sent yesterday:

"The problem," _____, is that Ava didn't attack you.
She's been professional in both e-mails she sent you and taken input from her aunt on what to leave in and what to take out before sending.
Ava's aunt told her no personal contact with you, professional only.
That's what Ava did.
Jim phoned & asked, "Did Eddie mail C.I.?"
He did. Same message he mailed us at Third that Jim was looking at.
You've delinked from C.I. in the midst of your olive branch offer?
We will be delinking from your site. Community wide.
You had no problem writing repeatedly but somehow you forgot to mention that detail.
While supposedly offering a "sincere request for peace" you delink C.I.?
You've called your desire for peace into question.
We won't be left holding an olive branch with thorns.

"The problem" is using the phrase from ___'s snippy reply where she gripes at Ava.

I'll have my corrected post up sometime this evening or tonight.

I've already delinked but since the first post deals with that site it does need a correction.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Stop the Jot!" hollers Jim

"Stop The Jot!" Jim screams.

Actually, I'm bringing in stuff from the trunk of the car because I took my grandfather Christmas shopping and Mom's yelling that I've got a phone call.

Grandpa went to town and then some. It's like he bought a town. I'm trying to grab as much as I can carry and make as few trips as I can.

I holler, "Mom, who ever it is, tell them I call them back."

"No, Wally," my mom yells back, "you need to take this call!"

I hurry up the drive, drop the sacks on the porch and take the phone from Mom.


"Stop The Jot!"

It's Jim.

Mike's got some stuff for tonight. They're going with Mike because it's more his style and also because C.I. won't get mad at him. Everybody likes Mike!

See, everyone closed ranks and was willing to try a peace deal even though it put us all out big time. That's because C.I. thought the woman was being genuine.

In the last two days of this supposed peace deal, she's dogged on Kat while supposedly wanting peace, gotten snippy with Ava, and . . . Well, just wait for Mike tonight.

And you know, as Mom said - you kkkkkknnnnnnnnoooooooowwwwww, Rebecca will be a must read tonight. So be sure and check in with her.

Me? I gotta figure out how to do a correction to my first post ever.

But Mom says she'll help out.

I told Jim to tell Mike to break me off a piece of that and I'll post some of it here because us newbies are like C.I.'s kids and C.I. won't get mad at me. The most C.I. will probably say is, "That's between you and her."

But this sort of nonsense is the reason Mike started blogging in the first place. I remember that because I was one of the people e-mailing him and going, "Mike, it's not a big deal." He'll tell you I was one of the ones saying, "Start your own site and you'll see it doesn't matter."

But that was one thing. There was no offer of peace in the conflict that had Mike pissed off.

This time, there was an offer of peace but somehow peace still included snapping at Ava who did not get personal with this woman because her aunt told her not to. Her aunt goes, "That woman will burn you." Sunday night, we were all on the phone with Ava's aunt who told C.I., "I love you, you're the sweetest, most trusting yadda yadda yadda, but this woman does not want peace."

C.I. is sweet and trusting. I think all of us respond to that.

But there's peace and there's pretend peace and if you tell us you want peace and then don't, the rest of us aren't as nice as C.I.

So Ava's aunt gave some advice and we all followed it.

I'm glad we did. If we didn't, we couldn't say we tried. Well, we tried.

Jim'll have a note up tonight but let me tell you to look forward to the next edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review. Pieces that didn't get posted online? They may get up there. Or we may just make an effort to write even more strong.

And check out Kat because Jim hadn't talked to her but I bet Kat will have something to say on all of this.

Quick Jot!

A Jot delayed is not a jot in vain!

I'm taking my grandfather Christmas shopping so the Jot will be delayed this morning. Check this afternoon or this evening.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Quick jot

Quick jot this morning. Be sure to check out "Editorial: What Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma tells us." We're all really pleased with that and it's the favorite of my grandfather.

That edition was a pain to put out and Jim's probably going to put up a note addressing the why of that so look for that.

And check out C.I. this morning about Plamegate.

Hope we all get this week off to a great start.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Don't miss the special programming

Early Jot. Early to post, late to going to bed. Everyone's wiped out from doing the special pieces at The Third Estate Sunday Review. I think everyone really pulled together and it was great to see how the editorial started as three different bits and became whole. Jess and C.I. both said "All we are saying is just take a stand!" and that was used to piece the different pieces together in different spots.

It's called "War Got Your Tongue" and Dona and Jim both looked at the clock and said, "We either take what we have and turn it into one finished piece or we'll be working on the three individual ones until mid-day tomorrow." So that's what we did.

There was a real sense of closeness as we were putting this one together. I'm really proud of it. Mom said to call her and wake her when the last thing was up so I did. She read it and said, "Needing saying and well said. I'm going back to sleep now."

Read the roundtable because that's the other special programming. It was called that because it was going to pre-empt individual sites tonight. But Rebecca did post her thing she'd already written and if you missed it move your mouse here and click.

Have a great weekend.

And copying and pasting to note credit on the special programming pieces:

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

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What's going on

I'm not in a jotting mood. Community members will know why.

Kat does an outstanding job and is an incredible person. For someone to distort what she's written pisses me off. That it happened at a site that I've recommended bothers me as much as it does Gina, Krista, Brenda, Brad and Kyle who've been circulating the e-mail on this.

Mike hadn't checked his inbox. He called this morning to ask if I was going to post and to ask if C.I. was posting. C.I. posted but posted late. Mike didn't call C.I. because he thought C.I. might not be posting to actually get some much needed sleep.

That's not the deal. The deal isn't even that someone disagrees with Kat. The deal is that someone's distorted Kat's words.

I asked Mike if he'd spoken to Rebecca and he hadn't. I told him she didn't post last night because her entry was about some of this nonsense including an e-mail telling Kat to correct her opinion. Rebecca called me and read it to me. She said she wanted to do that before she read it to C.I. because she thought C.I. would be pissed at her. I didn't think there was anything wrong with her post. I've called her this morning and she said C.I. told her to post it and didn't see anything wrong with it either.

If you see something up here that's my opinion, you're free to disagree. You're free to e-mail and say you disagree. You're not free to demand a correction to my opinion.

Kat's been distorted and the person distorting her wants her to correct her opinion. There's no fact to correct because her facts are correct.

I don't stand behind that. Rebecca's post is about how some men think they can boss women around. That's how I see what's going on. A man thinks he can make Kat correct her opinion just because he disagrees with her.

He also hasn't had the decency to reply to Kat after dumping his issues on her.

So I'm not in a jotting mood this morning.

I spoke to Mom before posting this morning. I told her I wasn't into jotting today because I'd write about this and everyone's hoping the man will either apologize or back off with a forget it e-mail. Mom said the man was wrong to alter Kat's words and that I should say so.

I agree with that.

Mom sounded like Rebecca this morning talking about how some men think they can tell a woman what to think and she said she hopes Kat doesn't "correct" her opinion. She said for me to put that in when I posted.

In the end, there are people who will stand against the war and there are people who will stay silent. Kat's never stayed silent on the war. Apparently some men don't have the same guts and character that Kat has. So it's okay for them to drop words from what she's written and make it sound like she wrote something she didn't.

It's not cool in my book.

If it's not fixed, I will be saying more. C.I.'s hoping that it's a misunderstanding that can be cleared up. I want to believe that too. If it's not, the community will move on and the community will stand behind Kat.

Swiping from C.I. (The Common Ills posts are up now):

Remember the scheduled topic for today's Democracy Now! (thanks to Rod):

* On the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon we discuss his life and politics with historian Jon Wiener, the author of "Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files."

From page 168 of Phil Strongman and Alan Parker's John Lennon & The FBI Files:

The renegade M15 spy David Shayler gave his employers a nudge by revealing the fact that there were British files on Lennon -- over his support for left-wing parties -- as well as on two '60s students who were now members of the new cabinet (these were former student union leader Jack Straw and one-time anti-apartheid activist Peter Hain).Weeks later M15 began to shread over 120,000 of the files it had held on UK subjects -- including one John Winston Ono Lennon. Rather than fight this outrageous action, the government actually seemed to encourage it -- perhaps grateful that the youthful excesses of its senior and junior ministers would now never be made public. Those who'd been less successful in life than high-ranking government members -- those who might have had their careers slowed or destroyed by secret action -- were the losers. They would not be able to claim compensation without proof. And that proof was rapidly being turned into pulp besides the south bank of the Thames.
But the US copies of the M15 Lennon files -- or at least those that were sent to the FBI --- did still exist. And after much prompting from Wiener and his civil-liberties legal team, the FBI agreed to ask for British permission to finally release the last ten Lennon documents -- those FBI files that had originated in, contained information from -- or were copied to -- Military Intelligence 5 and 6.
Yet, despite all their freedom of information pledges, Blair's regime hesitated for a few days, and then said "no." [. . . ]

The discussion on Democracy Now! should be quite interesting. And the Wiener noted in the excerpt is Jon Wiener, Goodman's guest for today's show.

Check out the show. John Lennon stood for peace. So does Bright Eyes and "When A President Talks To God" isn't "trite, crudely so, and certainly unenlightening" unless sitting on the fence about the war has given you splinters in the brain.

I'll close by quoting David Zirin, a writer Mike and I have tremendous respect for, and I won't alter his quote but will leave that to fence sitters on the war who think it's okay to alter Kat's quote and feel that citations of The New Republic are, I'm guessing, 'neat':

The New Republic magazine - a pro-war Democratic Party rag - thought it would be provocative to muse about killing and torturing anti-war activists. New Republic writer T.A. Frank found it cheeky to sit in and mock an anti-war panel sponsored by the DC Anti-War Network, the DC ISO and others. He thought it would make his colleagues chuckle to wish for "John Ashcroft to come busting through the wall with a submachine gun to round everyone up for an immediate trip to Gitmo, with Charles Graner on hand for interrogation." The New Republic thought they would score points with their puffy beltway buddies by printing a call for someone to "take a bunker buster to [internationally known anti-war author] Arundhati Roy." The New Republic also thought they'd get away with it. They were wrong.
On Friday, about fifty-plus anti-war and global justice activists picketed their shabby Washington DC offices [tough times for TNR]. We were loud and proud demanding both print-space to rebut Frank's psychotic rant as well as a formal apology. As we chanted gems like "Stop the Threats, Stop the Lies; New Republic Apologize" and "New Republic YOU can go Kill and Die for Texaco," their quivering editorial team remained holed upstairs, refusing to address our demands, defend Frank's rant, or even leave the office. While their staff shook in the newly christened "New Republic Panic Room," we handed out hundreds of leaflets to passers-by outlining their nasty dirge.
Our "Fight the New Republic[ans]" campaign began when we posted a response to Frank on the
Counterpunch website. The reaction was staggering with TNR receiving hundreds of e-mails and phone calls. It was incredible, as letters poured in from around the world, from anti-war vets to unionists in India. Despite the diversity of responders, the message was quite unified: if you want to get to Arundhati Roy, you have to go through us first.

That's from "Fighting the New Republic[ans]." As NOW notes, "Peace is a feminist issue." Mom wanted that in and also said I should note that distorting a woman or trying to make her correct her opinion are not feminist issues. Mom said too that I needed to add NOW to my links so I'll do that right after I post this.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Florida, Florida Florida

C.I. spotlights me Monday and by Tuesday I've got more e-mail than I ever have all saying stuff like "I had no idea" or "Thank you for writing about Florida."

That's so cool that so many people were even interested. To be honest, it really does seem like outside of Florida, no one cares too much.

I always enjoy Ruth's stuff but I really enjoyed her last Ruth's Morning Edition Report because she found a show that was talking about Florida:

Of all the programs I listened to this week, the one that I felt delivered day after day was KPFA's The Morning Show. Let's take two issues that were cited as worth more attention in the poll in the latest gina & krista round-robin.
Wally addressed what was going on in Florida at The Daily Jot this week. As Andre Lewis noted, this is an issue that "doesn't seem to be getting attention." Her guest was Sushma Sheth, of the The Miami Workers Center, who raised issues that really have not been getting out in the mainstream media.
As Wally pointed out November 2nd, the first heavy rains were when the effects of Hurricane Wilma were more noticeable as roofs collapsed. Ms. Sheth pointed out that the official response was "basically every family for themselves." She discussed how "buildings that had not been kept up to code . . . caved." The collapses and the fact that other buildings were not up to code has led to mass evictions in Liberty City and Miami Beach. Some people have been forcibly evicted in the early morning hours.
Ms. Sheth also pointed out that issues of relief supplies were confusing such as attempting to determine "who had at ice at what time where?" There was a lack of leadership in all areas from the government's response on all levels. While this inadequate response was ongoing you also had people losing wages due to businesses being closed and this especially hit hard persons living pay check to pay check. Also harshly effected were immigrants who not only suffered from poor housing and lost wages but also found, when attempting to get relief, that they had to produce documents before receiving relief from governmental institutions.
The Miami Workers Center is calling for:
1) A halt to economic evictions.
2) An halt to foreclosures on homes.
3) A halt to threat of losing utilities due to loss of payments.
The economic impact from Hurricane Wilma is very real and the threat of evictions, foreclosures, lack of service is a very real concern. Another concern is that some of the same mistakes may be made again if the planning for future responses relies upon the same voices.
Public transportation was not a concern to those planning responses to the aftermath. There was no attempt made to waive the requirement for bus passes nor was there apparently any thought that relief supplies need to be better distributed and better publicized for those who rely on public transportation since a good portion of the day can be spent traveling from one area to another.

I'll add two more things to that and call it a jot.

First from the Sun-Sentinel, Sharon Robb's "Against the wind:"

Joey Pedraza wanted to salvage his high school season. The Pine Crest junior missed more than 20 days of training because of Hurricane Wilma and wasn't sure whether he would be able to recover in time to challenge for another state title.
The state champion in the 500-yard freestyle last year for St. Thomas Aquinas, Pedraza wanted to win at least one title for his new team at the state meet.

That's for George who wondered how it effected school athletics. If you use the link this is a pretty long story that you'll enjoy reading.

Second, also from the Sun-Sentinel, David Fleshler's "Legislative hearings to be held in S. Florida on coping with hurricanes:"

A state Senate committee will have hearings next month in South Florida on how to improve the way the state deals with hurricanes.
The Senate Domestic Security Committee will schedule five hearings in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties to discuss power outages, gasoline shortages and other hardships that came with Hurricane Wilma. Times and dates have not been set.
The public will have the chance to speak, and senators also expect to hear from power companies, police, fire departments and others involved in dealing with hurricanes, said Kathy Mears, spokeswoman for Senate President Tom Lee. The hearings are intended to produce ideas that can be implemented in the coming session of the state Legislature.

If everyone talking about showing up for these hearings shows up, it's going to be something. Maybe that will get on the news.

Thanks for the e-mails and thanks too to KPFA's The Morning Show and Andrea Lewis for talking about it when not many seem to care. If you don't know KPFA, it's a Pacifica Radio station in California.

My aunt called yesterday to ask about Ava & C.I. She'd just read their "TV Review: Kenny & Faith let their hair down" Tuesday morning and then went back through their other TV reviews. She thinks they're the funniest TV reviewers around. Agreed.

Mike's Motto: The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Paicifica Radio Archives All-Day Fundraising Special

First off, special event today that Ruth noted:

Pacifica Radio Archives All-Day Fundraising Special
18-hour natl. simulcast of programming from Pacifica's 50-plus-year history. Focuses: civil rights movement, live music, and the 1970 live reading on WBAI of Tolstoy's War and Peace. On December 6 the entire Pacifica network will pre-empt its regular schedule for an 18-hour simulcast of programming drawn from Pacifica's 50-plus-year history. This will be a fundraiser for the Pacifica Radio Archives that preserves the network's audio treasures. This year we're focusing on three major subject areas: the civil rights movement recordings, live music, and the 1970 live reading on WBAI of Tolstoy's War and Peace.

That sounds like it will be really interesting. If you don't have a Pacifica Radio in your area, visit online and you can listen to one of the stations or one of their affiliates.

Second, thank you to C.I. for posting my entry at The Common Ills. C.I. feels bad because it was supposed to go up at The Third Estate Sunday Review but didn't because everyone forgot. I was helping on that edition and I know it was crazy so no apologies or feeling bad necessary.

Jotting from that entry, I got to wonder, is anyone going to make a big deal about the fact that military can spy on us?

And I'm glad Howard Dean's remembered that the war is wrong but after months of so-little to nothing from him on this topic, I'm wondering if this is just all part of the "raise money for the 2006 elections!" plan.

Sorry to feel that way. Dean was a voice against the war in the primaries. But I'm really disappointed about how little he's said on this issue since becoming head of the DNC. If this is a sign of more to come, I might open my wallet. But if this is just a p.r. move to raise money, I'm not interested.

And Seth's posted an entry Sunday so make a point to read it. I think I started a week after Seth but I may have started a week before him. We're the newest bloggers in The Common Ills community. Hope everyone's checking Seth's site.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Bully Boy's lips were flapping but he was rapping an old track

Comic above is Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts. I love his comics. Besides appearing at The Common Ills, we also used it for "Editorial: Bully With No Plan, Just More Lip." It's a pretty good editorial, so check it out. I think of last week's speech as "Bully Boy's lips were flapping but he was rapping an old track." We heard it all before.

Mom wanted me to note something. Saturday night, she turns on the local news. She hears something like, "When we come back, an attack in Iraq and what are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt planning?" She couldn't believe it. (They're either planning marriage or about to adopt a baby and then get married or something. It doesn't matter to anyone but them and their family and friends but some news genius thought it was equal to news from Iraq.)

C.I. forwarded me an Associated Press story that was up at the New York Times:

President Bush's motorcade had a minor accident on Sunday when the ambulance that routinely trails the president in case of an emergency crashed into a support vehicle on the way back from Camp David.

Course that ambulance might trail for another reason. Was that thing on Bully Boy's back in the debate with John Kerry a device to feed him lines to say or was it some sort of health thing for his heart? Press never told you and still acts like it didn't happen.

In fact, the New York Times killed their own story on Bully Boy's "bulge." You can check out this from FAIR if that's news to you.

It's Monday. Usual start of the week blahs. Let's hope it's a good week.

Mike's Motto: The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.