Sunday, January 30, 2005

Schechter's WMD, Ron of Why Are We Back in Iraq? requests help dealing with "Ricky," A Winding Road, Sex and Politics, Third Estate Sunday Review

Maria loved Danny Schechter's WMD. Weapons of Mass Deception is a great film and worth seeing. She e-mailed early Saturday morning asking if I'd mention it's latest openings. I'm glad to and had honestly forgotten to mention it for some time so thanks for the reminder.

WMD will open in Buffalo, New York City and Portland this Friday, February 4, 2005. So if you are in or near those areas, please consider checking it out. Maria loves the movie (as do I) and writes: "Even if you're thinking, I've seen it all, I know it all, I'm against the war, the film will still surprise you."

(That's Portland Oregon, by the way. I was recently reminded, thanks Jonah, that there is more than one Portland.)

It will also play in Grand Rapids, Michigan for two days, Feb. 7 and 8, at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. For more information, please click on the link above.

It will also be Eugene, OR on the 18th of February.

If you've been following the outstanding work Ron's been doing at Why Are We Back in Iraq? then you're quite aware of "Ricky." Ricky's apparently posed as a Democrat and blogged all over the net as a "Democrat" while attacking Democrats in posts. (Think of him as Tommy Friedman of the domestic scene, except Ricky apparently is from outside the U.S. -- another fact he forgot to disclose.)

If you go here you are at Time magazine. And you'll find that Time has a link to one of Ricky's non-masterpieces --
"Bill Clinton's diary." It's listed, rightly, under as a "fake diary." Ron's asking people to register their objection over Ricky's innaccurate astroturf flooding the net and over the fact that this diary they link to requests donations for a phoney tour of the U.S.

I'm not going to link to that blog by "Ricky" (he's apparently been linked to often enough all over the net) but you can find a link at Time. Ron and Tas of Loaded Mouth have unearthed this story and stayed on it.

I'll also note Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude) has an interview in this week's edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review.

And in it, Rebecca notes something about Folding Star's blog, A Winding Road, that I honestly hadn't noted -- Folding Star is focusing on the Senate. (Along with doing Saturday book discussions.)

So if you've got an issue regarding the Senate that you'd liked addressed, please check out Folding Star's web site and/or e-mail and request coverage on something. Folding Star's e-mail address is

Beth has read The Third Estate Sunday Review today and "really, really enjoyed it." But she has some questions. She e-mailed this afternoon to offer that she's not sure I've been clear about my own involvement with The Third Estate Sunday Review.

Let me clarify. They are community members (as is Rebecca and Folding Star). I helped with their web site when the template (I'm so computer illiterate I had to stop a second to think of the word) someone had designed for them to use crashed. (There was computer code in their heading -- when you viewed it -- and no entries were posted.) Their template prior was incredible. I'm not a computer expert and I suggested they go with a template that blogger offered which is what they did.

In addition (as they note and I've noted), I've read through drafts of their articles and offered input on clarity (I'm no spell checker as Shirley and other members of The Common Ills can attest) and a word or line here or there. They have a piece entitled "The Watchdog as Lapdog" for instance. I didn't give input on that because I knew from various e-mails they'd sent over the last three months that The Common Ills would be mentioned in that piece and felt it was better to excuse myself from that.

With them, or Rebecca and Folding Star, I've been more than happy to assist in any way that I could (as I've noted here in the past). And I'd do the same for any other member that was inspired to blog on their own as a result of this site. I'm not a great deal of help.

Beth also pointed out that Rebecca blogged that a line in one of her entries came from me. Here's what Rebecca blogged:

i also want to note that when i said calling the new republic left was like saying the washington monthly was ramparts came from ci. 2 people have e-mailed that they thought that was very funny. i was freaking out over that section and couldn't think of a comparison. i e-mailed ci and got a response within the hour saying "use washington monthly to ramparts." i googled ramparts to find out what it was and saw that it worked beautifully.i'd asked ci if i should attribute and got back, "don't be silly." but with 2 of you hailing it as being funny, i want to give credit where it's due.

The comparison she's referring to appears in her entry "a stripped down antonio was the only thing of value the new republic has ever offered" and as Rebecca notes, it's a comparison, not a line. Here's Rebecca's paragraph containing that entry:

the new republic wasn't worth reading then. it's not worth reading's 1 of the most hideous magazines. possibly the worst publishing because it pretends to be something it's not: left. how right leaning is the new republic? it makes the washington monthly look like like the run up to the occupation of iraq, the lead up to the war, a lot has been made about the cheerleading by many publications. judy miller at the new york times was a one woman proganda organ. she's flirted with the neocons for years so that isn't surprising but the new york times should know that they will carry this humilitation until the day they cease publication.but someone at the new york times will always scream "we were going for balance!" what's the new republic's excuse?

The comparison was not the entry or the thrust of the entry. Rebecca e-mailed requesting an assist and I was happy to provide it. But give Rebecca credit for her blog because that's where it belongs. There are times when she e-mails asking if I'm going to cover something in the Times and I always stress that, even if I was, she should blog on it because she's likely to see something I might miss. On Sunday last, she e-mailed about a review in the book review section. We don't focus on that and I added that I had no intention of blogging on it and would only be mentioning it if someone called attention to it. Luke did call attention to it and on Tuesday (I think it was Tuesday), I did post that. (Rebecca had already blogged on it when Luke requested it; however, there was a delay in noting Luke's request due to being unable to access blogger and blog on Monday night.)

I'll close with a disclosure. I'm toying with idea of purchasing some stock in the New York Times Company. As far as I know, I don't currently own any. (I don't follow my 401K -- largely because I can't figure it out and when I did attempt to follow the ups and downs of it in 2002, I was distressed to learn how much money it was losing.) I may not end up buying any. (If I talk about something before I start doing it, I have a bad tendency of never following through.)

Should I purchase stock, I would disclose it but not immediately because I've been advised by a mentor and friend that I'm dropping "too many bread crumbs" in disclosures. I've taken certain steps to avoid that and maintain my privacy. (Maybe "Ricky" thought he'd taken the same steps?) A purchase of stock in the Times would be, due to my funds and my level of concentration, very minor. But if I did as I originally thought one late night this week before falling asleep and bought a share on a regular basis at the end of my life, I might be able to pass it on to someone else without the hope that somewhere down the line (many many decades and generations to come) they might (if they continued to buy up small shares) have enough to make some slight impact on the coverage of the Times.

Now that I've blogged on that pipe dream, I'm already feeling done with it. But if I should decide to, I would disclose it in a year end statement (to prevent anyone following the stock purchases of the Times from saying "It's ____!"). If anyone has any objections to this half-baked plan (that will probably never be followed up on), please weigh in at because if anyone has a worry that I'd go soft on the Times (Gina already feels I'm too soft on them) then obviously this half-baked plan needs to die with this post.