Saturday, June 10, 2006


Apologies to C.I. and the community. I believe I'm holding up the posting at The Common Ills due to the fact that C.I. wanted to note those of us who were posting this morning. On the plus side, Ruth was nervous about her latest report so, I ended up calling her to see what had her so nervous. It's a different form today (with some hard hitting commentary) and she does need to play around the format and form. She should never feel that she has only one to do her reports.
Please read Ruth's Public Radio Report -- honestly, my mouth dropped twice while she read it over the phone to me. I asked her about that and she said traveling the country on her road trip with her college friend Treva just introduced so many people to her who were hungry for reality, so many who were tired of people who couldn't or wouldn't call for an end to the war.

"The people I met, Republican or Democrat, wanted the US out of Iraq now," she said. "That's how I feel as well but knowing that there were all these people who feel dismissed and tricked just made me think about important it is to call out nonsense."

Good for Ruth. I'm sure the report will be an immediate favorite with the community. Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's thoughts and to ponder the question of did I get lucky last night?
(I'm teasing Mike and not angry before any rumors take hold.)

It was pointed out that I didn't finish my last post. No, I didn't. Not because I did not want to but because Blogger/Blogspot was a mess. "Will I go back and fix it?" wondered an e-mailer. No. My new approach is basically C.I.'s which is when you're at the keyboard, it's like you're at a microphone. You have X number of minutes and if you stumble, if your noun and verb don't agree, whatever, it is, in the words of Kat, what it is. Is there a factual mistake to fix?

No, it's a bunch of notes posing as a post. Why is that? Because I was getting my notes together and then posting immediately so as not to lose them, going back in and writing a bit here and there, posting so as not to lose what I'd worked on, and repeat until the post was complete. Blogger/Blogspot ended that plan. So three days later, no, I'm not going to pull up the post to finish it. I actually did attempt to Thursday during lunch and I couldn't log in. That was the last attempt I made or will make. That post was lost completely and I had to start over. It was lost for the same reason it was never finished: Blogger/Blogspot. That was Wednesday, today is Saturday. Life goes on and, on that note, I'm running to the CD rack to grab some John Lennon.

My blog-twin phoned to wake me this morning and I had, honestly, been joking about that. But thankfully, I got a call because I'd still be asleep otherwise.

[If anyone's wondering, I went with The John Lennon Collection because I wanted to hear "Give Peace a Chance," "(Just Like) Starting Over," "Imagine" and "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)."]

To leave brackets, C.I. had a hilarious riff on a really lame right-winger who doesn't grasp rhyming. C.I. used "Give Peace a Chance" to illustrate the point (in a conversation). I don't think that ever made it up at The Common Ills. If I could remember who he was, it was a guy, I'd note it here but maybe we can work in something on it at The Third Estate Sunday Review?

Let me note a few suggested readings:

"did you get the memo?"
"NYT: Angels in the outfield? No, idiots in the Green Zone"
"flashpoints (dahr jamail was a guest)"
"Thomas Friedman, the Jayne Mansfield of the New York Times"
"Law and Disorder on Ahmed Omar Abu Ali"

[I've not noted Mike because we note each other when we blog. If I seem to be taking great pains to stomp out rumors before they start, I made the mistake of checking e-mails this morning and once again had a slew asking what it was like "dating Mike"? I imagine, like any dating, it has its good and bad moments. But the person to address those questions would be Nina, Mike's girlfriend. For, hopefully the last time, Mike and I are just friends. He's many years young, many, many years. Unlike Billy Idol, I don't "Rock the Cradle of Love."]

Now three to note and they're pooled for a reason, C.I.'s "And the war drags on . . . (Indymedia Roundup)," "NYT: Everybody wants to be a war pornographer" and "Other Items (Robert Jay Lifton on Democracy Now)." Sunny and I discussed them during lunch Friday. We were and are impressed. They will be my votes for highlighted posts at Third Estate Sunday Review later tonight. They're wonderful, what else can I say? How about this? As I told Sunny, I read those entries and have to wonder why I even bother?

It's all there, the passion, the joy, the nager, the committment. That's not a request of "Please show me pity." That is say that I don't think it gets much better than those three entries. They say all that needs to be said, they provide passion and they provide laughter. C.I. can stand up and deliver the verbal equivalent at any time, with no notice, and not bat an eye. (By contrast, I present a paper and I have to have multiple crutches to fall back on.) I think they're wonderful.
Jim keeps asking Rebecca, C.I. and myself to work on a feature (even a discussion piece) about college. C.I.'s not going to go for that. Rebecca and I both know it. We were talking about that midweek. Rebecca remembered a story about a post-college vacation that I had forgotten. Her intent was to share it Wednesday. She also hoped to address a column this week. Both got pushed aside by the nonsense of Blogger/Blogspot.

I hope she ends up sharing it, it's an amusing/illuminating story.

If you can't tell, I'm not fully awke yet. Actually, what I want to do is go back to bed.

"CIA Support for Somali Warlords Draws Internal Criticism" (Democracy Now!)
The CIA's covert operation to finance Somali warlords fighting against Islamic militants is coming under harsh internal criticism. According to the New York Times, several US government officials say the operation has backfired and empowered the Islamic groups it intends to weaken. According to the officials, agents have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars directly into the warlord’s hands from the CIA's station in Nairobi, Kenya. The State Department's political officer was reassigned to Chad after he sent a cable criticizing the operation. Critics say the payments have motivated Islamic militants to launch pre-emptive attacks against expected US-backed offensives. The revelation comes at a time of increased fighting between the two sides. This week, Islamic militias announced they have seized control of the capital of Mogadishu. The warlords had controlled the city for the past 15 years.

Well imagine that. Mission Impossible 3 is in the theaters. (No, we didn't see it last night. We did end up in a theater next door to it and they really need to soundproof when they have state of the art speaker hook ups. We could hear every explosion and noise.) The film is a retread of the old TV show. That show was quite popular for a number of years but then the audience seemed to make connections to all the disruptions of governments going onscreen and the ones going on in the real world. Possibly if people today would make the same connections we'd all be spared a fourth installment?

"House Passes Controversial Telecom Bill" (Democracy Now!):
Meanwhile in the House, lawmakers passed the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act, known as the COPE bill. The controversial telecommunications legislation would permit phone and cable companies to operate Internet and other digital communications service as private networks, free of policy safeguards or governmental oversight. The bill would effectively end what is known as "net neutrality" which is the concept that that everyone, everywhere, should have free, universal and non-discriminatory access to the Internet. The bill would also cut back the obligation of cable TV companies to devote channels to public access and fund the facilities to run them. And the COPE bill would replace local cable franchises with national franchises.

To make your voice heard on this issue and/or to find out more, please visit Save the Internet.

"Iraq snapshot" ("Democracy Now: Michael Berg, Arun Gupta," The Common Ills):
Guess what? Chaos and violence continue.
As Amy Goodman noted, Baghdad had a traffic curfew Friday. The AFP notes that traffic curfew applies "from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm local time" and that the curfew also applies to Baquba. China's People's Daily notes "[a] night curfew for traffic and people movement was also imposed in Diyala province from 8:00 p.m. (1600 GMT) to 6:00 a.m.(0200 GMT) for three days".
Yesterday, on KPFA's Flashpoints, Robert Knight noted the "bruised but remarkably presevrved corpse" of what is alleged to be al-Zarqawi. (Those without audio options can read Rebecca's summary.) Did someone panic as people started noticing?
Who knows but today's spin is that al-Zarqawi lived through the bombing and died on the stretcher. That's the spin and it's all over. No one, apparently, can write of it without noting it. Here's what few are noting: Bully Boy was "smiling and joking with aides" before he put on his let-me-look-constipated-so-people-think-I'm-concerned face (Julian Borger, Guardian of London). KUNA reports it might not have been as fun today for Bully Boy's father -- Poppy Bush "arrived at the Yorkshire Events Centre, northern England" where he was greeted by peace activist Lindis Percy who "unfurled a United States flag and accused Bush Senior's son of doing terrible things in the world."
While Bully Boy got his chuckles on Thursday and Poppy got the "boo"s on Friday,Muthana al-Badri was kidnapped. Reuters notes of Badri that he is, "in his 60s, has always worked for SCOP." (SCOP is "Iraq's State Company for Oil Projects".) In other oil related news, the AFP reports that three oil engineers and two other people were killed "on the road between the refinery town of Baiji and the northern city of Tikrit," while in Kirkuk "gunmen attacked soldiers guarding a piepline" (one civilian dead, three soldiers wounded). This as the AFP reports: "World oil prices climbed as concerns resurfaced over tensions in crude-producing countries Iran and Iraq".
Australia's ABC reports the death of "34-year-old Australian" from a roadside bomb -- also dead were three people traveling with him all dead. The man has not been identified but, in a later ABC report, they identify him as a "security worker" and he hailed from Queenslander and Australia's prime minister John Howard states, "We do recommend that Australians stay away from Iraq for very obvious reason."
CBS and the AP note CBS journalist Elizabeth Palmer's report of a "firefight" in Ghalibiya that led to at least five civilian deaths and "five houses . . . demolished." Meanwhile Reuters reports that the Iraqi police announced today the Thursday death of Zuhair Muhammad Kshmola who was "the brother of the governor of Mosul province." The Associated Press provides the update: "Gunmen opened fire on Friday's funeral procession for the brother of the governor of the northern city of Mosul." Reuters notes that "two civilian trucks" headed "for the U.S. base in Ramadi" was attacked and the drivers kidnapped. And just as kidnappings are a regular event in Iraq now, so the discovery of corpses. The AFP reports that "five corpses, including one of a woman" were discovered in Baghdad.
So much for what, as Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show today, Iraq's brand-new interior minister (Jawad al-Bolani) termed, only yesterday, "a new beginning for Iraq."Finally, CNN reports that the body of Hashim Ibrahim Awad's body is in the United States. Awad died in the April 26th incident that his family described to Knight Ridder's Nancy A. Youssef as: ""U.S. Marines took him from his home in the middle of the night and killed him. The Marines then used an AK-47 assault rifle and a shovel taken from another home to make him look like a terrorist." CNN reports that the body was exhumed, with the family's permission, "for forensic analysis."