Monday, June 19, 2006

On the bus

Not much to say tonight, but Rebecca called and asked me to post something. She thinks we're all too worried about her [read "nancy keenan, rick hertzberg (the useless 1s)] and insists she's fine. I'm sure she is but I'm also sure she's trying really hard to keep things as usual. If my posting helps any, I'm happy to do what I can.

Not much to talk about. How about two guys on the bus today? They apparently never learned how to speak in public. They were loudly using the f-word, another word for a cat, a word that rhymes with rich and 'ho' this and 'ho' that. They were also talking about their 'peckers' and how they'd lean on some 1 with that. For all their talk of women, this was the surprise to me and came up when I went up to say something, it turns out that they're gay.

There were kids on the bus, it was the evening. And they didn't need to hear the f-word or all the other curse words. I was thinking, should I say something or not because by kids, I'm talking 5 years old through 9 years old. So I decide I should and move to the front, they'd grabbed the front seats, to say something. As I'm almost there, they're talking about 1 of the boyfriends and about how they don't let anyone do anal them, just oral. "I'm a f**king pitcher."

So then I ended up thinking, do I have a right to say anything?

But I said something. I told them they needed to clean up the language because everyone could hear them all over the bus (I was on the very back seat and heard them) and kids were on the bus. That's actually the job of the driver, by the way. I've seen them kick off high school kids who couldn't clean up the language.

One of them got angry but the other said I was "cute" and promised to keep it down. Which they more or less did.

Why would two gay men trash women like that? There's a director with a film this summer and he was trashing 'chick flicks' recently in a paper. I saw it because my cousin and I want to see the movie and he sends me everything he finds online about the movie. I asked C.I. about it and C.I. said, "What? He's gay. He said that?"

He did say it. (I'd name it if I knew he was out. Rebecca said she thought everyone knew but until I see something online, I won't name him.)

I don't expect a gay man to act like a stereotype. But I also don't expect a gay man to endorse a stereotype. So they're gay, they're African-American, and all they can do is talk about how women are (fill in any curse word).

I just don't get it. I know African-American, straight males who do that and it always bothers me because, as African-Americans, we should know better than to go around using stereotypes.

My mind's elsewhere tonight. I'll note C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Chaos and violence continue.
In Baghdad, Reuters notes two bombings, a "car bomb" at "a police checkpoint" resulted in three deaths and three wounded and a "sucicide car bomber" who killed at least four others and wounded at least ten. CBS and the AP note "[a] parked car bomb" that killed five and wounded nine.
The BBC notes: "Violence is continuing in Baghdad despite the introduction of stringent new security measures last week that have seen more than 40,000 Iraqi and US forces deployed in the city." Dahr Jamail reports on the days since Bully Boy's photo-op in the Green Zone and concludes: "Each passing day only brings the people of Iraq and soldiers serving in the US military deeper into the quagmire that the brutal, despicable, tortured occupation has become."
Bombings also took place outside of Baghdad. The AP notes that three people were killed in Fallujah when a roadside bomb exploded while another roadside bomb, in Hillah, killed at least person and wounded at least four others. Reuters notes that, in Najaf, one person died from a bombing while at least five were wounded.
Reuters also reports an attack in Karbala where "a senior police officer" was shot to death and two of his bodyguards were wounded. AP identifies the man as Abdel-Shahid Saleh and notes that Saadoun Abdul-Hussein Radi, electrician, was shot to death in Amarah.
Kidnappings? Reuters reports that the Mujahideen Shura Council, which most recently claimed credit for four of the seven Saturday bombings in Baghdad, is now claiming to be holding four Russian diplomats which, Reuters notes, appears to be a reference to the June 3rd attack. The attack resulted in the death of Russian diplomat Vitaly Vitalyevich Titov and the four who were kidnapped were identified by the Russian embassy as: Feodor Zaycev, Rinat Agliulin, Anatolii Smirnov and Oleg Feodosiev. AFP reports that the Mujahideen Shura Council is also claiming that it has the two US soldiers reported to have been taken by "masked gunmen" on Friday. AFP describes it as a body that "groups eight armed factions led by Al-Qaeda."
The US military has not confirmed the abduction of the two soldiers. AFP reports that their names have been released: "Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Thomas L. Tucker, 25."
Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) reported that "more than 8,000" US and Iraqis are searching for Menchaca and Tucker and the AFP notes that seven US troops have been wounded since the search began Friday.
Meanwhile, CBS and AP quote Christina Menchaca, wife of Kristian, saying, "We're basically just watching the news because no one else knows anything about it, no one has heard anything about it."
On the American, Keith Maupin, who has been MIA since April 8, 2004, the AFP reports: "The Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera aired a video a week later that showed the American seated on the floor surrounded by masked gunmen. A month later it aired what it said was the execution of an American soldier, but the images were unclear and the army said it was inconclusive."
Al Jazeera is reporting that Iraq forces will be responsible for Muthanna relieving the British forces. This is the area that Japanese troops were also responsible for possibly adding creedence to the press coverage of the rumors that Japan will be announcing, prior to June 29th, that it is withdrawing all of its troops from Iraq. CBS and the AP note that Japan, England and Australia will "continue moving to "support role." The AP notes: "The decision, announced after [Nouri] al-Maliki met with Japan's ambassador, does not necessarily mean that any U.S.-led coalition forces will be withdrawn from Muthana province."
Ramadi? As noted by Sandra Lupien on KPFA's The Morning Show, "major military operations" continue as "helicopters and airplanes are flying over the town." Reuters reports that "seven tanks moved along Maarif Street and July 17 Street. Two explosions were heard but the cause was not clear." Ali Hussein Mohammed is quoted as saying: "The water is totally cut off. We have to go to the river to get water. There has been no water for 24 hours and we have no gas to boil the river water to drink it."
Meanwhile, in Italy, the AFP reports that prosecutors are saying that the US marine who shot Nicola Calipari should be put on trial. Calipari had been sent to Iraq by the Italian government to rescue kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena. Though he and Sgrena made it safely to the car, while traveling to the airport to leave Iraq, their car (or "caravan" in some reports at the time) was shot at by US forces. In the attack, Calipari was killed. Sgrena will be in New York City Friday June 23rd for an event with Amy Goodman at Columiba University. (Event starts at 7:30 p.m.)
Finally, Bully Boy is due to visit Vienna this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) and a group is attempting to organize a loud, if not welcoming, reception for him. "Bush Go Home" organizer Michael Proebsting tells the AAP: "The name George Bush, the name of the American president, has become a symbol for war crimes, for Abu Ghraib, for Guantanamo, for Jenin."

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