Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's not just the young people

Thursday. And I am posting.

Three Cool Old Guys say hello to everybody.

They were very vocal on wanting me to note an article C.I.'s noted at The Common Ills, Gareth Porter's "Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh:"

Both U.S. military informants and testimony gathered by civil society leaders in Nineveh reported that the Kurds had spread the rumour in Nineveh province that voters who did not vote "yes" would lose their food ration cards. Many farmers and their families were said by the independent informant to have voted "yes" on the understanding that would ensure the renewal of their ration cards. The picture of voting irregularities and fear in Nineveh sketched out in these reports from non-Sunni sources collected by the U.S. military and civil society groups support the complaints about electoral fraud by Sunni political figures. And they belie the official portrayal of the referendum as a step toward political legitimacy and democratic development.

That's "democracy" and "liberation" is what they wanted me to put in here.

They wanted something else noted on this anniversary of Falluja, retired people aren't frothing at the mouth over Bully Boy. They see that in our church and at the nursing home they live in.
Our church is a Black church. Other races are welcome, but we're a Black church. And African-Americans haven't been big supporters of Bully Boy Bush (unless they were on the payroll like Armstrong Williams). But their nursing home is a mixture of races and the ones there who did support Bully Boy stopped as the war turned out to be lies and people kept dying.

Tuesday, they took me around to some of the former Bully Boy supporters. The thing I heard the most was that they were appalled that Bully Boy hasn't attended one funeral of an American military person who died in Iraq. This wasn't the thing that turned them against him but it was always the first thing that they noted. They'd name presidents who had attended funerals and they'd say it was shameful that Bully Boy hadn't attended even one. Then they'd usually follow that with their belief that he couldn't attend one because he knew he lied and he'd have to confront the costs of lies and deal with reality -- which he can't do.

Most of the people were white. One was a Hipsanic woman and one was a man whose parents had come over from Japan in the 1920s. These were the ones who had openly supported the Bully Boy and even voted for him in 2004.

Three Cool Old Guys know that this might be something that's just happening in their nursing home but they wanted it noted.

This came from the network news. They weren't online. This came from just following the network news and feeling like they were lied to. Until Three Cool Old Guys got their laptops, no one in the nursing home had web access.

And this was another big thing they voiced. They feel the news people on TV lied to them and continue to lie to them. They feel like if this were any other leader, Carter was the one they usually named the most, then Bill Clinton, the media wouldn't soft peddle or make excuses the way they do for Bully Boy. I heard names I'd never heard of, TV journalists from long ago, and they'd talk about how they asked hard questions at press conferences and weren't sucking up and laughing the way they do today.

This one woman told me that she blamed her vote in 2004 for Bully Boy on the press.

After Bully Boy and the network news, the third thing most distrusted was the AARP. They feel the AARP sold out the elderly when they got in bed with the administration to push the phoney programs. They said no one even talks about that anymore on TV and they can't figure out the new plans but can't believe that they will benefit from them.

It was really interesting to speak to them because we'd go up and they'd be smiling and Three Cool Old Guys would explain to them why they brought me over and they'd stop smiling and launch into these long lists of the ways the Bully Boy was ruining the country.

I heard "He needs to fire Karl Rove" a lot. That was for outing the CIA agent Valerie Plame. But what I heard even more than that was that he needs to be impeached.

I went back to tonight to talk to some of the ones there wasn't time to talk to Tuesday night and it was the same message. (I had told my date about them on our first date and she wanted to meet Three Cool Old Guys, so Tuesday we spent an hour and a half at the nursing home before going out to eat.)

I've got to do laundry and go get some milk and other stuff at the stores so this isn't a long entry. But Three Cool Old Guys thought this was important and I agree with them. It's not just the young people that have turned against the Bully Boy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The mix

I'm heading out for a date again tonight. (Same woman.) But I'm doing a "mix" post because I don't want Elaine to get nasty e-mails.

1) From Democracy Now!

Supreme Court To Rule on Guantanamo Military Tribunals
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will decide whether the Bush administration can use military tribunals to try detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. In July a three-judge federal appeals court upheld that a tribunal made up entirely of military officials could try and sentence Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemini man accused of being Osama Bin Laden's bodyguard and driver. On Monday Chief Justice John Roberts recused himself from the case since he was one of the appeals court judges who previously ruled on the case.

2) My response? Something from The Third Estate Sunday Review that the following wrote:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty 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.

"The Only Thing We Have to Hide Is the Ugly Truth"
Move along now and don't ask any questions.

That man over there, we're shipping him in Poland. Shut up or you'll be joining him and, trust us, you don't want to join him. Ten fingers aren't essential but they complete a set and you don't want to risk losing any of yours.
Okay, a little urine got on your Holy book but trust us, it must have come through the air ducts. Urinals can fill up quickly and when you're bladder's 'bout to bust, you improvise.
Some call them stress positions, we prefer to see them as isometric excercises.
Your family and friends? Think of all the time you've been spared hearing them recount their daily activities. Trust us, you're better off here.
You miss them? Well you can thank three years of being locked away in Gitmo for making you appreciate your loved ones. Think of all the people who don't have the luxury to appreciate their loved ones.
We've done you a favor. We are America, home of the brave, land of the free. We walk it like it we talk it, buddy!
Or do we?
Congress members set to visit Guantanmo Bay will not visit unless they can speak to prisoners. The answer, right now, is no. Does the Bully Boy think Congress can't be trusted? Does he think they'll smuggle in box cutters to the prisoners?
Now the UN has delcared it's December 6th visit is off unless they can speak to guards and, this is always the deal breaker for the administration, prisoner.What exactly is the administration hiding?
The hunger strikes are known. The force feedings are becoming known.
If you were held for three years with no charges brought and no right to a court trial, what lengths would you go to?
What is the government hiding?
Is it something far worse than the photos of Abu Ghraib?
Could it have anything to do with being in a similar position to the one they're in with Jose Padilla? Having staked their reputation on the guilt of those held, they're now trying to save face by refusing to allow anyone contact with the people being held? Has the administration that never knows how to admit they're wrong decided to bury yet another mistake?
For three years now the American public has largely given the administration the benefit of the doubt with regards to those held in Guantanamo Bay. Bully Boy and others called them terrorists, the media (and a large portion of the public) ran with that. Assurances were also made that they were being dealt with fairly and that we were taking measures to ensure that hearings would be held (military tribunals).
It's been three years.
What's the plan now?
We don't appear too concerned about how we look to other nations, are we at all concerned about how we'll look to future generations?
Who wants to explain what gave us the right to detain indefinately to future generations? Who wants to answer the "Well how did you know they were guilty of anything?" question?
When Japanese Americans were interned during WWII it was a stain on the country. It went against everything we are supposed to stand for.
What American principals are being upheld with regards to the Guantanamo detainees?
It's not American soil!" the administration argues -- as if Americans are only bound to the laws and rules of this country when they're on American soul. Jenna Bush goes into a hash bar in Amesterdam next week and twenty years later runs for office do you really think the "I didn't break a law because it's not illegal in Amsterdam!" defense will cut it?
We're supposed to treasure the Constitution and uphold it but the Bully Boy wants to argue that our beliefs only apply when we're on American soil. Patriotism confined to the shorelines apparently.
All that the administration is doing, they're doing in our names. After 9/11, the American public seemed willing to bury their heads in the sand and, like Congress, give the administration a blank check.
Are we all still wetting our beds at night and sucking our thumbs twenty-four seven or have we started to grow up a little? Enough to ask, "What the hell is going on?"
We need to be asking that. It's easy for the Bully Boy to dismiss questions of historical judgements with the reply that he'll be dead by then but historical judgements don't always take centuries. And if indeed he believes in a "higher authority," is he not concerned what will happen should he have to account for his behavior?
How will you account for yours if you continue to remain silent?

3) From Democracy Now!

Chalabi Heads Back to D.C.; No Investigation Yet on Iran Spy Charges
The Wall Street Journal reports 17 months have passed the Bush administration announced a full criminal inquiry into allegations that Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi leaked U.S. intelligence secrets to Iran. Since then FBI hasn't even interviewed Chalabi or any U.S. official connected to the matter. Chalabi is arriving in Washington today for his first official visit in two years. He is planning on speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday and will be meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary John Snow.

4) From C.I.'s "NYT has to promote the AP today because NYT has little news:"

A question I sometimes get from visitors is "Aren't you too hard on Dexter Filkins?" No. I'm obviously not hard enough on him judging by the stenography in today's paper: "Chalabi, in Tehran, Meets With Iranian President Before Traveling to U.S. Next Week."
He goes to great length to quote Chalibli and makes little effort to inform readers of certain realities. Such as the Times acting as a megaphone for Chalibli's point of view. Dexter's not unaware that a niece of Chalabli was working for the Times in Iraq. But that's left out as is any harsh reality that might intrued on, "I will be back!" and the talk of how he might, MIGHT, be doing a little mission in Iran for the US government. There's no indication made of any attempts to determine the veracity of Chalibli's claims, they're just quickly rushed into print.

5) Also from C.I.'s "NYT has to promote the AP today because NYT has little news:"

We'll note the passing of C. Delores Tucker. From Douglas Martin's "C. DeLores Tucker, a Voice for Minorities and Women, Is Dead at 78:"

When she was 16, Mrs. Tucker raised her voice from the back of a flatbed truck to protest a Philadelphia hotel's refusal to admit black athletes. She went on to become the highest-ranking black woman in any state government when she served as secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the 1970's.
She started the first Commission on the Status of Women in Pennsylvania and helped found and led the National Political Congress of Black Women. She held leadership positions in the Democratic Party, the National Women's Caucus and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among many other organizations.
Mrs. Tucker achieved perhaps her greatest fame in the 1990's when she campaigned against gangsta rap lyrics, calling them "sleazy, pornographic smut." At one point, she bought 20 shares of Time-Warner stock and rose at an annual meeting to demand the company's leaders read aloud the lyrics on records one of their subsidiaries was selling. They declined.

That's going to be it. It's a mix because I've got a date. I already visited Three Cool Old Guys and I'll write about that (or try to) on Thursday.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Laughs and music

Readers know that I wasn't thrilled to see the white white white web ignore the passing of pioneer Rosa Parks. At The Third Estate Sunday Review, we usually do parodies and this Sunday's parody was a look at some out of it, apparently "progressive" bloggers. Here's one section of the mock website we created for "Googs," this is from "The wacky web:"

I was thinking about John Edwards last night. Two Americas. So true. So very, very true. So this October 25, 2005, I want to note an important passing. Probably you've already talked about it because it was big news. She is missed.Of coure I'm speaking of Ann Forrest who passed away two decades ago. I often find myself reflecting on how much like her character (Zoe Barbille) in The Wise Fool I am. She filmed Dangerous Days and she really lived them because, like, in those days they didn't even have sound. Can you imagine how weird was that? Everytime someone moved their lips, you had to look at the title cards to figure out what was being said. I bet only the really rich could afford to have title cards carried around for them. Everyone else was mute in those days. That must have been hard but sometimes I get to thinking, "Googs, you could write title cards!" I could too. Watch: "Unhand me, you fiend, or face the wrath of John Edwards!" Sigh.But there really are Two Americas and I want to make sure we all understand that and, honestly, to be more inclusive. So on this monumental day, I want to note the passing, two decades ago, of the silent film actress Ann Foster. She remained silent so that we could all speak. Two Americas, the living and the dead.
12:01pm 10-25-05
Who the hell is Ann Foster?
Didn't Rosa Parks just die? Why the hell is Googs writing about some actress who died two decades ago?
I bet if you asked Googs, "What's your favorite chocolate?" she'd answer, "White."
Lylonzo, you are so banned! Posting privs revoked! Troll!

I think the thing we worked on turned out real funny and I was glad to be a part of it. And that was before I visited the nursing home Sunday afternoon and heard Three Cool Old Guys tell me their favorite parts of it. They loved it.

They also loved Sunday's edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review and felt it was the best yet. How come? Because of the funny feature about the wacky web, because of Ava and C.I.'s TV review which they love to read and laugh and also see the levels in it. But they just felt it was a really great mix with some serious stuff and some fun stuff and the book discussion. But they also enjoyed the thing where we answered Benji's question about what album we listened to the most that week. They just felt it was a really good blend.

Another thing that was really good, and you can consider tonight's entry a "mix" because I have a date tonight and am trying to hurry, is Kat, of Kat's Korner, album review "A Time To Dance:"

Diana Ross and I parted ways over Working Overtime. I could go with the new look (smudged make up, torn jeans) and could even take the jerky title track. What I couldn't take was an album that felt repeating a bromide over and over qualified for lyrics (and "meaning"). As high priestess of love, Diana didn't cut it. Apparently she's passed the robes to Stevie. They don't fit him any better than they did her.
I say that to say: Put on Stevie Wonder's A Time To Love to shake your ass.
Make that your priority and you can't go wrong.
I rushed to Tower the day A Time to Love came out and snapped up my copy. I went home and listened and was despondent to the point of contemplating if I should draw up a will? Then I threw a party and one of the albums playing was A Time to Love.
You can dance to this album.
That's no easy trick. With all the "beats" and name producers, the
Disney Kids' hollow product still can't keep you dancing for an entire CD. Stevie is still the "Master Blaster." That's worth noting.
"So Kat, how come you ain't real high on the album?"
Well, for one thing, I've never been fond of romantic duets between father and daughter. Frank and Nancy Sinatra's "Something Stupid" was dubbed "the incest song." Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole carried on the tradition thanks to the "miracle" of techonology. "Unforgettable" stormed the charts but it was creepy as hell and played less like a tribute and more like a struggling artist's attempt to get a hit. (No, I don't mean Nat King Cole.)
On A Time To Love, "How Will I Know" carries on the creepy tradition. It's not a remake of the Whitney Houston hit which might make sense -- the father (Stevie) advising his daughter (Aisha Morris) to "trust your heart." Instead, they trade lines like "How will I know he loves me" and "How will I know she cares" which will creep you out unless you're from an extreme let-it-all-hang-out family.
Before the next parent-child duo contemplates recording a love duet, a bit of advice: DON'T!
That's not the only problem. "From The Bottom Of My Heart" attempts to build a song over a single musical hook. The problem with that is most of us already know "I Just Called To Say I Love You." If we want to hear that song, we'll listen to it.
At six minutes plus, "If Your Love Cannot Be Moved" tests your will if you're just listening. If you're dancing, you can get into the music and ignore the fact that Stevie's tossing off sentences the way INXS tosses flashcards in their video for "New Sensation" (which cribbed from Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" film footage). It adds up to nothing so move that rear and those feet but don't think.
You're better off not thinking throughout the album or you'll be depressed that, as Stevie Wonder runs through another decade as a recording artist, he has nothing to say lyrically.

There's more to the review so use the link. Hope everyone had a great weekend and sorry to rush through this entry.