Sunday, July 03, 2005

Joint entry by Ava and C.I. for Charlie and Marcia (and the rest of the community)

In answer to e-mails.

1) Yes, there will be a roundup of what's going on in the world.

2) We (Ava and C.I.) appreciate Troy's desire for "as many posts as possible a day" but we're going to bicker over the statement that there were only two on Saturday.

The one that's up on Friday (as noted at the end of it) was an all night thing. As noted at the end of it from that, it was immediately time to start the two posts for Saturday. That's because the time stamp on the entries is when you create them, not when you post them.

Friday's news was a shocker for many people.

Ava: I got together with a group on campus to talk about do we march on D.C., do we do this, do we do that. It was a brainstorming session and they were going on all over the country.

C.I.: Ditto. And after that was over, it was come back here and do some posting. (Looking at the time stamps on entries, about four hours later.) At which point, I dived into the e-mails. While working on one post, the long on, I pulled up another screen to work on the short one (that went up quickly), the Sunday Chat & Chews. The second entry was the members' responses which was an all nighter. The second post ends with this:

Note that there are e-mails that have come in since this post was started. But it's taken several hours just to pull from the e-mails to get the quotes above. So it's first out of the gate. I've been up 23 hours straight now. (I'll do the post on the Times as soon as this goes up.) (Time on the post, time stamp, is put in place when it's begun, not when it's finished.) If I didn't offer a link that I should have to something above, my apologies. I'm really exhausted and flying on caffeine from diet sodas. I'll be working with The Third Estate Sunday Review tomorrow so posts here may be hit and run and spotty. But we'll continue to focus on this topic.

C.I.: I was in bed by seven and up at ten (three hours) and again dealing with the O'Connor news in my own circle. I was back here and in front of the computer intending to post by three when ABC's This Week had finally sent out their e-mail for who was on Sunday. I thought it would be a quick entry. I pulled up a screen and began reading the e-mail. The title of that post (still saved to draft) included "full of crap." It didn't help that they not only had Toby Keith as a guest but, in the e-mail, called him the "All-American" Toby Keith. All Americans were not stupid. Even those who fell for the Bully Boy's lies were not stupid enough to flash photo-shopped crap of Natalie Maines (of the Dixie Chicks) and Saddam Hussein on the screen during their concerts as Toby Keith did. Let's be really clear here because the press didn't do their job on that (big surprise) as they rushed to trash everyone to prove how "All-American" they themselves were. (Which includes, according to Billie, a free thinking libertarian, pro-pot, columnist who felt the need to call people at anti-war rally -- before the invasion began -- "traitorous.") Toby Keith's flag waving posture was about as reality-based as his attacks on Maines. And, for the record, the attacks predated Keith hiding behind the Bully Boy. The press could have told you that. The press could have pointed out that Keith (leading the "Run 'em out the country!" brigade) has hated the Dixie Chicks for years and slammed them publicly long before he ever learned that he could use the flag as a marketing tool to sell, what he dubs, music.
There was nothing "All American" about his attacks on Maines and the other two Dixie Chicks.
Unless This Week is attempting to say that all Americans are stupid, anti-woman and phonies who pretend to be "rural" when they're everything but. It's a nice little phoney posture Keith's got going that plays well (to use Hunter S. Thompson and Bob Somerby's term) to the "rubes."
But it's not "All-American" and, in their own flag waving, ABC's This Week elected to insult all Americans when they dubbed Keith "All-American."
However, that was a sidenote to the entry. The entry's starting point were the other guests which included all male Senators. And which, in their effort to be like everyone else since apparently there's no originality or bravery at This Week, included the usual jaw boners you were seeing everywhere else. That meant four men weighing in on O'Connor's retirement. O'Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice, and we're going to only have men discuss her?
O'Connor, who's stepping down from the court puts Roe v. Wade at risk and we're going to have only men discuss her?
Diane Feinstein sits on the judiciary committee. Now maybe DF's all the sudden press shy? But not one of the big three Chat & Chews included her.
And it's disgusting that fourteen years after Hill-Thomas, the results is only one woman sitting on the judiciary committee. For those who are too young to remember (as Ty admitted) or for those who have forgotten, Anita Hill had to face an all white, all male judiciary committee chaired by Joe Biden. Biden didn't want to deal with Hill's accusations in his role as chairman. And the nomination had moved from committee to the floor of the Senate. It was only because someone leaked Hill's charges to the committee that the country even learned of Anita Hill.
And idiot's like a Senator from Louis. who's now thankfully gone felt the need to tell the floor Thomas would be a great judge and why, he'd even spoken to one of his "black friends" . . . posturing with the most idiotic responses. Hey Louis. John, you think Thomas turned out to be that great judge you just knew he would be? If so, you're one of the few who does.
Democrats controlled the Senate. They could've stopped the nomination but they didn't. And with some members from the 1991 judiciary committee still on that committee today (I'm talking Democrats), I'm not real sure they'll be any more use to us now than they were then.
If the above seems like a soap box rant, please note, it's the G-rated version of the NC17 that would have been posted. Which is why, an hour or two after I started the post, I saved to draft and called Ava's to speak to her, Jim and Dona (Ava and Dona share an apartment and as most readers of The Third Estate Sunday Review know, Jim and Dona are a couple and it's much easier to reach him there than at Jess & Ty's where he officially lives).

Ava: C.I. filled us in and read the first parts of the post. Jim called it perfection and said post it but C.I. wanted to know if we could do a roundtable hoping that bringing up the matter there would allow other viewpoints. We were fine with the idea and called Jess and Ty who were as well. Mike, Rebecca, Betty and Kat were all willing to participate which is how we ended up with the roundtable. But having started on that, we were now all in the middle of that. Which also includes a member who is weighing a post that might or might not go up at their site and wanted everyone's input on the pros and cons of that. The discussion on the pros and cons took about ninety minutes. The roundtable itself took a lot longer than and where it ends is not the ending so Susan's e-mail noting that it ends abruptly is correct. The next phase would not have been a discussion of Susan Faludi's article but two other topics that got addressed but in reading over the transcript everyone felt that the focus needed to be on abortion, reproductive rights and women's rights. Jess said end it where we end it in the post because it would make the most sense and he was correct. He felt to end it earlier would have people wondering "Did Jess and C.I. bail on the roundtable?" since both had been silent for the second half. It ended up being an all nighter and as soon as it was over, C.I. and I started work over here. Which meant going through the e-mails and we found Maria's post in Spanish and English so while C.I. was transferring that into a post screen, I was calling Ty to say, "Wait! This needs to go up at The Third Estate Sunday Review too!"

C.I.: Everything that was planned for The Third Estate Sunday Review's edition was basically trashed once O'Connor's news came out. The interview with Mike did go on but otherwise there was no idea of what to do.

Ava: And C.I. and I had planned to get together Friday night to do our review so we'd be able to pitch other ideas and help pull stuff together. That didn't happen. I called to push it off until Saturday when the planning session came up on campus regarding what to do and C.I. said, "I was just about to call you for the same reason." In a really nice note that Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess wrote, they mentioned how much C.I. and I despise the review we did. They think it's very funny and so do those of you who've e-mailed in about it.

C.I.: But we worked for over ninety minutes writing that. We didn't think we could be funny and when we finally started the ninety process of writing it (after thirty minutes of "how can we"), it wasn't funny. To get something completed, anything, we wrote it out straight, just the facts.

Ava: We then went over it repeatedly added a joke here and a joke there until we finally came up with, "It's not the Bully Boy, it's Bottoms playing the Bully Boy!"

C.I.: Which gave us about ten minutes to pull together the final draft of what's posted. There are few of those we walk away from thinking "That's pretty good, it's funny." And Ty's correct about that. If it's as funny as so many of you have e-mailed to state it is, we can't tell that.

Ava: Because we're still remembering all the work and stress that went into it. We felt is was so unfunny that we'd decided to do the Montopoli post (and we like Candy Perfume Boy) as a humorous one and to do a funny post on the Times because we felt we owed it to everyone because we were so not funny in our review. Scott Shane was the obvious pick for the spotlight and there wasn't anything needed there other than "read this or at least know about it." We then went through the main section and "Where is the news?" was the question we kept asking back and forth. At which point, I suggested we do the op-ed page or the Sunday Magazine.

C.I.: BuzzFlash already had a heads up to the Sunday Magazine, I thought, that was seen when everyone was pouring over the Karl Rove stories for the editorial at The Third Estate Sunday Review. So we went with the op-ed and immediately saw the "no big deal, let's all remember the process." Historically, long before the sixties, the process is one that is an active process but someone was too busy scuffing their Keds to grasp that.

Ava: And there were six op-eds and not one was by a woman. Did a woman appear on Saturday? C.I. grabbed the print edition to find out.

C.I.: I don't read the op-eds most days. I'll read Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert. If a member sends and e-mail saying, "You've got to read ____" and I haven't passed the paper along to someone else at work, I'll read it. I didn't read John Kerry's this week or Bill Clinton's the week before. With Dowd on vacation, I hadn't planned to read any of her replacements unless they were worthy. MM got a lot of complaints so I read one of his dopey op-eds. But I grab the paper and there's Patricia Nelson Limerick writing nonsense.

Ava: And C.I.'s reading it to me and I'm laughing like crazy because the woman's so damn pretentious and so obsessed with herself. In two days, the Times had run ten op-eds and only was by a woman and they got a nut case to write the one. We didn't critique her looney op-ed's opinion. We weren't sure it had one. We did note her word usuage. We did critique something she wrote in 2004 for CounterPunch (which we linked to).

C.I.: Which led to one visitor e-mailing that we were trying to hop on the bandwagon with Somerby and another visitor e-mailing that we'd ripped off Bob Somerby. We didn't know there would be a Saturday Daily Howler and had I known, I still wouldn't have read it because there was no time for it. Even community member Dallas, who enjoys Somerby's critiques as much as I do -- we usually share e-mails on what we think were the best points and funniest comments several times a week, didn't know about it until Sunday afternoon when he e-mailed the site. If Somerby noted in his Friday Howler that there would be a Saturday Howler, I missed it. I went through it and Democracy Now! quickly on Friday. There was no way they weren't being mentioned but the focus in the mid-day post was on reaction to O'Connor's news. I'm glad that the visitors, like we do, admire Somerby's work, but no, we weren't trying to hop on a bandwagon nor, as visitor two worried, an attempt to rip him off. Had we known he'd covered it, we probably would have gone with the Sunday Magazine and noted Somerby's entry.

Ava: Which will do now. This is from the weekend Howler:

THERE ONCE WAS A SECULAR HUMANIST: Who later took a job as a columnist! Readers, Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Patricia Nelson Limerick hired on at the Times to write some fill-in columns for Dowd. And uh-oh! After a semi-glib remark in her second column--a semi-putdown of "secular humanists"-- she seems to have gotten some negative e-mails. And boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Today, she devotes her entire fourth column to these troubling, unquoted missives. In so doing, she reminds us of former public editor Daniel Okrent, who was throwing similar pity parties by the time of his own Column 4.
Amazing, isn’t it? Limerick gets the chance to explore any subject on the nation’s most influential page. And by the time of her fourth column, it turns out to be all about her! In fairness, Limerick says that she's really looking for ways to revive "the better angels of our nature." But even when she's doing that, she can't resist taking another dumb shot at those troubling secular humanists:
LIMERICK (7/2/05): Concluding his First Inaugural Address, President Abraham Lincoln expressed his hope for a resurgence of "the better angels of our nature.''
As national unity dissolved [. . .]*
Therefore, on this holiday weekend, I take the opportunity to propose [. . .]*

Alas, the very fact that I have used a metaphor associated with a particular [. . .]*
Oh shut up! Where do they find these simpering idiots, these lightweights, these weak, scripted simps?
Earth to Limerick: Our "better angels" have been in trouble for decades; if a columnist gets a few naughty e-mails, the significance pales beside the decades of slime and hoaxing that have driven our national discourse. Limerick's original (second) column was vastly simple-minded; in it, she reduced a large problem (a problem she didn't really try to explore) to a personal matter between James Watt and Bill Moyers. But today, in Column 4, it’s all about her. Someone wrote Limerick some unpleasant e-mails. The rest of us have to discuss it.

*We will not inflict insult and injury on our readers by quoting Patti in full. Bob Somerby is a for the record kind of guy and, while we're sure he loves his readers, that means he needs to note her dithering comments at length. We admire that but this is a holiday weekend, our nation is at war and we will refrain from adding to the harm or putting our members to sleep.

Ava: Our take on it was similar and that we both felt Patti was a loon. Not unlike Luna at the beginning of Sleeper. We didn't know that she'd reduced something to an issue between Moyers and Watt. Had we known of that, we had plenty of Patti material on that b.s. The CounterPunch article we quoted from, where Patti felt the need to whine about being booed, goes to that nonsense. Patti wants us all to get along, regardless of whether that means holding hands with an unreformed convict or not. Ty went through the e-mails to The Third Estate Sunday Review today to see how the edition went over and said there was one e-mailer who felt we were too focused on "one issue." If Roe v. Wade goes, and we made this point, other privacy rights are next on the chopping block. Don't kid yourself that the fright wing isn't still opposed to, for instance, mixed marriages. Look at the polls on that, which should have been provided by the press at the start of the same-sex marriage debate because by not providing them and not knowing where the country stood on that the implicit message was "we are more than okay with mixed marriage, but we can't stand same-sex marriage." The numbers for opposition to both is very interesting. As Common Ills community members, Jim, Ty, Jess, Dona and myself are, of course, concerned with privacy and privacy rights. We have yet to redeem one of Nixon's crooked cronies. But single-issue Patti wants to revise history and say, "They aren't so bad, they really aren't."

C.I.: I believe that would read, "Alas, it saddens MY heart that so many are of the multitude who will rush to declare a verdict of unworthy on fellow homo sapiens who have, rather well in MY own knowledge landscape, served and serviced the geography that is our nation with what could only be termed noble intentions."

Ava: Good point. Patti wants to be seen as "reasonable" in her haf-witted ditherings --

C.I.: Lots of luck to you there, Patti!

Ava: so she's willing to sell out any other cause, or maybe just ignore it as well as history, to cozy up for her single-cause. We don't see the right to marry, the right to privacy in your own bedroom, the right to utlizie birth control and other privacy rights as a single cause despite our strong support for abortion. Were a homophobic ruling nominee proposed, we would be just as opposed even if he or she argued that abortion should be legal. If the latest edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review is concerned with a "single issue" the issue is privacy rights. That is addressed in the roundtable.

C.I.: The second visitor goes on to say that we even ripped off Somerby's use of "Earth to Limerick" when we used "Ground Control to Patty Nelson Limerick."

Ava: We were buidling on Bowie and Somerby's using Zoolander.

C.I.: Really? I thought it was Chaka Khan?

Ava: "Ground control to Brent!"

C.I.: I know, I love that part of the movie. But I thought it was "Earth to Mickey." Before she cozied up to the Bully Boy, I had most of Chaka Khan's albums. I gave them away after she decided Bully was the boy for her.

Ava: I don't know "Earth to Mickey."

C.I.: Well let's not publicize it here. She's made her own bed and she can lie in it with Republicans.

Ava: Somerby's obviously pulling from two columns by Patti. Which we spelled "Patty" and "Patti" because we weren't sure which she'd go with but finally decided she'd be a "Patti" with an "i." We didn't read the other column.

C.I.: But had we, we would have noted that her pitting Moyers against Watt (and we're sure that Patti had Watts coming out the better) is perfectly in keeping with commentaries on NPR as well as her other loopey writing. We're glad to learn, Somerby notes this, that this is her fourth column. She's a two week substitute so hopefully this was her farewell.

Ava: Or, as she would term it, her "fare thee well."

C.I.: Exactly. Somerby's takes are always worth reading. They're funny and there's a great deal of thought behind them. He obviously did tremendous work on his column. We, on the other hand, used our right to mock the idiotic.

Ava: "Don't knock the mock!"

C.I.: Our slogan. Somerby was willing to wade through her excessive, antiquated wordage (it's as though all that time in the old West has baked her brain) and find the bits and pieces that might be dubbed thought. We weren't willing to do that. It's a looney column (and the only one of Patti's appearing in the Times that we've read).

Ava: We think Somerby wrote a great critique. But we also think our critique, intended only to convey the woman was a dithering fool and to make you laugh, succeeded as well because where else would you read this:

"Feeling pure, self-righteous, smug and nestled in the company of the like-minded is one of humanity's greatest natural highs." Is she attempting to be confessional? She's high on something, alright, self-love and self-delusion. Is their a rehab for those who fashion themselves as modern day Aimee Semple McPhersons?

C.I.: That's probably our favorite part of the entry. Although Rachel said we had her "gasping for air" with this section:

Oh come on, Patti, no one named Patti should be allowed to write with such useless excess. "Representative from posterity?" We'd try to explain to her all that was wrong with that sentence, all the was wrong with the entire column, but she's off to be fitted for another white flowing robe with matching turban and her followers are getting antsy, or as antsy as dazed zombies can get at any rate.

C.I.: We were just off an all nighter with The Third Estate Sunday Review and neither of us got much sleep on Friday night.

Ava: And C.I. didn't go to sleep "Friday night" until Saturday morning. The only community member that was up and e-maling when we were doing the Sunday posts on the Times was Eric who e-mailed "The whole main section is crap." We agreed with Eric with the exception of Scott Shane's article.

C.I.: When we read Patti's looney column, it woke us back up because we were laughing so hard.
Neither of us were in the mood for Ked's kid channeling Frankie Goes to Hollywood with "Relax."

Marcia and Charlie both wrote in wanting a certain kind of entry this weekend. This is our attempt at that. Charlie is with family and wanted to show them something tomorrow that was more conversational and Marcia wanted an entry where "the world gets put on hold and it's just talk to the community." Hopefully, this is somewhat like what you were asking for.

Beth is mobile, in answer to Bob's question. She's still got back pain and she was willing to do an interview but with it being the holiday that was put off (by C.I.) since she will have a house full of company.

Where is Isaiah's comic? A lot of e-mails on that. Isaiah's comic is e-mailed to the site via a program called Hello! that Blogger recommends. There's a problem with Hello! and we attempted repeatedly to e-mail it in this morning. UK Computer Gurus, who note they aren't celebrating the Fourth of July, are working on that. Thank you for that. And thank you for the comment. There are members outside the US and on another weekend that would have been obvious on this end (to me, C.I.).

C.I.: It's been a rough few days and my apologies for not acknowledging that outside the US, this wasn't a holiday. Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts will go up tomorrow either due to the UK Computer Gurus figuring out why it won't post or via Rebecca's kind offer to scan it and post it at her site (at which point we would piggy back link).

Is the Times being dropped is a question from fifteen e-mails. There is a move in the polls Gina and Krista do for their round-robin that suggests it's very likely members will lose interest in the Times when it becomes a for pay site. If the trend continues, we'll move on to a different paper and that will be The Christian Science Monitor if the trend in that polling continues. That would be a decision based on the membership's choice and reached around the time that the Times goes to a for-pay site format (Septemenber).

Morey writes in to note his objection that we skipped out on the interview with Mike at The Third Estate Sunday Review. Morey feels that since Mike is a community member we should have been there taking part.

Morey has a good point and we won't say he's wrong. But we do know that either there would be no TV review or we would have been up much later than we were. Which was around twenty-fours straight. At some point, something has to give. We support Mike, we think he's doing a gret job. Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Rebecca were present for the interview and we think, and are not surprised by this, that they did a great job. Our bailing on the interview was not meant to slight Mike and please don't read it as such. It was a time management issue and we had a review to do. We'll e-mail Mike later in the week to make sure he didn't read our bailing as a reflection on interest (or lack of) in him. (He's in the midst of a family reunion.)

Where are the additional links, ask Tonya. Apparently Tonya's the only one utilizing them. (Not a suprise if you read the Friday round-robin.) We added The Manny's link and then went on to the second link voted on by the panel. We couldn't add it. It wouldn't display. Dallas tried as well. (Thank you, Dallas, for all the work you do.) Dallas notes that the blogger blogged last on Wednesday or Thursday and seemed to be down on blogging. (We didn't read that entry. We're going by Dallas' interpretation.) So we were left to wonder whether or not the blogger had deleted their site? If that happened, that's sad news because obviously the blogger has something worth saying. We were already working on one e-mail to a blogger (more on that later) and didn't have time to e-mail the blogger with the site that now comes up "cannot be displayed." We're holding off on additional links until we figure out what's going on there. (And we're hoping it was just a glitch.)

The Manny. Brian Montopoli, aka Candy Perfume Boy, has been added. The panel approved that link with their vote. "Wait, he's a professional journalist! Why was the panel needed!"
As we've noted here before, we think of him as an emerging journalist, or, if you will, an emergent journalist. And that's not meant as an insult. He is of the left (and hopefully will become more so but that's his business) so linking to his personal site was not a problem. But as we set out the guidelines re: Candy Perfume Boy, the panel would be needed to approve a link to his site.

We did e-mail the Manny this morning (this is the more later). As a link, he's obviously not going to get the sort of treatment the Times does. The community, more and more, loves The Manny. (Three pieces came in last week that he'd written for CJR Daily. They weren't linked to because a) there wasn't time and b) "It's a great piece!" doesn't help when time is short. Pull something from the piece or copy and paste it in full.)

We like The Manny, he makes us laugh and his love for parenthetical is exceed only by our own love for them. (We could never give up the parenthetical aside.) (And pray he never does.)

We're glad he's on the permalinks list. This was not prid pro quo and, in fact, we noted in the e-mail that The Common Ills is not a blog and should never be mentioned in the CJR Daily blog report. So don't e-mail him asking for that. As Maria and Natalie point out (and have others but only they gave approval for their inclusion in this morning's post), he gives good e-mail. So if you feel the need to drop him a line, do so for that reason. We get more than our share of "traffic." While it's great that so many members want others to know about this site, we really don't need to self-promote.

If The Manny writes something boneheaded, we'll note our objection here. We reserve the right to good natured humor (or what we think passes for it) but even were The Manny not an emergent journalists, he still wouldn't deserve The Full Bumiller.

Brad notes that some entries have noted articles with links but not quoted from them and says he's too busy to go all over the web (we hear you) so that those type of things really do not help him. We agree.

C.I.: Brad, they were useless articles in my opinion and only noted because in one instance it was a "yea!" piece that could be contrasted with another piece in the Times. The one that was reality based we quoted from. In terms of Douglas Jehl's piece (which was worthy of noting), I couldn't pull an excerpt. It was a lengthy piece and had a great deal to say. I'm not sure today where a pull quote could have come from. He was mopping after Bumiller which left him with a huge mess. The only other instance that I'm aware of has been BuzzFlash links where I've said "I'm in a hurry, but we'll note it later today." If there are additional ones, please let me know or when you see something like that, let me know immediately and I'll address it as soon as possible. As Gina & Krista's polling found (no surprise) either due to time or other concerns, most of you don't go to the links. You want to know what is important from the piece and get a quick taste of it. That's fine, we're a resource/review.

Brad: During the week, I'm lucky to get time for a half-hour of Democracy Now! so if I don't have time for the only show on radio or TV that matters to me, I do not have time for links and I am not served by a link that tells me nothing but the writer's name and the title of the piece.

C.I.: Good point and again, let me know if you see it again.

Now we're going to get to work on at least one "What they're reporting on outside the US" post.

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