Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dry Drunk Bully Boy

"Senate Votes To Build 370-Mile Border Fence" (Democracy Now):
The Senate has voted to build a fence along parts of the Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country. In total, 370 miles of triple-layered barriers would be added near San Diego and in the Arizona desert. Senators also approved a provision that would prevent illegal immigrants from petitioning for a guest-worker permit without the sponsorship an employer. And in a unanimous vote, Senate accepted an amendment that would bar granting work permits to undocumented immigrants convicted of either a felony or at least three misdemeanors. The measure would effect even those who ignored a court-deportation order.

I'm sorry to go personal here but this is such a dry drunk moment. Bully Boy's a dry drunk. He dealt with his addiction to alcohol by finding another one (God) and then another one (blood lust). Someone like that can't deal with what's real. They shut it out. And Bully Boy thinks if he acts like something's not there, it not there.

Like if he keeps acting like he didn't lie us into war, we'll all look the other way too. Mike and I are both grabbing the same headlines tonight. Always check out Mikey Likes It! but to get his take on the headlines, be sure to check him out.

"At Least 50 Killed in Afghanistan Clashes" (Democracy Now):
In Afghanistan, more than fifty people were killed in fighting between Taliban members and Afghan and foreign forces in two southern provinces Wednesday. The dead included a dozen police, a Canadian soldier and more than 30 militants.

That's another elephant in the room that we're not supposed to notice. We're supposed to believe that Bully Boy accomplished something by bombing that country to further ruin and doing pretty much nothing to help rebuild it. The country's run by warlords. There's no safety there. But he got to satisfy his blood lust by bombing and destroying and he was ready to move on for another high (Iraq) and now he needs another quick fix (Iran).

I didn't get to note Betty's "Leather Prada pumps and tears" Tuesday. I'm not sure if she's posting tonight or trying for Friday, but it's hilarious and read it. I wanted to put that in early in case I forgot.

Now I'm going to note the latest on Iraq via C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Chaos and violence was the rule on Wednesday and remains so today. Wednesday, as noted by Bassam Sebti and Debbi Wilgoren, car bombs and gun shots resulted in the death of at least 16 people. As noted by Sabrina Tavernise and Qais Mizher, two corpses ("handcuffed . . . shot in the head") were discovered in Baghad and "[f]ifteen members of the Iraqi Olympic Tae Kwon Do team were kidnapped." The BBC notes that $100,000 is what kidnappers have set as the ransom for the release of the atheletes and CNN notes that the kidnapping took place on "a road between Ramadi and Falluja." The AFP reports Peter Pace (general), testifying to Congress yesterday, stating that "No, sir," there is no prospect of American troops being "withdrawn from even Iraq's most stable regions."
In Baghdad, the
BBC reports, at least three police officer are dead and at least four civilians wounded from a roadside bomb. CNN, in a later report, notes that seven have died and four are wounded. Another roadside bomb has killed at least four and CNN identifies them as "4 U.S. soldiers" in the headline but as "Four Multi-National Division" in the text. AFP identifies them as American soldiers -- an Iraqi interpreter died in the bombing as well. CNN reports the death of "six car mechanics" who were attacked by assailants while on their way to work.
The AFP reports that, in Kirkuk, "
local leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Nejmeddin Abdullah" is dead from a drive by shooting as he left "his Kirkuk party headquarters" while "a teacher and a student" were also dead as a result of a drive-by.The Associated Press notes the discovery of a corpse ("beheaded"; "woman labor activist affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party").
A high school teacher was killed in Karbala,
Reuters notes.
In Baqouba, the
Associated Press reports the destruction of "a small Sunni shrine" as a result of bombing.
In Basra,
the Associated Press notes that "police chief Gen. Hassan Swadi narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a roadside bomb hit his convoy as he was heading to work." This would be the same Basra that Des Browne, England's new defense minister, visisted yesterday to declare, "Basra is calm, and British forces are working hand in han with their Iraqi and colation partners. Suggestions that the city is, in some way, out of control are ridiculous." Browne made those comments on Wednesday, the same day, as Reuters notes, that Nazar Abdul-Zahra ("former member of Iraq's national soccer team") was killed.
Though the American press apparently doesn't give a damn about the death of troops in Iraq who aren't American, the issue of Jake Kovco's death and what followed is still a big issue in Australia. Kovco's father-in-law said, regarding the latest developments, "
Because of the way everything has been bungled, Shelley and her two kids have had to go through this death three times." So what's the latest? The investigation into the events of Jake Kovco's death and the time afterward (when another body, Juso Sinaovic's body, was shipped to Australia instead of Kovco) someow resulted in "[h]ighly sensitive information about the bungled repatriation . . . [being] left in a computer at an airport."
The report "
ended up in the hands of broadcaster Derryn Hinch" and has resulted in John Howard (Australia's prime minister) issuing yet another apology to the family (from Chicago, which is where Howard is currently). As a result of all that Shelley Kovco is being put through (not just 'has been,' is being), the Federal Opposition is saying that "extra compensation to the family of Private Jake Kovco" should be paid.
Jake Kovco's body, following the mix up, was finally
laid to rest on May 2nd. Kovco died in Iraq on April 21st. The investigation is supposed to help determine the cause of the death and to help determine how his body and Sinaovic's were mixed up.

Now let me talk about that. I think Iraq's covered there but I'd add that when you think about what Shelley Kovco, her children, her late husband's family and everyone has been through, I can't believe it hasn't already been a Dateline special -- "This is Stone Phillips. Jake Kovco died serving in Iraq. What should have followed was a routine and ceremony familiar to far too many families. Instead . . ."

But what I wanted to talk about was something Elaine and I were talking about. I'd just gotten home from church and she called upset and just wanting to talk. By the way, this is what she was upset about:

"UNICEF: 25% of Iraqi Children Suffer Malnutrition" (Democracy Now):
Meanwhile, a survey carried out by the Iraqi government and UNICEF has concluded a quarter of all Iraqi children suffer from malnutrition.

That's something to be upset about. This whole illegal war is something to be upset about. Every paper in the country should be splashing that on the front page and asking why, in the fourth year of the occupation, Bully Boy's done nothing to help the Iraqi children?

He uses "insurgents" as his excuse for everything else. Well, I don't think people will buy that when faced the fact that children, even the children, aren't a concern of his.

But we talked about Iraq and then we started talking about the snapshot. C.I. was in DC today (and last night) so we were wondering if there would be a snapshot? There was a brief summary of the Michael Hayden hearings.

There's this whole slam bloggers (The Common Ills is a resource/review, before I'm accused of calling it a blog) thing where they're supposedly living in a basement, wearing pajamas and have no life at all. That's not anyone I know. You've got college students like Mike, Wally, Jim, Dona, Ty, Ava and Jess. You've got Betty who's a working mother with three young children. You've got Rebecca who is 'retired' because she made her money in the rat race and got out. I think everyone hopes she and Fly Boy are together for good this time. (He's her ex-husband.) Elaine's a doctor. Trina's raised eight children, worked, has a happy marriage and, like Betty and me, is active in her church. Kat's a working artist. Who's hiding out in a basement?

And all of us go to rallies and demonstrations. Elaine said that if anyone's putting anything on hold it's C.I. and I'd agree with that. C.I.'s not hiding out in a basement. But it's obvious why C.I. was the one to bring up (last summer) the idea of shutting down shop. Right now, as announced, the plan is come November of 2008, we shut shop. Some might continue.

But the one that I know worries the community is C.I. I think if we could all (I'm a member of the community too) be happy with one entry a day, C.I. might continue The Common Ills. But it's just too much work. C.I.'s too busy as it is and dictating so many entries these days. Sometimes, and I've said this to C.I., I think The Common Ills is like a new car. You know how when you get a new car or a new old car and you are so careful where you park it? You're so worried that you're going to get a ding or someone will sideswipe it?

That's what I think The Common Ills is like. We all wish C.I. would take off a day and that might be a possibility if there was ever a day C.I. had already missed. It's just too much for one person. We talk sometimes, all of us, about how if Blogger continues to screw up, just using a for pay site. (C.I. worried that it would be less D.Y.I. if that happened.) If that ever did happen, we're all agreed we'd just do one site. On Sundays, it would be Third. And we'd all just post at it during the week.

If that happened, you know, for instance, Mike would cover Democracy Now so that would be one less entry C.I. had to do. And someone could grab a morning entry every now and then. C.I. let Ty and Jess fill in twice on Sunday evening. That's not really a day off. C.I. had to attend functions on those nights. And this was after a marathon session on Third and after doing the morning entry at The Common Ills.

It just seems like that instead of getting easier, things are getting more time consuming. The Iraq snapshot is something that C.I. does because it's, summarizing C.I. here, real easy to gripe, "Where is the Iraq coverage?" But it's harder to note what's going on. That's time consuming. C.I. had already turned the Sunday evening and Thursday evening entries over to Iraq to try to up the awareness and coverage of the war, the peace movement, everything. I don't know that it will get easier ever.

Elaine and I were wondering if today, since C.I. was in DC for the hearing, it would be an entry without the snapshot. But, as Elaine pointed out, that's the kind of challenge that means C.I. works overtime so you got the snapshot, two highlights, DN! and "impressions" of the hearings.

You got two entries this morning, you'll get the "And the war drags on" tonight. It just really amazes me that there's so much being juggled. C.I. will bench Ruth or Isaiah or tell Kat "don't worry about a review, go have some fun." But regardless of where C.I. is, it's entry, entry, entry. It just seems like a lot for one person. Really, too much for one person. Elaine says that if there wasn't the cut off date ("and the return of life after"), C.I. would be nuts but that this whole thing is like working through now to then and just getting through it. She also thinks it will be one week or less of stopping and then it will be back but in a more limited form.

All of that should set you up for the fact that tonight, Mike will be posting an interview with C.I.

And instead of doing links for all the sites above, I'm just noting this:

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.

Check out Mike's interview.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Let me start out by noting the "new content" at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: Could it be true? Rove indicted?
TV Review: When it's time to go -- That 70s Show
Who exactly are the outlaws?
2 Books, many minutes
About that 'fan mail'
Professional Slime Mike McCurry stabs Milano in the back
Laura Flanders spoke with Cindy Sheehan on Saturday's Radio Nation With Laura Flanders
Mark Danner discusses impeachment with Larry Bensky today on KPFA's Sunday Salon

It was a rough weekend because most of us had plans for Mother's Day. We're trying to get on the phone in about a half hour (little less than that, so I need to hurry) to get some ideas for this week so that we're not pulling such a long shift this weekend. (And I bailed as did everyone but Ty, Ava, Jess, Dona, Jim and C.I. They told us to because we'd added input in the stuff that hadn't been written yet. We grabbed that logic because we wanted some sleep and also because most of us had plans for Mother's Day. If you wonder why I keep saying "most," it's because Elaine's mother passed away when she was very young. I'll say "most" at Father's Day because Wally and I both lost our father's when we were kids. And Elaine lost her mother and father both, at the same time. Those are the breaks. Doesn't make it easy, just makes it the way it is.)

Okay, I wanted to talk about the sermon we heard Sunday in my church. Our pastor talked about Heaven and what our religion believes is needed for you to get there: accepting God as your savior. If you're not religious or your religion is something other than Christianity, stay with me a moment because I'm not trying to change your mind here.

His point was that all God requires is belief and acceptance. So, here's the point, if this administration and our Congress is so full of people willing to toss around the name of the Lord, why do they want to put up all these hurdles for people in this country?

He was talking about immigrants who don't have documentation. They're here now. Who cares how? (I'm sure many have stories of bravery and courage. I'm not dismissing that.) They are here now because they believed that coming here could mean something better. So why are we trying to punish them?

Why is the best we can do, "Apply through a new process and after five years of being a 'guest worker,' we'll let you jump through the hoops required to be a citizen"? They obviously wanted to be here very badly. They still want to be here. Shouldn't that matter?

Shouldn't a belief like that count for something?

Instead of making it count for something, we want to put up some new hurdles and station troops on the border. What is that about?

Give us you poor, your huddled masses . . .

Did they never hear that? The people trying to say, "Sure, stay here, take the jobs no one wants and pray your employer doesn't screw you over for five years and then, THEN, you can try to be a citizen."

That's nonsense.

They've already leapt through hurdles to get here and to work here. They are contributing. If the people tossing around the Lord's name know anything about Christian charity, they should be doing their best to help immigrants, not punish them.

We don't need to create new hurdles, we need to find a way to honor the accomplishments of those who really want to be in this country.

Okay, the timer just went off. It's not time to get on the phone, but I was cooking some dinner in the microwave (don't tell Trina!) and I need to eat it now so I'm not smacking in everyone's ear when we're on the phone. Read Wally's "THIS JUST IN! NEDRA PICKLER SEES INSIDE PEOPLE!" and Elaine's "We hold the Iraqi government and the occupiers responsible for this brutal atrocity" is pretty amazing too. There's a lot of stuff worth reading but I'll just note those two things since I'm rushing.