We haven't done one in forever. I'd hoped to do one Christmas day but other things . . .
The public e-mail account has a lot of issues raised by non-community members.
1) I'm attacking Beto O'Rourke! Why!!!!
I haven't attacked Beto and don't plan on it. During his Senate campaign, if anyone from Texas asked for his videos to be highlighted, we did.
I don't endorse anyone I can't vote for so I didn't endorse Beto. If you found that to be my attacking him, guilty. I don't usually endorse here. I did endorse, early on, in my own state but Dianne Feinstein has a lot of fans and community members asked me to step out of it so I just went forward as though there was no Senate race in my own state.
If you check the archives, you'll see I've offered much praise for Beto many times. Iraq is our focus. We have some similarities -- Beto and myself -- on Iraq and we have some differences. For a member of Congress during his three terms, he was one of the few who took Iraq seriously. He got a lot of praise here. He also was one of the few members of Congress to note when Texas citizens serving in Iraq or Afghanistan were killed. He did this when the governor of Texas or the mayors of the cities the fallen were from couldn't even take the time to note these passings. I've even got an entry where I quote from an Alicia Keys song to praise Beto ("Nobody ever shut it down like you").
There are members of the community with their own sites who aren't impressed with Beto. That's their right and they need to express their beliefs and their truths. But anyone thinking I'm anti-Beto doesn't know this site because I've praised him repeatedly. (And while some take issue with the notorious spanking video -- I actually thought it was funny -- Beto in the bar with friends.)
2) "Donald Trump cannot bring peace!"
Donald Trump could do a lot of things if he applied himself. He could even do some wonderful things. I don't like him, I didn't vote for him. I've not portrayed him as our great hope. But every person has the potential of greatness. It's up to them whether or not they rise to the task. He's got about two more years to act and create a legacy of merit. He may still do that. He may not.
He may go the easy route and become a War Lord because we really love to lie and pretend that is greatness. It's not.
If Donald Trump pulls US troops out of Iraq, I'll praise him for that. (He's made no indication that he plans to do that and, in fact, two new bases have gone up this year in Al-Anbar Province -- two new US bases.) If he keeps his word on Syria, that'll be something good. If he keeps it on Afghanistan, that'll be something good.
We elected Barack to get all the US troops out of Iraq and that never happened. There was a "drawdown" not a withdrawal. (The US military always referred to it as a drawdown even when Barack's flunkies were calling it a withdrawal.) Not only did they not all leave Iraq ever, but Barack kept his word to THE NEW YORK TIMES and sent US troops back in after his 'withdrawal.'
My distaste for Donald goes back years and has been very obvious and public to him. To his credit, each time we've encountered one another, he's tried to be friendly. I don't like him and I'm not nice back. That's face to face. The easiest thing to do here would be to trash him daily for this or for that. It would certainly let us be part of the never-ending circle jerk.
But I'm not going to lie about him -- the press, not Donald Trump, outed the covert team in Iraq, for example.
People can change, they can inspire us, they can redeem themselves. If Donald Trump wanted to (and wanted to do the work), he could become one of the greatest presidents the country has ever seen. Will he apply himself? My guess is no. But I'd love to be forced to write, "I was wrong."
(People can change. And that's why prisons should not be about profit. They should provide opportunities for education and training. "There but for God . . ." used to be a popular phrase. There's little indication in our current times that we any longer grasp this.)
3) "You seem so angry at the press."
I am furious with them. They've helped Donald Trump from day one and are helping him now. They have attacked him and lied about him and bent over backwards to show bias. If Donald leaves the White House with no accomplishments to praise, his backers and historians can rightly note the hostile environment created and encouraged by the press to defend Donald. If they'd play fair, Donald's failures would be his own. Accusations are portrayed as truth and thinly sourced 'reports' rule the day as long as they feed into a negative preconception and narrative. No modern day president has been treated like this. Not even the pursuit of Bill Clinton compares to this.
I can go into many other things.
Related, I referred to "the first political scandal" and someone e-mailed asking if this was akin to the first sin? If they were being funny, that was funny. Good response. If they were being serious, that was a clumsy sentence on my part -- I dictated it. It was in reference to my own family and the first political scandal (I was a child at the time). It was a sex scandal and it had nothing to do with voting record or with ethics or whatever. It was a consenting affair but it destroyed a political career. I was referring to the first scandal I witnessed and it was years ago, the press teased with it and played with it and thought they were so very cute. They were not.
4) "What do you think of Trump's announcement regarding pulling troops from Syria and Afghanistan?"
My first thought was and remains, "You stupid f**king idiot."
Because I'm against it?
If he does it, I will applaud him for it.
But you don't announce it when he did. He should have made the announcement a month before (at least) or a month after.
What bothers me (angers me) is he did it now. We could have helped him with this. But school's out. We're not hitting campuses again until the semester starts back up. This is an issue that will resonate with young people. And you will see support for it. But you will see that more as they are among themselves and not while they're home for the holidays -- home where they will see many adults swept into a blind fever of hate, hate, hate that the media's attempting to create.
Other than the timing?
I'm hoping he's going to stand by what he says and it will be what he says.
If he does, I will sing his praises for doing that.
4) "But we need to remain in Iraq to keep stability."
I am advocating for all US troops out of Iraq. Donald's not there. Yet? Who knows?
As for keeping US troops in Iraq for stability, they've been in Iraq for almost 16 years now. They've not brought stability. They're not supposed to. They're supposed to keep the people oppressed while the US government keeps installing flunkies in the hope that at some point the right flunky is in place and the US government gets all that it wants and has wanted.
The US government isn't there for democracy (proven when Barack overturned the 2010 election results with The Erbil Agreement because Barack didn't like how the Iraqi people voted).
It's a real sign of how complacent we've become in so short a time -- 2008 John McCain says troops may remain for 100 years and the American public is outraged. Ten years later, US troops are still in Iraq and it doesn't even register with the larger public.
5) "You never seem to censor yourself."
Wrong. There are many things that I pull before a snapshot I dictate goes up.
One example, since _____ praised a War Criminal, I've repeatedly pulled passages like, "How very sad for you that you do a Broadway play about your life and it's just about what you wore. You want to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but all you've done is demonstrate you spent your life as a mannequin. Isn't that really pathetic with seventy-plus years of life?" Or, "If you think being remembered for Twitter or for being in England at a premiere when your face tape gave way and the photographers caught you on camera with the sliding flesh and tape exposed count as proud moments, I guess you've had a lot of proud moments."
See that's been pulled repeatedly from snapshots this week.
And ____ has really pissed me off with her praise of War Criminal.
I get it, she's not smart. She's been a friend for years but I've never thought she was well read or informed. Though, to be fair, people who think they are well read and informed today -- take Meryl Streep -- ugly trash who aspires to genteel -- are a lot like the homophobes of the 1950s. People never get that homophobia and racism were 'educated' opinions, they were popularized and encouraged in the press of those days. The same way hatred of Russia is encouraged and popularized by the current press corps. So it really is a case of the more you read, the less you know -- if you're reading the corporate press. It exists, not unlike our public school system, for socialization. It does not exist for true education. It will not encourage you to question, it will only try to beat you down if you stray from between the lines. Again, the press serves the same function as the public school system.
6) "I've sent you ____ things to highlight over and over and I never seen them at your blog."
It's not really "my blog." I've noted that repeatedly over the years. What's the issue I would be writing about if this were "my blog"? Community members cover their ears and say, "Please don't say 'water rights' again!" Yes, that's what I would be covering as I've noted every years this site has been in place. I think the issue of water -- and who controls is -- will be one of the main issue of the 21st century. But I started this site without knowing a thing about blogging -- still don't know much. What it quickly became was what the community wanted and that's what it remains.
Secondly, who are you? Why am I required to highlight you?
I have never asked anyone to highlight this site. When we were noted on NPR by a friend, I immediately begged that they never do that again. We're not your "better angels" and I've never sought press attention in my offline life and didn't plan to in my online one. If you do something of value, an audience will naturally come to you. That's always been my philosophy -- one a friend bastardized into a script and you probably know which script I'm talking about. Although, unlike a MAD ABOUT YOU friend, they didn't bastardize me for laughs.
At any rate, I don't go around asking people to highlight me.
I don't get how others do but whatever. They can do what they want. But if I'm not asking you to highlight me, why are you asking me to highlight you?
What is the connection that you think we have?
Are you in a dark bedroom somewhere, tears spilling down your cheeks, softly singing, "Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby -- baby, baby, baby . . ."?
I mean, I get the ones who send me something that they want highlighted that the e-mail shows was sent to about 30 other people. Okay, they're self-promoters. I get it.
But when you're sending something to me -- or to this site -- and it's not about Iraq, I have to wonder what is it coming here for?
We've started highlighting the pot e-mail submissions just because I admire their persistence. It's got nothing to do with this site but they've sent their stuff forever with no response from me and they keep at it. And I also don't see pot as harmful. What's going to happen? Men's breasts are going to lactate? Wasn't that a big scare tactic the government tried at one point? Had it as part of a slide show.
Also remember, I'm not reading the bulk of the e-mails. We've got others doing it (and thank you if you're one of those people). There are too many.
What often ticks me off is something I would highlight is sent -- this was last week or the week before -- on a Sunday two hours before it would need to be posted.
Everyone's off on Saturdays and Sundays -- everyone that goes through the e-mails. So it's just me. And I'm not looking at any e-mails on Sunday until, at the earliest, nine p.m. that night.
If you want something up here, also true, make it clear. I'm not really sure sometimes what they want? Do they want it posted? Do they want it posted partially?
David Swanson goes up here because he's clear in his self-promotion. He sends out an e-mail to about sixty sites and makes clear what he wants from it.
If you're not going up here, I might not want what you've got up here. I don't mind political opinions that disagree. I do mind feeding frenzies. At THIRD, Ava and I avoid bash the bitch. We're not going to take part in a feeding frenzy. Example, when Britney Spears was having her public freak out, it would have been so easy to go to town on her. Might have even been funny. But we didn't see the point in taking part in a public stoning. If she'd been a politician -- someone with that kind of power over people's lives -- okay, fine, give us a really big rock to hurl. But there was no reason to attack her. Or Paris Hilton or whomever the media decided the target is (and it's usually a woman, if you haven't noticed -- another reason to distrust the media).
If you're doing something like, don't send that crap here.
7) I never wrote you.
People e-mailing the public account, I never wrote you. I don't owe you a response because I never wrote you. This especially refers to three people who work for some online promotion effort who keep e-mailing constantly to say "this post" has an outdated link and they'd like me to note that they have provided a new link to use and . . .
I really don't give a damn. You're talking about something that's years ago. Yes, new sites are going to change their links. I can remember telling Kimberly Wilder, back in the 00's, that I'd stopped linking to YAHOO articles because those links were going dead after a few months.
It's 2018, about to be 2019. I'm moving forward, I don't have time to go back to five years ago and change a link. Not only that, but, yes, I am ignoring you because I did not subscribe to your service, I did not contact you and I haven't asked for the 'help' you think you're providing.
This is a site about Iraq. Why are you bothering us with your nonsense? I'm not going to promote your company and if a link isn't working most of us are savvy enough on how to search via GOOGLE to find the article another way.
I never wrote them but two or three people from this company write repeatedly every week and all their doing is wasting everyone's time. "Did you not get my previous e-mail?" Your e-mail was never requested, it was off topic and I'm not here to promote your business efforts. So why you are e-mailing the public account?
8) If you're someone we've highlighted but we've suddenly stopped?
Are you writing about impeachment? It's a non-issue. Donald Trump was elected president. He will possibly be gone in two more years. The Democratic Party is not going to impeach him while Nancy's around. Why wouldn't she allow John Conyers to impeach -- or try to -- Bully Boy Bush?
Because the Dems took control of both houses in 2006 which was a what? Mid-term election. Nancy bases every move on how it will effect elections. She knows a mid-term election that wants to pursue impeachment is a potential general election problem. You have to mount an impeachment very quickly in these cases. If they moved really quick, they could impeach Donald in the House and maybe (or maybe not) remove him from office in the Senate. Really quick, if they started the basic work today, they might be able to do this before the end of 2019.
And then what?
Your impeachment -- this is Nancy's take -- has riled up a lot of people. Hopefully, it's just upset Republican voters. You hope you can outnumber them. But, Nancy's thoughts, it may upset swing voters -- or even actual independent voters (I'm glad that our bitching here from the beginning about the idiots who confuse the two groups has resulted in more precise wording from the corporate media). If you're upsetting non-Republican voters, you are at risk of losing the election. The general election.
How could you upset swing voters and independent voters?
If they don't agree with you that the actions that prompted impeachment were a serious threat, they're likely to wonder why time was wasted on an impeachment on someone likely to be voted out in the general election anyway.
Here's Nancy's other anti-impeachment argument. Do you really want a fresh face to fight in the general election? A vice president is forgettable. Mike Pence stepping in as president in the year 2020? The Dems would have to create a public image for Pence. It would be a lot of work and he would have the advantage of being an incumbent. They've created the image of Trump that they want to run against in 2020. That's what they'd prefer to run against.
So if you're writing about impeachment, I'm not interested in sharing it here. It's not going to happen. Now if Francis A. Boyle writes about it -- on any sitting president or, in Bully Boy Bush's case, on any illegal occupant of the White House -- I'm interested. I've studied the law and I enjoy his writing. I am really tired of people who have never had a legal course rushing forward with their uninformed opinions. I know contract law which is why I understood the SOFA that so many hacks and liars distorted. I know contract law which is why I can -- and have -- gotten out of contracts and kept the money. I can remember Rick Springfield telling TV GUIDE he was leaving GENERAL HOSPITAL, for example. And I called Rick and said, "What?" He said he was exercising the yearly option. I said, "That's not your option, it's their option." And it was. He had to make it difficult for the show to get out of his contract. He didn't understand that the yearly renewal was their decision, their option, not his. And that's fine, I'm not insulting Rick here. But I am using that as an example of when people do not understand contracts even when they sign them. Now the people who got the SOFA wrong? I am insulting them. This had huge implications and they didn't understand the contract and they weren't smart enough to talk to anyone who could've explained it to them. They were idiots and they misinformed the public. By contrast, everything I wrote the day the SOFA was signed was true and ended up being backed up by reality.
I'm not interested in your nonsense fantasies about what you learned from THE PRACTICE or LA LAW.
9) Related, I was never 'for' Valerie Plame. I've met her a few times. I do like Joe Wilson as a person. He's nice and he can tell a story so well that you can't stop laughing. When we focused on Valerie, we focused on the law.
Valerie Plame went on to become a celebrity and she felt she was a martyr.
She's former CIA now. CIA people are not martyrs. Many are little more than cheap crooks.
If I wanted to praise the CIA, I would've joined when Professor _____ tried to recruit me (because of my analytical skills). When Professor _____ dies, if this site is still around, I will out him if he hasn't gotten honest before dying. He's so noble, so wonderful, so amazing and . . . yes, a CIA recruiter, asset and snitch all these years. I would appreciate it if he would get honest. He knows how horrified I was by his actions. He also knows I am prepared to out him if he doesn't get honest himself.
I don't see the CIA as angelic or even beneficial.
I see Valerie as a rather vain person who has taken her little incident and blown it out of proportion.
She'd just have an overgrown ego if that was the only problem. But her little incident is tied to the Iraq War -- the Iraq War she ignores. If she ever focuses on it, it's about Bully Boy Bush. It's not about Barack (though she always hated him, she wouldn't even criticize him publicly -- and, yes, she loathes Barack), it's about BBB. And it's always in the distant past as though peace came to Iraq on January 20, 2009.
Let's wrap up and do one more.
10) The press is about real issues!
Wrong. Let's do my favorite example, I'm dining with ______ of the hugely popular daily that's known for its neocon presence (though Meryl Idiot Streep continues to praise it -- no, it's not NYT) and they love Bully Boy Bush, they love them some Bully. And their editorial pages have been praising him. The Iraq War's not bothering them.
The next day, their editorial pages begin the move away from BBB.
I was at the dinner where it was said that BBB was making fun of the man's wife, saying she had odor -- you know, down there. Now it was a lie.
I know because I came up with it.
We were laughing about what could turn _____ (and therefore the paper) against BBB -- my escort and I were laughing about it before the dinner. We were just joking. We came up with a variety of different things before I offered the vaginal odor lie. We laughed and laughed. Then, at the dinner party, my escort repeated the lie but as fact.
You should have seen _____'s face. More red than even his wife.
And that's when the paper began their turn against Bully Boy Bush.
The press is about real issues? Oh, you make me laugh.
If you've got anything to highlight about Iraq, remember the public e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.