Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Buzzflash, Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, A Winding Road

From BuzzFlash, let's note a few items (and consider this a hint to check BuzzFlash):

"Martin Frost is a pig. Runs for DNC chair, loses, then takes a job at FOX News. What was that you were saying about not being a sell-out, Martin? Oink, oink. 2/16"

The above is a sentiment that a number of members will share. When the site started, one of the first issues we ended up tackling together was the "red" states. Our members were quite aware of Martin Frost if they lived in his district in Texas but the big surprise was when Alabama, for instance, does an e-mail noting Frost or ??? does an e-mail noting Frost.

Claudia, who does check BuzzFlash, noted this link in an e-mail and dubbed Frost "the Zell Miller of the House which fits since neither are serving and both now work for Fox 'News'. How did Frost even get in that race for DNC chair? If you have a humorous notion, e-mail the site at common_ills@yahoo.com and we'll work on a post. (You can also be dead serious. But with my week, I could really use a laugh. And sorry, I'm on late, but my work day just ended less than an hour ago. Again, I'm in a crazy period at work for a brief spell.)

'CD: Anais Mitchell: Hymns for the Exiled: "I could tell you stories like the government tells lies, but no one listens anymore"' links to a BuzzFlash premium. We're noting it because In Dallas e-mailed regarding the post on Laura Flanders interview with Lynne Stewart to ask if I knew who the singer was that Flanders had on in the last hour Saturday. It was Anais Mitchell. Let's note to that Mark from BuzzFlash will be on The Laura Flanders Show this weekend. (I believe it will be Saturday. I'll try to do a heads up if I find out in time, otherwise, check for yourself.)

We'll note "Ray Charles, Who Told Segregated Georgia to Take Their Segregated Concerts and Shove It in the '60s, Gets His Due, In Memory." (No, that's not our Black History Month entry for tonight. Consider it a bonus and also recognition for a great artist.)

Trina e-mailed last week asking for an explanation about whether Amy Goodman was going to be in Dallas or not. (She will be in the DFW area in Irving this Friday.) I turned the question over to Billie who is from that area and she was kind enough to provide the following.

Billie: Okay, let me try to walk you through slowly. Two big cities make up 'DFW' and they are Dallas and Fort Worth. Of the two, Dallas is the bigger. Dallas was the home of insurance and banking. Fort Worth is known by older residents as "Cow Town" because it's infamous for the cattle auctions. Fort Worth has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram which is a pretty strong paper. (And features Molly Ivins' column.) Dallas has the Dallas Morning News which is a pretty drippy paper that somedays appears to have no staff except for sports because the main section is all AP, New York Times, Washington Post and other papers' stories. I personally find the editorials and the op-eds in the Dallas Morning News boring and right-wing. And of course the Dallas Morning News will always be infamous for running the attack ad on JFK the day he visited Dallas and was killed. Dallas used to have a real paper, The Dallas Times Herald, but that's another story. So those are the two big cities in the DFW area. Around it, you have all these smaller cities and suburbs. Arlington has Six Flags over Texas (amusement park) and it's also thought to be the setting for the TV show King of the Hill. Plano is a slightly richer suburb and is infamous for the teens on drugs scandals of a few years back. There are a ton of little cities and suburbs in the DFW area. Irving is in Dallas county. It is, for right now, the home of the football team the Dallas Cowboys. (They left Dallas long ago and will be leaving Irving shortly.) From downtown Dallas (famous for a lot of exterior shots from the TV show Dallas) you can get to Irving by car in less than a half hour. From north Dallas (the city), it's even quicker. Jessica Simpson (who makes me ill) is from Richardson. But it's easier to say Dallas because people know of Dallas and if you live in Ohio or Rhode Island or Washington, you may have never heard of Richardson. I know it's confusing. Hope everyone could follow.

Thanks, Billie, you are now our go-to-person for all questions regarding the area.

There are a number of e-mails about the Chertoff vote. For those wanting a take on that vote (98 in favor, zero opposed), I would urge you to check out A Winding Road:

Frankly, I'm both surprised and disappointed. As I said yesterday, I didn't expect this confirmation to have as many votes against it as the Gonzales or Rice confirmations. They lacked a smoking gun against Chertoff, though his dire record in the period after 9/11, when he was responsible for the massive round up of Muslim and Arab men, mostly for minor Immigration violations, should have lead the more progressive members of the Senate to vote against him.
. . .
The Justice Department used the Privacy Act to deny the Senate access to a crucial email between Chertoff and the FBI. Now, the Privacy Act is to protect private citizens, not to be used as a cover by the Administration to keep what it's doing a secret even from the Senate, which is part of an EQUAL branch of Government with the responsibility of Advice and Consent.
This is a serious matter in and of itself. The Executive branch under Bush has shrouded itself in secrecy. How is this a Democracy if our Government is allowed to do its business in the shadows? If the Checks and Balances set up in the Constitution are side-stepped by a branch ever growing in power?

Some of you have e-mailed regarding a post Rebecca has up at Sex and Politics and Attitudes and Screeds. As Rebecca notes, I like Unfiltered. However, I can't comment on today's show or any show for last week or next week. I'm here, there and everywhere at work, crosstown, uptown, downtown. I'm not able to listen currently. If you have questions about that post, you can e-mail Rebecca at sexandpoliticsandscreeds@yahoo.com and I'll add that even if I disagreed with her comments over something, I value her voice and think she adds to the mix. She's a community member and she's doing a great job at her blog.

And as she notes in her post, I am a fan of Unfiltered. She knows we disagree on the show's merits. Which is fine and underscores the point that we're always making: if someone doesn't speak to you, that's fine. See if there's someone who does. We're not all going to enjoy the same voices and shouldn't have to. Rebecca and I can disagree on Unfiltered and both still be of the left and still committed to progressive causes. You and I (yes, you, the one scrunching up your brow right now) can disagree on something and still be on the same side. Because we aren't clones, we're people. And what inspires you might not inspire me . . . So seek out the voices who speak to you. And if you haven't sampled Unfiltered on Air America before (and are able to), now you have the perfect reason to. I like it, Rebecca doesn't. You can listen and figure out if this is a resource for you or something you're better off not listening to.

And there's not a wrong answer. It's a personal matter, a personal choice.

We can disagree and still have a conversation. So to ___ who wrote, "I bet you want to strangle her [Rebecca] for that!" No, I don't. The most powerful thing Rebecca or any of us have is the ability to speak in our own voices. Rebecca needs to speak her truth and others need to speak their own truths as well.

And this brings up an issue Renn brought up in his e-mail.

Renn: Last night, were you taking a slap at bloggers who are posting nude photos of the guy known as Jeff Gannon?

Renn's referring to the post last night entitled "Odds & Ends: Dean Friedman, The Daily Howler, Ron of Why Are We Back in Iraq?, Jane Fonda & Monster-in-Law."

Specifically, Renn's referring to this paragraph from last night's post:

And remember that Ron's been on the Talon "News" story for some time and that Jeff Gannon wasn't the only "reporter" at Talon "News" that needs spotlighting. Ron's confined himself to commenting on their "work." But there's a lot more to Talon "News" than is making the rounds so do yourself a favor and visit Why Are We Back In Iraq? if you're attempting to track what's going on. If you want penis shots, you'll have to go find another blog. Ron's focusing on other issues. Please, no e-mails suggesting I'd slammed anyone surfing for penis photos. Go where ever you want online. Enjoy what every you enjoy. And know, that we don't track here so your business is your business unless you choose to share it.

I'm glad you asked because you are new to the site and I often assume (wrongly) that we're all on the same page. I'm not a blog expert (as is obvious from my posts, I know). And even when work calms down again (hopefully three to four more weeks), I won't be able to give you a blog evaluation of all the blogs out there because I honestly don't know most blogs.

Time permitting, I check out Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler, Danny Schechter's Media Dissector, Katrina vanden Heuvel's Editor's Cut, Ms. Musing, Ron's Why Are We Back In Iraq?, Matthew Rothschild's "This Just In," Dahr Jamail's blog and the blogs of our community members (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, A Winding Road, The Third Estate Sunday Review) and anyone else that we have linked on the side of the page. That's about it for blogs. (When I have time, I always mean to check out Bartcop.)

I'm looking into a blog that a number of you enjoy which hopefully will be a side link on the page in March. But I'm not a blog expert. Three people had e-mailed asking whether or not Ron's site was one of the sites with penis photos because they only have computer access at work and, naturally, visiting such a site at work could get them in trouble.

That was the extent of my head's up. Ron, at his site, has some feelings regarding the airing of certain photos. If you have a question about his feelings, you can e-mail him. (His e-mail address is on his site. I'm comfortable posting Rebecca or Folding Star's because I have permission to. I've not ever asked Ron for permission to post his e-mail address -- I'm sure he'd grant it -- so I'm not posting it here.)

We don't post penis photos here. Or any really because I have no idea how to do photos. (Any photos that have popped up here have done so by copying them into yahoo mail and then e-mailing them to the site.) But if I did know how, we wouldn't be posting photos of Jeff Gannon's penis because we try to be a work-friendly site. That's why we use "f**cking" instead of the full word, for instance.

That's not making a judgement call on those who do (or who use stronger language). That's just the way this site was set up from the beginning. Now a link (sidebar or in an entry) is taking you somewhere else and you're responsible for yourselves when you click on those links. But no one coming to this site (unless the policy ever changes) needs to worry that the f-word or a photo is going to get them written up at work.

That really went beyond Renn's question but we do have a number of new members and we probably needed to go over that again. (And the point, I can't comment on something I'm unaware of. I haven't seen photos and I haven't visited blogs that have posted photos. If these photos amplify someone's voice and speak to their truth, then I'm sure they're being true to who they are. Other than that, I have no comment because I haven't seen those type of sites.)

I've stopped and started on this post because I'm taking notes while I do this -- notes from a Terry Gross interview (Fresh Air) from last week that a friend mentioned to me today. There will be a post on that and there will be a Black History Month post but that may end up being all for tonight. (In answer to Frank in Orlando's question. And for Frank and others who are wondering, Friday night will probably be the same way as a result of work -- late posts. Those are the only two days where I have work-related events scheduled for post-work time.)

I have eight e-mails explaining that the link to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in this morning's first post does not work. My apologies. I will try to go back in (time permitting) and fix that. In the meantime, please use the link in the first sentence which, fingers crossed, does work.

[Note: This post has been corrected. Katrina vanden Heuvel's name was spelled wrongly. My apologies.]