Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Other Items

Lately, I've watched very little television and none at all on 9/11/06. My husband likes to watch the news when he comes home in the evening and, if I'm sitting in front of my computer in another room of our small apartment, I can hear the palaver. The other night, a couple of blather heads were pontificating on the November elections. I heard one say that if people vote on the issues of security and morals, the Republicans will be victorious.
I had to dig deeply into the recesses of my memory to recall an almost forgotten practice-Lamaze exercises, the breathing procedure to control the pain of childbirth that seemed not very dependable years ago when I was in labor. I'm sure it has helped millions but, for me, the method was inadequate to handle discomfort. Still, as these political "experts" spoke, I, in desperation, attempted to retrieve the application and the relief that the Lamaze technique is supposed to provide. Frankly, though, if I were forced to choose between the pain of childbirth and having to listen to propaganda, I'd opt for childbirth.

The above is from Missy Comely Beattie's "The Insecurity of Immorality" (CounterPunch) and noted by Carl who says Beattie may have been one of the nearly a million who didn't watch on September 11th. If you don't know what Carl's referring to, check out "Yapping Watchdogs Miss The Point" (The Third Estate Sunday Review).

Lori notes the latest on Suzanne Swift who self-checked out from the military due to abuse while serving. Her mother and other advocates have called for Swift to receive an honorable discharge. From Donna St. George's "From Victim To Accused Army Deserter: Harassment Allegations Have Galvanized Activists" (Washington Post):

Suzanne Swift remembers standing in her mother's living room, hours away from her second deployment to Iraq. Her military gear had already been shipped -- along with her Game Boy, her DVDs and books, her favorite pink pillow, her stash of sunflower seeds. She had the car keys in her hand, ready to drive to the base. Suddenly, she turned to her mother.
"I can't do this," she remembers saying. "I can't go."
The Army specialist, now 22, recalls her churning stomach. Her mother's surprise. All at once, she said, she could not bear the idea of another year like her first. She was sexually harassed by one superior, she said, and coerced into a sexual affair with another.
"I didn't want it to happen to me again," she said in an interview.
Now Swift is bracing for a possible court-martial. Arrested in June for going AWOL, she detailed three alleged sexual offenses to Army officials, who began an investigation. One incident had already been verified and the perpetrator disciplined. But last Friday, the Army ruled that the two other incidents could not be substantiated. It will soon decide whether to take disciplinary action against Swift for her five-month absence, spokesman Joe Hitt said.
If she is convicted of desertion, Swift faces prison time and a dishonorable discharge.
Swift's case has galvanized antiwar activists and women's organizations, who have started a petition drive and demonstrated near her base at Fort Lewis, outside Tacoma, Wash. With more than 130,000 women deployed since 2001, her case raises uncomfortable questions about how matters between the sexes play out in the military.
It is complicated by the wartime setting and the fact that Swift did not file formal complaints about the first two incidents while she said they took place. (The Army investigation established that she had complained about them privately.) Many female veterans say her case may be an example of a raw fact of military life: that sexual offenses often go unreported, that young, lower-ranking women are especially vulnerable and that those harmed fear hostile treatment if they speak up.
"It's more common than, unfortunately, people realize," said Colleen Mussolino, a founder of Women Veterans of America. "There are literally thousands of women who have gone through similar circumstances."

A number of members have e-mailed and friends have called about the ___ in the arts section of today's New York Times. We have added GreenStone Media to the permalinks on the left. Yes, the Times continues it's war against Gloria Steinem and it's war against feminism. (Their coziness with The Ego That Has No Name was never about feminism.) GreenStone Media is attempting to provide radio to an audience that has been driven from it. Ginia Bellanfante is the hatchet person for the Times today and, through the use of half-quotes, she gets her sneer on. How proud her parents must be. ("Honey, we raised an Attack Dog Liar!")

We'll address this at The Third Estate Sunday Review this Sunday. "That will run," Dona says to add. "If nothing else does, this will be covered." For those enraged by the slam piece passing for an article, remember "The New York Times Doesn't Really Do Corrections" and "No, Bill Carter, Amanda Peet is not about to do 'her first television role'." (The Carter article itself: "'West Wing' to West Coast: TV's Aueter Portrays TV.") And, no, they still haven't corrected their factual error from last week on that. Apparently, they won't. And, yes, as Mike pointed out, it is strange, as Mike noted, that Peet had no prior credit in a review of the show that ran yesterday. Presumably their shame/embarrassment is so great that Sarah Paulson lost her credits as well (Paulson and Peet acted together previously, on Jack & Jill). But, no, they don't do corrections unless shamed or threatened with lawsuits. In some form, the half-truths and slams of Ginia Bellafante will be addressed this Sunday.

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