Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ms. magazine needs to close shop

Okay, I am a second wave feminist.  I am an old woman.

In my day, feminism called out violence against women.

We are the generation that created the vocabulary for a problem without a name.

If you were a woman whose husband or boyfriend beat you, that was considered your problem.  It was considered a "personal problem."

We are the generation that said, "No, this is a cultural problem, it's not a personal problem."

I am not trying to pat myself on the back here.  I did as much as any average woman did in the feminist movement.  I marched, I wrote letters, I spoke one-on-one and in groups to learn and to share. 

But I bring this all up because who would have thought I would live to see the day that Ms. magazine was promoting violence against women?

When they praise Beyoncé's album as "feminist" and the album includes her husband rapping about Tina Turner being beat up by Ike?  And not to object, but to portray it, in a song called "Drunk In Love," as sexy?

I am so sorry and cannot believe how low Ms. has fallen.

I can remember some stupid advertisement where they used a woman and made her up to look like she had a black eye.  And I can remember Ms. magazine calling that out.

But today?  Today they praise an album glorifying violence against women.

I think it is now time for Ms. magazine to close shop.
 Kat's "Kat's Korner: Beyonce -- the fake ass feminist who sells violence against women"

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:  

Thursday, December 19, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, Muhanad Mohammed is the latest journalist to die in Iraq, Iraq becomes a topic in the early stages of the 2016 presidential election, the Christian Science Monitor makes clear that this doesn't mean the press will actually have to acknowledge Iraq, and more.

Let's start with nonsense.  A Tweet.

  • I like Mike.  I don't like that Tweet.  I don't like the pompous attitude.  I don't like the misuse of a child's attempt at conveying support.

    You are so big and brave, Mike, going after a 1st grader.  Wow, you really showed that kid.  Next, why don't you show off how you don't wear velcro strappy shoes because you're so big you can tie your own shoelaces! 

    It's been years since Mike served in Iraq and that kid's old enough to see their drawing online now.  Whether they still feel the sentiment or not, how nice of Mike to expose them to public ridicule.

    A first grader was encouraged to write to Americans serving in Iraq.

    He or she asked why Americans were in Iraq?

    Exactly what kind of answer does Mike expect a first grader will be given?

    'Well, it's a geopolitical issue largely about oil . . .'


    A first grader is going to be told a story she or he can process.

    Good and bad in the most simplistic terms is what they can process.

    A first grader sent Mike an expression of the war as they best understood it and their thank you is to be ridiculed on Twitter?

    That first grader has grown up.  I'm not really feeling that Mike has.

    Again, I like Mike.  But I love all children.  Children are innocent, there's no reason to hold them up to ridicule but that's what I feel the point of Mike's Tweet is.  On the subject, the Iraq War hasn't ended and Mike should probably stop Tweeting that it has.  It may have ended for him but with Iraq Body Count saying 9,000 violent deaths in Iraq so far this year, the war drags on.

    Iraq is becoming a political issue in the US.  That's good for a number of reasons.  In terms of the Democratic Party, we covered it this morning in "Iraq and the American electorate" and I really didn't plan to return to the topic but David Weigel's such an idiot that when a friend called me about Weigel's piece at Slate, I knew we'd have to cover it.  For the first -- and probably only -- time, we'll link to Weigel who writes, "The highlight, for internal Democratic Party warfare purposes, was a none-too-subtle rip of Hillary Clinton, the one 2012 contender who voted for the Iraq War."

    I'm sorry, what?

    2008, not 2012.  Hillary did not try for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2012.

    I make a ton of mistakes so I'd be willing to allow that Weigel meant to type "2008" -- but . . .

    Hillary wasn't "the one 2008 contender who voted for the Iraq War."  Cheater John Edwards, for example, voted for the Iraq War.  He left it to his wife Elizabeth Edwards to defend his vote.  But he voted for it.  He was one of the last three standing so you can't overlook him.  (Had America known he'd fathered a child by his mistress and forced an employee to pose as the child's father, he would have been laughed off every stage.)  I think we have to consider Joe Biden to have been a serious contender -- he did end up Vice President.  He was in that race as well and he also voted for the 2002 Iraq War resolution.  Then there's Chris Dodd who voted for the resolution as well.  So that's Hillary, Edwards, Joe and Chris.  In fact, the only one running for the Democratic Party's  nomination who was in Congress in 2002 and didn't vote for the resolution was Dennis Kucinich.

    And there were  people who supported the Iraq War who weren't in Congress at the time.  For example . . .

  • But most Americans were opposed.  Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is in Iowa testing the waters for a run for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination.  Jennifer Jacobs (Des Moines Register) reports:

    The Iraq war, which killed 5,000 U.S. soldiers and as many as 100,000 people, was about oil, he told an audience of about 80 people at an event for the liberal grass-roots group Progress Iowa.
    “When we were attacked at 9/11 by 17 Saudis and two Egyptians who called themselves al-Qaida, who weren’t welcome in Iraq, and George Bush got a bunch of Democrats to go to that war, I was just shaking my head in Montana,” he said.
    “I didn’t vote for that war, and I didn’t think it was a good idea,” he said. “The reason I’m in Iowa, in part, is because I’m asking you to pick the leaders that are going to say, 'We’re not going to make those mistakes.'"
    Schweitzer didn’t mention that the presumptive front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, voted in 2002 as a U.S. senator representing New York to authorize the war.

    In a second article, Jacobs notes the remarks he delivered to the crowd (above) but also this passage after he left the microphone:

    After his speech, asked about Clinton’s vote, Schweitzer answered with a grin, “Did she vote for it? I didn’t keep track. I think there were 21 Democrats who didnt vote for it, she might’ve been one of those.”

    Peter Hamby (CNN) adds:

    In a speech to Iowa Democrats in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona, and in remarks to reporters, Schweitzer repeatedly chided Senate Democrats who voted in 2002 to green light military action in Iraq.
    Clinton, then a senator from New York, voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, a decision that badly damaged her credibility
    with the Democratic base and allowed Barack Obama to win over anti-war liberals in their 2008 nomination fight.
    “Anybody who runs in this cycle, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, if they were the United States Senate and they voted with
    George Bush to go to Iraq when I would say about 98 percent of America knows that it was a folly, that it was a waste of treasure and blood,
    and if they voted to go to Iraq there will be questions for them on the left and from the right,” he told CNN.
    Later, in his remarks to a holiday party organized by the liberal group Progress Iowa, Schweitzer asked the roughly 70 audience members
    to keep the Iraq war vote in mind as they begin to think about potential candidates passing through the state.
    “When George Bush got a bunch of Dems to vote for that war, I was just shaking my head in Montana,” he said, noting that he opposed the war
    (though he didn’t have to vote on it). “I’m asking you to pick the leaders who aren’t going to make those mistakes.”

    Applause for those two reporters.  Something much less than applause for Peter Grier (Christian Science Monitor) who types:

    Just look at the polls. Last week the Register put out its Iowa poll rating possible 2016 contenders, and Hillary just killed. Eighty-nine percent of Iowa Democrats said they had a somewhat or very favorable opinion of her.
    Schweitzer, in contrast, was a blip. Sixteen percent of Iowa Democrats said they had a favorable opinion of him. Fully 70 percent said they weren’t sure, meaning they probably didn’t know who he is.

    How do you get paid to be that stupid?  He makes Weigel look like a genuis by comparison.

    Iowa is a media creation and not reflective of the country -- it's one of the most Anglo White states, for example, only 3.2% of the state's population is African-American or Black.  In most elections, Iowa winners go down in flames.  Equally true, no one's announced.

    Not even 'tired' Hillary.  And that's what she'll come off to many if history holds.  In the Democratic Party, you really just get the one shot.  They're not building up a farm team (does that work? I don't know sports).  They give you one shot.  You can run after that but no one takes you seriously.  John Kerry got one and only one shot.  Bill Bradly took one and only one shot.  Mike Dukakis made only one attempt.

    Some don't take the hint.  Like the serial cheater John Edwards.  But the party doesn't reward them.  Their attitude is "once a loser, always a loser."

    Now the Republicans are different.  So McCain could run and lose in 2000 and turn around and come back in 2008.  But historically, the Democratic Party does not suffer losers gladly.

    You have to go back to the fifties to find Democrats rewarding a non-incumbent with a nomination on anything other than their first run.  (Johnson ran and lost in 1960.  But when he got the nomination, he was the incumbent.  Al Gore ran and lost in 1988 and only got the 2000 nomination because he was the Vice President.)

    In 2016, she'll be 68. Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was sworn in for his first term.  And everyone wanted to know if he died his hair or not.  As they would want to know if Hillary honestly thought she could pretend the blond color was natural?

    People will emerge to run for the nomination.  That may or may not include Hillary.  But when there's no campaigning taking place and no one declared, it takes a whole lot of stupid to declare Hillary a front runner in an election three years away.

    Take comfort, Weigel, Peter Grier's ahisotrical and uninformed 'analysis' made him the biggest idiot in journalism today.

    It's amazing that Grier can babble on about a topic whose focus is Iraq and never mention Iraq.

    Hmm.  How typical of the Christian Science Monitor and Peter Grier.

    And a big thank you to the shallow sewer that is Peter Grier.  This morning, I wrongly thought that if Brian continued talking about Iraq, it would force journalists to at least note Iraq when covering him.

    As Peter Grier demonstrates, on a day when a huge number of Iraqi died from violence, a journalist mentioning a politician's remarks about Iraq doesn't even feel the need to note that violence continues in Iraq.

    Iraq was slammed with violence again today.  Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) counts, "At least 46 people were killed and 100 others wounded in violent attacks in Iraq on Thursday, including a wave of bombings against Shiite pilgrims, police said."  Let's note Iraq Pictures December 17th Tweet.

    Pilgrims from across Iraq & around the world gathering in the holy city of to mark the 40th of Imam Hussain

    Pilgrims from across Iraq & around the world gathering in the holy city of to mark the 40th of Imam Hussain

    National Iraqi News Agency reports a Samarra roadside bombing left three federal police wounded, a Balad roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left a second person injured, an armed exchange in Ramadi left two people dead, 1 person was shot dead "in the Baladiat area east of the capital Baghdad," a Mousl attack left 1 police officer shot dead and three more injured, a Baaj roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left three more people injured, 1 police officer (working as a bodyguard for a judge) was shot dead in Shura, a Ysifiyah ("south of Baghdad") suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 6 pilgrims with thirty-five more injured, a Latifiya roadside bombing left 4 pilgrims dead and twenty more injured. and a Dora suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 17 people with thirty-five more injured.

    Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) notes the Dora suicide bombers' death toll has risen to 18 and that a Bahgdad home invasion late last night left two parents and their two children dead (the father had been a Sawha).  Also on the Dora bombing, Reuters notes, "A former Reuters reporter, Muhanad Mohammed, and his son were among those killed in the blast, a family member said."  Ammar Karim and WG Dunlop (AFP) add, "Among those killed in the blast was Muhanad Mohammed, a journalist who had worked for both foreign and Iraqi media, one of his sons told AFP. He was the seventh journalist to be killed in the country in less than three months."

    Since they spoke to his son, it would have been nice if they could have quoted the son.

    But, hey, yesterday we were calling AFP out for not speaking to the families of journalists.  Today, they did.  They just forgot to quote the family member.  Baby steps, baby steps.

    April 13, 2011, Muhanad Mohammed was one of the reporters questioning NATO's General Richard Shirreff.

    Q: Muhanad Mohammed, Reuters: Do you think the mission of NATO has success in Iraq? In spite of, as I hear, they have only trained 1,000 from the Oil Police? Do you think this number compares with the dangers outside Baghdad, that they will be able to protect all?

    A: My answer very firmly is yes. The NATO mission has had success and is continuing to be successful, and I would like to particularly pay tribute here in Camp Dublin to the efforts made by the Carabinieri. Now you mention the Oil Police training, that has only been going on for six months or so, and in that relatively short time, as you say, 1,000 have been trained with many more to come.

    Muhanad Mohammed covered many topics for Reuters. When parliamentary elections were going to take place in January 2010, he broke the story that the head of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Faraj al-Haideri, was calling for a delay.  The elections would be shoved back to March 2010.   He often, for example, reported on Parliament. He reported on the ridiculous 'magic' wands that could (not) determine whether a bomb was present.  January 23, 2010, he reported that members of Parliament are calling for an end to use of the 'magic' wands. Much of what the world understood of Iraq in 2010 can be directly traced to his reporting for Reuters.  His work had a real impact whether people knew his byline or not, his work registered.  We noted his work for Reuters many times and his work certainly shaped our understanding of Iraq.  I would hope that Tim Cocks or Reuters itself would issue a statement or Tweet on Muhanad Mohammed's passing.  If they do so tomorrow, we'll include it in the snapshot.  He worked for Reuters in 2009 (and possibly earlier) on through at least 2012.

    AFP's Ammar Karim did Tweet about the passing:

    Muhanad Mohammed frequently covered the eight-month political stalemate that followed the 2010 parliamentary elections such as on June 12, 2010 when he reported that the Council of Ministers' office was the location of a meeting between Ayad Allawi and Nouri al-Maliki whose political slates came in first and second respectively in the March 2010 elections.

    Today, Curtis Ohlers (Majalla) reminds people of that time period and its effects on Iraq today.

    Iraq’s political decline and sectarianism resurfaced most visibly after the 2010 Iraqi elections. The results rendered a narrow defeat of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition (SLC) by the Iraqiya coalition. Iraqiya was a Shi’a and Sunni coalition headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and joined by then Deputy Prime Minister Rafie Al-Issawi’s National Future Gathering. The Iraqiya victory required Maliki to establish a government with Sadrist elements under the Iraqi National Alliance to remain in power. Given Maliki’s decision to use military force against Sadrist militias in 2008, there was resistance to such a coalition.
    The political conflict led to a nine-month negotiation in which the Maliki government maintained power, until the signing of the Erbil agreement. The Erbil agreement left Maliki as the prime minister, but established limitations of the prime minister’s power, incorporated power-sharing arrangements including the allocation of top security posts, and called for the creation of the National Council on Strategic Policies (NCSP) to be headed by Allawi.
    Neither the power-sharing agreement nor the NCSP ever came to fruition under the Maliki government. Additionally, there are accusations that Maliki not only failed to reduce the powers of the prime minister, rather further centralizing it under his government. Examples include current attempts to control independent government bodies, such as the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, the Integrity Commission, and the central bank, by placing them under the Maliki-led Council of Ministers. He is also accused of appointing high-level army and police commanders without the required constitutional approvals.

    A State Dept friend asked why I didn't notice this press release from the US Embassy in Baghdad?  Hadn't seen it:
    December 16, 2013
    During her three–day visit, Ms. Richard met with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and other senior KRG officials, the governors of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah provinces, as well as representatives of international and local humanitarian organizations working on the ground. Ms. Richard also visited the Kawergowsk and Dara Shakran refugee camps and met with local officials. She spoke directly to Syrian refugee families to learn first-hand of their experiences.
    In her meetings, Ms. Richard thanked the government and people of Iraq, including the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, for their generosity and hospitality in caring for the Syrian refugees, and for coordinating with international humanitarian agencies. Assistant Secretary Richard said, “We understand that an influx of refugees may place a strain on host communities. We applaud the spirit of tolerance and generosity from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's residents and officials who are assisting these refugees.” She reiterated the commitment of the United States to helping Iraq as it shoulders this responsibility.

    The United States is the single largest donor to the international humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, providing more than 1.3 billion dollars for food, shelter, medical care, education, clean water, and sanitation to people in Syria and the more than 2.2 million Syrian refugees in the region.

    It would be nice if the release had noted the official's name.  It's Anne C. Richard whose title is U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

    FYI, Kat's "Kat's Korner: Beyonce -- the fake ass feminist who sells violence against women" went up this evening.  And another strong piece of writing, this one on Barack Obama's illegal spying scandal, is Libby Liberal's  Corrente piece whic opens:

    I caught some of Lawrence O’Donnell’s show yesterday in which O’Donnell glibly shilled for the Obama administration against the findings of federal Judge Leon. O’Donnell also handily soft-balled questions to one of Obama’s NSA reform panelists in which the two found common cause in lauding the Obama administration for its “lesser evil” spy program. Do they not recall it took Edward Snowden to expose it????
    I also caught part of a Barbara Walter’s special in which she gave short shrift to one on her list of most fascinating people of 2013, Edward Snowden. Let’s see. I remember two things from that tiny segment before she rushed along. Snowden was a high school dropout and Walters’ suggestion that most Americans don’t begin to care about being massively spied upon.
    Did anybody else witnessing this not feel a chill climb the spine?

    The mainstream corporate media propaganda machine is continuing its mighty work at legitimizing and defending the -- as Judge Leon typified it -- “almost Orwellian” Obama shadow police state.