This is a talking entry. Beth suggested it was time for another one when she helped out with the public account this week. These are some basic points for drive-bys and guests. Community members know all of this and will chuckle as they read.
1) Our focus here is Iraq.
Iraq was always part of our focus but in 2006, as Iraq coverage vanished from Panhandle Media, community members voted for that to be our focus.
2) We do not and have never supported the Afghanistan War.
Afghanistan, however, is not our focus. It's not our focus for a number of reasons including the fact that the press has made the pretense of rushing there from Iraq (actually, many pulled out of Iraq did not go to Afghanistan). To now turn our focus to Afghanistan or expand it to include Afghanistan would be following the herd and we don't do that.
It would also send the false message that the Iraq War is over or almost over.
3) I am C.I. and I am responsible for what I write and only what I write. There are other sites in the community:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
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),
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.
If you don't like, for example, a joke Wally and Cedric do in a joint-post, I don't need to hear about it unless I've participated in the writing of their piece. (I've done that once or twice, each time I have, they've included me at the top as they do with any guest.) If Mike's opinion is one you disagree with, why are you boring me? If Rebecca has outraged you with her critique of you, why are you running to me to tattle?
At The Third Estate Sunday Review, Ava and I write the TV commentaries each week. Anything else we write together at Third has our byline on it. Other pieces, unless they have a byline, are group pieces. You need to check Jim's note to find out if I participated on the writing of the piece before you e-mail this account to complain. Ava and I write the TV piece and sometimes everyone else works on editing other features and typing them and other times they work on an article without us. There are pieces I do not work on by choice and there have been pieces that I have asked that my name being taken off of because it's gone somewhere I'm not comfortable going. That's not, "Oh, they're doing something wrong!" That's, "I can't be a part of that article" for any variety of reasons including conflict of interest and Jim will include conflict of interest in his "note to our readers."
At Third, a roundtable is a roundtable. It is a variety of opinions. Each person is responsible for their own remarks. If you don't like that Ruth or Betty said ___ in the roundtable, don't come whining to me.
5) The public e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's where you can write to complain about something I did or to suggest something. Martha, Shirely, Eli, Charlie, Jim, Dona, Jess, Ava and myself all work the public account regularly. (Beth grabbed some to help out and to check a question community members had asked her about regarding drive-by e-mails.) (If you're one of the ones who asked, she'll be answering it in her column in this week's gina & krista round-robin.)
If you don't include a greeting, it will be assumed the e-mail is written in regards to something at The Common Ills.
The public e-mail account can also be used to write Ruth, Kat and Isaiah who also post here (and all have their own sites). If you're writing one of them, you should note that at the top of your e-mail or in your subject line. (Martha & Shirley also contribute here on the topics of books. You could use the public e-mail address to write them as well, also noting you were writing them.)
If you had no working knowledge of how to use a website and needed to contact, for example, Elaine and the thought of clicking on "about me" was just too complicated for you, you could write Elaine or anyone else care of the public e-mail account. You would need to put Elaine's name in your subject heading or in the first line of your e-mail. It would be forwarded on to Elaine (or whomever). But we don't have time here to read through all the e-mails to this site and also to read your multi-paragraph discussion of a post at another site.
6) On the weekends, I am the only one who checks the public e-mail account and usually the only one who checks the private e-mail accounts for this site (sometimes Ava will).
You may have sent something 'right away' on Saturday night and it may be perfect for this site but your e-mail may not be read until the next non-holiday Monday. If it can be squeezed in somewhere at this site, it will be. If not, I may toss it into the scraps e-mail each weekday which contains things that had to be pulled from or did not make the snapshot. If it goes into scraps, another site may note it. If they do, that may be it because it's already a new day and there are other things to do.
7) There are many sites we do not note.
First of all, we are a site for the left.
Second, there are sites we will never note.
We do not note AlterNet because they attempted to bully a teenager. They attempted to blackmail him and all because he suggested in a comment that the blogger at Peek (Evan something) step "out of the GOP closet" if he was going to blog about how Michelle Malkin was getting it right. As a result of that comment, he was first threatened with being banned at AlterNet and then he was threatened with his four favorite sites (Rebecca's site, Daily Kos, Atrios and this site) being banned if he didn't grovel and beg in e-mails. I found out about it from Rebecca (I was speaking and didn't see the e-mails) and I immediately delinked from AlterNet. I don't approve of bullying children to begin with and that a site on the left would allow it (and it was Evan and some guy named Mark who was higher up the chain than Evan). After that happened, after we called them out and delinked from them (and AlterNet pulled this site off its links -- no surprise and no big loss) various e-mails were forwarded to this site that Evan had written where he had tried to get dirt on the kid who left the "out of the GOP closet" remark. That behavior's disgusting and far more disgusting than AlterNet's frequent 'syndication' of articles (in 'independent' papers) that they have no rights to and that the authors receive no monies for.
We don't link to TruthOut. Marc Ash decided he knew who should run for office and who shouldn't and he knew who should drop out when. That's not democracy. In 2004, I supported John Kerry but I did not participate in any "Ralph Don't Run" garbage. I'm not interested in that crap, I'm not interested in telling Democratic candidates to drop out of race, I'm not interested in telling people not to run. If you are, you really aren't interested in democracy. We need more choices not fewer.
We don't link to Truthdig. We highlight Chris Hedges gladly but we will never highlight him at Truthdig. Robert Scheer disgraced himself and I find his behavior appalling.
We don't link to BuzzFlash. In the early days of this site, we linked to Buzz all the time and they frequently linked to us. Following the AlterNet 'controversy' (who knew it was controversial to say: Don't bully children and don't spy on them?), they decided we were radioactive. Which was fine and I didn't really give a damn. They continued to e-mail this site near daily asking for links and I continued to give them (much to Mike's displeasure). The nail in the coffin was in January 2008. At that time, the assumption (a generalization) was that women were supporting Hillary and African-Americans (sometimes just males, sometimes males and females) were supporting Barack. Mark felt the need to hector women about supporting Hillary. He was one of many. Search in vain for the 'editorial' by Mark or any other loser telling African-Americans not to blindly support Barack (who is bi-racial). You won't find it. Because that would have been offensive. But it's a sign of how little respect Karlin has for women that he didn't break a sweat at the notion of attempting to bully them. That's also why he so frequently links to porn at Buzz. (Which is why he got pulled from the permalinks -- a community member who is a city worker made the mistake of assuming Buzz was a news site and saw a link there for Arnuld when he was running for governor -- the community member clicks on the link and is taken to photos of Ahnuld -- clothed -- with a nude women on his shoulders. There was no warning, there was nothing. That's when we pulled Buzz from the permalinks. They got banned for their CDS in 2008 including the notion that 'little ladies' need 'big' Mark to tell them how to vote.)
We don't link to this century's Christopher Hitchens. That is Robert Parry of Consortium News. We don't link to him anymore. He destroyed his own work in 2008. There is nothing he wrote in 2008 that you could compare with his past coverage and expect it to stand up. For Parry, of all people, to have a late life case of CDS was shocking.
I would prefer not to link to Huffington Post. If I'm asked to by them, I do consider what they're asking to be linked on and make the decision on a case-by-case basis.
I have friends at The Nation. If I get a phone call asking to link, I generally do. They remain on our permalinks. They're not a go-to spot for me or for members.
The Progressive was pulled from the permalinks due to the deranged ravings of then closeted-Socialist Matthew Rothschild. I'm glad we were able to help Matty out of the political closet. Hopefully, now that he's out he'll learn to love himself.
If I get a phone call from one friend at Mother Jones, they get a link but they got pulled when they started with the CDS. And "they" includes David Corn who really foamed at the mouth in 2008. It was hugely embarrassing.
We will link to Dissident Voice and Information Clearing House and even CounterPunch (all of which are on our permalinks). CounterPunch was the home of CDS in 2008 but it's always gone wide-eyed and punch drunk while muttering "Mena, Mena." We link to many other sites but the sites listed above? You're really wasting your time to e-mail on them. If it's The Nation, I've already heard about it via a phone call, and if I didn't link, I either didn't have the time or didn't think it was worth it. If it's Truthdig or others, we're just not interested.
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.